A New Life

oddballs

God Bless the Oddballs

I’ve noticed that there are those on the planet who like others to stay within certain zones of behavior that they consider “normal.” Those outside the zone are considered oddballs. For example, some people believe there’s a “normal” amount of friendliness, happiness, braininess, creativity, romanticism, helpfulness, spontaneity, etc.

freedom of expressionWhen someone they encounter is outside the “normal” parameters, say the person is “too happy” or “too creative” or “too friendly,” then they become suspicious, skeptical, perhaps even antagonistic.

Rather than take the time to get to know the person, they make snap judgments and look for reasons not to like the individual… After all, this person isn’t “normal,” so there must be something wrong with them. They’re “outliers” and “odd balls.”

I don’t know about you, but I adore the outliers and the odd balls. They add spice to life. I admire their audacity and their intense capacity to love, to create and to enjoy life in their own unique way.

They remind me that I need to embrace and express my own inner oddball.  They give me the courage to be myself regardless of what others think. God bless the outliers!

Featured Image Copyright: pancaketom/BigStockPhoto.com

Glimpses of Eternity

Have you ever stood on an ocean shore and felt the overwhelming majesty of its power?  It’s a mix of awe, wonder and a little trepidation. Or have you looked up at a night sky on a secluded mountaintop and seen more stars than ever before? As the Milky Way stretches across the sky above you, you catch glimpses of eternity. You marvel at  the immensity and magnitude of God’s creations and feel His power.

In the last three weeks I’ve enjoyed both of these awe-inspiring experiences. There’s something so exhilarating, but also humbling about both. As a small human standing on the shore or looking up at that star-filled sky, I feel something akin to fear, but not really fear. It’s probably the kind of feeling the Old Testament writers were trying to convey when they spoke of the “fear of the Lord.” It’s an honoring respect and reverence. It’s an understanding that in comparison to this majesty, I am one weak little human. And yet, He loves me and I am part of the wonder of it all.

For the first time in my life I look at a relationship I’m in like I’m standing before the ocean or looking up at that starry night. What I see is expansive, immense, filled with possibilities and froth with in-the-moment realities that are beyond anything I’d ever dreamed – and I dream a lot.

We do a lot of analyzing, examining each other and ourselves from every angle. We’ve both been hurt, and we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. We’re going in with eyes wide. We’re both strong, opinionated individuals and sometimes we butt heads, but we always work it through to a place of understanding and mutual appreciation.

There are the times where I’m shocked at how many little things we have in common like our love for music, intimate dive restaurants, spontaneously exploring rabbit trails, and barbeque. Our relationship is both exhilarating and deep, and occasionally exhausting.

Then, there are those brief moments of time when we suspend disbelief, stop our analyzing, relax into it and allow ourselves to see our relationship for what it is – a complete miracle. It’s an ocean of power, an expansive Milky Way of eternal possibilities. Our eyes fill with grateful tears, and we feel the need to fall to our knees and thank God for the miracle of “us.”

Never in my life, have I felt that I can finally be who God created me to be with another person. I can finally fill the measure of my creation with this man. Our relationship is more than all the typical reasons two people unite themselves. It’s more than intimacy or someone being your best friend. Yes, those things are important, and they are a part of who we are. Yet, the reason I’m considering an eternity with this man is because for the very first time I CAN see eternity – an incredible, expansive eternity.

There’s this feeling of immense creativity and power that is possible when we are together. We don’t know what God has in store for us, but we sense and know that it is huge. It’s as expansive, far reaching and eternal as that night sky we stood beneath in the mountains of southern Utah. Perhaps that’s why we get lost in the weeds of analyzing little things about our relationship – because staring at the immensity of who we are together fills us with that “fear of the Lord” feeling, and our human comprehension can’t fathom it.

I keep wondering, “What if we stopped analyzing it and just relaxed into the possibilities and power of eternity?”

 

Featured Photo – Copyright: denbelitsky / BigstockPhoto.com

treasures of the heart

Treasures of the Heart

One of my favorite things to do is to listen to people’s lives, experience, and thoughts and relish in the treasures I find there. Hundreds, probably more like a thousand people, have shared with me a glimpse into their lives.

When they do I say something like, “Do you see the pattern here? Do you see the message? The wisdom? The amazing story?”

It is so obvious to me most of the time. If I ask the right questions and they are open with their answers, 15 minutes can reveal a life message, a life’s work – a significant gem that they have right at their fingertips.

This morning as I was thinking about the man in my life, I pictured him going into a cave, which represented me and my life. He’s like a happy scavenger hunter. “Have you seen this? This is amazing! Have you seen this grace? This beauty? This is awesome! Have you seen this wisdom? Have you seen this strength? Do you have any concept of the depth of wonders you have here?”

Most of the time I chuckle, shake my head and admit I had no clue. I am amazed he sees me that way. Or I think “Yeah, I knew that old thing was in there, but no one else seemed to see or care about it. You really like that?” Or sometimes I know a talent is there, but I never dared show it to anyone else.

There’s something about this man that brings out aspects of me I never had the guts to reveal to anyone else. He makes me courageous. He makes me feel safe to be more vulnerable than I’ve ever been.

I picture him excitedly going from one shelf, bin or bucket to another, rummaging through this cave…. which I now realized is a treasure trove.

I wondered what made this possible. Then I remembered all those people whose treasures I’ve encountered and uncovered over the years. Perhaps in the karmic scheme of things, we want others to do for us what we’re doing for them. When we do, we unlock a door for it to happen in our own lives.

I also wonder how much of the wisdom, insight and understanding (aka treasures) are in this cave BECAUSE so many beautiful people have left pieces of themselves written upon my mind and heart. Their beauty lingers upon my soul.

I’ve spent a lifetime observing, aggregating, shuffling and organizing and creating new variations from everything I’ve gleaned from others and from life. Perhaps that is what he sees when he rummages through this treasure trove.

I would not be me without all of you who have left traces of your treasures upon my heart. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Only Us featuring Laura Dreyfuss and Ben Platt from Dear Evan Hansen

Featured Image Copyright: bluevis/BigStockPhoto.com

companion

A Companion on the Adventure

A man has entered my life who starts each day asking God what He should do. He listens for the answer and cheerfully does whatever he feels directed. Amidst God’s assignments, he finds a way to make me laugh, spontaneously dance with me, dive into deep conversations and constantly remind me that I am valuable and loved.

On multiple occasions as we’ve walked through the woods, he’s taken my hand and led me to a clearing. Each time I feel like Eve with her Adam, who has found her help-meet on the adventures of life.

He’s not perfect and neither am I. We occasionally have misunderstandings because we’re two different people. He’s quick to seek clarification, quick to create understanding and quick to apologize and set things right. He’s easy to love and generous with his praise.

He’s everything I ever asked for and more. He’s a man with vision, a heart to serve God and to be in the right place. He loves deeply and empathetically. If someone is suffering or struggling, he wants to find a way to help.

He’s a dynamic personality, larger than life, crazy fun and romantically deep. His passion for life is contagious. While he’s a bit older than me, most of the time I’m wondering how I’ll ever keep up with him.

Life has thrown me some curve balls that have left me a bit skeptical and cautious. He’s patient and offers me time. He understands that this new heart God began growing in me after Mama’s passing is still finding its bearings.

I have never met anyone so receptive to the Spirit. I can pray about something and the next day this man will say or do something that addresses my concern or answers my prayer.

Above all else, our hearts are aligned to the same trajectory… we both long to teach, write, speak, lift, build and serve those who have struggled, felt trapped, or have been demeaned, belittled or made to feel they don’t matter or that they don’t have a voice. We both love God’s children and we long to give them hope that God lives, that He loves them, that they matter, that their voice matters and the world needs them. No matter how dark the night or long the road, Christ is there through it all.

Both of our roads have been long and difficult but through it all God has been there, believing in us, helping us. Through this whole surprising process I have learned even more that I AM that I AM is there. I believe HE is there for us more often than we think HE can or will be, but when we look for Him, He will show up for us.

Featured image: Copyright: pressmaster / BigStockPhoto.com

 

 

dream is at your door

When The Dream Is At Your Door

What do you do when your dream is at your door,
and you’re not sure you want it anymore?

I’ve had a big dream I co-created with God several years ago. It felt incredibly inspired and drove me forward to do a lot of things that were completely outside my comfort zone. Almost all the steps I’ve taken over the last 7 years have been about becoming the person who could achieve that dream. One of the things it entailed was developing my property into a retreat location.

Along the way, I had to let go of the main parcel of my property. In the process, I let the dream die along with it. I went through loss after loss after loss until I came to a place of simplicity… where I am no longer attached to things. As long as I have access to a piano a few days/week, a computer with internet connection, and food and comfortable shelter for my son and me, I’m good.

At this point of simplicity, God has decided to escalate materializing my dream in a way that is really quite miraculous. It’s moving so fast, I’ve had moments when I’ve wondered if I have any say in the matter. I asked God once, “Do I get a choice here?” The answer was, “You had the choice when you set this in motion. I’m just delivering what you asked. But, yes, you ALWAYS have a choice.”

I have felt so many mixed emotions – awe, wonder, and yes a little bit of confusion about God’s ironic timing, and trepidation. Why now when I honestly don’t care anymore? Just asking the question feels ungrateful, but it is a question I feel compelled to ask.

Finally, a friend sliced through it all and gave me some excellent advice. She asked me to decide if I still want the dream. I don’t have to accept it. I can choose another path. I still have choice.

When I stepped back and looked at the two paths set before me, I looked at them with new eyes. I let go of “having” to accept it just because I’d asked for it. I started asking myself what I really do want.

I’m not the same person I was when I crafted the dream. I’ve changed internally where I’m more concerned about who I’m becoming as a person, how I’m showing up and serving than about material possessions or land.

A new question for evaluating the situation came to mind, “Will this path help me become who I want to become? Will it help me serve in a way that God is calling me to serve?”

As I asked myself this question, the answer was an obvious YES. I could see that stepping forward into this God-orchestrated path means immense emotional and spiritual growth. My resistance to the path was more about me being afraid I wasn’t up for the path than that I didn’t want to be the person the path required.

I’m being handed a choice between stepping up, taking the road less traveled, the challenging path that leads to exquisite joy OR choosing the safe, easy path that lets me play it safe and live in the land of ordinary.

Safe path. Hmmm… ironically I’ve learned that the “safe” path is not safe at all. I think I’ll try the gutsy one instead…

The Way by Fastball

Lyrics to “The Way” by Fastball

They made up their minds
And they started packing
They left before the sun came up that day
An exit to eternal summer slacking
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?

They drank up the wine
And they got to talking
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down they started walking
Where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?

[Chorus:]
Anyone can see the road that they walk on
Is paved in gold
And it’s always summer
They’ll never get cold
They’ll never get hungry
They’ll never get old and grey
You can see their shadows wandering off somewhere
They won’t make it home
But they really don’t care
They wanted the highway
They’re happier there today, today

Their children woke up
And they couldn’t find them
They left before the sun came up that day
They just drove off and left it all behind ’em
But where were they going without ever
Knowing the way?

[Chorus]

peace in a relationship

Working for Peace in a Romantic Relationship

I’ve always considered myself an easy going, low maintenance person. I get along with most people and I’ve wanted to keep the peace. I do have my opinions on some things. While I’ll listen to other views and sometimes adjust mine, I can be insistent on things that are key values for me. Yes, I’m strong-willed and can be stubborn on things that really matter to me.

I’m in a relationship with a man with a strong personality, opinions and values of his own. About 90 percent of the time we’re having these great conversations where we build off what each other has to say to new understanding and epiphanies about emotional, spiritual, intellectual and business topics.

As we spend more time together, we run into the other 10 percent where we don’t immediately see eye to eye and we butt heads or something rubs us the wrong way about the other person’s personality, or way of processing emotions.

And then we stop and discuss that, really share how each of us is feeling, what’s coming up for us, what we feel is going on. It’s raw, vulnerable and totally honest.

We respect each other’s views and feelings, and eventually we come to this place of rich understanding and deeper place of connection and love. It’s not one person caving or compromising. It’s creating mutual understanding and win-win solutions.

It’s work, hard work, but it’s incredibly rewarding. It pays off with the deepest love and connection I’ve ever known.

I think back on my last marriage where there wasn’t a single argument. Maybe a difference of opinion, but not one that went into a conversation that worked through deep concerns.

I thought I was in a peaceful, loving relationship. He obviously had something that was festering beneath the surface unspoken. 18 months in, one Saturday morning he was done… without explanation, without a chance to work anything through, without an opportunity to clarify or create understanding or a deeper love. Maybe I wasn’t so “low-maintenance” and easy to get along with as I thought I was. I’ll never know.

I’d rather have the relationship that is alive and brings up the occasional issue or emotion that is worked through together, than constant “peace” that is merely an illusion.

I’m 51 years old and I feel like I’m finally learning to communicate. Not because I’ve figured it out, but because I’m with a man with incredible communication skills. And there is something about “us”… these two independent, head strong, amazing people… that makes mediocrity and “settling for good enough” impossible.

I’m finally with someone who feels like a partner in the adventure, a companion on the mission God is calling us on together. We’re both open to wherever God chooses to lead. I’ve never been with a man who is so quick to fall to his knees, and invite me to join him in seeking God’s input or express gratitude.

This level of collaboration with each other and with God takes two people who are willing to put Him first and willing to have the tough conversations to create 100% unity, trust and honesty.

I’m discovering that peace at any price is not peace. True peace comes when both parties are willing to pay the price to respectfully create understanding.

I’ve got a lot to learn, and I’m grateful to have an amazing man in my life to learn it with. It’s not anything I could ever learn as a single woman… which is what I had full intention of being for several more years. God had other plans

suddenly

Suddenly Life Has New Meaning to Me

I just remembered that Monday would have been my two year wedding anniversary. I didn’t think of it or the man at all. I think that’s a good sign that my healing is substantially complete and I’m on to brighter days.

Most likely it happened because I’m dating a man who completely obliterates all other men from my memory.

While looking up music today, I ran across this beautiful rendition of this 80’s favorite, Billy Ocean’s, “Suddenly.”

Seems to fit this relationship that came out of nowhere when I least expected it.

Lyrics to Billy Ocean’s Suddenly

I used to think that love was just a fairy tale
Until that first hello until that first smile
But if I had to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing
Cause this love is everlasting

Suddenly life has new meaning to me
There’s beauty up above and things we never take notice of
You wake up suddenly you’re in love

Girl you’re everything a man could want and more
One thousand words are not enough to say what I feel inside
Holding hands as we walk along the shore
Never felt like this before now you’re all I’m living for

Each day I pray this love affair would last forever

There’s beauty up above and things you never take notice of
You wake and suddenly you’re in love

Written by Maurice Ernest Gibb, Robin Hugh Gibb, Barry Alan Gibb

 

Featured Photo Copyright: Marta_Photo/BigStockPhoto.com

claiming blessings

Claiming Blessings – It’s About Time!

I’ve owned this property that borders the Chickamauga Creek for 20 years this December. Today was the first day I’ve actually put my feet in the water. I’ve been a bit slow claiming blessings that God obviously wanted me to receive!

moonlight reflecting off the creek

The embankment was high and overgrown, and my boyfriend cleared a trail for me.

Makes me wonder how many blessings have been right within my grasp that I haven’t received because I thought they would be too much work. It only took us half an hour to clear this path.

It helps to have a trail-blazing companion who cares about you and wants you to experience the richness of life.

What blessings are an arms-length away for you? Check out what it would take to receive and enjoy them. It might not be as difficult as you think.

deja vu

Deja Vu In the Moonlight

Last night while standing in the moonlight I had this deja vu moment (for lack of a better word). It was like a moment when you realize something God has promised you and that you’ve envisioned for 7 years is coming true.

The entire day had confirmed to me that I’m not delusional, I’m not someone who envisions impossible things and makes crazy leaps of faith for nothing. I’ve doubted myself, doubted God (or at least that I heard Him right). I’ve settled for less. I’ve given up on my dream along the way, but it was all true. It was real all along.

God is so merciful and kind never to give up on the dream even though I did… even though I messed up royally along the way. God has been faithful to His promises. He is fulfilling His word to me in front of my eyes.

 

Featured Image Copyright: Syntheticmessiah / BigStockPhoto.com

In This Moment

I Have Everything I Need In This Moment

The journey of the last few months has taught me a life-altering principle. When you simultaneously “lose” your angel mother, your marriage, your property, a drivable car, and temporarily can’t live in the same home with your children for several months, it has the ability to take you to a place where there is nothing but you and God.

Your relationship with Him is all that matters. When you lean into that, instead of fighting the emotions or the reality, when you sing His praises through it all, something extraordinary happens.

God opened my eyes to see that nothing is ever lost. Nothing is created or destroyed. It simply changes forms.

In the vey moment that those manifestations of God’s love and provision left my life, new ones came to take their place. God gave me a place to live, a car to drive. He raised up friends, poured out music and gifts, strengthened family relationships, and opened my eyes to see all the love and compensating blessings around me.

I began to see my mother everywhere. Her love enveloped me. God brought friends and loved ones to give me the support, the belonging, the acknowledgement, and the caring I once received from a spouse.

Honestly, it was more than I’d received from him. It came from hundreds of people and from many new close friends I could be open and vulnerable with.

About 3 months after it all happened, I received an overwhelming understanding that I have everything I’d ever need, no matter what happened. I saw clearly that I can always trust God to provide. Once I saw this, He began consolidating all that love, acknowledgement, belonging and provision into a group and then into one person. Then He began returning the years the locusts had eaten.

I see resurrection and restoration all around me in process and I trust it will continue to a full restoration. But if not, I am always provided for in this moment… everything I need is right here with me right now, if I continue to have eyes to see and receive.

letting go of old stories

Letting Go of Old Stories

Since my grandfather died in the 90’s I’ve had my grandmother’s china cabinet. I’ve moved it to from place to place and now it’s in my storage unit. I’ve told the story of Mamaw’s china cabinet many times over the years:

My grandfather didn’t like to spend any extra money on frills (or sometimes what a woman would consider basics). So my grandmother raised chickens and saved her egg money for that china cabinet and the entire dining room suite.

I let the table and chairs go years ago when they wore out from many, many dinners with 6 little ones. It’s not like I love the way the china cabinet looks. I’ve kept it purely for sentimental reasons.

A few days ago as I thought of how I would fit that china cabinet into my little two bedroom apartment on Saturday, a heaviness settled over me. The thought came, “It’s time to let that story go.”

I’m done with men who either don’t step up for me, don’t provide or invest in me. Yes, I’m a strong, independent woman. I can earn my own egg money. But the story of dysfunctional relationships is not one I want to carry into my future.

So I contacted my cousin and asked her if she, her sister or one of her girls might like to have Mamaw’s china cabinet. I still think the story is great. It shows Mamaw’s thrift, determination, ingenuity, and goal setting. It’s a wonderful story… it’s also a story about men and relationships that I personally need to let go.

Fortunately, my cousin has some space to store it and can keep it there until someone in the family decides they want it. What a great feeling!

This experience makes me ask myself, “What other stories am I hanging onto that I need to let go?”

Is there anything you need to let go of? Energy therapy has a been a big part of my journey with this. If you’re struggling to let things go — whether it be grief, loss, resentment, fear or old stories, consider an energy therapy session.

tammy ward's messenger mastermind

Traveling Light Day 17: Messenger Mastermind

I had the opportunity to attend and speak at Tammy Ward’s Messenger Mastermind in Ogden, Utah today. I didn’t speak until three o’clock, and really enjoyed the presenters before me.

Here are a few notes I took.

LuanaLei Turetzky

Thoughts from Luanalei Turetzky

“Allow a thought to be benign until you use choice to activate its power. A thought holds no power until you believe it.”

“When we step into vulnerability and we partner with someone who steps into their vulnerability, an ultimate creation results.”

“Being the boss means you have the power to make your choices. But you do not have the power to pick the consequences. Being a creator means letting go of trying to control the consequences.”

“The things you’re holding onto and trying to control most are the things that are keeping you from the things you want most.”

“Excessivism is not abundance.” Luanalei Turetzky

Thoughts from Allie White

“Transformation does not happen without conversion.”

“When going thru fire, decide to be forged instead of consumed.” Allie White

How to Sell More Books

I spoke on various ways to sell more books including press releases, getting media and PR, Amazon Author Central, leveraging Goodreads, and collaborative methods for selling more books and positioning yourself as an expert.

New Headshot in the Works

Aubree Della (Tammy’s Daughter) was there doing headshots. I’ve been wanting a new one for upcoming books and for my web sites and social media. So I was able to get a session with her. The photos will be available in a couple weeks. It was a great deal.

I’ve seen some of Aubree’s work and she does a good job, so I’m hopeful I’ll have a few good ones to use. It’s been a couple years since I’ve had any professional photos done, so I’m overdue.

Ginger Crinkles

After getting back to Martina’s, I decided to make her kids some of my ginger crinkles. Most people rave about these cookies. They’re definitely one of my claims to fame. 🙂  If you want the recipe, I have a fun video of me making Ginger Crinkles as Julia Child here.

Beauty and the Beast

After making cookies, Martina, her kids and I watched the newer live action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I believe my favorite part of the movie was this song by Dan Stevens (The Beast) as Belle is returning to rescue her father.

 

 

book coaching

Traveling Light Day 16: Book Coaching

marnie and bonnie chadburn

Marnie and Bonnie Chadburn

I put the finishing touches on my flyers for the How to Sell More Books class I’ll be teaching at Tammy Ward’s Mastermind tomorrow. Then Martina dropped me off to make copies while she took her kids somewhere. Afterward we ran to Costco and back to her house.

This afternoon I had an in-person appointment with a book coaching client whom I’ve been working with by phone. Bonnie Chadburn is working through my Create A WOW book program. Bonnie’s writing a book to assist people who suffer from mental illness. So many people with mental illnesses succumb to suicide, and Bonnie’s goal is to stop that.

She and her husband are a delight. He sat in with the consult and it was wonderful getting to know both of them. Being the mother of a child with mental illness, Bonnie’s book is particularly intriguing to me. I’m grateful to play a small role in its development.

 

travelers on netflix

Traveling Light Day 15: Travelers on Netflix

I had a couple leadership meetings for The Quickening today, did my Marnie’s Marketing Mondays class and worked on my presentation for Wednesday. I’ll be giving a 45 minute class at Tammy Ward’s Mastermind in Ogden Utah Wednesday afternoon.

Tammy has brought me into her masterminds via Zoom three times in the past. This is the first time I’ll be able to attend live. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be teaching “How to Sell More Books”

Tonight after dinner, Martina and I watched the last two episodes of season 1 of Travelers on Netflix. I love time travel books, movies and series. This one has been really good. I’m glad to see it’s been picked up for a second season. It will just be a while until it’s released.

The cast of characters are very likeable and the plot-line is intriguing. There was a good cliff hanger at the end of the season, and I’m looking forward to see how it resolves.

making cookies

Traveling Light Day 14: Cookie Time

I went to church with Martina and her kids today, then came back to their house and took a nap for about four hours. It was fantastic! I haven’t had a good long Sunday nap in quite a while.  I used to take a 2-3 hour nap every Sunday. It was my sacred ritual that got me through the rest of the week. I’ve missed it.

After dinner, I made chocolate chip cookies with Martina’s two youngest girls. They were so excited to get to help make cookies. The older of the two found all the kitchen utensils and ingredients for me. She stirred everything in the bowl as I put it in, and rolled out the cookies with her baby sister.

Making cookies with little children has always been one of my favorite activities. One of my fondest memories is the way Joshua asked for cookies. He didn’t really ask. He’d announce with great enthusiasm, “We could make cookies!” How could I resist agreeing, “Yes, we could!” I don’t believe I ever told him No.

 

the adjustment bureau

Traveling Light Day 12-13: The Adjustment Bureau

I spent the day Friday putting the finishing touches on the presentation and handouts for my two classes on Saturday. I taught “How to Sell More Books Online” and “Facebook Advertising Basics” in North Salt Lake.

The classes went well and I was able to record them. I kept forgetting to start the recording on the book class, but I got a good recording of the Facebook advertising class. I’m planning on offering it as an online training which I’ll have up shortly.

After my classes on Saturday, Martina and I watched The Adjustment Bureau starting Matt Damon. Martina and I saw it together at the theater when it first came out in 2011. We couldn’t believe it has been six years since then. We both love the movie and I definitely relate to it.

The main character is being kept apart from the woman he loves because the “Adjustment Bureau” thinks that if he’s with her, she’ll “be enough” for him. He won’t need to put himself out in front of audiences. be ambitions or eventually become President (like he’s destined to be) if he is with the girl.

I know when I was with my last husband, I felt like that relationship was “enough” for me. I had no desire to travel or speak or step outside my comfort zone because I was satisfied to be in a loving relationship where my emotional needs felt met. What happens when he’s gone? I feel the need to get out and speak and teach and travel again.

Sometimes it feels like “The Adjustment Bureau” said, “She’s playing small again, let’s get her out of this relationship.” Sigh… can I ever have a happy, fulfilling marital relationship AND fill the measure of my creation?

be still my soul

Traveling Light Day 11: Be Still My Soul

My friend Leslie Householder got me tickets to the Millennial Choir and Orchestra performance tonight. I brought some friends and thoroughly enjoyed the Be Still My Soul production. The first song they performed was How Great Thou Art, and I have included a video below of their version of the song. I wish I had a recording of their version of Be Still My Soul, but it has not been released yet.

Be Still My Soul touched me profoundly. I’d played it on the piano at my mother’s funeral, so she came to mind when the song started. As I closed my eyes and let the music wash over me, a scene entered my mind of my mother arriving in heaven surrounded by concourses of angels, singing celebrating her return as she came into the presence of the Savior. Such joy filled my heart for her — a very emotional experience for me.

Here’s the video of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra performing How Great Thou Art. There’s no comparison to attending live but this gives you a taste.

heart music

Traveling Light Days 8-10: Music & Memories

josh and talayna

My son Joshua and his fiance Talayna

The last few days have been filled with music, creating memories, and recalling memories. I’ve been staying at the Ropp’s (my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law’s family’s house) since Sunday night.

We had a cookout Monday night. My boys and their father came (Nate and Elijah have been staying with him during the trip). Of course, Talayna’s family was there as well as Josh’s best friend  with his wife and little girl. I enjoyed being with everyone and getting to know the Ropp’s a little better.

They have been very hospitable and kind … just really good, caring people.

Memories

Wednesday I was sitting in the Ropp’s kitchen with Joshua and Talayna, and a memory flashed into my mind. I saw Joshua as a 5-year-old cutie pie holding my hand as we walk out of the house to run errands.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Something told me to press the record button in my brain so I would always remember my little errand buddy.

I really should press that record button more often. Do you ever do that? Do you have that mechanism in your mind that stores ordinary moments as extraordinary ones?

Music

When I wasn’t working on preparing for my Saturday classes in North Salt Lake or spending time with family, I was playing music.

Talayna’s grandmother is a piano teacher. She’s actually a lot more than that. She once owned a thriving conservatory and one of her conservatory grand pianos sets in their living room. I’ve really enjoyed playing it. It has a wonderful sound and touch.

Here are a couple videos I made. The first is “Danny Boy.” I’ve been working on my chords. The sheet music for this is just the single note melody so I’m integrating my own chords around it. This was one of my mother’s favorite songs, so it is for her.

The second is “To Make You Feel My Love.” I was practicing my vocals, and the piano comes through so loud on the recording that I kept the chords for the piano simple. I really need to invest in a lapel mic for my phone.

marnie and alexander

Traveling Light Day 7: Grandbaby Day

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Alexander and me during bubble time.

My son Joshua, his fiance Talayna, my son Elijah and I spent the day with my grandson Alexander in Boise today. He is Joshua’s son with his first wife. Alexander is so cute. He’s a little energizer bunny… always going. He loves cars, balloons and bubbles.

This is the first time I’ve been around him since he was about a month old. So, while he was friendly, he didn’t want me picking him up or kissing his cheek. He’d squirm out of my arms.

By the end of the day, he’d come around. We all went outside to watch his cousin ride around in an electric car. Alexander’s grandfather asked him if he wanted to ride, but he didn’t.

grandbaby

Joshua with Alexander

He was obviously nervous about the car. He turned around, looked up at me and held out his arms. He let me hold him for quite a while and even let me give him a kiss on his cheek. I thought it was sweet that when he was nervous and unsure of something that he felt comfortable with me and wanted me to be the one to pick him up. His dad was close by but he still chose me.

I was able to get some great photos of him and some videos. I already cherish those because I will only be able to spend one more day with him on July 12th. Then he and his mom are moving to Canada. Anytime I’d think of that while I was with him, I’d get teary. I had to make myself not project into a future of never being with him again. I focused on trusting that somehow, someway, I’ll be able to be a part of his life.

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Alexander letting me hold him.

We stayed until about six o’clock and then took the five hour drive back to Salt Lake City. I’ll be staying at Talayna’s parents’ house for a few days. I wanted to spend some time getting to know her and being with Joshua, and give Martina a bit of a break from having me as a house guest.

 

traveling light

Traveling Light Day 6: Training, Pain, Joy and Family

I had the opportunity to teach some brilliant people with important messages to share today. I taught two three hour classes in North Salt Lake with a 1.5 hour lunch break between:

  • Turn Your Troubles Into Thought Leadership: How to Create an Online Business Around Your Message
  • Simple Systems for Holistic Entrepreneurs and Light Workers to Succeed in Online Business

I had a great conversation with one of my students during the lunch break about the power of pain and how resisting pain actually prolongs it. I think one thing that has expedited my healing is allowing myself to immerse myself in the memories, embrace the pain, shed the tears, and see the blessings laced within the tragedy.

The joy in this process has been every bit as exquisite as the pain. It seems that pain hollows out a deeper crucible for joy.

I never thought such a thing would be possible, but through the grace and mercy of God. I’m so grateful for His healing in my life.

That's my boyMy son Joshua along with my son Elijah and Joshua’s fiance Talayna picked me up after the class and we grabbed some dinner at a drive through. Josh drove us to Boise, Idaho where we’ll be visiting with his son… my grandson Alexander … tomorrow for Father’s Day.

I’m really looking forward to that since I haven’t seen Alexander since he was a month old. That was two years ago this month.

His mother will be moving him to Canada soon so this is one of only two visits I’ll get to have with him before he leaves the country. I’m trying not to think about when or how I’ll ever get to see him again in person.