Monday, June 29, 2009

Good Old Days

Feeling 'torn to pieces' these days? You are probably tempted to think - if only you had lived 50 years ago, life won't have been as busy then. Like 1955 - that had to be a less stressful time because it was back in the 'good old days' when life was much calmer and women weren't near as busy as we are today ... right?

Many people think there is truth to those thoughts, but I don't believe that. I think having too much to do has always been a challenge for women and will always be - so we need to be intentional about taking time for ourselves and our connection with our creator.
These thoughts were published in 1955 in
Gift from the Sea ...

Woman's life today is tending more and more toward the state William James describes so well in the German word, 'Zerrissenheit: torn-to-pieces-hood.' She cannot live perpetually in 'Zerrissenheit.' She will be shattered into a thousand pieces. On the contrary, she must consciously encourage those pursuits which oppose the centrifugal forces of today….
Solitude, says the moon shell.
Center-down, say the Quaker saints.
To the possession of the self
the way is inward, says Plotinus.
The cell of self-knowledge is the stall in which
the pilgrim must be reborn, says St. Catherine of Siena."
Anne Morrow (Lindbergh,)

Give yourself the gift of taking time to be still today -
even if just for a few moments.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hand in Hand with God!

For a time, I've been thinking about how I live 'hand in hand' with God. Yes, he is God and I am not, but I think when he created me in his image with a free will of my own ... I've was given the choice to do what I want with what I have. So when I heard this story this week, I liked it.

A few decades ago, a preacher was riding his horse down a country road, when he came over a hill and saw a beautiful farm in the valley below. The house was nice and tidy with a stream running behind it and the freshly painted barns sat in the midst of acres of clean fields with straight rows of crops growing strong.

He noticed the farmer coming up the farm lane and stopped to talk to him. "God has sure blessed you with a beautiful place," the preacher said.

Wiping sweat from his face, the farmer said, "Yes, he has and I thank him for it every morning."

"You really are a man blessed by God." The preacher signed as he looked around again.

Yes I am. I am always grateful for his goodness," he responded again, "but you should have seen the place when he had it to himself."

-From a Dave Ramsey Teaching

Question about speakers

I have a question. When you are listening to a speaker - whether it be a motivational speech, a teaching, in a class, a sermon or a political speech - what's most important to you, that the speaker be real, engaging, authentic, have answers, done good research on the topic, etc?

Your thoughts?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Purpose Versus Being Alive

Our purpose, my purpose, your purpose - there have 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 found comfort in the fact that my life has meaning, that something good can come out of this crazy, messy life. The part I got bogged down on, was 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. A few years ago, I realized I had 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 needed to come alive and then my life became a life of purpose.

So my focus shifted from finding my purpose (heavy and somber) to living life fully alive (energy and fun - yeah!). I learned 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 was the place to start. The maker knows me better than I know myself, so I had ongoing conversations with him and gave myself time to reflect on life, to understand fully what makes me be alive. I was 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. I think, 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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Twin Valley Relay for Life.

This weekend at a local high school - we'll all be pulling together as a community for a Relay for Life event. Together we will raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Scroll down on the home page to see the schedule - the organizers have done a great job of having activities happening for everyone, especially the kids, while the adults walk/run around the track in support and honor of all people affected by cancer.
I will be running/walking for 2 hours ... why? Because I can!

And hopefully with time, we see more and more of the shirts above instead of the luminarias lit in remembrance of someone that has lost their battle with cancer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Writers avoiding writing

Too many days this is how my attempts to write go ....

"Usually, writers will do anything to avoid writing. For instance, the previous sentence was written at one o'clock this afternnon. It is now a quarter to four. I have spent the past two hours and forty-five minutes sorting my neckties by width, looking up the word /paisly/ in three dictionaries, attempting to find the town of that name on /The New York Times Atlas of the World/ map of Scotland, sorting my reference books by width, trying to get the bookcase to stop wobbling by stuffing a matchbook cover under its corner, dialing the telephone number on the matchbook cover to see if I should take computer courses at night, looking at the computer ads in the newspaper and deciding to buy a computer because writing seems to be so difficult on my old Remington, reading an interesting article on sorghum farming in Uruguay that was in the newspaper next to the computer ads, cutting that and other interesting articles out of the newspaper, sorting -- by width -- all the interesting articles I've cut out of newspapers recently, fastening them neatly together with paper clips and making a very attractive paper clip necklace and bracelet set, which I will present to my girlfriend as soon as she comes home from the three-hour low-impact aerobic workout that I made her go to so I could have some time alone to write." - P.J. O'Rourke

Okay maybe I don't sort my neckties, but I sure find many other things to do.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Some food for thought from quotes I've read recently about happiness ...

The great problem in the United States
is not repression or neurosis, which it was in Europe when Freud wrote about everything. No, the great problem here is not repression. It's narcissism and addiction.

Those are our great problems in the United States because Tom Jefferson set us up. ‘Life, Liberty and the… Pursuit of Happiness!'

If you pursue happiness directly, it evades you. But you feel entitled to it… It's wonderful, but it has a dark side. And the dark side is addiction.
We have done a dance with addiction in this country from the very beginning." – Dr. Richard D. Grant

"It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed." - Frank McKinney Hubbard

"Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." - Hellen Keller

"Many consider it happiness to possess and enjoy what they long for,
and they consider everyone else unhappy. But those they believe unhappy think the same of them." - Baltasar Gracian (1638)

"You've got to ask!
Asking is, in my opinion, the world's most powerful -- and neglected -- secret to success and happiness. - Percy Ross


I'm always impressed with healing - healing of our physical body.* Sometimes its minor, other times its major. Something is cut/bruised/broken. All the nerves are sending pain signals to your brain. Your normal activities are interrupted, done slower or even need to be stopped for a time.
But with time, when healing happens - the swelling goes down, the black/blue colors lessen, the skin repairs itself and the nerves quiet down. And I'm amazed. Yes, there might be a scar - sometimes a bad one - but an amazing amount of healing does take place. And I'm amazed.

I thank our creator for the way he's designed it.

Do we have any part in the healing? Yes, we do. Our creator is the ultimate healer, and we are created in his image - so we are 'little healers'. We clean what is cut, wounded or bruised and set what is broken. We can take vitamins and eat well. Some science is showing that a little sunlight can help heal some injuries, especially the skin. (the sun is not all bad) For small injuries, we need correct lotions, cremes and bandages. For major injuries - antibiotics, surgeries and skilled doctors might be needed.

A major part we play in healing for any injury is giving our body the rest it needs to recover. That's why the nerves talk to us, to let us know one area of our body is in need of some downtime. Rest doesn't mean not moving or doing at all - it means moving and doing with wisdom, which is called therapy. Therapy helps bring the body up to par again. At times, therapy needs to be done by a professional, other times it can be done on one's own. Thankfully the creator has also given us his spirit to counsel us in what/when/where/how much our bodies can do, especially when healing needs to happen.

*We live in an imperfect world and healing doesn't always happen. That makes me sad and mad.