Thursday, May 31, 2012

On my text screen....

 My favorite text screen of the week....again, names changed to protect the innocent.

Mickey Mouse:  Wow!

Minnie Mouse:  Me too!!! Yay!!! Thank u for praying

Donald Duck:  Hope ur off today enjoying time with family.

Daisy Duck:  Red Velvet

Pluto: Hehe, well happy 20th!

Goofy:  All of them :)

Clara Bell: That's so amazing

What is your favorite text of the week?


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

20 years!

Today is our 20 year anniversary!  The picture comes from our celebration dinner with my twin and her hubs.  Yes, I celebrated with my twin because we walked down the aisle together 20 years ago today.  We had a double wedding which seemed the only right way to do it for us.  The four of us have grown together in so many ways over the last 20 years, and I'm looking forward to the next 20!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scripture of the Week

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."  Psalm 91:1-2

E is praying for a couple from our church who is teaching in Tanzania.  I decided to pray with her and we are praying Psalm 91 for them this week.  I love the picture of dwelling in the shelter of the Most High.  I also love the thought that in His shadow is rest.  We can feel sheltered and we can rest when  He is our refuge and fortress.  Our souls are safe in Him.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity


We have so many amazing opportunities to be salt and light in the world. We take this seriously.  We get this.  We want to fulfill the Great Commission in small tangible ways everyday, starting at home within our small circles until the ripples end up extending outward to the whole world.  We love these opportunities.

But do you know what I struggle with?  The opportunities to show that same salt and light to fellow Christians.  Especially when I am hurt by fellow Christians.  This is an area God has been growing me in for years.  I need to be a reflection of Christ with everyone.    We have an opportunity for growth and we have the opportunity to help others grow.

The question we embrace these opportunities or do we go into a tailspin of hurt?  Quite the challenge.  Can you do it?  With Christ all things are possible.  So, go forward..determined to rise to the challenge of opportunity.  I dare you... you will be amazed at what God does.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

100 cool things I've been blessed to do....

After making a list of things I want to do, I realized that I've already been able to do some very cool things.  It really has been a rich life so far!

1. given birth to a daughter 2. prayed with my daughter to receive Christ 3. spent a week with my family taking care of my dying father, hearing his final heart beat and 4. preparing his body for the funeral home. 5. spent the last week of my mother’s life with my family, taking care of her, hearing the last words she ever spoke as she talked to Jesus. 6. together with a circle of friends took care of a dying friend, heard the last beat of her heart 7. snorkeled with sting rays 8. went on a cruise with my twin and my mom 9. snorkeled in the South China Sea 10. played the flute, French horn, mellophone, and piano 11.marched through Disney in a parade playing my mellophone 12. walked on the beach under the moonlight 13. gone through a corn maze at night with my sisters 14. hiked through mountain trails in WV with my sisters in the fall and again with family in the spring 15. walked to a mountain top cemetery in the dark with my sisters and nephew 16. successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver twice 17. caught a baby shark with my hands 18. rode in a hot air balloon 19. heard the final heart beat of my friend’s husband 20. had a poem published in an anthology 21. had a poem published in a magazine 22. walked 2 half marathons, one in PA and the one in the OBX 23. watched sea turtles hatching 24. rode on the tailgate of a pick up truck on muddy roads 25. visited my mom’s old home place  26. visited my grandmother’s church 27. picked a bushel of wild blackberries 28. could still ride a bike with “no hands” after I turned 40 29. successfully water skied 30. attempted snow skiing 31. swung on vines 32. sledding in the snow 33. tubing in a river 34. gone to 2 indoor water parks 35. ridden on the top of a convertible in a parade 36. went with my mom on her first ski boat ride in the last year of her life 37. boated at sunset 38. helped lead a women’s conference with 2 friends 39. tasted fried liver pudding in an old cafe in NC while on a girl trip 40. rode in a paddle boat in my PJs giggling like a school girl with 2 friends 41. went on a mission trip to the Philippines 42. have been part of a neighborhood supper club for 2 years 43. have been baptized in a river 44. helped my twin during the birth of my niece...saw my niece’s very first breath of life. 45. rode in a private jet with friends to dinner then flew home again 46. picked fresh blueberries 47. picked peaches in a peach orchard 48. picked fresh strawberries 49.picked cherries and then made a pie with them 50. had a double wedding with my twin  51. heard God’s voice and have seen God’s handiwork in my life 52. rode through Mayberry in Barney Fife’s squad car with my sisters 53. have been deep beneath the earth in caverns 54. live in my childhood dream home 55. napped in a hammock 56. have seen 2 musicals in NY-Wicked and Mama Mia 57. climbed trees 58. have ice skated 59. have roller skated 60. ferried across the ocean to an island 61. stayed at a bed and breakfast 62. caught crawdads
63. rode a water taxi in Boston with Marty and Erin 64. rode through NY in a white limo 65. visited Washington DC three times 66. went to a top 10 book store in Seattle with 2 friends 67. have eaten a Philly Cheese Steak in Philly 68. played golf with my sisters 69. have roasted weenies in a bonfire and made smores for dessert 70. have had 2 surprise parties given for me 71. graduated from Duke with my Master’s Degree 72. have seen Jimmy Buffett in concert twice 73. have taken pictures of men in coconut bras 74. roasted fresh chestnuts 75. been part of a championship marching band
76. made a hand made journal, stitching included 77. have read poetry in front of an audience 78. went square dancing with my husband and a group of friends 79. had champagne with lunch 80. built a snowman 81. made cookies with my daughter 82. stayed up until 3 AM talking to my dad 3 weeks before he died 83. have heard my best friends heart beats 84. have been part of a book club 85. have been part of a women’s breakfast  86. learned French 87. have ridden on a jet ski with Marty88. have ridden on a 4 wheeler with Marty 89. painted a picture 90. spit watermelon seeds 91. took a walk in the rain 92. slept in a sleeping bag beneath the stars 93. played in caves 94. visited a top 10 book store in Washington DC 95. found live sand dollars 96. have been greeted by an exuberant dog 97. have had amazing supportive family and friends 98. have been freed from my past 99. have had ashes on my forehead for ash Wednesday
100. have spent a week driving nothing but a golf cart



Saturday, May 19, 2012


I have been intrigued with making a list of things I want to do for about a year now.  I was at a poetry conference and had the privilege of being in a workshop with Lola Haskins.  Not only did she give me great poetry tips, but she also gave me great life tips.  She realized she did not want to miss out on life so she set some goals.  What an inspiration she was!  Then I read this Mighty Life List and knew I needed to make my own.  My buddy B and I spent time this evening on her porch making our lists and I gotta tell you....we had so much fun. Her hubby helped come up with the name (10)(10) from the scripture reference John 10:10.  An abundant life indeed!

 1. walk the Camino 2. go to Denver, Colorado 3. visit the top 10 book stores in the US 4. write a collection of short stories 5. go on a silent retreat alone 6. go on a modified silent retreat with friends 7. stay at Abbey of Gethsemani in KY 8. write a collection of devotionals 9. write essays about my family history 10. visit the Grand Canyon 11. go to Hawaii with my sister Susie 12. walk a 1/2 marathon in an exotic place 13. learn Spanish 14. drive route 66 15. visit every state in the United States 16. learn to play the drums 17. stand naked in Alaska 18. stay in a hut on the water in Tahiti 19. have a chocolate tasting party 20. stand under a waterfall 21. go skinny dipping 22. ride a dinner train 23. go to a mystery dinner theatre 24. ride a trolley in San Francisco 25. buy a convertible 26. eat fruit in the rain  27. visit a hot spring 28. organize family pictures 29. take my sisters on a cruise 30. go on a gambling boat 31. swim in the Dead Sea 32. visit Paris 33. eat pasta in Italy 34. have fresh flowers delivered every month for a year 35. plant an herb garden 36. dance a night away 37. visit 10 art museums 38. spend a month in a house by the sea 39. drink a bottle of wine that cost at least $100 40. visit the top 10 vineyards in the US 41. make my bedroom a haven 42. see the aurora borealis 43. find my childhood pen pal 44. drink coffee on a porch in the mountains of NC 45. have a shower with multiple heads 46. go on a medical mission trip 47. zip line in costa rica 48. Hang glide at Kill Devil Hills, NC  49. create a memory book of my life for Erin 50. plant blueberry bushes 51. go to 10 musicals 52. take Marty on a surprise get a away 53. plant hydrangea bushes 54. read poetry at an open mic  55. visit old churches in NC 56. visit 10 local coffee shops in old NC/SC/VA towns 57. taste 100 new foods 58. have a window seat 59. keep a photo thankfulness calendar for a year 60. take pictures of old doors in NC 61. stay in an exercise class for one year 62. have a sleep over in a book store or library 63. visit Spaghetti’s grave 64. write a short story about a carnival worker 65. throw a block party 66. have a sleep over with my friends 67. do a book study with B 68. paint a picture 69. write sympathy cards 70. make an art room 71. visit Wilmington 72. read 50 classic novels 73. read 10 poetry collections 74. make a fairy garden 75. take Erin to NY 76. shag lessons with Marty 77. plan a progressive dinner for Erin and her friends 78. organize a scavenger hunt 79. make a rooster statue out of scraps 80. plan my funeral 81. buy an old boot scrape 82. pay for the person in line behind me once a month for a year 83. make garden stones  84. eat a gooseberry 85. encourage someone to get a college degree 86. plant daffodil bulbs in the fall 87. girlfriend outings 4 times a year 88. plant 2 apple trees 89. hike a leg of the Appalachian Trail in the fall 90. keep a journal 91. visit 10 NC lighthouses 92. sleep on the porch with Erin and Marty 93. make a photo calendar 94. make a family tree 95. preserve my grandfather’s journals 96. ride an elephant 97. watch 25 good movies 98. have a poem published 99. go on a sister trip every year 100. finish an art journal

I encourage each of you to come up with a list of things you would like to do. It will spark your hopes, wishes and will give you happy things to look forward to!


Eight Simple Truths

 You've probably heard the saying..."If Christians aren't happy fill in the blank...".  Well, I've worked hard over the past several years at cultivating happiness.  When I say work...I do mean work.  Mind, soul and body work.   My gift of joy was buried deep within dark layers of dirt and mire.  The good news is-I haven't tended this garden alone.

The Master Gardener, aka God, was also hard at work.  He kept a steady supply of everything a garden needs to grow.  Rain, sometimes in the form of storms so severe that I thought I may drown.  Other times in the form of sunshine so abundant I felt like I was in a drought.  Most times, though the weather conditions were perfect, with a fine balance of sun, temperature, rain and clouds.   He sent many other gardeners to help throughout the process including family, friends, church body and co-workers.  He spoke to me through the sacred as well as the secular.  One specific secular resource I've leaned on was The Happiness Project book and now the blog.

The author, Gretchen Rubin, came up with Eight Splendid Truths.  As I've pondered my life's lessons I have come up with 8 of my own. I decided to name mine Eight Simple Truths.  Here they are! (in no particular order)

1. Seek God first and everything else will fall into place.  (trust me on this)

2.  I've never been disappointed when I changed my perspective from negative to positive. (see Five Minute Friday post... this writing exercise prompted me to get this list of life lessons made!)

3.  Being yourself is more enjoyable than being someone else's shadow, for all parties involved. (wisdom from my 11 year old)

4.  You are responsible for your own happiness i.e. you can't expect another person to make you happy, it lays the groundwork for failure.

5.  If you aren't happy where you are, you won't be happy anywhere else. (at least not for long, that sneaky unhappy baggage has a way of traveling with you).

6.  Inner joy produces outward happiness.

7.  Never give outward circumstances the power to destroy inner joy. (yes, sometimes we are in dire straights but you can't stay there, press onward through the rainy seasons and deserts!)

8.  Hold on loosely...this too shall pass. Otherwise known as my Ice Cream Melts Principle... meaning even good things like ice cream don't last which is a bad thing but eventually you will get ice cream again which is a good thing. Ha. This one is courtesy of 38 Special and God...another great example of God speaking through the secular, you just have to listen for his voice, or have a weird way of thinking like me.

How about you?  What are some simple things you've learned that either made you happier....or not?


Five Minute Friday-Perspective

The view never changes....the view always changes...yep.  That's perspective.  It is one of the things I've worked on for years.  My perspective.

The way I deal with any situation boils down to my perspective.  I girl I used to work with many years ago pointed this out to me during a heart to heart....and I have not forgotten the lesson. A light bulb went on, one that I didn't even know existed.  When I realized what an impact...negative or positive...that my perspective had on any situation it was profound.

Did I learn the lesson right away?  NOPE.  I've had to keep working on it for years.

There are situations I can not change, people I can not change...there is always something I can't change at any given moment in my life.  The ONE thing I CAN CHANGE is my perspective....and I can tell you this simple truth:

I have never been disappointed when I changed my perspective.

It is all about perspective.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

On my thankfulness calendar today....

Spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking lemon pudding cookies with my daughter.  A bright spot of sunshine on a rainy afternoon!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scripture of the Week

Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
    carried from the womb;

 even to your old age I am he,
    and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
    I will carry and will save.

Isaiah 46:3-4

You have Lord, I know you will continue. Yes, I know you will.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

On my text screen today....

Texting makes me happy!

I always enjoy reading the first few words that show up on my text screen.  It is interesting to see the bits and pieces of the many conversations I've had going.  I love that I can "talk" with so many different people!  Some days the threads are quite funny....some days there are serious things woven in....some days I'd like to take all the beginnings of the messages and create a story from them...some days the threads are pure joy...Like today.

This is what I saw on my text screen....(names changed to protect the innocent)

Naw, silly. Driver introductions...

That would be great.

That would be fun.

Yahoo! Sondie will you....


Ohhhh...the raspberry sorbet is yummy!

How can I not be happy when I see happy words like that?  Heart happy stuff.

Do any of you smile when you look at your main text screen?

Friday, May 11, 2012

See Ya' Later Sonderella

I have retreated for quite awhile but am planning a return.  One of the things I have figured out is that I'm not the Sonderella I once was.  Every time I thought about blogging again I just couldn't make it work.  I did not enjoy even thinking about it.  This has been a conundrum because blogging used to be one of life's small pleasures for me.  After pondering this for the past several months, it finally dawned on me that it's because my purpose has changed.  Sonderella just didn't fit anymore.  The glass slippers have been pinching my toes.

Sonderella was my outlet for processing many life changes...good changes and difficult changes.  While I will always process life events, I realized that it no longer consumes me.   I've spent the last several years "trading my ashes" and will do this the rest of my life BUT I'm no longer living in the ashes.  That is a key improvement.  I am walking in the freedom Christ purchased for me on the cross.  He did not die for me to live in ashes, but to walk in freedom.  Faith not fear.

So, here I am.  Feeling like I've come to a "normal" place.  So what if I'm at the lower end of normal?! I'll take it and rejoice in it!