Monday’s Musings — Metal Spheres & Choices

Newton'sCradle.Choices.HSHave you ever stopped to stare at one of these scientific pendulum contraptions?

…to look at the way the spheres move? …how they collide with one another? …how they are impacted by one another?

Pick up the device (it’s known as “Newton’s Cradle”) to rock it back and forth, and all the spheres will stay stuck to one another and move in perfect harmony.

Pick up one ball, and, via the outside force of fingers releasing a ball, it will connect with the second ball to create a dynamic which impacts the remaining three.

Pick up two balls, and, when released, they will stay together and work together impacting and absorbing the motion of the remaining three balls.

Even if shaken, the balls will quickly find their way back into order.

The response varies depending on the force and how it is used, but there is still a response. There is always a response. …even when the motion slows and the balls come to a complete rest, there is still a motion happening in the group.

In one of these little scientific devices, we can observe harmony and how the spheres seem to work WITH one another!

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But something else happens, too. If you play with the device long enough, you will see that the balls aren’t always working in harmony with one another, but that they are reacting to the force exerted on them by the other balls.

Life.

Life does this to us.

Another’s choices, words, actions or deeds hit us hard, and we are caught in the fallout.

Our own thoughts lead to choices, words, actions, or deeds that change life forever — for us and for those around us.
…never to be the same again…
Time and forgiveness — offered or received — will help, but life will still always be different.

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So, is it harmony or fallout?

When life impacts us,
when another’s choices impact us,
when life changes forever,
how do we respond?

We do have a choice.

We’re not just a metal ball hanging on a string from a wire frame bracing for the impact. We’re not just a sphere stuck in the middle waiting to see what those around us do.

We do have a choice. We have a choice in how to respond to what has been done to us. And, if we’ve done it to another, we have a choice in how to proceed forward with the impact we have made.

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Life is about choices.

As much as we want to blame another person, fill our thoughts with “what-ifs,” dream of a rewind, wish it away or ignore it all, that’s not what we’ve been given in this present moment.

Life is about choices, and today is about choices. …making choices that lead to living the kind of life where joy, peace and hope can take root and take hold.

The choices we make today can create a harmony around us, or, the choices we make today can create yet another level of fallout.

I need to choose wisely…we all do.

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Monday’s Musings–Fallen Leaves

Fall Leaves - Copy

It’s a breezy day today where I live. As I’m working at my desk, leaves are fluttering in the air and blowing across the yard and the meadows. It’s nice to not have to rake those leaves into neat piles or gather them to dispose of them elsewhere.

I often wish the challenges of life could just blow away like the leaves, but instead, they usually have to be dealt with directly. The leaves are dead, but challenges can bring us a life-giving perspective when we learn from them and see the possibilities about how they can be worked for our good.

If a challenge has been permitted in my life, I know—in faith—that He intends to use it for my good and for His good. I also know—in faith—that blessings will be found.

Something to ponder on a blustery, fall day…

Monday’s Musings — At a Loss for Words

This has happened to me more times than I care to remember, and I know it has also happened to you:

Someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them. So, you don’t really say much of anything.

When we’re at a loss for words because of the hurt another is experiencing and we choose to say nothing, we fall short of providing hope to them. The simplicity of a few words to tell your friend or acquaintance they are being thought of can lift them up. Saying nothing does nothing.

After going through my own devastating hurts in the last few years, I’ve experienced this from the other side, also. There were many times I’d run into someone who knew bits of what I was going through, but they’d skirt the topic, avoid me completely, or just stand there acting like nothing ever happened. I’m sure most never meant to be hurtful in their avoidance, but doing so did not help me at all. The people who offered me a kind word or thought were the ones who impacted me. They were the ones who offered me a piece of hope.

Yes, there are times when words are not necessary. You’ll know what that looks like with your closest friends. But, truly, how many times have you walked away from a co-worker, an acquaintance, a family member or a friend in pain and not said anything? I’m guessing when you did, your next few moments were thinking about YOURSELF and how YOU didn’t know what to say.

“Why didn’t I say something?”

“What should I have said?”

“Wow, I fumbled through that conversation.”

“I am so glad that isn’t me.”

“I am so glad my life isn’t that messed up.”

In these circumstances, why do we often think first of ourselves instead of thinking about the person who needs a glimmer of hope in their life? We, instead, have the choice and the chance to genuinely think about them and find a way to help them through their trial.

So back up.

Back up to the approach where someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them.

This time, here’s what to say:

“I’m thinking of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“You have been in my thoughts.”

“I will continue to hold you in prayer.”

“I can’t begin to understand all you are going through, but, please know, I will pray for you.”

Do you see the hope? Do you see how you are still using the word “I,” but the focus has become about them and what YOU can do FOR them. Prayer does this.

When we lift others up in prayer, their trials begin to have hope. The amazing thing about this, too, is that when we have a chance to offer hope to others, we, in turn, feel more hopeful.

Monday’s Musings — Understanding the Green Thumb

Green Thumb

Harvesting veggies from the garden is so much more fun than planting, weeding, watering and waiting for them to grow. There are rewards at each stage, but harvesting is the ultimate reward.

Without looking into the folklore, I now KNOW from where the idea of having a green thumb comes.

It comes from harvesting veggies.

When I harvested my peas, my left thumbnail turned green from popping open the pods and scraping them into a bowl.

When I harvested my Chinese pea pods, my left thumbnail turned green from snapping off the top and destringing them.

When I harvested my green beans, my left thumbnail turned green from pinching them off the vine and then using my nail to break away the top.

When harvesting my cucumbers, my left thumbnail turns green from piercing the vine before pulling the cuke from it.

When harvesting my cherry tomatoes, my left thumbnail turns green from snipping the fruits from the vine WITH my nail.

When harvesting my apples, my left thumbnail turns green from pushing the waste through the apple corer.

Harvesting has been going on for a few weeks, therefore, I’ve had a green thumbnail for a while.

The only thing that might completely remove the green hue from my thumbnail would be a manicure. However, other than an occasional buff and file, I’m not really a manicure kind-of-gal, and I still have some harvesting left to do.

I’m pretty sure that the folklore surrounding having a green thumb DOES involve the ability to grow plants well. So, hey! I will consider my green thumb an accomplishment and as a sign of the successful harvest!