Friday, February 25, 2011

A little drop of courage

So, this morning I was meditating, praying and seeking guidance from my Higher Power. There are some really difficult challenges and obstacles in my life right now, and I spend as much time as I can meditating, listening for the voice that has never let me down. Sometimes, I hear the voice out loud, sometimes I have to listen really hard.

Many times Spirit has send me encouragement. This morning my encouragement came from an interesting source.This morning I have a bit of a tickle in my  throat. So I reached for a cough drop. Now the brand of cough drops I picked up a few weeks ago is the one whose commercials have been promising a pep talk in every drop. The wrappers of each drop have little sayings on them. Just short, quick little pep talks...
Bet on yourself.
Turn can do into can did.
Seize the day.

Well, you get the idea. So today when I grabbed a drop as I started to unwrap it I  noticed a saying I hadn't seen before...You've survived tougher...and it really just hit me between the eyes! Like it was written just for me to see today. Just three little words, You've survived tougher. I stopped and thought and immediately felt stronger.

Now, as I look at those 3 words, I wonder which way I should approach. If I think of it as meaning that I have survived things that were a lot harder. My current circumstances are still part of the consequences of my husband being killed by a drunk driver.  So, yes I have survived the unexpected loss of my spouse. I survived the next year when it seemed as if everything that could go wrong did. I am struggling to remain afloat financially while I find a way to move forward and take care of us.

In my life, I have survived many things, an abusive childhood, years lost to drugs and alcohol and the less than intelligent choices made then, health concerns, poverty, etc. I have survived more things than most people ever encounter. As I look back on those things, I remember a time when it was all I could do to survive. But then, there came a time in my life when it became important to me to do more than survive. It was a matter of surviving and thriving.So, now as I see those 3 words I see them with different meaning. I have survived, tougher. That old saying,"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" really does come into play as you move through the challenges and obstacles that life throws your way.

As you face each challenge or obstacle you will have to find a way through. Perhaps you will have to find a way over, under, or around. You may just have to breakthrough. As you are in the midst of each challenge, you sometimes forget that you have the skills to overcome. That is when you need a little reminder, a dose of courage from outside yourself, and Creator is so good at finding imaginative, inventive ways of sending you that little bit of encouragement. A call or note from a friend, a souvenir sitting on a desk, or even the wrapper from a cough drop. You've survived tougher, and because you have, you will survive this!! 

Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I spent a lovely hour talking to a friend on the phone this morning. It is so interesting when you spend an hour on the phone how many subjects you can touch on. One of the subjects was the meaning of the word shalom. Most people when they hear the word shalom think of it as meaning peace. But when you start to study the word you find that it can mean so much more.

If we just do a simple search we will find the Strong's entry...
1) completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
a) completeness (in number)
b) safety, soundness (in body)
c) welfare, health, prosperity
d) peace, quiet, tranquillity, contentment
e) peace, friendship
1) of human relationships
2) with God especially in covenant relationship
f) peace (from war)
g) peace (as adjective)

So, we see that the word shalom has many different shades of meaning.Shalom could refer to health or to quiet and tranquility. When I think of shalom I think of completeness, wholeness and balance. So that peace can mean that we are in a place of wholeness where we are in completeness whether that is in our bodies, our friendships, or our relationship with our God.
For me to live a balanced life means that I am seeking to be walking in harmony with my Creator. In any given circumstance I must be making choices that place me either in my will or the Divine One's will. Those seem to me to be the two things that drive human beings. It is always a matter of choice, choosing to live my life according to my self will or to live my life according to my God's will.
When I realize that it is all a matter of choice, I also see that it is a matter of control. So, when I choose to live in the moment, I am choosing to attempt to allow my life to be under the control of the One who created me. In order to do that I need to be at peace with my choices, I need to be choosing to live out the meanings of shalom-completeness, wholeness, soundness in mind, body, and spirit. In covenant relationship with my Creator and with those my Creator leads into my life. So, I choose today to walk in peace.
Amazing what a conversation with a friend can make you think about! I find peace and tranquility in my daily meditations, in my friendships, in my talks with my Creator. I find balance and wholeness in the same places. What an amazing blessed day when I can share with a friend. Now that truly is shalom for me.
Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Totally Random Thouhgts

First, I was in a really cranky mood when I posted on Sunday. As I read what I wrote it appears that I was feeling quite sorry for myself for a few minutes. So, I poured that pity into a post and hit publish! But, amazingly, someone let me know how much they were helped by what I wrote. I have to attribute that totally to the working of Most High.

Here I was feeling sorry for me. Here I was wallowing in a pity party, and Spirit was able to use those words to reach something in someone else. Wow! I am so humbled by the fact that when you allow yourself to be used of Spirit, even your pity party can be of use!

We woke up this morning totally socked in with fog. As I looked out the windows I could only see fog. With a fleeting glance, I could imagine that we had been transported to living inside a cloud where the rest of the world had disappeared. How many times have I cried out for the things of the world to disappear. The worries, the stresses, the problems. Take them away. And there it was, all gone, but instead of feeling better I felt closed in. So perhaps I need to start praying for the strength and wisdom to deal with the problems, rather than for the problems to go away.Lessons, every where you look!

The lesson from the Elders recently was this..."Sometimes, life is very simple, but it is we two-leggeds,we who are thought to be smart that make it complicated."~Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA from Meditations with Native American Elders.

This is such a profound truth in such a simple sentence. Life is not all that complicated. We make it so. We make it complicated in so many ways. Sometimes we complicate life by allowing fear to com in to our thinking. I know that is an issue for me. I can't be the only one! Fear is the mindkiller. If you read Science fiction you will recognize that as the mantra of a group of strong women from the Dune series. Such a basic truth, fear is the mindkiller. When the spirit of fear rules us, we can't think straight. We think wrong things and get stuck where we are because we are afraid to take the next step. Fear must not rule, we must that remember that we are each one of us special. Now that doesn't mean we are better than anyone else, or that any one else is better than us. It means that we must remember that it is Creator that has made us special, and that we do not have to choose to allow fear to work in us. It is our choice. We can choose to live a simple life. Simple doesn't mean poor, it means keeping our mind and spirit focused on the things that matter, and when it comes right down to it, not a whole lot matters. If we keep our focus on the things that our God has told us to do, it really does become quite simple. The Christian sacred literature tells us that all that is required is to Love God,the who pretty much tells us over and over to keep it simple. The requirements are simple, seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly. Nothing in there about choosing fear, so we can choose to step out and live simple.

It always seems to come back to choices, doesn't it?

Choose well today! I know I am going to try to!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentines Day. Such a lovely holiday, let's all celebrate love.Yada Yada Yada. (can you see how I feel about it?) But Valentines day can be a minefield for those, like me, that have mixed experiences of the day.

Oh, I hated Valentines day as a child. The Fat Lady started out as the Fat Girl, you know. Back in the dark ages when I was in elementary school 'self-esteem' wasn't a part of the psycho-babble yet. So those of us who were outcasts for whatever reason hated Valentines day. Oh, it was all so innocent. For a few days before we would spend our art class time creating a receptacle for the valentines. There was red and pink construction paper and paper doily scraps everywhere, and the Elmer's glue residue stuck to your fingers. At least that was fun, peeling the Elmer's glue from your fingers.

Then the big day arrived, and we were allotted time to deposit our valentines in the boxes. A mimeographed list of names had gone home with us,and we were free to create to our hearts content. If you were lucky your Mom would let you buy a box of school valentines, 32 to a box back then plus the bonus teachers card. So, every one went around and put their little cards in the box. Then of course we had the treats our room mothers dutifully provided and everyone looked at their valentines. As you reached in your box and took out 2 or 3 cards, after all the teacher had to give you one, and maybe you had one friend, and then some dumb boy had to tell you why you were outcast, you did your best to make sure no one else saw. But it seemed like they all knew anyway. But, you knew that if you showed any emotions they would have power over you, so no tears. You bravely told everyone that you wanted to wait and look at them at home.

Fortunately all of those classroom Valentine parties were in elementary grades, and you didn't have to repeat that particular little piece of Hell again once you reached middle school. But, Valentines day was still an empty day, void of love, and rife with bad memories.

Decades pass, and one day a tall thin man crosses a street in a small town in Missouri. He teaches you, among other things, that yes, you are able to love and to be loved. He manages to surprise you every year with a lovely expression of love on Valentines day. You give him a small plush animal for his collection. A collection that he started when you gave him his first one. A silly little collection for a big tough Marine, but a collection that is cherished by him.

Then circumstances change again. The love of your life is taken away from you by a drunk driver, and you get thrown into the long, difficult act of grieving. Every special day, every holiday is another reminder that you are alone again. That no one will make you smile, and tell you you are loved and ask you to be their valentine. Valentines day is a difficult, difficult day for those who are on the outside looking in. Those who have never had a love, and there are many, those who have lost their love and are all alone again.Valentine's Day is hard.

The other holidays are difficult, but there are ways to get through. But Valentine's Day, that is hard. Everywhere you look, from the aisles of the grocery store, to the restaurant ads in the paper, the commercials on TV you are reminded that this is a time for love and a time for lovers, and you feel all alone. It seems as if the whole world is operating two by two, that no matter which way you turn you are surrounded by couples, and you no longer have the person that made you part of a couple. Valentines day is long and lonely.

If you know someone who is alone this year on Valentines day, please reach out to them. A note, a small card, a phone call. Let them know that they are not alone in this world. Let them know that another human being cares about them. See, we all need a human touch. We may be rooted in faith,and know that there is a Creator,and that that Creator loves us. We may know that there is in us a part of the Divine, and that there is no where we can go that the Divine is not with us. But, the love of Most High, as wonderful as it is doesn't have the human touch unless we provide it. We are made in the image of the Creator, we are told,and so we must be the arms and hands and voice of love. We must be the human touch. There is someone out there in need of your voice, or a hug, or just the touch of your hand on their sleeve. So, make sure that you do something special for your sweetheart. Do not ever let a day go by, and especially on the holiday that is about love, make sure the one you love, the one who loves you, knows that you never take one moment for granted. But, please, if you have an extra moment reach out to one of the lonely ones. They will appreciate you more than you can know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Roy’s Garage Sell and Auction: first flight of the Benjamin

Roy’s Garage Sell and Auction: first flight of the Benjamin

Stop in and visit my ol' friend Roy! And leave him a comment letting him know you were there. We bloggers look at our stats, so we know that hundreds of people view our pages, but so few ever leave a comment to let us know whether we are on the right track, or if we have missed the boat. So, leaving a comment lets us pout a name to a foot print, so to speak.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What did you want to be when you grew up? I would think that answer would depend a lot on when and where that growing up was taking place. I have cousins who were married at 14 and 15. Now you see why my dad thought I was an old maid.

Did you want to be a cowboy, a fireman, an astronaut, a doctor or nurse, a teacher? Did you want to be a rock star, or a movie star?

I knew a little girl once who wanted to be a 'cowgirl ballerina'. She and her mom would stop at the store after her dance class, and there she was, 5 years old in her leotard and tu-tu with her pink sequined cowboy boots on. She was a lovely little girl, very brave. She would run in through the front doors looking for me to show me her newest dance step. I always, no matter how busy I was, took a moment to go through the ballet positions with her. I wonder what that looked like to the people who would watch us. At the time I weighed over 450 pounds, and here I was practicing ballet positions with a little girl in pink sequined cowboy boots. I heard the laughs, and a remark or two, but I would always make sure that I was laughing with my little friend so she didn't hear them.

Now, my little 'cowgirl ballerina' had a  Mom who was not a believer. She would say silly things like "You can't be both" or "Only skinny girls become ballerinas". My little 'cowgirl ballerina' knew that her Mom didn't believe in her dreams. She was very surprised when I thought being a 'cowgirl ballerina' was an excellent idea. Almost as surprised as those looking on were to see me doing the ballet steps .But we paid them no mind and we practised our ballet positions twice a week.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you have someone in your life to tell you that you could be whatever you wanted to be, or did you have someone who told you that there was no such thing as a 'cowgirl ballerina'?

If you were surrounded by the unfortunate people who were not believers, I am so very sorry. They were wrong, you know.They were acting out of their own lack of knowledge, because they never met someone who told them the truth. And that is very sad. But, I truly believe that people do the best they can, that they often just don't know any better and that if they knew better they would do better. I honestly believe that, and so I am able to forgive those who didn't believe. But, I am telling you that it wasn't true. Whatever reason they gave that led you to believe that you couldn't be anything you wanted, was not true. No one ever told them any better.

Sometimes we are lucky to have families of believers. Sometimes we have to meet believers in the grocery store after dance class. Sometimes we have to simply be our own believers. Yeah, I know, you are all grown up now, so what's the use. Hah! It is never too late to start dreaming. Never. You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up. It might be a little more challenging the older you get, but never impossible. I'll bet you anything google can find you a pair of pink sequined cowboy boots!

So, what do you want to be when  you grow up? Me, I want to practice ballet steps with a cowgirl ballerina.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Never SAY Never

Words. We can use them in so many ways. We can use them to build up or we can use them to tear down. One of the ways we use them to our detriment is in a way that we don't even notice we are doing. I call these words 'invisible vows' and usually we are trying to protect ourselves when we use these words.  I think of Scarlett O'Hara, tired and dirty Swearing to the world and herself  "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again!" Those words altered the way she lived, altered the choices she made in life, caused her to makes choices based on her need to make sure she got ahead no matter who she had to step on to get there.

Now,most of us don't go as far as Scarlett did in our quest to keep ourselves safe. But we make these types of vows regularly, most of the time unaware of them. We make choices in our lives that aren't always in our best interest. If after we have lived through the bad choice we tell ourselves "I'll never let anyone hurt me like that again." That sounds like a good thing. Unless, that vow keeps us from letting anyone get close to us. We build a wall to hide behind so that no one can get in, because if we let someone in then we are vulnerable to being hurt.The only way to keep from getting hurt is to keep from being vulnerable. But then no one gets close enough to us to love us. So now we start to think that no one loves us because we are unlovable.

Some of us use our weight as a wall to hide behind. It is true that in our culture we often become invisible the more we weigh. So we build this wall that keeps us safe. Except it keeps us safe by keeping us imprisoned. We start to believe that we have no worth. We start to believe that we deserve less than the best the world has to offer. We then start to treat ourselves as undeserving.

One of the great paradoxes in our lives is that SELF ESTEEM is often based on our perception of what others think of us. I believe the world uses our estimation of our worth as the yardstick by which it measures us. If we see ourselves as unworthy, unlovable then the world will accept that estimation and treat us accordingly.

So, the words that replay themselves in our heads have built up a wall that imprisons us and keeps us from connecting with the world around us.As we learn to replace those words we can use new words to tear down those walls. When an old tape starts to play in our head we can literally say STOP! Say it out loud if you have to. Say STOP! Ask yourself it thats' the truth, and erase the old words and replace them with the truth. So if we are kept from stepping out because in our Head we hear "You can't do that, you're fat." We say "STOP! That is not true. Being overweight is not a character flaw, I deserve to experience the best in life." We can do this, over and over and erase all of those old vows. We can learn the truth. We are beautiful, deserving, worthy children of Most High. It takes work, but we can tear down those walls.We are worth the hard work!