I have mentioned often, recently, that I have taken this Spring - and now Summer - to bring the outside inside. To breathe in peace. And, breathe out love.
I have zero giftedness as a green thumb. While I have a smidgeon of desire to cultivate and grow a garden, I am realistic. I have little patience, little drive, to make something like that, happen which would require time, time I'm not willing to give. I am seriously jealous for those with the acumen for such... However, I have needed something. A breath of fresh air. Bringing the breathtakingly beautiful inside my home. It is pleasing to my eye, to my senses. The peaceful, yet exciting.
Bringing on simple joys.
So, when I head to the grocer - Publix or Kroger for the best - cheap - bunches of flowers - I pick up a bunch. Or, two.
Sometimes, three bunches will make their way into my basket. I don't know how it happens.
While it is our habit that Jeff takes the meat out for dinner, one Wednesday morning he forgot. Darn. That meant we just had to go out to eat. Darn. Out to eat.
If we must, right?
We decided on Texas Roadhouse. It's a hop, skip, and jump from the house - like 3 miles away. Because it was a Wednesday we figured there wouldn't be much of a wait, either. And there wasn't any wait. We had a table in the elevated section around the bar. In the lower section there was a military couple with three little kids. They kept catching my eye for no obvious reason (i.e. the kids were well-behaved, the parents spoke to each other and to the kids, quietly and politely it seemed, and they seemed to enjoy their family) and, yet, I knew this was a prompting of the Spirit.
It isn't uncommon these days to experience the leading of the Holy Spirit as my spirit is in tune, listening for those prompts of giving.
I knew I was hearing correctly when Jeff asked, "You want to?" And, I knew he'd been prompted as well. Because I knew exactly what he was asking without clarification. We got our server involved who got their server involved and we secretly paid for that family's meal. Here's the really cool part:
Our server was so excited by this act of giving she said we had made her day.
Healthier decisions. Doing the hard thing. That is pretty much life right now. Making healthier decisions means I will be doing the hard thing. Did I want that donut yesterday morning that was offered to me? Yes. Yes. Yes, I did! But, I politely declined. Even after an 'are you sure?' was expressed temptingly, I refused. I made the healthier decision but it was seriously hard because I so wanted a cinnamon wave-y donut. Or, the apple fritter. I did. I wanted a donut and it was hard to refuse. But, I refused and made a hard, yet healthy, decision.
And, that is where life is at for me. I am losing weight slowly because I have made a couple conscious decisions that allow me to do life - happy - rather than restrictive - like eating homemade tacos on Tuesday and eating dessert on date night if I want. But, even those are hard decisions. I had to weigh losing weight fast but living a very restrictive life or losing weight slowly and being considerably happier.
The other healthy decision is continuing physical therapy. Making it happen. It is hard pushing through my therapy sessions. It is even harder to continue those sessions on my off days at home. But, I must do the hard thing to continue to heal my body. And, I am healing. While I'm not there yet I am so far ahead of where I was 4 1/2 months ago I cannot even describe. Except to say I once was without hope but now I have hope.
I recently read the book, memoir, by Kelly Corrigan, Tell Me More, the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say and one of the chapters, one of the 12 hard things to say, is Say Yes. The chapter was simply a running list of things Corrigan would always say yes to.
I was inspired to create my own list of saying yes. A running list of the things I will always say yes to. Go ahead, test me on this. I'll say yes. Ian asks me to play Yahtzee: Yes, in a heart beat. Jeff asks for sex even though I might have a headache: Yes, because I've learned that saying yes usually takes away the headache - or at the very least takes my mind off my problem. Can I make you some homemade tacos? Ah, Yes! See - I'll say yes, every time.
Digital speaking, I created this page using ingredients from Ali Edwards' digital Story kits
I go around and around my decision to share my 52 Weeks of Giving. But I keep coming back and laying on these four things:
I am sharing because maybe it will inspire someone else to make the practice of giving a priority in their life. I can, without a doubt, tell them that it will change their life in so many ways. Their heart will grow three sizes this big. They will in a small way become more like Jesus everyday because He was the supreme example of a giver when He gave away His life for us so that we might be saved.
I am sharing because in making this album it becomes an Ebenezer. In the Bible, an Ebenezer is considered a Stone of Remembrance. It is an altar erected by the Israelites when they wanted a physical reminder of what God had done for them so they will always remember when they see, return, to that altar. What God has done. I don't ever want to forget what God has done. I give because God first gave to me in His Son. But, also, because God continues to bless I want to also continue to bless.
I am sharing because I can't not share how God is showing up in my life. Before I began this project, and regularly still, I ask God to show up in this project. I ask Him to direct my path toward giving. He hasn't let me down. He places - usually in my face - a way to give, a need to fill, a family to bless, a place to serve. Every week, without fail!
I am sharing because in sharing I am letting other people know where there are needs to be met. If I share where I'm giving maybe you will too. I think also I am sharing because I want to be an example of a cheerful, generous giver to my kids.
I am thankful for the gift of laughter, because it is a gift. I believe there are those people who rarely laugh. Either they have no desire to laugh or they have no sense of humor. But, for me, laughter is what I do best. And, it is my most favorite thing to do. No kidding! I am thankful for my daughter Elizabeth's Mother's Day gift - a Rae Dunn LAUGH big mug - and I mean BIG - because she knew I would love the - laugh - mug.
Jeff, regularly, makes me laugh and I NEVER take this part of our marriage for granted. In fact, it is one of our plusses, probably at the top of the list for a good marriage. We laugh together. And, my kids, man, they make me laugh. Love them to pieces.
Life would be different without the gift of laughter. I'm so thankful I get to do life with laughter in mine. The Creator of laughter knew exactly what He was doing when he gifted us this ability. Can I just say? You Rock, God!
Okay, not really in one weekend, but Jeff and I have been watching Bosch, regularly, every night, or, whenever we have some down time. We have only been watching it for a couple of weeks and we're flying through the shortened seasons and we recently finished the episodes that are available on Amazon Prime. Love the show so much I'm going to give the Bosch series, written by Michael Connelly, a chance, even though I prefer reading books before I have seen television shows or series' - because they're - the shows - are just not the same.
The other day we were watching an episode of Star Trek Voyager (because we'd finished Bosch) and who did we spy in an episode - the actor who plays Bosch - very young actor who plays Bosch.
I simply love what The Dream Campaign stands for and what they do - they serve the inner-city at risk youth right where they are at. They speak into their lives and love on them. Always teaching them and loving and accepting them.
And, I love how loudly God speaks to me when I'm willing to listen. He is consistently placing in front of us a way, a call, to give. All we have to do is, in obedience, answer His call.
When the Dream Campaign needed scholarship funds for a week of summer camp we blessed because we are blessed.
'It is better to give than to receive' - Paul, quoting Jesus.