Monthly Archives: May 2016

Insomnia

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Broken sleep, broken hearts…

Last night my head ached, again, and I could not find a comfortable way to hold it so that it would not hurt.  So eventually, I just got up from my bed and went downstairs, hoping that a drink, my couch and some medicine would bring comfort and rest.  As usual, when I got up, our dog, Roy, got up with me.

My thoughts wandered to all the people in my life who need prayers, and I mentioned each of them to the Lord as they came to mind.  So many people, and so many needs, streamed through my mind and heart as I prayed, even as my head continued to ache. Over the years I’ve learned that, sometimes, when I am wakeful and unsettled like this, the only way to find relief is to pray my way out of it.

Last night my prayers went up for people who suffer affliction, addiction, loneliness.  I thought about the bereaved, the deceived, the diseased.  People around me are struggling with burdens I cannot even begin to imagine…but when I lift them up in prayers, I know that, at least for that moment, they don’t struggle alone.

And neither do I.  God is with me, whether I am conscious of it or not.  I can feel Him, in the quiet of the night, in promptings to pray…even in the comfort of my couch, a cold drink and doggie snuggles.

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A Short Season

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Savoring now and anticipating Heaven…

The rhythm of the seasons amazes and comforts me from year to year as colors, temperatures and scents change according to their predetermined timetables.  Springtime in my yard brings the tiny (and sorely neglected!) crocuses next to my driveway, followed by a stray daffodil or two.  As this process starts, my dogwood tree is sprouting tiny little crowns which eventually become the centers of the trademark cross-shaped blossoms the dogwood is known for.

The month of May brings the opening of the peonies, one of my favorite flowers in the world.  When we moved into our house, we inherited a long row of white double peonies that a previous owner had planted and cared for.  I haven’t done much to them in the years we have lived in our home—I need to divide them so they will thrive and not die out.

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These flowers have a short blooming season, a time I anticipate with joy each year.  As lovely as the fluffy blossoms are to see, their fragrance is the most intoxicating thing about them.  I fell in love with that aroma from the first time it entered my nostrils and lodged itself in my memory.  It’s difficult to describe a scent, but the peony smells both sweet and earthy when it is in full bloom.  Once I saw someone on television offering a perfume with the word “Peony” in its name, and I thought, “How wonderful that this essence has been bottled!”  And I bought a bottle, only to find myself sorely disappointed.  It smelled nothing like peonies at all.  Some things just can’t be captured.

Now I realize that I just need to enjoy the beauty of the peonies and their heavenly fragrance during the brief time when they are in bloom.  I can photograph their visual beauty to enjoy during the remainder of the year when they are dormant.  As for that fragrance, I imagine that Heaven is filled with scents as lovely as the essence of the peonies…and in Heaven, that aroma is not limited by a Short Season.

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Secret Passages

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Life logistics, gateways and forks in the road…

I have a photo album on Facebook called “Doors and Windows”.  Mostly the pictures are of stained-glass windows in churches where I have been blessed to sing over the last several years, although there are some pictures of other windows and doors that have captured my attention with their beauty, location or some other unique quality.  The possibilities they represent fascinate me, the prospect of leaving a place and entering another one.

Life is like that for me right now, and, as I am firmly entrenched in middle age, it will continue to be like that for the foreseeable future.  I have encountered a number of passages over the last several years, gateways to step through, forks in the road that have demanded difficult choices.  And even as wide-open as I tend to be, there are some passages I have to navigate alone, only discussing my journey with a few trusted friends and my beloved Sweet Pea.

Choosing between good and bad options is a no-brainer.  The difficulty comes in making a choice between a good thing and a better one.  Discernment is key, and can only be achieved with prayer and wise counsel from people whose opinions I respect.  Sometimes I have to realize that “doing it all” is logistically just not possible, especially if I want to do things well.  Sometimes, I have to choose between good and better.

Baseball great and amateur philosopher Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “When you come to a fork in the road…take it.”  (Wait, WHAT?!) On the other hand, my Mama, when someone was having trouble making a decision, would often say, “Either ____ or get off the pot!”  I’ve thought about that a lot lately, and while her words were not exactly genteel, they got the point across.

Here’s to passages, doors, windows, gateways and taking the fork in the road!

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