He’s Always Watching

It’s the weekend, but I’m in full work mode.

I used to think waking up at the crack of dawn on a weekend was horrid, but by 9:30 am, I had showered, dressed, and completed most of my work. For a little while anyways. I decided to go to the hardware store for a change of scenery, and some air.

I grabbed a blouse to throw on over my tank top, and hopped in my truck. I hadn’t worn this blouse in a very long time. It’s the most delightful fabric, like gauze really. I love the way it feels, and the rhinestones complimenting the embroidery.

blouse

It’s very delicate, so I made a mental note…Don’t get it dirty!

It’s a little fancy for the hardware store, because I always browse through the plant area, and of course I found a plant to bring home. Someone struck up a conversation, so I hoisted the plant onto my side, and enjoyed the social interaction.

All of a sudden, I felt dampness seeping through my tank top, and realized the potted plant was leaking water. The bottom of the container was dirty, so I had a nice muddy, wet spot on my tank. I panicked and looked at my blouse.

The blouse had safely moved out of the way before the container landed on my side. I paused a moment and thanked God for protecting my blouse.

He knows when I’m focused on work, and not mindful of my surroundings. I think a lot of times we look for God to move in a big way, or reveal an earth shattering revelation, which He will, but we’re tested in the small things first.

He protected my blouse from a stain that probably wouldn’t come out. That’s my kind of God. He’s always watching.

Peonies in December

This particular grocery store has a row of fresh cut flowers on display as soon as you enter. I pause, look and smile. Strolling by the row of buckets, each containing fresh cut bouquets, I stood still and gazed at the last bucket.

There stood our favorite flower.

The Peony.

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This flower is prevalent in summer.

Sitting at the coffee table this morning gazing at the Christmas tree, through a vase full of Peonies. It’s fabulous as cold as it’s been to have a moment like this in December. Unrush my darling. Moments are waiting for attention.

peony

Peonies in December.

A Gratitude Jar

I didn’t do my Morning Pages this morning.

It’s all good though. My daughter has classes, and I chose to spend time with her before she left.

we-can-decide

Thank you for your encouraging comments yesterday about These Two Jars. I found a shoe-box and dumped the pieces of paper inside. It lost all appeal. It was like the shoe box covered up the idea. I’d probably forget about writing on a slip of paper a day using the box, so back to the jar we went.

Walking away from the shoe box with jar in hand, I just plopped it down on top of the coffee bar to ponder it’s placement. Seeing the jar sitting there this morning, it looked at home, even though it was not planned. Scooping up the pieces of paper from the box I placed them back inside the jar.

jar3

Sometimes I make things more complicated than they should be. The gratitude jar was a simple idea I read about, and then tried to make perfect.

The first idea is the best idea.

Stick with the original idea. That is called inspiration when the idea of adding something meaningful to our lives first strikes. To hear that still small voice and follow through. Logic is overrated in my opinion because by following your heart there doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic to it.

By  paying attention to what’s around us, we can instill the simplistic beauty of a gratitude jar.

Go With the Flow

We live in a 1940’s Farmhouse, and the tub has the original lever built in that closes the drain. It also has a manual stopper that you press down to stop the water from leaving.

After my dog was bathed, I unplugged the stopper from the drain, but it didn’t drain. We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so I thought maybe it was clogged with mud from outside. I asked my landlord to look at it. He said it was clogged so he unclogged it, but my tub still wouldn’t drain.

I took matters into my own ‘fix it’ hands, and drove down to the store, and came home with a bottle of Drano. Following the directions on the back of the bottle, I was already looking forward to my shower. I poured half the bottle down the drain, and waited.

My daughter is very particular about following directions on the back of bottles. Especially toxic chemicals, so I told her I wouldn’t plunge it. It says not to on the bottle, but oh, how I really wanted to! I had been waiting, so I wanted it to unclog right now!

ignorance

I was sitting on the side of the tub, and I remembered it said to pour hot water down the drain. My mother used to heat the water in a kettle, because the water coming out of our pipes are not heated to the intensity to scald us, so I heated up a kettle of water.

As I was doing this I was realizing that I don’t want to get to a point in my life where God has to do all this to me for me to obey. The Drano, scalding hot water, and please don’t plunge me! There have been times where I felt stupid, because I didn’t want to see the reality of the situation.

God has used the plunger on me before, but I hope I have learned enough that He doesn’t have to do that today. Actually, I hope I don’t allow myself to become clogged again.

As I was sitting on the side of the tub, I noticed the old, built in lever was pointing upward. I didn’t recall messing with the lever, but I must have because it had moved. I didn’t think the lever would close the drain on this old house, but I guess it had enough strength left in it to do just that.

I reached over, pressed it down with one finger, and all the water went rushing down the drain.

How simple was that? Every time my landlord asks, “How is your drain? Is it still doing okay?”, I laugh out-loud at how silly the entire ordeal was, but it made me realize how difficult I can make life, and how simple it is to just go with the flow.

Try It Again

I woke up this morning with purple hair. My daughter bleached it, and colored it purple. We went kinda light with the bleach, so it’s more of an orange, and lavender mass.

It doesn’t matter to me how many colors it is. Just a few months ago, I was bald, so I’m grateful just to have hair. My daughter had a blast doing it, and thanked me many times.

It was a moment between us that we won’t soon forget. Mainly because everytime she looks at me, or I walk by a mirror, the hair serves as a reminder of the moment. She is already studying the outcome, and saying what she would do different if she was to try it again.

I filled the coffee pot lastnight, and set it to automatically make the coffee this morning before I woke up.

I woke up before the coffee maker was set to go off, so I hit the button manually. Shortly, I heard it beep like it was ready but, it didn’t look ready. There was half as much liquid to the amount of water I poured in the night before. I lifted the lid to look at the basket of grounds, and they were flooded. The water had not properly drained through the basket into the pot.

I was half asleep when I walked into the kitchen, and paid no attention to the position of the pot. You have to engage the pot completely into the maker for it to work properly. There is a lever that the pot presses against to create a seamless flow.

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I could have settled for what the coffee maker gave me, which was full of grounds. Did I want to pour into me coffee liquid, or grounds? I dumped that pot out, and made a fresh one that I would be happy with.

I thought, oh I can still drink it. “It’s not that bad”, or ‘It’ll be okay.” God is not in the ‘Okay’ bizness.

Ephesians 3: 20-21 in the Message: 20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

I enjoyed my fresh pot of coffee, and my hair color is fun. It’s good to know when there is an area in my life that doesn’t bring me happiness, I get to try again. This time with God.

Hey….Watch This!

I live in the country, so the title of this post is a rather popular saying by guys around here. It usually precedes a physical act that can lead to an emergency room visit shortly thereafter. As I sit at my desk this morning typing this, I gaze out the window and see my kind of, “Hey…Watch this!” The foliage has grown rather tall around the pond, and it’s earth tone colors made this easy to miss. Looking carefully…I see Stork!

frog

If you’re not familiar with Stork, go back and read, “Just Breathe” for an introduction. There are two that visit our pond, and this morning, it’s the Great Blue Heron. It’s rare to see him, and you have to look closely to spot him during his visit.

He stands majestically in the water, and moves with graceful intention. I go out onto the porch and sit on the stoop to take in a closer look. He takes three long strides, lowering his head toward the water. He plunges his beak below the water level, and pulls back with a fish. As I’m typing this, he has done this three times that I’ve seen.

He is in the present moment. He is aware of his surroundings, but focused on what’s in front of him. Breakfast.

now

There are distractions. Birds are flying all around, and half a dozen or so are having a party on the pier. A truck rides by on the road above, but it doesn’t distract him. He walks away from the road, finds a quieter spot, and retrieves another fish.

Are you enjoying the present moments of your life? I am guilty of not paying attention to what’s important at that moment. Sometimes I’m too focused on what’s at hand, and I miss what just happened beside me. My daughter trying to tell me what just happened in her day. I’m practicing reverting my attention from work, to focusing on her and listening to what’s she’s trying to share. This is her present moment, and we won’t get it back. If I miss too many of these, she will be less likely to invite me in.

presentmoment

I encourage you to pay attention to what’s around you, and what’s in front of you. A fabulous book to help guide is, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is beautifully written and pure joy to read. Look around and ‘see’ what’s important. What is happening that wasn’t happening a moment ago?

The vacuum is going to sit until plugged in and used. My world is still and quiet at the moment, but that will change as soon as my daughter wakes up and the cat and dog are set free from their sleeping quarters.

Stork has moved on for the day. I enjoyed catching glimpses of his present moment experience. The fish could learn a lot from Stork, and so could we.