Inking God’s Plan

Ink Speaks 2

Whatever your stance on tattoos, the power of self-expression through ink cannot be denied. Just as writers have put words to paper for centuries, tattoo artists have given power to the markings on their human palletes.

Recently our friend Evan experienced a very dramatic change in his life. Like most, he was angry and confused at first, but after time to think things through, Evan has started the task of moving past the hurt and letting the emotional wounds become battle scars.

As part of his healing process Evan chose a way to make God’s word a permanent reminder that the plan for us is bigger than we can ever understand. He chose the simple scriptural emblem of “Isaiah 14:27.”

Nothing can stop God’s plan for your life.

Continue reading “Inking God’s Plan”

Advertisements

So What Are You Reading?… (Read this even if you don’t like to read.)

Western reading

Will Schwalbe is one of my writing heroes.

Will Schwalbe 3

Will Schwalbe & me

Will has written: SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better (2010), The End Of Your Life Book Club (2012), Books for Living (2016). He does a terrific job of making connections with his readers because of his writing style and powerful messages.

It is Will’s practice to ask everyone he meets, “What are you reading?”

This question never fails to elicit amazing responses or conversations from those who are asked. Even if the person being asked isn’t a big reader, there are always books or stories from the past that seem to create connections for those in the conversation.

Recently our family took a trip to a state park. During a few of my MANY trips trips to our cabin, I noticed a gentleman reading outside his lodging. After the second day, I stopped and asked him, “What are you reading?”

“Oh,” he said, “nothing that would probably interest you.” 

I said, “Try me.”

He was reading a Western novel by William Johnstone.

As an avid reader, former bookstore employee, and proud possessor of a soft spot for Westerns, I began to list off some of the series and books that I happened to know were written by William Johnstone. He was tickled by my knowledge and appreciation for the genre. Continue reading “So What Are You Reading?… (Read this even if you don’t like to read.)”

Burning Calories by Walking Away

Burning Calories

“Burn calories by walking away from anything that causes you severe mental distress.”

There wasn’t any real story behind choosing this quote. It just felt like a great quote to share for today.

As I bask in the afterglow of my 39th birthday, I can only rejoice in knowing that I am alive and I can chose to walk away from those times and people who stress me out.

You can too.

“Burn calories by walking away from anything that causes you severe mental distress.”

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I am pretty sure this is one exercise routine that doesn’t require doctor permission.

While Thunder is the Voice of the Storm…

Walk between the drops

As I lay listening to rumbles of thunder this morning, I could not help but think of a conversation I had with my good friend Emily. We were discussing my writing and how I just hadn’t put much out lately on my site. I just haven’t felt that my messages carried enough weight, as if my words weren’t impactful enough.

With each roll of thunder, I remembered what Emily said to me, “Even if you only put out one sentence a day, there is someone who is feeling the same as you or who can relate to your words. You are their voice when they maybe can’t say it for themselves.” Continue reading “While Thunder is the Voice of the Storm…”

When Twilight Touches the Porch

Porch Twilight

As fireflies make their evening entrance and whippoorwills warm up their whistles, the light wanes and twilight touches porches across the country. There is no better time to feel the power of sundown and breathe in the shift between day and night.

Twilight possesses the power to slow time and heal the aches of the day. I recently had the chance to share a sunset rocking in porch chairs with my cousin. All our lives it seems like we have been racing to get to whatever destination life has in store for us next. Our pride in the tenacious nature with which we usually attack our lives was set aside. The sway of our rocking soothed our need to speed through the rest of the day. Sitting there, being serenaded by the crickets, it seemed as if the sunset was giving us permission to slow down and embrace the chance to just be.

Soaking in the serenity of the moment, we both acknowledged that we felt better somehow. I knew I was tired before our visit, but after taking that time to quietly experience the evening, I found that I would rest better that night.

By witnessing twilight touch the porch, we allowed it to touch our hearts and minds, we invited the sun to take away our worries and weariness.

When twilight touches the porch, we really need to be a part of that moment.

Porch Twilight 1

― C. JoyBell C.

Continue reading “When Twilight Touches the Porch”

Sometimes We Just Don’t Have the Words

No Words

In tough situations we often find ourselves unable to come up with the right words to say. That inability makes handling the circumstances even tougher. Here’s the good news: sometimes nothing needs to be said.

Just showing up and offering to listen or hug those hurting in the situation can be the most perfect proclamation. A simple squeeze of the hand or a covered dish for supper can sound like the kindest statements. Handing someone a tissue or taking over childcare duties is a true testament to your support and understanding for the suffering they are enduring. Sometimes we just don’t have the words, but we do always have the ability to make things happen and ease pain of the circumstances.

When my grandfather died, I was unable to attend the funeral because I had just endured a major surgery. My aunt came and sat with me the day of his funeral and said nothing. She simply hugged me, made lunch, did the dishes, and took care of the laundry. She knew I didn’t could speak of my grief yet and understood that sometimes it isn’t the words that make us feel better.

Sometimes we just don’t have the words.

Last night I attended the visitation of a man I had never met. I attended because two of his daughters (Mary Kay and Tina) are friends of mine. As I approached the front of the line, I wondered (as most do): what can I say that will help? Continue reading “Sometimes We Just Don’t Have the Words”

The Storm Will Pass – Wise Words Wednesday

 

You Cant Calm the Storm

When I think of keeping calm, I always remember the Friends episode where Monica gets all twirly because of her parents’ upcoming visit. With frantic pillow fluffing and excessive dusting, Monica scrambles to make the apartment “perfect.” Of course it will never be “perfect” according to her mother. Monica should not have wasted worry on the impending storm of her mother’s scrutiny, but rather saved her energy for riding out the blasts of criticism and then felt the blissful relief of seeing her mother go back to Long Island.

Just as Monica worked herself into a tizzy over the visit of her parents, my daughter got all twirly on us last week. We were preparing for our annual Memorial Day bar-b-que. My daughter inherited my worrying gene and did not sleep much the night before because she could not stop fretting over the details of the event. By “details” I mean she was worried about the kids fighting over shovels in the new pea-gravel we added around the swing set. Fighting over shovels was just too much for my sweet girl to bear at the first party of summer. In spite of our frequent reminders to just enjoy the day, she was consumed with worry over the rumblings of potential fights. Fortunately, most of the kids did not even pay attention to the shovels, and, once her friends arrived, my twirly girl left her thundering thoughts behind. Continue reading “The Storm Will Pass – Wise Words Wednesday”

Experimental Cleaning

 

Experimental Birthday GiftLast year my uncle let me borrow his robot vacuum cleaner for my birthday. The intention behind this gift was to see if I would like one for myself. The experiment went well.

For Christmas, I received my very own robot vacuum. Now we are onto a new experiment in convenience and cleaning.

The subject of our experiment is Roomee.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_QYuSC76Ns5K6lML8zzTIuWtZ9D8JVp_/view?usp=sharing

Roomee is the vaccum’s name and she is very popular at our house. Everyone fights over who gets to push her buttons. All too often I find myself saying, “Stay away from the vacuum!” (Words I never thought I would utter.)

In the time we have had Roomee, I can honestly say she has been helpful. As with any experiment, there have been a few hang ups (mainly with Roomee getting hung up on my kids’ clothes that hide under their beds), but for the most part adding her to our family has been beneficial.

I really like how she picks up around the table and under the counter in the kitchen. The freshly vacuumed carpets in the living room and bedrooms make me feel like Martha Stewart. Having a debris-free rug by the front door makes me a homemaker rock star.

I know what you are thinking, “Where is the experiment?”

The experiment comes in the same form as any other scientific method.

Hypothesis: If I have a robot vacuum cleaner, my floors will be clean. Continue reading “Experimental Cleaning”

A Running Break

timeout

As I was climbing my way over a mountain of spring semester grading and working through the week’s to-do’s, I started to ache.

My back, my neck, my legs, my arms, my hands, and my head; they all were aching. My temper was short and my attention span even shorter.

I knew I had to find a way to stop the hurting and manage my moodiness.

So I ran away… Continue reading “A Running Break”

Clean Outlook…Comes with Washer and Dryer

In Unit LaundryRecently my family had the opportunity to take a vacation in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

I highly recommend this trip if you love being outdoors, skiing, skating, snowboarding, or enjoy quaint mountain villages with ample shops and restaurants. Our accommodations were at the Ridge Point townhouses (a very short shuttle ride to the town center).

The townhouse had everything would could ask for, but hands down the best loved amenity was the in-unit washer and dryer.

A few of our family members cancelled at the last minute so we invited some cousins to join us. After a few fast hours of planning, they were ready to hit the road with us. They didn’t stress about packing a lot because we told them there was a washer and dryer included. It wouldn’t take much to wash something if they needed it. In the craziness that comes from having 13 people skiing, swimming, skating, eating, and just generally having a good time we found that the laundry piled up pretty quick, especially towels.

We kept the laundry going steadily each day and were comforted by the fact that when we packed to head home, our suitcases weren’t completely full of dirty clothes. It was awesome!

While we can’t all pack up and head for the mountains right now, we can all take a break to be thankful for simple blessings in our lives. Continue reading “Clean Outlook…Comes with Washer and Dryer”