Thursday, December 31, 2015

new year thoughts

Thinking today about 2015. Many of us are since it IS New Year's Eve! A wonderful time to reflect. I tend not to make New Year's resolutions. But if you could call it that I will make the same one every year... to be better, do better, be more mindful, more present, more self aware, more wise ... than I was the previous year.




2015 seems to be a year that was characterized by everyone being "offended" by something.

This past year was odd... everywhere you turned someone was offended as though they were personally assaulted. Resentment and anger ran amuck! So many took things very personally even if they were not directly involved. They had to express the fact that they were offended.

I just choose to not let others opinions and choices which are different than mine steal my joy, peace of mind or threaten my belief system. I don't have to be offended by or hate them for opposing views or choices.


I was always perplexed and wondered why. Why are you allowing yourself to get personally offended?


I have learned, maybe the hard way, that I have little control over others' choices. The only control I have, if you want to even call it that, is to live my life the best I possibly can. Not to set out to be an example to others (that's doomed to fail), but to just live a way I can be happy with, content with, and feel good about. If my example is good that's all the better...


I've also learned that sometimes our very BEST can offend others. If someone wants to be offended they will be offended. Nothing will stop them! They will usually look for the worst in others and point it out and often take things out of context ... maybe even twist the truth. Not sure why. I imagine it has something to do with unresolved hurts and issues in their own lives. 


But a new year is almost here. Today I wanted to reflect some. I began the day with tears. Tears and hurt for those I love. Wanting to take them in my arms and make everything better for them, but not having that power. So I will end 2015 with hope and prayer and faith. Because I do have at least a mustard seed amount of faith so I guess I'll be okay....


So what are my goals? Resolutions? Just to be happy. Seek peace and pursue it. Live with purpose. Don't fret, but have belief that things will work out the way it's supposed to. Live. Live. Live... with lots of gratitude.

Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

pre-decorating de-clutterization

Before decorating for Christmas yesterday I purposely read articles about de-cluttering and minimalist decorating and getting rid of "stuff".... It was a good way to begin because over the last few years I've realized that too much stuff around makes me a little anxious and takes away some of my peace of mind. I feel more at ease when my home is in order. The thought of dragging out more stuff didn't really appeal to me unless I had a plan!

So I threw out, I boxed up, I took away stuff I would never use, didn't like, and didn't need. And I only brought things out of the attic that I wanted to take its place. And I'm happy with the result! I can appreciate other people's dramatic and abundant decorating style, but that doesn't feel right for me.

I will continue to de-clutter, give away, and simplify, because that makes me feel good, but today I am enjoying the work of yesterday.







Saturday, November 28, 2015

words from the past

This morning I read over some of my words written the first year after losing Edd. A personal blog I didn't publish because it was too raw. And it touched me because of its realness.... the experiences and descriptions of a grieving widow.

It didn't make me cry. It didn't make me sad... It was poignant and human.

It made me feel loved.... He would have liked that.

It's been over three years. I've learned it takes time to heal. More time than we'd like. Some wounds are too deep to heal quickly. But we carry on and live each day taking care of our wounds as best we can until it doesn't hurt as much.

The world is hurting. Suffering is universal. Some more, maybe some less, but none of us are immune to it. It changes us and if we let it teach us we can learn things we couldn't learn any other way.

I pray for our hurting world.

Sunday, October 14, 2012
truth be told
If truth be told ....

I am still devastated by losing Edd... and it feels like yesterday and my heart aches.

I still can't sleep at night more than an hour or two at a time.

I miss him... more deeply ever day.

I haven't been able to engage in normal life... whatever that is.

I don't know how to re enter life, living it, without him.  I try to force myself, but there is  no one meeting me half way either.  And forcing anything doesn't work.

I have actually been taking care of myself, exercising, eating right, going to my doctor's appointments, putting on my makeup, looking nice, losing weight.... but for what??  I do it for myself yes... and for Edd.  Because he'd like that.

I probably am depressed ... and feel unsafe and insecure in the world.

I am very afraid of opening myself up again.

Seeing the love of my life deteriorate in front of my eyes, stealing away our dreams and life as a couple, carrying and feeling his pain, not being able to stop it... did something to me deep inside.  There is a sadness in me that I can't reach and the emotion and tears bubble up ... still.

Too bad if this doesn't fit into others' schedule of what is normal or healthy.  But it's the way it is.

Listening to some great music right now and just feeling it.... Right now a CD is pouring jams through the airwaves in my home and it feels nice.  It feels cozy and warm and I know.... in time... I'll find my way again.  In time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
seven months ago
You know. Of course you know. You knew how lonely I'd be for you. When you left... seven months ago. You knew my heart would ache. No one else needs to understand. How could they? Only WE know what we shared. I see that.... and it's okay. It's enough to know that you know. And you are with me. I feel you. If you were here you would look into my eyes with complete ease and full understanding. Together we always felt at home. At home with each other. Whenever we were together we were home...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

morning

Sitting outside now in what feels like a perfect morning. The air flowing through is cool, but the sun is warm in the bright blue sky. I just put birdseed in the bushes.  The sparrows and finches couldn't be happier unless they all stopped fighting over the best position. The bushes are full of birds and there is enough food for all of them. Norman watches... and listens too.









I took a walk already. A decent brisk half hour dog-less walk after first walking Norman around the block. Chatted with a neighbor. Trimmed some new shoots that sprung out of bushes during the last rain. Cut back a crepe myrtle that needed a little attention. Now as I sit with some hot chocolate I'm keenly aware of my blessings and grateful the hot summer months of 2015 are now a thing of the past. I change my position and move into the chair beside me that is in the shade and soon need to move back into the sun for warmth again.  It's the sun that warms; the air is chilly.

I sit and pray for those I love who need a little help... or a lot of help. I breathe in all my blessings and pray to be able to exhale a little service to others. A great way to begin the day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

health

I have been feeling better lately. I am not as anxious. I am not as stressed. My aches and pains have either plateaued, gotten better or gone away.

Why?  What is different?

I'm not looking up every ailment I might or could or possibly have on the internet. I am not trying to hunt down the magic bullet that might make me feel better... like the food or vitamin or supplement that fights this ailment or helps with this problem... menopause, tendinitis, arthritis, anti-cancer, oh my goodness, you name it! I'm just trying to live my life.

I am exercising moderately. Riding my bike. Using my elliptical. Walking. I am eating all kinds of good food... fish, vegetables, whole grains, cheese, fruit, wine!!

Everything in moderation.

There is so much information out there today that can lead to more confusion. How can we ever get it right? Especially when the information and consensus by the medical community and "experts" seems to change daily? Coffee is good for you. Wine is bad, no it's good in moderation. Chocolate is bad. A little is okay. Carbs are bad. Sugar is bad. Real bad. Fats are okay. Good fats that is.  GMO's Bad, Bad. Organic good. Cholesterol is bad. Eggs are....Wait! It's okay! HUH??? Take this... don't take that!

I think from now on I am going to eat what I want, limit the quantity and ENJOY! Moderation. And choose healthy foods that nourish my body, but not get caught up in the newest, latest, information that comes down the pike. Because it just might change tomorrow. No, it WILL change tomorrow. I have been guilty of chasing down the trends and it hasn't helped my health in the least bit. Maybe hurt some?

So tonight I am having my 6 oz. of wine, and a sensible dinner... and I am not going to worry whether I get it all RIGHT! I've exercised, kept my thinking positive, prayed, read my Bible..... been open to how I can contribute and give of myself and my resources....

Amazing how good that is for my health!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

on my mind today



Thinking about many diverse things today.... of people I care about and hoping they know I love them. Love can be expressed in so many ways people often can miss it, interpret it wrong or just don't feel it. It sometimes gets expressed in fear or worry when it should be expressed with patience and acts of kindness.... but we are human and sometimes blow it. We need to take good care of ourselves too though. Feed the soul and be kind to yourself.....let yourself off the hood once in a while.


I'm thinking of my daughter, Jenni, who is going to be a mom soon. I am seeing her mommy heart grow bigger and bigger every day....full of a mother's love for the little brand new life inside of her. I couldn't be more proud ... and humbled... and grateful for little "P" who will arrive in another few weeks.


This is a very loved little girl....already....


I wish I could help some people just slow down and think... and use their God-given minds to make good decisions. Ones that bring life and opportunities ... peace and contentment. Life gets tough sometimes regardless of whether we do the right thing, but we can't keep walking a wrong path and expect life to be easy .... or good things to happen.


Sometimes I love my backyard best of all. Pulling weeds, feeling the breeze, watching the birds and other critters busily doing what it takes to survive. 






I've been wanting a cool morning for weeks now and when we finally get one I decide a bike ride would be perfect. I must be getting more and more comfortable with heat because I felt uncomfortably cold with the 55 degrees. I doubt I'd survive a winter in the North anymore.  The fall colors gave me happiness .....




I saw this picture today and just gained five pounds thinking about holiday baking. It's a wonderful thought and brings to mind many happy times. Thank you, Mom, for all the wonderful memories I have to do with the holidays, and just being together having fun.



When all is said and done, kindness matters. It matters a lot. Often I'll look back at an event or encounter I've had with someone and think I could have done better... spoke a little nicer, been more of an encourager. Obviously, speaking our mind truthfully needs to take place too... and truth can sometimes sting... and is just what we need to hear.... but everyone is fighting some battle of their own and a kind word could make their day. 



And lastly, I'm thinking of discipline. And doing things that are hard. I'm needing to get out of the rut I'm in and I have a new resolve. It involves being more mindful and working harder.

Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you've got. -Jim Rohn

Discipline is remembering what you want. -David Campbell

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. -Jim Rohn

~~~~~~~~~


It's nice to have good intentions, but we have to act and do the work if we want to accomplish anything .... 


Things on my mind today.


Monday, October 12, 2015

journey and contentment

I'm on a journey. One day, one step at a time. We all are. Some days I feel so confident and other days so full of vulnerability and need.

Some days ready to move forward... move on... other days stuck (not sure that is the right word) and happy just where I am.

But what I do know is that when I'm ready to move forward, I do.. and when I am not, I don't. I have come so far... and what is ahead will reveal itself in the proper time.

Every day is full of new experiences to process... and I want to accept who I am without apologies... as to where I've come from and where I am going. If others don't understand it's okay. It's my own timeframe.. and God's....

Feeling content tonight....









Thursday, October 1, 2015

today and every day

Some days are just like that.... a song, a memory, a feeling...  

.... brings everything flooding back like a tidal wave ....as if it were yesterday... and not years.... it's part of living... and having loved and been loved ... deeply ....


Today is a day like that.


I sing again.


I dance again (sometimes).


I laugh.


I have joy... peace....


I remember happy things.... and smile... and savor the memories.

But today. Today I give myself permission to cry.... and grieve all the things I am missing. Mostly your strong arms.... 

I miss you so.

Every day.

So I'll just let those waters flow over me... and wait until the calm returns.



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

those without challenges need not read any further

Love is patient
love is kind
does not envy
or boast
it is not arrogant or rude
it does not insist on its own way
it is not irritable or resentful
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing
it rejoices with the truth
love bears all things
believes all things
hopes all things
endures all things
Love never ends.

I so love these beautiful words reminding us what love is... and what it is not.

But sadly sometimes it's not enough to change things.

I'm reminded that each one of us has something, some challenge, that has the potential to blow out our candle if we allow it to. That candle representing our joy and hope and the love of life.... love of learning and becoming ....  and savoring each day. Although it may flicker for a while, we can't let that flame burn out.

I'm not alone. There are many who hurt over the choices of those they love. Or other challenges. Some physical.. some emotional.... some financial. Disappointing and painful relationships. The list is endless. Most of us have a struggle we face that I believe is designed to bring out our best and truest self. Oh, maybe not right away while we are in the storm, but I don't want to forget that truth... or let my flame get blown out....because our deepest hurts have the potential to deepen us and bring out something good... make us better. In time...









Wednesday, August 19, 2015

a few thoughts

There is so much to learn. So much to think about. So much to talk about. So much to do. How can anyone ever be bored? I never understood that.

People I care about are going through some deep challenges. Some marriages are breaking down. Relationships ending. Friendships struggling. Grieving people are experiencing loss. A child stuck in an addictive lifestyle. I don't need to name all the ways people are hurting.

Time doesn't diminish the missing of our loved ones. When I stop and think of Edd or my mom, I can easily be reduced to tears within a few seconds. I miss them every day. I think of them every day... but life softens the rough edges of grief a little bit so we can at least function and have other experiences in life and even have joy again. The emotional feelings are softened that once struck us like physical blows. Truly there were days I didn't know if my body could hold up to the pain I felt.

There are a lot of people we meet each day who are the "walking wounded". If we could see inside deep into the hearts of some of those we come into contact with we might have more empathy.

If loss and grief, struggle and pain doesn't make you a more compassionate human being then I think the experience was mostly wasted. Sometimes that is the only good thing that can come out of our pain.

Friday, August 14, 2015

birthday gifts

A few days ago on the morning of my birthday I brought my little friends... my dog Norman and the sweet little doxie girl I am fostering now.... outside for their romp in the yard. It's warm here in Texas in the morning. We had just finished our walk and I sat down on the step to rest and watch the dogs sniff and roam around in the yard.

Funny how I feel extra special on my birthday even if I don't immediately get greeted with gifts and affirmation! I just feel loved... because my core memories reflect the years and years of love I received... anyway.... I was sitting on my back step and immediately a ladybug flew my way and attached itself to my sock... just like that... then I heard cardinals loudly proclaiming their presence in my yard.

Hmm.... whether I believe these are signs of our loved ones' presence or not, I felt it non the less. I felt love and I felt like I was remembered and I felt like I was visited and I felt like I was not alone....

I rarely feel alone. So grateful for life's precious gifts.









Thursday, August 6, 2015

as summer moves along

Sitting outside after a morning walk now and the scene in front of me changes.... at first in subtle ways and then a little more noticeably. It was still and quiet and then the slightest breeze changed everything as breezes can do. Especially here in hot Texas. Breezes make all the difference when it comes to comfort.  Then a rushing sound came and the treetops began to sway. It didn't last long and soon the air went back to still and quiet. Then, in rushes the wind once again. The birds are a bit active and vocal now, but soon the heat of the day will slow down much of the wildlife. The hummingbirds will continue to make their rounds and the piercing sound of cicadas will fill the air. The less-hardy flowers in the garden seem to beg the sun for mercy while the Texas native plants just grin and bear it... some even seeming to declare, "Bring it on!"

Such is Texas in late summer. As part of the country begins to think of pumpkins, fall leaves, and cooler days, much of the south is ramping up for the hottest time of the year. We even begin to inwardly curse those who celebrate the glorious changing of the seasons. Our time will come though.... and the pleasure will last for months just as our heat has. Then, when others are fighting snowstorm after snowstorm, we are basking in cool air and fresh sunshine...

It's a trade-off we all make. Missing something while enjoying something else.








Wednesday, July 29, 2015

reminders

Often the smallest seemingly insignificant thing can bring joy. The joy that comes from the memory of a thing... not the thing itself. This little mug brought me back to a happy place today. I don't normally look at it since it is kept in a lower cabinet.... but it seemed just right for me today.

Edd brought this mug and three others like it back from Malaysia on one of his trips as a little gift to me that said he was thinking of me. They came in four different colors. He often chose to use it for his afternoon coffee, I think because of the smaller size. I doubt it was because of the hearts since he wasn't really a hearts kind of guy! I'm the one who usually wants a larger mug.

So when choosing a cup for some comforting green tea today, I also took comfort in a memory. A love that still exists. It never really went away. I know that because I still feel it and I'm thankful for the reminder.



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

perfectionist I'm not

I got out in my yard yesterday and found one thing after another that needed tending. Flower beds that were not surviving the heat needed to be dug up and soil turned. Weeds which don't seem to mind the heat needed to be pulled! I fluffed up the mulch in areas with a rake so it would look a bit better until more is installed next week.

As I worked it came to my mind that I was definitely not a perfectionist. My yard looks nice and whatever I do I try to do well, but I am far from having a perfectly kept home and yard. Better than most but worse than others!

Some perfectionists aren't usually too fun to be around so I think it can be a good thing. Ever around someone who has to eat strictly planned meals, exercise perfectly, have a perfectly neat home and manicured lawn, every hair in place? Perfectly behaved children? Everything under control and seldom able to relax? Often we can feel the energy of those on edge.

I guess some occupations call for more of a perfectionist's skill, like airplane pilots. I don't mind a perfectionist at the controls then! And what about skydiving? You need to be a perfectionist in your thinking before jumping out of an airplane... Maybe that's why I've never had the a desire to skydive!

I can appreciate those who have seemed to perfect their talents. An amazing ballet or symphony performance where each step and note is spot on. It seems human potential and accomplishment has no limits.

But, yes, back to gardening. If I was a perfectionist it wouldn't give me half as much joy as it does. I wouldn't want to be upset and anxious each time a new weed sprung up or a leaf or twig fell on my lawn.... but I can do something. Just care a little bit. Or a lot. But just not insist on perfection.

What I do believe in is making things better than they were. Improving a situation. Wherever we go we can leave a trail of good. Maybe if that were our goal every day it would make a huge difference in the world. I think it would.

When I recently visited my dad I spent time doing what I could.... vacuumed, dusted, changed batteries in outdoor lighting, made some meals and desserts, had his internet back up and running, got him a better computer, changed sheets, did some laundry, changed tablecloths... and more. I told him I sure wasn't a perfectionist, but I can at least make things a little BETTER.

We can burn out if we try to do everything, but we can usually do SOMETHING.

I think that leads to peace more than requiring all to be perfect.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

wrong intentions

Every once in a while I wonder how I could have made such an unwise decision. Usually I'm very careful and can spot a phony a mile away... and I'm thankful for that. On the other hand I would like to trust people and what they say...until they prove me wrong. At that point I'm gone... outta there. In my family and the experiences I grew up with people could be trusted. It was expected. That was my reality and the norm for me. I am not naturally skeptical of others' intentions.

Sadly, I need to be.

I trusted someone to do some work for me... thought they were legit.

Our words are so important aren't they?... but some don't really pay much attention to that and just say what they think we want to hear for their own selfish reasons.

I'm thinking that I could never live that way. God has graced me with a sensitive conscience and I couldn't deliberately and intentionally take advantage of another person... but it sure does happen doesn't it? It's the world we live in. I'm reminded of a verse in Proverbs.... 20:17... that says "Ill-gotten gain will turn to gravel in your mouth".... I'm thinking there are quite a few people in this world chewing on gravel.

Sigh.

I can take it. I can cover my losses. But some people can't as easily. And that makes me sad... and mad. Shame on those who take advantage of others. I don't wish them well and I don't wish them sleep at night.




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

a place of contentment

I began this blog many years ago and named it simply memories and musings. I still think that is the perfect name because sometimes I muse about something and sometimes I do a little remembering. I guess today I'll muse.

It's July already!

Time marches on. 

And I'm in a place of contentment.

Some things haven't necessarily changed.. Good things are still good. Difficult challenges are still there. Some difficult situations haven't been resolved, but it's okay. Some of the more difficult situations that are out of my control I have given myself permission to step away from. Not in anger. Not in resentment.... but needed detachment nonetheless. That makes sense doesn't it?  Why fret over what we cannot control or change?

What a learning experience that is though. Some of the more important things we learn in life take time to settle into our brains. Time is often the necessary ingredient for wisdom. As long as we remain mindful that is. And wisdom gleaned produces change. We may not be able to change situations, but we can change our responses to them.

Another thing. I couldn't be more grateful for my health. My yearly exams and tests come in the summertime months and the results came back pretty good. My health is something I don't take for granted.

So I have joy today!

There are so many things we could get bummed about aren't there? Yet today I am focusing on the many things to be thankful for.






Monday, June 29, 2015

you'll be okay


I'm a bit of a worrier. Maybe not more than most people but I admit it goes way back.
I think I wrote about this before but I remember being in kindergarten and not wanting to go to school and be away from my mother. I was afraid I'd get sick and she wouldn't be there. Every day before I left the house and walked down our long driveway to the bus stop I would ask her a question. 

"Am I going to be okay today?" I'd say.
"Yes, you are going to be okay" she'd reply.

That's all I needed to hear and I knew I'd be alright. My mom's words proclaimed it. God forbid I forgot to ask her. I did forget once and had a fretful day thinking the worst would happen! I told her I never wanted to forget to ask her again and she replied, "Well this is for all the times you forget to ask me. You will be okay on those days too. This will cover all those times in the future. Just in case. Remember. You will be okay."

I had a good mom. A wise mom. A mom who wanted me to feel safe
 and loved... and okay. More than okay. 
This week as I inwardly fretted about this or that I had a revelation and began to laugh out loud. I even spoke out loud to no one in particular although Norman seemed to be amused.

"Mom, that is why I am worried all the time! You are not here to tell me 
everything will be okay! It's your fault I'm such a worrier!" 

But no, she told me her blessing spread into the future. It gave me joy to think of this and to remember the little five-year-old girl who needed her mother's reassurance.

Memories. Aren't they great? Good ones anyway.

I wish for others a stable place. A place of peace. A place to feel safe. Even during some of 
my darkest days I have been able to find that safe place.

She said I will be okay... and she is right.


In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8


Sunday, June 28, 2015

daydreaming

I listened to a program on the radio recently that discussed daydreaming... and whether we do enough of it in this day and age. We have cellphones that demand our immediate attention whether from a text, social media site or app we can't seem to live without. News is broadcast 24 hours a day.  We live in a false sense of security thinking all is okay as long as we didn't get a message or text or email telling us otherwise.

Years ago people would leave their homes and their telephones when out doing other things. If there was news it could wait a while. I have found we often make better decisions if we don't respond immediately to "news" but take some times to think things over before responding in a knee-jerk way.

How many of us can't sleep at night because we lay wide awake thinking. It's the time we are the most still and quiet... and our minds can wander. Often my best thoughts are at this time, but it's not when I want them to come. I want to sleep!

When I take a walk I also have my best creative ideas because I am not distracted by other things coming at me...like other peoples' thoughts or ideas ... from TV, social media, texts, emails, phone calls, etc.

These things aren't bad but there is a time and a place for them.

I remember once asking Edd in the morning how he slept. He said he hadn't slept well but then told me it was okay because he solved a few work problems as he lay there awake. It seems my mind wanders the most at night and keeps me awake because I'm thinking on things I didn't give myself a chance to during the day. There were too many things I was allowing myself to be distracted by. We have some of our most creative, original thoughts and problem-solving abilities when we are still, quiet, and undisturbed.

As I look around I see people never far from their cell phones as though they are going to miss something. We are afraid of being cut off and unaware of what is going on....when in reality we are often missing what is actually happening all around us.  We become worried and anxious without our little electronic crack. It really is an addiction of sorts. We are okay again once we check our phones and see no one called or texted us with bad news, etc.

I'm guilty... or should I say I am prone to be a little too attached to my phone. Maybe those wires weren't such a bad thing years ago that kept a phone in its proper place. At least we didn't lose them or drop them in the washing machine or the thousand other ways people waste money having to replace them!

But I plan to change that. I am becoming more mindful of its over-importance in my life and I am going to detach. Walk away from the phone more. Have it with me for emergencies but make a conscious effort to leave it in the bottom of my purse, OFF, more often. Leave it in a certain place at home. Have some original thoughts. Remove Facebook as an Ap. Done. Do I really need to read all that stuff from my phone anyway? No. I don't.

And so it begins. I may be on to something. I will daydream more.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

a few thoughts about the week's events

Gay marriage is now legal in all 50 of our states. I really don't understand why some are so uptight about this. They feel so threatened and combative. As though God isn't going to be in charge anymore if gay marriage is allowed. As though they are being forced to believe differently. As if their faith is being attacked. They make it into an ugly fight. Those claiming to be followers of Christ don't have to agree with the ruling but shouldn't they still be kind and "love our neighbors as ourselves"? They (we all) can still believe what we want to believe. What is changed is that some feel threatened and insecure as though they are being forced to change their own beliefs as society changes. 

You can still believe whatever you feel to be right, but the hateful comments by those claiming to be the moral consciousness only pushes people away from wanting to be like them. It only breeds arrogance and unkindness and everything that love is NOT. Loving one another is always the right choice. I know, I know, some believe this is only the beginning...that soon we will not be able to practice our own "religion" and our freedoms will be taken away, but I don't really buy that. Prayer taken out of school? Yes, that was unfortunate and certainly didn't make the school system better, but I can still pray in school. No one can stop me from doing that. In fact, now I can homeschool my children if I want to. I am free to do that. I can still bow my head. I may not be able to stand up and pray leading a group in a formal public setting in some instances, but I can still pray! Maybe those praying quietly and sincerely without all the fanfare are accomplishing more because of their gentle spirits anyway. Just maybe.

This world is not our home. It's not our heaven. We are only passing through. We can only do what we can do on a personal one-person-at-a-time basis. Check your own attitude. Is it loving? It is kind? Or is it arrogant and self righteous and hateful. Are we representing the Christ we profess to believe in and follow? Are we going to throw stones when Jesus clearly showed us another way?

God is still on the throne. He really is.

I love the movie, book, play, Fiddler on the Roof. The father had such a hard time with change. And if we live long enough the world will change for all of us and we are always having to reevaluate what we believe. We don't have to change our beliefs with society's norms, but we can still accept and love those who are different. We CAN. God will sort all of these things out one day. He will.

I remember a story told by Corrie ten Boom. Her family hid Jews during World War II in Holland. They had such a love for all people. When she was a ten year old girl riding on a train with her father she asked him, “Father, what is sex sin?” He turned to look at her, as he always did when answering a question, but to her surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over their heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It's too heavy,” Corrie said. “Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” And she was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all her hard questions. For now she was content to leave them in her father's keeping. (From The Hiding Place)

As is the case with many issues in society, some things are still best left in our Father's keeping.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

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

empathy

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.  
Mom.

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!