The Greatest Man on Earth? Would you agree?
This video touched me deeply. Convicted me.
What is the meaning of life – is it to help, to give, to share?
Will I help? Will I give? Will I share?
And more importantly, will I love?
Take the high road, have patience, be nice…while making airline reservations??? Ha! I don’t think so!
…Or do I???
I was making airline reservations for my mother and her 2 young foster daughters to come for a visit. Yay- finally, I get to see and spend some time with my beloved Mom!!!!!
However…yep, there’s a however 🙂 Finding flights that you can afford, for 3 people, on a limited budget, can be time consuming and oh-so-frustrating, especially when you add special requirements to the flights, right?
Well, after having spent several days researching flights, times, dates, carriers, etc., I am heartily weary and decide to just get the blasted tickets bought and the trip settled once and for all. I just wanna see my Mom! Know what I mean? So I buckle under and after much deliberation, choose an airline and begin the process of choosing exact flights…and…boom…
…bad weather moves in and keeps dropping my internet, which drops my flight search – every time. When my connection actually holds, but I take too long, the session times out and I have to start over – again! And then I discover that every time I drop or time out, the ticket prices increase! In the space of an hour, the price increases over $100 per flight! Yikes!
Well, I’ve had enough of this so I punch in the customer service numbers and call the airline. (Please, I just wanna get my Mommy here!) Of course I then have to go through an automated call system to ultimately be placed on hold for 15 more minutes before I actually get to speak to someone – someone that I have to strain really hard to understand through her very thick accent, on my very staticky cell phone! Ugghh!
Ok, so my patience is wearing thin, but I am determined – I just want to get my Mommy HERE! The nice lady is very helpful, and books the coveted flights, even though at first she wants to charge me an additional $55 to reserve specific seats for my mother, and for each of her 2 foster daughters– that’s $55 EACH person, EACH WAY! That’s $330 in addition to the ticket prices, and does NOT include any luggage, not even carry on. We simply cannot do it!
However, after almost an hour on the phone and great explanation, I am finally able to get 3 seats in the “handicapped” bulkhead section for Mom and 2 children, at no extra cost. Yay! Finally! My Mommy is coming to see me!!!! Oh yippee yay!! I can’t wait!
Then… much to our heartache and disappointment, that night we find out that one of our beloved foster daughters will be going back to her estranged family the next day. Which means she won’t be coming to see me 😦 So, I get online to cancel her ticket. Well, I can’t find the reservation on their website. Their confirmation email shows they have misspelled my mother’s name. Ugh! So I go through the automated calling process again, this time I hold for over 15 minutes before I get a live person, who also has a super thick accent that I can hardly understand. I spend another hour on the phone with this not very friendly guy only to find out that the seats I thought were reserved on my last call were actually NOT reserved and are no longer available. And he insists that the only way I can get bulkhead seats now is to pay the $55 each person, each leg of the trip. Period. Which I cannot afford. But he says he corrected my Mom’s name on her ticket and tells me if I don’t want to pay for the seats, I have until 9:30 tomorrow morning to cancel all flights without penalty, and that is my only option. Seriously? But I just want to get my Mommy HERE!
So I am super upset and panicking at this point. I spend 2 more hours online researching flights – I just want to get my Mommy here, but no way do I want to stay with this unhelpful airline. No luck finding anything cheaper though, and I go to bed exhausted and discouraged.
Next morning I resume the search. After 2 more unsuccessful hours, I decide to go ahead and cancel Mom’s tickets before the penalty deadline and take a break to calm my nerves. I will resume the search for new tickets tomorrow, even if I have to pay a little more. I get online to cancel the tickets only to find out they still have Mom’s name misspelled and I can not access her itinerary without opening a new account in the misspelled name. Ugghhh! I give up and try to create a new account, but they won’t let me without using a new email address – uuuuugggghhhh!!!!! I have already used all the ones we have! So frustrating! I just wanna see my Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, ugghhhhhhh – unbelievably, I have to call them yet again. Of course, this means another interminable amount of time holding! By now I am so agitated, out of patience and feeling anything but hospitable and am totally afraid I’m going to bite someone’s head off! I am so upset and just want to yell at them to get their stinking act together! I don’t have time for all these ridiculous mistakes! Come on!!!!! Please, I just want to see my Mom!
Yet, in my heart, I hear that soft, peaceful whisper saying that God would like me to take the high road. Um…the high road? Um…seriously? You mean that place where patience, understanding, calm, peaceful, pleasantness – and no yelling abide?
Really God? After all this?
I’m so frustrated and upset, God.
2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. (Eph. 4:2 TLB)
Oh…yes…I remember that verse. Hmmm…and some others too.
Because of my love. Because of Your love.
Okay, God. The high road it is.
So, even though at first I don’t want to, while I am holding, I take a deep breath, swallow my pride and ask God for help. I ask Him to help me be gentle and patient, and not rude to whomever answers my call, and to be appreciative of the person’s help.
Then a man answers (whom I can easily understand!) and I patiently tell him my whole messed up story, the misinformation I was given, the reservation mixup, the wrong spelling, not being able to access online, the hours of holding and phone conversations, etc. and inform him I just want to cancel the whole itinerary because Mom can’t take that flight if they don’t have an affordable seat for her as they originally said they did. I was polite, did not raise my voice and was calm and collected and pleasant. The whole time –yes I was 🙂
And guess what – this gentleman was so nice and polite as he listened to my story, read the notes from my prior conversations, and asked me to hold while he quickly researched what his options were. He came back on the line and said no problem, that he re-assigned the special seats to Mom and young companion, at NO additional charge, and everything was good to go!!! He was so nice, and so quick! He provided exactly what I needed without charging me any more money. He even corrected Mom’s name and emailed me the confirmation while we talked to be sure it was correct, and asked me to call him back if anything was not to my expectation. He was calm, collected and very willing to make things right with me. This made all the difference to me, and I thanked him and kept the reservation. I was even smiling when I hung up the phone.
Because I took the high road.
Because I was patient, gentle, and kind.
And it feels good!
And… I get to see my Mommy ❤
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
17 Never pay back evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. 18 Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.
Romans 12:17-18 The Living Bible
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Romans 12:16-19 The Message
Proverbs 20 The Message
Deep Water in the Heart
20 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome—
a staggering drunk is not much fun.
2 Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—
cross them and they bite your head off.
3 It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
but fools love to pick fights.
22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!”
Wait for God; he’ll settle the score.
NLT 3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
Revisiting the salt today to recharge – will you recharge too?
This morning I read something that really resonated with me. The last few months (or maybe year!) I have been sort of hiding out at home, not participating in much outside social activity, and for whatever reason, feeling pretty apathetic. I know – doesn’t sound too smart, but how many of you feel, or have felt this way too?
Well, if you’re in this same pit I am right now, what I read this morning was a good kick start for me today – maybe it will be for you too. And for those of you who don’t really need a good kick start, let’s call it a nice affirmation, or inspired reminder of what life is really all about – or should be.
(God-flavors: love, kindness…
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It’s time! Time to get up and move, that is! Time to dance, time to walk, run, laugh, sing, rejoice, praise!!!
Yes, it’s time to rise up from wherever you are and shine!!!
I’ll supply the words, and you supply the tune, the beat, the drum, piano, screaming guitar, etc!! In other words, dance to the beat of your own drum 🙂
And as we dance, here’s a question to ponder: Do you like to fly under the radar; live simply, don’t make waves, see everything in black and white terms? Do you feel your life is boring or not meaningful?
Well…here are the words to a great song – ponder them in your heart as you sing and dance today!
As I walked through my back yard this morning, meditating, and enjoying the lovely Springtime blooms, I came across the tree bearing this colorful flower. I stopped a moment to take in its unique and sort of wild beauty. While studying it, I couldn’t help draw a parallel of this flower’s half bloomed, unique beauty, to the partially bloomed beauty of our lives.
This last month I’ve been doing a group study about letting go of worldly definitions of beauty and feeling free to be the beautiful, wonderfully made individuals God intended us to be. Looking at this beautiful, sort of exotic looking flower this morning, I thought, “this flower represents every one of us – such unique, vibrant qualities, and still in the process of blooming!” But oh my, how beautiful are the budding characteristics! The already bloomed parts that make this unique flower so special, which are weathering Spring’s wind and rain, yet standing out strong – are like the unique and special qualities in each of us that have born the tests and trials which have molded us into the beauties we are today. Yet, this special flower has not yet fully bloomed, we can’t yet see the full exquisite beauty this half-bloomed flower promises. Oh – but promise it does!! Just as our own half-lived lives promise!
And notice something else – the little green closed buds in the middle of the flower that have not opened yet – do you see how pretty they are? How they work together with the rest of the flower’s design and add to the special beauty of the overall bloom? Wow – how exciting to me to think that this is how I am – how each of us are – we are each a very special, beautiful, blooming work in progress! Yes, you boys and men too! Just as God created this amazing, uniquely special, beautiful flower that blooms in stages, so has He made each one of us!
Each stage of our lives, we have learned and brought forth a beautiful, unique, new quality that defines us. By the time we are adults, (like this flower) our outer shell is mostly formed, in all its stunning glory! But there is yet wisdom to be learned, beauty to unfold and bloom, in our hearts, and throughout our lives as God directs us through our life paths, our challenges, our loves and losses, our joys and sorrows. And as we purpose to serve Him!
So, as we go through our week, let’s all remember this beautifully unique, half bloomed flower, and the promise of exotic, perfect beauty it holds to come. Then let’s apply this to our own selves; we each are this beautiful and unique flower, which under God’s perfect hand, will over our lifetimes, grow and bloom and perfect into an exotic, perfect creation, meant to live out the unique purpose He individually chose for each of us and which will please Him! Our differences, our trials, our mistakes – they will all work together to grow us and refine us into these gorgeous creations and purposes that God intended.
Now, go look in the mirror and see how uniquely beautiful you are! And just think – like this spectacular flower – God’s not done with you yet!
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!