First assignment for Toast Masters.
Thought you fellow FLURISHERS might enjoy it.
First assignment for Toast Masters.
Thought you fellow FLURISHERS might enjoy it.
Quote from a regular customer on the pike: “Try Turkish Coffee— It wakes up the camel!” Klassen’s say “Proceed with caution.”
How many coffee lovers out there? I happen to live with one. Dwight truly enjoys his coffee. Just a smidge of cream in his medium roast and he’s good to go. Vanilla Lattes at Star Bucks, Cappuccino at Turkey Hill convenience store and regular coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Those are his staples. Usually three cups a day. One in the morning before work. One a few hours later from Dunkin and then one when he gets home from work but NEVER with food. However, after a meal he might have a cup as his dessert.
I struggle to understand the attraction. If I drink coffee, it’s strictly for the stimulating properties it releases, not for the sheer taste of coffee. Bleh! I gotta add stuff to it to halfway enjoy it.
I never dreamed I would drink coffee. My first experience occurred while working at a fast food restaurant. The strong brew certainly did help me work faster. I was 17 and used 11 packets of sugar to wash down a very small cup of joe. I decided quickly that practice was rather unhealthy and quit drinking coffee altogether.
Fast forward 25 years later when I met Dwight who not only loves coffee at home but also delights in frequenting coffee shops. He likes modern chain shops and quaint private shops as long as the coffee is good. He’ll hang out and read an hour or two enjoying the brew. Truly it’s one of his pastime passions.
Not wanting to rain on his coffee consumption parade during our courtship, I started sampling the accompanying pastries sold at these java establishments, much to my waistline’s chagrin.
We had delightful times together and I grew to love especially the private coffee shops brimming with character and ambience. But I also grew in size. So not a kool part of my courtship experience but one I believe is common for those of us dating during our more, shall we say, ‘mature’ years.
In time and to fit into my wedding gown, I weaned myself off pastries, though not completely mind you, and began drinking coffee with cream and most times flavored cream laden with sugar and fat. Lord have mercy on me! I continue to battle for balance in this area even more so twelve years later.
Shortly after we were married, we took a trip to Disney World so our daughter could experience it while she was young. Strolling through downtown Disney one sultry evening, Dwight and I had a full blown fight in front of a Lego sculpture. What do you think we argued about?
Coffee is the correct answer! His desire for a Cappucino, which probably cost $5 or so back then caused a blow up. There we stood creating a public spectacle over coffee in what some think of as the happiest place on earth! All because my values were different from his. I worried about the budget.:(
I didn’t value coffee. I could spend $5 on a dessert but could not understand $5 for a coffee. And of course I thought I was right in the sight of God and man, except for this man I married who just happened to love coffee.
It’s humorous now but sure wasn’t that night or even a long time afterward. His desire for coffee had become a sore subject between us. I daresay even a source of resentment. Praise God, in time I was able to see I was being foolish and accepted his love and enjoyment of what I considered “Rocketjuice”. I now include extra funds whenever I budget for vacation, groceries, date night etc., there needs to be “coffee money” set aside for my Beloved.
These days I relish coffee time with my husband at home relaxing in our living room or on a jaunt in discovery of a new cafe. He clearly revels in his java jive, and I’ve honestly learned to have it no other way. My corrected attitude adjustment did wonders for our leisure life together. I’m grateful that I chose to compromise my view of coffee so I could enjoy my husband while he savors his brew. Now I look forward to our adventures in coffee and the openhearted discussions which often accompany them.
Got any positive compromises you need to make?
What’s your “Go To” coffee spot?
Shine on. . .
Praising God for the ability to read 🙂
So I just finished another 12 hour shift that I honestly did not want to work but we’re short of help right now. I didn’t have a choice. When this happens I always ask God for grace. I need it for my body to hold up and so I don’t get cranky with my customers and/or make costly mistakes. I recognize I can’t get through this on my own in a positive way. (John 15:5) He answered my request and added a sweet something I didn’t expect.
The hours were going by saturated in grace as I refused to allow non-work as well as work related problems to agitate me. But oh how they tried.
One of them included a giant jackhammer that pounded through the concrete next to my booth all day. Reminded me of the scene in LOTR’s ” The Return of the King” where Frodo is battling the giant spider and SHE keeps trying to sting him but with added sound effects like a magnified dentist’s drill. Makes me shudder thinking about it.
Anyway, later in the day while the jack hammering continued, I began reading a book between customers. It just drew me in and I could not stop reading. It wasn’t necessarily an adventure story, although it was someone’s adventure. It wasn’t a steamy romance, sci-fi fantasy or crime novel. It was a self help memoir of all things. Who knew? The book was given to my husband by a friend. While he was finishing a current book I snagged it and finished it in record time. For me it was quite enlightening and gave my whole day a huge lift. It was a sweet read.
The power of a good read no matter the genre should not be underestimated. Have you experienced any sweet reads lately?
Reading can enhance your ability to FLURISH. It did for me today even under adverse conditions. If you haven’t read any good books for awhile, put it on your ASAP TO DO LIST. You won’t be sorry.
Shine on. . .
DIBLASI’S sandwich shop. . . I’d been waiting for this night for months. My best friend and I ate cheesesteaks and french fries while planning our strategy for the evening. We walked back to her place after eating and changed into our outfits for the evening.
It was the night of our middle school dance. I chose snug fitting bell bottoms and platform shoes paired with an off white peasant top embroidered with multi colored threads around the edges of the neck and sleeves. I decided on an au naturalle look and let my long strawberry blonde hair flow freely across my shoulders and down my back. This was as good as I could possibly look. I felt confident. I did not want to be a wall flower. My mother told me “You got a mouth, learn how to use it.” So I determined to ask all the cute popular guys to dance in case no one asked me.
When we arrived at the school the outside portico buzzed with preteen energy. Making our way through the crowd and into the cafeteria, we found a good spot where we could see everything. Soon our group of friends rushed over and everyone talked about who they hoped would ask them to dance.
The first song began pulsating through the speaker system S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers got the party started. I watched as mostly girls flung themselves across the dance floor. A group of jocks across the room laughed as they talked among themselves totally caught up in each other. Most of them were on my mental dance list.
Then I saw the kid from my homeroom hangin around the entrance. He wore brown plastic glasses that were usually smudged and earth shoes. I tried to avoid his eyes. He talked to me a lot at lunchtime about tv shows we both liked and some of the bullies in our class. He was forever getting picked on by bigger guys. He always seemed to enjoy my sympathy.
First slow song began. “Mandy” by Barry Manilow, not a favorite but I decided not to waste any time. As I walked across the room toward the first guy on my list I could see the homeroom kid watching me. I ignored him and arrived at my destination. I asked the first guy to dance. He said ok and out we went. He hunched over me in that awkward way and I kept my eyes closed most of the time. When I opened them, I could see the homeroom kid continuing to watch.
The next song was “The Hustle”, you know, Do the Hustle! All my friends wanted to dance since we learned the steps in gym class earlier that year. So we went out as a group and all of sudden homeroom kid comes out to dance. He starts movin and groovin around the floor. He wasn’t John Travolta but he was pretty darn good. We were all looking at each other like “what the heck”? I was amazed. He just wove in and out between my friends and I. It was a blast.
Every slow dance I successfully got a different jock to dance with me. All the fast dances I was out with my friends and the kid from homeroom joined us. KC and the Sunshine band, the BeeGees and Elton John tunes carried us through the night. And then the last dance was announced.
It was a slow dance and I had one guy left on my list, the most popular guy in our class, tall dark and handsome. On my way over to ask him, I was intercepted by the homeroom kid.
He saked me to dance and my heart sank. I didn’t want to dance the last dance with the homeroom kid. But the haunting voice of Eric Carmen singing “All By Myself”struck my heart a crucial blow and I gave up my plan and said yes. My friends all danced with partners they dreamed of all year and shook their heads at me. But just like his fast dancing, the homeroom guy knew how to slow dance in a way those jocks had no clue about. The jocks were stiff and awkward, but he was fluid and confident. I sensed a genuine caring within him even at age 12.
When the song came to an end he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the exit before the mass of middle schoolers exploded into departure mode behind us. We ran across the portico and stood against one of the pillars in a corner. He took off his glasses and gave me the biggest longest kiss sending me headlong into my first crush. All I kept thinking about was what my mother said ’cause This guy “had a mouth and he sure knew how to use it!”
It was an unforgettable lesson in not judging a book by its cover.
With God’s help I faced my fear of public speaking and successfully told this story at this months Story Slam in Lancaster city earlier tonight. It was a hoot!
Shine on. . .
“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”
I Corinthians 15:33 New International Version
My paraphrase is; “Choose your friends wisely. You become like those with whom you spend your time.”
As I approached the grand ole age of fifty, I decided to be proactive about my friendships. I have several precious long time friends but unfortunately some of them live out of state and time with them is limited. So I wanted to surround myself with good people who lived in my general vicinity. People who were solid in their faith. People I could rely on, seek counsel from, share burdens in prayer and spend quality time with on a regular basis. I talked it over with God.
With fifty years behind me I felt His lead to make my remaining time count. I wanted to be shaped by people I respected and had a solid hold on Jesus’ hand. I prayed and names began coming to mind. I discussed my ideas with my husband. With his approval we moved forward and came up with a plan.
We organized a dinner party for eight. I sent out invitations and was delighted when all three couples responded positively. I hired a chef and coerced our kids to be the wait staff, freeing up Dwight and I to focus on our prospective friends. I threw together a few games to get to know each other because some of the people never met before.
After our sumptuous meal, we retired to the living room and I explained my plan to form a close knit group of friends who I felt would encourage growth and Godliness in our lives. As that information sank in we played the games and later they shared how they felt about the ideas I laid out. No one objected to the ideas I put forth. Some said they were honored to be invited and some were quiet but all agreed to move forward. The Sojourners group was born five years ago.
From the King James dictionary, a sojourner is: A temporary resident; a stranger or traveler who dwells in a place for a time. As in I Chronicles 29:15. So we are a group of travelers on earth passing through on our way toward home.
We regularly share prayer requests. We get together for meals out, or special themed dinners at home rotating at all four locations. Sometimes we see movies together. We uplift one another through difficult times such as illness, transitions and blessings. We share together, weep together and laugh together.
We’ve gotten to know each other on a deeper level. Sometimes common interests draw members off on their own. We have two writers, four campers, one photographer, four bicyclists, and an avid foodie. I’m sure we’ll learn more about each other and our great God as the next five years roll on.
We have each other’s back which is such a comfort and joy. Each couple is involved in ministry of their own so we make the best use of our time together which isn’t as often as we like but the Lord multiplies it to replenish us to continue serving wherever we are called.
I encourage you if you do not belong to a small group of Godly friends at this point in your life, make the effort to join one or form your own as I did. The blessings are immeasurable. We need each other more and more as the Day of the Lord approaches!
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 New Living Translation
Shine on. . .
“There is precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise [who prepare for the future], but a short-sighted and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.” Proverbs 21:20 Amplified Bible
While vacationing on Oahu, Hawaii my husband Dwight and I had a great desire to travel from Honolulu to the North shore of the island. It was approximately a 45 minute drive so we booked a shuttle excursion because it cost less than a rental car.
In addition to the shuttle passage through pineapple plantations, our excursion included two activities in the North shore area. We were able to choose from a long list of inviting adventures.
The first thing we decided to do was some bicycling. We rode along the Banzai Pipeline where the rich and famous have homes on the beach some valued over $5,000,000. We parked our bikes in a grove of palm trees where we were just a few steps from the beach.
Filled with glorious joy, Dwight strode out to the shoreline like a giddy school boy, camera clutched in his eager hands. The subject? Surfers practicing on the big waves for the next days competition.
Twenty-five to 30 foot waves came crashing toward him over and over as his camera clicked and captured the daring surfers unafraid to challenge the powerful tide. A photographers feast for film, Dwight delighted in every click of his shutter. I stood a good distance away in the shade of the palms observing my husband’s joy. There’s something so warming to the soul to watch first hand as someone you love experiences what I call “unbridled glee”. His smile bigger, his gait faster and he’s relishing every moment. My heart soared for him.
I had to praise Jesus for this utter blessing to see Dwight so happy. The Lord provided our jobs and some overtime and the grace to save money to afford this fabulous trip. It was worth every moment of self denial over the 12 months we saved to see Dwight thoroughly enjoy himself at the North Shore and many other Hawaiian adventures I have yet to record.
I hope these entries will inspire you to FLURISH through travel and see some of what our loving Father has created for us!
Shine on . . .
As I said in the first Christmas post, I was unsure how Christmas is received here on the Hawaiian islands. But as our trip progressed I saw Christmas decor splashed everywhere, especially unusual Christmas trees.
The very first one we saw as we deplaned in Honolulu and made our way to baggage claim seemed terribly Hawaiian but not too pretty. After that we began seeing trees and lights everywhere decorated in multitudes of ways. What I have here is just a sampling of course but the feel of Christmas surrounded us.
Being without a car, we traveled by shuttle, bus, van and uber. Each time we met beautiful, friendly people, sometimes Hawaiian, sometimes not. Most were playing subdued Christmas songs quite Christian in nature.
So I asked our Samoan shuttle driver if he was a believer. . . His grin said yes before he uttered a sound. He asked how Could I tell? I said “There was just a loving joyful spirit about you and the music was a big clue since it wasn’t typical Christmas music about Santa.” He told me he plays this music on purpose to glorify the Savior. We wished him blessings and said we’d see him again in glory someday to which he flashed a bigger smile.
The next day, DK (my husband) and I took a van tour to the North shore of Oahu where the big surfing competitions are this time of year. Our driver was an older Hawaiian man named Ace. He drove us to the Bonzai pipeline where DK got some amazing surfing shots. We rode bike along the shore area and saw incredible homes owned by famous surfers and wealthy residents. We shopped in lazy little towns and hiked in the magnificent Waimea Valley sanctuary.
While we were off enjoying these extraordinary excursions, Ace was parked in a peaceful spot eating rice and fresh Ahi tuna. He enjoyed feeding the feral chickens and relaxed until our pick up time.
Ace added two additional stops for us to see Giant Sea Turtles in a secluded cove and then a stop to the Dole plantation free of charge. (The Dole whip is awesome by the way.) His jolly generosity made the day a delightful highlight.
Ace was willing to drop us off separately at two different locations not on his route so we could make connections. Sure he may have wanted a better tip but so does every other driver. His kind attitude made it a pleasure to tip him well. So we ended up being the last people on his van. He unabashedly began telling us about his church and what turned his life around.
While visiting a church some years back, the Pastor said “What your kids hear you say, they will replay”. Ace went home and couldn’t,t stop thinking about that phrase. WHAT YOUR KIDS HEAR YOU SAY THEY WILL REPLAY. He knew his words could be harsh and course so he went back to the church the next week and asked Jesus to change him. He said “he’s never been the same.”
Our hearts were full as we exited his van and said “MaHalo” (thank you) and blessings. I could hear Hawaiian ladies nearby in a retail store singing as they worked: they sang “This is the Day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” My heart was overflowing at this point because not only is Christmas alive and well in Hawaii by decor and music but so is the Lord of Christmas through HIS rejoicing people! Let us all rejoice and be glad in Him this Christmas season wherever we are!
Shine on. . .
Not sure how to begin this post:? Currently my husband and I are vacationing on the Hawaiian Islands as a delayed celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary. So a big ALOHA to all!
So far my senses are on glorious overload from the dramatic beauty exploding around every corner. Seems any angle you look is a photo opportunity. My husband has his Canon 60D camera at the ready and I believe his lens is in its happy place too.
Oahu was our first stop with accommodations in Honolulu. Now some do not care for this city but I find it exciting. Big name shops such Nordstrom, Saks, Gucci etc. line the walkways. Sort of like New York’s 5th Avenue in Manhatten plus breathtaking Waikiki Beach a few steps off the street. Admittedly it can be overwhelming but I was energized by the hustle and bustle especially since it is December. Christmas is just around the corner.
Back home in Pennsylvania the weather is usually 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less this time of year. Snow is a real possibility eagerly anticipated by many and the shopping frenzy is already in full swing. So I was uncertain about being in a warm tropical place leading up to Christmas.
How would Hawaiians celebrate? WOULD they celebrate or even care?
As we arrived in Honolulu soft showers greeted us. The island of Oahu was just finishing its rainy season. We decided to explore our nearby surroundings and not allow the rain to dampen our spirits.
We found a quaint complex diagonally across the street from our hotel called King’s Village. The two story buildings connected together with a small courtyard in the center. It reminded me of a fairytale town. As we got closer we saw local vendors set up in farmers market style. Fresh fruits, real tapioca pudding, and vegetables in abundance.
Moving passed the organic stands we saw chicken and pork grilling on sticks beside pans of rice and pad Thai noodles. Further down we smelled hawaiian sausage in sauce and peppers sizzling in flat woks. But beyond the hot food lay the pot of gold. . . Hawaiian pastries!
We purchased fresh food from the market and found a sweet tiny nook to have our first meal together on the Hawaiian islands. And then we heard the smooth tones of a familiar tune gently caressing our ears and souls like the delicate movement of a Hawaiian girls hands during a slow hula.
“Away in a Manger” played throughout the village and my heart sighed in peace. YES KARAN, THERE IS CHRISTMAS IN HAWAII!
To be continued. . .
I had the delightful pleasure of seeing the new movie “The Man Who Invented Christmas” the night before it opened nationally in the late hours just before midnight. My second Mom and I adore “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens so every year as a treat I try to find some rendition for us to see together. Sometimes plays, sometimes interactive recreated Dickens villages or special readings of this prodigious work. This year cinematography brought Dickens own life to light and how the Ghosts of Christmas may have visited him.
I never associated ghosts with Christmas. Andy Williams’ (dubbed Mr. Christmas) famous song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” includes a line of ‘scary ghost stories’ in it but I never thought about it. Apparently it was common practice in Europe before Dickens wrote his story. Winter solstice and pagan rituals were bloated with ghostly tales at years’ end. It was natural to look back over the ending year as a death and ahead into the unknown new one. Ghost stories abounded.
During the 1640s and ’50s the parliamentary party in England being Biblically based in beliefs rather than tradition banned a lot of the more, as we would say, secular Christmas festivities such as feasting, dancing and holiday games. The singing of carols was also forbidden. Christmas was shut down during the Industrial Revolution and people worked just like any other day. Sort of like throwing the baby out with the bath water— all the joys of Christ’s birth were squelched because of overindulgence in worldly ritual. It was a sad, dark era.
And then in October of 1843 Charles Dickens was inspired by his own ghosts to write his most enduring work. I believe the Holy Ghost Most High put the idea in his heart and helped Dickens struggle through his personal painful past to create this amazing Ghostly Christmas tale. A story focussed on redemption and transformation through the help of Ghosts.
The characters were formed and came to life as Dickens wrote speedily to keep up with them. In only six weeks he wrote the entire story and had it published just before Christmas that year. It sold out by Christmas eve. The story encouraged people to celebrate the transforming wonders of Christmas. They began to go underground with their Christmas festivities behind closed doors. Slowly Christmas celebrations returned to merry ole England.
Dickens masterpiece remains one of the most successful works ever written. It has never been out of print and has been translated into several languages; the story has been adapted for film, stage, opera and various other media productions.
The best ghost story is an older one. The most Holy Ghost played a huge part in the very first Christmas which started it all. He overshadowed the young virgin Mary and through His divine power the Son of God formed in her womb. And later Our blessed Savior was born to redeem and transform each of us from our sinful pasts. Offering salvation and a bright hope for our future. And so we celebrate the greatest gift mankind would receive.
The Puritan viewpoint held before Dickens novella is said to have been based on the lack of Biblical instruction to celebrate Christ’s birth. But what if God let it up to us to decide if He was worth our celebration? Would we rejoice in His coming on our own? Just a thought. Surely the heavenly host who proclaimed Jesus’ arrival were celebrating.
Have you accepted His gift? Salvation and Transformation? It’s not too late as long as you’re still breathing.
May we spread kindness, generosity and compassion to all we meet this upcoming Christmas season and into 2018 because HE lives inside us by the power of the HOLY GHOST!
God Bless us, everyone.
Shine on. . .
As a side note for Downton Abbey fans; actor DAN STEVENS (Matthew Crawley) stars as Dickens in this delightful frolic of a film.
“And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.” Proverbs 7:10 English Standard Version
Lady pulls up in a polka dot shirt. It looked so cheery that a smile burst across my face. I love polka dots, especially when they are all different colors. Takes me back to lovely memories of childhood birthday parties in the 60s.
My customer was dressed much differently than the woman in the opening verse. Her attire spoke of innocent joy. The Proverbs 7 woman’s attire communicates lust and seduction.
During my work day any type of apparel may sport itself in front of me.. Pajamas passing themselves off as clothes suitable for public wear. Business suits and ensembles looking like they stepped out of a fashion magazine. I see scrubs and clothes in need of scrubbing, barely there bikinis and fur coats during the heat of summer. Each one speaking a message. It’s like a Walmart smorgasbord everyday. We really do see it all.
How we choose to dress says more about who we are than we may realize. Our clothing choices send messages to people. Ever think about what message you wish to send out to the public? Does it match the way you dress?
I aim to dress in well fitting bright colored outfits. I choose clothes that are fun rather than stuffy and unapproachable. I’m attempting to send out a message of stylish friendliness with hints of compassion to whoever I may meet.
“. . . The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7b
Our clothing choices tend to mirror who we are. So the above verse from the Old Testament is comforting if our hearts are pure. Otherwise, not so much.
What about you? What are your clothes saying?
Shine on. . .
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 New International version
ELVIS. Most people either love him or hate him.
Seven summers ago when our daughter was a young teenager my neutrality concerning Elvis was challenged. My husband and I decided to take a family fun trip. We boarded a plane and headed for Tennessee—destination— Graceland, home and final resting place of Elvis Aaron Presley. At the time I wanted to take a trip that would bless our daughter. She and her father loved Elvis so I planned to explore Graceland with them.
Graceland is all things Elvis. It could have been nauseating after several hours of exposure to his music nonstop and seeing his face and image everywhere conceivable. But somehow I found it energizing. The three of us had an amazing time deepening family bonds.
Inside the home were the famous rooms you may have caught on tv or movies: The music room adjoining the gorgeous living room with stain glass peacocks in the doorway. The bizarre billiard room covered floor to ceiling in matching fabric.
The jungle room which Elvis called “the den” with built in waterfall. And the TV room with three tvs mounted side by side so the ‘King’ could watch football on all three major networks at once. The home truly is an unusual feast for the senses.
But behind all the glitz and kitsch, the thing that moved me was displayed in the museum area of the house. Wall after wall covered with cancelled checks written by Elvis for charity. St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Heart and Cancer Research Associations, American Red Cross to name just a few. He gave extravagant gifts such as mink coats, jewelry, and cars to friends and family as well as skads of strangers. He helped schools and causes wherever he went from the time he started making money until his death. One of his favorite gifts to give was Cadillacs. He gave away 100+ Cadillacs in his short lifetime.
“. . .The INTENT of Elvis’ charitable endeavors were simply. . . the purity of his heart and his desire to help his fellow man.” Jeff Schrembs The Elvis expert
I pray I learn to FLURISH in generosity from the abundance I’ve been given.
If you’re an Elvis fan, what is your favorite Elvis song? Mine is “Burnin Love”.
Shine on. . .
Note: Earlier in 2017 Graceland added an extra attraction. In addition to the Presley home there is now “Elvis Presley’s Memphis”, a 200,000 foot complex to display the best of the 1.5 million item collection including cars, jets, costumes, records etc.
“The indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.” Wikipedia
Recognize this definition? Chances are you never looked at this definition because we are all so familiar with the concept. But I found it intriguing to reflect upon the thought that we are a tiny segment on the continuing, changing line of TIME. Equally mind bending is the fact that TIME is irreversible. Think about that. Each moment that passes is gone forever, never to return.
A young woman pulls up to the booth on a frigid day in January sporting a gray beanie with large letters in fluorescent green. The letters glowing across her forehead read YOLO. You know the phrase, it was popular a few years ago: YOLO — You Only Live Once.
I wondered to myself what that term meant to her in her personal life? Was she a thrill seeker trying to squeeze as much adventure as possible out of each day? Was she an ambitious entrepreneur seeking to break into some exciting new business and working daily toward that goal and not about to waste time. Or was she simply determined to try everything under the sun whether it was good for her or not? I guess I’ll never know, but as always it made me think.
I remember in Christian circles there were two added lines to YOLO;
“You only live once, this life is soon past
Only what you do for Christ will last”
So what does YOLO mean for you? What or on whom are you spending your lifetime? When we’re young it seems we have so much life ahead to do whatever we want. And then we find out as we grow older time seems to slip through our grasp faster and faster.
Science has not yet explained the mysteries of time and how it seems to speed as we age but one theory by William James made sense to me. He hypothesized that we gauge time by memorable events in our life. When we are young there are so many new things to experience. First day of school. First friend. First bicycle. First kiss. Prom. Graduation. Etc., All these events outweigh the average daily life of a working person where one day seems no different than the next. So time is altered or so it seems.
If Mr. James’ theory is true then we need to chase after new things. New experiences, new friendships, new challenges, new leaps of faith to keep life fuller and time slower.
Last year Dwight and I took surfing lessons. It was on his bucket list and I sorta got roped into it. This year, Lord willing, we are working toward experiencing the “Hang Loose” island life in Hawaii together. That is on my list.
Is there something on your bucket list you want to do but keep shoving that thought to the back of your mind thinking you’ll get to it later? Time is probably moving faster than we realize. So make or revisit your bucket list. Revel in past checked off experiences and start adding new ones to the list. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We can garner ideas from each other. Share your bucket list plans as we FLURISH together and have the Time of our Lives!
“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14 New Living translation
Shine on. . .
“So I recommend having fun. . . ” Ecclesiastes 8:15a New Living translation
This is a holiday weekend to remember those who have fought for our country, its freedoms and values throughout the years since our inception. Many ceremonies and celebrations will take place over the course of this weekend here in the US of A. The courage of the men and women who have and are serving our nation afford us many freedoms. One of those freedoms is to have fun.
I am blessed to share this time with two of my oldest friends who travelled from out of state to be here this weekend. There’s something special about people who have known you since childhood. People who have watched you grow up and been there for the good choices and the bad. The ups and downs of your life. They know you so well and yet they love you. What a comfort to one’s soul.
Yesterday, while driving my friends on an errand, we had an incident occur that I knew immediately would go into our book of fond memories.
My husband graciously allowed me to take my friends in our 1979 Pontiac Catalina Safari station wagon. The car is as big and as long as its name.:) It’s the kind that has the flip up backward third seat to sit in and watch out the back window. It’s a fun way to see where you’ve been. Recalling this now I find it an extremely apropos experience in this car with my oldest friends.
So I’m backing down our driveway. The radio is playing “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. The neighbor’s Basset Hound across the street is standing in the yard staring as this rumbling yellow (technically Montego Cream) beast of a machine with dual exhaust moves toward him. His owner, who I have never personally met, is in the yard, notices us and waves. So wanting to be a friendly neighbor, I push on the horn and begin to wave when the horn decides to continue blowing. It will not stop and I feverishly try to depress the horn again when the cap flies off exposing the wiring which continues to blast the horn. I cannot begin to exaggerate how loud this horn sounds. My two friends are laughing hysterically as we cruise down the street announcing our arrival to every house on the block and beyond.
Friend in the front seat scrambles to retrieve the cap while I discover if I pinch the wire the horn stops. So friend in front seat pinches the wire while I drive and friend in the back seat is laughing to tears and I fear she may wet herself on the vintage upholstery.
By the grace of God we pull over and attempt to get the cap back on which depresses the spring mechanism just enough to silence the horn… thank God. That is, until we pull into our destination’s parking lot and the obnoxious horn goes off again without provocation. My friends and I want to crawl under rocks but instead we laugh our heads off while those looking on stare in bewildered annoyance.
Good times. Good times. To see my friends laugh like this with utter abandon is priceless. Life can get serious and hard for all of us but moments such as these are gems in our book of memories. None of us will ever forget this stupid little incident which will always produce a smile and a laugh whenever remembered.
Happy Memorial Day to us.
I hope you can make some silly, simple memories this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the coming summer months. FLURISH in fun!
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22a New Living translation
Shine on. . .
I am an absolute sucker for decorated edibles. Cut-out cookies shaped like bunnies, lambs and chicks abound this time of year. The soft icing hues dusted with delicate colored sugar lure me every time. They are a visual delight that screams out BUY and EAT!
Specialty chocolates created to look like bird nests complete with tiny blue eggs are irresistible. Whimsical milk and dark chocolate molded into tiny creatures or sprinkle laden spheres delight my senses. But the epitome of culinary confection that simply spazzs out my tastebuds is the gourmet cupcake.
Cupcakes can be so darn cute I can barely stand it. Set me loose in a cupcake shop full of swirls of airy frosting and I’ll go crazy, easily putting myself in hypoglycemic shock! Lord have mercy, I’m soooo weak!
Buttercream creations fashioned into feather light flowers atop luscious mounds of moist cake tempt my tastebuds. Some with a surprise middle equal indescribable deliciousness! (Lancaster Cupcake is my current fave supplier, just sayin).
Some pastries are just too pretty to eat. Ever feel that way about a darling bunny cookie or luscious looking cupcake? I have and I hate to ruin the beauty by consuming it. But sacrifices must be made.
Decades ago I attended a dinner theatre that had gorgeous puff pastries shaped in the form of swans. I carefully placed one on my plate and went back to my seat anticipating the scrumptiousness of the swan. Delicate flakiness deceived my eyes. I took one bite and my tongue discovered the truth.
The pretty swan tasted terrible. The flaky feathers were dry and the cream filling had no taste. The chocolate accents were waxy and nasty. The pretty swan was a sham, all visual with no substance. What a disappointment. Time has not erased this memory which left a bad taste in my mouth.
In the realm of pastry perfection, presentation is important but the real test is the taste.
The same can be said of our view of God. Sometimes we see Him as good. Fulfilling all our needs and taking great care of us. Sometimes we or others present Him as hard, unfair, uncaring. But the truth is in the taste.
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him.” Psalm 34:8 The Message Bible
When we truly taste the Lord there will be no disappointment, no lack of flavor. I’ve found Him to be the ultimate spice and sweetness of life. Nothing else in this world can satisfy our hunger. Put Him to the TASTE Test and SEE His unfailing goodness.
TASTE and SEE!
Shine on. . .
“. . .Send men out to explore the land of Canaan, . . .” Numbers 13:1b
Isn’t this a beautiful panoramic scene? Get out your walking stick, hiking boots and back pack. It screams out to be explored. Anyone recognize the area? I admit I never heard of this place.
In addition to exploration, I also like words. Some people like numbers but I relate much better to words. Out here in the toll booth I see all types of things and lots of words. The other day a tractor trailer pulled up and on the side of the blue cab was painted the necessary ID info. When I noticed the name of the town from which his trucking company hailed, I laughed to myself. Sounded absurd. Salmon Arm, B.C.
Perhaps that doesn’t strike you funny but it tickled my funny bone. What possessed someone to name a town Salmon Arm? Fish are devoid of appendages. I decided to investigate. By the way, have you heard of Salmon Arm? Or better yet, visited this place? Send me your experiences in the comment section.
Salmon Arm has graduated from a village to a city (as of 2005) located in the southern Interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia. It sits on the shores of Lake Shuswap where the Salmon River empties into the Salmon Arm reach of the Lake. Thus the name Salmon Arm. Mystery solved.
In 1962 the final stretch of the Trans-Canada highway aka Rogers Pass was opened. This construction threw wide the floodgates of tourism to Salmon Arm. Several beaches and lake areas surround the city providing fishing, camping and boating. House boat rentals are big business for Salmon Arm.
The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival has been the pinnacle event for tourists and locals alike at summers end for over 20 years. The three day festival features diverse musical genres, instruments and acts from all over the world. Highlights include a Family Fun Zone, a Global Food Village, shaded beer gardens, an Artisan market selling local wares and six music stages. The festival expands with each passing year, adding new attractions and more artists. Sounds like a road trip destination if you are looking for unusual places to visit.
So where will your vacation plans take you this year? Shoot me a comment and share your plans. There’s a huge world out there. Get your gear ready and go exploring. There could be a personal adventure for you in the most unlikely of places. For some people, that place is Salmon Arm. 🙂
FLURISH wherever you go exploring!
Shine on. . .