Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I do not celebrate Halloween. As a child I loved the holiday. I have fond memories of dressing up as a ghost and going door-to-door asking for candy, then coming home and gorging on it. Yet once I became a mother I saw things totally different. My boys probably feel deprived, but I just could not see myself allowing them to go beg for candy from strangers. And besides, that much candy was not good for them, and I didn't want the hassle over when and how much they could eat at any one time. Instead we always had pumpkins to carve. In elementary school they had a class party for which they dressed up. Dressing up was fun. I had no problem with that. And the schools would not allow anything gory--another concern I've always had with Halloween.
In Richard Cohen's book, "A Deep Breath of Life", he explains that the holiday began as a celebration of purification. It originated as the pagan holiday, Samhain, but once Christianity was introduced to the Celts it became known as All Hollows Eve, the night before All Saints Day (November 1st). It was meant to be a time to call forth all the unhealed spirits so they could be blessed and released on All Saints Day.
Cohen asks, "Are there any monsters lurking in the closet of your consciousness? Are you carrying any hidden fear, resentments, or grotesque memories that stalk you in the night? Are you annoyed by any emotional goblins that undermine your relationships? If so, open the door and let them fly away. Call forth the energy of love and healing, and ask God to free you of anything that stands between you and your good."
It's too bad that All Hallows Eve has reverted to being a pagan celebration, in this case, begging for candy and threatening "tricks" on the the person who does not comply. Yes, I know it's all in good fun and hardly anyone plays tricks on people who do not hand out candy. But wouldn't it be better to observe what the day is really all about?
Father, Richard Cohen says, "Shine the light of truth on your basement, and you will have a whole new room to play in." Please help me not to be afraid to open that basement door so that Your Light of Truth can shine on all the lies that may be lurking in my heart and mind.
Link to scripture: http://bible.cc/john/8-12.htm
Take action: Remembering the true meaning of Halloween
Monday, October 22, 2012
I've been thinking a lot about potential lately. Richard Cohen writes, "The question is not, 'How much potential do you have?' It is, 'How much potential will you live?'" He uses the example that a woman is born with all the eggs she'll ever have. But whether those eggs will become children depends on several factors. The bird's eggs above will only hatch into live birds if they are fertilized and then incubated for the proper time. The potential is there, but the bird's actions and other factors will determine if the potential becomes reality.
Too often we don't live up to our potential because we fear success as much as we fear failure. With success comes responsibility and we don't want to be a one-shot wonder. How often do you hear stories about that first book that was easy to write, but subsequent books now had deadlines or higher expectations for them. The excuses can go on forever and often do.
It comes down to what Cohen says about education which comes from the Latin "educare" and means "to draw forth from within": "Real education spotlights a child's uniqueness and stimulates her to discover and act on her natural talents. What would you be doing differently if you knew that the seeds of greatness were already with you? What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God."
So, relax about whether or not you "can" but rather concentrate on whether you "will". If you have a desire of the heart, then the seed has been planted. Your job is to draw it out through education, practice, and realizing no matter the outcome it will be good enough because it grew out of you--you with your particular flare, experience, and knowledge. It won't be like anyone else's creation and shouldn't be. Don't judge it--just let it come forth.
Father, thank you for this reminder that You planted my potential to share Your Love in creative ways and are here to help me bring it to fruition.
Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/psalms/37-4.htm
Take action: 7 Essentials for Living Your Fullest Potential
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Last weekend we visited Garrett County in western Maryland to enjoy the changing leaves. One of the sites we visited was Mountain Lake Park where we found this delightful sculpture of children playing....
The child hanging from the bars actually swings back and forth....
We were enjoying the playfulness of the sculpture until we read the plaque....
When we lose someone who was precious to us we will either grieve that loss until we find peace or we will resist the loss and become bitter. There is an ebb and flow to life that must be respected even when the length of it is shorter than we expected--whether it be our own or someone dear to us. By changing our "point of view" about it we can give thanks for the days we DID have. Just as we saw the sculpture as playful at first, changed our minds about it when we saw that it was a memorial, and then changed it yet again when we read the inscription reminding us to embrace what we have instead of dwelling on what we don't have, we need to constantly reframe the happenings in our lives to see them from a spiritual point of view. God can bring good out of the worst situations if we will just allow His Will to be made perfect in us.
Father, thank you for all that you are doing in my life. May I not lose sight of Your goodness that is available to me in all things.
Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/romans/8-28.htm
Take action: Reframing Thoughts