Cultivating Silence

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“Try to practice silence as much as general courtesy permits. Silence encourages God’s presence, prevents harsh words, and causes you to be less likely to say something you will regret. Silence also helps you to put space between you and the world. Out of the Silence that you cultivate, you will find strength to meet your needs.” F’enelon

All that I will say, (in the spirit of being silent) is that I wish I would have read this early in the  morning, before I engaged in an argument with my son:-(

The Power of Your Thoughts

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Happy Monday….or is it?!! It doesn’t really matter how we feel per say about the day, what matters is what you tell your grey matter to think! We have a lot to do with the out come of our attitude and it is not based on our circumstances.

Dr. Carolyn Leaf, A neuroscientist, has spent a life time studying the brain’s ability to grow and renew itself based on the thoughts we allow ourselves to think and the things we say! I have read a few of her books and watched her You Tube videos (with my autistic son), and she has a lot of compelling data.

Here are a few of her quotes;

  • “You cannot sit back and wait to be happy and healthy and have a great thought life; you have to make the choice to make this happen. …
  • “Frame your world with your words.” …
  • “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.

According to her research, your brain will actually grow flourishing “trees”, new neurons/brain cells, or diseased “trees”, abnormal brain tissue, much depending on what we speak and the thoughts we allow ourselves to think! Many years ago, it was taught that you were born with a certain amount of neurons and that it was impossible to grow new ones and this research shows, that just simply isn’t true.

So, this morning, I woke up kind of grumpy! I made a choice when I went to the gym (which is great for adding Happy Hormones!), to reject my stinking thinking and be thankful! I even watched a You Tube video on thankfulness by Malcom Smith. Of course Jesus said; “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” That is a scripture that has motivated me the last few years and that is truth! And Romans 1:21 says; “Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Emphasis added.) I do not want to be dark, or futile in my thoughts, or be conformed to this world! I want to shine exactly how I was created to, with positive life energy beaming out of my eyeballs and out through the words I speak to myself and others! I struggle…I think you may too. Lets choose life changing words and be a positive reflection to all we meet today, especially those who are closest to us<3

You can learn more about Dr. Leaf’s research by  clicking on this link. Mind, Body Connection.

In A Storm

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With all of the hurricanes that have been hitting the US lately, and as I consider how frightening these times can be for people who are hit the hardest, I have been thinking about the storms I have weathered.

When you are in a storm of this magnitude, you have to keep your head about you and stay focused or you literally could be swept away. I remember a particular time when the circumstances of my life were in such a complete mess and the fall out from it was creating a storm, of such proportion, that I could have become completely emotionally impaired. My husband, George, had been speaking with a person whom we always respected and cared about very deeply, but the man was creating such waves out of his own fears, that my husband and I nearly drown in them.

One particular day, my husband was relaying a conversation to me that he had with this man earlier in the day. My husband was tired and distraught and so was I. As George was speaking, I started to feel that I was actually getting slapped by one enormous wave after another. With every question and accusation the man had posed to him from their earlier conversation, George’s voice actually started to fade into the background even though he was standing right in front of me. Next, my eyes started to glaze and I felt as if the pressure was starting to pull me under the water and I was literally starting to gasp with no strength to resurface. Right at that point, I heard the voice of Jesus clear as a bell; “JULIA!, Look at ME, listen to ME, follow ME!  I actually looked up to where I thought the voice was coming from. The roaring waves immediately turned into serene, foamy, level water! I came to my senses and with a clarity I had not known until that very point and I was able to be in complete peace and not be anxious. The storm, although I was still in it, was completely calmed as I looked to Jesus. It was truly amazing!

Jesus had done something very similar many, many years before with a man named Peter. Peter was a fisher man. He knew in his head that a man cannot walk on water. But one day when he saw Jesus walking on the water and he asked if he could do it! Jesus told him to come, and he actually did walk on water for a bit, but then it says in Matthew 14:30; “but when he (Peter) saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began to sink and cried out, saying, “Lord save me!”

It is natural to be afraid when the storms come whether they be natural or figurative. It goes against our natural inclinations to have faith and hold on to an anchor in the midst of a storm, but that is exactly what we must do. The heroic stories coming from the news tell of just such things during these natural disasters and have the theme of focus and faith all through them. We have to choose not to be afraid and place our grasp firmly on the anchor that will never let us be swept away in a storm.

Carve Out Some Peace

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After reading Henri Nouwen’s, Spiritual Direction,  I was reminded how I needed to have a quiet space in my house where I can pray and make a spiritual impact to my life and that of my family’s. I typically do have quiet, meditation time, but I was doing it at the dining room table where it can be extremely peaceful first thing in the morning, and be rudely interrupted by a number of intruders later.

When my oldest children were little, I taught them not to officially come out of their rooms until 8 A.M., so we could all have focused quiet-time in the morning. When our younger two were little, that was much more difficult, as by that time I was also helping take care of my mother- in- law in our home. I remember feeling like the only place I could have peace was in the bathroom and that was only if no one was calling the dreaded name, “mom”!!

So at the time, I purchased a small bamboo top bistro table and chairs and put it in my bedroom to re-focus my mind in the morning. It was my “secret place,” as not secret as it was! Since we moved into our new home 4 years ago, I did not have a purposed place until yesterday! I bought a cute little set of reclaimed furniture at a tag sale over the weekend, with this very respite in mind. I lit some unscented candles in my room which is already permeated with the Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils I use, and the Thyme, Peppermint, Cypress and Eucalyptus my husband uses in our bedtime repertoire!

Peace! Tranquility! Hidden in the corner of the bedroom, tucked behind a large plant that blocks the view of the doorway. A blank canvas to begin my prayer and meditation time. A ,”look at the hand,” to the world and the interruptions that clamor for my peace! My intentionality at carving out peace in my life.  It’s all part of holistic health- carve out some for yourself! We would love to hear about it:-)

 

Morning…

20170719_081404.jpgThe sun has reached it’s placement in the blue that makes the dew glisten on the blades of grass.

The way it shimmers and flickers in the light, made me think, just for a moment, that a serpent was slithering.

I am warmed in the glow, except for the cool wisps of a flittering breeze and the air, so thick with moisture, almost carries in it the taste of fresh cut pine and cypress.

I am hemmed in by birds surrounding me with an intoxicating chorus of individual song, so much so, that it softens the brakes of the logging truck gearing down to a stop.

This is the morning that was given to me and I  have welled up with a clarion mind bubbling with serenity and gratefulness. The Creator, the Father, His son and Spirit, whirling around the created and delighting in my delight.

 

It Takes A Little Time…

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Beautiful things do not happen by chance! There is a process…a seed, a sprout, and eventually a flower. I planted this Clematis last year, and it was so small and spindly, I didn’t know if it would make it. I was so presently surprised to find this flower blooming on the arch of my patio yesterday!!

It reminds me of the journey I have been on over the last few years. Broken relationships, little life and then, slow-but-sure, signs of life here and there. Giving my self up to God’s will, soaking in the truth of who I am in Him, letting His Spirit water me, lead me, and guide me and watching it grow and reach out to others.  It has taken time, but some deep, beautiful things are blooming.

There are so many wide and shallow….it takes time to be deeply beautiful- and then turn and give that beauty away to some one else! I am right here with you on the journey and would love to hear from you today<3

 

Walks and Aromas!

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This pic was taken from our favorite bike trail. Spring is bursting with beauty and aromas! I love the smell of the earth this time of year. Many times it reminds me of the smell of vetiver!

According to Pompeii Organics, vetiver has a very earthy scent. It is incredibly thick, taking its time to come out of the bottle. That slowness is an amusing parallel to vetiver’s effects on the body: it is calming and sedating, and has a grounding/soothing effect on emotions.

Vetiver is also pain-relieving, antifungal, and antispasmodic. It stimulates the immune system and its decongestant, expectorant properties make it good for colds.

If you are interested in purchasing a sample of this oil, let us know—we can’t wait to share it with you!