A Bird In the Hand
"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings." Victor Hugo
For months my friend Lisa has been training wild birds to come and eat from her hands. Regularly she would write about her progress on her Facebook page, I loved these posts, entitled "As the Bird Turns". It made me want to have the experience that she was having. To feel those tiny feet land on MY hand and eat from MY palm. And so I asked Lisa could I come, could I feed her birds. Graciously, my friend said yes. When my alarm woke me early this morning, I couldn't layer up and head out the door fast enough, mittens, heavy coat and husband with camera in tow.
We arrived at Lisa's and I finished bundling up. The morning temperature was 26 degrees and I wouldn't be moving. Lisa gave me her hat, which the birds were already familiar with, instructions not to move, how to hold my hand, and a reminder not to look around or move my eyes, and then we were on the porch. Lisa settled me on the chair, gave her familiar bird “hello”, to her feathered friends, and then left me, sitting, not moving, my mittened hand full of fresh walnuts.
All was still. Snow still on the ground and chill in the air. I took slow, quiet breaths. I felt myself melting into my surroundings. And I waited. The minutes stretched on. 10 or 15 minutes passed and although I could hear tiny, feathered friends flitting and stirring around me, none approached to feed. My fingers began to feel numb. I was not giving up yet. I began to pray. I lost track of the time, and then the unmistakable rustle of wings nearby broke the silence.
Suddenly a little Titmouse appeared. Thoughts tumbled through my mind, stream of consciousness, "Don't be afraid little one, come and feed, I have good things here for you. Stop fluttering about, don't hesitate, I won't hurt you, come and rest and enjoy these blessings." The feeling of tiny feet on my fingertips will never be forgotten; my heart soared. My facial expression never changed, I barely dared to breathe, I made no sound, but, my heart was singing, my spirit was smiling. All the long minutes (about a half an hour) of silent, stillness, and waiting, were for that one moment, worth it all. The experience repeated itself over and over again. The thrill never abaited.
I would have sat there much longer but my hand was starting to shake and the cold was taking its toll. As much as I wanted the experience to continue, I knew I needed to stretch and move, even though doing so would mean ending this amazing encounter. I had to warm up. Reluctantly I stood and my new feathered friends scattered to nearby branches. A squirrel who had ventured a peek scurried down the trunk of the snowy tree hanging over the railing. These special moments would never be forgotten.
This experience was Holy on so many levels. The closeness to the tiny, perfect creatures warmed and amazed me. Their fragility, and their courage, their beauty and perfectly equipped feathered bodies were stunning. The stillness, mine and the world around me, altered my being, drew me into a quiet state of worship. As I looked at the fresh bounty in my palm, I thought how God stretches His hand laden with blessings out to ME and to ALL of US. I realized how often I flutter around, too busy, or too afraid to reach out and receive God's blessings. I realized how His heart must soar when I (and you) rest and refresh in His hands. God spoke to me in the stillness this morning and through the beauty of His creation.
As I approach my 60th birthday next January, my goal is to enjoy 6 new experiences, one for each decade of life. Today was my first. Hoping each adventure will be as amazing. Praying each one of you finds rest and refreshment in the hands of The Lord. He's sitting very still, and very patiently waiting to bless us all.
Many thanks to my friend, Lisa Schnoor for sharing her birds with me, and to my amazing husband for capturing these precious moments. You both blessed me abundantly.
In The Blink of An Eye
You would think that, at my age, I would no longer be surprised when my seemingly normal life becomes unraveled in the blink of an eye. I received a phone call seventeen years ago, informing me I had cancer; results indicating a life threatening infection a couple years later; an unexpected summons to assist with a sudden medical crisis; and in the last three years, three separate missteps that have left me with painful injuries and even the need for surgery. But for some reason, surprise me it does!
It's amazing how easily I fall back into "normal" between each life-altering jolt. Maybe I'm a slow learner. Perhaps I'm not picking up on the "lessons" these unexpected and grind-to-a-halt challenges are meant to teach me. But with this latest fall, broken wrist, and upcoming surgery I'm ready to take a really close look at what it is I need to glean.
I have learned some things from the hard (and often painful) experiences I have faced. I think I'm more compassionate, take less for granted (like having two strong arms for example), enjoy the small things in life more, and enjoy the big things in life more (like a day without pain). But every time I'm up against the wall, I realize I still haven't learned all that I am meant to or need to.
Last night was a long one for me. I spent hours in the dark, pushing back all the fears rising in me and threatening to swallow me up, as I face surgery tomorrow. I know that "perfect love casts out fear". But even as I grow older, I still haven't learned how to rest and be peaceful in that perfect love, no matter the situation. I still wrestle at the onset of these unsettling and unnerving experiences, although I do think my get-to-the-point-of-total-surrender-and-trust times are shortening.
I usually do reach that moment of peace. That moment where I realize there is nothing left but to trust and believe that The Lord will bring me safely through, whatever trial I'm facing. I wish I could say my break-through moment comes faster with each experience, but I can't. I wish I didn't struggle and wrestle with my fears and anxieties with every life-altering challenge I face, but I do! Thankfully, God isn't standing over me with a stop watch timing my process. But I feel sure He is standing solidly by my side to see me safely through every scary and painful moment, and is heartbroken that it takes me so long to rest in His grip.
I have walked closely with The Lord for almost 38 years. I know that these tribulations are not God sent, but I have learned that He does meet me and teach me in the midst of them. Please pray that I will be a better student when it comes to finding peace and calm in the stormy seas of fear and anxiety. Pray that I can feel His strong hand and healing spirit when I am wheeled into that sterile operating room tomorrow. And pray that when the next unexpected challenge occurs (and it surely will), I will clasp His strong hand more quickly with my newly repaired right hand and a peaceful heart.
"Good friends are like stars. . .you don't always see them, but you know they are there."
For the past few months, Bob and I have been planning a trip to my hometown, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nestled in the Cumberland Mountains, it’s an amazing town, nicknamed “The Secret City” for the role it played during the Manhattan Project. My family arrived in Oak Ridge about twelve years after the end of the war. My father was a research scientist, my mother a homemaker, and I was eighteen months old. The third of four daughters, you can imagine how lively our home was. I spent the next sixteen and half years enjoying the benefits of this unique community, making friends and memories.
When I was eighteen, just out of high school, my father made a move to Maryland, to finish his career with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. My younger sister and I moved with our parents to another amazing town and state. The beautiful area just outside of Washington, D.C. has been my home for the last four decades. In all those forty years I have only been back to Tennessee a handful of times, but next month there is a special event luring me “home”: my 40th high school reunion.
Social media, Facebook specifically, has allowed me to reconnect with many of my high school friends. When I heard about the reunion I was both excited and nervous. A lot about me has changed in the ensuing years. In many ways, maybe most ways, I’m a very different person. And I quickly realized that reconnecting via Facebook is very different than reconnecting face to face.
As I debated with myself about attending, I was reminded of a fad that many of us enjoyed during our Jr. and Sr. High years called the “come as you are party”. This fad usually involved an early Saturday morning call. Typically the invitee was still asleep, no makeup on, hair in curlers, and still wearing pajamas. Accepting the invitation to come for breakfast meant walking out of the door immediately. It was fun and funny to see everyone, sleepy-eyed and fresh out of bed, in oversized T-shirts, orange juice can rollers, and fluffy bedroom slippers. Somehow, these spur of the moment get-togethers allowed us to see each other a little more clearly, without the weekday effort put into keeping up, being hip, making the right impressions. In the midst of reminiscing, I realized that reunions are very much like a “come as you are party”—especially as we get a bit older and more comfortable with who we are, where we have come from, and where we have landed. I became excited about attending the reunion.
I feel confident that many of my classmates and friends had similar reactions when they heard about the 40th. None of us are the same people who walked the halls of ORHS, cheered the Wildcats on crispy fall nights at Blankenship field, danced till midnight at the Civic Center, and applauded each other across the stage the night we graduated. We’ve married, had children, divorced, buried loved ones, survived life-threatening illnesses, found faith, lost faith, and with each experience we’ve changed. We all have scars, some visible, some not; but each wound, and every life experience, has made us the people we are, the people I’m so looking forward to seeing for the first time in many years.
I’m grateful for the wonderful work the planning committee has done to coordinate a weekend of gatherings. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes made to the high school and sharing the best pizza in the world at Big Ed’s. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to reunite with amazing people who shared the unique experience of growing up in a most extraordinary place. No matter how much we’ve changed, our shared memories of early Oak Ridge live on collectively.
Bob and I will be driving from Maryland to Tennessee for the big event. I’m still excited, and yes still a little nervous. Look out class of ‘73, here I come forty years and forty pounds later, just as I am! Hoping you’ll be there too, none of us should miss this ultimate “come as you are party”. Let’s roll, Wildcats!
Have you ever heard the sarcastic blessing that goes something like this, "May your real life be as perfect, someday, as your life is on Facebook"? I enjoy Facebook. I like looking at all the smiling faces, people enjoying vacations and dinners with family and friends, it makes me smile. I like celebrating new births and weddings via my different friends on Facebook's pages and the photographs they post there. Facebook can make life look perfect; however, most folks over 10 years old, who are breathing, know that life isn't perfect, that every day can mean some new challenge or difficult problem to face. Honestly, many people find turning 11 and starting middle school tough, kids that age can be pretty cruel. Life gets more "real" around that age , middle school might well be called the "first level of the school of hard knocks" where we began developing the tougher skin needed to navigate through the twists and turns ahead of us..
I know some people feel the need to be what they call "transparent" or "real" on Facebook. Not me, I feel like most adults know life isn't perfect, and so I choose to take the glass is half-full attitude when posting. For example, the other day I posted a picture of me and my oldest granddaughter out to lunch. It was a special one-on-one time. What I didn't post was, we were actually trying to pass the time pleasantly until she went to have her wrist x-rayed. Just that morning a few hours earlier, she had slipped and fallen while shopping with her mother and re-injured the wrist she had broken last spring. Thankfully it was just a sprain and not another broken bone, but our time together was special, and that was the part I wanted to focus on that day.
Most marriages have ups and downs, most people suffer themselves, or have friends and family that suffer from various illnesses (some very serious), people lose jobs, business owners deal with the ebb and flow of fickle economies, and the list of hardships is endless. I am thankful for friend’s posts that alert me to areas in their lives that might be helped by prayer. Every morning I spend time praying for friends and family who are in need of prayer for healing, for improved job situations, for many types of difficult challenges. My prayer list only seems to grow it never seems to get shorter. . Hard places and difficult challenges are rarely unique to individuals and finding others who have experienced, faced and even conquered various obstacles can be comforting and encouraging, but if there’s a blessing in the midst of misery, I try to focus on it. Each day has its challenges, but each day also has its joys and blessings too. Thankfully my days are filled with the beautiful smiles of my grandchildren, the blessing of my husband coming home each evening from work, and sharing time together with friends and family. Even little blessings, like the hummingbirds coming to my feeder throughout the day, bring me joy and lift my spirit.
In the Bible there are many instances where the Lord blesses or delivers his people from difficult situations and in thanks they piled-stone upon stone to create a memorial, and remember and commemorate his grace and mercy in their lives. I feel like my Facebook posts are kind of like those stones, they commemorate the blessings and the grace and the goodness that the Lord bestows on me daily. So when I make my posts, I realize my friends and my family know my life isn't perfect, but I do have a lot to be thankful for.
A Band Aid and A Kiss
Stepping into my daughter’s kitchen the other day I was greeted by my little two year old granddaughter. Aubree rushed to hug me and then stooped to touch her leg and show me the “boo boo” she had gotten at play group the day before. With a hug and a kiss she was happily on her way. I stood there watching her skip down the hall and thought how nice were the days when a band aid and a kiss could make things “all better”.
These days a band aid and a kiss won’t make the kinds of problems my friends and family are dealing with “all better”. I have friends who’s hearts are breaking for their children who have made poor choices, friends who have lost parents and spouses and said good bye to friends young and old, friends whose bodies have betrayed them and left them living in constant pain or with life-threatening illnesses. I want to “fix” the hurts and make the pain go away, and there lies the problem . . . I can’t!
I hate to admit defeat, but the truth of the matter is some hurts, only time, the natural healing processes and God can make better. As I watched Aubree the other day, I suddenly realized that a band aid and a kiss wouldn't heal the cut or scrape under the bandage, but it somehow made it, for that moment feel better. In that instant a tremendous burden was lifted and instead of thinking of ways to heal or fix life’s big boo boo’s for my friends, I started to inventory my “first-aid kit” and make sure it was stocked with plenty of band aids.
Sometimes a literal hug and kiss can give a moment of calm and relief. I am a hugger. I have often been blessed and comforted in the arms of those who love me; gentle touch is certainly a healing balm. A card, a small gift, a sweet smelling bouquet, a phone call, text, or note, all can give a moment of peace and even joy in the midst of a storm. The good thing is, when the ultimate healing takes place, it might be these sweet bandages that will be remembered along the painful road to resolution or wellness.
The truth is, I’m still a “fixer”. If I can step in and make it “all better” then that’s what I want to do, but I’m glad I've reached the point where I realize these are still nice days when a “band aid and a kiss” can make those things I can’t “fix”, at least for the moment, feel a little better”. So dear friends, I’m off to check my "band aid" supply . . .kisses to all!
"Women know the way to rear up children (to be just). They know a simple, merry, tender knack of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes, and stringing pretty words that make no sense.
And kissing full sense into empty words."
~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
As I write, my fifth granddaughter, Lucy, is asleep in her crib in the room next to mine. Over the river and through the woods, my sixth granddaughter, Livie, is probably having sweet dreams in her crib. Their moms are busy every waking hour, just as I was with my little ones; but times have certainly changed since mine were babies.
With shelves full of books on birthing, bottling, bathing, bathroom training, and everything in between, I’m concerned that today’s mothers are suffering from information overload. When you throw the internet, with its blogs, boards and informative websites, into the mix, it’s mind boggling. Sadly, the “how to’s” seem to have become the “have to’s”. Because my daughters are having babies, I also am blessed to know and love their friends who are also raising little ones. Some of what I see and hear is troubling.
With our two littlest grandbabies less than 4 months old, sleep is still a big issue. One of our daughters has very successfully used a popular sleep training book with wonderful results. Our other daughter has been trying the book’s system as well, but struggles during the part of the training that requires letting the baby cry for a short time. I have watched as she sits unhappily watching the baby cry, baby monitor in one hand and timer in the other. “I hate this,” she said to me half way through the training the other day. She looked miserable. That night the sleep training was a disaster for both baby and mother. The next morning my daughter and I talked. “Your sister’s babies are extraordinary sleepers,” I said. “Maybe the book suggestions worked on that front, maybe they are just naturally good sleepers.” She nodded. “Your mothering instincts are really, really good,” I told her. “What do you FEEL like YOU want to do when it’s time for the baby to nap or go down at night?” We had a great talk, she is developing her own system based on her feelings and instincts and the personality and needs of her little one. The baby is sleeping better, daytime and night time, and both of them seem happier. Mommy’s instincts win again.
I’m so proud of all three of my daughters and the way they love and care for their children. And I have many nieces who are also doing a great job raising the next generation. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I want to applaud them all. I want to give a standing ovation to all the young mothers I am blessed to know. Now, turn off this device, close the books. Go hold your baby and make silly, funny faces, use ridiculous baby talk, and hug them tightly. Before you know it, they’ll be sleeping through the night, using the potty by themselves, and making YOU breakfast!!!!! Oh, and pick one practical, baby reference book, the rest can go to your local used book store. You’ve got this mothering thing covered.
Note: Babies and their wonderful moms top to bottom: Daughter Jean and Lucy, Daughter Steph and Livie, Daughter Ellie and Taylor, Niece Evelyn and Zach, Niece Christy and Desmond, and Niece Caroline and Gavin.
“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, "Oh, I wish I could knit, but I'm just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that." How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren't wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.I will remember that not everyone understands. I will resist the urge to ask others what they do when they watch TV.”
At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
Having new babies in the family has given me lots of opportunities to knit some little sweaters and hats and crochet some blankets. I love to knit; it’s one of the things I do to relax. However, my latest little creation became a study in patience.
I have found a really neat yarn. The creator of this yarn has dyed it in such a way that when knit well, faithfully following a pattern, and keeping the stitching even, this yarn will create a lovely pattern without any effort. I love it, it really looks pretty, and to be honest impressive, despite the fact that it’s just the way it was planned and dyed that makes the outcome so wonderful.
I started a little sweater for my granddaughter Lucy about a week ago using this special yarn. It was the first time I used this yarn on a project bigger than a hat, and I was pretty excited to see how it would work out. The back of the sweater went perfectly, I checked the pattern I was working from faithfully and I paid close attention to what I was supposed to be doing. Next I began the sleeves and front of the sweater. I was feeling pretty comfortable with the directions, enough so I decided to watch some television and knit at the same time. Sleeve one and side one went perfectly!!!! I loved it, and now I was about three-fourths of the way done, coming down the homestretch. Sadly, I began to check the directions less frequently and watch the television a bit more, I was distracted. Before I knew it, I had bound off the wrong side of the sleeve! To say I was unhappy would be an understatement.
Slowly I backtracked through the error. I picked up stitches and gently slid them back on the needle. So much work had already gone into the sweater but even so, I felt like throwing the whole thing away. It was a lot of work trying to get the stitches back on in the right order and turned the correct direction, to be honest I did my best, but the sweater now had a big mistake, stitches that didn't lay flat anymore, right on the front. I decided to continue knitting and deal with the area that had the flaw later. I was very careful to keep my mind and focus on the task at hand, and to not give up. Finally, I came to the last row, bound the stitches off, sewed the seams together and looked at the little sweater now lying in front of me. No matter where I looked, my eyes continued to be drawn to the big flaw on the right, front panel of the sweater. Except for that one flaw, the sweater was practically perfect. I was disappointed and frustrated.
As I sat there staring at the flaw on the sweater front, it occurred to me that if I could cover that area with something cute, or pretty, the sweater would look great and all the work that had gone in to it would not be wasted. I pulled out my crochet hook, whipped up a floppy flower with some of the remaining yarn, and used a big, color coordinated button for the flower center. Voila, the flaw was corrected, it was gone, and the flower gave the sweater a whimsical, fun kind of look. I liked it!!!
Later, as I looked at Lucy modeling her new threads, I thought about how that sweater is kind of like my life. The creator of my life has made me in such a way that if I keep focused on his pattern and directions, my life will go smoother, and the finished product will be pleasing and useful. But, there are times, like when knitting the sweater, I haven’t stayed focused, haven’t exercised my faith, and sadly, it’s left some glaring flaws and not so pleasing areas on my life canvas. But as I looked at Lucy, smiling and bouncing around with that big bloom on her sweater, I realized, just like me and my flawed sweater, the Lord, hasn't give up on me, or discarded me, and just like I covered those crooked, bumpy stitches with a big, floppy, cute flower, He has covered my flaws with beautiful blooms of compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy and love.
I am so happy I didn't have to pull that sweater apart, but even more grateful for the Lord who keeps me from unraveling every day. Hoping the finished product of my life will one day bless the one who created and continues to guide it, and so thankful He has an endless supply of beautiful blooms.
Still Standing Strong
"The daffodil is our doorside queen, She pushes upward the sword already, To spot with sunshine the early green."
~ William Cullen Bryant
A week ago it snowed. Not unusual, it snows in Maryland almost every winter, except this time it wasn’t winter, spring had sprung. The daffodils were out in full bloom, the promise of warmer weather was in the air, and then a cold front hit the DC area. Now, there were daffodils blooming on snow covered hills. Daffodils are hardy flowers, despite chilly temperatures, when the snow melted and the mercury rose again, the beautiful, golden flowers continued surviving and thriving.
Since the first of the year I have lived life at a furious pace. Baby Lucy arrived in January, our fifth granddaughter and first blessing of the New Year. Once home, nights and days ran together and even though I was one tired Grammie, I wouldn’t trade those special middle of the night snuggles for anything. Three weeks later, our sixth granddaughter, little Livie arrived and I was off to join in the fun at the Willett household, so many precious moments with Aubree and Livie, their mom and dad and Mimi who had also come from Florida to help. I’d be lying if I didn’t say, after almost a month of helping with new babies I was exhausted, but life continued at a furious pace.
Bob and I both turned a year older in January, a loved one became ill and needed hospitalization, our oldest granddaughter broke her arm ice skating, family birthdays were celebrated, we attended our grandchildren’s school events, I made a guest author appearance, hosted my book club, continued to help with the little ones, grieved the sudden death of a dear friend, and most recently had family here for Easter dinner, there were 28 at the table that day. In other words, life raced on.
I enjoyed that snowy spring day; it gave me time to slow down, sip some tea, think, reflect and look at daffodils blooming in the snow. Those hardy daffodils stood tall and spotted the landscape with their surprising yellow faces, defying the late cold snow to bring them down. As I watched the snow falling, I felt like one of those sunny blooms. Despite the demands (and blessings,) of the last few months I was still standing, still enjoying the special moments and soldiering through the difficult times. Thanks to the Lord, through the demands of the previous weeks, I found out I was pretty hardy too.
Things seem to be settling into a more normal routine finally. I think I’m even starting to catch up on my rest. Hoping soon to welcome warmer temps and cherry blossoms, but for now the daffodils (and me) are still standing strong.
I've Never Been Good At Waiting
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know them full well."
I’ve never been very good at waiting. I like my life to move at a pretty fast pace. I love projects that can be completed quickly, and I like moving on to something new as soon as possible. But some things, I’ve come to realize, just can’t be rushed. Babies are one of those things.
Since last spring I have watched as two of my daughters have transformed from slender and lean to round and full. Their moves have gone from fleet and flowing, to heavier and slower. Things that were effortless now require more energy, and some things are just not worth the effort. Their bellies have grown week by week and now, there’s no denying, those tiny lives within are close to making an appearance, but . . . we wait. I’ve never been very good at waiting.
So much has changed since I had my babies thirty years ago. The nurseries are high tech now, wipe warmers, video monitors, and gadgets to track diaper changes and nap times have replaced, cool wipes, peeking in the door and over the crib rails, and pencil and paper. It’s astonishing! As wonderful as all the new conveniences are, happily the important things remain the same. Expectant mothers still wash fold and fill drawers with tiny shirts and socks and gowns and marvel that the baby will be small enough to fit them. Diaper pails still stand at the ready (better, less stinky ones). Tiny tubs, bottles of shampoo and lotion, and fluffy towels are prepared and waiting for bath time, but most importantly the hopes and dreams and longing to hold the life within are still the same. The slowing of time as the end grows near and the waiting for the contractions, the steady waves that will bear them out from their mother’s seas still remains, it’s the same. I’ve never been very good at waiting.
Thankfully, with babies, the waiting is worth it all. Amazingly, these little ones arrive just on time, no surprise to the Creator, who after all, according to scripture, knit them in their mother’s wombs, formed them, and already knows everyone of their days. My three were so worth the wait as were the beautiful babies they have already birthed. The counting down has definitely begun. I start each day wondering if this will be a special little someone’s birthday. Thankfully, before long we will meet these, new little people, and not surprisingly, I have to say . . . I just can’t wait!
Finding Christmas Joy
I peel back the backing on the first of three electrodes and place it three fingers down from my collar bone. For many years I’ve been checked for missed heart beats, but recently they have become more frequent and have lasted longer, so now the changing of electrodes every other day for 30 days has become my new normal. There’s no denying that a few of the episodes lately have frightened me. The pounding, skipping, and erratic heart beat a few weeks back hurried me to my cardiologist and now, here I am with a heart monitor for the entire Christmas season.
I like to finish all my Christmas preparations early so that I can truly focus on my personal walk toward the manger each year. This year has been no exception, barely a week into the month and the tree is up and decorated, the halls are decked, presents are mostly wrapped, stockings grace the mantle, and the cards and Christmas letter are signed, tucked into envelopes and ready to be dropped in the mailbox. Prepared, but not peaceful, ready but not restful, every missed beat causing me anxiety and sadly robbing me of some of the joy I normally feel this time of the year.
It’s hard to admit my faith is that shallow sometimes. I’ve tried to focus on the Lord, to trust Him for every day He gives me and to not let my anxiety rule my head, or my heart in any sense of the word. The truth is every skipped beat reminds me that I’m not immortal physically, that one day I have to say goodbye to loved ones and to the life that I know and find so comfortable in its familiarity. That’s especially difficult to think about this beautiful time of the year, so filled with family and friends. Happily, rest and some increase in medication will probably go a long way to making my ticker a bit more stable. But, in the meantime I’m hoping to find that missing joy.
It is hard to make changes, to leave the familiar for the unfamiliar, to relinquish comfort and peace for hardship and sacrifice, but isn’t that what God’s Son did on that starry night over 2000 years ago. I can’t imagine leaving the beauty and magnificence of paradise for this broken and torn world, and yet that is what we celebrate this time of year, the birth of a Savoir who left the throne room of heaven for a straw lined manger in Bethlehem. Thankfully that reality has done more to change my thumping heart than any other.
So many people are dealing with difficult challenges, losses, and other hardships, so I hope we can join hands, calm our hearts (even those missing a few beats here and there), and follow the star to the Savior this special season. That’s where the missing joy can be found and it’s what I’m wishing for all of my precious family and friends this Christmas. Hoping there will be peace on earth and in your heart and mine . . . do you think that will show up in my cardio output! I hope so.
I'm a wife, mother and grammie who loves time with family and friends. I love learning new things, visiting new places, and making each day count, because moments matter and I don't want to waste mine.