Standing tiptoe on the edge of a new year, I’m thinking about Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It’s all about writing your life, making it the kind of story you want to live.
I want mine to be a love story.
A story filled with affectionate moments with my favorite guy.
A story that includes big adventures in new settings.
A story of being brave and taking risks.
A story rich with the people I love, the characters who make me laugh, make me cry, make me a better person.
A story that includes being healthy and strong enough to explore on two wheels.
A story punctuated with quiet times to listen for God’s voice.
A story so wonderful that my fingers can’t type it fast enough.
I want mine to be a love story.
A love story for life.
What kind of story do you want to live this year?
This week I’m thankful…
- for a quiet Christmas morning with Terry
- for time to read good books
- to spend time with friends
- for feeding my littlest nephew a pear for the first time
- to ride with the top down on the MINI and watch the clouds shift against the winter night sky
- for In-N-Out cheeseburgers
- to walk in the sprinkling rain with new friends
- for pedicures
- for dollar night at the movie theater
- for the smell of laundry fresh from the dryer
- for this story of a man who changed his life for the better simply by writing thank you notes
What are you thankful for?
This Christmas I received many gifts that made my Grinch-sized heart grow. There are a few in particular that stand out. None of them are extravagant. None of them are expensive. They are simple and lovely. And I am blessed to have people in my life who gave me such wonderful gifts.
1. A friend made me a beautiful dragonfly necklace. She used understated earth tones and I appreciate the fact that she took time out of her impossibly busy schedule to create something she knew I’d love. I gave her a book. I bought it online. I am lame.
2. Our school has a Christmas Boutique where kids can shop for gifts for their families. One little girl, a blond fairy of a girl, kept shooing me away while she shopped because she had something in her basket I couldn’t see. The next day she slipped a small box under our classroom tree. I unwrapped the box and inside sat this precious dragonfly brooch.
“How did you know dragonflies are my favorite?” I asked her.
“You told me once a long time ago, when I was little, and I remembered.” She smiled proudly, showing off the window where her front teeth used to be.
I wore the brooch all day and thought of the precious girl, who at the age of six is still little, but already has a big heart.
3. This giant Hershey’s kiss was from another of my little ones. He’s an affectionate boy and we’ve had some conversations about how we hug, but don’t kiss each other at school. He gave me a basket of pansies and then handed me a wrapped box. When I opened it, he said “This kind of kiss is allowed at school, right?” The class erupted into peels of laughter and the clever little guy grinned from ear to ear.
4. I received this angel ornament from another student. The ornament is sweet and when I hang it on the tree each year, I will remember how tightly the little boy hugged me after I opened it. He also gave me dish of Hershey’s kisses and repeated the line from the kid who gave me the giant chocolate kiss. In first grade if a joke is funny the first time, it’s absolutely hilarious the second time around.
5. I have a friend who used to race bicycles and he always gives me awesome cycling stuff. This year he gave me a gift card to RoadID.com. My emergency shoe tag was wearing out and so I bought a shiny new one along with a wicking hat for spin class. There are two great things about this present. First, if something dastardly goes down on my bike, my shoe tag can help emergency workers figure out who I am very quickly. Secondly, and much less morbidly, RoadID gives a percentage of each sale to one of nine charities, so upon check out you can choose which charity receives some cash. Naturally, I chose LiveStrong.
6. My grandmother used to wear White Diamonds lotion. When she passed away earlier this year, I wore one of her sweaters just to have her scent on my skin. My aunt wrapped up a tube of White Diamonds for me this year and when I unwrapped it and unscrewed the lid, I was immediately filled with the scent of my grandmother, the scent of all the joyous memories we had together.
7. Okay, when I said none of the gifts I received this year were expensive or extravagant, I apparently had a brain hemorrhage and forgot about the gift Terry gave me. My hubby gave me a housekeeper for a year. Let that sink in for a minute. He gave me an Alice. Revel with me for a moment here: an entire year of no vacuuming, no dusting, no mopping. Ladies, I understand that you’re probably swooning. Put your head between your knees for a sec and breathe. Yes, he is that good. No, he doesn’t have a brother.
I hope your Christmas was full of lovely gifts and joyous memories. And even if your heart was already the right size, I hope this Christmas season made it swell at least three sizes bigger.
This week I’m thankful for…
- parking inside my garage so I don’t have to scrape ice off my windshield in the morning
- the all the pet names Terry calls me
- staying in my pajamas all day
- turning my alarm clock off for two weeks
- poppy-seed dressing
- that moment when Terry walks through the door from working out-of-town
- my step-dad who fixed the broken manger in my grandmother’s nativity set
- zucchini and bell pepper scrambles and leisurely mornings to eat them
- the lunar eclipse that made the moon red and reminded me of Brandon Heath’s song Red Sky
A few months ago I mistakenly heard someone say the word ‘poetrees’ in lieu of the word ‘poetry’. It’s a word mash-up I haven’t been able to shake from my mind. I wrote it down in my notebook and left it there all alone. Today I woke to the pattering of rain and trees whistling in the wind and knew it was time to write about those poetrees.
Winter’s voice thunders at my roof,
The trees are tapping out words on my windows,
Scribbling meter, rhyme, and verse with scraggly stick fingers.
The wind whispers their poems in my waiting ears.
They write of the earth, tucked safely under frosted blankets,
Of lightning striking white willows, turning them black with despair
And the blessed rain washing away the soot and sins of man.
Cloud faces drain themselves of color, weeping with relief,
Watering the souls of shy maples and ancient oaks.
The storm takes a breath,
Gutters usher its remnants into the sodden soil.
The poetrees withdraw their pencils from my windowpane.,
And I am left bathed in silence.