As the Chris Rice song, Life Means so Much goes...Time is our currency...Everyday is a Gift you've been given...A Journal page...Make the most of the Time every minute you're living...
One of my favorite things to remind myself when I have a lot on my plate is simply first things first. For this day what is most important, what has to be done? When bewildered I echo a story by Elisabeth Elliott she once told about someone who lost a loved one...Do the next thing. Just do the next thing.
Sometimes first things first is an outing with one of my daughters. This day it was my birthday! So our oldest daughter, Lea and I visited a special exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts. If you have read this blog for long you know that I am not only a country-forest-mouse who fearlessly guards my quiet, but a city mouse as well, just taking tiny little contemplative bites of old downtown. I like the city, the true city, where the museums and hospitals are...downtown, because it's a comfort for me I think. Growing up, we lived in a little town on the bay, a bit like Avonlea in the feel back then, but we would drive on outings to downtown, my mom, dad and I. I was born in downtown as well as Jem. We were both delivered by the same doctor in the same hospital.
Downtown, Museum District, a little piece of me and one of my Favorite Things. My mother went to art school in this area staying with a relative in that season of her young, single season of life. Happy days with my mom and dad here at the zoo and museums, and my father attended college here.
Lea and me at the art museum. Spending time, just simple things with our daughters. A Favorite Thing.
I love the floor of the art museum, it's more of a green color then pictured here and it too is a comfort ...I would love this floor in my home. Dark green terrazza. Timeless. Timeless simplicity and beauty are a few of my Favorite Things. I love the color, green.
A favorite song to accompany my thoughts and memories of Downtown..One of my Favorite Things...This music:
A very old church close to the museum...I think this view is so beautiful. Jem and I spied this beautiful scene one Sunday. An outing with Jem, old beautiful churches where I imagine what went on there perhaps during those WWII years... Some of my Favorite Things. Thinking back to what things might have been like...My Favorite Things...
This very old fabrics store in downtown gives me such an excitement, I just love this place. This is a huge place, and it is old. Notice the wooden fixtures painted that original retro pink...This is less then probably a fifth of this huge room, this is just the cottons and there was more behind me. There is an entire other huge room with trims and the most elegant fabrics. Mannequins dressed in unique designs. This past week I was feeling as if the little men in white needed to come and get me. *big smile* Ha! There was a lot going on. I shared with Jem that going to the downtown fashion fabric store would do me so much good, I just wanted to walk the aisles and look at the fabrics...touching the fabrics in peace and quiet... My sweet husband was kind enough to take me there, he knew I needed it. A few of my Favorite Things.
While I was at the fabric store I thought to myself...They have a small 50 percent off shelved area ...Yes, I have seen that before so I strolled to that tiny little area and found this wonderful vintage print.
This print was so darling and I just stood there looking at it....Flashes of my readers in first grade, flashes of memories came to mind with my parents in our vast yard in the old town where we lived. The precious family dog, the little girl's cotton outfits, very much like I had when I was a little girl. ...And how I dressed my girls when they were little. ...And I bought this fabric by George. Vintage fabrics...A few of my Favorite Things.
One balmy day last December Jem and I were on a day-date for lunch in downtown...Dates with my husband, one of my Very Favorite Things.
We have often said we wanted to ride the little train in the zoo area. We figured we would go into the area and if we could find a parking space we'd take the ride. We did find that space, and it was so fun...so relaxing. The weather was so beautiful that day, I barely needed a cardigan and the breeze whispered through the trees, we could smell the fragrance of Christmas through the trees gently swaying under the cozy grey skies...I felt like a kid again. Really nice.
I even brought my little elfkin that day as you may have guessed. Our daughters and I played 'elf'' through the holidays and even now. One of our married daughters, Marianna temporarily lives a bit away so we would send shots of our elves back and forth in the most interesting of places! I love whimsy....And childlike fun...to view the world as a child...Noticing things, enjoying things. One of My Favorite Things. I never want to lose that childlike way of looking at things....
The Museum of Natural Science...They put up Christmas trees in the lobby, each has a theme for charity. Rescue kitties, ...even underwear for children from families who do not have much. Just the gift shop in this museum is fascinating with all the natural stones and such. The Imax and planetarium here is a special treat for Jem and I. The day my father passed away, Jem took me here and we went to the planetarium for a quiet day. We never know what people may be going through when we see them. Let's be kind.
Jem in deep thoughts in the city...He too has his quiet moments.
Now back to the Forest Cathedral... The city is nice for very short outings but the Forest is my loved home, my element. I try to take notice of the Present from God (Presence of God) wherever I am because these are the Gifts for today, the future good memories. If I dwell on yesterday too much I can become sad, even though those are many times good memories... And if the various memories make me too unhappy, then that's certainly not good, so there is a balance between stuffing memories and living in them constantly. Let's let memories of love fill our hearts with so much love that it will overflow to others. Let us celebrate this day, this moment, Gifts from God.
If you have seen or see the old movie, A Guy Named Joe (1943) with Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne, you will see a scene where Joe, a guardian angel now, once a bomber pilot played by Spencer Tracy whispers a beautiful message to his wife played by Irene Dunne. His last words to her as her guardian angel in the last minutes of the movie...That's my girl. Oh my...This is a beautiful movie, a fantasy but yet very real. Very patriotic as well.
I know my dad is saying or thinking too... That's my girl. For you see, he sees very clearly now and it's I who sees through a glass darkly.
...So these are some Favorite Things from the Forest as of late. Today Jem and I finally were able to take a walk but these are past pics from winter days.
Winter evening skies from my front porch...The muted colors of the Heavens are so beautiful and speak to the soul. Speechless. Favorite Things.
Surprise snowy mornings..my view one morning. My quiet prayer time alone in the early morning hours, nothing like it. I thrive on my quiet time while still dark in the stillness. We can talk to God and hear God much better like this. A most Favorite and Cherished Thing. Quiet with God.
Later I read my devotional, Streams in the Desert, the original version looking up the scriptures in my Amplified Bible. Many times that original version Streams in the Desert devotional is so right on the money to what is happening in my life.
Our Peter O'Toole-personality blue-eyed white cat, Elbee watching our photographer-artist daughter, Rebecca seizing the moments getting some great shots of the wonderland. I really like to get down on the level to see things from the little being's view. I think God does that too, ...With us.
My kitchen window...A favorite place to look out and contemplate and notice...Snowy trees in a wonderland. A Gift. A Total Gift for me...A Favorite Thing.
How much of our lives are...well...so daily. How often our hours are filled with the mundane, seemingly unimportant things that have to be done, whether at home or work. These very "daily" tasks could become a celebration of praise. "It is through consecration," someone has said, "that drudgery is made divine."
-Gigi Graham Tchividjian
Grocery store day in smalltown...Oh the love. Our view from our car sipping on iced tea behind the fast food drive-in. A Favorite Thing. I see Clifford and the new calf so peacefully grazing...
We've recently seen this lady at the intersection at a light of a very busy highway in smalltown. She is warning people from her megaphone to repent. Lea and I went to bring her a water bottle, she was praying for another lady, so Lea waited. The lady warning people with the megaphone finished praying for the other lady and then turned to Lea as Lea spoke to her...and we see the lady is blind.
Jem said she sees more then most do.
I think I had better come to a stopping point for now...It's evening time...Time to unwind...
The same moon that shines upon me shines upon you...
Taken from our living room one night. The moon shining through the Forest. Definitely one of my Favorite Things...
Every day is a Gift...
Thanking God for sweet notes that lift my spirits.
Good evening, loves, ~Amelia in the Forest
Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.