Friday, October 30, 2015

What I Learned in October

Today I am joining Emily's "What We Learned in October." I love the idea of looking back over this gorgeous month, gleaning the treasures - some evident, some hidden under a bit of pain or a dark cloud. Here are a few of the lessons I walked through in October, carrying them with me into the new month.

  •  I gain time when I slow down. 
I know it sounds crazy! I find the more I grasp for time, the more it slips from my fingers. When I breathe and believe, I'm able to move into more space. 
Ann Voskamp says, "in Christ, we fill - gaining time." 
How is that possible? Picture setting our clocks back this weekend and gaining an hour. There is something magical about sinking into the present moment, rather than always reaching for the golden ring beyond our fingertips.

  •  A shift in perspective creates space. (See my gym time as "me time.")
I knew it was time to get back to walking at the gym. The weather has grown too cold for outdoor hikes here in northern Maine. I made it there twice this week. Popping my headset on, I found inspiration and a place where none can reach me for thirty minutes. Yay!

  • Sometimes what we think we need to do isn't really what we need at all.  Did you get that? And I call myself a writer! Sigh.
Last weekend Hubby and I were to attend a wedding. On the same day a friend of mine was speaking at a women's meeting, which I assumed I wouldn't be able to attend. She'd spent hours and days creating a gigantic anchor from paper mache and crafting her talk. I wanted to share in her joy.
All week long a gentle prompting to plan to attend nudged me. Thus on Saturday morning I headed for the meeting, finding encouragement and many beautiful moments. Hubby came down with a bad cold and cough so we never made the wedding (they had over 200 guests so we weren't missed.)

  • Balance is a process.
I keep bumping into the word "balance." First it was on Jamie Ridler's blogpost where she describes balance a bit differently than I'd heard before. I watched her video several times, especially the section on letting go and taking in. 
While working on my collage journal "balance" captured my attention.
Then one morning I turned on the television to find Joyce Meyer speaking right to me about taking care of myself through exercise, rest and eating.

  • Family is worth the trip, even on bumpy roads.
I know this sounds a bit simple but this month was both a tough one and a wonderful one with my family. Family can be messy and hard and hurtful, calling for grace and forgiveness and a lot of 
love- overlooking- stuff.  Then the moments of pure joy break upon us, making it all worth the journey. 

  • I can make a video! Hooray.
Check out this blogpost. 

Hope you enjoyed a peek into the lessons I'm learning. Feel free to share with me.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Finale with Hope as the Major Player

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,  so that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  Romans 15:13

I stand in the midst of this scripture today, pulling it up over me like a blanket.

I've mused for four days now for all to see. In between I count my blessings, swimming gratitude.

Today I settle into the remaining color of autumn, turning my eyes to the unseen God of hope.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
                        Proverbs 13:12

I've been focusing on unmet hopes, desires denied, loitering fears. This morning my prayer is for fresh hope.

My best days are yet ahead, starting now.

I begin again - listening, opening, resting, choosing and clearing the congestion.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Balance : Soul Congestion - Part 4

My one little word for 2015 has been "unscripted." 

My word for the summer was "listen." 

Trusting God holds the script allows me to let go of tight-fisted control. I find this to be a daily process.

Listening. Always returning to listening requires showing up for my life. In the moment and for the long haul.

Every year I spend my entire fall planning, preparing and creating for Christmas. I love to surprise my family with heartfelt, thought out, unique, and often handmade gifts.  On December 26th its over, leaving me exhausted and sometimes succumbing to illness.

I want to break the pattern.

Fall has always been my most productive season. This year I am feeling tired, longing to feather my nest and rest. Yet the temptation to dive into several creative projects pulls me.

I'm adding another word.


Lock in to my rhythm, sensing the ebb and flow, identifying undercurrents and dropping anchor in the right place and season.

The Unnoticed Life; Soul Congestion - Part 3

Who notices a single leaf slipping to the ground beside an old falling-down barn on the back road of nowhere?

Perhaps this is my quandary, the one keeping me up at night. 

Will my life go unnoticed? 

The list of synonyms for unnoticed begins with:
  • overlooked
  • undiscovered
  • unrecognized
  • unseen
Can you identify? I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to leave this life overlooking my destiny, leaving little treasures undiscovered. I long to recognize God in the midst of each day.

Most of all, I don't want my life falling to the ground "unseen."

There are days when I feel like I'm here as a prop for others, the holding- up person, the necessary but unseen. 

That would be okay- except for those down-deep desires pressing against my heart. 

The ones I've spent years hushing until they all mesh together, yet never fully disappear.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Soul Congestion - Part 2

Sit with the tension.

In yoga, one of the keys is to sit with the tension. Don't be in a hurry to go to the next move. Let the stretching work its magic.

"We have all winter to work on those things." A friend quipped in reply to my frustration with not being able to get into a project.

Am I in too much of a hurry?

Last night when I was writing part one of this post,  I kept pondering two words.

Soul congestion. 

How could I clear my mind, will and emotions from the tentacles of regret, planning and the feeling of too little time for all I want to do?

At 4:00 a.m. these words floated to the top of my mind. 

Sit with the tension. Sink into it. Stop fighting your life with all its interruptions and people stuff.

Is that the same as letting go? 

Is it simple trust?

Trust in myself. Trust in God. Trust in the process.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Soul Congestion - Part 1


Three a.m. finds me in my green chair holding a cup of sleepy time tea and my iPad.  I tried to stay in bed, tossing and turning for hours, attempting to move away from hubby's coughing and snoring, due to his cold. 

I rubbed arnica on my aching back muscles, popped a Tylenol and listened to podcasts in my earbuds. None of the usual help-me-sleep aids worked. Finally I got out of bed and cranked up the thermostat.  I worked on a few yoga stretches to ease tight muscles.

A mere seven days has passed since a friend took the above photo. The morning was crisp and clear and autumn was exploding with color. A morning of perfect freedom.

Since that day  I spent hours traveling, sleeping in hotel rooms, eating unfriendly foods and easing my way through emotional issues and responsibilities. 

The problems in my body reflect the deeper issues of my soul. 

I am experiencing soul congestion. 

I seriously need a detox in my body.

How does one detox her soul?

can't seem to focus. Several projects lie in wait for me. Nagging thoughts  of Christmas, fast approaching, run circles around my mind. I'm frantically doing everything I can to avoid catching hubby's cold after spending three months last winter down and out. Losing a nights sleep certainly won't help.

Everything feels too crowded, tight and weary. 

How do I move out of this mucky place?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Journal Showdown - Take 3


Perfectionist tendencies grasp my arm, screaming, "Make another one! You'll get it right this time."

I am ignoring her taunts and posting my first ever video for Jamie Ridler's Journal Showdown. I'm trusting you faithful - readers- of- my- blog for grace :)

I referenced Jamie's studio with the wrong URL so here's the right one -

I need to film sideways, smile more and look in the right place. Any suggestions welcome :)

My Little Blue Book

Thanks for joining me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Break Out the Color!

What a beautiful fall day here in northern Maine! The fog rolled in over the fields this morning with warmer temps than the past couple of frosty mornings. Most of my flowers are gone now except for a hardy few. The leaves are teasing us with color here and there, much slower than usual. I expect this week they will explode in red, orange and yellow.

I took a snack break and decided to post a quick October hello. I am digging out a few warmer clothes. Later this week we will head down to close our camper. Seasons are in full swing shift now.

With the change is seasons, my desire to quilt and knit and create with color is growing. Perhaps you love to paint, photograph or art journal. Check out the interview with my daughter over on Fearless Lines. Here is a woman with two jobs, a five-year-old with high energy, and many responsibilities. Yet she takes time to get into her art room. Please stop over to Fearless Lines and read the interview. You will be inspired.

Take time to enjoy nature's beauty today or create some of your own and drop a comment to let me know.