Acceptance

Monday afternoon I called a dear friend. Just a simple check-in to see how she and her husband are doing during these strange times. We haven’t seen each other since March, and we’ve had one other phone call since then.

After our first phone call, she began shopping at the same grocery store I do. I had shared how easy it was to do an online order, set a date for FREE pickup, and have your groceries brought out and loaded in your trunk. Monday she shared she had been copying my shopping routine.

We talked about the surprises you get sometimes. Those shopping for you may think they’re picking the perfect substitute for an out-of-stock item. Or the surprise of learning your item is out-of-stock and there is no substitute. Or getting an entirely wrong item despite carefully ordering the one you wanted. AND there are no returns during the pandemic.

A good laugh came out of this part of our visit, and I asked my friend how she was dealing with all these surprises. She said, “Sherrey, for the year 2020 I have decided to lean on the word ‘acceptance.'” I like the idea of leaning on acceptance. A variety of situations exist where this is easily applied. This pandemic year has brought many issues where acceptance would help.

For each individual, there is likely a long list of things quite different from mine or yours. But each of us misses something we believe is an ordinary part of our lives. There is nothing we can do about it. Perhaps we can accept it until the pandemic is over.

I’m not much of a phone conversationalist, but I was glad I telephoned my friend on Monday. We laughed a little, shared a lot about our children, and she enlightened me to the world of acceptance during these times.

Who have you reached out to lately? Anyone? Family or friend? What have you accepted recently?

acceptance, Eckhart Tolle, right now,
Image Attribution: Guilford College Counseling

Featured Image Attribution:  Rémi Walle on Unsplash

Outside My Window

Our mini-forest is one of the best features of our home place. Over the years, it has provided a sense of being outside the city with extra privacy. While we were still working, our location provided ease of access to the church, shopping, and medical care.

One of the drawbacks of living in a mini-forest is the inability to grow certain plants and trees. For example, we don’t get the bright colors of leaves changing on deciduous trees or shrubs. In the summer, sun-loving flowers and plants laugh at us as we place them in our nursery cart. They only last a short time before fading away.

Thanks to our next-door neighbors I can glance out my office window and see a glorious sight. A red weeping Japanese maple. On these chilly, gray days of Pacific Northwest winter weather, that tree is symbolic of a warm campfire, or a thick red blanket, or the depth of love found at home with family.

As I soak up the warmth and beauty of this tree, I am filled with gratitude for God’s creation all around me. The diversity of people I know and see in our community and our church home. The fall colors brightening our environment despite the rain and fog. The gift of friendships committed to staying in touch during this pandemic.

It is my hope that you are fortunate enough to find something for which you can feel grateful despite this year that has often felt dry and devoid of warmth, happiness, and love. 

Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, rejoice, pray, thanksgiving
Image Attribution: Lindsey’s Whimseys Art

Featured Image Attribution:  Bates Nursery & Garden Center

Quiet Times

     Silence is more musical than any song.
~~
Christina Rosetti

The last week resulted in quiet times here on the blog and at home. A week of blank days on my calendar awaited me. I had grand plans.

With physical therapy appointments scheduled now every other week, I had no reason to go there. And there were no doctor appointments to keep. 

My plans included establishing an at-home physical therapy schedule as two weeks between appointments is a good bit of downtime. I also hoped to move my “office” supplies and writing tools back to the corner of my workroom. And we had lunch dates planned with two couples. I was excited by these prospects.

What I thought were allergies last weekend turned into a nasty cold by Tuesday morning. From then until now, this monster destroyed my plans. We did get in one lunch date on Monday. I hope that couple doesn’t get my cold germs!

But there is always a silver lining, isn’t there?

Ah, the quiet times of a slow and unburdened week. I’ve sipped tea while reading and jotting down notes. My handy yellow highlighter waits by my chair. Read an entire Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley mystery, plus started a Dinty Moore book on writing the personal essay (good stuff!). In the background, I’ve listened to classical music. 

I’ve stolen naps here and there from bed to recliner with a cozy tuxedo kitty on my lap or by my side. Somehow Maggie has just the magic to help one sleep easy.

I’ve simply allowed myself to be soothed by the need not to be hurried to get here, go there, and turn around to do the same thing tomorrow. Even though my plans were dispelled and I was feeling unhealthy, it was ever so nice.

Thursday

Thursday took us back to summer temperatures with a high at 90. The beauty of the Pacific NW is at 8:10 pm the temperature has dropped to 82 and will continue to drop during the night. By 5:00 am, it will be 65.
It’s been a gorgeous day ending like all summer days. The light is beginning to change. Sunlight begins to fade bringing sunset to us.
 
We’ve come in from dinner out at a popular burger place. I mentioned a few days ago I was craving a good old-fashioned (i.e. not fast food) burger. Before heading out, I take my second get-into-the-Mustang-convertible-and-get-back-out without problems test. This time I passed!
 
After burgers and sharing fries and a huckleberry shake, we took a nice drive. I love the feel of the wind as we head down the road. I love even more the smell of the air as we get out into the country. This is my first trip this year in the convertible, and it was so refreshing and freeing.
 
Grateful am I for beautiful summer weather and the plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. And for an old-fashioned burger with my hubby in our Little Red ‘Stang.

Update

Since my mid-November post, I’ve spent a lot of time watching the changing seasons. Most winter days in the Pacific NW are gray, foggy, and rainy. Not uplifting.

I spied a joyful surprise on one of these gray days as I returned from our mailbox. Abundant blossoms are peeking from beneath the leaves on our Christmas Rose Helleborus. (See image above, thanks to Pixabay).

 
With the changing seasons come changes in our lives.
 
Unfortunately, my surgery still isn’t scheduled yet. My husband and I have been waiting for this date for some time. But, insurance companies do not move quickly in approving surgeries.
 
Waiting leads to boredom. I find myself dabbling in a variety of pastimes. Lots of reading, some knitting, adult coloring, and trying my hand at journalling. While dabbling, I sense joy in what I’m doing. Quite often one thing leads to another.
 
Like thinking. I’ve been doing some deep thinking about my writing. Starting now, the focus of my site and blog is changing. I’ll no longer post instructional writing topics and tips. Book reviews from time to time remain in my plans.
 
The big change is a move toward a more contemplative style of writing. Within my life experiences, my faith, a love of words, and memories, there are many things to share with you. I will be bringing to the blog a greater sense of who I am and where I come from. I’m excited about writing something new and fresh.
 
Also, the newsletter will no longer be part of my online presence. If you have received posts via the newsletter, please take note. To receive future posts, you must sign up using one of the following choices:
 
  • The first, “Receive Updates Via Email,” is in the sidebar. Simply enter your email address and click on the button; and
  • The second has no label but appears below the first. A simple click on this blue bar immediately signs you up for updates: 

Follow Life in the Slow Lane on WordPress.com

I hope you’ll come along with me on this new journey I’ve set for myself.

Did Jesus Really Die? | A Day in the Life (Episode #8)

Children have a way of catching you off-guard, don’t they? Specifically, they have a way of asking the wrong question at the wrong time, literally.

The following incident happened several Easters ago. Yet, each Easter since it’s a memory I still recall with a combination of joy and trembling.

One of our choir members had brought his four-year old granddaughter with him to the early service (8:00 a.m. *yawn*). Her grandma was home preparing Easter dinner for the family. Monica, the granddaughter, and I were good buddies so her grandpa asked if she could sit with me while the choir warmed up and during the service. Not a problem!

As the service progressed, our pastor stepped forward to bring the Easter message. In it, of course, he made reference to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

At the words, “Jesus died on the cross…,” she turned to me and in a whisper others could hear said, “Jesus died?”

Via Google Image
Via Google Image

The stricken expression on her face told me I needed to quickly respond with something comforting. But what would a four-year old understand about death and resurrection? Talk about feeling put on the spot!

Quickly I asked God’s help and just as quickly received an answer.

Giving Monica my full attention and getting down on her level, I quietly told her that yes, Jesus died on the cross as a gift for us. I also told her God brought Jesus to life again.

I then indicated we needed to be quiet and encouraged her to ask Grandpa more about it once they got home.

Her response? “Amazing!”

Yes, Monica, it is amazing and stays so year after year.

Romans 6:23
Via Google Images

Have you ever been put on the spot by a child asking similar questions? Perhaps you’ll be willing to share below if you have.

Header image attribution: Via Pixabay/no attribution required