On a recent road trip to visit friends in Wyoming, we stopped at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Saw this inspiring little path as we walked. I choose my path (or at least how I respond to the path). Sometimes a harder path is worth the work. A path should elevate my spirit, my values, my relationships. Every day – every second of every day – I am charting my course, thought by thought and step by step. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. And to help keep myself on a fruitful path, I learn and sift through what I allow into my eyes and ears – sensationalism of the “news”, ranting on social media, and the anything-but-peaceful protesting. I strive to take thoughtful, careful steps.
Sometimes I just want a sign. I’d like God to put a note in my calendar about when would be the best time to do certain activities or projects for the best outcome. Or if I should even be involved in a specific undertaking. I waver between wanting full control of my path and wanting God to just document my assignments – the beautiful (and sometimes frustrating and scary) dance between the free will He gave me and His desire to have a relationship with me. I’ve learned that the closer my relationship with Him, the more I turn to God and LISTEN, the clearer the path becomes. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
You can find my book, “Surviving the Pink Ribbon” at some of the fun places I find books to read. In Wisconsin the book is available at The Sow’s Ear coffee and yarn shop in Verona, The Cat and Crow yarn shop in Mount Horeb, and The Shoe Box (an amazing shoe store) in Black Earth. The book is available to borrow from the Wisconsin South Central library system. And the paper book and e-book forms are both available through your favorite bookseller – ask for the book, if you don’t see it. And please take a moment to post a review – even a phrase or sentence can contribute to making “Surviving the Pink Ribbon” more available to people the book could help.
This blog is inspired by what I see. And, right now, what I see is a lot of construction. Here in Wisconsin, there are certain times of the year that make road construction difficult. Summer is not one of those times. A critical element in construction is an appropriate and strong foundation. Because of a triangle shape’s characteristics, triangle shapes are often used in road bridge construction. If even one of the three edges collapses, the structure’s shape will be altered. But edges can be made with very strong materials. What are my three core foundation edges? I’m thinking about relationships today, so three edges at the top of my mind are: relationship with God, relationships with FIRTs (Friends I’m Related To), and relationships with friends that are as close as family.
I see this bookcase almost every morning as I stride on my elliptical. One morning, it struck me how haphazard my books looked. I wondered, which books I had read and which were yet to be enjoyed. Maybe I should organize the shelves the way Goodreads does virtually. So, I slid any unread book to have its book butt showing, instead of the stately spine. The result? A realization that I must read at least one book each week to get caught up with my unread. An embarrassment of literary riches. And a challenge. I don’t believe I can keep that pace, but I have decided to read at least one chapter in a book each day. Now this is a challenge I’m sure to enjoy!
I’ve always loved to learn. This gnome is the product of a needle felting class I took at a local yarn shop — shout out to Kaleidoscope Fibers! My gnome is not as refined as the instructor’s, yet I take joy in the knowledge of having learned the basics of something new to me — never mind the quality of the end result. In my view, mistakes and imperfections (let’s call them unintentional customizations) are the hallmark of handmade. Something made with human hands, mind, and heart. Learning stretches my mind. Learning can be frustrating and difficult at times. But God has placed tenacity in me. And persisting in learning has never let me down. I may not have acquired the knowledge I expected nor produced the result I anticipated, but I learned something.
Ice cream gets high marks from me in the comfort food category. As Wisconsin heat and humidity rises, cool spoonfuls air condition me from the inside out. Physical comfort. June is “dairy month” here, so I feel encouraged to indulge. June also marks seven years since my cancer diagnosis — the month I became a survivor. So far, so good. Comforting my mind that I have made it this far. And I’ll be celebrating National Cancer Survivor Day (Sunday, June 2) thanking God at our worship service, then with ice cream, of course!