FEELING all the beautiful memories …

It was a quiet morning here. VERY quiet. And I needed it. No one was up early … but me, of course. I knew that would translate into a lot of rushing later but I didn’t care. My kids needed sleep. MY GOSH THEY NEEDED SLEEP. And I needed my moment of holiday calm. I am thankful that each year between parties and performances and late nights and early mornings, I find some time for myself that doesn’t include running shoes, sweat and swearing. This is time I usually find in front of our Christmas tree, under an overly decorated holiday blanket and sipping a seasonal coffee. ALONE. It’s wonderful. It’s needed. It’s what brings the anticipation of Christmas full circle for me. Somewhere between the first sip of my coffee and sunrise a sense of Christmas peace washes over me. I love it. Some years it comes early in the season. Other years, the opportunity comes later. But I don’t ever force it or schedule it. For some reason, I’ve been blessed to have it always come naturally. God is good. He gives me this time when He knows I need it and when I will appreciate it most. It’s honestly a gift.

But this morning was different than years past. Perhaps it’s my age beginning to squeak it’s way into my little tradition. Usually I lose myself in the “calm before the (holiday) storm”, admiring our tree, enjoying my coffee and thankful for the stillness. I guess I did do all of that, but when I looked at our tree I didn’t see a Christmas tree filled with memories. I FELT a Christmas tree filled with memories. What I saw was far greater than just a “decorated” tree … what I saw was a tree that held my family’s history. Ornaments that represented our journey together. I saw marriages, births, deaths, travel, change, laughter, traditions, joy and love! AND I FELT ALL OF IT. I didn’t just see, I FELT. No, this is not merely a Christmas tree we have sitting in our family room. It is some of my most precious life moments celebrated in one very special place … a tree, placed in our home, celebrating our Savior’s birth, who gracefully and graciously gave us the opportunities to share all of those moments together.

The sun rose and bodies started moving. Doors opened and “Good Morning” greetings were spoken. The silence of my little tradition was broken. It is over until next year. And that is OK. I will greet the opportunity, again, like a long lost friend. But this year I will wonder what changed. How did my heart FEEL more clearly the memories held on our tree? Perhaps I will never know. But I do know that I walked away from this experience differently than I usually do. I am more grateful and I am a whole lot more humble. Life is so precious. THIS I KNOW. And this morning I FEEL IT.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FEEL all your beautiful memories!!!

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Be still …

Quiet mornings reveal little treasures! I have been a little obsessed with arrows for a while now. Correction … A LOT. And it only seems to be growing stronger! I’ve always identified with the quote:

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.” (Author unknown)

This quote couldn’t represent my life any better. I LOVE IT.

And the whole running thing is caught up in this too. Runners often describe running as “flying”. For me, I always imagined that like an arrow. I have always found this feeling of “soaring” to be one of the BEST things EVER. It’s honestly intoxicating. The freedom it fuels in my heart cannot be replicated. Again, arrows are AWESOME!

Then the knowledge of “The Lucky Few” Down Syndrome awareness tattoo came my way. Well, if I wasn’t infatuated with arrows before, I CERTAINLY was then! So much so, that after 30 years of trying to figure out a tattoo for myself, it all became CRYSTAL CLEAR! Anyway, my point is that arrows mean something to me.

This morning after getting Libs off to school, I had some unusual down time. I guess it wasn’t true “down time”. Does anyone even have THAT anymore?!?! I guess what I mean is that I TOOK the time to enjoy my coffee in the quiet and calm moments before I got Reese up for school. And in doing so, I realized something. My “to-go” cups, that I have been using all summer, we’re covered in a pattern of three “V”’s that matched my tattoo perfectly. HOW on earth did I not notice this before?!?!

Oh wait … I know … I was just too busy.

If you know me, you know that I love things like this. I truly believe that these are God/the Universe/Spiritual moments that give me grounding. They are things … NO … TREASURES that remind me of what is important. And they inevitably put a smile on my face and motivate me to look at the world differently. These moments are a GIFT! I just wish we all took the time to notice them.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find the time to BE STILL!!!

A special treat …

Early Sunday mornings are the most mellow time of my week. And by early, I mean EARLY. I tend to wake up before everyone else but on Sunday it’s just different. I wake up much earlier than I need to, and all on my own. It’s quieter than a typical day. There is a stillness in our home that is unusual. And incredibly pleasant. I often get to enjoy my coffee in bed. Uninterrupted. It. Is. WONDERFUL.

Well, I hope you all have a day that starts with a special treat!!!

Starting off right …

I love the calm of the morning before I run. When I am the only one awake in my house … or at least, the only one willing to admit it. Don’t get me wrong, my days are filled with delightful noises of busyness. Giggles and laughter from my H-Crew. Their sweet chatter. The sounds of the world passing by. Birds, voices, music, cars, foot steps … all of life’s wonderful clatter.

But I love what begins as almost complete noiselessness … and then as I make my way around my house the slight familiar sounds begin to break though the silence. The sound my yogurt cup makes as I peel back the lid. The sound of ripping tape as I wrap my foot. Lacing my shoes. The beep and buzz of my Garmin being tuned on. The Velcro on my armband. My breathing as I stretch and do yoga.

But even with all these small sounds, my world seems still and quiet. Not quite awake yet. Tranquil.

The hope of a new day is just beginning to emerge for me and it’s potential is found in these peaceful moments.

Everything seems balanced.

Everything seems right.

I soon collect my thoughts.

I appreciate the moment.

Gratefully acknowledging the gift of feeling restored … and then … I’m on my way.

Well, I hope you all have a day that starts off right!!!