Habits of Health

Sometime between the time I went to bed last night and the time I woke up this morning, 
I hatched a thought.  
Maybe a question more than a developed thought.  
It's about health.  
And habits.  
My question goes something like this:  
Is there a difference between healthy habits and habits of health?  
My initial thought is that there is.  
At this late age, you'd think I would have this issue nailed down. 
 I don't.  I'm still wrestling with it.  
And for the present, my focus is on establishing habits of health.
 What think YOU?
And what is YOUR most cherished habit of health?

Baby Steps

"Baby steps" some would call them...
While big projects mount up and circumstances tend to feel overwhelming to me,
my husband by example shows me the importance of taking those "baby steps".
So this morning, after he sawed out the shape of the missing blade
for this weathered whirligig,
I took out the paint box and prepared to take a "baby step".
This exercise convinces me of the importance of  "baby steps" 
and encourages me to take many, many more!

Small Potatoes

Sometimes we just sit and hold hands...
These days are some of the hardest and yet most precious days of my life.
It's OK.  Don't feel sad or sorry for me.
I wouldn't trade them for ANYthing.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message


So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10
 How beautiful are these?
 I was pleased to find them when searching for something
 to take along on a visit to pray with and encourage a friend.
(I kind of wish I'd picked up an extra for myself!)
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. 
In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. 
At all the times you can. To all the people you can. 
As long as ever you can.” (John Wesley)

But we've never done it this way before...

Sixty-six years I've lived without knowing the tradition of the Pascha Egg!
Now, I know - and my husband will be incorporating its story
in the Kids' Talk at church on Easter Sunday morning.
The story goes that Mary Magdalene traveled to Rome to protest to Tiberius Caesar that Pontius Pilate had conspired with the two high priests and executed an innocent man -- our Lord Jesus.   Since people were expected to bring the Emperor a gift when they visited him, she took an egg and was handing it to him with the greeting:  "Christ is risen!"

Tiberius Caesar in disbelief responded, "How could anyone ever rise from the dead? It is as impossible as for that white egg to turn red." While Tiberius was speaking these words, the egg in the hand of Mary Magdalene began changing color until it finally became bright red.

Thus the Pascha greeting -- in universal Christendom, both East and West -- has ever since remained "Christ is risen!" and it became traditional for Christians throughout the world to color eggs in red.

"Father, Forgive Them"

In addition to the common threads running through thousands - yes, thousands - of comments on our governor's facebook page (i.e. "You're an embarassment to the state of Indiana", "I'm ashamed to be a Hoosier,” and “Indiana is the laughingstock of the world”) are economic threats such as, “I won't even stop for gas when I'm driving across your state. NOT ONE PENNY. Disgraceful.” Or “I’m moving out this backward state as soon as possible and will never come back again.”

It's been UGLY here!  And, if the following comments are any indication,  it just MIGHT get uglier!

·        And there's absolutely no proof of a god thingie or this jebus fellow.

·        Religious bigot. ooooh, you have an invisible sky daddy.

·        Your God is a sadist and evil.

·        Meanwhile the sky daddy folks are just babbling...like that great fictional story of babel.

·        You bloody christians don't need money.. Thieving a- holes..

·        Begone Satan, I mean Pence.

·        We are also sharing your post, might wana delete your page. (This to someone who supported the governor.)

·        You religitards always claim your religious freedom is under attack when others start refusing to let you use your religion to discriminate against them. Maybe if you didn't believe in imaginary beings, you'd be able to see things as they truly are.

·       May your political career go to hell, and you with it.

·        Lemme see the first business to hang up a sign not allowing service of gay individuals. If I could, I'd have an abortion on their welcome mat. But since my reproductive organs don't allow that, I'll be sure to aggressively make out with your male customers instead.

·        You bloody christians don't need money.. Thieving a- holes...

·        We have to respect our liberal values as much as the conservaturds respect theirs! We can no longer be nice about it any more! When we start yelling, they will say stupid stuff like stop whining! When we bring out the torches and pitchforks they call us thugs, when we declare war, they call us demagogues ! When we fire the first shot, then they want to discuss things!

 It's Holy Week.  
The words of Jesus on the cross have new significance for me this year.
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
(Luke 23:34)

Begin. Again.

I recently read a quote (but failed to copy it exactly).  
The gist of it was "Don't look back; you're not going that direction."
So I'm not going to look back.
Besides, I'm not sure how far back I'd have to look!
January 2014?  Or January 2015?
Either way, my intention was to write a new song every week.
I have little to show for that intention.
The photo above shows that I may get my inspiration just about anytime.  
The challenge for me is to DO it.
I have the equipment.
I have enough skills to compose and record simple songs.
So.....there's no time like the present to begin.  Again.

Lines Revisited

Book & coffee-stained bookmark
I finished reading The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy yesterday.  As I frequently do when reading books, I jotted down page numbers containing lines that I wanted to revisit and mull over a bit more.  Here are some of those lines - except for the last two spoken by the main character, Queenie...

 Perhaps I took my mother more literally than she intended, but I applied her rule to my life, after all, we are all searching for them, the rules.  We pick them up from the strangest places, and if they appear to work once we can live a whole lifetime by them, regardless of the unhappiness and difficulty they may later bring.

I am starting again, I thought.  Because that is what you do when you reach the last stop.  You make a new beginning.

A tardy person can become a punctual one, if she chooses.  You don't have to keep being the thing you have become.  It is never too late.

Sometimes you have to do something with your pain because otherwise it will swallow you.

I'm not saying it was an unhappy marriage, only that it had become a well-worn one, like an old coat you stop looking after.

Don't try to see ahead to the nice bits.  Don't try to see ahead to the end.  Stay with the present, even if it is not so good.  And consider how far you've already come. (Sister Mary Inconnu)

It takes a long time to learn that there are other ways of doing things.  It doesn't just happen overnight.  (Sister Mary Inconnu)

Each of these could be the basis of a blog post
but I'll just let them speak for themselves.
Do any of them resonate with you?

You Just Never Know

Oh, my!
You just never know...
To find my name listed on the same page with Jan Karon, Gladys Tabor,
Susan Branch and C.S. Lewis is quite startling!  
Dear Pamela of A Sheltering Tree passed on this photo of the 
"flyleaf of a small blue leather journal belonging to (her) mother".
Believe me, I'm going to check out the Outlander Series....
AND be more mindful about my words--written and spoken.
You just never know where they might be heard or read!

 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, 
but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, 
that it may give grace to those who hear.  (Ephesians 4:29)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, 
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.  (Psalm 19:14)


This morning while packing my bag for the hours I will spend with my mother, I realized there was little I could pack that would meet the reality of the present.  In the past months, I have packed puzzles, books, yarn, clay, crayons, photo albums, and all sorts of other activities that we have shared.  My laptop has provided entertainment, too--cute videos of children, songs of the DeZurik sisters straight from her past, and hymns to soothe the soul.

But lately, she has little interest or energy to spend on "activity".  And as I looked about my home wondering what I could take, words from the Lord to Moses crossed my mind.  I stopped to find them in Exodus 34:14.

The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

It is enough.  Presence!  How desperately I need His Presence--and with it, rest.
And today I will give her the gift of MY presence.  It will be enough.
A holding of hand.
A smile or a tear.
A cup of water.
A foot rub, perhaps.
I will share her space and be as present as I can be.

Book Day

I've had this on hold for many, many weeks. 
It arrived today, just in time for World Book Day
I'm on chapter 2 and have already shed a tear. 
 (It's the sequel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce....)
What are YOU reading?

I have a Pinterest Board titled Book Decor.
If you like books and enjoy looking at the way people incorporate them
into their personal spaces, you might enjoy checking it out.
After my Favorite Places & Spaces board, it is my next favorite
I ♥ books.

My Mother; My Self

My mother
 My mother....My self.
The older we get, the blurrier the line that separates us becomes.
In some ways, dementia takes her farther from me;
but in other ways we are closer than I remember ever being.
Sometimes I think SHE thinks she is me.
Often she is all I think about.
Her distress is mine.
Her smile makes my day.
I've never loved her like I love her today.
My mother...My self.
My self
 Ending well requires our presence. Ending well requires rest. 
Just as our piano teachers told us: at the end of the song 
do not let your fingers (let alone your body) leave their places prematurely.
It is a form of attentiveness.  And attentiveness is a form of respect.
Savor endings. Stay attentive until their last note dissipates.  
Rest in the silence that follows
for within it you just might find a milestone.

Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)