Simply Content

See here’s the thing! You may attain a certain stage of life where you are simply content. You are comfortable in your own skin, at peace with who you are, and proud of how far you’ve come. You are satisfied with all you’ve accomplished in life to this point. You are happy with your choices. You’re calm, clear and confident in the reasoning that prompted those decisions.

You feel content and serene. 

You realigned priorities in your life. You’ve acquired a deeper understanding of your reason for being. You no longer dance the steps forced on you by parents, well-meaning friends, or by that annoying inner voice—your guilt-producing conscience. You feel no need to please and appease everyone. You understand that some people will like you and some won’t and you’re okay either way. You’ve learned that showing love and kindness to others does not include sacrificing yourself. You cherish grace and you exemplify graciousness. 

You’ve tamed your wild A-type personality and curtailed the frenetic struggle of striving for one lofty goal after another. Any deadlines set by others, or time frames created by you to increase performance, are not as motivating as they once were. You still push some self-imposed boundaries, but you acknowledge there are limits and limitations to consider. You factor those into the equation. Success and recognition are not flagged urgent, nor are they found in the immediate attention file. After all, you’ve been there and done that in the past. Nowadays, you beat your drum to a tune and rhythm designed uniquely for you, and by you! 

Don’t misunderstand my meaning. It’s not a stage where you throw in the towel, or where you have no dreams, goals or hope for the future. Far from it. It’s more about knowing precisely where you’ve been, what you’ve contributed, how you’ve lived your life, and who you’ve become in the process. It’s a smarter you with a powerful impact, embracing a new stage in your journey. You’re steeped in wisdom from your past experiences. A stronger and more confident you from years of lessons learned. You are guided by present circumstances, but you focus on a clear vision and plan for your future.

Am I making sense? Who catches my drift?  

Notice I didn’t tie this stage to a particular age because we are all uniquely different. Some people arrive here earlier than others regardless of the years they’ve lived. Perhaps some people will skip this stage, or have no desire to embrace its pleasures and advantages, but I’m grateful to have attained this satisfying and more serene stage of life as I carry on, doing what I do, and being who I am.

It’s a beautiful and fulfilling place to be. Life is more balanced. You know who you are and whose you are. You feel God is leading you. You hear His voice directing your steps. Isn’t it wonderful that passion burns as brightly in this stage of life as at any other time. Contentment is the prevailing wind in your sail. You truly love life. Gratitude is an ever-present source of happiness. Peace reigns in your heart.

Your soul sings for joy. 

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:11-13 

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

A couple of years ago I was well on my way to blooming—or so I thought. Life was progressing as I’d envisioned. In January 2020, tender buds of anticipation bulged with hope that my plans, well into the future, would materialize exactly as I expected. My Soul Sings for You would take off—the scheduled readings and book signings would be successful. My book would have an impact. After a 3-week dream vacation to the UK, planned to last little detail, I would return home to compile my father’s WWII memoirs and publish his book by the end of the year. Life would be exciting, adventurous, rewarding and fulfilling. Hmmm. It was—just not in the way I anticipated.

As I’ve expressed many times, experience teaches me that my plans don’t necessarily match what God has planned. However, His always supersede mine and once again God interrupted my long-term plans. You might say that life threw unexpected darts and arrows in the form of a global pandemic with all the accompanying chaos and consequences. Everything changed in the blink of an eye for billions of people the world over. What we once knew looks different, or we view it through a new lens. I daresay every single soul has been affected—some positively, some negatively, some less, some more.

In what way is life different for you now? Have you bloomed or wilted because of the pandemic? Continue reading →

Insight Over Incite!

What are you thinking?  What are you feeling?

These two questions belong together because we can engage both the heart and the mind as we seek insight into the life and times of now—the beautiful, resilient, but often confusing, turbulent, and broken world in which we currently live.

Today, I am breaking silence. Why now, you ask? The answer is simple. I am ready to share some thoughts on recent events. I’ve held back as I am not one to rush to judgment or react impulsively in the heat of the moment. With that said, do I sometimes post a hasty comment on social media? Of course! I can get sucked in, but generally, the contemplative side of me refrains from doing so.

I much prefer to dive deep into thought—to process what I am seeing and hearing. Knee-jerk reactions and hastily spoken words often arise from strong, visceral emotions rather than thoughtful consideration and insightful responses, so I usually opt for the latter. Sometimes that means I must wait for my mind (thoughtfulness) to catch up with my heart (emotions). On other occasions I hit the pause button to seek God’s counsel. I patiently await wisdom and discernment from Him. In His timing. Continue reading →

The Birds Are Still Singing

Our feathered friends are still singing!

Today, their melodious songs are unmistakably loud—and persistently cheerful, just like any other day. Two of our resident squirrels pause for a moment to tease the nesting mockingbirds but quickly return to stealing nuts and seeds from the swinging feeders. We strategically placed the feeders out of reach of the squirrels, but the furry rascals manage to find a way in! Annoying the birds has become the playful critters’ daily ritual in and around the magnolia and crepe myrtle trees. As I glance up at the majestic magnolia, I note dozens of bulging buds, announcing their readiness to burst into flower. Of course! It’s almost May—the month the magnolias bloom every year. Continue reading →

What Will Your Take Away Be?

How are you using this stay-at-home time to think about your future?

Will you make changes going forward? What will they be?

I’ve been knocked to my knees or had the stuffing knocked out of me many times, humbling me and causing me to rethink my priorities, my lifestyle and where I was headed. I’ve had to change direction. These are valuable tipping points. It’s happening again! And this will not be the last time, for undoubtedly there will be more times. It is ever so in this life. Are you feeling it too? Continue reading →

The Life and Times of Now

Greetings! In this post you will find one of the stories in Life’s Lessons, Chapter Five of the book I published last year entitled My Soul Sings for You—Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now. The story below is on page 151 in the paperback version and, while I read excerpts from it in my video book reading, it is written here in entirety as was published in 2019. 

During these unsettling times of battling the ramifications of this virus Covid-19 on human health and the world economy, millions of people across the globe are feeling stressed, confused and troubled. I understand. The unknown is always scary, but I want to encourage you to take heart. Have hope. Turn fear into faith. Our country is strong. We’re uniting and pulling together. Look for something positive in your current situation. Make a gratitude list! Believe that you and your loved ones will come through this. I pray you feel a sense of peace amid the chaos. A living, loving and powerful God is working it all out. Good things will emerge from all this. Continue reading →

My Soul Sings for You

.

Earlier this week, my publisher Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, alerted me that they had submitted my book files to the printer for formatting, and that the official publish date of the book was 18th September 2019. I am delighted to reveal the title and its accompanying tagline.

My Soul Sings for You
Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now

Publishing this 356-page book has been a unique journey that has challenged me as a writer and a person at each step of the process—actions that included writing, editing, selecting cover graphics, interior chapter graphics, creating unique captions to each graphic, as well as reading the entire book numerous times. It all added up to a lot of planning and decision-making amid intermittent periods of waiting patiently as my publisher performed their part in the production process. Continue reading →

My Feet, My Faith. His Will, His Grace!

I just love new beginnings, don’t you? The dawning of each day! Mondays … the first day of the month … the New Year … it’s like we’re given a fresh start over and over again, throughout the year! Oh joy! I definitely want, need and value these chances to begin anew … do you?

It’s January 2 and I’m deep in thought about the year ahead in 2018. How will I make my life count this year? In what way will I maximize the hours in each day to make every day count in a meaningful way? What plans do I have for our business this year? What steps will I take to bring it all to fruition?

So many questions spinning around my head. The answers?  Not coming so easily. Continue reading →

Christmas is Here! Breathe Easy.

As so often happens when I express what’s in my head and on my heart, the words take on a life of their own and run away with me … and I’m led into something much deeper {and lengthier} than I first intended. This is a continuation {part 2} of my last post called “The Holidays Are Here! Just Breathe!”

The original post was intended to be a short blog entry not a book, so I decided to turn it into a two-parter. Lol!  Thanks for sticking with me and my random ramblings about the holiday season.  I’m hoping the forthcoming message helps you in some small way.

Continue reading →