Adieu 2020

A year ago, I felt a stir,  
Unlike any I had felt before. 
To go along with what seemed normal,  
Fit with society, in terms of formal.
One might take a path that seems so right, 
Yet wonder why you can’t see the light.  
2020 was certainly a year of change,  
Everyone must have thought it strange.   
A darkness swept across the world,  
A pandemic was hurled; it swept and swirled.   
The lines were drawn with red and blue, 
Each side spoke out to chew and stew. 
In the middle I stood and loved those all around,  
And hoped that each one was heaven bound.  
Doors were shut, emissions went down,  
All the stores and restaurants closed around town.  
The spikes would occur and then down they’d go,  
In hopes of normalcy things started to flow. 
Some might say it’s been a record year,  
And the loss of so many still seems surreal.   
A new year is waiting to open its door,  
Will things be the same as they were before? 
Should you think there's a side that you must take,  
Let’s all be humane, for heaven’s sake.  
No matter what the new year brings, 
With faith, please cling and continue to sing.  
If music's not heard and hope starts to fade,  
Please think of good memories that you’ve already made. 
Someone loves you even more than I do,  
Without him, you would not be you.  
You may not believe- I love you anyway,  
May hope be your anchor is what I will pray.  
“Adieu to this year,” I whispered just now. 
“Happy New Year World!”-2020, PLEASE take a bow.    
K.L. Hale   

Last Christmas I made the decision to begin blogging. I was nervous; but the time seemed right.  And by January I was excited about the winds of change I could feel (did any of us forecast such hurricane force gusts?). 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
This is an excerpt from my journal-January 1st, 2020.  

“Really? It’s 2020.  I was quite sure we would all be flying around like the Jetson’s at this point.  Or at least I thought that as a little girl.  I knew life would be way different.  So many two’s-and the best-two sons, two daughters-in-law’s, and soon, two grandbabies.  And a new 2-digit decade for me.  Overseeing my own destiny sounds intriguing.  But this year I MUST heed to HIS calling.  I’m seeking wisdom with the year of my middle life. Lord, you know my strengths and weaknesses, you know my struggles.  You know my needs, wants, and desires.   You know the path I must take.  It’s to the place where I am authentically yours and yours alone.  And what resides there is my existence that reflects you.  Thank you, God, for your love, guidance, protection, and blessings.  “Listen,” you say.  “I hear you,” I reply.  I’ve heard you most in the quiet. And I’ll return to my small place to grow my grit and nurture my soul.  Lord, I seek you in everything I do. I don’t know what this year will bring.  But I do know this. Because of you I have the courage to begin writing.  I came up with a name for my site, “Flannel with Faith”.  You are telling me I can do this.  It is time.  It might be messy.  And I’m to stand amid the mystery and become more comfortable embracing it.  I can face it and embrace it.  But suppressing it is not good.  I no longer fear it.  Growth is slow and meandering.  And we grow through our trials.  And at times, pruning is necessary.  And endings can be necessary too.  Help me to remind others of their value, strengths, and abilities.  Guide my writing.  I pray protection over my family, loved ones, and friends.   You’ve given me the strength to step out.  For with you, I am never alone.   This is going to be a year of change.  The dreams I had as a young girl, that were wrapped in neat little boxes, have been taken down from the shelf and handed to me once again, just as you’ve done before.  They’re dusted off. “Open them,” you said.  2020, I don’t know what you’ll bring.  But I am ready.”

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

I dedicate this post to our fellow blogger, Bill Sweeney, (“Unshakeable Hope”) who finished his race and fought a great fight of faith since his diagnosis of ALS at the age of 36.  He lived 24 years longer than the doctors had given him.  He lived to encourage and give hope to others.  May that be an example to us all. Peace and blessings my friends.

Have faith 💚

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

The F-words

My flannel fits. And the precious jewels of faith, family, friends, fifty, and even failures, hang proudly around my neck~they form the letter K. It’s me, Karla. I don’t mean to flaunt, but it’s all the flair I’ve got.

Flannel with Faith

It’s like looking in a mirror. We would stare at each other for hours before drifting off to sleep. How strange we began as one. We formed. We split. You had my nose. I had your ears. My smile was more crooked. Your eyes looked bigger. Our hands were the same.

Can you imagine my parents’ reaction learning there would be TWO of us? (they only found out after two heartbeats were heard about two weeks before our birth). My poor older sister was doomed. She was so beautiful and alone. Ironically her four years of solitude ended just four days after Independence Day 1970. I’ve been apologizing ever since.

Great-Grandma Verda Davis

Greens, blues, and yellow were good for me. Pinks, reds, and purples suited her. Or that was the way they could tell us apart. It’s no wonder I love nature colors. Giggling was a gift and we still open it A LOT. Simultaneously we do many things. The question “Do twins really FEEL what the other is feeling?” is answered emphatically “yes” by us. Once she was in an accident. I knew. If I hurt, she hurt~and vice versa.

Fifty years have almost passed since the day we first separated. There are several stories I could share. Like the one where we switched our shirts when we arrived to school (they had our names). By the end of the day we confessed. The teacher couldn’t get angry as she was stumped she hadn’t noticed. It was all out of fun. Except for the time when I had her pretend to be me on the phone since our voices sounded identical. Truly I could write a book about being a twin.

Fifty years doesn’t seem like a lot when I feel I’ve lived such a full life. To some of you I’m as young as morn; to others, I’m no spring chicken. Today as I soak in the paper of my past, it’s the family, friends, and fragments of failures that create the pictures I hold in my hands. Not the ones on the tiny screen. The pleasant aroma of memories lingers. The taste of yesteryears is so sweet. To preserve them (for hopefully the next fifty years) I safely bag them. And to my delight I even purchased a new picture frame. Can you imagine which pictures will be placed in these multiple cavities?

My grandparents lived through the Depression. My parents remember John F. Kennedy being shot. This morning I thumbed through a school yearbook. It was 2001. And I was just a 31 year old “young” elementary Principal trying to wade through the difficulties of 9/11 with the rest of the world. My oldest was in 3rd grade and the youngest in 1st. My children have children; what will they remember of 2020?

We’re halfway through the year. In five days I’m halfway to 100. I’m not confident we’re at any halfway point of human healing. It’s a new life. I’m embracing this stage. As I put on a mask for safety, I happily strip off the mask that hid my flaws. Do you see my eyes smile? Or do you see the tears that sometimes wet the cheeks when the mask feels suffocating? Will we remain out of touch? Or will we, in rebellion, spread the infectiousness of the ghostly viruses that swirl among us?

Lessons learned, wisdom made, and questions still to be answered power my passion to forge ahead. To fight with faith~To take a snap and actually print it out~To let go of what I can’t control~Smile when I don’t feel like it~ Cry because I can and should~Laugh for no reason as often as possible~Walk away from unnecessary stress~Embrace nature everyday~Show love to family, friends, and strangers even when I don’t feel like it~To be better than I was yesterday~To learn from every mistake~To inhale slowly and breathe deeply~To appreciate failures to reveal success~To judge nothing by appearance~To shake it off and accept it.

When I look into the eyes of my twin I ponder how we began as one. I stare in my mirror and looking back is a reservoir of reflections that embodies my experiences and satisfies my soul.

Faith, family, friends, …and fifty. It just fits.

Have faith💚

The best decision I ever made in life was to follow Christ. He doesn’t expect perfection. And he doesn’t tolerate hate. He’s not into “denominations” and could care less about the color of your skin. HE is your only chance at 2nd chances and many more thereafter. He doesn’t care what you say but what you do. He loves you no matter what. When you’re at your wit’s end HE IS THERE. You are loved.❣

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”-Hebrews 10:24