Sunday, December 26, 2010


Originally uploaded by nutmeg66
I actually had the pleasure of being outside and enjoying some snow flurries today! I live in the South, so snowflakes are indeed a treat! Nothing stuck, but oh what magic to step out of the shopping mall (yes, I braved the crowds to get my half-price calendars!) into the joyful dancing snow flurries, big flakes that stayed on the car for a bit before melting away. Pure magic, and what a lift to my spirit after spending too much time in the mall. Ah, if only I had my camera with me........ by the time I got home, the snow had stopped. What's the next best thing to my own photo? This wonderful photo-share from Flickr, of course! :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

If you look for me......................

I received this via a forwarded e-mail, so I'm not sure of the source. The message, however, is just what I need this Advent season! So, of course, I'll share it with you.

You won't need a special star ---
I'm no longer just in Bethlehem,
I'm right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me
amid the celebrations ---
You'll have to look beyond the stores
and all the decorations.
But if you take a moment
from your list of things to do
And listen to your heart, you'll find
I'm waiting there for you.
You're the one I want to be with.
you're the reason that I came,
And you'll find Me in the stillness
as I'm whispering your name.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent - new beginnings

I find it hard to believe it's Advent again!
I can't get one sentence from yesterday's sermon out of my mind. "Every new beginning means that something has ended."
I've been turning that around in my head, and I realized that every ending also marks the chance for a new beginning.
Another similar saying: "Every time a door closes, another door opens.... but navigating the hallway can be TOUGH!"
So, here I am, thinking about endings and beginnings......... finally able to look back with gratitude instead of angst. Perhaps soon I'll catch a glimpse of the new beginning waiting just down the hall. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for the light in the hallway!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

With a heart of thanksgiving,

Thanksgiving --

It's Thanksgiving, and I'm so grateful for life.

I'm grateful that my daughter invited two friends to join us for Thanksgiving today. What a blessing to have friends around the table with us!

I have another friend who is having a difficult Thanksgiving, because her daughter passed away last week. I cannot imagine how she's getting through the day. I called her today to let her know I was thinking of her. I hope the call helped in some small way.

My daughter and I made our Thanksgiving lefse this morning. Lefse is a Norwegian flat bread made from potato dough rolled out thin, like a tortilla. It didn't turn out perfect. I hope I will remember my daughter's advice. She told me that I get too stressed out and take things too seriously. I'd have much more fun if I LAUGHED because it wasn't turning out perfect. I'd say she's a pretty smart lady!

Yes, I'm blessed this Thanksgiving. May you be blessed, too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homer's Odyssey - recommended listening/ reading!

Posting about my cats reminded me that I needed to update my Shelfari list.

I spend almost 1/2 hour each way driving to work, so I often listen to audiobooks. I'm such a fan of my public library! I found "Homer's Odyssey". If you are a cat-lover, I absolutely recommend this book. This cat is blind, and his name is Homer. Listening to this book made my commuting time fly by!

Welcome to my Zoo!

Well, my home is now a zoo!

My daughter, after taking a year off of college, has moved back home so that she can work less and give her all to college beginning in January! Hooray!

The pets ARE a challenge! You see, I have one elderly dog and two cats. The cats have known my dog Megan since they were kittens, and Megan is very CALM.

Shaggy and Shelby, who moved in with my daughter, are anything BUT calm! Imagine how furious my cats are to have their home invaded by dogs that want to PLAY with them!

My bedroom is now cat sanctuary, thank you very much! There's a baby gate up, and the cats have their routine pretty well set now. In the morning, when I asssure them that the dogs are either safely outside in the fenced yard or closed up in my daughter's room, the cats head outside for the day. Later, when I come home from work, they'll come around and wait patiently by the door while I get the dogs out of the way again. In the cats come, and directly to my bedroom.

Occasionally, one cat will decide to come into the living room, followed pretty quickly by excited dogs and a cat on top of the television armoire! Ah, maybe one day they'll get accustomed to each other...... or, maybe not.

Oh, and Shaggy is part lab, and LOVES to play with a ball! In fact, he has a tendency to DEMAND to play ball. He drops the ball in my lap, and then barks LOUDLY, looking at the ball then at my face, then barking again.... sigh. Thank goodness someone told me to just say NO, followed by a little spray of water if necessary. He's a smart dog..... after a couple of tries, he's learned that my no means NO. Oh, yes, I do take him out to the yard with the ball. What fun!

All I can say is, this Thanksgiving I am extremely thankful that my daughter wants to make her education a priority!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Heather T Memoirs: What does a dragonfly symbolize?

Heather T Memoirs: What does a dragonfly symbolize?: "Yesterday, the boys and I went for a walk at one of our favorite places. While we were walking, the dragonflies continually shared their ..."

I just had to share this post about dragonflies!
The other day (a difficult day!) I heard a noise at my kitchen door. When I looked, what did I see but a dragonfly buzzing at the window pane in my door! That dragonfly brightened my day.

detour on the path of life

detour on the path of life
Originally uploaded by johngpt
I've hit a detour in the road of life,
and the energy to write just isn't in me right now.
Just for today, I'm going to keep trusting that all will be well.
Funny thing about detours, they make me pay closer attention to the details of life......... no more "autopiloting" down roads I can almost drive with my eyes closed.
I've also heard that detours can lead to possibilities I never imagined.
With that in mind, I can smile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Surprised by God..................

There's a new book on my Shelfari shelf.
I was wandering through the biography section of the library (have I told you how much I LOVE public libraries?) and this book practically jumped off the shelf calling my name. SURPRISED BY GOD is in large print, and then in small print.... How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion.

This book is the story of a young woman's spiritual journey from atheism to embracing faith. She and I do not practice the same religion, but I find myself focusing on what we have in common, rather than the ways in which we differ.

I, too, have been "surprised by God" over the course of my life. I haven't considered myself an atheist, but I have spent years in a depressed condition. The fact that I can really experience joy (and pain..... gotta take both!) in my life has been quite a surprise, for one. And yes, I do count it God's grace that has a hand in my recovery.

Every day, if I look for it with an open mind, I find some surprising bit of joy in my day. Yes, I'm grateful.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Feeling ALIVE

When asked how I'm feeling today, the only description I could think of was, "I'm feeling alive!".

Here are some other words:




Yesterday, I was able to make a few decisions that have been weighing me down for a while. I'm so grateful to be out of the fog of indecision and inaction. This is truly God's grace.

It's funny, even writing this I start to feel a tinge of fear. Will this feeling last? Did I make "wrong" decisions? Well, in answer to the first question "NO.... this, too, shall pass; that's OK. For right now, I choose to FEEL rather than to try to hold onto the feeling." In answer to the second question "Maybe, but making NO decision was DEFINITELY the wrong decision; and if I was wrong, then I'll deal with the consequences. It's OK."

Meanwhile, it's good to feel alive!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gratitude- choosing my attitude

I've gotta say that this "embracing solitude" is easy when I'm consciously choosing it. Yesterday, however, I took my car to the shop, prepared with a book to read while I waited for the work to be done.

Imagine my surprise when I was told that the 60,000 mile maintenance requires that the timing belt be changed out. I gulped and said, OK. (You see, I'm a recent convert to getting the scheduled maintenance done promptly instead of changing the oil and hoping for the best!)

OK, so, I would pull out the credit card. (That's a whole other post just simmering in my brain.) Then, when I was told it was an ALL DAY job, I realized I woud be spending the day at home with NO CAR, so no choice to go somewhere.

The funny thing is, I had planned to just stay home and get work done around the house yesterday. Not having the choice changed my state of mind somehow, though. I got a LITTLE bit of work done, but not much. To tell the truth, I pretty much moped around.

Today I realize that I DID have a choice............ not the choice to stay home or go off somewhere, but I could choose a different attitude. Somehow I didn't see that yesterday.

Today I'm choosing gratitude....... just for today. All I can handle is 24-hours at a time.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Check out Suan Isaac's blog!

Here's a big THANK YOU to Jayne for her recommendation of the book "Angry Conversations With God", by Susan Isaacs. I could hardly put the book down! (It's on my Shelfari now, too!)

I decided to check out Susan's blog, Gray Matter, and what a wonderful surprise!

I'd especially like to recommend three of her recent posts:

"Kid with Aspergers interviews his mom" a real interview from PBS's Story Corp.

"Say YES AND" , recommended reading for anyone who has conversations about faith,

and "A stolen Poem by Mary Oliver". I need to check out Mary Oliver's poetry. This poem, "The Journey", could be a word picture of the place I am in my life's journey right now. I've listened to the voices of others saying "do this, do that" for so many decades. It's time for me to find out what MY voice sounds like!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Embracing solitude

I've been doing my share of wishing and hoping..... even doing profiles for online dating services a time or two, then quickly deleting them!

Yesterday, somehow, (and I think it's grace at work!) I realized on a gut level that, for now at least, I'm ready to embrace solitude for a while.

Then, yesterday afternoon, I brought myself and a couple of books to the beach. As I was walking along, I noticed a couple taking pictures of one another next to the ocean. I asked if they'd like a picture together. Their faces lit up, and they told me that this was their 30th anniversary, and they didn't have any way to get a picture of them together! It made my heart happy to snap that photo.

Then, I walked away, tears in my eyes, thinking of how what would have been my 30th anniversary had just passed a few months ago.
So, I spent a few moments mourning what could have been, feeling grateful that I can actually FEEL the feelings.

Isolation is what I've practiced in the past......... hiding away in my own little world, eating to numb the pain, afraid to reach out.
Today this feels ENTIRELY different. Somehow, I feel ready to call off the search for "someone to love me", and start loving and nurturing myself. Oh, yes, I'll still reach out to others......... but I'll know that it's OK to be by myself, too.

Being by myself doesn't have to be lonely.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Grace - like wind in a sail

Barbara Agnes
Originally uploaded by leightonian
I'm reading a book I found in my church library called "To Love as God Loves; Conversations With the Early Church.

I decided to read the book because of this line I read as I flipped through its pages.

"God's grace is more like wind in a sail than it is like lightning."

That said, I'm off to work on the sailboat that is my day-to-day life. Tomorrow being Pentecost, as I hear the telling of God's Spirit coming with the sound of a mighty wind....... I'll be thinking of God's Spirit and a little sailboat.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I found this picture here. I don't have time to write about it, (as I'll soon be late for work!) but the photo intrigued me. Thoughts to follow..
Why did Jesus say
"you must become as a child"?
Reflected here
I perhaps see
an answer
THE answer?
no, probably not!
It's simply the innocence
the trusting, expectant confidence
all is well
Oh, in case you're wondering about the little "wink" along the side....... no it is not part of the poem, but rather just a way to politely ask Blogger to leave a space between the verses!
If anyone knows a better way to ask Blogger to leave a space, please share!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Stroke of Insight

I've been meaning to write about the book "A Stroke of Insight" ever since I put it up as my first Shelfari item.

My niece had HELLP syndrome, and a brain hemmorage, the day she delivered her first beautiful baby girl in March.

She is recovering beautifully, little by little, one day at a time. Her recovery is just amazing, and Scott found wonderful hope and guidance in this book!

I decided to read the book so that I would have more understanding of what is happening with Lisa. First of all, I'd highly recommend this reading for anyone in the position of caring for a stroke survivor! Jill Bolte Taylor is a brain scientist, and she tells about her stroke, and her amazing 7-year recovery from that stroke. Her words of wisdom for the caregiver have guided Scott as he's helped his wife recover!

Secondly, let me tell you, this book is an amazing, easy-to-read book that showcases the plasticity of our brains, and I've found alot of hope for myself in the pages of this book.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Leaving the change up to God

Originally uploaded by flightlessXbird

It's not something I talk about often, but I'm a person who used to cope with life, stuff my emotions, and barely survive by eating til I was stuffed. That "worked" until all of a sudden it didn't work. I found myself eating so much that I was up many nights "hugging the porcelain", and that didn't work for me!

So, I'm OA, and am I ever grateful for the 12 Steps! I'm finally learning how to face my stuff instead of stuffing my face.

To paraphrase a recovery reading that has stuck with me for 2 days: I'm thankful that recovery is giving me the vision to realize that I don't have to change the world, others, situations, or even myself; I'm responsible for "doing the footwork" -- change is God's domain!

That's an idea that I can use in every situation. No, I don't sit around wishing and hoping for change; I do what I can, which is to work towards that change. I can accomplish so much more, and be much more joyous in the task, knowing that my best IS good enough, as long as I can let go and trust God for the changes needed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Doing small things with great love

Just for today, I'm going to try being kind to myself.

Hallmark makes a set of post-it-notes called "Faith Notes... 100 Heavenly
Ways to Say "I Care". I've had one on my bathroom mirror for a while now. It says "Every day we are called to small things with great love." -- Mother Teresa.

I've been reading that for weeks, trying to embody that in my actions towards others. All of a sudden, this morning, I realized that I first need to treat myself that way, too.

So, with love, I'm off to pour myself a cup of coffee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Falling apart?

Oh, dear..... what a week it has been!

I must have been going on adrenaline during tax season. Now my body is telling me off!

I knew during the season that my back was hurting more and more as I sat through two jobs.
Now, my back is so much worse! And, here I wait for the result of X-rays to see what's next.

Then, last night my knee popped in a not-so-funny way, and IT hurts as I sit, and sometimes leaves me hobbling when I start walking. Wow.

What am I learning from all of this?

Be gentle with myself?
Learn to see the humor? (Getting grumpy about it just makes it worse!) I never have liked being grumpy. :~)

Ah, I remember my sister saying life begins at 50........... I hope it doesn't just fall apart at 51!
Only kidding, I know that this, too, shall pass.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finally out of the tax season fog

Finally, finally, April 15 has come and gone. I worked in a tax return office this season, in addition to my full-time job. It took every bit of my energy to get through those 3 1/2 months! Will I do it again next year? How do I answer that question?

Can I use the money? That's a resounding YES.
Can I afford to put my body, mind, and spirit through the paces again?

My body --- I have developed an aching back from, I think, sitting all day and then again all evening.

My mind --- well, I think it did me good to learn all that I learned.

My spirit --- well, taxes are just plain TAXING on the spirit. There were some days, yes, when
I felt like I was really HELPING people through a tough time, and on those days I
left feeling uplifted. More often, though, I was just ready to go home.

One thing I've learned lately is that there are ALWAYS choices. Sure, money is an on-going issue in my life, as it has been ever since my ex decided, over 6 years ago, that he wanted his sweet-thing on the side more than he wanted our marriage and family. Sometimes I get so angry when I think about that............ (that's when I need Roberta's latest post over at Spiritually Directed!)........ but I soon slap myself on the head and remind myself that in every other way, I am SO much better off since the divorce!

Well, here I am up WAY too late. I've missed the blog-world!

Oh, and getting back to blogging isn't the only thing I've accomplished today. I also spent HOURS starting to get my yard back into shape, or at least I almost have it mowed, anyway! :~)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Easy Does It

Twice in two days I have heard an old Frank Sinatra song with the lyrics "Easy Does It". Could it be that those are the words I need as I start this New Year???

Indeed, my default mode is to overthink things so much that I become stressed and frozen. Then, I end up doing nothing until the last possible moment, and rushing headlong into the things I need to do!

Yes, I'm grateful for the message "Easy Does It". Just keep doing the next right thing, one thing at a time! Who me, one thing at a time? I'm usually doing at least 3 things at a time!

What can be easier than getting up in the morning, entrusting myself and those I love to God's care, and then just doing one thing at a time?

Sounds like a plan!