Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Devotion

Recently a word caught my attention, one I had never really considered previously.

Devotion.

Many of us have preconceived ideas around words. Different emotions arise, images, experiences. For the purpose of clearer communication, let us start off with a common understanding.

de·vo·tion

1.profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.: the devotion of one's wealth and time to scientific advancement.

Devotion speaks of commitment, but more than a mere loyalty. It is a tie, a binding. It implies deep feelings. When those feelings are affection, admiration, and a sincere desire to see the other person succeed in a relationship you have the base ingredients for a more than stellar relationship.

Now I'm not talking about that song from Grease where she's "Hopelessly Devoted," or some misplaced attachment stalker thing. Let's be clear. For those 'out of this world', 50+ years and still look like newly wed kind of relationships both people have to be devoted. You see commitment stays because it has to. Devotion stays because it can't imagine any other way of life! Joy and happiness are here now. Devotion wants to be here. Loyalty and honor are great, but devotion implies hope. It knows there is more. More what? Joy? Happiness? Love? All of the above!

When one person is devoted, you have hope. When both are devoted, you have heaven on Earth. Why? Because devotion is willing to work, to progress, even change. Devotion is often used in religious or spiritual context. Religion is suppose to be about spiritual change, becoming, drawing nearer to- whether that be nearer God, or Source, or just 'the other side' it is about moving. That is what marriage was designed to be. The progress of two people working together, encouraging each other to become better people drawing nearer to each other and nearer to a higher purpose.

It has recently become clearer to me that this is what our society has been lacking. Devotion to one another. Our divorce rate is epidemic. Children are left questioning and insecure. Hearts are broken, hope wanes and good people walk away feeling like failures because they didn't even know what was missing. They had love, but somewhere it just kind of died out. There was no true devotion

Devotion stands firm in the ebb and flow of infatuation, hard times, passion, fun, luck, play, work, and just plain life. It does not give up, on the other person, the possibilities, or hope. When one is devoted they are willing to seek change, not in compromising who they are or their values, but in enriching the relationship. If that means seeking help or education, encouraging a new hobby in their spouse, finding things to do together, becoming creative. Whatever it is, devotion tries it.

If who you believed to be God appeared to you in a way you found absolutely undeniable, told you everything you ever wanted was possible and asked you to preform a task for Him(her/it/whatever,) wouldn't you do whatever was needed to complete that task? What if it involved knowledge you did not have? Skills you didn't know? What if you plain didn't know how to begin? Would you ask someone who may have the knowledge you need? Perhaps someone whose done it? Let's pretend no one has ever done whatever this thing is before, like Noah building the huge old ark and sticking hundreds of animals on it. Could you begin? Could you take a first step? Could you do one small thing today to at least begin to walk that path?

What can you do today to make your relationship a little bit better than yesterday?

Devotion. Think about it.

Adorable!

My dimpled darling of 4 was standing by sniffling. "Honey, I think you have a drippy nose today," I commented.

"Yes, and I also have the 'bless yous'," referring to her sneezing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun

Do you know what sounds fun today? A sleep over!

I'm serious, like when I was kid. To have a bunch of friends over and listen to music, play games and just chat. There would be a buffet of finger foods, like pizza pockets, fruit, veggies and dip, cheese, meat, crackers and more. Eventually it would be movie time. We'd clear the floor and roll out sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, all things soft and fluffy for snuggling up and getting cozy. All the lights go off and the movie starts. Someone may or might not fall asleep as it plays. There might be a second movie, or we might just stay up whispering about stuff- serious stuff, the meaning of life, goals dreams or maybe silly stuff with lots of giggling. :-)

Sounds like a good time to me!

Track and Facebook

Today at the track I did something amazing, well amazing for me. I ran over half a lap. For me that was a huge step, but that's not the best part. You see, immediately my brain went "oh man. I still can't do even one lap. My throat is on fire and I feel like I'm gonna collapse and I didn't even make it a quarter mile!" But I noticed! I stopped and went, "Hey! That is the farthest I have run in one stretch yet! Considering I have done regular work outs in 3 weeks that is even more amazing! It's progress! What's even more, I am gonna' keep going. That's right we gonna keep walking round this here track and we're even gonna' run some more." And I did! Yeah me!

On another note, a friend of mine had asked if I was on facebook. I'm not. Out of curiosity I thought I would go see my friend's page and see if I am interested at all. Turns out you can't view someone's page if you aren't a member, but you can search and see how many people have that name. One friend had over 40 and another had 30. I thought they were fairly unique names. Apparently not. So I searched for my name. "No matches found." YES!

I am UNIQUE! I am DIVINE!!!!

Yeah me!!!

update

Hello. I've gotten phone calls and e-mails asking why I'm not blogging. Actually, I write in my head a lot. Just by the time I can sit down I've forgotten it all. So this is just a general update.

For the Fourth of July we rode a boat out onto Lake Washington, going out very near Gas Works, to watch the most amazing fireworks display I have ever seen! Hearts, stars, smiley faces, flowers, "USA," brilliant colors and patterns. It was AMAZING! and lasted like 45 minutes. Absolutely the coolest, especially if you happen to be like me and LOVE fireworks already. It was the best.

Summer chugged along. My oldest, who now prefers to be "X-Man"- (no relation to the mutant comics/movies,) went to a Scout day camp. He loved it got a lot of work done towards his Webelos requirements. By a stroke of luck he was able to go to a second camp with his brother a couple weeks later, thus earning even more. T is working on his Wolf rank. Jim went along that time and helped with X-Man's group.

The week of the that second camp was a busy one around here. My Mom was kind enough to come up from Idaho to stay with the kids, cleaning and cooking and what not. She had all 4 while Jim worked then the girls in the late afternoon/evening while the boys all went to camp.

Where was I? In Canada doing another self-development/introspective camp. I learned much. We hiked, did arts & crafts, sang, connected with nature....the usual campy stuff. It was good. I've been home 2 weeks as of today, yet I am not sure I have totally reintegrated yet.There is so much to learn and to, more importantly, figure out how that changes who I am being in day to day being.

Little Sunshine turns 4 tomorrow. I can't believe "my baby" is so big. In truth I don't see her as 'a baby,' but rather as just my youngest. Still, it's so odd moving into a new stage of life. We are done with diapers and potty training, sippy cups and toddler size utensils. No more tricycle, she's onto a bike with training wheels. Her sister, the Princess, starts Kindergarten this year and is learning to ride without training wheels altogether. The boys are getting bigger too. Time is just racing by, yet I still have to remind myself to take time to hold them and cherish moments now. Shouldn't that be a natural automatic thing? To want to hold onto these moments? Yet, I get so caught up in changing sheets, scrubbing tubs, loading the dishwasher, and so forth that I am often glad to send them out to play rather than have them underfoot!

*sigh*

Such is life right now. The trick it to remember to embrace it as you go....and try not to embarrass your son too much by dancing in front of his friends.