April 25, 2003
By: Lisa Velez
“A Little Life Lesson…”
I often wonder why the days seem to be going so fast lately. It’s almost like if you blink too fast you might miss one. The year seems that it’s only begun and it’s already almost half over. It’s now almost May of 2003 and the flowers are so confused as to what they are supposed to be doing. A few days it’s hot, a few days it’s cold. One day it’s warm, the next day it’s snowing. No wonder we’re all fighting these colds, allergies and viruses that have been lurking over us and hanging on like threads to our bodies. This winter just does not want to let go…not yet anyway.
When I was a child the days seemed to last years, and our winters were overly normal. I remember my Aunt and my Dad going out to shovel snow. The snow would be up to their knees. Looking at pictures of days like that bring back so many memories. It was so much fun seeing snow like that. We haven’t had that much snow in so long. Sure, this year we had a blizzard and in1996 we had one too. But, I don’t think they can compare to what we used to get, that’s for sure. So, compared to then we sure are lucky…actually, not lucky. Blessed. Today, we wouldn’t know what to do if it snowed like that. Now we cry when it snows and inch and then complain when it doesn’t snow at all because the summer might wind up being weird because of it. Many times I bet God sits in Heaven thinking to himself, “Are my children ever happy with anything?” I must say, I do complain, but I’m happy to see snow. I was even surprised that on December 25th of 2002 we actually had a white Christmas. It was wonderful to see the ground paved in a blanket of white for a change, instead of glistening with the drops of heavy rain pouring from a confused sky. All this NJ pollution must really confuse it for sure. I know it has me confused as it creates the greenhouse effect and stores up excess heat. Oh, what a world we live in.
So, thinking upon this new spring of 2003 upon us that is “trying” to begin, I think, what will become of this year? With the war in Iraq coming to a close and soldiers and POW’s coming home, I sit wondering what the future will bring. I feel sad that our Country makes these soldiers go to foreign lands to fight and then leaves their families to starve and go homeless because they can’t pay the rent. I was watching that on TV the other day and thinking that, that is so wrong. If they want to borrow someone’s husband or son that is providing for that family then the country should step in and pay the missed difference until that soldier returns home. Instead, stingy old America leaves it to everyone else and just lets the poor families go hungry. Not that I want the job, but I wonder what I would do if I were the first female president. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bush Jr. is doing a wonderful job being President to our Nation, but sometimes we overlook our own people that need our help most. We let homeless die, meanwhile we give thousands and millions away on game shows, playing lottery, and gambling and other needless things. We tell them to get a job, forgetting that it’s not that simple and that all an employer has to do is look at their dingy and dirty clothes and they’ll just turn them away. We can’t even give them a dollar for a dollar menu’s hamburger, but then we can turn around and go get our nails done. Oh my, what a world! Have we lost our sense of basic values? What happened to helping our neighbors when they are in trouble? If we’d only imagine and think that we could be in these people’s shoes, if they even have shoes, and keep in mind that, those people we see could be us, then our thoughts might be turned around. We forget that they’re people too, with a heart, a soul and a need to be loved and cared for, just like the rest of us do. If only we’d stop thinking of ourselves. I can be more giving; I know that, so I’m not pointing fingers. I’m speaking to myself as much as I am to anybody else. But, all we can think of is the negative, like: “Oh, he’s just going to spend it on booze.” But, in all reality, how do we know that for sure? So, why not take a chance and help someone get some food so that he can stay alive. Whether he gets food or not, our reward waits in Heaven, so it’s all worth it.
As a child, fairy tales make life seem like magic. Like everything is just a fancy dream and that all we have to do is wait for a fairy Godmother and she’ll do and give us everything. Life is not a move of a magic wand giving us every greedy thing our hearts desire. As we begin to grow up, we come to realize that fairy tales are nice, but they sure are a long way off from reality. Life’s just not that easy. We only wish it could be.
I know it must seem that I’m just rambling on here, but I just have a lot of thoughts that I need to get out. So, why hold so many thoughts inside until we burst or forget them? Why not put them down on paper for others to see and be blessed with. God speaks to us in many ways and many times just wants us to say things like this by giving them to us to write down to tell others how he feels. God speaks to us in many ways, even through other people; I know that for a fact. Even in this crazy world, miracles are a reality many have come to know. Miracles happen every day right under our noses, yet we refuse to see them because we wallow in self-pity over silly things like a hangnail. We tend to forget that there are many more things that are so much more important than what we’re worrying over. I worry sometimes over needless things too and it just doesn’t get me anywhere. It just makes me sick to my stomach and cranky towards those I love and then I wind up making them angry or mad as well, almost like a chain reaction, and that’s no way to live life. Life is too short to spend its every moment on useless things. Life itself is a miracle. Every breath is a gift. Every moment we open our eyes is but another miraculous gift from God above. It’s a chance to start again and do right unto others. Every moment is a new beginning. People think that love is just a fairy tale, but when you give it a try, it’s a whole new and beautiful world that exists in reality.
It’s 2:32AM in the morning and I just can’t sleep. I have trouble sleeping when my husband is not home. I know he’s out working but I miss him by my side. We talk on AOL instant messenger for a while and call each other up, playing like children, just being the best of friends. Then he has to get back to work and I start feeling a little lonely. I know I’m never totally alone because the Lord Jesus is always with me. But, I do miss my husband. We have our days, but for the most part we have a great relationship. Even after almost eight years of marriage, we can still tell each other just about anything. He, my husband Ramon, can still give me goose bumps when he hugs me from behind while we’re in the supermarket. I think that’s wonderful. I can see us, God-willing, fifty years from now, I’ll be 78 and Ramon will be 83 and we’ll be holding hands walking to the bakery to get the morning paper and loaf of bread that must be just soft enough for our gums to chew. Then we’ll take the leftover bread and feed it to the ducks in the pond. Hey, I’m young and I’ve already done the “feed the ducks in the pond with bread” thing. Guess there’s no age limit for that. What it all comes down to is, I love my husband. He’s my “teddy bear.” I always carry him with me. Sometimes when I want to feel especially close to him when he’s not with me, I put his cologne on, just so I can smell him near me. Maybe that’s silly, but it makes me feel good. I guess I’ll just have to learn to live with being silly. Life’s too short and filled with its own problems to be too serious anyway. “Smile, God loves you,” I’ve read on a bumper sticker. And I know it’s true. Though it’s not always easy to smile, still it’s like learning to ride a bike. As hard as it is, the more you do it the better you get. Eventually, you get so good that you don’t need to be told anymore, it just comes naturally and then you make others smile with you. Just a smile can touch and brighten up somebody’s gloomy day and make him or her feel like there is a reason for living after all.
That’s my dream. To touch but a life for the kingdom of Christ is one of the biggest reasons I live. The biggest reason is to have a wonderful relationship with my Savior, and then to bless someone’s heart with his word through song. Singing caresses the hearts of the sad and brightens the darkest of days. It’s a way to get all your emotions out and turn your whole world around. Especially when you sing about the Lord, your whole outlook changes and you begin to see that life really is worth everything that we’re going through. For he is the song that we sing, the words and the melody, we are but the instrument, a mere vessel that he has chosen to flow through. What an honor to be that vessel, as we are so unworthy.
There is so much about life we can learn. I know there is so much I have yet to learn and to discover. I only pray and hope that I have a lot of years left to do it all.
If I were to answer the question, “In ten years, where do I see myself,” I’d have to say that I see myself having at least one child. I’d hope to have my own home by then and a steady part time job. Once I have a child, I wouldn’t want to work full time anyway. Our children need all our attention and love. I’d still focus on my music ministry in singing and songwriting for the Lord, that’s for sure. Hopefully I’d still have my dogs, all three of them. If I had my way, I’d have more. J I’d like to be back to my old size again. And I want to be even more in love and close with my husband than I am now. By then I’ll be 38 and he’ll be 43, but that won’t matter a bit. I’m sure there are many other things I’d like to accomplish by the time 2013, ten years from now, hits. But, for now I’ll just be happy with whom I am. I know God has so many plans for me.
I guess the point, or points, that I’m trying to make with all this “gibber gabber” is…Life is a “collection of memories.” Like my Daddy always says, “You’re here today, gone tomorrow.” So, never let a day go by without telling those near and dear to you that you love them. Always forgive, even if it means forgiving yourself for something you’ve done. Life is short. It is not easy, but God is always there, holding us and leading us on our way, lifting us up when we feel like we’re going to fall and want to give up. Make the most of what we have, for tomorrow it could be taken away. Be thankful for even the littlest treasure, like a snowflake, you may not see it again for a long, long time, kind of like a long lost friend that you haven’t seen in ten years or so. And most importantly…love. Love God first with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Then love yourself and everyone in your life…even those that have done us wrong. That can be a tough one. I’ve had real trouble loving those that have hurt me. But, if we don’t learn to forgive and love them as a creation of God, as they are, then we can never truly move forward with our lives. I’m sure that it wasn’t easy for Christ to forgive the man who crucified him…but yet, he did, in an instant. Love is what it all boils down to. Without love, we are nothing. Consider everything a blessing…even the bad days, for there is always a reason or reasons why we are going through them. Even if simply it is to strengthen somebody else who may be going through the exactly same thing. God works in mysterious ways, but his ways are always right. If he can love us, no matter what silly and ridiculous and bad things we do and say, then how can we not love in the same way? We can. It’s what we were made to do. Jesus said, “Of all the commandments I give you, the greatest of these is…Love.” He didn’t say it would be easy, but he knew it would be worthwhile. Time is precious. Why not spend it loving our neighbor and giving from our hearts the way God intended us to do? It’s simple enough. All we have to do is cast our petty feelings of insecurity aside and give it a try. It will always come back to us 100 fold, if not in this life, then for sure in the next one to come.
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President Bush's presidental prayer team has started a program to address this issue. You might be interested. They have information on the website.
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