Monday, December 6, 2010

Unexpected Lessons from Underwear Wars

I thought it was a marvelous combination, two things my two year old grandson loves: dinosaurs and underpants. I bought the book Dinosaurs Love Underpants after “browsing the book” on-line and reading stellar reviews.  When it arrived, I cracked it open and began to read for the fun of it.  The book started out with engaging pictures and a fun style of narrative.  Cavemen wore underwear coveted by T. Rex and Stegosaurus.  I laughed and thought how much my grandson would enjoy it.

I read on and, suddenly, it wasn’t a fun read any more. When I previously read the synopsis, how did I miss the description of the war between cave dwellers and future fossil producers?  Worst of all, the dinosaurs are killed at the end.  They did not disappear. They did not die out. They were killed. I envisioned my grandson thinking his beloved stuffed dinosaur would be attacked next or that Barney was at risk (okay, so I wouldn't mind if Barney disappeared).  I did not want to be paying for therapy for years to come.

Trying not to overreact,  I asked myself, “Was this book age appropriate?”  I came to the conclusion it might be for a ten year old. But then, what ten year old reads picture books these days!  I marched into my local Barnes and Noble to return the book. I was not going to donate it to the book drive they were holding.  I was not going to be responsible for another child upset and worried. Fortunately, the manager was sympathetic.  He told me his kindergarten daughter came home traumatized after being read a book about Thanksgiving featuring many of the pilgrims dying of starvation.  He said the questions she asked were hard ones to answer for one so young.Age appropriateness was part of why I turned the book in but there was more to it than that

I learned several lessons from my ill-advised purchase. Most importantly, the violence-desensitized world has filtered into more than just our movies and television programs; it is in our children’s books and more. Secondly, read the whole book before you give it to a child.   Third, if we do not speak up about what is and is not appropriate for children, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Do I believe this book should be banned? No. Do I believe a child should be allowed to pick this book out and read it without parental supervision? No. Am I reminded I need to screen my grandchildren’s books and gifts carefully in the future? Absolutely.

Oh, and I picked out a new book for my grandson, Dinosaur Train. No violence but Granddad, the model train builder,  read it and was upset the train derailed! Back to the drawing board...or should I say, bookstore.

What do you need to look at more closely in your children’s lives, regardless of their age?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pillow Power

I want this pillow. I want it bad. Maybe it is my warped sense of humor but I love this profile of Alfred Hitchcock and the nod to his great horror flick, The Birds.  I loved that movie and the chills it gave me as a child. But I think I love this pillow more.  It has the power to make me smile, to rejoice in creativity, and to remind me we all look at life and art a little differently.

How did I find Mr. Hitchcock on a square of wonderful goldenrod fabric?  It was part of an act of desperation. My body hasn't been cooperating lately. I had an MRI this week to help figure out why. I am  turning 50 in less than a month and it is bothering me more than I thought. The list goes on. I needed to be distracted. Thanks to a suggestion by my daughter-in-law, I ended up on the  website looking for cute little headbands and adornments for my two week old granddaughter. This website of handmade items is a wonderful smorgasbord of crafts, art, homemade clothes and more. I have known about it for years but was thrilled my DIL and daughter both wanted gifts from the site this year. They appreciate creativity too! But the thing about Etsy is once you start looking for one thing, you get sucked into looking at all the ways people express their creative bent.

How did I end in the pillow section after the headbands? I love the pop of pillows, period.  Pillows can be one of the most affordable ways to jazz up a room. They are also sized and priced so anyone can afford these bits of art.  Pillows are popular. On Etsy alone, there are over 74,000. I narrowed my search for the day by only looking at appliqued pillows, all 5400 of them made of cotton, burlap, leather, or felted wool squares, on page after page after page.

Some of these textile creations made me smile. I was reminded of my dog Hildie as I looked at the daschund pillows, the most popular dog pillows. Some pillows made me think.  Pillows scream messages like "go clean up your room" or admonish "make love, not war" or whisper "Je t'aime".  Pillows remind me of places I have been or want to go with their scenes of Paris or London. Some pillows left me scratching my head. Who wants a pillow with a decapitation crime scene on it? 

Ultimately, pillows got me out of my funk and off the computer. As I scanned nature themed pillows with birds and fall leaves, I was struck with the urge to go outside and enjoy the beautiful autumn day.  Pillow power. So today I am thankful for these stuffed bits of art but even more thankful for the creativity of the artists who make them.

Have you ever had a special pillow? Have you ever thought of handmade pillows as art? Is there a craft that has made you smile when you needed to get out of the doldrums?

Peace, Julie  

Monday, October 25, 2010

To Boo or Not to Boo

It was a beautiful day as I sat in my car, waiting for my daughter to meet me for lunch.  My nose deep in a book,  I was lost to the world. Suddenly, someone pounded on my car window and I screamed. I looked up to see my daughter laughing her head off. She said, without apology, "I just kept thinking, please don't let Mom look up!"   My kids know I can be scared by a good "boo."  

It is the season of "boo," the week before Halloween, full of haunted houses in every town and horror movies on every cable channel.  Now, I've had mixed feelings about Halloween my whole life. I loved dressing up as a kid and going to haunted houses as a teen.  I also went through a conservative religious stage when I wouldn't let the children trick or treat. They could only go to the church's harvest festival.  (Decades later, my  twenty-something daughter is headed to Las Vegas for the holiday this year.  Just sayin'.) These days, I've put it in perspective as a secular holiday wrecking havoc on  teeth and sugar levels.

I've pondered why I'm enjoying the scary aspects of the holiday more this year. Why do I want to freak myself out?  It is pretty simple. The world right now is a scary place.  Terrorists, job loss and health scares jump out at  unsuspecting folks at every turn.  I know I don't need to be truly afraid. The Bible is full of scriptures encouraging us not to fear because the Lord is with us.  But, regardless of my faith and prayers, I still get that creeping feeling in the back of my neck or subtle tension in my shoulders.  Fear can do weird things to our minds and bodies without us even realizing it.

That is where a good "boo" comes in. The very attraction of Halloween is facing the ghoulies and ghosties  haunting our dreams or imaginations.  Facing fears we can control, like those movies or haunted house tours, somehow reminds us we can put those world fears in perspective as well. A good scream and heart rate increase releases some of the built-up tension.  At least, that works for me for a brief while.  After Halloween,  I look forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and their healing powers of gratitude and promise - remedies even better and longer lasting than a "boo."

What are you afraid of? What can you do to put those fears in perspective in the coming weeks?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Met by a shotgun

My sisters and I are very different from each other.  In fact, we were called "the Easter eggs" growing up because one of us had blond hair, another black, and the youngest was a red head. When we registered to vote, our differences showed as well. Just as we had hair and eye color of varying hues, we affiliated ourselves as a Democrat, a Republican, and an Independent.  But we weren't "party line" people like my Granddaddy Hilton who always checked the box recording the fact he just wanted all candidates in his party to get his vote. My sisters and I vote our conscience, regardless of what is on our voter cards.

I attribute our belief  to a story I heard about our mother. In her family's corner of Southwestern Virginia, Granddaddy Reasor was an odd duck, a Republican. When my mother went to register to vote, a man was standing outside the building with a shotgun. Knowing her for the "daddy's girl" she was, he pointed his weapon at her and said, "We don't need any Republicans, Miz Reasor. You're not coming in here." Now my mother had a choice. She could have turned tail and run home. She could have complained to the sheriff.  Instead, she stared the man down, pushed the gun out of the way, and walked inside to register. The point was not that she was going to register as a Republican. She was going to register to vote, period, and no one could stop her from doing so.

I have thought of that story many times the past few weeks as I struggle with the burden of being a registered voter.  This political season, I am not happy with any of the candidates. I am fearful of some and disgusted with others. The ugliness of political commercials and rallies of both sides has turned me off.  Over and over again, I have asked myself why I continue to vote instead of turning into one of the majority of apathetic Americans who decline the privilege.

Ultimately, I have decided my feelings about the political parties, ads, insults, prejudices, and lack of concern for all Americans, have combined to become my "shotgun moment."  My feelings are staring me in the face, threatening my right to add my opinion of how the country should be led. Am I really going to let others determine whether I vote or not?  No. It is not going to be easy this election but I will think of my mother, push the shotgun out of the way, and vote my conscience.

What keeps you from voting? How can you reframe your feelings and exercise your privilege to vote?

Monday, October 11, 2010

"The Time For Holding Back Is Over"

My friend Mary Jo is starting her own movement on Facebook.  It all began when she posted the news about another friend, Lisa, looking forward to boxing in her first match.  Oh, she's been training a while but this is a real fight with an audience in the big city of Atlanta.  In her blog "The Glowing Edge," Lisa describes preparing for the event and her trainer's challenge to her, "the time for holding back is over."   Mary Jo saw the gift in these words. She then challenged ME as well as her other friends to try to live by this motto for the next six months.  I believe I am up to it. 

When I was younger, I never cried at emotional scenes in movies.  I didn't wail over shots or when I was bullied for being an overweight middle-schooler.  Later, as an adult, I kept secrets I shouldn't have. When challenged or berated, I held my tongue as any nice southern lady would.  Even my talents were hidden under a bushel as I made myself smaller than those around me. Being noticed is difficult. So I inhaled and never exhaled. It doesn't matter how I got to that point. The point is I found myself stuck in this mode several times in my life. I held my breath, held my head down, held in, held at arm's length, barely held together, and, most of all, held back.

Blessedly, those seasons of holding back were relieved by times when I could not hold back any more. For example, I was never a advocate for myself with medical personnel. Until my daughter was born one Easter Sunday.  In labor, I arrived at the hospital only 45 minutes before my baby was ready to enter the world. Have I mentioned there was no time for drug intervention?  This was in the days before the all-in-one birthing rooms so they started moving my bed to delivery.  Except the bed got stuck in the door.  My upper body was in the labor room. My lower body, with crowning baby, was in the hall with people walking by.  I won't tell you how many of those 45 minutes were spent trying to get my gurney unstuck. I won't describe the looks on the faces of the passers-by. But I will tell you when I got to delivery and finally got to push, I screamed. May I mention, once again, no drugs were used in the birthing of this baby? The nurse told me to be quiet.  I told her it hurt like heck and I would scream if I wanted to scream. Except I didn't use "heck."  I didn't hold back and I felt better for it.

These waves of holding back and letting go have ebbed and flowed in my life. Now, over two decades later, I have been reminded holding back is a painful pattern we, especially women, fall into on a daily basis. It affects our emotional and physical health, our careers, and our relationships. So I am taking up the No Holding Back challenge for the sake of bettering my life. I will dream dreams and do something about them. I will shine a light as I am able and not worry about overshadowing someone else. As far as holding my breath goes, I am taking yoga. Whew!

How have you been holding back?  What are you holding your breath over? Are you prepared to take the No Holding Back challenge? Give it a shot.   

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The NY Times Hope and Romance Column

I like traditions. I seem to have them for every day of the week. On Saturdays, I read the Weddings and Celebrations page of the New York Times via their website. Every weekend, a different couple's wedding is featured. They may have known each other for a decade or more. They may have dated a year. The bride and groom may be in their twenties or in their seventies. Their families may be well-known or middle class immigrants. But there are commonalities in all the stories.

 These stories speak of love sometimes lost and found. But love is always found in the end. Each feature includes mentions of  fateful events, the input of family and friends, obstacles to love, dark moments, and the event that makes these couples realize they are in love. It took me a while but I figured out why I love reading these stories. They are miniature romance novels with Happily Ever Afters always included.

The Weddings and Celebrations column is a smart bit of marketing in a newspaper filled with bad news. As a voracious news reader, I find myself latching on to hopeful media stories these days.  I seek good news in a sea of sad business. It is not as hard as one might think.  Life has a way of still happening. Couples fall in love. Babies are born. People are kind to each other. Those who are downtrodden triumph over obstacles. Each event is an positive sign people still believe in a happy future in spite of dark days. While I have plenty of scriptural reminders of hope, it is nice to be reminded people all over the world live lives filled with this confidence. For my Saturday helping, HEAs do quite nicely.

What are reminders of hope in your life? Is it a favorite scripture or passage from a book? Do you scan the web for happy tales? Do you look at your children or those around you and feel hopeful? When you are down, look for signs of hope. They are there.    

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book Karma

I crave books.  Even more than books, I crave winning books.  But more than sticking to a low book-buying budget, my motivation is the thrill of trying new authors, insights or genres. I troll websites, hang out at, make comments on Facebook, and volunteer to review new releases. It is more fun than buying a lottery ticket with a greater likelihood of success.  

I find myself winning books in clumps.  This past weekend, I won four from Friday through Sunday. It's never just one. When that anonymous person said, "good things come in threes," they weren't kidding.  I have named this phenomenon "book karma."

But "book karma" is a funny thing.  A while back, I signed up for a giveaway of A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay.  I am not sure what interested me in this book except she had written Sarah's Key which got great reviews. But then I read the synopsis.  It involves dark family secrets and other things that make me tense. Now, why I was shocked about the plot I don't know.  The title of the book includes the word "secret."  My heart sank. The book contest ended the day ten other giveaways did. I remember thinking, "I 'll probably win the book I least want to read." Well, you guessed it, I won A Secret Kept.

Now, I could say "rotten luck" but I choose not to do so.  I prefer to think of those times when "book karma" has gifted me in ways I celebrated outright. I will celebrate this dark book as well.  After all,  I just revisited Nicholas Sparks even though Safe Haven is supposedly a bit darker than his other books. I haven't read his novels in a while because they make me cry. But he didn't break my heart this time!  Maybe I am supposed to read A Secret Kept as a way to continue getting over my fear of darker fiction.  I feel a trend starting. That's the way my "book karma" works.    

I don't consider myself luckier than others when it comes to winning books. After all, I work hard at it! But why do things happen the way they do?  I am not sure. However, I tend to look for messages in my daily life, my Bible, and my meditations to guide me along. God has a way of using our lives and livelihoods to reach us.  I read voraciously. Is it any surprise I have received books I needed to read at just the right moment, even if it was just for the pleasure of being distracted from the tough times in my life?  For others, it may be seeing rainbows at the right time or having a stranger say the right thing out of the blue. "Book karma" for me may be "rainbow karma" or "stranger wisdom" for others. Whatever it is, God has a way of communicating with us, knowing what we need even when we do not. So I look forward to A Secret Kept and the lessons I will learn.

Have you noticed things happening in "clumps"? What messages might you be getting? Start paying attention to those Godincidences.

Peace, Julie 


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Used Bookstore Headache

When it comes to genetics, my husband passed along bad teeth and freckles to our children. I generously gave my daughter a genetic B-12 deficiency and a dislike of stress. So when my daughter told me she preferred to buy her books rather than use a library, I knew exactly how she felt. I have the same problem, especially when I am on the library's most popular book list and don't know when I will get it. The stress of getting that new bestseller finished in a week can suck the enjoyment out of any book, not to mention needing to be in the mood to read whatever the library throws at you.  Fiction when you are hankering for a biography or non-fiction self-help guide just doesn't do it. So, this past week, I became her book finder.  I went out in search of the books on her list, visiting more than one bookstore on a quest to find as many as I could. Unfortunately, her budget required I peruse used bookstores for the most part.

As much as I understand my daughter's point of view, I am still conflicted about the whole UBS business.  When I started reading romance and decided to read a number of golden oldies no longer in print, I had to purchase books through and a few UBS in town.  The library didn't have them and they could not be found otherwise.  But I also like the feeling of supporting the authors I love when I purchase their books, even with deep discounts or 33% off coupons. I may not like paying full price for a trade paperback at $14.99 but I understand the necessity of the price point for authors and the industry. 

In spite of my author loyalty, when I venture into a UBS, I also notice the unemployed middle aged woman searching for health guides or the young stay at home mom looking for children's books, the senior citizen looking for pleasure reading or the teens looking for DVDs. The economy has made the local UBS the bookstore of choice or necessity for many who want the feeling of browsing in a bookstore but are unable to pay $24 for a hardback even with discount.  My own daughter occasionally buy new books but her salary makes her frugal.  What about that side of the coin? Therefore, my headache.

There are many ethical issues right now floating about in the media. Like the UBS debate, they don't have clear cut answers or people think they should. It isn't just gray in a black and white world. It is muddy out there.  I pray about these things but often in equal measure with arguing with myself or making excuses for whatever I decide. I need to listen to God's guidance more on these issues, seeking answers that are in line with my faith. I also need to recognize those answers often don't come in a day or even over a lifetime. Maybe then I will have fewer headaches.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me." John 5:30

What issues are you conflicted about? Have you prayed about these issues and what would you discover if you did? 

Peace, Julie


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Amish Attraction

"What are you, Amish?" cried one of my youth group when I told them there would be no television on their work retreat. From then on, I was known as "the Amish Lady."  They were a difficult bunch but I laughed at their nickname. I secretly DID long to be that "Amish Lady."

I used a computer like no one's business. I was a shopaholic. I did not live on a farm. But after visiting Lancaster, PA and the surrounding area as a child, I was hooked on the Amish lifestyle. My favorite book was Roseanna of the Amish. I loved shoofly pie and the quilts.  But most of all, I loved the sense of community, simplicity, and daily purpose of these people.  

These days, it seem the Amish attraction I felt has become more commonplace. The world is more complicated. Technology has inserted itself even at the dinner table. The stress of life in a society where rules are ever changing can be overwhelming. People are seeking relief and have found it in a romanticized view of  Amish communities.

If you read inspirational women's fiction or romance, Amish books dominate the top seller's lists.  I have been reading a number of these Amish-themed novels lately.  Some show a working knowledge of and even past history as a person who lived in an Amish household. But sadly, some are only jumping on the Amish bandwagon. Simply by adding whoppie pie references, lavish meal descriptions, and cultural information, they hope to find a readership. It is not that simple.

The Amish themselves do not read these books because they view them as an often romanticized or over dramatized view of their lifestyle. The Amish have migrated to more than twenty-five states because they struggle to find affordable land to farm or new businesses they can run. Years as a tight knit religious community has produced genetic diseases which are considered a part of God's plan in their world but are still a tragedy. Violence, members leaving the communities, and accidents are commonplace.  There are so many sects of Amish because they have different views on owning a telephone, riding in cars, even what colors are allowed in their distinctive clothing.  There is a saying, "every time a disagreement starts, a new Baptist church is born." Same goes for the Amish.

Even knowing all these facts, I am still attracted to the Amish precisely because of their own struggles as very real people.  Now, reading all those Amish novels has reawakened my need to pick up some of those practices I have found so appealing over the years.  After two weeks of vacation without a television, I find I don't want to watch the emptiness of it nearly as much (okay, I still have a few favorites).  Due to illness, I have to stay off the computer more than you would think and I feel better for it.  I find purpose in the daily tasks of just keeping my household running. Humility and forgiveness are a big part of their religious beliefs. I need to practice these more in my own life. Lastly, I have decided I don't need to go clothes shopping for the rest of the year. If I could wear a simple black skirt, bonnet and colorful top, I would. But I am just going to have to simplify my wardrobe instead. Now there is a challenge! I will let you know how it goes.

Do you find the Amish life appealing ? Why? Are you wanting to simplify your life? What are steps you can take to do so?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What to take FROM Vacation

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1. 

Lots of folks write about what to take on vacation. The right clothes, survival aids, etc. But I am thinking about what I have taken from my latest vacation in Maui:

Gratitude - my central nervous condition flared because of a drug reaction which put me on bed rest the week before our trip and threatened the whole thing. Our university medical specialists actually got back to me the day before I left with a solution that meant I could hike and sight see. It wasn't easy but was doable. I was grateful I was there and didn't worry about being 100%.  I was happy with 70%!

Hospitality - the coffee shop cook who spent a half hour on the phone trying to find out if I could eat the locally made ice cream, the B and B owner who made me rice flour banana macadamia nut pancakes so I could eat them like everyone else at breakfast, the guy who showed us the trail to the hard to reach red beach, the family who shared the shade under "their" tree on Homoa beach.  All these folks where generous to a fault and they are just a few examples. Can I be this kind now that I am back home? I sure do hope so!

Serendipity - When we walked into the local potters' studio, a woman was working on turtle bowls (I am a turtle freak) and talking on the phone with her mother in law in New Bern, NORTH CAROLINA thanks to Hurricane Earl bearing down on the coast. That conversation starter led to a tour of the studio and more. We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina, talking about missed sunsets. We paid our bill and walked out to the sun beginning set right before us...and that happened in another restaurant later...without planning. The right place at the right time for so many things...I need to recognize those times here as well.   

Smelling the Roses or, in this case, Plumeria - We visited two little churches on the Road to Hana. One was called the Miracle Church because coral was deposited in a storm, enough to build it after the town had despaired they could gather enough materials.  As we looked back up at the Road to Hana, there was a giant waterfall which could not be seen from the road, only from our spot! If we had not taken our time on the road, we wouldn't have seen the church for sure. But we definitely wouldn't have seen that magnificent waterfall.  I am determined to slow down now that I am back, for the right reasons.

Budgeting makes the memories even better - Our condo, half the price of the resort in Hana, had a paradise view. The Fish Market in Paia had a fish lunch that rivaled any high price dinner.  SEARS had the little aloha shirt for our grandson we had seen in other shops for half off!  The sunsets didn't cost a thing. No, it wasn't all free but saving money is its own reward.

Appreciate where you are - the Maui softball tournament was playing in normally quiet, isolated Hana the entire time we were there. Instead of music at the resort restaurant, we had cheers and cracks of bats from 7:30AM to 8:30PM. (We didn't bring food for the condo so ate at the resort restaurant, with a perfect view of the ball field!).  We delighted in the by the clock rain in the morning and evening in Hana because we knew it would stop and rainbows would appear.  I could not believe how many people complained about not having WiFi in the most beautiful of places. Or those who complain about the locals who live all the time on the islands.  I need to appreciate my own little neck of the woods more and those who know more about where I am than I do.

What have you taken from your vacation or what do you hope to learn from even a weekend away?



Sunday, August 29, 2010

When planning goes awry

My husband and I are different sort of planners, especially when it comes to trips. He is into the details about what to do. I am into where we will stay, what we will eat, and finding those sort of spiritual places that make a trip transcend just being a tourist junket. It makes for a nice combination of talents and our trips usually turn out quite well. But, in spite of our best laid plans, unexpected things happen.

Sometimes, we are blessed with wonderful surprises. We stayed at a hotel in Hilo, HI which just happened to be next to one of the largest Japanese gardens outside of Japan. While hubby worked, I spent the days photographing the different sections of the garden. Bridges, stone lanterns, intricate plantings and pools of koi were unexpected treats next to our rather shabby hotel.

But there are times when we find ourselves in less than stellar circumstances. Early in our marriage when things were a bit rocky, we went to Rockport, MA (yes, I see the irony) to get away and work on our relationship. At a lovely waterfront restaurant, my clams tasted metallic and I didn't want to eat them. Hubby thought I was just picky so I downed them. Several hours later, I was in our expensive bed and breakfast throwing up in a trash can while I sat on the toilet. Twelve hours after that, I was able to take back my earlier statement of "I want to die." Why, you ask? My husband had been the most solicitous soul in caring for me, reminding me of why I married him in the first place. It also didn't hurt that my invalid self was stuck in a beautiful space including gazillion thread count Egyptian cotten sheets and a window with a view.

Thirty years later, we are thankful for those early lessons in things not working out as planned. Preparing for our upcoming vacation, I am dealing with unwelcome health issues which have changed our plans ahead of time and may change our plans when we are on our journey. Hubby has thought about changes before I bring them up, quelling my fears about ruining the trip for him. In turn, I am willing to go beneath the ocean in a submarine. If you have claustrophobia and fear of drowning like I do, you will understand my love for this man. If those plans change, we will still make the best of it. It is no wonder I believe in what Jeremiah says.

"For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." Jeremiah 29:11

What plans have you had that have gone awry? How can you look at those circumstances differently?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hands, Hearts and Encouragement

Have you ever gone through seasons when favorite people enter your lives? They may not be friends. They may be strangers. They could be the new teacher of your pottery class. You anticipate seeing that one lady who always smiles at you at the ice cream shop or the friend who calls you on a regular basis just to check in. They may simply be people you realize you rely on.

My favorites, at the moment, are my massage therapist and my PT. Now, the rest of you, don't be upset. I like you too. I really do. But these folks literally have my life in their hands. Central nervous system problems have turned me into a less active version of my former self. Without my MT and PT, I wouldn't be moving around as much as I can, would be in more pain, and would not have the dose of encouragement I receive every time I see them. Their hearts are in what they do, as well as their hands!

Encouragers are my favorite people. Those who tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel or that it is okay to be moving at a slower pace. We all know them, those folks who drag us out of the depths and onto a better path. They keep us moving forward and make the world a brighter place than in those instances before we saw or spoke to them.

Who are those encouragers in your life? Who can you encourage?

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laying Fallow

Sometimes I get pulled away from what is important by stress, busyness, life in general and specific. I realized I needed to update this blog more than I needed to totally start from scratch!

Why? I am still a backyard hermit who ponders life from my deck for one thing. I miss my spiritual writing and observations for another.

I read today on the Seekerville blogspot about a writer who needed to take a break for a while and did so for two years. She discovered she was still a writer. Still a writer. That spoke to me in so many ways.

How I know I am still a writer:

  • I thoughtfully consider my status updates on Facebook, looking for just the right turn of phrase.
  • I appreciate the writing of others but often find myself saying, "I would have written it THIS way."
  • I live to discover new words or to be reminded of words I once knew, loved, and used on a regular basis.
  • I often prefer to write an email than pick up the phone just to see all the words in front of me.
  • Yes, I can get long winded but I can also be pithy and to the point.
  • Time flies when I write.

You get the point. More importantly, I get the point of writing daily so will be busy here. They say the blogosphere is almost overcrowded but we know, most of us, that we write from our hearts and for ourselves regardless of topic.