Archives for category: a few thoughts on…

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So, Mother’s Day is a sweet one. Memories kind of fill the air on this day as we stop and remember our moms, and being a mom, and the mom-figures in our lives. And it’s a day to celebrate the incredible gift that it is to be a mom and to have a mom.

But…this year..am especially aware of so many who have an ache right around now. That ache is a  pit-in-the-stomach, ache-in-the-heart, kick-in-the-gut kind of feeling that comes from the void of knowing that their mom is no longer around.

So, I just wanted to share a card that I made for a friend of mine whose wife passed a little over a year ago.  There are very few words to fill the huge void that grief can create, but, sometimes, just being remembered can help fill the voids. So, to my dear friends and loved ones who have experienced the deep loss of their mom or wife or loved one, and it makes Mother’s Day sting, well, just wanted to share that you’re being remembered today.

And, I want to thank you as well. Because through watching others grieve the loss of their moms, and say the words, well, I’m so reminded to cherish the day. To cherish our loved ones. To say the words, embrace those we love, and make the most of the time we do have. Because each day is a treasure, a gift. Even the days that we grieve. Am thinking that the ache of grief and loss, and beauty and gift and of what we have lost can walk hand in hand. Am hoping that the beauty of the gift of who she was in your life outweighs the ache for you today… and that you can remember her with a smile and laughter and tears that cleanse. I have a feeling most moms would long for that for you. Just a few thoughts on this Mother’s Day…

Blessings,

Heather

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Bloom  (Taken in Old Salem, Winston Salem, North Carolina, May 5, 2017)

So, when the word “spent” is used as an adjective instead of a verb, well, it doesn’t have the best connotation. It alludes to being used, depleted, …spent.  When we say that someone is ‘spent’, well, we’re saying that they’ve given and people have taken and they are depleted, done, spent.  And yes, that tends to have a negative connotation.

But recently, I’ve been looking at that concept from another angle. Maybe being spent is not such a bad thing. Maybe, just maybe, we are meant to be spent. Meant to be spent? Yes.  Not in a self-made-martyr kind of way that draws attention to self and exhausts to the point of being use-less, but in a ‘leave-it-all-on-the-field’ kind of way that empties one self out, letting in no regrets.

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…one bloom rising above the masses…

So often I have more regret over what I have not done rather than what I had. I regret the half-hearted attempts that breed half-hearted results. I regret the phone calls not made, the letters not written, the songs not shared.  (Oh, and I know a certain someone who presently has almost 400 un-finished, un-shared blog drafts…yikes.) I regret the good-intentioned, never completed things that go by the wayside. I regret the wasted use-less time that often empties me rather than fills me. I regret the things I supposedly have “learned”, even spoken, but have not yet truly applied. I regret the not taking time to look in the eye and ask the questions and say the words and get in there in real and tangible ways.

Being spent for the right things has a way of crowding out the wrong things or fillers in our lives.  Weeds don’t grow where flowers are blooming, where other seeds are planted. Being spent for the right things also has a way of filling up…motivating, encouraging, inspiring not just me, but hopefully those around me as well.

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It is only when a flower sheds its beauty in full bloom, full array, the last hurrah before the petals fade, that the seeds are formed. A flower in reserve is a flower with no blooms, because once the unfolding comes, the petals will fall off. Yes flowers that save, conserve, reserve, would merely be un-bloomed buds. But as we hopefully learned in elementary school science, flowers produce seeds. So blooms not only color our world in the now, they hopefully reproduce…and multiply the beauty shared.

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Poppies in a Garden in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina May 5, 2017

And the beauty shared?  I loved that it comes in  all colors, sizes, and shapes that make for a beautiful bouquet. When one stops to see, to really see, they can’t help but behold the beauty. Yep, we all have different ways to be spent for our world… And I’m thinking it’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

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So here’s to being spent. Yep, spent in a no-regrets-kind-of-way that makes our pillows soft and our sleep sweet knowing that we did what we could …that day. And here’s to knowing that even when mistakes are made, that they are to be learned from. I love that flowers are seasonal…and perennials get a chance to bloom and re-bloom over again…to be ‘spent’ over and over again.   To be shared over and over again.

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Jesus knew a thing or two about being spent. Not on futile things that are so temporal. But on being spent for life-changing, mind-blowing eternal things.  Am thinking Christ-followers should too.  A few thoughts (and reminders to myself) on being spent from a garden of blooms somewhere in the middle of North Carolina.

Blessings ~

Heather

“This is our time on the history line of God. This is it. What will we do with the one deep exhale of God on this earth? For we are but a vapor and we have to make it count. We’re on. Direct us, Lord, and get us on our feet.” –Beth Moore

 “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” –Mother Teresa

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliot

 

Was sweet to be able to spend time with Chase a few weeks back. We walked and talked on the beach and then he started throwing shells as I took some beach shots with my camera.  He didn’t realize that he was the subject of the photos a lot of the time…

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And as I looked through the lens and watched him skip shells, well, it brought a huge smile to my face. I don’t even think he realized what he was doing. It was like he was back on the third base line, firing a ball home….He would put the shell behind his back…

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Lift that left leg…

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..stick his tongue in his right cheek (yep, every time)…and…

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…whiz that shell to the waves.DSCN3251

Then, he’d watch. Just for a moment because it disappears right away of course…

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my boy-now-man repeat those steps. He played third base as far back as coach-pitch…and muscle memory tells him that when he picks up a ball, a rock, a shell, he follows a certain sequence. And he follows it…even when skipping shells at the beach 🙂  And I don’t even think he realized it.  Until I couldn’t hold back my laughter and he realized that this not-so-conspicuous photographer of a mom was taking photos of him. And then I told him about his stance…totally baseball third base stance was on the beach …and he smiled as he reached down for the next shell.DSCN3255

And I did a lot of grinning as I watched. Because no matter how crazy life gets, well, we have our ‘go-tos’. We have our little things that are so ingrained in us that we don’t even realize it. We have our things that help us stay steady when life gets a bit unbalanced.

And as I watched, I thought about how the patterns developed during the easier times in our lives so matter during the storms. When our hearts and minds go to defaults, where do they go? I mean, I know that skipping shells or stones in a certain way isn’t a big deal, but it just reminded me of how what we practice is what we do. What we pour into our hearts, minds, bodies comes out even when we don’t realize it. What we pour in comes out. What we practice is what we do. What we think is how we live.

And during crazy times when we may not feel like we can sort through things, well, we have our defaults. So am mindful of making sure my default, the things I practice, are the things I want to flesh out when I’m not thinking.  Because, if I’m honest with myself, there’s a lot of instances when yours truly is so not thinking. I react, respond, and revert to my default. Some good defaults. Some so not. Gotta work on those so nots.

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Because you never know when someone is watching and taking it all in. Ask Chase 🙂 When a stone is thrown in a lake, the splash goes in and then the ripples go out and out and out… And it’s the ripples, not just the act, that can impact those we never even know. Our defaults matter. They so matter.

I’m thankful that scripture gives good defaults…good things to ponder and pray through and practice. Here’s one  of my favorites. (the verse  below, Philippians 4: 4-8)…..  Cool how determined, disciplined action that may start out as going against the grain of our feelings, etc. can, with practice, become our “go-to” defaults. And peace follows…peace that passes understanding. That’s another cool thing about defaults…they provide stability, normalcy, familiarity, when things might be so not stable, normal, familiar. Love that. Crazy how watching my Chase throw a shell can start these rambling thoughts…  Maybe that’s one of my defaults….rambling thoughts, ha!  Yikes.  Oh well…here’s the verse to think on…

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:4-8

And one more (rambling) thought.  Those shells that Chase threw out to sea?  They’ll most likely come back to shore soon. It’s what waves do. It’s what shells do. There are “defaults” and “go-to”s all around us designed by a loving God. Creation speaks of His Presence and love. Being mindful of His goodness can make this whole setting good defaults a whole lot easier. We love because He first loved us. It’s what He does. Maybe the more we realize that, the more we will, as the verse says, have our defaults be to love. Maybe so.

Blessings ~

Heather

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So this past week, I was really convicted about something.

And that word “convicted” stuck out to me.  I mean in the Christian realm we can use that word quite a bit. We say that we are convicted of this or convicted of that. Oftentimes it might be the ‘little things’ like eating too much or wasting time or saying things before praying through. And I thought about how so often when we (I) say we are convicted of something, we (I) STAY convicted of something because sometimes there’s a release in the admission…and we (I) leave it there.  We (I) just leave it there.

So here’s the thing that struck me. We use the word “convicted” a lot and that’s all well and good, but logic follows that if we are convicted, we are a …(here it comes) convict.  A convict?  Yep, a convict….one who is convicted of something. Not the verb, the NOUN.  Now THAT word has a bit different connotation. It also has lots of visual imagery of prison bars and jail cells and men in orange jumpsuits. And it struck me that if we (I) say we (I) are convicted without moving into the rehabilitative phase after the conviction, we (I) stay a convict.  Yikes. We stay stuck. I stay stuck and choose to inhabit a prison of sorts if I (we) don’t learn from the conviction, the guilty feeling, the conscience speaking and move beyond it.

It was always a no-brainer when dealing with my children. I mean, if they are truly sorry for something, the behavior will change, right? As a mom who loves them, I needed to help them to learn and turn. Learn from the behavior (with not so fun “lessons” via time out, restrictions, etc.) and Turn. I expected that from them and helped them see the reality of what would happen if they stayed stuck. Loving them and wanting good things for them helped me see and act with clarity and resolve. (Most times, anyway.)

Do I do the same thing with myself?  As an adult, I’m amazed at how much I can rationalize things. That’s so not good. The “no big deal” phrase and cultural norm can keep me stuck. If I feel truly stuck in something, convicted, convinced of sin or a lack of wisdom, I will own it.  If I own it, I will hopefully change the behavior, transform the thinking, move beyond the being stuck, imprisoned and convicted, to being rehabilitated, changed, free.

And it takes honesty. And it takes work. And it takes not listening to what the world says about things and truly listening to, seeking out, and bathing my heart and mind in the scripture that is the Truth that sets free. And it takes praying through and surrendering and being very honest with myself. It takes shoe leather (or canvas or whatever they make shoes out of these days). It takes action. Determination.

If I were to share the thing that convicted me with a lot of people, so many would say, “Oh brother, that’s no big deal….” ( I hate that phrase when it comes to things of the heart and actions that can free us..but that’s a thought for another day…)   My conviction had to do with priorities,…an awareness that my ‘go-to’ for encouragement and a lift wasn’t ‘seeking ye first the kingdom of God”, but was more seeking others’ words, others’ thoughts rather than me going first to the Source myself. Not a bad thing, but not the best thing.  Christ-followers need to be attuned to when we’re veering from the path, getting a little off track. Because the little steps lead to the big journeys.  And the watering down of priorities can lead to horrific outcomes.  I know that and have seen it and don’t want to live it. Being stuck is no fun.  So many times it can lead to others being stuck too. Not good.

So today, I put my running shoes on. Figuratively and literally as a reminder. I’m doing a little inventory on myself and being honest about my priorities. I’ve gotta pray before I quickly say things or hit “send”. I’ve gotta seek the Source and not put second or third or last things first. I’ve gotta be honest with myself about time and be aware that each day is a gift that can be wasted or used to honor the God I love. So many things are simplified by merely putting first things first.

So today starts with coffee and scripture. And do you know what else it starts with?  A new morning, a chance to start again…a new beginning. It starts with gratitude for being able to ‘learn and turn’ and enjoy the simplicity of lessons learned and new goals set. It starts with a determination to make the most of this beautiful Saturday knowing that this day, this moment will never come again.  But the things I do and the steps I take?  They will lead me. They follow me. And I’m thinking that I want to choose to stay on the simple narrow path that leads to freedom. Yep, I’ve got my running shoes on.  Thankful for being a runner in this race of faith…and that goals with determination lead to destinations. I can trust God with the destinations as I honor Him with my steps. The big ones and the so little ones. They lead. And when the race is over, I want to be thankful for where those big and little steps lead.

Blessings~

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33

P.S.  Wanna know something funny? I thought this would be a paragraph post. Maybe two. Maybe another goal of mine should be to take a writing course on editing which focuses on “abridged versions”. Yikes. To those who made it to the end, thanks for staying with me!

P.P.S. Just a little note of clarification. The journey I speak of today has nothing to do with earning God’s love at all. It has everything to do to responding to His love though… It’s not about salvation, but sanctification. It’s about the way we run because He ran to us. The way we love because He loved us. The way we live because He died for us. My steps, right or wrong, can’t change His love..But they can lead me closer to Him and further away. Here’s to the moving closer…

DSCN2239So, my son and I went to Verizon today. I usually dread it because of the wait time, but it was only a 15-minute wait tonight, so I just walked around and looked at the oh-so-upgraded phones that dwarf my little iPhone 4s (which I am a proud carrier of by the way.) Anyway, as I looked at one of the phones, it was kind of in the case catty-corner and so I tried to straighten it, to fix it….

Wrong move.

I soon saw flashing lights and heard an awful alarm sound.  Oops.  Big oops. And then I saw a man running around the store looking for the turn-off-the-alarm-key.  And then I raised my hand and smiled and said that this phone over here was the one ‘ringing’. Ha. He waved back and did not look in the least bit concerned that I was a threat to his phone or to him. (Maybe I should be offended by that, but I so was not…)

Now years ago, I would have been ultra-embarrassed and possibly mortified by setting off an alarm in the store. The running-around-man finally found the key and he smiled and said, “No worries. It happens all the time.”  And maybe, that’s part of the reason why I wasn’t embarrassed. (Well, I was a little embarrassed, but not totally mortified.)  Maybe it was partly because I have made enough mistakes  (they ‘happen all the time’) to know what are those mistakes to stress over and what are those to just laugh at myself about and move on.  We all got a good laugh (yes, at my expense), and thankfully within about 3 minutes, we moved on.

But after the fact, I did decide that I would no longer browse the phones, but would rather choose to sit with my hands to myself  and wait. I think it was a good choice, as no other alarms went off in the meantime. (That’s the beauty of making mistakes…learning from them!)  But as I was sitting there I kept thinking about the whole propensity to fix things.  Sometimes we moms get in that mode of ‘fixing’. Fixing collars, fixing hair, fixing this, fixing that, (even catty-corner phones).  Sometimes we wives do as well. Trying to fix an unwilling ‘fixee’ might turn out to be a dangerous path. Depending on who is or is not wanting to be fixed, it can really backfire. A lot. I can remember a dear mentor of mine joking (sort of)  with her husband in her strong New York accent  “You’re not my Holy Spirit…” And that’s the bottom line. There’s a readiness factor in being fixed. Sometimes pre-mature fixing only slows the process and builds resistance.

So here’s my two cents. Sometimes, it’s so not my place to fix things or people. It’s my place to observe, to see, to pray through, but to not try to wade into the waters of fixing things that aren’t mine to fix. It can create lots more chaos. Sometimes that chaos might involve damaged relationships or enablement of wrong patterns, or heeding off natural consequences that would be the best teacher.  And sometimes trying to fix things might create chaos that comes with alarms and bells and people running around crazy trying to undo the ‘fixing’.

So, my two cents says, that fixing things that I am responsible for…am all for it.  But when it comes to fixing things that other people are responsible for, well, maybe it’s best to sit back, pray, and keep my hands to myself. We all have our own paths to walk…and our own mistakes to learn from. Take it from me and my little trip to Verizon.

Blessings~

Heather

P.S.  There may be some of you who were concerned about Tanner’s embarrassment or mortification factor. He handled it just fine. Am thinking he’s had some practice with not being embarrassed by his mom’s blunders (although this was the first one involving flashing lights and alarms. oops…I mean it was only the second one involving alarms and lights …there was that speeding ticket…). My little blunders have helped teach my teenagers to let it roll…and Grace abounds 🙂

P.P.S. And of course, there are definite times of helping, fixing, and aiding…but one thing I always need to remember is to make sure I’m working on fixing the stuff in myself before I try to fix the same issue in someone else. Walking alongside and mutual encouragement /accountability is a lot different than “fixing”.  Like Jesus said in Matthew 7, we’ve gotta make sure we have the plank out of our own eye before we try to take a speck out of another’s. Humility can be a huge advantage when the time for fixing does arise. My two (more) cents.

 

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Anxiety. If you listen, or scroll, or read for any amount of time these days, that word will most likely pop up pretty quickly. Worry, anxiety, depression…these are battles  of the mind and heart that so many face in their lives. About a month ago, I was dealing with a lot of worry about a current situation in our lives. I couldn’t see how things would play out and it was really eating at me from the inside. It was pretty all-consuming, and I was making bold attempts to not feed the worry (cause yep, as I’ve said ad nauseum, “What we feed grows…”), but I was having a tough time. Worry seemed to be winning. But then, then… I read this quote: “Faith is rest, because it believes the work is done.” (Dan Bailey).

I stopped.  Rest.  I’m not sure why it hit me so incredibly hard, but it did. I smiled big.  Faith, belief leads to rest.  Not just rest like a nap. Rest like a quieting of the heart’s hamster wheel of worry. Rest like an ability to be ‘all in’ in the moment we’re in because we’re not pondering what the future will hold. Rest like a holding out of our empty hands instead of wringing them in anxious waiting. Rest in the soul that allows me to go all out in the daily stuff of life. Rest that says, “You’ve got this” not to me, but to the One who really does. God has got this.

He knew what would come before I did. He knows what is to come. And He’s right there in the middle of it all. When we take those situations, heartaches, worries to Him and lay it down, we make room for Him to do what we can’t. When we trust Him with it all, it frees us up to be wholly devoted to Him in the big and little stuff of our daily lives.

We are much more present living life with the people in our midst, working hard, loving well and reaching those in our world, when we’re not so busy trying to keep the world spinning…or worrying about it not spinning.  So, “Faith is Rest”.  Trusting is Resting. That’s been my new ‘go-to’ when worry crops up. Trusting is resting. Trusting is resting.  When fears for my (adult) child crop up.  Trusting is resting.  When the uncertainty of future weighs on heart and mind. Trusting is resting. When my friend and her family were in a car accident yesterday and her neck was fractured. Tears were flowing, but my heart was knowing that God is in control and because of that I can trust Him with her and her family. Why?  Because trusting is resting. Trusting is resting. Trusting is resting. That’s what I spoke to my heart.  Truth. And Truth sets us free to rest in our hearts in situations that are difficult, trying, even terrifying.

If I believe God is who He says He is, I can trust Him with it all.  And the cool thing is?  He can use it all. For our good, For His Glory, He can use it all as we lay it at His feet. We put our spinning worlds down, and He, the Creator of All, can get our wobbly worlds back in sync.  When we put our worries into praying with faith, knowing that God can use it all, we put the reigns back in the hands of the One who Loves and Knows and sees beyond what we ever could. He’s a bit more adept at spinning the World than I am. That sun comes up every single solitary morning whether I see it (or worry about it!) or not. Just saying.

So, when worries crop up (daily, hourly, even momentarily!), am learning to speak truth to myself…to remind myself that I can trust God with it all.  Trusting is resting in His Sovereign Will, in His undying Love.  Trusting is Resting.

Blessings~

Heather

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.”  

Romans 8:26-28

P.S. ( Always, right?  Sorry!)

Romans 8  I have  to include the link to whole chapter of Romans 8. It is so incredibly rich on any given day, but it is especially full when battling fears. No condemnation. He works all things for our good. He loves us. He has provided.  Yes, rich words and Truths indeed that can fill the heart that needs to remember who they trust and why they can rest.

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“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Matthew 6:26

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I planted some seeds in a pot today. The pot has seen so many flowers through the years, but most times, they’ve been the  pre-grown kind I just pick up at Wal-mart and stick in a pot. But these?  These little seeds are going to take a little time to grow.

I took out the little hand shovel and dug a hole, put some seeds in and for now will wait to hopefully see some little sprouts grow. Impatiens seeds (for those who are  not so very ‘patiens’…) takes only about 21 days to germinate.  So, it won’t be long until we see the sprouts break the surface of the soil and begin their debut. I’m so looking forward to seeing these simple little carefree beauties bloom.

And do you know what?  When they start to flower and bloom and fill up that pot…they won’t be daisies or tulips or lilies.  They’ll be impatiens. That’s what I planted after all.

Because what we sow is what we reap.  Not always right away. Sometimes there’s a short germination period, and sometimes it takes years and years to see what we’ve planted  reach the surface and bloom.  But the principle stands….what we sow, we reap.

Daisies beget daisies. Verbena begets verbena. Willows beget willows. Violets beget violets.  Impatiens beget impatiens.

And…much more importantly…Kindness plants seeds of kindness. Hope breeds hope. Lies beget lies and distrust. Love multiplies love. Stealing multiplies voids and needs. Yep, what we sow, we reap.  Not always right away, because, yes, even with these, there can be  years and years of waiting (or dreading depending on what we’ve planted), because like seeds, the way we treat people are seeds sown that may take a little time to germinate.  But, what we sow we reap.

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Am thinking I’m glad that I like impatiens. I’m glad (hoping) that I will see the beauty of that sow~reap principle before my eyes every day this summer.  Why?  Because I want to be reminded to sow well. To be diligent about planting seeds that will reap a harvest that blesses others and honors God. A harvest that gives. And I want to be diligent about tossing the seeds and actions that I don’t want to multiply in my life or in the lives of others. I definitely don’t want to be multiplying negative stuff. The world is full of enough of that.And it definitely takes diligence and honesty and tenacity to see the yuck in my own life. Gotta see it before I can toss it. And I’ve gotta plant the good stuff before it will grow.

Here’s to reaping what we sow, and sowing well because we know that daisies beget daisies, verbena begets verbena, and impatiens beget impatiens. Am hoping that this summer my pots will be full of impatiens…and my own little world will be blessed by the harvest that comes from the seeds I choose to plant in my life and the lives of those around me. Yep ~ am so thankful for the reminders that these little seeds gave me today…hope you are too!  Happy Planting, friend.

Blessings~

Heather

“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love.

Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD,

that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Hosea 10:12

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Yes, I have a few thoughts on husbands.  Correction.  Husband. Singular. Meaning mine. I’ve joked (sort of) in other posts that my husband is a ‘man among men’ in many ways. (And sadly, this was said more humorously than amorously…)  He is stubborn, thinks he’s invincible, and often doesn’t filter his thoughts through his brain before they come out of his mouth.  He will probably admit to all of the above freely.  He lives with an extreme intensity which has probably greatly contributed to his success in playing football, being an undercover cop, and coaching sports. My husband is one of a kind and like him or not, he is who he is. (I happen to like him, most days anyway.)

Well, this weekend, I was reminded of a few things about the man. You see, he’s living about 4 hours away right now, building a home on the coast of NC, so we are traveling back and forth to see each other. This weekend was my turn, so on Friday after work, my son and I jumped in the car and made the trek to Wilmington. On the way, my son got a call from his Dad.  I could tell that Buddy was asking Tanner what snacks he wanted because Tan started listing things like ‘Oreos’ and ‘chips like Doritos…yeah Doritos’.  And I kinda wished that he would ask me what I wanted because I was so in the mood for popcorn, but I kept quiet and just asked that we have coffee in the morning. I would definitely need coffee in the morning.

And when we got there, we all hugged and brought in  our stuff to his little apartment (that he affectionately calls his ‘bachelor pad’, ha.) and what did I see?  Coffee already made, two mugs, with ‘my cup’ on one and ‘your cup’ on the other. He of course got Tanner the Oreo cookies he wanted, but remembered from way back in the Fall that I had tried the Lemon Oreos and loved them. Yep. They were there too. And do you  know what else was there?  Pop corn.  The man notices.

And I guess that’s what this post is about. It’s about …noticing.  Noticing the little thing, the little things he does that are so thoughtful.  You see, this man who drives me crazy in every possible way and doesn’t pick up  his socks, communicates in one word answers and is as stubborn as all-get-out….this man knows me.  He notices things I don’t think he sees, and cares about the little things.They aren’t always the things I care about, but that’s what happens when you have different takes, view, perspectives on things. When the kids were little, he knew what every one of them wanted on his or her sandwich (that’s no small feat with 6 children). He works hard for our family. And the man who may not be seen as the greatest communicator makes sure that he talks with all of our kids almost on a daily basis.

And it’s good for me to notice what he notices. It’s good for me to step back and appreciate those little things. It’s so easy to see what’s lacking, the gaps,the falling short. I know that as women, often long for more and have a vision of what we hope things could be.  But there’s so much that is. And the cool thing is, is that the more I notice what is,  it seems, that there is so much more to notice.  There it is again…perspective changes everything.

They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I can only speak for myself, but it sure has helped me to appreciate my husband. In his absence, I see what is. Like a puzzle with pieces missing, I realize what was there that maybe I didn’t see before.  I so wouldn’t wish living separately on many couples. But it sure has helped me and my husband. I have a feeling he’s seeing some of the missing pieces too, and appreciating what is. And even though he may not communicate and have deep conversations with me about this or that, he’s showing me in his own way that he’s all in and he cares and he notices. And I can’t help but notice that.

Oh, and he called tonight to make sure we got home okay and said he’d definitely be coming home next weekend. In the midst of all the absence and gaps and loss, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for. And what we don’t have?  Well it seems to make us more thankful for what we do.

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What Bud sees when he walks out the door in the morning….and what we get to see when we’re there…Kind of the best of both worlds, I’d say.  At least that’s how I’m choosing to see it…

Blessings~

Heather

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7

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December Prayer

I’m determined to remember
I’m determined to forget
On this last day in December
I choose to move beyond regret

For it is often in the choosing
Of what to hold and to let go
for what we focus on will hold us
And what we feed in life will grow

I’ll forget what lies behind me
Those things I cannot change
But hold dear the lessons learned and
Find the beauty that remains

I’ll ‘forget’ the things that held me
The things that weighed me down
The regrets and prayers unanswered
to live a life that just resounds
Of the simple Faith that moves me
So simple yet profound
The truth that God has given grace
The Truth that I, the Lost, am found

So I choose to remember
And I choose to forget
On this last day of December
I know God’s not done with me yet

I forget what lies behind me
I focus on the prize
For so often destinations
are merely where we’ve set our sights

I’m determined to breathe in
I’m determined to breathe out
To embrace the moment where I stand
And pray that God’s grace will allow
Us to see some more Decembers
To make the most of each new Day
To live a simple life that speaks
Of God’s Amazing Grace

For the Alpha and Omega
Redeemer, Lord, and Friend
Was there at the beginning
And will be there at the end
Always endings bring beginnings
When one stops, one must begin
I will journey on just knowing
That He is with me till the end
And then with me…
when…
whatever is next
begins…

So
I’m determined to remember
I’m determined to forget
I’m determined to hold on to the Truth
that I am not Home yet

I pray the days ahead are many
Filled with passion, purpose, hope
I’ll forget and I’ll remember
And pray that others come to know
The freedom that comes-
The joy, the faith, the hope-
in forgetting and remembering
And in trusting God alone

It is He who remembers
It is He who forgets
The Creator of all that lives and breathes
Forgives and forgets
As far as the East is from the West.
Oh my friend, do not forget
The Lord and His benefits.

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A few years ago, I started taking a different way to work.  Even though it’s not the quickest way for me after dropping off my son at the high school, I still take it every morning .  I start out on winding roads and see glimpses of the sun through the trees. And then I come wide open spaces  and see the sun rising over a hill to the right.As I go around the bend, I see a field of cows with mountains in the background.   And when I come home? If I time it right, I see the sun peeping through the trees ahead of me, and then settling into a vast field to my left as I enter my road, the last little stretch before I reach home.

theridehome3This afternoon, the sun was so bright it was hard to see.  But what I did see was beautiful. Grays, blues, greens all joined by a warm glow that drenched it all. Short cuts may be good for somethings, but for me?  When I can, I’m taking the long and winding road.  It’s the one that helps me keep perspective. It’s the one that helps me realize it’s not all about the quickest and fastest. It reminds me to breathe. To appreciate.  To take the moment in.  To not rush home to rush to the next thing, but to just kind of be in the minute I’m in. It probably only takes one or two minutes more than the other way, but the visual pay out way more than makes up for a few minutes lost, because there’s a whole lot that can’t be measured that’s gained.

Just a few thoughts on my way home.

Blessings ~

Heather

 

“Cease striving and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10

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