Basics, Decisions

What Do I Really Want?

Tomorrow I will be 65 years old. Many have asked what I want for this milestone.

Too many years ago, I clipped and saved a cake recipe. Until two days ago, I said that I wanted my family to make that cake for this 65th birthday. After examining the recipe, I decided what I really wanted with their time was help with a Christmas Stamp puzzle.

For one day, I said a locally-purchased blackberry pie would substitute for homemade cake—until I decided pie wasn’t what I really wanted. My husband offered mimosas for us to drink on the patio. (Months ago, I had declared I would spend this milestone sitting on my patio and gazing at my flowers and woods—now with a puzzle added.)

My Patio at Night

My husband bought mimosa ingredients and a box of nectarines. Better than cake and pie although not necessarily better than the birthday ice cream I have already sampled.

I want the Ukrainian War ended and all life respected and the ailments and brokenness that come from 65 years healed, but what do I really want among the little things I can control?

What do you really want?

Finished Puzzle

Basics, Memories

Process Your Moments: Part 2

We move on and don’t process. Take in moments and don’t move on.

Deena Kastor, Bronze Medalist, 2004 Olympics

My fractured knee, meniscus tear, and Baker’s cyst made my plans to hike favorite trails in the Shenandoah National Park seem not only ambitious, but also foolish. While waiting for lunch the first day, I fell off a sidewalk and sprained my ankle. With determination, a carbon knee brace, and a makeshift ankle brace, my husband and I continued with our agenda.

What happened? An easy, one-mile hike that usually took seventeen minutes took over an hour. My husband and I sat longer than we walked. Our slow pace continued the following days.

The trail became our destination instead of an overlook or a waterfall or the completion of a trail’s loop.

We asked park rangers questions. We watched butterflies. We attempted to identify bird songs. We watched a doe chase—and then nurse—her fawn.

We studied trees and gave them suitable names.

We compared wildflowers.

Because of my injuries, we took in our moments. We processed. We savored. I declared our four days the best of our forty years of hiking

Do you have time to process?

See Here for Part 1.

Basics, Sharing Stories

The Greatest Story Was Told

Along the way, I keep learning the value of passing down important information, especially through stories. (See Here.)

This Sunday, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, how do we know its significance and the pertinent facts? Someone told the story.

It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke 1:3-4 (ESV)

Through Luke—and others—God made sure that the life of Jesus was recorded.

While homeschooling, I used the genealogy of Genesis to construct a time line. What surprised me the most? The life of Noah’s father, Lamech, and the life of Adam overlapped by 56 years. Lemech possibly listened to Adam’s first-hand accounts of the Fall and the promise of a Savior.

The long life of Adam—930 years—allowed his knowledge to be given to a multitude of people for centuries.

We continue the blessing as we accurately tell the good news,and add our own accounts of God’s faithfulness.

Which stories are you passing along this week?

Basics, Family, Parenting

War, Not Battles Pt.2

Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.

Ian MacLaren, Zion’s Herald, January 26, 1898

Along the way, I learned that most people are fighting wars, not battles. What is the difference?

War involves a series of battles. War takes longer. War requires more resources. War has more setbacks. War causes more damage.

No matter the victor, war requires more repairs. War needs a longer recovery. War demands more time to process the experience.

I wish I had known I was fighting wars rather than battles. I would have been better prepared for both the fight and the aftermath.

Are you fighting or recovering?

Basics, Family, Friendship

War, Not Battles

Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle.

I encounter these seven words regularly. They have been attributed to Socrates, Plato, and Plutarch. Once I heard them attributed to current celebrity Maria Shriver. Some reciters imply the words are their own.

Research reveals the originator as Rev. John Watson, a Scottish minister and author, who used the pseudonym Ian MacLaren.

Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle

Ian MacLaren, Zion’s Herald, January 26, 1898

This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world… we are moved to deal kindly with him…

Rev. John Watson, The Homely Virtues 1903

The sentiment is compelling. No wonder various forms of it have been repeated for over a century.

Along the way—as family and friends and even casual acquaintances shared their stories—I learned that most people are not fighting battles. They are fighting wars.

Have you recognized the fight for what it is?