See the sky and hills!

See the sky and hills!
In Quiet Moments Here

Monday, August 29, 2011

Testing and Trials

This has been a very difficult week-end.  Saturday afternoon, my sister JoAnn was in a head-on auto accident.  We who love her are so thankful she survived, especially as a woman in the other car perished.  However, the pain we feel for her as she is only beginning a long, difficult recovery breaks our hearts.  We must either stand aside helplessly, or do something, however minor, to help in some way; perhaps that is mostly to make ourselves feel better.  I have not seen her yet.  Illness comes at such inopportune times, and I have been plagued with a migraine-type headache for most of 6 days.  I'm sure that in some way, it would be better to be there with her, yet in practical terms, if I am at home, at least I am not a burden to anyone else. 

In searching for something to occupy my mind today, I came across a quote (source unknown) that speaks strongly for me, as I am sure it will for so many of you:

 "In the past, life has administered severe tests and I have survived.  I carry the scars to prove it--some are physical, but all are permanent."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Awe and Wonder

You already know that I live where the sky is very big.  You also might know how I am so amazed at the changes in the sky, the varying colors and cloud formations, and how no day seems to be the same as any before when it comes to what I see above me.  Tonight, I stepped outside about 10 PM, and my mouth opened with an "Ohhhhhhhhh!" and a "Wow!"  The lights across the bay and throughout the surrounding hills were beautiful, but nothing compared to the constellations in the sky, the Milky Way as clear as I have ever seen it.  I'm thankful to have this beauty, and this good weather when others do not.   I'm even more thankful, however, and "thankful" isn't even a big enough word, to the Creator of our universe who thought to make something so beautiful for me to see.  I wonder how He knew what things would impress me the most!  I am in awe of One so great, of One so loving, of One so close, enveloping me in His creation.  "Our God is an Awesome God", and I wish I could share the beauty of my world with you.  Words are not enough, and a picture would not do it justice.  I hope you find the beauty in your world too.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The List

I'm still on the subject of procrastination, so if anyone reading this has the same issue, please help me out with some comments.   One of my progress points this past week has been to make a list of important things I need to make part of my life, daily if possible.  It's a really good list.  However, it is also very intimidating.  My friend Marilyn is a great list-maker, as is my husband.  Marilyn once told me that if I find a "To-Do List" too intimidating, that I should make a "Done-This List" instead.  I'm still working on that also.  I thought, though, that if I make a list of things to do, I could be like a kid again, and get check marks (or stars?!) for the things that I have accomplished, and in that way, have a way of making myself proud!  I'd like to have the simplicity of a child again, so perhaps this is still a good idea.  Tomorrow I may get around to using the list, and if so, I'll let you know how it works.  In the meantime, your suggestions will be very welcome!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Procrastination Prevention

I'd like to be able to take a vitamin guaranteed to prevent procrastination.  I'm sure that such a thing does not exist. This is a typical way of thinking for me, that I'm so often looking for an outside source to fix an inside problem.  "It would be so easy if . . . "   pops up in my mind on a weekly, if not a daily basis.

In my last post, I said that intervention and assistance can come (even) from ourselves. Have you ever wanted to stay up to watch a late movie, but then told yourself "No, you need to get up early tomorrow, so you'd better not."? Have you ever "helped yourself" to a piece of pie in someone's kitchen (after they'd told you to help yourself, of course)?  So, there you have it; you can intervene and you can assist you.  What it requires to do that is something called mindfulness.  Another way of saying that is to be conscious and thoughtful of what you do, and even what you think.  Have you ever eaten something and an hour later not remembered what you ate?  If so, that is definitely an example of not using mindfulness, and is also a probably cause of my being overweight!

Lest I leave you totally overwhelmed and thinking that you might as well not even bother with what seems impossible, I have another thought to share.  Please keep in mind that I am speaking to myself here, as well as any of you reading this.  In fact, I am probably speaking mostly to myself, since I don't know you, but I do know me, so I know who needs this information.  Although intervention and assistance can come from ourselves, it can also come from another source.  He who created you, knows you.  He knows what you need, where you feel lacking.  He has said many times in many places in the Bible, "I am with you", and "I will help you".  "Call on Me and I will answer" God says.  Is anything too hard for God?  I believe not, but I also believe He is waiting for me to ask. 

Does this mean that procrastination can be "fixed"?  I think so.  However, it is a process that I have not yet mastered, and it begins with setting priorities.  My first priority needs to be a conversation with God, and then He can show the way.  This is something I really need to work on, and perhaps you do as well.  This is a starting point.  Let's start.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today's post is a continuation of the previous post where I gave a peek into the thinking of a procrastinor.  Rather than thinking of a plan for the day, I said I preferred "What is your strategy for the day?"

When I think of "strategy", I think of the military.  You would never guess it from observing me, but my son is a Captain in the USMC.  I sometimes dream of having a group of Marines come to clean and organize my house.  I'd like to keep my son with me to keep it in shape.  In my dark moments, I think that there's no way I can ever get my house cleaned and organized without military intervention!

Ah, intervention!  That's an awe-inspiring word for me, and also a frightening one.  I'm not in the category labeled "hoarders" or in need of "intervention" as in the current television programs with those names.  Medically speaking, I am not in need of "assisted living" either.  However, I do (slightly) hoard things simply because I can't decide what to do with them, and I do need intervention and assistance. Do you?

Believe it or not, intervention can come from ourselves. Assistance can even come from ourselves.  Take time to think about that.  Just think.

(to be continued, perhaps)

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Days Have Gone By

Whether or not a person gets anything accomplished, the days still go by.  This is an issue for me since I tend to be a procrastinator.  I was thinking once of writing a guide for procrastinators, but only got it started--because I procrastinated.  The title was easy: "THE PROCRASTINATOR'S GUIDE TO ORGANIZING YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME, YOUR OFFICE, YOUR DRAWERS, OR YOUR PURSE".

The number one rule: Do not plan to do anything right now, except to do some planning--later.

Later, when you are not too tired, too hungry, too busy, or too distracted, plan to make a plan.  In the meantime, just think about it once in awhile.

After you have thought about it for awhile (minutes, hours, days), then you can think about making a plan.  Plan: . . . list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective.  See also strategy.  (

I like the word "strategy".  It seems more high-minded, less over-used than "plan".  Instead of someone asking "What do you plan to do today?", do you ever get asked, "What is your strategy for the day?"

(This is all that I am getting accomplished today.  If it wasn't for procrastination, I'm sure I would get more accomplished.  Perhaps I'll be back tomorrow to write some more, if I don't procrastinate too much.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

This week I've been in Minnesota without my computer.  It's a great way to REALLY connect with people instead of connecting via Facebook or email!  I was able to spend some time with my sisters Jo & Jeannie, with Uncle Bart, with Aunt Gladys, and with Dad.  

We, and many other family members, have been influenced in varying degrees by a very special woman, my mom.  I was able to share a project I've been working on for a few months, copies of the diaries of Mom written while she was a young woman, before she was a wife and mother.  Mom has been in her heavenly home now for 19 years, and yet we are still touched by her values, her cheerfulness, and her love.  Today, if she were still with us, she would be 89 years old, and we'd be able to share her birthday cake.  With Mom, there would always be cake!  Although she was not the author of this saying, I think she'd approve: "Life is short; eat dessert first!"

Of course, that saying may not be literal advice, but the principle is so true, and also, so true of Mom.  Don't waste time with things that aren't good, and make time for enjoyment in your life.  Criticize less, praise more.  Complain less, relax more.  Frown less, laugh more.   Also, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, August 1, 2011

He's Home

I just finished reading, very unexpectedly, the obituary of a young man I was well acquainted with while he was a teenager.  I watched him develop into an amazing adult with a passion for helping people and for having great fun, both in a great many ways. Cancer had been hiding out in Ron's body and only found when it was medically too late. 

I've had my own memorial service for him by reading the blogging he and his wife did on his Caring Bridge site, plus the messages left by many of the lives he touched.  I only had to quit reading when I could no longer see through my tears.  I had to ask myself, were they tears of sorrow or of joy?  After the death of Karine (my daughter, at age 34) I told many people that she had a whole lifetime of experiences in only half the time we would have expected her to live.  I would have to say the same of Ron.  What an incredible amount of accomplishments he had in his 52 years!

In his latest vocation as a minister, he gave one of his last messages on the subject of heaven.  He knew he was headed there soon, and he reminded people that, for him, Heaven was "home".  So often when we travel somewhere, the road home seems longer than when we went in the opposite direction.  In reading about Ron, I could say  "He made it already!"  I was also able to say "Karine is there already!"

We would need the mind of God to know why some of us have to hang around earth keeping busy while others are taken in the middle of what seems to be an even busier life. One thing I do know, however, is that because we are still here, God means for us to keep busy accomplishing something, not just keep busy keeping busy.  One of my daughter's last requests of me was "You'll have to finish it for me, Mom".  My heart is heavy with that today thinking of both Karine and Ron as well as so many others who have left us.  What an empty space they have left; what a long to-do list there still is in this world!  Until we also go Home, there is work to be done.