Epiphanies, Blessings and Time to Notice!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Have you ever had an epiphany?  According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, "an epiphany is a moment when you suddenly understand or suddenly become conscious of something that is very important to you.  It can also be a powerful religious experience".  I think epiphanies tend to happen when we are able to slow down for a second, look around ourselves and take a moment to access our circumstances.  In today's busy world, that's not always easy, certainly not for most.  It takes a little discipline and practice hitting the pause button while life is rushing past us, jobs demanding our time, kids needing our attention, cell phones vibrating in our pockets.  Fortunately as a retired person, my life is not so hectic and 'pause' is a pretty natural occurrence in my daily life.  The funny thing about today's post....about my epiphany....is that it came not during a pause, but instead during a pretty hectic time, and in that hecticness came the most beautiful epiphany.

Quote courtesy of My Life's Blessings
As most of you who regularly read my blog know, about a month ago my youngest daughter and her family (husband and two daughters) returned to the area after living in Indiana for three years.  As you can imagine, we are ecstatic about it and have joyfully picked up right where we left off three years ago resuming our daily role as Grandma an Grandpie, without skipping a beat.  In a few weeks we've shared many meals, outings, play dates, etc...cherishing this most wonderful blessing.  During this month, we've also enjoyed a number of blog related adventures.  Those have included long rides to some of our favorite destinations and the added blessing of meeting many wonderful, welcoming business owners.  Aside from the expected benefits of these trips has come some really wonderful coincidental surprises.......our trip to the Speckled Hen brought us a reunion with our oldest daughter's beloved first grade teacher who we haven't seen in a good 20+ years.  It was wonderful to see her again and catch up!   She's just as sweet and loving as she was when she volunteered to be Katie's tutor, coming to our place every day for 3 weeks while Katie was out with mono in first grade!  When you have a child with diabetes, having a teacher who is compassionate yet understands the value of being 'normal' is the best you can ask for and Mrs. Culver was all that and more.  I spent much of that day last week saying a little prayer of thanks for that unexpected but much appreciated encounter.

Yesterday we made a spontaneous contact with a shop owner asking if we might pop by for a blog visit and some photos.  Normally I wouldn't pick a weekend, knowing shops might be busy, but these owners were delighted to have us and greeted us with open arms, literally, and made us feel so welcome and appreciated.   That was our fourth shop visit this week and at every visit, we were welcomed warmly.

During the past few weeks, our house, our dining table, has been bustling with family.  It's been chaotic and crazy, messy and noisy and it's been the sweetest noise and most beautiful mess anyone could hope for.   Having both our girls here together, with their spouses, my mom, our two granddaughters....all together eating, laughing, chasing babies.  It's a stark change from the quiet, organized house of the past 3 years aside from holiday visits.  I love it.

Well, yesterday, driving back from our photo shoot, it really hit me - my epiphany!   It hit me how richly blessed our lives have been these past months.  Everything we could ask for has been placed in our hands, even though I'd long ago stopped asking.  As much as I wanted our family home, I relinquished control to God, knowing that when the time was right He would guide their path and see them home.  And He did.  Riding home yesterday I thought of all I have to be thankful for and all the blessings God has bestowed.  It was time I do something about it so this morning I decided to tag along with my daughter to church.  I confess I've not been a regular attendee, truthfully, I've been an annual attendee for a while now.  Laura has been loving this church where her friends attend so I decided I'd give it a try.  I'm not anti church, in fact, I used to love church but it's been a while since I felt 'connected' to one.  I went today with an open mind, hopeful of connecting again.  What I came away with was exactly that.  And what I was reminded of was this... God blesses us....sometimes much more than we deserve.  It's up to us to be grateful for those blessings and take time to be a blessing to others.  I've been very richly blessed since beginning this blog.  I've met hundreds of people - shop owners, farm owners, business employees.  I've made connections I would never have made otherwise.  Just today I ran into one of those shop owners.  It happens her shop is now closed so our paths are less likely to cross but there she was in a store we were in.  She greeted us warmly and went on to say how glad she was to see us, how much she loves reading my blog and how she's looking forward to visiting many of my featured destinations now that she's retired!  Well, that chance encounter made my day - another blessing!!!  I hope as you are reading this post which I admit seems a bit self indulgent, you are being reminded of the blessings in your life - ones you've noticed and maybe some that have slipped quietly past.  I hope you'll take a moment to say a prayer of thanks tonight and are able to remember that even in our darkest hour, there is always something to be thankful for.  Sort of ironic....this is a photo I took a couple years ago to go with this quote....which is still relevant today.
Shenendehowa United Methodist Church
I want to thank Pastor Lee Carlson of the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church today for a powerful sermon, to the congregation for their warm welcome, for Kathy who sat next to me and chatted like we were old friends and to Laura for inviting me 3 weeks in a row.  I want to leave you with a little gift.....a video of a song Pastor played today.  He said he heard it this morning and needed it..........I think we all need to hear it.  I hope you'll play it and that it will touch you in the way it touched me and that you too will have an epiphany and will start your week off with a heart full of gratitude for God's blessings.

To listen and watch:


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