Prescription in hand, I headed for the Optical Store, determined to make the necessary change.
A few months earlier I had been there, looked at new frames, received some price quotes and then decided to put off getting new glasses. Even though my prescription had changed, my old ones didn’t seem that bad, so I thought I could get by with them.
Hours spent in front of a computer screen started to result in blurry vision. Reading a book could do the same. Sometimes the issue took hours to fully resolve. For the sake of clarity, the time had come to make the change.
Decisions on frame style and lens type weren’t as difficult as I’d thought. I felt good knowing soon I’d be looking at the world more clearly through a new pair of glasses.
This could have been accomplished much sooner if I’d just made the change when it was needed rather than putting it off.
I guess this is a mirror of my life as I have been known to resist change there as well. My reasons to stay the same seem valid at the time. It’s too much effort. Things aren’t really that bad the way they are. Eventually, I lose clarity and situations become distorted. My focus is no longer healthy.
What I need is a new perspective, another way of looking at things. When I figuratively change glasses my outlook and therefore my life, improves. It’s amazing what a shift in focus can do!
The radio announcer posed an interesting question. He asked if there was anything we learned from a teacher that still had an impact on us today.
Although it’s been many years since I was in school, it wasn’t difficult for me to think of something.
In high school, I was fortunate to have the same English teacher two years in a row. He was widely respected as being firm but fair. At the beginning of my second year with him, I turned in an essay that received a much higher mark than I expected. At the end of the class I was called aside and told this essay didn’t deserve the grade I’d received but he knew I was capable of high-quality work so had marked this one with my potential in mind. I was given grace I didn’t deserve.
This teacher’s faith in my ability gave me the confidence to believe in myself. I worked hard to affirm his decision and reach the high standard he envisioned.
Since that time I have had many teachers or mentors in my life. Some have taught me work-related skills while others have taught me compassion and resilience. All have helped to shape me into the person I am today.
Jesus is the greatest teacher of all. He taught not only with words but with example. The lessons he taught over two thousand years ago are still impacting people today. The model given through his life inspires all of us to be better people. He gave us grace we didn’t deserve and I, for one, want to live up to the potential he entrusted me with.
I am convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 GWT)
I turned the corner onto my street and saw one of our neighbourhood jackrabbits hopping across the road. When it heard my car approaching, the rabbit stopped right where it was – in the middle of the road. It held perfectly still as I slowly drove past.
Often I see one of these rabbits in my yard and instead of hopping away when I come close, it will freeze in position, as if to blend into the surroundings and become invisible. Such was the case when I took the picture included in this post. Some places are easier to blend into than others.
To be fair, this can be an effective survival tactic. If the rabbit can’t be seen, there will be no danger of harm.
Although this may be useful for animals, the behaviour doesn’t work the same way for people.
Someone once told me she had observed me making myself invisible when I was out of my comfort zone. I was like the rabbit on the road. I thought no one could see me but I was wrong.
My desire is to feel like I belong, that I’m part of what is going on. When it feels like this is a bigger challenge than I can handle, I withdraw to protect myself from rejection. This makes me appear aloof and unapproachable. The result is I am not drawn into the group.
In essence, what I have just done is to create the exact opposite of what I wanted. I know I’m not alone in this type of behaviour. Does it affect you, too? Let’s step out in confidence to create the lives we want and not those we fear.
A friend told me a story about an outing with her family. At the end of a busy day, she was walking back to the vehicles with her son and young granddaughter. It was a clear night and the sky was filled with twinkling stars.
The little girl looked up in awe and then stretched her arms up high to touch them. They weren’t as close as she thought so she reached even higher. When she couldn’t come close to grasping one, she looked at her daddy and said, “Can’t reach.” The loving father picked up his little girl and placed her on his shoulders so she could be closer.
The image of a child being lifted by her daddy to reach for the stars was a powerful one for me. I can think of many times in my life when I have reached for the stars and fallen short. It was unrealistic to think I could achieve something so unattainable.
There came a time when I knew I couldn’t reach high enough and gave up trying. My dreams became more down to earth. They were no longer big dreams but now I had a chance of reaching them.
Then came the day I was asked to reach for something far beyond my limited abilities. Tearfully I replied, “I can’t – it’s too big and too far.” My heavenly father smiled and lifted me on his shoulders. He lovingly held my arms up and told me that together we could reach anything.
Entrust your efforts to the Lord and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3 GWT)
“Squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair,” the exercise instructor told us. “When you are almost there, change your mind and stand up again. Now repeat, and again.”
The exercise was effective but I couldn’t help laughing at the thought that came to mind. If changing my mind is exercise, I should be way more fit for all the years of practice I’ve had!
Do you ever second-guess your decisions and keep changing your mind? Questions such as; What if I made a mistake? Why did I agree to do something so challenging? Will I look like a fool? go through my mind.
These would either paralyze me or turn me into someone who only made decisions to please others. It all came down to a lack of confidence. I wanted you to like me and thought I had to be and say who you wanted me to be in order for that to happen. In other words, I didn’t believe in myself.
Moments like this still occur in my life, but not to the same extent. It wasn’t easy but I have learned to voice my opinions. Just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t mean they reject me. The more I practice this, the more confidence I gain.
This allows me to make a decision and stick with it. It looks like changing my mind will no longer be enough exercise for me!
Have you ever had the sight or aroma of something familiar cause memories to flood over you?
I had passed by these lilac trees many times in the preceding weeks but this day I stopped to fully appreciate their beauty.
You see, the home I was raised in had several lilac trees in the backyard. I can picture them along one side fence, planted in alternating colours of purple and white. When in full bloom we would cut some to bring indoors and I remember their sweet fragrance filling the room.
Happy memories from my childhood washed over me as I gazed at the showy blossoms. Parents who loved me and older siblings who doted on me flashed through my mind. I was blessed to grow up in a place and time where it was safe to spend hours outdoors, running and playing with my friends.
Respect, good manners and helping others were not options; they were part of the fabric of life. Right and wrong were clearly defined and a strong conscience ensured I knew which one to follow.
The love I experienced and the lessons learned by example prepared me for life. I sometimes forget that not everyone had the advantages of a secure childhood. This was a gift I sought to pass on to my children and they, in turn, are passing on to the next generation.
The sight of lilacs brought back the sweet fragrance of youth and the legacy of family. Before I moved on, I said a prayer of gratitude for a life filled with joyful memories.
Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn away from it. (Proverbs 22:6 GWT)
My husband and I were walking on a path through the woods when we saw some animal scat in front of us. I wondered what kind of animal had preceded us. I hoped it was from a deer and not something more dangerous. In order to confirm this, I took a picture for identification purposes. I needed to know if this was a safe place for future walks.
Our initial guess turned out to be correct and my fears of a dangerous animal were alleviated.
The situation did produce some interesting questions, though. I wondered if I could be identified by the crap I leave behind.
Do my fears and insecurities leave a trail of chaos in my wake? Do my frustrations and anger cause turmoil for others? Does the garbage left behind let you know I was there? Am I walking away and expecting others to clean up my mess?
If that is the case, I need to make some changes. These are not ways I would like to be remembered.
Knowing I can be identified by what I leave behind, I want to leave a legacy of kind words and gestures that showed I cared. Smiles, laughter and stories of memories made together are the best evidence of my footprints in your life. My purpose is to inspire others by sharing from my heart to help them see their true value.
I think I’ll keep that picture of deer scat on my phone as a reminder of what and what not to leave behind.
Late one evening my husband and I drove through dark mountain passes. There were no streetlights and the high beam setting on our headlights was used and appreciated. Without them, we couldn’t find our way through the darkness.
When another vehicle approached us, we would dim our lights. It was surprising how many of these vehicles did not return the favour. We would be blinded by the brightness of their lights which made it difficult to see.
I thought about this and wondered if it could be related to life. When I use my talents and abilities, I am, in effect, shining my light. The purpose is to brighten the way for others.
If I stand before you saying, “Look at me” I am using my light to draw attention to myself and not for the benefit of others. In this way, I could be blinding you from seeing what you need to see.
Jesus was the light of the world but never blinded people with his light. Instead, he used it to lead people out of the darkness.
Like the moon reflects the light of the sun, my life should be a reflection of the light and love and Jesus. Only then, can I point people to the everlasting light found in the Son of God.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)