expectant

night to fall, dawn to break,

winds to blow, rain to come,

clouds to scoot across the sky,

birds to take flight,

stillness falls:

surface to ripple from beneath –

eye to see, ear to hear,

first breath, last sigh,

path to open, door to close,

mind to open, heart to break:

stone to roll, clouds to part,

fear to flee, love to stay.

 

 

acting my age

Last weekend I met with a group of childhood friends to plan a reunion of the youth group – the kids I grew up with – at my church. We are all around age 60 now, which is incredibly hard for me to believe. Especially when I consider the people I haven’t kept up with, who are still teenagers in my mind. In reality they are adults heading out of “middle age,” and they have children and grandchildren- just like me. The saddest realization is that several have died – many without my knowledge of their passing.

So I have been reminded that I am old. Hmmm….

I participate in a Bible study at my church. The members are so wise, and so welcoming! Being a part of this group is such a blessing. The group has met for 15-20 years, but I was just able to join after I retired two years ago. Many of the ladies are older than I am, and almost all of them have been coming longer than I have. So in their eyes, (or maybe just in my thinking), I seem younger, less experienced, with much more to learn about relationships and about life.

So I have been reminded that I am young.  Hmmm….

I guess I am at that part of my life where I am straddling that divide between old and young. Sometimes it is hard to know exactly the best way to “act my age.” But I’ll keep trying the best I can.

reflection

Last November I started to write thirty days of thankfulness. True to form (for me) I got sidetracked and ended up competing that journey just yesterday as part of the 2016 Slice of Life Story Challenge. Yesterday was “giving thanks #30,” and although I could probably go on forever with things to be thankful for, I decided to follow my original plan for thirty (albeit nonconsecutive) days.

Writing in March has been an important part of my life for the last five years, and this year is no exception. It has been a change this year (so far) not to have to scratch my head each day to know what to write. (Yes, I had already made a list of thirty things after the first five or six that I started with.) But even though I knew my topic each day, I still had to labor over the right words. And the hardest one to write was the post I did yesterday, knowing it was the end. Not the end of being grateful, of course, but still, it was hard to choose the last thing of which I would write about being appreciative.

My choices included things great and small, but more importantly, the writing ingrained in me a spirit of thankfulness. Already today I have thanked God for many of His blessings He has chosen to send my way. Living life with a focus on what to be thankful for, rather than what to wish for, is making a positive difference in my outlook.

I am so thankful for those days – and likewise for thankful days to come.

giving thanks #30

Daily thankfulness is good for the soul.

Color enchants me, and boosts my spirits. Certain colors evoke definite feelings in me, and I smile to see happy colors singing aloud together, or subdued colors making a quiet statement. The colors of nature resonate deep within me, and my favorite hues are (and always have been) blue, green, and yellow.  But I am not gifted in choosing color. I just know what is right and true when I see it.

Music lifts my moods, or makes me smile, or adds depth to my serious thoughts. A beautiful voice is like a beacon to me, and the melody and harmony of tunes stir my soul. Yet I am not a singer (oh no, not at all) nor do I play any instruments. I just love the language that music sends forth into my world.

My allergic nose misses out on enjoying many vibrant smells in this world, even the fragrant ones, because of its sensitivity. But I do love to breathe deeply of freshly baked bread, or holiday cinnamon, or tuberoses, or a clean soft scent. I just feel the comfort in things that smell wholesome and good.

The world has so many gifts to offer us daily – and even though I can’t create or manage these gifts the way I might like, I can enjoy them to the fullest and allow them to fill my life with honorable, beautiful, and higher things.

I am so thankful.

on this day

Every year on this day I write about my mother because it would be her birthday. (This year she would have been 95.) My mother was and is so many things to me that I have only scratched the surface with my writings about her. But today I was reminded that others loved her too.

I have been meeting with some friends to plan a reunion of our youth group at church from the days long ago when we were young. When we met today I was reminded how much Mama meant to so many – one friend rented her wedding dress from her (as many others did), another told about my dad flying a plane over Mama’s house when they were “courting” and calling out her name. Others talked about how quiet my dad always was – because my mother talked so much he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. All so true. My mother loved the people she came across in her life’s journey, and everything else about this life she lived.

Another story told today was about a friend losing her first born son in an accident when he was eighteen. My mother was at this friend’s mother’s house in the time before the services. It was there my friend showed my mother her son’s picture, wishing so deeply that he were still here. My mother said, “He is in such a beautiful place now, even if he had a choice, he wouldn’t choose to come back here.” My friend said that was such a comfort to her then, and also many times as the years have gone by.

That sentiment has comforted me as well. My mother is having the best time in heaven, I am so very sure. She died in the week before Easter thirteen years ago, and we were sure that when she was in heaven for her first Easter, she was making sure that everyone had their Easter bonnet and finery arranged just so – just as she did each year here on earth. She never knew the spouses of our children or our precious granddaughter. But I know she would never choose to come back here because she is in such a beautiful place. Knowing I will see her again one day makes my heart smile.

 

giving thanks #29

Daily thankfulness is good for the soul.

As I was growing up I was surrounded by coffee drinkers in my family. And I married a man who drinks far too much of it.  I always thought coffee smelled so delicious, but when I tried drinking it, the taste wasn’t a match to the aroma, and the aftertaste it left in my mouth made me wonder what people really saw in drinking coffee.  Then about ten years ago I was introduced to those vanilla lattes and caramel macchiatos, and I gradually became another of the many coffee drinkers in this world.  I don’t always order specialty drinks anymore, but I don’t think I will ever be able to drink it black. Vanilla flavored creamer is a wonderful thing.

So I am thankful for coffee, but even more so for my daily activities that coffee drinking has become a part of.  Often I read the newspaper or my devotional when I drink coffee in the mornings at home. And many times I meet a friend for “coffee,” but it is really the visit and conversation that energizes my spirit.  Sometimes a cup of coffee provides the time needed to slow down and think through things before charging forward.  And a cup to travel with as we leave on a trip makes the anticipation of the journey even more satisfying.

Coffee often has a way of bringing people together, and drawing out the dreams, plans, and friendships in us.

I am so thankful.

giving thanks #28

Daily thankfulness is good for the soul.

Chocolate is…  just.   so.   good.   It tastes yummy in cakes and pies and cookies.  It is good to drink whether it is hot or cold.  It has delicious partner flavors  that go well together with it – peanut butter, vanilla crème, cherry or raspberry, and mint. It add flavor and deliciousness to all kinds of snacks: marshmallows, rice krispies, peanuts, raisins, pretzels, and yes, even bacon.

If I had to pick one food that is my very favorite, that I couldn’t imagine never tasting again, one that makes me feel good every time I eat it, this food would be chocolate chip cookies. Preferably warm and soft, just from the oven, with melty chocolate chips. But I also like them just a bit crunchy and crumbly, too. I am really not too picky, as long as the chocolate itself is tasty. The main trouble I have with them is I just can’t stop eating them.  Oh, so good!

Chocolate chip cookies can add a bit of nurturing and love to any meal – and a smile to any day.

I am so thankful.