Sunday, October 19, 2014

A photo for the day

This is a picture of our Columbia River, between the state of Oregon and the state of Washington.
Beautiful and majestic.
My friend Maxine took it and gave me permission to borrow  it.
Enjoy...  this beautiful view.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Play Dates with God by Laura Boggess

I have an online friend who just wrote a book.
It is challenging. Beautiful. Thought provoking and I want to share it with you so you can have your own copy to enjoy.
When I first began the process of recovery it was very clear to me
that I did not know how to relax or play.
Children who come from broken homes learn to become very responsible.
It was very difficult for me to learn to be free and spontaneous.
To not listen to the must do's inside my head.
I could not allow myself the down time to do nothing.
The rules robbed me of times of joy and freedom to play.
Playdates with God
Having a child like Faith in a grown up world.
Have you have ever watched children in a natural play setting?
There are no agenda's or must do's or have to's or worrisome thoughts on what needs to get done right now. By nature they run, they play, they are free to swing and laugh and find joy in the simple.
Have you ever had a child bring you a bug or a leaf?
As adults we shy away from that sort of wondering and amazement.
I remember going for a walk with a little one and when she stopped to watch a snail
 at first it was very annoying to me. 
Then I paused and breathed in and slowed down and realized
the snail and the unique 'look' of the way it was moving slowly and we watched in amazement how it was in no big hurry to get to the other side of the sidewalk.
We need to make time to slow down and playdates are good for us.
Sometimes my husband and I take time away from this busy life to just play and walk at the beach.

It is good to get away and walk and talk and enjoy each other.
This book is a very good challenge and a wonderful read. 
I encourage you to watch the video in the link provided and get your book https://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday word prompt: Care

Dictionary.com says to care is to give serious attention to,
to protect, to have grief or suffering.
To make provision or look out for, to be concerned with
and give special attention to, to watch over
and be responsible for, to be alert and protective over,
to have a state of mind where anxiety, worry or concern makes one troubled. To act on, attend to or deal with.
To Care:
It is putting your heart out there to be hurt.
To be walked on not of course in a literal way but in a emotional 'spiritual' kind of way.
If we care, we give something of ourselves to another.
If we say to someone, "I care for you."
We are saying to them there is connection, there is closeness and hope in the relationship.
Leo Buscaglia said:
"Too often we underestimate the power of touch,
a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential
to turn a life around."
It takes effort and responsibility to care for something.
We cannot be selfish in this kind of 'process'.
If someone falls down and seems to be struggling or they are going down the wrong path, if we care for them,
we can say to them, "I care enough to not let you continue
this path you are on, you can do better and you have more potential."
Richard Paul Evans said:
"Sometimes it's not the strength
but the gentleness that cracks the hardest shells."
When I first began the therapy process with the last therapist who I worked with, he told me he sensed I needed gentleness and time, kindness and patience and because he 'cared' that was what we would work on in order for the therapy process to begin.
He knew it would take effort on his part to 'care enough' to earn my trust in him and let him help me.
When we care for someone, we choose the direction the relationship is going in a positive and healthy direction.
To care:
To have the state of mind where, if they are hurting, we hurt with them, and we hope for them to be safe and surrounded by people who will help them.
Wanting the best for others is all about the process of caring.
Let us challenge ourselves to do that process more often.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good Bye old girl

On October 7th at 11:00 am we took our old Emma Rose in to the vet's office for an assessment and for her to pass on and be in peace.
Her arthritis was very bad and she was becoming more uncomfortable when walking and laying down.
The pain pills were helping but we didn't want to increase the dosage given to her.
Her teeth were gone she had small nubs in her mouth so her food was moistened in order for her to eat.
Both of her eyes had cataract's in them she could only see things with 'blurred vision'.
Her heart was failing and she was breathing hard most of the time unless she fell into a deep sleep.
Then sometimes she would wet on herself because of the sleep or because she couldn't get up quick enough.
It was becoming more clear to us her dignity and quality of life was leaving and she was not in peace.
I had worked through the deep grief for a few months now.
Knowing this was coming I felt a deep inner peace.
I had given her the last 'bowl' of dog food with warm water.

 Then we let her walk around the yard and do her duties.
She then came over to the patio and laid down.
She seemed to know something or at least it felt like that to me.

She made it to a good age of 15 in fact the vet had her birthday as 11/98 I am not sure if that was accurate but we do know she was old and it was her time to go.
It was hard to say good-bye but I knew it was the right thing to do.
I felt many mixed feelings.
In the vets office at one point she crawled over and laid her head on my foot.
I struggle with 'knowing' we put her down.
Usually when an animal of ours needs that done they are very near death so it was just a 'little help' for them.
She might have had a few more months and she would have died at home in the yard if we had not 'taken her in.'
The vet said to us, "she is leaving with dignity".
That is all we wanted to hear.
Emma Rose you were our beautiful red Australian cattle dog, a grand queensland heeler.
 We will always love and miss you. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The word: Hope

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
You shall be secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes,
you shall search about you, and you shall take your rest in safety.
Job 11:8
Hope: dictionary.com says to look forward to with desire,
to believe and to trust, the feeling that what is wanted can be had
or that events will turn out for the best.
Hope... just the sound of it brings about a thought of new change.
It is anticipation. It is belief. It is trust. It is waiting for something.
I like the concept of hope.
It is a positive thought.
It brings about peace and expectant feelings.
Hope is the thing with feathers 
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all. Emily Dickinson
It is my belief as we get older if we do not cling to a hope within us
we lose the capacity to believe in a faith and a truth and a life that is so beyond our imagination.
Have you ever hoped for something?
A child at Christmas time will hope for that 'special gift' requested.
Sometimes disappointment comes but that doesn't remove our hope.
It just shows us that maybe perhaps what we wanted wasn't good for us after all and something better will come to us.
Hope is powerful.
'Love ~ it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.'
1 Corinthians 13:7
Hope brings renewing and restoring and change.
It is a continual positive reinforcement.
I used to know a lady whose name was Hope: Esperanza in Spanish.
When she would come into the pharmacy where I worked.
I often told her it was pretty, and positive and I really liked it.
She would leave through the doors walking taller and more proud.
Hope... it is such a good word.
"Hope is the the sun, which, as we journey toward it,
casts the shadow of our burdens behind." Samuel Smiles
It is all about change, and movement and restoration.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fridays words prompt: Hold

I hold in my memory and in my heart many things.
One year ago in the early morning hours I received the kind of phone call no one wants to hear especially when you are sound asleep.
I listened to the voice on the other end of the phone line as I stirred myself to wake up.
My dad had passed away sitting in the quiet of the foster care home.
I remember how I curled in a ball in the bed as my husband held me.
I had just seen him a few days earlier in the hospital not feeling or breathing well with iv's and oxygen closely monitored.
When I left I didn't say good bye to him as he was resting and didn't want to disturb him.
Maybe I should have.
My counselor always said to me, should cannot be in a recovery 'dialogue' or thought process.
Should brings forward obligation, guilt, remorse, regret and shame.
"I should have said good bye and now the opportunity is over.
I will never be able to do that."
What does that sound like?
Shame or regret or sorrow or... you fill in the blank.
I didn't say good bye because he knew I was there and he knew I cared and he was uncomfortable and needed his rest.
Ever have the feeling when leaving someone that it might be the last time you see them?
Yeah me too.
If given the chance what would I say to him now?
I would sit next to his chair and hold his fragile hand in mine and then say:
"I know our relationship was not close.
I also know in my heart you understood me on some level.
We missed many years together and many important events that could have been shared and that was a great loss for both of us.
You were not there.
You didn't see me graduate from high school or walk me down the aisle at my wedding.
You were not there when your grand children were born.
You weren't there when I was sick for many, many years and needed a dad to talk to, to be encouraged by and to just have in my life.
I am not saying this to shame you or hurt your heart.
I am just saying on many levels I didn't know or experience my fathers love.
I think at one point in time you told me you loved me but I remained cautious and didn't let it in too close.
Now it is clear to me your past and the lack of knowing how to be in a relationship was deeply embedded in you.
It was not your fault. It was what you learned.
You can't give what you don't know.
I am sorry for both of us and I forgive you."
Then I would hug him and let him go home for he would be very tired.
I live with the knowing that I didn't say goodbye.
I hold in my heart the older years of his life.
We missed many years together but I hold onto the gift of some
and they will always be treasures to me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Grief is a process

Grief is not a state but a process... like a walk in a winding valley with a new prospect at every bend. ~ C.S. Lewis ~
I have been thinking a lot about those who we have lost in the last few years.
Mom's and dad's and good friends too... adored pets have joined that journey of leaving us.
Grief is a process.
It is embedded in memory, in songs, in smells, in dreams.
It is when one makes a special meal 'you once shared' with another.
It is a conversation you knew to be special.
It is a blanket or a warm sweater that 'they wore' or their favorite book or hat or cane.
It is remembering a time when you all laughed or cried together.
We have lost a lot this year.
Like the leaves on the ground who are beginning to fall.
We remember... in pieces.
In fragments.
Disjointed and scattered, oh in time the pain lessens.
That doesn't mean you didn't love or miss them.
It just means our hearts are not raw any more.
I was thinking of my dad today.
He left us last September. 
Almost a year ago I was in the hospital with him along with other family members.
He was uncomfortable but able to say, "I want a doughnut." 
A diabetic can't have that but he knew how to manage the sugar and 
he loved a maple bar and my sister bought him some.
You don't deny something from someone who is dying.
My dad was kind of a mystery to me.
He didn't let others in too close but as he grew older and sicker that wall lowered 
and he shared some things with a few who were near to him.
They talked of matters of the heart issues and requests made to be honored.
I remember the first time he came to my house when I lived in the country it was strange to see my dad drive up the long driveway for a visit.
He wanted to spend time with us and I had to take that into my heart very slowly.
He brought with him his big dog and always his 'humor'.
It will always be a precious memory for me having dinner with my dad while we sat outside on the deck.
All we have now are memories. 
My husband and I have lost our parents.
His dad left last March, my dad in September of the same year.
My mom in June of this year and other friends too in the last few months.
My husband lost a brother and his mom passed from us four years ago a few days before Mothers day.
The hardest part of someone leaving is saying good bye and sometimes you don't get that chance.
It is a process... a journey.
Sometimes very expected and other times the news is shocking to our heart.
We say good bye in layers for we know grief is a process.
Because we know when you love from your heart
it is never easy to let go.