Make A Joyful Noise

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Beside them the birds of heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. Psalm 104:12

The holiday season is upon us and though it seems the nature world is quiet, it is really not. Birds are still singing and deer are crunching along on the snow covered spots in my backyard.

I’m not a big fan of winter but this year it doesn’t seem to be bothering me. After the past few years of hot flashes, the coldness is a welcome relief and my sleep has been deep and comforting. This is something to be thankful for.

I bought a big bag of birdseed and when it snowed last week, I fed the birds from my backyard feeder. They put on a show for me and I am comforted by their presence. I think their colors are a beautiful backdrop to white snow.

DSC_0666Something interesting happened on Monday. I am reading a book that I will be reviewing, and it mentioned sending an “intention” out (more on this when I write the actual review!). So I did. I don’t even remember what the intention was, but it had something to do with my wedding planning business.

That night, I had a dream about a bride and a wedding. I did not recognize the bride but she was lovely. In the dream I was a part of her wedding. The next day (I kid you not) I received an email from a young woman, asking me to assist her with her wedding.

I have no idea if it was the intention or the timing or maybe a little bit of both. Perhaps it is just faith. I am approaching this business, my event planning business, from an entirely new position. Years ago, I was fairly aggressive when I was self employed. Things were good; I was successful and happy. This time, I am determined not to be a bothersome pest. I believe that if someone needs me, God will put me in their path.

JOYLast Christmas, you may remember that I received a word at a gathering of friends. That word was JOY. I have to tell you, it has been a joyous year despite many challenges, including my mother’s illness and my departure from full time employment. I kept JOY in mind all the year through and I am grateful for the many blessings I have received.

I hope you are living joyfully! How have you been?

Join me on my graceful journey.
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The Joy of Simple Pleasures

Toggling for seed! Photo by Michelene Cain
Toggling for seed!
All Photos by Michelene Cain

A couple of years ago my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My reply was “a bird feeder”. I knew exactly where I wanted it to hang too. Right outside my dining room window.

It was there that I could sit, have my morning coffee and watch the birds come and go. And surely they did. As the birds came to toggle for a piece of sunflower seed or other niblet out of the feeder, I gazed at them. I marveled at their color, their speed and their beautiful uniqueness.

In those moments, I slowed down. I watched, enjoyed and delighted. It was my time and space to relax my mind; a meditation so to speak.

Angling for seed!
Angling for seed!

If you love to bird watch, I’m sure you know what I mean. Birds are something to behold; a wonder of nature and God’s special creatures.

I love the bright red of the male cardinal, the subdued muted pink of the female. The chickadees. The woodpecker, ready for a fashion statement with its red head and black/white striped body. Ah, watching them brings joy to my heart!

I tried to think of some other of my favorite simple pleasures. Here they are:

My first cup of coffee in the morning, steamy and hot with a good splash of cream.

The sight of the pine trees around my house, laden heavy with the winter snow.

The smell of clothes warm and fragrant from the dryer.

Chicken soup simmering in a pot on the stove, ready to be enjoyed for dinner with good crusty bread.

A road trip laden with treasure stops, such as a good antique store or better yet, a Fiesta Ware outlet!

The smell of a baby right after a bath.

Home baked cookies in the oven on a cold winter’s day.

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May you notice the simple pleasures your life today! What’s your favorite(s)?

Join me on my graceful journey.
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