Talking with God

I’ve been talking with God a lot these days.

It’s a good thing He is used to some of the language popping out of my head and mouth in moments of disbelief and frustration.

Here is a little bit of the conversation I had today:

Dear Lord, Please help me be still and listen–really listen–before I respond. Help me remember the power in silence.

Help me remember all my family members who sacrificed so much of their time to help my family. Help me to find a way to help others in that same spirit of true compassion.

Father, help me use the lessons I’ve been given and successfully learned to help others. There are many who are facing some of the same problems.

Please help me continue to learn and grow as I face what feels like overwhelming challenges daily. Help me stay strong and in connection with you.

In this crazy world, I believe in the power and forgiveness of you, my God. Please guide me to where I am needed and help me understand what I am here to do.

Thank you for listening, God. Thank you for never giving up on me and for always–always–loving me–unconditionally.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thank you, Debbie Long, for sharing your beautiful photo with me to use in today’s story. I treasure you and send you thanks and much love. xoxo

It’s a Small World

“Friends can make you feel that the world is smaller and less sneaky than it really is, because you know people who have similar experiences.” 

Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy

Today I began listening to a book I’ve been meaning to read for about ten years. I found it as a recorded book so I thought it was a great opportunity to finally hear this story. The book is, The Girls From Ames, by Jeffrey Zaslow.

I have to admit, the only reason I was originally drawn to it because I figured it had to be about girls from Ames.

For once, I was right. It is about girls from Ames but it’s about a lot more. At least it has been for me.

The book chronicles the lives of eleven women over the course of their forty year friendship. The stories shared are hauntingly familiar to those of my own younger days. I’ve had to go back and repeat parts of the book because my mind gets triggered by one story or another, putting my ears on hold as it pulls up one of my own long lost childhood memory. My emotions have been all over the place. One minute I’m laughing, the next minute I’m in tears.

The main thing I’m feeling this afternoon is gratitude for the people in my life I call friends.

Heavenly Father,

I am thankful for the gift of friendship. You have positioned souls along my path who have added brilliance, depth, and texture to the tapestry of my life. You have blessed me in ways I am just beginning to understand. Each person, in their own individual way, has helped me believe and trust in your goodness. Each day my awareness grows. Please, God, help each person see how valuable they are to me. I ask you to keep them safe as you surround them with peace and love.   Amen. 

~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon, November 7, 2019

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Judith Weitzel Wilmink, for this great picture I’m using as part of my story today. God bless you. I Love you. 

 

A Whole Different Ballgame

“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.” 

Jasmine Warga, My Heart and Other Black Holes

For the past week I’ve been worried about a friend who fell while hiking, breaking her ankle. Even though this was not a simple fracture, her care plan was well established and she knew she had a surgical repair in her future. Today, after a day surgery admission, she is home recovering.

Interestingly, later this morning I heard from another friend. She asked me to include a young relative of hers in my prayers. The reason for this request came as a result of an over night hospital admission for an acute mental health crisis.

As I talked to God throughout the day, I became very aware of the differences in these two cases.

From the onset of her injury, my friend with the fractured her ankle had a pretty clear cut care plan. Unless she has some unforeseen complication, given time and patience on her part, she should have a good result.

The talented and brilliant young person handed the very vague diagnosis of a mental health crisis has nothing close to a standardized care plan.

Fortunately for the orthopedic doctors, our bone structures are usually pretty much alike. Once surgical technique is learned, the procedure gets easier and faster to repair.

Unfortunately, at least from the little bit I know about our brains, the psychiatrists and other mental health professions, don’t have it quite so easy. Our brains, although structurally similar, are so much more than basic structure. Complicated does not begin to describe the mysteries of the mind.

There is no easy solution to this very old problem. All I can do is do as I promised–pray.

Dear God, I ask for your help in making us aware of the importance of good mental health care. I pray for the establishment of accepted and standardized mental health practices which become part of our well care/self care routines. For myself, I ask for the strength to ask for help when I need it. Please help me remember the kindnesses shown to me, so I can see the quiet needs of others. Thank you, God, for each new awareness. Amen.  ~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon~

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace.~

 

 

 

 

Little Moments

“It probably wouldn’t last. It never does. But it would come back around again. That’s how life works. And that’s why it’s important to treasure the peaceful times-so you can persevere through the other kind.” 

Jean Ferris, Thrice Upon a Marigold

The past few months have been difficult.

Yesterday I found myself stuck in some tearful moments.

July 1, 2019, marked two months since I said good bye to my precious Ruby and three months since I said good bye to my little man, Duffy.

I was sad.

As the tears flowed,  I missed them both even more because that would have been the time when they’d worm their way close to me and find some goofy way to cheer me up. Just simply leaning against my leg or pulling at my shoe string would make me smile.

I miss them.

Every single day, I miss them.

Today, I sat and watched and laughed at the outlandish spirit of our Abby and thanked God for the strength of our twelve year old, Bud.

What I’m discovering is the empty place in my heart is pulling in all the little things I never would have noticed. I would have been too busy to sit and watch Abby race around the yard and Bud patiently waiting for her to “do her business.” Watching a puppy push their limits, learning how to climb and jump and trust you to always be there for them.

Retirement has given me the gift of time. My awareness of the magnitude of this blessing grows stronger daily.

Dear God, 

I thank you for the growth in the awareness of my many blessings.

I am grateful for the expanding gift of patience which allows me to take time to actually see the many layers my gifts often contain. 

God, thank you for the many loving souls surrounding me and the sweet memories of those who are with you now.  

I ask you to send your angels to comfort those who have also lost loved ones.  May they find solace in your love and continue to heal knowing they are never alone.  Amen.

Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace be with you, my friends.~

Worry

“All worries are less with wine.” 

Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Oh, the worries have begun and I have poured a glass of wine.

Tomorrow I take little Abby to be spayed. Simple procedure, I know. I know it’s done thousands of times a day. The reality is just thinking about driving to the vet these days gives me palpitations.

My experiences being the care recipient rather than the care giver has certainly opened my eyes.

I understand on a whole new level the concern many of the patients and their families had when they came to the hospital or clinic. It was so routine for me I rarely, if ever,  stopped to think about it. In spite of their fear they trusted me with their care or the care of their family member.

I did not fully appreciate that dynamic until very recently.

It is and continues to be a very humbling realization.

Dear God,

I come to you today to ask you to guide those taking care of Abby tomorrow. She is oour young pup full energy, adventure, and the zest for life. She has brought such joy to our home. I am so honored and grateful she is part of our lives.

God, I ask you to bless all caregivers. May they find strength in seeing the good they do and understand how important they are in lives of all who are under their care. 

For myself and the other care recipients, I ask you send our angels and guides in close. May they help us understand what it is we need to do in order to care for our loved ones, each other, and ourselves. I ask You, Lord, to be with us as we each face our challenges of the day.  Amen.

~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon, June 25, 2019~

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace be with you, my friends.~

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Chats

“You cannot fully understand a person’s need until you have endured the same need. As hard as you may try to predict and comprehend their situation and suffering, I guarantee you’ll fall short until you’ve been there.” 

Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes

A little over a year ago I began what I call my morning chats.

These chats started because a dear friend of mine lost her husband. I was far way and knew a trip up to see her was not possible. Calling her didn’t feel right. What do I do?

I sent her a text.

That text started a morning routine that continues today.

Over time, I’ve added others to my morning chats. Some are daily chatters, some once a week, and others I know only have time for quick chats every now and then.

It’s all worked out very very well.

What’s interesting is these how these chats have evolved into so much more–for all of us. Because of this little forum, we have an outlet to share our daily lives–either in a nutshell or we can type away and unload all our recent frustrations.

I never know what I’ll learn–every morning it is surprise just waiting to happen.

My friend Mary’s grand daughter was so surprised her grandma texted daily. Charlotte was even more impressed to learn her grandma had been friends with that person for almost fifty years.

Okay–truth be told–I’m pretty impressed with that fact, too.

The moral of the story–if there is one–is simple.

There is usually a way to reach out to someone. Whether I like it or not, I am beginning to understand being there in person may not always be possible. Even though it often drives me insane, our modern technology allows me to stay in touch with people who are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away form me.

One of the few benefits of getting older is gaining life experiences. Sooner or later we will all need the help of friends. God knows I’ve leaned on many shoulders over the years. It’s all part of the deal–we’re handed a challenge, we learn, and we survive in order to reach out and help one another.

Heavenly Father,

Today I pray for my family and friends. May these special people find comfort in the knowledge they are unconditionally loved. May they see and understand their own strengths and unique inner power. As their awareness grows help them find the peace they seek.

I thank you for the gift of all who have been a part of my journey. May my awareness grow so I can continue to learn and share my life lessons with old and new friends.  

Father, I am humbled by your many blessings.

I am grateful.

Amen.

~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon, June 24, 2019~

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace be with you, my friends.~

Thank you, Glynis Walker Morse, for sharing your wonderful picture today. I thank you and I love you.