Taken from our front porch at the ranch. We actually held up dinner with our friends to marvel at the beauty of this evening’s sky. A fiery red sunset—the kind that takes your breath away. Such beauty from God always makes me want to drop to my knees from the glory of it all.
Do beautiful sunsets set your soul on fire and affect you that way too?
Tranquility. The welcome stillness where peace reigns. A reawakening of the soul and a powerful sense of belonging. Does your heart yearn for those precious moments?
I lean on the deck bannister watching deer graze beneath the oak trees. Even the whispering oaks are silent. I am struck by the serenity of it all. Golden rays of evening sunlight beam swaths of brightness across the meadow, transforming the cool wintry tones into warm autumnal hues. The scene is transcendent, like something from a painting. For a fleeting moment time stands still. It is magical.Continue reading →
A couple of years ago I was well on my way to blooming—or so I thought. Life was progressing as I’d envisioned. In January 2020, tender buds of anticipation bulged with hope that my plans, well into the future, would materialize exactly as I expected. My Soul Sings for You would take off—the scheduled readings and book signings would be successful. My book would have an impact. After a 3-week dream vacation to the UK, planned to last little detail, I would return home to compile my father’s WWII memoirs and publish his book by the end of the year. Life would be exciting, adventurous, rewarding and fulfilling. Hmmm. It was—just not in the way I anticipated.
As I’ve expressed many times, experience teaches me that my plans don’t necessarily match what God has planned. However, His always supersede mine and once again God interrupted my long-term plans. You might say that life threw unexpected darts and arrows in the form of a global pandemic with all the accompanying chaos and consequences. Everything changed in the blink of an eye for billions of people the world over. What we once knew looks different, or we view it through a new lens. I daresay every single soul has been affected—some positively, some negatively, some less, some more.
In what way is life different for you now? Have you bloomed or wilted because of the pandemic?Continue reading →
No, just the people who inhabit it. They are a little off kilter. Well, some of them.
My blog posts have taken a backseat recently while I focus full attention on my father’s WWII memoirs. I am really enjoying organizing what he has written into a manuscript, editing (minimal) and rereading his stories, and deciding which photographs are appropriate to include. I am writing chapters to insert as back stories for additional information and clarification to what he wrote.
So, what do my dad’s memoirs have to do with the crazy world today? Actually, quite a lot! Continue reading →
Can it really be May Day 2021? So soon? The date on my calendar confirms indeed it is, but the rumbling thunder overhead, and the raindrops pitter-pattering on the windows, gives me cause to believe April is lingering—hanging on—to rain on May’s parade.
What in the world happened to the past eight months since my last blog post? Where did those months go? Did I hibernate the time away? I chuckle internally as visions of myself curled into a tight ball comes to mind. Anthea, snuggled in a warm, cozy nest like a hedgehog. No, that’s so not me! Did I tune out those months to escape the craziness of a world gone mad? Well, the idea has been appealing at times, but no, that’s not exactly what transpired. Do you think I ran for the hills as I’ve sometimes expressed?
Actually, that is exactly what happened. Chuck and I ran to the hills—the Texas Hill Country. There, after much searching and a whole lot of patience, we found a beautiful 5-acre ranch halfway between Wimberley and Blanco, studded with mature oak trees. The modest 2-bedroom house is perched on a ridge, overlooking a sweeping meadow with views to the hills beyond. We found our perfect bolt hole, our run-for-the-hills escape, our little slice of heaven in the country, engulfed in nature.
Our beautiful world is a crazy place right now! Have you noticed?
There’s so much going on all around the globe these days, it’s nigh impossible to keep up with it all. With the pandemic still a threat and world economies struggling from extended shutdowns, did we really need the additional natural disasters of hurricanes, floods and rampant fires?
Then there’s the human factor. The social injustice protesting, the looting, the widespread violence in major cities, and the most divisive and derisive general election in the history of the United States is ramping up to a crescendo.
How many times have you heard someone describe another person as being like salt?
Growing up, I heard that expression many times from my grandmother about someone she considered to be an upstanding, down-to-earth person of integrity who was honest and reliable. She would say something like, “He’s a good sort—the very salt of the earth!” Of course, I later realized that the saying originated in the bible, quoted from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
In my bible, a present from my grandfather, he inscribed, “let your light shine forth.” I expect you hear similar words spoken today that encourage you to shine your light.
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13 “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14
I have had plenty of time during the three or four months of Covid-19 lockdowns to digest the tragic loss of life in the pandemic, and to observe the troubling acts of violence, looting, and blatant disregard for law and order. I have seen anarchists claim autonomous zones in cities, while authorities stand back and do nothing. Things are chaotic. Those who read my blog regularly, or who have read my book My Soul Sings for You, understand what I mean when I refer to the life and times of now—the beautiful, crazy, but often worrying, time of life in which we find ourselves today. We are in it—up to our necks! I have had cause to evaluate what is taking place in the world.Continue reading →
A vivid memory captured my thoughts today and along came a flood of emotion.
I recalled a scene from the past. I was standing in the reception line in the church hall, following my dad’s celebration of life—an incredible ninety-seven years! His friends, one after another in quick succession, each expressed their heartfelt condolences for my loss as they shared encounters with my dad that had endeared him to them. I was grateful for each interaction, and the unanimous outpouring of admiration for the man they all knew as a friend, neighbor, mentor, client, customer, or Fleet Air Arm veteran. Some only knew him in passing, as the “stooped old gent” from Bridge Street.
The man I call Dad.
My father was a familiar and highly respected figure in the community, and those who knew him treasured his friendship. As a WWII veteran, he was considered a national treasure, someone to be revered, and it was evident in the way others addressed him and treated him that he was. There were many genuine reasons for people to love and admire my dad. He was an engaging conversationalist with a brilliant mind—a compelling storyteller with a vast repertoire of interesting topics and real-life personal experiences. One never needed to worry about pauses in conversation when Dad was in the room. Whether the listener was a stranger or adoring grandchild, my father captured their full attention. They hung on his every word and were always left wanting to hear more—they were enthralled by his narratives.Continue reading →
These two questions belong together because we can engage both the heart and the mind as we seek insight into the life and times of now—the beautiful, resilient, but often confusing, turbulent, and broken world in which we currently live.
Today, I am breaking silence. Why now, you ask? The answer is simple. I am ready to share some thoughts on recent events. I’ve held back as I am not one to rush to judgment or react impulsively in the heat of the moment. With that said, do I sometimes post a hasty comment on social media? Of course! I can get sucked in, but generally, the contemplative side of me refrains from doing so.
I much prefer to dive deep into thought—to process what I am seeing and hearing. Knee-jerk reactions and hastily spoken words often arise from strong, visceral emotions rather than thoughtful consideration and insightful responses, so I usually opt for the latter. Sometimes that means I must wait for my mind (thoughtfulness) to catch up with my heart (emotions). On other occasions I hit the pause button to seek God’s counsel. I patiently await wisdom and discernment from Him. In His timing.Continue reading →
I love red poppies! They are scattered strategically around my house in various arrangements. In my office and entry way, etched into a glass plate and painted on a porcelain jug. A beautiful watercolor featuring the paper-thin red poppies adorns the wall in my dining room. These blood-red beauties are my all-time favorite flowers. Like life itself, they are fragile. Don’t even consider picking one—the bloom will bow its precious head and die within minutes of being plucked.Continue reading →