Monday, August 28, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Patience Rewarded

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea." 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

One month has past since my right knee was removed and a new titanium prosthetic installed. August was a time of nurturing patience during healing. And now the healing is well established and I can celebrate.

The celebrations include having stamina to walk again. Walks without residual pain later, are truly wonderful. I'm discovering my neighborhood again, my favorite beach, and checking in with the sunrise at my looking place. 

It was truly a celebration when I went back to the Athletic Club, gingerly mounting the recumbent bicycle, my knee smoothly rotated with the pedals. 
I learned to get "back on the floor again" to stretch my body which was no small feat, let me tell you. It occurred to me when I first put that new knee on the floor that my blog title was taking on new meaning. 

 I came back to teaching my seven and eight year-olds at church. They may not have missed me but I missed their engaged faces which invigorate my soul. 
   These small celebrations of coming back to the ordinary joys of my life were achieved only after waiting, often choiceless in bed or on the couch. For me, the gift of patience was mindfulness. What beauty was before me, what sounds could I hear? Each day I wondered who I could reach out to. I invited friends to visit who I was too busy to see on a regular basis. They came for a few hours, here and there because I was free, unfettered by a schedule and overjoyed to see them. 
   As I go back to work next week I will adjust to being more intertwined with people each day. My piano students will come through my door with expectations and hopefully with prepared hands. Stay mindful, I will tell myself. Don't be too anxious or too greedy and perhaps miss the reward.

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Nurturing Monday- The Anatomy Of Patience Refined

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imagine yourself lying in a field where the tall grasses are swaying. The bees are buzzing, birds occasionally chiming in. Time is not relevant to the "now" of this field. Is the air of this natural moment active or passive? 

In my desire to nurture patience within, I want to unpack the components of patience further. First, I want to understand active patience. Not passive, I will endure this, patience, but active, alive patience.
In my thinking I found two verbs that seem to be part of my active patience, waiting and observing.
Waiting obviously requires patience. But, active waiting is hopeful and invites a curiosity needed to employ the second verb, observing. If you find yourself in a place of active patience, observing is a tremendous help. Instantly your state becomes mindful of "now". What am I observing "now"? Observation, in turn, invites perspective. Waiting in a doctor's office is less a waste of precious time but more an opportunity to be aware and open to interesting conversations, or the quieting of racing thoughts, or even the quality of breath.

  Two other words, not verbs, but adjectives, grow from active patience. Acceptance and calmness are on the right hand and left hand of active patience. 
    Going back to the doctor's office, what can you acquire from accepting that you have no control over the length of your visit? Longsuffering; having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people. That dictionary definition is less harsh than the word itself. No one wants to suffer long but can we learn to trust ourselves more when we accept "what is"?
   So if you have been waiting, observing, accepting, chances are you have some moments of calm. Right? The calm when your breath gets slower and your tensions surrender. That is active patience, to me. It is active because I am choosing this path. I am not a victim but a trusting pilgrim wandering the landscape of patience. 

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click 

Friday, August 18, 2017

We Speak And Either Open The Gate Or Leave It Closed

The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

   I love garden gates. On my daily walk I have a few I particularly find delightful. A gate is often a latched barrier between a heavily fenced yard and the world at large. No matter what might be going on inside the yard, a pretty gate invites my attention.  

My voice, my ability to speak out, is also a gate between the world and my private thoughts and actions. Before I open my gate, or speak out on a subject, I think it my responsibility to be prepared to act in accordance with my words. If I tell you I am a Christian, and I am, I feel responsible to act as Christ-like as I can. I am not a Sunday Christian. I believe in the two great commandments. Love thy God with all they heart, might, mind, and strength and love thy neighbor as thyself. So, who is my neighbor? 

  They are the many around me who are not religious. They are the other Christians who don't believe in my dogma. They are the Syrian family locating and going to school with my grandchildren. They are the children of color who I teach, and embrace. 

   It is tempting to repeat the speeches I hear on the news and on the internet. I know I live in a privileged class of white skinned people who hold most of the political power. I know this privilege is not shared by all and it hurts and shames. So, I feel the need to have a gate of speech that it not just politically correct but more importantly that the garden beyond the gate is cared for responsibly and honestly.

 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, August 14, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Patience

This moment will soon pass, and I will never have it back again.

This month I am using my word of the year, Nurture, to invite more patience into my life. Much of learning about patience is waiting. I am waiting for my scar from a knee replacement to heal. I am waiting to get permission to drive again after surgery. I am waiting to get my stamina back. I feel tempted to just let the time pass. But then I know I am letting a precious commodity go by unobserved. 

My struggle is to use this time to become an even better observer. While I waited in the doctor's office I invited myself to observe how others there were using their time. Two daughters were debating how to help their ailing mother as they waited for x-rays after a fall. I observed they used humor to offset their worry. I observed many individuals coming to surgery without a companion. They checked themselves in alone and I looked over at my husband who unselfishly took vacation time to be my caregiver. 

The knee on the right shows almost no cartilage to cushion the bones. The right knee show new parts with a nice cushion.

This is also a time for celebrating. My recovery is going smoothly and faster than I thought. I feel the strength in the new knee. Walking has a new joy, already. Going a little farther every day I rejoice in feeling less pain than before. Like opening a gate to more physical freedom, I pass through with attentiveness, knowing where I came from and where I am going.

    Soon enough I will be back in the whirlwind of life. I won't remember days without time constraints, but, hope to remember what I observed and who I was while I was waiting.

To go to the overview of My Year of Nurturing click 

Friday, August 11, 2017


                     Can You Save Me A Place?

   Is there anything more inclusive than coming to an event and seeing that someone who cares for you has saved you a place?  I remember going to an outdoor concert and pushing through the crowd to see an empty place by my friend and knowing it was for me.

   Another common feeling is the sense of losing my place. My relationship with God has many periods where I am hoping that I haven't lost my place with Him. I look for assurances. My journal has pages where I write the experiences of knowing He is in my life, for that day. On another page I have evidences that He prompted me to act and the outcome was sure. These entries encourage me to act in faith and hope that my place with him is secure.

Ether 12:4 “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”

 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, August 4, 2017


                               Try, Try Again

   Try is a word I have heard many times this week. Try flexing more, try extending more, try holding that 10 more seconds. I am trying and by golly, I am doing just fine. I have this non- permanent tattoo on my other knee, the one that was not replaced a week ago, to remind me that healing is natural. It can be easeful and happens through grace. 

There is a part of trying that implicates failing. If I am trying I have not succeeded. And, the reverse is also true. There is a part of trying that indicates success. So, I live in a shaky, wobbly world just now of trying with of hope of success and healing. There seems to be some pain in both the failing and succeeding. 

 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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Nurturing Monday- Anatomy of Patience

    When I try to take apart the word and definition of patience, "right now", seems to be unrelated.  Patience is imbued with waiting for something, not having it right now. Nevertheless, right now I am in recovery from a complete knee replacement. 

Beautiful flowers from friends grace my home. I have a small roaming area due to walking issues but I am anticipating growth, both physically and emotionally.  The month of August will be a chapter of my life entitled "Learning Patience". 


Patience can mean waiting, but there is much more to waiting than tapping our foot while time passes. Patience can also be about observing. Consider the patience of a detective who is observing the goings ons of others as she tries to piece together the facts. In observation there is possibility of finding meaning. 

This August I hope to unpack more of the anatomy of patience. I want to nurture it, value it, and make peace with this loaded word. 

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