Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Truth About Sunsets

Copernicus. I think his discovery is one of the most important ones of all time. Before him, everyone believed that the sun revolved around the earth. With the help of Galileo's telescope, he brought humanity the shocking, humbling truth into the light. Is it really any surprise that we thought we were the center of the universe?? In fact, I think most of us still do. It amazes me how schools, the media, parents and even churches tote the notion that the most important thing in life is that YOU are happy. That YOU are at peace with yourself and that YOUR needs are being met.

Hold the bus for a minute...I thought it was better to give than to receive, that the needs of others was supposed to be more important than mine and that true courage and heroism was shown when someone sacrificed for another. "Greater love hath no man than this...that he do what is best for him, no matter what the cost to others?" I don't think it goes that way. I'm sure I learned about loving others most in the first 5 years of my life. Thanks Mom and Dad. Not that I PRACTICE it every day...but at least I know it and believe it. If I feel like fish for supper, then fish it is, our home decor is not based on the team colors of the Dallas Cowboys and Newsboys tend to get more air time in the van than does Trip Lee...but everything needs balance right?

Trying to find the balance between giving people what they WANT and giving people what we think is BEST for them, is a tight rope walk. I am so saddened by the youth culture right now. It is frightening how even those who claim to know and follow Jesus, follow their own heart's desires rather than His teachings...and adults pat them on the back with the old "You have to do what is best for you" lie. I'm pretty sure that if I took a poll, most people would SAY that they believe and teach their kids to put the needs of others before themself, but I really don't SEE it happening much these days. We are cultivating a society of blood suckers, with little or none of Jesus character. I know there are exceptions to this. There are some kids out there who have been nurtured and trained to be a blessing to the world and they will shine in their time. I hope there are enough of them to lead our families and country someday.

The latest "Joe" commercial (Superstore clothing brand) says it pretty clearly. It shows kids of all ages wearing really cool clothes, dancing around to music. The music says something about building a wall around your heart and going and doing whatever you want. This precious little frizzy haired kids, of about 6 or 7, is wearing a T shirt that says "I Love Me" on it. I don't understand why people can't see it. Self love will kill a person quicker than arsenic. In fact, God says that we already love ourselves, the key is to learn to love others more, and Him first:

"But no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church." Ephesians 5:29

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27

The "as yourself" part means "as you love yourself"...implying that you already love YOU.

I think I might have to spit the next time I hear someone say "Well, as long as they are happy" after someone stomps on another's heart in order to grab their dream. Hey, I'm all for happy, but certainly not at the cost of joy...the joy that we have in trusting Jesus and loving in His giving, selfless, others oriented kind of way.

The next time you look up into the starry sky, remember Copernicus. The sun isn't actually going down...we are moving away from it. It stays securely in place while we on Earth revolve around it. Eventually, we should realize who is at the center of the universe, our orientation is changed and then we can enjoy the sunbeams we so desperately chase.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Earth Tones Make Me Happy :)

With school starting and the garden demanding my attention, blogging hasn't been high on the priority list. Got the writing bug again, so here we go...

If I were a Star Trek character, I'd be Deanna Troy. Not because of her beautiful, long curly hair, or her shortness, or the load of makeup on her empathic face, but because of her hyper sensitivity to all stimulus around her. All five of my senses seem to be turned up to "Max" most of the time. I'm very effected by my surroundings. Emotional reactions flow from every bit of input, whether good or bad, the mental/spiritual side of me must be on constant guard...not to let my senses rule me.

I was walking through Winners the other day, killing some time (imagine that) and found myself engulfed in an epicurean dream. I slowly run my hand over every textured pillow, my eyes over the colorful writing paper and sharp dishes and my nose over every candle and pot pourri I met. As I was trying to find the source of one particular scent, I said "What is it that smells so good around here??" to my daughter. A tall, non-Winners type man, with bored hands in pockets came around the corner and responded confidently"It's just me." His wife rolled her eyes playfully and I, after my surprised laugh said "That was my second guess." I left the store feeling refreshed and positive. As long as I don't focus on the fact that I can't take all of these things home with me, the visit is a good experience.

Our house's interior was painted entirely white when we moved in, 15 years ago. After a few years, I was visually starving and medics called for resuscitation. A coat of brick red in the kitchen, moss green in the living room and earthy brown in the bathroom revived my soul. Beautiful paintings, natural wood furniture and lots of window light help Mom stay smiling. Keeping the kitty litter box clean, baking bread and opening windows for fresh air are regular, necessary jobs. Music MUST be played often and selectively. My sweet husband bought me an awesome speaker set for my computer to enhance my frequent, impromptu dance sessions while cooking in the kitchen and schooling in the living room. Again, Maximum is a great volume setting for "Viva La Vida".

I am presently soaking up the crisp September air and the beginnings of one of the most amazing color shows in the world...maritime trees in Fall. Patiently waiting for the first crackles of the fireplace and the first cuddles with my cozy sweaters. Today, we pile's gonna smell fantastic! Everything about Fall says cozy, homey and earthy. That is one of the things I love most about where we live, the change of seasons. Each one has it's own beauty and pleasure from the finest creator of all. I immerse myself in each one and anticipate the next. I love the senses seem to need the change. They dull with prolonged sameness. Isn't that just so totally human and fallen? We always bore of every pleasure eventually. That's why God is the only constant that always satisfies...but that is an entirely other blog.

I think solitary confinement would be by far, the most effective discipline for me...not that I expect that to be necessary... just saying. I would go quickly insane, I'm sure, to have my senses deprived for more than a day. At least other forms of corporal punishment would keep my senses alive, or send me into a delirious mental state with other new things to experience. I figure, I've endured childbirth and kidney stones, so I sort of have a superhero suit on all the time.

Realizing that these pleasures are not necessary and that MANY people live without them, I am truly thankful for everything around me. Noticing the little things, loving what you have and embracing God's goodness are all part of His plan for our joy.

Genesis 1:31
"God saw everything He had made, and indeed, it was very good."

Now, I have to get off of this computer because the loud hum of the fan is DRIVING ME CRAZY! See what I mean? :)