Long Distance Snow

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Kentucky

Snow, Snow and more Snow! Everyone knows how much I love it! I have actually seen only a trace in my yard this year. (Unless it comes to fruition today.. a whopping 8 inches!) Not all of my friends love it the way I do. I often get verbal threats to stop doing the “snow dance” … We have even played out the joke of me being in a program, Snow-Anonymous! Needless to say? I didn’t last long before I fell off the wagon.

I have awesome friends that send me photos as soon as it snows! So far, they have come from 5 different states. No wonder I can’t help but to be excited about getting some accumulation here! I just happen to love the snow. I grew up in it, went sledding in it.. and sometimes tried to eat enough snow cream to have a brain freeze that lasted until spring.

Snow will always mean one thing to me, HOME. I have learned that it is so much more than a place, than it is a feeling. It’s that warm place inside that you hold all of your memories. I have definitely felt that love this week.

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Chicago

A majority of my childhood friends remain in the same state, some further North, and then there are those that moved away to Southern parts that are snow deprived also. I hope you enjoy these photos of Snow from a distance while you are staying warm in your warmer climates. However, I have a feeling you will not feel the cold, but like me, the warmth of the memories! For those of you that are still battling the frozen water lines, snow drifts, treacherous highways.. my wish for you is as always, stay warm and dry… mostly stay safe and know that Spring will eventually come!

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Indiana

I know that in spite of its beauty, it can create havoc. I have always been aware of the “ugly” parts of hard winters (you can read those in my previous blogs) So many hazards come with the snow, so it’s a good time to whisper a few prayers over those that are still dealing with these conditions. Yes, spring will come, and long hot summers, but these pictures will be added to your heart box of memories of winters gone by. (I plan to take a few myself!)

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West Virginia

If by chance you are not in an area to see any white stuff this week? Feel free to gaze upon the ones posted here. I know that I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Nothing can replace the feelings and places they have taken me this week.

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Maryland

Lastly…..

I absolutely love the above picture of my niece, Sophia. Mainly, because it says it all for me. Stay a kid at heart, love with all you have, bask in the warmth of those that truly love you back, forgive as much as possible… and never, ever stop dancing – even if it is for snow.

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If Not for Social Media

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Only 3 1/2 years ago, Facebook had 19,000 followers, today it is over 100,000 and counting. I was skeptical in the beginning but amazed at the same time of the possibilities of connecting family and friends worldwide. Who knew the implications from a decade ago that we would thrive through status updates, shared photos and “liked” pages? Of course there are countless addictive online games, groups of all sorts, the possibilities continue to mount.

I am socially connected from one end of the U.S. to the other.. and also span to the outsides of it. If not for social media? I would be totally unconnected with family and friends from around the globe. Where else can you re-connect with friends you haven’t heard from in over 25 years? Watch children grow from early ages and stages through adulthood? Where else can you have someone earnestly ask you to diligently pray for their needs? A pretty awesome resource in my opinion.

Regardless of the weather; heat waves, snow storms or gazing at fall foliage? It’s here – available at your fingertips. I probably enjoy the photos most. Whether it be connecting with old friends and family, or making new ones through mutual contacts? Who would have thought it would be so convenient?  Traveling through the internet at lightening speed.

For the most part? my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive ones. I assure you that there is an element of caution as with any social media. Common sense goes a long way in this arena. There will always be those that ruin this platform for others, but you always have the option to just “keep scrolling” or un-subscribe to news feeds. If you can’t make the conscious choice to ignore undesirables? then social networks are probably not for you. There are tons of status posts that are for fishing entrepreneurs only.. you don’t have to take the bait, if you do? be prepared to deal with the consequences. If you use your platform to rant? Go ahead. It’s when it is used to argue and hurt your family and friends publicly? I know where the “un-friend” or “un-follow” tab is located, and I don’t feel guilty for using it. Maybe a private journal would fulfil your need to “get it all out?”  Free speech lives, so use your own judgement on that one.

There are only a few contacts that I have ever actually “deleted” This does happen to be a pet peeve of mine, while we are on the subject. It’s okay, my circle of friends will not suffer from it. (I have over 500 more!)  I have been “deleted” before – in past years for whatever reason,  I can tell you that I have taken it personally but only when it is by a close friend or family member, and I am somewhat tender-hearted more than I care to admit. In my personal opinion, it’s cowardly, sometimes even hurtful. It remains part of free choice, I have no issues with that aspect of it. I prefer to un-subscribe from news feed, it just seems less harsh.

Choices, and more choices. Social Media can be used for the good of others, or not. I happen to cherish the ability to keep up with my friends and family, it proves to be especially true when you move from your hometown, lose touch with people you saw on a daily basis. I have made new friends for life, and re-connected with family I have missed.

Whatever your intentions with social media? I hope you embrace the good parts, use your common sense with the rest. It’s okay if it is not for you. I have often been told that it is nothing but trouble or a gossip station? Funny thing is? I think that started way before social media outlets –  via telephone and the human mouthpiece..ancient.

So here’s to new friends, old friends, and a place to share your encouragement, cartoons, and crazy status updates! Bring it on, it’s here to stay. May it serve you well.

The Hourglass

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Time… It does not stop. Time continues to go on, regardless if our feet are moving or standing still. It revolves around us, forever turning…the grains of sand continue to pour out beneath our feet. I sometimes have the desire for it to stand still, other times for it to quickly move forward. Regardless of my wishes, one thing remains certain of this life? It goes on.

After the 2013 marathon of too many Twilight movies, I found myself wondering what it would be like to disappear, if only for a few days. I accomplished this feat for three entire days when I came down with the Flu. I made a mental note to be careful what I wished for. For three entire days, I could not have told you who had called, what the news headlines were, or even how high my own daughters’ fever was lying right beside of me. Fortunately, my husband looked after us, until he became sick on the third day.

The amazing thing with time, is the fact that we all want it to stand still when moments are great, we want it to last forever. On the other hand, when they are not so great? we want it to pass quickly, a type of relief that we can only hope is on the horizon.

This previous year, as a whole, was one of my toughest. Maybe yours was as well? I said goodbye to members of our family, I said goodbye to some parts of me as a person that I will never regain. Time didn’t wait for me to pull it together, it went on – some days without me. Time didn’t stand still on the good days like I had wanted. It surely didn’t speed by during the painful ones either. Just like the hourglass, the sands poured out relentlessly, hours and minutes of my days..that would eventually lead to the end of an entire year. Gone.

I made no resolutions. I never do this for the new year. I reflect. I mourn, and I process. This is the time that I turn inward. It is the time that I think of the hourglass, when the sand has run out, I mentally abuse myself with the things I should have done or shouldn’t have done, or the what if’s, or why I didn’t make better choices? and wondering all the while if it would have made any real difference. I wonder if any of the good parts really made a difference. Pondering until I bring myself to the bottom, I give myself permission to mentally flip the hourglass, moving forward to another year.

I also ask for more Grace than my previous year, if that is even possible. Time is precious but I also find it to be very intimidating. I feel the pressure to make my days count, to be more giving with my hours to those that need it the most, to be sparing to the things that unselfishly waste it. Time will move forward regardless of how I choose to spend it. May God grant me extra Grace on the days I “think” I want to disappear.

How will you spend your time? How will you make them count?

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.Psalm 90:11-13