Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm not sure this is a good thing to discover, but in looking for a Mother of the Groom dress today I discovered I can be beautiful! Shopping for clothing has always been an incredibly depressing experience for me. Nothing fit! Everything I tried on was too short, too small, too big or really dowdy looking on me. I developed a real hate of my body and the way I looked. It was all wrong...well unfortunately today I discovered I was just looking in all the wrong places. The joke is on me. I was created with the body of a wealthy woman not an ordinary woman.

Because a wedding is a special day I needed a special dress, but don't have much money to find it with. First stop David's Bridal....the low cost bridal shop. It was a disaster.....everything looked horrid on my body. Of course I was not surprised because everything always looks horrid and fits terribly. I left there in despair....fortunately a good friend had told me don't ignore high end stores like Lord 'n Taylor and Nordstrom, they may have some good sales. So I persevered. I needed a dress and I didn't want to look like a 60 year old frump....and I need some affirmation for myself at this point of my life with all that is going on. GUESS WHAT!!! $300 dresses look absolutely wonderful on me. I felt like a fairy princess well maybe not a princess, too old for that, but I felt like a beautiful woman! It is wrong to feel beautiful???? I hope not because it felt wonderful!

The best thing is that all the dresses I found were on sale. None were over $170 which is way more than I would normally consider spending on a dress or what I can proably afford to spend on a dress but I had set $200 as my limit beyond which I would not even consider no matter how good it looked. So now I will get together with Lindsay and find out which she likes the best and I think I have myself a dress, and no matter what anyone else thinks I will feel beautiful or at least attractive. I hope that does not make me vain. I think it mainly just makes me a woman.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This morning on the news I hear one of the most refreshing thoughts I have heard in a very long time. The most amazing thing was that it came from a politician!!!!!

President Obama was making some comments on tomorrows State of the Union Speech. He was musing on his many critics and he said something to the effect of.....the job of a politician is not to work to get re-elected. It is to work to make our country a better and safer place for all Americans. What a novel idea.....OK I am being sarcastic here. I knew I liked that man. He also made another comment this one directed to his opponents in congress who are already speculating and reacting negatively to what he might be saying in the State of the Union Speech. HE asked them to please wait and hear what he says before they criticize it. I know many Americans do not like the man but some time I feel he is the only civil person living and working with-in our political system. What ever happened to civilized political discourse and the idea that opposing opinions can be discussed without name calling and compromises worked out with everyone giving and taking a little. Have wee have become such a stiff necked, hard headed and hard hearted people that we can no longer see beyond our own self interest and needs?

I do know what I will be doing tomorrow night. I will eagerly be listening to my President with a sence of hope and anticiaption and I hope notexperience grief at observing how some may respond to and treat him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


My devotional reflection this AM dealt with the importance of "community". Specifically it referred to Jesus statement saying "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." Matthew 18:20. The question is asked at the end of the short reflection was can we find Jesus in a gathering, a community, online? I don't think there can be any answer to this question but a sounding YES!

I have felt Jesus presence through many online friends. Some may argue that to be in community you need to be physically in each others presence. I don't by that. I have experienced a strong sense of community with my online friends. These communities take on many forms; through Facebook, through Split Coast Stampers, through friends I have made through BLOGS I have visited and commented on and ones who have visited mine and left a comment. I have found in each of those communities people of faith. People willing to share their faith. People willing to pray for and with me and people I pray for and hold in my heart.

Is Jesus with us as we pray for each other, share each others joys, struggles and sorrows? Definitely! The internet has not made my world smaller as some may argue since it does take time away from my immediate locality and friends I believe it has enlarged it. I am learning so much from so many.

So I thank the Lord for community. I thank the Lord he is present in all communities that gather in his name and I think that it may just be that even when we gather not explicity in his name he is there as well!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Romans 12:2~~~
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds...."

This was the verse in my devotional reading this morning. Along with my Upper Room Daily Reflections I am also reading the daily meditation book Simple Abundance. Today's meditation there was on changing the way we look at as see the world around us. Changing our outlook on life from living either in the past or for the future to living in the moment.

I think there is a strong connection between these two thoughts. Living in the ways of the world we often look back tempted to try and regain the "glorious past". To live the way things were if they were good or to live in regret and be limited in our life today because the past wasn't so good. The world often wants us to believe because of choices made in the past we are what we we are today and there can be no changes. Other worldly thinking tells us to live today always keeping an eye to the future and it's needs. We sacrifice dreams of today so that tomorrow will be better. We miss wonderful opportunities laid before us because there is no time in today to enjoy what it offers. We are too busy preparing for tomorrow.

One thing I have become painfully aware of recently is that we have no guarantee of a future. The only moment that we can be assured that we have to live is the one we are presently living in. All the best laid plans and dreams for a future will not guarantee that, that future will arrive as we planned it to be. Many have discovered we can save and save for a wonderful retirement only to find ourselves in the midst of an economic crisis that wipes out all those hopes and plans. We've seen this past week in Haiti that lives and futures can change in a moment with the shifting of tectonic plates. Dreams of shared travel and relaxed leisure with a loved one in the "golden years" shatter and blow away like dust in the wind with the end of a marriage or death of the loved one. No, our future is not guaranteed. But the way of the world, the way of being a responsible adult, is to spend most of today living to make a better future.

This isn't an easy thought line, to just toss out of our way of living. I am not willing to totally throw out thoughts of the past or all preparations for the future. But they can't become our focus. We can't turn down a person for a job simply because of a mistake they made in their past. We can't reject a friend or loved one becasue of a past event or action. Maybe they learned, grew or became a better person from that mistake or choice. We can't give up on ourselves becasue of a mistake or choice made either. The same may be true for us. Maybe what someone else has told us was a mistake or a bad choice was only that in their eyes. What a tragedy to give up on ones present life as being good because we judge ourselves only by our past. Be it what we see in it or what others try to tell us about it.

As to the future. I do believe we need to be prepared for our future. To be ready to have a future but not at the expense of today. It's not good to mortgage the future to live today, but neither is it good to mortgage today or worse yet give up today to live in the future. There need to be a balance. And I feel if the scales of the balance must tip a bit in any direction they need to tip toward today.

How do I connect the Romans verse and thoughts from Simple Abundance together. I think the answer can be found another Bible verse that tell us how God would like us to think and live. Matthew 6:25-34 gives us Jesus thoughts on worry and our future. If God cares and provides so much for the "lessor" creatures and things of his creation, how much more will he do the same for his children? God provides us with the things we need for the moment, for today. He makes the sun come up. He makes it go down. He provides beauty in the flowers of summer and even beauty in the barrenness of winter. We just need to take time to see it. He even provides us with what we need in the moment to help repair our world when things seem to be at work to rip it apart.

It is human nature, the way of the world to spend too much time in the past or the future; to see what we lack in our present and not what we have. If we are to be transformed we will live each day reveling in our abundance; reveling in the beauty that surrounds us; and seeking to be the best person we can be at this moment in time doing the best we can with what we have. If we can do this I believe the future will take care of itself. I believe if weseek to do this we will find the promise and truth in Jeremiah 29:11--"For surely I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."

Romans 12:2 does not just end with the above words at the beginning of this rather long and rambling post. It continues on and ends with....

" that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect."

This is the full goal of my life for today. Not only to be transformed, but to be transformed so I may discern the will of God and do it today, not tomorrow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


My heart goes out to the people of have so little and yet to have so much taken away from you. It is a tragedy of immense proportions. Once again it is in the midst of a tragedy that we see signs that most of the world can work together for common good of humanity in need. Cuba allows the US relief planes to fly through its airspace to save precious time in getting supplies where they are needed, and these are military planes. Countries rich and poor give what the can and in some cases even what they can't to help. People who last week thought they were so poor suddenly realize how "rich" they are and give out of their poverty to help. They stories are endless and the need is, at least at the moment, endless.

Yet even in the midst of all this there are voices, and sadly they are American voices, raised in meanness, pettiness and just plain ignorance. Even sadder these voices would want those of us who care and help to think we are the ignorant and misled ones. The saddest of all is that one of these voices professes to be a committed Christian. I take that back the saddest of all is that there are other Americans who believe them and side with them. I'm sure anyone reading this knows I refer to Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh. They are little men in my opinion and I hesitated to even name them, but evil must be named or it is allowed to continue. I wish I could apologize to the whole of humanity for their mean spirited small minds. They are people who desire to divide rather than strive to bring together. Enough said.

If you have not yet contributed to relief efforts in Haiti there are many good organizations out there. Like many folks I have a favorite. It is UMCOR which is the relief arm of the United Methodist church. 100% of what it raises for a specific relief effort goes to that effort. Any administrative costs are covered by the UMC church not the donors. Give them a thought when you choose an organization to donate to. Here is a press release on their efforts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Have you ever not been able to stop smiling and not had a clue why you were smiling in the first place????? Have you ever felt your spirit soar to the point that you feel as if you were staring in some grand musical in the scene where the music is swelling, the camera panning all around, and you are dancing with you face lifted to the sky and your arms outstretched????

Wow! What is it? Less than four hours ago I went to bed so exhausted as I said in the previous post that I thought I was going to cry and also thought I might just throw up. I'm not sure I even fell asleep, between then and now. I think it was more like I was in the in between state most if not all the time.

Before I turned out the light I read the days devotional thought from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Breathnach. A couple thoughts struck me that I tried to stick into a corner of my mind for more thought in the morning they were...."Without thinking, you throw away every precious twenty four hours that come your way. You cease to live, and merely exist." and "You have the power to change your lifestyle and move from a feeling of lack and deprivation to a feeling of abundance and fulfillment." and finally "The simpler we make our lives, the more abundant they become. There is no scarcity except in our souls."

I then turned out the bedside light and had my evening conversation with God. For the most part it was the usual conversation (prayer) thanking him for the blessings I found in my day, asking for his protection over the house and myself during the night, and for a good nights sleep so I would be refreshed in the morning and be ready for another busy day. But I asked also that he show me how to move from that feeling of a lack and deprivation to a feeling of abundance. I confessed that to often these days I get mired in what I have lost, what I don't have, and I forget to notice and acknowledge the gifts, graces and abundance that he has placed in my life even now. I confessed my sense of aloneness even though I knew he, God, had promised he would never forsake me. Then I rolled over to go to sleep.

Being so tired and exhausted I wasn't sure if I easily fall asleep or be restless. Like I said I really don't know if I feel asleep or not, but I wasn't really restless, just felt more like being restful. It was probably about 9:30 by this time. I do remember checking the clock a few times, that's why I'm not sure I really fell asleep. Suddenly, I seemed wide awake and very rested. And even more amazing I began to feel like I was in that grand musical. It was as if my spirit was being lifted and that smile was growing inside and on my lips. I recalled a verse we read in the Monday Morning Study Group.

"But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31.

It was amazing. I was watching in my head as it seemed I was dancing to that amazingly grand music. Spinning with my arms wide and my eyes uplifted to the heavens. I truly felt my spirit soar and my smile just kept getting bigger and bigger. I can honestly say I have never felt like this before, or if I have it has been so long that I have forgotten the feeling. I have felt awe and wonder, but not this sense of soaring of being lifted up.

I felt something within my soul saying "It will be OK. You are not alone. You will never be alone" and I knew I wasn't alone. Suddenly I was crying, but these were tears of joy. They must have been as I was still smiling, in the dark in my bed. Somewhat feeling like an idiot, but I didn't care. I still don't fully understand what was going on, but I'm sure it was God answering a prayer.

I tried for a while to calm down and try to go to sleep. I still do have to go to work in the morning, but I kept having the seance that I needed to come down to the computer and record what I had just experienced. I so wished there was someone I could have shared it with right then and there, but who do you call at midnight? Plus a part of me though wanting to share also wanted to treasure the experience in my own heart a little longer. Then need to record this didn't go away and still smiling I felt I better get myself out of bed to do so or I might never go to sleep. Having done so the sense of a soaring spirit has lessened though the smile is still present and I hope that now I may truly fall asleep and awaken renewed and rested ready to take on a new day with the smile at least in my heart if not still on my face.

I close with a statement and response we often use at gatherings at church:

"God is good all the time
All the time God is good!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Have you ever been so tired that you have just wanted to lie down and cry? That would be be right now. Though I'm not sure I even have the energy to get the tears out.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Stumbled across the movie "Carousel " on PBS tonight. Staying up to late to finish watching it, but I can't resist. I have always loved this play and the music in it. My favorite song from it is "You'll Never Walk Alone". I remember playing this a lot when I was in high school.

I was not one of the popular kids. I did have friends, but we were a group of outsiders who were just trying to get through high school in one piece emotionally. We weren't the rich kids. We weren't the pretty or handsome kids. We weren't the athletes. We weren't even the nerds. In short we weren't much of anything but friends with each other. There were eight of us in a high school of over 2000. I often felt alone. I guess its safe to say though there were good times in high school it was not one of my happiest times in life.

I will never forget one night when things were particularly difficult, listening to this song over and over. My dad must have heard it through my closed door. He stuck his head in my room and asked if he could come in. He sat down next to me gathered me in his arms and told me that I never had to worry that he would always be there for me and I could get through anything as long as I held my head up and remembered that and also remembered the words of the song.

I couldn't help but feel my throat tighten and my eyes tear up when the song was song in the movie tonight. Some things like the feeling of loneliness never change even after 42 years. My dad has been gone almost 10 years, but I would like to think that he is still by my side helping me to get through life's storms. I love you and miss you dad.

Rodgers & Hammerstein - You'll Never Walk Alone

When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At he end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Tonight signals the true end of the holiday season for me. I am back to being alone in the house. Mom has returned to her life in her home and so has Laura. The Christmas and New Year celebrations are over again for another year. Even friend Thelma has come and reclaimed her items that she had here prior to her reconciling with her husband. I'm so happy for her as they seem to have reconnected and rediscovered how much they mean to each other; determining life is better together than apart. For me however it is awfully quiet. Quiet is not totally bad, it's been a very busy holiday season and work this week is very busy, but it is lonely. The TV is only so good as company and it doesn't really respond when I try to talk to it. Oh well....that's life. Also there is always the promise of more snow to keep life interesting....just as the loneliness doesn't end neither it seems will the cold or snow this winter........maybe I need a dog for company....Naw at least not yet.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


I didn't get a chance to read a lot of my e-mail yesterday due to a frenzy of quilting that needed to be completed (and was) so went back this morning before I begin on a frenzy of quilt binding and read it. The thought from my daily Upper Room Reflection is one I need to remember in the coming days and months and actually its a good one to remember the rest of my life. It is a quote taken from the book The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas by Beth Richardson.

"God of new beginnings, guide me through the seasons of the coming year. Whatever hardship or joy I face, let me face it standing with you. Whatever building up or tearing down I encounter let me take action under your care. For you are the creator of every season. Amen"

I guess it is actually a prayer that I need to start each day with. I see a craft project in the works. I think I need to make up pretty posters with this to put up all around the house, in my car and in my office. Maybe even a small laminated card I can carry in my wallet. I think I will need to read this over and over till it is truly written on my heart and in my mind.