Rose Petals

Friends are like rose petals, some fall to the ground fading with time or distance, some petals  are vibrant, full of life, full of color and fragrance. The thing about rose petals, like friends, new or old, they are never forgotten because of the giver. I began this blog for you, my friends and family, and whomever else might find their way here. The intention was to communicate to the women of my Church and beyond to family and friends across the country. That still is my purpose over nine years later. The writing is at times sporadic, but for whatever reason, I have not been able to close down Jody Lynne. (my middle name for those new to my site.) Rarely are roses personally purchased, but given to a loved one on an anniversary, Valentine's Day or other special occasions. The memories remain of flowers given in love, much like each friend I have made over many years. I began this blog for you, my friends and family, and whomever else might find their way here. The intention was to communicate to the women of my Church and beyond to family and friends across the country. That still is my purpose over nine years later. The writing is at times sporadic, but for whatever reason, I have not been able to close down Jody Lynne. (my middle name for those new to my site.) With all this in mind, I want to say this Thanksgiving season, how filled with joy and thanksgiving for the gift of all you in my life. Some I know well, others I want to know better, I hope you like coffee or tea! I am reminded daily to not take life for granted, not take people for granted. 2017 has been a year of trying to live each moment intentionally, not forgetting all those rose petals God has put in my life. Whether new or old, I am thankful for each one of you. Happy Thanksgiving!    

5 Things I Learned This Summer

Our first snow storm is on the horizon and summer fun has long since passed.  November 19 does seems kind of early for a significant snow fall, but it is upstate New York and we live in the lake effect snow belt. This post has been in my draft folder for a long time, so time to get it written before the snow flies. For reasons too numerous to count here, I have been trying to live life more intentionally. Days turn to weeks, weeks to months and months to years, and 2018 is almost here. Intentional living for me has caused me to stop waiting for Friday, for the next big event or the next holiday. Without sounding too cliche', life is way too short to play it safe, to complain about the weather, or not take the time to sit with friends over coffee. A plus, is that I've got to spend great time with Lauren shopping or having coffee. So, let's begin with the list of 10 5 things I enjoy or learned this summer/fall.
  1. There are some great coffee cafe's here in central New York. If you're local, try out Peaks Coffee Co. outside of Cazenovia. The owners are friendly and the guy who roasts the coffee definitely knows his coffee science.
  2. Yes, roasting coffee is a science as I found out. I ordered green coffee beans and tried roasting them at home in my cast iron skillet. The beans roasted well, but it does take time and science to determine just the right roast. I think I'll leave it it to the professionals.
  3. I've learned it's ok, really, it's ok, to slow down and not feel every second has to be filled with activity. I think if I were to use one word for this year, it would be sabbath. My body, soul and spirit needs to worship and rest.  I read Shelly Miller's Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World.  "Sabbath helps me take account of where Jesus has been afoot in my days and notice the details with heightened awareness." Her book isn't so much of the "how to" of sabbath  or making it look like what she does to worship and rest has to be done her way. It is one of the best books on the subject of 'why', and I highly recommend it.
"And don't we all need to detox our soul, mind, and body from busyness? Sabbath is a weekly boot camp for rescuing a tormented life."
4. I recently began listening to podcasts. My daughter Hannah introduced me to journeywomen.   What is a journeywoman? I'll let Hunter speak for herself
A journeywoman is seeking to glorify God each step of her journey. She’s asking things like, “How can I glorify God through opening my home? How can I glorify God by memorizing scripture? How can I glorify God using my gifts, like teaching, writing, or serving? How can I glorify God in my season of waiting, singleness, transition, depression, etc?”
5.  I learned this summer, well maybe re-learned. I'd like to think I already had mastered this, but some lessons need to be repeated. I have learned to be content with where I'm at in this season of life. Contentment, I confess, has not always come easy, many times looking in the rearview mirror, or worse, waiting for the next big event, the next holiday to celebrate, waiting for Friday(first paragraph). I am loving my age, where I live, who I live with, and who may be added to our family around Christmas. No,  not another grandchild, but a dog of our own, a chocolate lab. That will be something new for 2018, I'll keep you posted. 

Drawing New Lines

I am stealing this picture from a friend who posted it on IG early this fall, thinking, yes, that's me too. I am not an advocate of breaking the law or disobeying authority, or not following the Word of God.
But what has become evident as four children are now out of the nest, doing their own coloring, I did advocate drawing new lines. For sure, people, well meaning people, will tell you to stay well within the lines, don't color too close to the edge because your picture won't look perfect. I want to know why we stress over making sure our picture is perfect? In what world is life ever perfect? Why can't we draw new lines?
And so I did. Traipsing across the country following my husband/pastor(Ruth 1:16) we have had the time of our lives. Our children were born in three states, moving four times, making friends every time and eventually finding their spouses and bestfriends. It wasn't easy for them at times or for this girl who loves her people deeply and has a hard time making new friends. But, I tell you, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I have learned the steadfast love of a heavenly Father, the deep, trusting love of a husband who loves me despite my failings. I have gained friends around the country and in other countries. I have learned to laugh without fear of the future(Proverbs 31:25), because the Lord has clothed me with his strength and his dignity, made in his image.
If I could give only one piece of advice to any mom who will listen, it is this. Encourage your kids to learn, play, and find their way in this world by encouraging their dreams and ideas. Encourage them to work hard at whatever they are doing. Teach them to work hard, even at a young age, little ones want to help and contribute. And when they become teenagers and give you that look, they may not be so excited about helping out around the house, but being diligent about not giving an opinion about everything they are doing  or not doing, i.e. nagging, will go a long way in teaching them to be who God wants them to be. Don't be that little voice in the back of their brain saying, "I wonder what my mom will think if I do such and such." Within reason of course, we still will counsel or give advice to our adult children, if they ask. Encourage them to draw new lines, lines that don't break civil or God's law, but new lines that will let them dream and follow what they believe God has called them to do.
So, yes, my friends, draw new lines. Follow the Lord in the  new and exciting...and the mundane of Monday's and Tuesday's. Ask him for guidance for each step, he will answer and help you color the page he has for you.

Intersecting Life and Faith