Our 63rd Wedding Anniversary — Thank YOU God!

Margie reading Our 63rd Wedding Anniversary — Thank You God!

Good Morning, God!

WOWSIE! Sixty-three years married — and as Kit loves to say, AND ALL TO THE SAME PERSON! Who would have thought it? Although, I did anticipate the 50th wedding anniversary. My family has done well. I am the fourth generation — we are the fourth generation to have celebrated a fiftieth wedding anniversary. But SIXTY? And then 63? WOWSIE!!! INDEED!

Coming out of the restaurant last evening an earnest young woman asked for our “secret” . . . and shared her hope for a long marriage. I gave her an answer — saying we were both good at apologizing! And that really does help. But, then later I started to give it a little thought. And the real “credit” goes to YOU, God. You are the one whose Love Never Fails.

I remember the words of our instructor in the Marriage and the Family course we took at Stanford. Donʻt think you can each do 50 50! Expect periods of having to give 100%. Maybe 110%. You will both fall short. And sometimes at the same time. OH MY, HOW TRUE!

So Kit and I have both “fallen short of the glory of God” as St. Paul says. But the belief that we are loved and forgiven by You has helped us to love and forgive ourselves and each other. And we do love, respect and enjoy each other. But the foundation is that we are fellow humans, created and loved by YOU. That is so much! That foundation means that we can depend on You for a sense of meaning and worth. How wonderful to have You as a “safety net.”

Still. . . Oh my! How can I convey how many adjustments and adaptations have been required. How surprising it was — and still is — to live and love a person of another gender! Thank goodness for Deborah Tannen and her work on gender differences! Now the good news is that Kit is a Good Man. I started to list his virtues but the list got too long and then I realized that wasnʻt the point, anyway! Kit is REAL. He is mine as I am his. We are still enjoying “being with” each other — the touching, the listening and the laughing together.

An extra word on laughter. Kit loves to make me laugh. I think it was Joanne Woodruff who said that being married to a movie star (Paul Newman) was all very well. But being married to a man who made her laugh — was priceless! I agree and I am thankful!

So, yes, I am so Thankful God for the gift of life and the gift of life together with Kit. Yea, GOD!

Me again — reading it.
Posted in asking for and accepting forgiveness, Being ENJOYED by God, being heard into speaking, connecting, Enjoyment, Forgiving, Hearing, hearing myself, Hearts, JOY, LOVE, opportunities to forgive myself, simple joys of daily life, The daily details of love, The Endless Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love, the JOY of praying together, the joy of sharing

FEAR and my personal steps in resisting it.

Soil (under a microscope) — is full of living things — that are able to recover — even after years of abuse.
Margie reading: FEAR and my personal steps in resisting it.

Good Day, God,

We as a species have been bombarded with FEAR for the last few years. FEAR all by itself greatly dampens our immune system. Alas, FEAR tends to promote anger and blame and hate. That is a toxic combination.

The good news is that just like the soil — we can recover. Soil that has become virtually dead due to the ongoing bath of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides — can return to full health in three years.

I am trusting that we can free ourselves of the effects of fear much faster than that. (And, no, God, no scientific studies . . . just personal experience.)

Step One: I stopped trying to bear the weight of the world. I stopped watching the news. Graphic images overload my circuits. Yes, I try to stay aware and pray. But, I have dramatically reduced the width and length of my focus. Right now. Right here. Can I do something? Then do it.

Step Two: I have reframed the game I am in. There is evil in the world. Yes. And evil does horrible things so that I will want to do horrible things to retaliate. Yikes! I have found that I am very reactive. Part of me seems to believe that we can seek out and destroy evil. That is exactly what evil wants. You tell us we are to overcome evil with good.

Step Three: I make daily efforts to pray FOR those doing evil. I try to bless and not curse. I also take personal inventories of where I am failing. Where I am stuck in judgment and anger. I see myself as very much like my fellow human beings who are causing trouble.

Step Four: Focusing on the right here, right now — I practice gratitude and thankfulness. I have so much to be thankful for. The gift of life is much more real to me now as I am aging. The small joys are more precious.

Step Five: I work at PRAISING YOU for WHAT IS! I may not like it. I may not understand it. But, as I praise You For it — I am TRUSTING IT ALL INTO YOUR GREAT RECYCLING PROJECT. It is truly freeing to offer up praise for what is. I am actively asserting my trust in You to use it. . . somehow, somewhen.

My foundation for these steps is the belief that You Love Us. That this Time/Space location is not all there is. I feel I am in a Very Expansive Universe — with love and compassion at its core.

Posted in a matter of scale, Centering Prayer, gratitude, LOVE, Praise, Praising God for All Things, Prayer, praying, thankfulness, Thanksgiving!, The Endless Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love, The sacrifice of praise

A new (freeing) label – Queenager

Good Day, God!

Such a fun morning! I stumbled on a fairly new site called NOON. The creator is Eleanor Mills who was a creative editor at the Sunday Times (London) for 20+ years. She has created — or maybe is just publicizing the new term for women — Queenager. No age limit as you can see by looking at Queen Elizabeth.

Here is a quote from an interview she did with Sheryl Sandberg after she stepped down from META.

hQueenagers is our new moniker for women in midlife – moving into a new chapters,
masters of our own destinies.
Seeing this time as an age of possibility, of a whole new start, a new phase.
We are not done, crones, walking hot flushes,
we are Queenagers, coming into our prime.
This is definitely how Sheryl wants us to see this shift for her. “I love this new narrative around older women and what we are capable of becoming,” says Sandberg.
“I’m proud to be a Queenager”.

Now, God, You know that women have been systematically disempowered. My father used to justify this by saying “with all your gifts, you would just take over — if we didn’t do this.” And, alas, I laughed. I didn’t think WELL, YES! LET’S TAKE OVER.

That is an outrageous thing to say! But, who can doubt that women would create a much different world order. Sigh, but we are just following the rules . . . trying STILL to be good little girls. In my heart I feel You are calling us to be YOUR DAUGHTERS.

QUEENS . . . not, please forbid, Princesses. Queens, if not globally, then at least in our own lives. Or more to the point, in My Own Life.

Posted in a hand up, becoming the change I wish to see, Changing, changing who I want to become, encourage and comfort, growing toward up, Growth Opportunities, hope, Personal Power, simple joys of daily life, the essential nature of hope, the Growth Mindset, the joy of sharing, The power of images, The Power of Naming

This Sunday at 6:30 a.m. MANGO DAYS RUN

Kit at the last Mango Days 5k run — July 2019.

Good Evening, God

My wonderful husband Kit got a phone call on our landline — giving him the phone number of his running coach, Jonathan Lyau — and saying Jon was trying to reach him. Kit called and Jon invited him to the first Mango Days race since COVID hit! It is this Sunday at Magic Island and starts at 6:30 a.m. We plan on being there — with Mango Days books to give away!

The book is a compilation of our daughter Patty’s letters, journal entries, poems and sketches. Kit did an introduction and added a few explanatory transitions — but other than that, it is all Patty’s work.

This is the book — available on kindle — in Korean too!

Kit and I are still walking — but, it would take way too long for us to do three miles. So Kit will greet the finishers. We only wish Neil Voje (who started it) could be there with us. But we will send photos. The running community has meant a lot to us. We are both looking forward to seeing dear friends!

We have on Patty’s headstone the verse from Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” We know, God, that You can make use of everything! We thank You for the gift of our daughter, Patty!

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Posted in a prayer for healing, daughters, healing, LOVE, running, The Endless Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love

My 3 Step Personal Reset Plan

Diamond Head as seen from Kapiolani Park

Good Day, God

Last night it felt as if You were saying OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD . . . in you, Margie. . . in you. And I have to say, God, that felt true! When I look around me — I judge. I project the demons in me — out on to others. Not saying, that there aren’t other folks with “demons”. We all have them. Just saying my job is to deal with MINE!

An example: Today, I called an airline to ask again for an email saying my 7/20 flight reservation had been canceled. Yesterday’s assurances had failed to materialize. So today — when I called to repeat my request for confirmation — the young lady instead canceled my 8/7 reservation. YIKES!!! I was TOTALLY UPSET. After many reassuring words, I settled down. As part of the security process the young lady learned that ART was my favorite subject and we talked “art” for a minute. At the end, I apologized for my behavior. And I heard myself say, sheepishly, that I guessed I had an “artistic temperament”.

What a very kind way to express it. Would that I would be that compassionate with everyone else!

FIRST STEP: Invest time in silence. I call it Centering Prayer. But there are many people of other faiths, including secular mystics, that embrace silence, stillness and openness. I try to begin and end my day . . . emptying myself and opening to Your Indwelling Spirit.

SECOND STEP: Push our local authorities to reduce the class size — especially in elementary schools. More teacher/student attention and care would be a big step toward a healthier community. Aim for half of what it is now! Today I pledge to write and call my local representatives. I have observed there is always money for what the folks in charge want.

THIRD STEP: Advocate for Regenerative Agriculture. Industrial farming is killing the microbes and earthworms in the soil. The earth cannot do its job of absorbing CO2 from the air! And it cannot absorb the water into our aquifers. So? Ask the companies that own most of the land to start a major conversion back into organic farming. Let’s ask our congress folks to write legislation that helps folks practicing regenerative agriculture. It only takes about 3 years for the creatures in the soil to bounce back. It can be done!

So, here is my little 3 step proposal for a Personal Reset. Please help me . . .

Posted in becoming the change I wish to see, being heard into speaking, Centering Prayer, Changing, changing who I want to become, connecting, courage, courage to see myself, elementary school, encourage and comfort, Hearing, hearing myself, Hearts, hope, Hope as a gift from God, Prophecy: a Supernatural Gift of Encouragement, regenerative agriculture, Regenerative Farming, Silence, solitude and silence, Teachers, The difficulty of changing, the essential nature of hope

Into the Sea

A hour at Kaimana Beach

Good Evening, God

This has been a wonderful /wonder-illed day. Many moment to savor. Today was my second time in the water for maybe months and I relished it. Having settled my beloved husband in a comfortable regular height chair, I enter the water. After getting mask and fins on — I set off. . . only to be overwhelmed by the small swift silver fish! Thousands of them packed together and yet flowing and darting around as one entangling river. Delight! For several minutes I join them. Join in the joy that radiates from them — from just being together?

Then I move on — only to encounter a slow-moving school of much larger goat fish. The contrast is marvelous. After that I’m off to the rocks near the breakwater . . . looking for the moorish idols . . . but the rocks are empty of fish. Then the much needed swimming! I think of the quote from Isak Dinesen — The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears or the sea.

Moving my body through the water I finally arrive at the natatorium only to be surprised by a very large school of goat fish. Twenty or thirty! The first time I have ever seen such a convocation of goat fish! Then back along the reef seeking my favorites — the moorish idols. I spot a couple! Swimming close together! And next to them two small yellow tang! The first time I have ever seen yellow tang at Kaimana!

Finally, enough exercise — I rush to pour out my adventures to my loving husband — complete with expansive hand gestures as I describe the elegant flowing top fin of the moorish idols.

I feel, God, a little silly trying to share such a profoundly visual experience with words. Words are so tertiary — three steps away from reality. Still, I like to think that my husband shared in the flow of my energy. And, You, God? Surely You must share in our joys — as You do in our sorrows.

Being with. Being together. That is a sharing beyond words.

Posted in appreciation, Awe, beauty, Being ENJOYED by God, Being Together, Being With, Enjoyment, Sharing, the joy of sharing

A Modest Proposal

Wintering; The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May

Good Evening, God

This is the second Katherine May book that I have been listening to. I was in the middle of the chapter about her son — at six — finding school unbearable — when the idea came to me. First, I must say, I have only ONE memory of actually learning something in elementary school. That was when a substitute teacher explained about compound and complex sentences. I was delighted! The rest of the time? Moments of shame — being first to sit down in a spelling bee. Being allowed to read Greek myths. But mostly a vast nothingness.

Now, I hear my youngest daughter talk about her job teaching 4th grade. She loves it and she loves her students. But, it is demanding in ways I can barely comprehend. Out of nearly 30 children, 3 have almost full-time Educational Assistants. Others are still learning English. And so on.

Last year when they were transitioning from online learning to in-class learning she had a much smaller class — and it was all joy! Having started with 12 or 15 she was able to create a culture of kindness and mutual respect. That allowed her to gradually add another ten students while maintaining that culture.

Meanwhile our church has decided to hold a meeting to discuss HOW WE COULD PREVENT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. A worthy endeavor! Of course, limiting access to guns will be the knee-jerk “answer”. I hope some sensible limits will be created. But, focusing on that as THE ANSWER has cultural problems.

That was when my idea popped up. What if we reduced the class sizes in elementary schools by half? That is a POSITIVE step that would benefit everyone. The folks that kill children are profoundly damaged. And our mental health hasn’t been wildly successful — especially if we wait until adulthood. Just having children in small classes might seem minor. But, a small class size allows teachers to invest time and attention in individuals. To actually see those who are in trouble.

Just ONE person who cares — can turn a life around.

People will say IMPOSSIBLE. MONEY!!! COSTS!!! But, I have noticed that there is ALWAYS MONEY FOR WHAT THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE WANT. Frankly, I cannot think of another change that would have a more positive impact on our society.

But hey! Let’s have more out of the box ideas! We need a lot more ideas on how to build a healthier community and country! Please help us, God.

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Posted in Caring, healing, health, learning, LOVE, praying

The Joy of Beauty

The flower of a Dragon Fruit. Photo by Tina Yap

Good Day, God

At first I was going to describe this as a night blooming cereus bloom. But, then the friend who took the photo called us and I asked her if that is what it was. She told me it was from her Dragon Fruit plant. She rarely calls us — so I considered her timely call a gift! Accuracy it important.

Although, flowers can be appreciated without names. One just has to stop and admire. The same is true of people. One can smile, nod and chat without learning a name. But naming — learning the correct name — is important. To me, it feels like I then have shifted them into a more appreciated part of my brain. It is as if my brain has distinct territories. Or is that my heart?

But what is also special about this blossom — is the briefness of its existence. Perhaps because we live IN TIME we value duration. However the Japanese have an expression that basically says that this is MORE to be valued BECAUSE it is so fleeting. I feel this way about this flower. STOP. LOOK. SEE. APPRECIATE. It will not be here tomorrow.

Ah…..Mindfulness! Living as fully as we can in the NOW. Yet, still being aware of our need to see the present as part of the path to the future. Questions like how much to save? How much to spend? Labels like Grasshopper and Ant spring to mind. But those are Labels, not names. And I am very wary of labels.

Will I begin my day with a walk or dark chocolate? Both, I hope! So many tiny decisions. And my Life is an ongoing mosaic of them all.

Posted in Abundant Life, an invitation to abundant life, appreciation, beauty, connecting, Enjoyment, JOY, mindfulness, Needed Repair Time, recovery time, setting my life in context, simple joys of daily life, taking time to focus, the joy of sharing, time, Wanting a protected time

Finding a new Tool Belt

Good Morning, God

In an article in Design for Humanity (put out by the Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) They asked questions to help us access our creativity. “How does a bus driver avoid a ticket passing a stop sign, turning the wrong way?” The answer: he is walking!

Sigh, I sure suffer from that one. But, it goes deeper than just arranging for help. In one of my Centering Prayer Times it came to me that “Being Meticulous” would solve some of my problems — quite a few, actually. But, I am unwilling to (and probably unable) to change who I am. . . or at least change who I see myself as.

Of course! I too get stuck in Roles and Self Images. Plus, there is a huge assortments of rules and limits that we are mostly not aware of. Another example is a friend who isn’t going to travel to a special event. There are limitations and problems to be sure. But it hit me that maybe he thinks he has to do it without arranging for help?

Then it came to me that I could have a Meticulous Tool Belt! WOW! I would just buckle it on over my carefree me, and get busy! Daughter Sandy suggested it could have different pairs of glasses in it — some to see Spaces and Others to look at Times.

I am totally delighted God! This is an exciting way to explore ways of being and doing in a playful way. Like all new ideas — it will be in development for a while! I am in day 3 and just beginning. But for me this “New Image” is an enormous help!

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Posted in accepting my authority to set limits, Changing, connecting, Play, The difficulty of changing

Considering Various Types of Rest

Puakenikeni

Good Evening, God

It never occurred to me that there “kinds” of rest. But then I listened to Kendra Adachi’s Lazy Genius Podcast #258 and she talked about SEVEN kinds of rest. As she said — she just made this list up! It isn’t scientific, just antidotal — but useful!

Number one: RELAX . . . as in maybe just slow down? I remember when a dear friend share the lyrics, “Slow DOWN, you’re goin too fast. You want to make the moment last.” I resonated! And the melody is catchy and I love repeating it. Relaxing is something we might have to learn to do. Especially, the idea of relaxing in the moment — between actions or during actions.

Number two: RESET . . . Kendra describes it as “putting something draining, back on track.” It could be as simple as a pile of mail from several days. Or it could be setting a relationship back on track. But, basically it comes after attending to something that needed to be done for your sake.

Number three: RECHARGE . . . this is what I am needing. I saw it when I worked in a retirement community. Women caring for loved ones — even with amazing help — grew drained. Batteries were into red. Completely drained batteries take longer to recharge. They only seem to do a slow trickle charge.

Number four: YOU NEED A BREAK . . .this is when you are in a season of life that is demanding. You want to be where you are. . . but, still, you need a break. This requires help. And you need to believe you need breaks and can actually arrange for them. (I’m working on this one.)

Numbers five, six and seven: . . . are variations on YOU NEED A BREAK. Kendra talks about proactive planning when you know a hard time is before you. Plan breaks just before, during and most definitely AFTER. She talked about teachers using Spring Breaks . . . tax accountants taking a break in March. I’m very grateful to Kendra Adachi and her Lazy Genius Way for bringing this whole idea to my attention.

How creative will I permit myself to become? And how deeply am I understanding my vulnerability?

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Posted in A weekly day of rest, days of rest as conservation days?, Needed Repair Time, recharging my battery, recovery time, relaxation, renewing, rest, sabbath rest, taking time to focus, time, Wanting a protected time

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