Tasting my life

The bargain books filled a small rolling cart and sat in the middle of the mega store. Being the frugal woman I am, I drew near.

A title caught my attention, Fresh Brewed Life, A Stirring Invitation to Wake Up Your Soul. It had a picture of big cup of coffee on the front of it.  Naturally I bought it.

It’s interesting how Nicole Johnson, the author, weaves life lessons into coffee comparisons.  I can almost smell the aroma of a fresh cup as I read along.

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The chapter on journaling was of major interest as I paused over her thoughts. Talking about her own handwritten journal entries, this quote grabbed me:

“I wanted to look at the words, savor the experience, feel the joy, and live every moment.  I was so afraid I would forget what had happened to me.”

This is one reason I write, so I won’t forget what happened to me.  At this age it is becoming more important to remember what I did yesterday, what I ate, who I spent time with, what words we shared with each other.  I want to remember.

The author writes about tasting your life by recording and reading the entries of a journal.

And isn’t that exactly the thing?  How often I zip through my day, crossing off items on my list, getting the job done, finishing that task so I feel accomplished at day’s end?

But did I taste my life? Did I savor the conversation? Did I enjoy the process? Did I notice the sky blue and the grass green. Did little girl’s antics amuse me or aggravate me?

And Sweet William with whom I share my days, did I truly listen to him when he talked or was I multi-tasking and only processing the gist of what he said? Did I seek to understand?

Did I call the person who’s been on my mind? Did I send the card I’d been meaning to mail?

Did I pray?

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I’ve gobbled down on-the-run meals when I just needed sustenance to get through the day. I didn’t enjoy my food. The pleasure of the taste did not linger.

I’ve lived some days in the same manner. Survival mode. Get through it. Hope the strength will last until I fall into bed at night.

Savoring life has to be intentional. I have to think about it. I must look for the joy. Sometimes it is a fight to count grace, to actively seek contentment. When I stumble into the pitfalls, I must put on a hard hat, stepping carefully through the rubble, and hope I don’t get hit with a two by four. Even there, I can find something beautiful.

I believe joy is present if I look for it. Maybe I will catch a glimpse through tears. Perhaps I will fall on my knees, face to the ground in surrender to the in-control-God who works good out of devastation and brings life from the ashes.  It could be my walking by faith in the thunderstorm, searching for the rainbow, is the necessary modus operendi at this particular juncture.

My goal is to taste life, the sweet and the bitter, the salty and the bland. It’s the mixture of all the flavors that gives it zest. This is what teaches me to endure,what helps me learn compassion for others, and gives me reason for joyful celebration.

Small the aroma. Anticipate the pleasure. Taste your life.

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