Seasons …

Here’s a switch, music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, this piece being Spring; not my usual rock’n’roll, but it fits the title and I am a pianist/musician so enjoy! We’re rapidly approaching a new season on the calendar; Spring is a week away and definitely in the air. But in the last week I’ve had a couple conversations in which I used the words, “it’s a season; not a permanent state, but a season through which we pass.”

Got me thinking about the seasons of our lives.  We may have fantastic seasons of growth and beauty, then we may have seasons of darkness and what feels like dead-of-winter, harsh and unrelenting cold.  We may have friendships born of the season and perhaps limited to the season.  We might experience a rainy season and move toward the end of it to see a glorious double rainbow. There are seasons of health and  seasons of illness, seasons of laughter and seasons of tears.

The season for me now?  On this rainy, foggy Saturday morning, I’m  in transition, still in the season of  “higher education”, successfully finishing,  just yesterday, another trimester of school, and  did indeed dance around my kitchen last night. I completed two excellent classes, learned so much and had the opportunity to engage my dad in good discussion in the course of completing Theology  for Today and Survey of the New Testament, both with an A, I might add.  Now, as my favorite Auntie Arlene said when I started those two classes, “That’s right up your alley,” and how right she was.  All those words, English and Greek, all the “ologies” and “isms” and writing about them – I was in my element and had a ball.  How very different from algebra, but a just reward as far as I’m concerned.  Having traversed the season of Algebra – very ugly, I emerged to religion/history and getting to write about it!

The season continues, with nuances of change.  Two new classes begin after a week off, no idea what to expect and the season of higher education while living daily life continues.  A challenge?  You bet, sometimes I’m so very tired, but it’s the chosen path for now and as I counseled the other day, it’s a season through which we pass, not where we dwell.  We’ll wrap today with a favorite Scripture, “To everything there is a season,” and get this, a proverb, “This too, shall pass.”  I just may have found my next blog subject:)

Bénédictions!!

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part I

Some of you know I’m a musician.  That affects how I remember things and how I learn.  No to mention that I’m a child of the 60s and 70s so it should be no surprise to find music throughout these pages.  Today we borrow from Bowie – David the musician, as opposed to Jim, of knife fame.
I’ve been thinking about change a lot these days.  Its been a  subject of discussion in my humanities class, which I’m loving, by the way 🙂 I had to respond to a statement by my professor as to how people view and  respond to change.

Coupled with the letters I sent my girls for St. Nick’s and the memories that brought up, change has indeed, been on my mind.  As I wrote for my class: change is life and life is change.  Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Pain-free, stress-free, just like change itself.

Not so?  I look at how my life has changed and how I’ve dealt with it; how my girls have changed – independent young women now, living far away from me and each other, yet remaining close thanks to technology.  Ch-ch-ch-changes.

And while I speak easily about my girls being so far away, much of the time  I do not like it one bit!!!  St. Nick comes tomorrow and I didn’t unpack the Christmas stockings, two years running now.  Those stockings I made – love and anticipation sewn into every stitch.  I didn’t grow up with St. Nick, but my girls discovered him the year ErinLee came home from preschool in tears because St. Nick didn’t like her.  He only skips the children who’ve been bad, she said.   So St. Nick became part of our lives.

Talked to ErinLee moments ago – we laughed about how  very often I got it wrong.  St. Nick came a day early or a day late; for whatever reason I struggled with that one.  When they were of an age to understand, we shared many laughs over St. Nick.  But it was always special because that’s when the stockings came out.  We’ll talk about those another time.

In the meantime, in this  pre-Christmas season, give some thought to the many changes and the many benefits you’ve reaped because of them.  Change isn’t always comfortable, but it often precedes dramatic growth. Ch-ch-ch-changes.                                                    Later…

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Gaining Ground

I’m still playing catch-up from the weekend misfortunes, but at least I’m playing.  I definitely had an attitude challenge going and thankfully,  have moved through it.  My house is almost normal, though my ears are tuned to the on/off cycles of the furnace and I”m less than completely unpacked.  But my truck is running and I was able to get groceries and sand from the pile kept by the city for ice emergencies such as we had.  Hard to imagine that clearing away ice is a topic of local news, but it is.  I heard that cities nearby are going to begin sending out workers to chop/scrape ice from the sidewalks and homeowners will be charged $80 for the service.  That’s winter where I live.

I don’t have sidewalks.  I have a fairly long driveway that empties into a circle around which the house, garage, shed, barn, etc, are grouped, a fairly large area to attack with traditional methods like sidewalk salt and/or sand and a manual ice chipper.  So I mixed salt into the 32-gallon trash barrel full of sand and spread it strategically, hoping that a slight rise in temperature would facilitate some melting.  The weatherman said it wouldn’t happen today, but how often is the guy right?  Today, of course, when I have to make sure that my students and their parents can get in and out of the driveway and the house safely.

Being a generally positive positive person and no longer dwelling in self-pity, I looked for the humor.   Today that was visualizing myself trying to carry a bucket of salt/sand from back steps to garage – remember it’s an out-building -while utilizing ski poles to stay upright – how many hands did I say I have?  But at least the ski poles were handy, already out on the back porch as part of seasonal decor and they did, indeed, aid in keeping me on my feet and a brown salt/sand path now runs from the house to the garage making safe passage  more likely.

As for getting the truck started, thanks to the wood stove out in the garage and numerous trips to stoke it with kindling and all the paper I’ve been meaning to burn, bundled and booted against negative wind chills,  I produced enough heat to thaw the lines of the truck and on one of those trips to stoke the fire I decided to just give it another try.  Singing like a child at the top of my lungs – another reason to live in the country fairly far removed from neighbors – “I am trusting Thee to guide me, Thou alone shalt lead, every day and hour supplying all my need,”   I turned the key in the ignition and, voilà, the truck started.

To quote my father once again, “There you have it.”  When feeling sad, defeated, low, I resort to music and prayer, sometimes together via old favorite hymns, or playing my piano.   Try it, sing like no one can hear you, unless you have a beautiful voice – then sing so everyone can.

And remember, you cannot – it’s not physically possible – you cannot be singing  praises out loud and dwelling in despair in your mind.    The brain doesn’t work that way – we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Countdown 8 Days

One week and one day – I can hardly wait.  What does that mean anyway?  Of course I can wait.  How would I NOT wait?   I will do what countless women have done through the ages – clean something! In fact, I have closets, cupboards, drawers, all of which will be at least touched up before I leave on holiday.

What is it – something passed down from my own mother?  Absolutely! As a child, prior to every vacation the house was made spotless, including “wiping up the floor” on hands and knees as we made our way out the door. I haven’t done that lately, but in August of  ’07 prior to going in for a second brain surgery, I pretty much hit every closet, drawer, cupboard, you name it.  I even called in reserves to help.  My friend, Karen, gets it and answered my call for help.  Her job was to take the steamer to all the clothes in the laundry room, to make sure everything was steamed and properly put away before I went to the hospital.  Can I get an Amen here?  Surely someone can relate :).

This is a fairly literal interpretation of the Biblical putting one’s house in order,  II Samuel 17:23, which, by the way, preceded a suicide.  Short of working myself to death cleaning all these closets, drawers and cupboards pre-holiday, along with daily living, teaching, conducting business as usual plus several meetings, and participating in some Christmas socializing, I’m not intending to do myself in.  My girls would be grinning – they’ve lived through their mom’s pre-holiday/vacation ritual many times.

But action cures lots of emotional ailments and it certainly beats the heck out of sitting here nibbling on my nails.  Oh, note to self, add MANICURE to the to-do list, may as well make it mani-pedi as I’m not packing the five pairs of boots I wear out here from September through March.  These feet will be slipping into sandals or flips in just over a week now, late December, no less.

So how do I wait?  I’ll clean and organize, make a few lists, pack,  sing and dance my way through the chores, praising the Lord that in just eight days I’ll be hugging my younger daughter and maybe even tucking her in and saying prayers once or twice as we did so every often in times past.  Does it get any better?

P.S.  Check out the links for  “mani-pedi” and  “five pairs”  above – an online grammar guide and an URBAN dictionary, you gotta love it :)!              à plus tard …………..,  LeeAnn

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Time Redeemed

For a day that began with a post entitled Scattered (scroll down) it ended up being a gift, truly!  I’m sure you don’t want a blow-by-blow, but let me just make a little list:

  1. Had long overdue catch-up conversation with a good friend
  2. Learned that a favorite student was coming back after six months off
  3. Was given the opportunity to provide a very awesome gift to a student’s family.
  4. Drove to a nearby city with an old friend under a gorgeous night sky- did anyone else see that moon?
  5. Had a wonderful dinner with that old friend!
  6. Attended an amazing holiday concert by composer and pianist Jim Brickman in a great venue
  7. Was able to gift tickets to that concert to a student and her mom and see them there enjoying it!!

Not bad for a day that began in disarray!!  And I am taking it as God’s personal gift to me!!  When I do settle in for sleep I will be giving thanks for a day that was certainly redeemed from it’s rather unorganized beginning.  Who knew at 9:30 a.m. that at midnight I’d be reflecting on a day of accomplishment, satisfaction and time well spent. And it won’t go unsaid that the to-do list mentioned in the Scattered post did indeed take a couple of whacks.

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