Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Glittering Mica

“Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement.  It would be wonderful if they would come to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen.  We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.”  Anna Quindlen (A Short Guide to a Happy Life) quoted by Katie Couric in The Best Advice I Ever Got   p. 228

These past days and weeks have been filled with these small pieces of glittering mica.  In fact, some of them were rather large pieces of glittering mica.  Truly filling my soul.  And for that, I give thanks to God.  And to those who have been a part of providing the opportunities to see the glittering.  I am so blessed.

Here are those pieces of glitter that have brightened my life.  The list of 1000 gifts continues.  (Some photos will be added once I am home on my own computer.)

291) the generosity of others
292) a Stampede BBQ 
293) the opportunity to catch up with people I hadn't seen in years
294) the sound of my name coming from the mouths of children I love
295) praying with children as they go to bed
296) God watering my garden with rain
297) field of pink along the highway
298) glorious scenery - rolling hills of green
299) sitting in the shade looking at a peaceful, idyllic lake
300) sounds of fish jumping in the lake
301) two turtles sunning themselves on a rock
302) children chattering as they "play" with crayfish
303) little fish swimming in the lake
304) turtle poking his head out of the water
305) remnants of history - old buildings with great character
 306) surprise detours/changes in plans
307) shade and a breeze on a hot summer day
308) sunshine sparkling in the ripples on the lake
309) the smell of freshly mowed grass
310) watching a turtle swim, climb on a log, and bask in the sun

Company has come, so I'll pause to visit.

Visit is done. It was good.

311) 2 deer watching us walk by
312) double rainbow
313) ginger lemonade frozen yogurt - YUM!
314) canola fields in the morning sun
315) watching a hawk dip into the lake and fly away with a fish in its talons
316) watching a turtle gather courage to climb back onto a log
317) sunny ripples in the water
318) watching a badger watch us as we were hiking
319) laying on the grass and watching the clouds
320) sitting cozily in the front of the boat exploring the lake
321) the delightful invigorating smell of the woods
322) the magnificence of the osprey keeping watch over its nest
232) the full moon and a clear starry night
324) the crackle of the campfire
325) watching 2 beautiful birds play with each other - one with a blue head and one with a red chest (not a robin)
326) nights that are cool enough to warrant the use of an extra blanket
327) cool, crisp summer mornings with the promise of a beautiful summer day to come
328) watching mist rise off the lake in the early morning sun
329) the magnificence of lightning during a thunderstorm
330) the comfort of shelter during a thunderstorm
331) the magic and mystery of a misty summer morning on the lake

332) the sound of birds' wings flapping as they fly by
333) how fast dragonfly's wings move - so fast you can't see the wings as the dragonfly flies by
334) the glorious yellow of canola fields ripening - against the backdrop of blue sky and darkening storm clouds

335) coming in to hugs from parents
336) a sister's delight when I answer the phone at our parents' house
337) an evening walk with my dad
338) the North Saskatchewan River valley as a backdrop for a morning walk

339) getting the Q on a triple letter score - and getting to double it with two words
340) an evening with family - celebrating the engagement of a cousin
341) hearing stories from the family's past
342) visiting with a family friend over coffee and tea
343) a sister's delight at progress on a task
344) remembering the gift of spending time with others - laughing and getting to know them so much better (Thanks, C.V., H.T., G.J., S.B., and R.B.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011


If you asked anyone at work about what I thought about punctuation, you would likely be told that I'm a little bit of a stickler for correct punctuation.  I don't know if I particularly like the word stickler, but I will admit that it can almost be painful when I see some punctuation errors (especially when it comes to apostrophes).  So when I saw that there was a test on the internet to see what kind of punctuation mark I am, I thought it would be fun to try.  If you want to try it, click here.  I even did it just now, wondering if my answers would be any different.  They may have been, but the result was the same.  Here is what I was told.

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.  You enjoy almost all facets of life.  You can find the good in almost anything.  You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.  You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.  Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.  (But with so many competing interests, your friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

I'm not sure if everything there is exactly true, but I do like what it says.  (Although I have no idea what it means to get along with a question mark.  I wonder what a question mark is like.)

I did manage to keep myself busy with friends and activities this week.  The activities were mostly walking and enjoying meals together, but a little sewing and reading did get done as well.  My fridge even got cleaned and my lawn got mowed, but those aren't exactly enjoyable pasttimes.  Just necessary ones.

Along the way this week, I received more gifts from God.
269) carrot ginger cashew soup
270) breakfast on the front step enjoying the morning sun

 271) walks and visits with friends - the gifts who are next on my list
272) KV
273) WA
274) HM-W
275) JN
276) GJ
277) JR
278) SB
279) JK
280) mosquito spray
281) learning bits and pieces about the amazing bodies God gave us
282) exercises that can help muscles relearn their work
283) physiotherapists who can teach the previous two gifts
284) virtual hugs through e-mails (thanks, KR)
285) whimsical sculptures

 286) Alberta landscape

287) flowers

288) annual day out with friends - to kickstart summer - held at the Saskatoon Farm this year
289) surprise hitch-hiker on my foot

290) the delight of discovering, while making this list, just how many gifts there have been in the last few days!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Moments of Happiness

"Happiness is not one long continuous state of being.  Like life itself, happiness is made up of moments.  Some are fleeting, lasting no longer than the length of a sweet song, yet the sum total of those moments can create a glow that sustains you."     Susan Wiggs in The Goodbye Quilt    p. 117

I was once asked if I was happy.  I had to take a few moments to think about that, wondering what the definition of happiness was.  Did I smile all the time?  Did I enjoy everything I did?  Does happiness mean bliss?  The answer to each of these was, for me, definitely "No."  But does that mean I wasn't happy?  In the end, I answered that I was happy, qualifying it (not sure why I felt I had to do that) by saying that I was content.  My life is good, filled with a job I love, wonderful friends, a community where I belong, and an abundance of blessings from God.
As I've walked through these past months, I would now answer that "Yes, I am happy."  And I think the quote above is more what happiness means to me.  Taking the time to notice and enjoy the moments and the gifts has enriched my life and helped me really see the multitude of gifts God sends my way each day.  Do I always smile?  No.  Do I always love everything I do?  No - I mean really, taking out the garbage?  BUT my life is filled with moments of grace and blessing.
Here are some more of those gifts, part of the happiness that sustains me.
245) clean air
246) word pictures such as this one -
"There is a story about two small roads that ran side by side. They chatted as they wound in and out of country places, laughing with the brook, sighing with the wind, and resting now and then along the level knolls. There they watched the trees put on their green gloves in springtime, raise their leafy umbrellas for summer shade, wind tawny shawls around their shoulders in autumn, and lace their limbs with snowflakes when winter came." Emilie Barnes in Walk With Me Today, Lord p. 145
247) feeling strong and energetic
248) flowers that close up at night and open in the morning
249) when life doesn't go as planned and pleasant surprises pop up
250) dinner with loves ones in the evening sun - overlooking a beautiful fountain and golf course
251) thanks from others
252) help from others - coming home and finding a crew raking the grass (thanks K.W.)
253) sitting on the step enjoying time and cold drinks with that same crew
254) going back to work (even if only for 2 days before being on summer holidays - or maybe because of that)
255) spontaneous walks in Griffith Woods with dear friends (thanks, S.B. and J. N.)
256) deer bounding across the pathway
257) a glorious summer morning, complete with walk and tea on the front step
258) celebrating the great country I am blessed to call home

259) bumping into friends and enjoying a picnic lunch in the park
260) iridescent colours on bubbles floating through the air
261) a BBQ with great friends
262) roasted red pepper hummus
263) the first strawberries of the season, fresh from the plants in my backyard
264) voices harmonizing in song
265) a new song that contains words that echo my experience (Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer)
266) irises and
267) tiger lilies

268) water droplets on flowers