I was surprised when I saw the perfect little cross icicled on my frosty window this last Saturday morning. It humbled me and showed me God was with me. I have been saying prayers every day before work due to the amazing amount of pain and suffering I walk into whenever I go to work. I don’t just mean the patients, I mean the people working in the hospital as well. Hospitals can be a very stressful place for anyone to be. For many they represent a place for healing but only after the fear from pain that brings them there. Hope springs up in recovery. “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy, I woke and I saw that life is all service, I served and I saw that service is joy.” -Mother Teresa
I missed blogging for the first time yesterday. I feel bad but know that I am only human and working 16 hours straight left me little time to do anything but sleep before heading back in to work this morning. What a whirlwind of a weekend. I am glad I could help out my coworkers. I HOPE that I return to feeling normal after some good sleep tonight. It was a busy weekend with lots of surprises. Empathy for others fills me up despite sometimes leaving me feeling like my bucket is empty. It always amazes me how this is possible. The process of listening and trying to connect can really take it out of me but fills my heart all in a days work or double shift. “Meeting a stranger can be totally fleeting and meaningless, for example, unless you enter the individual’s world by finding out at least one thing that is meaningful to his or her life and exchange at lest one genuine feeling. Tuning in to others is a circular flow: you send yourself out toward people; you receive them as they respond to you.”
― Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
Not sure how many people remember the show (Growing Pains). What a blast from the past, huh? I still remember thinking Kirk Cameron was cute. Well, growing pains can be difficult. It takes challenge for us to grow and that can be really painful sometimes. I know I have been dealt my fare share of chronic depressive episodes and tough life events. I am grateful for these events, as difficult as they have been, because they have hurled me forward into growth and grace. I HOPE that when the challenges come again, I am ready to appreciate them. I harbor a deeper HOPE that my children choose to grow from the struggles in their lives. I read a great book last year called, (Happy This Year). In the book, author Will Bowen talks about Native American culture and how some tribes have members they refer to as, “sacred clowns”. The job of these “sacred clowns” is to push everyone’s buttons and to cause chaos within the tribe. They do this with the HOPE of thrusting members of the tribe into growth. What a great way to look at those people in our lives that test our patience. I credit this book for helping me appreciate those people in my life and in discovering that, “A truly happy person does not allow his happiness to be dependent on any external factor over which he may not have control.”
― Will Bowen, Happy Stories!: Real-Life Inspirational Stories from Around the World
I was running a group today at work on bullying and we started talking about where our seperation begins. We identified that as early as kindergarten we begin comparing. Maybe it’s a noodle art project and you don’t quite understand why Johnny made his the way he did and he should have done it the way you did it or you should have done it the way he did. Either way this begins the comparisons and the great divide. We talked about how silly comparisons are when there is only one somebody like you in this world. How comparing divides us rather than unites us. I HOPE that I can continue to work hard to love myself exactly how I am. Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors to read at work because of the wonderful insights tucked into his stories. The following speaks volumes… Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Dr. Seuss
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dr_seuss.html
Okay, Switchfoot can still sing it. Listened to the song DARE YOU TO MOVE for group last evening at work and was transported back to how powerful and moving that song remains for me. “Maybe redemption has stories to tell, Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell”. Wow, when I think that I have lost my way and I need to come back to reality this song has always provided me a powerful shake and snap out of it effect. I only HOPE that it is as powerful for others, and last night it proved to be. When so many of us want to run from our pain and get so angry when we are faced with hurt and suffering it is hard to see the truth. We quickly forget those obstacles are in our path to make us stronger and lead us to something greater. So honestly put. “welcome to the fallout, welcome to resistance”. As Switchfoot put it, “salvation is here”. Maybe it should be I dare you to be moved. Thank you Switchfoot for continuing to influence more than you know.
Often we get out of town and into nature to rest and revive ourselves. The Oregon coast is a family favorite. The ocean never fails at making me feel small or putting my problems into perspective. The ocean’s size along with the vast expanses of beach and how far you can see out in the distance, not to mention the sheer force of the waves and water really helps me understand how much greater the world is. HOPE plays a huge part in my ant like status. It reminds me of the story of the starfish. The little boy tells the man who inquires as to why he is throwing the starfish back into the ocean at low tide, “each one I throw back in lives”. The man seems surprised that the boy thinks he can make a difference. The boy responds, “I made a difference for that one, and that one, and that one.” as he tosses more starfish into the ocean. This reminds me how we can all have an effect in this world no matter how ant-like we may feel standing in front of the ocean. I am reassured of my insignificance and my significance all at the same time. I HOPE you experience these thoughts in reflection during times of rest.
I have HOPE for all the great plans we have for our home this summer. Like a container garden along with some raised beds that my amazing hubby has thrown together. He is my hero. I know I don’t tell him enough but I want him to know how much I HOPE he knows the unending extent of my love for him. What a blessing he is to me, our family and to the world. He leaves ripples of kindness wherever he goes and I am in awe of his effect on others. I am the lucky one and wherever I am with you is home!
Today my thoughts rest in love. Love of my family and of God. Love for my friends and of moments of peace and rest. I HOPE for the ability to love greatly throughout my life. My friend Gwen has a bumper sticker that reads, Life is the classroom and love is the lesson. What a heartfelt and beautiful sentiment. I would HOPE that my children will have this kind of drive to really live life and love boldly. The lessons will come and won’t always be easy to get through, Lord knows I still struggle. I think the more we are awake and alive we discover that a much bigger plan is in store for each of us. Today I also learned that no matter how much I would like to review and approve this plan, it will remain out of my hands. My job is to trust and to HOPE. This I will love doing.
Hold On Pain Ends is the acronym I use to encourage the amazing people I have worked with over the years. It’s also a huge encouragement to me as well. It is so easy to feel desperate, like things won’t get any better but they will and developing my faith encourages me that they always will. It’s just those darn doubt clouds can grow ominous and loom if you let them. Today I choose to have HOPE and maybe I will build a few raised garden beds while I’m at it.
I am getting really excited as the weather is changing and new life is blooming all over. I feel like this is also a time for discovering what we want to grow in our lives. HOPE, love, joy and peace are just a few things I would like to cultivate in my garden. I will keep planting the seeds and watering the good stuff.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. – Max Lucado