Sunday, May 31, 2009

Writings on a Shampoo Bottle & then some

I found this on a shampoo bottle and I think it's worth sharing:

Life is a classroom. We are both student and teacher. Each day is a test and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject: grace. Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence, and the list goes on. It's something money can't buy and credentials rarely produce. Being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest, or even the poorest, can't help. Being a humble person can and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude.

And then some:
Today I witnessed, and I suppose took part of, a situation that has left me a little frustrated. I saw a group of people confronted with an opportunity to become involved in something only to have that idea discussed in a way that made me a little ashamed of myself. Here is a group of adults being asked to reach out to others within our church, as if this should be someone's job. Then a little grumbling started about the time commitment, which, by the way I understand the other implications about what was being asked. Yes it is a time commitment but I just sat there thinking, "Should anyone really have to be asked to do this?" Of course, I couldn't say anything because I'm guilty of it myself. I'm so comfortable with this little niche I've carved out that I fail to recognize others who are still trying to find their place. I could make many excuses, in fact that's what I did for awhile: "I'm hardly ever here", "Adults don't really care what I have to say", and the list went on. I suppose, however, that these things shouldn't really matter. And that I can't sit there and expect people to do something that I've failed at myself. Hopefully, once it is thought over, people will realize that being friendly and welcoming doesn't have to be a job. You never know what you might learn or what kind of relationship can be forged by taking that first step towards someone you don't already know. Maybe that sort of goes along with grace: do something because you see a need, not because someone asked you to do it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today I have been reminded not to take simple things for granted. How many times a day do we stop to think "I'm lucky I have hands that are able to move" or "I'm so grateful I can walk"? If you're like me, then the answer is, not many. Today my mom had a little run in with our electric hedge trimmer. Her tendon was cut, which will probably require surgery and, from what I hear, it could take awhile for her to be able to move her finger like normal. As for now, her finger is wrapped and has a splint, which is severely limiting her movement. At first I kind of chuckled as my mom asked me to do simple tasks for her, but now I'm starting to think that this has to be really frustrating. Even the easiest things that we usually do without realizing take some major thinking outside the box.

My second point is that my parents have done so much for me, I should start being a little more thankful. When my mom first asked me to help her, I'll admit I was a little annoyed at the thought of having to do everything for her in the next week. Then I thought about how many times I had been sick or something and she has done absolutely everything for me. I also realized that it's the little things that can make our parents happy. All I did was buy some flowers and Matthew got her favorite candy. My mom looked like she could cry. But, I suppose that could have been either the pain or the painkillers...that would be my guess. In the end I guess it really is the little things that matter the most.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is a first

Well, I never thought I'd get a blog...yet here I am. Maybe I have something to say, maybe I want someone to hear. I heard a saying once that you never really know a person until you have walked a mile (or some other long distance) in their shoes. So here you go, a walk in my shoes.

Maybe some of you know this about me, but I keep a notebook in my room and whenever I come across a good poem or quote I try to write it down. Sometimes I'll go back through and no matter what I'm feeling, I can find something to fit my mood. Today, this really caught my attention: "You were only given this life because you're strong enough to live it." There are so many times when I feel like I'm being tested beyond my limit. I see other people excel where I feel like I'm failing and it just doesn't seem fair. Yet somehow I manage to get through things. Many times it's not with bumps or bruises (metaphorically speaking anyway), yet I make it nonetheless. Now I'm starting to realize that sometimes the best lessons are learned after situations that may have seemed like the worst. I don't think God gives us situations that we can't handle, and He's always there to help if we ask for guidance. It's just that a lot of times we don't ask, or we think we can handle things on our own. I think I've really learned that over the past year. There's nothing wrong with asking for help.

John Donne might have said it best, but "no man is an island, entire of itself." So that means no matter how much I may want to shut myself off from everyone and become a hermit, it probably goes against my nature as a human being. We're meant to be social. We're meant to help each other; to celebrate the good times and cry during the bad. Trust me, I know it can be hard. If there was a medicine to treat shyness, I would be first in line. But sometimes the most rewarding experience can be opening up to someone and finding something you never knew was there. Try it. You might have been led to that person for a reason. Maybe they have exactly what you need to make it through whatever you're facing.