Friday, September 21, 2012

Lighten Up!

After a somewhat strength-sapping week, I decided to put away the laptop and the work and concentrate on.. well, not concentrating! In fact, I decided to take my own advice, and as the weekend approaches.. to lighten up! I re-read that advice in the following entry in the video devotional, Anchored, which I recorded a few years ago. All of the entries in the devotional are based on my life and times in TV news. I thought that perhaps you've had a stressful week, too, and might enjoy reading this entry that I called:

The Fluff Piece

It isn’t always easy maintaining a smile and an optimistic attitude when working in a newsroom. Journalists are bombarded every hour of every day with bad news. Stories of car crashes, train wrecks, corrupt politicians, criminal behavior, abuse, a faltering economy and death-- both accidental and intentional-- come flying through the newsroom one right after another.
 It can become overwhelming and takes a toll on your outlook and mood.

That’s why I was always the newsroom champion of the ‘feel good story.’ The story of the good neighbor, the faithful pet, the child who volunteers, the skydiving grandma-- you get the idea. Other journalists might scoff, and indeed run from, the so called “fluff piece.” To the contrary,  I volunteered for that “beat,” believing these stories provide substance and balance to the daily blues...mmmm,  I mean the daily news.

We all need some “fluff” in our day.

We need a smile, a heart-lightening “moment” that brings balance. Don’t become so consumed by the “important” tasks that you miss the opportunity for the “fluff.” Take time to feed the ducks at the park, turn your face to the sun and feel its warmth, grab a lonely neighbor by the hand and take a walk through a garden or on the beach, or sneak away with your best friend to an afternoon movie. It may not be the most “important” thing you do in your day. Then again, perhaps it will. Because, maybe it will bring you that balance you need after battling your way through the “hard news” of the day.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24 KJV

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just Start Flappin'

"Start by doing what is necessary,

 then do what's possible, 

and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

~St. Francis of Assisi

Sometimes, you have to just start flappin'. No telling where it will take you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Will They See?

Even when you think no one is watching, someone may have you in their sights.

Her name was Nancy. She sat across the table from me during our newly organized women’s Bible study group. After a particularly intense session, dealing in part with our responses to stressors as Christian women, Nancy looked me straight in the eye. 

“This conversation reminds me of the first time I saw you in person,” she said. “We were in the grocery store. Your daughter ( a toddler) was acting up.”

"Oh, no," I thought, as I braced myself for what was to come.You see, in my younger, hectic, sleep-deprived life as a full time journalist and mother, I wasn’t always at my best at the end of the day with a cranky toddler in tow. Was my testimony about to be blown, right here in the spotlight of the Bible study group?

“I was standing behind you in line,” recalled Nancy. “Your daughter was trying to climb out of the shopping buggy. She was reaching for this candy bar and that package of gum. She was fussy and was getting louder and louder. I watched as you leaned down and got eye-to-eye with her. You began singing “Jesus Loves Me” softly to her, and within seconds she had calmed down. Before you made it to the cashier, you both were singing and she was smiling.” Nancy smiled and said, “I’ll always remember that.”

I actually remember that day so very long ago. Please don’t give me credit for my reaction to my daughter’s ‘spell’, as my grandmother would have called it. I clearly recall that my first instinct was to become angry and impatient. But, a nudging from the Holy Spirit redirected me. Instead of giving into my natural reaction, I prayed for supernatural intervention. He supplied it. And because He came through for us-- with a song and a smile-- His name and my witness left the grocery store intact that day.

Do I keep my cool every time a cranky person crosses my path--when a rude driver cuts me off in traffic--when Life  doesn't 'sit and stay' when I tell it to? I would love to tell you 'yes.'

That would not be the truth.

But, when I do pay attention to that nudging in my spirit, and intentionally step back and let Him take over... the growls turn into grins.. the snarls into smiles... and sometimes, just sometimes, the wisecrack turns into a warble!

It's all about remembering that... it's all about Him... and the person who may be watching us lose control and 'have a spell.'  Even when you think no one is watching...someone may have you in their sights. What will they see?
"The Spirit
gives us
power, love
and self-control."
2 Timothy 1:7 (CEV)