Tag Archives: God

New Days Ahead

Isn’t it a most intriguing time? So what are you all doing while staying at home?

My husband and I go for walks when the weather permits. I have baked so much that I don’t want to anymore, the freezer is full. My favorite part of this quarantine is to reflect on my life. This feels like an opportune time to reflect and have a remake. Not a new hair cut or a new wardrobe, although the wardrobe part is enticing, an attitude adjustment, or maybe a reflecting time of my life. What do I want to do now and what will life look like when this is over?

Well, for one thing, I have been continuing my painting journey and actually sent off a painting that will end up in Norway and am painting two more for local people. That was a nice surprise for me to sell my paintings. I will now stop saying I’m not an artist.

I have “chatted” and video called friends from around the world. I love technology. We do live in an amazing time. We may never fully understand this worldwide virus invasion but I really encourage all of us not to waste the time waiting for it to end. Take this time to reach out to others or relatives and friends that you have lost touch with. There is so much more of a fuller life right at our fingertips and all we have to do is set aside our grievances and unforgiveness and most of all our pride and reach out. Be the one who makes the first move. Life is precious and we have no idea when our life or others will end on this earth.

In my lifetime there has never been such a worldwide event as this virus. Nothing compares to this time. Let’s glean from it and come out winners. I am truly sorry for anyone who has lost a loved one to this sickness or who are waiting and hoping for someone to overcome it. But there is hope, and I believe a living God who sees the full picture.

Hang in there, good readers, and please let me know how you are coping. Let’s keep it light and encouraging. The good news is the best news.

Enjoy!

My latest painting

Cate B

The End of Another Year

I’m sitting here, typing, and listening to Surfing USA by the Beach Boys, in the middle of my country. You just can’t take the beach out of a Jersey Shore Girl.

While contemplating the beginning of another year I must reflect on the last year. There. Done. Now on with the new. We had our two granddaughters with us for two nights after Christmas. We always have a blast. We had plans to meet up with their dad at the church where he works and attend their service. Saturday night I told the girls to pick out what they wanted to wear to church and set them in a chair so they can put them on in the morning. Done.

I thought the outfit that the eight-year-old put on was a bit off, but she is creative and extremely confident in herself. When we arrived at the church and they ran into daddy’s arms, my son turned to me and said, “She is wearing pajama pants”. Gulp. No wonder the outfit looked off, well, it looked great for Walmart!  I love that girl.

We then deposited the girls in their Kids Group and we sat down to enjoy the service in the main sanctuary. This particular denomination was foreign to me but since our son has been working here we attend a service once in a while. I have to say it is so good to break your normal routine or preferences and see how “they” do it. A different perspective on the God we love and serve. Coming from the persuasion of Christianity that I do, we tend to think we are all that and more. I imagine most groups do. But there is more, much more out there that I thoroughly enjoy meeting. I’ve always loved diversity in many aspects, so meeting others that are not like me is enjoyable to me. I feel more balanced when I experience others and the way they think. There is so much out of my four walls to be experienced. These things will expand my horizons and help me accept and love others.

Accept and love others, those who do not think as we do or see as we do. So many of us voice our opinions in a way that states that our ways are the only right ways. Really? Our present word is so full of hate and fear right now that perhaps we should sit and evaluate our own beliefs and listen, really listen, to others and actually hear what they are saying. Aren’t we tired of reacting first?

For this New Year, I pray that I can be more grateful for what I have and that I could really listen to others and not judge or hate them because they are not exactly like me. I can only speak for me, but when I react to someone’s words or looks, I know that I am not hearing them. Whether it be my husband or kids or neighbours or “social media friends”. Well, just think of the arguments that will dissipate when we listen and hear rather than react. What a wonderful world this would be.

So I wish you the Happiest of New Years. May your life only get better.  cb

“Have It All” by Jason Mraz

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to always do your best
May it take no effort in you being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more, nothing less

May you know the meaning of the word “happiness”
May you always lead from the beating in your chest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

May you be as fascinating as a slap bracelet
May you keep the chaos and the clutter off your desk
May you have unquestionable health and less stress
Having no possessions through immeasurable wealth

May you get a gold star on your next test
May your educated guesses always be correct
And may you win prizes, shining like diamonds
May you really own it each moment to the next

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows, whoa-oh
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow, whoa-oh

Well, here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)

Oh, I want you to have it all
All you can imagine, oh
No matter what your path is
If you believe it then anything can happen

Go go go, raise your glasses
Go go go, you can have it all

I toast you!

Here’s to the hearts that you’re gonna break
Here’s to the lives that you’re gonna change
Here’s to the infinite possible ways to love you
I want you to have it

Here’s to the good times we’re gonna have
You don’t need money, you’ve got free pass
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

All (all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it (have it all)
I want you to have it all (have it all)
I want you to have it

(All)
Here’s to the good times we gonna have
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to you always making me laugh
(I want you to have it all)
Here’s to the fact that I’ll be sad without you
(I want you to have it all)
I want you to have it all

You Want Me To Do What?

It has been a while since I wrote on here. I started this new painting journey and it took me away for a bit. I am back and I am still painting. That has been both fun and scary.

I try to relax when I create, otherwise, it becomes drudgery instead of joy. I want joy. So, recently I took on a project that was foreign to me. A young man commissioned me to paint him some paintings for his apartment based on what I saw already on his walls as his theme. He gave me the freedom to paint as many as I thought I should. I appreciated that because it meant less pressure on me. Artists like freedom.

I like and I want to view my life as not wasted. I want to soak up everything I can from whatever journey I am on at the time. Horses. The guy like horses. The last time I painted/drew an animal, a mountain lion/cougar, it looked like it had down syndrome. No offence toward anyone, please. It was bad. But I decided to learn to draw horses and create two paintings for him. What was I thinking? Why do I always go in deep? Good grief.

Well, It took me a while and I struggled with my lack of ability and nearly quit several times. But I hate to quit! By golly, this old gal will break the horse and he will come out looking good!

What happened was, a lightbulb came on one day and I saw that these paintings were for him. A weight lifted off of me when I realized this. It was then that I was able to draw the horses and finish the commissioned work and saw his smile when he received them.

For me, I found that the extra pressure of creating what someone else wants is my choice. However, doing this one took me into another level of confidence in my creativity. Will I do horses again? Right now I say no. But maybe might be more truthful.

Here is a sneak peek at what is hanging on someone’s wall…

Enjoy Life

Cate B

 

 

A New Thing

As a child I was encouraged to be creative……sort of encouraged. My mom was a creative person, but her way of encouraging me was to have me watch John Gnagyour version of Bob Ross. She bought pads and pencils and I was left to figure out if I was able to draw or not. That didn’t last long. I learned to sew and knit very basic. I learned to bake and cook and listen to music while singing my heart out in my room. No verbal encouragement came so I gave up very easily.

But you cannot throw away the creative juices that lie within you. They may lay dormant but they are always there waiting to spring forth when given just a hint of watering and sunlight.

So I have blossomed into a rather good crocheter and baker. But I get antsy. I recently couldn’t ignore the voice that kept gently bidding me to jump in deeper to the creativity. Then, through people I highly respect, I answered with a big YES.

Being a person who just loves my friendship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, I felt a strong tug to paint. But not paint precise images (thank God) but to paint colours.  I just love colours. I am drawn to colourful things and they speak to me and actually bring out feelings and senses that otherwise just stay hidden.

So now begins a new journey. I started painting in a freeform-type of artistry. Whatever happens with this journey will definitely be a learning experience. At first I absolutely hated what I produced. But I kept them and am moving forward. I figure I will be the first one to get anything out my art simply because I need to see it in a new perspective – as God sees it. I think He likes what I produce, therefore, I need to like it too.

I even show my pieces to people. That is a new thing for me. I often ask why I couldn’t just crochet and give it away (I still crochet and bake – try and stop me!) But I know that this is the medium I am to do now. So here ya go, Dear Readers, a glimpse of my new thing…….

 

Enjoy!

Cate B

Temporary

Here we are in a New Year, 2018, and things did not start out as they usually do in my life.

That can be good. But what usually happens is, my husband and I look into our future and talk and pray about what may be or what is in store for us.

This end of 2017 was different. First of all, we were in Edinburgh, Scotland. A dream trip. Three glorious weeks in a land that has been in our hearts for a very long time and three glorious weeks in the home and presence of our middle son and his wife – who just happen to live there for a season.

We did not get back to our home in the USA until the 8th of January. And we even came home with jet lag and a virus, so to bed we went.

By the time we recovered I felt that I needed to enter the New Year again. Can I have a do-over?

Now that I’m almost completely over this annoying sinus-type virus, I am beginning to reflect more on our trip and on this New Year. You see, three and a half years ago we moved to The Burg, a small mid-western town about an hour outside of Kansas City.

Rural. Farms all around us. Quiet. The town has a University smack dab in the middle of it. A USAF Base is just a few miles away. Plenty of activity, yet plenty of quiet. The best of both. And only a quick forty-five to sixty minute drive to “the city”.

We moved here temporarily while our other son and wife attended the University and we cared for our grand daughters while they were in class. A wonderful gift to be a part of their formative years. A bond with those girls that cannot be broken.

We rented this little house temporarily. It is small. It is neglected. It is challenging. It is a home.

Our son and daughter moved back to Kansas City and we decided to stay in this great little town. We have made precious, life-long friends and love the area. But the house. We really need to move to a better dwelling. We have goals and visions for the future and it does not include this little neglected building.

I have a friend who lives on an island. She sends me a text of encouraging words and prayers every day. She told me, just yesterday, when I told her of our need for a different house, “Not good. Always feeling transient.” She is praying for us.

Her statement,  “Not good. Always feeling transient”, took me into a reflective place. For three years I have felt transient. Knowing this house was temporary, yet never seeming to be moving on. It is not good. She is right. The definition of transient is this:

tran·sient
ˈtranSHənt,ˈtranzēənt
adjective
  1. 1.
    lasting only for a short time; impermanent.
    “a transient cold spell”
    synonyms: transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, ephemeral, impermanent, brief, short, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow;

    This explains a lot of my wandering in my head about where we will live. But as I wander over the last three years I always come back to this town. I just need to feel grounded, no longer transient, no longer temporary.

    I do hope this is the year to find that perfect dwelling. We’re not set on buying or renting or whatever. However it comes to us it just needs to be home. A solid, grounded home.

    He will not forget me and He will not leave me out of his plans for me and my desires on this earth.

    “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29 The Message

    My son and I with our matching University of Edinburgh tartan scarves in front of his flat in Edinburgh, Scotland. You can see Arthur’s Seat in the back ground.

    Enjoy!

    Cate B

Js in My Life

The last fews days have taken me into remembering. Remembering times of community with great people. Times where you feel like your family grew to Walton-size or Osmond-size.

Times when you felt like you belonged to a family that you always wanted yours to be.

Accepted. Loved. Known.

The first memory was triggered by a dear friend, J, who sends me a text every morning before I even open my eyes. Her encouraging words come over the ocean and into The Middle from Puerto Rico. They are missed some days since the hurricane hit them. But the latest word is that they expect electricity within the week!

A couple of days ago she wrote of a lady she met about thirty years ago and how they walked the sandy barrens of the Jersey Shore together talking of anything that popped into their head.

That was ME.  Me and J walking and talking. We did it as often as we could. Then other times she would come over and we’d talk some more. Then, she would come over with her husband or we would go to their home and talk some more and EAT. Oh the rice with the pigeon peas and whatever was in the fridge and her rice pudding!!!

We are family. We moved and then she moved to Puerto Rico.

I remembered another time in a small-is town in San Diego County, California. It was higher up than sea level and pushed against Palomar Mountain. A great town.

We attended a church in that town that understood community. We all didn’t think alike or dress alike or look alike. But we loved well. We would have parties where we brought tons of food and played innocent games that brought laughter and joy.

We prayed for each other when life hit hard on our families. We dropped off surprise gifts at door steps and continued to love each other.

We let each other be who we were.

Acceptance. Loved. Known.

I’ve lived several places since then and have felt loved on different levels. But I haven’t had a J to walk with me and talk with me out in nature. A J to know my heart and thoughts and accept me for who I am, flaws and all. A J to tell me I can do it as she looks into my eyes or tells me that the blow that just hit sucks but offers me her hand to get me back up.

True, deep friendship.

I do have close friends. My husband is one. There are a couple of other “Js” in my life. But none live physically near me. I feel them but none can look me in the eye and see me and walk in the woods with me. Most of that is due to work schedules. More women work these days than they did thirty years ago. I get that. And I don’t expect gals to come knocking on my door tomorrow to go for a walk.

The “Js” in my life came about unexpectedly. I didn’t see them coming  or ask for them. God set me up. He’s good at that.

Some of my blogging friends are “Js”. I’ve got one in California that I look forward to seeing someday and one in Pakistan that I know we would have a blast walking and talking.

I guess what this post is about is my reflections and a bit of hope for you all. Have you made room for friendships and family that goes deep into your heart and soul? In this age of social media we tend to not look into each other’s eyes.  We see words on a page that are hard to interpret.

Take the time for friendships. Deep friendships. Be a friend.

These remembrances make me feel warm and cozy. Priceless.

 

Enjoy.

Cate B

 

Reflections

I’ve had a bit of alone time the past couple of weeks. That means more time to hear my thoughts and my heart.

Those times when you reflect on things. The future is one I like to reflect on. Dreams. Goals. The thoughts bounce up and down and back and forth.

I had a strange dream the other night that caused me to reflect about how I see myself.  In the dream I was in a room with a large mirror, waiting in line. I saw myself in the reflection of the mirror but my eyes were closed, so I really didn’t see myself. I saw, as the observer view in my dream, a reflection that I thought was me but not quite.

Then, a friend of mine was in line with me and wanted to take a selfie of us both. I saw her fumbling with her phone to turn the camera around. I kept posing with her but she wasn’t’t ready. Then, when she saw herself on the phone screen I moved in for the selfie but didn’t appear. I moved closer. Then – in real life – my phone rang and I was awakened from the dream.

This caused me to reflect over my morning coffee. Have I ever seen myself in my dreams?

I know I have seen me from the observing view. That view of how I look in the role I was in the dream. But I realized I have never, to my recollection, seen myself in my dreams of how I really look. I see others clearly, but not myself.

I confess, I do not think highly of my looks. It has been a life-long battle. Some days I feel I have conquered the negative thoughts and some not an inch.

The dream was convicting. As a woman who hangs out with The Father, Son and Holy Spirit as much as I can, how dare I not think myself a beautiful reflection of the One who made me?

There is beauty all around me. We are included in that beauty. How do you see yourself? Or how do you see the things you do? Are you always critical of yourself?

You are beautiful. From one of my favorite books – You are kind, You are smart, You are important. (The Help)

Reflect on that.

Enjoy!

Cate B