Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Slice of Life: Three Things Tuesday

1. Quite a few years ago, I told my BFF that I wanted to make it to 80 years old. (Since my parents died at 68 and 69, that seemed like an achievable goal.) She replied, "Yes, and I'll bring my 40 year old son along to sing Happy Birthday." She also said something about us being in the nursing home, but I prefer to forget that bit. 

2. After I moved to North Carolina last year, I started using a tin for chocolate chips that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the chocolate chip cookie. It turns out they were first created in the late 1930's by Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House restaurant in Wakefield, MA. The recipe first appeared in her cookbook, Tried and True, in 1938. Wakefield sold the rights to use her recipe and the Toll House name to Nestle in 1939. My tin dates the 75th anniversary of the chocolate chip cookie to 2014 (probably because it was made by Nestle). I've recently revised "I want to live until I'm 80," to "I want to see the 100th anniversary of the chocolate chip cookie in 2039!"

3. And just yesterday, I revised that date once again! My husband was in Oregon for the 2017 total eclipse of the sun. At the time, I planned to experience the 2024 eclipse somewhere in the path of totality, but life got busy and I moved to North Carolina and forgot to plan a trip so I could experience the totality of a solar eclipse. So now I want to live until 2045, the next time a solar eclipse will travel across significant portions of the continental United States.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Spiritual Journey Thursday: Everyday Miracles

Sorry for my late arrival to SJT on Saturday afternoon. When Bob offered us the topic of miracles for our April reflection, I admit to feeling challenged. I didn't think I had any personal miracles to share and struggled to find a way into this month's topic. 

I planned to write this post yesterday, but I was involved in an accident while taking my grandson to pre-K (He's no longer in preschool, according to him.). Someone was waiting at a stop sign to make a left turn onto a busy street. Suddenly a large SUV was coming at me. I was in the second lane. I swerved and he hit the back panels of my car, just past my grandson's car seat. Praise God, everyone was okay. The driver said the other lane had stopped and motioned for him to go on. (The insurance claims person said this happens all the time.) I'm grateful for the turn lane in the center of the busy street so that I was able to swerve and resist a full-side impact. Some may say I was lucky, but I'm grateful for the impulse I had to swerve and credit it to a prompting I received from the Spirit.

And then this morning, I remembered an experience I had as a teenager with my father. He was adding a spacious family room onto our home. This had been a dream of his for many years. On this unforgettable day, the pre-assembled rafters had finally arrived. My dad should probably have waited for another adult to help him with this project. But ever the eager beaver, he figured out a way for me to push the rafter from the new room to him on the roof of house. The way was via a nail in the rafter. I had a plank of wood and would raise the triangular shaped rafter to him via the nail. And wouldn't you know? The plank slipped and the rafter came barreling down. I ducked my head. When I saw the whack in the siding, I knew I had angels watching over me that day. If I had it to do over again, I would have lain flat on the flooring as the rafter swung down toward me. But I never got the chance to do it again. My mom insisted that my dad recruit a man to help him with the remaining rafters. 

I like this explanation of miracles that I found in a March 2019 article, "Finding Miracles in Everyday Life," in The New Era, our church's youth magazine: 

 "According to the Bible Dictionary, miracles are “manifestations of divine or spiritual power.” With that definition, let’s open our eyes to the many miracles that surround us—miracles that we might not even recognize.

We definitely see God’s hand in the lives of His people through the miracles in the scriptures. But we can also see His spiritual power when we receive an answer to a prayer, strengthen our testimonies, or have a change of heart.

Still, there are other miracles that we tend to forget: The sun rises and sets each day; small seeds grow into mighty trees; the many components of our body work together, enabling us to breathe, run, dream, and eat. Inspired advances in medicine and technology are happening every day, and we can now communicate with almost anyone anywhere. God’s power can be seen in every detail of our lives."

We have three grandsons who joined our family through the miracle of IVF. We are grateful for each of them every day. I was part of the army of believers who fasted and prayed for our scientific community as they worked to create the COVID-19 vaccine. How remarkable that it was produced and ready to be administered in such a short time. A modern-day miracle!  

I Face Timed with my son last night. He and his wife are visiting London. I get daily updates and pictures of their adventure. I don't understand how the technology works, but I'm thrilled to live during a time when inventions allow us to connect instantaneously, even when separated by the Atlantic Ocean. 

I returned from my Seattle trip to beautiful blossoms and the unfurling of green leaves everywhere, my first spring in North Carolina. I'm glad for the rebirth of nature each spring, another miracle and manifestation of God's love. Here are a few pics I snapped on a return drive from my daughter's home this morning. I revel in the colors of spring: beautiful light green leaves,  pink blossoms, and the blue skies.

From the article I cited earlier: "The Lord performs both seemingly ordinary and extraordinary miracles in our day. . . However, we should not overlook the everyday events that act as reminders of God’s hand in our lives. Sometimes we just have to recognize them!"  Thanks, Bob, for this April invitation to look for the miracles in our lives.

It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, an open gathering for bloggers 
who write monthly about our spiritual journeys.  
asked us to consider this question: 
What are the everyday miracles in your life?
Click on Bob's name to read responses from other SJT friends.