Share Four Somethings – November

Something Loved

Meditations in Motion

I am counting the days until I see this little guy again (four!). For Thanksgiving, my Colorado son and his family along with my Oregon son and his wife are meeting us in Arizona. There we will meet my sister, her children and grandchildren, plus assorted in-laws and friends for a grand total of 31 people around our Thanksgiving Day table.

We are looking forward to some good times with family, delicious food, and warm, sunny weather.

The photo above is my youngest grandson dressed up for Halloween, sent to me by my daughter-in-law. After I received it, I told her that it was an adorable picture, but I could not figure out what my grandson was dressed as. “A fox pirate,” she replied.

Oh, yes. You have to watch out for those fox pirates. Very scary!

Something Said

Meditations in Motion

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.– Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I think of these verses often when I think of the relationship my hubby Bill and I share. We have supported each other and “lifted up the other” in many ways over the years, but one of the most tangible ways we help each other is in our running.

For most of the two years I struggled with a hamstring injury, Bill’s training was excellent. We trained for and ran the Berlin Marathon during that time and he ran strong and fast.

In many races, he slowed his pace so he could run with me. Once, during a trail race when I turned my ankle on a rock, he literally lifted me up and supported me.

He is in a mini-slump with his running right now. All runners go through tough periods like this. I hope I can give him the same quality of encouragement that he gave to me. It feels comforting to have a partner who is there to lift us up when we fall.

Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

This month I have started studying Portuguese in preparation for our trip to Portugal and Morocco this spring. I like to be able to speak a little bit of the language in the countries I visit, at least enough to read a menu and say “Please, Thank you, and Where’s the bathroom?

So far, learning Portuguese has proven to be more difficult than Spanish or Italian for me. Some pronunciations seem unusual, there are many nasal sounds, and apparently, the person who invented this language was very fond of the letter “X“.

In the app I use to study languages, one of the exercises involves writing the words in Portuguese that the instructor speaks. I am a terrible speller in English. My Portuguese words are nothing short of laughable, and don’t even get me started on plurals, but I think I am learning the basics.

Por favor.” “Obrigado.” “Onde fica o banheiro?

Something Read

Meditations in Motion

Even though I read a lot of books this month, the selection for discussion in this post was easy to make. “Unlearning God” by Philip Gulley, a Quaker pastor, was the most thought-provoking book I have read in a long time.

Gulley is a natural storyteller. The book is sprinkled with anecdotes from his own experience which, when coupled with his self-deprecating humor, make the book easy to read.

My copy is now dog-eared, highlighted, and marked with notes scribbled in the margins that no one could ever hope to interpret but me. I believe I could let the book fall open to any random page and find at least one pithy quote.

Here is one: “When I was a Catholic, participating each week in confession, I remember telling Father McLaughlin I had eaten meat on Friday. The Vietnam War was raging, children were being burnt to death with napalm, America’s cities were aflame, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated, and I had to ask God’s forgiveness for eating a hamburger. How had eating fish on Friday become the measure of holiness?
People obsessed with religious legalese talk about how rare and difficult true holiness is, when it is easy compared to the depth of transformed living Jesus called for. It’s much simpler to wear the right clothes, eat the right food, and wear the right hairstyle than it is to love mercy and do justice. No wonder so many people have reduced religion to these simple, attainable standards. It is this settling for so little that poses such a threat to spirituality. It creates a faith so puddle-shallow, it dries up quickly.

I must write the disclaimer that Gulley and I do not share all of the same religious beliefs, but this book made me think, and for that, I love it.

 

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her β€œFour Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

Also linking with Amy at Live Life Well, Life at 139A for Post, Comment, Love, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Counting My Blessings for Faith β€˜n Friends, Loopy Laura for Global Blogging, Denyse Whelan Blogs for Life This Week, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, and Lyli Dunbar for Faith on Fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

83 comments

  1. Cute fox pirate or pirate fox. That sounds like one huge Thanksgiving gathering, the type that we had when I was growing up. This year there will be just four of us as our oldest will be with a friend of hers and my mom will be with my sister. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m intrigued by that book!!!
    My husband always has to slow down to stay with me & I always feel so bad for him… but for him, he says its to spend time with me – not to compete with anyone in the race. We have good men.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie, I know you’re over the moon in anticipation of being reunited with your family at Thanksgiving, and a pray it is a joyful and festive time for all of you. Kudos, too, on tackling Portuguese. But if I were anticipating a trip overseas to a country that didn’t naturally speak English, I’d make the same effort. Now that’s not saying I’m gifted in speaking foreign languages – you should have seen me in high school French class – but I think it’s the right thing to do to try.
    Without you elaborating on it here, it’s so obvious of the support you and Bill give each other. That’s what marriage is all about, and y’all are the perfect model.
    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband is the son of a Baptist preacher who was never permitted to do anything – in my opinion. I am the daughter of 2 people who were forced to go to church as children and who rebelled against formal religion as adults who raised 3 kids without any religious training. So the hubs and I are coming from very different places, very different beginnings. So often his decisions, what he says, wears, enjoys are determined by or overruled by what our family counselor called religiosity. He won’t dance, pretends not to drink in front of his parents, for years didn’t go to movies. Some religions, some denominations get so caught up on trivial – in my opinion – rules that they lose sight of what is really important. Paul’s mother once remarked to me that she wished they had spent less time in church and more time with their children. That just about says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like you have a lovely Thanksgiving to look forward too with seeing so many family members. Love the fox pirate costume that your grandson is wearing. I love the verse you shared – it was one in one of the readings at our wedding and is such a good one when it comes to thinking of relationships. I hope your husband gets through his mini slump soon but I am sure that you are providing wonderful support in the meantime. Good luck with learning Portuguese – it sounds like quite a tricky language to learn. ‘Unlearning God’ sounds like a very interesting and thought-provoking book – one to add to the reading list, I think. #WotW

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Years ago (1981) before going to Greece, I got a LP record from the library to try to learn to speak conversational Greek. I soon gave up trying to learn anything from that record. It made no sense to me. Besides it was an American Express tour and we had a native Greek tour guide the entire two weeks and other guides for Turkey and Egypt. I studied French for years, but I won’t admit it – though I can read some of it, don’t ask me to speak it because I never learned to trill my Rs properly. I even took one year of French with no textbook, and we were not allowed to speak in English. Probably the phrase that stuck with me the best are when Jean and Marie went to the restaurant and she ordered a beefsteak with french fries … I think I just liked to say or write pomme de terre frites. Enjoy your respite with family in warm and sunny Arizona Laurie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mom was a French (and English) teacher, so I learned some French as a very young child. I also took French in high school, so that is probably my best language other than English. When we were planning where to go next spring, Greece was our second choice. Maybe we will do that next year and then I will have to study Greek. That would be hard since the alphabet isn’t the same! Thank you, Linda. I will enjoy the time with my family. 2 more days until I see my little fox pirate! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well I think I mentioned before that French as a second language was mandatory in Canada, beginning in grade one. We had an 8 1/2 X 11 laminated card which matched the teacher’s mural – we learned that way … vocabulary and gender of every item in the picture. It was a fun way to learn. Yes, Greek is hard due to the alphabet … it turned out I never needed it due to the tour director being with us at all times.

        A friend of mine and his wife retired to Las Cruces, New Mexico. He retired first and lived there 18 months before she did – he hired a tutor and she taught him using sticky notes all around the house for colors, food, inside/outside … he told me it was a great way to learn and can hold his own in a conversation.

        You’ll have a wonderful time with family in sunny Arizona – safe travels to all your family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I did not know that about Canadians learning French, but it makes sense. My very weak French came in handy when we visited Quebec several years ago.

        We leave in about half an hour to go to the airport. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think Spanish should be mandatory in the U.S. – I should have kept up on my French but had no one to speak to. Now, you could just go online and read French newspapers or periodicals to keep fluent in French. My mother wanted my father to teach me German since he was from there and spoke it fluently, but he never did. Aah – blissful heat and sun and family to boot. I just read on Twitter that Mike Posner is leaving L.A. and looking to live in either Oregon or Washington state as he has a new hobby – mountain climbing. He said his long walk and meditation gave him time to realize he wanted more in his life than just L.A.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In my high school, Spanish was not even an option. we could take French or German (we live in an area with a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch, so I guess that is why they chose German). We are in Phoenix. It snowed like crazy in PA before we left. We got about 2 inches in an hour! As we traveled east toward Philly to go to the airport, the snow changed to rain, thank heavens. It was white-knuckle driving at the start of our trip. When I ran a marathon in Washington state last year, we passed a place with lots of mountain climbers. That would not be for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Your timing was impeccable for getting out of Dodge Laurie! I think Colorado was to have some bad weather Tuesday into Wednesday so hopefully your son/family are already in Phoenix.
        The mountain climbing would not be for me either. Mike Posner showed a few photos of himself as he was climbing over the past few weeks. Enjoy your week and a morning run in shorts and a teeshirt!

        Liked by 1 person

      • My son and his family left yesterday (Sunday) and should arrive in Phoenix today. I am already dressed in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and just have to wait for the sun to come up to go for my run! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • Some of the words (like por favor = please in both languages) are exactly the same, but there are a lot of differences and the pronunciation is much different. Much more nasal than Spanish. 2 more days until I see my little fox pirate! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, Laurie. The fox pirate may bring you the treasures he found since Halloween. Good choice to visit Portugal and Morocco. Both are beautiful countries and very different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Natalie. I get to see the little fox pirate later today! I am looking forward to both countries. My husband is in charge of learning a few Arabic phrases for Morocco! πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Love the creativity of a pirate fox! That is so cute!! Sounds like you are going to have quite the Thanksgiving and I love that you try to learn a bit of language of the places you visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Portuguese is very hard but you will find that most do speak a little english. Perhaps in the remote villages no english but a smile always works. We were in Portugal back in April this year. Beautiful people stunning countryside. You will love it. #SeniSal

    Liked by 1 person

  10. By the time you read this, you will be in the throes of your wonderful family Thanksgiving. In Australia it is not celebrated as a holiday and we tend to make Christmas that kind of reunion. However, in my family, this year I am getting the best birthday present and that is my two kids and their 8 offspring are visiting for lunch this Saturday and it will be the first time we have all been together for almost 4 years. Looking forward to it so much.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is 48/51 Self-Care Stories #7. 2/12/19. I hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My family Thanksgiving was wonderful, but it is coming to an end. So sad to see everyone go their separate ways, but we will be together again at Christmas. Hope you had a wonderful family lunch. Happy Birthday!

      Like

  11. I am soooo late to the party here, but I sure hope your Arizona Thanksgiving was as merry and warm and wonderful as it sounded like it was going to be. Here’s to a healthy, happy, and not-too-crazy holiday season, Laurie, full of everything you hold dear (most definitely including fox pirates)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a wonderful time in Arizona and I got to spend a lot of time with my little fox pirate. One of my favorite times was when the kids were watching a movie and the adults played “Celebrity” after Thanksgiving dinner. Much hilarity ensued!

      Like

  12. The fox pirate teaches us to observe. I saw the big picture (pirate) right away and was wondering why you could not figure it out. I did not pay to much attention to the furry jacket and ears. The devil is in the detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congrats on learning a new language. I would love to speak multiple languages….or even just two:) It is quite the challenge for me. Such a powerful quote you shared. I’ve printed that one off – will keep mulling over it. Have a great week. Hope you enjoyed your visit with your fox pirate – and all the other family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been slacking on my Portuguese lessons lately – we traveled for Thanksgiving – but I am actually looking forward to resuming them today. The visit with the fox pirate was wonderful. I was sorry to see them go!

      Like

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