Words. Wisdom. Wellness.
Hello, Beautiful Soul!
I am so glad that you are here.
I hope that my Soul Reminders help you
connect more deeply to God so that you
know your purpose,
you live your truth,
and you love yourself.
It is an honor and a joy to write them for you.
Jennifer, I'd like to ask you...
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.”
This morning, when the earth was still wet with dew, I walked out into the garden. The sunflowers by the fence stared expectantly towards the east, waiting for the sun—waiting to turn their pedaled heads to follow her as she marched across the sky. “I want to be like them,” I whispered to God. “I want to turn my face to you and follow you every day.”
“I’d like that,” God said.
“I may need some help,” I confessed. “I’m often distracted, stuck in my ego.”
“I sent my Son to help you. His love will light your way to me.”
I sat down on the wooden bench under the pear tree and listened to the sounds of God’s creation waking up, feeling Christ’s spirit stirring in my heart. I lifted my face to my Father and for a moment, was overcome by the sweetness of His love for me. Unexpected tears of gratitude made their way down my face. I sat there for a long time, in the quiet of the morning, in the warmth of God’s gentle embrace.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“You’re back at it,” God admonished me this morning. “You’ve taken the reigns again.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” I said.
“Why can’t you let me do the work?” He asked.
“Stop. Be still. Allow me to do the work. I’m God, after all.” I could hear the smile in His voice. “Be still and you’ll experience my power.”
“You’re right. I’ll never know your power if I keep taking charge,” I agreed.
“Thanks for the reminder,” I said. “I’ll do my best to be still; to let you do the work.”
“Thanks for letting go of the reigns,” God said, and He winked and tipped His hat at me.
“…a time to be born and a time to die…”
I’ve shared this quote before. It is so transformative that I share it again with you.
“You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realizing this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude. Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.”
— Jeff Foster
“And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.
He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.”
Walking the garden, in temperatures so warm as to be almost overbearing, I noticed several zucchinis ripe for the picking. Only a few weeks ago, they were tiny starts, pushing up from seed. In the warmth of the summer sun, they had grown considerably.
“They look good,” God said.
“Thank you,” I said, then realized the silliness of those words. “Thank you. I didn’t do anything other than put the plants into the ground. They are doing what you designed them to do.”
“You are right. Everything I created is designed to grow,” God said. “It’s built into all life.”
I walked over to the tomato plants, some so heavy with unripened fruit that their branches rested on the ground. “I’ll stake those when it’s cooler out this evening.”
“They’ll appreciate that,” God said.
I walked, in awe of the plants doing what God intended for them to do. “Help me to grow as you intend,” I prayed. “Help me to blossom into who you want me to be.”
“Keep opening your heart to love and you’ll bloom magnificently,” God replied as He reached down and took my hand in His. We walked the rest of the garden together, in the warmth of the sun and His abiding love.
“God is spirit…”
“I’ve been wanting to ask you a question, God, but I don’t know if you’ll be offended,” I said as I climbed onto the porch swing.
“Try me,” God said.
I got settled in and gave the swing a gentle push to start it swaying. “I love you and I trust you, but I don’t know what you are. So that’s my question. What are you?”
“That’s a good question,” He answered. “And I’m not offended. I don’t have a body, even though people speak of me as if I do. I’ve been described as spirit and as love—the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. I’m all of those things but more than those things. I am God.”
“Yes, I know you are God. I am not questioning that. I’m questioning what you are made of.” I explained.
“You don’t have the capacity to understand what I am,” God said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I made you that way. if you could fully understand me, you’d not appreciate the world I created for you. You’d not be pleased by the beauty of the sunset, or take delight in the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm. You’d not be able to fully enjoy the miracle of birth or appreciate the profundity of death. You’d not be happy here on earth if you were able to fully understand me. So instead, you understand me through what I’ve created for you,” God explained.
“Will we ever be able to understand you fully?” I asked.
“No. But when you leave your body and return home, you’ll experience my love more fully than you do now,” God said gently. “When that happens, you won’t question what I am. You’ll be happy to simply bath in my Light and in my Love.”
I allowed the swing to come to a stop and I closed my eyes. I sat there, still, in the quiet of the late afternoon and appreciated that God was there with me, even if I was not able to fully understand what God is.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
~2 Timothy 1:7
I sat in the quiet of the rising sun, out in my garden. I prayed and pondered my life, thinking of all of the many twists and turns it had taken.
“You aren’t your story,” God said. “You are not the events that have taken place in your life,” God answered. “You are more than a mom, a coach, a sister, a daughter, a woman who has been abused or hurt. You are more than a person who stopped drinking. You are more than a person who had a brain injury and lost everything. You aren’t even your name. You aren’t Jennifer.”
“I’m not? Then who am I?”
“You are not a who. You are a what,” God said gently. “Instead of getting lost in the story you tell yourself about who you are you, think about what you are. You are a part of my creation. Your true nature is far greater than anything that has, or ever will, happen to you. Drop the stories. Then, drop the storyteller. Let your consciousness expand beyond the boundaries you’ve created. Remember what you are.”
“That may take me some time and effort,” I said. “I’m not used to thinking in those terms.”
“I’m here to help you,” God said. A songbird lifted her voice to the morning. I turned my face to the heavens and closed my eyes. I did my best to forget who I am and to just be what I am. For a moment, I was at peace, no longer bound to my story. I was fully connected to God.
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
“Why can’t my life be easier, you know, business as usual?” I complained as I was climbing into bed after a long day.
“It was never business as usual for my Son,” God answered. “He bucked the establishment.”
“What do you mean?”
“Jesus often talked about how hard it was for a rich man to enter my kingdom—you know—the camel and eye of a needle thing,” God said. “And don’t forget that He chased the money changers out of my house.”
“I remember reading about that,” I said.
“He bucked the religious establishment, too. He healed on the Sabbath because people were more important than the law. He was a rebel. If you want to follow Him, you’ll have to be a bit of a rebel yourself.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“You’ll have to rebel against the social norms that want you to believe that the number of digits in your bank account is what makes for success. Also, If you follow my Son, you’ll have to rebel against the idea that some people aren’t worthy of your love. You’ll also have to rebel against the idea that you are better than the sick, the poor, or the downtrodden. You’ll have to rebel against your ego which wants you to believe that you are more important than others, or that life should go your way all the time,” God said. “My Son taught that the Kingdom of God is found within, beyond the ego, beyond the self, all the way down into the soul. You’re already on the right track. Keep going. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it. For it is only when you access my Kingdom, that you’ll truly be at peace.”
“I’ll do my best to follow In your Son’s footsteps and not complain about the cost, knowing I’ll gain your Kingdom,” I said as I pulled up the blanket around me and settled my head onto my pillow.
“Sweet dreams, Sparrow,” God whispered, and turned off the light.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus knew we had become hardened to the mystery and delights of life. He told us we had to change—that we needed to be childlike, full of curiosity and wonder. Children are receptive—teachable. They don’t have anything to prove. They haven’t built up walls to keep love out. They unabashedly plow headlong into their feelings and explore their boundaries. And, they play.
Adults, on the other hand, are often closed off. We think we know all we need to know; we aren’t very teachable. And, we have trust and intimacy issues. How much better our lives would be if we allowed the walls we’ve built to come down. How much better our lives would be if we became more curious, more open to exploring how we feel and how others feel. Imagine too, how good life could be if we could do as Jesus instructed and became more childlike. Think how freeing that could be! We could play more, instead of worrying.
Why don’t you knock on God’s door and ask Him to come out and play? See what good fun the two of you can get into.
“Love never dies.”
~1 Corinthians 13:8
I sat in the rose garden at the park. It was approaching sunset and I should have been on my way home. But something called me to stay—I don’t know—an intuition? In a few minutes, a man and a woman walked slowly towards the bench next to me. They were well advanced in years. The woman helped the man sit down; he leaned his weight on her for balance. He grimaced as if he were in pain.
“What will you do when I’m gone?” the man asked the woman once they had sat down.
“Don’t you worry about that,” she hushed him. I glanced over and saw her take his hand in hers.
“We’ve hardly spent a day apart, in all of these years.” The old man was crying. I heard the woman start to cry, too.
“Hardly a day,” she agreed.
“I can’t imagine leaving you,” he whispered.
“I won’t be far behind. I’ll catch up, don’t you worry,” the woman said. I glanced over again and saw the man lean his head onto her shoulder. She reached up and touched his face so gently that it brought tears to my eyes. “I love you, Wally,” she said.
“I love you, Millie,” the man said softly. I knew that I had lingered to witness the love between the two of them. I got up and wiped the tears from my eyes. As I walked home God whispered in my ear, “Love never dies.”
“I know,” I said. “Because you never die.” When I got home I sat in my own garden under the last few rays of the setting sun and gave thanks for the years I’ve spent on this earth and for all of the people I’ve loved. I’ll carry them with me forever.
“I have made the earth, and created man upon it: my hands, have stretched
out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.”
I was frustrated. A part of my life felt out of balance—out of control. Even though I had worked hard to improve it, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. “I’m fed up, God,” I said as I walked through my garden to pick vegetables.
“I’m pretty busy managing all the complexities of the universe, but I’ve got time for you,” God said. “What’s troubling you, child?”
I walked the rows of squash bushes and poured my heart out to God. When I was finished He said, “I’m setting things into motion for you to be happy.”
“I hope so,” I sighed. “It’s hard to see that when things are falling apart.”
“They aren’t falling apart, they are falling into place,” God said gently. “It’s all going to work out in your favor.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
God chuckled. “If I can create the heavens and the earth and hold together the universe, I can certainly manage your life and all its details.”
“Well, now that you put it that way, I see your point,” I said. I reached down and picked a beautiful zucchini and placed it in the basket I carried. A hawk flew overhead, calling out to the earth below. I shielded my eyes with my hand and looked up towards the sun to see it. I watched its wings gracefully cut through the air as it went on its way. I thought of Jesus’ words: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
God reached down and lovingly tousled my hair. I stood for a moment in His gentle breeze and felt my life settle into a sense of peace, knowing that God was orchestrating my life for the better.