Spiritual Journey Thursday: Special Days

Today our Spiritual Journey Thursday is hosted by Violet Nesdoly, and our topic is special days that are celebrated in our families. My first reaction to this topic was one of uncertainty that I had a special family tradition to share around a holiday event, birthday celebrations, or a unique special day our family celebrates.

After a little more thought, I realized that in fact we do have a very special tradition that I have made a priority as a mother of four daughters. I started the tradition with our oldest daughter, and it continued on through each girl.

We call it “Women’s Day” and it is a celebration just for my daughter and me on the day when she gets her first period. This transition from childhood is one that I wanted to mark as a celebration, and not have it be perceived by my girls as something to be embarrassed about.

Our tradition was simple, but special. We went to lunch together, and then shopping for a special gift. As I recall, each of the girls chose a simple piece of jewelry they could wear to remember our day together celebrating this milestone in their life.

We kept it simple and low-key, not announcing it to everyone – although the younger sisters were aware, and I’m sure a little envious of their older sibling’s special date with mom. This, I am quite certain, left them waiting with expectancy for the day when they too would get to be celebrated in the same way.

My girls are all nearly grown and gone now, so reflecting back on these celebratory days with them brings a smile to my face, and a hope in my heart that they too will keep this special tradition alive in their families, should they too be blessed raising daughters.

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#SOLC18 1/31: “Where words fail, music speaks”

On your mark, get set, … GO! Today marks the start day of my first Slice of Life March Challenge with Two Writing Teachers. I once attended an Ironman event a friend was competing in. Right now I feel like I am at the start, waiting on the beach, surrounded by more fellow “slicers” than I can see, and we are about to take the mighty plunge into the waters of writing

every.single.day

in March. Daunting, yet exciting. Am I confident in the task? Not at all. But I know I am surrounded by a group of supportive friends to encourage me all the way. A special shout out to my friend Margaret Simon, who is my greatest writing cheerleader, and my newly found writing tribe at TeachWrite. Let’s do this!

Today happens to also be Spiritual Thursday, which is a group of bloggers who gather once a month and blog around a common theme. Today we are hosted by Karen via Irene Latham @ Live Your Poem,  and our theme is music. Thank you for hosting, Karen.

I cannot think of a better topic to begin my month of slicing. Music has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. In childhood, a friend and I would belt out Donny & Marie’s “I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll” with gusto in her front yard (I was always Marie). I later remember being thrilled to get the solo for Maria in our 6th grade performance of “Doe a Deer,” and continued singing all through school in addition to taking both voice and piano lessons.

Music filled me, and in many ways, met me at some of my most challenging moments in life. To this very day, if I hear a song that was particularly impactful to me in good or bad days, I can close my eyes and see, smell, and almost touch the experience itself. Through teenage heartbreak, the birth of a child, the end of a marriage, launching a daughter from the nest, saying goodbye to a mother….through these experiences and many more, happy or sad, music carried me, spoke to me, and sustained me.

When I am in church, I find music is deeply moving. Gathering corporately with others in a worship service is a powerful place to be. For me, there is no greater expression of love for God than through song. It is a mutual exchange of love and devotion that for me, cannot be replicated in any other situation.

A favorite worship song I am currently listening to right is called “So Will I” by Hillsong United. The poetic lyrics are simply beautiful, and almost require a meditative approach to fully appreciate their message. I have chosen one line that I find especially beautiful, and share this golden shovel poem with you. If you are not familiar with a golden shovel poem, it is where the writer takes one line from a poem, and places one word from that line at the end of each line in the new poem.


			

Spiritual Thursday: Lavender Moon

I am happy to once again participate in Spiritual Thursday. This month our host, Donna, at Mainely Write is hosting and posed our topic: the moon.

This beautiful quote speaks a message of hope to me, causing me to consider others who need hope right now. Perhaps they are fighting an illness out of their control, or wrestling to restore a broken relationship, or simply struggling to make it to the end of a challenging work week. Real people we interact with every day are carrying heavy burdens and need hope to sustain them.

I have walked through my own share of difficult seasons in my life, and felt hope waning. The thought of gazing up at a sliver of the moon, with the quiet and stillness of nature surrounding me, brings me to a place of peace and belief in the power of hope.

A scripture I have often turned to when hope feels far away is Hebrews 6:19 – “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast” is a powerful truth. I once heard a message in church where the pastor described hope as a rope, and how when we find ourselves in a place without hope, heaven has a rope attached to us. No matter how desperate things get or how hopeless we feel, he is holding on to us and continually pulling us toward heaven. We are anchored.

Vera’s quote reminds us: imagining a lavender moon or heaven’s rope around us – neither may be very useful. But sometimes they are enough.