Archive | March 2012

Hands of an Angel


I believe that when life is most fragile, angels come to assist us. This is the story of one angel that I encountered.

When my daughter was just a week old I took her to her first pediatrician visit. The doctor was concerned because her umbilical cord had fallen off prematurely, likely from the friction of the diaper, and it was not healing properly. She was concerned about the possibility of meningitis. With an even, calm, but urgent tone she instructed me to go directly to the hospital and have her tested. In my heart I could feel the dread mounting and I did exactly what she said. After an excruciatingly long time in the ER, she was finally examined by the doctor.

Again, with that calm, even tone that only a doctor seems to be able to muster up, I was told there was reason for concern. They wanted to do a spinal tap on my tiny, precious little bundle. I braced myself through my tears. But the doctor told me they would not let me be in the room during the procedure because they don’t want the baby to associate the pain of the procedure with a parent. Oh yeah, like that was going to make me feel better. My heart ached to be the one to comfort her, but I had to follow the procedures of the hospital. I could stand at the door and watch through the window but I could not be there.

Then the doctor made a call. She wanted the assistance of a particular technician. When he arrived, I suddenly understood. The technician’s name escapes me, but his hands I will always remember. They were the hands of an angel. The technician was a tall, strong, black man who appeared to have the spirit of a “gentle giant.” He wrapped his one hand around Maria’s head and the other around her bottom and slowly, gently curled her into a comforting fetal position. His steady, firm touch visibly soothed my daughter and he held her still as night during the procedure. To my surprise, she did not utter a cry. She simply lay, safely curled in the hands of this man with a special touch.

In that moment, I knew he was a living angel come to help my daughter, and me, make it through that painful, delicate moment. And in an instant he was gone. I didn’t get a chance to say thank you, but I always send a grateful prayer up on his behalf when I think of that moment. When I saw this picture … I remembered the hands of that angel.

Remember your angels and be blessed!

Purpose of Life


I was in a conversation today at work with an outside speaker who came to our women’s network event. She was there to speak about achieving peak performance and she had a lot of wonderful information to share. In that conversation we talked about people judging themselves and “beating themselves up.” There’s no upside to that behavior and we all recognize it. That conversation then led to declaring what we think life is about.

Here’s my take –  I believe there are 4 purposes to life:

1) Learn – We have endless opportunities to learn throughout our lives. Whether it is formal training and education or learning how to use our personal power to improve the world. This earthly experience is uniquely designed for us to learn.

2) Teach – When we learn and then turn and teach we pass on the gifts that we have received. That is a wonderful thing. But an even bigger benefit is that we help empower others to do the same. It’s a chain reaction that has the power to change the world.

3) Create – Being created in the image of God includes his power to create as well. As humans, this is what really separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We create possibilities with our minds, we create reality with our hands, we create life with our bodies, and we create connections with our words.

4) Love – Giving and receiving true and unconditional love puts us in touch with our divine spirit. It is the ultimate purpose in life. It is our supreme achievement.

What do you think is the purpose of life? Be blessed!

Big Plans!


“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir the blood.

Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

I received this quote from a friend of mine before she left my department (thanks Maureen – I still treasure it). It had hung in her cubicle and every time I saw it, it gave me pause. It is a great reminder that we are not created to be small – we are created to be big, powerful, and full of possibilities. Since then I keep seeing versions of it – reminding me of how important it is to remain aware. And … haunting, or is that taunting, me a bit.

It gives me pause because I’m not sure my plans are big enough. My dreams are … but not my plans. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routines of work, kids, pets, yard, cleaning, family, friends, obligations, and celebrations. And after all that activity I find myself drifting off to at the end of the day feeling like I’m no further down the road than I was the day before.

So I’m taking some time off work to use up a bit of vacation next week. No plans to travel. No big events. Just me (and fluffy puppy). I think I’ll use this time off to work on my plans. Surely I can do some big brainstorming. I’ll be planning, plotting, scheming … but if that doesn’t work, I guess I’ll be doing my taxes. Wish me luck!

What are your big plans? Perhaps they will rub off on me and I will get inspired!

Be blessed!

Inspired Action


I have noticed that my years seem to flow in themes. I started to see this about 3-4 years ago. Since gaining awareness, I also know that these are not themes which I pick, but rather what appears to be the “lesson of the year.” Sometimes the theme reveals itself quite quickly, and other times I see it only in retrospect. They are also wildly variant – from a year of learning (both formal and informal), to spiritual listening, to accepting my personal value, to surrender, etc. This year is shaping up to be the year of inspired action.

Just saying those words, inspired action, makes me both excited and a little nervous. I’m not going to lie, it takes courage to take action when it’s purpose driven. It means I can’t “go with the flow of my emotions” like I desire. It means having a bit of a plan, taking risks, showing my intentions to people. But, in spite of my desire to hesitate, I know that this is the course I’m on.

So what does inspired action look like? Here’s a few examples I’ve come across already:

> Speaking out in support of what’s right in the workplace as it pertains to the gay community at work. Nope, it’s not about religion, but about what’s right from an employee relations and human relations point of view.

> Sharing my spiritual experience and gifting my book to some very influential people in my life.

> Deliberately planting positive messages in the workplace as a way of leaving a legacy.

> Delving into the dark crevices of my heart and soul, really looking at some of the pain points in order to move to forgiveness and emotional healing.

> Purging my home of things I’ve held dear for so long because they no longer serve me.

These are just a few, and they aren’t all easy. But I know that in the end I will gain personal power from the process. This year of inspired action will set me up for what comes next year.

Do you recognize the themes in your life? Awaken your awareness and be blessed!

Gigglefest!!


It is a well documented fact that a good, hearty laugh is good for your health. Between the endorphins and the internal organ exercise from the belly laugh, it’s all a very good thing. And tonight that’s exactly what I had. I was sitting in my room with my daughter just watching TV and playing some games. When I looked up I saw my dog standing in the corner with her nose on the wall. I could not help having a good, hard, laugh out loud gigglefest. I couldn’t stop laughing, even to the point when I couldn’t breathe and yes, there was a brief snort in there. Apparently little Gracie had put herself in a time out. What a cute little dog and what much-needed laugh!

Here’s a laugh you won’t be able to resist – I double dog dare you not to join in. Giggle and be blessed!

It could happen …


When I was a little girl I remember watching a TV show and getting caught up in the plot. I don’t remember the exact show but I remember the conversation with my Mom about the possibility that there was truth in it. I’m still teased a little by my family for the words I used to say – “It could happen.” My parents would smile and shake their heads at my fanciful imagination and naive faith that all things were possible. The funny thing is, even though they tried to convince me of the shear fiction of the story, in my heart I still believed in the possibilities.

I think it’s just part of my nature. I am a true optimist when it comes to looking at people and life. I’m not really naive though. As a child when I uttered those words I wasn’t blind to that fact that life can be cruel, people can have evil in their hearts, and tragedies strike. I had actually experienced many things that proved those facts to be true in my life leading up to my time in the orphanage. But in spite of it all, I believed then, and still believe today that:

Most people can be trusted.

Love is real.

Forgiveness is a choice.

What goes around, comes around.

Time heals all wounds.

People change, especially when they believe in God.

Our attitude can make all the difference.

Words create reality.

Children are worth saving.

Life can get better.

Each day is a new opportunity, and …

Miracles still happen.

No matter what people tell you. I encourage you to look around in your life. Find the good that is in front of you. Count  your blessings and with all your might, believe that “it could happen.” Believe and be blessed!

Fingerprint of God


I was recently speaking to one of my dearest friends about her family, as we often do. She was telling me about her teenage son’s journey into questioning his faith. Until now he had always believed in God. There are lots of things fueling this change. As is a natural process, he’s growing into his own. He’s looking at life through his own eyes and not just through the stories his parents have told him. He’s experiencing people with different beliefs and circumstances that make all people question the sense of life and death. I believe, until and unless we question that which has been told to us, we don’t actually have real faith. It isn’t until we look into the face of doubt that we decide whether we can believe in a power greater than ourselves who is all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-powerful.

One comment my friend made about her son brought me back to my own days of discovering what I believe. She said, if he could find some hard fact evidence it would cement his faith and he would no longer question God. That is the crux of the matter isn’t it? It is that exact craving that we humans desire most to satisfy – to know without a shadow of a doubt. But then that isn’t faith, is it? I can’t say I ever didn’t believe, but in my early 20’s I did question why and how I could believe. For me, I’ve always had a sense of God in my life. But my searching lead me to look for evidence and I found it in nature. I have not found any possible way that all this could come from nothing. There has to be an architect in order for there to be architecture. There must be an ordered intelligence that has the ability to alter chaos into pattern. It matters not whether people tell me there was a big bang with evolution or a 7 day creation story. Either way, I believe there was first God, who is capable of creating this world from either method. The how is not important, but the WHO is.

As I look at this crazy world we live in, I don’t believe the “devil is in the details”. I believe God is in the details. Have you looked at patterns of nature? Have you heard of the Fibonacci sequence? It’s also known as the fingerprint of God. It is the exact pattern of spirals that exist throughout nature. It is precise and exact in its repetition. Just like a painter adds a signature to their work, God has put his signature on nature. Chance and nothingness cannot create an exact pattern in every created thing from galaxies to animals to plants to humans. Without a Divine planner, the plan could not unfold. These are the facts I urged my friend to have her son explore.

Here’s a few examples. I invite you to learn more and perhaps you too will see the fingerprint of God. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7

                                                               

Mother’s Heart


Today my “mother’s heart” is full. There is something so profoundly grounding and healing when both of my children are under my roof again. My son, who is now working second shift and often 6-7 nights a week, is nearly never home when I am home. My daughter, in the middle of her college career, spends half the year out-of-state in co-op jobs. That leaves me and fluffy puppy in a quiet home.

I am actually fine with the quietude that settles upon the house when I am there alone. I have things to do that take my time and attention. Besides, I’ve paid my dues of running around with children’s activities, sports, homework, and school obligations. I am not sentimentally pining for those days to return. As they say … been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt, uniform, cookies, magazines …. But I digress.  Essentially, just as I would not want to return to my youth, I really do not long to return to their youth either.

That being said, there is a beautiful chaos and energy when the kidlings come home to the nest. Last night and this morning I can feel it and I sigh with satisfaction. I picked my daughter up from the airport and the energy started to build just in the catching up conversation. When her boyfriend came to see her it increased and I felt the satisfaction settling in. And, by surprise, my son got off work early and picked up his fiance and brought her over. There was no plan. There was no event. It was just the comforting rhythm of family pulsing through my home. I smile at the sound of  bare feet padding down the hallway as the kids come and go to the kitchen or bathroom. I bask in the familiar tasks of frying bacon, scrambling eggs, and even (don’t tell them) in picking up the dishes and clothes that inevitably follow the arrival of my kids.

Yes, my “mother’s heart” is full. I am blessed and I am happy. Be blessed too!

Poetry in Motion – an open invitation


In my youth I was an active author of poetry. Full of teenaged angst I had much to say. Over the years I dabbled only upon occasion and wondered why I ever stopped. Recently the poetry bug is starting to bite again and I’ve created a few and shared them here on my blog. I’m having a good time creating again. And I’m enjoying connecting with other blogger poets.

So today I want to do something fun. I want to open my blog as a vehicle to highlight other poets, young or old, novice or professional.

You are invited to share a poem via the comment feature.  Here’s the simple “rules”:

1) Material must be of your own, original writing

2) Content cannot be offensive or x-rated (it’s not that kind of blog, afterall)

3) Style can be any that you choose

Join me here today in writing collaboration so we can all encourage and inspire the inner poet in each other. Be blessed!

Love and Love Again


I am constantly reminded of the resilience of the human heart. People often remark about the ability of young children to recover and bounce back so quickly. But I am also aware of how well adult hearts do the same thing. We may not notice it as readily because we analyze and feel hurts so deeply. Not that children don’t but adults understand the big picture and the impact, consequence, and permanence of deaths, break-ups, and losses at a level children do not.

I also see the progress forward in deep and meaningful ways in the hearts of adults. I am in awe at the ability of our spirit to learn from what has caused us pain and to adjust accordingly. And even in the midst of pain we can keep moving. I have seen many a heart broken only to watch that same person allow themselves to love again within a relatively short time. I have watched while tragedy strikes and loved ones pass to the next life. And despite the pain and mourning, the survivors move day-by-day into healing. They will never be able to forget those loved ones and no-one thinks they should. However, they are able to let other joys come back into their lives, a little at a time.

I know that pain is a portion of this earthly life. And life does, without fail, keep moving. The heartaches mold our sensitivity and compassion. The losses teach us our vulnerability and our boundaries. But through it all and in spite of it all, we rebound and learn to love, play, and live again, resiliently.

It is an amazing creation, this human heart. Love and love again, and be blessed!

Dreams and Intuition


I am a dreamer. Hmm, let me restate that – I am a prolific dreamer. I am one of those people who wakes up and often remembers in great detail what I have dreamed. Sometimes several are smooshed together and sometimes I clearly know where the line of one dream ended and another one started. I also dream in all senses, including living color. I’ve had some dreams that are so profound that I know the meaning and the context and can remember them with great detail even years later. Those dreams I don’t think of as fanciful trips of the unconscious. Those are more like memories.

Last night I had several very vivid dreams. One where I was faced with the reality that I was compelled to, with great danger and fear, attempt to save another person’s life. The last, and most vivid one was about family connections and intuition. The dream flowed from one part into another. At one point I was riding a bike home from downtown. It was dusk and I knew exactly where I was. And then, I was suddenly aware of my intuition to abandon my normal route. I took a right and then another right. I was drawn to turn into the driveway of a house I had never been to before. I stood looking at the door talking myself into the courage of knocking to find out who I was instinctively drawn to (yep, that’s something I would do in my waking state too). At that moment I heard my name and I looked over to see a cousin and her family whom I haven’t seen in years. I was standing at the stoop of her house. And in my dream I was suddenly aware of my dreaming and said to myself – this is exactly what I will blog about when I wake up. No I swear to you I am not making this up! I proceeded with the rest of the story that my unconscious mind needed me to know. I remember it so clearly.

Now I am awake and so here I am. I am writing about what I knew I would – dreaming and intuition.

Just like my dreaming, I have a strong intuition, perhaps cultivated by my boldness to follow it, which always makes it stronger. I believe that our intuition is actually our connection to spirit. Be it God, the Holy Spirit, our own spirit, our angels who guide our soul. Whatever you want to call it, it is a knowing that is outside the realm of what we “should” be able to know. That intuition doesn’t sleep and obviously is strong enough to speak to me in my dream. It is one of my most cherished characteristics, if I can call it that. What I also know is that it is different from my own “voice in my head”. It does not speak my judgments or opinion.

Inevitably my intuition pops in with new information. It doesn’t question or wonder; it declares something I don’t otherwise know or have never actually thought about. It has a physical manifestation too – I can “feel” my intuition as much as I” hear” it. Maybe hear is not the right word. It really is a new “knowing”. Sometimes it’s knowing that it is time to leave. Sometimes it’s knowing that a certain person has ill intent or a darkness of heart. Sometimes it’s knowing I will see someone out of the ordinary and then I do. Sometimes it’s knowing an innocuous piece of data that I ordinary wouldn’t notice is going to be important. Or knowing that someone far away is struggling with health, or emotions, or dying.

I’m not sure what you call it, but I am sure you have it – we all do. I’ve watched my kids when they were little and didn’t have a word for it but still they recognized it and relied on it. As adults I’m not sure if they still practice listening to it but I know they know how.

What about you? Do you dream, or hear, or know your intuition’s voice? Can you distinguish it from your own?

Be blessed!

I Rise – original poem


I RISE

Haunted by the stillness of the night.

Nothing but tossing, tumbling, I twist and turn.

This bed a board of heat allowing no refuge.

No cradle of comfort for me this night.

A feast of tangled covers devouring the minutes and hours.

Longing for the possibility of blankness or even a dream.

It is done. The peak of day defeating the endless wrestle.

Solace elusive for another night.

I rise.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Walk of Faith


I come from a family (both natural and adopted) of people who are artistic. It is a God-given talent that some have used and others let lay dormant. I have some talent in this area that frankly, until now has been untapped and uncultivated, at least from a traditional drawing or painting perspective.  I am starting to hear the call to experiment and learn. Art is such a personal thing that I often wonder if what my eyes see and my hands create could ever capture the heart of another. Perhaps that’s not really the point of art, but it certainly is a desire.

Recently, however, I was pleased to see a TV show with artist Thomas Kinkade as guest. I have long been a fan of  the “painter of light.”  I have enjoyed the story of his meager beginnings and read the books he wrote wherein he paints his picture with words. He is not boastful as a famous painter might be. His persona is very down to earth. In his own words he is inspired by nature and the call of quietude. He certainly and deliberately infuses his faith into his works. He’s known to personalize his paintings by hiding the initials of his wife or child somewhere in his work as a way to honor them. In this show, I saw for the first time a new work he’s done. This man’s art really knows how to touch my heart, and I know by his fame and collectibility, that I am not alone in this.

This new work is entitled “Walk of Faith” and it depicts a lush garden (for which he is also famous) with two men walking side-by-side in conversation. One of the men is Jesus and in this painting it seems so natural for the two to be entwined in the conversation of friendship.  That picture captures what is in my mind and heart as I daydream of a heavenly “walk” with Jesus. It’s beautiful!

So I share this painting with you in the hopes it brings you comfort and peace as well. Be blessed!, I share the picture with you in hopes that it brings you a measure of comfort and joy as well. Be blessed!