Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two Little Things

I don't have any great words of wisdom to share today. I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to express my gratitude for two little things that made my world a little brighter over the last few days.  So, here they are!

Over the weekend, I was working at my kitchen sink when I heard the sweetest sound that could have caressed my ears.  Somewhere outside my window a single bird was warbling its soft, melodic song! After last week's storms that tore our neighborhood apart, this sweet reminder that spring will come again was just what I needed!  So even though the skies outside my window were still  heavy and gray, I heard hope in that little bird's song. What a blessing!

And then today, I was working at my desk when my boss swooped in (yes, she truly does swoop!) and presented me with a lovely little bouquet of red roses and the kindest note of appreciation for what I do.  I was so touched.  She is one of the busiest people I know, yet she took the time to stop and buy me flowers and write such a kind note.  I felt valued as an employee and most of all, as a friend. 

I know that all kinds of small blessings are always happening around me, I just don't always tune into them and appreciate them like I should.  So for today, at least, I want to stop and be grateful for the sweet blessings that shower me daily!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stormy Weather...

Perhaps I was counting my weather blessings a little too soon this year. From October on, I've been praying for the ice and snow to stay away.  And until this past week, there hasn't even been a threat of snow in any forecast.  Each day that brought me closer to spring without a snow threat was much appreciated.

But all that came to an end last week.  Starting last Tuesday, the Puget Sound area of Washington state got hammered with snow...then freezing rain...then an ice storm...then more snow.  Let me just say, it was a scene from my worst nightmare... made all the more horrendous when we lost power for three and a half days. 

I know that not everyone shared my feelings.  My husband thought it was "an adventure," and loved it.  My son thought it was great!  Not me. I felt trapped...and I was. 

Heavy snow hit first and then came the ice.  Everything outside was coated in a thick jacket of it. Before long, trees and ice-coated branches were snapping and falling everywhere.   It sounded like we were in the middle of a gun battle as the trees buckled under the weight of the ice and crashed around us.  Our roads were blocked with fallen trees and our yard was littered with branches. 

Fortunately, we have a gas fireplace which keeps our living room toasty warm.  My husband hung sheets of plastic over the doorways to keep the heat in.  Of course, that made for frosty sleeping since our bedrooms are upstairs...outside the heated zone.  We snuggled down under extra blankets for warmth, and I must say we slept really well! 

The hardest part of being without power was how quickly it got dark in the evening.  By 4:00 the light was fading in the house and before we knew it, it was dark and we were left with only candlelight and flashlights...tough to read a book by!

I am rather proud of myself for some of my creative solutions to life-without-power.  It was hard to find a way to stand our flashlights up on end.  Then one day, inspiration hit!  I won't tell you where I was when got my brilliant idea.  You might be able to figure it out...

I also found a new use for the little battery operated votives that were left over from my daughter's wedding last spring...

Yep...runway lights into a pitch black powder room with no windows!   They gave just enough light to let you see where you were going...pun intended!

With the power back on, and most of the snow gone, life is looking better again.  And I think I'll just need to double my prayers for no snow for the rest of the winter.  

But before I go, I want to give a huge shout-out to those awesome utility workers who worked round the clock to restore power to thousand upon thousands of people's homes.  As a matter of fact, they are still working at it.  They are definitely my snow heroes!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Music to Think By

This afternoon I was repacking my Christmas decoration boxes and had the time to listen to some music.  I don't do that very often unless I'm driving somewhere. 

But I put on some Chris Sligh and worked my way through the boxes. You may not remember that Chris was the tenth place finisher on season six of American Idol.

His album, "The Anatomy of Broken" has some pretty powerful songs on it.  And this is one of my favorites even though nearly every time I listen to it, it convicts me about how I'm living out my faith...or perhaps more accurately...not living it out.

Give a listen...

Only You Can Save

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Lesson from 2011

I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions. But I do like to stop a moment and reflect on the year that I have just bid goodbye.  As always, there were many challenges faced, but equally as many joys embraced.  That's the nice thing about life...it usually balances itself out in one way or another.  Sometimes, it just takes longer than other times.

As I look over my shoulder at 2011, I know that it will be remembered as a year of extreme changes; even more so than usual.  Some changes were difficult, like the total upheaval and change of my work life.  But others were wonderful, like the expansion of our family through the birth of our first grandchild, Ella, and the addition of our son-in-law, Joel.

Through all of the changes in the past year, God has been impressing one very important lesson on my heart.  He gave me this truth several months ago, and it rings truer today than they did when He first spoke it to me. 

My lesson from 2011?  "God should be my first resource, not my last resort." When faced with struggles, I should go to Him first, rather than waiting until after I have failed at all my feeble attempts. After all, He is always there, He is always able, and He will always do what is best for me.

So, whatever challenges await me in 2012, I'm choosing to meet them with God as my first resource of strength and power. It really can't get any better than that.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Little Sage Advice for the New Year

If 2012 is anything like the past couple of years, there will be no shortage of change.  With that being the case, I think I'll venture into the next twelve months embracing a little sage advice that my friend, Missy, passed on to me a few months back.

Actually, Missy was sharing the wisdom of none other than Christopher Robin to his good friend, Pooh, in a simple little pep talk that instills confidence in facing whatever may come.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

I think I'll have plenty of opportunities to test those words in the coming year.  I hope I prove them to be true!