My Up-Cycled Life: turning junk into joy

Living one season at a time

Beyond the Season — December 2, 2015

Beyond the Season

’Tis the season our focus turns to giving.  Those who have lain dormant thus far, spring to life in these six weeks of the Christmas season, and a flurry of gift giving, donations and volunteering ensues.  It’s a beautiful thing to see so many focus on others, wanting everyone to know a bit of Christmas magic. IMG_3012 Yet, all too soon January rolls around, and the glow of the season gets packed away along with the festive decorations.  Our focus turns back to ourselves, our families, our jobs, our needs, our wants, our comfort and joy.

It is awesome to give coats to the cold, food to the hungry, and gifts to children; good, decent, moral people, do just that. When we have so much, we are called to help those with less and meet their physical needs.  No person should be cold or hungry in the richest nation in the world!  No child should have to wake up on Christmas to be disappointed.  Yet, anyone can hand out a coat, deliver a box of groceries, take a name off the angel tree and care for the needs of today. Food will be eaten, coats will wear out, toys will break and all will need to be replaced at some point.

As a Christ follower, I am called to be set apart.  If I simply give a coat, I am no different than any other good-hearted person.  If I write a check or swipe my card for a donation, I am generous like thousands of others.  The only thing I can give that will truly make a difference, will truly set me apart is the message of Jesus and his love. Jesus and all he provides; today, for the season, forever.   Eternal hope.  Unyielding joy.  Peace that surpasses earthly circumstances.  Contentment beyond understanding.

The desire we feel for others to have a great Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas, needs to become something greater, more permanent.  I don’t want someone to simply experience joy for six weeks, I want them to know eternal joy.  I want them to be blessed and find fulfillment that isn’t temporary or based on the size of their holiday meal or gifts under the tree.  I want them to know Christ, as a personal savior, sustainer, provider, comforter and ultimate hope.



I want to go home! — July 1, 2015

I want to go home!

Per usual, I grabbed my cup of creamer with coffee and settled into my chair for my morning FaceBook fix.  I enjoy the pictures of kids, vacations, recipes I’ll never make, posts I’m supposed to share or I don’t love Jesus or won’t get rich, it’s a good time.  But today, my heart just sank with the weight of each post coming across my screen.  So much hurt, hate, ignorance, anger, misunderstanding, brokenness, pain, and sadness poured from your posts into my heart.  We are so broken.  Our country is broken.

We live in a world of the walking wounded, all wanting to be heard, to matter, to be understood.  Yet, as they speak, the opposing group speaks louder, then yells, then screams to be understood, their pleas drowning in a cacophony of voices.  If only they could listen, not just with ears, but with hearts to know we all want much of the same thing.

I can not comprehend hating someone based on race, religion, sexual orientation or income status.  It’s not because I am some great humanitarian, it simply goes against everything I was taught and everything I believe.

I was raised on a farm in rural Iowa, our small town boasted about 4,000 residents.  It was a pretty typical small farm town; christian, predominately white and surrounded by the same.  My exposure to different cultures and beliefs came mostly from what I read or saw on TV in a world that sometimes seemed far removed. This made me curious, but not afraid, and my parents reinforced that there are good people everywhere, and it had nothing to do with color, religion, etc.

As a Christian, I believe we are to love and show love. It is entirely possible to love someone, show compassion, kindness and care, even when our beliefs are at odds.  When did we ever get the idea that we have to agree on everything to be civil to one another?  How unrealistic!  I don’t even have that level of understanding with my own children!

It sickens me how some of my “friends”on both sides of the fence have responded to the controversial issues of the past week. I have no problem seeing posts of your opinion on flags, marriage, race, etc, but when those posts turn into derision of those who feel differently, I lose respect.  The posts announcing “unfriending” anyone with a differing view reminds me of middle school.  Belittling or mocking does nothing to increase understanding or “tolerance”, it simply widens an already gaping wound.

More and more this world becomes a foreign, hostile place to me.  I want to go home.

Jumping In — June 17, 2015

Jumping In

I have a history of jumping into things without thinking too far ahead, why ruin the surprise?  So, why would blogging be any different.  I mean, why spend countless hours deciding what to write about?  Why not just start typing and see what ends up on the page?

Now, this is in direct contradiction of my beloved comp teacher, Mr. Thies’ best advice: brainstorm, rough draft, rewrite, final draft.  Never mind outlines and meticulous notes…  I’d like to now confess to several hastily written papers, with outlines drafted after the fact. I couldn’t be bothered by organizing my ideas AHEAD of having them spewed onto the page!

I digress…  My life has been a series of events, which I am going to go out on a limb and assume yours has too, but I feel the need to write about mine.  Interested?  Don’t really care?  Either way I am going to blog my little heart out and share my ramblings, mutterings and musings.  I might accidentally make sense or share some wisdom occasionally, but mostly I just want to share.

Thanks for your support.