Grace, Generosity, and forGIVEness

…..try not to let your circumstances define who you are, rather let God define who you are in those circumstances.”  – Pastor Jud Wilhite 

Welcome 2016.

Thank you 2015.

Thank you for all the reminders, the trials, the unforgettable opportunities to learn from the smorgasbord of events taking place in the past 365 days.

January 1st, a new beginning.   I delighted in an awakening walk into town for a hot,creamy cup of coffee at McDonalds to start the new year.  They have the best .99 cent cup of coffee around, not to mention the free entertainment of people watching… especially teenage boys the morning after a long New Year’s Eve night celebrating.  The vibrant and penetrating sun shining on my sun-screened  and sunglasses- protected face… gloves, hat, scarf, and vest all fastened snugly providing a warm and intimate barrier against the 34 degree desert chill, I walked leisurely  a few miles to the neighborhood golden arches.  Walking outdoors is natural therapy, and provides great opportunity for insight and contemplation.   As cars bustled past on a busy 6 -laned street, I stole hellos from strangers on the sidewalk, heading to unknown destinations.  “Happy New Year!”, I greeted each passerby with a sincere smile.

It is easy to fall prey to the limiting belief that we are our circumstances in life, rather than understanding that we are humans, striving for connection.  We are lovers of people.  We crave community, and we delight in unity.   We are imperfect creations living in a world of complicated circumstances, but we are LOVE.  We are light.  We are meant to shine, to share, to seek out the lost and brokenhearted.   Our souls define beauty, not our surroundings, and contrary to mainstream media,  certainly not our facades.

I was reminded of a valuable lesson about the glories of pain at the close of 2015.  Lessons, as Dale Carnegie shares in his  book “Stop Worrying, and Start Living” are rarely new, merely reminders of that which we already know.   He goes on to write, ” you won’t find anything new in it (this book), but you will find much that is generally not applied. …  We already know enough to lead perfect lives…. our trouble is not ignorance, but inaction.”   Having to undergo an emergency root canal a week before Christmas while continuing to work during the busiest retail time of the year reassured me of a few things:

Pain and suffering are not indefinite.  Relief is on the way.

Pain and suffering are disguised gifts, and often result in the reminders  of life’s simplest pleasures.

Pain and suffering, while seemingly impossible to endure, have the power to deliver us to places of peace and present numerous gifts of gratitude.    All you have to do is CHOOSE to receive these gifts.

Stand still in love.  Love’s beauty abounds.

The bird whose love, a song,  it is to sing.

The poet whose love it is to find his words engraved in the hearts of lovers.

The woman, whose love she discovers, is to seek connection and find purpose in the mundane interactions in life.

Sing your song, write  or relish in romantic refrains, and discover your essence and beauty in the eyes of God.


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