Words for Wednesday: the mountain

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Camp on the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro

When a mountain towers over us, some of us find ourselves immovable. Others are motivated to climb that mountain to the very top and shout, “I did it!”

Some of us are challenged by what seems a daunting task. Others dig down deep, find inspiration and motivation to keep moving onward and upward.

“Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up.”  ~ Tyler Knott

If you didn’t get a chance to read my oldest daughter’s story about developing perseverance while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro five years ago, please click here.

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Getting a little closer

Today I’m sharing some of her photos from that amazing journey she took – the one which not only challenged her physically but mentally as well. I’m proud to say she tackled that mountain both ways and found inner strength while doing so.

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Nearing the summit at daybreak

I hope you also can face whatever challenge before you, tackle your own mountains, and reach the rewarding summit.

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The summit

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”~ Barry Finlay

©2020 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: The Reason

blogIMG_1523This beautiful stained glass window portrays the story of the birth of Jesus Christ from one visit to another.

The first visit was from an angel telling the virgin Mary she would experience a miraculous birth, the birth of a Savior. The last visit was a couple of years later when Wise Men followed a new and bright star in the sky to visit the Christ Child bringing him gifts.

If you don’t know this amazing story, I hope you can find a Bible to read the narrative. Or you can just search the internet for one of the Biblical accounts. Look up “Luke 1:26 through Luke 2:30.”

My hope is that if you’ve never heard about Jesus, who He is, how He was born, and for what purpose, you will understand the meaning of this photo after you’ve read or heard that passage of Scripture.  It’s why we, who are Christians, celebrate this holiday named Christmas.  

For those of you who know the Nativity Story, may you pause in all your busyness to remember what this season is truly intended for – to commemorate the birth of a Savior, whose name is Jesus Christ, Son of God (His divinity) yet Son of Man (His humanity).

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: dear Santa

blogIMG_0023.jpgA trip to a nearby farm to choose a real Christmas tree for daughter and granddaughter also provided a fun visit to see Santa Claus. And an opportunity to write him a Christmas letter. blogIMG_0053

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blogIMG_0061Our little one truly has been very good this year so I imagine those special wishes she whispered to Santa just might be fulfilled.

“Dear Santa, I hope you and your elves been very busy, because I’ve been very good.” ~ unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: Mackinac Island horses

blogIMG_9554They are everywhere you look on Mackinac Island – the powerful, strong horses. They pull buggies loaded with sightseers; wagons loaded with supplies; shuttle carriages with hotel guests settled behind glass; they even haul the street cleaner.

Take a look at the various shots I captured of these beautiful creatures hard at work during our autumn journey to this quaint and picturesque island in Lake Huron, Michigan.

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“Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy,

Or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is served with muscle

And strength by gentleness confined…” 

~ Ronald Duncan, “The Horse,” 1954

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: forcynthia

blogIMG_7647You read that title correctly. No, I did not make a typographical error there. I didn’t misspell the word forsythia, I truly meant to post forcynthia.

What in the world? you may ask.  As she nears that ripe age of 65 is she starting to lose her faculties? Or is it simply that the appearance of sunshine and spring-like weather addled her brain? Is she giddy with spring-time bliss?

To answer those questions: No, I don’t think I’m losing my almost-65-year-old mind. No, my brain isn’t addled…at least not yet. And maybe, yes, I could be giddy with spring-time bliss.

But the most accurate answer is there is a story behind the title of today’s post and I am going to share it with you.

In our yard there is one forsythia bush. It has been planted in the same spot for several years now – almost 10 this summer – and this is the year it has bloomed its best. The bush exists for one specific reason; it was a gift to me because of a childhood story I once shared with a friend.

I’ve always loved seeing forsythia bushes blooming their golden yellow, delicate, skinny petaled flowers clustered on tall spires in spring. Forsythia are so cheerful to view, even if some folks consider them invasive as they can grow quite large and can take over an area of landscaping.

But to me, they are special and I’m going to tell you why.

Unless you know me personally, you do not know that my given name is actually Cynthia. It’s right there, written on my birth certificate although the only person to call me by that name was my mother – when she was angry with me.

I’m more known for the nickname associated with Cynthia – Cindy.  But my birth name is Cynthia, a name derived from Greek, another name for Artemis, the mythological goddess of the moon. But even from my earliest memory, I knew my ‘real’ name was Cynthia and that I certainly was not a goddess.

As a youngster, every time I heard my parents discussing those bushes that appeared in spring with their bright sunshine-color blooms as forsythia, I honestly thought they were saying “for Cynthia.” So at some point in my childhood, I claimed those plants as my own. And when they bloomed, they were for me – for Cynthia.

I related this silly, little story once to a friend and it made her chuckle. But she remembered my tale. Not quite 10 years ago, my father passed away. The loss was difficult for me as he was the last remaining parent either my husband or I had. Losing Dad came right on the cusp of empty nest hood too, so my emotions were kind of a mess.

Imagine the joy it brought me when the friend gave me a gift to express her condolences at my father’s passing. The gift was a small forsythia bush which she spent a good deal of time searching for.

blogIMG_7640A gift to bless my heart. This Cynthia. This Cynthia who loves forsythia. This Cynthia who still thinks of this particular spring bloom as exclusively mine – my forcynthia.

And my forcynthia still blesses me each time I look at it, but especially in spring time. And that joy of remembering my parents, remembering that little girl who loved her parents so dearly and also her forcynthia stays with me.

Sometimes joy comes in yellow.

“Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: family birthdays

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blogIMG_6834.jpgFebruary is a special month because, here at Mama’s Empty Nest, we celebrate two of our family members’ birthdays. 

So Happy Birthday Month to my son, my last born,  and to my first born grandchild. You both are my February valentines.  And I’m so thankful for you both!

“Have you ever considered that your birthday is truly a day of celebration? A day to recognize the special gift we all received on the day you were born; the gift of you. You are appreciated, you are loved. As another year begins for you may you be filled with the thoughts of how special you are to all of us! Thank you for sharing your life with us.” Robert Rivers 

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Words for Wednesday: winter won’t last

blogimg_6781The long month of January is finally coming to a close. And as the snow still flies outside my window and temperatures plummet to single digits and below, winter still clutches us in its grasp.

We still have the winter month of February to come and often we get record amounts of snow during those 28 or 29 (if it’s Leap Year) days. And we’ve even been graced with the white stuff throughout March in the past, so…who knows when winter will depart? Not even the groundhog knows for sure.

No doubt spring probably won’t arrive for quite some time yet.

But in the words of our Little One (our oldest grandchild who will soon turn four), “When is it going to be Spring? I miss the grass!”

She likes snow and enjoys playing in it, even begging Papa to let her help shovel the sidewalk, but like the rest of us, she still yearns for sunshine and warmth and color.

“No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn.” ~ unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com