Let the Sunshine In

I spent the last several days surrounded by creativity, youth, and laughter. As much as I hesitated last Friday to embark on a journey way-out-of-my-usual-comfort-zone, I was rewarded beyond belief with gifts of friendship, intellectually stimulating conversation, and connection, accompanied by roller coaster rides and memories of a seemingly distant past brought close again.

Today, I smiled through the usual rush of the morning, helping everyone else on their ways for the day, and then opened the blinds in our family room as preparation for some yoga. I was struck by the beauty of the leaves filling in the space between branches of backyard trees, the fresh smell of rain from last night’s thunderstorm, the understated majesty of lilacs (who once bloomed last in the dooryard). Though the reality of the day is overshadowed by clouds, I am living in a place of gratitude, a place of light.

I am ready for the blessings and challenges today will bring.

My heart is open to let the sunshine in…and let it illuminate–no matter the weather.

🙂

A Gift of Light

The feeling of overwhelm hit the same time I slid a tired finger across the snooze button of my alarm. The project my middle-schooler didn’t finish last night (because a. he waited till the last minute; & b. the batteries died on the camera he was using to video) needed to be not only filmed again but also downloaded and transferred onto a thumb drive…all within the next few minutes…along with breakfast, scriptures, prayer, and dressing all my little people to get out the door around the same time.

With the mission accomplished, I opened the door again to a quiet house and attempted to attack the sink filled with breakfast bowls and spoons (that hasn’t stayed consistently empty for at least the past week) when a feeling came over me to go for a run. I dismissed it as I shoveled silverware from one side of the sink to the other, rinsing the Rubbermaid container that held who knows what, and the feeling came again.

Go for a run now.

(I’ve learned not to discount feelings like that.)

I dropped the half-rinsed silverware into the sink and headed to my room to change into clothing appropriate for exercise. I prepped my iPod and ear buds, stretched, and I was on my way.

(Now, I haven’t been running regularly for quite a while. That’s probably an understated understatement….)

I warmed up walking, greeting a neighbor with her beautiful Golden Retriever, and headed to the path around the lake. I set my phone to track my distance and pace, and turned to the left (to avoid getting wet by the morning sprinklers). I rounded several corners as I made my way around the path that followed the not-so-oval-shaped lake. I felt all the feelings of relief, of time to think, of jamming to music that I haven’t heard in several weeks, and, seemingly suddenly, the path took me around to face east.

Guess what I saw?

One of the most beautiful sun-rising moments of my life. The sun was about half-way up its eastern path through the sky, and just a few clouds danced around the glowing sphere–enough to filter through multiple rays streaming down and kissing the surface of the lake.

(I didn’t take a picture, but this photo might give you a little bit of an idea of what I saw.)

photo credit

It looked like a piece of heaven.

I felt like I was in heaven, in that moment.

And, I knew that I wouldn’t have seen that exact scene in the sky if I had waited to load the dishes, if I had let my own agenda take over my life, if I had been to busy or too discouraged to look up toward the light.

But I did go run.

And I did look up, and I was given a gift.

A gift of light.

The Sun Always Shines

The other day, I was visiting a friend’s home. She gave me a spectacular haircut (which feels lighter and lovlier than I have felt in ages)…and afterwards, we chatted outside amidst clouds and sunshine, with an occasional clap of thunder pounding its way through the heavens like my living room sounds during a Wii bowling marathon.

I wondered to myself about the possibility of a storm, what said storm might mean for the rest of my day (I had some plans to go swimming), and how said storm might affect my afternoon–with kiddos coming home from various places via foot or bus or whatever else.

Then, I came home, popped leftover curry and rice into the microwave (thankfully we still had some naan left, too), and enjoyed a quiet late lunch. After savoring the fruits of last night’s cooking experience, I walked to the sink to rinse my (almost-wiped-clean-anyway) plate, and the sun was almost blinding through the window.

As I felt the warmth and heat and light cover my skin with a powerful stillness, I knew that everything was going to be okay…kiddos, afternoon plans, homework and happy moments.

I thought of the desperate times–times of darkness or despair in my life. I remember those moments which brought about needed changes or powerful character-building experiences. I thought about living in places of snow, where storms and clouds would roll in for so long we thought they had overtaken the sun forever. And, I recalled feelings of being alone in the universe or sad beyond the reach of comfort or troubled without direction. Each time I lived through those moments or days or months or years, if I could make myself hang on to hope, have faith that triumph would overtake the sadness, and wait patiently for the light to pierce the clouds, I have been able to work through the despair. I have emerged a stronger person. Each time hasn’t been easy–in fact, I felt stretched to my inner core on each occasion–but light has brought me to where I am today.

And that is a pretty awesome place.

🙂


photo credit:  Sarah Knight Photography

Cold, Cold, Go Away!

I have a nasty cold.  I don’t know how I could get a cold, with all the sunshine and warmth around me, but I have a cold.  I didn’t ask for it, I promise.  In fact, I didn’t kiss my handsome husband for over a week in pursuit of NOT getting a cold.  What a loss.  😦

Anyway, one of the blessings that comes with having a cold is the need (but not always the ability) to rest while recouping.  Well, I haven’t had that luxury too much over the past few weeks, but one day not too long ago I did take a few minutes to catch up on some cuddling with my (gasp–almost school-age) little guy while watching some Pride and Prejudice (2005).  I was struck this go-round with the scene when Elizabeth is pleading with her father for permission to marry Mr. Darcy.  She talks about how she was wrong and how she really does love him (touching, right?).  What I loved about this moment was not her tribute to his character or her admission of her own pride but the fact that nothing went as Lizzie planned, yet she still got all she wanted–marriage to a man she loved while maintaining her own identity–with even “more fine carriages than Jane [would have marrying Mr. Bingley].”

Pride & Prejudice
photo credit

I think that’s where I am.

In my life, with all the plans I could make (though I do continue to set goals and achieve them at times), I’m not prepared for all the twists and turns that have come my way.  Still, I am happy.  I have more than enough and to spare for myself and my family (& I can say that even while suffering through this heinous cold that woke me up before 5 a.m. in search of cold medicine and VapoRub more than once last week).  So, hooray for a crazy cold!  Hooray for being able to think for ourselves and choose what we want out of life!  Hooray for counting blessings and maintaining positive attitudes!  Hooray for being me, today, in a place I could’ve never imagined, but where I have all I need and most everything I could want.

Hooray!

🙂

Random Thoughts

I used to listen to Matchbox 20 on Mix 106 out of Tavares, FL before they were picked up by a label.

I don’t really have any memories before age 5…and very few specific memories between 5 and 15.

I only find myself singing when I am really, truly happy.

I’m working on self-confidence.

I liked alternative music when it was still called progressive.

I have several children.

I love to paint but rarely do it.

I love to bake and do that more often than I should.

I like the rain when the air is warm.

I hate wearing shoes but love my heels, platforms, and wedges.

I adore my husband.

I LOVE sunshine.

I would sleep in some days if my family life would permit it.

I like to exercise.

I thrive on progress.

I love to study, write, and discuss myriad topics.

I believe in God as a loving, caring, forgiving Being who is in the details of our lives.

I’m learning to like myself.

I’m trying to be happy where I am.

I have lots of love for others.

I like to help people.

I believe that I can see my family forever, even after death, in another more peaceful existence.

🙂

And Now My Heart Is Full…

With my apologies to Morrissey…and to you for being absent for all of June….  You see, I’ve been a little busy…travelling here:

hanging out at the beach here:

and watching the boats move in and out over here:

While I was gone, it wasn’t all leisure time.  We did some push-ups (after lots of stair-climbing, I might add) on an old fort here:

and we also did some snorkeling and swimming after we took a few pics here:

Our site seeing included a visit to a (freezing cold) waterfall here:

and more views of the cool fort:

We saved some time to get dressed up for dinner:

enjoy the night lights on the water:

check out the cool cloud formations:

and chill by the pool:

All in all, my time was very productive.  Though I still have a busy rest of my summer to come, I did want to touch base to say that I’ve enjoyed so much being out in the creations of the earth and getting showered by a little love and sunshine (which was long overdue).  I’ll get back to regular writing and blogging soon enough…but, until then, I’m busy with packing for various destinations, working through summer reading lists, and enjoying my time with my family.  We even made some loaves of bread today!

Sending you love & hugs & the happiest of summer wishes (and safe travels, wherever your road may take you).

🙂

Blessings All Around Us

Okay, so before I get back to posting some fiction that is bouncing around my brain (literally–sometimes it hurts until I get it out and down through my little fingers which type the images through words onto a screen)…I just want to take a moment to encourage each of us to look around whatever setting in which we find ourselves.

What do we see?

I see a screen (which is a blessing itself as it allows me to communicate with the world from my tiny little desk).  I see windows and sunlight streaming in through them, which produces Vitamin D and boosts endorphin levels.  I see a photo of a child that once grew inside me which brings back fond memories.  I see Kleenex for when my nose runs.  I see Germ-X, which I can use to clean my hands after I use the Kleenex.  I see artwork of children I love, a table where people sit to eat together and exchange ideas through conversation.  I see a kitchen filled with memories of making sweets, breads, and dinners, and images of my family around the counter making plates of goodies to take to friends and neighbors.

What do you see?

Look a little deeper.

The blessings are all around us, if only we stop, look, and listen.

🙂

Hope you have a glorious weekend, my dear blog friends! I’ll catch up with you on Monday!

(photo copyright Sarah Knight Photography)

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