Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


20 Comments

The Days are Long, But the Years are Short

SOC badge with butterfly

Things always seem to take longer than I think they should, while I’m waiting at least. I bet the soldiers fighting for American independence way back during that revolution thought it was taking a long time. And here we are celebrating in America all weekend long as July 4 approaches.

It seemed to take a long time for my soulmate to find me again. Thirty-nine years passed since we had last seen each other in high school. It didn’t take that long because God is slow. It took that long because WE are slow to learn what we need to learn.

I’m still slow. God showed me that things work out when the time is right. But I still worry about when is my daughter going to be independent, now that she is technically grown up. But we are never really done growing up, are we? It’s a life-long process.

The days are long, but the years are short. Someone told me that when my daughter was born. It’s true of children, and it’s true of adults, too. Each day seems long when we are in the midst of the day, especially when things are challenging or boring. But the past 5 years since my sweetheart found me again have gone by in the blink of an eye. Thank God we have photos to show memories to prove that a lot of time really did go by, because all those things had to take time.  We have photos of children at different stages of life, diapers, Halloween costumes, Christmases, firsts of all kinds, birthdays, graduations. The photos capture moments in time so the time passing does not seen like such a blur, like when you’re looking out the car window from the side.

So how did I get from things seeming to take too long, to life passing so quickly? That’s the Stream of Consciousness of you!

This song reminds me of the roads my sweetheart and I took to be ready to be together again. It’s always been one of my favorites.

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was the word, “long.” You can find more streams by visiting Linda Hill’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-216/

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.

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!


11 Comments

What If Something Wonderful Happens?

My favorite part of Trini’s post at Paths of the Spirit, about dealing with negative thoughts, is about  imagining how we would cope with the negative “what ifs” if we were  operating from our most ideal, best self. I also the love the part about gratitude for what we have now. A comforting treat is to finish up with thoughts about wonderful things happening. I believe putting more positive “what ifs” out there helped my soulmate find me when the time was right. Positive thoughts have also brought me more time to do the things I love. God had something to do with this, of course.

So here’s my question for you:

What if something wonderful happens?

Something wonderful, like  _______________________________________.

I invite you to fill in the blank with as many wonderful details as you’d like. Feel free to write your heart’s desires in the comments here. Or write a whole blog post about wonderful things that could happen and share the link in the comments below.

Have fun!


25 Comments

Fifteen Years of Love

Beep

The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

***

She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.

_________________________________________________________________

In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold

 

All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens


16 Comments

#Blesstival Offering: My Soulmate Story

Path to beach

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”     Jeremiah 29:11

This verse gave me hope, like sweet water during the drought after my separation and divorce. I had been married for 20 years and had believed we would grow old together. My world was shattered, like a windshield full of cracks, but somehow still in place.

Miraculously, that windshield held, in spite of foolish choices borne out of vulnerability. The pieces mended together, ever so slowly it seemed, as I climbed out of the pit of despair and learned to love myself again.

Finally, when the time was right, my soulmate found me. He was my first love who I had not seen or heard from in 39 years. It took that much time for us to learn what we needed to learn to be ready to walk through life together again.

My soulmate is now my partner. He wholeheartedly supports my goals to return to gifts of creativity, so that at the age of 60, I prepare for a leap of faith to embark on a new adventure. This is the beginning of aligning with my true nature and a return to my  true self.

We never know what surprises are waiting for us – what blessings are being planned for when we are ready!

May we receive blessings in abundance!

This post was inspired by “Sophia’s Children” hosting a Blog Blesstival for the new year. You can find the details here: http://sophias-children.com/2015/12/23/blog-blesstival-add-your-blessing-to-start-the-new-year/

 


22 Comments

Getting Ready

socs-badge

I was going to write: I am so ready for retirement. But I’m not entirely ready for that leap of faith. And I’m not really going to retire.

I’m getting ready to spend more time being a writer and an artist, and helping my husband with his work at the mission and farming. So many things I want to do. And I’d still like to work at my current job part time, if possible.

Hey, Anything is possible!

I like getting ready. I like the anticipation. Like when my high school girlfriends and I were getting ready for our reunion a few years ago.

And when I got ready for my soulmate to find me.

I didn’t know it was going to be my high school sweetheart. I did know I needed to make room for my partner, by forgiving my X,  and imagining the best possible partner for me, instead of being cynical. So I stopped trying to be cynical and pretending I didn’t want a partner. I watched hopeful, romantic movies like Under the Tuscan Sun.

“Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.”  I love that line!

I imagined a partner who loves dogs working in the garage with all his guy stuff. That’s how I  got ready.

Now I’m getting ready to spend more time writing and doing art by doing more writing and art. Yes, I whine about there not being enough time, but I do it. I  think and act in the direction I want to move in. Even if I don”t get as much sleep as I’d like.

I’m not quite ready financially to make that leap of faith, but I know that getting ready helps make things happen.

I married my high school sweetheart didn’t I?

What are you getting ready for?

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “ready.”

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS August 1/15

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.

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!


12 Comments

Songs of the Step Dogs

socs-badge

When my soul mate and I re-connected, he lived in Connecticut with three dogs. I’d asked for some one who loved dogs, so when I found out he had three, I thought, be still my heart. I had to remind myself to keep my feet on the ground, until I was sure. During our long distance romance, I talked to the dogs on the phone and listened to them sing.

Beep

Queen Beep

Dixie Doodle, the coon hound, started first with a low, steady howl. Beep, the Australian shepherd mix, named for the squeaky sound she made as a puppy, joined in with a strong throaty bark. Oreo, the spaniel mix, came in last with a yip, yip, yip.

When David moved down south, he brought his three amigos to join my golden retriever, Jesse and Marigold the mutt.

Marigold didn’t bark much after being displaced as the alpha female, by Doodle, who only thought she was the alpha female. Beep would have a different take on that. Beep, at 14, is the true queen of the pack. Doodle is just pushy.

Doodle on the bed

Doodle

Oreo and Jesse, the two male dogs, have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Oreo

Oreo

Jesse used to howl when he heard the whine of a siren. I bet he is howling in dog heaven, with Oreo backing him up with his yip, yip, yip, when they’re not busy chasing ducks, and making them quack, quack, quack.

jesse howling

Jesse (howling) and Marigold

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post was “onomatopoeia.”  If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for SoCS June 13/15

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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

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. Have fun!


8 Comments

The Nose Knows (and other body parts too)

socs-badge

Our bodies can sense things. Like dogs sense things all the time, because they don’t have so much clutter in their brains crowding out their common sense. It made no sense at all for me to be with someone like the scoundrel I dated right after my divorce became final, something like 13 years ago. My body knew he was all wrong for me. My body sent me messages via mysterious female ailments that wouldn’t get better until sometime after I came to my senses.

I suppose I should be thankful, and I am, that my body has gotten better at sending me messages that something’s not right. When I sense the scratchy roughness of acid reflux, or the tightness in my gut, I realize I’ve been stressed lately and need to relax, to breathe fresh air. When my muscles are tense, my body sends me the message I might need to rest, though more than likely, I need to stretch.

When my soul mate and I met again in person, after 39 years, my senses were aroused in a way I had not felt in a very long time. We’d re-connected on-line and had been talking on the phone for about a month, but when I saw him for real, and touched his skin, when I picked up his scent again, my body knew something important and good was happening.

His scent fascinated me. As I leaned against him on my living room couch, my nose was drawn to drift above his collar to his neck.  As I inhaled deeply, the barely noticeable, natural aroma of his skin intoxicated me.  It was the scent of my first love, imprinted on my memory when I was 16 years old.

My body never forgot his scent, even after 39 years.

My body knew he was my soul mate, who’d come back again when the time was right.

It took a while for my mind to agree, but my body knew.

December 1st, is our anniversary. We will have been married for two whole years, and his scent still delights my senses.

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “sense/scents/cents,” with a bonus word this week – “sent.” If you’d like to join us, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2014/11/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-november-2914/

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,” or “Begin with the word ‘The’.”

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.

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. Have fun!


6 Comments

The Magic of Gratitude

glass of water

This photo is brought to you from pixabay.com with Gratitude.

 

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

This is one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite writers.  It originally came to me from her book, The Language of Letting Go, Daily Meditations for Codependents, in the meditation for August 1st.

Why August instead of later November? Because we need the magic of gratitude every day.

She goes on to write:

“Gratitude makes things right. Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situation or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude’s  power. We can start with who we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work it’s magic.”

Is it possible that something as simple as gratitude can be so powerful?

 I believe so.

After I stopped asking why I couldn’t couldn’t find the right partner,

After I started to thank God for blessings, including the mystery ones on the way,

My soul mate came back to me.

Blessings are on the way!

Give thanks!

I’m thankful for my soul mate.

I’m thankful for good health.

I’m thankful to have time to write and paint.

I’m thankful for the blessings on the way!

Arboretum yellow flowers


3 Comments

It’s Okay to Marry Your Soul Mate.

1972 b&w kiss

Warnings not to marry your soul mate are trying to grab our attention lately.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brooke-hampton/dont-marry-your-soul-mate_b_6004132.html?love–sex

I let it go at first, but then said, “Wait a minute. It’s okay to marry your soul mate.” There are plenty of people who marry their soul mates and end up with long lasting, romantic relationships. It’s quite possible to be happily married to your soul mate, especially with some groundwork:

1. Look before you Leap. Unless you’ve known each other for a really long time, take the time to investigate your potential mate. When David and I started dating again, (thirty-nine years later) I told him a friend of mine was doing a background check on him. It was a promise I’d made to myself. He said he wanted to help me keep that promise and immediately offered to give me his social security number and anything else I needed. It takes time to find out what someone’s really like. It’s okay to follow your heart, but take your brain with you.

2. Develop and practice good communication skills. We have two ears and one mouth suggesting we should listen twice as much as we talk. Listen with objectivity, ask open questions, be assertive (not aggressive), and look for win-win solutions whenever possible.

3. Don’t expect perfection. A friend’s mother told her to “find a set of faults you can live with,” so she never got married. I can understand that. It’s okay not to get married. But if you do want to marry someone, know your deal breakers. Discuss your deal breakers.  Do your best to make sure you each talk about the things you want to work on.

4. Respect and support each other as individuals. I’ve never liked that expression about your “better half.” I’m not a half of a person, and neither is my husband.  We like sharing our hopes and dreams with each other, whether they’re dreams we have in common or as individuals. David is not that interested in creative arts or singing, and I’m not that interested in aqua-ponics or airplanes, but we support and encourage each other’s goals.

If you know my “About Me” story,  you might be thinking: she’s practically a newlywed. So, how does she know?

I know because I’ve seen true soul mate love last for other couples.  I know because I learned a few things after being married 20 years the first time, not to mention 20 something years as a counselor. I know, because of how my soul mate came back to me when the time was perfect.

The idea is that we  can have lots of “soul mates” who teach us what we need to learn seems to water down the meaning of the term. Those other people were teachers and guides. To me the term soul mate means more than that. Maybe we can have more than one, but not a whole slew of them.

What do you think?


5 Comments

Valentine’s Day Can Be Whatever Works

Image

Photo by JoAnne Silvia

I’m often curious about the true meaning of holidays, beyond the commercialism and promotions of our popular culture. In researching the origins of Valentine’s Day, I discovered there was more than one guy named Valentine. There were at least three martyrs named Valentine who were killed for helping Christians in one way or another. One romantic legend suggests there was a priest named Valentine who secretly helped young lovers get married against the law set by the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.

Now Valentine’s day has sent us scurrying about buying cards and candy or flowers, and perhaps going on a romantic date with our sweetheart. But what if you’re not in a romantic relationship? What if you’re not even  close to having one of those? It can feel a bit lonely. I remember.

During my five years of celibacy, I decided to make Valentine’s Day about more than romance, unless you count romance with yourself. Can you have romantic love with yourself? It depends on how you define romance. One definition is: a love affair. Why not be in love with yourself? Not in a narcissistic way, but in a nurturing way. In those dry spells, when I felt lonely, I bought myself flowers and learned to say, “I love you,” in the mirror without feeling silly-though feeling silly is not always a bad thing. One Valentine’s Day, I even got myself a massage. This kind of nurturing self love is, I believe, a prerequisite for a healthy relationship with some one else. I had to learn to love myself before I could be ready to love and be loved by my soul mate.

There is also nothing wrong with using Valentine’s Day as a reminder to express platonic love to friends and familial love to siblings, parents, children and even our dogs who love us so unconditionally.

Which brings me to God. God and dogs love us unconditionally. See the sweet video by Wendy Francisco at http://www.godanddog.org/

This kind of love is often called Agape. (pronounced Uh-gop-ay).

Allow yourself to feel that love from God. Let it comfort you like a soft warm blanket…… or a gentle healing light that touches the top of your head and flows gently through your whole being as you breathe slowly and deeply. Opening to the peace and comfort of agape might take practice. But know this: God is really good at this kind of love.  God loves us no matter what. Forever. That doesn’t mean God is going to give us what we want when we want it. Like a loving parent, God knows what we need. And, as I’ve learned, God has perfect timing.

Let Valentine’s Day be about what ever kind of love you want.  Let it be about every kind of love you want. Remember to include yourself in your circle of compassion.

For another perspective on the day of love check out this post on Wilmington Faith and Values:

http://wilmingtonfavs.com/2014/02/12/loveheart-conjunction/