Monday, March 21, 2011

Deny or Be Dinner

Lions kill by suffocation. They don't even rip apart the skin until the victim can no longer breathe. Knowing this it is a wonder that anyone would want to jump in a lion's den. I'm referring to the story in the Bible of Daniel and the lion's den. If you don't know Daniel survived being thrown in the den all night when God sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lion. That's the short version anyway.

No one wants to get in that den. We are thrown in by some happening in our lives and we grasp at the air the entire way down. Somehow we are to just put that blind faith in the fact God is going to keep us alive and someday we are going to get to climb out of the den and face the sunlight once again. Sometimes it sure seems dark down there.

At church they asked the children what they feared the most. The answers ranged from aliens to darkness to elephants stomping on their head. The crowd giggled. I yearned for that innocence. When do we realize the bigger fears of life? But, being in the middle of that fear in that lion den it seems fear fades somehow into strength because you just have no other choice. If a tree is about to fall on my head I will probably muster up the strength to run really fast away from its wrath.

Deny or be dinner. Daniel was put in the den because he did not deny God. So it puts up a strange correlation that in that den I wonder are we in there because maybe God wants to teach us a lesson. Deny or die in another term. Letting that evil part die off? If one is to deny the lesson they will eventually die from the evil root anyway.

I've heard it said a thousand ways that God has a plan for us. Sometimes when I look at the lion's den in Japan I fall to my knees and wonder where this fits in the plan. There is no comparison of fear when it comes to aliens versus a tsunami killing thousands of people. I cannot wrap my mind around it so I chose to just keep walking and holding on to that faith that it has to be in the plan for reasons I don't understand. As a reporter I always emotionally distanced myself from tragedies. Of course it tugs at you, but for me it shields me somehow.

So the lion's den might be a different place for many people. No matter what it is the constant is the gnashing of lions' teeth and the roaring around you. How we choose to deal with it is our choice. Deny or be dinner. Run or learn. Crouch or survive. Letting the lions suffocate you is only an option when they eat your faith. And, you must remember they cannot eat your faith because angels will close their mouths and allow you to survive until the sunshine peers into the den once again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

West Texas Sunset

The West Texas sunset ran across the sky as I quietly drove over the plains. Each time I come home it is as if a blanket is put over me and I can get away from the hustle of life for a few days. There is a place my family lives called Welch, Texas and each time I go there I feel as if I am so far away that no one can touch me. It's good to get these escapes from our own realities as it is a type of medicine.

I flew to Midland Thursday night to spend a few days with Dad and Brenda. They had a day of fun planned on Friday! Brenda and I went and had manis and pedis that morning. I love it! Then we ate at Fazolis because we don't have one in the Metroplex... Then Dad took us shopping for a few things here and there. It was a beautiful day so we got on the motorcycles and took a little spin. Then Brenda and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Seems so simple, doesn't it? I loved every minute.

Saturday we attended a seminar by Gary Chapman. He wrote a book I have called "The Five Love Languages." Come to find out the seminar was more of a marriage enhancement so I felt a little dumb, but I learned a lot to tell Nick. My love language is affirmation and you have to tell me you love me and tell me with words. Nick likes to be shown affection by action. You mow the lawn or do his laundry. Dad likes quality time where you sit down and talk to him. We learned so many things. The most important thing is trying not to change people. Trying to love them and changing flaws instead of the root of the person. Love is SO STRONG. Though it is strong it is also something we must nurture and grow. We have to work on relationships because if we don't then they will not grow and they will wither away. It's about being positive to our significant other and not tearing them down each day. It's easy to tear someone down, but it's harder to just love them and be positive each day to build them up. I also learned it's okay to feel emotion. It says in the Bible God got angry... something along those lines. He made our emotions. Overall I learned a lot to take with me and definitely thing everyone should attend some type of seminar of this sort.

Brenda & Gary Chapman

I went over to Big Spring today to visit Chandra. I grew up there, yet it's so different now. I went to the cemetery... Not see Mom like you'd think... I did go by her grave and again am annoyed there are not flowers. I thought in a grave owned by people and not the city they put flowers in the holders! I am going to have to decorate it myself!!! I told her hello and that I knew she wasn't there so I felt pretty dumb. I walked around for 20 minutes before I finally found Sarah's grave. I wanted to visit it forever, but I couldn't find it. I don't know if or why, but somehow my mind needs some closure. I have dreamt her for almost two years as she comes back and she was never deceased. I don't know if this means I don't believe or understand she is gone. When I dream of Mom a lot she is back from the dead and living again... but, she is also about to die again or run away. It's very strange... but, that shows my mind believes she is truly gone and maybe we are always trying to keep moving? Sarah has always played a trick on us or was in hiding. So I stood there just talking to her. There is a picture on her grave and she looks so beautiful. I know she isn't there... but, still... I told her how much I always loved her and how it makes me so sad to think of how special she was to all of us. I told her I was sorry I didn't answer the night she called... the night before she passed away... I had answered every other time, but it was the middle of the night... I love Sarah so much and I always will. She was the light in every room.

I then was driving to Chandra's when I saw Howard and Vicki working on Stephanie's new place so I stopped in to have a chat. Stephanie was walking out the door to go get Trooper so we all talked for a while. My oldest friends in the world... so very special.

I hadn't seen Landry since she was a few months old. She looks just like her daddy. He was out so Chandra, Landry and I hung out for a few hours. We watched "Baby Can Read" - ummm yes... the baby is the boss and she wanted to watch it! She is almost one year old now!!! She was crawling around and I enjoyed making her laugh. She has these huge blue eyes and dark hair... adorable. Chandra has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. We had a great time just talking.

As I drove back that is when I saw the sunset. I would love in Dallas if we could see sunsets and stars. I beg Nick one day somehow we get to move to the suburbs of Dallas so it feels like this setting. See, I never take it for granted. I know where my roots are and I know though I have wings that have taken me away from here my roots will never be cut. It's weird coming to Midland as it is not my hometown and that is a good thing because with who I am as a person I needed that cut from me. It was hard to go home and absorb all of those memories for so long. I needed to grow as a person by my Dad and Brenda moving away. If they would have stayed in my house I might not have grown?

It's been a wonderful vacation and soon it will be back to real life. We all must return because... if you think about it... even on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas one Spring I remember knowing soon I needed to get back to reality and gets things done... We cannot stay on vacation forever. The idea sounds nice, but the habits we do each day of laundry, DVR, feeding the cat, checking our e-mail, hanging up towels... deep down these keep us alive just a little bit. They humanize us and they bring us back to earth. The funny thing is... That sunset is there every single day no matter where we are. We just have to find it.