Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Dash Song

   I was shown a video called “The Dash.” It was wonderful. It said all the things that I wish to espouse to the world. While looking for it on youtube, I found the poem set to music. I hope that you like it.

The Dash – by Linda Ellis – Author, Speaker and Poet

The Dash Song is sung by Kirk Dearman

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Seasons In Life

As the days turn cooler and I detect the leaves beginning to turn to their natural but hidden colors, I realize that autumn approaches. Time moves ever forward through the seasons without much regard to its effect on those who experience them, it is up to them to adapt.

Just as the year has seasons, our lives have seasons as well. Those seasons can be broken up in many ways. Your life could be divided into infancy, youth, adulthood, and the golden years. Your seasons may involve times of struggle and times of success, times of despair and times of joy.

Another type of season is your relationships with those around you. A person in your life may be there or just a moment. Were they a cool breeze on a warm day that made you say “aaahhh” or were they a biting blast of cold air that made you say “uugghh?” Even in that tiny moment, they impacted your life, for better or worse. It really is up to you how you react to those breezes, cool or bitter.

Some people are in your life a little while, a few days, a month, or even a few years. That person might be a co-worker or a parent of a soccer player on your daughter’s team. These relationships can create strong bonds or maybe you might be glad they or you are moving on.

Then there are those that have relationships that last a lifetime. I wish I had more of those. I have people in my life that are so very precious to me. I hope that for some, the season they are with me is long lasting.

I have come to realize that there is nothing permanent in my life except God. God doesn’t change. God is a sturdy, dependable pillar. You can have relationships with persons that seem like pillars and I hope they are. Now that I have stated that there is nothing permanent, sometimes it sure feels like it has been or will be. I suffer from chronic pain and it certainly seems like a permanent situation, but I know that one day it will pass, even if I pass with it.

Let’s pay attention to the seasons in our lives. Pay attention to people who come and go. Realize that as much as they can impact your life, you impact theirs. Pay attention to those that love you and cherish them. I am simply amazed how quickly the first 50 years of my life flew by. It seems as though my children were born one day and two months later, they graduated from school. Any parent of adults will probably relate to that statement. Be thankful for all the blessings provided to you. I hope the season you are in is one of joy, but if it is one of despair, just remember, seasons change. Nothing is really permanent except for God and the eternal blessing that He offers. Peace be with you.

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Burnout, the Extinguished Spirit

I have been feeling exhausted and a bit overwhelmed at work. I enjoy my work. Yes, I really do. This economy has either given businesses the opportunity to trim their workforces or compelled them to do so. I understand the strive for efficiency but I also understand that quality takes time and commitment. I do not think I am yet approaching burnout but I can see it slowly taking hold within my work area. Employees who were very anxious to work overtime in the past now pass it up. They are tired and not even motivated by the extra money they might earn. That demonstrates to me an extinguished spirit and that is an important sign.

Burnout is generally thought to be work related, but it can occur in caregivers as well. How about parents, especially housewives? Many women not only work full time jobs but maintaining the household, ferrying children to various events, helping with homework and all the other little favors for friends and family. Whew, I got tired just writing that. I also know that this is not just restricted to women. I don’t think it is a matter of having too much to do but more of a feeling that no matter how much you do, it just doesn’t seem to matter. I took time today to let my employees know that in this time of “too much is not enough” that I truly appreciated their efforts and the work they do for me. One of the blessings that I have in my current relationship is that I feel appreciated. I hope that I make those around me feel appreciated as well. When one truly feels appreciated, they will feel valued and often changes their perspective.

Burnout is both a physical and mental response to unrelenting stress. Stress can be a good thing, even too much for a very short time can be a good thing. Stress compels us to move forward, to solve problems, and to learn lessons. But unrelenting demands or continual unrealistic expectations can lead to a feeling of “what’s the use” or “why do this, it won’t really matter.” Burnout is the extinguishing of a happy, active spirit.

You can’t always remove yourself from the stress that causes burnout. That stress may come from a job, a co-worker, a family member, or even yourself. Some people spend a lot of their time beating themselves up. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to avoid the physical toll of your job or situation.

The mental stress can be dealt with by examining your situation. Can I change the situation? Do I really want to? Is it permanent? Do I need to communicate my needs or frustrations? If I express my frustrations, do I also offer compromises or solutions? Is there something that I can do differently? Have I considered everything that is going right instead of just focusing on what is wrong? Am I prioritizing tasks? Am I doing things that aren’t really necessary so that I can use that time to relax, reflect or do more meaningful things? You might even ask for feedback. You may find that those around you, including your managers are frustrated too. How can you support and be supported by those around you? Don’t go it alone, we are social creatures and need the interaction. Yes, we need human relationships to build upon, to nurture and to grow. So, what is it that you appreciate? Count your blessings and remember, it is never too late nor too early to plan for eternity. God bless.

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A Walk in a Cemetery

Before I moved to Holley, NY, I walked my dog in open fields that lay near my home. I do not have such fields available to me in Holley but there is a forest behind a nearby cemetery. I actually find it quite interesting to walk amongst the headstones on the way to the forest floor. The cemetery has been around quite a long time with stones declaring dates into the early 1800s.

The information provided by the headstones varies widely, with some just holding a name and age. Other stones list family members and the departed’s relationship to others. Very few of the stones mention occupation except that there is a section dedicated to those who have fallen in battle. I am not surprised that the most important aspect of a persons life is their relationship to others.

I read some of the headstones and think: what were they like; what did they do; who’s life did they touch. The stones report ages from a few days to nearly a hundred years. Death is indiscriminate. Death is no respecter of lineage, wealth or position. Scanning the headstones, I am reminded that life is so precious. Every one of those stones represent one or more persons. Each of those persons lived a life, no matter how short or long, that touched others. Their life is contained in the dash between the dates. However, the stones that record the death of a child make me wonder why they had died. Was a simple childhood disease that is now cured by simple vaccinations responsible for their early demise? Was it an accident that ended their short, sweet life?

Regardless of the age stated on the stone, I view their lives on this earth as short ones. I myself have been alive for more than five decades, and they passed so quickly. In the older part of the graveyard, the residents have been lying there much longer than they were ever alive. Some have been in the cemetery so long that the carvings in the soapstone wore away.

I like reading the older names: Hattie, Cedric, Lucretia, Judson, and Louisa come to mind. I also remember seeing Prudence and my all time favorite thus far; Silence.

We are here but a short time. Our names and dates may be etched in stone for centuries to come, or maybe not. It is the life we live, the lives we touch, the people we love that is important, now and tomorrow.

Each day is precious. We cannot reclaim the past. Once it has gone by, we cannot go back. We need to make each day count. Live life well. Let those you love know that you love them. Impact the world by your interactions with each individual. Change the world one person at a time.

The cemetery is a quiet place where stories remain untold. I will walk my dog through the grounds to the forest behind. I am sure the residents do not mind. I hope that this finds you well. I hope that you are fit and healthy. I hope that you will make that dash mean something. Take care.

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If Jesus Came to Your House

I was conversing this evening about old songs that I remembered. I remembered songs called Running Bear, Home on the Range, and Teddy Bear. Teddy Bear was sung by Red Sovine. I commented that I had not heard a Red Sovine song in a very long time, so I looked up another one of my favorites of his that goes well with this blog. It is one that makes you think. I am not perfect and Jesus knows I am not, but He also knows I try my best. Here are the lyrics and attached is the song. Hope you enjoy it.

If Jesus Came to Your House
Sung by Red Sovine
Written by Lois Blanchard & Craig Starrett
Lyrics copyrighted by Warner/Chappell Music

If Jesus came to your house, I wonder what you’d do.
Yes, if Jesus came to your house, to spend a day or two,
If He came unexpected, just dropped in on you.
I know you’d give your nicest room to such an honored guest,
And all the food you’d serve to Him would be the very best.
And you would keep assuring Him you’re glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him coming, would you meet Him at the door
With arms outstretched in welcome to your heavenly visitor?
Or would you have to change your clothes before you let Him in?
Or hide some magazines and put the Bible where they’d been?
Would you turn off the radio and hope He hadn’t heard?
And wish you hadn’t uttered that last loud hasty word?
And would you hide your worldly music and put some hymn books out?
Could you let Jesus just walk right in, or would you rush about?
And I wonder if the Savior spend a day or two with you,
Would you go right on doing the things you always do?
Would you go right on saying the things you always say?
Would life for you continue as it does from day to day?
And would your family conversation keep up it’s usual pace?
And would you find it hard each meal to say a table grace?
Would you sing the songs you always sing, and read the books you read,
And let Him know the things on which your mind and spirit feed?
And would you take Jesus with you everywhere you’d planned to go?
Or maybe would you change your plans for just a day or so?
Would you be glad to have Him meet your very closest friends,
Or hope that they would stay away until His visit ends?
And would you be glad to have Him stay forever on and on?
Or would you sigh with great relief when He at last was gone?
Oh, it might be interesting to know the things that you would do,
If Jesus came in person to spend some time with you.

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