TGIF! Time for rest and fun

I don’t know about you but I am so thankful that it is Friday!  I am so ready for the weekend and for us to have some time for fun and relaxation.  The last month has been really hard and I have had a hard time focusing on my writing.  That is frustrating.

So much sadness has been going on recently that putting together coherent thoughts has been difficult.  A friend passed away, another one is now in hospice care, a former co-worker’s son was found dead, people are suffering and hurting, and several friends are undergoing chemo treatments now.

That is so very much to deal with and my heart has been heavy.  However, I still try to find the good in life and be positive each day.  That is hard some days, but I continue to pray, and have been touched by all of the prayer support for these people.  So things are starting to get better.  When they are, I hope to have the desire to write again and more frequently.  I do miss it when I don’t.

This photo is one that calms me and helps me to remember fun times with family and friends.  It is lovely and one of my happy places.  So that is why I decided to post it for today’s blog.  Hope you also have a happy place or things that can help you when you are down.

Also, it is heartbreaking to see so much hate in the news and online.  We seem to have real and extreme problems with those we don’t agree with and I just don’t understand that.  What happened to having differences of opinion, compromising, and respecting someone else’s opinion and ideas?

I grew up learning to appreciate another person’s take on life.  It was enriching and not scary to me.  These days, people seem to be scared and filled with hate towards others.  This has to stop.  We have to be a people again who love others and show kindness to our loved ones and those we don’t know.

As a mother of a child with a loving heart, I don’t want him to grow up thinking it’s okay to be mean, hateful, and judgemental of someone who is different than he is.  Instead, I want him to be loving, kind, and willing to listen to differences and respect them.

A few quotes about hope:

  • “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu
  • “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Hope is like the sun, which as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” — Samuel Smiles
  • “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama
  • “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from today.” — John Wayne
  • “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” — Rick Warren

May we always remember to be loving, kind, compassionate, willing to listen to others, and respect those who are different from ourselves.  May we have this weekend to recharge and have some fun.  May we have hope despite all of the pain and suffering.  May we remember that our Lord is there with us through everything.

The Storms In Life

storm.cloudsSome weeks are good weeks and some are not so good.  We can call them the storms of our life.  I have had one of those weeks.

On Sunday, a friend passed away.  She was young and has a son Ian’s age.  She was someone who I am very glad to have had as my friend.  We didn’t know each other for that long but we clicked from the first time we chatted as our boys played together.

On Thursday, we celebrated her life at a lovely memorial service.  She had requested everyone to wear bright colors and it was such a lovely vision to see.  Instead of the usual black, there was a sea of pink, blue, yellow, green, orange, and many other colors.  Despite the sadness, if made me smile.  The music was lovely and the scripture verses very meaningful.  It was a lovely tribute to this fine woman.  I continue to pray for her husband, child, and family.

Also this week, one of my relatives had surgery after going through months and months of chemo.   She has been brave and amazingly strong through it all.  She is home now and continuing to get better! What a fabulous answer to our prayers.  We continue to pray for her each and every day.

On the good side of things, I found out that one of my cousins is pregnant with her second daughter.  We are so excited for this new life and cannot wait to meet her.  I hope and pray for a great rest of her pregnancy.

With the end of one life, the struggles of another life, and a new life on the horizon, I am reminded of how precious and short our time is.  And how life keeps going and moving on.   And how precious the loved ones who enrich my life truly are to me.   I try to remember to make the most of each and every minute that I have and spend time with my loved ones.

But, I have to admit, I sometimes take these people for granted, without meaning to.  I want to be sure not to do that, but instead remember to savor and appreciate them and be in the moment.  I don’t plan to beat myself up for missed moments, but instead learn to realize how truly each minute is a gift and to be treasured.

Also on my mind this week are the many struggles and suffering all over the world — fighting and violence, the airplane that was shot down, and the terrible fires, flooding and other strong storms.  I continue to pray for those affected by all of these disasters.

The photo at the top of the blog is one that I took of an approaching storm during our recent trip to Charleston, SC.  It was lovely yet menacing.  Very soon afterwards, the storm clouds opened and a soaking rain started.  Thankfully we were in my cousin’s truck but the rain was so heavy that it was hard to see.  It didn’t last very long and then the sun came out.

Thankfully, just as that rain storm moved out quickly, the storms in our lives eventually still and move out.  And, then there is the rainbow or the sunny day.  So too, the hard times will eventually turn into easier times.  I hope and pray that will be soon for those suffering.

This weekend is a rainy weekend and one that is quite unusual for July.  It is cooler than normal with a steady rain for most of today and tomorrow.  May we enjoy our time and appreciate the rain.  After all, it will be lovely once the sun comes back out.

Here are a few quotes about storms:

  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”– Vivian Greene
  • “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”– Haruki Murakami
  • “Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.” — Author Unknown
  • “After a storm comes a calm.” — Matthew Henry
  • “Sometimes you just have to bow your head, say a prayer, and weather the storm.” — Author Unknown
  • “Count your rainbows, not your storms.” — Alyssa Knight (age 12)
  • “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” — Author Unknown
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

I wonder if I can appreciate each day, even one with storms and struggles.  With the Lord’s help and love and strength of my family and friends, I will do my best.