Can you believe that you are now a college graduate? I still remember your very first day of Pre-K and how excited you were to be a big girl. Well, you are certainly that big girl now, finished school and starting your life as a bona-fide adult!
I just don’t know where the time went. It seems that just yesterday…
I don’t know about you, but I read a lot of books over the past year! For about five years now, I’ve taken the time to write a detailed review of several books that I highly recommend. I hope you will love these books as much as I did! Enjoy your summer, and happy reading!
Though travel has not been a common household word lately, my email inbox continues to be flooded with travel blogs, airline deals, and invitations to join pilgrimages. For most of the past year, I have deleted many of the emails without opening them, knowing I would be torturing myself if I read them, but lately, I’ve found myself reading about The Best Waterfalls in the US and 9 Destinations You Wouldn’t think to Visit but Should. I spent an hour the other day listening to Peter Greenberg’s latest vlog on Facebook to hear what’s happening in the world of travel.
I’m ready to go. I’m ready to explore. Though we planted a small garden, and I’ve actually taken a mild interest in my flower beds, I’d leave it all behind in a heartbeat.
There’s an age-old question that I believe many of us ask ourselves over and over–what is my life’s purpose? The quest to find that purpose has been taking place for as long as humans have inhabited the earth.
Last spring, my husband did something he should not have done. It wasn’t entirely his fault. He got caught up in yard work and wasn’t thinking and pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. Let me repeat, last spring…he pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. For anyone who knows about gardening, you know this is a big, HUGE no no! We didn’t have a single blossom all summer, not one. Kind of fitting for 2020, I guess.
All summer, I kept hoping we would see a bud, but we had nothing. It was disappointing but a powerful lesson to learn…
Yesterday, I was talking to my friend and tour expert, Anne, about the upcoming pilgrimage I am planning to the Holy Land. We were exchanging stories of our Easter celebrations–mine here in Maryland and hers in New Jersey. Anne made the comment that “the entire day truly had a Resurrection feeling to it.”
Those words kept coming back to me over and over throughout the day.
A Resurrection feeling.
They took me back to this time last year, and I was amazed by how right Anne was. It is as if we have all experienced a true resurrection…
Here we are in the last week of Lent. It’s time to reflect on the past nearly forty days and examine how we did, not as an exercise of beating up oneself for our failures but in recognizing how far we have come. Have we grown spiritually? Have we gotten better at prayer? Have we grown closer to God? What sacrifices did we make, and how did they improve us?
Sacrifices come in many different forms. I’ve often wondered about those who forego chicken on Fridays but dine on lobster instead. I’m not judging. Perhaps they would rather be having chicken! Besides, in our house, Friday dinners during Lent consist of homemade crab cakes, but it’s not the crab cakes that I see as the sacrifice.
It’s everything that goes with them. Here’s what I mean…
There was a beautiful, tear-jerking scene toward the end of last week’s This is Us(I know, right?) in which Kate calls her mother to thank her for giving the three “triplets” a childhood in which they never knew they didn’t have money. She told her mother that their homemade Halloween costumes and big, backyard birthday parties with homemade cakes “were better than at Chuck E. Cheese.”
Boy, can I relate to that, and I think my girls can, too, if not now, then when they have kids of their own.
Until my girls were in high school, I made every Halloween costume they wore. They were simple and inexpensive and were often made of materials we had around the house or purchased from the Dollar Tree. Despite all that, the girls loved them, and some even brought home trophies, winning accolades over the most expensive store-bought costumes or the hours-long, detail-oriented ones of Pinterest fame. Even thrift shop dresses and grandma’s old stole can turn an ordinary girl into an Academy Award Winning Actress (who traded her Oscar for a Prettiest Costume trophy).
My mother taught me to a make what you can, buy what you must, and use more imagination than money, but the key ingredient was always love. Mom loved us, and she loved showing us how much she loved us, not by breaking the bank, but by putting her heart into whatever she did (and still does).
And something else Mom taught me is something that I can’t help but wonder if so many moms have forgotten in the past several years: The more you spend on something…
I’ve written before about having faith in God rather than living your life in fear. It’s something that is often on my mind but especially so over the past year.
A few days ago, a friend posted this photograph with the caption,
Covid 19 is not your enemy, fear is. You will not die one day sooner or one day later than God has planned for you. But he did not create you to live in fear. The Bible says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This truly spoke to me because this is how our family has chosen to live over the past year.
I’ve talked a lot in the past few weeks about renewal and new beginnings. We often think of springtime as the signature time of year for these new beginnings. Spring brings Easter and flowers and warmer days with shorter nights. Yet I have come to learn that we can witness renewals and new beginnings at any time of year, even in the cold days of winter.
For about sixteen years, our family has had a cabin in Colorado that we share with some family and friends. For about that long, Ken has wanted to visit the cabin in the winter, and I have said, absolutely not, no way, no how, I’m not interested. Well, this year, he somehow convinced me to make the trip, and here I sit, typing in my makeshift office–our kitchen table–with the warm, morning sun on my back.
Over the past few days, I’ve seen this beautiful part of the country in a whole new light…