Notice

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Most mornings, I like to sit with my vat of tea at my table in the solarium watching the dawn seep into the darkness and saturate it with the new day. I read, journal, and observe what is happening outside my window. DSC_3264 The east sky wears a ruby red ribbon and blushes crimson  as the sun makes its debut. Light spills across the snow bathing the sparkling snow in warm light. Trees are frosted and dazzle with an other-world-ness. Chick-a-dees and sparrows flit to the seed platter and hurry away with a morsel. The finches look like they have swallowed the spring sunshine as their feathers become deeper yellow.

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Years ago, in Richard Foster’s book “Celebration of Discipline”, I read about his ideas on meditating. One of the meditative practices he suggested was meditating on creation. “Take a flower and allow its beauty and symmetry to sink deep into your mind and heart” he writes. He talks about watching the little creatures that creep and listening to the birds. While these are humble acts, he writes, “… sometimes God reaches us profoundly in these simple ways if we will quiet ourselves to listen.” I have experienced this feeling, this knowing, of taking notice and having it “sink deep”. Years later, at a retreat, this same idea was reshaped into the simple word notice.

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However, there are days, weeks, and even seasons when my mornings don’t have room for quiet contemplation. Duty calls or busyness crowds out the empty spaces. Recently I’ve been doing some reading online which, though necessary, does not have the same contemplative quality. While even our good habits need to have the flexibility to be set aside when needed, I have come to realize how life-giving contemplative quiet and solitude is to my interior landscape.

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When the ordinary isn’t existing, I miss it and come to a place of awareness that the ordinary is indeed sacred.

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Published by Judy

On the edge of Waterloo county resting sedately on knoll, is an old stone house looking out towards the Grand River. This stone house and farm has been in my husband's family for years. We have been graced to call this place home for the last thirty years. Our best crop has been our four children. After years of immersing myself in raising and educating our family, the proverbial nest has slowing been emptying, opening up space for me to fill with other pursuits. Both writing and photography have been knit into my everyday living since I was very young. Sharing them is both a bit of a dream and a bit of a nightmare. But living small and in fear shrivels up a life. My thoughts are musings on God, aging, family, and simply living. My shelves are lined with books, my baskets are brimming with skeins of yarn, my closet shelves are stacked with apparel, my cellar shelves are chock full of home canning - all testaments to my inclinations. Our journeys are not solitary affairs. As I share bits of my journey with you, I hope you will be enticed to look more closely, listen more attentively, and live with abandon. May God's peace rest on your journey. Judy

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