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Searching

Searching

This morning my family gathered together to write my father’s obituary and order of service for his memorial. After a while, we took a break and I walked outside with my niece and spotted a huge Sycamore leaf.  It was the biggest one at first we could see and then it became a competition on who could find the largest one of all. We searched a long time and when we were convinced we had discovered the most sizeable one we began looking for the smallest one. This was harder because we had to look under, beside and move other leaves to find the smallest. Finally, we believed we had the tiniest Sycamore leaf in the yard.

It was another busy day with people visiting, numerous phone calls, memorial service being organized, visiting the florist, and other errands. In the hustle and bustle of things, a family must do when one they love has passed it’s hard to find the peace one desires. The big things, the things which must get done are easy to find, it’s the small things; the glimpses of hope, the good memories, times when the good of a life well-lived shines in the darkness of a loved one parting.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Saint John, chapter 1

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Lift

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Lift

This afternoon I ran into Wal-Mart to grab a couple of items. As I navigated the parking lot my cell phone rang and I began a conversation. Approaching the door a woman was coming out the exit with a grocery cart full of stuff and a pack of paper towels on the bottom of the cart. I noticed right away that the paper towels looked as they were going to fall off and to the pavement. I smiled and said; “Excuse me,” reached down and lifted them back on the cart securely. It happened so fast I’m not sure she was aware at first what I was doing. She replied; “Thank you,” and we headed our separate ways.

It was a small gesture but wisdom writers tell me; “No act of kindness is wasted.” I believe this is true and that if each of us would be alert, aware and willing, we might extend kindness in such a way it would lift our world out of darkness.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Together

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Together

A friend of mine had surgery not too long ago and is still recovering. As a result, he is unable to do yard work or any other outdoor project. One of the projects on his list for the summer was to remove several Red Tip bushes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photinia). Red Tips are great for privacy but can quickly grow out of control. Before his recent bout with the illness, he had started the removal but couldn’t finish the job. However, while he was in the hospital a group of neighbors got together and completed the project for him. They didn’t expect to get paid or rewarded in another way they did it because it was a way to help.

As I listened to the story being told to me yesterday my heart was warmed at the generosity we can show each other. A person told me recently; “The news is too depressing. I just don’t watch it.” I tried explaining that ignoring the news doesn’t make the world better but it does eliminate our ability to confront, counter the evil and darkness with good and light.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Carry Us in their Hearts

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Carry Us in their Hearts

“What everyone needs to know is
that someone carries us in their hearts.”

This was a line from a lecture I heard today. The subject was people who have and those who do not have a sense of being worthy and loved. It was an interesting webinar and after it was over the words above found a place in my spirit. Each of us long to be loved by someone. We want to know we’re cared for, not because someone “has to” but because someone wants to.

In my battle with a major depressive disorder, the lie the disease tells me which hurts the most is that I am unlovable. It doesn’t whisper to me that no one loves me for I know that is not true but its propaganda is far more sinister. It plants the untruth in my spirit that I am not worthy of another’s love, that people only love me because they don’t see the darkness within. If they knew the struggle to return their love, the doubts, the fears, the impulses, they would find someone more worthy of their affection and devotion.

Even those who do not grapple with an illness such as depression need to know the tenderness and intimacy of another. We all desire to “know that we are carried in the heart of others.”

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabsaint.com

In Sight of What’s Important

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In Sight of What’s Important

Last night, my wife, the dog and I sat in the most interior room of our house waiting for the all clear sign to be given. About thirty minutes prior every phone we have buzzed and beeped a cacophonic chorus. We looked at them and they all read; “Tornado Warning! Find Cover Immediately!” When we had received the message we did what all logical beings would do…went outside to see what the sky looked like. It was gray and growing darker. We went inside when lightning began striking and watched until the winds blew the rain sideways and we couldn’t see anymore. We determined it was time to get into the safest room and wait until the storm passed by. I sat holding the laptop and hitting the refresh button, Beth sat petting the dog while hail, rain, and wind pounded the house. After about an hour it was over. No damage was done save a few huge mud puddles littering the front yard.

The darkness and blinding of the wind and rain made it feel more unsafe than anything else. When you can’t see it scares you. You can’t see exits, shelters, ways to protection and safety. Whether storms of the Earth, of the mind or the spirit, sight is valued above all things. Last night I was thankful for shelter, family, and light inside. It was great reminder of what’s important and what’s not.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Broke and Broken 

Broke or Broken

Someone asked me today what’s the difference between being broke and broken? It was a great question that I am still pondering.

I think being, believing, you are broke is resignation. To be broke spiritually or emotionally is to lose hope of being fixed, reset, used again. I have felt this way in the throes of an episode of major depression. When all is dark and being of any use our used again is lost to the shroud that settles, stifles and suffocates your soul.

To be broken, for me, is to still believe there is life and light to be found in the dark night of the soul. It’s not easy to find hope, purpose, any emotional or spiritual depth but somehow, someway, there’s a place in your inner most being that believes it’ll get better. These are my good days and, though they may seem disheartening to one who has not suffered from depression and anxiety, are worth celebrating.

Broke and broken. Two sides of the same coin where one is a sense of worthlessness and the other a chance for a life which is valued.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

Weightlessness

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Weightlessness

It’s cold today! Yesterday was mild but it has turned and now it’s a “see your breath” every time you go outside. Today is sunny but the days are getting shorter and it’s near dark at 5:00 PM. I feel like hibernating, going into my bedroom, turning up the mattress warmer as high as it will go, snuggling into the covers as deep as possible and not coming out until warmth and long light have returned.

However, I know this isn’t possible. The world doesn’t stop because the season I dread the most, which isn’t even officially here until next Wednesday!, descends upon our part of the world and brings with it cold, barren, colorless, darkness.

One of the hardest lessons to accept from Wisdom is that; “Life keeps moving.” It doesn’t stop. All things transition, nothing lasts, everything has its place, for a while, and then dissolves so another thing will take its place and the cycle is never-ending. It’s a beautiful, frustrating, paradoxical, primordial, truth.

It’s cold today. I breathe out then in, accept with open hands, feel the weightlessness of the present moment and know it is not forever.

@BrianLoging
BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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Where are You?

CharlottesWeb

Where are You?

Last night I went to watch the play; “Charlotte’s Web” in which my wife, Beth, was a character. It was a great production and, though my wife says I’m biased, I believe Beth was one of the best performers!

There were several people present at this dress rehearsal including a little girl who couldn’t have been older than three. She was, as little children are prone to be, having a hard time sitting still and when the intermission “finally” arrived she couldn’t hold her self in place any longer. She started running around, releasing her pent-up energy. As the intermission was coming to a close her mom jumped up to bring her back to her seat. The lights were dimming fast and mom couldn’t quite get to her daughter before the whole auditorium went dark. I watched as the little girl froze not sure where her mother went but the mom never stopped. She made a bee line to her, picked her up and held her. The daughter unfroze, hugged her mom and went back with her trusting completely.

I smiled as I watched this event unfold and wondered if this is what God desires from us. Many times we’d rather run off on our own. We have places to go, a world to experience, we can make the journey by ourselves. Then darkness falls, we lose our way, we look but don’t know where to go. Tragedy, chaos, unexpected events cause us to freeze wondering if we’ll ever find our way back home. God, however, is not afraid not deterred by the darkness. He has been and continues to pursue us. He finds us, picks us up, holds us close and our fear of being lost melts away. In total trust we let God gracefully take us back where we need to be and wonder why we ever left.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (twitter)
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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What Crosses Our Path

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Traditions, superstitions, are strange. Last night my wife boldly declared; “I’m not washing clothes tomorrow nor doing other house work because if I do it on the first day of the year, I’ll be doing it all year!” Being a fan of logic I thought; “Aren’t we going to be washing clothes and cleaning the house no matter what?” but I digressed and simply said; “Okie dokie.”

No matter your traditions, superstitions, predictions, resolutions, each of us are hoping for a good 2016. I do wish we had power over what’s going to happen but the truth is much of what will impact our lives is out of our control. Our real choice is what we’ll do when we encounter the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the positive and the negative when it crosses our path.

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

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Sunny Days

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“Sunny days keepin’ the clouds away I think we’re coming to a clearing and a brighter day  So far away. Still I think they say The wait will make the heart grow stronger or fonder I can’t quite remember anyway  So if you’re waitin’ for love Well it’s a promise I’ll keep If you don’t mind believing that it changes everything Then time will never matter  Winter, Spring… is what love can truly bring Ice turns to water, water flows to everything You can lose your mind, maybe then your heart you’ll find I hope you won’t give up what’s moving you inside  If the car won’t start, when you turn the key When the music comes on, all your cold, cold heart can do is skip a beat  It’s a promise I’ll keep When you’re waitin’ for love If you don’t mind believing that it changes everything Then time will never matter.” Jars of Clay, Sunny Days

One of my favorite songs by Jars of Clay is “Sunny Days.” I’ve been thinking about this song today as the sun finally made its long-awaited appearance after 5 straight days of clouds and rain. It was beautiful. I loved the sight of it, the warmth, the reminder that light can never be eclipsed forever, although at times it may certainly seem so.

Yesterday was a bad day. I slipped on the cabin stairs and hurt my back, my head hurt, buckets of cold miserable rain fell most of the day and by the time I got home I was spent, completely drained. My insomnia hasn’t gotten better over the last 4 1/2 weeks so last night I went to bed as early as possible. I awoke long before dawn but this morning, when I saw the parting of the clouds, the blue of the sky, the orange rays of the sun, it was worth long night, the darkness endured when I beheld the glory of the light.

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

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Even When the Light Fades

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Daylight savings time is wreaking havoc on me and my sleep cycle. I have yet to get used to the sun coming up before 6 00AM and disappearing by 600PM. I relate very much with the woman in the cartoon below.

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Each morning this week I’ve been waking up an hour or so earlier than needed. About four o’clock AM my eyes pop open and though I do my best to quiet my thoughts and still my mind I can’t get back to sleep. Concerned that I’ll wake Beth I get out of the bed and go lay on the couch. Some people can take advantage of an extra hour in the morning but my brain doesn’t quite work that early. I also don’t enjoy driving home from work after dark. I’d like to be able to take a walk and clear my mind from the busyness of the day, however, because there’s not many street lights in our area I’d also rather not trip or fall in a hole.

Of course there’s nothing I can do about daylight savings time and winter fast approaching. I realize that in spite of my objections it’s going to be getting darker even earlier the next six weeks before the days start growing longer again.

Changing seasons are always a good reminder that we have little control over most things. In our lives there are times when light is in short supply, darkness seems to be winning and we must endure and accept our powerlessness.

This doesn’t mean we give up it simply means we remember that everything changes, all is in transition, and nothing lasts forever.

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

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