For New Lang Syne

January 2, 2017

9z3psk4sn1c-zach-taiji

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

CS Lewis


Yes You Can

September 14, 2016

yes-you-canPart of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.

Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember


New Day

February 17, 2016

66H“When you wake up in the morning, the cells of your body have pushed the reset button. And if you don’t reintroduce negative beliefs that you have about your body or about your ability, as soon as you wake up—then you have a fresh start.”

Esther Hicks, the Teachings of Abraham

 


Hope Chest

February 16, 2016

blue_flower_by_kbfstyle-d50u6g3

 

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Mother’s Day Ode

May 8, 2015

Hydrangeas

Relatives tell me I look a lot like my late mother (she would never have liked the term late, for indeed, she was always on time for any appointment).

While we do share some characteristics (like the patented “snort and cackle” when laughing – the snackle, if you will) and a penchant for saying to unresponsive teen-age ears, “Enunciate!,” I’d have to say we were not really all that similar.

  •  She spoke five languages.
  •  I speech wun (Inglich).
  •  She played Bach like nobody’s business.
  •  I play the radio like a professional.
  •  She was genteel and cultured.
  •  I am kinda like, from Jersey (she was too, but seemed less so, if youse know what’m sayin.)
  •  She was always in my corner and cheered me on no matter what.
  •  I was oblivious to her encouragement until it wasn’t there anymore.

Thank you, Lord, for the mother you gifted me with.  I hope she’s snackling up there with you, playing a fugue on the piano and sitting in that log cabin she always pined for.  God bless all the mothers, always in our hearts.


Looking Behind, Moving Ahead (Prayer Devotional for the week of February 1, 2015)

February 1, 2015

This post from one of my favorite inspirational blogs really spoke to me today, so I thought I’d share it with you:

Looking Behind, Moving Ahead (Prayer Devotional for the week of February 1, 2015).


Inspiration du Jour

October 17, 2014

Trash Day!.

Re-blogged from a wonderful blog called B is for Blessed!


Sunroom Time

September 23, 2014

Sunroom 006

When he was younger, my son and I used to have “sunroom time” – a few minutes in the late afternoon during which we’d sit in the sunroom and talk about (pardon the pun) anything under the sun.

Sunroom 007

Often, if his friends were over, we’d include them, too.

Sunroom 005

It was warm and welcoming in the sunroom, and it seemed like the only time some of these kids had ever been asked, “So how was your day, son?”

Sunroom 011

The bamboo blinds let in just enough light and gave us a view of the trees in the yard, so it felt like a little nature preserve. It was a favorite spot for everybody, including my late, beloved black-lab-mix, Sheena. That’s her in the yard – by the back fence.

This dog toy feels kinda ruff.

Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams*

Sheen Simmons 009

Now that my son is about to turn sixteen, we no longer have “sunroom time;” in fact, it seems we hardly even have actual conversations. And this is the trajectory of life when our kids grow up. But I wanted to find a way to put my thoughts about life into a book, so I wrote this e-book using Amazon KDP, “Help Yourself, Jumbo Shrimp: A Teen’s Guide to Life, the Future and Everything.”

After I realized that there was no way to adjust the formatting (it uploaded out-of-whack and there is no such thing as Amazon e-book author support), I decided not to promote it, but I did want to leave it active so that when the spirit moves him and the time is right, my son will look at it and nod – maybe even smile a little – thinking back to our warm and fuzzy “sunroom times.”

Sunroom 010

*Course, there’s a story behind Sheena’s full name! More to come.


Moment of Silence

September 11, 2014

Remembering the souls lost on 9/11 today, and praying for families and survivors.

A while back, I wrote a poem for prayerpower4today, my blog with writing partners Sue Bradford Edwards and Lori Strawn, about the preciousness of life. With your indulgence, I’ll re-post it here as we honor the fallen today.

66H

 

Live with Grace

The main thing I wish for you is this:
A rich, full life.
Even if you’re not rich.
Even if your belly’s not full.
The “for-now” -ness gets us all into trouble.
We say we’ll just take this job… “for now.”
Or stick with this relationship that’s a sinking ship….. “for now.”
For now is another way of saying, I accept less than I deserve.
So here’s the tricky part.  Be content but don’t settle.
Expect great things.
Blast off in a rocket to reach the stars.
Build an eighth wonder in your imagination.
How would you live if you knew you couldn’t fail?
What would you do if you had all you ever wanted?
Would you suddenly know how to be happy?
Mr. Right doesn’t do that for you.
Growing a third eye and seeing into the future won’t make it clear.
It’s already there, all wrapped up inside of you.
Ask God’s help.  Do it yourself.
Get on your knees and pray.
Get on your feet and walk.
Be about it.  Now move.


The Guest House

August 21, 2014

Sunroom 006

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi. Translation by Coleman Barks