THEN BREAKS THE DAWN

imgres-1.jpg

No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.
~ Maya Angelou

The last few weeks have been tough, haven’t they? The violence, hate, anger, bitterness, and murder has been relentless, making us wonder, will it ever end? Is there an answer?

I liken these events that keep popping up to a game my kids used to play called Whack a Mole. The object was to whack the mole on the head with a stick each time one of them popped up. The problem was knowing when and where they’d appear. It was a hard game. This is a hard, new, reality of our lives. One we will not outlast, but . . .

We can bring the dawn in our corner of our world. What do you want in life? Peace? Compassion? Love? Then be that on Facebook, in your blogs, on Twitter. I’m not saying put your head in the sand, BUT I am saying that we have a choice: be a part of the problem or part of the solution.

Face it, no one listens to our opinions on Facebook except for those who agree with us. And those who don’t get angrier and angrier. So, let it go. No one is going to change their mind by our negative posts or tweets or blogs.

Be a part of the solution. Be what you want to see. Bring the dawn.

Advertisements

WHEN LIFE COMES FULL CIRCLE~Thoughts on Memorial Day

20130526_211954

I know the purpose of Memorial Day is to remember our fallen servicemen and women, but today I can’t stop thinking about my father, Mose Carroll Lowe, who served in the Korean War. He came home safely, thank goodness. And yet he still died too young at age 36.

The reason for my musings is while he fought for the freedom of South Korea, little did he know he was fighting for what would one day be his family.

IMG_1586

My son, Rob, married Bea, whose parents were from Korea and who later came to live in the United States. Rob and Bea have blessed me with three precious grandchildren. My daddy’s blood runs in their veins. While my father served there he developed a deep friendship with a Korean soldier, and I know he would have been so proud to be the grandfather of children with a Korean heritage. Dad passed away when I was twelve. He never got to meet them. And yet, he still lives on in them.

Isn’t it beautiful how life comes in full circle?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT MY OLDER SELF WOULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ABOUT LIFE

images-1

Do a self-evaluation often. Things will happen in your life, giving rise to harmful emotions, which will have the potential of destroying relationships, causing you to make bad decisions, and could be harmful to your health. Evaluate the things causing you stress, making you angry, or offending you and ask yourself, will this really matter to me this time next year or will I be kicking up dust about something else?

It is not important that everyone agrees with you! If you feel the need to argue, then you, yourself, are not convinced. Peace and confidence comes from a made-up mind. You know where you stand and the opinion of others does not shake you.

Focus your mind and energy on things that really matter. To do this you must know you. What is your core value? What is it that you would miss the most if you lost it? Imagine yourself at the end of your life, looking back, what might you have done that would make you feel most fulfilled? What memories would bring you joy?

Make a list of these things and then do the things on your list. Don’t waste your time debating about things, which, in the end, make no positive impact on your life. Be very careful about politics. Be water. Reflect on all opinions. Give grace to those who have points of view different from yours. Go with your core value.

Regret can be good if it is a turning point in your life. Regret is unbearable if at the end of your life it is your constant companion whispering “If only.” “I wish I had . . .”  Life is fragile as fine crystal, but we treat it as if it were tempered steel, careless and without thought when we drop it. When you are young you think you have all the time in the world, but age doesn’t matter in the game of life. Death takes all at every stage. What would you regret if someone you know was suddenly taken from you? What are you putting off that you know you should do?

Fix it now! Do it now!

In the end, I pray you will be rich. Not necessarily with things, but with what you have done to help others. Be like a dandelion seed head. When someone blows on you, spread seeds of inspiration.

As the saying goes, we cannot take things with us, but the things we have done for others will take root and flower. And that is what really matters.

WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME

c0f8220c1083de306fdab1171bde827f

Wisdom from Dr. Suess

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

SOUL IN WINTER

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Autumn is a season of harvest. It is also a time to plant. The problem is, unlike planting in the spring where we are rewarded with tiny first leaves within a couple of weeks, fall planting is delayed gratification. The daffodils and tulips snuggle in their earthen beds all winter until the warmth of March wakes them up. It is worth the wait.

This brings to mind how gratitude is like those bulbs.

 All too often I find my soul in winter. Life is full of problems, heartaches, and disappointments. And then there always seems to be that irritating person whose goal in life is to make me miserable. It is so easy to be negative. If I’m not careful, this becomes my reality. 

But there is a solution. 

I practice gratitude. In a way it is like planting a bulb. I may not feel different, but gratitude does its magic in my winter soul. One day I find I am different. I’m not angry at the irritating person. My vision is clear and I consider the reasons this person is that way. I’m able to reflect on the heartaches and disappointments and see them as growth steps. Problems? There will always be problems. How I think about them determines their affect on me. 

What do you have to be grateful for? You may be asking yourself that question this very minute. I think of the most basic things I would hate to do without. While in Honduras I saw people draw their drinking water from scum-covered ponds. They also bathed in that water. I came home grateful for the warm baths I took in drinking quality water. 

If you find your soul in winter, all is cold, bleak, and gray. Plant some seeds of gratitude. Spring is just around the corner.

THAT STILL, SMALL VOICE

In this age of electronic voices, I fear I’m forgetting to listen to that small voice inside me. Television, radio, internet, and even my car’s GPS all competing for my attention. 

Sound familiar? 

And the thing is, I’m getting so used to it that it really doesn’t bother me any longer. That is until last Friday. While on my way to speak to a group of writers, I took a short cut to HWY 16,. Although I had taken this route before, I wasn’t really familiar it so I turned on my GPS. Things were going along fine until Savanah (yes, I named my GPS) told me to turn right on County Road 8. A dirt road?  Hmmmmm. That didn’t seem right. My inner voice said, “Don’t turn here.” But hey, my GPS told me to and it never lies, right? So I dutifully turned. 

For twenty miles I turned right then left then right again down roads worse than any rural Honduran road I’ve ever traveled. All the way my little voice said “Turn around! This isn’t right!” But I was committed. Besides, my GPS promised that HWY 16 was just ahead. Then on what was to be my last turn the road ran into a lake. 

All the way back to the paved road, I mentally kicked myself for not listening to my inner voice. I realized how I had been ignoring it in other ways too. Like, “Do you really need to post that on Facebook? Turn off the television and write. Don’t argue, just let it go.” I knew this had to change. 

So what am I doing to accomplish this? I have turned off the electronic noise and dedicated time to silence, solitude, and meditation.  It is time to reconnect with me. 

How about you? 

THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Business? Mankind is my business! ~ A Christmas Carol

In my 56 Christmases I’ve seen society change from a hardworking mentality to an entitlement mentality, to greed, to not accepting personal responsibility, and now we face a bankrupt nation. 

 But all is not lost. As I watch our dollar grow more worthless each passing day, I am actually finding myself again. Instead of getting lost in the orgy of spending for the perfect Santa Claus morning, I’m spending time with those I love. Instead of debt bending my back with worry, I stand straight and look to the future debt free. And since my gaze is on the horizon I see others and recognize their need. 

 Am I describing you? Have you undergone this change of mind? If not, I encourage everyone to use this holiday season as a springboard into the future. Change your mindset. Don’t regret the past, think forward and ask yourself, “How can I make someone’s life better?” Helping others doesn’t always require money. Time invested in their lives is just as needed. 

 Lift up your eyes and be sensitive to those around you. Don’t grumble about the rich or the poor. Do something. Don’t feel that anyone owes you anything. Do something. Make the same choice as our forefathers. Have the attitude and the willingness to do what it takes. 

 If you have two cents to your name, give one to someone else. If your house is only 300 square feet, invite someone over for coffee and encourage him or her. Start giving to the poor and continue giving throughout the year. Help those who have dedicated their lives to the poor. Teach your children to give. Make that the most exciting part of Christmas for them. 

 Christmas is the anniversary to renew my resolve to celebrate Christ’s command in Matthew 22:36-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”