Category Archives: The Joy of Ordinary Days

I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles…

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_9215 (2) IMG_9216 (2)

Lawrence Welk had nothing on us!

From my childhood, my son’s childhood, and now my grandchildren – we have all loved blowing bubbles with soap and magic wand.  The few seconds a bubble lasts and its journey on the wind give an unreasonable amount of joy.

Taking time to share such simple things with a child and passing along that pleasure are well worth the effort.  My grandson used to say, “Let’s make magic, Gran!”  I always knew what he was talking about.

IMG_9198 (2)  IMG_9202 (2)

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

DSCN8012  IMG_9071 Dandelions!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I’ve been told.  To anyone who takes serious care of their lawn dandelions are not considered beautiful by any stretch of the imagination.  I have always seen them differently.

When I was a child, I often carried fist fulls of dandelions to my mother as a bouquet because no one minded if I picked them.  When the flower had turned to seed, we played a game of making a wish with the magic of a dandelion.  If a person could blow all the seeds away in one big breath, their wish would be granted.

This week-end I had the peculiar notion to watch a seeded dandelion head in the wind.  It was amazing.  The whole head is covered in individual seeds with downy fluff to carry them on the wind when it is finally time to let go and leave the mother flower.

IMG_9072  It is actually a very slow process.

IMG_9073 The seeds don’t let go until they are ready.

IMG_9044  They don’t know where the wind will carry them,

but they let go anyhow.  If only we had such simple faith in God’s plan to carry us, our lives would be filled with a great deal more adventure and joy!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

When Ordinary becomes Extraordinary

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_8538 IMG_8539 IMG_8540

I love to drive the back roads of southeastern Kentucky where I live.  Every season is different. Driving along in a hurry, it is very easy to see only an ordinary piece of pavement leading from Point A to Point B.  But with a different purpose in mind than just arriving somewhere at a particular time, the ordinary road becomes and extraordinary pathway of beauty.  Wildflowers are blooming in profusion, pushing their glorious blossoms through dead leaves, sticks, and twigs that covered them through the winter.  Every inch of soil beside of the road was bursting with new life stretching up in search of sunshine.

IMG_8523  IMG_8621  IMG_8622   IMG_8623  IMG_8651  IMG_8471

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Sewing Seeds for the Future April 1, 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

nashville cooters 292 (2)  2008_0223WB2Wedding0005  2007_0919-2008reunionfamily0052

Photos from Pine Mountain Settlement School – Pine Mountain, Kentucky USA

It is very easy to look at spring’s beautiful blossoms popping up and take for granted that they were there last year, are coming up again this year, and will be there next year.  Some are from seeds, some from bulbs, all carefully planned and arranged.  While we appreciate the loveliness, we may not think any deeper about how they got there.

At some point in time every flower garden, every manicured lawn, every contained patch of blossoms was planned and planted by someone.  While nature’s profusion of springtime beauties grows wild and amazing, reseeding the land and returning every year without human hands, flower gardens are not so.

IMG_6284  IMG_6285   IMG_6261  Photos from Kylemore Abbey’s Walled Gardens – Ireland

Someone had to have a preference for certain flowers to take time to plant them in a flower garden.  They may have liked the color, the length of staying power of each flower, or the season in which the flower blooms.  It takes thought, working in the dirt, tending the plants, and pulling weeds to make a flower garden a picture of beauty.  Often, the person who took such great care with their plants passes away and someone else picks up where they left off, perhaps adding other specimens from time to time. 

2008_0423WB2Wedding0269 2008_0423WB2Wedding0270 

Photos from Biltmore House and Gardens – North Carolina, USA

As we go through life, we are planting seeds of good or evil along our way.  Some we can tend and get to see the blossoms for ourselves.  Others will bloom when we aren’t looking.  And still others will be tended by hands we know nothing about.

The spring delights I have seen in the last few days reminded me of the parable Jesus spoke of about the sower of seeds.

Matthew 13 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Let us sow our seeds of faith, love, and goodness as we have opportunity to do so, knowing that not all will survive, but in confidence that there will be seeds the spring up gloriously, grow, and bear fruit long after we know about it.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Revisiting Places We Love – March 31, 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_5970  Special places are worth revisiting.

Pine Mountain Settlement School celebrated its Centennial birthday a couple of years ago.  I’ve been going there for almost thirty years with students, and taking visiting family to see a bit of paradise.  There is so much amazing history at the school that a person could spend years reviewing information in the archives.  Environmental education programs are top notch.  The landscape is beautiful and the buildings amazing.

I love this place in every season.  Spring and fall are my favorites.  The March blooms (Easter flowers, or daffodils as some call them) are already lined up in proud profusion, nodding their yellow heads in the spring breeze. Larkspur is beginning to bloom and tulip leaves are pushing their way up through the soil.  In another week or two, there will be so many domestic and wildflowers on campus that a new delight awaits in every direction.

I never get tired of walking across the fields, up the gravel roads, or looking out across campus from the chapel door.  William Creech’s vision for his community and his desire to education his children and build a strong and wholesome learning opportunity on his side of the mountain set all of this in motion over one hundred years ago.

It is a place I will never tire of revisiting.

IMG_5967 (2)  IMG_5978

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

New Friends Add Joy to Life – March 23, 2015

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

IMG_0089   To be blessed with friends is a blessing indeed!

People come and people go through the doors of our lives.  When we first meet a new person, we really have no idea how long they will choose to stay in our lives or how long we will let them.  The ones who become friends have a connection within us and beyond us.  The deposits they make in our life and we in theirs is far more significant than a mere acquaintance.

When I traveled to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales last fall with Sloan Travel Co., I came home with the borders of my heart enlarged because of all the wondrous things I had experienced, but also because of the people with whom I had shared the journey.

Our tour guide, Coty Sloan, came to visit my home town this week-end and meet a few people who had expressed an interest in travel to Ireland.  Although Coty is a world traveler, his upcoming May tour and another tour this fall are to Ireland.

It was a joy to share my hometown and the mountains I love so dearly with the person who has shown me a chunk of the world I had only dreamed about prior to the trip.  Most importantly, it is a joy to know that God has ordered our steps not only for the sake of travel, but definitely for the sake of friendship.  I hope to experience the wonder of travel with one of Coty’s tours again in the future, but I will always cherish the blessing of his friendship.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

“ONE SHADE OF WHITE” – Feb 12

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about this book and am horrified at the open door in our society to normalize pornography and sexual cruelty in relationships of married and unmarried people. The gift that God gave is being grossly perverted by the enemy of all that is good and decent. You don’t have to touch fire to know that it has destructive power if you’ve ever watched a fire consume an object. Surely it is not necessary to dive into sexually exploitive behavior to know that it is harmful. I haven’t seen or read this and am not even enticed to want to hear more than I’ve already heard on TV, radio, and internet.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Children Say the Sweetest Things – December 24, 2014

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Lizelle_s wedding 587

Children process information with such a sweet innocence, it’s hard to guess what they are going to do or say next.  I have an eighteen month old granddaughter and a three year old grandson.  They are both in awe of the Christmas season, Santa, and Elf on the Shelf (which they have named Jinx).  They are in awe of the Christmas season and all that it entails.  The Grinch, Polar Express, Rudolph, and all the rest are flooding into their little brains.  I can’t help be concerned about the true meaning of Christmas getting crowded out.

A few days ago I was tucking my grandson in and he got my face in both hands and said, “Gran, are you an angel?”  What a notion!  “No, I’m not an angel, but God is my really good friend, and I am His friend.:  This seemed to satisfy him very well.  He is quite “friend” conscious right now.

I told him we could talk to God any time we wanted and God would always hear our prayers.  It was quite an amazing thing to him.  He wanted to pray… three times.  He told God about all of the Christmas festivities at school, his friends, and so on.  After the third time he said, “Gran, I don’t think He’s listening.  I’m talking to Him, but he isn’t talking to me.  I can’t hear Him.”

I assured Him that most of the time God listens and lets us say what is in our heart to Him, but when He has something special to tell us, we will hear Him when He speaks to us.

Isn’t that like an adult?  We talk and talk and talk to God, but the instant we are finished, if we don’t get an immediate response, we think He isn’t listening.

The next night we had a party to attend at his mother’s family.  There were lots of people I didn’t know and most I had only met briefly over the years.  My grandson walked up in the middle of the chatter and said, “GRAN!”  Everyone got silent because he looked like he had something very important to say.  “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!” he said with all sincerity.  I scooped him up in hugs and kisses.  Never mind who else was there.

He was seeing me with his heart and THAT was the best Christmas present I could have ever hoped for from him.

In that same way, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to dwell among men, to speak the truth of God, and to see men’s hearts with love.  HE is the best gift the world will ever know, and we can only see Him, truly see Him, with our hearts.

2008_1108WB2Wedding0229 Glory to God in the highest, Peace on Earth, good will to men!

Merry Christmas to all!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Ugly Christmas Sweaters – December 16, 2014

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I didn’t take photos tonight at our church ladies’ annual Christmas party and ugly sweater contest.  Talk about craziness!  The prize for first place was $50.00.  These ladies weren’t after the money as much as an opportunity to express their creative craziness.  It was all in fun.  A lot of time and energy had been spent on “outdoing” each other.  The laughter was worth it, I’m sure.

I would love to see Ugly sweater photos if anyone wants to share.  🙂

When I pulled up the topic on Google, there were over 19 million sites!  What used to painful to have to wear because someone gave it to us as a gift is now a raging fad.  The uglier, the better.

Let’s see some photos!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Deck the Halls – December 15, 2014

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

DSCN7670 DSCN7671 DSCN7672 DSCN7673

I did not put a tree up this year for a number of reasons, but I truly love Christmas decorations.  Everyone has such great individual styles.  It is a holiday where creative expression is always cheerful and reflects the decorator’s personality.

DSCN7713 DSCN7714 DSCN7715 DSCN7582

From the traditional, antique, sports teams, and even modernistic, I love seeing how people deck their halls. Fa la la la la… la la la la!

little camera 073 little camera 079 little camera 081 little camera 087

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest