Thursday, October 29, 2009

Treats

No vision card for this week's post and I'm posting a bit early because we are leaving tomorrow to travel downstate for the weekend.

This week's Joy Diet consisted of treating ourselves on a regular basis, giving ourselves "permission." I have been learning to do this as a way of de-stressing and besides I'm worth it :)

Pictured above are a few of my treats.

The dishcloths are a regular gift from Jo, a friend of mine. I have a drawer full of them which makes me smile every morning when I pull out a fresh one for the day.
The netflix are Season 1 of "The Gilmore Girls." Another friend, Barb, recommended it to me. So every chance I get, whether lunchtime or an hour in the evening I am smiling my way through this quirky, delightful show- only on DVD 2.

Chocolate is a guilty treat for me. I love chocolate and for years I forbade myself to have it due to fibrosistic breast disease which seems to be aggravated by caffeine. Every time I would put a piece in my mouth it was with fear and guilt. I don't know when that changed, but now I am eating organic dark chocolate- a little each day- and loving it. No guilt, no fear. Enough of that already. There are so many foods that I can't have due to allergies so until I find something that delights me as much as this treat, I am giving myself permission. I love this chocolate with Candy Cane tea!

Other treats for me are a good book always, a phone call from NM, lunch with a friend and movies for sure.

I still work on the guilt issue associated with taking time out for me. It must be a girl thing, but for the most part, I enjoy my treats.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stick Your Nose in the Daisies!


A few years ago, I took some photos of McKenna smelling flowers. Those photos quickly became favorites of mine. So this summer when my daughter and Ken were home we stopped at a beautiful place to take pictures. I wanted Ken to smell the flowers so I could have the pics to go along with the others. At age 13, she wasn't into it at the moment and I was trying to persuade her.
All of the sudden her mom said a bit forcefully,"Stick your nose in the daisies!"
We all cracked up and she did just that.
I am laughing as I type, because I feel like there are times in my life when a gentle "stop and smell the roses" just doesn't get through to me. This is one of those times when I need a forceful,"Stick your nose in those daisies!"
I can still hear her now. Definitely a joy note.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday Treat

I've shared before that Monday is Bible study day and a bit of a challenge for me to lead two groups. The evening group meets at my home, so I spend Monday morning preparing the house as well as the study. On Monday afternoon we meet at a friend's home.
As soon as I turn off the road into Marilyn's driveway, the fun begins. It is a long winding path in the midst of pine, fir, and white birch trees. Well-placed signs and characters oriented to the season or holiday add to the ambience. In January, one feels like she is entering a winter wonderland. I puposely slow down to savor the delightful ride, not wanting to miss a thing.
The cozy and colorful house with lots of windows is part of the magic as well. Bluejays played in the trees, entertaining us as we sat in her living room sharing tea and scripture. A great way to start the week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Tried


I tried to see the beauty or humor or something postitive in this, I really did. Here was the scene outside my kitchen window yesterday. It's October :(
Today is even worse. It is sleeting / freezing rain. There is one postive aspect- I don't have to go anywhere and drive on these slippery roads. Normally I don't mind the snow, but last year winter began for us in October and didn't stop until May.
Ok, I vented. Sorry, sister bloggers but I just can't help myself today.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Risk

As I read the chapter this week for the Joy Diet, I knew that I didn't have time nor energy to add one more thing to my plate. I've already been doing this chapter. This summer I started horseback riding lessons and last week I began with a new instructor, which was a big step for me. There are other things as well, but not the focus when I did my vision card.
I sat down at my desk to work on the vision card, opened the first magazine and picture #1 jumped off the page with the word RISK written all over it in my mind. This is my biggest risk factor every day lately. Will I eat something that will set off an allergy or a pancreatic flareup (congenital problem)?
I thought," This is negative, not what I want. But I couldn't move away from the image so I grabbed my scissors, cut it out, pasted it and wrote the word RISK across the top. That was last night.
This morning when I came in my office to post online, the key was sitting on my desk. It must have fallen out of a book or magazine, because a week or two ago I cut out a few pics of keys. There it was, lying all alone, staring at me. I knew I was to add it to my VC. There you have it.
Is this a sign of hope, that the key for me is on the way? That I don't have to keep searching- it will just be there, staring me in the face?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile


I started out this week with the pics of my family on my desk that made me smile. In pondering what to post today, I thought why not more things that make me smile? Here's my bulletin board. You can see the pics of my two favorite girls, a cool manilla envelope from a sister blogger, a comic strip about facebook, a card that inspired me, etc. Oh, the joy of life's little things!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Preparation


I spent a lot of time this week preparing for a Christmas Project. First of all, I downloaded Picasa for a better photo editing software. I really want Adobe, but this was free and I don't have time to learn Adobe and do the project too. Then I tried to decide between going digital or staying with traditonal. I spent one whole afternoon and part of another checking out digital albums, downloading free software then later found out I have to download each theme separately. Groan.
I then printed out a copy of each photo. I realized I didn't like some of the changes I 'd made with Picasa so tried a couple of other appraoches. Here are the phtos spread out on my desk, my family smiling up at me. SMILE :)
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Creativity Week

I was so tired at the onset of this week, I'm not sure how much I took in as I read the chapter. I was surprised at the topics connected with creativity. I may need to spend more time in this one. Maybe we should have a week at the end when we revisit one theme of our choosing.
When it came to making my vision card, I had no idea what would evolve as I didn't actually connect with this week's theme. But here it is.
When I nearly finished the card, I knew I had to stamp the figure of a key on it. First I tried versamark and glitter, which came right off. Then I tried to use the technique with the heat gun. This didn't show up very well. So I took a black Stayzon inkpad and inked my key, stamping over the previous image. I realized that this summed up much of my week- trying to find the key to becoming both physically healthy and creative on a Christmas project. Just when I thought I had it- nope- try , try again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday


Today's post is dedicated to my daughter in honor of her birthday.
Amber is an amazing person, a terrific mom, a talented artist, and a woman I would be proud to call my friend, even if she weren't my daughter. She's not been afraid to take great steps of faith in her life, following the path less traveled at times. Even in seasons of challenge, she has nurtured her dreams and gifts and developed a precious relationship with her daughter. She is sensitive, compassionate and hard-working. I can't think of any greater gift that God has given me than my daughter.
I love you and truly wish I could be there with you today. May your day be filled with things to smile about.
Happy Birthday.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Signs of Winter Approaching








I drove to Houlton this morning for a riding lesson from a new lady. It was cold and rainy and I was soooo tired. It's nearly an hour's drive one way. As I was driving back into town, I could see the Canadian geese gathering overhead. Then I looked into the stream by the bridge. The water was covered with geese. I drove to a little lot, went down the stairs ( and we are talking a lot of stairs) to take pictures. I am trying to get in the habit of carrying my camera with me.
As I came closer they swam farther away. These pics don't do justice to the sight before me. There were literally over a hundred of them.
They, too, know that winter is closing in fast and are preparing to leave.

I wish my video had sound. It's a bit blurry but gives you an idea how many there were.
video

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where are you?

This past weekend was the 40th anniversary of our church. I have been there for 35 years (give or take a 2 or 3 when we did something different). On Saturday evening we had a banquet and viewed a slideshow of previous years. I missed a bit when someone would come up to talk to me. The funny thing was that I didn't see myself in any of the photos. I thought about that a lot and it disturbed me. Not that I want anyone to see pics of me then :) but I invested a lot of myself in the church in my younger years.
This morning I was pondering over the weekend, trying to sort through a few things, one of them being the slideshow. Then I heard the Lord's quiet voice in my spirit.
"But you were there. You were sitting beside Kathy(my precious friend who is now in heaven). You were at the teen rock-a-thon urging them on. You brought your children ( who were in the pics)...."
You get the idea. It reminded me of our study on the book of Esther. God is not mentioned throughout the book; you can't see his name on the page. If this book were a slideshow, He wouldn't show up. But oh, He was there, working through an ordinary girl to save her people.
It's like my life sometimes. I wonder, "are you there, God? I can't see you."
Looking back I realize He's been there all the time.
The interesting note: I took the photo above before I left for the supper. It just seems to fit.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Desire Comes Full Circle

Two things happened to me this week of the Joy Diet. The first is that I had to let go of a few things. The second is remembering to keep it simple.

Letting Go: The interesting thing about this is timing. Last Friday in the mail I received a manilla envelope from a past professor. She was cleaning out her office and came across my portfolio of goals that I had written my freshman year in college and sent it to me. (Who does that? ) It lay on the table unopened all day. Finally I got the courage to open it.
I didn't go to college until my children were grown. I dove in like I had something to prove. The first year I paced myself. Then I took honors courses and heavy loads and aced them, only to burn out halfway to my goal. I left with a leave of absence and nary a word. I never returned. In the background, I carried a shadow of failure. Now it's in my face.
I read through the material and sent an email off to her with a thank you and a sort of apology for not completing my goals. By now I'm in the week of examining the desires of my heart. The first image that comes to me is that of Dorothy's ruby slippers clicking together. I had written a poem about this in college, so now I'm digging through my writings...
I'll cut to the chase. I realize I must let this go. Maybe I will return to college, maybe not. Either way, it has weighted me down long enough.

Keep it simple: I had two pictures this week, I've already described the first. The second was one of me barefoot in a spring dress, running right at the end of a tunnel. I am ready to break out into a beautiful Italian looking village basking in sunlight. Letting go is freeing me to move out from under the tunnel into what I love. I kept looking for what that is- some BIG thing. All week I had been seeing the word HOME. Finally I realize, it's just that simple. Even growing up, with all my dreams of becoming an actress or a nurse , the one common denominator was that I had and loved my own home. I love being at home. I work from home for my hubby a couple of mornings a week. I have women in my home for Bible study and encouragement. Ok, I won't bore you, but it is very simple for me. I am enough. Without a college degree or doing something measurably great.

Vision card: note the woman in the boat. In my Esther study this week, Beth describes our moving into the future like a woman rowing a boat backwards into the future. She is going foward , but her history is a part of her destiny. I opened a new magazine and on the second page there was the photo of the woman. Wow! Nothing is wasted. What I learned in that time I will carry with me and as long as it no longer pulls me back with regret, it may a part of what propels me forward.

One interesting note: The year I left college I was reading a book called "Waking the Dead." One of its themes is following the desires of your heart. A full circle moment indeed!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Morning Diary

4:00 a.m. I lie awake thinking about how tired i will be if I don't get back to sleep. I put my earphones in and try listening to my ipod, but I know right away it's not going to work. I pray for my family as I often do before rising. I go over yesterday's events. I think about the things I've learned about my heart's desires this week of the Joy Diet. I quietly slip out of bed, pull on my robe and close the bedroom door behind me.
4:30 a.m. I make a cup of sleepytime vanilla tea, put it on my tray and head for my morning chair. The tray is so pretty with my tea and journal on it, I am tempted to grab my camera and take a picture for my blog. I say NO to that thought and sipping my tea, I record in my journal a few things that have been keeping me awake. I sit quietly for a bit, pondering and praying. Then I reach for my Bible to search for a verse of which a phrase has popped into my mind. I write it in my journal. I do day 2 of my Esther study. I am a day behind.
6:oo a.m. My husband readies for work, kisses me on the cheek and departs. I turn to the book I've been reading occasionally in the morning. By the time I reach the end of the chapter I am falling asleep. I rest a bit longer.
7:00 a.m. I make another cup of tea, heat a GF muffin, throw a load of laundry in and settle before the t.v. to watch Joyce Meyer.
7:30a.m. I am checking my email and searching through my pictures for something to go with this blogpost. I choose the peeking sun, although there is no sunshine this morning, only clouds.
8:00 a.m. I am grateful for this quiet morning. My mind is still now and I'm ready for the day ahead.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pull Over




Mom's car has been in the shop awaiting a part for nearly a week now, so I have been taking her for appointments etc. This morning I wasn't up to par physically and not looking forward to the day out. As I made the half hour drive to Mom's house, the stunning beauty of autumn greeted me. This time I remembered to put my camera in the car, so on the way home I pulled into a little Bible campground and snapped a few pictures. There is nothing like fall in Maine!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Mondays


Mondays are busy for me, but I love them. I am leading two Beth Moore studies this fall on Esther, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I receive a lot from the study itself, but I enjoy gathering with a variety of women. The small print on this study is, "It's tough being a woman." I've always loved being a woman, but there's a lot of truth to that statement. I've gotta get going but wanted to post. I think this blogging thing is growing on me:)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Truth


Does this look familiar? That's because it is. I posted my vision card yesterday, but this is another view. That's why i am posting again because I have another view of truth. Notice how clear the water is? That struck me from the beginning. And the heart shape of the sunset. These all have fresh meaning to me now.
I had a dream last night, which I promptly wrote in my journal this morning, then asked God for a scripture. I don't always do so, because I have several dream books I refer to. I believe in the power of our dreams to reveal things to us.
Oh, what an amazing journey this is! On Wednesday I went to the second- hand bookstore with my mom. I was leaving the store when I noticed a "free" table. There were a couple of Bible translations that I don't have so I picked them up. I have been reading from them the last few days. So this morning as I read in these new/used Bibles, (the Psalm prompted by the Holy Spirit), the words exactly described my dream.
Isn't it incredible that a huge God can weave together the seemingly small steps of our lives to speak to us?
I love it :)
I know I am being a bit vague, but the dream and other things are fresh and this is a time to ponder, not talk. Nevertheless, I just had to share my joy with my sister bloggers today!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Truth


This week in the Joy diet was tougher for me. I found it a bit more of a challenge to do nothing for 15 minutes, but didn't give up. The truth thing revealed a bit more than I was prepared for, but it was something that God had tried to tell me a few months ago. Life seems to be filled with all sorts of agendas that attempt to draw us away from our hearts. I've been finding it difficult to balance everthing in my life and still do what I love. This truth week has stirred some things up evidently, because I have been dreaming at night about trying to get home, but I can't for one reason or another.
Yesterday when I was working on my vision card, I prayed to let go of my ideas as to what it would look like{ and I had some} and just let it flow. I did and here is the result. The water picture took my breath away and I absolutely knew the rest was to go exactly where and how it is. I am going to continue to ponder this.
For my regular blog followers, my bread came out fairly good after putting it back in the oven twice because it was sticky. The pumpkin choc. chip (gluten free) muffins were a bit dark, but scrumptious:) Thanks for asking.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pink Thoughts


Every Thursday on my blog I will be sharing pink thoughts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. This was not my original idea but belongs to the blog thoughts of Everyday Possiblities. Check out my blog list in the margin.
I purchased this spatula because I love buying pink things that support this cause. Today it hit me that this was my pink thing. For a few years now I have struggled with food allergies that developed during menopause. One of them is gluten intolerance. I used to love to cook and bake my own bread and cookies ...you get the picture. Discouragement has plagued me as I've struggled to bake with alternative flours, etc. More than once, I've found myself in tears in the kitchen. Then there's the guilt that I don't cook for my husband the way I used to. Today I decided to give it another try. I baked a loaf of GF bread and have pumpkin muffins in the oven. Not sure how they are going to taste, but I've given it a good try. Not ready to give up yet.
Kudos to my pink spatula!