A few thoughts….

Monday’s post brought out a little bit of impromptu fiction…and I feared to post it for sounding sacriligious…or something.  Not sure what my hesitation was.

Still–it’s TUESDAY–and I’ve been thinking about songs, and words, and lines….(and, before I forget, the new iTunes now lets you copy links to songs…and here is the free one this week: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/twinkling-lights-feat.-syd/id583601337 …which I actually really like).

Since December began, I could probably sum up most of my month’s activities in two words–baking and cleaning.  Baking because, well, it’s Christmas!!!! And I did little baking during November (mainly because I was writing a NOVEL for NaNoWriMo)…and, as a good friend once said accurately, baking is my therapy.  And cleaning because, well, my house really needed a good scrubbing (did you notice the mopping story yesterday?–well, that’s because cleaning has been on the brain and in my bones for the last several days) since I spent several hours of last month taking care of sick people and WRITING!!!!! Huzzah!!!! 🙂

So, when I clean, (and sometimes when I bake, too), I often turn on iTunes, or Spotify, or Pandora to enjoy some flavorful music (the real truth is so I can dance) and give me some motivation to keep moving.  On my cleaning spree last week, I recalled some of my favorite one-liners from songs that I love.  Here are a few I jotted down for fun:

“Who knows how long I’ve loved you?”

“I felt so symbolic yesterday.”

“Letters that you never meant to send get lost and thrown away.”

“Worlds without end couldn’t hold her.”

Are any of those familiar to you?  Care to guess?  I’ll post the answers in a few days. 🙂

And, who has been following the free music on iTunes?  You can get free Christmas songs–a new one each Tuesday–if you care to head on over there (see the link above for the new one for this week)…or you could just enjoy Spotify‘s library and make your own Christmas music playlist…or you can add a holiday station on Pandora…or you could be like me and do all three.  Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?!?!?!?! Certainly not my preschooler…he’s been asking for cake again…and we all know what that means, right?  More baking.  More baking=more cleaning.  More cleaning=more music.  December is looking promising already!

Hugs!

gifts…and happy weekend wishes to you!

One morning recently, during our daily reading and study as a family, we talked to our children about recognizing and realizing the gifts they have been given.  Not the physical gifts, mind you…we were asking them to figure out what gifts they have been given naturally or that need to be recognized and developed to come to greater fruition to help them and others throughout this journey we call life.

Now that I’m blogging, I am reminded of a book entitled The Twelve Gifts of Birth, which my mother found when I was a teenager and read to me then.  I haven’t read it often to my children, but I would like for them to realize the concept.

I find that when I am looking to recognize my gifts that I also work to recognize the gifts in others…which produces positivity and happiness within me and love for those around me as I see them in a new light.  I see within them the potential for greatness.

What gifts have you been given?  And what are you doing to develop those gifts more fully?

I’ve given my children the assignment to ponder over the coming days with the goal to reconvene to discuss our findings…and my husband and I are working on the challenge with them.  Will you join us?  We can adopt each other as family for the week and think of what talents, gifts, and light we have been given…and seek inspiration on what we can do to magnify these gifts in our lives.  🙂  I’m interested to see what we discover about ourselves and others in the process!

Give and Take

Sometimes we try to give more than we have…sometimes we take more than we should.

When we are children, we often take…and take…and take some more.  We take knowledge from teachers, wisdom from parents, and energy from the world.  We take life, money, hugs, kisses, tears, and habits from those around us willing to give.

When we have children, we give…and give…and give some more.  Sometimes parents feel no end to the constant giving of time and energy devoted to raising our children, loving them in the way they need to feel love, and disciplining in a way that is meaningful to them, as well.

When we are sick, we take…and take.  We take medicines, energy, and support from our caregivers.  We take healing from prayers and hope and faith.

When we are well, we give…and give.  We give treats to neighbors, kind words to those feeling lonely, carefully typed comments on someone’s blog.

When the holidays come around, we give.  We give canned food to shelters, toys to children, and money to charity.

When we get married, we give…and take.  We give ourselves to one another in the name of union and love…and we take companionship, love, connection (which hopefully is shared more than taken).

Where are you on the continuum of giving and taking…and which feels more fulfilling?

I follow the posts from HONY (Humans of New York) on Facebook…and the post came yesterday that Brandon is taking a trip after no breaks for two years.  He has given many people a view of New York through its people that we could not experience without the power of his photography and the internet by which he shares his images.  He has given for two years and (hopefully) will now be able to take a break and bask in the blessing of the gift he has given the world through this creative project he has undertaken.

My husband asked me the other day, “What do you find most challenging?”  A flood of thoughts poured into my mind, including my writing challenges, keeping up with kiddos’ schedules and homework assignments, making time to refill myself so I have something to give…but my reply came simply, in one word.

“Balance.”

Image

Why is it so hard to hit “Publish” today?

(First, I have to say that the spacing of writing poetry on WordPress is too spaced for my taste; I prefer my lines more compact.  I have no other complaints with the format of the blog, though (other than I sometimes have trouble embedding media).  Maybe someone out there knows a solution to my spacing and media formatting issues they could share? 🙂  Second, I am stalling because I haven’t shared poetry publicly for years. Literally. I barely even write it anymore unless an image or mood strikes.  (I did try my hand at a little spoken word poetry after listening to Sarah Kay’s TED Talk, but that’s for another day.)  Anyway, here is a little piece I wrote the other morning about 2 a.m.)

Darkness to Light

 

Sometimes our toes mingle

At the appropriately named foot

Of the bed we’ve shared for almost a decade

They brush together,

Like timid fingers on a first date

Intertwining over cuticles, around layers of polish, and rough spots which were once smooth.

I love this choreography we perform each night between sheets which push down our feet, when toes sometimes join to fight the oppressive force of the mighty panel of white fabric (tucked in a hospital corner, of course).

When light streams through the window, the dance of eventide ends, and

Toes once bound by proximity are released to their own ends of socks, clogs, flip-flops, boots, running shoes.  (Most of the time I prefer mine bare.)

Still, when the darkness returns, they find each other again, like lovers after a long separation

Where they again intertwine as if on the first night oh-so-long-ago….

 

Someone once asked, “When your lover dies, what will you miss most?”

Myriad answers filled the air: his smile, her hair, his hands everywhere.

I shrugged to speak my answer, but I find it every night when he is gone.

I would miss his toes intertwining with mine, dancing this dance between panels of white.

Who will help me greet the morning if he is no longer here?

Happy Thanksgiving!

I could give you lists of all the aspects of my life for which I am thankful, but I try to make gratitude part of my moment-to-moment existence, so I will leave you with a Thanksgiving memory which embodies giving and music and family–all parts of my existence which bring me happiness.

We have a Thanksgiving tradition in our home of singing, “The Turkey Song” each year (though I’m sorry I don’t know who to credit for this lovely addition to our Thanksgiving holiday).  It goes like this:

A turkey sat on a backyard fence and he sang this sad, sad tune

Thanksgiving Day is coming, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, and I know I’ll be eaten soon

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, I would like to run away

Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, I don’t like Thanksgiving Day!

My mom used to make homemade pumpkin pies for friends, and my dad would drive us around town to deliver pies–and, as a “Thanksgiving Carol” of sorts, we would sing that song.  Gobble, gobble.  (So embarrassing as a teenager!)  But we were making memories and giving and singing and laughing, all parts of my life for which I am thankful!  Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Single of the Week?

Is Tuesday here already–again?  I’ve been wrapped up in Thanksgiving prep (can anyone say “pies?”) and trying to catch up on my writing (and ultimately get ahead–since I know that Thanksgiving is going to probably be a wash as far as NaNoWriMo–and did I tell you that I wrote over 4K words on Friday alone?!?!?!–probably a personal record).

So, what’s the iTunes Single of the Week?  iTunes is joining the rest of America (though, with a free single, one wonders what the push is) in celebrating Christmas even before Thanksgiving has arrived.  The tune is Norah Jones’ rendition of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”  I happen to (along with many) adore Norah Jones’ voice and music.  I have yet to download this song, though, as iTunes appears to be having some sort of silencing technical difficulties.  Maybe later…as in after Thursday…I will download it.  🙂  (For the record, though, I have started my Christmas playlist on Spotify…but just compiling, not listening to regularly as yet.  I love the Christmas season, but I LOVE Thanksgiving, as well, and wish the joy of gratitude didn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.)

Hugs!

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

So, I read this morning about the break-up of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez…and his comments which basically said that he had no idea what was going on in his life.  Now, I generally find much better things to do with my time than to follow the ins and outs of celebrity relationships (which, quite frankly, I think should be minimized in the media if publicized at all), but I am often puzzled by what makes relationships work and not; I am also fascinated at how a relationship between two people can have such far-reaching effects–even through generations–and how the day-to-day choices that pull a couple together or pull them farther apart are really just that, choices.

I know within my own marriage relationship, I make a choice each day whether I’m in it with all my heart.  Some days, when I do put all my heart into loving and helping my husband and our children, I feel like the pay-off of growth and happiness and joy within our home is so worth the work, effort, and sacrifice.  Other days–those self-absorbed, me-minded days–you know the ones I’m talking about–I find the discord in our home to be a broad sea that I’m floating in, having left my oar ashore.  I know I need to do something to get back to that sea of tranquility that brings me those peaceful, happy moments–but what?!?!?!?!

Actually, many answers occur to me–forgiveness (being at the forefront), trying to find something my husband did for which I am grateful, or remembering why I fell in love with him (or why I married him, etc.) helps.  I have also found that when I put his needs above my own, and when he does the same for me, that we are able to connect in ways that we don’t otherwise.  He helps me; I help him.  Sounds simple enough, right?  But in the quest for “finding ourselves,” sometimes we lose this ever-important piece of our life’s puzzle.

So, not just in marriage or motherhood or fatherhood or dating–but in all relationships, if we as individuals would work to put a little more love in our hearts and worry more about others than we worry about ourselves, the world could be a much better place.