Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. It's an empowering phrase for children standing up to teasing and bullying. However, words can and do hurt. Said enough times, one can believe anything as truth. What words are you allowing to be spoken into you on a daily basis?
Did you know you can find clarity from swamps? I shared recently with a friend who is processing a difficult situation that he and I were in our own "swamps." It's difficult, frustrating, confusing, easy to get bogged down, scary, and has lots challenges. But if we weren't there, we would never learn what the Lord is trying to teach us. My layoff is like a swamp.
One week ago today, I was laid off. It's still rather surreal. But I believe even in a layoff, one can be intentional. Today, working for a company more than a few years is rare. There was a time when being an employee for one, two, or even three decades was admired and rewarded. In the tech industry, three years seems the average. After three years, a worker can become an oddity. With nine years at AOL, I must've been a fossil. I wondered sometimes if people thought I had no ambition to "climb the corporate ladder." Or if I was one-dimensional and didn't wish to better myself. Else, why would one stay at the same job for nine years?
This weekend, a 6-year-old boy would have been a Kindergarten graduate and three teenage men would not be charged with capitol murder. My Facebook timeline was filled last week with conversations about this tragedy. Everyone was trying to process this event. Trying to understand it. Thinking about their own children. I cannot fathom the pain of Kingston Frazier's parents. I cannot imagine the doubt and guilt that may consume his mother. I cannot relate to the sadness Kingston's family, friends, teachers...anyone that knew him...are facing today. I also cannot grasp what leads anyone to needlessly take another life. This wasn't self-defense or some struggle for life. This was a child murdered.
Whether you're a Christ-follower or simply believe in the power of prayer, you have an obligation this week. With this Presidential Inauguration, the first 100 days, and beyond...it's imperative the focus is upon prayer.
The death of someone special or close is tough, but it seems even more so when that death is around Christmas. Of all the holidays, losing someone at this time is hardest. On Christmas Eve morn 2016, my family said goodbye to Bones the cat.