Tag Archives: family

Time Treads on Steadfast and Silent Feet

Time treads on steadfast feet.  It never changes its pace, but continues on, unchanging and unbending to the world.

It doesn’t speed up through pain, loss, or grief. You can’t fast-forward through circumstances you cannot change and must endure.  You can’t freeze a moment to  embrace the love, joy, and peace.

We learn to use those moments wisely, enduring the pain and storing up the joy as those moments continue to march into an unknown future.

Florence Brainard funeral 025

Time treads on silent feet.  There is little warning of what the next moment will hold.  One moment a loved one is breathing, the next moment they aren’t. Then, we’re appalled that time dares to continue on, when our hearts are frozen with grief.  Moments painfully unfold without the presence of that loved one.

Time treads on supine feet.  It’s neither wise nor foolish, happy nor sad.  It doesn’t cause or heal pain.  How you use your time makes it your friend or foe, it’s a commodity for you to use wisely. 

In 2013, as with many families, we suffered sorrows and joys.  Just before Christmas, we buried my beloved 99 year-old Grandma.  Three months prior, one set of cousins buried their mother, another set buried their father. Even though we gathered with broken hearts, there was joy in being together, in comforting one another, and in renewing relationships.

Everything Has Its Time
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

3 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

We’ve been given the gift of time, a new year to face with hope.  What will you do with your gift? Use it wisely, because time treads on silent and steadfast feet.

Where Does Your Inspiration Come From?

Inspiration is a movement of soul, a force that brings change, strength, creativity, or peace.

Inspiration wakens the tired mom  for the third time during the night with love.

Inspiration strengthens and encourages the cancer patient through treatment.

Inspiration  commutes with the desk jockey to impact business day, after day, after day,  with tenacity and integrity.

Inspiration  discovers, conquers, creates, and invents.

Inspiration survives, endures, embraces, and forgives.

Inspiration  keeps us going




Inspiration doesn’t merely breathe, it inhales and savors. It embraces and creates moments, it doesn’t only endure them.

Inspiration draws from the spiritual, mental and physical sources to cope with life’s joys and sorrows. It isn’t only for artists, it fills a simple, ordinary life with artistry.

When inspiration fails, we drudge along life’s obligatory path without passion for the work of our heart and hands.

Life without inspiration is a dark, dreary world, with a colorless rainbow and songless birds. They’re vague images and sounds, instead of touch points to the soul that press you on toward an abundant life.

You don’t live without inspiration, you exist.

Where does inspiration come from?

Family   Nobody loves you like family. It goes without saying that nobody drives you crazy like family, but underneath family drama is often a deep-rooted, comfortable love. Sitting and sipping coffee with my parents and siblings is a ritual that calms my heart and strengthens me anew.

Friends   One of our greatest needs is a secret-keeping friend. You can always find someone to shop with, but rare is a heart and soul friendship where trust allows you to hold nothing back.

Inspiration with person

Fresh Air    More than filling your lungs with scientifically needed oxygen, we need the source, whether you climb a mountain or watch leaves fall.  Stop and smell the roses isn’t just a cool line from a country song. Creation stirs up creativity and hope, even in a small dose.

Fun    I didn’t think being a grown-up would be so hard.  I pictured staying up late and eating my desert first, not paying bills, worrying and working.   Kids have fun, grown-ups remind themselves to have fun.  Play a game.  Swing. Declare a Nerf gun war.  Ride your grocery cart to the car.  (It’s fun!  Just don’t crash.) When laughter loosens your tightly wound rubber bands, the  doors to creativity and hope fly open.

Faith   What’s more inspiring than measuring the Savior’s love by the distance between His nail pierced hands?  He understands family stress, His abandoned Him while He was on the cross.  He understands physical suffering, He was scourged and then crucified.  He understands poverty, He had no place to lay His head. His endurance is more than our inspiration, it’s our strength and salvation.

Are you feeling burdened and overwhelmed by circumstances you can’t change? Are grown-up responsibilities stealing your joy and creativity?

Mindy on beach get inspired

Renew your body, soul and spirit with whatever brings you inspiration. Make your own list.  Set your own goals. Put yourself on your calendar.  Bring little bursts of inspiration into your life daily.  Start embracing, stop enduring.  Life shouldn’t be drudgery.

And while you’re at it, you might as well eat your desert first.



When Inspiration Becomes a Distraction


When I started getting serious about writing, I utilized all my senses to inspire my writing. I figured I needed all the help I could get.


Sight: I love sitting next to water or mountains to write.  That isn’t always practical. I use pics of places I love, pics of family, quotes and verses of inspiration on my walls.

Hearing: Music of praise and hope can inspire words to fly from the heart to the screen. 

Touch: Hubby bought me a padded office chair.  I have a soft lap blanket for warmth.

Smell: My clove-studded orange is on heat vent. 

Taste:  True confession, I reward myself with treats when I write well.  True confession, I inspire myself to write well by rewarding myself with a treat before I write.

Others may munch on chips, popcorn or cookies.

Not me.

I love me some candy.

I don’t need a lot, just a few nibbles.  A bag or box can last me a long time.

In fact, candy inspires me so much, when I was at a grocery store with bins of candy — yes, I’m sure there is part of Heaven that will look just like this aisle — I bought special encouragement.


Don’t these motivate you to greatness?  I’m sure gummies could inspire classics to be written. Sweet, not sour, never-ever-ever sour gummies. Sweet gummies taste like more.

That’s why I bought them, to write an inspiring  blog post.

Just for you.

‘Cuz that’s what I love to do, write. I write my guts out, after I stuff my guts with candy.


When I bought the W-R-I-T-E gummies, I also bought gummies for this vintage bowl.  Isn’t it just lovely?  Doesn’t it just NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to hold something  sweet in my office?

But when I started taking pics of my inspiring candy for my inspiring blog post, I realized I had forgotten a few stashes.

Just a few.


Like the stash in this drawer. I was hiding the Christmas presents my husband was given at work.  I love those work gifts, one year he was given so many treats, I hardly baked.

Nuts are good for you.  So is dark chocolate.  So don’t judge me, k?


I forgot about this stash. I love this tiny enamel pot.  We found it in an old shed on the Olson farmstead our family bought in North Dakota in 1977.


I kinda forgot about this stash, too. It’s hidden behind a tiny dresser.  Hubby celebrates Valentine’s Day from the day they start selling stuff until they clearance it out.  He knows I love hearts and chocolate and red, so it’s a no-brainer, doncha’ think?

But, since my kids like to take a bite out of EACH AND EVERY chocolate in the box, I hafta’ hide them.  It’s no fun biting into a chocolate with teeth marks, unless they’re yours, of course.


These sat in front of me for so long, I forgot they was there. How can you forget caramels? Nice, sweet. delicious, caramels. So, oohey-gooey they stick to the wrapper. The finger-lickin’ good candy that reminds me I should keep a small container of baby wipes in my office, too. No wonder my keyboard is always sticky.


Now this stash is necessary.  I don’t want my family to smell chocolate on my breath!

When I forget the breath mints, they all come in my office to invade my stash. They’re not here because they miss me, no sirree, but I like to tell myself they love their sweet ol’ mommy more than the fodder for her sweet tooth.

When my teenage son said, “Mom, I was gunna’ say you’re gunna’ write yourself into a workout video, but that would be insulting,” I realized my INSPIRATION was  becoming a DISTRACTION. I became Pavlov’s dog, drooling every time I sat down at my computer.

I was gaining weight;  the friend that leans over my belt to sit on my lap when I write was a bit larger.  If anything is going to grow, it needs to be my brain, not my belly. I shared my tasty inspiration with my family and evaluated what inspiration really worked for me.

Anything we use to INSPIRE ourselves…coffee, movies, books, naps, music, social media, snacks…can end up DISTRACTING us from the work we set out to do.

Whether we need to clean the house, make a meal, finish the laundry or…..sorry, had to eat that Almond Joy calling my name.

                              HAS BECOME A

1.  Does your inspiration decrease productivity? Are you doing this instead of the task you were inspiring to complete?

2. Do others notice your obsession?  Ahem.  Like your family. Or your mirror.

3. Does it produce a mood or feeling opposite of the one you need to work?

4.  Does it affect your ability to focus on your work?

5.  Has your inspiration created a dependency so you think you can’t work without it?

I In the end, it isn’t about tricks we use to inspire, it’s about hard work.  Can we hunker down and work hard enough to complete a task at hand?

Cuz ya’ know what?

That’s truly inspirational.

Making your home sing Mondays

City-Slickin’ Redneck Vacation

My husband and I grew up in the upper Midwest,
married and stayed, mostly living in the country.

We hunted, camped, fished, gardened and daily performed other self-sufficient practices.

We wore tennis shoes, jeans and t-shirts almost every day,
except Sunday.
This uniform was even office wear.
If you wore buttons and shoelaces that weren’t white
you were considered dressed up.

Ya’ know, we had that  total
Redneck and Lovin’ It Thang
going on.


The Lord has a sense of humor and moved us to
a large city  in the Pacific Northwest eight years ago.


So, I don’t mind wearing high heels to the grocery store,
and my hubby now owns dress slacks AND matching socks,
he rocks the socks, I tell ya’,
but there’s still a little bit of Redneck left in us.

That’s why I’ve coined the term
City-Slickin’ Redneck.
We are styling both these worlds with our looks and our lives.

Eight years later, we  still aren’t in the habit of reserving a
camping site 9 months ahead of time
at one of those well-groomed, fakey camping places.
Who in the world plans their life that way?
Other than all the bajillion people that live out here, that is.

This Memorial Day, we dun did us some
City-Slickin’ Redneck Camping.


For the City-Slicking part,  we procured some fine cuts of beef
and some organic ‘shrooms for our main cuisine.
(For you Rednecks that haven’t slicked to the city,
that word cuisine just means food.)


Anybody nicknamed “Bubba” is automatically a
so this grandson ate a tube steak.
A Redneck one at that, because I don’t think it
was free-range, organic, nitrate/nitrite free.


The theme of our weekend wasn’t that we had an
astounding plan that thrilled and amazed everyone.

The plan was just to
be together.

We had a long year of suffering, grief and loss.
There was a huge need to celebrate the simple things,
like family, green grass, new books, endless cups of coffe,
and love so deep words aren’t always needed.

The simple plan met simple needs and wants.

We all like to eat.
We all like to relax.
We all like to stare at a fire
and giggle about past family experiences.

Think our campsite looks a little suspicious?

You’re so smart.
That’s the Redneck part of our celebration.
Yea, this IS our backyard.

Urban Camping,
another phrase I invented, is amazing.

I didn’t have to make a reservation,
pay a fee,
fill the cooler,
air out the sleeping bags,
test the air mattresses,
(Random trivia, name that movie!)

I simply started a fire in the early afternoon,
grabbed a book,
and began relaxing.
Gradually, the rest of the family was drawn to the scene,
especially when the food arrived.

When the fire was doused,
we all crawled into our OWN comfy beds.
Ya’ know, the kind that don’t have to be rolled up in the morning?

We woke up when we wanted to,
not when the bad camping neighbors cut through
our campsite on the way to the bathroom.

We didn’t have to fight I-90 traffic back into suburbia,
wishing more people had stayed home for the weekend.

And the next morning we….

….your gunna’ hafta’ wait to hear what

 the City-Slickin’ Rednecks

made for breakfast…

I’ll give ya’ a hint…..

ya’ need tu drink a lot of coffee…

and keep the can.