Monday’s Musings — Winter Joy & Warm Temps

It seems quite ludicrous that my husband and I have been able to share our coffee on the deck in the sunshine in north-central West Virginia over the last few mornings.

It all began on Saturday:
…Mid-January;
…slippers and furry bathrobes;
…61 degrees at 9 a.m.;
…steaming-hot coffee with a splash of almond-milk creamer;
…the dog AND the cat slipping outside to join us;
…the big and beautiful sun stretching to get above the trees.

We heard it…a woodpecker was on a treasure hunt in the distance. We saw the last of the icy snow before it faded away later that day (…see it in the background?). We exaggerated our breathing to take in air that was SO fresh—with a hint of woodsy moss—as all of nature seemed to be on alert to enjoy the near-70* temps in the forecast.

Being able to enjoy coffee on the deck on these mornings has been a winter joy. The weather has been on repeat-and-repeat-again for the last few days.

Fifties? Sixties? Seventy-degree temps in mid-January? I’ll take it!

How about you?
How have you enjoyed the weather in your neck of the woods?

 


 

Making Choices of Value


Our choices, our words, our actions and our deeds have the ability to impact others for the positive or for the negative. What is done in the world WILL be of the world, but what is done in the Spirit WILL have everlasting value.


I wrote the words above in 2012, during a period of time when there was a lot of darkness surrounding me in the challenges I was experiencing in life. I wasn’t alone, yet I was. I had a lot of uncertainty in my next steps, yet certainty filled me. Life was falling apart, yet pieces were being moved into place.

I’ve written about the ideas of choices/words/actions/deeds on this site, too, and if you’d like to read further, you can do so by searching choices in the search bar on the home page of Hope Surrendered, or you can click here, here, here or even here. [There are other writings, but if you’re still clicking on those re-direct links, you’ll find them.]

So today…six years later, as I read the words I wrote during that dark time, I can see how much has changed in me. 

A lot.
But not much.

Weird, I know, but if you’ve been through your own “stuff” (and who hasn’t?), you understand how a lot can change, yet still find yourself dealing with much of the same.


None of us is perfect—we all fall short, yet our imperfections, our real-ness, our challenges and our choices can be worked for so much good…the kind of in-the-Spirit goodness that truly does have everlasting value.

Looking back over the last six years since penning those words, I can ponder and pray about the women I’ve met, the stories I’ve listened to, the insights I’ve shared, and the treasures which have been tucked away as the result of wise choices, words, actions and deeds done and made in the Spirit. Many of these memories make me smile because of the relationships that have resulted, yet they also serve as a reminder of how broken we all are. It’s brokenness that has often been the result of un-wise choices…choices which are of the world.

Let me encourage you to keep making wise choices, and when you aren’t sure what the wise choice is, pause and pray. Then wait, standing ready to choose when wisdom comes.

The choices you make,
the words you use,
the actions you take,
and the deeds you do
can have an everlasting value.


I welcome your thoughts about this subject and the difficulties we face in making wise choices and ones which have everlasting value … especially when the world around us isn’t or doesn’t see the need. Please feel free to share below!


 

The Yearn of a Snowflake

 

Snowy flakes tapping on the window.
Come out! Come out! Come play with me!

Soon, the black and white landscape
will burst forth with a prism of life.
Winter will seemingly slumber
as it overfills the storehouses
preparing to burst forth a few seasons yonder.

Come out! Come out! Come play with me!

Today is my day to climb the trees,
to swing on the breeze and
to land wherever my Master pleases.

Come out! Come out! Come play with me!

For tomorrow I rest.
Tomorrow, I will be no more.

 


 

Enjoying the Moment & Missing the Pic

A coyote emerged from the woods this morning—right from where we send the dog to poo—and then he played in the snow for about 10 minutes, running, leaping and doing a prancy-pounce thing.

I didn’t take a picture of him. I just wanted to watch him, as eerie as it was to have a coyote visible in the daylight. [Those if you who have coyotes around know that they are more often heard at night than seen in the day.]

I didn’t take a picture of him.

Does anyone else feel like we spend too much time instagramming our lives instead of enjoying the moments in the moment? I felt the temptation this morning, but didn’t give in. I just wanted to watch him, not photograph him.

 


 

The Feelings of Christmas

 

What is it about Christmas? …about the feelings this time of year brings about in us?

The stage is set in our intentions:

the twinkling of lights,
Christmas cookies baked by the dozen,
the wow gift for each of our loved ones,
a fresh-cut tree brimming with ornaments,
parties galore,
a crackling fire,
Christmas songs lulling us into a smile,
peppermint cocoa brimming our cup,
the sound of laughter,
the feeling of contentment,
[cue the softly falling snow].

How many of us experience the idyllic Christmas of our mind’s eye?  Sure, we find it in our head, and we have meaningful intentions in our hearts, but there’s a gap in what actually transpires as we ready ourselves for the season.

What are you really looking for this Christmas? …and can it be filled by the things of the season? 

Be encouraged to seek and to search. Feelings can be a challenge to deal with, yet spending some time with them can help to bring about a clarity which equips us with the courage and expectant hope to be more real in our own head and heart.