Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Bouquet of Rainbow Colored Life-Savers

'I gotta write this afternoon, I've just gotta write,' I announced to my husband early this morning, the oak stairs and my old bones creaking in perfect harmony as I headed down to start the day.

Not missing a beat as he hammered away at his own keyboard, he replied, 'I knew you would.'

*

Since we returned home from celebrating our 40th {in tandem with my college roommate and her husband doing the same!} a few days ago, that yearning, the all-too-familiar craving to write once again has been gnawing at me, a relentless beckoning that could not be denied.

But there were suitcases to unpack, an empty fridge to fill, baskets of laundry calling my name, and a couple of much-needed naps to indulge in.  I wanted to reconnect with our scattered family, there was church this morning, and a bunch of odds and ends that every un-packer needs to tend to.

And as I've walked through every comforting step of welcoming ourselves back home,  I've been writing and re-writing today's reflection in my head. 

I love these little end-of-the-month reviews ... call them whatever you like ... what we've learned or what we're into or what's saving our lives {here's the 3 things that saved my life last year}, these posts are all about noticing what's going on around us and capturing and claiming gratitude as we do so.

Because gratitude awaits patiently to be embraced.  Bountiful bouquets of sacred life-savers are everywhere we look, if we dare.  The grand, the daily, the planned, the surprises.  The ordinary, the milestones, the unobtrusive, the simple.

God's unexpected blessings are strewn right and left through each and every day, offering each of us that needed invitation, a life-giving wellspring, a refreshing oasis of sorts.  And any encounter with the Almighty is always a cause for celebration.

For He is absolutely worthy to be praised.

This month?

It's been joyous, this early celebration of a lifelong marriage we savored last week ... right down to spotting a seemingly very out-of-place rocking chair that welcomed us homebound at Miami airport's Gate D33 ... the only rocker I saw in the whole mammoth place.  At our gate.  In one of my favorite colors.  {See the matching phone?!}

Go figure.  Another grace indeed that let me relax and catch up with what YOU'VE been writing!

Living colors right and left ...

*

safely whisked away just a few hours
ahead of the descending snowstorm


at water's edge, we inhale the sun's warmth &
 listen to the soothing song of wind whistling through the palms 


a curious sign in alligator country


i'm mesmerized by Bahamian colors ...
the benches lining the sidewalks


the ancient doors guarded
by wonderful old locks


the quirky rafters overhead


meanwhile, huge ships & little patrol boats
sail majestic seas


and yes, along the way, we check on things back home ...
because 40 years later, it's not just about the 2 of us anymore 


the perfect remembrances ... glorious seaglass & shells
& abandoned toys scooped up along sandy beaches


Here's to 40 more ~


* * * Got kiddos in your life? * * *
  
Be sure to come back on Tuesday to enter the giveaway of
Sarah Young's brand new book, Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids!
{The link is now live right here!}

*


*

sharing what saved my life this month with
Emily  .  Leigh  .  Anne
Anita  .  Kelley

64 comments:

  1. Hey friend missed you loads...cant wait to be on break in a couple of weeks...
    I really need it.
    Limited time for responding to all my comments on the blog, visiting blogging friends, hanging writing projects everything else too. Hoping to catch up with you soonest.

    By the way, I just added an 'about me' nothing new on the blog. *smiling*. Thanks for checking up on me friend. I always appreciate your visit.

    Your picture is fabulous. You look good!

    Hugs and Sweet Blessings

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Enjoy your break, Ifeoma! Your new site looks cool ... and updating them is always hard, exhausting work!

      Thanks for your warm welcome back. It's good to catch up with you just a bit!

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. It looks like you had a lovely vacation full of color, grace notes and time with your sweetheart! God is good. I noticed the phone and chair matched right away! How cool is that?!

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    1. Hey Anita! Some things you just can't orchestrate, ya know?

      ;-}

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  3. I LOVE that word picture of the multi colored lifesaver roll! Headed to the Bahamas myself early tomorrow. You have whetted my appetite for the beautiful beach---and the warmth of the ocean!
    Blessings, My Friend---I SURE DID MISS YOU!

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    1. GET OUT!!! I missed you by just a few days? Wouldn't that have been fun to connect! I would have dragged you to the beach to do a little seaglass hunting with me ...

      Have a ball, Lulu!

      ;-}

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  4. Hi Linda! Of course, I was wondering how you scored that rocking chair at the airport! God is good!
    What a beautiful trip for a beautiful celebration. Congratulations on your 40th, and I think you definitely marked the occasion in style. Love the 'haul' from beach-combing. Sea glass is so pretty too, too bad you and Lulu missed the chance to walk together on the beach.
    The Bahamas are rocking this month!
    Welcome back my friend. You were DEFINITELY missed,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I do believe that afternoon at the seaglass beach was one of the highlights of our time away!

      No need to buy diamonds for this girl!

      ;-}

      So good to connect with you again, dear friend!

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  5. Many congratulations on your 40th Anniversary. May you have plenty more full of happiness and good health.

    I am intrigued about the raccoons warning. It says they scratch and bite. But it does not explain who you should not feed, touch or tease.

    God bless.

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    1. LOL!!!!

      You always bring your humor with you. Thanks for brightening our days, Victor!

      ;-}

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  6. Oh, how I love seeing your words and your pictures, Linda. I know about the "I need to write!" moments. :) We are going on a cruise to the Bahamas in a few weeks with some dear friends and I am so excited about it, even more so after seeing this here! Looks like you had a fabulous time. I'm glad!

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    1. Oh ... you and Lulu, both! What fun we all would have had hanging out in the warmth of God's creation!

      Be well, friend ...

      Delete
  7. First of all, Linda, congrats on 40! Wow! What were you guys, 5 when you got married? ;-) And amen to the rest of what you've shared with us--especially to the praising God in any and all circumstances. That's what my quiet time thought was for today, so I'm nodding my head right along with you, my friend! And I know God put that cute little rocker right there for you to sit in my friend! He's good like that! Hugs

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    1. Oh yeah, right. 5!

      ;-}

      Yep, gratitude's coming more naturally the more purposeful I am in looking for it, speaking it, focusing on it. The Holy Spirit sure is a faithful, patient teacher, isn't He!

      Rocker or no ...

      Delete
  8. Ah, Linda ... I've missed your thoughtful words and this was refreshment to my heart this morning. About God's unexpected blessings, encounters with the Almighty, claiming gratitude ... yes and yes again! Love that bench and rocker too. :-) Happy anniversary, my friend!

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    1. You've warmed my heart with your kind words, Lois. I'm grateful. Thanks so much ...

      ;-}

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  9. Your photo's resemble our tropical home, just a few miles north of that "mammoth" airport with the tropical colored rocking chair ;) It looks like you had a grand time. Your gratitude is contagious. We spent some time on the water this weekend too. It's raining again today but the weekend was beautiful and I am grateful.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It would have been fun to squeeze a lovely visit with you in there ...
      enjoy that warmth, friend! What a gift in mid-winter!

      Delete
  10. LOVE this post...and we share a love for colour!

    Here is a book you absolutely have to have...it's called "Caribbean Style", and it will happily carry your through the winter...and at a penny (plus $3.99 shipping) for a hardcover copy, you can't pass it up.

    http://smile.amazon.com/Caribbean-Style-Suzanne-Slesin/dp/0517556111/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454351993&sr=1-1&keywords=caribbean+style

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Cool! Thanks for the heads up on the book, Andrew!

      Delete
  11. Welcome back, Linda! Such beautiful photos and thoughts! Happy 40th to both of you! God bless you and your family!

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    1. Well, thanks so much, Trudy! I'm glad you're here today ...

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  12. First off, LOVE your photos, secondly, I have to say I love this:

    God's unexpected blessings are strewn right and left through each and every day, offering each of us that needed invitation, a life-giving wellspring, a refreshing oasis of sorts. And any encounter with the Almighty is always a cause for celebration.

    That is so true! I have been convicted recently in some areas that I am focusing on teaching my children, and realize I am not focusing on MYSELF. I feel like a guilty kid, scared to face their Father. But God is good, and even when He disciplines us, ANY ENCOUNTER is worthy of PRAISE!! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Hey Gingi ... Isn't it amazing how many lessons we learn for ourselves as we raise our kids? I wish I had been as wise as you when my girls were little.

      And isn't it so like the enemy of our souls to send us on disastrous never-ending guilt trips ... unlike the Holy Spirit who convicts us of specific sins and offers forgiveness.

      Thanks for sharing with this community today, friend. I'm grateful for your transparency!

      Delete
  13. Popping in via Leigh's link-up. What a lovely way to capture the highlights of the month & your tropical escape for a worthy milestone celebration. I love the photo of found beach treasures - so many metaphors in that shot.

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    1. Metaphors. Wow, Amy ... I never even went there. Thanks for making me think just a bit more! So glad you've popped in!

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. What a wonderful writing and what fabulous pics. I can just feel your desire to write and to communicate with your readers.

    I loved it so much.

    Keep writing girl. You bless my heart, help it focus correctly, and cause me joy.

    You are undoubtedly my favorite author.

    {via email}

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You've encouraged me much by your generous words today. Thank you for blessing me. Sometimes we just need to know that what we do is making some kind of impact. Your assurance is a blessing.

      Delete
  15. What a great peek into your 40th anniversary celebration! What fun!! These marriage milestones need to be shared more than ever before since many have lost the value of the joy of a well seasoned and marinated marriage. We drove west as we did when our children were younger spending a week in Yellowstone and visiting spots on both routes coming and going to celebrate our 50th a little late since five days before Christmas would not be ideal for such a trek. We also did a fun photo shoot that definitely did not look like we were celebrating 50 years. The pics added so much to the post and I loved the title! So enjoy and appreciate you, my friend!

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    1. 50!!!!

      Talk about a milestone, Pam. Will you share your photo shoot with us? Would love that!

      And thanks for the encouragement to let our marriages shine, as crazy or flawed as they may be.

      Delete
  16. Welcome home! Missed your words the past few days, but so glad you were able to have a getaway. I did notice how the rocker matched your phone! That is one of my favorite colors as well. What a serendipitous moment that it was waiting just for you. Love your seaside collections as well. Your photos are beautiful - Isn't it great to store up happy memories?

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    1. Serendipitous. Yes, Teresa. That's the perfect word ...

      Saving the memories to pull out on those rainy days.

      Thanks for being here, friend!

      Delete
  17. Amen for seafoam green rockers placed right where you need them the most! So glad you two were able to get away! Many happy wishes for 40+ more!

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    1. You're such an encourager, June. I appreciate you so ...

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  18. Linda,

    Wow, Congrats on your 40th...that's huge and thanks for sharing your photos...looked like fun and I'm glad you wrote about it :-) Praying many more year of joy and love for you and your hubby :-) XOXO

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    1. Thanks for the kind congrats, Dolly!

      ;-}

      Delete
  19. Oh yes Linda, I know that all-too familiar craving well! (And my husband has started recognizing when it's about to hit.) What beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them, and for the reminder to notice the amazing all around us every day. Happy to be your neighbor at #rara linkup!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kristine ... Maybe we look weird when our minds are writing away even though our bodies are doing something completely different!

      I'll have to ask my husband what the clues are ... and if you find out what your husband sees, please let me know!

      ;-}

      Love that you've dropped by this morning!

      Delete
  20. Congratulations on 40 years! An amazing milestone for you in this day and age where marriage is not sacred anymore! I loved your pictures of your vacation! Oh what a delight to see the beauty of these exotic places, and the beautiful little surprise of the aqua colored rocking chair! Isn't the Lord good, how He delights us in the most unusual, and special ways!! I understand too, the need to write... it is a blessing to have wonderful friends in blogland to share with too, isn't it :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm thankful that God has connected us in recent weeks and I look forward to getting to know you better in the days ahead!

      I don't think I've ever met anyone from Idaho before ... this is a treat!

      ;-}

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  21. Lovely pictures Linda, and lovely words. We celebrated our 40th in Papua New Guinea, learning to snorkel. This past year it was 51 and we celebrated it with our grandchildren, just as lovely.

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    1. Snorkeling! Yes! We were supposed to do that last week but it got rained out ...

      Maybe next time!

      So good to see you, Betty ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  22. Congratulations to 40 years, Linda! What a fun way to celebrate and create beautiful memories. Thank you for the reminder to stop and notice. Sweet blessings to you, friend. : )

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    1. Thanks for celebrating with us today, Crystal!

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  23. Linda,
    So glad you got some sun and sea and sand to enjoy! Love all the photos too of your time in Bahamas! What a great photo of you and your phone coordinating with the rocking chair, and when you have to write for your soul, then I think you know that you know you're using your God-given gifts to share with all of us!

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    1. You're so right, Valerie ... when we're doing what God's given us to do, we know it. And when we're not ... well, there's a void, for sure.

      I need a visit with you. I'm headed over right now!

      ;-}

      Delete
  24. That rocking chair!! What a hoot-- I was scratching my head initially looking at the picture and wondering why it was in the middle of an airport...not having ever flown before I thought maybe it was a new thing they were doing... haha. And I'm on the fence as to weather a raccoon tease is cute or not...! So glad you had a refreshing trip and Happy (late) Anniversay!

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    1. I know, Heather! I couldn't believe there was this single lone rocker! I thought I was seeing things ... and when I looked around for more, I couldn't find a single one!

      And the raccoon thing? Another one of those 'go figure moments,' right?

      ;-}

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  25. What lovely memories you share with us! The colors help bring joy in this drab middle of winter and the beautiful blue water and sunshine warms my soul. So glad you were able to celebrate 40 years. What a blessing. Welcome back and hugs coming your way!

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    1. You're so right, Mary. If ever we needed beautiful colors, it'd be right about now ...

      I think I want to buy some tulips next time I'm shopping ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  26. The next time you are in Miami -- even if it is just for a second -- you really must let me know.

    At least one of us got to go on a cruise this year! xo :)

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    1. Dear Lyli, I am so sorry about the loss of your grandma. May your grief be pillowed by the gentle love of Christ ...

      And yes to Miami, friend.

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  27. I am so glad you and your love got away to celebrate your many years together and the many more to come. Praise God! And I just had a thought... think I will email you to see about a coaching session. I've got this idea stirring and maybe you can help me work through it???

    Love you, friend. xoxo

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    1. I love ideas that swirl around just waiting to be clarified. Do drop me a line, Beth, and we'll see what we can do ...

      Delete
  28. hi Linda, wishing you and your husband a very happy anniversary! and that rocking chair in an airport!? just incredible! yes, HIS blessings abound! love all the beautiful pastel hues!

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    1. Jandi ... YOU continue to bring splashes of beautiful colors into our world through your photography. Visiting you is like a walk in the park!

      So glad you're here, friend ...

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  29. Love this post! Just found my way here tonight from Lyli's blog link up. My daughters and I went on a cruise over the holidays and I can relate to so much of what you wrote. There are so many gifts in each moment!

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    1. 1/4 of a year later? How very fun to hear you've enjoyed this post, Colleen! Just love that you took the time to comment!

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda