web analytics

Category Archives: Writing

Are You Grateful?

When tend to run around like mad people, whether it be running children around, doing errands, cleaning house, getting meals prepared, even volunteering or working a full or part-time job plus doing the aforementioned. Then we usually add to that some sort of drama of the day, and our way to respond to it is throw up our hands, plod on through putting out those fires, and don’t stop to breath until we get into bed. And that might just be a maybe, if you are like me you play over and over again in your head things that happened that day or even last week and usually they are should have, could have, would haves. It is really hard for us to stop for just a moment to breath and rest.

I was one of those that just let my day drive my life, now my life drives my day. One thing I started doing that has been a big help is playing an audiobook before bed. I have the Audible app on my iPhone and iPad and there is a sleep timer which I set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes if I am still awake I reach over and restart it. I have yet to still be awake after the second set. Listening to the book keeps my mind from being busy and constantly chattering – monkey mind is what I like to call it. Now in the mornings I feel more restful.

The next biggest thing I started doing was a gratitude journal. I bought this lovely Studio Oh Deconstruct Journal from Amazon which has the lovely art work of Katie Daisy who is truly amazing.

Filledwithjoy

I went ahead and started decorating the inside page

IMG_5988

Just a little something to make me feel good while I’m using it.

So now at some point during the day, I stop a moment, take a deep breath and be thankful for five things. If I have the time at the moment I put it in my journal, if not I wait until later that evening when everything is quite. It takes me some time because I like to decorate and use different inks and letterings, but you don’t have to, just write your grateful things in list format. I know how hard it is during the busyness of your life to stop a moment for yourself and be grateful, but the important thing is to take those few minutes to breathe, gather your thoughts and be thankful. You will notice a big difference in your life. I know I do.

 

Namaste! Hugs!

Imperfection

I'm Imperfect and I'm Enough

Five weeks ago I started an Oprah Lifeclass based on Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. It has been an extraordinary journey and one that has truly opened my eyes. Along with the readings we do lessons and a journal using multi-media crafts.

To be able to say ‘YES I am imperfect, but that is okay,’ has been truly freeing. To realize that I am me and accept me the way I am, and not as you expect me to be, is so liberating. One of our assignments has been to cultivate self-compassion by letting go of our imperfections.

Here are two of my journal pages for that week:

Gifts of Imperfection Week 3

Gifts of Imperfection Week 3

ChildofGod

This has been a truly spiritual journey. I leave you with words from Dr. Kristen Neff “self-compassion has three elements: self kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.”

~Namaste

Nokia Lumia 1020 A Camera with a Phone or a Phone with a Camera

NUSA-Lumia1020-HP-Switch-Medium-Tile-2000x1000-jpg

Nokia Lumia 1020*

 

A 41 MP Nokia phone was announced today by Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop in New York City. Noticeable on stage were the colors worn by Elop, Juha Alakarhu and Kristina Bjorknas - black, yellow and white are the new phone colors.

The specs for this new 6 lens camera/phone are:**

Runs on Windows 8 phone OS.
HERE Global maps and HERE drive – no need to be connected to WiFi
2 GB Ram, 32 GB internal memory, with 7 GB SkyDrive Cloud storage – free.
1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor.
2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via cover.
Front facing camera HD 1.2 MP wide angle
Display has 4.5″ Amoled WXGA (1280×768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass 3, PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch, Nokia Glance Screen.

The phone’s camera has some really nice features, including the claim of reinventing the zoom. While looking at the zoomed in photo you can change the orientation for the picture. As shown the camera was able to zoom in really tight into a stack of hay and find the needle hidden within.

There is real-time feedback via the viewfinder, so when you change settings like exposure or focus, you can see how it will affect the photo before taking the picture. In other words you can chose what to focus on, background or foreground and see changes in preview picture. As shown during the presentation you can take a picture of a flower with someone standing in the background, you can chose to focus on on the flower and make the person blurry or focus on the person and make the flower blurry.

HERE maps is a nice feature where you can search for a coffee shop (or whatever else you want to search for) hold the phone up like you are going to take a picture and flags of all the coffee shops will appear and change as you move direction, either removing them and adding new ones.

A Software Development Kit (SDK) available.

During the presentation I kept wondering if this was a camera with a phone or a phone with a camera? The whole presentation focused on the phones camera abilities and nothing about how the phone actually functions.

The phone will be available July 16th for 299.99 with a 2-year agreement with AT&T. Which for me, and I am sure a lot of people, will be a problem, as AT&T service is very spotty. Even in Cary NC with a high population there are developments where you cannot get their service. In San Diego and Los Angeles California there are many dead areas which is extremely frustrating. Running Windows 8 is also another reason I won’t be buying this phone – if it was a Google or iPhone I would consider it, but not until others had used it first. Why? There was really no discussion on the phone aspect of the Lumia 1020 and this worries me. I have a wonderful Canon DSLR that I use for my professional photography and using my cellphone is not an option, as for me the screen is way to small to even consider. For being at parties or with family I don’t mind taking a cellphone photo but again, not for my professional photos.

It was interesting when an audience members asked what features compete with the iPhone besides the camera the first thing stated was the Windows phone 8, then control screen wireless charging through attachment shell.

The attachment shell is a nice feature to have the wireless charging. The Nokia Camera Grip will be able to hold a tripod, battery built into the shell, and 2 shutter control besides using it one-handed.

* Picture courtesy of Nokia.com

**Nokia Press Release

Re-entering the Writing World

It's a little dusty around here

It’s a little dusty around here

Please excuse me while I clean up, it has been a long time and I am coming back. I let the wrong things in life interfere with what I am truly passionate about and love deeply – writing and history (genealogy). I realized the other day that I need to do what I love and to never, ever have any regrets any time in my life with what I should have or could have done. This was brought to the forefront the other day when a friend of mine died suddenly and so very unexpectedly, she was only 51 years old.

I started getting my life in order and I began with organization, by getting back to GTD (Getting Things Done by David Allen). While on Google+ getting some wonderful productivity tips I ran across Craig Jarrow who was starting a group for July’s NaNoWriMo Camp. If you remember I did NaNoWriMo in October of 2011 and nearly finished my novel. Unfortunately there is sat never to be opened again. I let life and drama get in my way. NO MORE.

Another thing I did to get things going in the right direction is I formally opened a business called Digging Up Your Roots. I hired a graphic designer to design my logo and help me with a creative tagline (we are in the final phases and I should have that soon). I started another blog for the business and I am incorporating some things into it and am waiting on the final logo. I hope to be running live in two weeks but no later than the 31st of July.

I am committed to writing every day. It might not be on my book, but it could be for one of my blogs. Which is another thing I am adamant about, keeping my blogs up-to-date and not letting them get behind. I am passionate about writing and politics is on of those things I am very passionate about. Really, just look at my Facebook page if you don’t believe me.

So excuse me while I blow the dust off, clean up a bit, and get going with what my heart truly desires…

WRITING!

The World In Which We Live In

Things like this video drive me crazy. Can you imagine what those children must absorb from those adults? For me, this is akin to teaching hatred.

The video this was linked to is no longer available. Thank goodness!! I quick recap though – it was a boy about 6 or 7 years old singing “Ain’t no homo going to make it to heaven.” In church no less.

I am not new to Christianity, if there is such a thing I have been a Christian geek all my life. At one point wanting to become a minister. That is a story for another time.

I backed away from my Christian roots many years ago, but recently have come back to them. One of the things I focused on while looking for a new church to call home, was if they accepted the LGBT community. In my eyes if a church accepts LGBT then they are truly a loving, caring church and that is one I wanted to belong to.

I am sick and tired of so called Christians judging one another, judging non-Christians, and just plain judging. It is not necessarily the whole church, or the whole denomination, it can be just one or two that ruin the whole bunch. You know, one bad apple and all that.

After the video they scroll the verse of 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 10, which mentions effeminate, and in some versions homosexual.

Well I decided to take a look at that verse. First I checked out the Luther Bible printed in German 1910, and found instead the word used means weakling in German. Another word used Knabenschänder means boy molester, not homosexual. So in Germany these verses have totally different meaning. In my NRSV it uses sodomites, which is a Greek word (arsenokoitai) that Paul may have coined and was used for the first time here, according to my Harper Collins Study Bible.

How do we really know what Paul meant exactly?

My KJ says effeminate, but does not mention homosexuals, on the other hand the Amplified, New American Standard, and the New International all use the word homosexual. The word homosexual was not in use until he late 19th century so how it can find its way into the Bible is beyond me.

Now I am by no means an etymologist nor am I a linguistic, but I love to see original words and what their context was to that time frame.

I know a few boys and men who are effeminate, but they are not homosexual, so are you going to tell me God is going to cast them out also? No, I don’t believe so. Is God really going to give up on weaklings, especially when he said the meek will inherit the earth? No, I don’t believe so. I believe my God is a just God, but also a loving God. One in which Jesus said two important commandants law and prophets hang on:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40

I believe words get mistranslated, or misquoted and the original word is much different then what is used in some translations.

I believe my God is a loving God!

Hugs!!!
Namaste!!!

Aurora Colorado Shooting So Sad

It was a tragic end to a wonderful evening where family and friends had planned to go the midnight screening of Batman The Dark Knight Rises. Many were gunned down by 24 year old James Holmes, who was dressed in body armor and a gas mask, at the Century 16 Cinema. Last count was 58 people hurt and 12 killed.

Many are questioning how and why something like this can happen. Some ask ‘where is God in all this?’ ‘How can he let people suffer.’ I don’t have answers, but I know an answer dropped in my email that day. Actually two emails, both from Chris Sigfrids, Senior Online Marketing Manager at WestBrook Multnomah. He quickly heard about the tragedy from his wife, as he was leaving his house for work. On the way to work he heard the rest of the story on the car radio. He, like most of us had questions. Many that seemed to come to him as he listened to the news reports and drove into work. In his first email he explains that

“I drove down I-25 listening to what had happened, just 50 miles up the road, I began to consider what the appropriate response was. Should I be angry? Should I forgive? Should I get a concealed carry permit? Should we have tighter gun laws?

In the second email he explains while in his office

“I … went to my bookshelves and found Randy’s [Alcorn] book, If God Is Good. I had read it a couple years ago and went through the table of contents to find chapter four. It gave me personal encouragement and I thought it might encourage others….”

Well I guess he got a lot of flack for his first email, people screaming that he was trying to sell books in face of this tragedy. He says that

“after spending 10 minutes with just a portion of Randy’s book, I felt comfort. I had answers. I found my orientation amidst the flood of possible responses.”

He wanted to share this comfort with many people; clergy, lay leaders, just us every day folks.

“My heart was simply to encourage others. I wanted to DO something about this senseless act, and this is what I thought I could do…something I could contribute,. A way to reach out and be an encourager,” he explained in his second email.

So in hopes that I can reach out and give others comfort also, I am embedding and giving a link so you can download chapter 4 of the book If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. I am also going to include the YouTube Video link of Randy being interviewed by Greg Laurie at Harvest Fellowship.
Randy Alcorn Interview

Here are links that Chris included in his email.

 Randy Alcorn’s website

A link to chapter 4 so you can download the chapter to read on the device of your choosing.

 

Hugs!!!

Namaste!!!

Read the book here: just keep scrolling.

[scribd id=100603311 key=key-1eihd21dx3ko3211fefz mode=list]

Forgiving is Hard

Someone asked me last night how I am dealing with drama in my life that occurred a few weeks ago. This post is my reflection on that question.
 

Forgiveness is one virtue I have a very hard time with. I am trying, and trying very hard. I am putting my faith in Jesus to lead me and show me the way. I must admit I am a lot better at it now then say 10+ years ago. I am finding with my new-found faith in God through the Episcopal church, it is easier than it has ever been before.

Every day that I read the Bible I find another passage that strikes home, like

Philippians 3:13b “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,”


which makes it easier and easier for me to place everything in God’s hand and rely on Jesus to help and guide me. 

In Forward Day by Day Saturday’s reading had a wonderful saying:

“The eternal God is whispering: “Don’t fill your life

with broken shards of the trivial; tell someone you love

them; forgive from the heart. Don’t defer joy to some

future which never arrives. I stand knocking at your

door.”"

I know for me (my great-aunt, who was like a mother to me, died in my arms, and my brother-in-law passed away while my husband was with him, so very unexpectedly) these deaths brought the realization of forgiveness and numbered days. However, I know someone who has had both parents die young and tragically and yet they harbor resentment and fill their life with broken shards of the trivial. I pray for this person every day that he/she will realize we need not harbor resentment in our hearts, because we just do not know when tragedy will strike. Instead we need to love one another and live each day as if it is the last. The whole meditation really spoke to me and I pray that it will also speak to you and those who need it.

Here are a few Bible verses that I go to during those times when I am struggling, or when that feeling of resentment begins to bubble deep down inside and I can feel it gurgling and know I am going to slip into what ifs, and coulda, shoulda and wouldas.

“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

“Love prospers when a fault if forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

“…Lord how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times.” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25

and finally Colossians 3:13-15 really hits it home every time.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

I took my confirmation on Sunday into the Episcopal church of The Holy Comforter in Burlington NC. Now these verses in Colossians really mean a lot to me because Bishop Gregg asked us if we will renew our commitment to Jesus Christ, and I answered “I do, and with God’s grace I will follow him as my Savior and Lord.” He also asked the congregation – the members of the one body – “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” and they answered “we will.” Then the bishop said to the congregation, “Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.” Therefore, I am reminded even more of what Jesus stood for and how he died for us.

No One Can Tame the Tongue


I have many times have I fallen into the snares of my tongue. Just like in James 3:8no one can tame the tongue-a restless evil, full of deadly poison, my tongue also cannot be tamed. I try but it just does not work.

How often did I say something to one of my boys and dreaded it afterwards? How often has my husband told me to just let it go and don’t say anything, but my foolish tongue and brain did not listen? How many times have I said ‘why should I keep quiet and let it eat me inside, shouldn’t my transgressor know what they are doing to me?’ How do we get out of that vicious cycle of tongue, head and heart all vying to say something?

For me it should be turning to God’s word. Notice should? It helps soothe all my ails, but sometimes my stubborn ways get entangled with my knowing self. It also hasn’t helped that for a while I turned my back to God and stopped listening to his words and prompts. Yes, he has motivated me many times and many times I did not heed his call.

Even as recent as March, when we were vacationing in NY, God was screaming at me that I needed to start reading His Word and take up a study. Still I turned a deaf ear to him, until finally one day he screamed so loud at me I had no choice but take heed. Actually He made a deal with me and of course He won.

KT (my lovely husband of 33 years) and I were taking a day trip to western NC and eastern TN looking at houses. We drove all over God’s lovely countryside, sightseeing and watching for real estate signs proclaiming FOR SALE. We saw beautiful landscape, lots of horse and donkey farms.

Absolutely beautiful countryside!

We actually had planned a weekend of it, but KT started feeling ill and around 4 p.m. it started getting worse. We decided to head home. He did want to stop in Burlington at Tractor Supply to buy a Have-a-Heart trap. Something kept setting off our motion light in the backyard, and since our chickens are back there it was a major concern for us.

Something deep inside me said that if we make it back in time stop at Lifeway near Tractor Supply, before they close, go in and buy a Bible and devotional. I looked at the time, no way were we going to make it back by 6 p.m. before they closed. It got louder and LOUDER and LOUDER.

I knew we would never make it in time, the time, was 4:30 p.m., we were way out in Wilkesboro. I agreed to that inner voice!

HA! God had plans for me and do not fool around when HE wants something! We made it in plenty of time. KT dropped me off while he ran to Tractor Supply. That weekend, not only did I get a Bible and devotional, I found a church – Holy Comforter Episcopalian Church – to attend as well, along with a Bible study at same church.

Following a devotional I stumbled upon Proverbs and words that rang so true to my heart it pained me. Seared through my soul and cut deep. Especially in light of some things that had happened when my son and daughter-in-law stayed with us.

I read

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.Proverbs 17:1

GASP!! didn’t I just do something similar to this one night. It was not a lot of strife but you could definitely feel the tension in the air when I had made a comment.

Then another night, dear son said something, and that ‘a friend loves at all times and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.verse 17 That difficulty was rearing its ugly head and my hard heart was not listening to what my sweet husband was trying to tell me. I was saying that they need to share in the difficulty I was having and sweet, knowing KT was saying, ‘No, you need to just let things lie and forget.’

Instead, I let the waters build up behind a dam, when I should have been turning to sweet Jesus and praying to him for the strength, the strength to forgive, and forget. But instead the fulfillment of verse 14 came to fruition-the beginning of strife is like letting out water; so stop before the quarrel breaks out. Oh boy did the quarrel break out. Why? because I just could not stop my foolish tongue and it kept on wagging and the dang dam broke.

Oh how I wish I was as the fool who kept silent and was considered wise, and upon closing their lips were deemed intelligent.verse 28

Along came God and His Word, I found that I could come to Him and bring Him my transgressions and be forgiven. I can also turn around and forgive those who have trespass on me.

Unfortunately I probably should have answered softly as it turns away wrath; whereas, harsh words stirs up anger.Proverbs 15:1 Because unfortunately, as I love her dearly as if she is one of my own, and I have forgiven the affront and want to foster the friendship, she is dwelling on the dispute (and also I believe some misconstrued notions) and alienating a friend.Proverbs 17:9

I know one day Jesus will heal her heart and I will be here for her.

Waiting with open arms and heart!

Hugs!!!
Namaste!!!

Serenity

Do you have a special place you can go to for solitude? for meditation? a little peace? some soul searching?

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long Psalm 119:97

We bought our house and 3 acres in 2001 and I have set up a few peaceful places in my house. My craft room and bedroom have little sitting areas. Outside I had three places, my back deck, a little spot by the chickens, and a little area in front with a bistro set.

Our property is almost like a rectangle and on the first acre and half sits the house with front and back yard, the other acre and a half in the back is woods, a stream, and a small clearing near the stream. This little spot has always been a favorite of mine. I am not sure what it is about water; streams, rivers, lakes, oceans, I love them and am drawn to them.

 

AS A DEER LONGS FOR

FLOWING STREAMS,

SO MY SOUL LONGS FOR

YOU O GOD.Psalms 42:1


A few weeks ago I bought two Adirondack chairs. Sweet hubby mowed the area and put down some organic bug stuff. Today I went down with my Bible, my reading, and my journal and had some solitude. A time for meditation. It was peaceful, and my thoughts were as clear as the stream in front of me. I could feel God’s presence all around me, in the ferns, the cedars, the beeches, the birds and dragonfly.

Hubby and I decided we are going to clear it out some more, bring down a fire pit and a few insect torches. It is just to peaceful a spot and so close to God to ignore it.

Tell me about your spot. Where do you go?


Hugs!!!
Namaste!!!

The World in Which we Live In

Things like this video drive me crazy. Can you imagine what those children must absorb from those adults? For me, this is akin to teaching hatred.

Ain’t no homo going to make it to heaven.

I am not new to Christianity, if there is such a thing I have been a Christian geek all my life. At one point wanting to become a minister. That is a story for another time.

I backed away from my Christian roots many years ago, but recently have come back to them. One of the things I focused on while looking for a new church to call home, was if they accepted the LGBT community. In my eyes if a church accepts LGBT then they are truly a loving, caring church and that is one I wanted to belong to.

I am sick and tired of so called Christians judging one another, judging non-Christians, and just plain judging. It is not necessarily the whole church, or the whole denomination, it can be just one or two that ruin the whole bunch. You know, one bad apple and all that.

After the video they scroll the verse of 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 10, which mentions effeminate, and in some versions homosexual.

Well I decided to take a look at that verse. First I checked out the Luther Bible printed in German 1910, and found instead the word used means weakling in German. Another word used Knabenschänder means boy molester, not homosexual. So in Germany these verses have totally different meaning. In my NRSV it uses sodomites, which is a Greek word (arsenokoitai) that Paul may have coined and was used for the first time here, according to my Harper Collins Study Bible.

How do we really know what Paul meant exactly?

My KJ says effeminate, but does not mention homosexuals, on the other hand the Amplified, New American Standard, and the New International all use the word homosexual. The word homosexual was not in use until he late 19th century so how it can find its way into the Bible is beyond me.

Now I am by no means an etymologist nor am I a linguistic, but I love to see original words and what their context was to that time frame.

I know a few boys and men who are effeminate, but they are not homosexual, so are you going to tell me God is going to cast them out also? No, I don’t believe so. Is God really going to give up on weaklings, especially when he said the meek will inherit the earth? No, I don’t believe so. I believe my God is a just God, but also a loving God. One in which Jesus said two important commandants law and prophets hang on:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40

I believe words get mistranslated, or misquoted and the original word is much different then what is used in some translations.

I believe my God is a loving God!

Hugs!!!
Namaste!!!