Spring Forward? Bring on the Coffee!

I have a confession: tomorrow is my least favorite day of the entire year. Yes, I do NOT like to spring forward. Here’s the deal. I am not a morning person to begin with. My most creative hours are between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. This kind of body clock does not make for a chipper early riser. Each year I loathe the approach of this particular Sunday morning because I do not like to forfeit that extra hour of sleep. Whose lousy idea was daylight saving time anyway? Oh, of course, thank you Benjamin Franklin–grrr. Click here for a brief history of the concept behind DST.

Because I am a pastor, I have no choice but to haul my sorry self out of bed an entire hour earlier and face the day. That said, if any of the parishioners with whom I serve are reading this, I apologize in advance if I seem a bit bleary-eyed in the morning. I am trying to find a reason to be thankful for daylight savings time; I really am, but it is hard. I’m not a farmer, so I don’t need the extra hour of light. I don’t believe that I save that much energy as a result of this time shift, either.

I suppose I can look at it like this:

1) I am blessed to have a working coffee pot and some good, strong, fresh beans to grind.

2) I am fortunate to be able to get out of bed in the morning with legs that work, eyes that see, and a brain that functions (despite the early-riser aversion fog).

3) I am truly blessed to have a vocational calling that I love and a faith community that is a joy to serve. Plus, we ALWAYS have coffee; it’s a Lutheran thing.

4) Spring is coming. The daffodils in the front yard are already blooming and the shrubs have buds. Soon I’ll be able to get the garden going.

5) Simply having time in the form of another day on this planet is a gift.

There now, I did it: I named five reasons to be grateful for that horrid spring forward DST morning. How about you? Do you like to spring forward or fall back?

40/40/40 Update

Honoring Relationships

Carol Roark was my high school art teacher. Just like Mrs. Coulter taught me to love words and story, Mrs. Roark inspired me to see and to create. She also taught a lot of life lessons, too. She practiced active listening, acceptance, and compassion. I always felt valued in her presence, and I looked forward to any time spent in her class. She truly cared about her students. Today I paint with words, but thanks to Mrs. Roark, I will always appreciate visual art and am able to see beauty both in expected and unexpected places and ways.

When I went to college, I actually spent my first semester in the same dorm room that Mrs. Roark lived in when she was a student at the college. Years later, we ended up in the same faith community. Finally, in another twist of faith, I was able to share ministry and mission with Carol Roark when I returned to my home congregation to serve on the pastoral staff. She is still the same delightful teacher, although she now teaches homebound students. Thanks, Mrs. Roark! You made a profound impression on who I am today, and I sm so grateful to you.

Giving Possessions

Today, in honor of Mrs. Roark, I am giving away the accumulated arts and crafts supplies that are sitting around gathering dust. Their purpose is to be used in the creative process, and that’s not happening sitting around in boxes.


Today I am thankful for artists, art, and the act of creation. Artists help us to see the world with fresh eyes and in new ways. All of us have the spark of creativity within us. Unfortunately, too many of us are told at an early age to color within the lines and that we have no talent. What a pity! I think I’ll go make some art today. Maybe I’ll write a poem, too.

Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

A Few of my Favorite Things…

The hills are alive…with thoughts of thanks-living. I know, Rogers and Hammerstein would not be amused. But, hey, whether you live in the hills, on the plains, or along the coast every day provides an opportunity to be thankful for the bounty present in our lives.

Too often in our culture we look around and instead of seeing abundance, we see only what we don’t have. Marketers take full advantage of this human foible and would have us believe that one more purchase of this or that will not only make our day but fulfill some missing piece of our happiness puzzle. Once the rush of the purchase is past, the missing piece is still missing, and we have one more tchotchke in our possession.

A good practice for those moments when the urge to buy threatens to raid your bank account is to give thanks for a few of your favorite things. Remind yourself why they are special and what makes you feel good about them. Remember, too, that favorite things do not have to be “things” per se; they can be experiences or people, too.

Here’s my list of some favorite things:

  • The feeling of climbing into bed between clean, high-thread-count cotton sheets. When you’ve had a long day and are really tired, there’s nothing like that crisp, deliciousness of fresh linens, especially when they’ve been line dried on a sunny day.
  • A steaming mug of hot cocoa heated to perfection on the stove, made with dark cocoa and just enough sugar. Yum!
  • My favorite pair of jeans. They’re five years old and not much to look at, but they sure feel good.
  • A good book, a cup of tea, and a couple of leisurely afternoon hours with no interruption. I haven’t had this experience in awhile, so I need to make time for that soon.
  • Fresh homemade bread with good olive oil and freshly ground Italian spices for dipping. Add a hunk of cheese and some apple slices, grapes, or other fresh fruit, and I’m a happy camper.
  • The first cup of coffee in the morning — strong and black. Hello, world!
  • Date night with my spouse, especially when it’s the $5 movie night. Tonight we went to see The Descendants. Don’t miss it; it’s worth more than $5. I’ll be reviewing it later in the week.

What about you? What are some of your favorite things? Notice that only one of the items on my list involved spending money on an outside pursuit, and that was the epitome of the cheap date. Life is good, and I am so thankful to have enjoyed another day.

(Photos by trailsource.com and puuikibeach used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!)