Saturday, January 28, 2012

Celebrating Life

We attended a memorial service today. Doris was 91-years-old and had been ready to close her eyes and leave this world for some time. When I took this photo she was in a wheelchair.

I'm always relieved at a service when people get up to share memories and stories. It is a time of shared laughter, a time to celebrate a life well-lived.  On cue today, the stories were backed up with a wonderful assortment of photographs projected onto large screens.  Visually, we were carried through Doris's life as a vivacious dark-haired young woman, a glowing bride, an excited new mother and a grandmother. You could see her gradually age, gain some weight, get grayer and grayer, then lose the weight. It's a cycle even the most beautiful and rich people on earth cannot avoid. We all are part of this circle of life.

The reception after the funeral is when the emotions really flow for me because that is when the love can really flow. People hug and laugh together. Babies are passed around for others to hold. Food is shared. Looking around the room at people moving from table to table, wanting to talk, wanting to reach out--I could feel the love and I felt blessed to be a small part of that.

Thank you Doris--and family. I'm so very grateful that we somehow found each other in this circle of life.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I've always liked this photo but I've never done anything with it. That happens A LOT. I yearn to take my camera for a walk, I go out in various types of weather, come back refreshed, load the photos on to the computer and do nothing with them.

This particular shot was taken at a retreat with some yoga buddies a few years ago. No yoga was involved in the weekend. It was a time to get away and enjoy the company of other women. This photo reminds me of that time and space in my life. I feel the peace of that morning when I look at this photo. I remember getting up, grabbing my camera and heading to the kitchen to catch the light.

I'm at a place now when I want to do something with my photos. I want them to speak to me and share them with others and just see what happens.

Tonight I added the layers of texture and the Bible verse. I thought the verse was appropriate for yesterday's post so I couldn't resist it.

I hope that sometimes you find those peaceful mornings when you can just be.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reporting to God

My mind thinks up crazy things as I'm falling asleep. Sometimes it's ordinary like, "I forgot to lock the back door."  But many times, I have irrational thoughts that make little sense.  Two nights ago  as I was drifting into sleep I remember thinking, "I wonder what it would be like to report to God like I used to report to a boss?" Where this came from I do not know. I'm involved in a couple of Bible studies which I enjoy. I try to involve God in my daily life, but am forgetful at times.  More about that in future posts.

This thought of reporting to God has followed me around for two now and I'm rather attracted to the idea. I've had all kinds of bosses. One was an alcoholic who was smart when he was sober which wasn't often. Thankfully, he didn't come to work often either and we learned to be independent. Another boss was distant--literally. He worked in another building and I can't remember him ever dropping by my office. You went to him only when necessary. More independence.  In my career I had other bosses and there were times when I was a manager as well. I learned a two big things from those experiences

1. Don't micro manage. People have brains, let them use them. (And although boss and employee have the same goal, they may take different paths to attain it. Let it happen.)

2. Communicate. If you mess up, fess up.  It really is a team effort. If you are humble, the boss is always understanding (although there can be some tension on his/her part.) 

So how does any of this involve reporting to God? I'm not sure. From my understanding, God doesn't micro manage, but he does appreciate communication.  He wants me to understand that he is the boss and I am not. He wants me to share my burdens--tell him where I'm troubled and where I'm grateful. A good manager cares about the whole person, not just the productive side of the equation. I believe that God wants to be involved in it all, but it is up to me to allow that--to give up that independence I wanted so much when I first became a professional.  And when I report to God, it's 24-7.  I like the idea of being on God's team. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays

Remember that song--"Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down" by the Carpenters. (Yes I enjoyed the Carpenters!)  I  love rainy days. I love the sounds of rain splashing into  puddles. Rain sounds different depending upon what it hits--leaves, mud or tin roofs. Each sound is unique. Near our screen porch are a dozen large trees and sitting on the porch wrapped in a blanket listening to the water hitting and falling from leaf to leaf is relaxing and meditative. Even after it stops raining, you don't know it because the leaves keep dripping moisture. The sound is surprisingly loud and wonderful.

Our day looked like this photo although I took that photo a few mouths ago in Plymouth Harbor while in England. Don't you love the way nature mutes the colors of that charming village. I bet on a sunny day, the colors from those houses pop.

Nature is a beautiful thing. I love rainy days---as for Mondays, today was a good day. Hope yours was. Happy "Year of the Dragon."