And then

That moment when your day begins with a disaster text, and you fly out the door to write about it for the newspaper.

A tornado hit Polk County, and thankfully, no lives were lost, no injuries reported.

But rebuilding will commence. Things will need to be repaired. Some things will never be replaced.

And yet, life.

As I watched a daughter salvage her mother’s keepsakes and father’s items from their bedroom .. or what used to be their bedroom, I admit, it made me sad for this family, and others, who lost their home and their belongings.

After years of covering news, you hear things like, awww you need to have a tough skin.

People have said cops and journalists are jaded.

I will not apologize for the fact that I care. Were I someone who could write a check for them, I sure would have.

Precious memories. Walls that used to protect from the elements were now gone. Their haven from the world, no more.

Life.

There is life after loss. I have personally experienced loss of various things.

One day, the sun shines through the clouds. A ray of hope appears.

Somehow, we all press forward. The storm, someday, will be a remember when moment.

I greatly admired the girls as they cared for their parents. One that was carrying keepsakes, the other protecting her mother from the media.

They reminded me of my girls, who would have done the same thing.

Yes, the story did hit a personal note with me, and that is ok.

I refuse to subscribe to the tribe of the unfeeling.

If being numb helps you, that is your thing, and that is ok.

Me, I quietly go away and yes, cry by myself.

And people have supposed that those who shed tears are weak.

Not so, in my opinion.

After a good cry, I find fresh resolve to handle the matter .. the next step .. whatever it is.

You know, I have heard so many people say terrible things about journalists. Truth is, most community writers take it to heart. They carry your pain. Donate to your cause. Lend a hand if they can.

Blessings all.

Tomorrow is a new day.

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The blank page

Today’s blog is written in honor of my former editor at The Lake Wales News, The Winter Haven Sun, The Polk County Sun, and the Polk County Democrat, the late Jeff Roslow. He passed away recently and his funeral was held Monday. Sadness has overwhelmed my soul, and I could not bring myself to go to his funeral. Jeff would agree with my decision to do something else in his honor. I think of how he spent his days, how he poured himself into everyone he met. And the ink flowed. This script below is for you, Roslow. In musical tune you would sing “Little bits of” and add words accordingly. “Little bits of writing, wooo wooo.” The love of a friend knows no bounds. 

Every day is a blank page and every day, there is a pen.

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Or a sponge with paint on it.

Or a keyboard, perhaps, in our digital society.

Every day we have a chance to fill the page with ..

What?

As I ponder today’s blog, it hits me that each of us wake to 24 hours of possibility.

One author wisely said, “By looking at some people, you can tell how they spend their time.”

My day, I think, is like anyone else’s day. We all travel this big blue marble in the sky, and tackle our day’s purpose.

Work, school, childcare, care for parents, homemaking, etc. We drive, walk, run, or roll to our goal every day.

The minute our feet hit the floor, it is as if the ink is already flowing. A stubbed toe. The coffeepot that did not turn on as expected. Messages and phone calls, notifications before 6 a.m. flood our phone.

Some exercise. One very fit pastor and his very fit wife arise before the sun to go work out at a local gym.

I have the same membership! I have not been to the gym in months!

Their well toned forms show evidence of where they spend a small portion of their time.

We drink our coffee. Brush our teeth. Comb our hair, dress and get ready for the day. Feed the fish. Feed the cats. Speaking of feed, Facebook populates with the morning muses.

The ink flows freely across the blank page.

Traffic. Rush hour. Bills to pay. People to see.

Or maybe your life is sedentary by necessity. Getting out of bed and having breakfast, the ink flows.

We speak. Our emotions or thoughts, or both, begin. Some complain. Some don’t. Some teach. Some don’t. Some speak positive things. Some don’t.

The ink flows.

Noontime comes. The day is half gone, we say.

What do we have to show for it?

Writers are often list makers.

It seems to me that most of us carry diaries or journals in some capacity.

Check, check and check.

A friend of mine carries what is known as a “Bullet” journal. Others call it a “dot journal.” The idea is you can connect the dots to create sections.

If you think about it, all of our moments are sections. Family, spiritual, work, retirement, chores, celebrations. And more.

She connects the dots in all sections of her life, and occasionally, gets so busy that some lists are not necessarily tended for a few days. On paper, that is.

Still, on the inevitable scroll of life, the ink flows.

My thought this morning is it is my goal that the pages of my life are filled with as much grace and beauty, kindness and productivity, creativity and flow, generosity and goodness as I can fit into each moment.

All of my moments matter. All of your moments matter.

The ink flows, whether out of intention or haphazardly as we allow the pen to rest in one spot.

Where will this day take us? How will we bless others? What good things can we do today? What moments can we spend thinking on kindness?

The ink forever flows.

May you have a fabulous day, on this page of your life.

P.S. At this moment, there are colored pencils on my shelf. And yet I prefer markers. As you know from last week, my markers had run dry. I must remedy this. Why is the purchase of markers so difficult for me?

Never underestimate your value

This is a quick note today as I overslept and now must run to catch up with the sun, if you will.

Visited yesterday with a well known, epic writer who has become a dear friend to me, and she told me how my article on her early work in comics as a woman blessed her life.

A quiet and private person, nobody knew she lived in Winter Haven, except her closest friends.

Since the article published in the local newspaper, she has received awards and recognition from all over the world.

She thanked me for making that possible.

In the course of my day as a journalist, I never realized that what I do is a blessing.

The same however, could be said for many occupations, from the factory worker to the city clerk, to the hospital janitor and the school substitute teacher.

Just a thought for the day.

In a hurry!

What about you? Have you ever contemplated how you bless others?

Have a splendid day, all!

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The power of belief

It was somewhere around 10:30 last night,

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as my head finally hit the pillow, my eyes popped open quickly, again.

I forgot to blog yesterday.

Being that I was now breaking one rule I recently set for myself (thou shalt blog every day in some form,) I decided to keep another rule I set for myself, (get thee to sleep at a decent hour) in hopes that maybe that would somehow balance my oversight.

Sleep is everything.

A friend of mine at church always infuses me with the belief that I can do great things.

Well there are many things I can do. Answer a phone. Hold a conversation. Keep track of said conversation. Take notes. Write up a storm. Meet deadlines.

In my personal life, I am pretty domestic. I can cook, clean, sew, create, paint, sometimes play the guitar, organize, plan.

Back to my friend.

A thoughtful person and former journalist, she believes that I will one day be a syndicated columnist. I said well what on earth would I write about that would attract that much of an audience.

Every blogger, writer, columnist has key things of focus.

Attention to detail is our thing. So there is that.

Over the course of my career in writing, as well as other jobs I have had .. cashier, receptionist, secretary, registrar .. I have had the opportunity to meet various people whom I would consider successful.

People often say, well what would I do if money were no option, then set their sails for the impossible.

Were it not for the “belief” they had that somehow they would succeed, or just come close .. to reaching their goal .. they would have remained where they were .. before their goals and dreams blossomed.

Belief.

As basic as seeing the stars in an indigo sky, yet as complicated as the inability to capture such light with the palm of your hand, belief can sometimes flee us as quickly as it is seen.

Then others believe in you. And that helps.

One thing I always taught my kids is that they could do anything on earth they wanted to do.

Let not social standing, finances, physical challenges, etc. get in your way.

Belief is as essential to success as it is in the prayers that we send up to God.

Belief is knowing that somehow, you will find a way.

By aiming for the moon, perhaps you will along the way, scoop a handful of stars.

What do you want to do with your life?

That is the question.

Have a blessed Wednesday. Sipping my coffee before this very busy day.

 

Of the passing of time

Two days a week are noted on my schedule as “off.” I am very lucky. Some people I know never really get a day off.

Time.

I was in the middle of kneading the dough for my chicken and dumplings recipe when it hit me that perhaps the reason we have so much stress in our lives is due to the fact that we sit.

In many “undeveloped” countries, and even just 200 years ago in America, the majority of one’s time was spent in survival mode. How to grow and cultivate, or raise your own food. How to sew your own clothes. Build your own house.

Now we sit and think.

Except for those who do manual labor, obviously.

They think while in motion.

Just thoughts today.

What one thing can you do to help you eliminate stress and feel accomplished?

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Self Care

And there it was.

Science has created a lunchbox that self freezes, when put in the freezer, with no need for tiny boxes of ice.

How very precious.

It called my name and hopped into my grocery cart, just like that.

Eating.

Eating has been a challenge for me the last several years as I went from having reactive hypoglycemia to the infamous Type 2 Diabetes.

No longer do I sit with a pile of chocolates on my desk, or peruse brownies and pumpkin bread at the bakery.

Sigh.

So on Tuesday, pack my lunch I must.

At some point your inner child grows up and screams at you to eat “right.”

He caught me.

A dear friend who works in downtown Winter Haven saw me sitting in my car at the curb, eating my fries and chicken nuggets. From McDonald’s.

“Kathy Leigh, you are better than that,” he said, with a worried look on his face.

Recommending several healthy eating digs nearby, he suggested we do lunch some time.

Lol.

I wiped my greasy hands on a napkin, and licked the salt from the fries off my fingertips.

Economy.

I am not one of those people who wants to spend ten dollars a day on lunch out.

Never really had it to do that, anyway.

However, I have lately been budgeting a treat or two a week .. for the socialization of the lunch hour.

The rest of the time, I should be toting.

Lunch, that is.

Many days I fly out the door with only a cup of coffee, a tumbler of water, and a package of peanut butter crackers.

Not enough, inner child said.

So am adding fruit, a sandwich, cottage cheese, nuts, veges, peanut better etc. to my lunch list. Maybe boiled eggs.

Yesterday all I ate was crackers.

Until supper.

As the teens say, “my bad.”

Unfortunately, the greatest apology you can give your body is to take care of it.

Oh yes. Also bought a soup mug. To add to my lunch bag for soup and salad days.

There you have it.

My adventure today.

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Just hello

Nothing fantastic to report tonight.

Been mulling over what is next for my blog, formatting, photography, etc.

It has been a long day, and I am going to make a concerted effort to blog consistently. Is that a double positive?

Smiles.

The best part of my day today was smelling the sweet outside air after work.

What a beautiful day of sunshine it has been.

Am glad for the next two days off.

What adventure will they hold?

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For signs and seasons

I was sitting upright in bed at 5 a.m. one day, reading the book of Genesis, when something stood out from 1:14-15, (NKJV, The Study Bible for Women, Holman Bible Publishers).

“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,’ and it was so.”

“Signs and seasons.”

I had recently prayed over a bunch of little things in my life, asking God for a sign.

Finally, I tore up two pieces of paper and threw them in my Bible bag, one with the word “yes” written on it, and one with the word “no.”

These were not decisions that involved or affected anyone else.

So I drew out the papers for each item I was praying over that morning.

And took note, of course.

After making my list, I came upon these verses in Genesis.

And I realized that at the beginning of creation, God planned for the Star of Bethlehem which would shine brightly, proclaiming the birth of the Holy Messiah, Jesus.

It takes stars light years to get to the point they are seen by us on earth.

Being that all of creation was made and continues to birth other things, such as stars, we do not know if the Star of Bethlehem was created at the beginning of time or if it was born, because of the creative processes God put in place, years or centuries later.

All we know is He planned in the beginning for that “Sign.”

There are also scriptures which condemn seeking a “sign” from the Lord, as if to verify that God is real.

And there are scriptures where simple beings like myself inquired of God for a sign.(Gideon’s fleece.)

I looked at my black Bible bag and then did some additional study online.

There is one big problem with the yes or no system, a paper drawing if you will, hemming God in to two choices.

He gave us a brain. A brain to decide. A brain to wrestle with life and make choices. A brain with a creative ability to think through an issue. Even every day simple issues like what will I have for lunch or what nail polish looks good on me?

Yes. A brain for all of it.

While it is noble to inquire of God for His guidance, He expects us to do our part.

Children.

So often we want to keep them from experiencing the negative consequences of their choices. We feed and bathe them, cuddle them, talk and read to them, teach them new things. Empower them, love them. You put all this energy into raising a child, who hopefully will be an even better model of you.

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Hopefully they will learn from your mistakes.

Sigh.

The calls come in as they grow into adulthood. The first car crash. The flat tire. The hangover. The failed relationship. The feud with their friend. Love and money has disappeared. You want to fix it. Sometimes you can. If you have enough money, you can help them .. some.

Sooner or later, though, they have to wrestle with life just like you did.

Figure it out.

You have a brain. Use it.

A little Jewish mother I knew told me she once told her son, “I cannot put my head on your shoulders.”

I prayed.

Asked God to forgive the two pieces of paper in my Bible bag. Like I said, they were silly things to be addressing in such a way.

Signs.

I was looking for a sign from God.

Wouldn’t that be nice? Sometimes He makes it clear what He wants you to do or how to approach whatever it is.

Fear.

That is at the bottom of seeking a sign, occasionally.

Fear of failure. Fear that an idea will not work. Fear that the other shoe is going to drop. We end up encased in our fears, hemmed in by the seeming inability to make a decision.

The brain.

How to master even teeny tiny choices you make?

Trial and error.

Figure it out.

If you make a decision and take tuna for lunch, and you discover tuna does not like you, well there. You cross it off your list and try something else.

May God be with you in the signs and seasons of your life.

Remember those

Their chairs at home remained empty that day. Their book left beside the bed, their coffee cup left on the sink.

Family members would watch the unthinkable unfold on national television, knowing their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, would never return home.

Horror overtook the nation, dealing the One Nation Under God a death blow in mere minutes.

Grief set in.

Then came the resolve.

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Everyone bought American flags, lit candles, wrote declarations of overcoming tragedy.

We, the People, changed.

Fear set in. Anger took over. War began.

Everyone remembers where they were that day.

Not a soul was left unscathed.

The world watched.

What will America do?

Today, we remember those who lost their lives that day. We honor also the first responders who marched forward, doing what they selflessly do every day, giving their lives and energy to save others.

Let us today, as Americans, honor our nation in word and deed. We all have different opinions, upbringings, philosophies, political alignments. Let us show the world that America really is the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave. That we, though different people, are United. That this country is our home. That we stand for peace, kindness, goodness, self control, loyalty, honor, truth.

Let us be kind to one another this day. Let us unify around our commonalities, instead of our differences.

 

Begin again

Sometimes you have to look at the content you are creating, and ask why you are creating it, and is it helpful or just filling empty space.

Glitzyadventure.com started off as a blog to highlight creative living, positivity and so forth.

And I have stepped my toe in the water as far as possibilities ahead with my blog.

I love to write.

My blog thus far has been full of good days and bad days, and that is ok.

I am in a season where I am taking inventory of what I want to do with my blog, and with future books I want to write.

Many would say well, we are not looking for anecdotes.

Then I think of all the people whose transparency totally helped me get where I am now.

Glitzyadventure.com is about being positive.

So I ask for your patience as I ponder this transition.

I want to share scripture and things that bless my life. I also am well aware of those who take the opinion that people have to be perfect and sinless before they speak a word of the Word.

Over the last few years, my life has changed drastically for the better. My thoughts and beliefs have also changed in many ways. I went from being Pentecostal to Catholic (Episcopal), after being raised Baptist, serving in located ministry with non-denominational churches for about 9 years.

I guess what I am trying to say is I have to be true to me. My faith is part of my life, and along with that, I am not a perfect person.

I am not a Joyce Meyers, or Beth Moore.

I am Kathy Leigh and that is all.

It is time to love myself and realize that I have just as much right as anyone to share what brings me joy.

Blessings all.

I feel a peace tonight.

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