Category Archives: Notes from the Apex

The longer we live, the more we realize our entire lives are like hiking through a series of peaks and valleys. Going downhill is easier. Getting to our peaks requires more energy. But once we reach the apex we can relax, catch our breath and take in the view.

Another Favorite Day

Dear Diane just reminded me today is another of my favorite days of the year.

February 15: Valentine chocolates go on sale!

I’m kidding. Sort of. I began an intense diet the first week of December 2018. I’m not impressed with the weight loss so far, but I feel remarkably better (despite life’s bumps and bruises). So, it’s not another epic fail.

I get lots of practice failing. Okay, maybe not exactly failing, but I’m well experienced in unexpected outcomes. Too bad that doesn’t sound as impressive on a resume.

Today let’s stick with diet and exercise. I’ve tried lots of ways to lose excess weight – not all were healthy and some made me feel awful. But with help from good friends like David at Chape Fitness I’ve condensed them all to a simple plan.

Ready?

Here goes:

Burn what you eat.

Okay, we can’t blame that on David (mea culpa, Bro). My weight has raised and lowered my whole life, so empirically, it’s not quite that simple. Last year I again found more extra pounds than I want to admit. Despite running myself ragged all summer and feasting mostly upon the super-sized vegetable garden, as the holidays approached I hadn’t shed the smallest fraction.

I had however, let slip the practice of doing nothing else but eat during meals. I’d also stopped paying attention to the combinations of what I ate as well as the times I ate. What’s more, I lost sight of why my diet is important to me – loving myself slid way down the priority ladder as well. These small details, left unchecked can combine to become a big problem.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I can fumble likewise in my relationship with God. I’ll put off my devotion time for any number of logical reasons, like:

  • to take advantage of the sunlight hours,
  • to get a head start on tasks, or
  • do my shopping while sane people sleep in,

Seems smart. Right? Yeah, but before I know it, days passed and my soul and spirit were dry. I never got around to what’s actually most important. The evidence was unmistakable. Instead of contentment I soon found myself:

  • Jumping to conclusions,
  • Flying off the handle, and
  • Definitely pushing my luck.

These are far from the best workouts. Fortunately my brakes still work well.

I’m still learning to simply slow down a bit, strategize my meals and activities, pray more and stress less.  As I do I not only feel better, but once I shed this extra weight I’ll be able to enjoy some of the little things in life more without blowing up my long-term goals.

Chocolate freezes. Right?

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

Romans 12:1 (NLT)

 

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Fire and Ice

The morning after our first snowstorm I drew back the drape from the small window that faces the east. Immediately I recoiled from the startling cold. Condensation had formed and frozen between the screen and the pane. A heartbeat later I was mesmerized by the kaleidoscope images from the rising sun.

Feeling the chill against my face and the heat from the stove at my back, the world is a marvelous place.

  

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”

Psalm 19:1 (NLT)

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Splash Down Time

Recently on Facebook:

Don’t ask me how we managed our lives without our cellular devices – not only the phone, the constant contact with the people involved in our day-to-day lives, but the apps that have replaced calendars, watches, cameras, alarm clocks, news radio, books and the fun of doing simple math. I’m guilty. The frequency with which I use my phone astounds me.

I relish the times when I’m in town and my phone runs at cyber-speed (as compared to the unreliable signal at home).  The phone connects me to my shopping list, coupons, product reviews as well as social media to research things that might streamline life… As if we aren’t already going fast enough, doing enough, cramming more and more into each hour of every day.

So, after my phone clanked off the porcelain and thudded onto the rug for the third time today I, well, gasped – again.

And then I stopped.

I realized I’d been inundated with tasks and going too fast for too long. So fast I’d overlooked removing the phone from my back pocket before stopping for a moment in the bathroom. Again. We’re talking about the phone I cannot afford to replace (even with insurance). At one time putting the phone on the counter was as instinctive as washing hands before leaving the room.

Every aspect of my life is moving at cyber-speed. As I checked off the To-Do list in my mind, I realized I could hear my pulse in my head.

Enough.

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I must lower my blood pressure, breathe more intentionally, recover my spontaneity and channel my endorphins toward an exotic retreat. I’m thankful I didn’t miss anything important as I charged ahead, leaving God in the dust. I don’t need to deep clean (again) before spring arrives, I don’t want any more stuff to fill my space and my arm is healing as expected. And yet I race around as if time is running out.

Silly human. God’s got this.

Today I gave myself the day off. Not for any particular occasion or event, but because I need to intentionally slow down and hang out with the best friend ever – the Holy Spirit.

I might do it again tomorrow.

I want God to run my life instead of life running me.

I’ll text you how we’re doing tomorrow in a few days.

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)

 

*Image courtesy Jennifer Caravalho via Unsplash

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Winter Waning

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With much of the country covered in snow and ice I can’t complain about our mild winter. Still, appreciating the shorter days continues to be a challenge.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

“To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.” —  W.J. Vogel

“The problem with winter sports is that–follow me closely here–they generally take place in winter.” — Dave Barry

“I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter’s evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream… I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.” — Mark Twain

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?” — Lewis Carroll

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” — Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, nor time unmake what poets know.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’”

Job 37: 5, 6 (NIV)

 

*Image courtesy John L. Green, Jr.

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Why are you mad all the time?

via Why are you mad all the time?

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2019-01-10 · 16:09

Their Illicit Lover

Another example of the mastery of Mitch Teemley:

Mitch Teemley

 This is one of my darker posts. And for a good reason. Please read through to the end.   A true story.

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He said he would kill them

In his time, in his way

And yet they let him stay

Even before they loved each other

They loved him

Faithfully and steadfastly

And when they married

He moved in with them

Years fell away

They had children

Dreamed dreams

Lost their dreams

Then found them again

Aged a little

And aged a little more

They shared everything with him

Everything

Yet he never ceased to whisper,

“One day I will kill you”

By now it seemed a carnal jest

A monkeyshine

And then he killed the man

The woman was gutted, emptied

The man had been everything to her

 “Not you!” she screamed,

“It was never you I loved!”

And yet she let him stay

A generation passed

Before she…

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Cuttings

Longer ago than I like to admit Mom taught me to start new plants from stems of mature plants. She called them Cuttings.

One late winter I started a pot of golden pothos with 4 cuttings from one of Mom’s plants. By autumn the leaves had grown over the edge of the shelf and the plant needed to be re-potted. I started four more pots from the first plant and they soon took over that shelf by the window.

I enjoyed botany and especially spending time with Mom. She wasn’t my mother, but she taught me to be strong, as if she knew the hard times that laid in wait for me – maybe she did. She knew teaching me to start a whole new life from something broken, something that would otherwise die would help me through heartbreak and hard times.

For a long while my perpetually strained economy only afforded me to start new plants from cuttings to green-up my living space. Plants made my place in the world seem less harsh, more lovely.

Sure enough, believing as Mom taught me, that when God closes a door He opens a window kept me going over the years. Many doors slammed shut on me. When I barely had any strength to keep going, God certainly opened windows. Not only so, but all along the way He led me to fill them with pots and boxes of cuttings.

Many years later when FirstBorn brought LoveOfHisLife home to meet me, she gave me a potted kalanchoe. Many months and even more miles afterward, pieces of that plant became another beautiful plant on the other side of the country. And a year or two afterward, I started another plant and then another… The new plants eventually made it back to my sons’ houses.

Recently the sight of kalanchoes growing in pots on my grand daughter’s bedroom window seat, brought a deluge of fond memories.

Granted, GrandGirl’s plants may or may not be from the same plants I carried back and forth across the country so long ago. I love the idea that they could be, so I never asked. Wherever they started I’m certain the rest of this part of God’s story will be great.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1 (HCSB*)

 

*Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy Pixabay

 

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Paws

The fur kids and I are taking pause to catch up on my reading while I mend.

So far they are unimpressed.

Feel the blessings and pray it forward!

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 (NKJV)

 

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The Last Road Trip

So, it turns out I don’t bounce like I used to. This week a fall banged me up a bit. God is good – no major damage, just a few stitches and lots of color.

As I rest up and heal, I’m sharing photos from our last road trip for 2018, the drive to Potlatch, ID for a family Christmas celebration.

Outside Connell, WA:

Outside Potlatch, ID:

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Until next year, peace my friends,

Blog on!

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
save me and I will be saved,
for you are the one I praise.”
Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

 

Sunset in Potlatch image* used by permission, Julie Kirk Weatherby, all other images (c)2018 RapturePractice! Publications

 

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Second Stringers

To no one’s surprise, for this entire advent season, joy shot from Scriptures for me, but like never before. Okay, maybe I noticed them before, but this year they felt like a whole new ball game. Maybe it’s just me…

Rarely comfortable as a starter, I’m a strong second stringer.  So is it any surprise less popular verses struck me so strong?

Thanks to Handel some identify a line or two of these verses with Christmas (and Easter). Me too.

But this year the preceding and following lines sacked me daily as I read and read again.

I hope these snippets continue sparking everywhere all year around:

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress… The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. …”

Isaiah 9:1 & 2, 6 & 7 (NIV)

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

John 3:16, 17 (NIV)

Peace, people.

 

Featured Image courtesy TheWay.com

Header image courtesy Pixabay

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