Tag Archives: love

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

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

Love is the Key

This season of my life has been hard. I lost my best pup the beginning of November and then came to the close of semester as I wrapped up caring for our youngest grand daughter.

I was grieving. Big time. I had cared for our granddaughters for the most of the last five years of my life. I knew I wouldn’t do it forever but I had no idea how it would impact me.

I am relieved in many ways since I am a Grandma and not of childbearing age. But the loss was great to me. I actually fell onto a bit of depression and anxiety.

It would come and go and I would cry out to my God to take this from me.

Well, after a few days of intense cold and ice outside that caused us to stay indoors for the most part, I was a mess. Crying and sadness were overcoming me. I cried out to God again and the very day – yesterday – the sun (or shall I say Son ) shined bright in my heart.

We adopted a puppy. Whoever thinks animal therapy is nonsense is very wrong. It may not be for everyone but it is for me!

A friend of mine had an unexpected guest show up at her house in the fall. A pregnant dog who appeared to have had some abuse. Naturally she took her in and cared for her. The sweetest terrier mix with a great personality. She birthed the pups of many colors and I considered taking one when they were of the proper age.

Well, the sweet momma went and got ran over. So sad. She left about six or so pups orphaned but fortunately, they were eating puppy mash at that time.

Because of their orphan state I decided we would take one in a few weeks. I picked the one I wanted. I was still apprehensive until I received a text yesterday saying that there was concern about them being left alone all day in their ever energetic state of puppyhood. Can I take him now?

Of course! I jumped into action. Cleaned the crate and mopped the floors and sent the hubby to the store for puppy chow and replacement milk.

Funny thing is……… all my anxiety symptoms vanished. I came home yesterday evening with a sweet bundle of fur and puppy breath. He needed me.

But more than him needing me….. I needed him. My prayers were answered. Never underestimate the power of prayer. The answers come in many shapes and sizes. Mine came in a bundle of furry mutt that looks like he rolled in a few colors of paint.

I am so thankful. And now, without further adieu…… meet Teddy Roosevelt, the new brother of George Bailey……. Enjoy!

Cate B

Another Cup Please…….

I just poured myself another cup of coffee. Join me as I sip and ponder, music playing in the background, thoughts circling and swirling in the lyrics with a sense of assurance and breathing in and out the colors of hope.

We have lived in what we call The Burg for just a hair over two years. While culturally I am still adjusting and trying not to voice my strong north eastern opinions on how wrong they are here (said in sarcastic jest), I feel almost at home.

I think it is real to say that this is the second place in my life that I feel at home and welcome. You see, when you are one who “travels to the beat of a different drum” it can be quite hard to fit in. But that’s just it, fitting in and different drums don’t always go together….. yet they should. It’s like having an orchestra or a band without that one different instrument that takes it over the top.

There is a place for us “drummers“. Not all will see it or see you for who you are but I, for one, have to remain true to myself. True to who I was made to be. Good grief, it has taken me years, decades, to find who I am and to walk confidently in who I am.

And then you move to a small mid-western town with strange definitions for words and ideas that are so different than you ever knew and POW! There are people here who like you. Just last night I was with a group of people who see me. They enjoy me. They encourage me. Some don’t get all of me and guess what? I don’t get all of them. But we flow together in similar philosophies of life.

And best of all we accept each other for being different and thinking differently.  I do believe they call it love.

Have another cup and ponder. May you find you and find your symphony in life.

 

Enjoy!

Cate B ❤

 

I Now Know My Name

I came across this video the other day and have now listened to this girl about five times. I weep as soon as she opens her mouth. Some of you will totally understand why I cry and why it touches me. Some will not. And that is OK if you fall into the “not” category.

I will try and explain. Some of us wonderful humans came into this world quietly. We’ve sat in shadows and listened to others and let them talk. We have even been invisible, in a sense. These types are usually bent on the creative side of life. Not always but many are.

I fall into that category. I never minded being in the background. I like the quietness and sometimes the solitude. However, I also like the visibility at times. Especially as I got older and found out more of who I am and what makes me tick. I like me. I like others like me. I like this twelve year old girl named Grace. I feel the words of her song. I feel her heart.

Having married someone of the opposite spectrum has been good – for both of us. Sometimes though, I feel very invisible and have actually been snubbed and mis-judged. It is OK but sometimes quite aggravating. My spouse knows that I complete him. I know that he completes me. It’s those others that can’t see that. Sad for them.

This girl and this song speaks to me of these feelings. And guess what? I do know my name even if no one else does. I do keep trying and I tend not to play by the rules of the game.

This post isn’t for you to understand me. It’s for you to understand others and for those who are like me and this girl named Grace. “I’m lost, trying to get found in an ocean of people”.

Like I said before, I like me. I like Grace. I like people who find themselves in an ocean of people. I know you will like us too. Even if you never understand. You need people like us. 😉 We all need others to complete us. To see more of the puzzle of life. None of us can do this thing called life alone. None of us.

So try, just as we have had to try you try to see beyond you and drop those religious ideas and narrow minded thinking. There is a whole big puzzle out there waiting to be put together and it takes all kinds of pieces, called people, to put it together. It takes a lifetime.

Love ya, Enjoy! Listen to her heart sing…..

cate b

Another Mothers Day

Here we are celebrating another Mothers Day. I love being a mom and a grandmom. I love my kids with all my heart. But this Mothers Day I want to take another twist. I want to talk about my Daughters-in-Law.

First there is Dawn. She married our oldest son. Dawn is wonderful. Creative and funny and sarcastic. And she is a lot like me. We had a rough start but we hung in there and fell in love. I just love her company, when we have it, and love the boys she brought into our family. We are so blessed to have her. I love her.

Dawn

Dawn

And then we have Tineke. Lovely Tineke who grew up in West Africa and brings with her an international flare from her Dutch heritage and influences of Benin, Africa. She is smart and witty and beautiful inside and out. She has inspired me in a Bohemian sort of way. I love her.

Tineke

Tineke

And last, but not least, is Deborah. Deborah birthed two babies while attending college and has since graduated and now working. She is musically talented and creative in so many ways. She outshines me as a mother. I admire that in her. She can sooth an emotional four year old in ways I never thought of. I love her.

IMG_2776

Deborah

I could not be more proud of my three sons marrying so well above them. Seriously. I am blessed beyond belief. These girls complete me and my family.

Thank you sons.

558197_10150611437322820_1660343158_n

Yes, I have brass knuckles. Do not mess with my boys!

Thank you daughters. I love you all.

 

May all my readers who are mothers have the best Mothers Day ever! And don’t forget your moms.

Enjoy!

Cate B

Happy St. Paddy’s Day

A good portion of my ancestors came over to the USA several years ago. I never met them but am certainly a product of them. I love Celtic music and scenery and accents and much more.

For fun, a few years ago, I posted my “made-up” Irish blessings. They are more like “My Blessings” and pure silliness. Some thought they were real – shows they didn’t really read them 😉

Enjoy!

“May the wee bairns of the loch be ever with you
and may the wee folk of the clover
never darken the doors of your emerald hut”

“May the cry of the banshee never drift across the waters
and darken the gates of your shamrock garden”

“May the potatoes of your field forever fill your bellies
and may your grains produce much stout”

“May the lucky stars and rainbow marshmallows
forever fall into your pot o’ gold each mornin'”

Let’s sing all our troubles away and enjoy this day! 

Cate B

And The Beat Goes On……….(my personal musical)

Fear. Sadly, I know it all too well. I have come a long way, but I am always trying to be aware of the unwelcome fear creeping in.

I have learned that most of the fears I entertain are irrational, for me. Fear of worms, caterpillars and Dentist visits.

Fear of rejection is a bit bigger in my mind. Fear of not being heard or fear of being misunderstood is even bigger to me.

Scripture says that perfect love drives out fear – 1 John 4:18  New International Version
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Ouch. I am more aware that if I fear then I am not walking in His perfect love. Oh how I want that. Always a work in progress. And I am really glad to be a work in progress.  That means I’m still alive and we’ve got work to do – Him and I. I love it. Even the “ouches” I love. It means fellowship with my God, my Friend who totally gets me and enjoys my company and I, His.

“No Longer Slaves” Bethel Music

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone[2x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again
Into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

[4x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God…

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
You drowned my fears in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God

Yes, I am
I am a child of God
I am a child of God
Yes, I am
I am a child of God
Full of faith
Yes, I am a child of God
I am a child of God

[3x]
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

Cate B (also posted on www.churchsetfree.wordpress.com)

Sit Down For A Cuppa

Welcome New Year – 2016.  Welcome Friends.

Come and sit with me and let me pour you a cup of coffee.  I didn’t make a double chocolate chai pie with real whipped cream for you today……perhaps next time.

Today, I have lovely slices of homemade bread.  Warm.  With butter and/or some local Amish Blackberry Jam.  Help your self.  Eat as much as you want.

As we sit here together let’s chat. I want to tell you how excited I am over the arrival of a new year. I’ve made no resolutions, never do, but I have decided to make my own bread as opposed to buying well-preserved breads in the stores.

I have also decided to get busy.  As some of your know, I care for my grand girls five days a week while my son and his wife attend University.  I’ve done this for about two plus years.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it has been a sacrifice in many ways. But I see no greater gift that I could give than to be a part of raising these girls. They have taught me so much and my heart has grown in love.

This year, I decided to write more.  Even help my husband to write the books he needs to along with the one I need to finish. I need to play my ukulele more often – it brings me such joy.

There are other creative and practical things I need to do that will come out along the way.  One thing I know is that I need to do the things that were planted in my heart to do by my best Friend, Jesus.

You see, Life is short.  We’ve all heard that before. But we truly do not know our days. I’ve said goodbye to a dear friend just after Thanksgiving.  I see the news rattling off numbers of deaths in various world events.  All ages.  The anniversary of the loss of our dear daughter is coming up.  You can’t help but reflect on your own life.  The things I’ve put off and just refused to do.  The dreams that I have forgotten.

Here, have another slice of bread and a warm up your coffee……

You see, some dreams may change over the years or even be put on a shelf for a while. Some may be lost on the shelves or in a box in the attack or basement. How about we take them down and dust them off.  How about we search out those that were lost and thought forgotten.

Let’s take them and sit with our God and our friends who believe in us and look them over, shine them up, tweak them here and there and most of all…… Pursue them!   Yes.  Let’s do it.

And that is what my new year is looking like. Pursuit.  How about yours?  Those dreams and ideas are still there.  Those ideas for a business are still there.  Find friends who only encourage and love you enough to help you go forward. Find others who need your encouragement and help in finding and going for their dreams.

I’m cheering for you. Maybe next time I will make that chocolate chai pie for you.

Thanks for stopping by.  In case you want it, here is the bread recipe:

I mixed mine in a Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hook.

Multi-Grain Bread

1 pkg. active dry yeast – or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup butter – cut up

1/4 cup organic raw cane sugar

1/4 cup Molasses

2 tsp. salt

2 cups boiling water

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup Cornmeal – 1 cup Oats

Enough Unbleached Flour to make a sticky dough – approx. 4 cups

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

In a smaller bowl I put the butter, sugar, molasses and salt with the boiling water.  Let butter melt and let it cool down so as not to be too hot for the yeast.  I test that by holding my finger in it for a few seconds – if I have to yank my finger out then it is too hot.

Add liquid to yeast along with the WW Flour, cornmeal and oats.  Then mix in White Flour and use that dough hook until all is incorporated.  A good 3-4 minutes of mixing is good.  If dough is too sticky – meaning you cannot pick it up in one ball – then slowly beat in more white flour until right consistency.

Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and form into any shapes you like.  Pace on greased baking sheet or greased loaf pans. I chose this:

1003243_10153131639452820_3797718183456318986_n I cut slices in them with kitchen shears.

Cover these with the cloth again and let rise for about 40-45 minutes.

Bake  in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 40-50 minutes.  Cool out of the pan and you better cut an end off while hot and smother it with butter and eat it!

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Enjoy!

Cate B