The old Cheers television show theme song contained the following lyric…
“Sometimes I wanna go where everybody knows my name.”
Well, sometimes if we are honest with ourselves and others we want to get away to places where nobody knows our names.
We need the escape, even a brief respite, from the chaos and responsibilities that hound us. Especially with everything that has happened in 2020 and now during this often hectic and crazy time of year.
Take time for yourself, it’s okay to not be okay. #SelfCare #Holidays #MentalHealth
We live in the paradox of our existence. Our world is small compared to the universe. Even in comparison to our planet that revolves around the sun here in this little corner of the galaxy. There is so much unexplored and unknown, both out there and within the human heart. And yet, we have eternal significance and worth just as we are to a sovereign and holy god. Do you believe that?
And what are we to make of that? #MondayBlogs #MondayQuestions #MondayMotivation #YouMatter #JustBelieve
2020 has been a troubling year for all, some more than others. Do you need some support and self-hope? Do you know someone who does? If so, take a look at this.
My Still Waters – An Anthology of Self-Hope
The book My Still Waters is available for presale on Amazon.com right now and on track to be available for purchase Dec. 10th! Get your copy ordered today! Order a couple more for family and friends and please share the link with others as well. The theme of the anthology is poems related to self-hope, self-discovery and healing
The publishers narrowed the list of submissions to 120 poems for inclusion in the anthology. I had 5 poems selected for inclusion in the published anthology. Better yet two received honorable mentions and my poem ‘Wake the Beast‘ made the short list of the top 25 and then the top 11 to compete for the people’s choice award.
I tiptoe around afraid to wake the beast – He rests sleeping his power unreleased “Wake the Beast” #poetry #poetrycommunity #amwriting #writerslife
As we face tightening restrictions due to COVID-19 all over the world, the US and the state in which I live, the lyric above got me to thinking about how much we really have no control over. We spend so much time and energy trying to control things in our lives. We schedule and plan out our tightly controlled days and when it does not go according to plan, what then?
So much is happening outside of our control:
There are waves crashing on beaches that no sees.
There are flowers blooming on high mountain tops of snow.
There are packs of wolves running across ridge lines in forests unseen.
There are trees bending from the force of the winds and weather.
There is birth, life and death happening all around us.
What is happening around you for which you have no control? #WickedQuestions
For the sake of our own sanity and mental health, we must learn to detach from that over which we have no control. To trust in a good outcome, to hope in a better tomorrow, and a better future for those who come behind us.
This little poem, if you want to call it that, in question form was written and posted back on October 25, 2016 right here on this site. It is now four years later and the question still lingers although I think we all deep down inside know the answer.
We have all made promises to do this or that. Promises we swore we would keep forever.
The impact we make on others, whether good or bad, will be long remembered. There is never a neutral encounter, make your impact a positive one! And when they remember you, it brings smile to their face and a joy within their heart. ❤
I will be interviewed by Ronit Plank for her podcast ‘And Then Everything Changed’ this Wednesday, October 28th. The episode will be aired at a still to be determined date.
In preparation for my interview with Ronit I have binged listened to many past episodes. I encourage you to take a listen to great stories of resilience, courage and hope. Ronit is a skilled host and interviewer. All past and future episodes, including mine when it becomes available, are available on her website and many podcast platforms including:
The conversations Ronit has with her guests are real and vulnerable. Talking about personal history; those pivotal moments of their childhood and adulthood that defined them and the crucial and sometimes painful decisions they made that forever changed the course of their lives.
After listening to many episodes, my biggest takeaway is the all too often similar feelings and emotions that we all experience in life. Despite our often very different circumstances, beliefs, values and life stories the emotional toil often runs deep. Although, my life may often have little in common with many of the guests I feel a connection.
It is not a competition, and yet we all have or will experience pain in this life. #quote
The question and the test is what will we do with the pain we experience in this life? Listen to some Ronit’s guests tell their stories and you will be inspired by the strength, courage and the resiliency of the human spirit. Thank you Ronit for creating this platform that allows others to share their stories, reminding us each that we are not alone.
Stay tuned to this site and sign up for email updates for the latest and when my conversation with Ronit will air on her podcast!
It has been a rough last few weeks. Truth be told it’s been a rough past few months and even the whole year of 2020. I am not even talking about COVID-19, stay at home orders, social distancing, fears of infection from the virus, racial and civil unrest or even the current chaos of our political system.
Simply said my family has watched a beloved member’s health slowly decline. So much so that in the end it is hard to see who they once were. Illness and disease can do that to you.
Yet we can still hold hope, for ourselves and others, of better days ahead. As Job’s faith stayed fast even during his trials, I pray that we can all do the same.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
I have lost my faith,
not my belief
I have misplaced it,
and it cannot
I will still search,
I will hold my faith,
I still will believe,
I still will trust,
your truth in
This past week we lost our beloved dog, Sadee Jayne ❤ (See this week’s Wordless Wednesday photo of her.) She was the fourth member or our pack and we had twelve wonderful years together. Her death has rekindled many memories of grief for me. Thus leading me to lots of questions, similar questions to those I have written about in my upcoming memoir ‘Cowboys Are Not Supposed To Cry.’
I know I struggle not in losing my faith but in misplacing it if you will. It tends to ebb and flow when I allow my belief to be based on my emotions and what is happening to me and around me. Often building my faith on a precarious stack of rocks instead of on the rock. I believe we need to focus more on the truth that does not change.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” ~Hebrews 13:8
You will take me down Into the depths feeling I might drown For you know it is there can I truly see The glorious beauty of your majesty
Into the mystic all around My pounding heartbeat the only sound Fly away to where we were meant to be Revealing to us your holy mysteries
You will take me down Break these chains that keep me bound I want to live in shameless freedom From now until your coming kingdom
Life and glory can be found Let the false intimacy come unwound Renouncing the enemy’s bastard accusations Evil fears its pronounced damnation
You will take me down Exchanging my ashes for a beautiful crown For love and mercy linger in a secret place Freely given is your unveiled grace
Spending lots of time lately thinking about ‘holy mysteries’, life and death. Our purpose, destiny and futures if we fully devote yourselves to God’s call on our lives. Yes, it will be scary and overwhelming at time and we might even feel like we are drowning and that is when we might fully come alive and live the life we were created to live chasing the dreams God has given us.
The blue sky is beginning to darken as night approaches and I watch you lying there. Your head on its side resting on the ground. You stare straight ahead past your nose, eyes wide open.
We both stay in the silence of the moment, only a faint rustle of leaves in the trees. Slowly I watch you lift your head and look around before you stop and stare off into the distance. Your dark nose crinkles as you sniff the evening air.
“What do you see?” I want to ask, I open my mouth to speak and the words catch in my throat. I swallow hard, my heart beating loudly within my chest.
I close my mouth and sit silently conjuring images of the unknown that may be floating through your mind. I sit helpless to ease your pain, wanting to comfort you as each second ticks by.
If you could only speak. To tell me what you see, what you are thinking of. For I would do whatever it is you ask or need. The world around me swirls, a strong breeze rustles the leaves, and a voice in my head from long ago breaks my reverie transporting me back.
“Please shove the pillow down lower, closer to my hip here…”
Your shrill voice rings loud in the silence of the late evening. I quickly jerk my hands away coming off the pillow as I back pedal a few steps watching your pained expression.
“I am sorry.” I speak slowly in a trembling voice as I slowly move back closer to the chair. Your head is tilted back resting hard against the back of the chair, your breath deep and labored.
“I know, … it’s okay. It just hurts so bad, ya know. I just can’t ever seem to get comfortable where it doesn’t hurt.”
My mind whirls as I stand swaying on unsteady legs unsure what to do next, not wanting to cause you more pain. I stand staring not knowing what to say waiting until you speak.
“Okay, let’s try this. Put that little pillow down behind my lower back. I will hold this one here at my side and we’ll see if that works.”
Okay I say, tentatively moving forward treating you as a fragile porcelain doll instead of the courageous strong woman that you are despite the circumstances. Inside my helplessness screams at the absurdity of it all.
Several minutes later after many machinations and adjustments you are finally somewhat comfortable for now. Breathing a heavy sigh you sink deeper into the chair closing your eyes.
“Okay that will work, thank you love.”
I fall onto the couch next to your chair my own exhaustion overtaking me. Our eyes meet for a brief second as you open your eyes and you faintly smile. Then you turn away from my gaze to look out the window at the darkening sky. I watch as you sit motionless, your pale arms resting on the arms of the recliner.
Your short dark brown hair barely touches your shoulders now as it hangs framing your face. I can still picture your long locks that used to cascade down your back and over your shoulders. I see your eyes gloss over, focused on something that only you can see. I wonder are you seeing beyond the veil that separates the worlds.
“What do you see my love?” my mind asks as I swallow my words.
My head clears, I come back to the present. You are now on your side, head once again laying on the grass, eyes open staring. The dark brown fur of your coat in sharp contrast to the green grass of late summertime.
You seem at peace with whatever may come and I envy you. My mind again asks “What do you see girl? Do you see the end?” I wonder.
A chorus of memories run through my mind of the years together. The joy, the laughter, the adventures we all shared. You completed our family and made it whole. We watched you and her grow alongside one another becoming best friends. You have always been a loyal companion that shepherded her well into her teenage years.
I know your body is now weak and frail. Age or disease catches up with us all and I hope you know I will continue to try whatever that may mean. I truly will, my mind screams into the silence of the ever darkening sky overhead. To spare you and others from what inevitability will come. My helplessness looms large, again a mountain in front of me that I am once again forced to climb.
Your eyes now closed, I watch you breathing slowly, your chest rising and falling as you sleep. There is life left and I will do whatever I can to ease your days. Although I know that option is sometimes not offered. And so we live with the unanswered question of ‘What do you see?’
Sharing a little free write essay that compares the feelings I have watching our older dog as she battles lymphoma and the triggers of memories it evokes from long ago. You will be able to read more about those memories in my upcoming memoir to be published in early 2021. You can read about it here and be sure to sign up for email notifications to get the latest updates.