Finding Beauty

The older I get the more I want to find beauty. To see it in people’s faces. To recognize it in their laughter. To find it in their tears. Life is a struggle (for us all), and so many times I find myself weighted down with all the things that are going on in the world, but yet still…I look for ways to list all the ways that people are beautiful. The smooth, sweet smelling skin of my five month old grand daughter, her contagious laughter instantly changing my mood. The older lady in the store parking lot, smiling at me. The UPS delivery man who is always so friendly and kind, even though I know he is tired. My husband who works hard for me and for his family. The neighbors who offered help, and unconditional support when we lost our beloved dog. My friends who know me, and know my heart, and I theirs. There is beauty. I just keep my eyes open for it.

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I enjoy being outside. I like to take sky pictures… And field pictures… And animal pictures. And yes, people pictures, in my search for beauty. The other night I walked out on the deck, waiting to call the dogs in for the night. The cold, crisp winter air was still as I peered up. The sky was blacker than ink, with sparkling glitter. I find moments like this to be holy. I am reminded how small I am, and how big God is. The intricate workings of the Milky Way, created by the sound of His voice. Beautiful.

Scented soap homemade from a friend, texted messages and voicemails from family and friends, iced tea, and iced coffee, holding hands and holding hearts, baby laughter, and giggles, good books and timeless stories, friendships that have withstood both time and distance, children who are now adults, but still say, “I love you”, pictures on the refrigerator, and smiles from strangers at the grocery store, dogs that lay their heads in my lap and lick me until I pet them, wedding rings and commitment, love and loyalty and fun. God is so good and He chooses to gift me with beautiful people and beautiful moments and ……..

I am so thankful.

 

 

That’s Hygge

It has been awhile, friends. Life has been extremely busy for me, over the past several months. Teaching, tutoring, working on my masters degree, presenting at a monthly parents (of children with special needs) support group, being involved in church, being a wife, Mom, and Nana is just…well…exhausting! Many nights I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. That all said, I still enjoy blogging and writing, and reading, and taking pictures of my country life (you can follow me at gibsongirl247 on Instagram).

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As I type, I find myself looking out the window. It is a cold, gray, January afternoon. There are still remnants of snow on the ground, leftover from a couple of days ago. Yes, I am one of the “weird” people that loves winter. My warm weather friends don’t understand me, and that is just fine. I choose to do my weather complaining from mid-June through early September when the temperatures and humidity are like living in Dante’s seventh circle of hell. Just sayin’.

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I am a sweater person. I am cozy socks person. I am a colorful mittens type of girl. I think in another life I must have been Scandinavian. I am drawn to the Scandinavian decorating style. I think the Finnish truly understand how education/learning is supposed to work, and my latest infatuation is with hygge (that is pronounced hoo-ga) The Danish people have this extremely cool word (in my opinion) that doesn’t even have an English translation. It sort of means, creating a warmth and intimacy even in the smallest of things. I can see where this would be wonderful year round, but especially during the cold, dark months in this northern country. Think of padding around the house in thick, warm socks and comfy clothes. Think hot chocolate with a big, fluffy marshmallow. Think a crackling fire in the fireplace and a good book or a movie with friends and family. Think flannel sheets and snuggling. Think candle light. Think board games. Think a handwritten note to a friend. Are you feeling it?

That’s hygge.

 

 

When The Clock Strikes Midnight

More sand has slipped through the hourglass. All the pages have been turned on the calendar. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. One whole year has come and gone…We are on the doorstep of 2017.

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I am thankful for this year. I am thankful for the bad days that made the good ones seem so much better. I am thankful for new friendships. I am thankful for good doctors appointments. I am thankful for my home and family. I am thankful for the love in my life. I am thankful for a new daughter in law and a sweet grand daughter. I am thankful for baby giggles and smiles. I am thankful for loyal pets. I am thankful for the students and families that I have met this year. I am thankful for safe travel. I am thankful for disappointments and struggles, that grew me stronger. I am thankful for the experiences that made me wise and discerning. I am thankful for goals that I’ve accomplished, and for those I am still working on.

Life has its ups and downs, that is just the way life is.

I’m just glad to be a part of it.

Happy New Year to You!

 

 

Showing Grace

We always have a choice.

To show grace to others, or not.

Yep, I get it.

Sometimes people do things, and we think we are justified to let them know they are wrong…even if we don’t express those thoughts with words. Many times actions speak much louder than our words ever could. We take the moral high ground, because we are right after all. That’s what we think. We didn’t make the poor choices. We didn’t make the wrong decisions. The “unforgivable sins”. If we act like everything is okay, doesn’t that appear like we are condoning whatever it is? That attitude is so easy to slide into. That we are better because we didn’t do those things.

And yet, it is when we show grace to others, that we are the most like Jesus. Choosing to love….in the midst of the mess. Choosing to forgive…is not accepting less.

When we acknowledge our own brokenness, the darkness of our own hearts, our own poor choices, mistakes, and mess ups, we begin to understand the amazing grace shown to us by Jesus. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He didn’t say, “I’ll wait until you are perfect.” Instead He said, “I love you”.

Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

 

 

 

 

Is The Miracle…

She ceased hearing the rest of the words. She was stuck on the word cancer. The prognosis didn’t sound encouraging. Her Christmas joy faded right there in the doctor’s office.

He thought he was just having some problems, that some medicine would cure. Unfortunately, this problem called for more than a prescription.

The couple didn’t know if they were going to make it. The trying just seemed so hard. The smiles that used to exist, were now distant memories. When did life become this hard?

A sick child, hospital visits, stringent menus, and worry. That is what is served up this Christmas.

Unwanted diagnoses, senseless accidents, broken relationships and painful decisions. So much to deal with. Not sure if celebration is on the “to do” for many, this year.

And yet…..in the middle of the mess-ups, misfits, memories, and medical, is the miracle.

The miracle that is just as needed in 2016, as it was over two millennia ago. The miracle of Jesus coming into this sin scarred world…giving hope. Giving life. Giving Himself.

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It’s A Wonderful Life

Yes, it is true. This movie is one of my all time favorites to watch during the Christmas season. I wait for that time when George Bailey realizes that his life really did make a difference, and that things would be different if he had never existed. Most of all he realizes he truly does have a wonderful life.

I agree with George Bailey. Sometimes all we need is a reminder……

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Top Twenty Reasons It Truly IS A Wonderful Life: 

*Celebrating Jesus’ birth, the greatest gift of all (all other gifts pale in comparison to God entering time and space to make a difference for all eternity)

*Remembering The Light of the world (the baby born on that day so long ago, that grew into a man that shattered the dark– of hopelessness, and separation of man from God—because of His love for us)

* Christmas music (my favorites are O Holy Night, and White Christmas)

*Family, both near and far ,that I love and love me right back. (family in different states who don’t let the miles get in the way of showing love)

*All the kids home for Christmas (even though they are young adults)

*A new daughter-in-law (our first Christmas together)

*A new granddaughter, seeing everything for the first time. (is there anything more precious?)

*Sweet baby laughter (I could listen to this all day long)

*White lights (simple and pure)

* Hot Chocolate (home made, not from a packet)

*Snow on the ground (preferred over the ice)

*A warm house (yes!)

*New opportunities (one year is ending, a new one getting ready to begin)

*Friends (I am so blessed)

*The nice UPS guy--(we see him a lot)

*An “A”in my grad class (Hallelujah!)

*Time off from school (rest? maybe?)

*Watching Christmas movies with the family (fun times)

*Outside twinkle lights (it “looks” like Christmas)

*The night sky—Silent Night, Holy Night (there is nothing better than the winter night sky, cold and clear)

 

 

I Can No Longer Feel My Fingers

My family and I moved to Ohio seven and a half years ago. Even though I am originally from Maryland and my husband from upstate New York (so yes, we know cold and snow) with lengthy stops for each of us in Texas and Tennessee–there is something to be said for the cold AND wind here in rural Ohio. The wind makes things one hundred times worse!

Today our high is supposed to hover around 10, with (yes!) a windchill of -15. Even with insulated gloves on, my hands are cold by the time I get over to the barn to feed our horse, Jazz. I’m not complaining, because over all I enjoy winter. I just wish I could feel my fingers.

When Scott and I were building our farmhouse in the middle of what was once a cow field, I remember we were building (well, okay “we” in the sense of we were paying for it, not “we” as in actually building the house) and it was February and it was snowing and the wind was blowing. I was suited up like Nanook of the North. I should have known!

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