These lilacs connect To the vine of existence In the vine is life
Apart from the vine, Obviously these flowers die. We are just like that!
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 (NIV)
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
This morning I thought I had lost my WordPress posts. I thought I’d lost YOU!
Words of comfort came – Rushed in to reassure me: We are connected!
My history is here… Eight years of important posts Help keep us in touch.
Apart from you – Pop! The balloon of my WordPress Loses all its air!
When I posted this Blog from my iPhone today Only Youtube showed.
It’s an important Message about connection From Ronald Reagan.
Whether you are from the USA or not; whether you are Republican or Democrat or Independent, You should watch this. It was recorded in a different era, at a time when it was not seen as divisive to evoke God’s name in the White House. The Bible was not used as a prop. It was quoted as a means of encouraging us to reach out in love… Reach out and JUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
Please stay connected! Apart from you, my blog is nothing. Apart from God, I am nothing!
Caralyn of BeautyBeyondBones (do you follow her here on WordPress?) wrote to me today and said,
“We are all part of His family, and I pray we all realize that and start to act accordingly, with love for our fellow brother and sisters!”
AMEN, Caralyn. Amen, my dear brothers and sisters. I love you all. Please stay connected.
You know I need you. We’re wired for connection, Love and belonging.
Birthday girl needs love. Friends need connectivity. We crave relations.
We’re in the same nest. We’re born in this together. But don’t smother me!
I rise with the sun Into a brand new morning Facing a new day.
Connected to God. Learning to live cautiously, Leaning on my Lord.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
When is it Time?
If baby robin #4 in that nest up there doesn’t sharpen her will, poke her beak up with the rest, and open up, she will be doomed to the nest forever!
So, we who need one another are asking ourselves, “When it it time to open up? When it it time to let our courage and our natural need for connections take hold? When can we do it safely?”
Should we wear a mask or not? Should we join the protestors or not? When it is time to believe COVID-19 is safely at bay?
Each Person is Different
Not only is each person different, but each area of our world is different, too. Here in Montana, I could join my friends for a small birthday gathering outside (only 7 of us) and feel safe. I realize everyone in the world does not have that luxury.
But while we each are different, so are we all alike in many ways. We all crave genuine connection.
Matthew Lieberman, a Harvard-trained psychologist wrote,
“The human brain is wired to be social. Love and belonging might seem like a convenience we can live without, but our biology is built to thirst for connection because it is linked to our most basic survival needs.”
Birds of a feather Flock together, connecting Love and harmony.
Likewise, we humans Crave times to touch each other. Isolation hurts!
Pray for Opportunities
We need connection. Pray for opportunities To safely gather.
I pray for your health. I pray for our world’s return To safe gatherings.
I pray for world peace, For racial equality, God’s intervention.
Lord, help us all to Turn to You for our guidance. Lift us safely up.
Open every beak To receive life’s sustenance And sing Your glory.
Have a Hallelujah Day, my friends. I feel your presence…
Do you enjoy keeping in touch with long-time friends?
This morning I posted “No Friend Like an Old Friend” with pictures of the long-time friends I met with yesterday.
Among the long-time friends I posted pictures of was Ly, my favorite hair stylist, whom I have known since 1979. Today she gave me a new hair cut and helped me get my “perky” back.
Also, today I had the privilege of reconnecting with dear friends from my years of working in the Ceres Unified School District. I was Caswell Elementary School’s principal from 1988-1997. Some of my favorite people to work with met me today for lunch. Most of them also are retired now. What a joy!!
Have you had the opportunity to reconnect 20 years later with co-workers who were instrumental in tour personal and professional growth? If so, you know what a JOY and a privilege this day was for me.
If not, I pray you will live 20 years into your retirement and have the delight of reconnecting the way I did today. It was indescribably wonderful. I wish you this kind of joy.
Thank you, dear Caswellians, for a wonderful day. I love you!
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His Glory… full of grace and truth.”
Meaningful Conversations help lead to Meaningful Relationships.
The grace and truth of “The Word” are two of the most essential elements of meaningful conversations.
“The Word” is Christ – His Love – and His Example to us.
The “thinking, talking, and acting” in faith are essential elements of meaningful relationships.
Importance of Intimate Words
Meaningful conversation is not small talk. It is heart-felt, genuine sharing from your soul. It’s transparent. It doesn’t have to be long. It has to be deep and authentic. It has to be free of intimidation, and opening intimate… knowing it is spoken in TRUST.
From “This Day’s Thought,” an anonymous quote reminds us:
“The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, love isn’t love till it’s given away.”
Yesterday we went with Ty, Monika and Sam (our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson) to Amador County, California. Kevin (the one in the black jacket) was a high schooler – and friends with Ty in their teens. Distance cannot keep us from remaining friends with Kevin, his wife, Karen, and their beautiful daughter, Morgan.
Just as we stay connected with them through annual Christmas cards and occasional phone calls, and face-to-face visits whenever we can, we also stay connected with Kevin’s parents. Our honest, open, intimate sharing of life’s joys and struggles keeps our friendship alive and meaningful. It’s a blessing!
Just as “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we [see] … His Glory… full of grace and truth,” so it is that this son of our flesh, a gift from God himself, dwells among us full of grace and truth. We are so grateful for the way in which he and Monika open their hearts and home to the greater family … and allow us to converge on them en mass!!
We are a diverse group of people, connected by the Love of Christ, the Blessings of the Spirit, and the determination to remain open and honest with one another. It ain’t always easy. It ain’t always purrrdy! But, it is always worth it… and it is what God calls us to do.
Love One Another
I Corinthians … “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always preserves.”
May the love in your heart reach out in honest, intimate, trust-worthy conversation. May it protect and preserve your relationships. May it be
free of intimidation
openly intimate, and
shared in TRUST.
Tell me about a relationship you are keeping alive with intimate words of love and caring.
In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Cultivate the art of making connections.
See how your life is intimately related
to all life on the planet.”
Different Kinds of Connections
The connections we have with our family and friends enrich and add meaning to our lives. For most of us, that’s a given.
But what about random connections?
The poem by John Donne reminds us,
“No man is an island, “Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thine own, Or of thine friend’s were. Each man’s death diminishes me Because I am involved in mankind. And therefore send not to know For whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”
Our lives are richer, fuller, more meaningful when we realize “No man is an island,” and we allow our hearts and our bodies to be touched by the lives of others. Feel the connections!
Feel the Intimacy
All of us are connected, whether we know it or not! We may feel the connections, but do we feel the intimacy?
Gunilla Norris wrote, “This is intimacy: its touch is ever new, revealing the precious moments we have to live and to connect with things. No love is ever lost in this universe.”
Connection with Things
Some people say they have never felt closer to God than in their garden or out in the woods or on a river. They connect to the plants, the trees, the water, the earth… and the intimacy they feel with things fuels a greater love and appreciation of the divine. Out in nature, they are freer to be their true selves.
Are you one of those people?
Connections Make Us Stronger
Like a chain, linked together, we are stronger, more effective, when we are connected.
We can keep evil at bay more convincingly when we are connected. We protect one another.
We can invite more joy and create more good when we are connected.
Today I am volunteering again at the Medical Center. As a “Purple Lady,” I am connected to a group of ladies who “woman the desk” five days a week, greet people who enter the door, and help them feel welcomed and taken care of. Our fund raiser each year (a Home Tour event) raises thousands of dollars. The money is donated to the hospital for needs such as x-ray machines, physical therapy equipment, a crash cart, blanket warmers, etc. Connections make us stronger and more effective… and friendships are formed that enrich our lives immeasurably!
What connections have added meaning and enrichment to your life?
Christian, Loreal and Tiffany, Adrian And Nicholas (and is that Tanya and Kevin?)… ah, students from way back in the ’80s … or was it the ’70s?
As a teacher, my students (about a quarter century of them) live in my heart.
Some are FB friends who still stay in touch.
But whether they write to me or not, they are a part of me.
Every time they see an accordion, they’ll think of me.
Some will remember the word “Eye-vix-L-cidm” whenever they see Roman numerals= IVXLCDM. They will lay them out and remember:
I = 1
V = 5
X = 10
L = 50
C = 100
D = 500
M = 1000
Yes, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1
Add one zero
Add two zeros
Add three zeros
Helps to know this when reading old copyright dates or the production dates of old movies or the construction dates of ancient buildings!
Others will think of me when their math skills were not up to par with their reading and writing skills and they got 7×8 mixed up with 6×7. They’ll recite:
“If 7×8 makes you wait, 5678, lay them straight!” 56= 7×8!
Others will remember how often I said, “The question is not – Are you smart? – The question is – How are you smart?”
(Thanks Madeleine Hunter for that!)
Ah yes, on throw-back Thursday I remember the Stefans (actually he was a one-of-a-kind – I can’t pluralize him!), the Kevins and Lorei (oh, she’s unique, too), the Hillary and Heidi, the Bucky and the Johnnys… I’m grateful for each one.
What teacher or student or classmate do you remember?
What stands out about him or her?
Do you have long-time friends for whom you are eternally grateful?
These are our friends, Cecilia and Tom. We are visiting them in Camarillo, CA. What a grand way to begin the new year … with long-time friends, touring the gorgeous Camarillo area and visiting their fantastic Camarillo Library! Cecilia and I worked together in Ceres, CA in the 80’s and 90’s. I love and respect her – and treasure the opportunity I had to work professionally with her. She is a long-time friend with whom I have stayed in connection through FaceBook.
How do you stay in touch with long-time friends?
This is my long-time friend, MaryFran. She was my neighbor in the 50’s. We were the very best of friends… maid-of-honor in each other’s weddings. Then we lost touch with one another. Sometimes that happens. For no particular reason. Friends can be for a reason or a season or a life-time. And when you are true friends, time just slips away and dissolves when you get back together again after years of separation. I called her when we were in CA within an hour of her home. At her gracious invitation, we just dropped by. What a gift to catch up with one another again! Long-time friends are forever friends.
How do you reconnect with friends from whom you have been separated?
This is my long-time friend, Rosalie, with our daughter, DeDe. Our daughter lives in Switzerland. She flew to California to surprise us for her daddy’s 80th birthday Dec. 29th. Rosalie in like family. She and her husband, Mike, drove hundreds of miles to surprise Bob for his birthday. Forever in my heart… no matter how far apart! We met Rosalie and Mike in 1963 when Bob & I were moving our meager belongings into an apartment in the San Francisco area. We were instant friends.
Do you have those kinds of soul sisters and brothers who just seem to have been destined to be in your life? If so, count your blessings. Know that whenever you can be together, your ties will tighten – and your blessings will increase. These are the kinds of friends you’d want at your bedside when you breathe your last breath. They are the ones who would fly across the continent to be with you in a heart beat if you needed them. And we feel the same way about them! What treasures!!
Do you have new friends who are long-time friends?
When I first met Terry, I knew she was my soul sister! Like my meeing with Rosalie more than 50 years ago, Terry was one of those people I felt I must have known in a prior life! We met in Ennis, Montana about a decade ago. She comes every summer, but lives in California during the rest of the year. When Terry is in Montana, we get together with her and her husband, Jim, as often as we possibly can. When we visit California, we are sure to drop by their place and spend precious time together. Our hearts connect.
Whether they are long-time friends, or new friends who feel long-time,
our lives are greatly enriched by friendships.
I would not be complete without them.
I am sometimes asked, how do you make so many friends?
The answer is a simple cliche’:
To have a friend, you must be a friend.
Through thick and thin… be there for one another!
I am grateful for my bestest buddy, Marcie!
Always there for me… always supportive.