Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adventure Is Not For Me .... Or Is It?

So Bonnie over at Faith Barista has given us our weekly assignment.
Write about one word - Adventure.
All she asks is that we keep it real.


That's easy - I don't like that word. So, this should be pretty short. I just don't like what the word "adventure" could mean. When I think of an adventure I think of doing something totally new. And scary unknown.

Adventure? Nope, not me. No thank you.

I'm a wanna-know-what's-coming-next kinda gal. I've told you before that I'm my family's "OP" {Official Planner}. We've gotta have a plan people.

Adventure implies that you fly by the seat of your pants. Yea, like whizzing down a zip-line. Or riding a roller coaster. I don't want my life to feel like either of those stomach churning activities.

And yet, one of my favorite sayings is:

... is not a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside,
totally worn our and proclaiming,
"WOW!!  What a ride!"

I just love that! I love the whole idea of really living life to the fullest -  enjoying each twist and turn and dip and spin around. Whew! But, let's just plan it out a bit. OK?

I might just be having a crazy thought here as I'm writing, but would it really be so bad to treat life like it's an adventure? To live it like, well, like you're on a roller coaster. Just hanging on and enjoying the ride.

Let me think about it a minute. Umm, no. I'm not there yet.
Well, maybe a kiddie roller coaster?

And than again, do I really want to get to the end of my life and instead of saying - "WOW!"
I say "Now that was a great plan."  Boring. Dull. Blah.

So maybe, just maybe,  adventure is not such a bad thing.
Not if it makes life exciting.  Not if at the end of life you know you've lived it well.

OK, friend .... let's make 2012 a year that we try to have some adventure. Let's really focus on living this life that we've been given. Let's give more, love more, dance a little, sing at the top of our lungs, take a risk, and laugh a lot.  Let's try new things. And all the while let's make sure we truly enjoy this crazy, wild ride called life.

Since, I'm not an adventurer I may need a little help here. What do you suggest as ways to put a little adventure in my life? Take it easy on me. And be realistic. I'm not as young as I used to be so nothing like snow boarding. And nothing as scary as jumping from a plane. But other than that what would you suggest?

One last thing -
I have a little confession to make.
I really think that riding a zip-line would be a blast. But, not a fast one and not from up too high. Do they have kiddie size zip-lines?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 10 JOY Givers

Today I'm heading over to Bonnie's to join in her weekly Faith Barista Jam.

I'm a little late since her jam sessions happen on Thursday. But, she's really great and won't mind if I stop by a little late.

Our one word topic is: JOY 

No rules - just write. 
And as Bonnie says-  "Keep it real". 

I love that JOY is our word this week! My little place here in bloggy land was started because I wanted to share how I was finding hope & joy again after the tremendous grief of losing my son in 2007.

I think joy is definitely a feeling. It can be subtle or strong. Joy can even bring a person to tears.

It's synonyms are....
.... happiness,
.... peace,
.... contentment
.... and chocolate. *wink*

So, for today, I think I want to just list a few of the things in my life that bring me joy.
And how about..... oh, let's say .....  how about 10. The top ten things that bring me joy. 

My top 10 JOY givers:{in no particular order}

1. spending time with Hubby  
He truly is my BFF. Whether he's following me around the store as I hunt for fabrics for a quilt, or we're watching TV after dinner, as long as we're spending time together it brings me a happy feeling. In fact, our favorite place to be? simply together

2. someone actually wanting to pay me to make them a quilt 
That's part of my "God-sized Dream" I wrote about last year. It's an exciting kind of joy.

3. chillaxing & counting
Usually, this is done with a cup of flavored coffee and maybe some chocolate. {just saying that seems to help the process} And than to sit quietly and count my blessings. However, I don't sit still for long. I give it about as long as it takes me to finish that yummy cup of coffee. Yet, sitting still and thinking of how blessed I am brings me a sweet joy.

4. crafts / DIY 
A few projects I've done lately: quilting, painting & distressing a shelf, and making a boring white lampshade simply beautiful. The whole process - from choosing the colors to the final product gives me a joyful satisfaction. {hopefully, I'll share the joy and post some pictures soon}

5. family 
Life is fragile and sometimes too short. I really have an appreciation for spending time with my mom, son and daughter-in law. Even just a phone call can bring me joy.
6. singing praise & worship songs in church
When I'm singing songs to Jesus my hearts fill with joy and I sing louder (hope that doesn't ruin the joy of others around me). Sometimes as I'm singing,  I realize I'm standing there, singing loudly,  with a huge grin on my face. What can I say? I love praising Jesus.

7. the beach
Aaahhhh. Peaceful sigh. The beach brings a very peaceful and almost soothing kind of joy to my soul.  This past summer we had a wonderful week at Siesta Key. I actually found myself sighing - peaceful and content little sighs - as I'd look out our condo window and view the beach across the street.  aaahhhhhh

8. answered prayer
Nothing like knowing that God heard my prayer and has taken the time to show me His answer. Woo Hoo!

9. knowing I'm loved
It's a great feeling knowing I'm loved by God and my family. They know me the best and still love me. Wow! That kind of joy settles down in my heart and brings thankfulness.

There you have it! Numbers 1 thru 9.
Almost done.
And number 10? 

10. YOU
You taking time to visit me here. Thank you!

So hey! I'd love to know a few things that bring you JOY. 
Go ahead, leave a comment. 

And that would be number 11 - your comments always have a way of bringing me JOY!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My One Little Word ~ 2012

This year's One Little Word wasn't very hard to figure out. That's because it's kinda linked to my One Word for 2011.

After thinking about it and as I look back over the last few years it's really neat to see what the Lord was doing in my life and how one year's lessons have led to the next. Also, how one year's word blended right into the next year's.

In 2009, before I even started blogging, if I had chosen a word it would have been "Believe".  I decided that even if I don't have all the answers to my questions as I journeyed through grief, I would still believe that God is faithful, merciful and just plain knew what He was doing. My motto became: "I Still Believe!"

In 2010 I started my blog, but hadn't heard about choosing a word for the year. If I had known about this fun little New Year tradition here in bloggy land than that year my word would have been "Rebuilding". It was a year about rebuilding hope and joy in my life.... through faith {believe}, family and living life.

In 2011 I just couldn't figure out what it would be and almost gave up. But, then as I  was in the process of redesigning my blog I discovered what my word should be - "Trust".  I had settled the whole "I Still Believe" thing and was finding hope and joy once again, but was still dealing with a trust issue. I'll need to try to explain this some day.... it's complicated.

Looking back I know I really got 2011's right ....  especially the second half of the year was one lesson after the other about trust. And God in His grace has been reminding me to trust Him in some pretty awesome and creative ways.

I realize I haven't shared about any of this, and I apologize. I'm honestly not sure why. I had planned on only taking the month of July off from blogging, but it ended being quite a bit longer. *sheepish grin*

But, perhaps it's for the best because my One Little Word for 2012 is "Peace".  Tah-dah!!

And I'm learning trust brings me peace.And so now I can fill you in on the rest of the story.

I so hope you'll stop back every now and then to follow me as I continue to share my story here at "Finding Hope & Joy". As always, my hope is that you'll be encouraged. {or at least entertained by my brief bouts of silliness}
Oh, and one other thing.... my new word is also in that Bible verse at the top of my blog. Pretty cool don't ya think?!

Happy 2012! Wishing you much Peace this year friend!

BTW ~ A huge THANK YOU to sweet Melanie over at Only A Breath for the super cute graphic for my One Word.