Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Just a few thoughts...

This morning, I woke up to a partly sunny day, still waking up itself. The birds were quiet, but making preparations for the days business. My neighborhood was rather quiet also, a peaceful air was all about. It was a good morning. Not to mention, it’s my birthday, so when I stepped downstairs, I was greeted with the smells of Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (Thanks again Renee), and a BEAUTIFUL painted card (Thanks Lisa). It made me smile.

Now I’m 25. Does that make me grown? Probably…..probably more in 5 years, but for now 25 is enough. My parents harmonized the birthday song on the phone this morning, and I was impressed…they responded “yeah, it’s just one thing you learn to do over 25 years.” Which made me think about what are some of the things I’ve learned in these 25 years? So here are a few thoughts….

You really shouldn’t chase a foal from behind….especially when your mouth is within kicking distance.
Ice Cream tastes really good when it’s stirred.
The best way to warm up your feet after playing in the snow, is to hop on the couch, cover up with two blankets & stick your feet under five pillows…..while drinking hot chocolate.
A person should always bring an extra shirt along when wearing a white shirt…you just never know what could happen.
You can never leave the air conditioning on too high when you have a pet nute…and then when he’s frozen, you should never use a desk lamp to “reheat” him…it ends in death.
Carnations will eventually remind you of gas stations.
Black socks make small feet look retarded…..and that is why I despise them.
There are just some things that you want to do by yourself…and no matter how awkward it is to tell people you don’t want them around, it’s worth it.
Walking around a lake at 2am on a clear starry night is the best way to enjoy it!
You might not want to dress up your little brothers in dresses & makeup….they may live to resent you.
Blogging is a really fun & easy way to process & get thoughts out of your mind.
Being surprised by perennial lilies in your garden is a great thing.
Doing a random act of kindness is arguably more beneficial to you than for the person receiving.
Using a Kleenex while crying really does make you look old….however, it’s much more effective than your hand.
Movies should be enjoyed outdoors.
EVERYTING should be enjoyed outdoors.
Parents are brilliant…..but can’t be told that too quickly or they’ll get the big head.
Always listen before you speak, and remember you don’t always have to speak.
You have to be a friend to make a friend.
Try really really hard for things, and if you give up, remember why….and learn from it.
If you feel a strong pull on your insides to say something to someone and it seems absurd, it might be the Holy Spirit……say a 5 second prayer, say something, and see what happens.
If you have a tendency of rocking out in your car, pay attention to the people watching you… might be embarrassing.
When you try to jump off of a boat, make sure you don’t land on the edge…or worse.
Notice the people in your neighborhood, and appreciate the varied cultures, languages & styles.
Learning a little bit of a language can take you a long way.
Be nice to everyone.
Angels are real.
There is not many things better than laying out on a blanket, with a good book (or not) and just enjoying the sun, lake, trees, sky, clouds, people, grass, butterflies, birds, waves, boats, ducks….
Life is better when enjoyed & not critiqued constantly.
You should always keep an open mind when traveling abroad, and don’t be afraid to climb a fence.
It’s always more fun to get lost than stick solidly to a map. (If you have the time.)

….and finally, one thing I’ve learned over the last 25 years, is to really appreciate the friends & family that are so dear to me. You are all so wonderful, and I hope to learn more things from you in all of my days/months/years to come. And I know this list was a bunch of “crap” but hopefully someday you might be able to learn something from me in return! Happy Birthday to me, and thank you to all of you who helped make it a special day!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

a story of hers

I had a brief thought today, a sweet one, of my grandma & I talking. She was talking, and suddenly stood up & rushed into her room. She returned promptly with a pile of loose papers. Some notebook sheets & some plain white. On it were scribbles, paragraphs, crossed out sections, arrows & lots of exclamation points and parenthesis. My grandma held it out to me, and sat down. She said "I've started my story for you...." She always knew just what I would love. So many days, we would sit together at her table, drinking Russian tea & buttering rhubarb bread, or eating chocolate chip zuchini cake, and talking.....talking about everything that would pass through our minds. (And being Dutch women, it could get pretty random.) She would tell me stories about when she was young, and growing up. Stories about the farm, and the men who would milk the cows. I'd ask her about cooking, or how to fix something. When I would get stuck with a recipe, I'd call my grandma first. I guess I figured I knew my mom would know the answer, but why not go straight to HER source?

Anyway, one day I remember talking with my grandma & asking her if she would write some of her stories down. She modestly told me that she didn't have anything interesting to say. I just laughed. Of course she had interesting things to say...she was my grandma! Needless to say, when she brought out that stack of papers of her stories & memories, I was touched...more than touched. I felt love. She was so wonderful. Always thinking of other people...and I was her favorite, so of course she's do that for me. (That's a joke in my family,....i'm not just conceited.) Those pages, her history & thoughts, the way she would explain what things were....gentle yet so matter of fact.

I'm reading a book now, called "For one more day" by Mitch Albom, and for a second, I thought....if I could have one more day with someone, it'd definitely be my grandma. I miss her incredibly. I wouldn't want to do anything extreme, just take off my shoes & sit indian style on her blue kitchen chairs. Pull up a cup of tea & listen. I could listen to her tell me stories for days. Her facial expressions were one in a million. Oh for one more day. Just one.

Fading out...and in

Is it odd when you suddenly realize that not so suddenly you've stopped doing things that are important to you? When you see your life in a perspective not seen for a while, or through a vision that you've lost sight of? What about when you remember the things you used to wait for, long for, savor moments of and you realize that you're not waiting for those things any more.

I'm not the only one...a cupbearer of the Pharoah's says what I feel like lately "Today I am reminded of my shortcomings...." (Genesis 41:9) When you keep going, and everything's "fine" and then you get a little jolt. thought everything was fine, but look once again. Did you forget about me? I feel like a gentile when Paul wrote "I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:14-16)

I don't know what to compare a good reminder's like one of those really great things, that you know is good for you, but you forget how much it hurts at the same's like, 'Oh yeah! Thanks for reminding me....but ouch, did I really go there?'

Slowly fading in & out....up & shade to another and back again. I love what it tells us in Hebrews 10:32 "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering." This is exactly what I need to do. and as I ponder, "I remember your ancient laws, O Lord, and I find comfort in them." (Psalm 119:52)

Remind me Lord, of your great glory, your power, love & omnipotence. Remind me of your faithfulness, and how you satisfy my thirst. You are my Light...."Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun." (Eccl. 11:7)