Tidbits of Wisdom

Letter One

Letter Two

Stormy Weather


My Dearest Daughters,

You must be wondering now what all this nonsense is about; and has our beloved mother lost her marbles. I assure you I have not. I write with my heart full of tenderness and love for you all.

The things that I share are not my own. These tidbits of wisdom are of old and new. Some are mine and some I have gathered along the way from the many people I have met during my journey, and from the pages I have devoured over the years. Some are all rolled into one, the many facets that have become a whole.

Don’t waste time trying to figure out the source or root but rather glean from the words that I am passing along. Feel the love, the hardship, and the various avenues each tale takes.

I am writing today with a heavy heart because I have learned of the passing of a woman who shared her life with many, helping, guiding, and leading the way. Her light and life have illuminated the path of many but she has left us now. Her suffering is no more, and yet I can’t help wondering why she had to suffer at all. The secret things belong to God. I have known this for many decades, and though I don’t understand, I accept it for what it is.

This lesson, my dearest daughters, is one you must know as assuredly as you know your name, if not more. This life is not your home. The houses that you have built and so preciously maintain are only temporary material objects to be enjoyed, as are the bodies that house the real person that you are.

It is of upmost importance to tenderly care for the buildings where you abide. You get one life. Live it well. Live it for others and not for yourselves.

You are not your own, for you belong to the Creator, and one day you will meet Him face to face, as will I, whether you believe in Him or not.

Live wisely and always remember that life can change quickly. Be prepared. Embrace the change for you know not its ultimate purpose.





Dearest Daughters

Letter Four

A series from a mother to her daughters. You can see the last one here.

My Dearest Daughters

My Dearest Daughters,

I am proud of the women you have become. Have I ever told you this? You are intelligent, loving, kind, giving women who need no one or nothing to define or validate who you are. Did I give you these gifts? Did I share these things with you? I somehow think not.

I was timid as a child, quiet and shy for the most part. I had a few close friends and enjoyed the times I spent in the company of those chums of mine, but I wasn’t always comfortable in my relationships, even at an early age, and often felt out of my element.

How have you become such confident women, my dearest daughters? I was anything but, and adopted an “I don’t really care” attitude throughout my teen years that lasted well into my adult life.

How have you become so unselfish? I guarded what was mine closely, however much of an illusion that is. Nothing truly belongs to us; we are only caretakers in this life, tending those things that have been placed in our protection and care. That is never truer than when it comes to the people in our lives and the well-being of those we love.

How have you become such free spirits? I’m afraid that wasn’t a trait I possessed either. I played my cards close, and stayed within the self-imposed limits that had a firm grip on my life.

How have you chosen life-mates and close friends so well? Again this was not my forte. I tended to gravitate to those who were somewhat needier than I. Not because I needed them to make me feel better about myself, or maybe so. Maybe that was the very essence of how I came to be in those places.

It seems that I had a lot of life lessons to learn after my formal education was finished. That was when I learned I was the sole possessor of my emotions and thoughts. No one could make me feel anything I didn’t choose to feel. No one could make me a victim without my consent.

My dearest daughters, I could stay on this subject for a very long time to come. The lessons I learned were many, they were needed as well, and unfortunately I wasn’t a quick study. These lessons I continued to learn over and over again. Even now, as the light dims on this life of mine, I know there are lessons I will continue to learn until I take my last breath.

My heart yearns to impart any missing piece you may have not stumbled upon yet, but I can’t, and I shan’t, tis not my place. For now, my loves, I will leave you with this; the harder the lesson is to learn, the more attention that is required of you, the greater the capacity for all things you need. The secret is to continue the cycle once it is started, following down the path, and as you go, learn and grow, you must share these things with others in order to retain what you have so diligently gathered.



Love With Your Whole Heart

A series of letters from a mother to her daughters. The last letter: Dealing With Pain and Suffering 

Letter Seven

loving with all your heart

My Dearest Daughters,

To love with all your heart is to live life to the fullest.

To love with all your heart has little to do with you.

To love with all your heart is life-giving, and sacrificial by its very nature.

To love with all your heart is misunderstood with one’s personal happiness and confused with falling in love.

To love with all your heart is to be vulnerable, open and willing to let go of personal gain.

To love with all of your heart is something one learns along the path of life and not something one falls into. It is purposeful and fully engaging.

To love with all of your heart is a gift, not just to the receiver. Indeed perhaps more to the giver.

To love with all of your heart leaves a legacy.

To love with all your heart stands apart from everything.

To love with all of your heart is something I have discovered by being your mother.

Have you ever seen the movie Becoming Jane, my dearest daughters? I just watched it again the other night. It’s a rare thing to give up one’s own “happiness” in the best interest of others. Perhaps it is a rare occasion that one is called upon to do so. “Falling in love” seems to be the goal of most humans. Who came up with this “falling” thing?

Falling in love and happiness seem to have some correlation. I dare say it would if it were to be true. Loving others and finding joy in all circumstances is perhaps the better path to take.

These things do not depend upon others.

We can choose to do them no matter what situation we find ourselves in,

Give much thought to these things, my dearest daughters.



Thanksgiving Pasts

Thanksgiving Pasts is a post I published a couple of years ago.
I got a text from my youngest brother today. He said he was thinking about Thanksgiving Days of the past. To tell you the truth, so was I.
Grandparents, thanksgiving, days of the past, memories
We were both remembering the many times we would gather at our grandparents’ house. We did so every year, until our grandmother had a stroke that left her unable to speak and paralysed on her right side. She spent the remaining eleven years of her life in a nursing home. Our grandfather would faithfully make the thirty minute trip to sit by her side every day without fail, except one or two times due to bad weather that left the roads unsafe to travel.
My earliest memories of visiting my grandparents’ homes were when my paternal grandmother was still alive. We would gather at her house and rake and burn the leaves from the half dozen or so trees in her yard. Afterwards, we would have a family meal. Sometimes there were other families involved; aunts, uncles, and cousins. Other times, just my family.
The Friday after Thanksgiving we would make the ten minute drive to the home of my maternal grandparents. My grandfather was a farmer, his main crop being tobacco. He worked at tobacco warehouses during my growing-up years. He would spend the day at the warehouse, all the while leaving my grandmother and mother cooking for the Thanksgiving meal we would later partake of after my grandfather returned home from working.
My dad, brothers, and uncle would walk the forty plus acre farm, during this time, carrying their guns in hopes of spotting a rabbit. Some call it hunting, but they did very little shooting, even if they did happen to catch a glimpse of one. If I was really bored, I would walk with them. That didn’t happen but once or twice.
My grandmother would have the traditional Thanksgiving fare, including a few regional favorites. She always made sure to cook each grandchild’s favorite dish. She was indeed a good cook, and a very special lady.
I have very fond memories of those times we gathered around her long dining room table. I remember the conversations, and how they were more interesting the older I became, when in actuality the conversations never changed much.
I miss my grandparents and all family members who have left this world…never more so than during the holiday season.
Wishing you fond memories of Thanksgivings past, and joy and laughter shared with family and friends this year.

Wedding Venue

I live across the street from a popular wedding venue, an old, white historic house with a huge front porch, and a gazebo in the back. The place oozes charm. I can see why many couples choose this place for their wedding venue.

authentic life, living well, life coach, love, life

I have a bird’s-eye view from my bed room window so I sat and watched as the bride and groom were having photos taken outside. It was a crisp fall day but they didn’t seem to notice.

The photographers were giving instructions, you could tell, as the groom took the bride’s hand in his own and they turned and walked away.

I could have been reading more into what I saw then there really was, but I thought the bride felt a sense of security as she grasped the hand of her groom. I saw her face as she looked over her shoulder while walking away from the photographers.

There was a sense of partnership, like they were doing this, joining their lives together, for all the right reasons. Like they were going to make a home that is safe, calm and loving where protection is in its rightful place because love is protection.

It wasn’t about ownership, or not being alone, but about coming together to enrich each other’s lives.

And then I though about a couple I know who are so messed up after being together for several years, and I thought of the struggles they had had and are having now as they each desperately work to come to a wholeness in their individual lives. Perhaps one day, down the road, they will have an opportunity to make peace with each other.

I read this phrase recently: “Yes, I am so messed up that I might actually get well.”

That statement hit me hard, but in a good way. Yes, they might because that was said with sincerity and a desire to be whole. A worthy goal.

I wish her the best.

I wish him the best, too.

I hope they get the chance to make peace with each other one day.

As for the couple at the wedding venue, I hope I read them correctly and they spend a lifetime making memories and having experiences that will help them through the rough times while growing old together.


Life is Precious

Letter Eight

My Dearest Daughters,

Life is precious. Find the joy and hold on for all it’s worth.

My Dearest Daughters

Here is the thing that keeps me wondering. How can life seem so unfair? Life isn’t fair. Never was, never will be. I know you’ve all heard me say this a million times. Even though I know this to be true, why is it so difficult to wrap my mind around the fullness of this truth?

How can a couple who are so utterly and completely devoted to each other, a couple who genuinely enjoy the company of each other, a couple who work together through good times and hard times, be the couple who has their spouse pass way too early in life, in their marriage, by human standards anyway. And other couples, couples who struggle in every area, couples who have a difficult time of communicating, couples who deal with addictions and other behaviors tied in with that, how can these couples last a lifetime (by human standards)?

How can a person so utterly and completely devoted to God pass so early? I am assuming though, aren’t I my dearest daughters, presuming to know the hearts of those I stand in judgment, and yes, that  is what it is if I assume to know their hearts. No one knows but the One who knows.

I grapple with life’s seemingly injustices. For if I were God…but I’m not. And that is a very good thing indeed.

I have an urgency to express to you to not take life for granted! Not for a second! The people who are close to you are here but for a time, an appointed time.

It’s never too late is a false statement that holds some truth. It’s never too late to make important, life-altering decisions, but you can only do so while you are here, breathing with every beat of your heart, for the heart will one day stop.

We know not when, for we are in a temporary body that will one day surely die

Hard truths, harsh words. But let me leave you with this. Life is also full of such joy it is hard to contain. In fact, you can’t. It must be shared or given away else it becomes a rotting heap of garbage. Life is precious, my dearest daughters, it just is.



Living an Uncommon Life

Am I living an uncommon life, I pondered as I listened to the reasons that I heard.

My son

My 17 year old son is going to the Czech Republic with a small group from our church in July. When he first told me about this trip that he was invited to join, he did so in passing. I figured he would graciously decline the invitation and in fact, he told me he probably wouldn’t go. It’s just not his thing. I knew that.

A few days later, my son, the one from Very First Last Time, came to me and told me he had changed his mind. Now he was planning on joining the group as they traversed across the world – including a flight over the pond – for 16 days…away from home…out of the country…for the very first time…my baby.

I was a bit surprised to say the least, but circled the wagons and soon found myself filling out consent forms, doing the passport thing, attending meetings and mailing letters my son had written asking for support in the form of finances and prayers.

As an aside, I must admit that my concern grew a bit stronger when I took a peek at his passport photo. He looks a little shady. “Dear God, please let them allow my son back into our country. Amen.”

I asked my son one day why he had changed his mind about going to Czech Republic and this is what he said, “I am reading a devotional by Tony Dungy called The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge. This is my second year reading this devotion. I figured if I plan on living an uncommon life then I should do uncommon things, things that will stretch me and get me out of my comfort zone”.

This is part of what he wrote in his letter, “…and after praying about it and discussing with others the benefits and obstacles of going, I decided it would be a great experience, a big step in my relationship with Christ, and a great way to break out of my comfort zone and share my love for Christ with people who may not have ever heard of Him.”

Well said, my son.

And I continue to ponder, am I living an uncommon life?


Don’t Live Small Lives

My Dearest Daughters,

If I were to have one wish for you, one only for now and for always, I would wish that you not live small lives. Living small lives serves no one. In fact, it may be considered to be a slap in the face of those who created you, and the 0ne who gave you life.

Letters from a mother to her daughters

People are raised in various manners. Some live privileged lives, born with a silver spoon so to speak, while others must toil and work in a constant and back-breaking manner their entire time spent on earth. It matters not into what class you were born. Don’t live small lives.

Perhaps you’re not even sure what I mean by this, my dearest daughters. Let me elaborate, if I may. You only have the restrictions you place on yourselves. If you have a dream then you are one step ahead of the general populace. Most people are content to live their lives vicariously through others, even folks they have never met. What a mistake and huge waste of time.

To achieve one’s dreams takes energy, courage and work. Yes, I said work. Most people won’t invest the time it takes to do something different, even if it means to achieve a life they’ve only imagined.

The clock ticks onward, one day turning into the next and before you know it, you are as old as I am, without really knowing how you came to be such an age.

Don’t live small lives.

Dare to dream and live big. You have heard the saying that if your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough. I think this may be truer than any of us have come to believe.

What is standing between what you want to do and what currently occupies your time?

And while you are at it, my dearest daughters, don’t continue to look at the everyday things as mundane. They are not. Each day is a gift to be treasured and lived, no matter what kind of day you are having.

Another important concept to embrace with all that is within you, life is not about you and yours. Involve yourself in the lives of others. Now. Don’t wait until you have enough time, enough money, enough energy, there are never enough of those things. The time is now.

I know I am bouncing all over the place as I write this letter to you, my dearest daughters. I have a sense of urgency this day. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because life is urgent. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live today, embrace the moments and do a good turn for your neighbor.




Life is a Lesson

Letters to Daughters

Letter 14

My Dearest Daughters,

Time stands still for no one. What a difference a day makes. Things can change in an instance. All cliché remarks, but all so thoroughly true.

I find myself in a time of reflection these pasts few days and wondering, always wondering…

I should have…

I could have…

What if I had just done___?

Would it have mattered if I would have___?

How did I get here?

What steps needed to be taken that I didn’t take?

All very good questions and thoughts. And perhaps they all ring with a bit of truth. But in the aftermath of what brought me to that place of questioning and wondering, always wondering, it matters not.

I am reminded that every event and life situation shapes us into the people we are today, and tomorrow’s events will do the same, whether we choose them or not, I suppose, but perhaps we are always choosing even when we aren’t. Perhaps things were set into motion so long ago that the only forgone conclusion is the one in which you find yourself at the time of questioning and wondering.

Questions and wondering aren’t a bad thing in and of themselves, and serve a purpose if you allow. The regrets – and we all have them – must eventually be let go as well.

I’m learning that lesson the hard way, over and over with each new day and life event. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks they say. I’m living proof that is false. This old dog is still in school and if I’m lucky…really lucky, I will be until I take my last breath.

I wish the same for you, my dearest daughters.





Beyond My Blue Door

My Dearest Daughters,

“I found a way to live.” I heard that phrase twice in one day and it struck me, so much so that it stayed with me all day, to the point that I just had to share it with you, my dearest daughters. There is something uniquely inviting about that statement.

The person who first spoke of it was referring to a lifetime of heartache and difficulties, but finally they are free to live. The circumstances are unimportant. The message is profoundly simple.

Ant then I read these words on the rare occasion that I allow myself the time to sit and read for pleasure, much to my regret. These words came from a novel. I do enjoy reading fiction because the stories that unfold come with nuggets of truth that cause me to wonder if the author realizes the implication of the off-the-cuff remarks that jump off the pages as I turn them. This is once such case.

The Beekeeper’s Ball states: “I brought her up as best I could,” Magnus said. I gave her love, but did I teach her to live? No, she will have to discover to do that on her own. She has found a measure of happiness here at Bella Vista. But she is not at home in the world. I was too preoccupied with protecting her from it.”

Words are amazing to me. The ability to put them together in such a way that resounds with such truth. Words that become a part of our being, leaving us with a desire for change, for more, for rightness. I stand in awe.

These words speak such to me, my dearest daughters. I want to be counted in the group of people who have truly found a way to live. I want to be among those who have put aside the fear to let go of something good, for something best.

God, grant me the wisdom.

I don’t want to get in the way of someone experiencing something that would be life-changing for the sake of saving them from themselves, or my misconceived preoccupation with protecting someone from the world, especially someone I love.