Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010!

Honestly, where did this year go? And what do I have to show for it?

I've heard that after 50, time goes faster because it's all downhill. Such a negative phrase. In fact, I believe that negativity is one area where I've made some strides this year. Until this year, I never really realized how focused I was on negativity. A dear friend helped me to see this by encouraging me to focus on my blessings. And I do have SO many of those.

In a text titled, "The Return of the Prodigal Son", Henri Nouwen talks about gratitude as a discipline or a choice. "I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly. I can choose to listen to the voices that forgive and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred."

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Colossians 3: 16-17

I do feel as though I have come a long way in making this change this year. However, I still feel as though I need a transfusion of faith. I have let my relationship with my Lord dwindle away until I have no enthusiasm for it. I want to get it back and yet haven't had the energy or motivation to begin studying, reading, and thinking about this again.

Then, yesterday, my sister Connie told me about a Messianic vocal artist named Marty Goetz. He's been recording and writing for several years and I think I've heard of him . Long story short, I downloaded his album called Sanctuary from I Tunes and there it was...everything I was a song titled "Breathe on Me."

The lyrics speak with such clarity on what I've been looking for:

Breathe on Me

The flame in my heart used to blaze with delight

But like sparks that rise into the skies, it vanished in the night

Now I long to once again

Burn for You as I did then

But to even try there’s something I must ask of You

I need You to...

Breathe on me, breathe on me

It’s been so long since the fire within

Burned bright and strong

Breathe on me, breathe on me

Like a gentle breeze, Lord I ask You please

To tenderly breathe on me

Blow, Spirit, blow

Come & fill this weary soul

In Your mercy send a holy wind and ‘til You do

I’ll wait for You to

Breathe on me, breathe on me

It’s been so long since the fire within

Burned bright and strong

Breathe on me, breathe on me

Like a gentle breeze, Lord I ask You please

Won’t You tenderly, breathe on me

It isn’t that I’ve lost my desire

It’s just that what once was a fire has dwindled again

And it needs to be kindled again, so

Breathe on me, breathe on me

It’s been so long since the fire within

Burned bright and strong

Breathe on me, breathe on me

Deep inside I know hiding embers glow

They could grow into a flame for all to see

If You’d only, if You’d only, if You’d only Breathe on Me

Words & Music by Marty Goetz & Wendell Burton

© 1988 Singin’ in the Reign Music/ASCAP - Cross Purpose Music

Monday, December 27, 2010

I can't believe it's been 26 days since I last posted. New Years resolution - post more often!

We awoke this morning to a beautiful, winter wonderland. The heavy fog from last night clung to the trees creating a beautiful frosting that sparkled as the sun came up. I put some pictures of our house and surrounds on my Facebook account. But here's one just to whet your appetite.

Yesterday, we had a wonderful time with oldest son and his spouse & family as we gathered for a gift exchange and brunch. It was great fun seeing them. We were especially appreciative this year, since they will soon be moving to Missouri and we will no longer have any grandchildren here in the state. As brunch was ending, I began having an excrutiating headache along with a stiff neck. I slept all afternoon, but by 7:00 pm, I could barely move without excrutiating pain.

After a conversation with First Nurse and a recommendation that we head to the ER, my favorite place to end the Christmas holidays (NOT!). The doctor there called it tortocolis (fancy name for stiff neck!). After a shot for inflammation and another one for muscle relaxer, we headed home, arriving about 9:30.

This morning I still have the lump on my neck and a sore throat. But I did feel well enough to drive to the drug store for additional medication for inflammation.

What can I say? it's not a holiday without a trip to the ER. Richard was so wonderful, bringing me pain pills and water, along with ice packs/heat, etc.

I'm really looking forward to a slow week this week, to catch up after the busy holiday.
Still have a little knitting to do for January birthdays. I'm currently working on fingerless mitts for our granddaughter, Elana. I hope they fit. I have one mitt done and another just started, but these mitts go very fast. The yarn, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK is incredibly soft lavender and works up beautifully! This yarn came from my stash, so yeah, I scored a stash reduction with this gift!

I'm also using Laines Due Nord's Royal Cashmere in a cream color to knit Plymouth's Cabled Cowl for myself. I really need to get this done, since it's a good hat/cowl combination to keep my neck covered in this cold weather.

My only dilemma is what to do with all those leftover Christmas cookies. What do you do with yours? Or perhaps you don't have that many left!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's beginning to look......

Christmas knitting is in full progress. I have finished two projects and thankfully am able to re-purpose a couple of others that are nearly done. I might just finish all of my gifts on time this year! Wouldn't that be different.

First project finished is a set of fingerless mitts for my dear step-granddaughter, Elana. Elana has had her share of tough times this past year. She has a malignant brain tumor that is basically inoperable. However, God has smiled on this beautiful child and the tumor has stopped growing while showing virtually no symptoms. Praise God! She's been doctoring with St. Jude Children's Hospital, where the care has been excellent. She was recently told not to come back for a recheck for 6 months, a real sign of progress. I hope she likes these mitts. Made from beautiful, soft yarn, which is a mystery to me because I started these mitts a couple of Christmases ago for myself (I think it's a Debbie Bliss yarn). I hope Elana will get more use from them than I would have.

The second finished gift is for her brother, Ryan. I remember Ryan as this precocious little boy, not the tall, handsome 17 year-old he is now. Hard to believe he's grown up so fast. He lives with his father now, but we usually get to see him when we visit his mom, our daughter, Amanda, in Indiana over Christmas. Ryan's gift is a scarf, knitted in my own pattern (K2, P2 on the wrong side, K all rows on the right side). I went through my stash last week and found this gorgeous, variegated New Zealand wool from Ashford called Tekapo. It's a double knit weight. Thee scarf was an easy knit and I enjoyed working on it when I was too tired to do more intricate work. The colors are pretty, but I had no idea how striking the patterning was until I blocked the scarf this morning. The green makes a beautiful diagonal pattern through the other colors, making this scarf (I think) very special. I hope he likes it! The picture shows it as it is being blocked.

Finally, a stealth project for a certain, sweet granddaughter (who shall remain nameless for now) who is growing up too fast. This pattern is called Orla (my Rav link). The yarn (Spud and Chloe off white and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Fresh) is so soft and spungey. It's going to make a great, warm hat. It's been an easy pattern to work on, too, in spite of the colorwork.

Time to get back to knitting! How are your Christmas preparations going?