Human Rebooting

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in My Blog | 1 comment

Human Rebooting

Much like a computer, there are times when we humans could use a complete rebooting.  Following the 18 month long campaigns to elect a new President of the United States and the ugliness and divisiveness that has prevailed, I have found myself in need of a complete reboot. I feel I need to start fresh, to re-center myself.  I want all the mess to fall away and to engage a new day filled with love, patience, kindness and mutual respect.  So, where’s the Escape button??   Instead of searching the keyboard, my plan for the big reboot is first to pray to God for His guidance.  He never steers me wrong.  He immediately knows who’s calling and He is always there, never too busy. So, He reminds me that in the scriptures I find my answers… “Follow me,” Jesus said.  What? “Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”      Luke 18:22 Ah, there it is.  “Heavily burdened” and then, “rest.”  I need an emotional rest and I bet you may as well.   “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”   1 Corinthians 13:4-8  “And now these three remain. Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”         1 Corinthians 13: 13 That’s it…hit that spiritual button and its, indeed, a new day!!  A day of renewal, fresh and full of decency, humility, love, and hope for ALL. Praise God from Whom ALL blessings come!...

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Make Each Day Your Masterpiece

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in My Blog | 0 comments

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece

Coach John Wooden, the historic & successful men’s basketball coach at UCLA, spoke one of my favorite life quotations, “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.”  Quite a tall order, but certainly one to aspire to accomplish.  It has served as a guiding principle for me for the last 16 years following my breast cancer diagnosis in 1999. We experience days in our lives where we are changed forever by tragedy, loss, disappointment and the thought of making that day…those days a masterpiece seem impossible to do anything but grieve and try to survive.  That is being human and those pains and anguish are very real.  And yet, we see over and over people getting beyond their great losses and living life in joy.  What we don’t see is the way God’s Holy Spirit, the Holy Comforter, is at work in their lives giving them a “peace that passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7 KJV) So, thinking about creating masterpieces with our daily lives, there are plenty of days when I think, “OK, this is where I am today, this is what I’ve got,” and I wonder “how on earth am I to make today a masterpiece?” The real truth is that what may seem very mundane or even worthless to us, just may seem to be a masterpiece to someone else in their circumstances.  When a smile or showing kindness comes so naturally to us, sometimes it is seen by someone who needed so badly to receive it that a masterpiece was created without our knowing it.  A street performer or salesperson who obviously needs every coin or dollar they earn, offers you their “creation” which you don’t need but, out of kindness and appreciation, you give them your money and suggest they give their “creation” to a child who comes along later. In my love and appreciation of God’s creation, as I am in the lovely wetlands of South Florida observing and photographing our wildlife, I try to capture the essence of the beautiful herons and egrets and spoonbills as they court, breed and build their nests in which to raise their families.  I look for their beauty, uniqueness and displays of God’s masterpiece to share with others.  To inner city middle-school students, some with behavioral issues, they need to know there is beauty and love and respect and hope for a better future out there.  When I substitute teach, I usually share three 8 x 10 photos I’ve taken to demonstrate to them that there is another life out in our world and they can live among it.  I realize from their reactions they are seeing a masterpiece when looking at my photos.  I am humbled. I know it gives them hope to see new things and to realize  that finishing school, getting a job and earning the money for a decent camera (not the expensive best) that they too can create a masterpiece with their lives. When I see the joy and hope in their eyes, they, in turn, have shown me their masterpiece moment for that day. Well, I’m sure you can think of all sorts of masterpieces you can create in your days of life.  How you interact with people during your day, the reports you write at work, the cookies you bake at home & share, etc.   The important thing is to give it some thought and with your awareness, CREATE!!!...

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A Hug So Tight…

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in My Blog | 3 comments

A Hug So Tight…

I saw this lovely quote the other day, “One day someone is going to hug you so tight that all of your broken pieces will stick back together.”  I searched and searched to find the author, but apparently that is unknown.  But, even so, I think it is a sweet and wonderful reminder to all who struggle and suffer, the value of  relationships in our lives.  It matters not whether this “Super-hug” comes from a mother, father, sibling, spouse or true friend…what is important for us all to remember is that those relationships exist and we are their beloved.  Haven’t there been times in our lives when we have felt like, “if only all my broken pieces could be stuck back together?” Coming upon this quote, my thoughts  immediately flew across the miles to someone I love very much who has persevered with a chronic illness for nearly three years now.  I believe her miracle is on its way and while she moves along her journey she not only has received many oh-so-tight hugs but she herself has also given those powerful and loving hugs to others she loves. As Henri Nouwen, the spiritual author of many books says, “We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.” ...

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Mother’s Day

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in My Blog, Think About This | 2 comments

Mother’s Day

I have been keenly aware of the great fortune of my brother and me, having been born to the parents we shared.  Our mother and father blessed us with joyous love and nurturing to last our entire lives.  For this, we are so very thankful!  When I got married, my parents-in-law were the absolute salt of the earth and loved me like their flesh & blood daughter.  I truly felt like I had two sets of loving parents. When we had our own two daughters, my life became so complete, so full of wonder and, again, I realized how fortunate I was.  It is truly the greatest honor and privilege to have the opportunity to be a mother.  While my daughters were young, I was fortunate to be able to stay at home with them before they started school, fully investing in their development and growth and in my marriage.  Raising children is the most awesome job in this world and it not only contributes to them and their development but, I believe, it contributes to the welfare of our world as well. There is a little piece of my heart that is always sad on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day when I ponder the awareness that not all who would like to have had children, could.  I also am aware of friends and associates who are estranged from their parents or children and I wish so much that each year as these special days that so many celebrate arrive, those who are not celebrating  might just decide to attempt to bridge that gap and give relationships another try.   Single people living in a society that is seems focused on couples find it lonely at times and I know that those without children or estranged from loved ones have expressed that same experience at times.  Sadly, for some families alienated time may be running out sooner than later due to age or illness. So this weekend as my family and I celebrate Mother’s Day sprinkled across the country (thank you, Facetime and Skype!!), I hope all families can focus on the possible joy and, perhaps, reach out to seek it once more…in...

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A New Year…FULL!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in My Blog, Think About This | 2 comments

A New Year…FULL!

I’ve thought a lot about how to celebrate the New Year’s arrival.  We’re so surrounded with sickness, sorrow and loss it seems, so it seems a little inappropriate to say to those folks experiencing those things, “Happy New Year!”  Though, I do want them to be happy and have a good year.  So, my thought process has led me to identifying what really makes me happy. It starts with PEACE…for all… and let it begin with me! JOY…from whence comes your JOY??? HOPE…HOPE is like washing the windows of our minds and souls, wiping out our pain & sorrow, restoring us to the place where we can see beyond and a better day. LOVE.  “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” New Living Translation (©2007) So, if everyone…in Statesville, in NC, in the USA, in the world…would live to create peace for all in what we say and do, can you imagine how much more peaceful our world would be? If we could see our words and actions as “fairy dust of some sort” and from all our interactions with others would fall a covering of JOY to the WORLD!  Interesting to contemplate. And when we learn of pain and sorrow in someone’s life, a word of caring, acknowledgement, and the gift of our enduring presence with them will spring up a river of hope in their heart…and ours. So, I wish for all a 2013 Full of Peace, Joy, Hope and LOVE…which makes this all...

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As If to Say “Hello, Love”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Backyard Birds, My Blog | 1 comment

As If to Say “Hello, Love”

Valentine’s Day is for everyone!  I use the day to send “love note” reminders to my daughters…who will ALWAYS be my Loves…to my precious grandchildren who fill my life immeasurably with joy and to special friends who are, indeed, my chosen family.   Since my divorce in 1995…wow! THAT was a while back…I have not had the romantic Valentine experiences we see on TV and that’s OK!  But I do treat my self to special indulgence on this day.  Today, I greeted the world early, gave thanks to the Lord and headed straight to my coffee pot.  Today’s treat is a 16 oz. hazelnut cream decaf and a toasted English muffin with Nutella!  Yum!  Have you tried Nutella?  It’s a smooth blend of hazelnuts, milk and cocoa. As I moved to my computer to check on the world’s happenings, it was as if my recently reacquainted bluebirds seized the opportunity to spread a bit of their joy early in the day.  “Hello, Love” I heard him say as he posed for my camera. “Thanks for the suet & berries, and enjoy your day!” From my needle pointing days, my girls will chuckle to read: A bell isn’t a bell until you ring it, A song isn’t a song until you sing it. And the love in your heart Wasn’t put there to stay – Love isn’t love ‘Til you give it away. Thank you, Oscar Hammerstein and the “Sound of...

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Value of Connections

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Think About This | 4 comments

Value of Connections

In today’s world, where so much is accomplished through technology and society has become expectant of immediacy…fast food grab ‘n go, instant meals at home, automated and automatic business transactions, to try to put a value on true friendship and personal connection we must allow ourselves to think in the newer, faster existence. Medical experts report that people who have love in their lives, whether that love is from family members or good friends, most folks are healthier and happier.  In our aging society, the elderly who find themselves at home alone seem to suffer more with depression, loneliness and failing health.  Furthermore, when these elderly persons take residence in assisted living environments or even spend daytime hours at elder centers, family members and physicians often report improvements in their emotional and physical health. I remember after my father died, I was concerned about how well my mother would get along.  She and daddy were very close.  I found myself stopping by her house daily because the thought that she might go through a day without connecting with or touching another human being would be so different for her. Touch…a hand shake, a welcoming hug, a parting pat on the back and, in the south, a kiss on the cheek are all actions that acknowledge a person and our recognition of them.   Have you ever thought about the people in our midst that don’t experience that?  People who go days, weeks, even months without any real connection with others? As a child, I recall days filled with friends.  As a teenager, my friends helped construct the person I was to be…validated who I am.  As a person in my 60s now, I find myself divorced with two amazing grown daughters living out of state with lives and families of their own.  They are extensions of me.  They are also two of my very best friends, liking many of the same things, finding value in our lives where we most often see eye to eye on important issues.  I am one of the lucky ones who has that small handful of “BFFs.”  Best Friends Forever…what a blessing to call and be called to that sought after club. Some of us find ourselves living close and able to interact in person on pretty much a daily basis while others link and connect via ample technology…email, texting, video conferencing, and telephoning.  Many old-timers will chastise techies for the “impersonal” friendship-keeping.  But, tell that to the mother whose daughter was very sick three states away in the middle of the night…she was able to be present to her ailing and most likely frightened daughter who was in turn able to keep her mother updated by texting with their smart phones.  The mother was able to send photos of the two of them on vacation for emotional support and getting her daughter’s head on happier moments instead of the scary ones she was experiencing. Two people, two great friends in some tough hours so far apart were joined by technology and both were the better for it. Think for a moment about those minutes on September 11, 2001 when the world stood still in horror, lives were lost…stolen…but that was not the last word for many.  Cell phones enabled loved ones to have the last word…”Don’t worry, I’m going to be OK…be happy.”  “I’m not alone, I am OK but I wanted to tell you how much I love you and the kids. You’ve given me a wonderful life.”  On an answering machine were the words, “Mom, I love you so much.  I’m OK.” ...

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The Value of Family and Love

Posted by on Nov 14, 2011 in My Breast Cancer Journey, Think About This | 0 comments

The Value of Family and Love

My brother and I were born to two wonderful, loving, fun and supportive parents.  We were the only children and we have always been close, which is a blessing in both our lives.  We were raised in the church and had a good family life.  Our parents instilled in us appreciation and respect for all people.  They taught us about kindness and compassion.  My brother has always been a genuine, caring man and NEVER meets a stranger.  Our father passed away from a sudden heart attack when he was 61 years old.  Heart disease was heavy in his family background and he did well making it to age 61.  Our grandfather and two of our uncles all died from sudden heart attacks in their early 40s.  Our mother passed away from a stroke when she was 78.  We miss them both so much.  But we’re glad we have each other and our own families.  My brother was so supportive of me throughout my breast cancer journey.  He was there for all my surgeries, took me to most of my chemotherapy appointments and called and visited me frequently.  Since I was divorced and my two grown daughters lived out of state, I lived alone.  But, I NEVER FELT ALONE…EVER! By directing our local United Way since 1984, I had a public life where I worked with many, many amazing volunteers, staff and agency representatives.  Working on community problems and issues draws you close together and truly caring for one another naturally evolves.  I’ve always felt that I was surrounded by many “chosen” family. During the months of surgeries and chemo treatment, my church family, and my natural & chosen families all reached out to me and walked every step of the path right with me.  I was and still am so very blessed.  I share this in my blog so that I can explain something so strong and powerful that God’s Holy Spirit put on my heart during these months and now years.  This lesson was simple  but so powerful to me that it became very important in my thoughts, prayers and actions. I got hundreds of phone calls and cards and letters from people telling me they were praying for me.  Many of them shared that their church or Sunday School class was praying for me regularly…sometimes, people I didn’t even know.  Every time I heard or read this, I felt bathed in love and encouragement…by God and the people.  Then, it became overwhelming.  My surgeon even said to me one day, “You must know everyone in Iredell County because I can’t go anywhere without having people ask about you.”  We laughed about that.  I said it’s just because this is my hometown. But the truth is this…I had so much love and caring.  It overwhelmed me in a way that I realized I needed to focus on people that were going through the same or similar thing as I was and some of them had no one to support them like I did.  It became quite important to me that I reach out to everyone with whom I came in contact and see them as a person I needed to share God’s love with.  Even having worked my adult life in a charitable problem-solving career, this new awareness was mind-blowing for me.  I was really, really sick during the chemo months and this “gift of awareness” that God gave me meant so much to me.  I saw it as another reason to fight like crazy to recover and get to work. So I began to share this message...

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Posted by on Nov 12, 2011 in Favorite Quotes, Inspiration | 0 comments

This is a favorite of mine…few words but says SO MUCH!!

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