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Monday, December 27, 2010

I can barely hear my heart beating ~

I can barely hear my heart beating! ~ Tin Woodsman, Wizard of Oz

so this is the Monday before 52 Mondays.  I think it is hilarious ~ I was thinking something huge & monumental would happen getting closer to this moment.  Like I would read lots of books, make up worksheets, have lesson plans laid out for the year.  then i realized it wasn’t about my control measures, it is me waiting & watching for what i'll be blogging next.

if i had a soapbox this would be it.. i find spirituality to be about connectedness.  i think it is the route to best understand one another, to best accept our situation, to persevere when nothing but a mirage is between me and the other side of the desert.  we have means of connecting beyond words, it is standing on sand before an ocean that i am swept away.
i don't find myself to be the authority; however, i am aware of authority when i hear it ~ it sings the sweetness of wisdom.  i love the truth and its many, many facets.
i was daydreaming about Heaven the other day, thinking about the possibility - at the time of our passing we will be reunited with others that have passed before us.  i thought about a man who lost his dad, and how great the day will be - when they will greet each other with a huge man embrace & and out of that moment, a knowing'ness between them will resonate, on and on.  like it has been so long, and i have waited, but here you stand & the time is gone that you were gone.

i felt so warm inside, and then i thought about my father, how it will be to be...

the first picture i found of him after he had passed years before was one of his profile.  i almost laughed because i thought - a profile shot, this is what i possess still of my father.   then years after, i came across a small photo that resides on the corner of my sweater cabinet, and it is my dad & me.  must have been around the time when i was first learning how to walk because of the way he was holding my hands, like he was my balance.

my biological father died when i was 20, the last time i saw him was at my high school graduation.  all the people, all the noise, all the graduates dressed in blue ~ and out of the crowd comes my father with my two half brothers following suite.  hadn't met the boys before, but there the three of them stood, and of course i didn't know what to say.

i actually have a letter, addressed, stamped and ready to be sent telling him i was looking forward to knowing him more.   shortly after, i received a call that he died from complications.  wasn't aware, but he had gone into surgery for fluid on the heart.  surgery went fine, but a student-nurse was repositioning tubes, likely to do with an i.v. line;  air shot through his veins and a fatal stroke resulted.

if i was drinking prior to this happening, i drank a lot after, fell apart – lost, not even knowing i was capable of being found.  tried to find my footing in an eccentric troubled soul, and by Grace i escaped.  have been on the mend since, but mostly it’s because when no one else was listening - God was - or who I imagined God to be, the He that is close to me.

i of course look forward to God when i arrive in Heaven, but there are so many ways i am knowing Him now.  anything i am connecting with - literally - i find to be from a Loving Spirit.  even when i am afraid, i find Him as comfort.  that when i am alone, He is always present.  and so, God - sure - excited.  but there is this thing inside of me that literally leapt when thinking of meeting the other side of my face.  the man i knew through cards, camera’s and art supplies ~ my biological father.  i imagine this embrace, but also this opportunity to know him.  i will hear his voice, and he will know by the way my heart beats ~ i have missed him & loved him my whole life.

what is ahead ~ blog followers, unsure ~ but with certainty ~ i will be here, faithful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

what we seek we find

looking forward to 52 Monday's .. last Monday was the first week i by-passed putting a post up.  and you know, i thought about it all week.  the DSL has been giving us some trouble, messing with my system of write, surf, read, write, research, write, stare into space, write, and finally finish... hee!

my last  post i received a comment: "... the real problem with being able to speak your mind is bearing the judgment of others. Being a person who wants to be liked, I sometimes find it difficult to say things that I know will upset people, even though it may be the right thing to do. For me, it's a constant struggle to find the right balance." (thanks r.s.)

the oddest followed.  i was so happy to receive a comment to my post i read it gleefully, but later really thought through the words .. bearing, difficult, constant struggle, and balance.  what was unexpected was how intimately i connected - i actually experienced some memories that were pretty unsettling.  i gained a new reflection (thanks again)...

i don't think i'm a push-over, but i am not after conflict either.  mostly i leave people be - stepping in when i am in the position, but mostly i listen and observe.  passive.  i speak, i clarify, i listen.  i must appear as if i am adding to the conversation, but really i mostly put together and rearrange. .. like a composer.  i wonder if fear hides in this place.  i feel prompted but mostly empty for this project, like a bowl ready to be filled..  

i wonder how often people have mistook my beliefs based upon my company?  kudos to those who speak up, who allow for themselves the vulnerable moment.

it is a balance, really a slippery slope ~ like the dew on the tip of a blade (smile). 

we have so many personalities.  i have found for myself that i try to fight the good fight.  i gather information and i put my pieces together. i place my bets when i feel as certain as i can - that what i say - convey, will move the conversation in a positive way.

i will seek and find new ways to express myself.  i will make shifts in my thinking so i can see options of articulating that will allow compassion to pour over... drenching self and others :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

free to be me

 ~ swept by the wind ~
~ where it blew there i went ~
~ over and over i tumbled and twirled ~   

i have a lot of compassion for times when we struggle with our boundaries.  when we know there is a line to be drawn but we aren't sure how to do it.  making the decision of when to speak and when to be silent is difficult and tedious.  so much that frustrations can flair and feelings can be hurt.

people in the position of authority not being comfortable with authority is a mishap ready to happen.  how many times have we witnessed or heard of a boss spiking their voice or slamming their files?  those floating through may wonder - was it really that big of a deal?  people on the receiving end are likely so caught off guard they haven't stopped to wonder, but instead are reacting.  whether we wear our emotions on the inside or outside, withstanding a side-swipe blow requires a moment to regroup.    

all the wonderful ways we can say perhaps.  possibly.  as it may be.  as the case may be.  conceivably.  feasibly.  for all one knows.  imaginably.  it may be.  maybe.  perchance.  reasonably.. 

i'd like to suggest that like me & you, others are likely doing their best.  i can say - for a long time i was not comfortable being the authority of me.  that when i wanted to say no I'd say maybe.  when i meant probably i'd say yes.  i got myself into all kinds of trouble simply not speaking my mind.  unfortunately, the problem with speaking our minds is.. not knowing what our minds are all about.

i am going to make mistakes, i am going to hurt feelings.  discovering my mind will take time, but eventually i'll not be so with the wind.  i will.  in fact.   be safe and complete.  a most wonderful and curious design.  Shalom

Saturday, November 27, 2010

and the direction is set :)

not everyone in the world is blogging ~ i know this, but i had a conversation with someone this weekend (wink to you) that had happened across my blog that writes one of her own & i received some solid guidance.   we do nothing alone, i am reminded daily.

i feel so blessed - so thankful for thoughts and guidance.  i used to feel lost in life, as if i was in the blackness of night.  now ~ i am feeling a different sort of lost, more of a which way.  all ways lead to the next step, but what step is most suited to me and my circumstance now?

i am finding my blogging voice, and surely once it is found, i will then be after voice lessons (smile) ha!  for now i think i feel comfortable about the near future and what is waiting in 2011.  i never really wanted a heavy, deeply philosophical blog.  i can get there - but there is a lot of pressure, writing my thoughts and just letting it flow definitely sounds easier & much more readable.

most of the time when i do my pieces they start about 4 times the size that actually gets published.  condensed.  in our fast paced world - condensed is good, but i am thinking another way - quick and too the point.

if Finding Compassion was about snippets of my day - little aha's that occur along my way - then still we would be seeking ~ thinking ~ being more mindful about our experiences.  and this ~ definitely works for me.

thanks for the input, the feedback :)  my tight spot has certainly opened up ~

Monday, November 22, 2010

small sanctuary

i've been blog hoping & have realized pictures are fun!  i'm not quite sure about rights yet, so until i have a little more time to research what i can and can't do - i'll be using what is around me.

i'd like for this little box to symbolize a way of making change.  a way to look at the process of making a commitment.  i've been so rash in my days ~ making huge steps and announcements all at once & then after the dust settles wondering where am i again?

we all have different gifts and it is personal responsibility that keeps the energy reserves ready.  in fact, i am deciding in the small of my heart what my desire for this blog will be ~ in this sanctuary i am going to find my footing.  and from that footing we will leap...

integrity is accomplished by intentional steps, so investigating the different directions is important.  i'm fairly sure i'll be exploring a different theme per month, but i'm not sure if i should be writing a series of letters, or creating assignments, or reflecting on readings i have found???

at any rate - i hope you enjoyed my little butterfly box.  i invite you to be considering change for yourself.  in some area of your life - start making some plans and experimenting with some small steps.

Don't forget to respond to my November 1st entry ..

I say Compassion ↔↕↔ You say ...


Lord - should i be on the rocks, let me find my placement.. help me out of this tight spot - i'm stuck and i have barely started.

Monday, November 15, 2010


take a moment to study the two comments left this week regarding compassion:
1) Compassion is recognizing, encouraging and listening when no one else does
2) Compassion is praying to exchange - bear a child's sickness so that the child can be well.

so, recognition and martyrdom?  looking at the original meaning of martyr - you would come across the word witness.

i found that interesting.  that we have two seemingly independent thoughts and yet they harken back to the notion of being present and committed.  the friend to be with another, and the mother there with her child until the child returns to health.

i love wisdom.  even too - wisdom means deep understanding, realizing.

to be deeply understood?

to be realized - witnessed?

i kept my eyes from being flooded, but certainly i felt myself being swept into a moment.  many moons have passed since i last set in their seats, but i had a thought i can't be leading community without being fully exposed to a community - and so, i returned.

i was listening - singing to the opening song, Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable."  the colors of fall, the fragrance of spring - placing stars, giving the sun its source.  as i listened to the words i was struck by the compassion - the witness - the deep understanding, and that is nice - that God is so big He can handle the big things.  i think what caught me off guard was the last bit about seeing the depths of my heart and He loves me the same.

that He, the big that handles the big, sees into the depths of me *and* still he loves me the same. just prior i was aware of how overly exposed i felt.  i manage myself pretty well one - to - one, but you add a few more and a few more after that...

it wouldn't matter if it wasn't so important.  i know i can't manage my faith alone.  i know i need a community to temper my convictions and beliefs, but it is difficult to be known.

if you are like me, there have been times when trying to explain my heart was like ~ trying to lay map work for a newly discovered cave system.  impossible. 

sometimes we just feel so deeply about something and yet from where the emotions spring is unintelligible.  emotions just are at times, unexplainable - indescribable.

compassion is being witness - is being present and willing for the exchange.  you're sad - i'm sad with you.  you're blessed - i'm blessed with you.  

at glance, mirrored - the same.  i challenge to say there is more, for where there was sadness, so too was there loneliness & isolation, by adding one there is now accompaniment.  

where there was a blessing, there was opportunity for it to be missed, passed over, but when there is another - the other offers sanction, validation.  

the magic of this facet, this face of compassion is by not changing anything, in fact~ by being the same, everything is different.  it is the art of availability, no real action required.

Lord - keep with me and i with You, make me strong and wise to where I am weak.  to be merely in Your presence, quiet and available - i am changed by Your sameness.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Video: knots to nice ~ visual

i am stepping out of my comfort zone certainly by posting a video entry ~ but.. i'm visual & i am sure others are too.

by pressing play you'll see the verbal & visual representation of 11-08-10's from knots to nice.  i literally begin by reading my blog entry, but mid-way through I switch gears and add a little behind the scenes???  in fact, i think it is funny that the nostalgic science fair 'pops' up, no pun intended (you'll have to watch to see what i mean - hee! @ 2:45 if you can't wait and want to jump - fast forward)

whatever it is, it is my debut ~ :)

you'll have an opportunity to watch me be me :)


Lord - if not for the digit pointing toward CC2010 in the end, and my - wait! what! crap! its CC2011, i would likely procrastinate on my posting.  when would i ever randomly pick up my paper and have it placed before the lens in a more perfect way?  i am releasing my quest for perfection & opting for progress, simply moving ahead.  Thank You for being with me, for my wonder and discontent.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

from knots to nice...

certainly i was manic ~ all excited about letting my blog out of the proverbial "bag."  imagining the traffic, the responsibility of who would pass by and how would i respond.  still wondering in the back of my mind - am i capable, am i centered, am i really the person to be putting out this project. 

so there i was

my bold move

putting out a November 1st entry, not just here - but on my facebook?  was i crazy!!  i mean ~ i seriously pecked and prodded those words together, over and over thinking how i wanted to write clear so to guide the participation, generate some sort of directional data (aka. wisdom).

guess what.


faithfully - Friday is my day to meet with Lentz, my mentor.  knowing i had taken up our last hour with talk about CC2010 (Compassion Challenge 2010), i told him, with a smile on my face, that not a soul answered my inquiry.  my smile came from the little girl inside - like telling my daddy that i didn't win the prize, that in fact - it wasn't even noticed. 

it is difficult being vulnerable, having an idea and putting it out there.  i was making some huge assumptions that the next year between my Mentor and I  would be filled with nothing but.  and so, just this past Friday we talked about the project, same project as the Friday prior, but this time - i sat with a wanting to still be loved despite my idea, instead of being loved for my idea. 

to absorb what is right with this and not what is missing is part of the project.  i am after compassion - with all my wiley ways (smile)..

so despite the fact my heart broke just a little, i know - like a bone, as it grows back, it is ever stronger than before.

Lord - that Your days are enough to bring me to my knees - that i never forget where my true comfort resides.  my heart, j.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I say Compassion ↔↕↔ You say ...

I say Compassion

You say ...



Consider Your Response


consider/identify your response/thoughts to the word compassion.

You may choose to respond by describing your thoughts in a single word:  similar to the game we would play as childrenI say red, you say .. blue? I say compassion, you say ??

You may choose to respond by providing a picture: “When i think of Compassion I picture my mother putting a band-aid on my skinned up knee.” 

You may choose to describe a sound:Compassion makes me think of someone offering these words - You are not alone."

You may choose to describe an action: "I have compassion when i remember to say please and thank you."

How you choose to respond is as unique as you, meaning ~ anything that comes to your mind is wanted for wisdom.   In fact, ☼ please gift this project with your written response.  Click "post a comment" below  (Thanks so much!!)

Lord ~ Please allow my request to be clear, that each person who happens across this place in the project feel part of the project - prompted to be as authentic and spontaneous as possible.  Looking for Your Wisdom thru others Lord..  Amen.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

just trying the video out...

i love this little video.  up until this point i hadn't really thought about how a starfish moves, that a starfish moved.  that's silly i know ~ but it is amazing all the little steps we must take to really move forward any great distance :)


ps.  How fun is this??  Thank You Lord for Your gifts ~

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coming Soon!!

It is truly amazing how quickly time passes.  How much we miss by neglecting to document our thoughts and our development.

I am almost rethinking, for simple fear, my "coming soon."  i jumped on this morning in vigor, and just in this moment i am rethinking.. here is where i take the leap - this is where i take dreaming to doing ~ and in this ~ action to my faith.  faith is a verb.

i remember the moment i was exposed and educated, my life has never been the same.  i went from feeling lost in God's Will to part of His Will.  in application: instead of my response being stagnancy and reactivity to "i have faith that God is going to get me through this" ~ i actively seek and go beyond the point in which i announced the event.  if i claim God is working in my life and i have "faith" in what the results will be - I must discern from where do I leap - all the while ~  key word being leap.

i'm not sure where my announcement will take this community.  in fact - what community?  i literally get on this blog-site and write to an audience of  two (me & my Lord).

when i say - this process will be a test of my faith - it is a test of my steadfastness, continuing past the results i am seeing.  more clear - if there are no results, meaning no community is formed in 2011.  will i still be faithful to the commitment i feel my inner-spirit is prompting me to make?

at what point would it be acceptable for me to decide blogging and creating challenges once a week is without effect.  how do we know the effect of our action .. it is God's Alpha & Omega that i must cling too.  Meaning - if no one else finds and commits to one or more challenges, i'll be challenging me because it is about my commitment to this process.  i will be faithful.

when i dream of a tree, it is my faith that pursues the seed, and then the planting and the watering.

when i dream of a community of people seeking authenticity and compassion, it is my faith that pursues this challenge, and then the writing and perseverance.

That said ~ announcing (to myself and the community to come)
52 Monday's of: 
Compassion Challenge 2011

As written in a previous blog entry, it will be the intention of this challenge to spur on personal identity development.  If I can know myself better I can then be better to others, and being better to others builds a better community ~  Amen?

Lord God - in the silence i felt my heart jump and carried by the racing of my thoughts, guard me from my blindness.  i am stepping into fear and vulnerability, a place i will come to know You more.  it is in You that i will hide, for in my flailings there is something You can create for Your Good ~ all my heart, j.

Saturday, June 12, 2010



i think these little posts are doing some good :)  i actually got into a conversation ~ described what i would like to do with different churches & i didn't fall over my words.  i felt like the person echoed my thoughts and there was an agreement or validation regarding the importance of authentic communication - connection within the church body.

rereading: it is easily said - of course authenticity is important, but i think it was more than that between the words.  i listened to her tell me of the amount of churches she visited before she found her home.  i wasn't aware that i was collecting data at the time; however, i feel like she was telling me she searched until she landed in her now church family ~ and in this family she feels supported and connected.  really what she said was "my husband wants to move to be closer to his family, but i want to stay - now that we have found this church i don't want to leave.  i just had my third child and my community group provided meals for two weeks.. two weeks!!"  "i can call when i need something and i don't feel like i shouldn't - i pick up the phone and dial."

there is something about the connection formed in the mist of need that bonds us  ~ encourages us to be present week after week. 

friendship is intentional.  so intentional i only have capacity for a few outside of my immediate family.

i have to admit - the honest difficulty i have with what to do with new connections.  not because of the initial experience, but the integrity of honoring what is new and forming.

something to be explored.

Lord - help this work to be lasting .. a place where the Spirit resides ~ a place that even the skeptic will be encouraged and challenged to be real and connected.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

logistical dreaming..

i think sometimes i shouldn't be working on my projects in the wee-hours of the morning, because though it may look good at 130am, it might not look good at 130pm :)

Guided Retreats is a work in progress :)

i understand the website is pretty vague & my desire is for it to come alive so most will have a very clear idea of what my service is.

I have rushed so many things in my life & have learned a lot about small steps in the last few years.  From that I think I like the idea of initial contact being for the sake of curiosity.  Nothing committed, just curious.  I like getting real-mail & getting one of my information packets will be a version of that.  I don't think i will be overran by requests ~ so i think i will send something handmade (card/collage/something inspired ~ ) along with information.

Might be fun to get some postcards made up to send - something light on postage in case they are not sent back.  If the postcard comes back to me I could then send out some information for phone or ~ conversational contact ~ .. i thought about using a "conference call" number for this.. I'm all about privacy/self-protection & until I actually have a business line ~ i need another option besides my personal line.  In combination with that idea ~ it would be super simple for any of the individuals interested from the requesting organization or group to jump on the line as well..

from this point (and again - if there is interest) then a "focus meeting" can be scheduled.  my intention for a "focus meeting" is an intentional time period (no longer than an hour) to discuss the creative direction desired.  in effect ~ come into communion with the expectations of the guided workshop or retreat.  i will of course facilitate the conversation by asking some questions.  those questions will be provided prior to the meeting to ensure there has been some time to think over, pray over (however the organization would like to describe that time) the upcoming event...

i have lots more rolling around my mind ~ should have been posting along the way; however, sleep calls me most nights :)  i sit to read with my daughter - actually i sit to listen to my daughter read (yip-ee!!) & by the end I am so relaxed dreaming seems like the next logical step.

Lord - help me to be faithful to self preservation ~ specifically ~ help me to take my thyroid pill daily (which i haven't been able to do for the last 3 years), start taking vitamins & minerals (which i have never done), and exercise (which i have sporadically done since college swimming ended 15 years ago).  ahh.. i need energy & sleeping 10 hours a day isn't doing it :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

standards ~ banners

when i am reading the Word - i have my filter set on how this would apply to an individual, to a small group, and then does this information cause that individual and/or group to bond more tightly with its church body.

the word body seemed the place to start, but then i came to verses telling me to cut my eye out should it not do right & i thought ~ as true as this may be ~ i am looking for inclusion not exclusion for this project.

i then took off after the word boundary & found some interesting reading on Eruv ~ the literal boundary that Jewish people will allow themselves to walk within during special times.  i think - why so necessary... what is this telling me..

without time for research i then bounce to the idea of standards - resting in the standard - right?  so i come across the idea of Banners mentioned in the Old Testament.  i think - i will do more with this concept.

what is my banner - how does my banner compare/contrast with those in the group, and finally how well does this match the banner of my church.

if the church is my leader, my guide ~ then how can i or the group adjust to its purpose.  keeping in mind of our filter.  it could be that i think a talent of creating forms doesn't fit - but it is most certainly part of my banner.  then i realize - with a form i can come to organize the group i am in, and by discerning the group that i am in - i can then organize energy towards purpose within my church..

just seeking - searching.

thank You Abba Father - that it is a willing heart, not always the knowing heart that can be of service.  i am willing to follow You Lord - i am seeking skills as a compass reader ~ let me discern in clarity the direction it points...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a cool thing happened..

can't tell you the last Sunday i was in church, but today was the day i couldn't get it off my mind to go.  it was pouring rain & i had the task of doing the final clean for my friend who has just moved out of her apartment (a job i completely underestimated)..

anyway - it is raining & i have the bright idea of going early to catch the study portion - i do an engine search and locate the name & thought i clicked on the correct link.  it was 842a & i was out the door by 850a (very proud of myself - but really proud of the lady who cut my hair this past week making this whole thing doable).

anyway - the time i saw was 9a & i get there by 905a and i note very few cars - which - for me, is good.  i walk in & everyone is sitting around a table talking ~ and as i sit down i realize this is not bible study, but a "session" meeting aka. a meeting for the governing body of the church.. i thought for a second - why am i here?? so i sit through it & i was asked for an unbiased opinion on a matter - i responded & it was received well.. following i followed a few into the sanctuary where we discussed ~ Colossians 3:12-17.  later i realize i clicked the wrong link (not surprising).

i thought it one of those moments when God has spoken directly .. from the discussion we would come to understand that - without boundaries (guidelines) we would never know grace.  the pastor talked about working at the seminary & the most liberal professors were the most rigid when it came to dealing with others fallibility ; however, the most conservative professors would stand with open arms even in the face of another's failure.  the open arms give a glimpse of grace.

the pastor said he was still unsure of the phenomenon, but i would lean towards the idea that there is rest in the standard - and - aggravation in the chaos.

i've personally experienced bosses, and i have witnessed others in a position of authority act aggressively & i find for myself - my authority speaks for itself (referring to my residential role).  when i know what the line is - when i know what the consequences of crossing the line are - all i need to do is implement.  i don't have to be aggressive, but assertive.  to further - i can also offer compassion to those receiving consequences, the immediate results may not change, but perhaps resilience is strengthened.

that to say.. i lose nothing in offering my compassion because i know where the line is.. thinking of the liberal professor ~ perhaps he is swimming in the idea he determines the standard & really - how scary would that be.. the responsibility of discerning each awkward situation based on a loose set of comparisons.  it is makeshift at best & i might very well walk around irritated most of the day..  there would be no rest - well, for anyone of good conscious ..  if i was the deciding factor - i would never sleep for all the mistakes i could have made.

in contrast - the conservative professor ~ at rest within the standard ~ can use his mind and energy towards the preservation and encouragement of those struggling.

good to hear that conservative isn't always about intolerance as some would believe.  in this example ~ these are the great teachers and believers of our good.

Lord - thank You for endless options of how we can go about knowing You more ~

oh & how did we get boundaries from that passages?  again - its the beauty of God's Word that lead's us ~ but logistically - one of the participants made a comment on how difficult some of this is - loving our community (see ya next blog post)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

finding freedom

there are many million things i like about the Word - one certainly - is its ability to uniquely relate to each individual who studies it.

i love that one verse - one small verse can prompt so many different reflections ~ facets of understanding.

i like the idea - in fact - feel true freedom in working with those like-minded in faith; all who are seeking to know God more .. how lucky for we that seek that our quest is always and forever.  there is always more.

i am mindful of those who suffer from loss - if not for our suffering we would surely lack the gems granted in grief... if not for our struggle, we would fail to know our true capacity, our true depth.

amazing & nice about those so blessed to work in the ministry is the originality, the non-copyrighted text we can draw and create from everyday.  there is no true authority ~ only God himself.  its nice to not split hairs from one expert to another.  it is nice to offer the Word and allow the Spirit to work .. i love that my Mentor before each of his sermons conveys:
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what you need most to receive no matter what is said here."  or..
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit brings you the message that you need most to hear no matter what I might construct." or..
"Please pray that the Holy Spirit brings you the message that is the most useful to you no matter what is said." or..

it can go on & on ~ but the point is.. He is there backing up the program because no matter the level of my desire to share and love another person His desire is more ~ always.

its exciting to know that God ~ His Spirit ~ is available and helping to author any workshop or retreat i put together.  i am not alone, i am flanked by His companionship.

i think when dreaming up an ambition - it can be lonely, scary and simply overwhelming.  for those who are with me ~ my heart is humbled and encouraged.  thank you.

Lord - I am grounded in Your love - i am weak without You.   for every heart that has and will be prompted by Your whisper ~ my admiration ~

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reality .. Part II

what does this have to do with my marriage & family degree ???  great question. i don't know.

when i am thinking about forming groups i should be thinking homogeneous.  and - randomly sending out invites will land me with lots of different people, but probably not the connection i am really hoping for.

so idea two.  how about asking different churches to host me to run a 3-part group where i help participants to connect with themselves - to others - to the church and God.  now that sounds up my alley.

but what am i thinking.  i am in school and i am training to become a therapist.  like - me & person, couple, or family.  if i don't focus i won't finish - i won't find where i'll be doing my practicum & internship ~ then ~ where will i be working??

this is part of it.  this is the reason for my blog isn't it Lord - please God ~ help me be more than i am.  help me to be accepting of myself & resilient in the face of discouragement :)  i love You more than life.

(this is a down day - i was a little manic last night with the thinking & i am certainly lacking some zzz's, but this is authenticity ~ right?)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ramblings from an extroverted mind.

hello.  its me again.  i am actually offering a distraction disguised as me taking another step.. j/j (just joking)..

somewhat true - i have been doing some reading & in those readings i am finding more about creativity.

i think each of these mini-workshops (2 hr) will be a true project.  its exciting to create (hee!) something for others to experience their own personal creation of.. or becoming more fully aware of creating something unique out of their - tummy's (heart)..

sometimes i wonder the depths some groups will reach with one another. i read something that provided the following affirmation (thought): i fully enjoy the wisdom of each generation that passes through.

typically we see generations as baby boomers, gen-x'er's, millenniums, etc. but i am talking of the communities i am in contact with each month.  each month i am working with a brand new community - and every commuity has its own unique personality.

i am thinking - i will be meeting new communities.  new communities that decide how long to stay together ~ i could have a group of ladies that work together weekly or bi-weekly for 6-9 months at a time.

if i could run 2 hour groups M-R & i could get a minimum of 10 participants I think I can support myself enough to be home for Mya at 230 & off to work at 530 back by 9pm to get her down.  Wow@! you could not imagine how awesome that would be.

i am seriously under a big blanket of responsibility.. school - work - mother - wife?? can you hear me on this!!

we need time to get together with each other & restore our sanity!! 

looking forward to it!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

stumbling over my words

today was funny.  i was talking with a friend that will certainly be part of my board of directors should 'guided retreats' go non-profit & i stumbled all over my words talking about my idea.

good thing i am being intentional and sharing my ideas (smile).

i probably should be bold and open and actually be putting a workshop together.  i thought i might do one on creativity.  anyone can relate to creativity.. in fact - seeking creativity can be like seeking breath.  it is there ~ keeping us alive ~ but so much a part of ourselves we rarely notice.

thoughts are nice ~ think away & let me know what is on your mind..

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mission Statment


Guided Retreats is committed to helping individuals develop a more authentic connection with self and others. Retreat activities created by staff and group wisdom will be intentionally focused towards personal identity development and receiving acceptance from others during that process. By living authentically we can find compassion for not only ourselves, but the people we encounter in our journey.


any thoughts?

i did some research on Wikipedia regarding retreats (spiritual), and read a .pdf on how to write a mission statement and this is what i came up with.. i think this is what i want to say.  in the beginning it will just be two-hour gatherings here and there locally, but eventually someone or some group will get excited and actually provide an aesthetically beautiful place to experience a little r & r (retreat & restore) for themselves.

Thank you Lord for the capacity and desire you have given me.  My heart is open and ready to experience what it takes to encourage authentic community!! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010


as excited as i am .. i spoke with a close friend who has the gift of being very direct (smile).  how am i going to make money, how am i going to market, why would anyone come, what is my population.. 

ok.. i called her with some glee in my step and then i thought.. this is serious, and first thing is first - what is my mission statement.

i can't make a mission statement for my vision while trying to please everyone else.  i want to be non-offensive and inclusive; however, intentional.  that's a delicate balance isn't it.  it is making an assumption that i am going to stand before a group of women and in so many words communicate ~ follow me ~

i think most would see me as a leader and surely this stems from me being the oldest of four - me & my 3 brothers. the interesting thing about God's gifts is that what would seem difficult to some is not for others.  i mean - sure it is nerve wrecking to get up and speak in front of people i don't know very well - or at all, but it feels better to be the one talking - than the one cringing.  i think what i have said before is that my passion to get a group together and moving forward is greater than my fear of leading. 

i love to see what is on each person's mind - not just the individual's talking.  being aware of the anxiety surrounding the worry of saying the wrong thing prompts me to be the one listening.

i am also passionate about authentic conversation.  looking at my life and history i think it would be fair to say i have known lots of people, and i think for the most part have experienced good intimacy (me knowing them - them knowing me).  being curious about the factor that contributes to this - it would have to be genuine interest.  i tell people - i don't smile as i'm walking down the hall because i am suppose to, i smile because it is my nature.  i don't laugh and talk with people because i am suppose to, i laugh and share because i enjoy people. 

as my experiences with teaching and understanding risk and protective factors grow, i have become more and more comfortable with the spectrum of emotions.  i don't lose my head in an argument, I am not swayed with flattery.  i am always after the heart discovery.

so i need to be thinking of a mission statement.  i need to be seriously taking ownership of this project.

Thank you Lord ~ I am at rest in this tight spot where the wing meets the body ~ i will seek your encouragement as i make my way towards the feather wind spot (smile).

Friday, May 7, 2010


today there was a wind advisory.  if i was an advisory ~ what would i be.  perhaps falling objects?  i have so many ideas that swim around in my head, and ever so often they fall out of my mouth and into a conversation.

Guided Retreats is also a site of mine - not quite ready to be utilized ~ or is it.  i've been listening to Louise Hay and she is a very inspiring woman.  note to self: do some research on how Louise got her start.  how did she know this was what she was to do?  it all seems a little surreal to me sometimes.  i believe she says she was in her forties or fifties before she first began teaching and now in her seventies she is "the" Louise Hay.  I encourage anyone to check her out.

i am honored to have worked with all the many birds that have passed through residential care ~ but certainly ~ in my heart of hearts i want to be free to work my own schedule - to travel to new locations and be available for the next experience without submitting a request.  i'm not free when my absence is upsetting the balance of the community ...

so.. i've got to get started fulfilling my dreams of helping others to find compassion for their selves and others. why ~ if my energy soars ~ do i wait to provide mini-workshops?  oh.. hum.. a place - yes, this is the obvious.  i could probably use a community room but then there is the payment. 

that's scary ~ actually making the suggestion that individuals would seek this service i feel so driven to provide.  that there is agreement that this is well worth the money being charged.  i think to myself - how do i get started, how can i start to develop my business.  i feel like $10 is reasonable.  its easy to make change for, and praying that at least 10 people show, it should cover supplies/space.  Supplies are going to be the tuff part ~ i am really interested in creating some hands-on, take-home projects for my participants.

i worry - of course, with not having adequate supplies for the project of the evening.  that being the case i will likely over print and over prepare.  perhaps then i could package any extras for participants later?  packaged retreats?

its very exciting.  my husband had the idea that i would make up mini-programs as advertisements.  nice idea.  i love making forms and so i could likely reduce the size and allow some retreat sheets to serve as the flyer?  also - it would be a fun way to archive the workshops if i did package retreats, it would help with the description??  i don't know.  brainstorming..

i'm so excited.  i listened to Louise today & i heard her say that any deep down passion can be translated as a calling (providing it is not self-harming i'm sure).  i remember thinking in my youth i couldn't trust God with my future.  i mean - certain areas - sure, but giddy happiness?

when i am putting together this plan, and praying for the opportunities to meet all the people i will meet - i am giddy happy.  it is faith in action - believing that i am in the mist of God paving a way for this to happen.  that it will be me that will have this life ~ and what a good life it will be.

thank you God for your steadfastness ~ that you never left me alone, even when all i could see were the trees.

Monday, May 3, 2010

do i have to title these things?

do i have to title these things?  i'm going to try and skip it & time will tell as it always does.

i was reminded of the quote "better to remember where you left off than where you began."

this could be looked at from different angles, but tonight i would like to focus on how far i have come than when i first began.

Lots of people go back to old habits, old destructive ways not because they are destructive, but because of what was initially attractive and inviting.  If we could remember the destruction we would likely steer clear.

This can apply to what we were once afraid of and hadn't the capacity to complete.  It used to be I hated lunch rooms filled with high school students because I was sure that everyone was watching me as I took my tray up.. I then realized (after doing some experiments of looking at everyone else as I took the long walk) the world did not revolve around me & I was able to take my lunch to the dishwashers in peace.

How often can I be tempted to go back to a harmful thoughts and beliefs about myself, forgetting time and development ~ maturity.

Today I will apply what I learn to more than one area of my life so I can make the most of experiences..

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ok.. Here we go..

Hello :)

I'm starting on this project.. really starting on this project.  I just looked over some previous blogs from a couple of years back and wow!! i have grown.

I see now ~ how necessary the journey really is ~ when I read some of my previous narratives I can feel how lost I felt, my true well of empathy.

Well.. I know it doesn't appear in this post but I actually just spent 3 hours putzn around this site to make it look at little more readable.

I am a great lover of all things written and created.  I have a really hard time parting with my books and magazines.  I keep my books, but mostly I save my magazines to use when I collage with my groups, but before they make it to that stack, they are in the stack by my bed, or my couch.  Randomly - today - I picked one up to dream a little on ideas for home and heart.  I got spurred by a short article out of Better Homes & Gardens (September 2009) featuring Women of Strength by Kathleen Parrish.  Alexandra Stoddard, designer says that she woke up at 5am to have time to write for 2 hours before waking the kids for school.  I probably won't write for 2 hours because I have to get ready for work myself, but I can certainly write for an hour.

I can make a place ~ a space for ideas and thoughts ~