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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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January 20, 2022

Simplify Your Health Habits

Sometimes I start to lose it. My mind, that is. Eat this, don’t eat that, depending on the podcast of the day. (Or the food fad of the day.) And if

January 13, 2022

How Great Can Today Get?

A colleague of mine made a post-it note to remind her to ask this important question each day. I like it. “How great can today get?” So, w

January 6, 2022

Resolutions vs. Aspirations

Made any? Have any? What’s the difference and why am I even writing about this? New Year’s resolutions are a thing. People make them. Most break t

December 30, 2021

What Color is Your Mood Ring?

I heard a song today that had a line that went something like, “She’s wearing her mood ring and it’s never the same.” Remember the mood rings

December 22, 2021

The Case of the Missing Goat Milk

Last Saturday I made a special trip to the grocery store to purchase a can of evaporated goat milk. I needed it to make my nutroll. Of course, I remem

December 16, 2021

Can You Really Have Too Many Cookies?

Sometimes, yes. It is possible. Perhaps you hosted a festive holiday gathering and overbought or overbaked. Or your guests all had the same hostess gi

December 9, 2021

Holiday Survival Tip: Christmas Cookies vs. Exercise

‘Tis the season of amazing Christmas cookies and so much more.  What’s your mindset these days? A. It’s the holidays so I’ll eat whatever I w

December 2, 2021

She Fell for the Gingerbread Men and Last Call for the Cookie Bake

December. Holidays. Parties. Gifts. Puppies. The commercials and ads portray this as a wonderful, gleeful, joyous time of year. And it is, for a much

November 25, 2021

Last Minute Shopping

As hard as I tried, and as much as I planned, I still ended up at two grocery stores the morning before Thanksgiving. Even the best made plans… Ther

November 18, 2021

5 Tips to be Buffet Savvy

It’s that time of year. Buffets and holiday gatherings abound, and they’re all centered around delicious food and drink. LOTS of food. The setting

Feeling Stormy? Experience Growth!

 

One of the really cool parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…so much.  Like, the warmth of the sun on a summer day in July, and a cool breeze off the Lake.  Or, the soft rain on our skin when we get caught in an April shower, just before the flowers bloom.  We love the feel of happiness, when a day just seems to roll along in the right direction.  Those moments when everything seems at peace in the world, or our world, at least.

One of the toughest parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…too much.  When our child gets hurt in the game and is out for the season or someone makes a remark that cuts through our heart.  Nothing goes our way no matter how hard we try.  Illness zaps our energy and causes every bone in our body to make itself known.  The thunderstorms of life have the potential to drown us. 

So, what do we do?  Such a blessing and a curse, to feel, really feel, life.  Wouldn’t it be sweet to just savor the good parts and let the rest go?  It would, for a while.  But how would a great day in our eyes make itself be known if we didn’t have a less than great day to compare it to?  We would never appreciate what it is to be well, if we are never ill.  And I am absolutely positive that after a few months of winter, I appreciate my crocuses much more than a person who can gaze upon the beauty of fresh blooms all year.

We experience duality for good purpose.  It is the only way we can grow as individuals and become who we are truly meant to be.  Adversity builds character and creates a foundation that has the potential to become unshakeable, if we allow it.  We don’t have to like it, merely embrace it for our good.  Oh, and equally as important, for the good of the next friend we are able to help through the storm. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 NIV

Sometimes All We Can Do is “Be”

 

I recently spent most of my days sitting and “being.”  Reading anything of substance was merely an exercise of moving my eyes across the page.  Nothing would sink into my brain.  I could work puzzles…easy Sudoku and a few crossword.  Even my Bible lessons seemed impossible to figure out.  Hmmm. Perhaps because not every answer is clear cut. 

What I was able to do, besides pray, was be.  And nod off to sleep.  For days and days, I sat at the bedside of my mother as she transitioned to eternity.  She had been an Alzheimer’s patient for over a decade.  Her mind and body would be free at last, while all I could do was be.  Mindless.  Still.    

I recalled the early days of her illness, when it was best to sit together in silence.  Conversation went in circles.  We would simply be.  Together.  And in the final moments of her life, the circle became complete.  When I came into this world, it was the two of us, together.  As she left this world, it was once again, the two of us, together.  All we could do was be.  Still.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10 NIV

Good Times at the Farmhouse

 A couple weeks ago I paid a visit to my Aunt Susie.  She is ninety-four years young, the only remaining child of ten.  We did what ladies like to do, and went out for lunch.  The chicken and noodles we had were not nearly as good as she and her sisters once made, but the comfort food brought back some good memories.  A nice surprise, her son Bruce stopped by while we were enjoying our time together.  He gave me a gift of a drawing he had done of the farmhouse that our parents grew up in. 

Since there had been no pictures to draw the house from, he drew it the way Aunt Susie described.  The farmhouse was a two-story frame with a porch that nearly wrapped around the entire house.  A porch swing was hanging in front of the kitchen window.  A warm light shone from the family room, as that was the center of activity and warmest in winter. 

I listened intently as Aunt Susie described the interior, which room was which, and all the happy stories that came to mind along the way.  She also told me of the difficulties that came about when her father was killed.  She helped raise the youngest siblings as her mother and the older ones went off to work.   

What really amazed me was that in spite of the hardships they endured, she enjoyed growing up when she did with her family and all of its imperfections.  Her memories were happy and I delighted in listening to them come alive through her stories.  Now, if only I could recreate the chicken and noodles that were once made in the farmhouse kitchen…

“The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but the people who have learned to live with those things that are less than perfect.”  James Dobson

When You are Swallowed by Fog…

And you cannot see.  Anything.  Dense, thick, dark fog surrounds you and yes, you feel like you have been swallowed.  Now what?  Fear, anxiety, anger, impatience.  The list goes on. 

The fog may come as illness, depression, addiction, death, abandonment.  We all have been swallowed at one time or another, and sometimes again and again, in different ways.  We wonder, how long will it last?  Will I ever be able to see clearly again?  And if and when I do, when will the fog return?  It is a vicious cycle of despair…unless.

Unless, you find a light!  It may be dim at first, but it brightens.  The light may be a friend who listens in the midst of your fog, an answer to prayer, a stranger who smiles, a song that uplifts, a word of encouragement and praise.  There is plenty of light to clear the fog.

We share so much.  We all experience fog sometime.  We all are light…if we choose to be so.  When we are swallowed by fog, we must have a foundation of trust to know that light will come.  When we are the light, we must choose to shine as brightly as possible, knowing that it is our time to help others through their fog.  And so the cycle repeats.  That is a constant of life.  Thank you to all who have been my light!  My deep gratitude enables me to be light today.  Shine with me, friends! 

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:16 NAB