Thanksgiving, Everyday

 

 

 

 

 

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Outside my window,  leaves of the pear trees and the oak trees have changed to brilliant hues of orange, gold, and crimson. Robin’s egg blue skies streaked with cottony white clouds remind me of the absolute beauty and wonder of this life. God has made us a perfect world with splendor beyond our comprehension if only we would take the time to just be still and open our eyes and look at what He has created. From the ancient oak branches in my back yard, red cardinals, eastern bluebirds, and clay colored sparrows alight and then wing across the vast expanse of this late November horizon. Cool winds waft through my open window, I watch a gray squirrel scurry down the gray bark of the water oak. The squirrel, like a chameleon, blended almost perfectly with the shades and shadows of the water oak’s bark. Such beauty! Such splendor on this calm morning. For too many years, I failed to take the time to just rest and to just be.

Life presents us with a myriad of twists and turns, wounds and sorrows, joys and victories. A truth that I have learned is that there will always be sorrow, there will always be wounds, but time moves forward and if I just keep moving along with my eyes firmly fixed toward God I will have victory and I will have joy. I have accepted the truth that the world is already perfect; I have accepted the truth that God in His infinite wisdom has placed me exactly where I am supposed to be. I am His child and I am perfect just as I am.

On this Thanksgiving week, I am thankful for another day to sit at my window and watch the splendor and majesty of God’s world unfurl in crimson, gold, and robin’s egg blue. I am thankful that I can feel the sunshine on my skin and that I can feel the coolness of the November winds wafting through my open window. I am thankful that God loves me and that I am never alone.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and it is a disturbing fact that the holidays are a time of sadness and depression for many people. There is an unrealistic expectation that everyone will be seated around the dinner table with family and friends. Unfortunately this is not always the case. There are plenty of people for whom  the holidays are just a reminder of bad memories. Not everyone has joyous memories of “family.” This is a sad fact, but it is a true one.

This holiday season if you are feeling depressed, please trust that God is forever with you. If your sadness is overwhelming, please reach out to others. Other people do care. Family isn’t necessarily those with whom you share a bloodline. Take a walk in nature. Look up at the blueness of the sky, listen to the song of birds in the tree branches, write down your feelings. Remember that God loves you beyond measure and that you are never alone. You are here in this world for a purpose that God has designed. You are valuable; you are God’s child.

I am thankful everyday for another day to see the beauty of the world around me.

It is a beautiful day.

Copyright 2019, Jenny W. Andrews

Perspective

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This is the first time in about a month that I have sat down and wrote anything.

About five years ago I moved into my new house and left boxes of my old diaries in the garage. Fear of revisiting the past kept me from looking into those pages written so long ago. Almost forty years of my life is documented in those small diaries.

After I celebrated a milestone birthday, I decided to clear out the clutter and organize my diaries by year and put them in pretty photo boxes I bought at a craft store. I labeled the boxes by years. From being a young adult intoxicated by the promise of love to a middle aged woman disappointed by dreams that disintegrated in mid-air, I feel shocked by the power of love, the profound depth of despair, the soul-crushing weight of  betrayal, the mind-numbing repetition of mistakes, and the power of God’s redemption and grace, that have encompassed my existence on this earth.

Why was I so afraid to revisit that long ago world that I had once inhabited?

Fear that I would be reminded of all those dreams that never came true? Fear that I would be reminded of that one love I walked away from and while doing so I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life? Fear that I would be able to connect the dots in that web of deception that my youth had blinded me to? Fear that in retrospect I would hear the whisper of my own voice and get swallowed up by the sorrow over my own voicelessness?

I have spent the past four weeks reading through my diaries. At times, I have cried; at times, I have laughed. I honestly cannot believe that I was that young once. I honestly cannot  believe that I had been so very trusting. I cannot believe the courage that God granted me in the face of the sorrow; I cannot believe the strength that He fortified me with. In retrospect, this life that God has blessed me with is a miracle; it is a miracle that I am still standing after all the sorrow, hurt, loss, and darkness.

Yes, I have taken my diaries and put them in photo boxes and organized them by year. I plan to work on my memoir this coming week. I plan to get back to my writing. I feel in my heart that God has given me the gift of words. He has shown me that I need to extend compassion to myself. He has shown me that the passage of time is a learning experience. He has shown me that His hand is always upon me no matter how dark the night.

Copyright 2019 Jenny W. Andrews

 

 

 

I Stepped Away

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I Stepped Away

Dream, haunting, hunted me down, dark of night.

No longer afraid of that place, it moves faraway on a fast fall down a tunnel, black hole, slippery hand lets go.

I turn away from the dark; life lights up like the break of day.

I can never be who I used to be. 

Climbed, crawled out of the tunnel-sealed it with a kick. My foot print emblazoned in that dark place at the edge of the abyss.

I stepped away.

Jenny W. Andrews, Copyright 2019. All Rights reserved.

Between Two Bridges

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Between Two Bridges

Like a ghost I haunt these spaces, living here between two bridges.

Boardwalk beneath my feet, sags, cracks.

Been in this space too long, just now I have noticed the grime; jarred awake too late to backtrack my steps.

Spring afternoon, sunlight repeats itself, like me in my weakness.

Trapped, I am between these two bridges.

River moves on, connects endless streams-but, me, I sink back, drown my dreams.

Incapable I am of freeing myself, unable to move on.

Stationary, trapped here like steel girders, the pressure bearing down, pulling me to the bottom.

I look into the currents-the river oblivious to me continue to move.

Trapped, I am between these two bridges.

Like a ghost, I haunt this space, incapable of moving forward.

Like the river.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2019 (Original copyright 2018). All Rights Reserved.

My Psalm

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My Psalm

God has blessed me with the greatest gifts; butterflies’ orange and gold wings fluttering along yellow rose petals against sun dappled days.

Late afternoons, warm breezes refreshing me, reviving me.

God has blessed me with love, with memories like precious jewels that sparkle and remind me of endless October days that God in His Grace has given me one more day.

Another hour, another chance to see the sun rise, split the orange and lavender sky.

God has remembered me with millions of miracles that my human eyes have been unable to see.

He has filled this frail vessel with breath, blood, passion, and a soul that hungers, yearns, fails, succeeds, doubts, believes.

God has laid his hand upon me, called me out of the multitudes, called me back to Him.

He has loved me,

even when I turned and ran from Him.

He has gathered me to Himself like I am a wounded child.

He has known my sorrows. He has seen my darkest hours and He has shone a candle in the shadows.

He has lifted me up and He has restored me.  He has loved me; he has forgiven me.

He has given me one more day to get it right, to enjoy the sunlight peeking through the trees.

God has loved me; he has been good to  me.

He is my God; God of all eternity.

Copyright 2019 Jenny W. Andrews. All rights reserved