My Dr. Merrill (name of particular variety) magnolia is in full bloom.  The wind is pretty powerful today, so I am not certain how long the show will last.....I have had years where I wait with happy anticipation for my tree to bloom, and it's over in a day.  Heavy sigh. Hope not this year....

We've had our beautiful magnolia tree for at least 12 years now-she's getting big!  She's was designed into and planted as part of our patio in the back of the house.  A place for being quiet and enjoying the beauty of the woods and prairies behind us.  My grandma had a magnolia growing in her side yard in Clinton.  Even as a child I found it wonderful....it's nice to look at my own pretty tree and remember grandma.  I've been told I get my love for plants and living things from her.  Grateful.

One of the most stellar things about the magnolia, apart from the clean beauty of the white blooms, is the fragrance. I took the dogs out early this morning to do their chores-the sweet-spice scent of the blooms cast a magic spell over the back yard-I was tempted to stick my nose right into a lovely bloom and inhale deeply...but wisdom prevailed.  Scott's honeybees love the pollen in the flowers-didn't want to inhale a bee...when the sun is out there are hundreds of bees busily at work in our tree.

Here is Dr. Merrill in the process of blooming-I have been watching the progress and making photographs for a couple weeks now...be blessed!
 
 
There's nothing like stellar spring weather and an afternoon on the shores of Lake Michigan, to inspire creativity.  Scott and I (and my trusty camera) spent the day in Milwaukee yesterday, enjoying the big pier and the long miles of parks along the lakefront. 

There are several things that made this is a special afternoon...Scott and I did our courting along the Milwaukee lakefront.  We were both going to school in downtown Milwaukee, and so we spent hours (yes, we should have been studying) down by the water and especially on the pier....he wooed me with frozen yoghurt and subs from the Cousins on Brady Street.  If Starbucks had been around, well then....we did stop at Alterra (coffee shop)-it's housed in what used to be an old public works water pumping station.  Fun place! 

I love being on the water, it heals and soothes my soul in a way I cannot being to explain....the water is a mysterious place of home coming and rebirth.  I can home well rested and deeply peaceful.  Sheer gift.

There is nothing like time spent alone with my favorite man either...these sorts of days are not easy to find, and when they come, we savor them.....

So, welcome to Monday!  I am excited for this new week-it's going to be mostly photographs here on the blog.  Not only did I get some stellar lakefront shots, but there are things blossoming and blooming in the gardens....the Dr. Merrill magnolia is getting ready to burst with blooms, and I have been photographing the progress each day-we may have full bloom lift off by this afternoon-all it takes is a couple warm days....looking forward to sharing the bounty and the beauty with you....

Here's the Milwaukee skyline, photographed from the pier.


 
 
Eating well...keep it simple.
Food can get to be so complicated, more than I want to deal with…I’d rather be in my studio making things, in the garden growing things, most anywhere than in the kitchen making stuff to eat.  I’d rather not spend too much time thinking about what to eat either…

The purpose of my post today is not to go on and on about why you should or shouldn’t eat certain things.  There is lots of information out there, and sometimes people have very strong opinions about what we should or should not put in our mouths.  Some of these convictions are based on good nutrition, and some of them are because of deeply held moral beliefs about eating animal products.

 I’ll say right up front that I am a meat eater.  I eat meat not because I have to have it - thinks it's amazing, but because I believe our bodies need a certain amount of protein gotten only from animals, to be healthy and function optimally. . However, I totally respect the vegetarians and vegans out there. Fresh and raw are what I love best.

 In considering how to write about this today, I decided on simple.  Offer some simple principles that others might find helpful.  I’m not going to go into the why of any of it, we’d be here all day.  I’ll follow up with a couple of things that worked for me, as I made my own food changes.

In making these changes, the goal is eating whole, unprocessed food.  This is not as difficult as you might think. It requires a little bit of time in the kitchen, but once you get the hang of things, it’s pretty simple.

 First, here are some things to avoid. The list is not exhaustive, and you might have something you could add to it. 

Refined Sugar of Any Kind
-go easy on honey and maple syrup too.

Processed Carbs/grains
- bread, baked goods, pasta, etc. Stuff that has refined wheat flour in it.  Whole wheat products are included. If you want to eat grains, try the sprouted variety.  The sprouting process changes the grain from a carb to a protein.

Dairy-if you have to eat dairy, eat organic dairy. The stuff they feed to cows these days is just awful.  It’s bad for humans….antibiotics, hormones….

Canned Veggies.  Go fresh! Frozen is the next best. Eat organic when you can.  The canned stuff has had the nutrition cooked right out of it.  Lightly steamed fresh is wonderful….

Caffiene- Coffee, tea…those yummy drinks from Starbucks are loaded with caffeine and sugar…rats!

Fruit Juice-it’s loaded with natural sugar, even the kind that says it has no sugar.

Artificial sweeteners-affects the brain in some very nasty ways.

Soda-give it up.  Especially the diet variety.

Processed Fats-margarine, stuff like Crisco, hydrogenated fats found in the likes of Jif peanut butter, etc.  Fats that have been altered and used as food.

Boxed cereal. Incredibly expensive and full of processed grains, sugar and preservatives.

 
Here are some good things to do:


Read the label when you go to the grocery store...

Drink lots and lots of water

Eat lots and lots of raw veggies and fruit.

Eat a good quality protein three times a day. 
Protein builds and sustains strength in the body-it keeps us healthy and evenly energized.  At least once a day, have the protein be animal protein.  Other good proteins are legumes and nuts.

If you have to have something sweet, then try a handful of raisins
.  Or a piece of your favorite fruit.

Eat nuts-not Planter’s peanuts….if you don’t have allergies, these are an easy way to get protein in your system.  Almonds are delicious!

Make your own veggie juice!  This will detox and energize your body like you can’t believe-and it tastes marvelous! 

Make smoothies in the morning-we put everything but the kitchen sink in ours.  My husband does not like to eat his vegetables, so I put them in his smoothie-he doesn’t know what he’s eating, and gets some nice raw, green nutrition in him.

 Here are a couple simple things you can do to make food changes easier. 
When I first started making this shift, 6 or 7 years ago, it was overwhelming.  It made me crabby!  It felt like work…so I tried to make it simple.  Very helpful.

You can’t do it all at once.  Make a list of all your unhealthy food habits-don’t be shy and do tell the whole truth!  Put them in order of badness.  At the top of the list should be whatever it is you are eating that is the worst for you. Mine was sugar.  Pick one and start with it.  Go gentle with yourself. Be patient.  One thing at a time.

For example.  I needed to stop eating wheat products. This is a hard one, because lots of what I liked to eat had wheat in it….so I cut back, and then found an alternative-sprouted bread and pasta.  While I can’t go hard core with this, I can eat it once in a while.

 Let’s say you like to eat box cereal in the morning.  It’s very convenient….think about something else you would like to eat instead.  Let it be a treat! You might have to get up a few minutes earlier to prepare it, but chances are your alternative would be easier on the budget and stay with you longer through the day.  Try a few things if need be-see what works best.  Don’t ever start your day on carbs and sugar.  Make sure you eat protein in the morning.

Sugar was at the very top of my bad list, and by far and away the most difficult to shift. I craved the stuff for months, even though I wasn’t eating any….the smell of chocolate chip cookies was enough to flatten my resolve…..For me it was a matter of knowing that I absolutely needed to be done with sugar-for the sake of my body. Giving it up was almost a spiritual practice.  I prayed and asked for help frequently….I kept raisins in the cupboard-this did satisfy the craving.  When I began  noticing how much better I felt, how much clearer my head was, then I was encouraged and kept going. I won’t lie.  I don’t think I am the sort of person who can have just a little bit and be ok-sugar and I have parted company for good. Sometimes you just have to draw a big line in the sand and stand on it.

 Keep it simple. Whole food.  Lots of water, good protein, fresh veggies and fruit.  Food does not have to be complicated to nourish and sustain you.

 
 
We're going to take a little side trip today....spring is finally dawning, you know. Sigh..

I've been going joy walking in the evening of late.  Looking for the warm evening light as it falls on the ordinary, causing it to be truly extraordinary.  Beautiful. I have my camera with me....the light falling on the early spring hills and fields holds such promise, such anticipation-I love, love trying to capture it by making photographs....part of what captivates is that next week, those same hills and fields will be different than they were last night....so much more green.  Little leaf buds bursting forth, over and over again-the horizon will have changed....needless to say, it is truly and at last spring!
The Dr. Merrill magnolia tree is getting ready..
the blooms are just beginning to split out of their fuzzy winter cocoons....
The top of the big hill behind the house.....
the slow sunset-I love the contrast of the bare trees against the clear spring sky.

The long tall shadows...
Light in the sumac trees....
Incredible favorite spot...the view ahead is breathtaking-it feels like coming home.
There's nothing quite like black and white photographs...color is beautiful, but it can be a bit of a distraction.  There are certain times when only black and white will do-and the early spring landscape is one of them.  Cannot say how much fun it is to shoot black and white and not have to process the film and make prints...or send the film out and have it come back all wrong....the darkroom has been disassembled! Hurray for Photoshop!
 
 
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The world we live in is literally a toxic place.   There are harmful toxins absolutely everywhere…

The air that comes in our lungs, the water we drink and wash in, and the food we eat.  The products we use…Most anything our hands can touch these days has something in it that is toxic-nasty. Just plain bad for us….

You need to understand this, accept it.  It’s a Fact.

We grew up being aware of air pollution and water pollution. Every day each human body has to process a host of foreign invaders….

Cleaning products…ever look at the ingredients, of say dishwasher detergent?  That stuff doesn’t all rinse away, and is very toxic to humans.

Body care?  Most soap is petroleum based…yuck.  The gas that fuels your car is petroleum based for crying out loud….that pretty soap is loaded with chemicals too.  Even the stuff that says natural-read the label if you don’t believe me.  Deodorant?  Most of us use it-full of aluminum.  Bad, bad news.  Your toothpaste and mouthwash most likely contain fluoride.  Not good.  Don’t be deceived.

Lawn chemicals…..killing weeds is big business these days.  The problem is, it’s killing us.

Heavy metal.  Most of us are loaded with it. Ever play with mercury as a kid?  I did.  Wear braces?  Play with artist’s paint?  All ways to ingest high levels of heavy metal.  It comes in through the skin, and resides deep in your cells, especially in your brain. (they are neurotoxins) Heavy metal toxicity is responsible for lots of nasty, nasty diseases.

By the way, did you know your skin is a living sponge?  It absorbs what you touch…

Our bodies have been created to be able to flush out toxins, within reason.  The problem is, our environment today is so very toxic, that our bodies are simply overcome and overdone-they cannot process all the nastiness-so it stays with us-builds up.  If we don’t do something to clean house, all that toxicity makes us sick.  Sometimes deathly so.

Here’s my story. It’s a longer tale than I usually tell, but hey, I think it might help bring understanding.  Be of good benefit.

 I grew up eating processed food (more on that a bit later).  At that time people weren’t thinking about the quality, just convenience. My mom talks about when margarine first came out…it was plain white.  A small pouch of yellow coloring came with the white stuff. The idea was to squirt the yellow dye into the margarine and mix….kind of makes me want to puke. Seriously. Aside from ingesting piles of processed food, the concept that something you might touch could be harmful to you was considered pretty silly.  Skin was just skin….c’mon.

We ate white Wonder Bread, Creamy Jif Peanut Butter, and Smucker’s Jelly.  Lots of it. Had no idea that this stuff could be bad news for my body…

My dad was a dentist, and I helped him “down at the office”.  I played with mercury.  For years-it was fun.  My teeth weren’t so straight, so I wore braces for a couple years.  The bands were made of nickel.  I took oil painting lessons for a while…I loved it. Our teacher taught us to clean the pigment out of our brushes by using dish soap and rubbing the bristles into the palms of our hands. It worked great. The cadmium in said paint is a nasty carcinogen…..

Allergies. When I was little, I didn’t have any allergy problems.  They developed as I got older.  By the time I was in my 40’s I was living on antihistamines….I felt lousy most of the time. I couldn’t breathe well.  A change of course was needed.

I went to see a naturopathic doctor.  They consider the body in terms of energy and nutrition.  I wanted to get to the why of the allergies and not just continue to cover up the symptoms.  You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

Well, my little body was clogged up.  Big Time.  My internal organs were full of crap. Toxins that had built up over the course of years.  My sugar addiction hadn’t helped things either…

It turns out I am wheat intolerant. Shouldn’t put the stuff in my mouth.  The wheat our grandparents grew up on, is different than what we consume today. It is has been greatly tampered with-modified.  Many of us have health issues that could be helped or resolved, if we simply quit eating wheat.  This could be a blog post all of it’s own….

A started detoxing. Not for the faint of heart.  It took 9 months to get the effects of wheat completely out of my system.  I starting feeling really good….then not so good. What the heck?  Keep in mind that we heal in layers, and I had been dealing with layer #1.

Layer # 2, the real meat of the matter, was banging on my door.  I felt double lousy, and all of a sudden I was sensitive to everything-food, smells, stuff I touched.  It all made me feel really and truly strange.  Out of whack.  What in the freaking world???  Metal. Heavy metal toxicity.  I was loaded. This was the root cause of my allergy problems.  Heavy metal sits like an elephant on the immune system…with loads of metal present, the body just doesn’t have the resources to process the allergy histamines.

And so it began.  DETOX.  Heavy metal detox is not at all for the faint of heart. I remember being at the clinic and hearing the doc say, “ Jan, I won’t lie to you, this is not an easy thing to clear out.”  Damn.  He was right.  It’s 2.5 years later, and I we are still clearing it out.  Four metals later, and I am almost done.  Some of it’s been hell. 

No more allergies.  Priceless and worth every penny of what I’ve been through. Genuine gratitude.

I remember being young and hearing and reading about how terrible mercury was, how you shouldn’t use products that contain so much aluminum, that art supplies have nasty, crappy stuff in them….  There was a tiny little inner voice that told me to listen. I didn’t.  Thought that sort of garbage was for other people. It’s not.

So OK, Jan, you had to clean your body out. Lots of people do it.  Very true.  But here’s another thing that has deeply motivated me, aside from massive allergies.  My dad.  He has advanced Parkinson’s disease (stage 5). He has suffered for 19 years-growing more and more debilitated and frail with each passing year.  I cannot describe to you how our whole family painfully aches to see a once vibrant, firecracker of a man, reduced to a wheelchair, and unable to care for himself. 

Dad was a dentist for more than 30 years.  A higher than the average percentage of Parkinson’s patients were/are dentists. My dad handled mercury and nickel every day, 6 days a week for those 30+ years.  Those toxins were absorbed into his skin and took up residence in his brain cells.  Metal toxins are neurotoxins….hey, I am no expert, but I am pretty sure my dad’s brain got so full of metal toxicity that it just went haywire.  Think in terms of epidemic Alzhemier’s and dementia.  There is research out there that supports this, but that’s not the purpose of this particular post….

Bottom line, we need to keep our sacred temples clean.  If you want to live healthy, vibrant lives, that are not dependent on the pharmaceutical industry, you need to deeply clean your precious body and keep it clean.  Read the label, think about what it is that’s going in your mouth, what you are breathing and your skin is touching.  What you use to clean your house and clean yourself…it really does matter.

I’d love to hear from you.  Like I said, I’m not expert, just a woman on a whacky journey.  Detoxing yourself? I’d love to support you.  We need all the support we can get on this not-for- the- faint -hearted- journey. Want to find out more about detox?  I’ll do my best to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

Remember, your shining glory resides in a beautiful earthen vessel.  Your body. Honor it, and it will always, always honor you.  This is the way of things….


 
 
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Did you know your body is a Holy Temple? 

A sacred space….

It is your earthly dwelling, precious one.

The strong holding place for shining glory…

Your body is the clay vessel where you live, while you walk on this big earth.

Glory.

Your body was created to be a holy treasure,

A Divine part of you that’s honored with great care…

But we abuse our bodies.  In small and not so small ways.

Yes, you are guilty. So am I.


We are disconnected.

If I stopped to listen to what my body had to say, I might hear it screaming -  “stop fool… pay attention!!  Why is it so hard for you to hear me?  Do you love me at all?  I could use some care and kindness…”

Our bodies are utterly magnificent creations.  Wise.  Forgiving.  Able to heal. 

Once again, we are disconnected.  We live in a disconnected culture.  You and I, we have learned to take pills and cover up what’s wrong inside us. To not really listen to what our bodies are trying so hard to tell us. We call this good and we say we are healthy when we do it.  Think again.

Hello, my name is Jan, and I am an ex sugar JUNKIE.  An ex carb junkie.  There was a time in my life, when if I could have lived on cookies and peanut butter, I’d have been really very happy. I am the sort of girl who eats to live….food is an annoying afterthought. A pain in the arse.  Life is uncertain, so I always ate dessert first.  I could feel the wrongness of what I was doing to my body- I could feel my insides shifting. I did it anyway. What in the world?  Sound familiar?

I have pushed myself to go without sleep, and I have taken more on my back than should ever be necessary. Stress.  I could feel my poor self pounding with it-but I did it anyway, because I just had to do all that really good stuff; I guess it made me a better person or something.  Not so.  We are not machines. We are human precious beings. 

Did you know that self care is the secret to performing at your highest potential? More on that later…

I have taken pills, for years, to make pain and allergies disappear.  It worked for a while, then the root of the pain and allergy problems caught up with me….not pretty at all.

The good news is that I have not had one bite of sugar in 2.5 years. Yes, you heard me right!  I don’t miss it at all anymore, and the idea of putting the stuff in my mouth kind of makes me sick….and yes,  it took more than a year to not crave it all the time….I don’t eat refined carbs these days, and I have said no to stress…it is the enemy….I don’t sleep as well as I would like to, but that may have something to do with the man in the bed next to me who sleeps very well, and snores like a grampus…we are always trying to figure that one out.  I like snuggling up next to him, until the deep buzzing kicks in…

The even better news is that I don’t have allergy stuff to deal with these days.  It's done. Jan does not gobble antihistamines in the spring like she used to….I can walk the woods and fields here at home without my eyes running, my nose itching and my body racked with itchy cough after itchy cough. I can BREATHE! Such a gift.

Needless to say, I have learned a few things along the way.  Mostly, the hard way.  I’ll share some of them in my next posts.  I am no expert, just a wee woman on a journey.  I am happy to share my travels, if where I have been will help you find your own way to glowing, alive vitality and true health and well being....


 
 
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Forgiveness is a big deal.  It’s been decided.

Forgiveness is letting go.  Giving the wounds wings to just fly away….

OK, so angry bitterness has just flown away.  You might be feeling like there is an open space inside you somewhere.  Freedom. You know, that spot where the nasty stuff used to sit?  You might even feel this in your body.  Perhaps the painful knot between your shoulders is missing???

Open spaces.  Room for goodness to come in.  For wisdom to find you.  For blessing to flow…..

It’s all about energy.  We are 100%, all parts energy at our very core.  What looks like flesh and blood you, is essentially energy moving and swirling at unimagined - by - a - human - being - levels. Giving you and I the illusion of form and substance.  Pretty cool, eh?

Here’s a scientific tidbit coming from not so scientific me – like energy attracts like energy.  We cultivate what’s inside us...  Yikes and holy crap!  This explains a whole lot of things…

Personal sharing here:  I went through a season in my life (a very long season), where I  felt stuck, in just about every way I could think a person could be stuck.  I had dreams, goals and aspirations, and some of them were big and I wanted them with all my heart.  All life seemed to be able to offer me was stuck….depressed.  Lost.  At the very core of my depressed lostness, was good old me, playing a broken, worn out tape over and over again-remembering what so and so had done or said to me. That tape was like a mantra I soothed myself with, when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to or thought they should.  If you read my last post, I wrote that I had “forgiven”, and “given my wounds to Jesus”.  I had done what a good church lady was supposed to do….the trouble was, I knew where I had put those wounds, and I kept going back to get them….Every time something negative happened, they were handy and I could just go back to what was familiar to me.  Ugh.

Like energy attracts like energy…good attracts more good, and bad snowballs into more bad….negative energy attracts negative energy.  If you are familiar with the bible, it says that we reap what we sow…..

Forgiveness.  Letting go.  Open spaces.  Heart places.  If you can forgive, you can let go.  If you let go, you make room for open spaces inside you, for the deepest desires of your heart to finally be satisfied.  We have to learn to do this, and it is not always easy. Most anything truly worthwhile usually isn’t… I think we humans are pre programmed to play the old familiar tapes.  Could it be that there is a place in us that feels safe in our captivity-safe in the stuck places we have always found ourselves?

It occurred to me the other day that the energy that is God is just incomprehensible.
  The actual vibration of it, is what created absolutely everything after all….when we choose to hold tight to our angry, bitter wounds, we really do create barriers between us and all that the Universe is.  When we choose forgiveness and letting go, then miracle inducing doors open for us.  It’s because we have made the space.

We default to what we know, and we remain where we are.  We give our wounded past wings, and we have a chance to become the fullness of the potential we were put on this earth for-you know, having the deepest desires of our hearts satisfied….how will you choose today?


 
 
You have to do it.

Not because of should or ought,

but because you absolutely need to.

A love soaked gift you give yourself.


Forgiveness is  for you.
The other guy is not the one who is really important here…

I think that many, many of us don’t know how.  We wonder why we should.  And what in the world???  Do you know what that person did to me??  Said to me???? Devastation because of someone else.  I get it-been there done that.

I grew up in church. We were supposed to be like Jesus and forgive. This is a good thing.  Being like Jesus is a very good thing. I was taught that forgiving and forgetting go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Not so fast.  Maybe peanut butter and rancid eggs???  It is not possible to forget some of the heavy, heavy things that have been done and said to me.  Not possible at all. 

Ya still need to forgive. I still need to forgive. It’s essential.  We remember and we forgive.  I am not liking this.  So and so just doesn’t deserve it-do you have any idea????? Consider this-memories tend to loose lots of power in the Light of forgiveness and release....

Wounds sit inside us in layers.  They get peeled off a smelly pile at a time, like peeling a ripe banana or a tangy onion.  It stands to reason then, that forgiveness comes inside those layers….we release in as much as we understand ourselves at that particular time, we offer all that we are able to forgive, in that one layer and we Trust the rest to Someone way beyond just you and me.  We grow as human beings in the process of forgiveness.

Accept.  You have to accept what happened to you.  It’s part of forgiving.  Yes, even though I hate it, it really did happen.  Yes, this is what I became because of it.  Then, this is the thing I need to forgive, let go of.  You have to be specific. Own your wounds. They can’t heal until you do.  Take responsibility for yourself inside of what was done or said to you.

OK-fine.  You told me what I need to do, but you haven’t told me how….it’s pretty simple.  You let go.  You quit punishing yourself and the person who hurt you.  Most of us do this in our minds-over and over again. Guilty.  You release the hurt-you give it wings to fly away.  It’s gone. 

I found myself always wanting to have a place to put the pain, the wound.  I tried “giving it to Jesus”. Again, a very good thing, but my wounds kept finding me, over and over again. What in the world?  My intentions were sincere…I really desired to forgive-I wanted the release.  I realized that when I tried to put them somewhere-even with Jesus, it was so I could find them again.  Take them back, and play that old bitter tape over again. They aren’t meant to be retrieved.  Our wounds are meant to truly fly away-without destination.  Just gone.  This kind of release is more than just a thing you learn in church, it’s more than a religious exercise or a from- the- bible principle to follow. It’s a deeply, deeply spiritual thing.  It’s heavy inward work. It forms our souls.

When you forgive someone-truly give the wound wings to fly away, something magical happens inside you.  Space opens up in your heart. There is room for Goodness and bright, sweet Light.  Ya might feel just a wee bit free…Wow!  That sour- bitter thing is gone…

Come back and visit tomorrow…there is more to the story.  Open spaces and heart places…stay tuned.

 
 
Today is a miracle day.  I made a little sign that said so, and put it where I could see it. Where I could remember....

Miracles abound. Everyday. Our lives are meant to be immersed in the miraculous….this is the way of things. The natural order of the Universe.

Did you know that a miracle can be as simple as shift inside you….from fear to faith, from hate to love? A miracle happens every time your heart changes it’s mind- when you choose to forgive, and let bitterness and anger just go.

Define them. What is a miracle?  Does it mean the Red Sea always has to part, like it did for Moses?  No.   This is not to say these things don’t happen. These would be LARGE miracles….it depends on how big you believe.

Miracles. Where do I find them, and what do they look like?  Miracles are foreign to me-kind of like visitors from another planet….miracles don’t happen to me… Yes they do.  You just don’t see them….

Sweet small miracles are all around you, and they look like cleansing spring-fresh rain, and the whisper of the wind through a stand of fragrant fir trees….they are the love of a good man, and the trusting light in your child’s innocent eyes.  The long breath you just took….the bleeding heart that just came up out of the earth in my garden, after a long winter underground.

You are too busy looking at the hard stuff, the shitty stuff that makes you mad, and the injustice you see.  You have lost the capacity to see the miracles, maybe because life has made your soft edges hard…maybe because someone told you, when you were just a wee girl, that there was no such thing as miracles….and you believed them.

Here’s the thing, miracles are about believing and choosing.  In order to see a miracle, you need to choose to let yourself be open to goodness and Light.  The more you let go of the hard stuff-yes, the shitty stuff, the bigger and the brighter your miracles will be.  You need to understand what you can’t see is very real, and that there is a Source where all things good come from.  You must choose to believe.

So, hold fast to what is good. Believe with all your heart in what you can’t see, and trust that miracles are the natural way of things…keep your eyes open. Be on the watch. 

Choosing simply to believe might very well be your first of many, many miracles.


 
 
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Each of us has a tale that must be told.

A story that’s meant to be shared.

This big world needs your story...

Your life is meant to help, and to heal,

It can’t do that, if it’s never told.


Paint a picture and tell your story.  Stand up on a box and speak-tell your tale. 

Craft a thousand words together-share where you have been.  Tell us. 

Are you kidding? Who would want to hear about me?  I am not much.  Just little me. 

You have let yourself be less, diminished your own glory-you know that don’t you?

Think about this…You, yes just you, are the shining light in heaven’s stars.

How about this…simple you is an alive reflection of the Great Creator’s glory…

Amazing.


Your life has purpose-it means something.

Your little story matters in the grand big scheme of things.

You were meant to let your full weight fall on this world. 

No apologies.


Tell your story.  Be your own magnificent self.

Don’t hide in shame, and don’t let glory pass you by.


I need to hear your story. How else am I to know that I am not the only one-that someone else is just a bit like me?  I need your story to help me weave my own tale-I need to hear about where you have been, I need you to help me.

Share the hard places-the spaces that seem to have no meaning or purpose, then they can become the beautiful spaces,  where Light and Grace shine brightest. They become those glory places.

Life is twisty.  It’s rather cunning and just a wee bit devious.  It takes us all places we’d rather not go.  No thank you. If I had the gift of seeing up ahead, I’d sometimes run like a wild thing that knows it’s too close to danger.

Our small stories have threads attached to them that in turn weave a big life tapestry. The tapestry that becomes the story of our lives.  Some of the threads are beautiful-shimmering, deep and rich in color.  Some not so much.  Drab-gray.  Moldy brown.  Still threads.  The black threads are for those moments that define us...

The black threads are something to behold-they are about those times when you stood. When you decided to do it differently.  When you put on courage and walked through the mountain, instead of trying to find a way around. When you chose to live and not exist, when you took risks and let Faith, Hope and Trust be your guide.  Glory moments.

Stand alone and the threads are not so much, but weave them all together, well then, we have a work of art, a thing of rare beauty.  Something that the world needs desperately to behold.

Tell your tale my friend, be beautiful and bold.