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ODE TO ALLERGIES

NOSE-pollen.jpg

It started as a little thing, a slight lump in my throat

An achy feeling in my bones that barely rocked my boat

I felt certain if I rested for a night or so

I’d wake up in the morning feeling fine and good-to-go

But the next day to my dismay a cold had taken hold

Tho thankfully the short-lived kind that dies before it’s old

Yet in its place a stronger foe much harder to appease

Rose up with a vengeance…I was seized with allergies!

Not the mild “achoo’s” one gets from smelling flowers

But the Richter-scale repeaters that rock your world for hours

Sneezing, wheezing, barely breathing, watering eyes and snotty nose

Eyeballs popping, never stopping – on and on and on it goes

Progress freezing, sanity teasing, nothing easing, nothing helps

Sputtering, coughing, in the offing now your sneezes sound like yelps

Snuffling, snorting, gasping, rasping, fighting hard for every breath

Frenzied fits of screaming sneezes after which there’s nothing left

But to simply wait it out beneath a dampened rag

And hope and pray for better days you don’t look like a hag

Or pause mid-sentence to await with crinkled nose and grimace

The random Twilight Zone attack of your allergic menace

 

 

 

 

 

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April 14, 2016 at 9:08 AM Leave a comment

DAY 16: SUCCESS? “Fuhgeddaboudit!”

SUCCESS compass

KEY TO SUCCESS road sign - clouds

 

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE man building sign (red-white)

 

I ran across this Victor Frankl quote and thought I’d share it today. I know I can certainly use the reminder. 

Sometimes it’s easy to measure ourselves by our most recent success…

 

Or our most resent failure…

 

And forget that “success” isn’t nearly as important…

 

As doing something that truly makes a DIFFERENCE…

 

Don’t get me wrong: I’m still aiming for excellence. I work at it every day. 

I have an incredible drive to be the very best I can be – and when I don’t hit the mark, believe me, it hurts. The truth is, we’re all wired to learn and grow and achieve great things – probably bigger than we even realize much of the time, and that’s one of the exhilarating things about being alive.

Yes, success does matter…

Yet as it turns out, success alone is a really terrible ULTIMATE goal. It can corrupt, harden, and brutalize our hearts,  and ultimately the very satisfaction we think it will bring can mysteriously disappear.

I’ll let Mr. Frankl take it from here…

“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run–in the long run, I say!–success will follow you precisely because you had FORGOTTEN to think of it.”

-Victor Frankl

November 16, 2014 at 9:31 AM Leave a comment

DAY 15: LIFE IN THE GAP

 

GAP in freeway (with skyline)

Life in the gap…

 

I started this poem in 2009 and finished it in 2014. Funny how some things never change: Like our utter dependence on the Author of the story…to help us live out our particular chapter.

 

IGNORANT I’m not

Though in truth wish I were

Cuz then I’d have an alibi

For why my life’s a blur

 

A waterloo of follow-through that never quite completes

A host of good intentions never ever quite set free

 

INSIGHTFUL yet unable

To apprehend the how

Of letting things I understand

Inhabit here and now

 

An undertow of “I don’t know” that dulls my aching mind

Til in the end I comprehend my clever sight’s gone blind

 

My ERRATIC GPS

has left me broken-hearted

From jumping off high cliffs

And landing where I started

 

It’s time that I surrendered and found a source of strength

Beyond myself and my own will to get me past the brink

 

IGNORANT He’s not

Of how the pieces fit

He knows just when to start

And when it’s time to quit

 

He knows which tangents slow me up and which ones spur me on

And patiently He whispers until on me it dawns

 

INSIGHTFUL of the plan

The one that’s in His heart

He focuses my flailing

So I can play my part

 

So unafraid of twists and turns is my intrepid Guide

That He can work it all for good while I enjoy the ride

 

EMPOWERED by the freedom

To pick and choose within

The path that I have chosen

In partnership with Him

 

woman leaping across cliff (blue background)

“Suddenly God, your light floods my path . . . I vault the high fences.
 What a God!” 2 Samuel 22:29

November 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM 2 comments

DAY 14: CONNECTION – THE KEY TO GROWTH

two trees growing together - into an up arrow (landscape)

 

Ever find yourself growing spiritually stale?

Maybe even stagnant?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there at one time or another. You know, those days when you’re not exactly sure what’s wrong—but it’s clearer than clear that something’s not right.

When I feel like that, it eventually dawns on me: “Hey, I think I’m feeling disconnected…”

Maybe from myself. Or my true desires.

Or more often than I’d like to admit…

Disconnected from God.

Which honestly kinda catches me by surprise, because with all my heart I try to stay connected to Him. Though I often fail, I rarely remember making a conscious choice to move away from Him. Yet slowly but surely, I’ve drifted.

Does that ever happen to you?

My guess is, it happens to all of us.

Yet in a way, it’s not all that surprising. In John 15 Jesus uses a variety of words—remain, abide, obey—to repeatedly remind us to stay connected to Him. I’m guessing He mentions it so many times because He knows what a huge challenge staying connected is—with the world, the flesh, and the devil constantly trying to distract us.

He knows we will have to choose—day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes even minute by minute—to make a conscious choice to renew our connection with Him, or without realizing it we will slowly but surely drift backward and just “go with the flow.”

Yet thankfully that’s not the whole story: God has give us mighty tools to combat “drift.”

For one thing, His blessed Holy Spirit is always there to draw us, strengthen us, and work through us. Like life-giving sap in the branches of a tree, the Spirit of God is constantly filling us with life each day that we choose to walk with Him.

Not only that, but He’s given us each other. Many times we trudge through the Christian life like long-suffering Lone Rangers, as if we were intended to gut it out on our own. Yet we were never meant to live in isolation. We are relational beings by nature, and we grow best when connected to other people. Scriptural commands like “love one another” and “go and make disciples” weren’t given to make our burdens heavier; they’re actually gifts from God to lighten our load and stimulate growth.

“Doing life together” with other believers – whether older, younger, or peers – is one of the best ways ever to stay more connected with God and the practical truths of Scripture. When you see your friends growing, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and learning to serve others in Jesus’ name—it’s quite contagious. It’s also an excellent reminder that both vertically and horizontally, connection and growth do in fact go together!

John 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Proverbs 27:17

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend…”

If you’re feeling disconnected today, why not get together with a friend this next week to talk, listen, and maybe even pray together. You might be surprised at how much lighter your load feels – and how growth inducing it can be!

November 14, 2014 at 8:47 PM Leave a comment

DAY 12: WHAT ARE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF?

in the middle maze - with red question mark

 

Are you in the middle of a…

 

difficult project

 

troubled relationship

 

painful emotional struggle?

 

 

Do you find yourself …

 

out of solutions

 

hanging on by a thread

 

wondering how it’s all gonna turn out?

 

 

Believe me, I’ve been there more times than I care to count.

 

Let’s face it, we all have.

 

Yet when it’s happening to you, the fact that it happens to “everyone” doesn’t help much, does it?

 

What helps is knowing God has a way of meeting us IN THE MIDST of our challenging circumstances. It also helps to know that others can truly empathize with what we’re going through.

 

Today I find myself wondering…

 

What kind of challenges are YOU in the middle of?

 

If you’re feeling brave today, I invite you to leave a comment…

 

Feel free to be as general or specific as you like. Whatever it is you’re going through, there’s probably someone else who’s been there. And God is there with you even now.

 

Yet sometimes the first step toward moving through a challenging season is simply admitting you’re there.

 

And reaching out to someone else who’s been there…

 

IN THE MIDDLE

 

November 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM Leave a comment

DAY 11: ATROPHY

 

I’m knee-deep in projects this week so this is yet another poem from the archives, slightly revised. The original version appeared in a literary journal, my first in fact, which tickled me no end – especially given the content of the poem! 

 

Nothing quite right.

Nothing quite wrong.

Just endless thoughts of me and my endless thoughts.  Exhausting.

 

Anxiety wells up with each passing moment…

 

Why haven’t these “raw materials” added up to more by now?

Why haven’t you accomplished more with your life?
 

Quick, what can I accomplish before lunch that will ease

this crushing underachievement?

 

This failure to launch.

 

This atrophy that seizes the half-opened rose and freezes it in place.
 

Then slowly it dawns…
 

Could atrophy nipping at my heels actually be a gift?

 

A nagging-yet-necessary reminder that time is short and those little daily choices oh-so-precious.

 

Do I beat atrophy at its own game by making it my friend?

 

Or better still, befriending its Giver…

 

…who limited our time in this fallen world

as a gift of mercy in the first place?

 

November 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM 2 comments

DAY 9: ADJECTIVELY SPEAKING

SAD FACE - HAPPY FACE (red-green)

I found this poem in the archives a few years back. What started out as a fun grammar exercise ended up as something much deeper. Hope you enjoy it…
 

TROUBLED by life as I find it

SMOTHERED when good is erased

BOTHERED by life that is pointless

SKEWERED by points that I chase

 

EMPTY when life has no meaning

FEARFUL enough’s not enough

SHAMED if I think on things too long

BLAMED if I speak off the cuff

 

LOST to find life so elusive

CRUSHED when it seems nothing lasts

BATTERED by hoping and losing

SHATTERED when dreams fade too fast

 

But then I discover I’m CHERISHED

TREASURED by someone it’s clear

To Him I am quite IRREPLACEABLE

LOVED simply because I am here

 

CONNECTED to something outside me

To Someone who’s LIVING and NEAR

EMBOLDENED by love that won’t leave me

ENLIVENED to face my worst fears

 

EXPECTANT yet taking it slowly

EXHAUSTED from holding my ground

Both CAUTIOUS and HOPEFUL all rolled into one

Still searching, yet already FOUND

 

November 9, 2014 at 3:15 PM Leave a comment

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KIM ALDRICH

Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker

ABOUT ME

Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.

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WORDS TO GROW BY

TEN WAYS TO LOVE

1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

2014 NaBloPoMo!

NaBloPoMo November 2014