205. Friends

November 23rd, 2017

Raise your hand if you’re having someone over who doesn’t have family nearby. My dear friend Darlene is doing that for me today – and I’m so thankful! I’ve known Darlene since we were in 3rd grade, so she feels like family. Thanksgiving is a good day to remember that I’m surrounded by people who love me, even when my family is far away.

204. Great Blue Herons

November 23rd, 2017

At least one great blue heron likes to frequent my lake. When I first moved here, rather new at being divorced, a friend urged me to look up the “spirit meaning” of herons. Supposedly they represent self-reliance, balance, navigating life’s difficulties with grace. Sounds good!

This month something happened that got me feeling down and alone.

And then I started seeing lots of great blue herons.

On my trip to Chincoteague and Assateague, I hoped to see ponies (and eventually did) – but saw great blue herons each day:

After I got home, when it stopped raining, the first time I took a walk around my lake, there was a heron again.

Then three out of four days this week, when I looked out my window at breakfast, there was a heron. I didn’t even have breakfast at the same time each day.

And finally, I went for another walk around my lake today and saw another one.

I decided I don’t have to feel alone. I can focus on self-reliance and balance. And whatever comes next, I’m going to be able to navigate it with grace.

And besides, it’s really fun to see so many of these beautiful birds!

203. Close Encounter

November 20th, 2017

I took a reading retreat in Chincoteague. I was a little disappointed to only see ponies from a distance. I admit, I prayed and asked to have a closer encounter. I didn’t expect to have one actually pass me on a narrow path on the beach! I then walked for a long way following the pony or parallel to the pony.

It was awesome.

202. Concert

November 19th, 2017

I went to an awesome concert last night featuring Mandisa and Danny Gokey, also with performances by Jasmine Murray and Love & the Outcome.

Besides being stunningly talented singers, they’ve been through hard times and struggled with major depression. Their songs were all about how God is always with you, how God works through pain, and how you will grow, and how you can now step into the light.

Lovely, uplifting stuff. I affirm that it’s all true – and what better way to affirm these things than to sing them?

201. Holding Babies

November 5th, 2017

I got to work in the Babies’ classroom this morning at church. There were three workers and three babies, so each of us got to play with and hold one baby. The one I was playing with was actively playing about half the service. Then he got a little fussy. I held him in the rocking chair and showed him some board books that had things to touch and feel.

He didn’t go to sleep, but he did lean back and relax. And when a baby relaxes, he is completely relaxed!

And it was such lovely therapy for me!

Lorna Byrne says that babies are born exuding pure love. I could feel it in those sweet babies today.

200. Fun Size Candy Bars

October 31st, 2017

I haven’t had a single trick-or-treater since I moved to my condo. I’m on the second floor, and you can’t shut off the outside lights – and people don’t make the effort to climb the stairs.

But I do believe in being prepared. So three weeks ago, I bought a bag of fun size 100 Grand bars. Surprise! That bag disappeared before I went to the grocery store again, and then the second bag disappeared. But now it’s Halloween, and I have an ample supply.

There’s something about fun size candy bars. They’re just the right size to really enjoy without feeling like you’ve just had a full meal of sugar. Yum!

199. Sparkles

October 27th, 2017

This year, I’m reading my Project 52 posts one year after I wrote them.

Tonight I read about the year I was 19, and I was reminded of my Sparkle Theory. Basically, the Sparkle Theory is that each one of us desperately needs sparkles. It’s tempting to try to find them in romance. But there are plenty of other ways to find them – and if there’s not romance in your life, you need them all the more.

Tonight I’m sitting here alone on Friday night – and it’s just lovely to start remembering all the many sparkles in my life right now.

198. Four Bonus Months of Newbery Reading!

October 26th, 2017

Yesterday, I read a comment on Heavy Medal blog that when the commenter was on the Newbery committee, they didn’t read many Advance Reader Copies except a few they picked up at ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Normally, I don’t have any ARCs for a given publishing year until Midwinter Meeting myself. Next year’s Midwinter Meeting is in February.

Last week, our youth materials selector sent me an entire box of 2018 children’s book ARCs. (Sent to the library to consider purchasing.) So she is granting me FOUR BONUS MONTHS of Newbery reading! (Btw, anything nominated by myself or another committee member, I will read the finished copy as well. But this gives me a headstart.)

Since I’ve been super eager to start reading since April – this is such a gift!

I’m not going to mention any titles or any opinions. But I am SO EXCITED to be reading for the Newbery!

197. My Balcony

October 24th, 2017

Not only do I get to read lots and lots of children’s books in the next year and a half – much of the time, I get to do so on my beautiful balcony.

Today I spent the afternoon out on my balcony in my comfy chair with my feet up. I read some wonderful children’s books. The temperature was in the 70s. The sun was shining. Bright yellow leaves shone above me. The lake was glittering. Breezes were blowing.

It was an idyllic afternoon out on my balcony.

196. I Get to Read Books!

October 23rd, 2017

What’s so cool about being on the 2019 Newbery committee? Well, in short, I get to read books! Why, I need to read books!

I will say no more than that, but it’s a wonderful blessing.