Thursday, April 19, 2018
Monday, April 16, 2018
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Last night I attended the annual Holocaust Remembrance Service at our local temple. Afterwards, I went through old photographs I took during our visit to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. I also ran across this Ten Things of Thankful post I wrote shortly after that visit and decided it was worth a second look.
Beauty all around us improves life.
(Church in Liechtenstein)
Prayer from last night's memorial service...
Fully Compassionate God on high:
To our six million brothers and sisters murdered because they were Jews,
grant clear and certain rest with You
in the lofty heights of the sacred and pure
whose brightness shines like the very glow of heaven.
Source of mercy:
Forever enfold them in the embrace of Your wings;
secure their souls in eternity.
Adonai: they are Yours. They will rest in peace.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
I have been so frustrated with the spring that just won't spring this year. Winter clings for dear life when all I want is a lawn scattered with colorful tulips and blossoming trees. I had nearly come to believe that we would never see spring this year when I came across this post which tells how I felt these same feelings in 2013. The good news is that I wrote another post about a week to ten days later celebrating the flowers that filled my yard. Maybe spring 2018 really is just around the corner.
Friday, March 30, 2018
The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard. It makes demands. Hate is simple.
Fredrik Backman Bear Town
The world is filled with so much hate these days. Battle lines are drawn, sides taken on so many issues each and every day. We have a tendency to approach the world with our heart set on war. A heart at war sees others not as people, but as objects to either overcome or to use. My own heart has been veering more towards hate than I want it to of late. So, I spent the week looking for signs of love. Love is hard, but it is very much worthwhile.
Ten Signs of Love/Things of Thankful
As the week began my husband and I were wrapping up a road trip from NC to KS. I enjoyed every minute of our time together.
We added an unexpected detour and stopped at my sister-in-law's for a wonderful bonus visit.
When I spent a day in bed feeling puny, my son brought me a chocolate shake and TLC.
No cost dental care was provided several of our students at school this week.
Our pastor sent us into the week with the challenge to recognize a heart of love vs a heart of hate and to foster the heart of love.
The presentation of Bibles from my church to the 3rd Grade Sunday School class.
A spontaneous family movie and dinner night that brought me joy.
Friends who selflessly cared for their beloved family dog and ultimately recognized when the time came to let her go.
The peaceful demonstrations and calls for change led by young Americans last weekend.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
"You have to understand that when I was small my family and I went to the seaside. My sister always found the highest rocks to jump off into the water, and when she dived and came up to the surface, I was always still there at the top of the rock, and she would call out to me, 'Jump, Britt! Just jump!' You have to understand that when one is just standing there looking, then just for a second one is ready to jump. If one does it, one dares to do it. But if one waits, it'll never happen."
"Did you jump?"
"I'm not the sort who jumps."
I have fallen love with Fredrik Backman over the course of the last year. I devour anything I come across that bears his name. It is his perspective of human nature that draws me in. He possesses deep insight into what motivates and inhibits people. His words paint his characters strengths and weaknesses as though by candlelight--in the gentlest of ways--making them appear lovely even though flawed.
In Brit-Marie Was Here we see the uptight, regimented main character slowly let down her armor so that others can finally come close to her. With each tentative step out of her comfort zone she begins to conquer the fear that has isolated her. In loving others and allowing them to love her Brit-Marie finally dares to jump.
Monday, March 26, 2018
This was a weekend for reflection. I came home Friday ready to relax my mind and body. Instead I was greeted by the news that a neighbor and friend from church had died suddenly this week. Two doors down and I had no idea.
I didn’t find his death shocking because of his age or general health. I find it shocking because I hadn’t even considered it happening. Because it was yet another death in that generation that separates me from death. Because he leaves a wife who loved him and shared his life, and her pain makes me wince. And so my weekend began with a funeral, a farewell to a wonderful person.
Afterwards, I met with a friend to create a gift for another friend. I took individual strands of silk and marino wool and through the waft and the warp, through friction and pressure and the saturation of water that reminded me of the tears of a lifetime, I coaxed those fibers into a silky woolen scarf that will warm my friend.
Sunday afternoon I met my sister at an estate auction where a lifetime’s possessions of a man she knew were being sold. Table after table told the story of a life. A love of photography. A well traveled, well read man. A long marriage. His life had ended and was on display for all to place value on.
On the way home I considered how brief life truly is, and how grateful I am that goodness and mercy really do follow me each day.