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Spiritual deadheading

December 18, 2010

Even though it's the middle of winter, my mind drifted to gardening today.  Specifically I found myself thinking about deadheading flowers.  Go figure.  
Perhaps it's the approaching New Year that has been contemplating what I need to leave behind as I enter into the New Year.  

Whatever the reason, I just posted an article on the parallels between the deadheading I due in my garden to help my flowers and shrubs be as beautiful and as healthy as they can be and the spiritual deadheading that I believe God calls each of us to do in our lives.  

An open letter to boomers

December 5, 2010

I wish I'd written this post, but I didn't.  I found it today on LinkedIn, posted by David on the Aspiring Writers Group board.  He says he didn't write it either, but he doesn't think that the original author would mind if others shared it.  I tend to agree, so here it is, reposted in its entirety as I found it.

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us, 
OUR Lives are LIVING PROOF !!! 
To Those of Us Born between 1925 - 1970 : 
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!! 
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. 
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummiesin baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes,we had baseball caps,not helmets, on our heads.As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight. WHY?Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.No one was able to reach us all day.--And, we were OKAY. 
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, belt, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas...We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS! 
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?

Giving great gifts doesn't have to break the bank

December 4, 2010

Today I started a series of articles for on gift ideas in time for the holiday shopping season.  If you're looking for creative, unusual and inexpensive give ideas, check out Inexpensive Gift Basket Ideas Using Dollar Store Items6 Easy and Inexpensive DIY Gardening Gift Ideas, and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for All Types of Gardeners

Revelations from the road

December 1, 2010

My recent road trip held even more revelations than I'd anticipated in my previous post.  I started my journey with my GPS, but also with printed directions from MapQuest.  Even though I knew the GPS would get me there turn by turn, the ability to see the "big picture" was an extra measure of security for me.

As it turned out, my parents were on a road trip of their own, traveling north as I was, about an hour or so ahead of me.  Not long into my journey my Mom called me to give me her version of the real-time traffic reports.  She strongly suggested that I avoid I-95 at all costs because of extremely heavy holiday traffic.  So, as it turned out, my big picture directions which had me traveling on I-95 for much of the way were suddenly useless.  I had to laugh at the irony of having to rely on my GPS after all.

As I reached the DC area, something unexpected happened.  Even though I was driving east towards Annapolis to avoid I-95, my GPS refused to recalibrate for the new route and for about 30 miles it insisted on telling me to turn at every conceivable exit in order to make my way towards Baltimore to connect with I-95.  While trying to ignore the directions coming from the GPS, I started thinking about the voices of often well-meaning friends and others who try to convince us to go in the direction they think we should be going, even if we know the path that we're supposed to be taking.  While their directions may still get us where we need to go, there may be a better path for us to take.  After all, God can see those obstacles and challenges ahead that we and others can't see.

After I crossed the Bay Bridge and got past the exits to Baltimore, I noticed another interesting pattern.  The GPS stopped talking altogether.  For about 40-50 miles there was complete silence.  At some point I realized that the reason the GPS wasn't giving me directions was because there weren't any.  I was on the road I was supposed to be on, so there was nothing more to say.  At that point I realized there's another reason why God is sometimes silent.  When we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, we simply need to keep at it until God tells us to do otherwise.

I'd say this was a pretty productive trip!

A real life road trip

November 22, 2010

I had an interesting revelation while preparing for my upcoming Thanksgiving holiday road trip.  Even though I have a GPS in my car, I still found myself printing door-to-door directions from Google Maps.  I realized that even though I would have step-by-step directions right there in the car, I still needed the additional comfort of a printed set of directions that showed me the entire route at the same time.

It occurred to me that my daily walk with God is sort of like this upcoming trip.  Even though God is there providing step-by-step instructions as my own personal God's Positioning System, I still want to see the big picture. I still want to know where I'm ultimately headed and which route He's sending me on to get me there.

As much as I want to see God's big picture for my life, maybe that's not such a good idea.  After all, He must have a good reason for not showing us all we want to see at one time.  Maybe He knows that too much information will be confuse and overwhelm us.  Maybe He knows that we might not want to go where we ultimately need to be.  Or maybe He knows that if we see the big picture, we won't understand it anyway.

As much as I want all the answers now, I've got to trust that God knows best.  Just like my GPS, I have to be willing to trust Him to get me where He's destined me to be - one turn at a time.

Lessons I learned from cataract surgery

November 20, 2010

Today I was reflecting on the need to see things from God's perspective rather than our own.  When things aren't going as we'd planned or hoped, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that we can only see a very limited piece of the bigger picture.  I was reminded of how I learned this lesson in a vivid way last year when I had cataract surgery. That experience taught me to view life from a different perspective.  I've posted lessons I learned from cataract surgery here.

A season of silence

November 15, 2010

There are times in my life when God is on a roll - the blessings come faster than I can count them.  Now is not one of those times.  I've been struggling through a season of silence for a couple of months now and I haven't been handling it as gracefully as I'd like.  

Thankfully, while God may not be speaking to me in ways that I can readily understand, He has been showing me how to use this period as a learning opportunity.  Click here to read my thoughts on learning how to listen even when God is silent.

The importance of sharing

November 3, 2010

People who know me well, and perhaps some who don't, know that I often share the painful experiences of my past.  My ex-husband was a very private person, and he hated this quality about me.  I could never get him to understand that there is no value in keeping lessons learned to ourselves. I believe it is a moral obligation, a calling, to try to help ease the pain of others when I can by sharing my story.

Praying inside the box

November 1, 2010

Many people believe that we should ask God for what we want, leave our prayers with Him, and move on, knowing that He will answer our prayers in His time and in His way.  In theory that makes perfect sense.  I wish I was disciplined enough to do it.  I've gotten better about not repeating the same prayer over

Unexpected blessings

October 24, 2010

This morning as I sat on my front steps browsing through the Sunday paper, I found myself crying while reading an article about Bucket Lists.  It was supposed to be an upbeat article about all the really cool things that people had on their lists and the joy of crossing things off one by one .

Tell the new story

October 23, 2010

Gregg Levoy writes that psychologist Jean Houston stresses that "In order to discover what is trying to be born in you from your wound, what gift or call might be pressing for delivery... you need to stop reciting the small story about it - the particulars, the details - and tell the larger story. Tell the tale anew this time with the wounding as the middle of the story."

An open letter to my exes

I've been hurt. A lot. But over time I've come to understand that no situation, and no relationship, is without purpose. People are brought into our lives to teach us things, and for us to teach them things, and although they’re sometimes quite painful, these lessons are a necessary part of growing.

Man Up: 7 tips for ending a relationship the right way

October 20, 2010

Breaking up is painful, but many times the way the breakup is handled is more painful the end to the relationship itself.  Thankfully I'm not going through a breakup right now, but I felt called to write this piece anyway.  Surely someone somewhere may find it helpful.

Do your shoes fit?

October 18, 2010

According to author Barbara Sher, "the reason most of us haven't been able to run after our dreams is that we were wearing the wrong size shoes. All we have to do is discover what fits us, and chances are we'll do just fine!"

The more I think about this, the more true I find it to be - on so many levels. For years, my "work shoes" were too big. And perhaps even worse, my "personal shoes" were too small.

Lazy, lovely Sunday afternoon

October 3, 2010

Today I had lunch with a wonderful new friend and sister-in-Christ, Carol.  We met through LinkedIn.  Yes, real-life connections can and do happen there. We spent the afternoon getting to know each other.  We shared our stories and our dreams.  We marveled at all the things we're discovering that we have in common, and we've already started finding ways we can encourage and lift each other up.  

Defining family

September 13, 2010

Yesterday I saw Eat Pray Love and I was moved beyond words. I know the movie didn't get rave reviews, and I hadn't read the best-selling book, but I do like Julia Roberts and I've always been fascinating by tales of exploration and transformation, so I went to see it and I absolutely loved it .

Is your call still waiting?

September 1, 2010

"Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” I don't know where that quote originated, but I saw it posted on FaceBook recently. It's so true... and so applicable to my life .

I've been procrastinating for years on committing fully to what I believe my calling to be. I convinced myself that I had great reasons for holding
off, but it boils down to one ugly truth: fear.  Fear of not being able to support myself financially, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of uncertainty, fear of not having a steady paycheck, fear of not having health insurance or sick leave.

My personal GPS

August 25, 2010

During my years conducting market research feasibility studes for commercial real estate development projects, I spent countless hours driving around unfamiliar cities, balancing watching the road, looking for street signs, and trying to decipher a road map - all at the same time. How much easier it would have been to simply start the car, type in the address of my destination, and allow a pleasant voice to guide me from where I was to where I needed to be. Alas, I learned to do it myself the old-school way, but using a GPS makes driving so much simpler, and allows for fewer time-consuming mistakes. I've decided that the next car I buy will definitely have a GPS in it .

Take control by letting go of it

August 23, 2010

One of the biggest examples of the disservice done by modern-day "self help" movements is the fallacy that we can (and should) control every aspect of our lives. Please don't misunderstand, I am a major advocate of personal responsibility and accountability, but the key word is "personal".  One of the most basic life lessons is also one of the hardest to accept, that the only person we can change is ourselves.  Too often, we've come to believe that taking responsibility for our own lives means controlling circumstances, and people, over which we have no control.

Thoughts on turning 50

August 15, 2010

I know there are women who dread the mere thought of turning 50, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I turned 50 not too long ago and all things, considered, I've never been happier. For me, 50 really is the new 40 (maybe even 35) and I'm embracing the beginning of my "second half" with a spirit of gratitude, celebration and anticipation .

Defying the Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater

July 24, 2010

A few years ago I "broke up" with the man I'd been dating. To be honest, to say that we "broke up" is not quite accurate. Technically, he dumped me. But that's not the point of this story.

He knew that I loved to knit and to my surprise, just a few weeks before he vanished, he mentioned the possibility of me knitting an

2009 ·New Calling by TNB