Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Consequences’

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 5.49.15 PM

Just a year ago, the phone rang, as I sat, cross-legged, on our sofa, writing away, enjoying the new delight of not having to go to work on a Pro D day.

That phone ring, and the ensuing conversation, changed the trajectory of our lives, resulting in loss of work, long term illness, a move and more.

It was as if the world stopped spinning, as I unwittingly overheard the conversation on speaker phone and I knew that life was about to change and that hubby was entering the valley of the shadow. I also knew that no one enters it alone.

A rock, when dropped into water will cause the water around it to displace, circles of water pushing outwards, one wave at a time until the ripples quiet like the water furthest away. Like that rock, every action, or inaction in our lives has a ripple effect into the lives of others around us.

The thing is, that while the one who dropped the rock into the water moves on down the shore, forgetting the effect of their action, the ripples continue to form and move outward, farther and farther from the place/person of initial impact.

We all have, or have had events in our lives with ripple effects. We have all caused ripple effects in the lives of others. These realities are part of the human experience, the human reality of living in community.

This is why, at court proceedings, there are often victim impact statements that are read, preceding the sentencing of the accused. This is so that the judge, jury, but especially the accused is made aware of how far-reaching their action has gone. It is the stories of hurt and loss and struggle experienced not just by the victim, but those surrounding them.

Ripples, once started in water, cannot be stopped. Eventually they will dissipate as they move further and further from their origin, but to try to stop them by external means, only creates new ripples. Truly, once the rock touches the water, the effect can never be stopped, or reversed.

Such is the case with everything we say, or do … or don’t say, or don’t do. We are the ones responsible for throwing that rock into the water, whether we stand by and watch the waves grow ever farther outward, or keep walking along the shore, unaware of the waves we started.

“I will call upon your name,
And keep my eyes above the waves”
Hillsong United

“We are none of us cast adrift, if we have faith.
In the cross, we find our anchor.”
Monica Joan Call the Midwife

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I do not remember where I saw these words, but when I first read, “the past is always present” I loved them. A play on words that contradicts itself, and yet is so true as we live our lives.

I love the past concerning my childhood (although, there was that time I got stung by like a gazillion bees just because I listened to the advice of Mr. Dressup … HE was wrong about standing still … but, I digress).

I love the past of my teenage memories (most of them … there was that time I mistakenly tucked my skirt into my undies, and then walked on a busy road to my grandmother’s place, with my back end in the forefront … but, I digress).

I love the past of my heritage (I grew up on the east coast of Canada, in a family who have been there for, literally, hundreds of years).

I love the past of my marriage (I have the most fantastic memories of vacations, and planning for vacations … that is something we are good at together).

I love the past of my children being born, and growing up (each stage is so full of novelty and excitement).

What I do realize, though, is that although the past is … past, it is still here, in the present. It is part of who we are today, how we think, and how we react. It is the reason we anticipate some events, as well as the reason we feel anxious about other events. When I see or hear a bee, I immediately respond (at least inwardly) due to my being stung as a child … that memory of the past is always there.

The past can keep us from making the same mistakes too. There is not a time that I am wearing a skirt or dress that I do not, consciously, check to ensure that the back end of … me, is covered up.

Pride in my country, and the part of it where I come from are a result of the place I grew up and the cultural expectations I experienced there.

Every time I see a tent on a green, grassy hill, I remember a memorable vacation with hubby.

Every time I see a woman, pregnant for the first time, I glance at her eyes, and know that, once that baby is born, no future decision will ever be the same, because she will never again be the same.

The past is always within us, even today. Our choices today will have impact on how we live tomorrow … and each tomorrow after that.

The greatest consequence of the past is that we remember. We remember experiences, we remember joys, we remember hurts, we remember what we have conquered, and what has conquered us. The past IS always with us, so we need to live today acknowledging the long term consequences of our present.

“Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Read Full Post »

554b234fbfa71b47afba7d1587c76281

MY body

MY choices

MY time

MY life

my. my. my. my.

Is our life only about doing and achieving for ourselves?

So, living for our own desires … what does that give us, in the end?

It gives us the consequences … good and bad … of our selfish decisions.

Whether you believe in a

just by chance, explosive sort of beginning to life

or

an intelligent creator beginning to life

there is one reality …

we humans are, by nature, narcissistic.

Narcissus was a young man (so goes the Greek myth) who looked into a pond, and upon seeing his own reflection, fell in love with himself.

Like Narcissus, we have fallen in love with ourselves. We have mirrors, and selfies to encourage our self-love. But we also have a host of other self-admiring, self-gratifying, selfish ways to self-love.

Around our world, and throughout history, blood has been spilled because one person or group has expressed self-love to the point of hate towards others.

Our Earth groans with the misuse of it’s resources, because selfish convenience is of greater value than protecting our resources for generations to come.

Children are being abused by alcohol and drugs while still in the womb, disposed of as ‘blobs of tissue’, abandoned at birth, or left in the care of others because it’s their ‘right’ to a good life.

Homes have been divided when individuals have seen their needs above those of their families.

The elderly are being left alone because it takes too much of ‘our’ time away from us.

This narcissistic attitude is not new, and Narcissus was not the first of his kind … that honor would go to the pair from the garden.

When Adam and Eve broke God’s one rule in the garden, they had to live with grave consequences, that continue to this day :

  • to live knowing good and evil
  • they were banished from the Garden of Eden
  • the tree of life is guarded from humanity

We are free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices.

 

 


 

 

Read Full Post »

no-guarantees-480

Maybe it is my age or stage in life, but I have come to the conclusion that there simply are no guarantees in life.

To which you, the reader might reply :

DUH!

Although I know that in my head, who I am, struggles to accept that reality.

The way I have always lived my life is of great understanding of consequences … both good and bad. My inner personality strives to work hard, do what is good and right, treat people well, live honestly and truthfully, and to obey the rules (I am not saying that I am always successful in those things). My inner personality also believes that if I live in this way, the consequences will be good for me. What I am really saying is that, I believe that if I act and behave a certain way, I then ‘deserve’ a good result or outcome …

as though …

life were …

fair.

But, if life were fair (aka if there were guarantees or deserved consequences) our world would be so different …

Good men and women would not lose the jobs they do well, because of a nose-dive in the economy.

Parents who have been loving and consistent in raising their children would not have to see their child make choices about drugs, or alcohol that endanger their very lives.

The guy who always spent his money wisely, and bought a house at an early age would not have lost over half of his resources after being married just a few years to the woman who only married him for his financial assets.

The woman who ‘saved herself’ for marriage, would not be heartbroken by the discovery that her husband had been cheating on her since early into their marriage.

The person who eats only what is healthy, and exercises like it is their full time job, would not be told by their doctor that their life is in danger because a mass has been discovered in their lungs.

The student who spends every spare minute to study, at the expense of experiencing life and deeper relationships, would not receive a letter of denial to every law school he or she applied to.

If only we had guarantees that if we do something good, or right, or just we would receive the appropriate, fair, response!

But, there are no guarantees in life.

We are not alone in this unfair, cruel, unpredictable reality of living.

Once, there was one who did nothing wrong … ever.

Yet,

“He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back.
He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right.
He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross

so we could be rid of sin,
free to live the right way.
His wounds became your healing.
You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going.
Now you’re named and kept for good
by the Shepherd of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:22-25

Hum …

we really don’t get what we deserve …

thanks to the author and perfecter of our lives.

Read Full Post »

SR09-Looking-for-Love

A sweet summer Saturday morning, writing in my chair alongside of hubby, a number of weeks ago, was upset by a Facebook post hubby read to me. This post led to a discussion about the consequences of our actions and choices.

Hubby had read a post of a peer who had recently left his family, for the open arms of another woman, and he was declaring how delightful his life is currently. Hubby and I then talked about his wife, now living essentially as a single mom, with dad breezing in and out of the lives of their kids, when he has time. We talked about his adolescent and teenage sons, left behind by their primary figure of manhood, responsibility and stability.

I have to say those ‘life is beautiful’ posts make me want to say, “give your head a shake!”

Does this dad (or mom, as the case may be) live in a bubble?

Does he (she) not see the carnage that they left behind?

Are their eyes sealed shut to the pain, hurt and rejection staring back at them from the fruits of their loins (their children)?

Do they really think that leaving their family for another will turn out any differently?

I know I can be rather a ‘ranter’ when it comes to this subject, and please know that I do not believe that people should stay in relationships where there is violence. But really, are those fleeing a relationship from the parent of their children aware of the consequences of their actions on the next generation? Do they realize how un-beautiful life might be for the ones they say they love the most (their children)?

Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., author of The Everything Parents Guide Children Divorce, say that “divorce tends to intensify the (younger) child’s dependence and it tends to accelerate the adolescent’s independence; it often elicits a more regressive response in the child and a more aggressive response in the adolescent.” A younger child might regress into bed wetting, or have problems with separation, whereas the adolescent might do things (be disobedient experiment with alcohol, drugs, sexuality) that accelerate their experiences of development.

So what is he saying? Divorce tends to increase attention-seeking behaviors, in a variety of ways depending on the age of the child.

And why are they participating in attention-seeking behaviors? Because their world is being rocked up-side-down from it’s foundational pillars … their parents, and so they do whatever they can to seek attention, with the subconscious hope of bringing those pillars back together in the same place, at the same time, so that their world might come back together.

As I hear of and watch children and teens whose lives have been rocked by a decision by their parent/s to seek a “beautiful life” elsewhere, what I ache most for, other than their current pain, is their own relationships in the future. Not that they see relationships as temporary, but how do they go into a relationship able to trust their hearts to another, knowing that that trust was broken in their foundational homes? Are they ever free to believe another human who says, “I will love you forever?” That is a most tragic consequence!

Read Full Post »

Ever have a difficult decision to make? Ever feel as though you are incapable of making the ‘right’ decision?

For most of us, anxiety over decision making is due to a fear of failure. We do not want to make the ‘wrong’ decision. We do not want to have to lie in a potentially uncomfortable bed that we have made for ourselves. We simply do not want to make a mistake.

I wonder, though, how often we have made a ‘good’ decision that turned wrong. Or, conversely, a ‘bad’ decision that turned out good? So, is there really such a thing as good decisions and bad decisions?

For myself, as I look back over my life, there are a number of decisions that I made, because I tend towards the ‘safe’ choices in life, that have made me so very thankful for the mistakes I have been spared from making. There are also ‘safe’ choices that I have made, that I now regret my choosing safety over experiences, adventures, and challenges.

I look at my decisions both more seriously and less so, at this stage of my life. I now do not see most decisions as life or death, but I also recognize that there are consequences to whatever my decision might be.

Recently I was trying to make a decision. It was not a life or death choice, but one that I wanted to consider seriously. I had been weighing the pros and cons of both options (and even mentally added a third option … just to mix it up a bit 😉 ). I had spent time in prayer about it, I had talked to others. I was starting to think that the choice was becoming clear, that I was starting to side with one choice, over the other.

Then out of nowhere, and without any knowledge of the decision I was contemplating, I had two different individuals affirm option number two. So, what was I to do with that? Just when I was feeling confident of option number one, others were giving me indicators that made me second guess the direction where I had been leaning.

Yikes! I think I need a professional decision maker!

Sometimes I think we need to remember that, whatever we decide, whatever we are handed in life, it will not be more than we can handle, and that we do not have to try to handle it alone.

Proverbs 16:3 says, “commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Although this does not mean that your plans will succeed as YOU or I expect, it does give us the encouragement that if what we do, what we decide, is committed to the Lord, there will be success in them.

So, a decision committed to God will always be the right decision.

Read Full Post »

“There was a little girl, who had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good, he was very good indeed,

But when she was bad, she was horrid.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How did this man, this poet and story teller, who died one hundred and ten years before my daughter was born, know her so well, that he could write this piece of her?

Of course now she is nearly nineteen, and all that is left of the little girl, who I would quote this verse to, is … the little curl, right in the middle of her forehead (when it is humid).

How time has flown since then …

Although the verse, quoted above, is the entirety of what Longfellow wrote, Esther and Eloise Wilkin added an entire story (complete with delightful illustrations) to his little masterpiece. And this story was one of my favorite stories, as a child. Now her book “Good Little, Bad Little Girl” is out of print. But their story is one that, as a parent, should be a part of childhood learning.

What Longfellow knew, and wrote of, was:

– you cannot read a book by it’s cover

– outward beauty is not a reflection of inner beauty

– that bad actions and attitude can come, even from one so young

– that the good and bad actions and attitudes can switch, at a moments notice

– that all have the ability to be very, very good, and … very, very horrid

What the Wilkin sisters added to Longfellow’s verse, did not diminish what he wrote, but instead enhanced his verse into a story to learn from. Their story compared and contrasted these two little girls, the good one, and the bad one, who lived in the same house. Now, in reality, the two little girls were actually the same one little girl. The story told simply of how she could be delightfully good (and the positive consequences of that), as well as horribly bad (and the negative consequences of that). In the end, their story provided the reality that doing what is good, or doing what is bad is all about choices, and that we can choose our consequences by our choices.

My, now almost nineteen, daughter is famous in our house for teaching her younger brother ‘a positive attitude is the key to success’ … I think, at least theoretically, that she learned her lesson well. Because she not only caught on to the essence of what she’d had read, but she also realizes that there could be good consequences in teaching this to her brother.

Read Full Post »

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

FisherofMen

Cast The Net To Rescue Those In Need

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Tribes of Love

Love, Fearlessly.

Frijdom

encouraging space to think deeply

His Wings Shadow

Trust ~ Delight ~ Commit ~ Rest

Perfect Chaos

God's Perfect Purpose in a Chaotic World

Life- All over the map

A family journey through childhood cancer and around the world

A L!fe Lived

seeking the full life that only Jesus offers

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

The Mustard Seed Kingdom

A Blog of the Evangelical Anabaptist Partners

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce