Let's Talk

Posts Categorized: Threads of Life

Laugh and the World Laughs With You

Laugh and the World Laughs with You | focuswithmarlene.com

“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.” -H. G. Wells

One of the greatest benefits you will ever have when going through difficult times is the ability to laugh at yourself and your circumstances.

Research indicates that laughter has a positive effect on our brains – it literally changes the brain.

Even in the midst of distress and anxiety, we can find something that can make us smile or laugh. We can find that drop of humor in any difficult situation, and when that happens, the resulting laughter can instantly transport us to another world.

Landscaping the Garden of Your Life

Landscaping the Garden of Your Life | focuswithmarlene.com

I have built three homes, two with my husband and one on my own.

Before you can start building, you need a piece of land that will accommodate the house you want to build.

  • What kind of home do you want?
  • How big or small and how much can you afford?

Included in that early decision making is asking where you want to live. What kind of community do you want to be a part of, and are there lots available to purchase?

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.