Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Early Morning Reflections

As  beautiful as the yellow & blue are -
 they don't come close to the duck's brilliant green neck feathers


Monday, May 22, 2017

Women - Unity - Bonding - Glue

Look at these jugs of glue! The day after I saw them I came across a talk that likened women to "glue." That explained why I was drawn to this display of glue!

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 Sharon Eubank has this to say about women, unity, bonding, and glue. 

“We [women] throw our arms around the people who come and go. We have a refrigerator door full of pictures of people we love. We take a younger woman under our wing and involve her with whatever we are doing while we talk. I have no doubt each one of us would move the earth for the people in those photos on our kitchen walls. But so often we don’t want to scare them with our power to bless and heal, so we move the world in increments of soup and cake. They may never even recognize the universe has been realigned for their good. …

"I wish I had a fancy name for it, but women are called to be glue. We are the bonds of unity and kindness. You see it in the matriarchs of your lives who are at the center of things. They reach out and include people, they find meaningful things for each person to do, they make sure the right things are said and done so things keep going, they make it fun, and they make us laugh." 
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Read more here





Sunday, May 21, 2017

Experimenting

I was experimenting with the iPhone camera. I knew the top image would be out of focus because I was too close. What I didn't anticipate was how artsy it would look. I think it resembles a water color.  The bottom image was taken from a distance and cropped. 

I like the water color effect :)



Friday, May 19, 2017

The Lord & My Best


“Give your best. Don’t settle for less. Trust the Lord, ... Give whatever you are able to give with all the energy you have, and then let the Lord finish it and make it great.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I like this counsel. To me it conveys that my "best" may be different at different times in my life. How much energy I have varies with life circumstances. No matter what my best looks like, no matter my level of energy, the Lord takes my attempt, "finishes it and makes it great." 



That's pretty awesome and very reassuring. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

City Ducks

Where are the girls?
This particular morning every duck at the park on the lake was male. Did the females have a sleepover somewhere else? At the lake the ducks are usually in pairs. Not this morning.

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This duck was at the grocery which is right next to a massive construction project. I followed the duck around the corner. Looked like he was going to the ATM machine!

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On an early morning walk I was surprised to see two ducks waddling down a city block right in downtown Kirkland. The lake was just a block away. Why were they here, walking, instead of flying to the lake?
I followed them around the corner. 
They took a swim in the fountain at the main downtown intersection. 


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Reflections

"When you have an opportunity to mother, grab it! It may break your heart, ..." Maddy expressed this thought in her Mother's Day talk at church. Mothering can sometimes be heart-breaking. It can also be filled with joy. Mothering is an eternal journey that's all about love. 
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Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life. Sophocles 

In difficult times, children anchored me and kept me from drifting too far off course. A child kept me going because he loved me and I loved him. Children needed me and I needed them. 

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“When you observe kind and gentle mothers in action, you see women of great strength.”—Margaret D. Nadauld

“There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood.”— M. Russell Ballard

Around Mother's Day it's easy to find quotes about the nobleness of women and motherhood. Along with those kinds of sentiments I like to hear from women who share the challenges of the motherhood journey. 

The following thoughts are based on a blog post in May 2014 by Saydi Eyre Shumway.

Motherhood is hard and is different from what we might have expected. Motherhood isn't about "me, it's about "these lives who have come and merged with mine." I like this thought because my experiences with mothering involve a child I gave birth to and in addition children whose lives "merged" with mine. Our immediate and extended family continue to grow with wonderful people who come into the family. 

I don't think of myself as a natural "mothering" person but as I look back from the perspective of 70 years (wow!), I realize I've learned to recognize, nurture, and embrace that aspect of my being. I work at and enjoy learning to be a better mother and grandmother. Over the decades I have "grabbed" the opportunity to mother others who have come into my life. We've been parents and grandparents for persons living far away from family and for people who didn't have family, near or far. These mothering experiences have sometimes broken our hearts but we've also experienced great joy. We have been blessed. 

Mothering is motivated by love and compassion. Mothering can help us forget ourselves so we can serve and meet the needs of others. "It is really about swallowing up yourself into something bigger, a family, a child, a little life. [or a big life]. Forgetting yourself. It is truly a refiner's fire. If we surrender to it it will burn us up. But we really do emerge from it changed, new, strong, full, and bright." 

When we're able to do this, "surrender to our mother-love," some of our love becomes part of the soul of the person we've mothered. How glorious and awesome is that?!

A mother helps a person feel known, acknowledged, and loved. One of the wonderful mothers in Joe's life was his Grandmother Elizabeth Gilmore Neely, Mamaw. During awkward and stressful periods in his life, she was always there to reassure him, to tell him he was loved and that he could meet any challenge that came his way. Her love is part of Joe's being. 

That love for Joe comes through in the message she wrote on the back of a photo of Joe and his Great Grandmother Mary Taylor Neely. 



"My Little Lamb and his great grandmother. 
This is the cutest child's picture I've ever seen. 
Called 'Picking Flowers'"