Do You Know Who You Are? Conversation with Kat…

Regular readers know I favor TA DA moments and Special Days.  On a special day recently, I called my sister-in-law, Kathy, to wish her a happy birthday.  Kat’s an encourager, always one to cheer you on and she’s been solidly in my corner for quite some time.  So on her birthday, I reached out via phone and we had a marvelous conversation, which is the basis for this post.  I’m not sure how the conversation started, but pretty soon we were on one of my favorite subjects – the uplifting and encouragement of women,  these days especially younger women.  We talked  about my daughters and how I had determined early on that I was going to parent them in a way that they knew unconditionally that they were of immense value and loved, not for what they did, but for the sheer fact that God created them and put them on this earth and thankfully, into my arms. 

Kat and I had been talking about their birthdays and how I posted a blog for each of them as a Special Day post.  That led to many other things and we ended up talking about younger women in general, the choices they’re making and for what reasons.  I firmly believe that if today’s generation had a better grasp of their personal worth and value, they would make far better choices.  And not just the younger generation, though it’s much more in-your-face, if you will; this applies to women of all ages.

I ended up telling some stories from the days of  facilitating women’s recovery groups.   Those ladies heard my “speech” as they called it, regularly and every so often, one brought a woman whom she introduced by saying, “This is —-, she needs your speech.”  We’d laugh together and at the appropriate moment I’d segue into the speech that usually begins with Do you know who you are?  Do you really know?  You’ve got some guy calling you names and disrespecting you?  Do you know who you are?  And better, does that guy know with whom he’s messing? 


The answer and today’s lesson – you knew one was coming – is You Are the Daughter of a King – a princess, if you will.  But not just any king, the almighty Creator King of the universe!!  And do you know what?  That means something!

That means that you have incredible worth and value, that you are most worthy of being respected, loved, treated well!  Let that thought permeate your being, your mind, your heart and your soul.  Disrespect yourself with bad choices?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your value.  Accept disrespect or worse from others in your life?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your worth. 

Do you know who you are?  Head up high, friend, confident and comfortable, standing your ground on the Solid Rock, knowing that you are indeed unique, special, worthy and of incredible value to your loved ones and to a hurting world all around you.  You have a legacy of grace, dignity, value and you have much to give. 

Follow the Solid Rock link, turn up your speakers and sing as you dance around your kitchen with joy and peace in your heart.  Do You Know Who You Are?  You bet, no doubt about it:   Worthy, Valuable and full of Grace – go on out and make a difference in the life of a woman, young or old, that you know!  

In closing I’ll share a favorite verse that closed my Conversation with Kat,  given to me by a woman in one of those aforementioned recovery groups.  Zephaniah 3:17 says that not only does the Lord take great delight in me, He’s singing with joy about me!!  Check it out for yourself then follow the Solid Rock link above; sing out loud as you dance around your kitchen reveling in the knowledge that you are most worthy!!!

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TA DA! and TA DA! again…

A two-TA DA! evening – quite a way to end the weekend!!  Not time-for-sleep end as I still have a transcript due in the morning, but the challenging  part of the weekend is successfully completed.  Top that off with a fun conversation with a special  niece and a “night-night” phone call with my ErinLee and if I didn’t still have to work and it wasn’t past midnight, I’d crank up some music and dance around the kitchen 🙂  because two TA DA!s is pretty all right!

Isn’t that just the way things go sometimes?  I’ve been studying lots, loving my current classes and as my favorite Auntie Arlene said, these classes are right up my alley.  I’m dealing with words – this week all the ologies and isms that come with a class titled Theology for Today.  Add to that my General Survey of the New Testament class and I’m in my element!!  Reading, studying, learning and best of all writing – working hard in addition to life in general, and then to be well rewarded for these efforts with great feedback from fellow students, a maximum grade on a tough paper, and finally 100%, the second week running, on the theology test due each Sunday night.

I’m feeling very blessed and believing  that, as challenging as it’s been to add  this education track to an already complex life after so many years, these successes may indeed be confirmation that I’m on the right path.  And that is an even bigger TA DA!        … Bonne  soirée

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Catch-Up?

Playing catch-up? Very often these days, I seem to be in catch-up mode; tonight is no exception.  With algebra going fairly well, but still time-consuming, and daily life with all that entails, things are good though the pace is frenetic. What keeps me grounded?  My faith, for sure, and the things I’m looking forward to – elder daughter will be with me in a month; I cannot wait to hug that child, though at almost 25, young woman is more appropriate.  Her sister, almost 24, is in the midst of a fairly large life event -buying a  first home; lots of excited phone calls back and forth.

With  these young women on opposite coasts and us all trying to stay involved in one another’s  lives, the time between hugs seems far too long.  My solace is that I must have done something right along the way to have two beautiful, intelligent, articulate, independent, successful young women who still count their mom as confidante and advisor.  I am so blessed and in no time at all I’ll be hugging my ErinLee and enjoying her laughter, and two months after that I’ll be hugging my Meghan Lee and hopefully visiting in her new home.  Great thoughts to keep me moving forward.

A fabulous Amma massage today certainly helped me relax and my return to a regular yoga class to readjust my form and move back toward the top of my game – all great things on the road to taking the best care of me so I can take the best care of all with which I’ve been entrusted. Be well and live on the upside of life, no matter how things appear.   Off to algebra for me.  À bientôt…

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There Was a Time …..

There was a time when the night before Ash Wednesday would have my attention more for what was happening at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Rio than for any spiritual meaning.  Tonight is different.

I’ve had an interesting week and am feeling very blessed!  I was given insight into a situation that had been on my heart and the message was very positive and hopeful.  I’ve once again had the opportunity to participate in a big way in making a difference in some one’s life and there is nothing that compares to the feeling!!!  I’ve also had a situation that could have been fairly upsetting, but instead I’ve seen the miracle in it and am giving thanks.  And I mean miracle, plain as day.

I believe I’ve mentioned my current Bible study and it gets into the whole concept of miracles, what’s real, what’s not, what can we ask for and what can we claim.  It is so timely in my life.

I’m coming up on the three-year mark of what  I believe to be being healed of brain cancer.  Three years ago at this time I was enduring unbelievable headaches, pain beyond description, even for someone who had suffered intense migraines for decades.

I’ll not recount it here, as it’s a life event that occurred and is in the past.  Lent and Easter of 2006, though, were intense times and many lessons have been learned and many memories made since then.  I said then and have lived it since – no health challenge is going to define me.  Shape perhaps, maybe even refine or hone some of my beliefs, but defined by a physical challenge?  No thanks!!

So embarking on this Lenten 2009 journey of leaving behind SHOULD and its ensuing guilt,  I’m a very grateful, very thankful, very fulfilled woman, living daily in wonder at the blessings I have and see all around me.  Everything peachy?  Not quite, but compared to where I’ve been, things look pretty good.  The French refer to la vie en rose; I’d say it’s all in how you choose 🙂  Adieu……

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Welcome Home, so they say, anyway…

An eventful weekend.  First of all, I didn’t leave South Carolina Friday night on my scheduled flight.  There was an airline issue and my choices were stay with Meghan and leave Saturday morning or leave Friday night later, miss my connection to Green Bay and spend the night at O’Hare.  Hmmm, wonder what I chose?

So I had a whole extra day with Meghan.  She had taken a 1/2 day off work so we could go out for lunch and hang out before going to the airport.  Now we could hang out for the afternoon and the evening!!  Didn’t someone once say the Lord works in mysterious ways?  Sure worked for me to have a canceled flight and extra time with Meg.

My arrival home here in the country was another story.  Back into the cold, literally, as I had a furnace issue and the house temperature was hovering right about 40°.  And my truck refused to start – not the battery, that was working.  Something else was wrong.  Yippee.  Now I’m home and freezing and stranded and it’s late Saturday afternoon.  Try finding emergency services on a weekend, after hours.

Long story short, $800 later, the house was beginning to warm up.  By 2:30 a.m. it was 62°.  I kept throwing blankets in the dryer, then wrapping up in them to keep from shivering.    Sleepless night, no unpacking, no working on the photos, just a frantic effort to be warm.

The UPside?  No burst pipes – one frozen one, successfully thawed in a relatively short time and no major damage. Could things have been worse?  Lots and I’m thankful for what WAS, not what could have been.

I also have a confession to make – last night and this morning were rough.  I was on the verge of discouraged – sad and feeling defeated.  Back in the cold, and it’s bitter here, brutal, pick your word,  with an overnight glaze of 1/4″ thick ice over everything, my truck not starting, no groceries other than a some bread and a couple oranges.  For the first time EVER I questioned whether I was on the right path as I have believed for so long.  Thank the Lord for people in my life who help me stay on the path.  I expressed my concern out loud to my cousin, Dan.  He’s one of the people  I can call for everything and HAVE !!

Bat in the house?  Call Dan.  Sump pump running non-stop?  Call Dan.  Computer issues?  Call cousin Dan.   Well, he came and parked his car outside so I could sit and be warm for the couple hours it took to get someone out here and then for them to do their thing.  He has a great car with SEAT HEATERS and he sat and let  me be warm and didn’t leave till the challenges were on the way to over.

So that’s the tale here and I’m no longer sad, discouraged or questioning.  Dan reminded me that it’s not defeat, it’s testing and that can be powerful conffirmation that one is, indeed, on the right path.  So I had to pull myself up by my boot straps – the 15-year old white Sorrels, stop questioning, despairing, whining, whatever.     That had to stop and I’ll talk about how in the next post.  Just goes to show that even  Encouragers sometimes need encouragement.  That was me late in the night and in the dark of the  early morning and for the sake of honesty I’ll share my technics in the next post.  I am now smiling in the face of adversity and if this is a test, I’m going to pass with flying colors.  Adieu…..

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Little Sparkles part two

Wouldn’t you know it?  Having just decided on the name of my project here, Her Father’s Homestead, this morning’s message was based on The Lord’s Prayer, which begins with those words familiar to many, “Our Father…”  Affirmation, confirmation, call it what you will.  I call it Little Sparkles (scroll down to Part One for definition)  It was like a message from my Father telling me He was pleased with the project.

I listened intently to Pastor John, focusing on My Heavenly Father, while allowing the morning’s frustration to melt away and surrounding myself with the warmth of believing that that Little Sparkle was the morning’s gift to me.

No matter what our immediate circumstances, there is always hope.  There are those who will call me unrealistic, a Pollyanna, an incurable optimist.  I’ve even been called a liar for proclaiming the positive instead of embracing what some had deemed a a terrible prognosis.

But I believe in Little Sparkles and I’ve had more than my share.  When faced with a malignant brain tumor in 2006 and the resultant brain surgery, radiation, chemo, and supposed dire prognosis for this condition, I wouldn’t claim it for myself.  Now having passed the one-year mark, a milestone for this disease, then the two-year mark, a bigger milestone and now being within four months of the three-year milestone, I’m still receiving Little Sparkles along the way.

Call me what you will, it won’t change the fact that I CHOOSE to see the Sparkles that my Father sends my way rather than dwell on the dull, perhaps ugly “reality” when faced with adversity.

As a political activist having just endured yet another Presidential election, I’m familiar with the concept of “Perception is reality.”  Maybe you’ve heard that concept, too, maybe not.  But if you are feeling under the weather emotionally, a bit on the less-than-positive side of life, I so encourage you to watch for the Little Sparkles and marvel at them.  Perceive them as a little gift and your reality will be enhanced.  You may find yourself smiling, breathing a silent, “Thank you, Father,” maybe even doing a little dance around your kitchen.  (Those who know me may be grinning at that mental picture 🙂   Enjoy … and bask in the warmth of your Father’s love.   till the next time, adieu.

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