Saturday, January 28, 2017

What's in your circle?

Linking up with other writers today for Five Minute Friday. A flash mob of writers who write for five minutes without going back to do fancy editing.  Hop on over to Kate Motaung's blog to see what it's all about.  This week's prompt is "control".

Everywhere I turn I see people trying to control others by their words and actions. I've even been on the receiving end of this type of control and I know what it feels like. 

It doesn't feel good. 

So, why do I often find myself with the urge if not the actual actions or words coming out of my mouth trying to control a person in my circle or the events or circumstances around me? It doesn't work!! And, I know how it feels to be on the receiving end, so why would I do it?

It's ingrained I think. And you know what else? I think fear is at the root of control.

I'm afraid my expectations won't be met.
I'm afraid my needs won't be met.
I'm afraid my voice won't be heard.

I'm afraid that I won't be seen.
I'm afraid my opinion is not important so my voice might get a little louder.

I heard something recently that made a whole lot of sense. It actually came from my husband from something he learned at work.

He talked about the circle of concern and the circle of control.
There are things in life that we can be concerned about that we cannot control. Which are most things, by the way. 

Then there is the circle of things I can control. Picture two circles, one inside the other. The smaller circle is the bulls eye. The circle of things we can control. 

That pretty much leaves us. Our own person, ideas, faith and our being. 


*not simple. Just kidding

Blessings to you today,


Monday, January 23, 2017

The gift to give yourself

Today I'm joining other writers for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is "refine". For the first time ever, I wrote for five minutes, but then let myself keep going. I don't normally like to do that, but I had a lot to say about the topic I chose to write on and the words just kept coming.  Go on over to to see how you can join in this flash mob of writers too! 


I'm not known for being too organized or efficient. I'm also not known for caring too much about it either. Well, I do care. But, it is definitely not something I'm striving for, to do more quickly.

Maybe I could refine that and improve, but I've never been one to like New Years resolutions. They have always seemed like something that sets one up for failure. I have enough trouble staying in a good place with self esteem, so no resolutions.

I have discovered something about energy balance and self care recently though and I'm passionate enough about the results that I'm going to continue refining what I know and things I do about these two catagories long after 2017 is out the door. 

Know why? 
Space to breathe.

Space to think, grow and learn.

Energy balance.
I don't mean acupuncture or holistic medicine. I mean the balance of what kind of energy I'm letting into my life and what energy I'm letting out. 

I've refined my follow feeds on all my social media. This hasn't been a choice really, as I look at how my body handles stress. If something is causing negativity and resulting stress, it's going off my radar.

It might be my age talking here, but I don't have enough margin in my physical, emotional and mental health to tolerate negativity any more. 

Self care. 


What do I need right now? What will bring joy and help me to focus on gratitude?


I read just yesterday that if you're grateful, there's no room in your brain for anger. This is from a well known author, but really, I could have told you that. 

If you're like me, anger about just about anything can creep in pretty sinister like. Before you know it, we're feeding that anger and it's getting bigger. According to this author, what we feed gets bigger. 


by intentionally beginning to focus energy and attention on gratitude, the anger has no where to go but out. 

In the beginning of 2016 I started a gratitude jar. I bought a vintage jar and found scraps of paper at first and put these on a prominent shelf in my living room. Every night before bed, I stopped at this shelf and wrote out at least one thing I was grateful for that day. 

I watched this jar fill up. Then, I had to go junking to find another vintage jar because I just can't use a new one. At the end of the year I had filled two big jars to the very brim, even having to shove the pieces down in each one for 365 gratitudes to fit in them.

On New Year's Day I had a huge gift to give myself and it lasted into the next week. I started reading through all of those 365 gratitudes that I'd written each day of last year.

I smiled as I reminisced my time in June with my tribe in Maine. I chuckled at something my hubby had said to me in August. I warmed as I read "today my daughter came home from England" on July 20th. So. Many. Gratitudes. And, I had given this gift to myself without knowing it.

Without knowing it, I had filled two big jars with tons of positive energy. Those two jars sat in my house giving off positive vibes (not trying to be woo-woo here, just funny). It was all I could do to wait until New Year's Day to dig in to them and start being grateful all over again. 

I've begun my 2017 gratitude jar and I'm excited. Every night before bed, I stop at the shelf with the jar and my paper and pen and pause. Sometimes it's hard to think of something right away if the day has been kind of hard.

But this forces me to think of even the littlest thing to write down. Maybe Mr. Cardinal stopped in my fir tree for just a few minutes bringing me joy.

It's not too late to start preparing a huge gift for yourself on New Year's Day 2018! 

Thanks for stopping by today friend.



Monday, January 16, 2017

when the muse shows up

Linking up today with other wild and free writers at Kate Motaung's place for the first Five Minute Friday of the new year. This week's prompt is middle.  Five minute Friday is a time when we write for five minutes straight without fancy edits. Just writing for the fun of it. Come on over to Kate's blog to find out how you can join in in 2017!

Sometimes you just don't know when the creative muse is going to show up. It was in the middle of the week before Christmas. I was on the 2nd day of the worst cold I've had in my life. I was sitting on the sofa with my journal and a cup of tea and the muse showed up. 

I had wanted to write a short story for my daughter's short story collaboration called Meet Cute. But, I told her, I just don't have a story ready. I was also hesitant because what if it wasn't good enough for her to pick for her book?? How would I feel?

Well, all of that went by the wayside that morning in December. My pen started moving across my journal pages as fast as you can imagine. I couldn't really believe it myself. I just kept writing and writing and it was fun. I wasn't editing as I went along either. I wasn't scrutinizing my writing. I was just having fun and letting the words tumble out of me and through my pen and onto the page. 

And, I had let myself off the hook. I had told myself it didn't matter if she, as the editor of the Meet Cute book, chose my meet cute story. I decided it mattered just to write a story for fun and see what happened after that.

That's when the creativity usually shows up, doesn't it? It shows up when it isn't pressured to show up. It shows up when it doesn't have to be "included" or perfect. It wants to be free to just "be". 

I loved writing the story called Matt and the Beauty, based on how I met my future husband. 

And, you know what? My daughter really liked it.*


Thanks for stopping by today! It's lovely to have you here,


*My short story, Matt and the Beauty, will be published along with 18 other short stories with the "meet cute" theme! Meet Cute is a collaboration of short stories along with illustrations from separate artists from around the world. So excited for my daughter Kara Landhuis, editor. Find out more at!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What we want most this Christmas

What can you do NOW? What do you control and what is your concern but out of your control?

These are things to ponder during these days of gatherings and special moments. Even good things can bring stress--the stress of self-imposed expectations
--threats on self of perfectionism.

KNOW that you are enough.
You. Are. Enough.
Even if you did nothing else but be you, 
you are enough.

BOW--Bend the knee to the One who made you and calls you by name.
He loves you.
He came for you.
He died for you.
He rose for you.
He's declared you good. Very good.

Rest in that knowing in gratitude.

ALLOW people to be exactly who they are. No more, no less.
This is harder said than done, but will decrease stress and promote inner peace in your soul.

Isn't that what we want most this Christmas? Without our health and peace, we have nothing.

Allow yourself space
--to think
--to dream
--to know you're loved
--to know you're enough

on this crazy spinning ball called earth.

Stop off for some moments of calm and 
and allow.

Blessings and thank you!!


Thanks for stopping by. Linking up late to Five Minute Friday with a tribe of writers each week at Kate Motaung's blog. Stop over there to see what others have written on the prompt, NOW.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Surrender to a moment

Linking up late for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung's blog. This week's prompt is "surrender". 

God, thank you for Mr. Cardinal who just swooped by and flew to a branch in Mr. Evergreen. He's been sitting there for at least a minute, bobbing up and down on the tree branch swaying in the wind.  It's definitely as if he's there on assignment from You to me. 

He's still there. In all of his red gloriousness. 
Feathers standing out against the green back drop. 

Now, it's close to two minutes. He's still there. 

What is he thinking about? Does he know he's brought me to tears because of his presence? I surrender to this moment in time where this beauty has flown in and perched right in my view.

He's still there. It's got to be three minutes. 

My tears are flowing freely in gratitude for this gift that has lifted me out of rumination to gratitude and awe. He's perfectly content in his world. Surveying in silence and stillness, he looks to be the King of his kingdom. His feathers puffed out in contentment, he must feel safe.

Probably almost four minutes now, of his presence in my evergreen.

His contentment and presence startles me. 

Startling me out of negativity and into joy and peace and the thought that all is well and all will be well.

He knows he's enough just as he is.
I know that I'm enough, too.

This pause has unraveled anxiety about what is to come. I've been instead invited into the moment that is.

I surrender.


Blessings to you, 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's time

It's time for more beauty and less chaos.
It's time to watch the birds
flitting at the feeders
It's time to smile at the squirrel antics and stop scolding them for stealing the bird seed.

It's time to show compassion to animals and people.
Even people I disagree with.
Compassion and joy and enjoyment of all that is around me.

It's time to surround myself with 


These have become my dearest friends.
Friends who encourage the best in me. Friends who gently guide me.
Friends who lead me to truth.

It's time to believe the truth about myself and others.
It's time to give myself the worthy messages I'm so deserving of.

If I don't celebrate my worth, who will?
If I don't celebrate and believe my worth, how am I capable of celebrating yours?

I am worthy of all good things.
I am worthy to be treated well.
I am important and my gifts are important and worthy to be shared.

And so are yours.

Let's celebrate beauty
let's celebrate worth
let's celebrate with love and compassion all that is good within us and in each other and the world.

We'll be so much better for it.


Thanks for joining me today for Five Minute Friday! I'm joining with other wild and free writers over at Kate Motaung's blog. Come on over and check it out and even join in. We write for five minutes on the prompt of the week. This week's prompt is enjoy.

Blessings to you today,


Friday, October 7, 2016

taking the test

The months since June have felt like one test after the other. Tests of character and resolve.

Tests of integrity and living by truth. My truth.

More than ever, there have been tests. seemingly endless. Moments for tea and breathing and living in-between. But, tests.

I've been learning more about myself since June. I'm learning old patterns and unlearning them. 

Learning new patterns of self-care and self-compassion.
Learning new ways to give myself permission.

Permission to be alone.
Permission to heal.
Permission to be myself....

to create
live my own life
beat my own drum

and listen for what's next.

Is there ever a time in life where we know, without certainty what's coming next?


Sometimes we have an idea. We've dreamed a dream. We've made our best laid plans. 

Oh yes, we. do. plan, don't we?

But, in reality, the only thing we know for sure is what is right now. What's right in front of us.

Taking personal tests of bravery, courage, fortitude, steadfastness, creativity, longing, looking, learning and more have been in my recent past.

I'm guessing more of those things are coming right around the corner.

I know I'm up for it, good for it. Gonna show up for it.

How about you? What tests are you facing these days?

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings to you.


Linking up with other writers for Five Minute Friday where we write for five minutes straight with no fancy edits. Stop in over at Kate Motaung's blog to see what it's all about! This week's prompt is "test".
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