Tag: Reflection

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “…And I Won’t Take That for Granted.”

 

Tuesday night, a mother of six in our small group Bible study said something that has stuck in my head ever since. It’s a seemingly obvious concept, an idea that has come to mind but perhaps not far enough up into conscious thought to enable me to voice it. Now that it’s been voiced, her words have been helpful in my current need for encouragement. “My children are all showing normal development,” she said. “And I won’t take that for granted.” To how many situations in my life can I apply this perspective? Many, it turns out.

My own two daughters are showing maturity and taking responsibility. They are pursuing educational goals as they grow their skills, but they also work hard in jobs not connected to their passions. They have thoughtfully held convictions. They care for other people. And I won’t take any of this for granted.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Before the Holidays Get Away from You…

 

Every year at the beginning of January, we all complain to each other about how fast the holidays went by. Especially for those of us who are older, the universe seems to slam on the gas pedal and we hold on for dear life. Parties, gift shopping, baking cookies, decorating: doing all the requisite tasks that make up this time of year.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in the mood, the sense of rushing and getting things done; the mood is contagious, and by keeping busy, I feel in some ways I’m participating. But I’ve decided to spend the rest of December in a different state of mind.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing February 9: Earth to Me!

 

In 1979, back when my parents were large in my life, my dad had a curious habit. Each evening as we sat in the kitchen after dark, the green linoleum tabletop reflecting the light of candles and kerosene lamps, he would stare off at nothing. In between the whine and squeal of the shortwave radio, we heard the evening news from Voice of America–boring talk, I thought. But there must have been something important in it, because I remember him often leaning against the kitchen counter glassy-eyed and doing a funny thing with his mouth. He’d pull his jaw from side to side and tap his top and bottom teeth together, and stare, and squint sometimes.

His habit made an impression on us. One day, my little sister stood on the porch working on her jaw moves. I vaguely remember asking my mom what my dad was doing. He was thinking about something, I was told. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but I see now that he was in what’s called a brown study. We can get so engrossed in thinking that we shut out the activity in our environment and stop noticing what our eyes are seeing. The classic reaction to someone else’s reverie is to say “Earth to you!” Besides the rudeness of such a call, I wonder if it’s interrupting a productive process. Having time to focus and think deeply might help us sort out life, create things, and solve problems. I wonder whether our modern technology prevents us from “leaving earth” in our minds as much as we used to.

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Turn off the TV or radio. Set the phone aside. Close the book. Reflect. Dream. Think.  More

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Years ago, while driving my boys to school one overcast, January morning, we listened to what is perhaps my favorite piece of music, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. My then 8-yr old son, perceptive and introspective even at that age, spoke up softly during a quiet moment in the piece, saying: “Dad, you know, […]

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No, I’ve not been fiddling around on the roof, but since it has been so long since I last posted anything worthwhile, you would not be wrong to wonder. A couple of years ago, I picked up a word from a David McCullough essay I was reading on Frederic Remington, the famous painter and illustrator […]

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I thought this would be easy. Foolish me. Having years of written devotions and reflections at my disposal, I figured it would be a simple matter to select and adapt one to suit my purposes for a post on this wonderful series (and it has been wonderful, hasn’t it?). And yet, out of all of […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Early Thanksgiving Reflection

 

I spent some time on YouTube yesterday, seeking inspiration for a Thanksgiving reflection. While there was plenty to choose from — of all shapes and sizes, in poor taste and good — I settled on “Thanksgiving” by American pianist George Winston. I invite you for a moment to close your eyes, and simply drink it in:

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As I was reading and enjoying She’s lovely Surprise post this afternoon, my mind went back to an episode I witnessed almost exactly 3 years ago, one that deeply affected me at the time, and still does. I live outside the city proper, so the morning commute to get my kids to school and myself […]

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I awoke this morning with a mantle of melancholy draped across my shoulders, a not uncommon occurrence with me, but one which I find increasingly tiresome. As the first to rise on this rare Saturday free from the manacles of outside commitments, I walked to the kitchen to start the coffee. Opening the cabinet, I […]

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In my youth, I often foolishly proclaimed myself a thinker. Or, if not a thinker, one who tends to think he thinks. Over the years, I have come to realize that such a boast was and is likely without merit. I marvel at those who can create deep and authoritative works, essays that while academic, […]

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Sometimes, walking around my own home is a disorienting exercise. Like coming back to visit your hometown after an extended absence, only to realize that time has irrevocably altered the landscape in violation of your recollection. The same, only different, and sometimes unrecognizably different. Yet when you venture down that familiar street, in your inner […]

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