Fat snow flakes dance in the air and exhausted land on the frosted earth. The scenery here it's breathtaking, very much like a winter wonderland. It's our first time in Val d'Isère and I am already in love with the place. Did I just say "I am in love with a place?" We use the word 'love' loosely these days, but tomorrow it's St Valentine (the day we people celebrate love!) and I have not bought a gift for Nath yet.
The first Valentine gift I ever got was when we were engaged. Nath is the first and only who has given me Valentine gifts. Before that I use to hide on the Valentine's day. The sight of red roses and small boxes tightly wrapped up use to make me feel the loneliness girl around. The day of Love was the more Unloving day indeed.
When you think of the story how St Valentine came to be you soon understand that love is sacrificial before it's romantic and that love starts as a decision before is expressed in feelings. Yes, receiving roses, chocolate and jewellery is beautiful but things given on that day only will not maintain love. So, a couple of years back I decided that before running to find a gift for Nath I must walk slowly deep down inside my heart and look for this one thing to give.
'Am I prepared this year to not give up on us?' I ask this question on Valentine season because I know the answer can be the best gift I can offer to Nath. I know that every year our love will have a chance to grow and as result get tested, I just want my heart to be prepare for that. Before running to find the right gift I have to slow down and find my will to love deeper. I want Nath to see the promise 'I won't give up on us' before he sees the material gift. I know that any gift wrapped up with that kind of promise will make a beautiful Valentine day. So, that is what I have been doing this early morning on February the 13th, preparing my heart again. I want intentionally to think and be willing of ways how our love can grow deeper and better than has ever been.
Tomorrow morning though when all family is a sleep and dreaming I will sneak to the near by boulangerie and see what I can find to lavish Nath's stomach with. The saying 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach' has proved many times to be true and helpful too .
Happy Valentine friends, the day to promise to not give up on Love, never!
One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me and told me to only give it to my mother.”
His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him.
Please teach him yourself.
After many, many years, after Edison’s mother died and he was now one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day he was looking through old family things. Suddenly he saw a folded paper in the corner of a drawer in a desk. He took it and opened it up. On the paper was written: Your son is addled [mentally ill]. We won’t let him come to school any more.
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
Like Edison, but with fewer tears I cried too as I read this story which has circulates largely on the web lately. But most of all I thought deep and hard about what it takes to be called a hero.
A real hero of our days is the one that knows and sees clearly the performance, but is brave enough to choose to speak to the potential instead. It takes no effort at all to speak what we see in our children, husband, friend or colleague. Words like "you are weak, you don't have a backbone, you are not like Sussie or John, you never going to learn that, you are a loser.......etc escape our mouths fluently, but can we see and voice the unseen?
Performance is easily seen, potential on the other hand stays hidden within us waiting for the right eyes and lips to unlock it.
Yes, words are there to be spoken, but the choice of words we decide to speak is definitely on us. I wonder how our daily lives and conversations will look if we spoke and encouraged people's potential rather than their practice? That's what vision is right? Championing, pointing out in people who they can become?
I know for sure that speaking to the potential in people rather than the behavior would increase the "Thomas Edison's" in our world. We will have more genius and fulfilled spouses, children, friends and colleagues. I know for definite also that the world would be a place less insecure to live in and much more generous in making room for each other's gifting.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” Goethe
I pray because I feel so small and unable inside this vast world that I need to know I am seen, I am noticed, I am not alone.
I pray because I can't follow my children to school, protect them and care for them always.
I pray because more often than not I have this jealousy feeling and fear that my husband might fall for someone else, the better looking type, the more established kind of women.
I pray because there is a storm inside of my heart that will not calm down unless I utter the name - Jesus.
I pray because empty words alone will not mend relationships, broken hearts and damaged souls.
I cry out the word 'help' hundreds of times a day because I need it big doses of it, in big matters and little ones alike.
"Help" is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn't matter how you pray--with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, "Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.”
― Anne Lamott, Further Thoughts on Faith
I pray because I miss family and friends living afar, I know that I can't be there in person, but prayer can and give me peace.
I pray because the world is a mess and a beautiful place and I don't want to ignore ether of them.
I pray because prayer like a lit arrow pierces ahead into the dark and my unknown directing me where to go.
I pray because million of you pray too and that is miraculous. Like a multicoloured chorus our voices sing along a heartfelt song, a symphony which converses with our maker. I'm convinced, I have seen and witnessed that prayer works.
Prayer is that one conversation I can't do without, it's the oxygen that maintains my earthy lungs, so I will pray till I don't need it any longer. I will continue to breathe.
Dear husband. When you go to a party with your wife please stop time after time your engaging conversations and go find her. Give her a smile, a kiss on the neck or even a hip rub. She needs to know right there inside that big room that you eyes are still on her. Assure her that you are very proud of her and so blessed to have her at your side.
Dear wife, yes it's good to have friends over for a meal. The evening has been lovely but longer than you anticipated and now you are tired. You are about to snap at your husband or put him down in front of all for not thinking of helping you. Please don't. Go and give him a waist hug and a pair of loving eyes. I can promise you that he will feel immediately like a hero. He will grab that sword, cutlery I mean and shine it to perfection.
Dear boyfriend, be more affectionate (hold her hand, hug and smile often) to your girlfriend in public than private. She needs you to let her know and declare it to the world that the quest is over. You have found the One.
Dear girlfriend, yes your buddies are still very important to you. Nonetheless, your boyfriend will soon become your best friend, so invest more into that relationship please. I assure you that that time invested will give great dividends to your couple life later.
Dear mamma. Yes, all that shouting shame, criticism and rushing around weighs heavy on your shoulders. Don't ever give up please, don't give up on cupping their faces (make them bend if they have passed your height) and tell them. "You're a good kid, I am so proud of you and I love you so much!" I promise you that they will forgive you for the shouting and that loving eyes talk will become their strongest inner voice for life.
Dear daddy. As you open the door to enter the house your energy tank feels scarce. All you want doing is grabbing your plate of food and reclining watching tv. Dig deeper please. That word 'love' indeed is spelled 'time' bigger and louder at home. The big and little eyes are waiting for a kiss, a smile, some kind of understanding.
Dear friend, yes it's tough work to split open your heart's pain and joy to someone who might abuse and use you. Keeping a friendship strong requires us to be bravely open, to be vulnerable. So be brave, be wise and you start first. Trust me friendships are worth the price. Our deepest pain comes from relationships, and God uses relationships to mend our hearts. Don't miss out on that! Go brave friend
I went to the dentist today. Don't worry I will not share any horrifying story here because there isn't any, but I learned something as I sat down on that white chair that is worth sharing. As the bright light beamed through my orange protector glasses I wonder how is it for a dentist to face every day working with a persistent drilling noise? I have sat there for a hour only and the noise of the drill was driving me crazy.
So, with my mouth numb and wide opened I asked him. How do you do well your job working in the company of this annoying, loud, uncomfortable (I was generous with the choice of my adjectives) noise?
His answer surprised me. "I don't hear it!" He calmly said. 'How come?' I asked, now very short of adjectives.
"I am so focused on doing a good job and having a satisfied client that the noise of the drill, the bright lights, the music on the radio ......all of them, I don't hear!"
What? You don't hear the screeching noise of the drill? His answer was the same again. Simply-No
So, focus is the secret of quietening all those annoying other noises that distract us - I thought.
If I am well focused on eaten healthy for example my eyes will be on the good result that that process will bring and not on the cake and cheese around me? If my focus is arrowlike on having good relationships I will see for ways how to improve and invest on those relationships rather than hearing all the negative, complains and judgement noises around me. If I want to be successful at a certain filed my focus needs to be there, totally, wholeheartedly, almost forcefully because all the around noises are going to be present, there annoyingly looking for my attention, districting my focus, pulling me away from the most important things.
Where we focus on there we are heading to!
If I had to focus on just one thing for the whole 2016 it will be relationships.
I just want to be more brave with them. I want to nurture those relationships that let my soul breathe and disentangle myself from those relationships that enslave, suffocate and languish me.
Our lives are as strong as our good relationships are!
We need healthy relationships not only to enjoy life, but to be able to face life's storms well . When Nath was almost forceful for us to have a 'date' each week I wondered if that was even possible. I though we will get bored by the third time and have nothing to say to each other. I was wrong. Not only that I look forward to that day but I have a deeper understanding and friendship with Nath because of it. I want to nurture that one better this year.
Those little conversations that my kids share as we drive to their school and back have become some recently discovered gems. I want to be more present in my children's life and not miss those rich moments when they come by. I want to stop while chopping an onion and stirring up the dinner to hear their heart pour out, that will fill their soul and mine and sustain us longer than the food can.
A few friends and I started the 'cooking club' last year. Basically we meet once a month and share food and time together. Their company soon has become one of the highlights of the month and I love what that converge does to me. Time with those girls has challenged me, grown me, we have laughed hard and cried painful tears too. I need that relationship, I value that time so much, yes-that is a keeper too.
As a leader I meet regularly with many women from our community. We exchange encouragements, different pieces from our life and truths from the Bible. I love giving my time and heart like that. Community has a way of refining us. By edifying others we illuminate ourselves and fulfil the belonging ache.
Then come those relationships that I like to keep at bay. I have to be more brave with them then with the one I like to nurture. I love people, don't get me wrong, but if good relationships build us up then the negative ones really dismantle us. Relationships that are kept by manipulation, control and guilt need established boundaries time after time as people need time to change, some never do. I have tried to love people like that.......many times, and all those times I am the one left to pay the big bill of maintaining 'peace' - which mostly means loosing myself little by little.
I have learned that love in those cases has to be more from afar till the right moment comes when our hearts are safe to build trust. Relationships are hard work, that's why I want the main focus to be on them. Relationships are amazing, that's why I want to be investing more and more of me in them.
Happy New Year Brave One! May we grow couragious with our relationships.