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People on the Beach

Nurtured by Nature

I have to be honest here. This Alphabet Game has had me stumped for days. Every time I sat down to address the letter “N” I’d get frustrated. All of the words I came across were so… wellNot Nice.

Narrow-minded Nagging with Neglect up the wazoo,
Naysayers Nitpicking and Nasty Name-calling too.

It’s so weird that “N” has so many Negative connotations! No, No, No… that is NOT good.

I starting rummaging through my summer photographs. Seeing people having fun at the beach made me think. There is mysterious magic in Nature. The ocean, the lake, the mountains… all of these places have something in common. They soothe us.

Nature makes us forget all of our troubles, even if only for an hour… and brings us back to life—Nature resuscitates us. We look up at the stars and realize that our problems, which seem gigantic, are pretty insignificant compared to this beautiful infinite universe.

So… in tackling the “N” word, I’ve come to realize how much I love Nature, and the way it Nurtures my soul.

-Janet

Peace & Love!

M is for…

One of my best friends from high school remembers everything. Whenever we talk, she reminisces about our old shenanigans as if they happened yesterday. Things that we did decades ago; things I’ve long since forgotten.

Last year, I (briefly) dated a man who reminded me of her. Our conversations were like time travel; we’d always end up in the 70’s or 80’s! Sometimes I wondered why the two of them weren’t dating. They both had this weird connection to the past—as if that past still existed.

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Love and Light

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:3

It’s been too long! I think this is the craziest, busiest semester I’ve ever had. It’s all good though because I love (most of) my classes and there are only 3 weeks left before it’s over. YAY!

I wanted to pop in and share my latest portrait and add an update to the alphabet game… for the letter “L” —

Love & Light

I actually wanted to share some words about my love of lightning (I LOVE lightning), but the plan changed this afternoon since I didn’t prepare. But… I’ve been reading some books on Quantum physics and how it relates to God, Genesis, and the Big Bang Theory, and I think Love & Light are great words for the letter L, and a good way to sum it all up. 🙂

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Knowledge is Personal

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.

Carl Jung

—A personal journey through the “K” word.

I think the old bumper car is kicking into overdrive. My journey through education is making more and more sense, as the fragments of information—that I’ve learned in various classes—are beginning to connect. The ‘bigger picture’ is coming into focus, and I could not be more excited!

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The Jubilant Journey

This Alphabet Game is great because it prompts me to explore words. Words link to other words and—as I follow the trail—ideas literally spell themselves out. I thought it would be fun to share my journey through the letter “J” today.

While exploring Joy—the first “J” word that came to mind—I found that one of its synonyms is rejoicing. Rejoicing is defined as: Great joy; jubilation.

There’s a word you don’t see every day—Jubilation: a feeling of great happiness and triumph. Aha! That really caught my eye. I love the word triumph. Triumph: a complete victory or success achieved especially after great difficulties, making the result particularly satisfying.

Maybe I’m filled with so much happiness and joy because of jubilation; I’m forever celebrating the victory that I’m living in. After great difficulties, the result is particularly satisfying—to say the least.

But… it’s not just the joy of past victories; it’s also the hope of those to come. New trials bring opportunities to experience new triumphs, and failures pave the way to success. It all circles back to our state of mind; our thinking—and we have the power to choose how we will think.

What a jubilant journey indeed!


Our life is what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius

The featured photo is being recycled from an old series. Homework is starting to trickle in, and it takes precedence over the creation of new images. That’s okay… I think this one works perfect! Joy is there, it’s just chilling in the shade until I’m finished with my work.

Thank you for reading. I hope you’re having a joyous weekend, full of jubilation!


Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. —Isaiah 43:18-19

Innocence

I wanted to try out another portrait, and I think this one is a great accompaniment to Innocence.

I didn’t have anything in mind when I started it, but the geometric light variations and the “children crossing” sign seemed like an interesting way to express a youngster who is innocent, but nearing adolescence (when things start to go topsy-turvy).

I’m loving portrait exploration, and am pretty confident that this is one of the avenues I want to go down after graduation. Maybe for hobby, but maybe even beyond that… time will tell!

Anyway, I don’t have much else to say; I think I’m all talked out. What I can say is that the innocence of a child is refreshing, and often humorous.


Me: So, your mom called and told me that the truck broke down this morning and you were late to school.

Grandson: Yeah. Well… do you want to hear the REAL story?


Ha! I think he was 5 at the time and I’ll never forget that conversation! What a riot. So, that’s my word for today. Innocence. I love innocence.

Have a fantastic week everyone! Keep smiling!

My 3 Keys to Happiness

Happiness. What a great word.

I perused the web to see what people had to say about the “Keys to Happiness.” It was an interesting experiment, because everyone had different opinions. People have their own ideas about what makes them happy, or what happiness even means.

That being said, I decided it would be fun to use my “H” words to express my keys to happiness (in less than 500 words). The disclaimer here is that these are ‘my own’ ideas, and I’m limiting it to words that begin with the letter “H.”


1. Honesty

Honesty is huge. In recovery, for example, you need to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself. To take that one step further, you need to admit to God, yourself, and another human being, the exact nature of your wrongs. It’s not always easy, but it opens the door to honest self-reflection.

Personally, these steps were life changing. They opened my eyes to the fact that not only am I incredibly flawed, but that—and here is an honest key to my own happiness—other people’s flaws are not my business. For far too long I wanted to fix the people around me. Not because I was a selfless individual, but because I believed that “their flaws” were what stood between me and my own happiness.

Be honest with others and—by all means—with yourself.

 “Every lie is two lies, the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.”

Robert Brault

2. Humor

When I’m feeling really cruddy, one of the first things I notice is that my sense of humor is missing. I’m not really sure where it goes… but it hides out. I have to go digging through the muck to find it, yank it by its leash, and bring it back into the open.

I’ll never forget a poem I read, by Frank Solanki, called Repetition. My immediate thought was “Oh my God, that’s me!” In the blogging world, sometimes I worry that my posts are repetitious.

I’m saying the same things… over and over, and changing up the way in which I say them. It’s easy to get caught in that vortex of worry. Frank’s poem made me forget my worries, and just laugh. It reminded me not to take everything so seriously.

Say what you want, and do what feels right. If you’re not tearing someone else down, or being grossly negative, it’s all good. Just remember to laugh.

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”

Yiddish Proverb

3. Hugs

They say that hugs have many health benefits; they can reduce stress, improve immunity, and lower your risk of heart disease, to name a few.

I haven’t done my own research, but I know for a fact that hugs boost my happiness. I’m a HUGE hugger. Being somewhat introverted, sometimes words fail me… but I’ve never hesitated to reach out and offer a hug.

“Hugging is a silent way of saying you matter to me.”

Anonymous

So, there you have it. My three “H” keys to happiness: Honesty, Humor & Hugs.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found some enjoyment here, and that you’ve already discovered your own keys to happiness.

See you around soon for the letter “I.”

Peace & love!
—Janet

Free Spirit

Wildflower at heart,

Uncultivated and pure,

Longing for someone near.

Free spirit,

Soul dancing in the wind—

To songs of love,

Once whispered in her ear.


I’m taking a short break from the Alphabet… I guess I’m feeling a little burnout. It was refreshing to do something different. I am not a creature of habit, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I had fun working on some art… another fuchsia transformation. It’s a little more dramatic now—and a lot less pink—and it was the inspiration for my poetry. I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Until next time,
Peace & love!

Nothing But Grace

Before I say anything about the “G” word, I want to share where my thoughts were headed last night. It occurred to me that I need to keep these alphabet posts simple.

The idea was to use the letters as a prompt, to do some quick, fun, and easy gratitude exercises. The next thing you know, I’m writing these wordy posts about contentment and dreams. Not that that’s a bad thing, I just know it’ll be hard to stay on that path once the holiday is over.

Anyway, I jot down words that come to mind when I think about particular letters. Some of the letters are still blank, but “G” has been seeing some serious action.

  • Gratitude was a no-brainer, but it seems redundant to say “I’m grateful for gratitude.”
  • Gummy Bears and Graffiti Art popped into my head; I can enjoy both of these for hours!
  • Growth made its way to the list this afternoon and, of course
  • God has been in my thoughts throughout the entire process.

I wasn’t sure what to do with all of these options, so I did what I normally do when I’m not sure what to do. I stopped thinking about it. And it came to me. With a house full of family, too much talking going on, a whirlwind of chaos (two great nieces with their toys), and a television roaring in the background—there it was; staring me in the face.

Grace.

Can I even begin to talk about grace, and still keep my post short and sweet? Well, I can try. I found a few words by John Stott, and they are perfect words…

Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.

The words took me back to my post about contentment, and my zig zagging highway. Remember that soft cushion my bumper car taps when I get too far off track; the one that sends my vehicle back into the safety zone?

That is grace. Amazing, huh?

I hope you enjoyed the letter G!

God’s grace sustains us… so pass it on.


We live in a world of earning, deserving, and merit, and these result in judgment. That is why everyone wants and needs grace. Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.

Justin Holcombe, from What is Grace?