Category Archives: Life

Angle

There’s nothing quite so cold as a rain drop falling off the roof at just the right angle and time to squeeze through a jacket collar, t-shirt, and your neck. It happened to me three times today while taking the dogs outside. It’s been rainy, messy, and frigid temperatures since early this morning.

Since work outside was impossible I helped clean out the attic of a friend. Lots of miscellaneous knick-knacks, old toys, boxes of books, a few items of clothing, and most packed with bittersweet memories.

Me and my friend stopped by Lowe’s Home Improvement store last night with a short list. I picked certain items she took what was left on the list and we split up. When we came back together she was sad, eyes brimming with tears, and a catch on her voice. “I didn’t know,’ she said, ‘This was his store and he loved this time of year. I didn’t know it would hit me this hard.” I nodded my head, listened, and rubbed her back.

A certain place and time, and grief’s cold touch slipped in and ran down from her head to her heart.

blessings,

@BrianLoging

thewannabesaint.com

Advertisements

Green Light Red Light

 

Earlier today I was on my way to go pick up something. As I went I hit almost every traffic light green! I arrived at my destination quickly. I came back the same home on my return trip, however, I ran into red lights and traffic. It significantly changed my time and my mood.

I think it’s interesting when you travel, especially in a suburban area, how many traffic lights you have to navigate through and when they change. Sometimes you hit the light green, everything goes smoothly, and arrive at the destination early. Other times it is the opposite. Every traffic light seems as if it’s waiting. Yellow lights turn red more quickly, people are impatient, and most drivers wish they would have stayed home in bed.

Life is traffic lights. Sometimes it’s easy-going, you arrive with not much difficulty, and all seems right. Other times, however, nothing works out. Remembering that life works certain ways at certain times and no amount of luck, ability, or planning can change it. Acceptance is key. There are red lights and green lights. How, when, why they change isn’t under our control.

Blessings,
@brianloging
thewannabesaint.com

I Got a Bad Feeling About This

Image result for creepy house in the woods

Yesterday I had a scheduled meeting with a man at his residence. I hadn’t been to the area he lived at before and when I saw his mailbox I noticed his driveway was long and winding, deep into the woods. It was eery as I slowly made my way and then I saw his house, surrounded by dense brush and trees on all sides. The front door faced the woods and I had an uneasy feeling. I got out of the truck and slowly looked around. I wasn’t sure it was the right place until a door to the house opened and he came outside. The man had an odd way of speaking and walking. He invited me into his home but said he needed to tell his mother to put the dogs outside. He spoke to someone on the other side of the door and I told him I would wait until it was taken care of. He came back a few moments later and the dogs were no longer inside. I never saw his mom. The entire time I was in the house I never heard her moving around. Making my way inside the man began to tell me about his collection of chairs. “It’s a wonderful collection of office chairs and recliners!” It was then all the pieces fell into place. An odd man, an invisible mother, a strange collection, alone, in an isolated location? I was in a Law & Order episode!
 
After looking at the chairs in the living room he took me to the kitchen and showed me more of his collection. “This one is my favorite,’ he said, ‘it’s heavy and so comfortable.” Picking up the chair he let out a small grunt and then asked me to lift it up. Feeling this was all wrong I stepped to the chair, lifted it up and put it down quickly saying; “Yes, that is heavy.” Then he said, in a flat tone; “Sit in it. You’ll die.” My heart began to race and the anxiety which had been growing in me exploded. I sat down fast, stood up and said; “Yes, soft.” He looked at me and asked if I would go to another room to see more of his chairs and that was it. “Nope! I exclaimed, I have another appointment and need to go!” We said our goodbyes as I made my way outside and didn’t stop moving until I got back into the truck and locked the doors.
 
The strange this is I don’t think the guy was a serial killer. I think his mannerisms were not what I was used to and this set me on a suspicious, weary, possibly paranoid(?) path. I called a friend on the way back into town and told them the story. They said I was lucky to get out of there alive!
 
As I look back on it today I don’t know what happened yesterday but I do know that we act like those with whom grew up. As adults, we are mirrors of the house we spent our formative years in, reflections of the environment in which we were immersed. This gentleman was, most likely, not dangerous, and the incident was a good reminder not to judge others quickly but to also be aware of your surroundings, your judgments, and adapt accordingly.
 
blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Crystal Clear

The other day, while I was shopping, a gentleman was sitting in a chair and talking to everyone around him. Then he addressed me and asked if I had any interest in attending a Nazi concert? I answered him firmly; “I am absolutely not interested and have no intention of ever going to a Nazi concert!” I have no idea if he was kidding or if it was something serious he wanted me to think about but I wanted him to know it wasn’t going to happen.

It’s interesting trying to figure out people’s motives for why they say and do certain things. I think in most cases, when taken aback by words or deeds, it is important to make sure they know who you are and your intentions and motivations. This way we can be sure not to get any lines of communication crossed, and our desires and purpose are crystal clear.

blessings.
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

The Sudden Stop at the End

There are days when we put our dog Scooby on a zip line so he can exercise and not be tied to a leash. He’s not on it for long but he likes the freedom and until we finish our fence it’s the best option. The zip line runs across the driveway so we take it down after we’re done so we can move our vehicles safely.

The other day I took him outside, clipped him to the cable tethered to the zip line and was going to cinch it in place on a pole when all of a sudden Scooby spied a cat sneaking through the front yard. “Pew!” he was gone dragging the zip line with him. I ran after him and rounded the corner of the front porch as Scooby ran out of zip line and cable. “Screech!” He seemed confused at first. There was something he wanted and had the freedom, ability, and determination to get it and then he was stopped in his tracks with no way forward. I shook my head, he barked at the cat that was nowhere to be seen and we both went up and put the zip line in its proper place.

Walking into the house I thought about life and the goals we want to achieve. At times we are able to claim the prize, other times we are stopped suddenly so close yet so far from accomplishing them. We have dreams which are unfulfilled, relationships that fall apart or never materialize, love unrequited.

Life can be glorious but it can also be relentless. We have this moment and we must live it fully. We are never guaranteed another second.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Life and a Tuna Fish Sandwich

Mayonnaise is a tricky condiment. When using too much food gets messy, too little and food becomes dry. I made Tuna Fish today and ended up on the soupy side. It’s better than it being dry but it was hard keeping the Tuna on the tortilla shell.

While I was eating I thought about life and the last few weeks. They’ve been tough. I have felt dry emotionally and spiritually. Setting the clocks back an hour so that darkness comes much earlier doesn’t help either. I desire life to be easy. Not too easy or everything would be taken for granted but easier so that everything doesn’t seem like a chore.

Life is tricky, messy, sometimes easy, a lot of times hard. Like a Tuna Fish sandwich, the current mood and state of mind, doesn’t last forever.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Cracked, Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about cracking my phone screen on Saturday (Crackedhttps://thewannabesaint.com/2018/10/28/cracked-3/). Today, however, I discovered I didn’t crack my screen at all it was the screen protector that cracked like a spider web on top of the screen. The screen protector did its job, was a worthy investment, and the next Verizon store I come across I’ll be buying another one!

It was a shock to see the screen protector was damaged and not the actual phone screen. It reminded me of attending a week-long seminar about the importance of raising children, being raised ourselves, and living presently in a safe, nurturing, environment. The woman who taught the class, named Michelle, said that all of us, especially babies and young children, need the protection, the shield, of a parent’s love, a welcoming and supportive home, other people in our lives who will affirm our worth.

These essentials are protective layers that wrap around us and teach us how to be resilient. When tough times come, and they always do, our layers will help us have the strength to meet challenges and difficulties head on without lasting damage being done to our core selves.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

 

Cracked

I dropped and cracked the screen on my new Galaxy 9+ yesterday. Listening to music and bumped into the chair the phone was sitting on. Only fell about three feet but it landed on a small, hard object and the force was great enough to puncture the screen protector and send a spiderweb of cracks over the screen. Sigh!

I had prided myself on never cracking my phone screen. An almost fifteen year smartphone owner and not one crack, puncture or scratch. I’ve known several people who have cracked theirs and always wondered how they could be so careless. Now I know it only takes a second and it’s not carelessness but life.

I think many times we see a blessed, fortunate, lucky life, perhaps our own, and believe it’s all due to hard work, clean living, good choices. We might even wonder how others who aren’t so blessed, fortunate, lucky, can be so careless.

Perhaps we should keep in mind there’s a fine line, a pressure point, that if crossed or force applied, would result in our life looking very different.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
thewannabesaint.com

Defined By What We Overcome

A couple of weeks ago I sat in a meeting with 20 or so people. There was a presentation from an organization that’s part of the Tennessee Department of Health. There were two presenters for a lengthy and in-depth description of their services. One of the presenters had a challenge with her speaking. She stuttered. Listening to her was inspiring. She didn’t let her challenge become an obstacle. She was articulate, educated and as she continued her stutter became less noticable. She would NOT let it define her and it didn’t.

It was a great reminder that each person is walking a path and encountering challenges. We do not get to pick our struggles but we do choose whether or not they wll define us. Oftentimes the greatest among us are those who have overcome the most.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Lose Our Sight

 

We all lose our sight at times on this journey called life. Hopefully, we have people who love us, will guide us, and help us see life in a new and different way.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Use the Bounce

Image result for 14 foot pruning saw

Use the Bounce

Using a pruning extension saw is serious! I pruned a couple of tall trees today and my shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers hurt. When you extend the saw the full height there isn’t much pressure you can put on the blade to cut the branches. The saw teeth grab the branch, begin to saw, and the limb bounces up and down. It can be frustrating to keep the blade in the gap to keep cutting. The beginner tries to apply more pressure to keep the limb from bouncing. The experienced pruner uses the bounce. When the branch goes down he goes up and vice versa. Soon a rhythm starts and the limb and saw are working together instead of against.

Life is similar. It’s hard to get a hold of at times. Seasons when life is unsteady and we find it hard to find our balance. The more we tighten our grip the more it slips through our hands. However, if we learn to ride out the ups and downs of life we can find our balance and our rhythm.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

 

One Good Man

Image result for good man

One Good Man

My wife was asked on Monday and Tuesday if she had been abused. It’s startling but understandable. She had oral surgery last week and they had to remove part of her jaw bone to get the job done. They used a tool to keep her mouth open as wide as possible and the result was a large bruise on the left side that stretches from her bottom lip to below her chin. It looks as someone punched her in the face. Her father was the first who asked, more than once I might add, to make sure she wasn’t being hurt by me or anyone. The next several times were by the nurses and doctors when she had another small procedure done on Tuesday. They asked her if she was being abused, felt safe. Beth and I were talking about this when she came home yesterday evening. She said; “People asked about me being abused by my husband.” I told her I was thankful and wanted her to feel safe. I think a good man and a father wants to know (for sure!) that his daughter is not being harmed. Beth’s dad is both and I wouldn’t expect anything less. A good doctor, nursing staff, will do the same.

I’m still haunted by the Supreme Court hearings that concluded last week. Testimonies were given, victimization claimed, both parties using a woman as a political prop. It broke my heart and made me angry. I kept waiting for one good man, from either side,  to step up. Then the President went to a rally and insulted, demeaned, and accused the woman who testified at the hearings of being a; “hoax.” Then men stood up…and cheered.

Why is being a good man, which is the only way to be a good husband, father, and friend, in such small demand these days?

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

All Over the Place

All Over the Place

It’s not easy giving a Siberian Husky a bath. On Saturday, it was Trooper’s turn and with Beth on the mend from a surgical procedure last week I got to do it by myself. This isn’t Trooper in the video but this is Trooper when we wash him. He hates it. He does okay for a few moments and then begins to howl, run away, lay down, sit down, and walk in circles. The most frustrating is when he begins to shake the dingy water and soap off. It gets all over the place. He does this over and over again until the washer is as dirty and wet as himself.

Last week, and the last month, the politics of America have been making me sick. It was never so blatant as the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh. Both parties were hostile to each other, insulted their colleagues and those who supported or were against the judge’s selection and election to the supreme court. Protestors from both sides fought with each other, senators exhibited outrageous and unacceptable behavior, used people to further the agenda of their political party, staged dramatic and outlandish speeches and stunts. The President of the United States mocked a victim of sexual assault.

The toxic political environment of our country is poisoning us all. The corruption, lust for power, uncaring for others, bad behavior, hate speech, is spilling all over the place and none of us are immune.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Like Him

Image result for yard trash dumpster

Like Him

I spent most of last week helping a friend clean up and prepare her yard for winter. There were other friends helping. On Friday, there were several trailer and truck full of limbs, trees, and yard debris. Almost everyone had a truck so we teamed up and began taking loads to the local Refuse and Recycle Center. There was a dump designated for yard trash and my partner and I pulled up and began unloading. There was a lot to put in the dumpster and towards the bottom of the pile I bent down to pick up a dropped limb and when I stood back up my partner was gone! I looked to see if he was in the truck ready to leave, if he’d fallen, or what happened. Then I spotted him. He was at another dumpster over helping an elderly couple with their trash. I hadn’t even seen them but he did and left to offer aid. I was impressed by his sight and his willingness to serve even as he was serving someone else. Even now my heart is warmed by his empathy.

I’ve decided, even though I’m almost 50 as I grow up I want to be like him.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
For more posts, reflections and other writings please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

Thorny Situation

Image result for thick thorny vine

Thorny Situation

Today working in a friend’s yard I came across several thick, thorny, vines. They were growing up from the ground and had worked their ways into several trees wrapping themselves around numerous limbs. I found the source where they started and sawed it as close to the ground as possible. Then, with a pair of thick gloves, I grabbed and pulled. I was able to get almost ten feet of the vine dragged down before the vines drew a bunch of limbs together and wouldn’t go any further. I asked another friend who was helping to grab a saw and cut the vines as high as he could. He did and the remaining vines popped back up into the trees. Eventually, since they have no connection to the ground, they will rot and die. At the source, a vigilant eye will be needed to make sure it doesn’t start growing again.

Wisdom teaches us there are thorny issues in our lives. They intertwine themselves into many parts of our lives and begin to choke us. They’re sharp and we’re sensitive to the impact they have on us and others. To rid ourselves of them we have to find the source and cut it out of our lives. We also need to be untangled from the hold they have on us. Thorny issues are not easy to get rid of. It will take perseverance and patience until they are fully gone and a vigilant eye to make sure they don’t return.

blessings,
BrianLoging (Twitter)

For more posts, reflection and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

Self Focus

Image result for self focus

Self Focus

Yesterday I travelled to see a friend. On my way, my gas tank was getting empty so I began looking for a place to stop. I spotted a gas station but it was on the other side of the road. A silly thought popped into my head; “Why don’t they put those stations on the right?” Immediately I realized how self-focused the thought was… First off all the gas station are on the right if you’re on the “right” side of the road and secondly, why would I demand a gas station on “my side?”

A few hours down the road I was in the far left lane moving with the traffic and a white, mid-2000’s, Toyota Four-Runner was in the lane going slower than the rest of the vehicles. People flashed their lights, “rode their bumper” and finally went around them. I flashed my light hoping they would take the hint but to no avail. Exasperated, I went around them as well. I kept my eye on the Fore-Runner and the driver stayed in the far left lane for miles and miles. All of a sudden it crossed all lanes into the right one. I thought; “What are they doing now?” and then I realized they were getting off at the next exit.

Wisdom teaches us to be aware of ourselves, to focus on our self at times, but not to be self-focused. The difference is to understand there are others in this world and we are to be as kind and loving to them as we should be to ourselves.

blessings,
BrianLoging (Twitter)

For more posts, reflections, and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

Not the Same

Image result for oven cleaner

Not the Same

This past weekend Beth was sick and so I was left to my own devices for meals. This isn’t good. Friday night, I decided to warm up a few slices of pizza. I knew to coat the pan with non-stick spray and saw a bright yellow can on the counter. I picked it up and began spraying but immediately noticed it was foamy and didn’t smell like butter. By the time I realized I had the wrong can the fumes had got to me and I began coughing. I put down the can and stepped away to catch my breath. When I came back I looked at the bright yellow can and discovered it was oven cleaner. However, when I retrieved the non-stick spray from the cabinet it was in a bright yellow can as well. Beth would’ve noticed but I didn’t read the label, only looked at the color of the can and sprayed away. Though they looked similar they were not the same!

Wisdom teaches us that many things offer peace, awareness, mindfulness, and clarity. We grab whatever we see first and use it only to find our lives unchanged and perhaps negatively impacted. Wisdom can only be achieved through conscious, purposeful living. We must know what we are bringing into our lives and not just use what’s closest and easiest. A mindful life is possible but only if we are wise in our choices.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

For more posts, reflections and writings, please visit: wwwthewannabesaint.com

Cattle Crossing

Image result for cattle crossing

Cattle Crossing

Today, traveling the back roads of South Central Tennessee, I saw a “Cattle Crossing” sign. It was funny at first, the thought of having a cow in the middle of the road or a group of them causing a traffic jam. The more I thought about a cow jumping, waddling, out of nowhere on the road or stepping out from a hidden place the more I slowed down. A cow would cause tremendous truck and bodily damage. I’ve seen the toll a deer can put on a vehicle. I can’t imagine what a cow would do!

Wisdom tells us that we are given insight and warning signs for a reason. It also reminds us that it is our choice whether or not to take the warning seriously. We proceed at our own risk. Too often we ignore them and suffer the consequences of wrecked lives for ourselves and those we hold dear.

Our lives are not to be lived waiting for the next disaster, challenge or difficulty to come our way. However, if we learn to look for the warning signs and trust the wisdom we have gained through experience and knowledge we can avoid a lot of pain and heartache.

For more posts, reflections and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

Blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

Dusted

Image result for dust storm

Dusted

I had finished mowing my grass and was now weed eating around bushes and trees. Behind our house is a field that a local farmer harvests for hay several times a summer. The front yard was done and I moved into the backyard with the weed eater. Making my way along the fence line I was hot, sweating and looking forward to sitting down in the shade. The farmer that used the field was also out turning the grass with his tractor which would eventually become hay bales. He was stirring up a lot of dust. I don’t know if he didn’t see me or didn’t care but he and I ended up in the same place on either side of the fence. The dust kicked up went everywhere. I couldn’t see because it was in my eyes, and clung to my sweat and made me even more of a filthy mess. I stopped until the dust settled and I could use my shirt to wipe my eyes and glasses filled with grass and dirt. Afterward, I completed the chore and thankful not to be dusted again.

Going inside I saw the dust continue to rise and blow in the wind as the farmer worked the field. I thought about certain people come into our lives like a dust cloud blowing things everywhere, marking our lives with their presence and then leaving all they’ve touched a mess. When they’re gone we find ourselves disoriented, shaking off the negativity and trying to continue living the best we can. Some people don’t know they do this, others don’t care. Either way, the key to recovering is to be still and wait. Sooner or later, after they blow away and we can regain our focus, our purpose, and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

For more posts, reflections and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

Elusive

Image result for mouse trap fail

Elusive

Yesterday morning while we were standing in our kitchen, my wife and I heard a “snap!” and I asked; “What was that?” Beth said; “Sounded like a mousetrap.” We haven’t had enough rain and it’s been too warm for them to need shelter but soon we heard the squeal of a trapped mouse. Beth was leaving for work and I went and grabbed a bag to dispose of the mouse. As I began to open the drawer with the trap I heard movement and by the time I got it halfway open the little mouse had freed itself and escaped!

I didn’t feel too bad about the little creature getting away. To come that close to death and not die it deserved another chance to live. Over the last two days, I’ve thought about elusive things and how it can be hard to get a handle on life. We have bad habits that we think we’ve beat only to fall back into them again. Maybe its a relationship that requires a lot of work and we wonder if it’s worth it. Perhaps a physical or mental illness that lingers and our hopes of getting better permanently are unrequited.

The choice to try again when all you’ve been doing is trying, and failing, can be a daunting challenge but often reaching the most elusive goals are worth the extra time and effort.

For more posts, reflections, and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

Roots

Image result for tall weeds

Roots

The other day I was outside and noticed a large weed had grown up in half of an old wine barrel we use for plants. I grabbed it as close to the soil as I could and pulled on it. Nothing. I reached down again and pulled with two hands and the weed came out slowly. When all of it had finally emerged the root of the weed was almost as long as the weed itself. I noticed another one and removed it. In another pot, there was also a tall weed. I yanked on it and it didn’t budge. I tried again and zero gain. Even with two hands, it wasn’t going anywhere. The roots of the weed had entangled themselves with the roots of the bush in this pot and were only coming out if the bush came out with it.

Reflecting back on the tall weeds I thought about how there are often weeds in our lives. Hurts, habits, and hang-ups that don’t produce anything positive and affirming in us. Often before any of these “weeds” are noticed they have rooted themselves in our attitudes, personalities, words, and actions. When we become aware of them or someone else makes us aware we want to rid ourselves of them. We face our hurts, develop better, more mindful habits and try to untangle ourselves from hangups. Hopefully, they come out and goodness, kindness, and love take their place. However, if we aren’t careful and allow these “weeds” to continue to take root, dig deeper into our souls they become a part of us and we can’t tell where they end and we begin.

For more posts, reflections, and other writings, please visit: http://www.thewannabesaint.com

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)

%d bloggers like this: