Reflections—One Year Later

This month has gone so quickly………July has flown by and it has been a wonderful month. But even more amazing to me is that the end of July marks 12 months since I began “Faith and Courage: The Joys of an Ordinary Life”.

Those that have read The Story Behind the Story on the Home Page know that I started this blog solely due to my son encouraging me to share my stories with family and friends. As I wrote last August “I have no idea as to how this blog will evolve nor how often I will post—but it is my wish that these writings will help you look for joy in your own life……..for I have learned that both inner joy and a sense of humor give you courage—give you strength—and help to make life truly worth living.”

And here I am…. a year later… and this blog has evolved in ways I never thought it would. I was not sure I would have any stories or thoughts to share…. my life is truly so very ordinary. I get up….brush my teeth…go to work….answer the phone….work on the computer….go home…. take walks….run errands…..watch tv…..go to church and Sunday School….have dinner with friends….. and so forth. There is nothing about my life that would make the newspapers or even a YouTube Video. I will never have a “15 minutes of fame” moment….nor would there even be 30 seconds of fame.  Nor, quite frankly, would I want such.

I recently clicked on the Categories links——and I read again some of the posts. I see conveyed throughout the stories—a sense of humor—courage—faith—inner joy—and I have begun to realize that for those of us with ordinary lives (which is most of us) that these qualities can quietly change your life. No one else may know that your ordinary life has some extraordinary moments in it but all those qualities can shape your life … its depth… its strength… and help you face whatever challenges come your way.

There have been stories to share because I have had to look at my life though a different lens… and to live in a different manner. You cannot write that you want to “convey the strength that one gains when facing life with both faith and a sense of humor” and then ignore those principles. By making those words the cornerstone of my blog, they became the cornerstone of my life.

Last May I turned 62 and a dear friend sent me a card on which she wrote that I have created a life that others enjoy reading about. I was struck by her use of the word “create”.

I have always been Pollyanna type of person—always looking for good and trying to be positive. But what lodged in my brain with her using the word “create” is that to create means you have to take steps—to “create” is to be active—it takes a different energy—it is more than passively putting on a smiley face and being positive no matter what life throws in your direction.

To “create” means to pick up life’s paint brushes and to experiment with colors…. to make bold strokes…to take chances. In my blog post  2013-05-13 Beginning Year 62 and Creating an Art Masterpiece, I share my going with 4 other women to Corkscrews and Canvas for an evening of painting and wine….with each of us painting a Tuscany scene complete with trees, flowers and a house. We all started with a blank canvas—we made some mistakes—our colors were different—our trees did not look the same—one of us chose not to put the house in her painting—yet we laughed and chatted and struggled on and kept trying and in the end, we each had our own masterpiece….  our own painting. The canvas was no longer blank.  

I began my 62nd year in May with a blank canvas. What colors will I use? Will there be hues of deep blue and yellow and pinks or will there be some dark shadows with browns and gray?  Will the strokes be bold or will they be soft and gentle and feathery? What will the final painting look like next May?

I do not know—just as I do not know a year from now what stories will be written…. but I do know that with faith and courage as my paintbrushes that I can take a blank canvas and create a new painting… a wonderful masterpiece that tells a story.

And it will be one that I will hang in my heart with joy.

jfh