Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Chance!

Hi friends, readers, & fellow terminally dense people!

Wednesday, October 1st, begins my 31 Days of Writing Challenge.
So TODAY & TOMORROW (depending on when you're reading this) are your last days to vote on potential topics.
C'mon...You can do it!

Here are your choices:

  • Autumn: A Season of Change
  • The Daily Mundane (and lessons hiding there)
  • Planting Seeds of...

There are two ways to vote.

 1.  Post a comment below
2.  Follow this link and comment on the God's Daily Message Facebook page (it's the very first post.)

This approximately one minute task may have 31 days of blessings speaking directly to you.  
So why not try it?

Can't wait to get writing!
Thanks for reading...
...aaaaannnnnndddd participating!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Gifts to Open

I was blessed enough to celebrate yet another birthday this past week.
They seem to feel less and less monumental in regards to the actual day.
You feel me?
I mean, it's not a milestone year.
And even if it were, it just doesn't feel as important to celebrate as it used to.
Is it just me?

Still, I have so many loving and generous people in my life, my birthday always seems to get recognized, even when I'm fine with it falling a bit more by the wayside.
Take Thursday, for example.
Some of my dearest friends and I - 
one day a week - 
get to work in close proximity to one another, all on the same college campus.
We planned to have lunch.
(I thought - in fact, was TOLD - "just a girls lunch.")
It ended up being an impromptu soiree with a choose your own salad bar, gluten free cupcakes (with a candle in one & a rousing rendition of happy birthday sung by these incredible singers along with a Swan Lake ballet solo by my beautiful Aussie friend), flowers and gifts.  
So, so surprised - and even more humbled.

Of course, the actual day, my husband and son were so beautiful to me...
homemade cards, a lunch date, flowers and a beautiful gift from my  husband greeted me as the day progressed.

My daughter sent  love from afar (and took me out to dinner on Thursday).
A friend drove 30 minutes just to leave a gift in my mailbox.
More than 100 Facebook greetings.
At least six birthday calls, most with singing and cheering.

As the years continue to tick by, I cannot fathom just how blessed I am.

As I awoke one morning, I was thinking about how different birthdays are when you are a child than when you are an adult.  As a child, you fantasize about the number and size of gifts you'll receive, what flavor and shape your cake will be and how many classmates will remember you at school or by coming to a party.
As an adult, I realized, I look for gifts of an entirely different nature, miraculous ones I open as I direct my gaze toward Heaven.

I open my eyes and I am grateful for my sight.
I open my door and I am grateful for every challenge, every opportunity, every job, every experience the world is offering me.
I open my ears and I am grateful I can hear music, birds, laughter, people calling me: "Mom!" "Honey!" "C!"
I open my mind and look for things to learn, accept, prove, or challenge me.  I'm so grateful my mind isn't even close to capacity yet.
I open my heart and I feel God's love and grace; His abiding protection and care; His whispers and shouts, songs and beckoning.

Yes, the world offers so many meaningful gifts for me to open in these, my middle years.
May I always take the time to unwrap and appreciate them fully.

{Praying for eyes & heart open for all of you today.
Thanks for reading.}

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

31 Days of ... ?

Okay, friends, I never ask you to post comments here...
But today I'll ask you to leave your comfort zone to reach out and contribute an opinion.
I promise, it may help you in the long run!

I am taking the "31 Day Writing Challenge" set forth by some of my favorite bloggers,
Emily Freeman at "Chatting at the Sky" top among them.
October 1st begins the challenge, and, now that I have my teaching schedule in hand, I am buckling down on my writing so I can continue to move and cogitate, observe and share, in this, my sacred space.
I miss it so much.

I thought, though, that it might be easier to take the challenge were I to have a loose theme in place.  So I have come up with some selections, and it is my hope that you will share your favorite...making the writing upcoming a bit more interactive and speaking to YOUR needs.
And if I deviate from the theme a little from time to time?
Well, we can just chalk it up to God knocking me on the head with something else.

But for now, without further ado, here they are:

  1. Autumn: A Season of Change
  2. The Daily Mundane (and lessons hiding there)
  3. Planting Seeds of...

Just three ideas...really simple to choose, I think.
Just go to the bottom of this post and hit "Post."
Or go to "Share Your Thoughts" box at right and enter "post."
Or, for those of you who are a little technically challenged but Facebook?
Go to the "GodsDailyMessageFTD" Facebook page here and enter a comment on the top post.
I promise I won't ask much participation in the future.
But for now, I would love to walk this journey together.

Thanks for reading - and participating!  Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Flies On You

I hate fly season.

I remember hating it even as a girl, watching Mama run around with that green, plastic, aluminum handled fly swatter, cursing under her breath - okay, often aloud - and wildly chasing the little hooligans around.
Did I mention we lived in rural Alabama in the blazing heat with a million degree humidity?
With no air conditioning?
And only a screen door?
With animals...

Ponies, cows, chickens, rabbits, cats and a stray dog or two depending on the year...
All hot, dirty and stinky...
All which attracted FLIES?!?!
Mmmmm...perhaps I haven't mentioned it and needed to get it off my chest.

Anyhow, to sum up:  I hate fly season.

I was in the bathroom this morning and there was yet another fly, buzz-buzz-buzzing around the room.
Have I yet articulated that it's THE BUZZING I hate the most!!!
Especially late at night when you're trying to drift off to sleep and you realize there's a little pest between the louvered blinds and the window, trapped but drowsy, only halfheartedly trying to escape.
Which means that the buzzing is relegated to every few seconds...then every few minutes...and soon you're holding your breath, waiting for the next "tzzz" to bombard you in the quiet of the night, becoming the HEART OF YOUR INSOMNIA!!!!!

Deep breath...

Back to the bathroom.
This little bugger was desperately flying toward the window over and over again, futilely trying to reach the outdoors.
(Fact checking confession:  I'll admit I don't care enough about the reproductive and mating patterns of flies to look up whether or not they are male or female."He?"  Do flies have genders? I'm assigning one regardless. I'm not researching on principle.)
I looked at him before slamming the door shut quickly behind me - so he couldn't escape and I didn't have to deal with him in another room - when I actually spoke aloud, 
"Well, you shouldn't have come in the house in the first place."
Yes, I was talking to a fly.
Madness, I tell you.

But as an hour wore on, "Well, you shouldn't have come in the house in the first place," slowly and methodically transformed itself into a different kind of conviction as I walked away and thought about that trapped creature.
It first became, "Well, you shouldn't have flown through that back door."
Then "You shouldn't have left the light."
Then "You, Cynthia, should listen to this and hear it from another perspective.  YOU should not have left the light and entered the dark of _________."
Yes, that "fill in the blank" became a shower of "should nots."

You should not have left the light and entered the dark of...

Leaving the light of
Hard work in His name...

And for a moment, my heart went out to that poor, misguided insect in my bathroom who thought - or maybe acted without thinking (do flies have a brain?!?) - that escaping the torturous heat of the outdoors would somehow make his short life more comfortable, more bearable.
(Okay, I'm assigning quite a bit of heart to this fly.  And, don't think it lasted long - I still wanted him OUT OF THE HOUSE!)

But as my great capacity for compassion encompassed this other living creature for a moment, I thought of all of those times my desire to escape the heat of a problem - or a challenge - trumped my desire to work through it...
My instinct for safety & self-preservation undermining His amazing plan for me. 
Then I found myself abandoned - by my own poor decisions - in the darkness, flying futilely toward the light, over and over, banging into a window of regret.
Oh, the regret.

Yes, I guess we can learn lessons from everything around us, all circumstances and His creatures both big and small.
My lesson from this little annoyance who continues to keep me awake at night, making me enter rooms on pins and needles?
That we all - 
Big or small...
Poor or rich...
Human or otherwise...
Get trapped from time to time.
And, above anything else, by the light of His grace...

Need to be set free.

{Thanks for reading.
Hope your day is fly-less and free...
Living in the Light!}

P.S.  I wrote this post before leaving for church on Sunday afternoon.
In the middle of the service, during a hymn, this guy alighted on my husband's worship aid.
He literally sat there the entire length of the song...
Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

That Day

That day...
You know that day?

The day that your TV stops working 
and you try to fix it while a red light you've never seen before is blinking at you like a detonated bomb...
and you eventually conclude that it's going to take more money to fix the TV than replace it because it's so old...
so you purchase a new TV but it doesn't fit in the old TV armoire...
so you switch the cabinet with the antique desk in the room (only the cabinet doesn't fit in the desk space)...
The original
so you slide the antique desk over anyway because the TV can't just sit on the floor of the den...
and you carry the armoire into another room only then realizing that you'll need to switch it with the cabinet that's already there because there's only 1400 square feet to your house...
a cabinet, mind you, that holds excess wrapping paper, 30 lbs of sheet music, and three days worth of miscellaneous items to be sorted.

The replacement
Then you think, "Well, while I'm at it, why don't I just bring the studio cabinet into the kitchen and take care of the food storage problem?" that has existed for a year and a half, ever since you lost your pantry to a bathroom remodel that the insurance had to cover because of the flood.

But then you realize that you have no place to put the baker's rack that has "temporarily" (for a year and a half) housed the food...

The "temporary" food storage solution

And while considering options, you glance at the origin of the problem and realize that, although the TV sits adequately on the antique desk, it isn't nearly as high as the armoire which had blocked the light from shining in, making it possible to watch the TV...
And now you can't see the TV picture on the new model that you bought to replace the broken one... 
and the curtains which were hung intentionally as decor only now need to be functional so you can see the screen.

Then you grasp that in order for this new set-up to really work, you'll need to grab two more curtains that look exactly the same as the ones already  hanging that you bought 8 years ago...
additionally you'll need a curtain rod that will stretch across the entire window rather than the two short ones which were only supposed to display curtains on the outskirts of the frame (like you saw in that Better Homes & Gardens magazine, circa November 2004).
So for now your husband, in his infinite ingenuity, hangs a cream colored throw over the dastardly sun...
Nice cream-colored blanket in your window

Which fixes the problem but makes you cringe...
(Much like the DVD player, Direct TV box, receiver, fax copier and school supplies that are now exposed and sitting on a sagging wire shelving unit next to the new TV on the antique desk...electronics which, by the way, were contained within the original armoire and now have nowhere to go...).
The leaning tower of electronics

But since the light issue is "temporarily" fixed, you turn your attention back to the orphaned baker's rack, which still holds all of your dried goods and a bunch of other stuff you're not even sure you need or will EVER use...
And while you cogitate on a solution, you consider moving it to your daughter's now empty bedroom....

your daughter's empty bedroom...

(quiet sob)

And you realize how blessed you are that you had this day with it's myriad of problems and puzzles, requiring umpteen future projects to occupy your time...
sorting and cleaning...
lifting and sweating...
moving and shaking...
so you don't have to focus on the fact that you miss that daughter beyond words.

Then quietly you thank God for that broken TV.
Yes, you thank Him for "that day."

{And thanks to all of you for sticking around 
during my unannounced sabbatical.
Plan to be back regularly now.
Hope your day is filled with grace.}