…………..and so I ride

I ride a motorcycle. My husband rides a motorcycle. I have noticed there is a huge difference in how we approach riding. I cannot speak to the male version of riding for I have never been a man on a bike, but I can speak to my more feminine version of riding a motorcycle.

I ride because:

  • In a world where women are often taken for granted or underestimated, it reminds me I can indeed do whatever I set my mind to.
  • I am more than the sum of my parts, I am beautiful, strong, independent, rebellious, incredibly unique and more than a little adventurous, and I ride a motorcycle.
  • Where society says I can’t, I know I can
  • We all deserve to be given the chance to inspire, to ride is to inspire other women to be the best selves they can be, whatever that may be. It may not involve a motorcycle at all, but riding provides the inspiration to go for more than the ordinary.

As I ride I listen to what is being said, the melody of the motor quiets all that is out of order. To ride is to relax my mind of the stresses that bind and to breathe in the beauty of the connection between the road and the soul.

When I take the time to discover and define what the road and my bike are telling me, I find it is God talking, not nature and not mechanics. He is whispering beauty and truth in every direction. He is wrapping me in the warmth and comfort of a road well-traveled, a road with a destination not found on earth. The only road I need to travel in fact.

It is called meditation on wheels.

It is called finding God in the surroundings He created.

What riding does for me does not end there however. God has allowed me to ride so that I can spread the gospel to those who are the same unique and unconventional individuals that I am. I have the privilege of sharing my hope with those who I probably would not cross paths with in any other way.

It is conventional evangelism in an unconventional way.

For me, riding is more than entertainment, more than stress relief and more than wind in my hair or pure joy and fun. Riding is a way to introduce Christ to those who are hurting and uncomfortable and are hiding from the light because they might not feel worthy. It is sharing Christ with those who might not be comfortable in a traditional church setting but they are comfortable with the freedom and solitude their motorcycle affords them. They are comfortable when they find a kindred spirit.

In the truest sense of the words, riding offers freedom, the kind of freedom that only Jesus can provide.

My ride is defined and exemplified by my desire to go where I am needed, not necessarily where I am comfortable.

I ride for freedom in the truest form of the word.

Dottie

……………………..and so I ride

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Be Still and Know that I am God

Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

My first thought was ok, does that mean that I am to be quiet, calm and hushed no noise, just a quietness that comes from deep inside. Or maybe it means peaceful and untroubled? Or is it talking about being tranquil and not moving?

It could probably mean any of those things. When we are calm, quiet and hushed God’s voice is more likely to be heard plainly and clearly. It might mean that although we may still be walking through rough water, the storm inside us is no longer raging because you know with an absolute certainty who it is you are trusting.

It is hard for God to dwell in a heart that is full of rage, agitation, complaints and is heavy with the burdens that God wants to carry for us.

It helps to remember that where we can’t…………..He can.

We are commanded to “Be still and know that I am God” It could probably be translated, “Chill Out, take it easy, loosen up, relax!” Romans 15:4 tells us that through endurance we find hope. God interceded on our behalf before, He can do it again. We should think of His history and what He did for those of us He loves every time we walk through troubles because that puts our troubles in a totally different perspective.

So be still with a spiritual calm. That stillness won’t come from false confidence inside you or it won’t come because of a silly superman/woman cape you tie on each morning.

That stillness will come because we know exactly who this God is that we trust.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.download

The long goodbye?

Special moments in life are few and far between, so when something special is thrown your way, grab it, hold onto it, breathe it in and wrap yourself around it so when that moment passes you have the memory to sustain you.

Special moments have nothing to do with money and everything to do with love. I was given special moments with my parents and my sister and her family this weekend.

Holidays can be a bittersweet time and filled with sadness for families of a parent with Alzheimer’s. This holiday was starkly different than the home-grown holidays of the past in my family. It is a different time in everyone’s life and though my mom and dad are different now, they are still my parents, they still love me and I still love them.

The  one thing that has not changed is the way they love their children.  I know they love it when I come to visit but I feel like I am the real winner here because the love is unconditional here, the love is not withheld and the love is spoken honestly.

In Ephesians 6:2 it says to “honor you Father and Mother” It doesn’t say honor thy Father and Mother when times are good, when their bodies and minds are not failing them and when it is convenient for you. It says “Honor they Father and Mother”, period.

It is interesting to me that it says honor and not obedience, to honor is  to give them respect and having an attitude of esteem for them. Honor means to revere, prize and value. I give them respect not because I have to but because they are who they are and they love me.

I hear “your Dad just isn’t who he used to be” when I walk into the manor where my parents live. Well, I respectfully disagree with that statement. He is exactly who he used to be. His situation has changed, his health has changed and his temperament has changed because of the disease but he is still the same Dad who I have always loved.

Each time I visit home I find my parents changed. The changes tend to be startling and obvious and it would be easy to think they are not the same parents I once knew so well. However, they are still the same parents, my parents.

If anyone deserves sainthood it is my Mom for what she does for Dad even in the nursing home setting, She never has a moments peace except late at night.

She has found ways to cope with the changes in their lives, she sews. She actually has set herself up a little cottage industry of which I am incredibly proud of her for. She took the situation at hand and found a way to cope with it.

The incredible thing is her physical health is far worse than my Dad’s, yet she fights for her independence and wins!

I cannot think that this is what she dreamed her retirement would be, who would? Hopes and dreams of travel, good health and leisurely retirement are suddenly not what they are living. But what I admire and respect is how she took the situation and made it bearable. There is a lot to learn from this wise woman. If my Dad has a cowboy spirit (and he does) my Mom has a wonderful put one foot in front of the other , fighter spirit that cannot be broken.

She is the little lady in the wheelchair buzzing around the manor spreading joy, a smile and respect  to the other residents here. She doesn’t let them forget they are people worthy of recognition, worthy of a hello and a conversation. That makes me smile and makes me more than a little proud of her.

The other person that deserves much respect is my sister who spends more time caring for our parents than anyone else. She never complains, she always does it with a smile and at this moment she is my hero.

So although I call the holiday bittersweet upon reflection it is a wonderful holiday because I get to celebrate it with people who love me and who I love more than anything in this world.

I thank God that I have this time to spend with my family and I will be here to help them celebrate the holiday’s in a fashion that makes them smile.

They say Alzheimer’s is indeed a long goodbye………………….but isn’t that just life, whether you have a disease or not?

Thank you God for this holiday that I got to spend with my family. I think I shall make sure my Mom and Dad know this time with them is precious to me and for my sister…………………well, I  think we will just go shopping!

 

Dottie