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There is nothing like a move from complexity to simplicity to achieve a perfect and senseful state of underwhelm. The point is to eat the Cherry On Top so we can get down to the best of business, oui?

So, paradoxically, my cherry on top has been getting back to basics this year, one day at a time. 

This is the year I snatched the cherry off the top of the treat, savored it without abandon, then tied the stem in a knot with my tongue and placed it on my cocktail napkin, knowing full well it would wind up in the trash…keeping the satisfaction in my heart and head and being willing to part with the evidence of my talents and achievements. 

All for the sake of simplicity.

This year, I traded in my old hips for new ones and shed my old money pit home for a spiffy, new life full of order, less is more and Seriously Downsized Lifestyle.

It was time to put my money where my mouth was, that my children understand that it’s not about the brass ring or perfection or having instead of have-notting, that it is about making the most of life with what God gives us, whatever that may be.

Here is my new cherry on top, a sunset at the old, nostalgic dairy farm across the road from my new, simplistic life…

Hey, God, thanks for the simple things in life that set us free from the imposing cherries on top. Thank You for delivering me from the hell of complexity into the heaven of simplicity.

Thank You, God, for the cherry on top so that we are motivated to put it aside or behind us, sooner than later, in order to savor the Main Event of all that lies beneath glitter and gold.

In this week’s Photo Challenge, I see a Prism of Hope striking across Raw Vulnerability, facilitated by Unfettered Chains allowing Doors to Open.

What do you see?


Thank You, God, for doors which open only after we submit ourselves fully to Truth and Love. Thank You for the clarity that comes with kalaidescope vision as You bring Your will, and all its components, into focus. 

Thank You especially for the Journey and its precious moments of Bliss, eternally seared upon our hearts and shaping us forever in our carrying on.

Squirrel!!!

It’s been awhile, friends. I’ve missed y’all!
I did not abandon the blog, but have been pleasantly distracted by this, that and the other in life, like…
 

Monitoring my teenagers’ phones and finding stuff like this

 
 

Selling the farm

 
 

Easter Egging

  

Teaching young men to be gentlemen

  

Coming home to a fountaining water heater and getting a new one

  

Noticing odd photo ops

  

Finding out my kid discovered Photo Shop on my iPad

  

PMSing

 
 

Trying a lighter hair shade, going Garth-Blonde

 
 

Getting to see what my town looks like from the air

  

Getting one of two hip replacements

  

Doing a homemade color-by-numbers during recovery

 

Bloodletting

  

Barely getting out of the hospital alive (note listed allergies & plate)

  

Watching Mr. Lizard go a-courtin’

 
 

Mardi Gras parades & assorted residual loot

  

Being visited by a cardinal

  

Septic fun!

  

Coming home to find the silverware gnomes organized my silverware drawer

  

S’mores…

  

…over a warm winter fire dancing

  

Savoring thoughtful sentiments from little ones

  

Hot morning coffee in the cool spring sun

 

A winter walk on the beach

  

Turning 50

  

A little getaway to my favorite Suites

 
Thanks, God, for a long season of joy, renewal, hope and resurrection. Thank You for the dead of winter yielding to the lifeSpring of growth and eternal life. May my readers be thusly blessed in their seasons, as well. 

  
Hey, God…thank You for a beautiful Christmas season. May all the WP readers have joyous holidays…and blessings in 2016. 

Merry Christmas, my friends!!

~~ssm

For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I spied a little spy who visually answered my question as to why/how he could possibly get his nose so filthy in under three minutes, as he spied in my bedroom window:

  
(a face only a mother could love…)

Thanks, God, for Your vision for us, for peeping in on us and always being here with us. Thank You for goofiness, silliness and good-natured fun. I know You have a sense of humour, Lord, for I have spied it! 

Thank You for loving us,  God, whether we are in reverent worship or yukking it up and being playful. 

You made smiles, God….let us use them to our greatest abillity!

The quest for simplicity and minimalism pleasantly escape me when presented with this week’s Photo Challenge, Ornate:

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Near my beach we have special ambassadors to our area, young ladies who welcome all and brighten everything with their gracious presence, extending Southern hospitality to the rest of the world.

They are the Azalea Trail Maids and the Dogwood Trail Maids. I spied the two lovely ladies above at a local Suicide Prevention/Awareness event recently.

You may have seen them in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, at the White House for President Obama’s inauguration or just about anywhere.

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They are chosen for their character, grades, accomplishments and their poise. Their costumes weigh 40-50 lbs, there is only one allowed to wear pink (the Queen Maid) and they can stash their cell phones in the handy pantaloons they wear under the hoop skirt (shhhh!).

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The graceful Maids go through a rigorous process of selection that would make Miss America run for the hills, right down to a painful tradition of having to sit on an uncomfortable triangle-seated chair for the duration of the judges’ interviews. Little girls have aspirations of one day becoming a Trail Maid, yet another one of the South’s fine traditions…

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Our Trail Maids are the epitome of Southern culture – always pleasant, gracious and refined. Especially the Queen Maid.

(well, usually….)

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Thanks, God, for giving us the ornate in simplicity, for the greatest of gifts in the smallest of packages, like eternal life from a mustard seed of faith.

I love this week’s Photo Challenge which is all about taking something and running with it – about going many steps beyond your wildest dreams.

Never believe that the impossible isn’t possible or that a dark and gloomy prognosis means the end of the track.

From a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 8 months old…told IF he lived, he would be in a vegetative state and die by age 4…

  
…to Special Olympics, 2015 – Kissing a pretty girl fifteen years later makes it well worth coming out of a coma and surviving!

 Believe in the extraordinary – faith, hope and love are the greatest of gifts.

Thanks, God, for second, third and fourth chances. And tenth and seventy-seventh chances. 

You know, God, sometimes I think that Your lessons about faith, hope and love are as much about our aspirations as they are a reminder of Your unwavering faith, hope and love for us. It IS a two-way street, isn’t it? 

That when our ordinary faith, hope and love stray, You – our Rock – never lose those three things for us, and it is Your extraordinary faith in us, Your hope in our return and Your eterrnal love for us draws us back and is what causes such rejoicing among the angels when we return.

Many happy and extraordinary returns!

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