Saturday, May 9, 2015

sadness and acceptance

Dealing with ACCEPTANCE today... Accepting and dealing with what life throws our way.... it sometimes makes me angry... and disappointed... and sad ... It's a process... finding that place of comfort when life feels messy and unkempt and strange.... when you just don't feel like you're home... 

We cannot change our past.
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me
and 90% how I react to it.
- Charles R. Swindoll

We all have our thorns. We, and Life, have our moments.
Life occurs before our morning coffee.
Life occurs in our bathrobe with our hair uncombed.
Bless and give thanks for All of Life - the bloom and the thorns.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs
and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
- Abraham Lincoln

Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own.
- Chinese proverb

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

truths that came with clarity

You can't know what is in someone's mind so don't even try.... It's hard
to understand what motivates another.
 It's clearly impossible to know what others are really thinking...
So, again... Live and Let Live.
There are some things we cannot understand.

While walking along the Oregon coast and observing such strength and power,
the thought and prayer came to me...
"Please help me to see Your power in my life the way I do here as I watch and listen
to the waves of the ocean"...

We absolutely cannot change another person. Even if we see them destroying their life.
Only God can do that. I don't think anything outside of yourself can help
in any lasting way if you aren't committed
within your own self to change.

And the result is.... Peace....

There are things in life we need to make peace with....
and our lives will be better when we do.

Friday, April 10, 2015

find that place

Find a place that makes you believe again that there is Power in the universe. 
Find that place that makes you feel fully alive. A place where you know you are not the center of it all... and you discover there is something much bigger going on, a purpose higher than yourself. 
Find the beauty and drink it in for all it's worth.

I'm learning...Thank God I'm learning...To live and let live.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Social Media.  This present Information Age.

Though I am grateful I can look up just about any topic at any time, the dark side of social and news media is having a large effect on us all.  Okay, it's having an effect on me.

Being able to research information has certainly helped me out many times.  Fixing my car, my plumbing, my sprinkling system, planting a garden.... Looking up the wonders of places I may never visit personally enriches and enlarges my mind.

But there is a dark side that wearies me to no end and sometimes I think negates many of the positives. That "other side" zaps me of my emotional and physical energy as I see suffering humanity looking back at me as a story pops up that brings horrible tragedies right into my home.  Just this morning scrolling through Facebook I saw the deformed face of a dog reminding me about the reality of puppy mills and that I ought never buy a pet-shop dog.  Scrolling down further I saw the story of a dog who died a painful death by swallowing a stick that his owner was using to play fetch with him. Human cruelty has no limits.

I really cannot take the suffering theme very much anymore.  I am not one to pull the covers over my head and pretend pain doesn't exist ...and where I can help I will, but it is all too overwhelming.

I want to know.... How do we live in a world that has such extremes of suffering and tragedy .... and beauty?  How can we move away from some of the images and stories we see and read each day and go about our business?  We constantly have to detach emotionally in order to get through a day and even smile.  Because we don't have the power to fix many of the problems.

I'm really wanting to pull out. I'm tiring of all the suffering of the world being broadcast into my life all the time.  Before this day and age of information overload people would see a need in front of them and respond (or not).... It was easier to lend a helping hand and feel you could do some good.  Now I often feel overwhelmed by the stories of disease, suffering, and the ways people mistreat one another.... and innocent animals...all over the world.  The news and social media pick out the worst of the worst of stories to "entertain" us and keep us informed.  Often the stories are sickening in the extreme.

I suppose the answer is still to do what you can do.... respond to the people and situations that are in your own life and circle of friends and acquaintances, but I'm ready to shut the rest out.... because I can't solve all those problems and knowing about them just makes my head spin and feeling the pain of others hurts my everyday life... takes away joy.  Being able to understand and share the feelings of others is called empathy and I certainly want it, but when is empathy hazardous to your own health?

I'm not sure how to answer some of these questions.... Maybe I can answer them with my head, but I haven't figured out how to answer with my heart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

two years ago

I can't ignore what's swirling through my mind this week.  Nor would I want to. Today on this very day two years ago I lost someone who I knew all of my life.  She was that one constant that I could always count on to be there... just a visit or phone call away.  She fell ill suddenly and never recovered.  She only lasted long enough for me to get to her bedside and say goodbye.

Of course I knew her all of my life.  She was my mom.

I miss her more than any words could say in this space.  Her smile said, "I see you.  I love you.  You are important to me."  I can remember being a little kid in Kindergarten and just wanting to hurry home to be with her.  The last thing I did while she was still alive was hurry home to see her... to be with her.   Did she know I was there?  I hope so.

She loved her family.  She loved life.  I think she would above all else want me to be happy....

So, I'm trying mom.... I'm trying through my tears to see beauty around me the way you did.  The way you taught me through the way you lived.

Here are some images from my week, simple things, that brought me joy and would have brought her joy too.  I can only hope when I am gone that others miss me half as much as I miss her.

A fun whimsical birdhouse

Planting Spring flowers 

A new hibiscus plant

Walking on a rainy day amidst falling pedals

Hyacinths in the Spring

Very fragrant carnation-like blooms

Salmon and asparagus salad

Lettuce sprouting and thyme

Gardenia buds all over the place

A pretty and useful pail

Orchid blooming like crazy

The morning sky

Always in my heart.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

some end of week words

I've been home for a few days now since my trip to Washington state to visit my brother and his family.  I hadn't been there in quite a few years and was so happy to be able to see them and blend into their lives for a little while.  The trip was full of lovely moments.  Good talks, wonderful walks along the river, seeing new things, being with people I love.

The walking, jogging, biking trail next to the river in front of my brother's home

I like to think about all the good things that happened over the course of a week. I'm grateful my life isn't full of extreme busyness as can happen sometimes.  It's nice to be in a season of life when I can have some say as to what my activities are. Choices.

I was able to do some planting this week. Geeze, gardening sure is hard work sometimes and good exercise! Lifting, raking, digging, carrying, bending...

Texas wildflower seeds I sprinkled beginning to pop through the soil
It's nice to see flower and vegetable plants and know in a couple months there will be a lushness to what is now just beginning to grow.  Life.

Flower plants and seeds ...  tomatoes, herbs like thyme, basil, cilantro, parsley and mint...  cucumbers and lettuce... for starters ....

A little bird I rescued from his "stuckness" in one of my house exhaust fans

It's important to not only keep our bodies active but our minds as well. The thought recently came to me that the greatest prayer or wish we could have for ourselves and others is to have peace with ourselves.  Peace with who we are, and with our story and life...  Peace.

I'm learning some new ideas though an old book by M. Scott Peck called Further Along the Road Less Traveled.  It is not only famous people who leave a mark on history, but we all do to a certain extent.  We all do.  Each person is important and to be valued.  "Nothing holds us back more from mental health, from health as a society, and from God than the sense we all have of our own unimportance, unloveliness, and undesirability."  We are likely to think we are too fat, or too unattractive, too old, too young, not clever enough... or any number of "not enoughs".... that keep us feeling unworthy.

As another week draws to a close, I want to move forward a little more toward that peace.... and I pray the same for my friends and family....

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

the never ending "what ifs" of life

“If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything. ”   ~M. Scott Peck

The above quote reminds me of myself. I went through a time when I thought it important to try to control my life as best I could. Try to think out all the "what ifs" and have an answer or solution for each event that might happen. I guess I thought that would save me from hurt and prepare me best to confront whatever came my way. A way of self-protection. I didn't want to be unprepared or blind sided.

Good in theory maybe, but doing so also caused much stress and anxiety, living through each scenario as if it were happening and planning how to confront and solve each problem. Things that never happened.

I think after losing Edd to cancer and then my mom suddenly, I just didn't want to hurt anymore.

The truth is, and as I see it now, there just aren't enough scenarios we can think up. So many of the "what ifs" never happen. Sometimes they do, but why worry about them beforehand? Why suffer unnecessarily? Now I am believing that if and when an event DOES happen, I will deal with it then. Not beforehand, ruining TODAY.

I have thought a lot about suffering in the last ten years or so, especially the last five. I'm not at peace with it, nor will I ever be I suppose, but I've come a long way. There are some things I just can't even think about or I'll be an emotional wreck. Thinking of the suffering of animals or the horrible hurts some humans are experiencing.... but that is what empathy is about. Those without it are in worse shape. Being aware and a part of others' burdens is part of being human... rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.

Suffering is part of living. Pain is a part of our existence. Often people try to burrow into a safe place so they do not have to experience it. Some take drugs or do any number of things to not feel their hurts, but in reality the way we learn is by working through our difficulties and problems. All of life should be a journey in learning more.

Having a plan is good. Very good. It's still a part of my makeup, but now I recognize the limitations and even negative consequences of ... thinking too much perhaps?

It also boils down to living by faith and not fear. I choose to not let fear dominate. Faith and letting go brings peace. Faith that God is ultimately in control and all is as it should be and I don't have to have all the answers... indeed I never will have all the answers. Life is mystery. I cannot change people or events. But I can love and learn and live every day with a grateful heart.