Posted in Life Lessons, Love, Uncategorized, Word, Truth, Life, Love

Separating the Precious from the Worthless

I grew up hearing my parents say, “You have to separate the precious from the worthless.”

What does that really mean?

Flowers

The best parts of recovering from a Hysterectomy (it’s day 11 now) have been seeing many friends and getting flowers. Since my surgery was less than a week away from Mother’s Day, my breakfast nook and bedroom were full of beautiful flowers. A few days ago I noticed some of these beauties were wilting, while some were thriving.

I gathered all three vases together and began separating flowers into categories.

  • Dead/wilted
  • Half-alive
  • Beautiful

I discarded the dead, pruned the dead parts off the half-alive, and saved the beautiful. I cut all of their ends, added fresh water and in the end, the bouquet is the one in the picture. Beautiful.

That’s separating the precious from the worthless.

People

Over the course of the past months I’ve sorted the people in my life into similar categories as the flowers. It’s been unintended, but that’s what I’ve done.

In recent years I’ve hung on to relationships that were half- or all-dead. Usually it’s because I liked the people in the relationship and wanted to salvage something. But bad relationships can be like wilted flowers. No matter how beautiful the relationship once was, if it isn’t nurtured, pruned, freshly cut, or – even better – well-planted, when it goes bad, what once was fragrant will inevitably begin to stink.

Getting out of bad relationships and nurturing good – that’s separating the precious from the worthless.

Feeling Worthless?

In the book of Jeremiah, God’s people had turned from Him to worship other gods and done all kinds of terrible-awful, yet they complained. Jeremiah was a prophet (God’s chosen spokesman) to these vain, ungrateful people, yet he was a man – just like us. I’m sure that it was tempting for Jeremiah to start to get irritated with folks. I’m suggesting he may have felt worthless. In doubt? Read Jeremiah 13 where God asks him to take his Super-Prophet under-roos off, bury them, then dig them up and show them off as an object lesson. If I were him, I might have been bitter and irritated too. Rotten underwear are no joke.

At Jeremiah’s breaking point, here’s what God told him:

Even God knows the value of extracting the precious from the worthless.

What’s Precious?

Well I know what’s worthless: negative people, abusive relationships, negative thinking, poor time-management, saying things you can’t take back, hurting people, etc.

But lately I’ve been asking myself, “What’s precious?”

I’ll tell you what’s precious to me:

  • My oldest – Katie – taking such good care of me post-op.
  • Laughing at Rom-Coms with her.
  • Hearing my middle – Stephanie – play guitar and sing.
  • Watching my little Gavin learn to really love to read lately.
  • Having family movie night with my parents and kids.
  • Long talks with my sis-in-law over coffee.
  • Writing.
  • The blessing of good friendships.
  • Having a dear friend stop in for “a few minutes” and talking the better part of 2 hours because we enjoy each other’s company that much.
  • A good, restful nap.
  • Time spent at the beach.
  • A beautiful sunset (or a good friend who sends me sunset & beach pics from his travels just so I’ll smile.)
  • A healthy dinner.
  • A long walk before bedtime.
  • A fresh Word from the Lord.

I grew up hearing my parents say, “You have to separate the precious from the worthless.”

Now I get it.

Posted in Life Lessons, Love, Poetry, Spoken Word

Daybreak in My Soul

A single point of light
Dancing on the sand
Bids the silver moon goodbye
Softly takes the hand
Of a gently breaking wave
Suddenly the shore is afire

Laughing on the water
Skipping on the shore
Gliding on the wings of a bird
One single point of light
Privileged to begin
Break of day without a single word

They say the sky is darkest
Just before daybreak
They say a heart is bluest
Just before heartache disappears
It’s been daybreak in my soul
Ever since you appeared

A single ray of hope
Dancing in my soul
Bids the shadows in my life goodbye
You softly took my hand
And the pieces of my heart
Suddenly my world is afire

Laughing, dreaming, loving
Skipping through each day
Gliding as if I had wings of a bird
This single ray of hope
Privileged to begin
Joy of life without a single word

They say the sky is darkest
Just before daybreak
They say a heart is bluest
Just before heartache disappears
It’s been daybreak in my soul
Ever since you appeared

From my book:
Daybreak in My Soul:
Lyrical Reflections on Life and Love
(C) 2006

Find my book here

Posted in Word, Truth, Life, Love

Beach Walks

Beach Walk #1

We made our way down the crooked path lined with greyed boards and sand that led to the beach. The July wind brushed my hair into my face. A seagull cried overhead.We took off our sandals and tossed them beside the gate so our bare toes could feel sand and surf.

The sun had just stretched itself out over the Gulf Shores waves as our brother had said his “I dos”. An hour later, with reception in full-swing, we slipped out, wine glasses in hand, and headed for the beach.

We walked and talked and laughed as lightning did pirouettes on waves a couple of miles out. Small talk became deeper as it does with sisters. We began discussing my divorce from 6 months earlier, my two kids, their futures, whether I was ready to date again, and what the heck I was going to do now with just one income. I don’t recall the conversation with as much clarity as I recall the decision I made that night.

I realized I wanted to be able to afford a better life for my kids and I wanted to travel. The beach is my happy place. I wanted to be able to walk on the beach more often than once every few years (the closest beach to me is 5 hours away). I knew I needed a better job if I was going to be able to afford to do so. And for a better job, I’d at least need a college degree.

It seemed like a far-off fantasy for a 28-year-old mom with two daughters ages 8 and 4. I worked retail. How on earth was this going to happen?

I flew back to Texas, asked mom to babysit, and headed up to the local Junior College to see how much classes would cost. I came to the school on just the right day. They were starting registration. (I don’t believe in coincidences. I now see God’s hand in all of this.) I came home with enough grants to pay for school, a full load of classes for the semester, and an arm full of paid-for text books. I spent the next 8 years in school.

I graduated from there, got two degrees, and have been able to travel a bit more.

It all started with a conversation on the beach, a decision (moment of clarity), and lots of follow-through.

Beach Walk #2

Last October I found myself alone in Galveston with an empty sack for shells and a free evening. I began walking up the beach looking for sea shells and picking up plenty of sea glass.

As the wind brushed my hair into my face and lightning danced not far out on the horizon, my mind wandered back to Gulf Shores and that discussion between sisters.

Here I was – once again ankle-deep in waves – but I realized I was here alone.

I resumed walking and began to talk with God. I had questions. Why was I here 14 years later – still without a husband? Why is my “picker” broken when it comes to men? (I seem to find abusers and addicts.) Why am I always the pursuer? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? Am I too old to try to find someone? Am I not enough (pretty enough, smart enough, funny/rich/popular enough)? Will I always be alone? Should I just make peace with having no husband? After all, I have an amazing circle of girlfriends, wonderful kids, and a wonderful family.

I talked and asked questions and finally made peace with this:

  • The guy who will marry me will have to love God
  • We will have to start off as really good friends
  • He will have to pursue me – I should not have to carry the whole relationship
  • He will have to be perfectly imperfect. Perfect FOR me, imperfect LIKE me
  • I will be at peace while I continue to wait

As I was at the dentist’s office today, I joked with a friend via text about imagining I was at the beach while the dentist drilled out a cavity and refilled it. I came home, slept, and dreamed about holding hands on the beach with a man who loves me. I couldn’t see his face in my dream, but he felt friendly, comfortable, and familiar. Maybe I’ve already met him?

This isn’t my normal post, but it IS what has been on my mind today and it is MY blog, so…I posted.

Keep dreaming. Keep conversing. Keep walking in the direction God has you going.

And will someone please bring me a latte?

Love you,

Melissa