Our Strength Is Seen In Our Embrace



guarders of relationships…


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!

inquisitive minds…have to know

2013Jan (3)

as i venture along this journey of mine, i find it helpful to learn what other women have done that relate to what i might be going through at any given moment.

this is not unusual, really. many of us reach out to others during trying times for advice, grab someone to share what we have accomplished and learn from the successes and failures of others.

today, i was taking a look at Eve. you know, the first woman mentioned in the Bible. some of you may not believe she existed. you may think of her as a mythical character. even with that train of thought, many people look at fairy tales, myths, novels, etc. to find expressions and similarities of their own personalities, hopes dreams and creativity.

i tend to believe she was real. i believe in creation.

therefore, i like to think that i can discover important truths about myself and the way i was created by looking at her life.

she was first named ishah meaning woman. Adam named her. it was the job he was given…name the creatures within the garden. he chose this name because she was formed from a part of his being.

as i looked at her activity within the garden, these words stood out in my mind: explores, interrogates, decisive, independent, curious, tricked, victimized, felt victimized, trusting, tests boundaries, willingness to try something new, willingness to disobey, minimize consequences, desires the forbidden, and ability to effect major/impacting change.

i had to chuckle.

although, along my journey, my goal has been to discipline some of these attributes…i could relate!

2013Jan (1)

let me just say… to any gentleman who might be cheering at this moment and pointing even a jesting finger to say that he can relate because some female in his life shows many of these attributes and that Eve was the beginning of all of mankind’s problems…”settle down”! lol. i am well aware that we women can be troublesome at times but i’m not debating, confirming or addressing the “it’s all the woman’s fault” mind set here.

i am encouraging women to take an objective look at themselves…and you’re not helping. lol

Eden means to be fruitful or plentiful. A delightful place; a paradise. A state of innocence, bliss, or ultimate happiness.

i don’t know about you but i don’t live in Eden. however, there i something deep down in my heart that searches for Eden in my life.

therefore, i find myself on an exploration. do you?

i want to know the “keys” to plenty. i look for delight for my senses, my environment and experiences. i love the idea of paradise even  if it’s on a holiday or vacation. i want to be happy. i want to disconnect from the things that prevent happiness and pursue the ones that will provide it. i want bliss in my relationships.

so, i explore all of the possibilities. will more education help me attain plenty? will better work ethic help? how can i manage stress, conflict, difficulties and barriers? i read, i search the internet, i have deep and meaningfuls with my girlfriends.  i am exploring.

when i come across something that seems reasonable, i am not afraid to try something new. when i say reasonable, do you know how many things sound reasonable? i am pretty trusting (ok, if you insist on naïve, fine) and i really do not expect to be taken for a fool, tricked or victimized. so, when i get information that sounds reasonable…why not give it a try?

in fact, i can get an idea in my head and the process starts. i am curious. i wonder, i think it over, i dream about it. i look at it (from a few angles-don’t want to get too quirky about it because after all…i’m planning to give this idea a go and i don’t really want to be talked out of it).

i find that at that point desire tends to take over. kind of weird when i think about it. but it does. i’m not really talking about passionate desire here. just desire… the “i want” place in my mind. once i’m at this place…it may not happen right away, but seriously, i’m going to give it my best effort to make it happen.

that is when i interrogate. shhh! don’t tell my husband i am saying this because he tells me all the time that i ask so many question about things that it can begin to feel like an interrogation. lol…funny but maybe NOT.

i want to know, “well, what if we…” and the reply comes. no, not good enough…”how about…” the reply…ummm, “you are not getting it, i think that if….” and when i have really got something stuck in my brain, if i don’t get co-operation, i have been known to decide to just go ahead and do it myself! (remember the words that i said came to mind earlier? decisive, independent, willingness to test the boundaries?)

whew! sometimes i get lucky and it works out. other times, well, let’s just say i have learned that i don’t exactly like the taste of crow.

some of those decisions have brought a myriad of change to my life. again, some good…some not so much.

while these attributes can at times get us women into trouble, they are strengths as well.

it is because we are creative, curious and desire that we can produce lovely homes, nurturing atmospheres and organized, well functioning lives.

we just have to be able to apply the appropriate wisdom.

there are things that my family have to trust me on. when they are staring at food they have never eaten before or that is more healthy than other choices. i have researched and put in the time to prepare a lovely meal. when i insist that they put things away in their proper place (which i have prepared) so that when they need them next they are where they can be found. when i am cautioning them about safety/wisdom/common sense because i do not want them to experience pain.

the attributes that can get me into trouble, when used properly can make life easier, more balanced or effect a change that is vital.

that’s a good thing.

the results are then a more harmonious life. i think that was Eve’s purpose. to bring a harmony that didn’t exist.

for me, in my quest for Eden, that would be my greatest desire…to use the gifts that i have been created for to bring harmony to my life.

i have to tell you though, even when i am doing my best to apply wisdom…it sneaks up on me…

2013Jan (22)

this week, i got into my head that i needed a place for my dryer. in my new house, the washer attachments are in the bathroom and there is no place in there for my dryer. the garage has no electricity set up in it so that was out. there is a small room off the kitchen but i have it designated for an office where i can blog, do my admin duties for our business and well,…it’s my space. there was no other suitable place in the house for my dryer…but i eyed this little cupboard that housed the hot water heater. it was deep enough (well, i measured it in a woman-kind of way and it seemed to be a reasonable size and solution). i was just going to put it in there myself because it looked like a reasonable solution to my dilemma. excect, i had one problem. i’m short. the hot water heater sits in the bottom of that cupboard and where i needed the dryer to go was up high. ugh! i had to present this to my beloved. and well, let’s just say, he is not always easy to convince. i had explored my possibilities. i had made a decision. i had developed a strong (and i mean strong) desire for the dryer to be in that cupboard (i did not want it in the middle of the floor or in any of my well-put-together rooms…because it did not fit the décor). so, i started the interrogation, “dear, i have had an idea…”, “do you think, that possibly we could…”. to my amazement…he didn’t disagree. in fact, he said he would look at it. i have learned that that is a good thing…so, i dropped it until he got around to looking at it…after all, i could do that because not everything was finished with my unpacking, etc and i had a little time up my sleeve that i could slot patience into. lol when he did get around to it. he measured it first. like, really measured it…the way a man measures. you know what’s coming, right? in his estimation, it was not going to fit. excuse me? that did not work for me. not at all. nothing would do except that i see it up there! he had questions like: “how are you going to vent it? the door won’t close on the cupboard and do you really want that? if i get it up there, are you going to bug me to take it back down? couldn’t you put it on the front porch?” none of it mattered. i politely reminded him that it was just a simple, little, heart’s desire to see my dryer up in the cupboard. and much to my surprise, he did it…he lifted the dryer up into the cupboard.

and it didn’t fit!


and of course, nothing then would do until he took the hideous thing down!

i’m typing this and i’m laughing at myself.

i’m also thinking that i am really glad that it wasn’t like taking an apple off of a forbidden tree or anything that would change the course of life!

it helps me to see my “woman-ness”…that there is a part of me that needs to be tamed, disciplined and guarded. that there is wisdom, real wisdom for other areas of my life and i can’t allow these attributes to cloud my decision making ability, my purpose, or ability to stand on truth.

what? the dryer? oh yeah, well, it is sitting in the kitchen…but, i came to terms with the fact that, hey, at least i am in a proper house and not the old smoko room anymore…that one little inconvenience was not going to turn my world upside down and….

i would explore with my readers…got any reasonable ideas i could use? any creative storage ideas for a large appliance that i want to make disappear but still keep handy enough to use it when i need it? can you help a girl out here? 😉

have a great weekend!



love and impatience don’t belong together


relationships engulf the biggest part of our lives. can you think of how many of your activities involve a relationship in one way or the other? the most important to many of us is family. add church, friends, work, school, community and strangers (store clerks, bus drivers, joggers, and more) and it doesn’t take long to fill a day. Relationships enrich our lives but they can also try our patience.

interestingly enough, when i was searching for the best description i could find for love, i found nothing better than 1 Corinthians 13.

wouldn’t you know, the very first description was that love is patient.

it would be very easy to read over that word and think, ” oh, isn’t that nice.” we are not going to speed past this word today…we are going to stop and consider it…think it over and decide what we can do with this. after all, it is wisdom. by now, you know how much i adore wisdom.

imagine a thermometer. a temperature gauge. how would you measure your patience level? if you are like me, you might imagine that you are pretty tolerant except in a few instances.

what would be your patience level in these situations:

1. you are sitting in a traffic jam, it’s hot, other driver’s are honking and trying to cut in front of each other.

2. you are waiting in line at the bank on a busy Friday afternoon and there is only one teller waiting on customers.

3. you have had a busy day. You just want to eat dinner when you get home but your spouse thought you were bringing it home with you.

4. you are late for work, the keys are lost. the kids have a hundred questions about when you are leaving? your spouse drove the car last and can’t remember where the keys are.

5. you have a stubborn elderly parent who relies on your care.

6. your boss seems to always be in a bad mood and you catch the wrong end of the stick continually.

actually, it’s not difficult to conjure up a list of frustrating examples, life is full of them. our patience gets tried right and left.

love is patient.
love never gives up.
love endures long.

what exactly does it mean to be patient?

a good ole google search renders this definition:
1. bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.
2. marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance.
3. tolerant; understanding: an unfailingly patient leader and guide.
4. Persevering; constant: With patient industry, she revived the failing business and made it thrive.
5. capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.
6. capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance: “My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries” (Laurence Sterne).


1. enduring trying circumstances with even temper
2. tolerant; understanding
3. capable of accepting delay with equanimity
4. persevering or diligent: a patient worker

we live in a world where patience is no longer a virtue. with technology, we no longer have to wait for “snail mail” (even the slang name indicates…it’s too slow to use). my husband gets a bit agitated if he drives through McD’s and they are slow getting his order to the window. he likes to watch the timer above the window and 2 minutes is too slow. really? i’ve been warning him about the 2-3 hour wait for a table at my favourite American restaurant on our next visit home. i’m going to enjoy watching him practice his patience. ☺

an impatient person never wants to wait for others, or does so with great reluctance. an impatient person feels angsty when things do not go to plan. an impatient person usually feels a great sense of urgency to get things over with and to move on to the next thing, the next task, the next place, the next stop. he/she usually has little regard or interest to what’s going on at this moment in time, because in his/her mind, he/she is already thinking about what he/she has to do next.

our patience is challenged when we are faced with circumstances out of our control, when there is a lack of planning, when our expectations are not met, when we don’t have a clear understanding of the situation and when there is difficulty with communication.

i don’t know about you but there are plenty of opportunities that come my way in all five of these areas.

personally, i was most impatient when i lost my keys in mornings. i was always trying to get one more load of laundry done, or dinner in the crock pot before work. i was not consistently organized so my keys could be any where…which meant, when i was in a hurry…there would be a lot of yelling at the kids and my husband. not a good look. it’s not helpful for building good relationships either.
the underlying problem for me was my perfectionist tendency. this tendency was a driving force in my life that often threw me into chaos and my impatience would end up sky rocketing.

my husband is a what I call a “yapper”, a “chatty cathy” type personality. he loves to talk like no one i have ever known. when we were first married he would wake me at 3am because he was awake and “needed” to talk. he becomes very impatient if i take too long to make my point when we are communicating. he already has his next thought formed and can’t wait until it’s his turn to talk again. Lol. my temptation to be impatient having to listening non stop all day is often pressing but i’m getting better at being patient everyday.

wanting what we want when we want it. this desire repeatedly manifests itself as a constant feeling of impatience, a source of self-pressure (in an unhealthy way), and an annoyance at things that stand in your way. these are negative, tension-filled, and fear-based emotions which have no place in our lives. impatience is an emotion that has no place in our heart. it is destructive.

as a result, many of our relationships become strained and begin to break down. this result is seldom a favoured goal.

colossians and hebrews tells us that we can exercise and practice patience. when i was growing up, the members of my dad’s congregations would declare, “don’t pray for patience because tribulation works patience.” we’ll, who wants to invite,much less pray, for tribulation to come into their lives. there seems to be enough of that without asking for more. so, the common result would be that impatience would continue to rule. problem NOT solved.

i think we should look at the idea of practicing patience and explore how to develop this skill. i invite you to join me tomorrow for a little practical exploration. let’s look at replacing impatience…the emotion that has not place in our heart…with patience. this wisdom might just help develop stronger bonds of love and improve our relationships.

please join me again on this journey as we look at what love is and how to develop genuine, life changing, never failing love in our lives and relationships.

as always, get your friends and family in on the adventure and share this post with them. together we can make A Difference in our circles of influence.

see you next time,

How to be an amazing woman

how to be a woman of excellence according to Proverbs 31:

1. do not accept mediocracy. apply excellence in all that you are and all that you do.
2. understand your value is priceless.
3. inspire trust.
4. every day do what is best for your husband. never do anything harmful or hurtful. his heart should be safe with you.
5. allow a delightful attitude to govern your work.
6. select the best quality for your available resources.
7. provide for your household’s needs.
8. have a plan.
9. be resourceful.
10. wrap yourself in strength, carry yourself with confidence,and work hard, strengthen yourself for the task at hand. take care of yourself body, soul and spirit.
11. taste success and knows it is good.
12. apply and develop skill to all you do.
13. be benevolent and merciful.
14. be prepared and do not worry.
15. be supportive to your husband’s purpose.
16. use your gifts to produce a quality, marketable product.
17. be strong and dignified.
18. be fearless and smile when you think about the future.
18. conduct your conversations with wisdom.
19. allow kindness to always be your concern.
20. be organized.
21. do not be indulgent and lazy. be selfless with out fear.
22. earn the blessing and respect of your husband and children.
23. understand the limits of charm and physical beauty.
24. be reverent to God
25. celebrate all you have achieved and others will as well.
26. allow your accomplishments speak for themselves.

women have the ability within their design to be strong, independent, capable, and to care for their husband, family, and the poor. i know women who run a household with joy and make it appear effortless. in fact, my mother is this type of woman. as a child, i had no idea what was required to run a household. my mother never seemed to stop, she never seemed cross about the day to day expectations and she seemed to enjoy (and still does) what she did for us. she was kind to strangers and visitors. she seemed to have time for anyone who needed the attention of her heart. she was resourceful to the point that when there was lack, my siblings and i were clueless. i never recall complaints or grumbling. she is the most selfless person i have ever known.

i have many friends like this as well. i have been one who has admired their accomplishments and the lovely, homey atmosphere that they provide day in and day out.

as women, we are challenged to be discontent, to feel dissatisfied, selfish and complaining…and it’s a shame.

nothing worthwhile comes without appropriate effort. we don’t get something for nothing. we must be willing to apply ourselves to achieve the dreams we dream.

the potential within a woman is vast, amazing and valuable. it is a servant role…i did not say subservient…i said servant- a role of service. however, the role of men is a role of service to family and others as well. there are unbelievable benefits to serving one another. it is a rewarding way to approach life.

there is a custom called covenant among the Jewish culture. the purpose of covenant was an exchange -an offering of one’s strengths in exchange for help for their weakness. it is an agreement that what i am, what i have, what i am able to do, i agree to share with you in exchange for all that you are, all that you have, and all that you are. this agreement allowed the two to work together to become a stronger, healthier, better whole unit. each working with their supply and talents to make life better for the other; fully committed, fully trusting, and fully giving.

doesn’t that sound like a desirable goal for your heart? it is for mine…and it is completely attainable!

the requirement for attaining this goal, achieving success and excellence is a good attitude, recognition of our value, applying good work ethic and not complaining about it, resourcefulness, and never being mediocre.

it seems easier to say,”that’s impossible…no one can be that type of woman” and accept that as an excuse. i believe differently…

apply yourself…begin where you are with what you have and you will discover what an fabulous creature you are. you are a woman! you are amazing!

if you know a woman who lives with the goal of excellence, who gives the best she has to offer…encourage her today…sing her praises…let her know that you admire her accomplishments! encourage her to continue to be inspiring and striving for excellence…and allow her to encourage you (this truly is a special benefit of girlfriends).

today, I celebrate excellent women everywhere,


springtime in my heart

springtime in my heart/insight from a woman's heart

i’ve been feeling like there is springtime in my heart. i have been walking around with a joy in my heart that i just can not explain. i can’t help but think that coming through my previous five months of difficulties has brought a bit of new life to my heart. i feel a sense of accomplishment and expectation.

a little stroll today showed me that springtime is on it’s way in New Zealand which means that i can expect summer to be right around the corner and you know how much i love my summers. soon i will get my little container garden ready for seeding. we are preparing for the new season of baby oysters and i am doing a little de-cluttering. although de-cluttering can be a big job, i love the feeling of standing back and seeing a newly organized area of my home.

here’s a key i have found useful when de-cluttering: set a specific amount of time each day to accomplish an achievable task. once it is complete, stop, enjoy the progress and plan to do more tomorrow. you know what they say, “you have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.” i think organizing works best a little at a time; step by step. even if the task is not that big…it still works.

in addition to the above springtime activities that i am planning, i have been working a little bit on my blog site…a little reorganizing. i must thank all of my readers for being so kind and patient as i have been learning-as-i-go. you have been very gracious. my goal is to produce a quality product that is useful and inspiring. like most things in life growth is required and i am attempting to grow more each day.

i hope you will enjoy some of the changes you see…there will be more to come as i continue my search for blogging knowledge.

thank you for your encouragement, for reading faithfully and walking this journey with me.

my hope for you today is that no matter the season in your region, that you experience a little springtime in your heart as well.


reader response: “Do you have a favorite place to rejuvenate the soul”


i posed a question to my readers and promised to share the results. thank you so much for those of you who took a few moments of your day to share with me your favourite beautiful place to rejuvenate the soul.

i never cease to be amazed at the soothing sensation that overtakes me as i steal away for a few quiet moments to be alone, stop the madness of my day and breathe in the fresh air around me.

although, i may never be able to visit your favourite place, i can share the appreciation of a rejuvenated soul that results from the solitary moments in a beautiful place. The results are as follows:

Ariffa of Hope, Honor and Happiness wrote, “Pray and spending time with a loved one”.

Lori, a facebook friend (and BFF) wrote, “A large rock to sit on with either a view of mountain overlooks, a lake or a creek. Also, a leisure walk on beach or through a forest.”

Julie, a facebook friend wrote, “on my motorcycle on the open road.”

Jo, a facebook friend wrote, ” Central Otago.” (Central Otago is a beautiful district in New Zealand)

Maria, a facebook friend wrote, “In my boat or my bedroom.”

Julia, a facebook friend wrote, “Whigg’s Meadow (mountain) and the shore. Ahhh! So close to magnificent creation!!”

Ladies, these are all wonderful offerings.

Julia, i must say i agree, “magnificent creation”.  whether the ocean, a friend, the forest or a mountain, all are amazing components of the creation we are a part of and each beautiful in its own way. your choice of words inspired the poem below. thank you.


magnificent creation

to which i belong

abounding in harmony

magnificent and strong

i sit here among you

adoring the view

grateful and calming

my soul is renewed

i whisper a “thank you,

Creator of all”

this gift shows your nature

my heart is enthralled


thank you to all of my readers who took the time to read and share with me. i am inspired.

i look forward to hearing from your hearts again soon,












6 potential risks to maintaining acceptance


hi, everyone. i have been a busy girl over the past week or so and have missed writing. i hope you have enjoyed the encouraging quotes in the meantime.

when last i wrote, my topic was acceptance. i had planned to do a bit of fictional writing to help me demonstrate the point but like life often does…things didn’t work out that way.

i’ve been thinking about women in the Bible because, after all, the point of sharing a person’s story is so that someone might be able to grab a few helpful tips- which i believe is why we have the examples found there.

we give poor Eve a bad rap. i’ve heard people talk about wanting to give her “what for” because of all the trouble she caused us women. poor girl. lol

the truth is that often we make similar mistakes (that have not been indelibly written down in history for all generations to judge).

we are not given a lot of information and details of her life, just a few key points.20130806-221657.jpg

therefore, i like to try to put myself in her shoes based on how things sometimes go in my life…and see if i can learn from both.

1. curiosity. i’m a curious creature. many of my women friends are, too. just try to keep a secret from us. curiosity eats me up. i talked to my daughter tonight who was so proud of the birthday gift she’s bought for me. guess what…her husband would not let her tell me what it was. 😉 I could tell she was excited and although, I controlled my curiosity (I WANT TO KNOW-even though I only have to wait until tomorrow).

in the same way, just tell a woman “no” with no explanation.

our curiosity if uncontrolled can set us on dangerous paths.

2. desire. desire in itself is not wrong. in fact, it is part of our design but like anything else, if we misuse it, it’s not good. curiosity that turns into a driving desire requires attention. this is the driving force behind buying shoes that we can’t afford (anyway!), spreading gossip, and attempting to beat the odds by breaking “the rules” without regard for the consequences.

3. questioning authority. entertaining desire long enough can cause us to question authority…including our own. i’ve talked a lot about life values. allowing desire for instant gratification, things we have been told we can not have or things we have determined are not a part of our core values can drive us to ignore authority (or boundaries) irregardless of results. we become willing to compromise agreements, structure and discipline for temporary satisfaction.

this is usually the point where we reason with “someone” -not for wisdom but agreement -that maybe doing what we want to in spite of wisdom won’t be so bad. after all, how bad could it be? for Eve, surely dying was not really the result of something simple like eating a piece of fruit. what did it mean to “die” anyway? it couldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

4. lack of responsibility and respect. following compromise and subsequent consequences, we really begin to point our finger placing blame anywhere else but the rightful place…our responsibility. justifying our actions with blame seems to be logical to us for some reason.

and respect? well, “pity the fool” (did you hear my Mr T voice?) who attempts to hold us responsible for our actions.

5. pain. consequences cause us pain. we don’t like pain. rightfully so. this pain, as we’ve discussed before, can cause us to interpret many things differently than they are meant to be. we begin to feel distance, shame, and rejection.

6. fear. fear then attempts to set up residence within our hearts. at this point fear of rejection, as an example, can direct our behaviour toward rejecting before we have the opportunity to be rejected.20130806-222316.jpg

these 6 elements describe the process of events in Eve’s disastrous decision. although few of my decisions have effected generations of people, i can relate completely to similar circumstances in my life. I dare say, you can as well.

the key to maintaining acceptance of myself and then others, truly is to accept responsibility.

1. understand i am accepted. i am uniquely designed for love and by Love. maintaining a sense if acceptance begins here. then i must accept myself and know that i will make mistakes, be humble enough to say the words “i’m sorry” and move forward.

2. understand the boundaries and expectations. everything exists within appropriate, healthy boundaries. crossing the boundaries can be painful and sometimes fatal. just try to make a fish live out if water. it won’t happen. we live in societies, communities and within relationships that require boundaries, agreements, laws and structure for well-being. we may not like them but irregardless, they are necessary and for our own good.

3. i am responsible to guard my heart in regard to acceptance. not everyone is going to accept everything about me. however, i can produce acceptance in others in a few ways. i do not have to be dependant upon others accepting me. i do not have to interpret actions as rejection (even when it feels like it is). i can sow (give) acceptance and i know “what goes around comes around” or “what i sow, i reap”.

4. when necessary, accept responsibility for poor choices and the resulting consequences without blaming, distancing or rejecting. the consequences usually pass if behaviour is tempered through it. usually, there is at least a second chance offered. learning to humbly make restitution goes a long way toward restoration.

a friend of mine in the states lost her son because a drunken driver hit his car. the driver accepted responsibility & the resulting punishment. my friend and her family have embraced the driver and accepted her although the drinking and driving devastated their lives. they have committed to accept her mistake and help her through the difficulties ahead. rejection did not have to be one of the results.

we are amazing creatures. our very design makes us adventurous, curious and desire more. that’s a good thing most of the time. when we blow it -when pain comes- of our own making or not- our sense of acceptance does not have to be destroyed. we can keep it in tact and fully functioning. we can take action, guard our heart and protect our acceptance as a precious gift.

it’s good to be sharing my heart with you again. thank you for reading!