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The Calm Before…

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

As many of you know, I write a Slice of Life every Tuesday. Usually I write it on Sunday because my weeks are full of lesson plans, school, meetings, errands… But this weekend I finished up the Christmas preparations. Yesterday, I ran errands. So this morning I am sitting in my warm kitchen with my dog Charlie on my lap, knowing that soon we will all be in here, my husband, my daughters, and me, cooking up a storm. I will attempt to make my mother’s dressing for tomorrow’s dinner. Jeff will be making a gumbo for tonight’s Christmas Eve celebration, and Martha will make lemon squares. But at this moment, I am having a quiet cup of coffee and listening to the calm.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be stressful. Even when I try to keep it low stress, stress creeps its ugly head in at some point or another. Yesterday, it came to me while I drove through CVS. I drove into the wrong lane, the drop off lane. I yelled at the poor clerk, “Was there a sign to tell me I couldn’t pick up here!”

Later I returned. No, I didn’t circle around and try again. I left. But the errand had to be done, so I tried again when I was calmer. The sign could not have been bigger on the overhang. On the left, Pick Up, and on the right, Drop Off Only. What an idiot! I smiled at the clerk and wished her a Merry Christmas. And I learned a lesson.

I hope your day today is free of stress, mixed with calm and chaos, and full of love.

Christmas Haiga.  Photo by Michelle Zimmerman

Christmas Haiga by Margaret Simon. Photo by Michelle Zimmerman

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Discover. Play. Build.
Morning Light, photo by John Gibson

Morning Light, photo by John Gibson

I temporarily forgot it was Saturday, Celebration Saturday. I was only thinking about the break. Whew! Here it is, two weeks off! I scheduled a facial this morning using a gift card my husband gave me for my birthday in August. I am Celebrating me today!

Celebrate imperfection and embrace holiness: Bishop Jake’s message touched me this morning. He always has some wonderful wisdom to offer. Today he tells us that we are not called to be perfect. We are born imperfect, and we will always be that way. This week my daughter, Martha, is home from Chicago. Celebrating her! She went to the eye doctor for the first time in probably more than 10 years. (Pass the guilt knife over.) She discovered not only that she is far-sighted like her mother, she also has a congenital defect in her optic nerve. The defect, Thank God, is harmless. Her amazing blue eyes are not perfect, but they are still lovely.

I spend a lot of time trying to be perfect. I would guess many of us do. It was refreshing to hear that I am not perfect and never will be. However, I am holy. This comes with a huge responsibility. To fully be holy, I need to accept others with open arms. I need to connect daily. I need to love fully. For more inspiration, read Pelican Anglican.

God did not make us to be perfect. He made us to be holy, to live into his image. God is love, and so love is the point of human life. And just in case you haven’t noticed, love is messy. God didn’t come to clean up the mess. He came to make it holy. To make it the holy mess he had in mind in the first place.
–Bishop Jake Owensby

Celebrating connections: I posted a full moon photo on Wednesday. My father posted one too, from his home in Mississippi. I wrote a haiku and have placed it over his photo to create a haiga. I learned about haiga from my Poetry Friday friend, Diane Mayr. She posted window haiga this week. Mine is a moon haiga.

Photo by John Gibson.  Haiku by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

Photo by John Gibson. Haiku by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved.

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