The Dawn Of A New Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My name is Dawn.

A short name, only four letters.

Dawn was a popular name in the 60’s and 70’s.

The name means: sunrise, daybreak.

Maybe that is why I am so taken with the morning sky…

when the sun turns the darkness into beautiful streaks of pink and purple.

I quietly watch in anticipation as

a new beginning erupts across the horizon.

A chance to start anew.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8  NIV

 

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Ready To Begin

New year light

Yesterday was the long drive back home. My family and I spent this past week visiting with relatives that live in another state. It was heartwarming, fun, and memories were made. Today will be the business of getting back into a routine, unpacking a weeks worth of clothes and starting laundry. I’ve already begun to think about this coming weekend and the beginning of a new year. These few days of the old, always seems to hold such promise. What will the new year bring? Excitement? Personal gain? Love?  New friendships? Sadness? Tragedy? One just never knows. For me, the new year always holds excitement mixed with a little apprehension. It’s the not knowing that makes me pause.

I’m not much into New Years resolutions. I think they cause too much pressure. I’m the type to write goals out on a daily and weekly basis anyway.

I don’t require a big hooplah over resolutions. More than that, I think back on the year. What has happened? How did I react? Am I happy with the part I played in 2011? Would I like to make some changes? What worked and more importantly what didn’t?

This year I’ve learned the art of being thankful. I’m still learning…and, I suppose I will continue to learn the lessons of thankfulness until I take my last breath on this side of Heaven. One would think being thankful would be easier considering how much there is to be thankful for. Why is it that most of the time we see the holes in our lives, the less than, the lacking, the unfortunate….and we concentrate on those things? Why not focus on all that is good in life? Really, there is so very much. Thankfulness continues to be my goal as I begin a new year…not as a resolution that will fade from existence by the first of February…but, a resolve to see all the ways that I am blessed.

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The Collective Sigh Of Nature

Ruska

No sunlight pouring through the windows this morning. Gray clouds, looking like rain.

I turned a lamp on in the living room, and its light puddles on the table. I like lamps. They make me feel warm and cozy.

I have my cinnamon and spice candle burning this morning. Smells good. Warm. Like Fall.

I’m seeing more trees releasing their green for shades of yellow and orange.

It’s amazing how calm I feel at this time of the year.Peaceful.

Most days  of life are full throttle into hectic. Time pressure. To do lists.

In Autumn I feel the collective sigh of nature. Finishing up the heat of the summer, relaxing before the bitter of winter.

All of nature vibrantly cries out to the Creator…as the days lead up to Thanksgiving.

So very thankful for this time of year.

“Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary… pure and holy…tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living…sanctuary, for You.”

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Today I am thankful for:

*cloudy days

*lamplight

*spice smells

*petting the dog

*children who are working quietly on their school work

*good morning kiss with husband

*all my heavy duty cleaning done last week

*a more relaxing day

*hammock on the deck

*new, fuzzy slippers

*lanterns

*Fall colors out my front window

*farmers harvesting corn

*the sound of tractors

*the beauty of God’s creation

Not Waiting For Sunday…

Tim Hortons in Ottawa, ON, Canada

Image via Wikipedia

Always comparing.

Searching for the more, but wanting contentment.

Se-sawing between holding back and living the “yes”.

The ongoing tug-0-war between my will and His perfect one.

I am weary.

I inhale deeply.

My inner voice is irritated. It scratches into my thoughts.

It scans over all that is, acutely aware of all that is not.

Discontent.

The enemy of eucharisteo.

Showing gratitude

changes attitude.

I continue to seek the words of thanksgiving,

knowing that there is joy in eucharisteo.

Joy that comes from worshiping God in the moment.

Praising Him in the here and now.

Not waiting for Sunday, but allowing the Holy into each day.

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*a date with my husband

*ice mocha capps from Tim Hortons

*laughing out loud

*stepping out of my comfort zone

*long back rub from my daughter

*morning hugs

*son talking about his journey

*coffee cake

*foggy sunshine

*sudden summer storms

*beautiful decoration

*brilliant yellow bird at the bird feeder

*realizing so much has changed for the better

*opening the gift of a new day

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Thanking the One who gives all good things…

Joy In The Everyday

Open Hand

Image by AmyZZZ1 via Flickr

***Join us over at Faith Barista Jam. We’re discussing joy, today. Click on the graphic on my right side bar to read what others are writing about joy.***

Joy (noun)  a source or cause of delight—

It’s interesting that Bonnie, at Faith Barista, would choose the topic of joy, for this month. I’ve been thinking about joy a lot lately. I’ve been on a “joy journey” of sorts. About two and half months ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. She talks about joy in her book. Joy… in a way that I hadn’t thought of it before. She talked about joy in a way that would change me. Forever. For me, changing my perspective, really is changing my life.

I, like many people, tended to blend joy and happiness together. They are really not the same thing. I’m also figuring out that I can have joy–if I choose too. It really is a choice. It’s not always something that “just happens” to a person. People, in general,  are not “just lucky” in the joy department. Joy can be intentional.

What I am learning about joy is a challenge. Sounds contradictory to the definition, doesn’t it? On pages 32-33 of her book, Ann hits me squarely between the eyes. Right where I am at. Her words sting me.

“That has always been the goal of the fullest life—-joy. And my life knew exactly how elusive that slippery three-letter word, joy, can be….   Is the height of my joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? (to God)….As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible…..joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! (in the here and now of daily life).

Grace….Thanksgiving…..JOY.”

Joy in the everyday. Joy in the here and now. Joy in my messy kitchen. Joy in the van driving kids. Joy in snuggling into bed at night. Joy in laundry. Joy in the sunsets. Joy in pet fur all over the floor for me to clean. Joy in reading. Joy in preparing dinner. Sounds crazy, right? But, if I can have thanksgiving in the daily things….in ALL things….then there will be joy. Joy will no longer be some elusive or esoteric feeling that I am constantly searching for. It can be real. Real to me in the daily grind.

And isn’t joy what we all long for?

So, for me, I am working on joy in my every day by giving thanks (eucharisteo) to God. Always thanks. Thanks for each moment that He has allowed me to experience.

It’s all by His grace. Every. Single. Moment.  I am thankful….and I experience JOY.

The Last Day Of The Year

Chiot's Run 2011 Calendar

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

TIME

Seconds to minutes

Minutes to hours

Hours to days

Days to weeks

Weeks to years…

Here I sit on the last day of the year, wondering where all the time went. I contemplate what I’ve done this past year. I analyze the details of my life. I smile at all the things I have accomplished. I fret about all the things I’ve left undone. I believe I could have said more. I wonder about what I should have left unsaid.  Aahh…we all walk a fine line, don’t we?

Each day brings new opportunities. Sometimes I grab the opportunity. Sometimes I let it go. Sometimes I’m glad, other times I have regret.

There are people that are gone from my life. New friendships were made. Some individuals faithfully remain.

I’m one year older and hopefully at least a little wiser.

Tonight is the end of the old and the beginning of the new.

It’s always exciting to think of starting a new year with a clean slate. The possibilities…. The opportunities…. The path less taken.

Happy New Year!

 

A New Chapter

Times Square Ball - New Year's Eve 2008

Image by Atomische • Tom Giebel via Flickr

The end of one year, the start of another. The possibilities, the choices, the opportunities.

In my life, I’ve been accused of thinking too much. I take  this declaration with a grain of salt. Too much thinking? How is that possible? What is the result of thinking too much?  Or not enough thinking? Or at all? I like to mull things over. Long after a conversation…I’m still going over the content of what was said.

I like to ponder what this new year will hold. I become contemplative during this time of year.

Each year brings new possibilities. Not because New Years Day is some sort of magic key, but because it is more like a door to the unknown. None of us really knows what will happen to us this year. We can have our plans, but many times life does not go as planned. Sometimes it careens off course. We end up on a road that we never intended to travel.

Sometimes things that seem “bad”, turn out to have lessons that are good for me. Other times I’ve made poor choices and I’ve suffered through the consequences of those choices. Sometimes it is a bitter pill to swallow. Yet, sometimes events happen that are completely out of my control. I could not have changed them even if I desperately wanted to. One just never knows how things will turn out.

We all hope for a good year, abet, even a great one! We all want joy in our lives. Moments that matter. The opportunity to make a positive difference. Fulfillment. Friendships. Love.

I can plan. I can make changes. I can try to be even more organized and productive. Ultimately, God is the one who chooses how this year will proceed. It is He that is sovereign. It is He that makes life interesting and worthwhile…and I can rest in that.