It’s not like it used to be…

Tonight I was going to jump on my counter to get something off a high shelf….

43I quickly remembered, it is not like it used to be…(need to remember to buy that step stool)

Tonight I was trying to read something from my phone….

I quickly remembered it is not what it used to be….(can’t forget to put my reader’s on my head so they are always with me)

Tonight I was going to quick run upstairs and I felt the pain of my Achilles tendon….

I quickly remembered it is not what it used to be….(need to remember to take my Motrin regularly)

But then I remember how my heart is more tender, my body more healthy and my skin more comfortable to live in….

I quickly remember how good life is…

I am turning 43 this weekend and although there are certainly places I feel my age, there are many more where I feel aging has improved the person I am today. I am thankful forh the experiences and people in my teens, 20’s and 30’s who have helped to shape my 40’s. I look forward to all life has for me in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. I believe that God will honor the desires of my heart and show me great and wonderful things….

And, I am quite proud of that fact that I have recently taken up skipping and jumping rope again!

Celebrating failure….

I have been doing some weight lifting and it is a different approach than I am used to…

In these lifting sets I am trying to get to failure…

I realize that each time I begin, I enter into a battle between my mind and body…

I want to finish strong…

I have learned to mark success in some fashion, when I can complete the task before me…

And so even though I can understand the purpose and what is supposed to happen, I am finding that to spend one hour planning to fail, is messing with my head a bit…

I wonder where and how often I allow myself to plan to fail so I can grow in character and strength…

I wonder where I have called something a failure when perhaps a more positive word could be attached….

And so, when I am bench pressing or leg curling, I am learning to not think about the reality of failure, but focusing on each lift or curl and remembering that I have a vision….

And if I am going to make my vision a reality, failure will help me to grow in many ways….

It is amazing to me the lessons I learn as I journey to wellness….perhaps one of the most difficult remains:

 

 

I am…

I have been wondering what to write about tonight.

I am still living so aware of all I have to be thankful for.

I am also keenly aware that I am holding aches in my heart for those I love.

I am spending more time in reflection in my new amazing home space and I am aware of how I want to live and yet still don’t support that desire with daily actions.

I am in a season of giving life lots of thought and prayer.

I am nurturing my mind to pray specifically and trust God in every day with the honest questions of my heart.

I am approaching 43 and I am thankful both for where I have come from and the hope that each day holds for new life and opportunities.

I am trusting  trust the God who stays awake and knows my great sorrows.

I am thankful for a God who has prepared the way.

I am thankful for a God who invites me to sleep in peace and wake up to embrace a new day tomorrow.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. ~ Victor Hugo

Giving it your all…

I had the opportunity to watch a fourth grade boys basketball practice last night…

There were ten sweaty boys giving it their all….

I was captivated by how they didn’t have the self-control to contain themselves always, but that didn’t stop them from giving it their all….

They ran hard, often ending up just out-of-bounds because they couldn’t stop their bodies once they had began to run giving it their all…

They pass the ball hard and actually a number of passes went beyond the intended recipient because when they were passing, they gave it their all….

They shot the ball every chance they got,  and were often surprised as the ball bounced back off the backboard instead of swishing through the net….but they shoot over and over again, giving it their all….

I realized that I can learn from this group of sweaty and smiling fourth grade athletes.

I realize that sometimes giving your all doesn’t produce finely polished performance but it does speak loudly that you dare to risk and want to play the game…

I realize that sometimes giving your all doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt or that you will be the hero in the game, but it does mean that when you walk away you will know just how fun it was to participate….

I realize that sometimes giving your all leaves you sweaty, smelly, tired and smiling…

I know there are places I want to give more….it is time I live like a fourth grade boy who loves basketball….

My time is now!

Wanna join me?

A victorious feeling….

Sometimes it really is in the simple things….

Tonight I feel victorious….

It isn’t around my eating plan, although that was pretty good today….

It isn’t around my workouts since those are limited due to an injury…

It isn’t around anything that I do every day….

It is in the fact that I got two kids up this morning, fed, watered and dressed, out the door to school with back packs and lunches….

It is in the fact that I got one to basketball, cheered them on the last ten minutes of practice, coached through homework, made lunches for tomorrow, one is bathed and both were happy and are now sleeping….

I am not sure if you parents out there take time to marvel at what you do every day…

I am not sure if you smile as you tuck the last one in and offer a prayer of thanks for all the wonder wrapped up in a child….

But please don’t forget to celebrate the small victories accomplished in each day….I am and I am only “parenting” for four days!

 

Keeping watch….

Tonight I am smiling as I think about how my sweet dog Dutch keeps watch over my house at night…

Most often Dutch sleeps at my feet on my bed every night. But if I have overnight guests, Dutch positions herself to keep watch on all sleeping guests.

If I have guests in the guest room she lays by the front door so she can see the door way to the guest room and the stairs that lead upstairs….

Tonight I have children occupying the basement bedroom and so she is positioned in the mud room so she can see the stairs leading down and the stairs leading up…

And no matter how hard I try, with treats or a ball, she won’t leave her spot to come upstairs with me.

And so I will sleep well knowing she will be available to lead my nephews to me if they come upstairs….

I know she is just a dog, but in so many ways, she is brilliant!

Pippi Longstocking….

I remember in fourth grade loving Pippi Longstocking….

I loved Pippi and have often thought of those books and the fun I had reading them…

In the event you don’t remember Pippi, here is a summary from Wikipedia…

Nine-year-old Pippi is unconventional, assertive, and has superhuman strength, being able to lift her horse one-handed without difficulty. She frequently mocks and dupes adults she encounters, an attitude likely to appeal to young readers; however, Pippi usually reserves her worst behavior for the most pompous and condescending of adults. Pippi’s anger is reserved for the most extreme cases, such as when a man ill-treats her horse. Like Peter Pan, Pippi does not want to grow up. She is the daughter of a buccaneer captain and as such has adventurous stories to tell. She has four best friends, two animals (her horse and a monkey) and two humans, the neighbor’s children Tommy and Annika.

Now that you know how much I enjoyed Pippi, you will get a glimpse of why this picture of my niece Ellie made me smile. There are a number of similarities between Pippi and Ellie. Such fun to see that Ellie knows just how to look like Pippi….

I invite you to share the story of one of your favorite books with a young person in your life….

Crossing the Ocean…

I love this idea….well kind of….

I can say I agree with it fully and yet can think of times when I have ventured away from the shore. There are clearly other times I have not been willing to believe in what lies beyond my sight….

I think of my both my grandpas loading up their young families and immigrating from the Netherlands to Sussex New Jersey and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

I think of my amazing brother who would stand watch on a nuclear submarine in the middle of all water with no land in site…

In both of those examples, I am sure there were moments of fear and a sense of wondering at times if responding to the invitation to cross the ocean would be worth it…

I wonder if you are clinging to land or venturing out to cross the ocean.

I invite you to choose courage and to venture with a willingness to lose sight of the shore…

Travel with courage and enjoy the journey!

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Thursdays…

It was a nice day and a good Thanksgiving but tonight I have Thursdays on my mind.

On August 23, 2012, I called my brother Nick to wish him a Happy Birthday….

I told him that since I didn’t come up with any fun gift ideas for this year, my present was that I was going to call him every Thursday….

I had no idea how because of this gift to him, I would look forward to Thursdays every week.

And so, today, being Thursday, it was extra special, cause Nick came Wednesday night and has been staying at my house. He has taught me knife skills in the kitchen and showed me how preparing Thanksgiving dinner does require a six am start. It was fun to be up early and chopping celery and making stuffing, preparing the turkey and enjoying being in my awesome kitchen with him! Tonight I learned to make Asparagus soup and I am reminded of how fun it is to be friends with your siblings….

And so I am thankful that every week there is a Thursday and every week I will connect with Nick, in a low-key and conversational way.

This year my gift to my brother really is the gift that keeps on giving….

 

 

The first supper….

Tonight I hosted my first real supper in my new kitchen. I love dinner on the deck and tonight I fell in love with eating on the island….

It was an easy menu….some wine and beer, some chicken chili, some chips and sour cream, salsa and cheese and some spinach salad…

Some music, some laughter, some conversation, a very little silence and a few tears….it was a time that filled my heart with gratitude….

So 18 people enjoyed the meal and the community and I am confident it will happen again….

I am so thankful for a home and a kitchen, a family to fill it and the peace quiet after it has come and gone….

I will sleep well tonight and wake up thankful on Thanksgiving morning….