Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Question of the day...

 


Blurry cell phone picture taken so that I could look up the answer at home. Friend leaned across counter at Starbucks and asked as we awaited our Peppermint Mochas and received the answer immediately: so be it.

Further internet searching reveals duplicate meanings: verily
or the more common: truly.

How wonderfully fitting that we end our prayers with this word, confirming that yes, so be it, verily, truly, You are our God and we offer You praise.
 

I love this season we've entered in, the season of Advent. Four weeks of waiting, anticipating, and celebrating our God's arrival on this earth, and also waiting and anticipating His return. It is only fitting that this season - no - HIS SEASON be celebrated with festive lights and decoration, beautiful songs and opportunities to be with friends and family as His peace covers us all. Amen.




O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.




Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving

It's kind of funny how things appear when you look back. My memories of this holiday week are full of warmth... which is funny because my dad has the same thermostat philosophy as my husband (turn it low low low low low low low low - Flo Rida style!) so it wasn't very warm at all. In my memory though, it is warm and cozy, and my siblings and I are gathered in the living room watching whatever show we are currently addicted to, "Ed" or "JAG" or something while my father tries to get us to help him rip up bread for stuffing.

That was one of my Thanksgiving jobs. Ripping up bread. And sometimes eating little bits of it because for stuffing Dad sometimes bought white bread. NEVER allowed in our kitchen except for this one purpose so it was quite the treat. My parents ran around cleaning and cooking and preparing... and I watched television and gorged myself on white bread.

We would go to church on Thanksgiving and I would try to rush us out as soon as possible so that we wouldn't miss the entire Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Why I thought this parade was so important is beyond... oh wait. It's because they have teeny-bopper musical guests lip-sing for about a minute each at various points of the parade. Oh yeah. That's why it was important. You never knew the line-up and I certainly didn't want to miss my faves.

My second job was to create place cards. We were so creative. They were beautiful. And then my mother let us try and seat all of our relatives by ourselves. When family arrived they always wondered why the seating arrangement was so bonkers - I mean why would you seat a one-year-old without a parent in at least a three person radius?

I know that in those moments, I wasn't thankful at all. I took it all for granted. I wish that I had a spirit of gratitude in my younger years for all of the time I was able to spend with my siblings and cousins. Though we live in an age where technology can connect us across states and countries, it certainly is not the same.

I feel warm just thinking about these events. It was so much fun to have the whole family together, with tables lined up and stretching across the great room, a fire raging in the wood burning stove, and a delicious dinner to share.





Thursday, November 17, 2011

My ABCs of Thankful

(Because I am way too focused on the December holiday and need to slow down and appreciate this one first)

A - Apple trees in my yard
B - "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, encouraging me to write very bad first drafts everyday
C - Cards in my mailbox
D - Doggies and Down comforters (file under: things to snuggle with)
E - Etsy
F - Family and Friends
G - Green Acres, my home :)
H - Harvest time
I - Ice skating season ~ soon!
J - Jewelry: a new found appreciation
K - Kitchen victories
L - Leaves in reds and yellows on the running trail
M - Menchies, the new frozen yogurt place
N - Nephew :)
O - Opportunities for new adventures
P - Peaceful Pond
Q - Quiet times
R - Running and the ability to run
S - Starbucks (in red cups! - oh shoot! Must focus on current holiday!)
T - Teachers
U - User friendly websites (it was either that or underwear..)
V - Vacations
W - Weekends
X - Xtra scoops of cheesy potatoes
Y - YouVersion - a saving face app :)
Z - Zumba! I am liking this dance class

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grateful

There is nothing quite like the Midwest

when the sun is setting and streaks of orange, pink and purple stretch across the sky

and the air is cool but not cold

and I have arrived at home with minimal traffic

with enough time to get in a run before yoga

and the run is encouraging and I feel strong.

There is nothing quite like running through quiet streets

and seeing another neighbor enjoying his run too

while we are both wearing shorts in November

and it all brings me a sense of deep satisfaction and peace.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Forts

It's raining hard tonight. The noise on our flat roof is loud and sounds like it is a very treacherous storm. It seems like today would be a good day for building a fort. An inside fort. I don't know why I think this, because I only had outside forts when I was a child.

The first outside fort was in the woods in my backyard. It wasn't really a fort, rather a clearing in the woods that we called our fort. It was an oval shape with some old pieces of cement block that we used as chairs. It had a bathroom, rather a hole in the ground about three inches deep. The bathroom was only to be used by boys. I didn't really know why, but I didn't question it since I didn't really want to go to the bathroom out there anyway.

One day, the fort disappeared. The boys had been in the woods and reported there were flags everywhere. Someone had invaded. And soon, all the trees were gone and so was our oval fort with a men's room.

The next time I made a fort was at my cousin's house. We split into pairs and ran into the woods as if it were a fort building competition. The fort I made with my cousin was probably the worst of the three. Not so much a fort as a circle of sticks standing upright in the ground. The boys made a teepee. The other girls used a fallen log as a base. So much creativity. Fort building creativity. Fort building creativity that I lack.

I wanted to be good at building forts because I wanted to have my own space. Our house had too many people, too many voices, too much noise. I wanted to be able to sit by myself. I wanted secrets. And I wanted quiet.

My poor fort making abilities meant I had none of this.

Tonight, I sit in my quiet fortress of a home, as usual, wishing for what I don't have: my people, their voices, and the noise that means we are all safe at home together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

City Dreaming

I tell the Mister that I wish I had lived in the city. Just for a short while. I follow city dweller blogs and crave their apartments high in the sky, their elevator rides, their grocery store trips by foot. Let's not even start on their glamorous wardrobes. I think it would be an exciting lifestyle. So many people around. So many restaurant options. So much noise.

When I spent a few nights in New York City I loved the sound of the streets below me. It was New Years, December to January, and I slept with a window open so that I could hear the sirens, the car horns, and the movement.

I am grateful. There are lovely things about suburbs too. Shopping is easier with a car than just my hands holding bags laden with groceries. The air is cleaner. There are more parks and trails for running. Children can play in the neighborhood streets fairly safely, which is wonderful for bike riding and large chalk murals.

But I am also grateful that our home is close to the highway. Because in the winter, when the trees drop their leaves, I can hear city. I hear the motorcycles, I hear the trucks, the sirens, the car horns, and all that movement.

And I couldn't think of a sweeter sound to be the soundtrack of my dreams.