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Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

Scènes de ma course du matin:

Morning fog creeping over low pastures and seeping into the road

Fungal sunrise

Preparing horses for polo season next month

Farmer made hay this week

Dragonfly mating season

Unflappable turkey buzzards

Thank You, God, for the joie de vivre of running, of freedom, of health, of vibrant life. Merci pour my quiet mornings with You.

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New beginnings promise hope

Bygones wayside lie

Start afresh, no looking back

No wond’ring how or why

 

Facing Forward, Day By Day

Not one sole day’s resolve,

But each and every day we strive

To see our goals evolve

 

Setbacks – falling short we find

His glory e’er ahead

Pressing on to win the race

Drink faith, eat steadfast bread

 

Looking back will only make

A pillar of salt from tears

Stay focused on the prize ahead

Although it taketh years

 

Death hath no vic’try, nor hath fear

When upward eyes stay trained

Upon the hopes and promises

Of life eternal gained

 

Death in summer, Christmas birth

Seems contrary to me

Yet God works it as He wills

To deepen faith, you see

 

Lost my mother mid-July

Took some time to grieve

Christmas prompts us to new life

A new year, new reprieve!

 

Loss is gain, why can’t we see?

To let go is to gain!

The paradox is paramount

To see joy come from pain

 

Happy New Year, Y’all!

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wish for us all to be as happy and blissful as this ceramic-figured window dressing in New Orleans during Mardi Gras:


Thanks, God, for seasons of bliss, mirth and joy.

Please, Lord, help us figure out how to carry this feeling into every dark corner, crevasse and cave…that we may endure and prevail over any hardship we may encounter. 

In this Lenten season, God, please help us to find the happiness and victory that come as a result of the reason for this season. In our imperfections, may we inch towards lauging in the face of fear. 

Let us humble ourselves at the lightness of life which arises out of cruel death itself. Let us emerge from the ashen grave with victory!

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Swarming starlings like to congregate just inland from my beach, frequenting the harvested cotton and peanut fields. They are easily spooked by passing cars and en mass, rise like a black curtain – a Hitchcock-like shadow of birds:

The birds darken our skies every November. But today, happy spring shadows bring blossoms of new life and colorful promise, yielding fresh hope and energy!


Thank You, dear God, for bright, new life springing from darkness …for the hope You provide that carries us out of the shadows of loneliness and near-death, and rocketing us forth into a fresh cycle of light, connection, hope and renewal. 

Thank You for being on each and every walk with me – and for my bloggy buddies, too – through every season, storm, shadow and silver lining. 

God, You rock!!

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The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.

This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.

The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.

So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.

But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons. 

Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success. 

I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!

There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you. 

Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!

Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.

And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.

My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.

The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain  tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it. 

His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:


And Merry Christmas with love to you all! 

May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.

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(Photo courtesy of Game Day Sports Blog)

Little known fact about your Southern Sea Muse: She grew up on the Shiny shores of Lake Michigan, her very first sea from birth.

Shoveling snow notwithstanding, her heart-roots run deep in Chicago tradition…including her Daddy holding her in his arms during the seventh inning for Harry Caray’s beloved rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

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His spirit is with us, no doubt…God rest his soul.

So, WordPress…something shiny that caught my eye? My Chicago Cubs breaking the Big Curse within my lifetime!

 

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We can do this!! (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune)

Thank You, God, for traditions and miracles, big and small.

And thanks for reminding us to never to say never.

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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. 

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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!

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For this week’s  Weekly Photo Challenge, I offer the face of an angel with boundless joy:

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David, at Special Olympics, this past May.

Thank You, God, for untold joy, for unstoppable joy that springs from unspeakable grief. For spontaneous joy, for the unexpected, the unseekable that presents itself and makes life worth every hardship.

Thanks for the unending hope of joy, for using each of us to inspire one another to keep seeking You and the untold riches of joy You offer.

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 Symbol of summer…sunrise on Ono Island, Alabama:  

 
 

   
  
Thank You, God, for some of the best summer memories yet, symbols of dreams come true…and glimpses of Heaven itself.

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