Friday, September 30, 2016


    Every Family Has A Collector of Family Stories

    Twenty years ago when my mother and aunt were still alive, I started collecting and telling family stories. At that time I was considered too young to be the family story teller simply because there were older relatives, but now I am the last generation. My deceased aunt influenced my desire because she used stories to teach me my religious and ethnic history. She recited them to me even when she knew I wasn't listening. 

  That brings me to my current project. After almost thirty years of living on an island I feel the desire to collect and write the stories of my life on a rock. These years encompassed raising five children, becoming a business owner, a decade of home-schooling, defining and redefining what I could do and what I needed to leave behind. All the while I was encompassed by water, sailing to the mainland weekly to get supplies of whatever I thought I couldn't get at home.
  Join me, please, as tomorrow I set my course to write 31 Days In October- Stories Of Island Living.

Click here to go to the home page where all my stories are listed.

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

When my Stake President, local church leader, asked me to teach Early Morning Seminary my sleeping until dawn ended. No longer would the natural light push me out of bed in the morning. My husband's alarm would become my wake-up call, as well as his. At first the alarm would shock me and leave me gripping the side of the bed in peril. My best dreams happen at 4:00am and always I would struggle to leave the story in my head and recognize the reality that I had six teenagers waiting for me at church in a very short while. 

As the years passed by my early rising became normal. I learned to navigate my house in the dark, stomach food by 5:00, and drive the dark streets of my town. My seminary teaching ended four years ago and lasted eight years. I am now an early morning person, by nature. My favorite time is 4:00am in May and June. The dawn chorus of birds makes me so, so happy. On weekends I allow myself to sleep longer, but I have this deeply ingrained habit. There is much to gain in an early life. Prayer and meditation is soothing and nurturing at that time of day. The dark draws me in and the silence invites me to listen more attentively. I have come far enough that the alarm doesn't need to be set. Conversely, an early bedtime is mandatory.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

31 Days Of October- Stories of Island Living

"Stood off and on during the night, determining not to come to anchor till morning, fearing to meet with shoals; continued our course in the morning; and as the island was found to be six or seven leagues distant, and the tide was against us, it was noon when we arrived there. "
Christopher Columbus

I am writing for 31 Days in October with many other writers. To write everyday is daunting. I know, I did it last October. Last year I reviewed a book by Brené Brown entitled Rising Strong. Each day I shared concepts and principles which were changing my view of my life. This year the goal is bigger. I want to write about my almost 30 years on a island in the Puget Sound of the Northwest. When I arrived here it was normal for the long time residents to call us newcomers. In the summer people came just for the warm months and many who come to stay find their stay cut short. Today I claim to be an old timer. I have been here since 1987.  

   What is it like to live on an island with ferry access only? I hope to answer that question. Betty MacDonald wrote about her life here in Onions In The Stew. She was here in the 1940's but so many of her stories still apply today. I will quote her frequently to highlight my own insights. 

     " Everything on the island grows with insane vigor and you have the distinct feeling, as you leave the dock and start up the main highway, that you should have hire a native guide or at least brought along a machete. Nothing but the assiduous chopping and slashing by the county and the telephone and power companies keeps this jungle from closing up the highways altogether."

                                      The titles will become clickable as they go live.

  1. Moving On
  2. Gathering Supplies 
  3. You Must Be Independent
  4. Moving Inland
  5. Ferry Adventures
  6. Island Wildlife
  7. The Test Of Challenging Weather
  8. My First Island Business
  9. Sunday Reflections
  10. Walks In The Forest
  11. A Bike In The Tree
  12. Island Home Education
  13. Twinkle Lights Everywhere
  14. Island Mail
  15. Island Swingset Music and Movement
  16. Island Church Service
  17. Watching The Sunrise
  18.  The Island Piano Guy
  19. Subscription Bread
  20. Guest Post- Jenni From The Chronicles Of Farnina
  21. Guest Post- A Park Called Nature by Maggie
  22. Guest Post- Island Dying by Andrew
  23. My Early Morning Guests
  24. Last Witness To My Birth
  25. The Island Artist Community
  26. An Island Artist
  27. An Island Gift, Claiming Creativity
  28. Eating From The Farm
  29. Our Island Library
  30. Meditation and Prayer
  31. Mindful Monday Summary

                                                               You can join us here.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mindful Monday- Drive By

“Love makes you see a place differently, just as you hold differently an object that belongs to someone you love. If you know one landscape well, you will look at all other landscapes differently. And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another.” 

I drive by, now and then. This house was the beginning. It was a time of radical change. We moved from the city to an island. More a lark than determined decision, this island is where I have planted roots.

     Our first house sits on a bluff overlooking the water. With widely spaced eyes and a little top hat on the roof, the house has not changed much in all these years. Only two families have lived there since we did. My stay here was short and difficult.  When the tumult and confusion became overwhelming, I came to the swing on the back porch. The beauty saved me. As I invite the long ago moments to come back to my mind, I surrender to the truth that I have a home here on this rock. I never thought we would stay but here we are almost thirty years later.

Coming soon! 31 Days of Writing in October
Stories of Island Living

Friday, September 23, 2016

Five Siblings

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."

- Desmond Tutu

 The number five always brings me to the children I birthed and labored with through their lives. I continue to labor alongside them as they find their place in this life and as they raise new little siblings to populate their own homes.
    I can't help but see them as little boys and girls. Even though only a fourth of their existence was spent in childhood they are imprinted on my soul as little ones. I was barely out of the "little ones" category when I started the journey as mother. These human beings made me grow up, over and over again.

    I remember how they all slept together in one bed even though we had bedrooms a plenty. They mothered each other and fought against each other more than I liked. I failed to understand that my love alone could not make them love each other more. Nothing makes me happier than when they orchestrate time together, even though I get miffed that it doesn't always include me.
   I always think I know them but then they reveal events that happened under my nose. I am appalled! Who was watching these children? Truth be told, they are not entirely mine. They were gifted to me by their Father and Mother who have the amazing capacity to see their whole potential, their whole being in the present, and who remember them in the past as beloved heavenly children.
  I am grateful. When they bestow their love on me I am moved to love them even more.

      Join me in October for 31 Days of Writing-
 Stories of Island Living

  Almost 30 years ago we decided to move to an island. Technically England is an island but our island is very small by comparison. 

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join? 

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Learning New Things

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. 

Steve Jobs

Many say that you learn faster when you are young. I think, the young have less ability to connect experiences of learning new things. I learned to play the piano when I was a child. For more than a decade I practiced the skill of trying new things. Ingrained into my very soul is this creative process:

  • This is awesome
  • This is tricky
  • This is hard
  • I can't do this
  • This might be okay
  • This is awesome 

    When my daughter-in-law gave my son and I a pie making class for a gift I thought "this is awesome". Then when I was rolling out my dough I made the mistake of looking around. NEVER LOOK AROUND AT OTHERS WORK! It catapulted me into the "I can't do this phase." I might have stayed there but I know how the process works. I can synthesize this hard new skill into my past experiences. The pie tasted awesome but truthfully it looked "blah".

    If I can live through the "this is hard, I can't do this stage" learning new things is good. One would think that as we got older we would have fewer new things to learn but alas, it is not true. My aging body forces me to learn new maintenance skills everyday. 

    The name of my blog reinforces the truth that starting back on the floor again is a never ending cycle. A balance act of reviewing old skills and trying new makes life fresh every morning. 

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mindful Monday- Inviting The Moment To Be Sick

There is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before. 

Henry David Thoreau 

  This month I am inviting the moment, not seizing it, but inviting it to bloom. My moment lasted several days as I looked out to my kitchen from the couch. I was sick. First there was the killer sore throat. I hate the uncomfortableness of the raw sensation when swallowing. The upside is trying out new throat lozenges. I may have grown out of the black cherry flavor which I loved as a child.

    Then there is the running nose which is so annoying when you are bending over. I let my nose just run and wore a bib. Sorry, is this too much information? Can't say that having a stuffed up nose is pleasant but I did rejoice when my nostrils had time to breathe free. Every once in a while they would clear and I would recall the joy of breath.
   Reading a great book is a wonderful upside of being sick. I do believe I finished two. They transported me to Canada and Florida where the characters had much more difficult issues that just being sick. And, I joined a new service that runs old and new Hallmark movies. The sugary sweet interchanges were just right for those moments when I invited a short nap. Upon regaining consciousness the characters were still swearing their undying love.
     My energy must be returning because typing this has been most enjoyable. Auf weidersehen sickness. DON'T COME BACK SOON!  

      Join me in October for 31 Days of Writing-
 Stories of Island Living

  Almost 30 years ago we decided to move to an island. Technically England is an island but our island is very small by comparison. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Camping

“How is it that one match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box of matches to start a campfire?” – Christy Whitehead
Our family has only one camping experience. It was in the early eighties when we owned a business called Commodity Computer Services. My husband went out early in the computer world to bring computer information to farmers in the Midwest. To aid his traveling side show, I called it, he purchased a red truck which had floor to ceiling carpet. He was to outfit it like a an office for clients to climb aboard and get the spiel. Before it got fancy my husband suggested we go camping behind Mt. Timpanogus with the kids in the empty, carpeted van. 

Camping with children wasn't our thing. My only experience was church girls camp. As a child from an immigrant family, who survived being refugees after WWII, we did not find camping in a tent appealing. My husband and I went because those four munchkins, above, thought it would be fun. To be honest, I can't remember much except being awake all night while we rolled around the truck. Oh, and I remember trying to keep my children from falling in the fire. 

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

I'm Teaching Young Children In Church, Again

“Children will follow your example. You are always teaching, even when you are not aware of it. You often teach more by your attitude and example than by your words. For example, children will notice whether you treat the scriptures respectfully. They will observe how you speak about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They will watch how you live the principles you are teaching."

I bring my ideas from three years ago to teach these new 6-7 year old children. I want them to know how much I love the scriptures so every week we have a scripture experience related to the lesson.

The skill of finding a scripture is paramount and building confidence in that skill is my goal. Step one is having scriptures for each child. Step two is isolating two to three scriptures from the reading block that are simple and relevant to both the child and the lesson. I stick a piece of removable highlighter tape under the scripture when thy find it. That makes it visible on the page.

I'm also back to making journals and working on a page every week. Doing lesson journaling fits well with the suggestions below from the Primary Resources Page.

"Make a paper chain. Make road signs. Make class banners. Make salt dough figures. Draw a picture. Make bookmarks. Write an incomplete statement about the doctrine on the board.  Invite the children to look for important words or phrases from the scriptures and teachings of latter-day prophets that could complete the statement."

Foldables are a favorite journaling technique. The lesson on telling the truth  was well suited to using a hot dog shaped foldable with the honesty train as the principle. The engagement was glueing and reading.

The week before I taught them about tithing and using a small pop up element in their journals.

  My favorite so far has been the obeying laws journal entry. We used the street signs to play stop and go singing. Obeying my metronome was an added element of fun.

    Want to know more about pop up foldables? I did a pretty good tutorial here. I actually had to use this tutorial to remember myself. I won't deny how much I like teaching every week. It is my passion and I hope I never tire of wanting to do better.

Friday, September 16, 2016


    Words from May-
              The world is still quiet at 4:45 am. Today I am meditating on bird songs. I completely relax and allow my ears to ready themselves for the eventual "dawn chorus". First the sound is far away and then a young dapper robin opens with gusto. He announces that he has survived the night and is by far the most able, handsome, musical fellow anywhere. He has some competition but each time he rises in a more fevered pitch. 

     Oh how I miss the  Dawn chorus. I am throwing out a few ideas about listening which I contemplated in May. Sounds from nature provide a perfect resting point for the mind. When you are listening to nature you are present.
      Music is another entree in the feast of life. Here are a few suggestions I use when I take time to listen.
  1. Listen to music as foreground 
  2. Notice how music makes your body feel
  3. Listen to an entire album, instead of a play list of many different types of music. 
  4. Be aware of dynamic changes and the emotions coming through the pieces.
        Carefully listening to a conversations is a challenge for me. When I discussed this with a health professional recently she encouraged me to change my perspective.
She assured me that it is part of being human to listen with an ear for how the conversation affects us. What is in this conversation for me? Why not use that tendency and tweak the motivation to assert that this conversation has something important for me to hear and listen for that information. The speaker becomes important to us and our attention moves more genuinely to the speaker.
If we were talking together right now I would want to know what ideas you have on the subject. 
Do you listen to be heard or do you listen to hear?

 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Hair

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record  memoir moments. If you don't write your story, who will?

Ninth grade graduation was the first time to go to the beauty salon. My mom always cut her own hair and so I made the appointment by myself. I wanted an up do with cascading ringlets down the back. As I left the salon I looked strange in jeans and the poofy hair. It made me look mature, like a woman, not a fifteen year old. 

               Hair was problematic for me in the later 60's. We all wanted hair like Cher, of Sonny and Cher, long, straight and no curl. My long hair had wave so I slept on horrible curlers to get the right look. Juice cans were just the right width. Pop the lid out of the end and wash them, of course, and instant curlers. However, there was a price to pay. No comfort allowed in the pursuit of fashion,
               The dress was an original Marta, my mother, and she used the prettiest lace on the sleeves. What would I say to this sweet fifteen year old. Don't listen to the social rules concerning your body. You are just right the way you are. And please, comfort is paramount in the years ahead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mindful Monday- Sit And Know You Are Sitting

    This month I am "inviting the moment" as often as I remember. Some of that entails sitting and knowing that I am sitting. We might call that being grounded. A definition of grounded is mentally and emotional stable: admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious. I think I'll settle on the mentally and emotionally stable. The picture below is an example of what my mind looks like sometimes. The dishes are not ordered and seem ready to slip away. 

                           They are not grounded

   A day ago while standing in a line at the bank, I watched a new teller interact with customers. He perched himself on a stool slightly askew, hunching forward to see the computer screen. Every few seconds he looked behind him and over to the side at the other tellers. When I arrived at the desk he delayed making eye-contact with me, taking my paper work and sorting through it. Suddenly, he thrust his hand over the desk and said, "I'm Michael, how are you?" Without waiting for a reply, he continued sorting and looking around. My thought was that this experience was making him feel very ungrounded. I introduced myself and forced him to make eye-contact. He smiled back thinly. 
   Being grounded means placing our weight evenly. If we are sitting, it is sitting deliberately and feeling our place, in the moment. Present moment awareness slows down our mind. It invites breath to slow our heart. In those seconds we know we are sitting, or standing, or lying down. It brings us back to "now."
    I had a moment yesterday at the piano. While teaching my left hip felt a sudden pain. I invited a moment to regain my groundedness. I actually said in my mind, "sit and know you are sitting." This provided space for me to adjust my posture which was compromising my left side. I came back to my student in just seconds but with a more grounded mental and physical state. 

               Invite the moment to come back to now

  This month I am being more mindful of the moment. It is part of my year long exploration of mindfulness. You can read more about my Year of Mindfulness here.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Decisions

Do We Stay In The Suburbs Or Move To An Island?

  It was 1987 and the company we worked for sold out to a bigger entity. Our job was not needed so we were without work. The lease on our house was up. We had nowhere to live. After a few months of living with kind friends we had to make a decision. Would we stay in the suburbs or do something adventuresome, like move to an island? The positives were we had friends who already lived on one, yes there were a few to choose from, and they coaxed us to try it out. The rent was cheaper on this rural island. The schools seemed good; there was one elementary, one middle school and one high school. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

   The negatives were, it was ferry access only. Ferry fare was expensive for a family of seven. Ferry schedules determined when you could leave and when you could come home. Island living had less choices, two small stores, one small theater, everything closed down at 9:00 o'clock, and no Target. 
   We made a choice to try surround water effect. It was only a trial. I anticipated moving back to the mainland at some point. Jump ahead to now and it is almost thirty years later. This island has had a profound effect on my life. In fact I will be doing a 31 Days of Writing project in October to record "Stories of Island Living"

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record some memoir moments.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Missing

Some things go missing out of neglect while others are missing because of great need.

    When Mark asked me to marry him he reached into his pocket and produced a jewelry case too big to be a ring. As I opened the lid I saw a delicate gold chain with a British Sovereign set in a gold ring. I admit I was just a tad bit disappointed. But I was marrying a non-conventional man. He explained that this coin was purchased years before and it was intended for the woman he would marry. I told my parents that I received a "ring around the collar."

   On our wedding day when the officiator asked him if he had a ring he produced a beautiful star sapphire surrounded with 12 small diamonds. I loved that ring, but somehow, somewhere, it disappeared in the first few years of our marriage. I remembered it was on the kitchen window sill while I did the dishes. I was bereft. I searched even asking Mark to take apart the kitchen drain.
   I still had the "ring around the collar". That phrase came from a laundry stain remover which claimed to remove those unsightly rings on the collar of shirts. Our business failed in the early nineteen eighties. We had no income for many months. My gold coin necklace paid the rent. My missing symbols of commitment are gone but my marriage is intact. There have been new rings and a new necklace. Things that go missing remind us to seek with the expectation of finding. What we find can be of more value than what we lost.

"Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
                                                                Luke 15:8


"Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal. fixing that which you broke and cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ..."
                                         Elder Boyd K Packer

    My knives were exceptionally sharp. I was cutting carrots for soup. The tip pierced the skin on my finger. I ignored it until I was doing the dishes in hot water. A sharp throbbing pain brought my hand out of the water to investigate. It was the size of a mustard seed but the skin was gone and it was too sensitive to ignore. For three days I was reminded of the wound. Then on the forth I rubbed gently alongside my finger. A ridge of new skin was tender but now closed. The healing power of the body is simply amazing.

   But, some wounds just don't heal. The pain washes over us again and again. We can't let it go and so we bandage. Bandaging protects our hearts from repeating the same mistake but it cannot heal. So, how is it done? How does Christ take our pain? I wish I had the words. His balm spreads relief in every crevasse. The air in his presence allows us to inhale faith. Wth the breath of faith we can exhale hope. He offers us space to abide with him in charity, which is His love and his domain. 
  He holds the scars of his sacrifice but they pain him no longer. They exist to show the length, and breath, and vastness of his love.


   I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mindful Monday- Invite The Moment

                                        Carpe Diem

    I wanted to entitle this month's mindfulness pursuit "seize the moment", but seizing sounded too controlling. Really it is about inviting the moment to bloom by giving it full attention. 

   Making art is a portal to inviting the moment. It begins when I look at papers and choose patterns that like being close to each other. With each random tearing, a puzzle emerges where the pieces intertwine and cozy up to each other. There comes a moment when the papers seem balanced and I know to stop.

   It seems that one color rises up to become most important. In this piece the color was called Chipped Sapphire. Using this color so predominately invited a second color to come forth as contrast. The peachy, beige tones harmonized with the patterned paper. By painting a third of the painting with a lighter color I invited serenity.

   Words are usually part of my art. Whether they are hand lettered, stenciled, or stamped, there is beauty in words as well as a message. My eyes just naturally go to words on a painting. They continually remind me and buoy me up.

             Wisdom is a word that swirls around in my head lately. She comes from a quiet place. Therefore choosing to let her speak is important. She will not speak from a reactive place so I try to be grounded. That is hard for me and requires practice. I love that the Old Testament refers to wisdom as a woman. Remember how Solomon knew the heart of the real mother when he suggested cutting the child in half? He was using the feminine intuition from which  wisdom springs. What he suggested was not logical or reasonable but he knew he could appeal to the mother's love and she would give up her child rather than see it come to harm.

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of thy mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee; love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."
                                                               Proverbs 4:5-7 

    This month I am being more mindful of the moment. It is part of my year long exploration of mindfulness. You can read more about my Year of Mindfulness here.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Age Eight

                                Do you remember rick-rack?

    All women sewed. At least the women that lived around me. I can still feel the corduroy fabric of my dress and the contrasting rick-rack decoration. My doll often had a similar outfits. Wearing an apron was vital as washing in the the wringer washer was hard work. What I wore on Monday was Tuesday's outfit and if I was careful Wednesday's as well. The aprons were not plain but had piping around the waist and pockets. I was well dressed but not from the store which still seemed acceptable when I was eight. My mother fixed my hair and we had a plethora of bows, barrettes, and headbands. 

    I was a bit spoiled, being the only girl. But I had fears. I was terrified that one day I would be abandoned, left at the grocery store or forgotten at church. No real experience informed my fears yet their grip kept me always planning how to manage on my own. I longed for a sister to share my inner world. For a while I had my niece close by who became my playmate. She was patient with my bossiness.

    My grandmother died a few years later but when I was eight she often stayed overnight with us. I had to give her my room when she stayed and I slept on the couch. The living room faced an apartment house and I did not like looking in other people's windows. When I complained once about my grandmother taking my room she overheard. The next day she gave me five dollars to rent my room. I felt ashamed and sorry for my ungenerous spirit.
   By the time I was eight I could speak German and English. I was reading English and my mother was tutoring me in reading German. The vowel sounds confused me the most. While English had A, E, I, O, U, the German sounds were AH, Eea, Eee, O, Oooh. My little brain would switch the sounds depending on where I was reading. The second grade teacher asked my mother to stop teaching me German reading but she refused. It turned out fine in the end. There would always be a dicotomy between my German home life and the American world outside. But that remains for another story.

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record some memoir moments.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Birthdays

    Can you celebrate birthdays even after death?

    I have been thinking of my mother a great deal. It is one hundred and six years since she was born. A bracelet I inherited from her has been encircling my arm everyday. From the warmth of my arm and fingers smoothing over the engraved filigree the bracelet is more and more shiny. When your parents are dead their birthdays still stay etched in time. I like to think that they count the years since they came to earth up in heaven, still. 

   My cousin shared a sweet story about my mother with me this week. She met up with her at the 1953 Spring General Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. My cousin Ruth showed my mother her brand new daughter, born just weeks before. Ruth was in her early twenties and this was her second child. My mother, her aunt, was forty-three and that day she confided in her niece that she was also pregnant. After twelve years, and three boys, she was going to have another baby in October. That was me. I like to think I was a really terrific surprise. 

  I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record some memoir moments.

The Inner Path

It is not so much what happens in the sitting, it is the wisdom that arises from knowing where my mind and heart are on the inner path.

There is a wisdom that develops when I practise mindfulness meditation. Why just yesterday, I noticed a strong feeling of aversion to doing errands in the car. The constant in and out, standing in line, and making wise decisions about using my money was irritating to me. Because I sometimes feel that irritation while I'm sitting, I noted that this was aversion. Just saying that to myself diffused the feeling. Why? Because taking note of what is going on in the mind brings you into present moment awareness. I checked on my breath and scanned for tense places in my body and regained my composure.

     Walking this inner path has made my prayer life more consistent. I would never think of logging the minutes I spent in prayer, but I do log the minutes I spend in meditation. I log the time to stay accountable for at least 30 minutes a day. So there I am, quiet and ready. When I meditate I feel God's presence. Consequently I turn to Him naturally because I have space for him both physically, in my office, and mentally because I am training my mind to stay in the present moment. I have this notion that He exists in the present moment. The inner path has made the outer path of Christianity more powerful.

"O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road."
                                                         2 Nephi 4:32


   I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join?