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To infuse and inspire one another

In my last writing there was a description that said, to infuse or belong to, and it was speaking about a friendship.
Looking up the word infuse: Dictionary.com says it is to ingrain, pour in, cause to penetrate; instill and inspire; as if by pouring; to steep or soak as to extract; to undergo infusion.
I looked up the word friendship and it said that it is to value the state of being a friend or association with friends.
When we choose to invest in others we choose to pour into their lives and infuse our caring, our encouragement and our prayers towards them.
I like the thought of infusion because it is a steeping like a hot cup of water with a tea bag, slowly allowing the contents of the bag to pour into the clear water, merging and changing itself.Friendships are like that too, they are a reflection of ourselves.
We choose to inspire them with words of affirmation that says, “you can do it I believe in you; or I have thought about you and want you to know it.”
We ingrain and pour into them with our hopes, our prayers, our compassions and concerns.
To instill and inspire someone; is giving them a belief in themselves maybe they can’t see.
I see it as an internal process from an external source.
Infusion could be similar to a change within like that tea cup.
Hope fills within and removes doubt. Peace removes confusion and belief removes disbelief.
Oh that we may see and take seriously our choices in who we invest in.
I personally do not want to waste time in a relationship or friendship that is not mutual.
We can pray for others from a distance and let them know, but if it’s not a good healthy relationship for us to be involved in; then we need to let it go.
Choosing wisely who we invest in and how often is a choice we all have to make.
To infuse in one another is not a ‘light thought’.
It’s a challenge, and a determination for us to make good choices to infuse and inspire one another.
Let us be encouraged as we go through this process.

What do we choose to invest in

When I search the word ‘invest’ and it’s meaning; I am challenged by what I need to do to make it more real.
Dictionary.com says: to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something:
to endow with a quality or characteristic: to invest a friend with every virtue.
to infuse or belong to, as a quality or characteristic: Goodness invests his every action.

It takes intentionality and thought to invest in something.
If I have an investment in something it is has to be what I believe in, have hope in and find a future within it; whether that be a cause or a relationship.
Relationships are like that.
To say “I believe in you” to someone; is making a choice to invest in their character, their spirit and the world that surrounds them. Building up who they are.
We have six grandchildren and each one have the promise from us that we will invest in them to the best of our ability and resources.
Our friendships require intentional phone calls and dates set on the calendar to continue our caring and relationship.
Family too, putting it down and setting it aside as a sacred day not to be changed or modified for something else less important.
Our anniversary is coming up soon and we will invest in it as a day for us to remember ‘us’ and our life shared together.
What we choose to invest in tells us a lot about our personality.
We have three little girls in Haiti that we invest our money for their schooling and health care, my husband has been in Haiti and knows the need is great.
We have a local soft ball team we invest our time and our funds so they can become who we believe they can be, and of course our grand daughter plays on the team.
What do we choose to invest in? It’s a great question to ask ourselves.
Perhaps every January we can set this question on a calendar and plan around it, as the new year begins.
I know I am taking this challenge very seriously.

As we move forward

As we move forward in cleaning, purging, finding a space for peace and quiet, it is good for us to find our ‘comfort’ zone.
What makes us feel more centered? This last week my husband and I have been doing applesauce together.
Washing jars, lids and apples that were given to us free.
In creating a home space part of that is creating ‘healthy’ food and habits for both of us.
As the apples cooked the room filled with warm apple smells, and it was peaceful in the middle of the mess.
We did pickles about six weeks ago and that was a new and different experience.
For over two years we have been purchasing healthy ‘whole foods’ and natural meat.
It is way more healthy to buy from a known farm who treats their animals right than a market.
It takes intentional effort to look up natural resources and stores but in the end it is worth it.
I see part of my job is to find sales and cut our cost in the best way possible.
How is that working for you? Have you tried new resources and new ways of doing things?
As we move forward into our retirement years we are finding what calms us and also what creates ‘chaos’.
I am trying to keep the clutter down and the rooms less messy.
It is a challenge at times but it is also very doable. Calm rooms create calm hearts and peaceful spirits.
It is very important especially now that the holidays will be here soon to create safe and nurturing homes.
Family time is important. Sharing meals with friends and family builds relationships and helps us to get to know each other on a more personal level.
I want to be intentional in relationships.
Taking time for lunch dates, notes in the mail and adding in a quick chat on the text or phone.
As we move forward into fall, let us try our very best to identify what we need to do to make our homes more quiet, peaceful and secure.
Let us encourage one another to make this a new priority.
Family, friends and community groups all play a role in our lives. Let us not give way for neglect or excuses.
What is important is what we invest in.
As we move forward together let’s invest in what really matters.

Restoring a place of quiet

The word quiet is mentioned in the Bible 66 times.
Seems like a pretty significant number to me.
Perhaps it is a desire for us to slow down, and return to the peace that only God can give.
I know I talk a lot about finding peace, quiet and solitude moments.
It is nurturing to our souls.
Some people love to have a hot cup of tea and read a good book wrapped up in a favorite blanket.
Now that it is fall weather and soon winter we will have many opportunities for those ‘restful’ times.
Other people love to knit or crochet, or sew or like me, write.
Could there even be a place just for those moments?
A favorite chair you always sit in, a favorite reading room, a coffee shop or even a library.
I don’t find peace in public places so my spot would always be at home.
Right now I am in our ‘trailer’ looking out at the roaring waves of the ocean.
Whatever it takes for you to create your space. Restore it, and give it value.
[My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.] Isaiah 32:18
I love this promise.
Peaceful habitation and quiet resting places.
In secure dwellings… yes so very important.
When we used to go camping it didn’t feel safe to me to sleep in a tent.
I want a solid wall and a lock on our door.
Especially now that we are older and the world is so crazy and unpredictable.
We can also restore our ‘quiet spirit’ within ourselves.
There are many voices now telling us many things either on the news, or social media.
The test is how we can restore the quiet.
Our Pastor was sharing that social media has been disappointing to him; as it seems that people are talking not only to get their opinions heard but talking over each other and with louder voices.
I think we need to focus on the soft words, the gentle attitudes with the tones that encourage.
It is a great challenge for us to restore a place of quiet.
Are we up for the challenge?
[but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.] 1st Peter 3:4

After we have found our center

After we have found our center, what do we have to do to maintain it?
Just like anything we do in our lives; it takes discipline and response on our part in deciding how important a quiet center is for us.
As I have shared I thrive in quiet so it is a normal discipline for me to carve out those moments.
What would it look like for us to make this as much of a priority as any other thing we might do?
Would that mean to find a class that shows you how to focus inward?
Would that mean every day you will carve out some precious time for inward peace?
Would that mean on your calendar you will write down ‘when and where’ this time will fit in?
Come and find… remains as an invitation for us to accept it as a lifestyle.
When we get busy we lose track of important moments.
For me when my spirit feels restless when I don’t take time for rest and quiet.
Sometimes writing will center me back into a calm place.
Sometimes listening to a peaceful music sound track.
Whatever it takes for us we must make it a priority just as we do many other things.
The world will draw us away from inward peace if we allow it.
Oh I can be the worst one for worry, about the safety of my son as an officer, for my daughter as a single mom,
for my six grand children and their future.
I cannot let that over ride my peace for I know who holds their tomorrow’s and I cannot change one day by worrying.
After we have found our center and realize how well it works for us, I think it will be a natural part of our normal routine.
For me personally it is a necessity… a must do, a vitamin for my spirit.
When I am in tune with my center there is not much that will rattle me or shake me.
(unless it’s something that is so catastrophic and catches me off guard)
In our world today I think to have the discipline to create ‘our quiet center’ is the only way we can survive.
After we have found our center, we will be more restful, peaceful and approachable to those looking for the same.
Let’s encourage each other to remember to find our quiet space and allow it’s lesson to teach us.

Come and find the quiet center

After the latest news events of our world I think it’s really important for us all to lean into what calms our spirit deep inside.
The invitation to come and find the quiet center is very inviting.
We were at a high school choir concert and the choir had on their robes and they sat down on the stage and sang this very quiet spiritual melody and I was immediately pulled into the thought.
One of my quiet centers is at the beach where the waves lull me into a peace that is deep and restful.
In fact I am at the beach right now, watching the waves from a window.
Soon I will go outside and meditate on it’s beauty, breathe in the fresh air, and pause with deep breathes.
Come and find the quiet center.
What is your place of restoration and quiet?
Do you faithfully allow yourself that time to renew and restore your ‘inner peace’?
I know my husband loves to go to a central Oregon lake to fish.
The water is peaceful and even though it could be dangerous, it is not the focus when restoring a spirit.
Come and find… it’s an invitation. A calling out, to those who are busy and worn out.
Come and find; what you are missing, what you are needing, what is healing for your soul and spirit.
It requires some movement from us and also an anticipation of hope restored.
The bible mentions rest 623 times.
[28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.] Matthew 11:28-29
Come to me, come and find…the quiet center.
I personally thrive better in silence.
I like music and I like some noise, but not in the morning when my mind is slowly engaging with waking up.
The other day we purchased peaches and as I look at that fruit, there is an inside that one cannot see from the outside, very similar to a seed of an avocado. The seed is the center, not seen.
Our inner peace is like that.
Perhaps our outside looks ‘great’ but only the inside ‘core’ of who we really are tells the truth.
Come and find the quiet center is an invitation for us to look inward.
Are you ready for the challenge?

The beginning of Fall

Today is the last day of September.
So hard for me to believe we are entering into the fall months and then winter will come.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year.
I love how it represents change and colors and letting go… and reminds me to pause.
Not only am I still cleaning and managing the ‘task of removing and re-purposing’ items from our home, I am also decorating for the change of season.
Today I purchased three hand made wooden pumpkins for outside our front door.
Couldn’t figure out an outside plant to match so I purchased yellow and orange pansies.
I hope it will look welcoming and nice.
I am not generally one to decorate outside our home since we had a nice nativity stolen.
It is discouraging to try to make it look nice only to find someone else liked it too.
The fall is also a season of remembering as our anniversary is in November.
We had fall colors in the ceremony and it was a remembering of the beauty outside.
Today was a combination of a fall rain, and then sunshine, then rain again.
In Oregon one must have a rain coat, and boots and an umbrella too.
What are your thoughts about the fall season?
Soon everything will be changing colors and looking amazing.
The beginning of fall is arriving and I am loving the cool air and soon the fires in the fireplace, along with the soup on the stove and biscuits in the oven.
Fall is a time for sweaters and books and hot cups of tea.
I hope you find time for a slow ‘sipping from your favorite cup’… as you enjoy this season of change.

Another process finished and wow

Following my desire for more order in our home; I decided to work on my sock drawers in the bedroom.
After realizing that three dresser drawers were full of socks it was time to go through them and decide what stays and what gets repurposed.
Really how many socks can one person wear?
I wanted to get to my favorites.
Each drawer will have favorite warm socks, and short socks. If there is no comfort, they leave, I don’t need to keep them if they are not helpful for my feet.
In the last year the doctor has given me a diagnosis of pre-diabetes.
Which basically means socks and shoes are very important since neuropathy is a also a part of my new ‘set of issues’ with my feet. They have lost some feeling in them and they ache a lot.
It is important to have good socks that don’t bind or feel too tight or are too light weight for the comfort level that is needed.
I sorted and sorted. Kept my emotions far away from the decision to cut the numbers down.
In the end of the process so far, I have 85 pair of socks that can be sent somewhere.
They are all in good shape and all can be repurposed for other use for others who are in need.
I need to do this process with shoes and even the abundant supply of sweaters in the closet.
How many do you need? It is a great question and even a greater question when moving into the coat closet.
How many ‘good coats’ do we need, how many rain coats even in Oregon, do we need.
It all boils down to realizing how much stuff we have that we really do not need or use anymore.
I hope this mini series has been both encouraging and challenging because we all have work to do.
We all can help others in many ways; we just have to be creative and figure out how.
Are you ready for this challenge to?

After we have worked hard

After we have worked hard on this task of cleaning and purging it is important to take the time to re-evaluate what we learned in the process and how can we not repeat it.
If it was too much clothing, then we must master the ability to say “I don’t it need anymore.”
If it was books, same story, how many can you read?
Keep the very special ones and send the others to a different place of residence.
My husband will often say, “what are you getting rid of?”
It puts me on a ‘defense’ because I am not getting rid of something; I am hopefully blessing someone with what I had and liked.
It is all a matter of perspective and wording.
The other thing that is really important to me is ‘let me do this on my schedule.’
Do not tell me what to do, in fact don’t really even suggest what I need to work on.
Just let me work on it.
When I get done with this major process I might reward myself with something special.
For instance if I give away four pairs of shoes that I marginally liked, then I can find ONE pair I really love.
It is a reward system that works. Minimize to maximize your goal.
I am really liking comfort clothing. Removing the old jeans that ‘bug’ me when I wear them.
Also the petite short length tops. Yes they used to be favorites of mine but if I do not feel covered when I raise my hands up then it is time for them to move on.
It takes a lot of ‘determination’ when doing all this.
But in the end it is so worth it.
Allow yourself time to deal with the ‘list’, then also allow yourself time to deal with how to re-center or re-do the space that is now open.
Try really hard to not fill it up with other ‘stuff’, empty space is freeing.
September is a great time for starting new routines and thoughts.
Then when it’s all done you can move into the holiday season feeling refreshed and ready.
Are we going to encourage each other in this process? I hope so.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get it done. With a smile and with a sense of accomplishment.

The next area to deal with

Have you ever really looked in your kitchen cabinets and wondered when you last used something?
I can think of at least two drawers and three parts of the cabinets that could be purged and cleaned.
When I did daycare I had kid cups and spoons and plates. Don’t need those anymore.
How many coffee cups do we like or love?
What about the utensil drawer? we have been married 42 years and some of the items have been with us that long.
How many serving dishes does one really use on a weekly basis?
That electric fry pan you store in the garage? like it or love it, your answer will tell you if you should send it to another ‘person’s home’.
I am trying to de-clutter as much as I can this fall. It needs to be done.
It is necessary just as the clothing and or the shoes.
Get it processed and focus on what you really want to keep.
At some point in time we are going to redo my den-office room.
In this journey of redoing and purging it is going to take time to go through drawers and or closets of all kinds.
I have even thought of coats and sweaters. How many does one need and how often do we wear them? I have favorites. What about the heavy winter coat, yes keep.
What about the multiple kinds of sweatshirts?
In this process of cleaning it is almost always going to bring you back to the question,
“do I like it or love it, does it serve a purpose.”
The fall and winter season will be upon us soon and then we will drag out the Thanksgiving decorations and Christmas too.
How much of those do we need to keep?
As we move through this process let us keep in mind the whole purpose of removing the items we don’t want or need; is re-purposing them for others to enjoy.
Keep focused and stay on track.
YOU can do it… you can manage this task. Be proud of yourself as you do it.