Right Outside My Front Door!

Apparently Americans are feeling deprived and miserable and downright forlorn. All because we are just so incredibly and horribly bored – Bored – BORED! At least that is what the authors and reporters of some of the news stories I have heard and read have been declaring.

Apparently we are tired of being “stuck at home” for such a long time because of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions. We are fed up with being stuck in the same place for so many months.

These stories have given me food for thought.

Honestly – I am very rarely bored. The McFarland men joke that if I have a couple of sticks and some string I am happy for hours.   They are correct. This is absolutely – positively true. I do find knitting – making and being creative endlessly entertaining. And reading – oh – I could read and read and read and read some more.

But I don’t actually need yarn or a good book to be entertained.   Well – perhaps I do need yarn to be entertained . . . I will just never understand how non-knitters can just sit there and do nothing while reading or watching television or while waiting in line or riding in the car or talking on the phone or sitting through a meeting.   So much wasted time! So much wasted creativity! So much wasted potential! But I digress. (Digression is one of my super powers!)

Another way I entertain myself is by simply paying attention to the world around me. I notice things. Actually – I love to notice things. I delight in really paying attention to the world around me.

I look. I listen.   I watch. I observe. And I am so blessed.

This week I have challenged myself to delight in and to explore the places closest to my own front door. I want to see these places with new eyes. I want to look at the places I go most often with fresh eyes.   I want to explore and adventure really – really close to home.

I want to appreciate the things I see over and over and over again!   I want to be the opposite of BORED.   I want to be engaged and alive and thankful and blessed and everything those authors don’t want me to be. (And yes – I think they were being sensationalistic and way – way too dramatic!)

This has been so much fun. I have been noticing even more than usual. I have been seeing more. I have been hearing more. I have been delighting so very much more!

I have been appreciating more. Really I have been appreciating my neighborhood and my twice daily walks so much more. I have appreciated my home and my yard and even my very own family more!

My front yard in intriguing these days. It is amazing what a change in perspective and a shift in your attitude can do.

I have noticed just how many of our neighbors smile and wave to Jason and (hopefully) me on our walks. I have taken the time to appreciate and give thanks for these kind smiles and waves and nods from our neighbors. We don’t know most of their names nor they ours – but they know us by our twice daily habit of walking. (I didn’t take any of their pictures – because they already think we are weird enough because of all of the WALKING!)

I have noticed all of the busy – busy – busy birds. We have a pair of nesting hawks who live very close by.   I love to watch our hawks hunt and soar.

I have also noticed how much happier the squirrels seem these days.   In the winter the squirrels make the most wretchedly awful noises. (You should listen to them next winter. . .) I haven’t heard that miserable sound lately.   They must be a lot happier these days.   I don’t blame them. It is so lovely outside right now!

And I have noticed all of the stunningly beautiful flowering trees and spring flowers and green leaves.

Seriously – it is just plain dazzling right now.

Just for fun I looked for some really and truly spectacular beauty within 150 or fewer steps from my very own front door. (And why yes – I did actually count my steps. I find things like this delightfully entertaining.   This is probably why I am so rarely bored.)

Just a mere 8 steps from my front door I found this . . . Jack chose to plant these when we revamped all of the flower beds when we moved into our house 9 years ago. I think of them as “Jack’s flowers.”

14 steps from my front door I encountered this delightful sea of stripe-y goodness! Jack chose these too.

Our whole cul-de-sac is filled with the glorious scent of lilac this week thanks to our white lilac bush that is located a mere 31 steps from our front door.

These lovely dogwood blossoms are gracing the tree in our neighbor’s yard just 55 steps away.

59 steps from our house are these lovely maple trees that are just covered with HELICOPTERS! I loved playing with helicopters when I was little. I look forward to playing with them again this year!

63 steps from my front door I encounter these stunning beauties.   Some might call them weeds – but I call them FLOWERS. Look at those delightful – delicate leaves. Aren’t they amazing? And to think – I might have missed them if I had not been paying attention and taking the time to explore my world.

68 steps in the other direction I encountered these lovely white blossoms on our neighbors’ tree. I was transfixed.

Are you craving some spring color? Color can be found 115 steps from my front door in these brilliant red buds just waiting to burst open in the spring sunshine.

Or 129 steps away in these delicate pink blossoms that are absolutely covering this tree.

Try looking at your world with new eyes. Try a fresh perspective. Try NOT being bored. Try being engaged and intrigued! Try being open to awe and wonder!

Where do you see beauty? What is intriguing right outside your front door? Where do you uncover blessings? What catches your eye?

I find being intrigued by the world around me leaves me feeling so much happier and more content and blessed.

And it is just plain FUN!

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

2 Replies to “Right Outside My Front Door!”

  1. Pastor, it has been a tough couple of weeks in the Firquin family. Other things have pulled my attention away from the spring transformation in nature. But, as we left the funeral home on Thursday, I saw the most beautiful array of pink and white dogwoods I have ever seen. While my heart was filled with sorrow of losing my Dad’s physical presence in our lives, the sheer glory of the trees reminded me of God’s promise to never leave us even in times of loss. Thank you for being there to support my family and always reminding us that God is with us.
    Rod Firquin

    1. It is an honor to know and love the Firquin family. I agree that the dogwood trees are especially spectacular this year. I think God is sending extra reminders of his presence with us when we need them the most!

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