Friday, June 30, 2017

Change Is A Blessing

       The cars move by me as if I was slowing down their very existence. Cranes lift long iron posts to the top of high rise apartment buildings. Corners that once housed repair shops now have big chain work-out gyms. Change is ever present in the city where I visit. I live on an island, with ferry access only, so when I leave I am mindful of change. 

The boat ride back home gives me twenty minutes of anticipating my quiet life. As I approach the dock where I will disembark, the pilings guiding the boat into the slip remind me I am not long on this earth and I am so grateful for the safe harbor that God provides over the sea of life. He knows what changes still lie before me, he was there as I navigated the many twists and turns of sixty years, He is in the present moment as I humbly acknowledge that change is a blessing even when life is ever so sweet.

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Am I Nurturing Idleness?

I like to coast. Putting my brain in neutral seems the ultimate luxury. But, I ask myself, am I nurturing an idleness which does not fully relax or sustain? Could there be other activities, beside being prone on a couch, which provide a refreshing break from demanding jobs?

   One of the hard things about having a word like nurture as a guide, is the fact that it is a verb. There is action intended. But when I am coasting mentally I perceive that I am not taking action. 

  Doing nothing is impossible. If I am just lying around I most likely am thinking, which can cause my body to react as I tense around difficult thoughts. If I am watching television I am watching fictional characters live their lives and still my body is reacting to the tension or pleasure the characters encounter. 

Doing or acting can be equally relaxing. Just lately I learned a Bach Two Part Invention in 10 days. I noticed that in the morning I looked forward to playing the piece again because I was progressing incrementally. A peace settled into my body as sections of the music spilled out of my hands like water. Some days the work was slower but the joy increased. 

Reading could be idleness. What we hound our children to do, we as adults often label as a luxury. "How do you find time to read?" I nurture the time to read. I take care to organize my day to allow reading. Is this nurturing idleness? 

Or what about the seven days, yes, seven days, that I have logged meditating this last year? No action, just sitting observing my thoughts. How idle is that? 

I think I am nurturing, not idleness, but internal satisfaction, the ability to be content without the constant to-do list. And, there are ways to relax and sustain more satisfying than others. 

As this is the last post in June, and since I was looking at negative things I may be nurturing, I am content to reveal that I nurture more positive things in my life than negative. Whew! 

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Slow and Steady Wins The Race

The tick tock of the metronome is steady. I find comfort, safety even, in staying within the beat. The tempo is too slow but my fingers magically find the keys because my practice is teaching them where to land.

I move the weight lower so that the speed of the metronome increases just a fraction. It feels the same tempo even though I can see I've made a change. This is steady practice where change happens slowly. Eventually I will navigate this Bach Two-Part Invention closer to the intended velocity, but for now I am still discovering how the notes intertwine. As I progress I hear a different emphasis on the left hand notes. The faster tempo brings new power to the lower voice making it push the higher. It makes me feel connected to this German man who had a gift to bring voices together in perfect harmony and temperament.

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Friday, June 16, 2017


Are people who agree with our world view of more worth to us?

My Christian heart says "of course not!" But, in truth, I find that friends, family, and strangers who see things differently challenge my trust in them. Will I be rejected if I say what I feel is really important to me? Is being right more important than seeing worth in the soul?  

I know that I have sins which weigh me down yet I often feel the love of God when I am not worthy. I have learned, through the spirit, that I am always worthy of love and belonging, always. Can I extend that knowledge to others? Even those who try my patience or revile my approach towards them? I hope to keep my heart open to see others as He sees them. 

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ views disease in His sheep as a condition that needs treatment, care and compassion.
Elder Dale G. Renlund

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Friday, June 9, 2017


         What can I really expect of myself?
  I publicly accepted a challenge. As part of an online piano teaching class, I announced that I would learn the Bach Two Part Invention No.8 in ten days. So what do I expect of myself? 

  I expect:

  1. My practice time will be limited
  2. I will have to set the fingerings from day one
  3. I will have to slow my tempo down to play without mistakes
  4. I will feel discouraged with fingers that move with less agility than when I was younger
  5. Some measures will be smooth as silk and others will bump and often crash
  6.  I will have many, many repetitions with mistakes
  7. I will get discouraged at day six
  8. I will learn to love this piece with every fiber of my being

This process is not so different from my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am limited, I need a strong foundation of ways to connect to him, I will often feel discouraged as I make less than stellar choices, and I will learn to love him with every fiber of my being if I give myself to Him.

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Nurturing For The Wrong Reason

Nurture-the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.

Have you ever watched a TV show or movie with a character called "a fixer"? They are advertise that they can make something go away or make something happen. They can change the destiny of a person or an organization. What a powerful role. It may be that I confuse the role of mother with that of a fixer. 

The word nurture is a verb so it carries action within it's meaning. There are so many right reasons to nurture but I believe there are some wrong reasons, as well. I like to think that I am still nurturing my family, even though my children are all over thirty, with families of their own. Sometimes my family does not respond in the way I anticipate. The irritation that creeps up with my family is a red flag that I may be nurturing a role of "fixer", instead of mother.

This Saturday will be very busy on the island where I live. Visitors will travel by ferry to be part of ballets, drama performances, even sheep dog trials which fascinate so many people. I picked this day to have a piano recital. I have grandchildren participating who must travel by ferry. The "fixer" in me wants to warn, admonish, and even arrange rides from the boat to the recital venue. Will they make it? Sure, this sounds like I am helpful. But, I don't worry much about the other students arriving. If they encounter a hang up and come late or, worse, don't show, I feel sorry but not personally responsible. I know I am nurturing "the fixer" when I want to take control of the outcome. This kind of nurturing does not provide strength and support to my family, it puts stress and potential disappointment into an already stressful day. This is an example of nurturing for the wrong reason.

This month I will be looking a little closer at the possible dark side of nurturing. 

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click here.

Friday, June 2, 2017


When you are young you dream of the future and when you are old you reminisce about the past.

Scripture reminds us to look to the future. Heavenly Father sent messengers, prophets, to unveil what lies before us. But, scripture also reminds us to remember the past. 

 Knee replacement surgery looms in my not so distant future. I prepared for this for years, exercising my arthritic joints so that I could have strong muscles to support a new knee. The choice to replace is a choice to dream of a better future. A future with easeful walking and a steady stance. I remember my Dad struggling to deal with pain in his joints. He did not have a choice to replace his knees or hips. He bravely faced a future of pain. I am grateful and hope to arrive at my dreamed of future.

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday group for three years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share themselves each week.