Monday, July 30, 2012

Authenticity and Intimacy

In my Beyond Layers e-course, Kim challenged us to think about speaking from the heart and from her own heart stated even her own "heart letters" may not be everyone's cuppa tea.  She wanted to hear our thoughts about this...what holds us back, what encourages the end of my comment post, I realized I had just written a blog entry.  Here it is:

Kim ~ Last week we had an "art therapy" activity among our pediatric palliative care team...collages (from magazines) of our hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams were very different than my coworkers. Mine were more internal. The top words I had cut out stated "tired of imitation." Below that was a cut out picture illustrating deep roots. What I'm getting at is that the focus of my life seems to be around being authentic...not performing, acquiescing, patronizing or being what people want me to be if it conflicts with my core values and my ethical responsibility to be authentic.  Also to make sure my roots are deep and my foundation is sure on the things that matter.

Truth at All Costs

One of my favorite quotes: "Peace, if possible; truth at all costs."

Given that...I truly believe in speaking from your heart! That is authentic!! Although, at the same time, in my past, I have shared too much before assessing whether or not the person on the receiving end valued what I shared, what I disclosed, or acknowledged the bravery and courage that it took to be intimate. And my heart-sharing was often not regarded as something precious and was trampled on.

I believe that I can be authentic in what I do all the time...but while I am authentic, true to myself, that does not mean I am always intimate and throw boundaries to the wind. Jesus spoke of not casting your pearls before swine in Matthew 7:6,
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." 

Over the years, my maturity has evolved into having discernment. I can be warm and engaging with others, but only those kindred spirits of mine will see those pearls...  And when the Spirit moves me to trust the Lord to share deeply with a new acquaintance that I've discerned God has brought along my pathway.

Beyond Layers should be a safe place...most of the world is not like us (at least I speak from my own personal experience).  Acceptance of authenticity should be part of the culture in this group. It was part of my starting the "groupies of kim klassen" facebook group that is private and where we could share our hearts.

Let's face it...there are lots of places where we can take e-courses on photo techniques or "live" classrooms. I don't think that is what drew me, not only to Beyond Layers, but other e-courses that you provide. I love the thought-provoking, reflective stimulation that you have provided in Beyond's kind of like personal growth/self-help/therapy while learning more about the art we are passionate about. A winning combination!!!

Ruh roh...I think I just wrote a blog entry... :) See how you inspire us?????????????????

I truly believe that until you are true to yourself, grateful to God for who He made you to be, and comfortable in your own skin that being you is something you do without pretense or assumption, you cannot truly have meaningful relationships with others.

Estrangement of Self
And when your relationships are meaningful, authenticity and intimacy are at the core.

With gratitude,


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

It was time.  It had to be done.  I needed to make room in my heart (and my drawers) .  But breaking up is hard to do...and I had put it off for so long...

But I was neither doing them OR myself any favors by prolonging the agony...

I had so much affection for clothes that I would never wear again.  Acknowledging at age 55, I doubted that I would wear straight skirts above my knee with black opaque hose and black clunky shoes and those matching little sweater sets from the late '90s. Think Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail or refresh your memory here:


But what's with my attachment to these dyed, woven, fibers made to keep me from having to wear fig leaves?

Oh for the days of fitting into sizes 8 and below!  Was that what was bothering me about this?

Well...I think for the most part I had accepted that awhile back.  Then I realized they were attached to moments in my life...I wore this on my trip to San Diego...or I remember wearing this when I first met so-and-so...oh, this was the sweater I had on when I dared to re-enter college to finish my degree after a 30-year break.

These weren't clothes...this wasn't about a size...these were attached to memories.

Like these stone-washed straight-legged jeans and ribbed turtleneck that I wore when Lydia and I went to see Rascal Flatts sitting in the second row in a small high school auditorium for 10 bucks...a benefit for people with disabilities...and my daughter was thrilled that I took her picture with Joe Don.

Wow...then there was this skirt and sweater...a chill ran down my spine...

I bought those at Casual Corner...

I also had this on when I learned at 9:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, that our country was under attack...

Never Forget...(the fabric under the book is the skirt I had on that morning.)

And used the skirt as a drape  for this still I made commemorating the 10th anniverary...  Saying goodbye to this would be like throwing away a Bible, something sacred, a part of my self, a poignant moment of history...It was a symbol of loss, of unity, and a country's resilience...and the preciousness and fragility of life and freedom.  No, this would remain...

So these goodbyes were far from what I expected...they were remembrances of  days of my life...of God's faithfulness...and God's mercies.  Gratitude changes everything.

With gratitude,

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday and a List of Gifts!

This is a HUGE day in my world and for many others who have been part of this frontier endeavor that began in 2002...beginning the Hasingler Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children's Hospital...
A Palette of Care
This was a conceived at a time when there were only a scarce, single-digit few in this country...and our center is now considered one of the premiere centers in the world.

Here's what we do:

We have rented the 3,000 seat Akron Civic Theater, doors open at 6 pm, TONIGHT!

So I  thought I would LIST the mercies God has given by allowing me to be a part of this work and this team:

  1. Having the privilege of being invited into the most intimate parts of families' lives as a guest and a presence.

  2. The gift of PERSPECTIVE!

  3. Being able to walk the journey with some of the most resilient, incredible children/young adults and families I have ever known.

  4. Seeing God use the weak to teach me incredible lifelong lessons.

  5. Being able to work with such wonderful, gifted colleagues and a phenomenal Director.

  6. Being able to give back to the community from which I received so much.

  7. The knowledge at the end of the day that I have made a difference.

  8. Being able to work for an incredible of the best 99 employers in northeast Ohio.

  9. No long commute...

  10. Seeing God's hand in the common, unnoticed places time and time again.

  11. The opportunity to see what to most is invisible.

I think of how important children were to Jesus while he was on earth and think of the words of this old song, as sung by Alison Krauss with The Cox Family...Jewels


With gratitude,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stop...Breathe...Control my Cortisol

Wow...I walk into the office this morning...a call from our intensive care unit about a medically-ready, medically-fragile child not able to go home because of bureaucratic glitches that I have to untangle.  I call them "untangling the Christmas lights."

I had an appointment with a new primary doctor late yesterday afternoon, straight from work...upon entering, my blood pressure was slightly higher than usual.  We took it again before I left and it was back to its normal spot.  We talked about the nature of the beast of working in health care and yet we don't take care of ourselves...the pace of it all and the stress we endure.

My camera and the mindfulness photography requires, has been like streams in the desert for me...and I don't know a time in my life when I have been so attracted to flowers...

 Forever Friend

This quote should also say "or stress"...

 Purple Cala

 Almost White

Why is that?  Could it be subconscious?  That there is some message there I'm to heed?


These are neighbor Shirley's flowers...I had never seen these kind before.  They were gorgeous.  She said, "Do you know that they only bloom for one day?"  But boy, what they do in that day!  They just shine!  They got my attention.

What is it with me and flowers...think, think, think...and then I remember how Jesus spoke of the flowers.  Could it really be that it all comes down to the simplicity found in this children's Sunday School lesson?

And then I think of Paul's advice to the Philippians:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. I will watch my Moments video...say a prayer...and follow my own reminders I've written today and bask in God's blessings.  And learn the lessons of the lilies...


With gratitude,
PS:  All the photographs above used a pattern technique learned from Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class...she's a blessing!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dream-like in a Bog

Last Sunday, Edster and I went to Springfield Bog, along with my daughter and Bruno...Yes, it was hot!  But God's bountiful mercies were everywhere...this is my Father's world!

In my Beyond Layers e-course, Kim gave us a new recipe giving a dream-like effect using processing and two wonderful textures.  I thought I would apply this to three of my photos from my bog trip...along with some great quotes!

Take a look-see...

 God's Artwork

Learning to Know

Gentleness and Lightness
God is so good!

With gratitude,

Friday, July 20, 2012

More from Behind the Scenes - Five (5) Questions!

Well, that Kim and Xanthe  continue to stretch we "grasshoppers" taking the  Behind the Scenes e-course.  So today we have five questions to right or wrong answers...  So here goes:

1. What makes you five words or less...?

Hmmm...I have to narrow it out down to five words...but seems to me there is NO limit on photos!!!!!! (woot woot!)

Answer:  Time slowed to embrace moments! 

(what moments you say?  Watch for a super video before the end of this question by Ann Voskamp)

To embrace my grandsons

 Eyes of Wonder
In Mamaw's Garden

To "Look at the birds..." Matt 6:26


To commune with nature

Gold Leaves Reflecting on Water

To appreciate my "Edster"...he was gone for three days and look how he laid out my pills!

 Just Had to Post This

To love up my son and daughter

Ecstatic JoyGood and Perfect Gift

To spend time with my Bible, journal, a cuppa, and my God

Wonderful Words of Life

Time to relish in meaningful relationships

Tom and Peggy Foster

 Time to be present with all the families I serve

A Day of Privilege in Pediatric Palliative Care

Time to remember those I've lost

A Life is a Living Story

Time to really see ...and be GRATEUL for these moments!


2. What talent would you most like to have?

ANSWER:  To be able to see typos before I upload to Flickr!

 Natural Wealth

3. What words and/or phrases do you overuse?
 Wordle: Really

4. What is your favorite book and/or movie?

ANSWER:  Really? <---see!  I think that is obvious if you've read my blog... <smile>

and movie...that's a toughie...but I'm a sucker for good indie films...can I pick two?

The Trip to Bountiful (Geraldine Page's last movie for which she won an Oscar as Carrie Watts)


Strangers in Good CompanyKim Klassen, this is a Canadian film!

5. If you could go anywhere in the world for a creative retreat, where would you go?

ANSWER:  For me it is more about the environment/atmosphere, than a particular place.  There would need to be the sound of natural running water outdoors;

 Mountain Stream

Area rich with mountains, remoteness, hard to access places

View from Whittaker Station

The comforts of home but still rustic

Color at the Fenceline

Plenty of flora!

 My Garden Forever

Plenty of wildlife!

 Caught in the Act
So, those were not quick answers...but they were fun!  Thanks for indulging me!

With gratitude,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Walk About Town - Part II

Continuing yesterday's post, along my photowalk, fire escapes were not the only architecture I saw, nor was Mike's art the only art I saw.

There was art on an old over pass...

Seeing the City through Lock 3...

The hospital where I work...

Including Air Bear...Ohio's only dedicated pediatric life flight.

And did I mention the canal?

Where there's water...there's ducks...
Juvenile Mallard Ducks, to be exact...

And of course, God poured down mercies through flowers...

And as is written in James, every good and every perfect gift comes from God!

With gratitude,