Category Archives: Things to ponder….

People, events or things that cause one to stop and think.

Accomplishment minus Satisfaction

In the midst of the current pandemic, we’ve found ourselves with more time at home. There has been a task at my house I’ve been saying “if I just had some uninterrupted time at home, I would get that done.”

So, due to the pandemic, I have time at home. I’ve found tackling the task difficult to do. Not because the task is so hard, I just lacked enthusiasm to start and stick with the project to completion.

It took me over a week to complete the project once I began. What’s interesting to me, is that I realize it was not a question time. The question proved to be motivation.

For whatever reason, I made cleaning my office/art room into something so daunting that I was avoiding even beginning.

Finally, desk space…

I can say it is complete. I’ve been waiting to start a project in the room until I completed the clean-up. Now I’m able to begin creating something I want to do. Why am I not filled with a sense of satisfaction for cleaning up my work space?

Do you have a project or task that you’ve been putting off and can’t seem to do it?

And why?

Majesty

I sing for joy at the works of your hands

I stand in the wind facing east.

The sea roars as the consistent waves roll in, one after the other.

The sky is huge with layer after layer of clouds cloaking the evening sun.

I feel small against the vastness of these forces of nature.

Yet, I look into the heavens and know that I’m loved beyond comprehension.

The words from Psalm 8 filled my mind this day.

Psalm 8 from the NIV Bible

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

2019 Thoughts and Gratitude

I have questions today.

Please leave a comment in response to any of the questions. Happy New Year!

Colorado National Monument

Do you read my blog because you too are a writer, or just interested in what I write about?


Either is good; I’m just curious.

If you write, do you have writing goals?

How to you track your goals and evaluate your progress?

Does this motivate you?

I use writing goals. It’s a process I’ve refined over the years. It started with generic lists for big projects that I seldom looked at and by the year’s end; I found I accomplished little. Not very satisfying!

My process evolved and suspect will continue to evolve.

It’s important for me to break down a project into tasks; this level of detail ensures things don’t fall through the cracks and provides a more accurate view of the work and time involved to accomplish the project. Making that simple change to my goals has allowed me to be more realistic in what I can accomplish.

As I contemplated 2019’s goals in creating my goals for 2020, I realized how frequently you, my followers have been part of the process. Thank you for taking time to read my posts, for choosing to “like them” or make comments. Those efforts encourage me, as a writer.

My hope for you is that as you reflect on 2019, you enjoy good memories.
I look forward to 2020 and hope my writing will bring a smile to your face,
or provide something for you to contemplate. 

Merry Christmas…

Christmas Night

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
Not a creature was stirring….

Perhaps this is a night for reflection.

…a quiet night to sit by a fire, or simply on a couch

…a time to think of what is right in your life

…or to think on the things you might like to change

Christmas is special to me. I’ll spend this evening in my home, reflecting on Christmas’ past, and the people who’ve impacted my life. I’ll count my joys and blessings, and though I hold those things lightly, for me it’s important to recognize them.

I’ll wait for snow, like a child waits for Santa because that is part of the magic of my Christmas.

I’ll think on that time so many years ago when history was changed a child was born in a manger. Then I’ll think on the time I made his saving grace a part of my life.

May you enjoy the blessings of this holiday season and find joy in the coming year.

2019 Winding Down…

This whirlwind year is coming to a close.

Memories of people and places are swirling through my head like the winter wind blowing in snowflakes; looking to see where they will settle.

As the flakes blow in circles, memories of the year flash before me. Reflections of time spent with family and friends make me smile. Beauty within the world spins by in my mind’s eye.

Winter at the Grand Canyon

God’s love has been obvious this year in so many aspects of my life.

The peace I’m filled with confirms the many things I have to be thankful for. Words and lists are inadequate to express all that encompasses these thoughts.

I wonder how my family, my friends, those I’ve met and interacted with this year, view 2019.

How do you regard this past year?

Update…

We returned home to Colorado in early June. Since that time, we’ve been connecting with old friends and family. Anyone who has spent a large chunk of time out of the country may relate to the re-adjustment time when returning to your homeland. We’ve been living through this change process. Many of our discussions have centered about “when we will return to Ireland.”

As part of connecting with family and friends, we made a trip back to the mid-west and attended the church Tom was part of for many years. It was our first opportunity of speaking to a group about Ireland, our time there and the vision for the future. It was an excellent experience for both of us. Besides being energizing, this time identified areas where we need to clarify our vision.

New Hope Window

We send a hearty “thanks” to the folks of New Hope for allowing us to share our experience and vision; for your interest in this work; and for reminding us that when with Christians, one is never far from family.

For more information about this mission, check out CelticMissions.org

Inspiration…

Why, as the sky turns dark, and I lay my head into my pillow, do all these great thoughts and ideas come to mind? I want to sleep but instead I ponder story starts, and various scenes to add to pieces I’m writing. My body is weary, too weary to get up and write. The thoughts are so vivid I’m sure I’ll remember them the next time I sit down to write, or for sure, in the morning.

DSC00777
Night Sky

Slumber finally comes. Then when the pink glow of morning lights up the sky and the sun peaks above the horizon, my eyes slowly awaken. Gratitude for the new day and all it offers, fills my heart. But alas! Some thief snuck into my room in the night while the stars twinkled and shone. I’m certain I was considering something wonderful last night, but all those thoughts vanished. Not a remnant remains, nor is there any evidence of who took the fruit of my inspiration.

Do you have this same thief at your house?

Do you have a way to overcome this challenge?

 

 

 

Home and Writing Routines…

I’ve been back in Colorado about a month now. After a few days, I adjusted to the time differences, the altitude, the night stars and different lifestyles. Remaining were the routine things around the house that needed attention, civic responsibilities and reconnecting with friends on this side of the Atlantic. It looks like it might take us the rest of the year to connect with family and friends we haven’t seen in a while.

While in Ireland, I established a “more” regular writing routine than I had previously practiced. For me, that meant at least three or four dedicated times of writing, or writing related activities per week. It seems like I fell out of step with those practices quickly after landing back in the states. My first goal is to return my Irish writing routine.

Writing Location

I’m okay with you checking in to see my progress. That’s accountability.

 

Back Home

In both Ireland and England, they spoke English yet it is so different from American English. I appreciated many of the differences and enjoyed laughs with others at confusion caused by some of those differences. I kept hearing about “biscuits and tea” and thought of “baking powder biscuits.” Eventually, I figured out “biscuits” means cookies, scones and similar desserts. One day, I read a section of Dream Glasses to the writer’s group and someone asked “what are cookies?” Much laughter ensued the explanation.

Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry

In Ireland when foreigners move into a town, the locals refer to them as “Blow-ins.” Even when an Irish person moves from one town to another, they are considered “Blow-ins.” With that understanding I can say, we were Blow-Ins that had plenty to learn about life in Ireland.

Ireland’s culture is rich and deep. Wow! There are layers upon layers of history to create the culture. Pondering those eight weeks brings the realization of how much we learned, how many people we interacted with and how much those people impacted us. I learned how extremely similar we all are and yet how uniquely individual we are. It is amazing how we’ve each been created!

We’ve returned to American soil, with a part of Ireland in our hearts. We learned Christian leaders there, just like here, need encouragement and support of other believers. Those who shared what our being in County Kerry meant to them, richly blessed us; they found encouragement in our being there and look forward to our return.

Linda found friendship with a group of writers. Writers bond over words; over the emotions tied to those words; then bond over a cup of tea and shared laughter.

Before heading back to Colorado, we spent five days with family and friends in the Dorset, England area. That was an amazing holiday time — a time to share with another Christian couple the work God’s doing in Ireland and what we experienced; time given to us without the responsibilities of hearth; it was a time for our own thoughts to settle in our minds before landing back home; it was a beautiful gift.

In our ten weeks away, we discovered friendship as a result of daily living in the culture and enjoyed those whom we interacted with. The blessing of friendship is something we can each bring to the world surrounding us, every day we have breath.

 

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Looking at Sopris