Husbands Are Often Right (gasp!)

Yesterday I said that mornings are often best. I’m amending that today — mornings are often the worst.

It started out promising enough. The sunrise was spectacular. It looked like Concord grape juice spilled across a bubbly pink sheet of watercolor paper. I knew the day’s time pressures were ahead, so I remembered Galatians 5:22 and prayed to put on the fruits of the Spirit, “….love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Good thing I did, or who knows how badly it would have turned out. Our normally morning lark child picked this day to be cranky about everything. In stream of consciousness the negativity spewed forth….the field trip meant that she’d miss music class, the difficult classmate undoubtedly would attack again today, she didn’t want to re-take the math test on Friday (with 90 percent of fellow students), her sports injury was acting up, she couldn’t find her favorite knee brace, the dog wasn’t friendly to her. Egads. All I want to do is have her get herself dressed and get downstairs for breakfast. Trying to get her back on track (and not getting my own morning tasks accomplished) really threw me off.

When I finally got downstairs to say goodbye to my husband I exasperated, “she just wouldn’t let me get down here!” And his annoyingly accurate comment was, “so, did she lock you in the bathroom or chain you to a chair? You let this happen, so you need to do something different.”

Egads, again. No help whatsoever. Until I cleared my head with a woods walk with the dog. He was right, of course (oh, and it is so humbling to recall how often he is right.) I have to do something different and not get sucked into a temporary whirlpool from a pre-teen.

So with the help of the Spirit (and a lovingly honest husband) I’m back on track. And I will do things differently tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll notice the sunrise and remember that the rest of the morning will brighten with the sun (and some family love.)

Blessings and kind regards to you all.

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Close Chance Encounters

Mornings are best. Particularly this morning when a cold front came through and the fresh delightful breeze and hard frost on the ground crunched away the stress of Christmas preparations that I said I wouldn’t create again.

I walked with the dog mid-morning and we met a new neighbor. This homeowner was muttering about trying to find a better way to get rid of lawn debris and his terrier begged to play with my retriever. We let the pooches play in his front yard and began a pleasant verbal search to see if we had anything in common — besides the fact we can see through another neighbor’s property to each other’s when the leaves are off the trees. Aha….we have daughters who play travel soccer and we hope that high-level sports (and their attendant, unrelenting schedules) will help our girls do well in school by forcing an early understanding of time-management. It was a relaxed way to meet someone– when neither of us was in a rush (such a novelty with our area’s supercharged speed for everything)–to meet someone who lives close by. His daughters might become welcomed sitters . All this through a chance encounter.

As a member of our church’s prayer team I see a daily and weekly list of those in severe need of prayer. Souls fighting cancer always start the list — and their numbers are high and growing — and age has nothing to do with who is afflicted. I’ve been thinking about the swiftness of how life passes and re-read Ecclesiastes 9:11, “The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”

Without God one could question, ” Is this all there is?” A friend recently confided, “I’m working hard to have a solid professional life, my family is doing well, I’m enjoying good health, but I’m wondering what’s next? Is this all there is?”  I should have been strong enough in my faith to use that opportunity to witness to her — but I sensed that I should be still. This was a close encounter, but with His presence in my life, I am convinced that it wasn’t chance. My prayer today (besides helping me place Christmas preparations in their proper perspective) is that He can lead me to witness — either through words or actions to those around me who are hunting for the answer to “Is this all there is?”

With blessings and kind regards to you all.

Dog Walks and Writing

Dear Blog readers….I’ve been away from writing for too long. This is going to sound like a “dog ate my homework excuse,” but the real reason I haven’t been writing is that our dog can’t walk the long walks that I need to clear my head, commune with God and plot out the words to later type into my computer.

She suffers from canine seizures and the medicines that keep her alive have zapped the life out of her gait. She’s only three, but she walks like an elderly pooch. So I’ve had to adapt to a much slower pace for shorter durations. She is our beloved pet and I’ll stay by her for as long as is reasonably sane to do so, but I have to admit this has impacted our lives.

On these much shorter walks I ponder what it would be like to have a beloved human somewhat incapacitated. I get philosophical and think that we have to be thankful for what remains and not think about what has been taken away.

But we still — on good days — can walk our woods walk. She’s off-leash and has some remembrance of earlier times where she barrelled down the path and then charged back towards me to joyfully repeat this around each new hill and bend along the way.

Which reminds me of the best way for me not to get sucked into a depression dealing with this sweet pet’s illness. I’ll let my mind move into the gratitude fold — and mentally I’m charging toward the Lord — racing up those beautiful hills and not turning away. I’m still occasionally able to walk with Him in those woods and remember Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Blessings and kind regards to you all.