Dog Tired

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Did 2019 seem like a blur? So much going on constantly…some of our time was productive, some unproductive and some dysfunctional.

Actually, a lot of dysfunction and chaos which can make for a very stressful life. And, stress can be simply exhausting. Dog tired exhausting , in fact.

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Ever felt like these guys? Of course, we all have. Too tired to press on, to seize the day, to conquer that which must be conquered? 

I offer a snippet of advice for the coming year ahead. Learn from these guys and take a break when you’re worn down and out. Make the time to be still…to meditate and to sleep. Work will always be waiting so no worries there. The cell phone can be turned off. Friends and family can be ignored temporally. Peaceful rest is what is so often needed in our hectic world. I dare you to be dog tired on a regular basis and just flop down and rest. You will be glad you did, and so will others. May 2020 be a wonderful year!

Peace

Upside Down

 

Ever feel like your world has turned upside down…for a day. Perhaps longer? Lots longer?

Most, if not all of us have, and it can be quite disconcerting. Confusing, in fact.

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So, what to do about it? How can we turn our topsy-turvy world right side up again?

There are many answers which can be inserted for guidance, but I’ll use these for now.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (and) “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In other words, take the focus off of self and place it where it was meant to be in the beginning. We may be surprised as what follows!

Living Drapes

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There is something special about balconies of plants raining forth their vines for all to behold. They are like drapes fashioned by a master’s hand.

One would think the yellow awnings and mirrored windows are enough decoration to entice the hungry and thirsty to come inside this pub, however, someone wanted more.

“More of what?”, one might ask. In our up-side-down world, one might say more zing, more glitter, more glamore, more noise, more speed…more more more.

I prefer more calm, more beauty, more exploring, more discovery, more laughter, more fun, more peace, and certainly more joy.

This photograph offers me most of those things I want more of. There is beauty, a sense of calm  and a hint of discovery on the exterior of this establishment. On the inside I can imagine laughter, exploring, fun, and even a bit of joy.

One doesn’t need to travel to Old Quebec City to find all of these, but it sure was enjoyable to do so. I have come to the realization that I can find all that I want right where I am. That doesn’t mean I won’t visit other places, it simply means that I can be at peace in my own back yard. That is what I am learning even as I plan my next trip!

 

 

Slow Burn

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Fire is such an amazing thing to watch…it is almost mesmerizing. The way flames dance and embers burn red hot is exciting to view. The heat generated from fire warms the body while the light illuminates the darkness. Even the crackling of moist wood has a surreal effect upon the soul.

I entitled this post “Slow Burn” for a reason.

Too often we run to conclusions, race to say things we will regret, boil over with anger over big or little matters, become defensive when we take words said innocently but deemed hurtful, react to situations negatively without thinking things through, succumb to bad peer pressure, seek revenge over trivial stuff, and the list goes on and on.

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The “Slow Burn” is just the opposite when it comes to how we react to life’s situations. I’ll be the first to admit that life can dish out a lot of painful garbage. I will also admit that watching a lazy fire burn is soothing to the soul.

It calms the nerves. It makes us forget, at least momentarily, that life isn’t so bad after-all. Relaxation sets in and the cares of this life just burn away with each flicker of flame. The warmth produced burrows deep within and holds us fast to what is good and right. Fires can rage, but eventually they diminish and extinguish. Our lives are like that, too.

Wouldn’t we rather live in the state in between where the fire burns slow and the embers are hot? Where blame has no room and guilt has long melted away? Revenge is dropped and egos fall apart among the glow? That is how I want to live. And, you?

Mediocrity?

Creativity is an odd thing…some possess loads of it while others have it within them, but can’t seem to squeeze it out all that often. In my case, the desire is there, yet the enthusiasm wavers a bit. Hence, not much creativity being published.

I like quotes, quips and prose. I read a lot…not a big deal. What do I gain? The more important question is, “What do I contribute?”.  Oh, I love a wonderful photograph and painting ! Great sculptures also capture my heart.

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I woke up early this morning before the sunrise, but as I saw the illumination upon my dining room wall, I quickly grabbed my Canon and took this image. The sky was changed within seconds. Literally.

Mediocre photograph…which may equate to mediocrity. What do you think ? I wonder ?

I like it because it reflects the ever-changing gift of God’s creation. Please take a moment and study the makeup of the clouds…the odd color and shapes…the background…the tree tops which just emerged from winter’s grasp.

Mediocrity. I am not sure I know the meaning of this word. However, I like this photograph because it reflects a peacefulness about it. I hope you like it, too.

Collateral Damage from a Day of Fun

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Despite the gloomy weather of late as the seasons change from Summer to Winter with little evidence of Autumn, except for the lovely foliage colors, I thought it appropriate to share this photo. Yesterday it was 70 degree F. in the afternoon, and today it was a cool 27 degrees F. this morning. Regardless, I like this image because it is the aftermath of grandchildren playing with some of their toys at our home…they eventually were picked up with their assistance. They have learned responsibility.

These toys are considered rudimentary these days, but they bring back fond memories for me. We try to keep life simple, yet Elliot (4 years) can maneuver through an iPad faster than I can turn it on!

Our lives seem so complicated these days. You may call me a bit old fashioned, but I believe there are just too many activities, too many videos, too many texts, too many tweets, too many meals outside the home, etc.. Families and friends have little time for, well, family and friends.

Funny, as I have aged I have become more introverted, but I value relationships as much-if not more- than when I was younger. Rather a paradox which I don’t quite understand at this stage of life. Perhaps circumstances are to blame, however, it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that we don’t take a moment of life for granted. Whether very young, an adolescent, a young adult or full-fledged adult with a family…every day is precious. I’ve been through depression so I know what it’s like to not feel this way, but feelings are deceiving. Even during my worst moments, I knew deep down inside that every day mattered, and vowed to wait for the good moments to reappear. That took quite some time. I still struggle, as do many of you, but I consider myself fortunate.

Be encouraged by God’s word; ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Sometimes we just need to have faith to get us through the tough times. This doesn’t necessarily mean loads of money or excellent health or even stellar jobs…It simply means to be blessed with His presence of peace which leads to a prosperity of a far better kind. I had to learn to be patient, and I am still learning. Please join me.