Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Gratitude Game

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."
Henry Van Dyke

Living “The Glad Life”

o  Choose Gratitude.
Gratitude can be a life-changer.  Taking our eyes off of the “I don’t have” and placing them, as a discipline, on the “I have” slowly opens our souls to the abundance that envelopes us.
Our dog is ugly.  Well, he is ugly today.  His latest haircut was given at home and it’s growing out with hair hanging in his eyes.  We visited some dear friends this weekend and their dog is so cute and very well groomed.  I was, of course, jealous.  We have, as a family, decided that part of our budget goal was to stop the bimonthly visits to the groomer for Simon.  He seems to be fine with this plan, but after this weekend, I was dreaming of whisking him right off for a cut and curl.  But as I sit here, with him nestled on my lap, I am repenting.  We will trim his bangs and then let him live the free and easy life of a country dog.  The budget is safe and my jealously is turning into gratefulness.  He is a loyal dog and we love him.

We play the gratitude game, taking turns to share our thankfulness.  It started at Thanksgiving one year.  My youngest and I played it today during our nature walk at the nearby horse ranch.
“I’m thankful to the Lord today for Queen’s Anne’s lace,” I said.

She answered with, “Today I am grateful for orange.”

Yes, she is glad for orange, for the color of orange and for the essence of orange.  If she were a color, she would be…orange.  Alive, vibrant, usually self-assured, she is a giver. She injects into our lives fullness, energy and an honesty that calls me to a higher place of being alive in this moment. 

         Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as:
“The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  It is of late Middle English, from Old French or from the Medieval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus, ‘pleasing, thankful.’

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is The Glad Life?

What is The Glad Life?

It is a way to live, an invitation to savor life, to breathe in and out its beauty and grace.  It is the gathering of the blush pink rose, carried with love and respect to the old crystal bud vase and placed by the computer screen. It is form and function, inspiration standing by and giving hope to necessity.

Good form is important to the well-lived life.  Captain Hook said it best when he shared that his greatest sorrow was that Peter Pan had “good form” and that he was afraid that at the end of his life, he would be found to be without this essential trait.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be Still My Soul

I am trying to be still, stay quiet, hide within the Almighty.  A pearl encased within a shiny shell, happy for the peace and security, knowing that when the time is perfect, the pearl will be free, but until, the pearl will be safe.  Still, quiet, hidden, safe, free.

Or a garden enclosed, with a swing.  Lots of lushness, greens of every hue, flowers exploding and all is new everyday. But I am, still, quiet, hidden, safe, free.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Is Well With My Soul

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful spirit.
                                                     Psalm 51:11-13

These words pierce my heart this morning.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” What a beautiful, courageous cry!  That He can clean me up, can wash me until I am white as snow, this is Hope!  David was calling out to the only help he had.  He understood that only God can offer us true healing.  The truth of this reflects into my heart this morning like a prism sending out shards of rainbows.

Peace and hope climb into my heart like a mist, on little cat feet. "Could it be true?"my heart whispers.  It is Truth and my true self answers, as tears prick my eyes, that the answer is God.  Always and only God.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.
(Horatio Spafford)

My heart and my mind find their rest in you, my Abba Father.  Today, in this moment, for this moment, I choose to trust in You, the author and finisher of my faith.

Amen, so be it.

References: “Fog” by Carl Sandburg

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Birmingham and Chris Clark

I love Birmingham.  My "California" daughter, Hannah, and I roamed our way through old haunts and new yesterday and this city never fails to delight us.  We started with a "Slow Food" lunch at the Birmingham Museum of Art.  The food there is scrumptious and the southern hospitality of our waiter made the noon time respite a delight.

We wandered down to an amazing exhibit:

Celebrate Life: The Art of Chris Clark


Our family had meet Chris Clark a number of years ago at an outdoor art festival.  We are folk art collectors by hobby. I've always loved Chris' work and this exhibit stuns with the talent and beauty of a truly visionary artist. 

From the museum's website:
In 1990, Clark’s vision began to fail due to diabetes.  Believing he would eventually lose his eyesight entirely, he resolved to pursue a longtime desire to paint while he still could.  He began painting on scraps of wood and flea market furniture, but soon after his grandmother taught him to piece and stitch quilts, the artist combined the two mediums, to lively and colorful effect. Celebrate Life: The Art of Chris Clark allows us to honor Clark’s artistic legacy even as we, as a community, reflect on his passing.

What is our "longtime desire?" To paint, to write, to love?  In honor of the great Chris Clark, let us begin today.