Thinking about Memorial Day

Do you remember the paper mache’ poppies? You know the ones we used to see everywhere when we growing up. I was one of the kids passing them out at the local grocery store in exchange for whatever donation was given. I am sure I was not happy to spend my Saturday there!

I was young and really did not appreciate–if I even knew–what that poppy symbolized. Because my dad was a veteran of WWII, he was an active member of the local VFW. My mom, my sisters, and I were part of the American Legion. One of the things we did for Memorial Day was make sure everyone had a commemorative poppy.

Late Saturday, an older man came up to me and asked if I knew what the poppy represented. This type of interaction happened to me all the time. There could have been ten other kids standing around but I was the one who was asked the questions. I debated saying I did know, but thought he may quiz me about it. I was honest and said I really did not know the whole story.

He told me it was important to know and shared this with me:

First of all, he said, you are not wearing the poppy correctly. It is to be worn over your heart. As he looked me straight in the eyes, he stressed that I would understand why this was important after he finished his story.

My memory is not complete so I am borrowing from an American Legion post:

The red petals stand for the vast outpouring of blood; the yellow and black center, the mud and desolation of all battlefields.

The green of the stem is symbolic of the forests, meadows and fields where generations of Americans have perished to make this land free.

The stem represents the courage and determination of our fallen warriors.

The assembled product, a flower, is a symbol of resurrection, which is sure to follow.

His words were much more simple, filled with the type of emphasis that only comes from being there, really experiencing the battles of war personally. He watched my face as he spoke, pausing now and then to make sure I was getting his point. When his story was complete, he stepped back in silence and somber reflection. He leaned toward me, asking me if I thought I understood why it is important to wear that poppy correctly? Now I was able to honestly answer that question. Which I did, with a soft and respectful, yes.

That was decades ago–probably over fifty years have passed since that grocery store lesson. I can picture myself standing beside this little round man, dressed in his bib overhauls, giving me the gift of a very powerful lesson about the real cost of the freedom.

Oh the challenges our nation has faced since that long past day in May. One thing has not changed. As Memorial Day approaches, it is vitally important for us all to remember those who have fought to defend our freedoms and those who protect us today.

We are in such turmoil and unease. As I asked last night, I ask for your prayers, remembering our great country and for those who defend and protect us. God bless them, God bless us all, and please, God, bless America.

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace. I love you.

 

 

 

A Time For Reflection

Mother’s Day.

A hard day for those of us who have lost our moms. It doesn’t matter how old we were when the loss happened–this is a life event we all carry with us from that day forward.

I send my love out to those of you who are facing your first “motherless” Mother’s Day. May your memories give you comfort. May you come to understand, as I have, that your mom will always be with you. Not just in the memories, but in little things you do, little things you say, little habits you may not have recognized until now. I was blessed with a mom who loved me. Unfortunately, my mom, my sisters, and I were not blessed with much time.

Time. It is such an illusive concept. We keep thinking we have more. Don’t be fooled. As we’ve all been told, life can change in just a matter of seconds. This Mother’s Day, put the electronics away. Open your mind and heart by spending some attentive quality time with your mom. As anyone who has lost their mom will tell you, we would give anything to spend one more day with them. We’d ask questions, really listen to what she told us, and share stories of our own. We would make sure she knew how important and special she was and is to us; how her life lessons are infused into our very being.

Use your time wisely, my dear friends, and cherish those you love. If your mom is here, please make sure she knows how important she is to you. Only you can do that.

Make your mom, and yourself, proud.

I am

B…simply being…

Peace and love to y’all.

 

Another Trip to the Library

I have a great library. Now that I am retired, not only do I have more time to read but I can choose HOW I read. I can read a new book or I can re-read a book that has become a traveling companion. These select few are special and I feel as though they are “old friends.” Some have traveled with me for many years. Not only do they share their printed words, but they magically pull up memories of what was happening in my life the first time I read them. I can see where I was, who I was with, see my notes and highlighting, and physically feel what was going on in my world at the time. Oh the power of books! I am blessed to have some very big hitters.

Simple Abundance, by Sarah Breathnach, is one of my favorites. My first copy was a gift, making it very special. This book has been around for a long time, very popular in the early 90’s. It was one of the books read by a group of women I met with once a week for years. I’ll always remember the night one of the leaders of the group talked about the book, explaining what she liked about it and shared different readings with us. She had passed her copy around and we all wanted to know where we could find our own copy. She said she had a surprise for us–and handed out a copy for each of us.

The book is set up to read an entry a day. I’ll share the beginning of what Sarah wrote for January 5:

Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in outlives and–fruitlessly–search “out there” for answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.   Emily Hancock

I think many of us are searching for our authentic selves. As I give my thanks for my blessings today, one of the things I am grateful for is being able to share my search with you.

God bless you with love and peace.

I am…

B…simply being…

 

 

 

A Slow Day

Everybody needs a slow day–I took one today. I am learning to listen to my body and some days you just don’t push it.

In light of that I’m sharing simple things today.

First thing to share is that our friends brought home their new puppy today. She is adorable. I’ve attached a picture of her so you can fall in love with her, too. She is described as very affectionate and ALL puppy. Cannot wait to meet her and hold her squiggly little body and smell that puppy breath.

Secondly,  I’m sharing something I discovered about a month ago. I’ve wanted to go back to school but honestly, could not commit to the time. Not sure how I stumbled upon on-line courses called MOOCs. I had to Google the acronym to see what it was and found it stood for: Massive Open Online Course. The courses are offered through several different sources for pretty low prices or free. The source I am most pleased with at this time is Coursera–you can check them out at: Coursera.org. They offer a wide variety of courses for free or a fee if you want a certificate of completion.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am thankful my husband was home today to take care of me. Thanks, Mickey. Your attention alone made a world of difference. I had three other care givers–all three dogs were beside me while I rested. Of course, part of that fact is they are allowed on the bed during the day–that might have been a huge incentive. Regardless, it was a joyously lazy day.

I took advice from Anne Lamott today:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you. 

I am rested, renewed, mostly recharged. I am…

B…simply being…

Peace and love to all.

 

My Guidance

I was clearing some space on my desk when I saw my Guide for the Advanced Soul sitting beside my computer. I am always curious about what that little book will tell me. This is the guidance the Universe sent my way:

The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors reflecting their beliefs. So relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth…if we look honestly at our relationships we can see so much about how we have created them.    Shakti Gawain

I wish you all love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Musings

I’ve had some extra time this week to think about things. What that usually means is I take long walks into my past. This week was no exception. There are some things back there that have always puzzled me. I found some unusual help this time though, from “The Royals.”

I have been running from myself for most of my life. When Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, began talking about their mother, Diana, a switch turned on for me. I found, and continue to find, great comfort in their words when they talk about the struggles they have had in their lives after her death. Whenever Prince Harry speaks,  his words give me chills. It appears we had and have some of the same challenges. By speaking out he gave me a very valuable gift–he opened the door for me to speak of my own challenges. I am grateful for that.

I grew up in a little town in northeast Iowa. My family was not from there originally, a fact that I think was hard for my mom. Looking back on life’s events as an older adult gives me such a different perspective of things. My mom had been a single working woman, living at home with her parents, until she was 27 years old. She thought she was an old maid. She often told me how she met my dad at a dance. She said she knew when she met him he was special but did not think he was ever going to ask her to marry him. Looking back, that is the only story she ever shared with me about her days as a single woman. Of course, I was so young I would not have understood much more than that. She never had a chance to share more–she was dead by the time I was ten, my younger sister eight, and my youngest sister, six. That, my friends, is the tip of the iceberg.

I only have a kid’s memory of so many things. Our small community had its share of tragedies during this time. The most significant one I remember is that a classmate of mine’s mother died after being in a car accident. I think we were in second grade so we were probably seven years old. I had to be at school early that morning–I was in trouble for having a messy desk and was supposed to come in and clean it out. When I got to my room, my teacher was not there so I went looking for her. I found everyone in the room next door all standing in the front of the class room. They were talking softly about a car accident. One teacher said that the doctors did not think that my friend’s mom was hurt very badly. They were wrong, she said.  My classmates mom had died earlier that morning from a head injury that had not been detected. Lots more whispers.

I stood there thinking, how can that be? Moms don’t die.

In my mind, I see exactly where I was standing that day–how the soft morning sunlight came through the windows, illuminating the desktops, reflecting off chalk dust that was always flying through the air. The huddle of teachers remained close together in the front of the room. I remained invisible. Yes, they said, she had been hit from behind. You know, they said, it’s that bad spot out on the highway where so many other accidents had happened. Well, it’s been icy, they said, so she had a cement block in the back of her car for traction. When she was hit, they said, it flew and hit her head…

No one noticed as I turned and quietly walked out of the room. Oh, so many questions I carried out with me that day.

I wonder if my friend, my classmate from so many years ago, has any of the same questions I do? Does Prince Harry comfort her as he speaks of his demons? Do my other friends who also lost their moms when they were young feel the way I do–like you’ve always been a little lost? Always searching for something…

The month of May has always has been a time when I question so many things. I’ve sidestepped them for many, many years. Now it is time calm my demons by writing about them. If Prince Harry helped me, maybe I can help someone else?

This part of my life made me, me.

I am

B…simply being…

Wishing you all love and peace.

 

 

 

Resources

I had forgotten how comforting it was to have a resource to turn to when I needed some type of encouragement. We all have to do our own soul-searching. What is good to know is we have other resources out there to help us along the way. Advisors we can keep close to us–just an arm’s length–like my little book, A Guide for the Advanced Soul.

I have several “advisors” sitting close by me. I’ll call them in for consultation often and share their words of wisdom. It’s all part of why I believe we are here–to help each other in our journey. Heaven knows, we need that type of help right now. We are all questioning so many basic things.

Venice Bloodworth was introduced to me by my husband, Michael. She was someone totally new to me until he shared her book. Now her book is another one in the front row of my go to authors/advisors whenever I need someone to make sense of things. Someone to renew my hope in–well–something.

Venice wrote her book, The Key to Yourself, in the 50’s. The copyright of the book we have on our shelf is 1952–a year before I was born. I’m not sure why I even noticed that but it made a really big impression on me. She wrote then what many of us read a few years ago thinking it was the first time someone had written it. Her wording is a little cumbersome today, but that makes it even more special to me. An example from a quote she credits to “Selected” which begins Chapter 3:

The Conscious Mind

If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dar not, you don’t; If you’d like to wind, but you think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t’ If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost, For out in the world you’ll find success begins with a fellow’s will; It’s all in the state of the mind. 

Later in that chapter she says: It is strange that we so long failed to understand the wonderful power of thought, for it is taught by every religion and philosophy in the history of the world. Paul, when in captivity and chained to a Roman solder, gave to the world this message:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are  just, whatsoever things ar pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.. 

I, like many, am troubled by what is unfolding around us. I am unsure what to do other than try to find a way to help each other through it all until we can figure out what to do next. Our minds are powerful. As Venice says, if we think we’ll lose, we have lost. We–all of us–have to rediscover our own power. Look for our advisors–whether it is by talking with each other or rediscovering words like these shared by those who have passed this way before us.

I am.

B…simply being…

God bless you all with love and peace.

 

 

 

 

Insight

Years ago a friend of mine showed me a book she said she consulted daily. The name of the book was, A guide for the Advanced Soul, by Susan Hayward. She handed it to me and told me to open it to any page. What was written on that page, she said, was  my guidance for the day.

The book impressed me so much I bought it the next day.  I have not found the words I remember reading that night so long ago. The feeling I had while reading them has never left me. I knew that night, down to my very soul, that my life was about to change in a very big way.

What happened, you ask, that made me think something was happening in my life? Something very simple–I went out for lunch–a lunch that had been in the works for months. I finally met that friend of a friend–yes–a blind date. Love at first sight, you say? I have to say, yes. There really is a thing! I was the biggest skeptic in the world until that day. In less than an hour I had become a believer. Twenty five years later, I still believe.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “stuff” that bombards us all day long we forget to look for the magic. You know, all those unexpected blessing that simply shower down on us at times when we least expect them and often when we need them the most. It’s some powerful stuff, love. Remember that. Do not take it for granted.

Tonight, I have consulted my guide for the advanced soul. Let me share the wisdom found:

Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you. 

                                                                                         Shakti Gawain

I wish you all peace, love, and a restful night.

I am.

B…simply being…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Human

Taking a step away from my own story tonight and sharing my thoughts about something that has been in the news for the last 24 hours or so.

The talk today revolved around Jimmy Kimmel’s son, Billy. For those who may not know, he was born with a congenital heart defect, resulting in a successful open heart surgery when he was only a few days of age.  He did well with this surgery but will have more in his future.

I can hear the first comments out of many people’s mouths today, “Well, didn’t they have an ultrasound? How could they have missed a hole in the heart?” The blaming begins…

I am a retired pediatric echocardiographer. Translated, that means I performed  ultrasound on baby’s hearts. My patient population ranged from the fetus to the adult with congenital heart disease.  I was very fortunate. Before I retired I was able to do fetal echoes on women I imaged when they were neonates. What a joy that was for me. Heavens–I miss my patients and their families.

One of the things I wished my patients understood, and I feel most sonographers would agree, is the fact that we carry their stories and images home with us every single day. As a sonographer, we sit right next to our patients–definitely in their personal spaces–often putting all our body weight into their bodies in an attempt to confine that fetus. We are  not there to get “pretty pictures.” We are there to get diagnostic ones. We are accessing that little fetus to make sure all parts are normal in position, size, shape and function. All of this goes on while we hear all about your life–people who are nervous share a lot of personal information. As we work and listen, we attempt to keep our body language normal, our faces neutral, often fighting back tears. We understand just how drastic this woman and her family’s lives are going to change in just a matter of moments.

There is an obstitrician along with his/her ultrasound staff in the LA area who are very unhappy with the results of their studies done for Jimmy’s wife and unborn son. Unfortunately, ultrasound is not an exact science. Many things contribute to a successful diagnostic study: the age of the fetus, how cooperative that little person is at the time of the study, the experience of the sonographer, the experience of the physician reading that study, the level of suspicion regarding possible defects, and the amount of time that practice allows for each exam. If it is a first pregnancy, a young mom, no family history, all other images and prenatal studies normal with an active fetus, imaging compromises may be accepted. Factor into that entire equation the fact that this was a study done on a celebrity’s wife–sigh…

We are all only human–but that is not comforting to those involved with this case. Not for any of us.

My prayers go out for Billy’s continued successful recovery along with prayers for those professionals who are beating themselves up over missing this prenatal diagnosis. God bless you all.

Wishing you all a restful night filled with love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Expectations

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.” 

Margaret Mitchell

For many, this week has been a nightmare. The stories that continue to emerge are heartbreaking.

As I sat down at my desk this afternoon, it was raining–hard. Each drop dulls my mind and weighs down my heart.

There is something different about this rain now. It makes things feel unfamiliar and uncertain–no longer stable or safe.

We’ve watched our community and our neighbors lose so much in a matter of hours. We gather in groups at the store to talk about what we saw and how the entire landscape around us has changed. Our tears flow–as does the rain.

Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” 

José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love

Many tears have been shed all across our country for years. For me, the things I’ve witnessed this week have added a much deeper understanding of natural disasters. It reminded of when I lived in Colorado and saw wildfires explode, taking all that was in its path. All in Colorado cried as we helplessly watched walls of fire destroy the homes of neighbors and friends.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. 

” Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.” 

Alexandre Dumas

Our world seems to be filled with much misery. I don’t know–do you think maybe we are given these experiences as some last-ditch effort to help us find some common ground in order to understand each other better?

A prayer for the weekend with my thanks to St. John Fisher Catholic Church:

God of compassion,

You created a world for us

To know your love and peace

Yet amidst the beauty of creation

We encounter pain and hurt

And forces beyond our control.

At times like this our hearts are shaken and ache with sorrow.

At the destruction of our lives, homes and livelihoods.

Hear our prayers for those affected by the floods

And for all those working

To bring relief and fresh hope.

Amen  

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

Please Start Stopping

“The storm starts, when the drops start dropping

When the drops stop dropping then the storm starts stopping.” 

Dr. Seuss

I hope the storms start stopping soon.

The forecast is not encouraging.

It’s time to put an official call out to all my prayer warriors out there.

Please join me in prayer for all struggling to recover from the natural disasters that have besieged our world.

The following prayer was composed by the Diocese of Austin for those affected by the recent storms in Central Texas. 

 God of majesty and compassion, 

You set the earth on its foundation 

and all elements of nature obey your command. 

You created us and know the fragility of human life. 

Help us [or our sisters and brothers] 

in our time of trouble; 

hold back the damaging winds 

and contain the waters that threaten our community 

so our fears may turn into praise of your goodness. 

  

Have mercy on those who have died in the flood waters. 

Welcome them into your Kingdom of peace and joy. 

Bring consolation 

to those who have lost loved ones and friends. 

  

In your compassion look upon us 

and give us tears to mourn their loss 

and strength to assist in the needed rebuilding. 

Protects us and help us to live for you. 

We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

Amen. 

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

A Very Sad Wet Day

The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” 

Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

Since we moved into our house I’ve told everyone Lake LBJ would never flood.

Never say never.

Throughout the night we heard siren after siren signaling more flood gates were opened at Wirtz Dam. This morning the Lower Colorado River Authority could not keep up with the massive amount of water coming into Lake LBJ.

Our little communities on the shores of Lake LBJ washed away as flood waters rose.

I’ve sat in front of the TV hypnotized as docks, boats, homes, and collapsed bridges washed over Starke Dam.

Put Texas on your prayer list tonight. The rain has slowed but the Llano River upstream will crest for the second time later tonight at a level even higher than what was seen today.

God, I need to know that You are with me; that You hear my cry, I long to feel Your presence not just this day but every day. When I am weak and in pain, I need to know You are beside me. That in itself is often comfort enough. I do not pretend to know Your ways, to know why this world You have created can be so beautiful, so magnificent, and yet so harsh, so ugly, and so full of hate. The lot You have bestowed upon me is a heavy one. I am angry. I want to know why: why the innocent must suffer, why life is so full of grief. There are times when I want to have nothing to nothing to do with You. When to think of You brings nothing but confusion and ambivalence. And there are times, like this time, when I see to return to You, when I feel the emptiness that comes when I am far from You. Watch over me and my loved ones. Forgive me for all that I have not been. Help me appreciate all that I have, and to realize all that I have to offer. Help me to find my way back to you so I may never be alone. Amen.   Naomi Levy, To Begin Again

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless. Please stay safe my dear friends.

~Peace~

My thanks to Texas Parks and Wildlife for the photo I’m using today.

Hell-o, Doctor?

“Your warmth has more healing power upon the patient than all the medical tools in the world.” 

Abhijit Naskar, Time to Save Medicine

I had my “Welcome to Medicare” physical today.

This was my second physical with “my personal care provider.”

I have no doubts he is a good doctor. I am having doubts whether he is the right fit for me.

I think I’ve figured out why finding “the one” is so difficult for me. It is not unlike dating–in the dating world and in the seeking a physician world, both parties have expectations of what they expect from each other.

To clarify, I come from a long healthcare career. For most of my so-called adult life, my physicians were people I knew from working with them. They knew me not only as a fellow healthcare worker but as a person. Many knew my family–which was not always a plus. When I had an appointment with them, they listened to my concerns and knew I had some knowledge to contribute on how things progressed from there. We talked. We had eye contact. We questioned back and forth as we planned together.

Retirement changed that. We moved to a new state and entered the world of the self-insured. It has been a rough road with not many good advisers out there.  I’ve learned what it’s like to be on the other side of healthcare. It is not a comfortable place to be nor is the forecast for the immediate future favorable.

Today I sat beside my physician, telling him about my latest symptoms while reviewing my list of questions, yearning for the eye contact confirming he actually heard my concerns. As I spoke, I watched, leaving little breaks in my dissertation, hoping that’d encourage some type of acknowledgement. Not the case. My silence seemed to give him the opportunity to progress through his forms more quickly. I wondered if he’d noticed I’d stopped talking. I don’t think so. My pauses did give me time to realized most of what I’d shared with him only brushed the surface of my real concerns. Sadly, this made me aware he was completely unaware of how uneasy I was entering this phase of my life. I’d filled out all the forms and answered all the questions honestly… I had not been depressed. My energy level was good. I did exercise. My home was safe. Okay–yes, I still had my daily glass or two of wine…As he checked off his boxes in his history taking form, I realized I was not going to get the level of empathetic care I’d hoped.

This was and is so sad to me.

At a time when we “seniors” most need a healthcare provider to care for us physically, mentally, and emotionally, most of those needs do not have a corresponding box on any of those review of systems pages.

Did I get good care today?

It’s all still pretty new to me. I think I received the level of care that is standard practice today. Does that make it good care? I guess that depends on how you define that good care.

I don’t think all the government and insurance companies rules and regulations have made anything better or safer. I guess that probably wasn’t the real reason anyway. What it did do was create a badly engineered money-making machine that continues to wobble on in spite of itself. No one knows how to fix it so we all, physician and patient, do our best to adapt in order to survive.

“THE MAXIMS OF MEDICINE 

Before you examine the body of a patient,

Be patient to learn his story.

For once you learn his story,

You will also come to know

His body.

Before you diagnose any sickness,

Make sure there is no sickness in the mind or heart.

For the emotions in a man’s moon or sun,

Can point to the sickness in

Any one of his other parts.

Before you treat a man with a condition,

Know that not all cures can heal all people.

For the chemistry that works on one patient,

May not work for the next,

Because even medicine has its own

Conditions.

Before asserting a prognosis on any patient,

Always be objective and never subjective.

For telling a man that he will win the treasure of life,

But then later discovering that he will lose,

Will harm him more than by telling him

That he may lose,

But then he wins.

THE MAXIMS OF MEDICINE by Suzy Kassem” 

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

In My Neighborhood

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” 

Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

So many in our world need help. We seem to go from one disaster to another. I imagine I am not the only one wondering how they can help.

What we all need to remember is it doesn’t require a disaster.

It may be as simple as helping our neighbor take out the trash or using our professional knowledge to help them understand new medications or medical equipment. We are here to help each other. If we have the ability and the knowledge to help, what a blessing we could be without leaving our neighborhood.

There is no question our neighbors appreciate our help. What continues to surprise me is how much better we feel after we give our help and support.

 Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on your and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of your knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen.  Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking…

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Nature’s Remedy

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” 

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Earlier today a Monarch Butterfly granted us an extended visit. For about thirty minutes she explored the flowering shrubs in the Donna-Bethie garden.

What a gift she gave us today! While we savored our coffee we were given a brilliant show from one of God’s true masterpieces.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 

Albert Einstein

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

A Prayer for Comfort

Heavenly Father,
You hold time within your hands, and see it all, from beginning to end. Please keep and carry these precious people in their sadness and loss. Cover them with your great wings of love, give their weary hearts rest and their minds sound sleep. Lord, lift their eyes so that they may catch a glimpse of eternity, and be comforted by the promise of heaven.

We ask all this in the precious name of Jesus.

Amen.

My thoughts and prayers are focused on one of my dearest friends. Words escape me so I am drawing on prayer.

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless them and send His angels to comfort them.

~Peace be with you~

A Day at a Time

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” 

Tom Hiddleston

Today two friends are facing some serious challenges. Now, these women are very strong and courageously independent. They will persevere because that is what they do.

So, instead of sitting idly by and worrying for and about them, I’ll do what I do best…

I’ll write and send them love and prayers.

In addition to that, I ask us all, myself included, to remember this:

“The key is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow’s strength yet. You simply have enough for today.” 

Max Lucado, Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear

Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I trust youth take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on you and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of our knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and to take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen.                                                            Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking…

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

 

Remember…

“My Dear Friend, 

Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.” 

Miya Yamanouchi, Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women

I rarely admit it but I DO realize when I’ve pushed myself too hard.

A never fail, serious red flag is the word “should.” Any time I use that word it always signals something is out of  balance.

The latest subtle example….

I was washing dishes yesterday. No big deal–it was a simple, easy, uncomplicated job. That was until a Pyrex baking dish slipped out of my hands. It fell maybe three inches, hitting the wall of the sink, exploding into a zillion pieces all over the kitchen and dining room. Words began to fly…all mine–all unkind…

Step into the picture, my husband.

God bless you, Michael.

He calmly took charge of the clean up while I used every phrase I could grab from my past in order to describe how inept I was–not narrowing it down to any specific event but gathering every little thing I could in order to make it an all-inclusive evaluation.

Yup.

It was not pretty.

I know many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I took a deep breath. After some under my breath protests, I stepped aside, wisely letting Michael help me get it all put together again.

By the grace of God, I made my way back to the place I’d been many times–the little slip of land where I wash up after pushing myself to the limit–where I finally relax and allow myself to rest.

I am thankful…

Dear God, please  help me to let go of trying to be perfect. Help me to realize that I am okay as I am. I was born sacred, and I will always be sacred. Help me to remember that when I stay focused on comparing myself to others–or to some illusion of perfection–I always come up short, and that’s not honoring the gift of life you’ve given me. Help me to remember I am one of your precious children, and I am enough.  Amen.  

Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all.

~Peace~

What if….

Always ask yourself: “What will happen if I say nothing?” 

Kamand Kojouri

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week even though I’ve been re-posting old stories. Honestly, having time to think is my favorite part of retirement.

As I begin the weekend, I’ve been thinking how to continue being kind.

I consciously worked on being kind as I ran errands yesterday.

I was patient with those who wanted to merge into traffic–you know the ones–slowly sliding towards your lane without signaling their intent. I don’t understand why the simple act of merging has to be so difficult. I canNOT read your mind, people! Are you trying to read a text or do you want to change lanes? Make it easy for all of us–flip on that little turn signal and give us a clue. Staying true to my goal, I threw in extra prayers while giving each driver additional time for me to “Intuit” what might be their next move.

Since I’m being honest, I have to admit to having a little feeling that maybe this was not so noble–maybe it was my rather sneaky way of taking control.

I’m not sure.

What I do know for sure is by taking this very round about approach, my blood pressure decreased noticeably–SCORE FOR ME!

Yesterday’s list also included the grocery store. That is a big assignment.

To make this work I knew I had to shove an extra big dose of patience into my pocket.

I mighta, coulda,  shoulda taken a double dose.

Taking a deep breath, I smiled while allowing people to chat across the middle of the aisles, cut in front of me as if I were invisible, suddenly park their cart three inches from me, heading off to heaven knows where.

As I stood in line with my few items, a young man quietly came up behind me with one bottle of juice. I shook my head–he was probably on his break. When he looked up and made eye contact with me, I suggested he go in front of me. He looked surprised and asked if I was sure–I said yes. He thanked me while paying for his purchase–completely that act of kindness perfectly.

The best and most surprising part of this morning was how peaceful and happy I was when I got home. It cost me nothing to gain so much.

You guys gotta try a day of being kind.

It’s the best.

“ The Paradoxical Commandments 

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.” 

Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno, for letting me use your wonderful picture in my post today. This always makes me feel like you are sitting here with me as I write. Thank you. I love you.