Archive for Food for thought

No Less Beautiful

Some forty years ago, I was on Interstate 5, driving south past Mount Hood, as a full moon rose above it. I was looking out the driver’s-side window at the spectacle, when I hit a patch of black ice and started spinning. Miraculously, I went full circle and was facing forward when I reached the end of the ice.

That story pretty much parallels the events of the recent weeks for me and Sherry. On that morning, forty days ago, we were enjoying a morning in our peaceful, comfortable home. All was well and life was good. Then, in a matter of minutes, we found our lives spinning wildly out of control. We’re still in the spin, but we’re not afraid. The worst is behind us and we know at some point things will be back to the way they were. We will have changed—our lives will have changed—but we’ll be okay. In fact, we like to think we’ll come out of this spin better off than we were when we went into it. We will press on.

mount-hood-moon 3

 

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14

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The New Normal

My friend, Diana Preston, recently used the phrase “new normal” regarding life after her battle with cancer and life after my wife, Sherry’s, recent medical emergency. I didn’t like it. Another friend used it a few days later, then Diana said it again in a comment to one of my posts about Sherry’s road to recovery. The post is entitled, “The Same Thing… Only Different.” HA! Imagine my surprise when it hit me that “the new normal” was indeed, the same thing only different. The following is Diana’s comment, and my response:

Diana said

February 2, 2019 @ 8:33 am · Edit

I have a new normal after cancer. I think it’s true you can’t totally go back … as a person is changed after such an event…. As life is even more priceless… I have become more thankful…

charlesmashburn said

February 2, 2019 @ 8:47 am · Edit

I agree, Diana. Things like cancer and traumatic events change us–sometimes in an instant–and our lives will sometimes be altered forever. But I also believe the new normal can be an even better normal than the previous one. An example being your words, “I have become more thankful.” Sometimes the calamities of life bring us to a fuller appreciation of it, and we’re able to focus on our blessings. I’ve also learned that when we are on the outside watching our loved ones go through these things, we too are changed. We learn to appreciate the blessings of the friends and family we’ve been given to share our lives with, and we see them as the precious and valuable gifts they are.

~~~~~~~~

Yes, life throws us fastballs, curves and change-ups. The key is to know nothing can be thrown at us that we cannot handle. We might have to take a pitch or two, and we might sometimes swing and miss, but we must never give up.  We should dig in and get ready to knock the next pitch out of the park. And, hey, if your new normal is a single… nothing wrong with that. You’re on base and in the game. Maybe one of your friends/teammates/loved ones will knock it out of the park and you’ll both score.

wherever you are

 

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The Same Thing… Only Different

Sherry is sitting in her chair, drinking coffee and reading her book. It’s 6:13 A.M., almost the exact same time it was 30 days ago. On that day, however, things were not to remain the same, and the events of that morning not so long ago, yet it seems a lifetime, changed everything, and I often wonder if life will ever be the same again. If you haven’t already, you can read a detailed description of what happened on January 2, 2019 in my blog post entitled, “The World Stopped Turning”. (<– click on the title to read the post.)

To date, Sherry’s recovery from what they diagnosed as a hemorrhagic stroke, which lead to emergency brain surgery, seems nothing short of miraculous to me. She has only minor motor skill issues with her left hand, and other than being tired, and weak, she’s experiencing very few problems. She gets around the house without using a walker they sent home with her from rehab and can shower and handle other necessary things on her own. This, after only 14 days in a medical rehabilitation facility.

She began at-home rehab this week, and the therapists and medical personnel are impressed with her rapid recovery. Their optimism regarding her recovery varies only in how long it will take for her to be at 100%. But… are any of us, speaking of the over 65 crowd, ever consistently at 100%? I tink not!

And so, we move forward, taking the professional optimism with a grain of salt but relying on God’s healing powers, fueled by the powerful prayers of more friends than can possibly be named. Things are indeed different now, and they might remain so for quite some time. But at some point, we believe and hope you believe with us, Sherry will not only be as good as she was before, but better. (I know, I know… how can she be better than the wonderful person we all love?)

sunset (2) quote

“It can’t always be glorious, it can’t always be spring,” Those are the finishing lines of my poem, “The Sun Came Up Again”. The poem is about love, and yes, love can be trying, at least to us mere mortals it can, but if it’s true, as God love is true, it is always there. Thank you for being there.

(click on the title to read the poem)

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The Sun Came Up Again

There will always be good and bad in our lives and in the world we live in, and it’s okay to feel the pain and sadness when it comes, but we can’t hold onto the bad stuff; we have to let it go and move on. I know, it’s a lot easier to say than it is to do, but we have to remember the sun will come up each day and spring will come each year; we know that and we have to know too, there is much to be thankful for, even in the midst of pain or sadness. Feel the pain–wallow in it, if you must–but then, get up and move on. Look at the good things, and leave the past in the past. If we’re too busy being sad about yesterday, or worrying about tomorrow, we won’t have time to enjoy today.

The Sun Came Up Again

 

The sun came up again L pic

Across the street

In the neighbor’s yard

Through early budding tree limbs

 

The sky glowed fiery red

Then golden

Then dazzling white

As another day began

 

A slash of light

Fell ‘cross my arms as I wrote

The thought crossed my mind

That I’d said too much

Heard too much

And it had changed things

 

I wondered

If they had changed for the better

I hoped so

 

I’ve changed things before

By being too open

Too honest

 

I’ve watched the sun come up

Regretting words I’d spoken

The day before

You would think I’d learn

 

I have learned

 

I’ve learned

That the sun will come up

Sometimes you will see it

And feel it

Sometimes you won’t

But it’s there

 

Love is like that

At times you can bask in its warmth

And feel its arms wrapped around you

A flash of it will lay across your heart

 

Then at other times

It falls silent

And cool

It’s still there

Just not as obvious

 

 You have to know it’s there

Never doubt it

Never turn away

Just know that behind the cloud

Behind the mountain

Behind whatever has made the warm glow fade

It is there

 

You have to let it be there

You have to want it to be there

It can’t always be glorious

It can’t always be spring

 

Copyright © 1998 C Mashburn

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Thank You, God, For Her

In the spring of 1995, I was just winding down from a period in my life when I had severely tested the boundaries between right and wrong. I look back on those days and wonder how I survived, much less became the somewhat decent man I am. I credit God for both, but he has a co-star in the latter; He sent a beautiful lady—an angel, I believe—to show me what love is all about.

I wrote the following, rather clumsy, amateurish poem a few days before the first anniversary of the day I met Sherry, and today, almost 24 years after that first meeting, the words I wrote are truer than ever. Except that is, I can truly say I no longer worry about her, because I know God will always bring her home safely to me; and I no longer have to hope it’s her, because now, I know it’s her.

Sherry will be home soon, and at the end of what’s been more than three of the most trying weeks of our lives, I know when she walks through that door I’ll say, “Thank you, God, for her.”  

God, I Hope That’s Her

 I remember when we met

It seems like only yesterday

You walked into my life

I knew I wanted you to stay

 

And it still makes me smile

Every time I picture you

As you walked up to me

In that pretty dress of blue

 

I spent my whole life searching

And wondering where you were

And the first time that I saw you

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

grin-big-earsOur love grew so fast

We couldn’t stand to be apart

We were meant to be together

We knew it from the start

 

I wanted to be with you

Every minute of every day

Every time you left me

I wanted you to stay

 

I thought about you all the time

And I wondered where you were

Every time the phone would ring

I whispered, “God, I hope that’s her

 

I promise that I’ll love you

For the rest of my life

I want you with me always

I’m so happy you’re my wife

 

Now, when you’re not at home

And it starts getting late

I sometimes start to worry

I walk the floor and wait

 

I tell myself, when you get home

I’ll ask you where you were

And every time I hear a car

I whisper, “God, I hope that’s her

 

Copyright © 1996 C. Mashburn

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Special Delivery

For much of my life, I fought against a world I perceived to be unfair, and I had no peace within my soul. And, it was not on one sudden day I learned how to be at peace. Nor did I suddenly devise a battle plan to defeat my foes. God delivered me from my enemies—many of them imaginary—and He delivered His peace unto my soul. That’s not to say I am now in a constant state of peace. But I am learning to let go of things more readily than I once did. Nowadays, I am quick to turn to Him for relief from the battles—whether they be perceived or real—of this world. Peace is an addicting thing, and the more I have of it, the more of it I want. And the best part is, it is always available for the asking.

peace within

 

He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many against me. Psalms 55:18

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Who Said That?

It was a beautiful, sunny day in east Texas yesterday, and this poem I wrote several years back came to mind. Some days it’s cold, some days it’s hot, but some days are just right. More and more, I’m learning to enjoy them all. 

The Sun on My Face

 

I stood there

Head tilted back

Eyes closed

The sun on my face

 

The sound

Of a twelve string

Began to play

A tune I didn’t know

 

walking with jesusI smiled

And God smiled back

It doesn’t get

Any better than this

 

As I continued my walk

I wondered

Did He say that

Or did I

 

Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Please check out my website, Marbles In My Pocket, and my latest books:

JUST A BOY – A childhood memoir

JUST A MAN – A book of encouragement

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