From the Author

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day

Veterans come in all shapes and sizes, all faiths, all colors, all ages, and all have represented their country.  They are the inspiration and heroes that keep our country safe and in front of the world.  They are also fathers, sons, brothers and grandfathers. The children are watching and imagining being a part of the world of the military.

Toy Soldier

My six-year-old was playing with his toy soldiers, using a different voice for each one.

Soldier Number 1
I have a bazooka, and I make a big boom.

Soldier Number 2
I have a pistol that goes bang.

Soldier Number 3
I have a Swiffer, and I can make your house really clean.

That last soldier caught my attention.  On further examination, I discovered that Soldier number 3 was holding a mine detector.  

Donna Lawrence, Albin, Iowa

Military men and women make a difference in the world along with firemen, police, and all individuals who put themselves in harms way to keep all of us safe.  


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Freedom for the Soul

I had a recent visit from a relative that I love and admire.  She is currently having issues with her brittle diabetes and its resulting effects on her physically.  While she was visiting, I observed her drinking alcohol, eating sweets and desserts. I know that she didn't realize that while she was "cheating" with her diet, she was cheating herself, her loving family and her own health. Often we face obstacles in our lives that seem overwhelming and insurmountable.  However, if we tackle these issues head on and decide to not be captive to fear and insecurity, we find we can rise above and overcome them triumphantly.

"The prerequisite to true freedom is to decide that you do not want to suffer anymore.  You must decide that you want to enjoy your life and that there is no reason for stress, inner pain or fear."

"You can live a life completely free from the fears of the psyche.  You just have to learn how to do it. Let's take smoking as an example.  It is not hard to understand how to stop smoking.  The key word is "stop".  It really doesn't matter what patches you use; when it is all said and done, you simply must stop. The way you stop smoking is to stop putting cigarettes in you mouth. All other techniques are just ways that you think will help. But the bottom line is, all you have to do is stop putting cigarettes in your mouth. If you do this, it's guaranteed that you will stop smoking."

Michael A Singer, "the untethered soul," the journey beyond yourself

We are in control of our thoughts and fears.  We can use our personal power to achieve mastery over any addictions such as drug use, alcoholism, anger, fear, self-judgement and judgement of others, anxiety, stress, or anything stopping us from being our optimal selves. With support of faith, friends, and our own willpower, we can love ourselves and others just the way we are. We can reach for the stars to create a positive attitude and a willingness to achieve the best that we can be.  We control the freedom of our soul. 

Check out my book "The Dying Teach Us How to Live," my art gallery with originals and vinyl prints

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Caregivers For Elderly

My mother has been having significant changes in her condition.  It has been challenging to be her caregiver, POA and daughter. The support I receive from the facility staff has been invaluable. I'm impressed with all of the individuals who work with the elderly and are able to share love, care, kindness and patience with each older individual who needs assistance. 

A Prayer For Those Who Work With the Elderly

Lord, give me the peace to greet my patients with consistency and strength; to welcome the uniqueness of each day and each individual

Provide me with the stamina to keep up with their demands, even on those days when I feel inner limits

Let me remember their frustration at not being able to perform ordinary tasks and let me manage to aid them with understanding, easiness and compassion

Let me remember to laugh.  Give me the ability to see the humor in each situation and to recognize  that life need not always be so serious

Provide me with the opportunity to touch.  To demonstrate acceptance, assurance and compassion through a gentle pat or a loving embrace

Give me the power to recognize the struggles within each person; to remember their own dignity and the importance of their individual past

Lord, let me cry out when there is injustice toward any person.  Give me the wisdom to recognize abuse in every form and the inspiration of how to stop it

Let me remember that families cope with age in different ways.  Let me forgive those who do not visit; understand those who over compensate and cooperate with those who demand

Provide me with the insight to support my fellow workers.  Help me remember their own struggles and let me reach out in genuine cooperation

Lord, let me remember love not only in the individual that is lovable, but in the person that is difficult.  Let me look into each separate face and know the unique beauty within

And when they have all pushed too hard let me remember gratitude.  Through them I am provided the opportunity to soar above mediocrity, to create change and a better world

Thank you Lord for I am blessed                      Greta G Sherman 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Winners vs Stress Captives

I read a recent horoscope by Holiday Mathis.

"Stress is a function of arguing with reality.  Essentially, it's from not wanting things to be the way they are.  Stress eases when you accept the state of things and work within them instead of wasting energy believing they should be different."

Anxiety and worry often take control of our lives as we constantly battle with what is actually happening and what we want to happen.  Neither anxiety or worry change the situation,  The only resolution to this conflict is to realize that life happens.  It is our response and attitude to life that help us endure to achieve greater dreams.  I have met many individuals who have survived unimaginable situations such as concentration camps, abuse, trauma, rape, death of multiple family and friends, natural disasters, etc.

The "winner" survivors often had creative open minds to future potential achievements. They just accepted the circumstances that occurred, did not place blame on anyone, and looked ahead to take one day at a time. They resolved to overcome obstacles and begin a new life journey. They did not wallow in anger, frustration, blame, discouragement, or depression.

The "winners" did not see themselves as courageous, heroic or determined.  They simply know that life is often unpredictable and sometimes harsh. They rise to the challenge and become stronger spiritually, morally, physically and emotionally. "Winners" remain in control of their own destiny and make choices from an inner power. Each of us have the strength to no longer remain a captive to stress. We have the power to rise above unavoidable difficulties to become strong and independent as we continuously deal with the reality of life.  Stress drains our positive energy with negative results. The answer may be to simply accept that life is never going to be the way we want it.  Instead, life is what we make it. 
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Friday, September 13, 2019

What Do My Actions Say?

"Actions speak louder than words, let your words teach and your actions speak." 
St Anthony of Padua

There are many words that we can use to explain our beliefs, religion, philosophy, politics, relationships, and intentions.  Often we are guided by religious guidelines, governmental rules and regulations, familial or ethnic traditions, or self imposed behavioral restrictions. It is often easier to settle into routine adherence to expectations instead of fully experiencing spontaneous opportunities to reach out emotionally and spiritually to others.

Externally we can "follow the rules" and appear to be model citizens, parishioners, neighbors and friends. We can say the right words and express the right intentions while giving rules and regulations a central part of our lives.

The true internalization of these guidelines that are taught verbally are effectively reflected when our actions "speak" for us without words by our compelling, sincere example. Children especially internalize what they experience rather than guidance of words only.  There is often a disconnect between spoken words that are meaningless responses of polite expectations instead of actual feelings and intentions.

What do my actions say about me?  Are needs of people more important than merely following the expectations of society?

St. Mother Teresa used her hand to show the need of reaching out with actions instead of just words.  She said each of the five fingers of her hand related to the five words:  "You Do It To Me." We are sometimes the answer to someone's prayer because we step forward to reach out to a person in need. We have opportunities every day to make a difference in the lives of others through our actions.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Why Am I Here?

Many of us wonder at times what our life goal has become.  Why am I here, what am I supposed to accomplish?
I have decided on the best life goal for me and hopefully understand the reason why I am here.
each one of us have been blessed with different opportunities, varying levels of health, unique talents, obstacles to overcome and support systems.  None of us are the same yet we all have bodies and a soul.

My own life goal is to be the best I can be by utilizing my skills and talents to make a difference for myself and others in the relatively short life spans we can expect. I know that I have a great way to go to achieve my goal. However, I am committed to try.  I am far from perfect and I don't think it would be possible to ever become that way.

By taking personal responsibility for myself, I am aware that my life can't be predicted, controlled, manipulated or lived by others.  I make my own decisions, I can't blame others for my actions or reactions. I have the opportunity to grow physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally by my own reactions and choices in my life.   I don't expect it to be easy.  I don't always expect to succeed. 
However, I am convinced that for my life to make a positive difference for others, I need to have a positive outlook and say yes to whatever happens to me with the help of my family, friends and faith.

I look to others who have had more to overcome than I can imagine.  Yet they remain content, peaceful and are amazing examples of using the abilities we have to achieve greatness.  Check out my book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live". my art gallery, and vinyl prints

"If you are what you should be, you will set the entire world ablaze."  Saint Catherine of Siena

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Life Friends

"Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious."  St. Thomas Aquinas

Many of us have friends that we are not acquainted with.  They are the troops who keep our country safe and who often send goodwill to the world. There are friends who we have known most of our lives.  Friends who also happen to be relatives or spouses.  There are friends that we share a special time with and who remain friends in our hearts even though they are not present physically. 

It is important to remember and appreciate our friends who we often take for granted, especially our service members.

"The Service:

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex was staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church.  It was covered with names and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.

The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning," replied the young man, still focused on the plaque.  "What is this?" Alex asked.
"Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex's voice was trembling and barely audible when he asked, "Which service, the 9:45 or the 11:15?"  Church bulletin.

If we can laugh at the world, we can learn to deal with many of the difficult times when God gives us a chance to relax and enjoy the small moments of laughter. 
Check out my book, "The Dying Teach Us How to Live", my art gallery and prints, and speaker information