Posted in Blogging, Life, nostalgia

Throwback Thursday: flashback thoughts

Once again, I’m sharing an old post of mine from June 2011 for this Throwback Thursday. As I’ve said before, Mama’s Empty Nest is celebrating a 10-year blogaversary this month and I decided to repost some of my favorite offerings from those years.

Ten years of writing this blog hasn’t brought me fame and fortune, but it has blessed me tremendously with wonderful readers and new friends. It’s enabled me to share my life’s messages and I can only hope it’s been inspiring and encouraging to others.

But for now, go back in time with me and read the following post.

Flashback to the 60’s.   She is alone, upstairs in her bedroom with the door closed tightly.  Pictures of her idols, “The Monkees,” smile on her from the walls of her room.

Dressed in her most mod outfit, mini-skirt, fringed vest, and go-go boots, she dances the Pony and the Jerk to spinning vinyl 45’s on her record player, belts out songs to a pretend audience of thousands but in reality just a few old  stuffed animals and forgotten baby dolls.   And she yearns for the day when she would become famous.

Her daydreams revolve around that thought.  Fame.  It would be exciting to be a famous pop star/singer, but what she truly envisions for herself is becoming a sought-after actress, known and revered by millions.  When that happens, she muses, everyone will be in awe.

Those who snubbed her now, those who didn’t want to be her friend, and those who didn’t realize she existed would clamor for her attention and she would ignore them.  And if that star-studded scenario didn’t occur, she would settle for being a famous author.

Such were the desires of an adolescent girl. To be famous meant you were somebody, not just the average 13-year-old girl who lived a hum-drum boring existence in an average middle-class home in rural America.  When she was a famous singer/actress/writer, she thought she might occasionally return to her hometown, just to show people how important she was.

That young, teenage girl was me.  Back in the day, I had no clue what real life entailed; I thought being famous was the end all to everything.  As I grew up,  I realized that wasn’t true.

I imagine most famous people have an inborn desire to become noticed, rich, or powerful.  Famous actress Katharine Hepburn once said, “When I started out, I didn’t have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.”  So evidently, she experienced that passionate desire and brought it to fruition.

Famous is something I am not.  My closest stab at being a star actress was the lead role in my high school play during my senior year.  The nearest I’ve come to being a singing sensation was performing a few solos in various church choirs and singing ensembles.  The only hints at public awareness I’ve managed in the writing world were my byline on articles I crafted in reporter days for a daily newspaper and my little blips on this blog.

Now I laugh out loud at the visions I embraced back then of performing before audiences of thousands.  Obviously, I did not embody the passion to fulfill those girlhood dreams of notoriety.  

As a young teen, I thought my passion was to become famous.  I wanted to be noticed and applauded by an audience.   That’s what I believed would provide a happy and fulfilled life.

How wrong I was in my youthful zealous daydreams.  Real life led me into an entirely different direction:   marriage, children, family life, enjoyable work, making the world a better place for one person at a time, and most importantly, loving and serving God.

To some, those aspects of life don’t sound very passionate, but they have been my passion all along.  Pastor and author Dr. David Jeremiah’s wise words reinforced what I’ve come to understand: “The strength of passion is to do whatever we do heartily, and the secret of passion is that we do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord himself rather than for man.”

Jeremiah continued: “Sometimes we think nobody sees the effort we make to work at our jobs, take care of our families, or serve the Lord.  Not true!  God sees it all.  We play on a field with an audience of One sitting in the stands.  And He is the only one who really matters.  He sees and knows everything we do – the motive and passion with which we live our lives.”

So even back in my foolish days, when I longed for a captive audience, I already had one.  The One.    The only One who matters.  And so do you.

Imagine as you go through your day, there He is sitting in the auditorium watching your performance, sitting in the bleachers watching you play, sitting at your conference table watching you work, sitting on your sofa listening to you talk.

He knows what you’re going through, He sees what you accomplish even when no one else notices and you are weary, and He finds pleasure in all you do for His glory.

On this 14th page in Chapter 6 of my Opportunity book, I find it inspiring to think that I might please my audience of One and that He doesn’t  care whether I’m famous or not.  I know He doesn’t want me to lose heart while I serve Him in the big things and the small.  I hope you feel the same.

“Your life is your message to the world.  Make it inspiring.” ~  Lorrin L. Lee


Do I have anything to add to these thoughts now in the year 2020? All I can say is “ditto.” I’ll continue to write my messages here in my own little corner of cyberspace for as long as the Lord wills and gives me words to say.


Posted in Blogging, Life

Throwback Thursday: celebrate

It’s time once more for a Throwback Thursday post here at Mama’s Empty Nest. Ten years ago this month, I launched this little corner of cyberspace on WordPress entitled Mama’s Empty Nest.

The month of July marks my ‘blogaversary’ of writing here but actually it’s been 15 years since I entered the blogging world. Previously, I had occasionally written on another blog site from 2005-2007 but then stopped because…well, life got in the way. My nest wasn’t completely empty back then and it was crazy busy.  

Join me as I look back at celebrating Mama’s Empty Nest with this post written in July 2011.

One of my favorite things is chocolate and another is writing this blog.

Obviously, I can’t share my to-die-for chocolate candy (pictured) with you.   But I can share my thoughts with my friends and readers in written form here at Mama’s Empty Nest.

July is my “blogaversary” month.    I use the term month because I’m not sure which July date actually commemorates my blog’s anniversary.

Six years ago on July 9, 2005 (now 15 years ago!!) on a whim and a dare from oldest daughter, I started writing a blog via a different site.  Recuperating from cancer surgery and not physically able to accomplish my usual summer to-do list, I needed something to occupy my time and mind.

Oldest daughter convinced me to create a blog on the same site she then used and I started putting my thoughts into written words again.  My writing topics ranged from silly thoughts to serious ones, everyday life to the change in thinking that a cancer (albeit a curable kind) diagnosis brings.  Once I recovered and returned back to “real life,” I only posted occasionally, when I encountered a little free time, until fall 2007.

And then… nada…zilch…nothing.  My blogging life ended.  Life got in my way.  Hubby and I still had kids in the nest, two sets of college tuition to pay, a calendar full of events to attend, jobs, a home to maintain, and all of those priorities dominated my waking hours.

With our youngest child’s college graduation last year (in 2010) and all of our children’s subsequent moves away from home, my world and waking hours changed.  I tried social networking for a while; fun at first reconnecting with old friends, but after the novelty wore off, I found myself sitting at the computer playing endless rounds of Reversi and Bubble Town.

Way to let the brain atrophy!  In between popping bubbles and knocking off Reversi opponents, I began reading a far-away friend’s new blog on WordPress.   One day, I realized how much I missed writing myself.   Why not take my love for stringing words together in written form down from the shelf, dust off my skills, and rekindle my blog?  So I moved my old posts from the previous site over to WordPress, started cranking out new posts on July 19, 2010, and my new blog, Mama’s Empty Nest,  was  hatched.

What happened next I compare to coming out of a coma.  Suddenly, my mind leaped into over-drive and so did my senses.  It felt like I had awakened from a very long winter’s nap.  Once I commenced writing, words just kept gushing out of me, words that were obviously bottled up inside for decades.  Ideas would spring into my mind when I gazed at a picture or often when a sight unfolded in front of my eyes, while driving, and even while sleeping.

My senses seemed heightened – eyes wide open, observing things I couldn’t wait to write about, ears hearing sounds I previously must have taken for granted.  Every day occurrences in my world suddenly needed crafted and sculpted into paragraphs of written language, and I was constantly grabbing the nearest scrap of paper to jot down my thoughts before they melted away.

An old composition notebook became my new best friend in which I scribbled ideas, thoughts, and topics when they surged into my brain.  And then something truly amazing happened.  I realized I wasn’t just writing for myself and my closest family anymore.  Somewhere out there in cyber-land, people – friends and strangers – started reading my blog and commenting!

A whole new world opened up for me [cue the theme song from Disney’s Aladdin] as I gained new readers, blogging buddies, and very good friends.  I recently reviewed my posts from five years ago and marveled at the change I see in my writing and even in myself. (Ditto that now in 2020.)

Where I once blogged as a way to fill up empty time, now I blog because it brings me joy.  Where I previously wrote whatever came to mind, now my posts have meaning and depth…and I believe, purpose. 

Today, on this 26th page of Chapter 7 in my Opportunity book of life – not exactly my blogiversary date – I  am astonished at how far I’ve come, but I’m more grateful for those who’ve traveled with me on this journey:

  • for my family who always encourages me to write (special thanks to hubby who often patiently listens to my posts while I read them aloud to catch any errors);
  • for the friends who personally know me and read my work, spurring me on with kind words of support (you are great cheerleaders!);
  • for my new friends, my faithful readers, and fellow bloggers (your comments and your blogs inspire me and I appreciate them so very much);
  • for my Lord Jesus Christ who graciously gave me a gift which I must use for His glory and for allowing me to “see” through His eyes as I write.

So Happy Blogaversary to all of us! If I could, I’d share my chocolates with every one of you for the entire month of July! ©2011

 “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~ Virginia Woolf


Posted in Blogging, photography, writing

Be still…and enjoy the tulips

blogIMG_7690I’m back from my blogging hiatus, at least I hope. 

If you’re a follower or frequent reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you’ll know that I’ve been absent for well over a month from the blogging world. I decided to take a break from writing because, to be frank, I just wasn’t feeling motivated or inspired to write any more. It was time for me to just be still.

That break was only supposed to last for a short time – I envisioned it for maybe a week or two. Well, that turned into the longest period of time that Mama remained mum (in words that is) in over nine years of blogging.

For this writer, the art of putting words into sentences and then into paragraphs takes a large chunk of time, especially since I’ll admit I’m a perfectionist when it comes to this craft.

I tend to read over and over what I’ve written several times proofreading for typos, mistakes, misspellings, and bad grammar and changing sentences to make them more readable and more concise.

It’s the natural editor in me and explains why I was more than capable at two of my former jobs (newspaper reporter/editor and technical editor). Doing all of the writing, reading, proofing, and editing to produce blog posts does require a considerable amount of time every week for me.

So the month-long, self-imposed writing break from blogging provided me with plenty of free time. In a day when most people cram every waking moment into busyness and may crave free time but don’t actually take time to “stop and smell the roses,” I totally enjoyed the fact that my calendar wasn’t full of activities and to-do lists.

And by not writing in this blog, I found ample opportunities to just sit and think and not be bound by time nor duty.

So what in the world DID I do with spare time on my hands? I’ve decided to show you in a series of posts I’m calling “Be Still…” via photographs and in writing and, as always, by utilizing quotes from those collections of words I acquire and keep handy in my old trusty notebook.

Today’s post is a photo of the beautiful tulips gifted to be by my oldest daughter and son-in-love last month. For several days as I just practiced being still, they graced my kitchen island counter reminding me so vividly to stop and smell the flowers each day and take time to admire the beauty of spring emerging in my world.

“Flowers heal me. Tulips make me happy.” ~ Rebecca Wells



Posted in Blogging, Life, writing

Time to be still

blogIMG_5629 (2)The creativity grindstone has come to a halt. I just can’t seem to squeeze out any creative juice. This Mama/Nana has been busy of late and yet stuck in the mundane mud.

My imagination has gone on hiatus. My inspiration to write is sadly missing…again.  I can’t quite put my finger on the cause, whether it be too much else to do, feeling weary and tired, or just a lack of motivation. Or maybe it’s just the dreary weather.

But I find myself sitting in front of the keyboard and drawing a blank.

I know there are words, ideas, and images up there somewhere in the expanse of my brain that seems cluttered with other thoughts right now. So I think I need a blogging break.

I need some time to think. I need some time to just be…well, not chained to the keyboard desperately attempting to put some coherent thoughts together into meaningful sentences.

So, I’m taking a bit of a break. I’ll be back after I just sit still awhile.

“Stillness is where creativity and solutions are found.” ~ Meister Eckhart


Posted in Blogging, writing

When the keyboard is silent

blogIMG_7029.jpgWhen you’ve been blogging for a long time, you start to notice certain patterns. It doesn’t mean you like the patterns that emerge, it just means you begin to understand them, acknowledge them, and if necessary, work to change them.

So here’s my dilemma. After blogging for over 10 years total (sporadically for a couple of years on another site and consistently for almost 9 years on this WordPress blog), I’ve definitely noticed a pattern in my writing.

I get bogged down at certain times of the year and experience a bit of writer’s block. One of those times is in late winter, especially if it drags on too long. I’m not that great of an analyst, but I’m chalking my lack of writing inspiration up to a bit of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but different from the usual.

According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is defined this way: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

As usual, I’m not like most people. I don’t feel the typical SAD symptoms in fall. I LOVE fall! Fall invigorates me and I’m one happy camper throughout the season. And when winter arrives, I’m all for it. I love the colder temperatures, hauling out the winter coat, scarves, gloves, and boots. Fresh snowfalls make me happy.

But as winter trudges on into February and March, that’s when I think SAD kicks in. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I become depressed, but I definitely become weather weary and that hinders my creative juices for writing.

The dreary skies, the browns, grays, and blacks of the landscape void of color, the lack of sunshine here in my neck of the woods, all of those things contribute to my overall feeling of BLAH.

And when I feel blah, I don’t feel like writing. Creativity sinks into the doldrums. There seems to be nothing awe-inspiring or word-inspiring to capture with my camera. That also hampers my blogging ideas because, as a very visual person, so often a picture is what fuels my fire to write.

It’s been an ongoing problem. I usually post three times a week here at Mama’s Empty Nest. But all throughout the month of March, I only managed to post twice a week and often only actually writing once while using a photo and quotation for those Words for Wednesdays, which made for a grand total of nine posts. Sad or SAD, I don’t know which.

Whatever it is, I don’t like it. The calendar page just turned over to April. And April Fool’s on us – the temperature took a nose dive and it snowed on April 1st. 

I sat staring at my computer screen and keyboard willing something – ANYTHING – to come to my mind to put into words. I even changed the desktop photo to something colorful to try to jump-start some words.

I sat. I stared. I sat. I stared. Nothing.

I grabbed my trusty and well-worn quotes notebook and shuffled through the pages upon pages and the loose notes stuffed in there.

And the best I could come up with was this post, spurred on by the quotation you will find at the end of this rant. ACK!

I’m hopeful though. As I sit writing this, the sun is shining on my front porch. I can spy blue skies and fluffy white clouds through the office window. Surely spring is coming.

And hopefully, inspiration will bounce back into my brain fogged over by too many dreary days, setting my fingers to fly across this keyboard, and produce something worthwhile to read.

Send some sunshine and color my way this April, will you?

“This is how you do it. You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy and that hard.” ~ Neil Gaiman, English author


Posted in Blogging, Faith, Life

A little light on the subject

blogimg_6770 (2)I’m clueless sometimes.

Often as Sunday evening rolls around and I don’t have any blog posts written for the upcoming week, I ponder over what to do. I don’t have a clue about what to write. My blog ideas folder doesn’t prove to be the fuel that sparks a flame of inspiration.

Should I just skip posting for a few days, remain silent, and hope my readers don’t give up clicking on Mama’s Empty Nest? Do I dust off an old post from years before and re-post one I’ve already published? After all, my blogging dates back to an earlier site (2005-06) and here on Word Press since 2010, so a plethora of old posts exist. 

I shuffle through them but none demand a re-posting so I resign myself to the fact that there just won’t be any new thoughts published here at Mama’s Empty Nest for the upcoming week. And that’s exactly what occurred Sunday evening.

But by Monday morning, there was a different story. As happens so often, a post idea presented itself to me. I do believe the idea didn’t come from my creative resources, but from the Triune God I worship and trust, the one and true God, God of the universe, God of creation, God of all.

When I awakened a bit later than normal yesterday morning. I had the house to myself as Papa was already off to his part-time job and Middle Daughter and Little One were safely ensconced in their own little cottage. My walking partner had appointments that cancelled our early morning walk, so I lingered just a bit longer in my comfy, warm bed.

So Monday morning found me rising after dawn instead of before as usual. Upon leaving my bed, I followed my daily routine and opened the window blinds to peer outside in order to see what kind of day it shaped up to be.

We had a snowfall over the weekend and the landscape surrounding my home was covered with a pristine blanket of white. My kind of January morning – cold, clear, snow-covered, and with the morning sun beaming down on the front of my house.

Sunshine. To quote John Denver, it “makes me happy.” And sunshine during the bleakness of winter is even more cause for happiness. 

I went downstairs to prepare some breakfast and that’s when the idea for this blog post appeared. It stopped me in my tracks. It was visible, right there in front of my eyes.  Blazing from the wall of our home office. A kind of writing on the wall, you might say, except the “writing” was an image.

A thought popped into my head immediately that gave me inspiration to write. I grabbed my camera to capture the image before it disappeared.

Now before you imagine that I witnessed some mystical image, I must tell you that what I saw isn’t that unusual. I’m certain it happens every morning when the sun appears and shines directly on the front of my home. But yesterday, it seemed like I was viewing the image with new eyes, with an open mind to what God wanted me to write.

Rays of sunshine radiating through the decorative glass of our front door created a display of light, a design that decorated the wall of a darkened room where the blinds were still closed to the light of day.

And the thought that entered my mind was this: light in the darkness. Light. In the darkness.

There’s always light to show us the way. No matter how dark it becomes, just one little light chases the darkness away. 

But we often take light for granted. We assume the sun will rise each morning to send the darkness of night away for another period of time. We assume there will be light to aid our vision when we enter a dark room and flip the light switch to on. I wonder if we truly give thanks for light.

Light. It is such a marvelous gift. It reminds me that no matter how discouraged I get by circumstances that try to dim the light within me, one ray of hope sends the darkness scattering away.

No matter how dark this world appears to me with all of the dissension and depravity created by man, no matter how dreary and weary it becomes just living in these days when the news is full of disasters, wars, cruelty, and evil doings, light shatters the despair of darkness.

And I have that light within me. So do others.

The light of the world is Jesus. I have to do my part to shine light into the darkness. I believe God gave me that message yesterday morning. A message I was meant to share with you.

This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine. Will you?

 “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” ~Desmond Tutu


Posted in Blogging, Life, thankfulness

30 Days of Thanks

blogthanksFour years ago this very month, I attempted something different while writing this blog. I decided to post every single day of November but each post was written to share something I was thankful for each and every day.

I called it 30 Days of Thanks Giving.

I could try to explain once more why I feel called to attempt this endeavor again, but I find the words I wrote back in 2014 still hold true today as this year – 2018 – starts winding down to close.

So I am re-posting an adapted version of what I wrote on November 1, 2014 as a means of explanation:

It’s November.  The 11th month of the year. 

In one way November reminds us the year is winding down and the garden’s growing season has come to an end. Most things of color turn brown and either die or go dormant. We feel a shiver in the air as the season whisks autumn’s leaves from the trees scattering them to the ground while we prepare to settle in for winter.  

Another year of life is drawing to a close.

On the other hand, the onset of November also reminds us to gear up because Christmas is coming and there’s so much to be done. Holiday frenzy will soon be upon us and we will find ourselves stressed to the max preparing for the big event, then toasting out the old year and welcoming in the new.

I’ve always felt that November gets the short stick, squeezed in like a thin piece of American cheese between two thickly sliced hunks of tasty fresh-baked bread.  It’s overlooked, it’s forgotten.  

It just doesn’t have the appeal or commercial factor sandwiched in between Halloween and Christmas.  November holidays – especially Thanksgiving – somehow get lost in the shuffle. Only important enough for one day of celebration.  And that bothers me…a lot.

So it’s November.  And with the change of season, I’m in need of a change – in my heart and in my blog. You see, I take too many aspects of my life for granted, I spend too much time on myself, and I don’t spend nearly enough time in thanksgiving. 

I don’t mean ‘Thanksgiving’ – preparing a feast, sitting at a well-appointed table, and gorging myself with turkey and all the trimmings.  I mean thanks giving.  Two words. Giving thanks with joy.  Giving thanks with prayer.  Giving thanks in all things to the One who provides all things.

For many years I have claimed my life verses are a passage from the Bible found in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5.  You can read those words in the graphic I designed to accompany this post.  

While these verses do guide and direct me and hold profound meaning, my heart tells me – no, my heart demands that I cease using lip service for this passage and commence putting these words that sustain me into real action.

This month, this very month of November, this month of thanks giving, I will attempt each day to post with words, photos, and maybe even a video or two about aspects of life for which I am most thankful.  

Some aspects may be awe-inspiring; some may be just simple everyday occurrences, objects, or feelings causing you to wonder why I’m thankful for such small things.

Some of these thankful blog posts may describe events or experiences that are considered difficult and trying. But see that’s the thing. God’s Word tells me to be thankful for ALL things, not just the good stuff.

Join me this November as I chronicle my thanks giving not to glorify myself but to give glory and honor to the One who deserves my praise and grateful heart.  

My prayer is that you’ll find the month of November causes you to pause and be full of your own thanks giving as well.

Remember to come back to Mama’s Empty Nest every day in November for a new post each day in my 30 Days of Thanks Giving.

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” ~Robert Caspar Lintner



Posted in Blogging, Life, life changes

Words for Wednesday: changes

blogIMG_4399Changes loom on the horizon.  

Even though the scene outside my window is not a typical autumn view with brilliantly colored leaves on our trees because the leaves turned brown, dried up, and dropped like flies this year, change is smack dab in the middle of my viewfinder. 

A change from the usual fall we experience and I’ve been a whiner about that. My attitude needs to change.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer

As the weather shifts into more winter-like temperatures, we must adjust to more changes. Put away the warm weather clothes and haul out the cold weather attire.

There are other changes in life at Mama’s Empty Nest, but I will save that for a later blog.

For now, I’m concentrating on yet another alteration. For the last several years, I’ve only posted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Tomorrow is the first day of November – Thanksgiving month.  A new month. A new chance for change.

I’m hoping to publish a new post every day in the upcoming month. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I’m willing to try.

A change that will require a lot of my time in a season when I truly have a lot of other important tasks to accomplish.

But I feel the need to express something I don’t do nearly enough.

And it all starts tomorrow as a new month of this dwindling year is ushered in.

Meet me here. Tomorrow. On Mama’s Empty Nest.

And I’ll explain what I have in mind.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale


Posted in Blogging, Life

Weaving a tapestry

“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” ~ William Shakespeare

I’m not an ardent fan of social media. As a blogger, I’ve read all the advice that says you must develop a platform. You need to promote yourself to acquire more readers. 

Open accounts on Twitter so you can tweet about your blog. Post your blog photos on Instagram. Plug yourself on Linked In. Use Facebook as a marketing tool; pay to promote your blog.

Advance yourself as a writer by spreading your own publicity on as many social media sites as possible. This kind of advice goes on ad nauseum. At least for me.

Some blog for monetary purposes, I get it. Simple marketing. Fine for those whose blog is a full-time job.  Writing, researching, and posting on a blog in addition to managing a plethora of social media sites would require hours and hours each day.

And frankly, that’s not how I want to spend my time. I’m not that kind of blogger. I blog simply because I love to write and I love to connect with others through my writing. Call it what it is – a calling of sorts.

I do believe this calling comes from the Lord I serve. He’s the one who bestowed upon me this talent and passion for writing. He’s the one who entrusts me to use my words to touch the hearts of my readers, to encourage them, to give them a smile on a dismal day, to provide a glimmer of hope, and maybe, just maybe lead them to search for the one true God.

So while I don’t truly promote myself with several social media sites, I do maintain a Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook fan page, where readers may connect with me as an alternative to commenting here. 

Facebook, oh Facebook. On one hand, I dislike it intensely because such mean-spirited and nasty things find their way to my news feed. But on the other hand, I can’t bring myself to delete my account, either my blog fan page or my personal one, even though I have been oh, so tempted.

Facebook is a dichotomy for this Mama because as much as I rail against it often times, in other ways I truly like it.

It enables me to keep in touch with folks I haven’t seen in many years. Having resided in various areas of the country, we’ve left a string of friends and acquaintances in each place we once called home.

Prior to Facebook’s emergence, the only way we kept in touch with most of them was through exchanging cards and letters at Christmas time. Some we inadvertently and regretfully lost contact with completely.

Facebook corrected that wrong. Connections made there now enable me to view little snippets of our far-away friends and loved ones’ lives through this social media. I smile at their photos. I enjoy their funny statuses. I learn that they are in need of prayer. It is a wonderful way to keep in contact and for that I can say I’m grateful.

This crazy social media site seems like a weaving to me. It interlaces lives in and out of one another. When it shows me a list of mutual friends, I view it as a giant tapestry. Your life interwoven with mine, in an unusual way to be sure, but still linked together by a thread of commonality.

Recently, that happened. That thread of commonality.  Opening my personal FB account one morning and scrolling through my news feed, I paused at a friend’s status and decided to comment on her wall. While noticing other comments, one jumped off the page at me. I didn’t recognize the writer’s last name, but I wondered if it was my friend’s relative, a woman I had known as a child.  

So I did what everyone does – I ‘stalked’ by clicking on the second woman’s profile. I recognized her from her photos even though we have all become – ahem – mature, shall we say?

I knew she had married and moved away from our hometown many years ago, which was why I didn’t recognize her last name. Then I noticed something a bit astonishing. Even though this woman lived in another state far away from me, we had a second mutual Facebook friend in common in that state.

Huh, I thought. What are the odds of that?  Our Facebook friend in common just happened to be a blogger friend of mine.

That ‘six degrees of separation’ thing, I reasoned. Wikipedia describes that phrase’s meaning: “Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”

All of that to say, Disneyland got it right, it truly IS a small world. And we are all woven together by threads of common ground or interaction in some way, our lives entwined by some close connection.

I can’t even recall how many times I have experienced those connections but another one stands out in my mind. Over 25 years ago, a job promotion for Papa took our family from the Midwest, where we had comfortably settled, to the Pacific Northwest, where we knew not one soul.

During our first few weeks residing in our new home in our new town in our new state in our new area of the country, we began a search for a new church home. A place not only for our family to worship our God but a place we would feel connected, at home, with folks who felt like family.

On our very first Sunday visiting the church that did become our “home away from home,” we were welcomed with friendly greetings and warm smiles. During a meet and greet time, we conversed with a couple in front of us.  

As we answered their questions about being new to the area and where we had moved from, we also mentioned where we were originally from – an Eastern state clear across the country. Faces lit up like a Christmas tree when the gentleman said, “Really?? I’m from there too!”

A tapestry moment. We both grew up in the same part of our state; his family belonged to the same church denomination as mine; our home churches were actually in the same district. And there was someone we both knew – a common thread.

All of those common threads mingled together form a web. A tapestry of life. Of friendship. Of being connected to our fellow human beings. 

And that’s why I will, most likely, choose to keep logging into Facebook to share my blog posts there where many of my readers turn to read Mama’s Empty Nest. It’s the same reason I continue to impart my thoughts in writing here on my blog. It’s about connecting with you, my readers.

You are my tapestry, a lovely interweaving of my life with yours. And I’m very grateful for that.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”  ~Herman Melville