No Good Deed Goes …?

Surely some of you know the rest of that aphorism.  Because of my belief in the power of words, often stated here – words matter – I won’t be finishing the statement;  in fact today we’ll  do a test run on a new ending, give it a new spin. And I do love spin 🙂

So if I say No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded, what do you think?    The question becomes unrewarded by whom. It doesn’t matter. Since I operate under the belief system that says you don’t work your way to your final resting place, the reward for a good deed is internal.  You saw something, you addressed it, and you know in your heart that you did a good thing.

The person or persons for whom you did this good thing may or may not even realize it.  Doesn’t matter. Let me clarify, it doesn’t matter on an outward level.  Here we go again, semantics.  You bet, I love it 🙂 So where does it matter? Inside, inside you and that’s what counts in this discussion.

Every time you take the opportunity to  do a “good deed” however small, it matters in you.  Note I say IN you, not to you.  We grow every time we take an opportunity to make a difference, something as small as smiling at the elderly man for whom you hold the door, every time you offer an encouraging word or turn aside an angry retort.  It matters IN you and that’s why I’m pretty comfortable saying that No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded.

The reward is the growth that comes inside because you stepped out and did it.  That’s what matters.  Keep doing it and you will keep doing it.  It’s a mindset, a way of looking at the world, a philosophy, if you will. Go on out and have a fabulous day and when you have the chance (not IF, WHEN) take it.  Look for these opportunities – they’re everywhere.  Here’s to growing as we go …..

À plus tard

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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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“It Doesn’t Happen in a Neighborhood Like This”

That’s what the neighbor said on TV.  Another woman is dead, killed this morning in a nearby county by her husband and people are shocked because it doesn’t happen where they live. Sound familiar?  It sure does to me.  I’ve been there and even said those words.  People in my former neighborhood weren’t out brawling in the front yard with their spouses, let alone being  abused or even killed.  But behind closed doors….

When I finally began to deal with my situation, to feel it was perhaps time to speak up and speak out, one of the things that kept circulating through my mind was  “Who would believe me?”  Look at us – we looked pretty good.  We had the house, a great house, a great yard, a great pool.  I had a cleaning service, a lawn service, help with the laundry, help with the cooking.  I had jewelry, clothes, the fur coat, awesome vacations, vehicles, the grand piano.  I gave fabulous parties in my fabulous home.  We were the go-to people in our church to get things done, in the pew every week 20 minutes early.  Who would believe me?  Look at us….


Jesus described us perfectly, though.  He wasn’t addressing a domestic situation.  But He could have been standing on my deck, looking through the  patio doors into my beautiful kitchen when He referred to white-washed graves full of dead men’s bones and all unclean things. (Matthew 23:27)   We did indeed look beautiful on the outside.  Who would believe me?

The neighbor being interviewed on TV today was shocked.  “It doesn’t happen in a neighborhood like this,” and another woman is dead at the hands of her spouse or significant other.

This isn’t the post I had planned for today, but I still struggle.  When I  hear about another abused or murdered woman my heart aches for her.  Did she have children, children in that home?  children who  feared  for their mom’s safety?  I sit here now in tears.  Did she wonder if anyone would believe her?

And though I wondered aloud earlier this week about whether I was on the right path with this big dream of Her Father’s Homestead, I know in my heart that there is a need, greater than most people even want to acknowledge, for this dream of mine. And I believe as firmly as when I first arrived here that this old farm will be the place of healing for others that it has been for me.  There is hope and there is healing and there is wholeness.  I thank the Lord daily for bringing me here.  And now it’s my turn to give back.

If you have a need, reach out, I will listen and I will believe you.   Fill out the Contact form; I will respond.  Together we can find a way.  Blessings……

statistics on domestic abuse/violence

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COUNTDOWN 9 Days part one

Countdown to …?  I’m counting down till I get on a plane and fly to a warmer climate for Christmas and  nine days of holiday.  That would be exciting any time, but most special now because I’m spending my holiday with one of my daughters.  It’s a gift from the girls together, very precious to me, yet bittersweet as this is the first Christmas in my 24 years as a mother that I will not be with BOTH of my daughters for Christmas.

This is about change, about letting go, about growing up and growing older, ideally growing wiser.  It’s about accepting life as it is, expressed so beautifully in The Serenity Prayer, about putting those we love into the loving arms of Jesus and leaving them there; it’s about trust – the opposite of worry.    It’s about what is today called the Empty Nest Syndrome – I wonder if my grandmother, raising her ten children here at Her Father’s Homestead thought about an empty nest?  I’m reasonably certain she wouldn’t have identified it as a “syndrome” of any sort, but part of the the circle of life, if anything.

last time we were together

The three of us together on my birthday eight months ago

There’s a lot of food for thought or food for writing in that brief paragraph above and we’ll be delving into those subjects as we count down the days.  For today, look at a favorite photo or two, remember the happy time and smile a thankful prayer for the memories.  Are we not uniquely  and wonderfully created?                                       à plus tard …….

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SNOW DAY!!!!

There was a time when the words Snow Day brought a great deal of excitement.  An unexpected gift, a free day, no school, put on your snow-pants – remember those? – and head outside to make snow angels, a snowman or just play in the snow.  Funny how things change as we get older …..

When my children were in school, Snow Day took on a different meaning – more of a Now What? kind of meaning.  Now I was encouraging my girls to get out and play or ice-skate in the backyard, then come in to a roaring fire and hot chocolate.  Dry the wet clothes, shovel off the deck and front sidewalk, haul in the wood and build the fire, make that hot chocolate, a bit more work than being the kid.

These days the meaning is a bit different.  Out in the country, on my own, no ice rink in the back yard right now,(though that will change as the Homestead project evolves), while undoubtedly beautiful, getting this much snow means a fair amount of work.  The mere process of getting dressed to head out there takes several minutes.  Then there’s the inevitable mess – wet boots and wet dogs need to be cleaned up after, puddles on the floor, scarves and coat snow-covered and dripping from getting hit with the snow you’re trying to blow away.

And today’s point?  There could be several, but I’ll go back to the concept of “perception is reality,” talked about in a previous post.  My perception tonight is much different than it was at noon when I had an hour to move enough snow for a student to get in the door.  When I was out just a little while ago with my dogs everything is white and beautiful.  My perception at this point in  life is much different than when I was a child in snow-pants.  The group I facilitate, Celebrate Recovery, uses a song called White as Snow (words and music by Leon Olguin), and it’s a wonderful song.  My perception these days being much different than when I was young, I so appreciate the idea that through a relationship with Jesus, I’m made white as snow – despite anything in the past, all the mistakes, all the errors in judgment, you name it, I’ve been made white as snow and you know what?  It’s BEAUTIFUL and it can happen for you, too!   Till next time ….

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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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