Rush Ranch – Eastern Oregon
Wx: Cold, Windy. 25F
I must admit that I am a recluse. I don’t think that I am a full-blown Agoraphobic, but I wouldn’t mind if I was. I prefer to stay home, hang out with my own company. I have chores, hobbies, and volunteer work at my church that keeps me busy. I tell you these things because, on the rare occasion, I do get out. My husband belongs to a Lodge, and they were having an “installation of officers” function where the wives were invited. And since this night was important to my husband, I got dressed up in some flouncy clothes and joined him for the event. Usually, I have to force myself to go, to smile, to try and feel comfortable in the company of others. I then leave as soon as I possibly can. But this time, I felt that I needed to go. Once there, I realized why I needed to be there – it was to listen to a broken heart.
When I got to the function, the various wives were in the kitchen chatting. I gave them a greeting and stepped into the main auditorium to watch the people set up chairs and otherwise prepare for the evening. One lady whom I did not know came over and stood by me. For some reason, I felt prompted to put my arm around her and give her a squeeze, and she stepped right into my arms for a full-blown hug. We sat down at a table, and after a few exchanges of conversation, she told me that she had lost her lovely daughter to breast cancer. Because I had my own bout with breast cancer, I KNEW why I was there and that the most precious gift I could give to this lady at that very moment was to be fully present for her and truly LISTEN, not just to her spoken words, but also to hear the words that remained unspoken, the ones that are the most painful of all.
As you can imagine, it was hard to hear and see her grief. But I believe that the Lord was there with us, helping her pour out her story – she needed to tell someone the things that were so important about her daughter, and they were delightful things indeed. About how positive and upbeat her daughter was throughout the entire difficult and painful journey. How she had such an amazing impact and positive influence upon so many people. That at her funeral the church was overflowing with people, that they had set up TV screens for folks downstairs and upstairs to watch the proceedings on the main floor. After she shared with me these precious and tender things, I told her that it was a reflection upon her, that she raised and influenced such a special daughter. She smiled at me and said that no one had ever told her that before – and I told her well that’s because it was so obvious to everyone else, I was just stating the obvious. She smiled for the rest of the evening.
I’m not sharing this interaction with you for pride or conceit. I share as an example, that the greatest gifts are free. Even when you are a MESSED up loner like myself, we can still make a difference by being kind. Please, in this month of December, no matter what or when you celebrate your beliefs, please pass along an unexpected kindness to someone out there. The world is hurting. We can’t change the big stuff, but we can change our views, our outlooks, our actions – and make a change to our circle of influence. Pay attention to those small nudges and gentle instincts that tell you to do something – they are important.
I made a goofy looking Christmas tree ornament for a neighbor of mine. She likes me to call her “mom”. She has been a widow for many years and is the sweetest and FUNNIEST 85 year old beauty I have ever known. I adore her. I crocheted her that ball and tassel in the photo to the left.
My download today is called “Nostalgia”. The paper preview reflects only a few of the papers, as there are 30 floral ones, five solid, and five watercolor papers. I prefer to work with neutral colors, but it does have a few splashes of strong colors in case you wish to use them. As always, these are free to use for any purpose including commercial. I hope that you find them useful.
I pray that you are blessed in new ways that inspire and encourages you. I’ll have a January blog hop package for you if I don’t get something else posted in the meantime. Merry Christmas!
Here is a photo of my husband and I as we start to put up our Christmas tree. Things are going according to plan, at the Rush Ranch!