Happy New Year 2017

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So look up! Keep your eyes open for moments of beauty and grace.

It’s a shiny new year and we have the opportunity to bring joy and share hope with others.

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Some of the Bible verses I return to over and over again are the ones I am sharing here.

From the prophet Micah in the Old Testament:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8  (NIV)

The words of Jesus as recorded by Matthew in the New Testament:

37  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-40  (NIV)

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Let there be light

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In church this morning, we sang an Advent song about light and pain and confusion in the world.

Reading in bed this afternoon, snuggled under layers of sheet and cotton blanket and comforter, my brain registered a sudden downpour of rain quickly followed by strong gusts of wind. The rain sounds grew harsher, sharper — turning to sleet. Then the world quiets once again and I return to my book while snow falls softly beyond my window.

This is what victory looks like

I stayed in bed Friday morning in a final effort to get the excessive swelling to go down. It worked! Here’s my view at noon on Friday:

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Three months + one day post surgery for a trimalleolar fracture in my left ankle

The swelling from last weekend’s activity was beginning to worry me; it still looked pretty bad on Thursday night. I will be more careful in the future about remembering to take the time to rest and elevate my ankle.  At some point, I hope to remove the nail polish from mid-October and apply a fresh coat of color — but that requires more contortion than I’m willing to provide right now.

In an effort to keep from swelling up again, I indulged in only a few hours of very mild activity on Friday afternoon:  I mixed up, rolled out, and prepared pie pastry (SuperDad took care of prepping the apples for filling) and then drove a couple miles to sit in a recliner, drink tea, and visit with a friend. By 5pm, my ankle was back to its normal amount of swelling — yes, just that little bit of activity is enough to cause my ankle to swell.  Welcome to my world!

 

 

 

 

 

Faithfully Mundane

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The past few weeks have been filled with the mundane of daily tasks, including nagging the teen about his homework assignments, keeping up with the plethora of work e-mail and assorted responsibilities that I can’t pass off to others, and various appointments. While none of this is exciting or particularly blog-worthy, this is where we live — right here in a mundane existence. This is not a bad thing, as Tracy points out in this post.

I hope you click on that link before you get back to nagging reminding your teen about doing homework or cleaning up the pet vomit or dealing with Mt. Washmore (a.k.a., Mt. Neverrest) or washing those dirty dishes.

Thank God for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell:
while others may go hungry,
we’re eating very well.
For home and health and happiness
I wouldn’t want to fuss
for by the stack of evidence
God has been good to us.

The above poem hung in my husband’s grandmother’s kitchen. My SIL cross-stitched it and framed it for me as a gift many years ago, and it has been in my own kitchen ever since. It really does keep me from grumbling too much about those dirty dishes. 

This week’s adventures

  1. I stayed home from church again on Sunday (week number 4, if anyone is counting — and I am) because I am still on bed rest for my ankle. The stranded turtle position is getting really old, ankle above heart, etc., etc.
  2. On Sunday evening, my oldest son called me to say there were admitted to the hospital. I knew it was too soon for us to leave, so I asked him to call back with an update in a few hours. Then we went to sleep. He called again at 2am, and SuperDad and I got up and loaded ourselves into the car, arriving at the hospital around 4am.
  3. Our grandson was born at 11:10am on Monday. I am so in love with this little person!  So far, he has many qualities in common with his daddy (being an easy baby is one of them) and I adore watching his parents fall head over heals in love with him and again with each other. It’s truly awesome.
    Fifteen hours after leaving home, SD and I returned and I promptly went back to my obedient position, with my left ankle propped up higher than my nose (and heart). I also promptly fell asleep, because after 3.5 weeks of pain and rest, I don’t have my usual stamina.

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    Little Foot and his smitten grandparents

  4. On Tuesday morning, my orthopaedic surgeon gave me a thorough chewing-out over my choices made on Monday. He was able to remove most of my stitches, but there was still some swelling on my ankle and a few inches of the incision had not yet closed. Despite his lecture (which was his job, and which did make me cry) I would make the same choices all over again. It was my heart’s desire to be there for the labor and birth of my first grandchild, and with the blessing of the baby’s parents, I was there at the hospital.  You only become a grandparent for the first time once.
  5. So I’m still here, still in stranded turtle position 2 weeks post-surgery. I’m thoroughly bored. My brain feels like it is atrophying thanks to the pain medication. I’ve tried to go longer between doses, and we have lengthened the schedule a little bit, but eventually I give in — because who wants to live in constant level 5+ pain? (The pain starts as something that feels like pressure against both sides of my ankle which I can live with, eventually squeezing all around. But then I get grouchy and tearful. It’s quite the fun cycle.)

BONUS:  I’ve updated the Cast of Characters, up there on the top bar below the header picture. A few names have changed to reflect current trends and occupations.

Give Me Beauty (or give me dust)

Today I am focusing on beauty instead of guilt.

Oh, the guilt is still there — in the thick dust on the shelf in my bedroom, the clutter of Christmas remaining here-there-and-everywhere — but I am choosing to focus instead on beauty.

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There is beauty in the brilliant sunny morning. Our well-below freezing temperatures insure that the snow and ice are here to stay for a while, and the sun shining in a pale blue sky glints brightly off every surface touched with white (even if that white comes from dust). The red glass and crystal amongst the green cacti may no longer be seasonal but I still find it mildly cheering.

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There is beauty sipping coffee from a cup gifted to me [years ago] by a young son. There is beauty in the opportunity to open and read Christmas cards from friends and family far away.

Our mailman finishes his daily route in our neighborhood after dark this time of year. He rushes to the doorway and I hear the clatter of the metal lid against the brick as he delivers junk mail, catalogs, bills, and those precious cards and letters. He rushes off to the next house yet we rarely match his hurry to see what he has brought, for it is the height of dinner preparation and all hands are busy.

But now — now it is the quiet morning, with children off to school. Christmas ticks slowly away here on day number 9 of twelve. There are no gifts to be wrapped (or made!) and the final stamps were affixed to envelopes last night for my own Christmas greetings. I prefer to not think of them as belated until those 12 drummers have finished their drumming. Now I can sit quietly and read each card and letter sent by friends and think about each one, wishing we were together sharing our news in person. I nod empathetically as I read about one friend’s move last spring, the farewells and new beginnings all too familiar to me. I smile with delight over the “Happy Thanksgiving” card sent at Christmas by an older friend, who knew what she was doing but sent it anyway rather than not send a card at all. Oh, how I love her! And those precious smiles on the faces of my grand-nieces…

decorated by boys (note the angel facing the tree)

decorated by boys  (note the angel facing the tree)

Yes, I choose beauty this morning over guilt.

I only wish that I had been able to do that a few weeks ago, when the cards were arriving daily, when I focused instead of the hurry, hurry, hurry of getting the sewing done and the decorations hung, strung, and placed (most of them by someone else).

And even now, when I am about to elevate my foot yet again (I have to do it to keep the pain and swelling down still at 5 weeks post-op) I will attempt to enjoy the Christmas tree in my living room. Oh, it mocked me yesterday — mocked me to tears of frustration over its mere presence — which is almost humorous since I normally keep it up until Epiphany. I had to stop reading** what others were saying in blogs and on facebook about how their Christmas decorations were put away and houses back to a state of clean and clear of clutter.

But TODAY! Today I am choosing to focus on beauty. So I will admire those decorations created by my children when they were younger. I will appreciate the glinting of sunlight on the coloured glass balls. I only see these things for a few weeks out of every year, so I want to take joy in their presence.

Yes.  There is beauty everywhere, and today I choose to notice, appreciate, and enjoy it.

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**This will also explain why there are currently 242 unread blog posts in my Reader. Two hundred and forty-two! Say that aloud in the voice of Toula from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
I just did. 🙂