I take great joy in observing life. I spend a lot of time pondering my observations. So, one day I thought I would write them down. These are my ponderings. -dana

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"Wherever you are, be all there".

This quote has been my challenge since I read it years and years ago.  It's been my challenge for reasons that I will write about in a minute.  First, though, I'm going to digress for a moment as I am sometimes prone to do!

For now, let me just say that it apparently was nt the challenge of Mr. Deer Hunter who nearly ran me off the road last night.  Where he "was", was on the highway behind me.  He was definitely not "all there" however, when he tried to zip around me so that he could then zip in front of me and go faster.  The only glitch in his plan was when he zipped around me the 18-wheeler in front of him decided to hit his brakes. That was when Mr. Deer Hunter, with the "call of the wild" whispering in his ear,  decided to just go for it and whip back in front of me, his trailer narrowly missing the front end of my Jeep.  As I said,  he was not all there.  Where was he, then?

Well I'm guessing he was already on his deer lease a few miles further west.  He was already smelling the  maple bacon sizzling on the skillet at his deer camp in the pre-dawn hours.  He was already feeling his heartbeat increase as a buck with a rack as big as Dallas approached the feeder.  He was, in fact, already picturing how that mounted deer head was going to look in his home above the fireplace.  He was already hearing his wife say, "That thing is not going in MY house"!  So quickly his mind goes straight to Plan B--how the mounted buck will look in his office and how all of this peers will marvel at his hunting skills.  Yeah, yeah, Plan B is better anyway! 

I rest my case.  Clearly last night where Mr. Deer Hunter indeed "was", he was not "all there".  I thank the Lord that I am here to tell the story!!

Digression complete.  We shall move on.

I have fought being "all there" my entire adult life.  Lets take this morning for example.  It's one of the first really chilly mornings we've had.  I have the day off from work.  I have a full pot of steaming hot coffee in front of me and my house is clean.  What more could a woman ask for?  Yet, I admit that it is a struggle for me to be here...in this moment.  My mind is traveling a couple of weeks forward to Thanksgiving and the preparations.  I'm feeling my pulse increase.  I immediately start a mental "to do" list.  I feel guilty sitting in the quietness. I'm feeling the need to DO something. Most times it doesn't occur to me that this tiny little moment in time is a gift from God.  I wonder what he thinks as I squander it away with my "hurry-up, always-doing" mentality.

Outside the window in my kitchen there is a tree.  In that tree many days there is a Cardinal. In my haste, I most often think, "Oh hey, there's that bird again!" It took me some time to see a pattern.  Usually the Cardinal appears in late afternoon.  He usually perches on the same branch.  It appears that he is looking in the window right at me.  In the midst of our drought, he sits in the one tree that seems to be thriving without the benefit of water.  As I watch, I think how I love seeing the contrast of his vibrant red feathers in the green leaves.  I find myself watching for him.  It's a thrill when he shows up.  He shows up when I slow down.  Oh, he's probably there other times, too, but it is when I'm "all there" that I see him.

Some days and some moments I'm better at being "all there" than others.  Here are what those moments looks like in my life.

When I'm all there and my children come to visit I notice how they make each other laugh and I'm well aware of how the sound delights me.  I love how when my daughter gets completely tickled, she doubles over when she laughs.  I notice how my son's hands, when they are working,  look just like my dad's hands did.  I notice the quiet strength and patience of another son and I think how he reminds me of my granddaddy.  When I'm all there, nothing soothes my soul like the sounds of my children playing music together. Then I don't worry about what we're having for breakfast tomorrow, I just enjoy the music.

When I'm all there, my heart  melts when my husband of almost 30 years kisses me when he comes home at the end of the day. When I'm all there,  in the midst of life's hardships, I still lose myself in hope as we dream about next year over Saturday morning coffee.  When I'm all there, I like to bake an apple cake just for the moment he will walk in the door and tell me how good it smells.

When I'm all there, I soak in an entire day in the company of a sister. I'm reminded of one of the things I love about her---how she makes everything fun! I'm amazed at her creativity and how she enjoys just about every moment of her life.

When I'm all there, with the radio playing in the background, I enjoy a long soak in a hot tub until the water turns cold.  I like how moving one piece of furniture can make me enjoy just walking into a room.  When I'm all there I take notice of how much lighter my load feels when I do something as simple as clean out my purse!  When I'm all there, I just close my eyes and wait for the moment my little eight-year-old voice student will hit a high note at the end of "Silent Night".  She hears it, too, and we just smile at each other.

When I'm all there, I love sharing a cup of coffee with my mom.  I love that even though I'm 51, when I go to her house I feel instantly relaxed and kind of like a kid again!   I love how she always has cookies to eat!   I love how she is so full of life and active and independent and I'm thankful she lives nearby. 

When I'm "all there" I get a glimpse of a beauty that is so simple that it almost brings me to tears.  I feel like I'm seeing things from God's perspective instead of mine.  When I'm "all there", tangible things lose all significance and real living begins to happen.   It is where God says "This is where beauty lives and it is my gift to you.  Go ahead....drink it in.  Splash around in it!"

When I'm "all there",  I have no wish to be anywhere else.  

"One must never be in haste to end a day;  there are too few of them in a lifetime".  -Dale Coman

Something I saw when I was "all there".