Posted in Blog, challenges, change, choice, faith, Family, farmer, father, flower, garden, gardener, God, joy, life, love, resilience, scripture, silence, therapy, write

A Choice To Grow

Posted in answer, believe, blessings, challenges, day, farmer, fear, give, God, night, scripture

Do You Know?

Do you wonder where God is in all the fear and destruction that one virus has brought to this world, and why?  I cannot answer the question “why”.  But I can look around and count God’s blessings in every moment of my day and night.  God is among us.  The rocky wall is covered with moss overflowing.  This green velvet foliage is not bound by a rock’s edge.  This reminds me of our Father who gives in overflowing measure.  The egg carton is filled with farm fresh eggs, and more to come.  My empty egg cartons supply an urban chicken farmer with much needed containers, who supplies me and a few more families with a dozen fresh farm eggs this spring morning.  Give, and you shall receive.  The sky is on fire flaming its gold and amber into pink and purple haze.  This can only be God’s handiwork, His masterpiece. Commune with Him.  This is an opportunity worth taking. Believe me. “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him, and He will respond to us as surely as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.”  ~ Hosea 6:3.

Posted in answer, art, body, bones, challenges, choice, comfort, creative, depression, empty, fabric, feelings, flower, God, health, life, mind, Physical, survival, warm, Warrior, woman, words, write

The Fabrics Of Our Lives

What kind of fabric clothes you?  Is it rich with color?  A neutral tone?  Plush with softness or textured?  Paisley print, plaid, floral print, solid pastel, or solitary bold?  Does the fabric have a fresh, clean smell of spring, or of warmth like winter wool?  Sometimes the fabrics of our lives pick up the stench of offensive stuff, like the burnt smell of overcooked popcorn or a dog rolling on a dead animal.  BTW:  why do dogs do that?  Life brings rotten circumstances that cause us to stop in our tracks and ask “why me?”.  Your emotions and anger seem out-of-control.  Or life leaves us depressed enough not to know what to ask or say.  Just a lump of dry meat stuck in your throat that won’t go down or you cannot throw it up.

I say pick up a pen, pencil, paint brush, chalk, glue stick, or vase.  And get at least one word written on a journal page.  Or that one paint color of choice brushed on the canvas.  Or that one embellishment glued on your choice of media for a collage.  Or that solitary flower added to the vessel of choice.  You do not have to have the whole story together, just one word.  You do not have to have a landscape or portrait finished.  That collage comes together bit by bit as you find another medium to add for expression of your feelings.  The flower vase may be a simply perfect vignette for the eyes with just that one flower you put in it.  Create from your gut.  I suppose they call this art therapy.  I call it survival with color.  Allow the mind to be freed and body feel it down to the bone as you empty yourself.  You may not know all the answers, but your feelings come out in a healthy way and adds color and texture to the fabrics of your life.  Art is another God-given tool as a woman warrior.

Posted in accept, challenges, change, comfort, courage, daughter, differences, Family, God, health, peace, people, Prayer, rest, scripture, son, strength, wisdom, worry

Let Go, Let God

Remember the serenity prayer …

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

In other words … let go, let God.  Easier said than done.  And why is that?  I will speak for myself.  There are times, even some days I am not present moment with God.  I think too much.  I think I can take this one more thing on, figure it out on my own.  God gives us a brain and wants us to use it.  It is also Him who gives us the wisdom on how to use it.  But sometimes I overstep God.  “Here let me do this so it gets done”, like God is not fast enough to answer my prayers or He wants me to do everything but pray.  Or “I know what is best”, like I am placing myself better than God!  Or  how about this one, “doesn’t God hear me?”  God is Omnipresent.  He hears and knows everything even before I verbally speak the words or know what the need is.

Serenity Prayer

I am writing these words to myself today.  A reminder of what I know already, but need to know today as The Truth For Today.  There are so many needs within the family as well as the people God has surrounded me with.  “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.  Serenity means “the state of calm, peaceful, untroubled, and tranquil”.  I cannot change the health conditions of my daughters, my sons, my siblings, my cousins, my friends, my colleagues.  I am praying for Your comfort and Your healing touch to each of these people on my heart today.  There are many, God.  My heart is heavy today.  Lift this heaviness as I give each of them to You. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

 

Posted in book, challenges, comfort, courage, crazy, God, purpose, quote, resilience, thankful, Warrior, woman

Escape

cs lewis cup of tea quoteHow do you escape from this sometimes crazy world?  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you,”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us.  Being thankful is one way to escape from overwhelming thoughts and situations.  You say, “that is a challenge right now”.  I know.  I experienced one of those days today.  But more importantly, woman warrior, what recharges you with more resilience, courage, and purpose?   Is it being nestled under a comfy quilt with a book or the Bible in one hand and a cup of steamy tea in the other?  Is it a brief foray with an art medium or craft you are developing?  Writing or making music?  Is it an afternoon out with a friend, or date night with the hubby?  Or maybe a whole weekend away or at a retreat?  Whatever it is, just get there.  Make it a priority, plan it, and the escape from this crazy life will come.  Go ahead, do it, and giving thanks all the way through … I knew you could.

Posted in angels, answer, body, challenges, daughter, faith, Family, friend, God, health, hope, live, pain, Physical, Prayer, sorrow, strength

Like Gold

I have been making “liquid gold” for many years.  Nowadays they call it “bone broth”.  According to online resources “bone broth” was used in ancient Chinese medicine to improve connective tissues, kidney function, and immunity.  I simply roast a whole chicken, turkey breast, or a bone-in beef or pork roast in the slow-cooker on low heat for 10 – 12 hours. Adding a fermented liquid such as wine, beer, kombucha, or vinegar in water helps bring out the bone marrow and collagen from the bones into the simmering liquid in the slow-cooker.  Liquid gold. Good for my physical health. That liquid gold is the base for delicious soups and sauces.

My oldest daughter, Rachel received another type of liquid gold this week.  After many years of prayers, tears, and seeking answers from the conventional medical field.  Her name came up finally after a couple of years on the wait list for a California clinic that uses alternative medical treatments for her disabling conditions.  Rachel is challenged with degenerative disc disease and adhesive arachnoiditis.  She lives in pain constantly.  This past year, Rachel has had physicians tell her “there is nothing I can do for you”.  Faith and hope has been her strength .  Those moments when she lost hope she had friends and family still believing.  Faith has sustained her.  Our God sustains Rachel.  An out-of-state trip orchestrated by God Himself unfolded before our eyes, giving hearts melted, funds gathered, plane tickets ordered, and an appointed physician who prays for each of her patients. Today the neighborhood church bells ring at this noon hour, an angelic sound reminds me of our God’s faithfulness.  Angels continue to watch over my Rachel.

 

Posted in authors, book, challenges, change, day, easy going, Family, father, house, lesson, life, mother, people, quote, understand, walk, words

History Lessons

Life evolves, perpetually moving.  Hopefully, forward.  But maybe we would rather live in the past, the good ole’ days?  I dream of the whimsy of unhurried days.  Summer afternoon napping in a hammock under a willow tree.  Leisurely walking the shoreline combing the white sand for a treasured seashell or starfish left behind by the ocean blue waves.  Sunday autumn walks spotting the brightest red leaved tree.  Hot tea and freshly baked scones for a winter snack gathered with my youngsters.  Life is not so easy-going while working full-time hours as a human resources professional.  Commuting, family obligations and responsibilities, bills, and then keeping house for our two homes.  I am sure it is not easy as a carpenter in the summer heat.  Or the 1000 sandwiches prepared for another hungry crowd.  Or the school teacher putting together lesson plans and then teaching them to the 100 & 1 needs of the students you are responsible for.  The disabled or elderly making doctor appointments and their thinning budgets.

Do we really have it all with our careers, 2000 + square-foot homes, high-ticket sports events and concerts, organic foodie plates at $50 per, high-tech computer programs, phone apps, texting, social media posts, networking breakfasts, and so on & so on?  Recent weekends while antiquing for my husband and I’s newly acquired get-away house has prompted history lessons. We ask each other why this piece of furniture or household tool was used back in 1940 or another era.  Think back on those less hurried days, many items make sense.  I better understand my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  Their tight-fist around the piggy bank,  renovated solid wood tables and reupholstered chairs, no big screen TVs but large radios for the living quarters’ entertainment and news, dishes galore because they did not “go out” to eat, and a plethora of tools to fix that broken whatever.  Maybe life was unhurried because it could not be with the lengthy meal preparations and length of time to repair or build?  Maybe life wasn’t so easy back then.  Maybe it just seems that way, because life is not easy now?  Pioneer author Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote, “Sometimes I wonder if telephones and motor cars are altogether blessings … When my neighbor gets into her car, it is almost sure to run for twelve to fifteen miles before she can stop it, and that takes it way down the road past me.”  Mrs. Wilder recognized how modernization changed her social connections.  I know it affects mine.

I read non-fiction books and articles to find out who I am or who I want to be (or not be).  Marie Kondo encourages us in her book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, “the space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past”.  Such an easy concept, live the now and look to the future rather than the past.  But I would have to challenge those words and their meaning.  I agree with the concept of this book, de-cluttering and making your home or office space functional, becoming a better person.  But the past is why we are who are now, and this will carry to the future.  I rather filter the past, keep the nuggets of wisdom of the past generations, use for guidance.   Learn from and not repeat their mistakes, but I will surely make my own.  That antique end table or butter dish reminds me of past generations’ input into my life, directly or indirectly.  Their legacy, history makes me and you who we are now and what we will become in the days to come.  I ask you to think on someone in your past or from your history lessons.  What is one sentence this person would say to you right now that can effect your today and tomorrow in a positive manner?

Posted in blessings, challenges, cry, die, differences, friend, God, hurt, joy, laugh, live, pain, strength, worry

The Strength In “Today”

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength,” Corrie Ten Boom is quoted.  What keeps you from enjoying this present moment? Is it worry about meeting bills or a sick loved one?  Too many projects to accomplish in the day, maybe well into those night hours?  If you read carefully the quoted words above, strength is found in “today”.  “Today” is a mighty word.  Literally means “on the day”, “at this day”, “from-day”, “in day” in several languages.  Present day, present moment.

Maybe today is not so good.  In physical pain.  Hurting on the inside.  A relationship needs to be patched of its differences.  Saying “goodbye” to a beloved friend or family pet.  Present moment seems to be a challenge.

These are lyrics by Randy Sparks and made known by John Denver’s voice:

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine

A million tomorrows shall all pass away
‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

I can’t be contented with yesterday’s glory
I can’t live on promises winter to spring
Today is my moment, now is my story
I’ll laugh and I’ll cry and I’ll sing

Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today

 Embrace the full of joy of TODAY despite all the rest…God’s blessings are yours always.
Posted in challenges, day, God, life, live, meditation, people, Prayer, purpose, secure, thankful, walk

Present Moment

Three or four days of my work week I am able to break away from the St. Louis County benefits office located in the middle of Clayton’s business district where buses, delivery trucks, cars, financial institutions, niche shops, eateries, entrepreneurs, visitors, and government employees blend.  These 1-hour get-aways can include lunch in or out, meditation and prayer at the corner church, possibly a catnap in a quiet loveseat down the hall, and almost always a walk.  Today I brought lunch from home, egg salad made with white bean hummus (yum!) and whole wheat crackers.  Afterwards I took my daily stroll.  I chose to leave my cell phone and water bottle behind, my security usually a tote on my constitutionals.  It is a brisk 50 degrees this cloudy March Friday.  I can survive without H2O for 20 minutes.  And the cell phone, what did I do for the first 4-1/2 decades of my life without one?!
I have my Fitbit on, but do not check it during this short walk.  Besides I have these Clayton blocks memorized, either 3000, 2000, or 1000 steps depending on what direction, destination, and how far I decide to go.  I made a conscious effort to be present moment on today’s walk.  Four blocks north of my office and back.  The church bells chimed louder.  Other pedestrians’ voices and footsteps were clearer.  I was aware of how many people waited at each of the traffic lights with me, what shoes and jacket they wore, and the colors of the vehicles that passed through the intersection before the crosswalk signal switched.  The birds chirped feverishly.  Flowers popped out at me as if I was the sun.
In contrast, I feel the sharp, damp air on my face, hands, and the tops of my feet.  My joints ache, but this provokes me to keep moving these arthritic parts, and not stifle what God has created.  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know this clearly.”  Along that thought … What have I been created for these later autumn years of my life?  I think of the human life span as the seasons.  Spring is my childhood.  Summer is my young adult up to mid-life years.  Autumn is my mid-life up to retirement.  And the winter will be retirement and elderly years.  See how the cold, moist air on my arthritic joints brought me to thoughts of my future retirement during this walk?  It is a challenge for this planner and organizer to stay present moment.  Yesterday my heart’s desires bubble up among projects and schedules.  A sketch of the next 5 years came to me.  I have been asking God what am I to do after employee wellness and benefits at the County.  Only 132 weeks until my retirement to be possible.  I give tomorrow’s blueprints to God, my Creator.
Back to present moment … thankful … for this moment to walk, breathe, love, and live fully.
Posted in angels, battle, Blog, cancer, challenges, curriculum, daughter, Elisabeth, Emotional, faith, Family, father, fight, Financial, love, Mental, Physical, Prayer, purpose, resilience, Spiritual, strength, triumph, victory, Vocational, Warrior, Women in My Life, write

This Woman Warrior Writes

cropped-elisabeth-anna-mothers-day-2016.jpg

This Woman Warrior writes to share the challenges, battles, and triumph cries of women such as myself and you.  This blog has brewed in the 4-part curriculum “Beyond Resilience” I have written for the employees at my full-time human resources job in a local government entity.  With the recent news from my daughter, Elisabeth, and the beginnings of her fight against breast cancer, I felt it is time to share words with the whole world what I and so many other women encounter. Elisabeth came from the womb a fighter.  A woman warrior.  She will beat this damned cancer.  She has a legion of angels who surround her, and prayer warriors interceding for a complete healing.  It will be Elisabeth’s toughest battle yet in her 32-years of life, but she will win!

The focus of this blog is on women, common and not so common battles we fight as warriors in this world and beyond.  These are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and vocational battles.  We struggle with our health, self-esteem, acceptance, forgiveness, as well as financial and job securities.  Real life stuff.  This blog is not a political platform to bash political parties or leaders.  Nor is it to bash the men folk in our lives.  I need men in my life, and I am sure you as well.  Oh, how I miss my father today.  Our men folk fight their share of battles, too.

We women need each other!  We need to stop fighting, malicious gossip, and comparing ourselves to each other.  God has made us each unique and perfect.  Let us work together towards better purposes.  Today I need you to pray for my Elisabeth, her husband, her children, and her supporting family which includes me.  Love, faith, and strength unceasing during this battle.  A victory cry awaits.

So much to write about in the near and farther future.  My Elisabeth may set up your own WordPress blog soon.  She wants to share her ups and downs of this battle against cancer, so maybe someone else can learn from her life and words.  Elisabeth is a wise woman warrior.