Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A Year With Faith

This past year has been a doozy. I have heard the same sentiment from many and witnessed the same from many. A year of challenges, changes, losses, pains. Along with those pains came growth, but at a cost. Perhaps 2012 will be known as the year of growing pains. 

My arms are open and ready to embrace 2013. They are open but not wide. A guarded embrace will take place as the clock strikes twelve. 

As I grew more accustomed to the blogging world over the last few years or so, I embraced the tradition of choosing a word of the year versus making New Year's resolutions. Resolutions never seemed to make it past the idea stage so I had no problem giving up the useless tradition to forge ahead with another. 

2011 - Focus
       I chose the word focus because it was something I needed to work on, something I was greatly lacking. I chose the word and failed it miserably. I had no plan, no idea how to work with a "word of the year" and ironically, no focus! By the end of 2011 I had to look back at the previous year's blog post to see what my word for the year actually was. I had forgotten. Obviously a complete lack of focus. I found the matter to be quite amusing with no sweat off my back.

2012 - Faith
       There was a huge difference with my word for 2012. Difference number one. The word chose me. I did not choose a word, rather I allowed words to play around in my mind until one took hold. I asked the universe to provide my word and it chose Faith. I had been warned that when a word chooses you (versus you choosing a word), you better hang on. The word means business! Can I just say that I believe that was the understatement of the year?
       This past year was one of the hardest of my life. Trust me. I have had some hard, ugly, difficult times. This past year saw my marriage challenged, my world shaken, loved ones lost, and a health issue that had me scared for my life. I am still working on how to shake fear as it is the state I have lived in my entire life, though most say they wouldn't know it (my mask hides me well). I have cried more tears in this past year than I thought possible to produce in a lifetime.
       Faith started out as something I thought one had, only to discover it is something one does, practices, gains. Faith no longer feels like a noun. I believe it to be more of a verb. People say "Have faith". I always thought my grandmother 'had faith'. Faith is something you work to understand, work to gain and then work to keep. Perhaps once you have done all the work you can 'have' it, but there are still times it is threatened and you must work to keep it. It is shaken and you must stabilize. It is questioned and you must defend.
       I walked into my year feeling strong and cocky. "Hmm... cute little word. Pretty sure I know what it means. Let's question it. Digest it. Play with it."
       Faith said, "Oh no you don't! I chose you! This is my year. I get the lead. I take control. You are simply along for the ride."
       Or so it felt.

       I was talking to my husband about a word for this year. He said, "Don't do it." He was as scared for me as I was. He actually said he thought choosing a word to focus on was similar to worshiping a false God. Interesting. Also not real settling. I thought about what he said and thought it sounded a bit like hooey, but at the same time, I was scared. Scared of what the new year would bring, scared to ask for a word, but it had already happened and I knew it. A word had settled in a few weeks prior. I felt it nudging and whispering and trying to attach itself to me. It felt like a good word, a good fit, yet I could not shake the fear it might possibly carry with it a hidden agenda of hard times and painful lessons.
       The word whispered "trust me, you need me" and that's when it hit me.

       When a word chooses you for a year, it is not the word that brings challenges. Life brings challenges. The word allows for transformation. It allows for growth to occur and wisdom to be gained. When walking with a word, we have something to work with, something to lean on, something to guide us. It shows we are open and willing to learn and transform. It is a way for the Universe to guide us. 
       Faith carried me through this past year. At first I questioned it. When I started to think I knew what it was, it made sure to let me know I had a lot to learn. It challenged me and left me until I realized that I was the one who left. When I questioned it, it gave me something to focus on, to learn from. It allowed me to look at things differently. It held my hand through the difficulty and celebrated the good.
       It has been an extremely hard year. I am thankful I had faith by my side. I plan on continuing to grow with/in faith as I know I have a long way to go. Faith is not a word for a year, it is a word for life.
2013 -
       This year, my year is my year. I claim it for myself. The word that has nudged me will be at my side. I am keeping it to myself (at least for now), holding it gently and close to my heart. Once again, it picked me. In all honesty, having a word choose me when I wasn't sure whether I wanted a word this year, makes me a bit leery. It is a good word. One of the best. I choose to step into the new year with positive intention and  gratitude. May the new year choose to greet me with the same. May it choose the same for you.

A few months ago I was blessed with a weekend get-a-way with a few other ladies. One is a forever friend, the other I had never met. I almost chickened out. I ended up staying one night instead of two. It was just right. We stayed up late talking deep and long, sharing stories in front of a wood burning stove. The room pictured below is the one I stayed in at the bed and breakfast. So much introspect and healing and dealing of past has gone on for me this year. It was interesting to me that the room I received was representative of the room I had as a small child. It was rather symbolic of the work I've been doing to make peace with my past.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Cue the music!

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas!

I guess I should have clarified 'light and fluffy' vs. 'wet and sloppy'.

At least our tree is Merry and Bright.

Today is a snow day. The kids had all sorts of play dates planned with the idea of snowmen, snow forts and hot chocolate. 
 The snow came. Then the rain. More snow is scheduled to follow. Right now they would be stuck making slush men, so they are hunkered down with books and crafts. 

Today I am thankful for a warm house, the beautiful snow and the love and safety of my gorgeous children.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reaching Out - Holding On

So much violence. So many shootings.
They only seem to be getting worse.

The events that unfolded in Newtown, CT last friday are unfathomable. So many innocent lives lost. I have not written about it or talked about it much as I feel completely inadequate to do so.
Where are the words to heal the hurt?
Where are the words to soothe the suffering?
Where are the words to explain the unexplainable?

I tried to avoid much of the news. I didn't want to feed into the sensationalism. I didn't want my kids to fear. I didn't want to cry anymore. I didn't want to imagine the pain of those who lost loved ones. I didn't want it to be true.

I have been trying to figure out what I can do to help. I come up with nothing. I feel helpless.

I conjure up feelings of love to send out to the families. Love. It has to be the answer.

There is so much anger and fear and violence in the world.
We have to stop hating and hurting.
We must start healing.
How do we heal?

I read about an eleven year old that brings a gun to school to protect himself and his classmates. I think, "Why is this happening?"
I read about a Texas school allowing teachers to bring guns to school to protect their students. I think, "Why is this happening?"

I am a considerable geographic distance away from Sandy Hook elementary, yet it is now in my own back yard.
The sickness seems to be spreading.

A grade school not even 40 miles away finds live ammo on the playground. A teen gets arrested for spouting about copycatting.
Now it is my child's school.
There have been rumors of a threat against the safety of the students and staff at my child's high school. The threat is set for 12-21-12. The police have been investigating.I received an automated call from the principal saying the students are safe as they feel the threats are unsubstantiated. The rumors continue and build. I do not feel it is safe. How can I? 

I again ask myself, "Why?"

I have no answers.

Anger, fear, frustration, desperation.
A lot of ugly feelings are surfacing for a lot of people.
Including me.
I ask that everyone try, try, try to feel love.
Don't feed the negative energy with more negative.

I am working on centering and focusing and loving.
Feeling love for my family.
Love for this life.
Love for the world.

Sirens flew by my house as I typed that last line.
The seventh time in 12 hours.
Sirens. Warnings.
Of what?
I don't know.
I'm feeling so helpless.

All I know to do is reach.
Keep reaching.
Reaching out and holding on to what is good.

If only by a single thread.
We must hold on to love.
Build on the good with good.
Reach. Hold. Love.

My heart and prayers go out to everyone.

I send you love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have not been feeling very chatty lately.
Wrapping up a very hard year.
Anxiously awaiting the unfolding of a new and (I pray) promising one. The recent brash of violence in the news has put its finishing touches on my depression.

I feel fragile, weathered, pulled tight, a bit like a barbed wire.

 I decided to go back and visit the pictures of a carving my husband recently finished. He was commissioned by a local to carve a female tree spirit rising out of her tree. She met with us. She chose him for the honor of carving. She honored me by suggesting he use me as his model. He made the spirit pregnant (unlike me) with new life rising out of the dying tree. Vine wrapped around her belly, arms raised in praise and protection of all that is natural in the world. She's a bit sad. Aren't we all?

Centering oneself with nature.
Sometimes it's the only way to feel okay.

Friday, December 14, 2012


finding center
dancing without falling
playing, praying, searching
moments overflow with pleasure
crash into each other with such force
finding self upside down and inside out
unable to breathe, unable to find the light
twist and turn, find footing, stand tall and firm
the light above shining down with such love
always there for the taking, just waiting
to be noticed again, grasped again
shines down onto crown
filling you whole
entire soul
lit up

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Today is 12-12-12
In WI that means it's Aaron Rogers Day. (Packers #12)
In Las Vegas it means record wedding day (for luck)
In my house it means less than two weeks until Christmas and I don't have anything done!
Today is a day of cleaning, decorating, shopping and preparing for a few days of baking.

I had no warning that it was going to be a magical number day.
It doesn't feel magical.
I missed all the hype.
I've been too preoccupied with the numbers 12-21-12.
A flip of two numbers and the meaning is entirely changed.
From good luck
the end of the world.
All due to the order of two little digits.

I'm a bit more optimistic than that. 
I see 12-21-12 as the possibility of a new world.

With so many people focusing on the day being the possibility of the end of the world, even if they're not committed to believing it's really going to happen, the date has at least brought about an awareness of the possibility, which gets people thinking about what matters, what they want to change, how precious life is and how very fleeting. There is a movement of spiritual awakening happening across the globe and I believe there are many people focusing on the date as not the end of the world, but the end of the world as we know it. Raising an awareness of "we're all in it together" and "we are all connected". I believe with so much energy focused on one single day (and it has been focused there for some time) there is great potential that all the collected energy could mean big change. My hope it that it is a day of big positive change. The world won't end. Some will be laughing at the silliness of it all which will cover the globe in laughter. Some will be secretly relieved and relax filling the waves with calm happiness. Some will mark it as a day to make positive changes (like a second chance) putting more positive energy out there. It will be a day of Global Positivity and hopefully with enough love and positivity charging up the universe, it will be the first day of a new world. A world of people recognizing just how amazing the world actually is, how precious life is. How good happiness and love feel, and they will want to keep that feeling alive.

Thursday, December 6, 2012



Permission granted, photograph and poem © E. H. Thumm

Soaking away the worries
washing away the tears
leaving behind the hurries
drowning all my fears.

Hot water calming
candlelight fills the room
underwater sounding
comforting like a womb.

Meditation finds me
unsteady feelings relax away
peaceful, calm and free
praying for ease to stay.

Naked, raw and real
it is a moment of truth
sacred space to heal
all the pain of my youth.

~ E. H. Thumm

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hump Day Humor

Holy Crap! 
This is some serious funny!!!
Totally worth the click.
Bah ha ha ha!

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