Participant or Spectator?

Last night, while watching The Crown, a line Philip’s mother said resonated with me as truth for my own life. The line is “When I turned 70 I realized I was just a spectator not a participant.” As I look at my life, I find this is mostly true.

I am a spectator. I’m not complaining, just observing. Most of my time is spent alone. When I’m with a group of people, mostly I’m a spectator. I’ve lost the quick wit and spontaneity of youth. My life offers little in comparison to a younger generation.

As the conversations fly amid laughter, I’m usually a beat behind. Sometimes I open my mouth, but what emerges falls flat. I’m much more comfortable interacting with people of my generation…once I get to know them.

I lost participation when I retired. I wonder how many others my age feel the same. With age comes a bevy of body breakdown which removes the possibility of standing for long periods of time, lifting weighty objects, and endurance. How does one volunteer with a heart willing, but body unwilling?

And so, I sit at home, writing words on a keyboard, participating in a passive way…alone. Not that I’m sad about this stage of life. It gives me more time to spend getting closer to God.

Lifting my cup of tea, grateful I can do this with ease, and asking the question: Are you a participant or a spectator?

God’s Plans are Always Better

Good morning! God is sending rain this week to prepare the soil for May flowers. I was hoping to have sunny and dry weather since my daughter is coming to visit for a few days and spend Mother’s Day with me. I’m so excited to see her after a year and a half of no face to face time. I hoped for porch sitting time, sunshine and fresh air. God had other plans and I know His plans are always better than mine. So I’m thanking him for the refreshing rain He is sending as well as this anticipated time with my daughter.

Last week I had several commitments and I have learned to accept my limitations. I’m good from morning until early afternoon, but then my body needs to rest. I am not able to do as many things as I did even eight years ago. I tell myself, as I told my husband when he became ill, to be grateful for being able to do some things others cannot. Thank God for what you can achieve and listen to your body. I must confess it is easier to give advice than to accept that same advice for myself!

I had lunch with two friends last week, a Skype visit with another dear friend, a Skype visit with my daughter, a haircut appointment, grocery shopping, and, of course, went to church where I heard a wonderful sermon on “Chasing Carrots – the Endless Pursuit of More.” The weather was fantastic! It reached 79 degrees on my front porch, so I spent the afternoon there and finished coloring a picture. My closest neighbors were all sitting on their porches enjoying the warm weather and beautiful landscape. I walked to one of my neighbors and visited for a time with her. She puts out the most beautiful gardens every year and is very creative. I can’t wait to see a garden ornament of a watering can with light beads hanging from it to represent water with a basket of flowers beneath!

The picture above was taken one morning as I woke to a perfectly cloudless sky. Isn’t the blue just perfect? I feel God surrounding me when I view the beauty He provides as views from my front porch.

So today, the rain just makes me smile as I thank God for yesterday’s blessings and today’s blessings. Here are the few things I colored last week.

This is the first picture I colored last week. It took me three days to complete. I started by using Copic markers for the skin, but one of the markers I used to add shading “burped” a large amount of ink which spread all across his face. So I had to rethink and make his skin dark. I used several layers of ink with some colored pencil to even things out. The pencils I used for this picture were from the Crayola 120 pack. I paid less than $20 for this set of pencils. I hope this shows one doesn’t need to have expensive tools to create pretty pictures. For the hair, I used a base of a light gray with Caliart markers and used strokes with the black Crayola pencil to make the hair black leaving highlights with the gray showing through. This was a fun picture to color! The picture is titled “Johnny Thunderstorm” by the artist, Sarah Richter. It is in the Colouring Heaven issue 70 “Creatures of the Night.”

This is the cover page of the newest book I purchased. I bought it to use markers and practice with shading. I just love the sweet pictures of flowers and some animals by the talented Jane Maday. I am looking forward to coloring in it. I colored the “belongs to” page last night while watching television. It is shown below:

When I purchased this book, I also purchased some water based Ohuhu marker pens, a set of 60 pretty colors. I didn’t use them on this, however. I pulled out my Southsun Brutfuner oil pencils. They work marvelously on this paper. This set was gifted to me by my daughter a couple years ago and are one of my favorite pencils and are not an expensive pencil. I’m hoping to get a backup set soon as some of the pencils are quite small now.

And those two pictures are the only ones I have completed. As the weather warms offering more things to do, I will most likely be coloring less pages than during the cold and lockdown seasons. Yet, every single pencil or marker stroke is a joy. I thank God for providing these tools to bring me comfort and happiness in this season of my life. May your week be full of blessings! Until next time…