Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Time for a Change

Jim Rohn Quote
I am a BAH HUMBUG protester of Daylight Savings Time. It will take me at least a month to adjust to government imposed jet lag. I know some of you think I am crazy because you like the extra light at the end of the day. But I miss the sun streaming through the windows and the chirping of birds in the early morning. As a result of the time change, kids in Georgia have to once again wait in the dark for school buses creating a safety issue.

OK. I am done complaining. Now I can tell you why I celebrate change most of the time.
Gibbs Gardens

Just look around. Change is everywhere. Here in the South the landscape is exploding with new life. The white Bradford Pear trees, the pink Red-Bud trees, and yellow Forsythia are putting on the earliest and prettiest display I’ve seen in years. Can you imagine how bleak things would be if the trees and flowers stayed in their dormant state—refusing to bloom and shower the air with pollen and seeds? The purpose for which they were created would no longer exist and in a year or two all plant life would be dead.

People tend to avoid change because it involves risk. And risk is something we want to avoid at all costs especially as we grow older. There are some changes I’m facing as I’ve grown older that I’m trying to embrace.

1.     My body is slowing down and more things hurt. 
When I tell others how my liver transplant changed my life, I comment that “Now I get to have the aches and pains of old age just like everyone else.” While some might see that as a curse, I see it as a blessing. One hundred years ago people died at a much younger age and if they had a terminal disease like I did, they never would have survived. How can I embrace physical changes—keep moving and not give in to my aches and pains? To help keep me active, I am in physical therapy to loosen tight muscles in my hips that have caused me a lot of discomfort. The therapy is painful but productive.  It will allow me to keep active.

2.     My brain is not as nimble
There are days that brain fog takes over and I struggle to complete ordinary tasks. Gone are the days when I could multi-task and do three things at once. The big project I signed on to last month, seems monumental today. My solution:  Take a day off, and let the brain and body rest. I have a friend who calls this “aggressive resting.”  It an oxymoron, but it works. One of the advantages of growing older is that I can usually set my own schedule and get back to work when my energy returns.

3.     My stuff is overwhelming and I am less disciplined.
I have to practice discipline and vigilance to keep from becoming a pack rat and clutter collector.  I am not as organized with my stuff as I used to be. The changing season is forcing me to deal with my stuff, whether I want to or not. The first day of spring is March 20 and the weather this year in Georgia is right in sync. There will be still be some nippy nights, but mostly warm days are ahead. I am trying to pare down my closet to those things that fit, look decent, and are season appropriate.  For every article of clothes I buy, I pledge to donate at least two more. Now, I need motivation to deal with office paperwork and others projects that are stacked up. Getting started is half the battle. It’s like exercise, I feel a lot better after I’ve made the effort.

4.     My spirit desires a closer relationship to my Creator.
During this Holy Week leading to Easter, I want to spend more time reflecting on the great gift of salvation provided through the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus. It is so easy to let all the other demands of spring crowd out the most important event in human history. My body and circumstances may change, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)  Jesus never changes, but I have to constantly change so that I don’t become stagnant and useless in serving Him. The following quote by Gail Sheehy – motivates me to embrace all the changes that come my way.

“If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Take a Leap of Faith

Today is February 29, but some folks act as if the day doesn’t exist.  I attempted to read a selection in two of my devotional books, but there was none given for today. Now I know how “leaplings” feel who were born on Leap Day when they have a birthday only once every four years.

Adding a Leap Day every four years is an attempt to reconcile the Gregorian calendar with the rotations of the earth around the sun. Technically a complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365, 2422 days to complete, so every four years we have 366 days to keep the calendar in sync with the sun. If a leap day was not in our calendar every four years, today would be July 10, 2017.

1996 was a special leap year for me. I took a leap out of my comfort zone and dipped my toe back into the dating scene. I had been widowed for ten years and was dealing with a terminal liver disease. The idea of dating and the fear of rejection were very scary. Charles and I met twenty years ago this week and soon discovered we were both looking for God’s will in our lives. It didn’t take us long to realize His will was leading us toward marriage. It was a risky leap of faith for both of us because of my health. Twenty years and one liver transplant later, we have no doubt that God was directing our paths.

In April of 1996, we started our company, Consulting Aviation Services. As an aerospace engineer, Charles believed his innovative ideas to improve aircraft performance and safety would benefit the aviation industry. Two patents and twenty years later, he is still working hard every day to accomplish his goal. This year he is working on both commercial and military contracts.  This will be our make it or break it year depending on results from flight tests in California and Germany. Every day our leap of faith into the unknown challenges our patience and perseverance.

Last weekend, we went to see the movie “Risen.” The Romans heard the rumors that Jesus would arise from the dead after his brutal crucifixion. When Jesus body disappeared from the tomb where he was buried, the Roman authorities were determined to find his body. They wanted to discredit the belief that Jesus was resurrected. A Roman soldier followed the early disciples in order to destroy the believers—instead his life was transformed by what he saw. He along with many others took a giant leap of faith and believed that Jesus was the long awaited Savior and Messiah.

What other leaps of faith await you during this Leap Year?
  • Traveling to that dream destination on your “bucket list.”
  •  Furthering your education in order to pursue a different career.
  •  Forgiving a person from your past and working on reconciliation.
  •  Making a personal commit to Jesus as your Savior or working toward a deeper relationship with Him.    

   A Leap Year is a good time to take a leap of faith.  
After all you have one more day to make it happen.