This morning our church celebrated the life of St. Francis as our church is named for him. It was a joyful day much needed after the last few days. We ended the service by singing a fun song called “all God’s critters got a voice in the choir?”
The young father in my prayers died last night. I will offer what solace and help that I can.
We do have the joy with the sorrow. The two are inextricably connected. Without one we don’t truly experience the other. How can one understand joy if one has not felt the impact of deep sorrow.
This wonderful quote from Henri Nouwen sums it up beautifully
My son and daughter-in-law just got a new puppy. They lost their other dog last year. Over the years Karen (DIL) has become more and more allergic to any animals and they knew any dog would have to be a hypoallergenic as possible. They have been looking for a Labradoodle that they could afford. The prices for these dogs who are certified least allergic is quite high so they have been waiting.
A few weeks ago Karen’s sister found out that a friend of hers who raises these dogs was having to have back surgery and was unable to keep the dogs she has now. They were able to get this puppy for a very reasonable price. They are so excited. My grandchildren are grown and gone from the house so they really wanted to dog to be part of the family.
Today they brought him by to see us. He is an adorable puppy with a sweet disposition. He will be a wonderful addition to their home.
Dogs provide so much love and comfort to us humans. I love coming home to be greeted by wagging tails and happy dogs. Who else is that happy to see us?
I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.
It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.
It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.
I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.
Music is very important to me. I took piano lessons for years and studied with a concert pianist. It was there I discovered that I didn’t want to be a concert pianist. I just wanted to play for enjoyment. I sang in choirs and for 10 years was a choir director. I think that music moves me more than anything else. I can sit in church or in the car or wherever and find tears rolling down my cheeks. Once, spending three weeks in the hospital, only the Brandenburg Concerto would comfort me. This has a wonderful explanation at the beginning.
I cannot stay still when the rhythms of music move me. I have to tap my toes or move my hands. I MUST do something! I don’t understand people who sit perfectly still. I know that their enjoyment may be equal to mine but they are STILL!
My father was the same way. He loved Dixieland Jazz and took me with to bars as a child to listen to the greats. No one said anything. I think they knew he wasn’t plying me with liquor but with music.
There is so much wonderful music in the world. I know I will not live long enough to absorb it all. I want to develop a playlist for when I am fading out of this world. I want to hear the music I love and take it with me.
It is important to live your life. Every single day is important. It doesn’t matter if the day is bad or good. You are still alive. At some time in everyone’s life we realize that there are more days behind us than ahead. Sometimes this realization is hard to take but life is still out there.
If I sit in my chair and sink into sadness or depression because I have acknowledged this fact then I miss today and the days that are ahead of me. What a waste that would be. Many people in my life are gone. To not live each day and wring every bit of joy out of it would be a disservice to them. They don’t have more days but I do.
Most of them lived full lives and showed me, by example, how to live with all the passion you can muster…..no matter the circumstances.
Today is the day that I have in front of me. It may be good, it may not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I experience it…that I live it fully, consciously, and lovingly. That is the only thing to do. If I do that the rest of my days, however many, will have meaning.
It is so beautiful out today that it is hard to believe. In May we had weather that was like August and now it is like May out. There is a wonderful breeze and sitting here on the porch is heaven. I have so much more energy when the heat lets us get outdoors. I have been on the porch almost all day. Even mopping the deck was not a chore.
Tillie decided to join me but of course after I put the rug back. Bassets don’t do uncomfortable.
I put out more bird feed and some squirrel feed. I try to keep the squirrel feeder full to keep the squirrels away from the porch. They make such a mess.
It is amazing how much difference can be made in how we feel when the weather is wonderful. The tide is coming in and soon the muddy parts of the marsh will disappear. Our daily tide change is around 7 feet so when the water moves it is almost impossible to swim against it. When our children were young we taught them if they were caught in the tide to go with it to another dock, climb out and walk back. It can be dangerous if you are not aware of its strength. We also have extremely salty water. When you swim and get out and dry you can see salt on your body.
There are lots of things I could be doing inside but i’m not moving. This amazing coolness will not last and I am soaking it up while I can.
This is my last day with my daughter and her family. It has been a wonderful visit and I look forward to being with them again soon. Each of my children’s families are different in personality and the things they enjoy doing. That is as it should be and I would like to think it means that I allowed each of them to be themselves.
It has been cool since I have been here unusual for Austin but a great break for me. I will now return to warm weather and humidity. My mind is beginning its shift to what is ahead and the things I need to do this week. This has been a wonderful break. I didn’t have to plan anything or think about anything in particular.
We all need down time. It refreshes us and allows us to go back to our routine with renewed enthusiasm. This time out has been a blessing. I hope that each of you can find time in your lives to back away and just vegetate.
Today I was out for a while and I returned home to find two happy, tail wagging dogs greeting me as I got out of the car. If only we were always greeted by someone who was so excited to see us our lives would be so much better.
The unconditional love given to us by our pets is an example to us. We certainly can learn from them. Recently I read a magazine about animals and there is evidence that dogs can also tell if someone is evil or has bad intentions toward us. We are learning more every day about what they are capable of. We already know that they can smell out cancer, calm those with PTSD, find drugs, and help those with disabilities. I wonder how much we will discover about them in the future.
Today I had to drive to the other side of town. Not a big deal since Savannah is not that widespread. On the way I saw that the Highway medians had not been cut. there were beautiful wild flowers blooming in them, It was such a beautiful site and gladdened my heart. They were not planted but come up on their own. I hope the powers that be decided to wait to mow until they are gone.
I love flowers and the wild ones tell us that nature is always working to beautify the earth. We humans can never match that. Here in Holy Week for us Christians it is wonderful to see the resurrection that nature provides.
I was unable to take photos since I couldn’t stop but I wish I had. They looked a little bit like this. Maybe next time I will be able to get a photo.