Saturday, January 23, 2016

Serene Living

Snowpocalypse 2016 is in progress as I write.  We’ve enjoyed a snow day here in Pennsylvania.  So far we have over 23” of snow in less than 24 hours.  It’s beautiful to look at.  This quiet Saturday has been spent reading, cooking, eating, and cross country skiing.  I love when I am home on a weekend with no particular agenda.  My favorite thing is to sit on the couch in my living room.  The sofas are old, but their blue, green, and white large floral pattern makes me happy, as does the design and architecture of this home.  From the couch, I can see the snow falling outside the four sliding glass doors and piling up on the back deck.  This quiet house in the woods is my respite.  I am so blessed to enjoy this beautiful home.  

But it’s my attitude and my choices that make it a respite.  First, I try to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness every day.  In this I am encouraged by Ann Voskamp.  I believe in God and choose to give thanks for big and small things daily.  I’m still working on my list of 1000 Gifts and will continue - probably I’ll be making lists all my life.  But a thankful heart is a content heart.  Remembering that I have things to be thankful for helps me keep life in perspective.

Secondly, I choose to cultivate ‘down time’ - time for me, in the midst of a busy life, it is easy to be constantly on the go.  I am intentional in making time for quiet in my life.  I try to spend some time every day with a book or going for a walk or simply enjoying a cup of tea.  There are many ways to add serenity to your life.  Time outdoors, even in the middle of a blizzard, is always life-giving to me.  Something about fresh air, seeing the sky and trees, always perks me up.  I love to go for a ten minute walk first thing in the morning.  I am forever stopping to take pictures - the scenery is always changing - even if the walk is the same.  I take lots of pictures of clouds.  Clouds inspire me.  

What brings you serenity?  Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My One Word

I remember where I was when I got my One Word.  It was early January of 2016 and I was just leaving the doctor’s office on a cold winter day, and I paused just outside the door to look at a bush.  There in the midst of winter was a tiny bit of green.  I was reminded to slow down and admire the beauty around me. And it came to me, Serenity is my word.  It defines me.  It is how I live my life.  And it is partly my temperament, but it’s also intentional.  Like the choice that I made to stop and admire the landscape, not just hurry on to the next thing (or back to work).  It’s about choosing to see and notice the beauty around you.  A life lived in a rush does not leave much room for serenity.  But slowing down can be hard.  Stick around, see how I cultivate Serenity.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Living Serenity

What is serenity?  And how does one find it?

I'm meditating on this One Word for 2016 and woke up early this morning with ideas running through my head, so I got out of bed and began journaling.  Here are the preliminary thoughts of things I want to write about:
  • Quiet or margin
  • Thankfulness
  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Time Outdoors
These are things that feed my soul.  I especially like to get some daily time outside to see the sky and connect with my Creator.  The fresh air stimulates my mind.  In the coming weeks, I hope to explore these topics in more detail ... stay tuned!

The Serene Life

Here's a working title for what God has been speaking to me about in 2016 ... if you know me, you know my name fits me - my parents named me well.  I'm feeling a nudge to share my serenity with the world and think I'll start a new blog.  I'm polling ideas for a title on my FB page.

Coming soon  - more thoughts on living serenely.