Silence and Serendipity

Church life gets very quiet after Vacation Bible School.

Two weeks ago we were gearing up for a week full of excitement as nearly 150 children, and as many volunteers, descended upon our church. Every Bible-themed VBS week provides a fun and Spirit-filled adventure, and as always, I am sad to see it end.

As you can see from the photo above, the decorations are amazing and they take a tremendous amount of time and creativity. The walls always look so drab and empty when everything is dismantled and packed away.

This annual summer event is a lot of work for all involved, but I love being a part of all the activity. I also love hearing the children laughing and singing as they pass my office each morning.

The Sound of Silence

Following such a busy week, last Monday arrived with an odd silence. Most of the staff was out, still recovering from post VBS cleanup. There were several times when I was completely alone in the church, with the exception of the mailman, the UPS guy, and a few friends who stopped by to say hello. Still, I welcomed the peace and quiet and had a fairly productive week.

As I age, I am learning to appreciate silence. It’s a rare find most days. When it does presents itself, I take full advantage of the moment.

Spiced Wine and Zinnias

Mid-week we had a visit from relatives passing through on their way home to Tennessee. I took Thursday off, and it turned out to be a perfect day to visit two local wineries (Twin Oaks Tavern Winery and Bluemont Winery), and grab lunch at Bear Chase Brewing Company. Despite the heat, we enjoyed some great food and wine and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge.

This brief, unplanned respite gave us time to catch up with family and do a bit of exploring before heading back to work on Friday. It was a great way to end the week!

Our weekend has been full of ongoing home projects and preparation for another quick family visit. I took a few minutes to rest on the patio this evening while admiring the colorful zinnias that are now in full bloom. The gladiolas won’t be far behind.

We will celebrate our nation’s birthday this week with my brother and Mom, who turns 85 on July 2nd. Every day with her is a gift from God, and we look forward to our family celebrations as a time to make special memories.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Sunshine and Songbirds

Happy, rainy Sunday!

I’ve enjoyed both restful and productive days for the past two weeks while I took a short break from writing. Sometimes I need to force myself to take time out for rest, and I’m always glad when I do.

We have so many projects going on at home, so there is always something to plant, paint, repair or update. That said, I’m happy to report that we have finished flooring and painting one of our guest bedrooms. (Only four more rooms to go!)

My husband is beginning to wonder what we were thinking when we undertook this project. It’s clearly going to last many months at the current pace, but the results are amazing. I am truly blessed to have a spouse who is so talented!

Green and Growing

Our garden is planted and already full of cucumber, zucchini and tomato blossoms. We’ve been enjoying fresh spinach and fennel fronds in our salads since last week. A longer and earlier growing season is certainly one of the advantages to living in the mid-Atlantic region.

And although I am rapidly tiring of the rain, it has helped wash away some of the pollen. Everything is green and lush and vibrant! It’s also a peaceful sound on the roof at night.

A (Bird)Song in My Heart

I was delighted to discover that we have a pair of American Goldfinches in our neighborhood.  They visit our thistle feeder daily. The male is a striking bright yellow color, especially against the backdrop of spring greenery. Their song is lovely too. During the long winter months, I miss hearing the songbirds more than anything. (Click this link to hear the American Goldfinch’s song!)

This is a photo of our Crimson Honeysuckle taken earlier today. It’s drenched, but ready to welcome our hummingbirds when they arrive. I had expected them by now, and it’s possible that they are already here. They are so tiny and quick that I often miss them at our feeder. You need to stand very still and watch the feeder for several minutes at a time. It takes patience, but seeing them flitting and darting and hovering mid-air makes it worth the wait. They are truly amazing little birds!

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking sunny. That’s always welcome news to start my Monday.

May your week ahead will be filled with sunny skies and cheerful birdsongs to fill your heart with joy!