As a child, my best friend and I would take a break from playing and lay in the grass, looking at the clouds. Laughing and pointing to shapes we saw, trying to convince the other of what and where. See? I still remember this so clearly, fifty plus years later. Clouds are majestic in their own way. I still do this, seeing shapes and smiling.
Today, as I sat on my exit ramp going home, I look up at the clouds. This is a daily thing with me. They look so soft, knowing they are not soft at all. The shapes and uniqueness is mesmerizing.
Oftentimes though, I have sat in the car, on the same exit ramp, as life stops for a moment to reflect. Tears form of memories of grief flood my heart.
It was after my mom died in 1996, I would be in the same place thinking how beautiful the sky and clouds were from my standpoint but realizing the beauty my mom saw from her now heavenly standpoint.
The exit ramp was my quiet moment, waiting for the traffic light to turn, between work and home cooking supper for a hungry family back then. It was my period of grieving. Those moments still come and go, as today, I see the clouds and remember my mom.
Life. It’s how we see and deal with what is around us and the remarkable way we cope with loss. It’s okay to grieve, you must.
May the clouds you see in life be beautiful. The dark clouds come but don’t last. Look at the clouds and let your mind get lost and relax feeling peace within.
Psalm 147:8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills
Job 35:5 Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
Sometimes you feel like a nut Sometimes you don’t Almond Joy’s got nuts Mounds don’t
Now you have that little jingle in your head. You’re welcome!
There are those days I feel like a rock. You know, it could be a bad hair day, or the gray hairs are sparkling and proving my age, the wrinkles look a little more deeper than the day before, the weight seems to increase and can make one feel hopeless, perhaps a sock gets a hole in the toe which can be annoying or perhaps the clothes or undergarments are just not comfortable. Those days I’d rather stay in bed with a cover of my head. On top of something like those mentioned, somebody’s mood or my own just makes the day even worse and then the emotions show up in tears. Those days are rough and hard to get through.
The next day, I may not feel like such a rock. The hair, the makeup and what you are wearing makes you feel good about yourself and nobody can get your goat and ruin your day. A bring it on attitude of confidence oozes from your glow from your face as your posture is upright while holding your head up and smile at the world. Those are good days and we all need more of them. Hopefully, for the most part, those days are more common than not.
Just recently, I had an opportunity in one of my Facebook groups to enjoy an online sale of geodes and rocks found and tumbled to make into jewelry. I have always found geodes fascinating and have always wanted to go mine rocks to set out and enjoy the beauty. While shopping is fun and it is easier to buy jewelry but playing and digging in dirt would be fun, too. As a child, if there was a mud puddle, I was in it standing and splashing or riding my bike through it and dirt splattered all over me. It made for a fun day or outside fun.
This online Facebook sale is of many in the family I have followed through the years, as each one was involved in one thing or another and I feel like I know them personally. I found it interesting that this father-daughter duo would go rock mining and come back home to show them off while both actively washing the rocks to prepare them many ways. I did not know until that morning of their online sale, which was a must.
The daughter, Cindy, was holding a geode and telling of the online sale. She also held and talked about how we sometimes talk negatively about ourselves or even another. The outside of the rock is full of cracks and crevices and not that pretty, which is what we see. Not good for nothing, it’s a rock. We see the bad parts of ourselves, the wrinkles, gray hair, etc.
With this geode, she turned it over and showed where her father, Pop, cut it in half. The inside of this geode was beautiful. Cindy went onto express how this is how God sees us and that we are inside. There is beauty and a lot of intricate pieces within that makes us unique and special. Not her words exactly but you get the gist or perhaps how I heard her and I am trying to express.
The geodes mined are all different, you and I, each person, are all different. We have good and we have bad or of days of how we see and feel about ourselves or life itself. We have a choice. Do we want to just be the outside of the rock and sit there until we die or do we want to open up and show the beauty within of the gifts and talents, the love, care and kindness to share of what the Lord has given us?
He made us to show up and show off what He has done, as we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord. To understand the smallest and intricate details of our lives occur according to the plan of the Lord, how can we not bring Him glory and praise? When we know and do this, we love ourselves and exemplify His love in us so that we can give to others. They see Him in us.
We may experience some days when we may feel like an old ugly rock. May you and I always know and remember that deep within, we are beautiful.
To love yourself was always hard for me to grasp, as I could only see most the rock formation due to circumstances in my life. Plus, I did not want to be stuck on myself as I have seen that happen. I found it easier to love others and see and even express their worth and beauty, but not my own. I’m sure my counselor wanted to throw a rock at me and say, “Why can’t you grasp this?” Still, as I am better in this of caring and loving myself, I cringe. Just writing that, I did. Even though, I know deep down I am made in the image of God, He made me who I am, He has given me gifts and talents and no matter what I look like on the outside or feel on the inside, He Loves Me. In that, it is all that matters. He loves me so much that I can love myself and I wish that for you.
So sometimes we feel like a rock and sometimes we don’t.
Interesting that this blog came about this weekend with Easter. As I held my geode in my hand and turned it over and over to look at it, the thought of the tomb. The stone, it was rolled away.
Today is a lot like yesterday and probably will be a lot like tomorrow.
I’ve done fairly well through this pandemic we are all experiencing. I have my moments. How about you? Sometimes it is hard to grasp the intensity of this virus that has placed the world on lockdown.
Many have their theories, opinions, fears and doubts. I’m not here to go there. It feels like when we are finally able to live and move freely and return to the lives we knew, I just wonder if we will be programmed and it will hinder us.
The hesitancy to shake hands, hug, be near others in the store and constant awareness of germs. Once the grocery store shelves are stocked to capacity, as we are accustomed to, will there still be hoarding for the next episode out of fear, I wonder. How many will be more angry afterward than thankful? Perhaps many will re-evaluate just what they can live without, to lessen the stress in their life of which we have been forced into.
Today, being Easter. We know it is Easter and know the significance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. How blessed we are. The faith is present, the online church services bring somewhat of a normalcy but the families gathering together are not this year, there is an emptiness. The joy of seeing one another, laughing and just coming together in church or at homes, is void of people. Your four and no more, if that. Today, my home is silent and it should not be.
Loneliness is creeping in as each day passes. Lack of face-to-face communication and smiles or even frowns are missing. Neighbors stay in their yard and we in ours with an occasional wave as our eyes meet. Many, if not most businesses are closed that we once went through their doors, now limited of entering those that are essential, please wait your turn.
We look around, we see emptiness whether on shelves or parking lots but also in faces that we do get a glimpse of in our distancing.
At times through this, I feel we each live in a safety mode right now for our own protection, and others, wanting to reach out only to be blocked by the wall within of our individual bubble. Confusion as to wear or not to wear a mask, it seems to flip-flop from every direction, yes you should, no you shouldn’t.
While I shake my head, squint my eyes in disbelief, trying to make sense of it all, I walk on and continue to live within the constraints upon us to be safe and obeying rules and directions. Others believe this is all a hoax and continue to be basically rebellious as the positive numbers of cases increase as do the deaths.
No doubt the emotions will be more prevalent today in many with the meaning of Easter but also missing our loved ones that will not be around the table and enjoying each other’s company.
So today is like yesterday and the same for tomorrow.
We look at our blessings, which are numerous. Cherish the memories of times past. Plan to make new memories in the days ahead. We are all in this together and in some way and each day, we need to make the most of each one. To have HOPE, we will all get through this, and we will.