Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Top Twenty

     The holidays are complete and the end of the year is drawing near.  I received a book from my  daughter for Christmas - not sure how she found it but it seems just perfect for me. 
Emily P. Freeman's A Million Little Ways is a book about uncovering "the Art you were meant to live".

     Oh Emily, if you only knew how much I needed this.  I have always seen the Lord's art everywhere I look but my art, who I am meant to be?  I seem to let that get steamrolled over all of the time.  Your book, your blog, your podcast - inspiration and encouragement for me to 'be'.  Thank you.

     So, taking your cue, here are my 20 things in no particular order.

1. Fur is pervasive, it gets on your clothes, in your nose and in every crack and crevice of your house.  It also gets deep within your heart as the love of a furry ball of happy can't be replaced by anything else.

2. It's a good thing I haven't really been to too many places, that way Alaska still gets to be on the top of my list.  So blessed to have once again been able to cruise to Alaska with MWS and many wonderful people.

3. Time-wasters.  I have long known that time-wasters can suck the life out of me.  I'm talking those meaningless things that flip across my screen, click through my media feed or simply fall out of my mouth as so-called words.  Still, I've yet to conquer them - here's to better success at it in 2015.

4. and 5.  There are few things that I'm good at, some may say blessed with.  I've never been one to toot my own horn so it's not comfortable for me to say that I've been given the gifts of being able to paint well and write well.  I receive encouragement to paint more yet I only paint if I need a gift for someone, want to donate something for a raffle at my church or have been commissioned to.  I don't really paint for me, which means I don't paint from my emotions.  I do write from my emotions.  I enjoy writing but I'm not disciplined in this area either.  I want more from myself in regard to my painting and writing.

6. Family.  As the years go by and time flies it is good to remind ones self that you can never spend too much time with loved ones.  True, too much time in one day may make you run in the other direction, but we need to run back as soon as we can before time runs out.
7. Servant hood.  God wants more and I need to make the time for that, put aside my differences and allow myself to wander away from my comfort zone and get busy.

8. Faith.  Daily doses of His word will bring me comfort, joy, confidence and more faith in myself, confidence in His path for my life and hope above all else.

9. Darkness.  I don't like it.  It comes with the change in season, the long winter and naked trees.  Plus, I can't see stuff, who turned out the lights?

10. Habits.  We are creatures of habit.  I'm not talking really bad habits like smoking or biting your fingernails.  I'm just talking about the habitualness of shopping, coming home after work, making dinner, being too tired to clean up.  I need to change things up, simplify.  I still act as though 4 people live in this house - let's change this habit of cooking for 4 in 2015.

11.  Perspective. I love looking at things differently. I love to have open discussions with friends, listen and then offer a different way to look at things. They aren't necessarily the way I would have looked at things prior to the conversation, but something shows me a different way to look at things.

12. Recipes. They are everywhere.  They give me a million reasons to try new things, eat new food or the same food in new ways.  I love them but I'd be much better if I just ignored them.

13. Boys.  Some things never change.  No further comment.

14. Friends.  Where would I be without them?  I love an adventure with a friend, simple shopping with a friend, crying together over coffee, worshipping together, I can't say enough about friends.

15. The Arts. A few concerts, a one man play - this is not enough.  I love the arts.  I need to spend more time appreciating these things, time walking slowly through a museum, going to the theater, the ballet - awakening the million little ways my soul responds to the arts.

16. Correspondence.  I love it.  Who doesn't?  We enjoy receiving a card or a note realizing someone has been thinking about us.  But I'm not good at it. I'm guessing a book of stamps, some note cards and some time well spent can brighten a lot of people's day.  Why don't we do this anymore?  Maybe we can start a trend - a correspondence club or something.  Just a thought.

17. Fasting.  I understand it, believe in the benefits, but one word.  How?  How Lord do I do this? How exactly, at my job, in my home, do I do this?

18. Sleep. Why does it take vacation to reap the benefits of a proper amount of sleep? 2014 didn't have enough sleep.

19. Salted Caramel. It doesn't really matter what form this takes.  Ever since I discovered it - it can be candy, frozen yogurt, a cupcake, a beverage - doesn't matter, salted caramel is the flavor du jour.

20.  Daughters.  It doesn't get much better than having a true relationship between mother and daughter. Two people who know each other like no one else and share a common appreciation and everlasting love for one another. Daughter love is one of a kind.

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