50:34 What you see is what you get?

34. Are you viewed by others as you really are?

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Hummm…..most likely not. Seeing as how I often view myself in one extreme or the other, between a delusional Pollyanna or a grumpy old doubter. And if I have trouble finding my real self, how can I expect others to look behind the curtain.

Realistically there must be observant people who do see beyond our public presentations. But I am willing to admit that I am too absorbed in my own life to want to be attuned to the nuances of anyone but those near and dear to me, and I cannot even be sure I know them truly, because of the bias and history I bring into the relationship.

So I am sure there will be some of you out there getting a clear picture of who I am, because of your impartial view, but the very fact of your distance, which provides your impartiality, puts you in a position of relatively minor influence.

But is this true? Words do have power.

For even though we are mostly silently peeking into the lives of each other here on WordPress, this is not necessarily a bad thing on the whole. For I know it provides to me the much needed service of seeing life through eyes of someone else. More often than not, someone in an environment completely foreign to me. Thus giving opportunity for expansion to my limited worldview. Perhaps the initial drip which begins the ripple of a tide of change.

Anyway, I suppose when I think about being the person that others think I am, I run up against the fact that I am not a static person with set in stone opinions. I like to think I am growing and changing constantly. That the seeking out of fresh and different perspectives is a necessity to prevent stagnation, or the wallowing in the despair of regret.

For my life experience has been narrow for the most part. Yes, there have been far too many painfully bad experiences which have left an enormous amount of baggage I am still working through, and will most likely never fully unpack.

And if I didn’t have the ability to see how others dealt with their life events, I would have only my own limited view to make sense of it all, and frequently your own view is too fresh to seek answers within.

Sigh, I am rambling. I wanted to answer simply that because I am a person of fluid opinions, what you think you know of me today, or yesterday, might not be the same tomorrow. It is not that I change my mind too easily or capriciously, but I like to think I am open to new ideas, and I am not afraid to admit to myself and others that I was wrong.

Maybe this is why I spend so much time alone and don’t seem to fit in anywhere. People tend to group together with like minded individuals, and someone who constantly questions and pushes against the status quo can be an uncomfortable addition to the herd.

Besides, I am claustrophobic with trouble coloring inside the lines. So I don’t do well when it comes to herd mentality anyway. That sounds bitter, but that’s not my intention. Just my acceptance of my limitations.

I blame, without rancor, my parents who instilled into their children from a very young age to always question everything, including authority and the socially accepted norms, even theirs. I have made my peace with it, and can now say I am glad they did, but it can be a very lonely

I often think that because I don’t like to be pinned down to one viewpoint, I must come across as wishy washy and unstable. Drifting along with the wind, lost in an endless sea of change. In my past life this would have been true, because it must have been that way. Well that is until I slammed up against the rock to which now I cling.

My Lord, Jesus Christ. His Word is my anchor.

Gosh golly, I it turns out I was wrong when I started writing this and assumed that what you see in me today will not be what you get tomorrow; this is not truth.

For I am in Christ and it is His light that is constant and unchanging within me. A light which cannot be hidden. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He promised. He is faithful. He is forever. Unlike me who can change her view after just 800 words or so.

Ever thankful will I be for the Lord’s steadfastness, for it allows me the freedom to flounder and learn something new without fear, because He is my lifeline back to truth if I get to far off course. He will never let me go. Thus a part of His flock I will forever and endlessly happily be.

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“You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14

And are is a state of being.

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50:33 Changes

50:33 bad habits

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Goodness gracious, this could become a very lengthy list.

But I guess making lists could also be put on the list, at least when I use them as an avoidance tool.

For I find it is possible with a list to bury the really bad ones in among an overwhelming number of trivial ones, thus manage to temper their obvious rudeness.

So how about a picture from the garden today while I tell you how much I am looking forward to the artichokes, rather than speaking of my bad habit of not listening.

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For if I were pressed, the thing I would most like to work on in my life is listening. How even more delicious than a fresh picked artichoke, would be a life filled with listening to others, really listening, not just, sometimes patiently, waiting for my turn to speak.

I also think it would be incredible to daily, hourly, constantly, keep my senses attuned to the whispers of God, and how this simple act of listening would be such a comfort and a joy. But instead I get busy and forget. I say, this simple act of listening, but of course it is not simple at all. It needs constant vigilance and intentionality.

I am getting better, I at least I hope I am, but it is so easy to fool yourself. I am as distractable as they come.

Today my daughter and I went outside and worked in the yard. There were knee high weeds in the parkways, well actually everywhere, that we eliminated. Still, all in all things are coming along nicely. God is good and is taking care of His creation just fine without much input needed by me this spring.

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For instance last summer I prepared this parkway to be planted. I was thinking yarrow, because I wanted to basically ignore it, and with an abundance throughout the yard there is plenty to transplant. Well life has not gone as planned this winter and spring and I couldn’t be more pleased to come out of hibernation and find this glorious bloom of nasturtiums, poppies and alyssum instead of weeds.

Which leads me to the very bad habit of anxiety. My lack of trust or faith that all will work out in the end, and my stressing about it and trying to plan. To always need a fallback position is often a pointless exercise that produces no lasting benefit.

The Lord has shown me again and again that He always has my best built into His plans, and He doesn’t need a fall back position, because His plans are always perfect from the get go. So remembering this would be a good habit I would like to develop.

So maybe one of the problems I have had while thinking about this question is that is not in my nature to focus on what is bad about my life. I prefer to focus on what I can do to improve myself, for my own sake and for the sake of those I love, and most importantly how can I best glorify God with my actions, so if I turn this around to being a positive venture, and ask what good habits would I like to develop, I can see the point in the exercise.

I would like to learn how to really listen. I would love to become someone others seek out to talk to because I listen. In the same way I want to be constant with my seeking out of God, because He is the best listener that was, and is, and will ever be, and His guidance in return will always be selfless and rich in lovingkindness, if I quiet myself to listen.

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The aloe is blooming, and hummingbirds love it. I am not out here enjoying them as I have been in the past because I am working.

Too much actually, but disappearing into solving accounting puzzles is a good thing to keep my mind off of the virus crisis.

It is a difficult thing to come to terms with the notion that as so many are struggling financially, the financial situation of my household is improving. We have been through a long difficult year and the timing of finding a job was not to be expected. I am overflowing with praise and thanksgiving that we do not have to worry about homelessness at this time.

Still my entire outlook regarding security has changed. I will never be the same, or go back to complacency regarding either my health insurance or continued employment. Each and every day I have either one is to be looked upon as a gift of God. 

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So even if paths are temporarily blocked by circumstance, they are still there, like the one under these poppies, eventually a way forward will clear. So I am trying to keep myself open and positive about what the future will look like. I might need to create new habits, and be willing to let go of expectations of what should or might have been.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

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So hold on to an unchanging God while the world, for better or worse, shifts, quivers, and quakes. For Jesus is dependable.

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Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Too much rain has the Easter Bunny sheltering in his burrow waiting for the sun to come back to work.

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So instead I am enjoying Little Miss Happiness and her Easter finery from a distance 🌸

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This is a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

For He has risen!

He has risen indeed ❤️

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Smitten

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Good Friday

Am I a stone and not a sheep,

That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,

To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss

And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved

Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;

Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;

Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon

Which hid their faces in a starless sky.

A horror great darkness at broad noon—-

I, only I.

Yet give not oe’r

But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;

Greater than Moses, turn and look once more

And smite a rock.

Christina Rossetti

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