Be still…there’s a rainbow

blogIMG_7887Even though literal storms surrounded me during my blogging hiatus of just being still, internally I found myself so very peaceful.

I found that even though I was stuck in a writer’s block and couldn’t find words to put into sentences, it didn’t cause me stress like not being able to write usually does. I think I truly needed that long break away and I’m grateful I had the good sense to do so.

I also purposefully gave myself a short break from social media as well and that also helped me feel at peace. Honestly, reading the stuff posted on those sites stir up feelings of unrest and anger, so rationing that was beneficial for my soul as well.

I gave myself permission to not worry about accomplishing much on my ever growing to-do list and that was refreshing.  I’m a make a list, cross each item off as I go type of person so for once, it was nice not to have a list compelling me to be busy.

I enjoyed my free time in so many ways. I found myself picking up my camera once more not just in search of blogging material but because I found something interesting to capture by photo.

I relished time with family and friends. I wandered through a local library finding stacks of books to read.

I even binge watched a series on Netflix with my husband that I normally would not have been interested in watching. And that was about the only thing I did watch on the television as I’m not much of a TV viewer anyway because most of it is just trash.

I like my peace and quiet. When noise and chaos bombard me, I just can’t think.

So my blogging break plus my semi-fast from social media provided that tranquility and serenity I longed for.

Slowing down gave me the opportunity to notice aspects in life that I may have missed if I was chained to my computer squeezing out blog posts. A “take time to stop and smell the roses” kind of thing, if you will.

So while others were complaining about the rainy weather and commiserating over the lack of summer temperatures (which I did not miss as I don’t enjoy summer heat and humidity), I was happy and content.

I chose to look up rather than look down. I chose to look around and enjoy my surroundings.

And one evening as the rain finally subsided, I happened to step outside onto our front porch where I spotted something that caused me to run back inside for my camera.

A rainbow. God’s promise of hope. Not just one, but a double rainbow. Like an extra measure of expectations for good things to come.

And here I am. Back with words. Back in the blogging world. Back with inspiration and motivation to write once more. Back to share those moments in my Be Still series.

More in my series to come next week.

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” ~ G. K. Chesterton



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


Defying gravity

blogIMG_8196When life knocks you flat on your back, remember it left you looking up.

I look up a lot.  Life has taught me to do that. Often I never know what’s coming down the pike, so I tend to look up to the heavens for help to get through the next big thing.

From where does my help come? “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” ~ Psalm 121:2

I do find myself looking up — a lot.  In the warmth of summer, I turn my face upwards toward the sun.  After a rain, I look up to see if there’s a rainbow spread across the sky.  At night, I find myself gazing at the stars and marveling at how many I can see living out here in the country.

Yes, I look up.  I look up at clouds, whether they be puffy, fluffy white cotton-like or dark, menacing, stormy ones.

I look up to see a jet leaving its contrail plume behind it. 

I look up as I hear helicopter blades chopping the silence and I often utter a silent prayer for someone possibly being life-flighted to one of the trauma hospitals in our nearby city.

I look up when I notice a hot air balloon or a blimp coasting along the airways.

I look up to watch birds take wing to soar or butterflies flit and float by.

I look up as I walk down a woodsy path when I hear the leaves rustle through the trees over my head.

I look up because life on this earth is hard enough without always looking down.

Looking down weighs me down just as surely as gravity holds me on this planet. Looking down secures me to this earth where people are viciously cruel to one another, folks become seriously ill, hearts get trampled and broken, disappointments abound, and life eventually deteriorates and ends, and it all grieves my soul. 

I look up because it makes me happier.  I look up because it makes me realize how tiny and insignificant I am compared to the power of my God, who holds everything I see in the palm of His hand.

I look up because it gives me hope.

I look up because it provides me inspiration.

I look up because it strengthens my faith.

“Believers, look up — take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.” ~ Billy Graham

(Linking up to the weekly photo challenge theme – Look Up – today.)



And I say it’s all right

blog442All day long yesterday I just could not stop singing and I wasn’t even singing Irish songs!

Instead this Beatles tune firmly entrenched itself in my mind and I either sang or hummed it all day:

“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,

and I say it’s all right.

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter,

Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here,

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun

and I say it’s all right.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces,

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here,

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun

and I say it’s all right.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting,

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear,

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,

and I say it’s all right.

It’s all right.”

blogDSCN0658Gloriously sunny skies greeted me upon awakening and good old Mr. Sun hung around the entire day warming up our little 2 ½ acres significantly – bringing me hope that spring really IS on its way!  My mood altered and I just felt good – rejuvenated.

Signs of new life bubbled up to the surface at our country house just in the last couple of days.  Perky yellow and purple crocuses bloomed and more are popping up out of the soil today.  The day lilies are also poking their little heads up after a long winter’s nap.

With the time change last weekend, it is staying lighter each evening as our days get longer.  And I love sunshine!  I love it so much I had to shoot the picture at the top of this post showing you the beautiful sunset from my back deck last evening.

I’m feeling hopeful in Chapter 3, Page 18, of my Opportunity even though the sun’s playing hide and seek with me today resulting in overcast skies again.  But I AM hopeful spring is just around the corner.  And I say it’s all right.

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” ~ Proverb from Guinea