Candy Bridges

Candy Bridges

Candy Marie Bridges lives in the beautiful mountain community of Pine, Arizona. She and her husband Jim work together at Breath of Life Retreat House serving scrapbookers, quilters and Christian church groups. Candy is also a calligraphy artist and picture framer. Her work can be found and purchased at www.AmenChristianCalligraphy.com. In addition, She is a new author. Her book, Meet Me In The Mountains is a memoir. She shares her life journey in an honest and open format. From her parents divorce at twelve years old to her husbands wronful death, she exposes challenges in between each of these events in her life. A stubborn, determined and faith focused woman will make you laugh, cry and see that no matter what, a spark of hope is eternal.

Home page: http://www.CandyMarieBridges.com

Posts by Candy Bridges

2013 Ready or Not, Here We Are

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     Obviously if you are breathing, you are here on earth. The Mayan calendars prediction of the end of the world did not happen.  Nor were we beamed up. So face it. You and I are still a part of this world. 2013 is here, alive and time is still moving along. We don’t know what is ahead of us, but if we choose to embrace each day as a challenge and incorporate faith and hope, it makes life easier. Faith to believe what lies ahead will make us stronger, more loving, more forgiving and more peace filled. Hope in knowing our world and our own lives are often changeable, workable, improvable and productive.

Resolutions and Goalstarget-001

 

     Have you made any New Years Resolutions that you want to target, conquer, achieve or maintain in 2013? Are you anti resolution and don’t participate in making New Years resolutions because you know you probably won’t keep your resolutions? I have been guilty of both participating and purposefully not participating.

     Two years ago, I made a resolution to write my book and I kept it.  In addition, that same year, I also made a resolution to walk everyday, but did not keep that one. Last year, I don’t remember what my resolutions were. Oh wait. Yes I do. It was to continue to write thoughts here on my blog site. I have been pretty faithful to it, but not perfect. At times, its been a challenge for me to come up with ideas and topics to write about. And then there are times I can’t wait to post a blog because I want to share a story in my life or share my thoughts on breaking news in the world. Blogging has definitely helped me with my writing skills. I say that loosely. This year I will try to keep up with sharing my thoughts with you.

What do I see for 2013?

     Lot’s of to do’s and happenings. We are anticipating a new granddaughter soon and I am sure that will be one of the most joyous highlights of this coming year. I can’t wait to hold and love another little miracle.

 

As for my own goals and resolutions for 2013…

 

One is rebuilding the Breath of Life Retreat House web site. I hope to make it more user-friendly and updated.

Another goal is to create a cook book from meals we provide to our guests here at the retreat house. Like my memoir, I will do this because I have been asked countless times over the past several years by our guests.

I also want to come up with a few new calligraphy designs and more coffee gift basket selections to offer here in our gift shop and on my Calligraphy website.

In addition, reading my book aloud so people can purchase it on Audible is a goal soon to be met.

The last, but not least is to improve and beautify Breath of Life Retreat House inside and outside as much as possible. The projects are endless.

And so I end these thoughts with four mantras I often say:

1. I wish I could clone myself.

2. There is never enough time in the day.

3. Where did this day go?

4. To be continued.  This is what I want engraved on my epitaph

 

Please share your New Years Resolutions, goals, anticipations, etc. I would love to hear them.

 

May your 2013 be blessed with Peace, Health, Faith and Hope.

 

 

Chapter 17

Chapter 17

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My thoughts on the shootings in Connecticut

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Broken Heart

Broken Heart

As soon as I heard the news last week about the school shootings in Connecticut, my stomach weakened. I immediately envisioned the chaos and extreme sadness of all the people related to the murdered children and adults. In addition, I thought of the shooters extended family and friends and what might be going through their minds.
I thought of my own daughter, a teacher at an elementary school and my other daughter a nurse at a children’s hospital.
I can imagine the word “Why?” cried aloud too many times to count along with intense anger and thoughts of revenge from some of the families and friends of the victims
And then others watching from a distance by news stations, newspaper, internet or word of mouth turning to thoughts of, How can we fix this? Where shall we start? Some thinking: Let’s ban guns! Let’s ban assault rifles! Let’s home school! Let’s fire the principal, superintendent and staff. Let’s bolt the classroom doors while school is in session. Let’s put guards, police, more surveillance camera’s, or maybe a swat team in the area from now on, let’s immediately incarcerate mentally ill children, and let’s let’s let’s……….
I don’t know how it feels to suddenly lose a child, but do know the feeling of losing a husband suddenly by a senseless wrongful death. The unexpected and shocking news is mind numbing. Your brain is like a freeway of thoughts, only there is no order to the motion as you try to process and figure out the why’s and how’s. Chaotic freeway
I believe thought like these, if consumed too much, can overtake your whole being to the point of being unhealthy.
In the case of the murderer who took the lives of the children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, we may never know why or completely understand how the mind of an irrational thinking human being works?

Here’s what I do know.

It is an obvious fact there are mean and evil people in our world. There has been from the beginning of time. You may know people who hate themselves and others. I have known a few myself. I have wondered and even worried at times if these people might be inclined to act with erratic nonsensical behavior towards themselves or others. It’s a scary thought. I also know that drugs, severe extreme depression, or evil spirits can drive them to the point of committing inhumane and violent actions.
A mentally handicapped person who has trouble with rational thinking can be influenced or prompted to act out violently by misuse of medications, rejection from friends, and family. There are too many possibilities to mention here. Those who lovingly take care of the mentally handicapped with violent tendencies I am sure live in a world much more fragile than ours. We need to pray for their strength, patience and peace through Christ.

So what would you do if you knew someone who lost a loved one in a tragedy like the school shootings?

People have asked me, Please tell me how I approach someone who has just lost a loved one? I am uncomfortable and don’t know what to say. I explain that sometimes the best choice of action is served with minimal words or even silence. Just listening and being there with a hug can be a comforting salve. We don’t have to have all the answers. When someone asks, “Why did this happen to me?” Or Why did God allow this to happen? Often we feel we must give them an answer right now. It’s okay to say, “You know, I don’t have the answer to your why, but I do know that I care and am choosing to pray you through and be here for you through this tough time.” Oh how that carried me through and I felt those prayers as if they were a physical hand holding me and comforting me.

When faith-filled people hear of tragedies like the one at Sandy Hill Elementary, it’s a normal and immediate reaction to choose the action of prayer.

In addition, physically being present and loving them by your actions can be so comforting. For example, helping with simple things that often become burdens during trials. Things like filling up their car with gas, cooking, watering the plants inside the house or outside, returning phone calls, mowing the lawn or shoveling snow, spending time with the other children, getting the mail, feeding the dog, walking the dog, cleaning the house are all things that no matter what happens in our lives, still need attention.
My good friends Carol Fornoff and her husband Roger, do know the feeling of having a child murdered years ago and because during their tragic time, support from friends, family and their faith, they have been able to work through the pain and suffering over the years. Together, we have have agreed though, that the pain and memories never go away. They may lessen at times but and occasionally feelings of unforgiveness still creep  up and haunt us, tempt us to hate, feel revenge and become depressed, but because we look to a higher authority who says vengeance is mine, we continually rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding and press on. 
My hope is that in time, good things will come from these awful tragedies and the people who have to live with the pain, will choose to overcome by helping others, loving and forgiving. And that their hearts will never harden to the point of a separation of love.

 

Quote by Mother Teresa

Quote by Mother Teresa

Book News!

 

 

  • Congratulations to the two Goodreads winners of my book. Nikki and John
  • I find it so interesting that the chapter I read below on this blog below relates to some of what I have written above.
  • Another giveaway is just around the corner
  • The Audible version of my book will be recorded soon. I anticipate a launch by the end of January. Stay tuned.

 

 

My Project 83-001

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When Grandpa Comes Back to Life

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Rear view mirror mountains

View out the side mirror

 

It was some time in 2007 while sitting in the church pew in Payson, Arizona, when I saw him for the first time. As I sat listening to his homily, I was visually struck by the Deacons appearance. His coal black hair was the first obvious thing I noticed reminding me of someone I dearly loved all through my life. In addition, there was something about his personality that captured my attention.  I forced myself to question whether or not I was being a tad ridiculous with noticing and comparing the similar traits to my late Grandpa Chuck.
During his homily, Deacon Tom shared the recent move he and his wife Dee made from Estes Park Colorado to Payson, Arizona.  At the time, I too, was new to the area, although not living here full time yet.
 

That was five years ago.

 

Last night, my husband and I got back from a week long vacation with Deacon Tom and Dee. Who would have thunk this couple would enter my and now my husband and my life in friendship, fellowship and now vacationship. Yes I know that’s not a word. I am feeling humorous.
The main reason for our trip this past week was to see a Christmas concert by pianist, Lorie Line held in Denver. The music was beautiful and what talent we enjoyed.
 
Red Rock
Red Rock
We planned other outings during our five day trip like visiting The Denver museum of Science and History, Red Rocks Amphitheater, The Denver Mint, sight seeing and a beautiful Cathedral where Deacon Tom was ordained eight years ago. My husband Jim’s favorite place to visit was The Denver museum of Science and History. Because of Jim’s love of science, he was relentlessly teased by Deacon Tom about the formation of the rocks, evolution, erosion, alluvial fans and so much more. Most of the time this teasing was done while driving and admiring the beauty of the mountains, valleys, rock formations, etc.  The laughter within the car was contagious during these educational bouts and Jim was a trooper.
Our first night was spent in Grand Junction Colorado.  Our original plan was to stay in Moab, Utah, but we felt driving the extra 100 miles or so would put us closer to our final destination of Denver.  My Grandpa Chuck was born in Grand Junction so I felt that was something special spending the night in his birth town.
On page 64 of my book, Meet Me In the Mountains, I write about Grandpa. I share my thoughts about my admiration for his glass half full personality and positive nature. He inspired me to laugh, have fun, be creative in all you do, and try to make others happy by being happy yourself. Grandpa wasn’t a perfect man and I know he had his flaws and made mistakes in life. He was human and occasionally had a temper, but also humbly displayed sentimental tears quite easily.

Where am I going with all of this?

Well I truly believe that God gifts us by putting certain people in our lives for a reason. There are no coincidences. When I see someone who strongly resembles someone I know, past or present, I try and make it a point to pray for them. I reflect on them and am thankful appreciating the fact they are or have been in my life. Even if they weren’t what I expected or wanted them to be, I still pray for God’s mercy and help if they need it.
Life is short and memories are lasting.
I hope you make some beautiful memories this Christmas. I can truly say this past weeks vacation was filled with amazing memories, beautiful scenery and fun times. God’s sense of humor was so present to me.  Little Godcidences that only I catch and know about.
I invite you to look for them and ask for them.
as a matter of fact, There is one that happened yesterday while driving home from our vacation and I will share. But first, I must tell you that on page 64 of my book, I tell you about how Grandpa took my brother and I through the car wash many times. We rode in grandpas car and he made the outing fun by making a big deal out of the whole drive-thru car washing experience.  IMG_3263Yesterday, while stopping for gas in a small town called Cortez, Deacon Tom and Dee were sitting in the back seat of our car when it was unanimously decided to take time to get our filthy car washed. We had been through a lot of snow, ice and dirt and it desperately needed a bath. As we drove into the bay of the car wash, I looked behind me through the rear view mirror, and there sitting in the backseat was none other than……………….My Grandpa.IMG_3174

 

 

Deacon Tom and Dee have a podcast called http://www.CatholicVitamins.com.  They interview authors, clergy, musicians, just to name a few.

Book News

  • Listen to chapter 15 below
  • Just one more day to enter the Goodreads giveaway to win a free copy of my book.
  • Please remember if you know someone who has lost a loved one or who struggles with hurdles in life, my inspirational book would make a nice stocking stuffer or gift. https://www.createspace.com/3717023
  • I will be working on the audible version of Meet Me In The Mountains soon.

Candy Reading Chapter 15

My Project 83-001

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FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS

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     Thanksgiving Day was beautimus. Yes I meant to say beautimus. The clean mountain air and warm sunny day enhanced the time spent with family and friends. I was in my glory watching my little grand daughters play and run around intermittently asking to be held by me and various guests. My main focus was on the Thanksgiving meal and attending to the guests.
     My husband smoked a turkey and I roasted a turkey. There was ham, vegetables, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and so much more. As is the norm, we were overstuffed and uncomfortable after eating due to our lack of self control. The many delectable desserts my sister-in-law creates for us each year never fails to impress us.
Another holiday to remember and now in the past.

 

But wait! There's more just ahead.

 

     Christmas Tree lots are being prepared and store shelves are already fully stocked.
The invitation to celebrate the holidays are everywhere as we are teased with sparkly decorations, over-sized inflatables and Christmas trees. The mood altering affect of seasonal music suggestively entices us to buy gifts for ourselves, our homes, friends and loved ones.
When I walk into a store this time of year, my eyes are focused on searching out a manger scene or a banner that says MERRY CHRISTMAS! Unfortunately mangers usually are not obvious, nor will you hear the words Merry Christmas from store owners and shoppers. But there are some rebels out there who are unafraid to proclaim the kind words. One of them is me.
This weekend is the beginning of Advent. A four week Christian observance of what is to come.
It is a journey to the Nativity. The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin words, ad-venio or adventus, which both signify a coming. It’s an invitation to reflect and re invite the Lord into our lives. It’s a renewing and an opportunity to re evaluate our relationship with others and our personal relationship with the Savior of the world. This Christmas season, I am going to focus  more on the meaning of Advent. I have a beautiful Advent Wreath somewhere in the house that has never been used and I will search it out and we will light one candle a week until Christmas.

What else am I focusing on?

 

 It’s something new and exciting!
 a variety of new products available for you on my web site.  Hang on. Here goes a little self promotion: :)
     I now offer themed Christian Coffee Gift Baskets and you will find them at www.AmenChristianCalligraphy.com or www.ChristianCoffeeGiftbaskets.com
     The coffees are the same delicious HIS COFFEE COMPANY organic gourmet blends we offered during the fundraiser my husband and I had to help the Faddis Family during Angela Faddis last month and a half of life here on earth. Some people who purchased coffee for the fundraiser asked if I would consider selling the coffee by way of gift baskets. I did indeed consider the idea and have acted upon it. In addition, I came up with the idea of incorporating an inspirational message or complimenting scripture and coffee mug. Being a calligraphy artist and picture framer, I have my own product line that will be included into some of the gift baskets.
I have begun uploading the new items to the web site and hope you will support my business this holiday season and beyond.
I will create more themed baskets as time goes on.

What’s my favorite basket so far?

It’s the Adoring Santa theme basket. I can remember as a child at Christmas time, seeing a large ceramic musical Praying Santa proudly displayed on my mothers coffee table. I loved to wind it up and watch it turn around and around while listening to the gentle music. Like the manger scene, the adoring kneeling Santa displays his humble adoration to baby Jesus and is a testimony to the reverence the Christ Child deserves. Because I love this, I have found products to include in a coffee gift basket with the theme of the Adoring Santa.
As a thank you for your business, I have included FREE this beautiful Adoring Santa wall cross shown below with every order placed on my web site through December 25th. Limit 1 per order. You can also order the cross online to give as gifts.

 

 

 Adoring Santa Wall Cross

 

 

BOOK NEWS!

 

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If I may be so bold as to…

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ask you to look at the picture on the left.
You are looking at nothing less than

“AWESOMENESS.”

 

It’s an ultrasound image showing something so miraculous, so remarkable and so amazing, its mind boggling.

It’s new life.

What you see is a miracle growing within my daughters womb even as you read this. The baby, now at 20 weeks is safe and warm and already loved beyond measure.
My husband and I along with my son in law and his parents crammed into an ultrasound room a couple of days ago to so we could see the baby. The rapid thump thump thump of the heartbeat emphasized the reality of the live little human being. We were so thankful to be a part of this special time. This will be our third grandchild and when I think of them, I think of a scripture a client commissioned me to calligraph recently. I show it here.

Proverbs 17:6

She wanted the names of her grandchildren all around the scripture and so I did it as shown here. I will have this in our home soon and available for you on my website.  It’s Proverbs 17:6 and it says, Children’s children are a crown to the aged. It’s a beautiful reference telling us that our grandchildren are a crown to us. This is so true! Each child is a precious gem that fits perfectly in the Crown of Life. Each is perfectly different in their own way. I am so thankful.

 

And speaking of thanks……

This next Thursday, we will celebrate a day ear marked specifically for giving thanks. Along with hosting friends and family, we will serve lot’s of food and I am sure there will be lively conversation.
I never ever take holidays spent with family and friends for granted.

I revel in it.

I am consciously aware that each special occasion might be the last for us or a loved one.
That being said, I so admire people who spend a holiday away from family choosing to serve at a homeless shelter or visit the lonely, sick or shut ins. Sometimes I feel guilty that I should be doing this also.
My husband who is a co president of St. Vincent de Paul in Payson speaks with and personally visits many individuals and families each week who are in dire need of support. Some need food or help with getting their electricity or water turned back on, and some need medical help. St. Vincent de Paul volunteers are asked to die to themselves by not judging, but to lovingly serve the needs of those who need help. I admire my husband and all those who selflessly serve the needy. It’s humbling and yet it’s what we are called to do.
A baby growing in warmth and peace within it’s mothers womb is also needy and demands all it can from the mother to survive. When the baby’s born, there starts a life journey with a lifespan that only God knows the answer to.
We never know from year to year or even day to day where life will take us.  Our plans can be detoured at any time by unexpected circumstances, situations, and life events. Sometimes it’s a welcome detour and sometimes not.
But….
For those of us who have faith and hope, we look to God for help and answers when it comes to detours. We seek wisdom through prayer to do what is right and best for ourselves and our family. We hold on to hope and faith and more than anything, we press on.
Remember that every life is a gift. Every moment celebrating life is a gift. I hope the gift of Thanksgiving Day fills you with unspeakable joy.
There’s a favorite scripture that I have created in my calligraphy collection and I often think of it when giving thanks can be a challenge.
It’s Thessalonians 5:16-18I hope you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

 

Book News!

  • Well miracles do happen. My book is now officially offered on Kindle. The cost is only $5.00. If you know someone who might have lost hope through a tragedy, my memoir would be a good read for them. It’s inspiring, truthful and faith filled. Please visit this site to purchase Meet Me In The Mountains. Also if you have read my book, please click the LIKE button on this same page.

  • The Goodreads giveaway is racking up entries to win one of two paperback versions of my book. Enter today.

  • This week I read chapter 13 of my book and you can listen below.

 

Chapter 13 – Fighting the Battles

 

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What I’ve Learned From Blogging

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It’s like going to war, fishing and never leaving the classroom.

 

I started blogging a little over a year ago right before my book was published.

The purpose being, to share my interests and personal stories along with promoting my memoir. I enjoy writing about topics involving family, friends and faith.

I am not sure how many people read my blog each week, but I know I have at least four readers. My Mom and my oldest daughter read my blog, along with a few friends. Occasionally, a comment gets posted or someone clicks on the “LIKE” button at the top of the page of my blog and I get so excited.

 

Blogging is kind of like fishing. You cast your story out to the world and if the fish are interested, they might respond by Tweeting, Commenting or Liking your story. There may be lot’s of other fish looking at the “bait,” but not biting. Perhaps they nibble at a sentence or two and then swim away. Because you can’t see them, you wonder who they are, where they come from, and what they think. Can you tell I love analogies?

Most of the time I don’t know what I am going to write about until a day or two before my blog goes live. My goal is to post my blog by Friday of each week. This usually causes a little tension within myself because I realize waiting until the last minute often creates stories that could be written better if given more time.

When something happens or someone says something that interests me, I say to myself, “Oh that would be a great topic to blog about,” but being hopelessly gifted with a short memory, I usually forget about the topic the following day. Sometimes I write the thought down, but you can bet I will lose the paper.  Just like I lost my grocery list this morning.

When I do decide what to blog about, I spend several hours writing. Half of the time, I turn into an English teacher.

Why?

Because I addictively write the words ” HOW,THAT and BECAUSE” way too much. I am constantly correcting, and fighting the abundance of prepositions and run on sentences.  It’s like a war with words. I go to battle with them every time I write.  I edit my story several times.

I have learned how to condense four sentences into two.  Condensing happens when in my mind, I clearly hear my three kids forcefully reminding me, Mom…, GET TO THE POINT. They say this because, (see… I said because) I have a habit of dragging stories out when telling them, so I try to keep my words to a minimum and to the point when blogging.

They say a good blog should be kept to around five hundred words. In fact, I literally just learned after a year of blogging that the Word Press program I use, counts the words as I type them and displays the count in the lower left hand corner. This is a handy time saver and I now see looking down at the left hand corner that I am at 536 words. Better go. Have a great weekend.

 

Book News

  • A gentleman who read my book called me this past week and told me how angry he was at the nurse who told my son something she was asked not to tell. This part of my story touched him because he is a nurse. He could relate the forgiving and re forgiving in his own life.
  • The Goodreads giveaway is on. Enter to win a paperback version.
  • This week I am reading aloud  Chapter 12 of my book. I am half way through my memoir. Let me know if you are listening. The remaining chapters will be difficult to read just as they were to write.
  • Patience is a virtue and I should be most virtuous after STILL waiting the Kindle Version of my book to be available on Createspace. When it happens, I will let you know. Hopefully within the next two weeks.

 

Chapter 12

Words and Wisdom

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

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Do you remember running to your mom or dad when you were little complaining that someone was calling you mean names? Did your parents suggest you respond to the offender by saying,
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me!!! 
When I was told to say this, I remember that after I said it, I didn’t feel any better. The mean comments hurt. They hurt inside. Emotionally. Name calling and even sarcasm hurt us sometimes more deeply than physical sticks and stones.
It has been my life long challenge to think before I speak. I try to respond to questions or discussions with respect and honesty.  I keep sarcasm locked up unless it’s lightheartedly appropriate and not hurtful.
Have I mastered this challenge?
No.
I am always working on it.

 

Sarcasm is an indirect form of speech intentionally used to produce a particular dramatic effect on the listener.  Sarcasm can be used in all kinds of ways — it can express everything from anger to humor and is an example of what someone says being different from what they really mean. 
In my book, I share several personal stories about sarcasm and disrespect. I witnessed it At a young age and I knew it was demeaning and hurtful.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe sarcasm has it’s place and can be used to create a smile or further thought, but when it’s used intentionally or even unintentionally to ridicule another so the person using the sarcasm will be elevated, I see insecurity, pride and arrogance.  I noticed as an example, while watching the recent Vice Presidential debate the abundance of visual sarcasm. Not once, not twice, but too many times to count. It’s unbecoming of a Vice presidential leader in my opinion. No matter the party affiliation.

I am guilty of sarcasm myself. Like when I hear a car in the distance pass by with OBNOXIOUS blaring music, I will often sarcastically say out loud, “Hey why don’t you turn that up a little more because I can’t hear it.”
The person driving obviously doesn’t hear me, so I guess there is no harm in saying it to myself. I would see harm if I chose to say to the persons face, “Hey Mr. wanna be Rock-star, as for the loud and annoying music, why don’t you turn it up so the rest of us can hear how even more annoying it is.” There are more hate filled words containing blatant name calling and sarcasm. I would probably get punched if I said that to the persons face.
To keep sarcasm in check I usually remind myself of the Golden Rule. That being, Do and say unto others as you would have them do and say unto you. And if i am not sure, i Just keep my mouth shut. It’s usually a win win.

 

 

Book News!

  • Still waiting for the Kindle conversion for my book through Createspace.
  • A new giveaway will be available soon where you can win a paperback copy of my memoir. Just in time for Christmas.
  • Below I read chapter 11 to you. Enjoy.

 

Chapter 11 – Joy in the House

 

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There Was No Debating It

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 We were going!!

 

Trust me………..it’s not what you think.


 

Because of a canceled retreat here at Breath of Life, we had a few extra days off work. Days off are rare and precious and since our fourth Wedding Anniversary was yesterday, Jim and I decided we would spend the day fishing at our favorite lake up on the Mogollon Rim.  We love the peace, beauty and advantage of a week day outing offering us an uncrowded lake.
So we set out around 7:30am heading first to WalMart so each of us could purchase a day fishing license and one container of worms, aka Night Crawlers. That was $38.00. We also picked up a couple of Subs at Subway for our lunch. $12.00. We then drove to the lake and spent another $47.00 to rent a small tracker boat with an electric motor. Woods Canyon Lake only allows electric motors because they are quiet and don’t pollute the water. We like that too. Gas money there and back $30.00. So we figured we needed to catch several fish to make our monetary investment worthwhile.
Candy steering the boat.
As is my ritual, I drive the boat. This means I sit at the back and maneuver the handle on the electric motor steering us in the direction we want to go. Jim laughs at me because I drive the boat backwards. Why? It’s easier for me to point the lever where I can see in front of me. Seeing in front of me means I am looking out beyond the back of the boat. When I move the lever in line with the desired direction, that’s the direction we go. If I was looking out the front of the boat, the lever points in the opposite direction and I get all flustered. Plus I don’t have to keep turning my head to see where we are going.  It just works better for me. Anyway, after we left the dock and found a place to throw our lines in, I took a worm and put it on the hook. Trust me, if I could see their little wormy eyes, I couldn’t do this task. Jim used whatever gizmo he likes to use.  Right after we threw our lines in the calm glassy water, we noticed lot’s of fish breaking the water in all directions. Wow! we just knew we were going to reel them in like mad. After about twenty minutes of not catching anything, I decided to add to the hook a couple of salmon eggs. I figured I would entice them with a choice. Another twenty minutes went by and nothing, but the fish were still breaking the water, sometimes very close to our boat. I spoke up an encouraged them to just jump into the boat since they were so close. They did not oblige. So I took out some super-duper lime green marshmallow garlicy smelling bait and added it to the hook which now contained three choices for the multitudes below us.
A choice of three bait options.
While waiting for the big one, we agreed how beautiful the day was and our surroundings.  The calm water, warm weather and peace was soothing.  After about an hour and a half of not catching one fish, we ate our lunch and set out towards another part of the lake. We found a cove and cast out. It was crazy busy below our boat because the fish were still joyously breaking the water all around us. Jim must have tried four or five different lures and techniques. I got to a point where I questioned God. Out loud I said, “Okay Lord, you know every single fish in this lake and you know that we don’t get a lot time off. You also know that it would be nice if we could catch a couple.” The fish continued to jump up and out of the water teasing us to no end.
It was then time to bring our boat back to the dock. As is many times in my life, I decided to look at all the positive things about the day and they out numbered all those teasing trout. So we got in our car and not too far away, stopped to take a short walk along a scenic path and take a few photos. I share some of them below. All in all the day was perfect. Each day I live and breathe and have someone to lovingly share my life with makes me realize its not always the number of fish you catch… but who is there beside you trying. And that my friend is…………..priceless.

Book News
  • Speaking of patience, createspace is still working on the kindle version of my book. There was an email they did not receive from me a couple of weeks ago, so now I must wait another 3-4 weeks before the process is completed.
  • There will be another Goodreads give away starting in just two weeks. At that time, you can enter to win a copy of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains.
  • Two people told me this past week that after they read my book, they feel as though they know me so well. I told them, “Yes you do. You definitely do.”
  • This week I read Chapter 10 from my book. You can hear it below and listen to all the previous chapters in my previous blogs. Comments and feedback are welcome and encouraged.

 

Chapter 10 — Two girls and a Miracle

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What a Beagle has to do with Patience and Perspective

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I asked my daughter Sarah if she would like to do a guest blog for me this week and she agreed. She did a great job. Here are her thoughts on what a Beagle has to do with patience and perspective. Enjoy.

 

Scritch, Scratch, Bang. These are the muffled sounds I have been hearing all week as I have been trying to wait patiently in the front bedroom. I am a busybody and it is challenging for me to sit still and even more difficult to be confined to one room. But this is where I have been spending the first five days of my fall vacation waiting for the brand new tile to be laid throughout our house.
The Beagle, A.K.A. Chloe, has also been confined to the room with me. Her confinement consists of her crate or her doggy bed in the closet. She has not complained about sitting around all day. On the contrary, she seems to appreciate the safety her crate and the closet can provide. She also manages to squeeze her tubby beagle-self underneath the bed, an even smaller space. It is interesting how perspectives can be so dramatically different in the same situation.
There are many times in life that we have a certain perspective of a situation based on our personality, experiences or lack thereof. When you think about it, our perspectives are extremely limited. Those who have had the opportunity to travel, see, or experience many of the facets of this life may disagree that their perspective is limited, but compare your perspective with that of God and it is incomparable. As I read today’s reading, I couldn’t help but think about how God questions Job and gives him a small taste of His perspective:

Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:

Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.

Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

There are many moments when we need to put our hands over our mouths and appreciate the moment that we are experiencing. We need to take it into perspective that God’s perspective trumps ours every time and He is always looking out for our best interest, whether we are a Beagle or a busybody.

 

 

 

 

Book News!

  • Congratulations to the two winner of the Goodreads Giveaway.  Michael from Las Vegas and Janelle from Pennsylvania each won a copy of my book, Meet Me In The Mountains.
  • This week I am reading Chapter 9. Listen below as I share my experience with riding in a hot air balloon over the desert in Arizona. Was it a smooth ride, or…………then again, maybe not.

 

Chapter 9  -  Staying Afloat

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What Kind Of Stubborn Are You?

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Good, Bad, or Both

Both family and friends used to tell me how stubborn I was as a child. I guess I will admit that I can  still be a bit stubborn (tongue in cheek). 
For example, When I want to accomplish something or I have a goal to reach,  determination and self motivation take over.  When  road blocks appear, which they often do, I decide how to build a bridge to get over the blocks or a tunnel to get under them.
I have been known to make mistakes while choosing to be stubborn.
I then have an opportunity to decide whether or not i will correct my mistakes by starting over, continuing or quitting.  All of These choices can be humbling, but learning through them leads to becoming as matthew kelly says and to quote him, “A better version of myself.”


 The definitions below apply to both good and bad in regards to being stubborn.

 

The definition of the word Stubborn is: Obstinate and Unyielding
The definition of the word Obstinate is: Determined and Stubborn
The definition of the word Unyielding is: Resolute and Steadfast

 
A good Stubborn
holds fast to positive outcomes by thoughts and actions that ultimately lead to a better you which in turn creates good examples for others. 
My Good stubborn example:  as a young mother determined to stay home with my kids during their school age years. My husbands income was not enough to get by, so I chose to figure out how I could stay home with our kids and also bring in an income. This involved me being steadfast in creating my home based calligraphy business. It wasn’t easy. The hours were long and sleep was a luxury, but in my stubbornness, I reached my personal goal and was able to do both.
A bad Stubborn
can be vindictive, unforgiving and selfish. It can eat you from the inside out and the result will be a more hardened, bitter and unpleasant you.
I can be bad stubborn also. Especially when an argument ensues. My bad stubborn wants to get back at you with choice words and make you pay for hurting me. Most of the time and Thankfully, my good stubborn beats the bad stubborn up by prompting me to look a quarter of a mile down the road in my mind and see that the outcome of bad stubborn is not what I really want.
Why?
Because bad stubborn doesn’t offer inner peace. The self absorption steals it from you and reacts by putting walls up or reacting without love. This can be be cause of a hidden hurt, an addiction  or insecurity.


 Have you ever wondered if God is stubborn?

 

Hmmmm. I really don’t know.  I do know that The Bible says God is Love.
So perhaps Gods Love for us is nothing short of
” Good Stubborn Love?” 
Unyielding, Resolute and Steadfast.
 

Book News

 

  • This week I am reading Chapter 8 of my book. The title is, Arizona Here We Come!  I am one third of the way through the book and reading it aloud really triggers past memories for me.
  • I would love to know if anyone is listening to me read the chapters each week aloud? Please let me know.
  • Still working on the Kindle version of my book with Createspace. Patience, Patience and more Patience. Let’s say, Stubborn Patience.
  • The Goodreads giveaway is coming to a close. Just two more days to sign up to win a copy of my book Meet Me In The Mountains.

Chapter 8 – Arizona Here We Come!

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