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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Loving Through the Ugly


I'm a parent, most days my kids bring me great joy, other times not so much. On those "not so much" days I want to pack my bags and come back when they're grown. As a responsible parent,I know I can't do that; its just a crazy fantasy to get me through their moments of bickering.

The latest "battle" stems from them sharing a bedroom. Each one wants the other to take the extra bedroom once their older brother moves out. Each one complains endlessly about the other, some valid points, mostly whining and selfish desires.

My oldest daughter tried to get me to take her side, by saying the youngest is messy and rude. At my wits end, I answered back "sometimes you just have to love through the ugly".  Now I'm a parent who likes to use small everyday events as teachable moments. In that instant, I knew our Heavenly Father was using this moment with my children to teach me as well.

You see, at some point in our lives and relationships, be it parent & child, siblings or husband & wife we have to love through the ugly. This by no means is a free pass to allow people mistreat you on a regular basis. What I'm trying to convey is that people including you and I, will have moments of ugliness. Occasions where we are less than grateful, courteous, understanding or loving. In these instances, wouldn't you want someone to be patient, kind & understanding enough to love us through our "ugly"?

It isn't easy, or even remotely pleasurable; more like waiting out a horrific storm. You don't have to agree with the transgression, but be wise enough to step back, let go of the need to be right, and go about your life. I can't promise that everything will turn out to our liking, but we have to try to see if the good out weighs the bad. Emotions, as wonderful as they are can often distort the truth when that's all we're focused on.

In teaching my girls this lesson, I'm thankful that God has loved me through many of my ugly moments, aren't you?

John 15:12 (NIV) - My command its this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The DIY Project

Garage sales, hand me downs, salvage yards
Used, worn out, broken, purpose served
Or is it?

In the hands of a skilled craftsman, a new vision is born.
Seen through the eyes of love, passion breathes new life.

What's rough around the edges, gets sanded down
Just enough to begin the change
Retaining the nicks and scrapes that gave it character.

Driftwood that becomes wall art
Scraps of metal welded into a sculpture
Random trinkets and gears whose shapes are captured in a photograph
The old tree stump that is now a rustic backyard table

Discarded no more
What's old now new
As if to say, "your first task complete, now lets prepare for the next"

In the hands of the skilled Creator
I've been given new life
Broken, abandoned, discouraged
He loved me anyway, He saw everything I was
He sees all I can be
Trusting His hands, to shape me
Old wounds turn to lessons
Lessons to compassion
Compassion to encouragement

Only the willingness to surrender
The faith to believe
Allows me to catch a glimpse of what He sees in me

I sometimes ask why, all this for me
In my heart, He whispers His sweet reply
Joy

I begin to understand
Like the joy that comes from seeing something in a new light
A DIY project if you will
In the skilled hands of the Creator I've been given new life.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mrs. Rumble

Sweeter than perfume and  freshly baked cookies,

Hugs so good the warmth would last for days on end.

A smile so bright it was only outdone by the sun,

Gentle, soft spoken, in the presence of love.

That was Mrs. Rumble, our next door neighbor when I was just a little girl. She was my "extra grandma", and I was her "sweet little girl". Now looking back, she had the patience of a saint, listening intently to a four year old and my endless gibberish, my thousands of questions about her life, her family who lived far away, her perfect white hair and how she knew how many marshmallows to make the hot chocolate taste just right. She'd knock on our door to check in on the young mother (my mom) with the most inquisitive little girl in our building, yes that would be me. She never grew tired of my boundless energy and often asked me about my adventures as a "big girl" now in preschool.

My favorite moments were during Christmas, when entering her apartment was like entering Santa's workshop itself. Her knack for decorating her tiny little one bedroom apartment better than Macy's Christmas display on 34th street was unbelievable. The little villages set up under the tree, with the tiny homes and ice skating figurines were my favorite. It was as if I was transported to another place and time.

That was Mrs. Rumble, no matter the season, the time of day, in her presence you were transported to a place of pure love; a truly genuine person, who loving reminded me of my "please and thank you's", 

When circumstances caused our neighbors and my family in our tenement building to move away, it was a sad day indeed. Mrs. Rumble moved to  a farm in the Mid West with one of her children, I was told.

Although she is long gone, her presence in my life a remains a lovely memory and I've been blessed to have her in my life. I thank God for her and all the other Mrs. Rumble-like people He's placed in my life since then; it serves as a reminder of the person I'd like to be.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chalk Outline

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

Stark contrast to what once was

There's  a chalk outline where family used to be.

Cold and wounded for all to see

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

Caution tape and cries they refuse to hear

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

Pointing fingers, tossing blame

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

Denial, anger, mourning

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

I can't be the only one to notice

There's a chalk outline where family used to be.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"A Good Fitting Bra"




Oh, how I love a good fitting bra. It is beyond comfortable, makes me feel confident and pretty. 

On the contrary, an ill fitting bra can be like torture; it pinches if its too tight, the straps can dig

in or fall and fail to support you when you need it most.


A good fitting bra, a really good fitting one isn't as easy to find as one would think.  It takes time

and energy to get right fit, and not to mention it's sometimes pricey.


A good support system, a close knit group of friends is just as important to me as that coveted

good fitting bra. Good friends support you, hold you close without smothering you, protect you

from potential embarrassing situations. You feel confident, pretty and ready to take on the world,

or you can just enjoy the comfortable fit. We need that perfect friendship fit and just like that

wonderful good fitting bra there can be a high price to pay if we don't take the time to develop

these relationships.


How many good fitting bras do you have in your life?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quiet please

3/21/2012 10:38 AM

Jumbled thoughts, rapid fire pace.
Beautiful individually, all together a tangled mess
Overstepping boundaries, shouting, cutting each other off mid stream
Breathe... slowly... breathe, focus
Close your eyes, breathe, listen
Feel the thoughts with each slow breath
Take hold of them, gently...
Genuine, unfiltered
Beauty of God

© 2012 / Ilene Guido »»*******************************************************************««

Although the selection above is much shorter than I normally write, I am at peace with it. When my passion and intensity are overshadowed by anxiety and fear of failure, I take joy in the blessing and reminder that God guides my writing abilities. For me, this was a "hug", a "hand on my shoulder", reassuring me. Although my life my become fast paced, with responsibilities and things I'd like to accomplish, the ideas for journals, poetry, blogs, books flooding my head, I don't need to worry. I realize that as long as I seek God, all will be sorted out.