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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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February 2, 2023

Colorful Cauliflower and Fresher Berries

Interesting what shows up in conversation when a bunch of friends gather. Most recently, this is what happened. “So, have you ever wondered how caul

January 25, 2023

5 Ways to Stop Playing the Comparison Game

We all do it. As human beings, it’s part of our nature. We compare for points of reference. But we don’t have to play the game anymore. If you fin

January 19, 2023

Dining Out Made Simple

We know that home cooking is the healthiest. For starters, we’re not loading our meals with ingredients that we can’t pronounce and preservatives

January 11, 2023

Look for the Bright Spots

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we’ve celebrated the newness of another year. Perhaps you’ve set up some small action steps that lead to a positi

January 5, 2023

5 Ways to Stay Committed to Your Goals

We’re into another year in what seems like a flash. Even if I didn’t look at a calendar, I’d know this. How, you ask? BECAUSE MY PARKING SPOT IS

December 29, 2022

Wishing You a Happy, Healthy 2023

It’s that time of year when we think about starting something new. Perhaps even a resolution. Or three. Here’s a tip: decide on a small daily acti

December 22, 2022

Hachiya, Winter and the Movie

Curiosity got the best of me. This week I tried the heart-shaped Hachiya persimmon fruit.  I allowed it to sit for several days to ensure that it wa

December 15, 2022

Persimmon, Christmas Movies and Compassion

Intrigued by seeing persimmon fruit in the produce section of the grocery store, I decided to be adventurous. The Fuyu variety that I found are about

December 8, 2022

5 Tips to Help Calm Holiday Overwhelm

In conversation, I’m hearing the sentiment of overwhelm from just about everyone. Too much. Too many. Not enough time. Decorations, parties, gift wr

December 7, 2022

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup

Makes about 6 servings    Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil 1 pound bulk Italian sausage (or other ground meat) 1 medi

Lost in the Garden

Why is it the weeds always grow better than the vegetables or the flowers?  I find myself in my small vegetable garden these days, searching for the tomato and pepper plants which are lost among the weeds.  After digging around for what seems like days, I am finally able to identify the good from the bad.  Of course, I manage to uproot a healthy tomato plant in the process.  I am in hopes that my replanting efforts are fruitful, so to speak.

My life feels the same way.  Lost in the duties of each day is my calling, my purpose for existence.  The BIG picture reason for why I am still here.  Every once in awhile, I think I have it all figured out and realize God has a different idea.  So what do I do?  Wait.  Work the tasks at hand each day to see where it all leads, trust, pray.  And wait.  I believe I have plenty of patience at this point in my life and do not need any more lessons in that department.  Still, I wait.

Do any of us ever figure it out, really?   As my son would say, that is a rhetorical question.  And no, I don’t think we ever do.  It just feels good to ask.  So, since it is the growing season here in Indiana, my garden grows.  My weeds grow faster.  Since God implemented the growth of the plants and has that all together, I guess I can rest in the fact that He will grow me at the proper rate as well.  My job is to accept that fact peacefully, and …wait.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11  NIV

 

Smiles on Pansies

This is perfect pansy weather.  Cool.  Recently, I planted some of these unique annuals.  Now is their time.  As soon as mid-June hits, July for certain, these delicacies are finished.  Their color availability makes them perfect companions to the early tulips and daffodils.  And, many of them have faces…smiling faces!

Take a look next time you see a patch of them.  They look back at you, unlike any other flower that I can recall right now.  My older son used to think they had a sinister look about them, but I prefer to think they are happy and welcoming to those visiting the garden. 

My mom taught me to appreciate the pansy.  She always spoke about them in endearing terms when I was young.  We had them in early spring and I was sad when they became miserable and died.  No amount of pruning will bring them back in the heat of July and August.  At least not by my hand.

So until the threat of frost is over, these are the annuals I enjoy.  As the tulips are fading and the peonies are preparing for their glory, my pansies smile at me daily.

Even if you have not been gifted with a green thumb, plant a few so they can smile back at you, at least for today.

My garden is a slow work, pursued with love, and I don’t deny that I am proud of it.”     Claude Monet

 

One of Life’s Difficult Questions…

 

My son, the one who is eighteen, approached me with this question.  “Do you ever feel like you won’t have enough time in your life to do everything you want to do?”  My answer.  “Yes.”

He began to tell me how he has thought of so many things he would enjoy doing in life, then wonders how it will all work out.  I know exactly how he feels.  It is almost as if by the time we think we start to have things figured out, we are in the “second half of life” and hoping for at least a few more years to get it right.  God willing.

The twist is that we need all those “first half of life” experiences, every single one of them, to show us the way.  Some folks may not get to the “second half” stuff, for whatever reason.  Others may arrive a bit sooner.  Our age does not define this.  When we manage to work through the pain of falling, which is the doorway to the “second half of life” we cannot help but be changed.  We then begin to focus on what is most important in life, with no time to waste.  What a blessing! 

How do we live out the second half?  Some ideas:  we are more compassionate, more accepting; our core beliefs are woven into our being and are unshakable; the adventures of each day are just that-an adventure; we live out of our comfort zone more often than not; we are guided more by Spirit than by rules; loss and pain are part of the journey, yet our joy cannot be tampered with.  Just to name a few.   

My young son has a lot of living to do.  I look upon him with compassionate understanding, grateful to be where I am.

There is a deeper voice of God, which you must learn to hear and obey in the second half of life.”             Richard Rohr

May We Never Be Indifferent

 

Today is my birthday.  I am blessed beyond measure and am Living Large.  Friends have been posting birthday wishes on my facebook wall throughout the day.  Many have called or texted me.  I received a few cards in my mailbox and a dear friend treated me to lunch and her company.  Yes, my family remembered as well.  Life is sweet.

So what is there to be indifferent about?  Lots of happenings in our world today are not in line with what would fulfill a great birthday wish, that is, as long as all the candles were blown out.  Harmony on the planet.  Wow!  That is tough to even wrap my head around.  Not meant to be, or it would be.

I recently read a book entitled The Other Face of God by Mary Jo Leddy.  The book club I belong to chose this book.  We finished discussion on the book last night and we all thought it was a great read.  The reason we enjoyed The Other Face of God so much, is because it made us think and question and discuss and be honest with ourselves about the imperfectness in our world.  And what do we do with that?  How do we make a difference?

We first have to realize that we all make judgments on all sorts of events and people and circumstances.  Not good.  We base our judgments on what we know to be true in our foundation.  What we think may not be right or wrong; it is simply how we think.  Trouble comes about when we have to be right at the expense of being a good disciple.  Serving in love, even when it is difficult, is a tall order.  The other side of that is the thinking that nothing I do will make a difference anyway, so why bother?  We can all take small steps to make a difference in someone’s day, to make it a little brighter.  Pay it forward as the saying goes, and expect nothing in return except that warm fuzzy feeling inside that makes us smile.

Do we love each other enough?  How do we even measure such a thing?  Something to ponder, on my birthday.  I have people in my life who love me.  That is awesome!  Guess I had better get busy and make a difference, after I enjoy a piece of birthday cake. 

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”  Edmund  Burke