Pumpkin Spice, Anyone?

September 1st. It doesn’t seem real.

For someone who looks forward to fall every year, this should have been a welcome calendar page flip. But the prospect of spending another season mostly indoors is just not appealing to me. Sure, we can go outdoors and enjoy the refreshing crisp air, but many of the gatherings I have come to enjoy will be missing this year.

Still, it is actually a relief to be inching our way closer to the end of 2020. Most of us wish it would be over with now.

Recovery Mode

My time away from writing has been spent in recovery mode following my shoulder surgery on June 18th. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with an uneventful, and fairly pain-free recuperation. For anyone who has experienced this surgery, you’ll understand me when I say, “Don’t overdo it.” Follow your doctor’s orders to the letter. After being in a sling 24/7 for six weeks, the last thing I would want is to be back in that contraption! (I cringe just looking at the photo.)

The greatest challenges I faced were sleeping while sitting up, and learning to do everything with my left hand. Sleeping was made a little easier with our adjustable bed. Because we have a split-king, we were able to move half of the bed to a guest room. This enabled me to lie awake for hours on end without disturbing my hubby. After the first week or so, exhaustion took over, and I grew accustomed to sleeping on my back. By week 5, I was able to lie on my left side, and now — week 11 — I am finally able to lie flat again.

But the left-handed thing . . . that was another story. Try wearing a sling on your dominant arm for 24 hours and you’ll see the challenges I faced. Everyday tasks we take for granted, such as bathing, dressing, eating — and yes, even trips to the bathroom — take twice as long. Living without a blow dryer nearly brought me to tears. It took me about 3 weeks to master these challenges and find some work-arounds. My doctor was kind enough to adjust the sling so that I had almost full use of my right hand, as long as it stayed inside the sling. I was then able to do some typing on my computer at work and use my cell phone and iPad. Once I was off the pain meds (Day 6), I was even able to drive the mile to work and back home again. Life was not so bad after all.

I am now in physical therapy and have regained about 90% of my range of motion. (My best guess.) Next week, if my surgeon gives the okay, I will begin the strength training portion of my PT. It’s been a long road, but I am glad I had the surgery.

My recovery would not have been so smooth without all the love, prayers, cards and meals that came my way during the first few weeks. Our church family has been amazing! It is always a humbling feeling when you are on the receiving end of such generosity.

🍁 🍁 🍁

Reflecting and Refueling

We celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary last week while visiting relatives in Tennessee. They have a beautiful home in a lakeside community, and a pontoon boat that became our favorite respite for seven days. It was a much-needed getaway for both of us, and a chance to unwind and forget about the pandemic for a while. The lake was full of little hidden coves where we could drop the anchor and swim (or in my case, float) the afternoon away. We dined out most evenings, and lazed around most mornings. (Any day I can stay in my PJ’s past 7:00 AM is a good day!)

My time away was an opportunity to rest and look forward to the future. So much of our time lately has been spent focusing on the chaos around us and around the world. The doom and gloom and bad news is relentless. I find that during these difficult seasons in life, we often neglect our need to get away and disconnect. We need space to breathe, and a new window to enjoy a different view. (I find water views are best!) This is not always possible in these times, I know, but if the opportunity presents itself, embrace it!

Now that I am home again, I realize how much I have missed my writing. As we begin a new season, full of pumpkin spice and whatever else it may bring, I look forward to sharing this space with you once again. ☕️

Sticks and Stones . . . and Planks

How it All Began

I have enjoyed writing since my high school days. Aside from art classes, English was always my favorite subject, particularly anything related to creative writing. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a school teacher. By my senior year in high school, although I loved writing, I hoped to become an artist. Nowadays, the only paintbrush I pick up is usually dipped in a gallon of Eggshell White.

So for now, I’m back to writing, or blogging, or whatever you call what I do. Hopefully the words I choose to share will touch someone in a meaningful way. My plan is not to teach a lesson or to preach, but to share my personal perspective from my tiny corner of the world.

My favorite writing space

I try to stay dedicated to my Sunday routine of writing. It can be challenging at times, especially if we are traveling. But I pray each week that the Lord will give me something worthy to say.

Like many writers, there are days when I feel dry and uninspired. Those are the days when I share what is going on in our home or in my personal life. Sometimes those little adventures lead to new ideas for future posts.

Words

This morning I found myself thinking about words. Specifically how we share words, and how they can hurt or heal. They are a powerful means of communication, whether written or spoken. We can choose our words with wisdom and compassion, or with haste and vengeance.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-5‬

Jesus’ words are convicting to those of us who are willing to take them to heart. The internet has made it easy to hurl insults from afar. Few would repeat the same words if they were seated face-to-face with the person they insulted.

Here’s a question for you. Does the internet make us brave, or does it make us cowardly? It can do both, depending on how you use your words.

For the past two years I have given up social media during Lent. But this year I feel a need to fill those platforms with the love and kindness our Savior modeled for us.

Be the Salt and Light

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:6‬

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . . ” Ephesians‬ ‭5:8

Words are powerful. Use them sparingly. Choose them wisely. And always . . . remember that plank.