A Time to Embrace

AZ Cactus w
Arizona Cactus

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


There is nothing quite like the it-has-been-so-long-since-I-have-squeezed-you hug, the I’ve-missed-you hug or the I-don’t-know-when-I-will-see-you-again hug. Those are some serious embraces and there is so much packed into them! Even though they are embraces from different points of view they are embraces that say Now, here we are, together! Hooray!” And that is where we must focus — on today!

If you are anything like me, you might want to know what the future holds, but there really aren’t any guarantees that we will take a breath tomorrow and there are no promises our dearest family and friends will either, so please hug the ones you love while you can. Embrace today.

I don’t believe this means we should live in fear but we should embrace our people and each day as the gifts they are. When our heart and arms are open to God’s gifts they are easier to receive. There are times we are left to wonder “what is God going to do with all of this?” but that is His job and will be revealed in His time.

But what about embracing the really ugly stuff? What about the “cacti” in our lives? Those pokey and uncomfortable and painful situations that have been inserted into our lives by way of our own sin, someone else’s sin or the sin and death that we have in this world. What then? Often we have no choice except to ask God for the grace and mercy to move forward.

His grace is sufficient!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 2:8-10 NIV]

 

No matter the circumstance, God can and will redeem it for His purposes. I am not to the point where I delight in insults and hardships and persecutions and difficulties but I have seen God’s grace time after time in my life and yet I still need reminders! It’s a part of my human condition.

Lord, I don’t know my future but I trust You will provide me for the grace and strength to get through it!

On the way,

Liz

 

What is Remembered?

We spent the day at a Hungarian festival in Phoenix yesterday. There was delicious food, great music, a wonderful family atmosphere, and the carrying on of some fun Hungarian traditions!

Carve2w
Woodcarver from Hungary
Carve1w
The Hungarian Crest

I had the opportunity to meet with several customers face-to-face that I only knew from phone calls and emails and that is always a special time. I have never been to Phoenix before so it was interesting to run into so many people I “knew” or knew about me. Some people knew about the festival and came because I mentioned it in my e-newsletter. The best feedback from a newsletter is some sort of action — and people attending a festival they didn’t know about before they read my newsletter means I am doing my job. I don’t know the names of everyone who receives the Magyar Marketing newsletter so it is always good to see the action of participation.

One particular gentleman came up to our booth and said something like “Are you Elizabeth’s daughter?” Well, I did have to go around and greet him because I love running into people that knew my mom —  they usually have a sweet story to share.

Let me explain first that there have been several times Hungarians have come from Hungary to resettle to the United States. One of those times was in 1956-1957 following the Hungarian Revolution. Another time was in the 1980s and my mom helped resettle refugees during both times.

So, this gentleman came to the United States as a Hungarian refugee in 1982 and started off in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Naturally, he loved my mom! He said, “I looked at the name of the business and I looked at you and I knew you were her daughter!” So we took a few photos, I gave him a quick hug, and he went off to enjoy the festival.

My mom was definitely one-of-a-kind! She was smart, forward-thinking, and loved helping people — not just Hungarian immigrants, although she definitely had a heart for them. Those who remember her remember stories of her service, compassionate and gentle spirit, quiet faith, and love for people.

What will you be remembered for?

Every snapshot of my life isn’t pretty, so I am sure there will be some people who don’t think happy thoughts about me. Of course, we are all works in progress.But my prayer is that I am remembered by most who knew me as showing God’s love and grace, among other things.

On the Road,

Liz

 

Time Zones

zoneswAs we are out and about we are going through different time zones. We left New York on Tuesday and will ultimately end up in Arizona. When I text or call people as I travel,  I really need to think more about what time it is where the person is I am trying to connect with.

I often turn my phone on silent at night so my sleep doesn’t get disturbed but I have run into a lot of people who keep their phone on all the time so they can hear texts and phone calls in case of an emergency. But, if I wake up at 4am and piddle around and then send a text to someone at 6am my time, it might be only 5am their time! I have done it a time or two. For those of you who have been disturbed by this, I am so very sorry! Believe me, I am the last person who wants to disturb anyone’s sleep!

Have you ever thought of an important message you wanted to share with someone else but it wasn’t the right “time” for them to hear it?

There are times we communicate with people who are not quite awake or ready to receive the message. Maybe they are in a different zone or station in life or maybe they don’t see where their path is headed (even though others around them see things seem to be going in a dangerous direction). Our message might be heard too early to be heeded or too late to make a difference.

Prayerfully consider your timing as you contemplate the messages you send. And, above all, pray for God’s discernment on what to say and when. Timing is often important! Just because you are in a good “zone” for conversation does not guarantee the other person is.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

On the Road,

Liz