Thursday, June 28, 2012

thoughtful thursday: forever is composed of nows

Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –

Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies –

by Emily Dickinson

Monday, June 25, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* breakfast at ted's with a good friend in uniform. so good to spend time catching up.

* i gave myself a bed time this week, and it's making a difference. i'm so much less tired and cranky. i think i'm going to keep it up.

* lots of quiet time this week. it's good for my soul, i need it.

* i've had time this week to reflect on god's unfathomable tender mercies. a cousin, who is my age, passed away this past week, and it's been painful to know that i know all too well much of what her family is experiencing. at the same time, i know too how much divine help and support they are receiving from angels both seen and unseen. the pain is unimaginable, but i have great comfort in knowing they are being watched over, loved and supported in ways they can't even imagine. i know, because my family was.

* we had stake conference this weekend, and it was lovely and powerful. the sermons and messages were well thought out and inspiring. i'm so glad i attended all the sessions. (p.s. stake conference is where 8-9 LDS congregations gather together to hear our next level up of leadership. they happen every 6 months.)

* summer has officially arrived. it's hot. it's humid. it's sweltering. thank heavens for fans and air conditioning. and cotton bed sheets.

* i love my ward family at church. we had an outdoor singles potluck yesterday and spent the afternoon lounging about in the heat, eating really good food, and talking. a sister shared her miraculous conversion story, which helped to remind me of similar times in my own life. she inspires me.

* cold watermelon. cold cherries. fresh apricots. fresh asparagus. lemonade. chilean lime potato chips. peach and mango salsa. fresh green salads. clean, folded laundry. an interesting book. good music. flip-flops. skirts. picnics. friends.

* unintentionally documented proof that there are kind people in our world, choosing to be heroically kind and generous. p.s. i watched this about three times just to catch everything.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

thoughtful thursday: singular

"A woman with the courage to step out into the unknown, risking temporary loneliness for a shot at lasting joy, is more than a "single". She's singular. Instead of defining herself by what she lacks--a relationship with a man--she defines herself with what she has: a relationship with God.

...a singular woman bases her actions on how they will enable her to be the person she believes God wants her to be. If she longs to be married, she trusts that God has a plan for her and that a husband is part of that plan. Moreover, she trusts that God will provide all that He has planned for her if she follows His will for her life, making the best use of the gifts she has been given. She'll still enjoy parties and meeting people--but as ends in and of themselves, not just as a means of finding a man.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between a single woman and a singular woman is one of gratitude... The singular woman not only expresses more gratitude..., but she also expresses it for different things. She's not just grateful for things she receives but for the opportunities to give. She knows in her heart the spirit of G. K. Chesterton's words: "The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder."

To be singular is to embark on a wide excursion of discovery. No more is your identity limited to qualities that can be defined by the checkoff boxes in an online personal ad. It's no longer what you do--but who you are. Prayerfully, you strive to develop inner qualities--like empathy, patience, humility and faith in spite of hardship.

...I can tell you from experience that the more you develop a singular identity, the more confident you will become around men and in every area of your life, because you will be comfortable in your own skin."

From: The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On, by Dawn Eden.

Monday, June 18, 2012

stuff that made me smile this week

* i love my house. i love climbing into bed at night with the windows open, the fan on, and cool air blowing around me. it just makes me so happy and sleepy.

* i've been trying out a new decision this week on a few select people. i'm still not one hundred percent on it, but so far it feels good and i'm excited. more to come once i know a bit more.

* dinner with my lovely friend TJ. i was her bridesmaid last fall, and she's expecting her little boy early this fall. it's so fun to see her life moving forward and things going so well for her. happiness abounds!

* phone conversations with brother R2's kids. these two make me laugh and are growing up so fast. plus girl talk with their mom always makes me laugh and smile. love you guys!

* mom wants to come back for a visit. yay!

* riverdance with good friends at wolf trap national park. a night on the lawn with great food, good company and amazing dance performances.

* watching a little girl in a pink flowered dress with a pink flower in her hair dancing along with riverdance. such joy and abandon in one so young.

* i wish that i could be next door neighbors to all my siblings and their kids. sigh....

* plane tickets for some trips back home this summer. good times!

* laughing at myself over a terrifically proper horror-flick-scream after i spotted a couple of rather large mice in my living room last night. i'm surprised the cops didn't come knocking at my door. blegh!

* i've been seeking some answers to some really big stuff in my life for a while now. it's starting to feel like i'm getting the right answers and understanding is slowly building. it's been worth the wait because of how much i've learned and where my heart is now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

thoughtful thursday: several kinds of love

There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the great respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak, but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had. ~Steinbeck: A Life in Letters, edited by Elaine Steinbeck and Robert Wallsten

Monday, June 11, 2012

stuff that made me smile this week

* friend LLM spent the evening on Thursday finishing up the raised garden bed i put in the backyard. it was fun spending time her and working in the garden. fingers crossed for some yummy vegetables later this season.

* time spent with the LLs. i love these women and always feel so uplifted, supported and loved afterwards.

* reading a really great brain-candy book.

* sitting in my front garden to do some weeding. i do it a section at a time and it helps make it not so big a task. i love my front garden!

* meet me in st. louis. i love this musical and every time it's on tv, i just have to stop and watch it.

* spending time with an insightful friend.

* clean laundry. cool showers. air conditioning. fresh veggies. taking walks. having a job. catching up with co-workers. playing the piano. escaping into a book.

Friday, June 8, 2012

what i'm watching: foyle's war

I'm absolutely captivated by the series, Foyle's War, starring Michael Kitchen as straight shooter Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. Set on the south coast of England during the 1940s against the background of World War II. Crime doesn't stop for the war and neither does Inspector Foyle.

via here
Foyle is accompanied in his investigative pursuits by his spunky driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart played by Honeysuckle Weeks. (Seriously, with a name like Honeysuckle how can you go wrong?) Sam longs to help with the cases and be a bit more than a driver, and proves herself an indispensable part of the team. I love her character.

via here
Sergeant Paul Milner, played by Anthony Howel, is Foyle's right hand man. An amputee casualty of the war, Sergeant Milner is given a second chance at police work by Inspector Foyle, who asks for an extra set of eyes during a case. He's just as cunning and moral as his boss.

via here
These three make quite a formidable team. As the war progresses the stakes get higher and the cases more intriguing. The series is well written and acted, and the stories are captivating. I find myself surprised at how well the old adage "the more things change the more they stay the same" is presented in this series. The people and technology may change, but the issues are the same whether it's 1940 or 2012. Really good stuff!

The series originally aired on PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery programming. The good news is that all six seasons are on Netflix!

Monday, June 4, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* apparently josiah, the dog, missed me. he hasn't left my side since i walked in the door.

* a phone call with a friend, whom i miss a lot. it was good to catch up for a few minutes.

* sleeping in my own bed and not having to turn on the AC.

* watching the kids play in the hillside yard outside our temporary church building. it's so fun to watch them run around and stretch their legs after being reverent for so long. it's a nice change from our permanent location which is under construction (or soon will be).

* sitting in the front garden in the evening to pull a few weeds. seriously, this makes me smile.

* seeing someone again, and having all the hurt and anger be gone. this took me a bit by surprise, but then i was thankful that prayers had been answered. god is indeed good and things do happen in his own time.

* i found this lovely new drink that's just perfect for summer. fresh ginger ale by bruce cost flavored with pomegranate and hibiscus.  i think i'm already addicted...

* pedicures and dinner with a friend. :)

* much needed long naps.