Category Archives: Being Present.

Normalcy in a Pandemic

“Even our pain and hurt should not be compared and ranked .” (Brene’ Brown)

These are Brene ‘ Browns words while experiencing crisis. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a range of emotion during this ” stuck at home time.”

Brene encourages is by saying: “Don’t ration love.” We need to up the ante on self-love.

We need to attend to our own emotion, so we can be also present for others.

We should never compare our suffering, emotions or affect with other-suffering. We should not deny or double down on our feelings. This invites shame, says Brene’ Brown.

Listen in to the Unlocking Is podcast with Brene’ Brown

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unlocking-us-with-brené-brown/id1494350511

I’m Still Here.

Still transitioning.

Months later . A cross country trip; two months off of work, and just trying to adjust to cold weather. I’m convinced cold weather just isn’t my thing. Maybe it’s for the very tough people who can handle the whipping winds, the blowing snows, the windy rain, and the breezy and cool evenings.

The wind is so very different in New York than in the Midwest. I used to know when’s the wind spoke to us in Oklahoma, because it was usually at its highest peak, around April and May. It’s seasonal and expected.

Wind here comes suddenly, and unexpectedly, and sometimes it really moves me inside when I don’t want to be. In fact, sometimes I’m downright angry it’s so windy.

On another note, …I’m looking for the right hat, and I’m so frustrated I haven’t found it yet.

Well, I guess I’m over my rant. One thing I can appreciate about the weather now is the beautiful trees and gracious hills of New York, and the beautiful fall colors. I’m learning the beautiful views exist in everything. Even if it’s the not-so-kind weather .

The picturesque skies of NY

I don’t remember being quite in awe about a drive through the country as I was, about a month ago. This view just captured me through my car window.

So…I’m still here.

I’m recognizing there’s beautiful moments in small things and being home again after 15 years or more- is about fun with the family . I mean , I can’t take back moments like this ( below) , with my siblings ,and parents. I celebrated my birthday this week. I’m fifty two . And this is what fifty two looks like on me.

Me. On my birthday, 10-4-19.
My sibling closest in age to me, Jeff
My eldest sibling, Dee.

So I’m not complaining, just grieving some of the old. And maybe some of the things I took for granted. Like the sun always shining, mild weather that often made you feel snug and warm inside, and I lived near a river and water and anytime I needed to breathe, I’d go right outside my window and breathe .

I loved the Tulsa, Oklahoma weather more than I knew and the mellowness of the skies and wind, obviously – after the Spring storms came through and blessed our space with tornadic storms.

I’m learning loving means leaning on the good and making the meaningful moments count, despite it all….

So ,…I’m still here. Just have to find myself in nature, again.

Fairport, New York

Fairport is a beautiful place. Just one of the beautiful small towns in New York.

I love these small towns because they are small. Quaint. And picturesque. The colors match the sky . Very unintentionally.

And on a good day… you can listen and hear ‘summertime’ in the air , no matter what season it ’tis.

If you get a chance to experience New York, don’t just go for the city; there’s so much more, out there.

 

Taking Care of My Soul.

img_9604-1It’s so  very interesting how patience plays into our care of the soul. Almost two months ago, I left Tulsa Oklahoma, tense and overwhelmed and anxious. Across country moves just seem to impact me in that way. I’ve done two of them, in my lifetime. And as much as I plan to be calm and take time off in advance, it just doesn’t work out that way. There’s always something to be concerned about:

Will there be enough income  for the transition ?

Will we like where we are going?

Will totally dislike  the cold?

Wil I make friends easily?

Will I enjoy my job?

So I’ve been out of work now for almost two months. I didn’t plan on that. Just took them a month to have me approved. It’s like, really?  (They don’t manage  job contracts as smooth as  they used to .)

Okay, so now I’m in this place of much more calm and grace and gratefulness. It seems like no matter the amount of time it took, it took this ‘much needed ‘ time to  rest and rejuvenate and re- order my steps.

Everyday I’ve tried to stop and be grateful for at least one thing, then I’d acquiesce ll over again . And breathe. When I’m anxious and uptight , I tend to forget to breathe , and I tend to forget to express thanks for where I am.

Perspective matters.

I really didn’t think I  needed this, but apparently my soul knew I needed it. I’m currently in central NY in a beautiful hotel for the past few days – soaking up sunny days and  breathing in fresh fall air.  Enjoying time as the trees change into their beautiful autumn hues. And I have time to do this, so I’m thankful.

So the next time you’re complaining about how long something takes, just stop and think about where’s the grace in it. What are you grateful for?

Where does your soul align with the process?

And how much are you frustrating grace in the process?

Receive the good, and abandon the eat that isn’t quite helpful.

My soul aligning with “the process”.Receive your new beginning.

Selah.

Motivation.

What keeps you motivated? I remember grappling with this question over a period of time- maybe ten years.

I was so discouraged with myself. I couldn’t remain motivated. But I was also depressed, in a long marriage that had run its course, and I need a new take on life.

With motivation, it seemed as though I’d start, feel good about myself & my life, , then I’d lose motivation . Couldn’t seem to figure out why, though .

I didn’t connect my love life, my relationship, and my sadness to my motivation. I needed an encouraging partner, I needed to value myself and my friendships and have friends that helped motivate me and kept me accountable, and I needed self-care. All these things were missing in my life. Once I had had a friend who was willing to help keep me accountable and kind of tutored me in this area, it seemed to help. I would keep her accountable for a few things, and she’s do the same for me.

For a while, we realized we weren’t using our time right. So we’d study a few things about developing margin in our lives and that helped immensely.

We even prayed together about what our goals were and what we wanted to change.

I found out later on, that motivation comes from within. It’s discipline of the heart and soul. It’s being specific about what you desire, then finding courage within to pursue it. I didn’t know this at the age of 38 years old . Wish I did. I might have been more focused, much sooner.

Made it to the beach last week!

Sometimes we live thinking there’s so much more out there than what we’re living. The truth is, we haven’t really lived until we’ve possessed what our soul really desires.

For instance, my soul wanted the best visit to a beach, last weekend. And I sought it out until I got it . I received best experience… because I was open to receiving it. And … I went with my best friend …(he enjoyed it too, after I asked a few times.)

So the first question is:

“What does your soul desire?”

The second question is:

How bad do you really want it?

The third question is:

How do you make room in your life to do it? ( I highly recommend getting a partner.)☺️

And sometimes you have to just try several ways of meeting the needs of your soul, before you find out. Pull out some paper and brainstorm some tactics that might work.

Do you need to go to that special place ‘right after work’ so it really happens? Do you need to get a babysitter on Saturday morning while to kid is still in bed – for a few hours to make it happen ?

Or do you simply need to just be spontaneous ? ( You know I forgot that was my one word this year? Spontaneity? Gosh, how’d that happen?)

Just remember, how ‘you’ possess your soul , how someone else possesses theirs, may be totally different.

But do possess your soul

It’s so worth it..

Surrender.

Today, I laid on my Mama’s & Daddy’s living room floor in full surrender and almost fell asleep. My soul felt good lying there, just thinking about the new life I was now creating. It’s only been a few days.

Sometimes some of the most beautiful sights and experiences can happen in some of the most vulnerable places.

I’m still writing about my move, because it’s such a humongous loss. It’s gain, because I’m entering into a new , wonderful place to live, but it’s also been a challenging move.

I not only miss my friends, I miss an awesome church family, and I miss my life there. I left a fairly good job that I loved; working with women who were close to my heart for the potential they had in their futures.

I felt on purpose.

And then… without much warning.. maybe two months of it, it’s all gone.

Or is it?

I’m not certain it’s all gone, but it’s definitely shifted.

Into a new place in my life. Placed on a shelf like a badge of honor and blessings overflow.

But you know, you cannot then your back on good things, unless you know there more out there for you .

And so I surrender…

I acquiesce .

And I make a conscious choice to go forward; leaving everything familiar behind. And I choose life.An entirely new life, because I can. And , because my life leans forward for new things, blessed things, a calling that is sure, destined and meant to be.

It’s not scary, it’s just unknown . And where some choose to stay comfy – and take no leaps because ‘a leaping life‘ could absolutely different than before , I chose this new life because I’m sort of addicted to adventure.

And adventure in this life, could look like surrender, in the next. And that’s quite fine. It’s so alright.

As I sat on the floor in full surrender; my siblings asked if I wanted a chair, and I said ‘No.’

No chairs. Full surrender . No extra supports.

I realized talking to family recently, why my move from Tulsa, OK to N.Y. was so challenging for me. I’ve developed a sense of family & community there that consists of friends and very special connections . And my, … I had no idea it had grown so full of sentiment for me. Perhaps it isn’t until you leave a people you love, you realize just how special they’ve been.

It’s a good thing… surrender. And so I’m learning in my surrender, to also soar.

Wow!

New beginnings happen every day. Sometimes they happen by choice. Oftentimes, they happen of our own volition and personal priorities. I was thinking today about how I got here to where I am , today. For some reason, my spiritual life led me back to my hometown. Now I have to determine if I desire to settle here in Rochester, NY for a while and just live the life, or determine if I desire to live elsewhere one day.

You see, I have grown to love nice weather. Mostly because I love nature. And Oklahoma did that to me. I never went outside much, in Texas – when I lived there , but Oklahoma… I loved. I loved near a river walk, and bike riding and spending time with friends walking in the woods and sitting in the sun was awesome.

So I have a lot to think about. & I think I’ll let the Lord of the Universe in on my plans because He knows how to make them come true.

I’ll check back in on this dream and let you know how I’m doing in a few months.

In the meantime, think about how you can start a new beginning, very intentionally.

What will it take?

For me it took a lot of courage, emotional control and prayer. Self care was on overdrive, as well. I had to focus a lot, and pull away from others . And be still.

This is my second move across country ; and downsizing was NOT easy. But I managed. It hurt to get rid of so much. But I’m excited about beginning again.

Peace,

Jenn

My Friends Are One of A Kind..

One of a kind.

Friends are few and far between, & are hard to find. Above my friend Meg, and she’s pregnant and ready to deliver her child! (We just celebrated her little one is coming really soon!)

It’s been real living in Tulsa Ok. We are headed to Rochester , N.Y. after nine years of living in Tulsa and I’m thankful for friends .

When I first moved to Tulsa, It took about two good years to find friends . I thought it was the longest time, but grateful when I did. It seemed that friends were found most easy, in having gatherings and so that’s what I did.

I went to Meet Up Dot Com to start a book writing club and it turned out great. We had attendees from all over the area and it felt good to have peeps come from near and far and it felt authentic, friendly and at home.

That’s what Tulsa has felt like to me: My Second Home.

I then decided to have a rather group called Shine- Sisters Helping Inspire Nurture & Excel. This group lasted for over a year. We only disbanded because our schedules shifted in a big way and I began to transition to leave town.

I’ve sincerely met some good friends and I’m thankful . My friends in tulsa have loved on me in a big way and it’s been awesome to share my lives with them. It’s felt mighty good to know them!

We’ve gone to conferences together, wrote books together gathered to pray , or just to have a snack in an empty house and focus on the Lord. We’ve laughed and went away on retreats together near beautiful lakes, went on walks in the woods; met up at writers conferences ; and everything else that friends do to have fun. We also loved on each other during challenging times. Nothing like having a friend support you when you’ve written an entire program and are due to launch it and can’t find it at all on the computer ! (Oh no!)

Or like the time you get a new job ( again ), and you’re going through a mid- life crisis and decide to make changes with them all, and need to begin a new career!

Or you’re having that baby for the first time and need that mental, spiritual and emotional support that friends give!

Yeah… we were a family of friends and it was great. Who would’ve known it would begin so challenging and then I end up leaving SO blessed!

As I leave Tulsa, I would say my birthday in Pawhuska was the best! Spending time in nature and a bed and breakfast, and eating out and shopping in a small town was better than I thought !

My walk at midnight in the woods with Kristi B. was AWESOME!! Nature never felt so good! I can truly say that the love of the people in Tulsa was genuine and felt like home!

(My home away from home!)☺️👋🏾

So… one might imagine …

Leaving Tulsa… is like a fine memory of Iove, laughter and life.. I spent most of my forties here.. it’s where I ‘really’ grew up. Where I matured. I don’t think you really know you loved some places until you have to leave them. Loved the people, loved the work, & I loved the learning … So So much Learning! I made a lot of mistakes; but man, did I learn from them. Some of my greatest lessons of love❤️ have been spun in the web of conflict resolution and difficulty . Yet I’m grateful.
Thanks loved ones!

Gonna miss ya!

being intentional about being present .

I have found rest in some of the smallest uncozy spaces . And then when I see this frustrated, restless self of mine, I regroup.

My rest often hides in spaces I haven’t been in a while . I am finding rest in books. Books titled “Present Over Perfect.”

I’m learning here, in the book self care involving being intentional about being present with those i love , and letting them know it.

being intentional about being present with those i love , and letting them know it.

I mean, when the last tim

I mean, when the last time you looked your loved one in the eye and said :”You know I really, really love you, right – and here’s why…” and you tell them.

And then I find myself sleeping in late; maybe until nine, or ten sometimes on weekends. Or I walk a bit in the woods; or laugh at myself and sing some old songs or I listen to jazz because “ good jazz” makes you dance and get ‘all the way’ down.

Photo by You Are So Beautiful Photography

Maybe the moments of rest are within our souls: capturing everything we normally miss… when we blink. When we hear those voices deep down in our heart speaks and whispers “Tell them…” and then you hesitate and say it – not because it’s just senseless, but because there’s a chance by saying it , it materializes into a deep truth,& a deep comfort for the one whose ears received it.

This is being present over perfect.

And that all matters .

The Value Of The Table.

This is my table at home.

If you have a table at home, it’s likely much happens around that table. Or, if you’re like me in the past few months, things have piled up on it, like books and magazines and … “stuff”.

I’ve decided this year to honor my table, at home.

It’s so dear to me. It’s been in my life now for about ten years, and it’s still holding 💪🏾 strong.

This means to invite folk to sit at it, to do rituals around my table, and to have great conversation around it as well.

It was a few weeks before it was actually up and ‘present’ in my new place. And boy, did i miss it!

I love my table.

It’s wooden and large, and it’s quite spectacular. I’ve had friends there, meals there, great conversation and dinners there with friends and family, and it’s just been a great gathering place for us. Change has happened at that table.
Marriage work, has been a focus – here, as well. Prayers and blessings have been given and good writing has even been accomplished with friends, at this table.

At work I have a table too, and there I receive great wisdom from my peer pastors, presenters and chaplains. Unbelievable memories exist as we determine outcomes around that table, and I gather a certain excitement even before I reach it. I’ve met new people and crossed paths with persons I may have never met had I not sat down and chose to walk this process out I’ll never forget some of those conversations as they have given me a spiritual maturity that has helped me recognize what really matters and makes me fulfilled in life.

The fact that so much growth happens has opened me up to new possibilities, and quite honestly it’s been making me be quite conscious about the interactions that happens around other tables in my life.

It’s so interesting that it’s symbolic for the places we receive, refresh, replenish & re-energize – what was once on a tree, is not something I also use to symbolize my personal, professional, and spiritual growth. The fact it’s so connected to nature and to my sense of peace and ‘groundedness’ are symbolic , as well.

What grounds you? Is it similar to an object, like a table? Is it a place? Or a certain feel you get when you have that wonderful sense of nostalgia?

This is my place. would love to know what’s yours. Just respond below.

I’ll continue to share with you those places and pictures in the next few blog posts.

Below is a pic I took in a park in Tulsa called The Gathering Place. Just sharing because it’s such a big wonderful, table in an open park and invites community, right smack dab in a big, beautiful city with lots of nature surrounding it.

( I also simply adore the fact it’s outside.☺️😉)

This was the first table I was going to use…at a community park, but I decided to simply use my own.