I Hope You Dance

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This is one of my favorite multi-media journal pages. At the time I created this page, I wasn’t intentionally thinking about the song, “I Hope You Dance”, but since then it has sort of stuck with me. Lee Ann Womack’s words resonate with all of us that want to enjoy the moments, even the hard ones….and just dance.

I Hope You Dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

Love People

 

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I have always been a writer ever since I was a little girl. Diaries. Journals. Notebooks. Scraps of paper. Lists. Poems. Stories. Reading and writing, have always been “my thing”. I readily admit, I am not the writer of great novels (although, I can  (and do) truly appreciate those that are gifted in this way). I am much more a writer of human experience, both mine and others. I write my opinion, how I see life, and the events that have touched me. I see things in a rather aesthetic way, and yes, sometimes get teased for that. After all, who writes about the colors of the changing leaves, or the chilly autumn air that is an omen of what is to come? Or how the geese sound as they land in the lake across the road?  The creases of time etched into a person’s forehead, or the way the little girl who can’t stop hopping, has lopsided pigtails? How the cracks in the sidewalk make a pattern? And how complete strangers, driving by, will wave at you when you go to get the mail, if you wave first? I like to observe and remember the smallest details, because it is sometimes those details that tell the truest stories of our lives.

Sometimes people’s stories are short and sweet, and sometimes they are long and drawn out. I find that when I listen, I usually learn something………..

Yesterday, a friend sat with my family at our church luncheon. We were having a “kick off” for Operation Christmas Child . This man, has the gift of words. He talks to everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or how old you are. He wants to know people. He said something, that caused me to ponder, mostly because I’ve had the same thought myself.  The gist of his statement went like this: People are so busy these days, no one talks to each other. No one really knows what someone might be going through. If you have the opportunity to talk, and then really listen to someone, it is amazing how much gets said. It just pours out, because people, really DO want to tell their stories. They want to be heard. I smiled. I told him I thought his ability to speak words, to make friends, and to listen was a gift, and did he know that? He just smiled, and said, “I love people”.

Wouldn’t we all do well to love people more?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13 NIV

 

 

Those I Love…

Sunflower in bloom

Sunflower in bloom (Photo credit: Heliosphere)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the way the early morning sun streams in through the kitchen windows and makes the room glow.  The sunflowers on the dining room table look at home in the sunshine. It makes me smile.

The bright turquoise picture frame is a vibrant splash of color, and one of my favorite finds, from a local garage sale.

The deck furniture turns the deck into a welcoming oasis during the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Surrounding myself with things I enjoy.

Smiles and laughter at a joke shared.

Sitting on the deck together, sharing time while sharing space.

Holding hands and holding hearts.

Looking forward to seeing each face.

Surrounding myself with those I love.

 

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving… I Timothy 4:4 NIV

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Living The Moments

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Image by beccaplusmolly via Flickr

Outside the window, is gray.

The day, not sure whether to continue to clutch at winter

or move towards a rainy Spring.

My thoughts center around the gray in my life.

The “inbetween” days. The “not sure” times.

What do I do with those?

I stop.

I open my eyes.

I see the moments.

I’m beginning to realize that life is made up of the inbetween moments.

Not the life shattering surprises, or the mountain top experiences,

but in the all too fleeting moments of the everyday.

I don’t want to wake up, years from now, to regret.

I don’t want to speed through my days only to wish I had fully lived.

Lived in the moments.

Appreciating the smoky grays of the sky on a February morning.

The warm light in the kitchen.

The sound of my son as he excitedly tells me about a book he is reading.

The dog licking my toes.

My husband’s smile.

I slow down.

And I am thankful

to the One who gifts me with the moments.

 

What Inspires You?

In the 80’s, the group Chicago, sang “You’re The Inspiration“. Artists are inspired to create great masterpieces. Writers are inspired by relationships that give them the ability to put pen to paper. Singers can bring tears to our eyes through inspired words. Speakers can bring us to our feet. Parents are inspired to be good examples for their children. Soldiers are inspired, in the midst of fear for their own life, by love of country. Nature inspires us all.  So what inspires you?

1. The dictionary describes the inspired as: outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration

2. The men that wrote the Bible…they were divinely inspired by God, Himself, to write the words that have survived centuries. God speaking to man, through His inspired Word.

3. The wounded warriors who come home and fight everyday, through surgery and therapy to get their lives back. Each day is a struggle, but they don’t give up.

4. The single parents who get up every day, acutely aware that they are their child’s rock. They face each morning with resolve, that they will do the very best that they can. That they will make it.

5. The dog who saves his owners from imminent death, by barking and pulling on them until they get up and escape their house that is on fire.

6. The father who ran marathons and participated in a triathlon for his disabled son. He was his son’s hands and feet. Crossing the finish line with his son, inspired everyone watching.

7. We are inspired by great literature, or the paintings of Michelangelo or Rembrandt.

8. Mozart or Bach can move us in ways few other things can.

9. The chronically ill patient who makes the decision to not just survive, but to live. Even if he/she ends up losing the battle, they inspire us by their dignity in the face of death.

10. So what inspires you? What makes you strive to be a better person? To overcome a trial? To jump a hurdle? To press on to the finish line?

 

Wisdom Comes With Age

In my library/office I have a desk. On that desk I have propped a large bulletin board. I call it my “creative inspiration” board. I have tacked all sorts of things on that board. Pictures from magazines, quotes, snippets of notes, color charts, mementos….you name it. It’s probably on there. Last night as I sat at my desk, my eyes wandered to some “life lessons” I had cut out of a magazine several months ago. The article in the magazine was about women that had lived to be at least one hundred years old. What were their words of wisdom to those of us that aren’t yet centenarians? I think you might find their life lessons interesting, so I’m going to share some of them with you today. As you well know I like to share my own opinions ( I can’t help it) so I added my 2 cents worth in the parentheses. Enjoy…..and learn.

*Frances Johnson

-If it’s not terminal, why worry? And if it is, you can’t do anything about it. (this is so very true….so much of life is really not under our control, even though we like to believe it is. Worry does nothing for us. I know I’m one to talk because worry is something I’m so good at—but I’m trying to trust more than I worry.)

-If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. (I don’t know about you, but for myself I realize that sometimes I run around like a chicken with it’s head chopped off –I know a pleasant visual. It would be better for me to just sit quietly and wait.)

-A meal’s not done until you have dessert. (Enough said…and if it happens to be chocolate than all the better.)

-Stay active and keep your mind sharp. (I plan on still having my wits about me when I’m old…and if I don’t…well, I won’t know the difference.)

-Something good usually comes out of bad events. (I have a favorite movie quote that is similar to this. “Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts.”  It really is about perspective. No one I know enjoys life’s bad events, but they happen, so try to find at least a little good in the midst of the bad.)

When playing Scrabble, don’t use up your S’s right away. (I agree.)

*Edna Anderson

-Keep walking. You’ll be so happy you can walk when you’re old. (I love to walk. I think these are wonderful words of wisdom. Walking is not only good physical exercise, but is a good time to think, or chat with a friend.)

-Avoid a fast talker when looking for a husband. Go for someone who’s steady. (I don’t think she means find a man that is a limp dishrag or someone who is just a knot on a log. I think she means a man who is there for the long haul. Someone with grit and determination….because life is hard and so is marriage. It is not for the faint of heart. If you want a fast talker buy a parrot.)

-More is not necessarily better. Going for first or biggest leads to unhappiness. (All one has to do is take one look at the entertainment industry in this country and this bit of wisdom will be obvious. Things, wealth, and popularity do not buy happiness. That is why so many entertainers are in rehab, divorced, or dead. Sad, but true.)

-There are still happy times ahead after loss. (I know this from personal experience. I am a living testament to the fact that there is happiness after loss. Thank you, Lord.)

*Melva Radcliffe

-Anything you love is important. ( If you love something, it matters…regardless of anyone else’s opinion. One of my favorite childhood books is The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a great story about love.)

-Don’t be afraid to travel.  (Amen, sister! Some of my very best memories are from my travels. Traveling makes us all adventurers.Plus it also gives you some great stories to tell.)

Good table manners count. (No one is going to think highly of you, if you look or act like you were raised in a barn. It doesn’t matter how witty or intelligent you might be, if you eat like a barnyard animal it will be difficult for others to overlook it.)

-Children love praise. They’ll do something again and again just to get you to praise them. (Children are just like the rest of us. We all like a pat on the back or being told of a job well done.  Genuine praise, not false flattery. Even children can tell the difference.)

You’ll always need your girlfriends. (As much as I have truly enjoyed my friendships with males–and eventual marriage to my best friend–they cannot take the place of “my girls”. Women just “get” each other. Sometimes we babble, sometimes we sulk, sometimes we cry and sometimes we laugh….and sometimes we do it all within a 5 minute time frame. I love my girlfriends. They’ve got my back.)

-Clean your teeth three times a day. (This is especially near and dear to me. I have been blessed with “good” teeth. I know this isn’t the case with everyone, so I am grateful. I also know since I am highly addicted to southern style sweet tea that if I don’t brush my teeth at least 3 times a day I will suffer later. Since I plan on having my pearly whites until they lay me in a casket…..I will continue to brush religiously. Amen.)