Monday’s Musings–Fallen Leaves

Fall Leaves - Copy

It’s a breezy day today where I live. As I’m working at my desk, leaves are fluttering in the air and blowing across the yard and the meadows. It’s nice to not have to rake those leaves into neat piles or gather them to dispose of them elsewhere.

I often wish the challenges of life could just blow away like the leaves, but instead, they usually have to be dealt with directly. The leaves are dead, but challenges can bring us a life-giving perspective when we learn from them and see the possibilities about how they can be worked for our good.

If a challenge has been permitted in my life, I know—in faith—that He intends to use it for my good and for His good. I also know—in faith—that blessings will be found.

Something to ponder on a blustery, fall day…

Monday’s Musings — At a Loss for Words

This has happened to me more times than I care to remember, and I know it has also happened to you:

Someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them. So, you don’t really say much of anything.

When we’re at a loss for words because of the hurt another is experiencing and we choose to say nothing, we fall short of providing hope to them. The simplicity of a few words to tell your friend or acquaintance they are being thought of can lift them up. Saying nothing does nothing.

After going through my own devastating hurts in the last few years, I’ve experienced this from the other side, also. There were many times I’d run into someone who knew bits of what I was going through, but they’d skirt the topic, avoid me completely, or just stand there acting like nothing ever happened. I’m sure most never meant to be hurtful in their avoidance, but doing so did not help me at all. The people who offered me a kind word or thought were the ones who impacted me. They were the ones who offered me a piece of hope.

Yes, there are times when words are not necessary. You’ll know what that looks like with your closest friends. But, truly, how many times have you walked away from a co-worker, an acquaintance, a family member or a friend in pain and not said anything? I’m guessing when you did, your next few moments were thinking about YOURSELF and how YOU didn’t know what to say.

“Why didn’t I say something?”

“What should I have said?”

“Wow, I fumbled through that conversation.”

“I am so glad that isn’t me.”

“I am so glad my life isn’t that messed up.”

In these circumstances, why do we often think first of ourselves instead of thinking about the person who needs a glimmer of hope in their life? We, instead, have the choice and the chance to genuinely think about them and find a way to help them through their trial.

So back up.

Back up to the approach where someone is hurting through their circumstances. You know it, and you have no idea what to say to them.

This time, here’s what to say:

“I’m thinking of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“You have been in my thoughts.”

“I will continue to hold you in prayer.”

“I can’t begin to understand all you are going through, but, please know, I will pray for you.”

Do you see the hope? Do you see how you are still using the word “I,” but the focus has become about them and what YOU can do FOR them. Prayer does this.

When we lift others up in prayer, their trials begin to have hope. The amazing thing about this, too, is that when we have a chance to offer hope to others, we, in turn, feel more hopeful.

Monday’s Musings — Understanding the Green Thumb

Green Thumb

Harvesting veggies from the garden is so much more fun than planting, weeding, watering and waiting for them to grow. There are rewards at each stage, but harvesting is the ultimate reward.

Without looking into the folklore, I now KNOW from where the idea of having a green thumb comes.

It comes from harvesting veggies.

When I harvested my peas, my left thumbnail turned green from popping open the pods and scraping them into a bowl.

When I harvested my Chinese pea pods, my left thumbnail turned green from snapping off the top and destringing them.

When I harvested my green beans, my left thumbnail turned green from pinching them off the vine and then using my nail to break away the top.

When harvesting my cucumbers, my left thumbnail turns green from piercing the vine before pulling the cuke from it.

When harvesting my cherry tomatoes, my left thumbnail turns green from snipping the fruits from the vine WITH my nail.

When harvesting my apples, my left thumbnail turns green from pushing the waste through the apple corer.

Harvesting has been going on for a few weeks, therefore, I’ve had a green thumbnail for a while.

The only thing that might completely remove the green hue from my thumbnail would be a manicure. However, other than an occasional buff and file, I’m not really a manicure kind-of-gal, and I still have some harvesting left to do.

I’m pretty sure that the folklore surrounding having a green thumb DOES involve the ability to grow plants well. So, hey! I will consider my green thumb an accomplishment and as a sign of the successful harvest!

Monday’s Musings — Creating a Better Fit

Sewing Shirt

One of my sons is a baseball player. All season I’ve been wearing the fan t-shirt. I only like t-shirts if they have a very loose collar, and this one doesn’t. It rubs my neck, and it makes my round face look even more round. Ugh.

For weeks, I’ve been thinking, “I should do something about this collar.” I wear the shirt a few times a week at games to support his team, and I think about that collar every time I put it on. It’s one of those SHOULD DO things that doesn’t get done. But…it did get done this week.

Using a seam ripper, I carefully took the collar off the t-shirt. I then pressed and rolled the ragged edge of the fabric twice so it would not unwind –that would not be at all attractive, even for a t-shirt. I then ran the new collar’s hem through my sewing machine. The whole thing took me less than half an hour.

My altered t-shirt feels so much better on me now! The slightly-scooped neck is much more comfy than the tight crew neck, and I’m astonished at how much slimmer my chubby cheeks look with this simple alteration! I should have done it at the beginning of the season, as it would have saved me a few “should-a-would-a” thoughts.

How many aspects of our life could use a slight tweaking to create a better fit?

What if I would get up 15 minutes earlier each day? What if I made a pact to have an empty kitchen sink before heading to bed? What if I would deal with every received email on a check-it-once basis?

Hmmm…the possibilities:  a few extra minutes for Bible study — I’m always craving more time anyway; a pleasant feeling when walking into the kitchen in the morning; no more dread wondering how I’ll get through 2800 emails — someday.

Slight alterations. A better fit. An opportunity. A new outlook. More productivity.

There are blessings all around us. Too often, we feel that CHANGE has to be big. No. A quick and simple alteration can create a better fit in our life, in the Word and in our walk in just a few moments. Imagine the trickle-down effects. Blessings are waiting to be realized — with or without a sewing machine.