I took this picture with an iPhone 4s last year, on Valentine’s Day at nighttime. My husband was on a business trip and he surprised me with a call at lunch wondering if I could get to the airport for an early evening flight that would put me in Jacksonville for a romantic late dinner.
Of course, I said yes.
I took this on our stroll. Blue happens to be our favorite color.
This is the third day of my St. Therese of Lisieux novena, and instead of roses, I’m getting bluebirds.
We live in a fairly quiet community that has a good bit of wildlife. All manner of birds. Deer. Raccoons. An occasional fox. Too many bunnies and chipmunks and squirrels.
And now: bluebirds.
We’ve seen them here and there over the years, but it seemed like they never came up the hill to our backyard. Maybe it was too dense up here — too many trees. But a couple of years ago we starting clearing the back yard and doing some landscaping, and B00M! — the bluebirds came.
It’s kinda neat. We’ve been sitting on the porch enjoying the late afternoon breeze, sharing our space with the hummingbirds and the rest of the Disney characters, and now, delightfully — the little bluebirds of happiness.
Enjoy my friend, Padre Pio, next to this creepy bobble head of none other than Mother Teresa. What a pair!
My dad was devoted to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and St. Pio was devoted to prayer.
Today, on his feast day, I remember Pop, and offer you this brief prayer composed by Padre Pio:
May Jesus comfort you
in all your afflictions.
May He sustain you in dangers,
watch over you always with His grace,
and indicate the safe path
that leads to eternal salvation.
And may He render you
always dearer to His Divine Heart
and always more worthy of Paradise. Amen.
It’s no news that I don’t like pets, and yet, this silly dog has managed to break down that barrier and endear himself to me. There is no goofier dog than Otis. And no goofier master than me.
I love to see him run, full out, when he gets a wild hair and does laps around the yard.
Every part of his being is in this run, and it’s a joy to watch, especially when he leaps. He must think he’s a race horse jumping hurdles. Or Michael Jordan defying gravity on his way to a lay up. It’s just amazing to watch him soar through the air, fly, and then land without missing his momentum — around again, and again, until he stops and throws himself on the ground at my feet, spent.
I should embrace my own projects with the same singular commitment to run — run hard — until I’m spent. And then allow myself to rest a bit before getting up and doing it again.
I need endurance. Perseverance. Steadfastness.
he’s a pterodactyl
I got out of my car and freaked out a little bit because I had the feeling that my neighbor’s gigantic pine trees were cracking and falling down. Let me tell you how creepy that was — the trees are very tall, and falling branches around here kill people.
I looked up, trying to scan the tree tops for the offending branch getting ready to annihilate me, when I caught sight of the culprit.
This is the biggest, baddest woodpecker I have ever seen. And he was going to town on the branch. Going to town.
I admire his tenacity. Peck peck peck. Going to town.
I’m inspired to get back to my keyboard and do the same. Peck peck peck.
This lovely lady represents so much that’s good about humanity: unconditional love, joy, compassion.
I ran into to her at the post office. Well. Let me rephrase that; she annoyed her way into my heart while I was standing impatiently in line at the post office.
She kept engaging the postal clerk in a prolonged conversation, asking after everybody in the clerk’s family, her co-workers, and some other mundane and totally-uninteresting-to-me details. In short, she was holding me up. I didn’t even have anywhere to be at the time, but I can say that my day had been fairly ruined with some bad news, and that wasn’t helping my mood.
By the time my turn came up and I was finished and on the way out, she was still moving at her elderly pace to get to the door. I gave in to the moment. I just wasn’t going to get past her so I thought I might as well be nice.
That was the opening she was looking for — perhaps a change in my demeanor had been her motive all along.
She engaged me in conversation, and the more I spoke with her, the more my mood lifted, and the more she became human to me. I had characterized her as the worst kind of stereotype of the elderly. She was anything but.
And I was blessed.
Ok, that’s two words. Do it anyway.
It turns out that the more you pray, the more you pray. And then you get better at it.
Pray for yourself. For what you need. For what you desire. For what grieves you.
Pray for others.
That right there is the ticket. When you pray for others, something happens to you, too. That offering of love comes back to you. It’s a gift of grace.
It’s also an action, and you have to make the choice, the commitment, to pray. Choose well.