Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Julie who?

I know, I know...I haven't posted in FOREVER! My problem is that I have difficulty with short postings. This short-coming (sorry) is one that I am determined to overcome. A friend posted a quote from William Shakespeare today that has inspired me. "Brevity is the soul of wit." If William is right, then perhaps my long-winded ramblings aren't nearly as clever as I think they are. So with that in mind, I herewith conclude this posting. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Crossing Bridges

So there I was, bike over body, lying in the rocky and mercifully dry creek bed. How I got there is a bit embarrassing, but for the benefit of all I will share.

I was doing a little mountain bike trail riding with some friends last Saturday. An innocent enough venture for someone who has ridden a bike as much as I have. But as I approached the little wooden bridge, I hesitated, lost my momentum, and, focusing on the side that I did NOT want to ride off of, proceeded to do exactly that! My friends heard a grunt of sorts and turned around to see a bike tire and a foot rising up from the gully below!

Do I just like to tell self-deprecating stories? No, not really. It was sometime afterward as I was nursing some very minor injuries that the teachable moment struck me and the lessons began to unfold.

1) Momentum lost through hesitation can be nearly impossible to recover.

As I rounded the curve in the trail that led to the bridge, I slowed...let's be honest. I stopped. I stopped and thought about it. I looked at the slight downward angle of the trail, the unevenness at the edge of the bridge, the obstacles on either side, the rocks, the fallen tree - WHAT IF I FALL OF THE BRIDGE!!?? When I tried to roll forward from my stand still, I lacked sufficient momentum to roll smoothly over the bridge and up the other side of the ravine. Momentum is an extremely valuable commodity. Without it, you may get the same job done, but you'll have to work twice as hard. Had I just kept riding, this story would never have happened.

2) Fear will defeat you every time.

When you focus on your obstacles they ALWAYS seem bigger than they truly are. Fear saps your confidence and causes you to perform at a level well below your abilities. Fear keeps your attention fixed on the problem, rather than the solution. Fear tells you the thing you don't want to happen will. It is the exact opposite of faith. You cannot give fear a dwelling place in your soul and expect to make progress.

3) We will move toward whatever we focus on.

As I moved slowly and cautiously forward I did exactly what I knew NOT to do. Instead of looking toward my desired destination, I focused on the thing I hoped to avoid, thus propelling myself in that very direction. Your life will move in the direction of your most dominant thought. If you have a dream, a goal, a vision - a place you hope to be - begin to fix your focus on that instead of all the reasons it can't be done. With your gaze fixed, you will see that dream more and more clearly with each passing day, week, month...just watch.

If you will learn from my mistakes, I pray that you will find yourself crossing new bridges to exciting places rather than riding off the edges of them. Trust me, it's much more fun!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lessons from my Mother

So as my mother lay sedated on a ventilator, I am continuously struck with lessons to be learned from her tragic life. What you must understand is that my mom is a very sick woman. She has an infection that is literally eating away at her flesh, she has stage 3 breast cancer, a severe kidney infection, possibly diabetes, and either an infection or cancer in her lung. (For the sake of all, I am leaving out the worst of the details. She's in very bad shape.) But her sickness started long before her body began to give way. This is a woman who has isolated herself for many years from family and friends refusing to let anyone in - literally. When she finally called 911 just a little over a week ago it was only because the pain had gotten so severe that she could no longer bear it. And while this may be more personal information than you hoped to read in a blog, I hope you will give me a little leeway. You don't have to read it, but I need to write it...

Lesson #1 - When we don't respond to pain, it doesn't go away; it gets worse.

When I saw my mother in the ER that night I tried to hide the shock I was almost certain was showing on my face. Her face and neck were terribly swollen and red. That combined with the other ailments she'd been self-treating were causing her to take 4 Aleve every 2 hours. This fact still boggles my mind, and yet I see people do the same thing in their lives all the time. Maybe not physically, but in relationships, jobs, and other situations, we all know somebody that we have watched and thought, "when is it going to be enough?"

When we chose to isolate ourselves we lose our frame of reference and become self-deceived. You have no bearing on reality and so all things become relative. Without healthy relationships and a willingness to be examined, we will continue on our course of destruction as we adjust to accomodate the increasing levels of pain.

Pain is a signal that something needs to change. It shouldn't be ignored. The doctor said that if my mother had come in a year ago things would be much different. Don't allow a fear of change to keep you from addressing underlying issues. Get to the root of it and stop the source of the pain. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Exposure of Temptation

So I was reading the first 3 chapters of Genesis this morning and it just struck me how many of the things that we deal with on an ongoing basis can be traced directly to the fall of man. For starters, the "battle of the sexes," problems with lust, and even temptation...it really hasn't changed.

The process of temptation and sin are still the same:
1)Satan makes you believe you're missing out on something
2)He shows you how beautiful that thing is and tells you how fun it will be
3)You touch the forbidden thing a little bit, don't drop dead instantly, and think you've gotten by with it.
4)The hammer falls, the truth comes out, and it costs you way more than you ever wanted to pay.

Let's take a lesson from Eve. Next time a good looking temptation is dangling in front of you, don't bite.