Thank you to Mark Batterson, in his book Chase the Lion.
THIS is why I wrote my novel. And THIS is why I will continue to write.
I think it speaks to a whole lot of creative endeavors. What is yours?
I have intentionally not "gone political" in my blog postings of the past 93 days as I do not want to incite back and forth tyrades. Simply does not fit within my intentions.
I saw this photo on someone's FB feed today, and my response was "peace." Then I added something to the effect of "we need a comeback of civility and decorum." Things that have been so lacking in this particular election season, on both sides. We need to seek ways to LISTEN to one another. Hear another's viewpoint. We learn from one another that way.
Walked this morning with a dear lovely friend and discovered we were in disagreement on a social issue. Did not launch into finger pointing or name calling, but rather had thoughtful discussion of how and why we each came to our understanding of the issue.
This, I believe, is how bridges are built. How peace is found. How wars are prevented. And how love is engaged into daily life.
Just my thought. You needn't agree.
Civility and Decorum Look it up. Oh, what the heck... I'll provide the links below for you.
Drop the F word from your language (yes, even my Boston friends.). Choose words that uplift rather than tear down. Think before you speak. Or take it a step further if you dare and pray before you speak. Ask for words that will enlighten rather than degrade.
Want to join the movement? What movement, you ask? My movement of one... toward the return of civility and decorum. Kinda like the 'random acts of kindness thing' - but with words, and listening.
God is love. God created us to love. God calls us to love.
It really does break down that simply.
And when we fall away from that - when we get caught up in egos, and agenda, and aspirations that wander from that calling - it becomes stress, and angst, and annoyance, and ugly.
God creates beauty. Beauty is love. Just look around.
I know - maybe TOO simple, and that's why we do our best to complicate it.
Maybe it's why we love our dogs so much. They are - all love. Unconditional love. One of the best examples of God in action.
I told you it was simple.
It's become a habit. A good habit. Can't resist one more post.
Thank you again to all who have joined me in the past 90 days. Would love to hear from you.
Not sure I want to stop at 90. Time will tell.
New class is forming. I'm excited about this. Read more HERE.
Delaying start by one week to allow more to join.
Considering adding another class time on Monday afternoons 1:30 - 3pm.
Love you all. This one is short - but heartfelt. THANK YOU for joining me in this miraculous life and faith journey.
Crossing the finish line today on the 90 day blog challenge.
Surprised, honestly, that I completed this without missing a single day. Truly thought there would be at least one day that I would forget, fall asleep, wake up the next morning with an "uh oh!". But that didn't happen.
I took up the challenge because I wanted to get back into a writing practice, every day. And I did.
What happens now? Well, first, I will intentionally NOT write a blog post tomorrow, in order to break the streak. Unless of course I feel inspired to go to 100 (!)
The good news? I have two new writing projects underway. The daily writing will continue, even while not as a blog.
The odd news? The three blog posts that had the most readership according to the website stats each had the word "out" in the title! What's THAT about?!
So - the blog is over. And I'm out. Wearing my faith in God to guide my life on my sleeve in a good number of the writings.
Temperature outside has dropped ferociously today. No doubt that fall is here, swimming is over, and we begin the wild march to the winter holidays.
90 day blog challenge is over. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who has read even just one blog post in the past 90 years. I was humbled, and honored, by your following, your comments, both online, and in random conversation.
Feels like there should be some sort of fanfare as I say goodnight on Day 90. But there isn't. Just another day.
I will finish with an image of the completed commission painting, picked up today by the newly engaged couple discussed back on AUGUST 27 - DAY 34 OF THE BLOG. The beginning of the sky was posted on DAY 77.
Every ending a new beginning.
Oh my - only two days left and the 90 day blog challenge is complete! Feeling a bit of pressure to finish in an extraordinary way, but honestly, I'm just going to do as I have every evening for the past 88 days. Write about - what comes to mind when I ask the question "what should I write about today?"
Now, just WHO am I asking that question of? That's a longer story.
To those of you who believe all wisdom lies within, that would be a question to myself, to figure out what the topic will be.
To those of you who have been following the blog for the past three months, you already know that I believe in something much wiser than myself, and that I abhor the term "figure out." Ok - abhor is a bit strong. But it has become a phrase I choose to avoid whenever possible.
Because my life isn't just up to me. That's not a statement of shirking responsibility. Rather it is one of surrender. (hang on - here she goes again) I surrendered my life to God a while back. So it's not just up to me. I count on God to guide my ways. The heck with that bumper sticker "God is my co-pilot." I want God to be THE PILOT. I'm quite delighted to sit n the backseat, takes orders, and follow.
Of course, there's noise that gets in the way between the front and the back seat sometimes, and it's difficult to know if the orders I think I'm hearing truly come from God. That's a process. A lifelong learning, working with various discernment exercises and tools to hone the skill. And most importantly, learning to trust God to be God (which then means I simply need to be me.)
Now, how did I end up on THIS topic? I started out with the intention of writing about standing in line this evening at the memorial service of my friend who passed earlier this week and a woman who I met years ago telling me her book club is reading my book this month and I had no idea and... well, that topic obviously gave way to a different one. That's just how the Spirit works sometimes.
I'm good with that. Because it is a far more important message. The other one was going to have a little too much ego wrapped up in it.
Breathe. Be still. Listen for the voice of God amid the noises of the world. Then reach down deep (or up high) for the courage to follow it.
Nite nite for now. It's been a glorious 89 days. Thank you to each one of you who has read this far.
Impossible. First thing that comes to mind for me is the Rogers and Hammerstein TV version of Cinderella. Fairy Godmother sings "Impossible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage." LISTEN TO IT HERE.
Impossible. I remember the opening sequence from the Mission Impossible TV show in the late 60's, where a tape was played with instructions for a mission, always ending with "this tape will self-destruct in five seconds." It disappeared in a whiff of smoke. WATCH IT HERE
On a whiteboard in a youth group classroom at church tonight. The words we say "Impossible" but God says "I'm possible." I like that. Turns it around.
Back to Cinderella's Godmother. About halfway in, the lyrics turn around to "It's Possible."
But the world is full of zanies and fools
Who don't believe in sensible rules
And won't believe what sensible people say.
And because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible
Impossible things are happening every day.
Yes. I resemble that idea. Zanies and fools in don't believe in sensible rules.
Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Now, please do not get into a theological argument with me. I know - God is not Fairy Gomother. And it's not "poof" magic we pray for.
Or is it? And what the heck is wrong with thinking of God as Godmother? Someone who responds to me in crisis, who listens, and allays my fears. I'm good with that.
As to the zanies and fools? Yes - sometimes Christians are characterized that way. We don't do things the way everyone else does. And for that, I am grateful.
My "Impossible?" Never ever gone swimming in the water of Buzzards Bay on October 20. Until today! A friend called me "weird" on Facebook. I'm ok with that, too. It is a celebration of life. Going in because I can. Because it was nearly 70 degrees today and the sun was shining.
Impossible things are happening every day. Prayers do get answered. Not always when we want, and not always what we want. But as for me, I will trust God to have my back. God may "fairy godmother me" any time God wants to!
And I will again be grateful.
Financial Peace. Rarely did these two words appear in the same sentence. Not in my family.
Financial stress? Yes. Quarrels? Absolutely. Tension? You bet. Staring at the ceiling at 3am? Countless times.
Financial Peace UNIVERSITY. Add that one word, and the conversation changes.
Learning how to handle money the right way. God's way. Knowledge. A written monthly budget (more on that later). Baby steps. An opportunity to change my dialogue - internal and external - around money.
This past spring I participated in a class developed by financial professional Dave Ramsey, titled FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY. In nine weeks, I learned, and relearned, how to relate to and handle money differently. What Dave calls the 7 BABY STEPS. At the risk of sounding dramatic or cliche, it was a life changer. It truly was.
Honestly - I am amazed at how much I enjoy talking about money now. Ask me about my experience of using a monthly written household budget - something I thought was ridiculously intimidating and impossible - and I will share with you how amazingly liberating it has been for me. Instead of saying "I can't afford that" with a downtrodden, victimized feeling, instead I simply say "that's not in the budget this month!" I get to tell my dollars where to go now, instead of them controlling me. I'm working my way out of debt. Making wiser choices. I have a plan.
Financial Peace University has had such an influence over my financial circumstances that I have decided to sign up as a volunteer Financial Peace University class coordinator, to share the course with others.
Notice my title is coordinator, not teacher. Dave Ramsey teaches the course via videos, shared in a class setting. Small group discussion after each video locks in understanding of the principles. And like any other major life change, the process is facilitated by learning and growing in a group setting, supporting one another in the process. The cost of the class is approximately $100 (group purchasing may reduce that slightly so if you are interested please do not buy the class on your own - more info on this to follow). Best $100 I have EVER spent!
The purchase of the class kit includes lifetime membership. One may repeat the class as often as liked. And the membership is considered a family membership, so couples may take the class together - and in fact are encouraged to do so. A family legacy is begun.
At this time, the details of time, day of the week, and start date are not yet determined. I am simply collecting names of those who might be interested. If this is you, please send an EMAIL or CALL ME.
Even if you are thinking "oh - I'm all set - I don't need that" - I encourage you to watch THIS VIDEO. We all can learn and grow. And you never know who you might be able to influence, in turn, with some simple new ways to talk about money.
It's not a dirty word. It's not a forbidden topic. And as Dave says about baby step 7 - "giving is possibly the most FUN you will ever have with money!"
Ask me more if you'd like... I love talking about this. Would love to put together a great big class or two!
Thank you for reading this far. Class overview at THIS LINK.
ps - pictured below - the contents of the 'kit' that is included with class registration.
Breathe out. Breathe in. Simple, right?
We do it all day long without thinking about it. Until a health challenge makes us mindful of it.
Breathe out. Breathe in. Just like life.
Let go. Let in.
My faith journey of the past couple years has invited me to let go of old hurts, old behaviors, and yes, even some old friends.
Breathe out. Breathe in.
And with each letting go, each loss, room is made for new to enter in.
Today, I was reminded of one of the lovely new things in my life, in the form of a new circle of women friends who are an absolute gift in my life. We met through singing, at church. We gather once a month for lunch, or dinner. And guaranteed it is a three hour adventure. We laugh, we've cried, we share, we celebrate God active in our lives.
Breathe out. Breathe in. Letting go is hard.
Breathe out. Breathe in. Embrace the gifts of new life.
Just wrote a blog post tribute to a friend who passed early this morning. Posted it - then discovered somehow the text disappeared. Not sure if that is a sign to change my topic or just a need to rewrite.
I'm going to rewrite. Because I want to honor him, in my small way.
Todd and I weren't close. I referred to him in the first draft as a business acquaintance. Knew each other mostly because he was a manager at the restaurant next to the gallery. We'd speak in small doses, in between other things. My favorite times were when he would come in in the middle of a tiring shift, and just sit in the blue rocking chair for a short break. I knew he had cancer, and was undergoing treatment, but somehow always thought he would be back.
We'd share a laugh or two or three. Talked of making a trip to Ptown together "someday." He confessed to sitting in the blue chair sometimes even when I wasn't there, which was just fine with me. He told me he read bits and pieces of Painting Lily, though never the whole thing. Read enough to know about the cherry lifesavers, and left a roll on my desk one time. Little fun things. That's what we shared. Not so much the serious stuff.
I will miss you, Todd. Your laughter. Your unique sense of humor. And your AMAZING voice that would sing from the other side of the wall, not knowing I was listening. Gone far, far too soon.