Tag Archives: faith

Be Finding Forward

Forward.

Moving not backwards.

Forwards.

Moving in a direction.

Which one will we choose?

Moving from the west to the east.

Finding the dance that takes you forward.

Into your dreams.

Into your spirit.

Into your spidey sense.

Presence.

How does one stay present?

Moving forward?

This is what I have learned and this is what propels me forward.

Taking peeks into the tiny, narrow, rear view mirror to pour gratitude into where I came from.

Gratitude.

Love.

Letting go.

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Looking straight-forward into my large, expansive windshield watching the exciting places I am going.

Joy.

Peace.

Light.

Eyes, wide open, looking for the gold thread of hope woven throughout my day.

Holding my empty hands of faith.

God’s goodness poured out over all our lives.

Into my hands.

Will we choose to look for it?

Will we choose to have open hands to receive it?

Moving forwards.

Dancing the dance of my life.

Trusting.

Fun.

Faith.

Forward.

Smooch, Joanna

Be Living Lavish (not lacking a thing!)

Lavish luxurious living.

Not lacking a thing.

Could you imagine it?

Really?

I am living it!

Truly!

My mind has shifted from living in lack, in scarcity.

It has moved into a place of abundance, of lavish luxury!

I have realized that I have everything I need, in this moment.

I am listening, looking, learning and living as I talk about in my book, “I Am Free!” 

Inside and Out!

I previously believed,  I never had enough time or that time was ‘slipping’ away.  My lists seemed endless and my priorities were blowing in the wind by others visions for me.  I was flitting here and there trying to get things done and make up for “lost time”.   Now I know that I create my time and I have enough each day.  I enjoy and savour moments throughout the day.  The moments create a beautiful life.  I know that I have enough time.

FAITH! (not lacking faith!)

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Before, I would worry about spending money $$$$, didn’t enjoy spending it nor never thought that we would ever have enough.  I budgeted, spreadsheeted, pondered and prayed about how to make our finances “work”.  Now I know that we can create the financial future that we want by being awake to how we are spending money, by saving practically and enjoying the journey along the way.  I now find money EVERYWHERE and my boys do too!  It is fun to see how this currency we have created is coming our way.

FINANCIAL FUN! (not lacking a cent!)

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I used to think, that I was a border collie when it came to relationships.  My role was to herd everyone together and to make sure that everyone was okay.  I would endless reach out to people and communicate in a way that I thought would “make things better” by often listening to gossip or by saying I am sorry are just a few examples.   I now know that I am a loving, strong woman with a wonderful tribe of people surrounding me, with their own personalities and traits.  Everyone is responsible for themselves.  I no longer am responsible for the herd, but choose to enjoy those that are attracted to my golden retriever personality.

FRIENDSHIP (definitely not in lack here!)

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I am humbled to admit that before I never thought that I could do enough. EVER!  I ALWAYS felt that I was at fault if something went wrong. I ALWAYS felt that I was never able to meet anyone’s standards, even my own.  It was pressure, my friends, pressure to perform to the MAX.  I rarely rested.  I never let my mind sit, afraid of the lengthy to-do list that would push my face down into the pavement.  I now know, that I am enough.  I am doing enough, each day, with my gifts and imperfections.  I ALWAYS know that I can add value to people.  I ALWAYS feel freedom just to be.  My mind can sit and I often find myself lying down on the ground in awe of the divine moments that come my way!

FREEDOM (soooo much freedom)

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What are the possibilities for you to move from lack into lavishness?  Is it related to your thoughts on food, friends, exercise, sleep, sex, communication, spirituality, writing…?

As we enter the season of the new school year, may we all move into a place of lavish luxurious living!  This is my hope for everyone who reads this post!

SMOOCH, Joanna

Be Open to Feel and to the Endless Possibilities

I have had my feelings hurt many times recently.

I wasn’t sure why.

I ponder these words.

Tonight, I had an aha moment when I realized I get hurt because I am open.

I allow people to tell me about myself.

I permit them to tell me things because it is easier for them.

I have heard that if I lose more weight I will look old.

I have listened as people questioned what I eat.

I have allowed conversation about how I organize my calendar. (Yes, I have colours for each wee boy so that I can keep everyone’s schedule straight.)

I choose to continue to be open.

I choose to deeply feel.

I am no longer taking the easy road or trying to make people feel “comfortable” at the expense of my feelings.

I continue to allow and encourage people to talk about themselves.

I am learning strategies to stop people from talking about and judging me.

I realize that people are hurting deep inside and makes it hard for them to talk about themselves.

I realize that being an open person makes people uncomfortable.

I realize that my life of freedom living with endless possibilities is disconcerting for some.

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And yes, I am going to die my hair a strip of purple to show remind me of my ‘shield of faith’.  (with my stylist)

Being open.

No longer hurting.

Feeling.

All things are possible!

Glory.

Be Having a Gas Pump Epiphany

I am standing at the gas pump.

Minding my own business.

Just hanging out.

Chilling.

Watching the numbers go up and up and up and…

Wham!

Epiphany time!

Yup, that’s how it rolls for me right now.

I realized that as the gas filled my tank that I had FAITH that this was gas pouring into my car.  I had FAITH that this was gas not some other liquid.  I TRUSTED the gas station.  I had FAITH that once my car was filled with this smelly, unseen liquid that my car would then convert it so that I could drive.  I TRUSTED the gas station and the drivers that brought the gas to the station AND I even trusted the people that put it in the tankers in the first place!   I TRUST and have FAITH that this whole process will work, even though I don’t UNDERSTAND even how my car works and why can’t I just put vegetable oil into my car?

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That is whole bunch of TRUST and FAITH in one simple act.

Gas.

Powerful.

Energy producing.

Faith.

Trust.

Understanding?

This time at the pump made me ponder my relationship with God.  I didn’t come to know God until university, until the age that I truly began to ponder life for myself, outside the safety of the house my parent’s created.  I came to seek this relationship on the university grounds.  I came to know this very personal God in my bedroom, in my childhood home.  I asked Him to show Himself to me.

He did.

Personally.

On my own.

He is my light.

My force.

He is my God, Saviour, Father…

Since then, every day I have FAITH that God will be with me and help me.  I have TRUST that He will work everything out for His good even when I don’t UNDERSTAND.

No longer do I seek to understand many things that I know I never will, but I TRUST and have FAITH.

This is enough.

What will you put your FAITH and TRUST in today?

Be Saving a Seat for Nana

I am continually amazed by my children’s insight and childlike faith. I have discovered a deep understanding of the meaning when God asks us to have ‘faith like a child’.

Last night, I shared about the storm that exists for me in my rowboat of grief. I choose to show my grief to Sexy Neck, a few close friends and privately in my laundry room. I don’t expect my children to heal me, distract me or provide for my emotional well being. I sit with them in their grief but don’t expect them to sit with me in mine. But I am always surprised at how God uses them to teach me.

After I wrote yesterday’s blog post, the boys came to get Sexy Neck and I to watch a show. Wasn’t I surprised when I saw three chairs waiting for the ‘Up and Down’ show. The boys seated us and exclaimed as they pointed to the middle chair, “This one is for Nana!”
20140829-120047-43247275.jpg Nana always loved watching the boys shows, school performances and activities.

Childlike faith.

Ever present Nana.

God’s blessing.

Peace.

Love.

Be Living 25 Days

Note: Click on the blue links to see the whole twenty-five day story…

Twenty-five days ago, I left my home.

My mom was in an ambulance with excruciating pain.

Twenty- five days ago my mom was in the ER, in pain. I never saw my mom read or watch TV again.

Excruciating pain.

In the next seven days, I watched mom be in FIVE different rooms of the hospital. Not one nurse offered to wash her or change her gown. Mom never did get that bath she was looking forward to for six weeks.

Still in pain.

I encountered a surgeon who told mom she would die, a doctor who empathized, an anaestesologist who overruled our oncologist who wanted mom to have more pain meds, nurses who laughed and were afraid, nurses who advocated and hid. A social worker who stood strong and stole chairs and a palliative care coordinator who finally helped mom be pain-free.

Mom was continually trying to ‘conquer’ her pain (mom’s words).

I watched mom lovingly hold dad’s hand, I watched her hug my boys. I heard her never complain nor whine about her situation.

Not once. Not ever.

Twenty days ago, Wendy and I had a sleepover with mom. Sleeping in chairs. Mom still in pain. Chasing nurses for meds. Laughing. Crying. Massaging. Comforting.

I watched mom try to put one foot in front of the other. I saw her desperately want a drink of water. I put lip chap on her lips, got her ice and massaged her sore hips.

One moment at a time.

Nineteen days ago, I went by ambulance with my mom to hospice. . Dad and my boys greeted us there. You should have seen mom’s face light up. Finally pain free with a grin on her face.

I savoured watching snowflakes flutter onto her face as she entered this holy place.

I watched my cousins, my uncles, my sister, her family and our wonderful friends arrive to comfort us. And we saw food, wine and more food come through those doors.

All with my dad steadfast at her side and my Sexy Neck a pillar of strength.

I saw my boys playing peek-a-boo outside mom’s window, I saw JC kiss her hand one last time, CC give her a big hug and OC a high five.

Sixteen days ago, I heard mom say hi to me for the last time as I walked into her room in the morning. Room number eight.

Always kind, always thoughtful, always just mom.

Fourteen days ago, I watched the family from my childhood (dad, sister, cousins) eat Christmas dinner together, listen to Christmas carols and drink wine. I heard stories and quite a ruckus being made in room number eight. I watched tears flow, mom’s hand being held and felt her body next to me as I lied with her.

I watched my family grieve, my cousins step up, my boys soak in the love of everyone and my dad continue to walk forward with his love.

I looked at mom’s beautiful skin, incredible blue eyes and felt her warmth and kindness flowing out of her, as it always has.

Thirteen Days ago, mom took her last breath. Dad sitting at her side.

I was awed by love, snow, hugs and fluttering butterflies.

Thirteen days ago we started planning, writing, savouring, cherishing.

Eleven Days ago, we celebrated mom’s life at her favourite beach, held the people who love her and cried tears of love over and over again.

Ten days ago we said goodbye to many departing for home and then it was just us and dad. Staying at mom and dad’s house. Puzzling, talking, organizing, crying, drinking wine, skiing, leaving roses, smelling the flowers, taking down Christmas decorations and talking about stuff.

Today, I return to our home in KCity .

Today, this is how my husband found me as I wrote this blog:

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Disclaimer: For my Prayerwalking friends, my lying down is a regular occurrence. For my new grieving self, it is a daily occurrence. Just rowing my boat… in my quiet laundry room.

Don’t worry, I am not alone. God is with me, my friends close, boys sleeping and Sexy Neck woowing me with warm muffins.

Can you leave me a wee comment? It will give me something to read while I lie on the floor.

Be Learning Lessons From A Hospital Bed

Be present.

Be making a will.

Be asking people to pray for you.

Be honest.

Be talking about the hard things.

Be enjoying my mom’s breath.

Be letting go of expectations.

Be talking about God.

Be talking about death.

Be talking about poo.

Be real.

Be honest and say what you feel.

Be sitting.

Be listening to and learn from other people’s cancer stories.

Be loving.

Be open to any help you can get.

Be humble and gracious.

Be watching for where God is working.

Be eating even if you aren’t hungry.

Be having a good old cry.

Be asking for a hug and let the other person hold you up.

Be letting God hold you in the palm on His hand.

Be full of faith and trust.

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Be Into James

I had to share with you a new DVD bible study that I am doing on Jesus’ half brother, James. WOWEEE…

A few thoughts from my two week study so far:

Quote from Martin Luther that he wanted to throw “Jimmy” in the stove.

“There are no easy answers to difficult things. It’s not neat and tidy. We cannot simplify the infinite. We can’t catch the Holy Spirit with a potato sack.”

James may have been the first book of the New Testament.

Chairein, Beth Moore. (Which is the Greek work for James’ salutation in James 1:1. Chairein means “JOY to YOU!”.

Chairein Everyone.

P.S. If you have never heard Beth Moore speak before, strap yourself in!

Be a Woman of Faith

We all put our “faith” into something. We have faith that our husbands will honour their marriage vows. We have faith that the furnace will come on the first cold day of fall. We have faith that our children will be safe in the care that we place them.

Faith according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/ is putting your complete trust into something and a sincerity of intentions, just to name a few definitions.

On May 16, 1993, as a University student, sitting in my childhood bedroom, I put my faith in Jesus. I asked the God of the Universe to show me he was present and he did.

Now I see my “faith” being lived out in the lives of my children. Each morning I have a quiet time to journal and read. I enjoy hanging out with Jesus and seeing what he wants to teach me. Most Tuesday nights I join an incredible group of ladies for a bible study/cry/laugh session. (You know women!)

Here are my boys one night before bath time, they decided to start their own bible study…