Tag Archive | love

Mother’s Day celebrating …


It’s that time of year again when we celebrate mothers. It’s one of those holidays that make my heart sing for many reasons.

First, I love that I have had the pleasure in life to be a mother – my children, and the spouses they have chosen are a true blessing. I am proud of them all! They have brought out the best in me. They have challenged my spirit to grow in ways I never imagined anyone could. They have enhanced and expanded my life and I am grateful!

Second, When I look at my mother, aunts, sisters and grandmothers I feel deep appreciation because I know the sacrifices they have made for me and my family. Every woman in my family has made a deep and lasting impression on me and my life, both as a woman, and a mother. The ties of love run deep!

And lastly, this holiday is always marked with my favorite flowers as well … lilacs. The look and smell of them take me back to so many family-oriented moments. They make my heart happy and fill my mind with sentiments and hopes. 

As we move through this weekend I will share again the poem I wrote on a previous Mother’s Day that says it best of all …. I Am a Mother.

Enjoy the memories you love most of your mother and if you are blessed to have children (whether your own or any other) that look up to you and that you love … enjoy and celebrate your day!

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What is your dream?


ImageToday we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a giant among men who dared to dream of a day when we treat all men (and women) as equal. A day when we step up to our divine nature and honor inside every person the soul which has come to journey with us in this space and time experience. He was a hero because he took action and spoke words that were aligned with lifting people up. And he changed our world.

Knowing that the same Divine nature of God that spoke through Dr. King is alive and stirring in you, what is your dream? How do you wish to make this world a better place?

As for me … I dream that every person recognize their divine nature and spiritual gifts. I dream that we look the deception of fear in the face and squarely claim our personal power. I dream that every soul finds their voice so that we all may “step up” in this world to bring heaven closer. It’s as simple as relearning to use the phrase “I am …” to claim all that is good and powerful instead of using that powerful phrase to claim weakness, victim-hood, or despair. That is my dream. Spread the love!

Will you share yours? Be blessed!

A Special, Precious Moment … with Love


Jesus-Mary-Joseph-manger-sceneWe live all year for these moments – these special Christmas moments. Whether in the hearts of children looking forward to Christmas plays, cookies, and visits from Santa to load the tree and stockings. Or whether in the hearts of compassionate adults looking forward to time with family and friends, special songs, and thoughtful giving to those who are less fortunate. These longings, traditions, and special celebrations are what we measure a year by sometimes. The waiting makes them both fleeting and precious. Sharing a smile and a surprise is the fun part. We spend time in labors of love by baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and random acts of kindness.

All this joy, and yet it is not enough.

Because Christmas, while it is celebrated in these and many other ways, is not complete until we reflect on the TRUTH. Take a moment or two as you hustle and bustle about your day to remember why we even have this holiday at all. That tiny baby, born so long ago with one purpose – to redeem and save the souls of mankind. With reverence for the season, I share with you 2 great songs – from a parent’s perspective.

Nelson Mandela Tribute


I have spent the last several days thinking about Nelson Mandela and what he meant to the world. He was a beacon of peace, love, and light as he stepped away from his life in prison into a life of forgiveness and transformation. I’ve seen quotes and posted them. I’ve read stories and been touched. Today, I saw this tribute from a flashmob at a store in South Africa and I knew that this song tribute said all that I could not find the words for. And so I share this tribute and wish peace, love and forgiveness to this world he leaves behind.

Be blessed!

 

 

50 – Acts of Kindness that is


KIK logo 8-13-13 It finally arrived – my 50th birthday, which means, August 13, 2013 was KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS DAY!!! Woot woot! 1993-32007-18Nope, this story is really not about me at all – it’s just the day and the way I chose to celebrate a life sprinkled with the kindness of loved ones and strangers. I am dedicating that special day to 2 special couples – Mabel and Juel Bernard, my grandparents, and Jim and Jacque Miller, my parents. Because of how deeply they love, they chose to shower kindness into my life when I was a little ragamuffin girl in the orphanage, and still to this day. They changed my life. I cannot possibly repay them for the literal rescue they made of me, and so I choose to turn and pay it forward. They taught me how to love the unlovable, to give to those in need, and to never stop striving to be and do my best. I am forever in their debt. I love them with all my heart! Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Mommy & Daddy!!

And, this day was also about the beautiful souls who continue to pour love and kindness into my life – my “Giving Crew”. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of hearts and hands who, when asked to help me with the Kindness day, generously said yes!  Love and hugs to all these loving souls – that includes those who were with me that day, those who contributed, and those who cheered me on. So many – too many to list them all but you know who you are! Thank you!!

For my readers, over the next several days I will be chronicling in pictures the 50 acts of kindness that we shared in the Cincinnati area. I started with 4 categories: 1) Babies/Children, 2) Sick/Elderly, 3) Those Who Serve, and 4) Just Because.  In as many acts as I could I included people and places that related to my life since it was, after all, a celebration of 50 years of blessings I’ve received. What a fabulous day – THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! There really are not enough of the right words to describe the blessings I received during the day but I will attempt to at least share the stories and pictures.

Enjoy the journey with me in the next several days so you can see the whole story. KIK day cardsRemember to be a blessing, and be blessed in return! ~ Barbara Miller

Conquer with Love – original poem


CONQUER WITH LOVE

Fire-Love-Images-Background-HD-WallpaperWhen evil seers a hole into the fabric of our lives,

It does not account for the power of light and love

To enter through that ragged wound.

What hate cuts and scratches to destroy,

Kindness and generosity stitches back a stronger whole.

There is no place that darkness can hide

For it is your light that can illuminate all.

Fear would cause us to shrink back and not live as we design,

But strength of connection creates bravery to step out.

Let us not fight with anger but rather conquer with love.

We are in control – not of what happens to us

But of who we reach out to for help and for comfort.

We can overcome the hatred in this world

If we but make a greater counter play of love.

Hate not, but forgive.

Shrink not, but join.

Revenge not, but console.

Let us seek to heal the defeated before they turn cold and bitter.

Let us defeat the hatred that seeks to create more haters.

Let us be love, do love, speak love and seek love.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

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No More Hurting People … PEACE


11586_366544240129439_1655425686_nWith love and in memory of Martin Richard and the other victims.

Today, like everyone else who has watched the videos and read the accounts of what happened in Boston, I am feeling so many things. First, I’m grateful that my friend Marie who was running the marathon is safe and on her way back home. Second, my heart is wrenched thinking of the pain the families of the dead are feeling, and the agony the injured are enduring. And then there’s what I feel for the soul of the person(s) who did this.

I wonder what black evil touched their lives and taught them to hate. What cloud of hatred is lingering over their lives to such a degree that they sought to hurt, maim, and destroy the lives of strangers. I cannot fathom the blackness that surrounds their hearts and heads.

So I will do what I know – I will focus on the love that came from those who ran to help those who were injured. There is never enough praise for the heroes who go where most of us would flee. I appreciate the love that strangers have offered to each other – be it a restaurant owner and their staff who provided free wifi, food and a safe place to wait for friends and family. Or generous residents who opened their doors so runners and their groups could find a safe place to sleep when they couldn’t get to their hotels. And I am praying in gratefulness to the man who carried a man who lost both legs. I will pray for those who feel pain, fear, and for those involved.

And I bring it home – I will hug those who I love more tightly. I will tell those I care for that they are precious to me a bit more overtly.

Yes, the stories that are coming out of Boston are painting the picture that I already know. Americans are generous, brave, trusting, and strong in the face of adversity. It is the backbone of why we are a great nation.

As I re-read this post I know that I don’t have poignant words that will change the pain that is caused. But in expressing them I know I am adding one more drop of positive love into the universe. It is all I have.

Join me in sharing more positive words. Let us change the world with our focus on what is good and all that is love. Be blessed!

Spirituality moves me …


Today I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague/friend. It’s not the type of conversation I venture into very often because for some people it is controversial. But, since this is my blog and my thoughts, I figure I’m entitled to share them here if I so choose. So I do so with a caveat – if you disagree, I am completely fine with that and respect your point-of-view, and hope you do the same for me. Please refrain from any negative harassment as I won’t tolerate it on my page – either by readers or towards readers. It’s just my ethics.

religion-spirituality-christianity-scopo-ebook-98710433233_xlargeSo… the conversation was about spirituality vs. religion. Now to be fair let me say that I was raised Catholic – Catholic orphanage run by nuns, Catholic grade school and high school, also run by nuns. I even attended a Jesuit Catholic college. My world was singularly Catholic, which is not uncommon in Cincinnati as it is a predominantly German Catholic culture. That was, until I lived for 5 years in a small town that was decidedly NOT Catholic, by majority numbers anyway. I am proud of my upbringing and find solace in many parts of my religious upbringing, particularly the reverence I find present in the church during worship.

Nope, that’s not the controversial bit. What is … is that I find as I get older I become more spiritual and less religious. The more I know about the big churches (no, not just the Catholic church) the more it is blatantly apparent that the “rules” have really strayed quite a bit from the life of Christ and I find it difficult to look at them without seeing that. As I’ve grown older I’ve continued to seek God and to deepen my relationship with Him. That life of spirituality moves me and … it supersedes religion. This is a relationship that makes my soul sing. It is a place that recognizes God in people no matter what their religion or background. Funny things is, I learned so much of this from some nuns I met in my adulthood.

I still consider myself Catholic because I believe in the basic tenants of the faith. But I do not consider myself to be a blind follower of “the church”. Yikes that won’t sit well with many people I know and love. And I’m okay with that. Actually I believe when we die and transition to heaven there will be a lot of Catholic people (and others too) who will be shocked to look around and see who else is there. lol Sorry, I can’t help myself from laughing. I know that God is love and love is all encompassing. I know that the building you sit in to praise him is irrelevant to him. The labels we use for ourselves and others are meaningless in an eternal view. Jesus did not come here to start a religion. Wow – that’s quite a heady statement if you really, really, really examine it. And with all the human frailties and sins committed by people of every faith I cannot imagine a scenario in which God’s Heaven – His eternal domain, is not big enough and loving enough to include us all. We all sin differently but we all sin.

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I saw a bit of shock in my friend’s face when I stated this. And in that moment I knew, yet again, that spirituality is a topic that doesn’t get talked about enough. There should be no mystery about a relationship with God just because there are religions who profess to know all the answers and have the only path.

And so I sigh a heavy sigh. I pray unceasingly that Love overtake the world, no matter what the denomination.

Be loved and be blessed!

Did you know that I love you?


Today seems to be such a “charged” day for people. Those who are in love, or are loved even have a difficult time deciding if it’s a love/hate relationship they have with Valentine’s Day. Is it just another Hallmark card day? Is it really about hearts, candy, jewelry and gifts? Or is it simply the celebration of St. Valentine himself? Does having a romantic love have to be the only way or reason to celebrate it? All the questions and comments I see make me wonder if people really know what love is anyway.

Love is a gift – not earned, not force-able, not ending. Here’s what the bible has to say:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8

I notice that the definition doesn’t have any “or” in it. That is the key I think. And none of that quote says anything about romance, sex, dating, marriage, etc. It’s all about love. Love of self – it still all fits. Love of neighbor – yep, it still fits. Love of family, friend, partner – you bet. Love of God – indeed!

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So today, while my life and my relationship status may be different than yours, I still find today a reminder of what is real love. There is no reason to force another to give it to me – I simply choose to give it to you!

So Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy I love you because I can day! Happy be the love in the world day! And be blessed!

 

Just another day in paradise …


I’m so glad that God still performs miracles! He does them every day and thankfully I try to be aware of them. I know I miss some along the way by being busy and distracted. However, some are just too HUGE to miss. Yesterday I received one of those – BIG, really very BIG!

I’ve shared on my blog that I am adopted. I spent ages 3-8 in the orphanage and was adopted by a lovely family. I don’t even think about being adopted anymore really – they are simply my family. I spent most of my life turning my back on my painful past and keeping my eyes on my good fortune and the love this family showered me with. I was saved and I have no idea how or why. God plucked me from a hellish situation and gave me another path to walk. Leaving the past behind me worked for me as I got to create myself anew.

However, as I’m dancing in my middle age I have been gradually collecting blessings as I reconcile my past and my present. I realized along the way that there is enough love in me to keep my family and to reconnect with those in my birth family as well. And last night I reconnected a little bit more.

It was a quiet evening – just me and my puppies sitting by my fire trying to figure out what to watch on TV. One of my regained sisters, Lynnette, called me out of the blue. I’m thankful to have reconnected with her but we don’t get a chance to talk much (not nearly enough). She said “get in your car and come now”. She went on to tell me that my “baby brother” who lives in Texas and drives a big rig was about 90 minutes away from her house and was stopping on his way through. Wow! Now that was not a call I was expecting to get. So into my car I got and I drove the 50 minutes to her house. It was a multiple event as this was my first time meeting her lovely children and wonderful husband. That was momentous enough.

Then we hopped in her car and drove to the rest stop an exit away where he was to meet her. Of course she didn’t tell him I was coming but it was a wonderful surprise! I cannot describe in words what it feels like to look into the eyes of someone you’ve not seen for 43 years since he was a babe in arms. I cannot articulate the blessing and the healing that happens in that miraculous moment. Even with my command of words and love of using them … I cannot describe it.

I am bone tired but happy for the conversation into the wee hours of the night. I am blessed to know that the pains of childhood really can be released in adulthood. I am so awed that in the midst of craziness and hardship, this man turned out to be a warm, genuine, sweet man. The miracles just don’t stop happening when you are hanging out here in paradise.

Hugs your siblings, hold them tight … and be blessed!

Humanity Revolution


Today I saw a picture that included a bit of statistic. It stopped me in my tracks. Here – I’ll share it with you.

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I knew we had the means in our modern world but it never sunk in … until I saw this. What the HELL is wrong with us? How is it we as a people have traveled so far from our Divine roots that we would think that this is okay. We have enough firepower in this world to kill everyone many, many times over … and yet we can all only die just once. Apparently that’s not enough because we build more, we threaten more, we bully and we fight more. Evil has settled into our society and we no longer see it as such.

And we also have the ability to feed every hungry child, mother, father, elderly and needy person over and over and over and yet we don’t do it even once. We share a little but only during disasters. Isn’t starvation every day a disaster?

My heart aches today. The way we destroy our world is one thing – a horrible thing. But the way we ignore, destroy, and debase other human souls is simply unacceptable. There is nothing but grace of God that has made me born where I was and having the opportunities that I have. I surely didn’t deserve them. I didn’t earn them. I simply have them. I have an embarrassment of riches and it is an awareness that keeps me giving whenever I can.

What does it take to create a Humanity Revolution? I see pockets of people in the world here and there doing what they can. We show our kindness in groundswells but I still feel very small in this. I feel like all that I do is but a drop in an immense ocean. How do we rise up in revolution to actually change the world, once and for all, without excuse, without boundaries and national, selfish pride? How do we let our divine humanity overtake the evil that wants to keep our eyes clouded or distracted?  I want to do more. I want to inspire more. I want to save the souls that don’t deserve any less than me. All I can do is inspire those that know me. I can only feed those that come in contact with me with the limited funds I have. I cannot solve this world’s problem alone but I vow, every day to save those that I can.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to sway the hearts and hands of those that rule this nation or any other nation bent on war. But I pray that every heart that knows love will stand up and feed instead of fight. I will stand up and feed. Will you join me … and be blessed!

 

Keep moving …


helping-handThere are so many days and so many ways that I need reminded that I’m on the right path. I know what I believe, what I feel, and what I desire. And yet those things seem to find ways of falling short of what others expect or want from me. And sometimes, they fall short of what I believe God calls me to do and be.

And so, I stand humbly reaching out my hand in love, in friendship, and in faith. I seek to balance the spiritual life I live with the physical life I’m leading. What I know for sure is that is not an easy task. It stretches me to places I don’t expect.  I sometimes need to choose something that is greater than the things I want. I must choose the things that align with a greater purpose.

To those I disappoint or hurt, I apologize.

To those I inspire, I pray it is enough to encourage you to keep moving on your positive path.

And for me, I will pray more, listen harder, and continue to seek to move in the “right” direction.

Pray for me, pray with me, and be blessed!

Season of Beauty – original poem


SEASON OF BEAUTY

It isn’t the twinkle of lights in the city that brighten the holiday season,

  It is the smiles and gestures of charity from you that give the days their meaning.

It isn’t the songs that bring out the joy on the lips of all the people,

      It is the words of kindness that you are spreading that creates a joyful ripple.

It isn’t the food, cookies, or nog warming the hearths of the homes,

But rather the touch of a friend, or a hug that shows them they’re not alone.

It isn’t shoppers who bustle about, that create the atmosphere and energy,

It is the quiet connection of hearts and giving that melts the frost in the air.

I have a part, and you have a part, in bringing the season to life.

It is our union of spirit and not our religions that actually fuels the light.

It is the love in our hearts that we’re willing to share that creates a sense of community.

Believe you can spread the light and the love and we’ll all have a season of beauty.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

A Victorian Christmas Carol, Thomas Kinkade

Let us grow …


“What you grow in the good times becomes your strength in the hard times.

Therefore, let us grow and let us share love, peace, charity, forgiveness, generosity, and hope.”

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

I posted this quote on my bulletin board at work today. There are so many people who are seeing the hard times coming or already swirling around their lives right now. I wanted to remind us all that we have some control over our situation. Perhaps not in what happens but certainly in what we put in our lives to prepare us to react to and cope with those situations.

And when I stand in good times and others do not, I hope I am conscious enough, aware enough, and courageous enough to step out of my joy to lend them a hand, a shoulder, a word of encouragement, or even a dollar or two – whatever I have that can ease the trouble. It’s so easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t alone, especially in the tough times. But the worst thing we can do is forget that we aren’t alone in the good times. That is when we can really make a difference.

Be a light in the world, and be blessed!

3 things …


Sometimes it’s hard to make the world stop swirling and rushing at the speed of light in order to pause and to write. It’s been that way the last couple of days. It’s starting to look like the near future will be similar.

So, as you are rushing about your day, or leisurely enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation, I challenge you to find at least 3 things to be super thankful for. Just a momentary breath of gratitude can make all the difference in the stress our bodies release and the joy we get to keep.

Do it for yourself and for those who love you … and be blessed!