Challenge #6, The Perfect View

Today’s challenge finds me describing what is outside my kitchen window.

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It is a chilly damp day, here in Ohio. We are currently in that “in between” time. Winter is pretty much over, but Spring has not yet shown up. We are in the gray time of the year. The grass is brown and dull, the sky is the color of slate, with a few breaks, where blue sky and sunshine leaks through. My gravel driveway has multiple mud puddles, that the dogs always seem to find. Across the road, and past my mailbox, I see some of the llamas grazing in the wet field. The trees, still barren and leafless, stretch their limbs into the sky, seemingly to scratch at the gray that surrounds them. They wait impatiently for new life. Beyond the grouping of trees, I see our farmer neighbor’s wetland lake. A low spot in his field has become home to wild ducks, geese, and frogs. I enjoy the orchestrated sounds of nature that I am able to hear each day.

What is outside your kitchen window?

Challenge #5, Before And After…

Yesterday’s challenge was my take on “Before and After”……

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Before I became a follower of Christ, I thought I was “good enough”. After, I understood I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I found love and I found redemption. I realized that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. My life changed…for all eternity.

Before I was married, I thought I understood what it meant to share, to compromise, to trust, to love. After, I knew what it was to create a life together, to put aside my pride and say “I’m sorry”, to show forgiveness, and to remain committed through both good and bad times…..because life has a fair share of both.

Before I was a mom, I thought I knew how to be a good parent. After, I understood love in a way I never understood it before. I laughed, I cried, my heart changed, and I happily gave my time, day in and day out, for this little one. Each year brings surprises, and each stage is a new adventure.

Before I was a teacher, I thought I knew what it was to run a classroom and be an excellent instructor. I would be planning assignments, and checking papers. After, I found out that teaching is more than students in a classroom, but young lives that looked to me for some answers in an otherwise confusing world. I learn as much from my students as they do from me. That is just the truth.

Before the deaths of my grandparents, husband, and father, I thought I understood how to grieve. After, I realized that grieving is different for everyone. Grief comes in waves like the ocean, and one must face those waves and move through them. There are good days, and there are bad days, and on some days all I could do was breathe.

Life is full of before’s and after’s. The older I get the more I realize that when I am standing in “the before” I rarely understand. Oh, it is easy to think I do, but life has a way of teaching lessons in the midst of “the after”. Valuable, cherished moments. Lessons learned.