Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Empty

I love dogs.  For many reasons.  But one of them is this:  they never travel on empty.  No matter how many times a dog goes, it seems they always have a little bit extra.  Just in case.  (That's true for the girls as well as the boys...believe me!) 

This is definitely a season where everyone is on the go.  But in the hustle and bustle, what if we made a conscious effort to never travel on empty?  To make sure we save a little patience, a little cheer, a little selflessness...just in case.  After all, you never know when you may come upon the proverbial fire hydrant...or tree...or rock...or fencepost...that needs a little special attention. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope." ~ Romans 15:13

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holding Hands

I have a quirk.  (Or a feature depending on how you want to look at it.)  I have a fragile pinkie.  It's been broken a few times.  (Twice by soccer, and once by volleyball.)  The last break was kind of serious, and while my finger still's...well...fragile.

It aches when it's cold.  I have to budget how much I use it when I play violin.  I have a difficult time with the classic interlaced finger configuration displayed by twiterpated couples (that's a Bambie reference for those less Disney-inclined).  And if we're saying grace as a family and I'm next to a firm-hand-holder, I readjust our hold so that my pinkie is outside of the grip.  It just can't take it.

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have a designated hand-holder.  It didn't take him long to automatically readjust and accommodate my little quirk.  In fact, he would keep a lookout for any silent cues that I was hurting and would reach out and cradle my hand with his.  That winter, my little pinkie was looked after, held, protected, and warmed.   It was glorious.   I remember that season every time my hands get cold and my little finger let's me know it's still there and still quirky.

This year, the arrival of cold weather has me thinking:  It's not just pinkies that can be fragile.  We all have places that are sensitive.  Where we've been hurt and patched.  Where we have to budget how just much pressure and strain that area is allowed to bear.  Where we're just plain quirky.

This is my challenge to myself:  To think of myself as a designated hand-holder.  To look out for the broken pinkies of those around me.  To keep an eye out for silent cues that they're hurting, that maybe they've had enough stress or strain for one day, or maybe just that the cold weather is getting to them.  To readjust my thoughts and actions so that they are cradled, held, protected, and warmed. 

Wouldn't that just be glorious?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.

That's the reassuring sound a heart makes when it's beating.

Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.   Thu-thud.

What happens when a heart loses its rhythm?  Trouble, that's what.  Suddenly a body feels tired, fatigued, out-of-sync.  Which is no coincidence because that's exactly what's going on.  If the symptoms go unchecked or are too severe, sometimes a heart can stop beating completely.

Cue the dramatic medical scene.  *beeeeeeeeep*  The medical gadgets go crazy.  The doors open and a flurry of activity fills the room.  "Clear!" yells a doctor.  The flurry backs just far enough away to be safe.  *thunk!* All the heads turn back to the gadgets.  Beep. Beep Beep.  All is well again.

Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.  Thu-what?

The reassuring rhythm of my life flew out the window on me some time ago.  I didn't go into cardiac arrest (not right away anyway), but I'm not going to pretend that I haven't felt....well...tired.  Scatterbrained.  Out-of-sync.

What's a poor, arrhythmic girl to do?

Be wise enough to stop the flurry, take a step back, and yell "Clear!"  That's what.

Prioritize.  Prune.  Reset... It's not an entirely comfortable process.  But it's worth it to hear (and feel) that reassuring sound again.

Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.  Thu-thud.

Firing on all cylinders and ready to run.  In rhythm once again. (Not that I'm claiming to dance to a normal beat or anything.)

They were at their wits’ end.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:27b-29)