I take pleasure in many things in life, not just ten. Sometimes I wish to divide myself into multiples so I can enjoy more opportunities to learn and grow. Here is just the cream off the top of things that rock my life.
Music: I took piano lessons for a number of years as a child, and some of it stuck with me. I will never perform or accompany the church choir, but I do spend many fulfilling hours playing the classical pieces I learned as kid for my own enjoyment.
There is something magical that happens in a hour spent pouring your heart into a composition written a hundred years ago by a person who loved music as well. The crescendos, decrescendos, and lifting swell and fall of the melody line allows me to express something in my heart that I just can’t with words.
Take the simple piece by Bach, Prelude in C — it is not a hard piece to learn but more difficult to make it sound musical. And I like the challenge. I love the repetition of the phrases and melody and the changing of minor to major chords. I love the simpleness and feel so uplifted in mood and persepective when I enjoy an hour with Bach or Brahams, or any of those musical giants who still speak to my heart centuries later.
Color: My eyes are always roaming seeking, and soaking up color. I love all color but my favorite is indigo — the perfect mix of red and blue. I think of it as a color with fire and depth. You may not realize the presence of red at all but it is the portion of red that adds to the blend to make the most gorgeous indigo. When I see indigo, I remember the red blood of Jesus that mixes with the blueness of my life without Him and makes something balanced and beautiful. I find the color restful, soothing, deep, peaceful. God loved it and put it in the rainbow!
Water: Every year we travel somewhere to see the ocean for a few days. Usually it is Cyprus. This was taken at one of my favorite spots on earth: Phaphos, Cyprus. I lose my problems in the depths of the sea, where the Bible tells us to throw our sins to remember them no more. The sea is awesome and mighty, scary and soothing. It speaks to me of the greatness of my Creator. But I don’t just love the ocean. I like all forms of water… rivers, lakes, ponds. We have a pond in our backyard with a waterfall, and I enjoy many hours soaking up the beauty of the running water.
Wildlife: Yes, I am crazy about lions, tigers, and bears and all that falls in between! You have heard about tornado chasers, well I am a wildlife chaser. With camera in hand, my husband and take to the road and national parks to observe them. We get up early when they feed and sit in the dark and wait for the stirring. We can’t get enough! A morning spent watching a herd of buffalo totally rocks my life!
Poetry: I love words, books, stories, both reading and writing. But there is nothing like a great poem. It sends ecstasy through my bones and hits my core like a jolt. It illuminates and creates a well of understanding. It doesn’t even need to be profound — although I love that and draw from the depth of poetical words and phrases. It is grand to just take on the challenge or enjoying someone else’s mastery of finding perfect words and placing them in perfect order and using the fewest possible! Now that is a true gift and I love that gift. My current favorites are Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver to name few. To sit down with a new poetry book and to linger over one poem for an hour, and then to sit before a blank page and pen something of my own. It is one of the highest joys in life for me.
Homemaking: Until Martha Stewart singlehandedly resurrected this dying art, most women frowned at being called a homemaker. It was not a compliment when I was growing up in a time of the feminist movement. Feminism almost destroyed women and the home. And no matter what you or anybody thinks about Martha Stewart, I love her and glean from her for creating a beautiful home and opening it up to entertain with excellence. She restored the art of order, loveliness, and economy in the home. She is a woman of strong vision, and it changed America. Young women in my daughter’s generation have a different take on caring for the home. It is a calling of dignity.
I love to create a warm and beautiful space at home. You don’t need movey to do this. You need vision and a little creativity and anyone can make their place inviting. And now with the economic downturn, more homemakers are learning the art of making many things at home like soap, laundry powder, candles, etc. The list goes on and on. There is a shift toward home that is encouraging. The more I am in my home, the more I love it. The more I prepare it to share with strangers, family, and friends, the more I love it. I am so grateful for the fact that I am a woman and it is my calling to create a homey home. I love the joy and opportunity God gives me daily to be creative in my little world and to bless others with what I create.
Pots of Flowers: We don’t have a big yard, but it is full of Mediterranean-style pottery. Each season they are brimming with flowers whose beauty carry me over the months and seasons. I love to walk or drive up to my house see the colors and beauty shining out to the world. It is fun to dig in the soil, mindless work that helps me deal with the stress of life.
Experiencing other cultures: We travel internationally extensively, but you don’t need to travel to explore a new people group. Every college has an exchange program where US citizens can become part of a foreign visitor’s life. It is expanding and exhilirating. Some of my closest friends are from different nations. I love seeing new geography, tasting new food, hearing about interesting customs and traditions. I love building bridges and understanding people’s perspectives from varied backgrounds.
My husband: Yes. He. Rocks. My. World. I could write pages and pages about him. Suffice to say he is my greatest gift and has made my life beautiful.
My daughter: She is so cool. Here she is looking out at the city of Prague. We have traveled the world together, and she is my joy and song! I am dreaming with her now as she is stepping into adulthood and so eager to see how God opens up the world to her eager heart.
Bonus — Solitude and Silence. I don’t just casually need it. I crave it and can’t live life without it. I can’t think or write or do anything without a good dose daily. When I am in a crowd, I feel energy and life being leached out of my core. And for some people this is weird — those who are energized by crowds. I like them but in small measure. I must have time alone to be 100 percent!