Oh Quiet Mind Where Art Thou? Day Four.

I don’t think there is a person among us who isn’t stressed out. Hoping these few words will help a little.

Not sure what compels me to keep numbering these blogs, but here I am again in the wee hours of the morning, picking away at this virtual keyboard. It’s dark and quiet and I am finding myself alternating between moments of anxiety, clarity, dread and peace. Trying to quiet the mind is an ongoing battle many of us are facing right now. Seems like mine is working double overtime tonight.

I am catching myself being overly angry and critical in my thoughts. “I don’t approve of what this person’s doing or how that person is handling this crisis. That person’s attitude offends me. This person makes my skin crawl. Why do I have to be bothered right now? What’s going to happen next? Doesn’t she ever stop talking? Why is she so loud? Where is my next assignment? I would have had them out by now, if I were doing it. Doesn’t she ever put the phone down? Why did he say that? I wouldn’t handle it that way.”

Who IS this tiny mean girl in my brain anyway? This isn’t who I normally am. Thankfully it truly isn’t, which makes it easier for me to realize that it’s probably just a normal byproduct of being stressed out and overly stimulated by the constant news of Covid 19. I mean seriously. No one speaks of anything else. I understand why, but it’s hard to take in never-ending doses. Isn’t it?

Today after work my husband and I sat in our living room with the TV off and the windows open. It was glorious. There was a lovely breeze and the sun was shining and for those few moments I felt at peace. I asked why he had the TV off (because he is usually a 24/7 news enthusiast) and he said, “It’s too much. I am just tired of hearing it. Silence is good.” And he was right. We have plans to repeat this behavior again today.

It’s important to cultivate time for peace in daily life. I know right now this may seem impossible. You may be home with a house full of children or caring for ailing parents or living with a spouse you don’t get along with and on top of this you’ve lost your job and you don’t know how you will pay your bills…the list goes on and on for all of us. My sitting here in the dark telling  you to cultivate peace in your daily life might even make you angry. That’s okay. I’ll just blame it on the tiny mean girl in my brain.

The thing is, there are aspects of our lives that are currently out of our control, like having to stay in our homes, what’s being broadcast across all media, places of employment being closed, having to work from home and home school your kids at the same time…the list is endless. Here in Kentucky just two days ago our cells phones and TV’s went off as if there was an incoming bomb ready to hit. It was just a reminder to stay at home. Talk about out of our control coupled with LOUD and uncalled for!

We have to remember there are still plenty of things within our control such AS carving out a time for peace. This can mean anything you want it to. I cannot emphasize enough how a simple thing like declaring silent time in the house works wonders. Music is incredibly helpful too. Put on your favorites and sing or meditate. Sit in a chair outside and breathe in the fresh morning or evening air. Sit there with your favorite beverage and simply BE in the moment. Write out a list of positive affirmations or keep a book to write your prayers in. You get where I am going! Pick something and force yourself to do it every day.

Most of all, make the time every day to sit and count your Blessings. I know it sounds trite, with all that is happening around us, but it helps. (Perhaps create a Blessings Box or jar and force yourself and every member of the family to put something in it every day.) And by ALL means, pour your heart out to God who is always present and loves you.

With love,

Bobbe

From the Angels:

Please note that if this message speaks to you, it was absolutely meant FOR you.

Spend some time alone in quiet thought. Clear your mind, and focus on your truth and priorities.

Are you having to push yourself too hard, be loved child of God? The angels remind us that rest is a natural cycle in every living thing. Think of the mighty oak tree that grows in spurts and then rests. It draws its nourishment from deep within the earth, and takes its time before growing upward again. Like the oak tree, it’s important for you to nourish yourself with spiritual and emotional “food.”

While you are resting, take time to reflect on your heart’s true feelings and desires. Your angels speak to you through your heart, and when you listen to and honor your feelings, you walk hand-in-hand with God and the angels. You will know that it is true Divine guidance, and not just your imagination or wishful thinking if it speaks to your desire to make a difference in the world. If your heart calls on you to act one something. Follow through.

Remember too, that there is no one right way to be feeling at this time. Grant yourself permission to be temporarily frightened or sad or angry or worried -for a period of time- but then you must release the feeling completely so the light can enter it. To realize any type of healing, you must stop focusing on “what is wrong” and instead affirm: “Everything is in Divine and perfect order right now.”

image

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows! Luke 12:7

Today’s Prayer:

Dearest Lord,

I’m finding it so hard to control my emotions lately. From one hour to the next, I can go from tears, to anger, to laughter, to fear and back again. I’m snapping at my family members -even the dog- and having all sorts of negative thoughts. Please help me to find a way to bring some peace into this crazy human life right now. I know that I can do all things through you, but I often get so wrapped up in what’s going on in my life, that I forget to ask you for help. Even worse, I almost always forget that once I ask you for assistance in my life, I can stop worrying over it, because I’ve placed my burden exactly where it should be.

Jesus, our world is broken and we need you to show us the way. Help us to step back, pick up our faith, breathe in the light of your unending love and move forward renewed.

Please Bless and keep my friends, old, new and those I’ve never met and my family healthy, safe and bathed in your light.

I pray in your name, Jesus. 

Amen

From Bobbe:

If you are reading this and you have a prayer request, please leave it in the comments where I will see it and others will too. Miracles happen when we pray together. 

Click here to be taken to yesterday’s messages and prayer.

 

 

Counting Your Blessings. Day Three.

Remembering that each day has its own Blessings attached.

Praise the Lord, who carries our burdens day after day; he is the God who saves us. Psalms 68:19 GNB

In the late nineties I used to host a very large weekly group chat that developed as a result of my then website, Trinity Angels. The site was all about -you guessed it- angels, and I posted something there just about every day. One evening during the group chat while discussing God’s Blessings, I got the idea of creating a “Blessing Box”.

Our Blessings Box was an actual box that I filled with a few meaningful (to me) items. The idea was that all of these items, including the box, were filled with my energy, love and prayers and when sent out, each recipient could add his/her energy, love and prayers to it too. While the box was in a person’s home, they were to pray for the special intentions of the people on the list. It would stay in place for one week and then would the be sent to another person on the list.

I invited people to sign up to be on the shipping list for the box; then I placed the list inside along with a diary and a pretty pen. Before mailing it out to the first person, I wrote my prayer for the people who would receive it next and included the simple instructions: 

  1. Keep the box in a prominent place in your home for one week and when you pass it, pray for the people who may receive it next.
  2. Take one item from the box to keep and replace it with something of your choosing.
  3. Write your prayers and reflections in the diary.
  4. Mail it off to another person (of your choosing) on the list.
  5. The last person who receives the box, mails it back to me.

Thirty years later I can still feel the joy that little project brought to all of us. It took half a year to make its way back to me, but when it did, the diary was full of the most loving sentiments, prayers and experience stories! Every single person had something profoundly beautiful happen as a result of the box. And they had added the most beautiful things too: dried petals from a Wedding bouquet, holy cards, old photos, feathers, crystals, Rosaries, even a gold angel pendant. The list is vast. New names had been added to the list as well, so after I included a new diary and some other items, I sent it on its way again. After some time, we lost track of it and it never returned, but to me, the project was a complete success. Thirty years later I still get weepy remembering that project.

Why did it work? First, because when I received the idea in my heart, I acted on it. Second and more importantly: because we infused that box with love and love, my friends, creates miraculous things.

We’re all in this pandemic together and it’s hard, but every day still comes with it’s Blessings. God is still speaking into our hearts. Making a Blessings box might not be the greatest thing to do at the present time, but I am willing to bet we can find other ways to share our love and Blessings with one another.

Go on. Give it a go. What ideas and inspiration are making themselves known to you?

From the Angels:

*Keep in mind that if this angel message speaks to you, it is absolutely meant for you today.

Pay attention to new thoughts and ideas that come to you. They are seeds of magnificent co-creations with God.

God speaks to you through your thoughts, and the angels want you to notice and follow the ideas you have recently received. These are answers to prayers for guidance, so please don’t count them as mere imagination.

The angels seek to give you confidence that you are just as capable as any other child of God. That is because all wonderful ideas originate from the one Divine mind of God. Since God is omnipresent, meaning everywhere, God is within you. So, God’s mind continuously expresses new thoughts and ideas right inside your mind.

The angels want you to know you have extra blessings around you right now. Perhaps you have recently experienced some challenges, or maybe you are currently seeking some extra help. Either way, the angels surround you now with more Divine love than ever. Additional angels are with you, giving you an added cushion of light and love.

Sometimes you may feel as if God and the angels have abandoned you. They are not gone and they cannot leave you ever. It is only your fear that makes us blind and mute to the presence of our angels. Yet your angels can lift away your fears if you will ask and then let them. You are truly blessed and very, very loved by God and the angels.

Today’s prayer:

Dearest Lord,

We know You are continually speaking into our hearts. Sometimes, especially right now during this frightening time in the world, we have trouble tuning in and hearing. Please help us to recognize your voice and when You offer us an idea, help us to act on it. Perhaps in addition to our prayers, you want us to write letters or make phone calls or even go out on the street to wave at strangers to make them smile. Whatever it is, please help us to discern that when it’s a loving thought, it’s definitely You and it’s definitely within our power to act on it.

Please dear Jesus be with those who are lonely, frightened, confused, financially burdened, isolated and/or sick. Heal them all and help those of us who are able bodied and well to have follow through on checking on those who may have special needs. Help us remember and honor that now is not the time to be embarrassed of our emotions or intentions. Instead, we know it’s time to rise up and be your instruments in whatever capacity we can.

Lord also be with those and give extra strength to those who are working tirelessly throughout this pandemic whose professions are too numerous to name.

Thank you, Dear Lord, for the Blessings of each day. One of the many Blessings of mine today is that the sun in shining. Stores may not have exactly what we need, but they have plenty to meet our needs and for this Blessing, I am grateful. Thank you too, that because of technology, most of us are able to feel a little closer to one another.

In your Son Jesus name I pray.

Amen.

Click here to be taken to yesterday’s messages and prayers.

 

 

Angel Musings Coming Back. Day One.

Times are scary and when they are, I am inclined to return to my roots. Today I am asking God and the angels for guidance and here is what they say…

With all that is happening in the world today, I feel it’s incredibly important to lift one another up in spirit and in prayer. These are scary times and I am finding myself anxious and fearful off and on throughout each day. This morning I’ve decided to stop ignoring what my heart keeps telling me.

When I feel nervous and uncertain the thing that gets me up and out of my own head is to busy myself with a project (like cooking meals for shut ins or cleaning out closets and cabinets). Recently I have felt pulled to get back into my prayers and inspired posts. (I always feel my best when I am in service of others and when I am fully tuned in to the love of God and His beautiful angels.)

So here I am at the beginning again. If what you see here speaks to you, know beyond a doubt that it is meant for you.

Focus
FOCUS

(Note: My favorite angel cards to use are by Doreen Virtue. These are the “Healing with the Angels” cards. I use them as prompts to aid me in listening and writing what comes into my heart for anyone who may land on this page and need what is here.)

I start by asking God to allow the angels to direct me to a message for today and the message I receive is: “Focus”.

The message of this card says, “Think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Guard your thoughts carefully because they create your experiences.”

Sometimes it seems that our thoughts choose us (especially in the middle of the night), but this is never the case. We always choose our thoughts-every moment. Our thoughts always have an effect, and there are no neutral thoughts. One half-second before you hold a thought, you decide to hold it. So, with practice, you can learn to monitor and alter your thoughts. This is the equivalent of putting your hands on the steering wheel of your life.

You may believe that your concentration abilities are impaired, yet the infallible mind of God is within your own mind. You can experience remarkable feats of concentration by affirming: “I am now able to focus my mind at Will. I hold only loving thoughts, and my angels act as my gatekeepers in establishing a steady stream of thoughts of love.”

Peace of mind means feeling secure, and knowing you’re always provided for. Even if your logical mind cannot fathom how a challenge can be resolved, peace of mind means that you trust that God will create a miraculous solution. Your faith is a key component in experiencing such miracles.

Peace of mind is within you. You CAN feel serene, even in the midst of great turmoil. It’s a mistake to think that you have to wait until your life is problem free before you can feel happy and peaceful. The opposite is actually true. First, you work toward serenity, and then your life challenges lessen and disappear. Serenity is your natural state of mind, and God allows His angels to work with you to actualize this.

All of this is to say that though these times seem to be uncertain, we do not have to allow our minds and hearts to become muddled with nonsense the fearful mind creates. God has never failed us. He will not fail us now.

Today’s Prayer

Dearest Lord: Today we ask for Your help in releasing our hearts from the grips of fear.

You have said for us to not be afraid but because we are human, we sometimes fail. Help us to tune more fully into the song of our own heart, which is always the voice of your love. Help us to remember that through You, nothing is impossible and that even in the midst of great turmoil, there is joy and love to be given and found.

Please Protect our loved ones from contracting this virus and heal those who already have. For those who are in precarious or near dire financial situations, please send support.

Help us to recognize your will for us and to act when called to do so.

Most of all, Lord, Thank you for your Blessings, especially the ones we know nothing about.

Amen.

Tied to the Whipping Post. How I Became a Warrior.

It’s a dull ache inside that pulls my heart up into my throat. My eyes want to brim with tears, but I fight it. This isn’t new, yet each time it happens, it feels like it. Over the years I’ve learned to dwell in this place of despair less and less, but once in a while, it’s unavoidable.

Like…when out of the blue while trying to do the right thing, I’m sucker punched in the heart and I realize I am no further along in my clan than I ever was and that despite my endless trying, it will always be this way.

I really hate saying that. If I were sitting here listening to someone else make this declaration, the faithful person inside me wouldn’t allow it. I wouldn’t allow someone else to be so hopeless as to say nothing will ever change. Life is constantly moving. Nothing is beyond God’s reach.

Sigh. But in this case, fifty five years have passed. Things are different, yet absolutely the same and it’s not going to change. Roles were assigned and set in stone long ago. Although I won’t and don’t have to wear that cloak any more, once in a while, I catch site of it’s threads and it rips the stitches off my heart.

I tell myself all the time that “God sees”, which is the only way I can get through most things. Friends and colleagues and countless counselors throughout the years have told me I don’t have to remain constantly tied to the whipping post. I don’t have to be present to subject myself to being blamed for things that have nothing to do with me. I don’t have to sit quietly while being shunned and ignored or held up to ridicule, yet I stay “because it’s the right thing” or is it?

“I became a warrior when I turned towards myself and started listening. In the depths of my wounds, in what I had named “darkness”, I found a blazing Light that continues to guide me.”

Indeed. God sees and so I persist.

HOW I BECAME A WARRIOR~~
Once, I ran from fear
so fear controlled me.
Until I learned to hold fear like a newborn.
Listen to it, but not give in.
Honor it, but not worship it.
Fear could not stop me anymore.
I walked with courage into the storm.
I still have fear,
but it does not have me.

Once, I was ashamed of who I was.
I invited shame into my heart.
I let it burn.
It told me, “I am only trying
to protect your vulnerability”.
I thanked shame dearly,
and stepped into life anyway,
unashamed, with shame as a lover.

Once, I had great sadness
buried deep inside.
I invited it to come out and play.
I wept oceans. My tear ducts ran dry.
And I found joy right there.
Right at the core of my sorrow.
It was the heartbreak that taught me how to love.

Once, I had anxiety.
A mind that wouldn’t stop.
Thoughts that wouldn’t be silent.
So I stopped trying to silence them.
And I dropped out of the mind,
and into the Earth.
Into the mud.
Where I was held strong
like a tree, unshakeable, safe.

Once, anger burned in the depths.
I called anger into the light of myself.
I felt its shocking power.
I let my heart pound and my blood boil.
Listened to it, finally.
And it screamed, “Respect yourself fiercely now!”.
“Speak your truth with passion!”.
“Say no when you mean no!”.
“Walk your path with courage!”.
“Let no one speak for you!”
Anger became an honest friend.
A truthful guide.
A beautiful wild child.

Once, loneliness cut deep.
I tried to distract and numb myself.
Ran to people and places and things.
Even pretended I was “happy”.
But soon I could not run anymore.
And I tumbled into the heart of loneliness.
And I died and was reborn
into an exquisite solitude and stillness.
That connected me to all things.
So I was not lonely, but alone with All Life.
My heart One with all other hearts.

Once, I ran from difficult feelings.
Now, they are my advisors, confidants, friends,
and they all have a home in me,
and they all belong and have dignity.
I am sensitive, soft, fragile,
my arms wrapped around all my inner children.
And in my sensitivity, power.
In my fragility, an unshakeable Presence.

In the depths of my wounds,
in what I had named “darkness”,
I found a blazing Light
that guides me now in battle.

I became a warrior
when I turned towards myself.

And started listening.~

~Jeff Foster

The Struggle is REAL.

A long time ago I used to counsel people on how to find purpose in life. Now it’s my turn.

Does anyone else out there struggle with decision making? I am the absolute WORST lately. One minute I’m convinced I am turning this blog into a “food only” blog and then the angel on my shoulder whispers, “You are good at that, but it’s not your calling”. (Insert expletive here.) Then I sit for hours contemplating how to merge my inspirational/spiritual musings with my recipes. What would that even look like? Arch Angel Food cake, Angel-haired pasta, Heavenly potato chip casserole, Celestial peanut butter cookies, Saintly Sour cream cake, etc?

Um. No.

I seriously do not want to write two separate blogs, so what’s a girl to do? Insert this book right here:

(You can click on this photo later if you are interested in reading more about the book or if you want to order a copy through Amazon.)

I ran into this great book, “Crushing It!”, by Gary Vaynerchuck, via someone’s Instagram story and was inspired to see what it was about. (I’m happy I did. I have had such good luck finding great books via recommendations on IG.)  The book relates all sorts of stories about people who finally learn to turn their passion into a life. He says to stop worrying about numbers, followers, algorithms and to just be who you authentically are. The rest will follow. (Oh and the other part that I just adore is that he says Altruism is of the utmost importance. I could not agree more.)

This is the stuff I’ve actually been preaching about for years:

Authenticity: Leading and living from the heart.

Altruism: Doing Unto Others. Random acts of Kindness. Giving of oneself.

The thing is, I look around the Internet, especially on Instagram and YouTube, and see that it appears practically every person and her brother are aspiring Internet Gurus. I absolutely cannot stand Instagram stories where it’s nothing but 15 second segment after 15 second segment of someone opening a gazillion boxes of free stuff in exchange for free advertising. I admit, it overwhelms me and sometimes if I take a very large step back, it can make me a little bit sad. Is this what we’ve become?

I don’t want to be one of those people. (She says to herself while at the same time contemplating updating her YouTube Channel.) What happened to giving and sharing from the heart simply for the sake of putting goodness out into the world?

When I’m on Instagram looking at stories, or on here reading blogs, the people I consistently enjoy and who I always read, are those who are actually sharing real snippets of daily life or love or both! Two of my favorite Instagram-ers (is that a word?) are twenty-something Yogi’s who are best friends in real life. I haven’t the least bit of interest in Yoga, other than to marvel at the discipline/talent these girls and their other followers display, yet I watch every story they post from beginning to end. They are each unique, yet the same. One likes to film her fur babies and the other likes to film herself drinking tea and playing with her boyfriend. Both share their yoga practices, but also family life and a bit of their social life too. I watch it all and feel nostalgic for my twenties. Why? They are being authentic on their feeds.

One of my favorite bloggers here is a 30 year old woman who’s blog is entitled, “Damn Girl, Get Your Shit Together”. It’s the same with her; she’s successful because she’s being who she actually is. (Seriously, go read her latest blog, “A Very Stabby Birthday”. It’s great stuff.)

A gazillion years ago when I used to blog daily on MySpace (yes, I’m that old), I think people related to me because I was always writing from my heart about my real life. I wasn’t trying to fit into a box or aspiring to gain a certain number of followers. I was just writing about what was going on at the time. Some days I was feeling hopeful; some days I was feeling silly; other days I might have been feeling low or worried about life. What mattered was that I was putting myself out there because in real life, it’s who I am. I always felt that whatever I might have been going through at the time; someone else out there was also going through. Who doesn’t feel better knowing she isn’t going it totally alone out here?

Somewhere along the line I found myself in a strange state of writing paralysis because I couldn’t decide what box to cram myself into. If I write only about spirituality, I might lose my foodies; if I write only about food, I might lose my other followers; if I write about family, they might get mad; if I write about work, I might upset non-churchy people. I have even gone so far as to believe that my time has passed. I’m fifty four now, maybe the window on my meaningful blogging has closed. You see the dilemma.

I have always felt that when I really need it and I pray hard enough, God will send me pretty unmistakable signs in order to help me find my way. Lately there have been lots of them, including, but not limited to, the “Crush It” book up there.

“Hello reality, thank you for the slap in the face.”

Here is the fact: I don’t fit into a box, nor do you.

Or you.

Or you.

So, I’ve decided to stop being so hard on myself and just be me, which of course means this blog will be reflective of that. I really am not an aspiring cookbook writer. I just love creating pretty food. Hubs and I cater on the side, so sharing recipes is something I genuinely like to do to be helpful. I will continue to do it here, but I’ll be mixing in more of myself as well.

This of course means the occasional angel story, dream interpretation, prayer, complaint, inspirational story or even a silly home video and I can’t guarantee it won’t all happen on the same page sometimes!

PS- Speaking of Altruism: I am holding a #Giveaway on my Instagram page and there is still time to sign up. See that pretty red, enameled, cast-iron skillet (by Lodge). Someone is going to win a brand new one (comes with lid). I will announce the winner on Wednesday, May 16th, via Instagram. I am NOT being paid for this. This is coming from my own pocket because this skillet seriously IS one of my favorite things in the world and I want someone else to have one too. I got this for my Birthday back in March and I use it every day. They are NOT cheap and I know not everyone can afford a cool kitchen thingie like this! So this is me, trying to do something nice for someone else.

If you are interested, just click through the link to my Instagram and find this picture. Click on it and you will find the instructions on how to enter. It’s that simple.

img_6288


PSS: (Insert Angel Stuff here. hee hee)

I used to love to sit with my deck of angel cards and pull one as inspiration for each day. So here is today’s card which is perfect for where I am in life right now. I share this here because somewhere out there, someone else needs this message as well. ((hugs))

power

Power:   The power of your Creator is within you. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing a situation that seems larger than life or something that is a small hurdle, the angels and God want to help you overcome it all!

The key to finding resolve in so many of life’s circumstances is to stay in the right frame of mind. You have the power of your Creator within you, all of the His greatness brings into focus who He is; faithful, righteous, good, honest and it diminishes the negative problems you are facing.

You have all the power of Divine love it is unlimited allow yourself shine. He is the one who with just his voice spoke the world and universe and cosmos into being, yet he is interested in the smallest and most intimate details of your life.


 

Love to all!

Bittersweet Blessings.

I count myself as pretty Blessed among my friends and family because although my parents are in their upper 80’s, they are both still here and both in reasonably good health. There are times when they might need assistance doing certain things and when the occasion arises, I like to try to help. Having had a rocky relationship with them “back in the day” and even sometimes in the present; I still want to do what I can for them while they are here.

Sometimes I am asked why I do it and my response is simple, “They aren’t going to be here much longer. I want to know I did my best to love them well while they are here.”

Yesterday my Dad needed some help getting to the new location of the Driver’s License Bureau. It happens to be in my neighborhood, so I offered to drive him. Then we received word that one of my parent’s old dear friends had passed and that the celebration of his life would be held yesterday at the country club where our family practically lived my entire life. I knew Dad wouldn’t feel comfortable going by himself, so I offered to drop by and take him to both places.

Bear in mind I really am a creature of habit and practically a social recluse. Charlie and I have carved out a peaceful routine that works for us. We laugh at ourselves frequently for excitedly making plans to go somewhere new or to some social event and then at the very last second we look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, “Naaaaaaah. I don’t reaaaaaaally wanna go, do you?” Nope. And then we stay home. (99.5% of the time, this is the exact scenario.)

The prospect of having to make small talk makes me recoil with intimidation, so I was sort of dreading going to the Country Club. Add to this the fact that I knew I would be seeing people who hadn’t seen me in almost forty years. I have been over weight off and on for a lot of years and whenever I think about seeing people from my past I become very insecure. (Translation: I used to have a very high level of confidence regarding my appearance! In fact, one might argue correctly that long ago my entire sense of self was wrapped up in the package of my outward appearance.)

All morning long I wrestled with the same feelings of dread that a person goes through when he/she is about to take and important test. Then I arrived to pick up my Dad at 3:00 PM.

This is a memory I won’t forget. After I had been there for a few minutes talking with my Mom, my Dad appeared all dressed to go. The man is 87 years old, yet when he stepped into the room, he was styled from head to toe looking as modern as any other person on the planet right down to his socks! He and my Mom giggled telling me that she had recently bought the pants he was wearing and hadn’t realized she was picking up, “the skinny leg” variety. It looked so good on Dad it made my heart smile. (My Dad has fought getting old his entire life. At almost 88 next month, it persists.) I was struck by how adorable he looked. It made me feel so good. He was dressed up to go out with ME, regardless of the occasion. (Sniffle. So sweet. I wish I had taken a photo, but that memory will stay with me forever more.)

Our trip to the License Bureau went off without a hitch and soon enough we were walking across the parking lot of the country club. This was a walk both of us had taken separately and collectively hundreds of thousands of times. This time, however, my Dad reached for my hand and we walked up the stairs together to pay respects to a dear friend and his family. It was a bittersweet feeling. This was a place that was a second home to us from birth until my early thirties. My Dad spent nearly every day there playing golf. (He reminded me on the trip over there that he and his buddies used to play on New Year”s Eve no matter what the weather.) I spent my youth in the pool and at the snack bar and then when my daughter was born, we were there together daily during the summers. This is the place we celebrated every special occasion; birthdays, weddings, Anniversary’s, Funerals, out of town guests, and of course, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup!

We were both unprepared for the wash of feelings that hit us at the door. The first thing I noticed was a giant portrait of my Dad’s old good friend, Pee Wee Reese. Dad and I walked over to it and then noticed they had created an entire area dedicated to him. It was fun looking at the art and then peering out the window to see the pool area that had meant so much to me. Then we walked through the archway into the bar to pay our respects the family. The son of my Dad’s friend is a person I ran in the same circles with in high school and his wife graduated with me. It was so good to see them both and to hug them and just spend a few moments together. Looking around, it didn’t take long for Dad and I to come to the unspoken realization that he wouldn’t be seeing many of his old friends. They have all passed on or are in too ill health to socialize.

Trying to take the focus off of that fact, I took his hand and suggested we sneak around the club to see what it was like now. And so we did. What we found were a few changes named for other passed on men who were his best golfing buddies. We stopped in the bar and searched the wall for the plaque with his name on it for when he was the 1980 Club Champion. When I found it, I couldn’t help but reflect that in 1980 I was a Sophomore; probably the same year I started actively socializing in high school.

How did we get here, so far along in life? Gosh, it’s gone by so fast.

We took a few more steps out to the veranda to watch the golfers coming in. I knew Dad was probably remembering all of the times he’d played that course. The screaming elephant in both of our hearts was knowing he would not be playing that course again and that this is a place now predicated by the words, “used to”. I don’t have adequate words to paint what was in our hearts at that moment. I just have gratitude that we experienced it together.

On the way out we ran into two more of my high school friends and I got to hug their necks and say hello. Then I hugged my friend, who’d just lost his father and I told him from my heart, that I love him and although the occasion absolutely sucked, I was so happy to see he and his wife. I meant that. His Dad was important to me and by proxy, that made me always think of him as “brother”. I told him that too. It came out easily.

The drive home was filled with small talk and memories of days gone by. As he was getting out of the car, my Dad took my hand, and with tears in his eyes and told me how much it meant to him that I had suggested we go and that I took the time to come pick him up and Chauffeur him to and from. He said he was glad we were present there, “together”. I was too.

Having worked together for over thirty years, my Dad and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. There was even a time when we didn’t speak to or see one another for three years. Though it was emotionally hard, I count this day as a Supreme Blessing. I cried all the way home thanking God that love honestly does transcend all.

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PS- That photo up there was taken when I was just twenty years old. Dad and I were in San Diego attending a business meeting.


My Dear Lord,

Things pass so quickly here on this earth. While we are busy going about the tasks of our daily lives, please help us to remember to look up and to savor where we are in life. Far too often things happen in a flash and then we are left looking back lamenting and wishing we’d stopped before it was too late. Help us to cultivate the relationships we may be taking for granted and to communicate our feelings to those who may not realize how important they are to us. 

Thank you for allowing me precious time with my parents. Help us all to make the time to go the extra mile for our precious loved ones, even when to do so, requires supreme effort and extra energy. The are always unexpected Blessings there.

Thank you for the life you have given me. Thank you for the dear friends I’ve made along the way. Thank you for helping me speak the words that have long been hidden in my heart.

May we all be better vessels of your love and light today and always.

Amen


“Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

Pieces of Heart

How well are you treating yourself and others lately?

Truth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”Gautama Buddha

This morning I was looking through my Facebook memory feed and I saw the entry above. It struck a chord; so I posted it again and within minutes, some of my friends started sharing it. Isn’t it the truth? Why is it so hard for the majority of humans to focus on our positive attributes rather than our negative ones?

I know the quote up there says that it’s not up to others to keep you encouraged and it’s true; but oh, does it help when we infuse this good advice with a healthy dose of kindness to one another? It doesn’t take a supreme effort to make another person feel good. In fact, whenever I am able to bring a smile to someone else’s heart, it makes my own heart smile.

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This morning I made a quick stop on the way to work in order to pick up lunch. I stopped at my favorite grocery store and picked out something Keto-approved (because I am on a never ending quest to get healthier. That counts as self-love, right?). Standing in the checkout line I overheard the cashier call the customer in front of me by name. My first thought was that she must be a regular shopper. Still, it made me smile inwardly because the cashier was so kind to her.

When it was my turn, she asked me how I was, we exchanged pleasantries and she rang up my items. When she handed me the receipt, in the sweetest tone, she said to me, “Thank you, Bobbe…I really like your name!” I thanked her, wished her a great day, and I left the store smiling. I am sure the store management probably encouraged her to do this, but it didn’t matter to me a bit. It was kind. Her delivery was genuine and it made me feel good. As I pulled out into traffic, still smiling, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is to be kind to one another. She had just altered the course of my day in a wonderfully simple, yet highly positive way.

Last night we performed our regular once-per-week catering job. It’s the Fellowship Meal for the church where I work (doing finances), and I am Facebook friends with most of the people who attend. If you subscribe to this blog you already know that I adore cooking. Few things make me happier than mastering a new dish or preparing pretty food. I regularly share my food porn and my recipes on Facebook, because it’s what I enjoy. (Who doesn’t love food?)

Admittedly, there was a time when I wouldn’t share this blog anywhere because I feared what people may think. My food blogs could be construed as bragging; my inspirational writing could be construed as me believing I am above others; my angel musings could be construed as me being delusional or crazy. I was worried that people I work with might think I am (gasp) “new age”, even though I am actually the furthest thing from it. I was worried about offending people who don’t like what I like… You get where I am going with this.

deep

When I turned 54 a month ago today, I made the decision to live in authenticity. To me, this means the inside matches the outside; it means sharing exactly who I am without concern over what other people think or whether they believe the same as I do. It means that what others think of me is none of my business. Am I living my life in accordance to what I believe God wants? Am I feeling good in my own heart? To me, nothing else should be of higher importance.  Besides, if we were all exactly the same, where would joy live?  Ponder this a while. I’ll wait.

Last night just as we were about to serve dinner, one of the church congregants -(a lady I love to “silly-banter” with)- came across the room to tell me she wanted to tell me something. I was expecting our normal silliness, but instead she was so sincere. She proceeded to say the nicest things to me with regard to the variety of things I do well in my life; the cooking, the writing, the accounting, etc. I don’t want to repeat the entire exchange here, but it was one of the loveliest and most unexpected compliments I have ever received. Apparently, she’s been reading my blogs and so she is knowing me better. <grin> What she didn’t know, (or maybe she did), was just how timely she was, as I’ve been feeling rather low since Easter.

Driving home last night, I was telling Charlie what she said when tears formed in his eyes. He took my hand in his and said, “It’s all true, Bobbe. You don’t get enough credit or give yourself enough credit for who you are.” He doesn’t know it, but every time he gets emotional when I tell him about something like this, it cements the fact that I know I am exactly where I belong.

I don’t know if it’s true that I don’t get enough credit. (I am aware I don’t give myself enough credit because people tell me this all the time!) The reason I share this is to illustrate that kindness matters. Two times in the past twenty four hours, I’ve experienced unexpected kindnesses and my spirit has done a complete about-face. In fact, I feel transformed.

I am a generally positive person. Imagine if I wasn’t? How might these kindnesses have affected me even more?

Thank you God, for those people who unabashedly offer pieces of heart. Please help me to persist in trying to follow this path as well.

May pieces of heart sprinkle all of the paths we travel and may God grant us the insight to know when to sprinkle our own.

Happy Friday!

Love, Bobbe