1. Flannery O’Conner’s Prayer Journal
Until recently, I only knew O’Connor for her fiction work. This book, a collection of her personal prayers she wrote as a college student, are truly remarkable. She bares her heart to God with a rawness that is difficult but beautiful. She recognizes her desperate need for God. She is teaching me to pray through her conversations with God. She worships Him as Lord, but approaches Him as a loving Father.
2. Local luxuries
My favorite Saturday morning activity is perusing my local downtown market. It’s more than a basket of freshly picked strawberries or getting five dollars worth of kale that will surely make enough green smoothies for a lifetime. It is a weekly ritual of people watching and getting to know the local vendors who faithfully set up their booths and bring our community the gems from our own backyard. A particularly lovely thing: a bottle of ‘GREENville’ fresh pressed juice. The owners and operators? Two local females: 20 somethings best friends who made a business from their passion. My Saturday finds and the people I meet along the strolls feed me more than just healthy eats; they are nourishing my soul.
3. When Christmas songs appear on my ‘shuffle playlist’
“The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” Taking a cue from Buddy the Elf, I am doing my part in spreading Christmas cheer. Christmas is my favorite season, and I promptly begin decorating the day after Halloween each year. This past Christmas season my heart had just been shattered with my father’s tragic death, and my head with still in a fog as I navigated the beginning stages of grief. But today, as the summer in the South heats up, I roll my car window down to catch a breeze in the sticky humid air. I crank up my shuffle playlist and let Mariah Carey and Michael Buble play! Give it a try, and you may find that the Christmas carols and cheer are pretty good anytime of year!
4. Morning breathing space
Mornings are lovely. Coffee makes mornings lovelier. And a morning with coffee on vacation is perhaps the loveliest of all. But when vacations are dreams and the caffeine seems to be non- effective, I find it vital to capture the ‘calm’ of my morning before the hustle of the day. It may only be minutes, but I love purposely breathing in the aroma of my first cup and exhaling any anxiety I may be carrying. It’s simple and short, but it seems to lengthen the ‘lovely’ of my day.
5. Throwback Thursdays
What started in my own social media life as a hilarious and often awkward look back in time, has now become a favorite part of my time online. It’s fun to see the Thursday posts of friends I have made as an adult. I get a peak at their childhood for a moment. It’s simultaneously terrifying and entertaining when you get a notification that you have been tagged in a throw back post of a lifelong friend. The lovely thing about it lately is that it has sparked conversations with people that I believe never would have been had if it were not for the picture post. A simple photo can prompt a family member to share a story from their life that I may never have heard otherwise. A Facebook tag can launch an entire thread of heart warming memories and reconnect lives that have drifted apart. Our past does not define us, but it is part of who makes us who we are today. It is lovely when we can go back and read the parts of the story that came before us or the ones we have forgotten to hold tightly to our hearts. <3
Dorothy Camak is a writer living in Greenville, South Carolina. She is currently working on her first book, a memoir about her life surrounding her father’s suicide. She makes use of her Bachelors in Acting with epic selfie videos between friends. She is admittedly addicted to Amazon Prime. You can follow her blog at www.dorothycamak.com/blog, or you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook!
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