Saturday, August 24, 2013

Making Room for Everyone

The poor guy didn't know what hit him.  I was picking up a few groceries and the man seated in the car next to mine, struck up a conversation as I loaded my bags in the car. 

"Nice car," he opened.


"Nice day," he continued.

"It is, isn't it" I responded.

"Here's something you might be interested in," he said, handing me a small card.

I didn't want to look and I was afraid to engage him further. Maybe he was giving me a business card for a service I might actually be interested in.  But I feared it was something else.

My first fear was that is was a naked photo of himself, but it wasn't.  But it was related to my second fear of where this conversation was headed.  The card was a message about God's love and he was all set to convert me to something.

I'm all for people finding out about God's love.  However, shotgun evangelism is an embarrassment to any faith.

This poor guy didn't know what he'd walked into and I really tried to ease out of the situation.  "I am very confident in God's love for me, plus I was a pastor for over 20 years."

Now you'd think that would stop any person in their right mind from continuing on the path of converting me -- but no.  This guy had an agenda regardless of what my life experience was.

His next move was to lambaste the Roman Catholic church.  His reason for this attack was that it was very old.  I looked at him -- he was very old.  I didn't bring that up, but told him that I rarely darken the door of any churches of any denomination anymore.

He tried another critical jab.

"Sir, I love God and have served him most of my adult life.  But the church needs to do some work before too long.  Maybe we could just start over with out the hate and judgment," I suggested.

He said nothing more.  He just sat there looking at the card I'd handed back to him. 

It is a good thing to be passionate about something.  Often when a zealous person is involved there just isn't room for varying opinions and sadly, that is frequently the situation where religion is concerned.

I probably should have just taken his card and thanked him. If we are ever going to have peace, it is going to have to begin with understanding that there are many opinions and not very many of them are wrong.

As I drove away, the man was still staring at the card in his hand.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Home Sweet Home

This is my home. There is something powerful, something sacred about the place that we call home. It is the place where my family gathers, the spot where my treasures are, the place where I can be myself at my most honest and vulnerable.  Home is a place of safe abandonment of all the baggage of society.
I was fortunate to have lived in the same home for the first 18 years of my life. It was great to have one place that was mine. I knew every tree, each fencepost and where everything belonged. When I went to camp and then off to college, I was driven to set up my "home" before I could do anything else. I needed to set my foundation. In my job I moved quite a bit, but I wasn't ready to work until my home was established and in order.
Long ago I disregarded the ideas of home fashion and trend. I  like what I like. If I like it, then I'm happy to have it surround me in my place of residence. I love color. I delight in re-purposing items. It is important to having plants and other living things around me.
When we moved into this home just over 2 years ago, we decided to paint the exterior in time for my daughter's graduation party. After flipping through a magazine I saw the colors I wanted for our house -- green with pink shutters.  I presented the idea to my husband, and bless his indulgent heart, he was all for it. The green went on with little comment from anyone. But when we began trying samples of the pink -- it concerned many. My kids cast two solid negative votes and asked me to pick something normal.  They can have normal later. I picked delightful! Each time I see my home, it makes me smile to be there.
A friend came over one day and looked around, then she paid me a great compliment. She said, "You house just has personality up the wazoo!"  It does! This is a place I can create to my heart's content.
Our home isn't supposed to be a show place, a mansion with more space than a small village could make use of -- but a sacred place to renew ourselves, to celebrate life, to be nurtured.
Any place can be a beautiful home, once your heart holds it sacred.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It Takes a Dog

Something large and black flew across US 23 as I was headed south to an appointment in Waterford, Michigan. Traffic was going 70 mph and then some. Almost every vehicle immediately slowed, we wanted to know what had happened.

That large black mass was a Labrador Retriever escaping from the back of a pick-up truck. The large dog lay in the grassy area at the side of the road.  Mickey had wanted to go to the bathroom, his owners said, so the three legged dog took off. and was hit by one of the passing cars.

He was conscious, his eyes were pleading. I had pulled over as soon as I saw it was a dog.  Five other drivers followed suit. We worked together fist assessing his wounds, lifting the 100 pound Mickey to get him on a board that was too small for his bulk, attempting to practice basic first aid, while keeping track of teeth that nip when pain is present. We got him into another motorists pick-up because we didn't want to try to haul Mickey across several lanes of traffic to place him in his owners' truck.  Mickey got quite the escort to the next exit where he would be reunited with his mom and dad and find veterinary care.

It was one of the moments where I just wanted to cry.  The tears came with layered meaning. I cried because I hurt for Mickey, those sad eyes broke my heart.  It's a good bet that I will never know if he survived the incident. I also wanted to cry because that three legged dog brought out the best in humanity and that makes me proud to be a human.  It seems like most days, especially if you listen to the news, we witness all the worst that people have to offer.  It's easy to give up hope and start just expecting that people are going to do the wrong thing.

Thanks Mickey, for letting us show that the kindness of humanity runs deep.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Farmgirl Karen

I grew up in Saginaw Township and didn't grow up knowing a lot about agriculture and related topics. I didn't know that beets actually grow with that deep red color -- I thought it was added later. I didn't know that a hen doesn't need a rooster to lay eggs -- they are only needed if you want to fertilize those eggs and have chicks.  I had a little garden and I thought it was miraculous. I did know that fresh food tasted better.

Growing up I shunned large urban areas. Big cities were okay to visit or drive through, okay and maybe to shop, but that was it.

I grew up making things -- I'd try any type of craft.  I'm still that way. My craft room is a disaster of creative possibilities. I found that I loved to can, make cheese, craft my own soap.  It seems that if I can make it, it is probably cheaper and perhaps even better. 

I had the chance to live in a farming community for a while.  I took to it like a pig to slop! I think there's a country song where the singer claims to be "as country as a turnip green." I am indeed a country girl.

It delights me to take something old and make it knew again or re purpose an item to something delightfully different.  There are things in life that are better done "the old way." I obviously have embraced the computer age but I still prefer a phone call or a letter, I like baking my own bread, and I will always prefer to read a real book.

I found a kindred spirit when I discovered a magazine called "Mary Jane's Farm." Mary Jane Butters combined all the things that I love and  managed to embrace it all in such a way that it doesn't lose its integrity and humanity. I hate to admit it, but I cried with excitement as I found that there were other women that felt the way I did about life. There were women all over the country that loved chickens, home made food, wanted to protect their environment, hoped to keep the old crafts alive and yearned for a sister hood.

There's a community of Farmgirl Sisters that cover the entire USA and a few in other places in the globe. Another like minded woman and I started our own local chapter in Michigan. Today those friendship are of great value to me.

As a part of joining the Farmgirl Sisterhood -- over 5,000 strong now -- and I was sister #411, you are able to access a variety of challenges under six or seven categories of life.  When one accomplishes the tasks under each category whether its beginner, intermediate, or expert -- you earn a badge!!  I love earning badges almost as much as I love trying different experiences. Right away I earned all the badges under writing and crocheting, but I will never go beyond the first badge in fiber spinning or horsemanship.  These badges push me to keep bettering myself and to love the next adventure.

For 2014, I have the honor of being the Farmgirl of the Year.  I'm not sure I have ever received such a wonderful honor. The funniest part of that is that I live in downtown Fenton, Michigan. I have two hens that give me fresh eggs, I grow most of my own herbs that go in my soaps, baked goods and other concoctions, and I continue to make all the things I possibly can. 

It doesn't matter where you live -- you can always be a Farmgirl.  If you go to Mary Jane's website you are sure to see an embroidered item or to that says, "Farmgirl is a Matter of the Heart." I am a Farmgirl no matter where I live and that is the lifestyle I'm best at.

Maybe you are a Farmgirl at Heart, too.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Bug's Life Bugs My Life

We were off camping in our little motor home and I was doing my best to enjoy the trip when I discovered three little ants and a behemoth one. I am not a very good camper to begin with, but I was really trying to be a happy one.  No scream left my mouth, but my face certainly reflected the displeasure I was feeling at their presence.

I'm not particularly hateful of bugs in general, but I prefer them pretty and not in my private living space.  I realize that a camping environment is a different situation and may be confusing to bugs and people as to who belongs where. Nonetheless, this development was unacceptable.

Squish, squish and squish and then one more for the disgustingly big one. I had committed mass murder with a sheet of bounty.  I was glad -- I would do it again if I must. Feeling triumphant, I rested in a false sense of security only briefly.

Where there are just a few ants, there must be more.  I was living in a tin can with a herd of ants, a band of behemoth insects. I groaned -- audibly.  Then, I started to itch. I spent the entire day and night itching and scratching. I showed myself no mercy. I didn't sleep the entire night. I kept a watchful eye out for those little segmented things.

We're home and I'm still scratching a bit, although I have yet to see another ant.  I must say I'm a little indignant that those 4 ants wielded so much power over me.  There is something just wrong about that distribution.

I decided to go outside and look around.  There must be something in my own little backyard that could balance out that power. There were things that could move my attention from one little thing of power to another.   I was quickly mesmerized by the jewel-like dragonfly basking in the sun on  my husband's car window,  I joined my hens in the sense of calm they have mastered as they go about their day, I marveled at the hypnotic bees as they enjoyed my bountiful crop of bee balm.  Such beautiful little things all around me and they all had such wonderful powers.
 "It's the little things that make me love you so."
                                           --Song by the Oak Ridge Boys

So many of the treasures and the joys in life are the little things. It's when my husband automatically takes my hand when we walk anywhere side by side, or when my grown daughter blows me a kiss just before she walks out the door, or the way my puppy's ear flop in an undignified yet adorable manner as she seeks my attention.  I could go on with a list of more than 100 things and actions that are just little -- but they make such a difference to my life and day.  It is the little things that have all the power.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Take Time to Do Something Silly

Truffle Marie Price at graduation

Truffle is one of the great delights of my life.  She is my two year old Miniature Schnauzer. We spend quite a bit of time together doing just about anything.

She had a blast in a training class that was actually described as "Charm School."  After four weeks of classes, she was proficient at all the commands and delighted in responding to each direction and then being rewarded for her behavior.

Truffle has a diploma now.  She is a Charm School graduate.  I think it's funny that she snorts when she yawns --it's not charming, but it is quite cute.

As you might guess, everyone has laughed at this latest achievement of Truffle's.  When my mom saw this photo, her comment was only, "Poor Truffle."

Okay -- so it's a bit silly.  I know this is a silly thing to do with your dog, but ya' know what?  I loved doing all this.  If my son hadn't just graduated from high school, I probably would have thrown her a graduation party!  It makes me laugh!  It tickles my funny bone and just makes me happy.  So why not!?

Each day we really should do something that's a bit silly.  Funny bones are just waiting to be tickled and we were made to laugh.  I do love to laugh and giggle. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Today -- I Write

I love to write.  You can't really tell that I enjoy the writing process by my five month hiatus from this blog.  As much as I delight in creating a story, I cringe at the painful process of exposing those same words for someone else to read, see, judge, correct, disapprove of my writing ability , etc.  What it really comes down to is the fact that I need to write.  I feel all bottled up inside when I haven't written down the stories that continue to float around in my head.  Sometimes my stories are of personal experience that speaks of a lesson to be shared and other times my stories are completely made up, celebrating a well exercised imagination.

The first books I remember getting lost in, were Trixie Belden mysteries.  To this day, I'd rather read a mystery than anything else.  There's something about trying on the personality and skills of someone else -- even a blond teenager with freckles and a best friend named Honey -- and playing the written game of cat and mouse.  I love it when I can figure out the mystery before the author tells me, but I love it even more when I can't!

Writing and reading is an honest relationship of delight -- complete with ups and downs, frustration and exaltation.  I want to remember the reader that I was as a young girl that immersed herself in the story.  Those motives are pure and uncomplicated.  I want to write for the same pure and uncomplicated reasons -- out of love for the craft and the enjoyment of the creation.  Fear be damned!

It's a new day and today -- I write.  We really need to do what we love or we are less than ourselves.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wonders of the World - 6

There's no denying it at this point -- there are just too many wonders in the world to try to limit the number to 7.  The wonders of the world  -- regardless of who is making the determinations-- are beyond the single digits and perhaps it is limitless.  I feel a sense of relief in coming to terms with my conclusion.  The world must have been ancient and narrow when seven places were determined.  My world is neither small or limited and it delights me that I am going to spend the rest of my life seeing and experience wonders and even then, I will not see them all. 

A maple tree in my front yard tapped and receiving sap.
When I was a child and would do something that surprised my parents -- for example, I might complete a chore without being asked (it might have happened) -- there was a standard reply from my mom.  Her comment was, "Will wonders never cease?," meaning "Wow, I can't believe it."  I've been working on Karen's Wonders of the World for a couple of weeks now and I can say with confidence :  Wonders will never cease!

Number six on my list is a variety pack of natural, scientifically explainable, magical moments in nature.  Do you remember contemplating the origin of clouds when you were a child? Many of us assumed those fluffy puffs came from a smoke stack.  Teachers along the way have given me the academic explanation of clouds, rainbows, and so much more. I'm sure the information was spot on, but for the most part -- it really doesn't matter.  The explanation doesn't diminish the wonder.

Other items in this same category would include how sap from the maple tree drips noisily into pails  and the concentrated syrup resulting from it, the look of petosky stones once they've been polished for all the world to see the beautiful patterns, the metamorphosis of an unattractive caterpillar to a drop dead gorgeous butterfly, the mystical angles of an amethyst geode, or even the ability of a chicken to daily create a rounded object within itself and eject it daily, the soothing hum of a contented llama and the ability of a robin to create a nest, salmon swimming upstream, an insect looking like a stick.   Nature is filled with wonder in every direction we look. 


This quest began with my gazing into the Grand Canyon and that geological wonder would find itself on this long list of naturally occurring wonders.  I can't stop naming them . . .

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wonders of the World - 5

The ability to create and to appreciate art is the fifth of My Wonders of the World. In a previous post I shared with you that my word of inspiration for 2013 is Create, and the wonder of creativity is an important aspect of being human. 

My day isn't complete without some sort of creative expression, whether that's needlepointing the canvas that will become a pillow on my sofa, cooking a great dinner to be placed on a pleasingly decorated table or maybe I just decide to dress myself with a little more pizazz than usual.  It feels so good to create.  It is amazing what we have the ability to create.

When I walk into a museum, I turn into a human sponge.  I don't try to become a sponge, it just happens.  The evidence of human creativity causes a need to soak it all in.  On my most recent visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts, I felt like I had been a nomad wondering in the desert, dying for a drink of water.  My thirst to look upon examples of art was so great, that I drank it in with a sense of desperation.  As my thirst became quenched, I wanted to shed a tender tear at my state of satisfaction.

There are plenty of artists that I don't particularly enjoy and styles that I just don't resonate with. I visited the  Andy Warhol  museum, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, even though I wasn't a fan.  I didn't want to miss out on an adventure.  There was a long narrow piece that I was drawn to -- it was metallic with Rorschach like designs all over it.  I studied it and pondered it.  When I finally read the adjoining description, I found out the variations in color were a result of the combinations of the metallic palate and his own urine as he dispensed it as was desired.  What a hoot.  What a wonder. I love art.

When one is in the midst of graduate school, one does not have much discretionary income. Even in that financial state, when I saw one of Paul Sawyier's works while walking through the mall in Lexington, Kentucky -- I fell in love.  I had to have it. I had to scrimp and save and do without a few necessities to get that limited edition, numbered print.  It was worth it! Sawyier was considered a great grandson to the great Impressionists.  I was moved by his subjects, his colors, the subtle nuances of his characters.  For over 25 years it has hung in a place of honor in every home I have lived in. It still moves me and now, it is just part of me. Art is like that.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wonder of the World - 4

Truffle, my miniature schnauzer wonder of the world
I'm an animal lover.  I'm crazy about dogs.  In fact, I can't remember a time when I wasn't enamored with all canines. 

I've had all sorts of animals as pets -- it started simply enough as a small child as a puppy beagle (Snoopy) and I tumbled and grew up together.  Then I had an assortment of rabbits and fish.  Finally Mom gave in to Dad and I and we brought home my little brother -- an all black Cocker Spaniel named Mr.  I cried on him, played endlessly with him, he got me through high school and more, Mr. was a wonderful dog.

As an adult, I've had llamas, goats, chickens, more dogs, fish, turtles, cats, rabbits, and perhaps another here and there.  Some are just pets that I enjoy, but others I've had incredible and rather uncanny relationships with.

In some traditions animals are understood to bring or represent certain divine powers.  There are those who believe that a relationship with a chosen animal provides a powerful connection to a source greater than one without said animal or pet.

 I'm blessed to say they I have experienced that holy connection on several occasions.  I'm not particularly a cat person, but I had an almost human relationship with a mama barn cat in the past.  She would nap with me and a chicken outside on the hammock, and she even told me where to find an injured animal.  She and I had a relationship that filled me with wonder.

There are so many animals that delight me.  Giraffes are a particular favorite, as I love feeding them and having that 18 inch black tongue wrap around my hand in search of a biscuit.  Dolphins are common favorites and I had a chance to swim with them and be mesmerized by their beauty.  I adored the baby goats who made their nursery on our back porch--they made me giggle as they sprang straight up in the air.  Animals are a gift to amaze us.  Animals are to be treasured and respected.

My two year old miniature schnauzer,  Truffle is that animal with whom I have a strong bond presently.  She and I spend every day together.  It amazes me how loving and loyal she is, how patient and tolerant she is.  Some day I should try to count how many times she makes me smile and laugh.  Truffle provides me with a sense of calm in the midst of each day.  If she isn't within reach, I stopped what I'm doing and search for her.

My fourth Wonder of the World is the relationship we are privileged to have with the four legged beings surrounding us. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Wonders of the World -- Number 3

Dad and Mom, Dick and Marylin Knight during the year of my birth. 
 Mom and I were on the phone and I was attempting to describe the love I have for my children. I was overwhelmed by the depth of love,  my heart was so full, it was brimming over.  As is often the case, we are at a loss for adequate words when it comes to the subject of love.  This moment was intense with emotion and I fumbling for the right words.  I wanted my message to be heard and understood.

The was a silence on the other end of the line.

"Honey," Mom began gently. "Do you realize that's how much I love you?'

There was another silence. I didn't know what to say.

My Mom full of life and love.

What an epiphany.  I knew my parents loved me -- blah, blah, blah -- they have to say that.  They are required to love me.  Somewhere during adolescence and early adulthood I'd lost touch with that connection between parent and child with me still in the child role.  Even though I was a parent, I was still a daughter.

I was completing lost in the love I had for my children -- I was confident in that love -- I would give my life for theirs without an hesitation.

For the first time, I was realizing that someone had that same love for me.  Wow.  It was a wonder -- a great wonder to behold.  It was a wonder that I had walked right into the middle of and had never opened my eyes to see it.  Now that my eyes were opened, I couldn't believe I had missed it for so long.

"Oh ... wow," was about all I could say in response to Mom's comment.  "I'd never thought of that before."  She didn't say a whole lot more, but I could just hear her smiling wide, pleased that I'd finally figured out her gift of wonder to me.

This wonder is the other side of My First Wonder of the World, but it is important enough, and life changing enough to have its own number.  Whatever our age, we were still the son or daughter of someone, and they love(d) us with a great love.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Wonders of the World -- Number 2

Falling deeply, madly, passionately, totally in love  and the completeness that brings a person is the second Wonder of the World from my perspective.  Certainly that are several components of romantic or erotic love that are intoxicating -- from the first glance of attraction, time and attention directed your way, a proposal of marriage, the first tender kiss, to the surrender of love making. 

I remember is 7th grade I had progressive crushes on three different boys named Jim.  All my free time was spend mooning for each one.  I wrote "Jim" over and over again on my school folders.  It came in handy that I didn't have to purchase a new folder with the beginning of each new crush.

It took me a lot of year and a herd of failed relationship to learn that a long term relationship/marriage/partnership requires physical, emotional, social, spiritual and sexual connection.  When all those attractions and combinations are present -- that's a love to savor. That's a soul mate and a relationship to surrender to.

My husband in my precious best friend who supports me, balances me, attracts me, is proud of me, makes me laugh, and makes me proud.  After 11 years of marriage, my heart leaps when Dave comes home.  My heart melts when he embraces me.

There is an intimacy deeper than sexual and its a profound sharing of the emotional and spiritual awareness of self and one another.  When it is present, it is palpable.  When it isn't present, we often try to create it from lesser attractions.  Truly making love requires attraction in all the areas of relationship.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Wonders of the World -- Number One


My two teacher of that which is wonder-filled -- my daughter, Arden and son, Nicholas.

 Without a micro second of hesitation, my first thought of what in all of life is a wonder of the world, is having children.  No wait a minute, don't think I'm being all emotionally gooey and saying what a mother of two is supposed to say! From the moment I knew that I was pregnant with my first child -- that was March 17th of 1992 -- I was also pregnant with a great sense of awe in the creation of life.  I carried with me a true sense of the sacred when my children were "being knitted together in my womb" as the Christian scriptures beautifully describe.

During the process of birthing itself, I will save you from any vivid descriptions or thoughts.  Dr. La Fleur did have to spend some time convincing me that women do, indeed, live through the process and have for some time.  I will never forget that moment of delight when I was told each child was healthy and beautiful.  Each new born was placed in my arms immediately after that initial check.  My heart melted and I haven't been the same since.


 At each stage of their lives, my life has been touched in ways that are beyond summarizing in this tiny space. Now they are young adults who have my respect as well as my love.  I am filled with wonder.


Monday, February 4, 2013

A Wonder of the World

A view of magnificent proportions
 It is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World -- now I know why!  The Grand Canyon in Arizona is truly amazing.

With two cameras around my neck, sensible shoes on my feet and my mouth open with unabashed awe -- I wasn't ashamed if I look like the tourist that I was.

My husband and I took a week to visit his daughter and family in Arizona -- a great time with our grand daughters -- Alexis and Megan.  For this visit I was determined to set my eyes on this place that is to not be missed in one's life time.

I did find myself wishing that I'd paid more attention to Professor Corliss in Geology 101 as it would have informed my understanding of the ancient history that was unfolded, layer by layer before my eyes.

After a couple of vantage points, I'd taken in all that I could

Dave and I with the Canyon in the background/
and we set out to meander through some souvenir shops -- the tackier the better. We weren't even to the truck before I began drafting my own list of wonders.  Who made up these lists, anyway?  The Seven Wonders of the World -- The Seven Geological Wonders of the World -- The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.   
I am grateful to say that I have seen another wonder or two -- I've stood in awe on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, I became separated from my husband and a bit lost for a while when I saw the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Ancient Greece and I've stood before the massive pool that reflects the exotic Taj Mahal in India.  These were all experiences that literally took my breath away (especially the getting lost part).
But as I continued to ponder what I would place on my list of seven wonders, I'm not sure I would list those wonderful destinations.  In the next few days, I'd like to share with you the wonders that made my list.  I hope you will be inspired by The Seven Wonders of Karen's Corner of the World.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Perfect Word

A prominent book on my shelf this year.
The fresh slate enabled by the coming of a new year is a welcome reward after surviving yet another year.  It is good to turn the page, start a new chapter, or perhaps even close the book and begin something completely new.  Though I wouldn't consider myself a junkie, I am always on the look out for the next book or program that might inspire.  For the last two years, a sale table has provided such a book.

During the first week of 2013, I meandered my way down the aisles at T.J. Max, one of my favorite places to find hidden treasures.  I have enjoyed 2 or 3 of Debbie Macomber's novels and saw her name on a nonfiction hardback for only $3.  I used to think that cheap meant it was a dismal failure -- not true, just perhaps under appreciated.

The first novel of her massive collection of works I discovered was "Twenty Wishes," a tale of hope and excitement about the future I can highly recommend.  I wondered how her nonfiction would be.

Even with a 20 plus year background in Christian ministry, I find most religious self help books insulting, fluffy and downright useless.  I was afraid Macomber would go the same direction, but she surprised me with a powerful read.  She puts forth her Christian beliefs in a simple matter of fact manner that attracts and disarms rather than the usual "shoving it down one another's throat" approach.  Thank you Debbie.

The gist of this book is that you find a meaningful word that you can live closely with for a year.  You put the word places where you can see it daily, study it, use it, live with it, chew on it, needlepoint it -- discover the depth of its meaning for you in a profoundly intimate way that takes you further on your spiritual journey.  Macomber shared from a number of years of her experience with having one perfect word each year.

I am a word person.  The power of words is unarguable. The power of one word can be razor like.  The power of a word that one has been inspired to grow with can be life changing.

With endless possibilities before me I couldn't wait to find my word for all of 2013.  I pondered the words-- "family," "journey," "love," and a few more.  Much of what I hope to do this year requires me to create and to fully engage in that act.  My perfect word is CREATE.
My perfect word, placed gently in a nest, waiting to be hatched, ready to grow with me.
 So create I shall!  In a multitude of ways I will create.  Already I have begun to see those six letter penned everywhere.  I suddenly hear it in sentences with implications bearing forth that I'd never seen before.  I do love an adventure and there is one being created to last me more than a year.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Post Christmas Thoughts

I love Christmas.  I mean I really love it.  I love most everything about Christmas -- the festive gatherings, giving gifts, receiving gifts, baking, eating what I've baked, eating what everyone else has baked, going to a party, making special gifts and on it goes.  As a rule, I get so busy and so excited over the holidays I get sick.  Out of my 50 Christmases, I may have been healthy for five of those.  I just get so wound up and burnt out, that I crash and burn at some point in December.  I really wish I didn't do that, but I don't foresee me changing much at this point in my life.

Even as a kid, I'd get so excited and sick that my parents would give me an early gift on my Dad's birthday (December 16), just to try to let off a little bit of the steam of excitement.  In retrospect, I really could have worked that even more to my advantage.

Not a single post got made regarding the Christmas season and I had a hopper full of ideas.   Here's some of the thoughts I've been hanging on to--

Christmas Thought #1

I haven't watched the children's movie "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" since my kids were small, but I just delighted in letting myself watch the whole thing.  I hadn't remembered that reindeer could be as nasty as pre-teen girls with an attitude. What I did remember was that it wasn't Rudolph that had to change for his uniqueness to be celebrated -- it was the attitude of everyone else.  Once Santa realized what the one thing was that glowing red snozz could be used for, all was well for Rudy. 

So let's not wait for someone to name our worth, let's name it and claim it for ourselves!  I'd wager we each have something that we are harassed for or about, everyone has something about themselves that causes them to not quite fit in to the mainstream.  I say -- let's put the fun back in and figure out what gifts we have to offer.  We, you and I, have something no one else can bring to the world -- what is it?

Christmas Thought #2

Gift buying is both a blast and an awful experience depending on who I am buying for.  There are some people who will love whatever you give them because they are just thankful people who can see the treasure in the gift and the giver.  And then there are those people who won't like what you give them regardless of the amount of time, energy and money you spend on them.  These are the people that keep me up at night!  I've finally decided that this is their problem and not mine.  I do my best to choose something that is appropriate to that person and their likes and I offer it with love.  That is my end of the exchange and I hope for the best.   I'll move my energy on to something a bit more edifying.

Christmas Thought #3

Believe what you believe and embrace it.  I spend so many years trying to keep Santa out of my Christmas because others made me feel guilty.  As children came along, I agonized over the role I would give Santa in their holiday.  I celebrate the whole darned package and love it.  I believe in Jesus as the divine Son of God and I believe in the place of Santa as a chapter in the story of Christmas. 

There's a resale store in Fenton that I love!! I try to visit Fratz once a week just to see what treasures are new.  As a lover of nativities and Mrs. Claus, I kept close tabs on the Christmas section.  Early on I spotted a 2 foot tall Mary and Joseph that looked to be outdoor statues.  But there was no Baby Jesus to be found.  By the time Christmas was over, you could purchase this very nice 2/3 of a nativity scene for about $7.00.  It was a great buy, but a significant part of the set was missing.  Who wants a Mary and Joseph? It's not a bargain if it isn't what you want!  If you don't believe it, there's no use trying to buy into it.

Christmas Thought #4

Be fully present where you are -- not only during the holidays, but always.  It is difficult to fully enjoy a gathering with friends when you are already worrying about the plate of snacks you are taking to another party in two days, and so on and so forth.  One of the biggest challenges in life is to learn this lesson -- to savor each moment when you are in it.  Life will be so much tastier this way!!

Now we are on to the New Year.  This is a time full of new beginnings and new possibilities.  I'm ready.