Monday, April 30, 2007

Friends in Unexpected Places Part 1

Recently the Lord provided me with two situations in which I was led to speak with someone I did not even know. More than this, the settings of these encounters were times where I would have more than likely kept quietly to myself and wasted that instance where God requested me to be known and recognize His beauty in the people around me. They were random people…older people…different people.

My first meeting happened several weeks ago when Bryan and I were still living at our old place and had to gather our ever-multiplying laundry and come to his mom’s house, (which is now where we are house-sitting at for the summer) and as we began the incredible task of load after load, we decided to cook lasagna for dinner. It smelled so yummy! I was feeling very weak this day and was told to sit on the couch and rest. But in my mind and heart I wanted to help and serve Bryan since he had done so much that day. The lasagna was done and I opened the stove to grab it. It was in a glass casserole dish on top of a flat baking sheet and before I knew it, my one handed grip proved to be an insufficient force against the gravity prevailing. The casserole dish slid right off the baking sheet and like a horrifying “Cooking with Rachel Ray” accident, the lasagna and dish broke into a bazillion pieces all over the kitchen floor. It was a HUGE mess, and a dangerous one as well since we were surrounded by glass. It was not big chunks of glass, no! that would have been too easy, it was small shards. I began to cry because I was so frustrated and sad that I had made a mess that Bryan cleaned up. Bryan comforted me and told me how much he loved me and that it was ok. It was probably one of the sweetest times he has reassured me with such truth and grace. Dinner was ruined so we got in the car and headed towards fast food lane.

Deciding on Chinese, we placed our order and I walked Gracey outside in the shopping center. I did not have my shoes on because we kind of just left right away after things were clean since it was getting late. I sat down as Bryan ordered the food inside. Gracey and I were not allowed in there. One reason is because she is a dog, the second reason is, because I had no shoes on, and the third is because you never know when they could run out of ingredients and be looking for a substitute.

As I waited many people walked by going in and out of the other surrounding stores. I sat on a brick wall as Gracey sniffed the grass and before I knew it she was sitting there as well. She was old, had a wig on, and something strange was about her nose. She dressed peculiar for this season in Texas and her perfume acted as air freshener for the entire country of the U.S.A. I said “hello” in which she responded to me politely and with an accent. She asked where my shoes were and I explained we left quickly to get dinner and Gracey and I wanted to come out here and wait for it to be ready. Gracey ran up to her and kissed her hand and then as swiftly as she approached she ran away controlled by her sniffer to follow a trail of something good.

The lady and I talked. I asked her where she is from and she said France. She told me she helped navigate bomb planes in World War II. She raidioed others to pin point enemies to kill them. I couldn’t believe it! I was sitting right next to a grand piece of history. I wanted to know so much. She talked about the Germans and the invasion. She verbally relived her encounter with a German officer who was beating two women and when she heard it, she did not run away, she ran to help the woman. The old lady next to me smiled as she remembered her tactic of kicking the male officer and using a blunt object to hit him below the back of the ankle where she learned it would cause him great pain and make him immobile. She did not think she would survive this. But her anger of knowing the German’s where innocently attacking these women kept her going. More German’s now came in as they were radioed. She could have been killed without any sympathy. But they didn’t. They listened to her as she had learned German and told them these women were innocent and were being beaten and that these “officers” should be gentlemen as a part of the war, not abusers. The General agreed and said that these men would not be bothering them anymore. The other women she was protecting were gone, and she left the restaurant not even needing gratitude, she knew she saved their life. Without her help, they would have died.

Years, later, after she had survived the war, she married and came to live in the United States, in Texas. Her and her husband met during the war and she is thankful to be in this country. Her eyes lit up, as she slowly explained this was not the end of the story. She looked over across the grass as she slowly went back to that time again in her beautiful mind. She said that over 20 years later she went back to France and even to the restaurant that this incident took place. She said it was a little difficult with all the memories, but she wanted to see if the ladies were ok, since she never did know that night. The mother was there and noticed who had come in and was crying and rejoicing. She asked the lady to stay so her daughter (the other girl that almost was killed that night) could see her. They stayed and eventually the daughter came and so much emotion was released! The thanked her repeatedly and even offered her a portion of their land to thank her. She could not accept this, but thanked them and said it was enough to see them and know that they were doing ok.

Bryan came back with the food. And although I was hungry, something in me wished I could stay longer and talk to her. It seemed she had so much wisdom about the world. Stories and lessons we ought to let teach us. It is in such an encounter as this, that you can choose to learn something about yourself as well. You learn the beauty of some else’s perspective and maybe even perhaps how much we are all different, yet so alike. “Be eager to listen and slow to speak.” It will bless you.


Talking to this lady, as well as Ellon, who I will introduce in Part 2, is like finding an old marvelously carved locked chest. Maybe it is in an attic, or in a basement, or even in a storage building in the back corner. But you’ve discovered it! It is treasure and you want to open it and see what something that mysterious and exquisite keeps inside. You have the key now, and walk toward the iron clasp you turn and hear a click. It is opened. You open the top up carefully and hold your breath as you peer inside. It is beautiful! The memories, the jewels, the laughter, the pain, the sadness, and disappointments, the loneliness, the joy, the fear, the courage, the lessons learned, the struggles, the accomplishments, the searching, the finding, the loving, the passion for life. Not just the fun exciting things of life, the all of it. The pain causing growth. Opening this treasure was a way for you to explore this person, but also yourself as well. We all have something valuable to give to someone else, and that is ourselves.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

True Meaning of an Individual


"Keep in mind that the true meaning of an individual is how
he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”

Ann Landers; (1918-2002)


Ann Landers, who died in 2002, was most celebrated writer of advice and lessons learned in hopes others would grow. Her honesty was unique. Her opinion about love and life brought diverse affection from the audience directed to. Her vision was to accept inquiries by giving them truthful answers, although at times they were sarcastic and blunt. This method worked favorably and it catalyzed passion into her readers. Her beliefs became an icon of actions preceding many women changing their opinion in the ways advised.

“Keep in mind that the true meaning of an individual is how
he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”
Ann Landers


She is a woman who understands people’s hearts through their desperation in their questions. This was her passion ever since she was a young girl. Her answering these questions was ways to help people do what were are called to by the Lord, to love each other by obtaining information. Sometimes it is practical information, and other times it is deeper wisdom aiding emotional and spiritual growth as well.

One reply Ann wrote worth reading more than once is this quote:

“Keep in mind that the true meaning of an individual is how
he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”
Ann Landers



It is life changing to be challenged like this. But wouldn’t this cause you to bring love out from you that will not be merely of yourself. It can’t be done. We are too selfish. It is God emerging from us that makes it possible to love the unlovable, to love the person quoted that “does him absolutely no good.” Because then it doesn’t matter if that person can do you no good, we are called to do something higher and that is love him anyway. And when we are faced with this situation we will know the true meaning about us…will we walk away disgusted and make evil,??? or will we chose love and compassion and take joy in learning the uniqueness of all God’s children???

“Keep in mind that the true meaning of an individual is how
he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”
Ann Landers


The way you react to this quote shows something about who you are and how you treat others. I hope I get to test a situation like this and see what I would do. I want to have the strength to love everyone beyond myself. It is good and rewarding. Even the ones who have nothing in common with me.

Information used from :

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hopper

First and foremost, congratulations to Mike and Julie on the birth of their first son, Alexander!

Today, Bryan and I ordered food at Chicken-E and as we waited I saw a trucker man walking. He was loading fuel into the underground tanks next door at the gas station. I saw him walking with a limp and beside him was a small Gracey-friendly type dog! The dog was cute, but not as cute as Gracey of course!!! Then I saw the dog limp and thought maybe he had something in his paw and I grew concerned. But they walked on and I saw the trucker man look over at his dog and didn't seem to notice the limp. Or, as I pondered waiting what seemed forever in line, the dog really had a limp as well. It was so perfect. The man had a limp and so did his dog and they were quite the pair. I loved it so much. I named the dog "Hopper," and although I am sure he wont respond to this, I referred to him as this name the entire remainder of the time we were there as well as our journey home, throughout the meal, and even now as I reminisce, "Hopper" is the only name that will do.

He climbed back into the truck that was 5 million times as large as he, made sure his owner was in the car, and took off into the sunset. Him and his human, and unbeatable match.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PonderingS

Wiston Churchill once said,


"When I look back on all the worries
I remember the story of the old man
who said on his deathbed
that he had had a lot of trouble in his life,
most of which never happened."



Albert Einstein once said,

"There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle."






Monday, April 09, 2007

Sobering

An appropriate word used to describe life-changing events is “sobering.”
A time like when you find out you have cancer and must get life-altering surgery to keep it from spreading.
Times when someone who has so little gives you what they need as they obey the Lord.
Sobering moments are when you realize what you have worked so hard on your whole life is gone.
It is times when you hold an innocent child in your hands that is breathing and moving and you know in that moment somehow everything is going to be ok.
It is moments like a year after you think you are forgotten and learn you have not been and more than this, you are wanted and prayed for. You are worth remembering.
It is moments when friends chose to love you even when they don’t know how. Not because of bad, but because of life circumstances changing things so fast you can hardly catch your breath to understand what is happening to you, never mind trying to explain to someone you have not seen in a while.
It is sobering when you make a huge mistake that ruins everything, and the person you want so much to love you holds you and says that it doesn’t matter. They love you.
It is sobering when you judge someone and their situation only to find out they too have been through hell and back and are looking for something and anything to give them hope.

We must look for sobering moments. If we do not, we decide we are done. We tell ourselves we know everything and there is nothing else to learn from life and people. Choosing to be sober is not fun or easy, but it is extremely rewarding. For God says that the greatest thing to attain is wisdom and understanding.

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

The greatest difference you will make is not with how much money you have. It is not how big your house is or how nice your car is. What matters is the love and understanding you give people. This is what will be remembered.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Inspired by Grace's 3rd Annual Reception was a Success!!!

Some of Bryan's art was in the show as well. He sold one!
I am standing with some of the new photo's of this years reception.
I love tulips. They we given to me to eclebrate IBG's 3rd year!
Amanda Dunn blessed everyone that night with her beautiful voice and sweet heart.
The night would have not been the same without these friends there. Especially Summer, who drove and surprised me by being there! I love you girls!
The ministry team for the evening. Kyle, Amanda, Bryan, and Olivia.
A before shot while we were setting up and doing a sound check.