Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Spring Day

We've been out doing some clean up in the garden the last couple of days. Yes, yes, it would appear that we are seeing the backside of winter ... finally! Spring cometh.

What a treat to sit awhile in the warm sunshine. We revel in how comforting its warmth is not only to face and back, but to one's soul too. Add the happy whistles and mating calls of a myriad of birds finding shelter in our small garden and we're basking in the bounty of God's beautiful creation with overflowing hearts.

The so-long wait for Spring this year has sharpened my senses to see these simple pleasures around me. And I'm grateful for them.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tree Swallows and Kitty Cats

A progress report on our pair of tree swallows. From the three suitable nest boxes Rick mounted in various spots in our backyard garden, Mr. and Mrs. T. Swallow have selected one that works for them. With the tweeting and cooing going on, I could well imagine their excitement. And, this morning we caught sight of the pair of them beginning to gather materials on the ground for their tiny nest.

Which means, Miss Kitty, sweet kitty that she is, has had to be brought back into the house. No more snooping and exploring in the garden for the time being. And, she was having so much fun out there since warmer days descended, that it really breaks my heart to hear her sad, pathetic meows as she sits by the back door!

As with many things in life, there seems to be a mix of bittersweet in all this. We get to enjoy the wonder of birds in the spring time, and Miss Kitty has to wonder why she's been relegated to the house when she was having so much fun.

But there it is... soon, dear Miss Kitty, soon, you'll be free to roam again.

Now I must be off...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Happiest People

I once received this small devotional book as a gift. Filled with lovely artwork, there are thoughtful quotes and anecdotes. One such anecdote tells the story that a newspaper in England once asked a question of its readers: "Who are the happiest people on the earth?"

According to the article, these were the four prize-winning answers:
1. A little child building sand castles;
2. A craftsman or artist whistling over a job well done;
3. A mother bathing her baby after a busy day;
4. A doctor who has finished a difficult and dangerous operation that saved a human life.
W. Beran Wolfe once said, "If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden... He will not be striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours at a time."

So, here's to those every day experiences that bring true happiness to your own life!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mother's Day: Good Morning, Merry Sunshine

As we celebrate our moms this weekend, I want to share an essay I wrote for my own mom. I love my mom a whole bunch. She's been a precious gift from God for me, and as I get older I treasure her more and more for being that steadfast pillar of love throughout my lifetime.

Good Morning, Merry Sunshine

"Good morning, Merry Sunshine!" That phrase echoes down through the decades of my life and still spills warmth and light into my soul. It's a phrase I haven't thought of in years, but when it recently wiggled its way out from some dusty memory bank, I was stopped in my tracks. For wrapped in its melody, there came such a sweet flood of happy and loving feelings.

For a fleeting moment I was back in the old farm kitchen where I grew up. I must have only been about five or six at the time. I have a recollection of padding my sleepy-eyed self down the little hallway into the sun flooded kitchen, where Mom was probably making breakfast. She stopped whatever she was doing to welcome me into the day by her cheery, "Good morning, Merry Sunshine."

I don't recall if Mom used that little nickname on a regular basis, or just that one time, but even after all these years, just remembering it, I got all warm and cozy. It made my heart sing to think of my mom using that little name for me.

It was as if her words, spoken so long ago, spilled something precious over me -- a reminder that Mom's love for me over my lifetime has been like sunshine -- always warming, always cheering, always there. Remembering those words at this time in my life is a little like an awakening call. For with the feelings that wash over me as I remember, I now have a little hankering to live up to that name, to be a merry bit of sunshine wherever I go.

Which makes me realize that good or bad, the words a mother speaks over her child echoes over the decades. The use of nicknames, whether they are pretty, cute, funny, or gently teasing of a special personality trait, when spoken with love and kindness, can give a child a sense of belonging, of feeling included in the circle of love, and of being identified as someone worthy and special.

I bless my mother for speaking such a loving nickname over me all those years ago, for it still rings a happy melody in my heart today. May we as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunties speak many loving words over our loved ones today, for the words we speak will echo for a lifetime!

A merry, sunny day to you all!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pretty Tree Swallows

Such a to-doing this morning in our backyard. The little tree swallows are still discussing who gets to lay claim to the nest boxes this season. Located right outside my study window, it's a joy to watch and listen to their pretty chatter. As I'm taking the snaps through the window, they aren't as clear as they could be.

Hope your day is filled with songs of Spring today.