Getting ready

A few days ago was another birthday…sort of just another birthday. I am starting my 60th decade…so technically I was 59. I did a lot of reflecting. Thinking about my own mom when she was my age. WIshing I could have just a few minutes to tell her I understood her better now then maybe I did when she was my age. Life is like that. So I am trying to learn to say what I feel now to people…

So as I thought about my mom, I remembered one of my mom & dads last big trips was to Greece, to study Paul’s journeys. And ironically on Thursday Eric & I are leaving to do that same trip. I am getting ready. Both physically, emotionally, and spiritually to walk places that thousands of years ago Paul walked.

I am trying to decide what books to read/bring. The flights are long and so not counting on my kindle to last so going to bring 1 or 2 hold in my hand books. This afternoon I am going to visit a independent bookstore and find something to bring…have some ideas based on what friends are reading. Will up date when I decide :)

As I took my walk this morning this hymn came to mind but this rendition of it is so good. “In you I rest…In you I find my hope….be still my soul.” Looking for lots of places of stillness in the days ahead.

People Pleaser

….so not a book I am reading, sort of. But a book that has shaped and influenced the way I live life.

I am a people pleaser. I like to make people happy. Sounds like a good thing but hard to measure success because mixed in with that is expectations that are unfair and unrealistic.

I read books. I read books and I look for what I can learn about living life. About how to love people more. About how to face challenges. About how to be a better mom/friend/wife. About how to enjoy life more. Some books are aha moments some are hmmm. I keep reading from all different places and viewpoints.

I hate disagreements with people, not a fan of arguments. I like people to hear me out. Maybe even consider what I think and/or believe.

Some things I hold to be true are because they stand the test of time. Somethings can’t be ‘proven’ and some people ‘claim’ they can disprove things I believe. Go for it. Knock yourself out. I am going to holdfast to what I believe and value. I follow Jesus and love God because I think Jesus was a guy who did unbelievable radical things….like love unconditionally without expecting anything in return. That is a pretty lofty standard to live up to. So if the worst thing he did was feed people on the sabbath or heal people on the sabbath I am ok with that….

Yikes politics… the news is horrendous. People who lie, who are rude and disrespectful who are far from loving unconditionally who want to me believe in them to chose them to lead the country I live it. Just can’t do it.

“Somewhere over the rainbow way up high…”

Stay dry. Love God. Love your neighbor.

Happy Birthday dad….it would be your 90th (or you would say your 91st)…thanks for teaching and modeling for me what a selfless life looked like. How to be loyal, even if it was to the Brooklyn Dodgers, the NY Mets, and God :) I love what I learned from you and the huge influence you have on my life everyday. My life is enriched because I had you for a dad!


Thoughts on Hymns

I love hymns. Some time certain smells bring back good memories, like evergreens, make me think of walking up the hill to the dining hall at the family camp I spent 2 weeks at every summer, Camp of the Woods in Speculator, NY. Or pretzels on the streets of NY. Or popcorn in the movie theater. For a while I think we went to the movies just to have popcorn. LOL

Anyway. Hymns. I grew up, quite literally, many hours a week in church. My friends were there, my family was there. We were married in my church. So some hymns just take me back to those times and they make me smile. Much deeper then the memories is the faith that had its early beginnings during those times. I have changed in terms of what my faith looks like and yet the foundation of my faith in God and in all that entails is rooted so deeply that it has weathered some not-so-easy days. I will forever be so grateful for the faith my parents modeled for me. For through their darkest days and in their happiest times they acknowledged that God was their anchor.

This is hymn is my go to…because it has stood the test of time in my life…there have been others recently (will share at another time :)) Eric & I even sang this (not alone) at our wedding.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


#23-#27 Read & Reading & going to Read

#23 Uninvited by Lisa Terkhurst

-some books you have to read at the right time, there were many encouraging one lines through out the book that kept me wanting more.

-“There’s a loss of what was and what we thought would be. What was normal is snatched, and no amount of screaming and running down a sidewalk will get it back.”

#24 Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

-OMG, yes read this book. It is amazing. You may not relate to everything Glennon has experienced but you will relate to the need to reign in your life. To love. To love yourself and others. Cannot even begin to give you quotes because there is a million of them. I will read this again and when I do I will list it again :) Because I can. Because I will have something else to say about it.

#25-Falling Free by Shannan Martin-Reading now, will be done soon :)

#26-Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist-Reading next.

#27-So ready to read another novel-Commonwealth by Ann Pachett.



It has been way too long

Don’t you agree life seems to get busy. It might seem like I stopped reading, actually I just stopped blogging.

I’ll just put it out there…the list of reasons why this blogging thing went to the bottom of my TO DO list :)

* starting reading multiple books at one time, all non-fiction.

* these little people in my life who I would rather sit on the floor with and play then hmmm blog

* being busy most nights, enjoying life, texting to people i don’t see enough of….basically engaging with the present

* the last 10 months have been a time of defining my faith, having left the church we have been at for 6 1/2 years and trying to decide where we should be next and finding my faith in the midst of leaving ‘the church’.

* have read some incredibly thought provoking books…and not sure how to share the impact they have had on me.

OK, there you have it, my reasons/excuses/explanations.

going to try  and catch up with at the least a list of what I have read since last on the blog and a thumbs up or down for them…

thanks for sticking with me :)

#21, just finished Adultery by Paulo Coelho

I picked this book up in the airport last October and didn’t read it. I had read the Alchemist years ago and loved it and so thought I would read another one by him. I think the title is what put me off. Of course.

It is such and interesting book. I am writing this probably too soon after finishing it because I really need to think about different parts of what it has to say. Upfront I will say there are probably 10 pages out of 255 that were a little….awkward to read. Kind of like being in a movie when I want to close my eyes for a few minutes. But for a book titled adultery I was really expecting more, probably less then the romance novels out there (which I haven’t read so I am just guessing).

It is about a woman, a woman and her loving, perfect husband and her 2 children. And yes another man and sort of his wife. But really the book is told in the woman’s voice. You are in her head. You hear what she thinks and what she says. At times I feel angry with her, sad for her, hopeful for her. She is tormented by her own thoughts. I can’t tell you the story because I could never do it justice you need to read it.

Passages that left an impression:

“Not everyone need to feel happy all the time. Besides, no one can be happy all the time. I need to learn to deal with the reality of life.” (P. 29)

“You don’t choose your life; it chooses you. There’s no point asking why life has reserved certain joys or griefs, you just accept them and carry on.” We can’t choose our lives, but we can decide what to do with the joys or griefs we’re given.” (P. 83)

“Should someone beg forgiveness for harbor an impossible Love? No, certainly no. Because God’s Love for us is also impossible. It’s never required at the time, and yet He continues to love us. He loved us so much that He sent His only son to explain how Love is the force that moves the sun and all the stars.” (P.111 ) * the rest of this page is amazing but you will have to read it on your own, this was just to whet your appetite :)

“Everything we seek so enthusiastically before we reach adulthood-love, work, faith-turns into a burden too heavy to bear. There is only one way to escape this: Love. To love is to transform slavery into freedom.” (P. 127)

“Because, ever since we’ve moved away from God, we live a fragmented existence. we try to find oneness, but we don’t know the way back; thus, we are in a state of constant dissatisfaction. Society prohibits and creates laws, but this does not solve the problem.” (P. 174)

“When you love each other, you have to be ready for anything. Because love is like a kaleidoscope, the kind we used to play with when we were kids. It’s in constant movement and never repeats itself. If you don’t understand this, you are condemned to suffer for something that really only exists to make us happy.” (P. 214)

“Life offers us thousands of opportunities for learning. Every man and every woman, in every day of our lives, always has a good opportunity to surrender to Love. Life is not a long vacation, but a constant learning process.” (P. 255)

I do recommend the book…

I leave you with this “And the most important lesson is leaning to love.”


So I know this is ridiculous…it is like I feel like I disappeared from this blog. It is on my mind but definitely fell off my to-do list this summer.

So book #20 I read over a month ago and actually met with a group of fine ladies to discuss back in June.

Unashamed by Christine Caine

I have seen Christine Caine speak a number of times, most recently at a conference in May at the DAR hall. She has an amazing story and an amazing message to share.

I don’t have a lot to share. I have mixed feelings about the book. However the basic idea is that shame is not something we need to carry through life. We need to not hold onto our own shame and even to take it a step further we need to not be the cause of someone else feeling shame. The book focuses on women and the ways in which we are trained to feel ashamed but I would use this same principle for all groups who are made to feel ‘less then’. None of us, not one has the right to treat someone in a way that makes them feel ashamed, about anything, their race, gender, sexual orientation, weight, IQ, their career…and I could go on. But we are probably all guilty of doing that, maybe we don’t realize it, or maybe we intentionally do it because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

“We are called to join God in his work on this earth.” (P 57).

There are many stories in Jesus life that are examples of how that looks. The people he came in contact with. The unconditional love.

“Of all places on earth, the Christian church could be the most significant place of healing and hope-” (p 73)

…should be….and so when it isn’t to we stand back and criticize or leave or do we become the one who transforms our churches into places of healing and hope? I love the idea of church, I love the idea of community, I love that a group of flawed people come together to acknowledge the existence of a perfect God who loved us and a sinless man who showed us what that could look like. I am not sure always my place in the ‘church’ but I know it is a place where one can find peace and hope.


Finished #15, The Obsession

imageDuring a quiet rainy night alone. I finished the book. Not sure why it took so long???? I really enjoyed it and read half of it in the last 2 days.

Writing the blog is hard because I don’t want to spoil books. I want to encourage/inspire 😃 you to read them.

I liked the book. I really like Naomi, the main character. Her development was what you hope people experience after tough life situations. Don’t be put off by the gruesome start-that really is the worst of it.

i ended the book in tears.

On to my next book.

#16-#19 BIP (books in progress)

I am about half-way through The Obsession, had a slow down because our friends were here visiting for the week. Will finish soon because I am really enjoying the book when I find time to read.

However I am also reading some other books at the same time and wanted to share them with you. They are easy ones to pick up and read.

#16- One Good Deed by Erin McHugh- 365 days of trying to be just a little bit better. Starting today….and today’s was ‘put your 2 cents in’. It is about writing a review, a positive one on social media. So I am going to review Hanks Oyster Bar on King Street in Old Town. We were there for lunch yesterday. Eric ordered a special. The Salmon Rueben and later on in the day he said it was THE BEST sandwhich he has ever had. OK that is my 2 cents for day and I will post my review on Trip Advisor :)

#17-See America by CREATIVE*ACTION*NETWORK. Picked up this book yesterday from a local store. Our son & daughter-in-law will be starting a  year long journey across our county, hopefully seeing and staying in lots of National Parks. So on Saturday while our friends were visiting we went to 2 near here and purchase an annual pass :) and bought a book so we could keep track of the ones we need to go to this year, the year of the national parks. Sounds like a year of great adventures.

#18-Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. I read Savor a year long devotional (still pick it up once in a while). Love the way she writes and her honesty. The book says it is a ‘love letter to life around the table with recipes.’ Love life around the table and recipes so I know I will enjoy this one. It was a Christmas gift I got from Eric…

#19-Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr John Townsend. ‘When to say yes , how to say no, to take control of your life.’ I guess it is obvious why someone would read a book like this. Need to learn how to have more quality time and less quantity…boundaries