Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Time for Sanity

Hello friends,

You won't see it, but I'm writing in a very large font. I will fix this, so that those with 20/20 vision won't have to read it from across the room. I've been watching MSNBC's coverage of the Pennsylvania democratic primary. I was raised in politics, on a very low scale, but I have helped the unknown become the known, and I have seen them crash and fail.

I've seen so many people who get to Washington, or to their State House, and I've seen them forget why the heck they are there. I've voted Republican, and I've voted Democratic. I have agreed on principle, and I have disagreed on opinions that I found not in the best interest of our country.

I love my country, and I love its laws. I've seen the laws celebrated, and I've seen them disregarded. As a government employee many years back, I have had pressure put on me to let things slide past honesty and integrity. I have never surrendered, and I was pretty mouthy about things that I felt were wrong.

So what does a Primary in Pennsylvania mean to a middle-aged woman in Virginia? I will tell you. In an age of capitulation, where women are still marginalized, I've been watching a woman who simply won't give up.

This is a virtue that I have taught my daughters. It's a code that I choose to live by, myself. I believe in fighting for what one believes, until the last primary vote is counted. Were I in Hillary Clinton's place, I would step up to the plate and swing the bat at each and every pitch. And when the last pitch is thrown, I would go down swinging.

Whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, surely we can admire Hillary Clinton's perseverance in the face of adversity. She has had men shout, "Go back to the kitchen!" Or, worse yet, "Iron my shirts!" And there have been worse things on the web.

I do wonder, however, do those men really think that? Are they talking about their mother? Their sisters? Or their own daughters? And, what about their wives? Do they really think so low of the mother of their children? Have we gone insane in this country? Or are we just stupid? Have we come so far? Or are we sliding back into the nineteenth century?

I have raised my daughters to be strong women. As a result of this, they are graduating at the top of their class. Both of them are graduating from college with honors. And I and my husband, could not be more proud. My daughters have been taught to be outspoken, not only by me, but also by their father. They have been taught to seek excellence, and to never give up in the face of adversity.

I've heard one commentator, who hates Hillary Clinton, claim, "I don't want MY daughters to grow up to be Hillary Clinton!" Well, of course you don't. You want your daughters to grow up to be themselves!!!

What nonsense all this is! Are we not a thinking people? Are we not all able to make up our own minds, without losing our heads?! I had a friend, once, who told me that she goes to Church to be told how to think, how to vote, and how to feel. Can you believe that? How can anyone live that way? I'm a fighter, who can be annoying, but I will go down swinging. No one, but God tells me what to do.

My guide, through all of this, is still the Bible. God does not demand our allegiance or love at the point of a sword. It is He who says, in the Book of Isaiah, "Come, let us reason together..." So, let us reason.

God our Father, grant us the humility to seek your Word in all things, especially in this election year. May we never forget that we live in a country where all men and women can vote in a free society. May we think and vote, by Your grace. And please, Father, may we never forget your Son who died for us all.

Let us remember the words of the Lord of the universe, when he proclaimed, "My Kingdom is not of this world." And may we live by His grace, as we go about selecting the next President. Let us not forget that You control the lot. And when we are disappointed in the outcome, as many of us will be, help us to remember that this, too, is Your will.

Lord, forgive our country for the sins we have committed, and may you grant us the President we need, rather than the one we deserve.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Time to Celebrate Life

Hello friends,

Today is my birthday. I'm 62 years young. It's amazing how my hopes and dreams have changed in the last 40 years. I used to want to sky dive, ice skate, become a police officer, become a movie star, and a host of other fascinating endeavors.

Today, I can honestly say that my life is full. My dreams are more direct and filled with hope. You see, I want to live another day. I want to awaken and sip that first cup of coffee with the man that I have loved nearly half of my life. I want to laugh and design gardens with my children - my beautiful girls, who are now women. I want to play with our puppies and chase them down the hall. I want to be with my family for many years to come.

It's true that I am a writer, semi-successful, yet I couldn't pay the rent with the money I earn. However, some years are more lucrative than others, and that is usually when I go wild and plan another garden. God is good. Very good. He supplies our needs on a daily basis. I don't believe in self-actualization (just trying to spell it is a challenge). I was once self actualized. That lasted about 15 minutes, and then I was crying out to God for salvation.

That's another thing. Salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus, is the greatest gift in my life. And then, to think that God would also give me the love of my life and the sweetest, most devoted daughters any woman could want. These are the real gifts of God. As the Bible says, he (or she) who depends on wealth for happiness has received their reward. He also said that with God all things are possible.

The things I don't like on my 62nd birthday are legion. Here are a few:

T.V. Hell at 2:00 in the morning; commercials that fail to make me laugh, smile, or cry; T.V. commentators, whose opinion passes for news; pornography, which assaults me and other writers on the web; liars, who pretend one thing and do another; a false heart...you either love someone, and are loyal...or you don't love at all; a thief, especially one who steals from family or friends.

The things I love: honesty; integrity; honor; and truth; a heart that is true; a mind that is centered on honor and truth; laughter, especially at myself; warm hugs; kindness; respect, both given and received; forgiveness (which, unfortunately, may happen in the heart and have to stay there for safety's sake).

There are many, many more things that I love...the birds and critters in my garden; lilies and wildflower gardens; the sounds of water gardens, the bird songs, pouring rain, and the sounds of my loved ones' voices.

There are things that I have lost, in my middle years. I've lost my sense of smell, due to neurological issues. I miss it. Think about it. Think about the scents that you love: the smell of your spouse's hair or cologne; the scent of a flower, and all of those things that make your mouth water. Chocolate. Yum. Hot bread, right from the oven; melting butter, bakeries and baked goods. Oh, I could go on and on.

Do you realize that every person has a unique scent, and someone loves that about you? It is said that memories are stimulated by a familiar scent. Walk down the hall of an elementary school, and see if you don't smell the mixture of crayons, sweat, and library paste. See if it does not take you back.

Today is the day that I officially retire. That's laughable, quite frankly, since I have been unable to do many things for a long time. However, I look at my retirement as a time of renewal. I will write more and submit more manuscripts. I'm used to rejection by now, so what have I to fear? I will trust in God more, and I will strive to put Him first in my life. I will love my husband even more, if that is possible. I will cherish my children even more than I ever have. I will close the door on my painful past, and I will celebrate life here and now. The future belongs to God, but He has given me the great gift of today. So, today, I will celebrate my life, with all my struggles and triumphs. I will thank God, today for each of His gifts.

So, look around you, in your world. See the gifts that God has given you. And, if you can only see the gift of your own life, then celebrate that. Celebrate your life. You are precious to God, and frankly, even though I don't know who you are, you are precious to me.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Time for Clarity

Hello friends,

I can't believe that it has been over a week since I have written. Much has happened. You see, I will be a woman of 62, next Monday, and along with my known medical problems, I have a few unexplainable medical issues. I faint. And sometimes I can't make up my mind as to whether I should faint or throw up. This has happened twice in the last week.

This terrifies my family. My husband said the other day, that I will be looking fine, feeling fine, talking, laughing...then BOOM! My face turns suddenly gray or green. Then I fall to the ground in a dead faint. My next move is to shout, "I'm going to throw up!" Usually I do both.

These symptoms can mean a lot of things. It could be silent heart disease. It could be small strokes. It could be nothing, and it could be something. I've had doctors who have had differing opinions. One wrote, "Patient claims to have fainting spells. I believe that there is little physically wrong with this lady."

Thanks, Doc. Now that medical science has proven you wrong, I would love to hear what you "believe" today. Sadly, if a woman has symptoms, it's usually a number of things, according to doctors like these:

1. She's hysterical
2. She's having a panic attack
3. It's all in her head

Need I say more? In spite of a tendency to brush away the medical concerns of women, I also have seen this same attitude toward men. It is inexcusable!

I am very blessed to have a compassionate family doctor, who has little or no ego. She is a wonderful doctor, who really keeps up with the newest studies and medications, and she respects me.

Why are some doctors uncaring (yawn), hurried (I have real patients to care for, don't waste my time). Yes, I've had that said to me. Oh, and my all time favorite comment in my medical records from years ago: "This is an obese white woman..." At the time I weighed 134 pounds!

I've been fired by a doctor, who said that my asthma and diabetes were too complicated. Then he told me that diabetics with asthma DIE! Thank you doctor. He was pushing 70, and I had the incredible urge to ask him if he had picked out his cemetery plot. Whew! Finding a good doctor is rough.

Now, changing the subject, I want to go on record, that I am offended by the "bitter" remarks of presidential candidate, Obama. Gee...it's been years since I have straddled a rifle while holding my Bible, as I bitterly misjudged people who are different than I. Let me see if I can remember when that was. Oh yes! NEVER!

Is this man for real? Or should he be awarded an Oscar for a stellar performance as someone who cares? If not, I'd like a little clarity here from Mr. Obama. No, I don't live in Pennsylvania, but I do live in a rural area. Many of us are educated as well as conservative. In my family; however we do like straight talk, and we have voted Democratic when we felt that it was good for the country.

So, Senator Obama, why do you think that I worship God because I'm bitter? Is that why you go to church? Why do you think we cling to our guns? Could this be the bitter judgement of us, which you state that we feel towards others?

Here is the bottom line for me. In Matthew 12:34b, Jesus says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." So, okay, Mr. Obama, what was in your heart when you judged us? That's all. A little clarity here, and you can drop that defensive attitude, too.

Father in heaven, this is a lesson for all of us. Grant us the grace to speak kindly of others. Heal us of our prejudices, and grant us the grace to keep our mouths shut about people we know nothing about. Give us the grace, Lord, to admit when we are wrong.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Time to Wonder

Hello friends,

My eyes are pretty dim these days, and my fear is that I will lose my eyesight. There is such a blur of words, and the lights have streaks coming from them. At least, this is what I see. I can "touch type" without looking at the keys, but I also have to look on my new keyboard, since every board is just a little bit different. So, I look to make sure I don't miss a single letter.

Which reminds me...Jesus said that He had come to fulfill the Law (that would be the Law of Moses, which is technically the Law of God), not destroy it. In fact, He said that as long as the earth stands, not one "jot" or one "tittle" (the smallest stoke of the pen) would pass away.

So, as I sit here typing, squinting my eyes so that I can make out the letters, I think about how God cares about the tiniest pen stoke, the smallest sparrow, and every breath that I take. So, then, I wonder. What is God doing that I cannot see? If my eyes were 20/20, as they once were, do you suppose I would see the infinite? What is God doing that we cannot see?

My writing is an example of two frames of understanding. I'm a published author, without a published book. I have my own website, which is number one on a Google search of my name. I have a blog, in which I frequently write. My head knowledge tells me that my website and my blog are visited pretty regularly. Many of my stories and articles are all across the web. I'm known, somewhat. But what does that mean? What is God doing that I cannot see?

Once, when I was an invalid and pregnant with my youngest child, I was forgotten. People who knew, didn't want to know. I was a stranger in a strange land, you might say. I was so very lonely, so I focused on my relationship with God. I made a promise to Him, that just as I was forgotten, I would not forget others. I told Him that when I got the chance, I would reach out to those who feel forgotten. This is why I chose to do what I do.

So, in all of this, which is really small stuff within a vast universe, I wonder what God is doing. I'm certain that He is doing more than I could ever imagine. I suppose I will never know, exactly why I am here tapping away on my keyboard, trying to share my faith in Him, in some small way.

I talk to God, and I tell Him, that sometimes it feels as though I am standing still. That I am a creature, His child, who needs to hear from Her father. I tell Him that I need a hug, words of encouragement, and a knowing as to what He is doing that I cannot see. He is doing something, and nothing He does is small.

So, now I wonder, if I lose my sight, will I then finally see with understanding, what He is doing to the hearts of those who read my message? I wonder how He is using me.

Father in Heaven, You have given each of us gifts to share, whether it be a great medical discovery, or simply a kind word. Which gift is the greatest? The kind word or the great discovery?

Jesus said, a cup of water given to the least of those who follow Him, will bring rich rewards. I doubt that He was talking about money. The reward is not now, this is merely the journey, and I travel in His bloody footprints, striving to honor Him in what I do.

Father in Heaven, here I write, holding a cup of water, desiring to do Your will. Please, Father, help me to understand what you are doing that I cannot see.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Time to Look Within

Hello friends,

Who am I? I ask myself. Who is this person that I feel inside? Who is this person who dances gracefully in my heart, but whose feet can't seem to follow? Who is this person who can watch a sunset from beginning to end, on one exhaled breath?

Who am I, now that the stars grow dim, right before my eyes. I miss them each time I am able to walk outside at night, and look up at the sky, only to be disappointed by a blurry, milky smear.

I did, however, see something wonderful last night, as I let our dog run out and take his trot out to his tree. You may laugh. But these are the times when unexpected beauty often unfolds. Out in the darkened eastern sky, there was the moon, a small sliver of red, with a tiny line of red encompassing the entire edge. The definition of this lunar event is beyond me; however what it did to my heart was amazing. You see, when I'm all alone, and I see some incredible event of nature, I'm quite certain that every beautiful thing was created just for me.

This is not my typical blog entry. I feel as though I have been neglecting the most important relationship in my life...my relationship with Jesus. For me, a relationship requires that I talk to Him, praise Him, and most of all, that I listen.

It is easy for me to become depressed. It was a family tradition when I was growing up. I'm talking - Van Gogh cutting off his ear and sending it to his lady love - depression! You think I jest, but I can promise you that the theme song for my family was The Twilight Zone! So, when I feel depressed, I often don't recognize it right away. But when I do, that's the time to renew my relationship with God.

So, here I go, unsophisticated, non-poetical, and unknowing what I am about, today. Off I go to my treadmill, and my dad-blasted MP3 Player (which I will never fully understand how to use), and with as little cursing as possible, I will walk that mile, just for Him.

Father, we all have these days when we long for good news to heal our aching souls. We often equate these longings, as a longing for the things of this world. Something to tell us we are worth the breath that we take. However, as we bend our will to Yours, grant us the grace to know that our hope is in You.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Time to Garden

Hello friends,

It looks as though we are going to have a great spring, at least so far. Last year, we had an early flush of blooms, then a heavy freeze that lasted for over a week. All of our beautiful blooms wound up looking like the mark-down produce bin of the supermarket.

So, we do not have a great show, this spring, especially from our flowering pears. The crab apples bloom later, as do the red buds, so, if we are blessed to have milder temperatures, then the crab apples and red buds will burst into bloom very soon.

The white daffodils are just beginning to shrivel up, and the later ones, like the ones with bright orange or peach colored centers, and some late blooming fancies are still waving like flags in the garden. The roses are going to be beautiful this year, if the weather holds out.

A particular blessing is our Canadian Hemlock "live" Christmas tree, which has made it through winter, still alive. We are debating on where we should place it. The ground will need to be prepared carefully, and it will need the soil to remain loose and moist.

We also have 5 Thuja Green Giants, which will be planted in a kind of copse, so that the birds and we will all be able to enjoy the fast growing beauty of this evergreen tree. We have other evergreens, which we have potted, and it was worth their lives (really) just to make it through the winter.

Every spring I go through this...a kind of hopeful renewal of life. It invigorates me, and now that my new medications have made it possible for me to take part, I feel almost reborn.

So, I was wondering how I might encourage a renewal of my spirit? Have I allowed God to enter my life and sweep out the old cobwebs of my former thoughts, allowing real truth to be ushered in? This is something for me to take before Him, with humility, because I think that may be part of my present struggle with life as it is, as opposed to what I wish it were.

I do struggle against much of our present existence. As I get older, I have begun to realize that those who are supposed to care, don't. And the truth is being reinvented every day. What if God gave us what we deserve? Do you think that we could stand that? I don't think that we would like it. We can be thankful that God rewards our efforts, even if we fail, like a missionary who has not a single convert, after years of service. God rewards the service, not the result.

This is a good thing for me to think about, as I do my best to not be a part of the problem. I may not be able to fix things, but I know who can. I can only wonder what His solution will be.

Father in heaven, please forgive us for the things we fail to do, that we should do; and forgive us most of all for the things we do, which we should not have done.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Time for Remembering Charlton Heston

Hello friends,

All of us have memories. Some are good, and some are not so good. The following memory that I wish to share with you, is one of the most precious memories of my life..

Charlton Heston: The Autograph By Jaye Lewis

It was June of 1968, and I was fleeing for my life, carrying my two month old, baby daughter. I had been rescued by a compassionate church group in Key West, Florida, and my brother had managed to scrape together enough money for the only seat left on an airplane traveling from Atlanta to Detroit, Michigan. It was first class. I’d never flown first class, before. Not being a drinker, I declined the offer of champagne with breakfast.

My first marriage had proven to be a nearly deadly experience, and as I flew home to be with my parents, I felt very agitated. Anything, God, I silently prayed. Anything to break the monotony of my own tortured thoughts.

At that moment, my baby bobbed over toward a smoker, a bit of drool dripping from her chin. As she studied him with wide-eyed wonder, she let out an enormous belch, right in his face! It was all I could do to keep from laughing! The man gave a disgusted grunt, and stepping over us, he retreated down the isle into the back of the plane. I never saw him again.

Behind me, across the isle, I heard a man laughing. Turning to look at him, I saw a handsome man with a beet red face, nearly helpless with amusement. Our eyes locked, and we both cracked up.

“Out of the mouths of babes!” Said my conspirator, with a wicked twinkle in his eye. We laughed for some time, and then we began to visit.

He was heading home to visit his parents in Detroit, Michigan. My daughter and I were also on our way home to stay with my parents, who lived just south of Detroit.

“What a beautiful child,” he said, gazing at my little girl, with her soft dark curls and her big brown eyes. I agreed. Something about this man was vaguely familiar, but I just couldn’t place him. We talked. He was warm, kind, and funny. I was pensive from time to time, but it was a relief to have a kindred soul to distract me from my troubles.

I introduced myself, and he told me that his friends called him “Chuck.” As we were visiting, I just could not get out of my mind, that I knew this man from somewhere. I certainly knew no one who traveled first class, and since I was raised in the south, it would have been unlikely that we had ever met. He was traveling from Los Angeles. I was traveling from Key West, Florida, and we had no similar points of reference.

His voice was mesmerizing. It was so familiar. Strong and evenly tempered. Where had I heard that voice? All of a sudden, I knew him! I was sitting across from a very famous man. Charlton Heston! My God! I couldn’t believe it, and we were talking like we were old friends! Should I tell him that I recognized him? And what could I say?!

I just loved you in The Ten Commandments?! How stupid would that sound? Tell him that he was the famous Charlton Heston? I don’t think so. I was pretty certain that he knew exactly who he was. I didn’t think that he needed me to inform him. So, I never said a word.

He was charming and kind. He held my little girl, and he played the typical baby games, speaking to her in a warm and coaxing way. She crowed in his face and giggled. I don’t remember what we talked about. Ordinary things. We visited for three and a half hours. I didn’t tell him that I was fleeing for my life, and he never told me that he was a famous movie star.

All too soon our trip was over. The plane landed and we both got our carry-ons. Mine was a diaper bag. His was something more Samsonite. He gathered his things, and I picked up my infant daughter. He left the plane to be greeted by the press and cameras. I left to obscurity. We both hugged our families, and my last sight of him was to see him smile and nod his head at me, as he began to answer questions from someone holding a microphone. I smiled back, and we parted forever.

I didn’t watch the news. I didn’t see the interview. I don’t know the rest of his story. I did tell my parents, who doubted that the man was famous. After all, on the plane we were simply two travelers, passing time. Somehow, this event was a pivotal point in my life. I had respected the privacy of a famous man, simply because I could. After eleven months of married hell, he had made me feel normal again.

Now, since he has recently passed-on, I like to think of a man who gave me my first glimpse into a normal life, one where I could expect to be treated with respect. He didn’t have to be kind. He could have been aloof and superior, but somehow I don’t think that was a part of his character. Often in the tumultuous days of my bitter divorce, I would think of that very famous man, who touched my life with grace and humor, and then I was able to feel normal again.

Six months after this incident, my Dad watched an interview with the famous Charlton Heston on a nighttime talk show. He was talking about the pleasures and hazards of being recognized by his fans, while going about his personal life. Charlton Heston shared a story of one of his most special “fan” experiences.

It seems that he was traveling east with a young lady, who was going home with her baby. She seemed troubled at times, but he had thoroughly enjoyed their visit.

“What made that encounter so special?” the interviewer inquired.

“She didn’t ask me for my autograph,” Mr. Heston replied. “She made me feel totally normal. She didn’t recognize me at all.”

The next day, my Dad couldn’t wait to tell me about the talk show. He urged me to write to Mr. Heston, but I refused.

“Dad, trust me. Thousands of women are writing to him as we speak!”

Now, nearly forty years later, it occurs to me, how blessed I am that I did not invade the privacy of that famous man. He gave me a precious memory, and, by the way, he did give me his autograph. He wrote his autograph upon my life!

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Time for a Step at a Time

Hello friends,

A Step at a Time. That's all it takes. Every journey. Each decision. Everything requires a step at a time. Instant life changes are not the miracle. Taking that next step is. Sticking it out, when the evidence is not there. That is the miracle of the every day.

I've learned not to trust easy answers. I've learned to look beyond that pat on the back, or even the encouragement of those who love me. I've learned that the most important action I can take, is reaching out for that next step.

For me, this journey of steps is more than a trip on a treadmill. It encompasses everything in my life: the certainty that when my husband says, "You are beautiful," I can believe that I am. When my daughters tell me that I am the woman they aspire to be, then I can make the decision to see in myself, what they see in me.

Of course, my most important journey is within. I never go alone. I always take God with me. We look into the dark corners of my life, where despair and uncertainty abide, and I let Him shine His light, no matter how many shadows there are. And I believe that when the light of His transforming grace bursts through the gloom, I can be confident that He has taken my faults with Him, never to return.

This is not to say that I don't dirty things up again. I do. I cannot imagine why I let those dark creatures of sin back into my inner self, but I do from time to time. Each time my inner self plunges into despair, I must call my Lord, and I must invite His Holy Spirit back in, to shine His light again.

I believe that is one of the things that God sees in me: that propensity to reach out for Him in the dark...to walk up to Him when I know that I am unworthy...and if necessary, to crawl on my belly, until I can touch the hem of His robe.

So, here I am, after months of a treadmill untouched by my despairing hands and feet. Yesterday, by His grace, I began again. I started out at barely a crawl, just a little over 1 mile an hour, and I stayed there until I was warmed up enough to creep a little faster. This was no power walk, but it was a humble walk, knowing that I could not make it if I hurried. In nearly 40 minutes, and the space of an entire album of praise, I stayed on that treadmill until I was done.

I never did get my target heart-rate up to where it should be; but I finished. And today, perhaps I'll do better, a step at a time. Whether change is in one's character or in one's physical body, nothing is accomplished at once. Everything begins with that first step, and the victory belongs to every step thereafter.

So, go ahead, cut one thing out of your diet and take that step at a time. Praise your children one more time, and then increase a step at a time. Love your spouse, and say so, one more time. A step at a time, with small increases, will give you the confidence to continue. Be stubborn. Keep going, until the end. Perseverance changes behavior, and prayer changes the heart.

God be with you, as I will, in prayer, and with Him, taking a step at a time, until He calls me home.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Time for Giving Your Heart a Vacation

Hello friends,

Today is truly spring in the southern Appalachians. My garden is abundant with blooms. The daffodils are nodding their heads in vibrant colors of yellow and white. An early tulip is just beginning to burst forth. There are six surprises, six daffodil blooms of deep orange centers surrounded by yellow petals. The fancy “daffs” are celebrating their waving yellow petals, by raising their heads proudly above crocuses of deep purple, white, and gold. This is just the beginning. Soon my redbuds will be dressed in glorious shades of purple and pink. The crabapples will catch on fire, and take my breath away. Then, my ‘Malus’ crabapple will break open its ruffles of luscious pink. My Knock-Out roses will not be far behind, blooming red and blushing pink. There will be more roses this year, and I can’t wait to choose them and place them into the ground.

The sun is higher in the sky, and the dim light of winter is fading. I was raised in the Sunshine State of Florida, so I am affected with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months. By the end of winter I am wandering the house at night, my body clock longing for sunshine and light. So, now is the time for giving my heart a vacation.

I will watch the glorious sunset from beginning to end. I will arise with the sun in the mountains, where morning begins with a fairy mist and ends with the rosy dawn. I will talk to God in my garden, as I walk past every colorful hue. I will thank him, joyfully, each day, and I will bless Him for the gentle sun of spring. My heart is light, this day, though my eyes are growing dim. I can see God’s handiwork. I can see the work of my hands. I can see this spring’s celebration of life. And my heart resonates with the sights and sounds of spring.

I can’t wait to design new gardens. We have been blessed with an acre of land. Ten years ago, our first spring began with consternation. What in heck were we going to do with an acre of ugly grass covering rocks and clay? Much effort has gone into each garden. Many of these gardens have been created by my husband and children, just for me to enjoy through our windows. Years spent indoors makes me delight in every breath that I can safely take outside. If my hips and my legs would allow, I could dance away the day, with yapping dogs leaping about my feet.

So, give your heart a vacation today. Laugh. Read. Celebrate the day with things that you love best. Then, thank God for each and every gift. God bless and keep you, this day, and may He give you many reasons to celebrate the life He has given to you.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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