Here are My Cooking Influences. What are yours?

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Major Raymond A. Rodgers. My Granddad.

One of my favorite memories of my Granddad, Major Raymond A. Rodgers, was the time he tried (in vain) to teach me how to make a simple roux. It was after the death of my Grandma and he was living with us. He happened to love gravy and he thought it would be a good idea to teach me to make it. In my defense, I was about 22 and the very last thing in the world I had interest in was learning to make gravy. I hated gravy, but I loved my Granddad, so I was up for the challenge.

He started out by demonstrating the proper technique, then told me stories about how he used to make it in the army and finished up with a batch of really silky white gravy. Then it was my turn. After the third attempt resulted in yet a third pile of gluey goo and a thousand giggles later, Granddad retired to his room smiling and laughing in defeat! We laughed about that experience for years following.

I often think of him now when I am making up sauces to go on whatever dish I’ve created. I know he would be so proud that I finally know how to make a decent cream gravy and an even better sauce!

I have been asked a gazillion times where I learned to cook. I didn’t grow up in the kitchen with my mother or my grandmother learning family recipes. In fact, I didn’t even start cooking at home in earnest until around 2009.

I actually credit part of my cooking talent to the old show, “Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood”. I know it sounds very silly but it’s true. If you ever watched the show as a kid, you will remember that at least once per show, Mr. Rodgers showed us how something is made. Often, the show would visit factories to watch how every day items such as crayons or pencils were made. These were my favorite segments. I think they taught me how to sit back, observe and learn and they are definitely what led me to love watching the early cooking shows such as; Julia Child, The Frugal Gourmet, The Cajun Cook, and the BBC2 series, The Two Fat Ladies. (That last show was a total hoot. My sister and I used to roll around on the floor laughing at those two motorcycling ladies!) Oh and I cannot forget to mention how I used to just love and adore Emeril Lagasse! (BAM!)

fred rodgers

Fred Rodgers

Two fat ladies

The Two Fat Ladies

Long about 2010, Charlie and I moved to a new house that had a wonderful kitchen. It wasn’t fancy; just had a lot of space. One night he was about to make something and out of the blue I declared that I would like to make something new I’d seen on television. I cannot even recall what it was, but I do remember the satisfaction I felt when it turned out beautifully and Charlie scarfed it all down. From that point forward, I did 98% of the dinner cooking in our home. My love of cooking shows grew and “The Food Channel” became the most watched network and explored web site in our home!

Working in a church has afforded me the unique opportunity of spending some time in an industrial kitchen once per week. Although my real job is in the finance office, Charlie and I were Grandfathered into preparing the weekly Fellowship Meal for 100-125 people. It started with someone else deciding the menus and purchasing the food. We would be left with instructions on how to prepare and serve it and eventually, we took over the entire thing. To me, it’s like planning a party each week, and I dearly love it when we pack up to leave, exhausted and sweaty, knowing that we prepared a great meal that left everyone satisfied!

My Mother often asks me how in the world we are able to do meals on such a large scale. She usually says that the mere thought of being responsible for all that food would make her too nervous to do it. This is when I stop and realize that if I sat around thinking about it like that, I wouldn’t be able to do it myself!

Tonight is the last Fellowship Meal for this season. We’ll take off a little over a month and return in July, so we’ve decided to make beef tenderloin. It’s a bit of a daunting task, IF I think about it, so I will just end here with the promise of photos tomorrow.

What are some of your cooking influences? My current favorites are, “The Pioneer Woman”, and “Barefoot Contessa”, but mostly, I just like to explore recipes and then tweak them to make them my own.

I’d love to hear how you got started cooking! Please share!

bobbe kitchen

This is me in the church kitchen a couple of years ago! Not the most attractive photo but I think you can tell I love being there!!  ❤

 

 

 

Hope Whispers

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Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

 

The darkest periods of my life have always been the most hope-filled. I can’t pinpoint who taught me this or when, as I cannot recall a time this wasn’t in my heart. The times I have been face down on the pavement of life, I’ve always had one eye focused on the love of God and the Blessing that’s surely on the way.

These are the times my heart whispers to me, “God will heal this. God sees you. God sees!”

I believe the Almighty does see, hear and feel everything I go through on this earth. Being the loving father He is to me; He waits for me to find the lesson of the experience; and when I do, He sends His grace.

That being said, it’s a dark time for me right now. For days I’ve been up at five am succumbing to tears and lamentations. It’s so hard to find the hope in a situation that keeps replaying itself in the exact same manner year after year. I keep telling myself, “God sees”, yet for the moment, it isn’t bringing me any resolution.

I do not know what to do in order to fix this. I don’t know that it can be fixed. I know perfectly well that the definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again expecting a different result. However, in this case, I am not the one repeating the same action and I already feel I have tried every possible approach.

Still in all, I keep one eye open, knowing unequivocally that through every single period of darkness in my life, God has revealed Himself to me in miraculous ways.

And so I will pray again, believing God will heal this situation, and He will.

Dear God:

I can’t. You can. Please Do.

Thank you in advance.

I love you.

Amen.

 


From The Angels:

romance Romance: Your angels have heard your appeals for romance.

If you are doing something you love to do, if you are engaged and passionate, it is like a giant beacon. Embrace the strong, fearless side of you personality that you may have forgotten about.

The angels may ask you to join a group or take a class in which you might meet someone with similar interests. Follow this guidance and you will discover the romance you are seeking.

blessings Blessings: As you continue the journey of rediscovering your Divine nature, we surround you with our love and blessings.

Your success will come from facing your challenges when they arise and discovering new paradigm solutions. You will have opportunities to pinpoint and resolve many longstanding issues during this cycle. The key here is staying in the present and addressing what is there, when it is in front of you. This means avoiding the temptation to procrastinate. It means developing more self-trust and more in-the-moment connection with your inner wisdom.

listening Listening: It’s easy to get busy in life trying to do everything at once. You can listen and work at the same time but sometimes multi-tasking isn’t the best use of our time. Sometimes we have to stop, look people in the eyes, and give them the gift of listening.

We need to take time to deposit value in their hearts. We need to support one another, and listening is an amazing way of doing just that.

As you go about your day, the angels remind you to give people the gift of listening. It seems like such a little thing, but those little deposits will eventually make a big difference. When you make deposits in people, you are making deposits in eternity, and that is what pleases the heart of God.

Bonus:
trust Trust: You have to be willing to pour in everything you have before you can see Gods increase flowing in your life. Believe in yourself, the angels emphasize the value of self-trust.

The angels encourage you to give God what you have in your hands today, and as you stay faithful to do your part, God will do His part.

When you put action behind your faith and trust God, He will pour wisdom, strength, and creativity into you and help you accomplish the dreams and desires He has placed in your heart. The angels ask you to trust in God and to trust in them, they will help you trust yourself.


Blessed are they who give
without expecting even thanks in return,
for they shall be abundantly rewarded.

Blessed are they who translate
every good thing they know into action,
for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.

Blessed are they who do God’s will
without asking to see results,
for great shall be their recompense.

Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings,
for they shall reach the good in people and
receive a loving response.

Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know
that not the garment of clay but that which activates
the garment of clay is real and indestructible.

Blessed are they who see the change we call death
as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life,
for they shall rejoice with their loved ones
who make the glorious transition.

Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives
and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith
to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead,
for they shall receive a second blessing.

Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path
without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace,
for they shall find it.

Blessed are they who instead of trying to
batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven
approach them humbly and lovingly and purified,
for they shall pass right through.

~Mildred Norman


Dear Lord:

Remind me of anyone I need to forgive today (especially myself), and then please help me to obey you in this.

Amen

Face Value

 

imageThursday while visiting my parents, I laughed heartily at my father, who has been reading some of my previous blogs. He’s taken a special interest in the one entitled, “Assumptions and Interpretations” and we had a nice talk about what is actually meant by, “not making assumptions” when a person is speaking to you. I was so pleased that it appeared as though he was actually asking me what my true thoughts and feelings are, and he was listening to me, completely present in the conversation.

You must know my father. This was his way of giving me a supreme compliment-demonstrating to me that he was practicing precisely what I’d written about. Of course, I nearly fell on the floor in stitches, when he and my mother got into an argument about what it all meant -each of them cutting the other off mid-sentence. (I have to let them slide just a little bit as they are in their 80’s and I think that gives them a bit of a pass and besides, they weren’t really arguing-just bantering back and forth.)

Dad: “It says right here that you when someone compliments you, you should accept what the person says and not assume the person has ulterior motives! So when I tell you you are beautiful, you should accept that I mean it.”

Mom: “Shut up you Jack Ass, I HAVE a mirror you know. I can still SEE.” LOLOL!!!


How many of us are guilty of assuming we know what another person’s motives are? My goodness, with communication via electronic device at an all-time high, it’s so easy to fall into misinterpreting what someone is saying. (Charlie and I discuss this frequently because admittedly, we’re Facebook junkies.) It’s easy to go to someone’s page and read his/her words and misinterpret what we see. What’s even worse is when we know there are two different ways to take a certain statement and we choose the least attractive one. Rather than ask the author if we are correct, we just make an assumption and go on. I’ve seen so many fights start this way and plenty of perfectly good friendships hit snags because of this behavior.

I think it’s important for all of us to listen to what the angels suggest and ask ourselves WHY we aren’t truly listening. In my own life, I do remember a time in my mid twenties where it must have been so frustrating to try to communicate with me. I can vividly recall being at the office with my father, working on a calculator. He was trying to teach me a computation and he was getting frustrated because I kept trying to anticipate his next words. What happened as a result was that we kept having to start and stop because I would punch in numbers and do computations that were entirely wrong. LOL. I realize now, thirty years later, that I was doing that because I wanted him to know I was smarter than he realized, that I didn’t need to be told, and that I was capable on my own. What I demonstrated instead, was just how insecure and immature I really was.

I laugh because in later years, as fate would have it, I had the challenge of working with an employee who had the exact same bad habits I once had. (The Universe is so funny that way.) Most often we do get the opportunity to meet “ourselves” somewhere along the way. I have been on the receiving end of not being heard. We all have. What helps me to continue making an effort to really listen to people, is remembering what it feels like to be cut off mid-sentence; or to pour out my soul to someone only to have that person look at me in a daze and start an entirely new subject. We have to be so careful these days about how we treat one another and what we are cultivating in our lives. A spirit is a delicate thing.

AFFIRMATION: I am vigilant about how I am treating others, making certain I am careful to cultivate love and respect in all that I do and especially in what I say.


From The Angels:

image Healing: The highest purpose of your healer guides is to restore your self-awareness and self-esteem as children of God and help you accept the love and unlimited blessings that God grants you.

Opening your heart and mind to your worthiness is the best healing of all.

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.

divine-guidance Divine Guidance: If you could see yourself as spirit sees you, there would be no doubt about the importance of this life. You would understand why it’s so vital that you wake up fully and walk the Earth like the Divine being you truly are. Your angels are inspiring you make your best efforts to create a life worthy of remembering. You know the potency of using your next present moments to masterfully create a new way of being.

Being able to make miracles happen is fundamentally a result of how you choose to align yourself, how you choose to use your mind, and how much faith you have in being able to use it to affect your physical world.

You have teachers, observers, and divine guidance available at any time. This world is your arena for growth and learning with the specific purpose of serving and evolving into higher levels of love. There is a higher power working in the universe beyond mere cause and effect. Pay close attention God and the angels are trying to speak to you.


I thank Christ our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
— 1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)


Today’s Prayers:

Lord, I believe:
I wish to believe in Thee.
Lord, let my faith be full and unreserved,
and let it penetrate my thought,
my way of judging Divine things and human things.
Lord, let my faith be joyful
and give peace and gladness to my spirit,
and dispose it for prayer with God
and conversation with men,
so that the inner bliss of its fortunate possession
may shine forth in sacred and secular conversation.
Lord, let my faith be humble and not presume
to be based on the experience of my thought and of my
feeling;
but let it surrender to the testimony of the Holy Spirit,
and not have any better guarantee than in docility to
Tradition
and to the authority of the magisterium of the Holy Church.

Amen.

 

Nothing is Impossible

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As we travel through life, at various times we may experience certain hardships and may stop to ask, “Why? What have I done to deserve this hardship, this obstacle, this pain? Why is God punishing me?”

What is important to keep in proper perspective, is that the difficulty we are facing, or the painful experience that we are asked to endure can actually be a karmic experience our soul requires for balance, or an important lesson we are to learn in for strength in the future. We must understand that one year of our lives is simply a single page in a magnificent book that represents our spirit/soul journey through eternity.

There is a reason for everything that happens to us in life; even though we may not readily understand what that reason is. We must never take the position that something has happened to us because God is punishing us. God manifests only love, and knowing only love, God doesn’t want to see us suffer, just as any parent would not want to see her own child suffer. Unfortunately, sometimes the lessons we experience in this life can be painful. The sorrow and heartache of losing someone close to you, is painful today, but one hundred years from now, when your soul’s are in the same dimension, that pain no longer exists. To be exposed to economic hardship in this lifetime, struggling to make ends meet, may be very painful and humbling at this moment; but ten years from now, the generosity that you may have in sharing with others, the appreciation of using a skill you did not have then, but you have today in order to provide financial security for yourself, having the willingness to help others who are desperately searching for a support system and you becoming that support system, all of these are manifestations of the pain you might have experienced ten years earlier, when you felt lost and were struggling to meet demands.

You must look upon every experience you have, as being part of the growth of your spirit and soul. It would be unreasonable to expect to live a life in which you are always in bliss, and you are only exposed to happiness and joy, never to sadness or hardship. Just examine the life of Jesus, and you will see that even He, who was a Son of God, who was so close to our Father/Mother that he sat by God’s side, experienced challenges, anguish and pain during his lifetime. It does not make a difference who your hero is, it would be almost impossible for them to reach the point of attainment were they not to go through hardships first.*

I guess I’m living testimony to the fact that in this life, things tend to come full circle if you have the fortitude to trust in God and wait for the tides to turn. Six years ago I embarked on a long trip through life without a single member of my family. (It lasted three years.)  There was a huge divide; something I was certain could never be bridged.

Yet this afternoon, I’ll go over as I have done every week now since we reconciled in 2010, to visit my mother and father–the people I was certain I could never again have a relationship with. Ha! How stupid we can actually be if given the opportunity. What I am finding lately is that the relationship I used to think was irreparably damaged beyond belief, is actually the one of the best relationships I have in my life, to date. My mother has grown and I have grown and now when we visit, we talk about our true feelings…things that were covered up before…and we understand one another ever so much better.

If anyone had come to me all those years ago to tell me that today, I’d be eager to get to my Mom’s house to share with her, I’d have laughed.

What seems impossible today is truly an illusion. Nothing is impossible. What made the difference in my relationship with my parents was the growth I experienced being away from them. Finally one day I decided to send a card and the rest rapidly became good history in my life. Before that time, my prayers were always that God would take over and eventually lead me where I needed to be. He did.

Whatever you are facing in your life at this moment, hang on. Rest assured that the tides always turn for the better, provided you continue to do the next right thing. THAT means, you don’t dwell in the impossible…instead you look forward to the day that things are better. They will be. That’s a promise!

(* NOTE: The first part of this has been sitting in my draft box for over a year with NO credit to who may have written it. I’m NOT sure I wrote it, although it sounds like me. I always give credit where it is due but in this case, I’m just not sure.)


From The Angels:

celebration Celebration: This time of light is a time of rejuvenation, of recharging your batteries. Take time to celebrate and rejoice in the uplifting of spirits. Lighten up. Acknowledge your diligence and give yourself credit and appreciation for all that you have accomplished. Stop and smell the roses. Stop to appreciate the beauty and majesty that is present in your lives.

Focus on what you are creating, not what is crumbling. Remember: neutral compassion, this is especially important for what is in your personal experience. Witness and bless. All the angels join with you in celebrations of light at this time, it is by this light that you are united, and by this light that you have created all that is on its way to you. What a glorious time to rejoice in all that is good and all that is true.

Don’t give up – for while it appears that you are on a solitary path, you are supported by reams of fellow beings of light on all around you. If you do nothing else at this time of celebration, remember the unseen party that is going on everywhere!

image Archangel Michael: Rapid change is often unsettling and can be stressful, but only because it seems to be too rapid and therefore threatening. Remember that you have agreed on the higher level to be part of the change, and that the changes are to bring in Light, Love, Joy and Abundance.

Operate from your Heart rather than your head. If there is fear, then it is coming from your head. Stay grounded and open, and be practical. If you are in the flow of Divine Creative energy, then you cannot fail.

Archangel Michael is making his presence known to you. Remember that you are Safe and Protected at all times, and that all is in Divine Order at all times! If you trust Divine Order, and not your old habits, you will be fine! God and the angels will help you stay true to yourself during trying times.

answered-prayer Answered Prayer: Each day connect with your soul allow the divine light in. Your prayers have been answered.

In your life find a way to experience spiritual devotion through prayer or meditation in a way that brings out devotional qualities. These qualities or energies are healing. They drive away anger. All of your prayers are always answered.

The angels request that you be observant of everything you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or sense in any way it is an aspect of Divinity.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

-Author Unknown-


Today’s Prayer:

Lord,

Today I offer my prayers for those who are searching and suffering in this life. So many of my friends are experiencing darkness in their lives. Let my prayer join with others in the universe who are praying for light, love, strength and stability.

As always, I thank you in advance for your continued love and support and for all of the things you do for us that we do not even realize.

Help us all to be better versions of ourselves and to treat our bodies as temples for our spirits. (Especially yours truly.)

I love you.

Amen

 

Baubles & Blessings. Trinkets &Tears.

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This is actually a repeat of a blog I did years ago. It could have been written yesterday as things are still the same. I am leaving it here because a lot of you do not know my whole background. Rather than tell the entire long, boring story, this is a little snippet of what I sometimes experience when I visit with the parents on Thursdays.


In getting used to writing regularly again, I’m finding myself ready to talk about more personal things. For a time I held back,  unsure I should be revealing the total truth. Today, I feel like who really cares what anyone thinks, provided I’m speaking my truth and I always do.

I have spoken a little about going to visit my mother and how it’s been a Blessing in my life to reconnect. Today I visited again and we laughed and joked and talked about old times. We talked about my writing my book, (and of course, she has her ideas about what I should write about).

It was a bit hard towards the end of our visit when she accidentally shared with me that she’s all ready given most of my Grandmother’s jewelry and hers too, to my daughter and sister. Although, I am not one who is really interested in material things, it was hard to hear this today, feeling like I’d been passed over as “non-existent”. Still, I tried to be cheerful when she related how my daughter always gets her way; how even though C. doesn’t usually wear jewelry, she’s managed to conquer most of the best pieces. I tried to make a few nice comments, “I’m glad for her. It’s nice that she’s finally wearing nice things…” It was a struggle for me. All my heart could feel was, “Why doesn’t anyone in this family ever think about me?”

I guess my Mom saw me struggling unsuccessfully to be cheerful. I had a smile on my face but I was wishing I could run out of there to bawl my eyes out. It’s not about the “stuff” for me at all. It’s about being forever treated like I am not a true member of the family. It’s about being consistently last.

My Grandparents were the most special people in the world to me. I was actually the closest one to both of them, but Mom either doesn’t remember this or she’s chosen not to care. It is devastating to me at times, but I always put on a brave face.

I could see in my Mom’s expression that she was kicking herself for having said what she did. She didn’t intend to hurt me and I know she felt an immediate need to make up for it. So she forced me into the room where the jewelry safe has always been and she wouldn’t look at me, knowing I had tears streaming down my face. She forced me to stand there while she opened it, trying to attempt to save my feelings, saying, “there isn’t much left, but you can pick too”.

I don’t fault her for anything yet, it really hurts to know that I wasn’t even thought of when this distribution took place. I guess she she did what she thought best. I WAS gone for three years, after all.

Still it hurts. In a perfect world, she’d have given what she wanted to and saved the balance for us to share equally. This is what she did when my Grandmother died and she was left everything. She said she could not possibly be at peace knowing she had a brother and sister who loved their mother as much as she did…and keep the things to herself. So she waited until my Grandfather died and then they drew straws and picked fairly.

There were things she didn’t get but I remember her telling me she was at peace because she “did the right thing”. I cannot help but wonder why she hasn’t used the same measure of balance for her own children and Grandchild.

It’s hard for me because I was the closest to my Grandparents. It’s hard for me because yesterday, I felt humiliated-like an after thought-when she forced me into the room to pick something. She forced two rings on me, which I am grateful for because they turned out to be things that have sentimental value for me; but by and large, I just wanted to run out of there.

This is a pattern in my family. Negative attention has always been fed and rewarded and that’s all I will say about that at this time.

I worked with my father for twenty seven years and in the end was left with nothing when he decided he needed the income and he sold our business. In fact, he gave my sister and daughter all of the equipment and furniture from my office. My daughter and sister have been allowed anything and everything they’ve wanted. Now all of this jewelry stuff.

I have a hard time understanding why things in my life have played out the way they have. In my heart, I have an idea, but it sure doesn’t take the pain away.

On the way home, through my tears, I kept hearing, “the meek shall inherit the earth”. I know it sounds crazy but this is what repeated over and over in my brain. I thanked God through my tears and shouted out that while I may not have the mementos, I have had the love and that means MORE.

Years from now I will remember these times with my Mom that are four uninterrupted hours, once per week, of solid visit time where we share openly and honestly. MOST times we giggle and laugh and other times I burst into tears and try to tell her how I feel. It won’t change the behavior, but at least I am able to express myself.

The Blessing in all of this is that she listens. How many people get to speak from the heart like this and have her mother actually HEAR? I don’t know. What I DO know is that this is what I’ve needed my entire life so yes, it’s worth way MORE than jewels and material possessions. I have her ear, her heart and her time and I’m saying things I want to say before she leaves this earth. In a few years, I’ll feel peace. My sister and daughter will still have the baubles, but I’ll have important memories..

It seems my lesson is almost always one of learning to shift one’s perspective in order to see the bright side of life. Believe me, it’s never easy to do, but the result is always a good one.

Count your Blessings. They ARE there.


From The Angels:

listening Listening: It’s easy to get busy in life trying to do everything at once. You can listen and work at the same time but sometimes multi-tasking isn’t the best use of our time. Sometimes we have to stop, look people in the eyes, and give them the gift of listening.

We need to take time to deposit value in their hearts. We need to support one another, and listening is an amazing way of doing just that.

As you go about your day, the angels remind you to give people the gift of listening. It seems like such a little thing, but those little deposits will eventually make a big difference. When you make deposits in people, you are making deposits in eternity, and that is what pleases the heart of God.

image Support: God, the angels, and all who love, protect, and guide you are watching over you right now. When you take time to communicate with God and the angels, they are able to pour out power and strength into our lives.

This card reassures in the multitude of anxious thoughts within you. Divine love comforts you. They will comfort you with the energy of Divine love.

If you ever feel doubtful about your ability to help others, ask the angels to help you release these fears.

truth-intergrity Truth & Integrity: You have the strength to stand strong in the midst of difficult situations, and the wisdom it takes to make good decisions. If something in your life isn’t working, be willing to release it to God and the angels.

Understand you are important, and know that you are called to add value to the world around you. No matter where you are in life today, you have potential to increase, grow, to be strengthened, and to move forward. God created you for His good purpose and you are His masterpiece!


Today’s Prayers

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. — Romans 5:1-2 (NIV)

 

Dear God:
I Can’t.
YOU Can.
Please Do.
Thank you.
Amen

Mistaken Identity

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Growing up I was one of the kids always picked last in gym class. Although I remember cringing sometimes, most of the time I just did not care. I wasn’t a particularly uncoordinated kid or overweight or weak. My issue was being afraid to really try for fear of making a fool out of myself, which in itself was kind of funny, since I spent most of my time purposefully making people laugh. No one tortured me or made huge fun of me either. They just didn’t want me on their team. Fine.

I was not put in honor’s classes or even among the smartest of my class all the way through high school and into my first year of college. I can’t remember ever feeling hugely inferior, but I do remember being irritated always being in the mid level groups, but not irritated enough to do anything about it. I’m not even sure I realized there was something I could do about it.

Long about sophomore year in college, I took a sociology class, taught by a highly unconventional professor. Although I cannot remember the details, I remember how infuriated my classmates used to be in this class. They couldn’t understand his methods. He didn’t follow a lesson-plan. He didn’t test us. He required us to write papers about odd topics. What amused me most was that I understood exactly what he was trying to do, from the very beginning. I sat there, day in and day out listening to him speak, wishing I could stand up to say to my classmates, “Just hold on…eventually what he’s doing will make sense to you.”. The first time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+. The second time I wrote a paper for him, I received an A+ and so on. I couldn’t believe it. One of the by-products of taking his class was the realization that if I knew who my audience was, I could really write. I started applying this to my other classes. It worked every time. Before I turned around twice, I was a straight “A” student.

Who? ME?

The key, I believe, was in my applying myself. How many of us used to get the report from parent-teacher conferences: “Does not work to full potential”, “failure to apply oneself”. I never knew what that even meant until college.

Junior year in college, I was looking for an easy credit to take for my P.E. requirement so I took, “Walking”. (I fig ured I already had a jump on this one since I’d learned to walk early in life.) Imagine my chagrin when it turned out that this was one of the tougher classes I’d ever taken. Ha, the joke was on all of us looking for an easy “A”. We were tested every week on anatomy, physiology, health, fitness, nutrition etc. In addition to this we were required to do “timed” walks several miles a day, right from the very first day. Again, I made a shocking discovery: I liked to finish first. By then end of this class, I was actually running five miles each period and because I enjoyed “winning”, I was pushing myself harder and harder. No one scored higher than I did. No one went faster than I did.

What’s the point? I grew up thinking I wasn’t athletic. I always knew I had a quick wit, but I don’t think I ever realized just how capable and smart I could be until later in life. I don’t think anyone ever really put a label on me or threatened me in any way, but I definitely lived under a mistaken impression for a while.

I wonder how many of us are still living under a mistaken identity?

Today is a perfect day to reflect on the fact that we are all part of a consistent evolution.

What can you do today that you thought you’d never be doing in your life? What do you still want to do?

We’re not wearing concrete shoes, ya know. What are you waiting for?

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NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on discontent, because the Word says: “I have learned in whatever state (circumstances) I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on unworthiness, because the Word says: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on confusion, because the Word says: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14)

Prayer for Today:
Each day is a blessing
of epic proportions.
I give thanks for
what might seem meager comforts:
real cream in my coffee,
a day without a bill in the mail,
the Paso Doble.
Sometimes life is a dance
a woman has to do backwards
pushing against the wind
and obstacles in the way.
Thank You for being the partner
who always leads.
-Ruth Williams

 

 

Is this my life?

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Remember when I promised to reveal why Thursday’s are often very hard for me?

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with my 84 year old mother over the past months.  It comes as a welcome opportunity to really explore the past, to ask questions about why certain things happened the way they did and to share funny quips and stories. These days, even when I may not feel like going over there to sit and talk for three or four hours, I go any way, because I know for a fact, that the days are running out.  I have to take my opportunities where they come.

Once upon a time, I shared everything with my Mom.  We were the closest of any of the relatives in my immediate family…and then somehow things turned upside down.   I still struggle to figure out what changed so much that I ended up estranged from her for over three years.  I’m grateful the lines of communications have been opened again for many years, yet sad that some things are never going to change and are outside of my control.

A while ago on a Thursday, we had a tough few hours talking about events of the past.  I was floored when out of nowhere she dredged up one of her perceptions of an event I have absolutely NO recollection of.  (I’m not even sure it really happened.)  The saddest part of all is that this is something she’s held over me for more than thirty years, (I was a senior in high school according to her)….yet she never bothered to talk to me about it.  I’ve spent countless hours and thousands of gallons of tears trying to understand what I ever did to deserve the treatment I’ve received.  Now it comes out and it turns out to be something that I cannot even remember and even if I did; this is NOT something you lay at the feet of your daughter….ever.

I wish I could be more forthcoming with the details of what was actually said, but at this point I cannot.  What I can share, however, is how important it is to never EVER to make assumptions. We lost thirty or more years of a good relationship because she made something up in her mind and then told herself it was true. She never once spoke to me about it. Reflecting back, I see this is a pattern of many years with her.

This morning I’m still struggling trying to make sense of this life I’ve lived.  Friends tell me I should write a novel (or two or three) based on my life experiences…if I could make sense of most of it, I might.

What I know beyond a doubt is the surest way to add more pain to your life is to assume you know it all and to not question the reality of your assumptions.  Open, honest and clear communication is the secret ingredient in all effective, loving relationships.

Despite the pain I might have today as a result of knowing what I now do, I am still grateful for these times with my mother.  I am grateful there is still time to heal the past.  I am grateful God has given me the tools I need to process this silly life and grateful I’m able to be open enough to share my feelings.

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Prayer for today:

Show me the suffering of the most miserable;

So I will know my people’s plight.

Free me to pray for others;

For you are present in every person.

Help me take responsibility for my own life;

So that I can be free at last.

Grant me courage to serve others;

For in service there is true life.

Give me honesty and patience;

So that the Spirit will be alive among us.

Let the Spirit flourish and grow;

So that we will never tire of the struggle.

Let us remember those who have died for justice;

For they have given us life.

Help us love even those who hate us;

So we can change the world.

Amen.

-César E. Chávez