I’ve always loved morning time. It’s my time…….mostly.
Recently I started running in the mornings. I begin when it’s dark but by the time I’m finished the sun is peeking over the edge of the small hills on my country road.
A sunrise is another beginning. Another chance. Another day to love and laugh and cry. Another day to live like it matters.
A sunrise could be the start of a brand new way of living. It brings a whole bunch of new opportunities. It could bring laughter and joy and forgiveness. And healing and compassion.
A sunrise is hope rising and light shining into our darkest seasons.
Since I’ve begun this new thing I’ve seen more beautiful sunrises in the past 6 months than I have my entire life.
The sunrises have been there all along. I just wasn’t there to see them.
I don’t want to miss anymore sunrises.
But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Psalm 71:14
In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge Ascend.
In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge Alphabet.
This photo was taken in a hurry. I barely stopped to take the photo because the people on Beale Street were moving at a certain pace and I felt the need to keep up. BB Kings Blues Club is where we sat and listened to some of the best music ever, ate a wonderful meal, and laughed our faces off. Well not off…..we still have our faces, but you know what I mean.
Last weekend my husband and I, with two other couples went to Memphis, Tennessee for a night. This was out of the ordinary for all of us because sometimes we let the responsibilities of life crowd out the “just for fun” part of life.
All of us have full-time jobs and families. Juggling work, raising families, running small businesses, renovating a home, and all other sorts of happenings in our lives, cause us to forget the importance of spending time with friends.
Last weekend we got away from all the “must do’s” of our lives and enjoyed some time together. We enjoyed the music and food. The lights and activity on Beale Street were exciting. But the laughter we shared was the best part of all.
Laughter is like a balm for a wearied soul. It’s healing and soothing. I encouraged it in my Live Like it Matters Challenge a few months ago in my post called Laugh.
A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 NIV
Laughter can also be contagious.
Do yourself and all those around you a favor today and laugh.
Then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is gather pecans. We have two pecan trees across from our house that have been faithful to produce abundantly year after year.
Pecans are my favorite nut. I use them in all kinds of recipes, roast them for my oatmeal and salads, and eat them raw. At almost $9 a pound for shelled ones, I’m thankful I’ve not had to buy them the last 13 years.
Many nut gatherers will take their bounty of pecans to the local co-op to have the nuts cracked and take them home to shell. But Daddy taught me how to crack them to get the whole halves like you buy at the store so I do it myself. The secret is how you crack the pecan. I line the widest top part of the pecan up with the handles of my basic silver nutcracker and CRACK. When shelling the pecans I use the pick to dislodge the meat from the shell and clear out any of the bitters. That’s what we’ve always called the dark brown debris inside of the pecan shell. If you eat a pecan with the bitters still lodged in the nut, you will know why.
A bag of shelled pecans is a much-loved Christmas gift around these parts. In fact, I’m working on shelling the two bags I will give away tomorrow.
Now my youngest daughter loves to gather, shell, and eat pecans as much as I do. And because of her grandpa’s secret, she cracks and shells them perfectly.
In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge Gathering.
Christmas time is a nostalgic season. This year more than ever.
The memories of long ago Christmases…..the wishing and the dreaming and the waiting. The waiting was one of the best parts because the waiting meant preparing.
Decorating and baking and shopping and wrapping. The Christmas music. Mom’s orange balls. The twinkling lights. Grandmother’s little white church with the light inside that shone through the stained glass windows. Her ambrosia. The gathering of our big family and playing with all the cousins on Christmas Eve.
And this Santa ornament. Mom let me have it a long time ago. She was cleaning out her Christmas stuff and decided she didn’t want him or Mrs. Clause any more. His jolly round face reminds me of those days….the days of the waiting for Christmas morning.
The joy and longing and the hope that filled my heart as a child fills my heart still………even more…….each day.
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. Psalm 71:5 NIV
In response to the Daily Post’s Anticipation.
In response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge Transition.
No Black Friday for me. I spent the day doing one of my favorite things in one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people. My youngest daughter and I hiked in The Sipsey Wilderness.
Creation is ever changing………year to year…….season to season…..morning to night…..moment to moment. The forest is bright green in the springtime with new leaves budding on the trees but now the forest is brown, and orange, with some splashes of red and even a hint of purple throughout.
No lines, or traffic or rushing around here.
Just boundless beauty all around us. The sounds of waterfalls and the leaves crunching under our feet.
Exactly what my soul needed today.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”
How does a photo of a light pink sunrise over a foggy hay field show victory?
About 4 months ago I made a change. I wake up an hour earlier so that I can run in the morning before work.
The victory is that I run. For a long time I believed I couldn’t run. But I did it anyway. Barely, but I did it. As my endurance increased I started to believe I could run. The more I believed the longer I ran. The longer I ran the more I believed.
And now I run. I will run my 2nd official 5K Thanksgiving morning. I ran my first 5K in April. It was a significant event for me that I wrote about in a post called Run.
Another victory in this is that I made a new habit. A good habit. That first morning was hard but I did it anyway. Now I wonder what took me so long because the morning run on my country roads is one of my favorite parts of the day.
I experience all sorts of beautiful things on my morning runs. The sound of birds chirping, cows bellowing, the rooster crowing. I see the bright moon and stars in the dark sky just before the sun wakes up, or fog blanketing the fields, or glistening dew, or a light pink sunrise. And occasionally one of my neighbors sitting on his front porch drinking his coffee. We wave at each other as I run by.
We’re not locked into what was or what always has been. We can change now and make what will be better than we ever dreamed.
This victory is only the beginning. I’ve decided to move from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
In response to The Daily Post’s Flourish.
Along my country road morning glory vines climb fence posts and spill onto the sides of the road. The sun was barely up one morning when I noticed hundreds of them in full bloom. I love the translucence of the violet petals, the lively heart shaped leaves, and the dew droplets……….
The morning glory will slowly swirl closed as the day fades.
Like the morning glory, I’m at my best in the early part of the day.
………But a shout of joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 NASB
I was sitting in one of my favorite spots this morning and noticed the sun shining onto the floor through the back door. I only noticed it because it’s the weekend and I was there on the love seat, sipping my 2nd cup
of coffee. On other days, I’m already at work by the time the sun comes through the grids on the door and makes this diamond shaped design on our bamboo floors.
But on the weekends I can sit and sip my coffee and read for as long as I like. I don’t have to be anywhere at a particular time. I move slower on these days……at soul-speed. The kind of pace that allows me to notice the way the sun is shining, and the leaves are changing, and the path the neighbor’s dog follows in the mornings. At soul-speed I can ponder things until they’re pondered out. At this pace I can have a nice long conversation with my husband and throw the ball with our dog for 30 minutes and make pancakes for the kids when they wake up.
At soul-speed, I catch up with myself.