Breaking the Silence …


“I read her eyes like
paragraphs and her tears
like chapters
for she didn’t have much
to say with words, but rather,
silence.

And never let them tell you
that silence, isn’t beautiful.
For silence is what happens
when words fall asleep
and you must carry the belief
that one day they will
wake up inside of you.”
Testy McTesterson

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“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
Ansel Adams

Two Weeks in VI !!


One day, as we were walking around, my husband told me that he really likes the Island landscape. He sees it as a perfect mixture between African landscape and Europe one. That was a sweet melody to my ears. I still like our adventure life, but I will love to stay and enjoy Vancouver Island for more than one or two years. My husband favorite place to be is West Africa. So, if he sees a bit of that part of the world here, Alleluia!!

Since we got here, it’s very sunny, dry and warm. The average temperatures, if I’m not wrong, is between 26 and 33 degrees. The past five days, we felt like being back in Burkina Faso, in May-June,  even if we don’t reach 45-50°C  and that we have continuous power and a lake “next door” to dive in to cool down!

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And today, the cool, wet and nice sound shows up: THE RAIN!!!   After days without rain, I hope someone agreed with me that it was about time for some green yards,

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a cool weather and a clean car lol!

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Anyways, I love the rain. When I heard it sound this morning around 7 am, I opened our garage door, took my quiet time books, to enjoy this delicious touch from God! The result: this “rain” inspired share !!

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Inside-Out


Have you ever heard about this book: “The 7 habits of Highly Effective People”? It’s a book written by STEPHEN R. COVEY.

To summarize: “Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity, principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”

I would like to share some of his interesting thoughts that, I hope, will speak to you too!

“Each of us has many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.” (Page 24)

“I remember a mini paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly, some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene.

 Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. (….) It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated too. (…) I turned to him and said, Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly: Oh you’re right. (…) we just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know what to handle it either.

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly, I saw things differently, and because I saw things differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely.  (…) Everything changed in an instant!

(…) We could spend weeks, months, even years laboring with the Personality Ethic trying to change our attitudes and behaviors and not even begin to approach the phenomenon of change that occurs spontaneously when we see things differently.”

Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Page 30-31

Reflection


The positive side of being sick (immobilized at home or in a clinic) is that you have time to converse with God, to remember, to think about situations and circumstances of your life. In fact, for me, this was positive because it prevented me from focusing on my “mountain” (disease) laying  in my way.

During these moments of reflection, something  struck me about my heart and desires . John Eldredge describes it well in his book “the treasures of the heart”: “Taking our heart in the journey of life is the most important mission of our existence, but also the most difficult.” It all depends on what we do with our desire. Life offers countless reasons and occasions to give up on one’s desire.

I suddenly realize that this is what happened to me for some times due to unjust, unpleasant, harsh, incomprehensible and illogical situations … Despite all my efforts, I am stuck in negative thoughts that slowly suffocate me  and I even ended up losing my heart, losing sight of my desires, my passion …
So I try to be strong, I continue my life without asking too many questions, but the worst is that now, I want to “keep my heart more than anything …” (Proverbs 4: 23). After taking a few arrows, would I dare to desire? Then, without realizing it, I closed my heart to build relationships, to dare, to dream … because I do not want to open my heart, only to experience more grief .

Finally, to borrow Eldredge words: I decided to put as much distance as possible between me and my desires. It is both a logical and tragic act.  The tragedy is multiplied when the suicide of the soul is committed,  believing that this is precisely what Christianity recommends .

But when God decides to take action, to insist and reverse this terrible wrong way of thinking, your heart is completely exposed and often ugly to look at. You see, friends, God’s purpose for me as his child is to always take care of my character, my heart, to revive my desire and passion for him to look beyond the mountain (hurt , frustration, failure, …) that stands between me and where He wants to lead me. Unlike me, God does not focus on the circumstances of my life (though He is with me all the way), but He uses them to train me for a perfect goal: to provide a better future that will glorify Him and for my own good.

I finally understood that whatever I went through: right or wrong, pleasant or unpleasant, God will always brings out something wonderful, extraordinary so that my heart, my character looks more and more like Christ’. The sad part will be not realizing that and keep on weeping and feeling sorry for myself, all the while seeking the reason for what paralyses me.

I like Job. He wanted to know the reason for all his misfortunes, but instead of giving him answers, God bombarded Job with issues beyond his understanding and finally blessed him beyond his expectations (Job chap. 38 to chap. 41) Result: Job meets and knows God personally. (Job 42)

 My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy.  You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering.  If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.” James 1:2-4 ERV