Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Say When

Hanging on by my fingernails, but still trying to squeeze in 20ish posts before the end of October as part of the 31 Days To Telling Your Story Writing Challenge. It's going to be tight, but I like to think I work well under pressure. Today I'm going with yesterday's prompt because I like to keep you guessing. Also, I missed yesterday.

Our one word prompt-when

As in when it's time for a day in the life kind of catch up on the blog. That needs to happen here periodically or my head will explode from all the things.

So what's been happening here lately?


boat riding
wedding planning
porch sitting
football fanning


crock pot cooking
Neflix streaming
concert going
whole house cleaning


quiet praying
sunset gazing


dinner out
dinner in
talk in real time
soak up face time


neighborhood gathering
pickle ball playing
wine tasting
fund raising


reading
writing
and no 'rithmetic

We've been at home 23 days in a row which honestly feels like some kind of small miracle. We popped into the nearby small big city once or twice and took a leisurely drive over to Asheville one afternoon to meet up with friends passing through, but those were all in keeping with the slower pace that is our Autumn.

When.

As in say when you've had enough trekking and packing and busy-ing and admit you need a month to stay put, slow down, think deep and notice small.

Say when.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Door

Continuing with the 31 Days To Telling Your Story Challenge with prompts by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Friday.

Today's prompt-door

Back in 2012 I was participating in a month long photo challenge and one of the word prompts was door. I remember writing that post (you can read it here) and how much I enjoyed looking back at some of the doors hubs and I have walked through in our married life. We'd had eight homes by then and have added two more doors to the mix since.

I guess we never stop opening doors.

I liked that post. Writing out our moves in timeline form helped me see with the clarity of hindsight how one seemingly random place we called home was not so random after all. How one stop in the road of life taught us things, grew us up, made us ready for the next.

Almost two years ago we walked through door number ten.


This house.


The one we could only imagine would stand where the trees grew thick and the red clay ran deep.



The one we built from the ground up.



We live here now.
It's home.


Two years ago we opened the door and once again invited change into our lives, perhaps more change than any move we'd made previously.

Location, lifestyle, people, circumstance.

Most of the pictures I take here are from the back side of my house because the view is lovely there. You see that's the thing about doors, both the literal and the proverbial...


You have to open them to know what's on the other side.


And wherever that door leads you...well as they say round here, you'll need to sit a spell. Put your feet up, pour some coffee, catch your breath.

Of all the many moves we've made, I've probably resisted this last one the most. I blame it on mid-life, the empty nest, this unsettled feeling I have most days of not knowing quite who I am in this new season of life.

So I write about it, and it helps. I read what I wrote in seasons past and rest in the knowledge God is still teaching me things.

Still growing me up.


Still making me ready to swing wide the doors in front of me and walk on through. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Inspire

We're in Day 9 of the 31 Days To Telling Your Story challenge. Or Day 4 if you're me, but I think I told you I was aiming for 20. Possibly overly optimistic on my part, but I'm going to try.

The thing is some of these word prompts are hard. When I blog I like to tell stories. There are other bloggers out there sharing deep bits of wisdom and I'm just over here talking about my grandson and what I ate for dinner and in general giving you too much information about the everyday ordinary.

Secretly I think many of us are longing to read about ordinary. It makes the world seem a little less harsh. Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have skipped Saturday's one word prompt which was 'belong'.

Let's move on because I'm supposed to do this in five minutes flat. Ish.

Today's prompt-Inspire

Our house faces east. I think it's east? That's where the sun rises, yes? I'm kidding hubs! He knows directions are not my thing, so he might not believe me when I say I know this, but I know this. When we were walking lots in search of a home site some three years ago we purposely looked for a lot that would allow our house to face towards the east.

In other words we opted to wake up with the sun rising out our back door. I'm an early bird so I rarely miss the sunrise. If you follow me on Instagram you know I post too many pictures of the sky at dawn, especially this time of year. October skies are the best y'all.

We have a picture perfect view of the sunrise from our back porch which is where I head first thing every morning. One day last week hubs suggested we get up extra early and take the boat out so we could watch the sun come up from the middle of the lake.


Best morning ever.


We brought our coffee in a thermos and a blanket for our lap and sat in the quiet stillness of a morning not yet broken.


The sky at sunrise inspires me. A visual reminder that every day is filled with fresh mercies. That it's never too late to be kind, seek forgiveness, try again. Start.


I've seen a lot of sunrises and one thing I've observed is that a few clouds in the sky somehow make the beauty more beautiful.



Pretty sure there's a metaphor right there for the taking. 
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Friday, October 5, 2018

Share

Back for more of the 31 Day Write Challenge using the Five Minute Friday prompts (found here). Since today is an actual Friday our prompt was a surprise. Also on Fridays we stick to the 'exactly five minutes of writing' rule, so here we go-

Today's prompt-share

I know the theme of this month's Five Minute Free Write is 31 Days to Telling Your Story, but when I read the word the first thing that came to mind was my sister. We're a year apart and she's the one who taught me to share. Forced me to share?

We shared a bedroom, clothes, friends, secrets, my mother's attention, and the third seat in the family station wagon. We giggled, we fought, we compromised. We gave and we took. We teased and consoled. We tormented and loved. We were different in a thousand ways, yet the same in a thousand more. We argued, we forgave, and we grew. Sharing is caring or so the saying goes, and I agree it is that. It's also hard, sacrificial, and quite often easier said than done.

Sometimes when I write here I become so aware of what I'm thankful for. Today it's my family. For parents who led by example. Who loved us and taught us to share.

For my siblings. My people. My real life ensemble cast.


The ones with the magic and memory of our shared childhood story written on their hearts the way it's written on mine.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Believe

Continuing with the Write 31 Days Challenge using prompts published over on the Five Minute Friday website. This month's theme is 31 Days To Telling Your Story.  Tough not to dive a little deep with this word today so here we go-

Today's prompt-believe

One reason I blog less these days is because the online world is so incredibly noisy. Deafening most days, and I don't want to add to the din. Social media started as something fun, a connector in so many wonderful and unexpected ways, but it's rare we see it as such in 2018.

My blog has never been a place of controversy and that's deliberate on my part. I want to invite people in with a smile and a cup of tea because that's who I am and I want my writing to reflect that. I know what I believe but I'm not about to hit you over the head with it because why?

I think knowing what we believe is important, knowing why we believe it equally so. In a world filled with too many opinions, controversy for the sake of controversy, fake news, exaggerated news, bandwagons that people pile on, name calling people who have piled on the other bandwagon, how do we know what to believe? Who is right and who is wrong and does it matter? Where does truth live? Is peace in the middle of the mess even possible?

I could write here about how belief in God makes sense to me. How I can look at the incredible order of the universe, the amazingly complex design of a single cell, or the way we humans know instinctively there is good and evil in this world and belief in God makes sense.

But for me it's more than that. What I hold dear, what I believe, has it's roots dug way down deep into my soul. Faith instilled in me as a small child, but claimed as my own through the years and the miles. With every change and challenge, every difficult situation and every ordinary day, in all the beauty and the goodness too, I've seen what I learned as a little girl about who God is and how He loves played out in the circumstances of my own life.




And I believe.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

What's Your Story?

Well. It has been a long time since I've been here. Long time in the blog world, but I guess only two weeks in real time. For those of you who don't know, the blog world is like dog years where a single day equals something like a hundred. All that to say it feels like this little corner needs a good dusting, and since I'm feeling a lot out of sync with my words I'm going to jump back in with a 31-day writing party.

Go big or go home, right?

Every October there's something on the Internet called the Write 31 Days Challenge, where writers pick a topic and write one post on that topic every day of the month. (you'll find details here). In conjunction with that Kate Motaung (host of Five Minute Friday) will be posting 31 days of five minute free write prompts to help motivate and inspire us to stay the course. Her theme? 31 Days to Telling Your Story...because we all have one.

I'll just say right off the bat, mine will be more like a 20-day writing party because I know me and I know my calendar. Case in point it's October 2nd so I'm already a day behind. Or right on track if I aim for 20 so 20 it is. Some of my posts will be true five-minute entries, some will be more. I'm giving anyone who wants to try it permission to do the same.

Today's one word prompt-story

What's my story? I'm not so sure these days. This middle age thing is trickier to navigate than I had anticipated. Question-am I still middle aged?

I'm going to say yes. The first half of our lives are pretty well defined, or at least mine was. College-work-marriage-work-babies-work-volunteer-teenagers-volunteer-launch young adults out into the world-now what?

Yes, now what?

Technically we fall into the 'retired' category except we're young. Ish. Young to be retired anyway. Too young. Life is flying by and I just want to hit the pause button for a minute while we catch our breath and take stock of where we are and where we've been and where in the world we're going.

Have you ever read a book and somewhere in the middle lost sight of how the main character arrived in the place they are now? When you do it helps to go back and re-read earlier chapters in order to make sense of the present.

Stories are composed of five different elements-setting, character, plot, conflict, and theme. A good author weaves these elements together in ways the reader might not have anticipated. He keeps the story moving forward until the very last page. While I too often want to be the sole author of my own story I can read back through earlier chapters and find myself there.  Not as the author, but as the main character in a story not yet finished.

God is writing my story in ways I cannot predict but know I can trust. He has plunked me down in settings too numerous to mention, peopled the plot with characters and conflict and an overarching theme of His amazing grace.

With every turn of the page He is growing the main character into the person He created her to be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Time Passages

Today is my birthday and my plan is to sip coffee on the porch in my pjs until I feel like doing something else. Daughter2 is coming out for dinner and she might just find me on the porch sipping coffee in my pjs when she arrives.

I kid. I've never been that person who stays in their pjs all day. I might stay in my bathing suit all day, but definitely not my pjs.

When I'm through sipping coffee I have big plans to take my book and my raft and float beside the dock. Hubs will tie a line to the raft so I don't float away because I honestly plan to be that chill. We have road tripped over 1100 miles in the past ten days and I'm ready for a day of doing nothing.

The first stop on our road trip was Annapolis. We lived there once upon a time or was it only yesterday? Our house sat in a cozy little cul-de-sac where kids gathered in the middle of the street to ride big wheels and bicycles and slap hockey pucks with too big sticks.

Where they drew houses made of chalk and played flashlight tag as cicada sang their goodnight song. Where mothers walked to the bus stop and could be counted on to pick up a sick child from school if you were out of reach. A sweet safe place to be a kid.


It doesn't seem that long ago, yet there we were Saturday before last watching one of those littles walk down the aisle to her waiting groom.

Time slips by and you hardly notice until you notice.


Fifteen years ago we moved to England. We pulled out of that cul-de-sac in a hired car, tissue in hand, while our neighbors stood in the driveway and waved goodbye til we were out of sight. It was raining and there were tears, I do remember that. Some of them were mine.

What were we doing?

We didn't know exactly but we buckled in to our airplane seats and the next chapter of our lives and soared on into the future.  And these girls...


One already a Mrs. and a mama and one soon to be a Mrs.


Time presses on.

Hubs and I spent a few days with my mom on this most recent road trip. Something warm and familiar wraps itself around me as we pull into the drive. I marvel at the way I can walk through the front door and feel like I still live there. I pray I always remember the way home feels.


Technically I haven't called this place 'home' in some forty years. I know this for certain because I have a high school reunion happening next week. A reunion I won't be able to attend, but I do think about the number and the years and the friends all the same.

Forty years ago I graduated from high school? Can that be right? Didn't my soon-to-be Mrs. just graduate from high school? I guess not.


Time is funny.

Also bittersweet, slower than molasses, and faster than the speed of light. Mostly though, it's precious. Oh so very precious.

On my birthday I'll be grateful for the gift of another day. For girls who bloom where they're planted but keep their momma close in heart. For friends always near no matter how far the miles or years between. For family and home and memory.

For what's behind and what's ahead and all that glorious in between.