July 26, 2007

Here you see a picture of the lake at Smoky Mountain Christian Camp in Coker Creek, TN. Why? Well, because it's beautiful, and we all need beauty in our lives. I took this right around 7am the last time I was at home. Yes, my family lives there. Lucky, huh?

At 7am, walking my dog in the cool mountain air, I can almost grasp the concept of a "peace that passes understanding." There's something about the lake, and the mist, and the sun, and laughing at my city-dwelling dog because he has to smell everything that soothes my soul. Some little distance behind where I stood to take the picture, my sister is getting married in a few months. In a soccer field. On horseback. Why? Because this is her refuge, and even the soccer field is pretty. Camp is where she met her husband-to-be, and it is where they want to cement their joy in each other with lifelong promises. For me, that's a lot like walking by the lake as the sun comes up. Seeing my sister this happy soothes my soul.

So my thought for today is this: Walk somewhere beautiful at your favorite time of day. Delight in the joy of someone you love. Get out of your daily grind, and laugh at the newness of being somewhere different. Go somewhere you love to be and watch the sun rise or set. Think about what soothes your soul, and do it. Even if you only do it for ten minutes. Even if you can only go as far as your backyard. Appreciate something beautiful.

July 8, 2007

Why Ten Minutes

You might be asking, "Why Ten Minutes?" Two main reasons, and a lot of little ones. I'll share the main two as a sort of introduction.

Reason one: here in Georgia (and in other places, too) we say, "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes; it'll change." Frequently, it does. A sunny sky clouds over and a storm rolls in like a freight train. A cats-and-dogs, high wind, high volume storm slips away and leaves behind a rainbow and dazzling puddle prisms. Life's a lot like that, too, in my experience. If you don't like the way things are going, and you can't alter them by any act of your own, wait a while. Hang in there. Hold on tight to your umbrella, pull your poncho close, and in a little bit, the sky will clear.

Reason two: a wise woman told one of my sisters once that a lot of daily stress can be dealt with by taking a ten minute vacation. Your children and the rest of the world can't do much harm in ten minutes (well, maybe hers couldn't). Go to your room or some other quiet, private place. Close the door and spend ten minutes reading a book or imagining a warm sunny day on the beach, or creating in your mind the exhilaration of reaching the summit of the mountain and looking down to see more of the world than you thought possible. Pray. Nap. Empty your mind and just exist. Take ten minutes. Refresh your soul. The rest of your life will wait for ten minutes.

My posts here will rarely be very long or time-consuming (i won't say never, because that would be inviting reasons to write catastrophically long posts). In fact, I'll try to keep it to ten minutes' worth of material or less. I'll also try to keep it light. I'd like to give you, my reader, ten minutes to be amused and encouraged. You have your own issues; why would you want to read about mine? I hope you'll come back to see me again. Until then, give yourself a break- take ten minutes.