high tea and me

20131020-222626.jpgtea parties…

i am an american…in america, we “play” tea party…little girls do it and as an adult, i was known to throw an adult-style tea party.

however, yesterday, i attended a high tea -my first. it was every bit as lovely as i imagined a real tea party would be when i would attempt one. i realized yesterday, that i was only ever “playing” at it though.

my husband pre-warned me that it was meant to be quite lady-like and i shouldn’t do any thing embarrassing (who me? Lol)

i felt out of my depth for sure!

that is a really good thing for me.

it challenges me.

new experiences drag us out of our comfort zone. they, also, open us up to some really great experiences.

beautiful ladies…

elegant china tea cups…

delicate danties…(ok, for my country friends…chow)…

and

sipping tea!

i think the English might just be onto a winner with this one!

it was great fun!

tea anyone? i think i need practice.
D

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ridiculous but fun

20131020-221517.jpgyou know that person driving down the road who makes you wonder, “what in the world are they doing?”

yes?

well, that person was me…yesterday…

i couldn’t help myself.

the sun was out after a week of rubbish weather, great tunes playing on the radio, driving in my “ca” (or is it “ka”? NZers sometimes don’t say their “r”s), and…

i was jammin’!

i am sure it looked ridiculous…

but it felt good…

made my heart sing!
D

Our Strength Is Seen In Our Embrace

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gatherers…

guarders of relationships…

nurturers…

we are women.

our strength is best seen

in our embrace.

(inspired by Anita DeWould)

how children’s laughter touches a mother’s heart

20131019-131331.jpgmy cousin Char shared this thought.

the world can be spinning out of control and the sound of your child’s laughter can set it right.

nothing thrills the heart of a mother like witnessing pure joy leaking out our her child’s heart.

just lovely!

thank you, Char, for sharing your heart…I’m miles away but my heart can vividly see and feel what this moment in time was like.

you really can look inside your own heart and see, feel and experience what another person is living!

happy Saturday!
D

How Containment Prevents Growth

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are you self-contained?

containment is a way to keep something bad from spreading.

if a child gets chicken pox, he/she won’t be allowed back in school until they’re not contagious anymore. the school’s aiming for containment of the disease.

containment is also a foreign policy strategy. if one country is stirring up trouble, other countries can join together and enact a policy of containment, to isolate the rogue country and keep it from causing chaos outside its borders.

in a nuclear reactor, the containment system is the back-up system that’s supposed to keep dangerous radiation from leaking out when there’s an accident.

the human heart will self-contain when it has experienced great pain, in an attempt to prevent the pain from spreading.

while some forms of containment are beneficial, containment in the heart is not.

heart containment will stunt your growth.

we hope for protection.

we end up busy building a comfort zone- afraid of taking risks, stepping out, trying new things or expanding our horizons.

once we are contained within the walls of this comfort zone…

we are protected from our future…

we are protected from our present…

and we are protecting our past!

-John Steele

while we are preserving our past…protecting it and it’s impact on our heart, we protect or prevent the possibilities available in our present and future.

the question is often posed, “why do bad things happen to good people?”

John Steele posed one of the best possibilities i have ever heard. his answer was this:

so that your experience will speak louder than someone else’s pain.

someone going through a similar situation will gain hope by seeing you conquer your pain, overcome your difficulty, thrive, live, grow and expand into your future better than ever.

20131017-215239.jpgwhat has you confined…

contained…

Imprisoned!

let it go!

spread out!

expand!

grow!

think big!

think bigger than your pain!

there is life to live!

and i promise, you don’t want to miss a minute of it.

do you know someone that this post would encourage? someone sitting in their comfort zone too fearful of the possibility of a wounded heart? please pass the post along…hopefully they will find inspiration to think bigger than their pain!

i’m so happy that i could share my heart with you today! thank you for stopping by!

see you soon,
D

don’t choke

20131016-181919.jpgthere are a lot of quotes out that tell us not to give up when others are not thrilled about our gifts, success or journey.

it is your journey…and should be carefully planned and plotted as you are directed to do it.

in NZ it’s called the “tall poppy syndrome” when someone sees you doing and succeeding at your thang and they criticize, put you down or are negative.

no one knows what it is like to walk in your shoes, what you have gone through to get to where you are on your journey or what it has cost you,

i heard John Steele say this quote this week and i thought it was great….don’t choke on the dust that others kick up.

keep doing what wisdom directs you to do…

be the best you can be!

never stop.
D

why i believe in miracles (for the girls)

20131015-155345.jpgOctober is breast cancer awareness month. not a very encouraging topic but one i am passionate about.

having been a dental assistant in America i am all too aware of the benefits of preventive medicine when it comes to the body. this truth is especially important when it comes to breast cancer.

growing up, i had often heard my mother give minor details of her mother’s battle with breast cancer as well as the warnings that we should be sure to do self examinations and have regular mammograms.

last week, i received the call that i was due for my yearly check up. most often women are advised at my age to have a mammogram done every two years. i have them yearly…because i am a breast cancer survivor/thrivor.

in 2002, I knew something was not right so i scheduled a visit with the professionals. i was used to cysts occurring and requiring attention so i didn’t give it a lot of thought.

i returned to hear the test results and was given the all clear. this was great news but didn’t answer this “knowing” in my heart that something was not right with my body. nonetheless, i accepted that i was given the all clear and dismissed the other.

a week later, while still at work, my phone rang and it was my doctor on the other end of the phone. he was not known to ring me directly so this was odd to me.

he insisted I leave work and get to his office immediately. i rang my BFF and she agreed to go with me for support.

when he walked in the exam room it was obvious that he did not have good news…and he didn’t. he used the “C” word…and i was stunned. for whatever reason, what they had thought was a clear mammogram, was not and i had what appeared to be cancerous cell in my milk glands.

tests and biopsies followed and all confirmed my worst fear.

it had never been a fear for me before that time but the prospect of the worst case scenario (for me leaving my children behind) brought fear to my heart.

there was a whirlwind of activity, advice and prescribed treatment. i followed everything the doctors asked of me.

doing all i knew to do physically made sense to me.

my heart was troubled though. for that, i must tell you i clung to my faith and everything I had been taught about faith from growing up in a minister’s family.

i needed what I had been told to be real.

my soul (remember we are body, soul and spirit) needed to know that the spirit side of me contained some sort of strength and real connection with its maker.

in the quietness and depth of my heart, i felt this advice:
1. prayer changes things. it also calms the soul when it wants to freak out.
2. gather and follow all the wisdom i could.
3.

the danger of living in future hope

20131015-034020.jpgi feel asleep early last night and was awaken early, 1:30 am to be exact, by my husband who was unable to sleep. the weather is wild and blowing outside and i am wide awake. i decided to use the time to look at some women who over came unbelievable circumstances and brought change for others in amazing ways.

i was reminded as i read of an amazing woman, Harriet Tubman.

it becomes so easy in my day to day life to want to feel overwhelmed by circumstances. i am sure you can find it the same. i like to arrest those feelings by bringing a balance to my thoughts by reminding myself of women that i have known and women i have never met but can read about who displayed great courage in the face of trying times.

life seems pretty smooth for me at the moment, which is a welcome retrieve. i think it is in the really good times, when i feel strong, that it is good to add wisdom, look at how i address, process and work through difficulties. by doing this, i prepare, guard and fortify my heart for when life is trying.

as i read about Harriet this morning, my heart resounds with gratitude for the many blessings i have experienced in my life. i am reminded that there are women who have faced what i deem such injustice and yet emerged with triumphant spirits and hearts that reached out from their pain to make someone else’s life better.

this amazing women survived incorrigible abuses from a very young age. at the age of 5 years old she was hired out to care for a slave owners young child. if the child woke and cried, she was beaten. what in the world could a 5 year old child do to prevent what most infants do so naturally…cry.

early in her life she suffered a head injury inflicted my an overseer attempting to restrain a slave who had left the field without permission. he threw a heavy metal object intending to hit the slave, missed and she was struck in the head. the injury caused her disabling seizures, narcoleptic attacks, headaches, and powerful visionary experiences throughout her life. rather than feel sorry for herself, she attributed the visions as powerful revelations from God and allowed them to inspire her.

that in itself is amazing to me. it’s far too easy to accept a victim mentality and feel regret, disillusionment and accept incidents like this as a reason to become inactive, bitter and sullen.
not Harriet, she allowed it to make her more determined to put an end to this way of life for herself and if not all, as many as possible, of those who were suffering similar experiences.

she did escape. she freed herself from the torture. once she was free, she returned and helped 300 more slaves to escape to Canada where slavery had been abolished.

sitting in the year 2013, in my warm home safe from the blowing gale outside, i could think, “oh, that’s so nice. good on her! well done Harriet.” it wasn’t that simple. her escape in itself was miraculous. many slaves were caught before getting away and severely beaten-sometimes even to death. not only did she escape, but she went back for one. when that one was freed, she went back for another…and another…and another.

i wonder if as a woman living in 2013, if i might have escaped and headed for a warm fire, a hot bath and looked after myself? it causes me to wonder what deep of strength i possess and if sufficient strength does not exists…i must grow…because i desire to live beyond myself in service to others.

i remember asking God this week why and how people are born into the life they live. basically, my reasoning was this: i love helping people. i am empathetic to the suffering of others and want to do more than i feel i am currently empowered to do. why was i not born with more resources that would enable me to help more?

this morning, the question was posed back to me…maybe God is reversing the question on me: why was i not born into worse circumstances? ones that would create such a fire with in my heart to act despite my resources?

how many times do we hear the Bible, quotes or motivational speakers tell us that the way we think limits what we do?

by reading about this little slave girl this morning, i learned something about my thought patterns. this story helped expose something in my heart. don’t get me wrong. i do what i can, i reach out, i help, i encourage…but i was finding a discontentment setting in and a longing for the “one day”, the “if i won lotto, I could…” or “when business is better…” mentality.

the reality is that i have at this moment what i need to do my purpose. i must be faithful with what is within my power now. live aware. see with eyes that are open. listen carefully for the places that i am needed and can offer benefit.

i can’t do everything but i can do something.

the danger of living in the future hope of being able to do more than now is that we miss the opportunity that exists in today. big or small…the part i play is important to the one life or the many that i am able to effect.

we are not called to hopes of grandeur. we are to live and help the one. if possible, go back for the second. then back for the third…and when what we are able to do is completed, whether for one, 300 or many more, we move on to the next task.

it’s interesting to me, the things that we can find within our own heart. it happens to us all. we get caught up in the doing and sometimes forget…the why.

thank Goodness that we can be reminded by meditating on what is good and right and wise to draw our heart and thoughts back to their intended purposes.

think of some moments in your own life when you have risen to some extraordinary occasion, some emergency that called for you to behave in a way you would normally find difficult. meditate on this experience for a few moments. what qualities did you find that you did not realize you had?

those qualities are part of the resources you currently possess to do good in your life, to help others lives become better and to produce positive change in the world.

well, i might try to head back to sleep for a little while. i hope you have a great Monday or Tuesday- depending on where you live in the world.

thank you for sharing this part of your day with my heart,
D