Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Musings ~ Private Battles and Rambling Roads

In the early morning hours I sit alone, savoring the quiet that mornings bring. Through the open window I can hear the world waking up—the blue jays fluffing their nest in the hedges, a whisper of wind through the wind-chimes. It seems spring is taking its sweet time saying goodbye, and that’s okay. Sometimes slow dances are the best ones.

It is in solitary moments, when the rest of the dwellers are away or asleep, that my thoughts find the space to become words and sentences and paragraphs. I’ve been called a “deep thinker” and while I’m not sure exactly what that means, it’s true that I do tend to think deeply about most things—that is, when I have the time and space in which to do so. It isn’t physical space that I must have, but quiet space, space to inhale and exhale slowly, without feeling rushed. That’s not to say that I have to be in a quiet environment, although it helps, but I must have a quieted mind.

Lately, in my quiet spaces, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we are sometimes our own worst enemies, how we can torment ourselves by rehashing the past—the unpleasant parts. 

A few days ago, my sister and I were browsing through a gift shop when our eyes fell upon a sign that read: “The only way to start a new chapter is to stop re-reading the last one.” She turned to me and said, “Isn’t that the truth?” Yes, I told her, it is the gospel truth and it hit me like a ton of bricks; it could not have been more in tune with my thoughts.

The last twelve months held events that brought me more stress, more anxiety, more heartache, more frustration, more anguish than any other twelve months of my entire life. Perhaps I startled you with that revelation, but there it is. Although these events remained unspoken here, the weight of them have sat on my heart, heavy, like a cement block. I have been mentally exhausted to the point that I felt it seep into my bones and I’m certain my writings, over these twelve months, have sometimes been tinted with shades of gray. As a dear friend says, “Life is real,” and while some battles should always remain private, I try to keep a steady thread of reality woven into everything I write. Truth is, we're all fighting a battle of some kind on any given day. That's life.

I can’t tell you how ready I am to move on, to no longer read again this morose chapter, to stop the play-by-plays that pop up throughout my days, bringing with them a veritable buffet of emotions. And just when I think I’ve put a period behind it all and turned the page—AH!—suddenly, a reminder appears and there I am flipping the pages back, yet again, reliving, yet again, the very happenings that caused so many restless days and sleepless nights. I am so ready for a fresh sheet of paper, a new pen, a new chapter, and I am open to suggestions on how to accomplish such a task.

In lighter news, The Man and I took a few days and drove to the island for a bit of calm and refreshing last week. The sea never disappoints, always reminding me of God’s faithfulness.

One morning, after strolling down the beach, collecting as many shells as my coffee cup would hold, I sat to rest a spell.

When I got up to leave, I looked down and spied this one lying in the shadows. I could tell it was something special.

And it was—a perfect scallop, larger than any I've found before. Having collected shells from beaches coast-to-coast, I'm almost out of places to put them, but the hunt continues and the find is always a joy.

You can tell we’re a couple of old folks, as we experienced a fair amount of excitement over our tiny, yellow rental car—a Fiat so small that The Man had to hunch down just to see out, but it was a perfect fit for me.


The calendar, and my blue plumbago, says that May has arrived. I have so neglected my little gardens and hope to get into the swing of things before it's too late.

My darling granddaughter will be a full two-months old in a couple of days. The weekend news was filled with images of a royal newborn baby girl, creating a stir in certain parts of the world. But I wouldn’t trade cupcake for the royal baby, nor all of the money behind her family name. Arabella is our precious treasure. It was the psalmist David who wrote: “Children are a gift from the Lord,” and what a special gift they are, no matter their lineage.

My dear friends, I have been on a rambling road today. If you’ve already tuned me out, no hard feelings. Some days are like that. Until next time, may your week be filled with sunshine, with warmth, with joy. Thanks for keeping me company here.



  1. Ah, your words ring true in my own life, Dayle. And sometimes it's things from years ago, not just recent happenings. Trying to take my thoughts captive and not worry about things past is so difficult for me. I trust God, but do I trust Him enough to let those things go? Some days are easier than others. Praying for you. Praying we let the old chapters rest so we can begin the new. Hugs. (Cupcake is darling.)

  2. My thoughts, prayers and love are with you. I understand how you feel.

  3. A favorite saying that I have written in my Bible is "to worry is an insult to God". I truly believe that but the human side of us lets it happen anyway. We know the Lord is going to take care of problems but the Mother in us still frets and worries. And we can't seem to forget all of the bad things from the past. I know how you feel. Praying for peace for you.


    1. Thankfully, Judy, the trials of the past 12 months had nothing to do with being a mother, but I think just being a female means we tend to worry and fret more than the male species. I could be wrong. :)

  4. Salt water heals all. Glad you were refreshed at the beach.

  5. I saw a sign that said 'Don't look back - that's not where you're going'. I think I'll put it on a cushion and take it from room to room. I'm sorry that you've experienced such turmoil in the last while. We never know what's in front of us, we just have to take what comes and deal with it - joy and sorrow. What I can't carry on my own I give to God. We are in conversation a lot lately!
    Your little granddaughter is just a cupcake!

  6. I needed exactly this, exactly now... thank you for sharing it.

    I pray that your next chapter will unfold smoothly, and that you will welcome each new page.

  7. Dayle, Your rambling road sounds like it might be running a little parellel to mine at times. A week or so ago I posted about looking back and finding it hard to not keep going there.. It's hard, isn't it? The enemy loved to keep us confused and far away from God. Like you, I need that time to get my mind quiet for the Lord so I can hear Him speaking His love to me. Looking at your lovely photos of the beach reminds me just how much a need a trip to the NC shoreline :) Blessings, friend.

  8. I admire you for keeping your private battles, private. It could very easily be aired, but what for?
    Knowing we all are fighting some sort of battle, is comfort because we can learn from each other, how to handle them.
    You are a great role model.
    When I'm in the mist of a battle, I love to go to the beach.
    Hope it was healing for both of you.

  9. I think everyone if we are being honest can so identify with this post. Most of the battles I fight are personal ones that seem to have no beginning or end. On and on I go. Looking back it just seems to be what I do. Not that I don't look forward as I do that as well. But I think sometimes I miss too much of the present in my mind wanderings. Looking for the quiet recently so that I can hear His voice is what I long for recently. I pray you move forward soon and leave whatever it is that has brought you stress in this last year behind once and for all. That grand baby of yours is absolutely adorable! What joy she must bring you! There's nothing like the soft skin of a new baby and the sweet smell and softness to bring us comfort is there? Hope the rest of your week is good!

  10. Thank you for sharing your heart here...
    And so beautifully my friend.
    Prayers for peace in your heart and mind.
    And your sweet little one is just precious!

  11. Oh Dayle, I don't know your issue but I know I have walked that path and it is a rough road full of potholes and rough pavement. Sometimes we hit a u-turn and end up right back in the midst of all of life's "construction"...and, even knowing that God is in control, doesn't help sometimes. I will give something to God and then, not trusting, take it back to wrestle with it again until I am able to relinquish it completely.

    That is what i am praying for for you-a complete release of whatever is affecting your life. God bless you-this too, shall pass. xo Diana

  12. Your words ring true to me. The last 15 months of my life, since my dad's death, have indeed been the toughest of my life. And it is a temptation to keep *reading* the same old story - about my weariness, my anxiety, my anguish. But you know what, Dayle? The thing that holds me up (and I know it does you, too) is the Author of the story stays the same - day in, day out - and He has promised me an ending of happily ever after!

    Cupcake is precious...just sayin'!!


  13. Yes, we're all fighting battles. I think most of us like to keep our private sorrows off our blogs, but that doesn't mean everything's tea parties and roses. Like you said, life is real. Thankfully, in the midst of it all, He gives us beautiful seashells to find, and darling granddaughters to love. Blessings to you.

  14. Hmmm...I can relate to a lot of what you said...especially with how this past week went for me. Thanks for being honest and sharing. A friend once told me that God gives us the manna we need for the day, but it is us who worry about how the next days and weeks, etc. will turn out...but His grace will give us what we need for the moment and we just need to take things day by day. Don't know if that helps, but it is something I need to be reminded of more and more. His grace is sufficient. :)

  15. First of all, your granddaughter is beautiful (as you already know)! What a wonderful gift from God!

    "The last twelve months held events that brought me more stress, more anxiety, more heartache, more frustration, more anguish than any other twelve months of my entire life." Well, I can certainly relate to those words. In fact, I could have written them, except that I would say the last eighteen months. Some days I have been unable to function, and as a result, I took a HUGE step back from all social media. I didn't delete my blog, but I did delete all the posts. Now, I'm feeling like I can breathe again. I'm feeling it may be time to resurrect Magnolia Cottage and begin blogging again. I have missed uplifting blogs like yours during my sabbatical.


  16. Oh Dayle, when I look at Arabella, my heart just jumps. She is such a little beauty....straight from the hand of the Lord. I am so sorry the past several months have been difficult for you. I always like to think, "This, too, shall pass" and it usually does. It does. Susan

  17. I think most everyone can relate to what you wrote. As bloggers, whether we choose to share intimate thoughts, or keep our blogs light and fluffy, real life is always happening behind the scenes. I'm sorry you've had such a tough year, and I wish you more peaceful days ahead!

  18. I've known you were dealing with something difficult and what it is isn't my/our business. But to let you know you're loved and prayed for is. And you and I share the belief that time by the sea makes anything better!

  19. Karen Blixen: "I know the cure for everything: Salt water... in one form or another. Sweat, tears, or the salt sea." There's nothing that one or all of those can't fix. ~ Reader's Digest.

    Love to you,

  20. Your granddaughter is getting more beautiful every day. I sure appreciate this post and your sweet words of encouragement to me too. I have beat myself up over what happened to me....and replayed those 3 long steps over and over again. But life goes on and I'm having to take it easy, using baby steps right now. It would be nice to look forward. Sweet hugs, Diane

  21. Your granddaughter is absolutely gorgeous! I would just grab her up and snuggle her all day! :-) And there is nothing like standing next to the ocean to make us realize how small we are compared to how large God is. We are all hesitant to share personal parts of our lives on our blogs and I appreciate your sharing a small part. It means a lot to new bloggers like me. I will keep you in my prayers! Hugs!!


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle