February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

My church does a Soup Kitchen every Sunday 12-2:30p Many people come through to get food, bread, and produce.

Being there and helping serve people has made a huge impact on me. There are so many hurting that it will take a huge cultural and societal change to address the foundational issues we are facing.

Also, I have found out that a kind word, smile, and positive interactions do go a long way. I’ve not been there since Thanksgiving as they fell on days I had other duties, was out of town to see my handsome boys, or home recovering from my surgery. So, walking in and hearing, “Rodney! We are glad you are back! How are you feeling? We’ve missed you!” was very good for my heart. That was from those who came in for the services. The director of the ministry told me thank you for being the one with a smile and supporting people as they come through. I told her, I do that because I know how it feels when looked down upon.

Everyone needs a cheerleader. If it happens to be a stranger, so be it.

I worked hard today. I made garlic bread in a kitchen with 8 ladies from across the West Indies and South America.
I served nearly 100 plates of food, bussed the tables when folks left, swept the floor, and put away the tables and chairs.
I laughed.
I cried from laughing.
I ate delicious food.
I learned that making Roti is complex.
I talked to people who really enjoyed what they do.
I even sweated in that HOT kitchen. (At one point, I had to go outside and cool off in the 33F sun.)
I came home with my belly filled and my heart happy.

Before I left, I told the ladies thank you for the wonderful time helping them and re-filling my bucket. It was hard work and I had to give time and effort, but it was worth every moment. If I don’t spend time with people to learn about them, I am wasting my time with them. Not going to do that any more.

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The first Roti on the tawa

If I don't take a moment to learn a new detail about a person while talking to them, I am wasting time..png



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February 16, 2019

I’m seeing the same concept mentioned over and over again.

In order to get along with my fellow human beings, I must connect, take time to get to know them, listen, or the very least, treat them with the respect I’d want from others.

Positive relationships are critical for friendships, classrooms, workplace environments, raising children, and marriages.

I guess I’ll have to elaborate in a future post.



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February 15, 2019

February 15, 2019

Take time to connect.

Today was a pretty straight forward day. Wake up, dress, eat, go to work, work, and come home.

When I got home, I heard Mandy say on Voxer she was driving home and was going to blast her music so she wouldn’t fall asleep. Great idea, I thought, but…

I called her.

Yes, the old-fashioned way people use to communicate before Social Media and new fangled voice systems.

I hadn’t really got to talk to her in a long while, so I called her and received a bucketful of joy. Only because we had the opportunity to pause and connect.

There are times when people need that connection. To have that extra word, real face time, and comfort knowing someone is willing to spend time on you.

I believe that is why I enjoy smaller crowds in the midst of large ones. If you ever have the opportunity to see pictures of my friends, notice the majority of the groups are less than 7. Why? I’m not sure but 4-5 fit well in a car or SUV so we can sing and laugh and talk.

I’m making a point to ensure those connections happen more.

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February 14, 2019

February 14, 2019

Maybe Haddaway had a point?

Do we really know what love is? Can we truly show it?
Why does love seem to have to include some type of pain?
What about the verse that mentions giving away love and the recipient doesn’t care?
Let’s not talk about why one would give complete decision making to someone else.

Am I reading too much into it? Probably not, but it is a catchy beat. And that is where I go off the rails. Looking at the outside and thinking about what could happen because of the seeable factors. That is the downfall of so many. It takes time and effort to build a proper relationship and one that is build on the things of the heart. Getting to the heart and understanding it is the best course no matter what the outside shows and the loins want.

I saw a picture of an older couple and the caption went something like this: “You can marry for beauty but it fades and then what do you have?”

On this day of “love” let’s keep in mind those who have shown it to us in their best way. A kind word, a daily smile, a thoughtful gift, a short conversation to see how we are doing are all good things to look for each day. Those are the beginnings of love. Let’s not keep it contained to one day a year.

 



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February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Today, I was given the opportunity to share a piece of my story with Rachel Pierson on her new podcast Learn for a Lifetime.

She asked 3 questions and I answered them. I had a wonderful time talking with her about many ideas and topics which stemmed from my answers.

The one thing that stood out when looking back, is her willingness to let me share. I’ve listened to so many podcasts and watched interviews where the host did most of the talking. Rachel didn’t do that. She asked open-ended questions and then let me talk. I love her style and I know her podcast will take off because of her coaching expertise and gentleness.

Thank you Rachel.



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February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Short one today.

5 years ago, yesterday, my marriage was legally ended. Years of memories and material items were now dealt with as a business.

There were many things which preceded the divorce. Distrust, resentment, selfishness were a few. I wanted better for us. I wanted to make sure all was well and cared for. However, that was not enough to keep it together. Events occured that made both of us realize that apart was better for the boys than together.

Thus began the rest of my life. It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been the most exciting nor the most boring. I’ve made mistakes in other relationships, but I know that I am growing up to be a responsible person.

Finally, lessons I’ve learned are coming to mind and I can apply them to the situations I’m in. I’m not perfect by any means, yet I’m better than what I was.

It is not a train at the end.



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February 11, 2019

February 11, 2019

Joy is what I’m looking for. Not fake, but genuine.

Unspeakable emotion which grips me so no words can escape.

Streaming as much love as possible.

Tasks untold that benefit the unknowing.

BE myself, because anyone else is taken.

Exhilarating feeling of joy and peace.

Cacophony – doubts and confidence fighting for supremacy

And – the conjunction that binds more together

Unforgettable – triggered by other similar experiences

Special – kept close to the heart

Events – not only instant happiness but also forever memories

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February 10, 2019

February 10, 2019

I have two things I want to say about today:

  1. I am not alone in my quest for communication and logical effectiveness at any volunteer level. I attended a leadership conference today and heard so many stories about admin who don’t listen, teams who didn’t work with one another because they didn’t know how to nor, in some cases, wanted to.  This really breaks my heart in that we are supposed to be living and giving a message of hope and transformation. Yet, we deny that power in our lives. Thankfully, there were stories of success when the team saw the effect of proper communication.
  2. I am getting old. My body is not working like it use to. And I’m seeing that I must eat differently. I must be intentional about moving and exercising to stay flexible and healthy. And I must listen to my body and take care so I can rest when I need it and go forward when I can. High blood pressure is no fun when it isn’t under control. (Yes, I am taking my medicine daily.)

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February 9, 2019

February 9, 2019

Update:

My pastor talked about the new commandment that Jesus mentioned in John 13:34 and 35: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Here are my notes: One aspect of Christianity is how I deal with other people. I have been asked to talk to, live with, and love people.
This commandment was a revolutionary mandate. Until that point, He has told the disciples and multiple audiences to love God, love their neighbor, and love their enemies. So who is “one another”? Those who know me and live with me and/or are very close to me, my family.

So, those who are close to me are the ones I can’t fake out. I can’t put on a mask and hide who I am for long. Who I am comes out sooner or later. Through pressure, stress, or just plain tired of holding the mask up. That is why I believe a friendship that goes through thick and thin and stay together are the ones that will last.  It is a partnership where love is at a minimum, emotion and at the maximum, action. I define true love is where I will be there for people whom I don’t care for, can’t stand, and want nothing from me.

Here is a huge realization for me. Loving God, my neighbor, my enemy implies some type of distance. I can’t see God, my neighbor goes home and I see infrequently, and my enemy is just seen as often. However, loving one another implies a permanent invasion of privacy. They see me in all my glory and rawness. They also require something from me whether it be financial, emotional, or some other type of support. Those who are at a distance away require essentially nothing for me.

So this is where it relates to my February 7 post. It is easier to take advantage of a nearby object/person because it is always nearby there and won’t go away.  Taking things for granted has always been my downfall. Since it is now there, it won’t go away.

So much more, but I will end with this. When I truly love, I will be obeying the new commandment.

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February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

“You have a large JUSTICE button!”

I am working through some emotional trials and have been for over 5 years. You see, I’m divorced. I hate that word and the stigma it brings. However that is my lot and I now accept it, the consequences, and difficulties it brings. I didn’t think that when it was beginning to happen.

Let me step back…

I grew up in a mostly single parent home. Mostly because my mom did the raising of us while she was married. I had chores and certain ones were my responsibility. If I didn’t do them, there was no one else to blame but me. Soon I developed the sense of this is my job and that is your job. As I got older, I learned that others would try to pass their work onto me. I would accept it because it made my life easier to do it and I could get it done faster than them.
Bad mistake.
Soon I would had too much work and I would promptly complain to my boss who gave the jobs back to the original people. They were none too kind to me after that. I was introduced to a valuable lesson, “There will be those who are difficult to work with and will get you to do their job. Don’t fall into their traps.”

I didn’t learn.

Which leads me to my point. I work hard and believe each person will also work hard since they have that job. (NOT TRUE)
I believe that I must work hard for what I want and need to invest time, sweat, and elbow grease. This belief is held by everyone else. (NOT TRUE)
I will collaborate at a high level and provide many ideas and suggestions to move forward in the tasks at hand. Others will do the same. (NOT TRUE)

I have to take responsibility for myself, my actions, words, and beliefs. No one else has control of me unless I give them the power over me. I can’t give them that power by looking at their faults, their lack of action, their perceived lack of work ethic and criticize. If I’m judging them, then I don’t know them.

I’m choosing to take control of my life and what I can do to make my sphere of influence a better place. I’m choosing to not let others control me and my actions by their attitudes and words.

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