Reflecting on Touch….

Icy Evergreen by Kira SkalaIt seems an eternity since the snow and ice coated the foliage and fields. The last snow was just a week ago, foreboding in the early morning, yet gone before noon. Today I took a leisurely walk with my dog Hobbes, enjoying the new life that refuses to be ignored. Yet despite the balmy weather, I find myself drawn to a photo by my dear friend Kira. I love how each pine needle is separately encase in a thin coat of ice, so thin you can see through to the vibrant life that endures the storm. The green of the pine pops out against the dried leaves caught in the branches. How much of what we see here is reflected in our everyday lives? We get stuck into familiar and comfortable patterns, repeating what worked before without thinking. Life goes on yet we persist in a pattern that once worked, but obviously is old and worn. In time life loses its color, its zest, its wonder. Then a friend stops by to tell us about a new beginning. Our hearts swell with contagious excitement, perhaps tainted with a little envy. That excitement fades as they wander off and we wonder why life is passing us by, why not me, why not now? Just when we seem lost in the dried leaves of our own lives, that friend reaches out, touches our arm, ask how we are. We hear and feel their concern, know their apology for going on and on about themselves comes from the heart. They take time out of their new adventure to really listen and our hearts melt. What seemed so stuck, so frozen, so lost, is suddenly found. It seems we need one another to find ourselves, to thaw the ice than individually encases us and isolates us from one another. Make time today to ponder what thrills your heart. Go back to what drives your passion, rather than simply going through the motions. Consider which routines serve you best and which routines drain your energy and your time. Reform or relinquish the old routines, the dried leaves, to make room for vibrant new life. And always remember, all it takes is touch to melt the thickest ice and join us together in new life. Text by Connie Chintall©2016, photo entitled ‘Icy Evergreens’ by Kira Skala©2016, All Rights Reserved.

Reflecting on New Beginnings….

What an eventful week! Earthquakes, after shocks, and now a hurricane. Yet for many, the weather may not be the main event. So I was drawn to this photo taken by my friend Lindsey. Her husband is walking her sons down to the end of the drive to catch the bus. On Thursday, Jared started kindergarten. Notice how intent he is compared with his little brother. He’s clutching his backpack and walking straight ahead, while his little brother hops or skips, or a little bit of both. Dad is taking the lead, knowing that Mom may not share Jared’s enthusiasm. She has a chance to let go in private, to honor her son’s desire for independence while also honoring her own feelings. Other friends are dropping off their sons and daughters at college, some for the first time. Some are visiting their grown children in their own homes, their first place after graduation, or visiting to help with a new grandchild. Each of these changes stirs up a mix of emotions. We are happy, elated, expectant, amazed. We are also sad, mournful, confused and a little lost. We can be tempted to gloss over our mixed emotions, to hide the feelings we would rather not admit. Yet so often in life, what we seek to view as either or is truly both and. We are not promised a perfect life, we are promised abundant life. When our hearts are full, when we let all those emotions flow, we claim that promise of abundant life. Take time today to fully understand the impact of a change in your life. Allow yourself to freely experience the emotions that this change has wrought. Let go of what was to make room for what will be, trusting that our Lord works for good in all things for those that love Him. Photo by Lindsey Wangsgard

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