How Can I Love Those I Don’t Understand?

When I was a young mom and involved in a church my husband just happened to pastor, I thought I was really something.  I thought that our decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom was the ultimate call of God on Christian mothers everywhere.  I actually had the mindset that all moms should be doing this.

One day, after a church service, I saw a woman I hadn’t seen in a while.  I liked her a lot.  She had three lovely boys and they were awesome.  Like me, she was a stay-at-home mom.  Was.  I asked, ever so cheerfully, how she had been doing.  And this is when my perfect world crumbled……………

She began to tell me that a wonderful thing has happened.  An answer to her prayers that set her free.  I asked her to tell me.  Excitement was rising in her voice and in my anticipation………

This is when she told me that she had been praying for a job.   A what??  A job outside of the home.  I think my mouth did one of those fall open and drool and no one but me noticed things.  A job??  Yes, a job, she kept the excitement level up in her voice.

She went on about their need for more money and her desire to be outside the home and contribute.  So she went looking and lo and behold, she was offered a great job.  The whole family rejoiced.

I put on my Hollywood smile and hugged her and told her how happy I was for her (I think I missed my call on the stage).  She went home and I went home…….. downcast and confused.

Let me take a side road here for just a second.  One thing I am good at is taking my questions to the Lord.  He and I just have a good thing together about asking and listening and getting answers.  Trouble is, they may not always be the answers I was looking for.

Now, back on the main road……. I went home and asked him.  Well, actually, I remember it well.  I asked him before I even left the building.  Something like this:  “What were You thinking?  How could that be Your answer to her prayers????? Huh?????  Why did you let her take that job?????”

And right then the room faded away and I was there with the spot light on me – and Him –  and He kindly said, “I let her have the job because that is where she is at.  She asked me for a job.”

I remember saying, “What do you mean?”  And He continued gently to tell me that He loves each of us so much.  He let me stay at home with my kids because that is what I desired and what I wanted more than anything.  Others want a career or a simple job.

I began to see a bit more clearly that day.  I began to see a different perspective.  More of God’s perspective.  I didn’t know that woman very well.  I didn’t know her dreams or desires or even how she is put together.  Heck, I really don’t know how most people are built.  Some can handle an intense career far easier than 24/7 diapers, bottle, crying, spitting – well, you get the picture.  Some get total satisfaction from raising children.  It doesn’t mean these parents don’t love their children less or more.  It simply means God love each of us and He knows what is best for us at any given moment.

That half hour out of my life, years ago, changed me.  To the good.  I still think I’m really something, but I try really hard to see people as He does.  It’s not easy.  Especially when it’s turned around and others judge me and think they know who I am or how I’m bent.  BUT, that lesson is alive and well and still at work in this imperfect person.  It has helped me shake off any judgements that come at me  – still not easy – but with the help of the One who answers my questions…… the One who let’s me ask questions …….. the One who answers me in a still small voice in my heart – I can love those I don’t understand.


cate b

Storm? What Storm?

storm's a brewing
storm’s a brewing

I recently wrote about “how I calm my inner storm” for a writing challenge.  After much contemplation, I found that some of my storms weren’t so big after all.  But, I must say that when they first appear on the horizon of my brain or heart they are definitely at least an F5 or Category 4.

I tend to face life head on.  I am normally not one to cower when life sends a curve ball.  I’ve learned, by experience mostly, that I cannot necessarily change the course of a storm or even the impact it will have on me and my family.

So, when the storms form and come at me, after I react in a highly emotional way, I pull back a little and look.  I look into my heart and mind and try to see a higher perspective.  A God’s – Eye view, so to speak.

I don’t always see a different view right away.  Sometimes it comes in a calming presence of divine.  A calm that I could not have found myself.  This kind comes during great hurt and loss.  The kind of stuff that I can’t help myself at all to get through or face.

Sometimes it comes more in my head where I have to deliberately find the different perspective.  I have to actively go to a better place, to look for a different view.  That often happens when the everyday kind of storms come along.  These are the hardest for me.

Those annoying inconveniences that come out of no where.  Those water spouts or dust devils that will not tear your house down but they can make a heart uneasy and things a little messy.

So how do I stay positive from day to day or hour to hour or minute to minute?  It’s a tough job and I have decided that life is too precious to waste energy on negatives and inconveniences and bad attitudes.  It is a decision that I have to make daily and sometimes often in one day.

I have to decide to be happy and make the most of my life.  When I do that I find that everything looks brighter, even the loved ones I spend my life with.  Happiness and right choices are contagious.  I want to spread that.

It’s not easy.  My brother goes to the woods we played in as kids (in his head).  His happy place.  I like that.  For me, even though I have places like The Woods also, I tend more to picture my best Friend, Jesus, sitting there with me.  He doesn’t have to speak.  He just has to be there. Just be with me and I don’t feel alone inside.

I choose to think on the positive things.  That is challenging because I was raised to think on the negative.  As an adult I changed that.  And as I said above, it is work.  But a work that is so rewarding.

It has become a passion of mine to help others to see a different view.  I love to see another’s eyes open to a whole new view of their storms.  A positive one.  We were never promised that our lives would be butterflies, rainbows and sunshine.  So, when the rains come and the clouds get really dark we need to embrace the storm and the shelter provided for us.  The sun will shine again and the flowers will bloom and yes, the rainbows will appear.


cate b

Out of This

I haven’t posted a full written post in a while.  Why?  As the seasons change around us sometimes it is more than the weather or the geographical location.  It can also be seasons of the heart.  A transition in our lives.  It can be a move or a job or a family situation or a loss.  It can always be for the good no matter how easy and joyful or how hard and painful it may be – with the right perspective.  I have always been a person who can take a step back and look at my life and try to see the good – that is after I freak out and stomp my feet and cry or yell, LOL.  And I have to say that every season change has turned out for my good.  Sometimes the good takes a little longer to come around in full view.  That’s OK, where am I going in such a hurry?

Where I physically live is a place of four distinct seasons.  I like that because I like variety.  It is definitely my spice of life.  So back to the blogging.  I’ve been told to “find my target audience”.  Huh?  I look at the wonderful few followers I have and they are a variety.  So how do I find my target?  I love to talk about a variety of things.  Who is my target?  I guess I have something for almost everyone???  As I write these words I feel quite happy with myself (pat on the back).  I really do love variety in my life and get incredibly bored and irritable when things don’t change from time to time.  So until I have a blazing revelation as to my topics and audience I’m afraid you are stuck with my variety show.

So, for the Friday song of the week – I present Autamata – Out of This.  Like most art I think the song will speak to each of you in a different way.  May you get the words and melody that you need at this moment.  May it bring Hope to you and encouragement with the season you are in right now.


cate b

I will confront you at last you dreaded empty
When I met you in others I fell in love
From the cradle, to the bottle, to the needle to the bed
We all need something to deliver us from dread

But I believe in truth

Out of this noise, here comes the stillness
Out of this chaos, here comes the order
Out of this language, out of this language
Out of these words

And a hollow man leaves you empty-handed
With fingers carved from Asian ivory
From the cradle, to the treadmill, to the rocker, to the last sigh
Some are made happy when something dies

Out of this noise, here comes the stillness
Out of this chaos, here comes the order
Out of this language, out of this language
Out of these words

Shitsujo, seijaku, shinjitsu
Shitsujo, seijaku, shinjitsu, shinjitsu

Out of patience, out of deed
Out of courage, out of me
Out of reason, out of truth
Out of conscience, out of you

Konran kara shitsujo ga umare
Soon kara seijaku ga umareru
Shinjitsu wa ai o umu

Out of this…

Old Drum and a Change of Scenery

DSCF7468Yesterday my husband and I took off into the wilds of the mid-west.  Well, took off on some country roads and drove east into the wilds of Missouri.  Yes, you guessed it, farms.  And yes, sky.  It really is beautiful and peaceful.  Some of you look into the vast oceans we look into the vast sky and rolling hills and the food that you all eat.

These pictures of the farmland were taken from the open window of our non-air conditioned jeep wrangler while going highway speed.  And not from my iPhone!  I used an actual camera!  Dry mid-west breezes reaching temperatures into the low 90s.  It was great.


















We had a long needed get away that day.  Our destination?  The lovely town of Warrensburg, MO, home of University of Central Missouri – the Mules.





Home of the Whiteman Air Force Base.  Home of Java Junction incredibly good coffee! Home of J & J – two friends of ours that met us in town and had a great time together!

And most importantly – home of Old Drum.  The dog that was shot and a court case took place in the old courthouse and the phrase “Man’s best friend” came to life.











DSCF7494DSCF7510Myself and Old Drum together on the courthouse corner.






Who says we don’t have fun in the Heartland?  We had a great time.  Came home feeling rested and hot and rested…..and hot.

It is so good to get away from the daily grind.  Even if it’s just going to a nearby park and doing nothing.  A change of scenery can clear your mind and give you a better perspective of your life.  You begin to see things differently.  Really. Try it.

Life is short so get out there and smell the roses  or the corn and soy beans.


cate b

High Hopes

I got up rather early today and quickly got dressed and headed to the car with my husband and a travel mug of yesterday’s coffee.He is off today from work and had an errand to do in a tiny farming town here in the mid-west.  I love country drives.  We had the windows open and headed down the highway.  Calling the road a highway is a major accomplishment for me.  I’ve been calling the roads here “freeways” – like they do in California where we spent many years.  Yesterday my son asked why I call them that.  I said they are free as opposed to the two major roads in New Jersey that are not free – Toll Roads!  My reasoning made sense to me but he informed me these roads are called highways or some interstates here in the Heartland.  I finally changed my ways.

Driving around we saw many farms and a lot of corn.  It was so relaxing and peaceful.  I began thinking of the mid-west and how this is a land full of hopes and dreams.  So many people have traveled through here over the years on a journey to find their destiny, a journey to fulfill their dreams.  Some stayed and worked the land.  Some packed it up and went back east when they realized their dreams were still back there.  And some moved on, over the Rockies and to the vast state of California or north to Oregon and Washington.  Following their hopes and dreams.  (you can read more of my mid-west adventure in a previous blog –

This little drive this morning really helped me.  Sometimes I get bogged down with thoughts of hopelessness and discouragement because things aren’t happening fast enough for me.  It is so easy to be drawn inward and only see what isn’t working.  When we change our environment, get out of the daily routine, we can see a fresh perspective.  A new view.  Ah – just breathe in that fresh air and clear thinking.

Here is a little retro video by the debonaire Frank Sinatra – with lyrics below.


cate b


Writer(s): cahn/van heusenNext time you’re found, with your chin on the ground
There’s a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your gettin’ low
Stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

When troubles call, and your back’s to the wall
There’s a lot to be learned, that wall could fall

Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin’ that dam

Cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes
He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your feelin’ bad
Stead of feelin’ sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam


Pollyanna Syndrome

Being a child of the 50’s and 60’s , to me, was a magical time.  Television was fairly new and in black and white for our home.  I say magical because it was as I look back.  Perhaps not so magical living through it.  Our family faced tragedy early on and things were a bit, well, today we would say dysfunctional.  Back then they would say, actually, they wouldn’t say! Hahaha.

My personality was a plus for me.  I tend to be a bit cheery and humorous and I know that helped me through a lot of tough lonely times.  Having an active imagination helped greatly also.

So, today, the 31st of May in the year 2013, as I sit in a dark gloomy kitchen due to the fact that it is raining once again in the mid west of the US of A, I was thinking about perspective and that reminded me of Pollyanna.  Those of you who are not familiar with the Disney movie starring Hayley Mills (my all time favorite actress and my dog is named after her) then I will give you a little insight.

Pollyanna was the daughter of a missionary family.  Poor, but happy.  She found herself orphaned and sent to live with a very wealthy aunt who was also the matriarch of a small town.  Not happy people.  Aunt was unhappy and therefore the town was due to her controlling.  Pollyanna comes along with a very positive approach to life and it un-nerves people.  We all know at least one Pollyanna – that person who is perpetually cheery or finds the good in everything when you want a pity party.  Who invited her  anyway???

But, Pollyanna’s attitude wins out.  Her attitude rubs off on people.  And I think her attitude it right.  So, for all of us (I said us) who want a pity party today……. here is a little Pollyanna clip of The Glad Game to help us see life from both sides.


cate b

ABM = Acronyms Bug Me

We all think differently, a different perspective to us all.  I’m glad.  If we all thought the same way life would be pretty boring.

My husband and I are good examples of this.  We can both look long and hard at a bowl of fruit and he sees food,  I see each individual fruit in the bowl and what can be done with them.  I

I once had to take a test after a training session.  The training was how to use a PR24 – aka night stick – I did alright but I kept getting my left and right mixed up but understood the basics of how to use one (whether that training would come to mind in a real life situation was debatable – point and swing was more like it).  The test was on paper and had a diagram of a PR24:

pr24_tech monadnock-pr24

The photo with the lines and words was similar to the test I took – but my test, I swear, had many more lines and angles.  I scored the lowest in the class, but passed.

What I saw when the paper was handed to me was a night stick with GEOMETRY all over it.  Lines and angles and panic!  I hated geometry and barely passed it in high school.  It’s the way my brain processes – or doesn’t process it – total panic, No comprende!  I think if they had given me an oral test with PR24 in hand I would have done better.  Or put in into Algebraic equations – loved Algebra.

So that brings us to acronyms.  I hate them.  I cannot process them immediately.  I stare at them and try to figure out the puzzle.  Ugh!  It’s so hard for me.  I get a few ( like IHOP – the pancake people) but when I use them people look at me as if I am speaking a foreign language.  Welcome to my world.

I once attended a church that loved acronyms.  In the morning announcements they would use at lest 5 in a small paragraph.  I couldn’t solve the mystery so I never joined any of their extra groups.  How could I?  I could not speak the language.I actually google them now when people post them in Facebook or emails so I don’t appear too stupid.
Hey, I have an idea, why not speak full words so we don’t have to wonder what the heck is being said in a conversation or so we don’t have to pretend we know what is being said.  Hmmm.  Just a thought.

keep-extending-yourself_~k2929518 acronym-key-blackboard_~k8609797 key-acronym-_~k8202416                 KEY = Just take it out of your pocket and open the door!!!

I rest my case.

cate b

Story of the Day

When you’ve been spending a lot of time trying to settle in to a new location and things go slower then you have ever anticipated, well let’s just say that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful; difficult to look on the bright side of life or keep on the sunny side.

That’s why this “project” of mine to post a “testimony” or “story” a day can be a bit difficult.  But I do know that in time it will get easier because I totally expect it to change my perspective to the sunny side of life.

So, with that in mind, I took my wonderful dog outside last night for her final relief before bed.  While heading back toward the house I looked up.  What I saw took my breath away.  The sky – the beautiful big mid-west sky – was full of fluffy multi dimensional white and gray clouds with a full moon shining brightly behind them.  The art work above was absolutely beautiful from this earthly perspective!  And to think that I know this artist.  Overwhelming!

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