Tag Archive | Faith

We’re In This Together …

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Life as we know it has changed.  We’re living with a virus that has taken our world by storm.  The stock market has plunged.  Businesses are being shut down in order to keep us safe – and with that, loss of income to pay bills.  We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to protect ourselves and those we love and those who are vulnerable. There is fear of the unknown. There is grief.  There is sickness and it is real.  We may personally get sick, or know someone who is, and we or they get well.  We give thanks.  We may know someone who dies.  We circle, woven together in this thread of Life.  We are not alone.  We give support, we pray, we send healing energy, we cry, we share stories.  We feel all the emotions – joys and sorrows – and we live today.

What I know for sure … 
We may be physically distancing ourselves …
but we are becoming more connected with our hearts.
Kindness is showing in countless ways.
People are looking out for their neighbors, the kids and the elderly.
We can get out for walks in the sunshine and moonlight, even in the rain or snow … and breathe deeply.
Food is being shared and distributed to many who need it.
People are listening to each other and supporting each other.
Some businesses are extending services or offering free services for those in need.
We have incredible people in every service industry, doing their best for us.
Technology keeps us together and is on-going in creating new ways to improve our lives.
We have today.

A Community of common character is growing by leaps and bounds …
and that character is LOVE.

It’s OUR Community.
Together, it IS thriving.
How grateful I am.

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Being Self-Employed, I’ve had to take some breaths and listen to the guidance of Spirit/God for ways to offer services that will help others and help me pay bills!

I am offering Long-Distance Healing Energy Sessions to ease anxiety and stress, as together we get through this time of “Social Distancing”.  No matter how near or far you are, a Healing Energy Session will reach you and help you in so many ways. (For me, God’s got this.  I’m just the link in the middle!)

During this time, pay what you can … I’ve eliminated my standard rate. It’s important we are able to support each other the best ways we are able. Whatever you offer … I am grateful to share this time with you.

This also goes for those of you who want affirmation and guidance with Angel Card Readings.

You can get the details on my website.  I explain how a Healing Energy Session works!   It’s pretty simple: Set an Intention.  Set a time together.  Get comfortable.  Close your eyes.  Open your heart.  Receive Healing Energy.  (I get into things that may unfold on website).  If you know of someone who may benefit, please share with them!

I’m glad we’re in this together.
I am here for you.

Blessings and Love,
Namaste
Debbie

I am a Reiki Master and Retired Certified Massage Therapist – Cultivating Quiet Healing From Within Since 1990.

I am not a medical doctor nor do I portray myself as one. I do not diagnose your body, emotions, or prescribe medications. My services do not replace the services of other professionals, such as medical doctors, counselors, psychotherapists, chiropractors, etc.

Suffering in Silence …

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Sometimes, we are way too good at suffering in silence.
 
We don’t want people to know our story.
 
Maybe we’re not feeling strong enough to change our story …
Maybe we don’t know how …
Maybe we think we don’t ‘measure up’ …
Maybe we are afraid of being judged …
Maybe our dream turned into a nightmare …
Maybe we are afraid …
Maybe our voice is only a whisper …
Maybe it will turn into loud, anguished sobs …
Maybe we will be abandoned …
Maybe we will be alone …
Maybe we have lost religion … faith … hope …
Maybe we think we’re unlovable …
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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

In breaking the silence – our suffering can be a light of strength.
 
Sharing our story …
Opens doors to heal hearts … (our hearts) …
Creates pathways to change …
Breathes courage into the very depths of our souls …
Brings in people who understand … who will walk with us …
Who will lend their shoulder for our sobs …
Who will love us just as we are …
Vulnerable …
Authentic …
Weepy and snotty …
Angry and hurt …
 
And we feel a flicker of love …
And we let it in … just a bit …
It flames the tiniest speck of hope … entwined with a fleck of faith.
 
We soften, letting down our guard as we break our silence … we are incredibly brave. Perhaps standing alone … perhaps with someone good to lean on … knowing we can take a breath … knowing we have broken free.
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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

 
My Encouragement to you: 
Share your story.  Bring in counselling if you need it.  When I did, it validated my truth.  It made me work at seeing – how feeling my emotions were a good thing – even though they were awful! 
A great Anne Lamott quote:“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out-loud, because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” 
Yep – that was me!   
                     
Be brave and speak. 
You don’t know the light you will bring into someone else’s life …
let me assure you, you will.
Blessings and Love,
Namaste
Debbie

You Are One Decision Away …

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… From a Totally Different Life!

That thought can scare one into a freezing OMG mode – and do nothing at all.

Fear.

What if I do it wrong = FAIL.

What if I make a mistake.

What will people think of me?

I don’t know the outcome.

I’m not strong enough.

_______ (Someone) won’t like it – they will be offended – it will hurt their feelings.

I’m afraid of what they will do.

I’m not brave enough.

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not strong enough.

I don’t know how.

I’m too old.

Money.

I don’t have enough experience.

FAIL.

Sometimes, this is my brain …. Maybe your brain (a little bit?), too??  I mean, I can get going on that hamster wheel and spin, going nowhere with the best of ‘them’ – whoever they are.

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I know when I’m spinning.  I can feel its energy all through my body, when I spin.  My breathing is shallow, heart rate UP, flushed face, stomach swirreling … sometimes, my brain goes b-l-a-n-k, sometimes scenarios flash in milla-seconds.

Now-a-days, I stop.  I breathe.  I observe myself.  I observe the situation.

I look at my life.  I’ve gone through fear and I’m still here, stronger and wiser than I ever imagined!

Made mistakes/Did it wrong (Who is perfect??) = What did I learn? = Wisdom for the next time.

Making decisions is BRAVE.

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Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Making decisions MOVES US from where we are to … Somewhere Different.  In that Somewhere Different, we find out how strong we are, how capable we are, we learn new ways of doing things, we think different thoughts, we meet new people along the way.  Our world gets bigger and it’s really quite exciting.

In that bravery, we are being true to ourselves.  We are free to be who we are – regardless of what other people think of us, or how hurt they might be, or how their life will also change – because it will.

LIFE IS CHANGE.

Is it easy?

No.

Is it worth it?

Yes.

My Encouragement to You:  It’s ok to have a different life, if you are not happy with how life is going.  Where is Life taking you?  Honor yourself.  Honor your path in Life.  Give yourself permission to be brave (you’re braver than you know).  Give yourself permission to explore where your Spirit/God is prompting you to go.  Your gut is one way Spirit/God talks to you.  Listen.  It’s one step.  One decision to do one thing differently.  Big or small … you grow.  Tears and strength and WOW.

Every decision I’ve made, I’ve learned from.  I believe with all my heart – you will, too!

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I think I’m morphing into my Wise Old Crone phase!

The Blessings Continue For All Of Us …

Namaste

Debbie

www.debendres.com

 

 

 

Last Day of 2019 … Snuggled in bed!

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I’m snuggled in bed – Up way too early this morning!

Quiet nudges got me up for coffee, a pen and my journal.

Writing helps keep life real for me.  Jumbled thoughts become clear, and it’s a meditation of sorts, allowing for Spirit/God to come through.

I am letting go – easier said than done!  Truly though, consciously and mindfully, letting go of worry, mostly about my kids.  What Mom doesn’t worry?  What good does it do? (No good, what.so.ever.)  They are big people now, living their own big people lives.  I love them big – they love me big – so much gratitude in that.

Letting go of thinking I am “less than” … Still after all these years.  I know I’m not alone in this.  We women are too amazing to be less than anyone or anything.  (What I’m telling myself – I’m also telling you …)

Be Confident. (My word for 2020)  Own your gifts and talents.  Stand tall.  Be the leader.  Be the Wise Woman.  Be the Example.  Be the Light.  Be Excited!  (Our brains don’t know the difference between fear and excitement – so I’m going to enjoy a lot of excitement in 2020).  Act on Inspiration.  Be Grateful.  Be Vulnerable. (Yes, you are strong enough – I didn’t think I could be … and geepers, I’m sharing my journal with you.)  Surround myself/yourself with creative, smart compassionate people who are smarter than I am/you are.  Be still and listen … It is in the silence  we are in the presence of Sprit/God and we are filled with everything we need for this moment.

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The beautiful meditation beads are from my artist friend, Debby Hess.  These 7 little beads are such a blessing.  The medal says, “I am” … followed with a lava rock bead to apply my favorite essential oil, “Tranquility”, which adds to the experience.  Following the beads … an Angel wing … of course!  What a gift.  If meditation beads resonate with your heart and Spirit, you can explore her delightful website HERE.  We are going to do a Women’s Gathering in February, encouraging in Self Love and Nurturing for our Spiritual Well-Being – let me know if you’re interested and I’ll send you more details!

My Encouragement for You is Wisdom from Mel Robbins:

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And so it is!  

Here’s to our last day of 2019.

May the Blessings Be In 2020 … Peace and Love to You and Yours,

Namaste

Debbie

www.debendres.com

My First Christmas Alone

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Christmas Eve had arrived.  My snow village was up, and the tree lit, with hopes of Christmas magic.  Holiday music was playing on the CD player.  The Advent wreath had all four candles glowing.  Smells of a home cooked meal lingered.  Drapes were drawn, bringing a safe, cozy-nest feeling in the living room.

I was home.  Alone.  My choice.  It was a good choice, despite my Mom insisting it wasn’t.  My three boys were with their Dad, and darling daughter was enjoying Christmas with her new husband.  Some of my siblings and their families were piled up at the folks.  I stayed home to breathe.

It was the three-month marker following a four-year tumultuous path to divorce.  My daughter and three sons had made it through the terrain of ups and downs, with their own medals of fortitude, grit and resilience.  Only time would unfold the layers of scarred pain and the healing needed through love, forgiveness and, for me, the gift of faith.

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Photo by rasik on Pexels.com

It was the first time in forty-two years, I would be alone for Christmas.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine such a thing – ever.  Life has a way of happening.  Life shook me to the very core of my being, leaving me questioning love, life itself, and the depths of my belief in a church filled with rules and judgement that were becoming unbearable.  Good church people – yes, and heart-filled gratitude for them, for they helped keep me sane when I felt insane and loved me when I felt unlovable.  Bad church people – yes, in their gossip and judgments and keepers of the rules.  I was so grateful they were NOT the God I wrapped my faith around.  The God, who, in spite of everything, I rested in, prayed and listened to – and yelled and screamed at, in my darkest days and weeks and months – only to once again rest in … when I finally learned to be still and listen.

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Photo by Ignored shots on Pexels.com

I wasn’t going to church that Christmas Eve, even with the admonishment received from a very well-meaning and fear-of-the-devil, Mom.  I was staying home.  I needed to let this holy night, melt into me.  I pictured the bravery, fear, persistence, compassion and love Mary and Joseph experienced in the story of their baby, Jesus, being born.  Theirs was not an easy journey, at all.  They did it one step at a time.  One leg of a journey, and then another.  They asked for help.  It was given.  They were not alone.  They had each other, but I imagine, it was a long and lonely journey for them.  I like to think, their companion was faith, being true to what God was guiding them to do, despite obstacles.

For a while that night, I reflected on my last four years.  I wished I would have quieted myself and listened to God sooner.  I hadn’t wanted to believe what was true.  Our marriage was over.  My husband was leaving.  He was finally being true to himself, while I fought, argued, begged, prayed and fasted for a miracle that was never going to happen. I was my biggest obstacle in moving on with life.  The story I was telling myself wasn’t true.  The story was mixed up with rules, and teachings of a church and some of society that didn’t honor him, as a gay man.  God didn’t make a mistake.  We made mistakes in how we were handling a really hard situation.

Fear was anchoring us all, deeply.  Fear on so many levels. For a long time, it ruled us.  Emotionally, we were all taking a beating we didn’t know how to handle, but we moved ahead, as best we could.  I asked for help, knowing I could not do life without it.  I got it.  I was not alone.  The younger boys went to counseling.  The youngest got a Kinship partner, who, with his wife, created a vision for my son on what a happy marriage looked like, he was only 6 when life turned upside down.  With the help of a friend, who went with me to the doctor, I dealt with depression and thoughts of suicide.  I got into counseling.  I went through a Co-Dependency Program – twice, the first time, didn’t stick.  I went to Al-Anon.  I left a church filled with judgement and rules I could not follow, nor embrace anymore.  I took off my rose-colored glasses and saw Truth and Life as it really was.  Faith was my quiet companion, present, in the darkest dark and the dawn of days.  God never left.

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Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

So, that first, quiet, Christmas Eve night I spent alone, was hard, necessary and desperately needed.  Nestled in the quiet softness of the night, I could feel a flicker and then, a glow in my heart.  Faith was present. God was present. Unexpectedly, forgiveness began to seep into every round edge and corner of my being.  I forgave myself for being such a crappy Mom and began to see a Mom who really tried and didn’t give up.  I let tears flow and forgave their Dad.  Like me, he traveled mountains and came through, true to himself. The gift of time has been a friend through the years.  It has taken lots time and lots of years, for a friendship between the two of us, to rekindle.  And it has.  Thankfully, our kids have their unique love for both of us, too.

It was a magical Christmas Eve.  It was a blessing.  It was a new beginning filled with bravery, compassion, persistence and love for life, my children, my future and myself. Wisdom was present because of lessons I learned and experienced … wrapped in the gift of faith, and a gentle glow of peace and joy.

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Photo by Matthias Cooper on Pexels.com

My Encouragement to You:

Ask for help when you need help.  Even if it’s scary – be brave and do it.  Trust your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.  I would have enjoyed life sooner, if I would have trusted my gut.

I know it’s hard, but … let go of what other people think of you.  Your priority is you.  Do what you have to do, to get healthy and strong.  I didn’t want people to know the secret I was living with.  I didn’t want to disappoint anyone.  I didn’t want to be judged.  I didn’t want to feel anger or fear … and I experienced all of it.  I pretended, I stuffed, I ignored and denied the stanch presence of Truth because of what others might think.  Pretending everything is ok, only hurts the pretender … and really doesn’t fool anyone. That energy is felt by those who love you.  Love your incredible self and take care of you.  You will have people in your life who will help.  Don’t let pride get in the way, like it got in mine.  Let it go, in order to move forward.

Forgive.  It’s a big deal.  Forgiveness is for you.  It’s a huge part of healing.  It’s a gift to yourself.  Even if you have to do it over and over again.  Forgive.

Let time be your friend.  Life is a journey through time. Every choice creates a lesson learned, a nugget of wisdom – a yay or a nay.  Thankfully, life is filled with practicing moments and days and years.  It’s how we become wise!

If you can, embrace the gift of faith.  For me, God is that gift.  A quiet knowing that in the whole big picture, I am not alone.  Thank goodness.  It is my wish for you.

Blessings and Love …

Debbie

Being Me.  Life. Stories.  Lessons.  Awareness.  Faith.  Denial.  Heartache. Truth. Wisdom. Love.

www.debendres.com

 

Finding Peace … With Healing Touch

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In this chair … In this room … Clients find peace.

We live busy, crazy lives.  Filled with lists of things to get done, expectations to be met, people who need our time and attention.  We are pulled in many directions, all at the same time.  The world is becoming a scarier place to live … and within it all, people are stepping up in kindness.  Being a light for others.  Being a voice.  Being a hand.  Being a heart of love.

In the stress of life, it’s important to be able to step back and ground ourselves in ways that give us relief.   Rest our bodies.  Quiet our minds.  Be it play, socializing, being alone, doing art, meditating, being in nature, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a healthy meal, saying ‘no’. (Easier said, than done!)

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

My clients come to step back from life, let go of the busy-ness, the expectations … to allow peace to blanket them and stress to melt away.  They come from all backgrounds … moms, business owners, bankers, teachers, retirees, those who have had cancer, lost loved ones through accidents, suicides, miscarriage, who have gone/going through divorce, job changes … each one has a name.  Each one has their story.  It is an honor for me to be in their lives.

Our sessions are short in the big scheme of Life.  But in those moments … something amazing happens.  There are no words to explain … peace and gentle healing wafts in softly and carries them through the days ahead.  I feel it.  They feel it.  It is one of my great joys in being an Energy Worker.  Once peace is felt and experienced, they know they can find it again … in many ways.  I simply open the door for them to receive, Spirit/God does the rest!

 

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My Encouragement to You:  Take time for yourself and leave guilt at the curb.  Try new experiences.  Always remember to breathe.  Be kind to yourself.  Be kind to others.  Pause in the morning, during the day, before you go to bed … and feel all the things you’re grateful for … and say ‘Thank you!’  There is peace in gratitude … it will change your life.

Thanks for joining me on the journey!  I am grateful!

Wishing you peace.

Namaste

Debbie

 

Choosing Our Path …

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Lake Superior Driftwood Inspiration … Which Path to Take?

DEB Art – Dream. Embrace. Believe.

Many of us have a special place that is healing for us.  Renews us.  Welcomes us.  Accepts us just as we are.  The shores of Lake Superior is ‘that place’, for me.  This piece of driftwood called to me, as I was reflecting on life.  I picked it up and brought it home.

The driftwood looks like a road to me – Life clear sailing – straight ahead … until there comes a Y.  Now I have to choose.  Life is full of choices.  Some choices are black and white, clear as day.  Others are fuzzy, spider-leggy – going out in every direction.  Living life – we choose.  The thing of it is … any choice … it’ll be ok.  Mistake?  Lesson learned.  Make a new choice.  Thank goodness for options, hm?  Not choosing, is also a choice, which took a while for me to understand … I get it now.

Author, Mike Dooley, has a great analogy.  He talks about a GPS System we put our outcome on life into – our destination choice.

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Photo by Mike Bird on Pexels.com

(My friend, Cindy, referred to GPS as God-Powered-System – love it!).  Once it’s entered, we trust the GPS to get us ‘there’.  Sometimes, there are detours, unexpected stops, open-flying freeways – you get the idea.  We simply trust, the GPS will ultimately get us there … despite worries, despite unforeseen happenings, despite overthinking something to the Nth Degree … we get there.  Wisdom teaches us … worry doesn’t help … nor does overthinking.  That GPS – God-Powered System – has our back.

I loved how the driftwood Y’d out … and came back to center.  I put a clear crystal in copper (connection) with a feather = Spirit/God.  The beads and shells are choices and experiences along the way.  One took a little bit longer, meandering and experiencing life, but all came from the center.

My encouragement to you: Trust.  Make choices as best you can.  There will be mistakes.  There will be lessons learned.  You will become more wise with each lesson you experience.  Life isn’t always a open-flying freeway – enjoy it when it is.  Breathe through the detours.  Trust (again).  Take time-out to enjoy a place that fills you up and restores you.  Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it … and be grateful for the blessings that unfold.

How’s your journey going?

Thank you for joining me on mine!

See More DEB Art.

Summer Solstice Joy Within a Women’s Circle

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I am fortunate to host 3 Women’s Circles throughout the month.  We gather to share friendships, wisdom, vulnerability, stories, healing energy, faith and Love.  We are incredible, strong, nurturing women, weaving our stories together … and realizing Spirit/God … the Thread of Life … makes us One.

Summer Solstice happened to land on this particular Friday Morning Circle!  I love the healing energy meditation with drumming can be, and and so I invited everyone to bring their drums and we would use them to welcome in Summer Solstice.  (I had gifted my drum to a dear friend a while back, and while I’m waiting for ‘just the right one to cross my path’, Soul-Sister, Cynthia, shares one of hers with me.)  This particular Circle, happens to be women who do a variety Energy Healing modalities.  We spend focused time in meditation along with healing work for each other, in addition to friends who have requested healing energy … and our planet … environment … political world … it’s an incredible group of women!

Summer Solstice welcomes in a new season.   One of patience.  We’ve thawed, gotten rid of old stuff and planted seeds.  Seeds of hope, strength, kindness, wisdom, self-love.  It takes patience for seeds to grow.  They/we need to be nurtured with love, sun, water, moon-light (sleep) … and the gift of time.  Through the summer we WILL grow.  Life will provide all kinds of adventures and lessons.  We will grow more into who we are.  It’s easier to play when daylight stretches and warmth encourages us to be outside and enjoy nature … We get stronger.  We feel stronger.  We breathe deeper.  We see Life around us.  We, ourselves are a part of Life in this summer season.  Body. Mind. Spirit.  Let’s enjoy this ebb and flow of summer … with patience and growth.

And so …

We drummed.   

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Welcoming Summer Solstice. 

We felt the heart beat and the faithfulness of this beautiful summer season … wrapped in our Circle of Love.

Pure joy!

Thank you for joining me on the journey.  Please like and share!

Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

Letting Go of the Old … To Welcome the New

 

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Getting rid of stuff …

It’s ‘letting go of the old‘ time.  Getting rid of stuff … old business files … why have I been hauling and storing bins of them?  Getting rid of clothes … that might fit ‘someday’ … the fridge looks sparkly clean and pretty empty, which makes me smile.  Once a month, the Epilepsy Foundation does a pick-up and I try to have at least one bag to donate.  It’s been a reflective process, a relief … a lightness that feels so good.

In the past 7 years, I’ve had 4 fambly (our nick-name for family) members die.  It is not an easy job to get things sorted and cleaned out.   In our situation, there were very few precious items sought out by fambly and a whole lot to be sorted, donated, recycled and hauled to the landfill.  It’s a generational ‘Passing On’ of treasures that is taking a huge left turn – the kid’s don’t have room for parent’s stuff, (they have plenty of their own) nor are tastes in styles or art embraced with open arms to have and hold forever and ever …

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

(Yes, there ARE exceptions – because some things are precious … emotionally or monetarily).

Turning into my last quarter in life, I had a campfire going for a couple of evenings this past week.  Sorting, reflecting, giving thanks and letting papers go up into flames.

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Photo by Rheo Ryan Balbuena on Pexels.com

I put a bit of cedar (cleansing and purification) and spruce (healing and purification properties) at the closing of the fire.  Memories that need to be stored, will be in my heart.

Then … with the Full Moon tonight and Summer Solstice on Friday (alot of emotional energy for me – I bought my house on a Summer Solstice!), I smudged and blessed my Little Cottage House.

20190615_220458_Burst01Sage for Smudging and House Blessing

I open some windows to allow negative energies to leave with ease and starting outside, at the front door, I ask God, Angels and all Beings of Light and Love (Those who have crossed over), to surround and protect the land my home is on.  I also thank Mother Earth for creating a strong foundation for my Little Cottage House.

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Inside the front door,  I ask for love, harmony, health, peace and prosperity for all who cross the threshold of my home.  Then, one by one … room by room, in a clockwise direction, I say a prayer, a blessing … ending up in my backyard.

I like using sage for smudging.  I believe sage is purifying. The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties and helps release negative energy.  I often add cedar … I love the smell and like it for its cleansing and purifying properties.

 

If you don’t like to smudge, but like the idea of a House Blessing … Light a candle, set your intention, use blessed water in a bowl and sprinkle it in each room with a cedar bough or pine branch or … whatever you have nearby … saying a prayer/blessing.  Find favorite bible verses or poems that resonate with your heart.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Or … use a bell or singing bowl.  Ring in each corner, with a blessing/prayer in the center of the room or inside the doorway.  The vibration will release negative energy and the room will feel lighter.

Letting go of unnecessary documents, papers, clothes and all kinds of stuff … releases the past and makes room for fresh and new ideas, surprises and gifts from God/Spirit and the Universe.  We aren’t clinging to things and putting our energy into hanging on to it all … Our arms are wide open to receive …

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Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

And welcome the new …

I am so excited!

Thanks for joining me on the journey!   Like and Share with those you love.

Blessings and Love,

Namaste

Debbie

 

 

4 Day Fambly Whirlwind of Love

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A Whirlwind of Love!

Tonight, I’m writing memories of our Fambly’s 4 Day Whirlwind of Love.  96 Amazing Hours.  It’s May 8th.  Night time … and snowing.  (I.am.not.kidding.)

Pictures are worth a 1000 words, and my Sweet Niece, Sarah, ONE of my Sweet Nieces, gave me permission to share pictures of her kiddo’s.  I had told her, taking time to blog tonight, gets me out of oven cleaning … and she supports me avoiding that for as long as I can – Thanks, Sarah!!

Last Friday, May 3rd, many of us came to support Camp Confidence’s 50th Anniversary.  50 years ago, our Dad, Dick Endres, the founder of Camp Confidence, wrote his Master’s Thesis on creating a year ’round camp for handicapped people and their families – with no government funding. (He was given a C+.  It was well written, but not realistic nor feasible, according to his professor.)  Dad pulled in people from the Brainerd, Minnesota community, who believed in this crazy dream of his. Together, they shared a variety of gifts and talents and a non-profit was formed.  The birthing of Camp Confidence had begun …  It was an amazing celebration!  The Nathan Toumi Family/Gull Lake Glass, hosted the whole evening – including the fabulous food, for Camp and the Community.  Black Bear Lodge did all the cooking and Doug Allen Nash as Johnny Cash and his band, donated their time playing great tunes to close out the evening.  A time capsule was buried with fun memorabilia (including Dad’s historic polyester Camp Blazer), to be opened in another 50 years … so the little kiddo’s you see in the pictures … THEY will be the ones to show up for that celebration!  (My Sweet Niece, Ana will be 79 years old!)

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My brother, Patrick, wearing Dad’s blazer one more time.  The round button is recognizing John Mariucci, famous hockey player, responsible for the beautiful Mariucci Lodge out at Camp.

Us Camp50th

Here’s some of Fambly at Camp.  My Sweet Niece Sarah, husband, Ryan and their 5 kiddos.  My Sister-in-law, Darlene, Sweet Niece Ana and me, next to my sister, Kyung and William.  Patrick on the floor with the kiddos.

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Darlene, me, Ana & Patrick … our last pose with Dad’s/Grandpa’s Historic Blazer

After that celebration and the kiddo’s getting to sleep at Auntie Kyung’s house – one big kid stayed home with them and the rest of us went out to play.  Kyung, just days home from a 2 month work gig in Africa, beat us in darts! (Patrick did, too – her picture is cuter!)

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Winner!  2 Bullseye’s in a row!!

Much of weekend was spent getting things ready for our brother Rick’s funeral on Monday.  I asked Ana and Darlene to help make little newspaper pots.  The next day, we had the kiddo’s put marigolds in them for the table centerpieces at Rick’s Memorial Potluck out at Camp.  What great helpers they were!

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We had some extra’s so … we planted them in a couple of planters on the patio.

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What a good job!

They had limited screen time … all at the same time … I got a kick out of how they all piled on the sofa together …

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While Patrick had the pork slowly roasting in the oven, I got the the cowboy beans done. (Rick’s favorite).  Kyung came over to help put Rick’s picture board together.  Wow, what memories they triggered.  Our folks were so young and Mom was stunning back when WE were the kiddo’s.  Sweet. Precious.  Memories.

One of the days, the kiddo’s played at the neighborhood playground, and when we all got back together, it was time for a campfire!  AND Cinco de Mayo was in the mix … so Sarah and Ana put together guacamole and a pear salad … and she and Micah mixed Margarita’s with Ana’s freshly sliced limes.  One thing we do well as Fambly – FOOD!

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Sarah knows how to whip things together!!

Some kids played in – some played out.

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Playing with Barbie’s in a sun beam …

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Rocking out that s’more!  Pappa knows how to cook ’em real good!

After food and eats … Darlene in the kitchen helping and doing dishes, too.  (We did decide we would splurge and use paper plates for these 4 days), it was bedtime for the kiddo’s.  All snuggled in together in my little cottage house!  The big kids hung out with the camp fire, brother Mike joined in … I think Patrick and I were pulling pork at midnight – it was going to be great for the potluck feast celebrating Rick!!

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A pretty night …

The next morning … Monday … Rick’s Celebration of Life.  I’d been ok, keeping everything together, with my emotions.  Having Fambly is the best.  We had a list, we checked it twice, and again … and again!!  Everyone chipped in to do what needed to be done.  The kiddo’s were amazing – Sarah is an incredible Mom.  She had help with them, too … besides loading up the van to head home after the Celebration was over.  Ana was my anchor, keeping things smooth and steady.  Micah and Patrick were ever watchful, taking care of whatever … was in need of being taken care of!  Darlene was packing and making sure things were collected and ready to go.  Kyung was meeting us early out at Camp to help set up everything before the funeral. (Camp Staff was incredible in getting everything to run smoothly – from the tent set-up to picnic tables, banquet tables, sound system … wow!)

So many wonderful people came to Rick’s funeral.  When I saw my Uncle Jim … the tears came and the hug was long … Rick had Uncle Jack and cousin’s drive up from hours away … old friends showed up and stories were shared.  Laughter.  Tears.  His Son-in-law, Sean, made a beautiful wooden box … exquisite … for his ashes.  Nicky/Collette, his daughter, had everything at church put together … including a slide show … and Amazing Grace was played with harmonica’s.  Rick was a great harmonica player!  The Pastor at Heritage Church, did a great job in bringing Rick’s life, his stories, and faith all together.  We were grateful.  The day out at Camp for the Potluck was sunny!!!  The food was yummy, and as the Endres Fambly goes …. always more than enough!!  The kiddo’s had plenty of space to play and run and everyone was happy to connect and visit.  His granddaughter, Calista, put together a great song list of Rick’s favorites.  “Piano Man” was one that brings tears …

So …. the 4 Day Fambly Whirlwind of Love ended … Yet the Love continues on for us.  How fortunate we are.

Rick’s life … touched many lives.

And these 4 days reminded us to live.  Every.single.day.

A couple of “Rickism’s”

“Keep that smile on your face ….”

“I’ll see you on the flip side!”

With a Grateful Heart …

Debbie

Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

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