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  • Writer's pictureJenene

A Few of My Favorite Things

Ah, 2021, you have arrived like a thunderous cacophony. I would like to send you back from whence you came, but I have decided that you are only a small snippet in my life and you are microscopic in the grand scheme of things.

It's not possible to ignore you because what you bring is far too significant. However, it is possible to mute the blare of your pandemonium and turn my focus toward proactive measures that calm and soothe the soul.

You see, I focused on you for a week and found myself in the throes of a mini-meltdown yesterday morning. As I felt the anxiety levels rising, I read of your shenanigans more and more and more until I found they (anxiety levels) had risen to flood stage.

That's when I knew that I needed to do something different, but was finding it difficult to do. I turned to my husband and poured out my heart about you, every little thing that was bothering me, why it was bothering me, and what I feared for the future you may bring came tumbling out until I was sitting in a mud puddle with it under me and all over me.

He listened quietly, letting me pour out every word until there were no more words left. Then, in all his gentleness and wisdom, he pointed me to God, to my faith, to scripture... after scripture... after scripture. He said many things, but the one that struck me deeply was that in giving so much of my focus to what's going on in the world I've sacrificed time that could have been spent in prayer and reading God's word. In so doing, he said, I've lowered my shield of faith and have allowed the arrows of the enemy (fear in this case) to hit me in the face. (Ephesians 6:16)

Wow! Was he ever right! And, thank you God for the gift of a partner with such steady faith. I talk a lot about my faith and it's definitely real, but I'm easily distracted and need to be reeled back in from time to time. He, on the other hand, is a man of few words, yet seemingly unending and unwavering faith that is resistant to distractions that I struggle with at times.

The rest of the day was much more harmonious for me. I turned my focus toward prayer and scripture, and engaged in a few of my favorite things that bring me a sense of calm, joy, pleasure, serenity, peace, and awe. With gratitude to my husband, but ultimately to God, I share some of them with those of you who have chosen to read this far.

1. One of my favorite things about living on Cougar Mountain is literally watching the fog roll in, especially at sunrise. Not 10 minutes before I took this picture the sky was clear with just a few stray clouds. I watched what appeared to be a lone cloud come dancing along the tree tops followed by others, and soon they inhabited all of the visible lower atmosphere with a golden glow of the rising sun behind it.

2. The sun shining through the glass above our French doors. The photo doesn't do the shine justice, but I'll share it anyway.

3. The whistle of my new Le Creuset tea kettle that Eric gave me for Christmas (and the Le Creuset salt & pepper shakers back there too!). And just an aside - I LOVE having a gas stove. There's something special about cooking over a flame.

4. The beautiful tea cups my daughter, Jessica, gave me for Christmas. They are the perfect size and shape to cup your hands around the bottom and feel the warmth of a hot cup of tea on chilly fingers.

5. My new crystal honey pot that I bought for myself from my Christmas list after it wasn't gifted to me, but I will thank my Aunt Carolyn for them since she gave me the gift card that paid for it. I also love my new tea... thingy, for lack of a better word. It was inspired by my step-daughter Sarah during a recent visit to her lovely home in Antoine Creek. She has something similar.

6. Watching the steam waft above my cup and listening to the musical sound of tea taking occupancy.

7. And last, but not least, rediscovering old favorites. This is the very first tea I ever truly enjoyed. I hate to admit, but it was probably 40 years ago when I worked for a restaurant that served it. I've discovered many more teas that I love over the years, but this is one that I still enjoy that brings back comforting memories.

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