Back to the Basics

I’ve decided to take a week-long “partial” leave of absence from electronics.

I received an email the other day that contained a series of pictures, each with a brief caption beneath it, that had a profound effect on me. Let me share some of them with you here:

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A day at the beach

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Out on an intimate date.

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A visit to the museum

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Enjoying the sights

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” -Albert Einstein

What affected me the most about this email is the truth that lay within. It’s a rare occasion that I don’t see several people talking on their phones or texting while driving. And there is no finger-pointing going on here, as I’m among the ones talking on the phone.

One of the weekend magazines in the paper I read this past Sunday had an article called “Massive Media,” and one of the sentences popped right off the printed page as I read it: Media went from a series of choices and a schedule of events to the air we breathe.

That same article also stated: With only 24 hours in a day, it isn’t possible to make a dent in everything that demands to be seen, listened to, read.

But how hard we try!

Some days, I’m so busy checking blog stats, Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds, emails (on two home accounts as well as my work account, and each email opened leads to further reading/link-clicking and mindless wandering), Internet surfing, checking for text messages, etc., that I miss the majority of the blessings in my day.

So what does a “partial” leave of absence look like?

For me it means taking a complete break from social media and engaging in social human interaction. It means being present with the people I’m with, rather than being unaware of their presence while I socialize elsewhere.

It means beginning my day with my good old-fashioned Bible rather than surfing for devotions online, which almost always ends up with me reading something completely unrelated.

It means keeping my cell phone on vibrate or silent so I’m not checking every beep I hear;  and checking for text messages once or twice a day is sufficient. In fact, rather than send a text, perhaps I will make the old-fashioned phone call to humanize the connection.

It means checking emails once per day, rather than every half hour which I have been known to do. No joke.

It means not checking my blog stats for an entire week, and get back to posting because I love to write and share; and connect with wonderful like-minded people.

It means no Internet surfing unless it’s research on my novel.

It means living with intention rather than mindless living.

I want to say that again, to get it into my own head if for no other reason: It means living with intention rather than mindless living.

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Here’s to writing a new page in my life’s story for seven 24-hour segments in a row. Perhaps it will be the start of something marvelous that will continue on.

And now it’s back off to Camp NaNo. 🙂

All is Grace.

 

Healing Words

Today, July 8th, marks eight days of celebrating life, and each day hereafter, yet another.

A year ago, I posted a blog entry on life circumstances that have made July a very difficult month to get through. I had mentioned how each year I would find myself holding my breath just waiting for July to end, giving birth to August, and I never quite released that breath I was holding until 12:01 a.m. when August was fully born.

This past year has reaped so many blessings and stitched so many miracles through my silky web, that I feel like my soul has been given new birth. Not once have I measured the minutes in the day by the pain I’ve endured, by the “almost’s” that nearly happened, nor have I x’d out each day before it ended, eagerly waiting to ‘x’ out the next–and the next.

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I’ve traced the beginning of the real healing to writing. Writing has released repressed emotions, thoughts, and ideas that have led to newness and wholeness, and a brand new life.

Writing brings light when the day begins dark; when sadness strikes, it brings a glimmer a joy; it brings clarity out of confusion, and draws gratitude out of the simplest things; when isolated and alone it brings company through blogging friends and make-believe characters.

Writing pen to paper – or fingertips to keyboard – has facilitated healing and freedom from the traps the enemy has tried to catch me in. And what a blessing that is!

“It’s ironic that poets use words to convey what lies beyond words, that poetry becomes most powerful where simple language fails, allowing one to bridge the conscious and unconscious.” – Diane Ackerman, author and poet

This month, as I’ve mentioned in my post last Friday, my son was married, which brought joy to soothe a lifetime of pain. Chalk up another July bonus.

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The happy – and gorgeous – couple.

This is one happy and proud mama!

This is one happy and proud mama!

And now, my friends, it’s back off to Camp, another July bonus, where I’ll be mixing fun with healing in one neat little package. Well, okay–I guess it could turn into one sticky little package if I get carried away with the marshmallows and s’mores. And what is camping without that? 🙂

Back off to the wilderness.

Back off to the wilderness.

All truly is grace.

T.G.I.F. – Gratitude Friday

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With such a big week, it’s difficult to narrow it down to three, as blessings flowed–and keep flowing–abundantly. However, keeping consistent with my Friday posts, my top three for the week:

3.) The amazing freedoms in our country, none that have come without a steep price by dedicated and loyal military men and women, that give us the freedom of choice in so many vital areas of this beautiful thing called life.

2.)  The outstretched arms of my precious granddaughter followed by the feel of her little arm curled around my neck. A grandparent’s delight.

1.)  Dancing with my son at his wedding for the Mother-Son dance, to the song Watercolor Ponies by Wayne Watson. Reduced this mama to tears of joy, pride, and love beyond anything I could have ever imagined since the day he was born.

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Wishing everyone a beautiful, filled-with-love-food-fun-family-and-friends Fourth of July!

I’m back off to the wilderness of camp! 🙂

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A Glorious Sunday Drive

 On my bike.

As strange as this may sound, there’s nothing more relaxing to me than a long bike ride on a beautiful Sunday morning. Of course by the time the 30-mile ride is done, there’s nothing more relaxing than being back home, showered, with a bowl of popcorn and an A&W 10. 🙂

The half-way mark, or the destination where we turn and make the journey back home, holds an REI, Starbucks, and park by the river.  Those things in and of themselves will get me out of bed and on my bike.

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It’s while my feet and legs are pushing the pedals that turn the bike tires, that my mind turns, creating ideas for writing, and connects in conversation with God.

How can one not quickly develop a heart of gratitude for over-the-top blessings when those blessings surround me, filling all of my senses as I drink in the beauty of wildlife and vegetation, and as I inhale the aromas of the flowers, water and trees. I try to avoid the taste of an occasional bug or two, however.

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Even those things that are not extraordinary and go unnoticed on a daily basis, draw a smile on my face.

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A wild turkey? And my first thought wasn’t “Thanksgiving Dinner,” but “Magical.”

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Can’t you just smell the sweet aroma of cherry?

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This little guy was watching me as closely as I was watching him. 🙂

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Unlike babbling voices, there’s nothing quite so serene as a babbling brook.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
— Rachel Carson
As I mentioned in a precious post, I’m heading off to Camp Tuesday morning–Camp NaNo. And it’s there I will get to explore unlimited nature as I create worlds and places yet unknown.  It’s not too late to come along.  🙂