Monday, January 21, 2013

A Post for Lydia

“Mom, you need to write on your blog so I can read it,” said Lydia recently.

[  I smiled.  : D  I have a following.  ]

Today while scribbling in my journal, my pen drew an arrow from the printed page to the virtual screen. 

This one’s for you, my sweet reader, Lydia .  . . and all the rest of you out there in bloggyland.

 * * * * *

Time Out.  Time Off.  Time Away.  
Time for Joy.

I’ve rattled, racked, and wrung my heart, mind, and spirit lately.  So much to process, decipher, prepare, deliver . . .   The world spins so out of control these days and I am simply trying to live without succumbing to dizziness and fatigue.  I’ve found a simple antidote:  Joy.

Today, I’m taking a time out, for some time off, with some time away from my regularly-scheduled ways and making time to stop, look, and listen to all the joy in and around me.  I want to really drink it in and hold onto that feeling of sweet peace that comes from knowing I can relax and live life rather than exhaust myself by wrangling it into a corral for safe keeping.

The sunshine outside and the roaring fire within make me smile at the crazy way a California Winter behaves.  I love the sunshine!  It’s so much easier to face the chilly morn when rays of gold greet me:  a picture of hope.  But I must admit, my favorite time of day is sunset.  Maybe it’s because I am a squeeze-the-last-drop-out-of kinda gal.  I can be brutal on an exhausted tube of toothpaste or beauty cream; I turn each liquid receptacle for shampoo or detergent on end into a funnel before retiring it to the recycle bin; and I watch movies until the last credit rolls.  I guess I’m a pretty committed “finisher.”  I like tidy.  I get a “thrill” out of finding a place for everything and then putting everything in its place.  Thus, it is with great surprise that I find myself becoming such a free-spirited dreamer these days.

Nowadays, my children often find me embroiled in a book, hunched over a writing project, or simply gazing out into the great beyond, whilst a pile of dishes tip precariously in the sink awaiting attention.  What has happened to Miss Tidy-up?  Has she retired?  Has she lost her mind?  Has she been taken over by sloppy aliens?  

I, too, wonder where that other gal vanished to (usually when an unpleasant task crops up in my path).  It seems mid-life has crept up and encouraged me to pry open new doors and venture out into greater fields of freedom.  I plunge into life with more honesty and openness, more readiness to reach out and embrace life and all those within it.  Where fear once dogged my steps, I now dance with such crazy abandon these days that I think fear finds it harder to follow me.  (Who knew freedom thwarted fear?)

To what do I attribute this influx of . . . well . . . ummmmmm . . . joy?  I’m not really sure, but I know it has to do with letting go the reins of control and allowing life to wash over me without fearing what might come my way.  Sometimes I stumble, often times I fail, and sometimes big unexpected things knock me off my feet and swirl me around in salty waves of tears; but fear and fret make me tense and cause additional pain, so I'm learning to relax and just let it come – I simply hold out my hand and trust . . . that God is good.

The results of this zany abdication of the foolish notion that I can control my destiny (and the destinies of those I love) speak through my experience.

I no longer fear rejection, for I have been rejected in the most devastating way and not only survived, but flourished.

I no longer fear loss, for I have lost a child to death and discovered that he will never truly be gone from my heart and that is where the best of life collects.

I have known poverty, and found the "fear" of poverty to be more overwhelming that the actual state of being without.

I have known financial bounty, and found the "thought" of riches to be far more enjoyable than the actual care and feeding of a bank balance. 

I have told lies for protection, and found myself imprisoned until the truth set me free.

I have compromised to save a friendship, and ended up losing both my good name and the friend.

I have failed to notice a needy one in my very midst, and then needed to fail in order to correct my vision.

I have been blind, deaf, and dumb as I strove for knowledge, and then discovered the greatest gift of insight when I admitted my ignorance.

I have learned that a smile serves as the shortest path to an attitude change.  Like a single candle in the darkness, a simple smile changes an entire face and everything it sees.

I have learned that “The Smile Game”  (also known as:  Smile at everyone you encounter) can be played anywhere, anytime, with anyone and WE BOTH WIN EVERY TIME!

Most of all, I have learned that I will learn something new every day, every hour, every minute of my life (good and bad, pleasant and painful, abundant and barren . . . ) if I keep my heart at the ready to love, accept, and share every single thing my Lord sends my way.  How can I be so sure?  How do I know this?  Madeleine L’Engle said it best:

Now I see that time has gotten away from me, caught up with me, and called out to remind me: 

 Time’s Up!

Now it's Time For:
Time Out
Time Off 
Time Away 
Time for Joy!

Before I go, I was wondering . . .

Does any one care to join me for a rousing round of 
The Smile Game? 

I’ll Start!

: D


Friday, January 11, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different . . .

I have lately joined a Literary Society.  Naturally, this most refined of endeavors includes the reading of Literature, the sipping of tea/coffee, and the exchanging of erudite conversation.  I meet with my darling daughters (Elizabeth and Lydia) at a local coffeehouse.  (Guess Starbucks?  Right-o!)   In the space of a few hours we converse, traverse, and reverse as all good literary scholars are wont to do.  We are most proper and elegant, except when we are not.  [Such as the times my daughters have had to shush! me as I acted out a scene from Shakespeare, or quoted a Dickinson poem, or flung my arms too widely for E-M-P-H-A-S-I-S as to the scope of Dickens’ imagination in crafting his world.]

We would love for you to join us.  If you’re here in Grass Valley, we meet at the NICE Starbucks on Freeman Lane at about 1 o'clock-ish on Wednesdays.  If you’re unable to join us, take a peek at the Harold B. Pricklepants Society website/blog.  

Here’s a photo snippet from the latest post:


Curious?  I thought so. 

Come give us a look-see and join in on the most proper FUN!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gaining Wait in 2013

Today I awoke and stood still.  The quiet house whispered, “All is well.”  After so many days of merry-making laced with going here-, doing this-, making that-I greeted today with NOTHING on my agenda.

Naturally, the house and family ALWAYS offer a solution to the age-old ponderance:  “What shall I do with this unscheduled moment?”  But, today I stepped beyond hearing range of the To Do List and settled into the lull of a place. 

And here I sit . . . simply sitting (and sipping tea, of course).

The Christmas tree twinkles over there; the Nativity shines over here; Christmas extends its reach to January 6th for us.  We will have yet another wonderful celebration on the 6th, but for today it is quiet.  We are quiet.  I am quiet.

So, as many (most, probably) have trundled away the tree and set about tackling resolves to de-clutter, de-stress, de-weight, I slip back into the lull of Christmas that enveloped the manger scene even as the wise men made their way to the blessed meeting. 

I guess you could say I’ve decided to turn the tables and gain weight wait this year.  And in this waiting my expectations grow and delight me with the prospect of meeting, greeting, and embracing the Christ child; for surely, at least one of those wise men scooped that babe up in his arms and played the “coo-ing” game complete with smiles of pure joy and baby-game conversations like, “Oh aren’t you beautiful?  Yes, you are.  You’re so sweet I could just eat you up!” and then proceeded to nibble on those newborn toes with delight.    

[Okay – maybe not the nibbling-toes part.  That probably would have been in the recorded version if women accompanied these learned ones.  But, I digress . . .]

After all, God came to man as a baby – fully God/fully human – and who can resist an adorable baby?  Being fully God did not erase that heavenly “baby smell” each birth brings; nor did it envelop him in a corona-like force field that kept mere mortals at bay.  As in his later life, so in his birth, Jesus came to be embraced.

In these quiet moments before meals commence and dishes stack, I simply sit in this lull . . . in this wait . . . and find something still and small and special. 

 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord
And, behold, the Lord passed by, 
 And a great and strong wind rent the mountains, 
And brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord
But the Lord was not in the wind: 
And after the wind an earthquake; 
But the Lord was not in the earthquake:   
And after the earthquake a fire; 
But the Lord was not in the fire: 
And after the fire 
a still small voice.

1 Kings 19:11, 12

 I hope to gain a LOT of wait in 2013. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Aloha 2012 ~~ ALOHA 2013!

We celebrated in Hawaiian Style

Complete with Volcano & Tiki . . .

. . . and a nerdly experiment.
(Otherwise it just wouldn't feel like home.)
Some people pop champagne corks --
not around here!

Hope you've had a wonderful start to the New Year.