Tuesday, June 26, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

Beautiful people don't just happen.

"All of us deal with many people every day. Everyone we meet hopes we will be kind and humble and unselfish. They don't care where we learned it. They don't care whether it came easy or hard, through failures or successes. If the guy next to you starts choking, he doesn't care where or how you learned the Heimlich maneuver, he just hopes you use it!
   What would your life be like without your failures? Do you accept them as much as your successes? One thing we can begin taking for granted is that every person we meet who seems to have courage, dignity, compassion, and humility has experienced failure and weakness and shame. Our spiritual success rests not on whether we have failed, but only on what we are willing to do with our failures."
-It's A Beautiful Life

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Things First

For years there have been several things that have eluded me despite my energetic and passionate pursuit. I tend to be a rather goal oriented, action focused individual. I see something I like or want, and then exert a great deal of energy to get it. That is a nice quality to have and it has brought some good fruit in my life. It is not however a framework by which to operate at ALL times. There are certain types of "things" that cannot be attained in that manner. 

I was reflecting on this for some time this afternoon and noted that it is spiritual and emotional states that don't respond well to my mammoth efforts. Higher education? Yeah that worked. Money? Yeah okay. Tranquility? Contentment? Peace? Uhhhh.... not so much. The more energy I threw towards them, the further away they floated from my grasp. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever wished that the state of being "at ease" or "in perfect peace" was a coffee shop that you could simply sit down in? Ha! Wouldn't that be nice? 

Well in fact... it is! It is an actual place. It is located within you. It is a place you must visit in your spirit. You travel there not in your body, but with your mind. And it is achieved not by reaching towards, but rather by letting go.

Am I making any sense?

First things first. You must let go before you can attain peace. You must release control, before you can rest. WHAT!? That is not how we think right? I hear ya. I tend to think that I can rest when and only when, I have taken control and checked all the things off of my to do list. In reality... I can rest once I come into agreement with the fact that there will always be things on my to do list and that there is great value in resting.  I will contribute more to my life by being rested than by having an empty to do list.

Come on! Let's try it people! This is exciting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

:: Tuesday's Tea With Me ::

Come on Come on! Lets go out in the yard it's so pretty right now. Wait 'til you see the pretty flowers all lit up by the sunlight. I like to park myself amidst the colorful blooms and let God kiss me with sun rays. Grab your tea and follow me.

Now that's the way to begin a day.

"Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty;
 Righteous and true are your ways, O King of the nations."

-Revelation 15:3

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Inviting Country Chapel

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the charming little town of Los Olivos there rests a quaint little country chapel. Nestled between a small orchard and a tranquil creek that unfolds around back, it stands tall yet unassuming to passersby. In the past I have captured a picture or two out of my car window. But today... I found something so alluring about the enchanting walkways and aged windowsills. I pulled into the petite gravel parking lot and immersed myself in all things country chapel. From chipped paint, to scripture verses written on a chalkboard within, to the beautiful rose bush in back with a green garden hose draped lazily about.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You Can Have It All...

Actually you can't. Sorry. But don't shoot the messenger I didn't make the rules. That's what society says though right? That's the message on every billboard it seems. You can have it all, you need it all, you'll only be happy if you can get everything you want. Yet I am discovering quite a different reality. A simple truth that is hidden. Ignored. Covered up?

We are containers. Only so much will fit. There is an end to ourselves. Holy COW! I am not enough in some circumstances. That one really freaked me out. Lol. I am not enough to heal someone, I am not enough to make others happy, I am not enough to keep a company in business, and on and on it goes. 

So what is the root of the problem here? What is this undefined law or reality or what have you that I keep bumping into? I was trying to think of a good word for it, and well... I've decided to call it the "I am not God factor." Now I would never have admitted this in my early 20s but now I can say with all the humble contrition it should be stated with, that I thought I was God. Not that I was fully delusional, but just partially. I thought that I had an attribute of His. I thought I was UNLIMITED.

In the years since, I have encountered many bitter-sweet moments. And bitter sweet moments prove something to me. They prove that sometimes you can't have both. No doubt we WANT both. But someone in His almighty wisdom decided it would not work best for us, and thus allows us to experience our limits. And let's be honest... that really ticks us off. Right? 

Here are some examples, I want to keep all my friendships, because they all have something to offer. But guess what? I am limited. I cannot have tons of deeps friendships. Why? Because deep inherently means it costs me more. And I only have so much. So if I want deep, I cannot have a hundred friends. Acquaintances maybe, but not true friends.

How about for all of you who are mothers. I've been watching several of my friends who have little ones, that are leaving the "baby" stage. There are so many bitter sweet moments No? You cannot have both a baby and a man. You have to let go of one to have the other. I suppose you could TRY breast feeding him at 15, but I don't recommend it. ;-)

How about mother-in-laws. You cannot control your son and have a good relationship with his wife. Am I right? You have to let go of your son, if you want a healthy relationship with your daughter-in-law.

These are harsh realities at times. Letting go is difficult. We don't want to be required to let go. Why can't we just have both? Well there is great news. GREAT news. I'm telling you this is so exciting. When we embrace our limits, we inherently increase our quality. The true lesson here, is a lesson in value. YOUR value. 

You and I are in fact LIMITED. It's included in the human being package. It can be tempting to see this as a problem if you hold the belief that you are supposed to meet people's needs, or make them happy, etc. (Which I did. I'll admit it. I totally thought that.) Come to find out... other people are responsible for their happiness, for their inner level of peace. For their health. For themselves. And there is a God who is UNLIMITED who is ready and waiting for them to ask for His help.

In this season of my life, I have had the joyous opportunity to look my limits square in the face. It has been such a pleasant and peaceful experience. NOT! I hate it. I hate it. I hate it... 
And I hate it some more. 

Yet slowly I have begun to see my limits in a new light. Take ocean front property for example. Do you ever wonder why it's so much more expensive to live on the beach? No you don't really do you? You already know. Because there is a limit to the amount of "beach front" in the world. Limited things actually hold a high value. So let me ask you a few questions if I may?

What do you think is a fair price for your property? For what you possess? For your health? For what you offer in friendship? Are you asking it? I didn't say demanding it. That is totally all wrong. But are you requiring it. Because you will be paid the price that you require. Not by all, but by the some. (The ones who see your worth.) And do you really want to be drained by a bunch of people that don't know your worth anyway?

For those looking to purchase or invest relationally? 
Remember... you get what you pay for. ;-)And specifically to those people who are always looking for a deal. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with it at all. But that doesn't work when it comes to people. Don't believe me? Take a look at the majority of your friendships and honestly answer this question to yourself. Are you the taker or the giver? I'll wager to bet you're the giver. Tired of that? There's one solution. Be willing to purchase higher quality.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

Come outside with me this morning. I was checking out the apple trees in the backyard and they are just beautiful right now. Look at the pink blooms. Aren't they just so delicate and pretty.

I've been thinking lately... I think as much as I enjoy all the newness and excitement of technology... It seems to wear off quickly. My iPhone was like the coolest thing for a few months. But now it is just my normal phone AND it doesn't even have Siri. Don't get me wrong I like to stay with the times, but I also like to step out of the times. Is that even making sense? I don't know how else to word it. I like to pick up an "old fashioned" book with actual pages made of paper, just for the experience of it. I know it's not as efficient to pay more for a paperback and lug boxes of books around when I can pay less and keep them all on this Kindle... but I like to feel the pages. I like to smell them and highlight things, and write down the definitions of the new words I discover there.

And it's the same thing with cooking I have discovered. Sure I can use the microwave and nuke up a quick tasty (albeit chemical laden) meal. But if my health is important to me at all, I can also spend several hours cooking up something from scratch that tastes delicious. And here is the real cincher... it is filled with the time and effort that earmarks true love. My meal is filled with Love that way. You mean I can actually eat love? Amazing.

I think that is what I love so much about my record player. I turn that thing on and I am transported to a different time. A slower pace. A healthier rhythm. In the warm light of my great grandmother's lamp, with my cup of hot tea, curled up with an "old fashioned" book, in a blanket that took me 3 years to knit... I am REALLY living. Truly living. Undistracted, unhurried, and frankly unavailable to anyone else but my own heart and the heart of my Father in Heaven. It is when I unplugged from the freeway of modernity, that I discover hidden treasures the lay just off the beaten path.

How about you? Are there places you can find to pull off the freeway and have a little adventure today?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

::Tuesday's Tea With Me::

 Goooood Morning Friends! 
I caught some pictures of this beautiful Morning Glory while on a hike the other day and couldn't wait to show you. I love the way light shines through flower petals. Flower petals are so delicate and soft. At times I wonder if we aren't very much like them. Different colors, shapes, and sizes but with a beauty all our own.

Have you been comparing yourself to the bush next to you? Go on. Admit it. Lol. You my dear friend... are the only You. And there is a beauty within you that is ALL your own.  Will you let His light illuminate what he has placed uniquely within the garden of your soul?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Savor Don't Save

I took a break from blogging this month. When I found myself taking my camera everywhere and getting frustrated when I didn't have it I realized I really needed to put it down and savor the moment as opposed to trying to save every moment. 

Does that ever happen to you? You are taking pictures as if it's the last wonderful moment you will ever experience? Of course it is true...this particular moment will not last but there will be more. Don't live in a mindset of poverty. Don't fall into the trap of believing that nothing better lies ahead. For we are what we believe. 

What shall we do with these fleeting moments that are so rich? Shall we watch them from behind a lens or shall we get IN them? Savor them. At the end of my life, I do not want to simply have great photos. I want to have lived a life of greatness!

That doesn't mean I won't take pictures. I just had to put photography in it's rightful a spot, and set living in a place of honor in my life.