Ramblings

Life, family, business


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Disconnecting From the Chaos

I’ve been accused of being a cell phone addict.  It bothers me if I get to work and realize I left it at home.  I don’t drive anywhere without it.  I take it with me in the garden, on walks, while shopping.  I don’t take it to bed though, I’m too light of a sleeper, and every notification ping wakes me up.

I own a small business, and during the hours we’re open, I feel the need to have it on, in case the person working has a question or needs help, or just needs to tell me something important. I feel the need to keep the communication lines open.  Plus, if there was a family emergency, I’d want to be able to be contacted even if I wasn’t in the house. (Yes, I still have a landline!)

When I got my last phone, I realized that it has an option to tag certain numbers to get through, even if I turn off notifications for everyone else.  Its the “Do Not Disturb” feature, and its making my life much more peaceful.

I can set it for a certain time each day, to turn on and turn off.  I can choose who can call me or message me when its on, and for those not on the list, I can read their messages later when its off.  Its so awesome!  There’s nothing worse than trying to meditate, or even just relax, and the phone keeps making noise.  Its such a bothersome little fellow!

Our lives have really become too interwoven into the social media storm that is the reality of life now days.  Everyone expects instant replies to messages.  But that’s your choice.  You have to make the decision when to be available, and when you just need time for yourself.  Its good to have time for yourself, time to think, time to ponder the meaning of life and the Universe.  Its good to disconnect and spend time in nature, in quiet, and in peace.  And there’s no peace when you’re cellphone keeps dinging all day.

For me, this way of staying “on-grid” for my family and employees is great.  I know that when my phone alerts me to something, its from one of them.  I know I can relax, sit by the bonfire, spend time with my family, and not have to worry about what is trending on Twitter, or how many people liked my Facebook post from yesterday, or who repinned my pin on Pintrest.

How do you disconnect without being completely disconnected?  I’d love to hear about it!


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Every Single Person Matters and Why Fear is Killing Us

I do believe that this is true, every single person matters, to someone.  Every person is a mother, father, son, daughter, niece, nephew, friend, or loved one.  Every one of us matters to someone.

I see the hatred and racism, I hear it talked about at my store, on the news, and all over Facebook.  People categorize and generalize, and group people into labels.  But each of those people matters.  Every one of us is a child of God, and a child of the Earth, and a child of two other people.  Every one of those lives has a purpose, has a reason.  Each one of those lives has been given a different set of talents, unique to that person, and they should have the opportunity to use them.

I know not all of us are the same religion, but that shouldn’t mean we can’t cooperate and learn together how to make this planet a better world for all of us.  We’re not all the same color, but that shouldn’t make any difference; the color of one’s skin doesn’t make them any better or any less of a person.  WE ALL MATTER!

But the power behind all of this nonsense, is FEAR.  When we fear other people because of their color or their religion, or even their sexual preference, we are the losing team.  God tells us to fear no man.  But we do, we fear all kinds of things, but mostly, we fear anything different than us.  We fear the differences in culture, in language, and in morals.  We fear that someone will try to make us change, and we fear change of any kind.

But the world is changing every minute, every second.  The world changes and we change too, even if we’re afraid.  I am not the person I was 40 years ago, 4 years ago, 4 days ago.  My experiences in life change me every day.  I learn new things everyday, and by learning those things, I am a different person, a wiser person.  I go out of my way to learn about people and their cultures.  I learn about them, their families, their hopes and dreams, and their own fears.

Education is the key to stop FEAR in its tracks.  The more you know about something, the harder it is for you fear it. I have friends and relatives who are gay, transgender, straight, black, brown, yellow, red, white, and even pink. I have friends and relatives who are Atheist,  Christian, Muslim, Pagan, and even a couple who are witches. I don’t fear my friends, I want them to be happy and have joy and fullness in their lives.  I want them to feel love and be loved, just as I want that for myself.  I want them to be accepted for who they are, without feeling any type of oppression or fear from others or for others.

I challenge everyone to learn about the people who scare you.  Before you stereotype a person into a label that you fear, try to meet them, befriend them.  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, as Jesus once said, because once you start praying for them, they are no longer enemies, perhaps only friends you haven’t met yet.  If we all work together, we can make this world, this country, this state, a better place; a place where all lives truly do matter.  A place where we build each other up, look out for each other, and try to help each other understand why there should be no fear here.  We are all brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children.  We are all in this world together.  What a beautiful place it could be if we saw each person for who they truly are, if we could see their lives as valuable, just as we value our own.  Each of us has value, each of us has a unique soul, and each of us has a worth.  We just need to open our eyes and see that we are all the same, yet we are all different, and that is why each of us, each single life, matters.

 

 

 


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Everything You Tell Yourself is TRUE!

Everything you tell yourself is true.

You are what you say and think you are.

~be careful little mouth what you say~

You have to believe in yourself.  If you’ve ever been in sports, your coach probably said those words, or told you that you have to believe it to achieve it, or something similar. Many times in life when we face obstacles, we talk ourselves through it, we help ourselves do something by believing we can!  But if the talk in our minds is negative, its not going to help us at all.  Its going to pull us down, because if you believe you are worthless, you’ll become worthless.  If you believe you are overcoming, then you are an over-comer.  As children, we are told many things, some good, some bad.  Stop believing the bad things.  Stop believing the cruel words of others.  Only believe the good, and work toward being better. Try hard to be a better person today, than you were yesterday.  Change only happens when you change what you are saying to yourself!

~be careful little ears what you hear~

But think about this, what if every song lyric you sang or listened to automatically transferred into your life as a true fact.  Would you keep listening to the same music?  The songs you sing in your head; are they going to lift you up? Or bring you down?  Do you listen to sad songs? Or songs about violence and rage?  Those words are who you become.  Do the lyrics of your favorite song talk about how pathetic you are?  How screwed up you are?  Its only going to reinforce these thoughts and keep you stuck in the downward spiral.

It kills me when people who suffer from depression listen to death metal.  Don’t you want to feel better? Listen to happy music, children’s songs, church hymns, anything that’s upbeat.  Don’t reinforce your depression by listening to someone drone on about how miserable they are, or how terrible their life is.  Every genre has this music; Country, Rap, Metal, and Rock.  There are even Classical pieces that resonate doom and despair-don’t listen to them! Pick something that makes you feel good inside.  Find some music that makes you feel happy.  And no, don’t try to tell me you only feel happy when you listen to depressing or angry music, I don’t buy it, please don’t insult my intelligence.  Find some relaxing music; Native American flutes, Buddhist singing bowls, or ocean waves, or something from nature; anything that clears your mind and helps you think in a positive manner.

~be careful little eyes what you see~

Did you know that when you watch a movie, your subconscious brain believes its really happening to you?  There are people who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after watching violence happenings on television.  Some people are more sensitive than others and watching horror movies, or violence, can cause serious repercussions, especially in children. So think about how much stress you are inflicting on your subconscious just by what you watch on the screen! (I’m going to start watching exercise videos!)

~be careful little hands what you do~

Having nothing to do is an invitation to boredom, and that can cause you to feel worthless.  Find a hobby.  Find something for you to do in your spare time.  You’d be better off finding a part time job to make a few extra bucks than just sitting around moping.  It good to have things to do, find some!

Finding peace is possible, if you want to find it.  You have to believe you can, and you need to feel that you are worthy.  Only you can make your life better, and the best way to start is by realizing that everything you tell yourself is true.  The words you say, the music you listen to, the things you give your attention to, are the things that make up your life.  If you want your life to change, you have to change it!  You have to pick a different choice than you have in the past.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”

Henry Ford is credited for the quotes above, and he’s right.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

 

 

 


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Are You Good Enough?

 

The world is a terrible place, full of lies and deceit.  As a young teenager, I remember looking in the mirror and being OK with who I was.  I needed braces, but other than that, I thought, I was OK.  But then the world chimed in and told me that I wasn’t OK at all.

The world is so miserable, it just can’t stand to see anyone happy.  It wants you to be just as miserable.  It conspires against you, telling you that YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  It wants you to believe that you are not as good as the others.

You are not pretty enough,

Skinny enough,

Smart enough,

Strong enough.

You don’t have the right hair, the right clothes, or the right body.

The world is a bully.  It’s the worst bully of all.  It says bad things to us about ourselves, and SOMETIMES, WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THEM!!

That’s the worst part of this.  We actually believe the lies the world tells us.  Why?  Why would we put ourselves through this misery?

The TRUTH says that we are exactly the way we were meant to be.  Generations upon generations have blended together to make you exactly who you are today.  Even one variable in those ancestors would have made a completely different person!

You are good enough!!  You are pretty, smart, and strong!  Your physical features have nothing to do with who you are inside.  Your body is just that, its a body.  Its a vessel that we are given to move our brains around in.  You need to take care of this body!  Its the only one you get.  Maybe you’re not happy with it, but don’t envy the one someone else has because you think its better.  For the most part, you can shape yours too, like a potter shapes the clay.  It takes work, but the results can be fabulous if you stick with it!  Maybe you aren’t happy with some aspect of it, perhaps its not the one you would have chosen had you been able to try them on and pick.  But the one you got is the one that was picked for you.  Learn to like it, that one thing will make your life a much happier place!  Feed it well, with nutritious foods.  Nurture it, exercise it.  Perhaps yours is a malfunctioning body, or one who has taken much abuse and now has a few dents and dings in it.  It may be hard to understand why yours isn’t in good working order, but none of us knows why these things happen.  None of us knows what things we will learn in life because of that thing that makes us unique.

Once you have made peace with your body, its time to look into your heart and see who you are.  Who are you?  Not your name, or your title, but who you are on the inside.  Its hard to find, because we’ve accepted so many labels from so many people over the years.  But take away all the things that others have named you, and what do you have left?  Take away the lies you have believed in the past, wipe the slate clean. Who is living in your body?  Who is this person called “I”?  Think about it. Dwell on it.  See if you can find “I”, meet them, ask them questions.  Ask them who they truly are.

I am compassionate, loving, caring, strong, and determined.  I am introverted, intelligent, creative, and empathetic. I am a daughter of God. I am a mother, wife, daughter, friend. I am patient, I am impatient.  I am so many things.  I am also not many of the things the world has labeled me as.  I get to choose who I am. I don’t have to accept any label I don’t want.  If another person chooses to label me, I am not that label. I am not what others think. What the world thinks is not my concern, my concern is what I think.  What I think I am, is who I am.

I’d love to hear about who your “I” is.  What labels have you chosen?

 

 

 

 

 


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Where Does Creativity Come From?

phone 906Sometimes I struggle with finding inspiration for my creativity.  I paint, I draw, I write, and I play music, I sew, crochet, and make jewelry.  Some days, the ideas roll through my mind like waves on the beach.  I have to write the extra things down so I don’t lose them.  Other days, I can’t come up with an original idea to save my soul.  That’s what makes me wonder, where does creativity come from?

There’s so many theories about this, but it still doesn’t make me able to turn it off and on at will.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  There’s nights where my brain can’t shut off, coming up with ideas for blogs and painting ideas;  color combinations and ideas for flower beds and planting things.  Other nights I fall right asleep.  Some days I start painting or writing, and I’m disappointed when its time to put things away and go back to work, or to bed, or to do chores.  Other days, I can stare at my painting supplies and feel nothing.

I do believe that creativity comes from a place deep within us, within our brains and our souls.  But its not an all-access place, it can only be opened with a key.  Sometimes, the key is in the lock, ready to be turned by the lyrics of a long forgotten song, or the flash of a bird flying through the brilliant blue sky.  Sometimes the key has been hidden, and the lock doesn’t open.  I can try to force it open, but it usually doesn’t work.

I have learned that, in my mind anyway, creativity needs inspiration, and that inspiration is my key.  I can be inspired by many things, or sounds, or songs, or pictures.  I can  be inspired, but I can’t make inspiration.  I have to find it outside myself.  I have to be adventurous.  I need to see, and hear, and read, and sing, and be open to the possibilities all around me.  I need space, and quiet, and look deep within my heart and mind to find it.  I need to experience life in order to find inspiration to be life and express life.

But I also need to be able to look within myself to make that inspiration come to life.  I have to look within myself and find where it fits, what it’s doing, and what it stirs inside of me.

Art is life, and life is art.  Everyday of our lives is a picture we paint with our actions and thoughts.  We write the story of our lives on our hearts, and the hearts of those all around us.  We can choose to be an inspiration to others.  We can choose to be a song, or a story, or a picture, or all of those things in one.  Our lives are the one thing that we have to express, and we should make the most of it.  Every one of us is unique in our own way, and no one is going to have the same story or song, or picture as anyone else.  Each of us has our own perspective of life, the art of life; and each of us is an artist.  You are the ONLY ONE who can write your story, paint your picture, or sing your song.  No one else can do it for you.

So what will you write today?  Or paint? Or sing? What will inspire your life?  And what, pray tell, are you going to do about it?


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Baptism

My sermon from Sunday, January 10th.

What is baptism?  A baby comes to mind, all the family and sponsors dressed up and smiling, as the minister drips a little water on his or her head.  The baby usually cries or fusses a little, we all read a liturgy together, pledging to help raise this child in the family of God.  Some churches baptize people as adults instead, plunging them into a tank of water or submerging them in a river. Either way is fine since we only baptize with water, Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.

The purpose of baptism is to show the world we are accepting Christ as our Savior.  If we baptize a baby, we are welcoming him or her into the family of God.  Baptism itself is simply a ceremony of identification with the Christian church. But the true meaning of baptism is rebirth, being born again in the presence of Jesus, and accepting His resurrection for the life-changing thing that it is.

I remember awhile back, Pastor Brian Dixon gave a sermon on baptism, and during the sermon, he presented a bowl of river rocks and invited each congregant to come up and take a rock to remind each of us of our baptism.  I took a shiny black rock and listened to the rest of the sermon instructing us to use this rock to remind us of our own baptisms.

I kept that rock in my pocket for months.  Each time I felt the rock, or became aware of its existence, I made to sure thank God for something. I was reminded that God is the rock I build my life upon. God is my foundation, and all things come from Him.  I would thank Him for my family, friends, coworkers, and all the blessings He brings into my life.

“Thank you for this beautiful day, God!” I would think as I felt the rock. Sometimes I would hold it in my hands as I prayed and I would thank God for giving me this rock so that I thought of Him more often.  When life would get chaotic and my brain was thinking of a million things at once, all I had to do was hold the rock and I could stop and thank God for any and all things.  The rock became almost like a security blanket.

Then, one day as I got ready for work, I stopped to grab my rock and my lip balm to put them in my pocket, and the rock was gone.  I looked all over, under the couch, in the bathroom, in the laundry room. Where did I put my rock?  I had to go to work without it.

That night I continued searching for my rock, but it was gone. I questioned my husband and children if they had seen it.  But alas, the rock was nowhere to be found.  I told my wise friend that I had lost my rock, and she said to me, “Maybe its because you don’t need it anymore.”

God gives, and God takes away.  I thought about this for awhile.  Its true, I was thinking about God on a regular basis, and every time I noticed my rock was missing from its place, I would still thank God for something.  My thanking God had become a habit.  But a good habit at that!  I may have not had the physical reminder, but I still remembered to thank God for everything in my life.

I realized that I truly didn’t need the rock to have God in my life.  And I realized that the rock helped me become a better person by helping me to remember that God is with me in all things.  When I feel God in my life every day, I am more at peace. I know that God is in me, and I am in God.  I know that God works all things together for my good.  I trust God to take care of me, and in this trust I have learned to have less fear of the world and the circumstances of life.

God tells us to ask Him for everything we need, and He will provide.  I worry less about the future and take the time to experience the present.  I ask God for wisdom and knowledge when I have a problem, and He gives me what I need.

When I strive to see the world through God’s eyes, its an entirely different place.  I tend to look for the good in people instead of the negative.  I see the beauty of nature which is God’s creation.  I understand that God’s will prevails over humankind, and no matter what I do, God loves me the same.  I know how much I love my children, even when they make mistakes, and to think that God loves us more than we love our children is amazing.   I am one of those children, and so are you.  God loves us no matter what we do.  When we place our trust in our Father, He always takes care of us.  He is the ultimate definition of love.  God promises us all these things when we become His children, and so much more.

So if any of you want to become more aware of God in your life, I invite you to find some thing that makes you think of God.  Think of it as continuing your baptism.

 

 

 


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What’s Your Opinion?

I can be a very opinionated person.  I have a very strong belief system and I defend my beliefs.   An opinion is simply a belief or view or judgment formed about something.  We all have them.  Some have more than others.

Every person is entitled to their own opinion about anything.  Here in the United States we have the freedom of speech, and we have the right to voice our opinions.  However, its important to remember that not everyone has the same opinion, and even though you can voice your opinion, I don’t have to listen.

What makes some people feel the need to express their opinion to people they barely know, with no invitation?  What makes these people think that their opinion means anything to people they don’t know?

This is one of the things I’ve been pondering over this Christmas holiday.  It seems like I meet one of these people every year or two.  But what makes a person act like this? I’m not talking about your outspoken friend talking to you, I’m talking about that person who has just met you, or is in your line at the store, or the person behind you in line at the buffet who makes unkind or rude comments about your choice of food.

The one theme I see in people like this is ignorance.  People who don’t take the time to learn about a situation and just try to judge others are very ignorant.  People who try to tell you what they think or believe without being invited into the conversation are rude, discourteous, and lacking manners.

I know I have acted this way as well, especially when I was younger.  Its something I try very hard not to do.  These rules are obviously not for close friends, they are my rules for meeting new people and talking to people you don’t know well:

NEVER insert your opinion where its not wanted. How do you know if it’s wanted?  The person will ask you for it if they want it. If they don’t ask, keep your yap shut.

NEVER criticize other adults for their choices.  Its not your life, you don’t get to choose for anyone except yourself.  If you don’t like the way someone else did it, then don’t do it that way yourself, and keep your yap shut.

And lastly, you can judge people all you want in your head, but keep your yap shut.  Karma is a bitch. You reap what you sow.  Once you start judging others out loud, you will become the target of those who will judge you as harshly as you judge others.

I can tell you from experience that when you try to insert your opinion into someone else’s life, they generally aren’t going to like it, especially if it doesn’t agree with theirs.  When people do any of these things to me, or breaks my rules, it creates an instant dislike of that person.  Is this me judging?  Yes, it is.  As an adult, I get to decide who my friends are, and who I talk to.  There are so many negative people in this world, I try my hardest to make sure I don’t add any of them into my  circle of friends, or even my list of acquaintances.

Since I have started choosing the people I allow into my life more carefully, I have become a much happier person.  I surround myself with people who are also tolerant, loving, and peaceful.  I reject those who are abrasive, self-serving, or disrespectful of my life’s beliefs.  Every one of us gets to choose who we let in; respect yourself and make purposeful choices.