Have you ever been on vacation or a get away and stumbled upon a surprise, a gentle reminder of God’s love? I have, on my camping trip with Theo, my mother in law and friend. As far as I’m concerned the gift was no coincidence…
I sat on a metal folding beach chair when my right foot skated across a smooth surface, a rock. It was partially hidden in the shallow depths of the sand. I love finding special rocks and the few times that they are unique, they are secretly stashed in the folds of my pocket for the trip home.
This particular rock was not only smooth and beautiful, but a heart shape! It’s not the only heart shaped rock I have stumbled upon, for years ago I found a big rock that my mom painted for my garden and last year a pinkish heart rock that decorates my shady garden. It seems that I’ve started collecting heart shaped rocks simply by fate.
This heart was a sign from God for a few reasons. I believe he coaxed me to find it so that I was reminded of his presence and His love. It also served as a reminder to drop anxiety and relax during the trip. I’m grateful for these signs, for they just appear suddenly when I seem to need them. I’m always on the look out for them, for if I’m not paying attention it may just pass by without meaning. Be on the look out for little signs from Him, however how small. There’s always a reason and you must figure that out for yourself.
I must mention in the wake of Charlottesville and recent terrorist attacks, I’m thinking of how the news focuses on all the evil in the world. Please remember to focus on the love that people freely give to each other instead of the evil and hate that occurs! Our steady army of people who refuse to give in to hate stand strong with an unwavering faith in good. God’s love lives in all of us who believe and fight for love and peace! Blessings and peace to you all.❤❤❤
Hello Readers! I’ve added a new page to my blog, Empty Nest Notes. I started writing it last year and forgot about it. Now I’m launching this page in hopes of sharing my empty nest experiences. Hopefully this will help you mamas who will be going through this too!❤
Imagine a comfortable warm afternoon at the lake. As you sit on the beach, you dig your toes in the smooth sand, getting lost in the luxurious heat. The lake smells of a fresh earthy scent, yet there is a faint musty odor as well. People smell of sunscreen rubs and bug spray. Wet dogs shake their hair upon emerging from the lake.
Many families are spending their vacation here, at the Mountain Lake Campground, nestled in the northern mountains of New Hampshire. Laughs ring throughout the beach, an indication of content families basking in vacation togetherness.
I sit by myself reading a book. A few years ago I would’ve been on edge and not truly relaxing. The boys would’ve been swimming in the lake, racing to the dock a few yards away while I worried if I could help them if they struggled. I’ve never been a good swimmer and almost drowned when I was 8. This still haunts me today, especially if I’m in charge of little ones in the water.
This day at the beach is a stark difference. The boys are not here and are working this day. It’s my mother in law’s and my twelfth year camping together but the first one without children. My husband has a busy work schedule in the summer with his lawn business and part time job for the town, forcing him to skip most of the camping trips. There were a few times he could camp and so we would race away for the weekend, towing the pop up camper with two excited boys.
This beautiful day as I sit in my quiet reflective thoughts, I thank God for my body being still. I really have a hard settling myself and giving in to relaxation. This moment at the beach is pure serenity, stillness that is unmatched. I also praise Him for giving me the gift hearty laughter of the families and my ability to enjoy it and smile with them. I am genuinely happy for them.
The silent lake holds the key to my stillness and serenity. The water calmly ripples ever so gently from a kayak cutting through it. In the left swampy corner, one can spot a sea of white, water lilies creating a beautiful scene. Overlooking the glossy tranquil water stands strong stately mountains, guarding the lake with clusters of pines and firs growing around its circumference. I wonder which animals congregate within them.
When you clear your mind of racing thoughts and jarring problems, you’re on the path to stillness. Open your heart to peace and acceptance of the moment. It’s a must that you give your body complete permission to allow it to happen, to enter relaxation and let go of everything. Maybe you can’t visit the lake and beach often and that’s okay. Seek a peaceful spot in your yard, perhaps under a special tree. Use that spot to be still and with that, your every being will cherish the peace.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Photo credit, Facebook.com/BEGINWITHYES
Upon seeing this Facebook post, I sat down and thought about it. Since I’m a creature of habit and don’t try new things all the time, it was a difficult task to recall the last time I tried something new.
About a year ago I attended an art class in my hometown and painted an outdoors scene with birches and scattered rocks. It was an amazing learning experience and my first time I really painted aside from Kindergarten projects. What stays with me is not the painting itself or the class, but the fact that I went alone. I had planned to go with my sister but she couldn’t go in the last minute. Worried thoughts plowed through me and I even contemplated attempting to get a refund. But what stopped me was a need and want to go. I had my mind set that I would have a great class. I’m proud of myself for entering that class of laughing and talking women in groups of two or three and stood alone optimistically. That was the first time that I set my mind to attend something alone and I walked away triumphant!
Another first this summer is it’s my first time growing corn! In previous years Tom planted it and I really had nothing to do with it. He got discouraged because of raccoons and other critters ate a lot of it. Now we are trying it again, many years later and God willing, our plates will be full of corn in a month or so.
Think about this, friends. Share when was the last time you did something for the first time?
It’s hard to believe that here we are, emerged in August! June and July have hurried by and left behind much rain. Summer days of indulging in iced tea and watching flowers grow have commenced. August brings steamy yet comfortable temperatures in the 80’s and relaxing breezes in our humble town. Flowers have bloomed and brought vivid colors to yards. The rich green grass is soft to my barefeet and cool to the touch.
It’s been awhile since I updated you all on our renovation and building projects. Some of you may remember my post last summer of my husband building his beautiful garage/barn. It’s pretty much finished besides pouring a cement floor and we need to purchase two industrial sized doors. We feel very proud of this structure and by chance it’s foundation is built where the old barn stood many years ago. This was done by accident, for we didn’t know, but what a wonderful coincidence, don’t you think?
This summer Tom has started siding our house with cedar shingles. This is where we tore down an attached shed, leaving original clapboard ( not in the best shape) and unfinished work and insulation from many years ago before we were owners. I feel like I should help but I’m not too confident of using the nailgun. I hand him the shingles, alternating between fat sturdy pieces and the thinner shingles and of course I gab the whole time to keep him company. Tom was smart enough to keep the awning up to keep him out of the sun and rain. Eventually we can enjoy that side of the house with light brown shingles and a new window installed.
Summer is the one of the best times to create new gardens. Tom helped me dig out a space in the corner of our house facing the diningroom and the kitchen. I planted little purple coneflowers which hopefully will rise towards the sun in magnificent height. To compliment that color, I included coreopsis with a warm yellow glow. While it’s pretty much done, I have a few finishing touches like the gorgeous bird bath my niece made and wait until you see what it’s made from! But that post will come later so be looking for it in a week or two.
August not only brings warm pleasant temperatures, but family! Tom’s mother, Theo, has visited all the long way from Lake Wales, Florida. She arrived last week with Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim. After a long tedious day of traveling, I served my chili for dinner. It was a little different than what I usually concoct because at the last minute I added garden zucchini and I think that was a great decision!
We’ve spent the week talking, eating wonderful meals and enjoying the outside with walks(one walk through our town took 4 hours and about 6 miles). We also visited Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris last weekend in Easthampton, Massachusetts. It was a great drive down on 91 and the trip was a little under three hours. Bev and Chris are immersed in a challenging renovation project, a huge three story home on a quaint small town street. They are restoring it to its original state, which takes time and patience. They reside upstairs and eventually they will rent the bottom half to responsible renters. I look forward to seeing their progress the next time we visit.
During our weekend we explored the bike path on that area, walking in shady and sunny parts and met the nicest people. Bev pointed out how many dads walk their children there and we saw families taking advantage of the trail. Bev served us scrumptious scallops and a lovely hearty breakfast of blueberry oat pancakes. It was special spending time with Bev, Chris ( I love how he laughs at my jokes, one of the few), my niece Michele and of course Theo. It was a magical weekend and I didn’t want to say goodbye but I was itching to hit the road and make the trip up 91 to home.
As August has started, the summer clock is ticking away and I glance now and then at the calendar. I believe that I have to be back at school in three weeks. But as the clock continues to tick outrageously fast, I intend to savor the rest of the summer and welcome what happens in those days.
Theo and I are camping in a cabin at a campground north of us for about five days. In that time I won’t be posting or responding to comments but I will rejoin you all when I get back home. I’ll be sure to jot down notes and take pictures of my adventures. Blessings to you all and your families.
This post is dedicated to my brother, David Doyle, who fostered my love of books. Thank you, brother for caring enough to inspire and teach me!
I’ve always been a lover of words, spoken and read. That love was born as early as I can remember and grew even deeper when I realized the precious freedom of speaking with my own voice. As a young girl I gabbed incessantly driving everyone crazy! Then one day this profound devotion evolved when I picked up a book. My older brother, David, influenced me greatly by buying me classics like Little Women and Black Beauty. By becoming an avid reader and indulging in books, I learned how the world worked in so many exciting and diverse ways. The written word served me with many hours of leisure in my bedroom or outside in the yard and still does.
Now that you’ve learned of my adoration of language, you can surely understand why writing is so precious to me! It’s been yet another medium to freely share my thoughts. The babbling overflow spills onto the pages as I type, a freedom of expression that has developed into an appendage like possession. This encompassing passion is fueled by my deep seated NEED to affect readers in some way. I can only wish that others, especially the children I work with at school can feel this empowering emotion and release in writing!
It’s apparent that I’m a lover of words, for they dominate my kitchen in every way! Everywhere you turn a sign, plaque or picture almost shouts words at you and you can’t help but “read the room’ as you go. I never realized this before until I wrote this post. Unconsciously I’ve surrounded myself with little pieces of languages, pieces that heal and spread joy.
While eating a breakfast of toast and honey or a scrumptious bowl of granola and fruit, I can see Live, Laugh, Love staring at me and I feel so blessed to be able to do all those things and I can thank my family for that.
A little quaint postcard bearing an adorable black cat stares at me while I wash the dishes and it says, Someone Loves you. Thanks, Mom for your love and your artwork!
My newest words I acquired recently is my Just Roll With it sign. If I’m having a bad day and ready to cry tears of frustration, perhaps that advice will help me to let it roll. I want to mention that I bought this from a fellow blogger, Jodi at Creativelifeinbetween. I love her blog and her little Etsy store, Mckinney x2 designs. She creates amazing artwork prints and notecards and her daughter-in-law paints the whimsical signs, of which I own two! Check out their store and read Jodi’s beautiful and creative blog at Creativelifeinbetween.com
Do you notice how there is a message or word trend in products? If not, when you shop next, notice the products donned with inspirational words. It appears that consumers, like me , crave these bits of language. These are words that drive success and serve as a motivation for a fulfilled life of happiness.
My little collection of words envelope me in joy, for their inspirational message and little reminders of kindness fill my cup to an overflow. It helps me to go about my day and enhances my life in small yet significant ways! I really love words and how they can grasp at the emotions within you and squeeze tight.
Notice how you can read words everywhere you go! Some suggest hate or division. Others support happiness and instill a foundation of peace. You can choose which messages to live by and to read. Others simply ignore and stay positive.
With this, I hope you have a joyful day filled with meaningful words… whether they are spoken, read or written. Enjoy the message and pause to reflect.
My front yard has come to a vibrant life! With our annual posies framing our house front, a vibrant splash of color greets passers-by. A few weeks ago I noticed how my Spirea bushes have grown immensely since I received them. Two years ago my co- worker, Laura Mulkigian gave me these full green beauties for my birthday. That day she also made me a strawberry cake and all the girls at lunch ate some in celebration. Every time I glance at these beauties, I’ll think of her. She recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer, something I’m trying to come to terms with. ❤
After. Click on the link for picture from Microsoft Word.
It was our first year in our new house and I proudly planted them in front of our house, one on each side of the steps. These lovely shrubs host many small leaves and have grown magnificently! Both of them are spreading a few feet wide and are about two feet high. In the beginning we didn’t realize how big these bushes would grow! We may have to cut them back so they don’t block our window. I expect them to continue the growth spurt and as that happens I’ll replant my hostas to allow more breathing room.
Spirea betulifolia TOR bushes flourish with tiny white flowers in June even though the tag states that they bloom in the fall. I’m going to research it and feed them fertilizer to help the blossoms. This year it mildly hosted just a few flowers so my future goal is to have full bushes of flowers of a beautiful veil of white. It would be wonderful to see it bloom twice in the summer!
Do you have any unique bushes in your yard? Have they grown much larger than you expected? In coming years we’ll keep an eye on “ Laura’s bushes” and trim them if needed. I truly feel blessed that I have these to remind me of Laura.
Happy days to you all and thanks for stopping by! It means the world to me to have such lovely ” pen pal” blogging friends!