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Learning To Fail In A Positive Way and "Please John Quit Judging!" - Especially Yourself

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sometimes giving up is easy. Itís even easier to judge someone who has given up. Not that you or I ever give up. Thatís for quitters, losers and the like. Excuse me while I put my smug hat on for just a bit, K?

My daughter works with someone who has won our city gold championship for amateurs the last five years running. Last year he won the state amateur championship and made the final qualifying tournament for the US Open. He missed qualifying by two strokes. Thatís not to shabby and considering he is the ripe old age of thirty three, he has lots of accomplishments left in his bag. I picked up the paper yesterday morning to read he had withdrawn for the tournament before Sundayís final round began. I called my daughter at work to find out why. I wondered if heíd been injured or ill. As my daughter put it ďHe was so far behind dad and he said he just wasnít feeling it yesterday so he decided to quit. He was ten strokes behind. He decided to go home and relax.Ē

ďThe nerve of that man,Ē is what I thought. ďWhat kind of example is he setting? Just because he couldnít win, he quit?Ē

LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL. Yeah, like I donít ever give up!!! Like I donít quit tracking my food when I have a run of bad decision days and go over (sometimes WAY OVER) my calorie limits. I mean whatís the use? I already blew it didnít I?

How about when I donít exercise? Maybe I had a schedule challenge and missed a few days but instead of getting right back to it, I use it as a reason to give up. Woe is me, life isnít fair. Iíll never be like ďfill in the blank.Ē

When I quit I blame everyone around me and am very careful not to take any responsibility for my actions. If the world would just bend a little to the left and move forward about ten feet then just maybe I could keep my commitments. And anyway, who knows but me, right? If I blow it I just donít tell anyone and secretly judge all those other quitters. When I am judgmental I am simply wasting a precious amount of energy thatís been given to me to use for good and healthy activity.

When I encounter a failure in my life or an obstacle that seems over whelming to me I only have two choices. The first is to fall to the ground, curse my fate and give up. The second is to admit I blew it, look for the reason why I blew it and try to figure out how not to blow it again. Itís the old live and learn principle. Itís why diets donít work. They donít allow for the failure factor, the subliminally preach judgment. Those of us who are obese know its really easy to judge all our own failure at the drop of a hat.

Donít find me redeemed, dear friends. Iíll contemplate giving up again. Itís part of human nature. As long as I continue to judge myself Iíll judge other people. I have to work on me and the principles I believe in

I am worth the effort and yes even the failures

I deserve to have success even though the price is often a painful one

I am who I hang around with

When I believe I am whole and healthy, I am whole and healthy.

That should keep me busy for the next twenty years or so.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 7/18/2011 3:31AM

    %Thanks John for this very interesting & infromative post!!!I think, in order to become winners, we all have to admit we can fail at times...much like a sportsteam does not have to win all matches, but the championship in the end.

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SILLYHP1953 7/13/2011 3:49PM

    John, John, John...I find it hard to believe that you give up, but I find it harder to believe you're not telling the truth, so I must believe you do give up. Sometimes, for a few moments. That's all I will accept.

I'm the hardest critic on myself, too. But I was sitting at a local festival last weekend and found myself judging certain people. I was rather ashamed of myself, but am learning I must forgive quickly and move on.

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WALKNLOVE 7/13/2011 7:35AM

    never,never,never give up! I fall back down, but I get back up again....success is getting really close for you John...I feel it! Do you?

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LYNMEINDERS 7/12/2011 7:14PM

    haha...you are so sperb....
I love the realness in you....

And of course it is so so much easier to quit than to keep battling forwars to achieve victory..

Hello to the new John.....I like him....he is not a quitter even when he fails a bit....

Blessings

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RACINGSLUG 7/12/2011 5:45PM

    Like you, I find the quitting rather inexplicable, which kind of makes me wonder, ''Are you doing this to win, or are you doing it for the love of the game?'' I've asked myself that same question lately and I've decided I'm doing it for the love of the game. I'm going to exercise because I like how I feel when I exercise, and I'm going to eat right because I love cooking healthy and find it relaxing and fulfilling. Being that perfect weight is like coming in first place... it'd be nice, but it's not why I'm here. I'll take my imperfect game and just be glad I got to get outside for a change.

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NASFKAB 7/12/2011 5:12PM

  Great blog encouraging thanks

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KERLIN26 7/12/2011 4:42PM

  Thanks for giving me something to think about!

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ANATASHIKI 7/12/2011 3:24PM

    I think there are times when giving up is the best option. honestly hard work doesn't work much for me , it never did. and don't get me wrong , I always try to do all in my power but success seems to depend on mysterious occult factors. so why stress over them? my goal on spark is not on the scale, but tracking each day and burning more calories than I eat. loosing weight will come eventually .one race more or less doesn't matter much honestly . there aren't losers or winners. there are just temporary victories or losses and their equally important lessons.

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NAMAARI 7/12/2011 12:07PM

    John, good thoughts...it's so true about the judgement of ourselves and others...Oh to be more sensitive in that area.

@IFDEEVARUNS2 - I agree with you about there being times when we need to step back. I don't gauge those times well, and I end up feeling like a quitter when I push past them and end up burned up and out, but I am learning that there are seasons when the right thing to do is focus on rest so that we can return to our task stronger in mind, body, and spirit.

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DEE797 7/12/2011 10:57AM

    Thanks so much for putting this blog out there as we can be our harshest critics at times. I'm glad you are turning it around. I needed to read this today.

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HDHAWK 7/12/2011 10:43AM

    Guilty as charged of judging myself. Just one more thing to work on!

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GEEMAWEST 7/12/2011 10:32AM

    Now that's more like it, John!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/12/2011 9:58AM

    very good blog and I really needed that this morning

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BLACKROSE_222 7/12/2011 9:54AM

    Very interesting thought - turn that pointing finger right around, hey? I like this blog. Thanks for sharing.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/12/2011 9:26AM

    Interesting blog, John. What came to my mind as I read about this man is that he simply decided this wasn't going to happen for him this time, and he decided not to stress himself over trying to catch up. For me the lesson is that there ARE times when one should step back, catch one's breath, and come back stronger later on without beating one's self up. Perhaps that's the conclusion you reached, but it's not clear to me.

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Learning To Forgive

Monday, July 11, 2011

I usually do my Sparking early in the morning. I have the house to myself, itís quiet and Iím in no big hurry. Yesterday morning as I huddled with one of my teams I noticed a blog title over to the left side of the page. It was titled ďLouise Hay: Forgive But Not Condone; Can It Work?Ē I read it. It was good. I was not convinced and as I told myself at the time, it gave me a lot to think about and really, seriously, do you think I wanted a lot to think about at 6 AM on a Sunday morning? I donít think so!

It hit a tender spot, a spot I didnít want to deal with. Iíve been very angry with the Catholic Church for a long, long time. I cannot in any way, shape or form condone the actions of an organization that lies and protects people who use their authority to molest children. Not only is it wrong, itís criminal. Six months ago a young man in our parish committed suicide in front of the church because he had been abused by two priest most of his life. Neither priest was at our parish. The hierarchy promised an investigation into the matter. That was in February. To date there is no news. Joan and I decided that we would continue to attend church weekly but would not contribute to the Church. We just increased our contributions to other charities. I enjoy going to church. It gives me an oasis of peace. I can sit, pray and sing and lose myself. What I didnít need to read was a blog on forgiveness, twenty minutes before I went to church!!!

Iíve come to realize that health, real health, is so much more than what goes into your mouth, or how quickly you can sprint or cycle. Real health is a balance, it is the fine art of learning to let go, to find reasons TO forgive and not hate. It hates the sin, not the sinner. It knows deep down inside of you that if John wants to GET healthy and STAY healthy, well John needs to deal with his issues. Iíve been really angry for a long time. That anger has slowly eaten away at my soul.

I got to Mass five minutes before it started. I slid into the back pew. Next to me was a young lady with a toddler. The little girl came over to me and smiled and waved and did what little kids do in church. Her mom looked wore out. She also looked like she was in need. Her clothes were worn and ripped in a few places and so were her daughters. If you have ever seen a look of despair on a personís face, well this young lady had it on hers. When it came time to take up the collection I did what I always do, I stare straight ahead. I wonít lie. The blog Iíd read sort of tugged at my heart and mind. If I really believed in the Gospel message, the message of love and forgiveness, then wasnít I simply exercising some self-satisfying form of control by not contributing? I didnít want to think about this.

The usher handed the basket to the young lady and at the same time her daughter ran to where I was sitting. As I looked up I saw her mom digging in her purse. She pulled out a dollar bill and about five coins. She put them in the basket and handed it to me. I just stared. As I handed the basket to the usher I started to shake a bit and then I covered my face so no one would see me cry. At that moment I saw all the things I was holding on to, the entire place in my heart and soul that was filled with unhealthy hatred, anger and judgment and not one of those things was doing anything to make me a better John. You see, I have all that anger because I know the things I direct it at I canít control and rather than concentrating on the things I can control, well, Iíd rather focus on the negative. Jesus told the story of the widow who gave her last dime to her church and he said this woman had so much more faith than someone who gave for what they had left over. She gave from her necessity. When that young woman dug into her purse and pulled out the dollar or so, I saw no hesitation, no doubt, just a tremendous amount of faith. She could have justified giving nothing, like me, but her actions spoke the knowledge that she would be taken care of and provided for. I spent the rest of Mass looking at the areas of my life I attempted to engineer and manipulate. I saw all the things I wasted energy on and where I needed to let go. Letting go of the things I cling to so tightly isnít easy. Between me, you and the rest of the universe, it scared me half to death.

Itís really not negotiable, at least not for me. If I want to live a balanced life then I have to clean out my closets and fill them with positive things. Iíll never condone what has happened in the church but I can forgive and when I do, Iím making ah healthy statement about my life. No revelations today, no really happy endings, just the knowledge I have a lot of work to do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/13/2011 3:38PM

    God does work in mysterious ways...first Louise Hay's words and then sitting next to the woman and child. Synchronicity in action.

I'm grateful I do not have to pick just one sparkfriend's blog to read, but if I did it would be yours.

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GIRANIMAL 7/12/2011 10:51PM

    Wow. Powerful stuff. Forgiving without condoning is quite a difficult spiritual lesson indeed. As always, I am proud of and inspired by you, your honesty and your unwavering strength and need to build a better John.

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SPARKLISE 7/12/2011 9:49AM

    I have been a catholic most of my life,but 5 years ago we started going to a pentacostal church. Best decision of my life. If you want to get closer to God,maybe catholic is not the best option. Just saying!
God bless you. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 7/11/2011 11:43PM

    WooHoo...go John....
that is awesome....God is so good...and he will only show us things when He knows we are in a place to deal with them....
You are so right with your....love the sinner Hate the sin...thats a philosophy my Hubby and I live by/.....

The start of a whole new journey.....

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BECKY3774 7/11/2011 7:28PM

    Thank you, John, for once again saying what needs to be said. I personally hold on to things that need to be let go, but I have such a hard time with it. I'm struggling daily to improve that while improving my body, so hopefully one day, I can be the me that I deserve to be. emoticon emoticon

and I totally believe the previous statement from a spark member about God having a sense of humor....I see little things like that all the time that make me stop and think...amazing, isn't it?

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SHERRYJVP 7/11/2011 5:43PM

    Our sermon Sunday was on the widow's mite. Very itneresting. It is such a shame that a few bad people bring a reputation on an entire denomination. I am not Catholic, but I know that we worship the same God and that no human is perfect. I also believe that the devil causes this kind of grief in church in order to weaken and tear them apart.

God Bless you as you deal with this conflict.

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MIZZSB 7/11/2011 2:48PM

    very touching blog John!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/11/2011 1:37PM

    I have struggled with the whole priest thing and have been angry too. How could the "face" of the church be worth saving more so than our children? I too have some work to do on this topic.

I love God's sense of humor. I love how he worked it out so you sat by that particular lady and her little girl. He can always teach us lessons, even when we're (meaning me) pretty hard headed students.

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SUSANSERENE 7/11/2011 10:29AM

    Definitely an "ah-ha" moment for you, John, but congratulations for opening your eyes and your heart to see what you may have been meant to see...a divine message, perhaps? :)

You're so right about health being emotional and spiritual as well as physical. I love the way you put that and it's certainly food for thought for me, as well.

God bless you for sharing. emoticon

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AKATUJE 7/11/2011 8:57AM

    Food for thought.... I know i also got alot of work to do...

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BLACKROSE_222 7/11/2011 8:47AM

    Wow... what a story. Thanks for sharing.

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KATHRYN1955 7/11/2011 8:39AM

    It would be easier just to read this and skip along to getting the rest of my points for the day. I am not Catholic, but the way they protect their own has been a sore point for me for a long time. It also spreads to other denominations and religions as well. There are 2 levels of forgiveness here, one for the actual perpetrators and one for those who cover up for them. I'm not sure which one is harder to forgive. One needs to separate out spiritual faith and the faith in the organization itself.
Personally, I could not hold both (Anglican) at the same time and I have turned to a more holistic, universal faith in God.
Good luck in your journey, it is a tough one to reconcile.
Kathy



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TERRIPAL1 7/11/2011 8:32AM

    Amazing isn't it John how you can always learn something!!

Thanks for the blog,what you wrote is so true,and difficult to do!! emoticon

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CIVIAV 7/11/2011 8:29AM

    Sounds like going to church did what it is supposed to do...at least how I see it...
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Thanks for sharing this John!
Love you!

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SHAKENMA 7/11/2011 8:25AM

    Thought provoking...........

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Using My Talent's

Sunday, July 10, 2011


How much time do I spend focusing on using my talent to make this a better place to live?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/17/2011 1:29PM

    Oh my...alright, I'll dig up my talents.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/10/2011 7:40PM

    Absolutely brilliant as always....
Love the way you looked at that parable and loved the challenge even more....

Thankyou so much....you have so much wisdom.....

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NAMAARI 7/10/2011 7:28PM

    Your last comments reminds me of this passage...

Matthew 6

25 ďTherefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ĎWhat shall we eat?í or ĎWhat shall we drink?í or ĎWhat shall we wear?í
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

God wants our focus to be Him, to be living a life full of love and truth, and that would include caring for our bodies, our life, which is a gift, but also investing in others, helping, loving, giving, doing whatever we can to shine love. Thanks for such a good reminder to spend our lives on the things that matter and watch our investment of our talents, our love, grow. Blessings, friend.

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MIZZSB 7/10/2011 4:50PM

    WOW this is heavy John.. thanks for sharing...
And my treasure is my health, and for today i have to say NO...
but tomorrow is another day...

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CMA444 7/10/2011 10:20AM

    Awesome! That is one of my favorite parables! Thank you for putting it into a new light!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/10/2011 10:19AM

    John, another excellent blog! You also gave me something to think about and work on each day. It is true that we will find balance in our lives when we concentrate outwardly on others and how WE can make a difference in the little world around us, rather than on ourselves. But it is true that we need to be able to care for ourselves in order to accomplish that. Our bodies are Temples and we need to treat it with reverence. It houses our SPIRIT, which is what makes each of us unique, and able to carry out God's plan for us here on earth. Thank you for starting my Sunday morning on a high note.

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SPARKENISTA 7/10/2011 10:12AM

    John--

This is a universal tale and, as usual, very inspirational. There is a lot to think about here.

Best,

Merry/Spa
rkenista

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HDHAWK 7/10/2011 9:29AM

    You give of yourself regularly here on Spark. Your talent to put into words what many of us are thinking helps me immensely. I hope you realize that!

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TERRIPAL1 7/10/2011 9:12AM

    Well done John!! You gave me something to think about again!! emoticon

Thanks!!

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_AIYANNA_ 7/10/2011 9:10AM

    I couldn't agree with you more, John. We often complain about how we live in a selfish world and there's no community spirit left any more. Still, very seldom do we stand back and consider what WE have done or offered to make this world a better place.

Thank you for giving me something to work on :)

Take care,
Elen xxx

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The Philosophy of My Flower Bed

Friday, July 08, 2011

We have a long narrow flower bed that wraps around one corner of our privacy fence. For whatever reason, every weed known to man has decided to root in it. Yesterday morning I decided it was time to clear the bed out, once and for all.

I pulled the old flowers out; a quick tug at their base neatly removed them. Then came the weeds. I have a lot of strength in my arms but after five minutes of tugging and almost falling face first into the dirt I went to the garage looking for some garden tools. They worked on about eighty percent of the weeds. There were still these long tendrils of grass snaking past the border stones and I swear were actively resisting me as I pulled, dug and mildly cursed them. This meant war.

I removed all the border stones and stacked them in a wheel barrow. I went in the house and put on my work boots, the ones with the steel toes. Itís eighty degrees outside, Iím sweating my face, arms and legs are streaked with dirt and Joan is giving me one of those ďOh Lord, what are you doing nowĒ looks. I grabbed a spade from the garage and dug down deep in the flower bed. I suspect I had somewhat of a maniacal grin on my face believing I had out witted those snickering weeds once and for all. I chopped the dirt up and sifted through it yanking out the remaining weeds. I found the rake and smoothed the soil. Everything was neat and symmetrical. I was as proud as proud could be. I asked Joan to come see. She stood there for a minute or so and said ďOkay, what are you planning on putting in there?Ē

ďWell thatís not the point. All the weeds are gone.Ē

ďI know John but so is everything else. What are we going to put in there?Ē

Okay so maybe she was right. But, as I told her much later in the day, I had time to reflect on how my life is like that flower bed. So very often I let those marvelous flowers that are my talents and treasures become over run and crowded out by my own fears and doubts about my abilities. After a while all I see are the weeds and slowly my talents, the REAL John, get starved out. My doubts rob all the oxygen and sunlight and I lose sight of my goals!!! In other words Iím a mess.

Spark people and you my dear wonderful friends are those garden tools that ferret out the weeds and provide me the fertile soil to grow and make the life style changes that are necessary for the real John to flourish and reach his goals and dreams. Once cleared away, all those bad habits allow the sunlight of success to shine on my life.
Down deep are the things Iíd never seen, noticed or believed before. They were hidden by everything else. Those weeds, those tough tendrils of grass, hang on tight and fight my forward progress. They require a lot of perseverance and stamina and I have to dig deep. Itís often painful when you realize you are the real root of all your issues. When all is said and done there is new fertile soil for John to grow Itís mucho hard work!!!

I grinned proudly!

ďThatís nice John, but you still havenít told me what we are planting.Ē

And so goís the philosophy of my flower bed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 7/10/2011 8:51PM

    It takes you to see yourself in a garden! emoticon emoticon

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/10/2011 10:23AM

    Another excellent blog, John! You certainly are a wonderful garden tool for me! You help me to focus and grow, looking at all of life from a beautiful perspective. So glad you are my friend and mentor!

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COUCHDIVA333 7/9/2011 10:43PM

    emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/9/2011 2:49PM

    so?what are you planting? flowers or vegetables? emoticon
emoticon emoticon kori

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GRAMLORI 7/9/2011 10:09AM

    "Everything was neat and symmetrical."

Do I detect a somewhat anal personality there? lol That's ok, so am I! If I'm a garden tool, then I must be the shovel....I have someone stepping on me and shoving me into the dirt, but I hit rock everytime!! Getting it from both sides!! lol

Enjoy your season of planting!!

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GEEMAWEST 7/8/2011 10:49PM

    I have given my DH that ďOh Lord, what are you doing nowĒ look many times.

When you think about pulling up all your "weeds" just remember that weeds to one person are flowers to another. It's all in how you look at them.

Hugs, G-Ma

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HDHAWK 7/8/2011 10:17PM

    Cool John! You never cease to amaze me!

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SANDYJAS 7/8/2011 9:54PM

    Beautiful thought

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CARTOONB 7/8/2011 8:56PM

    LOL! I like Joan!

BTW...if we're your garden tools, can I be the hoe? emoticon

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SRHALLIN 7/8/2011 8:35PM

    Such an excellent story! And so applicable to the lives of others as well. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

And, congratulations on clearing out your flower bed. :)

Best wishes to you on your journey!

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LYNMEINDERS 7/8/2011 8:00PM

    Again a fabulous thought provoking blog.....
So true that we forget about the flowers/talents we have and focus too much on the "weeds" in our lives....
Thankyou for the thought provoking...
Much appreciated

Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 8:00:35 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/8/2011 3:53PM

    You have me feeling like I need to get outside and get busy. LOL. Some of those tap roots are as tall as me. LOL.

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WALKAWAY 7/8/2011 2:24PM

    Love this blog. Reminds me that I just have to dig deep and get all the "trash" out of the way to see who I am, what I can become.

Just remember to stop, smell the flowers and LOL occasionally hack the heck out of the pesky weeds.



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RONDAJONES 7/8/2011 2:08PM

    I just LOVE how you have this supernatural talent to show me gently how our lives are somewhat parallel. Keep writing...because I keep reading!! Oh, and thank you! I sooooo need to work on my weeds!

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SILLYHP1953 7/8/2011 1:22PM

    This must be why I almost enjoy weeding. I enjoy planting and tending better, but I do enjoy weeding. I enjoy the transformation, the accomplishment. Crabgrass is my nemesis, it's probably the same one you were talking about with those running roots. It sounds like you got quite a workout, too. So...what are you planting?
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GETFIT2LIVE 7/8/2011 1:00PM

    What a coincidence! I was doing weeding in my flower beds on the 4th and had similar reflections on my own life while I was sweating my way through them. We have to dig deep to pull out the toughest weeds (both literally and in our lives) to make room for new things as well as give the existing beauty room to grow. Let the weeds go too long and everything good is crowded out by them--and it becomes much harder to pull them up because they are rooted so firmly. Have a good weekend, and go plant something beautiful!

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RACINGSLUG 7/8/2011 12:42PM

    Your flower bed is very wise, indeed. ;) I'm so glad we are here helping each other pull out those weeds. emoticon

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JANC7223 7/8/2011 12:08PM

    What a great analogy.

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MARTELLA3 7/8/2011 11:15AM

    I am so glad that you referred to the "real John" as the one who has all the talents and treasures. That other John that fears and doubts, even though in the past he has served a purpose, you do not need anymore.

Grow on! emoticon

Marty

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GIRANIMAL 7/8/2011 10:44AM

    I love Joan! emoticon

Why, oh why, is it so much easier to focus on the "dark side" -- the fears and our so-called negative traits -- than it is to see our "good sides"?

Great analogy, John! I love your ability to extrapolate your everyday activities into representations of your personality and tendencies. I hope you clearly see the growing, flourishing, beautiful you in those new flowers you're going to plant for Joan. emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/8/2011 10:41AM

    LOL I just love Joan.

I too have lots of grass in the flower bed of my life. Habits that I'm struggling to rip out but have not quite accomplished it yet. I haven't given up.

I love you blogs! Have a great weekend!

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Finding The Promised Land

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt on a forty year journey to the Promised Land. I found out recently that entire journey, the one that took over forty years to complete should have only taken three month by foot. Instead, Moses, the rock star of the Old Testament led a group of people around in circles for over forty years. They were lost. You have no idea how relieved I felt inside when I read that article. A month from today, Iíll have been wondering around looking for my own Promised Land for fifty eight years.

Where is your Promised Land and who lives there? When Moses left Egypt it was to escape tyranny and oppression. All that quickly changed when there was no food and water. People grumbled and complained and on more than one occasion Moses role as leader of this motley crew were in jeopardy. All of a sudden those mean old Egyptians werenít so bad. At least they had a full belly three times a day. So Moses had to detour and find food and water. Moses persevered and I think his faith, that eventually heíd complete his mission had solely to do with trust.

God picked Moses to lead this mission. He told him he was capable and competent. Moses trusted what he saw and felt. If you read the book of Exodus youíll see he made more than one mistake and had more than one false start along the way. He was applauded and reviled sometimes all on the same day. He kept moving forward. Sometimes moving forward meant looking over a hill or around a blind corner and Moses simply had to trust his feelings, his gut and his instincts. He believed he was doing the right thing.

How many times do we find ourselves searching for that Promised Land of health only to have the people around us second guess, ridicule or even make jokes about us? I have struggled the last few months. I have gained about fifteen pounds. Thatís all on me, no excuses. What startled me were the people who wisely nodded their heads and told me they knew I could never keep the weight off. (You think they would have had the courtesy to talk behind my back!!!) Joan told me to focus on what Iíd done, get back on track and not to worry. I did and do, LOL.

I think of Moses often. I think of him wandering through the hot desert and hearing all the criticism drift up towards him as he tried to figure a way home for his people. He got side tracked, he got lost, but he never gave up. I wonít either. It took forty years for him to get there and during that time I am sure he learned a lot about life and himself.

No matter who questions your motivation your abilities or your worth and desire, firmly put your hand on your own staff of life, trust your instincts and one day, maybe today, just over the next small rise is your Promised Land.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORSI2000 7/9/2011 1:50PM

    Joan is a hoot! Why don't you keep her after all! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 7/7/2011 11:07PM

    I've said it before -- it's not a race! And it's really not even about the goal, but the journey. (Awesome - that was like 3 cliches in one! LOL)

But, as I recently heard Wayne Dyer say, we cling to those cliches because there is such resonant truth in them. 40 years or 40 minutes -- does it really matter in the end?

You've lost way more than 15 pounds and can lick it again - and then some. As for the people I-told-you-soing, someone I respect recently pointed out to me that our success makes other people have to look hard at themselves, and they get nasty when they feel threatened. Jealous, in a sense. So listen to that brilliant, beautiful wife of yours!

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TERRIPAL1 7/7/2011 12:24PM

    Well said !! Hope we all find it together emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 7/7/2011 10:11AM

    Today is my one year spark anniversary and I've wandered around a lot during this past year. Not exactly lost, cause I knew the right way, I just wasn't going in that direction. I have managed to keep 10 pounds off, and they will stay off, but I had lost more than 10 this year. Thanks for this blog and your interpretation of Moses' journey...it helped.
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LYNMEINDERS 7/6/2011 7:37PM

    This story is an awesome depiction of our journey with weight loss....
I ran a program for 7 years....(thats before I forgot the principles and put my weight back on) it was something i got out of America called the Weighdown Workshop.....Exodus out of Egypy....
It's really amazing what Scripture says about food and eating....
Love this story.. so relevant to our journey

Comment edited on: 7/6/2011 7:37:55 PM

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MIZZSB 7/6/2011 2:39PM

    John great to read you are getting (slowly) back on track.. you can do this.
And Joan is a awesome lady!!!

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MARCYNA 7/6/2011 1:21PM

    Great parallel, thanks for sharing!!!
In the end they made it, whatever the lenght of the effort and I think in the same way we are to lead our people -sparkers, friends, family- to their own Holy Land emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/6/2011 11:39AM

    Great comparison.

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GRAMLORI 7/6/2011 11:06AM

    Kinda reminds me of the little kitten picture that seems to be smiling with its little eyes closed as the caption reads:

"Lord, if you can't make me thin, at least make my friends fat!"



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PGNBRI 7/6/2011 10:44AM

    emoticon

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SPARKLISE 7/6/2011 10:41AM

    Another great blog. Gotta tell ya,i feel like i'm in a desert right now and i can't see the end. emoticon
But, if it took Moses 40 years,maybe i can be patient a little longer. emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/6/2011 10:34AM

    I think our friends are relieved when we gain the weight back. It makes them feel better. I'm on track to lose the weight again. I can't count how many of my friends told me I'd gotten too thin when I lost the weight the first time. Jealousy? Hey, they can put in the work it takes and do it too. Keep on keeping on John!

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RUN4FOOD 7/6/2011 10:30AM

    Thanks for sharing this story and building it around the life of Moses and God's people. We all need God's guidance. Sometimes people can be a real pain. Most people can and will be very helpful if you ask. Just like you put your thoughts into this blog and all of these people responded with their love. I've learned to look to God for support first and then to others who love me, often in spite of myself and often when I don't feel I deserve any love. God and God through others can lead the way for us.
Great blog.
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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/6/2011 10:10AM

    Most successful dieters do have a blip on their screen from time to time or, to put it your way, they get lost in the desert. But they do find their way back out and you will as well. You can't always be perfect. There is no perfect. You will fail sometimes and what will make you successful is not allowing failure to become an ingrained habit. It's a lifelong journey and even when you think you have arrived you have to work to stay out of the desert.

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C55R55 7/6/2011 10:04AM

  Interestingly enough, despite the uncertainties or possibilities, or what seems an impossibility, Moses maintained his close relationship with God. In our stillness, meditation or prayer, etc., we can connect in the same way and the voice guides our path, which is at the center of our core. We too are directed as Moses was by that voice. This story is a great reminder to listen, be assured and courageous on the journey to the promised land. Great inspirational Bible story!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/6/2011 9:56AM

    I love Moses's story. Always have. I loved that even though he didn't believe in himself, God did and that was enough to make Moses at least attempt the goal.

People shock and amaze me nearly every day. I cannot imagine how you handled someone saying that to you. The funny thing is, that healthy, so called normal people gain and lose weight all the time. My problem was that I kept gaining and gaining and didn't attempt to lose any of it to balance out my life. You will do fine. God (and I) believe in you. You know what to do and you know when and how to do it. Enjoy the journey John, it's our best part.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/6/2011 9:49AM

    The thing is, Moses led them to the promised land, but never entered himself. Oops, just read that WORKINGSTIFF wrote the same thing.
If his goal was to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land, he was a success, whether he actually made it himself or not. I guess this is another case of it being about the journey.



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KATHRYN1955 7/6/2011 9:42AM

    I think that "Promised Land" has always been deep inside of us, we just have to peel away the layers (emotionally and physically, and in that order). Any so-called setbacks are actually life lessons that we are meant to learn. And they will keep appearing in various forms until we finally "get it."
Take care,
Kathy
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CMA444 7/6/2011 9:34AM

    I can so relate to this! How awesome you put it out for everyone to read! Don't listen to those who don't have faith in you. Especially yourself. When you tell yourself you can't do it, believe that you can. Know you can. Pray to God for his guidance and he will give it to you.

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NASFKAB 7/6/2011 9:23AM

  Thanks

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WORKINGSTIFF 7/6/2011 9:20AM

    The thing about Moses was that he never really entered "the promised land." He got so far, but never actually crossed the river into the land promised to his people. Ironic.

But that is the thing about our journey. We look for "the promised land" that everyone seeks, but in actuality, like Moses, we can get there anyway.

I believe Moses went to heaven after he died, which is the ultimate promised land. We can also achieve that which we as individuals seek...it may not be the same as the guy next to us, but we can find it.

It's in the mind of the individual to find the goal. Our OWN goal-not someone else's.

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