The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Delicate twigs surviving the first snow

delicate swirls surviving the first snow

Delicate is a word that I have recently used to describe my emotional state.  The days surrounding the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) have been challenging.  They make me realize the specific people and experiences that I hold close to my heart.  So, when I saw the weekly photo challenge, I knew that I had to participate…if only to force myself to face up to my weaknesses.

delicate artistry in God's creation

delicate artistry in God’s creation

I have a deep-rooted appreciation and respect for the beauty of nature.  My weakness?  I am easily distracted by modern comforts and attractions.  Hulu has, on more than one occasion, stolen time that could have been spent outdoors.  Now that snow is hiding my world (see the first photo), I am missing these delicacies.

A strength?  I don’t mind getting a little chilly while searching for new delicacies.  I also don’t mind climbing a mountain to find the delicacies.  Over the past six months, I have had my share of summits.

delicate pathway to the summit

delicate pathway to the summit

Those can also be delicate.  Although I might like to be a free spirit and throw caution to the wind, a shale-covered pathway like the one I found in Canada required a delicate foot.  For most of the trip, I was fun and fancy free.  But in the moments leading to this summit, I lost a bit of confidence.  As I followed a French mountaineer (fellow CouchSurfer), I questioned my sanity.  This guy was booking it…and I was about to fall to my death.  Nevertheless, we managed to make it all the way to the very top (he wasn’t content with the slightly shorter peak where we first landed).

I also experienced the delicacies of mountains over the summer when I spent some time in the rocks of Wyoming with a friend.  Oh friends…another delicate topic for me.  Friendships, for me, are more than delicate; they are fragile.  Sometimes my mind and soul prefer to be independent and risk forcing me into the state of a hermit.  But, since my move to St. Paul, I have hated that lonely state.  Today though, I realized that I am not alone.  I have at least one friend.  The friendship formed so delicately that I hardly noticed.  It’s a beautiful feeling when someone tells you they are glad you’re around.

I realize now that delicate can mean many things.  I’ve been going with the idea that delicate means fragile, or requiring great care.  But delicate can also mean pleasing to the senses (according to m-w.com).  I think I like that definition…especially because it works for each of my examples.

 

EDIT

Another thought just entered my mind and it refuses to leave: the delicacy of life.  I am not one to get lost in current events, politics, or headlines.  But recent events (just google “Connecticut shooting” if you’re lost) have tugged at my heart…the heart of an educator who has a special appreciation for the vitality of children.  There is a delicate aspect of life that is easy for us to forget because we have living down to such a science.  We eat XYZ and take vitamins B, C, and E and drink 8 gallons of water and jog for 20 minutes 3 times a week.  But, despite all of our attempts at preserving our life, it can be gone in the blink of an eye.  Therefore, we must cherish our breaths…and the breaths of those around us.  My prayer this evening is that you will take your breaths and realize their delicacy.  Make the most of them.

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A Day of Beauty

A beautiful thing happened today.  Well, actually, a lot of beautiful things have happened today.

  • There is the weather.  It’s cooling down.  Warm fall colors are popping up on the trees.  Leaves are gently gliding down from the tree tops.  The sidewalks have sufficient leaves to make an awesome crunching noise.  Beauty!!!
  • I got out of class early today!  Yep…and it was a horrible class: ECON.  Okay so, to be perfectly honest, economics is not all that difficult when I buckle down and focus all of my energies on figuring out the concepts/theories/etc.  But, it is boring…no matter what.  Today though, I got out early…almost an hour early (yeah, it’s a two-hour class on Tuesday and Thursday).
  • Free food.  I got a slice of pizza, ⅓ of a turkey-bacon-ranch sandwich, and a couple of pieces of fried fish.  What?  You think I’m a college student?  What would make you think that???
  • I passed…the…PRAXIS.  Praxis II: Elementary Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  I took it on September 17 and I have been stressing out about it for the past few weeks.  The stress skyrocketed a couple of days ago when I started thinking about it a LOT more.  I have randomly felt the intense urge to curl up into a ball and cry.  I felt that urge overwhelm my soul as I sat in front of a computer in the computer lab in the education building on campus…trying to decide whether or not to click “View Scores”…but then I clicked…and I scrolled up and down several times until the word “PASSED” caught my eyes.  Yes.  I passed.  I almost cried.  Life is good.
Do you know what it is like to, all of a sudden, have this crazy huge weight lifted off of your shoulders?  I know that, weeks ago, I should have let God take this weight off of my shoulders.  But, I did not.  Here I am, though.  Reveling in the beauty that is success…bred only from the peace that comes from God.
Gotta love peace.
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1. Friday: Baking

Yea!  Baking!  I love it…even if I burn myself (twice today)…and make a mess of my kitchen (I do that even if I don’t bake).  Now, I know I said that I was going to make brownies, but I had a change of plans.  The recipe I had planned on using required frosting and I didn’t think that frosting would be ideal since I would have to put them in ziploc baggies.  So…cookies!

…yeah, I know it’s not the best picture but I am trying to share some proof of today’s accomplishment.  I had some leftover (i.e. didn’t need to go in baggies) and I ate them.  They were very yummy.  And the process of baking was, as always, incredibly enjoyable.  There was this one moment when I accidentally pulled my hand mixer off the counter and sent softened butter and cream cheese flying across the kitchen…but I survived (so did my toes).  Other than that, there were no issues.  The smoke detector didn’t even go off…it went off when I was making blueberry muffins one time.  True story.

Also, today, I took time to relax.  I said “no” when I got a call from one of my supervisors at work…someone else was sick and couldn’t work.  I said “no”.  That is a big, good deal for me.  I’m not very good at saying “no”.  But, I have to work 14 hours tomorrow so…I deserved to be free this evening.  And, I thoroughly enjoyed my freedom.

I made this:

Yes…that is a fruit and yogurt parfait with granola…homemade granola!  It was very delightful.  I used frozen blueberries…but those are my favorite for stuff like this.  When you defrost the berries, they juice just enough to give a hint of blueberriness to everything surrounding them…granola, yogurt, milk (when use as a cereal topping)…they are just fabulous.  I’ve also used them for blueberry tea.  They are just so delightful!

I didn’t spend the whole afternoon eating my parfait…although that might have been just lovely.  I also did something that I haven’t done in a while…well, two somethings actually.  I rode my bike and I took some photographs (besides these pathetic excuses for food photography).  I biked down to a little park that is near my house and just enjoyed myself.  I stuck a book in my bag too…got started on that (I’m preparing for Tuesday).  It was so enjoyable!  I like scaling back my life and savoring the little things.  Today?  Baking, biking, and a bit of a book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, while work will consume most of tomorrow (14 hours–ugh), I can look forward to one beautiful thing: stargazing.  So, that seems like a pathetic way to leave a blog post.

I have a bit of advice for you.  Even if your day seems crappy, find something beautiful to hold on to…whether it be the flowers outside your office, a really fabulous cup of coffee, or magical future plans…hold on to that piece of beauty…savor it…and know that there is always more beauty to find in the world.

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Blessings

It is often easy to forget how incredibly blessed I truly am.  The chaos of (ah–I just got fingernail polish on my keyboard!) life is so incredibly distracting.  And, I tend to get bogged down in the messy details or complex big picture, forgetting to smell the daffodils and honeysuckle (I don’t really care for the smell of roses).  So, I am just going to take some time to stop and reflect on some of the ways that God has blessed me…just today.

  • I had a bagel for breakfast!
  • I got out of class early.
  • The nice guy was working at the registrar’s office.
  • I made it to my interview early.
  • I got the job.
  • My dad was excited that I got the job (my mom…ehhh).
  • I finished reading a chapter and writing up my notes.
  • I don’t have to do a group paper today.
Whoa!  I’m not even to noon yet!  And, after noon, my day got even better.  I got up with one of my best friends.  We got our the cartilage at the top of our ears pierced and had lunch together.  Then, we just roamed the mall for a while.  For dinner, I caught up with one of my cousins and her husband plus their two kids (who I haven’t seen since January).  That was just delightful.  I got to feed her 7 month old daughter…mac & cheese with veggies, yum!
Good grief.  God has blessed me beyond words.  I cannot say how wonderful today has been, even though there have been frustrating moments.  There was a moment when I wanted to break down and yell at the world.  But, when I look at all that I would have missed if I had been wallowing…man, I hate to think about that.  Even worse?  Thinking about all of the things that I have missed out on wallowing during my life.  That makes me want to live life to the fullest…and quite wallowing!  Just be blessed!
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