Category Archives: good feedback

JUST – Is a Four-Letter-Word.





Just do it. You just need to say no.

JUST. RARELY have I heard the word “just” used, in the form of advice, when it didn’t over-simplify and minimize a more complex issue.  Sometimes simplification is needed, BUT more often, when dealing with abuse, it is applying a band-aid to a severed limb.


This version of “just,” as defined by the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means “simply, only.” Abuse is not simple, and there is not only one solution or option to consider.

You just need to tell him to stop. Just let him cook his own dinner. Just leave it to God. You just need to pray. You just need to keep faith.  Just trust the Lord. Just wait. Just believe! JUST LEAVE…..You should JUST….. 7286675456

See what I mean? On the surface, this APPEARS harmless, or maybe even helpful. 

But it’s not. Coming from someone without an individual’s experience or understanding, or who has not deeply attempted to understand,  it is simplistic and insulting. If a woman and children are in an abusive situation, this creates either further mental/emotional confusion. Worst case scenario, it can cloud the situation enough to place lives at risk. So, YOUR words cost you nothing to SAY; they could cost, OR ENCOURAGE AND STRENGTHEN, someone for the rest of a lifetime, and generations beyond. I am not being poetic here. One lifetime after another, one generation after another, the abuse and fear are perpetuated, OR TRANSFORMED into a BETTER view and life that will then be perpetuated. 

I catch myself half way through the word on occasion. Every time I do, I do a mental stop, and ask myself what I am minimizing or oversimplifying. It never fails to open up a wiser, more complete picture. And from that, an opportunity to listen and speak from greater discernment.  And even better, to know what I don’t know, and SAY NOTHING.

Which brings me back to one of my recurring themes. LISTEN!!

That urge, stronger in some of us than others, to be thinking of what we want to say next, or mentally solving the problem and wanting to verbally troubleshoot, NOW, must be set aside. We need to become calm, look at the abused woman talking to us, LISTEN to her with our entire awareness, hear what she says in words and beyond words – the core of what she is saying. She is dealing with a situation of colossal DISRESPECT to everything she is, in herself and as created by God. We must not disrespect her further by not listening, and JUST-ing. Instead, we can HONOR AND STRENGTHEN HER with one of the GREATEST FORMS OF RESPECT: LISTENING. Then, if she gives permission, and we truly have suggestions (not theoretical or theological) that MIGHT help, we can tell her politely without pushing or control.

Screen-shot-2013-05-16-at-2.38.47- AM

This is life-giving opportunity.

1) We want to fix it. It is uncomfortable, so we vomit out the solution that makes easiest sense and reinforces our philosophy of life, religion, or whatever. INSTEAD, BECOME CALM AND OPEN OUR MINDS TO LISTEN AND LEARN FIRST.

2) It requires little thought or effort. INSTEAD, THINK AND DEVELOP EMPATHY; LEARN MORE. LISTEN.



Our WANTING to help doesn’t mean we are ABLE to help – she needs options, not another person who (like her abuser) tells her what she JUST HAS to do.

There are other definitions and synonyms for the word “just” as well, again using the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary, that are much more useful ways to use the word:

  • having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason
  • agreeing with what is considered morally right or good
  • treating people in a way that is considered morally right
  • acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good

TreatYourChildWithRespect  -







JUST – can be a four letter word.

JUST – don’t use it that way any more.






August Gift of Words

If one would realize that the world of God, His splendour and magnificence, are to be seen in the wise and the foolish, the good and the bad, then one would think tolerantly and reverently of all mankind, knowing that it represents the messenger, as the messenger represents God.  ….If the eyes and ears are open, the leaves of the trees become as pages of the Bible. If the heart is alive, the whole life becomes one single version of His sublime beauty, speaking to us at every moment.  Amras888


Our fear of “what if “creates our prison, but our trust and faith in  Divine possibilities, is what will set us free. Window of Wisdom


We think this world is “real” because we observe and interact with people and objects and ideas using our minds and our physical senses.  Certainly, the day-to-day stuff of life is plenty real.  But there is more.  Much more.  Connecting Dots…to God




All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.  J.R.R Tolkien




To me sitting comfortably in Christ is more than the seating arrangements in our churches, light and heating; church is not just simply a physical building of bricks and mortar, it is to be “seated with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6)   whisperingleavesblog


 Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes a part of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. Out goes naivete, in comes wisdom; out goes anger, in comes discernment; out goes despair, in comes kindness. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive and expansive… The pain leaves you healthier than it found you.”  Martha Beck




Love everyone. Trust few. Paddle your own canoe.  Anonymous




Believe – In YOUR Words!

I thought, Is the Bible real? Is it accurately translated? Is it historical? Is God real? Can Jesus be true? If He really was in the history, who was He? …..But then it came a point, when all my life climaxed. Who am I? Why am I living this life? Why am I involved in these horrible situations? And I realized that no longer I questioned if He is real. I simply NEED Him! See, when that happened, none of my questions were answered. Logically I had no basis to take either side. Logically it makes no sense! But logic has nothing to do with who I am right now. It was a gift of faith. Talitha Kum


The fact that God’s nature was difficult for me to understand used to be a real challenge to my faith. This was especially true after being diagnosed with ALS. I don’t remember ever asking God “Why me?” but I naturally wondered why God would allow this or any other horrible disease to strike anyone. I began to rethink everything I knew, or thought I knew, about this being we call God.

…I know better than anyone that I’m far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer, but after many years of trying to figure out this concept of what we simply call the Trinity, I’ve concluded that no one is able to explain this Triune God in terms that are understandable to even the razor-sharp knives among us. And, I’m now okay with this because –

“If we were able to understand God in human terms, He wouldn’t be God; He’d be a man.”
CS Lewis  Unshakable Hope


Today, I believe that God is, that God is Love, and that Love is Kind and Good. Today, that’s enough for me to know. I don’t need to know anything else, but Christ, and Him crucified, for it to be well with my soul.  Lady Quixote


…There are certainly many things that Jesus said which I don’t understand, which I find unpleasant, which tickle my teeth and turn my guts upside-down… 

…If someone died for me while saying a few tough words: I’m not going to whine about the tough words.  J.S.Parks


…Mike and Lorraine were not followers of Christ when we met them. We did our Christian duty and invited them to church and tried to share the “Good news” with them; even our girls (then 4 and 7) invited them to church, but all to no avail. (They later told us that they mocked us in private. I could relate; I once mocked Christians too. Let’s be honest: making fun of Christians is so easy).

But after I was diagnosed, they began to reexamine the faith that was sustaining our family through this trial. Lorraine told me; “…When you were diagnosed with ALS I began to see a man who held no anger with the God that ‘allowed’ this to happen. Then you began to demonstrate trust in God’s plan, I saw your faith and I saw 2 little girls accept what God was doing in your lives and I began to wonder how such young children could love God unconditionally. I opened my heart first to the possibility that this might be good thing for me as well. Then I finally got it and allowed my brain to accept the basic truth that God is only good, loving and faithful…”   Unshakable Hope  


When I am asked why I believe in God I simply profess that he exists…….

“I gave in, and admitted that God was God.”  C. S. Lewis 

 Planting Potatoes

How can some of us be put to death, yet realize the promise that “not a hair of your head will perish”? The answer can only be found in a radically different concept of safety. Jesus sees things from His Father’s perspective. In His eyes, the passage from this world into eternity looks more like a coming-of-age, or a rite of passage. It’s a beginning of something much more than it is an end of something.                                 iLife Journey


Let’s face it.  There are aspects of God’s Word that are very confusing.  Some passages are just plain weird and others seem contradictory.  For those of us who believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant word in the original manuscripts (an important qualifier), this is troubling.

If God’s word is perfectly true, then what do we do with apparent inconsistencies?   Furthermore, why didn’t God just communicate things more clearly in the first place?  Certainly he knew these issues would be cause for disbelief, argument and interpretive error.  Why invite confusion?

I’m sure he has his reasons.

…. But, I don’t think God allowed ambiguity so that we will read more scholarly opinion.

Perhaps difficult passages of Scripture offer us an opportunity to examine our own hearts and our false constructions of God.

Connecting Dots…to God

Although I didn’t understand much, I did understand one thing.I believed, with only a tiny amount of faith, that God had shown me that He was in fact real — and if that was true then I kept hope that He might help me. That choice to have that tiny bit of faith was a pivotal point in my life. I had asked and accepted Jesus into my life at age 16, but it was not until my late teen years and early twenties — the peak of all that I have described — that I started to focus on Him.  40-Year Wanderer


The only way I have found to lay hold of the peace and rest that all of mankind craves is to ‘step over a line’. To decide once and for all that Christ died on the cross to make me His. I have to examine this so closely that I am willing to make it the pivotal statement of my life. Christ can do no more; He has already given Himself for me and to me – now it is over to me. Will I believe it, will I cease my quest for more proof, more evidence, more answers – that’s why it’s all about trust – at some point in my life I need ask my last question, express my last doubt, try my last fleshly endeavour… breathe out slowly… and begin my new life as one who has decided that God is good, He loves me, He can be trusted… with everything.

And all of this I do with unanswered questions, with my flesh screaming out “don’t”…. I do it on the basis of one fact only; “Christ died for me” – and now I await the revelation of the cross of Christ to bring sense into my senseless world – now I rest in  the life of Christ in me, and cease my life of trying.  Graeme Schultz, Hardwired to Christ

Through the Wave


credit: LortGob

Have you ever played in the ocean? I’m an inlander, but I’ve visited the ocean many times, and ingested my share of salt water. I know how it feels to have the wave seize me, toss me, and then use me (too often, my face – go ahead and laugh) to dredge the ocean bottom, while I breathlessly wonder which direction is up. This is a fair analogy of what it has felt like to lose faith. And to try to cope without trust. wallpapers resource - ocean-wallpaper-1 wallpapers

Some of that was my doing – several years ago I chose to go to the dark side – anger, resentment, self-pity – not entirely realizing what I was choosing – and found it hard to come back. The last couple of months have been very hard.  Depression, stalemate in decisions, too much stress invested in my parents’ life, and also my own, for that matter. It has been a crisis of faith, of whatever nature my faith was. A wipe of the hard drive. Loading some new paradigms. Like finding which direction is up, breaking through to the surface, filling my lungs with fresh air, and looking around to see that the wave might not have been so big after all.

In the next several posts, I will share some of my dialogue with my Australian friends, Graeme Schultz (MyBroom, Hardwired to Christ) and his wife, Angela.  For the last couple of months, everything I try to write comes back to this discussion and what I am awkwardly juggling in my mind and heart.  

Faith. For me. For those who are still abused. For those who no longer believe. For everyone.

That God is good, and loves me. That He can be trusted. In spite of what the Bible says, and in spite of what life experience has shown. That my understanding of God, of Christ, formed and reshaped through years of Church, Bible study and abuse can and must be laid aside. This dialogue, mine internally, and also between friends half way across the planet, and maybe with God, if He is talking, is an opportunity to openly challenge my angry circular thinking, and form a new perspective – appealing, hopeful – ringing true at a place beyond words or reason, often bringing tears. So far, I have too much to UN-BELIEVE and learn to leave unanswered to be able to full-out, no holds barred, BELIEVE. I would be pretending,  or lying, if I said I did. Thankfully my friends are resting in Christ’s work on the cross as a present reality that defines their lives, and are not insulted by my challenges, doubt, frustration, anger…or the way in which I express them. Graeme just takes it in and writes about his faith. Direct and unaffected.

And he has just published a book (e-book and print versions), after requests from the readers of his 2012 blog: MyBroom – My Year – Asking 365 Questions ‘Bout Renewing of Our Minds at The book bears the same name as his new blog, Hardwired to Christ –


You can acquire the electronic version, at Or, go to either blog (listed above) to learn how to purchase a soft-cover print copy.

I’ve ordered the printed version, which is probably somewhere over the ocean right now (Hawaii, I hear!). Renewing my mind is like starting over with a different language, and it takes time. For me, at least.

So, if you want to see a part of what has been keeping my mind/spirit busier than my mouth/keyboard, check out the links above. If what you read speaks to you as it  has to me, order the book!

It’s nice to be talking with you again!


Liebster Award


I learned a new word: chuffed. From Hope Blooms in Darkness, who nominated me for The Liebster Award.

What is the Liebster Award?

“The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.”

The author of Hope Blooms in Darkness is a young woman of faith who has dealt with much of the “darkness” and speaks reality and hope, which flows freely through her words. She’s fun. And serious. And wise. And she uses cool words I haven’t heard before (could it be that she is 23 and I am 56?).. “Hope,” thank you for the nomination! I’m blessed to be included as a blog that you value! Big time! Blessed again to have the honor of getting to know a you a little better through this award, and also those who are willing to answer the questions posed. And yet again, to pass on encouraging or challenging blogs so others might find some of the encouragement and challenge I have found there.  I love the positive creativity of blogging and reading blogs – I’m learning so much, and so encouraged by “meeting” people I would never have the joy of knowing otherwise.

This seems like a gentle and fun way to get started writing again after integrating/coping so hard for a time that I have had nothing to say.

 So, I choose to follow some rules governing this blog award.  I know a couple of you don’t do awards in general, but I would still like to direct others to your blog as very worth reading, so I listed  you anyway.  And I still hope you will answer the questions to “award” me with the joy of knowing you better!

Here are the rules:

First,  accept the award, post the picture of the Liebster Award on the top of post, say who nominated you for the award and list their blog site.

Rule number 1 is to list 11 random facts about me.

Rule number 2 is to nominate 11 other bloggers for the Liebster Award and list their blogsites.

Rule number 3 is to notify the bloggers of their award.

Rule number 4 is to ask the award winners 11 questions to answer when they accept their Liebster Award.

Rule number 5 is to answer the questions left for me by the blogger.


1. I have lived in 8 states (U.S.) and 15 cities/towns.

2. I love fabric/thread art – and made/make portrait quilts.



3. I love the smell of pine trees (as you can see, I do SMELL pine trees – Ponderosa Pines smell like butterscotch!).

4. I once scouted forest fires with my dad in a small plane over Wyoming.

5. Have ALWAYS wanted clear connection to God.


Hey, God…can I hear you now???

6. I need silence and time alone to be calm and content.

7. “Primary Sludge Analyst” at the Las Vegas waste water treatment facility is only one of my unusual un-glamorous employment gigs. My current, and most un-glamorous of all, is un-employed.

8. I once considered moving to Silverton, CO, to be a miner. After I realized I didn’t want to be a neurosurgeon or interior designer.

9. My daughters used to con me into reading Reader’s Digest humor at bedtime, because we would have laugh attacks and I would let them stay up too late.

10. I gave my daughters sky diving/hot air balloon tickets for their college graduations (up, up, and away….). FYI – they chose the skydiving. Insane mom? Maybe, but they loved it!

11. Learned to cross-country ski when I was 8 months pregnant.

RULE #2: Blogs I’m nominating…. (eleven among many wonderful blogs I follow!) I’m not sure of follower numbers, but….oh well. They’re just darn good blogs!

RULE #5: Here are my answers to the questions set for me….

1. What is the most memorable event in your life?

Can’t narrow it down to one. Snuggling my daughters rates up there. Have you ever noticed that sweet spot behind a baby’s ear is so soft you can’t even feel it with your fingertip (or your nose)?

2. Why did you join WordPress?

Heard it was a good way to promote a book. Started blogging without really knowing what blogging is, nervous about not knowing “blogging etiquette” and running spell/grammar check 10 times before posting.  What I FOUND are some of the wisest, kindest, most articulate people I have ever known. Like opening a window on a spring day. And I’m finding that blogging is more interesting than writing a book. Hmmm. Better work on that!

3.   What is your main Goal in Life?

To find my main Goal in Life.

4.   Where would you want to travel the most in the world and why?

Anywhere pretty and new with good people I know/love. For the joy of it, and to meet good people I don’t know/love (yet).

5.    What is one of the worst experiences you’ve ever undergone and how did you learn from it?

Having loved, been married to, and divorced, a very intelligent, manipulative, messed up, abusive “Christian” man as a legalistically trained Christian wife who in fear claimed no retirement, so restarted and re-educated to make up lost $$ but instead encountered workplace abuse, repeatedly, home-front lack of influence, and a feeling of helplessness and isolation from God. One long event. Learning still in progress.

6. If you had 3 wishes that you could get answered instantly what would you wish for and why?

For everyone to be at peace with God (not confused, not dogma, theory, scripture, speculation – REAL, REST, SECURITY, TRUTH).

For all people to have the ability to distinguish truth from lie.

A deep abiding sense of belonging, wherever I am.

Why? Because it would make life and earth so much nicer, brighter, happier.

7.    Do you believe in God?


8.    What leisure do you enjoy most?

Anything in a comfortable, scenic, natural, setting.

9.    If you could teach me one life lesson, what would it be?

Be wary of those who tell you it is selfish to take care of yourself, guard your heart, or pursue your priorities. Then do those things with kindness, honesty, and determination.

10.  Name one thing you do every day that without it your day would feel incomplete.

Think of those I love.

11.   What one thing you would change about/in the world if you had the power to do it.

Infuse all people with wisdom and respect (is that 2 things?) – within, without, between, among, around.

RULE #4: I tried to come up with creative new questions, but the ones I just answered are good.  I would love for all my readers also to answer whatever questions you wish (comments or your blogs) .  I would love to get to know you better.



The Gift of Words

As bloggers, we give each other gifts of words. Such good gifts I have received in the last few months that I have been blogging. Plus a few gifts found in books and preserved to savor later. I’m sharing a few of these quotes with you as my Christmas or Hanukkah gifts to you.

 “As the sun lights the world even when cloud covered, the Immutable is never seen but is the Witness; it is never thought, but is the Thinker; is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other witness but This, no other knower but This.” But God is not only the empowering agent in the soul’s every action. In the end it is God’s radiating warmth that melts the soul’s icecap, turning it into a pure capacity for God.   Huston Smith, The World’s Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions (Quotation from Upanishads)

 “It doesn’t happen all at once, said the Skin Horse. You become. It takes a long time. …Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  

 The last step to becoming real is expressing every part of you without apology. You have  something to contribute.  I don’t mean you should preach to others.  I do mean you should speak openly, with vulnerability.  It’s a way of giving love to others.  It says, It’s OK to be a bit broken. You are still beautifulYou can’t be ugly if you are real.  — Space2Live posted Becoming Real: What Happens When You’ve Been Through Some Sh*t:  

 I have come to realise one very important thing about the Bible, and that is that it is a personal book, not a public one. Sure, we share scriptures to back up our theories and we use them to encourage or even reprove others, but all in all what God inspires in each word changes for each person, according to where they are at in their walk with Him. …… There are only two, who can know for sure what God is saying to you through His word. One is you, with your heart after Him, and the other is God! That’s it! — Inner Angels and Enemies posted Getting Help from Above — Nourishment —

We didn’t see that we were in prison. We were surrounded by angels; we were with God. We no longer believed about God and Christ and angels because Bible verses said it. We didn’t remember Bible verses anymore. We remembered about God because we experienced it. With great humility we can say with the apostles, “What we have seen with our eyes, what we have heard with our ears, what we have touched with our own fingers, this we tell to you.” — Quote by Richard Wurmbrand from dc Talk and the Voice of the Martyrs, Jesus Freaks: Stories of those who stood for Jesus: the ultimate Jesus Freaks. Bethany House Publishers, 1999, pp. 63-68.

I’m committed to keeping it real no matter what. I will not candy-coat my process and lie about how I’m doing. That would just keep everyone, including myself, from the power of God’s healing touch. — Jumping On Clouds ( comments on my post Sin or Mental Illness:

The struggle is where we transition from theory to personal faith. It must be experienced real-time. It can’t be force-fed through someone else’s filter if we’re ever going to call it personal faith. That’s simply puppeting, which I used to do. — JumpingOnClouds response to me……oh heck…I can’t find WHERE she responded to me! 

Not believing in a Creator or God is like believing that an explosion happened in a printing press and a dictionary was the result.  Why be pessimistic and not believe that life has to have a greater meaning and that we – intelligent, rational and emotionally-driven creatures –  are not just a mere accident? — A Soul Mercifully Alive posted Giving Birth to RationalitY:

The aha! was a small, internal shift from despair into a hope about my future. Instead of looming over not knowing what’s going to happen right now, it was like God gave me a squeeze on my shoulder and gave me a little nudge to pick up my head and peer ahead a little. Look over here. Keep walking. This isn’t the end of your story. I have so much more planned for you. — Jumping on Clouds posting Emotional Streaking:

Who knows what contact with another might be the touch of kindness that keeps them going, that stays their hand from doing harm, that gives them a reason to look up again, or reminds them to breathe. We don’t know why or when. The anger and grief in the world is beyond endurance. We can make a conscious effort to extend kindness, respect, and honor to strangers in the form of smiles, nods, eye contact, thank yous, and mindfulness. It’s nothing, but maybe just enough sometimes. Maybe collectively it will make the world just a little kinder and safer. — Me

There are so many more.



One Lovely Blog Nomination

I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by a gentle and generous blogger,, who has walked more than a few miles on a road similar to mine. She is a real-life hero who focuses on real-life heroes. She also markets a line of wonderful, empowering  magnets, and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Women and Children Crisis Center  which provides support, shelter, and supplies for women and children in need and also education about abuse.

Rules of accepting the award are to acknowledge who nominated me, tell 7 things about myself, and nominate 15 other bloggers.

Not only is it an honor to be nominated, it was a challenge to come up with other bloggers I wanted to nominate, since I am fairly new to blogging and hadn’t taken the time to look around a lot. So I did some exploration. Wow. This opened up a whole world of wonderful people, ideas and words that are making my inner life much better.  I am grateful to be able to know these people through their words and pictures. But I have been on a road trip with my 90+ year old parents, and haven’t had time to look for all 15.

Seven things about me:

1) I talk to and joke with strangers all the time – it feels good to connect with people, share smiles, and acknowledge their value.

2) Beauty and color nourish me (like that deep electric blue of the sky just after sunset).

3) My two daughters are beautiful inside and out, and they love me!

4) I need a job I can do with passion, purpose, good $, mutual respect, flexibility to be with 90+ old parents and those I love.

5) Fear, indecision, anxiety still plague me, and I am doing EVERYTHING I can to permanently silence them and live strong (and need prayers/good thoughts for wise decision-making for huge choices happening NOW).

6) My husband is fun, steady, and relentlessly kind.

7) I love sitting outdoors with a cup of coffee and a book (recommend one!).

Blogs that have blessed me:

1) Inspired2Ignite: her honesty, warmth and the extent of her recovery are encouraging, hope-giving

2) Mustard Seed Budget: Sincere and real, with photos that look like a piece of heaven

3) Affirmations I much-needed but couldn’t invent myself .

4) A Window of Wisdom: peaceful, rich and refreshingly different.

5) Moments With Millie: She says what I feel so often.

6) Writing For Recovery:  Very informative – Domestic Violence.

7) Tough-Minded optimism: Clear, concise, and clarifying.

8) Human In Recovery: Serious about recovery and also fun to read.

9) Anna Weber – Conversations among readers, writers, bloggers.

Now that I am off the road, end of the trip, I will be blogging again. Thanks for reading. Please keep writing, either your own blog, or talking with me, because I have a lot to learn from you.

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