Looking for the Future…

“The fog of illusion, the fog of confusion is hanging all over the world.”
– Van Morrison.

Lost in the misty fog of life…that’s how I feel most of the time…unsure of where to head next…how to proceed forward into a place that I’ve never been before…I wish we were handed maps when we were born that would lead us directly to the path toward the purpose we were sent to fulfill…

I probably still would have tossed the map out the window…I have never liked being told what to do and imagine all the excitement that I would have missed…

“Sometimes when you lose your way in the fog, you end up in a beautiful place! Don’t be afraid of getting lost!” ~Mehmet Murat Ildan

Often when we feel lost…the mind and heart are not working in harmony…it does not mean that we’re doomed to wonder around in the cold misty gloom that blankets us…for often it is just a knocking at our heart… a call toward something better…if we were contented with the status quo…there would be no impetus to search for the warmth and light we yearn for…satisfaction of the soul…

It is good to feel lost…because it proves you have a navigational sense of where Home is. You know that a place feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.”

~Erika Harris

Venturing into that grey unknown frontier is intimidating and downright scary…that cold tight knot in the pit of your stomach that never seems to go away…it’s really just butterflies waiting to be released to fly…leading you to an enchanting place of freedom and possibility…

It really is OK

I promise…we all feel alone and lost at times…everybody…no matter how bleak the road appears you won’t feel that way forever…but how we travel through is important and can make the arrival time of our destination appear on the horizon more expeditiously…

“I give you this warning: your journeys will rarely go as you plan. You will make mistakes, and you will feel lost. Whenever that happens, look to the light and keep moving forward in faith.” ~Seth Adams Smith

I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist…and I don’t have a magical quick fix (my wand ran out of fuel and is in the shop)…but I humbly offer what works for me…

Sit with the feeling...The first step for me is just to sit with any turbulent and nightmarish emotions…just watching while they swirl and dance their crazy black tendrils…and not becoming overly attached or overanalyzing (which I do a lot)…knowing it will be ‘ok’…although it may take awhile…”Sitting with our emotions simply means allowing them, resisting the urge to get rid of the pain and not judging ourselves for having these emotions”…it is a lot more difficult than ignoring and/or dismissing them…it’s painful…often the first thing we do is to try and numb those feelings by a glass of wine or three…food…work or anything else to soothe the discomfort…the key is to ‘avoid’ those distractions…distractions that often just adds to our exhaustion…

Stay in the Present...it will help you get your bearings…figure out where you’re at… you have lost your compass…that vision of your life and the future..at the moment…wandering around aimlessly can be very dangerous…it’s a survival necessity to pause…like getting lost on a trail in the middle of the forest when the sun has descended…Stop, throw on an extra layer, relax, have a brew, and then pull out the map…often a sleep and a new day will bring new light…

Healthy Habits…Eating…this is critical for me...I crave carbs when I am stressed…it is a natural serotonin booster…and makes me feel better (for a little while until I crash…then crappy)…Exercising…A good cardio workout…Yoga is significant in unlocking of stuck energy for me…Meditation…doesn’t have to be traditional…just sitting in quiet…focusing on your breathe…reciting affirmations or scriptures….whatever makes you feel positive

Change Your Environment...Taking a walk in the fresh air and just concentrating on what’s around me changes my perspective…grounding or realigning your electrical energy by reconnecting yourself you to the earth…walking barefoot…lying on the ground… even swimming or wading in a lake or stream…sounds very woo-woo…I love this and is extremely calming…one central theory from one review study Trusted Source is that grounding affects the living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells…before you just throw the idea out…it wouldn’t hurt to try it…..

Take Action...Read…Listen to Podcasts or whatever presents itself in your search for self development and understanding…Seek and the teacher will come…Journal a lot…writing helps me to put all the jumble on paper and often I can sort through the threads that need to be thrown away and those I need to continue to follow… Deliberately be grateful…even if it’s just for your gift of that moments breath…

Go out and do things that make your life feel full of purpose and meaning. Identify what it is that you love doing (Not your mother, sister, husband or friend…especially society and social media), what brings you joy and get out and do more of it. Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes…do things to create meaning and purpose…

And never ever be afraid about Asking for Help…Friends…coaches…doctors…you are a valuable part of this world…very important to those around you..so many people care and would love to support you…they’ve been there…

“Light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole” @Naijamisfit

Love💓, laughter🤣 and magic🦄 for your day…

Is Art A Spiritual Practice…

What do you get when you shake and stir the emotions of feeling selfish, silly and way too old…a painful anxiety of unmasking my soul to critics…fearful that if I expose that creative dream to the light…”poof” like dandelion fuzz it would disintegrate again…worrying that it is an egotistical pursuit…sprinkle that with the musing with that following my joy might divert me from my mission in this life…hmmm…crazy exhausted with the overwhelming smell of burning rubber in the background…(which comes from stepping on the brakes and gas at the same time)…

Every artist dips his brush in his soul and paints his own nature into pictures.  

Henry Ward Beecher

My lifelong personal mission statement has always been to be a conduit of God’s love to this world…and it feels less than noble to be so excited about sharing my photographs and words…receiving wonderful support from those who view my work…isn’t the spiritual life meant to be hard and painful…

Wrestling with the dilemma has been a hellacious struggle…the creative dream and growth in writing and photography fills my life with happiness and joy…so I prayed…begged for guidance…as always, when it’s time…the teacher will come…not in my desired timing…of course…but when I was ready…it did…

Two books…one that I held for a while…but never read…The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and a lesser known book called The Soul of Art by Alfred J. Garrotto…both very supportive of the idea that creativity and spirituality are intrinsically linked…

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity…” The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

Last week I entered 8 photos into the PSSA(the Photographic Society of South Africa)…it was my first time for National entries…and only the second time for entering my photographs…I was fortunate to be able to enter free of charge because I am a newbie here…a level 1…but then everyone has to start somewhere…these are the ones that I submitted..my first entries were given gold and even better a certificate of merit…so now the question definitely needed answering…

Each photograph was taken with love and appreciation…some with exquisite joy in the beauty…some with pain…to be reminded of the poverty of the world…physically, emotionally, and morally…

It is said that, before being born, each soul is kissed by God. Then it goes through life always, in some dark way, remembering that kiss. The soul measures every experience in relation to that original sweetness . . . . To be in touch with your heart is to be in touch with this primordial kiss, both its preciousness and its meaning.

The Restless Heart Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

“As an artist, we are channels of the divine, fingers pointing heaven-ward. We are not the source of our gifts. We are individual points of light among the billions of stars that Creator-Spirit has splashed across multiple universes.”

Artistic imagination fills that void, showering us and our planet with wonder and hope. Artists’ message to our audiences is, “There’s more” . . . more than what we see and feel, more than the sum of our daily anxieties and fears. The Soul of Art, By Alfred J. Garrotto

I have done nothing to deserve these gifts and I am not worthy…any talent that I may have is unearned and unmerited…truly a gift of grace…to an imperfect human from a perfect God…to honor the gifts that I have been given, I still must do my part to cultivate and use them to make the world better…to share with an open and joyful heart…not as an egotistical pursuit or for personal accolades…it can easy to do…

All of us in the arts need to hone our craft through dedicated study, rehearsal, repetition, practice—even when we don’t feel like doing it and especially when we think we’ve maxed out our potential. How can any of us know that we do not have one more, or multiple, works within us that may exceed anything we have yet produced?  Am I too old to keep going? Too sick? Or just too wearied by past failures?

https://www.scribd.com/read/336109402/The-Soul-of-Art#

Perfecting the crafts of writing and photography will be a delightful lifelong challenge…I must put in the work that the gift requires to be more effective in touching lives…not allowing self-doubt and the fear of failure and criticism to bury my gift that may be used to return beauty, joy or inspiration…to lift humanity from its daily muck and mire of routine…causing someone to stop and breathe…if only for a moment…

May my heart always be filled with compassion to share a journey of hope and vision in a world of hopelessness and seen in all it’s ugliness…may I be given the virtue of humility realizing where my gifts come from to make the world a better place to live, joyfully sharing my gift with an open heart…for I have done nothing to deserve any gift that I have been given

I am only the “pointer” to the one that is the originator and creator of gifts…I am only the steward…a guidepost…so to speak…along this journey of life to the compassionate presence of a loving God..

I am only a conduit of God’s peace and love…allowing God’s love to flow through me...my service to others is my artists’ purpose…may my gifts to the world be wings that lift those that experience my words or images to be lifted out of the routines of the day to day and remind them that there is more…to discover within themselves their magic…their passion and joy…their own art and what is best within themselves…

Artists channel Creator-Spirit’s beauty, compassion, and love. Our mission and call is to bring some-thing into being where before there was no-thing.  Our ultimate gift is that, like Creator-Spirit, we do not hoard our transcendent experience and its fruits. Art is our “voice.” We cannot, we must not, remain silent. If we engage in the arts merely for our own gratification, we risk forfeiting our claim to be artists. Recall that art, like love, requires that it be given away. ~Alfred J. Garrotto

Any talent that I have is God’s gift to me, and my gift to Him is what I do with it…

I am a humble artist molding my earthly clod, adding my labor to nature’s, simply assisting God. Not that my labor is needed, yet somehow I understand, my Maker has deemed it that I too should have unmolded clay in my hand.  

Piet Hein

Dedicated to the love of my life Mr. P…who pushed me to fly and is the “wind beneath my wings” every day…and the support and encouragement of all my friends and family💓...I could not walk this path without them

Sent with prayers for Love, laughter and magic in your day

The View at the Top

As a writer, I often muse about what I have learned in my life and would want to leave that if people heard with their heart would make a difference to their lives…it would be…

NEVER, NEVER, EVER GIVE UP…ON YOUR GOALS, DREAMS, VISIONS AND ESPECIALLY YOURSELF..❣

No matter how many times you failed, no matter how dire the circumstances seem…or how long the fight…how much you feel like quitting

No matter how tired…rest awhile and get back up…just get back up

I have read so many articles and books…listened to every available video and program that I could get my hands on after my dissolution of an 18 year marriage in my mid-30’s…I had to walk away with nothing to my name…I had no means to keep my children…one child that really needed my help…the other opting to stay with his father because I did not have the money to give him the things his father promised to give to him…living in a car…and on and on…the knock downs and knock outs kept coming..

In the years in between…everything I tried to accomplish failed…the dreams I held in my heart and would not leave me alone…all shattered…there were successes…but there always seemed to be more failures and falling short of the cherished desires that I held unto tightly…wrapped in dirty discarded disappointments…

But I couldn’t give up…there was always a spark hidden underneath all the ashes of my life…I would read something that came my way…and the dying ember was fanned into a small fire and the rekindling of hope keep me hanging on through the years…

Recently I woke up on a quiet morning and realized that many of my dreams/wishes had manifested…I had been given the gifts that I had asked for on my “Christmas” list…not in all the exact physical detail that I thought I wanted…but definitely the “feeling” that I wanted in my life…

After my divorce, I made a list of the attributes of a partner that I felt would be a “soul mate”…someone that would be a yin to my yang…I spent years…literally😣 on dating sites searching for the “one”…there are definitely plenty of fish in the pond…over the years I went through over a thousand profiles…hundreds of online conversations…a few I thought might be compatible…but no one fit…and I felt I was too old and maybe just a friendship would be satisfying…

Then one day in 2018..26 years later…I received a pen pal request from a man halfway across the world in South Africa…a nice gentleman who offered to help me turn my profile photo right side up…we shared a love for photography, traveling and the same spiritual beliefs…he was intelligent, well read, gentle and kind…although an engineer is about as opposite to a creative personality…but yet the same…enjoyed music and art…he had even taken dance classes…

We wrote, and messaged daily for months…it was easy being open and free to express myself to someone that I shared so much with and was thousand’s of miles away…and would probably never meet in person…he was easy and gentle…very accepting and I felt that I could be supportive with some experiences that he was dealing with at the time…I had been there and done that…

There was no way that I could ever have come up with the way that this part of my life unfolded…a definite surprise package…now living in beautiful South Africa with a man that has made my life so incredibly magical every day…

Although life hasn’t all been wine & roses…especially when his cancer diagnosis was said out loud…just a little over a year after I arrived…9 months later after surgery and heart rending chemo side effects…we reached the other side…Mr. P rang the bell after his last chemo treatment was a few weeks ago and he has been given wonderful news that his stats are normal…full of gratitude and would not change one second…

I had several businesses that I had to abandon or didn’t get off the ground for one reason or another…one wish I have always had was to be able to leave a business for my children…a few days ago one of my children asked about helping with a business idea…how awesome is that…

I wanted to travel…see the world…and now our plans include Turkey and France…🤞 this year

I had lost a photography business when my divorce occurred…now I have photographed some of the most exquisite beauty in nature…

I carried a story around with me or some years and now I am writing a fantasy novel…which may take me awhile, but is so much fun…

I do think that maybe there are things I could have done to expedite the expression of my desires…I think there were times I was stepping on the brakes at the same time I was stepping on the gas…but I believe a large part is that is that I just wasn’t at the place I needed to be to or it wasn’t the right time…

And there are still things in my life that are waiting to be realized…but you have to ask and believe…trust and hope…God said, “Ask and ye shall receive”…He will give you the desires of your heart as you wait and trust in Him…and believe me, there will be things that you don’t receive that later on you will be glad that you didn’t get…

Never ever give up and enjoy the journey and if you are in a place where that seems impossible…sit with gratitude in nature…keep the flame burning in your heart…if all these things have been “gifted” to me…a simple girl born in the cold snowy winter of a small farming town with one stop sign…then it will happen for you…

With much love and magic for your day…

Renée🦋

The Balancing Act

What started out to to be a slightly anxiety producing event morphed into an exceptionally magnificent morning…

Mr. P and I had been tossing the idea of taking a whale and dolphin watching cruise since I arrived…well…even before…since my son-in-law showed me the videos of the jackass penguins and their true-to-life sound of a braying donkeyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVF9F28SY4c…so belly laughing hilarious🤣to watch…

In an effort to keep my social skills from totally atrophying I joined a photographic club…this happened to be their first ‘outing’ that I decided to join…Mr. P became a member too…on account that I haven’t learned to drive on the left side of the road with a left-handed stick shift… and sharing the road with crazy drivers and he makes me feel safer…my own personal bodyguard😎…seriously, it was more about being to be able to share the things that we both enjoy…

We were anticipating a distraction from the current situation that we are experiencing at the moment…although surgery had gone well…the previous day’s appointment to the oncologist was difficult for me…a reminder of the anguish inflicted on the the lives of 46 family members who had fought the same darkness and the few who survived it’s aggressive assault on their lives…and the special one❤ who lives with the presence of the gene that she carries with her every day of her life…

It started the night before…the combination of a glass of wine and seasick pills laid me out me out quicker than Tyson’s 90 second knockout…I could not keep my eyes open for anything…and at 8:30 gave it up…Mr. P did promise not to tell the kids that I wasted the night sleeping😂…

The morning dawned and set off early…the early night definitely helped to being “bright-eyed and bushy tailed”…with slight apprehensions about being accepted into the group…being the new kid on the block and an American to-boot…we set out to expand my knowledge of the marine life here in Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth…it still feels so unbelievable to live so close to all of this miraculous splendor of nature…

The sea was flat and calm after a few days of winds…yet trying to walk gracefully on a narrow floating pontoon bridge was not an easy feat for me…like navigating life (particularly in our now)…finding balance is most important…

Balancing Family Life Through Uncertainty | Resilient Educator
Dr. Seuss said it best…

By the time I got to the boat, evidently I still hadn’t found my balance…Lost my sandal climbing up the boxes to get into the boat…I tried so hard to look like I knew what I was doing…to be elegant and graceful…put the camera bag on the seat…gave my hand to the owner of the boat and most gracefully lifted my leg over the side and promptly my sandal flew off and landed on the floor of the boat…

“It’s about finding that balance where you have one foot in the familiar, one foot in the unfamiliar.
If you have two feet in the unfamiliar it’s overwhelming….

― Humble the Poet

Algoa Bay

oh, well…I was too excited to dwell on it for long…living in the moment…not the past or the imagined future is a critical component to balancing the good and bad in life for us right now…

Looking to the Future

… this day was going to be a positive memory in our lives…

And it was/and is…the postcard perfect day… weather was cooperating fully…acres of bright blue canvas of sky with puffs of white magic…blown with playful gentle breezes…what more could I ask for…

…but it was just the beginning…I became lost in the enchantment of the sea…

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too” ~Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

…and so are our lives

Such a incredible day…warm ocean painted memories to cherish and hold within my heart❤

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide, roll away
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time
~Otis Redding

..the white heaven bound birds reminding my soul to glide freely from the fear and a wave of sweet earthly joy and hope for the future began to dance…

…with all my love and wishes for magic🎈 and laughter in your life

~Renée

*Special shout-out to Raggy Charters for this beautiful cruise experience

The Dark Path…

Yeathough I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

…the sun still rises…the birds still sing their sweetest of songs.. my chest still rises and falls with every breath…even as the dark emotional pain assaults and then shatters even my willingness to walk another step on the path called “life”…my insides wet with all the unshed tears that drown my soul…

Yet…the threads of fear, pain and heartbreak are threaded throughout the history of the world and connects us with the whole of humanity…

…A friend who was unable to be with her husband during his heart surgery and now works 16 hour days at a fire camp to support for wildland firefighters…an young and gifted Zimbabwean who lives in a sanctioned country trying to find a way out…another gifted young man who writes deeply thought-provoking philosophical essays and worries about the cost of the future…a retired couple walking into the unknown adventures of finding work in another country…

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams
” ~Edgar Allen Poe

Our humanness is so limiting…this era that we live in so often tries to foster self-reliance…believing that we are the masters of our own destinies…yet part of being a “mere mortal” means that we will not miss facing adversity…challenges and troubles…Life is so often rich with it’s deep and dark experiences…

There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too … And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves. —Etty Hillesum, Westerbork transit camp

We live stitch by stitch in these uncertain times…often fixating on the whole tapestry…only see the knots and mishmash of threads…the stitching seems crude and often feels like it is completely unraveling…forgetting the Master Weaver sees the completed Masterpiece that He is creating…

My experiences have given me roots of strength in knowledge that I am strong and the my God is stronger…yet still…doubt sows its seeds in the fertile soil of my mind and burrows deep…the dread of the unknown blossoming like pernicious dandelions that stubbornly refused to be alleviated…endlessly looping…tenaciously intruding

The Grace of Endurance is the at Work of God in Our Lives…may I live to leave distinctive footprints of tenacity…bravery and fortitude for those that follow…

I find that along these paths of darkness there is always light waiting to be seen by our daunted hearts…

In this darkness there are moments of beauty in the most unexpected ways…take the joy you find in the day…carry them in your memories…the nights the fire sang in the depth of all it’s colors…enchanting and mesmerizing with it’s unchoreographed fiery dancing…finger’s intertwined in love…


“One word
Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.”
― Sophocles

A Mountain Zebra Morning

Be kind to those you meet today…spread the light of love and care…for if not today…one day you will need that same light to shine for you❣

Much love for your journey…dusted with laughter and a little magic…xxx

Metamorphosis

In life…transformations of our life can sometimes happen suddenly…but much of the transition of ourselves happens in stages and phases…each change adding depth, color and character to our life tapestry…

Twelve months of magical slowing down..resting…rejuvenation of body, soul and spirit…being rebuilt…listening to myself and relearning and learning what is important to me during this chapter of life…

Metamorphosis Morale in 2020 | Metamorphosis quotes, Butterfly ...

Lately I have felt stagnated…”itchy” like when damaged skin in healing…shedding old ways and beliefs that no longer feel comfortable to my authentic self…my experiences are changing the dimensions of my self- perception…

The greatest gift you have to give is your own self-transformation.

~Lao Tzu

…so much going on here…right now…lots of home renovation being done…torn foot ligaments…finding a photography club to be involved in…writing…Mr. P’s 3+ engineering projects…relationship time…friends and family…cooking…cleaning..business accounting…need to create a business website…and self-care…exercising…and..and…they are all things that I absolutely love doing…yet feeling overwhelmed…

When I start feeling overwhelmed…exhausted mentally….I start shutting down…and don’t get anything accomplished…I had a wonderful reminder the other day that no one can do everything at once…she said to find what gives my heart joy…what a brilliant place to start…

…But I love it all…mostly creative expressions and pursuits in one way or another (lol…cleaning would be the exception)…back to the drawing board… prioritize...time is always a factor in our human existence…so limited and precious…as much as I would like to think I am super woman…it’s only in my head and very debilitating to the body and soul…

What should take preeminence…what are my current top 5 Life Priorities…

  • Priority #1 – Health…the primary focus is on losing weight and obtaining my optimum BMI…I have lost over 50 lbs….but still have 38% of my current weight to lose…

This is at the top of my list because without health…there is nothing…

Maintaining a good health is the biggest investment that you could ever make, because without it, a lot of things in life would become impossible.”
― Edmond Mbiaka

If I am healthy…I have space in my heart and mind to enjoy everything else…I have the world at my fingertips…full of possibilities…I can do anything I want in life. I can enjoy my family to the fullest, I can love my friends and my man with intent and purpose…

  • Priority #2 – Relationships…most specifically Family…whether blood, out-laws and in-laws…employees and friends…the people who are our anchors and life jackets in the rough waters…the bond of love and joy in sharing each others lives..those who accept us as we are with all our foibles…those who believe and support us…

When my story eventually reaches its end, there are people that I would like to look back with. I hope to be able to look back at this life with this family I have surrounded myself and know that I was loved and that I am leaving a legacy of love in the hearts and lives of this family…

Priority #3 – Adventure/Life Experiences…always been an adventurer… opportunity to see the world, to meet new people, to learn about myself and to squeeze every bit of life out of this adventure around the sun...traveling and spending time in nature

Priority #4 – Creativitycreativity in all of its forms makes me feel sparkly and light up my spirit…even when it’s sanding baseboards to repaint…peeling and chopping miles of vegetables to make a delicious meal…spending an hour hunting for that “just right” synonym…taking millions of photographs in the hopes I can have just the “right” viewpoint/story to share…

Priority #5 – Self Development/LearningLearning…just learning something that I never knew before is exciting…Personal Development…becoming the best version of who I was created to be…

I remember reading this quote many years ago and thinking that I want to leave everything that I came into this earth to share…not holding back anything…

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown

…but rather arriving empty at the pearly gates being a good steward of the gifts that I was given…

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

…which brings me to the changes that I thinking of making within my blog…my yearly subscription is almost due for renewal…I thought I would delete the account and take some time off from writing…thereby reducing the list of things to currently focus on…

I found that I was just writing on another site…so that wasn’t going to be a solution…spending 4 or 5 hours per blog is a big chunk out of my day…so now what…

Changing the format or length of personal essays…making this more of a journaling platform…

I hope that you will stay with me during these changes…

...sent with magic, laughter and tons of love

Dedicated to the Mr. P

“Walk with me through life and I’ll have everything I need for the journey.”

Day 217…Busy as a Bee

Alone with nature is a soothing balm to the soul…it’s healing blanket wraps the soul in peace…

I walked in the warm enveloping morning soon and found nature all busy…as if life had not changed one iota…nature’s assurance that day will follow the night…and life will continue

Some people are called to leave us, but it is not the ending of the story…just the ending of their part in our story…

We can lament about what was or be grateful for the things that were…even the scars left are a part of their legacy…helping to create the beautiful tapestry of our lives…

…because in the end…it takes both the light and dark threads intertwined to create our mosaic…the tangled and knotted threads that we often obsess over are only part of the story…and often only seen by us…in the end God will reveal the unique and impeccably perfect masterpiece of our lives…

When the needle of life pricks the very depth of your soul…remember it is not the end…morning will come again…just as the day follows the night…

“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.”
― Brian Jacques, Taggerung

Day 216…Journey to Forgiveness

Saying Good-bye…

And in the end…he loved
February 16, 1931 – February 24, 2020

…May his heart now rest in peace…and may mine also

My Father’s Family

…quite a handsome young man that looks very happy in this photo…but as I look at this photo, I remember the frequent times that he voiced that he blamed his Mother for all the anger that he felt toward’s women…and I felt the brunt of that anger as the eldest…both emotionally and physically…and more that my mind has ever would allow me to remember…

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”
― Oprah Winfrey

The year that I was about 9 years old…with a family that he needed to feed and only a seasonal sawmill job…plus the promise of religious fulfillment…he put his wife…all four of his children, our German Shepherd Sheba… in a beat-up jalopy with a huge hole in the back floorboard…and with $50.00 left for Jeffersonville, Indiana…

…and there my life in the religious cult started…the abuse became more profuse there…he was either fervently and brutally religious or demonically violent…the pain traumatizing each cell in my body…until the only way to survive as not be inside of my body… in anguish and agonizing a-loneness…bleeding in my child’s soul…

…my mother was the perfect example of grace and beauty…inside and out…even in the place of her own pain..for once I had wanted to see if she remembered what had happened in a place that we had lived in Wisconsin…to this day, I don’t remember anything about that time…yet when I asked her about it…she replied that it was too painful to remember…

….Smiling on the Outside

After the age of 18…for many years I didn’t see or have much to do with my Father or any of my family…and life moved on…time moved on…as I had my own family and dealt with another abusive relationship with a cheating husband…

After finding out that my husband had an affair with my sister…all my Father could say was that… it was my fault…for I had not been a good enough wife…and the abuse was still agonizing…

Yet over the years…I realized that I did not want to continue to feel the pain and live a life less than…to continue moving forward and through was by forgiveness…forgiveness and healing is never a one-time process and it took many years of therapy…prayer…and every book that I could find…step by step…small slow steps…backwards…then forward again…day by day…year by year…the healing slowly and gradually covered the open wounds of my heart…soul…and mind…

…when I came back to Indiana in 2013…it was different now when I saw him…he was physically frail…and he was changed…altered somehow…he often talked about how sorry that he was that he was not a better father…and asked for forgiveness…on more than one occasion…with tears in his voice…not for any specific occurrence…but for a lifetime of hurting his children…

Another layer of forgiveness…I knew in my heart that I would probably never have the chance to see him again once I left for South Africa…I spent as much time with him as I could…loving him and letting him know that I forgave him…so he could have some peace…and I could also…

“Forgiveness is not a feeling: it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense against the offender. Forgiveness is the expression of love.” ~Gary Chapman

In my life I found that…most of the world contains good people that do the best that they can…with what they know and understand coloredand tightly bound by their life experiences…be patient and forgiving…for if they knew and understood…they would do things differently…

Image result for the world is hurting quotes

Love is still the answer…and it will always be…

The most highest and most beautiful form of love is forgiveness…

Dad, may your rest be filled with serenity in the arms of our loving heavenly Father…

your daughter, Renee

Day 188…A Black Raggedy Thread


“This is not a sweet skein of thought. Unthread it, Rachel.”
― Emma Richler, Be My Wolff

Just when I think it is all coming along just beautifully…I come across a black dangley and raggedy thread that is so distracting that I can’t see anything else…an ugly thread in my life that seems to threaten everything and especially the happiness…

…and it is just not me that can see this black repulsive thread…for most of us do not live in seclusion…and the threads that run through our lives also are integrated into the life weaving’s of the people who are often the most near and loved by us…

I cannot wave my magic wand and remove this thread from my life…it is part of the very core tapestry of my life…woven strong…and deep…That thing that deforms my beautiful life? It really, really, really shouldn’t have happened. But. It. Did…now I can choose to stop weaving with that particular piece of thread…

…the first prick of the needle…and the next…creating this insidious and unbeautiful…far reaching consequences…across a lifespan…my lifespan…

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…I didn’t see it as black…just this ugly gray shade of green…labeled jealousy…this beguiling… treacherous and ever eroding emotion…

Mr. P’s daughter came to stay with us for an extended period of time…something that I didn’t envision having to deal with so early in our relationship…and oh my…was I definitely not prepared to feel so much of an upheaval…

Our relationship…although not perfect…like the two people involved…was such a beautiful thing…my life had been so idyllic the last few months…each day a little better than the last…as we enjoyed our time together…

I was prepared to do the best I could…to be as loving and supportive…to slowly draw her in with gentleness and care…to be as accepting of his children as I want him to be with mine…

Uggg…and then…Life decided that I should have another pop quiz…without even a whisper of warning… and the thread starting popping out and I kept tripping over it…I would tuck it in…and it would pop out again…

What made me so jealous…everything…Mr. P is a caring and loving Father…and all the ways that he treats her is not anything that I ever experienced…and then I remembered…my Father was abusive mentally and physically…and that is just the little that I remember…

I thought that I had it all tucked away…clean and neat…having forgiven him and moved on…but the thread of pain and hurt popped up in way that I could not have predicted…

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

…when I was a young teenager…about 12 or 13…my Father decided that he needed to physically punish me…not for anything that I had done…but to remove “his” demons…my worth was only to be used for his twisted needs…not because I was loved just for who I was…and the blood drips…

Mr. P’s deep love, care and connection with his daughter…felt like a dagger into the very depth of my soul…but I was not seeing it for what it was…manifesting itself as the monster…

Being aware is for me is the beginning…releasing…again…and again…the pain of a lost childhood…no loving Father…there is no quick and easy answer…every day demands meditative prayer and gratitude …

Even though it brings with it pain…I am thankful for having been able to see it within myself…for it could have easily destroyed the new and fragile love that is being cultivated…I can now feel and not become reactive to those emotions…and I will heal…

King Protea: South Africa’s National Flower
Dormant buds survive wildfires to Emerge Once Again

I will sit with the fire of pain…knowing that I will come out stronger and I too will bloom again…