“You are the wind’s interpreter. What is it saying?”
To me, wind evokes either calm (cool – or even warm – gentle breezes) or signal that change is coming (pick up speed, begin to swirl leaves and other debris around – this is often accompanied by darkening skies).
Today, the wind blew softly on a warm, sunny day in the park, creating a feeling of calm and serenity. It rustled the tiny buds beginning to peek out from behind new leaf growth on the trees, carrying with each gentle flutter of a petal the promise of an early spring. The breeze helped to reassure me that better days are always ahead and served as a reminder to just relax sometimes and take the time to observe the details of the beautiful creation around me and allow mussel to forget stresses and worries, to focus on the wonderful day.
“Write about something presently in your life that is ‘worth it.'”
It can be a bit difficult to balance time, as I’m sure others struggle with as well. It’s hard to find enough “alone time” to feel well-rested in any given week between spouse, work, meal prep, cleaning, etc., not to mention so-called “extracurricular activities” like exercising, time out with friends, etc. It’s sometimes necessary to say no to some wonderful little opportunities in order to get much-needed rest and relaxation. At the same time, I’ve found that giving up a bit of my “me time” to someone I feel really needs to get a few moments with me is so worth it. Helping a friend/family member before focusing on myself and my needs (of course, in a balanced way!) is so rewarding and satisfying. Selflessness is definitely worth the temporary inconvenience or change of plans.
“Give your city (or town or region) a new name that reflects what type of place it is, and explain why you chose that name.”
I’m calling the overall region where I currently reside “Staysville.” Everyone who was born & raised here stays. People who come here for school or a temporary job end up staying here to settle down and begin a new life. People from out of town who come “just for a visit” end up deciding to stay permanently. This had really revitalized the downtown area and made this into a destination on top cities lists in the United States. I guess “Staysville” is the place to be!
“Write a diary entry, dated 10 years in the future.”
Ok – here goes! February 29, 2026 – Wait! This date does not exist. The closest leap years to the year 2026 are the years 2024 and 2028. What an interesting day I chose to write for this prompt! What does someone write on a day that does not exist? I suppose, since I’m going through these prompts in order, I’ll have to -take the leap- (pun very much intended!) and jump right into something that could be written in 2026 on a day that does not exist. Let’s try this again!
February 29, 2026 – Since today does not exist, I will talk about things that probably also won’t exist by the year 2026. It’s the year 2026. We still don’t have flying cars, I’m sorry to report, but the drone cameras keep increasing in capability and creepiness, so it’s now quite difficult to go anywhere without hearing a quiet buzz overhead. It’s certainly not the 1980s anymore, but those of us middle aged folks keep joking that Big Brother really is watching, except it’s actually Big Sister, because we have a woman in the White House now. It feels a little like the former U.S.S.R. here now, so under our breath we call it the Red House. We still don’t have much common sense in our society – in fact there’s less of that than there was a decade ago. We don’t have much about God in public places now – most religious symbols of any kind have been taken down so no one is offended. Now people aren’t as offended as they were a decade ago – the drones help to make sure that any sort of communications that could be construed as offensive are recorded, reported, and stopped. Welcome to the 2020s!
“What is your favorite work of art? What do you love about it?”
I enjoy many different styles of art for the unique traits they each embody. It is very difficult to choose one favorite work. I will simply describe “one of my favorites,” and the significance it has to me currently.
I think that works by Normal Rockwell really depict the small town American life of days gone by, where kids could run down to the drugstore for a sofa or a milkshake by themselves without fear. I actually had the privilege some years back of visiting Rockwell’s studio and museum gallery in Massachusetts. It was incredible to see covers from The Saturday Evening Post that line the way around the museum. I think this style of artwork makes me long to bring my future children up in that type of safe, carefree environment where people both work hard and play hard, a place where there’s a lot less entitlement mentality than people tend towards today. I love how comical situations in Americana small town life are depicted in so many of his paintings. His work is something that allows the observer to feel connected to the scene and to readily identify with the situation those in the piece are experiencing. The “realness” of the people in the paintings helps me think about how wonderful and amazing every day life can be if you take the time to appreciate the little moments. Humanity could really benefit from some more Norman Rockwell style work, if they would step back and look at the good small town values depicted. I definitely love to see more of his work and share it with others – I don’t want to lose sight of the wonder of each day.
“Have you ever spoken up when you saw something going on that was wrong? Were you scared? What ended up happening?”
Most of what I notice directly that’s wrong is actually what is being said, rather than being done. When someone says something that directly contradicts God’s Word, I will speak up. I don’t want others to hear a misinterpretation or misquote of the Bible and go away thinking that is the truth, since it could make a difference in their entire understanding of the Gospel. Some people honestly don’t know something is erroneous theology or a quote that’s not even from the Bible (example: “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT a verse from the Bible), so when I am able to politely point out what’s actually true, they receive it well. Others just want to argue because they think that’s a fun activity. I’ve realized you can only share the truth – you can’t determine another person’s response to it.
Another time wrong things are said is when people start or spread rumors/gossip/slander/etc. Amy Carmichael put it this way: “The absent one must be safe among us.” Ever since I was a little girl, I have been quick to ask people to stop saying mean/untrue things behind someone’s back around me – being a bully behind someone’s back takes a special kind of cowardice, and I want no part of any type of bullying/lying behavior. I also want my friends and family to know they can trust me, which they wouldn’t be able to do if I was spreading malicious rumors and gossip around. Even if this doesn’t always make me “cool” or “popular,” giving that up is worth the trust had in me by those most dear to my heart.
My favorite lazy day(s) are spent with family and/or friends who are like family. The older I get, the more I really find it to be true that family time is some of the best time you can have during your lifetime – it’s where memories and inside jokes are made, laughter is abundant, food is usually consumed, photos are taken, and precious photos are shared. Sometimes family time involve some friendly competition inside (board games, strategy games, quiz games, etc.), or outside (sport-related activities, eating contests, etc.), but whatever the competition, it’s always pretty memorable!
The older you get, the less frequently you see family who live further away, but the more you appreciate the time you do have and times you had with one another. As you look back, particularly when you see photos as a tangible reminder of the past, you’ll notice the people grow, change, move, age, and even pass away.
As I personally begin my first few years of marriage, I see my immediate and extended family both as important, in different ways. I appreciate more and more the older generations in my family for whom time on this earth is growing more limited, and look for ways to see these members of my extended family more often and to at least write or call when I can’t be there very often in person, so they know how much I appreciate them being a part of my life. Family is truly one of life’s greatest blessings, so I cherish my family time.