Garbage Man

Don’t you love getting to know different families?  I remember when I first started to get to know my husband’s family.  They were so much fun.  Totally different than my family dynamic, and I enjoyed the change.  My husband was fortunate to have a brother and a sister, and this was a dynamic I wasn’t used to experiencing at all.  They are hilarious when you get them together, and I love every minute with these great people.

One of my favorite stories is about his brother.  When his brother was young, if someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would tell people a garbage man.  Isn’t that hilarious?  A garbage man.  Not many of us dream to be a professional garbage man, but somehow through the eyes of this sweet, innocent boy, this seemed intriguing.

Now that I’m older and realizing the deeper aspects of life, I am realizing that our minds are society’s garbage cans.  All of society’s beliefs are being constantly dumped into our brains.  We don’t have a choice on what we take in either.  Sometimes our brains get littered with garbage, and our minds keep taking it in, never taking their garbage bags to the curb for the garbage men to take away for us.

I’ve always been told, as I am sure you’ve heard many times in your life as well that “seeing is believing”, but this statement couldn’t be any more wrong.  We see what we want to see.  We interpret events, situations, or conversations the way that best fits us.  Our perception of an event might be totally different than another person’s perception.  Seeing is believing what you want to believe.

All of our senses are for survival, which is why we have them.  If we want to get in touch with life, and who we are, we have to start putting the garbage that fills our heads daily out to the curb.  Let the garbage trucks take it away.  We all have a sixth sense, and some might call it instinct, others many call it psychic, but in reality, all it is, is spirituality.

Anyone can be conditioned to believe anything, especially if it is embedded into our daily living from a young child.  These beliefs are then hard to break.  Only enhanced perception will help you understand life, and you may wonder how we enhance our perception?  You have to be like my brother-in-law and aspire to be a garbage man!  Stop thinking all the garbage that has been put in your brain, and reprogram your brain by researching and learning all the stuff you’ve been told, saw, and conditioned to believe since you were born.

We have to free ourselves from the garbage that we’ve collected over the years and free our need of wanting to be secure in our lives.  Life is never secure.  We can BELIEVE that we are secure, but it is just a belief.  We have to start throwing ourselves into life without boundaries or walls blocking our daily lives.  Beliefs are walls that we form around us to protect us from things.  We don’t need protection, because we have no control over whether we wake up tomorrow morning or not.  Stop fussing over garbage that is laying around in your brain, and start realizing that the suffering in our lives is created from the process of this garbage.

They always say children are more in tune with our world than adults, and look at how wise my brother-in-law was!  The family may joke about how funny his childhood aspirations were, but this kid was onto something.  He knew getting rid of garbage would be a rewarding choice, and once you realize that it will be rewarding for you too.  Clean your mind of all the garbage society has planted in your brain, and your suffering will be released.  Try it and see!

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Orthodontic Gods

I’m learning that Orthodontists are the closest thing to God on this earth.  Why would I say this you make wonder?  Well, if anyone has ever experienced the orthodontist, you might be able to understand where I am coming from.  Not just because their offices are lined with gold, as heaven is, but also because of the power they have to manipulate teeth into doing exactly why they were put in our heads to do.

At the moment both of my children are in braces.  My son is going to break the record for having braces on the longest I think.  It will be three years in June, and there is really no end in sight.  Why?  Because the child honestly doesn’t care about his teeth, nor his orthodontist.  He wouldn’t wear the elastics when he was supposed to, he missed appointments all the time, and doesn’t seem to care to get them off.  It’s all about his own free will.  He’s in for the long haul, and that doesn’t seem to fizz him in the least.

Not only are both of my children in braces, almost all the girls that I coach gymnastics are also in braces.  This is why the orthodontist’s streets are also paved in gold, they are racking it in.  The other day, one of the girls told me that her orthodontist was upset with her, because her bracket broke, and she didn’t come back to fix it.  Instead she left it until her next appointment with him, and in the meantime, one side was pulling her teeth and the other side wasn’t, so it pulled her teeth off track.

Both of these scenarios are just like people’s spiritual journeys.  Some of us are like my son.  Really don’t care about what’s going on in their mouths…or spiritual lives.  Just like the orthodontist explains to my son, it’s his teeth– it is your life.  Eventually, you may or may not find your spiritual journey, just like my son may or may not someday get these braces off.  You just don’t care, or maybe don’t even believe, which is fine with God, and the orthodontist…he already got his money out of me, what does he really care about the teeth of my son now?  Just like God, he put you here for a reason…if you choose not to fulfill that, it is your choice…no harm done.

Then there is my gymnast, whose teeth got pulled off in the wrong direction.  Many of us get pulled off our spiritual track too.  We know what we should be doing.  What choices that we should be making, but somehow we get pulled in the other direction.  My gymnast said the orthodontist was upset with her, but God doesn’t get upset.  He wills start putting things in your life to try and bring you back to the right path, just like the orthodontist is now trying to fix the damage done to my gymnast’s bite.  It is our free will whether or not we want to jump back on track or not.

Of course, you always have those orthodontic patients who follow all the rules, never eat popcorn, or gum, always floss, wear the elastics just as stated, and are the lucky ones who get their braces off months before scheduled.  There are also many people who chose the same spiritual path as these orthodontic patients.  Just always do what is right and without any probing.  Not wrong paths, no refusal to cooperate, just amazingly amazing.

Revelations 30:20 explains, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Or the Tao Te Ching says, “Gladly does the Tao receive, those who wish to walk in it.  Gladly does its power uphold, those who choose to use it well. Gladly does the Tao abandon those who abandon it.”  The Tao was written way before Revelations, but isn’t it almost the exact same idea?

Which spiritual or orthodontic person are you?  If you are one of the first two, try and find it in you to explore the world of spirituality.  You don’t have to be religious, you just have to try and form a relationship with the Divine, Source, God, or the Tao…whatever you want to call it!  Many times it is the religion that has killed spirituality for people, just like the orthodontist has killed the desire for straight teeth in my son.  Don’t let mankind kill the most important part of your life’s journey.  Shop around for other orthodontist if you don’t like the one you are going to now.  There are many different ones available, and once you get to know an orthodontist you like and understand, you will come to appreciate what they are trying to do for your smile…and your life.

Trust me, not only will you be smiling more often, but you will be happier too!

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Lunch Lessons

More snow?  Really?  It’s almost Spring!  Enough already!  The only good part of a snow day this late in the season is not having to pack lunches!  I love that my children prefer to bring their lunches over buying from the cafeteria, but some days it makes for much more work.  Figuring out what they want, packing it all, then, cleaning up the mess that they bring home.  It is a chore that I don’t enjoy most days.

One day, I packed a bunch of sweet, yummy fruit for my daughter and myself.  I love having fresh fruit for my snack to give me natural sugar to get me through the day.  My daughter on the other hand, chose not to eat this fresh fruit that I packed for her and left it in her lunch bag.  Not just for the night, but all weekend!

You can imagine what I found on Monday morning.  The sweet orange cantaloupe was now an off shade of cream with little white polka dots covering it.  The honeydew melon was no longer the soft green color it used to be instead it was a deep aqua green, and again something was growing on it.  What remained of the pineapple was just blobs of yellow mush.  It didn’t look like anything that I originally packed.

Not only did all the fruit discolor and turn into unidentified objects, the container I put them in wasn’t an air tight container, so the water that collected from the fruit as it transformed in the heat of the house also got all over the items in my daughter’s book bag.  Needless to say on Monday morning there was quite a mess…and a stench!

If only we had of taken the container out at the end of her school day, we wouldn’t be left with such a mess!  The fruit wouldn’t have had the time to grow mold, liquefy or start to stink.  Her book bag would not have gotten soiled from the science fair project that was going on in her lunch can.  Monday morning would have been an easier morning if she had of thought in advance of what was going to happen leaving fruit in a book bag for two complete days.

Isn’t life very much the same?  Are there ways we could prevent messes in our lives?  Do you find yourself thinking, “If only…” to circumstances in your life?  Things happen in your life for a reason.  It is the unfolding of your world.  You can learn from them…like hopefully my daughter has learned from this mess she made in her book bag, or you can keep making the same mistake over and over again, until finally you are noticing the way you are going about something isn’t working.  Eventually, the mess will become the message.

It might take you longer to learn than others.  You may find yourself in the same mess as you were in before.  Blaming others and not yourself for the mess you are in.  It could be a financial mess, a relationship mess, or an emotional mess.  Whatever the mess is, look for the message in it.  The message for you.  Remove all other people from the mess, and look at it as a message to you and only you.  Blame nobody buy you.  What is it telling you?  Make changes in your life so these messes won’t happen again!

When I asked my daughter what she is going to change so that she doesn’t have this mess in her book bag again, she easily answered me, “I am going to throw out my fruit in the cafeteria if I don’t eat it.”  It might not be the best solution, but that was her solution, and I am going to go with that.  I could offer other solutions, but people are only going to learn when they come up with the solution on their own.  It is her life, and her mess, and her message and I can’t control her.

It is written in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”  We can learn and profit from the teachings in the Bible.  Transfer them to your own life lessons.  It is your life, your mess, it is your message, and it is your choice what to do with the message, but using God’s word as guidance is a huge step in the right direction.

Do you have a mess in your life right now?  Step one is stop blaming other people for your messes.  Then, look for the message and start making the changes today!  Watch your life transform!

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Cold Winter Days

I love mornings, but the dark and dreary ones are harder to get motivated than the bright sunny ones.  This time of the year, we are definitely exposed to many dull mornings of gray skies.  It makes getting on with my day difficult.  Sometimes negative thoughts bombard my brain and I would love nothing more than to crawl back into my nice warm bed.

I always find that I want snow the entire month of December.  I wait anxiously for it to arrive and I feel excited every time it snows.  By January, I still love the snow, but it is starting to wear on me.  The cold starts to infest my bones and the snow isn’t as welcomed as it was in the month of December.

By February, I am almost done with snow, but it still comes pounding down.  I’m also sick of the cold, but I know that living in Canada, I still have March to get through, and maybe part of April to make it through before the warmer days start to arrive.

As I was driving to school on one of these cold, dark mornings, thinking how sick I was getting of the snow it started to snow shower.  It was just the softest of snowflakes dancing around under the gray skies they were falling from.  The roads were snow packed which made my entire world seem dim, but these sparkling little snowflakes somehow lifted my spirits.  It just added dazzle to the morning sky.

Isn’t it cool how life is such a metaphor?  It goes to prove that even in the darkest of times, we have to look for the positive cloud of snow showers that could be there.  We all are going to go through our storms and our winter months.  That is what life is all about.  We weren’t promised sunshine every day of our lives.  We have to learn to find the little things that brighten our days.  We have to realize that even in the darkness there is something positive to take out of it.

John 16:33 assures us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

We are going to have our winter months of life.  We are going to have our storms, but we have to take the time to find the dazzle in these times.  Find the good in them and give praise for what they are doing for you.  Just like the beautiful snow shower on my dreary morning drive to work.  Pray that you can see the positives in a bad situation.  You might not understand it, but with the help of God, you will overcome it and the spring showers are just around the corner once we make it to the month of April.

As I said earlier, our life and everything around us is just a metaphor.  We are living in one big story.  Our story unfolds however you want it to unfold!  Just like our mornings.  We can wake up grumpy from the gloomy day and stay grumpy all day, or we can try to change our grumpy mornings around so that we can have a great day.  It’s all based on what you choose to do with your gloomy winter’s day.

Remember, Proverbs 14:10, “Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own.  No one can share them with you.”  If you aren’t bringing people down with you, then rise up and choose to be joyful on this cold winter day!  The cold is bitter enough.

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Fairy Tale Tool Box

I love fairy tales!  I had an aunt who would read and read these beloved tales to me when I was younger, and I loved it.  My favorite was this big book of fairy tales, and even many decades later I still remember these stories, and the fact that my aunt took the time to read these great pieces of literature to me.

Fairy tales have been around thousands of years and started out as oral stories that were told for adults as well as children for entertainment purposes.  These fictional stories come from all different cultures and many may have slight variations depending on who tells them.

Many times, although considered fictional, these tales are thought to have some historical accuracy.  They come from a culture where certain elements were once believed to be real, such as giants, ogres, witches and spirits.

I find as I spend more and more time reading the Bible that is exactly what it is.  A big book of fairy tales that teach many important lessons that we can implement into our daily lives.  As I study the book of 1 Samuel, I love reading about David and the Goliath.

I know this story is almost over done, but when I was reading it something touched a place inside of me.  It was different than the other times I heard the story.  This time I wasn’t focused on how scary the giant must have been being over nine feet tall…just like a fairy tale.  I didn’t focus on how strong he was carrying around bronze armor that weighed about 125 pounds.  That is how much I weigh!!!  This man must have been a beast, but that wasn’t what was popping out at me.

I wasn’t fixated on what a bully he was, shouting at the Israelites to choose a man to fight him.  I was amazed at how terrified Saul and his men were when they heard Goliath’s dare to pick someone to fight him.  This was the King of Israel.  The God appointed leader.  Scared.  Where was his faith?

Just like Saul, we all have people, situations or strong holds in our lives that we are dealing with that are bigger and more powerful than us who are try to control our lives, just like Goliath was trying to do to the Israelites.  But we can’t be like Saul or the Israelites and lose faith in our Heavenly Father.

How many of us are guilty of avoiding confrontation, and dodge our own reality…our giants that we are facing in our lives?  I’m guilty of it myself, just like all the Israelites.  For 40 days, every morning and evening, Goliath challenged the Israelite army and 80 times the Israelites evaded their situation.  Living with this ogre must have been pure torture for these people.  Day in, day out being demoralized.

Finally, a little shepherd boy, David realized that people shouldn’t be afraid of this Philistine monster because he didn’t have the power of the Divine on his side, as all the Israelites do.  David was ready to take on the evil giant without a second thought.  He said in 1 Samuel 17:26, “After all, who is this heathen Philistine to defy the army of the living God?” 

This is the attitude that we have to take with the Goliaths in our lives.  Maybe you are in a failing relationship, or a poor financial situation.  Could you be facing a devastating loss of a loved one, or a sickness?  We all have some kind of giant in our lives, but, remember that we also have the army of the living God with us to help us fight our battles, but we have to believe in his almighty power and tap into his goodness through prayer and meditation on his word to come out victorious.

David was only a shepherd boy, but, his life experiences of protecting the sheep by killing lions and bears with just a sling shot and a rock proved him victorious over this bully Goliath.  The same is true with us.  We go through our own life experiences to prepare our tool box for our own victories using the skills we have been taught throughout our life’s journey.  Dig deep into the tool box of your life, and make your fairy tale come true.  Stop avoiding and attack that giant in your life, having the faith like David that God is battling this enemy with you!  Start with the tool that is available to us all…the power of prayer!

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