Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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Flowing with Synchronicity

Obstructed for years,

Creative juices now flow

Finding their way home.

ralphwaldoemerson1.jpg The Universe Conspires

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if my husband and I wanted some of the left over wood from the construction of her new house. She wondered they could sell it at the thrift store my husband manages. We loaded his truck with scrap wood of various shapes and sizes. With my friend’s blessing, I saved the pieces that wanted me to paint on them. I like to use the knots in the wood as faces or halos and to look for wings and things in the grain.

Angel Heart

Close up of an angel I painted a few years ago.

The following week, I had just left the local bookstore in a shopping village downtown, when I was drawn into a new store that only sells locally made arts and crafts. Entering this store for the first time, I felt good vibes. Much of the art hanging on soft yellow walls was painted on or cut out of wood. I showed the manager photos of my art from my phone. We scheduled a time to bring in my work to show the owner.

Then, on that same morning, I went to a yoga class I had not been to in two weeks. After the class, my book came up in conversation with one the studio owners who happened to be there. She asked me to do a book signing there this summer, maybe along with a workshop.

The next week, I met with the owner of the local art store. She  liked my work and agreed to hang it. I just needed to set prices – not an easy task.

This morning, I dropped off 24 pieces of my art ready to find new homes. It was like sending little pieces of me out into the world – uncomfortable, yet exciting. It helps to remind myself that they weren’t doing anybody any good collecting dust in my spare bedroom studio.

Ocean Angel long dre

I call her Umbrella Angel

Now, I seem to be finding all kinds of things to paint on at the thrift store – wooden trays, boxes, and wood cut outs to be re-purposed into “canvas.”

All of these opportunities are things I did not consciously plan. They were not on my list of strategies to build my creative new life.

Yet, at the end of last year, I made the decision to quit my long time counseling career to focus on art and writing full time.

I believe the universe is conspiring, as commissioned by God, to work on my behalf. At the same time, I’m going with the flow: walking into that gallery I had not planned to go to, going to the yoga class on that particular day and time….

(It’s the same flow my high school sweetheart was going with when he found me 39 years later.)

Sometimes these things take a while. I loved art and writing as a teenager, but chose a different career path. Now, at the age of 61, I’m finally coming back home to my art.

 

The Gift

“The Gift,” which I painted on an old wooden box top two years ago, has been waiting patiently.

If it can happen to me, it  can happen to everyone.

Never

give

up

on

your

dreams!


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Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)


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A Gift

forest-605505_960_720.jpg pixabay (2)

Have you ever fallen under nature’s spell

walking in the cathedral forest

with sunbeams streaming down from heaven?

It is a gift from the Creator

Maker of heaven and earth

Creator of the universe and willow bark

crystals and all that we need

for healing and nourishment.

When we fall under the spell of nature,

we honor the Creator, God, The Great Spirit, Yahweh, Allah, Goddess –

Creator of Gaia, her trees, flowers, rivers, oceans

and all kinds of beings that fly and crawl and swim and walk.

We were made to love this gift of love,

to protect and cherish the wonders of the earth.

Mother Earth is a living organism

Blessings to you on this Earth Day.

SOCS

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “spell,” brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-2217/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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God’s Glitter

Look up at the stars

Connect to infinity.

You are not alone.

 lonely dog or wolf howling at the moon

Years ago,

I sat on my hardwood floor,

my back against the wall,

wondering why this dry spell

seemed to last so long?

I yearned for someone,

hoping there was one for me

but learned to accept God’s plan,

even if it meant there was no one else

but me and my dogs

getting older by the minute.

When I walked out into the darkness

and saw the glitter high above,

I remembered it was there every night

Even when I didn’t see it for the clouds,

Even when I cried myself to sleep

with tears that watered the garden

of my weary soul.

Gazing at the glitter overhead

dried my tears with love that never ends.

God, who heard my cries,

had it all figured out.

And when the time was right,

Brought love home to me.

(I found the picture on pixabay and fell in love with it.)

 

 

 

 

 


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Sometimes We Just Need to Be Held

Song Lyric Sunday

Two songs came to me in response to today’s theme: Healing

At the turn of the century, I thought my world was falling apart. But time gave me a different perspective. “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns, affirmed, years later, that  God had taken the divorce that brought me to my knees and replaced it with  a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
(Stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

Natalie Grant sings, “Held,” a powerful song about being held through the devastating loss of a child. The song is written by Christa Nichole. Listening will convey the power and love best with this one:

 

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-32617/


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“Wait Is a Four Letter Word.”

When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait and who we become along the way.  __Elizabeth Laing Thompson

When God Says Wait

Enter for a chance to win a free copy by signing up for my monthly newsletter to the right >>>

It’s always something. If it’s not waiting for your soulmate, it’s waiting for your kids to become independent, or waiting to retire, or waiting for your manuscript to be ready for publication.

I’ve just started reading the book, When God Says Wait, by Elizabeth Thompson. It’s easy to read with well-fictionalized biblical stories, personal stories from the author, and simple exercises at the end of each chapter. I sure could’ve used this book 15 years ago when I was wondering if I’d ever fall in love again, if I’d ever find a partner who’d be a good fit. Still, the messages about “navigating life’s detours and delays” clearly relate to my life now.

Finishing the manuscript for Trust the Timing (see my Work in Progress page) has taken a lot longer than I ever imagined, though I’m getting closer every day. Fortunately, waiting to publish and not rushing have allowed me to work through questions about my own history and about how much of other people’s history to include.

This has been a struggle. Early in the writing process, I was encouraged to dig deeper and to show more scenes, which is fine if you’re writing fiction, and okay when it comes to my own baggage, but not so comfortable when it comes to other people’s baggage, or what I call OPB. Even with name changes and changes in identifying characteristics, there has been an uneasiness about exposing some OPB. Earlier drafts have more OPB, and I’ve deleted and softened quite a bit of that. Yet, there are some pieces of OPB that are important to the story. This is one of the big challenges of writing a memoir.

I’ve been praying hard for guidance every time open the manuscript document. It’s helped to ask this  question:

What does God want me to write?

Things often become clear when I ask that question, or some version of it, and then listen to my gut. God often talks to me through my gut. Sometimes God whispers in my ear. But I have to be quiet and open to get the message.

Waiting gives God time to work things out in us and others. Waiting gives us time to become who we are meant to be, to become ready for our heart’s desire. After all, that’s what my book is about. It seems to be my life-long lesson. And I’m learning, slowly but surely.

For a chance to win a free, signed copy of When God Says Wait, sign up for my monthly newsletter before March 21st by clicking the box on the side bar to the right, or just click here: http://eepurl.com/ch52KT

What are you waiting for?  What helps you wait?


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Answered Prayer

I asked God to take away the desire for a partner or else send me a good one. “And God, I would really appreciate it if you could get my soulmate here before Dad and Jesse die,” I added.

  From Trust the Timing

When I prayed that prayer seven years ago, I knew I would be strong enough to deal with the death of my father and my dog, Jesse, when those times came. Even without a partner, I had proven to myself that I could cope with loss and keep my head above water. No matter how much it hurt, I would deal with it. But I didn’t want to go through it alone gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be tough.

Now, as I process grief for my father, I can’t imagine how I would deal with the waves of sadness, especially after I spend a day going through Dad’s abundant possessions and then come home to sort through his mail and paperwork. I’m going through mom’s stuff, too, because he didn’t want to get rid of anything after she died eight years ago. If I had to do this alone as the only surviving child – and go to work the next day at a challenging job – it would be overwhelming to say the least.

But I don’t have to do it alone. I know that even if I was still single, God would walk with me through this, and that I’d survive (probably with jaw and neck pain from the teeth gritting.) But it helps so much to have a supportive partner. That is an understatement. Not only does my husband support me emotionally, he made it possible for me to quit my job just one month before Dad died. We didn’t know the timing would work out that way. But I bet God knew.

My husband was here for me when Jesse died a couple years ago, and now he’s here for me as I grieve for my father, because God answered that prayer.

God doesn’t always answer my prayers my way. Despite all I’ve learned about trusting the timing, God still seems awfully slow to my limited perspective regarding prayers yet to be answered. But I know things are being worked out in those I love, and ultimately, love will prevail.

I am thankful beyond words.

bride-leaning-on-groom-in-doorway

2012, just after our wedding

dad-waiting-for-bride

Here’s Dad on my wedding day.