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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cherry Vanilla Chocolate

Last week was definitely a winter wonderland around here! Schools were closed all week, as we had up to eight inches of snow and ice...something we don't see too much around these here parts! :) It was also cold....brrrrrrr! It was hard, but I got this body out into the snow a few days to play with my daughter, and even my terribly cool teenage son ventured out with us to go sledding in the "Narnia-like" conditions. 

We made some good memories, including making hot-chocolate with a dip of cherry vanilla ice cream added (you should try it)...this became our daily "healthy" does have lots of calcium plus fruit, you know! :() 

I tried to capture a memory of a minute in one of those days last week in the above photo, and am including it in the winter wonderland theme over at  or click on the icon below.  Check it out! Many more memories captured there!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hopes and Fears of the New Year

Two bluebirds perched on a brown branch.
Barely visible from the fog, they twitched and twittered and puffed-up their plumage, while winter's barrenness brought forth their brightness. Childlike wonder and delight flew open the door of my muddled mind. Then the fog lifted, and they were gone. Out of sight and hidden in the light.

I felt a pang of emptiness with their going. I wanted to follow. To capture their vibrant colors and feel their winged spirit. But I knew they had flown to their hidden home. A secret place.

The scene caused me to sit in silent reflection. The years past, present, and future loomed with fear and with hope. Simultaneous conflicting emotions.

Could both the barrenness and the beauty bring forth flight? 
The answers seemed elusive. Frozen in conflict.

Their secret home was one to which I could relate. But their's was a nest of natural beauty, simplicity, and song; they flew with swift confidence, and sang their joyous little songs to themselves. Mine was often a cottage that shifted too easily from freedom focus to fear and forebodings.

What was their secret? 
"This is the joy of all winged life above--happy it is to be able to love." from Hinds' Feet on High Places. "Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love...the little flowers have a lesson to teach. They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if there is no one to appreciate them, as if they have a song they sing to themselves--that it is so happy to love even though one is not loved in return."
How do they soar and sing and rise above to the elusive blue mountaintop?
"Humble yourself, and you will find that Love is spreading a carpet of flowers beneath your feet...for it is only on the High Places of Love that anyone can receive the power to pour themselves down in an utter abandonment of self-giving."
How does the barren brownness bring forth the blueness? 
"The valleys looked very green and peaceful, while the mountains to whose foot they had come towered above them like gigantic and threatening ramparts...The choice...Fear she knew all too well, but Sorrow and could she go with them and abandon herself to their power and control?"
Trust is too hard. 
"We must leap down into the canyon...Supposing she had thrown them away, discarded  her trust in His promises, had gone back on the surrenders to His will? There could have been no jewels now to His praise and glory, and no crown for her to wear."
Flee into the foggy darkness and rise with the Living Light. 
"I will write upon her a new name, the name of her God. The Lord God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Pslam 84:11
"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me,"  from Matthew 10:29.