Heather T.

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

To Be Present

In Butterflies, thoughtful moments on June 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

I was reading last night and something in the arrangement of words from the page, shined out at me. You know how that goes, right? When words appear as bold print, highlighted into your eyes…almost saying, here I am.

I’ve been feeling on edge lately, which should not be hormonal but yet, I am a woman so it is always a possibility. It could be from entertaining day in and day out, the boys and friends, with little time to breathe alone. It might be from the constant thoughts going through my mind that someone, somewhere expects me to do something for them or with them. Whatever it is, it’s there and last night…a few wonderful things changed for me.

One was with a crazy black spider who scared me to the point of girlish scream. I’m not that kind of screamer, but I was last night. Normally, it’s with wasps and bugs that fly around my head….not spiders. But someone, someONE wanted me to pay attention to something inside myself. Edge. I sat here at my desk, looking for something, when this big black creepy (bitey looking) spider ran like crazy out from behind my computer. Scared the daylights out of me and when I tried to smoosh it, it fell and I screamed and it wriggled and I freaked. Enough of the spider.

Later, after baking a couple of pies and a busy day of humidity, I was hot, still on edge. I decided that I’d run and jump into the pool…that’s what I did. It was cold, very cold but felt so good, especially on my face. My face was as though it was burning up, but with the refreshment of the water, it soothed and cooled me.

As the boys and I splashed around, a butterfly came to visit. Young one, I think, as it was small but still the colors were that of my favorite sort of butterfly…not quite yet brilliant in color though. Anyway, it flew about us…stopping to rest on each of our heads, here and there. It would sit on the ladder top and watch us, allow me to come over and admire it, talk to it and even touch it…but I didn’t because I was extremely wet. I just put my finger up to it, allowing it to leap and rest there if it desired to do so…it didn’t.

The butterfly stayed the entire time we were outside. Ray told me that it had been there before, acting the same way, when the boys were out in the pool one afternoon with him.

After these and other things throughout my day, I realized how unpleasant I’ve been because of my attitude lately. Even though many things stress us from the outside, really stress us, we do not have to allow it in. We can choose to let it go and usually I do, but sometimes, I am weak and things stick. When I read the words “To Be Present” on that page last night, I was aware of something that I learn over and over again…probably another lifetime learning lesson.

I’ve not been very “present” lately. I’ve been thinking of how I liked me better when…or when this happens, I will feel better about myself. Where is today? I have been living in “today”, had good times in “today”. I’ve laughed, been attentive, played, entertained…even had my time with The Lord, in “today”. But my mind has not necessarily been “present in ‘today'”.

Time to exercise this thought. A good thought, too. 
Hope that you’ll feel it with me.

This one I found, this one makes me smile:

Would you keep a chive on your tooth
just because you enjoyed last night’s potato?
-From the television show Boston Common-

We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His Holy Name. Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone. ~Psalm 33:20-22 NLT

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Mosaic Monday

In flowers, Mosaic Monday on June 28, 2010 at 2:38 am
Nature and silence go better together. ~Astrid Alauda

With the blink of my eye…

In Ansel Adams Quotes, Echo, Photography, Reptiles on June 28, 2010 at 1:04 am

While we were at the Echo Center yesterday, I watched a man, admiring him as he carried an amazingly large camera. My thoughts were that he MUST be a professional photographer because I’d never seen gear that was like what he had with him. Goodness, it seemed as though you’d need big muscles to just carry around something like he had. He was with his family, full of girls. Me? I was with my family, full of boys and my little bitty point-n-shoot camera.

Looking into the large aquarium, trying for the correct setting, I saw this little boy watching me. I couldn’t resist but push the button – it’s just one of those random captures that make me smile.

As I watched that man with the camera, I observed his walk and his facial features; the way that he soothed into each step and how his eyes roamed the area. He had that look; the same look that I can feel in myself when I am hunting pictures. I told my husband that when you have a love for photography, everything you see becomes a portrait in your minds eye.

I always enjoy our visits to the Echo Center, filled with reptiles and nature. The critters there seem to soak up the attention, really. Some are very interested in you, others are certainly not and then there are a few that pose.

On the way there, traveling the interstate, Ray saw two young deer just to the side of the road in the tall grass. As I looked, it was a brief moment, like when time stops in your mind. I saw one of them so clearly, so beautifully; the face and the expression it had. I told Ray, if only my eyes were like a camera, where I could blink and save the picture.

It would have been nice to share with you, the names of all the faces that I have here, but I was too busy roaming…hunting photos…to recall the names. I tend to soak up what I see, rather than find a need to explain it…until later, like now…when you might want to know 🙂

These little frogs really caught my interest, the way that they melted into the leaves and how their little eyes were covered. I’m not sure if that is their lid or eye itself, but isn’t it interesting?

Standing and waiting for the boys while they colored, I saw the reflections of the bubble maker in each of these tiny windows. Of course, I wanted to capture this and share it.

A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed
in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.
-Ansel Adams-

Ethan Allen Park

In Adventures, Ethan Allen Park, Hiking, My Family on June 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm

The papers were signed yesterday morning at 9 a.m. We spent the rest of the day hiking around in Burlington, getting some lunch and spending time together on a beautiful sunny day.

It can get a little overwhelming in the car, during the ride, to and from anywhere with the three boys fit tightly into the back seat. Someone touches someone, the wind blows to strongly and one starts whining for the windows to go up, he looked at me cross-eyed…you know how it goes if you have more than one child. 

It always feels so good to release that tension from the car and let it run in all directions. Until someone is tired and thirsty and wants to be carried (Little Man). It always happens.  I tend not to have great patience with whining, fussing and pressure. My husband seems to have it when I do not and vice-versa .

The hike, once again, was to the Tower up in Ethan Allen Park. We walked a little further on the path this time than we did last year, taking us to something called a “Pinnacle”.

We had no idea what that was and the curiosity that filled all of us seemed to lead us there. Imagination burst from brains and there was talk of the big pinnacle monster waiting for us, we could almost hear it as we walked.

What we found at the end of this particular trail was a large dead end area with a small gazebo and picnic tables, berries and flowers…and an amazing view.

A few pictures were taken to remember us in the setting. I was talking while trying to hold an authentic smile while Ray learned how to snap a picture with my camera.  He’s not a picture taker, nor is he a computer friendly person.  So, I was quickly teaching him the 1-2-3’s of what to do when he pushed the button. I didn’t bother trying for a second shot; therefor…the odd face with a smile.

Why is it that my guys seem to be smiling so much more, what’s the word, ummmm…boy-ish, when they’re sitting with their dad? They’re all so full of it!  I think that testosterone energizes like electricity creates electric shock.

We enjoyed our small adventure yesterday, even with the bit of whining. It always seems like the adventures we go on were so much fun in hindsight than in the actual moment. Not that we don’t have fun in the moment, but there are definitely times of feeling overwhelmed. Is that true of every family, or just mine?

Our knees were a little weak as we stepped up into the top of the Tower, as usual, but Joshua actually made it all the way this year…determination, he was the first one leading the way 🙂  Sam, although he made it up last year…didn’t this year and Lucien, well, he went up quick and came right back down quick…just to say that he did it.

I thought that I’d take a small video of our view while on top, just to give you an idea of the height and where we were.  Enjoy a small portion of our world….

“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to Me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! ~ from Isaiah 44:22-23 New Living Translation

struggles and frustration

In challenges, My Faith, Odd Me on June 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I look back on my life and who I was as a little girl, a teen, a young adult, a new mother and seasoned one; who I am as a friend, a daughter, an acquaintance and most of mosts, a Child of God.

When I was younger, in the home of my parents, I had a large desire to be social and spend time with other people. I loved my family and enjoyed being with them, but I was one of two and my older brother was much older than I (10 yrs). I wasn’t forced to grow up surrounded by others and sometimes, I struggle with people overload.

I spent countless hours talking on the telephone, next door at my friends house and as I grew older, I spent time hanging around with friends who had cars. I was very social, could care less how I appeared to people…back then.

I don’t know why I struggle the way that I do with social gatherings, but I do. I know that I come by it naturally, as many in our family are this way. My husband isn’t too far behind me either.

I observe the lives of others and so often feel like a misfit in this world. I watch people socialize to the extreme every single day and never wear out, especially in the Church. I am not made that way. Period. I don’t want to fit in, and yet I do because so many others look at me as though there is something wrong with me when I don’t do what they do.

I struggle with the high expectations that others may have on me, I always have and usually when people try to push me into their way of thinking, I begin to fade away slowly, removing myself from the scene. In my relationship with The Lord, it is not like this. My heart, my every part, is ready to be transformed by Him…to become the entirety of His purpose for me…and yet, I still remain unchanged in some areas. If I am able to accept me for the ways that I am, why can’t others just focus more on themselves and less on me?

Sometimes, I would just like to hermit myself into my own little world; lock myself up in the closet and desire nothing more than to be left alone with The Lord.

Worship, true worship is in the place of your heart, with God. It doesn’t matter if you stand naked, chew gum, eat pizza or dance…when your heart is open to raise itself up and beyond…you worship. For some reason people are aggressive to force their ways of thinking on other people, right or wrong.

Oh, Lord, why must I be so full of thought and care – sometimes, I just want to be, just be…me…without the negative affect of others. Fill me with strength to live my life as I was made to live it, Lord.

Just to be quiet.

In challenges, crows, morning, My Home on June 25, 2010 at 10:24 am

I woke up early this morning, tossed about a little in the bed and just lingered in my thoughts for the day ahead.   Up and out of bed, I looked out the window to see one very bright star in the sky.  It was around 4:00 a.m. at that point, I went downstairs and returned in hopes that I could drift off to sleep.

After a little while of laying there, it was pretty evident that sleep was over for the day.  I decided to go back downstairs and start the coffee.  Loving the feel in the house in these early morning hours, I just breathed in the silence for a few minutes and then I heard a familiar little chirp. My male cardinal was sitting on the deck for some attention so I filled the plates with overflowing seed.

Upstairs I went, to grab my Bible, hoping that all would remain asleep and I could relish in this morning peace. It didn’t happen, soon behind me came my husband. He’s an early riser anyway.

Sometimes, I just want to be all by myself. Alone, without anyone else around me. It sounds so selfish and I tend to feel guilt because I need this time, but I am made in such a way that when others are around me, I can feel their presence in a sense of need for my attention. They talk to me, turn on the television, get hungry or simply invade the only time that I have set aside to listen to The Spirit inside. It does sound so selfish. And, I don’t want to be selfish.

I came upstairs and sat on my bed, to keep my time quiet. As I looked out the window, I saw my crow. My morning crow sits in the tree top every day, right there. I love the discipline, the quiet that this crow shares with me. He/she is filled with a strength that I long to have…a peace to carry on and a determination to keep what it knows.

I was in the kitchen the other day when I saw one of the squirrels running frantically outside the window in the tree. It looked in at me and then swirled itself crazily around the tree…and then I realized that the crow was swooping in to scare it. For good reason. The crow is building a family on that side of the house, in the tree tops. I don’t know that squirrels really bother the crows nests or eggs but this crow was surely defending it’s home, it’s eggs.

I returned downstairs this morning to ask my husband if he noticed the crow each each day, sitting in the tree. Ray smokes cigars, outside, on the front porch and the tree is just outside the windows from where he sits. He told me that the crow is there, every morning shortly after he gets out onto the porch.

That crow must spend a lot of time in this tree during these morning hours. Ray wakes each morning around 5:00 a.m., out to the porch soon after for his morning coffee and cigar. I wake around 6:00 a.m. most days, sometimes earlier but I linger on my bed with morning quiet and reading, seeking and listening to what God has for me to hear. The crow is there.

Lord, thank You for the filling me each day through simple things, teaching me and guiding me, allowing me to deepen my appreciation for Your creation.  I desire more, more of the in-tune peace that only comes from time well spent with You.  As this crow is able to be disciplined in it’s time alone each morning, enable me to make time like this each day without the feeling of selfishness and guilt.  Let those who love me and need me realize how very important this time is, for all of us ♥

We will be heading to the bank in a few hours to finalize the paperwork that will allow for us to care for our home. New windows and siding will fit our home nicely, as a brand new outfit would be appreciated to one who has worn the same clothing for 61 years or so.  The clothing would be torn, tattered and dirty; not protecting the skin any longer from the wear of weather.  Our home may not look like it needs much in this photo, but the photo is flattering.

And now, it is 6:00 a.m.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~ from Romans 12:1-2 in The Message

After kicking the boys outside…

In mothering, photo moments, Photography, snails on June 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

…for a few minutes yesterday morning, Sammy came back in with a snail in his hands.  Okay, truse.  He knows how much I enjoy the challenge of getting that photo that I am happy with. It’s fun, exciting and, as I said, a challenge for me (one that is much more enjoyable than the challenge of being referee to two arguing, hot-headed, boys).

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this snail, just how I would photograph him/her. I ran, uh-well, walked quickly, into the bathroom to find my hand mirror and then to the right lighting.  I didn’t much care for this lighting:

So, I searched and what I didn’t realize was how much I would enjoy walking around with the little bugger on my mirror, in all of the different atmospheres and lighting.  Fun, fun.

I put my finger down beside him/her and it came closer to me.   Pretty cute, huh?

And then, I brought the little creature to the outside light. I think that the snail was enjoying it’s time spent on the mirror.  Now, I don’t know if a snail can see a reflection or not…but, as you can see from these photos, he posed many positions and seemed to be admiring itself.

I set the mirror on the table for a few minutes, and found that the snail might have been thirsty….slowly slithering toward the water from the rain.  I left the mirror and the snail there for awhile, returning to the house.  A little while later, I peeked out the window to find that the snail was slithering through the water and then down the table.

I so enjoy the simplest things in life. Yes, I do.

And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. ~ from Romans 5 in The Message

Honk, Honk, Goose.

In goose, mazzas, photo moments, questions and answers, Summer on June 23, 2010 at 1:55 am

Have you ever seen a pigeon toe-d goose? Well, you have now and apparently this one has a lot to say….

I took these yesterday when we went on our adventure to Mazza’s Farmstand, in the hopes to pick strawberries. We’ll just have to do that part on another day, which means that I will be honked at a few more times in the near future.

There are two geese that live here, they’ve been there for all of the years that the boys and I have picked our strawberries in these fields. Today, I am sharing one that I’ve not shared before. This one had the most zap, pep, voice and grumpiness…this one made me laugh.

You must know that I captured near to 200 photos yesterday…of animals, geese, birds, flowers, my boys and other children. The trouble is that most of them are keepers, not any that I’d want to delete. Yes, that is trouble. What will I do with all of these photos? Oh, I just love to capture God’s goodness in the world, His creation and I love to share it.

So, tell me….what do you suppose this goose is trying to say?

We were going to go strawberry picking today.

In Adventures, My Boy #3, my dad, my mom, Summer on June 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm

It was beautiful in the house this morning. The fan was blowing on me in the bedroom, sun shining into my window and the birds singing. I spent some quiet time soaking in Goodness for my soul, with my coffee and then decided it was time to get moving. I came downstairs and began riding (my cycle-bike), listened to some praise on my MP3 and then took my shower.

The boys were still asleep.

Just as I sat down to check in on some friends, I heard creaking in the floors. My oldest came down and soon to follow, was my second man. All remained quiet for a little while longer.

I tried a few times to wake up the Little Man, but he would just toss around and snooze away. He was feeling the summer morning, sheet hugging, breeze blowing…time for chilling in a lazy slumber.

It was 9 a.m. before I’d hear his little feet hit the floor and creak down the stairs. A super happy camper, he was, too. Smiling and chattering about something.

We made our way out the door eventually, this morning. We made way to my dad’s house to gather him for our annual adventure to the strawberry fields. I hadn’t been to the house for quite awhile. As I pulled the Jeep into his driveway, I saw the flowers growing, untouched by her human hands but beautifully growing.

All throughout the yard, I found remnants of love, my mother’s love and her green thumbs. At one point, I made my way into the house and felt that overwhelming rush that I get when I visit. Oh, Lord, I miss her. Her presence, her touch still fills the house though. I know that she isn’t there but everything is the same and it feels good, and it feels empty, all at the same time.

I walked through the dining room and saw the hairbrush, the perfume and special little jar just under the mirror, just over the bookcase…just where they were when she left the house. The house still smells like she’s there, even. It’s comforting and still, it’s sad.

We did make our way to the strawberry fields this morning, but not until I ventured around the yard to capture every bit of her goodness I could find. All of this, the yard, the old shed, the flowers, the house, the things that were hers…they are like a scrapbook full of love and memory for me. I don’t ever want it to go away. I want it to remain just as it is, but I know that it can’t be. Eventually, we’ll have to follow through with something, something that she would have wanted, but still, for now…we keep things as they are.

The strawberry fields were closed when we arrived. They weren’t ready for picking quite yet. And, that was okay, too. We stayed and lingered awhile there. They have the sweetest animals, and some very agitated ones (goose). They have a farm stand and homemade treats. All of which remain an annual visiting for us, my dad, the boys and I.

It was a beautiful day…with or without strawberries.

{all of the photos shown today were taken in my mother’s yard, flowers originating with a seed planted by her own hands} And now, I remember this Scripture that spoke to my heart in the early days after she passed us, in August of 2008…..

For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong. Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ. And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. ~Colossians 2:5-7 NLT

SOOC Sunday – Knee High Finds

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm

It was a beautiful afternoon here in our back yard. The boys played outside nearly all of the day, I ventured for a little nature walk, capturing wonders from knee high. The first shot is of a Rubus odoratus (purple flowering raspberry). When the berries are ready, they are kind of odd, very tasty but difficult to get off of the plant. They seem to mush in your fingertips, if you’re not careful. After researching the type of berry that they are, I found this plant finder site that is kind of neat.

This next image is from our wild rose bush. We have MANY different versions of wild roses, but these in particular remind me of the ones that grew in my mother’s garden when I was a little girl. They are so pale in color. The petals are very silky and delicate and the fragrance….oh, my goodness, they are sweet. I remember gathering handfuls of them when I was very young. I gathered the petals and created, what I thought of as a perfume; mixed with water and a little sugar or something. It did smell nice.

Both photos shared are Straight Out Of the Camera, no editing involved…not a bit (I didn’t even watermark them) and I’m sharing them this Sunday along with others at Murrieta 365‘s blog.