This Friday

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.

 

 

 

Victory

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”

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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.

Victory.

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.

Victory.

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.

Triumph

Show Your Appreciation

The Live Like It Matters Challenge this week is to show your appreciation for someone who has served or is currently serving our country in the Armed Forces and show your appreciation.

Say hello, pay for a meal, write a note, tell them thank you……..just honor them in some way for their service.  Listen as they tell a story about the time they served. Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with them.

Simply acknowledge what they’ve done or what they’re doing.

Then think about the freedom you enjoy.

Laugh

A happy heart is like good medicine,
but a broken spirit drains your strength.        Proverbs 17:22 NCV

It’s time for another Live Like it Matters Challenge. This week’s challenge is fun for you and those around you.

We all know that laughter is good medicine for the soul. It’s proven to be a great stress reliever with other short-term and long-term health benefits. So this week laugh with someone. If you have to watch the latest episode of The Middle to get your funny bone started then do it. Or watch Jimmy Kimmel’s “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy” pranks. Or search out anything by Tim Hawkins.

The point is to share your laughter with others. Go see a funny movie, or play in the leaves with the little kids and the dog, try to do a headstand, or tell a joke. Be sure to try the headstand against a wall while others watch. I promise you will laugh and so will they just because it’s ridiculous that you’re trying to do a headstand at your age. And only tell a joke if you’re good at delivering the puncpicmonkey_image (2)h line. I’m terrible at this so I won’t be joke-telling as a way to share a laugh. But I can make the funniest faces you’ve ever seen.

Remember, we are laughing WITH others. Do not laugh at others or at their expense. Unless it’s the kids in the Jimmy Kimmel videos.

Or unless you’re my older sister, Marlina, who has ILS. Never heard of it? It’s Inappropriate Laughter Syndrome. She can never seem to hold back uncontrollable bouts of laughter when someone she loves dearly falls or trips or hurts themselves in some way.

Have fun this week as you share your laughter with others.

Piles

Four weekends ago my sisters and I sorted through, looked at, and wondered at the amount of stuff in my parent’s home.

The kitchen cabinets held more than we could have imagined. And so did the hutch in the dining room. Mom collected pretty tea cups, candle holders, various colors of taper candles, vases, figurines and other unique glass items. My dad’s office held the pencils, pens and highlighters that sat on his drafting table. An assortment of matchbooks, business cards, rubber bands, old stamps, pocket knives, his ledgers, old to-do lists and all kinds of items filled the drawers of his desks.

The closets were full, too. Mom’s clothes were sorted by color. Dad’s for convenience. Her favorite blouse hung in hers, his old work shirt in his. Dad’s old puffy Alabama jacket that Mom hated hung in the foyer closet. The card tables and chairs we used on holidays leaned against the wall and the bucket of toys that all the grandkids played with were there.

There were stacks and stacks of books, old records, and photographs. Collections of CDs, and piles of tables cloths, blankets, and bed sheets. Dishes, cups, pots & pans. Silverware and cast iron skillets.IMG_2777

Old metal Folgers coffee cans filled with nuts and bolts and screws. Some with hinges, or wire, or batteries.

Piles and piles and stacks and boxes of stuff filled the house.

Our hearts are full of cherished memories, some painful ones too. But more than anything our hearts are piled high with love. Lots of love.

Because our parents loved us and did a good job. They weren’t perfect and didn’t parent perfectly……who does?  But they prayed for us and we always knew they were there for us. Always.

Now everything is boxed up……the house is almost empty.IMG_2846

But our hearts are forever full.

 

In response to the Daily Post’s Taper.