Breathing 15 Minutes At A Time

Breathing is an unconscious act.  You do it by instinct because your body needs air for survival.  Our bodies have their own “knowing” and take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide without our conscious brain having any involvement with it.  Thank God for this!  I could only imagine the horror that would follow if my feeble memory was in charge of breathing!!

 

Breath (noun) breth 1. the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration.  2.  respiration, especially as necessary to life.  3. life; vitality  4. the ability to breath easily and normally.   5.  time to breath; pause or respite.   6.  a single inhalation or respiration. 7.  the brief time required for a single respiration; a moment or instant.

I started meditating on a regular basis (I use the word “regular” pretty loosely here) about five or six years ago when I read a book on contemplative prayer by James Finley.  Finley used Thomas Merton’s example of monastic prayer life and explained in layman’s terms the essence of what many other religions refer to as meditation.  In its simplest definition, meditation is calmly sitting with God and noticing God’s presence in your life at that particular moment.

This is not something that comes as naturally as breathing.  Because our mind is going at breakneck speed, getting our thoughts to stop racing so we can notice God is pretty difficult.  Ironically, it’s noticing your breath and its natural ebb and flow that helps you release those racing thoughts and allows you to simply observe God’s presence.

It would be nice to sit in meditation 24-7 but not incredibly practical.  The outstanding side effect of meditation is that during those inevitable times of stress or anxiety I can recall the feeling of noticing my breath for 15 minutes straight and more importantly, recollect God’s presence in my life.  (Another favorite word – recollect.  Collecting again.  Memory is just that, gathering once again something I have never lost.)

Lately, I’ve been especially appreciative of this fairly new form of prayer in my life.  It’s comforting to know that God has my back, but it’s a downright form of sustenance to feel it.

If you have not tried meditation, or contemplative prayer you might want to give it a shot.  Start with some recorded guided meditations.  The voice prompts will help your focus and the variety of topics can help you tailor it to your particular mood or situation.  Below are a couple of good websites and apps I have found very helpful in getting started.

 www.toolsforpeace.org – or look up an app on your smart phone or tablet called “Stop, Breathe & Think”

Occasionally Oprah Winfrey collaborates with Deepak Chopra on free 21 day daily meditation series.  She has another free one coming up on Nov 2 and links can be found on www.chopracentermeditation.com

 

Other iphone/apple apps:  Relax & Rest by Mary Maddux, Mindfulness Meditation by Hector Rodriquez Fronies and Insight Guided Meditations by Spotlight Six Software

Good luck and happy breathing!!!

 

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Unwinding A Wound

I think most of us would be under the impression that healing a hurt would make everything better.  Physical, psychological or emotional injuries removed would give us a freedom and a quality of life that is exponentially better than being among the walking wounded.  While I do believe this is true in the long run, I am experiencing this week the reality that before things get really good, they are really hard.  Really.  Hard.  Recognizing our own need for healing usually brings an awareness of things that we didn’t realize existed.  It’s like a blind person being able to see again, and then, sight blessed, seeing firsthand the disheveled state of affairs they have been living in their entire lives.  While having sight allows a better quality of life, we now witness ugly truths that have to be reconciled.

 

Healing (noun) hee ling 1.  Process of curing or becoming well; the process of curing somebody or something or of becoming well.  (adjective) 1.  Curative; having the effect of curing or improving something.

 

Healing is an intensely personal thing.  When you unwind your wounds you draw from something deep down inside that allows you the strength to do it all on your own.  No one “helps” you heal because chances are they are too wrapped up in their own wounds.

One of my favorite people to follow on Facebook is author Elizabeth Gilbert.  She had a post the other day that really spoke to me.  It was about the best piece of advice she was ever given from what she described as a brilliant, independent, wonderful woman in her 70s:

“Nobody is ever thinking about you.”

It doesn’t sound like warm and fuzzy advice, but she goes on to quote this woman:  “We women spend our 20′s and 30′s so worried about what everyone is thinking about us. Then we get into our 40′s and 50′s, and we finally start to be free, because we decide we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you will not be completely free until your 60′s and 70′s, when you will finally realize this liberating truth — NOBODY WAS EVER THINKING ABOUT YOU, ANYHOW.”

This is true of being wounded and hurt as well.   As I am going through this realization that I have been living in a blind man’s house, my initial reaction is to blame someone.  To look at someone else and think “You did this to me”.  But the reality is no one ever set out to intentionally hurt me.  We really never move away from thinking about ourselves when we are wounded.  We think about our own pain and then unknowingly react in a way that hurts those we are closest to.  In other words – wounded people create more wounds.  It perpetuates and until someone says “STOP!”.

I might not be able to heal those wounding me but I can either remove myself from the wounding situation or create and enforce a boundary that will not allow it to happen anymore.   This, my friends, is that hard part I was talking about.  Changing yourself, even if for the better, doesn’t always get a warm welcome and thunderous applause.  It’s dirty work.

Frankly, I am amazed that I am capable of doing it.  I know I didn’t have the strength alone and that if it were not for my relationship with God I couldn’t do it at all.  Despite having my eyes opened to the depth and severity of the wound, there’s that inner knowing that God has my back.  The road might be bumpy but I know that it will be the best path in the long run.

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The Barrier Lesson

As part of my job, I help with company events and a Blues Band event in the company parking lot this fall was on the calendar.  A couple of my coworkers are incredibly talented musicians and wanted to entertain clients and friends for an afternoon.  They knew I had a musical background and asked me if I wanted to sing a few numbers.  It sounded like so much fun of course I agreed.

Then I had second and third thoughts.

Even though I didn’t lose any excitement or enthusiasm toward singing in the parking lot on a Saturday afternoon, I found I was trying to talk myself out of it.  “I’ve never sung “the blues”, I’ve really not sung with a band, I live far enough away practicing with the group would be a challenge”….blah blah blah.   Even though I knew this would be something I would enjoy and the people that I would be working with are some of the nicest, most laid back individuals on the planet, I was putting up barriers.  Why? My brain knew I was being ridiculous, but my emotions wanted to take over.

 

Definition:  barrier (noun) bæi: ər 1.  Structure blocking access; a structure such as a fence that is intended to prevent access or keep one place separate from another.  2.  Something that obstructs; something that obstructs or separates, often by emphasizing difference.  3. Limit or standard; something considered to be a limit, standard, or boundary.  4. Ice shelf; in geography, the part of the Antarctic ice shelf that extends over the sea and partly rest on the ocean floor.

 

I ‘m going to give myself some credit for at least being aware of the fact that the barrier went up in the first place.  I noticed my excuses and I could look at them like a 3rd party and see them for the obstruction that they were.  A few years ago I lacked that perspective.  This is one giant step toward mindfulness for me!

So now, there I was, examining my angst.  What does one do with a worry that you rationally know is unfounded?  Well, first I looked at my excuses:

”I’ve never sung the blues.”

And then I let Love answer them:

“There’s a first time for everything, and you’re singing with great people.  If ever there would be a time to try it out, this is it!”

Or

I’ve never sung with a band.”  vs. “What the heck, when does the opportunity to sing with a band fall in your lap?  Good or bad, it will be an amazing experience!”

Or

I live too far away, how will I practice?” vs. “You might live far away but you work down the street.  Practice after work.”

Those weren’t the only barriers I was trying to erect.  I found myself noticing excuse after excuse until I worked through every worry-filled blockade by responding to it with Love (capital L).  It worked.  Last Saturday, I just enjoyed the experience.  Every positive thing I thought it could be came true and none of the obstacles appeared.  This was an incredible lesson for me.

Let go and let God” is one of those phrases that I had always found annoying.  The idea of “giving up” doesn’t translate into my reality.  However, I think these last few months taught me that “letting go” has everything to do with removing a barrier that separates us from Real Love (i.e. God).    I was more than happy to give it up and enjoy the day.

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Absence of Mind

Wow, what a summer!  What began with some semblance of structure and is now closing with its usual muggy, moisture laden chaos that has me begging for school to begin again.

I had well envisioned plans for this summer.  It was going to be the summer of enjoying nature and writing about it in my journal.  I was going to relish my time with the boys swimming, biking, eating ice cream and all those activities that are exponentially better when the humidity hits 80%.  Of course, I would be reading.  I purposely subscribed to five different writing publications in the spring because I knew I would be submerging myself in every issue and swimming in the inspiration tucked between each and every page.

As my favorite phrase goes; If you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans.

May finished up and with the kids out of school and home all of the time they needed to be shuttled to and from sports camps, friend’s houses, driver education class and summer basketball league games.  It took me three weeks to complete a short blog I normally would have woven into a couple of days.  I opted to be kind to myself and figured this was just my way of trying to adapt to “summer life”.  I told myself that once I got the hang of the hot weather hiatus, I’d be back in form.  I’m good at convincing myself so on top of the 5 magazines I already subscribed to, I added a subscription to The New Yorker.  What the heck,….it was a fantastic deal.

July came and we left for a family reunion mid-month.  The first half of the month was spent prepping for the trip and the last half in the laundry room recovering from the aftermath.

When August arrived I was feeling so defeated that I hadn’t written one single word since June.  I was determined to get control of my schedule, my family, my house and have them submit to MY time in order to get back on track with writing.  One hot muggy day after a less than fruitful visit from the HVAC repairman, I dropped one of the boys off at a friend’s house.  His mom is a very talented writer and I asked her how her book project was going.  She let me know she just signed with an agent.  I am genuinely happy for her and tell her she is inspiring me to get my act back together.  I let it slip that I haven’t typed a word in not just weeks….but MONTHS.  Then I hear the words every creative person dreads……

”Well, you have to be passionate about it so it becomes the priority.”

I thought I WAS passionate about writing!!  What happened???  Why did my passion get up and sally the summer?

 

Definition:  absence (noun) æb sns  1.  Not being present; the fact of somebody’s not being in a specific place.  2. Time away; a period during which somebody is away.  3. Nonexistence; the lack or nonexistence of a quality or feature.

 

Was it as simple as not being present with my passion for writing?  I let it take a backseat because I needed to present with other things and maybe that’s not all bad.  I had huge family obligations this summer with relatives spanning from 86 needing to be shuttled back home from eye surgery down to a 12 yr old spraining his ankle twice.  I needed to move a child living 400 miles away from dorm to apartment and back to dorm again.  I took a leadership role in a group seeking to elect responsible citizens to my local school board.  Our youth sports organization that we started 8 years ago with our friends was starting the biggest sport of the year and needed my attention.  All of these things are very important to me.  So, it wasn’t that my passion waned or drifted off into nonexistence but more an issue of being passionate about more than one thing and finding a balance between all of them.

Forgiving myself for not living up to my unrealistic vision of the “perfect summer” took some solid reflection and observation on how I really spent my time.  While God chuckles at my vision of a blissful summer of observing nature, writing and reading, I can look back on the last couple of months and know that I was doing exactly what I was passionate about and then allow myself the luxury of being grateful for the experience.

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Smoke Signals

When I was in junior high our school mascot was a warrior.  Ironically, my children go to a different middle school and their mascot is also a warrior.  A warrior has a significant meaning in our native culture and is often thought of as “fighting the good fight”, heroic acts and bravery.  Who wouldn’t want to emulate a noble soldier when faced with fierce competition?

I live in a society that values a good fight.  We like to support the underdog and cheer for the little guy.  In the fervor of the moment, it’s easy to forget sometimes all of the preparation that precedes the battle.  Every warrior spends a minimum amount of time sharpening his blade and spends the majority on planning for the rest of the community.  They store up supplies, train others, and most importantly, lay the groundwork for communication.

 

Definition: communication (noun) kə mju ni’kei ʃn  1.  Exchange of information; the exchange of information between people e.g. by means of speaking ,writing or using a common system of signs or behavior.  2.  Message; a spoke or written message.  3. Act of communication; the communicating of information.

Etymology of communication:  late 14c., from Old French comunicacion (14c., Modern French communication), from Latin communicationem (nominative communicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of communicare ”to share, divide out; communicate, impart, inform; join, unite, participate in,” literally “to make common,” from communis (from etymonline.com)

 

A good warrior fights, but a great warrior knows who he is fighting for. He fights for his community.  Funny how both communicate and community stem from the same word isn’t it?

I’m a part of many different communities.  There’s my family, my neighborhood, my church, my workplace, social organizations and a bunch of others.  I had a beautiful warrior moment this last week in one of those communities.  I had been fighting what I thought was a good fight; standing my ground, praying for strength and patiently listening for answers.  But I had been going into battle unprepared.  I didn’t do the work a good warrior should do.  A few days ago the battle field was completely leveled with one simple conversation.  We “made common”.  This person sought to understand my perspective.  I reached out and laid down my weapon long enough to hear them out.   Here I am on my self-proclaimed year of mindfulness and I was thinking much more about how this person “wronged” me instead of thinking of what or who I was fighting for.

To call it a healing would be a tremendous understatement.  That simple act of communication was a miracle.  I’m so grateful for the second chance and I’m looking forward to a different and decidedly more positive communion with this individual.  What a blessing!

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Shattered

Sunday morning I woke up optimistic with a full plate of fun things to do. The night before we just had a great party with family celebrating my 2nd grader’s first communion and my 8th grader’s confirmation, so Sunday was going to be a day of rest and fun.

I walked out to the driveway to take my six year old to his friend’s house to play and my jaw dropped to the floor. The back window of my conversion van had spider web markings and a giant hole in the center. My brain was having a hard time processing things at first. I looked at the window and thought it was just a strange shadow from the tree in the front yard. Then I saw all the little pieces of glass on the driveway and my heart just sank. The first thought was “Who on earth would smash my car window???”, then a more rational thought came to mind…….golf ball.

Yep, on the back seat of the van was a shiny white Titleist 2. It looks like it was just taken out of the box for its virgin voyage…..never to return again. Our back yard runs alongside the fourth fairway of a golf course. “Golf ball incidents” are part of the price of having a back yard that is beautifully manicured, maintained (at someone else’s expense) and vacant for 8 months of the year. I have had several broken windows on the house; however, to hit the large conversion van in the driveway in front of the house is an incredibly bad shot. Chances are the person that made the shot had no idea that they hit my car. They probably never heard a thing. Our house sits about 150 yards from the tee box so when I add the fact that this particular ball veered another 150 yards off course and hit a window that is designed to shatter and stay in tact, instead of crashing to 1,000 pieces, maybe the golfer was as responsible as they could have been.

So, for the next hour my husband and I got out the vacuum, duct tape and ply wood and started cleaning up. I’m still wondering if the golfer had any idea what an interruption his bad shot had. I’m picturing some gentleman enjoying the 18th hole with his friends and happily imbibing in a cool beer at the club house, totally oblivious to the fact that he shattered something. He will never know the damage caused. He will never experience the tiny little shards of glass that I will be finding in the back of my van for months to come, the headache of calling to order a replacement window to find out the company that makes the window has gone out of business or the fact that it’s raining cats and dogs today and the only barrier between the water and my leather seat is duct tape, ply wood and a dark black garbage bag.

I wonder how many times I’ve done the same thing. When have I left a gaping hole with a casual yet hurtful comment? When have I carelessly left shards of sharp glass on someone else’s lap? Was it when I forgot to call my sister on her birthday? Could it have been when I was too tired to go to a celebration for a friend of the family? Did I ever unknowingly cause an interruption in someone’s life like a golf ball through the window?

Of course I have. We all have. And we will probably never know if we have been forgiven for it or not…..because, frankly, we didn’t even realize we shattered the glass in the first place.

I think I will need to have some faith in forgiveness. I have knowingly been the beneficiary of someone’s forgiveness in the past, many times. I hope God finds a way to bless forgiveness on anyone I unknowing hurt in the future. I think the least I can do is forgive u2018Bad-Titleist 2-Golfer’ too.

originally published on May 7, 2008

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Contrast

I had a nice 5 day weekend and spent most of it with Strep.  Yuck.  However, in an effort to be more mindful, I’m taking some well learned lessons from the contrast of sunny weather that makes you want to go outside and do stuff against bacteria that just made me want to sit in a chair and sleep.

 

Definition:  contrast (verb) kon trast 1.  To compare in order to show unlikeliness or differences; note to opposite natures and purposes.  2.  To exhibit unlikeliness in comparison with something else 3.  In linguistics, to differ in a way that can serve to distinguish meaning.  (noun)  1.  The act of contrasting; the state of being contrasted.  2.  A striking exhibition of unlikeliness.  3.  Opposition or juxtaposition on different lines, forms or colors in a work of art to intensify each element’s properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.  4.  In photography, the relative different between light and dark areas of a print or negative.

 

Every Memorial Day weekend for the last few years we have gone camping with a few other families.  It is something my boys look forward to.  The adults love the rest and relaxation.  This year we were making plans as usual and several things kept interfering.  Large school projects, a Memorial Day parade that would allow a son to not take a final exam if he participated, the boat was in the repair shop and then……strep throat.  Camping just wasn’t in the cards.  I’m pretty grateful my dark patch for the weekend is righted with a five day course of antibiotics and fluids.  After replaying the weekend through my mind I know I was exactly where I needed to be even if initially I was feeling pretty bummed out about not going.  Truthfully, the boys even enjoyed some things they usually don’t get to participate in.  That old saying that goes “If God brings you to it, He brings you through it.”, kept creeping into my mind.

I really don’t like that adage.

First of all, there’s a big difference between being too sick to go camping and major life obstacles like a death in the family, terminal illness or something truly catastrophic.  Sometimes, you just don’t “get through it” like illness over a long weekend and you come out completely changed.  God doesn’t fit neatly into a quip little phrases.  We like to think we are helping ourselves and others by offering these don’t-worry-be-happy mottos Christians have been chirping for decades.  I believe they do a disservice to real work God might need you to do in your life at that particular moment.  Perhaps they make us feel better for a moment, but having that phrase run through my head over the last few days was downright annoying!

When something not so awful like strep or absolutely horrible like a major loss happens there is an opportunity to do some deep digging.  It’s vital that we ask ourselves “What does God want me to do with this?”  I can guarantee the answer isn’t “I just want you to get through it.”.

As I was looking through social media I saw one of my dear friends from high school was remembering a solemn anniversary of the loss of her brother to suicide one year ago.  It’s still so incredibly painful for her family.  I lost a brother once too and all I could think to say to her was that one day that awful heart gripping, gut wrenching pain she feels will soften and she will be able to remember him without dissolving in a puddle of tears.   I didn’t want to tell her anything about getting over it, because I know from my own experience you just don’t.  It always hurts, but somehow we grow closer to God and we come out changed for the better.

God is full of contrast.  There is no way to experience His light without understanding the darkness.  No one is grateful for suffering, but we can always find something to be grateful for in the suffering and see God’s work first hand.

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Lessons From a Comedienne

Ok, back to mindful eating.  It seems like I’ve gotten a little off track with my theme for the year.  Honestly, I have probably gotten off track with it in life as well.

I recently read a trending online article about a British comedienne named Sarah Millican that was nominated for an award on a televised award show.  She wore a pretty flowered dress and floated on cloud nine as she enjoyed the amazing company of her successful peers only to have her feelings crushed when she went online to read the reviews blasting her choice of attire.  You can read the entire story here:  http://bit.ly/1hNANPy

My favorite quote in the article is this:  “I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job. Putting clothes on is such a small part of my day. They may as well have been criticizing me for brushing my teeth differently to them.”

I have no idea who Sarah Millican is, what kind of comedy she performs or anything about her personal life, but this quote made me want to stand up and cheer for her.  It also made me think of how often we succumb to the mindlessly cruel thoughts of others (or even ourselves) and let it sway our opinion of what we think is beautiful, special or sacred and keeping something as small as selecting an outfit for a special event in the insignificant place it belongs.

 

Definition:  significance (noun) sig nif i kuhns  1.  Importance or consequence.  2.  The quality of being important; the quality of having notable worth or influence.

 

Reading through her response to wounded feelings stuck with me for a few days.  I admired her perspective and it made me wonder how often I lose my own.  It challenged me to think of how often I make a mountain out of molehill when it comes to my food selection.  I labor over certain things and give it more significance that it really deserves.  Sometimes I am harder on myself than those critics that grade celebrities on their fashion choices.

 

“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”  Matt 15:11

 

Part of mindful eating or mindful anything has everything to do with significance.  Giving thought to what we decide is important and will influence us is the cornerstone to any spiritual practice.  Recognizing God in those influences always moves us to select the right words, the right decisions and the even the right food.

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What Is Truth?

I took a few days off from blogging and I haven’t posted something since the Easter holiday so I want to be sure to wish everyone a Happy Easter!

This is my favorite time of the year.  I love the Easter season and how it lingers on for weeks.  The symbolism and significance of being Easter people and having an Alleluia attitude (see my post from April 2011).  The week leading up to Easter we enjoy reading through the Lord’s Passion and my favorite readings come through the book of John.   I have always been intrigued by one particular exchange between Jesus and Pontius Pilate.

John 18:37-38

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”

 

I always thought, in my nerdy-wordy way, that it was interesting that Jesus said he came to the world to testify to THE truth and Pilate’s question lacks the word “the”.  He doesn’t ask what is THE truth, he simply asks “What is truth?”.

 

Definition:  truth (noun) trooth  1.  Something factual; the thing that corresponds to fact or reality.  2.  True quality; correspondence to face or reality.  3.  True statement;  a statement that corresponds to fact or reality.  4.  Obvious fact; something that is so clearly true that it hardly needs to be stated.  5.  Something generally believed; a statement that is generally believed to be true.  6. Honesty; honesty and sincerity.  7.  Conformity; adherence to a standard or law.  8.  Loyalty; faithfulness to a person or a cause.

 

I’m probably the only person in the world that feels badly for Pilate.  He has to be the most confused person in the Passion narrative.  Pilate can’t figure out why this individual standing before him negates a rote process that has always been business-as-usual.  He doesn’t want a riot, but he doesn’t understand what is so horrible that the Jewish leaders would want to put this man to death.  Pilate is questioning not just Jesus, but the entire process of Roman law that he has made a career out of upholding.  Pilate is the Easter poster child of being caught between mortal and immortal, secular and spiritual or earth and heaven.

How often have we been in Pilates shoes?  I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have struggled like Pilate!  I think this is why I feel so badly for him.  When I look at the dictionary definition of “truth” it’s clear why Pilate and the rest of us struggle with understanding the deep meaning of this word.  Loyalty, fact, reality, conformity and honesty can all be incredibly subjective based on your associations and your surroundings.   We question truth when passing a homeless person and struggle with the notion that our idea of helping this individual might not be the “right” thing to do.  When we are in the middle of a conversation and someone makes an off color or racist comment and we don’t pipe up and call it out as wrong, we struggle with the definition of truth.  When we see laws and procedures in place that marginalize and disregard an entire class of people but actively participate in those processes, we are in essence, Pontius Pilate.

Pilate perfectly illustrates our human nature by asking this question.  He remained loyal to his position and conformed to Roman law.  The fact of a likely riot at the freeing of Jesus and the reality of paying steep consequences for that probably solidified his decision.  We do not know how Pilate moves on after the crucifixion. We don’t know if he remains a governor and brushes off the entire exchange as a crazy day at work or if it transforms him.  We only know that he questioned what truth really is and then went ahead and did what he had always done.

I always pray that I will have clarity in the “Pilate moments” of life, but hindsight tells me I don’t always get that clarity.  I often go with the flow instead of pushing against the current with truth.  How often do you ask yourself “What is truth?”?

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Three Different Signs of Hope

At the start of lent I decided to try a little Paperwhite Narcissus project.  I planted bulbs in three different containers hoping to recreate the idea of having something that was dead come back to life.  I wanted to see if I could feel the hope that clings to improbability and uncertainty that the disciples felt on the first Easter.

 

Definition:  hope (transitive and intransitive verb) həup 1.  Want or expect something; to have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely.  (noun) 1. Confident desire; a feeling that something desirable is likely to happen.  2.  Likelihood of success; a chance that something desirable will happen or be possible.  3.  Wish or desire; something that somebody wants to have or do or wants to happen or be true.  4.  Source of success; somebody or something that seems likely to bring success or relief.  5.  Trust; a feeling of trust.

 

My hope for blooms appears drastically different in each of my plantings.  My large three bulb container has loads of green stalks.  They are spilling over the sides from the weight.  However the end of each green shoot is starting to turn brown.  When a bud has appeared it quickly turned brown and crunchy and hasn’t produced any flowers yet.  Even though I haven’t seen the blossoms I was hoping for, I’m thinking this pot has the most potential.  It has encouraged me over the last few weeks and I see two more buds in there.  This has been due to none of my hard work.  I kept forgetting about this pot because it was in the home office and not in my line of sight on a daily basis.  I am hopeful that by Easter morning I will be as surprised as the women at the tomb and might have one fragrant bloom.

My tiny one bulb pot I brought to my office.  I have no windows at my desk so all the light it has gotten has been artificial.  I didn’t think it was going to do very well but about two weeks ago it started shooting up!  Now look at it; tall and proud.  Like Thomas, I doubted this one until I actually saw something happening.  I purposely used the smallest one because in my mind I had decided the office setting was going to give it the least hope of survival.  I was wrong.  Just like putting my finger in the holes of His hands, I needed to see it to believe it.

 

 

 

The one I thought would do the best hasn’t budged an inch.  It looks just as dead as the day I put it in the dirt.  My two bulb pot is in a sunny spot in the kitchen where I have kept plants for 12 years.  I’m starting to realize that this location is a plant Golgotha.  They all eventually die here too.  I have only been successful with terrariums because they need so little water.  This plant is perplexing me.  I have given it a lot of attention!  Everytime I was at the kitchen sink I checked the soil, gave it water if it felt dry and moved it to sunnier locations.  Perhaps the issue is that I didn’t give it up and let nature take its course.  I’m forcing a bulb my own way instead of the way it should naturally go.  The result is dashed hope, non-belief and skepticism.  It makes me think of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders that had the Son of God right in front of them yet couldn’t believe.  They assumed they knew better and would recognize the Messiah without a problem.  They even went so far as to persecute and put to death the very sign they were waiting for because they couldn’t move past their own limited  thinking, rules and human expectations.

I have a few more days until Easter morning.  I’m still hopeful that one of these pots will have a beautiful, white, fragrant bloom.

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