Tag Archive | friends

Fickle emotions of New Year’s Eve


Emotions are fickle – have you ever noticed? I live my life as an upbeat, positive person looking at the silver linings and expecting the best from life and those who are in it. It somehow surprises me when the disappointments come … and yet on the other hand, maybe not. I’ve spent many hours and years working to improve myself and my relationship with this thing called life. I know more than I think, I understand a lot about myself and hope to know what I need about others – at least I’m always learning. And, I’m acutely aware that it’s all an illusion. And yet, I still find myself waking up on days like today feeling melancholy. The voids in my life seem to be deeper and wider – more pronounced for some reason.

There is fun to be had for sure – for goodness sake it’s New Year’s Eve! This past year, 2013, has been a gloriously blessed year for me. I celebrated my 50th birthday with the love of family and friends giving back to community. I have met new friends, added a daughter-in-law to my family, traveled to parts of the world I have only always dreamed of. It has been a fabulous time. There have been heartaches, mostly in the form of soul friends crossing to the next adventure before me. I know I’ll see them again so I celebrate the gift they have been in my life.

There’s just something kind of sad about this day of crossing over. It’s not fear, it’s not worry, it’s just a silly, fickle emotion. I will sit with it for a brief time to try to discern the lesson in it. I will not wallow – sadness just isn’t a very good friend.

And then I will shake off this melancholy visitor to get back to my celebratory self. I will don a goofy hat and tweet the kazoo of a New Year party favor as I ring in the new year with friends and family. For tomorrow I know the sun shines on the dawn of a new year. There is no magic in the change from one day to the next … simply a choice to start afresh. Set new goals. Begin new adventures. Love more. Be more. Create more.

No matter what emotion is visiting you today – I wish you blessings of the mind, heart, and spirit for 2014. Happy New Year!! See you on the other side!

 

 

Kindness Inspires Kindness – It’s coming!


KIK logo 8-13-13I simply can’t wait! I’m like a child at Christmas that suddenly hears the jingle of Santa’s bells or the hoofs upon the rooftop. The excitement is intoxicating!

What am I anxiously waiting for, you ask? Well, it’s my 50th Birthday KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS Day!

What started all this was a simple inspiration that jumped to me via my dear friend Anita. She had read a blog that inspired her. See how this is going? Here’s the link to Making Life Whimsical. Amy from MLW had blogged about her 40th birthday and celebrating with a KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS Day. As Anita was reading Amy’s blog she said “I can do that.” And as soon as she shared the idea with me I knew I would do this too. I had been pondering what I could do to make my 50th special. The best way I can think of to make my day special is to make it meaningful. I can use that day to help change the world in small ways here in my community. I try to spread kindness every day and this will be a concentrated day full of gift giving – from me, not to me!

Anita’s good news is that she had a KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS day last week. Here’s a link to Anita’s blog about her day. I’m so blown away by the positive outcome she had. My excitement is growing even more!!

Now the plans are coming together for me. I have my list of kindnesses almost complete. I’ll be meeting with my friend Barb H. to create a plan and a schedule to make it possible. I’ll be calling on friends, family, fans, and my peeps of all sorts to join me in planning, gathering donations, and hoofing it around Cincinnati spreading our kindness gifts. I’ll be taking pictures and blogging here as the plans come together and as the day materializes.

I invite you to join in too. Either on my birthday (Aug 13, 2013) or on yours, do an act of kindness that makes your heart sing and makes your soul celebrate. Then take some pictures and sent me a note describing it. I’ll share your kindnesses on my blog as well.

My desires are big but very doable. I want to make my KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS day a huge success. I want to light the eyes and brighten the smiles of many, many people. And I want to inspire more acts, gifts, and day that are even grander than mine. Are you in?

Tell me what you plan to do …. and be blessed!

Baby Fun


 

Yikes – it’s been forever since I wrote on my blog. Nope, haven’t been sick but have been busy. No excuse I suppose but in life we prioritize day-by-day. I miss writing and interacting with my friends and fans here. So I come back today for a lighthearted revelry.

This weekend my middle sister and I hosted a baby shower for my youngest sister. We had a great time between preparing and laughing as we attempted various things from Pinterest. Yes, we successfully made a diaper cake and a melon baby in a watermelon bassinet (see picture). At one point there were 6 hands in that watermelon trying to situate the baby “just right”. Between my mom, sister, and I, we finally got it right. And we were pleased to say that it stayed sweetly intact the entire time. And we laughed – about our own baby showers, the cuteness of the tiny little baby clothes and need for “magic butt cream” (don’t ask – my sister and her husband are pharmacists). Of course, we laughed about the lack of sleep we endured as well. And when Sunday rolled around and the house was impeccably cleaned and decorated with tiny clothes on a clothesline and balloons and tissue puffs all around, we were pleased with the results.

When the mom-to-be arrived she looked so adorable with her little basketball belly and bright eyes. I remember, with just a tiny bit of sentimentality, those days from my own maternity stories. Yep, it’s hard to remember the details, but I remember the emotion – the half nervous, half excited feeling as the baby’s kick got stronger and stronger. I know my sister will be a fabulous mother. She’s an excellent teacher, a wonderfully creative girl, and sweet. Probably the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

And now, we are simply left to wait in anticipation for the bouncing baby girl angel to arrive sometime in mid November. She’ll be here in time for her first Thanksgiving. And won’t we all be blessed!

Enjoy the little angels in your life, and be blessed!

 

Perfect Pairs


Today, just for fun, I thought I’d share pictures of some unlikely friends. It reminds me that there is hope for peace, harmony and appreciation in this world.

Look for friends in all places and be blessed!

It’s the Little Things


I’ve always believed that it’s the little things in life that make the day-to-day living memorable. Yes, big vacations or life altering events are remembered and are captured in film and talked about. But those are far and few between. They mark time. But they are not really part of the ebb and flow of every day living.

What I’m talking about are the things that happen in a flash – some spontaneous and some planned that give us daily pleasures. Here’s some little things that have made my life’s list of silly little pleasures:

> When I was about 5 my big brother used to hold my hand and walk me along the really long driveway at the orphanage until he found the “perfect” spot to lay in the grass and watch the clouds. We would look for animals and shapes and daydream about a future outside the orphanage. He would tell me stories of how he was going to ride a bike really fast past the gates and “escape”. Then he’d sneak back at night and climb the balcony to help me get away too. He was sweet, protective, and always dreaming up ways to save me.

> When I was about 9 I remember playing Monopoly with my next door neighbor. It was the game that never ended. We kept coming back to it for several days. It’s a fond memory of my neighbor and one of the reasons to this day that I never want to play Monopoly.

> As a young adult, I remember fondly the time my friend and I went to a double feature movie on a Friday night.  We got the giggles in the middle of the 2nd movie and thankfully were in an almost empty theater. We did get some looks but then finally the other patrons started giggling too. We were out so late we got slap happy and started another fit of giggles at home. We laughed so long and hard I actually started to hyperventilate. While meaningless in the grand scheme it is one of my favorite memories with her.

> When heading to one of my friend’s home after a girl’s dinner out we saw a rainbow – well actually what we saw was where the rainbow ended in a field in front of her condo complex. It was the only time I’ve ever seen where a rainbow ends and I slammed on the brakes to see it. What a beautiful sight and one I’ll long remember.

None of these are anything “special” and yet they are some of my fondest, most precious memories of these friends. I know you can think of a million examples from your own life. My friend Patricia always shares how she begins her day saying: “What glorious, joyous surprise does God have in store for me today.” I think that’s the best way to start a day and a really wonderful way to bring attention to the “little things” that are some of our greatest blessings.

Count your big and little blessings and watch them multiply!

For the love of WW&B!


“In daily life we must see, that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful

but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~ Unknown

Last night was a precious night – the kind that comes around about once a month for me. You see, I have a wonderful group of friends that gathers together once a month. We are affectionately known as Wise Women & Bill (WW&B). And when we come together we enjoy so much – a little wine, yummy food,  community and sharing, spirituality and personal development, and hugs – always good and comforting hugs.

This group of women and Bill provide something that no other group of friends I’ve ever had, ever did. There is freedom of expression and unconditional acceptance. I’ve never heard a cross word or a judgemental statement among them. There is no rivalry or competition, no jealousy or resentment. The underlying premise of the gathering is that each person is precious and appreciated. There’s nothing in the world like that purpose or practice of friendship. This is such a unique group of friends and kindred spirits.  This is not a church group as everyone comes from different faiths and belief systems. But we deliberately and intentionally learn and grow spiritually from each other and those that we invite to share their gifts and wisdom.

     

I am renewed every time we gather. Even when I’m beat down tired I make sure that I go because I will inevitably leave renewed and alive. Enjoying my time with them is one of the ways that I pause and take care of me in these busy times.

For all those who gather at the WW&B space I am grateful. I am grateful for the authenticity, generosity, giggles, and tenderness with which we interact with each other. I am grateful for the spirit of giving and sharing. I am grateful for the sense of knowing and questioning. I am grateful for the space to learn and explore. I am grateful for the steady hugs and occasional tears. I am grateful for friends who see me through their hearts and not just through their minds.

I am grateful and happy. Be blessed!

Kreativ Blogger Award!!


I opened my blog today to find a delightful surprise!

 

Ann from Channel Comfort has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! I’m thrilled and honored that my writing has inspired a fellow blogger to recognize me. And I am humbled! THANK YOU Ann. I love your blog as well and hope my readers will come take a look!

Rules of Acceptance:

1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the award.

2. Post a photo of the award.

3. Share ten things about yourself readers don’t know.

4. Choose six people to present this award to.

5. Let the six bloggers know they have been awarded.

So here we go…

Ten things that readers do not know about me:

1. I grew up in an orphanage, was adopted at age 8, and had a brother find me after 25 years of separation. What a blessing!

2.  I took a ride in a hot air balloon on my 40th birthday. It was an exhilarating start to my bucket list! Feels like floating – can’t wait to do it again!

3.  I served on the jury of a capital murder trial when I was 20. SCARY stuff but I learned alot about the law and myself.

4.  I am a certified Myers-Briggs trainer and see personality styles come to life in every conversation I’m in. Love this stuff! Oh, yes, I’m an ENFP.

5.  I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree at the age of 40, having taken classes on nights and weekends over a 20 year span of time. Whew – I swore I’d get out of college before my kids got in – and I did!

6.  I love animal prints, especially leopard as well as blingy things. If you read my blog you’ll know the blingy part from my recent post: Rocks and rings and things that go bling.

7.  I have the cutest little Bichon Frise dog, 3 year old Gracie and she keeps me great company as I transition to empty nest status.

8.  I hosted a foreign exchange student from Norway, named Heidi for a year during my daughter’s Sr. year of high school. It was a great opportunity and I encourage anyone thinking about it to just do it! It’s not all easy or a bed of roses but it’s a fabulous chance to learn about another culture and touch the life of a student abroad.

9.  I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. It makes me giggle to think about it at my age – I’ll be like Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith show. It’s on my bucket list too!

10.  I collect angels – both figuratively and for real. I have a puppy pile of them that escort me around in life and I’m honored they help me in so many ways.

Passing on this nomination to the following bloggers who have recently inspired me:

http://familyhaikus.wordpress.com/

http://frominside2out.wordpress.com/

http://whispersforhomeandsoul.wordpress.com/

http://pegoleg.wordpress.com/

http://rtewrite.wordpress.com/

http://becomingcliche.wordpress.com/

You’re gonna put your eye out!


Wow, I think that humongous full moon is making me all wonky this week! Have you seen it? It’s huge and luminous and gorgeous. Makes me think I’ll put my eye out with its sheer presence. It’s also swinging my emotions from left to right and giving me whiplash on the way.

Particularly I’ve noticed how sentimental I am these days. I find myself drawn to movies of times gone by and feeling nostalgic for decades before I was born.  I long for the days when time was slower and we connected with people in order to while away the hours instead of grabbing the first electronic device that’s handy. Yes, that means Little House on the Prairie is on my mind. Maybe even a bit of Anne of Green Gables too. Sappy I know!

But have you stopped and gotten sentimental lately? The stroll down memory lane, while marked with a stray tear, is mostly a soulful and joyful one. Here’s the stops on my sentimental journey this week:

* I dug up the bears that I had made with the small recorder in its paw to capture the voices of my children when they were about 10 and 12. To hear my deep-voiced son’s sweet “I love you mom” from before his voice changed stopped me in my tracks. He laughed and I cried. Yep, got a hug out of him too.

* I saw some current holiday pictures from my cousin and just had to call my aunt to tell her I love her. She’s a sweet presence in my life that was missing for many years after being adopted and trying to find my way. Glad she’s back and I’m blessed to have her. Needless to say she’s a wealth of information and just hearing her talk about my heritage, the things I don’t know or can’t remember makes me wide-eyed with curiosity. Maybe I’ll dig out that Ancestry.com family tree again.

* I ran across a picture from my early career days. It was a group shot from a dept. picnic. First let me say – I miss that young body and undyed hair! And after I got finished chuckling about the changes I’ve weathered physically (including the big framed glasses and 80’s hair), I lingered on the faces of so many colleagues from days gone by. It hit me that these people who I had seen day in and day out for several years, whose stories and family and work woes I knew so well were so very far, far away. I don’t know where most of them are, but I looked at that picture with fondness and melancholy. Hello old friends – I wish you well!

* I was in a discussion about the company I work for with some long-time friends. We laughed about the days when the “business lunch” was really a few cocktails at lunch and no-one was fired. We were secretaries instead of administrative assistants. We knew how to type with carbon paper and no-one knew what email was. Why the heck would we want to talk to someone on the computer when we could just walk down the hall anyway?

* A friend I haven’t talked to since high school suddenly popped up to chat on Facebook. It was fun to catch up but seriously, I’m realizing I have forgotten half the details of my youth. Just goes to show you that we only remember moments in time and luckily we can fill each other in on the ones we’ve forgotten. That was fun.

Yes, friends,my sentimental journey is in full swing. Join me will you? Next stop coming up soon. Oh yeah, and wear your glasses so you don’t put out your eye with that moon!

I would never be the same …


It’s an amazing feeling to wake up on an ordinary day and realize that a long nagging pain had suddenly dissipated. It happened to me and the emotional effect was amazing.

You see, as a small child at the age of 3 I found my world forever altered as I walked into the orphanage that was to be my home. I no more understood how and why I got there than how I was ever going to get out. Don’ t feel sorry for me. My existence there wasn’t miserable. I wasn’t mistreated like hollywood would have you imagine. I had friends and siblings and nuns who actually cared. I had dreams, responsibilities and my expansive imagination.

But there was one other thing that I carried with me and that was a new companion called abandonment. Dang what a nagging cold and elusive trickster. I have found him lurking and smirking at me inside every relationship I have ever encountered. He was hanging out with my friends, disappointed family members, men of all sorts, but most pervasively inside my own mind. I had fallen prey to his curious wiles and had abandoned myself by practicing the fine art of self doubt. What a deflating realization.

Oh yes, I admit I became a master at role playing. Sometimes hiding behind my mask of strong, confidant woman. At other times just being the jokester with irreverent sarcasm and self preservation. I crafted a wall of protection so perfect that I didn’ t recognize it under it’s cloaking devises.

And just when I was thoroughly conned into accepting that people leave me -always, it happened. Mighty Inspiration. The book that to many is a touching bit of truth. But to me, the author, it was a living and breathing love letter. From the first day of the experience that is chronicled in its pages I knew that I was not alone and had never been abandoned. GOD loves me. He said so. I heard it and felt it and knew I would not ever be the same.

I still sometimes feel the nagging memory of the little girl inside reminding me of the pain and betrayal of one or another person who walked away from my life. But then I always hear the words again …”I wanted to be with you so I created you.”

What message of love will you hear? What destructive pain will be healed for you? I implore you to find your relief and message too.

MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God

Be blessed!

Giving


“When you give to or do something for another person you set into motion the flow of giving in the world. Your impact multiplies and swirls in every direction because giving is not a static energy. Give, change the world, and be blessed!” ~ Barbara Bernard Miller

2 by 2


“Do not suffer alone. God always sends us out “2 by 2″ so that we do not have to carry the burdens of life alone and we have someone to celebrate the victories with. Lean on your friends and be blessed!”  ~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Virtual Friends


I’m feeling especially blessed these days.  I always treasure my family and friends … now I’m learning to truly value my “virtual” friends as well.  In the beginning when I started blogging and using Facebook and Twitter I really thought this was a big black hole that I would be talking to myself in.  And in the beginning I was cautious – one friend here or there.  Then those friends were suggesting friends and connections.  Over time I have found that God is in those connections.  I’ve met other authors, book promoters, Christians and like-minded people from all over the place. I find that my hands are open to both give and receive in this venue and, as always, God is generous beyond measure to fill my hands with new friends and connections.

Be blessed – all of my family and friends, no matter where you are from or how I’ve met you!

Counting Angels


I am so amazed every day by the number of angels that flit (and walk) into my life.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a special day or an ordinary Tuesday, I seem to be surrounded by them.

Do you notice the angels in your life? Here’s just a few I ran into today:

* The guy who let me into the correct lane during jam packed traffic so I wouldn’t miss my exit or my appointment.
* My friend who helped me pick up my papers when they went scattering on the floor.
* The acquaintance who popped in on my facebook to see how life was for me today.
* My oral surgeon who saved me from losing a couple of teeth.
* My boss who was more worried about my safety in driving to work than in whether I got there on time.
* My neighbor who always uses his snowblower on my sidewalk without telling me – I still don’t know which one it is.
* A stranger who offered to help me with some technical problems just because he knew how.
* My puppy who adores me (even though I didn’t share my supper with her).
* My aunt who is so proud of me that she buys and hands out my book just because she can.
* My colleague who knew I was out so she set up my meeting for me without hesitation or being asked.
* The postal worker who kept his window open past closing because he saw me approaching the door with packages.
* My friend who prayed for me and sent me a lovely email just because she was thinking of me.

My list could go on but I just thought I’d share since I was sitting here counting my angels.  Be blessed!

 

Friendship


I am amazed at the blessings of friendship I have received over the years. As a child growing up in an orphanage (age 3-8) I thought making friends was the scariest thing because none of them ever lasted. Grade school and high school brought a smattering of friends but alas none of them seemed to stick either. I often thought I was destined to be one of those people who was always looking in from the outside. Sad but don’t feel sorry for me – I just needed time to grow up and “see” what I really have.

What I’ve learned is that I don’t have to define friendship the old way. I have true, lasting, wonderful friends that I have kept through moves around the world and across town. I approach life differently now. And when I talk to those friends either by email, phone, letter, Christmas card, or Facebook I find that my bond with them hasn’t changed. That’s because now I define friendship not by the day-to-day intertwining of our lives (although that’s a blessing when I have it as well), but rather as a heart-twining that time and space doesn’t have the ability to affect.

I love my friends and I truly thank God each day that they have been an integral part of my life. So for today, here’s a shout out to my long-distance and short-distance friends. I love you all – and yes, you know who you are!

May today be blessed and tomorrow be better!
Hugs all around,
Barb