Sunday, April 14, 2013

Twinkle Lights

It's amazing what happens when the piles of books are sorted and organized.  I found a book that I had ordered in the fall.  I was excited to read it, but somehow had forgotten all about it.  Sort of ironic, given the title and the content.  The Gifts of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  I am not one who can keep things all in their places.  Which is why a pile (or two or three) of books even exists.  

Moving on.  I've been making my way through the book. Can't overdo it and do it all at once, you know.  Some things just need time to percolate.  At least they do for me.  Today I read the 4th guidepost - cultivating gratitude and joy. 

Here's one of the sections that jumped out at me today.  

"Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy.  Joy is not a constant.  It comes to us in moments - often ordinary moments.  Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we're too busy chasing down extraordinary moments.  Other times we're so afraid of the dark that we don't dare let ourselves enjoy the light.

A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy.  That would eventually become unbearable.

I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith."  Brene Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection   p. 80 and 81

Here are some of the twinkle lights in my past week.

1775) flowers delivered at school to celebrate two years of being cancer free

1776) the love of family
1777) sewing with friends
1778 - 1785) the process of creating with fabric

1786) dinner with a friend
1787) the beauty of the dinner

1788) hugs from friends
1789) hugs from children
1790) encouragement from parents of students
1791) losing myself in a book
1792) physical health and being able to shovel snow 
1793) inspiration from others
1794) beauty in the colours of food

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What I see....

In the process of cleaning up my house (well, a small part of it) during my break, I read through some magazines that had been waiting for me.  In one of them I found this quote - and it struck a chord with me.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  Henry David Thoreau

Here's what I've "seen" in the last number of weeks.  Well, some of it.  I haven't been exactly faithful in recording these gifts from God.  But, spending time just now going back through the weeks has been delight-full.

1701) the challenge of a mystery quilt and having fabrics at home to use for it

1702) gifts of rides to convention
1703) being able to take the train to come home
1704) completing report cards 
1705) and encouragement from administration on the comments I wrote

1706) a great Saturday - with success in writing report cards - and
1707) a walk to a nearby cafe for breakfast (one of my breaks) - and
1708) a walk to the train to explore the indoor gardens downtown (another break)

1709) when severe pain goes away - and
1710) being able to get in to the doctor and finding our the cause isn't serious

1711) successful student-led conferences
1712) successful VIP Day at school -watching kids and their guests interact
1713) students learning new skills and applying these skills
1714) hugs from children

1715) benefits of a decision NOT to travel north the first weekend of Spring Break - including
1716) having the time to make meals to take along - and
1717) being able to be there longer - and
1718) being able to take a niece shopping to buy fabric to make her a quilt 

1719) time cooking with a friend
1720) time quilting with friends
1721) the anticipation of putting the pieces of a quilt together
1722) being able to help a friend
1723) realizing it's 2 years tomorrow since my surgery
1724) being able to chat with someone about to undergo the same surgery I had - and answering her questions
1725) spending a day with a friend at a quilt festival
1726) spending lunch with others we bumped into there - and the times we bumped into them throughout the day
1727) new inspiration and ideas for quilts
1728) new fabric and plans for quilts
1729) yes, and even resisting buying some beautiful fabrics
1730) being able to enjoy and admire different combinations of colours and designs
1731) dry roads so we could travel - despite the forecast
1732) time to read
1733) finishing Elaine's quilt

1734) finishing the orange and red quilt

1735) and not totally hating the hand-sewing of the bindings
1736) hugs at church
1737) clean sheets
1738) tea
1739) candied ginger
1740) holidays and downtime
1741) celebrating Easter - 
1742) and everything that means for eternity!
1743) sermon illustrations and explanations like
1744) the comment on Jesus' greeting to the women in the garden - simply "Greetings"  when it could have been "Ta da!"
1745) a drive to the country and an art gallery and tea with friends
1746) dinner and a walk with a friend
1747) libraries
1748) the hold system to get particular books and movies
1749) having a garage
1750) a warm enough day to do a little yard work
1751) seeing a little green - in daffodils coming up

1752) the gift of the words of others - in books - words that make me pause
1753) and wonder
1754) and feel
1755) and learn

1756) the feeling of belonging
1757) my father's ability to help me with computer problems - and get back the files I had lost
1758) external hard drives!
1759) my father's desire to share his passion and encourage me
1760) being able to visit my grandma with my brother
1761) lunch of appreciation
1762) dinner with my brother's family
1763) Easter brunch with family
1764) a phone call that calms and encourages a friend
1765) a wedding invitation - with a photo of my very happy friend!
1766) a long phone call with that friend
1767) more hours of daylight, and the evidence of that in the solar lights in my backyard
1768) time sewing with my aunt
1769) dinner at her house
1770) dinner and a movie with friends
1771) birthday dinner with friends (not my birthday)
1772) sighting an unusual bird on a walk
1773) walking with two of my sisters
1774) laying out quilt blocks that I thought were on the ugly side - and discovering a quiet beauty in the quilt