Small blessings…

Apple

I was reminded by one of the elders at St. Andrew’s this week, that it is a very good thing to take pleasure in small blessings. This elder was sharing that he had waited for the bitter macintosh apples to be in season, and as our meeting began he was eating his first bitter macintosh…and it was wonderful.

Sometimes life is so overwhelmingly busy. Right now I am in one of those seasons. Days seem to pass without much time for taking a deep breath, never mind taking stock of the small blessings I have enjoyed. So right this minute, I am taking stock. Here are a few of the small blessings I have experienced – despite a busy and (weather-wise) gloomy day:

– Koski and I got out for an hour’s walk this afternoon…in the only hour of (intermittent) sunshine that I saw today. The light was cold, a winter kind of sunshine, but it was so welcome and it made me smile.

– I laughed with friends this afternoon. And I knew God was present in our midst.

– I made the tastiest butternut squash soup today. I have NEVER made a successful butternut squash soup before – I have always preferred those made by others. But today, I made one that I know I will enjoy eating all week. And it’s a very healthy recipe (here is the recipe, before you ask!).

– I got to sleep in this morning. I only allow myself one day per week without an alarm, and boy – do I enjoy it when it comes!

– I had some mini-eggs this evening. They are pretty much my favorite milk chocolate, ever. One little package, 4 PointsPlus – an indulgence that makes all the days of not having sugar worth it!

– I had a little misunderstanding with my Mom over email that made me burst out laughing when I realized my mistake. It was silly and frivolous, but it was good to laugh out loud.

You see – I wouldn’t count today as one of the better days of the week. Lots of things made today difficult (not the least of which was the fact that we were having SLEET in OCTOBER, weather that I take as a personal insult). But even on the not-the-best days, there are so many small things to be thankful for, to see the blessing of God in.

I hope that you – when you are eating a bitter macintosh apple, walking your dog, eating a good homemade meal, or laughing with friends – will see that these things are good gifts from a Heavenly Father who loves you.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 NIV

Blessing the animals…

There is a tradition (though it is a fairly new one) at my church of doing a Blessing of the Animals service in May. The service is short, informal and held out on the lawn of the church. People bring their pets and the minister blesses them.

It’s a bit of a strange thing to do, in some peoples’ eyes, but I have to admit, I love it. For me, it is a time to preach about the idea that when we disrespect creation, we disrespect the creator. It’s a time to preach in the open air and be interrupted by sounds you don’t normally hear on a Sunday morning (chirps and barks and the like). It’s a time to gather with other animal lovers and affirm the relationship each of us have with our various pets.

Some might scoff at the idea of blessing a bunch of cats and dogs (and two very vocal birds). But I found that in doing this service, I was the one who was blessed.

This job is for the birds! (Sorry, I had to go there!) This is Dixie, who belongs to Colin and June and is one of the first birds I’ve ever held.

 

This is Milo, who belongs to Marlene and was ill recently. He’s recovered perfectly and was full of kisses and love.

 

And this is my girl, Koski. I love the look of attentiveness on her face…it was a new experience to preach with her beside me. A good one. 🙂

Moment of peace

Right now I am curled up in bed without any blankets on because it is so warm and Springish out. I am about to read a bit and then go to sleep. I almost didn’t blog tonite because I was tired and just not feeling up to it. But as I lay here, it kind of hit me that I had something I wanted to write. Something I wanted to remember.

And that is this feeling of peace that I have right now.

Koski is back in her crate for the first night in a week (Seriously, as much as I love my puppy, I don’t get how people let their animals sleep in bed with them. Koski got to sleep in my bed for about a week because it was less disturbance to my sleep than having her tremble and pant in her crate all night while wearing the cone of shame. We are SO done with that now. No more paws digging into my back in the middle of the night, or waking up because she’s having some wicked dream that causes her to twitch and growl or waking up drenched in sweat because she’s a freakin’ blast furnace of a dog! Ok. Enough of that rant.)

Today is finished and tomorrow is on the horizon. But between the two is this time for rest. I don’t always feel at peace when I lie down to sleep, and I guess that is why I want to remember this.

Sometimes the day has been filled with too many cares which I find hard to let go of. Sometimes tomorrow’s problems loom larger than its promise. Sometimes I just worry bout too many things. But not tonite. Tonite my heart is quiet and I am thankful for it.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philipi, he wished them the peace of God which transcends all understanding. I wish the same to you, and to myself.