an alphabet of thanks “Z”


Yes! I did it. This is it. Z

Another tough one but I got it. It’s zone. I like being in the Zone. I’m truly thankful when I find myself the zone. For one thing, it means I’m practicing “flow”, that wonderful sate when time has no meaning. When the hours slip away because you’re doing what you love to do. It has your complete attention. One is truly at peace when they’re in the zone.

The zone is different for each of us. For my friend, it’s sewing. For another, it’s construction. For my daughter it’s playing with her children. For me, it’s being with my family and anything creative, mostly writing and creating art. When I’m blogging, I’m very often in the zone.

So today I’m grateful for the those occasions I find myself lost in time.

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an alphabet of thanks “Y”


google images/yesterdays

google images/yesterdays

Today I’m grateful for Yesterdays. There’s something about the fact that I can’t change a yesterday. I can change my interpretation of yesterday but that’s about it. Not all my yesterdays have been wonderful. Not all my yesterdays have been awful. As the saying goes, “We all have something.”

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is opportunity.They both have a place in our lives. Yesterdays give us opportunity to reflect. They give us opporutinity to plan differently for our tomorrows. Yesterdays, whether painful or wonderful, are a great jumping off place.

The thing about yesterdays is not to let them determine our future except in the sense that we learn from them. Even when our yesteredays are full of regrets, we have our tomorrows to change things.

an alphabet of thanks “X”


porticos

Oh, my gosh. X. I had a hard time last year with this one but not as hard as this year. If I do this next year, I’m in big trouble. My husband suggested I use “x” as in boyfriends, spouses, etc. I wonder if he knows it’s “ex” not just “x”. Anyway, I went down a list of “x” words and I found one..

It’s xystus. It’s a long portico. In Rome it was a covered garden walk. I love porticos. I think it’s great to visit a famous garden and walk under a xystus.  🙂  And when it rains, I’ve been very thankful for them.

That’s all I’ve got.

an alphabet of thanks “W”


google images

google images

(Somehow my alphabet wasn’t turning out on schedule so I’m having to post twice today so I end on the 26th as does the alphabet.  What can I say? It’s the holiday season. )

I’m so grateful for ” Wonder”. particularly the wonder of this Christmas season fast approaching. What is it about Christmas that makes cookies taste sweeter, the sun shine brighter, colors more vibrant, coffee better-tasting, experiences lived deeper, people appreciated more?

But why shouldn’t it be that way? Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Wonder. The wonder of a prophecy come true.

But the biggest wonder for me is the wonder that the God I’ve come to know   continues to love me. The wonder that my experience is not unique,; God wants to love everyone who calls him Father. The wonder that no matter what happens in this world, no matter how evil seems to triumph, God remains in charge in the long run. ( I italicized that because one only has to look around them to feel that God that is not in charge. But that’s another conversation.)

Believe me I know that many don’t share my views because Christmas is a nightmare for you. You’re trying to dig out from financial issues, relationship issues, illness…………..There is no wonder in this season for you, except the wondering  why everything is a mess.  I understand that.  Not everything has always been right in my world either, but that doesn’t nullify the fact that the wonder of the season still amazes me.

Starting December first, I will look to see God show up in wondorous ways. It is my prayer that you, too, will be able to see the wonder of this season.

an alphabet of thanks “V”


google images

google images

(OK. I do know my alphabet. How “U” got published before “T”, I don’t have a clue.)

Anyway………today I’m thankful for all the “voices” in my life. The voices that encourage me. The voices that challenge me. The voices that make me grow up. The voices that soothe me. The voices that calm me down.  The voices that irritate me. The voices that make me mad. I’m grateful for all of them.

But mostly I’m grateful for the “The Voice”.  God’ voice.  I believe I hear Him in all the human voices I hear every day. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that God’s voice is always ethereal, mysterious, always “holy” sounding. But the more I learn to recognize God’s voice, the more I hear Him in the most ordinary people and in the most ordinary circumstances. Yes, sometimes I hear Him in the most magnificent of ways but not usually.

So today I’m grateful for all the voices I hear every day.  I hope I always listen to the most subtle of messages from the most unexpected of people. Those that aren’t like me, that don’t believe like me, that don’t think like me and even those that don’t believe like me.

Especially those that don’t believe like me.

an alphabet of thanks “U”


DSCF0081

As we’ve gone through this renovation, I’ve learned that the pieces I still love are the ones that were never mass-produced. They are the ones that I don’t see in anyone else’s home. I’ve got some pieces I’ve had for many years and they still “work” because they are unique.

Like the big copper bowl that sits on the lower shelf of a table. Like the chamber pot I use in a bathroom for my wastebasket. The old sewing machine table that has a mismatched top which has been repainted many times over the years. Like the crocks that sit on each one my steps going upstairs. The unique pieces we’ve collected on our travels. The sand, rocks and driftwood that sit in a bowl in my entryway. Or the birdbath above that is constructed from a discarded birdbath base, a tray from house, and a big rock. It’s so “zen”.

I think I like the unique and unusual because they prompt memories. The usual, the mass-produced don’t do that for me. Sometimes i even forget where they were purchased because they are that forgettable.

The pieces I’ve given away or are going to give away are pieces I’ve bought in department stores where there have been a dozen of them on the shelf. That must have been a period in my life when I thought my home had to look like someone elses’. Thank goodness I got over that.

There’s nothing I like more than to find a great thrift store piece and upcycling  it into something really unique. Almost every thing in my home has had my hand print in some form or other.

Redecorating my home has brought me back to what I love.  It has stirred my creative juices much to my husband’s chagrin. I’ve taken some pieces I’ve put aside and brought them back out. As I look around, I’ve probably eliminated almost everything that I purchased as new. The “old” has become new for me again.

I love the unique. In things, people, situations, art, books, etc. I’m thankful that God has made each of us unique as well.  Sometimes I forget that. I want people to act like me, thank like me, believe like me. But then I remember, if they did  wouldn’t be unique either!

an alphabet of thanks “R”


google images

google images

Today I’m thankful for rain.

Rainy days seems to suggest I should putz around the house and indulge myself in hot tea and a book.

Rainy days give me pause.

Rainy days remind me the sun will return.

Rainy days make me feel peaceful.

Rainy days remind me Who is really in charge.

an alphabet of thanks, “Q”


Noise?
Noise? (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

Quality, qualify, quake, quarrel, quilt, quiet, quirky.

Today I am thankful for quiet. (Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise.) I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet. When even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor in the world. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago because life was, well, simple. Of course we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to. Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for uneasiness.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head subsides to a whisper. That’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves will prepare us. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to be a serene contented 20, 30, 40, etc year old person.

The future always begins with the present.

an alphabet of thanks “P”


English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(This is a re-post from last year but it’s still works for  “P”)

There are no options to pick from for the letter “P”. I’ve had this one settled on since the beginning. It’s PINTEREST-YEA!!!!!

Here’s how my descent into the Pinterest “abyss” began. It was October, 2011, when my daughter remarked, “Hey, mom.  I’ve found this neat website I think you might enjoy. It’s called Pinterest. Here, let me show you.” She pulled up the site and showed me how it worked.

“Hmmm”, I said. “I don’t know if it’s something I would like but I’ll give it a try”.

It was downhill after that. I plunged into Pinterest “hell” almost immediately.  I was hooked. I pinned non-stop for days. I needed an intervention but none was forthcoming. I had to go cold turkey. It was hard but after a few days, I was back to normal.  I have slowed down since then but I’m still somewhat obsessed.

Why do I like Pinterest?  For one thing, by paying close attention to what I was pinning, I realized that my true decorating style was not reflected in my home. I learned that I love white with touches of black. I love yellow-green paired with pale sea foam blue. When it came time to redecorate some bedrooms, I didn’t have to think at all.  When it came to the living room and dining room, it was also easy. Lots of black and white.

Pinterest has brought me back to the things I love. I love DIY projects but had gotten away from it for awhile.  I’m b-a-a-a—a-ck. I’ve yet to try a recipe that hasn’t been successful. I love the photographs and the art work. I love the inspirational sayings. There really isn’t anything about Pinterest that I don’t like except it’s addicting lure.

I ask everyone I meet, “Are you on Pinterest?” If they say no, I explain it to them and tell them. You really should check it out.”  Oh, no, I’m sending someone else over the edge.  I should be ashamed.

 

an alphabet of thanks “O”


Choice
Choices (Photo credit: anyjazz65)

Today’s choice was narrowed to “obvious”, “openness”, “organize” and “options”. I like things that are obvious. I don’t like playing guessing games with life. I like concrete answers. I like people that are open. I don’t like people that have an agenda, you never know where you stand with them. I like to organize-things, my schedule, my life. I don’t like chaos. I could write volumes about each of these but I’m going to settle on “options” because “options” is really just another word for “choices.” And I’m a big believer that we all have choices about most things in our life.

We’ve been updating our big old farmhouse. I had a general idea where I was headed with the house. I wanted to ditch the heavy, wood-grained look and go for something crisper.I have made a lot of painting color choices. In this case I wish I hadn’t had so many options. At one point, I had nine, NINE, samples of white paint. I never realized there were so many different whites.

Painting the furniture,however, was a no-brainer. I had been studying decorating websites and magazines for months and months and when the time came to decide, it all just kind of fell into place. I am fairly confident in my decorating abilities as it is one of my passions. It’s been my experience that when we’re passionate about something we’re usually good at it. I feel like I make good decorating choices. At least most of the time.

I have a cousin who is passionate about cooking and she’s a wonderful cook. I’m not passionate about cooking-enough said about my culinary skills.

But when it comes to people, our options can become very complicated. Things are just things. People are people; they can hurt and they can be hurt. Relationships can be damaged forever if we choose the wrong words for example.

Sometimes there are more options than the obvious but they usually only show up after we’ve let some time lapse. Most things in life can sit on the back burner for awhile. Often they resolve themselves if we let them sit and simmer.That’s the wonderful thing about options. You even have choices about your choices!