listening in silence….

I learned something new today…

I did not know that the word listen uses the same letters as the word silent.

I love that….

I have always known to be a good listener, you must be silent while listening….

But I have also learned that to be a good listener is not only about silencing my voice…

I have learned that to be a good listener, I must silence my voice, my mind and my heart. It has taken me lots of practice to know how to settle myself enough to really hear when I am listening. I want to be able to offer specific words back, be curious about the layers of what is being shared and listen for where I may want to say, tell me more about this or that….

I must remember to set aside judgement and thoughts that I want to be sure to share….

I must remember that to listen well is to not finish the story or add insight into the story based on what I am thinking or feeling…

And so, I find it simply fascinating  that silence has the same letters as listen. Simply fascinating!

moving towards greatness…

I used to think I was the only one….

The only one who struggled….

The only one who battled with weight….

The only one whose internal conversation was self-defeating messages….

The only one who desperately longed to be loved by God and those around me….

I used to think I was the only one….

Then I learned about being honest with myself  and being realistic about others…

I learned we all struggle….

I learned we all battle something….

I learned we all have internal conversations that battle between truth and lies….

I learned we all long to be loved….(after all we were created and designed for relationship)

I learned we are all more alike than different, and in that likeness, we are wonderfully unique!

And so today I saw this….

And I began to identify the areas I need to start (or start again)….

And I know that all of us have an area we could choose to start and move towards greatness…..(wellness, relationships, kindness to yourself and/or others, grace giving and/or receiving, trusting, attention to detail). Live honestly and name an area that you want to start and move towards greatness…..

I know where I am starting again today….how about you?

 

20 words to change your life….

I love words and my mind processes in words more than in pictures or color….

I think in headlines and am known to be a word critic, not really finding a sense of completion until I feel confident the words have a crisp and deep meaning.

And so I was intrigued when I found 20 words to change your life on you tube.

It is an interesting list…

Begin

Imagine

Laugh

Believe

Seek

Play

Trust

Listen

Create

Connect

Touch

Forgive

Pray

Hope

Choose

Appreciate

Give

Read

Write

Release

I do believe life is more than these 20 words, but if we were in a small group together, I would ask you which one of these words resonates with you and why? Is it a word you understand because it has deep meaning for you or is it one that you know you need to free up in your own heart and soul. I wonder which ones you are living fully and which ones you may need to embrace and plant in the fertile soil in your heart.

Lead me….Guide me…

I find that often I sit in Church and am struck by how appropriate the song words, the reading or the preaching are to my life. I think about how I will reflect on the words all week and I am excited to see what else God has for me….each Sunday when I sit in the pew….

And then I walk out of Church and I start to move into my week…and often I don’t return to my thoughts as I had planned or hoped….

It happened again this morning….the words to the song My Shepherd will supply my need and Lead Me, Guide Me….

Today Pastor Jim had an excellent teaching about fear being a critical element in faith. Pastor Jim invited us to lean back and trust God and if leaning back into God’s hold was to much, we could begin by leaning into our doubts…

So many thoughts…

So many truths….

So many invitations…

It is my hope that this week is different. I want to reflect more on what I feel stirred by today. I wonder if any of you have been stirred by your Sunday happenings. I believe God speaks in Church, BUT not only in Church….I would love to know what you hope to hang onto and reflect on this week….

But let me leave you with the words to one of my favorite hymns….

Lead Me Guide Me
Verse 1:
I am weak and I need your strength and power
To help  me o–ver his weakest hour
Lead me through the darkness your face to see
Lead me Oh Lord, lead me…..

Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

VERSE 2:
Help me tread in the paths of righteousness.
Be my aid when Satan and sin oppress.
I am putting all my trust in Thee:
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

Chorus
Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

I am lost if you take your hand from me,
I am blind without Thy light to see.
Lord just always to me thy servant be,
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

Chorus
Lead me, guide me along the way,
For if you lead me I cannot stray.
Lord let me walk each day with Thee.
Lead me, oh Lord lead me.

 

If only….

Do you ever read something and wonder if only….

I read this quote this week and I find myself wandering back to it often in my thoughts, I wonder how different would life be….

‎”If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” thomas edison

I started wondering….

What is it that holds me back from living up to my full capacity….how might my life be different if only

How would my community, Church, work place, or family be different if only…

How would marriages be more solid, how would children be different, how prevalent would obesity or abuse be if we did not allow our minds to be tricked or our voices silenced…if only….

(in case you forget the if only….‎”If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” thomas edison

And then I come back to the reality that as much as i long for change and dream of differences, I can not change anyone but myself….and when i consider the if only I did the things I am capable of, I would literally astound myself…well, not sure what I am waiting for. I will begin to weave this truth into my thinking, believing and being and see what astounding myself might be like….

Enough of if only….the time is now!

Body clock adjustment needed….

I am realizing that my body clock may need to be adjusted. This is nothing about being 41….

This is about getting tired whenever it is dark. Now this worked ok when it was dark at 10 pm and light at 6 am but now it is getting dark by 830 or 845 and I am thinking it is surely bed time. And it is dark so much later in the morning as well….

Well, this reality in my alertness drove me right to the calendar of sunrise and sunset times. On October 1 the sun will rise at 7:39 am and set at 7:26 pm. By October 31, the sun will rise at 8:15 am and set at 6:38 pm….

This is an amazing cycle of nature and I have to believe is part of God’s design. I will try to keep that in mind as I work to adjust my body clock that darkness does not mean bedtime….enjoy this change of seasons!

It’s a big world out there….

I have traveled and I am thankful….

Maybe it is because my parents immigrated from Friesland and Rotterdam when they were young children….

Maybe it is because my parents taught us about responsible debt if it meant experiencing the world in life changing ventures….

Maybe it is because my parents parented with the following philosophy: My child I wish for you two things….to give you roots and to give you wings!

And with roots and wings we have all lived….my siblings and I!

Tomorrow my oldest niece Janneke will put her wings to flight. She leaves for England for three months and then will be assigned to either Thailand or The Middle East for three months. During her assignment she will likely work with rescuing those who are enslaved in human trafficking. I can’t quite believe she is old enough to venture into this and yet one thing I know for sure, Janneke is capable of bringing hope, anywhere she goes. And so Janneke Ruth, go with this verse and go confidently in the direction of your dreams!

  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29: 11

“Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be…Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you’ll live as you’ve never lived before.”

Praying you through,  All my love, Aunt Trish

Change…

It was an interesting day to track my Facebook friends and how they adapt to change….

Now, remember, this is not about serious life change or relationship changes….this is about changes to Facebook….

The first thing I found a bit distressing was the strong language of hate….now maybe I am old-fashioned, but hate is not an everyday word in my mind. I was struck that if we would all be as engaged with the injustices around us as we are with changes in Facebook, our communities may be different. If we hated abuse and poverty and put our energy there, maybe we could impact the wrongs that surround us. If the news picked up on the story of the day because we were all posting about something life changing, like they covered the Facebook change tonight, maybe media would help to bring about changes for good….

And then I found a great post….it brought perspective…

Remember my friends, Facebook is a tool that we are fortunate to even access to. In our culture where we not only can afford computers and internet, we also have phones that connect us all the time. I don’t want to sound to crazy about this, but honestly, it is Facebook and in some fashion, all this emotion behind a Facebook change feels like we have lost perspective….

When Facebook gets you to the point of disgust or frustration, turn off your computer and go connect with someone face to face and talk about an issue that really matters!

 

 

 

 

A picture’s worth 1000 words…

I am still marveling in the memories of My Tapestry Party. A party that I created to celebrate the tapestry of my life. I often envision my life as many different strands, that alone, may not appear beautiful, but when woven together, into a tapestry, beauty is revealed and discovered. I will blog again soon about this more fully, but today, let me share with you a few picture’s that are worth 1000 words! The first collage is a flavor of the classy and fun setting, the second collage is some of the faces of those whose stories has interwoven with mine, the third is my goofy and wonderful nieces and nephews and the last is the dance and celebration. Celebrating the evening, but much more….celebrating the relationships that have contributed to my tapestry of life. To God be the Glory!

Well, perhaps these pictures represent more than 1000 words, but I trust it gives you a flavor of why I am still basking in the love and celebration….it was wonderful!