Tag Archive: reflection


Who I Am


Who I am is not a physical characteristic
My skin is only a shell
A covering
Protecting all that is truly important
Who I have grown to be
Can not be measured
By the inches of man
But by the millions of stars
Which greet me every evening
And by the rays of light
Which wrap their warmth
Around my soul
Who I am…
Who I grow to be
Is more than can be seen
With the naked eye
For our eyes…
Are blinded
By ego and greed
Where our souls
Only wish to reflect
Greatness…
Upon others
Enjoy your moments
My family…
It is a gift
Don’t miss out
Simply because
You don’t like the color
Of the ribbon it is wrapped with

Giving Thanks


Giving Thanks in 2013

 

This year has been a remarkable year for me. 2013 has been become my year of survival; and I wanted to take a moment to share that experience with you.

 

This will be my third complete year since my sister passed away. It has been quite a journey. Instead of taking that loss and making it a negative in my life; I found a way to smile past the tears. While many people, sometimes even myself; weren’t certain that I would survive it…I did. I survived the loneliness and grief that her absence left me with. I remembered to smile when her name ran across my lips. I talked about her and wrote about her every single time; my heart felt heavy. I reminded others how blessed they are every day; and how truly short life can be. I wrote and published my 5th book “In The Blink of An Eye”; a book which encompasses my journey of loss and grief, after her unexpected death. While there may never be another beautiful blue eyed girl in my life; I am grateful for knowing her…my best friend from God. I often hope that she is looking down, not only in my sadness; but I hope she is watching when I am laughing and loving, too. There was never a more clear vision of my Creator, as when she was walking in my life. I hope that 2014; also brings you…that spectacular angel energy that I was blessed with.

 

I want to say that we lost so many children this year; but the truth is they were taken, just as many children were lost last year. I pray for the day that we can all live in harmony with one another. Maybe we can start…today?

 

This year I survived another stroke; I once again won a war that Lupus waged on my body. I never let these moments pass without being totally honest about them; Lupus is a constant thief. It tries to steal every inch of health, love, hope and goodness from us. We get to decide what we allow it to have. This is not to take away from anything that anyone else is suffering with; as we all have unique experiences. But in my final thoughts of 2013; LUPUS failed.

 

I am thankful to all of you. You have helped make my year beautiful. You have given me hope; when mine was depleting. You allowed me into your lives and you nurtured mine, by doing so. You made me painfully aware of the violence we create against our fellow man and also all the animals within our wonderful planet. I was reminded of the issues of child abuse, neglect, starvation, homelessness, racism, violence and indifference that we are spilling onto one another’s lives. This is a blessing because until we shine light into the dark…we don’t realize that we are the ones that live there.

 

We are the dwellers of the darkness. We live in the dark, without realizing that the battle lines are drawn every time we choose to say nothing.

 

I am thankful for my family this year, and every year. We have continued to stand firm and strong; you are the glue which holds my soul together. I love you all.

 

I am finally and always thankful for a most Gracious Creator. Thank you for having patience and love with me; I know I don’t always make it easy. Thank you for showing me where to shine the light; and for guiding me when true adversity had set in. I am forever grateful for your vision of my life; ALL I AM, IS ALL YOU WANT ME TO BE…I am humbled.

 

I wish us all the greatest new year; remember to love one another in our hearts, minds souls, tongues and ears…so divine love can guide us home.

 

But I Love You Anyway


But I Love You Anyway

 

The most difficult lessons we may ever learn, in this life, are the ones that break our hearts. I have personally endured such lessons. I have disappointed people; I have lost people that I love. I, like everyone else, have endured immeasurable grief.

 

When we grieve the death of a loved one, or the death of a relationship; we are not grieving for the one who we lost. We are grieving for ourselves. We are angry, hurt, disappointed and often infuriated; by the fact that; we are left to carry on. We must find a way to keep going; even when our hearts are on fire, with sorrow.

 

Someone I love once told me that when my sister died…it didn’t happen to me. She said that it affected me; and my sorrow was really over the fact that I had to find a way to move on. I didn’t want to believe her; and the fact that she was/is someone who I know wouldn’t hurt me, intentionally; I took the time to listen to her. I was angered by what she said. Of course it happened to me, MY sister died. It was at that point, when she stopped me. She said, “Say that again”. I repeated it was MY sister that died. The point I was trying to emphasize is that she was my sister, not hers; and how dare she say it didn’t happen to me? She said again in the softest voice…she died…you didn’t.

 

Tears started streaming out of my face; seemingly out of nowhere, I saw her point. I had to find the strength to move on; I was left alone to survive. The mere thought of that idea; to this day, makes me cry. I had to decide to move on; I had to decide…every day… to breathe in and out. I found this knowledge disturbing and it hurt. Not that I didn’t want to live; I’m not suicidal. But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a part of a world where my sister, my best friend…no longer breathed. I felt abandoned…I felt isolated and I was angry.

 

I felt justified in my anger; no one knew what it was like to love my sister, the way I did. I found a million ways to look at this situation; so that no one could effectively say…I know how you feel. I slowly realized; I created the isolation. People wanted to care; simply because they loved me…and I was hurting.

 

Anger is a funny thing; it can feel so good. Anger can burn longer than any candle you ever light, if we allow it to. Anger can fuel any negative fire that we may come into contact with. Anger will also destroy us.

 

Anger will keep us from forgiving others and it will keep us from being forgiven. Remember what I said in the beginning…everything is a lesson.

 

When we hold on to anger…we are only hurting ourselves. We are blocking our blessings; even when it isn’t our intention.

 

Sometimes I still get angry; when I think about my sister. I will get angry at the mere thought of her leaving me. I have even had conversations about it, with her.

 

But thankfully, I have a most gracious Creator. Even in moments when I feel like I deserve nothing; my Creator shines light on me and says, “But I love you anyway”.

 

We are surrounded by beauty and love; it can be found in everyone and everything.

 

People may say that is just hippy talk; how is a dandelion beauty and love…it is a weed!!

I love these moments. I smile and say, hold out your hands. When empty hands are held out; I will say…using only what is in your hands…make that weed.

 

The beauty and love, even in a dandelion, is the fact that it was created from Greatness. We were all created from Greatness; made to love one another. And when a life cycle ends, on earth, the memories we created with that person…has the miracle of eternal life.

 

There are people on the planet, who were not privileged enough to know my sister. I was blessed by her existence and her memories live through me. People are touched by her; through my writing or speech or actions. Her life truly is eternal.

 

My life was forever changed the day that my sister died. I miss her…every day of my life. There is a void that her death has given me; and I would be lying if I denied that. But it was her time to go Home; and while I don’t think she would have chosen it; she earned it. I know she watches over me now; and I’ m sure she is shaking her head, at times. But the true blessing, is knowing that no matter what I do; which she might not agree with…she will always meet me with an, “But I love you anyway”.

 

And don’t we all deserve those moments?

He is Watching Us


He Is Watching Us

I am but a woman

Heard that a lot this year

Try though to muffle my voice

But…I am still here

My issues are very real

My consideration no less

For my pleas are just as important

Without contest

Push me if you may

I am prepared for that too

But expect no less of me

Than I expect of you

I will survive in struggle

I will surpass in deeds

For my Father walks with me

He is all I will ever need

As soon as we all realize

We create our own lines

We will find our truer selves

Deep in our hearts and minds

Do not treat me better

But be fair just the same

For by destroying my will

You have nothing to gain

For beating me down

Is simply destroying you

There are life lessons

Only I can help get through

The nurturing nature of woman

The love at the end of a day

The kind nod of assurance

Saying…it will be okay

The hand that you reach for

The hug that says your home

More support and guidance

Than you have ever known

So the battle…it is over

The winner without question

Is the one with the biggest heart

With our Creator’s intention

Lay your weapons aside

There is no war with us

Keep your eye on the sparrow

For he is watching us

The Rest of My Days


The Rest of My Days

 

 

 

Another month passes

All of a sudden it’s been a year

And the pain is still present

Because you are not here

 

So much has happened

Which you already know

And even though I miss you

My love still grows

 

I find your laughter

Everywhere the sun shines

Don’t worry…the sadness

That is all mine

 

You didn’t cause my tears

You didn’t cause the blues

You only brought smiles

Even if you didn’t intend to

 

I can imagine your home

Is one fit for a king

This is appropriate

Since you are a queen

 

You are my sister always

My very best friend

Things you always were

Up till the very end

 

So today I send love

Up to the stars

Knowing it will find you

Wherever you are

 

Know that even though at times

My heart feels heavy

I know when God took you

You were ready

 

Even now as I try to blink

Past the tears of my pain

I am thankful for your presence

My life will never be the same

 

And if I could touch another

Whose heart is breaking too

I would remind them of the blessing

Of knowing someone like you

 

I would tell them this is the sign

That love is our only task

And the rewards are all ours

We only need to ask

 

God will send us angels

Very similar to you

To remind us of our purpose

And the thing we should do

 

Give forgiveness often

And love with your entire soul

Lift up our neighbors

And watch our blessings begin to grow

 

So even though I know

I miss with each passing day

Your love was a blessing

God gave me everyday

 

So to you and to HIM

I give thanks and praise

For granting me enough love

To fill the rest of my days

 

 

New Beginnings


New Beginnings

 

    January always seems to be a time and occasion for new beginnings. It marks the beginning of a new year, and we are hopeful that this year will be better than the last. I, too, have that hope. I hope this year isn’t filled with as much loss and sadness as last year was; not only for me but for all those that the light touches.

  But no matter how I try and divide it, had it not been for the wonderful people in my life this past year…I may not have survived the sadness and loss. All of this goes back to my concept of life…everything has its season…and God brings all things into the light. I may have had moments when I was sad or even cried, but they were downplayed by the many minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months I had filled with smiles and laughter.

  While I can not deny the pain that I felt, I also could not hide the joy that our Creator bestowed upon me, as well. I learned that the best way to work through my sadness was to write. I not only wrote about what made me unhappy in my own personal life…but what made me sad with the world that we all live in. And although I am only one person, I was hopeful that if only one person read what I wrote…maybe they would tell someone else about it. We have a possibility to link to one another like a chain…and we could spread compassion instead of hate. It is a way of becoming one with our creator. And since we all have the attributes of God, similar to the way we have characteristics of our birth parents; we can choose to give love and become love.

  The sadness I had felt periodically through out the year was very real; and while focusing on other things did not make the emotions go away…it did help steady me. I could concentrate on what was making someone else sad or concerned. I could lend my shoulder or ear to my fellow man/woman…hoping to show them that they are a significant part of my life; furthering the idea that we are all one.

  My heart broke for the children dying in the Horn of Africa; and whilst I could not feed them…I could bring them into my writing. I could pray for them and those who were in a position to help them. I could sign an online petition and write about the drought and the deaths occurring as a result of that drought. I could link my writing back to an informative video, petition or information link…so if nothing else, I helped create awareness. This gave me hope, because finally I felt like I was not only a drop of water in a bucket…but the beginning of a downpour. If I could take a small step, perhaps someone else would, as well. In January of last year there were people who had no idea what was going on in the Horn of Africa, and some didn’t even know where it was. However, by December, we could no longer claim ignorance. Yes, we could still choose to do nothing. We could sit around on our hands or point fingers at others…but we could no longer say, “I just didn’t know”. The actions we take from this point on would be an informed action…even if the only action we took…was to do nothing.

  Also in this past year, we came face to face with the death penalty. And although our feelings and thoughts on it were clearly divided…we allowed ourselves to have the conversation. This is also another sore spot in my heart, as I feel without a doubt that ALL life is precious. Even though we may not agree about the issue, this year, via the Troy Anthony Davis execution, we were all able to voice our opinions. Again this is a sad situation, but we should at least rejoice in the fact that we got the opportunity to have the conversation. And I do pray in the coming year and many more to come that the rest of the country will join the 15 states that have taken away the death penalty. Hopefully we will see that punishment should be just that and not retaliation…murder is murder.

  In 2011, we became painfully aware of our children and the issues that bullying has on them. We learned that it is no longer that kid on the corner waiting to steal lunch money. Bullying has gotten much more perverse, violent even fatal. As parents we need to be proactive before we must become reactive. Our children are dying, not only at the hands of other children…but at their own hands. The number of teenage suicides is on the rise and this is largely due to other teenagers. We must watch our children. Be aware of the social networking that they participate in…Bullying does not just happen in the classroom, but online and via text messages. Being a teenager is difficult, and being a parent just became more difficult. Watch your children…do they find humor at the expense of other children? Watch for the signs of bullying…or even worse….complacency. If your child does not speak up for the child that is being harassed…they are contributing to the abuse of that child. Create a dialogue with your children…their lives have just gotten dangerous. When you are aware that your child is not “NICE”…and you don’t speak to them…it is similar to letting them walk out of your home to go school with a gun in their back pack.

  2012 is a year of hope; a year of reflection. We can be the change we are always looking for by using the experience of 2011. I pray that you use the love of our creator in all that you say and do.

 

FootPrints


  How often do we make decisions and judgments based solely on the information we have at hand? We may think or believe we know all there is to know. And with that knowledge we will make decisions about what is really going on and we may feel justified in doing so; but are we?

  This brings me back to the “Footprints” poem that so many of us have read. The narrator was having a conversation with God asking why He had turned away from the narrator when his life had become so difficult. The speaker, not unlike most of us, saw something and made a decision. He saw two set of footprints and then just one…so he made the assumption that during his time of need he was walking alone. It isn’t until he has a conversation with God that he is told that the time where he only saw one set of footprints…he was then being carried by God.

  What would have happened had that dialogue not occurred? Would he have just felt disappointed and abandoned by God? If he was simply going on what he saw, then it would be easy to see how he could have come to that conclusion. But that situation, like most…is only a portion of the truth. The truth is, often there are many factors that we may not be aware of…and yet we will still jump to conclusions. Perhaps if the speaker had noticed how much deeper the footprints in the sand had gotten when there was only one set of them…he may have questioned what was really going on.

  We may only be one question away from the truth. Often we will look at an action and judge it…sometimes too harshly; without asking ourselves what was the “cause of the effect”? If we start asking questions such as these, we may open ourselves up to the truth. And while someone may offend us with the way they react or behave, if we take a moment to attempt to understand why they did so…then perhaps we could see them a little more clearly.

  After all if a child is striking other children…before we get angry and explosive about the action…ask “why”? Why is this child doing this? How did someone get to be so violent? But understand, when asking probing questions…we must be prepared for the responses. How easy would it be to maintain our anger if the angry child was hitting other children because daily he/she is hit by their parent? Or what if the child has to watch their mother get hit by their father everyday; and while they may be unable to stand up to him…they can transfer that anger to other children? Aren’t some questions worth asking?

  Perhaps, even for a moment we should ask ourselves if we really know all there is to know…or if there is more to learn that will make things more clear in our minds and hearts. Remember like fingerprints that are unique to the fingers attached to them…footprints can be equally identifying. Who in life can say that they know what a person is really going through until we walk a mile in their shoes? Perhaps the weight that another is carrying can become too overwhelming. Try to look at it this way…some loads can not be laid down. Sometimes we just have to carry the load which has been given to us…even if a little more is added everyday. This is why it is important to try and be compassionate toward everyone we come into contact with. Please do not add more to a person who is barely holding up the load they were given before you even said hello.

  Don’t make excuses for unacceptable behavior, but don’t judge it either. Reach out for peoples hearts, because broken hearts are far too easy to hide. Stop breaking people down, in a need to be the victor because when we tear down our fellow man/woman we are tearing down God and His path for us…we need to start being the loving examples we were created to be.

  Our paths in life may not be smooth…we may come face to face with tragedy, loss, anger, or even worse….indifference. Our purpose is not to match our aggressor blow for blow…but to show him/her that peace can never be obtained that way. Never fail to realize that sometimes we are only given one opportunity to do what is right…wouldn’t it be a shame if we were so caught up in the challenge that we missed out?

  Live everyday as if it is our last…and in a way it is. This is the last moment like this…we will ever have. This wrinkle in time will never occur again, except in our memory. Let’s start creating beautiful memories for our children to read about in History. We should be giving our children something to strive toward, something to be proud of. Shine the love of our Creator in all we say and do…the reflection will be more brilliant than a priceless diamond.

The Reason For The Season


 I think that sometimes we can get lost in the commercialization of things this time of year. The proof of that is everywhere we look. Every store or shop seems to have their own idea of how to make the season more festive and memorable than the year previous.

  This year, however, has been a little rougher for me than most have been…which I believe is a test of my strength and willingness to submit to the will of our Creator. So I have sat and endured every Christmas cartoon known to man…I have watched store Santa’s posing with pictures of children who would rather be ducking and weaving in and out of a four lane highway. I have watched retailers attempt to make their sales and “bargains” look like what we might want Christmas to be. All of this, isn’t always a bad thing…it’s always nice to see the excitement of children and the hidden secrets that this particular holiday seems to bring.

 This year was completely turned around for me…I was all ready to become “Scrooge”. And in my mind, I had reason to. Then something wonderful happened in my life…I experienced the love of God through the heart of my daughter.

 First you must understand, she is a teenager…not unlike most teenagers. She wants things, and she knows that there will be things that no matter how much she wants them, or how much I wish I could get them for her…she just won’t receive them. But this brown eyed beauty decided that this year for Christmas she wanted to play Santa Claus for a child on her school’s “Angel Tree”. Keeping in mind that she knew that by us buying for another child meant that her lean Christmas list…just went on a diet. She didn’t care. I remember the day that she was talking to me about it…tears in her eyes. She just wanted to make a child happy for Christmas. And so we went shopping for this sweet 2 year old boy that she didn’t know and would never meet. We got him a few things…which she picked out. She went home and wrapped them and placed them in a giant gift bag and took them to school.

 I can not even begin to express to you the joy that I felt through her at that moment. But I can only really think of one comparison which may assist in my lack of descriptive prose. Watching her was like the feeling I would get as a young child coming in from the cold. I would get to drink this giant coffee cup filled with creamy Hot Cocoa…you know the kind I mean…with the foam on the top from the giant melted marshmallow that used to be there. When you drank it, it was like your body was literally thawing out. There were parts of my body that were coming to life that I didn’t even realize were frozen.

 My daughter became that for me…a sweet, warm, smiling example of that chocolaty goodness. And the real magic was…she made everyone feel that way. We all laughed and sang songs and smiled at everyone today.

  All of this made me think about the saying…the reason for the season; it was like a light bulb came on. The reason for the season…is to give to others that in which we are given. It isn’t about video games or wish lists. It is about reflecting the love that God has given us…and sharing it with everyone else.

  It may be true that we don’t have as much as the next person, but what we have is intended to be shared. I always try to remind others of our blessings, because we can get caught up in what we don’t have and we forget what we do have. We may not have tons of presents under the tree, and as true as that is…there will be people who not have a home to put a tree…never mind the presents underneath. We may not have a huge Christmas feast, but there are people who will not have food to eat on Christmas at all…or any other day. We will miss those we lost this year and our hearts may weep for them…but there are people who will spend this holiday all alone. Can you imagine living on this huge planet and feeling like you are all alone?

   Today my daughter warmed our hearts…by simply opening hers. I hope it is an example that is set not in vain. Reach out for someone today, touch their hearts and don’t be afraid to warm their souls. God only asks that we give to others what HE has given to us…HIS LOVE. It costs nothing to love one another. If the only present you give to someone is your time…it is time well spent. Shine on one another…the reflection is that of our Creator.

Are We Doing Our Part?


 

   The world is filled with wonder. I love this time of year. I enjoy taking walks and seeing how the once green leaves are changing colors to bright yellow and orange. The weather is cooler; the leaves are falling off the trees. All around you can see children raking leaves into piles and jumping into the crunching mounds…only to rake them up and do it again. I found myself quietly laughing as I watched parents trying to get the kids to bag the leaves instead of playing in them.

   Everything definitely has its season. My season would most definitely be autumn. I love autumn, not only because I was born this time of year, but for various other reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I can finally escape the harsh heat of summer. This time of year brings aromas of pumpkin pie, and cinnamon coated candy apples. Smells of pine and sage throughout the house, when blended gives a definite feeling of warmth and family. This is the season of cooking and eating. A time for gathering friends and family…showing the ones we love how important they are to us. You can actually see the anticipation in the eyes of young ones…knowing that soon it will turn colder…and the snow will make everything new.

   I guess I have always been partial to cooler temperatures. Since I moved away from home I have missed the days of winter. I loved the feel of the crisp clean air, after God has released the first substantial snow. Not like it snows here…where when we get a report of snow flurries the entire town shuts down…for 3-6 inches of snow. And this snow will only last a few days…but in that few days the grocery stores are bombarded with people buying all the milk, bread and bottled water that they have on their shelves. But real snow…which lasts for months. However unlike our counter parts, we are prepared for the weather, which is a way of life for us.

   I remember the importance, as a child, of having the first footprints in the newly fallen snow. And watching as new snow would even cover those footprints, eventually. You would breathe in the clean air and it would make your lungs feel cold; always trying to remember to breathe with your mouth closed so we wouldn’t be in danger of getting frostbite in our lungs. Of course, I think the adults were more conscious of that than we were, as children.

   We had more pressing matters on our minds, like who could run the fastest in the snow…without falling. Often we could see just where nature was going, as snow shoe hare and moose tracks were easier to spy in the fresh blanket of snow dust. All of a sudden we were big game hunters. Warriors tracking our enemies…armed with our armory of snow ball munitions. Our main objective being to infiltrate each others forts; we learned long ago that our forts of snow and ice would serve many purposes. The main purpose of our fortresses being that it kept the cold wind off of us, so we would be able to play longer.

  My favorite thing was to fall backwards into several feet of snow to make snow angels. But the snow would be so deep that I would need some one to help me get up…careful as to not disturb the beauty of my angel. I can not remember a time where I laughed so much. We would make huge balls from snow. The balls would start off slow and then we would roll them in a field covered with untouched snow. I have seen the huge snow balls created taller than we were…they would be so heavy that we could no longer move them. I actually think that they started out as the beginning of a snowman…but, as usual, we made it into something different. I remember once pretending that the giant mounds were boulders and we hid behind them to escape giant man eating dinosaurs. If life could always have been that easy, I often wondered if anyone else could have been having as much fun as we were.

   There was nothing more peaceful than listening to the snow crunch underneath my boots. If you listen patiently, God would speak to us. Of course, His voice is not always words…sometimes it is a sound that stands out for some reason; or a feeling within. His verbiage, while unique…was clearly heard resounding deep within the hearts of us all. There were times when I heard Him speaking as an icicle broke off of the eaves of a house…like glass shattering. And I have seen Him when a pine tree bough gives way to the freshly packed snow…which falls to the ground. I have seen the beauty of my Creator in the soaring wings of a bald eagle…looking over His creation.

   We would finally be called into the warm house; our fingers and toes tingling as they began to thaw out. We would have hot chocolate waiting for us, with a giant marshmallow dropped in the middle of the steam. It used to make the drink frothy and foamy, as it melted from the hot beverage. While we were waiting for the Hot Chocolate to cool we would feast on fresh snow cream. We would crush peppermint sticks and mix it into the sweet concoction, and the taste would be sweet and cool. I can recall the smell of the wood burning in the fireplace…crackling and giving off a beautiful light. It can be mesmerizing to stare into the hot embers, just recollecting about our busy day. I was often told that nothing but TRUTH can survive the flames of fire…and I somehow felt safe in that knowledge. We would all break into laughter when we had finally calmed down, as we noticed that our noses were completely red. For some reason, that felt like the funniest thing, at that time.

  Later in the evening we would go outside and watch the Aurora Borealis dance across the sky. I know that when I watched that spectacular festival of lights move across the heavens…that I had proof that with God all things are possible. And even at an early age, I realized that was all I needed to know in this world.

   It is that thought which has given me strength my entire life. I have always felt that even if there are things that do not make sense to me at the time…they would become clear soon enough. Of course, we all want things in our time…and we can be impatient. We tend to want what we want…when we want it. I know there are some that will say that God gives and God takes away. I suppose that is one way to look at it, although it isn’t necessarily what I believe to be true. It can feel like certain things have been taken from us. We lose jobs…and even though it may take a while, we may learn that what we considered a loss actually opened up a door for a better opportunity.

   We have friends that move away and that certainly will feel like a loss. However, people come into our lives for a greater purpose. We may not see the divine reasoning behind each encounter, but if we seek it, it will become clear. Sometimes people come into our lives to bring us information or awareness of ourselves or others. Sometimes they are placed in our path to help us through a terrible pain we have. Occasionally, people are brought into our path simply to remind us that even though life is very serious…it’s still okay to laugh at ourselves.

   I know, first hand, what it is like to feel the loss of some one due to death. I must say that I have lost many people in my life this way, as I am sure we all have. The death of my sister this year, however, would be one of the hardest things that I have ever had to endure, thus far. Although I wasn’t angry with God, I did feel hurt. IN one moment…a wrinkle in time…I lost my sister…my very best friend. I felt like she had been ripped from my life. I felt isolated, even though all the people who loved me surrounded me with their unwavering love. I was broken hearted. I was just plain broken. I couldn’t imagine a day, one more minute without her. I couldn’t speak without tears forming in my eyes, and I cried a lot. It hurt to breathe in and out…and yet I kept breathing in and out. I would hear good news, or talk to a friend that she and I knew…and I would pick up my phone to call her, then the reality of the situation would hit home. It hit hard. For a while I actually thought that I was doing okay, and then I checked my voicemail. I accidentally played an old voicemail, one that I had just overlooked…forgotten to delete. My sister left a message joking around about how I never answer her calls…she laughed and then said that she would talk to me later and that she loves me. I must have cried for hours. I would never hear that sweet voice ever again. My phone would never ring with her on the other end. I couldn’t breathe. Then someone that I have grown to love more than anything on this earth…whispered the kindest truth into my ear; she said God didn’t do this to you. She said it affects you, yes, but it wasn’t done to you. And as the usual case with this angel…she was right. God did not take my sister from me…she was never mine…she was His. He allowed me to borrow her for a while and during that time; I learned more about love and life than I had ever known. God merely took her from my sight…not my life.

   I will be honest and say that I still miss her. I miss her phone calls and her visits. I miss hearing her crazy stories about her children, but mostly I miss her laugh. There probably hasn’t been a day since that cold day in January that I haven’t missed her. And I know one day, I will be able to think about her and not have to blink past my tears. One day I will be able to think about her million dollar smile and I, too, will smile. In the passing of my sister I learned a way to share her with the world…so they too can rejoice in her inner beauty. I can write about how she saw…beyond this…and helped me move forward. God placed this blue eyed angel in my life and when I received the message she was sent to give me…she had to go home.

   God loves us all in this way. He loves us in spite of our faults and indiscretions. He loves us when things seem to be falling apart or when they are coming together. And even though most of us never reach for Him until we are in despair…He will still be there…loving us. God’s love has no boundaries, no limitations. The only limits that we are bound by are the limits we set for ourselves.

   Our world is full of wonder. Our Creator has delivered a huge bouquet of beauty. The beauty of God is all around us…from the Giant Red Wood Sequoia to a simple green blade of grass. We are the Creator’s canvas in which he paints those things that He loves best. He made roses of every color imaginable…and created thorns to remind us that divine beauty does not have to be tainted to be appreciated.

   He created the Mirabilis tardiflora a perennial flower that blooms at 5o’clock everyday, which is pollinated by hummingbirds and moths. He also created a mountain that disperses red flowing lava, which is too hot to even touch…yet wondrous to the eye.

   He created animals whose outer coats change color to protect them from their enemies. He created aquatic animals whose coloring is specifically designed to keep them safe, as well. He created mammals that walk the earth and others that swim within the great oceans.

  He created man/woman with the love that He created all of His creatures…great and small. We are created from love…it is the core of our existence. We are supposed to not only love one another…but love all that God has created. We should love our world, all of its environments, all of its habitats and all of it inhabitants. This is the easy part because loving each other is natural to us. We make things hard, we create wars and conflicts. We create weapons intended to destroy entire towns and countries. We train men and women to kill each other, without teaching them coping skills. We instill negativity into our children. We place emphasis on the monetary value of people, places and things. We made others think that it is okay to lie, cheat and steal. We are responsible for the destruction of this beautiful earth…and now we are being held accountable for those actions.

  God loves us all, no matter which name we refer to Him as. He loves us regardless of race, religion, creed, socio-economic background, or placement of our family genealogical tree. And in return He only asks one thing of us in return…we must love one another. The only question is…are we doing are part??

The Art of Delightful Debate


 

The Art of Delightful Debate

 

The one person I would go to, no matter what was going on in my life, was my sister…who just passed away this January. No matter what the problem was she would listen intently…and then remind me to laugh at myself. She would tell me to give myself 15 minutes to freak out…cry, scream, yell, stomp…do whatever I wanted in that 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes was over, we would look at options and solutions.

  That was a very important lesson, because often times we will be upset about a situation or circumstance and we will internalize it; not giving ourselves the opportunity to let it out. This frustration that we would carry around with us becomes something dark, and can prohibit us from being loving towards others. Anger doesn’t want to be bottled up…it wants to be released; unfortunately what tends to happen is that we will turn our frustration, angst and disgust onto unsuspecting bystanders. We will answer people sharply, or snap at our children or spouse, and they will never have seen it coming. And this is all because we didn’t know how to or chose not to release this negativity.

  When I feel this way…I love to write, because in my writing I can see the anger, and by the end of the blog or letter…I can find a loving peaceful way to resolve the issue within myself. If only we could always proof read what we say to others, prior to engaging in the battle of tongues. If we had a transcript of what we said and what others said to us, we would, perhaps, be able to see where one or the other crossed the line. And we could make note of what was really meant and what was a defensive mechanism kicking in.

  Often we don’t realize that our mouths can be more brutal than our fists. We can heal from a bump or bruise, but the words and tones that we leave others with, can be emotionally scarring. I know that I have gotten into a heated discussion or debate with some one I loved before, and the words they said to me would still linger. In my mind, I could not reconcile what was said out of hurt and anger…and what was truth. This becomes a problem because often when discussions become heated, we lash out at the people we are speaking to, without realizing that we are being malicious. I wonder if we could preview the conversation before actually saying it, what would we change?

  I am now calling this the “Art of Delightful Debate”. Why delightful? Well that is fairly simple, we can disagree and not be rude or angry. If we listen carefully to what is being relayed to us, we can see another’s point more readily. However if we are so busy thinking of a rebuttal that could match them…or put them in their appropriate place…we miss the communication. I know that sometimes it can be difficult to be patient, because we often make assumptions about what is going to be said; but impatience can often be detrimental to the message. And even worse than interrupting the speaker is to, pretend to pay attention, or roll your eyes or cross your arms across your chest. All of these actions send very clear messages to the speaker…what you are saying is not important to me, so could you just be quiet? Often it isn’t quite so nicely put, either.

  When I was a young girl I can remember being talked to by an older family member, after they got done speaking they said, do you understand what I just said? Of course, I said yes, not expecting the earth shattering response that would follow. “So if you understood what I said…tell me what I said”. All I could offer was a deer in the head light look, and I can assure you that had I really listened…it would have been a much better day for me. Lol.

  Communication is very important, everything communicates. Animals communicate, even trees and plants communicate, and you only have to pay attention to what they are saying. For instance when a leaf of a plant or tree is turned upside down, it means that is going to rain. If a plants leaves or blooms are sagging…it means they need water. Animals have very heightened senses. An animal senses danger or threat of danger, right away; and unlike humans, an animal does not talk themselves out of being cautious. A wolf doesn’t sense that something is coming and then say….it’s probably just the wind. No, a wolf will leave, or prepare to fight…we, as human beings have the same senses…but we do not listen to ourselves.

  We are highly evolved beings with various means of communication at our disposal, yet we rarely listen to our inner voice. It is often that inner voice that will tell us what to do…even though we may not listen. It is that very voice…that seems to come from nowhere…that is watching out for us. I have always believed that my inner voice is the voice of our creator, guiding me down my path. Showing me the way to whatever destination which is meant for me; all I ever had to do was listen.

  What is the message in all of this? Be respectful in conversations; give to others what you want in return.

 We all want our voices to be heard…it just isn’t always necessary to yell. Sometimes it is those who speak the softest that have the more attentive audience. Often snappy responses are intended to offend the other person, and they just make us appear to be immature or irrational.

  Just listen to what is being communicated and your Art of Delightful Debate…will always be productive.

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