Attuned

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My Siberian Husky, Trooper, is an interesting dog. He’s also very in tune with what happens around him. This morning I had an early appointment and after shuffling around in my house slippers, fixing my coffee, I went and threw on a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. I walked back into the kitchen to grab my coffee mug and Trooper jumped up ready to go outside. He’d been out just moments earlier but picked up on the sound of my sneakers which triggered his response. After telling him; “Sorry bud. We aren’t going anywhere,” I petted his head, gave him a dog biscuit, grabbed my coffee, and headed out the door.

I reflected on his awareness to simply the sound of shoes. I long for my physical ears and the ears of my spirit and emotions to be so attuned. To know when to move and be still. To hear more than words when conversing with people. To be more sensitive in my spirit. Wisdom tells me this requires a willingness to discover the difference between what’s worth listening to and what to ignore.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Starting to Stick

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We received a dusting of snow today. Not much but enough to see a minor weather event happened. When the Mrs. came home from work she said it was starting to snow again and that it’s; “starting to stick.” Places on the road are getting slick and it might be hazardous for folks driving home this evening.

I thought about the phrase; “starting to stick” and how it applies to the road of life we travel. Sometimes troubles accumulate on our way. We’re forced to slow down, be on alert for difficulties and obstacles, stay focused, calm and trust the road, though hazardous, will still lead us home.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Rolling Up Our Sleeves

Most mornings begin with putting on a pot of coffee, taking the dogs outside and washing any dishes left over from the night before. Today, I followed my usual routine and had a greasy iron skillet left over that needed to soak. I placed it in the soapy water and went to get ready. By the time I had packed my bag, started the truck, prepared the now brewing coffee and put my dress clothes on I had forgotten about the iron skillet. As I was leaving the now darkened water caught my eye. What to do? Leave it or roll up my sleeves and scrub? I chose the latter.

Life has a way of not going according to our plans.  We’d rather avoid the dirty work. It’s much more enjoyable when everything seems clean and ordered. However, oftentimes the hardest, grittiest, messiest parts of our journey come at the most inopportune time. We have a choice; do our best to perpetuate an illusion of perfection or get down in the grime of life and clean it up.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Takes Two

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Walking the path of forgiveness and repairing a relationship takes time, self awareness and the willingness of two.

A friend asked me this morning about restoring a broken relationship and his feelings of futility at his lack of success. Nothing seems to be working and he’s looking for another way to reach out and connect with his estranged friend. My first question was; “does the other person want the relationship healed?”

It takes two people to truly restore a broken relationship. Two with the self awareness that there is fault and blame on both sides. Two must be willing to forgive and seek forgiveness. Two with enough humility and grace to set aside ego, recognize the brokenness of the past and embrace the desire for newness to replace what is barren and dead.

Unless two are willing to travel the road of healing together the emptiness of what once was will remain.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Knock Knock

Someone unexpected came to the front door today and rang the doorbell, followed by several knocks. I’m not sure why by but my anxiety rises when folks come to the house unannounced. I’ve never had something bad happened when a person or group of people came calling I just freeze for a moment, my mind filled with questions; “who is that? what do they want? did we forget we have company coming over? how quickly can we clean up the house?” Most times it’s a girl scout or someone collecting monies for a volunteer organization, a neighbor or friend. In spite of my confusion and surprise the only way to know who it is, what they want, it is to answer the door and go from there.

Life is this way. Many things come unannounced into our life, knocking on our door, barging into our existence. We may want to hide, ignore, hope it goes away but most times it keeps knocking until we answer the door. No matter what it is or what it wants, we must face it, accept it, adapt to it, live with it and learn from it.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Where Wisdom is Found

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A friend of mine posted a religiously provocative question/statement recently on Facebook. It was designed to get a rise, a visceral reaction out of people and it did. Another friend was drawn into the fray and I found myself sad and disappointed at the negative outcome such public feuds too often de-evolve into.

Genuine truth seekers, wisdom lovers are rarely involved in these “conversations”, debates. Wisdom is not found among shouts, declarations, proclamations but in quiet conversations with ears, hearts, spirits open and mouths closed. Too often, well meaning but naive folks mistake opinions and loudness for true wisdom which can only be found in stillness and silence.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Steady as We Go

A great video. Two friends who found each other on this unpredictable road of life.

When I first watched this video I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the squirrel. Frantic, hyper, always on the move, never slowing down, just viewing it wore me out. I watched the rodent run circles on its caretaker’s torso but the man was steady with his walking, gentle with his petting and their relationship was positively symbiotic.

I reflected on times and seasons when I was anxious, jumpy, antsy, on edge but friends and loved ones were steady, still and grounded. They brought an assurance to me by their unwavering ways that; “all shall be well.”

Life can injure us. It can make us uncertain of our chosen path. We are indeed blessed if, in our unsettledness, we have companions on the journey who keep us safe, connected and moving in the right direction.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Protection

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The wind from a mighty storm front howled, pushed, shoved and knocked me around yesterday. I arrived home from work and the dogs were ready to go outside. I grabbed an umbrella and we made our way to the yard so they could do their business. The gusts were so strong that my umbrella knocked me in the head, pulled to the right, left leaving me soaking wet, and was basically useless. Once I was back inside I decided to do it differently next time I ventured out. A couple of hours later, the wind still shaking tree limbs and throwing branches and debris around, I bundled up with a raincoat and hat. My hat blew off my head but the raincoat protected me better than the flimsy umbrella.

Back indoors I dried off my head and reflected upon the storms of life and how at times things we hope will protect us fail, become useless and broken. It’s hard to accept what we’ve placed our faith in has let us down and can’t keep us safe. Letting go of what doesn’t work, finding new places of safety and stillness can be difficult but is also necessary.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Storms of Life 

 

Its abnormally warm today. The wind is stiff, gray clouds threaten and tornado warnings abound. The question isn’t; “If it’s going to storm” but rather “when?” It’s coming the exact arrival time is just uncertain. 

As I drove to a meeting today strong winds gusts rocked the truck, a few droplets of rain fell on the windshield but nothing more. I reflected on the impending but elusive front that’s forecasted and how life’s storms are similar. We know life can be difficult, seasons of hardships and challenges will shake the foundations of our worlds. The question isn’t “if” but “when.”

Living with uncertainty can be unsettling. We prefer predictability, to be prepared for what’s around the corner waiting to rock our world but it doesn’t often work that way. Acceptance of our powerlessness to know, guess, plan and plot the storm fronts that will move through our lives takes courage to face the unknown and the faith that every tumultuous season will pass.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

  

Evaporate

Ugh!” was my first thought this morning when the alarm disturbed my slumber. After a few snooze button presses I slowly dragged myself out of the bed. Passing the front door on my way to the kitchen I heard the pounding of rain on the awning over the front porch. “Sigh!” I began washing a few dishes, fixing coffee, making some tea and then proceeded to drop items onto the floor. “It’s going to be one of the days.” I thought to myself. The dogs didn’t like being outside because of the wet ground, mud got on my bedroom shoes and my head was beginning to hurt. The rain stopped long enough for me to put my things in the truck but about a mile from my first stop of the day the “bottom dropped out“, rain poured and my shirt and pants became soaked. “Oy!” I hopped back into the truck, headed to the office and turned the heater on.

As my clothes began to dry I reflected on my current outlook. I arose with a negative view of things and it was playing out exactly as I envisioned. I began to wonder if, like the dampness in my clothes, my foul mood would also evaporate if I focused on the good instead of the not so good, the positive not the negative, the blessings of being alive. When I arrived at the office the rain had stopped and my sloppy attitude had begun to dry out as well.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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But a Memory

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I had a dream the other night about someone very close to me who died not too long ago. It was so vivid and real that, for a moment, after I awoke her presence was palpable. I also saw her on Friday as I traveled home from being out of town. She was walking along side the road, bending over to pick up a piece of trash. It wasn’t her, of course, but the person bore a resemblance and my mind and heart filled in the rest of the details.

I miss my friend. I suppose I always will until, perhaps, I see her again. For now, dreams, passing shadows and doppelgangers will have to do. Our lives are short, a few breaths, a limited number of days and we are gone and a memory of those we leave behind if we are blessed.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Knowing We Don’t Know

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Thursday night I got lost. I was in Paris, TN, a place I’ve never been before, and ventured out to find dinner. I thought I knew where I was going because when I arrived in the afternoon I made mental notes of a few landmarks and restaurants. However, that was in the day time and now it was night. Somewhere I made a wrong turn and the more adjustments I made the more lost I became. Finally, after admitting to myself I had no idea where I was or how to get where I was going, I opened the map app on my phone and it showed me the way.

Wisdom tells us that knowing we don’t know is the key to understanding, gaining knowledge and insight. The difficulty is our ego doesn’t like admitting powerlessness, weakness and not knowing. It is only when we’ve let go of our pride and embrace humility that we can be shown the way.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Being Saved

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This morning I had the honor of giving a lecture on the importance of fathers to a group of family advocates. Standing and delivering a speech to a group of people is one of the top fears for most folk.  In my case, however, I’ve never been scared of talking in front of others, it’s just not a big deal. There are, however, plenty of other things which frighten me. Certain fears can be rational to some and irrational to others but their power to intimidate, shake us to our core, force us to act or not act in specific ways is very real.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” should bring comfort but for some fear has the ability to overwhelm. In the midst of panic, worry, anxiety, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness our greatest source of strength is accepting our powerlessness. For it is when we recognize our need of being rescued we can be saved.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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The Other End

“When you pick up one end of the stick you also pick up the other end.” Choices. Consequences.

Several months ago a young man shared with me how his story of addiction began. A simple question; “Could he jump over one of the cement posts that stand outside of almost every Walmart store?” He couldn’t. A bad choice and a misjudging of how tall these posts actually are resulted in a shattered forearm and an addiction to pain pills a couple of years later. “If only I’d ignored the impulse to try to hurdle that post, impress my friends, make someone laugh, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Choices. Consequences.

Our choices determine our destiny. What we choose today is who we are tomorrow. May we never forget the power of a decision.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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In the Way

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On my way to a community action board today I stopped by a McDonald’s for a drink. I parked and checked my email before going in. While sitting there I noticed a man parked in the center of the parking lot blocking several vehicles from exiting. A driver, needing and ready to go, waited patiently and the blocker, talking on his phone, never noticed. Finally, the driver ready to leave had to take action. He got out of his car, walked to the end of his vehicle, waved his arms, to get the blocker’s attention and motioned that he needed to get moving. The driver, immediately brought back to reality, moved quickly out of the way.

Watching the entire scene I reflected on how there are times and seasons of life when others, purposefully or not, block our path. We’d rather wait and through patience and stillness hope the obstacle moves. However, there are moments when we must take action and rid ourselves of any impediments, human or otherwise, that continue to keep us from moving forward.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Off the Rails

I was speaking with a friend the other day about how our thoughts can be our worse enemy. We get into a repetitive, negative train of thought and the tracks take us to bad places. We get down on ourselves, see no way out of difficult present circumstances, lose hope and despair over events and seasons we find ourselves traveling through. Our thought trains can run away with us, drag us to places our minds and spirits have no desire to go.

Taking a breath, slowing down our thinking, letting go of ideas, fears, anxieties is key. A wise proverb says; “Keep the front and back door of your mind open. Allow thoughts to come and go, just don’t serve them tea.” Mindfulness and wisdom teach us that often we cannot control thoughts popping into our heads but grasping and holding onto them is up to us.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Being Tested

This morning I chose to be stabbed by a woman. She was testing for tuberculosis which is mandatory for the organization I work for. Each year I go into a small room, roll up my sleeves, look the other way as a nice person pokes me with a syringe and then tells me to come back in 48 hours to see if the test I am now carrying is either positive or negative. I am the test, what I carry around in my body is the test and, hopefully, on Wednesday morning I will be negative and good to go for another year.

After undergoing my yearly exam I began to reflect on  how it would be nice to have a test to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong, negative, destructive in our bodies, emotions and/our spirits. It would be great and helpful to know if we have somehow picked up habits, hurts, hangups that, if not addressed, would destroy who we’re meant to be and what we’re truly meant to do.

There may not be this type of test but some of the things we can do is make sure our priorities stay properly ordered, humbly seek others’ input and corrections if needed, always remember that we are only given a finite amount of time, energy, passion and make sure to use them wisely.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Disconnected

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Last week the Mrs’. dashboard quit working.  The orange gauges simply flashed red. Everything else electrical worked fine but we couldn’t understand what was happening.  We talked with several mechanics who had never heard of such a thing and other than bringing it in and running tests no one had any guesses what could be causing the trouble. One car jockey suggested we might try unhooking the battery. The winter storm hit the next day and since I couldn’t take it anywhere I disconnected the battery to see what happened. I let it sit for several hours and when I reconnected, “presto!” everything in the dashboard worked again.

Now I don’t know if this is a permanent or temporary fix but it was a great reminder that sometimes disconnecting, unplugging, resetting is the only way to keep moving.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Not Extinguished

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The drip, drip, drip of melting snow is music to my ears. The temperatures aren’t supposed to get above freezing today but the glorious sun is doing its magic. Friends in the north east are digging out from under feet of snow so our few inches are child’s play for solar rays. After days of gray, overcast skies the sun seems brighter today. You can feel the warmth even through the chilled air.

Listening to the retreat of the snow as water drops to the ground, reveling in the sun’s toasty glow on my face, watching the light once again chase away the frozen gloom, I am reminded of how quickly things change. I’m also once again assured that light, though at times elusive, is never extinguished.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Better Than

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Wednesday night I went to bed without any ice cream! This may seem like an odd confession but I like ice cream, maybe too much.  Each evening, before going to bed, I almost always have a scoop or two. Wednesday, however, I was so tired! The day was a long day, a good day, but an exhausting one. When I I finally made it home a little before eight o’clock I was done. I scarfed down dinner and fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up it was past ten and too late for ice cream. I mumbled; “good night” to Beth and went straight to bed. Thursday evening we talked about my ice cream-less evening and decided sleep definitely was more important.

Wisdom teaches us to choose what’s best for us. Life is filled with wondrous blessings and bountiful gifts. There are times when we can partake of many and other seasons when we must choose the best and trust the good will be available at another time.

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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Predictions

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The news tells me that; “snow is a’comin!” They aren’t sure how much but they know it’ll be here sometime tomorrow. Being from the south I know the panic this 4 letter words brings. People are buying up bread, milk, eggs, food staples that’ll get them through this blizzard! Schools are closing, other companies are adjusting their hours accordingly as winter’s first precipitation blast is upon us. Nevermind that it’ll be 50 degrees on Monday people are hunkering down for the storm. Not caring at all for snow I’m focused on the days after it will be but a memory. Friends, who for some reason like the white stuff, are hoping for a winter wonderland even if it only lasts for a few days. Spring is on my mind while others are dreaming of snowmen and snow cones.

Whatever the weather brings; inches or feet of the white stuff, freezing or mild temperatures, one thing we know is we have no control over what happens so, …”let it snow, let it snow, let it snow….or not.

blessings,

@BrianLoging (Twitter)

http://www.thewannabesaint.com

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