Curve ahead

blogIMG_1954When life throws you a curve, you just need to keep your eyes ahead and focused on your journey. That’s all the wisdom I have for today as I’m linking up with the WordPress weekly photo challenge and its theme – curve.

I captured this shot one beautiful fall day a couple of years ago when my husband and I ventured out of our empty nest and traveled into our nearby city to spend the day seeing some sights we hadn’t taken the time before to view.  We enjoyed not only the day but each other’s company and what could be better than that?

Curves and all, the Papa of this empty nest and I have stayed on this journey called marriage for almost 4o years, supporting one another, sharing our joys and sorrows with each other, and continuing on the path together.  He helps me stay on the straight and narrow when the curves of life throw me out of whack.  He’s steady and steadfast like that – well, one of us needs to be!

 “My life is one long curve, full of turning points.” ~ Pierre Elliott Trudeau

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Charged but unplugged

blogIMG_7001You might say I’m a little charged up as I write this.

Everywhere I look there’s something that needs charged.  As I sit in our home office at the desktop computer, wires and cables snake their way around this desk. 

Electrical outlets abound in our house and most of them have some item or another plugged into them. Lamps, televisions, TV cable boxes, DVD players, and (gasp!) we even still use a VCR.  Appliances – refrigerator, stove, freezer, coffee maker, toaster, mixer, Nutri Bullet, – all of these get their juice from electrical outlets.

Then there are the electronics that need constant re-charging – cell phones, ipad, Kindle, hubby’s MP3 player, laptop computers, cameras, the list goes on and on.

We’re wired at our house even though some items claim to be wireless. 

So yes, I am charged.  But not the way you may think.

Before I explain, let me state that I am truly grateful for electricity and the ability to charge up and use our devices when we need them. All it takes to realize you’re dependent on electricity is for the power to go out. And then we’re oh, so thankful for all of those power linemen who go out in inclement weather to restore the charge we need.

So yes, being charged up is good in that instance.  But I’m charged up because I think we are overly-charged. We are too wired.  We are too plugged in and I think we need to pull the plug.

Let me explain.

This past weekend, we fortunately did not receive the nor’easter blizzard that crippled quite a large area of the East Coast.  Only a few inches of snow fell in our area – the worst was south and east of us.

So Friday evening, even though it was snowing a bit but not more than we are accustomed to, daughter and I decided to meet Papa after his work day was finished for dinner at a restaurant in the city where his office is located.

Dinner hour already in full swing, the restaurant was crowded when we arrived before Papa did.  Lots of people hovered around waiting for a table and for the hostess to call their names. We asked her how long the wait was – 30 minutes – and proceeded to queue up with all the others after she noted our name and how many were in our dining party.

No room inside, we stood in the outer entrance of the restaurant waiting our turn with several other patrons. I pulled my cell out, called Papa to tell him that we had arrived and the wait was 30 minutes, so he didn’t need to hurry too much from the errands he was running.

Then I placed my cell phone back in my purse…where it stayed. I use my cell for three things: phone calls, texting my kids and friends, and snapping an occasional photo or video. That’s it.

Call me an old fogey, a dinosaur, I don’t care.  To me, real life is more important than sticking my nose in a cell phone to read tweets, Facebook, play games, whatever.

In a short while, some seating in a waiting area inside, which was much warmer, became available so daughter and I moved to that nook of the establishment. Once seated, I do what I normally do in a public place.  I started looking around. 

I am a people watcher, an observer.  It’s what I do and you never know when you might receive some good blogging fodder.

Ah, now you might be getting my drift.

Folks kept arriving for dinner, so the waiting line continued to grow.  In the small seating area where we were, I glanced around at my fellow hungry patrons and that’s when something hit me like a ton of bricks. No, not literally.  Figuratively.

I couldn’t count how many folks were milling around the inside doorway or waiting in the outer entrance but my guess was 30-35 people. I began counting how many people were either sitting or standing nearby us just in our small waiting area.

I counted 10 human beings around me, including daughter and myself. And out of those 10, no one was talking even though some were with another person – a married couple, friends, family. No one came in alone.

I noticed immediately that the reason they were not conversing was because every one of those nine other people, including my daughter, had their eyes glued to their cell phones.  Every. Single. Person. But me.

I leaned over to my daughter and whispered my revelation to her. She shrugged her shoulders and continued to scroll through something on her cell.

Nine out of ten people were plugged into their phones. Nine out of ten! And they weren’t teenagers but instead ranged in age from their 20’s to some grey-haired folks who looked older than me.

Seriously, what is so important or so mind-boggling that you can’t be without it for just a few minutes? Our cell phones. 

Like electricity, cell phones are a great invention. I’m grateful for mine so I can get in touch quickly with family when we’re apart. They help us be safe; I can remember times before the age of cell phones when I certainly could have used one.

But just like anything, it’s how we use them and whether we allow them to take over our lives. Because they can and they do.

You know we talk so much about addiction – addiction to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography – but have we considered how addicted we humans are to that little electronic device? 

We are wired, folks. And it’s an addiction. Do we really need to be plugged into our cells 24/7? This quote maybe says it all: 

“The cell phone has become the adult’s transitional object, replacing the toddler’s teddy bear for comfort and a sense of belonging.” ~ Margaret Heffernan

Really?? This truly has me charged up. And vowing to become more unplugged than ever before. And encouraging others to do the same. 

We’re missing out on life, on real face-to-face conversations with ones we love, on observing and enjoying our surroundings, on so many worthwhile activities that truly enhance our time here on earth.

But instead, we stare at a little screen held in our hands.

If that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” ~ Steven Spielberg

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

 

Starting fresh

blogIMG_6948Words of wisdom for 2016, where can you find them? If you google New Year’s quotations, the following passage may appear on your computer screen. 

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.” ~G.K. Chesterton

When I first came across this Chesterton quote, I squirreled it away in my tattered old quotation notebook for later use.  I expected that it would make a great accompaniment to a New Year’s post in this blog.

Which brings me to my reason for writing this.  That quotation turned out to have even more meaning for me than just a nice quote to add to today’s post because I discovered that a vital portion of that passage written by Chesterton (English writer, 1874-1936) was omitted. 

The rest of Chesterton’s passage reads: “Unless a man starts on the strange assumption that he has never existed before, it is quite certain that he will never exist afterwards.  Unless a man be born again, he shall by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Chesterton was not only a prolific writer and profound thinker of his time, he was a Christian apologist.  His book, The Everlasting Man, was read by a young atheist and proved instrumental in that young man becoming a Christian.  Who was the atheist?  C.S. Lewis, famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Reading the passage in its entirety gave me pause to consider.  Everyone can identify with the point Chesterton makes about starting afresh.  Isn’t that what we attempt when the New Year rolls around?

We begin that brand new year with good intentions.  Perhaps we even make resolutions to [insert your to-do list here], supposedly to improve our health, well-being, stop bad habits, whatever.  

A new year is a new beginning.  But isn’t each and every day a new beginning?  Why don’t we start afresh every morning, not just on New Year’s Day?

Instead we tend to make promises (resolutions) we don’t or can’t or won’t keep.  We start off great guns adhering to our resolutions and then we slough off.  Most of the time we hang on to our old ways, our old baggage, our old vices…our old stuff.  And each day becomes just like the one before.

What if we did just one thing fresh by starting each day with God’s Word instead of trying to force ourselves to stick to our resolutions? 

What if we commenced that new beginning we’re given each day upon awakening by spending it with a Savior? 

Because that’s exactly what the last part of Chesterton’s passage tells us: “Unless a man be born again (accept the gift of salvation and belief in Jesus Christ – my words here), he shall by no means enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

So how do I choose to live each day afresh?  The answer for me is in God’s Word. 

The Apostle Paul wrote these words for the church in Ephesus and for us in Ephesians 5: 15-20: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Being careful how I live, making the most of every opportunity, giving thanks.  That’s what is important to me.

That’s what I want to bring into each new day in this New Year of 2016 instead of making resolutions I no doubt would break. How about you?

May it be so.

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” — Vern McLellan

©2016 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

So long, 2015

blogIMG_5058 (2)

Best of 2015 – our first grandchild’s birth

New Year’s Eve.  For most people, it’s a time to look back over the departing year and look forward to the year arriving in a few hours.

Kind of like taking stock of your situation.  What were the high points of the year that you will never forget?  And if you’re like most of the human race, there were also low points that made an impact on your life too.

Looking back over 2015, I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful years of my life and yet at the same time, it was the most difficult one as well.

The high point?  Oh, no question about that one.  It was the birth of our first grandchild.  She is our shining jewel, our delight, and she brings such joy, happiness, and laughter into this empty nest of ours.  Every time I look at her, overwhelming love swells up in my heart and overflows in a kind of bliss that I’d almost forgotten – that kind of love I felt when I held my own babies in my arms.

But in addition to the elation of becoming grandparents, this year brought great sorrow. A crisis affected us dramatically causing my emotions to fly all over the map from anger and hurt to disappointment and disgust and everywhere in between. 

The turmoil and pain caused by it affected our entire family.  Months later, Papa and I still don’t understand the person who caused it or why it happened and perhaps we never will. We simply are supporting and helping the wounded one recover and move on with life.

So 2015 proved to have a split personality – one ever so amazing and one so very dreadful – and will go down in the books as one of the best and worst years of my life.  I can’t say that I’m sorry to see it end and be banished to the history pages of existence.

Today I scanned over this year’s blog posts in order to find what I thought was perhaps my best post to re-share it with you.  In doing so, I realized that out of the 365 days of this year, I only published 83 posts (counting this one today) and many of those were just photographs. 

This year stole much from me – time, emotion, and even my writing – and I allowed it to do so.  Re-reading the posts I did write, I realized something profound. When I did write, the crisis we encountered proved to outweigh my joy.  No more.  With the Lord’s help, I am putting a stop to that. I intend to focus on what my Bible tells me – the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I am anticipating this New Year with hopeful outlook, with healing for my loved ones and myself, with joyful expectation.

I trust you are doing the same.  

“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” — Vern McLellan

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

How can you melt a frozen heart?

blogIMG_6537Recently one morning upon awakening, I glanced outside my window like I do each and every day. The scene that unfolded in front of my eyes begged me to grab my camera and head outdoors.

Temperatures plummeted during the night and Jack Frost had made his appearance on the landscape. The sun was already up, it beat me by an hour, and sunlight streamed across our 2+ acre yard. I noticed that its warming rays left patterns of a sort upon the grass.  

With camera in hand, I snatched a warm sweatshirt with a hood out of the closet, slipped on some shoes, and headed out into the chilly morning.  I’m always intrigued by the first few frosts of the season and enjoy the challenge of capturing the crystal-like covering adorning plants and grass.

But that day my eye caught something more than frosted vegetation (if you missed my post yesterday, you can see those photos here).  As always, pictures speak to me and the source of inspiration comes not just from the photo but from God, who presents these sights for me to capture in photos and words.   

He often shows me something to ponder, some truth from His Word, some point He impresses upon me that I must share with my readers in the hope that you too will see His handiwork, hear His Word, know that He is Master of the universe yet Savior of our souls.

As I tiptoed around my yard, not wanting to leave footprints from the warmth of my steps upon the frost, I breathed in that crisp, invigorating fall air.  The temperature hovered in the low 30’s F, yet the sunshine warmed my face.

I watched the sun as it continued to rise in the sky tinted a vivid blue.  With each degree of ascension, the sun’s rays reached more and more of my yard. 

As the warmth of the sun hit the ground, the frost disappeared.  Yet areas shaded by our house where sunlight had not touched still remained frosty white.

While sunlight continued to radiate across the yard, I watched the frost melt, strip by strip.  And that’s when it occurred to me.

That scene I spied resembles our hearts.  We allow the trouble and evil that so often prevails in this world to turn our hearts cold and icy, especially in the darkness. 

If you’ve ever met a cold-hearted person, the chill extends to you.  You feel it.  You shiver from even being in contact with someone whose heart is frozen over with hate,  rage, bitterness, or evil doings. 

If you’re not careful and don’t guard your own heart, that stone-cold, icy environment envelops you as well. It can happen without you even realizing it.

One icy breath across your heart and it starts to freeze.

And that morning, the Lord brought to my attention that I was succumbing to the cold.  I’ve encountered those with cold, callous, stony hearts and in my own anger, frustration, and disappointment with them, I didn’t guard my own heart from the icy grips of frost.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I know this.  I know to be on guard against evil and sinful thoughts.  I know that whoever ‘hardens their hearts falls into trouble.’ (Proverbs 28:14)

But I also know that even the coldest, iced-over heart can be melted by warmth, just like that frost that disappeared gradually from my back yard when touched by the sun. 

And that’s the answer – the Son.  The Son of God.  Jesus.  The reason we celebrate this season called Christmas.  The time when the Light of the world came to earth.   That Light who melts the frost and ice in my heart.  That Light on which I must keep my focus to maneuver through the darkness of this fallen world of ours.

The words written in the book of John, Chapter 8, verse 12 come to my mind as I write this.  “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ ”

My hope and prayer this day is for those who are walking in darkness.  May they see and be touched by the Light.  May they allow the Son to melt the ice in their hearts.  And may I do the same.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

The age old question

blogDSCN7187It’s the age old question….why?

We can ponder it over and over again until our mind is numb from contemplating it. 

We can ask our family members, friends, neighbors, even the internet yet still find no answer. 

We can cry over it.  Scream about it.  Rail against it. 

We can spout all the platitudes like ‘everything happens for a reason’ or we can just buck up, batten down the hatches, and believe what Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die” and accept those sayings as truth.

Yet an answer for that why still eludes us.

We can even earnestly petition God in prayer and ask Him over and over, “Why?”  And still find no reason surfaces to placate our mind-boggling query.  We just have to remind ourselves that even if we don’t get an answer, the Lord still listens to our prayers and answers them according to His will not ours. 

The great Christian writer C.S. Lewis also tackled the problem of why things happen the way they do when he wrote, “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.” 

Life just doesn’t seem fair.  Ask Calvin and Hobbes.  The cartoonist Bill Watterson penned this quote in one of his comic strips: “I know the world isn’t fair, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”

I’ve come to the realization that the question really shouldn’t be ‘why?’  Instead perhaps we should ask, “Why not?”

Our self-centeredness feeds us the lie that the world revolves around us.  Plans should occur just the way we want.  We are entitled to get what we want, when we want it, how we want it.  Instant gratification because we deserve it! 

Let’s face it, in this day and age our focus is totally centered on self.  We dress for self, undergo plastic surgery for self, purchase cars and homes for self, whiten our teeth, dye our hair, tan our bodies, all to satisfy self. 

Because our self-image seems like the most important thing. It’s what gets us the most lucrative job, the handsome/beautiful spouse, the façade of success.  Or so we think.  At least that’s what society has taught us and we’ve bought into it, taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker.

But that’s not how real life works.  Reality is so much different. Reality shows us that life is downright difficult at times.  Bad things do happen to good people.  Terrible occurrences befall even the most devout and faithful believers in Christ. 

People lose jobs, they are diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses, their marriages fail, accidents happen, homes are lost to natural disasters, loved ones die unexpectedly or too young, and yes, even we must face our own deaths eventually.   

The worst times of our lives don’t happen because we’ve done something to warrant trying times, it’s just the way life is.  I hate to burst your bubble but we really are not promised a rose garden in this lifetime. 

We’re not guaranteed perpetually sunny days with no troubles, no calamities, no gut-wrenching events to endure in this world.  No, sometimes we just have to face the full force of the storm and hang on for dear life. And there’s One to hang on to.

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)

See that’s where our hope lies.  Not in this world and all its trappings.  Our hope is in something, some ONE that is eternal.  The Savior of the world. And when I think of all He left behind in heaven to purposely come to this world and willingly suffer horribly for me, my troubles seem minuscule. 

And I have to ask myself, “Why NOT me?”  If my Savior suffered the torture of the cross just for me (and you), then why do I think I’m so very special that I should not have to bear a few burdens myself?

“God knows what we are going through when we grieve, and He wants to assure us of His love and concern. He also wants us to turn to Him and bring our heartaches and burdens to Him.” ~ Billy Graham

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Just for winter fun

I‘m still on my little hiatus from writing and still spending time snuggling and cuddling our brand new granddaughter. 

But just for fun today I want to inject a little levity into this long winter season we’re having here in my neck of the woods.  And I’m hoping it brings a smile to your face like it did to mine.

You know the old saying – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? 

Well, when life gives you a lot of snow, make awesome snow sculptures. 

To see one guy’s version of what to do with all that snow in the yard, click hereMake sure you view the picture gallery and view his way cool sculptures.

We will dig ourselves out of winter soon and we’ll be so very thankful for spring.

Leaving you with a funny little quote: 

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.” ~W.J. Vogel

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

 

Just keepin’ it real

blogIMG_4960Life.  Sometimes it gets in the way of our plans.

If you’re a steady reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you may have noticed I’ve been on a writing hiatus for the last couple of weeks.  The evidence is a lack of written posts with only two Wordless Wednesdays showcasing a couple of my photographs instead.

The hiatus wasn’t intentional.  I didn’t just decide to take a break from blogging.  No, instead life happened.  Real life sometimes gets in the way of blogging life.  And you might just say, today I’m keeping it real.

As soon as this new year of blank pages arrived, my calendar started filling up with events and appointments and lists of things needing accomplishment the way life demands and…well, you get the picture.

Both weeks found me trotting off to school as I was scheduled to substitute teach two and a half days one week and two days the following week.  One week I taught middle schoolers everything from language arts to science and the next I subbed in learning support and worked non-stop with students from kindergarten through fifth grade in reading and math. 

But wait!  Just like the infomercials on TV, that’s not all!  Bible study resumed, so a lot of reading ensued and thought-provoking questions needed answering.  Several meetings also required my attendance and church activities increased because in a weak moment, I said yes.  Not just to one new obligation but two! 

I agreed to become a committee member for a church commission responsible for education of our children, teens, and adults and then because one of the Sunday School classes desperately needed a teacher, guess who is now also teaching young teens in 7th and 8th grade?  I mean who could turn down that opportunity when one of the young girl students specifically requested me?

So that meant acquiring curriculum, and checking it out thoroughly, preparing lessons, and because there’s that teacher side of me that insists a classroom should be just as stimulating as the lesson, I rearranged the dull-looking church room, added some visuals, and made plans to enhance the space more while spending way too much time on Pinterest looking for additional ideas.

In between all of that, home chores to accomplish, phone calls to return, friends to check on due to illnesses or just because they were going through a tough time, prayer chain requests to lift up to the Lord, and to be honest, a little worrying done over the safety of my world travelers (who, by the way, finally returned home safely from their three-week grand African adventure), and concern for the health of my pregnant daughter also grabbed my attention.

When it came to carving out time to sit down and write for my blog, I thought that either:  a.  I didn’t have time  or b.  I was just too weary/distracted/unmotivated to think coherently let alone write a decent sentence.   If I did snag a little block of time and sit down at the computer, I found myself just vegging out by scrolling through Facebook to see what I may have missed in the lives of friends and family instead of writing a blog post.  Yeah, I know….not a productive use of my time…but mindless which is what I needed I guess.

And that’s where I ran across this little gem.   If you’re addicted to social media in any way, you may find yourself taking these inane quizzes that pop up on your newsfeed.  You know the ones.  What flower are you?  Or what kind of house are you? Or what country are you? 

I usually pass by those but every once in a while I fall prey to one and succumb to taking the quiz.    I admit they are pretty ridiculous and random and I’m fairly certain the answers you get are random as well.  But occasionally, the results of one of those idiotic quizzes makes me think “Hmmm, that kind of does describe me.”

I know.  Silly. 

If you’ve read much of my writing, there is one thing I do think that stands out.  I do try to be genuine.  I attempt to be frank and authentic in my writing and I’ll use that buzz word that seemed to be making the rounds for a while – transparent.

In other words, I try to keep it real.

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  During this ‘off’ time away from writing blog posts, I answered one of those Facebook quizzes  named “What four-letter word best describes you?”  (That sounds a little risky, doesn’t it?) The resulting four-letter word could have been any one of these: hope, calm, kind, love, or real.

And this is what I got:  “REAL. You are a very sincere and honest human being. You’re very much in line with your values, and you always try to be a better person for yourself and for others. As a person with integrity, you are principled and you keep it real like no other. You don’t just talk the talk, you actually walk the walk every single day.”

While I’m not totally convinced that description really does fit me,  as a believer in Jesus I do strive to be the kind of person described in the above paragraph. So, I could explain my blogging world absence by saying I was taking time to concentrate on so many other areas of my life or that I was just so preoccupied with activities and events, I just couldn’t find time to write.

But you know what?  I’m keepin’ it real.  The truth is that my life is no busier than yours is.    And I’m certainly not perfect, nor do I lead a perfect life or keep a perfectly clean, tidy house.  The trash can is overflowing, dirty dishes are piled up in the sink that also needs a thorough scrubbing, and the carpet needs vacuumed. That’s reality. 

But the truth is sometimes I just don’t feel like doing it all.

So why didn’t I write anything during the last few weeks?  Here’s the truth.  I just didn’t feel like it.   And that’s keepin’ it real.

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

A brand new page

blogIMG_4917It’s here.  It says so right here on my brand new calendar.  The one with empty spaces for each new day in this new year of 2015.  Two thousand and fifteen.  Two thousand and fifteen!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the entire world worried their gigabytes off because the page was turning over to the year 2000 and all of those ‘experts’ predicted a major catastrophe as we reached Y2K?  Y2K, the year 2000. 

Well, of course the year 2000 arrived and passed by without a glitch. And here we are 15 years later welcoming in another new year. It’s true what my wise Daddy used to say that the older you became the faster the years flew by.  And we’ve just put another year on the back shelf.

What lies ahead is anyone’s guess but I know one thing.  We will fill up those empty spaces on the calendar with the everyday task of living if the Lord gives us a year full of new days.  But just living is not how I want to spend these blank spaced days on my calendar of life. 

I want to fill those days with wonder.  With joy.  With love.  With exuberance.  With amazement.  With opportunity.  With thanksgiving (yes, I haven’t given up that word yet).

In years past, I either chose or was given a new word for each year – a word that might manifest itself in some way to prove amazing or noteworthy as it worked its way through the pages of my life.  Sometimes I struggled with those words – the ones like peace, strength, growth. 

This year, I haven’t chosen a word nor has one come across the crowded desk of my mind for me to take notice.  Out of the thousands and thousands of words in my native English language, I haven’t claimed one for my own.  And not a word has settled upon me and laid claim to me either.

Instead perhaps I should choose a different word for each day of the new year.  After all, a new year – one that’s sparkling clean with no dings or dents, no marks or notations, no regrets or regressions – presents itself for new ideas, new revelations, new…everything.

I’m not one for making resolutions every year.  I usually fail miserably at them, so I stopped torturing myself years ago.  But even though I don’t make resolutions, I do have resolve.  And though my slate is empty right now and my calendar is clear for the time being, I know there’s one thing I plan to muster up enough resolve to do this year.

I will take each fresh new day as it comes and see what the Lord will show me on that day because even when I can’t be completely faithful, God is.  Morning by morning, new mercies I’ll see.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-24  (NIV)

What about you?  How will you fill your new calendar in this brand new year?

“Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress.” ~ Charles Kettering

©2015 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words Full Wednesday: New Year’s Eve

blogHappyNewYearWednesdays are usually my no words day here at Mama’s Empty Nest.  Usually I post a photograph I’ve taken that hopefully speaks for itself, slap a title on it that categorizes it, and add no other words. Voila! Wordless Wednesday.

But today I’m deviating from the norm.  It is, after all, the last day of the year.  We say goodbye to 2014 at midnight and hello to brand new 2015 at 12:01.

And today I find on this last Wednesday of the year that I do have words to convey.  So this middle of the week post will be a ‘words full Wednesday.’

The graphic I designed above boasts a citation that is in my well-worn quote notebook.  Supposedly, it came from one of the works of Greek playwright Euripedes.  Many moons ago, I took a classical literature class in college where we read many of the Greek classics.  I didn’t remember the quote at all or where it came from, so I wanted to do a bit of research to see if it even came from Euripedes’ pen.

As near as I can glean from a quick research scan (and I do mean quick), the actual quote is “Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.”  Some of the old Greek’s tragedies were lost or only fragments remain. Apparently, this line came from one of those.

No matter the source, the line speaks well for today of all days – New Year’s Eve.  Another year has passed which included some wondrous occurrences and some disappointing or devastating ones.  Such is life.

I spent a good part of this past year grieving over an old wound from 2013.  Yes, I wasted fresh tears over it.  Sometimes it haunted my dreams; often it consumed my joy during daytime hours.  Some days it just fired my anger into a red hot flame.

But you know what?  No more.  Was what was done to me right?  By no means.  It was unjust and no mercy or grace was shown.  But I refuse to let that grievous event define me any more.  I will not waste tears over old griefs any longer.  I’ve learned to put that wrong and the people involved behind me.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t forgiven them because I have, it just means I will no longer allow those circumstances to reign over my emotions and thoughts.

As I move forward to a new year of opportunity, I will not waste one more minute over this old grief.  It will stay in the past where it belongs.

What about you?  Is there something from the past that you need to let go with the ringing in of a new year? I pray you find the courage to do so and waste not your own tears over past griefs.  Let’s greet the new year with joy instead of sorrow, with excitement instead of disappointment, with opportunity instead of regrets.

Happy New Year!

“Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” – Brooks Atkinson

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com