Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life. It's a kicker.

So my last post was in January.  JANUARY!  Yeah.  Life just plain ol' kicked me in the butt.  I thought I had a handle on things, and then I didn't.  I don't know what it was.  A bunch of little stuff, and some big stuff, that just flat out knocked me down and held me there.  It does that sometimes, just kicks while you're down. You know it does, because it does it to all of us.  And it never stops.  If all we looked at are the kicks life delivers, hell, we'd live on the floor.  And I have been on the floor the last few months.  Sprawled.  Flat on my back.  Unable to move or lift my head.    I lost my focus, and could only see the stuff life was throwing at me.  All I've been doing is trying to get through it.  Waiting for it to end so that I could stagger to my feet.  But life doesn't give up, and it doesn't stop kicking.  So we need to find a way to get on our feet despite the kicks and the uppercuts and the jabs flying our way.  And it's hard. And I don't think we can do it alone.  That's where you come in, and where I come in.  We need each other.  Really need each other.  To cheer each other on, give a push here, or a tug there.  And build each other up.  Encourage.  Inspire.  Relate.

Someone did that for me last week.  Gave me the push I needed.  The kind but strong push that gets you moving without adding to the bruises you're nursing. And the results were beautiful.

The pictures are below. I think you'll agree it was worth it.

Other friends have gone out of their way to make sure I know they are there for me, with a hug and a kind word and a heart that understands.  And others have kicked me out of the room where I cling to the never-ending list of to-do's and lose myself in the impossible task of trying to do it all.  They kindly but firmly push me out the door and give me an opportunity to take a moment to breathe and get back up on my feet.  I can't do life alone, and neither can you.

So thank-you, thank-you, thank-you to the friends who have stuck by me, and given me the push and the shove and the hug and the shoulder.  I've needed it all, and I love you for it.  I'm here to do the same for you.  And if we can continue to be the gentle reminder to each other of what's important, and come alongside with a shoulder, or a hand or a word of encouragement, or a gentle shove in the right direction, then we are going to get through this life together,  stronger and better than we ever could alone.

To see higher resolution images of these photographs and others taken that morning, click this link.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You are loved.

You are loved.  Immeasurably.  Every minute of every day.  Whether you feel it or not, love surrounds you.

Look around.  Do you see the stars?  Do you see the birds?  Do you see the flowers?  They are evidence.  Evidence of the Creator.  The Creator who IS love. And so you are surrounded.  By love.  Open your eyes and open your heart.  Rest in His love.  In the peace that comes from the sounds of the waves.  In the comfort of the heat of the sun on your back.  In the joy of the birdsong in your garden.  Feel the love that surrounds you.  It is always there.  It always will be.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Word for 2014

I'm sure you've come across the concept of choosing a word for the year.  The word that you choose can represent a change you want to make, an attitude you want to nurture, or simply a word that enriches your life.  I haven't chosen a word for a few years now, and decided it was something I wanted to do again for this year.  My word for 2014 is Emmanuel.  It's one of Jesus' names, and means God With Us.  It's something I want to remember this year.  Something I want to absorb so that it becomes part of who I am.  I want to remember on good days, and bad, that the creator of the universe is present.  He is with me when I'm tired, and excited, and happy, and sad, and frustrated, and impatient.  His love surrounds me all day everyday, and it is my choice to ignore it or embrace it.  I want to embrace it.  I want to rest in it when I feel overwhelmed.  I want to celebrate it and find joy.

And it is my wish for you.  That you would know the comfort of His presence with you everyday, in every circumstance.  

Anything created reflects it's creator.  Nature is everywhere, and reflects the Great Creator.  I'm going to use the beauty around me to remind me of His presence.  Everyday.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And 2014 has begun...

Happy New Year!

I'm still in that wobbly, not-quite-found-my-feet, still-deciding-on-my-resolutions-for-the-new-year, am-I-even-going-to-make-resolutions-this-year stage.  Some years I meet head on, all gung-ho and ready to take on the world. This year not so much.  Looking at the whole year stretching out in front of me is a little daunting, so I'm attacking this year a little differently.  I'm breaking it down into monthly, weekly and even daily choices.  If I think about taking a photo every day for a year, I wonder if I should even bother starting.  So I'm not thinking about taking a photo every day for a year.  I'm just thinking about taking a photo today. And I'm not going to get all hung up about using my 'real' camera.  A selfie with a savage at bed time is still a photo.

My weekly goals involve encouragement.  I'm joining Holley Gerth's 2014 challenge called Coffee For Your Heart.  Every week I will be posting words of encouragement, as prompted by Holley, and hopefully providing someone with the words they need to hear to help get them through their day, or even just their afternoon.  I'm not good at encouragement, and I'm hoping this will help me get better.

My monthly goals will be based around a different book each month.  In January, I'm reading a book by Annie Downs called Speak Love: Making Your Words Matter.  I'm hoping to focus each month on something I want to learn, or simply be better at, whether it be speaking words that build others up or photography.  I have a few books in mind, and trust that as the months fly by, others will make themselves known.  Feel free to offer up any you recommend.

And so that's where I am, on this second day of 2014.   I wish you a year of much laughter, and happy memories.