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My Special Guy

Yesterday was just another day in the normal scheme of things. People went to work, business transactions took place in prestigious office towers, and the Internet took us around the world in seconds.

But for me, the world stopped. Once more I felt the deep pain of losing someone who made the sun shine and grey skies go away.

For, like my husband who died seven years earlier, my special little guy made life fun and full of meaning. And once again, I am caught off balance, struggling to find a way to move forward. Once again, my heart is torn, and tears keep falling and won’t stop.

On Eagle’s Wings: Let Go and Soar!

eagle soaring

I’m tired – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Grieving is harder than I could have imagined. Is there some magic formula that will make this journey easier?

I’m tired of wandering the dark canyons and dry deserts of my soul.

I’m tired of wondering when I will be able to leave.

There are days when the journey seems endless, and I struggle to find my way into a new life.

How do I preserve what I had while letting go of what was?

Step Out in Confidence!

Step Out in Confidence!

The fears that prevent us from taking that first step out of our comfort zone are usually connected to feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy.

We don’t want to appear stupid or foolish.

We don’t want to be rejected.

We need people. We need to feel we belong. But we often sacrifice our ability to connect, achieve and overcome when fear takes center stage. We retreat rather than stepping out.

“What If?”…Questions I Ask

"What If?... Questions I Ask

What if

We stopped trying to live the perfect life.

Would we become real?

What if

We stopped pretending we had it all together.

Would we fall apart, or would we finally recognize our need for help?

What if

We saw the Ten Commandments as a gift from a loving Father trying to teach us how to live non-destructive lives.

Would we use more of them?

From Smoke and Mirrors to Discovering the True Meaning of Life

From Smoke and Mirrors to Discovering the True Meaning of Life | focuswithmarlene.com

“Write! Write! You want me to write, Lord! But I’m not accomplished enough and have not learned enough. What if I write things that expose my vulnerabilities, my fears, my stupidity, or my ignorance?”

For with all my education and learning, I have become acutely aware of how little I know. Just when I think I know a subject well, I turn a page and discover I have just begun to learn.

As I pick up pen and paper, the boldness with which I have written in the past is now tempered with a deep humbling awareness of the present.

Creating a New Beginning After Losing a Loved One

Creating a New Beginning After Losing a Loved One | focuswithmarlene.com

Learning new skills requires perseverance, dedication, and hard work. It seems at times we are pushing that proverbial stone that doesn’t want to move. And then, one morning, we wake up and find ourselves sitting on top of it! We haven’t moved it… we haven’t gone around it… we have climbed on top and are on our way over it!

That’s how I feel this morning. I have reached the top! I don’t know how I got here, but here I am. Every morning I have written about my struggle to believe, make sense of what happened, let go of the past and move forward. I was developing a new skill.

Yes, I Can – Three Powerful Little Words

Yes, I can.

Just three little words – Yes. I. Can.

Within them, they hold the energy and power to make monumental changes, overcome the largest of obstacles, stay on course, and never give up. We can take time out to evaluate and make appropriate corrections, but we don’t give up. We continue with reflection, purpose, and intention.

I first discovered how powerful those three little words were years ago when my husband and I listened to doctors tell us that our ten-month old son was “A-mi-tonic quadriplegic,” a term I never heard before or since, but it basically told us that our son would have little to no control over his muscles. Oh, and they didn’t think he had much intellect, either.

A Deepening Peace: Discovering Peace in Tranquil Settings

secret garden

Once again I gather my cup of coffee, Bible and journal and step out onto my deck brimming with potted plants. The orange and yellow nasturtiums along with green vines and shrubs create a privacy screen, a secret garden. This is my oasis, a place of solitude and quiet where I come to find renewal.

The sounds of the bubbling water fountain soothe my heart and bruised spirit. The questions about an uncertain future melt away like the early morning mists and I feel strength and confidence returning.

Peace.

The Cost of Resentment: Becoming a Victim

woman looking resentful with man in background

When we have suffered injustices, especially in our personal relationships, it is hard to let go and forgive. We struggle with our desire to get retribution or justice versus letting go. Retribution or payback seems so necessary.

Therapists often hear about egregious events that people have endured. Some started early in their childhood. Unprocessed, they keep injecting themselves into our lives and color our attempts at happiness.

In this article, I share one more story from a therapy session that might help you understand the cost of hanging onto resentment.

7 ways to Make Forgiveness a Gift, Rather Than an Obligation

7 ways we can make forgiveness a gift rather than an obligation

Jesus said, “Forgive seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). We take it as a moral imperative.

But it isn’t just Jesus who tells us how important forgiveness is; science confirms it as well. In fact, not to forgive is putting a slow death sentence on ourselves,as the theologian Frederick Buechner so aptly describes.

Most of us deal with the sins and transgressions of others in the moment. We get mad, pull away, and then make up and go on. When we are the transgressors, we do the same. With minor goofs and slip-ups, we feel bad in the moment, apologize, and then continue with life.