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Beauty and Value in Struggle

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Am I really on the other side?  The air is fresher, my legs ache less, my arms freer, and my mind more clear.  The gravel crunches under me as I trod along, my feet moving in their unique, steady stride, even the ground is less resistant.  My hands grip the straps which come over my shoulders holding my now lighter pack.  

My backdrop is painted with ominous clouds dancing in the sky.  Far-off drums the storm, the shouts therein fading.  Tossing a gaze behind, I gasp: the colors of deep purples, maroons, grays, oranges and pinks plum, mysterious with beauty and treasure.  Filled with wonder, I turn my gaze.  I'm thankful to see the bright sky ahead.  Remaining drops of rain wiggle and fall away with each new step. 

In my pocket a few small stones roll about, smooth and rough; my thumb and fore-fingers feel for them. Each from my not-so favorite places, albeit significant. 

Have I really come through, to this new place?  Do I really feel joy?  The struggle was so dark and deep, so unp…

School Lunch

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I am part of a writing group.  My first challenge - is to write about school lunch.  What comes to mind when you think of school lunch?

My mind travels back to my elementary school cafeteria, with it's speckled, shiny floors and columns of tables filled with kids chattering away.  Glowing light flowed through the long windows which lined the clean, boring creme-colored cement block walls.  A stage was on one end, usually with a dark heavy curtain pulled to hide the empty area. The serving area was on the opposite end.  That was where I would see a lady who attended my church; she always had a warm smile for me, under her tight graying bun hair, covered with a spider-web like net and a small paper cap.  Her name was Mrs. Hogan; in typical southern fashion, I called her by her first name, Selma, always with the respectful southernly title of "Ms."

The cafeteria always seemed so very loud, so much so I would put my fingers in my ears.  A line of kids were pushed along the a…

Go In Peace ~ From Time with Abba

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"Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me!" Psalm 66:16

The story of Hannah is one which most women can identify; a woman who has this deep desire, a desire which tears her soul up in anguish at times.  One which she tries to ignore, push aside, surrender, give up, and not allow to control her, yet... it is there, by design, on purpose... because she is a woman by nature.  Her heart is created to have these things.... this thing.   
Even when we have... other things that are gifts to our hearts; a great community, love of friends, a husband, even significant roles we play.. there often is something that is missing... and though the desire can go dormant... it raises it's head in seasons, year after year... haunting us... and we feel the deep grief of the lack.
Hannah's grief can be felt by us all as we read her story.... we all know that feeling, and anguish... whether it be for a wayward child, a husband, a child, love,... a place…

Happy New Year - Review of 2016

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Happy New Years!!

So what in the world happen in 2016....

Dear friends got married... and had a baby in ONE year.... that seems almost magical to me especially that she was over 35... there is hope for me???  Marriage is still a hope but I am doing alright single.  Just for your information - free of charge!

I had lots of family adventures which included Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Kansas City and South Carolina.

Health and Simplification...

A 5k and a 10k were completed!!  Cooper Bridge run -5th year!!  Martin Luther King Run - First and training for second.

I completed my first WHOLE30!  This was an amazing experience and I am starting my second one tomorrow!!

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up!" - WHO KNEW but this truly has transformed my life! I have embraced the process and since November I have gone through my clothes, jewelry, toiletries, filing cabinet, and miscellaneous trappings! Through this process, I have created a beautiful, orderly, simplified, and inviting…

Whole30 ~ I did it!!

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So this past month I embarked upon an adventure: I have been been doing a body-reset program called "Whole30".  The program is very intense, with straight-forward guidelines: basically you have NO sugar, No grains, and No dairy, for 30 days.

When I first realized what it was about and what you were suppose to do, I was like "NO WAY! I could not do that!"  Yet, always the cheerleader for health and holistic living, I proclaimed to my friend who was saying she was going to do it, "I will do it with you to support you!"

September 30, after 10PM I ate my last 3 Tim-Tam cookies, fully dunked in a creamy cup of tea, saying a sweet farewell to sugar, grains and dairy-laden drinks for my next 30 days!!

And what an adventure it has been....

...The first 48 hours I experienced flu-like aches, crankiness, headaches, as my body screamed it's revolt to being cut off from all it's lovely indulgences and addictions.  The physical side was not as hard as the psyc…

Palm Sunday

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I love Palm Sunday!

I savor this day because of an experience I had when I was 14; I was a resident student at a place called "Edgewood Children's Ranch" - a wonderful place God tenderly deeply set my feet firmly in Him.

On this day, my dorm mom, Terry Hotalen Newman, woke us up, wearing her usual African wrap, waving her hands in the air, telling us how in Africa, the villagers all gather palm branches, and come to church singing and waving them high, celebrating the events of our Savior!  Somehow, that vision planted in me such a vibrant excitement of this day!  Jesus came to town, on a donkey, and God revealed Himself and allowed Himself to be lifted up, in praise!  The whole earth recognized HIM that day... a week before His being lifted up on a cross and resurrecting... from the dead!!

Ever since, I feel such a wonderful celebratory anticipation of Him on this day!  It's almost, almost, as exciting as Easter!

Are we celebrating and welcoming HIM into our work, c…

Piles or People

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It's Friday night, and I am home, and I hardly know what to do with myself.

You see... I am so happy to be home because the last 2 months, I believe I have been busy almost every single weekend: weddings, trips, retreats, guests staying with me - busy, busy, busy!  So much so, my house, my laundry, my yard have pretty much gone by the wayside. I am feeling that horrible feeling most females can identify with: I AM A MESS because my house, my yard, my life seems to be a pile of disorderliness!

I literally started having a meltdown this week, my to-do list was growing, and I was feeling weak and overwhelmed... all because I have not had time to take care of me. Yeah... i can hear some of you mom's of young kids saying, "I can't even remember the last time I took care of me..."

Well... being single, remember... I am the only one who takes care of everything... even if "everything" doesn't include kids and a husband: I still have to pay the bills, go to…