Melody of the Windchime

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I woke to the random strikes of my Windchime being tussled around in the cold wind. As the wind picks up the chime strikes louder creating an odd melody that if words were added to it would be quite a dramatic tune.

My late husband and I purchased this chime while visiting Ohio Amish country on our 20th anniversary almost 10 years ago. At the time I thought it had a nice ring to it. It hung on my front porch for many years. But if I recall correctly I looped the wind catcher up on the top piece disabling it from the endless chimes created by the Ohio winters winds.

The family I’m staying with while having cancer treatments have a chime in the backyard with a beautiful pitch that creates a wonderful melody. The tubes are larger in length and diameter; the clapper is positioned correctly within the tubing to create a soothing, meditative tune rather than a noise to scare birds and other animals away.

Wind chimes have always brought soothing tones echoing the music of the breeze and bringing a relaxed, positive, healing, meditative feeling. I remember walking in the evening listening to the various chimes in the distance. They created a place of peace and balance captured in song as I walked along. If I stop and allow sound over take me it can ease stress, improve focus, wash away anger, and soothe the soul … even right now in the middle of this Texas winter storm.

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Me and The Ant

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I saw a little ant today crawling around on a rock and my first instant was to squish it. I was reminded of my own life how I am going about my business when suddenly, unexpectedly I feel like I am being squished. Like the ant I didn’t see it coming. I did not see the giant finger that sought to take my life. And like the ant, it took more than one attempt before the life was squished out of me. I try to looking for the ant that I tried so hard to squish and it is not to be found. It must have lived and crawled away. Will it survive? I don’t know. They are resilient creatures, quite amazing in many ways.

Of course you have watched an ant about its business forging for food, protecting its hill! Amazing in many ways. So small but so tuff. They have remarkable strength. I wonder if the ant ever gets overwhelmed. I wonder if the ant ever gets sick except when I spray them with ant killer! I wonder if the ant ever needs another ant to hug, to smile at, to talk to… Amazing!

“Thoughts from the Heart” Written 2/24/12

“You have a lot to share and I wanted to give you opportunity to do that,” I was told one morning.

In order put thoughts on paper an individual first must believe in themselves. The individual must believe that indeed they have something worth sharing – something that another person needs or wants to know or read.

I have never had a strong desire to be heard. Nor have I believed I have this vast knowledge that must be shared – instead I prefer to touch lives one at a time. I like to get to the heart of an issue and seek an answer that brings relief. I have been told that have wisdom but I tend to believe I have simply learned life’s lessons along the way and freely share as ones seek to know. Although I have spoken to hundreds at a time on many occasions it is not something that I feel I must do.

As I look at leadership, mentoring, being a role model and so on, I suppose I can say with certainty that I am indeed called in this way. Even after great tragedy and loss in my own life I am unable to escape this call to leadership that is upon me. I say escape because I have tried to shake this off of me for several years now but the call to leadership keeps chasing after me. And I find myself over and over again with ones following even when I don’t know where I am going.

So what is it that makes one a leader even when they don’t want to be? Is it personality? Is it charisma? Or simply an inner drive that keeps pushing the person forward in a positive way that causes others to be attracted to what they perceive to be reality?

I am in a place of introspection and yes I know it is a dangerous spot to be in. But I want to know what drives me. What causes me to get up in the mornings? Why do I keep putting one foot in front of the other even when I don’t want to? What is it at my very core, my very most inner being that keeps me breathing each day? What is the true motive of my heart?

Just as a heart has a normal rhythm that it beats with each passing moment, our lives also have a rhythm. In the natural a heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked for a long enough time and that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. The rhythm of my life has been obstructed much like a natural heart attack and in many ways I am in recovery and learning to use a part of me that has been paralyze from the trauma. And in that recovery comes discovery. I look forward to learning who I am and what it is that I am to be about doing. But for now this leader must lay down the mantle of leadership and do what is necessary to heal. Because one day I will again rise and pick up the mantle that was placed on my life long ago – and be the pioneer that I am called to be.

The Conversation

I had this conversation with a person very close to me today. He is very money driven. I am very service driven. I am a community volunteer and I love what I do. I don’t get glory for it. I don’t get pats on the back for it. I rarely even get acknowledged for what I do. But it make me feel good so I do it anyway. I see my success and I enjoy it in my heart.

Listen in on my conversation and answer this question: what drives you?

“Do they pay you?” “No.”

“Then why do you do what you do?” “Because they appreciate it.”

“Did they tell you they appreciate it?” “No, they show it. And that is ALL that matters to me.”

He walks away in utter disbelief shaking his head. I on the other hand, swell with pride because I stood up for myself for once. Life is good.

Character

imageJohn Maxwell recently wrote a blog post on character http://goo.gl/fb/hSXjO

It caused me to think. There are a lot of things that cause me to think.

I created this blog and my twitter account with an anonymous identification because I honestly did not know what would come out of me in my pain. I know a person’s real internal character will leak out all over when they are broken and hurting. In ministry and in life in general I see this all the time. I know some people are so embarrassed by their behavior when they were hurting once they recover. Makes sense to me, I always give an abundance of grace and mercy to people in crisis.

What has surprised me about myself is that I have discovered I am a good person. I am a person I would be friends with. I would like me if I weren’t me!

I have discovered I am the same person broken as I am when I was whole. Why should I hide then? Maybe because I am so insecure now. Maybe because I lived so many years in ministry mode that if I reveal my identity I may start holding my breath with each word I express. Maybe because I have been hit so hard by those that I thought loved me unconditionally that I can’t trust anymore. Maybe my vessel is so broken I don’t know if it can be put back together now. Maybe because I am alone with no emotional support and I am afraid if I get another hit it may knock me over the edge. And maybe I really want to keep living and I really want to find life again.

The Relationship Game

I never learned the game. I never learned the signals. I was never a player.
I lived in a bubble, a colored bubble that did not allow me to see out and learn to play the game. I really need to learn the rules to this game that I am forced to play. If, then . . . If this, then that . . . Need to know

There must be a rule book somewhere. A how to book. A users manual. Something.

And since when can girls not be friends with guys. Since when does every relationship between the two, if they are single, mean it is leading to something else. And sometime married men think the same thing, since when.

My late husband was a VERY jealous man. I could not even greet a man without him flipping out on me. It was very difficult because I was a leader of several hundred mostly men. Oh my lands life was hard. I was a great leader. I was able to mobilize all those teams and accomplish a lot. It was a very fulfilling career except for the jealous husband that put a lid on me.

I have always enjoyed conversing with men. They see things so differently than whinny women. I get exasperated with women and all the gossip and back biting. I did not know before but I now know, women always have an agenda.
Men just are. They don’t worry about things like women. Men can be drawn out and some very profound conversation can be exchanged about all kinds of things. I do miss this the most about my late husband. We would sit and talk for hours on end. We would solve the world problems and still be in touch with the depths our hearts and spirits.

I still look at relationship the same way I always did. I see it as making friends to share and be with. Friends to help when they need me or just hang when they don’t. Unfortunately I have not found friends like that since I moved 1500 miles away from where I was living. This stupid game gets in the way. Everyone is a player. And now that everyone is “out of the closet” I even need to be careful of the girls.

So funny! I made friends with a lady several years older than me. She talks ALL the time about herself. I hardly get a word in and when I do she is thinking about the next thing she wants to say. Frustrating. One day she told me she enjoys my company and if I lived near where she lived she would not need to find a guy to date. I am like WHAT?!? Needless to say I don’t visit with her very much now. I am straight and I don’t lean that way even a little bit!

The game I just don’t get it until it is rolling along and I find myself somewhere I don’t want to be.

The new way of communicating is through online chat. What is that about? What happened to the good old fashion phone where I can hear voice fluctuation and be able to understand what is being said. The written word leaves so much room for interpretation or misinterpret. If I had of been voice chatting with my long distance guy friend I would have heard when he went from interested to not interested and understood. We used to chat on the phone a couple of years ago that is how I learned he was interested in being more that “just buddies” and we began to communicate on a different level. Then came online chat, was that the signal I missed?

So now I venture out into the real world in search of friends and I will not allow this online chat to be a part of my life. Not my real life at least. I will still have my false identity here where I can just be and know that no one on here really knows who I am or where I am because I keep me hidden. No Facebook for me that would be to vulnerable, too risky for me. I like this blog and twitter. Well I really don’t like twitter that much but I am giving it a try.

I have to laugh at myself. Games, am I just playing a game with my life? I am one way here and another out there. I am more transparent here where I feel safe and reserved out there where I feel vulnerable. I give an appearance that I am secure and outgoing out there but I am really very frightened by it all. Here where no one can find me and no one cares about me I will lay my heart bare. Out there I step cautiously trying to avoid being hurt. But hurt is a part of real life, right?

Right, empty cyberspace out there where there really is no one?

Attraction

Is attraction a choice? This question was recently presented to me through a total stranger.

It has caused me to ponder what my core values are. What is it that make me, me in terms of my attraction to men? Well I must say it must be paralyzed because I have not dated in several years. Although I had been attracted to a man who lives far away and maybe that was just infatuation. It did hurt deeply to learn he does not share the same feelings but I am able to easily let those feelings go. I have always been able to let go of what I cannot have.

Back to choice of attraction or what I think I am attracted to. . .
I do believe that what you’re attracted to is formed when you are a child.

Growing up I always played with Barbie dolls. I always fantasize that Ken married Barbie and they live happily ever after. And it is true, somehow, I do feel that I am attracted to ones that have that Ken appearance. For me the Ken doll was always a very professional handsome looking man. His appearance was always clean and orderly. And I am sure he must’ve smelled divine! In my world they never argued; they always were very loving and they had a perfect family. This was quite the opposite of my natural family. So perhaps playing with the Ken and Barbie dolls warped my sense of reality. And perhaps that form the belief that what I desire is always just out of reach or not real.

The man that my father modeled to me is someone I will have nothing to do with. But having said that, perhaps I married a man very similar to him in my late husband. But I’m not even going to start comparing my late husband to my late father.

I believe that what I’m attracted to in a man was certainly formed out of what I observed growing up. I remember consciously saying I will never marry a man who does what I observed my father doing to us and to my mother.

Attraction is learned. I learned what I desired. I learned what I did not desire. And now I’ve learned what I desire even more.

Attraction is a funny thing you know. I can be attracted to someone but they can have absolutely no desire or attraction to me. I can see a delightfully handsome man in the grocery store and smile at him and receive no response in return. It does get discouraging!

I had a man tell me one time that all women are gold diggers. I was married at the time so I did not take it personally. Now that I’m single I wonder if that really is what men think? I’ve also been told that sexually easy women carry themselves in a certain way that men understand very well which is why they often have a significant other. I should be grateful that I’m not attracting either of those kinds of men. I actually am not attracting any men at all at this point of my life. Maybe I should get out to more places than just the grocery store . . . just saying.