Remember and Celebrate

May 17, 2011

On Blankets and Being

 From my May 2008 album:
 Mason, how you love your blankets . . . all five of them! The colorful one is your “Guatemala blanket” and the blue/yellow/white on is the one I made for we were waiting for you to come home to us.

When you wake up, you point and say “it” for each one of them until I gather up all them along with you!   Then you are willing to sit and cuddle while you wake up slowly

 I love these quiet moments together… just “being.”

Maybe that’s how God feels when we are willing to just sit quietly with Him – not asking anything of Him, just content to be with Him.


May 11, 2011

White Clover, Gods Creativity and Sharing Life With Grandchildren!


White Clover and God's Creativity

I created this card to send to my Grandchildren.  If they lived next door like in the olden days when family’s grew up together,  I’d take them for walks and we’d look at God’s big creative world together, but since we don’t, ……..

Created for my Grandchildren on May 11, 2010

I have a friend who is an well-known water color artist.  And she told me it’s good to  take time to look at things, like a patch of grass and to draw what we see.  I didn’t try drawing yet, but I  took a picture when I noticed how all the clover plants looked alike!

Each  heart- shaped with jagged edges  had a light  ‘V-shaped’ marking.  And then I did a little research.  I  learned each white flower is not just one flower but  20-40 individual  ones and  smells a little like cinnamon, I think!

Isn’t God creative?  He not only makes clover, he makes different kinds – and each KIND looks different from another KIND.

Isn’t it wonderful that He makes all these beautiful things for us to enjoy.

It’s hard to find clover in a yard that has had week-killer on it, but try looking the next time you’re at the park!

It’s good to Pay Attention!

What have you noticed lately?


May 9, 2011

celebrating a friend


Shirley and Carol at Botanic Gardens, April 28, 2006


A couple weeks ago, on  April 28 I spent time with my mentor/spiritual director friend, Shirley and we celebrated 5 years of friendship. Our first visit to Botanic Gardens when I was deeply hurting, was 5 years ago! I wrote the following about a year ago and sent it to her.  And I share it here now as a tribute to the impact she has had on my life.

Dear Sweet Friend, Shirley:

The following is an attempt to express in words the impact you have had on my life as I have been “becoming.. ”  You told me once “becoming is messy and unsettling, but it can be a gift.” I think I believed you at the time, but it was hard to see. You said being in-between was a hard place, but a place for growth – and it was –  still is, as I suspect I will always be “becoming .”  Now I am in the process of gathering the “story” of these past 5 1/2 years. I have a story to tell and a lot of that story I owe to the your influence on my life.

•  You taught me to read scripture and engage it with my heart – to “read for the pause.” And since I find it almost impossible to pause and stay on a topic, I started to write at the pause. it opened up a whole new world.

•  You taught me the value of journaling “Dear God . . . ” and then writing “Dear Carol . . . .” and wait for what He might say. He always has something to say if I listen…even if it’s to tell me to sit with the question.

•  When my brother died, I knew I had to see you, because I knew you knew, the way no one else would know, because you too had lost your brother.

•  You reminded me not to quantify grief. Everyone’s grief is their own and should not be compared to another’s grief.

•  You taught me to “Pay attention.” You said “Look up. Look down. Look around. God has a message for you – a message of life,” when we returned to the place he was found 7 months earlier on that cold November night. I did that and there was a message for me, just like you said.

•  You encouraged me to go to Gordon’s grave site by myself for the first time . . . You were right. I needed that.

•  You taught me that “becoming” is a process and it’s OK to not get answers right away and that it was OK to feel disoriented while I was becoming.

•  You helped me understand that God delights in ME – not just me-as-in-all-of-mankind me.

•  You helped me discover my contemplative self. Quietness has become my friend. Quiet time with God used to be something I knew I should do, but wasn’t sure how to fit it in. Now I try to figure out how to fit the rest of my life in around my Quiet time, which I want..

•  You taught me about breath prayers.

•  When we felt betrayed, you were properly indignant and I felt your love and compassion. You helped me process that particular loss and learn from it. A mutual friend told me you were “safe” and you were.

•  I quote you frequently – everyone in my life knows about you. They all want to meet you.

•  You said when I share with others what I have learned I am passing along the bread I have been given. I’ve been passing it.

•  In a large measure, I owe my new self to the impact you have had on my life. Yyou were there at the beginning of my journey.

this path at Botanic Garden that we walked April 2006 became a symbol of my journey

On that day in April, 2006, I committed to a journey I had actually begun the summer of 2005 before I experienced the death of my brother.  I am still on that journey.

Your influence lives on, not only in me, but in those who have learned to pay attention, make silence their friend, read for the pause and engage their heart with God’s heart for them.  I love you my friend.  And  my prayer is that I will continue to “pass along the bread I have been given.”

As you read this, are you being reminded of a person who has been key in the develpment of your life and growth  I’d like to hear a bit about them…and then why don’t you write them a note and tell them so!

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May 5, 2011

It’s “the continual presence of an absence”


5x7 landscape panel grief poem - Page 001

I created and framed these pics for my mom for Mothers’ Day, 2006, 5 months after she had lost her third child and I had lost my last sibling:

“The world loves closure, loves a thing that can, as they say,be gotten through. This is why it comes as a great surprise to find that loss is forever, that (two) decades after the event there are those occasions when something in you cries out at the continual presence of an absence.”  Anna Quindlen

51 years ago today, my little brother, Ronnie slipped away from us early in the morning, after a 16 hour illness.   I was 12 years old.  Nine  months earlier, my baby sister had been  born too early and lived only 7 hours. ( those footprints are only 1 3/4 in. long)

While there is a lot I have forgotten, I still remember parts of that day as if it were this morning.  Most of all I remember the despair of the finality of death.  It was 45 years later, after Gordon, my one remaining sibling died, that I found and understood the powerful meaning behind this quote by  journalist  Anna Quindlen.  I am grateful for people who capture profound concepts with words


May 2, 2011

Link to “Love Notes from God in the Garden”








I posted a few pages the last couple of days, but it really reads best all at one time – very short to “page” through.  Two years ago this week, I was very stressed and usure of the decisions we were making concerning my parent’s care.  Galen asked me what I needed and I said I needed to go to the Gardens.  This little book is the result.

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April 15, 2011

“There you are!”

It’s been January since I have seen them and I am So Excited! I run toward the door, but before I can get there, M. runs down the steps from the upstairs apartment, throws open the door and with Joy and Delight with a Huge Smile says “There you are!” I feel Loved and Cherished!

And I thought of something something I read on the plane as we flew eastward today in David Benner’s book – The Gift of Being Yourself.

“God loves each one of us with depth, persistence and intensity beyond imagination. . . . God loves you with what (the author) Hanna Hurnard calls “a passionate absorbed interest.” God cannot help seeing you through the eyes of love.”

I like that. I will remember this when I come into His presence. And I will picture him saying a welcoming “There you are.”

What word picture do you have of how God sees you? I’d love to hear about it.


April 15, 2011

I am back!

Back Blogging!

Late last fall I had two computer crashes in 6 weeks, followed by new computer, with new system in January (don’t even get me started) and then thumb joint replacement surgery on my right hand in Feb.

Now I can type and write and have a computer that I finally figured out Windows 7 – and I am back. Stay tuned.


April 15, 2011

I am back!

Back Blogging!

Late last fall I had two computer crashes in 6 weeks, followed by new computer, with new system in January (don’t even get me started) and then thumb joint replacement surgery on my right hand in Feb.

Now I can type and write and have a computer that I finally figured out Windows 7 – and I am back. Stay tuned.


February 27, 2011

When It Feels Like Winter, even if it’s not

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question.”
Elizabeth Elliot

This is a post from two years ago, but it certainly fits into the theme of the Eternal Winter
More than that, it fits this time of my life where there is much uncertainty/unanswered questions

I gaze at the frozen lake…
in the gray of late afternoon.
“It’s sad, here today,” I think.
There is nothing here…
just cold

And You, oh God remind me . . .
There IS life here.
The trees , the grass
will be green again.

The resting is part of your plan.
Help me know
You are still at work
even when it seems like winter.

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January 10, 2011



As I sit in my recliner, often my eyes go to this clock. It’s a special clock, because Galen’s dad was a “Master Mix” Feed dealer as Galen was growing up, and when his sister found this clock, she bought it and gave it to Galen. It now resides in our “memory room.” I simply enjoyed the nostalgia of this clock.

But a few weeks ago, as I my eyes landed once again on it, I couldn’t help but notice the phrase, “Definate Feeds for Definate Needs” and I have returned often to that thought over the past days.

To me it is a reminder that my “Master” knows my needs and He has what I need. That thought speaks to my heart, especially on days when I question whether He is noticing at all. While my “head” knows it, it is good for my heart to be reminded.

Definate Feeds – For Definate Needs! – 
 provided by the “Master Mixer.”


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