Although I certainly believe in being mindful and making the most of each moment, there's much to be said for the art of looking forward to something, tangible or intangible, in our lives. Looking forward to something stokes our hope. It exercises our hope muscle, making it stronger. And us happier, which is the immediate outcome of sincere, well-intended hoping. I recently suffered a dip in my forward thinking, and a very dear reader of my blog reminded me of a line in my book about looking forward to various things. (The future things I fell into pondering only God can tell, so in giving them to Him, it seems I forgot to enjoy looking forward to the daily things that make life pleasant.) So I've quickly reinstated the practice each morning (or any time) by thinking of four things to look forward to ("four-ward" thinking?) ... to occur not off in the distant future, but that day, or in the very near future. I'm looking forward to a warmer day tomorrow, to the peanut butter cookies I'll bake later this afternoon, to watching Big Bang and Young Sheldon this evening, to finishing reading Mrs. Pringle of Fairacre tonight. Of course, there could be more, but four at a time is good. What are four things you're looking forward to? Of course, Spring and gardening are givens and allowed, even though they are not in the very near future. :O)
Last night I finished reading The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Meyer, and I highly recommend it, even if you have a very satisfying prayer life. I admit to not having read very much on prayer, but I did think this book was excellent. It's an in-depth look at many aspects of prayer and had examples, scripture, and summaries. This book took me two-and-a-half weeks to read, and that's fairly slow for me. I realized that as I read it, every few pages or so I was moved, or nudged by the Holy Spirit, to pray for something Ms. Meyer was sharing, as it applied to my life. Sometimes I spent several minutes before I turned the page. One of my favorite chapters (all are very good) was the final chapter on how the devil tries to wear us out, making us tired, stressed, and worse. We need to recognize that what seem like everyday problems can be and are being instigated by the devil. As Joyce Meyer says, we need to pay attention and fight the devil at the onset. In the same chapter she tells about types of people the devil will use to wear us down: Felixes, who will sap our energy and determination; Delilahs, who will tempt us to do things we shouldn't; and even Peters, who will try to block us from doing what God would have us do. I have been feeling a bit worn out, and it totally makes sense that the devil is behind it, at least in part. This is a book I've put on my wish list to own someday. I can see turning to it frequently. In 2017, I "obligated" myself somewhat to posting three times a week. This year I feel the opposite! In other words, I don't think I'll be posting until writing the post doesn't feel like an obligation, but rather feels like a pleasure. So probably not as many posts forthcoming, but please do check back from time to time. As always, blessings on you and yours, Bess
Since I last posted, I simply have not had much of anything to say or share. I think my mind has gone into hibernation for the winter! But I'll be back when my muse wakes up and gives me an idea or two. (Didn't want my few, but very special and appreciated, readers to wonder about me.) Meanwhile, I hope you have a cozy and happy winter!
Raise your hand if You've Got Mail is one of your favorite movies. Mine, too!
I had taken a break from watching it the last two or three years, and this year I watched it December 23, start to finish at one go, and loved it just as much as the first time I ever saw it. What a great movie.
Isn't Kathleen's brownstone apartment the best? I was hoping to turn up a floor plan, but so far have only come across still shots from the film. I'm pretty sure the stained glass window in the bathroom is the same one we see when she is on one side of her door, with Joe Fox on the other. But I'm not sure of the foyer. Can't quite picture the layout. Oh well. Much ado about nothing, but little details like that intrigue me. (One could watch the movie just to see how many pieces of furniture are moved around from scene to scene.)
Anyway, the first time Joe visits her bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner, Kathleen is telling him that her mother didn't just sell books: " ... she was helping people become whoever it was they were going to turn out to be. Because when you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does." So profound, and something I have believed, even felt in my bones to be true (a deep belief), for a long time. I missed out on most of the reading I could have done and should have done as a child. Which is odd because I was a good reader, in sixth grade often being chosen to read to the slow reading group or listen to them read. Yet, I had not developed a true love for reading. As I've said before, with all our moving I think I just fell through the cracks. I didn't know what was out there (book-wise), no one thought to tell me, and I didn't think to ask or come across it on my own. Not until my fifties and blogland did I understand how great was the scope of all the wonderful children's books I had missed. Thank goodness I read them now, and enjoy most of them very much. But sadly, as Kathleen said, I'll never make up for the loss of reading those books as a youngster or teenager, and I'll never recover the identity they might have shaped in me. Just a thought. If you know a youngster, you might strike up a conversation to find out what books they've read and loved. Then maybe suggest some titles and authors you've loved. You just might be helping them to become whoever it is they are going to turn out to be. Hoping 2018 will be a splendid year for you! Blessings, Bess PS: Didn't think I'd post this week, but ... Also, the photos are from Google Images.
Another book post to recommend this wonderful, poignant book: The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon, with color illustrations by Jill Weber. It's an older book, published in 1996, and one that escaped my attention until I recently came across someone else recommending it. It's short at 118 pages, but it is not a children's book, even though it may be categorized as such. It's a tender, sweet love story, but not between two people, but rather between an orphan girl and a Norway spruce tree. It's also a story about sacrificial giving. I have a soft spot for nuns and convents, and the book has nuns and a convent. (I'm not Catholic, although I once worked at a convent.) And I have a soft spot for all kinds of trees. My backyard has two majestic cedars, one of which lost its lovely, gracefully curved topknot in a tornado over ten years ago. But I still love it. I also have two large maple trees. Alas, trees are struggling here on the Plains because we don't receive enough rain anymore. Anyway, there's still time to read this wonderful story before Christmas! I was able to get it within a few days from my library system. Or it's only $1.99 for Kindle (book photo is link to Amazon). Have a blessed weekend, Bess