Little Things That Bring Joy

dove sparkles and colors

Today, I had a break from working on the publishing process/steps. My family watched Ben Hur together. My sons had never seen it before. What a wonderful movie to see during Lent and just about two weeks before Orthodox Christian Pascha (Easter). 🙂

The past three weeks, I’d been sick with a stomach upset/virus (two of the three weeks), feeling run down, and then the allergies/sinus issues started up. After all, it’s spring now.

So, today was special.

Not only because my family sat down to watch a classic movie together, but also because I finally got out on a short walk, enjoyed the fifty-something-degree sunny weather. In the midst of my walk, I came upon (and worked my way  around) several inspirational chalk messages by kids on the sidewalk in my neighborhood.

Thankfully, I had my cell phone with me, and I felt compelled to take pictures.

I hope your day is full of beauty, love, joy, peace, and big smiles.

 

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The Wisdom and Foresight of Lao Tzu

wisdom in chinese

 

Lao Tzu was a sixth-century B.C. philosopher and founder of philosophical Taoism. His wise quotes are often used in memes sprinkled at times throughout social media.

Right now, for Great Lent, I’m reading an Orthodox Christian book by Hiermonk Damascene called Christ the Eternal Tao, and what I’ve read so far is both incredible and fascinating.

Lao Tzu had an extraordinary foresight into the Holy Trinity, the coming of Christ, and Christ’s life on earth. That He is the Word of God, as the Spirit is the Breath of God, that gives life to all beings.

How Lao Tzu knew of this without any communication with the Jewish people following God, or the incarnation of Christ and His life on Earth is both perplexing and amazing.

I wanted to share just one of his poems.

In the book, Hiermonk Damascene explains, “The poems that follow are not a translation of the Tao Teh Ching, but rather comprise an entirely new work, which is based on and quotes from the Tao Teh Ching.” He also says, “In quoting from the Tao Teh Ching, we have relied primarily on the heretofore-unpublished, partial translation of it by Gi-ming and Fr. Seraphim, which we have found to be the most penetrating; but we have also referred to numerous other translations and to the original Chinese text.”

One other piece of information I’d like to share from the book is this: Hiermonk Damascene says, “Here it should be noted that the ancient Chinese placed great significance on the number Three, seeing in it the primal principle of order; and in this way, their teachings foreshadowed Christ’s revelation of the mystical life of the Triadic Godhead (see p. 257). In chapter 42 of the Tao Teh Ching, Lao Tzu wrote: ‘The Three produced all things.'”

There are eighty-one chapters, and they’re all based on multiples of three (Damascene), and every one that has been written in this book is amazing, but I am going to post one that I ran into while reading last night.

Chapter Twenty-Two

He was condemned as a friend of harlots

And the harlots became virgins.

He was condemned as a friend of thieves

And the thieves restored their stolen goods fourfold.

He was condemned as a friend of poor fishermen

And the poor fishermen caught the universe in their nets.

He was condemned as a friend of outcasts

And the outcasts inherited His Kingdom.

 

He was condemned, and they were created anew.

He wept over what His creation had made of itself,

And by His tears was it remade,

Restored to its true nature, its primitive origin.

The first creation was of the dust of the ground;

The second, of Water and Spirit.

 

Beautiful poem full of wisdom. And I believe the law of God is written in every human being’s heart. I highly recommend this book, if it interests you at all.

Christ the Eternal Tao book

 

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Works Cited
Hiermonk Damascene, Christ the Eternal Tao. Valaam Books, 2012.

 

 

Take Advantage of a Difficult Shut-In in Many Creative and Good Ways

window seat with books and pillows

As we huddle in our homes, there are so many things we can do, whether we live alone or are with our family members. Here are some ideas I thought about and wanted to share.

During a time of trials and hardships, there is always light that shines in the darkness. Always a sprinkle of blessings throughout the struggle and sadness of isolation and a sense of loss of freedom.

But it is for both our health and our neighbors.

So, here’s some activities I have for our homebound selves:

READ

Fragonard painting of woman reading

Now is your chance to catch up on your reading. I have a stack of books on my nightstand and also online fellow writers’ works that I’m reading, a little at a time. Help out authors, like me (ahem), in buying and reading our books. My book is in the processing step of publishing. Its publication date is May 4, 2020.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my book cover and a book video trailer. Please be on the lookout!

HOBBIES

knitting skeins

If you like to do jigsaw puzzles, write stories, draw, paint, cook, knit, or whatever it is your hobby, you have so much time for it now. Catch up on all those things that give you comfort and joy.

MOVIES

up on poppy hill

You can binge watch, if you haven’t been doing it already, all the movies you’ve missed, or watch your favorites again.

WATCH LIVE STREAMING RELIGIOUS VIDEOS — If you are a person of faith, catch up on your church’s, temple’s, synagogues’, mosques’ worships, if they are being live streamed, to connect with those holy and edifying services.

NATURE WALKS

walking trail with woman

Walking is always a good way to exercise, clear your mind, and find peace in your natural surroundings. It does the brain, heart, body, and soul good.

FACETIME OR ZOOM WITH FRIENDS — This morning, I connected with my dear friends from church in a quick zoom video to prepare them for continuing my women’s bible study on Zoom Tuesday evenings. It was so wonderful seeing their faces and talking to them. You might want to do the same. Set up a time to chat with your friends on one of the platforms that allows for multiple people to chat, like Zoom, or maybe catch up with a good friend via FaceTime.

REST

woman resting 2

If your life has been too busy and exhausting, now is the time to rest, maybe even get in a few naps you’ve needed but never were able to take before.

BOARD GAMES AND VIDEO GAMES WITH FAMILY

family playing board game

You can spend a lot of time with family, if you are still living with them, or your children are still in the house with you. Pull out those old board games and play them. Or get out a fun family video game like Mario Kart or Mario Golf or whatever you prefer, and play with your family. Family time, to me, seems to have been lessened in the past few decades. But this is an opportunity to bond and reconnect.

CUDDLE WITH YOUR FUR BABIES

Jewel and I 12:5:08

(Old picture of my dog, Jewel (RIP) and I from 2008)

They’re always a comfort to you, and you can be one to them more than ever. Smother them with pets, strokes, and hugs.

CHERISH THE TIME TOGETHER WITH THOSE YOU LOVE — As was mentioned, reconnect with family, show them love, and include your pets.

 

Hopefully, this pandemic will dissipate in a few months. In the meantime, God be with you all, stay healthy, and love to you all.

 

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