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Posts Categorized: Threads of Life

Path? What Path?

Path? What Path? | focuswithmarlene.com

Difficult times compel us to stop and make an assessment of where we are in life.

  • Are we achieving the ambitions and aspirations we had?
  • Are our goals and plans to achieve stated in such a way that even when faced with unexpected obstacles, we have a clear direction on how to get there?

Such an evaluation can enlarge our vision. We may need to abandon unclear goals and replace them with new, more coherent, or articulate ones.

At these crossroads, we are given the opportunity to clarify what is really important to us so we can step out with a new purpose and ending in mind.

Breath of Spring

Breath of Spring | focuswithmarlene.com

With each season there are new expectations.

Fall brings bright new colors as leaves turn red, yellow, and orange before falling, creating a lush carpet on the ground around them. The trees are preparing for hibernation to survive the cold of winter.

When winter arrives, we snuggle into our comforters or ski jackets when outdoors, enjoying hot chocolate and cookies.

Then, as the days get longer, the ground wakes up, and bulbs planted in autumn push their way up through the hard ground to add new color that promises a bright spring.

Throughout life we experience different seasons – not as predictable as the seasons of nature, but they are there.

Love and Sacrifice

Love and Sacrifice | focuswithmarlene.com

I am reposting an article I’ve posted several times in the past at this time of year, featuring a poem written by my friend, Darlene Dubay, entitled, “Tree of Hope,” reflecting on the tree itself that became the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Starting from a tiny seed, Darlene conceptualizes what that tree was thinking as it grew, was chopped down and became a cross.

Darlene is a talented and gifted writer and poet and her book, Walking is a Prayer: Glimpses of a Spiritual Journey, was released in 2020.

I Cried – He Came: God’s Presence in the Midst of Grief

I Cried – He Came

Grief is a journey requiring time and an open mind as we grasp the significance of our life, both before our loss and for what lays ahead.

There will be moments when we acutely feel the need of understanding and comfort, and if we can be open to those moments, we will be rewarded with not only comfort but a greater understanding of life itself.

Finding Humor in Our Grief and Loss

Finding Humor in Our Grief and Loss

When I was healing from the losses of my husband and then my son, I was writing and working with others on similar journeys.

As I read, studied, and took additional training about healing from loss as a therapist, a book written by Linda Richman captured my attention. We seldom think of humor as important when grieving, but it not only is relevant and but can be instrumental in our healing process.

In her book, “I’d Rather Laugh: How to Be Happy Even When Life Has Other Plans for You,” Linda Richman tells her story of pain from the losses in her life, culminating in the loss of her young son and working through that tragedy with humor.

Day’s Dawning: Whispers from God

Day’s Dawning – Whispers from God | focuswithmarlene.com

The day sneaks up, rousing me from deep sleep. The urging of another day has not yet crowded out the deep internal musings that rise to the surface while I’m still half asleep.

A new day dawning. I enjoy the leisure of this time, allowing my mind to consider the streaming of creative ideas, solutions, and unanswered questions. I didn’t formulate them – they just arrived, and I simply received.

How often we hurry from such moments and step into the fast lane of life. For, we reason, doesn’t life demand that we don’t dawdle? If we stopped and considered options all the time, we would never get anything done. We would constantly be questioning every motive or changing directions.

Turn Your Gravel Pit Into a Beautiful Garden

Turn Your Gravel Pit into A Beautiful Garden | focuswithmarlene.com

Can something ugly and scarred be turned into something beautiful and inviting? Let me share with you a true story about a real gravel pit.

A gravel pit is a piece of land where bulldozers and huge earth-scooping machinery have removed the soil to extract gravel and other ingredients needed to build roads, make cement, gather building rocks, etc.

What remains, after all the extractions, is a huge scarred and pitted hole in the ground with unstable and crumbling sides, water seepage from underground springs, stagnant pools of rainwater, huge, discarded pieces of rock and other un-usable mounds of earth. Debris is scattered everywhere, discarded by individuals who consider this a worthless piece of land; a place to throw away their pop cans, beer bottles or candy wrappers.

God’s Love Streaming In

God’s Love Streaming In | focuswithmarlene.com

When working through a loss to a new beginning, we experience ups and downs of emotions and thoughts. At times we might feel like a yo-yo, up one minute, down the next. It is an interval when we not only are working through recovery but taking stock of our life – what was important and what was not.

In my book, Learning to Live Again in a New World – available in hard copy, e-book, or audio book – I share strategies and methods to offset those difficult moments. It is a book full of suggestions to make your journey smoother and more complete.

Hope that Sustains

Hope that Sustains | focuswithmarlene.com

Hope! It is a gift I cannot refuse.

Belief. It is the assumption that God catches us when reality doesn’t match our expectations and we begin to fall.

We may not be aware of being caught and held safely because the terror of falling is too great. But regardless of how we feel, God is there, like the parachute keeping a skydiver from plummeting to earth.

A skydiver has learned to turn fear of falling into a heady joy of floating before opening the chute. When reality has dashed my dreams, I need to turn my fear of falling into floating with the parachute ready to open and set me safely down on the ground when the time is right.

Grab Hold, Let Go, and Swing!

Grab Hold, Let Go, and Swing! | focuswithmarlene.com

When faced with life-altering situations, we struggle not only to grasp the totality of what we are facing, but to plan a way forward. Consider the options my son and us faced years ago. His physical limitations never deterred him. And he lived life never even considering he couldn’t make it and took his talents and built a successful career.

Don was born without the muscles to hold up his head. Muscle weakness extended to other areas of his back and neck. A special brace was designed for him, with a rod that went down the back, anchored with straps around his waist and a pre-formed support for his head.

One might assume he was a prisoner to his physical disabilities. But he never saw it that way and neither did we.