Monday, August 25, 2014


I woke this morning with such gratitude.   

Life isn't perfect is it?  We can focus so intently sometimes on the worrisome parts of it that we don't embrace what is glorious and miraculous.  

Oh, it's true that the refrigerator isn't working right now.  Yeah, the one that is only a year old, but someone will repair it this week and I have another little one to keep food cold or frozen.  

I have little aches and pains and my body doesn't look like it did when I was younger, but I went to see the doctor last week and she calmed all my fears regarding my health (yes, I tend to worry) and even said my weight was fine and to keep doing what I'm doing with healthy eating and exercise.  I feel strong and healthy.

There are so many things that can bring us down and some people are going through very tough times… God knows I have been there…. but today I will glory in what is good and take time to just be grateful.    

The outdoors beckoned me this morning.  It will heat up to 100 degrees this afternoon… summer is still going strong... but the morning was so perfect to get out and get my hands dirty digging and replanting and trimming and watering.


    What is it about a garden and seeing things living that is so soul satisfying?  

Might just be the nurturer in me….

So today, I'm tending.  Tending to my garden… and tending to gratitude.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Unfortunately now that there has been so much jumping on the bandwagon and following the
 crowd for the ice bucket challenge, the strange and "I'll do it different, or better, or more
 creatively or more dangerously or ….. " folks will inevitably get more pronounced to
 try to shock and impress us. Maybe we could all just stop now and donate if your heart leads
 you to do so. And also donate to other charities that truly help people who need it desperately.

And don't forget to lend a helping hand to those in your own sphere of influence ….

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

evening thoughts

Life and all that swirls around us can seem so complicated sometimes.  Relationships, politics, world events, tragedies, who said what and why, intentions, motives, misunderstandings, assumptions, etc, etc.... When I find myself fretting that's when I need to put all these things in a big ol' pile and label it... "Things to give to God"  … I find such peace in being able to give Him all my pondering and the questions with unknown answers … and leave the mysteries of life in His hands.

This seeker doesn't have to know everything.  Not now.  I just have to do my part.  As much as I'm able I have to make one good choice after another.  Every time there is one to make.  Every day.

I was given a gift today.  A good friend told me what he valued most in a person.  Sweetness  ... and said that I exuded it.

Now I don't feel like I exude sweetness, but you know what?  If someone can see a quality of goodness in me I am happy with that.  I know it's only because of what I've been through and things I have learned.  You see... trials can make you hard or they can make you more present to life and what is most important.  They can make you put aside pride and ego and just let yourself be compassionate toward others.  Others who may not even deserve it.  I feel I've been through the fire and I am content that God knows and cares about my heart and the me that has traveled down my own unique road.  He knows all my thoughts and intentions.  I know I belong.

When Edd died ... and when my mom died... I lost the mirror I looked into to see the best parts of myself… the parts others who loved me best chose to see… a place I'd go for validation and worth.  Though in many real ways I still feel their love, I'm thankful for people who are still in my life who share what they see and have the kindness to tell me the good stuff.  We all need to know. 

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” —IAIN THOMAS

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I'd like to write more even at the risk of not having much to say. Because the more a person writes the better they get at it and the more you remember your ideas and thoughts each day.

Today my best friend, my longest friend, called me.  It's nice when your longest friend is still your best friend.  Maybe the two go together.  Maybe not.  At least the friendship has the luxury of knowing whether it will stand the test of time.  This one certainly has.

We've been friends through many ups and downs.  Some super-high ups and some horribly-low downs.  Real life.   Down in the dirt, get kicked around, wonder-if-it's-worth-getting-back-up-and-yet-you-brush-yourself-off kind of life.  

I was a bridesmaid in her wedding over 30 years ago and she was one in mine… my first marriage that is.  Once we were pregnant at the same time.  The nice thing about cultivating a friendship is that you never know what you will encounter down the road.  You think your friendship and life is just humming along, maybe not changing then BOOM, a major life event occurs and you can prove you're a friend by how you react … how you stick by each other.  How you offer support, show you care, help take the sting away… or you happily rejoice with them during highlights and successes.  Thankfully there are those too.

She had a rough day at work and spent most of our talk telling me about it.  When we were ready to hang up she apologized for talking so much about herself.  But I told her and it was the absolute truth that I was happy to listen and be an outlet for her… It helps to tell someone sometimes.  Almost like letting some of the air out of an over-inflated balloon; we need to decompress.  God knows I've needed her ear many times myself and she's never acted too busy to hear me out.

It's been her commitment and loyalty quite frankly that has made this friendship last and grow.  She is one of those people who takes the time to reach out, call, keep in touch.  I'm not so good even though she knows my heart toward her.   By this time she knows I care and I'm a forever friend.   We have to be!  We just know too much about each other!!

She recently sent this photo to me and I think it's just right.

Friday, August 1, 2014

the I-35 corridor

Today I did it again.  I took the road well traveled.  The I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio.

The first time we met he came from Austin down this road.   I traveled the same highway up from San Antonio and we met in between.  I don't know if I believe in love at first sight, but I knew he was a keeper and I wanted to make him happy.  It was the beginning of many… plenty, numerous, hundreds … of identical trips.  All so we could see each other.  He'd leave work on a Friday to travel south down that highway.  Stop for flowers along the way.  I'd make the trip north some weekends, but he did most of the driving…. made the biggest sacrifices…. as he always did.

Mid week we'd meet in between to have dinner just to turn around and go our separate ways again afterwards.  He'd have a conference call with Asia on his way back either staying in the parking lot to participate or drive home listening …. And we never gave up.  Seeing each other never got old.  Never lost its pizazz.

Today I thought that if thoughts could be seen… if they were concrete and had substance…. I would see all sorts of mental activity and reflections flying overhead and around me as I drove.   I'd see his… and I'd see mine.   If that highway could speak….  It was as if it did speak our story and remembered me… remembered us.  Watched us meet…. watched a love mature and grow strong.  Unbreakable.   The thoughts going around in our minds as we drove over that highway week after precious week were too many to count … where is this leading?   It feels good… there's peace… and contentment here… something worth protecting and nurturing.  Safety.   This relationship is so different … like coming home.  I can't wait to get there.  I can't imagine myself with anyone else…. secret thoughts only we shared...

As I drove today I embraced the memory of two souls who used to be one.  I can't help slipping back in time when I make this same trip… and savoring.  The heart doesn't forget.  There is still a part of me back in that place... right there… and a part of me that hasn't moved on and never will…

Now I travel it truly alone.  He's not there at the end of the journey down that highway.

But he is safely tucked away in my heart.

Even now I'll hear a love song with lyrics that speak of love never ending.   The lyrics will talk about the world ending if their love went away.  I hear time and again couples speak about how their love is their whole world, life wouldn't make sense without them, how they can't imagine life without the other… and how lost they'd be.

And it's true.  I relate.  But you DO have to go on… and live life.   You DO have to find meaning again.   But those highways are always there too… that bring us back.

I remember someone saying to me early on… just a few months after I lost him… that she thought some people grieved too long and they needed professional help.  This came from an uninformed insensitive person who had never lost anyone of significance.  I guess that was a less-than-subtle point she thought I needed to hear … but I've learned a lot since those early days.  I've learned that we never completely stop grieving.   We mustn't shut out life or others we love dearly… but the loss is tangled up in all of it too… and we hold the unseen soul deep in our hearts… never forgetting… never letting go of love.

Monday, July 28, 2014


God comes to you disguised as your life…  *

Life has been softening me.

Years ago I thought I knew all the answers… you know… the Dr. Laura type.  Black and white.  Don't get me wrong.  I still wish and yearn to see the world and problems that way and I don't negate it all, but I see compassion lacking with black and white answers.  Sure it can simplify things and justify our walking away from people who are so very hard to understand and deal with…. but I don't want my heart to be that hard….

Sometimes we DO have to walk away though… I get that….

Yet I'm beginning to find my place… like the dog who walks around in circles for a while, digging a little with his paws making his spot cozy and JUST RIGHT before he settles down to get comfortable….

I'm beginning to find that peace…. beginning I say...

I'm seeing that the one who confounds me… the one who stings and confuses... the one I cannot change though I wish I could… the one I wish I could make things better for… isn't all bad…. I'm learning to see the beautiful parts of the unlovely ones in our lives who we love in spite of their unloveliness…. I can see their gifts and their heart in the midst of the weaknesses….and seeming inability to just do what it takes to move away from the destructive strongholds in their lives….

I've allowed the unloveliness I see in people to blind me to their good qualities.  I've seen the person with addictions as only a threat and have passed over their heart.

I'm learning to hold onto the good, discard the bad and have hope that the best is yet to come….

*  Richard Rohr from Falling Upward

Sunday, July 27, 2014


A few thoughts tonight….. We need to try to find ways to build bridges and not so many walls…. Grace, Forgiveness, Mercy, Understanding… those are powerful words in the realm of love and healing, growth and peace.  The unwise build walls.  Some are so thick and high they last a lifetime.  

I think of the elder brother of the Prodigal.  His loyalty to his strict code, to his own entitlement, to obedience to his father… all that kept him from the very celebration that his father had prepared and begged him to come to.  He thought he was obeying the "law", but Jesus says he missed the major point altogether.  Grace.  Grace is what is often missing ….

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.*

Some of the more difficult relationships in life have taught me the most about love.   Loving the one who is being difficult and unkind.  Not returning an insult when you've been stung.  And it was some of my past failures that prepared me to love the hardest, the deepest and the longest when love was needed the most.

It hurts when love is withheld.  When you are rejected.  When you are bleeding yet someone can walk right on by.

My mind has been turning to grace.  Grace when it is experienced in your life changes you.  It doesn't leave you the same person that found you.  It doesn't keep you from being hurt, but it binds up your wounds and wipes your tears.  And it builds bridges.

The law was given through Moses…. grace and truth came through Jesus….**

**  1 Cor. 13
**  John 1:7