Day 152 June 1 2014
“In a spirit of hope and new beginnings, we linked arms like a couple of kids. Pushing aside sad thoughts, we strode off into our future.” ―A.B. Shepherd
Home Sweet Home
“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” ― L. Frank Baum
What a journey the last few months have been. My “Five Year Plan” to prepare for moving into a smaller house somewhere in the country after my husband’s retirement suddenly became God’s “Eight Week Plan” to move into a new, but familiar, community 100 miles away! So after a whirlwind of preparing and selling our old home in Northern Virginia, and buying and moving into our “new” home (though it’s almost 100 years old) across the state Max and I finally have re-entered the atmosphere of technology once again.
Max spent the day unpacking and matching up equipment with cords and plugs and devices, until he finally emerged with a grin and announced “You have internet”! After his hard work I find myself surprised at my own reaction to his annunciation. In one way I felt sheer joy at the thought of being connected to the cyber community once again. I can blog and “google” and “Facebook” and shop Amazon again! Hooray! And yet the moment was bittersweet as I realized deep in my soul the sanctity of the time I have spent away from my daily rituals connected with the computer. The past few weeks of not connecting electronically have pushed me into other ways of connecting with people face to face. Relationships have been deepened. Adventures have been taken into places I ordinarily would not go. Being “unhooked” from the virtual cyberspace has allowed for deeper, authentic, “soul” conversations with others, myself, and God. I am grateful for this time.
So now, still getting settled in and making this house a home, I’m back to putting some thoughts “out there” to you. We are heading into the future with hope and anticipation!
“Home is the nicest word there is.”― Laura Ingalls Wilder
Day 110 April 20, 2014
EASTER – HE IS RISEN – CELEBRATE!
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. -Matthew 28:6 NIV
Hallelujah, He is Risen! Perhaps you might think this is a strange picture to illustrate such an important event as Easter. Usually the day is symbolized by a rock rolled away to reveal a glowing empty tomb, disciples peering in, or even an empty cross. So why would I choose to meditate on this picture today? Because it tells the story of my Lenten- Easter journey this year, of course.
This is a photo of my bedroom as it is this morning. Mostly empty, white, clean and pure with windows uncovered to reveal the community in which I live. Early in the day on Ash Wednesday I stood on my front porch watching the movers remove most of my household belongings. I chuckled to myself at the notion of giving my “things” up for Lent this year.
My husband and I have been preparing our home for sale, thinking it would take some time to make some needed repairs, to sell it, find a new place to live. God’s timing is perfect, though and we find ourselves forty days (plus a few) ready for a new adventure. The scripture from Philippians 4, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” is one we have lived by throughout the Lenten season.
This past month has led me through quite a transformation inside and out. We have sorted and tossed and donated and recycled much of what we owned. The house has been repaired and cleaned, painted and revived. Strangers have walked through considering how it would be for them to live here and after several offers the house is now under contract to be sold. And my husband and I are preparing to move the few belongings left in our house to our new home in the hills of Virginia to begin a new adventure as we follow the call of God in our lives to leave the old and move forward to where He leads.
Day 17 January 17, 2014
When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.- 2 Chronicles 7:1
“Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us. As we engage in this communion with God more deeply and come to know the One with whom we are speaking more intimately, that growing knowledge of God reveals to us all the more brilliantly who we are and our need to change in conformity to Him. Prayer changes us profoundly.”― R.C. Sproul
“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” -Soren Kierkegaard
“Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.” -Samuel M. Shoemaker
Day 363 December 30, 2013
“Just when the caterpillar thought “I am incapable of moving,” it became a butterfly.” -Annette Thomas
“Extend an existing photograph or painting beyond its current edges.” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
“The Rainbow is a promise” -Mary Clark Dalton
“I think humans might be like butterflies; people die every day without many other people knowing about them, seeing their colors, hearing their stories… and when humans are broken, they’re like broken butterfly wings; suddenly there are so many beauties that are seen in different ways, so many thoughts and visions and possibilities that form, which couldn’t form when the person wasn’t broken! So it is not a very sad thing to be broken, after all! It’s during the times of being broken, that you have all the opportunities to become things unforgettable!” ―C. JoyBell C.
“We are always transforming into something new and different. It is a choice we make to transform into wings and colors and dreams.” -Trish Hernandez
Day 358 December 26, 2013
I might almost lose my name, And take instead a feather for my soul.” ― Jay Woodman
“Freeze time. Create the illusion that time has stopped and something or someone is frozen mid-action.” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
“From darkness; take me unto Light.
O God! Help me today, make my maiden flight.
From sorrow; give me the strength to break. And help me to love and to care.
From darkness take me unto Light.
O God! Hear my prayers and let in the sunlight.
― Madhavi Sood, From the Silence Within
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” -C. S. Lewis
“Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly!” ― C. JoyBell C.
Day 349 December 17, 2013
“We all began as something else— a restless soul standing at the trail head.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Mmmm-Chili On a Snowy Day
“Make something unappetizing seem appetizing, but don’t let someone eat it aby accident).” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
“The fire of my tribulations had not simply been pain to be endured. It had been an agent of transformation. After all that I’d been through, I’d changed. Not for the worse, I was pretty sure.” ― Jim Butcher
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought,into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plansInto reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in yourimagination.” -Napoleon Hill
“To bring about the new takes not just a development of the old, but a radical leap forward – revolutionary and transforming – and that requires extra factors that were not present before.” -Mark H. Pritchard
Day 227 August 16, 2013
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
Cottage Meditation Room – BEFORE
Cottage Meditation Room – AFTER
“Transform a room into a new environment-temporarily or permanently!” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.” ― Alan Cohen
“Meditation is an essential travel partner on your journey of personal transformation. Meditation connects you with your soul,and this connection gives you access to your intuition, your heartfelt desires, your integrity, and the inspiration to create a life you love.” ― Sarah McLean
Day 176 June 26, 2013
“Make somewhere indoors seem like it is outdoors.” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
The name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel.
Have you ever seen a hydrangea quite like this one? I came across it in my garden not long ago. The year before I had planted a very small new hydrangea bush in one corner of the yard. My husband wasn’t aware of this, and not recognizing the tiny plant as anything special he mowed it down. In an effort to make amends to an unhappy wife he bought a new one that was bigger and he planted it where the old one had been. The one he planted, though, already had a few flowers blooming on it so he wouldn’t make the same mistake and mow it down again.
The following year when the hydrangea in the corner bloomed, this is what it looked like….pink and blue and purple! I’m sure there are plenty of scientific reasons to explain the diversity of color, but I believe it was because when he planted the new one the old mowed down one wasn’t removed. It still had life beneath the soil. He had planted his blue one with my pink one that seemed to have been destroyed. Somehow the two plants managed to combine together to create something spectacular and unique.
Isn’t it that way with us sometimes? We get “mowed down”, stomped on, destroyed. It seems like nothing is left. We make amends and we forgive. But its God who sets things right again and what we think of as loss only re-blooms into something more beautiful than ever.
Also this flower reminds me of what can be done when each of us combines our gifts and talents, time and treasure.
Perhaps mistakes are never really mistakes after all, but just an opportunity for God to tell His story of redemption once again.
Day 87 March 29, 2013
“Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people.” -Michael W. Smith
“What can you do with a candle? Try using the drips from a lit candle to make an image, or use an unlit one to draw…then make the image appear with watercolor or ink. Or, as always, feel free to experiment.” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” –R. Buckminster Fuller
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” -2 Corinthians 5:17