Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Finds


I like to share things I find  :

Canva-A new graphic design site that I want to explore more along with Pic Monkey both of which can be used for blog headers etc

I am eagerly anticipating a New Season of Downton Abbey.How about you?

Here are some blogs that I have followed awhile and  that I return to time and again.

Posie Gets cozy- A sweet blog on Oregon life and home craft just a feel good place to go.

Jumping Tandem- A blog about faith and its a good one.

Iowa Girl Eats- A really good food blog.

Ae-Ali Edwards-A blog I've followed since 2004 about memory keeping.She is another Oregonian.

She Wears Many Hats- A crafting and food blog.

Here are some of my Favorite Instagrammers to follow:No links for Instagram but just go and type their name in and you should find them.Honey Holden,Tiffini and Tara have blogs so their are links to their blogs.


Honey Holden-a pastors wife who has such a sweet spirit and she has a blog too.The Honey Pot and her husband Nick Holden too.

Amy Hale- a sweet Christian woman with a sweet spirit

House of Belonging-Tiffini has a wonderful blog also.

Tara Whitney-another person I've followed since 2004.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

momas gone city-such cuteness of a dog and a baby.

I encourage you to visit each of them .

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and the Art of Living




My Hope for you is to Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

I will be off tomorrow and spending Wednesday at work at the Hospital with my other family and they are like my other family.I have found that when you work 12 hour shifts those you work with become close to you.I ask that if you have a minute over the coming days  if you would to say a silent prayer for all those who have family members in the hospitals all over this country.

I hope we each find the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts the next few days and and to  be passionately present in the coming days with our friends and family and realize that they really are the true gifts in our life that came forth into the world that one night in the stable!

Here is one of the favorite things I read all year The Art of Living by Leo Babauta


MY PURSUIT OF THE ART OF LIVING

For many years I simply lived, and got by.
But in the last few years, after learning a bit about habits and mindfulness and simplicity and love, I have changed my approach to living.
Now I see living as an art form, to be studied and played with and practiced and mastered. Of course, few ever master the art of living, and I don’t know if I ever will. Probably not.
But I can pursue this art. I can appreciate it when others do it well. I can learn about it, through experiments and observation and introspection.
My pursuit of the art of living is only just beginning, but I thought I’d share a bit about this pursuit with you, my good friends.

BEGINNING THE PURSUIT

The journey begins with a single step, a wise man said, and for me that first step is simple:
Admit I don’t know.
Learning begins by emptying your cup, so that you can fill it with what you find. Emptying your cup means getting rid of pre-set opinions.
I don’t know what the art of living is, but I am curious.
And so the path is one of open hands, of curiosity and finding out.
And it’s one of bare feet, of being open and naked, willing to be exposed to life and chaos.
It’s about clear seeing, mindfulness turned to seeing reality as it is, without trying to make things rosy or conform to the story you tell yourself.
Clear seeing, naked, open hands, curious without knowing. That’s the path that I’ve found, so far.

THE ART EMERGES

With clear seeing, I start to see why I (and others) suffer, why we stress and get mad at each other and want more and more.
And now I can start to apply the art of living to my days.
Here’s what I practice with, imperfectly:
  • Compassion. Instead of being angry or frustrated, I find the pain in others, and open my heart to them. This includes compassion for myself.
  • Gratitude. Life is filled with wonder, and the people around me as well. I try to open myself to that wonder, and be grateful it’s there, instead of complaining.e.
  • Joyfear. Joy is an awesome thing to have, but joyfear is present in the powerful moments in life where joy and fear mix, where we’re taking chances and doing something outside of our comfort zone that both excites us and makes us face the possibility of failure. I now embrace these moments rather than avoiding them.
  • Not avoiding discomfort or uncertainty. When we avoid discomfort, we are limited by our comfort zone, and new learning and new ventures become impossible. When we avoid uncertainty, we only stick to what we know. But we can purposely become good at discomfort and uncertainty, by practicing in small bite-sized chunks, over and over.
  • Staying with the moment, even when it’s hard. This is the hardest of all.Living in the moment” sounds wonderful, but actually staying with the present moment isn’t ever easy. Try it: with your eyes open, sit still and stay with the sights and sounds around you for 1 minute, without your mind wandering away from them. If you don’t notice your mind wandering, either you’re an experienced mindfulness practitioner, or you didn’t notice when your mind wanders.
  • Relationships are everything. Getting what we want, having things our way, having control, being right … these things matter nothing compared to relationships. Imagine being in your death bed at the age of 80 … will your sense of being right and in control comfort you when you have no good relationships, no one who has loved you? Put relationships first.
  • Not holding on to expectations & judgments. Expectations and judgments prevent me from enjoying what I have, from enjoying the simple presence of ered.
  • someone else in my life. I practice with noticing these expectations and judgments, and practice with holding them loosely, letting them go.
  • Letting go. This is the art of living in two words: letting go. It’s letting go of judgments, expectations, wanting to be right, wanting to control, fear of discomfort, fear of uncertainty, fear of failure, fear of boredom, comparing myself to others, wanting distraction, being irritated, complaining. It’s noticing when I’m holding these, and letting go. Loosening my heart’s grip on any of these, and letting go. And then letting go again. And again.
And so the art of living is a practice, one that doesn’t end, that doesn’t have a mastery level. It’s a constant letting go, a constant picking up again, and then letting go again. And falling, and getting up without beating myself up.
The art of living is the art of getting back up.
 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Logjams and Dynamite



This is a photo of Lincoln City, Oregon on a foggy day and those things on the beach are huge logs that have washed down from the Cascades and Coast Range to the beach.
If you have read the blog before you know I am obsessed with the Pacific Northwest. It is my hearts home and if not for my family I would still be there.I plan to go back and visit and encourage you to do so.It is where I feel closest to god and his majesty.

Those logs on the beach got me to thinking about logjams. In the mountains during the rainy season you will often have landslides and those trees will cause logjams in the mountain streams that sometime flush their self out with flooding rain but sometimes take heavy equipment or dynamite to resolve.

I often see logjams in my life like doubt,anger, fear and I often think these logjams are the barrier between me and my faith in God. Logjams happen when the flow of water gets blocked causing a dam like effect and it seems the same with emotions sometime.
Prayer I think is the dynamite that breaks it free and also  hard work.

I think I have had  such a  hard time with my faith these past 7 years because I didn't have an earthly father who loved me and so it seems that I find it hard to believe a heavenly father would . My earthly father was a victim of abuse and abandonment at an early age and he continued the legacy with me. My whole life he called me ugly, told me no one would marry me and made fun of me. The day I was baptized he made fun of me refused to come to church and wouldn't let my mother come either. I think this has been a major logjam in my life. I didn't share this to make anyone pity me only to share where I have been.It is only now as I near 50 that I feel that I have value and worth.

I also think these logjams can keep you from fulfilling the plan that God has for you because they keep you from believing that you can do things for God.I know I need to listen to that still small voice inside that leads me where I need to go instead of the voice in my head that plays on rewind that I have no worth or value. I need to take that record outside and break it.
I hope that with prayer and help from other people on the path with me to find the dynamite  or bulldozer to break the dam of despair and bring forth a river that is flowing and creating a new life . I know that bulldozer needs to excavate my heart and take away all the blockages that are there from years of abuse.
In the 90's I had a print of Jesus hugging the lost sheep sometimes I close my eyes and imagine him hugging me like his long lost child and welcoming me back home.


 


See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland Isaiah 43:19

“Some people live in cages with bars built from their own fears and doubts. Some people live in cages with bars built from other people's fears and doubts; their parents, their friends, their brothers and sisters, their families. Some people live in cages with bars built from the choices others made for them, the circumstances other people imposed upon them. And some people break free.”
C. JoyBell C.

 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Favorites

 
 
 
Here are some Links I would like to share today:
 
 
 
 
Reading now: Mrs. Poe
 
 
Favorite New Blog:Gladsome  Lights
 
Favorite Old Blog: A Holy Experience
 
 
Favorite New Christmas Song:You're Here
 
 
Favorite old Christmas Song:
 O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
 

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Recent Reads




I am an avid reader. I have been for all of my life. In the beginning of this year I read Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck ( a review in previous post here) and The Paris Wfie and I highly  recommend them both.. I loved them both as they dealt with the life of Hemingway in fiction form..In reading these books I found that the Fitzgerald's were the friends and contemporaries of the Hemingway's and this fascinated me so when finding these books I decided to read them.
I read Z first by Therese Anne Fowler and found it interesting as it is told more in Zelda's voice with more of the detailed history of their lives and tortured relationships. She explores the sometime bizarre and strange friendship between F.Scott and
Hemingway.She also shows Hemingway's dislike for Zelda.She  tells more of Zelda's early years in Montgomery.I didn't know till reading these books the Zelda was a southern girl.In both books you see the stigma of mental illness that was present during that time and that still exhibits somewhat today.
In the Second book  Call Me Zelda which I liked better Robuck tells the story from a fictional account by Zelda's nurse Anna. I loved this book because it showed so much more of what Zelda dealt with and how it is believed F. Scott plagiarized her work and life to use in his writing and how it made Zelda feel emotionally raped. It deals with the demons and mental illness that F. Scott also faced which were alcoholism and questions about his sexuality. It also tells of life during this time in history  in America.

I found it sad that Zelda died in a fire when she was just beginning to  find peace after her husbands dealt.
I highly recommend them both.

Nothing except luck protects you from catastrophe. Not love. Not money. Not faith. Not a pure heart or good deeds--and not bad ones either, for that matter. We can, any of us, be laid low, cut down, diminished, destroyed.”
Therese Anne Fowler, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald



Monday, December 09, 2013

Seek and Search



I started this blog in 2006 but I have been blogging off and on since 2004 granted not that I am the most reliable or consistent blogger but I have tried. In 2011 we moved back to the south and I haven't blogged much since then for a variety of reasons.It has taken a while to settle back here but now after two years I feel this is home. I still miss my beloved Oregon everyday but my family is here and here is where home is now.

I have faced over the past 12 years just about every thing you can face and am still here pushing forward. In the past 12 years I have lost both parents and a child I wanted more than anything, we have faced financial failure due to the mortgage crisis in 2008 and moved cross country twice. Life is still not easy for us as we both work full time jobs .

I say  that to say this I feel that struggles like the ones we have faced can either make you  or break you. I think though that maybe I have went through all that I have gone through so that I can help others. I understand what it is to be in the valley.

In this valley of life I have been in I feel as though somewhere along the way I lost a lot of my faith and hope .I will admit that at times I have had my doubts about a higher power and still do. I am just being completely honest and real here.

In the coming year I want to do what my friend Tiffini at House of Belonging talked about last year. I want to reboot all aspects of my life.I want to  Reboot these areas:
 
1. Health- I have let this area go resulting in me being overweight and diabetic. I need to come up with  a plan for us to eat clean and healthy without breaking the bank and do so within our not so normal work schedules. I have to work exercise into the mix too.

2. Spiritual- I want to find my way back to some sort of spiritual base where I can find faith in a higher power again. I am going to try doing this by studying the masters such as Chesterton, C.S. Lewis,and many others. I feel that this search will lead probably to a Lutheran or Episcopal church as I find ritual and tradition give me peace.We shall see.

3.Work- I  want to find to find joy in being a nurse again. I want to find a job that I like and that doesn't steal pieces of my soul like it does now. I ache for a Monday through Friday job where I could be off weekends and holidays. I think after 30 years of being a nurse I need that.

4. Family and Friends- I want to make them the top priority and be there for them and establish traditions for my niece and nephew. I want to reconnect with the best friends I love dearly and make a few treasured new ones.

5. Creativity- I want to find a way to express myself through art or music or the written word.

In setting these goals for myself I guess that My One Little Word for
2014 is going to be Open. I want to be open to new experiences and ideas and ways of seeing things.I want that openness to crack open the shell I have built around my heart and change me for the better. I will be 50 this coming year and I know that each year and each season is a precious gift the older I get and that I need to treasure each moment as if they were a pearl found in an oyster.

My goal with is blog now is to post at least two- three times a week. I will share my thoughts on books, and nature and my journey to openness. I know I will never have thousand of followers but I hope to meet some new friends along the way.

Write your own story. Start with a clean page. One with no words. Where the ending, the next turn, next twist, next reveal, next conflict that demands a resolution, is unwritten. And where the resolution is unscripted. And when you get there, standing in the spotlight on a pedestal made for one, spill your bag of pieces on the stage and tell the world- tell them all the way back in the cheap seats- "This was once me... but it isn't anymore."”-Sunday in Unwritten


 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013



London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

In this daring debut, Susan Elia MacNeal blends meticulous research on the era, psychological insight into Winston Churchill, and the creation of a riveting main character, Maggie Hope, into a spectacularly crafted novel.


I loved this book and this author. I have always liked historical fiction and mysteries and this combines both. I know that many of you who have read here for any length of time know how very much I love books set during WWII  and this one is no exception. I think my fascination with this time period started way back in middle school when I read the  Diary of Anne Frank.
The book is the first in a series and tells of wartime Britain and Bletchley Park and the history behind the code breaking that went on there and a lot of this task fell to brilliant females.It also features some tidbits on Mr . Churchill who has always held a fascination for me as a historical figure.

I plan to mainly uses this forum from here on out to do book reviews and occasionally tidbits of life.
I do hope you will pick this one up and read it.
Here's hoping you all have a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend.

For my upcoming reads check the sidebar.