Thursday, September 10, 2020

In Which I Interrupt My Own Blogging Break

Dearest Readers ~

Hey, how are ya' doing!

I'm loving my blogging break ... puttering outside in the garden, gathering with small groups of friends, ice cream runs, leading a Women's Pandemic Support Group, staying pretty much offline and away from the news, hoping for a jaunt or two over the bridge to the 'mainland,' anticipating the future even as I savor the two steps forward one step back cadence of autumn's arrival.

I'm dropping by to share a new page on the website with you, a gathering place for pandemic resources.  I plan to keep it updated often as life continues to unfold.  

Click pandemic support to catch up on all the conversations we've shared about the tremendous impact of the coronavirus on every aspect of our lives.  Some music that will soothe your soul.  Scriptures to build your faith.

And for you Cape Codders, info on Round #2 of a Women's Pandemic Support Group that God has serendipitously pulled together.

I hope you are well and finding mid-September to be offering you pockets of sheer delight right in the middle of ongoing change, uncertainty, and busyness.

If you haven't subscribed to the blog, there's no better time than the present!  Head right over here.

May the Spirit gently still your soul in the midst of it all ~


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

What Makes You Smile?

Hi Friends ~

I've begun to purposely take notice of what makes me smile.  Not a goofy grin, but a warm glow that comes from a sight, a sound, a scent, a touch ... springing forth from a calm heart, a mind at ease, a body at rest, an expectant spirit.

It's being outdoors.

A lunchtime picnic with my husband.  A few hours spent with a friend, our feet tucked in the sand.  A brisk walk around the neighborhood.  Designing little gardens edged with vintage brick.  

Curling up somewhere comfy with a book.  Beachcombing on the shoreline with a couple of eager granddaughters.  Taking pictures of whatever catches my eye as I go through the day.  Attempting a nap on the hammock at the edge of the woods.  

I'm craving outdoors and all that good stuff that breathes life, that offers a sense of place, that makes gratitude bubble up.

It dawned on me the past few days that dusk is arriving earlier and earlier and that summer is waning by the minute.  After waiting so long for its arrival, now I'm wishing it wasn't fading away so quickly.

So I'm going to take some time off from being online.   

Unplugging to recharge.

I read somewhere recently that you shouldn't make a big deal and tell your readers every time you take a break.  But when you're doing life in the company of others, it seems just a tad inconsiderate to vanish into thin air without saying 'see ya' later.' 

I feel strangely relieved at the prospect of pretty much abandoning my laptop, not careening from pillar to post online, and letting my phone rest a spell.  A week, a month, somewhere in between?

I feel His pleasure in this early September decision.

What's making you smile as wisps of autumn approach?

Love to you ~


 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place 
and get some rest.”
Mark 6:31


i'll be back!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Re-Titled Letter to My 65 Year Old Self

Dear Self ~

I'm not sure exactly why you've been awake for hours.  Here you are before dawn has barely broken, dragging this ancient laptop downstairs and out on the porch where the early morning breezes are blowing energetically.  Even the birds are not quite sure what in heaven's name you're doing as they fly past the windows to the feeders for an early breakfast.

For some reason, you've made turning 65 into a great big deal. 

Sure it's a milestone, but I don't quite understand why you're so unsettled by it, why you seem determined to have some kind of weird self-absorbed pity party.

Stop it.  

Just  .  Stop  .  It.

65 is not the end of the road.  Unless God wants it to be.  And last time I looked, He seemed to have work for you to do.

I know, I know, this has been a year you'd just as soon forget with all the deep losses and the physical drama and trauma that left you emotionally shot.  

Yes, yes, you were so sick that you had to close down your counseling practice.  Daily news updates remind you that you can hardly go anywhere anymore safely.  Your mask is always at the ready.

Mom is declining right in front of your eyes and your heart breaks in a million pieces yet again every time you see her. 

You missed your 17 year old beauty's birthday yesterday.  Her state won't let your state's people in without a major upheaval.

Join the party.  You are not alone.

For some reason, you stopped journaling mid-winter, right before the pandemic hit.  Maybe you should dust that baby off and do a little soul searching, a bit of unpacking, and sort through what's making 65 so ridiculously traumatic for you.


Enough already with the pity party, dear girl.

All those deep truths about living for Jesus that you've learned at the feet of your ancestors and mentors, teachers, friends, and grandchildren need to re-claimed yet again.  All the encouraging words of grace-filled challenge you've whispered to counseling clients and written for your precious blogging community need to be revisited.  

Not by them, but by you.

So go do the next right thing.  Continue taking the best care of yourself you can.  Be gentle and kind to yourself ... without excessive coddling.  Keep those stupid time-wasting screens off.  Get out and about as much as you can, girl.  Listen continuously to the Spirit's gentle voice of comfort, direction, correction, and love.  Get serious about cultivating joy and anticipation.  Laugh often.

Make gratitude your byword.

If you look carefully, you'll see that there might be a door or two opening for you.  That God has someone for you to be, something for you to do.  Stop waiting around for a gold-plated invitation to reach out.  The gifts He's given you are still there.  In fact they might be even richer than ever because of what you've lived through during these past 12 months.

Keep on leading that Women's Pandemic Support Group at church.  Don't stop singing all 58 verses of those old hymns that come to your mind at the strangest times.  Keep your eyes peeled for the needs around you and roll up your sleeves.  Celebrate the daily, the ordinary, the necessary.

And don't neglect your soul in the process.  Keep on faithfully cultivating and investing in your relationship with Christ.  When all is said and done, He is all you have, He is all you need.  

He calls you beloved.  He loves you so.

Now go dust yourself off, pick up your mantle of compassion, and simply do the next right thing well.

And smile with a joyful hope as you continue to aim toward living this passage out - 'Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things ... And the God of peace will be with you' - Philippians 4:8-9.

And for heaven's sake, stop whining about hitting 65, will ya' ... and go read what you wrote a few years back - In Which 60 is the New 30.

Look up, look forward, girl ~


P.S.  3 hours after hitting the publish button, I re-titled this post.  I was uncomfortable as I realized I had been a bit harsh with myself.  Our beloved Savior is the 'Father of compassion and the God of all comfort' {2 Corinthians 1:3}.  We should be showing ourselves the same loving kindness as He has shown us even as we re-examine our lives in the light of His Word and the prompting of His Spirit.

Farewell, 'A Rather Blunt Letter to My 65 Year Old Self.'

Thank You, Jesus, for your tender mercies toward Your children ...

<<  On the Porch * Fall Decorating ~ Are You Kidding Me?


doing life with Lisa

Saturday, August 22, 2020

On the Porch * Fall Decorating ~ Are You Kidding Me?

We were hanging out on the porch for awhile last night, listening to whatever was buzzing and chirping in the woods just a few feet away, the steady whir of weekend traffic in the distance as the sun made its lazy departure in the west while the summer folk poured onto the Lower Cape.

All was calm, our feet up, our eyes half closed as we reviewed the week coming to a close and started mapping out the week ahead.

I mentioned to my husband that there were FALL decorating posts coming out and I couldn't believe it!  Because summer has been so wonky and strange, it seems like the season of shorts and flip flops and ice cream runs has just begun instead of beginning to head out the door.

Tell me I'm not the only one.

Truth be told, I have absolutely no interest in fall's arrival with all the churn about school logistics that most certainly affects our families in a myriad of serious ways.  Not a week goes by without some sort of mandate or guideline change, assuring us again that much remains unknown and uncertain. 

And wasn't summer was such a long time coming after an endless brutal winter and a non-existent spring?  I'm still pulling together the vintage brick edging around the random gardens.  Making iced tea by the gallon.  The air conditioner churns away more days than not.  And I haven't pulled on a pair of jeans in months.

But as I glanced at the posts in question, there was something about the warmth and homey-ness of inviting images and vignettes that caught my eye and captured my nesting heart.  

Just a little bit.

Best Ideas for Fall Decorating

The Ponds Farmhouse

Transitioning to Fall Decor

Midcounty Journal

Three Questions to Ask Every August

Myquillyn 'The Nester' Smith

Are you dreaming of autumn's glories?  Or are you content right where you find yourself?  

Meanwhile, bless your weekend, bless your family, bless your home sweet home ~


P.S.  More On the Porch posts!


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sharing with Lisa