Tag Archives: joy

Above me …

a vast and beautiful sky spreads endlessly in varying shades of blue.

Trees dance as I pass, waving their leaves in rhythm to the erratic strings of Vivaldi.

The wind plays cheerfully with my hair as the afternoon sun warms my face.

My soul is free; my spirit soaring.

For this moment in time, my thoughts are my own.

I find myself giddy with the pure joy of it all.

image

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I feel …

good.

I feel good.

Yes, I said it and yes I mean it.

I feel good.

It has been an incredibly difficult week with incredibly difficult patients and incredibly difficult news from friends, and yet, through it all …

I feel good.

I’m not manic.

As strange as it may seem, I am totally even.  Completely sane.  Absurdly normal.

I think to myself that I should be manic and irrational and standing in left field waiting for a right field hit, and yet, here I am.

Feeling like a normal human isn’t something that I am readily accustomed to.  It takes me by surprise when I find myself being like everyone else.

I don’t know whether to be elated or dejected, so, for the moment, I will choose elated.

While I am an optimist, elation is not my dearest friend.

But for tonight, for this moment, for this space in time, I will embrace it, cherish it and relish the feeling of elation.

Some things are to be taken at face value.

This is one of them.

Life comes as it comes and while there are valleys, there are also mountains and being on the mountain makes all the valleys worth the sacrifice.

I am, for now, standing on the mountain and I am reminded just how blessed I was to have the valleys so I could enjoy the view from the mountain.

I. Feel. Good.

Praise the Lord.

if it were easy, there wouldn't be any reward in it.  Be adventurous

if it were easy, there wouldn’t be any reward in it. Be adventurous

I’m learning to see with my eyes …

and it is so very cool.  I suppose, coming from a photographer, that sounds a bit odd, but it is true.  When taking photographs, my eyes pick up beauty, my mind recognizes the beauty of light and my camera captures the image.

While it takes a bit of skill, it isn’t obstinately complicated.

Art class, however, has taken me to places I never knew existed, realms that before that first day, I hadn’t had the insight to imagine.  I find that my eyes want to see things that aren’t there, almost like a camera.  I see dark shadows and try to put into place what exists there.

I’m learning that nothing exists there other than the dark shadows.

I know about shadow and light.  I know about aperture and lens speed.  I am quite adept at depth of field and have macro down to a science.

What I don’t know, however, but am learning, is about shadow and shading.  It is a different world, one that I find I love.  More than photography?  I don’t know.  The jury is still out on that, but I know this; I love watching a pencil sketch become something recognizable.

Knowing that it came my eyes and my hands and my mind.

Knowing that I have the ability to breathe it, with some effort, practice and determination to learn the craft, as well as encouragement from a stellar teacher, onto the paper.

It is mind-boggling and it makes me feel powerful in a way that I never thought possible.

It makes me feel closer to God knowing that, through my eyes and by the movement of my hand, I can create something out of nothing.

Without sunsets or full moons or mountain vistas.

Me.

Creating something beautiful.

I am awestruck at the joy I feel when I have a pencil in my hand and blank piece of paper before me.

I find, though, that the old habits of little faith and lack of self-confidence butt up head-to-head with my new-found joy;  I am also learning , however,to tell that voice that tells me I can’t to shut up.

I can.  And I will.

As a matter of fact, I already am.

So for those who feel inadequate, that they don’t quite measure up, that they are inferior … think again.

I am finding that when I don’t compare myself to others, when I believe in myself, when I have faith in the gifts that my Father God has given me, I measure up just fine.

Sam … beautiful Sam … facebook_1290742365(1)

An eye for which to see with … IMAG0284_1

Watching Gracie Grow

Down’s Syndrome.  I had heard of it, seen people who had it and been around other folks who had children or grandchildren with Down’s but on a personal level, had no real understanding of it.  At least not until the birth of my youngest niece, Gracie.  Gracie came into the world nearly eight weeks early and spent the first two months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NIC-U).  She had tubes in her nose and mouth, IV lines in her veins and spent much of her time in a special incubator that kept her body temperature regulated.  There was great excitement at each wet or dirty diaper and each dropper of formula that she was able to swallow.  The doctors said over and over to not get our hopes up, that there could be many things wrong and that she would likely be brain damaged, a near-vegetable.  They told of the horrors of holes in her heart and dysfunctional kidneys, blindness and the inability to walk, talk or do many of the  activities that other children do.  Their faces serious and their prognosis dire, they didn’t know what we did.

gracie smiles

That God was already working in that little life and had been even before she was conceived.  They didn’t know that this child was a miracle in the making, a blessing that would far exceed any of our imaginings.  As her little body rested in the incubator, her lungs strengthening with each breath, her muscles growing with each kick, her eyes, unfocused and blurry beginning to gaze directly into ours, we prayed.  Our friends and families prayed, our sister churches prayed and an ever-faithful, merciful and loving God gathered the prayers together and let His blessings flow, falling like the gentle rains of springtime.  When Gracie came home from the hospital, the nurses rejoiced that she was well enough to leave and cried that she would no longer be a part of their everyday lives.  At first, we handled her like a fragile china doll, afraid that the slightest touch would break her.  So tiny was she that our hands could cover her entire body.  But she didn’t stay tiny for long.  She grew and she thrived, she looked and she learned and she brought joy into all of our hearts that we had never known before.  With each milestone, she would smile and clap, then watch and wait for her fans to clap with her.    Watching Gracie grow is one of our most cherished blessings and I, for one, am grateful that this beautiful child graced our lives.  Not surprisingly, she has made her way on to numerous greeting cards, most recently, a Nurses Day card for Oncology Nurses.   Her love, light and laughter is contagious and I hope everyone catches a little bit of it.  I pray that God will continue to bless our sweet Gracie-Bell all of the days of her life.

a little pray-er goes a long way