Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It Don't Get No Better'n dis!!!

This evening was an utterly blissful experience. Christy came over with the kids. We threw together a spaghetti dinner and headed outside to eat in the fresh air. At my house right now, fresh air is heavily laden with the scent of orange blossoms and dirt.

With children running and playing freely, Christy and I rocked in rocking chairs on the porch. We sipped sweet wine and laughed. We talked in the open-hearted, nothing-to-hide way that best friends can. We ate lime cookies. There was an absolutely delicious breeze. There was serious profundity shared, and some senseless silliness too.

I LOVED IT!!! More deep and wonderful thoughts to follow... but now...

I have very dirty toes from strolling in the grove and homemade sugar scrub and lotion to play with. Time for a luxurious shower and some much needed rest. (Hear my thoroughly satisfied sigh) Life, my friends, is a string of exquisite moments if we'll only stop and savor them. I'm off to do my savoring. You do some too, ok?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crazy Love

Have you ever considered the joy, sheer JOY of pleasing someone you love? This weekend I had a chance to bring some serious happiness to someone I love very much. I looked forward to the experience, but when it actually happened I was caught off guard by the wonder of it. Perhaps there is no greater joy in my life than seeing the people I love gleam with happiness. To know that I had the ability to cause that shining smile is a joy and satisfaction that I find hard to describe.

I think too often we subscribe to a self pleasing kind of love that doesn't need to sacrifice and gets it's thrill from how good love can feel to one's self. Too often we forget the absolute pleasure involved when you invest yourself in another person, give your best to love that person, and see the efforts of your love come through in a smile, a laugh, or a happy reaction.

Love is a risk. It's scary. It can be painful. But all those things have to do with MYSELF. It's a risk TO ME because I might not be loved in return. It's scary because the one I love might fail me. It's painful because the object of my love might not meet my expectations.

It's interesting how all the fear falls away when I allow myself to focus on another: the one I love. I move past the risk, the fear, the pain, and let myself give to the person I love, expecting nothing in return. Just loving out of the utter satisfaction of being able to love.

One of the first verses I memorized as a child was "God is love." Those three words pack a serious punch. God IS love. If God is in me, then love is in me. Not just a little love, but a God-sized, never-ending, never-failing love. It continuously springs up from somewhere and allows me to give that crazy love and enjoy it to the fullest. It's a love that doesn't run out and keeps coming when it seems there should be nothing left. It's a firsthand miracle that I witness in myself every day.

Well, I take that back. I witness it in myself when I get outta the way and allow it to happen. There are certain things: anger, shame, blame, stuff like that will seriously clog the pipes and inhibit love's flow in my life.

But on the days when I let it, this incredible love is there and it flows out of me. And although it seems like something I'm giving, the truth is I'm getting so much joy from the process it seems as if I'm GETTING instead. Here is what I think is TOO COOL: I know very well the pain involved in loving. My worst imagined fears in the love department have become awful, awful realities. And yet... I LOVE. I love LOVE. Somehow I've emerged able to still function in love. OH, not somehow... I know how. Because GOD IS LOVE. And because God is in me, love is in me. Period. And I get to play in it and enjoy it and dump it on other people. I also get to spend zero time worrying about the risk. It's crazy, and I love it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I'll have a King Kong movie, please. Hold the Kong.

This afternoon I was told, and I quote: "Trouble follows you." Well...

I prefer to think that my life is full of adventure.

Not the least of which was had today when a bomb was found in the parking garage where I park my car to go to work. Why in the world anyone would bother bombing a po-dunk parking garage in Lakeland Florida is beyond me, other than utter foolishness. However, it did make for some excitement which can be sorely lacking in my workdays. When we walked outside at lunch, there was a bomb squad and helicopter hovering, newscameras everywhere and people standing gazing up at the tall buildings. The only thing missing was King Kong and we would have had a hit movie on our hands!!

Happily, the bomb was either dismantled or found to be nothing, and by the time I left the parking garage with my dad's truck (my car was totaled 2 weeks ago, remember?) all were gone except one lone newscaster doing a live 5:00 report. I didn't even get on TV. Shoot.

In other news, I ran across a unique name and street address today. One that simply demanded a limerick from me. Unlike my wonderful friend, Mary (see top right blog titled "Calico Dreams") who is able to steadily produce a limerick each Friday, I seem to have limerick attacks. During one such attack last week, at least ten limericks were produced by my twisted brain in one day. Most of them were messaged to my coworkers, just for fun. Today, I suppose, was simply a limerick hiccup. It's actually the first limerick I've published here, but you'll see. It's just a combination that demands limericism. (is that a word?)

Oh the woes of poor Ms. Irma Dill
Whose insurance rates make her feel ill.
She may go insane
In her house on Crane Lane
Unless I can help her cut the bill.

I'm sorry. You just can't top a good limerick sometimes. However not all people are appreciative of the limerick. Today's rhyme didn't even produce a snicker from my coworkers.

BUT, blessedly, my dear family laughed UPROARIOUSLY at my limerick (too uproariously to be just polite laughter) at this evening's belated birthday dinner. There was steak, baked potatoes, corn, green beans, onions and homemade chocolate cake. We ate way too much and then, as usually happens when we are all sitting around together, we laughed until there were tears running down our faces and severe nausea was had by all. A perfect ending to the day.

A bomb, a limerick, and a birthday party. All in less than 12 hours. None of these things were ordered by me, none of them I wished for. But all of them came my way adding spice and joy and adventure to my life. Sometimes the best things in life are things I can't work toward, strive for, or dream up on my own. Sometimes the best things are simply things God hands me just for fun. I ask you... who on earth is more blessed than I?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Still Writin'

I promised reflection, and so for what it's worth... here it is.

In looking back over the last year of my life, well, it goes without saying that a lot has changed. Some changes were my own choice. Some were the result of choices other people made. Either way, the change is there and it's good. One thing I like about life and about God is the ability we have to constantly re-evaluate, start over again and again, and constantly readjust our lives and our thinking. It's just one of the sparkling facets of the jewel we call grace.

Over the past year, I'd say re-evaluation and readjusting has been a theme. Perhaps some of my adjustments have surprised some. Myself included.

It comes down to this: Over the last year, I've started my life over. But not in a rip-off-the-page-and-keep-writing-on-the-same-notepad kind of way. More in a get-a-whole-new-notepad-plus-a-different-pen kind of way. In some ways I've been forced and in some ways I've chosen to question absolutely everything I've believed and everything I've been and everything I thought I wanted to be. There are still MANY question marks hanging around. That's ok with me. Slowly but surely I'm putting things back together. I'm addressing some hard truths about the way I lived in the past. I'm addressing some questions that I suppose have always been there, but my past identity didn't give me the freedom to ask them.

Perhaps over the next days I can get more specific about those questions and truths. Maybe it'll help someone else to hear me ask... even if I don't yet have the answers.

Either way, old notepad or new, I'm still writin' and still livin' and still lovin' every minute of it. Can't wait to see what this year brings!

Monday, March 02, 2009


Good heavens. I'm 33!

Spent my birthday in a whirlwind of bliss. I do love whirlwinds of bliss. The only downside (if you can call it that) is that I haven't had quite the time to reflect as deeply as I normally would. I say downside because I'm definitely feeling it. I'm feeling the need to delve deeply and perhaps this evening I will, once the kids are in bed and all the daily responsibilities are said and done. Perhaps I'll even publish some of the findings.

We'll see... In the meantime, watch out, 33! I'm takin you by storm!