Archives for posts with tag: This Moment in Time

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Wordless Wednesday

DSCN2410Day is done. Love the calm that watching the sun go down brings…almost like there’s permission to stop, slow down, and rest. On a Friday night between the busy-ness of the past week, and the goings of of the weekend ahead, so thankful for the little bit of time right now to just be still. And I love that the verse that says “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), well, it tells us to ‘be still’ before it tells us to ‘know’. Sometimes the ‘knowing’ comes when we stop ‘going’. And somehow, looking at that sun going down gives me a little time and permission to do just that.

Blessings~

Heather

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

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Just got back in from seeing the sunset as my son (pre-drivers licensed son) drove us around town to run a few errands.  I sat in the passenger seat trying to encourage him to leave at least an inch or two for mailboxes, and practiced my breathing.  He’s my last of 6 children to teach how to drive, and well, let’s just say we need quite a few more hours of practice driving under his belt before he goes for his test.  But overall, we’re making progress because I didn’t feel quite so much the need to will the car to stay on the road and I was able to take some photos as we  (oops, I mean “he” ) drove.

The week had lots of highlights.  There was lots and lots of time well spent with four of my six children.  And do you know what some of my favorite moments were?  Coming into the kitchen and seeing all 4 of them sitting on the deck talking …for hours.  Yep, I’d say that’s time well spent.  Then they took goofy pictures and laughed. hopeandboys5

This next photo was taken when I had just finished talking with their brother in Sweden and shared some crazy news with them about some of his fun adventures…Here’s their reaction…hopeandboys1

….and then, here’s the traditional posed shot…

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Hope and Josh got to catch up after not seeing each other for a long time…

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Yep.  Thankful as all get out.  I also got to see my parents after not seeing them since Christmas, and that was time well spent as well. So fun.

There were some sweet surprises this week.  On the way back home from church, we saw a doe and a fawn…still had spots.  I was amazed at how tiny the little guy was, and he didn’t get more than a few inches away from his mother.  When I stopped to watch, they watched right back, and I was amazed at the lack of fear.  I even had time to grab my camera and take a photo.  deer

The mama doe sure looks proud and protective.  I know just how she feels…

So after the weekend, Monday was full of fun as we celebrated with students at school.  We had awards ceremonies and parties and celebrated victories. One of my favorite moments was when our therapy dog, Skye, granted us one last visit. She comes twice a month to my classroom for reading, but mainly, it’s for connection. So many of my students have some difficult backgrounds and are pretty emotionally detached.  Sweet Skye helps bridge those gaps for a lot of the students, but especially for one little guy. He hardly smiled, except when Skye was around, and he was totally engaged when reading to her.  So on this last day of school, he got to hug her and walk her one more time and we all were thankful for the time well spent. thankfulthurs22

The next day the staff corralled children and tried to keep them occupied which wasn’t easy without much structure in the day.  At 11:00 the teachers lined up and waved gleefully at the buses leaving the campus.  (Dare I say that some of the teachers even danced!!)  And then, we as a staff were off to…an entertainment center to celebrate as a team!  I almost missed out on the fun because my list of “to-dos” was longer than I could stand, but reluctantly went because this team of teachers and staff are a team worth celebrating with.  And I’m so glad I went.  We got to choose from bowling and putt-putt and laser tag, and I chose…laser tag!  Was so much fun I couldn’t stand it! And I came home and announced to my boys that we should all go as a family soon so I can show them my skills, ha!  They laughed so hard and seemed shocked that I’d choose laser tag over bowling or putt-putt. Not sure if I should be offended by that or not, but I’ll let it go for now.

I also got to hold a sweet little brand new baby boy. Has been a while since I’ve held a little one in my arms.  And, it so reminded me of all of the little movements and mannerisms that little ones have.  The sights, the sounds, the smells…nothing like a baby.  I got to hold the little guy for awhile, and when I gave him back found myself just thanking God that I got to be a mom for all those years with little ones in my arms and at my feet. They’re so grown up, now, but my heart and mind can go back to those days in a moment’s notice.  Sweet sweet memories.  Well, most of them, anyway!

So, the next day, Tan’s baseball game was cancelled and  I felt relieved that there was a little space in my day.  We (he) drove, and we ended up down at the Greenway for a walk.  It was absolutely beautiful, and so fun to spend time catching up with Tanner.

The sun was just going down and seemed to dance on the water.  Loved our time.  We even got to see one of his favorite teachers who also happens to be the mom of one of my older children’s friends.  Was so good to see her and catch up a bit. Yep, lots to be thankful for.

The next day, the game wasn’t cancelled and we got to enjoy a good game.  Well, actually, it might not be classified as a ‘good’ game cause we lost 16 to 2.  But boy oh boy did we cheer for those two runs, and every victory.  One of the little victories was a catch that Tan made out in left field!  (It was after missing two out there and when the ball started flying over shortstop my heart started praying like crazy that he’d make the catch.)  He made it and I said “Phew” and a grandmother sitting near me on the bleachers smiled a sweet smile at me and said, “I bet these kids prayer lives are getting pretty strong out there.”  Yep.  Probably so.  And probably their parents’ as well…Oh, and it was cool to hear, “You got this kid” when the “kid” saying it was my kid coaching his younger brother.  Chase is out there for every game helping the  team.  Love that. He’s the one in the photo holding the clipboard and giving me a goofy look.  I guess that’s what I get when I ask to take his picture…

So, that brings me to today, and the ride with Tan, and the conversations.  He and his teen-aged bearded scruffy self did pretty well driving.

We made it home. Another big “Phew” for sure.  At times it doesn’t feel like such a small miracle, especially when there are 6 cars behind you and your son seems to be looking at them in the rear view mirror more than he’s looking straight ahead.  Great analogy…not good to spend more time looking back than living in the moment of the day and moving forward.  Nope, not good at all, especially when the car seems to have a magnet drawn to all of those perfectly straight mailboxes centimeters away from an encounter with a moving vehicle. So, yes, more praying through things.  The little and the big.  Thankful God doesn’t discriminate between the two, but hears it all and says, “Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you.”  Love, Love, Love that.  thankfulthurs23

So,  I have a heart of gratitude. Period.  For this moment, right here, right now, and those moments in the week when I’m so aware that life is a gift. Period. Sometimes the moments lead me to pray hard hard hard urgent prayers, and sometimes, they lead me to just thank God big time.  And sometimes, I just find myself clinging to the fact that I am clueless about the next minute ahead but thankful that God isn’t.  And that chases fears away…sometimes quickly, sometimes not. Amazing the catalysts for prayer like baseball and driving.  Praying that God will use the moments of our days to bless and build up and move forward.  Thankful that the ordinary is extraordinary when seen through eyes of faith knowing that we are not alone and not just our own. How big is that truth?  I don’t think that any of us can really grasp the enormity of that.  But thankful for the glimpses.

Well, I’ll close for now.  Thanks for sharing in my little stories of the week..

Blessings ~

Heather

 

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

Psalm 34:8

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/events/thankful-thursday/

Thankful1So, the ride home the other day was beautiful. Lately, the sun has been down by the time I am driving home from work, so it was awesome to see the light for sure. I intentionally left work a bit early and called my son…the one who is home from college and leaves in a few days…the one who I have seen off and on, but who has been really busy.

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I called him and say, “Hey, do you want to go for a walk with me at the GreenWay?”  And leaving work became so worthwhile cause he said yes and in a few minutes, I was dropping by home to pick him up.  One short stop to McDonalds for a strawberry-banana smoothie, and we were on our way.

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So…we walked…and talked and caught up.

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The sun was still above the horizon, thankfully.  We took it all in.thankful4

Here’s my view of his view…

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…yep… it was definitely time well spent.  It’s funny how there are certain times I can look at my adult children and see them standing there being 19, but I’m remembering them being 5…same eyes…same expression…same connection.  yep.  time well spent.

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…of course, the cell phone was along for the ride, as well as the strawberry-banana smoothie…

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…We’ve taken photos here with his brother, Aus… on a Spring day.  Same tree hanging over the water, same view.  It’s there when we’re out doing our thing, and there when we come back.  It’s a great place for them to sit….kind of like a bench hanging over the water.

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…as we walk, we pass lots of visual reminders of change.  The remnants of a fire years ago….the way that life goes on.  Life sure has lots of loss, but we press on, move on, and keep growing.  As he has gotten older, he knows a thing or two about change and loss.  I’m so thankful for the conversation, relationship, and grace that helps to keep things in perspective, helps us see loss in a different light….helps us see and seek the joy in the middle of it.

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I’m thankful for truth that rocks and mountains were meant to climb, and for the desire to climb them that was so there when he was little and is even more there now that he’s older.  Praying that he keeps reaching and climbing. Always…and enjoys the view. “Wow…you can see everything up here!” he says.  So his mom ventures to climb the rock as well. Yep, thankful for those who climb and reach and in so doing, encourage others, (even their moms ) to climb.

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I’m thankful for visual reminders and verses that come to mind ‘out of the blue’ as we see things.  Here’s one:  “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my Deliverer’ my God is my Rock in whom I take refuge…” (Psalm 18:2)

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Thankful for rushing water that’s loud and cold and clear.

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Thankful for the visual of how the ridges on the rocks underneath determine the waves on the surface. That’s another blog, but something I’ve been thinking about.  Fun to talk about as we watch all the big and little waves on a day when the river was overflowing.

So on this Thankful Thursday, there are so many things to be thankful for.  Love so much catching up with my children, and what’s going on not just on the surface, but underneath it all.  So so very thankful that they are a gift, and that even though there are times when they won’t say “Yes” to taking a walk, that there are precious moments when they do.  And when they do?  I’m all in!

Oh, and can’t beat that that night my girl Hope had a wonderful chai latte waiting for me…even labeled it….

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Yep. It was a good day….

 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…”

Psalm 107:1-2

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/events/thankful-thursday/

 

 

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https://wordpress.com/tag/wordlesswednesday

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I saw lots of beautiful things at the river the other day.  There was rushing water exploding over rocks and branches and pushing the boundaries of the riverbank with it’s powerful force.  There were blues and greens and browns and even some reds in the trees.  And then, there was this beautiful little violet.  In January?  Yep.  In January.  I guess the warm weather had coaxed it from staying underground.  It emerged from the vast covering of brown leaves and was a sweet little breath of fresh air to see.  Fragile, beautiful, unexpected.

I was thankful that I wasn’t in the mode that I so often am….busy, moving fast, rushing, kind of like the waters that were moving fast downstream.  No, on this day,  I was deliberately choosing time to think, pray, write.  If I hadn’t been in that mode, I’m certain I would’ve moved past that little violet and never even seen it, or heaven-forbid, even stomped it out unknowingly.  And then, that fragile, beautiful, unexpected surprise would’ve been missed.  Was it a big earth shaking event?  Of course not.  Did it give me joy and make me pause and smile?  Yep, it did.  Just a little violet.

So here’s the thing. I’m hopeful for a new year.  Haven’t made any resolutions (and honestly, don’t plan to…) But I’m hopeful.  I’m hopeful that I can plan, be efficient, yada, yada, yada, ….SO THAT I can be in the moment and make the most of my days.   I want to be in the moment so as not to miss the fragile, the beautiful, the unexpected gifts in life.  I don’t want to rush through, even though there will always be lots of busy-ness.  I don’t want to trample through life unaware.  I just want to be like that little violet…growing, beautiful, reaching toward the Light, giving hope to others.  And that won’t happen if I’m like that river rushing through, always moving, making noise, thundering through, but never impacting.  God only knows I’ve probably missed countless moments in the lives of those I love, those I work with, etc, simply because I was rushing, and my mind was two steps ahead instead of right where I am. And worse than rushing is worry.  Phew…worry about tomorrow makes it really impossible to miss out on the little blessings in the here and now becuase we’re so focused on what will be rather than what is.

I’m thankful that God gives us that picture of being just that.  In the moment.  The “I Am”, not “I was” or “I will be”.  God is the “I Am” in the here and now.  Available.  Aware.  Present. I think keeping that in mind will help me to not trample through my days, my moments like a bull in a china shop…surrounded by beauty, but totally unaware and ill-equipped to enjoy it.  I think knowing that God is right here in the here and now helps keep things in perspective…not just with regards to life goals and hopes and dreams and all that, but even just with regards to being able to stop and smile at the little things, the gifts, the people that surround us.

So here’s to the beauty…the fragile, the unexpected surprises in lives.  Whether it be seeing a purple violet, or getting a call from a long lost friend, or receiving a pat on the back from a co-worker…here’s to being able to take it all in, one little itty bitty moment at a time.  Here’s to being aware, being available, being present, be-ing period.  And here’s to being like that little violet…unexpected, present, … one little blast of beauty  and life in a sea of brown crunchy lifeless leaves.  Here’s to blooming in a world that often rushes past the little violets.  Here’s to blooming any way because we were created to bloom, not merely to be seen.  Here’s to hope that blooms where it’s planted.  Here’s to a year of doing just that. Not because we want to be seen….merely because we were created to grow…and when we do, that’s a beautiful thing.

Blessings ~

Heather

 

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”

Matthew 6:28, 29

 

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Path behind.
Path ahead.
Making decisions for the future based on the right now.
Praying he prepares well for what’s ahead, and cherishes the what’s behind, and enjoys the moments right here, right now.
I know I am. Enjoying this moment, that is!

UNC Wilmington Trip with Chase
Kure Beach, North Carolina April 2014

Austin sunset

The view of the sunset tonight was breathtaking. Funny thing is, even more moving for me, was watching my son take it all in. I’m thankful for these moments in time, and that in the midst of his busy life, he lifts up his eyes and sees the beauty all around him. Love that!

“Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
~ Psalm 34:8

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I couldn’t help but smile as I sat on the couch and listened as my 17 year old son walked back and forth in the living room talking on the phone to his older brother. The cleats and baseball pants he had worn on the baseball field an hour earlier had given way to dress shoes clicking on the hardwood floors of our living room. He was trying on his tuxedo for his first prom, and looked just as much at ease in this get up as he does in his baseball uniform in the dugout. He smiled and said, “I could get used to this…I feel like a king or something!”

I laughed. His brother laughed. His brother understood and remembered.

As I sat there and watched, I marveled, and was thankful for the little rites of passage, and the incredible gift to be able to be there with him and enjoy these little moments. Again. He has 3 older brothers who have already done the prom thing. His sister had so enjoyed it as well and had twirled and spun like she had when she was a little girl in a pretty new dress. But it’s his turn, and it’s new for him, and that makes it a joy for me.

And as I sat on the couch and watched him pace back and forth (with a little intentional slide every once in a while, for the patent leather dress shoes had very little grip), I couldn’t help but see the little 5 year old boy in this 17 year old body. I couldn’t help but think that this was yet one more step of that little boy becoming a man. Not because of the prom, or the suit, or the date, but because each new experience brings a bit more independence and growth. I just hope that as he becomes a man, he always feels “like a king” in his suit and at the same time, feels the freedom to slide every once in a while in his grip less patent leather dress shoes. Life is too short not to slide or twirl every once in a while, that’s for sure!

ausandtan

Kindness…

taking time to care about what another person is interested in.

Now, that’s Time Well Spent…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/daily-prompt-kindness-2/

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