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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“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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Jump Out of the Boat!!

As mentioned earlier, we attended a great church, Seacoast Church, just blocks from Meghan’s apartment, on Christmas Eve, and then a satellite campus in Mount Pleasant on the weekend.   The young preacher had a great message and I have two points scribbled in large letters on a piece of paper that were made during the message.  He preached on John 21:7 and my two notes are JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT and FEED MY SHEEP.  There’s so much meat here that will serve me well in the coming year as a life philosophy and also as a theme for this blog and Her Father’s Homestead in general.

This was such a pointed message, like all those years of sitting in front of my dad as he was preaching.  How many times did I feel like he was speaking directly to me?  Way too many times to count and the same thing happened on Sunday morning.  I was being told to jump out of the boat, move toward the Lord, like Peter did – just dive on in and then Peter was told that if he loved the Lord as he said he did he should “Feed My sheep.”  If that isn’t a goal or a direction for the Homestead, I don’t know what would qualify!!

And while I’m thinking of it, I learned a whole new meaning for Sparkles (refer to earlier posts)  Instead of Sparkles occurring in the frigid cold of northern Wisconsin snow, we discovered Sparkles in the sea foam , the bubbles left behind by the incoming and retreating waves on the beach.  This, too, will work for future messages.  What a trip this has been been – full of food for thought, soul-searching and messages!

As this faithful computer at the Richland County Public Library is telling me I have eleven minutes before lock-out, I’m going to say adieu.  I’ll be back tomorrow as I’ll reserve time here before I leave.  The people here have been fabulous, friendly, helpful, to this obvious Northerner – obvious as soon as I open my mouth 🙂  So a quick visual preview will have to suffice for spell-check and again, forgive any errors till I get home and on to my own computer again.  Blessings!!!

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Countdown 8 Days

One week and one day – I can hardly wait.  What does that mean anyway?  Of course I can wait.  How would I NOT wait?   I will do what countless women have done through the ages – clean something! In fact, I have closets, cupboards, drawers, all of which will be at least touched up before I leave on holiday.

What is it – something passed down from my own mother?  Absolutely! As a child, prior to every vacation the house was made spotless, including “wiping up the floor” on hands and knees as we made our way out the door. I haven’t done that lately, but in August of  ’07 prior to going in for a second brain surgery, I pretty much hit every closet, drawer, cupboard, you name it.  I even called in reserves to help.  My friend, Karen, gets it and answered my call for help.  Her job was to take the steamer to all the clothes in the laundry room, to make sure everything was steamed and properly put away before I went to the hospital.  Can I get an Amen here?  Surely someone can relate :).

This is a fairly literal interpretation of the Biblical putting one’s house in order,  II Samuel 17:23, which, by the way, preceded a suicide.  Short of working myself to death cleaning all these closets, drawers and cupboards pre-holiday, along with daily living, teaching, conducting business as usual plus several meetings, and participating in some Christmas socializing, I’m not intending to do myself in.  My girls would be grinning – they’ve lived through their mom’s pre-holiday/vacation ritual many times.

But action cures lots of emotional ailments and it certainly beats the heck out of sitting here nibbling on my nails.  Oh, note to self, add MANICURE to the to-do list, may as well make it mani-pedi as I’m not packing the five pairs of boots I wear out here from September through March.  These feet will be slipping into sandals or flips in just over a week now, late December, no less.

So how do I wait?  I’ll clean and organize, make a few lists, pack,  sing and dance my way through the chores, praising the Lord that in just eight days I’ll be hugging my younger daughter and maybe even tucking her in and saying prayers once or twice as we did so every often in times past.  Does it get any better?

P.S.  Check out the links for  “mani-pedi” and  “five pairs”  above – an online grammar guide and an URBAN dictionary, you gotta love it :)!              à plus tard …………..,  LeeAnn

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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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