Time To Think

Time To Think

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

He's got the whole world in His hands.

He’s got the whole world in His hand’s, He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in his hands. Remember that song? It became a traditional American spiritual first published in 1927, and gained popularity in the 50s. You and me brother, the itty-bitty baby, and you and me sister, and even the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

During today’s moments of reflection, I started humming the song’s melody, while praying and trying to grasp headlines of the day: mass shootings, Russia Gate, tax-reform, and systemic problems: racism, sexual assault, homelessness, ignorance, crime – well you pick one.

He’s got the whole world in His hands. I doubt many citizens of our country would deny, that we want America to be great. With that, we must recognize that we need one another. We are connected to each other as human beings. How we treat our neighbors matters, both domestic and abroad. Our humanity is the common thread.

While humming and holding this thought, I began to pray for the President. Prayer came effortlessly, lifting up a man with whom you disagree, both in tone and tactics, was the difficult part. I persisted. I prayed for the President of the United States of America, his mind, his heart, his influencers, his education and his decision making. Then, I asked God to help me look upon him, as another human being, in need of His divine grace, mercy and wisdom. We all would do well to covet these attributes, now, more than ever.

While seeking to see positive changes in the President’s actions, I challenge myself, and ourselves together, to consider what we can do to change lives for the good. If you are already engaged, then God bless you, and I thank you! I pray that your causes will recruit more like-minded soldiers on the ground. If you find yourself lacking in this area, I had to re-examine my own efforts, I want to encourage you. NOW is the time to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Get involved in something you are passionate about. It will stir you –it won’t let you sleep, and you will wake up each day with a burning desire to do SOMETHING!

Write. Call. March. Give. Read. Teach. Volunteer. Love.

We must pray, and then, go to work. The world is right in front of you, your block, your workplace, your home, your school, your place of worship. It’s the place where you engage the most daily. It’s Your World.

Remember, He’s got the whole world in His hands. A change is gon’ come.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dune buggys and Dirt Bikes

I was sitting in my office this morning, being nosey as usual. Looking out my window, I scoped the area to see what people are up to. The temps are cooling, 80s and 90s last week. I may have mentioned in my last blog, that I am seeing signs of life in my neighborhood; dog walking, baby walking, silver sneaker walking, critters running with abandon, and children playing.

What was not so unusual however, is the sight of my neighbor loading his all- terrain vehicle on his trailer, and rolling his dirt bike up the ramp to his truck bed, preparing to take off to the desert I suppose, or maybe the mountains (we’re already in the desert…). I thought to myself, he must really love this. Whereas, most people hibernate during the hot months in Arizona, kind of like I did when I was back in Wisconsin during the ferocious winter climate, I noticed that my neighbor did not always wait for cooler weather, rather he had been taking out these vehicles most every weekend. I mean, really, even in August when temperatures were in triple digits.

I thought, he must really be passionate about this. I tried to imagine what it would be like to adventure in the dune deserts, cruising in an ATV, exploring the vast terrains, discovering hidden canyons and gliding alongside the mountains. There is something about nature that beckons our primal instincts, and calls us out to the trails and terrains of God’s creations.

Observing this sight, I was inspired by my own query about creating and exploring possibilities for the things that I am passionate about. As I reflected on my habits, I find, unlike my neighbor, I am not so consistent. Does that mean that I am not passionate? I don’t think so. But I do have a habit of becoming distracted by routine (yes, I have started to follow routines) even in my new surroundings. Routines make me feel safe, they make me feel disciplined. For a spontaneous person like me, routines keep me on task.

I thought, I might have to give up some of this predictability to break open my own passion. I wondered what would happen if I didn’t play it safe, if I moved out of my comfort zone? Neale Donald Walsh is quoted, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That zone sometimes causes us to cut and paste our lives when we are confronted with the unfamiliar, so that we feel safe. But something totally new, is sure to get the endorphins revved up.

While I am writing this, I just heard Vroooom!! The truck has left the area, off to adventure! I took this as a sign. I have a few creative outlets that need pressing, but don’t be surprised if you look out one day and see me passing by in a dune buggy, which would kind of be like jumping out of airplane for me. Oh, the choices and the possibilities are abundant.

Are you playing it safe?

Musing off…

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

You're not too bad off

I live in a community called Bell West Ranch. It is a lovely, peaceful community, and from what I have observed so far, it is very diverse. When we first arrived, it was weeks before we were able to tell what population made up the neighborhood, but in time, and as cooler 90 degree fall weather began to fade in, we noticed diverse ethnicities, young and old, working professionals, and retirees. I watched happily as children hopped on school buses, rode their bikes on weekends and evenings, slid on skateboards, and played in the greenbelt. Life seems normal in Bell West Ranch, Surprise.

My husband, mother, and I, are connecting the dots to our lives out here in Arizona. We are surrounded by senior communities like Sun City Grand Desert and Vista, Sun City West, Sun City Grand-Pinnacle, Happy Trails, and all the other Sun Cities. If these sound like senior and active adult communities, you got it right. What’s so nice about being in the center of these communities, is all of the amenities, the convenience of shopping, restaurants, grocery stores, golf courses, and just about everything one needs from dog grooming to people grooming, all within less than 10 minutes. The break on prices is a big help, and we found a great church eight minutes from our house!

There is also a plethora of doctor’s offices, and medical facilities. Seniors must have convenient access to medical care. My family and I are getting a whole new set of medical professionals to help keep us healthy, and to care for us when we get sick. I like to think of myself as aging, opposed to getting old. I got things to do and places to see! However, the stark reality of aging hit me, more-so when I am in the doctor’s office, then when I am getting my nails done.

While waiting almost an hour for a mammogram appointment, a little annoyed (the technician responded by saying “it ain’t happening honey”, when I asked her why the long wait), I sat in the imaging office and curiously noticed that not one baby or toddler walked through the door with their parents, rather it was grown up kids, like me, helping a mother or father walk-in, sit, stand and fill out forms. Some walked with canes, some pushed a four-wheeler, some rode in a wheel-chair. It was a stark contrast to the people I observed at my former doctor’s office, back in Milwaukee. Right, I remembered! I live surrounded by senior communities. Geriatrics is hot, literally and figuratively!

The nurses were a little more patient, spoke a little louder and slower, repeated themselves until, even one of the hip seniors became perturbed, her husband chiming in. “Just try not to move.”

“I heard her,” she says, “and if I hear it one more time, I am going…” The husband shrank down in his chair.

*Cane, was getting an MRI, feeling a little frightened and fussy. He finally, went in and came out crying and saying “I just want to die. My head hurts. Why won’t the Lord just let me die?”

Cane’s wife responds, “Stop it Cane, Cane stop it.” She assured him “You’re not too bad off!”

He retorted, “My head hurts, it was pure hell in there.”

Wife: “Stop it now Cane, you’re not too bad off!”

I prayed for them, as I watched. For the most part, the folks in the waiting room seemed happy and resilient, but Cane reminded me that getting old can be tough sometimes. Still, it is a blessing! As I watched the couple go back and forth, I thought about another couple, that I prayed for a few weeks ago, while waiting for my mother at her doctor’s appointment.
This couple wasn’t sparring back and forth with each other, rather the husband sat slumped down in his wheel chair, head hung, shallow breath, while his wife stroked his hand, as tears streamed down her cheek. He didn’t seem to notice. I was hoping he felt comforted by her touch.

I went over and knelt down beside her, and placed my face to her ear. I whispered, “I am praying for you and your strength as you travel this journey with your husband.”

She smiled, and cried, “Thank-you honey, thank you. He took a turn for the worse, and we are waiting for our transport to take him to hospice.”

I waited until I got back outside, and cried a few tears myself. My mom and I were getting in our car, when I noticed the transport pulling up to take them away. The scene was touching, and a stark reality- we will get old, and we will die.

So, redeem the time, get to know God, tell your loved ones often as you can that you love them. Be in the moment at the doctor’s office, at the store, and even at trips to the nail spa. It is a blessing to age, embrace it for all its wisdom and its worth. Remind yourself…

“You’re not too bad off!”

Musing off…

*Name changed for blog