Saturday, December 16, 2006

Add to this list

These are some of the things we came up with at our group that are simple gifts to us.

a great writing pen
wonderful paper
a warm bed with an electric blanket
a warm rice bag (that you heat in the microwave)
receiving an unexpected package
a good laugh
my favorite magazine arriving in the mail
clean sheets
a clean house
a clean house that someone else cleaned for me
getting a text message from my spouse in the middle of the day
a worship song--the right one at the right time
having one on one time with my child
sharing hearts with a good talk
sleeping in instead of getting up to exercise
getting a hug from my kid
sitting on the dock at the lake fishing
good coffee
good chowder on the ferry in Seattle
good barbeque in a barbecue joint down south
lying in the grass looking at the night sky
looking at the mountains
a beautiful view of the mountains, sky, and moon in the morning
good potpourri
candle light
a good book
good pizza
a walk on the beach at the edge of the water
wonderful lotion
babies' laughter
my son's laughter
getting a hug from my mom and dad
reconciliation with my children (especially at their initiation)
a 'Thank You' from my children
receiving a genuine compliment from an unexpected source
a drive through the mountains in the spring or fall
the color of blue which touches your soul--deep cobalt or ultramarine
the color black (esp. for clothing)
a good glass of wine
the smell of Cottonwoods in the fall
the smell of rain
the smell of evergreens
the smell of a bookstore
the smell of a library
Christmas lights
watching the snow with my family when I don't have to go out in it to work
Sunday morning with the newspaper and a good cup of coffee and program on TV
unexpectedly coming across a new book by my favorite author
a good piece of clothing that fits just right
comfy warm socks
seeing horses running
riding horses
camping and sitting by a campfire
watching an aquarium
flowers--blooming ones and bouquets of beautiful flowers
the smell of fresh herbs--especially basil
listening to a fountain
walking barefoot in grass the first time in the season
my dog when he's happy to see me
the gift of prayer--receiving it

What other things would you add?

I'll start:
golden light on trees and buildings in the late afternoon
hearing a favorite song on the radio


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Simple Thoughts

Life moves too fast to document everything or even to note significant highlights. Blogging was helping me to do that, but I'm finding my energy level and time available to sit down and write to be quite limited. I still put creative energy into my Tuesday group and into the creative team at the Refuge. I even put time, thought, and energy into decorating for Christmas. Web design has taken many hours, but the sites I'm working on still aren't up and running. (I'll link to them when they are.) But I want to get back to regular blogging and I hope you'll stick with me. If you respond we can create a conversation.

At church we are into a series called Simple Gifts. It's about 4 gifts that Jesus gives us us, and the teaching has been from Jesus' stories about the lost coin, the lost sheep, and this week will be about the lost son (the Prodigal.) The first 2 gifts were equality and freedom. I know what the next 2 are (because I'm on the creative team) but am not allowed to tell yet. They are being unwrapped one by one each week.

So, I've been thinking a lot about simple gifts. My decorating, inspired by my trips to the coasts in the late summer and fall, uses seashells. Yes, for Christmas. And it ties in to the idea of simple gifts--those which are meaningful, make us more alive, more grateful, and require us to notice and to listen. Gifts from the sea; gifts from God of ornate and intricate design to ornament his world, yet simple, quiet, subtley colored, and sometimes not noticed or valued. Our Tuesday group started discussing the shell theme, and then listed things that qualify as simple gifts to each of us personally. We then asked how we could give these types of gifts to those we love. It was a little harder to answer because of the experiential nature of the gifts. A hug is easy. A glorious view of the moon over the mountains early in the morning is not quite so transferable. Still we wanted to go further and translate our list of simple gifts into some practical and do-able items that we could put together for a special person (one of our group members) in a time of need. We wanted things that would be meaningful, experiential and sensory, and would surprise (as simple gifts often do) with joy, and communicate love. The more ideas we came up with, the more excited everyone became to do this thing. We completed our project within a week and delivered our gifts- so anxious for them to be received. Giving, of course became a gift to us.