– Laurie Hayden Bergey
Benjamin Franklin is said to have kept a checklist of virtues he hoped to attain. He didn’t nail it every day, but had a positive experience in making the effort.
“On the whole, tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”
– Benjamin Franklin
It can be so easy to forget that our every day lives contain great beauty. Eric Bowman is a very talented painter who shows us some of what we should be noticing in our everyday lives~! Here are 2 paintings, and 2 details that bring me awe.
Click this link to connect to more Eric Bowman Art
Walking out to the mailbox I see this (the 1st photo)~! Wow~! Andy Warhol has taught me to look for things that are unexpected, like 1 red shoot on an otherwise green shrub. But, I can’t really give Andy the full credit. Actually, I am wired that way. As I pray each day, I have noticed that I almost invariably start by thanking God for the beautiful tree across the street, or the flowers, or the birds in the bird bath. I find myself thanking God for His creation. Then I can’t help but recognize that I am also a creative person. See, God has made mankind (male AND female) in His image. So, we are supposed to be a reflection of His nature. But, God isn’t as simple as that. I find that I connect with those aspects of God that are in my specific wiring. To me, God is Creator; I am creative. God is good and merciful; I am called to be good and merciful. Now, ask yourself, who is God to you? There is a connection: who God is TO you, He would like to be THROUGH you. These are hints as to your strengths and destiny. I’d like to encourage you to rise up to your purpose, otherwise we’re ALL missing out~! We need you to actually be who you were created to be. Don’t worry. God will help~!
(A helpful Bible Quote from “The Message” translation (I find this translation makes some Bible verses clearer, like the writings of Paul): 2 Timothy 1:11-12 – This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.)
This second photograph is of the same shrub 1 month ago. This picture shows me that it is possible to be in several seasons of your life simultaneously. We can be blooming in one part of our lives, sending up new shoots in another part, and all the while something else might be dying off. Give yourself the grace to grow and bloom into new things as you shuck off the old stuff.
This flower means that our 1st cucumber is on the way.
My husband Brook and I have been growing perennials since 1996. But, this year we decided we should eat more organic fruit and vegetables. After checking out of the grocery store and paying for all the food, we decided we might dedicate some effort into growing some of these veggies. It has not gone perfectly. We knew to get good soil, but we didn’t know much about the pots. I want to make it a “container garden” because I can get lazy with gardening. With the containers, I can have the pots near the hose, and I am hoping this will mean less weeding, too. Well, we didn’t get the right pots. Ours were a bit too small, and they didn’t drain properly. We ordered new pots last week, and spent some time over the weekend re-potting our plants. The thing we learned is this:
BETTER ROOTS -> BETTER FRUIT
Once we said it out loud, repeating the motto of the potting company we bought from, we recognized the spiritual truth in this statement. We need to feed our spiritual roots and take good care of them so that we will have good spiritual fruit in our lives. So, what does that look like? Well…
1- Spend time with God in prayer, and
2- Giving thanks is a big one.
3- Brook and I also make sure to read the Bible together each day and search for nuggets of truth to apply to our lives.
4- It also means proper drainage…. let go of anger, suspicion, fear, and other negative emotions, trusting that God is good and He has our best interests at heart in the long term plan.
I went out with 2 friends last night. We had Kenyan food. It was new to all of us. So we all ordered something we’d never eaten before, and each tried everyone else’s flavors. It was fun to learn something new. (This is a happiness tip~!) While we ate, we talked about all kinds of this & that.
I was expressing how much I would like to do a mere 15, or so, minutes of stretching and core strengthening exercises each day. I do ride my bike 2 to 4 times per week, fairly long rides (today was 22 miles). Seriously, it is the most humane form of exercise, and is often quite fun. But, I am not doing much of anything for my core or my arms.
One of these friends is very into yoga (& has the body to prove it), so of course she had valid suggestions. The other does a good assortment of exercises. That 2nd friend recommended the Arms/Abs/Buns of Steel workouts. She said they are 15 minutes each, and she rotates them. That seems reasonable.
I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing yet, and how I’ll squeeze this into my daily routine, but I really DO need to get the middle of my body stronger. It is not fair to my back and spine, and ultimately to myself to let this get a tiny bit worse each year. WELL…. good news. I looked around youtube.com today and found hundreds upon hundreds of exercise videos waiting for me. I admit, I was amused to sit and watch exercise videos, and fast forward through them, too. But, I’d like to find my own perfect custom mix of stretches & core strengtheners. I thought you’d like to know that youtube can be a great resource for adding new or varied exercises to your daily routine… for FREE~!
For starters, I liked this one: Lance Armstrong’s Three-Phase Program – Base Training: Core
Here’s a glimpse of the: Arms of Steel Youtube Sample Video …. looks pretty good~!
Here’s a Link to Mayo Clinic’s: Slide show of Exercises to improve your core strength
A Perfect Day for Dreaming…
The weather is perfect today.
Daytime high was around 70 degrees. Light breeze, blue sky, flowers blooming. Perfect.
I am dreaming of having a vacation. I think I’d like to go to Cape May, NJ. I have been to the Jersey shore a good number of times. But, I have never been to Cape May. We need to stay in a place that will allow dogs. We also need an accessible room. Our schedule is very busy coming up. We’ve been looking for a chance to make a short escape… to leave our busy-ness & our business behind for a few days. I wonder when we can make that happen? I hope soon. But, in the meantime, I am getting a lot of mileage out of just simply dreaming about the vacation to come. Gotta enjoy the PROCESS…. relish each day, the dreams and hopes, as well as the planning, then the anticipation, too~!
Most of life isn’t the vacation, but the days in between.
Friday the 13th / Look for things to go well…
My contemplation today is a bit like this:
If you look for something to go wrong, you’ll most likely find things that go wrong.
However, if you look for things to go well, you’ll most likely find that things go well~!
How to remember a friend…
A most precious person in my life gave me forget-me-nots a number of years ago. We planted them together in a garden in my back yard. It was a special day with a great woman, who has been a heroine in my life. The seeds have spread, and these pretty blue flowers are blooming crazy in my back yard. Do I need to mention that I am most definitely remembering her~!?!
Isn’t this a great way to keep a friendship alive in your heart. Plant a memory~!
I am in awe. Oh please let me never lose my sense of amazement when I encounter things as wonderful as this stunning photo of this heavenly creature~! What perfection~!