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Posts Tagged With: peace

Random 5 December ~ Traditions, time off and dogs

Hello again, friends.  It’s time for another Random 5  from my part of the blog-osphere. Ready? Here we go:

1)  Thursday morning, I woke with a start …. it was 4:04 a.m. and there I was, wide awake thinking about Christmas cards!  Ack, rolling over, I tried to resume my slumber.  No-can-do.  Muttering to myself that Hubbs never experiences such thoughts, I found my way to the kitchen and pressed the “brew” button on the coffee machine.

I used to enjoy writing Christmas cards, especially when the boys were little and I could include a picture or funny story about them. I don’t enjoy it anymore.

I can remember my parents’ delight when a Christmas card came in the mail. They were such a lovely alternative to newspapers, bills and other correspondence.  I recall the sparkles on my hands after reading updates from people I didn’t recall: Aunt so and so.  Cousin somebody.   Mom carefully taped the cards and put them up all around the kitchen window.  Red and green, silver and gold, shimmered in the light and brought festive to the room.  That she took the time to do so for each card suggested reverence to me.

There’s only a few family members left that I would normally mail a card to – this year, I’m calling instead.  And I think they’ll be just fine with a laugh and a chat and a “I miss you, too.”

2 )   Balance. As an adult I’ve struggled to balance between what I want (to do) for Christmas vs. what (I think) is expected of me.    Shopping is done, wrapping is not.  Some baking was accomplished …but also eaten (Hubbs!).

So what I’m working towards is making room for MY Christmas —  I relax and smile when the tree lights are on; reading or cooking near them makes me happy. There’s a peace I feel being able to pay the bills, have $ for gifts and a bit to put away, too.  There was a time I couldn’t do that, and I appreciate now that we can.  I look forward to time with the boys – card games, good foods, “knock knock” jokes with the grands, and days off with Hubbs.  No particular place to be.  No schedule. Reading more than a page or two at a time.  Knowing I can sleep in even though I won’t.  I’ll be up early, watching the snow fall, sipping coffee and reading your blogs.

My stack of reading is close to this size

 

3 ) 9 and 119 days left of work for THIS YEAR then 11 – count ’em – 11 glorious days off!  Time for a reset button.  I’m fortunate that I enjoy the work I do, but this year the challenge has been in being able to do it.  This has been a year of organizational change, steady movements, restructuring, people coming, people going, and that constant shift of the horizon has left me dizzy and needing a break.  And I plan to take it, no exceptions!

4 ) Shades of Frankie. Youngest boy got a dog, and memories of our beloved Frankie definitely influenced his choice.   Our Frankie as a Pup:

Frankie as a wee one

Ladies and gents, meet Sullivan, or “Sully” for short:

Sullivan (an Emjayandthem (C) Photo)

I haven’t met this furry little friend yet but I’m sure I’ll cry when I do.

5 ) We’re heading into the new year soon.  Can you believe it?   I haven’t thought about my goals and dreams for next year, but I’ll work on them over my time off.    A good friend is leaving our company next week; she hasn’t had time to think about what her “next” looks like.  I encouraged her to create a Vision Board.   I know she won’t, but it reminded me that I’m ready to.  

 

What traditions are worth continuing and which ones have you stopped? 

What gift are you giving yourself this Holiday Season? 

Wishing you peace at Christmas and always

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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Family, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Summertime Sundays

Summertime Sundays often find me alone in the house ~ with good intentions but few accomplishments.

I wake when I wake, no alarms, just quiet.

The house is cool and calm .. Hubbs has slipped off to golf before my eyes ever opened.  The woof-woof-woof of the sprinkler thumps in the background.  He set it up “just so” with a note asking that I check on it and turn it off soon. I will and I do.

I pour a coffee and wander throughout the house, thinking about the day, the week, my life.

Laundry is done, leftovers are in the fridge and I have no particular place to be.  My chair calls, I can feel the stack of books and magazines pulling me closer.  My mind drifts to work – there’s a tiny inclination to turn on my company laptop and check to see which project is on fire today – but the inclination soon passes.  Monday, and all the breathless anxiety it brings with it, will be here soon enough.

I’ve grown fiercely protective of weekends over the past few years — during the week, the days blend into night, calls and projects come in at any time, and boundaries are shrinking.  Now I guard my Sundays like a child guards their money.

Sunday finds me cooking, reading, singing, blogging, resting, putzing, dreaming, talking and, most of all, living.  And I’m getting really good at Introvert Bingo.

 

“SUNDAY  – The day..I planned a lot but actually do nothing.”
― Lovely Goyal, I Love the Way You Love Me

 

How about you? Do you ever plan to do absolutely nothing?  Have you found yourself wandering through the house, looking at your list of stuff to do, but doing none of them?  How good are you at giving yourself a day off?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Determination, Family, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random 5 Friday – 12/12

It’s Friday! It’s Random! Here we go …

1.  I work with someone who lies.  A lot.  He lies so much he forgets which lies are which and gets tangled up in them, like someone trying to walk through a jump rope.  One of these days he’s gonna get busted and land on his face and  I kinda hope I’m around when it happens.

Karma's coming!

Karma’s coming!  Google.images.com

2. Monday I endured 5 – count em- 5 hours in the Dental chair.  4 old crowns were sawed off and I was prepped for 4 new ones.  My face still hurts and soup is my new best buddy.  Bah!

image from cooking-questions.com

image from cooking-questions.com

3.  Speaking of today, I’m off to meetings at the Capitol.  Ever heard the term “Lame Duck?”  Quack Quack 🙂

Michigan State Capitol

at Michigan State Capitol

4. It’s Friday and I am this happy about it!

excited

Weekend!  Google.images.com

Tonight we’re meeting friends for drinks & yums at a cool old burger joint downtown. Tomorrow night is bowling with friends and Sunday? Sunday I’ll just collapse :).

5.  Saw a great clip this week that helped me in my quest to dodge Holiday stress:

Google.images.com

Google.images.com

 

Happy  Friday! What’s on your agenda this weekend?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Holidays, Home, Life, Random, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The beautiful moment after the door closes

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?  Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

That beautiful moment after the door closes is here and today feels like it is mine, all mine.

an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Quiet islands

I read once that a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content.

shh_Sunday

I completely agree.

However – having taken Friday off – I actually had Sunday .. yesterday.

Waking to a quiet house – hubbs golfing and youngest boy working – I poured my coffee and took a seat in the screened-porch.  Listening to the birds chirp and caw, I reveled in the peace and quiet.  Later I meandered back inside to a stack of magazines and let the sunlight warm me as the page flipping began.

When it was time to dress for an evening meal out with friends, I felt as rested and restored as a day at the spa might bring .. without the cost.

I don’t know what all this week has in store for me but I am thankful to have had two Sundays ahead of it.

quote-sundays-quiet-islands-on-the-tossing-seas-of-life-s-w-duffield-341670

Do you keep a small part of a Sunday for yourself?

 

Categories: Faith, Home, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The fight

“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The same fight goes on inside you.”

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”
Native American proverb

Who are you feeding?wolf cubs napping

Categories: Animals, Family, Growth, Holidays, Home, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

‘Tis November

‘Tis November today.

It arrived with a roar.

Cool yet lovely, not to be ignored.

I’m home, you see.

With my ever-present list.

One that I might

just choose to dismiss.

Instead, I shall work at coffee, books,

peace and rest.

Leaves are rustling, the furnace kicks on;

soup simmers quietly, the smell of .. home.

‘Tis November today …

and I’m home, you see.

Would you consider joining me?

:: Home-made soup today -- ahh! ::

:: Home-made soup today — ahh! ::

Categories: Attitude, Family, Gratitude, Home, Life, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Filling the tank

“Many of us harbor hidden low self-esteem. We deem everything & everyone more important than ourselves and think that meeting their needs is more important than meeting our own. But if you run out of gas, remember that everyone riding with you will be left stranded by the side of the road, too.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

So there I was yesterday, midway between one conference call and another when I heard a sound.

Snap – Crackle – Pop and it wasn’t Rice Krispies.

It was my neck.  My poor old chicken neck feeling like it’d been wrung out to dry.

Bwaawwk!

Bwaawk!

Daylight savings time. Back to back meetings and conference calls, schedules and deadlines, reports and more.

And then I remembered something I’d tucked away.  Something I’d saved for a day just  like this one. Something that I knew I’d keep for just the right moment.

What was it? A massage gift certificate from Hubbs – a Christmas present that lived in my purse for nearly 3 months.

My hands trembled as I dialed the phone … “What’s that? Yes, you can see me today?  At 5pm?  Sweet!”

Oh I didn’t just walk out the door, I’m pretty sure I galloped.

Outta my way, peeps, I've got places to be!

Outta my way, peeps, I’ve got places to be!

My phone was off.  My whereabouts …  unknown.

For one glorious and blissful hour I wasn’t in charge of anything or anybody.

Just my breathing.

Ahhh.

When’s the last time you stopped to make sure your tank was full?

related:

*all Google images

Categories: Determination, Faith, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Need be still

Slowing down, accomplishing nothing.

On purpose.

Puttering in the kitchen to the snores of old dog.

Easy, meandering conversations.  Or none at all.

Quiet, simple, expansive moments of peace.

Would He want us to be “still” by being lazy through life’s trials and tribulations? Should we expect Him to swoop in and transport us to the mountain top?

I don’t think so. I think we have to walk with Him to get there.

And for me, walking comes by being still.

Being still comes easier on week-ends.

Being still doesn’t just mean times of quiet.

For me, it means being awake, feeling alive and staying open.

It means closing out the noise and opening up to faith.

snow on branches

Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Do you make time to let your needs be still?

*google.images

Categories: Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Savoring Sundays

Today, the wind is howling.

Today, the fence fell down.

Today, the temps are dropping and even old dog is stayin’ inside.

Today, Elvis, Merle and others will join me when I simmer, sauce and sample.

Today is Sunday and it feels like it’s all mine.

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What’s your favorite day of the week? How do you savor it?

Related posts:

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

A rather large amount of gratitude

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Today, I woke to morning’s light peeking into the yard.

I woke to old dog, sleeping soundly and without pain.

I woke to a day filled with nothing in particular to do and all day to do it.

I woke to views like this one and my soul had no choice but to smile.

isn’t Autumn glorious? {{ Click to enlarge }} an emjayandthem photo

What’s making you smile today?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Time outs aren’t so bad after all

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” –Marthe Troly-Curtin

So, I’ve written about being stressed and as sick and tired as I am of feeling that way, I’m pretty sure you, dear readers, might be sick of hearing about it, too.

You see, sometimes, in the day-to-day race that is life, I can get so caught up on the merry-go-round that I no longer hear the music; all I can hear is noise. I can no longer see the intricate carvings of the horses or enjoy the lights because it all flies past me in the blur known as “get-it-done.”

When I stop feeling exhilarated and start feeling woozy, it’s time to stop the merry-go-round and get off.

image from MILive.com

And for that reason, I’ve taken two – count ‘em – two vacation days: tomorrow and Monday.  Call ’em mental health days, call ’em what you will – I’ve checked out.

I’ll make lists and I’ll ponder, I’ll putz and I’ll organize but … I’ll also sip coffee, catch up on your blogs, daydream and hang out with old dog. I’ll get in a run or two, I’ll accomplish a few things and ignore twice as much; I’ll dine with Hubbs and chat with the kids and maybe even sleep in … just a little. I’ll watch the World Series and chat on the phone with Mom and my cousin; I’ll cook and I’ll sing and I’ll visit with friends.  I’ll take four days to step away and be my very own battery charger.

And come Tuesday, when the Wurlitzer starts cranking out that old familiar tune, maybe I’ll smile the smile of the invigorated and not the one that’s frozen and spent.

Do you make it a point to put yourself in time out?

..::..

*for more info on Grand Rapids’ very own 1928 Spillman Carousel, 1 of only 3 to have been produced, click here

Categories: Growth, Home, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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