Bravery, Patience, and Joy

>> Friday, January 29, 2010

I stumbled onto a quote today.  It’s from Helen Keller, who is one of my all time heroes.   It says “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”   I went looking for a quote because I had a friend who was pretty upset about something that happened to her.   She was feeling hopeless in the circumstance she found herself in.   Now this wasn’t a terrible circumstance.   No life altering choices or decisions…just found herself backed in a corner not knowing quite how to react.    She came to me for some encouragement and hopefully I was able to give that to her.  

After our little pep talk, I wrote the quote down on an index card and brought it home with me. It just stuck with me somehow.   I’m not sure if it was the words or the author, but I decided to investigate the true meaning of the words used.   Here we go:

Brave ~ Possessing or displaying courage; valiant.
Valiant (Valor) ~ Courage and boldness
Patient ~ Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness
Joy ~  To take great pleasure; rejoice

You know in life we sometimes are discouraged by the things that are unfair or harsh.   If asked, we’d want a life of peace and happiness. In truth, if our lives were all peace and happiness, we wouldn’t understand how to appreciate it.   Sometimes it takes the uncomfortable  or harsh things to push us to react with bravery or valor.  

Now patience is a different matter.   It (at least in my life ) requires practice.   I have a mentor that always says never pray for patience, pray for wisdom.   It’ a funny little quote, but it’s true…..we  normally learn patience because we HAVE to not because we want to.  

So I guess, I’m going to rejoice in the fact that I can learn bravery and patience.   I’m also thankful that my life affords me the opportunity to experience joy.

Have a brave, patient, and joy filled day!


It's a Southern Thing ~ Iced Tea

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

If you’ve ever heard me speak, there is no denying that I am a child of the South.   I certainly have the draaawwwl that make words with one or two syllables expand to 5 syllable words.   I relish the fact that in everyday conversations (casual or professional)people use  words such as ya’ll, Yes ‘em, and bless your heart.  One of my all time favorite southern things is sweet tea.

It's a standard on any menu in any restaurant.  I always have tea in the fridge.  Honestly, it's my go to drink.   Growing up it was served at dinner and supper. We really never had any choices you drank tea or water.   In the movie Steel Magnolias it's considered the "house wine of the south" and honestly there is truth in that. 

That's all I have for today, but you should know that you're always welcome to come on over and sit a spell.  I'll have the ice tea cold and ready for for you.


Character, not circumstance, makes the person

>> Monday, January 25, 2010

I currently teach a 10th grade Sunday School (bible fellowship) class and we are delving into lessons related character.    This past Sunday, we talked about Noah and the Flood.    The lesson really struck a chord with me this week.   We tend to think that Noah’s obedience and character were exercised once he started building the boat or when the floods started.  I know when telling this story, I like to begin with “God told Noah to build an ark….”, but in truth Noah’s character was defined long before the first cypress tree was cut down!!!   If you read Genesis 6: 5-22  you’ll see that God was grieved with everyone in the world except Noah and his family.   Basically the whole population of the earth were thinking and doing one thing and Noah and his family were headed in the opposite direction.  Talk about building character.   I imagine, the everyday choices they made were not the "popular" decision.   I’m sure many times they ended a conversation with….  it’s the right thing to do.   I don’t know that I’d have the strength or the willpower…but then again…..I haven’t heard God telling me to build a boat.  LOL.

The quote in the title is so true. "Character, not circumstance, makes the person.".   We are faced every day with little and big decisions.   Lots of times we think it’s circumstances that shape who we are, but it’s the choices we make while in the circumstance, that shape us.   In Noah’s life the entire world was making the wrong decisions, the peer pressure alone must have been enormous, but Noah was righteous and blameless.   He practiced making the right choices.  He built character in small and big decisions.   I’m not sure what the students took away from the lesson this week…but I took away a lifestyle of character.   WOW!!!


Surprise, Surprise

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

To give you a little insight about me,  I’m always being surprised or wowed by things in life.   I guess this happens because my personality is  fly by the seat of my pants rather than plan, plan, plan and do  not go outside the plan   I find that life is so much more fun and unexpected when I’m not sure what each day may bring.   I’m not against those people who have a more rigid type of day…just think maybe they miss some of the fun.  For example…just this week something happened that was hilarious.   I don’t think this wowed me, but it was certainly unexpected and had I been a person who was more together, it would have never happened. 

 I’ll need to set the story up.   I’m currently working with a team on a new project and we’ve been moved to a more secluded work area so that we can foster agile processes and new philosophies.   It builds team spirit and allows you to be more focused…so one of the people I’m working with now is named Darci.   She’s a wonderful team leader and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her better.   We actually share an office, so we’ve learned a lot about each other in just a few short months.   

Okay, time for the story.     It’s a new work week….Monday is here, everyone is in the office.   Darci is only working half a day, so she leaves after lunch on Monday.   Well, I’m in a meeting but someone let me know that we’ve had some plumbing issues and they are taking care of  Something in the girls bathroom.  I guess now would be a good time to let you know that Darci & I are the only two females on the team.   I go about my day and the next time I need to use the restroom, I realize they have replaced the toilet.   Well a little strange, but no big deal…cause I know the plumbers were there.   I made a mental note of this and actually thought….HMMM,  I need to remember to tell Darci about this.

Tuesday rolls around…no big deal…everyone is working hard.   Meetings and heads down working on whatever.   Now, anytime I used the rest room, I made that mental note to tell Darci about the new toilet…but honestly,  I never remembered to actually tell her.   That’s part of the non-rigid, fly by the seat of your pants world I’m in…..list and remembering list are not high priorities for me.

Wednesday comes…another big day in the office  . ….lots of meetings …lots of end of day comes and I’m winding down getting ready to head home when Darci walks into our office, closes the door and says….  “ I need to ask you a question…(long pause)….did something happen to our toilet?????”   Well, I broke down in hysterics….we were both laughing hysterically…I mean this poor girl has gone two full days questioning whether or not something has changed about the toilet……It’s now a smaller toilet…so either it shrunk or she got bigger.  Those are the only options.   It’s not like toilets are changed on a regular basis.   It was super funny.   I finally was able to speak and let her in on the little secret, so that she didn’t think she was like the character in Alice in Wonderland. 

I can tell you that we’ll laugh about this more than once.  It made for a great end to long day and it would have never happened if I were that plan, plan, plan person.    I hope you are able to enjoy the little things…..cause it’s the little things that make a big difference.


It’s the little things……that make a big difference.

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

In church yesterday we sang one of my favorite worship songs, "In Christ Alone".    The words are so moving.    Isn’t it amazing  how words that we use every day to communicate with each other are the same words we use to communicate with the God of this universe.   It’s even more amazing that the God of this universe takes the time to use me…and the small things in my life to bring about things for His kingdom.  The song paints a picture of Christ our Lord in all His power coming to earth out of love.   I heard David Jeremiah say that out of all the “ships” in the world.....worship, stewardship, membership, discipleship, fellowship are all settled when we realize that Lordship is the main ship.    When we realize that Jesus Christ is Lord and we give ourselves over to him we have no trouble with all the other “ships” and the song "In Christ Alone" reminds me of just that kind of Lordship.

The last verse is by far my favorite…..the music swells so that you want to shout   “From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny ”   What a love song!

Little Words…BIG Difference.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Little Things that make a BIG Differences

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's the little things in life that matter.  Really, It's true.   Now I have nothing against big things....I'd love to receive a check for $1 million dollars in my mailbox, but I'm not sure it could make me any more happy than when I find a $10 dollar bill in my jeans pocket!    In my house...that's celebration time.  It's that way with most matters.  Small things really do make a big difference.

We have a running joke at work.  Currently, I'm working with a team that's located away from the main buildings.   Now we have everything we need to accomplish our work including a printer.... the printer they gave us is just the most ornery contraption there is.   Anytime the printer runs out of paper, there's no recovery for that print job or any others.   Actually there is about a 10 minute process involving rebooting that must be preformed before anyone can use the printer again.      SO...we find ourselves laughing when someone realizes the paper is low...someone is running the same piece of paper until more paper can be inserted.   All this to keep the printer in tact.   We have office jokes about.   We've even given the printer a name as to add even more to it's "personality"

It is such a small today's world we don't even print very often...but that small unimportant entity can stop the work of 11 people for 30 minutes or more when paper runs out.   Such a small thing makes such a BIG difference.

Do you have small things that impact you.    My next post will include more


Strange and Alarming Fact

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

This morning I learned a strange and alarming fact.   This morning Florence, SC was colder than Antarctica.  It was WOW moment for me.   Enough of a  WOW moment that I went to to find out the facts.   In truth at 7:50AM this  morning Florence, SC was registering 16degrees.   Antarctica registered 33degrees.   OH MY GOODNESS!!  

Now as I child of the South, this is an alarming and disturbing realization.   We are not made of thick blood.  I'm most happy when the temperature is a low to mid-seventies with partly cloudy skies.   You will not find me complaining at the sweltering days in July and only mentioning the dog days of August.   I will, however; complain and grumble about the cold.   I'm just not cut out for it.

I guess I should explain that Antarctica's seasons are opposite our they are in the midst of summer. Can you believe summer and it's 33degrees!     I'm planning on staying warm and dreaming about lazy days that require iced tea to stay cool.    I hope you stay warm too!!!




>> Friday, January 8, 2010

Let me tell you a little about Oscar.  He's my 12lb bob tail cat that thinks he's a 2lb kitten. He's spoiled rotten for certain.   He demonstrates this by ignoring the dry cat food, because he knows he can hold out for the good stuff.   He has also claimed a chair as his and doesn't mind letting others know.  He's a beautiful white cat with 2 gray splotches on his ears.   Now Oscar didn't always have the good life.  When he wondered over to Kenwood he was skin and bones and very afraid of everyone.  I must admit that my first comments were...I don't want a scrawny cat around...BUT as fate would have it he was presistant and his sad little face won me over.

Oscar has taught me something in my Christian walk...what I first thought was unpleasant and ugly has turned out to be beautiful to me.  Our sins are ugly to God...but He loves us enough to die for us.  Romans: 5:8 says "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Imagine how much God loves us.   We are his beautiful creations.  No matter what others may see...we belong to Him and are beautiful.

Oscar was once very afraid that petting him was out of the took patience and kindness to win him over. In time Oscar became confident in my love for him.   There is no fear of mistreatment or unkindness.  If only we were as patient and kind to those God has asked us to serve.  Mark 12:29 - 31 says   "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.""


Family Vacations

>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I thought this would be a perfect topic to write about.  I’ve been back at work for almost 2 entire days, is there any better time to plan a vacation.

Hopefully we all have memories of those family vacations.    I have great memories of spending time with the family mostly at the beach or the lake.    We would ALL pile up in a house for a week every summer.   There was no privacy that week….people were sleeping everywhere.  I remember one house we stayed in, the kitchen table would fold up and the seats would push together to become a bed.   Just to clarify, that’s not where the kids slept….the kids slept on pallets.   We would have a great week of playing in the ocean, riding bikes and hanging out with cousins, aunts and uncles. 

Now back to planning for the family..    I may need to explain the Fam. Vacate to those who may not understand the incantricies that are involved in the planning.   The Brady Bunch (as I like to refer to us) consist of My parents, My sister’s family, my brother’s family, and myself.    We’ve rented a house on the beach and will spend a week together.    I think in the good old days, a house was found and rented…there were no counting of bedrooms and baths.  No viewing of the kitchen or living room to make sure it met requirements.   I think in the old days everyone just accepted what was there.  I’m not sure that was the greatest plan.   I know we had a lot of good times, but we also had a lot of people in very little houses.

Today we check that house out head to toe.   If  I’m paying for a vacation then I need to make sure I’m sleeping in a Bed.   A real bed not a bed made from the kitchen table!    I’m excited about vacation this year…..I’m excited about the kids playing together, about being on the beach, playing games, just general all around family fun.   I hope the fun and crazy things we do are the memories we’ll laugh about for a long time to come.  Plan that Brady Bunch family'll be glad you did!  



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