A Time for Reflection

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A month into the new year which means we have eleven more months to go before we close out 2019 (simple math I can handle). Have you had or taken the time to reflect on just how fleeting time is? Age changes perspective, to be sure. Young usually means time is suspended while old views it running away from us. But, that’s not what I am getting at…not really, although this age thing may play into my point.

Reflection of ones’ self can be a tricky thing as we usually see our lives from a somewhat warped self-image. After all, we are looking in the mirror and may not see an accurate reflection of who and what we really are. Start with the present and with the understanding that the past certainly influences who you have become. But, don’t let that stop you from seeing who you are right now. An accurate gauge of yourself is invaluable in who and what you will become, what you will do and where you will go.

I have done a great deal of reflecting over the course of the past few months and have come to some conclusions which may be of some value to you. 1. Time stands still for no one so let’s make the best of what each day offers. 2. The past with all the pain, disappointments, betrayals, fractured relationships, illnesses, deaths, etc. must be be put to bed now or they will haunt you indefinitely. 3. Forgiveness is a much greater virtue to you than the forgiven cause they usually don’t even know your pain. 4. Uncomplicate your life. Get rid of all the debris-physical stuff and emotional baggage carried with us. 5. Have faith you can and will make better decisions from today going forward because you will be better equipped to make them. 6. Have faith in a Higher Being  (mine is Christ) who gives you the strength and courage to press on to a better tomorrow. 7. Enjoy today.

Nothing new here and I could have added a dozen more items to consider, but this is what I have been shown so I wanted to share it with you. Have a quality and joy-filled year and life !

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Up-Sizing

 

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With so much talk about down sizing these days, I thought it might be a bit thought provoking to explore the opposite end of this spectrum: up-sizing.

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Small house. Much larger house. 1,000 square feet. 10,000 square feet. Ten times larger. One house is old. The other is new. One house is short. The other house tall. Sounds like lines from a Dr. Suess book !

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Both houses serve the same purpose; to shelter humans from nature’s elements and to protect them from harm’s way. How many square feet does it take to do that? For some a Tiny House is just the thing…kind of like a camper on a permanent lot. And for others room to spread out including amenities that a small house cannot encompass. Things like eight bathrooms, ten bedrooms, a kitchen large enough for several families to cook in at the same time, a dining room that seats twenty-something, a family room with multiple TVs, a pool table, game tables, lots of couches, a wet bar and the list goes on.

Is a large house, the up-size one, built for practical purposes or for prestige? Maybe both. Not my place to judge. It appears the new house will be beautiful when completed. It appears the little house served its purpose for fifty-plus years. Times change and so has the economy. Values, needs, wants, locations and so much more are different than in the 1950s. So, which house would you choose to live in?

Contentment

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Contentment: “A state of happiness or satisfaction”.  As one dictionary defines the word.

 

Please spend a few minutes studying this photograph of Carson, our Westie (West Highland Terrier).

 

What word would you use to describe him at this moment? Actually, it is usually for many moments per day, and they occur quite often!

 

Now, consider if you feel this way occasionally, often, always or never.

 

Is there a change in your life which needs to take place to equal this state of tranquility?

 

I need to study Carson more often. Actually, I would like to be him. Ha!

 

To Everything There is a Season

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, and a time to reap

A time to kill, and a time to heal

A time to laugh, and a time to weep

To everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn

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Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons; amongst the greatest is the change in tree and shrub foliage. I love greens all summer long, and hate to see them turn to browns and greys in the winter, but before this occurs we are treated with a spectacle of color painted by nature herself. Consider the variety of vegetation coupled with an inexhaustible array of colors that man can mimic, but never duplicate in such exquisite beauty.

The words above are from a song made famous by a rock group called The Byrds in 1965. The lyrics are from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Pete Seeger, a singer-songwriter took these words and crafted this song which became an anti-Vietnam War song. The last verse says that peace is never too late.

It becomes obvious to me that these words are timeless in their meaning and interpretations according to the era they are read and pondered. We know not what is in store for any of us…only One has such knowledge. We can plan and prepare, discuss and implement, but we never really control most of the outcomes of our lives. Some will disagree, of course, and that’s okay. Each of us views life from different lenses. My perspective comes from several sources: my own experiences and seeing those of others, plus my reference point concerning all things-God.

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Change starts one leaf at a time, and before you know it, the whole tree is ablaze in color! May this season of your life be full of growth, peace and an abundance of blessings.

Herons, Routines & Change

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Routines are a part of our daily existence. Many are essential, some are detrimental, and others are neutral in their affect upon our lives. Take this Blue Heron for instance. Every morning (I assume his behavior is the same since I have always seen him near the same spot at this lake in the dawn hour). His routine probably results in a breakfast meal of sorts so it could be described as essential.

People, on the other hand, are a bit more complex, as are their routines and the reasons for them. Something I have noticed about routines since I am between jobs: they can be both comforting and boring. With the exception of going to work, I have not altered my early morning or evening routines a great deal. I have made a few changes which are refreshing. I find myself feeling a bit uncomfortable at times since I had followed the same week day routine for decades.

Change can be positive or negative depending on one’s perspective. I choose to embrace this time of change optimistically. Here’s to good fishing!

Puddles

11-5-14 019 Early morning, several weeks ago, I took a walk through one of my favorite parks. There is an asphalt trail which winds its way over a thirty mile stretch of NE Kansas terrain. It traverses a pond in this park which has a loop around it. The Autumn leaves were a brilliant orange in the awakening east horizon. It rained a bit the night before and there were puddles of water helter-skelter. When I came upon this particular stretch of asphalt and beheld the radiance of the reflected maple trees, I stopped instantly. I gazed at what I saw in the water. A reflection to be sure, but much more. I saw a season coming to an end. I witnessed a transformation. I felt as if I were walking on holy ground.

As usual, I had my Canon with me and I took the shot. This is what I saw…what I stared at for several minutes. The reflection was transforming. Water reflecting light. Light illuminating color. Black framing the subject without any particular order. And, a slight breeze which the camera did not capture, but which was a part of this scene. Only when the sun rose higher and the angle of light lifted from the water puddle did I move on. I felt different somehow for witnessing this brief dynamic of nature unfold before me. Winter was clawing at the door of Fall like our Westie claws at a mole hole-hoping to find his prize instantly only to be disappointed that it takes time for success to occur. I then drove to work hoping this colorful season would last a bit longer than expected. Winter can be so cold and drab. Strive to resist the exterior veneer of gloom…it has a way of creeping into one’s soul. Don’t let it in. Be positive, and reach out to another in need.