Monday, September 5, 2011

Counting the Gifts

In that day— “Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the LORD, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. Isaiah 27:2, 3

I just finished a marvelous book called, "Halfway to Each Other," by Susan Pohlman. It chronicles one family's incredible life-changing experience after leaving their fast paced and stressful LA lifestyle behind and moving to Italy for a year. On the brink of a divorce, while walking along an Italian beach on a business trip husband Tim ventures that maybe they should move there for a year. At first the notion seems ridiculous and illogical. But at the brink of desperation to save their marriage, they do just that.

At times funny, sad, always heartfelt, this book will inspire you and lift you to the heights, and make you think about some of the ways the American lifestyle is extremely unhealthy for both mind, body and spirit. It made me think of what I already really knew. That the magic and memories come when you slow down enough to really get to know each other and God.

The good news is, while we can't all move to Italy for a year, there are changes we can make right here and right now that will have a big impact on our lives. Slowing down......turning off the noise that constantly barrages our ears, our senses, our lives.

Cutting out activities, the running here and there. Keeping up with the Jones'es or in LA, The Kardashians! Taking little walks together, noticing things, taking the headphones off.

I will never forget one Christmas Eve when we lost all the electricity. We still talk about it...we lit candles and a fire in the fireplace, sang songs, laughed.....and we were all a bit disappointed when the lights came back on. We had captured a bit of magic that we weren't ready to give up yet.

I was reminded of the joy of games on my recent trip up to the mountains. There in the living room of the cabin we rented, a little shelf was overflowing with board games and my niece's eyes just lit up like she had just hit the mother load. Of course, she wanted to get them all out at once.

She decided on monopoly. With a special needs kid you don't go by improvise. I think that made it even better. Then I realized to my utter disbelief, that I had no clue what the rules were anyway? How could I have forgotten this game that I had played for so many hours growing up? My brother recalled how he and our cousins would play with a vendetta......sometimes holding games over for the entire weekend after falling asleep at the board.
That weekend, I felt like I had a gift......I will never forget Lauryn and I playing that game, and how she borrowed money "from the bank" to buy Park Place. I can still see her beautiful face lit up with excitement, and hear our conversations that night.

That's what life is about......celebrating being together. Recapturing what we thought was lost forever......Simple moments that can't ever be replaced.

Returning a bit of Eden to our lives......Celebrating thankfully today for all those, little/big moments.......

rediscovering games and conversation, drinking in nature, September which leads to October, which leads to cool weather, days off, laughter in the midst of stressful moments, clean sheets, furry ones that love no matter what, discovering a new restaurant yesterday, answered prayers for the end of a challenging week, beautiful Arizona sunrises, a bit of rain last night......#713-#724

Join the gratitude community here to count along with Ann and many others.......

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