Friday, December 19, 2008


Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen KellerAmerican Author, Activist and Lecturer1880 - 1968

After I read this all the storms of life came whistling through my head. WHHOOOOSH!

I was thankful that enough events came my way to build my character. I recently learned of others who have chosen to turn the challenge into character building events and not character breaking events.

This person chose to live close to his son. Chose to hunker down and live within his means. He watched rented videos. Walked a lot of places. Made friends with a clerk at the video store. Made a good choice in his new friend and they have grown closer over the years. They too had storms but hunkered down and did the right thing and have thrived. Others thought them insane but they were convicted of love and endurance.

Push the screen play forward a few years and he has one of the best families that I know. The family is well adjusted. The family faces life full on not ducking if challenges come their way. They too have chosen not to climb into the bucket of their despair but turn the challenge upside down and step up and grow and fly.

I am not saying that there is no cloudy day in their lives or in mine. But even on cloudy days I look to see what color is predominate in the grey sky. Sometimes it is blue grey, pink grey or white grey.

Guess we have learned the lesson of character....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Silence Inspires 2008

When we set aside time each day for deep communion with the infinite, then, as surely as day follows night, the light of inspiration will illuminate our beings." ~Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith
Maybe this is what I am missing this year.
I had a few rough Christmas seasons in the last few years and had plenty of silence because I was wondering how it was that I was at the head of the table. This year I am comfortable with my position and my age.
I have had plenty of laughter and noise - but no silence.
Everyone that knows me well, knows I have to have a fair amount of silence in my life to survive and create my space.
Today, I will create that space. I will silence all the noise in my head and in my environment and find the Season.
Get the action going.
Create the holiday and illuminate the way. I need to get going.
I think all the noise has frozen me in fear. Out of hear noise. Away fear.
Come LIGHT of the Season. Come JOY! Come HOPE! Come LOVE!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Discordant Disoriented Winter Time Blues

Lately, I have been in a discordant mood.

Sometimes sassy, sometimes quiet, sometimes just want to walk a mile and smile.

But not necessarily sure I was ever going to be in the right place at the right time to ever make a difference to anyone. I was suspecting that I was an amiable face in the crowd.

It seems that I get lost from time to time in my own little world. I question whether I make a difference in the tour of the globe about the sun.

Then out of the blue, I am late for church, I attend a different service, I see both old and new friends.

I hear a story that just about blind sides me and I look up to the heavens and say WOW! You made me late for this moment to occur. You wanted me here and now to wipe those tears away and hug those shoulders. Wow and all this time, I thought, I was aimlessly wandering the desert and I was actually following a star to this moment in time.


Not going to take so much for granted.

Going to thank my lucky stars that occasionally I get off the path and wander into new places and see old and familiar faces.

Going to continue to listen more and talk less because it seems that is how I do my best work.

Going to bend the knee in some deep prayers tonight.

I have a lot of things to discuss with the maker of the stars.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


"We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don't mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn't two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn't a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn't an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough." ~Lynne Twist

In all this economic downturn news this is an interesting thought. I at times get a panicked feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember the stories that my Grandparents told of the Great Depression and wonder if America today can actually work together with neighbors to survive. I surely hope that we are the same people who can share what we have and trade and swap to sustain our lives. I heard some pretty scary comments during the election process and fear that there will be more hoarding than sharing.

But then something like this comes along and reminds me that what I have each day is sufficient for my needs. God counts the hairs on my head and watches over the birds of the air. I was given an intellect and if I take the time to really think through what is ahead I can see my way each day. I have friends who are fighting wars on foreign soils. I have friends who have put the love of their lives in Hospice. Each day I find out that the steps before me were blessed before I stepped there and all is sufficient for the day.

Sufficiency is an attitude that is very positive and hopefully contagious to the people around you. I have had an abundance of thoughts lately and now I have a sufficient abundance of words to declare them. A declaration that all will be well in the world that I wander.

Go and be sufficient and spread that attitude around - be generous with your sufficiency!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Have you ever peeked at your Christmas gifts?

Once upon a time I went to a wedding on Christmas eve - the officiant gave a sermon that described how the couple had peeked at the gifts under the tree of marriage before the ceremony... I thought it was a great analogy about discovery during a time of living together. He described how they went about trying things on and deciding about whether they wanted to keep the things they found. It must have worked - they are still married and enjoy a special celebration each Christmas eve.

I, on the other hand, did not peek under the tree before marriage - which made that first morning a very memorable moment. I have although taken a full look under the tree this year. I have been enjoying the gift for a week or so now. Unlike some women, appliances for Christmas are acceptable to me. I love things I can plug in and turn on! They make me happy. Especially the part where you can turn them on.

We have lived here for 7 years on Thanksgiving Day. Our washer and dryer were purchased new when we moved into the house. In that 7 years a church was built for almost 4 years; the foundation was waterproofed and extensive excavating took place; gardens have been located; grandchildren have lived here and the house creates its own peculiar forms of laundry too. So after 7 years of valiant duty and about 8000 loads of laundry, the washer gave up its ghost.

A trip to a scratch and dent sale garnered us a new high efficiency washer and dryer. It is a gem. We agreed that was our Christmas and my birthday present. That is fine. We will still have funny things under the tree. But we looked long and hard at our present and I am trying it out about 3 times a week before the big day... Yep we peeked and checked it out to make sure it fits and we are going to keep it a very long time...

Have a good night. Snuggle up. Keep the germs at bay. Wash your hands and keep you fingers out of your mouth.