I am LOVING this week!!
We wake up with another day to do just exactly what we want to do!
No appointments or schedules......although I do pencil in a few things on my planner in the kitchen.
Then I proceed to ignore them and go about doing what I feel like doing.
The one thing that seldom changes is our morning coffee and Bible reading routine.
Louis Dean brought my first cup to me in bed. He's my hero!
While we slept with the A/C on last night, it was much cooler this morning!
I decided it was a good day to take up my daily walks again.
I'm grateful to be able to walk with no foot pain.
My right knee was replaced going on 10 years ago and it is still working well.
For 31 years I exercised at least 4-5 times a week. I started when I was 33 years old and it became an ingrained habit. I walked or did aerobics and as I got older I gravitated to walking and yoga. I have since started doing Tai Chi as well but along the way, my dedicated habit of exercising slowly drifted away until one day I realized I was only exercising on a sporadic basis.
So.....I put on my walking shoes and headed out to walk the 1.7 mile 'snake' that is my neighborhood.
The sky was blue and the air was satisfyingly crisp!
As I went I thought about the countless times I have walked these sidewalks.
I was just 18 years old when we moved here in January of 1967.
Summer was 3 and Jesse, Jr. was 2 months old.
The very first walk I took was a cold winter afternoon. I thought I would push Jesse in the stroller and Summer and I would walk around the block.
I didn't realize that our street is part of a snake and if you start out in the sidewalk in front of our house and head east and you STAY on that sidewalk it will eventually bring you right back to the front of our house - just across the street! Needless to say, I got lost and panicked when it started to snow. We eventually made it home but it was not a good 'first' walk.
Over the 50 years I have been here, I have walked this same path over and over and over again.
Usually it is in the afternoon or late morning but I have walked it in the dead of night and at 4:30 in the morning - back when I was working. I have lost myself in prayer and thought a few times and walked right past my house and up 'Big Brenton' as we call it before I realized where I was.
Usually I take a scripture card to meditate on and always I say some prayers.
Since I haven't walked this in a while, when I got to then end where the snake turns around to come back, I sat down on the very same curb I have often sat before to rest a moment.
The walks have been taken in times of deep despair, great joy, paralyzing fear, bubbling laughter and every emotion in between. As I sat there I remembered the time I was sobbing great deep sobs and a family came over to see if I was hurt. I remember the time I walked and could see my own long lone shadow before me and thinking, "I am all alone. There is no one who cares for me. There is no one beside me." It seems like I blinked and the day came when Louis Dean and I were walking along at that same spot - hand in hand - and I realized how many prayers God has answered and how many blessings he has poured down on me.
I suppose the one walk that had the most impact on me was the one in the spring of 2003.
There was a fork in the road of my life and I had to decide which path to take.
My daughters offered me what advice they could give and I had spoken with many counselors as well as friends and family. Finally, I told Summer and Amber that I was just too scared to make such a drastic decision and I put on my shoes and went on a walk leaving them shaking their heads in the sewing room where we had been talking.
It was on that walk that afternoon that God seemed to speak to my heart and mind and told me to simply step out and trust him. It felt like God was asking me to step out on a sheer piece of glass.
I had married at 14 years of age and it had been a long 41 years. I had no education and I had never really worked except for one year and that was for my mother. I had no way to support myself and I was in poor health with a need for some major surgery and no insurance. Amber was 17 years old and in college and about to transfer to Texas State in San Marcos. She had no money and I had none to help her and yet she was working in a restaurant and going to school and making plans. She was doing what she needed to do. God impressed on me that day that I could do the same thing. I simply need to step out and DO it!
I'm pretty sure my daughters were surprised and relieved when I came back from that walk and announced my decision to take a bold new path and to take it with a new found confidence that God would guide my way.
And he did. In countless miraculous ways. He's still doing it!
These last dozen years or so have been the happiest of my entire life.
I came home and started cleaning house!
A clean house makes me happy and it was with a happy heart I took down the Christmas and changed sheets, cleaned and dusted and then put on the finishing touch by lighting a candle.
Actually I lit two! One on either side of the bed.
Of all the rooms in my house, I think I like the bedroom the best!
It doesn't look anything like it did when I moved into this house 50 years ago.
None of the rooms do!
I may have the tiniest little bathroom but I love it!
When I took the wee Christmas tree out that sat on the back of the commode,
I just let the 20 count strand of lights drape over, meaning to come back and unplug them and store them away. Then I saw that I LIKE the way they look!
I used the 'Creative Shot' setting on my red Cannon camera and this picture is in honor of
Sandra, aka the 'Mad Snapper!'
My grandchildren were surprised to learn that I have a shower in here!
The towels hang on the door so they never even knew there was a shower behind them!
I have a tiny little chair that sits in front of the shower door - and in front of the toilet!
I sit in it to put my make up on and do my hair at this tiny little make up bench.
All my toiletries are hidden in containers under the white tablecloth I use as a vanity curtain.
I keep this needlework right where I can see it!
We all have hidden treasures.
We don't display everything for the whole world to see.
While there are some things best tucked away and kept safely in our hearts,
there are others that are rather nice to bring out and share with others every once in awhile.
So tonight I have shared some of my heart with you!
In light of the recent deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.....
and as I contemplate my own life and the aging process.......
I find it a comfort to remember....