Quick get the umbrellas. . .cause when it rains. . .it pours!

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle.
I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Teresa

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
Thomas Paine

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(buckeye butterfly wandered into the garage away from the scorching heat / Julie Cook / 2015)

When I was younger, I did not always bear up very well under the heavy stifling blanket of turmoil, tragedy, stress or disaster.
My reactions often immature, unbridled, angry, resentful, beaten and lost.
I have come to learn, albeit it often reluctantly, that it is from the exposure of such catastrophes, coupled with the passage of time, which all act as an abrasive agent to toughen the thin skin of youthful emotions and tender feelings.

Tenacity is forged in the fire of trial, tribulation and misfortune.

I don’t think any of us is ever immune from such.
Everyone, at some point or other during one’s lifetime, will find themselves faced with, what at first may seem insurmountable, yet once the dust settles and the options weighed, becomes one more link in the chainmail of life’s armor.

A personal world is turned upside down most often by forces unforeseeable and unpreventable and as random as they come.
We will find ourselves asking the angry and accusatory questions of “why” and “how” while a balled up fist waves defiantly at an unseen God.

I wish we could all just hide under a rock someplace. . .a place faraway and immune from tragedy and the often cruel events of life—yet sadly there is no such safe haven in which to run and hide.

And yet it is my faith in that unseen God, the God of all creation and time, the One who I know to be far bigger and greater than any trial or tragedy in my life, the One who bears my burdens and sustains me in the palm of His hand— It is through Him, coupled by my faith in Him, that allows me to put one foot in front of the other and continue trudging through this thing we call life. . .

And please note that I did not say that that faith and belief or even that God himself makes the pain, the sorrow, the struggle, the suffering any bit easier—it does however, make it bearable.

Therefore if you should see a woman walking down the street carrying an open umbrella overhead when there is nary a cloud in the sky with zero chance of rain in the forecast. . .and not one who carries such to avoid exposure to the sun—just know that it is most likely me–as I am well aware that when it rains it pours.

“If you’re going through hell, {by all means} keep going.”
Winston Churchill

Please continue in your prayers for my daughter-n-law and her family as they slowly begin to feel their way in the dark as they determine what to do in the aftermath of the devastation of the fire which took their home.
As her grandfather tearfully lamented. . . “over 70 years of my life is now completely gone”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Whatcha looking at? (otherwise known as looking, seeking, finding)

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

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Is it just me or is this dove giving the other two doves “the eye?”
Perhaps one of the other doves is putting a move on this dove’s lady friend.
Perhaps one of the other doves is putting a move on this dove’s boy friend.
Either way, quite a hoot.

Which brings us all to ask the question. . .What are you looking at—or better yet, what are you looking for. . . . . .

Looking and finding—

Some folks spend a lifetime looking, seeking, searching—a lifetime without ever finding what it is they seek.
Some folks don’t seem to ever really know what it is of which they seek.

The emptiness, the shallowness, the idleness—a deep internal sense of lacking. Can’t put a finger on it, but there’s just something not right.
The disquiet which seems to keep the rhythm off kilter.
Restlessness, nervousness, a very deep unhappiness is brewing.
All of which sends us out on a never ending journey of looking, seeking and searching for what it is that will fill up this deep longing, desire, wanting, need. . .

The quick answer, the band-aid if you will, is to simply placate the gnawing. Putting a cease and desist to the seemingly empty quest of searching and looking—but we continue to ask. . . searching and looking for what.

Some turn to drugs and alcohol in order to numb the gnawing. Some think of an endless quest of self gratification through which a variety of sexual outlets and liaisons will finally silence the yearning. Some think that an endless trip to the mall of materialism will satiate the hunger. Violence becomes an outlet, anger escalates–anger at others—yet the truth of the anger is really that of self.
A long loathing hatred of self.

Maybe fame and fortune must be the key. The continuum to climbing the proverbial ladder of success– yet, as if in a dream, there is no real top to the ladder as there are simply more rungs added upon rung–a never ending climb upward, hand over hand, step upon endless step. . .

Perhaps it must be a quest for perfection—perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect bodies—defying age, that must be the answer.
Remodel, remake, reclaim.
Tuck, tack, augment.
To be beautiful, that’s the ticket—isn’t that what the god of Hollywood tells us little people? We need to be a glamour star for that is truly what we must be seeking. Living life as large and as glamorously as possible?

Yet, the restlessness that resides deep within the marrow of the now weary bones simply will not be silenced. For some it all becomes too late—the endless quest for placation leads to self destruction. Is that finally the answer?! Simply to silence it, making it stop —forever? Is that the hope we seek

But therein lies the rub, for the ache, the need, the void. . .it is not ever silenced—not by any of those devastatingly destructive choices. . .not by any of those. . .ever.

For it is actually in the silence in which the answer lies—
Rather than turning up the world as loud as we can, thinking it will drown out the ache, the hurt, the pain. . .
The answer, all along, is simply in the Quiet. .
Why are we so afraid of the silence?
Why are we so afraid?
Why?

Can any of you hear it?
Do any of you hear it?
Is that a voice. . .
Is this a dream?
No.
You hear it again. This time it is louder.
A voice.
It is a voice.
Just as quickly as you and I hear the Voice, we suddenly notice that the ache, the pain the void, the hurt—it’s not as loud, not as deep, not as empty.
You and I may finally exhale—as a lifetime of seeking, searching, looking is all released in a single sigh.
A release
the finality of letting go,
finally relinquishing
All the pain, the aching, the burning, the relentless gnawing is now all replaced. . .
There is now real—
Peace
Silence
Completeness
Oneness

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”