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Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging

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David Jeremiah

Breaking/Braking One Day at a Time

 

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Spring in a Vase, May 2015, colored pencils

Time Magazine has picked the 100 most influential people of 2018. I haven’t yet checked the list but I suspect some of the most influential people in my life this year to date or in my lifetime did not make the list. How about the influential people in your life? When you stop to think about the folks who have strengthened you, encouraged you, slapped you up the side of the head [metaphorically speaking] when you needed it, WHO makes the list? Who are the people you want to be more like?

I am contemplating that list today as I steer clear of any Facebook Stalking.

You can see my break with Facebook brings with it WITHDRAWAL, because suddenly I am without my daily fix of Angela, Carolyn, Betty, Jeanne, Claudia, Sandi, Pat, Patti, Tom, Lynda [Linda], Brenda, Bill, Terry, Kay AND oh, so many of you. Words with Friends even requires me to log in through Facebook, which I did with one eye closed so I could keep my promise not to peek. I realized MY FACEBOOK Friends are among my most influential friends, so how am I coping.

To steal from the 12 Step Plan: One day at a time. . .the temptation is real every time I open my Ipad.

What are the PERKS? Are there PERKS?

  •  So I now have more time for the Opening of the Day with God—I am working on a series of devotionals based on the scripture of the day in Bible.com called Abide with Me, creating images to frame the scripture and then adding bits of verse from my heart dealing with the presence of God in me working to help me live out His word and to become more like Christ. I am reading David Jeremiah’s book, A LIFE BEYOND AMAZING
  •  I am reading more. Now I am a reader but I am ravenous at the moment. I finished THE GIRLS OF THE ATOMIC CITY by Denise Kiernan. Periodically, as I read it I would burst into Terry’s office to read him passages or share something I had learned. I passed it on to him and he is reading it now. All I can say is if you like history and human stories THIS IS A FASCINATING BOOK. I am also on the lighter side reading Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series …I am reading at present R IS FOR RICOCHET..and am totally enamored with Kelsey Millhone, because flawed person that I am, I love flawed but decent protagonists.
  •  I am getting my nails done with my granddaughter Abigail today. I will have to let you know how that goes later.
  •  And if I get my self up from here I am going to fix lunch for Tom, Terry, Abigail and myself.
  •  I have time to work on my influential people list—More about that later.

 

From another time of breaking/braking in my life [seemed to fit]

Sometimes things need to break to set the captive free
Sometimes I hit the brakes before I hit a tree
Sometimes giant waves break on rocks or sandy shore
The tides of life breaking so the captive can see more
In breaking there comes insight, not seen when tight and closed
In breaking comes the mending, a healing in repose

Ckisler, 2015

 

The Power of a Grateful Heart–The Wonder Factor

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“Why did you stop at a green light?” “Why didn’t you close the personnel door to the garage completely?” “Did you intend to hit that chuck hole straight on?” “You know feeding that dog keeps him hanging around, don’t you?” These are questions from my husband recently to which I have answered, ” To increase your sense of wonder.” as in, “I wonder why she does or doesn’t do things that are completely obvious to me.” Don’t get the wrong idea here. His questions really are questions of wonder or at least puzzlement, not criticism. It works both ways, I wonder why on earth he chooses to put his dirty clothes On the hamper rather than in it? Or, Why do you cover every flat surface with stuff?

After 49 years of marriage we still realize how different we are and yet we both delight in those differences…not that we always have. Exasperating at times, but still the stuff of life that keeps relationships stable, but not dull….as long as you don’t allow yourselves to see those quirks or lapses or plain stupidity (his or mine) to drive a wedge instead of instilling a sense of WONDER! Because sometimes I have discovered that without him forcing me to meet new people or get out of the car and really look at the view, there are a lot of WONDER-Filled things I would have missed.

Wonder in a relationship isn’t always about the quirks that raise your eyebrow or bring on deep sighs and eye rolling…wonder in a relationship is about watching and listening to him as he preaches and knowing God called him to speak his word and a sense of pride that he answered that call even though it has at times brought both of us great pain. Wonder is more than simply amazement, it transcends the human ability to reason. Wonder is about when he wraps his arms around me and says, “I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate you.” and the awe that fills me that God would bless me, little me, with this man. Wonder is realizing he is watching me from across a room, with an expression filled with joy and ok, my feminist readers, don’t take this wrong, but with a look that says, “she is mine! and I am glad she is.” After all these years, he hasn’t figured me out but keeps trying. Wonder is meeting his eyes and sharing a laugh about something no one else in the world would even get.

Wonder is a gift of God and like so many gifts of God, appreciated most before the world does a number on us, before the losses hit home, before bills pile up, and before cynicism rises in us dulling our wonder vision. That is why it is so important to seek wonder even vicariously like on a walk with a small child, who thinks dandelions are beautiful flowers rather that weeds.

Chassity and Owen, Wonderment
Chassity and Owen, Wonderment

All of us have memories of moments of wonder, the birth of my first child, a ground covered with white on Christmas Day, the Grand Canyon, ….Wonder that arouses in even the most calloused among us to the fact that there is something bigger than we are. Wonder is a gift from God that exists as a need within us so that we can worship.

The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

For as important as wonder is to human relationships, it is exponentially more important to our relationship with God. Without wonder we simply go through the motions of worship, the word fails to move us, witnessing is merely rote recitation of the Roman road or the handiest trac, and the work of God is performed without joy. That is why God gifts us with wonder. That is why we need to unwrap that gift on a daily basis.

Without it our Christian life, our life with Christ can become an exasperating spiral downward filled with duty and drudgery. Without wonder, the sunset becomes simply an indicator that the earth is rotating, the rainbow simply a refraction of light, life loses all color morphing into shades of gray. Worship becomes merely the songs and prayer before the preacher starts preaching and Holy Communion merely wafer and wine or grape juice. Without Wonder there is no power in Worship.

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So I am grateful for Wonder and pray that everyday I can open my Bible, open my heart, open my eyes, my ears, my mouth and be filled with AWE! Make me like a child when I walk my walk each day, so even the weeds look beautiful…at least until I find a way to kill them. Just kidding, NOT. But really wouldn’t it be marvelous to wake up for just one day without cynicism, without dread, without a critical thought…really wake up THANKFUL and Wonder filled. I am working on it and know there is Power in a Grateful Heart and that a part of that is being grateful for Wonder and seeking it.

I heard an exercise on a program, Turning Point by Dr. David Jeremiah that Terry had me listen to this morning and I will share it with you, Read out loud and listen to your voice as you read the following two passages from Scripture:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:1-10, 26-28 NASB)

And then Read:

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1-9 NIV)

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