Chankanaab

Chankanaab is a National park in Cozumel, Mexico. We visited there many years ago for our wedding anniversary. For a first time snorkeler it was a dream come true! I laughed so hard (because I was having so much fun) that I repeatedly blew my mask off and had to rise to the water surface to put it back on!

The edge of the water used to have steps cut into the coral so you could just sit and watch the many colored tiny fish or go in gradually from that point. The water is so salty that you are made naturally buoyant. This is a gift to those of us who are not strong swimmers as the salinity makes it hard to sink below the surface.

Then Bob pointed out to me that there was a dock out in the water that we could swim to. If I got tired, I could get on that little perch and rest before we swam back. Little did I know that submerged in the water was a statue of Christ looking up at us with His arms open towards us. I was delighted.

Lord of the wind and waves , spoken of in Matthew 8:27 and Mark 4:31, honored in this lovely place of salinity and fish. Bless the ones who put the statue there, Lord. Thank you for the gifts of seas and fish, buoyancy and sight!

Transfigured Rock

What if I told you a story about myself?

Once I was frozen in my feelings. Our alcoholic family of origin lived by the Alcoholic unspoken, but strictly enforced, rules of “Don’t think,” “Don’t talk,” “Don’t feel.” When I began attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings and Al-Anon I started breaking all of those rules. It was as if I was “breaking out of an inner prison” as I first wrote in 1982.

Someone at a Christian group told me about this book. The first time I read “Codependent No More” I bought my sister a copy and told her, “She lived in our house. She got in our heads. She wrote it all down!” I was truly amazed that someone else on earth not only understood the life in our house on Skyview Lane, but published what she knew!

There is a hillside on the way to my house now that is studded with stones. When the temperatures get frigid, as they are right now, the water might drip from the stones, but it quickly freezes into bars. It often reminds me of the prison I once lived in.

The stone that was once my heart has thawed and been healed in so many profound ways. I would be hard pressed to list all of those ways! I have been learning to think and feel and talk in appropriate ways for many years now. I do not ever want to go back to the ways of my upbringing. I spent hours in sessions of therapy trying to untangle the mess that was made in me.

I see a woman in the rock.
In case you do not see her, here she is enhanced.

I am certain my husband and I made some mistakes while raising our children. We used to joke that they might one day need counseling as I have needed it. But “we did the best we could with what we knew at the time.” And I, too, believe that my parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time. Hope my children can understand how not having alcohol as a constant influence in our home set them free from many weird things.

Living Water Photos

As I wrote this poem on the other blog I was amazed at the photos ….

At the shores of Living Water
Hear crickets there

Flow of Living Water invites me deeper,
Quieter

Petrified Wood

I was struck while choosing these photos for my stand-and-tip blog how much the stone around the mouth of the water resembled petrified wood.

And then how much Grand Canyon itself looked like the petrified wood!

What an amazing creation!

Grand Canyon

For One Moment

Rumi wrote:

“But listen to me: for one moment, quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. God.”

In re-reading Radical Acceptance I have been reminded how very much I admire the poet Rumi. Found I could get a Kindle version on Amazon for $1.99. Yeah, baby! Same version that I have in paperback, too!

So for one moment, TODAY, can you challenge yourself to quit being sad? God is dropping blessing blossoms all around you. Now perhaps Ann Voskamp can step up the microphone at this point and remind you to find 3 of the 1,000 gifts that flood your life. Just 3.

Here is one I wrote recently. Perhaps I already posted it but the image remains with me though the moon is not full right now.

“Moon shadows out the bedroom window at 1:00 AM are as if an architect has been doodling straight black lines drawn with a ruler on hillside brown background.”

And #2 on the morning walk today, January 8, 2019 shows our back hill with husband and this item complete with flower bud!

This is just WRONG for Ohio!

#3 Wind is driving high cumulus clouds across a blue sky at many miles per hour! What a sight after days and days of GRAY.

What are your three?

January Warmth

I know that some parts of the US are being hammered with winter weather. Not so in Southwestern Ohio. In fact, yesterday was sunny and temperatures in the 50s! I, personally, would enjoy some snow. It is January! I enjoy the silence that snow seems to amplify. Not to mention crusted tree limbs, bird prints, etc. Guess I will have to post some of those snow memories in another blog entry!

This morning when I went outside to empty the compost bucket, (without a coat, mind you!) on the way back into the house I noticed daffodils leaves about 2 inches tall!

Warm or frigid, my preferences or not, the season continue to unfold with daylight lasting longer than a few weeks ago, and flower bulbs persist in rising through the leaf litter. Another treasure in plain sight!

Treasures in Plain Ear

Acts 2:2 (NKJV) And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

For almost one year my husband has had to sleep with a cannula and 2 liters of oxygen each night. He does not like that, but tries to be compliant with his pulmonologist since the health crisis of January 2018.

Last night he awoke hearing something and asking “Is that You, Lord?”

His cannula had slipped in the night and was in his ear instead of his nostrils.

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He awoke wondering what the sound was. He did not want to post that on Facebook, so I said I would need to use it for the blog. Written here with his permission!

 

Gloomy Day Treasure

For Christmas our daughter and Granddaughter gave us a sunflower disk made of compressed bird seed. We took down the regular feeder outside our kitchen window and put it up. It took several days for the wary birds to trust it as a genuine feeding item.

Then the feasting began. One morning while getting some coffee I noticed a bird that does not often come to our feeder. He is prone to totally freeze in place or fly off at the slightest thing that might startle him. He especially does not like the red-bellied woodpecker. Otherwise, he will feed with other birds in relative calm. As I watched he explored the sunflower and then I went to grab my iPhone. He stretched to his full length, and in the gloom of this winter day I captured the best photo ever!

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with his belly shining bright! Black capped Chickadee on lower edge of flower.

I remember as a child hearing some actor in a movie who was wearing binoculars about his neck get all excited about this bird with the weird name. This photo was hard to capture, and not the best quality, but for me, a TRIUMPH!! I could finally show Bob why it has that funny name.

Keep watching for those treasures in plain sight!!