Don’t Rush the Seasons

I did something completely out of character. I made a purchase even though it’s not quite time to use it. Of course, I could go ahead and use it, but there’s a peculiar sweetness in the anticipation of holding off until the right time.

Twice a year I go in search of a wreath for the front door. Spring/summer and Christmas. Sometimes I use the same wreath the following year, but most times I’ll give it away once the season ends. It’s still Winter here in Texas, and it’s been relatively mild as I see fellow Texans itching for Spring, but I really want to wait for it to arrive instead of rushing toward it. A friend of mine has already hung a Springtime wreath on her front door and she’s been working in her yard.

From previous experience, I don’t trust buying wreaths online. The photos look amazing, but once the wreath arrives I’m disappointed in the lack of quality. The other day I was at Target, strolling through the Magnolia section of the store and didn’t really have a wreath on my mind, but there it was sitting on the bottom shelf as if it were waiting to be noticed. There was no hesitation in stepping over to take a closer look and knowing instantly that was the wreath for this year.

I’m excited! Once home I thought about going ahead and hanging it on the front door, like my friend, but my heart pressed the pause button. It’s only January, and February can be an unpredictable month for weather, so I vowed to wait to enjoy it Spring through Summer. It came in a sturdy box with a lid, so I closed it up to wait. Every time I see that box, it brings a smile to my face like I’m ready for the next season, but for now will slow the pace to embrace this season we’re in.

Take a break from reading and let me read this to you:

Practice the Toot

I went for my morning walk. If I can get out the door by 7:00 am, the air is cool, crisp and a delight to the senses. That didn’t happen this morning, it was more like 8:30 am, but I went anyway.

Stepping into my front yard, I hear a car coming down the road, but didn’t think much of it until I heard the horn. It was my neighbor from the end of the street and he always toots his horn when driving by. When I was a kid and on up into my 20’s, that was considered a greeting when someone tooted their car horn. It was to get your attention so you’d look their way to see them smiling and waving at you.

Maybe you didn’t realize the car horn was once used as a kind gesture. Similar to making your bed first thing in the morning, and putting the grocery cart into the cart return. These tasks aren’t new, it’s how we were raised.

My truck is over 10 years old and I cannot recall the last time I tooted my horn, if ever. To do this, you press on the horn with two, quick presses so it goes toot, toot. It’s something that will need practice, so the next time I leave home, I’ll have to drive by my neighbors house to practice the toot.

A Blanket of Calm

It’s cold in Texas. My laptop says it’s 27 degrees outdoors, and to some states, that isn’t cold, but for Texas it’s cold.

The title of this post came to mind earlier this week, but I don’t know what to write. I live my life wrapped in a blanket of calm, and have written about calmness, but to sit down and share how to achieve it, the words are few. My life is so calm that my daughter gave me this magnet for Christmas as a joke, but it’s really not that life is calm. I’ve just learned to remain calm in this life.

To harness calm depends quite a bit on our environment. What and who we share our space with. To have calm, we need to practice having it, and display it in our daily life. My life hasn’t always been calm, but it was one of the most important elements I craved after my divorce. The quote by Winston Churchill comes to mind, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Disruptions are temporary, and there’s calm on the other side.

Blankets are prevalent in our home. They’re stored in a cubby in the den and laying at the foot of each bed. Earlier this week I just needed to envelope myself in warmth, so I grabbed a blanket, wrapped it around my shoulders, and immediately felt the warmth of calm. Give it a try.

I pray for your world to be covered by a blanket of calm.

A Practice in Patience

I gave myself a practice in patience. You may be familiar with Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles, and that is what I chose to practice with.

It was given to me this month and has a Christmas scent. The other day it was lit, but all three wicks were not much of a flame. They looked as if they could snuff out at any given moment. It’s a relatively new candle and this was the second time it’d been lit, so I blew it out and pondered my options. Bath and Body Works stand behind their products, so I knew I could take it to the store and they’d replace it with a new one. That was an option, or I could be patient and work with it to see how far we could go.

I lit all three wicks and they were struggling to remain lit. I placed it in a draft free zone away from activity. Two of the wicks began burning brightly, but there was one that wouldn’t stay lit. It kept going out and I’d relight it each time. I forgot about the candle for a while, but the next time I walked by and took a look, all three wicks were lit! Two of them had been burning long enough to melt down the wax, so the third one could breathe. The two stronger wicks helped the one that was struggling. We need that too.

It took hours of working with this candle, but my patience didn’t wane. We don’t know for sure how strong we really are until an area is tested. We’re capable of more than we give ourselves credit for and we don’t have to be surprised by every test. We can test ourselves to continually redefine our level of patience.