Blog Archives

Breathing in Hope

image

The bug man came to the house today to spray inside our home and outside to protect future plants and soon to be flowers from pesky predators. It’s another sign that spring is on the way!

I took the dogs to the top of the hill behind our house so they wouldn’t bug the bug man as he did his business. The wind was blowing and the pooches and I stuck our noses in the air taking deep breaths of a new season sweeping in. There’s something about spring, the warm chasing out the cold, the blue skies overcoming the gray, the light increasing as the dark retreats.

Sitting on that hill, filling my lungs with air was like inhaling hope and exhaling the despair of a long, cold winter.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

the Happy Place

image

Today is International Happy day! If you didn’t realize this you’re not alone. I had no idea until I read about it online.

Being happy can be difficult in a world so full of sadness and badness. Some folks find it difficult, if not impossible, to find the good, when darkness obscures their vision. Trite expressions such as; “don’t worry be happy, turn that frown upside down, you’re as happy as you make up your mind to be,” ring hollow in the ears of those struggling with life circumstances that steal their joy, sap their strength, weigh heavy on their spirits.

For some, at this time in their life, where they are on the journey, happiness isn’t an option. They are simply trying to take the next step, to not give up, to survive.

Happiness, an often desired but elusive emotion, state of mind and being.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

How it Ends

image

I know someone who’s struggled through a very hard life. We talk about where and how he grew up, the choices others have made to help shape his life and the choices he’s selected. The toxic environment he was born into poisoned much of his childhood and tainted his vision of the world. Much of his current struggles have a lot to do with his complicated and chaotic past.

When we talk I remind him that the book of his life has not been finished. Some of the chapters were written by him and others by different authors but he decides who and what will write the rest.

The obstacles he needs to overcome, the lessons learned, the people left behind, the consequences accepted, will not be easy but it is his choice. He didn’t choose how the story began but he can choose how it ends.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Good Shoes

image

This morning I put on my “good shoes” for an important presentation to a group of highly respected people. These are my shiny, black, fancy dress shoes that I wear with one of the few suits I own. I’ve had these shoes for several years but they still hurt my feet because they’re not worn enough to get broken in. Mostly they’ve taken me to weddings, funerals, other important services and events. I’d much rather wear a pair of tennis shoes or flip flops but there are occasions when only my “good shoes” will do.

As I reflect upon my journey over the last year and the places my “good shoes” have accompanied me I realized most have been painful, even heart breaking. I wore them to a service when I said; “goodbye” to friends I loved. They were on my feet when I laid my dear friend Mary to rest.

No one’s ever promised an easy journey and sometimes “good shoes” are required.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Still Believe?

image

His life was written in wrinkles on his face and faded tattoos on his arms. As we talked it shocked me to learn he was not much older than I physically but the world had aged him far beyond his years.

He asked me a simple question but it was loaded with uncertainty and resignation; “Can it get better?” The inquiry betrayed his hard outter shell.  It revealed a life, a person whose hope had been dashed against the rock of reality, his outlook shaped by dissapointments and pain.

I paused before I answered. A blithe response, a quick anecdote, a dismissive comment could crush an already broken spirit. “Yes,’ I answered, ‘if we keep working, trying, and refuse to believe our story is complete, that there are no more pages to be written.'” He sighed.

We parted ways and I wondered if he’d heard that answer before and I wondered if he still believed.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Getting Clean

 

My wife had an unexpected visitor in the shower this morning. A snail had made its way from who knows where and camped out on her shower scrubber. She was not very welcoming to her guest! I’m not sure what she did with the snail but the shower scrubber was thrown into the garbage immediately. I asked her why she got rid of it and she said because it had snail slime on it! “Don’t you wash with the scrubber and it gets dirty? Then the soap makes it clean. What’s the difference?” I inquired. “I’m not using it after a snail’s been on it!” She replied and in such a tone that also informed me the discussion was over.

Sometimes in life what and who we hope will clean us up, improve our lives us ends up slimy and sullied. Friendships which once helped now hinder us. Role models we emulated let us down. What we put our faith in crashes and burns.

It can be disillusioning and disheartening when this happens but it’s also reality. Wisdom tells us to be be careful and cautious in what and who we trust to make us better and that to grow in grace disappointments must be encountered and overcome.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Odd Couple

image

She was a conservatively dressed, hat wearing, gray haired elder. He was an earring dangling, boot stomping, faded jean sporting country boy, a cross between a hipster and Kenny Chesney. They made an incredibly odd pair. Yet, this morning, I watched as he gently helped her up from her seat and walked her down the aisle for morning communion. I couldn’t help but smile and wonder if they were related, this strange mix of people. Then it dawned on me, of course they’re related because we’re all family, one, human.

It’s easy to forget we’re part of the same species. Our differences in skin color, political affiliations, cultures, languages, geographic locations are used by those in power to rip us apart by trying to get us to focus on what separates us.

Wisdom, however, speaks amid the fractious voices and reminds us that what we have in common is far greater than what divides us. The question, as always, will we listen?

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Secret of Life

image

There are those days.

The days when it would’ve been easier to stay under the covers and slept than to venture out into the wild world. Those times when you had no idea what was waiting for you in the tall grass, the obstacles you’d encounter on your path or the ones that would get dropped on your head! Days filled with regrets, hurts, problems, whys and why nots, when you question things you did and didn’t do. And at the end of these incredibly frustrating and exhausting days you collapse into the bed hoping you have the strength to rise when a new day dawns.

It is no secret that life isn’t easy and there is no secret to an easy life.  However, the secret to making it through life is deciding to try again tomorrow.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

What Our Words Reveal

image

Last night, in what is a tradition on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, President Barack Obama read mean tweets people have written about him. I’m too old to stay up that late but caught the video on Morning Joe. No matter what side of the political spectrum you reside it’s hard not to be saddened at the mean, spiteful, racist, judgmental words that spill out of people’s mind’s onto their keyboards and published for the whole world to see. I was speaking to a group of people last night and mentioned how the internet can be a good thing by keeping folks connected but it can also be a place for people to hide from the normal consequences of shameful behavior and bad manners.

It has been said that what we do reveals our character but our real selves can also be found in the words we speak. We must be on guard against our speech stoking the fires of hate and dimming the light in an already too dark world.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Even in the Dark

image

Ever since Sunday I’ve noticed the green. It’s on the trees, ground, stalks, little patches of life peaking out from under a long, cold winter. The sun is staying in the sky a little longer each day and the light feeds my soul. The truth is that the seeds of future blossoms, blooms and buds were already growing. The leaves and saplings were edging closer to the surface. However, the cold darkness of the season affected my vision.

Wisdom teaches us that growth occurs even when there isn’t enough light to see it. Hope blooms in the most difficult of circumstances. Peace can find us in the most desolate of places.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Making a Difference

image

I spent my afternoon with hundreds of other advocates walking around the legislative plaza in Nashville, TN, visiting our Senators and Representatives, talking with them and their staffs about the importance of families.

As we walked the halls where bills are written and laws are formed I quickly realized we weren’t the only advocates expressing their hope for our legislators’ support. The building was filled with individuals and groups of concerned citizens. I sat next to one lady who was passionate about her cause. She explained the need for her bill and, though I didn’t share her viewpoint, admired her willingness to try and navigate the bureaucratic maze, morass and mess.

Most people complain about our world, the injustice, the evil, the hurt but people who care enough to make it better, actually get their hands dirty, go outside of their comfort zones, risk being turned down and turned away?… those are folks I’m willing to listen to because they are the ones making a difference.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Small Minds Think Alike

image

Each of us have had an encounter with an individual who knows, or at least thinks they know, everything. Truth be told we’ve also been that person.

When we think we know enough, when we stop learning, when we cease to allow people and experiences to broaden our vision, expand our worlds, grow our minds, hearts and spirits we become trapped. We find ourselves confined by our egos, imprisoned by the smallness of self.

To be compassionate, grace filled, wise is to be ever mindful of how incredibly small our minds can truly be.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Going Somewhere?

image

I like to Google. Whether it’s checking my email, web searches or, as I did earlier today, getting driving directions. Tomorrow I’m traveling somewhere I’ve never been before so I asked Google to tell me how to get there and show me photos of the place I’m going. I asked, Google answered.

I often wish life was this easy. I could ask; “Where am I going? What’s the best way to get there? What are all the answers to my most pressing, confusing, and anxiety inducing questions?”… And, like magic, the answers would appear. However, wisdom tells me traveling life’s path doesn’t work this way. The answers aren’t given before we take our journey but discovered along the way.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

The Impossible

image

The last two days I have challenged and been challenged to make a big difference in people’s lives.

The truth is that what I challenged almost 60 men yesterday and the challenge to me and a group of hundreds today will not save the world. It will not solve world hunger, systemic poverty, global inequality, health care shortages, slavery, violence upon the innocent, homelessness and a host of other injustices. It can, however, help individuals, impact families and point our community in a new direction.

If people everywhere committed, decided to change what they could, in the place they we’re in, the impossible could actually happen; the world would be saved.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Peace of Mind

image

“In the midst of it all, in the deepest place, beyond my anxious thoughts and chaotic life, at the heart of who I am, in the stillness I am found and find; peace.” – bdl

I pray this prayer often. Even if it’s just a breath, I know in that breath is this prayer.

I have always been a “heavy thinker“. I analyze, critique, formulate, imagine, project, envision. In many ways it’s a gift but it’s also a curse. I can’t turn my brain off, it goes in a thousand different directions. Sometimes I can steer it, other times I’m just along for the ride.

When I sense my train of thoughts are running away with me I try to calm my mind. I remind myself that the Spirit doesn’t rush it guides me; to a place of safety, truth and peace.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Beauty of Nothing

image

Silence. There’s nothing like it.  After a week full of meetings, one on ones, conferences and agendas, a day of quiet and isolation does a heart and mind good. There’s something about doing nothing, being still, shutting down that restores, rejuvenates, reminds me that when I’m too busy, too occupied, stretched too thin and pulled in too many directions I stop being and become a doing.

When you long to be an advocate, a doer of good, a maker of peace, a bringer of justice, a healer in a hurting and broken world you also open yourself to exhaustion and, if you’re not careful, stamp yourself with an expiration date.

No one can give without receiving, work without relief, serve without rest.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Not Alone

image

Sometimes we simply need someone to be with us. Not fix us, be with us. There’s a difference.

Some of us are fighting battles most people don’t know about or would even understand. We have demons, monsters, ghosts, that haunt us, whisper/scream negative and nasty words to our spirits and minds. The constant conflict drains us, exhausts us. These enemies have walked beside us since a traumatic experience, difficult upbringing, abusive relationships. Bio-chemical imbalances, genetics and other reasons may be responsible for the war which rages within.

We’ve tried therapy, prayer, meds, behavior modification, annointings, a combination of all these and more. The blessed ones find permanent freedom, some temporary relief, while others continue to suffer with little more than hope that something, someday might “fix”, slay the demons/monsters within.

Our hearts are quickly drawn to those with injuries, wounds, hurts we can see. There are, however, many among us who suffer secretly, inside themselves, who need care, compassion and comfort. They’re scared because mental illness and disorders are stigmatized and misunderstood.

What they long for, more than anything, is not for you try and fix them, but for you to show them they aren’t alone.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Its Changing

image

I saw my first daffodil today. A day when we’re forecasted to receive another winter storm a group of them were huddled together on a hill being blown around by the cold front making its way through the area.

image

This has been a long, cold, hard winter season and I am ready for spring. I know it’s coming. I am certain regardless of the chill in the air, the snow and ice that’s on its way, things are changing. It is nice, however, to be reminded that no season, no matter how difficult, goes on forever.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

How to Grieve

image

I spoke with a friend yesterday who is doing the difficult task of deciding what to do with a deceased loved ones belongings. There are so many pictures, cards, papers, other objects that flood her mind, emotions with joy and grief but she realizes that one can only keep so many memories that take up actual physical space. We talked about the grieving process and how it’s different for each person. Some folks are able to tackle this difficult task seemingly detached while others pause and grieve with each and every item.

There is no right way to mourn, to feel the ache and void of someone who’s no longer physically with us. We must proceed at our own pace, step away for a while when the grief overwhelms.  We heal by remembering the one we still love and miss and this takes time. We allow ourselves to experience their life through memories and sorrow. We mourn in a unique way that brings honor to them and peace to our spirits.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

A Waze Off

image

Waze is a terrific app… most of the time. I do a lot of driving and it’s my “go to” GPS delivering system but today it was off… way off. I wanted to go home today after attending a conference in Washington, DC. From the hotel parking lot I entered my address and told Waze to take me there. It guided me through the busy streets of our nation’s capital with no issues and then proceeded to lose its mind. It had me turn right when the exit was left, merging onto roads that didn’t exist, lost my location. Finally, exasperated, I turned Waze off and recovered my bearings. I turned around, found the correct road, and once again was headed in the right direction.

Waze started working again later but the whole experience was a great reminder that sometimes our trust in who and what is guiding us can be misplaced. If we want to make it home we need to be willing to turn off our influences and be steered in a different direction.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

Changing the Same

image

Over the last three days I’ve listened to inspired speakers, passionate researchers and committed community workers talk about how to impact individuals, families and communities. They’ve spoken about the need for new vision, renewed effort and the need for everyone to have a healthy, positive, long life. I’ve spoken with people of different races, from widely varying backgrounds and locations, men and women who all believe they can change individuals, families, communities, the nation and the world.

However, the presenters also reminded us that people will doubt our resolve, refuse to help, actively try to halt progress and keep things the same. For some change isn’t wanted or desired. Challenging folk’s worldviews, cultural paradigms is frightening and there are those who would rather live in a broken world.

blessings,
@BrianLoging
http://www.thewannabesaint.com

image

%d bloggers like this: