Order

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” ~Pearl Buck, Simple Abundance

After working to establish an early morning routine, I have one that works.

Okay, maybe I’m being a tad bit optimistic.

It’s worked for over a week–including the weekends. For me, that’s a monumental event because nothing has ever invaded the sacred time of the weekend.

I treasure my early morning time–fresh hot coffee, my teachers, and me. I am surprised at how often the authors compliment each other.

I’ve become acutely aware of how I feel after the mornings I’ve started calling my sacred moments.

I am less scattered and more focused.

I am less anxious and more tolerant.

I am less critical and more patient.

I am less afraid and more confident.

“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 our lives and–fruitlessly–search ‘out there’ for the answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.” ~Emily Hancock, Simple Abundance

God has also mixed in a little bit of synchronicity.

Out of nowhere my cousin sent a message telling me she had also started reading Simple Abundance.

Quotes, like those included in my story today, speak so strongly to me, often addressing things/tasks I’ve just completed.

Today’s reading began with the quote I used in my introduction coming after I’d spent the past few days cleaning and organizing my work spaces.

Coincidence?

No.

These are signs I’m on course and I’m not alone in my latest quest.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  ~Melody Beattie, Simple Abundance

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks to my sister, Susan M. Rogers, for allowing me to use her sunset picture for today’s story. I love you.

Awareness Meets Self

“What if you spent some alone time every morning? Call it prayer. Call it planning. Call it centering. I call it a powerful way to begin the day.” 

Steve Goodier

I’ve become aware I’ve missed my early morning hours.

It was those predawn moments when I’d write my gratitudes, read, and reach out to loved ones.

My soul needs me to find that time.

I’ve prepared by bringing out my journal and making my first reading selections for 2020. My year of awareness taught me unless I have everything in place, I will lose precious time making minute decisions.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of putting self care first.

I like it.

“Self-love is not the process of ignoring things, paying attention to fewer flaws or forcing yourself to look away from the parts of you that you perceive as ugly or unwanted. Self-love is the process of expanding your awareness, of seeing those flaws and imperfections alongside the incredible potential of the universe flowing within you, alongside the eternal truth of life flowing within your veins in each second, alongside the flickers of creativity and opportunity present within each moment of your existence. Like this, the imperfections persist, but only as lovable quirks, like a bad doorknob on the front door of a cottage in paradise, like a few thorns on a beautiful rose, like a cloud in a sunset. Like this, what was once unwanted becomes essential, memorable, humbling.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Timeless Gifts

“I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death.” 

Ingrid Betancourt, Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

My first Christmas present arrived yesterday.

I debated about one minute before opening it.

Inside I found three perfect gifts–a heart rock, a handmade Christmas ornament, and a candle.

What made them so special?

The time invested by my friend who sent them my way.

The ornament took Mary a lot of time to make. I knew she was probably thinking of some of our escapades while she stitched away. The heart rock was a gift of happenstance–found on a hike with her grandson, Sam. This special rock told me she’d thought of me throughout her day. The candle is a gift of a candle is always special because I love the warmth and light they represent to me.

The most precious gift of all? The gift of life-long friendships.

Thank you, Mary. I love you.

IMG_1943

Thank you, God, for the gift of friends.

To be known, and yet loved is a blessing.

Thank you for all those who see me, 

Who seek to understand, support and nurture me.

I am forever grateful to be able to come just as I am, in every season

To walk in intimacy and love with others.

This is the richest blessing, the greatest gift and the beautiful legacy of your walk and life amongst us.

Thank you so much for all my friends and loved ones. 

Amen.   ~Author Unknown~

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanksgiving Eve

God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” ~ Izaak Walton

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Hibdonville. Doctor appointments and procedures all need to be scheduled before the end of the year. I’m thinking it’s a good thing I’m retired so I have time to do all I need in order to stay healthy.

As a result, time has certainly gotten away from me. I’m finding it impossible it is the day before Thanksgiving–Thanksgiving Eve.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

As a kid it was the start of the Christmas countdown–excitement grew daily. As an adult working healthcare worker it meant a day off work–unless it was your holiday. Today, as a woman closer now to seventy than sixty, it means I find myself looking back a little more often than looking forward.

Retirement’s given me time to see those unanswered prayers over the years were actually blessings shrouded in what appeared to be denial and disappointment. All my life experiences have given me the gift of empathy enabling me to better understand the challenges facing family and friends.

All this was going through my mind today as I drove home from shopping. I found myself feeling such gratitude for my life and all the people who have been such important parts of it.  It took me a few seconds to realize the song playing on the radio was Tim McGraw’s song, Humble and Kind. I’m not sure I’ve ever really listened to the words before today.

I’m sharing just in case you haven’t either.

“Humble And Kind”

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door

Don’t forget the key’s under the mat

When childhood stars shine

Always stay humble and kind

Go to church ’cause your mamma says to

Visit grandpa every chance that you can

It won’t be wasted time

Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got mountains to climb

But always stay humble and kind

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride

But always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why

Bitterness keeps you from flyin’

Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone

And sleeping with someone you love

“I love you” ain’t no pick-up line

So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got mountains to climb

But always stay humble and kind

When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride

But always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle

Shut off the AC and roll the windows down

Let that summer sun shine

Always stay humble and kind

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around

And help the next one in line

Always stay humble and kind ~ Lori McKenna

I am…

B..simply being. 

~Peace~

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 Case of the Guilts

“I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.” 

D.D. Barant, Dying Bites

Yesterday was a day full of reality checks.

My first check point was at the vet’s office. Oh, this has not been a good place for me this year. Yesterday it was time for Bud to have his annual rabies vaccine plus I wanted him to have a basic check up. In a few months he will be fourteen years old. Holy Cow, in small dog years he’s eighty some years old.

With that thought firmly ingrained in my mind, I thought I was prepared to hear anything the vet told us. I was not really ready to hear he had a significant heart murmur. All my years in imaging and doing echocardiograms flew into action in an attempt to put up some huge wall in order to defend my dog and my own ultra sensitive dog loving heart. I had to let my past go in order to hear the cautions voiced by Dr. Lauren. As I listened, I filed all my worries away, a pseudo coping method I’d devised over the years so I could randomly pull each and every one out later. Until lately, I thought this was one of my best stress management skills. With all the negatives stashed away, I went on about my day.

The next check point was my dentist. I’d been dreading this trip for a very long time. As it turned out–surprise–my anxiety was wasted. Every part of my visit went well. The reality was paying out of pocket for dental care. Because dental care is so important to overall health maintenance, I don’t understand why there isn’t affordable care for all–a subject that warrants its own story time.

Early this morning all those concerns and worries I’d stashed away resurfaced and wanted my full attention. They had all jumped out of their little file folders and wanted immediate attention.

The neon sticker was flashing on the Bud folder.

My little 18 pound dog who’d been such an important part of my life for nearly fourteen years was aging faster than I’d appreciated. I’d taken his companionship for granted. The sand in the giant Wizard of Oz hourglass was running fast and running low.

My Bud teaches me every single day what matters most is simply showing up and being beside those you love. No matter where the day takes you, be there, in that moment, share your toys after an appropriate amount of time, be persistent in asking for what you want, especially those treats, and, most of all, at the end of the day,  cuddle up as close as you can.

Thanks, my Bud. I love you.

Yes, that awareness work I’ve been doing? I think God just did a test of my emergency alert system.

I believe He’s telling me I have some work to do.

“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…truth is, you knew what you had, you just thought you’d never lose it.” 

Nitya Prakash

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift of Friendship

There’s a miracle called friendship

that dwells within the heart

And you don’t know when it happens

or when it gets a start…

But the happiness it brings you

always gives a special lift,

And you realize that friendship is

God’s most precious gift!

~Author Unknown

As usual, as my birthday nears, I spend extra time being thankful for the gifts I’ve been given.

My greatest gifts have been the people who have been a part of my life. Standing beside me wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. I am grateful to you and for you all.

My friend, Ann, sent a package today which included the book pictured in my blog today. When I unwrapped it I was so excited. I don’t think I realized until then I’d become quite the collector of little prayer books. Thank you, Ann, for my newest prize. I will have a lot to share.

As the editor, David Schiller, says in his introduction: “…in an age characterized by its astonishing lack of humility, prayer offers a rare chance to put our inflated selves aside, and in the suddenly unburdened state that follow, rediscover the things that really matter. Which is perhaps why, living in the age that we do, we are also beginning to rediscover the need for prayer. ”

Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who forms light and creates darkness, who makes peace and creates all things. 

Who mercifully sheds light upon the earth and upon all who dwell on it.

And who in His goodness, renews the works of creation every day continually. “How many are Thy works O Lord, in wisdom hast Thou made them all, the earth is filled with Thy creations!” 

Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who with His word brings on the evenings, 

With wisdom opens the gates,

With understanding alters the phases, varies the seasons, 

And arranges the stars in their heavenly orbit according to His will. 

He creates day and night. 

He rolls away the light from before the darkness and the darkness from before the light,

He makes the day to pass and the night to come, and divides between day and night;

Lord of hosts in His name. 

A living and everlasting God, who shall constantly reign over us forever and ever. 

Blessed art Thou, Lord, who brings on the evenings. 

              ~Jewish Evening Blessing, “Birkat Maariv”, The Little Book of Prayers

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

Serenity

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

~ G.K. Chesterton

I had today all to myself. It was a wonderful self-care day.

A friend suggested I write about serenity. After thinking I remembered the Serenity Prayer. I’d not read this version before so thought I’d share.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next. Amen. 

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Kimberlee Salimeno, for sharing your beautiful photo with me. I love you. 

Laughter

“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.” 

Sean O’Casey

So far, 2019 has certainly given me some challenges.

Many of these trials, if not all, have been a result of aging. Don’t get me wrong, I understand my life is a gift. I know these “golden years” are not given to everyone. It’s the clustering of events that’s caught me off guard.

It’s the memory of the sorrow and tears that make the attached picture so very special. I wish it came with sound effects because the laughter and the sounds of puppy kisses are beyond special.

This little bundle of energy is Abby, a pure blessing. The influence she has on all of us has been magical. It is impossible to be crabby when you start each day with Abby kisses. There are some days when we are all a little bit crabby here. Her magical powers are so impressive I have given her a new nickname–Abby-ca-dabra.

The dark days before her arrival opened my heart for a whole new level of joy. I find I am focused on the positive moments which seem to grow as she grows. Not only has she opened my eyes to a whole new appreciation of time, she has helped me see our oldest dog, Bud, differently as well. Because I take the time to notice, I see how she persistently pesters him, trying to get him to play with her. For the most part, I see how Bud is slowly accepting her, tolerating her in the same way I saw with our first Lhasa, Pearl, put up with Bud when we first brought him home over thirteen years ago. As I am learning, ready or not, I’m being given a glimpse into the future–the circle of life continues.

For this and for the life I’ve been given, I am thankful.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” 

Kahlil Gibran

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

The Gifts of the Siesta

“…the devil’s hour, two o’clock on a summer afternoon–the siesta hour.” 

Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation

I have learned many lessons since moving to Texas.

One of my most recent lessons–wait–let’s change that to a new awareness–is the power of the afternoon time called the siesta.

Even if I’ve spend the majority of my time inside, the intense summer heat drains my energy. Every day as the daytime heat intensifies, I feel the need for some afternoon down/re-charging time.

This former Iowa girl is creating and defining her own siesta space.

Not surprising to anyone who knows me, time management is an issue.

Unlike my dad who came home for lunch and a quick ten minute nap, my down time tend to be connected to an hourly meter.

With age and some selective wisdom, I’m accepting and adjusting my siesta standards and expectations. I have determined these adjustments are justified by the fact I am up earlier which gives me the opportunity to see many more sunrises and I am up later for some very excellent star gazing.

I like that.

“I count it as an absolute certainty that in paradise, everyone naps. A nap is a perfect pleasure and it’s useful, too. It splits the day into two halves, making each half more manageable and enjoyable. How much easier it is to work in the morning if we know we have a nap to look forward to after lunch; and how much more pleasant the late afternoon and evening become after a little sleep. If you know there is a nap to come later in the day, then you can banish forever that terrible sense of doom one feels at 9 A.M. with eight hours of straight toil ahead. Not only that, but a nap can offer a glimpse into a twilight nether world where gods play and dreams happen.” 

Tom Hodgkinson, How to Be Idle

I am…

B…simply being. 

~God bless and peace, Y’all.~