Posts Tagged ‘life’

spring winds

March 5, 2012

March has arrived in all its blustery glory. The saying is that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Unfortunately, here in Nebraska, this lion is slow and grouchy and usually he crouches and leaps his way into April as well. Perhaps he eats the lamb, or frightens it into hiding, (although lambs aren’t smart enough to hide . . .) but I digress.

Even though March is still cold and the wind is annoyingly persistent, just the calendar turning from February to March brings me hope. Our wind chimes are being beaten to death, our stacked and covered yard furniture gets pushed along the porch, covers billowing loudly and our poor trees are being given a brutal lashing! The weather is nastier than all of December through February combined, minus the snow, but that could still come!  Even then, I’m hopeful because each day brings me one step closer to the warmth and flowering beauty of True Spring (which for me is warm 72-75 degree days, sunny, barely breezy and perfectly pleasant, which amounts to about 10 days total in a year, only making me savor them more!)

It seems my life has imitated the weather this year. My heart has taken a beating – losing my trainer, and then my brother; almost losing my other brother and all this after having lost my father a year ago. Life is hard; real life isn’t for wimps. It’s brutal sometimes and the winds feel as though they will be my undoing, but here I am, clinging to life. The sap inside begins to loosen, soften and flow and I find that warmth is returning to my spirit and life to my bones!

Springtime reminds me there is always hope. Life after death, songs after silence, laughter after tears. Life as it was may never be again, but life is still good despite it’s difficulty.

The advent of Spring always retrains my focus. It reminds me to look for the hopeful and celebrate the good. I will always remember the sorrow, but I choose to leave it behind and find new joy. As the crocuses sprout up and the forsythia bloom, my heart begins to delight in all things new and fresh and lovely as I anticipate the days of True Spring which will inevitably come!

happy heart feasting

June 18, 2011

I was flipping through my journal and this bit caught my eye: “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15

When our children were small, my husband and I would remind them to choose a happy heart. It was so easy for them to become frustrated and grumpy if something didn’t go their way.

The first several times I read that verse, I focused on the word ‘despondent’ and thought about what brought a person to the place of despondency. But over time, as I’ve pondered this, I’ve realized that any person has the capacity to become despondent or happy and hopeful. It is a matter of focus and choice. Not in the “let’s live in la-la land denial” sort of way, but in a very real acknowledging reality and choosing anyway sort of way.

I used to work with a woman who was a constant stream of complaints and grumbles. She whined and grumbled and complained so often that in my mind she became a grumble. No matter how I tried to point out positive things or show her the silver lining, she persisted to cling to her negative victim mindset.

These days I see this verse with new eyes. It’s as though it says: “For the person who chooses to be a victim and see life as always being against them, every day brings them trouble; but for the person who sees life as a gift from God full of surprises and challenges and new opportunities, life is a continual feast.”

The longer I live, I realize that life is hard! It is brimming with challenges and sorrows and joys and pain and loss and laughter alike. It is not life that makes us despondent. It is our mindset or perspective that influences our response to our situation and experiences.

What makes a happy heart? My perspective. My decision.

I was working out with a new trainer the other day and she asked me what I do and one thing led to another and I explained that I felt like I’d spent the better part of the last dozen years fighting or recovering from cancer.

Toward the end of our conversation she mentioned that I had a positive outlook on life which really blessed me. Her words were a gift!

With the experiences I’ve had these last 12 years, I could have easily become a grumble, but chose a happy heart. It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do. Consequently, I see each new day is a gracious gift from God, making every day a continual feast of beauty and joy in the midst of the speed bumps and pot holes of life!

There’s no need to be despondent and hopeless. I mean, if you want to be you can, but why would anyone want to be despondent when they can have a happy heart and a continual feast of delighting in the goodness of God?!

life metaphor

November 13, 2010

Yesterday I posted about the red maple in my yard. I mentioned how I can relate to it as a cancer survivor. As I reread my entry, I realized just how similar to my life its story is! Two different storms, losing two limbs. Pardon the TMI, but having cancer twice, two different types, and finally enduring a radical bilateral mastectomy was traumatic. And, like my persevering red maple dropping its leaves, losing my hair twice caused me to feel as though all my splendor had vanished for good. Fortunately, leaves and hair both grow back!

Interestingly, a few days ago, I wrote a poem about the changing trees. It wasn’t until I’d finished it that I thought, “This is a metaphor for my life.” I thank God that the storms have made me stronger. My spiritual and emotional roots have forced their way deeper, and daily I’m experiencing gratitude and  joy like I never did before!

November

raw chill

absent thrill

rising sun drags in the dawn

illuminating battered, tattered leaves

survivors of brutal whipping winds

beautifully radiant in a painfully apologetic way

~

resigned

trees will soon be bare

cold and dark

stark

splendor blown away

stately stature’s glory gone

~

spring will come, will reappear

it always does, I needn’t fear

splendor restored

warms the chill and eases pains

a new day comes, fresh and full of hope

summer joy

June 28, 2010

The flowers in our garden-yard are displaying their glorious colors – a riotous jumble that brings my heart joy. The house wren sings his delightful melody, causing my heart to praise the One who made him! The breeze cools my skin and gratitude wells up from deep within.

I just returned from a bike ride around Zorinsky Lake. What a gorgeous day it is!  I’m so thankful to God for eyes to see the beauty of a shimmering lake; for ears to hear the song of the wrens and a nose to breathe in the captivating aroma of fields awash with purple-pink clover! I’m grateful for a body that can once again pedal and race my way up and down hills as I circumnavigate the lake. It’s fabulous to be alive!

I know it’s been 5 years since my last head-on collision with cancer, but I still marvel at the gift of life every day! Each endowment of 24 hours is time to be treasured. Even as I carry laundry up and down the stairs, or walk to the mailbox without needing an arm to lean on; as I carry in bags of groceries and do the myriad mundane tasks of life, I thank God that I am able to do all these things! I thank him that I’m alive to do them!

I’ve heard it said that life is what you make it. I’ve also heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” I really dislike that saying. It’s annoying.  But I think the intended meaning is that no matter what your life circumstances happen to be, there is joy to be found someplace. There is some thing or place or person or little detail that can bring delight to one’s day, regardless of the circumstances. There is joy to be found in each and every day, every season of your life!

time is short 2

February 23, 2010

Today I was listening to a man named Robert Morris speak. Something he said grabbed my attention. He said that most people think of themselves as humans who might have a brief spiritual experience, but as Christians, we are really spiritual beings who have a brief human experience! Wow! That’s a great perspective adjuster.

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”  (Psalm 39:4-7)

‘We are merely moving shadows….’ This phrase makes me think of a time-lapse movie where the camera is set in one spot and captures the day through the sun’s movement from it’s rising to its setting. The shadows shift and the day is done. That is our life – here on earth. But when we are living eternally in heaven where there is no night, there will be no shifting of shadows because God is light and in him there is no darkness at all!

Lord, please remind me, remind us, that our life is a breath. A brief shifting shadow. Please help us to use our breath wisely and spend it to bring life and joy to others, not selfishly holding it for our self. Thank you for this one and only human life we have. As difficult as life can be, I’m so thankful that I can hope in You.

time is short

February 21, 2010

This is something I wrote in June of 2006. I read it now and then to remind myself of what’s really important. I hope it speaks to you to.

Because My Time Here Is Short

Because my time here is short I want to love deeply, forgive fully, laugh easily and have no regrets.

Because my time here is short I don’t want to waste energy on pettiness.

Because my time here is short I want to really see my husband and children when I look at them.  I want them to know I see them as I look deeply into their eyes.

Because my time here is short I want to drink deeply from the cup of life and experience the richness each day holds.

Because my time here is short I don’t want to do things out of obligation – I’d just rather not do them.  Life is too precious.  Once spent, there are not returns or refunds allowed.  Why waste it on people’s expectations that aren’t important to me?

Because my time here is short I want to inhale the beauty around me – the aroma of rich coffee, fragrant flowers and the essence of Les as I hug and kiss his neck.

Because my time here is short I want to smile more and frown less.

Because my time here is short I want to savor fine wine with finer friends and enjoy conversations that are rich and satisfying.

Because my time here is short I want to hug my children lots.

Because my time here is short I want to anticipate each sunrise and revel each evening as the sun slips silently out of sight.

Because my time here is short I don’t want to take anything for granted – I want to fully notice and completely enjoy all the little pleasures of this life.

K. Beauchamp 6/06

Once I Wanted to Be – But Now I Am

January 7, 2010

I wrote this 3 1/2 years ago and thought I’d share it with you.

Once I wanted to be a missionary in a far away place telling people about Jesus and how very much He loved them.

Once I wanted to be just like my Aunt Winnie – beautiful, graceful, intelligent, funny, a good cook and a homemaker.

Once I wanted to be the owner of a Hallmark shop, stocking the shelves, working the cash register and being around pretty cards and stationery all day.

Once I wanted to be an interior designer, arranging furniture, filling rooms with beautiful things and making homes luxurious.

Once I wanted to be a professional musician, playing my oboe, being part of something big and have the ability to move people by the beauty and power of a symphony.

Once I wanted to be like Henry David Thoreau and live a simple, solitary life, quiet and thoughtful and surrounded by natural beauty.

But now I am the wife of a senior pastor of a large church in Omaha, Nebraska, telling people about Jesus and how very much He loves them!

But now I am the mother of two amazing teenagers – intelligent, beautiful, artistic, funny and loving.

But now I’m a cancer survivor times two, making it through each day just a bit stronger than the day before.

But now I am the author of two published children’s books hoping to write many more.

But now I have sold my oboe and have given away my piano and I listen to music on my ipod that is beautiful and powerful and moves me deeply.

But now I live a life that longs for simplicity still, and I fight to carve out time for stillness and quiet and I sit in my backyard surrounded with beautiful landscaping and drink deeply of God’s creation – in my own Walden minus the pond!

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

K. Beauchamp 6/06