Sunday, January 20, 2013

Life .....NOW

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop to look around once in awhile, you might miss it.

I saw this saying in a store window in the mountains today.  I'm so glad I took some time to look around today.  It was an absolutely delight-full day in the mountains.  Even with some sunshine.  I really need to do that more often.

But even the every day life brings moments to stop and look around.  Moments in the now that I need to notice and be grateful for.  Life is filled with blessings from God.  With moments that point to Him.  Life is good.

The things I've noticed this past week.....
1623) yellow tulips given by a parent
1624) sewing afternoon with my aunt
1625) trying new recipes
1626) using produce from my garden - in January!
1627) delight with the happy quilt I'm working on - pictures to follow 
1628) tea with my aunt
1629) a delightful day in the mountains
1630) a day with a friend
1631) snow covered mountains against blue sky
1632) snow sparkling like diamonds
1633) spicy food
1634) pomegranate seeds
1635) silk long johns
1636) watching ice artists at work
1637) amazing ice sculptures
1638) the warmth of a fire
1639) dry, ice-free highways
1640) dinner with friends
1641) love and encouragement from a school family at the next table
1642 - 1658) photos of moments in time - moments of NOW

Sunday, January 13, 2013


"This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

Yesterday I had just a wonderful day.  It was a day where I was trying to do the NOW.  I was able to do so many of the things that make my heart sing.  I took time to read.  I spent time sewing and was able to delight in seeing pieces come together in beauty.  When I looked up and saw that the sun was shining, I decided right away to go for a walk in the winter wonderland.  And I came home to an invitation for tea with a friend.  

I rediscovered a prayer that I had read awhile back.  I'm not sure where I found it.  But I am sure that I want to make it a part of me.  (It's from Eric and Julie Vaiksnoras - with a couple of minor modifications.)

Dear God:  Thank you for the challenges and wonderful things that happened today.  Help me to use my experiences today to build and strengthen my life with others and with you.  Help me to see your wonderful world and guide me through all my tomorrows.  Amen

These are some of the experiences and wonderful things from the last little while.  My list of gifts continues....

1590) impromptu walks and explorations
1591) Zentangles
1592) and delight at what I can create with Zentangles and a little inspiration
1593) helping MW get closer to finishing her quilt
1594) dinner with friends
1595) choral concert
1596) seeing community in action (at the choral concert)
1597) encouragement from others
1598) hugs from students at the end of the day
1599) coming into church - more hugs
1600) coming home to shoveled sidewalks
1601) twice
1602) progress on quilt for E

1603) a wonderful day of feeding my soul
1604) reading
1605) quilting
1606) a winter walk in the sunshine
1607) impromptu tea with a friend - making a great day better
1608) seeing students learn - going from confusion to understanding
1609) Devonian Gardens
1610) the warmth of the sun on my face
1611) being able to enjoy solitude
1612) "cooking" with friends
1613) and having healthy meals at the ready
1614) a garage
1615 - 1622) photographic reminders of beauty in creation

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pleasant surprises

I love how little things show up at times when they are needed.  How words are shared that speak to my soul.  Yesterday was one of those times again.  Not only was I blessed to be at church with my community, but I was given some words that speak to my soul.  Words that speak to my heart.  Words that speak to me.  

I don't know exactly where the words come from, but they are attributed to C.S. Lewis. 

"I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation."

I hadn't thought of it that way before.  But simply noticing and remarking on good things does just that.  It completes and deepens the enjoyment and the richness of the gift.

My list of gifts continues....

1573) encouragement through the words of others
1574) hugs from students
1575) candied ginger
1576) pleasantly surprised when things aren't as chaotic as I'd expected
1577) being blessed by being at church
1578) time with friends
1579) being able to help friends
1580) time with family
1581) watching students learn
1582) watching students learn new skills
1583) hearing how a gift was helpful the very day it was received
1584) exploring the city with friends
1585) exploring the city with family
1586) laughing and playing games with family
1587) the C-Train
1588) flexibility and generosity of others
1589) the sheer delight of sitting on a couch and being joined by children - one who leans on my shoulder and one who climbs on my lap - Aaaah, what a delightful feeling!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It's the beginning of a new year.  2013.  Hard to really wrap my mind around the idea.  Not only that 2012 has flown by, but that 2013 is now the present.  This is not a new feeling really.  Just the specific numbers for the years have changed.  It's a feeling I have every year.  I know that New Year's Eve is supposed to feel monumentous.  (I guess the word is actually momentous.  I don't like that as much, but I have already learned something new in 2013 and I guess that's a good thing.)  But for me, the beginning of a new school year is more like New Year's to me.  The school year has been the cycle of my life for almost every year of my life.  Hard to break that connection to new beginnings.

Enough about that.

Happy 2013. May it be a year of blessings.  A year of laughter.  A year of memories and relationships with friends and family.

I've spent time over the last month mulling over what my word for 2013 would be.  One that I thought about was abundance.  And while it is true that I want to celebrate the abundance of good things God gives me (and I will continue to do so through my list of gifts), another word has continually crept into my mind.    It's come up in conversations.  It's come up in things I've been reading.  And it has swirled through my mind.  It's NOW.  I want to live in the gift of NOW.  Not the past, although memories are a great gift and can bring comfort and joy.  Not the future, although planning and hope are not at all bad things.  But the NOW.  Being in the moment and really being present in my life.  "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."    Psalm 118:24  

Over the course of this year, I want to become better at rejoicing and being glad in the day.  Better at taking advantage of the gifts of each day.  Realizing that that can mean quiet days and busy days.  It can mean so many different kinds of days.  Each one being a gift of its own with offerings of its own.

A few more gifts to add to the list:
1544) bringing in the New Year with family and friends
1545) 2 beautiful girls wanting to share some funny scenes from the movie they watched
1546) a peaceful day with a sister
1547) pizza
1548) falling asleep to the sound of quiet chatter in the room next door
1549) quiet contentment in the morning
1550) time to reflect on the new year dawning
1551) knowing that we don't go alone into the new year
1552) knowing that we don't go along into each new day
1553) celebrating an uncle's birthday with him
1554) new books to discover
1555 - 1570) time with family

1571) My dad - who took all these pictures - but isn't in any of them.
1572) gerbera daisies