"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


Friday’s Five

Yes, I realize it’s Saturday. That’s ok. I still have five good things to remember today and I’m going to write about them here and now. No silly rules about where and when matter.

That is my #1 this week: the joy of knowing it’s ok to be late sometimes–and not to be bound by self imposed rules that don’t matter. Be kind to yourself! You’re probably doing the best you can.

#2 : going into The Swoonerie (a wonderful artisan marketplace that has a mission spirit) and seeing handmade hearts attached to a prayer board. My daughter’s name was on one of those fluttering hearts. Why? Because the owner (Pam) prays for my child after only knowing her for a few months. She treats her like family. Because God connects us with people in many and wondrous ways.
Another name was on that board: Frank. I don’t personally know the Frank that the owner does, but I have two precious Franks in my life: my daddy who died in 1974 and my nephew, who just moved to Chicago to start a new chapter in his life. Seeing that name brought to mind two people I love, and I prayed for them right then–prayers of thanksgiving for a good and loving father–and prayers of direction and protection for my nephew–in the unexpected setting of a store.

And another blessing of course. I’ll call it #3: the inspiration that came from that moment. Seeing that simple cork board with a handmade cross near the bottom. Inked words inviting prayer. Hand cut paper hearts fluttering on tiny pins–names on front, intentions on back that only the Pray-er (Pam) knows.
I’m starting my own prayer board this weekend because of that moment. I hope you will start one, too.

#4: “Put the baby on first.”
Pam’s words to me made me smile for so many reasons. She knows I’m expecting a grandchild in August. She is expecting one in the next few months as well. We pray for good and joyful reasons. She knows this too.
The connections we make as humans are so important. I’m so glad I have been given the gift of knowing that. Pam’s name will also be on my board.

#5: names. Names that will come to me today as I cut out simple paper hearts from art paper. Names of people I’ve known for decades. And names of those I’ve only met recently. Each name gives me a story. A reason to pray. I’m looking forward to standing in front of my prayer board at times throughout the day and stopping to give thanks and lift these people in prayer. I’ve had a journal for years, and that is a blessing. But this is a new blessing: an open and constant reminder — and an invitation to all who might happen here to see.

I hope you are as blessed by simple paper hearts as much as I am. It’s really the perfect time as we enter the month of love, isn’t it?
God bless you, my readers. You’ll have a special heart on my board, too.

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Friday’s Five…More Like 25…

It’s been five Fridays since I last posted my weekly remembrances of five good things.
Why is that? I think more than anything, it boils down to procrastination because since December 19, I’ve had so many blessings to list, truly.
Let me start with #1:
I found out on Christmas Day that my son and his wife are expecting! I’m a grandmama in training! That truth is the happy place my heart goes to when I start thinking too much about
stressful things. A baby is coming in August!
A knit cardigan is in progress, new baby hat and blanket patterns are printed almost daily, and I’m thrilled at the thought of rocking my first grandchild. I hope to be the “old fashioned” grandma who always has cookies ready, who has time to sit in the floor and play jacks, who has an endless supply of crayons and paper and books ready. Bliss…

The camellias are all blooming or getting ready to, and on a walk a few days ago, Sara pointed out a new blooming bush we’ve never seen before. It’s about twenty feet from the three bushes that have bloomed on this property for decades. It was surely a sweet moment to see new red blooms welcoming the new year. Who knows? Maybe I planted it years ago and just forgot. Maybe Sam did. Whatever the case, it stands along the edge of the driveway today, and we notice and are glad.

There’s a pot of narcissus welcoming January in the back porch window, an orchid from last spring that has, much to my surprise, decided to rejoin us…its new shoots reaching toward the west window.
Hopeful, living things. Lovely.

No snow yet, but it’s coming soon I think. My mama used to say that it warms up to snow. We’ve had warm January days (60s) and more forecast for next week, so I’m holding on to the possibility!
I’m glad those old sayings live on in our minds. They keep our loved ones with us.
This time last year, Sam was still here and we had hospice nurses visit every day. It seems like yesterday, and it seems like a lifetime ago. His memory will not fade from my heart. The good days and bad and sweet and sorrowful, all become intertwined. Lives filled with stories.
I spent some time during the last couple of weeks with a lady I didn’t know. She was the mom of my husband’s best friend. Cancer decided to do its thing on her, but she was surrounded by love and laughter and good stories until she made it to her heavenly home last Monday. Her son asked me to speak at her service and I did. It brought to mind other times I’ve written or spoken in memory of people I loved. All I can say is God has His ways with us. He knows what we need to do. He makes things happen.
Two of my shop owner friends have husbands with a cancer diagnosis. I didn’t know them a year ago. I met them through “random” circumstances this year and somehow we all know it’s not random at all.
This week, a colleague talked at length about her father’s recent passing. She spoke of pain and family drama and medicine schedules and situations she never dreamed were part of life. Later, she thanked me. Just for listening.
And I realized again, sometimes that’s all we need. We don’t need judgment. We don’t need a solution. We just need a place to be ourselves, to say the things we need to say. I’m glad I could be her listener.
There’s been a lot of creativity the past few weeks.
Sara and I took a watercolor class and it was such fun! We learned a lot and I’m excited to get started on a new project.
I finished an acrylic canvas of trees for Samuel. I’m not sure what I was happier about: his positive reaction or the actual completion of a project. Maybe both.
Samuel entered a piece of prose into a local contest and won second place. It makes my heart happy to see him use his gifts.
I’ve started a bible study with a dear friend and a bible verse memorization with another.
There’s laughter. I drove to my book club get-together the other night and stopped at the wrong house, book and bottle of wine in hand. I was greeted enthusiastically and was on my way in when I asked if this was the right house. It wasn’t. My goodness. I’m glad for good souls and guardian angels on the way.
Joy jars. That’s how I’ll end my post today. I’ve made a couple and hope to share more. The premise is easy:
Decorate a jar. Fill it with colorful slips of paper. Write down the joys and blessings of the day. Save this rainbow of happiness until the end of the year and reopen. Relive the good.
Always, always, relive the good. I’m glad to share my “good” here, late or not.
Peace and joy dear readers.
Keep moving forward.