Thursday, April 30, 2015

When fears are like dirty socks

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She had big dreams inside her heart. She knew they were there, even though she didn't really know what all of them were, or what they would turn out to be.

Even though this little girl had dreams, she was often afraid of trying new things.

What if she would get hurt?

What if she would get lost?

What if she just didn't have what it takes?

She grew up being fearful. Whether it was her own fear, or others' fear projected onto her, she internalized it and it became her own. Many of these fears grew with her. 

As she grew older, the fears wouldn't leave. The fears hung around like dirty socks laying on the bedroom floor.

Like walking around the pile of dirty socks, she adapted to some of the fears even though they limited her. Some grew bigger and stuck like glue.

The fear of the unknown kept her inside a shell. 

The fear of failure kept her from trying new things. 

The fear of the future kept her living in the past.

Even the fear of success kept her from really soaring.

Then, one day, the little girl grew up. She had grown taller, older and wiser. 

She found out she no longer had to bow to the fears that had clung like dirty socks to her soul. With wisdom, she began picking up those dirty socks with her nimble and capable fingers. 

Each sock of fear she dumped into the basket of learning and hope. And, each sock of fear that she threw down turned into a possibililty.

The fear of the unknown turned into dreaming of what could be.
The fear of failure turned into permission to learn from her mistakes.
The fear of the future turned into anticipation of all good things. 
The fear of success turned into being true to herself. 

She also began to dig deep to learn where and how these limiting fears started. 

And, why she'd always been so willing to let these fears control her life.

St. Peter's Cathedral--NYC

They'd robbed her of her courage. They'd robbed her of new experiences. They'd robbed her of her self-esteem and self-worth. They had just plain robbed her of life.

She doesn't really know what's next. 
No one ever does. 

But, she's willing to live courageously in the unknown, knowing this is part of her journey.

She's willing to embrace her imperfections and limitations and work toward squashing her fears.

She's living wholeheartedly.
She's living courageously.
She's daring greatly.

Blessings to you today, friend! 


Linking up today with the lovely Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart and Kristin Taylor for Three Word Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What you think you can't do

My brain only listens to ME.  

I heard that in a grief work class I took years ago. I think I also heard Joyce Meyer say it in several of her teachings.

I need to tell my brain the truth. Tell it things that are possible and not things that are limiting. 

In my head, though, I often find myself saying, "I can't do that." 
Maybe it's the way I see an artist paint something. Or, how to put lettering on the canvas. 

How do they do that? I could never do it like that!

Or, maybe it's to travel half way across the country by myself.

Where did these limiting beliefs come from? When did they start? What happened to shut down my belief in myself?

I know I had big dreams. Most small children do.

"I want to be a teacher!" (said with a huge grin, of course!)

"I wanna be a fire man!"

"I want to be a nurse!"

Yeah, I had my "I wanna a be a nurse" phase. It lasted until I found out about shots and blood and all that. In other words, that dream didn't last long.

Mostly, all I remember is that limiting belief, coming out as the words I typed above.

"I could never do that!"

A good friend was talking to me recently about this topic and he said, in essence, 

"repeat after me, 'I can do anything and go anywhere I want to. I am free.'"

I admit that saying that statement after him was a very difficult thing for me to do. It got stuck in my throat as the lump formed. 

Finally I repeated after him. I said, "I can do anything and go anywhere I want to. I am free." 

I said it through tears. I said it through fits and starts, but I said it. 

And, you know what? 
Now, I'm beginning to believe it.

What would you do, or where would you go, if you believed you could do anything?

Blessings to you today, friend.


I'm linking up with the lovelies at Coffee for Your Heart and at Three Word Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When the odds are stacked against you

The odds were stacked against me, and I was right. I was a little afraid, and I was right to be. But, this time I didn't let that stop me. 

I had a new bike, and I was determined to learn to ride it. Even in gravel and dirt ruts.

I loved everything about my farm except riding my bike. 

Riding my Schwinn banana seat bike was like taking my life into my own hands. 

I thought.  

Plus, I couldn't be like the other kids I went to church with who lived in town. 

They got to ride their bikes on the smooth sidewalks, not gravel!

My Dad told me that I would be a more steady and accomplished bike rider for having learned to ride on gravel, while the other kids at church learned to ride on nice, smooth concrete driveways.

Was this just to encourage me to keep trying? Or was it really true?

I remember my Dad teaching me how to ride my bike right there in my gravel driveway. I was 5 or 6. He would tell me to peddle, and he would hold on to the back of my bicycle seat as I started off. We would do this over and over and over because I would try and then fall down. 

Would I fall because of sheer inexperience, or because of the gravel and dirt ruts? Probably both.

My front tire would get stuck in a pile of gravel, which would veer me into a weird angle and down I would go. 

Riding on gravel was like riding on shifting sand. The gravel dictated where I rode. Where lots of gravel resided, I did not. I had to find the grooves in the driveway where our car tires had either pushed the stones into the earth, or smashed them to the sides to make a big rut of dry dirt.  

That's where my safe home became, in the dirt ruts. (sounds bad, but true!)

Dad kept working with me in the afternoons between farm chores. He'd hold on, say, "Okay, go!" and I'd go. And sometimes fall.

Then, one time I tried again. I was surprised this time to find out that I had been riding on my own. I had not realized that my Dad had let go several steps back.

Yes, the odds were definitely stacked against this little girl bike rider. Gravel was not my friend. 

At first.

How about you? Have you ever felt like the odds were stacked against you, but you kept at it and succeeded in spite of the odds?  I'd love to hear your story.

Blessings to you today, friend!


Friday, April 10, 2015

what we all have in common

When I search the whole world over with my thoughts, I can't help but think of how different we each are. Sure, we're all human, and there's lots of talk about how our humanity brings us together. 

Sometimes though, I see the differences. Sometimes that's okay and sometimes not. 

How do I know the difference? 

One thing I think I can say for sure though that brings us all together besides the fact that we're all human and we all share the same Creator is our need and desire for relief. 

We all want relief.

From pain
from strain in relationships
from the heat
from the cold
from tight jeans (okay confession there).

None of us desire to remain in discomfort or pain in any situation at any time. I think we seek the common denominator of comfort.


It can bring so much of our desires to pass.

But, what if our relief doesn't come in the timing or way we desire it to? 
What if we have to spend some amount of time in discomfort or pain? 

We all do. 

That brings us together also. We have that in common. We all have pain and discomfort at times. 

And looking the world over, there are those who have lots more pain and discomfort in the world than I do. I live a pretty comfortable and cushy life.

When you are in pain or discomfort, what brings you relief?

Is it prayer, 
or a hot cup of tea?

Let's remember that our pain, discomfort and our desire for relief bring us all together. 

We are really all the same.


Thanks for stopping by today, friend, for the Five Minute Friday post. This week's prompt is "relief". Stop on over at Kate Motaung's Blog for all the details about joining in!

How do you find relief? I'd love to hear from you!!

Many blessings to you!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Five--no six--things I learned in March

Linking up today with Emily at for her monthly 'Things I learned' link up. This is where we "reflect, share and celebrate on purpose--the fascinating, ridiculous, sacred and small." as Emily puts it. Here are six things I learned in March in no particular order.

1.  In March I signed up for a three week (three Monday nights) acrylics course at my church. With my mother. I've never done anything like this. I was worried about plagiarizing a picture I found on Pinterest, but I needn't have worried. Mine doesn't look anything like her professional painting. 

But, at the advice of a dear artist friend, I purchased the e book, Steal Like an Artist and read it in one day. Now, I'm certain that what I did was okay, and probably even encouraged. I still want to be careful though. 

Maybe I'll go sit in my back yard and paint my tree.

2.  This month I met a wonderful author on Twitter named Kat Lehmann, who just released her poetry book Moon Full of Moons: poetry of transformation. What I learned from Kat first though is how to write a tanka poem, and what a "tanka" poem is. 

A tanka is a five line, free verse poem using simple language. The last line is a twist or a change in direction. 

Here are two of my first tankas:

tiny sparrow
in the grass
the world must 
look so big to you

and yet, so small


little girl
curled up in her
yellow flowered room
left toes over right toes

dreaming tight

I think I have fallen in love with this form of poetry.  Now, I've written many. Maybe you'll see more to come on the blog.  I've shared some on twitter, @AnneLandhuis.

3.  For the first time ever, I commissioned an artist to paint me a painting. She is a friend I met through the Brene Brown e course last year and I love her work. I am so very excited to see my friend @studiolinski (Instagram) be a successful artist!! My painting is called La Vie En Rose. Love.

4.  I also painted my first piece of canvas acrylic art. Okay, here goes...I am an artist! (that is kind of a hard thing to say, but I'm believing it more and more!)

5.  I got my first pair of "boat" or "deck" shoes in my entire life. My daughter said it was okay, and even encouraged me. I got them at the Bass Outlet store. I'll be going back for more Bass this month. I can't wait!

Five things learned doesn't mean I didn't learn other things, too. But these are the highlights.

I guess one more thing I learned from a careless driver on our dead end street. 

6.  Make sure you read the "dead end" sign at the beginning at the street you turn on so you don't plow into the fence at the dead end and crumple it to pieces.

I wonder what it did to their car.  

Thanks for stopping by to share in what I learned this month! I think it was kind of an "artful" month, and I plan to keep that up.


when you don't feel good enough

If you're anything like me, you want to be good enough.

You want to look good.
you want to feel good. 
you want to be a good mom or dad.
be a good spouse.

We all want to be good.

We also want to be good at something.

Anything really!

We want to be so good at something that someone, anyone, the world really, will stand up and take notice. 

Don't we?

I was just thinking about how God wanted his work to be good, too. Like the work he did when he created the moon and stars, the birds and bees, the trees and donkeys. The sunsets and sunrises.

He wanted it all to be good. 

For us.

And, you know what? After each day of creation. He pronounced His work "good". Isn't that cool? 

What can that teach me to say to myself after I've created something!?

Such a good lesson there! 

But the pinnacle of his creation came on day 6. That's the day he created humankind, and you know what? He didn't pronounce it as good that day. No, he said something different that day. That day he didn't pronounce man and woman (you and me, really as humankind) as merely good

He said, "this. What I've made here is very good!"

So, on those days where you don't feel good enough at being you. Good enough at being a mom or dad or student, or a human being. Remember those words that God said on the sixth day. 

Remember that he created humanity and said, "This is very good!"


Thanks for stopping by for Five Minute Friday! Linking up at Kate's Motaung's blog for five minutes of free writing, just for the fun of it! Today's prompt is "good".

Blessings to you, friend!


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