Archive | March, 2012

Five Minute Friday Gift

30 Mar

Five Minute Friday Gift.

Five Minute Friday Gift

30 Mar

Oh there are so many when you stop to count

My husband, my children, my ability to write, my home, love in all of its forms, the sun, the sky, flowers, trees, pets and clean clothes.

Joy and laughter, fresh popcorn, a smaller number on the scale, chocolate, best friends, nieces, Khloe, just breathing in the air on a warm spring day.

Snow days, hot chocolate, joy in ordinary moments, brownies, acceptance letters, scholarships, my car

New clothes and old favorites, comfortable shoes, a surprise dinner out or a lunch invitation any time

A love note written, a love note received, again love in all its forms. Yes I think love is the greatest gift of all, to give and receive and to put in everything we do. Yes, it would have to be love. The kind that can move mountains or a stubborn heart or just be in silence with you when you need it the most

Love for myself, now there’s one gift I want more of. Getting better, but can get better than I am

God loves me or so they say, so I am worthy of loving myself. Why don’t I do it better? I want to do better. I will do better. Everyone needs someone who loves them. Love and be loved. What a gift.

What a Difference a Day Makes

29 Mar

What a Difference a Day Makes.

What a Difference a Day Makes

29 Mar

Yesterday was not one of my better days. I got up late. My exercise partner bailed on me. I didn’t get anything done around the house. I had a disagreement with my oldest son, and the specialty pharmacy that handles my youngest son’s medication wanted us to pay $2,400.00 for his next month of medication, even though we only have about $500.00 left on his deductible. Blech, Blech and more Blech. Add to that, I made a family dinner that only three people, including myself were home to eat, and we got an absolutely ridiculous “financial award” from one of my son’s college possibilities. It really felt like a wasted, useless day.

I managed to salvage part of the day walking with my husband so we could unload our angst, physically and verbally, but even as I headed to bed, I was resigned rather than peaceful. I woke up not much better, but I was determined to make a better day of it. I got most of my daily work finished early. I ate a healthy breakfast. I did some yoga and meditation. And then the phone rang.

It was the specialty pharmacy again, and my stomach immediately knotted. The lovely southern voice on the other end of the line let me know that she had straightened everything out and was ready to ship my son’s medication. Then she asked how we were going to pay. When I told her we would pay with our personal credit card, she asked why. I explained our situation, and she offered me several options to help us ease our very large financial burden at the beginning of every year. All I had to do was make a phone call to see if we qualified. I did, and we do. In the ten years our son has been on this medication, no one has ever offered to help us in this way. So what does that mean in the grander scheme of things? What that means is money for college. What that means is tears of relief that someone really does care and is willing to go the extra mile to help a stranger. What it means is hope.

Hope is a beautiful thing. Hope helps us get through the rotten days, reach for more on good days, and forgive ourselves and others for the mistakes that are bound to happen in this journey we call life. Hope is what inspires a young man from humble beginnings to apply to colleges that may be beyond his parents’ financial reach. Hope is what gets a parent through the night when the finances seem to override every other aspect of life. Hope is what gives a shy boy enough courage to take a chance to change his life and inspire others to do the same. If you haven’t seen the viral video of this incredible 17 year old talent, click on this link and see hope in action: When I showed this to my middle son, he said I should blog about it. I hope he was right. Thanks for being you and have a great day.

Five Minute Friday: Loud

23 Mar


It’s Friday, so I’m taking Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday challenge:
Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We finger paint with words. We try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Meet & encourage someone who linked up before you.
Today’s word was Loud.

Sometimes the intuition is so loud I can’t ignore it even if I want to. I have to do what it tells me to do. When I listen to that small still voice, there is relief. I can move on. It’s like the pressure release on a can of Coke. Ahhhh, refreshing. Only I don’t drink that stuff anymore and that’s the rub. Releasing the pressure means I’ve accepted the change I have to make. It makes my life louder. I can’t hide my light anymore. I have to accept that I have a louder personality than others. I’ll never be the quiet, demure woman I once aspired to be. I will try to curb my loudness for my quiet friends, but if they are truly my friend, they will see the value of my loud as I see the value of their quiet.

Loud makes me feel alive. Loud music, loud colors too, but I‘ve always resisted loud because of loud arguments when I was a child. Loud then, meant anger and fear and a chance that someone might be mad at me. Loud wasn’t safe. Children were seen and not heard. Now loud is my choice. Not mean loud, just living loud. Today I love loud, most of the time.

Dream Big

20 Mar

Dream Big.

Dream Big

20 Mar


I love serendipities, those things that come along just when you need them; the call to go to lunch when you need a friend, the unexpected financial windfall when you’re most desperate for money, an unexpected hug from one of your children when you’re wondering if anything you do matters. This morning, for me, it was this quote by Mama Gena, “If you could trust your dreams half as much as you doubt them, you would get everything you want.”

If you’re human, you have dreams. If you haven’t been taught about dreams, your dream may be as simple as getting through the day without a catastrophe. I know people like that. Then there are those who have a little better handle on life who dream of a nicer car, a nicer home and the things that will make life a little easier. I know people like that too. Then there are those who really get dreams. They intentionally spend time dreaming and creating a better world in their imagination, and then they get to work creating that better world regardless of the obstacles. Those people become the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jim Carrey and Kelly Clarkson’s of the world. They also become the Harriet Tubman, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Dalai Lamas. They have global impact even when they come from the most humble beginnings.

I aspire to be someone with a positive global impact. I would love to have my words lift people up around the world, but before that I have a few other dreams. I dream that my children will grow into men of character and strength, dignity and leadership. I dream that they will find wives that lift them spiritually, emotionally and mentally as my husband does me. I dream that they will be everything they dream and more, and I share that dream with them, so they know how highly I think of them and how big I dream for them. Mama Gena’s quote reminds me this morning that I need to re-visit that dream more often than the frustration of paperwork that is due today that is shoved at me as they walk out the door. That dream is more important than forgotten soccer shin guards, musical instruments and occasional assignments. That dream is also more important than a bit of lost sleep during the current March madness frenzy that is rampant in our home. The dream for my children is more powerful than the nightmare that my children’s future could include the phrase, “You want fries with that?”

Today I am reminded that if you have a dream, somewhere, somehow there is a way to make that dream come true. Your excuses don’t matter. Think you’re too young? Research Mattie Stepanek. In his short life, less than 14 years, he published six books of poetry and a book of essays, was considered a friend by Oprah Winfrey and made such an impact as an advocate of peace that former President Jimmy Carter delivered a eulogy for him. Add to this that he was afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy and you can’t help but question why you aren’t living your dreams. Think you’re too old? Famous painter, Grandma Moses, didn’t have her first exhibition until she was 78. She lived to be over 100 years old and painted over 1000 paintings of rural life in America. Is color your issue? In the United States, we have more African American millionaires than ever before and a President of color as well. How about your gender? In nearly every male dominated profession, you will find women who have risen to the top. Is it easy? No, but very few worthwhile things are. I’m feeling energized and renewed just thinking about it.

Do you have dreams? If not, take some time to make some. Start small if you have to, but start and trust that the forces that plant the seeds of a dream have the power to help you make it come true. If you have dreams, really look at them. Are they what you truly want or are they what someone else has told you that you should be, have or do? What speaks to your soul? What one thing, if you could have it by the end of this year would bring you the greatest joy and satisfaction? Don’t think about how to get it. Think about why you want it and believe that you could have it. Even if you fall short, you’ll be better off than you were when you started. Don’t believe this can work for you? Think about this. Last year I wanted more money so we could pay off our debts. I didn’t know how we were going to get it, but I really wanted it. I thought about a certain amount, an amount that was absurd, considering our current income, but it was my dream and I decided that the Divine could do anything so I wrote it down and believed. Things started to happen. Books and programs about how to manage money showed up in my email. Opportunities for overtime showed up for my husband. We made a few difficult decisions like giving up a vacation so we could repair our car. I had almost given up in December, when something amazing happened. My husband got his year-end bonus. There was nothing unusual about him getting the bonus. It happens every year. What was astounding was the amount. It fell short of the amount I had been dreaming of, but it was over double anything we had ever seen before. We were speechless and thrilled and humbled by the power of the dream and the Divine to provide.

So today I’ll be thinking about my dreams for this year, for myself, for my family and for all of you. Just in case you’re wondering, my dream for you is that you find a dream that inspires you to become all that you were born to be in the most beautiful way possible. To me, that sounds like Heaven on Earth. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

Spiritual Spring Cleaning Phase Two

19 Mar

Spiritual Spring Cleaning Phase Two.

Spiritual Spring Cleaning Phase Two

19 Mar


Have you ever had one of those moments when you felt like you understand how everything in your life connects? I had one of those moments while cleaning a toilet this morning. That may seem strange, but I’ve found that some of my greatest revelations don’t come while I’m meditating or writing, they actually come while doing something so mundane and routine that my mind is free to wander where it wants to go.

For those who read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I love the Lenten season for the opportunity for spiritual spring cleaning. I also usually try to physically de-clutter my home and my body at the same time. Some days that seems monumental, but it gives me a purpose and a goal to think about instead of the usual lack of sun and fun at this time of the year where I live. I also keep a written record of what I’m working on so I can see how I’m progressing and where I can improve. I’m a writer. What else would I do? While I was recording the weekend activities this morning, I realized I had been seriously slacking in the home de-cluttering and exercise areas and vowed to be better for the next few weeks because I’m hosting Easter and I want to be prepared. So I could do that, I got to work on my daily and weekly tasks, and in the middle of that I was amazed at what I realized.

Since I started learning how to run an efficient household, I’ve always seen a lack of consistency in my progress. My de-cluttering efforts go really well for about two or three weeks and then I just can’t bring myself to do anything for another two or three weeks, and I noticed that pattern happened again this Lenten season. For about three weeks, I was chucking items into the trash and donating like crazy. I was also exercising and eating right and losing weight and then it all stopped. I was starting to get frustrated and angry with myself for my lack of self-control and self-discipline, but this morning I figured it out. I had to stop doing the physical things because I hadn’t caught up emotionally and spiritually with my own progress. That’s what the last two weeks of “getting nothing done” have been about. I needed to catch up and realize that even when the physical improvements stop, the emotional and spiritual don’t. Holy cow! What a freeing thought!

I love to cook and for me understanding my own process made me think of making bread. To start the process of making bread, there is a lot of activity. You mix and knead and get the dough to the right consistency. Then, you wait for the dough to rise. While the dough rises, you aren’t doing anything, but there is a lot going on with the bread. The yeast is reacting with the sugar and creating bubbles that make the dough rise. After the dough rises, you punch it down, knead it and let it rise again. Finally, you bake the bread and enjoy the finished product. Then, when you want more bread, you start the process all over again. My journey has been like that. I have a flurry of activity; a time when it seems like there is nothing going on; I get knocked back, try again and need to rest; then I go through the fire of frustration and growth and finally I get to enjoy the progress until I’m hungry to grow again. My realization was that this pattern is exactly how my life is supposed to be. Until today, I have been beating myself up for stopping the physical progress instead of understanding the emotional and spiritual work that was going on. I’m almost giddy with the new understanding, and at the moment I understood my growing process, I was actually grateful for my mundane housework. Now that’s a statement I never thought I’d make!

So, in the future, when my physical progress on anything slows down, I hope I can be a little gentler with myself and ask how I might be benefitting mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Or I might ask myself where I need to grow to get back to my physical progress. Or I might even look at the physical progress as a launch pad to an incredible opportunity for mental, emotional and/or spiritual growth. The possibilities are endless and so is my gratitude for the new awareness. Although it’s not always an easy path, the path of intentional self-reflection and growth always ends up being a rewarding one, and a path I highly recommend. It’s not very crowded as far as I can see, but I would welcome the company. Whether you choose to join me or not, thanks for being you and have a great day.

The Scratches on my Rose Colored Glasses

17 Mar

The Scratches on my Rose Colored Glasses.

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