Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter on the Lake


This morning I stood on my deck enjoying the sunshine - a welcome change to all the rainy days we've had lately. It was bright and sunny and just literally lifted my spirits. Later in the afternoon when I walked out there it was this scene that met me. Not a lot different really. I could still see blue sky, but it was pale, almost more white than blue in places. A winter sky I thought. The trees are bare and the leaves are on the ground. This lake is owned by an energy company and they always let it down in the winter to kill off any algae and to allow homeowners to do any needed repairs to the "seawall." It's awfully quiet and sort of forlorn looking - like it's forgotten or something. And the yard looks almost neglected, though it's not. Granted the little bird feeder stand has tilted in the wind, and the chairs and tables need to be washed after the rains....nothing a little time and attention won't cure. I had spent the morning at the hospital visiting patients in my volunteer chaplain job and I saw several people there that were just like this winter lake scene...a little neglected but nothing a little time and attention wouldn't fix. Some of the people at the hospital were more like the morning scene on the lake - bright and sunny and spirit lifting! A 92 year old gentleman waiting for shoulder surgery was filled with joy and laughter even as he confessed that his golden years were beginning to show a little tarnish. A 91 year old sweet, sweet lady was also waiting for surgery and showed me her poor hands - she'd spilled hot grease on them. She thought she was so lucky because her son happened to be there with her when it happened. I wonder exactly what it is that makes one person have a negative outward appearance (and I'm not talking about beauty here), and others have cheerful spirits and positive outlooks. Some of them I want to gather up and bring home with me and others I want to .... gather up and bring home with me. Except some of them I want because they would so enrich my life, and others because I want to help make their lives better. I know which kind of person I would like to be too! Is it life experiences that form us into positive or negative people? Is it our faith? Is it our families? Is it all of those - very likely. I just know that I want to capture the joy I saw in those two people today and that I saw on the lake this morning and keep it in my heart. Have you seen any people like that lately? People that make your heart smile? I hope you have.

17 comments:

Carrie P. said...

A lovely post. And the picture of the lake is lovely too even though it is winter time.
My answer to your questions is all of them but I believe that my faith brings the true joy in my life.

Tracy P. said...

What a sweet post, Marlene! There are two small lakes on opposite sides of a winding road I drive down almost every day. While I don't have one in my backyard, I so enjoy those in every different kind of season and weather. They are never the same.

I bet those folks wish they could go home with you, too. I want to be the same kind you want to be. I think part of it has to do with the personalities God gave us, too.

Marie said...

I loved this post Marlene. I was right there with you as you looked at the lake and in the home with those old folks. I try to carry people that make my heart smile in my heart all the time. People like you and my friend Lura, my Todd, my mom. People who radiate beauty and love from the inside out.

Grandma Nina said...

Marlene, I could so relate to this. Your lake looks a lot like ours, although ours now has snow and ice on it. And your trip to the hospital was so well captured and conveyed. My grandparents are both in a nursing home, ages 93 & 94, and I understand what you're saying. God bless you for doing what you do.

Valerie said...

This is a beautiful post. You have such a way with words. You just paint a picture. Say a prayer for us as we are planning this wedding. The rehearsal dinner is tonight and I am the one in charge.

karenfae said...

I envy you your lake scene - it looks wonderful. Winter in Arkansas can look drab at times but then the sun comes out and it cures all!

My 85 year old mom looks on the bright side of a lot of things too -- people say oh my how many children she had that must have been rough and not much money to go around - she will say yes that is so but now look at all these wonderful children that she turns to in her old age and always there to help her out when needed.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Grammy Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

When I worked in nursing homes I felt the same way about so many of the patients and wondered too how they came to be a glass half full or half empty type of person. Even those who seemed the most prayerful and "devote" were sometimes the glass half empty type. I always wondered if some of them had a life altering experience to turn them so negative. Like you said, made me want to scoop them up and bring them home!!

What a blessing to be ale to look out on the lake and see bit's changing face each season!!

Needled Mom said...

This is a beautiful post...and so true.

Angie said...

A lovely post Marlene; how lucky you are, living where you do. I've always been drawn to people older than me though, as you say, they can be cantankerous. I try to keep in mind that maybe they have reason to be and to hope that those reasons stay out of my life.

Tipper said...

Loved this post. Yes just this week my daughter and I were talking about 2 ladies we know who seem to have endless joy-even when life isn't that great. One we lost to cancer almost 6 years ago-the other we just met-but their joy over life makes me want to try harder to have it too.

Susannah said...

I try to capture the joy that could make other people's heart smile. Let's all be joyful!

Interesting post, Marlene.

Friends,
Susannah

Jacquie said...

This reminds me of my 91 y/o neighbor... Ms. Charlsie. She always has a positive outlook and tells me, "We just take things as they come, Jacquie." I want to grow up to be just like her.

Nice post.

Adrienne said...

I know exactly what you mean! In my chaplain ministry I have some of the dearest folks who make me feel that I'm the one who is blessed to spend time with them. And others I would like to bring home and just love and care for them. ~Adrienne~

QUAINT AND PLAIN said...

WHAT A WONDERFUL POST...I READ RECENTLY OF A WOMAN SHOPPING IN A GROCERY STORE,,, AS SHE SHOPPED IT SEEMED EVERYONE WAS SMILING AT HER, SHE THOUGHT AT FIRST HER HAIR WAS A MESS, OR SHE HAD SOMETHING ON HER FACE, WHY ARE THEY ALL SMILING SHE WONDERED?? THEN SHE REALIZE THE PEOPLE WERE SMILING AT HER BECAUSE SHE WAS SMILING AT THEM... IT IS TRUE ~ WE BRING INTO OUR LIVES THAT WHICH WE SHOW TO OTHERS... YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL OUTLOOK AND SURELY ARE BLESSING TO THOSE YOU TOUCH WITH YOUR KINDNESS... WE TRAVELED THROUGH YOUR STATE IN THE FALL, IT IS A MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE U.S.A. HAPPY HOLIDAYS..XXXs

Love Bears All Things said...

I wonder too. I'm thinking that genes might play a role too. I have a sister who is a negative person. She says she doesn't have any friends. I've often wondered if that is why. I love her but she isn't easy to visit with. I believe that people with a good attitude and a happy heart are healthier. Do you find that to be the case.
Even the winter scene at the lake has a beauty.
Hugs,
Mama Bear

Arkansas Patti said...

What a lovely post and I admire you for wanting to take the not so lovely people home also.
Because we tend to gravitate toward the positive, up beat types, I am pretty lucky to have my circle of friends filled with them.
Thank you so much for stopping by TNS. Positive I am going to enjoy getting to know you.

Dorothy said...

Marlene, this is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is so true, I think Mom's positive spirit is what keeps her going.