Through the Middle

Standing by the kitchen window, watching the warm breeze move the giant Canna Lily leaves reminds me how life is made up of simple pleasures. A friend sent a Marco Polo asking to see the yard filled with flowers like last year, but this year I see more shade than bloom. I planted flowers late compared to most gardeners, and there’s a late night yard critter plowing their snout through the flower beds. Each morning I’d walk outside to assess how many flowers had been uprooted and cast aside.

This has been going on for months and I’m just trying to pass the test. The mornings are on repeat…put the flowers back in the ground, water them thoroughly, only to find a new path of destruction the next morning. I mentioned to Hercules, “I’m going to summon the cat’s on Third Street to take care of this villainous creature!” We had a good laugh, but then I realized summoning feral cats wouldn’t be a very good example of Spiritual maturity. Here’s a definition I heard recently…

“Spiritual maturity is suffering while waiting patiently with a good attitude while trusting God and continuing to be a blessing to other people.”

Joyce Meyer

We don’t grow when things are good.

This post was started in June when I was in the middle. The middle is when life puts us through the same type test continually with no end in sight, but this did end, and some good came of it, like less flowers to care for. This year I spent 15 minutes every few days caring for the yard, compared to an hour a day, sometimes twice a day, last year. Patience is not only the ability to wait, but how well we wait. The yard looks nothing like I planned, but all of the flowers in pots feed my soul. Keep showing up, expecting the best and make it through the middle.

Ride the Elephant

I’m officially an empty nester. I’ve known since May my daughter was going to be living on her own, but it was daunting when she came to pick up some of her things to take to her new home. The next morning, I walked through the house and could see and feel the empty spaces.

One of my books for morning reading is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Recently, she wrote about her family vacationing years ago at a beach resort and one afternoon there was a surprise activity for the children: a ride on an elephant around the hotel parking lot. Her little girl was delirious with excitement and that night as she tucked her daughter in bed she said, “Some mornings you wake up not knowing what will happen during the day and you get to ride an elephant!”

Delirious with excitement. We were designed to be that way, but life can bury the child in all of us over years of trying to make it through the day. I don’t wish to simply make it through the day, but instead see what the day has to offer. The weekend is here and I purposefully didn’t make any plans. I want to leave plenty of space for these two days to unfold on their own. If I was sitting on a beach near a hotel with activities for a child, you know me well enough to know…I’d have to ride the elephant.

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

One Can Hope

Standing at the kitchen sink, staring out the window I see God took care of one more thing in my life today. There’s a Bougainvillea hanging under one corner of the house, in hopes it will grow it’s way up onto the roof. It has a couple of long branches reaching that way, but this morning they had drooped from lack of water. It’s on my morning rounds with the watering hose.

After giving it some water I came in the house and started work. I didn’t give the Bougainvillea another thought until now. It soaked up the water and the long branches are tucked up under the roof again. I think it would be beautiful to have Bougainvillea blossoms all over the roof. I don’t know if that will happen, but that’s what came to mind when I hung it there.

God probably has something better in store, but I’m doing my part by keeping it watered. It’s in the right place for endless possibility, but we’ll have to wait and see what transpires. As I walk away from the window back to my desk I smile and think, one can hope.

We plan, but God decides.

Proverbs 16:9

The ‘Ber Months

I feel we’re on a downhill slope with the triple digit temperatures. I’ve been telling my daughter, ‘This is the last month. We just need to get through August!” As this is being written, we’re halfway there as I still hold an obscene amount of gratitude for air conditioning.

The other day, I spotted a candle in a cabinet from last Christmas and lit it immediately. For a little while the house smelled like frosted pine and relieved my senses of what season we’re really in. Then I received an email from Voluspa announcing the release of their Spiced Pumpkin Latte candle and that was a quick an easy order. Let’s hope FedEx doesn’t leave the shipment on his truck overnight like last time, or it will be the consistency of a latte. 😂

Voluspa Spiced Pumpkin Latte

I’ve haven’t thought about it until recently, but my favorite months of the year end with ‘ber’. I’m not the sort of soul to wish away time, but any temperature less than 100 degrees sounds downright chilly! If you’re enduring the heat as we are in Texas, just hold on my darlins, cooler is coming. Until then we can ruminate on the ‘ber months.

Left Feels Right

Sitting at the kitchen table Pandora echoes through the house. Pink and Chris Stapleton sing, Love Me Anyway, and my mind drifts into a dreamy state.

I haven’t been on WordPress much this summer and gratefully, my Blog hasn’t suffered during my absence. The stats remained steady, so God still led people here to read and follow. I smile and give Him a nod of acknowledgement for the millionth time, “Oh yeah…It’s not about me!”

I’m training my left hand to manipulate the wireless mouse connected to my laptop and it’s been interesting. Having used my right hand and index finger for decades, it’s deserving of a reprieve. The practice began by using a regular mouse with my left hand and switching sides of the laptop it resides on. Almost a week in and my hand is finally reaching automatically to the left instead of the right. It’s funny how fast our mind trains our body, but there’s ample opportunity to retrain it to suit where we are.

I’ve noticed the left hand glides more gently than the right hand ever did. Somewhere along the path, the right hand became about speed and clicking through whatever’s in front of me. The left hand is more steady, present while being watchful in the moment and will pause almost like it has more patience while offering a much lighter touch than my right. To celebrate this learning experience I purchased a mouse that can be utilized by the left hand or the right, but for now my darlings the left feels right.

Logitech Pebble Bluetooth Mouse M350 – Flora

The Good Life

I stopped by the Water Gardens and saw three of them sitting on the edge of a wood table. Two were in bloom and I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed such delicate beauty making this loud of a statement.

Similar to the pillow mentioned in Feel the Music, there was no need for another plant, but if it could be happy in my yard, I’d literally stare in wonder at it while it bloomed. Three days later, I went back to the Water Gardens and made my way over to where they’d been sitting previously. It blended in with all the other plants on the table, but there was one left. It wasn’t in bloom, but I recognized the foliage and not being in bloom is how it was overlooked.

Curcuma-Siam-Sparkling-Tulip

Last year the yard was all about the bloom, but this year it’s about watching and waiting for that one spectacular moment. There’s nurturing in between every bloom, but the rewards far outweigh the attention given. In the book, Simple Abundance, the author has been talking quite a bit about gardening. This reading is titled The Good Life, and she shares an excerpt from the book, Loving and Leaving the Good Life, by Helen Nearing.

  • Do the best you can, whatever arises.
  • Be at peace with yourself.
  • Find a job you enjoy.
  • Live in simple conditions; housing, food, clothing; get rid of clutter.
  • Contact nature every day; feel the earth under your feet.
  • Take physical exercise through hard work; through gardening or walking.
  • Don’t worry; live one day at a time.
  • Share something every day with someone else; if you live alone, write someone; give something away; help someone else somehow.
  • Take time to wonder at life and the world; see humor in life where you can.
  • Observe the one life in all things.
  • Be kind to creatures.

I’ve been helping a woman water the flower beds at church once a week and noticed she didn’t have a sprayer on the end of the water hose, so I brought her my rain head to use. I attached it to the hose, turned it on and handed it to her. Just the sound of the water the rain head gives and watching it shower over the plants was such a peaceful moment she didn’t want it to end. It’s moments like that you know you’re standing in the good life.

Feel the Music

I went to a friends shop looking for a pair of jeans and found a pair that fit perfectly, but didn’t buy them. I said, “I’m church hopping and need a pair for church.” She was surprised by the words, ‘church hopping’ and neither of us were sure what church jeans were supposed to look like.

TobyMac dropped a new song and I’ve been thinking a lot about the goodness in my life. It was 7 years ago I was standing in a post office in small town Texas, when a man walked in whose presence engulfed the lobby. I asked, “How are you?”, and still remember what he looked like and the conviction in his voice as he spoke these words, “I’m blessed and highly favored.”

Not only did he say it, but he owned it, and I knew right then, I wanted to be able to respond like that.

Earlier this year at another friend’s shop, I saw this pillow and picked it up and held it every time I walked in. It’s a frivolous purchase, like I need one more pillow, but still remember it and how it made me smile. The original pillow sold, but a couple of weeks ago I was talking with my friend and mentioned that pillow. She offered to special order me a new one.

Kendall Designs

My daughter says it looks like I killed a Yak, but I see God’s favor.

When this post airs, I’ll be sitting in the same church for the second time and I’m treating it like a date, so let’s see if we make it to number three. Sometimes God’s goodness is tangible like this pillow, but it isn’t always so obvious. The true goodness in life is God Himself consistently showing up. Maybe I’ll practice saying, “Blessed and highly favored”, at church. That’ll reveal pretty quick if I’m at the right building.

TobyMac-The Goodness