Hope and Opportunity

What kinds of feelings are stirred up in you as you hear those words? 

For me, I would say many mixed feelings. Excitement, apprehension, fear, dismay and longing all bundled up into one. I like both words. They scream of a future that is better that what I am currently experiencing. Just letting my imagination wander and play can open up ideas and possibilities I had not even considered. Yet, with my vivid imagination I think I run into many unmet expectations. The learning to hold loosely hope and opportunity has been lesson I am continuously visiting. 

I know I will make progress. That even as I write this I am exploring some new opportunities. Hope is rising and eagerly I await to see what happens. 

What about you? 

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History

During this unprecedented time in history I have been thinking a lot about what I learned in school.  How every generation is shaped by the stories it is told by it’s elders, and that the ability to think and reason is a tremendous gift we have each been given.

I feel so fortunate to have had teachers in my past that challenged me to think.  To look at all angles and reason for myself my beliefs and yet also be ability to listen to others and consider their point of view.  That by looking at original sources, instead of secondary accounts, or even others opinions, you can see what might have truly happened.  Or at the very least be able to understand and read someone else’s experience of events.

When studying both art and history in college, I learned how to evaluate and look beyond the first impression.  To go deeper, to study, to probe for further insight.  To really study a piece of work or a story or an event to look beyond the surface.

During this current political climate I will admit it has been unnerved.  I have seen what propaganda can do to cultures in the past.  How ideas and mindsets can be shaped.  I value truth, honesty and integrity and feel at a loss sometimes to know what is true these days.  I guess most of all I am scared for what will be the story that is told of this current generation or season of history.  I long for a time that is full of compassion and restoration versus demolishing people.  The story is not over and I will continue to seek those stories that show the power of the human spirit and triumph of goodness.  But my heart is heavy these days.

Celebrating a life well-lived

I am posting another’s post as she has said things so much better than I could.  I am so incredibly grateful and blessed that Michelle was a part of my life. It has been years since we have physically been in each other’s presence but her impact is great.  She is truly one of the women I admire most and her faith is a gift.  All I have right now is just gratitude that I got the privilege of crossing paths and being able to have moments with this amazing woman.  I am so much the better for the life she has lived and the impact she made.

To read another’s story of this great life go here

 

While on lunch. 

Checking out the possibilities of writing down a few thoughts while on lunch. 

I have been struck but the contrast or opposing comments I see on social media. I recognize the space is a place to share ideas and facilitate a dialogue. Yet I wonder how much true, real, authentic conversation ever takes place. It is fascinating how you can have an opinion about something and yet not ever put a real face to an issue. That it sits out there like something “pretty” to be gazed at and pondered and not truly picked up and held. That when real life interrupts the theory some ideas get put aside or maybe thrown away or held more tightly. 

I know for me I have “friends” on Facebook on both sides of whatever the political issue may be. Watching the different posts stream across my newsfeed I think about the lives and the impact those posts may or may not have in the greater community. Wondering if what is shared helps foster conversation or just fills the space with opinions but no dialogue. 

Just thoughts, no answers. Lunch is over

I need to write

It has been a season of contemplating and well frankly just being consumed with not thinking.  I know those are pretty much in opposition to each other and yet they exist.  As I have watch the newsfeed on Facebook tell me stories of outrage, injustice and opinion I have thought about what does it look like to engage in conversation thoughtfully.  There is the aspect of being provocative in the true sense of the word of provoking thought not just eliciting sensation.  I love words or thoughts that leave me challenged.  People who I may not agree with but respect the care with which they present their ideas in a manner that shows care and thought.  Those words leave me pondering what they have to say and evaluating my own perspective and experience.  I may continue to stay with my own beliefs or ideas but it allows for an evaluation of those ideas and beliefs.  Most right now my ramblings are one of getting words on a page, or well a screen.  They are still jumbled and in process but now they sit, staring back at me to come and read and think again.

Words waiting to be written

A reader through and through, words resonate with me.  The profound effect of seeing the world through another’s eyes or words and sensing a connection.  The story laid out draws me in.  Leaves me wondering what can I contribute to the dialogue.  To the grander scheme of words written on a page, in a blog or even in a journal.

I have been reading about gathering around a table and enjoying good food.  Mouth drooling as I can almost taste the meal abundantly laid out.  Heart yearning for the feelings of comfort as friends gather to share in something so simple and yet with words shared so tender.  Recipes poured over, ingredients purchased or at least written on a list.

Yet even now these are just words waiting to be written.  Stories yet to be told.  Hearts yet to discover the greater story.

Frozen…a story of true love

So I am a little late to the game.  I had been wanting to see the movie Frozen when it was first released, but alas that time came finally yesterday.  From all the reviews I knew I was in for a great movie.  I wasn’t disappointed.  

How chilling the line is of “don’t feel, don’t let them see” (my paraphrase).  As I watched as Elsa moved away from her home to create a place of isolation based on fear, I was struck by how many people do this in life.  In my own life, how many times have I allowed fear to isolate me from those relationships and people who could offer healing and love?  The castle might have been beautiful and yet it was a prison just the same.  Impenetrable, untouchable, cold.  Face upon face raced through my mind.  My heart aches for them, as I so want them to experience that aspect of love that would melt the walls. 

As the story progressed you see the epic battle that ensues.  The fight to overcome adversity and how it is not “true love” in the romantic sense that saves Anna or Elsa but one of self-sacrifice.  I think this is what most inspired me.  Not that I don’t love an amazing fairytale and dream of that aspect of true love.  But when it is all about self-sacrifice, it becomes available to anyone of us to offer that for another.  That walls can come crashing down by loving another through letting go of self.  

I am not sure what the original writers intended.  I know that the story resonated deep within my soul.  I also know it reminds me of what Jesus did for us through his life and death and resurrection.  To come and offer the ultimate act of self sacrifice and become my sin so that I can be restored to a relationship with God.  What a gift, what grace.  

I recently heard someone share about this aspect as it relates to communion.  That Jesus was broken and poured out for us.  Then when we remember Him, we too are called to be broken and poured out for others.  That call is great, painful, and yet I hope like this story in Frozen, ultimately one that is full of restoration for all involved.  Oh how I pray that the Lord would reveal this to me for some very specific people in my life.  To this end I pray.

So thank you to the writers of the movie Frozen.  As well to all the animators and composers to bring the story to life in a visual way.  I loved the picture you painted and I am grateful for the time well spent watching your story.