Rewards of Learning

Learning is a life-long venture and full of rewards – even for dogs. For this weekend, I thought I would share a little jewel of Guy practicing his skills and his adorable portrait when he got his reward.

May you all enjoy your weekend and never give up on your goals to learn something each day.

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Alone and Wondering

The hours pass and turn into days.
I think of you often, not knowing what to say.

I felt us click for a time before.
Then you left me wanting more.

I don’t know why your pattern changed.
Did I say something that sounded insane?

I long to be at your side,
But I feel you leaving, like the tide.

My heart aches at taking this chance.
It’s like being pierced with a lance.

Maybe I let my heart hope too much?
And I started to feel more than lust.

My mind wanders and goes over why.
It doesn’t matter…I had to try.

But now I sit here, feeling alone.
I pray my heart, doesn’t turn to stone.

Washing Away Sin

I was baptized in an unholy place—one of Saddam Hussein’s palace pools in Baghdad to be specific. At first, I thought this was a horrible place to get baptized, but actually it wound up being perfect.

When the chaplain mentioned where the baptism was going to take place, I started imagining the horrible things that must have happened around these grounds. It was pretty common knowledge that Saddam was not the nicest and holiest of men. With that in mind, I started to think that I should not go through with it. I wanted my baptism to mean something, to be special. I didn’t want it to be tainted with a history of evil.

Then it dawned on me, having my baptism in a place known for sin and violence and who knows what else, was actually very symbolic. I mean the entire point of being baptized is to cleanse you from the sin, from the past. To make what was tainted and dirty fresh…and start anew.

It was a moving experience to say the least. And the host of the service, Cannon White, spoke so eloquently, making it even more meaningful. It’s funny, because over the years, I had forgotten his name and it bother me. One day, I was listening to a National Public Radio broadcast and heard this religious speaker. I recognized his distinctive voice immediately. Without a doubt, he was the one who baptized me in May of 2005.

Now, ten years later, I think about that day and what it meant. I can’t say I was completely changed and that I am now the perfect Christian. No. I still stumble. I still sin. I am not perfect by any means. And I am not completely changed since I was a practicing Christian prior to my baptism. I just had not be baptized before and wanted to take that step.

I remember being a small child and watching someone get baptized. I wanted to do it. I wanted to be close to God. So right in the middle of a service, I started begging my mom. She told me I had to wait. I had to be older. And well, I couldn’t just go up there and jump into someone else’s moment. So of course, I threw a fit like the child I was. I lay under the pew crying that she was keeping me from God. LOL…my poor mother.

It was the right choice of course. Being baptized as an adult meant more. I had to really evaluate what I wanted and why. I got to choose for the right reasons. Every day is still a struggle though. It is hard to have faith in times of stress. It is hard to hold unto hope when things look bleak. It is hard to feel loved when you feel alone. And boy is it hard to turn the other cheek when people are cruel. But I try. I really do try. I think that is all we can do as people. Regardless of your faith, I think most of us try to live our lives well, have a purpose and make a difference. We try to be good, loving, and caring people. We won’t succeed every day. What is important though, is that we know, each new day is a chance to start anew. It doesn’t matter if we are coming from a bad past or have not always been the best person. We can all start fresh and wipe our slate clean, even if we do it with some questionable pool water.

For the Daily Post ~All It’s Cracked Up to Be.


Perspective Can Make all the Difference

I have always thought that there are three sides to every story. One for each side of the fence and then, somewhere in the middle is reality. I don’t mean to suggest that someone on either side of the fence is lying intentionally. Rather, I think that each side simply has their own perspective.

When a situation occurs, they determine what they see with the filters they were given, or gathered, through life. Actions are taken, or not taken, based on what a person feels is happening. This happens for the person on the opposite side of the fence as well. I would like to think that most people are trying to make an honest effort based on what they perceive. The problem with this is that people can have very different perspectives, even when looking at the same thing.

Of course, there are those who intentionally go out of their way to create drama and havoc. Regardless of their perspective, these people are self-serving, mean and cruel. I am not talking about those people. Those people suck and no one has time for them.

For most normal and loving people….This difference in perspectives can create a vast array of interpretations though. Take a dandelion. There is a large group of people who would look at this plant as a weed. And yet, there are many others who would claim it to be a flower.  According to Wikipedia, “the dandelion plant is a beneficial weed, with a wide range of uses, and is even a good companion plant for gardening.” The funny thing is that the dandelion is still the same. How can it be considered so differently? Perspective. Depending on your set of filters, it is a weed or it is a flower. For me, it’s technical definition is irrelevant. I could care less what people call it. To me, it is a flower. It is beauty.

The first stage of the dandelion is yellow and bright. So full of light. And then it seems to fade out into this pale, pokey form. But in a little time, this “dying” weed take a new form of beauty. Its “petals” become almost feather-like and can float in the breeze like dreams.

This transformation is symbolic for my life I think. I feel like the bright, youthful me has disappeared over the years from life experiences. For a time, I was starting to fade. My perspective on life was pale, and growing dim. But now, it is starting to transform. I am starting to find myself once more. My goals are forming again and with some effort, they will float into my reality. All I need to do is make the wish (a solid plan) and blow (the hard work). Call me a weed or call me a flower. The name does not matter. I just know I will flourish and float wherever I land, and some may not appreciate me. But like the dandelion, I have several purposes and some will see me as a flower. All it takes is the right perspective:)

A flower is a weed seen through joyful eyes.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie


For the Phoneography Challenge, which is hosted at Lens and Pens by Sally. Check out her macro challenge post.

iphone challenge

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