Preparation

For contemporary Christians, Advent is a time of readiness, an anticipation-filled awaiting of the birth of Jesus. But, what used to be a time of reflection and prayer is often replaced by a season of buying. The “bringing into total perfection” has morphed into bringing in more possessions. Road and internet-weary consumers choose something, anything, […]

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last night, I went to bed hungry. It was by choice, not by necessity. There were moments while lying in the darkened room that I thought about getting up, going into the kitchen, opening a pantry or refrigerator door, and choosing something to eat. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about the 800 million people on our […]

Buddha Wisdom

I recently did some research on Siddhartha Gautama, often simply called, The Buddha. I’m not very familiar with Buddhism, but a conversation with someone important to me regarding whether the human experience requires significant (maybe continual) suffering. created the desire to learn more.  Gautama was raised in a life of wealth but left opulence behind […]

The Twelve

Twelve —often considered the “perfect” number.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, twelve is symbolic of God’s authority and perfection. Biblically, there are 187 references, including Jacob’s twelve sons and the ancestors of Israel’s twelve tribes.  In ancient Greece, twelve gods of Olympus were worshiped. In Buddhism, there are twelve stages of existence (Nidanas).  Twelve lines create […]

Fragile

Fragile: shatterable, easily broken, delicate, overly sensitive, vulnerable Thinking about the human experience, I recognize that many of you understand what it’s like to feel vulnerable and fragile—as if just one more situation or comment could fracture you into a hundred pieces. Maybe you’ve always been very sensitive—aware of your feelings and emotions, cognizant of […]

Magnificence

Awarenesses from an unusually balmy autumn day last week. I sit on the unroofed porch, listening, pondering, observing—a citizen of this world, alone; the sun shining unusually brilliant; maybe that’s just my imagination, but I don’t think so. The light illuminates the table on which I’m writing, creating flecks of green and purple never before […]

Expansiveness

Tears—big, fat tears, the kind that makes some men uncomfortable, and many women sigh—rolled down his cheeks. He laid on a hospital bed, his life nearing the end, spending precious moments with the daughter who sat next to him—this daughter who wasn’t his and was always his. He was only in his sixties. He talked about his beloved wife. […]

Love

Love: a noun or a verb; its etymology dates back to the 1800s “lufu” or “leubh”— desire or care. At church on Sunday, Jo talked about “love.” That simple word conjures up all kinds of feelings because we employ it to explain experiences as varied as the emotions of star-gazing lovers or buying a new […]

Exhausted

A thirty-something woman confided that she’s perpetually exhausted—stressful career, young children, constant hamster wheel. It’s tough to manage “Super Mom,” “Stellar Business Person,” and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s tired. Something’s gotta give. I often forget to practice conscious breathing instead, endeavoring to physically and mentally “do everything.” I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so […]

What Matters Most

When my granddaughter, Lauren, was ten, she read a story to me about a family with three young children that survived the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011. I’m sure that life has never been quite the same for them. The recognition of “what they could have lost” probably still dances through their minds every […]

Light Seeking

Early this morning, I woke up thinking about our hurting world. I try to imagine how women in Afghanistan must feel right now, but having more freedom than most will ever experience, I can’t even touch that fear. I visualize the hateful signs I pass on fellow humans’ houses screaming F**K this or that, aware […]

Too Much?

Like most, or at least many, of the humans I know, I’ve had my fair share of pain in this life. In my three-pound brain, there are times when I feel as if I’ve experienced too much sorrow, but “too much” is incredibly nebulous. What is “too much?” Who measures that? Is there a yardstick […]

Language Gaps

There are more than 6,000 spoken languages on our planet! And, it’s estimated that there are over 300 languages used for communication in The United States of America alone! But today, I want to talk about we communicate with each other, not the astonishing number of dialects used. Sometimes, we forget how to calmly express […]

A Matter of Life or Death

My brother, Bob, diagnosed with his first brain tumor at sixteen, died when he was forty. He beat insurmountable odds. In the last years of his life, he was wheelchair-bound, and his brain lived in the past. Incredibly, through all the surgeries and pain, he never once complained or uttered, “why me?” A life that blessed many […]

The “Things” of Life

I’ve gotten feedback and questions on last week’s “Home” series, specifically about all the things we own, so today, let’s look at possessions. When did we wrap our arms around a culture that defines us, sometimes almost entirely, by what we own?Does stuff really buy happiness? There’s psychological support that, for many, there is immediate gratification when acquiring something. But, […]

Home Week, Friday: Your House Tour

Home WeekMonday: Garages & SocksTuesday: BedroomsWednesday: SpacesThursday: Step-by-StepCreating a home you love requires taking the time to design a personal oasis where you feel relaxed and calm as soon as you walk through the door. So for the last day of “Home Week 2021” let’s take a “tour” of some other rooms in your home. The […]

Home Week, Thursday: Spaces

Welcome to home week!  We all experience peace differently. For some of us, “peaceful” is quiet and serene, while, for others, it’s loud and fun. We’ll also react positively to different colors, items and experiences because (of course) we’re different. Some specifics relate to almost everyone, but creating your peaceful home is as unique as […]

Home Week, Wednesday: Home Peaceful Home

Home should be your safe place, your respite from the world where you can slow down, breathe and simply BE. Of course, different factors influence your ability to experience peace—who you live with, your physical location, the folks in your neighborhood, the house itself. So, Today, let’s talk about your physical environment and a dozen changes […]

Home Week, Tuesday: Peace-Filled Bedrooms

“I’m so glad I’m home!” That’s the sense of relief I want you to experience every time you walk into your house. Think about it like moving from driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, with blaring horns, and level ten stress level, to pulling onto a beautiful tree-lined street with birds chirping and the smell of honeysuckle […]

Home Week, Monday: Garages and Socks

Your home should calm, restful, and re-energizing. If you’re fortunate enough to own a house with a garage, it’s ideal to use it for its intended purpose and the perfect place to begin creating a Zen home. “Garage”—French from the root word “garer”—means to cover or shelter.  Automobiles, when invented, were costly, highly coveted, and […]

Rambling Thoughts on The Journey

I open my eyes to the darkness that envelops the room. There are times when I’m fearful of what lurks unseen. I’ve had too many nightmares to feel comfortable in the anonymity of the dark. I take a breath. It’s often in these moments, after sleep free of demons, that I am most in touch […]

Morning Mourning

Last week, I woke up one morning with an appreciation of abundance because of a dream I had. However, today I awoke aware of a feeling of mourning.    Like many (or most) of you, I’ve experienced significant heartbreak, having lost the earthly presence of my parents, brother, and a few dear friends. Those heartbreaking times often […]

Abundance

Abundance:bounty, thriving, plentiful, overflowing Last night, I had two very unusual dreams unlike most of what I usually conjure up (dark or violent, which has never made sense since I don’t read or watch anything with violence). When I woke, the only word that came to mind was “abundance.” What is good, positive, uplifting in […]

Feeding the Wolf of Love

There’s a Native American legend about two wolves. As the story goes, we have two wolves inside our hearts: a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. The wolf of hate is filled with anger, sorrow, ego, fear, pride, envy, arrogance, greed, and superiority. The heart of the wolf of love overflows with hope, humility, […]

Perfect Imperfection

I sat at my desk, in the still darkness of pre-dawn, remembering the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday, I was part of “She Nailed It,” Habitat For Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s “all women, nail-hammering, relay competition,” which raises funds for affordable housing.  In 2012, when my friend, Betsy, invited me to join the HFH volunteer […]