Tossing and Turning

“Insomnia

I cannot get to sleep tonight.

I toss and turn and flop.

I try to count some fluffy sheep

while o’er a fence they hop.

I try to think of pleasant dreams

of places really cool.

I don’t know why I cannot sleep –

I slept just fine at school.” 

Kathy Kenney-Marshall

I’ve said several times the past few weeks I rarely have trouble sleeping.

I jinxed myself–big time.

For the past week I’ve tossed, I’ve turned, and tossed some more.  Like an illusionist, sleep slipped into the swirling fog created by my thoughts, returning without any remorse near dawn’s early light.

As I somewhat smuggly boasted, maybe I planted a subliminal seed which sprouted this round of insomnia. Whatever the reason, I have another lesson in being more mindful–more aware–of what and how I say things.

I’m have known for some time prayer helps slow the whirling of my mind. Just my usual conversations with God work but there is something special about the following prayer. May it help ease all of us into peaceful sleep.

Prayer Before Sleep

Dear God, as I lay me down to sleep, relax the tension of my body; 

calm the restlessness of my mind; 

still the thoughts which worry and perplex me.

Help me to rest myself and all my problems in your strong and loving arms.

Let your Spirit speak to my mind and heart

while I am asleep, so that, when I wake up in the morning, 

I may find that I have received in the night-time,

     light for my way;

     strength for my tasks;

     peace for my worries;

     forgiveness for my sins.

Grant me sleep tonight, and tomorrow power to live. Amen

~God’s Spoken Word Ministries

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

I am thrilled to include the photography of one of my special Iowa friends in today’s story. Thank you, Jo Heiple Thedens. The balance and composition of your art is wonderful. You and your photography nourish my Iowa roots and heart. Thank you. 

Caring For Yourself

CARING FOR YOURSELF 

Be Yourself– Truthfully 

Accept Yourself– Gracefully 

Value Yourself– Joyfully 

Forgive Yourself– Completely 

Treat Yourself– Generously 

Bless Yourself– Abundantly 

Trust Yourself– Confidently 

Love Yourself– Wholeheartedly 

Empower Yourself– Prayerfully 

Give Yourself– Enthusiastically 

Express Yourself– Radiantly 

TAKE CARE OF YOU!!

~Brad Boyd  

I have met some of the most amazing people through Facebook.

One such amazing person is Terri Boyd Lucher. She is a suicide survivor and someone I now have the pleasure of chatting with on a fairly regular basis.

Our “friendship” began when I sent a message asking to use the picture I’m reusing in today’s story. She graciously gave her permission and shared more about her story.

All I can say is her guardian angels were definitely beside her for some time during her recovery. I am thankful to have the opportunity to call her my friend and thankful she continues to not just live but thrive in all she does. God bless you, Terri, and many thanks to your brother as well.

Between the two of you, my work today is beautifully and easily completed.

Just goes to show you how gifts find their way to you when you least expect them.

“I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way!” ~ Louise L. Hay

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Memory Rocks

If you find a rock—

a rock that’s not

a skipping rock, 

or a chalk rock,

or a resting rock, 

or a wishing rock-

that’s not

a splashing rock,

or a shifting rock,

or a worry rock,

or a hiding rock-

that’s not even 

a climbing rock,

or a crossing rock,

or a fossil rock,

or a walking rock

but you like it anyway,

because it reminds you

of a place,

or a feeling,

or something important-

a memory rock,

and sometimes

those are the best 

rocks of all. 

~Peggy Christian, “If You Find a Rock”  

All my life I’ve been a rock collector.

I remember sitting with the other neighborhood kids in the church parking lot going through rocks searching for precious stones. The quartz and mica were our diamonds and Fool’s Gold the supreme find. Hours would fly by as we pulled our paper grocery sacks across the gravel. More than once the bottom of my over-filled bag gave up its load as I trudged home. Even now I can feel my breath catch, my shoulders sag, and feel the disappointment as all my treasures hit the ground and rolled down hill.

In my so-called adult years my love for rocks continues. My treasured rocks are my heart-shaped ones–but I have discovered one arrow-head and a very unique stone that looks like it some type of man-made tool.

As I make my mental inventory, I smile and shake my head. Many of my most cherished things are gifts from the land–items I have uncovered with my own eyes.

I thank God for this gentle reminder to take time to pause, to reconnect with Mother Earth, and to be aware of the many blessings she has bestowed upon me.

“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

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Little Brown-eyed Doe

“I love mockingbirds, but I cannot rehab them because they imprint, or bond, or whatever you choose to call it. Young ravens and crows are worse. In their quest for attention and affection, they are akin to domestic dogs. And when you placate young wild animals with a tender human touch, it changes them forever. So rehabbers have to reject the overtures of creatures who attempt to bond, to ensure they retain their wild nature. Some people are good at this. I am not. I have too much of what John Keats called negative capability as well as a close corollary, empathy. When birds arrive at my door lost, broken, and terrified, the distinctions between us fall away, and they are no longer wild animals separate from my humanity. Instead, I am right there with them, sharing their troubles, fear, and pain. I see myself in them and want to protect, love, and reassure them.” 

Terry Masear, Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood

I’m a city girl living in the country for the first time in my life. Sooner or later I was going to see the not so kind side of Mother Nature.

About two weeks ago, we were watching a small herd of deer meander across the empty lot behind our house. As they spread out and went their different ways, we noticed one little doe bringing up the rear. I pointed her out to Michael because her gait was so unusual–like someone had released a rocking horse out into the wild.

As she made her way around the cacti, we realized why she was moving in such an unnatural way. She was not bearing any weight on her left front leg. We were shocked at how badly her leg was injured and heartbroken to see her struggle in order to keep up with her herd. Sadly, we gave her our blessing and watched as she bobbled away. Neither one of thought we’d see her again.

To our amazement our amazing brown-eyed doe has proven us wrong. I’m still unsure if that is a good or a bad thing. Today as I walked to the office to write, she was in the back moseying around with the rest our deer friends. She’s become a teacher as well as an example of pure determination as she makes her way over the very uneven, rocky terrain. I am learning there’s not much I can do for her other than include her in my conversations with God.

Which, when I stop to think about it, is all I can do about just about anything.

Heavenly Father, our human ties with our friends of other species is wonderful and special gift from You. We now ask You to grant our special animal companions your Fatherly care and healing power to take away any suffering they have. Give us, their human friends, new understanding of our responsibilities to these creatures of Yours. They have trust in us as we have in You; our souls and theirs are on this earth together to give one another friendship, affection, and caring. Take our heartfelt prayers and fill Your ill or suffering animals with healing Light and strength to overcome whatever weakness of body they have.

Your goodness is turned upon every living thing and Your grace flows to all Your creatures. From our souls to theirs goodness flows, touching each of us with the reflection of Your love. Grant to our special animal companions long and healthy lives. Give them good relationships with us, and if You see fit to take them from us, help us to understand that they are not gone from us, but only drawing closer to You. Grant our prayer through the intercession of good St. Francis of Assisi, who honored You through all Your creatures. Give him the power to watch over our animal friends until they are safely with You in eternity, where we someday hope to join them in giving You honor forever. Amen.                          Saint Francis of Assisi, for our Animal Friends

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

A Few Words About Words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” 

Rudyard Kipling  

My word for 2019 is awareness.

It took some time for me to narrow down my word choices.

Initially I thought aware was my word. It’s a great word but it’s an adjective. I can’t explain why but for some reason I did not want my guiding word to be an adjective. To me, an adjective is not a thing–it’s a word that describes a person, place, or thing. For this year I need a thing–a noun–as my guiding word.

Already my awareness has helped me to slow down and gather a lot of information that will enable me to learn and grow. I am looking forward to sharing.

 “While they talked they remembered the years of their youth, and each thought of the other as he had been at another time.” 

John Williams, Stoner

Surprises can be such fun.

Yesterday an old childhood friend sent me a text to call her. By the time I was able to call her our time was limited. I needed to postpone our conversation until today and she agreed.

What a treat to talk with her today and hear about her family and some of the old friends we both grown up with back in Traer, Iowa. We talked about our lives as young adults and our lives now. I smiled as she talked because I heard her use words and phrases I’d not heard in a very long time. It was a wonderful gift.

Thank you, Carole Dalby, for taking me back in time and bringing me up to date with you and your family. You are one brave and incredibly strong woman. I look forward to talking with you again soon.

“Talk between women friends is always therapy…” 

Jayne Anne Phillips

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Thank you, Judith Weitzel Wilmink, for allowing me to use your picture of our hill country sunrise this morning. 

The Excavation Site

“Finding yourself” is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “Finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. ~Emily McDowell

I read this a few days ago and it spoke volumes to me. Thank you, Emily McDowell!

It also triggered a reminder–that dusty memory where I said finding myself was the reason I’d started writing again–specifically–writing this blog.

Now, I think a better way to say all this is I write to uncover the real me and share that process with others.

Since I was just a kid, I’ve conveniently side-stepped this work because I just wasn’t ready. Now is the time–this is the year–I am ready.

If there is anything I know for sure it is until the past is acknowledged, there is no true freedom nor is there room for exploring the future. I’ve avoided my past at all cost. As my excavation has gotten closer to my personal ground zero, I’ve realized what I’ve been running from is not so horrible. What has made it horrible is my struggle to keep it buried.

I say it’s past time to get the exploration party started.

“Life isn’t always about finding yourself. More often than not, it’s about discovering who God created you to be.” 

David A.R. White, Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Taking the Stairs

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!” 

Mehmet Murat ildan

The past year was certainly one that posed many questions for me. As Zora Neal Hurston said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” I have the feeling that this new year may be another year of questions. The days are slipping by way too quickly and I continue to search for ways that will keep my mind focused on what I want to accomplish this year. At this point a set of goals feels too restrictive.

I’m intrigued with the thought of choosing a word to guide your year. I read several different articles and blogs today about this topic and was I was surprised to learn this is not a new practice. Which worked out really well for me because I was able to find many lists of awesome and inspiring words along with several different methods I could use in order to select my word of the year. As I worked through the different methodologies and read the long alphabetical lists, four words grabbed my attention–aware, fear, learn, and self. Now, this short list creates another question. Is my word for 2019 one of these four words or is my guiding word the one word that encompasses all these words?

For now, I’m comfortable letting things ruminate. I’ll let my subconscious mind guide me to the best word for me and the year ahead.

In the meantime, it feels like a great time to share the following prayer.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument
of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred,
let me sow charity;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light; and Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

The Journey Continues

“A new year always comes with a new hope for a new beginning, but new beginning is not only starting something new, it is more about improving upon things not going right or went wrong last year. After all, it is a just a new date, the journey continues!” 

Shahenshah Hafeez Khan  

The first week of the new year is almost over and I’m still wondering what I want to accomplish in 2019.

As I began to read and write today, another blog caught my eye. That’s not unusual–I read Nicole Luttrell’s blog, Paper Beats World, often. Today’s article seemed to be directed right at me. In “Raise a glass, then make some plans,” Nicole shares her personal experiences with goal making while offering simple steps and suggestions for creating plans of our own.

One thing really stood out for me. Nicole makes the observations that many of us jump right into making plans for the new year without stopping to think about the successes we had the previous year.

As conscious as I am about being grateful, I never once thought of taking the time to think and then celebrate my accomplishments of 2018. With that missing step, I was using what didn’t go well as the basis for what I wanted to do in the new year. I had to shake my head. Was it any surprise I couldn’t form a firm plan when I my thought process was based on those negative events?

Thanks, Nicole, for giving me that ah-ha moment.

“With the new year having just begun, many of us have tried to change our habits, all of them, all at once. The best way to change your habits is to change them one at a time, to start small and gradually work your way up. Choose a habit, whether it be to stop doing something or start doing something, and focus all your time and intention on that habit. If you start trying to split your attention between multiple activities, you will soon find that you lose your motivation, focus, and energy. Small regular actions are far more beneficial than large irregular actions.” 

Avina Celeste

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

A Little Bit of Inventory

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” 

Ellen Goodman

Happy New Year!

It was a very quiet New Year’s Day in Hibdonville and I am grateful.

As I watched the parades, I mentally began the tradition of making my new year’s resolution list. After a few minutes of thought, I realized my “new” goals were basically the same goals I’d had for years. The only difference was I’d gotten older, meaning my ideas had simply evolved and hidden themselves inside cleverly crafted terminology.

I realized many of the things I planned to work on or change were problems due to my chronic self-care neglect.

With that insight my plans for 2019 became very clear and easy.

In order to make the coming year better I needed to committ to taking care of myself. When I take time to maintain balance in my world, I see things clearly. When my reserve gets low, I scamper to that little corner of my world where I begin to see my surroundings as scary and uncertain.

One way to keep my well full is to stay grateful. With gratitude I stay balanced and open. Over this past year, I’d slowly replaced my very personal and often times repetitive gratitude list with morning texts to friends. As I texted, I thanked God these people were in my life. I asked God to surround them with His love, help them with whatever was happening or challenging in their lives, keep them safe, healthy, and happy.

My list has changed and grown over time. I add people when I get a feeling it’s time to reach out. I ask God to guide me with my list and trust him to help me determine that need–whether it is my own or theirs.

Sometimes goals tip-toe in all on their own. I am humbled by how this little idea has become so powerful and wonderful to me and others. Wonder where it will go from here?

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 

Neil Gaiman

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~