Qui Vive

Already, this year has been exceptionally trying, but I have chosen to serve and to give out what I need most – an encouraging word. My hope for you all today is that you do not become weary from expecting the good. I am so ready for the harvest that comes after the waiting…

Qui Vive by Ama Danesi

In whatever state we find ourselves

God is working out the opposite.

When we fall, He lifts us up.

When we are bound, He frees our souls.

In the face of certain defeat, He is working

out a victory that cannot be denied.

In our darkest nights and earnest watching – qui vive.

His love roars loud and clear above the taunting waves.

He calms our heartbeat to the rhythm of His breath.

He sent us a helpless baby as Savior of the world.

Once an alien in Egypt but rich in gold, silver, and myrrh.

The pain and suffering that He allows, ushers in

destiny and purpose. He plants in untilled soil, that the

harvest may be wild and unrestrained reaching to

the ends of the earth and places marked “x.”

In the face of sorrow, our hope & joy is His name –

Emmanuel, God with us.

 

Alert & hopeful,

AD.

Historical Fun Fact:

Even motor boats have a purpose and are remembered for their service. The USS Qui Vive (SP – 1004) was part of the United States Naval Fighting fleet from 1917 – 1919. She served as a patrol vessel then as a hospital boat in the 5th Naval District during World War 1. Originally built by the Hutchinson Brothers (Alexandria, NY) for Houston Barnard (Rochester, NY) she was chartered by the Navy until she was decommissioned and returned at the end of her naval career. Her current state is unknown but her work and service endure.
(Bio and image credit: NavSource.org /Wikipedia/Pixabay)

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Facing December

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Hello December, bring it on! This should be my favorite time of the year – after all there’s great anticipation almost every week – my birthday, Christmas, and a brand new year hovering on the horizon, but this month feels like it’s fixing to beat the crap out of me. Like me, for many of you, this is a tough month. We have to deal with the pressure of performance, expectations, lost loved ones, being far away from home and sagging under the weight of the entire year resting on our shoulders.

The truth be told. Lately, I haven’t been a first-rate version of myself but instead of wallowing in self-pity and rehashing the  disappointments for the goals that slipped through the cracks of  poor-timing, paralyzing fear and just plain, unflavored indolence, I’m going to love myself a little more this month, just because my hypothalamus still works. It secreted enough acetylcholine to wake me up and boy – where there’s life, there’s hope!
I am facing this December head on.

Every morning this month, before self-damning thoughts assail my brain, I’m adopting the life-changing mirror ritual by Dr. Christiane Northrup – I’ll be kind to my soul.

I’ll reach out with understanding to my broken heart over the dreams that crashed and burned this year. I’ll pat my laugh lines and double chin tenderly, smooth over my crow’s feet and the furrows on my brow. When my eyes mist over, I’ll remember there’s a still river inside me and let it overflow its bounds. I will stand in awe of all God created in me. Then I will whisper, so only I can hear, “I love you.” over and over again. Till I believe with all my heart and mind and soul, that this gimper staring back at me will be okay.

Happy Days Ahead!

http://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=57402

Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Cards – Life Lessons and More

Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions

Never say never while you can still breathe. Don’t give up on a dream that still wants to live. I might be late on this bandwagon but sometime last year, I paused my DVR after an episode of The Big Bang Theory on CBS, like millions have done over the years to read  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity card #463. The last one. He succinctly explained, “It’s time to write the last vanity card. Which is what this is…All things that never should have happened in the first place must come to an end. Don’t cry for me Argentina. Or West Covina.”

I was sad…OK, a tad depressed. “What? After 18 years why stop now?”

For those living in a cult or under a rock, the unique vanity cards for Chuck Lorre Productions have become a “trademark” appearing at the end of nearly every episode of his acclaimed productions like Grace under Fire, Cybill, Two and A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Mike & Molly and many others. They are usually editorial snippets, personal musings or random observations.

I considered launching a virtual protest march demanding that we, the viewing and more importantly, the reading public,  not be starved of the non-literary gastronomical delight of peering into Chuck Lorre’s brain. Then it occurred to me – Nah… maybe without this little distraction he could have more time. Time to volunteer at a nearby shelter, become a crossing guard at any school of his choosing, you know, do something more wholesome.

So, imagine my surprise at reading  Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Card #464 after the next episode. It was a short, terse card, written by a clearly pained Chuck who realized that nobody cared enough to protest or beg him to re-consider. All he got were a few, nonchalant “literary shrugs” that didn’t cross the ear threshold. Yes, the world would still spin on its awkward axis, pigeons will still desecrate hallowed Hollywood Boulevard where knock-off stars have obstinately ( I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence) refused to twinkle, and people were far more interested in a YouTube video of a child falling asleep after 14 strokes of soft tissue paper over his cherub face. Yep! Nobody really cared.

Credit: EmmyTVLegends.orgBut I did. It would be sad to see these “self-congratulatory snippets of a mind, screaming for attention” end. They are at least are better than the deplorable selfies assaulting our  virtual spaces, (No thanks to the inventor of the selfie stick.) even as I wholehearted agree that Chuck’s Official Vanity Card Archives are nothing short of a “Herculean attempt at curating a set of pointlessly unique, haunting, very painful, also petty, most times personal thoughts.” (All quotations are his words)

Well, if I piqued your interest, you would be very pleased to know that at this time of writing, there’s Vanity Card #500 and I hope counting. For one, I am glad. Sometimes like Chuck Lorre, we have to pause and reflect on anything we’ve been doing maybe, mindlessly for a while –  like a marriage, a friendship, a job or the attempt to immortalize oneself (a.k.a. blogging) and ask yourself:

  • Does it matter?
  • Do I matter?
  • Will anyone even miss me if I stop?
  • Why? For sanity’s sake, why am I doing this?
  • How does this promote world peace (*_*) ?

Question everything. That’s what makes us human, but never say never or give up on something or someone you love. Don’t walk away if it still wants to live. Let it.
The 2.0 version might be refreshingly more meaningful, wiser as it matures just as Lorre’s post-463 vanity cards have become. Curious? Check out card  #482 , my new favorite.

Image Credits: ChuckLorre.com & Google Images.

How Do We Make Decisions – By Revelation or Information?

making right Decisions

What works for you – Revelation or Information? I watched a very interesting program on Dreams and Mysteries and had to reflect on how I have made decisions all my life. How do you decide between the Spiced Ginger Latte or Chai Tea Latte at the coffee shop, who to marry, where to live, when to move or change jobs, which college to attend or in my case when to get involved with an intensive and exhilarating 90-Day novel-writing workshop?

John Paul Jackson, author, teacher, speaker and founder of Streams Ministries International and host of the show, related how decades ago, searching for an apartment in a new city, he walked into a building and when the resident manager saw him, she exclaimed, “Young man, you’ve got a gift!”

Thinking she meant a physical gift, he said “No, I don’t.”

She disagreed vehemently and asked him to take off his wristwatch and hand it to her, he did and she put the watch to her ear. She stood still, rubbing it…weird!

Then she said, “You just broke up with a girl, whose name starts with an ‘X’ – in three days, you’ll be receiving a letter from her asking you to come back.”

She stopped abruptly and stated, “Well, that’s all I’ve got.”

(Yeah, right…we know the drill!)

He stood stunned and thought, How did this stranger know about the breakup and the girl’s name?  He grabbed his watch, and bolted out of the apartment fast! He found a trash can and flung the watch inside, wanting NONE of her energy.

What do you think…was that revelation or information?

making right decisionsMerriam-Webster explains that REVELATION is a usually secret or surprising fact made known; an act of making something known usually in a surprising way. If you are spiritual, then revelation is usually the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or sometimes supernaturally.

INFORMATION on the other hand is like yesterday’s news– knowledge that you get about someone or something; facts or details about a subject, derived from study, experience, or instruction. Information is NOT a secret, it already exists and is easier to find.

In John’s case, the break-up was not a secret, their circle of friends and family probably knew about it. It’s also possible that the heartbroken girl had written a letter and already mailed it. Just like the simple flutter of butterfly wingseverything we do is coded and woven into the fabric of the universe.  That was information peddled as revelation.

A price tag would have been attached if he had taken the bait and asked for more. This is the trick of the trade by psychics, fortune tellers and mediums, they know “things” and that’s the surprise, because we can’t imagine how they know what we’ve done or been through. We are wired to seek wonder and so we’ll pay for more.

“We make decisions everyday – while some are trivial, others are huge, life-altering choices that requires you to look beyond the present, weigh consequences and ask the hard questions. Who do you ask ?” AD

Back to the 90-Day workshop decision. It was an expensive course, would require grueling self-discipline and time – three major currencies where on the table.
I bookmarked the website, visited at least once a week, debating if I even had enough of the three to spend. I prayed and asked the Omniscience, All-Knowing God to help me decide.

making right decisionsI had the Information – the website, sample lectures, reviews and experiences from past students, bio of the faculty members, the cost and discounts, success stories, character of the founder but still I couldn’t decide, until the night before the deadline. (I’m sure you ever been at many crossroads in life – armed with all facts, but still can’t decide)

Then, I had this vivid dream of a huge faceless man, calling me from across the street, to come over and get into the RED EXPRESS BUS with three numbers starting with a 4 on the headboard, that had just pulled up and was waiting ( it seemed for me) at the bus-stop. I turned and walked to towards him and the red bus.

If you know how to interpret dreams, you’ll understand why that morning with an overwhelming sense of peace, I knew what to do and without fear, I enrolled. Revelation came in that dream.

Some people are born with a defined, innate gift of revelation, folks who felt strange growing up, who just knew things and could not explain how. The good news is that EVERYONE can hear from God for themselves and when we ask Him, pray or press in, He speaks through His word, dreams, visions and that intuitive sense of “knowing” or “something-told-me” that we have all experienced.

“The gift of revelation is NOT the messages you receive, it’s the ABILITY to receive messages.” John Paul Jackson

The gift of revelation isn’t the signal or messages, but the hardware, like a “human satellite dish” able to receive and send messages, so before you go into ask someone to “see” for you, you have to determine who the prophet or psychic is tuned to. When this gift is directly from the Creator, it requires dedication and character to keep the messages unadulterated while dark forces would prefer the seer NOT have any character at all.

making right decisionsSo when natural-born seers became unscrupulous and lose their connection from the original source, they have to find a counterfeit, an alternative and these dark forces are always willing to transmit, like a computer virus seeking a host.

They’ll take anyone who opens up to them through the medium, and enslave both the psychic and their paying customers. And they usually start with INFORMATION – the yesterday’s news about your life. Once the virus gets downloaded, hell is let loose! That’s why people report nightmares and a sense of heaviness afterwards.

The offense in our minds, is often necessary to expose what’s in our hearts. Paraphrased from D&M Notes

I understand this is not for everyone, but there are steps on Dreams and Mysteries to clean out hard drives of compromised lives and cut off the counterfeit one who manipulates information and sends people desperate for immediate answers down the wrong path or a sidetrack. Some people even treat something this serious as entertainment!

Discerning the source of the advice that guides our decision-making is crucial. We need both revelation and information. Information we can get by the natural process of reviewing the pros and cons, but when we need insight and revelation, it’s always about the SOURCE, that brings peace and ONLY PEACE.

Prompt: Can you tell the difference between information and revelation?

Defining the One Thing that Matters

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Getting over Oneirophobia?  Anyone close to me knows about my voracious ability to dream, some nights I have as many as four or five full-blown intricate and vividly colored adventures and sometimes I am able interpret and decode the symbolism in my dreams. But lately, I’ve been going to bed at past 3 a.m just to avoid them.

Oneirophobia is the fear of dreams. The origin of the word oneiro is Greek (meaning dreams) and phobia is Greek (meaning fear). In my case, it’s not just dreams when I sleep, but dreams I have for the future and as with any phobia, the symptoms vary by person depending on their level of fear. Isn’t everyone scared of the journey and the cost of what it takes to make their dreams come true?

On my manifestation board, I have visual representations of my dreams, which include a picture of a lavish home with a huge curricular balcony with grand views of mountains. I love mountains because I have a promise that  – with my words, I can move something that seems so permanent and insurmountable.

I also have this picture of me chatting with Oprah about my book, sitting on David Letterman’s lap ( it’ll happen one day – sans David) and one of me hoisting an award over my head in absolute, jubilant victory! There are many other representations of my goals, like my dream car, etc, but these are the most significant.

Clearly, I don’t envision a small, unproductive life and what scares me is the process and sheer grit needed to navigate from where I am to where I want to be. I’m scared of the depths I have to go down in my soul to excavate the mines of my life for the treasures that will be covered with glory, grime and dirt…and I am scared of diving for the pieces of this enormous puzzle!

I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 (Paraphrased)

What would it take me to love dreaming again? Defining the one thing that matters in achieving my goals.

Writing. Writing something everyday. It’s really that simple.

For someone else it could be singing, molding clay, going out everyday with the camera, drawing, painting  etc. whatever is the nucleus or core competence that fuels the dream. You’ve got to believe that it matters.

dream-153263_640I’ve been meditating on the passage that says, “the Father does the work” and I am realizing that when I worry about the process and the “hows” I get paralyzed by the sheer magnitude in my finite mind. While it’s my job to dive, I’m not responsible for the treasure and broken pieces I find buried deep within and I am also not responsible for completing the picture.

I can release the hyper-analysis and tracking, and just focus on what brings me joy and when the doors swing open, I’ll be ready or almost ready, and even that doesn’t really matter.

As much as I can, I’ll avoid ambien- induced dreams, so that I can not have fireplace chats hanging from my ceiling and music from the piano maestro that looks like me, except there are no black keys… and not show up to a meeting as Mr. Potato Head!  I have cleared all the clutter and distraction and I left one thing on my to-do-list…put words on paper or the screen or my voice recorder, every single day. Beyond NaBloPoMo.

Now, how intimidating can that be?

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Prompt: What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?