Six Months Into 2022 : chewed up & spit out, which way is up, now what?

window to the soul

I really did want to believe I am okay, that it’s all right I got this. After all I am a blogger and how in the world do you help others when you can’t even get yourself together. The reality is this year has been HARD! So many changes, so much loss, and just when you think you can adjust to a certain level of grief more comes.

Our family has lost to death this year two friends, my grandma, two uncles, two aunts, and a young person of someone I care deeply for even if we are no longer closely in touch. My world as I knew it has forever been changed and some of the pillars of stability have been lost.

I am struggling with who I am. I find it hard to find joy in some areas that were so simple and sure before. My school work holds my interest for mere seconds till I am irritated and fill my head with mind-numbing you tube videos of “getting it all together” instead. Keeping up with healthy choices daily is hit or miss. Many days I would like to just lay about in bed.

I am grieving! It is real and it is very difficult.

After all that has happened my aunt died yesterday (she is one of the two), it has only been two months since her husband passed away.

Is this unusual to have so many losses in such a short time, or is this what this season holds in life? I am after all getting older. Do I just have to “get used to it”?

The only sure thing about life is that death follows. When we are young we do not realize how fleeting time is. As we age it is like time speeds up, like a vapor in the wind, the day is gone.

I will keep seeking those moments of joy and ah in this life. Maybe the victories we choose to celebrate can be more minuscule, because life is full of tiny pleasures and time is too brief to wait for the big moments.

Running, rushing, chasing! Does it really matter? This is the moment we have got, right here, right now, and then it is gone, if we are lucky we have another moment.

I do believe in heaven, but I really like living on this beautiful earth. I morn the fact I have not always lived like I was alive but have walked along oblivious to the passing of time and the moments that have been lost. Never having enough time to spend with all the people that I love.

As I face saying another goodbye, I need to know how to live this moment, this minute, this day, never to come again. Grief comes in waves. I am usually so good at pretending everything is okay. Today, this moment. it is not, will the next be better.

Running off, responsibility awaits, busy with life, grief has to wait.

Goodbye Grandma, generations.

On being a mom: lessons of life

I think the most surprising thing I learned when I became a mom is that as you raise your children, your children are raising you. Life lessons are never a one way street.

I have learned to never try to guess the end of the story, life is like a map being drawn as you put your foot out to step, and not every path leads to where you think it will.

The kids have shown me that no matter how hard you try to avoid education, it happens anyway.

Being silly sometimes makes life worth living. Laughter is a great way to defuse stress.

Trying/retrying something you never thought you could do or like can open up adventures and abilities that bring joy and relaxation. You might be surprised what you ‘can’ do.

Surprise! The same DNA/family culture does not equal sameness in children! Everyone is unique.

Always ask, “will this matter tomorrow?”. Don’t sweat the small stuff, as the quote goes, it is all small stuff.

Most importantly, no matter how bad you think you have screwed up, LOVE is ALWAYS the answer. If you do nothing else, love your kids fully and they will be alright.

Thanks kiddos for helping to mold me into me!

P.S. As the kids get older the size of your family may grow.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle: letting go of the “diet mentality”

Big boy! (Or girl) Garden friend.

I was disappointed with myself at the end of the day yesterday. I had reinstalled another “step counter” on my phone to track my activity and I was no-where close to my goal of steps taken when I went to bed. Crazy thing was my body was screaming at me. Why?

I started cleaning up my gardens yesterday and my two hours I had alloted before I chained myself to my desk for a few hours, turned into five hours of joyous work in the sunshine. Doing hundreds of squats, digging, pulling and activating muscles that have laid dormant since last year.

I worked HARD, so why was I so disappointed about a stupid number on my phone?

The conversation my mind was having with my soul, was not very nice! Instead of saying good job today, it was talking down telling me, “I would never reveal the skinny (healthy)person inside that is disguised in an excess layer of fluff(fat).”

The problem with a mindset of diet is it is equal to scarcity and want vs a mindset of health and well-being which is a mindset of delicious fresh abundance and ability.

Ironically like many other lessons in my life, the most impactful person to give me this lesson about diet vs lifestyle, was my daughter Stephanie. One day I was talking about preparing lunch and said the word “diet”. She spoke up and said,”no mom, not a diet, it’s your lifestyle now.”

A lifestyle is about daily sustained choices for the long-run, as apposed to a short term denial for “quick, unlasting results”.

A lifestyle is about making choices and taking action on a daily bases to bring self closer to your own type of beautiful and joy.

Maybe I should have slipped away yesterday for a power walk, to boost some calorie burning. That would only have worked on one area of my lifestyle dream.

I chose instead, muscle building, weight-lifting, beautifying, garden building, weeding: with the hope that someday soon, my body will be fit AND my gardens will be beautiful. Not to mention the fresh, healthy, local abundance of home-grown food. Payoff for this lifestyle choice!

Where in your life do you need to make a mental shift from lack (diet) to abundance (lifestyle)? What can you do today to level-up the impact of your actions?

Sneaking up

Sandhill Cranes

I love these guys. I don’t know if it’s the size, or their awkward shape, or the little babies they have with too long legs.

These guys were picking in a field near my friend’s house. She was teaching the young people kung-fu and slipped away to tell me to borrow her rubber-boots and go.

I stuck to the edge of the first field, and started picking my way through the thorn brush at the edge of the next when I was spotted and the warning cry went up.

Maybe I should have been more patient? What was the rush anyway? I snapped a couple of pics and tried to move closer.

I should have kept my camera up! They rose up from the far-side of the field. The beauty of their flight took my breath away.

Snippets of Spring 2022

Continuing a new lifestyle, gluten-free, nearly “added” sugar-free, not “processed”, aim to hydrate and feel great.

Walking with purpose for exercise, or meditation, or socialization.

Enjoying the birds, the gardens, the outside clean up, and the sunshine.

Stepping outside my comfort zone, target shooting in public. Surprised I can do so many things I didn’t know I could.

Trying new or retrying things I haven’t done in years. Learning to not be so self-concious and relaxing into fun.

Campfires with friends. Meeting new people.

Strolls with old friends enjoying the blessings around us.

Just a little taste of spring. A glimpse of thoughts and changes for the season. My beautiful colourful life!

Who’s drum beat are you marching to?

Did you know that your are uniquely and creatively made? There is no one else on the entire earth that is like you, not even if you are an “identical twin”.

If this is the case that we are all unique and individual, what are we to do when our soul beliefs of our purpose, or our healing journey are out of step with those closest to us?

How can we conquer in our spirit the negative comments that come maybe even unknowingly from our “important people”?

How do we keep from just slipping into their beat, at the cost of our individuality, instead of firmly grasping our individuality and harmonizing with each other? Which in my opinion brings into existence a colourful stirring orchestra of life.

I am a recovering people-pleaser. I am/was prone to passive/aggressive behaviour. I don’t like either of these traits, as these traits involve lies to self and lies to others. So therefore in a sense that makes us that are people-pleaser addicts, liars. Wow that’s harsh right! Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes you need to feel the pain like surgery to become well.

This confession comes because this adds to the difficulty in keeping up with the beat of my own self’s heart, instead of chameleonizing (yes my own new word) into the beat of those around me.

Have you ever tried to get to know yourself. Maybe this isn’t an issue at all for some personality types, but for some of us, the struggle is real. What moves us, what brings us joy and fulfillment? How do we discover these things without becoming selfish or self absorbed?

This is the journey of my life, this is the work of my soul, to know and love my own beat and to be in perfect harmony with those around me. Lofty yes, possible with my Creator’s help.

Step one: radical truth. A process at which you answer your self truthfully and you accept what you tell yourself, and know that it is okay. This is an internal soul talk, it does not need to be voiced to others. It is an acknowledgement of your feelings, desires, and comfort level.

Step two: the pause. This is where you need to consider those around you. This is where self-control, and compassion come in. This is the moment that you need to decide what is helpful and edifying and what is personal and stretching (working to avoid offense). What are you comfortable with accepting? What benefit does your response have in harmonizing your drum beats? Is there a middle road to meet in a compromise? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Does there need to be discussion or does it matter not in the bigger picture?

Step three: the response. External or internal, be true, be kind, be gentle, but be true. (Yes I repeated true on purpose.)

Step four: remember you are uniquely and wonderfully created, to create a rhythm, a music, a beautiful dance in this world. You are the work of art when you allow the Creator to form and mold you into what He desires, and you allow His creativity to flow out of you in a bright shining light, a unique glow, that is You.

Please don’t loose your rhythm, your drum beat, don’t be conformed. Learn to harmonize, to shine, to bring to existence the music of life in this world.

Colour of Life

I walk in a stupor, surrounded the past two years by a grey wash.

I fight and fight to push back the grey to allow the Son to fully illuminate the colours of life.

Tired of the fog that fights for my soul, the darkness that rushes in.

The speed it tries to goad out of me.

Faster and faster, heavier loads, stuff, clutter, responsibility.

What would it all mean, if it were to end tomorrow. If time here were to stop.

I want to see the full colour of life.

I want to see the world around illuminated and basking in the light.

I want to sit in quiet wonder, with no where pressing to go, nothing needing to be done.

Light where are you? When will the grey be pushed away, and the new colour full world take shape before my eyes.

Stepping through the grey. Today is a new day. Come full colour, come.

Seems Like It’s Going To Be A Red Letter Day

According to Oxford Languages on Google, a red letter day is “a day that is pleasantly noteworthy or memorable.” Of course I hope today will be pleasantly noteworthy, but that is not what I am referring to.

Lately, I have been hearing the questions deep within my soul, “have you set yourself apart, are you noticeably Mine (belonging to the Lord)?” “Is your temple in order?” “Do the work!

In case you haven’t noticed the world is a bit of a mess right now. There is turmoil, division, fear and hate. Many have shut themselves up in their homes like dark caves, quaking in fear. Others are rioting in the streets. It has become taboo to speak of God, and to hold onto morals and ethics.

This is not Christian! We walk humbly and boldly. We fearlessly speak the name of Jesus. We love, but call a spade, a spade. Or do we?

I mentioned Jesus in a discussion yesterday with someone I did not know if they were Christian or not. His face lit up. Ended up being a long conversation.

How can it be, that in a society built on Christianity that we don’t hear the name of Jesus? That we don’t talk about the greatness of God?

How is it that our morals and ethics are being trampled on, and we sit quietly by, not warning of the impending danger?

Today is a red letter day, in the book of John 5 there is a familiar story (for anyone that went to Sunday school) of a healing at Bethesada. Jesus asks a man who had been lame for a long time “Do you wish to get well?” Of course he did, so Jesus told him “get up, pick up your pallet and walk”. The man was healed, but he did not know Jesus. Later on Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “look, you are made well, do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you” @NASB (Jesus words in my Bible are red.)

I find myself contemplating those red letters deeply today. I know the salvation is a free gift from God. Free meaning we can not earn it, it was VERY expensive to God to give it to us, it cost a precious life, but free for us to receive.

What has my mind churning is Jesus’ warning, “do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” Can salvation be snatched away?

In my opinion North American Christianity looks for a great number of “Christians ” just like secular living, in many ways, myself included. We accept the gift of grace and mercy, without the dedication to the relationship and discipleship. The Bible warns in Paul’s letters that our sins add to the punishment of Jesus. Do we want to add another stripe to His back? (Don’t get me wrong, I do not expect perfection, we are not God, only God is perfect.)

I believe God is becoming weary of the uncircumcised hearts of His “believers”. I believe our testimony is being compromised. I believe the Lord is calling us to repent, to weep for the brokenness of the world. I believe if we do not change our paths, we may relearn what it is to “fear the Lord” in our time.

I do have hope though, a story from 2 Chronicles 20. If we repent. If we stand firm. The Lord will direct our paths even unto war, so we can live in peace.

Today I ponder my red letters, as I ask the Lord to cleanse my own temple. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive them and to cleanse us from unrighteousness.”

Will you make today into a “red letter day” ? Has the Lord stirred your soul with deep questions? Are you willing to respond to Him?