New Running Shoes-Day 9

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images-1I am a lover of shoes.  Any of you that have stepped foot into my dressing room (closet) know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a shoe girl!  Boots, pumps, sandals, stilettos, Uggs, Chuck Taylors, flip-flops, high heel, low heel…  I get giddy when new shoes enter the house.  But…running shoes..putting two of my loves together, well that’s just magical.  I have had the go-around with running shoes this season.  Switching brands, loving them, then switching back…OYE!!  It’s amazing when putting in long miles how one can put such dedication into their shoes.  However, as any runner knows, if you chose wrong….it’s ALL over!!  There is a multitude of things that can go wrong OR right!  There is something about slipping your feet into new shoes.  It’s unbelievably wonderful!

Short and sweet today….GOOD running shoes make the list of things I am thankful for right now.photo

Bad Weather-Day 8

It is miserable.  The damp, cold, rain outside beating against the window pain mixed with clouds gray with hostility have somehow pushed our glowing sun right from the sky.  It’s wretched.  It’s the kind of day that would be perfect for staying under the substantial loft of a warm comforter.  Or sitting; hot tea in one hand, book in the other, peeping under my pink readers, lost in a novel.  Leaves are blowing by my window. I see them.  Fluttering around as if looking themselves for a warm place to hibernate.  The squirrels have gone, as have my Stellar Jays, whom I call to the deck with peanuts all summer like Snow White.  All of their peanuts have been buried, lying in wait to be rediscovered in a mid-winter’s snow.  The resident deer still linger.  Aimlessly wandering the yards nibbling on any last pieces of clover they can find.  Winter is most certainly starting to make a small threat here in the Pacific Northwest.

But today, I am thankful for bad weather.  It’s about perspective. rain-hd-wallpapers

Do some days just roll in like a storm? Some days you want to cover the bed head back up.  Some days you are frustrated or angry or just downright depressed.  Days that hold a piece of bad news, a shattering phone call or even a driver in the next lane that is being agitating.  A person next to you on the airplane that has no clue that they are not the only one on the flight.  Marital or financial situations… When storms arise of any sort, what do people see in you?  Do you push right back?  Judge?  Spiral out of control with rage?  Hold grudges?  Hold in jealousy?  Bitterness?  Take it out on someone else at work or home?  WHO do these people see?  Because whether you know it or not, they are watching.  I have weathered some turbulent storms, let me tell you.  This I know now; Had I not, I would’ve missed the lesson.  I have become more compassionate.  How can I show compassion if I hadn’t weathered the storm?  It has taught me about the Creator’s sufficiency.  How can I know adequacy if I hadn’t at one time had nothing?  Which of course led to appreciation.  It has taught me about endurance, it has shown me I cannot rely on myself, and trust me in a World of “I can do it on my own” that was a tough pill to swallow.  It has taught me courage only because now I stand behind armor.  It has taught me trust.  Empathy.  I know if I had missed the storms I would be a completely different person.  Maybe not that great of a person.  Uptight or inhospitable.  Judgmental. Stuck in my woundedness. Disagreeable and jaded by an astringent life.

Here’s what I know, WE can weather any storm.  We always do.  Who do you look towards for your umbrella?  What is the lesson in the storm? rain

We prove God in adversity–not in calm waters.  Is that who people see when turbulence and dark, stormy downpours roll in?

Rain has got to be my worst weather condition.  I don’t like being wet.  I do not enjoy feeling chilled to the bone.  My African, curly head of hair gets extremely bothered by it.  It’s something no flatiron can fix. But when I adjust my focus or look through a different lens, I see that it’s necessary.  It’s nourishing to the hard ground. It’s refreshing and cooling from the scorching sun.  It washes away dirt and dust in a dry land.  Humans are made up of 90%water, we need it for survival.  Rain allows us to create hydropower.  It’s vital and essential.

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Out puddle jumping in my rain boots

So today I refocused.  I watched and waited for the perfect POURING moment and I jumped.  Right.  Into.  The.  Puddles.  I laughed like a child!  I thanked the most High for the storms.  I was thankful for the cold, pounding rain because it reminded me that even though it’s storming now, it is significant in transforming all sorts of things into the new and remarkable.  And I’m already promised that it won’t last forever.

 

Day 7-Music

 

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Music has always been  huge part of my life.  Growing up as a teen in the 80’s I listened to it all.  Cried over broken relationships to Air Supply and Journey, rocked out to Kiss, Quiet Riot and Def Leopard, and got crazy dance skills dancing to Wham, Michael Jackson and Cindy Lauper.  What memories!

It only seemed natural that God gave me a musician to marry.  Greg and I LOVE our music.  It plays throughout our house on an almost ongoing basis in some form.  Not always loud, but in the background with the occasional (OK not so occasional) dance party!  Cooking in my kitchen requires music, and depending on what I’m preparing, the genre changes.  A little Ray Lamontagne (whom our youngest daughter has sworn herself to marry) Josh Garrels, Joe Purdy or Passenger when I’m cooking Italian, all the way to opera, playing LOUDLY while I bake pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have Painting Music when we get the urge to paint a new wall in our home, which is usually The Refreshments, (who are also A MUST on any road trip) and CCR.  Yes, even the old stuff.  Our kids grew up listening with us, and love CCR, Jonny Cash and one of our all time favorites Etta James, At Last (who I know wasn’t the original artist) but is the version we love!  At any given moment when The Nilges’ are all together under one roof, our middle daughter will bust out singing this song.  She’s amazing!  Adore! Unknown-1

A lot of my time now is filled with worship music.  I run to it; HELLO TobyMac and Newsboys, I dance to it; HELLO Mandisa, I sing it, I bathe myself in the lyrics of adoration.

My hubs, who was a rocker when we met is now playing worship.  He’s still rocking’ it’s just for a different purpose.  I cannot explain how much I delight in hearing him home all day playing his guitar.  Those sounds permeate our home and I cannot help but have a smile on my face as well as the fact that is takes all unfavorable moods out the door.  Music brought my hubby and I together, and it’s a great glue for our household.  It gives it a peace and a joy-filled space.  I will never forget the look on our friends faces a couple of years ago while on a trip to Hawaii.  We walked into a Ukelele store and Greg picked up a Uke.  The friendly, robust, Hawaiian man sitting behind the counter asked Greg to play a little with him.  Within seconds the two were playing Banana Pancakes that trailed into Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  Our friends lit up!  The happiness and smiles that donned their faces were priceless and have written themselves into my memory. Unknown-2 As you can guess, I bought Greg a ukelele that Christmas as a surprise.  The music that comes from the uke around our house, takes me right back to the islands.  Feeling sunny and ready for flip-flops!  It carries me away.  It’s happy!  Music can make such an impact.

What is your favorite type of music?

I have to run now,  and break into a dance party for one!!