Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Best Friends

When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
and then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say, "Let's cry together,"another, "Let's fight together,"
another, "Let's walk away together."

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
another your shoe fetish,
another your love for movies,
another will be with you in your season of confusion,
another will be your clarifier,
another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day,
or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself ...
those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
but for many, it's wrapped up in several.
one from 7th grade,
one from high school,
several from the college years,
a couple from old jobs,
on some days your mother,
on some days your neighbor,
on others, your sisters,
and on some days, your daughters.

So whether they've been your friend for 20 minutes or 20 years,
Thank God for the women in your life that have made a difference.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chistians

Christians
by Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'"
I'm whispering "I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Writing

"Of all those arts in which the wise excel, nature's chief masterpiece is writing well."

Monday, October 01, 2007

iHope


iHope is …
one woman telling her story
in a setting of creative beauty
with ongoing connections with other
women that are walking on a similar path.


“Guide me in your truth and teach me, God … my hope is in you all day long.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tuesday, October 23rd at 7pm

The Gathering Place at Hopewell in Elverson, PA

Patti Kallal will be sharing …
“Finding God as my Father”
Hear Patti's story about growing up in a ‘fatherless’ home
and her journey to knowing and loving God as her father.


Music - Refreshments - Art
_________________________________________________________
This is an event happening at my church, that I'm involved with. Hope is essential to continue moving forward in life. I believe beauty, whether in the form of art, music or words can give hope to most anyone. Plus, our stories have so much to teach us ... both for the person sharing and the audience. Our goal is give hope by giving women an opportunity to share their story in a setting of beauty.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Changes

Life seems to be about change every day.

Some days I can go with the flow and allow the changes to be absorbed into my plans and most of the time, I look back and I like what I see. Yet, other times I look around and see the changes that happen, and I wonder ... what is going on here, what was I thinking, was I sleeping when that happened?
Other days I resist the changes and insist on the original plan to go right on track ... which can cause frustration or can cause me to appear stubborn. Yet, if 'I know that I know' the change shouldn't happen, how can I go along with it? I look back at those days with mixed reviews also ... sometimes it was good that I stood my ground, other times I realize my reasons for not changing weren't justified and I was just being stubborn.

So ... where is the balance?

I can't just lay down and allow all changes to happen ... I need to be aware and process my choices before I decide to go with them or not. Since I believe in the one and only God ... taking time to talk to him needs to be a part of my process ... after all He is the source of wisdom.
As I wrote that I realize that someone else struggled with the same problem a few decades ago and he penned a excellent prayer for his dilemma ...


God grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, September 14, 2007

"I Should"

Being organized is not a skill I was born with and it was not part of my environment while I was growing up. But over the years, I have wanted to be organized, efficient and on-time.
A few years ago, it hit me that if I do whatever it is that needs doing as soon as I think or hear myself say, "I should ...." then I get more done. I have also (gently) told my husband the same when he is procrastinating.
Today I read the quote below in a motivational email ... guess I was onto something.

"One of the best places to start to turn your life around is by doing whatever appears on your mental ‘I should’ list." -- Jim Rohn

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Purpose versus Being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose ... there has been many conversations about purpose over the past few years. For the most part, they have been good conversations; they have helped me look beyond myself and beyond today. I find comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that there is a design and a plan for this crazy, messy life. The part I can get bogged down in, is finding that purpose. For sometime, I was looking for a magic formula, or a certain event, person or cause that would yell 'purpose' to me. Lately, I realize I have been trying to find my purpose by going the wrong way down a one-way street.

I started looking at it differently after reading this quote by theologian Howard Thurman ... "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” I had thought when I find my purpose then I would really come alive and find fulfillment in life ... but instead I need to come alive and then my life will be a life of purpose.

So, the focus shifted from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun). I need to know me, to know what makes me come alive. I didn't create myself, but I was created by the One that created all things, so that is the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I need to have ongoing conversations with him. I also need to give myself time to reflect on life, to understand fully what makes me be alive. I need to be willing to ... Be still and listen deeply for the truth that is carried on its winds - information about the past, wisdom about the present, and direction for the future. - Elizabeth Lesser

Each of us is different and what makes us fully alive will be as varied as the hues of color in the sky. The one area that is consistent with each of us is that to feel fully alive we need to “love the Lord God with all your passion, prayer, intelligence and energy and love others as well as you love yourself.”- Jesus

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dreams

This is so true ...

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. -Richard Bach

I think I have found that most times the word 'may' in the last sentence is actually the word 'will'. Purposeful, meaningful work (with boundaries) can actually be a gift of fulfillment we need, though we might not be aware of it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Day by Day

I groaned as I headed to physical therapy - again. Following surgery on my foot, I was only two weeks into the process and the exercises were already tedious. 40 times left, 40 times right, up and down, around in circles - boring details of all the exercises that I needed to do day after day. Most of them felt insignificant and puny at the time and no outward change was evident. I wanted a strong ankle ASAP. I was not enjoying this day-by-day process.

Until it dawned on me - this was like my relationship with God. I want the result - having a strong connection to my creator and the change that can produce in my life. But too often, I am so busy looking for that result, I forget about the day-by-day choices that will produce the change I want.

While doing physical therapy, I could not see the muscles and tendons in my ankle gaining strength. Most days, when I finished, it did not feel any stronger than it did an hour earlier. Actually, often it felt tired and weak. I had to go by the knowledge of how the body works and what my therapist told me … these daily exercises would bring the strong ankle I desire.

It is much the same way with my connection to God; most times, I do not see anything happening in myself. While it can be peaceful and calm to read, pray, journal or be still … I am not holy when I finish. I am still a messy human. Nevertheless, I can choose to believe what God, my pastors and others I trust say. Day by day, choice by choice - renewal is happening in me.

Do not lose heart … inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Romans 4:16

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dare to Care

Dare to care
David Servan-Schreiber

It's Saturday night in the Paris m├ętro. Two friends, Etienne and Sophie, are on their way to dinner. After sitting down in the crowded train, they discover the body of a homeless man curled up at their feet. How did he get there? How long has he been lying there? Is he dead? They look around: Everyone avoids looking at the body. Nobody has any idea how to handle this situation. Etienne and Sophie don’t know what to do either.

In a study done in the 1970s, young Christian seminarians were assigned to teach a course on the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). To make sure they would be in a hurry just like the priest and the Levite in the Biblical story, who didn’t stop to help a man in need, the researchers gave them directions to their classrooms that allowed them only enough time to arrive at the appointed hour. They didn’t know a man would be lying in the stairwell just before they got to the classroom. More than half the seminarians didn’t stop to help him, not even to see if he was still alive. Evidently it was more important to carry God’s Word than to help the needy.

Indifference is easy to understand. Like these seminarians, like the priest and the Levite in the story, like the Good Samaritan himself, we are always on our way to something important: an appointment, a film, a job. We’re all caught up in a network of constraints that don’t easily yield to unforeseen circumstances, especially someone else’s unforeseen circumstances, especially those of someone we don’t know.
And who are we to step in and help? We aren’t “authorities”—paramedics, security guards or police. If we take an interest in a man like this, won’t we be getting involved in something that isn’t our business? And what can we do for him? We waver between impotence and impatience. This isn’t the first homeless person or the last in the subway. If this case is only a drop in the ocean of human misery, why be late to dinner?

Etienne stares at the body. An ear sticks out from the acrylic cap; the cheeks are pale and gaunt, the hands chapped and swollen. Etienne glances around. Nobody looks in his direction. A willful indifference seems to be shared by everyone else in the train car. Suddenly, without really knowing why, he leans over the cadaverous face, puts his hand on the motionless hand, speaks softly: “What’s wrong? Do you need help?” After a few moments, the man murmurs, without opening his eyes, “I haven’t eaten for three days. I don’t have any strength left.” He smells of alcohol. Etienne knows what happens when you drink on an empty stomach. “Are you dizzy? Would you like me to call someone?”

Already, the young man seated facing Etienne has stood up and leaned over. “Can I do something?” A woman approaches. “Why not help him get off at the next station? We could call someone there.” Now all eyes are on the poor man. Some people seem almost sorry not to have come to the aid of this symbol of human suffering, to have been paralyzed by all the arguments for remaining aloof that ran through their minds.

A number of passengers help carry the man onto the platform. Another passenger rings the bell to alert security that an ambulance is needed. Several people get off the train to make sure everything is handled properly. For these few minutes, the stricken man becomes a part of many people’s lives, the focus of their concerns. One girl offers him a cigarette; another talks with him. How did they shift so quickly from being totally indifferent to putting him at the centre of their attention?

Etienne and Sophie are late for dinner with their friends. But they arrive lighthearted, as if the man had given them a gift—the gift of feeling more human and, especially, of seeing that it takes little to awaken the humanity in everyone.

David Servan-Schreiber is a professor of psychiatry at universities in both France and the U.S., and author of the international bestseller Healing without Freud or Prozac.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Forgiveness


"Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future."
- Source unknown

We moved in the past month, so I am not doing much writing, so enjoy the quotes.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Image of God


"We are created in the image of God, and he modeled for us a way of life that makes sense for how we are created. Here's how to dance the dance of life, he said: work, be creative, use your imagination, throw yourself into it, whether you are washing dishes, reading to your kids and running a household, or trading stocks, reading corporate reports, and running a business. …At the end of each day, stop. Take a rest, eat a good meal, get enough sleep, and refresh yourself. Take time to think about your day, to notice where God was in it and where you were blessed, and to say, "It's good." Then go back at it the next day. And after six days, take a whole day off. And say, "It's really good." Spend a whole day just pausing, just reflecting on how really good it is, and then start the dance again, at a sustainable pace."
- Keri Wyatt Kent, author of Breathe

Monday, March 12, 2007

Little by Little

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. -Marian Wright Edelman

Friday, March 09, 2007

Life on Earth

"Walking on the turning wheel of the earth, living under the ever-rotating sun, man expects a peaceful life." - Hazrat Inayat Khan

We need to find the balance of trying to live in peace in all we do, but yet know that because this is earth, total peace will not happen. Something is always changing, shifting and moving (hopefully) forward. Thankfully there is help to be found in feeling peaceful by talking to our Creator.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Florida

I spent five days in Florida last week ... I have a sister Rosene who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. My parents spent about two months at their house in Florida each winter. Rosene enjoys going down with them and spending a week or two there, but she doesn't like to stay the whole time. My friend, Mary and I flew down to fly home with her.
I had a cold while I was there, but we had great weather ... in the 70's and sunny.

My Mom and sister Rosene ... relaxing on a beach wheelchair

Myself and Mary

-----------------------------------------
This are some of my favorite photos I took while there ...





Thursday, February 01, 2007

Growing

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure
nor this thing nor that
but simply growth.
We are happy when we are growing.
-William Butler Yeats

So many people walk around with a meaningless life.
They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important.
This is because they're chasing the wrong things.

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others,
devote yourself to your community around you,
and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
- Morrie Schwartz

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Overflow

I walked along the edge of the Chesapeake Bay when the tide was at its lowest, along with my energy level. The desire to have a day to ‘be still’ had led to the decision to fast lunch and spend about five hours in quiet reflection at a friend’s vacation home. Now at three in the afternoon, I was tired, hungry and wanted a nap. My spirit desired to connect with my Creator in some meaningful way, but I had trouble convincing the rest of myself to focus.

At high tide, one cannot walk along this particular area of the bay, but at low tide there are a few feet of sand espoused. My sneakers sank too low in the spongy, water-logged sand and the air had the scent of a swamp. The gnats were having a party, flitting from plant to plant, as were other creepy, crawly insects along the ground. I continued my slow walk, carefully stepping over a dead praying mantis. I paused a second as I realized that though I had seen many praying mantis over the years, I had never seen a dead one. Guess they have to die also, I reasoned to myself. An over aggressive plant growing along the side forced me to walk out nearer to the waters’ edge as it greedily covered my path in its reach for the water. As I did this I had to step over a small puddle of water that apparently missed the flow of the tide. More death - this time a crab lay there expired.


My mind lazily talked to God about this, why is there so much death and sadness? Why do I have to be walking over it? This kind of feels like my life … walking through sadness recently, dealing with loss and being unsatisfied with my circumstances. At the same time a glimmer of expectation rose up within me and propelled me forward. I can get through this I reasoned ... ‘this’ being both this walk and the rough spots in my life.

I had to see what was beyond the slight bend up ahead. It looked like there was a patch of dry sand up there. More dirty sand collected on my previously white sneakers as I moved forward while brushing the insects from my neck.

As I rounded the bend, I was stopped in both my physical and mental walk. There was an area of wild plants rambling through each other in a beautiful unkempt way … bulrushes, iris, hibiscus and trumpet vine. Butterflies gracefully hurried here and there, looking for the sweetest nectar. A dragonfly from a good-looking family line paused briefly on a leaf directly in front of me. The stark colors of his delicate wings shimmered in the afternoon sunlight that reflected off the still waters of the bay. My spirit rejoiced at the beauty of it all.

Thank you God, for showing me that after walking on paths that are messy and hard with sadness along the way, there is an overabundance up ahead. Moving forward is what will bring me to a place where I will be overwhelmed with an overflow of colors, textures and beauty.

– Janet Oberholtzer, Monday, August 21, 2006

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I will love the light for it shows me the way.
Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
-Og Mandino

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Purpose verus being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose ... there's been a lot of conversations about purpose over the past few years. For the most part, they have been good conversations, they have helped me look beyond myself and beyond today. I find comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that there is a design and a plan for this crazy, messy life. The part I (along with others) get bogged down on, is finding that purpose. For sometime I was looking for a magic formula, or a certain event, person or cause that would yell 'purpose' to me. Lately though, I realize I have been trying to find my purpose by going the wrong way down a one way street. I thought when I find my purpose then I would really come alive and find fulfillment in life ... but instead I need to come alive and then my life will be a life of purpose. As said by theologian Howard Thurman ...

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”

So, the focus shifts from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun). I need to know me, to know what brings me satisfaction, to know what makes me come alive. I didn't create myself, but I was created by the One that created all things, so that is the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I need to have ongoing conversations with him. To fully understand what makes me feel satisfied and alive I also need to give myself time to reflect on life. I need to be willing to ... Be still and listen deeply for the truth that is carried on its winds - information about the past, wisdom about the present, and direction for the future. - Elizabeth Lesser

Sleeping in might feel good at the moment, but in the long run 20 minutes of exercise feels much better, so when I look at what makes me feel alive, I need to look beyond temporary pleasures. Each and every one of us looks and is different, and what makes us feel alive will also be as varied as the hues of color in the sky. The one area that is consistant with each of us is that to feel fully alive we need to "do to others what you would have them do to you" - Jesus

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

First Step in Faith

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Trust in 2007

Trust is such a lovely word in a world thoroughly self-indulged and complicated. it is quiet. simple. it represents freedom. rest. letting go. there are many unknowns in life. our children's struggles, a tentative move. critical talk behind our backs. a search for our own identity. bills to pay. aged parens to look after.

let go completely. trust. live with it all in an open hand before God. Jesus promises he WILL work it all out. i do believe for you, always ... a new sunrise.
- ann kiemel anderson