Places I love

Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Joy

I’m a Colorado girl through and through and today’s snow rocked! I love snow and as this blog is about three things, one of which is my romance with God’s creation, I wanted to share with you some of what I experienced today. I pray some of what God shared with me will be something that brings joy to you as well. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Driving home today, I saw this beautiful girl grazing away. 
I pulled to the side of the road and watched her for awhile. 

I love this kind of snow. It's the kind that makes the arms of the trees reach downward. 

I love how accomplished I feel when I can look backward and see a clean row of no snow. 
Shoveling is so satisfying. Plus, it makes you buff. Really. I'm sore and everything.

So, as I was shoveling and talking to God and thanking Him that I wasn't even cold, I felt the need to turn around. I looked behind me, taking my time looking at the snow covered neighborhood, and then I saw him. I was being spied on by this big boy.

Isn't he HANDSOME?!  I kept telling him so. 
He stayed awhile, eating the bush one bite at a time, and keeping watch over me. 

Here I am drinking some hot chocolate (mostly eating the whipped cream off the top) and staying warm. My sweet mister is sick right now, but he still braved the cold to give me this sweet nectar. Love him.

Finally, what heavy snowfall Colorado day would be complete without a proper snow angel? 
Yes, I'm in my late 30's and I'm making a snow angel. You should try it. 
It will bring that childlike spirit right back! I don't remember the last time I did that, but it was glorious!

Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for the way the small flakes this morning were followed by big heavy flakes that left soft white blankets behind. 
Thank you for bringing that huge buck into my yard. 
Thank you for a husband who cares so tenderly for me. 
Thank you for keeping me company and keeping me warm while I shoveled. 
And, thank you for enough snow to fall into and wave my arms and legs at Heaven. I love you.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

My 500 Words A Day Challenge: Day 13

My 500 Words A Day Challenge, Day 13 Prompt:
Prompt given by writer, Jeff Goins. 
(Save this assignment for the evening — or write about yesterday.
This is, basically, a journal entry but with a twist: make your day sound interesting.)

I turned to look at my husband and my lips pouted and my eyes drooped. It was coming to the end of another day in which I had not written anything and I was feeling like a failure.
“What’s the matter my love?” We stood around the island in my parent’s kitchen and his sweet smile stopped me.
“I’m supposed to be doing a 500 words a day challenge to build a good writing habit and I’m not doing so well. I need to do this tonight!  I have to!  What am I going to write about?”
“Costco?” My husband grinned. I didn’t.

“Costco? I don’t know. That doesn’t sound so fun at the moment.”

He walked out of the kitchen and began hooking the dog to her leash. I followed him looking for inspiration and then it came to me.

“I know! You take the dog out and you think of a word! When you come back in, you tell me that one word without saying anything else. And I will take it from there! This will be fun.”

“Ok, my dear.” The love of my life put his fleece hat on, shrugged into his burly tan coat and out the door he went. I took a deep breath and sat down in a chair by the door, waiting, wondering what he was going to come up with. He’d help me for sure.

So, what was the one word? I know you are as anxious to hear what he came up with as I am. The flashlight he was carrying shone through the window signaling his return and I scooted to the edge of the cozy red chair. Sydney, our golden retriever rushed in with the burst of cold winter air with my husband quick on her heels. I waited. He removed his hat, hung his coat in the closet and walked my way.   

He bent over, placing his hands on my shoulders with a reassuring squeeze.  “Love.”

I leaned back in the chair and looked at him in disbelief. “Are you serious? That is such a broad topic! Awwww man!” He continued to stand there, not saying another word per the rules.

“Ok, I’ll do it.” I shrugged my shoulders and stood up trying to bring courage with me.

“You can do it my love.” Again, he gave me that sweet smile that holds pure confidence in my calling to write. There was no doubt in his gaze to meet the insecurity in my own. With eyes twinkling, he walked away.  

I took a deep breath and returned to the kitchen where I made dinner and thought about my word, love. I stirred the potatoes and sprinkled them with precision with garlic powder and parsley. I stared into the steam that consistently was rising out of the pot of carrots. I even browned the sausages, turning them ever so gently as they sizzled, and through it all, I thought about love.

“Dinner’s ready!” I yelled and seconds later Sydney the dog was snuggling my thigh in case I dropped something. Her brown eyes were expecting that I would surely sneak her something. My Mom came in and filled water glasses. My Dad came in, sat in his chair and thanked me for making dinner. My husband was last to come in, hugging me from behind and kissing my cheek as I plated the food.

As we sat down and I heard my husband begin to pray, I couldn’t help but peek and take a look at him. My heart warmed at his belief in me and his willingness to play along as I figure out ways to reach my writing goals.  I glanced at my parents and felt the warmth of their home. And then, I saw my laptop. It was plugged in and waiting to be used as a tool to tap failure into victory.

My prompt was to write about my day and then my husband further prompted me with love, but not just the word.

I looked at my family, write about love? Yep, I can do that.

And here I am, at the end of today’s challenge, with everyone sleeping soundly in their beds and me about to close the lid on this laptop. 763 words?  So what if it’s midnight? I made it and that’s victory.

Until tomorrow…goodnight.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Eating Memories

Have you ever eaten a memory?

I just did.

I lifted the gluten free ginger cookie to my lips and never expected to find myself childlike and young in my Grandma’s kitchen again. With one taste, I could see it all. My grandma standing there in her kitchen and on the counter top to the left, jars lined up where cookies waited for me and my brother and cousins. Sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies and ginger cookies, oh my!

Her floured apron, her wrinkled fingers reaching for our cheeks to give us big smooches, and her cookies, let us know we were home and that we were welcome. Grandma would laugh as we ran to the jars and stood on our tip toes reaching our arms down and into the jars to grab pure deliciousness.

“One at a time.” Her eyes would twinkle with that knowing smile that said she was fully aware we had already planned on going one by one through the jars as many times as our tummies would let us. No one made cookies like Grandma.

I continued to chew my first bite, slowly, closing my eyes and enjoying the long lost taste of my Grandma’s cookies. I never expected all that from a gluten free ginger cookie from a local bakery. I secretly was glad we bought a bag of cookies and not just one. I knew that the second cookie would allow Grandma to stay with me a little longer.

I miss my Grandma.  Eating this cookie right now makes me feel close to her. I would stand on a chair next to her counter and roll the dough into little balls between my palms, mimicking her movements. Then we’d drop them in the little dish and roll them in sugar making them sparkle. The cracks on the cookie made me remember how we would push the cookie dough balls down, just right, with the bottom of a glass. She’d put them in her oven and then we would sit at her kitchen table waiting, a cold glass of milk on standby.

All of those years of memories came from one cookie. I'm so thankful.

What memory have you eaten lately? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

As I write this, I am battling a case of bronchitis and because of that, the last few days and nights I have had breathing on my mind. In my inability to sleep or take a deep breath without coughing, I found myself remembering something that I had studied once. I remembered the word pneuma. It is a Greek word that biblically refers to the Holy Spirit or breath or wind.

Some of you can relate to the fact that although wonderful things happened in 2013, there were also moments of sadness and heartbreak as well. Regardless, my prayer is that the areas of our hearts that feel deadened by the pains of life would feel the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit breathe upon us.  We all have areas within us that can rejoice, but we also have areas that mourn and are saddened by the unfairness and uncertainties of life. 

Dear friends and family, we pray hope over you and for you. May you experience the life that He breathes into the darkest of places when you put your faith in His love. 

Jesus knew this world would offer us joy and heartbreak. Before he died and was resurrected he told those who loved him, “the Helper, the Holy Spirit (pneuma), whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Luke 14:26-27.

I know I often find myself wondering why God does or allows the things that happen. As we can see in the verse above, Jesus was not unaware of how the world works or what our hearts response would be to what it offers us. He knew we would wonder why, that we would not automatically find ourselves at peace, and that we would have troubled hearts and would be afraid. But He has sent a helper, the Holy Spirit, pneuma…

And that is a reason for hope.

From my home to yours,

Be blessed and breathe deep the love of God in 2014.