Psalm 27, Sunsets, and Trying Softer

At the very top of my blog are these words: “writing when inspired, about the often overlooked.” I notice things, and in the noticing, random thoughts occasionally develop into a blog post all their own, landing right here in this space.

Sometimes thoughts land in my journal, or on my Facebook page, and stay right there. Today I give you three of them all wrapped up in one blog post, “Psalm 27, Sunsets and Trying Harder.”

And no, dear reader, there is no common thread connecting them. A friend said someone told her she is “reliably random.  It’s possible we are sisters!

*************** random thought #1 ***************

Psalm 27:5-6
in my own words

Psalm 27 was my dad’s favorite Psalm, most of it highlighted. He used whatever color his fingers landed on first as he reached into his Ziploc bag of highlighters.

I used to tell him we’d send them with him to heaven when it came time for him to leave us and go be with my Mother, but in the flurry of it happening, I forgot all about it. He doesn’t need them anymore as he is now in the very presence of Jesus, his Savior, who he loved his whole life. Now Dad is able to converse with Jesus one-on-one. Everyone’s Christmas stocking had a highlighter from Great Grandpa Longenecker tucked into it the year he died. 

The blue gate leads into the peaceful English Garden at Chicago Botanical Gardens. It reminds me of the Good Shepherd leading me into quiet places when my world is reeling.

English Garden Gate, Chicago Botanical Gardens

Psalm 27:5-6
(in my words)

find me
in my trouble.

hide me in
your shelter.

You lift me
on a rock
my head held

I will praise

Zimmerman Park, Billings, MT

*************** random thought #2 ***************

What is it about sunsets?

Indiana sunset at a dear friend’s house

Is it the
soothing peacefulness
the never-competing colors
the artwork splashed across the sky
at the close
of the day?

Or the the daily-ness
reminding me the world
still spins as intended
though it often feels
and backwards?

Or is it perhaps to
tell me once again
so I don’t disremember
the One who
made it all,
never sleeps,
and is present with me?

Maybe all of this
and more.

*************** random thought #3 ***************

“Try softer,” a book by Aundi Kolber

“Connection is the currency of wholeness,” Aundi Kolber says in her book “Try Softer.” This statement is pure gold. Sometimes a book comes at a perfect time and grabs my total attention. It may not grab you now, but everyone will need this book at some point in their life.

I remember the first time I was asked, “Who is your 2:00-in-the-morning-friend?” (someone you can ALWAYS call).  I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have wanted to “bother” anyone, even if I had one. It sounded too bold. I now have a collection of 2:00-in-the-morning friends. Although I haven’t needed to call any of them in the middle of the night, I know I can.

“Try Softer” is about being gentle with myself in all that’s hard. I thought when things got hard, it was time to try harder. I learned instead to “try softer,” taking time to listen to myself, look at what is true, check in with a friend. One of the keys to trying softer is in not doing life alone.

This book affirms what I have been learning over the years, so much so, that I suspect my counselor at Faithlife Counseling of being in collusion with Aundi Kolber in the writing of her book, Try Softer.

Until next time, stop where you are, look around, and listen. At Lake Opeka this morning, my soul is quieted as I listen to the gentle plop-plop of wavelets, gently meeting the rocks along the shore. The clarity of the water inspires the following prayer  “Lord, bring clarity to the un-clarified areas of my life.”
Over these last few years, there have been periods of time when I haven’t journaled, nor have I been able to read scripture. This morning is not one of them, as I read scripture, journal, and talk to God about people and things on my heart.

If you’d like a full resolution .jpg of the images above so you don’t disremember, let me know in the comments or contact me HERE.

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