Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

My aunt sent this to me and I had to share it -- sometimes you just have to wipe away the old drab ways of looking at life to see the glistening potential just under the surface waiting to be discovered:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Read previous post first


Pippin v The Bed

I love that no matter how many times my dog Pippin has made the jump from the floor to the bed -- he still worries that he can't do it every single time and has to be encouraged and coxed until finally he makes the leap again. It makes me feel better about myself and all of the times I seem to go back to the starting block on things I thought I had conquered. Life is about overcoming setbacks -- and Pippin does it every day:)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

No room at the Inn

(I posted this blog a few years ago, but in rediscovering, I thought it was still worth sharing at this time of year:)

I was thinking today that for the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas sure is freaking stressful. And I wondered why we couldn't all just go back to when times were simple and Christmas meant peace on earth and good will towards men. But then it hit me: even the first Christmas was ushered in in the midst of mind-numbing stress. Miles away from home, uncomfortably pregnant, and with no transportation but a donkey? A DONKEY?? And then you arrive only to discover either the hubby forgot to book reservations (and on a holiday!) or else someone bribed the night clerk to take your room and now you've got nowhere to sleep. That's gotta top the charts when it comes to stress. And just when it seems things couldn't possibly get any more insane -- you go into labor. Far from home, no place to stay, no hospital -- just a barn with dirty freaking floors and a bunch of smelly hay. No mom to hold your hand, no doctor to tell you it'll be alright -- just you and your husband, who ain't even you baby's daddy, and a bunch of furry animals, in the dark.

I can only imagine how she felt. If ever there were a time to freak out, to curse the heavens, to why me, to have a complete nervous break down -- this would be it. 

But then...

But then -- a baby. And he's healthy. And you realize so are you. You made it through. And everything's going to be okay. And suddenly you're a family, and there's more love in your heart than you ever thought possible. In that moment that's all there is -- the stress has given way to the joy of family. To love. And you're at peace. Peace, joy, love, Christmas.

So if even MARY had to endure the stress of the season, maybe I can too. Especially knowing that in the end, everything's going to be alright. And maybe a little straw in the hair, a little sleepless nights, a little road rage -- maybe all of it's worth it because somehow it all points the way to Love...

Friday, December 9, 2011

A special vision

I am thankful for my imagination and ability to picture things so clearly in my mind. There are times when it can make life hard (worry is harder to shake when you can see scary things in your mind) but there are times when it can make life very beautiful and the pictures turn to visions. I remember the first time I was made aware that I could close my eyes and still see things -- in second grade, my teacher had us all lie down on the floor as for a nap, but instead of sleeping, she taught us how to relax with mind pictures. With her calming voice, she guided us onto a green grassy hill under a blue sky filled with puffy white animal shaped clouds and a bright happy sun. I'm sure it's easy to tell what a revelation it was to me that I can still picture that scene when I close my eyes some three decades later!

Anyway, today I was blessed with a particularly wonderful experience while I was getting my (dreaded) acupuncture done. Normally, it is very hard for me to relax and I feel quite claustrophobic waiting the required thirty minutes lying still with the needles in place. I usually listen to my beloved Taize chants (look into it if you've never heard of it) and today while I was listening to the soaring soprano voices, a very clear picture came to my mind that brought me great peace. I was sitting in a small wooden boat in some pretty tumultuous and foreboding waves, watching the gorgeous billowing storm clouds move away with cracks of orange sunlight streaming through, when I noticed the water all around grow very still. I was looking overboard at the beauty of the glassy water when I turned back and saw that Jesus was in the boat behind me the whole time and I hadn't even realized it. What I remember most was focusing on his open arms and how it felt to melt into them -- strong and comforting. I can't quite do it justice, but it was very moving. And I remember thinking about the story of the woman in the bible who had been tortured by what is called "an issue of blood" sickness for twelve long years, and she thought if she could only touch the hem of Jesus' garment, she would be healed. She did, and she was. And in my vision, I just kept thinking, all she had was a hem to hold and here I am wholly wrapped in his cloak as if they were a mother hen's wings around her chick. Well, I can tell you, my head and neck weren't the only things to experience healing heart needed that hug very badly, and I am so grateful for it.

The cheesier the better

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I am a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie junkie! They are sappy and predictable and completely unbelievable -- and they make me happy every time:) I love all the old TV stars that I've missed seeing on my screen and the decorations and Santas and the overblown need-a-kleenex magic of it all. God bless us every one!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy to the World!

I'm thankful for our first Christmas in our little home -- it feels like the world's most perfect Christmas cottage with all of the lights and decoration. I love it:)