Showing posts from May, 2012

The Tree of Life

Welcome to  Real Life . Trees inspire me. They stand so bold and tall with branches lifted high in worship. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the  Tree of Life . It’s found in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. [1]  It’s also mentioned at the end of Revelation.  Trees are life-givers. The food I need to survive is provided by plants/trees. The fresh air I must breathe is produced by trees. Protection from the scorching sun and driving rain is found under the branches of a tree. I am housed in a tree (my home is constructed with wood). I sit on a tree (wooden chair). I eat on a tree (wooden table). I work on a tree (wooden desk). I write on a tree (paper). I cry into a tree (tissue). My soul is enriched by the beauty of trees: delicate dogwood blossoms, breathtaking autumn hues, towering Redwoods and so many more.  My neighbor's oak tree Trees are spiritual life-givers as well. While at my desk, I see a majestic oak out my window. It’s the grandest tree in the neighborho

Wake-up Call | Slowing the Pace of a Busy Life

Welcome to  Real Life . This week’s blog is a guest post by my friend Michelle Virnelson.  Her life has been a bit busy lately ...  I had a minor parking lot scrape last week. It wigged me out for days. I couldn’t get it off my mind. What happened? Where did that car come from as I was backing into my parking spot? And why couldn’t I stop thinking about it? My life is filled with far more pressing matters to think and pray about. This was a minor incident. No one was hurt.  As I pondered (no,  ruminated on  would be the better description) what happened, I sensed God say,  “Michelle, I’ve been trying to tell you. Slow down. Get more sleep.”  “I know, Lord. I’m trying. But, I don’t know how or what to do.”  Been there? Is life so busy that it seems there’s no way to slow down? Everything is urgent. I’ve already cut everything that’s not urgent. One daughter is coming home from college and needs her room back. Another daughter is graduating from high school this month and prepar

Beautiful Blogger Award

Welcome to Real Life .  I still feel new and insecure in the realm of writing and blogging. I greatly appreciate each friend who stops in at Real Life . I also appreciate the fellowship of writers and bloggers who’ve welcomed me into their world and spurred me on with timely encouragement. Some of that encouraged arrived Sunday when I was nominated by two of my favorite bloggers for the “Beautiful Blogger Award”: Linneann’s Everyday Life in a Special Needs Family    Linnea is a stay-at-home mom and author. One of her sons has Downs Syndrome. Her unique experiences add depth and richness to her words. Patricia Garcia’s Wind, Rain, Winding Roads, and Sunshine, the By-Ways of Life    Patricia is a writer, singer and (my title for her) “professional encourager” living in Germany. The blog above is one of three that she writes to bless others along their paths in life.  Along with these two, I nominate [1] the following for the “Beautiful Blogger Award”: Jamie Loker’s Until A

The Last Day of My Life | A Mother's Prayer Request

Welcome to  Real Life . Today’s blog is a belated Mother’s Day tribute.  Decades before health consciousness went mainstream, my mother was a health food nut. She ate raw garlic to stave off colds. She snacked on sunflower seeds from bags meant to feed birds. She sucked honey out of actual honey combs. She popped vitamins like candy. Perhaps due to these habits, mom stayed relatively healthy throughout her life.  However, in her late 70’s, her health began to deteriorate. She developed old age onset diabetes and peripheral artery disease. In October of 2005, she landed in the hospital for a month after by-pass operations in both legs. She dropped 50 lbs. She grew so weak; we feared she would not survive.  Friend, mom, her sister Catherine Yet in the midst of physical weakness, her faith remained strong. Following high school, my mother had been a nun for eight years. She left the convent before taking her final vows. She wanted a family. She considered the roles of wife an

What is Love?

Welcome to  Real Life . The Beatles sang, “Love, love, love. It’s easy.” Maybe not.  What is love? I tried to define it today. It wasn't as easy as I thought. It's easier to describe what love is not:  Love is much more than affection.  Love is more than physical attraction; though strong chemistry can be mistaken for love. Love is more than compassion; though it makes me more compassionate. Love is more than generosity; though it expands my capacity to give. Love is more than sexual intimacy; though this is a beautiful expression of love in marriage. Love is more than sacrifice; though it inspires immense sacrifice. [1] Love is impossible to buy or sell. Can it be earned?  A person can never receive too much love. Yet, a person can die from lack of it.  What is love? A child knows. Yet, I struggle to comprehend it fully. I know when I am loved. I see love in eyes, words, and actions. I hear love in songs, poems, and stories. But, what exactly is it?  Love is

A Story of Grace | Forgiving the Other Woman

Rita, Mark and son Welcome to  Real Life . Mark and Rita fell in love, married, and had two children. Then, Mark met Beth. They ended up having an affair. Mark left his family and married Beth. Eight months later, Mark had a life-altering stroke. This is Beth and Rita’s story of grace.  Beth   I made a decision to accept Jesus as my Savior when I was a young teenager. However, I didn’t really know what that meant. I didn’t understand salvation or grace. I knew God, but kept my distance from him.  I felt like I was too far gone. I wasn’t worthy of his forgiveness. When I met Mark, I was rebounding from a long, unhealthy relationship. Ironically, what drew me to him was the way he interacted with his family. Mark was and is a patient, loving father.  I saw the special relationship he had with his children. As we began the affair, I was racked with guilt. I consoled myself with the thought that he was the one sinning, not me. He was the married one. I was single.  Beth and