Spirituality and Philosophy

The Lovers March to Eternity

There is so much fire burning within, smoldering wishes for love’s life to begin.

Life again as it was when I was young with our free hearts of passion entwining as one; experiencing the world joined together – souls lit with the promise of plenty forever – an imaginative history created before it begins, these are the things that young hearts believe in.

The embers lost daily to life’s routine this poem starts from loss, sorrow; misplaced dreams.

There is much to be said for the commitment and respect, for the sanctity of marriage so as not to regret, but if you find yourself lost then you must start again and remember what passions were in you as life began.

And then you have no choice for you must decide to take the path well worn and traveled or challenge the ride. I’m not sure what I have in me, the strength or the hope to make my dreams be in this swirling of smoke- it burns, burns my eyes, burdens my soul, weighs me down into restraining control.

I must find again the desire, the longing, the belief; passion and fortitude within me I seek, vulnerability held gently as I fight to hold on. I ask, dare I bask in the prosperous riches of risk -to begin again though I’m still lost in the mist.

Though the scars of careless openness still hang weary on my soul, I remain determined, steadfast and bold.

Still vigilantly marching upon the sublime dogged foes, the constant companions of the “average Joes”, they will have to be sacrificed for my love to be free, they will have to be sacrificed for me to be me.

I will find what I live for!  Valiant, golden and bright! … for I am, forever my Father’s delight.

And with His constant direction of warmth and hope, together my love and I will march to the end of the road; where I’ll look upon your face and thank Heaven above for His unending support of our perilous love.


In the words of Van Gogh

I’m a little late to the Van Gogh party, only yesterday stumbling upon his genius, not even so much as a painter but as a person; a kindred spirit.  I watched the video below and am dumbfounded by the genius and soul of Van Gogh and his writing, as with his heart, so pure, so innocent and able to capture in words and paint a world not so generous to him.

I hope you enjoy “Van Gogh – in his own words” as much as I did.  This is his biography but his elegant, insightful words are sprinkled throughout and I’m mesmerized by them.

Disney Princess Philosophy

The challenge from The Daily Post, to determine if all the activity in travel ports are soulless spaces full of distracted zombies or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories; that’s the question and my mind raced to the following conclusion.

I’m already searching, traveling virtually and in transit on the Internet this morning looking for what’s just around the corner (and I found this challenge!) so the travel and discovery doesn’t have to be physical – its my heart and my mind, my soul, my imagination and curiosity that propel me.

And as I search I’m listening to a new iTunes playlist- no laughing, no judging – I’m not a Disney Princess or a Disney junkie but I love the song “Part of Your World” from Little Mermaid, I love her longing, her honest self assertion  that she should be happy where she is, that she’s got everything but she’s not happy, she wants MORE!

Look at this stuff; Isn’t it neat?
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?
Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl; the girl who has everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold; how many wonders can one cavern hold?
Looking around here you think, sure, she’s got everything
I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty-I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore
You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal
I want more

So it occurs to me that we likely have both within us; the unfortunate zombie-esque ability to shuffle through life lifeless (think Jasmine Thompson’s “Mad World” another song I’m obsessed with), people stuck, alone and longing to escape from our world; but we also have the ever inquisitive …our searching, bursting souls always looking and longing for more.  And I’m both equally, as I alternate seamlessly between the sluggish, monotonous, repetitive events in Mad World that require no thought, no life and the childlike joy of the constant opportunity that is life, that is Ariel’s maxim, to want more than what we have, to open ourselves up to do and see and be more and to authentically share who we are with others in our every move and breath – and it’s our choice, always our choice.

This challenge has been a good exercise for me to remember that only I hold the power to make any moment of my life the drudgery of a cinder-soot Cinderella or the impassioned, driven longing for more that is Ariel’s song.

Everything on a Sunday Morning

It’s Sunday morning and my husband is at church, I’ve already asked God again for his forgiveness in my not attending.  I love our church, I’ve grown so much there but I love my quiet Sunday mornings at home and today especially (I’ve been struggling) I really wanted to sit down to the proverbial pen before doing anything else, well except getting that cup of coffee.  If I’d turned on the TV or picked up my iPhone, I knew all would have been lost.

There’s so much going through my mind these days.  Last night I had trouble sleeping even after my sleeping meds so I lay in the shower with the warm comforting water streaming over me and the moist steam floating captured in the glass stall. I was kind of hopeful that the steam might help my poor sinuses that have been fighting the harshness of the air these days.  I could close my eyes and talk to God and feel the water.  At times it bounced off my skin in happy little mites of hope and at others as I sat up, the water would stream down my arm, toward my wrist and off my hand and the swirl of it there reminded me of what it must feel like to watch and feel your life’s blood streaming from your body.   I can be very melodramatic and both joyously engaged with life and my Lord and equally distant, isolated and lonely but in those moments, good or bad – I’m feeling and I do love feeling.

But much like the movie, “Somewhere in Time” where Christopher Reeve’s character is able to let go and exist in a past so that he can be with the women he’d learned to love through time, when something from the “now” slips in to the world he’s satiated with, he is catapulted from his bliss and love filled world back to his lonely existence in the here and now.   That was a lengthy comparison, but that’s how I feel so often, that I can feel, I can put myself there, sometimes alone, sometimes with God as my compradre’ but all it takes is one uninvited picture or sound of the here and now and it all dissipates like the steam in the shower when the door is finally open.  This happened last night when after spending some quality time with those feelings, I looked up to see the clutter of shampoo bottles over my head and suddenly with that every inch, aspect, feeling, belief, thought, past, present and future decimated my gracious, intimate world with myself and God and I was back, back to “oh, I should get out, I need to dry my hair, start the dishwasher, turn off lights and get to bed” and it was all gone.

In writing this I’m somewhat attempting, well in writing anything, I’m somewhat attempting to capture those moments, because I think they are my God moments, the ones that even though they may not have monetary value, they have spiritual value beyond comprehension and to make them valuable to God (and to me) it seems maybe necessary to share them, hence the creating of this blog.

For I think in my personal “church” my goal, my desire, my dream and determination is that not one soul should ever have to feel so dark and alone (like Robin Williams who still breaks my heart as I understand his opposing dimensions), that there are those of us who feel so deeply that need someone who needs or at least understands how vastly important that is to life, so if anything I share here allows someone else to feel less alone and to feel more understood, than these moments that God gives me are worth everything to me.

Blessings to you my cyber friend…

In Thanks and Praise to My Heavenly Father

In your loving arms I find my strength when I am weary of life’s trials, distractions and relentlessness. Bringing me to the cosmic heights of beauty dancing feet upon the floor, head high, fingers curved gracefully sharing meaning to their world as they flutter high and low.

In these blessed moments You lift me, Your wonders lift me as if by a gossamer thread upon which kaleidoscopes of brilliant, prismatic color beam and I can see the world clearly shining through Your eyes – it’s beauty, it’s majesty, it’s potential, it’s height, it’s depth and it’s truth.

Oh my wonderful Father, how but could I not love you with the whole of my heart and soul when you so graciously bestow upon me moments such as these;

I love you with every breath, with every beat.

Though times there is despair, fear, anxiety and worry and this – they bring me down.  The pit is so deep and so close and I dance around it bending poetically to peer inside, it’s tempting to stop the dancer and the dance, to stop the vigilant light – which flickers and wavers ever so slightly this time as if an ominous breath passed briefly through – then Your majesty and once again the sun and the joy and the love; and the music changes and the steps once so heavy and laden move like a pixie prancing with joy for you.

Whenever I am lonely and afraid and once again find myself dancing precariously close to the pit – I pray you save me oh Lord, as you do and fill me with your love so the breath of life may raise me to the highest heights to share my love with You and the world you gave your only Son to.

Praises to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – in your humble name I pray -Amen


Lets see what we get …

This post is an experiment as I have nothing predetermined to say so I”m staring at a blank screen wondering what to write about and I’m hoping the hand of God will just make these fingers nimble and quick to find something profound out of nothing at all.

It’s Thursday, I’m at the laptop and Rob’s watching Roosevelt – an amazing man, I’m only half listening but I’m hearing so many wonderful speeches.  Why am I drawn so greatly to watching the black and white grainy faces in these photos and videos and those honey coated velvet voices – they seem a life time away and yet exactly as we are.  I can only presume it’s because we are all God’s children and that transcends all time, culture and space.  And maybe that’s what’s in my heart and on my mind – how I fit, how do I fit, where do I fit – what is my place, what is yours?  These questions seem minor or large on any given day and I make no claims as to think I have a clue about any of it, but it occurs to me while silently listening to history unfold on TV – that no matter what the question the answer is that we are all humanity and in such, siblings and God’s beloved children and in the end maybe that’s all we need to know.

OK, I don’t know if that was God inspired but there it is.


What Oak Hills Church Means To Me …

After having my dream of being a stay at home Mom in a picket fence scenario life implode into a volatile and scary divorce during which I was isolated and mourning the time lost with my precious three year old daughter who now was being shuffled like, and with her baggage, to and from her divorced parents homes – one morning I ran into my effervescent apartment-mate neighbor as she skipped out the door to church service. She invited me along, I declined; I’m an introvert and was a suffering introvert – the saddest kind to be. But, after watching her blossom (and she had her own struggles), one day I bravely accompanied her and in the original modulars heard Pastor Kent speak. I’d never heard a sermon spoken such as his as my religious background was nonexistent with my immediate family and minimal with my distant Southern Baptist and Methodist families who could be quite strict and scary in their religious fervor. That sermon by Kent that changed my life and gave me a church home was over 18 years ago.

I remember when we were first informed that Pastor Mike was to join the church – I was devastated. I’d finally found a Pastor in Kent who spoke truthfully and down to earth and I couldn’t conceive a new pastor could come near Kent’s (to me) lofty reverence (now Kent, I know you well and you’re not allowed to shoot “I’ve won” glances at Mike).   Pastor Mike had a skeptical believer to contend with in me. Now, I cannot imagine Oak Hills without the dynamic duo of Pastors Kent and Mike and I hope that each know how very precious they are to me for so many personal reasons.

I also enjoyed cleaning the church with girlfriends and how priceless a time it was to serve humbly and feel God’s quiet constant presence even when the chairs only held the remembrance of congregants.

And as if that wasn’t enough to have moored me to OHC, years later, in a story too long to tell, God brought me together with my husband, Rob, in a most marvelously romantic and God led journey that we’ve been on now for over 10 years and that journey, in providence sustained in part by Pastor Mike’s astute and gently pastoring of us whenever needed.

I cannot say enough about the part that OHC has played in my life, the journey, the staff, so steadfast, humble in Christ and giving of their time and love to each of us in our personal ways.

My blessings and thanks eternally to OHC, and for Pastors Mike and Kent – a parting gift. J

Love, Char

Kent and Mike

If you’d like to read more OHC stories, click here.

Happy New Year – oh oh oh, here we go – getting to know me

Well, I could start this blog at any number of places but I’ll start it with the New Year, seems appropriate, new year  – hopefully a start to a new and improved me. The plan here is to have a place for me to share with whoever cares to listen, all those rattling things inside my head. I’m hoping they’ll rattle at night (like now) rather than when they usually do, in the shower where they seem to flow right out of my mind just like the water from the faucet, until, I step out of my comfy, cozy, warm shower to reality, then the thoughts and realizations and plans and ideas disperse like rats in a gutter. I’m hoping to corral them back for an evening story and then get myself some good sleep – something I’m not so good at even after a full blown Ambien or two.

This being the first post, however, it will have some background to it. Getting to know me, I’m a 50 year old mom and wife (sister and daughter too). I’m on my 2nd marriage and we each came with our own 10 year old daughters at the time; we’ve been married 10 years so they are now each 20 and off to college, mine after studying (praises to her for this!) two years at community college is now off to Berkeley to study architecture and she’s going to be good at it; already has a paid internship. Her boyfriend of almost 3 years is out there with her now too studying to become a doctor and I am ever so thankful he’s there and that she has such good taste in men! My step-daughter (yes, I am an evil step-mother, goes with the territory, I guess) goes to Cal Poly SLO and is studying Journalism, as I write, however, she’s roaming Europe, seeing sites, clubbing, keeping her Dad alive by posting on Facebook (ah the wonders, thankfully, of technology!) hanging in hostels and couch surfing?? News to an old lady like me! So far it’s been safe with just the loss of another iPhone and a bout with Pink Eye that is clearing up.

Hubby (henceforth known as “Q” and the dog are home with me. Q works for the State and I work for a virtual Sales Training and Keynote Speaking company, have been working there this since last May 1st. They actually offered me the job the day of 50th my birthday and my new boss and his wife so sweetly called me to wish me a happy birthday – and the company bought me a new laptop that I’m happily pecking away on as I type this. Could I have had a better birthday present than that!

So, those are most of the facts.

Here’s the guts of it, in no particular order. I’m 50 now and my “baby” is off to college so I’ve got a little empty nest sadness going on even as I greatly enjoy finally having both the girl’s bedrooms and bathroom clean for the first time in 10 years – that’s a story we won’t even go near right now – but due to differing parenting styles and different kid demeanors, I just gave up on trying to get the girls to do chores – it was hell. So anyway, little empty nest depression going on and a little “what’s the meaning of life” turmoil going on too which I blame on one of the episodes of X-Files (I was in love with Mulder), the one with Peter Boyle playing Clyde Bruckman in “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (1995) for which he won an Emmy in 1996. In a side note, though I scared the hell out of my little girl when I asked her to try watching it with me when she was little and it was first runs, years later she fell in love with the reruns and now we have X-Files posters and even a script signed by Scully herself. Anyway, back to the show … “why does anyone do the things they do, why do I sell insurance? I wish I knew, why did this woman collect dolls? What was it about her life? Was it one specific moment where she suddenly said, (and this is the line that does it to me) I know, dolls, or was it a whole series of things, starting when her parents first met, that somehow combined in such a way that in the end she had no choice but to be a doll collector.”   Ever since that episode, knowing our doll collector died, that all those worldly things that made her happy were now just useless stuff headed to the thrift store for someone like me to buy (I’m a thrift store hunter) everything has seemed like just filler in my life, with little to no purpose.   It was surely profound commentary and Peter Boyle pulled it off beautifully -not sure I was supposed to relate to it the way that I did, but I did – now every material thing means nothing but a quick fix, like any drug – life is made up of so many material things, like this blog…that help us get through… Lord, I need some serious existential crisis help!

My new boss, has also written a new Sales book, call “Be Bold and Win the Sale”.   It’s a Sales book for sure but it’s also a book about learning how to be bold .   I’m not bold, I’m a wimp.   I like my comfort zone but what he says makes a lot of sense, so slowly, though with the anxiety, it feels quickly, I’m venturing out of the comfort zone and into the Bold beyond.  It is my boss who inadvertently helped me select the name of the blog, after I annoyed him at one of our retreats and he called me aside to tell me to give some floor time to someone else, I asked him what specifically I’d done and he simply said; “nothing, you just learn out loud” and he hadn’t wanted to hold the group up with my loud learning – my husband, needless to say can relate, soooooo, you my invisible audience will be the recipients should you care to read of my “learning out loud” as I go through life – and I’ll tell you, I have so much to learn.

Well, that’s a start for the first blog post.   If you’ve read it, I thank you for doing so.  Please feel free to share any thoughts.  I should also have it be said here, that I am an introvert, and HSP, a crier, an analytical, detailed thinking and I love creating, thrift store hunting and I just opened an Etsy store – maybe someone who passes by here will be another kindred spirit and we can learn out loud together.

Blessings, welcome!