Checking In On Your “Busy”

“Stay At Home” Order

You know how it is when someone dies?  How all of your scheduled “busy” rushes before your eyes until you check yourself?  Someone just died!  Your “busy” is not important right now.  NOT IMPORTANT AT ALL!  And in that moment, you stop! Stunned by the realization that nothing really matters more, at this moment, than this loss.

Dealing With The Loss Of “Normal”

And you cry, first for the person but then for yourself.  Your loss!  Nothing will be the same again.

And you go through the days filling in the empty with arrangements.  Who will take care of that person’s “busy”?  Who will want to know and cry along with you?  They will want to grieve their loss too. You keep yourself wrapped up in this world of grief and loss and sadness and anger and denial and blame for as long as it takes: an isolation imposed on you until everything is made right or as close to right as can happen.

Acceptance

But then something else happens.  The sun comes up.  You look at it, surprised!  Doesn’t the sun know that nothing is supposed to be the same anymore?  But there it is, shining; filling the day with brightness.  You can’t help but smile!  That sun seems to be smiling at you too, reminding you that things do go on.

And then you hear the birds, They’re singing!  “Now is not the time!” you start to say but then you stop yourself.  Why not sing now? Why not let yourself feel joy? Why shouldn’t you take in this moment?

After all, this moment, that sunshine, those birds are there as a gift for you.

This moment, that sunshine, those birds.

Oh I know. They weren’t in you schedule; your list of “busy”.  But they’re there now.

Make a New Normal

Maybe they always were.  You just didn’t take the time to notice. Now that you notice though perhaps they should be put into your schedule. You’ve been given a chance to redefine your list of “busy”.

Out of every loss comes a new normal.

 

This Is A Story About A Robin…But You Have To Wait For It!

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Personal Photo

No, I’m not going to mention this robin right now.  Wait for it.

First, I need to share this:

Yesterday was one of those days; an incredible day that ended with me feeling as though I had real purpose.

It started simply enough with me taking my brother to a doctor’s appointment.  It wasn’t any simple appointment though.  He was to be scheduled for quadruple bypass surgery.  The doctor’s office is in an area unfamiliar to my brother so I offered to meet him halfway and drive him in.  The first road was blocked with a bridge out.  He instantly panicked but luckily I knew a different route.  He was thankful, at that moment, for me. The appointment had a twist.  We thought we were to schedule surgery, instead he needs to return to meet, first, with another cardiologist.  They have to make his heart strong enough for surgery.  My brother has a bit of a short fuse, so luckily I was there to keep everything calm.  Then, as we tried to set up a schedule for this additional doctor, I felt that the directions had been listed wrong.  I was right!  He needed a “heart failure” cardiologist not just a regular cardiologist.  It was because I had taken notes during our meeting with the surgeon that I was able to catch this and get it checked out and corrected before we made an unnecessary trip in to the wrong doctor.  My brother was safely delivered back to our halfway meeting point and he was calm.  My duty was done and he was very thankful.  I was pleased.

Second Story:

Then, my sister called.  She’s been living through several tough years.  She hates her job, also has heart issues, and just recently went through breast cancer surgery.  Through all of this, she has had a dream of running her own business; a shop of up-cycled treasures.  Last summer, we worked together to try it out by setting up displays at flea markets.  That worked well enough but made her tired and disappointed.  Still, the spring warmth and sunshine has her longing to try again.  With her energy level low, I’d offered to drive to her home every Saturday (75 minutes away) to help get things ready.  Then she hears that someone has a booth at an antique mall and would like to split the cost with her.  I jumped at the chance to encourage this.  “I’ll split the cost with you”, I say. Still it took two weeks before she contacted her friend and followed through with signing a 6 month lease for her half.  I was there again this Saturday to price some items and take them over this last Saturday.  She begins placement of her treasures and I could see that she was in her happy place.  She has an eye for design.  She started immediately rearranging the items already there, placing them in ways that compliment their value and then started placing hers.  In a little over an hour, we were done and she was pleased.  But it was yesterday when she called that there was actual joy in her voice.  She had returned to her booth to place a few more items.   The owner made a special point of telling her how nice the booth looked.  She told her more than once.  My sister mentioned it to me five times during our conversation.  She then shared a story about this job that she hates.  She’s been moved back to the deli area; the area that she had said was way too hard on her.  Today she was super busy. Why?  Because people are glad she’s back!  She was overjoyed!  Her hate for the job replaced with a new sense of value. I ended this conversation feeling as though I maybe had a bit of role in moving her towards her dream.  She was happier than I have heard her in years.  And I smiled.

Third Story And This Is Where The Robin Comes In:

I was sitting down, ready to eat and the phone rings yet again.  I see who’s calling and my instinct was to ignore it and go on  with my dinner.  Instead, I answered.  “Jane, you’re my bird lady.  You have to help me.  There is this robin that has been flying into my window all day long.  What is wrong with this bird?”  I tell her what I know about this kind of bird behavior but truthfully she really just wants to tell me how frustrating it all was and how she’s tried everything to make it just stop.  Then she changes topic a bit and tells me how upset she’s been lately with her life and how she even prayed to God to send someone to help her.  At that point, I said that maybe the robin was trying to get a message to her and while she continued to share her despair, I looked up the spirit message of the robin and then stopped her and said, “This is the message from the robin.”

If Robin has flown into your life;
Robin signifies stimulation of new growth and renewal in many areas of life. He teaches that any changes can be made with joy, laughter and a song in your heart. This bird shows you how to ride the winds of passion within your heart and become independent and self reliant through this change. The energy of this bird will teach you how to move forward with grace, tenacity, perseverance and assertion. Are you letting go of personal dramas? Ones that no longer serve your higher purpose? Are you exercising compassion and patience in mental, spiritual and emotional areas? This creature will teach how to incorporate new beginnings with faith and trust in the process. It is time to believe in yourself and use the inspiration that is given. Listen carefully. It is time sing your own song for a new period in your life.

When I finished, I waited for a response and instead heard silence.  I was worried that I had gone too far.  Perhaps she wasn’t interested in the possibility of animals sending messages to her.  But instead, she said, “You have no idea how amazing it is to hear that right now and let me tell you why.” She went on to share how so many things have been out of order in her life for the past months, how she had just told her husband that she needed to do something to change it, to bring back the joy in her life, to find her way back to taking care of herself, how she needed to back away from trying to be everything to everyone else.  And then she spoke of how much she missed our time together at the gym we had belonged to and I agreed.  We had been healthy and strong and we had both been away from that for too long.  We made a plan to meet tomorrow to get some exercise.  And then she said, “Well, I asked God to send someone to help me and I never thought it would be a bird!” And she laughed.  I smiled and then said, “Maybe God sent me.”

I went to bed last night with a happy heart.

 

Happiness Is Homemade

Happiness Is Homemade

“I just want to be happy”,
she says through the tears.
It’s all I’ve every wanted.
I’ve said so for years.

She cries out to God,
“I just want a reason to smile.
I’ve been begging and begging,
It’s been such a long while.

The answer comes back:
“Happiness is Homemade.
I love you, I’m here.
Stop being afraid.”
“Are you really here for me?
I try so hard not to be afraid.
But tell me what this message means.”
she prayed.

“Homemade means:
Something that you make from scratch,
You make it with your own two hands,
Using all your best ingredients, in the whole batch.”

“Happiness isn’t given to you.
You have to make it instead.
It means you need to
go after those dreams in your head.

You speak of them clearly
Day after day.
FEAR is the Devil
Push him away.”

“Happiness is homemade.
It’s all up to me?”

“Yes, but I’m here with you.
Trust me. You’ll see!”

Summer Solstice

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Surrender to the
Ups and downs of life.
Make each day a reflection of your soul.
Mirror the beauty you see in front of your eyes.
Everything God created carries messages of love.
Remember that you were given life to carry lessons too.

Soothe your mind
Of all negative intrusions.
Let fresh air cleanse your thoughts.
Stay focused on the warmth of the sun.
Take in the light of the longest day of the year.
Inch by inch, feel your body fill with renewed strength.
Center your thoughts on your incredibly unique journey.
Enjoy the fact that you have this moment, this day, this life.

Every New Beginning Starts By Saying “Good-bye”

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Every new beginning starts
By walking away.
It’s finding the inner strength
To let go of yesterday.

Memories want you to linger;
Thoughts of what you leave behind.
Anticipation moves you forward;
Wondering what tomorrow has in mind.

Surround yourself with flowers now.
Something about them calms the fear.
Find a place to just be still.
Let God be ever near.

This new beginning
Is part of the path that’s meant to be.
It leads to future memories;
New joy and happiness. You’ll see.

Every new beginning
Somehow makes you cry
Because every new beginning
Starts by saying “Good-bye”.

Fresh Start

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The message of the deer –                  “Be Gentle With Yourself”

All the negative aggression of yesterday

disappears with this simple sight.
I will seek out safe and nurturing people;
my thought in fresh morning light.

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I will trust my instincts;
See the adventures in front of me.
Different paths, new insights;
Important things to learn and see.

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And, I will be gentle with others
But also myself;
Leaving negative aggression behind,
To sit on someone else’s shelf.

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For Me

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I walk the woods
in silence,
letting my thoughts
lead the way.

Today,
my eyes are drawn
to someone’s
abandoned bouquet.

They’re delicate
in shades of
purple
and white.

I think
they’re simply
beautiful
as they rest there
in the evening light.

Who were they
meant for?
And why were they
just left in this tree?

I let the answer be
simple.
They must have been
for me!

Captured Beauty

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Sweet smell of blossoms fill the air.

Warmth of the sunshine makes me smile.

Tender leaves fill branches once bare.

I think I’ll linger here awhile.

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Jogger runs past with rapid pace

Recorded music in her ear.

So grateful I’m not in her race.

Content with songs of birds I hear.

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Captured beauty. Stored it away.

Saving it for a raining day.

The Right Path

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Today’s the day, I find my way.

Today’s the day, my path will clear.

Today is different than yesterday,

Today, I walk with you near.

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Child, the other paths weren’t wrong,

Each one helped you to find your way.

You say you searched for me so long,

But, I’ve been with you every day.

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Thank you, then, if you’ve been my guide.

I’m always here, right by your side.

A Mother’s Thank You Note – To God

Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to become a mom.

Thank you for trusting me.

I have finally learned how to listen to your messages; to be gentle with myself.

But being a mom wasn’t easy.  I made so many mistakes. I worried all the time.  I questioned myself and my decisions daily.

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Now, I believe that, all along, you were guiding me down the right paths.

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Although the paths were uneven and I lost my balance often,

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It was you who believed that I was strong enough to handle it,

You taught me to be patient; to just keep going.

You helped me to breathe.

Thank you for focusing my attention on the beauty of this gift.

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You were always there, whispering softly, “Appreciate the little things.”

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“It’s your job to build a home.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It just has to be safe and full of love.”

Thank you, God, for filling my world with such joy.

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Through hard days and challenging times, you kept reminding me that I had a  beautiful song inside me.  You helped me to share that song with my children. You kept me positive. You showed me how to point out life’s joy.

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And through all of life’s obligations, your were there to remind me to slow down; to pace myself so I didn’t miss important moments. You were trying to teach me to just go with the flow.

Still, I’d find myself flitting here and there with nervous energy.  I know, now, that it was you who continued to ground me, reminding me, again and again, to just appreciate the  magic and mystery of life.

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And while I was busy guiding and teaching,

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you said, “Remember to take time for fun”

because you knew that all too soon my babies would be grown,

and the nest would be empty.

In the middle of all those years of parenting, I may have been too busy to hear you,

but now I know you were always there.

Now, I am listening.

And now I know that Mother’s Day has been

every day since I became a mom.

It’s me, now, who wants to give thanks

for my two beautiful daughters, who have been the light of my life,

and for my baby grandson who is now flooding my world with new light.

Thank you, God, for giving me a lifetime of gifts.

Erin, Katie, and Me

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