Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gratitude - Day 354 - Dec 20, 2014

Today was an excellent day, one of those days where everything just falls into place nicely.  I got great news about my friend's recovery process from her brain tumor surgery.  My daughter is here for winter break.  My father in law arrived for the Christmas holiday.  My husband is recovering from his flu bug.  I had a great chat with my mom.  I got a lot of Christmas gift and candy preparations taken care of. 

It was nice to have a day where everything just went really smoothly and I enjoyed every moment!

I'm grateful for this day.  


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Gratitude - Day 353 - Dec 19, 2014

My girl is home for Christmas, and that makes me one happy mama!


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I'd love for you to share in this project.  What's making you feel grateful today?
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gratitude - Day 352 - Dec 18, 2014

Warm home.   Plenty of clothes.   Gas in my car.  My car.  Food in the fridge.  Access to excellent health care.  Family members who love me, and to love in return.  Friends to share fun times and special memories.   

A Little Bit Of Winter Cleanup

I took an hour or so this morning to get out into the yard.   It's one of the great things about living in the warmer southern climate - there's good weather for gardening almost all year long!  

I've had a large box of daffodil and other spring bulbs in my back porch for a couple months now, awaiting time and energy to get them planted.  Well, today I put a huge chunk of them into the ground, and did some general yard cleanup while I was at it.

It felt great to be out moving around in the fresh air, getting my hands dirty and getting some good work done.   Of course, there's about 20 more hours worth of work needing to be done - a few more bulbs to plant, weeds everywhere, dead foliage to remove, edging to clean up, etc.   I'll get to it eventually.  For now, I'm happy with today's progress.  

How about you? What's happening outside in your yard?

Advent 2014 - Week 3 - Joy

"As this season of “sparkle and bright” unfolds around us the transforming wonders of joy await discovery like shimmering sugar crystals on a favourite treat. 
"May we create joy in all our surroundings as we share gifts, meals, and simple pleasures with family and friends. May the easy gift of a smile bring the power of joy’s touch to those we meet through these busy days. And may we experience the joy of this season as though with the eyes and hearts of children that we might be transfixed by power of what could be."

by Greta Vosper

The word "joy" has taken on a new meaning for me in recent years.   As I grow older, and as I struggle through more of life's difficult times, I'm seeing with newer, hopefully wiser eyes what joy is.

I used to think "joy" meant just "being really happy" and I usually thought about it as a feeling that meant that all sadness is gone, and only joy remains.   If all the conditions were right, if everything were perfect, then we would be ready to "have joy".  So I have usually worked hard during the month of December to make things picture-perfect for my family, thereby creating joy as an outcome.  Right?  

Um, no.    That's kind of a backward, cart before the horse way of thinking.   And only through having some troubled times have I learned that.

I've talked a lot on this blog about the two sides of life that exist at the same time:  joy and sorrow, light and dark, ease and struggle.   Even in the same situation, we can always find both sides, though usually we have to look deeply to find joy amidst a time of sorrow.  

To me, "Joy" is that feeling of deep connection to the ultimate source of Love... that feeling of being totally and completely one  with the One who gave us life.   We can have this feeling when we have a moment of soul-to-soul connection with another person, or when we notice something stunningly beautiful in nature, or when we hear a piece of stirring music.  We can find it in a roomful of laughing family, or in the moment when we give freely of ourselves to another person.  We can find it in the shared experience of a crowd of people or in the quiet stillness in our soul in the early morning light.  

To me, joy is what we feel when we notice the beauty and perfection of this world, even amidst the ugly and profane.   Joy is that connected feeling of knowing "I am one with the Source."    It can happen at any time, in any circumstance, if we allow it to.  

It's my wish that everyone would know the beauty of feeling Joy, through the holiday season and beyond.  
May Joy light the world this Christmas.

This week's Advent post is begin published many days late... I trust that readers will understand the spirit even though the timing is off.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas at Walt Disney World

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful four night, five day vacation at our favorite place, Walt Disney World.  We've been there a lot of times, but never at Christmas.  Being the big Disney fans that we are, it's been dream of mine for a long time to visit during the holiday season to see all the decorations.  So this trip was really a dream come true!

Gratitude - Day 351 - Dec 17, 2014

I'm thinking today of my friend who recently was diagnosed with three cancerous tumors, including one on her brain.   She had surgery a week ago to remove the brain tumor and has been recovering since then.   Now she's moving to a rehab center to do some occupational therapy, because even though the surgery went well, it turns out of course that you can't really just cut a tumor off of your brain with no side effects.  Her body is missing some of those brain cells and needs to re-learn some things, like how to keep her right arm from floating around randomly in space, and how to walk steadily, and how to keep track of time, how to read her Facebook timeline.   You know, the important things in life.