Serious Sunday

How to leave your mark. That was the subject.

One thought is to be aggressive. I am a person that would probably not be described as aggressive. I may look like a soft, little kitten. Until I am cornered. I will come out fighting. And mess with my kids and I become Scar from Lion King. I will eat your face for lunch. Yeah, that is aggression. But being aggressive also means going after important things. Going after those things with gusto. Protecting those who need help.

Another thought is to have convictions. No matter what disappointments, failures or injustices come your way, let your convictions always be true, always be consistent. That is how to leave your mark.

The last thought is do the work. Our pastor calls it “Hitting the same nail every day, no matter how long it takes.” If we want to leave our mark, it requires sacrifice of time and energy and sleep and perhaps even pride. It is getting up every day and clocking in. Doing the work day in and day out until a goal is achieved. That is what heroes do.

We all want to make a difference, to leave our mark. The overarching idea is that leaving our mark very often requires physical movement; standing up for justice, staying on track with idealism, working that second job. Leaving our mark sounds like a good idea and does involve a degree of mental strength and agility. But the real mark is left when we jump in with both feet, get our hands dirty, carry on with cuts and bruises and push ourselves to true physical limits.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

We all want to be warriors. We want dust and sweat and blood on our faces. That is how we leave our mark.

Be aggressive. Have convictions. Do the work. Those three things. They are uniquely individualized. For some, it may mean keeping someone safe. For others it may mean staying true to the course even when others are not. For some it may mean just going in to work with a smile and staying consistent. Those are things warriors do. Warriors who want to leave a mark.

Even soft, little kittens can do that.


Healthy Thursday

I remember reading that one of the steps in the AA successful program is: “Bring your body along and your mind will follow.” I love that and it has always stuck with me. What this means to me is that I have to take a step when I don’t want to. It means physically pushing beyond my own weak self to do a thing, and eventually my mind catches up and is in agreement. It is basically “fake it till you make it” mentality. And it works.

When I saw the above sign it resonated with me. We are so spurred by movies and books and TV commercials to be passionate, walk the lone road, follow our hearts. But, oh, how disastrous life would be if we simply followed our hearts and left our brains behind.

If I followed my heart only, I would go buy a pony and a baby goat and maybe a baby panda. I would gorge on Oreos, dipped in peanut butter. I would always order fries with extra salt, covered with chili and cheese instead of a side salad. I would shop at Prada and Saks and Chloe. I would move to Positano and eat too much pasta and bread and perhaps drink too much wine. I possibly would also not be married.

I am all about passion and not living a life of desperation (earlier post). Every day I try to be thankful for that day and realize it is a gift to treasure and live it fully. However, my brain is my best friend. My brain is my protection. I could have a restless heart without it.

The truth is, I do not WANT to do any of the things listed above. In a moment, my heart may say ‘yes’. But then my brain kicks in and tells me those things will only lead to trouble. Those things will only lead to heart break, not heart fulfillment. Our brains desire to keep us in a happy place.

The thought on this Healthy Thursday is to remember to bring your brain along. Keeping our brains engaged with our hearts is a sure fire way to increase our overall health. If you will allow it, your brain will act as a sentinel; standing by, always on alert, full of wisdom and love, guarding your passionate heart.


Serious Sunday

Before I spoke a word
You were singing over me
Before I took a breath
You breathed your life in me

Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still you give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
No lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

I love, love, love the visuals in this song. First, what priceless preciousness to think of God singing over you and breathing life into you. It’s goose-bumping.

My next dearest part of this song is the word ‘reckless’. Webster defines reckless as having or showing no regard for danger or consequences. Some synonyms are: fast and loose, over adventuresome, ill-advised, any which way, temerarious – a great word we don’t often use in our everyday talk, but we should! When you look up the word temerarious, the meaning is audacious, overbold, blindly, recklessly – YES!

I love the visual of God coming after me with a reckless kind love. It chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine. This picture is a lamb that has wandered from the fold. The shepherd leaves the herd to find that one, searching all night, fighting wolves if necessary. This leads right into my very favorite part of the song.

There’s no shadow You won’t light up. God wants to light up those shadowy dark corners of our lives, those places that are scary and uncomfortable.

Mountain You won’t climb up. Sometimes it feels that we are so far from God’s reach that He can’t get to us. Not true! Picture God as the mightiest of sherpas scaling Mt. Everest in the fiercest of storms coming after you.

There’s no wall You won’t kick down. This may be my favorite (I promise, this time.) I am crazy in love with the visual of God going all Chuck Norris roundhouse on our walls and kicking the crap out of them! There is no wall He won’t kick down. Ahhh!

No lie You won’t tear down. This line may not have quite the physical punch of the others, but boy, is it powerful. So many, dare I say most, of our issues are from lies that we believe. The evil one of this world is the slinkiest liar, the biggest deceiver, the sneakiest conniver, the ugliest teller of pretty lies. He whispers those things into our ears when we are our weakest, most vulnerable, bleeding selves. But…God will tear down those lies and shred them like confetti.

Coming after me. How great is that?! The visual I garner here is Liam Neeson in the original TAKEN movie. He is going after his girl no matter what. Come hell or high water, he is getting her back. Think Liam Neeson on steroids ~ that is God coming after you.

We all want to be loved this way. We are created to be pursued, to be wooed. That is why we are so drawn to love. We want to be wanted. Occasionally, it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the concept that God does that perfectly, better than anyone or anything or any spirit, belief, hope or dream.

Reckless love, baby.