I remember receiving them as Christmas gifts when I was younger. The Far Side was a personal and family favorite. The only house rule was that you could NOT look ahead.
I have been following that rule with my A Happier 2018 Desk Calendar. It sits perfectly in the kitchen, so I can read it before or alongside my first cup of coffee each day.
Sunday was a good one.
(It's a bit crinkled, because the back has already been used for a few to-do lists.)
I love this and have been pondering it all week. As I went for a run today (outside because the temps are in the 60s!) I was thinking about how I adjust my daily schedule so that time for fitness and exercise is first and foremost. I guess you could say that I am selfish about carving out that time and honoring that time. But this is what I've come to learn about myself. After exercise, I feel good. After a solid strength training, spin class or run, I feel even more ready to face the day. My head has had time to focus on working my body. My heart and lungs have been pushed and encouraged to work hard to nourish my body with oxygen. My stomach is thankful for post workout meals and snacks that healthily refuel muscles and water that hydrates everything.
I am better able to give of myself and be present with others when I have spent this time caring for my body. On today's run I thought about selfish and selfless. There was time for a selfie with an amazing young woman in my life, who was also out for a run. (Why we have yet to run together is a mystery. Although, with the depth and length of our coffee conversations, we would need a long run!)
After a hug and a selfie, we wished each other well and went on our ways. There we were getting our runs in on a rainy day, taking time to care for ourselves.
As the run continued, I saw two women from church who were dodging raindrops as they went to the local salon for a hair appointment. These women spend time together as one assist the other with errands and transportation. While they are family, this time is selfless.
This got me to thinking about the many women in my life who not only care for themselves, but for others, as well. There is something about the role of caring for others and caring for self. Sometimes it is a fine line, but I believe our lives are continually enhanced when we are able to care for others, be present for others and to serve others. When we are able to see beyond our own selves, our own needs and be present in the lives and journeys of others, our relationships will deepen with one another and impact the world around us.
Caring for others is not limited to women, but it just so happens that I am a woman, that my interactions today were with women and that women bring a presence into the world that needs to be seen and heard.
I pray that women (and men) continue to model lives that show care of self, so they may care for others. May we see what feeds our own minds, bodies and spirits, so that we are able to feed others in love, service, compassion and care.
I should also say this, it took a while to hit the road to run today because I was overwhelmed with the news and the words spoken by the president about the countries of Haiti, El Salvador and Africa. My thoughts and prayers have been swirling through the words of Psalm 139. The verses in italics are from our lectionary readings for this coming Sunday.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end—I am still with you.
O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
those who speak of you maliciously,
and lift themselves up against you for evil!
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I'll share more on this Psalm, my reflections and additional thoughts after sharing my sermon this weekend.
I'll leave you with these prayers from the ELW (Evangelical Lutheran Worship)
Almighty God, in penitence we come before you, acknowledging the sin that is within us. We share the guilt of all those who, bearing the name of Christian, slay their fellow human beings because of race or faith or nation. Forgive us and change us by your love, that your word of hope may be heard clearly throughout the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we may see your face in the faces of people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Until the next post, dear friends, take care, be kind to yourself and others, speak up, speak truth, do justice, love mercy and be humble.