Be Open, Be Free

As you rest, open yourself up. Open your eyes to see around you. Open your heart to love yourself and others. Open your mind to new ideas, dreams. Open your hands, unclench them to see what has been placed there. Open your hands so they are ready to receive. Open your hands so they are ready to do. Open hands are able to take action. My hands as a writer take the action to manifest on the outside what was placed on the inside. Being a survivor, it has been difficult, sometimes very painful and traumatic for me to be anything but closed. In my healing journey, I had to learn that being open can still contain boundaries that keep us safe and guard our hearts from evil, keep our purpose, our divine being, our spirit from harm or destruction.

When my children grew old enough to leave home, it felt like my security blanket was ripped away and torn into pieces, leaving me vulnerable and alone. I have four children so I had practice in the emotional experience of each of them leaving. But when the youngest one left?! The house became too large, too quiet, too open to feel secure. As I gradually became used to living alone, I began to have a clearer view. Instead of thinking my security blanket was taken off, I started thinking of it as transforming into my cape to help me fly. Instead of staring at the entry way with only my pair of shoes left by the door, I changed my perspective to see how many different kinds of my own shoes could now be placed there. Shoes to take me on some of the most memorable adventures in this life. Adventures from a faraway dream transformed into my reality. Zip lining on Fremont Street, walking along the Seine River, browsing through designer fashion shops in Paris, experiencing the breathtaking sights of calla lily valley, exploring California, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Minnesota and North Carolina with my adult children. The list goes on and on.

I want you to know this comes from me, a woman who has a fear of open spaces, yet complete freedom for me, for each of us is my wildest dream. Being a child survivor, followed by events making me also an adult survivor, sacred boundaries were crossed. In this trauma, I didn’t think freedom was possible for me. An automatic and normal response was to close my heart to love, my mind to dreams, my hands to receive. In my healing process of learning to set healthy boundaries, I first had to recognize how many walls I had built. Too many walls keep us trapped and stunt our growth, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I have taken steps, spoken words, set boundaries, bit by bit, overcoming piece by piece and being comfortable in the knowledge that this life is a wide open space.

There are times when I still feel uncomfortable and vulnerable in the wide open. For instance, when I share my deepest thoughts with a friend and wish I could take the words back because it feels safer to keep them within me. There are times when I let go of someone or something and I want the person or thing back. The letting go, the opening up may not be familiar at first. Oh, Loves, but when you do open up and let go, the stretching feels good. You are no longer curled up in a ball afraid. I challenge you to curl up, then open your body up, stand and stretch. Allow each bit to receive fresh air and light and movement. Yes, movement!

I pray you have support to emotionally heal, to open up bit by bit, finding freedom in this wide open space of life to be who you were created to be. When each part of you is open, you can put on the right shoes and step forth into the adventures of living your dreams.

the Greatest of these

The little girl I was had fantasies of a beautifully adorned white wedding dress made just for me.  But the reality of domestic and sexual violence I experience as a child and an adult led me to believe that love was never for me.  Relationships in my early adult years convinced me to give up on love altogether.  As a result of the abuse and self-destructive actions I took to cope, my heart became hardened, closed.  Until the flutter of life grew inside of me.  My heart leaped each time I gazed upon a new set of eyes and another tiny hand grasping mine. 

On this ordinary week night, I tiptoed through the house, stopping in each bedroom doorway to see that my little angels were asleep.  As I observed my youngest child sleeping so sweetly, I heard the smallest whisper tell me that this, my child, is LOVE.  I never knew my heart could be so full.  Being their Mom taught me more about life, more about love than I could ever imagine.  It was easy to be open and so easy to love my beautiful babies.  Loving someone in addition to them, nope.  This tainted woman wasn’t meant for love outside of motherhood.

Then I met a man who on the first night we met, stayed up all night talking with me and then led me to the perfect spot outside so we could watch the sunrise, hand in hand.  He called me often, not to inquire about my every move, but because he loved our conversations.  A man who changed the temperature in the room to suit me, cooked my favorite foods for me.  A man who took me for a weekend away because he knew how hard I worked trying to raise children on my own.  But we were just in it for fun, not to fall in love.  Love from a man wasn’t something I fully trusted in yet.  Some years later I dated a man who was very driven in his goals.  A man who I thought could never fall for someone like me, given my unstable past.  Yet, he spoke to me in a soft loving tone after I told him my survivor story.  Sitting in his living room one autumn day, as the leaves were falling to the ground, I was falling in love.  The only time he spoke about his love for me was when we were snuggled up and he thought I was sleeping.  A year or two after our relationship ended, I asked him what happened to cause us to grow apart.  His response:  the higher the stakes the more he stayed away.  Who would help him cope if I broke his heart?  Flirting was easy but the strong emotions were scary.  If he let himself he could get lost in me.  He wanted me to know that I was strong, smart, driven. 

Even in relationships that didn’t end in bruises, running was easier than staying around for heartache.  Gradually, along my healing journey and through the love of and for my children, I discovered it wasn’t love that gave me bruises on my side and a fat lip.  It wasn’t love that shoved me against the wall or the headboard.  It wasn’t love that held me down until I couldn’t move and threatened to kill me if I fought back.  It wasn’t love that only knew how to take from me and never give back.  It wasn’t love that refused to see beyond the physical part of me.  Love was not in any of the actions that brought on trauma and caused me immense physical and emotional pain. 

We will never have the love we dream of if we remain closed, distant, afraid.  Be open, Loves.  Whether you begin with a friend or your children or a love relationship, keep your heart soft enough to let love in.  It took me time, therapy, being a Mom, faith, support and the boldness to be open to the risks and allow love to sneak in and capture my heart.  Love isn’t blind.  Love sees it all and is strong enough to accept, to empower, to take you beyond.  When you are strong enough to be vulnerable, love will meet you there and guide you the rest of the way.  Love is a powerful word, but the impact is in the action of these words.  The action is what stirs another heart.  May our hearts be open to receive love, to remember that it wasn’t love that hurt us last time.  May our hearts be fearless and fierce in showing love through actions that stir another heart, ever so gentle, compassionate, bold.

There’s no place like Home

The absence of the words that were mine stilled the air.  Silence far from golden, more dust gathering in the place where words spoken provided voice and freedom, no judgments of words gathered from my heart full of emotion. Sitting, swaying for comfort, flood of tears, hands covering my aching heart.  Grief redirected the flow, momentarily stuck in time gathering memories keeping them vivid then locking them away to be let out of the box another day.  Words gathered around me so tight begging me to speak by mouth, by pen or keyboard—even silently spoken in my mind would do.  I stayed frozen as the lakes I once ice skated upon as a child, on which I played broom ball with my college crew.  My small but tough frame pounding the ice in the battle for the ball.  On this day off from work, it was life pounding at me from every side–holidays, birthdays, birth of a grandchild, joyous events, now spent distanced from my Loves.  It hurt too much to cry more, so I went into my freeze response.

As a small child I had been held down, traumatized with no escape, my small frame not able to push back.  The mask I wore then allowed me to breathe, to survive, to live momentarily in the illusion that no one had harmed me, that no one could see just how damaged my interior was.  Life once again has me feeling boxed in, keeping me frozen in place.  The mask now visible, covering half of my face.  Masks required to be worn whenever we step out of the boxes we live in.  

A house has walls, but home has no boundaries. Home is where we each feel loved, cherished, embraced, never judged, welcomed. Home is our center, where each of us is free to be our best self. If I couldn’t physically go where I felt most at home surrounded by my Loves, I needed to find home within me and steady my soul. Whether it was the feeling of bursting, the soft velvety cushion of the purple chair with fluffy pillows, the quiet, the string lights glowing in the dark, the tv episodes of love, of birth, I wasn’t certain.  What I am certain of is that words reside in me and I in them.

Words, dreams, visions beneath my icy surface.  I vowed to keep the words by my side.  Further time and added comfort, I wrapped my written words around me, speaking more words aloud, through my tears and aching heart.  No expectation but to be myself, to flow as I might, whatever pattern or motion was taken, accepted, not judged.  The words kept telling me to practice because, you see, when a certain lot of them escaped to play, more and more of them were welcomed.  Hand in hand they arrived, some dancing, some weeping, some laughing.  All of them free flowing as the river, smoothing out the stones, flowing, flowing to the ocean, some crashing at the shore or against the rocks jutting out of the water.  Never drowning but pushing me up above the water floating safely in the vast unknown, yet here with my words, I was home. 

What pulls me out from underneath the ice or keeps me from drowning in the pain and challenges of life?  Conversations with my (adult) children; unexpected texts or phone calls with a friend, Sister Love or brothers; quiet at work (mind at ease, no expectations or deadlines); a crying friend in need; a spontaneous invitation to spend the afternoon in good conversation; my favorite piece of art; visions and dreams–seeing words on every surface within my view; snuggles and kisses from my dog nephew; and so much more. The last blocks of ice being chiseled away or thawed. 

Whether you call it stubbornness or determination, I don’t know how to give up. There is still much in me to write, and I continue to write every day.  Writing is one outlet that improves my expressions of raw emotions versus locking my feelings inside. Whether I share a piece or keep it in my journal just for me, writing steadies my soul and keeps me standing. Yes, with the proper footwear I can take my position, step out and walk in my purpose. Forward. Soul and soles in sync.  Home indeed.

Please remove your shoes upon entering

Have you ever noticed how automatic it is that we remove our shoes as soon as we enter someone’s home and the door is shut behind us?  There is no need for a decorative written message or a mat suggesting the removal of your shoes.  It seems an unwritten rule to remove your footwear when entering someone’s private space where you have so graciously been invited.  Home, where we dwell even more each day than we ever have before.  Let’s go a bit further and talk about sacred space.  

You may say your home is a sacred space.  Oh but Loves, it doesn’t seem sacred when you barely have enough space to breathe inside your own home, with children doing online learning and many working from home.  Between cooking meals, cleaning up, keeping order in your home and your family, do you ever need space?  If you live alone, do you spend your time trying to figure out whether you should be using time to rest, using time to accomplish more?  But really you just want time to reminisce because you miss your Loves, or you just need time to process this world we live in and the impact it has on your heart and your dreams.

In a previous post, I dared you to dream.  In this post, I am challenging you to find a sacred space and begin dreaming again.  This is a place to feel, to explore, to discover, to remember who we are, to dream, to write out ideas that have been planted but have been dormant for some time.  To capture goals that best manifest our purpose in this season (who and what we were created and destined to be and do).  

I dare say this is the space where we must remove our shoes.  No one else physically goes with us.  Our connectedness to others goes with us.  Their influence on us, our relationship, their spirit, their needs are in this space with us.  This place is sacred because it’s our very own.  It is where we meet and can be ourselves—in the truest form.  This to me is why it is sacred.  Barefooted. A woman who loves shoes. Just me and my Creator.  Just.  Simply.  Me.

Music sings when no notes are played.

Joyous laughter reverberates.

Light shines no matter the position of the sun.

The smallest flame warms the atmosphere.

Gifts are unwrapped, no holiday in sight.

Dreams come alive, dancing in your eyes.

Sustenance when no food has been eaten.

Sight and sound are sharp enough to see clearly, to hear the soft gentle whisper calling you.

Yes. You.

It is not about the physical space as it is a place within your soul, thus making it sacred.  This is the place where we remove not only our shoes, but also the expectations of others, stereotypes, judgments, daily responsibilities.  The place of grace, of dreams, of voice and truth and light and love, no matter your mood.  

If you have a full house, in addition to having your own space, create a time and space to have some sacred moments with others in your home, whether it is a spouse, partner, family member, roommate.  For any children in your life, spend time with them in a sacred space, empowering them to set up their own sacred space, encouraging them in who they are and in all they are becoming.  

Sitting quietly-crying, smiling, remembering, dreaming.  The space that prepares you to put on the right shoes for each occasion, to stand tall, take your position and go forth.  This is the place where a steady stance is learned, improved, perfected in Jesus.  The readiness of your feet to stand on the holy ground within the sacred space, the readiness of your soul and soles to go, do, be. 

Just.  Simply.  You.

Dare to Dream

Walk with me as we discuss in more detail each letter in the word “dream.”

D is for dare.  Dare is the boldness to dream, to write your vision down, to step out and speak up.  If you do not have a dream, now is the time to reflect, to understand the passions that drive you.  What do you love doing the most?  What makes you flutter inside?  Is there something you cannot stop thinking about, something that keeps tugging at you?  The dare is to answer these questions by reflecting through journaling, prayer, meditation, talking to those closest to you or perhaps taking an online personality or skills assessment.  Dare is to speak your vision out loud.  Dare is to grab onto courage and leap.

R is for reality.  We must look at reality, take inventory of our current state—mind, body and soul.  We must understand the obligations we have to ourselves, as well as understanding our obligations to others, whether it is family, work or community.  This inventory allows us to see what is needed to obtain our dream, whether it is an addition to our circle of support, finances or skills to be acquired through training. Taking inventory encourages us to look within at our gifts, skills, knowledge. There are no requirements of where you need to be at this very moment.  This reality check is to understand the current state so you can customize and document your dream, embrace your strengths and connect with and build your support network.  

E is for enable.  This is the middle of the journey, between the dream and the miracle.  Now that you have the dream in mind, this is the work that enables the dream to reach toward becoming reality.  Dreams can seem overwhelming and impossible until you break them down into goals.  I like to think that goals stands for getting over adversities and living strong.  Goals are the steps we take to realize our dreams.  Our gifts within are the catalysts to dreams. Goals and gifts enable us to meet the formal and informal requirements we compiled in the R phase above.  Support and empowerment are needed.  This is not always easy work, especially when obstacles and distractions arrive.  Sometimes life circumstances change and adjustments must be made—that is okay.  Do not fault yourself when revisions are required, or when something takes longer than anticipated.  We all go through this, and we must continue believing in ourselves and our dreams.  It is crucial to have a support system, a circle, a tribe of people who enrich you, who bring out the better parts of you and lift you up, who love you in such a way to sit or cry with you during hardships, to celebrate each victorious step, to push you through and empower you toward your goals and dreams.  To fully enable yourself, you must first be committed to your dreams, to your gifts, to yourself.     

A (take a moment to breathe—aahhhhh)

M is for miracle.  Do not be intimidated by this word.  It is achievable, with faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit.  You have your visions, your gifts and purpose, your network of people and resources.  You are not alone.  A miracle is what happens inside you and in the lives of others when you pursue your purpose.  When you dare reality to enable a miracle.

On your way to your dreams, 
put all the weights aside, 
tell the obstacles to move.  
Walk in your dreams.  

Your heart beats to them, 
your mind sees each piece of them, 
your spirit finds comfort in them.  
Follow your dreams, 
beyond today, into tomorrow, 
with yesterday packed away 
and learnings bringing you forward.  

Go with your dreams, 
beyond these words into the vision, 
the picture etched only for you.  
As you step toward the realization of dreams, 
put old things down, pick up the new. 
Wrap your dreams around you, 
allow them to keep you warm, 
be your shelter, comfort you, 
fill you, strengthen you, 
keep you in perfect peace.  
Never let the dreams out of your sight. 
Walk in them, dance to them, 
let your dreams shower you, 
shine in you, nourish your growth, 
heal your wounds. 
When you have taken every step 
and no difference can be seen 
between reality and your dreams, 
You did it!
We did it!! This picture was taken when my oldest daughter and I hiked to the top of Diamond Head in Hawaii.


In the early days of being a single Mom raising four children, my life was about survival. There was time for nothing else but working to feed, clothe and shelter my family. Dreams were not for someone like me–an unwed Mother, a survivor of domestic and sexual violence. Too much had happened to me. Too many bad decisions were made. Dreams were far out of my reach. I changed my view when I was let go from a job and participated in a program for single Moms making career choices to better provide for their families. Through a mentor in that program, I began to see just how many options I had. I began to see choices. I began to set goals. I began to dream.

Dreams open their doors to those willing to keep believing, keep moving forward through the obstacles, over the hurdles. Dreams welcome those who keep going step by step, goal by goal, accomplishment by accomplishment. Dreams are unwilling to die, dwindle, close until you give up. When you do give up, the door to dreams are closed and locked. Dreams forgotten or abandoned will still tug at you. When the pull is hard enough to stir within you the vision of the dreams tucked away, the door unlocks and opens once again. When one dream is realized, it sparks the creation of another. When you dream, it allows others around you to dream. Dreams take you into a journey of growth, love, faith and joy. Holding onto the dream and moving toward the realization of the dream will strengthen you and guide you in the most wonderful journey, shaping you along the way. Dreams are there for you to grab hold and step by step discover and walk in all you are. As we walk together, let our gifts and dreams lead the way.

The if is the dream in our heart, mind and soul.  The when is the realization of the dream.  In between the if and when is where we must first write a clear vision, where we must then break down our dreams into achievable goals. It is important to document the dream, vision and goals and enlist the support of a few close friends or family. This allows encouragement, affirmation and accountability to keep steady on the path of our dreams, no matter our obstacles.

I dare you to look at life through the eyes of your dreams. It doesn’t matter how many you have or what you’ve accomplished toward them thus far, there is always hope. It’s not too late to start. Stand dressed in all you are, your misgivings, your mistakes, your beauty, your gifts, your everything, and Dare Reality to Enable A Miracle.

How do our minds come to think of dreams?
Is it our experiences we’ve had over time that are suddenly remembered by a trigger?
Is it the color of our emotions when we close our eyes and sleep?
Do the pictures of our dreams come from ideas not allowed to brew because of our daily grind?
When we close our eyes and images float by, are they scenes of what we have seen awake, put together in our dreams? When we close our eyes, do dream give movement to the still images?
The scenes that we dream, are they the dress rehearsal for tomorrow morning when the curtains of our eyes are opened? Are these dreams the maps to hidden treasures from deep within?
Do they ride past our eyes reminding us what is true, carrying us to the right destination?
Are our dreams the fun we forgot in the day now ending at the close of our eyes?
If we don’t remember the dreams when we wake up, does that tell of the duties over the wonders?
Are dreams the thoughts we dare not speak out loud? What happens when dreams intersect with one another? Are dreams everlasting, how long do they live? Do they kindle the fire that keeps us warm in this cold world?
Are the end results of our dreams the reality of our gifts that were there from the start?
Is it dreams that add the starlight to the darkness of our pain?
When we talk in our sleep while dreaming, is it our own voice we have found?
Are these sounds in our dreams the chains being broken, our minds released from the prison of society’s narrow view? Do dream give flight to our thoughts when they glide by?
In the quiet dreams, is it God’s voice we hear drowning out the sounds of negative messages?
Are dreams the drying of our tears and the comfort for our cries?
Is it dreams that piece together the memories, good and bad and keep us whole?
Do dreams from the night before put the twinkle in our eyes when we awaken to a new day?
After the lights go out, do dreams provide the power source to bring us through the darkness of the night?
Are dreams our anchor so we don’t drift away?
Are dreams the wind that give our souls wings?
Are dreams the jewels that accessorize our otherwise ordinary days?
Dreams…….Dreams…….by crd


Stay Centered

Life’s difficulties can hit us hard, even knock us down.  For those things that are out of our control (job loss, pandemic, grief), it can make us feel hopeless.  We don’t know how to get back up.  We don’t know what to do, and we become overwhelmed by it all. What now?  How do I adjust?  After my job loss last November, I had this recurring dream.  I was lying on my back, floating on a queen-sized inflatable raft in the ocean in the middle of the night.  The endless black water, my lack of swimming skills and my fear of open spaces left me immobilized.  Three months into being unemployed, my real life matched this dream.  I was not getting much momentum in my job search and was overwhelmed with feelings of rejection, anger, questioning what I had done to make this happen, worrying about how long my money would last versus how long it would take to get a job, etc.  Life became so heavy, I could not move.  

In a quiet moment, with no music, no tv, no phone notifications interrupting my thoughts, the words of my Sister Love echoed.  Stay centered.  In the motion of my swing chair, my mind and my heart engaged in a debate.  How do I stay centered, when life is so turned around and upside down?  I am always the strong one who encourages others, who never gives up, who keeps the faith.  

A few nights later, the dream returned.  Plot twist.  My eyes gazed upward, the light of the stars shining so bright in the vast darkness.  Here I was floating in the ocean again, yet I looked up, my eyes open to the light, refusing to let darkness drown me.  Waking up from the dream, keeping my eyes lifted, I recalled the bible story about the jars of oil (2 Kings 4:1-7).  A grieving widow had creditors threatening to take her two sons into slavery. She could not see answers through her worries. When she asked Elisha for help, he asked what she had, then gave her instructions. Out of what she thought was nothing, came enough to pay debts, with leftovers for the widow and her sons to live on.

In times of upheaval, when you cannot see the solution clearly, when the burden of uncertainty, fear and worries weigh you down, leaving you immobile, do not give up hope.  Find time to center yourself.  Prepare a quiet place for yourself, whether in a dimly lit room playing soft music, taking a walk in nature or taking a bath in candlelight.  Take off your shoes and stand in your bare feet feeling this sacred ground, before situating yourself in a comfortable, open position. 

Bring to this space forgiveness, grace, peaceful intentions.  Bring to mind people and things that lift you up, the people who love you most, how they feel about you, how you feel around the people and things you love.  Take those feelings and breathe them in.  No judgment–only joy, sharing, strength, peace, faith, hope, grace, love.  Let each of these radiate within you.  Breathe out and let go of fear, worries, mistakes, hurt.  Breathe in and be embraced by the love that lifts you up.  Speak of your gifts, passions, dreams.  We are in unprecedented times, but you are still here, you were made for going through.  Times are not any less predictable than before.  There are differences, yes.  BUT.  Your gifts and purpose are still within you.  Goals and dreams, still there.  God remains the same.  He is sovereign.  His power is bigger than anything.  Let this bring you out of the trance long enough to see the spark of light and revel in the simplicity of standing in the truth of who you are, wrapped in perfect love.  

Soul & Soles

You might think my love of shoes is about fashion or glamour.  Oh, but it is about so much more.  Whether we are home in slippers, venturing out in running shoes or hiking boots, wearing pumps and a business suit, stepping out in high heels and a little black dress or barefooted at the beach, our soles carry us to the places our souls desire.  Shoes are about movement, but they also keep us firmly planted as we take our position, wearing heels in the boardroom or hiking boots to conquer the terrain. Shoes are part of our daily armor allowing us to stand firm when met with opposition. Shoes can also be utilitarian (comfort, safety, sports, dancing).

Over the years, many people and things attempted to knock me down, make me misstep or lose my way.  Shoes have cushioned my tired feet, given me confidence, steadied me and allowed me to exhale in relief as I reached each destination. It all started with an excited little girl pulling on the intricately stitched brown leather boots I picked out myself and going on adventures that only cowgirls could embark upon.  Smiling, heart pumping, I sported red canvas high tops as I accelerated down the sidewalk, adjusted myself on the glittery gold banana seat, lifted my feet off the pedals, pointed them forward, simultaneously letting go of the handlebar grips, spreading my little girl arms out wide in a moment of flying free from chores, the whirring of the wind through the bicycle spokes replaced the loud arguments between my parents (divorced a few years later).

In my adult years, the shoes worn by four pairs of little feet quickly grew into a heap of shoes in the corner, and in another flash, the only shoes remaining were mine.  Taking care of my children had always been my reason to never give up. Right there and then, taking care of me had to be my reason. Arriving at work on a mid-August morning in 2015, velvety red five-inch pumps with gold embellished straps and heels carried me one determined step after another to my supervisor’s desk as I handed in my resignation after 17 years.  “Dorothy” had been to see the Wizard, and she was going home.  By the first weekend in September I sold my home, resigned and moved from Minnesota to North Carolina. Continuing forward, I took time to visit my sons, who were then living in Hawaii.  I traded my red heels for black walking shoes. The protective closure over my toes, air slots and cushioned soles supported my feet, keeping me steady hiking up the mountains.  The soles demonstrated practicality while my soul was exhilarated, determined and laughing in this quality time with my sons.

Even more dreams were coming true for this once brokenhearted woman, a survivor of domestic and sexual violence.  The white shopping bag I carried with the words “Handbags & Shoes Paris” in silver, held inside it a pair of lush black velvet booties with gold buttons. As I boarded my flight home from a work trip, I set my bag down and sat in my assigned spot, the very first seat of the airplane. Tears welled up seeing how far God had taken me from the stereotypes of an unwed mother of four who by “popular opinion” would never amount to anything. 

Equally memorable and of deep sentimental value are my purple patent leather pumps.  These were a gift (no special occasion) from my younger daughter.  No one had given me shoes (other than slippers) as an adult, and here was this gesture of love and appreciation in this shiny pair of pumps in my favorite color.  This beautiful gift from my younger daughter, a single mom herself, meant so much to me.  Knowing what it was like to walk in my shoes, she gifted me the perfect pumps. 

Although shoes are part of what equips us on the outside, it is ultimately the synchronicity of heart, mind and soul that inspires the action our soles take. I am grateful for you joining me on this journey of soul and soles, sharing stories, navigating life’s path, step by step…learning and lighting the way, together.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Feel free to share your memories of heart, mind, soul inspiring you to action.

Broken and Beautiful

Did you ever have one of those days when you were not certain how you would hold yourself together?  You know grace and love are holding every piece of you in place, but things happen during the day (or to start the day) making you feel like there is a strong, heavy hammer swinging at you threatening to break you into more pieces or to knock every piece of you loose.  Sitting at the unemployment office, I felt drained, tired and down.  After arriving back home, I texted my friends to pray—it was not my intention to stay in this discouraged state.  My best friend texted me back with a tongue sticking out emoji telling me that was already her prayer for me this morning, that God had already told her how to pray for me before I asked her.  I was reminded by another friend that His eye is on the sparrow, and He is watching over me.  When I opened one of my daily devotionals, the topic for the day was about what to do when we get weary fighting battles.  

After the events of the morning, I decided to go for a walk on this bright sunny day in February. I packed my string backpack with essentials, put on my walking shoes and before I walked any distance, I stopped to grab a hot chocolate with almond milk. As I sat on the high stool waiting for my 12 ounces of comfort, I could see myself in the mirror and decided to take a picture.  With my to go cup in hand and my “Lift Me Up” playlist singing through my headphones, I set my intent to be more positive. From this point on and continuing throughout my walk, there were words and images speaking to me as I kept my eyes, not down, but looking up, at least at eye level or higher. The rest of this post is pictures I took on that day. I hope the pictures speak to you like they spoke to me.


A kind friend gave me the gift of a retreat week out of state, quiet time away for just me. Oh Loves! Something I wish you all could experience. If home obligations, work or finances prohibit you from going out of town for a retreat, there are many other options to have a “retreat” of your own. It is a must for your mental health, benefitting you as well as those you love and care for. Even living alone this time is needed. Some might call this an escape from reality. I think of it as time to return to self, remembering the truth of who you are, away from negative messages and the day’s stressors. Even taking just 10 minutes a day to renew yourself can help.

In order to make rest a regularly practiced routine, set up a few basic rules in order to stay committed (time spent each day/week/month, space set aside). If you have children, a spouse or roommates, communicate with them about your rest/quiet time to minimize interruptions. Life happens, but you must stay disciplined and committed to your routine even in the face of interruptions. If something can wait, reiterate your rules, stay in your quiet time and handle the interruption after your quiet time is done. If something cannot wait, make certain you continue your rest/quiet time after the interruption is handled.

When my four children were younger, I placed a peace chair in my room. I told the children that when in my peace chair, I was not accepting requests. I was in that chair for 10 minutes and would talk with them and take requests when I stepped out of the chair at the end of the allotted time. One Monday after work, I was resting in my chair taking deep breaths in and out, when I heard a loud thud, quickly followed by a rumbling, rolling sort of noise. There near my chair appeared my two sons who were wrestling for fun. When they stopped rolling and looked up, the not so innocent look on their faces told me they noticed the sternness in my expression. They then freed their hands from each other momentarily to make hushing gestures and then proceeded to wrestle and rolled out of my space. Many times while in that chair, I have heard the phrases: “but Mom” and “just one thing” while my children heard “10 minutes is not up yet” and “I am in my peace chair.” Then one day, some time after my peace chair was in place, I received a call on my way home from work from my youngest son who was then in middle school. He was calling to ask if it was alright for him to sit in my peace chair because he just needed some time to chill and think.

Some suggestions for your rest:
-set intentions (being quiet, 
  resting, breathing, no phone)
-soft instrumental music
-deep cleansing breaths
-hang a few affirmations 
-give yourself a hug and
  remember you are loved
-cry out the day's stress
-give yourself grace for what
  you have endured thus far
-swinging/rocking chair or
  motions to soothe you
-dim lighting or candlelight

Do you take quiet time for yourself? Where is your favorite place for quiet time? Do your children take quiet time?