Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item.
What would it be?
Maybe this has happened to you. Maybe you’ve said it to someone or just thought it.
Every once in a while, my wife wonders what I see in her. I’ve often told her but I figured it would be good to write it out. Perhaps it will make you think to share your thoughts with a loved one or maybe it might give you some criteria for what you want in a future partner. At least, if she asks again, I can just text her the link to this post.
A few years back, I was a lifeguard at a city recreation centre. I became friends with the swimmers because I was very customer focused and charming. One of them, Randa, was pleasant and nice to talk with, even though she’s American, and we had common interests. I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend rather my plan was to spend time being single. Even so, I noticed that she was cute and at the pool she wore a black Body Glove bathing suit with a hot green front panel and a zipper down the front. Remember those? When not in the pool, she did this sexy farm girl thing in denim overall shorts. Not that I paid much attention to those details because I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend.
As time past, we became good friends but as summer was ending, I was heading back to school. It just so happened that my roommate and I needed a third person to help with the rent and my new friend was interested in relocating. It was a good arrangement because the last roommate we had was a bit nuts and Randa was responsible and reasonably sane. After a couple of months, Randa and I were just hanging out and nothing was on TV. I said, “Nothing’s on, what do you want to do.” She said, “I don’t know, what do you want to do.” In February, we’ll celebrate 24 years married.
So what do I see in her?
She’s my best friend. She’s a wonderful wife, mother and grandma. She’s gifted musically; when she sings, it must be like how angels sound. No matter how bad of a mood I might be in, her smile cheers me up; her laugh is pure sunshine. She is a faithful woman; a woman of character, kind and generous.
She’s still pretty easy on the eyes. In fact, I think she gets even more beautiful as the years pass. She’s a good kisser. And when we $*&#^ it’s really (#&@&(*^$^@* and then ^@*(^$*^$)(@*^$ up to 10 times and it’s always ^*^@)(&$*^@*^$*&(%&(&$(&&@(@(&$(&*&!! So that’s good, too.
The best place I can be at any given moment is at her side. We are like warriors together and I know that if we are together we’ll survive any battle.
My wife helped me wake up to grace. When we were married, she had a relationship with God but I didn’t. She didn’t push or nag. No ultimatums. She just prayed for me, listened, and was very patient. The night I decided to devote my everything to God, the first thing I did was ask my wife sing the song, “I Love You, Lord.” It was like heaven celebrating.
When I look into her eyes, she brings a peace that calms the storms in my mind, the troubles in my heart. She brings Christ’s presence into my life and she helps me be all I was created to be. She’s a true partner.
What do I see in her? When we are lying together before falling asleep and the cares of the world are momentarily behind us, what do I see in her?
I see the greatest blessing I’ve ever been given; I see the face of God.
Do you find yourself struggling in your relationships? I’m a huge fan of Dr. John Gottman and his approach to helping people have healthy relationships. The following is for intimate partnerships but I am convinced they are valid for all relationships, just toned down to respect platonic boundaries. I hope these 7 principles help you have stronger relationships.
Struggling with anxiety? Stressed out? Can’t stop worrying or thinking about something? Can’t focus? Feeling upset? Sometimes we feel like we’re caught up in a tornado of thoughts and emotions.
The exercise below is a quick and easy method for feeling more centred on a tough day. It’s also great to practice at times when you’re not as stressed so you know exactly how to use it when you need it the most.
If begin to notice thoughts coming into your mind, that is COMPLETELY normal. Our brains are designed to think but we can learn to refocus our attention. Take this as an opportunity to be kind to yourself and not judge. Just notice that you are having thoughts, then, redirect your attention back to the present moment.
1. Sit in a comfortable upright position with your feet planted flat on the ground. Rest your hands on your thighs or on your desk.
2. Notice your breath. No need to breathe in any particular way. Just bring attention to each part of the breath- the inhale, exhale, and space in between.
3. Bring awareness to each of your 5 senses. One at a time, for about one minute each. The point here is to focus on the present moment and how each sense is being activated in that moment. The order in which you pay attention to each sense does not matter.
Hear: Begin to notice all of the sounds around you. Try not to judge the sounds- just notice them. They are not good or bad, they just are. Sounds might be internal, like breathing or digestion. Sounds might be close by or more distant like the sound of traffic. Are you now hearing more than you were before you started? You may begin to notice subtle sounds you did not hear before. Can you hear them now?
Smell: Now shift your attention to notice the smells of your environment. Maybe you smell food. You might become aware of the smell of trees or plants if you are outside. You might notice the smell of books or paper. Sometimes closing your eyes can help sharpen your attention.
See: Observe your surrounding and notice the colors, shapes and textures. If you really look, you may notice things that have gone unnoticed.
Taste: You can do this one even if you have food in your mouth. You may notice an aftertaste of a previous drink or meal. You can just notice your tongue in your mouth, your saliva, and your breath as you exhale. We have tastes in our mouth that often go unnoticed. You can run your tongue over your teeth and cheeks to help you become more aware.
Touch: Last one. Bring your attention to the sensations of skin contact with your chair, clothing, and feet on the floor. You can notice the pressure between your feet and the floor or your body and the chair. You can observe temperature like the warmth or coolness of your hands or feet. You might take time to feel the textures that you noticed by sight a moment ago. You can feel several objects on your desk to fully focus your attention on the present.
When finished, pause to notice how your body feels in this moment. Compare how you feel now with how you felt 5 minutes ago- what has changed? Try this exercise next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. This can be useful to use before a test or speech, too!
I’m not sure how to best reference this information. It seems a number of people write about it but I haven’t found a source yet. I found the above at http://www.clayton.edu/Portals/541/docs/Five%20Senses%20Mindfulness%20Exercise.pdfwhere is says, “Exercise adapted rom: Clayton State University, Counselling and Psychological Services, Edgewater Hall, Suite 245, 678-466-5406
These folks at MakeItUltra have some great stuff.
Written by Guest Contributor: Clive P., MBA (GBR) Founder of: Take It Easy Five years ago I was diagnosed with depression and went through a long period of being unable to work. I got through it, with much help, and picked up a lot of advice along the way. I have a ’top ten’ of the things I […]
By Timothy Keller. Found this via Twitter at the NYPost (http://nypost.com/2016/12/24/christmas-is-the-most-unsentimental-way-of-looking-at-life/)
Christmas is the most unsentimental way of looking at life
Christmas is the only Christian holy day that is also a major secular holiday. This brings some discomfort on both sides. Many Christians can’t help but notice that more and more of the public festivities surrounding Christmas studiously avoid any references to its Christian origins. The background music in stores is moving from “Joy to the World” to “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.”
On the other hand, nonreligious people can’t help but find that the older meaning of Christmas keeps intruding uninvited, for instance, through the music of traditional Christmas carols. It can be irritating to have to answer their child’s question, “What does that music mean —‘born to give them second birth’?”
Christmas does not say, ‘Cheer up! If we all pull together we can make the world a better place.’
As a Christian believer, I am glad to share the virtues of that day with the entirety of society. My fear is, however, that its true roots will become more and more hidden to most of the population.
The secular Christmas is a festival of lights, a time for family gatherings, and a season to generously give to those closest to us and to those in greatest need. These practices are genuinely congruent with the Christian origins of the celebration. The emphasis on light in darkness comes from the Christian belief that the world’s hope comes from outside of it. The giving of gifts is a natural response to Jesus’ act of self-giving, when he laid aside his glory and was born into the human race. The concern for the needy recalls that the Son of God was born not into an aristocratic family but into a poor one. The Lord of the universe identified with the least and the most excluded of the human race.
But the truth is that Christmas, like God himself, is both more wondrous and more threatening than most understand.
Christmas is about receiving presents, but consider how challenging it is to receive certain kinds of gifts. Some gifts by their very nature make you swallow your pride. Imagine opening a present on Christmas morning from a friend — and it’s a dieting book. Then you take off another ribbon and wrapper and you find it is another book from another friend, “Overcoming Selfishness.” If you say to them, “Thank you so much,” you are in a sense admitting, “For indeed, I am fat and obnoxious.”
In other words, some gifts are hard to receive, because to do so is to admit you have flaws and weaknesses and you need help. Perhaps on some occasion you had a friend who figured out you were in financial trouble and came to you and offered a large sum of money to get you out of your predicament. If that has ever happened to you, you probably found that to receive the gift meant swallowing your pride.
There has never been a gift offered that makes you swallow your pride to the depths that the gift of Jesus Christ requires us to do. Christmas means that we are so lost, so unable to save ourselves, that nothing less than the death of the Son of God himself could save us. That means you are not somebody who can pull yourself together and live a moral and good life.
Christmas, therefore, is the most unsentimental, realistic way of looking at life. It does not say, “Cheer up! If we all pull together we can make the world a better place.” The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat them ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, “We can fix things if we try hard enough.” Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future.
The message of Christianity is, instead, “Things really are this bad, and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Things really are this dark — nevertheless, there is hope.” The Christmas message is that “on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
Notice that it doesn’t say from the world a light has sprung, but upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from outside. There is light outside of this world, and Jesus has brought that light to save us; indeed, he is the Light.
Adapted from the book “Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ” by Timothy Keller (Viking). Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.
If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone?
Why haven’t you told them yet?