Saturday, November 21, 2009

thankful in the midst

The seasons seem to be changing again and I feel as though hard things come around in the winter. I have a hard time thinking of a winter that wasn't tough. The leaves change into glorious colors all vibrant and bright and then they fall leaving everything barren.

As hard as it is, I appreciate the rawness of winter. There are no leaves, less color, gray skies and a season of waiting of anticipating, of advent.

Thanksgiving is next week and though I have an abundance of things to be thankful for, it's hard to be thankful when cancer becomes part of the equation. Walking alongside my Dad as he awaited tests, results and the end result of cancer was and is not an easy path to tread. He is going in for surgery on Monday. My family and the doctors are hoping a surgery will be all that is necessary so please pray with me.
I know I am not ready to even think about where the path might lead. I feel far too young to think about losing my parents. I fear the path ahead but I also have a great hope that a transformation is possible; in the medical outcome and in our relationship. God does his biggest work when we're at our worst and I am holding onto that trust that He will be faithful in the work He has begun. I'm thankful for a lot of things God has done, but I'm hanging onto the gratitude that I'll feel for the work He will do.

a quote from my favorite pastor in Seattle, Richard Dahlstrom,
We think that gratitude is all about remembering the good things God has done for us and giving thanks. Surely this is a piece of gratitude and thanksgiving. If we limit our thanksgiving to recalling the gifts that God has given us, we will miss most of the story, because most of the story is about how God transforms us right in the midst of challenges in this fallen world...
So perhaps this is the year when we'll give thanks, less for what's happening in this present moment (though God knows that there's still plenty of reasons for gratitude if we take even a cursory look around us), and more for what God will do as we collectively walk through these 'very interesting days', as I recently heard them described. I hope and pray that on the far side of these crisis, we who claim to follow Christ will be shaped, liberated, and transformed, so that our lives will overflow with the purity, generosity and joy that is the heart of Jesus.

may we all choose to be thankful in the midst...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

random song and life overlap moments

Last night I was listening to music I got from the library which is my new source for new music. This is mostly because my budget can't keep up with my love of new music and the fact that I have yet to be impressed with a music store in Portland. Anyhow, I was rockin' the Dan in Real Life Soundtrack and listening to the song "let my love open the door", a song I don't think I appreciated enough back in the late 80s early 90s. Anyhow, it was playing as I pulled up to a friend's house and I had just heard the key line 'let my love open the door' when I turned off the car and got out and this little old woman was at the neighbor's house across the street saying "Open the door. Hello? Do you hear me? Open the door... Open the door" in a precious little old woman way, of course.

I giggled to myself for a second before moving on. I think moments like that are funny, when songs and life happen at the same time. Or when I'm reading a book and the dialogue says something random like "If only money grew on trees" and then some guy walks by saying "I wish money grew on trees". I always stop and wonder. Did she hear what song I'm listening to? Did this book just become my life? Anyhow, it happens all the time and it's entertaining and makes me laugh. I love those overlap moments.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

old bloggy blogs

I was just reading through old blogs this morning. it's kind of fun. I've always loved looking back on old journals to see where I was at another stage in life and how I was feeling or what I was doing. And I thought since I don't have anything to write about this morning I would just link a couple of older posts that I thought were fun or interesting.

  • the first is a post from when I was teaching social skills to preschoolers. It's about young-love and heartbreak and Charlie Brown.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ordinary Inbetween

"It's not the big things, but the ordinary in between and maybe this is not the time at all to be waiting for any better reason to be glad that I'm alive at all." -Late Tuesday

For what it's worth, I feel like I've always had an appreciation of the little things. I find joy in the little things. Among these little things are hand written letters, a favorite song on the radio, a familiar voice on the phone, watching coffee pour from the french press, the way the sun sets warmly over the trees and hills, and laughter at any age. I think when I encounter something so small yet so lovely, my heart tells me to stop and acknowledge what is right in front of me. I've learned to make time for these moments in my day and if I don't, I keep going about my day feeling like I missed out. If I see the sun pouring through the window in a certain way and happen to have my camera, but move on without taking the picture, I bum myself out. If I pass a sweet chalk drawing on the sidewalk and just walk by without looking to see what it was, I'll wish I had.

The more I stop for these moments, because they really are just moments, the more joy I find in life. I have a ball tromping through the leaves, taking pictures of things that make me smile, swinging in the park, and just enjoying life in general. It's been fun to bring my camera with me out and about. I've always loved taking pictures, but for years, I was that girl that would always have my camera with me and never use it. It's amazing the difference it makes when I actually use it. Who would have thought? Just having my camera with me makes me look at the world different. I look at everything or everyone as the possibility of a great shot. I look around more. In Seattle, I used to walk twenty or thirty minutes to school with my ipod in and just making sure I wasn't going to trip and hardly making time for random conversation, which has every possibility of being hilarious and a good story later by the way :) I would hardly engage with people I passed on the street. Window face was as far as I got, haha. Now, I look at the world different and look around more, engage more. The more I actually see, the more beauty I find in the people and places I go. I find joy in the ordinary in between and I like that, because life is beautiful in the most extraordinarily ordinary ways.

"I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things...I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind." -Leo Buscaglia

Love note on a love bug?

No one can resist the swings

I can't resist the swings, either.

To the unknown..