Porch Stories…

So …today I’m home from work and just taking a day. And quite pensive.

I’ve had a completely FULL week and it took more emotional, mental and physical strength than I’ve exerted in quite some time. Sitting and allowing the sun to hit my feet and soak up sun, is just: peaceful.

There were transitions for people in my life and who were ordained to cross my paths. And whether by prayer, conducting acts of service, or simple conversation,… I completed the tasks – so I’m worthy of the much needed rest.

Sometimes I’m not fully aware how much virtue leaves me when I’m completing such tasks. This led me to blog a bit about this story of being tasked to “assignments” versus being tasked to “a job“. I realize there is a difference.

There’s what some of us call: employment and then what employs us- that being a call to work in conjunction with other to fulfill their own destiny.

And that was last week, for me.

So .. that’s all folks.

So think about it: Which are you fulfilling?

Your calling or your assignment? Or are you working in futile places, barely being fulfilled?

Do we need to pursue our calling so that we can complete our full assignment?

Who assigns it anyway?

Is it us, …. God…or the ” little gods ” we serve: (work, people, houses , cars or the things we own):

And …what can you do to ‘reduce yourself’ to less of what you desire, so that your life might be full?


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I guess I could’ve chosen another word this month, for July to focus on, but as a Nation, I believe this is where we are. I chose “Feel“.

America is changing. There are many things that have occurred that causes trauma to bring out actions that were once hidden and contained in one space – to open up into the main arena- which often is the community, at large or even small communities as of late.

The mass murders that have occurred over the past few months have caused me to put a few projects on hold and to take take to be present to you feelings, lately. I am not feeling just for myself, but I find myself feelings for others, as well.

The victims, the perpetrators, the communities affected. And I’ve been doing the only thing I know how- which involves prayer, and open lamenting. Open lamenting involves talking about the grief , and the actions and behaviors and losses I don’t quite understand. I choose to feel.

I am still feeling. And possibly will be all year- who knows… Because someone has to. Someone has to make the things people numb out to – be at the forefront. And if that’s what I do by writing, so be it.

Someone has to speak to the pain, the hurt, the challenges, the shifting of this world as it evolves. Sometimes faster than we are changing ourselves. Someone has to respond with love, encouragement, to love this life with freedom even when it seems it’s too risky to go out in communities for fear of being harmed.

I used to live on the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Ok. And this photo above was a place where I considered to be my safe space. When things began to shift and change, I would walk the path alongside the river and it would calm me. Until one day the river overflowed its banks. And it was in my backyard. We had to move. We shifted. And not reluctantly, at all. We just knew it was time. So together, we shifted with the way life was leading us.

Even as things shift and change in your life, find yourself safe space. As life shifts and challenges, you and atrocities happen all around. Remember also what “centers” you. Remember to ” give thanks” even when it’s hard to. Keep a heart of gratitude.

We need to have a certain level of adaptability to life, when things shift. We cannot choose numbness, or indifference, or ” anger” as our way of dealing; because it may cause self- sabotage, or systemic sabotage, or even resentments and hate. We have to tap into where love is. We cannot freeze up. We must feel.

Pray. Cry. Deal with and talk about how you feel about women’s rights, death, loss, grief, murder. Don’t distance yourself, don’t ‘veg out’ on TV.

Feel. Believe. Trust.

Even if believing is a challenge.

Choose to feel. Allow yourself to breathe. Because when challenges sometimes happen , the first thing we do is hold our breaths.

Chaplain Contemplations: Freedom.

I was trying to think of what walking in my calling looks like. So I began to think about for the first time in my life, my ” heart feels full.”

I mean, I get this full feeling sometimes to the point I cannot even explain the emotion, and then I emotionally feel as if I’m about to explode …with sheer joy.

It’s happened more than once. It really has.

And just recently I looked up the definition of heart”; in the Vines dictionary and found this which so explicitly explains my feelings…

Heart is referred to as:

  1. The seat of physical life
  2. The seat of moral nature and spiritual life
  3. The seat of grief
  4. The seat of the affections
  5. The seat of perceptions
  6. The seat of the thoughts
  7. The seat of the understanding
  8. The seat of reasoning powers
  9. The seat of the imagination
  10. The seat of conscience
  11. The seat of the intentions
  12. The seat of purpose
  13. The seat of the will
  14. The seat of faith

ALL of this.. is in our hearts!! No wonder “out of it flows the issues of life!”

Of our sense of purpose , decision-making , our faith and intentions are all tied up in our heart- even our sorrows – that means everything meaningful flows out of the heart!

That why in that same scripture we ask you to “guard it with all diligence”.

What does it look like for you to guard your heart? It means you watch over everything that concerns your purpose and your sense of well-being. All your hope, all your destiny and all your exchanges in life- with people, friends, family and your children .

What’s in your heart is meaningful and should be kept secured in faith.

Because faith has substance you know. It can take root in your soul and change your lifestyle and change your outlook and perspective in life. It can encourage all those around you and help you to become a more rooted and grounded person.


#chaplaincy #chaplainlife #lifeofachaplain

Gratefulness Is…

Remember when you were kids and the summer was boring , and you wondered why in the world the summer never seemed to end, and life just seemed so repetitive, you couldn’t wait for school to begin again?

I remember.

I think my mom used to get excited as well about school beginning again, as well. I’m so glad those days don’t exist anymore.

There were some summers so long that I felt like I was bored out of my mind. And then the cycle of school began again, and I didn’t want school to be a pattern anymore after November got here, because I needed a few days off, and I was just ready for Christmas break!

Why am I talking about patterns and breaks? Perhaps because I believe sometimes we can get into a ‘funk’ – where we just take the natural rhythms of life for granted. There something very comforting to me, about the sun rising every morning.

When the sun doesn’t rise I’m in a mood- and sometimes it’s not a very good one. That happened yesterday, and I had to step into gratefulness mode in order to get out of it. I just began to give thanks for what I had and what I felt, and how I lived and …the rain. Yeah , the smell of rain, the way it washed and replenished the earth, the way it washed even my dirty car, and made me be still enough to think.

And that funky mood?

It disappeared. Hmmm…

So perhaps most ‘funky moods’ would disappear if we focused on the goodness in life; instead of wet shoes, puddles, and getting wet. Or, in other words: (what we don’t have, our disgruntlements, what’s inconvenient for US… or makes us upset.)

So let James 3:16,17 be your medicine today, if this is you attitude more than it should be:

“So wherever jealousy and selfishness are uncovered, you will also find many troubles and every kind of meanness. But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom‚Äôs fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace.”


This is my series on Gratefulness this month of June, join me as O attempt to write about the beauty of wearing it as a charm.

Memories from My Moves: The Value of Writing During Life Transition.

I have moved  approximately nine times in my life.  I  know it sounds like a lot, but  several of those moves were  within state and  needed for job transition .

Doesn’t make it any any easier, nor ¬†does it make it ¬†less of an issue. ¬†I ¬†have to admit – I don’t really lke moving per say, but I have ¬†enjoyed ¬†learning ¬†new cultures and new places and people where I have lived.

I have moved to ¬†get a ¬†new start on life maybe ¬†three times. ¬†The others were due to the fact I was running, ¬†I ¬†just did not like my life there anymore, and three ¬†times I have moved with issues ¬†surrounding “a man”. I never wanted to follow a man, but I ¬†twice moved once because ¬†I ¬†wanted to “get away ” from ¬†a man; and I must‚Äôve learned from it; ¬†because the other I‚Äôve involved wanting ¬†to be ‚Äėnear‚Äô a young man, and that man eventually became my husband. And that was a ¬†really good move. ¬†To Texas. ¬†Texas enlivened me. ¬†I ¬†flourished there. I had ¬†friends I had never had ¬†anything like before, and ¬†they were supportive of me.

Moves are hard though if you’re a introvert. I’ve found that getting involved with groups helps me spread the love around and have a more active social life.

backlight grapes.jpgWith every move, ¬† I ¬†have had, ‘journaling’ has ¬†given me a sense of place and ¬†recogniton of the move and ¬†resolve and acceptance. Writing became my mainstay. I later found ¬†it to be a way I coped with transitions.

Here’an old post but good one ¬†that reminds me where ¬†I ¬†find ¬†resolve with ¬†my every ¬†move. ¬†It was never publlshed, just ¬†something I found in an old newsletter ¬† I‚Äôd ¬†made.

I Will Be Transitioning!

 I have found value in my writing lately.  I am  in a transitioning phase.
At the end of this week, I ¬†will be moving to a new home. I am a bit sentimental, ¬†and have begun to take pictures as I transition for this home, to the next.¬†Thusly, I’ve been doing a lot of writing.

One of my last sessions ¬†this past summer, we spoke about the ¬†value of journal-keeping. Lately that has been a struggle for me, in terms of consistency, but I have been ¬†keeping a voice diary. It’s like a journal, but ¬†just easier. Stay tuned for examples¬†of ¬†my e-course I am making and my Soundcloud voice diaries I keep, ¬†and desire to share or you to think about rest easier. Though my course isn’t¬†finished¬†yet, I do desire you hear the¬†diaries to think about ¬†the perspective I have on the¬†relationship¬†we need to have with rest for our soul-care.
Journal writing has several values.While studying these facts, I discovered why the act of writing ¬†is such a¬†consoling practice for me.¬†I literally believe keeping a¬†journal¬†has SAVED MY LIFE. I am sure some of you can relate. ¬†Here’s what Peg Nolan, ¬†has found as ¬†a few truths: ¬†¬†

1. ‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing¬†¬†brings me clarity.‚Ä̬†–¬†It helps me to see myself and acknowledge my fears, so I can begin to work on them.
2. ‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing¬† helps me focus.‚Ä̬†Nothing better than knowing that my mind can settle because I now have it now on paper, and can return to that thought, and it won‚Äôt be caught out in oblivion.
3. ‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing is for my own personal ¬†accountability.‚Ä̬† ‚Äď Sometimes if there is no one to tell that dream to, it helps to be accountable to myself by writing it down.
4.‚ÄúI can yell in my journal and no one will hear me raise my voice.‚Ä̬† ‚Äď And I do yell – mind you, with¬†LOTS of exclamation points¬†for those things I struggle ¬†to comprehend.
5.‚Äú Journal ¬†writing¬†¬†increases my self-awareness.‚Ä̬†(Oh yeah,. and my self confidence‚Ķ)
6. ‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing¬†reduces my stress.‚Ä̬†It keeps my blood pressure¬†regulated. I believe once it saved my life. Kept me sane‚Ķ
7.‚Äú¬†Journal ¬†writing¬†a place to sort through my struggles.‚Ä̬†I am always focused on maturing my SOUL‚Ķ it‚Äôs an ongoing battle and I need it in order to be self actualized.
8.‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing¬†gives me peace of mind.‚Ä̬†¬†And an ability to listen intently to my thoughts, and ¬†to ¬†talk ¬†softly with God about them. (Love it! I am such a deep thinker!)
9.‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing¬†¬†a vision illuminator¬†!‚ÄĚ-¬†¬†My dreams grow and incubate and simmer‚Ķ some more…and ¬†then they do something else…they ¬†‚Äėcrystallize‚Äô – which when defined means to become definite or clear¬†. I ¬†found this with every move, to be true.¬†
10.¬†( This one is mine! )…I can hear God speak, when I write:¬†I believe God is ALWAYS speaking, we just aren’t quiet enough to hear Him.
11.‚Äú Journal ¬†writing is¬†an idea incubator.‚Ä̬†‚Äst¬†Man oh man, I have so many ideas, I could write about a book about ALL OF THEM!!
12. ‚ÄúJournal ¬†writing is a judgment-free zone.‚Ä̬†‚Äď ¬†You’re ¬†definitely ¬†not ¬†going to find anyone peering over your ¬†shoulder – unless you give them ¬†permssion ¬†– to ¬†look, or ¬† leave cause for that to happen…) And no one can give me feedback and I can sit with myself and my own thoughts and keep them as private as I want, til they are born and put into practice‚ĶOR NOT.

My Sabbath Rest, Day .

I’ve taken to micro-blogging for the sake of a lack of time, and what you see here is the beginnings of my offering to you –  as  I  share how I  partake of my personal rest.

Self-care used to be hard for me. I have a very busy job and some days I get going and don’t settle at all til the evenings…rather late… Yet this picture here helps me find that and remember it. I try my best to make Sundays a Sabbath. The last few Sundays I have been pretty  good with this goal. I’ve been successful in finding rest. Some try to often make us feel guilty for resting, but no, not I.   For me, Sabbath is a place of resolve. And if I cannot find it at  all…in any given day, then something’s wrong  with my time management and  self-care paradigm. I don’t care who tries to make me feel guilty, I won’t accept it.

Even from my husband .

(And he’s the one that initially turned me on to Sabbath!  Interesting how  easily we  can  get out  of routine, huh….)

Want to rest with me on Sunday?

Here’s how  I do rest:

  •  I  get a  cup of tea.
  •  I spend time with  a friend that may like to contemplate or  quietly write.
  •   I  go to  a cafe’ and   drink and  journal.
  •  I  spend time if it’s nice outside –   drinking  in the sun.
  •  I  spend  time  near  a  body of water or in nature .
  •  I  read a good book in a  quiet corner.
  •  I   laugh.  I  find a   comedy movie,  a friend  who likes to tell  jokes,  and just  chill.
  •  I  gather  perspective and I may  go to yoga.
  •  I  catch up with a friend or spend time  writing a letter to them.
  •  I  scrapbook.
  •  I have a pajama day.
My noted change as a result of this practice has been: ‚ÄėNo   dreading  with the pre-Monday  blues‚Äô I‚Äôm better   – because I  feel rested  On  Monday , now, and ready for the day! Check out my links I post, or my blog posts.. you’ll find rest….ūüėĄ Please read this blog by Shelly Miller it’s on time for learning about how to rest. Shelley is no longer with us, but she left a legacy of restful words. Check out her blog here: http://redemptionsbeauty.com/sabbath-society/

 Keri Wyatt Kent is one of my favorite authors of books called: “rest.” Her blog is here:
http://www.keriwyattkent com is another good Sabbath blog.

Why not join me and rest?
Share every Sunday how you take time to relax in the weekend.
Thanks for reading. And sharing!

Taken in Tulsa, OK.