Saturday, May 16, 2015

Concentrating on "one day at a time" or "just for today" was helpful on Thursday and Friday. 

But as I lay in bed Saturday morning -- my mind racing through the hours ahead, trying to turn the possibilities over to God, but not really letting go -- I wondered if that really was enough. 

After more praise and praying, intercession for others and asking for willingness, wisdom and strength to know and do God's will, I turned to my daily Jesus Calling devotional. 

He called me to focus on Him "right now," in this moment:  "The most important thing to determine is what to do right now. ... Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now. I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine. Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace."

And so I wrote a blog post, which wasn't even on my list of things. This could be interesting. 

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

“For I am the  Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13

From Jesus calling, May 16:

"I am your Lord! Seek Me as Friend and Lover of your soul, but remember that I am also King of kings—sovereign over all. You can make some plans as you gaze into the day that stretches out before you. But you need to hold those plans tentatively ...  Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side. ...  This will unclutter your mind, allowing Me to occupy more and more of your consciousness.

"Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now. I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine. Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace."

Thursday, May 14, 2015


One day at a time. 
That's all. 
That's enough. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

May or not

May has gotten off to a busy start, including many things I would like to write about. But where is the time?

So I am just checking in, meeting that self-imposed deadline and hoping to provide myself a bit of encouragement to write this weekend about traveling to Arkansas for my niece's wedding and just all the blessings involved with that. 

Maybe I will also write about the weather. 

Dare I write about how frustrated I am that so many of my good intentions for a more caring, serving, compassionate and outward-focused life remain nothing more than dreams? 

I may or not. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A high standard

During the month of April, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing and the Oklahoma Standard of compassionate response that ensued, the OKC National Memorial & Museum asked that every individual, company, organization and school commit one act of service, one of honor and one of kindness. They also asked that people capture and post stories, photos and videos from their own life – or those they see in the community – that demonstrate acts of service, honor and kindness by using the hashtag #OKStandard on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This was on my mind all month, and during my visit to the memorial and museum on April 12, I bought a couple of blue rubber bands with the words service, honor and kindness and OKStandard, one of which I wore every day after that. 

My goal was to do each of those things and write about them. But here it is the last day of the month, and I'm not aware of any specific things I did that qualified. 

I can think of more things I didn't do than that I did. I feel like I really have to stretch to come up with service, especially.

The act of honor was to sing On Eagles Wings during the remembrance service our church had on April 20. Visiting the memorial and remembering probably also counts. 

But nothing is standing out at this moment as above and beyond acts of kindness or service. This disappoints me. 

I hope it's a case where I'm just not remembering. But the thing is, April 30 is an arbitrary end to the Oklahoma Standard campaign. As usual,  I can and do plan to keep trying. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

If I had a bucket list ....

Several things this past week and weekend reminded me of some suggestions I offered to a co-worker recently who was needing suggestions for a bucket list. 

I'm not good at those kinds of lists, but I thought about it, and these are two of the things I came up with:

-- headline a concert.
-- endow a scholarship. 

Enjoying three concerts (John the Franklin, Full Circle, and the Larry Pierce Jazz tribute concert) and a few songs from a fourth (Al Goode Orchestra) made me wonder if I will ever follow through with my dream of really singing. What would it take? How important is it to me?

Two things came to mind. 

First, it won't happen unless I make it a priority and believe it is possible.

 Second, it's possible the best I will do is become a more active supporter of musicians. I know the reasons I have held back. But my enjoyment of listening to this wide variety of talented artists made it clear something is missing from my life when I don't interact more with musicians. 

As for the scholarship, I know that it is possible, but it also would take a commitment I'm not sure I have. But my pride for relatives who have done this inspires me not to give up the dream. 

Again, it's possible my reality will be to provide support to the major contributions of others. Time and again, I see my best place is in a smaller scale and often behind the scene. And I generally think  I'm ok with that. 

But this week's experiences leave the door open to greater possibilities. As usual, I am praying to know and do God's will. And I'm grateful for the blessings He lets me be a part of along the way. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

20 years later -- and always.

On the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, people's stories about where they were, how they responded and what it has meant continue to inspire and encourage. Some shared publicly on a deeper, more honest level than they have in the past. Others, perhaps, still cannot find their own words and are grateful to be able to share the heartfelt expressions of others. 

A 20th anniversary is significant, as the passage of time brings generational changes in families and societies. Some of the key players from the time of the event won't be around forever, adding to the poignance of their participation today.  The passage of 20 years is seen in the gray hair of many of those who spoke -- and also in listening to young adults who were babies and children when they survived, some battling through horrific injuries, others suffering the loss of a parent. 

But the call to remember continues every day. The call to choose goodness continues daily. 

If you or I didn't find our own words on this 20th anniversary, maybe We can tomorrow. Or next year. And certainly we can be grateful for and supportive of those who did so eloquently capture another important moment in the process of healing and moving forward. 

And we can be grateful to God for His unfailing love, mercy and grace. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

For God so loved ...

This has not been an easy week. I wrote that Thursday, but the evidence had stacked up Wednesday. 

I entered the week with a goal of working faster and more efficiently. I've held on to my way -- which involves taking extra time,  if needed,  to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, so to speak -- as long as I can. It's past time to join the just-get-it-done crowd. 

My hand was forced by circumstances that have my area's small staff down one person for at least two weeks. Some computer problems have slowed things down even more, making it hard to tell whether I've made any progress toward faster and more efficient. But I think I have. Friday will be the biggest test. So far, breaks for prayer and deep breathing have kept me going. I am grateful. 

The work issues have made it easy to push aside thoughts about the other challenges I knew this week would hold. Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. Reminders are everywhere. After my visit to the Oklahoma City National   Memorial & Museum last week, I had hoped to compose some reflections about what it means to me. Instead, I've concluded that although it was finally time this year for me to go inside the museum with its vivid reminders of that fateful day and its aftermath,  it's still not time for me to write about it. And that's ok. 

The other memory tied to this middle week of April each year is the death at 5 months of my Daddy's only grandson to bear the family surname. In so many ways, Ryan Michael's April 17 death makes the bombing memorial mantra of "never forget" so much more personal.

 What can I do to honor that life and those lives? I feel inadequate. 

And yet, again, the Scripture that came to me today as I was trying to stay thankful to God even amid challenges was this: For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I'm praying to stay grateful and faithful and gracious and focused on God and open to know His will for me.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)