Coffeegirl63's Blog

What Stirs Your Heart? October 17, 2011

Filed under: Busyness,Introspection,My kids,Relationships,Times with My Family — coffeegirl63 @ 9:40 pm

I apologize for the long absence. Shortly after I wrote last, I went on 4 trips over the course of a few weeks. And then I got busy at work–partly catching up from being away, and partly because this is about when work gets busy for me anyway.

This evening, I had an experience that stirred my heart so deeply that it started me thinking about the phenomenon of how a heart is stirred. My first thought, when I have introspective moments, is to process through writing.

Recently, I have been trying some new things. I was in Keystone, CO, for a Human Resources conference the last few days of September. Before I went, I had decided that I wanted to go on a hike when I was there. This may seem rather commonplace for many of you, and I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t been hiking before. However… I had never hiked by myself before! Weird, right? Here I am, 48 years old, and I’d never gone on a hike by myself. There have been very few things that I have done alone. But I’ve been changing that. Granted, I didn’t want to just head out on my own and find myself so deeply in the mountains that I’d be wandering there still. I got suggestions from the conference center in Keystone, and I texted someone from the trailhead to let him know where I would be. The beauty of nature stirs my heart. There are times, when I’m getting ready for work in the morning and I see the sunrise out my East-facing windows, that I’ll say something like, “Oh, that’s good one! Thank you!!” The first time I said that, I wondered if it was disrespectful… too familiar, or something. But I wasn’t being disrespectful or flippant. To see something as amazing as the sunrise with all its colors and textures elicited an instant response of awe in the only One Who could create something so beautiful, and then graciously give me the privilege of getting to see it. Here are a couple examples:   and here are a couple pictures from my hike:         I know there are a lot of pictures there, but I couldn’t decide. I have heard people say they don’t believe in God because they can’t prove God exists. When I see things like this, I can’t doubt His existence. The beauty of nature stirs my heart.

Some music stirs my heart. Les Miserable (but only the Royal Albert Music Hall, 10th Anniversary version–here’s a sample) never fails to move me. I’m not sure what my neighbors think when I’m cleaning house and belting out the songs along with the soundtrack on my stereo (I am kind enough to make sure that the stereo drowns out any belting I might be doing!), but I just can’t help it. The story of grace, choices, and redemption moves me deeply every time I hear it… and I’ve been listening to it regularly for almost 20 years (and, yes, my children pretty much have it memorized). The power of music stirs my heart.

Time with friends thrills me. I have friendships on a variety of levels, and they are each precious to me. I wrote about some of my relationships recently–you can read it here: Relationships–so I won’t repeat the stories, but suffice it to say the joys of friendship stir my heart.

A few minutes ago, I heard a song that I haven’t heard for years. It’s called Letters From War, and it’s by Mark Schultz. You can hear it here–Letters From War–but be warned… it had me crying like a little girl. Most of you reading this know me, and you know that my son, Johnny, is in the army. Here we are at his graduation from Basic Training:  and here he is on his way from Ft. Lee (Phase 1 of AIT–Advanced Individual Training) to Eglin AFB (Phase 2):  Now, I’m pretty sure that a logical person would not listen to a song called “Letters from War” when her son is in school for EOD training–Explosive Ordnance Disposal–but who ever said that mothering was a profession for the highly logical? Besides, it’s not like I sought the song out… It just popped up on my playlist. I love my kids, and I would protect them with my life if I needed to, but I never want them to compromise their passion so they can live a life of safety. Seeing my kids live their lives purposefully and with passion stirs my heart! Sometimes my emotions overwhelm me–joy, fear of not being strong enough when they need me, love, pride, astonishment that I got to have the four best kids in the history of the world, and the absolute hilarity that we experience when we’re all together. The prevailing emotion over all, however, is absolute love. The depth of my feelings for my four children stirs my heart.

So there you have my thoughts… all elicited by one song that surprised me with emotions I didn’t know were so close to the surface. Thank you for letting me share with you. And now, before my day ends, I must go finish making the dinner I was working on when I was so struck with the need to process…

 

By the way, in case you’re interested, I’ve started a couple professional blogs, as well. I would love for you to check them out. Visit cppjoni.wordpress.com for my thoughts on the payroll world and http://sphrjoni.wordpress.com/ for my thoughts on the world of human resources.

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This and That June 8, 2010

Filed under: Busyness,My House,Trusting God — coffeegirl63 @ 2:42 pm
Tags: , ,

Looking at my life, I should be worried, stressed, sleeping poorly, etc. It’s an interesting time. I’m building a house (well, technically, I’ve hired someone else to build it) ,

I’m effecting major change in my job descriptions and in my company,

and 3 of my 4 kids are scattering about the earth and the fourth is coming to live with me. (I know they don’t look old enough in this picture to go across the street, let alone across the oceans and drive wherever they need to go. However, this picture was taken over 10 years ago, so I’m really not as irresponsible as I may seem. 🙂 )

Lately, I’ve been working more purposefully on my walk with God, and He’s been showing me His love and faithfulness in ways I haven’t seen in years. I’m reading the book of Daniel now. As I see God show His power to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I’ve been asking Him to show His power in my life. I’m working on obedience and on honoring the commitments I make to God and to others. One thing I’ve learned is that the best way for me to avoid worry is to pray for someone else (my kids, my folks, my friends) whenever I start to panic about how my life is going (or not going).

Just in the last week, He’s helped me in several ways. I found the checks totaling $350 that I’d lost and a 3-month prescription for both the medicines I take every day. My mom found the ankle bracelet that Jeanice had given me to wear while she was in Europe (it took a lot of energy not to see this as an “Apollo 13” bad omen). I found my favorite straw (a seemingly small thing, I know, but one of my best friends gave it to me). By being patient, calm, and kind, I saved my company $1500. He’s shown me specific ways He wants me to pray for my parents. And yesterday, a $200+ car repair cost me less than $40 (in spite of, or maybe because of, my being such a girl in trying to describe what was wrong with it). Yesterday evening, I was short with one of my roommates and made her feel bad just for trying to help me. God immediately told me to go apologize for my rudeness and to treat her the same way He treats me (with love and grace).

My house is coming along beautifully. The frame inspection is Friday. According to those who really seem to know what they’re talking about, this means that the house is framed and the plumbing and electrical stuff is in. I’ll go out again this evening to look at it. I love my house!! 🙂

As for big changes at my company, I’m bringing HR and Payroll in-house and changing 401k companies… all while having a house built and sending three of my babies off to the far reaches of the globe. Very exciting times this summer!

I haven’t been consistent with my exercise, but I’ve been eating very healthful foods. Here’s is what today’s lunch looks like.

In Him, Joni