Category Archives: wise living

{Uncle Marvin}

The passing of a loved one is never easy. This last week Earth lost a wonderful man, Marv Brown. The long battle with pancreatic cancer is over and he is now,

“three feet beyond incredible”

This man had an impact on my life that I’m not sure he ever knew.

As I reflect on the moments and memories with Uncle Marvin, I am struck by his love of God, his intensity, and his uniqueness. Uncle Marvin was the same, sitting around the kitchen table playing the board game Clue {He’s the one who taught me how to cheat} or walking through a graveyard, or teaching his Sunday school class. His role in my life as an Uncle when I was so far from my extended family, the many “Grandparent’s Days” he attended at school, the birthday parties, Christmas, Thanksgivings, Marv and Mary were staples in my young life. I am so incredibly thankful for their love and support!

He also was the one who allowed me to watch my first “R” rated movie…Air Force One with Harrison Ford. I’m sure it was the TV version so it was edited, but knowing Marv, he probably thought the intensity of the plot allowed for a few moments of cursing. As a middle-schooler, this was an exciting event in my young life! (As a side note: I do remember Aunt Mary resisting this decision but being over ruled by Marv’s stubbornness and my begging)

Uncle Marv paid me $5 a week to type up his Sunday school lessons, the hours I spent reading his scrawling cursive writing, learning from what he had studied in scriptures are so much more valuable than any amount of money.

Uncle Marvin was a man with a passion for history. I distinctly remember following him around several graveyards as he reflected on the tombstones, the historical significance, and whatever else would pop into the forefront of his mind at that moment. He was a wealth of knowledge and had an extensive memory which overflowed with stories.

No man is perfect but this flawed man, seeking to be more Christ-like, had an impact and an important role in my life. I am thankful for having known him, thankful for his unique stories, thankful for the lovely memories.

Uncle Marvin, you are missed, but we know you have gone on ahead to Heaven and are already meeting your favorite historical characters and just enjoying finally being in the presence of God and Your Savior.

::When There is Nothing New::

All the back to school pictures flood my Facebook newsfeed, the excited smiles of the kids, the nervous anticipation of the mothers, a fresh start, a new beginning.

…This is the first fall since kindergarten I have not started something new…

A new grade, a new job, a new apartment, a new state, a new sport, a new something.

But here I sit today, September 1st….with nothing new.

I have been in Virginia for over a year, this apartment since December, this job since August last year, classes since the spring, same roomie for almost a year, same car for over a year…

Is this what growing up includes? Nothing new? Routine takes over your life, it becomes “this is how we always do it”

For some people this might be a blessing, a less chaotic life, more stability…but this…this scares me, terrifies me.

I fear monotony, I fear routine.

I crave new things, new experiences.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

What cures monotony? Is it finding a new hobby? Joining a new club? Starting a new job, workout routine? Moving to a new apartment? Or is it something as simple as redecorating, rearranging, or starting a new novel?

Well whatever it is I hope to find it soon…

But then I pause…I believe that monotony or feeling “stuck” is an attitude. I can control my attitude, I can give thanks and rejoice for the many blessings I have in my life.

A stable roomie, a consistent job, a safe apartment, wonderful friends and family.

So I guess the best cure for my “meh” feeling is being thankful.

Yes, there’s nothing crazy planned, no new adventures to embark on…But I can be thankful. Thankful for the adventures and chaos of the last year. Thankful for the strength, help, guidance, and wisdom with all the life changes last year. Thankful for new friends made.

::When there is nothing new…Be Thankful::

So many Blessing Be thankful Everyday  (From: creativeindexblog.com)

So many Blessing
Be thankful Everyday
(From: creativeindexblog.com)

{Growing uP}

Growing uP…let’s be honest here for a moment folks…growing up is not all it’s cracked up to be! The responsibility, the never ending choices about money, career, education, family, the impact you have on those around you intensifies.

I probably complain weekly, this is not what I signed up for.

The “coming of age” in todays society is so different from years past. I think of the early American Colonists and how just to survive everyone worked, education was limited, only the wealthy attended college, people married young and started families before kids today would even graduate high school.

But the fact is…we don’t get a choice. The years march on, life continues to move forward. Birthdays are celebrated, careers take over life, needs and stress flood into daily life.

Well, maybe there is a choice in this matter.

Have you ever met someone who didn’t act their age? lacks responsibility? We use terms like flakey, irresponsible, immature, they don’t act their age.

So I guess we do having a choice about growing up. We can choose to be responsible, planners, truth worthy, aware of those around us, or we can continue to live as children with no thought for the future or for our impact on other.

And I guess…I guess that’s what I want. I want to impact people, be a stability for people to lean on. I want to be responsible and make wise financial choices, plan for the future.

Growing uP. It’s not all bad. Just depends on how you look at it.

Thoughts on {Extroverts and Introverts}

I’ve read a few articles recently about this introvert/extrovert, let’s say, debate. Most articles from the introvert’s perspective, or a “how to” when interacting with a self-proclaimed introvert. But loudly, as extroverts usually do, the responses and rebuttals are quickly making an appearance in social media.

So, why not weigh in, here are a few of my thoughts on this topic.

On the continuum of painfully shy, timid, unable to converse with people to the loud, obnoxious, talk to anyone, I would put myself quite firmly on the extrovert side. I realize this is both a personality trait, and a personal choice.

I do realize that introvert is not synonymous with quiet or shy. Nor should extrovert have the same definition as loud or obnoxious.

There is a certain disdain towards extroverts’ communication styles, with words such as shallow, pithy, empty, meaningless often thrown in as the key adjectives. This may or may not be true for some extroverts, but can I just point out one minor thing? How do you get to know someone without talking? I can hear it already, “Small talk isn’t communication.” False. (insert Dwight’s face) You learn something from every conversation, well you can learn something from every conversation. It just depends if you’re looking. Discussing the seemingly “small things of life” can show priorities, goals, values, as well as provide insight into the person’s way of thinking. Discussing my junior high girls’ favorite pop group or movie can give huge understanding to a group’s dynamics or priorities. You just have to be alert during these “meaningless” conversations to grasp the real meat of the discussion.

Extroverts are often labeled as conversational hogs or attention seekers. But, pause for a moment, someone has to start the conversation. Starting a conversation, even with seemingly “meaningless” topics, is important to relationships. It shows interest, it allows others to give opinions, thoughts on the topic. You don’t normally just jump into a deep conversation with a random person. But how does asking, “Where did you get that scarf” open a conversation? Leads to discussion of places to shop, deals found, favorite items, colors, etc. Bits and pieces of information used to keep the conversation going. Now can you have a friendship with someone and not know their favorite color? Of course. Taking the time to learn about people, to know information, to many, this may seem inconsequential. But I would argue this, spending the time to learn about someone else,  that shows interest, and gives value to that person beyond just a face in the crowd.

I love my generation’s attempt to label everything, but always attempting to be different, unique. We’re programmed with this need to stand out from the crowd.  But in this desperate need to be someone or make something of ourselves, we have lost what it means to be a friend. We network, we use people, we learn what we need to know to get by. Be different, learn someone’s favorite color, ask about the small things in life, not just the obvious or surface”y” topics. Obviously this goes both for introverts, as well as extroverts. But sometimes an extrovert feels rejected or hurt when an introvert does not express any interest in learning about them. Sharing is a natural thing for an extrovert, so introverts can be perceived as rude if this same interest is not returned.

Extroverts may not open up easily. Yes, I hear your thoughts “they’re actually WAY to open” but pause again. Self-proclaimed extrovert moment, we use shallow topics to build up friendships to slowly open up on other more meaningful topics.

Bear in mind, I am speaking in generalities. Don’t be offended, these are just observations and personal feelings.

Introverts claim the corner on self-reflective thought and soul searching. I disagree. As an extrovert, I am often reflecting on my behaviors, words, actions. But some difference may occur in that as I reflect on all that is me, I am also analyzing how this interacts with others. How does it make them feel? Am I coming across rude because I don’t start a conversation? Am I coming across shallow because I compliment their outfit? The pressure to entertain, amuse, keep the conversation going is something an extrovert knows well.

I’ll review a conversation multiple times in my head to see where it went wrong, or when the “I’m overwhelmed” face appeared. I would bet that many self-proclaimed extroverts also have these same experiences.

Of course we are human, and all very selfish in our interactions. Selfishness can be seen all across this spectrum. So learn about people different from you, have the pithy conversations, engage in the deep discussions, remember, this life is not all about you.

So these are a few of a self-proclaimed extrovert’s thoughts. Take them as you will. I’m interested to know your thoughts on this topic.

 

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{A Personal Moment}

Finally!

A second to think. A moment to breath.

I haven’t written anything recently, well besides frantic scribbles and never ending lists. The chaos of life recently has taken away any down time required to process thoughts.

I am going to share a personal moment with you.

This is something I wrote down after finding out about a friend’s death. I admit, I wrote burdened with grief, desperately needing to pour out my emotions, but it was from the heart, and the disjointed writing reflects the chaos of the soul.

I remember that last conversation we had. Discussing the pros and cons of the newest Hobbit movie. Me, complaining about the divination from the book, holding to my “purest” mindset, Him telling me to keep an open mind, and read the Simillarian, it will fill in the details. Friendly arguing. We stroll through nerdy topics, Dr Who, He’s not a fan, Star Trek, I’m not a fan, in fact I’m completely clueless.  Which of course won’t do, He has to fill me in. He lists off series, episodes, names, pure nerd talk. 

And Bud, I have to confess, I’ve forgotten all the Star Trek talk. 

{but I will never forget}

As we pull off the freeway and turn onto 26, the tone of the conversation changed. With a swift segue, He shifts us onto another topic. 

“I’m trying to be more careful about what I watch. I know I need to please the Lord with what I put in front of my eyes” 

The discussion that followed was one of the most spiritually encouraging chats. Honesty, openness.

Yup, That was Matt. 

Always talking about the Lord. He was always looking to grow, to learn more, to speak out about what He was learning.

He was passionate. 

 

The Storms Roll in

         The Clouds Darken

Sorrow Fills the Soul

        The Sky Looks Black

The Sun Ceases to Shine

But He is With His Savior

         The Glory Reflected on His Face

                 The Darkness Fades Away

                           There is Hope

 

 

Principles 2-5

To continue on the Principles I’ve gleaned from “9 Things you simply MUST DO” By Dr. Henry Cloud

2.  Pull the Tooth: I hate/love this one. I tend to hesitate, refuse to commit or make decisions… I waste time and energy worrying. Deja vu people do not allow negative energy to distract them. They don’t hang on to the bad stuff. Fix or finish the problem and move on. Stay focused on your heart’s desires and goals. We get stuck complaining, but that does nothing but distract us from what is good. So get to work, pull the tooth, fix the problem–complaining does nothing if it is not used as a motivator for change.

I’m skipping three cause I don’t remember it & so it obviously didn’t change my life…

4. Do Something: This goes along with Principle 2. Ask the question “What can I do to make this situation better?” Don’t be so bogged down by the blame game, how can I take action and make this better?

5. Act Like an Ant: Small steps to accomplish big tasks/projects. We don’t have to have it all together now, but we can be taking small manageable steps towards our goals.

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You Simply MUST Do

9_Things_Before_You_Die_large

For my class I had to read the book 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life By Dr. Henry Cloud

These are a few of my thoughts and hopefully they will encourage you to take the time to read this fabulous book.

He starts out by defining Deja vu people as “People who found what they were looking for in life” and that these people had specific traits in common. None of these people had the same background, they were from all walks of life, upbringings varied, which encourages us that these things can be learned, we are not stuck. We can learn from these people and become successful.

He then proceeds to give us 9 Principles or word pictures based on the actions of successful people he has met and interacted with.

Since there are several of them that impacted me deeply, I will divide them up so you don’t have a novel to dig through, so to start:

Principle #1

Dig it up: Find your heart’s desire. Find that combination of interest and what lays deeply buried in your heart. So often we become distracted or lose that which makes us “come alive”–I firmly believe that God has given us all talents that must be used, and when we neglect them we lose the purpose for life. Find it, act on it, invest in it, hold on to it, fight for it. Do not ignore your heart, mind, and soul…Do not allow for it to be buried in the busyness of life.

Awesome quote “Those who take what they possess, invest it in life, and are diligent and faithful with it over time, grow and build something good. But those who allow fear to keep them from stepping out, not only fail to increase what they have, they actually lose it” 

I challenge you, search your heart, when you are feeling discontent and frustrated, seek those things you have buried away. We were created for a purpose and we must not neglect to use the talents and skills, passions that were given to us.

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Plan or Flow?

I love planning. I have the philosophy that fun should planned to maximize the fun to be had, less time wasted on deciding because it’s already pre-planned, organized, and things just go smoothly.

I enjoy fun, I enjoy spontaneous plans (if given enough time to plan), and if they crowd out “non-fun” activities…all the better!

So when I make my plans for the month/week/day/hour and they get interrupted…I tend to be cranky, annoyed, and frustrated, and I begin to frantically to replan the time interrupted, how can I reshuffle, what can I get rid of, well there goes my nap time.

Those reactions all point towards a selfish, self-driven mind that demands control.

Not a pretty picture…

“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”-Isaiah 48:17

So…I have to give my plans over to someone else? Yes He’s all-powerful, knowing, etc…but really then I’m not controlling my future. O what’s that? I don’t control my future? O…well…do I really have to trust that someone else knows what’s better for me? Hm…I don’t like that at all.

And I wish I had some magic formula to help…but I don’t. Make the right choices every day, lean on the Lord, ask for His strength to rely on Him, sounds confusing, but we don’t have the strength to trust Him.

So as I re-plan my day, Lord please direct me. Help me reach out to those who need me, encourage those who need a smile or compliment, listen to those who need to talk, spend my money on what you want, read, watch, and listen to that which glorifies you, Lord…I need you to help me plan my day and stay flexible as you lead.

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Monday::Inspiration

I love CyberMonday, you know the Monday after Black Friday? The day where most stores offer free shipping or online deals. I just get drawn in! Probably because I’m working all weekend so Cyber Monday is my own personal Christmas! Do you enjoy shopping? I sure do! I love buying just the right gift for someone, the perfect item to make them smile. 

Ah {Sigh} CyberMonday is a joy to me.

The CyberMonday bug has bitten me again…I’ve found that every Monday I am either shopping, planning trips, or job searching…Why does Monday cause this craziness?

Since I’ve been done with school and entered the “real” world (since of course college is not real…) Monday has become this day that is often spent dreaming and planning.

{I look up new non-profit groups to be a part of

{I find new causes to be passionate about:: Ask me about Human Trafficking, Abortion, or numerous other health care related issues

{I plan trips. Two Mondays ago I bought a ticket to PA and a few hours later a ticket to Texas. My Kayak alert is set for both Seattle, San Diego, and San Fran right now.

{I shop. I order books, kitchen oddities, clothes, phone cases (that’s my weakness!) and I could go on…but I shop online…quite a bit.

Maybe I just want Monday’s to be NEW.

Fresh.

A fresh start to the week?

Yes that’s it.

Something New to celebrate the start of a New week.

A Fresh [passion] or {Inspiration} for the week ahead.

O monday…

Well I better get to researching (aka shopping)

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Soul Care

Friends, I have embarked on a strange new challenging journey! I have started graduate classes, and just today I have completed my first assignment. Wow I feel so grown up.

The purpose of this class is a general introduction to counseling, a subject I have little knowledge about, but already I am greatly enjoying it.

The interesting concept of Soul Care was the topic of this week’s discussion.

Soul Care:: Automatically the phrase jumped out at me. Poetic almost. But what does it mean?

Soul Care starts with the concept that a person is a Soul. All guidance, healing, reconciliation, must be focused on the the Soul as a whole person. When we truly show care we are providing holistic caring.

{a concept I was taught in nursing school} To provide true healing you must look at the patient, the person, the soul from all angles. Every Soul is an individual and brings unique experiences.

This is an excellent concept to grasp, even just for daily interactions. Soul Care is a concept that goes far deeper than just saying a kind word, or complimenting an outfit. It is listening, giving attention to, genuinely trying to know people.

::Soul Care::