We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rolling With Our Roles

The other day when I weeded the garden beds along one side of the house, I happened to look up--and froze.
Tucked between a petunia plant and the house, all curled up, lay a tiny baby deer. I stared in awe. So perfect . . . so miniature . . . so helpless. I drew back a step when it briefly opened its eyes. By this time, the sun's heat beat down on the little creature. Was it thirsty? How long had it been here? And where was the mama?

A quick call to the Game Commission assured me that the doe would be back. After giving birth, rather than draw attention to her vulnerable baby, Mama finds a safe place for it to rest, then later comes back, feeds it, and together they find food and safety.

And so, we kept our distance while the baby lay sleeping in the sun. An hour and a half later, it was gone.

Reflecting back on this experience, we could not do one thing to help our tiny friend. We could not touch it, give it food and water, or find its mother. It wasn't our role.

In our life stories, we often wrestle with our roles. We want to help, lend a hand, or even rescue. Yet, it may not always be in the best interest of those we wish to assist. As with the deer, we have the potential to do more harm than good.

A friend once suggested we ask three questions:
What is my role?
What role do others play?
What is God's role?

These questions have been a most helpful tool to discern when to help and how. And when to do nothing more than watch and pray. God, in His infinite wisdom, has a plan in place. We only need to discern our role and carry it out. 

What's your role today?  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thirty-five Years . . . Together

Thirty-five years ago today, Barry and I began our lives together promising to love each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Thirty-five years is a long time, yet it slipped through our fingers so quickly. Through it all, we've seen God's faithfulness over and over. Happy Anniversary, hon. I love you!
We dance together, you and I, in step to life's music.

Sometimes the sound of trumpets and flutes
Twirls us around dizzy, back and forth.

The driving bass and roll of drums
Bring matching steps of duty.

And when the soft whisper of violins catches us close and slow,
I look into your eyes
And know, whatever the orchestra plays,
We will always dance . . . together.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An American Tradition: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

Photo by Elisabeth Phillips
We joined nearly ten thousand people gathered at PNC Field to support the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders. Had a great time - despite the breezy cool temperatures. 

Besides keeping an eye on the game, I found myself doing a fair share of people-watching. The kids with Mohawk haircuts, the chummy couple sitting in front of us, the man whose wife made sure we knew he served in the military, the dancers who jived to the music, the constant parade of junk food addicts stepping up and down stadium stairways . . . . Americans, young and old, came out to celebrate Independence Day with a ballgame and fireworks.

Our time at the stadium represented more than a ball game. A young boy sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." Half-way through the game, we again stood to sing "God Bless America." We acknowledged veterans medaled with purple hearts and years of service. Old Glory blew in the breeze. Several times, the loud speaker blared Lee Greenwood's lyrics:

Photo courtesy of bing.com
And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the ones who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the U.S.A.

And there I stood, wiping my eyes, indeed proud to be an American, grateful for freedom's ring.

America's traditions . . . her melodies of patriotism . . . her symbols and all they stand for . . . . Somehow they've reached deep into the hearts of ordinary citizens like me. 

By the way, the Rail Riders won the game with a walk-off home run on the last hit, a memorable take-me-out-to-the-ballgame moment! 

Which country claims you as a citizen? What do you treasure about being a part of this tradition?