Heaven is alive with color

I am a firm believer in heaven. I do not, however,  think that it is somehow “out there,” or above us. My favorite quote about heaven is from the Gospel of Thomas:

The kingdom of heaven is within you and all around you.”

I much prefer this interpretation because it implies that all we need to do to find heaven is to be aware of its presence. We need to find that stillness within that allows us to find the Divine within us and seek its presence around us. Most of all, we need to be able to appreciate it when we find it because it can slip through our fingers if we’re too busy with the minutiae of life.

Today was a day when heaven proclaimed it’s presence in bright colors. The leaves have very nearly reached their peak seasonal colors and trees are ablaze in reds and golds. In one place, a large group of coniferous trees exist, and a surprising splash of bright red leaves peeks through like a half-remembered dream: blink and you may miss its presence.

This is the time when the Creator takes out the heavenly paint kit


and decorates the world, shouting His presence and love to all who will listen. Can you hear it?

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Posted by on 10/10/2015 in Motivation


Autumn is in the air, and pumpkin bread is in the oven

I love this time of year. Finally, the sweatiness and drudgery of the hot months has left, and it’s just now cool enough that a light sweater is a welcome companion. Now we don’t have to open the windows just to cook in comfort, and the luscious smell of the aforementioned pumpkin bread hangs in the air. The girls and I are hanging out, doing our own things in peace with the tv on in the background. My husband is out playing geeky board games with his friends. Just a quiet Saturday evening.

Today, I decided that I am the goddess of clothing. We did our semi-annual changing of the wardrobes, female version (the male version does not exist, I’ve found). This involves hours of “this is too small, but I want to keep it” and “mom, I almost fit into your shoes, can I have them?” Strains of “boy, that’s ugly” and “oh hell no” also were heard. At the end of it all, tired and warm, everything is sorted and placed, and shopping lists prepared to fill the gaps left by miss I-grew two-sizes-over-the-summer, also known as miss that’s-so-not-cool-please-don’t-make-me-wear-it.

A neighbor is building a bonfire nearby, and I keep sniffing the air for wood smoke. It’s a perfectly clear evening, and temperatures are expected to dip down into the upper 30s. Brilliant reds and golds of local leaves are starting to appear on the eastern hills and surprise me as I travel.

This is the time of year that I feel most alive.

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Posted by on 09/26/2015 in Motivation


One-off cool

I now realize that I am destined to be perpetually one-off cool. What does that mean? It means that I just don’t have whatever it is that makes a person “cool” and won’t, despite my attempts.

•I’m the one who wears fashionable clothes after they are out of fashion–or don’t  have that unnamed quality that makes the clothes look right on me.

•I’m the one who figures out or finds the “cool” apps after the app has become mainstream.

•I’m the one who just tonight figured out how to copy/paste on my smartphone…after owning one of this particular model for years.

And the list could continue, having 40 – something years of one-off coolness experience. My kids have come to accept that mommy tries to be cool, but they’re kind of on their own for that one. Thankfully, their daddy has the cool gene and passed it on to them.

At least I have my cat-hat. She doesn’t care how I lack the cool gene. As long as I pet, feed, and generally adore her, life is good.


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Posted by on 09/08/2015 in Motivation


Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees

Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees


This is what America should be: A place wehere, having found success, a person lifts others up so that they may be able to find their own success.

Originally posted on MyReports:

Hamdi Ulukaya Chobani’s founder Hamdi Ulukaya

By Ergulen Toprak

New York

The founder of Chobani Hamdi Ulukaya will donate most of his wealth, at least 700 million dollars, to help the Kurdish refugees as well as refugees from all around the world.

With his statement on Thursday, Ulukaya announced that he is going to join the Giving Pledge, the funding system the riches donate half or their wealth, by building a new foundation called Tent. “I have always planned to give most of what I had. Growing up, I watched my mother give to those who needed and it came from the most amazing place in her heart,” Ulukaya said.

One of the biggest American companies Chobani, founded in 2005, started making Greek-style yogurt in 2007, in Upstate New York. Within his family’s farming background, Ulukaya used his experiences to create a great opportunity to build Chobani.

Ulukaya said what brought him…

View original 705 more words

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Posted by on 09/06/2015 in Motivation


Sacred rest

My husband teases me for falling asleep (or very nearly) during the sermon at church.

I do not see it as disrespectful. I enjoy listening to the sermon and the introspection that accompanies it. This time is the oasis amidst the tensions, anxieties,  work, and other chaos. For however long it lasts, I don’t have to do anything but rest and listen. If I sleep then, it is usually with my husband’s arm around me, where I feel safe and peaceful.

I think that this type of sleep should be called sacred rest, because the refreshment of the mind and body during that short time transcends even the best nap. I am surrounded by people who love me, listening to the gentle words of my Rector. I am only a weary child of God, and the rest is a balm to my soul.

I just hope I don’t snore…

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Posted by on 08/30/2015 in Motivation


The next stage of the journey has begun

Realizing that I had changed over the winter was a harbinger of my next challenge.

Yesterday, my older daughter and I attended church together and then went to the church’s summer picnic. She noticed that something was slightly off in my behavior, and although I felt a significant amount of anxiety on several levels, I didn’t notice that my behavior was unusual. I’m not entirely sure of the accuracy of her observation, as she is 12 and has already got the teenage hormone-induced drama in full measure. However, I’m not going to dismiss her observations completely, as she has known me for her entire life. And she is not the only person who has reflected that anxiety changes me.

It’s time to stop trying to avoid feeling anxious, as that is impossible for many reasons. It’s time to understand the fear that fuels the anxiety and make peace with it. By making peace with my fear, perhaps my anxiety can also be calmed. Instead of refusing this admittedly uncomfortable part of myself, I need to embrace it as another facet of who I am: imperfect, but nonetheless lovely, smart, and sweet.

So the journey begins. One step at a time. Surrounded by people who love me, how could I fail?


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Posted by on 08/24/2015 in Motivation


Musings for a Friday evening

I found this quote in my Twitter feed a couple of days ago. As is my usual m.o., I reflected on the last sentence, particularly “how you treat others.” 

Some of the best people I am privileged to know have nearly nothing in common with me, except that we occasionally are in proximity to each other. For example, an acquaintance of mine who lives nearby is a woman whose lifestyle and manner are jarring to me. But this same person graciously shared the bounty of her garden with my family, meaning that we’ll have lovely tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers set aside for this winter. 

Do I agree with her about, well, anything? Not really. By the definition I placed above, she is a good person.

In contrast, how about the person in my life who feels the right to lie, abuse, belittle, manipulate– but then offers money to my family? It is tempting to accept the cash, but it’s never given without strings, usually more of the treatment she deals out. By the above definition, this is not a good person.

I have arrived at a point in my life where I find myself weary of allowing bad people access to myself and those whom I consider to be my family. For definition, “family” includes the people who both have loved me at my best and stood by my side during the worst. Many of those whom I consider family are not related by blood, but by love. Some have known me since before I was born, and some have recently entered or re-joined my life. Time and geography have no bearing on these people. 

So what does this musing mean? It means that I have decided that I no longer tolerate users, narcissists, or sycophants.  Why? Because these little monkeys deserve it. And so do I.


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Posted by on 08/21/2015 in Motivation


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