Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Shoes

I'm sentimental, I'll admit. I cry at simple things...my children's baby pictures, song lyrics, weddings and especially hand written notes and cards.

I can really get into symbolism and most of the time it's a good thing. It helps me engrave certain things into my memory cells that I never want to forget. There is a room in my house that now has new meaning. It holds precious memories for me that I never want to forget.

My dad came to live with me in the fall of 2010 due to a terminal illness. He was able to take care of himself in the beginning. He took up residence in my guest room, which is on the second floor of my home. He was a widower for the second time, and a very independent one at that, but we blended well and life hummed along till his health began to decline just a couple of months after he arrived.

We decided, to his utter dismay, that he should move downstairs. I thought he was going to have a hissy fit, as we say in the south when we don't get our way. But, he finally agreed, and we converted the piano/living room into his bedroom. I decorated it in a manly fashion, for he was particular in that way. Life settled down and he was happy and content...yes, happy and content even though he battled a deadly disease. He was surrounded by love...a family who loved him, a church family who reached out to him, friends who kept in touch...he was happy.

As his health continued to decline, we talked of life, of mistakes made, and of the way he wished he'd done things differently. We shared memories of his one true love, my mom, and he told me things I never knew. He asked for forgiveness. I forgave.

That room is where he lived for many months until his glorious home going in August of 2011. It took awhile to clean everything out. When someone lives with you and your family they become an intimate part of your routine. We took care of his every need and when he was gone there was an emptiness...a void...except for his personal belongings.

Little by little I put the room back the way it was before he came...except for the shoes. He was so neat about the way he lined up his shoes, side by side. I decided to keep the shoes he wore every day. It just seemed fitting that they remain just where he left them. A reminder to me of his presence in that room.

For some is may seem silly, but for me, they are a reminder of my blessed year with my precious Daddy...the one who held me first and the one whose hand I was holding as he looked into the face of Jesus his Savior.

Whenever I walk into that room I am instantly reminded of a faithful God Who gave me a year to love my earthly father, care for him as he died, give him a home and then receive the greatest gift in return...the gift of forgiveness.

I never want to forget that gift.



Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday This and That...

I'm one of those strange people that love rain so I was happy to wake up this morning to the sound of it as I let my sweet kitty in the house. My morning ritual began with puttering in the kitchen, Bible study, feeding cats and making tea.

I follow several blogs and as I was reading www.coffeeteabooksandme.blogspot.com I came across a link that I'm going to share for all the Downton Abbey fans, and I know there are several out there. My friends alone will make a mad dash to this site. I'm still new at blogging so here goes www.downtonabbeycooks.com.

I think we're all in mourning this week as we tuned in to the final episode of our favorite show. If you're like me you're thinking it's much too long till the next season.

I love tea, teacups, teapots, books...anything associated with the ritual of tea. There is something refined and eloquent in the ritual of tea. I love its simplicity. It requires one to sit and slow down for you can't be in a hurry and hold a teacup. We are in too much of a hurry in our world today. We don't know how to slow down and rest...to be still and know.

That's why I love tea...it forces me to stop, to be still for at least a little while before my day begins and be still...and maybe Someone can speak to me, if I will listen.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seasons of Change

I wrote the following in my journal a few months ago as the beautiful fall months were upon us and I was in a melancholy mood. The past couple of years have been difficult in our family...seasons of change...illness, death, empty nest. I'd been doing a lot of "pondering," as I like to call it, thinking about change and how resistant we are to change. God, in His wisdom, inspired Solomon to write about it to give us direction when he said in Ecclesiastes 3:1:  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. NIV 

"My little friends are gone...my hummingbirds are gone...as if they're really mine I say. Well it seems as if they are. For six months or more they visit me like clockwork. They come to the feeder, hover and buzz and drink their fill of the life giving sweetness...they make themselves at home. Sometimes I think they study me as much as I study them. They don't seem to be afraid of me or bothered that we share the same space, in fact, they often hover nearby staring, as if trying to understand me.

It's an interesting bond I have with the hummingbirds. I didn't even realize my connection to this flying wonder until I came outside one morning this week and waited for our morning ritual. I realized they weren't coming...they were gone.

Before I knew it, tears were rolling down my cheeks. These tiny creatures had captured my heart, we'd become friends. We'd shared many mornings of tea and prayer, of birdsong and Beau, of flowers and ponderings and the planning of my day, and now they were gone.

I know the Bible says "There is a time for everything under the sun. There is a season for everything," and I believe every word that is written in His Word, but I sure do miss my little friends. The porch is too quiet. I miss their sounds, their activity, their presence. The hope of springtime to come is that they'll return and we'll pick up where we left off. I know I'll be waiting."

Spring is almost here and I'm readying myself for days spent in my flowers...more pondering while I wait for my friends to return. The melancholy mood has lifted for now and I have new purpose in my days.

I'm so glad there are seasons of life. I want to embrace each season with gratitude to the One Who gave it. Change isn't easy for any of us but there is One Who never changes and Who is always faithful to be there to help us through each changing season of our life and give us purpose and meaning.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Life Detour

I'd been accepted to attend Marshall University in Huntington, WV in the fall of 1977 to major in Journalism. School newspapers and writing had been an important part of my academic life going back to grade school and publishing our monthly paper on the mimeograph machines. What came over me I'll never know, but one of my friends suggested I change my plans and go to West Virginia Tech. Just assuming that everyone had a Journalism program, and not having anyone in my life to advise me, I aborted my plans to attend Marshall and jumped on the Tech bandwagon...because you know you must go to school where all your friends are going.

It's a good thing that Someone was watching out for me. Someone who says, "For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. Well it's a good thing. Can you imagine my surprise when I arrived at Tech with all my worldly possessions only to find they didn't have a Journalism program? They even found it humorous...though I was not laughing.

But there was One, much wiser than me, Who had a plan for me. He had someone on that campus, a campus made up mostly of male engineering students, that I was to meet. Had I gone to Marshall our paths wouldn't have crossed and my life would have gone in a different direction. He had a plan to prosper me and give me a future.

 My writing has been put on hold for many years, except for my personal journal, and now that my nest is empty I have the time to devote to my love of the written word.

Sometimes those detours take us places we don't want to go, but we have a Creator that is never caught off guard with even the slightest blink of the eye. He was aware of our detour before we were formed in our mother's womb so we shouldn't be alarmed for He has only the best for us if we'll  only trust Him.

A song that we sang recently in choir said, "When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart." I've found this proven over and over. God's timing in our lives is always perfect, never late, and will always be just what we need.


And now...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My First Blog Post

With fear and trembling today is the day I finally press the publish key. I've wanted to have a blog for the longest time but fear and apprehension and changing stages of my life held me back. It wasn't until I went to a writers' conference recently that I realized my concept of blogs was all wrong and it gave me the courage to take the leap so here I am...

August 2014
My name is Cindy and I live in the upstate of South Carolina with Earl, my outdoorsman of a husband of 34 years. We have been blessed with two wonderful children who are in their twenties, Andy and Bailey. We have two cats, Livvy and Buck, who allow us to live with them in the home I care for. A dog named Beau comes to visit every weekday morning and goes home with Andy at the end of his long day of chasing cats.

Earl and I both grew up in the beautiful state of West Virginia, met in college, had a whirlwind romance and got married at the ripe old age of 20 and 18 respectively. We moved south after six years of marriage and planted our roots deep in southern soil, though we'll always be Mountaineers at heart.

My goal for this blog is to introduce you to the One Who has made the difference in my life...that being the Person of Jesus Christ. Without Him, my life would be meaningless and empty. I would love to share things I've learned along the way to help someone else in their journey. Other topics I'll write about are homemaking, books, interesting places I've been and the wonderful people who fill my life with joy!

I decided after the conference that, if for no other reason, my children are the only ones who read this it's OK. I want them to know my heart..and you, my reader, as well.

So...welcome to My Little Corner! My hope is that you'll find encouragement for your day, put a smile on your face or make you stop and ponder something in your own life. One last thing...thank you for reading my blog!