Glass List

The Bucket List, such a great way to look ahead, plan, dream big, and get motivated. However, sometimes I get a bit stifled in my mental dream board by the very plain fact that we have no say so in tomorrow. You learn quite quickly when you have experienced tragedy, the unexpected, and wtf-just happened moments, that as cliche’ as it may be (which in itself is a cliche’ now) we really have no control over our tomorrows. I am not saying we should not dream, no please dream big! Dream so big you have a bucket so full you have to start doing stuff just to be able to carry the other dreams around! Scoop in and grab a dream and lighten the load on your soul a bit by doing!

And it was exactly this visualization of scooping up a dream when I decided to create my “Glass List.”

I want to value my life daily.

Want: have a desire. Value: to place an importance on.  My Life: my existence in this universe. Daily: today, tomorrow, and all the days I get to be here.

Repeat after me: “I have a desire to place importance on my existence in this universe everyday that I get to be here.”

Yesterday, I was watching a t.v. show and a woman who lost her child said, “No one teaches you how to be a good mother. I thought I would have more time.” <tears> That went straight into my cells. You know when you see or hear something and it bypasses your brain and heart and hits you deeper than what you have any knowledge of, often called the soul? My body does so much on its own without me knowing anything about it that I think of my little cells as my soul’s interpreters, taking in something and then telling my soul in its own language what just happened. That is exactly what happened when I heard the grieving mother speak that incredibly accurate line. So accurate that I thought, “the writer must know.”

We are not guaranteed a lifetime to accomplish a bucket full of things to do. All we have is right now. That is why I devised a “Glass List”. There were other names that I entertained, the “F@$! It List” was my favorite but it goes against some sage advise I have always  tried hard to live by but more often give, “if your brain says ‘F@$! it” DON’T DO IT!” So I tossed that out and did a little more creative thinking. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Depends on how you choose to look at it right? What struck me in pondering that idiom is that I am really glad to have a glass at all! My life. Something that has the potential to be full, that has sometimes been empty, of love, friendships, joy, faith…that has held a great concoction of experience and knowledge, that if one were to examine closely would see is full of coffee 😉 If you are reading this you have a glass.

What do we do with it? Like a bucket you add and subtract from it as much as you want (“desire”). Your “Glass List” is about your everyday life. When your life begins to feel empty you have a list of things ready to fill it right back up. A list of “this is what makes me happy” that fills your cells with things to tell your soul so that it knows you care.

Here is some of my “Glass List”:

  • Bubble Bath
  • Hot tea
  • Read
  • Cook something new
  • Garden
  • Write
  • Loud Music
  • Call/Text my BFF
  • Windows down in the car
  • Howling out the car window (don’t judge, we used this technique to expel restless kiddos in the car when they were little, it really works)
  • Nap
  • Take a walk
  • Take a drive
  • Wear silly hats
  • Do my hair
  • Yoga…

You get the idea by now, I hope. Stuff that I like to do that puts me in the positive. Things that are generally easy to do and don’t require a request for vacation time, or leaving my family, job, and house behind. I’ve been there…

I like having a bucket list. I love to dream big. I have been lucky enough to mark off a few adventures from that list, but everyday, everyday that I get to be here, I need to have a moment to be JUST AS IMPORTANT as my big dreams. I need to take care of me in the NOW.

When you are getting the life sucked out of you with one of those giant bubble tea straws or just need a top off, I hope you will refer to your “Glass List” and take care of you. We aren’t guaranteed more time to do things better than before, all we have is this moment.

With an incredible amount of honor and appreciation, I thank you for spending your valuable time reading my post. It filled my glass with joy to write it! Namaste.


 

Word!

Two things have prompted this post: my bff posting a beautiful story which made me think…”now is the time.” I started then deleted as I often do. Then I scrolled through Facebook to this (bottom of page)…uhg! “It is time” a quiet voice says.

If I say now it is a long read then I think I might be insulting the most basic of intelligence but at least you have been advised.

Several weeks ago I woke at four in the morning. Very softly but unbelievably shaken. In my dream I was speaking with God. First, if you know me you know words are curious to me. I like them and have more post-its on my office walls of words and definitions than of “its” I am supposed to do. Grammar is not a part of that love, to again advise. I am a McCarthy in that regard…no not the bad behavior one…”The Road” one. The author Cormac McCarthy does not use commas because he thinks they are pointless. I know, save your funny meme’s. It justifies my bad writing skills

Continuing… So it was no surprise that God and I were discussing how G-o-d was rather silly. How do you sum the totality of everything into a name. Jewish observers do not write God. G-d is often used. It is out of respect. Interesting yes, and comment provoking I am sure, but not the part that made me open my eyes from my cozy chat. The conversation continues and in my Gideon nature I ask God to give me something. I need some signs, not of existence, not of what to do, something more. I want all the answers. That is just who I AM, ironically. I am the desire for answers and “I am” IS the answers. So at least I’m in the right room so to speak. Then how it has happened before, in the most confusing way, and coincidentally the only way that I am sure it is God, not certain but sure, I am shown a big black gold lettered Holy Bible in front of a door that is being pushed open by God. The corner is being bent up as if it is heavy but no match for the force opening the door. I opened my eyes and said quietly not even close to sleep, “what the hell did that mean!?!” This question is how I am I sure that indeed it was God and not tacos the night before. I don’t have a clue what that meant. Which is just it, it very well could have been a taco Tuesday hallucination. That really is just a epistemological question (see I looove cool words). I am not the keeper of knowledge just a seeker, but in these moments it is what I do NOT know that makes me know. Faith. It is deep, felt in the bones deep, like ache…heart ache, joy, love, and sometimes even hate. You know it IS but knowing all the answers of all the questions is not part of the meaning.

Anyway, the day goes by, but not really. I am sure I did stuff but the day did not REALLY go by. I kept getting pulled right back to the vision. I thought, maybe I should paint it so people find meaning and then they can tell me what they think, or if I were more talented maybe I could stage a photo, or sculpt it, or…dang it I won’t do any of that. So,I do what I do best, I start talking. My loving husband, he knows. What a wonderful shepherd he is. Gentle taps, quiet listening, and sometimes a nap, lol. He listens and I talk it out. I got nothin’. I came up with some good “stuff” but I was again “sure” I was not there. Could it be that we should not let the Bible get in our way? That seems like a good idea but I love the Bible like some people love Harry Potter! It is such a good read. No really it is! So obviously that hypothesis does not reconcile. Lots more ideas come, I am sure you have had some. But this is my taco God vision so… (just an aside, if you lack faith at this point please note we have tacos so there must be a God)

Skip to days later. I had let it go from my tight grasp and of course there it was. I have adamantly taught my children not to “take” only to receive because it is not good to take. I am so annoying <rolls eyes>. Here I am pulling at this moment when the sign says push. Uhg. When I let go, I find out the dang door is automatic. Just walk on through. That analogy is such a good one y’all because that was the whole message! I am going to sum it up here even if it is absent of some things. That’s what words do. They help us have models to make sense of things, even if they are incomplete. That is what religion does. It uses the words to make sense of life. You can kill someone with a candle stick meant to hold a light, it is just how you choose to use it. Same with the Bible.

God did not push hard on that heavy book. God opened the door easily, just pushed that door right on open no problem. Religion can be so daunting and flat out wrong sometimes. It can stifle and confuse, cause hate and hurt and all kinds of atrocities. But in my moment with God the message became clear as soon as I stopped trying to make it MY religion…God is no match for words. The door WILL open. Bigger than any way we make God out to be. More than any door can be held shut by jamming a sword in the way. God…all of God…has no problem getting to you. Just knock.

YouVersion

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7
https://www.bible.com/bible/463/MAT.7.7

#belove #beloved

You are the beloved. All of you. Here is my post on Facebook today.

Often I come to Facebook incensed with outrage and awe at the ignorance I see, the meanness that imposes on my peace, the lack, the ego driven self righteousness. I type and I delete because although I have MY values, MY beliefs, MY thoughts I have to lean on another for understanding. It is not MY wisdom or MY knowledge that will form the words needed in this world; as it is written, it is love. Not MY love but love that transcends all hate, all violence, all sadness. Love that makes us impassioned to lift one another up, to give, to help, to empathize, to comfort. So the words that are needed cannot be my own because they are flawed and wounded; they must be bigger, sustaining, time tested, and true. ‪#‎belove‬ ‪#‎beloved‬

1 Corinthians 13 (NCV)

I may speak in different languages of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

Love never ends. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will be ended. There are gifts of speaking in different languages, but those gifts will stop. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will come to an end. The reason is that our knowledge and our ability to prophesy are not perfect. But when perfection comes, the things that are not perfect will end. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways. It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me. So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

 

What’s love got to do with it?

What is devotion?

When I looked up the definition of devotion I was surprised to see the word love associated with it. I had not considered the aspect of love in regards to being devoted. My mind mostly associated the idea of being committed to something deeply. A daily devotional was about actually reading it every day. Being devoted to a cause or a person or idea was about sticking with it/them. Why was it that love did not play a part in my understanding of devotion?

As I start to step into my center I am able to see a panoramic view of where I have been, where I am, and where I want to go. That takes time, prayer, and lots of meditation. At this point I think I am more at a Veiw Finder(TM) moment. If you are not familiar with a View Finder (TM) it is a fun toy shaped like binoculars that you look through to see a wheel of pictures that can be viewed one by one; like looking through a stack of photos. Once you have seen a photo you advance to the next using a lever on the side, you can’t go backwards, you have to keep moving around the circle until you get all the way back to the beginning.  In this instance of “love” and devotion I just feel myself pulling the lever faster and faster and wanting to go back to the start of the reel to re-examine the picture of what I thought devotion looked like; did I miss the big heart?

When I finally slot machine like a 85 year old on a Las Vegas vacation and make it back to that first scene, I see my grandmother working and my mother working. Not just doing jobs, but an image of days where they didn’t stop until late into the night. Whatever the task at hand was, if it had to get done it was going to get done regardless. I do mean regardless; regardless of children needing attention, spouses needing attention, themselves needing attention. The devotion that was modeled for me was not about love it was about commitment. And then appears the picture of me working until all hours of the night on whatever task I have at hand, not stopping until done, regardless. This is what devotion meant to me up until the time I looked up its meaning, and the biggest word in the universe popped up first in the first line: love.

When we consider devotion that has the ingredient of love it changes how we approach the cause, the idea, the plan, the commitment etc. The best food comes from the kitchen where the cook adds love to the food. It isn’t an actual ingredient but it is the approach that seems to create the most delicious plates of goodness you will ever have. Love for the process, love for the ingredients, love for the audience of hungry customers/family/friends. I could stay up all night and bake the “best ever cookie” recipe but without love they just won’t be what they were meant to be.

I have looked at love as the product of devotion, but what I am discovering is that love is the central ingredient to making all of what we need to be healthy and joyful in each part of the process. When we enter into each area of being devoted we must include love as the foundation ingredient that without, there will be no fulfillment in our desires. I hope to fulfill mysouldevotion of sharing my life with the world to help ease pain, grow, and be a friend.

I step into this devotion with love. Love for God (however you and I both define God), love for you, love for me, and love for being able to share a life of experiences that have made me who I am today.