Life, family, business

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Sometimes I feel like I am drifting through life with no real purpose. I am the wanderer, wandering.

I’ve done the homework, the writing, the thinking, the praying.

What am I meant for?

I can write out sheets and sheets of goals and purposes, but what do they really mean? What are they worth?

I can read book after book, and I have, but still, none of them tell me what I should be doing, what I should be giving back to this world.

I know that, in the sense of the Universe, I’m right where I need to be.  I know how to act, how to be, how to love.

But what can I do to change the world?

What can I do to make some sense out of this crazy place called Earth, full of greed and hate, and apathy?  Full of loneliness, despair, and hurt.  Full of rejection, sadness, and sorrow.

What can I do to make people wake up and realize that this isn’t all there is, there is more!

I want to help. I want to change lives. I want to teach.

But the majority of people don’t want help, they don’t want to change, and they don’t want to learn.

If only I could open their eyes to see!!  There is more than this!!!  There is so much more!!!

So I work on me; my life, changing me, learning new things to help me.  Maybe someday, this will pay off.  But I still pace, wringing my hands, feeling like I should be doing something MORE.  But what?  What can I give? What can I give to this crazy Earth full of love and peace, and compassion? Full of happiness, joy, and kindness?  Full of cooperation, encouragement, and God?

I will breathe in. I will breathe out.  I will breathe in.  I will breathe…and I will wait.


The Song of Spring

As the sun gains strength and holds its head boldly in the sky,

The sheets of white slowly melt, dripping their nutrients into the soil beneath.

The skeletons of trees form new buds, and tiny fragile shoots sprout forth from the ground.

The beautiful melody of birdsong grows into a glorious choir.

Soft, gentle breezes blow into hurricane force winds,

Bringing the warmth, and blowing away the old,

The dead,

The paper thin husks of last year’s bounty, shriveled into nothing.

Rebirth, the earth renews her fresh bouquet,

Her glamorous green wardrobe that feeds her children.

Such is the entrance of spring-

God’s glorious garden.

We helpers rejoice, wanting nothing more

Than to feel the living soil in our hands.

The seeds that wait patiently under the ground for the sun to shine on them,

And tell them that it’s time,

It’s time to begin anew.

They also rejoice and grow heartily, singing praises to heaven.

The flowers will open, they will bear fruit, and it will be good,

Just as God intended.

For the Earth sings for her Creator, and we are invited

To sing harmony.


International Peace Garden

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Each year, my husband and I try to go somewhere we haven’t been before.  This year I finally got to go see the Peace Garden.  It truly is a very peaceful place, and you can sit and just listen to nature.  We went on a Sunday, and even though there were quite a few people there, it was quiet and peaceful.

I grew up in the Midwest and surprisingly knew very little about the Peace Garden.  On July 14, 1932, 50,000 people came for the dedication of the garden.  It sits on the border of the United States and Canada, half in each country.  You can see where the border is, and of course I have a picture of it.  The Peace Towers are my favorite, one half in the US and the other half in Canada.   There are so many things to see in this place, and the Peace Chapel is a must visit as well.  I included a picture of the quote by Buddha, but there were so many good ones.  I believe I read them all.

The garden was made to swear an oath made by our two countries.  “To God in His Glory, we two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live, we will not take up arms against one another.”  If you ever get the chance to go, its a great place to stop and enjoy the beauty.  I took so many pictures of the plants, the huge succulent collection and the cacti collection, along with the regular gardens and the sunken garden.  I’m a plant person though, so I won’t subject you to all those pictures.  The place is amazing!

You don’t need a passport to get back into the US, but you will need at least a drivers license.  We didn’t have any problems going through customs, in fact we got some fishing pointers that helped out for the rest of our stay at Devils Lake. The fishing was great, the weather was beautiful, and it was a short, but much needed vacation.

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phone 408What is fear?

Fear is an emotion.  Why then, can fear control our lives?  If you really think about what you fear, can you feel it in the pit of your stomach?  Can you feel the adrenaline stab that takes your breath away?

The things we fear are mostly imaginary.  And I’m not just talking about having bad dreams.  The things we worry about are the things we fear.  What are you worried about right now?  What if I told you that none of those things will happen?  Would you still worry about them?

What if I told you that worrying about something can actually make it more likely to happen?  Do you believe me?  I read once that worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.  If our prayers are the feelings we have that we send to the Universe (God), then worrying is asking for those things to happen.

If you realized this was true, would you stop worrying and being fearful?  I know its hard to think that way when there seems to be bad things lurking around every corner.  And I have had my fair share of them, even a couple just in the last week.  But I have learned that if I offer up my thankfulness to my Abba (the Universe) and I pray for peacefulness, that my fear dissipates quickly and all that is left is a bit of anxiety that I can deal with on my own.  How can you be thankful when you are fearful?  You can’t.  But the great news is that God knows our hearts, and our worries, and He tells us not to worry about tomorrow, because each day has worries of its own.

Another thing we tend to worry about is what other people think of us.  Why do we do this?  We have this need for approval from others, and we had a need for approval from our parents, and our teachers, and on and on and on.  But who’s approval do you really need?  Just your own.  Once you cast away the fear of not fitting in, of people not liking you, of people being disappointed in you, then you’ll be free to live your true self’s life.  Your true self, or higher self, doesn’t care what you wear, so why did you spend a half hour picking out an outfit?  If you were running through the jungle with a tiger chasing you, do you think he would chastise you for wearing those shoes after Labor Day?  If your child was dying in the hospital, would it truly matter if your scarf doesn’t accessorize well with that belt? No, when it comes down to it, nothing material really matters that much.  Your true self also doesn’t care what you drive, where you live, or how big your bank account is.  Your true self wants peace.

I think this is why after a fire, or other disastrous event, people pull together and realize that things are replaceable, people are not.  Even those cherished mementos, the quilt great-grandma hand-stitched, and the photographs of your grandparents weddings, are still less important than people.  We spend a lot of money on trying to keep our things safe from harm, fire proof safes, fire suppression systems, burglar alarms, bigger and bigger houses and garages, and then we worry about those things too.  We worry about the buildings and we worry about what’s in them.  We worry about too many things that don’t really matter.  We are fearful of loss.  We are fearful of life.  We are fearful of decisions that we make and what the outcomes of those decisions might be.  We are fearful of consequences and our own failures.  We are fearful, sometimes, of ourselves.  And sometimes, we are fearful of crazy scenarios played out in our imaginations.

So if I stop worrying, and stop being fearful, I will stop inviting disaster and chaos into my life.  But how can I stop worrying?  How can I stop being fearful?  Think of something that worries you, that makes you feel fear.  What’s the worst thing about it?  What is your worst case scenario?  Imagine it happening.  Close your eyes, and feel the pain, feel everything.  There, now its done.  You’ve already experienced it, so there’s no need to worry about it anymore.  Now, look at that thing that hasn’t happened and be grateful.  Be grateful for what you have, instead of worrying about what you don’t have.  Your heart will be lighter, and your anxiety levels will plummet.  Be very aware of what your brain is thinking about, and if it starts the fear process, shut it down.  Offer thanks and gratitude and be fear-less.


How to be Happy: Dis-Courage-ment or En-Courage-ment?

Have you ever felt discouraged?  Have you ever felt encouraged? Did either make you feel happy?

What does that even mean?

Discouragement, as defined by Google, is the loss of confidence or enthusiasm. Or hope.

Encouragement, defined by Merriam-Webster, is the act of making something more appealing or more likely to happen.

That makes me ask: what is courage?  Courage is the root of the words discourage and encourage.  Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you.

So now I ask, what frightens you?  What frightens you so much that you would be too scared to do it?  That’s dis-courage.

What is frightening to you that you have done anyway?  That’s en-courage.

I think sometimes we use the word “discourage” to mean sad.  I felt discouraged when the rain came.  I felt discouraged when I didn’t win the contest. We have lost our hope, our enthusiasm, and we feel sad about it.

How can we be happy?

There’s so many discouraging things going on in our world, and it seems like it just gets worse.  How can we have hope?  How can we get our enthusiasm back, or maybe even just a little to start with?  Some people always see the worst in everyone and everything.  They have discouraged themselves, and that makes them spread discouragement everywhere they go.  Why keep trying if its never going to get any better? If you let this continue, it can turn into depression.

Others see the best in everything, the eternal optimist, and they spread that joy and hope to others around them.  They may fall and they may lose, but they get right back in there with a smile on their face, ready for the next challenge.  They never seem depressed, even when they have every right to be.

Which of those people would you like to be?  I consider myself to be a realistic optimist.  I know there are bad things going on in the world that I myself am not able to change.  But I know there is a lot of good going on in the world too.  And maybe I can’t change the world for everyone, but I can change the world for myself.  I can be the encourager.   I can be the one to help change myself and my mindset so that I can see the good in people, and see the opportunities all around me.  And then, once I have changed myself, I can start changing the world for others.  I can be a better mother, I can be a better wife.  I can sponsor a child from a third world country, or I can spend time with the kids in my neighborhood and give them some attention that maybe their parents don’t have time or energy to give.  I can spend time with my elderly neighbors who maybe don’t get out much, or don’t have much company.

I can also spend my time learning new things or discovering new places.  Sometimes it takes a little courage to get out of our recliner and take a hike up that new trail, or take the different route, or the road less traveled.  Its takes courage to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.  Fear, dis-courage, can keep you from trying new things or going to new places.  Don’t be afraid.  Have courage!!

There are so many opportunities to help others, to encourage them to be happier people.  But you have to fill your heart with happiness in order to spread that happiness around.  I believe that God fills me with hope and love and peace, and that is my happiness.  Not everyone believes in God, and that’s up to each person to decide.  But either way, when you stop focusing so much on yourself, you are able to focus on others.  And by helping others, each of us can be an encourager.  Each of us can give help and hope to others, and that is infectious.

Helping others is a sure way to feel happy.  You don’t have to spend any money, but it will cost you some time.  But time spent helping is much better spent than time spent wallowing in our sorrow and unhappiness.  Again I tell you, don’t be afraid; have courage!!

Can you tell me about a time when you did something that really made you happy?  Or a time when you were encouraged, or discouraged?