My Favorite Color is…

I recently purchased a new phone. Of course, one of the first things to do with a new phone is choosing the wallpaper. I enjoy seeing a personal pic of some kind when opening my phone. With more than 7,000, I have plenty to choose from.

I chose a nature scene. Bright blue sky, billowy white clouds, and dark green trees now grace my home screen. As I opened my phone this morning, the combination of colors in this particular pic caught my eye. Blue, green, and white complimenting each other to create a beautiful image.

If asked about my favorite color, I always choose blue. I can’t remember ever having a different answer. Something about my current age, tendency to be reflective I suppose, made me stop to ponder.

Strangely enough, this particular picture provided some insight. The patch of clear blue sky by itself is beautiful. However, when seen in contrast with fluffy white clouds and green trees, it is transformed. Its beauty is magnified. And it is not a matter of comparison. It is a matter of compliment.

Kind of like people, you know? We may each be someone’s favorite. Favorite teacher, friend, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. But that doesn’t mean we simply stand alone, happy to be the chosen. No, we celebrate the need to exist in compliment. In other words, I can’t be the favorite aunt without loving my sweet nieces. 😉

I will always have favorite people in my life, and blue will continue to be my favorite color. But hopefully, I will remember to truly see all the people around me.

We all have a purpose, a place of belonging. And just like the colors in my photo, we have the power to bring out the best in each other. When given a chance.

The Lonely Wind

Some days, quiet
Remaining unnoticed
Content simply to whisper
Other days, turbulent
Disruptive, unsettling
Causing all in my path to shiver

Swaying the trees
Spinning the leaves
Singing my blustery song
Clouds in the sky
I'm moving them, too
Remaining, as always, headstrong

Creating my path
Traveling alone
Yet, never really going away
Though effects linger
Remaining unseen
Maybe you'll notice one day
Poppy is ready for take-off!

After Christmas Blues

Took down the tree today
Feeling a little sad
No more green or lights
House looks rather drab

Ornaments and nativity sets
Each piece carefully put away
So many sweet memories
Saved for another day

Perhaps I'll buy some flowers
To bring back some of the cheer
Which was put away in the boxes
With Christmas...until next year

I was listening to some James Taylor today and the following phrase from Before This World/Jolly Spring Time struck a chord. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/before-this-world-jolly-springtime/980668059?i=980668068

Yes the winter was bitter and long
So the spring'll be sweet
Come along with a rhythm and a song
Watch creation repeat

I know winter is just beginning but the hope of spring is ever present.  Trees will once again bud and flowers will once again bloom. We must look for it in the moments of sunshine and patches of blue.  Or in store-bought flowers placed in a favorite vase.

Lessons From the Birds

“I know every bird in the mountains…” Psalm 50:11

On a recent road trip, I noticed a bird hanging in mid-air. Located just above the trees, its wings fluctuated rapidly up and down, side to side. This feathered friend appeared to be in an unstable situation, possibly caught in a wind current.

As I watched the bird, assuming it was struggling to find balance, I thought of a tightrope walker. I could just imagine an invisible string pulled tight underneath, its tiny claws grasping to hold on, fighting for control.

How often might I be described in this manner? “Have you noticed Kelley lately? There’s so much happening, she appears to be holding on for dear life. She seems a little scattered and frantic. I hope she’s ok.” Probably more times than I’d care to admit. 😉

Our drive continued, the bird no longer in view, yet I thought of it once again. Was it possible the bird wasn’t struggling after all? Perhaps it was simply resting in the current for a moment, allowing the wind to move its wings as it wished. This thought provided a different perspective. One which brought thoughts of security and rest.

Maybe there’s a simple lesson to be learned from these contrasting views. What if I apply both perspectives to my own life? When the strong winds come, and they will come, I will have two choices.

One-I can fight against them, grasping for control, trying to find balance on my own tightrope.
Two-I can relinquish control, allowing the winds to move me where they may, trusting that God will be there with me when I land.

Viewing my own life in this manner might also influence the way I see others. Perhaps making me less likely to analyze and more likely to offer help.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27

I wish I’d been able to watch that bird awhile longer. What happened next? How long did it remain in that current? Did it eventually soar off to new heights? I guess I’ll never know.

Blanket of Snow

What is it about snow?  There’s a crisp excitement in the air.  Kids are laughing and smiling.  This beautiful white precipitation is a rare occurrence in Oklahoma.  And when we do have snow, it’s usually at odd times.  One particular year it snowed on both Halloween and Spring Break!

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Today was one of those days.  November 12-Fall hasn’t even officially arrived yet.  A little early for snow, but I’ll take it!  I smiled the entire drive to work this morning.  Those beautiful white, magical flakes floating in the air, blanketing the ground. My spirits were lifted, and there was a pep in my step that’s been missing lately.  I found myself stopping to look outside at every opportunity, snapping pictures.

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I wonder why snow has this effect?  Maybe it’s a reminder of clean slates, fresh starts, second chances…forgiveness.  Things we all need at different times in our lives.  Experiences which blanket us with peace and contentment.  Experiences which give us hope for each new day.

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And just like that, the snow is gone.  Will that pep in my step disappear with the melting snow?  Possibly.  Or perhaps I will allow the memories from today to stay with me, reminding me that tomorrow is a new day.  A day full of possibilities with chances to start over or try again.  An opportunity for forgiveness where needed.

The stresses of this life can be unexpected and overwhelming.  I don’t know about you, but I find myself needing that blanket of calm more and more often.   If we stop and watch the snowfall, no matter how brief, just maybe we will find that peace we so desperately seek. Remembering the impact created by that beautiful blanket of snow.

Rescuing Turtles

Today I saw a sweet lady rescuing a misguided turtle on the side of the road. This poor turtle was at the corner of an extremely busy intersection, preparing to hop the curb and take his chances. We all know the likely outcome. Thankfully someone kind spotted him and decided to offer some guidance. Smiling while talking to him, she carefully picked him up and helped him head in a much safer direction.

I’ve always found turtles interesting. Carrying their house around with them at first glance seems proficient. No matter where they travel or what danger lurks, they have instant protection. Just ducking their head, feet and tail inside that hard shell provide safety. Considering the slow speed at which they move, it seems this feature would be a plus.

But what about the weight? Maybe it’s the weight of that shell that causes the slow tempo. They certainly seem to carry around a heavier load compared to other creatures their size. Please note, I’m not speaking scientifically. I have not actually researched the structure of turtles, simply making observations based on watching them.

This may seem an odd comparison but witnessing this woman’s act of kindness towards the turtle caused me to transfer the scene to people. We all come in contact with people who, for various reasons, are moving slowly through life. Maybe they’re temporarily carrying extra weight because of job stresses, life circumstances, varying differences. They may appear self-sufficient like they have it all together, but the reality under that shell is quite the opposite.

No matter the reason, that extra weight has the power to affect decision making. I have personally experienced that feeling of being at a busy intersection, trying to choose the right path, in desperate need of assistance. Others passing by so quickly it’s difficult to get their attention. Wondering if anyone will take the time to stop and say hello. And once they do stop, hoping they are willing to offer some help.

I have also experienced the opposite.  Slowing down long enough to realize a friend needs help.  Noticing they seem sad, not acting in their usual manner.  Sometimes a rescue is simple-listening over coffee, sending a sweet note.  Other times it may be more complicated, requiring time, energy, and possibly sacrifice.

Both experiences are an inevitable part of life.  So next time you find yourself at one of life’s busy crossroads, slow down and look around. Maybe there is a weighted down, misguided turtle who needs your assistance. Stop and listen. You might just end up being their hero! And remember, the time may also come when you are the turtle in need of rescue. If so, don’t be discouraged. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and don’t give up. Your hero could be waiting at the next intersection.