Saturday, April 17, 2010


"What does it mean when God takes the box we've created for control, flattens it, and makes a dance floor, for us to celebrate the risk and gift of life?  And what does it mean, when the passion of our dance spills over to those around us?"
~Terry Hershey~

The past few days I have been trying to get out of the flattened box, find my dance floor, and celebrate life again.  The good news is I feel somewhat vindicated for my plethora of feelings, because if my good, and  hopefully one of my best friends, author, writer, mentor, inspirational speaker Terry Hershey gets it...then I am not alone.

Most of the people I know are trying to cram more and more into each day.  Most of us are engaged on the phone, on the Blackberry, on the IPhone, and/or on the laptop while carrying on a personal conversation, or heaven forbid, lunch or dinner with a friend.  As this realization hit home, so did the fact that the truth is - we can't get it all done.  And perhaps God never meant completing a TO DO LIST to be the purpose of our lives.

I have a white enamel pot in my kitchen that has written on it - SIMPLIFY!  Okay in theory that is great.  But how do we do that? There are a bunch of books written about how to do it.  But reading another book on simplifying...well I don't have time.  I am simply too busy! 

It doesn't take much to realize that simplifying is about making choices - choices as to what is important and then staying with those choices no matter what.  It isn't necessary to keep adding to the list.

Perhaps as Rick Warren says, we need a NOT TO DO LIST.   I totally buy into the concept that no one is forcing me to keep my life so complicated and that basically I am the only one who has the power to simplify it.

The commode in my upstairs bathroom is leaking, causing the ceiling in the downstairs living room to open up.  Okay Monday that will be addressed. The dogs need to be bathed and groomed, the garage needs cleaning, clothes need washing, my heart needs mending, flowers need to be planted, friends need to be nurtured, and the list goes on. But the outstanding crisis of the weekend so far has been a guest at my bed and breakfast texting me with a 'red alert'.  His wife couldn't find the hair dryer and she was starting to panic.

As I received this text, I was knee deep in eggs, making South Texas Migas for a hundred plus wounded soldiers at the Warrior Family Support Center, many with amputations from IED blasts in Iraq/Afghanistan.  Many with acute PTSD and many just hungry for homemade food and a hug.  One soldier's little two year old baby girl came running into the kitchen and grabbed my leg and thanked me for breakfast.  Another soldier came up and looked me in the eye and told me how much it means to him that we spend our free time on Saturday morning cooking breakfast for him and his buddies. Perhaps he forgot he was in Afghanistan protecting America. 

Okay - "red alert" on a hair dryer or feeding wounded soldiers!!! 

Going back to Rick Warren, "Ultimately, it will be the donation of your life that will count far more than the duration.  It's not how long you live, or even how much you cram into how long you live.  It's really about how you live."  He tells us there are three essential steps toward simplifying our lives. 

"#1 Figure out your purpose then let your purpose guide the goals of your life.

#2  Organize your activities based on your purpose.

#3 Harmonize your schedule with your purpose; that is, bring your activities into agreement with your goals."

So here's the deal. Everytime I do something, I am giving part of my life away.  So why do I spend my time doing useless things that have no meaning or are not based upon my purpose?  So that is my question for today.

Why do any of us bury ourselves in stress and anxiety over things of our own making?  I have made some doozies of mistakes in the past week or so.  Ones I am not proud of. There was a price tag on my decisions - choices.  Hefty significant price tags.  Lessons were learned no matter how painful.  And life goes on. 

Getting back on track perhaps not so easy.  But I guarantee you - I will find the dance floor again, just as the Tree Ducks have found their Spring nesting place in the hollow of an old tree next door!

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."

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