Waving farewell to another month, I rejoice in a glance back at my April Acceptance joining Jennifer Goodwin as she hosts a monthly feature called, Share Four Somethings, where writers share the fourth Saturday of each month something in each of four categories from the previous month.
Many readers notice I choose a theme for each month, which often reflects lessons or themes from my personal life. This month’s theme is “acceptance”, which speaks to my reflections on a month of changes and challenges, learning to trust God’s goodness in both the pleasant and challenging.
Each month the four categories remain the same: Something I’m loving, reading, learning, and eating! Jennifer delights me by listing these categories in the present participle form of the verbs rather than the past tense of completion.
something i’m loving
In the wake of the uncertainty of an ongoing health crisis, something I’m loving right now to kick off my April Acceptance: Share Four Somethings, is my new specialist. After a long journey through many medical professionals, tests, procedures, and a general lack of answers, my new specialist offered much Hope on a recent visit.
Though yet facing a long road ahead, her supportive listening, and time spent with me (nearly 90 minutes!!) communicated sincere concern, along with capable knowledge which put me at ease.
She had her staff arrange all the necessary testing and made room in her schedule to see me immediately after everything was completed to formulate a plan.
While my health condition remains, her kind care made accepting a new reality much easier than sitting with uncertainty coupled with a feeling of insignificance.
something I’m ReADING
Truly delighted with my Kindle for many reasons, one of the biggest benefits of owning a Kindle is the ability to read multiple books at one time effortlessly. So sharing what I’m reading at any given time remains a challenge!
This month, my reading centered on my new devotional “Behold the Lamb” and a new release by Strahan Coleman, entitled, “Beholding: Deepening Our Experience in God”.
His premise centers around discovering the Joy of being with God, not just working for Him. Coleman invites his readers to a place of stillness before God where prayer moves from seeking to becoming.
What impacted me most was Coleman’s invitation to exchange our transactional approach to being with God, for a transformational approach of simply seeking Him in solitude.
Coleman says, “Beholding is much deeper than [prayer], it’s about how we hold God before us and how we live from the place of being held by Him. It’s the practice of looking to God with an open soul, admiring Him, allowing him to be, and watching Him move in and around our lives. It’s a much wider definition than speaking to God to get things done, offering words of praise, or interceding on behalf of others. It’s about how we exist.”
While I’m still digesting the concepts of the book, learning to simply sit with God without an agenda has taught me to breathe again in His Presence; to learn what He feels like, looks like, and sounds like.
My favorite quote from the book is, “Beholding is the practice of gazing into God, gazing into us, gazing back into Him.”
something i’m learning
With Spring as my teacher, something I’m learning is accepting the impermanence of life. This season of reawakening tantalizes us with its sheer beauty as it bursts on the scene gloriously blooming the rainbow.
But just as quickly, I watch the transient nature of Spring sprinkle blossoms at my feet on a windy day, the faded blooms no longer vibrantly waving in the sun.
The breathtaking beauty of Spring quickly fades into the sturdiness of summer, reminding me to embrace today’s loveliness before it’s gone.
Tempted to cling to the beauty present today, in an attempt to hold it forever, instead, I receive one of the greatest lessons Spring teaches:
“Gratefully embrace and savor the magnificence of the present moment just as it is, without wanting it to be something more.”
Impermanence invites us into gratitude simply for what is, not what we wish it would be.
something i’m eating
Believe it or not, I find this category the most difficult. I notice most folks sharing comfort foods, decadent desserts, or their favorite fast food. Spoiler Alert: As a clean eating, health-conscious person who chooses food rich in nutritional benefits, you may find my monthly food forays rather boring.
This month, however, for my April Acceptance: Share Four Somethings, my top food choice honors my Mom. Her sudden death in January of this year, remains a point of painful acceptance.
One of her all-time favorite vegetables was asparagus. Growing up in a rural area, asparagus graced our Spring dinner table in many forms from the traditional steamed or roasted, to sauteed with garlic and lemon, or even the more radical asparagus omelet.
As she lived near my brother in New Jersey, on the first farm market day he spied it the tables, he gifted her a bunch to celebrate spring.
Long my favorite as well, this month asparagus has appeared in many dishes including my top favorite: Tuscan roasted asparagus with parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.
Though accompanied by tears the first time I prepared it, each subsequent time has filled my heart with softer memories and the Joy of savoring Spring with Mom.
april acceptance: share four somethings
Thank you for taking a leisurely walk back through my April Acceptance with me! I am grateful to Jennifer for creating such a creative way to review the moments of our days which often slip by so quickly.
Sharing Four Somethings is a way to savor one more time those things we are loving, reading, learning, and eating!
But you don’t have to be a writer or blogger to enjoy this practice. Why not take a few moments and think back over YOUR April Acceptance and share four somethings with me in the comments! Meet me back here at the end of May for more joyful somethings!
Cindy Davis says
Rejoicing with you for finding a doctor who cares and will spend the time to get to the bottom of medical issues, that is huge. I am a mostly “clean” eater as well and struggle with sharing food stuff too, LOL! I pray that you learn what you need to to make your new health reality the best that it can be.
Thank you, Cindy, for stopping by! I praise God for the way He meets us along the hard paths! Happy to meet another clean eater-who knew sharing what I am eating would bring such consternation! LOL
Lisa notes says
How wonderful that you found a specialist who could really spend time with you! Seems like such a rarity. I’m sorry the need is there for her, but I’m glad you are being supported with your health challenge.
I opted out of planting my usual annuals last year and haven’t done any yet this year (altho we continue having cold nights so it’s not really time yet), but your statement here helps motivate me to consider it again: “Impermanence invites us into gratitude simply for what is, not what we wish it would be.”
I’m glad you shared the detail about your mom and asparagus. I know you must miss her so much.
Lisa, you are so right, the treatment and time my specialist offered me was indeed rare. God is so good to bless me with such a gift. Another way of how He walks with us through hardships, even the ones we wish He would remove.
Our gardening efforts are pretty slow this year too, thankfully we have so many perennials, we can still enjoy the color without the effort!
I continue to be amazed at the unusual ways I have worked through my grief after my mom’s death. I recently found comfort and joy using a favorite pot of hers to prepare a soup. Simple things which bring us closer to those we miss!
Lois Flowers says
Donna, your something loved reminds me I owe you an email … I’m very thankful the specialist was so thorough and offered you the gift of hope as she cared for you. I also love how you are remembering your mom through asparagus … your top favorite dish this month looks delicious! Much love to you, friend.
Thank you, Lois for your kind words, God is so good in meeting us right where are, and I rejoice at His kind answer to prayer with the new specialist!
Isn’t it funny how we work through our grief at times? Never realized how eating one of my mom’s favorite foods, or using one her favorite pots to make something could bring such comfort.
Donna Reidland says
My mom died over a year ago. This year I have found myself enjoying many of those sweet memories, especially of meals as my mom loved to bake and cook.
Donna, I am sorry to hear you lost your Mom in the past year too. Isn’t it wonderful the way we can feel close to them through the making of foods they once shared with us?
Bethany V. says
I’m so glad you are finding hope even if the journey to health may be long. I have to remind myself of this when dealing with my children and their various chronic health issues.
Your theme of acceptance is one I’ll be pondering in the coming weeks. I’ve been working in my garden a lot and it’s easy to be frustrated by the constant change and work there is to do. (I’d be happy to just do a really long weekend’s worth of work once or twice a year.) But there is always something new happening and what is happening now won’t last forever, so I might as well embrace and enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your wise perspective.
Bethany it is not always easy finding Hope in the midst of chronic illness, I remember when my youngest daughter was first diagnosed with JRA as a child. But I am grateful no matter how long the journey, God is with us! Thinking of acceptance and impermanence really encourages us to be more “present”, after all, the present is really all we can really “hold” and experience! Thank you for taking the time to read my post!!
Linda Stoll says
Donna, I love how you add a theme to your 4 somethings. It adds a depth of richness to the post. The picture of you and your precious mom is truly lovely. Priceless. May your memories be soft and comforting, even when tears fall.
Thank you, Linda, I feel like the theme adds so much to my musings. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and comfort, I know how well you understand the grief journey.
Mary Geisen says
This was such a delightful read. The book and quote about “beholding” has me intrigued. Thank you for sharing more about you.
P.S. I love asparagus too.
Mary, thank you for your kind words, I think you would enjoy the book, Beholding, it’s very contemplative. So glad to find another asparagus lover!!
Having a kind, caring professional can make all the difference on how we feel about your health conditions. I’m so glad God led you to caring professional as you go through this time! And impermanence…you have me thinking! I can run forward in my mind, looking how I can change a situation I’m not that please with, instead of savouring even when the flowers have been blown away for a time. I love asparagus, but we only see it a few time a year in my climate. Your asparagus dish looks delicious!
Lynn, the idea of impermanence really has me thinking too, because I am always on to the “next” thing. I no sooner finish one tasks, when I am headed to the next without fully appreciating the “now”. Then I feel regret, UGH, God keeps saying “slow down”, and I need to listen!
Lisa Blair says
I’m so glad you found a health specialist that listened and brought hope as they partnered with you in formulating a plan moving forward. May the Lord continue to comfort you, giving you wisdom and grace in the journey. Your garden is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your garden blooms with us! Yes to this book’s insight, “Learning to simply sit with God without an agenda has taught me to breathe again in His Presence; to learn what He feels like, looks like, and sounds like.” Praying for grace as you miss and remember your sweet Mom.
Thank you, Lisa, for walking through my month of acceptance with me, and your kindness in lingering over each place. I am so grateful for your prayers, my sweet friend!
Joanne Viola says
It seems like April was a precious month in several ways. The photo of you and your mother is precious. You both are beautiful and radiate such joy and gentleness. It’s amazing how a food or an aroma can so bring back a memory. Those memories will cause asparagus to now be a comfort food. I’ll be praying for you as you continue on your health journey. Thank God for He is the One who leads us to doctors who see us and guide us wisely. Blessings to you, my friend!
Joanne, April was a special month for me, in many unusual ways a month of acceptance, but also new beginnings. Thank you for your kind words, especially about the photo of my mom and me! Wow, I never thought of asparagus as comfort food, but yes, I suppose it will be now for me! I am grateful for your prayers, my dear friend!