begin with ‘j’ words…


446. judgement, jealousy,  justification… mine to own, my sinful nature to recognize, mine to gain freedom from. Naming them, and asking God to forgive. Again. Often. Again.

447. finding a jewel beside the bench by the lake, recognizing the metaphor in the single cubic zirconia in a cheap, rusted setting… seeing myself as tarnished, vintage, yet priceless in God’s sight.

448. that behind the heavy lowness of grey clouds, vapour that we cannot grasp or touch or break through often for weeks at a time, there is a glory of sun and warmth and potential for growth, within a vast blue of sky. That this is a season of waiting, perseverance, rest… and more.

449. wind crisp against my face, icing my skin, and the rush glow in my cheeks when I get back inside the warmth, teens and dog welcoming me home.

450. steam rising from a cup of hot coffee with milk and sugar, the warmth expanding.

451. son asking how my walk was.

452. that God can be found outside the walls of the church.

453. son studying hard for his finals.

453. daughter kissing me.

454. finding there is unity in marriage and creating new ways to get there.

455. deer nibbling shoots on orchard trees… following their tracks along my street.

456. iris poking up out of the snow as the mercury announces the possibility of Spring.

457. open mics, music and poetry… blessing God for creativity in all its forms.

458. the profound simplicity of my husbands words, “just breathe.”

459. telling God everything. Yelling sometimes.

460. remembering the naming of the gifts. Re-visiting this way of gratefulness.

461. that this world and these people are wonderland, the fullness of God’s glory, the echo of his voice, that my eyes become dull and my heart crusted over and my ears deaf, and I need to take time to remember all he has given.

That confession and turning is the restart button… that God’s grace is always waiting… and action always follows.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Lesley-Anne

Vintage Disney Posters

Vintage Disney Posters (Photo credit: cattias.photos)

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For me, myself and I…


Some days I just need to hear myself repeat out loud and in ink the things that are good, so that I can actually believe it. And maybe the more I speak the truth, the more it is absorbed into my heart, mind and soul, to take the place of the sadness, the weight of living. Today is such a day.

DSC_0593

422. His ankle is sprained, not broken.

423. He is almost home… hang on just a few more hours.

424. The game was cancelled. I don’t have to drive in the dark and the snow tonight.

425. The man with the crutch who was there early and offered him the crutch… divine appointment.

426. They care so much for our kids at the school. So, so much.

427. He made us lunch. He made chicken noodle soup. It was so good.

428. There is blue out there… enough to make a shirt.

429. Hugs… nothing like them.

430. A gift under her tree for me.

431. Looking in your eyes. Seeing you looking back.

432. Christmas choral music… Messiah… sigh…

433. Twinkle lights.

434. I love you to infinity and beyond!

435. He tells me he is thankful for my baking and my cooking.

436. The apples clinging to the orchard trees in the dead of winter.

437. Silly movies… very silly movies. Laughter…

438. Realizing it’s about me listening, obeying, not the outcome.

439. Sharing the crosswalk with a sweet older lady… a brief conversation.

440. Saying sorry… getting nothing in return. Being OK with that.

441. Rest. Allowing myself rest.

442. Everything matters.

443. Everything is grace.

444. Thank you, Anne Voskamp, for getting me started. For lifting up my chin, whispering into my heart, affirming the need to speak thanks into being, for the miracles that happen. Thank you, dear Anne.  Perhaps one day we will cross paths this side of heaven?

445. A cup of tea as darkness falls…

Soli Deo Gloria,

Lesley-Anne

Evidence of grace…


Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois)....

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois). Français : Pleine Lune vue de la Terre en Belgique à Hamois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

401. hot water enough

402. the gentle pursuit of our father God

403. that there is always evidence

404. sun warmth permeating thick clothing

405. flannel sheets

406. decking the halls with a friend

407. twinkle of Christmas lights when dark arrives early

408. internet radio on all day Christmas tunes

409. full moon sky glow

410. the miracle of man standing on moon

411. our necks tilted back looking at stars

412. communion

413. choice

414. having something to give, always

415. chewing on tasty ideas

416. good laughs and friendly competition around the pool table

417. husband, sons, daughter

418. soft good morning kiss and kind first words

419. my life

420. that I don’t miss Facebook yet

421. not always knowing

Remember me…


Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (Photo credit: Lauren Cathy Turner)

386. Remembering… the human ability to call to mind that which lingers and which has meaning

387. Remembrance Day… November 11, the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour… silent thoughtful remembrance of sacrifice of others for my good

388. The Remembrance… The Lord’s Supper… Eucharist… I am taking and breaking and eating and finding good and grace-filled and filled with meaning, because of Jesus sacrifice for me, his body broken for me, his blood poured out for me

389. Memory… the capacity to experience over and over again…

390. remembering to be grateful

391. remembering sacrifice

392. remembering love

393. the silence and sensibility for all this and more

394. leaves surrendering to chill, lack of sun and production of green, the swansong of colours, the final fall to earth and death

395. the things placed upon our hearts as they spill over with thanks

396. beauty

397.  words that last long after we do

398. husband reaching

399. whistle of a son

400. the goodness of all things, the goodness of Papa God

So I receive, remember, respond with thankfulness for all things,

Soli Deo Gloria,

Lesley-Anne

Surprise Communion

Thanks…giving…


368. his left and my right and fingers intertwined press flesh to flesh

369. sitting by my reading mother, reading

370. anticipation of Thai food and conversation with family

371. daughters pretty toenails in a new fall colour

372. daughter picking some cords on her electric guitar

373. being asked, saying yes

374. wine tour, corn maze, cidery, and the mercury holding at 18 degrees C

375. his dress shirts fresh from the wash, hung to air dry

376. enthusiasm of dogs

377. views to mountains, vineyards, orchards

378. long light pouring into the garden

379. eyes to see a photograph worth taking

380. stillness, time to listen

381. ambrosia apple with cheddar cheese

382. small talk

383. hydrangeas fading from chartreuse to sepia

384. the question of do you want to play some pool… delivered with a shy smile

385. a holiday weekend to remind us what matters… and to be thankful for what matters

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On your mark, get set…


Bridge Olympic Rings

Bridge Olympic Rings (Photo credit: Mabacam)

I was up and out early this morning, and on my drive I turned the radio to CBC. Headlines included the Premiers discussions around the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the countdown to the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England. In just 5 hours much of the world will be watching in awe as London unveils what has been held secret for so long.

And, although I’m not an athlete, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement as I listened to some interviews of Londoners who have had this event in their sights for seven years. There’s something about planning, about setting your mind and heart towards the future that catches us all up, grabs our hearts. And issues of commercialism and athlete drugging aside, there’s also something pretty spectacular about the young people that dedicate their lives to being the best they can be. The training, the perseverance, the undivided eyes set on the goal… GOLD. So, we watch, we admire, we are inspired by these ones who embody something most of us can only dream of.

And in the echo of their accomplishment we hear an invitation… to be the best of who we are with the gifts we have been given.

Gifts for today,

311. how a pedestrian walk-way can be a wildlife corridor for a neighbourhood white tailed deer

312. the words and infectious attitude of Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes on CBC Radio One

Clara Hughes

Clara Hughes (Photo credit: John Biehler)

313. heart-felt greetings and farewells at airports

314. another sunny summer day, projected high of 29 C

315. Tim Hortons drive through server calling me ‘sweetie’… twice

316. Tim Hortons coffee ~ double, double

317. a peaceful porch invitation to pause and consider the naming of gifts once again

318. lime green pool float glowing in sunlight

319. bumble bees blessing Spirea blossoms

320. a bowl full of beach combed seashells

321. plans for blueberry pancakes with the kids

322. anticipating pageantry and excitement of Olympic Opening Ceremonies in just 5 hours

323. that feeling of being in a sweet sweet place, like The Flying Scotsman, Erik Liddell, winner of the men’s 400 metres at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, who said this “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

Olympic Torch for the 2008 Summer Olympics pas...

Olympic Torch for the 2008 Summer Olympics passes through Stratford in London. Stratford will be a major location for the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I forgot…


Poetry

Poetry (Photo credit: Kimli)

Such a simple excuse reason, and it happened so easily, so quickly, so sneakily, that it almost went undetected. Until I realized upon a slightly closer examination of my inner/outer attitude and my focus that I had completely LOST IT! I mean I stopped keeping track, I stopped counting and naming and writing down the things that I am thankful for. And guess what happened then, I FORGOT TO BE THANKFUL.

My life is often plagued with forgetfulness. What appears as a life changing idea one week becomes a vague recollection the next. I’m full of good intentions, full of them. And I am such a good starter and such a bad finisher. How about you?

So, after taking a week out for Centrum Port Townsend Writers Conference, and having limited my writing to poetry and to editing poetry and to learning about writing better poetry, my “one thousand gifts” list became a must-do -later-but-can’t-do-right-now kind of thing until I got home. Home again, I post once full of the fullness of my experience and gratitude for all of it and then… yesterday… I realized I’d stopped altogether. One week after being back home with my beloved ones and not one addition to the list of gifts. NOT ONE!

I’m telling you this because I want to be entirely up front with who I am and what I am capable of. And not capable of.

Anyway, I’m going to start again. Or should I say, re-start.

295. a memory that works often but not always

296. a new idea that is still a good idea

297. family around the dinner table

298. friends who drop off cookies to my kids when I am away

299. friends who drop of banana bread to my kids when I am away

300. a husband that supports my creative growth as a writer

301. brown dog swimming in the pool

302. decorating plans with my best girl

303. friends on the porch, wine in the glass

304. watching my girl treat my boy to a clean truck

305. pentunia party of colour

306. huddled under the porch in pouring rain

307. a novel based on facts I know nothing about until now

308. worship hands up voice open heart wide

309. reading a magazine in the shade

310. the grace to re-start

Dragging my feet, lifting up my eyes, sometimes in a fog,

Lesley-Anne

Port Townsend's downtown waterfront in the fog

Port Townsend’s downtown waterfront in the fog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)