Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Saturday, June 22, 2013


I am drifting around here today turning a blind eye to several household chores that need to be done, trying to bolster my sagging morale by engaging in other activities. I want to:
  • Eat Chocolate
  • Check email
  • Read a book
  • Eat more chocolate while reading said book
  • And--
There is no and. That is where I find myself, and only the fact that I have no chocolate in the house and I do not want to make the effort to go get some is keeping me from my plan. 

Where is Mary Poppins when you need her?! A snap of the fingers and everything marches to its place, folds itself, and even shuts the drawers behind itself. My household seems to be quite the opposite--everytime I turn around, it appears that more debris has erupted from the baseboards, sinks, side tables and carpet. It drags me down and if I'm not careful I can end up forgetting all the things that are right in my world:

  • I'm getting to spend time with my granddaughter. Sweetest child.
  • I am surrounded by friends and people I love.
  • My husband gives me flowers.
  • I am living where I want to live.
  • Opportunities are opening to me.
  • Coffee is brewing which I will drink from a favorite cup.
  • I do not have to do the housework if I don't want to.

This is just the index!

And I'm noticing the direct correlation between what I focus on and how I feel. When I focus on housework that is not getting done, I feel bogged down and slightly resentful. But as I begin to recount my blessings, I see what an amazing life I really do lead in spite of dishes waiting to be washed and toilets needing to be cleaned, and my heart is lifted. Such a simple principle. What we focus on can give us strength for the day, or drain us until we see no silver linings and hear no words of hope. It reminds me of the verse, 

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things, and God's peace will guard your heart and mind..."

 I also find it interesting and rather irritating that focusing on the negative aspects of the day is so much easier than dwelling on the positive, and that negatives can so quickly drain us of hope and initiative, robbing us of the strength that good things bring, though in actuality, all our positives never changed. They just became obscured. Overshadowed. It makes me want to pick up a sword and start slashing at that invisible yet somehow tangible veil. I've got way too much good in my life to be dragged down by the few not-so-amazing aspects I may be dealing with. So I think that instead of seeking comfort in chocolate, I will pick up my list of thankfulness and do battle. Let's see. This includes:

  • Sleeping cats
  • Sleeping kids
  • Peace
  • Safety
  • A God who loves me
  • A new day stretching out in front of me full of unexplored blessings 

Yes, chocolate is awesome and I still want some. In fact, chocolate is on my list of excellent and praiseworthy things. But today I'm taking a large helping of thankfulness and not only does it taste very good, my whole day is looking up!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Memories in the Making

Today's experience is tomorrow's memory. 

Why, then, does it often feel so mundane in the here and now? I find this interesting, along with the fact that often the making of the memories is rather unmemorable or even not that enjoyable. For example, we recently went on a hike to a nearby lake, then panned for gold in a tributary creek after exploring the entrance to an honest-to-goodness goldmine from the 1800's and a nearby stamp mill  complete with gold sluices and ore crusher. Brilliant stuff.

Reality? It was hovering close to 100 degrees. Just standing brought a sweat, much less the mile and a half hike. Two out of three of the teens involved were ready to be finished befiore we ever set out, and not only did we find no gold, the water was so cold we went numb from the ankles down. The kids kept pressing to be finished and back at the car while my hubby and I lagged behind trying to soak in the moment. This was only partially successful--I find it hard to soak in a moment when I'm aware that not everyone is thrilled.

But in memory? I see blue skies and tall trees, hear again crystalline water tumbling over rocks and the singing of wind in the pines. Holding hands. Laughter. Wonder. The excitement of discovery. And the more time goes by, the harder it is to recall the negatives. In fact, just today I told the story to some friends and for the moment truly forgot there were any less-than-happy campers or less-than-ideal circumstances.

Sometimes we want to live in memories because they are much more comforting and comfortable than the here and now. One of the flaws in this practice, of course, is that life passes us by while we look backwards at what has become in our memory a high point in life. Taken to the extreme, this backward yearning can cause us to lose whole chunks of our timeline. You see this sometimes--people re-living, recounting, recalling their glory days, while their very life slips by them unvalued. What a waste, for if we spend our efforts seeking to re-live or re-create the past, we cannot store away as much of today. And
today is the fuel of tomorrow's memories.

At the same time, this phenomenon of only remembering the best moments seems like a very useful piece of information to keep in mind during the day-to-dayness or the harder parts of life. If I remind myself that one day whatever less-than-amazing thing I'm experiencing will be past, and that I will look back at it through the golden veil of  memory, then perhaps those elements will seem less like slogging it out and more like something purposeful and ultimately fulfilling. It reminds me of a favorite verse--

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." NIV

With that in view, it only makes sense to embrace this day--mundane or otherwise--in such a way that we have a foretaste of that glory, so that when tomorrow comes, we can look back on moments made richer and more intense by the value which we have given them in the now...