Monday, December 30, 2013

A Clean Slate

ü  A new Word document  
ü  A blank calendar
ü  A fresh blog post
ü  An empty journal or diary
ü  An unopened flash drive
All waiting to be filled with words, dates, memories, and files—A New Year filled with choices, actions, resolutions, goals, and efforts.
Like you, I ask myself, “What will 2014 bring and what will I do during the next 365 days?” According to my calculation that is 8,760 hours; 525,600 minutes; 31,536,000 seconds. If I sleep one-third of my allotted hours, the remaining 5,840 hours or 16 hours each day await my imprint.

Some of those hours will be filled with office work, housework, food prep, and unexpected interruptions. Quantity time with my husband, family, and friends will be a priority as well as quality time with God through prayer, church attendance, and service to others. 
I start a new year with a clean slate when it comes to my writing. Writing 24 blogs in 2014 is daunting when I have an idea for only one. Most of my blog topics come to me from events or circumstances in my life. I  always look for a good quote or inspiration from an article or spot on TV. So far I have written 40 blogs with the self-imposed deadline of two each month. When you read and comment, I am encouraged to keep on posting.

My big project for the year is writing Charles’ life story. He has already given me pages of memories that I will massage and rework into a memoir that will be an inspiration to many. Like it was for me, writing his life story is a time of reflection on many events—some of which he would prefer not to relive. However writing my memoir, Born Three Times­­­­–A New Life, A New Liver, A New Love, proved to be a very therapeutic experience.
You, too, have a story to tell and I encourage you to take the time to find a way to record your memories for your future generations. It would be a good way to use some of your time in 2014 to bless other people. 

Let's fill our clean slates in 2014 with words and actions that will honor God and bless others along the way. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
Happy New Year
Frieda Dixon
Too Two Late Bloomers


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Orange Grove Parable

Spiritual insight can come from many places this time of year. Mine came in early November when Charles and I were heading home from our Florida vacation. The billboard on I-75 displayed pictures of beautiful citrus fruit with the invitation to take the next exit and pick your own. We are always eager to try something different so we followed the signs to a weather worn barn with green fruit displayed in bins. I was really surprised not to see orange colored navels and tangerines, and yellow grapefruit. The proprietor assured us that the displayed fruit was ripe, and that it only turns orange or yellow when exposed to cold temperatures, or sprayed with ethylene gas. I was not convinced, so we grabbed a ten pound mesh bag to fill on our own. We were given a word of caution, “You can pick fruit from any tree in the orchard, except the ones wrapped in crime scene tape.” 
We trekked into the orchard to find the low hanging fruit. Sure enough most of it was green, but a few tangerines and oranges looked better than the others and gave way when we gave them a gentle tug. Then we saw them, orange trees wrapped in yellow crime scene tape and covered with orange fruit. Those trees must have been exposed to cold air or gassed in anticipation of being sent to market. Like a little kid, I couldn’t stay away from those trees. I wanted to fill up my mesh bag with that fruit. With the proprietor's warning ringing in my ears, I dutifully continued to pull green fruit, but kept looking at the forbidden orange fruit in the middle of the orchard. 
Back on the road, it hit me. The account in Genesis of the first sin possibly took place in a fruit orchard. We all know the story of how Adam and Eve were told by God they could eat of any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. God warned Adam if you eat of the forbidden fruit, you will die. And we know the rest of the story. Eve listed to the serpent, ignored God’s warning, and ate of the forbidden tree—then gave the fruit to Adam. The first sin entered into the world and people have been dealing with their sinful nature ever since.

Over two thousand years ago, God took on the form of a human baby, and came into our world for one purpose—to die in our place as the perfect sacrifice for our sinful nature. We can be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life if we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. That is the real reason for the Christmas season and something to celebrate all year long.

Have a blessed Christmas.