I took this the other morning while my husband was driving me to the train station. The beauty of the skies never ceases to amaze me and I love to be up early and outdoors in time to see the sunrise.
There is a lot of unrest in America following the recent election. So many are worried about the future of our country. Social media is full of opinions on both sides of the fence. It is easy to get caught up in the turmoil. And yet, we must remember that our God is in control. He holds us in the palm of His hand. He watches over us and our country. He offers peace and rest free for the asking.
One of my favorite activities is to go out for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature. In this way, I reconnect with God and refresh my spirit. I see the incredible world that God has made and I am at peace. I enjoy fresh air, beautiful vistas, a bit of exercise, and photo ops. Hope you will enjoy these pics from a later afternoon hike in the woods near our home.
As you contemplate natural beauty, allow your soul to be at rest and allow peace to invade your spirit. Take time to enjoy the world around you.
I attended Homecoming at my alma mater last weekend. It was wonderful to be back on campus and see how much the college has grown. There was a vibrancy on campus – an excitement for all that God is doing in and through the college. There are many new buildings since I was there and the facilities are quite impressive. The college has kept up with education trends and the needs of the student population. At the same time, they have kept the natural beauty of the campus intact and there are beautiful places to walk both on the perimeter of the campus and in the heart of it. The sense of place and of mission is very strong on this college campus. Even the older buildings are filled with the energy of staff who are enthused about the direction and goals of the college.
We walked through the woods to the large pond and I remembered walking and cross-country skiing on these paths as well as canoeing and swimming in the pond. I saw a few old friends and met several new ones. The college motto is “Lives Worth Leading” and they are intentionally shaping students to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Had a fantastic day trip to Block Island this past weekend.
We rented mopeds and rode, then walked out to the North Lighthouse,
swam, walked around the point, and then rode round to the Southeast Light and Mohegan Bluffs. Went back into town for lunch and then another swim and some frisbee in the ocean. A sun-filled, salty, sandy day was just what we all needed. Refreshing to walk along the shore and see the ocean, which was very clear and a beautiful turquoise blue.
I’d be hard-pressed to say which is my favorite season. I love them all! But today it is spring and so today that is my favorite season. And I think I have finally captured spring.
Although I love all of the flowering trees, the cherry blossoms particularly, my favorite are the pink dogwood. But the fresh new green of budding trees against a deep blue sky is something that speaks serenity to my soul.
What speaks serenity to your soul?
Had a lovely walk on the beach this week with our 21, almost 22, year old daughter. We had to step carefully to avoid the man-o-war jellyfish that had blown up onto the sand in the stiff offshore breeze. Gen was lamenting the poor creatures demise and particularly the bitty ones that she called ‘boys of war’ who did not even get to survive to adulthood. They were about an inch in diameter and seemed so fragile, yet are so dangerous. Her phrase and her empathy made me smile. Life is precious – even a jellyfish! This child of mine is passionate about life, about sustainability, about reducing homelessness, about many subjects. What a joy to share this time by the ocean. Another day at the beach we giggled uncontrollably as the wind pelted us with tiny stinging grains of sand. At the pool, we lay in the sun and had a long heart-to-heart. Connecting with this beautiful young woman who lives so far from us is a rare treat and I cherished our short time together. Finding serenity together as we laughed, celebrated, reminisced and enjoyed time outdoors.
The town where I grew up is on the water and my dad has always been an amateur weather man as well as a sailor. There was a peninsula in the town with a long harbor on one side and the sound on the other. Whenever there was a storm, my dad would say, “let’s go down to the beach and see if the water is over the road yet.” I remember the flooding being more common in winter storms. Dad and I, and my sister, would jump in the car, drive down to the beach, and plow through the water, first with the car and then on foot. We would check out the water level around the buildings and look for waves and white caps.
Weather was exciting! Rain and storms were to be EXPERIENCED. As an adult, I try to recapture the joy of being outdoors in all weather, foul and fair. And whenever dad calls, his first question is always, ‘how’s the weather?’ The stormier the better in his mind!
Tonight I am meditating on:
and the connection to:
Are the short walks that I take a mini form of Sabbath? Taking photographs, noticing the beauty of creation is similar for me. Reading is at times also restful for me. I was studying a bit more about StrengthsFinder tonight and noticed the connections between introspection and Intellection. Reading is, at times, also restful for me.
I paused to read Michael Hyatt’s post:
and was struck by the similarity of our thoughts.
Are there practices that rejuvenate your spirit in a similar way?
Snowpocalypse 2016 is in progress as I write. We’ve enjoyed a snow day here in Pennsylvania. So far we have over 23” of snow in less than 24 hours. It’s beautiful to look at. This quiet Saturday has been spent reading, cooking, eating, and cross country skiing. I love when I am home on a weekend with no particular agenda. My favorite thing is to sit on the couch in my living room. The sofas are old, but their blue, green, and white large floral pattern makes me happy, as does the design and architecture of this home. From the couch, I can see the snow falling outside the four sliding glass doors and piling up on the back deck. This quiet house in the woods is my respite. I am so blessed to enjoy this beautiful home.
I remember where I was when I got my One Word. It was early January of 2016 and I was just leaving the doctor’s office on a cold winter day, and I paused just outside the door to look at a bush. There in the midst of winter was a tiny bit of green. I was reminded to slow down and admire the beauty around me. And it came to me, Serenity is my word. It defines me. It is how I live my life. And it is partly my temperament, but it’s also intentional. Like the choice that I made to stop and admire the landscape, not just hurry on to the next thing (or back to work). It’s about choosing to see and notice the beauty around you. A life lived in a rush does not leave much room for serenity. But slowing down can be hard. Stick around, see how I cultivate Serenity.