31 Days of Aging Gracefully: Day 26 — Sitting Still

So these are a few of my favorite places to sit still these days. The demands of moving and remodeling have left little time or space for sitting still, but when I can, I choose to sit in one of these spots. IMG_6148

This one least of all because of the heat that radiates here in the afternoons. Now that we’re moving into some cooler weather — we humbly hope and pray! — this little bench may see more use in days ahead.


These two are my favorites. They’re new to us for this house (ordered through a company new to me called Grandin Road, when they were on sale last summer) and we both love them. We usually eat our breakfast out here and at various points during our day, you’ll find one or both of us sitting here for a moment or two. We’re discovering again, in a different way, that having a lovely view is a very life-giving thing.


Though we haven’t had too many occasions yet to use this space at night, when we have, it’s been nice. The yard is quite small, but it is just big enough for these large pavers and firepit. And the view at night is pretty terrific, too. City lights and all that, you know?


This spot was a surprise to me when I first used it. I never thought that this particular room might have even a corner of our view, but it does! It’s my study, the room I use for direction, and I am sitting in a chair that matches the one in the foreground, with my computer on my lap, looking out through our tiny dining room toward the city. The fan is on, the breeze is blowing the mini-blinds against the windows and I am luxuriating in some alone time, something which is often at a premium during retirement years.

Finding time and sacred space to sit still, be quiet, meditate, pray, read, think, dream — this is life-giving and necessary. I am so grateful that our new space allows us many options for good sitting.

How do you sit still? Do you relish it or endure it? 

31 Days of Giving Permission . . . TO STOP

31 days of giving permission 200x130

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want. 
~Bill Watterson,Calvin and Hobbes

Here’s to enough time to do nothing this weekend.
Because it’s the ‘nothing’ time that allows
the seed to grow,

the ideas to blossom,
the Spirit to be heard.

Blessed Sabbath, friends. 

Quiet for the Weekend – January 25-27, 2013

This place is good for my soul.

It consists of row after row of large, rather ugly warehouses.
And one of those warehouses has a sliding door that opens
to this . . .

. . . and this.
Brilliant colors, exotic shapes, with just a hint of a tropical paradise somewhere.

Phaelonopsis (butterfly orchid). . .

some of them strange and wonderful indeed,

and some of them as familiar as that corsage you wore to the prom 40 years ago.

Just outside another set of sliding doors is the cymbidium garden,
larger pots, less expensive flowers.
And just over their shoulders are these up-and-comers,
mere shadows of the rows and rows and rows behind doors that don’t slide
all over this very large piece of property.

If your local Trader Joe’s stocks orchids, it is likely that some of them came from
warehouses in Santa Barbara and Goleta.
And all this glory is 15 minutes from my front door.

This is the time of year for orchid shows,
and these are some of the newer looking flowers I saw today.
These busy hybridizers are always creating something new and lovely to enjoy.

Just take a gander at this array of color – bright yellow, ivory, chartreuse, deep red.
Oh, my!
Thank you, Lord, for letting us partner with you
in the creation of lovely things.


“A woman loves orchids, because they make her feel like she’s floating on a cloud of possibility”.
— from the movie, “A Perfect Man”

Joining with Sandy and Deidra and their invitation to slow down and savor.

Quiet for the Weekend – November 17-18, 2012

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, 
for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect our meeting together,
as some people do, but encourage one another,
especially now that the day of his return is 
drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:23-25, The Message

Oh, kind friends, may you enjoy the privilege of meeting together for mutual encouragement and for holding onto hope, tomorrow 
and through the week ahead.
Please know that the ‘meeting together’ we discover
out here is a gift to me, from you and from the God 
in whom our hope is found.

Joining with Sandy King and Deidra Riggs and their invitation to quiet and rest.

Quiet for the Weekend – November 2-4, 2012

 “God spoke: 
‘Lights! Come out! 
Shine in heaven’s sky. 
Separate Day from Night.
Mark seasons, and days and years, 
Lights in Heaven’s skies to give light to Earth.’
And there it was.”
Genesis 1:13-15 (MSG)

As the sunlight caught this golden bough,
I gasped and said, “Thank you!”
I’m grateful for seasons,
even if they’re subtle.
Probably why I love this tree – 
not a subtle thing about it.
(Nor about the sunset that night, either.)

May your weekend be blessed with sunlight,
whether real or imagined, striking or subtle;
may you find time with those you love,
enjoy worship that makes your heart sing,
and stretch out in moments of true rest.

Happily joining with Sandy and Deidra and Cheryl 
(whose badge I cannot manage to capture.)


31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 27

A spot of color and beauty at our lunch stop on Tuesday, driving south on the 101.

“Put the question to our ancestors,
study what they learned from their ancestors.
For we’re newcomers at this with a lot to learn,
and not too long to learn it.
So why not let the ancients teach you, 
tell you what’s what,
instruct you in what they knew from experience?
Can mighty pine trees grow tall without soil?
Can luscious tomatoes flourish without water?
Blossoming flowers look great 
before they’re cut or picked,
but without soil or water 
they wither more quickly than grass.
That’s what happens to all who forget God —
all their hopes come to nothing. 
They hang their life from one thin thread,
they hitch their fate to a spider web.
One jiggle and the thread breaks,
one jab and the web collapses.”
Job 8:8-15 (The Message)

May you find quiet space to learn from our ancestors 
this weekend, friends.
May you have room to enjoy the beauty of flowers,
and pine trees and tomatoes.
And may our lives hang from the Rock, 
rather than ‘one thin thread…’
Joining this with Sandy and Deidra for a small space of quiet this weekend.

Quiet for the Weekend – October 19-21, 2012

“Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits —
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5, TNIV

Hanging onto these words this weekend,
celebrating their truth
and their comfort.
My thanks to Cheryl Hyatt Smith 
Joining with Cheryl, Sandy and Deidra for their weekend links.
Thanks, friends, for encouraging us to take time to be still,
to choose thoughtfulness and reflection.


31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 12

This weekend, we are traveling,
heading south to be with family,
in parts and pieces,
for just a day or so.
And as we leave,
the first storm of the season
is building in drama
and beauty.
As we round the curve on the 118,
heading into the hills and canyons
that separate the valleys
San Fernando and San Gabriel,
we can see what we’re heading into.
We have splashes and splitches
on the windshield as we drive
the two hours,
listening to a play-off game on the car radio.
But after we are safely ensconced in our
daughter’s small, cozy guesthouse,
the clouds burst their seams,
pouring water,
hail and something new to our ears,
all around us,
looking for all the world like
small pellets of styrofoam packing material.
Time with mom is good.
My brother has made the long trek
from northern CA
and she is delighted to
have her two remaining
children (and her daughter’s husband)
in the same space,
making her laugh til her sides hurt –
even when she can’t quite understand
everything that is being said.
I take a walk in the late afternoon,
around my daughter’s beautiful, old
filled with Victorian cottages,
bungalows from the turn of the
twentieth century,
and a bounteous buffet
of doors and porches.
This old codger was somehow

both delightfully out of place
and quite comfy
in this collection of 
oldies, but goodies.

The street just to the west of our children
is filled with magnificent
old jewels like this shingled glory,

mixed nicely with smaller, more modest

This lovely avenue positively defines
the term ‘tree-lined street,’
and is always deliciously inviting.

Turning the bend below the elementary school,
brings a bright row of small charmers,

and the delightful surprise of a healthy,
blooming plumeria plant,
six feet tall and thriving in this
decidedly non-tropical environment.

And this is a garage.
Oh, my.

This small gem, with its bright red door,
stands diagonally across the corner
on the street where we are staying.
When I see it,
it always seems to call out,

 One more small Victorian on the way up the hill,

and then I’m back where I began,
the charming Sears & Roebuck bungalow,
which our children have tastefully and carefully
enlarged and improved,
and where we are always received
by grace-filled, loving hearts.

 I think this front door is my very favorite of all.

The beauty found in
thunder storms,
city streets
and warm welcome
is saving me 
right here, right now.
And I am thankful.

Much longer than usual for the weekend quiet hosted by my friends Sandy and Deidra, but this is what I’ve got for now. I hope to do a simpler one for Sat/Sun, which means I will not quite make all 31 of the 31-day challenge. 

Quiet for the Weekend – October 5-7, 20112

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
his words are upon my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke.
The Rock of Israel said to me:
‘The one who rules righteously,
who rules in the fear of God, 
is like the light of morning at sunrise,
like a morning without clouds,
like the gleaming of the sun
on new grass after rain.'”
from the last words of David,
2 Samuel 23:2-4, NLT

May your Sunday be filled with the Light of Morning,
gleaming like new grass after rain,
 ever aware of God’s loving presence
in the world around you,
and in your heart of hearts.

Joining with Sandy and Deidra,
friends of the heart,
for their weekly invitation to quietness and rest.

Quiet for the Weekend – September 14-16, 2012

“This is what the Lord says,
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters . . .
‘Forget the former things,
do not dwell on the past.
I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up,
do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness,
and streams in the wasteland . . .
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself,
that they may proclaim my praise.”
Isaiah 43:18, 19-21.
Join me in proclaiming the LORD’s praise this weekend,
even if we do it quietly?

Joining with Sandy and Deidra, dear friends who invite us all into the quiet as the weekend dawns.