Thank You for A Great 2013!

Reflecting on 2013 I started out with the theme A Year of Praise. I wanted from the beginning to focus on the positive aspects of life. 2012 had been a rough year  for me with dealing with serious health issues which dragged me down emotionally. I often  refer to 2012 as the Year of The Cave because it felt as if I was stuck in a dark depressing cave. Thanks be to God I came out of it healthier in both mind and body.  This year I worked to focus on coming back into the light and letting the light come back into me which brought me the strength I need to go forward.

As a rule my blog doesn’t generate a lot of traffic but it is quality traffic. You are the best! I want to thank all of you for being a big part of my Year of Praise.  I have enjoyed getting to know you and I look forward to continue to get to know you even better in 2014!. 


Five Minute Friday: Reflect

Five Minute Friday

Joining with Five Minute Friday sponsored by Lisa-Jo Baker. On each Friday, Lisa-Jo posts a one word prompt and for five minutes we join together as an international community to write what the prompt brings to mind. No rewrite, nor editing just letting the words flow from our hearts.  

Today's prompt is Reflect.

I pull together the memories of passed and passing events gathering them together in my heart like ribbons tied to the ends of a bunch of balloons captured in my hands.  Holding tight lest they are swept away, floating upwards, pulled from me by the lighter than airy-ness of the multi-colored spheres they are tethered to. As I look back, this year feels like that. Colorful and dull, light and  dark, bits and pieces, thoughts and things, prayers and memories, and dreams and nightmares. All encapsulated in their individuality but tied, woven, bound together as a group because they occurred within the same time and space which has been my life these past twelve months. Together, the good and the bad they become beautiful, moving, floating to create the year of moments that is quickly coming to a close and it is a beautiful thing.

Texas - The New Winter Wonderland

From my Dallas Texas front porch at 7:30 am this morning. Sparkling ice trees. They weren't kidding about the ice storm at all. Dallas is shut completely down. Having grown up in Michigan, I'm used to it and know how to handle it. I'm praying all those on the street were able to get to a warm place.



The Holiday Season Begins!

I love, love, love the holiday season. I love how at the end of the year we spend the last four to six weeks concentrating on family, friends and goodwill to all. At least, (for the most part) that's how we do it in the circles I run in.  Yes, I know,  the world commercializes both Thanksgiving and Christmas but I made up my mind a long time ago to refuse to let that ruin it for me and mine. I refuse to allow all of that other nonsense to steal my joy.

My holiday season started on Wednesday of this week when my Pastor took the church staff out for lunch. It was a bit of a last minute thing but it was a good way for end the two day fast the church leadership had been on and to touch base in what would be a short week. I love that we had Mexican food as a contrast to the ‘traditional’ turkey and dressing and such. I wish I had asked the server to take a picture as this would be the last outing I would have with this small staff.  My tenure as Pastor of Women is almost over.  I am stepping down because just before Christmas I am heading up north to spend some time with my aging parents and I didn’t want to hamstring the women’s ministry with what will likely be an extended absence. I’ve been saying ‘goodbye’ and weeping my way through the last month but finally I am coming to peace with the situation. As the holiday season kicks off I am looking forward to being in my childhood home for Christmas with my parents, something I haven’t been able to do in many years.

Yesterday on Thanksgiving Day my youngest son and I attended Thanksgiving dinner with friends from church, a holiday tradition. I think it’s the third or fourth year we’ve spent Thanksgiving with them and it’s always been such fun and such a blessing. There was, of course, more than enough food and yummy desserts we took advantage of it all. After dinner there was of course the gathering of the women at the dining room table where we laughed a lot and enjoyed each other’s company and conversation.There was also a group of the guys watching the football games on the big screen and the kids scattered around in various places playing video games. It was the best afternoon. Love the holidays among the people I love..

It seems my Thanksgiving celebration is not yet over. My neighbors from across the street are celebrating the holiday today with out of town missionary guests and I just got a call to come to Thanksgiving dinner at one o’clock. As I was planning to spend the morning wrapped in sweats with no makeup, barely combed hair and a pile of books, I need to get moving if I’m going to be presentable in less than two hours! I'll have to post the pictures in another post later this weekend.

Please take a moment and tel me about your celebrations at the beginning of this glorious season. I pray everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and also a joyous first day of Hanukkah yesterday. May you also have a continuously blessed holiday weekend!


FMF on Monday: Trees

When I saw the prompt for trees for Five Minute Friday this week, my mind went blank. Really. Blank. I couldn’t think of a thing to say about trees and what was funny was I spent five whole minutes trying to think of something to say about trees. I decided not to push it. Sometimes the words are just not there. Fast forward over the weekend with a couple of chilly rainy nights to Monday morning when I opened my front door at dawn and saw this:

The crepe myrtles in front of my house had given a very poor showing this year due to the scorching heat of the Texas summer. The blossoms were pale and few from their otherwise luscious mauve and had dropped quickly. The brilliant scarlet and orange of the leaves this morning brought on by the recent cold snap took my breath away. They had more than made up for their poor summer showing. Instead of a blank five minutes of Friday I had a very full five minutes of fall beauty on my chilly front porch this morning.

It made me realize how sometimes the deep beauty of nature can come towards the end of the cycle of life as well as the beginning and the middle. I'm beginning to believe that its true for people as well.

Joining with Five Minute Friday sponsored by Lisa-Jo Baker. On Friday, Lisa-Jo posts a one word prompt and for five minutes we write what the prompt brings to mind. No rewrite, nor editing just letting the words flow.  Friday's prompt was Trees.


Prayer and Thanksgiving

Last Sunday my good friend Ruth picked me up from church, took me to her home, made me  dinner. She pampered me, sat with me and soothed me. I can't begin to tell you how much I needed it because I was so ill with an inner ear infection that I shouldn’t have been at church in the first place.She blessed me, prayed with me and gave me the strength I needed to go on. I thought about her when I came across this quote while rummaging around the blogosphere this morning...

You pray in your distress and in your need; 
would that you might pray also 
in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance."
                                          ~Kahlil Gibran  

The poet is correct. We should also pray in the fullness of our joy as well as our distress so today I am praying in the fullness of  joy. I am posting this little morning prayer following the example of the awesome Barbara Swartz who writes at ‘Morning Prayer’.

Almighty and Merciful God, I thank you for bringing me to the ending of this time of sickness. It’s been hard to bear at times but you placed around me those who have cared for me and shown me Your love in action. For my dear sister Ruth who took me into her home and ministered to me so sweetly, I praise you and am truly grateful. Amen.

Check out Barbara at the link above. You will be encouraged and inspired. And let us know what you are praying about from your distress, your need, your joy or your abundance so we can join our prayers to yours. I am a witness that prayer does change things.