A Photo Walk

The rain of this morning has now turned to snow.

So, I’ve decided to stay inside and go for “a walk” through my photos from this past year.

 

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Seasons That Seem So Long…

The rain splatters against the kitchen window. Rivulets of water course down the pane, like winter tears.

The sky is gray and a sharp wind is blowing. This is a good day to be inside, but I keep getting drawn back to the window, to gaze out at the scene in my own front yard.

Stark, gray trees. No sign of life on them. They bend to the wind that torments their branches. 102_4421

The seasonal lake, across the road, is flat like a mirror, on the brown farm soil.

Most would say that this is a “depressing’ day. Gray, cold, and wet.

And yet, I can’t help but think of how days like this are a lot like life.

Don’t we all have days that make us wonder “the why’s” ? Days that feel cold and barren? Seasons that seem so long…

Times when tears flow like the cold rain on the window…

I continued to stare out the window. Wondering. Thinking. Pondering.

I saw my rosebushes out front. Naked and dead looking, battered by the winter weather.

A reminder, really.

Those rosebushes were beautiful back in the summer. Red, gorgeous red. They made me smile.

And they will be again. Right now they are just waiting. Waiting for the moment to arrive.

To begin again.

To bloom.

We are a lot like those rosebushes. Sometimes the struggle is in the waiting. The sky seems gray and the winds are harsh.

The days of beauty seem so long ago…and the days ahead are unknown.

But, God knows. He already knows my (and your) future.

There is stillness and beauty in the waiting period, even when it seems like it might be better to rush through it.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.  Psalm 27:14 NIV

 

Sunshine

As the morning sun poured through the living room window, I noticed that I need to dust. Again.

English: Rays of Sunshine The Sun rays burstin...

Why is it that it is so much easier to see the dust and dirt of this life?

I make a concerted effort to look past the dust, to enjoy the warm sun pooling on that same table.

The way the light shifts and changes… I feel myself smiling as I gaze around the room.

Another patch of light cascades through the cut glass in the front door, causing a rainbow of color to splash on the entry way wall.

Thankfulness beams its way into the house, this winter morning.

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Today I am thankful for:

* sunshine

* reminders

* another week ahead

* a cozy bed

* an extra few minutes of rest

* things to do

* warm smell of coffee

* fingers that can type without pain

* wet dog noses

* packed school lunches

* a trip to the post office

* listening to the radio

All simple things, really. Most of the time, it is the simple things in life that are the most comforting.

And I am thankful.





This Mom Of Mine

 

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo at Tales from a Gypsy Mama.102_3854

Today’s your turn. What did your mama do that makes her your mama? Let’s unpack those memories today.

Where is your memory buried?

In just five minutes. Tell me all about what your mama did that made her yours…

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Elementary school pictures with crooked bangs, cut by a mother who with “just one more snip” thought she could straighten them out. I look back at my pictures and have to smile. My mom was good at fixing things and making me feel better. ( I was high fashion style before it was even in style:)

My mom, worried that my neck was swollen…taking me to the doctor to find out why. Holding my teenage hand, when I was scared. Telling me that thyroid disease was going to be taken care of with some medicine.

She took care of me during my bout with mono my senior year, helped get me to and from my job at the Dry Cleaners, was a huge help when filling out applications for college, sat through Lyric theater performances, encouraged me in my goal to graduate with a degree in Special Education. She went with me through the winding mountains of east Tennessee to help me move to the little town that held the first school I ever taught at.

Laughter, tears, joy, pain. Uphill battles and marathon races. Arguments and big, fat, honkin’ mistakes. Lots and lots of memories. My mom is strong and brave and smart and I know this about her. She stepped out and changed her life when it wasn’t easy. She figured things out as she went. She taught my younger sister and I that we could do anything. We were smart and strong and beautiful. She endowed me with a healthy self confidence that as I look back over the years– has served me well. She always made me feel special and loved, and is there anything better than that?

There are always times though, no matter how confident, that I need encouragement. My mom has been and still is my biggest encourager. Her cards, letters, and emails always seem to come just when I need them the most. Her words make me feel better.

Encouragement, it is her gift really.

She is a gift.

And I love her, this mom of mine.

 

Children Of God

Today at Faith Barista we are writing about Jesus.

I can’t think of a better subject.

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This world is hard on people.

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Heart Candle (Photo credit: Bob.Fornal)

Oh, none of us like to talk about it, admit it….but, deep down we know it is true.

Life can be harsh and confusing and many times it… well, it can be irritating.

At the very least it wears us down.

I needed a perspective change…

Last night in Bible study, we ladies were discussing the verses about Jesus being The Word, and dwelling among us.

And, once again I was reminded…

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:9-14 NIV

Jesus understood the pain of not being understood. Can we even imagine?  Being accused. Being abused.

These particular verses amaze me…every single time I read them. They are powerful. Jesus, Creator of the world, and yet people didn’t recognize Him. Many did not believe Him….but, to those who did (and do), HE gave the right to become CHILDREN OF GOD.

Stop.

Think about what I just wrote. Read the verses for yourself. Do it.

It is right there in black and white.

We, as believers, are adopted. Signed and sealed, because……..

Jesus chose to love us.

I don’t know about you, but that changes my perspective about today and tomorrow.

How can it not?

I’m carrying this Word in my heart today, with a smile on my face.

This One Life

I’m really still a kid at heart. And I like snow days…nature_3

The phone rang a little before six this morning. School delayed…an hour later, cancelled.

This teacher is happy, and so is this mom. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have plenty to do around here, it just means I can do it at my own pace.

Today that means, slower.

I hear the television playing in the living room, and the washer filling with water in the laundry room. The hum of the refrigerator is quietly playing in the background, of a house filled with daily noise.

I need to do laundry, feed the animals, work on my blog, start my new online class on autism, prepare for Bible study, read…and make some chocolate chip cookies.

But, I stop and take time to look out the window.

The gray-white sky melts into the snow-white ground. Only sharp and boney limbs of barren trees reach into the wind. Some say winter is harsh, and cold and they wish for warmer weather.

I, on the other hand, choose to see the beauty in this season. The other night the snow shown like silver glitter in the moonlight. It was breathtaking, really. The gray clouds are immense as they scud across the sky. The cold wind is harsh, that is true, but it makes my cheeks rosy and alive.

Winter is a time of waiting. Slowing down.

And don’t we all go through winters in our lives?

Without the cold, how can I appreciate the warm? In not too many weeks the snow will be completely gone, and the spring mud will take its place.

Life will be resurrected in the green of new grass, crops planted in straight lines, bulbs bursting forth through wet ground…stretching towards the sun.

And don’t we all need that? To stretch towards The Son?

To enjoy and appreciate this one life we have been given?

He Is The One

The religious leaders of the day were appalled. They were seething with rage against this man that dared to speak such words.  102_3448
Blasphemer! Liar! Stone Him!

Jesus stood before these men and others who had gathered to hear Him speak.

54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.  John 8:54-59 NIV

Jesus, who is God, stood before them, yet they didn’t see Him. Not really.

Jesus was referring to what God had said to Moses. He knew the religious leaders of the day would get that reference.

Jesus was letting them know that He was One with God the Father.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NIV

Eternal.

Alpha and Omega.

Ancient of Days.

The Trinity

I AM

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Today I am thankful for:

* whipping wind

* history, to know where we’ve been

* books that open my eyes

* Bible study that makes me think

* Scripture that comes alive

* awestruck

* highlighted verses in my Bible

* finished chores

* learning to slow down

* for the opportunity to work

* streaming morning sunlight, splashed out on the kitchen floor

* the distant howling of neighbor’s dog caught on the winter wind

* the good morning neighing and clucking and barking and meowing

* warm hoodie

* fresh eggs

* family emails

* good health

* Jesus, who was, and is, and is yet to come…