I sipped the one cup of coffee I allow myself per day while sitting on our patio. It felt good to be alone for that short period of time, to not have to be doing something. It seems like years since I've been able to take a quiet hour for myself, the one I always looked forward to each day. Oh, I do take time to come online and update my journals, if I have the strength and am not too tired. And I do take time to check up on my family and friends, to see how they are doing, to find out what their needs are, and to thank them for being there for me. But that is not the same as the quiet hour I got used too, the kind of hour that so blesses me, fills me to the brim with optimism and renewed hope.
The kind of hour I am referring to is when I sat outside in the early morning hours, usually before the world woke up, long before the sun had began its journey to the other side of the world. I'd sit and do nothing but look, feel, and listen. I'd look at the sky and the trees and the flowers, whose faces still had a while to wait before being touched by the sun. I'd look at the apartments around me, and the houses, and pray for the people inside. I'd watch the stars disappear from my vision, one by one, and then start listening as the world began to stir. I'd hear a baby's cry, the sound of a car starting up, an airplane passing over. I'd hear a door open and close, a telephones insistent ring. I'd hear a cab driver honking his horn, reminding somebody that he was waiting. Then I'd hear stirrings within my own place of residence and sigh, knowing another day had begun.
I let myself feel whatever it was I felt, whether good or bad, knowing that feelings are just that-feelings, nothing more- nothing less, then stood a moment longer before going back inside.
Johnny's smile did its magic, reminded me of what truly matters. "Good morning, sweetheart." he said, as he ran shaky fingers through his hair. "Did you sleep better last night? Did I do better this time?"
"You did. You actually made it till 3:30 before having to wake me."
" I hate waking you at all. I really do."
"I know. But that's okay. It just gives me that much more time to visit with you." I said this, knowing that as soon as he took his meds and had coffee he'd be drowsy again, would fall asleep either in his bed, or in the recliner next to it. He is beginning to sleep more, a good sign in one way- a horrible sign in another. Still...it is what it is, and life must go on- will go on.
This graphic on the left is one I treasure. It reminds me of what not to do, which is to try to hide from what is uncomfortable, painful, and intimidating. It reminds me of how many years it took for me to learn that fear only has as much power as I give it. It ran my life for a long time. What a relief it was to finally be able to stare it down.
As painful and miserable as trials make us feel sometimes they are good for us. Truly! They teach us things like compassion and patience. They reveal to us that we're much stronger than we believe ourselves to be, and that the word can't becomes CAN when we make just a simple change in the word- and our attitude.
Well, I warned you; told you some of this might not make much sense to you. Mostly I'm kind of venting a bit, needing too. This journey I'm on catches me off guard every once in awhile, reminds me how wise it is to pencil an an hour to myself, an hour where I don't have to do anything, can just relax and be.
There are things still needing to be done today, but I'd like to share just one more thing; it's what I call pocket change. We all have a little, a few dimes, a penny, maybe two nickles in our purse or pants pockets, giving little thought to its importance until we go to purchase something and realize our paper money isn't quite enough, we need a little pocket change to go with it.
So it is with those small things in life, things we seldom, if ever think about, simple things that take so little time, like saying please, thank you, excuse me. Oh, we never forget to say these things when away from home; say them all the time to strangers. But what about our families and our friends? It takes a little pocket change sometimes in order to purchase necessities of life- takes good manners and thoughtfulness if we wish to bless and enrich our relationships and add quality to our lives.
Every day is full of the Lord's blessings, "SHINY" moments to lift us up, encourage and strengthen us, help us grow, and to remind us of how much we are loved. Hard times come to us all. How long they linger is determined by how much of a welcome they get- and what kind of attitude we have.
Stay sweet, kind, tenderhearted and gentle. Be good to others but also good to yourselves. Take care, and thanks for the love, friendship and support