Thursday, October 29, 2009

Massaged by Faith

I have recently begun studying Therapeutic Massage and I'm enjoying it even more than I thought I would ~ truly wonderful and validating because the decision to move in this direction was very much based on faith. I told a good friend about my decision in this way... "I'm considering beginning a Therapeutic Massage program...its either that, or some form of the ministry." My very wise friend said, "Perhaps massage, therapeutic/healing touch, will be your ministry." Wow, I hadn't really thought of it that way, but once she said it, I just loved the way it felt to me ~ it felt right! Ah, another example of God speaking to me through another.

I've just completed the first module of four in the massage program ~ it has been intense, but I've learned full body Swedish Massage, strokes and techniques, and alot about the muscles and bones in the human body. My 'Intention' and 'Attention' to do the best I can do for a client in the moment ~ in the time I have with him/her ~ and providing, what is referred to as 'conscious touch', is much more important and affirming to my client, than any technique I've learned thus far. This learning opportunity to be present ~ with a person and a process ~ that opens and greets my heart and hands ~ is an incredible experience and gift.

There is a woman in class named Faith ~ Another classmate said, "I was massaged by Faith yesterday and she was wonderful!" I was struck by how cool "Massaged by Faith" sounded! This conversation took place a couple of weeks ago and I'm still thinking about what it might mean to be massaged by Faith...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What's your song?

I have a reputation in my family for crankin' up the tunes and rockin' out in the car when I'm by myself. My children find it very embarrassing when I dare to rock out in their presence... particularly if they have friends around. There are songs though, don't you think, that absolutely compel you to drop everything you are doing and just move your body because it just makes you so happy. I was just doing the dishes, listening to the radio, and feeling a little 'zen' when 'Say Hey ( I love you) by Michael Franti/ Spearhead came on. I just had to stop, turn up the radio, and move around the kitchen and living room like a crazy dancing machine ~ I think this is called 'living in the present.'

What song or songs make you do that?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Look

My daughter, author of Treble Clef, has taken it upon herself to make my blog a little more interesting. This is the best background that we came up with. Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Serious...

My daughter gave me a stern talking-to the other day. She said, "You need to post on your blog. You haven't posted anything in months! Only 15 posts since September!" "I can't think straight. There's too much going on. I don't know what to write right now." I tried to explain, but she would have none of it. "Write a little bit about your daily life. Add humor. It's not that difficult!" Of course, she's right. It's more a matter of timing...coordination between available time to write and available computer to write on. Not naming names....but there are some in the family who spend alot of time on the one computer in the house!

Ok... I promise to be a more frequent blogger. What do YOU promise?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hearing God?

Last year I was asked to write a little essay for my church's newsletter. I was told it could be anything about my faith experience. In a moment of weakness, I choked out a "Yes, I'll write something." The following essay is what ended up on paper. I was reminded of this essay last week when I had coffee with a new friend. In the context of sharing a story about advice she had given a relative, my friend spoke words... words that I really needed to hear... words that were lovingly direct. The words were coming out of my friend's mouth, but as far as I'm concerned, I definitely heard God speaking. I continue to be amused, grateful, and delighted that God is so creative in engaging with me.

Hearing God?

Often I imagine God  is walking around with a huge network, finger pressed to ‘redial’ saying, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” I am  able to hear God…sometimes. 

I am able to hear God when I do the dishes and sometimes when I cook, but never when I do laundry.

I am able to hear God when I go for a  run, take a shower, and when I drive somewhere by myself. 

On a sunny day last summer, I think I heard God answer one of my BIG LIFE questions, but it makes me nervous and uneasy. So, maybe I won’t totally acknowledge it yet. (This might be considered ‘denying the call.’) 

I am able to hear God when I hold a baby, hold my husband’s hand, and when I stare at my children while they sleep. 

Last February, I heard God say, loud and clear, through my panic and fear, high upon the side of a flat-topped pyramid, “You need to let go of her hand.” An internal, spiritual & emotional, power struggle ensued: The parental primal need to protect vs. the power of faith to literally “Let Go and Let God.” I still haven’t quite recovered from that surrendering episode. 

I am able to hear God when I play the piano, walk  or have coffee with a friend, and sometimes when I read a book, or hear a song.

I am able to hear God when I eat lunch by myself, mow the lawn, and paint the porch. 

I’ve  heard God calling my name in the middle of the night.  At least I think it was God. It definitely wasn’t my husband or children; They were sound asleep. I didn’t realize  in the moment that the voice was God and so I turned over and drifted back to sleep myself.  I wish I’d had the where-with-all to say, “Yes, I’m listening.” 

I am able to hear God when I go to the beach to walk , or look for stones and shells, or to just breathe in the view.

I am able to hear God when I’m  doing so many other things, but rarely am I able to hear God when I pray. 

Lately, I am able to hear God more clearly when I sit down with a pen and a blank piece of paper. With a grateful  and open heart and no preconceived notions of how the writing should evolve, I am enlightened in some wonderfully unexpected ways. The writing, itself, is not stellar, but  it doesn’t need to be .  The process has become an engaging prayer. I experience more of a ‘dialogue’ with God  this way and the personal/ spiritual connection is deep and scary and intriguing. 

My faith in and relationship with God is a work in progress.  I am still learning, yearning,  and trying to understand it all ~ it is hard and frustrating at times, especially when I can’t hear God.  But, I know from a place deep inside my soul that even if I can’t hear God, God can always hear me.  And, I am  so thankful that God is forgiving and persistent and endlessly creative in trying to connect with me.  “Can you hear me now?” 

Exciting Season

Its that time of year again... the all consuming... sometimes frustrating... and if we're lucky, sometimes exciting season of Little League baseball and softball. Every year the same thing happens... the baseball and softball practice and game schedule comes out and I have a little (some in the family might say, big) hissy fit. The big R for resentment rears its ugly head as I see at least 3 months where our whole family life revolves around baseball & softball ~ the coming and going, scheduling/re-scheduling/ conflicting events or activities, eating on the run, eating junk, or eating late are just a few of the issues that make my jaw tense. I hate feeling that way! Fortunately for everyone, its a feeling that tends to pass when I take a big breath and look at my kids and see how much they truly love playing. These are their memories in the making and I want to be a part of the joy in those memories, not the angst.

Both kids had games this week. The sun has been out and the temp. has been warm, perfect for evening games. Both games were very exciting with lots of hits and runs and good and not-so-good fielding. I cheered alot for my kids, yelling, "You can do it, Honey!" (How embarrassing is that, to have your mom calling you 'Honey' from the bleachers!) Both kids did very well in their respective games; Both teams winning, always a plus.

Both kids have improved greatly since last year.  They are bigger, stronger, and smarter about the game and as a result, more is being asked of each of them.  I see them listening to and learning from their coaches and the other players. Their confidence and comfort increases with each passing game. I see their joy in being part of a team effort in the sparkle of intensity and purpose in their eyes. Like everything else in the natural world in Springtime, I see them, cleats in the soil and face to the sun, thriving and beautifully blooming ... and that makes it a very exciting season with no 'R' in sight.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Ducks!

A couple of weeks ago a male and female duck (Mr. and Mrs. Mallard) were sunning themselves on our lawn underneath the forsythia. They looked so cute! I wondered whether they were preparing to nest nearby. Well, they have been frequent visitors to various parts of our yard and after the first day, several of their duck friends have also been visiting our yard. Hmmm... why our yard? And why just our yard and not our neighbor's yards which abut ours? Hmmm... mysterious! As it turns out, it is not that mysterious afterall. My husband spread corn gluten all over our lawn to try to manage those persistent and tenacious weeds.  Apparently, corn gluten is a very tasty treat for ducks and Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and their friends now seem to be the fattest ducks in the neighborhood! I'm pretty sure duck grazing wasn't part of my husband's plan for lawn maintenance and weed control, but the ducks sure do look happy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Rainbows

This is a little essay I wrote back in 2003 which was first published on The Everyday Goddess Collection, LLC website (The website is no longer in service.) I'm not sure why I ended up coming across this essay today ~ Perhaps because today is a beautiful Spring day, full of promise that even warmer days for living and playing are coming!

The Rainbows

It was a Sunday in the Fall of 2001 and it was a beauty. The sun shined brightly in the cloudless sky, which was the deep, rich, and endless blue of Fall, rather than the pale blue of Summer. The air had that nice clean and crisp quality to it even though it was warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirt. The day could not be wasted, the sheer beauty of it called us to play.

Sundays are church days and family days. And so we, me, my husband and our two young children, spent our morning in church. I can’t remember now what the sermon was about. I was much more interested in looking out the big windows of the sanctuary. The window closest to me was opened a little and I could feel a breeze float across my skin as I sat in the pew, trying to pay attention. My eyes, though, were drawn to and fascinated by the dancing of the sunlight through the leaves of the big oak and maple trees. I felt that God, the Creator, was teasing me…begging me to come out.

With church and lunch over, it was time for the family to go outside and play! We decided to ride our bikes along the greenbelt path to Bug Light Park. Our ride along the path included the usual casual ride interspersed with our children yelling ‘faster, faster, pedal faster!’ We laugh and laugh and pretend to race. We enter the park via the parking lot and head to the open field and Bug Light. We are greeted with a lovely sea breeze and a stunning view of several sailboats taking advantage of a beautiful day on Casco Bay. We parked our bikes and my eyes, which had been focused upon the water view, gradually shifted to take in the open field where we planned to play tag. I happened to look up and then my mouth practically dropped to the ground. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was a rainbow, actually four of them together. These were no typical rainbows. They didn’t just arch across the sky, they danced whimsically up and down and all around. They weren’t the rainbows that come after the rain, as a reminder of the promise that God will never again destroy the earth. There had been no rain that day, but I felt that through the rainbows I was looking at, God was certainly sending me a message.

There were 24 of them. Four each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, sequenced that way four times. Diamond shaped kites, each with matching tails, all connected together as one. Lines going to all kites were attached to a man with a special harness standing in the middle of the field. I was completely in awe and completely delighted. The colors and the movement of the kites against the beautiful sky blue canvas were absolutely mesmerizing. I felt for the second time that day that God was teasing and playing with me. I smiled at the thought and ran off to play tag with my kids, while the rainbow kites played in the wind above us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My kids are a little concerned about my relationship with coffee. The way I move directly toward the coffee machine upon waking and exhale a deep sigh of satisfaction after my first sip of the day ~ They are concerned I may be addicted. Perhaps...But, they don't understand that coffee and I go Waaay back; Back to when I was a very young girl and would take sips from my mother's lipstick marked cup of cold coffee left on the table.

I can't say that I loved coffee back then, but I could clearly see that coffee played an important role in our family life. A fresh pot was made every morning. Cups were poured to welcome a friend, neighbor, or good customer to the table for conversation, support, or advice. Whatever words, tears, or laughter was shared at that table, a cup of coffee played a supporting role. A pot of coffee was always made on those nights that my step-father was working all night in a snow storm. My mother couldn't sleep ~ sipping coffee from a warm cup helped pass the time and calm the worries in the middle of the night.

There was loud banging and yelling at our door late one night ~ My grandfather's house next door was on fire. We all raced downstairs and naturally assumed our roles in this emergency. My step-father ran next door to try to contain the fire. My mother was understandably upset and panicked, but was able to call the volunteer fire department and my aunt and uncle for help. I went to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee; I knew it would be a long night.

My personal relationship with coffee was solidified in college. I drank it hot and black and it saw me through more all-night study sessions than I can count. In my professional work life, my coffee cup had its own special place on my desk next to my computer. Amazingly, I think I spilled coffee on the keyboard only once! I can't say the same about various articles of clothing.

When my husband and I were trying to start our family, my doctor suggested that I add more dairy to my diet. She said I could begin by adding cream to my coffee. Wow! What a fabulous suggestion! It has been my preferred way to drink coffee ever since!

So, I've only 'given up' coffee when forced:

  • When I was pregnant and my body physically rejected my commitment. Once my babies had been born and then had stopped breast feeding, I renewed my commitment to coffee and its stimulating effects with vigor!
  • And when my doctor suggested going cold turkey on caffeine for 6 months to see if it made a difference in the pain and lumpiness of my breasts. Those were dark days of coffee, tea, and chocolate deprivation. No change in the pain and lumpiness after 6 months ~ I couldn't get to the coffee and chocolate fast enough!

Like my mother years ago, I have found sharing a cup of coffee to be a wonderful way to connect with others. It provides a great opening when you want to get to know someone better ~ "Want to grab a cup of coffee sometime?" Or, "Let's get together for coffee - Soon!" could be code for "I miss you and want to catch up!"

My daughter asked me the other day, "Exactly how many cups of coffee do you drink a day?" My answer was "Just one, never empty till the end of the day, cup!" She was not impressed, as noted by her rolling eyes. Now, as much as I love and need my coffee, I could never love it more than I love my family ~ But, it could get a little tense and messy should they decide to block my path to the coffee pot first thing in the morning!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rainy Days and Bright Spots

Oh, it is a rainy day. It is gray and damp and cold. Yes, folks, Spring has arrived in Maine. The snow is almost all gone and the mud and puddles have taken over! Where is the bright spot in this day? Well, there are several, but the unexpected bright spot landed on my doorstep a few minutes ago. It is a birthday gift to me from my sister and brother in law ~ unexpected because my birthday was several weeks ago! The wrapped gift is great ~ I love it and it fits! The greater gift though is the birthday card in which my sister wrote a few kind and loving words. I am filled with gratitude for the relationship that I have with her ~ the history, respect, and easy laughter and tears we share. I am also reminded of the power of the handwritten word in a little note to create a bright spot in someone's day. Hmmm... let it rain! I have paper and my favorite pen ~ a little note awaits!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

November, The Birthday Month

November is the most popular birth month in my extended family. We've got Nov. 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 20th, 22nd, and 24th covered. Note the abundance of Scorpio energy!

November rolls around and there is much to celebrate and I do, but November also makes me pause a little and reflect...

Many years ago, when my daughter had just turned 1yr old, I realized I was pregnant again. The news was so unexpected and abit of a shock because conceiving my daughter took time and required intervention. But, I was definitely pregnant, feeling completely exhausted and constantly nauseous! After getting over the shock, my husband and I were delighted and began wondering the gender of this new life and anticipating a November due date.

We had almost made it to the end of the first trimester when I began to bleed and a heartbeat could no longer be found. More shock, but now it was coupled with grief. I was now a member of the vast club of women who have miscarried.

I have been so blessed in my life and I have two really wonderful kids. When November rolls around I don't really dwell on what might have been or go back to the 'what if I had done this or hadn't done that' thinking that was a part of my grieving. But... there is a place in my heart and a knot in my throat that calls me to reflect and to whisper "Happy Birthday!" to the little spirit that was with me for a short while.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I wrote this little reflection about the relationship between my mother and my children several years ago now and it was published on The Everday Goddess Collection website which is no longer online. Anyway, I've been thinking alot lately about how lucky my children are to have wonderful loving grandparents and in particular the special relationships they have with their grandmothers. So easy. So snuggley. So huggy and kissy with a little teasing thrown in. The relationships have changed and grown just as my children have, but the love and affection they share is constant and unconditional and for that I am deeply grateful.


She was there when each of my children were born. Not actually in the room though, that might have been a little too hard. She was among the first to hold them, kiss their heads, stare into their little eyes, and tell them they were so bright and alert, not to mention beautiful! Her touch, her smile, her tone voice, and words told me and my babies that she loved them completely and that she relished her role as Mimi.

My mother lavishes love and affection on my children who are now 7 years and 4 years old. She sits in a big chair in her pajamas with the kids snuggled in beside her as she reads them one book after another. She sits on the floor with my daughter and plays Barbies. They talk about Barbie's fancy clothes and wonderful shoes, each fantasizing that such clothes and accessories were in their closets. My mother lies on the floor with my son and they play with trains, matchbox cars, and construction vehicles ~ she knows the names of all types of equipment and what each is used for ~ she is very cool that way! They have such fun with each other, my children and their Mimi.

When Mimi visits, there is great anticipation and quite a bit of planning as to how they will tease or play with her. She sleeps in our extra bedroom and inevitably the kids are the first to wake…they tiptoe downstairs, hardly able to contain their excitement and glee, they walk into the bedroom and practically pounce on their Mimi to wake her up. All that can be heard are wild squeals of delight as they chat and bounce on the bed! She always has a way of teasing them back though, such as when she suggests that their Halloween candy would make a nice midnight snack for her. They get very concerned because they know how much Mimi loves Oreos, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and other chocolate confections! I always find this type of banter extremely entertaining!

Hugs and kisses ~ snuggle time and play time ~ visits, phone calls, and postcards ~ laughter and crying ~ loud and quiet ~ love and love and love. My children are so lucky! Mimi is real to them and present in their lives. They have this wonderful independent relationship. It has been lovingly nurtured since day one.

Halloween - Shocking and Surreal

Mild. That was the temperature Friday night, October 31st, 2008 ~ perfect for trick or treating. No arguments on trying to figure out how to wear winter jackets underneath costumes ~ I love that!

Now, the energy at my house was anything but mild. There were 5 girls and 2 boys who were trick or treating together and then spending the night. There was lots of excitement and great anticipation for over-flowing pillowcases of candy loot and the possibility of staying up all night eating it.

I needed to pack as I was leaving town very early in the morning for a women's retreat so I volunteered to stay home and hand out the candy to all of the little ghouls, vampires, and princesses that came by. My husband had the more daunting task of shepherding 7 high energy kids around the neighborhood. All arrived back at the house with a little bit of energy burned off and the happy glow of knowing they had raked in enough candy loot to keep a good sugar buzz going for weeks to come. They proceeded to grab a couple candies from their bags, flopped around the living room and watched a movie. Ahhh! Quiet time.

The thing that kids really love about 'sleep-overs' is that its really about 'staying up and talking as late as possible-overs.' This is the thing parents tend to hate about 'sleep-overs.' At 1 am, with my alarm set for 5 am, I realized my window of sleep opportunity was rapidly closing. I went into the room with the chatty girls and used my most annoyed and annoying voice to suggest they 'Stop Talking and Go To Sleep! All that really did was keep me agitated so I couldn't actually get to sleep until around 2 am.

Boom! A boom that makes the whole house shake! It was close to 4 am and I was instantly awake. I wondered desperately what and where that noise could have come from. Seconds later, another Boom! I flew out of bed and down the stairs. I could hear a noise but couldn't identify it and then I saw an orange glow reflected by my kitchen window. Fire! Somewhere there is a fire! Not that house, not that house, not there, I thought, as I raced around our house until I got to our office. There, very close to our house, was our neighbor's car, on fire and blowing up before my very eyes.

I screamed for my husband to get the kids out of the house and proceeded to call 911. All of the kids followed the plan, quickly got out of the house, and walked to our other neighbor's house to wait and watch. Everyone, naturally, began running through their part of this story. What each heard or saw and when. And then, the 'Thankfullys' ~ Thankfully, its not too cold. Thankfully, no one is hurt. Thankfully, the fire is contained. And then, the wondering. What would make a car, that is just sitting in a driveway, suddenly blow up in the middle of the night? There was no satisfying rationalization.

We were back in our house by 5 am trying to convince the kids that getting a little more sleep would be good. I showered, gathered up my things, hopped into a car with a friend and headed out of town for the women's retreat. It was a short night and it was still dark.

12 hours later, I wondered, 'Did that really happen?'

Many days later, my daughter and I talked about some of the effects this event was having on us. It is still shocking and surreal. Our brains are still taking time to process. There are sounds and images, and vivid dreams of things and places blowing up, filling our night time. There is a new fear of fire to contend with.

Halloween 2008 will certainly be remembered, but not for the pillowcases filled with sweet treats!

Happy New Year!

Its a new year! 2009! Out with the old, in with the new! A blank page! Resolutions for positive changes in our lives! A chance to start fresh again! This is all well and good and I am quite happy to experience the passing of 2008 to 2009, but I feel like I have some unfinished business. So, in an effort to bring closure to 2008, some upcoming posts will be like going back in time.