Tag: #Community

Firewood

During the Texas snow/ice storm, I saw a post on Facebook that made me smile. It was a photo of a front yard covered in tree branches, and said, “It’s raining firewood.”

I needed to see that because the most unnerving part of that week for me was the location of our home. The house is surrounded by ginormous oak trees and rests beneath their canopy. We’d hear the crack of a branch, then boom onto the roof, and the branch would slide and fall to the ground. I did a lot of meditating that week, and thanked God for metal roofs.

Once the snow had melted away, I stepped outside to look at the front yard, and was in agreement that it had rained firewood. The yard was covered with sticks, twigs and a few branches, but I looked at the sticks as, ‘kindling’, and the branches were easily broken into firewood. No healthy branch breaks. It was a good day for a fire, as I removed the cover from the firepit.

God knows my heart and knows I love to sit near a fire. I gathered up all the sticks and laid some in the pit. There were so many I had to start a pile of them nearby, along with the smaller broken branches. The larger branches were laid aside for future use. I sat by the fire for hours that day, and just pondered God’s goodness and grace. If it’s gonna rain, let it rain firewood.

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Footprints

We didn’t allow the snow and ice to hinder us from taking a walk. After the first fallen snow, it was light powder and easy to walk through, but then a fine layer of ice fell on top. That made it a little more challenging, but where there’s a will, there’s also a way.

Photography by Simply Semloh

You have to stomp your foot through the icy layer, to get down to the powdery snow. There your footing will hold, and not slip. Here we were, stomping our way through the neighborhood, and it was invigorating to say the least, at an outdoor temp of 18 degrees.

We made a trail of footprints. Some were on the road, but most were through the edge of the neighbors yards. The road had turned into a solid sheet of ice, so we had to make our own path off the road. The next day, I went for a walk alone, but found myself following the path we had taken the day before. Even though the snow was melting away, I could still see some of our footprints and it made me think.

What kind of footprint do I really want to leave for these neighbors? Not just a snowy one alongside their yard, but a footprint in their life. My thoughts expanded to what kind of footprint do I want to leave on this world? Thanks to the snow/ice storm that shut down Texas, I’m pondering footprints.

Get Over Yourself

That’s what my sponsor would say. When I felt alone, or decided to have a pity party, she would encourage me to look outside myself.

To find a need and fill it.

Not my own need, but the needs of others.

today

The first line you’ll read in the book, “The Purpose Driven Life” is, “It’s not about you.” I’m continually reminding myself of that.

Yes, there has been a pattern to my life. In a society focused on self-care, we tend to focus on ourselves a little too much. ‘Take care of yourself first, so you can care for others’, but I don’t believe self-care was meant to turn into self absorption.

I’m glad I had a sponsor who would tell me to get over myself. Anytime I feel that tilt in the scales of, ‘What about me?’, I hear her voice. To live a life on purpose means living outside of ourselves and it’s not always convenient. I’m learning that.

I’m thankful to have people in my life that tell me what I don’t necessarily want to hear, but really need to hear.

Even if it is, get over yourself.

Let’s Get Real

Thank you for requesting a handwritten note. (You know who you are) They’ve all been mailed.

I don’t know one of the people very well that requested a note, so I just sat down and shared my morning. Each word written was like she was sitting at the table with me. I hope she can sense it as she reads it.

Or, she’ll think it’s quite odd. 🙂

Either way, I feel quite accomplished with making the offer and following through in a timely manner. A good part of life entails doing your part and watching where that leads.

I received a handwritten note from my friend Paula. Just like her, it’s beautiful inside and out.

notecard

Yesterday, I found a card from a friend written a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten how close we once were and reached out to her on Facebook to reconnect. She responded to my message and it was clear, we’re still traveling different paths.

There’s nothing wrong with that. She’s going her way and I’m going mine, but there was no connection. This is the year for community. WordPress is the only online community I’m active in at the moment. The rest is all real.

My Front Yard

This is one of my favorite memes.

ayear

Last year, I wrote about The Bird Feeder.

I loved it, but spent a lot of time agonizing over the squirrels. They wouldn’t stay off the feeder and wound up destroying one of them.

Fast forward to today, I feed the squirrels.

I pour the feed right on the ground. Didn’t realize they make a feed for squirrels and birds to share. I found it at the local hardware store. My daughter laughs at me for doing this.

At first, she saw it as defeat. I’d given up on having a pretty feeder and the squirrels won, but I don’t see it as that. I see it as making a difference in their lives. If they come into my yard, they’ll be fed without a fight.

I don’t dump food out everyday, but this is the year of making a difference in community. Last year prepared me for this year.

I added to the meme.

imaginewhat

I didn’t spend a lot of time on this meme to make a difference in what it says.

Last year was preparation. This year is to make a difference. It seems that begins in my own front yard.

 

I Love Lucy

My daughter is spending time this week with one of her best friends. Her friend goes to college in Florida, so they haven’t seen one another in years. She came to Texas to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, which was Wednesday.

Yesterday, I checked the mail, and it was stuffed with all kinds of goodness. I had ordered film for my daughter’s Instamatic camera, and it came in. We weren’t sure the film was going to arrive in time for her to use it during her friend’s visit, but God took care of it. My package from the UK was there as well, and I squealed with excitement!

Lucy was here!

lucy
Lucy from Little Fears.

Peter Edwards writes a Blog entitled, Little Fears.

He showed up on my Blog during my Cancer Journey.

Peter has always been an encouragement to me, and I admire his passion for what he does. I believe we have numerous opportunities as a community of Bloggers to encourage one another. Purchasing Lucy was my way of giving Peter a little bit of encouragement.

There is something about this scary looking creature, holding a heart that makes me smile. I can’t tell if she is offering it, or taking it.

My daughter and her friend stopped by yesterday just to give hugs. She saw Lucy displayed in the frame we had chosen for her together. I was beaming with love over Lucy, and my daughter shouted, “I love Lucy!”

Thank you Peter for helping us face our Little Fears.

You are Good

I went down to the corner store this morning, and was greeted by my friend behind the counter. We love one another like good friends do, even though I just met him a couple of years ago. He is a real life superhero in my book.

I don’t know his story, only what I’ve seen. He has a heart the size of Texas, but he isn’t native Texan. He is from another country, and he runs the only store in little Dale Texas.

Last Thanksgiving, he was overwhelmed with gifts of food from the locals. He said it was a huge difference from the previous year. He received a couple of pigs that year, but last year it was in the double digits. He has a good heart, but it took time for people to see it, believe it, and trust him.

saveyourself

He asked, “You missed the fireworks lastnight?”

I responded, “I saw them from my front porch.”

He asked, “Are you okay?” Tapping his chest in reference to last years Breast Cancer.

I reassured him, “I am good, just tired.”

Then it was like God entered the conversation, because he said, “Of people?” We were talking about health, so this comment surprised me. The fireworks celebration brings in a lot of people, so it hit me right in the heart when he said this.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at him and said, “Maybe.” He started shaking his head furiously, and said, “NO NO NO.”

He opened his arms, leaned across the counter, and pulled me into his arms, like it was forbidden for me to be tired of people. He hugged me, let me go, and said, “You are good.”