Reflections on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm (belief, blog, Christ, christian, christmas, friendship, god, helping, introspective, jesus, journal, life questions, reflecting, support)

I hope most of you are in the company of people you care for, and who care about you.  Something about Christmas makes everyone take a moment to reflect.  Whether they believe in the power of the birth of Christ or not, people are someone taken by the spirit of this season, and all of the good that goes along with it.  We all seem to embrace the idea of giving to those in need, in appreciating the things we have, and of celebrating the relationships we have.  I feel some sort of common ground with everyone at this time of year.  It seems to strip away our differences and leave us with nothing more (or less) than the knowledge that we are human, and in need of each other.

I was on my way home from doing some Christmas shopping the other day.  As I came around a curve on a small, residential road, I pulled up right upon a wreck that had just happened only a second before.   One car (we’ll call this car #1)  was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, while smoke billowed from underneath the hood.  The other car (car #2) had skid across the road, through someone’s yard, and into a tree.  I quickly pulled over and rushed to the cars to see if anyone was hurt.  An elderly African American couple were the occupants of car #1.  The older gentleman was getting out from behind the wheel, limping along with his cane to examine the damage as I came up to them.  Thank God everyone was ok.  I’m so surprised there weren’t at least some minor injuries.  I chatted with the older couple, and finally convinced the guy to have a seat since it would probably be a while before the police would get there to write it up.

Emerging from car #2 was a middle-aged “soccer mom”.  She was visibly shaken up, almost to the point of tears.  She had, thankfully, just dropped off her 4 year old son with her husband and was on her way to work.  She called her husband, who was there in a matter of minutes, with 4 year old in tow.

As all of this unfolded, a few neighbors from nearby came out from their various houses.  One older hispanic looking woman directed the traffic around the car #1 that was still in the road.  A young African American dad  and his daughter came out, bringing snacks and toys to occupy the busy little boy that was much more interested in anything within close proximity to the street.

I started pulling out things I had in my car:  a classroom calendar with little velcro dates you can place accordingly, a counting matching game, and most importantly, marshmellows.

It seemed like forever before the cops actually showed up.  Since I had no where I needed to be, I stuck around and, if nothing more, tried to keep the kids involved in something.  Over two hours had passed before I finally offered to run down the street and pick up some lunch for everyone.  I sped over to McD’s and ordered a sackful of burgers.  As we sat around and ate our picnic lunch, I was struck with a sense of overwhelming gratitude.  Here I was, in the midde of a potentially chaotic situation, but was able to witness people from all walks of life offering all that they had.  I really have no idea what social status anyone belong to… and it really doesn’t matter.  It was quite a site to see everyone come together, despite the many differences that has the ability to separate us from each other.

I think this is how it was meant to be.  This captures the true spirit of Christmas, reaching out to those in need, regardless of whether or not you feel like what you have is enough to offer.  I have a feeling there is rarely anything that is not appreciated.

I hope I have the opportunity to do that more.  I want to be able to love in spite of circumstances.  I want to be able to reach out and touch someone in a positive way, regardless of how inadequate I may feel.

May we all have these opportunities in our lives.

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the Beginning of the End

November 21, 2007 at 11:12 pm (autumn, belief, blog, Blogroll, fall, friendship, god, introspective, journal, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, reflecting, Uncategorized) (, , )

Well, we finally made it back around to the holiday season. At this time tomorrow, people will begin their journeys to countless retail stores to get the first pick at the hot deals. This officially begins the Christmas season, as well as the final leg of the year 2007.

Actually this is the first time since I’ve been “on my own” that I’ve come back to Georgia for Thanksgiving. Normally, my parents make their annual voyage up to Nashville for their Thanksgiving visit. This year, due to my mom’s cancer, I decided to come down here instead to save them the trip.

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. This year more so than usual, but I can’t really articulate just why. I will have to take some time and really reflect before I can write much about it all.

As of now, it is time for me to turn in for the evening. Tomorrow morning I will be helping out in the kitchen, trying not to completely ruin Thanksgiving dinner with my horrible cooking skills. My family is known for cooking huge meals. This time will be no different.

I am really looking forward to some great food! I’m sure there will be a football game on at some point. I want to make a point to watch part of the parade, and see the huge tree be lit in NY.

My thoughts feel disconnected tonight. I need sleep. And I need to be able to breathe. That’s always a good thing. For the past couple of days I have felt like I’m coming down with a cold. That always leads to chest congestion and awful breathing problems. I’ve started on some medication and have been trying to drink a lot of water and hot tea. I hope I can keep it at bay. We’ll see how that goes.

The leaves were gorgeous on my drive from TN. Here are a few shots I took out my car window as I drove down the interstate. I will leave you with these:

Until next time…

May visions of turkey legs dance in all of our heads tonight

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Fall on the Natchez Trace

November 12, 2007 at 1:42 pm (autumn, blog, Blogroll, fall, friendship, journal, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, reflecting, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday was a fun day! I was feeling good, which was a welcomed change. With all of the weather grossness, my breathing has been pretty rough. I have a tendency to over do it the second I’m feeling some relief.

I desperately needed to get out! I was starting to feel the tug of cabin fever, and I knew the winter blues were not far away.

So, a couple of friends and I piled into my car and took a drive. We trapsed out the Natchez Trace, which is a scenic roadway that runs from Nashville down to Tupelo, MS. Parts of the “Old Trace” are still visible, and walkable. It dates back to the days of pioneers and indians, and all of the bartering and trading that made Nashville what it is today. There are little historic stops along the way. I am a lover of history. I love to see how everything is connected, and discovering how something so mundane from so long ago somehow affects who I am today.

The scenery is gorgeous out that way. The farther you go, the more scenic it becomes. I was hoping for some pretty fall foliage. I was not disappointed!

 

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when things aren’t what they seem

November 8, 2007 at 11:37 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, friendship, god, introspective, journal, judging, judgmental, life questions, prejudice, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, support, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Let’s face it… we all jump to conclusions. It’s really easy to interpret something totally backwards, and opposite of how it was intended. Quite often people miscommunicate because they act too quickly on what they think someone meant by what was said.

I just watched a movie called The Reaping. I was skeptical, and it didn’t blow me away. The plot had me intrigued when I read it in Blockbuster. It is about a girl (Hilary Swank) who works at scientifically explaining different myths. She works to find the logic and reasonable explanations to what some think are unexplained miracles. Then suddenly, there are plagues that overtake a small town, and she goes to investigate. Everyone is blaming a young girl for bringing the plagues to their home, and some sort of witch hunt ensues.

Over the course of the movie, I went from mildly interested, to bored and unconvinced. But, as the story continued to go on my interest got the best of me. I watched as the truth about the girl was revealed, and what that really meant for the small town she called home.

Things are rarely as they seem. I always try to remember that, but it’s way too easy to jump to conclusions. It leaves me again realizing my need of a God with infinite wisdom to snap me back into that reality.

So I’m learning to give things a chance. It takes a conscious effort to take a step back when I feel my mind jumping ahead of my heart. It’s something I need to remember to do more often.

I’m also learning that I’m a big fan of Hilary Swank!

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how much is enough?

October 30, 2007 at 12:46 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, friendship, god, helping, introspective, journal, life questions, potential, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, suffering, support, Uncategorized)

 

In my line of work, I’m constantly around people that need help.  More specifically, I’m constantly around people that come to me for help.  More often than not, I feel pretty inadequate in my ability to give them what they need.  It’s quite a helpless feeling. The things is, I’m not sure that they really know what it is they need exactly.  They just know that something has to change.

How many of us are in that same boat?  I know I am.  I’m not necessarily looking for a right answer, I just need someone to help me get started.  More than anything, it helps to know that I’m not alone.

I rarely have any answers, for myself or anyone else.  I’m not sure life works that way.  Strangely, I’m noticing that the less I feel responsibility to “do” something, the more helpful I can actually be.

Sometimes its not in having the right answer.  As a matter of fact, there rarely is an answer.  Everything is a process.  What people really want is someone to be with them to walk through that process, or to help them take the very first step that may seem so daunting.

I think if we can get away from feeling such a need to have the right answer, only then can we really get down to what it’s all truly about.

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