Tag Archives: inspiration

You Are Enough

I am participating in a writing contest: “You are Enough” hosted by Positive Writer at this link: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-enough/

It is a free contest open to anyone who may like to give it a  try. 

You Are Enough

You are enough, do you see? You are enough to be a writer who journals about life; about what you have experienced: what you’ve heard and perceived. You are enough, do you see? To write about your childhood, your adventures (and your misadventures also), your life lessons, and the places only you have been.

You are enough to write the stories, the essays, the prose, and the poems that live inside your mind and heart where no one else can peek and see. You are enough to write and share about the uniqueness that lives hidden inside you ever so deep. Only you can write eloquently about the precious things you know and your personal experiences; what you have witnessed, heard, and felt. No one else has your perspective; no one else has the insight to comprehend what only you have perceived.

You are enough, do you see? No one else can write like you; no one else can record the sagas, the novels, the hidden fables, fairy tales that remains tucked away in the secret library of your mind. Only you can write with distinctive flair of your faith, your personal beliefs, your hopes, and your dreams.

Only you can tap into your secret fountain brimming with imagination and draw from it with your flowing pen etched in distinctive inspiration. No one else has your style, your mannerisms, or your way with phrases and words which you long to share. So, others can finally see and, at long last, meet that hidden person, so quiet and unseen; gifted with creativity of clever words, anecdotes, and stories.

You are enough, do you see? Only you can write and reveal about the beauty that resides deep within your mind and heart. Only you can journey inward to that secret place where no one else can go and then bring to light the hidden treasures of your soul.

You are enough, do you see?

There was a time when I thought I wasn’t enough to be a writer and I could not see. I didn’t believe I had anything worthy to write and share with others. I did not think I was unique and had anything new and interesting to say. But I still had this dream that maybe I could write.  That maybe, just maybe I could write well enough to share a piece of my inner soul.  It has taken a long time to gather the courage and realize I am able to write and share my thoughts and my stories. So, others may read and be acquainted with a small piece of me. I finally realized that, just like you, I am enough to be a writer and now I can see.

 

 

Reposting: A Letter, A Journey and a Gift of the Heart

 

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Two days ago, a dear 2nd cousin of mine was severely hurt in a fire. Today she is in a trauma ICU on a long road to recovery. She is a beautiful young lady with a beautiful spirit deep inside.  And she is constantly on my mind and in my heart. Her mother, my 1st cousin, is one of my best friends in life who has been a wonderful source of encouragement and inspiration to me.  Many times she has been my personal cheerleader when no one else is around; always just a phone call away. So, today, I am reposting this story with some revisions to hopefully portray the strong yet gentle beauty that both these cousins have lovingly revealed to me:

Time frame: late 1980’s. While attending college in Minnesota I embarked on a quest to find my cousin, Kathy whom I last seen at age 10. I had told my roommate about her and she encouraged me to try to find her. We last saw each other when we were 10 years old when she, her mom, and dad came to visit us in Wisconsin. When we were five, my mother took a photo of us in the kitchen. When we were 10, we visited on the front lawn on a warm summer evening and I piled kittens on her lap. I thought those kittens were so cute but I am not sure she liked having them all on top of her. While I grew up on a farm in the Midwest, Kathy lived in southern California. Kathy’s parents divorced when she was 11; she could not return to visit her Wisconsin relatives. She also couldn’t travel easily because she had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair. My immediate family never traveled as far as California. We lost contact with Kathy during the years following the divorce. Although I only met my cousin just a few times in my life, I often wondered about her.

Determined to find Kathy, I met with my grandmother who had written her occasionally and she had written back. But, time again passed so my grandmother could only give me Kathy’s last known address. To make things more complicated, my cousin had married acquiring a different last name. My grandmother couldn’t remember her new last name. Not wanting to give up, I wrote Kathy a heart-felt letter using the wrong address and the wrong name mailing it with a stamp and a sincere prayer. I needed to believe that God would answer my prayer.

Weeks and even a month passed. One day, I arrived at my apartment and found a letter from California.  The return address contained an unfamiliar last name but as soon as I saw “Kathy”, I knew it was from my cousin. I could hardly believe it.  Eagerly, I opened the letter and found that Kathy had poured out her soul in that long, detailed letter. She described some incredible events in her life. She unexpectedly gave birth to a baby girl.

Doctors told her that she couldn’t get pregnant. Sometime later, Kathy began experiencing extreme pain and was taken to an urgent care clinic. She was misdiagnosed as having a kidney stone or perhaps a bladder infection. The very next day and while on medication for a possible bladder infection, she returned to the clinic due to increasing pain. She was found to be in labor and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Kathy and her husband were shocked and amazed for the unexpected and miraculous birth of their daughter, Kristie Lee.

Through the years, Kristie would be an inspiring source of joy to her parents, relatives, friends, and to all who truly get to know her. She would prove herself to be intellectually brilliant, artistic, and to have an eye for beauty she discovers in nature.  She also possesses inside her soul a quiet and tender spirit which you might not see unless; you truly take time to know her.

Later Kathy told me that she and her husband tried to revisit her urgent care doctor who had treated her.  With her newborn daughter in her arms, Kathy wanted to show him her beautiful but misdiagnosed “kidney stone.” They were promptly told that the doctor was no longer at that clinic. Can you imagine the shock and surprise of everyone in that waiting room?

I wrote again and we began corresponding; by letter and by phone. We became more than cousins but friends who could talk about anything.  While Kathy told me about her married life and cute stories of her young daughter, I told her about my job working with adults with developmental disabilities, family in Wisconsin, and my personal life.  We shared about our common faith in Jesus. While Kathy had married, I had remained single which enabled me to do some limited traveling taking in time and limited budget considerations. At this point though, most of my solo journeys were short excursions to Wisconsin to visit family and friends. I had made occasional trips to Iowa too. Like I said, limited traveling.

Several years later, Kathy invited me to visit her in California and I was terrified, “I actually have to get on a plane?” Later and with lingering fear I was up for the adventure of traveling cross country. My first journey to San Diego was a direct flight taking about a three and half hours across mostly sunny skies; I watched from my window the changing view of cities, forests, and mountains.  Farms resembled quilt blocks of grassland and crop fields.

When the jet journeyed downward, the rising topaz-tinted desert appeared on one side of the plane and the deep-blue ocean on my side. Sun rays brightened the clear sky and glimmered on the ocean’s surface making the scene sparkle like a sapphire gem. This picturesque view showed me God was there and was blessing my journey. Apprehensive though, I braced for the final approach as the jet glided towards land and jolted as it touched ground.

At the airport gate, I gathered my belongings, and walked through a curving tunnel. With nervousness, I rounded the last corner stepping into the terminal. The afternoon sun glistened through the airport’s vaulted windows and in the midst of a blinding glow; I glimpsed my cousin in her wheelchair. After 17 years we had reunited. I hurried to give Kathy the warmest hug I could.

“Welcome cousin,” she said in such a warm voice that I forgot my shyness.  Kathy, a sensitive and loving person and we soon felt like sisters and even best friends. During this visit I became acquainted with Kathy’s husband and her daughter, Kristie. While I visited that first time, we managed to visit both Disneyland and SeaWorld. Surprisingly, Disneyland was a disappointment especially for Kathy. Many exhibits and attractions would advertise that they were “handicap accessible” but they really weren’t so; at least not for someone who is in a wheelchair. We did find one interesting attraction that was truly accessible; the Mark Twain Steamboat ride. Kathy was easily able to maneuver onto the boat and find a safe place to park her chair. We all enjoyed the gentle and scenic excursion along their recreation of “Mississippi River”.

Disneyland did have a few other attractions that interested young Kristie and one include “It’s a Small World after all”; a small boat ride through a series of scenes depicting children of all nationalities. Also, I still remember the Alice in Wonderland Teacup for Two Ride. This amusement ride is comparable to the Tit A Whirl which you might see at county fairs. Kristie and I climbed aboard our little teacup and waited for the rid to begin. She notice a turning wheel in the center of our teacup, “What is that for?”

“I don’t know,” I answered and then tried turning the wheel. We found out that the wheel caused the teacup to spin. So I instructed Kristie, “Oh! That makes us spin around. Let’s leave it alone.”

Four year old Kristie did not leave the wheel alone; she did the exact opposite by turning and cranking that wheel as hard as she could. By the way, Kristie is no weakling; when she cranked that wheel, she made it spin faster than any other teacup on that ride. I was convinced we were the fastest spinning teacup in all of America. I became dizzy as the world blurred around me. Finally, our unstoppable teacup came to a halt as the ride ended. I have never forgotten that ride or the adventurous spirit hidden in Kristie.

SeaWorld proved to be interesting as all wildlife exhibits and presentations there were truly accessible for Kathy; this made our visit more enjoyable for all. While there we saw two orca whales, Shamu and Baby Shamu who we learned was just a few weeks old and shared the same birthday as Kristie.  We could see Mother Shamu teaching Baby to swim and turn in the large pool. Another highlight was seeing the splashing, playful dolphins. As I held Kristie in my arms, one eager dolphin flew in the water to our side of the pool showering us in a huge spray of water and parked itself next to Kristie.  Kristie was soaked from head to toe but she delightedly reached out to pet the friendly animal. Over the years, I would also see that Kristie held a special love and fondness for animals and somehow they were attracted to her. She had rescued a number of cats and dogs who became pets. And when one passes away she deeply grieves and suffers a broken heart. At such moments, I realize that she has the softest heart of anyone I know.

Over time, I visited my cousin Kathy and her family as much as I could. We went on adventures together forging new memories and deepening our friendship. We also shared bus-related misadventures and trips to the beach on warm, sunny days. In one bus related mishap, Kathy was stuck, mid-air, on a broken bus lift and we waited hours under a steamy summer sun for her to be rescued. In another misadventure, we boarded the wrong city bus but did not realize this until the bus turned onto Eucalyptus Street heading in the wrong direction. We then got off the bus as soon as we could and endured a long walk home in the dark as no more buses were available that late in the day.

Also taxis were not an option as I was not strong enough to transfer Kathy into a car seat. During this time, accessible transportation options for my cousin were very limited. To keep ourselves calm, we kept up a steady conversation and prayed for God to keep us safe. Kathy’s courage inspired me to remain brave. Today, I don’t remember what our conversation entailed; I just remember the long walk along those California streets in the darkness like venturing through a dimly lit tunnel. Also, Kathy at this point used a manual wheelchair so I pushed her along until we were safely home. I have no doubt that Jesus was watching over us during that journey in the darkness.

Some years later, we camped on Mount Palomar where the sun-filtering forest surrounded us like a colorful, woven blanket handmade by God; it was a quiet refuge from the demanding world far below. We basked in nature’s peacefulness venturing through the woods, picnicking, and relaxing around a campfire.  We visited Mount Palomar Observatory and stayed up late looking through large telescopes, set up in a mountain meadow, to view stars, planets and nebulas. Kathy’s husband and I took turns pushing Kathy’s wheelchair through the long grass so she could gaze through as many telescopes as she wanted. It was a special evening of admiring God’s glowing creations, glittering like jewels embedded in the deep night sky.

The tranquil, emerald-colored mountain was a vivid contrast to the traffic-filled streets, and the sun-scorched climate of Kathy’s everyday life. Years later, she and her family moved to Washington State where they were amid perpetual greenery. Kathy’s daughter, Kristie, who is an artist and nature lover often shoots photos depicting nature’s inspiring beauty. She once asked me, “Do you remember how green it was on Mount Palomar? Well, it’s like that here but it’s everywhere.” The experience of Mount Palomar affected us all and remained a cherished memory in our hearts.

Over the years we’ve all persevered through life’s heartaches and disappointments praying and encouraging each other. In the same year, Kathy’s father passed away, my mother unexpectedly died; together we faced each family holiday with grieving hearts and feeling the emptiness of our parents being gone too soon.

We also encouraged each other in new aspirations. Kristie has grown up and continues to bravely forge out a new life of her own; life is not always easy but she courageously endures and keeps pressing on in sheer determination. She is an example of strength and bravery like I have never seen. In recent years, Kathy, growing in confidence and a desire to do more in her life, took on the tasks of completing her college degree and exploring professional work opportunities. She has earned one college degree and is working on another. We all have met unseen challenges and continue to endure the next chapters of our lives.

Several summers ago, I visited Kathy in her Washington home and we again indulged our adventurous spirits by hiking around woodsy Lake Padden. It was a long, winding journey with a paved trail circling the shimmering lake. The thick green forest surrounded us like a warm and familiar cloak. I instantly remembered Mount Palomar where we had camped, hiked in the mountains, and gazed at the stars. Kathy now used a motorized wheelchair and could easily propel herself up and down the sloping hills of that curving, woodsy trail. However, I worried about the battery losing its charge as we wandered along.   This had happened before with one of Kathy’s previous motorized chairs. Thankfully, that had been a lighter wheelchair; I just needed to switch the gears to manual and push her home.

But now if that battery died, I realized I wouldn’t be able to push her back home again. Not this time as the chair was much heavier. But Kathy knew her wheelchair and her battery readings better than I; she was confident and eager to continue our trek. We finished our journey and with a beaming smile, she exclaimed, “That was my first rolling hike.”

When I think of Kathy and her family, I remember the love and friendship we all share; I also am reminded of God’s words about treasures in heaven when in Matthew 6:20-21 of the Holy Bible we are told, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will also be”. I went on a quest to find a lost cousin. In return, I had found a new sister and a lifelong friend. I also treasure the friendship I share with her daughter, Kristie.  Each friendship is an unseen treasure granted from God in heaven and a precious gift instilled in my heart.

 

Sunday Drive Roundup November 2, 2014

 

 

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Another late Sunday drive around the wonderful blogosphere where one can find many talented writers, photographers, and artists  displaying their creative and inspirational work. It is always a joy to see and discover something new.  It is a thought provoking journey to find that awakens a deep delight inside of me. Anyway, as I meander along two days, I soon stumbled some wonderful gems in photography, the art of writing, and  in hearing the children sing.

Photography

This blogger, Keeping up with Kailina, found gentle beauty in the deep gray skies:

http://kailinamills.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/my-maine-space-november-4-2014/

Another photographer and blogger, NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer, found a breathtaking scene when discovering a huge rock:

http://rjgreenphoto.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/a-giant-rock/

Writing and Watching TV:

And here is a blogger and factual fiction writer, Bob Mayer, who writes about the importance of learning about the art of writing by watching TV:

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/10-reasons-why-writers-should-watch-tv-part-i/

More on Writing:

Also another blogger at Lit World Interviews, writes a helpful and practical article on finding ideas to write a book:

http://litworldinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/how-to-come-up-with-a-book-idea/

Hear the Children Sing:

Here is a beautiful video on the ChristianBlessings blog site showing children of Myanmar singing praises to God:

http://ptl2010.com/2014/11/04/listen-to-the-myanmar-children-sing-to-the-lord/comment-page-1/#comment-24534

 

And there you have it, another Sunday Drive Roundup!! I hope you were able to find something here to encourage and inspire you today.

Sunday Drive Roundup October 26, 2014

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Well it is one day past Sunday but I am determined to make a trip around the blogosphere and see what interesting things that talented bloggers are blogging about. As I travel on today, I am finding some insightful and practical sites which provided helpful tips and encouragement in the art of blogging, nature photography, poetry, and encouragement.

The Art of Blogging:

Some great blogging tips and ideas from Hugh’s News and Views:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2014/10/23/an-insiders-guide-to-planet-blog/

Apparently there was such a great response to this very helpful blogging tip article that Hugh’s News and Views posted a second installment:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2014/10/27/more-blogging-tips-from-the-insider-on-planet-blog/

Nature Photography and Poetry:

I also found some wonderful photography illustrated with beautiful poetry by Leaf and Twig:

http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/color-is-the-light/

And more beautiful poems posted Forgotten Meadows:

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/lullaby-2/

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/chasing-clouds/

Inspirational Poetry and Encouragement:

Here is a deep, heart-touching poem by Christian Blessings:

http://ptl2010.com/2014/10/27/he-lifts-us-up-can-these-bones-live-have-you-ever-felt-so-broken/

And here is some inspirational encouragement that is sure to boost your spirits today posted by ANGELMD45:

http://angelmd45.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/you-are-a-materpiece/

I hope you find something in this post that encourages and lifts you up today.

 

Sunday Drive Roundup Three Days Late

 

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Okay, it is no longer Sunday so I am three days late on my Sunday Drive Roundup but I am determined to make that drive around the blogosphere!! As I do so, I am finding some very interesting posts by other very talented and inspirational bloggers. This week I am finding interesting posts in photography, poetry, and a bit of humor that really caught my eye!!

Photography

First off, I will start with some very beautiful and artistic photography:

Here is a breathtaking photo of the Grand Canyon taken by NJ Corporate Portraits:

http://rjgreenphoto.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/sunrise-2/

Here is also a vivid reminder that the beautiful season of autumn is here by Leaf and Twig:

http://leafandtwig.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/red-dress/

Acronym Poetry:

I am also finding some inspirational acronym poetry which I find very interesting:

Here is a very cute photo and thought provoking poem by Source of Inspiration:

http://patcegan.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/make-a-wish/#comment-34453

Another acronym poem bay Source of Inspiration which reminds me it is okay to let the child in me to come out and enjoy the life that God has given me:

http://patcegan.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/hopscotch/

And a Bit of Humor:                                                                                                                                           

I also found this cute and humorous one liner by LOVE HAPPY NOTES:

http://lovehappynotes.com/2014/10/15/joke/

So there you are, my latest Sunday Drive Roundup three days late!! I hope you find something here that inspires you and makes you smile today.

Sunday Drive Round Up October 5, 2014

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I haven’t worked on a Sunday Drive Round Up article so I thought it was past time that I did so. There are many interesting blogs out there and I am trying to carve out some time here to read more of them. I find it very interesting how you can find blogs on almost any subject that interests you.  So, I began my little Sunday drive by looking at articles related to the subject of writing. Since I am a writer, I often look to other writers and their inspirational and helpful articles:

Writing:

From New3Creation Writing:

http://new3creationservices.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/a-real-look-at-the-writer-within/

I am always encouraged by poets and inspirational writers and as I continued on my quest along the blogosphere I then came upon these inspirational and uplifting pieces:

Poetry:

From My Spiritual Breakfast:

http://myspiritualbreakfast.com/2014/10/06/the-bend-in-the-road/

From ForgottenMeadows:

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/without-words-2/

From Source of Inspiration:

http://patcegan.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/4-x4-keys-of-living/

I also enjoy and am inspired by the work of artists and so I came across this beautiful blog:

Drawing and Photography:

From Maria Brinkley:

http://mariabrinkley.com/2014/10/05/self-portrait-drawing-springtime/

And there you have it, my latest and very belated Sunday Drive Roundup. I hope you find something here that is also an inspiration and an encouragement to you.

Sunday Drive Round Up August 17, 2014

 

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Once again, it is time to take a fun drive around the blogosphere and see what other bloggers are up to. So, to start off with, I went exploring for insightful posts about the art of writing and here are some helpful and interesting articles I discovered:

The Art of Writing

From Cristian Mihai I found this helpful article about finding your inner strength and writing for yourself. In another to words to write what you want to write about:

http://cristianmihai.net/2014/08/01/on-being-invincible/#more-5441

A Dose of Light Humor

Traveling further along, I also found a bit of humor along the way to brighten my day from a letter written to ‘Thing’.  I needed a little something to help me smile again. After all, laughter is often good medicine. This clever missive is written by Hugh’s News and Views:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2014/08/17/a-letter-to-thing/

Soothing Inspiration and Beautiful Music

And finally, I came across this gem of a post written by Meredith’s Musings about the true story of two ministers who sailed to America. In their eagerness to share along the way, they had to learn that salvation can never be earned. A beautiful hymn is also featured here which was soothing to my sometimes troubled and searching soul. It is a great post:

http://meredithlbl.com/2014/08/17/sundays-singing-soul-3/