Life Is Bittersweet.

Some sweet things have happened these last few weeks, and I wanted to shout out a few blogger friends who have inspired me. Cue Julie Andrews. These are a few of my favorite things (from the last couple of weeks):

Thanks to Barb at letitgocoach.com, I have a bathroom that sparkles down to the shower liner. Who knew that you could throw a plastic liner into the washing machine? The biggest part of the triumph—this is Drew’s bathroom, which I normally avoid. I just happen to have some extra time on my hands. Click on this link for Barb’s post on Showers That Shine.

Another blogger friend who goes by the pen name Terrified Amateur posted a recipe for Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes, and I’m a sucker for crab cakes, one of my favorite appetizers when we dine out. Of course, we’re not dining out at the moment, so I thought these would be a treat. And treat—well, that’s an understatement!! They were divine!! Like straight out of heaven. One pound of crab made eight cakes, so we had them two days in a row. On the second day, they were even more amazing (my pan was hotter—medium high). I thought I had peanut oil, but I didn’t, so I used canola. I thought I had Dijon, but I didn’t, so I used spicy brown. And you know what? I braved the grocery store one more time (for alcohol) and round two of lump crab.

Then there is Eliza over at Journey to Life, who has been posting a daily Gratitude Challenge. I’m a big believer in gratitude, but even so, there are times when I lose focus. As I reflected on my blessings, feeling thankful for things like the roof over my head and my sweet dog and my family and friends and extra time to read and write and the gorgeous Spring weather and my walks and music in my ears, I remembered a note to self that I typed into my phone on Sunday, August 19, 2019. Now seems a right time to post it.

This Sunday morning I’m thankful
for my eyes that opened
to another gorgeous day
and the sunlight at play,
silver gold reflections
in the emerald treetops.
 
I’m thankful for strength
of body and mind
that carry me
to my oasis of calm
through my own backdoor.
 
For a delicious breeze
and the songs of birds in the trees
backed by the choir of cicadas.
 
For two little black dogs
with waggity tails
smiling faces
and so much love
in those deep brown eyes.
 
For all of this.
This moment in time
when all is right in the world.

So here’s the thing—life is bittersweet. I’m heartbroken by two deaths this past week. One of my best friends lost her Dad, and I lost my dear friend Desi who was my lunch buddy all through junior high and high school. Cancer is a bitch, and so is Covid-19. And as I scroll through Facebook (because I can’t see anyone in real time), I see so many others facing losses and illness and pain. Obviously, not all is right in the world, but there is something good in every day. I went to church this past Sunday (in my living room online), and later a friend asked me what I heard that was meaningful. Here are a few words that resonated with me from the sermon and the good book:

Philippians 4:4-13 New International Version (NIV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

I find peace and strength in these words in a time when I need peace and strength, and I’m finding contentment in circumstance. I pray the same for you. I try to keep my thoughts on the true and noble, right and pure, lovely and admirable things, and I try to thank God for the excellent and praiseworthy—like good people and clean showers and crab cakes and reasons to live.

41 thoughts on “Life Is Bittersweet.

  1. You are a sweetheart! I’m so happy for you and your shiny bathroom. Doesn’t it just feel good? Crab cakes are my weakness, and those look amazing! Will have to try the recipe.

    I love the note to self. It’s sweet that no matter what’s going on around us, gratitude is always in season. Stay grateful my darling, and today, I’m grateful for you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The shiny bathroom is the best! Over the past couple of weeks as we’ve been bombarded with the “message,” I always looked forward to your words as an escape. Thank you, Barb, for the inspiration and kindness!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the warmth and genuine voice of your post. You have 70 degree weather already? We still have snow on the hills around my valley and it was zero celsius when I got up this morning. Yesterday was rain and hail in the morning but it went up to 12 in the afternoon and had two fun bike rides.
    Thanks for the verses you chose, and definitely we need the peace that passes understanding when we look around and watch the news. I see some churches insisted on still holding services, 1000 people in close attendance and not only is it wrongful in a huge way, it also paints Christians as loony to the world.

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    1. Hi Dave! Thanks so much. 0? We’ve seen the 90s (32 C) already so far, but it looks like will stick to the high 70s (21 C) for the rest of the week. Sounds like it warmed up enough for some nice hail-free bike rides.

      Over the years, I’ve been drawn to separate verses from that passage, and the part about peace transcending all understanding is something that my mother said over and over. I understand faith and a God who wants us to help ourselves. And so I’ll stay home and be careful when I shop and pray that all of that is enough. Take care, Dave! I appreciate your visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Inspiring post! “I have learned the secret of being content in any circumstance…” Yes, if everything was lost and we were left destitute and alone, we still have everything because Christ paid a debt we could not pay. I pray for the strength not only to believe that, but the resolve and faith to live it, if I must. Grace and peace to you.

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  4. Have you tried Dalgona coffee yet? I’m seriously obsessed with it and accidentally stumbled upon it the other night. Highly recommend this recipe too if you like coffee! ☕️💕I didn’t find it on WP and found it on YouTube. It’s been floating around social media lately, but I don’t really use social media so I’m a little late to the party. Your crab cakes look tasty! 😋🦀

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      1. If you like coffee, the Dalgona coffee won’t disappoint ☕️ It’s SO easy to make and very photogenic too. Sometimes I make fish cakes which is based off of a crab cake recipe. I like all kinds of cake LOL 😂😋

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks much for the shout-out, Crystal! You even included the Old Bay – Charm City magic from nearly 2,000 miles away!

    Likewise, I’m also a big fan of Eliza’s writings, and she increases her splendor nearly every day. Not as familiar with Letitgocoach, though your description sparks my curiosity.

    Beautiful poem, too. “(S)ilver gold reflections in the emerald treetops” is a particularly lyric, evocative tun of phrase.

    Quite agree about letting the positive shine through the angst. A couple days ago, from amidst breathless hyperventilation, arose the most glorious spring day imaginable. Sunshine brightened the housebound, and a playful breeze tickled open even the most reticent windows.

    Returning summer birds celebrated the life they soon would bring into the world, and blooming flowers unfurled a brilliant carpet. Tree-blossom petals scattered and danced in the breeze…

    Do your worst, virus. We’ve got this. ,

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    1. Speaking of beautiful poetry, I hope you kept your words above for yourself. ❤️ May the sun continue to shine and the breeze play and the birds celebrate and the flowers blossom and tree-blossom petals dance. ❤️

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  6. This is so perfect, just what I needed, love the scripture references! Attempting to stay calm and grateful but some days I get overwhelmed. Thanks for spreading the good news Crystal, C

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