One’s Unique Star-Shine

 “The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.”

__Joy J. Golliver

 

The first memory of viewing the moon in the sky surrounded by millions of stars appears on the stage of every starlit night.  The recognition wakes the familiar.  Similarly, to lie on a trampoline wrapped in a blanket staring up at night calls for a whisper. I remember such a night with my dear friend Rae Whitney, a writer of hymns.  We watched for falling stars…  They were meteorites…  No words can capture the whole of the Nebraska midnight blue.  The embrace felt in grace led me to thank God again, and again, and again.
Years earlier, on a starless night alone at my desk with the intention of writing the graduation speech I was asked to give for the Senior Class of Maplewood High School in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania, I turned to God to ask for help.  With pen in hand, I wrote : “The sky can never have too many stars; there is room for everyone to shine, including you.”  
No one could have known the enthusiasm these words stirred in me.  Was it a coincidence?  What do I mean?
 The irony is few would have known how the phrase that came through me for others, in turn would help me.  I asked God on their behalf for inspiration, and the answer came as in a love letter for everyone to own.  No one’s light is diminished by the light of another.  With humility or with pride or with simple certainty, the beam of each soul shines.  I pray we can be encouragers as opposed to discouragers for others to trust in their abilities, their skills, their visions, and their talents…  I ended the speech by spilling the quirkiest line… “Shine each moment to a shine, you can do it Class of 1979!”
 One of the greatest honors in my life was to be a High School English teacher.  The classroom electrified me as I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the students to love learning the material covered.  To this day I think about Munchkins who read, discussed, wrote, memorized, gave speeches, and participated in all the lessons presented.  Nothing was perfect yet I respected their presence to listen and learn.  I hope to have been the encourager they may have needed at some point in their lives.  Even after numerous moves, I keep a decoupaged plaque with a poem written to me by Michael Woods, a student.  It’s entitled “The Happy Maker”.
 My parents were the models of my prayer life. They sought answers through prayers and I attended churches and synagogues where others did the same, so I naturally engaged in conversations of pleas with God the Father.  My Dad was an Orthodox priest and he told me Jesus was the greatest Jew that ever lived.  I was terrified by the stories of the Holocaust survivors.  I cannot understand the madness of 9/11 because I know God and His Son Jesus Christ could not have willed the tragic, untimely loss of lives.  If anyone lacks faith despite all they have seen, they must not understand Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote:  “All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”  Heaven will welcome those who seek the light of the Lord.  I say we can seek to merge with His light.  It is not easy being human; we are imperfect.  We all fall short of the grace of God.  Yet, we are blessed to “arrive” at the moment when we “will” to live by God’s Ten Commandments.

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The Light of Peace

The Art of Aloha…

When in doubt, be the light.  When saddened by one’s own perceived limitations, be aware every one of us is the light of our own  life.  We can’t be all things for all people.  We can choose to be the best we are, and that is what makes a difference in being at peace with oneself.

 Twenty-eight years ago, I welcomed the responsibility of planning the monthly programs for the Erie County Medical Auxiliary in Pennsylvania.  Exactly twenty-seven years ago today, February 7, on a Thursday, our gathering entitled TALENTS AND INTERESTS of Our Own Members, took place at 10:00 AM in my home.  Is it a coincidence I searched to find the album today?
As I recall, I encouraged as many ladies as possible to participate in the event designed to bring us closer to one another.  Eighteen of them though somewhat reluctant at first, did in fact open their hearts to shine.  The photographs in my possession walked me through a treasure chest of a time gone by.
Heavenly Bandora strummed by an Angel…

The art of cooking together with displays of a collection of antique dolls, and another of Santas while there was a real Irish step dancer, a bandora player, a piano concert with a vocalist, a display of leather and beads handwork, four artists of paintings in oil, watercolor and acrylics, and a table with handcrafted paper mache creations, a colorful and elegant quilter, a seamstress of dresses, a Ukrainian array of decorated eggs surrounded by intricate cultural accent needlepoint, and dearest to my heart the crewel works of a remarkable member.  Trust poured in the sharing of interests and talents and the event still shines in my heart.

 In life we make choices that may well have been written as sacred agreements too deeply imbedded for us to recognize.  Carolyn Myss wrote a book entitled The Sacred Agreements.  I still wonder why about so many things.  Does the weather really matter to people who move from a cold climate to a warmer place ?  Now that I am familiar with Sclera Derma, I know it does.  Does it have to be that serious? No, it does not.
God knows our hearts and bestows blessings that arrive even when we are unaware.  That is precisely why we are best to be in the light of goodness.  The Course in Miracles says to remember anyone you meet is a holy encounter.  The past came alive today again as it has throughout the years in quiet times when I wished I could have gathered those lovely souls again in my home for tea.  Their light brightened my life.  Their trust in participating in an event that marked their interests and talents to be viewed by all present was a gift of peace.  Therefore, when unsure about our heart’s desire, let us consider the light of peace.

At the Heart of It All

Of One Heart…

Simply struck by the chord where the heart is purest, I snapped a photo to capture the awesomeness of hope and love.
Sealed moments of love’s expression are ingrained in our minds.  They invite us to want more, for ourselves, our loved ones, and ultimately for the world.
The fairy tale lives in our hearts as it does at the heart of God’s creation, and regardless of the ease with which we enter and stay in a relationship, the dance takes work and practice.
Between Princess Kate and Prince William, I see a heart, and within it, ours.
Love stories never really end as relationships sometimes do.  Why?
Once love is felt, love continues to live, not even just as a memory that engraves our hearts, but in the very spirit that embraces its own reality.

The spirit of love lives forever.
The soul encases a beam of God’s Holy Spirit as an ever source of pure love.  While a representative of our very own being, the soul carries the legacy we provide back to our Maker.  The soul within us is the life and light of God; it’s as if we borrow the possibility to live on earth as it is in heaven, and though all our conditions are unique, our free will is given to us with a purpose to fulfill our best possible gift to the world.  In the journey of life, we search to discover our ultimate good.  We are then at peace.  I believe we are free to choose but the lessons we learn cannot be avoided.  We teach what we model.

At the heart of it all, I wish to give you the following for consideration.

I encourage you to exercise true silence.  To make time to be focused on the moment silently.
Journal your mind’s observations…  Write to preserve whatever surfaces in your mind in silence.
Write your heart’s mirrored emotions in phrases, sentences, or one word at a time.
We know far more than we realize.  Our subconscious gathers a fountain of observations.  Our subconscious nudges us to recognize the obvious.

If we can practice being alert to our breadth, we can feel relieved, and slowly let go of what keeps us from grasping better, wiser opportunities.  Therefore, step into the parlor of your thoughts and see what you know to be true, to be just, and to be honorable.

At the heart of it all, I wish to give you more tips.

Resolving conflicts begins with a splash of silence.  Take the moment to write it all down.
Search for observations and call them known facts, write them on paper.  Read them. Tuck them as the treasures of your thoughts.
Scoop, and dust all emotions on a page and call them feelings.  Call them honestly and embrace the obvious taking deep breadths.

Embrace yourself, close your eyes, and ask for pointers as you breathe in and out.

At the heart of all is a reason.
At the heart of all is an emotion.
At the heart of all, our Holy Spirit never leaves us.

 

A Glimpse at  Lady Diana…

On April 29, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, at the balcony with onlookers below, glanced heavenward.
I am so happy to have captured the moment as I stayed awake all night to view the ceremony, and embraced a book entitled, DIANA.
I share this with love for all that is good and pure at the heart of all in life.

 

The photographs were taken during the live broadcast in my home.

Hospitalitea

The essence of preparing for a tea is a celebration of sorts.  The secret is unraveled by the setting intended to release an instant “Ah hah!”  Taking time for tea is a pleasure acquired by choice because its formality beckons attention.  All truth be told, tea time indulges in harmony due to sincere conversation.  Therefore, it is no wonder a lot of understanding is steeped over tea.  For anyone unfamiliar with the experience, an invitation accepted may be a way to a lifelong friendship.

Two proper tea cups will do, four or more invite added conversation.  The outpour of black tea such as Earl Grey or Lipton green tea from a china tea pot, serves sensible sips to be savored.  All subjects really matter to the hearts that choose to come together.  Ladies and gentlemen of all ages from five to one hundred and five may gather to share a designed moment over tea.  That means it is planned in advance with joyful anticipation.  These are the moments we later recall privately.  That is the point of joining with others for the ceremony of tea.
And, when we take sitting down seriously to partake in tea, I like to quote Charles Dickens : “To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature.  I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.”  This is precisely how I feel about tea time with friends or family.  In general, we converse of happy things to lift all hearts.
  Heavy burdens too can be released by sipping tea with tears.   It is indiscreet to be offended by a friend’s discreet confession of a sorrow.  The mere gift of time to chat over tea gives way to a comfort not forgotten.  It is more than something to do.  It is something to think about when it is happening.  The focus is on having created a space in time for remembrances.
Tea time is an exercise I wish I had started with my four sons at an early age, back when I could have fluttered their magic imaginations with smiles and kisses.  I simply did not consider it for boys.
Fortunately, however, soon after we moved to Maui in 1992, God granted our two “kiddles in the middle” a friend whose Mom, Mrs. Thomas, sweetly scheduled time for tea in the mid of their play, mid afternoon.  Well, not the kind in tea rooms, but nonetheless a break from the trampoline romp for a revitalization of spirits with water and treats.  She called it “tea time”.  One of their happiest childhood memories will always be treasured in the company of a friend whose Mom called them in for tea.  This is a priceless gift for you to share with others as well.  A mug will do with sweet tea too.
 Hospitality offers a labor of love for anyone arriving for a visit.  I can assure you hearts open like the floodgates of heaven in the cozy of trust.  The blessing of my friendships have been in circles of many who gathered to take tea.  Above is the photograph of my dearest friend Jeannette testing the pouring of tea unto a proper tea cup.  The stories poured.  Cream added.  A sugar cube, or nude (as a Russian lady surprisingly said once), or a double dab of honey, reflected personal preferences in taste and that without judgment.   I served homemade scones and mini sandwiches… Each prepared with love.  This was, and still is, my ultimate gift for friends and family.  I noticed eyes of all ages dance from cup to cup, and lips lick savory tea treats.  I witnessed words appear as if freshly written on wet sand.  The company of two, four or more was and still is an inspiration for “hospitali-tea”.

 

 

Doesn’t awareness have a whisper of divinity?  It’s as free as the air we breathe…  Life can be a celebration while taking tea.
I chime with Chaim Potok who so tenderly said,”Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things”…

Heartfelt Words

Heartfelt Words

Words in every language are interconnected with spirit.  They are after all the means of communication.  Like a parcel mailed to be delivered, they must be willingly accepted and open for recognition.  Understanding is desired.  The connection is to embrace the message and be delightfully moved, deeply comforted, and/or informed.  I take them to heart.

In the midst of one of life’s painful nightmares as a parent, I was en route back home from seeing one of my four sons staying at a rehab, and the wait at the airport was prolonged by numerous problematic glitches beyond my control.  The irony pulled me and pushed me and I suddenly gave in.  I wept.  I pulled myself together as the announcement was made to be boarded. I remember the weight of each step in the isle and wished to be seated fast to look out the window.  However, soon I was nudged to see a tall, slender, young black man holding a small pizza box.  Yes, he sat in the middle seat holding the treasured pepperoni pie drenched in sauce and mozzarella.  If it hadn’t been my favorite, the story would not have unfolded.

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Angel Paw Prints

Consideration of pet ownership is much like the commitment made in a marriage.  No kidding.  The responsibility of caring for the needs of the animal is after all a lifelong step towards a healthy relationship.  The fulfillment of needs is important.  Tucked in the hearts of the friendship between the pet owner and the cat or dog, are angelic qualities.  Isn’t it love?  Isn’t is compassion?  Isn’t it kindness?  Read on to recognize the star shine owner’s manual.

One’s illustrious daily service is paid back in full by a tender canine or feline soul.  Both have demonstrated tremendous deeds beneficiary to humans equally young and old.  See star shine to this path?  I do.

The price of ownership is in the mix to feed, to water, to train, to vaccinate, to groom, to walk, to keep comfortable, to pamper, and to love as many years ‘till death do they part.  The pet most often provides free fur for all. The pet provides an ever-present affection when brushed regularly coupled with licks and/or purrs.  The “To Do” list is ironically twofold.  Not long ago, a post appeared of cats wearing cone hats made out of their own fur.  The creative master mastered making lemonade out of lemons.  The chase of fur on every surface has made poodles and other like genetically distinct breeds of dogs, popular and expensive.  Cats too must have distinguishing fuzz features to go with varied lengths of tails.  Just sayin’.

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The Power Of Prayer

The Power of Prayer is your connection with God. God can change any situation, in your personal life, your family, or your nation. Ask God in prayer to help you with the situations you face in life. Believe in God.

The Power of Prayer is your connection with God. God can change any situation, in your personal life, your family, or your nation. Ask God in prayer to help you with the situations you face in life. Believe in God. There is a wonderful power of prayer; it has no boundaries. However, many of us aren’t sure how to get started or what to say. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God. This may sound scary; after all, who are we to talk to the God of the universe? But God wants us to talk to him often, and if we make it a habit, it won’t seem as scary. Having the right foundation in prayer is much more important than whether you sound ‘fancy’ or not. Actually, you can talk to God just like you would talk to a friend. So instead of worrying about how you will pray, focus on what you need to say. The power of prayer clears your mind and heart of fear and expands your trust in God for the right outcomes.

The Bible talks about “petitioning” God in prayer – this means to plead or sincerely ask Him for something. To “present your requests” to God is simply to tell Him what you need. Praying about each worry or need in your life will make you feel less burdened because it invites God to be involved in every area of your life. When He is in charge of each aspect of your life, there is nothing to fear.

Here are seven steps that can help you pray more effectively and strengthen your relationship with the Lord:

1. Acknowledge your personal relationship with God as His child. Recognize that God is holy and powerful, and give Him the reverence that He deserves. Don’t ever think that He is too reverent to know personally. He cares deeply for each of us, and having a loving relationship with Him is like that between a parent and child. Keep Reading