Friday, June 30, 2017

In Which I Share 5 Mid-Year Realizations

It's hard to believe that 2017 is half over.  Please tell me I'm not the only one to be a bit in awe of that reality.  A few random musings ...




hold all plans in wide open hands

Our family vacation didn't pan out.  But when all was said and done, my daughters and I agreed that we each ended up where we needed to be with those who needed us most.  One said that staying home with her children turned out to be the best vacation she'd had in years.  Last week's The Rare Gift of Being Fully Present was birthed from it all.




journaling & blogging are two different animals

One is an ongoing, personal conversation with God.  The other is an ongoing, personal conversation with people.  The second should never take the place of the first.  Yet sometimes they mingle.  In Praise of the Good Good Father was a recent journal entry that morphed into something that ended up in your hands.  As well as His.




when in doubt, a fine question to ask is, 'what would you like me to do for you?'

Putting this query on the table frees us up from thinking we have to have all the answers.  It invites others to speak what's most true about where they are.  And forces us to consider something more than our own opinions or agendas.




sometimes small is best

A quick hug.  A kiddie cup packed with salted caramel ice cream.  A prayer that's to the point.  A couple affirming words.  A petite gift bag that's overflowing.  A blossom or two in a pretty glass vase.  A kiddie cone with chocolate ice cream laden with tiny peanut butter cups.




& for you bloggers ... it's not that bad of an idea to scroll through all those half-written posts, salvage what you can, & cheerfully delete the rest  

I was surprised when I spied a bunch of potential half done offerings I had completely forgotten about.  A couple of them weren't all that bad and will make an appearance sooner or later.  And all the others?  Well let's just say I don't know what I was thinking when I was tapping away on this scratched and dented keyboard.



*

visiting 
this week

42 comments:

  1. Wise and wonderful, friend. Your scratching today reveal a blessed first half of 2017. And, no, I can't believe it's half over either. I'm already mourning June ;) Have a blessed weekend, Linda!

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    1. Mourning June. Yeah, I hear you ... come to think of it, I never really saw it!

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  2. Linda, just the other day I reflected upon this very same thing - how in the world can we be half-way through 2017??? It just doesn't seem possible, yet here we are.
    It is a great time to reflect on where we've been and where we are right now, and I really enjoyed your insights here, especially the suggestion we keep our hands open. Makes me realize that we can only receive the good things God has in store for us if we're ready and willing.
    Keep on enjoying your summer!

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    1. Nothing more painful than God prying open our firmly grasped fingers, our stubborn plans and self-absorbed pleasures.

      I've learned the hard way!

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  3. Love this, Linda...especially that small can be best. I've found that to be true as well.

    My biggest mid-year realization is how much worse I've gotten since the turn of the year.It's not the realization I was hoping for, but it will have to do.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/06/your-dying-spouse-330-this-is-how-you.html

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    1. I absolutely hear what you're saying, Andrew. Standing in the valley of the shadow is one of the most difficult realities we'll ever have to face.

      I've never been in your shoes, but I will be at some point unless Christ returns first. {Come quickly, Lord Jesus.} I can only hope and pray that He gives me huge meansures of grace and courage, just like we've witnessed as you've shared your story.

      Blessings on you as you continue to put one foot in front of the other, friend ...

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  4. Love this reflection, my friend! I concur with your thoughts here. We also do not have a true vacation planned. We have had more visits and trips to see kids and grandkids for big occasions and just decided that we could wait. After all, retirement means we can go any time, right?? Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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    1. It's like we need a vacation from the vacations, right?

      ;-}

      Happy 4th, friend ...

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  5. Linda, I so enjoyed reading your musings here! I, too, cannot believe 2017 is halfway over. I'm shaking my head at that one. :)

    Sometimes vacations do take unexpected turns in the planning. We've had that happen too. This summer, because of schedules, we aren't even going anywhere as a family. We'll vacation in the fall when the craziness in the schedule slows down. I'm so glad you and your daughters had the opportunity to be used in others' lives. Pouring ourselves out for others is a worthwhile thing.

    I'm sorry it took me a few days to get over here. Crazy schedules. :)

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    1. I love vacationing in the fall, Jeanne! Fabulous weather, no crowds, cheaper, too. Whenever and wherever you head, I hope you have a blast.

      How fun to connect with you this week ...

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  6. I was just thinking about how it's necessary to get back to journaling again regularly. I haven't made it a priority yet it's spot hasn't changed! I love the picture of the hammock. I hope you are spending time in His presence while resting in those ropes!

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    1. Well, that's an excellent idea! All I need is a pillow, something cold to drink, and I'm ready to go ...

      ;-}

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  7. wow, half way through the year already? I better take the time to look at those goals. Thanks for the reminder. Love how you wrote to hold plans with wide open palms. I usually say - hold all things lightly. I think I like the image of open palms very better. Thanks

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    1. I've found there's no point keeping people / situations / things in a death grip. They're not ours to clutch on to are they ...

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  8. The fact that two of your small best's had to do with ice cream?
    Yup.
    I knew we were kindred spirits.

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    1. mmm ... maybe we should meet half way and indulge?

      Forget the kiddie cups.

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  9. I was marveling at being through another month, but it hadn't hit me yet that we were halfway through the year. Wow! It goes so fast! Good distinction between journaling and blogging. I agree that small is best so often. That is a good question to ask people when we're just not sure what would be the best way to help. I occasionally look through my old drafts - found one from 2011 that seemed like it was ready with just a bit of tweaking, and then deleted several others. :-)

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    1. 2011! Wow! It can be an informative experience when we look back 6 years ago at who we were and what our writing looked like.

      I'm hoping something inside me has deepened or grown over time. I guess looking that far back will tell me if that hope is real or just 'pie in the sky.'

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  10. Time flies, right? It's amazing how it is so. These are great lessons. It's only been half the year and so many things happened to me too.That's another mystery right there.

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    1. The mystery can become an invitation.

      Looking forward to hearing how you're doing as you move ahead, friend ...

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  11. Our computer is dented too As of yesterday, the nine and one keys refuse to work. Ah. It's true I've got a backlog of halfthoughts which also somehow didn't flow to the finish. I've not thought about looking back through them. My quest this summer is to delete a whole bunch of photographs ... and I'll now declutter some unfinished posts too. As for the rest - I always seem to get exactly what I NEED, which is so often different from what I've PLANNED.

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    1. Halfthoughts.

      Perfectly spoken.

      Just like so many of your beautifully crafted words ...

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  12. I enjoyed reading this, Linda. I need to go through old blog posts as well as my MS Word docs too. It's on my summer to-do list. ;)

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    1. A summer to-do list. Now THAT'S a brainstorm worth exploring. Would love to hear how that works out for you, Betsy!

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  13. You can add me to the camp of "I can't believe it's July already!" Unbelievable. Love this so much: "when in doubt, a fine question to ask is, 'what would you like me to do for you?'" May I remember to ask that, and ask with sincerity to act on the answer. Have a blessed week, Linda.

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    1. Sincerity. Yep, you hit the nail on the head, Lisa.

      'Not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.'

      ;-}

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  14. Your writing has a beautiful rhythm. Wise words, My Friend!
    Happy 4th of July!
    Blessings!

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    1. Happy 4th!

      Off to a parade today with the gang?

      ;-}

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  15. I agree- where has this year gone? I enjoyed your reflections. "What would you like me to do for you?" is a great question to ask, and I share your appreciation for ice cream, though I'm not too fussed about the size! :) Happy 4th July!

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    1. Ice cream.

      Big or small!

      Yes, please ...

      :-}

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  16. Linda,
    I'm with you in finding it hard to realize that the year is half gone. I truly enjoyed your realizations/musings. Oh how we make our plans, but the Lord controls our days. I am queen of the started, but not finished or the half written. Yes - complete or delete!! Hope you had a wonderful 4th!
    Blessings sweet friend,
    Bev xx

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    1. I'm so glad that He's in control! Where would we be with out Jesus at the wheel?

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  17. So much goodness wrapped up in these few paragraphs, Linda. For starters, chocolate ice cream with tiny peanut butter cups? Pass me a cone! Like you, I have a large file of blog post fodder that I need to seriously cull. Some of them should become posts at some point; many others need to go straight to the trash bin. I'm getting lots of practice at holding my plans loosely this summer, and it's actually sort of freeing. And I love your question--"What would you like me to do for you?" I need to remember and use that one. I'm a behind on my blog reading, but I knew there would be refreshment waiting here for me this morning! :-)

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    1. That you've found a bit of refreshment here makes my day, Lois. Thanks for that gift of encouragement you've sent my way ...

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  18. I like small and you have perfected it with much wisdom packed into few words.

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    1. Small works.

      Yes, it does.

      Usually ...

      ;-}

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  19. You are so wise! I am sorry your vacation didn't happen but glad God had other plans. :)
    And amen to the blog post beginnings! I can come up with some crazy ideas as I am drifting off to sleep!

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    1. Yep, I hear ya', Sarah. Some of my best writing is done in my head in my bed. Or when I'm out and about on a walk. Makes you wonder how much has siphoned away by the time we finally get to the laptop to let it all pour out ...

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  20. I know what you mean about being in awe of the speed in which 2017 is flying by --- how is it possible I am not doing accounting work in the THIRD quarter?

    Thanks for mentioning about the blog post drafts. I have quite a few ... there might be a gem in there!

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    1. I BET there's a gem in there! Let me know what you find, ok?

      ;-}

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  21. I can't believe June has come and gone too! Oh my.. yes, things don't always go as planned, but oftentimes it is the side roads we take off the beaten path that are the best. His way always is best, and our best intentions, are not His. I like walking His way, unexpected though it may be! Hugs :)

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    1. I'm with you, Marilyn. I like walking His unexpected way. He's been so very faithful along every step, hasn't He ...

      Praise Him!

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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