Friday, January 31, 2014

5 minutes: hero

Join us here...
GO:

She looked up to him when she was five years old.  Her hero.  Her father.  He hung her moon and all the stars as far as she was concerned.

When she was fifteen, he fell just a little.  She realized that heroes were just human after all.  They didn't hang the moon ... or the stars.

At twenty-five she stopped believing in heroes.

When she turned thirty-five, she began to realize that maybe heroes really were just humans after all.  They didn't wear capes of red or masks of black with bat ears on them.  Instead they wore camouflage and Kevlar.  They stopped to let a mama duck and her ducklings cross the road.  They rushed into burning buildings to carry out children and the elderly.  They were fathers who showed up and stayed .. and who weren't afraid to cry.  They were mothers who shouldered the weight, wiped the tears, and taught us how to fly.  They were the people who paid it forward ... or in some cases, paid it back.  They were you.  They were me.  People just struggling to survive ... and not just surviving, but thriving.

He died just two months before she turned forty-five.  That hero she looked up to when she was five.  The moon still hung in the sky.  The stars still sparkled at night.  And she realized that he was a hero after all.  He could have been a lot of things, which he was to a lot of people.  Listening to everyone talk about him at the memorial service she realized that not only had he been her first hero ... but he had been the first, last and all the ones in between to a lot of people in his life.  She realized also that most of the time, you don't realize how much of a hero someone is ... until they are gone.

She's looking forward to turning fifty-five in a few years ... and making a point to thank all of the heroes in her life ... today.

STOP

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

chillin'

So... it is a little cold in Florida today ...
It has not gotten to 30 degrees at all today.
 Snow in a Sago Palm
 Icicles from the roof line
And two of the laziest four-leggers in town today
Oreo is warming his toes on Trooper's nose

you ... are not alone

Come join us ...
Good morning, beautiful.

I'm so glad you stopped by again for coffee.  I was just sitting here thinking about the times I've felt alone in the past and how I've always been blessed with a surprise visit or call by a friend when I needed it most.

That's why I'm so glad that you came by.  I wanted to make sure that you know that you aren't alone.

Maybe right at this moment you are sitting in front of your computer, alone, thinking that there isn't anyone else who knows your pain, or your fear, or your hurt.  But the truth is that there is always someone who knows.  Maybe they weren't right there with you when it happened, but they know what it feels like ... and they also know that it will get better.  Because you are not alone ... there are those who will help you, those who will comfort you, and One who will never leave you.

Don’t be afraid, for the Lord will go before you and will be with you; 
he will not fail nor forsake you.
~ Deuteronomy 31:8 TLB ~
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

time to buy some uggs...

I may not have to make a beach sand snowman after all...
Image Source: Weather.com
Image Source: Weather.com



Monday, January 27, 2014

rugs ...

don't you wish
that when the rug gets pulled out
from under you
that it was a flying carpet
instead?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

fever ...

fighting chills
even the warmth of two quilts can't
vanquish the fever, but I'm
enjoying the taste of
raspberry tea and chicken bouillon

Saturday, January 25, 2014

surrounded ...

she felt loved.
under the blankets to her
right, her husband's body
'round hers kept her warm.
on top of the covers,
up against her left side, the
next best thing to a best friend, her
dog stretched out, snoring softly.
even her cat was
draped around her head ...
     ... she felt surrounded by love.

Friday, January 24, 2014

5 minute ... visit

Stop by...
GO:

I visit the past too often for comfort.  Each time I do, I find that nothing has changed and  I beat myself up time and time again for those choices I made that brought us to this point.

One of these days, I'm going to stop visiting the past, and start walking toward a future.

One of these days.

It is hard for me to do just yet.  I struggle with the truth that I made mistakes that put us here.  I did.  Others would find it so easy to point a finger at someone else, let them take the blame ... be the blame.  But the truth is that I had choices ... and I made them.  Wrong as they were, there is no one else to blame but myself.

One of these days I want to visit the past and just let it go.  Be done with it.  Turn and walk away from it with no looking back.  It isn't somewhere I want to go again.

One of these days.

STOP.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

you are beautiful ... just as you are

Speaking of you, beautiful...
Hello again,

  So glad that you stopped by.  These morning coffee chats are becoming my favorite part of the week.

  I've been meaning to tell you just how beautiful you are.  No, seriously.  It is that glow in your eyes when you laugh, and the way your face lights up when you smile.

  I know.  I once thought that I was just another wall weed.  Boo-foo ugly in the mornings ... someone who was more deadly than Medusa on a bad day.  It was a long time before I could believe it when someone said I was pretty.  I just didn't see it in myself.  I hid for a long time from the world.

  But then one day I realized that I was beautiful ... just as I was.  Just as you are.  Beauty wasn't in what I looked like ... it was in who I was.  It wasn't something that I could find in makeup or clothes or in a number on the scale.  Beauty was in my actions.  What I said to others.... what I did when no one was watching.  Beauty isn't how you look, it is how you act.

  And you are beautiful ....

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, 
expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, 
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT ~

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

winds of change ...

the wind is blowing hard today
my neighbor's wind chimes are going crazy,
and the brass bell that used to hang in front of my father's house clangs as if there was a royal announcement to be heard

perhaps in a sense ... there is

in two months time, we should be settled into a new home, a new job and a new life

change is inevitable

you can try to hide from it all you want but then one day you realize that those old comfortable shoes no longer fit and you have to get out of your box to go buy new ones

when I first moved to this house in 2001, the sounds of F-15's and F-4's taking off just across the bay from me were sounds that took a while to get used to
when they changed to F-22's and F-15's I rarely noticed them

when we moved to Texas, it was the sounds of howitzer cannons, Hueys and Blackhawks that we had to get used to ... and the sad sound of Taps being played every night coming to us over the valley

coming back here was like putting those old shoes back on
they still fit but they were tight

I think of the new sounds waiting for us when we move

wind in the trees
water rushing in the rivers
owls and eagles
wolves and coyotes

I don't think it will take us long at all to get used to those sounds

Sunday, January 19, 2014

weekend ...

it was an interesting weekend here
a birthday celebration
followed by some serious discussions
about what lies ahead
and what needs to stay behind

it was a weekend that will stay in our memories
for a long time

sometimes weekends like that are good things
sometimes not

but whichever way your weekend went
there is always another one
just around the corner

and that
is a good thing

Friday, January 17, 2014

5 minutes: encouragement

GO:
Five Minute Fridays with Lisa-Jo Baker

I need encouragement.
Not because I lack confidence, but because I lack courage at this point in my life.
Something that I struggle to admit even to myself.

Yes, the woman who talks of having an "inner Amazon," rather than an "inner child" is terrified.

I had a decision to make, and I made it.
But it wasn't as simple as what shirt to wear, or shoes to buy, or what to fix for dinner.
This was the acceptance of a job that will move us to the other side of the country.
A drive of five days that I'm not even sure how we will afford, without punishing myself with ten, twelve, or fourteen hour days, seven days a week from now until the time we leave.
A move to a new community, much farther away than we moved before.
A move of epic proportions in my mind.
But a move ... and a job ... that will turn our lives around ~ for the better.
A move that will give us the opportunity to start again ... from a better place.

I need encouragement.
Not because I lack faith, but because it is hard for me to give up control at this point in my life.
Something I struggle to admit even to myself.

Yes, the woman who talks of having faith in the God who saved her, restored her, redeemed her ... is afraid to put Him in control this time.

I need encouragement.

STOP

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

you are loved ...

Join me for a cup, won't you?
Good morning, you.

How has your week been?  Busy?  Yes, mine too.  Lots of things going on, lots of things to think about ... and worry about.  But you know, one of the things I don't worry about anymore is being loved.

It's hard to believe that once I longed to hear those words, and when I eventually did, the person who said them used them as a weapon against me ... for twelve years.  He turned them into something I couldn't even say to myself ... and that was what hurt me the most.

But one day ... it was as if my inner Amazon suddenly broke out of that closet where I had kept her locked up for so long.  [Yes, Amazon.  You know, they say go big or go home, and at that time in my life I needed to go big.  An inner child wouldn't have survived those times.]

I realized that I wasn't any of the horrible things that he said I was ... and I started to believe in myself, rather than believe what he said.  I looked at myself differently and then one day, there it was.  Looking back at me in the mirror was that Amazon, and she was telling me ...

You are loved.

So here I am, sitting with my coffee, sharing those words with you because they are true, and we all need to hear them.  It doesn't matter where you've been or what you've done.  It doesn't matter what everyone else says about you, because really, what matters most is what you say about yourself.

You are loved.

When you can say those words to your reflection in mirror, and believe them, things start to happen.  Miracles.  Big things.  Because those three words have the power to change your life.

You are loved.

"This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, 
but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God."
~ 1 John 4:9-10 MSG ~

Monday, January 13, 2014

oregon

owls scan the forest floor
rising on whisper quiet wings
echoes of a coyote's call haunt the
glow from a full moon
october leaves drift in the wind
night falls again

Genesis 3:13

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” 
And the woman said, “The snake fooled me, and I ate.”
~ Genesis 3:13 NLV ~

It was in a garden that the snake first got its bad reputation.
What was supposed to be a place of beauty forever
became a place tainted forever.

One would think that would have been an unforgivable sin.
An action that could never be forgotten.

And in one sense ... it was.
It changed things.

But in the end, we were still forgiven.

The beginning didn't become an end.
It became a new beginning.
Image Source

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday selections #154

It has been a while since I participated in Sunday Selections.  It was originally started by Kim at Frogpondsrock as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. It is now continued by River at Drifting through life. The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent. Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

The hard freezes of this past week created some magical ice art in a part of the world that doesn't usually get to see such things.  This type of ice is called "Hair Ice" or "Needle Ice."  It does look almost like gelled and spiked hair ... or pulled taffy.  My pictures were taken at 8 a.m. and by 3:30 p.m. all of the ice had melted away.





Sheets of ice on the bay

Saturday, January 11, 2014

storm ...

he heard the storm approaching
long before I did
he moved closer to me
moaned softly
I stirred in my sleep
and reached out to him
comforting
through my closed eyes
I saw the flash
and the thunder followed
closer with each
streak of electricity that
reached from the clouds
to the earth
I moved over in the bed
giving him room
and he took advantage of it
leaning into me
shaking
moaning in fear
I whispered in his ear
everything was alright
I had him
I would never let him go
he was safe in my arms
the storm passed
he relaxed
and we both slept for a bit

funny, isn't it
how a moment in time
comforting someone in their fear
can remind you so much
of how we are comforted
by Him

Friday, January 10, 2014

5 minutes ... see

What do you see?
GO:
She sees where she was and how far she has come.
She sees him and how far he has come.
Together.  Against the odds.
She sees her reflection in the mirror and sees herself through his eyes.
Through His eyes.
She never thought she would see herself this way.
The way she was.
The way she is.
The way he sees her.
She's changed.  She's learned.  She's grown.
She's survived.
She will never see the world the same way again.
Because of how He sees her.
STOP


Thursday, January 9, 2014

mist ...

fog shrouds the bay
sun, rising behind the mist
a white moon in the morning sky
cars crossing the bridge
unseen
ghostly travelers
walking silently in the field
a startled bird flies out of the weeds
disappearing ...
... into the mist

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

sit for a spell and have a cuppa coffee ...

     Hey you ... yes, you.  Sitting there at the computer, wandering through blogs and wondering what this new year will bring.  I wanted to tell you thank you for being here.  I know.  You think I don't know anything about you, so how could I even say that.  But I know.  More than you think.  I've been there too.  Wandering.  Wondering.  Questioning.  Doubting.  Wanting to take that step, but being afraid.  Knowing that risking that first step sometimes feels like you're risking it all.  And it's too much.  Too much to think about.  Too much pressure.  There is fear in that first, tentative step.  Fear in trusting too much.  Giving too much.  You lie awake at night, wondering if there isn't any other way.  Any other person who could make that decision for you.  Take that step for you.

     But here is the thing.  You don't have to do it alone.  Ever.  I guarantee that there is someone out here who has been there too.  Taken that first step ... and survived it.  Someone who wandered, lost and afraid, who found their way back again.  Someone who trusted ... and who is reaching out a hand for you to grasp.  Someone you can trust with all your fears.

     Grab it.  Grab life.  Take that step.  Open your heart.  Don't let go.  Because you are going to make it, and one day, you'll be reaching back to offer your hand to someone who is walking the same path you're walking now.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~
NLT

I'm joining in a new ongoing meme this year.  Selfish reasons actually, but it works for me.  Holley Gerth is starting "Coffee for Your Heart" ~ an encouragement challenge.  I'm joining because I've learned that in life ... you get what you put into it.  Last year was difficult for me because I had been hurt by people I trusted ... family ... friends ... and so I isolated myself.  Built walls.  Shut doors.  Closed windows.  Disconnected phones.  As a result ... I put myself in a box ... albeit self-imposed, but a box nonetheless and wound up feeling even more alone and discouraged than ever before.
This year, I'm breaking out of the box.  Tearing down walls.  Opening doors and windows.  Reconnecting.  Because what you give ... you get back ... ten fold.  And this year, I know I'm going to be facing new challenges and will need lots of encouragement.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

cold ...

21 degrees Fahrenheit
with a wind blowing
from the north
at 12 miles per hour
making a wind chill
of 12 degrees Fahrenheit.

did the Earth rotate during the night?

it is actually possible to get frostbite in Florida today.

i thought global warming meant warmer weather
not frozen weather

Monday, January 6, 2014

trust ...

what do you do when you've lost your trust?
how do you get it back?
do you just take that leap of faith?
knowing that they still have the power to crush you?
destroy you?
forever change you?
i know
too many questions
for a monday morning

but i really want to know

how do you trust again?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

stranded ...

she once felt like this boat
stranded at low tide
unable to move forward
or backward
thirsting for receding waters
alone
but as the tide returns
she realizes
this is just a phase

Friday, January 3, 2014

in 5 ... fight ...

What's in your five?
GO:

she's tired.  tired of fighting.  tired of fighting to survive.  the struggle to stretch that dollar just a little bit more.  she walks into her bare house and tries not to think of the things she sold in her fight to survive.  when she had to choose between somewhere to sit and eat ... or something to eat.  when she had to choose between a comfortable sofa and beautiful lamps ... or power to keep the lights on.

she's tired.  tired of fighting.  tired of the family drama.  the words that hurt that can never be unheard ... or unsaid.  she looks at the phone and wishes things were different, but knows that even if they were, it would just be a matter of time before there was another fight.  it is who they are ... who they have always been.  like oil and water.  she knows that distance is the only thing that will give them peace ... and so she looks away.

she's tired.  tired of fighting.  tired of fighting the fear of what will be because of all that was.  fighting to stay hopeful ... and yet ... she fights.  fights for life.  fights for faith.  fights for him.  fights for them.  she fights.

because it is who she is ... who she has always been.

a fighter.

STOP

prayers ...

news arrived this week
of two friends in pain
one who lost both parents last year
another facing cancer and chemo
again

there are days when I let my worries
become bigger than they are
and days when I am reminded how much
I have to be grateful for

right now
I'm grateful for my friends
and I'm lifting them up
in prayer

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. 
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
~ Psalm 23:4 NLT ~

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
~ Psalm 94:19 NLT ~

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.
~ Psalm 119:50 NLT ~

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
~ Matthew 5:4 NLT ~



Thursday, January 2, 2014

in the quiet ...

waking with the dawn
slipping out of bed
showering and praying
gratitude
healing
mercy
forgiveness
kindness
words slip in and out of my thoughts
spoken in whispers
in the quiet of the morning
before the world awakens
I have His undivided time
and He has mine