Today is a good day to look up and around

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Today is a good day to look up and look around and see the every day minute details that touch my life. It is in the noticing and naming of the mundane that leads to a calming of my restless soul. Just slowly breathing in my real life lifts the malaise that can blanket everything when I am rushing around in senseless haste. This ungrateful, UN-achored, aimless darting about leads to a heavy disposition that drapes over me and dampens all the delightful and colorful joy in my life. But there is a simple solution to this heavy, wet dreariness and it is to slowly stop the pacing and to quietly look up and around and see the every day minute details that touch one’s life.

So at 6:35 in the morning i see….

Capable and flexible Finger that find the needed keys to tap
The Ability to Feel my face through my ever so perceptive fingertips
To feel the delicate curvature of my eyelids and movement of my eyeballs through those eyelids, lips, cheeks, chin and a hair here and there. It is like going on vacation and exploring another country while sitting almost completely still at my desk. Discovering grace for my face. A face that allows me to be seen and to see  others; a face that communicates joys and heartbreaks.
The warmth of my cup containing a hot beverage on a cold morning
The ability to detect the faint fragrance of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
The mildly sweet taste of molasses
Two roaming cats – Nale and Moose- who wander around my cluttered desk looking for  attention and adventure.
The fragrance of the red candle preforming a private dance and the warmth that rises above the glass container in which the candle light flickers. Who can even understand how a flame melts the wax and the wick drinks up the melted wax and the flame uses the heated wax for fuel to create this delightful dance. Even this situation in all its simplicity is extremely mysterious, wonderful, powerful and dangerous and gives opportunity for deep reflection. I am thankful for The One Who Made the Sun. And thankful this sun is now coloring the horizon with pinks, yellows and brightening light on this Eighteenth day of November, Twenty Fourteen at five minutes after seven in Lubbock Texas.  Good morning, Friends. Join in the Thanks Giving.

The Secret Keepers

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Re-blog: Sharing someone else’s story with permission. Read this and share it with your people. We are not called to live lives of shame in secret. Know that there are many people who condemn themselves and hold the secrets tightly in their chests. But there is hope. We are beloved beyond human understanding. We are our sister’s keeper.

It’s Nature Karen

secrets

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to ask you to share this post. Reblog it, share it on Facebook, tweet it. Someone out there needs to hear this message today. Even if you think you don’t know anyone who has been abused. Even if you don’t read the entire post.

About a month ago I was asked by Dawn at WTF words, thoughts, feelings to contribute an essay for an anthology that she and Joyelle are creating for parents who are survivors of childhood sexual and physical abuse (learn more at https://www.facebook.com/TriggerPointsAnthology).

I submitted my essay but I also want to shine a bigger spotlight on this project because I fear that they may not get many submissions. Not because it’s not a worthy cause or because there aren’t enough people out there to contribute but because survivors of abuse are secret…

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writing every day

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I love it when I write every day. The rhythm of getting up early in the dark, fixing a cup of hot tea, lighting a candle and siting down without saying one word to anyone and allowing words to flow. This is a peaceful way to start a new day.
So why do I stop? Why is it so hard to stick with the very thing that gives me such great joy?
What draws me to the edge of the wagon when the ride is exhilarating and rewarding? Why do I stop breathing the breathe that refreshes me?
I already know not too many days will go by before I give in and don’t write one morning because it is a really busy day. And then I skip a boring day, and then another one for no reason at all except the habit of reflecting has been broken. I miss my writing routine from the very beginning and still I follow that pathway….

But here is the really cool thing! I have learned, at age 56, that I will be back at my desk early in the morning or late at night because writing gives me much joy. I will miss my pens as they lay still in the dark, desk drawer on these days when I am running around wildly caring for clutter and crisi. But sanity will return when the daughter is married, the baby has been born, or the graduation is over. And my healing routine will come back to me again. When I was younger I did not realize this yet. Slipping could cause panic. I feared that i would never get back to it but now I know I will and I am thankful for that. The rhythm is woven all through life -ups and downs- they will never end and that is okay. Perfection is overrated; there is goodness and grace all around me and all around you.

Happy, happy November to you, my dear fellow lover of words, thoughts, ideas,
I hope your Thanks Giving has begun in earnest.
Enjoy the rhythm of your life.
SP

God is Our Peace – Our Shalom

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Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and it is how we would be greeted if we landed in Israel. Peace is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of that region of the world. And this word Shalom is in no way a cheap, temporary cease-fire kind of peace; No, this peace is a deep rich, all encompassing, perfect, safe, whole, well, satisfying, and prospering state of being. This peace is paramount with living in harmony with God. “Shalom-Peace”, is a beautiful way to greet people both coming and going.
Everywhere we look there seems to be a lack of peace. Between parents and children, spouses, siblings, political parties, friends, neighbors there seems to be an overabundance of conflict, strive, animosity and disregard for each other. Where does all this antagonism come from? In the Bible, in James 4:1-3, the root causes of fights and quarrels are addressed and it says,

“Don’t they (fights and quarrels) come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you can’t have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask for the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
We want peace, but why do we want peace? Do we want peace for us at the expense of them? What are our motives for wanting peace? So no one bothers us? So we can shop more? What does God want our motives for peace to be? Is God satisfied with a mere absence of outer conflict in our lives? Or does God want to cover all brokenness in his blanket of complete Shalom? Our peace need not be at the expense of another person’s peace. In the Book of Micah our motives are spelled out clearly,
“He (the Lord) has shown you, O mortal, what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

This November let us pray for God to purify our motives so that they are realigned with God’s motives. May justice for all and mercy for all in complete humility become our motive for requesting peace in our hearts and all our relationships and may God’s perfect peace be reflected in a joy-filled life that surprised all who see us and they walk away amazed by God’s Goodness.

Father, You are the only Source of Peace. May we seek it no where else. Amen.

May November 2014 Forever Be the Time Thanksgiving Became Abundantly Clear to Me.

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November 5th I am thankful God is not American, nor male, nor female. God is the Mighty Creator who sees me right where I am and cares about the pain in the world and will provide what is needed so we can be made well, God is Holy and invites us to be holy-set apart for a purpose- and in God is our Peace. Happy Thanksgiving. Let us make November 2014 the time we put fear in its rightful place and lived Joyful Thanksgiving for real.

Thanks Giving Month is Here

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The candy has been passed out, the costumes have been crumpled away, and a new month is here. November brings relief from the heat of summer. Yellow, orange, and red leaves dance in the wind and pecans play hide and seek with all who are willing to bend down and be meek. This is a good time to give thanks for blessings that have come and continue to come our way, for daylight ends before our energy has been depleted and if we can resist the temptation of mind numbing, never ending electronic entertainment, we have time to reflect on the beauty that’s present in life.

Join me in writing out ways you are deeply touch by gifts around you. Gifts that no one needed to buy, wrap up or present to you. These gifts no one owns; they are freely distributed to all who will notice them. Let’s notice them and write them out, one by one, and reread them every time we feel down, left out, isolated or deprived. These gifts will bless with each reading and each remembrance. Share your list in a note to grandma, grandchild, parent, or friend. A cousin, sibling, or dear, sick neighbor might need to hear some uplifting words of thanks giving. Let’s pray our lists in prayers of thanksgiving.

May the end of 2014 for ever be known as a time of our great and joyful Thanksgiving. Look around right where you are and start your list… I am thankful for …. the connection with those who read these words. I am thankful for those who share their hearts’ experiences in pondered out words. There is no better time than right now to start giving thanks.

Traveling a Great Distance Enriches Our Insights

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Crossing the Atlantic

Crossing the Atlantic on the Holland Amerika Lijn

Innocent Childhood Fun

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Innocent Childhood Fun
Run, Run, Run
Ghosts N Goblins N Giddy Girls
Happy Halloween in all our worlds.
Let’s be braver every year
And PLEASE
Enjoy life’s treats more than our fear.

God-Our Healer

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Our Healer? Have you looked around the world lately? Read a church bulletin? Checked Facebook pages? Talked to your family and friends? If God is our healer then why are so many of us so sick? We could fill this entire page with names of people, we love, whose bodies are failing them. But is their Healer failing them? “Where are You, God our Healer? Do You see our suffering?” Those are the questions that creep into my heart and search for a dark corner to plant despair and hopelessness. And in the dark, I wonder, “Is faith made null if the rash on my arm does not heal, my friend does not walk, or our fervent prayer for healing appears to accomplish nothing? “ Can we be made well, I mean really be rejoicingly WELL, all the while our bodies are in serious decline?
The mystery of God’s grace is deep and rich and in my life has become rock solid evidence only when things were very dark around me. I did not see God’s faithfulness when all was flowing smoothly because I was highly distracted by all the gaiety, color, and joyful, bubbling energy. But when sorrow settled in my heart and I had no solutions and there were no distractions to entertain me, at this dark time a peace deeper than myself became apparent. God’s care is not skin deep. God’s healing goes to the very core of my being. God wants me to know his wellness will go way beyond skin, muscles, mind, and bones. God desires for each or us to be well in our souls. God wants us to firmly hold the title to what we hope for -in the deepest parts of our hearts; God wants us to know the evidence of that which our eye cannot see. Our eyes might see a broken body but through faith we see the evidence of a wellness deeper than the human body. A wellness of the soul graciously connected to the Creator. A healed soul is willing to play its part in the kingdom of God vivaciously. It makes little difference whether its role here is long or short; the healed soul wants to glorify the God who Heals our Brokenness.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the title to the things you hope for and the evidence of things not seen.
Heavenly Father, The One who Heals our Brokenness,
Help us to rest in your goodness.
Help us to reflect your brilliance brightly,
So that darkness is dissipated
And joy, hope, peace and love increase.
Whether we live minutes or many decades help us to do it courageously in You.
We ask this in your name of FatherSonHolyOne

Memories of Move Number Six

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The year I started high school my family of eight moved from a four bedroom modern apartment to a three story house. The house was built in 1905. Originally it had five bed rooms, two kitchens, a formal room, two living rooms, a dining room and a laundry-utility room, two W.C.s and a shower room. It was a home for two families. One family had the first floor and half of the second and the other family came in the front door went up the stairs to their kitchen, living room and their bedroom was on the third floor. The house had never been updated and was in need much heavy work.

Hitler had wanted to flatten these three story row houses during World War II but his tanks could not get through the deep canal right behind the houses and the homes were spared. Jews were hidden in different parts of these houses during the war. We found stacks of newspapers and magazines from the war time in one of third floor bedrooms.

My father has always been a handy man and planned to do much of the work himself. The crossbeams in the front room down stairs had rotted out and needed to be replaced. The kitchen fireplace and brick chimney had to go. And in the entry hallway there was an oscillating lamp fueled by natural gas. Having a flame burning in the hallway for light just seemed scary to me at age twelve. The lamp stayed as an antique decoration but the gas line was removed. The shower room on the third floor was turned into my bedroom. The sink was left in my tiny room, which made this a highly desirable bedroom, because I did not have go down to the second floor to brush my teeth and wash my face. The closet next to my room became the new shower.

The first few month while the biggest project were being completed we lived elsewhere but after they were done we moved in. At that time my mother began the painting and wall papering in earnest. It took years to strip the sixty five years of paint off of the steep staircases, trim, and doors. And then they all had to be painted. My mother stripped wallpaper and re papered most of the rooms in the house and the ceilings were 10 feet high. I have no idea how she did this work and cooked three meals a day.

Of course the project have never ceased, but when my father turned eighty, he said he had painted the outside of the third floor for the last time. My parents in their remodel stay as true to the original design as possible. Many neighbors opened everything up into big modern spaces. But just this year new neighbors have ask my parents if they can come in to look at the original designs because they want to reconstruct their modern three story house back into the original look. What goes around comes around.

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