Tag Archives: Joy

Dandelion Bouquets

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“She’s so slow,” said Tommy with exasperation.

“Hi, Mom!” added the blue-eyed brother.

“Hi,” I responded, “Where are Jimmy and Maggie?”

“Jimmy’s waiting for Maggie. It’s his day,” Tommy said over his shoulder as I watched the two brothers fly down the stairs to the basement.

BAM! The door flew open five minutes later, and in stomped my third son. “Why is she so slow?” Jimmy asked me as he grabbed a chocolate chip cookie off the plate with avocado flowers that sat innocently on the island. “I had to wait forever at the top of the hill.” Then, reaching out his hand, he grabbing the doorknob, opened the basement door, and followed his brothers down the stairs.

“Hi, Mommy,” came a little girl voice behind me, a voice bubbling with excitement. My little-girl daughter eagerly looked up into my eyes, her hand outstretched. A golden ball of dandelions was held securely in her chubby little-girl hand. A warm feeling spread in my heart like hot fudge sauce on ice cream. My eyes lit with a wonder glow as I reached out my hand and gingerly took the offering. Bending down, my lips kissed her rosy cheek.

“Thank you, Honey! They’re so pretty. Let’s put them in some water.” A little dried beef jar became the vase that humbly displayed this sweet gift. No fancy, store-bought bouquet could rival their beauty in my heart.

Now, many years have passed. I look back to those days of childhood innocence when all of God’s creation was delightful and enchanting. I gaze back to my little girl child, my sweet, little girl-child daughter who loved to bring me wilted dandelion bouquets and wild snapdragons with love in her eyes and joy in her heart.

What Says the Robin?

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What says the robin to welcome Spring?
Tweet! Tweet!
Isn’t she sweet?

What says the leaf to welcome Spring?
Rustle, rustle!
See how they bustle.

What says the squirrel to welcome Spring?
Scamper, scamper!
Look how they do pamper.

What says the grass to welcome Spring?
Swish, swash!
Look, a stroller so posh.

What says the cricket to welcome Spring?
Chirp, chirp?
Do I hear a burp?

What do we see? What do we see?                      Mabel in Stroller
Baby out on her first stroll.
Baby out to greet the spring.
Could it be?
Oh, can it be?

What says Baby to welcome Spring?
Coo, coo, coo!
I’ll grow and grow
Strong and true.

What sings Spring, her soft reply?
Hush-a-bye, hush-a-bye,
Hurry on home!
Hush-a-bye, hush-a-bye,
Hurry on home!

The Joy of Lingering

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Today, I lingered. It was quite by accident, you know, how I lingered today. Spring forward, home from travel, oversleeping, coffee.

No alarm was set; I overslept. The clocks sprang forward; I did not. I was tired from traveling. I have a cold…or the flu. I haven’t decided yet which. With sand still in my eyes, I glance at the clock…only 15 minutes until church starts. I won’t get there in time. Impossible. I resign myself to staying home. I’m old-fashioned in my relationship with God; I like to “assemble” myself together with other Christians on Sunday mornings. The singing and worship and listening draw me closer, recharge my batteries, fortify me for another week. This week, this is not to be.

Instead, I get ready for the day.

In the shower, I formulate my thoughts for my daily slice: “I Don’t Want to Slice…Yet Here I Am.” How appropriate that will be after yesterday’s poem about struggling to find a topic. It will be fast. I’ll connect it to “I don’t want to floss my teeth everyday, yet here I am doing it.” I have more great ideas like that! It will be fast; I’ll crank it out and check that off my list on this busy day. (A concert, cleaning, preparing for the work week after being out of the loop all last week…) Contentment floods me. I’ll get that done right away.

Padding down the carpeted steps, coffee will surely taste good this morning. I need it to focus. Then, that rich, coffee aroma fills the air. Could It be? Yes. Someone has a pot brewing! As the door swings back and forth, I turn and see it’s true. The coffee.

“Hey, Mom, can you bring me a cup of coffee?” asks my 25 year old son. He’s tucked all snug in the big overstuffed, green chair under my new birthday afghan. His wild morning hair spikes in all directions; his voice gravelly, I know he just got up, too.

“Sure. Do you have enough for me to have a cup?”

“Yea.”

I pour the coffee-one large cup for him, one small cup for me. Walking into the family room, freshly vacuumed, I hand him the dark brew. I sit down on the loveseat, in my spot. I’m becoming more like my dad everyday.

My fingers curl around the retro cup; the warmth greets each finger; I breathe in the fragrant aroma. We begin to chat. “How did you sleep?” “How was work last night? I’m sorry you missed your sister’s birthday dinner.” “Do you work today?”

I don’t jump up. I linger. The chat meanders on. The chat rounds the bend from the everyday to the philosophical: politics and religion and his thoughts on life. We discuss the world and the family and the past and the present. Still, we linger. How sweet this discourse. Things my mother-heart yearns to know, it learns as I linger.

Today, I lingered. I linger still on the words that are wrapping around my heart and warming it still. Today, I lingered.  Today, I found joy.

Dear friend, make time to linger…

Kindness Matters

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Today, I was reflecting on how kindness matters.

As a veteran teacher in my school, I have participated year after year in our “birthday” celebrations.  All this involves is for different staff members to bring in treats to celebrate the birthdays, or half birthdays, of other co-workers.  Goodies appear twice a month, like clockwork, strategically on Mondays. Happily, through the years, I have done my part, bringing treats–some yummy and gooey, some crunchy and healthy–on my designated days.  This year something surprised me.

The week before my birthday, our sweet, newly-hired music teacher, stepped quietly into my office with a little pad of paper and a pencil in her hands.  “What are your favorite treats?” she asked shyly.

“Anything is fine,” I replied.

“Don’t you have any favorite treats?” she persisted.

“Well, I try to eat healthy…hmmm.  So maybe some fruit or vegetables or nuts?  But really, anything is OK. Cheese and crackers?”

“Any favorite sweets?”

“Brownies are my favorite.  Or M&Ms.”

She smiled and turned and headed down the hall, back to her room.

The next Monday, there in the teacher’s lounge was an array of everything I suggested!  Strawberries and peppers, red and green and orange, cheese and crackers, mixed nuts.  Even brownies and M&Ms!  Even now I get a little teary-eyed thinking about it. No one has ever bothered to ask me what I like.  Of course, I never expected it and have appreciated everything I have received, but this was a special act of kindness that touched my heart.

Stepping into her room later that day, I said, “Sarah, thank you so much for the yummy treats.  It was so kind and nice of you to bring all my favorite things.  It was so nice of you to ask.  Thank you so much!”  I gave her a hug.  My eyes glistened.  She probably thought I was some kind of nut!  But I didn’t care.  What she did mattered.  It mattered to me.  I wanted her to know: Kindness matters!

And I’m Off…

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My eyes flew open and darted toward the window.  Yea!  The sun is shining.  Energy seemed to pulse through my body.  How can being on Spring Break make me feel so different than just yesterday? Oh, well, I’m just going to enjoy it.  Seven twenty-eight.  Definitely late for me. What should I do today?  In my mind, I start making a mental list:

  1. Maybe go to yoga in the morning.
  2. Eat a yummy breakfast in my pajamas.
  3. Write my slice and post before 11:51 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.
  4. Declutter for at least 30 minutes-and actually have time to check it off the list.
  5. Go to Good Friday Service at noon instead of 7:00 P.M.

My feet hit the floor, and I’m off.  It’s going to be a great day!

P.S.  I’m already done with #2 and #3, and have added something else to my list:

  1.  Take pictures of the sun through the icy trees.  (I added some photos below.  Yes, I know they are off the topic of my post.  Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them anyway.)  

I hope your day will be be as wonderful as I think mine will be.  

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Peeking Sun

Icy Limbs

Peeking Sun

Sun After the Storm

Peeking Sun

Treee in Sunshine

Peeking Sun

Joy Givers

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Joy Givers

I read a post today on Slice of Life by vanessaw2007 in which she talked about an exercise to share things that give you joy.  Her list made me smile and made me consider what things give me joy.  So giving her full credit for this idea and building upon it, here is my list.

 

 

Things That Give Me Joy…

Peaceful, quiet moments-I think of quiet places to linger when the day has been stressful or my heart needs to ponder.  I think of quiet places to reflect and recharge and refresh.

Snow falling-I think of gentle snows with lazily drifting snowflakes under illuminating streetlamps.  I think of muted sounds and snow-covered coats.     

Sunsets-I think of azure skies with golden clouds, of silhouetted trees guarding the  horizon.  I think of the sun whispering goodnight in fading hues. 

Hot tea on the patio in the early morning-I think of the awakening world.  I think of pausing, enjoying the quiet beauty, and of contemplating the emerging day.   

Gracie-I think of our loyal, loving Golden Retriever.  I think of her sitting at my feet as I wrote my thesis.  I think of her winning ways-stealing into my heart by bringing me a stick bigger than her puppy self.  I think of her swimming half-way to Michigan as we frantically tried to call her back.  I think of my gentle, aging friend whose nickname is Faithful-and-True.    

Husband-I think of John, lover, companion, and friend of 32 wonderful years.  I think of kindness and caring and comfort.

Children-I think of Emily, Johnny, Tommy, Jimmy, Maggie, and Davey.  I think of laughter   and fun and memories.

Mother, Father, sisters, brothers-I think of a life of acceptance and opportunities.

God-I think of Jesus.  I think of forgiveness,  of freedom, and of forever.  

I think of joy!