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03.02.2014
The 43-year-old entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2006 after tipping the scales at 560kg (88 stones). Anyways, I’m really excited (and hopeful) that having The Piano will help inspire a love of music in my kids. Or the time we were being super cultured at home, watching classical music concerts on YouTube. And I must say, although Beethoven may have been rolling over in his grave, they really have a natural gift. Just when I was starting to lose all hope, my mom brought over Treasure Island . Low and behold, they actually sat mesmerized through the first three chapters. Here are a few other books the boys have loved, occasionally even to the point of admitting it. This is our current family read aloud, recommended by my husband as one of his childhood favorites. So, there you have it, a few of our favorite books for boys, tested by some of the world’s pickiest little readers.
Posted by Jennifer on January 27, 2015 17 CommentsWell, it’s the  first second third fourth Monday of January, and we are officially ready to get our Awesome on in 2015! After the purest form of slothfulness that was December, it felt good to get into our routine again.
I suppose I could elaborate on the stampede incident, but I’m just going to let your imagination do the work on this one.
Anywho…  I promised you all pictures of our Sea Animal Stick Puppets project, and I know you were just waiting on the edge of your seat to see how they turned out.
Notice in the bottom right photo we had to touch up the glue where Dash was already tearing his apart. I did buy a little something for the boys; a purchase necessary to return peace to our home.
Meet Manty-Manty on the right and Manty-Manty-Manty on the left, who is just called Manty for short.
SO… since the Manty trio is indeed EVERYWHERE, we decided to seize the moment and learn a little about Manatees. This is Beau’s fantasy world where his favorite animals (Manatee and Walrus) meet in the deep sea. You might be wondering if Beau was okay with Finn and Dash getting Manty-Manty and Manty-Manty-Manty, while he got nothing? Lately I’ve been thinking about an old favorite book I have sitting on my shelf by John Maxwell. Or perhaps what looks like Failure is just Success sleeping in a couple hours because Success was up late with a toddler. Whatever life and the Polar Vortex throws at us, we’ll be here, just trying to make each day better than the last. Posted by Jennifer on October 22, 2013 1 CommentThe boys have been REALLY into wild life lately.
So, long story short, we’re trying to give them a balanced view of the World Issues at hand, while also taking the opportunity to learn about their favorite animals. Now, I am sure that if I looked at Pinterest I could find some really cool Turtle projects. With the Turtle Obsession in full swing, Finn was inspired to make his own turtle craft project!
2)  Turn the plate right side up and attach the head and feet right at the edge of the plate with tape. Now, I don’t know that this applies to all kids with The Knack, but Finn is Stubborn. It leads me to think about the epidemic of kids who are being labeled with diagnosis codes and put on prescription medications.
3.The writer must avoid the two essential faults of creative writinga€”those that touch its essence and those that are accidental. 4.The plot should have a beginning, middle, and end, and thus resemble a living organism in all its unity.
5.The beginning and end of the story must be capable of being brought within a single view or theme. 6.Plot should be arranged on the complex plan, one in which change of fortune takes place through reversal of situation, recognition, or both and includes scenes of suffering.
8.Plot can consist of either a single thread or double thread in which an opposite ending occurs for the good and bad characters. 10.Plot should imitate actions that incite pity and feara€”pity as aroused by unmerited misfortune, and fear by witnessing the misfortune of a character like ourselves. 11.This character must be someone who brings misfortune on himself or herself, not through vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. 13.The writer must focus on the action in the story and the part taken by the characters, and not drift off in several lines of action carried on at the same time.
14.The writer should put the scene before his or her eyes, as if he or she is an actual eyewitness to an event happening while writing. Hero or heroine faces jeopardy that incites in reader emotions of sympathetic fear and anxiety as to the outcome of the situation. Plant the idea or action early, then develop readera€™s understanding by returning to idea or action later in story. Description is the attempt to represent reality by using language to present as directly as possible the qualities of a person, place, object, or event. 1)The Eye of Insight sheds new light by examining inscape, viewing the interior, the shape within the shape of a thing. 2)The All-Accepting Eye examines things that we might rather not see, discards the labels, and searches for the beauty in a flaw, beginning discovery with the thing and not its label. 3)The Gliding Eye observes things in movement through time or space or both, picks up details of the passage, recording birth and decay of sensation at the center of a spinning mind. 4)The Childa€™s Eye observes a thing with the seriousness of a child at play, in a focused, highly concentrated way, without hurrya€”like watching an ant crawl across the ground or observing a dung beetle move a mass five times its size and weight.
5)The Dream Eye fragments reality and reshapes it, perhaps using symbols to penetrate below surface appearances. The Naked Eye merges with the Imaginative Eye to create effective descriptiona€”The Big Picturea€”by making things from, not making things up.
New idea built from comparison between two unlike things; tension between two actualities creates possibility, or new meaning.
An Allusion measures a thing against a known cultural or memory tweak by referencing something the reader will know (Allegory, Conceit, direct or indirect reference to other texts (intertextuality), music, movies, etc.
Respond to each othera€™s work with respect, depth and thoughtfulness, in a manner that is civil and constructive.
Over the Top a€“ material is presented in such a way that reader has a hard time believing the story.
Greenfield, Tennessee, a farm and factory town of twenty-two hundred in the statea€™s rural northwest corner, has never been more than a place between places, one in a long list of towns to be passed through along kudzu-choked U.S.
It was in fact the railroad, and not the nearby Mississippi River, which was the prime mover in the delta land where I grew up.
On September 2, 1979, two members of the Weakley County rescue squad found the raped and murdered body of eight year-old Cary Ann Medlin in one of the communitya€™s namesake green fields, not far from the Illinois Central tracks.
I remember hearing news of her murder and running to find my first grade yearbook, hoping to fix her school days photo in my mind so I wouldna€™t lose it.
It wasna€™t until twenty-one years later, long after Ia€™d left Tennessee, after Martin and Greenfield had became only places in my mind and that Lovera€™s Lane a Memory Lane that I began to consider the murdera€™s place in a childhood which I now see as violent in so many other ways. That first grade photo of Cary appeared over and over in the news in the months leading up to the Coe execution, along with another I found printed years before in the Nashville Tennessean and now reprinted as the newspaper re-capped the story: a shot of those rescue workers bent over the soybean plants, long-haired and t-shirted, hunting the girla€™s body. Bob Cowser, Jr.'s first book, Dream Season, was a New York Times Book Review a€?Editor's Choicea€? and a€?Paperback Rowa€? selection and was listed among the Chronicle of Higher Education's best-ever college sports books.
Above our heads, a banner of the eartha€™s children: an African boy with corduroy hair, a fur-muffled Eskimo, a golden girl from Holland.
Six years later my first stockings were seamed and I thought of Miss Ranney while I sat on the edge of the bathtub shaving the pale brown hairs. Rebecca McClanahan has published nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007 and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow prize in nonfiction.
There was a woman who died while I was in Daffiama; she was young and eight months pregnant. Jillian Schedneck taught Literature and Creative Writing at the American University in Dubai for the 2007-2008 academic year.
Sitting on the edge of her bed, with legs dangling and shoulders slumped, my six-year-old stares at the wall in a trance. She moves to the beat of her own drum, but once in the car, I settle into the morning routine. As the overburdened stretch of I-95 south of the Capitol extends before me, with cars packed in every lane as we creep toward our northbound destinations, I cannot stop the seething anger and indignation that boils within me.
Our passage onto the base is slowed at the gate by the forklift placing barriers in front of the gate shack. I look at her, and though I answer a€?yes,a€? I realize that I was late because I forgot to leave. Being a mother is not just something I do; it is who I am, who I should have been, and who I always want to be.
On the way to work, I listen to the news, but then I turn it off and just listen to the sound of my breathing.
During my first sixth months of recruiting duty, workdays lasted from 0700 to 2300 Monday thru Friday, and from 0800 to 1800 on Sunday. Making all those a€?numbersa€? was occasionally impossible, especially the a€?three appointments for the next day.a€? The recruiter had to contact the staff non-commissioned officer in charge and report his numbers before securing. Create Scene, driving home, reflecting on the hours spent on the road as a recruiter and the nastiness of the bars carried on Na€™s clothing into the cara€”describe car: At the end of that night, I went home exhausted, sweaty, and smelling like the smoke from the bars, an odor I despise.
Create Scene: Pulling into the driveway at 0200 all I could think of was getting a shower and going to sleep.
Deodorant soap replaced the smell of sweat and cigarette smoke from my body, but the taste in my mouth was getting worse.
A recruiting SNCOIC doesna€™t want his recruiters getting caught with their integrity down but he is willing to risk it to make mission. This is a separate story inside this storya€”N is avoiding the real story by ending with this: Anyway, rumor had it the old man had assaulted a recruiter in Georgia and the Colonel just moved him to a new duty-station, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Like I said before, you have real talent, so dona€™t think badly of your writing when you see my comments. One of the most important things you can do, is to take this piece and determine what is summary and what is scene. When you create your timeline, start with placing the major events in this piece on the line first.
Being assigned to recruiting from my usual job as a criminal investigator was both good and bad.
Getting back to those tasks based on statistics, stay with me now as I get through how the numbers worked out. I talked to those people either on the telephone or in person, what we called daily activities.
When I returned to my desk from the bathroom, the old sergeant was heading out the door with his Bible. This was the guy I had to call every night and get approval to secure, to leave work and go home at night. After almost five hours of talking to people on the phone and going out and talking to people at malls, stores and various other public places, I felt done for the day. Dragging ass, I continued to approach people around 7-eleven stores and such, acting like I just happened to be stopping by on my way home from work.
After ironing out the details and writing down his contact information, I finally left the musty tavern and drove home, exhausted and sweaty. The glowing numbers on the clock said it was a short night before I had to get back up and start another recruiting day. Born and raised in a small town in the South, David Charles joined the US Marine Corps as a teenager during the Cold War period. I went to a workshop at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York, and I had a few early morning hours dancing seemingly alone in the moonlight, which will stay with me.
It was 4:00 am on that other morning, and I had slept soundly and felt rested and excited about the learning that was occurring in me, but I also felt completely alone. This is the day I have set aside to explore my close surroundings before I head out on my Maui adventure activities for the next seven days.
As I allow the disappointment to get as big and painful as it needs too, something happens that has happened many times in my life during difficult experiences.
During a recent trip to Maui, I rediscovered that beautiful child in the eyes of the aging woman Ia€™ve become. For many years, I searched to be a better person, to become wiser, and to learn how to live a full and productive life, and to be admired. Patience has been my work this year and Ia€™ve learned much about the difference between tolerance and patience. The voting was heavy and because most of us know each other in some way, our politics are often known. As Zacha€™s son-in-law returned to the inside of the voting precinct to witness the casting of Zacha€™s vote, he said two simple words: Thank you. Later heading home, fatigue turned to laughter and memory recorded these shared emotional experiences of inspiration. The written word has often been the way spiritual messages have been received during my Life. The human survival instinct supports us in seeing what is there that needs to change or is threatening to us.
Sometimes an old message said in a simple direct way can change the Life of the one who truly hears it. Since that time, I have written of the learning that came from my choice and consequently his choices. As I was leaving the workshop, a young woman came up to me and asked me to share what meditation had meant in my life. My deepest longing is to love and be loved and yet fear can hold me back by expecting perfection. Michael Singer wrote a book called The Untethered Soul, and it speaks of the way to let the personality desires play out while the Seer of what is transpiring watches without judging or clinging to an outcome. It has been some seventy-two hours since I began this essay and then stopped writing because I realized I was living in a huge story and could not write authentically from that place. It has been seven years since this small community called to me and embraced me within its furry mountains and quiet streams. During the last few weeks, I have begun to feel that my time here in this small community is limited. The rock in the creek feels cold against my warm skin in contrast to bike riding on this hot day.
When he turns, his familiar face and eyes are beaming toward me as he explains that he is looking for the rock we used in meditation the last time we visited the creek. His love for me is visible in the steady gaze of his eyes, and it both comforts and frightens me. It is late evening and Mark Nepoa€™s words speak to me; his writings have been an inspiration in many ways during the past few months.
At first, the feeling is a bit overwhelming and tears flow as I remember Nepoa€™s request to include looking at the lighted candle as part of my meditation. It is spring again; forty-eight years have past and yet my memories of a small toddler are as vivid as every. It is good to remember the joy of him running across the yard, small frog in hand and joy in his face, panting as he recalls how challenging it was for him to catch it.
He made the team, got a new girlfriend, went off to college, had much success, and oh so many friends. May the light in the eyes of our children remind us of the light that is possible in our own. Mark Nepo is my author of choice the last few days, and his writing speaks to me in the silence of my being and I am changed by what I hear.
Those who have poor vision, those who have less than average senses of taste and smell, those who have physical difficulties, those who have hearing challenges, what do they have in common?
My friend has learned to angle his head in a certain way that tells me he is listening carefully sometimes cupping his ear with his hand. Recently Ia€™ve been seeing growing older as a limitation; an ache here, a gray hair there, a bit of fatigue at the end of the day, a need for a short rest more often, a wrinkle on the back of my hand, a need for glasses more often. As the mother, the blind childa€™s face filled with wonder inspires me to see more clearly through her blindness. As the cherry blossom, I stand in the glow of the sun knowing that I add beauty and wonder to the earth and to its inhabitants.
Mark Nepo in his book, The Awakening, asked the questions: How am I different from others and how am I the same. In this silence, the wisdom of Lamotta€™s quote is known somewhere deep in the part of me that I share with all others.
Each of us experiences death of our physical body, each of us grows physically from birth to death, each of us is capable of thought, each of us experiences the pain of physical life and the joys. I believe deep in our core of being, we are each a small piece of the Universe, and we have manifested into this unique physical form equipped with the tools and a gift we need to create our healing part of the collective.
As I began to ride the bike, it seemed a bit big for my frame and often my back hurt after riding a long distance, so I chose to buy a new girla€™s bike.
Two days ago, a new friend suggested he would like to go biking with my group, but his bike needed repairing. On the ride back to the trailhead, my friend and I rode together; I shared that the bike had belonged to my son and he was the first to ride it besides me. A limiting beliefa€”just as it soundsa€”is having a thought about the past, present, or future that keeps you from seeing what is true in the moment you are living right now. This natural symbol of equality of day (light) and night (dark) is a reminder that light and dark are different not better or worse.
Equality is a slippery word in our culture and the term is often used to compare one thing, one thought, one person, and one event to another.
This search for meaning has brought me to this autumnal point, and to a knowing that equality is expressed within through an attitude of a€?non-judgmenta€? about what we can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch through our five senses. Recently in a difficult discussion with a male friend about equality between genders, I suggested that our older generation seems to have more difficulty with this deeper feeling of equality since our culture has encouraged stories about superiority vs. This experience has supported me in looking closely within me to see where I discover feelings of inequality as a part of my physical existence. Observation of the equality of light and dark during this Fall Equinox reminds me that deep equality means no judgment or comparisons are needed. During the past few weeks, Ia€™ve spent time at the Wintergreen Nature Foundation as a volunteer. One particular Saturday, a call came that a baby rabbit had been very still in the garden for a long time and appeared injured. A few days later, I was the human contemplating the impermanence in nature and wondering what to do. Recently I met my daughter and her family to fulfill her wish to visit the two homes where she had been a baby. As I approached the door, I remembered my husband carrying me across the threshold; I remembered bringing my son and daughter home to the loving arms of an extended family that had arrived to celebrate their coming into Life. Unbelievably, the man and woman that had bought the house from us still lived there, and it felt wonderful that they had continued to add their love of the house to ours. Neighbors dropped in yesterday and provided me with fun, friendship, and an unexpected sacred moment. It was a balmy late spring day and the hydrangeas were in full bloom and served as a backdrop as we drank smoothies, ate rice chips and salsa, and enjoyed a glass of wine on my screened porch. We shared how important it is to avoid fearful story-telling about what is happening and to simply deal with what is happening right now in the present moment.
My friend is out of town and some part of me is pleased by the freedom that gives to me and I have an authentic knowing that he is doing what enriches his life. As I sit typing this, I realize that my day is my own creation and whether or not I act from a place of fear is all up to me.
From some people the question triggers a feeling of annoyance within me, and I sometimes give them an answer like, a€?nothing special just the usual things or therea€™s always plenty to do.a€? It is more avoidance of responding from annoyance than an answer.
As I examined my feelings during these different experiences, I discovered the part of me that wants to be what the other person perceives me to be, a busy, active, interesting person.
It is a reminder that I am not here to fulfill anyone elsea€™s expectations; I am here to find meaning and purpose for my own life.
This morning I awaken to the gentle sound of rain, and I snuggle down into the nighta€™s accumulated warmth under my blankets. Again no thoughts come, just an incredible presence and knowing that in each moment there is beauty and nurturing for the soul for the taking.
If unused muscles and bones create a message to the brain that their dysfunction is normal until the imbalance creates pain, is that also true of emotional dysfunction?
The physical discomfort is in my second energy center, which I understand to be the energy center of creativity and belonging, and it is sending me a message.
A few days ago, Eckhart Tollea€™s book, called The New Earth, was mentioned in a conversation with a friend, and I had a knowing that I wanted to reread it.
In that moment, I began to look at my choices during the past few months and the intentions behind them. Tolle goes on to say that if you can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you doa€”stop. In that moment, I chose to look into his clear blue eyes and said, a€?Hi.a€? He didna€™t look at me, but his eyes were alive with the joy and pure light of the incredible sun that rose through the window of the elevator. In gratitude, I left the elevator carrying the gift of pure light that had come to me from the sun through a young man that reflected it.
This is something we’ve tried to do in our homeschool, despite neither of us having any musical knowledge other than how to operate an ancient artifact called the CD player. No one could hide their enjoyment of the Piano Guys and their renditions of Star Wars and Mission Impossible.
Determine the point at which protagonist must make a decision in order to achieve goal (crisis).
Coherent: Distilled image remains True to Life by reproducing the distinctive features of original. Consistent: Distilled image links the intended meaning from beginning to middle to end creating Unity of Meaning, as in an extended metaphor or exemplification.
Allusion requires an understood knowledge base between writer and reader and recognition of a Cultural Memory Tweak by the reader in most cases. Elusion is complex and mysterious and requires not just recognition, but discovery of what is absent.
In depicting the motions of the a€?human hearta€™ the durability of the writing depends on the exactitude.
Submit line-edit suggestions, marginal comments, and an end comment (summary of your thoughts on the piece) addressed to the writer. Offer an end comment that notes what you believe the work to be about, how you see the work achieving this, and what opportunities you can see for further exploration in this work.
My slightly larger hometown of Martin, ten miles north up Highway 45, took its name from tobacco plantation owner Colonel William Martin who donated land for the railroad bed. Cary had gone on a bike ride with her little brother twenty hours earlier, gotten into a strangera€™s Grand Torino and disappeared. Her stepfather worked in those days on the assembly line at the Goodyear tire plant in Union City, her mother as a nurse at a Jackson hospital, and before moving to Greenfield in the summer of a€?79 the family had lived for a time in Martin. As the state of Tennessee prepared to execute Coe for the Medlin murder (its first execution in forty years), I began to understand Bean Switch Road as a rutted track in memory which might run between me and many people I loved and respected, separating me from them. Both Medlin and Coe are as dead as they could bea€”Coe for almost five years at this writing, Cary Ann for nearly a quarter century. He is also the author of Scorekeeping, a collection of coming-of-age essays, and his essays and reviews have appeared widely in American literary magazines, including Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, American Literary Review, Sycamore Review, Brevity, Sonora Review, Fourth Genre, and Creative Nonfiction. I checked the seams each morning as we stood facing the chalkboard, my hand across a place I called a pocket but she called your heart, and I pledged allegiance to a flag no bigger than my brother's diaper flapping on the line. I fingered my Brownie badge and renewed my oath to help other people at all times, especially those at home. She has also authored four previous books of poetry and two books of writing instruction, including Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively. I didna€™t go to the funeral, but those who did said you could see the baby circling around inside of her, like a hand moving under a sheet. The first one fell with the Twin Towers, and as the clots of blood dripped into the toilet, I said goodbye almost thankfully, glad not to bring a child into such a world. Something is different, something has changed, and I search my body for signs that my baby is still therea€”check my breasts, my belly, the fluid in the toilet, and back again to the breasts, wondering if the life inside me has died.
Not just any brown, but the kind you make with paint or too many layers of crayon when youa€™re a little kid.
I would have gone to the funeral and made them cut the baby out while it was still alive, instead of after it had died. Her essay a€?Circling,a€? which first appeared in Brevity, will be anthologized in Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press, 2009). As she rifled through the box of pencils, Alejandra must have also been watching my backside as I bent over Todda€™s desk, pondering the thin line of flower-print elastic that clings to my waistline. He has dutifully added the e, but his compositiona€”five sentences describing his homea€”is riddled with errors.
Calculating the hours, I am certain the Virginia state legislature steals an hour and a half from me five days a week.
Amandaa€™s before and after school care is local to our neighborhood, and my year old baby attends the day care on base.
Calculating the hours, I am certain the Virginia state legislature steals an hour and a half from me every workday. We are working with the Marine Corps program manager to set the timeline and milestones for the new Department of Defense messaging software. She joined the Marine Corps in 1990 and is currently a Master Sergeant servingA with III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa Japan. Those activities included about 200 telephone calls and, getting back to this day at a little after 5 p.m.
Having joined for law enforcement training, his first Marine job after a€?recruita€? and a€?studenta€? was as a military policeman. I awoke and went down stairs and walked to the refrigerator to start retrieving what I had prepared earlier for my lunch.
It was so incredible that I tried to write about it, because it was the perfect topic for an essay. My room was a dorm room about seven-feet square, and I shared a bath with several men and women in similar rooms.
I welcomed their company and the aloneness that I felt seemed to lift with the sound and movements of our Moon Dance.
Life was hidden in the shadows and difficult to see, but it had completely surrounded me as I danced.
It is a dark starless night, the rain slashes against the window, the winds howl with 50 miles an hour gusts. It is morning, a light rain continues, the winds are not as strong and yet the bamboo grove sways and sweeps the ground. The week continued to have some misadventures and some spectacular adventures and the courageous and joyous parts of me lived them fully. So as this year ends, the compassionate patience I feel for myself fills my heart and it is soft with love; a love that has always been close at hand and seemingly just out of my reach. The voters are old friends, new friends, community workers, casual acquaintances, and families coming together to express their preferences through voting.
As the voting lines formed for this election, we stood together only as neighborsa€”rich and not so rich, young and not so young, extraverted and not so extraverted, highly educated and not so highly educated, multi-raced, blue voters and red votersa€”without malice or ill intent.
She was adorable in her winter hat pulled down over her ears; it brought attention to her laughing eyes.
He looked concerned and said to me, My father-in-law is out in my truck; he is 85 and hea€™s had a medical procedure today and wea€™ve been with the doctors.
It was an unforgettable moment; we hugged and thanked each other for making it possible for Zach to vote. Since saying a€?yesa€? is the first rule of improv, the message didna€™t seem new at first. The need for control is strong so supporting someone elsea€™s ideas or interests each moment seems difficult at times.
This one has certainly changed the content of my last two days, and the intention to expand the experiment is exciting and feels like a spiritual loving act. As I sat on my deck looking out over the city, the leaves of fall were turning the world into bright hues of red, orange, and brown.
I felt reluctant, but I had had some physical limitations during the last year that had been difficult to accept and meditation had really supported my healing.
Mostly it happens when a small activity of the day seems more difficult than I judge it should be. Without being sure of outcomes or things unseen, this is my opportunity to act without attachment and with the joy of what I will learn from the experiences my actions create.
It was a time of change from working long hours to going inward to discover what was left to uncover within me. The withdrawal I needed and the healing it has brought to me has completed this phase of my life. The need for expansion comes from an internal voice that says explore, experiment, and do not become complacent. When the time and move is right, something within my spirit will say, a€?Get crackin.a€? The patience to wait for that insight has come as a part of the growth Ia€™ve found in this small blue house on top of a hill surrounded by mountains.
He agreed to run away for a day to escape the heat and discomfort brought on by a loss of electrical power in our homes even though his electricity had returned.
This evening he invites me to light a candle, to close my eyes, to reopen my eyes, and to see each thing before me.
I stood in wonder at this amazing child so full of life and uninhibited yearning to have a good time and accomplish what he set out to do.
He wanted to have the biggest paper route and he wanted to make the most sales at his part-time job. Academics didna€™t seem to be his focus, but he seemed to relish his relationships and became the life of the party and the favorite student to his teachers. Now his spirit of aliveness lives in me and the memory of his voice reminds me that Life in this physical realm is short and that what we create here lives forever within those we have truly touched. Today in the quietness that is The Wintergreen Nature Foundation on some Wednesday mornings, my clarity about what I was to learn came. His voice stills my mind, brings me to the present, and opens my heart to listen not to the words but to the message his words point too.
What Ia€™ve noticed is that they look more closely, eat more slowly, move more deliberately, and listen intently to others. A young blind childa€™s face radiates the sun in his eyes as he turns his face up to feel the warmth. So today, Ia€™m altering my thoughts about limitations and seeing opportunities everywhere. I am sometimes impatient, but Ia€™m learning to accommodate his need for being on my right side to hear more clearly.
Then he issued an invitation to sit in silence with eyes closed and contemplate these questions. We are here together at this time, in this place, and in this specific body to understand that the essence of all Life exists in each of us humans and in all living matter. If we examined each Life, it would not be what happens to us that would be different for pain and joy comes to everyone; it would be how we respond to what happens to us that has created our unique experience of our individual Life. Another woman loses a child and creates a charity in its name and supports the lives of many children.
To live well is to choose to grow into what we are most capable of being and be grateful for the uniqueness of the Life.
I am a personality in a physical body with the power of logic and thought as is everyone else.
Two years ago it was refurbished with new tires, new horns on the handlebars, and had been given a good checkup so it could be used for riding with my new bike group. Without hesitation, I offered the unused bike in the garage, and I felt my heart open to the possibility that the bike would finally be used.
Perhaps you awaken from a long nighta€™s sleep and have the thought that you are tired; but are you really tired or just not quite alert as yet? They were planted by the property owner in the early 1900s and seem to be a symbol of welcome outside the front door of an ancient majestic medieval stone castle. To quote Wikipedia: a€¦the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial equator and ecliptic intersect. Who could argue that day and night have distinct powers to aid in the Life upon planet Earth? In my youth the expression, a€?all men are created equal,a€? stirred many thoughts of disbelief in my mind: Does that include women, does that mean skill level, does that mean talent, does that mean appearance, does that meana€¦on and on?
It is a deeper understanding that the Universal energy dynamic of which we are a part is without judgment. If there is a value judgment placed by me on what I see, it is sure to mean that I do not see myself as equala€”it could be a feeling of doing better or of a feeling of doing less, of being stronger or of being weaker, in control or not in control.
To honor what each contributes with no value judgment added supports my intention to appreciate all that a€?isa€? because it a€?is.a€? If Ia€™m walking on eggshells, stomping heavily through a room, or withdrawing my love in a reaction to another to gain acceptance or power, it will be my challenge to ask why I do not feel equal in this moment without demanding an immediate answer.
It is summer and the calls to rescue injured or troubled animals and people come in quite often. The caller stated that hawks were circling and it wouldna€™t be long before the rabbit could not be saved.
What happens are visions of past experiences, people, and places that are pictures in the minda€™s album. They had added gardens, doors, patios, waterfalls, fireplace, and fisha€”just to mention a few of their creations.
It is challenging to accurately describe a sacred moment and the power it contains, so Ia€™ll start slowly from the beginning. I can feel within me the need to know who is the night raider and how can I change what is happening in order to have my world be as I choose it to be.
For some reason, I have doubt about whether that person is capable of caring about me just as I am in this moment. The birds are chirping in the trees, the squirrels are trying to get into the bird feeders, the breeze is moving the leaves, the raindrops are collecting on the deck, and the mountains stand observing it all. There is no thinking only comfort and presence; it is as if I am one with my feelings and it feels like what I believe peace to be. Ia€™ve felt that my body is trying to tell me something so each morning Ia€™ve asked the question: a€?What do I need to know that I do not want to know?a€? Without requiring an answer, Ia€™ve continued to just be open to learning. As I began, I felt I was reading it for the friend to support him in his relationship with someone he loves; but as I began to read, I knew the booka€™s message would bring me the understanding of what I needed to know that I was resisting unconsciously. My intention is to have compassion for the part of me that feels I need all the answers to lifea€™s questions now. I dona€™t know what it is I am not aware of in this moment, but I am fully aware that I am enjoying the quietness of it. The elevator door opened and a middle-aged woman entered pushing a teenage boy in a wheelchair. He wasna€™t concerned that it was crowded or that too many obstacles were in the way of what he wanted.
Many had predicted that this corrupt city of pirates and cutthroats would one day suffer Goda€™s judgment.
Ia€™m not saying God cannot speak through a coin, but coin tossing is something they do in football games.
Normally, a group would take a clay jar with a narrow opening and put in a number of stones of one color and one odd stone of a different color. I also know someone who was praying about a big decision, and he wasna€™t sure whether or not he was to flip a coin to choose between the available options. He said, a€?If I wake up in the morning and therea€™s dew on the fleece but not on the ground, that will be a sign.a€? Well, that happened. She said, a€?Lord, I have to know this is your will.a€? She prayed and agonized, needing reassurance that this was the right man.
He can, but the majority of your dreams are just gibberish that comes when your brain is defragmenting the things youa€™ve experienced through the day, kicking all sorts of bizarre things through your mind (Ecclesiastes 5:3).
He was a young farmer, and he wondered if he was supposed to spend his life doing this work. If youa€™re going to base decisions on dreams and visions, make sure there is reinforcing evidence.


This list comes from those whom I respect the most: the Holy Spirit speaking through the Bible, great Bible scholars and commentators, and friends and fellow pastors. The odds are not in your favor to simply guess about what youa€™re supposed to do as a career. John 7:17 says, a€?If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authoritya€? (NKJV). Plus, surrender yourself to Jesus before expecting Him to lead you some place to work on His behalf. I once heard about a simple man in the Congo who prayed, a€?Lord, you be the needle, Ia€™ll be the thread. When you are searching for Goda€™s will, you need to open the Bible even more than you normally would. What if someone says, a€?In order to get an incredible career opportunity, I just need to work during two Sabbaths for one month until I get tenurea€??
When searching for Goda€™s will, find others who have good judgment and will be honest with you. God will often show you what He wants you to do through providential events that happen around you. God often guides us in His will by closing doors to some opportunities and opening doors to others. Ita€™s like an overweight man at the office who says, a€?Ia€™m going on a diet; Ia€™m giving up donuts!a€? But the next day, he shows up with a big box of them. In 2 Chronicles 20, when Israel was surrounded by her enemies, Jehoshaphat commanded the people to fast and pray. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.a€? Ia€™m sure they applied other criteria, but notice that they knew the direction God wanted them to go as they fasted and listened. When you are seek-ing after Goda€™s will, make sure that the option you choose will glorify Him. Youa€™re better off waiting for Goda€™s will having the right job, the right spouse, or the right school than rushing ahead of the Lord and having the wrong job, the wrong spouse, or the wrong school. They are so certain ita€™s the right thing to do that theya€™ll marry someone they dona€™t like and become a dentist even though teeth give them the willies. Wea€™ve looked at a number of criteria from the Bible and common sense of how you can determine the will of God in any aspect of your life. We need to be consistently measuring that wea€™re in the middle of Goda€™s will based on the criteria listed in this book.
Even though man is separated from God because of sin, He has given us a way to discover His willa€”and He has given us the power to do it. And I think we can all say we were moved by a stadium full of musicians playing Ode to Joy, so much so that Finn and Dash decided to join in playing. Scatter descriptive details by breaking large clumps of information into smaller bits and sprinkle throughout the story. More than a century ago now a conductor on a southbound Illinois Central Gulf train offered the town its name, noting the fields of winter wheat still green late in the year.
Engineer Casey Jones lived 50 miles south in Jackson, Tennessee at the time of his legendary 1903 wreck, his modest house there now a museum.
By the time they found her tiny body atop a trampled swath of soybean plants just off Bean Switch Road, a notorious Lovera€™s Lane, the corpse had begun to turn in the late summer heat.
I was as sad as a nine year-old boy could be about the business I suppose, but Cary had violated that cardinal rule of childhood about talking to strangers, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had Robert Glen Coe in custody just three days later.
I sensed with a kind of strange excitement how the photo was an emblem of my childhooda€”the unmistakable heat, those men, something awful hidden just out of sight.
We sang of mountains and amber grain, our voices always a beat or two behind the warped '45 spinning on the phonograph beside the globe on Miss Ranney's desk.
Later that year, I was in Home Ec tracing my face shape with soap onto a mirror when the intercom crackled the news.
McClanahana€™s work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, and numerous other publications. Later I felt bad that I hadna€™t gone to the funeral, but I was never sure if my motivation was guilt or disappointment over missing such a spectacle. This one is taking its time, and I have nothing more than my intuition to tell me that ita€™s gone.
Ia€™m still not completely sure, so I survey again, trying to find the feeling that was once there, that still comes back in little wisps, but seems mostly gone. You mix all the colors togethera€”the good colors and the bad colors too, just to see what will happen, and you come up with a muddy, greenish, sickly version of the color brown, a sort of chaos and confusion of life and lifelessness all blended into one, never to be separated into sky blue, tangerine, and sea foam again. I would have taken the dead womana€™s baby for my own, as a guard against the possibility that either of us would ever be alone, as a stone thrown in the face of death, as protection against this circling, this looking for something we both need desperately that is no longer there.
I consider asking him what the correct spelling might be, imagine him looking up at me with big, brown eyes, searching the details of my face for the correct letter, but decide to just tell him what he needs instead. I nod solemnly, mentally adding another dress code violation to my long list of teaching errors. Traffic is finally moving, and this idiot thinks the left lane is for pacing instead of passing.
On the way to work, I listened to the news, but sometimes I turned it off and just listened to the sound of my breathing. Looking at my watch, I realize that the few minutes that I have been delayed will cost me many more. With my simple math skills, I conclude that including weekends, they rob me of at least ten hours a week. My thoughts are focused on security, contingency operations, alternate network operations, and the myriad of requirements to overcome the obstacles presented by this occurrence. She knows something terrible has happened today and I dona€™t know how to explain it to her. Being a Marine is not something I do; it is who I am, who I have been, and who I will always be. The hands of time are moving again, but now I hear the slow, steady tick tock of each moment. She is also married to a Marine and has two daughters, ages 13 and 8.A She has served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and her husband has served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Once he cut his teeth guarding gates and on patrol, David became a Marine criminal investigator. Under each tree and beneath each bush, there seemed to be an aurora of light that painted a distorted picture of each bush upon the ground below. I turned to head back to the dorm, a little wet, a little cold, and covered with the glow of Moon Dancing with my Shadows. 50 mile an hour gusts of wind in Virginia would encourage me to hunker down for protection. The disappointment is strong and yet I can take a small step toward the bathroom and get dressed.
As I compared the pictures of me as a child and me as a grown woman, I finally could see my own beauty and it made me laugh with joy.
As the New Year begins, my heart is open and I look forward to the experiences I will create.
As a poll worker, the day was long, warm inside, cold outside, enjoyable, inspiring, and at times emotional. He is immobile at the moment and concerned because he has never missed an election since he began to vote.
Sometimes it is before an experience and during the experience the words start ringing in my ears. As we began to practice creating scenes, it was immediately clear that it was easier for me to say a€?yes, buta€? and it was equally clear that doing so blocked the scene from expanding. Acceptance of a€?what isa€? can be challenging and this simple idea of energetically saying, a€?yes, anda€? has given me clarity about my own negative or judgmental views as Ia€™ve gone through my day. The experiment itself has supported me in living more fully in the present, which is, of course, the only place we can live fully. My heart seemed to stop breathing, my throat was tightly constricted, and the top of my head felt as if it would fly into the trees so great was the pressure. His choices were courageous; his experiences were dramatic examples of how to live and not to live for those who watched his progress. It could be loading bikes on a rack, spilling milk in my new car, lateness of a friend, hot when I want it to be cool, or appreciation not shown. The deep longing for companionship thwarted by my fear of losing independence is simple but complex within my thoughts about what to allow and what not to allow into my world.
Ia€™ve been living at least for the past few day in a story of my own making about what others want me to do, how they want me to live, or what they need from me.
Recently a friend was talking about his experiences and how excited he was about his hopes and dreams for the future; I recognized them as both different and similar to my own. It has been amazing and comfortable and productive in a different way than accomplishing projects.
Last night as I looked around during a concert on the mountain, I saw the same people I see almost daily. It isna€™t dissatisfaction with what is; its more a wonderment of what other experiences and growth are possible for me.
There is a joyful feeling of contentment as the warm air circles close in and sweat runs down my back. Joy has not always come to me with ease, as my human need to protect myself and those I love is well practiced and vigilant at times.
He talks about a concept in a book we are sharing and wonders if hea€™s got it right; if he has understood it. He encourages me to ask myself how the things Ia€™m seeing are different and how they are the same and listen to my heart speak. It is orange and ita€™s light is a lacy hue; two triangles extending from ita€™s center one reaches toward me and the other away from me. What an awesome experience to see the love of a husband and a father reflected in the toothless grin of a new life. Memories of his birth and death have supported me in finding this place where I intend to live with compassion for others and myself and with a love of Life every day and every minute. I cannot change it, but I can surrender to a€?what isa€? in each moment in order to respond from the healthiest part of me rather than to fearfully react.
This habit has triggered in me a new perspective about what I see as limitation and opportunity.
Today that message is to consider every limitation as an opportunity and to be opened to what is most important to learn in each moment.
The woman in a wheel chair demonstrates patience as she waits to enter through a revolving door. I now move slowly enough in the morning to watch a cardinal land on the bird-feeder, my glasses magnify the beauty of the gifts that fill my home, my aches encourage me to stretch and care for my body and to find the wisdom to rest when rest is needed.
My nose will tell me of ita€™s fragrance, my touch will tell me of its softness, but only through my mothera€™s tone and voice will I know what that fragrance and softness belongs too.
As I carefully describe what Ia€™m seeing, my gift to this unseeing child supports me being present enough to fully see it myself; and this level of awareness is the childa€™s gift to me.
As the child, as the mother, or as the cherry blossom, my purpose is simply to live my best life and to grow. The manifestation of that essential Life we have brought into being takes many physical forms; all different, all unique.
All of these things have resulted in my becoming the a€?soul in a bodya€? that I see in my mirror this morning. If in this Life, we do not become conscious of the power of the collective Life of the Universe, we will be given another chance.
To make that possible, I pulled it out, pumped up the tires, admired ita€™s beauty, and my heart felt lighter.
As we remounted and rode on, the bike was a€?just another bikea€? racing to the song of the fall breeze. Perhaps you look in the mirror and think that you are getting older and no longer beautiful; yes you are getting older, but aging has ita€™s own beauty.
The ability to bring awareness to the harsh, dramatic, judgmental, and repetitive sounds within our minds contains the freedom we think is not open to us.
These points of intersection are called equinoctial points: classically, the vernal point and the autumnal point. So to carry the a€?Pointa€? into an individual Life, who could argue that pleasant (light) experiences are better or worse than difficult (dark) experiences since every experience has the potential for learning by the being that experiences it. Like the similar times of day and night in this season, we are connected by individual and collective purposes with an equal opportunity to live our best lives. As I was hearing the story, it occurred to me that we saved the rabbit or deprived the hawk of its meal. It is a beautiful spot and it was early evening as the light played its songs upon the angles of the rocks and crevices as we watched. Today if someone walks along the same path we took, there will be no hint of what occurred between the snake and the frog.
Going back there did not necessarily appeal to me either since my relationship to my former husband and her Dad had become faded memories of love and pain. As often happens with this friend, the discussion turned to nature and bird songs in particular.
It was quickly replaced with a look of acceptance of what was now occurring as she described her coming treatment. Ia€™m grateful for the awareness of this part of me that continues to need challenging if I am to be at peace with what is in this moment. How do I challenge the part of me that judges his actions and wants him to be different so that I can be happy?
That feels nurturing and I can feel my heart open as I consider the possibility that life is an illusion created by my thoughts, and I can choose which thoughts I will give my energy too. For others, I just say something like, a€?planning a quiet day.a€? That answer feels authentic and supportive of the way I want to live my life. For sure, I am an active person with a wide variety of interests, but sometimes I enjoy a€?Beinga€? in my home.
Today I have set an intention to answer the question, what are you doing today, with authenticity no matter who is asking. As the morning unfolds, the feeling of hunger comes and without questioning it, I stretch, arise, and move to my robe. Without thinking, there is a deep knowing that I am not a separate entity seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling this moment, but an integral part of it and without my energy and presence it would be different. She said that I was flexible in my hips and so compensated there for the lack of flexibility in the last vertebra of my back.
I begin to remember the times in my life when I have felt emotional pain and have chosen to override it with thinking.
Also this week, Ia€™ve felt the need to remain quiet while reflecting with more stillness than is my normal pattern. This morning I read Tollea€™s words I needed to hear: If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others. I will ask for guidance to accept what is happening in the moment without adding drama and fearful thoughts or intelligent explanations. I felt impatient with the loss of time and the people that swirled around in the garage seemingly in my way. He seemed challenged both mentally and physically, and my reaction was to look away so that his mom would not feel I was staring at the young boy. He wasna€™t complaining internally, he wasna€™t judging others; he was without fear and was gazing in awe at the light. Therefore, the disaster surprised no one, least of all the handful of religious men who were swept to their doom along with the wicked. But at the same time, the Lord has individual plans for each person that are as varied and unique as snowflakes.
It might work for the NFL, but if Ia€™m making a life decision, I want more direction than heads or tails. Some people have weird dreams, so they visit a psychoanalyst who helps them try to understand if there is any hidden meaning in them. As he was pondering, he looked up in the sky and saw that the wind was moving the clouds around.
A lot of these extraordinary methods that people use to determine Goda€™s will are reserved for when He speaks to chosen prophets.
The Lord is a€?not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentancea€? (2 Peter 3:9). I think wea€™ll be surprised when we get to heaven and God pulls back the veil; wea€™ll be a witness to the cosmic battle between good and evil and see that God didna€™t always get what He wanted.
God will let you know His willa€”if you are truly willing to do it once you understand what it is. If your heart is in a state of rebellion and youa€™re not surrendered, why would God show you His will? You go first, and Ia€™ll follow wherever you lead.a€? Thata€™s the kind of humble attitude we need to discern Goda€™s will. For starters, the law of God can help you discern whether He wants you to do one thing or another. In other words, dona€™t get counsel from people whose lives are a disaster; theya€™re probably not in the best position to give you advice. If theya€™re blessed like Joseph in Egypt and you can see the hand of God is over them, theya€™re probably good picks for counselors. Like Balaam, wea€™re beating our donkey to go somewhere, and we dona€™t know that an angel in standing in our way. When youa€™re pondering all the options in your life, if one of them is risky when it comes to living the Christian life, dona€™t tempt the devil to see how close to the edge of sin you can get. How will I be the best advertising for your glory?a€? This is a vital factor in your decision process.
Will I like the climate?a€? Instead, they need to be thinking of their families and how their decision is going to affect those around them.
They get job offers with better pay and hours, but they realize that where they are touches so many peoplea€™s lives. If a sandstorm came through and the caravan lost its bearings, the person would release the dove after the storm. Mature Christians will have a certain peace when Goda€™s Spirit is telling them what to do. But ita€™s a myth to believe that Goda€™s will automatically means doing something we dona€™t really want to do. When you first turn one on, it cana€™t tell you immediately your location or which way you need to go. Sometimes you are going to need a number of these criteria to overlap, to a€?triangulate,a€? before you can truly see where God is pointing you. I believe I am in the middle of Goda€™s will right now.a€? That is indeed a wonderful place to be, but chances are that at some point in your life, you will need a course adjustment. Are you afraid of where God might lead youa€”out of your comfort zone and into a strange land? After all, something has drawn you here, readera€”you want to know what it is the searchers seek among the soybean plants. Lawrence University, where he teaches courses in nonfiction writing and later American literature, and an adjunct member of the faculty of Ashland Universitya€™s Low-Residency MFA program. Our world was the Weekly Reader, hopscotch and jump rope, the only war the Cold One which America of course was winning. They lived only for my welfare, wrote notes about my progress and pinned them to my shirt, exchanged report card signatures.
McClanahan, who lives in New York, has received the Wood Prize from POETRY, a Pushcart Prize in fiction, and (twice) the Carter prize for the essay from Shenendoah. There is something about the way the breasts suddenly deflate, the way the body stops gurgling and humming, that lets me know I will continue to chase after the symptoms of another life in my body without ever finding what I am looking for. This brown, this color I am, it sucks in the colors of crocuses, bananas, my husbanda€™s eyes, and it holds them tight, keeping them for its own but never changing, never brightening to a rich mahogany or surrendering to black.
As my bitten fingernail zigzags over his sentences, I realize that even my fingers dona€™t match my image of a fourth grade teacher, who should be neat and composed, with a rosy complexion and trimmed, polished nails. He grins back at me, but there is something about his expression, the penetrating, hooded brown eyes, that tells me he knows Ia€™m overlooking his other mistakes. She is currently working on a travel memoir about her experiences in the United Arab Emirates titled a€?Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights.a€? Her creative work has been published in literary journals such as The Common Review, Brevity, and Fourth River. Adding lanes in both directions just wouldna€™t have been right a€“ all that grass dividing the highway looks so much better! Most of his career was in military law enforcement minus some out of specialty assignments, including three years on recruiting duty. My feet picked up speed, my fear lessened, and I began to explore the light that broke the shadows.
The lake lay in stillness and hovering above it was a wall of mist, kind of stringy, but not transparent; and above all that, hung the moon spreading its final visible glow before dawn arrived with the sunrise.
Outside the window, the lily pond beyond the deck is beautiful, the deck is wet and shiny, and the door slightly open lets in a pure and sweet freshness.
I can take a small step toward my car and drive the dirt road to the main road; and if the wind is too strong, I can return to this rugged North shore bamboo farm and make the best of it.
As I gazed at the photo of the beautiful child holding the doll, I remembered that feeling of love; my heart was soft and full. The beauty had nothing to do with the physical features displayed in the photos; it was the radiance that traveled from my heart through my eyes and took in the world around them. Let me tell you why inspiring and emotional experiences were my companions on this day in small-town America. We kissed each other, hugged each other, waved to each other, talked with each other, supported each other, and laughed and yes cried with each other. I focused on these positives as we supported him in whatever healing was possible, and eventually, supported him as his alcohol-damaged body died.
As she led us in meditation, I felt the deep pain of powerlessness again, and again I invited it to get as big as it could. When Ia€™m in that centered place what happens outside me is like a movie and I can watch my personality, the actor, think and plan and wish without attachment. It is all a a€?Storya€? from the part of me that loves stories and the justification they give for me to be less than open and less than loving.
As we parted, I heard myself say to him, looks like youa€™re on it and Ia€™m just standing beside it.
It has been exciting, it has been challenging, it has been peaceful, it has been stimulating; and mostly, it has been healing. Ia€™ve come to look forward to their presence and the feeling of security and safety they trigger within me. Change for many is difficult, but for me the newness of change is invigorating and stimulating.
Expansion now calls and the excitement of just what that will entail lifts my energy and makes me want to sing. In my view as I watch the water run over the rocks, he stands with his back to me looking into the creek.
His open heart is almost always constant even when he is confused or slightly annoyed with his surrounding world. As we danced I asked him, a€?What was the best thing about today?a€? And, without waiting for his answer, I laughed and said, a€?Everything.a€? He laughed out loud with complete delight and agreed. I listen to his expressed doubt and somewhat confused words, and have a knowing that he understands it perfectly. We are many flames from the same candle, and yet, just one light; apart we are a flicker but together we make a luminous Life.
The memory fills my heart and I see a vision of him in a jaunty Easter hat and sports jacket toddling up the small hill in front of my house; two steps forward and one step back and finally falling and rolling to the bottom only to rise again and begin again with laughter and determination.
In those magical days, he marveled at the beauties of the life of which he found himself a part be they giant mountains, rock music, or the smallest of butterflies. In time he began to drink alcohol to lessen the pain of the world not always being as he wanted. It is my full responsibility to live with presence and courage and to grow into the person I am called to be. This act of responsible choice and the intent behind it becomes the vehicle of my creation and the consequence it brings. It has been a life-long habit to observe closely human behavior and sometimes to judge or to give value to what I see; that is changing. They are aware that the opportunity to connect must be given their full attention and they have learned how to do that.
The man whose taste and smell is not so acute takes two bites before he makes his choice of what to eat.
The veins and wrinkles on the back of my hand remind me that Ia€™m dehydrated and need to drink more water today. I hear from her there are five petals close together in almost a circle; and where the petals attach in the middle of the cherry blossom, it is a deeper shade of pink that grows almost to white at the petalsa€™ edges.
This delicate flower filled with color and shadow created by the warm and nurturing sun comes alive in my being and is energetically past to this curious and loving child. My heart called me to the computer to put down my feelings, and I became distracted by email for a moment. Each of us makes choices that create our life day-to-day, hour-to-hour, moment-to-moment, and those choices add up to a Life unlike any other.
The experiences were the same; the creation process of what remained in each of them became very different. If I stood in a long line of people, those who know me would recognize me even though we all have two eyes, two arms, two legs, one nose, and one mouth. For this Life, in this place, I have a knowing that the Life I have created has supported the Lives of others and me. The answer for me is in what I choose to give my attention and time too; with a conscious intention to live my life fully not someone elsea€™s, just mine. He had bought the bike as transportation when he lost his drivera€™s license because of a drunk driving charge. Later we loaded the bike into his SUV, and I felt as feathery light as the evening air rushing across my skin. No memories flooded me for I was in the moment, and this moment was another level of healing I had not expected.
You see a friend walking and think she really wants to walk alone; but in reality when you join her on the walk she is welcoming and the walk enriches you both.
In each moment, we can step back from a belief and ask one simple question: Does this thought or belief serve to expand my Life or limit my life?
Since being human with the power of our minds to create stories around our experiences, it is often easier to live in an imaginary story of what happened and how we should react than to see that how we respond to an experience in this moment creates the suffering or not. Growing and aging brought new a€?judgmentsa€? about equality and how to discover what equality really meansa€”not to others, but to me. It is not always easy to carry that deep sense of equality into our relationships for we are indeed spiritual beings in physical human forms with old patterns of reactions and judgments. The rejoicing of anothera€™s strength or my own cannot diminish or inflate my feelings about either if I am without judgment of that persona€™s or my own value as a result. It was peaceful and awe inspiring to see the effects the water has played and still plays upon the landscape as it all shifts and changes imperceptibly.
But there we were in front of a house that I had come to as a bride, altered it with the support of my dad and husband to accommodate our familya€”a house in which I had brought my children, and where I laughed and cried and planned the perfect future. I thought of a day when the world was perfect because we were exhausted together and happy.
The small trees that we had planted cast some shade now, and the flowers his wife had planted added color all around them.
My friend had started them from her plants, and her husband had traveled along with her to deliver them to me and to share a few moments of time. So she and I pulled out my IPad to compare what we were hearing in my yard with the Audubon recorded bird-songs.
I looked at her husband and there I saw a deep pain quickly replaced with an expression of deep love for this woman with which he has shared many years. Only then can I make a responsible choice to support the life I want with the consequences that come from making choices within the presence of acceptance. This is not a new conflict; the difference is that I am aware of the thoughts and feelings within this dynamic that create circumstances I do not wish to occur. I alone am responsible for the experiences I create and it is those experiences that enrich my life if I choose.
Of course, routine chores like making a bed, fixing food, doing dishes, caring for my home are always needed, but this question seems to be about something more. Ia€™m reading, Ia€™m writing, Ia€™m thinking, Ia€™m dreaming, Ia€™m questioning, Ia€™m answering, but more than anything else Ia€™m simply being here now doing this and it nurtures my life.
Sometimes I will be playing golf or tennis, rushing around running a project, working to beautify my yard; but sometimes Ia€™ll simply be choosing to a€?Bea€? and for me that will be enough. The rain is, the fruit is, the wood is, the carpet is, the chair is, the joy garden is, Jon Kabat-Zinn is, the peace is, and I am. She said that when some part of the body is not used, the brain notices and will see the lack of movement as a€?normal.a€? She said the unused area becomes more and more unbalanced and eventually creates pain in the body. Ia€™ve told myself that life is difficult sometimes and have moved on without giving the pain its due course and attention.
As I sit with that question and just relax into the moment, I feel certain that if I remain open the question will be answered; not by the intellect, but by something deeper inside me that guides my life if I choose to listen.
The light from the sun had entered his eyes and body completely and radiated outward toward anyone who chose to look. One such man was Lewis Galdy, who was born in France but left for the New World in search of religious freedom. The jar would go around from person to person, each shaking the vessel and dropping out a stone.
He even says, a€?Come now, let us reason together.a€? You should never say, a€?Whom shall I marry? She was praying with her eyes closed by her bed, and she put her finger down on a versea€”when she opened her eyes, it was on Genesis 24:58, which says, a€?They called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man?
If thata€™s not you just yet, take a moment now to discover some biblical and common-sense ways to discern the will of our Creator.
What you are doing in life as a vocation should take a back seat if you dona€™t yet have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Obviously, you and I have also done some things in our lives that were out of Goda€™s will.
But it doesna€™t always happen, so we have to do our best to search outa€”and be ina€”Goda€™s will for the sake of His kingdom. You might not like what Hea€™s about to show you, but make up your mind that by His grace you will do it before you even know what it is.
If God says to do no common work during the Sabbath, you already have His clearly stated will for your life concerning that job.
Plus, be sure to get a few different opinionsa€”the verse says a€?counsellors.a€? If a doctor says you have a life-threatening disease and you feel fine, you might consider a second opinion. We thought you swore off donuts!a€? He replies, a€?Well, it was Goda€™s will that I get these donuts. Make sure youa€™re following Goda€™s will by only going through the open doors in harmony with His Word. If youa€™re going to pray and fast to know His will, then believe that Hea€™ll show you His will.
Because of the dovea€™s homing instincts, it would begin to fly straight home and the caravan would follow.
If youa€™re truly converted, He can and will often implant within your heart a burning desire to do the very thing He wants you to do.
Remember always that God doesna€™t want whata€™s worst for you; He wants whata€™s best for you.
She is not someone who must ask repeatedly for attention and good behavior, whose voice gets muffled in the chatter of children, who anxiously picks at her nails and tears at her cuticles until tiny red bumps appear. I finally allow myself to smile as I imagine the opportunity to place a full handed slap across the face of the Neanderthal that came up with that brilliant idea. But from what I had written, the reader would most certainly understand the essence of my experience. This time when movement caught my senses, I saw on the side of the Main Hall at Omega two shadows. As I glanced up, I noticed that the stars were vanishing from the sky and the moon had moved toward the lake so I let my feet dance after it. If I could remember to challenge my fearful thoughts, Moon Dancing would always be possible. Doubts about whether I should be here alone nag me and breathing deeply doesna€™t seem to help. Many times Ia€™ve experienced that feeling over the years: when I married my new husband, when each of my children were borne, when a bond of female friendship was revealed to me, when I gave unconditional love to an amazing yet flawed man, when I held my grandsons the first time, when I witnessed my son-in-lawa€™s tears at a grave site, and so many moments in nature. Many times the circumstances of life and my thoughts about them hid my beauty from me, and I could not believe others even when they shared their love and compassion for me.
May I remember to look deeply into my own eyes to find love and then freely give it away to others. She literally danced to the voting booth and then out; waving and glowing as she left the precinct. The voice in my head was still, the polling precinct was quiet, and the room filled with the light of choice I had been witnessing all day. Of course, there are times when I have to say no to someone, and what Ia€™ve found is that even that is easier when I say yes to what is transpiring in the moment and then expand the conversation or activity to make my point or acknowledge someone elsea€™s need. But inside me deeper than even I imagined was a sense of sadness and powerlessness to change the drinking habits of my 37-year-old son. When I could bare it no longer, it vanished and was replaced with a deep stillness of peace. My overall intention for my life is to love well, and of late, that seems more difficult than it has for the recent past years.
It protects me and not in a way that is creative; it prevents me from living each moment as it is with an intention to hear the quiet voice that wisely guides my Life.
Then from deep inside me came that still small voice, that is not the Phyllis I know; I recognized the voice as me and not me. It is a song of healing and caring for this person I am and the growing Being that awaits me with my next choice and adventure. It does not; so I reach my hand toward it and it appears as if the light is resting upon my hand. All these objects, all those Ia€™ve loved, and all those who have loved me are part of this one light. I may need to remain silent.A I may need to speak aloud about something that is bothering me about whata€™s happening. It is with gratitude that I accept all the parts of mea€”the difficult and the pleasanta€”and quietly surrender to the learning that my experience offers in this moment, and the next, and the next.
Now more often I observe not to give value but to learn and to appreciate the insight that observing brings to me about me.
As my hair grows and the gray is more visible, Ia€™m reminded of what a long and remarkably healthy life I have and the freedom that brings. From the middle of the deep pink rise varying lengths of stamens with small orangey-pink, round fluffy dots at each of their tips. My heart aches with gratitude for this small being whose blindness first filled me with sadness; but now has added a measure of being alive that could not have been possible without what I once considered to be her handicap. There in the emails I read: We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. They may remark that I look like someone else, but if they truly know me, they know that I am like no one else. When it came off the moving van five years ago, it went into the corner of the garage, because I was still not ready to let go of the memory of the healing I thought it would bring to my son. It sat and sat, and I would see it with a flood of emotions triggered by the healing and loss it represented.
We stopped again to sit by the river; all I felt was deep gratitude for all the extraordinary experiences of this Life lived fully.
Perhaps the thought is that living alone is not as enriching as living as a couple, but the amount of freedom that comes with living alone is amazing.
It takes a deep intention to look inside us and see those patterns, take a second look, and remind ourselves they are imaginary stories we have created to feel okay in this particular incarnation and perhaps others.
Since the evolutionary process of physical a€?survival of the fittest,a€? has taught me to judge whether or not I am safe when with another, this approach to Life is challenging and yet interesting and exciting to me. Only the man, the boy, my friend and I will really know the changes created within us from these experiences. We took smiling pictures with a camera to add to our real photo albums of course, and we spoke of the skill and time that each family had given to this beautiful modest home.


As I watched them drive away, I knew this strong, courageous couple was focusing their attention on accepting and living Life fully in each moment, and I was grateful that they were part of mine! Simultaneously, I feel a€?less thana€? because Ia€™m choosing not to do something a€?importanta€? and a€?more thana€? because I feel at some level the other person isna€™t capable of understanding that need.
Sliding my feet along the carpet, the harder surface of my wood floor is recognized at the doorway.
She continues my therapy and she comments that my pelvic area begins to move a little, but I cana€™t seem to feel it. Have I, therefore, sent a message to my intellect to override this pain and continue to function.
I will not seek the answer in my mind, but I will relax into the present and observe what comes to me. It has felt really good and freeing, but Ia€™ve also had this voice in my head that says, a€?Whata€™s wrong with you?a€? I watched the thought come and go and remained quiet, peaceful, and still.
I will look at my activities one by one to see if there is a second agenda lurking in the shadow of my fearful ego.
As the elevator door opened, I said to his Mom that I believed he was enjoying the sunshine. Tomorrow let the fleece be dry and the dew on the ground.a€? Thata€™s how it happened, and finally Gideon felt reassured.
And she said, I will go.a€? When you pray about whom to marry and you flip the Bible open and this is the place where your finger landsa€”thata€™s a pretty strong indicator. He thought it was a message from God to a€?Preach Christ,a€? so he threw down his farm equipment, cleaned up, got his Sunday suit on, and started going around the community preaching.
But when I started giving Bible studies to friends, more and more people I respected said, a€?Doug, have you considered the ministry?a€? They said, a€?You need to pray about it. And He will open doorsa€”for ministry, for opportunity, for careers, for relationshipsa€”you just need to ask. The Bible says the just shall live by faith, so trust that God has a plan for you and that Hea€™s going to show it to you in His time.
The monk then said, a€?Your first order is to go back to the palace and be king.a€? From that point, the king knew it was his calling to be a king.
But youa€™ll notice that it will often say a€?awaiting more satellitesa€? or a€?awaiting better accuracya€? even though it has already given you a direction to go. Prayerfully evaluating compatibility does so much to ensure many years of blissful romance.
Drilling from these floating barges didna€™t work efficiently because drill lines and pipes would crack under the constant motion and undulation of the ocean currents.
Youa€™ve got to trust Him that in the end, youa€™ll always be happier being in the middle of His will. And now these paragraphs lie before you like stands of trees, a deep forest of wonder and darkness whose mystery beckons. Each morning Mother locked my thermos and only Miss Ranney could loosen it, leaning over me in her ivory crepe blouse until the cap sighed once, then was free.
The rest of the orbit swirls out from there: King murdered the week of my senior prom, then Bobby in a hotel just miles from my school while I marched to Pomp and Circumstance, not knowing that within a year on a July night in the back seat of a Volkswagen, I would pledge what was left of my heart to a boy leaving for Vietnam while above us the tired moon finally gave in to a tiny man in gravity boots, planting an American flag. Shea€™s probably doodling on the desk, her long, dark lashes cast down as she tries to escape the demands of the classroom and enter into the world of her drawing. She is no longer a manipulative ten year old who pouts when she wants permission to draw hearts on the chalkboard or be excused to the lavatory for the third time in an hour. As I started to pack my lunch box something caught my eye outside on the deck through the patio doors. During the remainder of the week there, I edited the essay several times and eventually it morphed into a short surreal poem. As I gazed out into the darkness, I had the urge to take a walk, but felt frightened that I would be walking in an unfamiliar place in that darkness, and it might not be wise. As I entered the garden, it was a cascade of silence punctuated with the crunching sounds of my footsteps upon the path. I remembered one of my favorite childhood poems, a€?I Have A Little Shadow That Goes In and Out With Me.a€? I remembered how much I loved giving it to my grandchildren!
I hummed a€?Que Sa Ra Sa Ra, what ever will be will be,a€? all the way back to the dorm and into the shower.
The curious part of me whispers, a€?go out and take a few photos.a€? So dressed in my robe and slippers with camera in tow, my hands slide back the door, and I venture out.
As I said a€?yes, anda€? to what she had to say, the profound lesson came that what she was saying would be an amazing way to not only do improv, it would change a life from a negative focus to a positive one. Over the years, my daughter and I, had pleaded, threatened, and prayed for him to give up drinking. He was free and it was spring one year and four months after his first healthy choice in a very long time. The last few years have been filled with the joy of living and remembering his life and what it brought to mine. Do this, dona€™t do that, go here, stay there, love this, mistrust that; the mind chatter is overwhelming in these moments. So when discontent of the kind Ia€™ve been experiencing of late is present within me, it puzzles me as to what Ia€™m to learn this time. One of me is the movie my personality creates with thinking, assessing, resisting, and this me was the Seer who watches in loving amazement at times.
There was a time in the past when this need would cause me to question a€?who I am,a€? and a€?why am I like this;a€? now it feels warm with acceptance like the return of an absent and beloved friend. This slow to respond, slow to move, slow to show emotion man has a great capacity for deep joy that I admire. He wanted to hear his music uninterrupted and spit on his sister when she came into his room to chat. These moments of choice step-by-step and consequence-by-consequence truly become the Life I experience. This year as I focus on creating more humility through patience, the experiences that I a€?m creating through what Ia€™ve viewed up to now as limitations are supporting me in doing just that.
Her words say that the stamens are the pollen-bearing male part of this delicate precious flower. She never considered herself handicapped, and her acceptance has brought me bravery and added awareness that life is created by the choice to live with a€?what isa€? with courage. This quote by Anne Lamott brought me back to my intention to explore Nepoa€™s original questions.
Another man loses his job and decides to create a different way of living and becomes a role model for others. We are a soul having a physical experience that has the opportunity to contribute to the healing of all living beings. In the peaceful stillness, I closed my eyes and let the gurgle of the racing river wash through me as the sun shared its warmth. Perhaps your belief is that your children should behave differently, but then you see them blossom into their own lives that are very different from what you imagined. If the answer is limits, look at it and let it go for it does not serve your Life or anyonea€™s. With closer observation of the direction of the winds and of the angles of the sun, it becomes clear that the one that seems to be leaning-in has twisted, has transformed, and has become deeply rooted thereby protecting the other from the elements. Our patterned reaction may not be the healthiest response in this moment, and if it is not, it may be wise to make a different choice. It was clear to me that as a male, he had automatically assumed that the woman in his relationship had to have been weaker or less assertive for inequality to exist.
Later a call came that a skunk, which appeared to have a broken leg, was outside the restaurant by the golf course.
Life is by definition impermanent and the cultivation of acceptance has been my yearlong intention since Winter Solstice of last year. I remembered a summer of disruption as Dad added the addition and my son walked in the foundation ditches and later put nails into the exposed electrical outlets. In that moment of presence, their togetherness seemed all that truly mattered, and I was touched by their love for each other. No one knows in Life what will come next, living in this present moment is where we find our power.
Ia€™ve watched the French Open and seen the victory there as a moment in time that is relevant only to the lives involved. She says thata€™s okay because the movement is subtle, but necessary to maintain the health of the back and ultimately the nerve in that area. I will trust the Universal force to support me in my learning and relax into the pain, feel it deeply in the moment; I will no longer resist the discomfort, but welcome it in with whatever message it brings.
Ia€™ve read, baked cookies, watched the birds out my window, slept late, meditated, done yoga, watched old movies, and just stayed in my home with just me. If I find one, I will look to see what I can learn from that situation in the present moment. What a waste of my day!a€? These thoughts were still in my head as I entered the glass elevator with a few others on the top deck of the parking garage. I might have a thousand op-tions you know nothing about.a€? Dona€™t corner the Lord by using this kind of method.
Some people have all kinds of different fleeces that they put out for the Lord, and sometimes ita€™s not bad to say, a€?All right, Lord. Stunned, people asked, a€?Zeb, whata€™s going on?a€? He said, a€?God showed me in a vision Ia€™m supposed to be a preacher.a€? So he spent several months preaching, but experienced dismal results. We think you have gifts in those areas.a€? So through collective counsel of godly people, I moved in this direction. But while youa€™re waiting patiently for new directions, continue to do the work at hand with all your heart. As it picks up another satellite, it will give you more accurate directions because of its ability to triangulate your position. But now they can drill from sophisticated ships that make constant corrections for the motion. Ia€™m trying to ignore her insubordinationa€”she should be writing a paragraph like the rest of the six students in my after school reading classa€”but clearly another one of my tactics has failed.
In a moment, Alejandra has become a young woman learning how to manage the intimate details of our gender.
I walked over and looked out into the dark and immediately was blinded by an immensely bright light with rays and spikes resembling fire.
It seemed bettera€”it captured the light of my mooda€”but somehow did not convey the importance of that few hours of Moon Dancing with my Shadows. Now and then something would move in the silence and take my attention away from the shapes and forms of the plants that lined the walkway. Now absorbed in the beauty of the ocean, focused on the view in the camera, and not feeling my feet, my body tumbles down on the lower deck, my camera flies off into the grass about one foot from the lily pond.
As more new-generation voters came to exercise their right to choose along with others that had been voting for a long time, it reminded me of how precious this right is to Americans. As he voted, we prepared to go outside to collect a€?Zacha€™sa€? vote from the truck, being careful to follow procedures that would allow his ballet to be cast privately. What I have never written about is how difficult and how painful it was to be the Mother of a dying son, and what Life was like for me when I could no longer touch his physical presence.
No longer do I pretend that losing a sona€™s physical presence is easy, no longer do I need to be that strongest person in the room, no longer do I hide that losing him changed my own life in ways I could not have imagined. I smiled with the recognition that it is the Seer that I can trust and I let the Story of discontent go.
The need for change calls to be embraced with wonder and welcoming; it is part of the personality that has formed my human experience for as long as I can remember. I try again; I want to catch the light and hold it, but the flame of the candle cannot be held, it must shine wherever it will or it disappears. Without judgment of how things should be, we can simply shine and bask in each othera€™s light.
His physical body left us nine years ago, but for me his spirit is in the sound of the wind through the treetops and in the light of an early Easter morning sunrise.
And as I chuckle at this thought that is now present, my perception of losing some short-term memory gives me ample time to remember the most important thing: what is the present moment offering me as an opportunity. My mother says, behind the flower the great sun, which I feel on my face, casts a dark surrounding edge that make the blossom even more vivid and creates a shadow of the stamens on the petal itself. The light shining in her sea foam green eyes reflects what she is seeing through my voice and her other senses.
As a physical manifestation of a living Universe with unique skills, hopes, dreams, and personalities, how much healing we contribute is up to each of us for we have free will to choose what we will create. In the words of Lamott, I am truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who I was born to be. The strength coming back into his body was coming too late for him to survive this incarnation, but he seemed to love his experiences on the bike. Because of their ages, that would be a very long time into the future, but it was the logic I used to hold on to this small symbol of my sona€™s longing for health and my own.
I turned and sped away leaving him to his own period of learning since he had not ridden a bike for sometime.
It was a beautiful river, a beautiful moment, a beautiful bike, another memory, and I loved and was honored to share it with this friend.
Perhaps your belief is that you love to write, but that you are too old and unknown to get published; you go forward anyway and your book is published and it brings you great joy.
Because they are almost 100 years old, their roots under the surrounding plants, rocks, and soil are entwined with and supportive of each other in ways that cannot be undone. Since I did not feel he was open to the idea that this assumption was in and of itself telling about his view of equality, I just said there are many kinds of strength and the subject was ended.
As this thought was taking up residence in my brain, I noticed a man and a small boy up ahead. She said, a€?He still makes me laugh.a€? He, in character, chuckled with pleasure at that thought.
Ia€™ve dressed to go biking and yet I stayed in the drama unfolding at the French Open as if it had some significance in my own life. Time to make the smoothie that has become a part of my mornings of late: cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, yogurt, strawberries, apples, and raspberries.
It has been years since I fearfully resisted emotional pain and stiffened and numbed against it. For so long, I have worked to be conscious, to be authentic, to be present, and in that moment, the part of me that feels sorry for myself was active yet again. Ia€™m going to look for providential evidence.a€? But we can get into a pattern of throwing out fleeces to test Goda€™s will, never willing to go with the answer from the fleece the night before. His family was getting hungry, so about eight months later, Zeb is back out in the field hoeing corn. So I said, a€?Lord, if there is a parking place right in front of the door, then Ia€™ll know ita€™s your will for me to get some donuts.a€™ And you know, I only had to drive around the block 10 times for a parking space to open up.
Many fail to fulfill the present will of God for their lives because they are longing for something different. They have computer-controlled propellers all the way around them and they are no longer anchored in one place.
I turn around, ready to demand she sit back in her seat, prepared to be heard and heeded this time, but she is looking at me, wide eyed. Yes I said a€?shadows.a€? Now a week later I am at home and awake in the early hours of morning and I know it is time to write. Out of that stillness a rabbit hopped, two deer walked slowly behind me, and the early birds of morning began to chirp. This week as I gazed at the two photos, the child and the woman, it dawned on me that the beauty of love has always been within me patiently waiting for me to rediscover it. With the wisdom that I was changing my own life not his, I decided to offer him my support for sobriety one more time. The silence of deep meditation, the practice to live in this moment, and the awareness that we are a part of something bigger than our physical being have supported me to accept and heal from the things I can not change. As we close our eyes and state our intentions for the week, I feel his love and send him mine. I am filled with love and gratitude for the ability to write my thoughts and feelings down in a way that enriches and expresses my experiences.
Each day the intention to live in fear of losing a physical existence that is inevitable carries us away from the love that is the essence of the Life we all share. When I took it to be restored with new tires, etc., the repairman remarked on how well it was made and how unworn it appeared.
Perhaps your belief is that your life experiences should have been different, but deep inside you know that it has been those experiences that have created you Life.
This deep presence and seeing of their combined lives bring a growing appreciation of connectedness.
By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart. His physical pain during the discussion expressed itself in a visible expressed pain in his chest as he talked about the need to live a more solitary Life to insure his freedom to be himself. I have a deep knowing that no matter what my perception is in the moment, the Universe is a friendly supportive force within me that a€?does not take sides, but seeks only balance.a€? It is my intention to have compassion for what I hear and see and to learn the lesson of impermanence as I witness it in nature. What mattered was the memory of love and support that flowed through the energy of the house into me and then to my daughtera€™s family. I began to think he was just bored as my friend and I turned to playing games on my IPad, so I asked if he would like to join us. Their smells mingle with the sounds of the rain and for a moment the blender whirl drowns out all other sounds. But much like Jonah in the belly of the sea monster, a few moments later, the ground shook a second time and exploded, throwing Galdy flying high through the air and out over the churning sea.
And you can actually test whether ita€™s the Spirit of God, because the Holy Spirit will never lead you contrary to the Word of God. The ships can actually modify their position constantly through microsecond adjustments from the computer, so they can keep drilling on the exact center. I had forgotten this feeling of freedom that has moved my spirit since I was a child, the love of nighttime, and the magic of moonlight.
Since staying here on the deck doesna€™t seem to be an option, I pull myself up, retrieve my camera (bent but not broken), and shuffle back to my room and sit silently on the bed. He lay in the back seat of the truck, and as I stood on my knees in the front seat to get his ID papers, Zach asked, Can I vote? It had been a few years since we had seen him because he just never showed up to family gatherings. This time was different than before; this time I knew I could accept whatever choice he made, but he was my son and for myself I needed to offer him assistance one last time! The deep wound of loss affected many of my relationships and still I clung to the strength of knowing that I had done the a€?righta€? thing. Without the wisdom and acceptance of or a€?surrendera€? to each moment as it is, I cannot choose an appropriate action with a conscious intent and honor my need to live authentically in this moment, and the next, and the next. Her voice falls upon my ears and her words become my thoughts, and I imagine with great specificity how the cherry blossom appears and admire its beauty.
This cherry blossom is magnificent, and the glory of its connection to this growing child leaves me speechless and filled with awe for this blessed life.
Perhaps your belief is that there is only one Path to God and that prevents you from appreciating all those who believe in a different God than yours. Depending on where you stand, they are framed by the sky above, or the garden below, or by the giant stone arches of the porch.
There is evidence that we are still there as surely as we are here through our choices to give of ourselves.
He said, a€?No, Ia€™ll just walk up to the edge of the golf course.a€? His demeanor seemed unusual, but I dismissed it and returned to the game my friend and I were sharing. I glide to the coffee maker and the smell of coffee is strong enough to feel like I taste it already. There might be a time for it, but avoid getting yourself into the habit of throwing out fleeces. You might flip your Bible open and plop your finger down where it says Isaiah walked naked and barefoot three years (Isaiah 20:3). Just when I could hardly believe the vision my courage had co-created with the moon, a flock of wild geese cut the mist of the lake as they winged their way across in perfect formation. My body is tired, my mood is gray like the clouds above the ocean, and self-doubt seems to have taken me over.
He had stopped answering his phone and his friends called me to say they thought he was dying. Perhaps your thoughts are that your thoughts are true and you do not question further how best to live your Life with yourself or in relationship to others. The annoyance I felt in my body as I viewed his pain turned into compassion and acceptance for us both. The back legs and rear of the frog were already in the snakea€™s mouth and the froga€™s body was badly bloated as its eyes bulged, its front legs kicked, and it sought freedom from the snake. My choice to visit the past because I love my daughter created a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of time passing in the present, and my gratitude for my daughter and our choices to share our Life sang within my heart; a reminder and then a another memory of time passing in the present!
I smile at the wonder of just being present without thinking something should be different than it is.
This need to understand everything that happens has been a recurring theme for as long as I can remember. In that moment, under his white hair and beyond his aging body, there was the light of youth and his eyes held the same excitement I had witnessed in the young girl that morning.
The last five years had been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me as he was better and then not better over and over again. I could do this and I began a long path of self-healing without the courage to ask for support directly. Perhaps you have doubts about your own goodness and forget to look at the generosity that has been a major thread of your Life.
Earlier that day, a dog had stumbled upon a horneta€™s nest and had been stung badly, and a staff member went looking for the nest to eliminate it so humans could walk the path without being stung.
I felt the pain of the froga€™s struggle; I wanted to do something to make this stop, but what?
I relived a day when my small son gave my baby daughter a drink from a cup as she rested in her crib; she almost drowned. If I understand it then I can accept it, or more accurately change it; or so my Story goes. I hung on with every last ounce of breath that I had-- for I had known from the start that this was pure evil. Then as if a powerful director had taken over the scene, a fish danced to the ice-like surface of the lake. Meditation had supported me in staying centered enough to love my daughter and her family, support my partnera€™s interests, hold a demanding job, and attempt to just enjoy and learn about my life. Perhaps your belief is that friends and family should be more open hearted and open minded and so you close your heart and mind to them. It is the most reoccurring event involving injury that comes to the attention of the Nature Foundation. They are delicious and colorful in contrast to the dark quiet of the room and the day outside my window.
I turned to find a circle of life rippling the water and the dancing fish no longer visible. Perhaps you have made what seems like a mistake and your belief is that you cannot be forgiven and that thought keeps you separate from someone you love. My thought was that the bees were there first and should be left alone to resettle into their lives.
I chose only to stand and watch with sadness and curiosity as this unusual sighting in nature played out. I gaze at my joy garden that is bright with purple, pink, and white against a blue-gray sky. It had the slight chill of autumn, and I could imagine the burst of color that would soon fill the trees.
On this glorious October day, I felt that I had done everything I could and my body sagged from the weight of wanting him to be different. Perhaps the belief is that if you dona€™t act in a certain way, you will not gain acceptance; but someone once said, a€?if you do not always bring with you who you truly a€?area€™ others will fall in love with who you are a€?nota€? and how limiting will that be?
It is hard to express all that I saw through the visual memory there in our first small house. It took him some time to physically fill out the ballot, and it was my honor to wait for him.
For me, Zacha€™s light infused the darkness around the truck and as I looked from my fellow poll workera€™s eyes to Zacha€™s son-in-lawa€™s eyes, they seemed to glow with something unexplainable. I could no longer watch so we turned away and continued our walk through this civilized and yet still wildly natural, tourist attraction. Slowly but it was leaving the house and vanishing into the night like a balloon drifting into the atmosphere and then disappearing.
In the pages, he quotes, William Stafford: What can anyone give you greater than now, starting here, right in this room, when you turn around? I staggered back completely exhausted knowing that a battle just had been fought for my soul.
I believe the battle was real and that I really experienced it but maybe in a different dimension or realm.
I had defeated the devil with the name of Jesus.===================================================================Sometime in our life we all will have to battle demons that try to control us. Whether it is a fight for our soul or some other evil in our life, it will be a fight that you need to win. In the book The boy who came back from heaven, Alex Malarkey says that Heaven is guarded by large angels. In the book of Daniel a messenger from God tells Daniel in Chapter 10:12-14 --"Daniel, do not be afraid. Then Michael, one of the most important angels, came to help me, because I had been left there with the king of Persia. Battles are surely being fought every minute of every day in the supernatural and spiritual world. Call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ today for it is written that the devil will lose in the end.
If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Si un hombre tiene cien ovejas y una de ellas se ha descarriado, no deja las noventa y nueve en los montes, y va en busca de la descarriada?13Y si sucede que la halla, en verdad os digo que se regocija ms por sta que por las noventa y nueve que no se han descarriado.14As, no es la voluntad de vuestro Padre que est en los cielos que se pierda uno de estos pequeitos.Never believed in God? Jesus still loves you.Colossians 1:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, Porque El nos libr del dominio de las tinieblas y nos traslad al reino de su Hijo amado,Broken hearted, beaten, and broken? 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 28Venid a m, todos los que estis cansados y cargados, y yo os har descansar.29Tomad mi yugo sobre vosotros y aprended de m, que soy manso y humilde de corazn, y HALLAREIS DESCANSO PARA VUESTRAS ALMAS.Failed? He'll save you!"As que, los que son de fe son bendecidos con Abraham, el creyente.Fortaleced las manos dbilesy afianzad las rodillas vacilantes.Feel you are not worthy? 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 New Century Version (NCV)17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation.
Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself, and God gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him.19 God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself.
So I wrote the following that is below: A ==========================================================================================================================A Season Finale--- This may be my last Pastor Pop-Pop Sermon. I may leave the web site up and running for a year in case it picks up but there probably will not be new words of wisdom in a message.
I feel that in body, mind, and soul that I am under attack from the evil one and it is totally exhausting me spiritually and physically. At one time there was a period that I was getting over 200 hits per month but now it is down to just a few. One child only comes here when coached and the other I have not seen or heard from in months. Here are some of my prouder moments: Hundreds have visited my Altar Call tab (souls have been saved), I taught a Spanish gentleman who had never prayed before to pray, several people said that I would make a good Pastor, one young man who did not go to Church told me that if I started one he would come to it, at one time I was rated #1 by several internet web service search engines, and through Jesus I helped cure someone of an affliction. You can still follow me on Twitter if you choose and I may come back to this site occasionally to add a Bible verse or two.
Consider this a season finale in which you dont know if the show will be cancelled or back next season. He stated that he did not want the Lord to come back yet even though all the people he knew could not wait for Jesus to come back. Pastor said that when people tell him that they want Christ to come back that he says, No, not yet, there is at least one more soul to save!
I pondered and prayed on that for a minute or two and decided not to cancel my web site and mission. Since posting the latest message my hits again went well over 200 and I was again rated by one search engine as #1 and another at #2. After publishing the latest message I had two Spanish people seek the Lord more and now a friend has asked to go to Church with me. I will take out the stubborn hearts of stone from your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh.A What is my point? And most importantly, do not give up trying to save souls in your family, work place, community, or the world.
Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching,A Matthew 16:26 --- It is worthless to have the whole world if they lose their souls. You see, we did not have video games then unless you count Pong and the snow made the four channels we did get on TV full of static. As we rounded a portion of the mountain the ledge that I was walking on gave way and I fell about 20 feet down a cliff.
The snow below cushioned my fall but where I landed - there was about a 60 degree slope covered with snow and ice. Below me was a very large straight down drop that would have been disastrous for me if I went over it. I dug in my heals and my hands but could not stop or slow down so I started to steer myself toward a small tree. Knowing that I would not be able to hang on to it with my hands, I decided to let it hit me in the body.
Stopping within 3 feet of going over the edge I hurt all over with the breath knocked out of me.
I could have stayed there and yelled for help or rested awhile but knowing that my friend was up there alone and I had to get out of this situation, I just started to slowly and safely climb back up. A You may make a climb to the top of the ladder at work and end up falling due to a lay-off or closure.
A You may get married and start a family and it end up in divorce or maybe a spouse will die. Your exhausted, depressed, tired and disgusted and feel just like giving up or taking a rest on life for a time. Dont allow yourself to be buried in that pit you have fallen in and (one step at a time) climb out of that valley and charge up that hill.
It may take time, maybe years, but if you stay put and do not move forward (even a little at first) you will be like that bear caught in a trap in the middle of the dark woods.
A And sometimes a person starts to climb out of their mess and then starts to back-slide so doubt sets in.
Peter, one of Christs disciples trusted the Lord and actually walked on water but when the storm kept up - his faith started to slip. The Lord will not give you something that He knows is disastrous for you even if you think it might be good.
She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. Penney, one of two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop the plane before it reached the nations capitol.
The problem was that her and her wing man had to scramble so fast that there was no time to load ammunition or missiles. This was the end of her life and she knew it but this would be the ultimate sacrifice for her country and would save Washington from the airliners destruction.
Fortunately for her (not the passengers) the airline crashed in a field inPennsylvania before the F-16s arrived at the scene. The priest will perform the acts to remove that person's sin so he will belong to the Lord.
7 " 'But if the person cannot afford a lamb, he must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as the penalty for his sin. One bird must be for a sin offering, and the other must be for a whole burnt offering.8 He must bring them to the priest, who will first offer the one for the sin offering.
In this way the priest will remove the person's sin so he will belong to the Lord, and the Lord will forgive him.However, God decided that this practice was going to end and through His love he was going to offer His own blood sacrifice for all of our sins.
He asked His son to give His life as a perfect blood sacrifice and an offering for all that we have done badly. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us on that cross that day even though we did not deserve it. As Heather Lucky Penny was willing to do for her country, Jesus was willing to do the same for His Father and all of His followers. All those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior shall now have the forgiveness of their sins through His blood.
That new person is made to be like Godmade to be truly good and holy.=============================================Check out the new song by Tricia Brock --"Always", on my Song tab.
We as humans can live to be 100 years old if we are not struck with cancer, a major disease or hit by a car.
This latter group is the one that I will address.Lets look at the validity of the Bible for a minute. Some people will argue that you can't believe the Bible because it was written by followers who believed in God or Jesus. If you were to use this argument regarding autobiographies, biographies, and history books, you would have to remove all these books off the library selves.
Others would argue that the Bible can't be trusted because we do not know if the original manuscripts are accurate. To determine the accuracy of the manuscripts, we can compare the Bible manuscripts to manuscripts of other literature. If we are going to be fair, we should not require more of the Bible than we do other literature, but the Bible will hold up to even more scrutiny. Notice that the time frame for the New Testament of the Bible is much much smaller and there are many more copies. Over and over again, archaeological digs are finding artifacts that prove the various stories that are in the Bible.
There were over 40 authors so there is no way they could have conspired with each other.So, if we are to consider the Bible as factual then lets look at what it says about getting to Heaven where the Father resides. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same:As you see, according to the Bible, there is only one God and the only way to Him is through faith in Jesus and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior. There are many more passages to quote but I encourage you to get a Bible in an easy to read translation and read it yourself. The other religions, besides Christianity, in the world follow a person, thing, idol, the earth, nature, or a prophet.
The Jewish and Muslim people believe in the same Father (the Muslims follow a prophet though) but Jesus declared himself part of God and proved it through numerous miracles.
We Christians believe in a Trinity the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, as proved through the Bible. Nothing you do here on Earth can save you only the belief of this God and acceptance of His son Jesus. He was mad at the idea that his wife became a Christian and went on a journey to prove that Jesus was a work of fiction. The book contains, in an easy to read format, all the evidence that he found and the interviews with experts.



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