Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I remember

I was scrolling through Facebook today and saw this




In shock, I glanced at the calendar and realized that tomorrow is 9-11.  How easily I forget, on a day to day basis the tragedy that was that day.  But how easily I can recall it as well.

I was a police officer and working night shift, so I normally wouldn’t have been up for hours.  But, a recent accident, necessitated my early rising to take my truck to the body shop for repairs.  I was so groggy on the drive I didn’t bother to turn the radio on and I quickly arrived at the body shop.  I filled out my paperwork and slowly became cognizant of the panicky voices coming from the radio.  My ride arrived and I climbed into the passenger seat of the rental car.  I asked the car company associate if he knew what was going on.  He said no.  As I drove home I switched on the radio and listened to the news.

A plane had hit a building in Manhattan and everyone one assumed it was a horrible accident.  I drove home feeling fear and anxiety rise into my throat.  I switched on the T.V., when I got home, for visual confirmation and watched in shock as another plane flew into the second tower. 

There was no doubt that this was no accident.

I sat in my room, alone, watching the footage.  My heart sunk as I watched each tower fall.  I cried as I realized all the people inside.  Quietly wondering if I would have had the courage to charge into the building.  And I rejoiced as children were rescued from a day care.  All day I sat in quiet vigil, unable to do anything else.

I felt so alone.  I was so used to doing things alone, it never dawned on me to reach out to others.  I might have called my mom.  But beyond that, I sat motionless most of the day.

Even those born after that day have been changed by that tragedy.  It changed our awareness of people outside our country.  We realized not everyone like us and we started wars, in countries we could never possibly understand.  Even today it flavors how our president is reacting to the Syrian conflict.  But has it changed who we are?  Has it changed who I am?

I for one, go about most days with my head in the sand.  I don’t want to think about the atrocities being committed across the world and down the street.  I want to pay my bills, enjoy life and coast through the week.  But that picture today stopped me in my tracks, I have forgotten what it means to love my neighbor. 

In my desire to love myself before others, I have placed myself in the role of a victim.  At one time I was, but I no longer am and I haven't been for a long time.  This attitude means I lash out at others for my pain (my mom and dad to name two).  So what does it look like to live as a survivor instead of a victim?

I embrace the woman God has created me to be.  This means walking confidently in the talents God has gifted me with.  To do this, I am starting a new website.  This site will not have my writing but give me a place to showcase my photography as well.  I am excited and for the first time not fearful. 

I am confident in the talents God has given me and I enjoy sharing them with the world.  (That is definitely new!)  I look forward to telling the world how my struggles have strengthened me and how God helped me discover who He is and Whose I am.

I will be launching this site hopefully October 1st.  But until then, tell me your stories about 9/11.  Where were you?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Packing Light

“We discover what we need when we live without things.  This is part of the value of traveling and packing light as we travel.  Sometimes it’s good for us to need things and not have them.”  Allison Vesterfelt, Packing Light

After three cross country moves you think I would be good at the whole packing light thing.  I thought I was too, until I read this book. 

Packing light Book Cover

Allison has an ability to tell a fun and entertaining story while weaving in how unpredictable life is.  Whether you take risks or choose the safe right, you have little control of the outcome.  As Allison takes you along on her 50 state road trip, she shares the profound life lessons she learned along the way.  When the book came to an end I found myself wanting more.

I have had the pleasure of following Allison’s writing for some time.  and her style of writing is fun and entertaining.  But you always know that the nuggets of truth are coming.  My truth is that I was scared to offer to review this book.  It is way out of my box to review someone else’s work.  But I took a tiny step and asked Allison if I could help. 

Here I am, a mere two weeks later on the other side of that little step.  God has used her book to open my heart to the truth’s he has been whispering to me for a while.  There are too many to list here, but I will be unpacking them (yes pun intended) over the next few weeks.

What is your traveling story?  Tell me about a time that choosing to ‘pack light’ or let go of something, led to something greater.  Everyone who comments on here will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of this book.  Please be sure to use your email address when commenting so I can contact you if you win!