Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Inspirational story about happiness

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

And with a smile, she said: “Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred
2. Free your mind from worries
3. Live simply
4. Give more
5. Expect less


Isn't this an inspirational story??? Read this on Facebook tonight and I knew that I wanted to share this with my audience. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blueberry Crisp




This Blueberry Crisp is a mouth full of joy, tastes better than it looks and totally gluten-free. Recipe found on page 26 in Bread & Wine written by Shauna Niequist.  I learned that serving it ala mode with french vanilla ice cream is the best and you can even eat it cold the next morning with yogurt. I followed the recipe mostly but only used 3 cups of blueberries and baked it in a 2 quart oval baking dish. 
  • 4 cups blueberries, frozen okay
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together oats, pecans, almond meal, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt with a fork.
Pour berries into an 8 x 8 pan, then layer the crispy topping over it.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or up to 10 minutes longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.
Serves: 4 – 6

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Loss hurts

Yesterday was one of the hardest days ever for Michael and me. Our hearts broke in a way that we had never experienced before. Fifteen years ago, when my son Michael was ten, Simone our beautiful furry feline, who I affectionately called my sweet baby girl, entered our lives as a teeny tiny kitten. She was precious, always precious. And yesterday, we sadly, so sadly and with great difficulty said goodbye to this beautiful creature because she no longer had any fight in her. Her tiny, frail body had had enough. Sadly, her time was up and letting go was heart wrenching to say the least. Saying goodbye and letting go of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life. Leaving the hospital felt impossible and left a deep and pervasive ache in our hearts. 

As we left the animal hospital yesterday morning with broken hearts, and tear-filled eyes, I didn't know what to do with myself. I knew I didn't want to be home, it was just too hard and I knew I couldn't really spend the day in public or with anyone really because the tears never seemed to stop flowing. Shortly after I got home, my friend Melissa called me and we cried together as I shared my loss with her and shared how heart broken I felt. When the call ended, I drove myself to a local nursery which thankfully seemed pretty empty and I bought and planted some beautiful Daises in my front garden in loving memory of our sweet little Simone.  [see picture below]

The perennials I planted yesterday will grow back year after year and as they do, we will remember this beautiful little creature who entered our lives and captured our hearts. Because of her, we learned that the human heart has no limits when it comes to love. Pets are an amazing blessing. Simone helped expand my heart in a way that surprised me and in a way that unfolded beautifully through the 15 years we called her family, our sweet baby girl. 

Planet earth feels a little empty without her for sure and we miss her so much already. 

It's ironic you know, because I'm allergic to cats and I was allergic to Simone in the very beginning but eventually developed an immunity to whatever it was that caused me to become allergic. Over time, I was no longer allergic but today I confess to you that what I'm allergic to is her absence. 

It's never enough time when it comes to love, is it? Never.

I'm so thankful that God allowed us to love and care for this beautiful creature for 15 years and I'm thankful that in the end, the two people who loved her the most were with her. She was not alone. She died peacefully and gracefully and as hard as that was, because it wrecked me, it was also hauntingly beautiful. She will forever live in our hearts. Forever.

Rest in peace my pretty precious one. We never finished loving you ...


Daisies for Simone our beloved Russian Blue

Lady Simone.  May 1998 - June 22, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Memories

Today I came across a website that featured the first church I attended with my family as a little girl. Picture featured in this post. The church is Saint Hedwig’s Catholic Church located in the Bucktown area of Chicago. It's stunningly gorgeous and it takes my breath away. 

I still remember how beautiful and ornate it was. I also remember feeling like we were on holy ground every time we walked into that church.  

This church was founded in the late 1800's to serve Polish families who lived in the immediate area. Today the weekend schedule includes three English masses, one in Spanish and the other in Polish serving a diverse population of parishioners from city dwellers to suburbanites.

My first memories of attending mass on the weekends included attending with my parents, my older brother, my younger sister Alicia and my paternal grandparents. I think I was five or six years old. I can still remember my mother and grandmother donning black lace veils over their heads, wearing beautiful dresses and the smell of their perfume. They always wore the prettiest dresses and I remember my father and grandfather looking dapper in dark colored suits. I also remember how lovely my grandmother smelled, something about her facial cream smelled so beautiful every time she kissed me. Additionally, I remember the smell of my mothers fragrant Revlon lipstick. For many years when I was a young adult, I use to buy Revlon lipsticks only because they reminded me of my mother and of really happy times when I was a little girl. About a decade ago, Revlon changed the composition of their lipsticks, and sadly they no longer have the scent that I remember from long ago. 

It’s interesting how a picture can bring back so many memories. This picture of Saint Hedwig's Catholic Church evokes lovely memories of times gone by, a happy time, filled with love, sunny Sunday's, God, and the gift of family. And for that and so much more, I am thankful.

Until next time, blessings to you and yours.

xx, Ruthie


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Life Lessons

Sometimes the most significant lessons in life take almost a lifetime to learn. This I know because half of my life is behind me now and I'm still learning. I'm still learning big and small lessons. And this is what I know for sure and I think you know this too: "we mustn't let our age or the length of time it takes to learn to discourage us." I've always believed that life is about love but it's also about learning and growing, and evolving, a journey filled with discovery and becoming every bit of the person God created us to be. It's a process, a life-long process, not a destination. Sometimes we have to remember and remind ourselves that God doesn't expect perfection. He never has. Did you know that? And He doesn't get hung up on our mistakes or our imperfections, big or small. He knows that we are perfectly imperfect and He loves us anyway. He loves us for exactly who we are. His love for us is like no other and it is truly the greatest love story your heart will ever experience. Some of us, including me sometimes need to remember that forgiving ourselves is necessary work and just as important as the grace God extends to us. Beloved, as long as we have breath in us, the teaching goes on and the lessons are learned. So never stop learning. Never stop growing. Be you. Be-YOU-ti-ful.

Love and more love to you, 

xx, Ruthie

P.S. God's love for you never changes. Never. It's vast and lovely, extraordinary and amazing. What I know for you sure: He will never finish loving you. May His love draw you near today.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If we had coffee today I’d tell you: Failure is not determined by what you lost.



Failure is not determined by what you lost. When you lose, its an opportunity to keep on keeping on, to push through, to set your eyes on the prize. Be wise. Aim high. Nothing is impossible when you align your desires with Gods desire for you. Absolutely nothing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Homemade Pizza

I did it! I made homemade pizza today. And yes, it's the first time I have ever made homemade pizza and no it will not be the last because it was so delish!

Pizza is the perfect comfort food for those who love pizza during a cold Sunday afternoon when it's officially Spring but feels wintery. It's 2pm and the snow they predicted would arrive today hasn't arrived, so hurrah! 

I used a 7 inch italian herb crust by Rustic Crust and bought their old world pizza sauce and used hormone-free shredded mozzarella from Andrew & Everett, slices of organic roma tomatoes, fresh organic basil and sprinkled some feta cheese at the end after it came out of the oven. 

Oh! I also sprinkled oregano and a few red pepper flakes before I baked the pizza. Next time, I'll use Italian seasoning, instead of just oregano. I baked it for 10 minutes on a pizza stone at 425 degrees and then baked it for an additional three minutes without the stone because I super love a crusty crust. Who doesn't? 

Buen Provecho!

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Being a difference maker

At the very core of who I am, my heart desires is to make all my moments count. I’m a realist and as a realist, I acknowledge that this is not always possible or easy because life is packed with responsibilities and meetings and deadlines but each day we’re blessed with I’ve learned offers each of us opportunities and moments to create meaningful engagement in the ordinary of every day life. 

We add meaning and value through our interactions with people, with a simple smile, a lovely hello, a spirit of gratitude, a loving look, with our words, our deeds, being an attentive listener, practicing grace and compassion, simple acts of random kindness and through human touch.

Dear ones, there are so many ways to add meaning and to add value to the people in our life.

Never under estimate the impact your life has on another human being.

Your words, your deeds, the way you show up for life and love all make a difference. Life as I know it is a lot shorter than we care to admit. The days and weeks go by so fast. Wouldn’t you agree? So let’s be courageous and take risks and make our moments count because any good we do will leave people feeling better. And in the process of leaving others feeling better, you feel better.

The things we do, the things we say are the very things that begin to leave a legacy behind. So show up, do beautiful things, speak beautiful words, create beauty in your own beautiful way each and every day. 

You will never regret any good you do in life. Never. And all the good we do, makes each of us a difference maker. It leaves us feeling richer. So together let’s agree to be the kind of people who do life differently. Let’s live being a difference maker through how we live, love, breathe and move.  

May the light of life shine on you always, 

xx, Ruthie


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

If we had coffee today I’d tell you: Nothing is wasted.


Loss, difficulty and pain do not have the last word.

The Lord, His intention, His purpose, and His love have the last word.

Nothing is wasted. 




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Love is a decision

There are a thousand different ways to show love to someone you care about. Whatever you choose and however you choose, be genuine and be sincere. As I get older, I find that I become more and more reflective. I reflect and ponder so many things about life and people and what I'm learning and I realize with each passing day that today is all we've got. No matter what is happening around me, I want to make today count and if I want it to count, it starts with me. I want to embrace what I have today and make the most of what I have, right here, right now because tomorrow is never promised.

Love is an action word. It's a verb meant to be demonstrative. So be demonstrative with your love because anybody can say I love you but real love, authentic love and a genuine concern for a person is about showing up and loving people the way God calls us to love. Love is about being others-oriented and self-less. 

It's easy to love someone whose company is easy, but to love someone at their worst, well that's love. You love that person because it's a decision you've made. Love I've learned really is a decision. You can decide today to love the way God calls you to love. And for many, loving people isn't easy but what I've learned is that it's easier to love others when you realize how much God loves you. When you're full of God's love, love comes pouring out of you. 

During my spiritual journey I've learned that God calls us to do two things in life: to love Him and to love people. Being a doer is what makes the difference so lets really show up and love people. Let's be a difference maker and show up and show those we love and care about with our affection today.

May the light of life shine on you always.

xx, Ruthie

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins, it forgives and disregards the offenses of others. ~ 1 Peter 4:8



Friday, February 15, 2013

My thoughts on love

Did you know that we’re all natural born lovers? Yes, we are. 

We were born to love with all our hearts.

Some of you have a special gift to love but sometimes you become so afraid to love it paralyzes you. 

You've become afraid because you’ve been hurt in your past. I know. I’ve been hurt too.

But please don’t let your past hurts stop you from loving because only you have that special, warm blend of goodness that only YOU can provide. 

This is what I'm learning and I want you to learn this too. 

So why keep it to yourself? Why hoard it? Love loses power unless you give it away.

The world needs your love but only you can choose to love.

And you know who else needs your love? You. Yes, you.

Today I want to remind you that you are most alive when you are open to giving and receiving love.

And it starts with loving yourself first.

So love yourself and love others and let others love you right back.

Fight against that little voice inside of you that tells you that you are too afraid. 

Yes, we all become a little afraid but you also have the power to say no to fear. 

You can choose to be fearless. You can say no to fear and yes to love.

If you live your life feeling afraid all the time, well that’s really not living and if you’re really not living, then you’re really not loving.

So today say no to fear and yes to love.

Love with reckless abandon.

Love radically and beautifully and with the special, warm blend of goodness that only YOU can provide.

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:7





Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I believe

No matter how difficult life gets, I still believe the best about life and people and God and how things will end. There is so much I believe and this little short list does not cover it all. 

This list represents just some of the things that came to mind as I sat to think about what I believe. Some are serious, some are fun and I hope this list get's you thinking about what you believe in too and I hope the funny ones make you smile. 

Enjoy the short read and if you have some time today or this week, consider creating your own list and have fun with it. Throw in some funny stuff too. 

  1. I believe that God loves us for who we are and where we are in life. Nothing we do or didn't do or say or didn't say will ever change that. 
  2. I believe in forgiveness and the power it has to set us free. 
  3. I believe that there is nothing you could ever do that God can't redeemed.
  4. I believe that every broken person can be healed. 
  5. I believe that every person in life has something to offer to make a difference.
  6. I believe that one day I will buy skinny jeans that will come close to the size I wore in high school and even if it never happens, I will enjoy every single second I spend dreaming about that. ; )
  7. I believe that God will show up and tell you things at the right time, when you are ready and when you ask. 
  8. I believe that God is for me and that He is for you too.
  9. I believe that I will never be able to love God the way He loves me but I'm pretty sure I will die trying anyway.  
  10. I believe God made me with purpose and when I write, I feel His pleasure. 
  11. I believe that God in me is ALWAYS greater than any challenge that comes into my life. 
  12. I believe that no weapon formed against me will ever prosper. (Isaiah 54:17) 
  13. I believe that God does His best work in me when I invite Him into the healing process. 
  14. I believe that God is working even if I can't see it or sense it. 
  15. I believe we are here for each other and not to be against each other.
  16. I believe that there is good in people even if they say mean things or do things that hurt you.
  17. I believe that hurt, unhealed people hurt others and because of this knowledge and the through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able to forgive them.
  18. I believe that you will never be successful in pleasing everyone all the time and that's okay. 
  19. I believe that sometimes you have to set healthy boundaries with people in your life if you're going to become everything God calls you to be.
  20. I believe that the greatest gift you can give people is a healthy "you."
  21. I believe that quitting is the easiest thing to do in the world and that it takes real courage and real confidence to keep on keeping on.
  22. I believe that courage is doing the right thing even if you feel a little afraid.  
  23. I believe that everything God does or permits is allowed to teach us something in life.
  24. I believe that every painful trial has a pearl in it. I'm learning to look for my pearls during the trials in my life.
  25. I believe that my best days are still ahead of me. 
  26. I believe in love and respect, honor and loyalty and doing the right things in life even if they're hard.
  27. I believe that if you need help, you should ask and if it's offered, you should accept it.
  28. I believe that motherhood is the hardest job I have ever loved. 
  29. I believe that pride keeps people from living their best life. 
  30. I believe that sometimes we just have to give God time. Waiting is hard but it's worth it.  
  31. I believe that one day I will marry the man of my dreams and when it happens, I'm sure I will complain about how much he snores but I will love him anyway. ; )
  32. I believe that a feel better kiss and a little chocolate always makes me feel better. 
  33. I believe that God places the right desires in my heart so I can do His will to live my best life and to bless others. 
  34. I believe that God calls us to be healers of wounds through words and deeds and to love people regardless and to do the right thing in the face of difficulty. 
  35. I believe that a sincere apology deserves forgiveness and even if the apology never comes, forgive them anyway. 
  36. I believe it is far more joyful to give than it is to receive. 
  37. I believe we have a responsibility to do all the good we can with what we have.
  38. I believe that there will be chocolate and cupcakes in heaven. I'm pretty sure of that. ; )
  39. I believe that God is way more patient with me than I am with Him. (So thankful for that!)
  40. I believe that God always gives us the strength and the courage we need to do the things we think we can not do.
  41. I believe the winners in life are the one's who are brave enough to listen to the truth in their hearts.
  42. I believe that nothing catches God by surprise. He see's all things and knows all things and He still loves us anyway. I love that about Him.
  43. I believe that God allows the right people to stay in your life to help you move forward and He removes the ones that will impede your ability to grow and live your best life. 
  44. I believe that all things work for good to those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
  45. I believe that God always shows up right on time, every time. 
  46. I believe that God will NEVER give up on us, ever. 
  47. I believe that God is full of grace and mercy.
  48. I believe that God is faithful and that He is our only Promise Keeper.
  49. I believe that God is simply crazy mad about us and that nobody will ever love us like He does. 
  50. I believe that if all of humanity came to really and I mean really understand and know how much God loves them, it would cause every single person to fall on their knees and weep in deep gratitude. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A different view


You want to know what I love about this picture? It reminds me that sometimes we have to change our view and our perspective about God to see the beauty that God offers us in life.  

This photo was taken by my sister-in-law Evelyn this morning. She posted it on Facebook and commented how she was enjoying her view while drinking a cup of coffee and pondering a new season in her life. 

I shared with her this morning that if she was facing the windows in her kitchen directly head on, she might not see as much beauty because she would have a clear view of her neighbor’s home but when she changed her position, to look out of that bay window, her view and her thoughts changed because now she had a clear and expansive view of the nature before her, God's beauty. 

Sometimes in life, we need to change our position and sometimes we need to change our thoughts to really see the beauty around us.


Friday, February 1, 2013

I think I have a problem

So I went to the grocery store during the noon hour today to buy ingredients to make chili this weekend because who doesn't eat chili on Super Bowl Sunday when it's freezing out and once again, yes you read that correctly, once again, I ran off with someone else's cart. 

Oh my gosh ... I couldn't believe I did this yet AGAIN! This is quickly becoming embarrassing and it almost always happens to me when I’m rushing which is not the speed I vowed to live in 2013. I’m quickly learning that I am a serious but oblivious repeat offender when it comes to walking away with other people's carts. 

For the love of gravy, what is happening to me??? Who am I? 

When this happens, I'm noticing that I'm hardly walking but actually sprinting from one aisle to the next. Okay, maybe it looks more like a power walk but whatever it is, it's certainly not walking. I race around the store completely focused on my list and getting to the next aisle and I just might have a crazed look on my face. I'm not kidding. I'm pretty sure it's not my most friendliest look.  

I eventually found my cart but I never found the frantic owner whose cart went MIA. Clearly the owner of that cart had to be frantic because there were A-LOT of provisions in that cart. 

How I made the discovery ....

I was in the dairy aisle looking for shredded cheese and when I went to put the cheese in what I thought was my shopping cart, I had this confused, and kind of upset look on my face and asked aloud: "Who put ground beef in my cart???" Mind you, I was alone. I’m not exactly sure who I expected to answer that question. [insert smile here] 

(As a side note, I don't make my chili with ground beef, I make it with ground turkey.) 

And that was the moment, the moment I realized it wasn't even my cart! So I screamed, yes I screamed: OH MY GOD! I DID IT AGAIN!!!

Three people quickly turned to look at me because hello??? who yells like that? This is when I confessed aloud in my most apologetic voice looking a bit embarrassed, and kinda shrugging my shoulders: "Whoopsie, I kinda stole somebody's shopping cart ... on accident.  … again."

The Lesson: ... because everything in life has something to teach us, right? The lesson is ... Ruthie needs to slow down and I need to pay attention when I'm handling shopping carts. ; )

Happy weekend everyone!

xx, Ruthie

P.S. If you're reading this from anywhere BUT Chicago, please pray for us. We are absolutely freezing here! 




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Slow


It's taken me a l-o-n-g while to learn that listening and observing are practices that serve me well. Slowly, very slowly, I'm learning to embrace and love the acquired skill and practice of really listening with great regularity and I have to say, I'm discovering alot along the way. Slow is the new speed for 2013. It's not a speed I'm use to at all, but I'm learning to adapt and I love what it's teaching me.  



Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Starbucks Story

I drove to Starbucks this morning to purchase a cup of coffee because I was fresh out and because I forgot to stop at the grocery store last night to buy coffee during my drive home from the office. Silly me. How could I forget such a thing? I was in the drive-thru lane when I placed my order and when I approached the window to pay, the woman said to me, “It’s on us today” with a big smile. I’m sure my face made that crazy little expression it makes when I’m confused. I proceeded to ask her why it was free today. She said, “It’s free today because we made you wait too long.” I responded, “But I wasn't even waiting that long.” I asked, “Are you sure?” And with a big beautiful smile she said, “Yep, I’m sure.” And then she wished me a happy day. 

Whoa ... what a blessing. 

You know, that simple act of kindness meant so much to me today and I'm thankful.

Sometimes in life, it’s the littlest things that bring us so much joy. This simple act of kindness has set the tone for my day and it reminds me why I enjoy blessing others so much through random acts of kindness. Perhaps today was my day to reap a little harvest. Thank You God, for Your goodness and for Your blessings in my life. You never seize to amaze me.

One other thought that came to me today as I pondered what took place is that good things come to those who wait. Sometimes we don't understand alot of things when we are in a season of waiting but God knows best and He always provides the best and He always takes care of our needs. And He always shows up right on time, just in time. I think what happened to me today had more meaning than I originally thought. I'm even more thankful for this revelation. 

Happy Saturday everyone!

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie




Friday, January 18, 2013

When your heart changes

One of the best changes in life is the one that happens in your heart.

Do you have a heart for God?  If you don't, it's never too late to ask Him to change your heart.

When your heart changes, you change and when you change, you change the trajectory of your life and the life of others. 

That kind of change opens the door to super natural power. And power that comes from God empowers you to love radically. It empowers you to forgive what aches you the most, to do what you once thought was impossible. That power opens your eyes and gives you the ability to do things in God's strength and opens the door to wisdom. 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friendship, Girlfriends and Intimacy

Today was extraordinary. Today my cousin Anita surprised me with a gift that was delivered to my office. Oh my word was I ever surprised by this gift. It's was a just because gift. A gift that said, I love you, I appreciate you and I want you to live your best life. Whoa! What a blessing. Thank you Anita! You made my day and I love you so much! Thank you for always being such a giver and for your thoughtfulness. We’re more like sisters than cousins for sure and I’m thankful for our sisterhood relationship.

Later this morning I received an e-mail from my friend Margie who thanked me for calling her a year ago during this time of the year. She shared with me that she was doing some reflective thinking and was remembering that particular day a year ago and how she needed me to call her at that moment because that day was a really hard day and the timing of my call was impeccable.

My friend Margie had just lost her husband of 25 years three weeks prior to cancer when I called her. Her husband was my childhood friend. He got cancer, just like me only I survived and he didn't. I can't even imagine what Margie was feeling a year ago today. It was an incredibly painful and difficult time in her life to say the least. Her e-mail today was a note filled with gratitude and love and it made me cry. I had no idea what that call and what my words meant to her. Thank you Margie for reminding me that words matter and I'm glad that my words that day blessed you. I love you. Thank you for your note. It made me feel special and it blessed me for sure. You're a pillar of strength and beautiful as ever. 

Then I had another friend who I called to check in on because she's been experiencing some health issues and today she opened up to me and shared with me that this is one of the hardest seasons she's experienced ever. It was heart breaking to learn everything she shared with me. I was glad I called and I was glad to be available to listen and to learn what she has been struggling with because I had no idea and now I know and because I know, I now know how to pray for her and love her during this season.

I shared with her how much I loved her and how I appreciated her brutal and raw honesty. She's one of the bravest and strongest women I know because she has endured so much in life and has overcome so much. And although this is a really hard season that might feel like the death of her, I know that God is with her and He will turn it around for good and she will emerge stronger and wiser and better. I love that she trusts me with her deepest and most intimate thoughts. She's probably the only person I know that opens up as much as she does with me and I love how she's not afraid to admit her short comings. It takes courage to open up to another person the way she does with me. I wonder if she realizes that. And I wonder if she opens up to me because she knows that I recognize how imperfect each of us is and that I will always love her no matter what. That conversation today reminded me why we have such a special connection and why I love her so much. 

Today I’m glad that God placed her in my life, because through our friendship, I want to love her through this and stand in the gap for her and pray for her and with her and hold her hand until she gets to the other side. Conversations like this give birth to what real intimacy and authenticity is all about. I just love her bravery and I'm glad I could listen and be there for her when she needed someone to really hear her. I love you baby girl. I will not disclose your name in this post but you know who you are and I promise that it will get better. And until it does, I will hold your hand and remind you that you are never alone because next to God, you will find me, walking this journey with you. You’re stronger and braver than you feel. You really are and together we will get through this. I promise. I love you more than more.

What an extraordinary day! Today I'm thankful for the gift of friendship and girlfriends and intimacy. These are some of the things that I love most about life because intimacy and relationships are what connect us in meaningful and special ways. We need trusted friends to do life with and to call on when life feels hard and dark and unfair and just as equally, we need to become those trusted friends that will reach out with love, to care, to listen, to pray and to practice grace. 

Until next time, may you experience extraordinary moments in the ordinary through your friendships, and through your sacred relationships filled with great courage as you practice love, grace, and vulnerability with great authenticity.

xx, Ruthie  



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My thoughts on writing

There is never enough time in the day to read all the books I want to read and to write all the thoughts and essays I want to write. How does a girl like me house so many words? Truth be told: I can only house them for so long. Inevitably and eventually they must be released and this is why I write. The words and the stories that I house spill over onto the pages before me, and into the journals that I keep and on electronic documents that I save on my computer and external hard drive. I have a small drawer at home full of index cards and napkins filled with words and thoughts and ideas and memories that I scribble. These are the things I scribble about in the middle of my day or late at night as thoughts come to me. I save them because eventually they serve as inspiration. I save them because these are the thoughts that are teaching me something in that season and I save them because eventually these words become stories, my story, the stories I wanted to tell that I never talked about or wrote about because these stories are about learning the hard way, about having your aha moments later rather than earlier in life. I've discovered about myself that when I write, I'm writing the stories of my heart and this to me is necessary and important, like the air we breathe is necessary and important.  

There are seasons in my life where I could happily sit and write the day away. That almost always happens on a weekend, when I'm hungry to write. Those are my stay-at-home, drink coffee and tea, play soft music in the back round pajama days. This is one of those seasons where I could happily write all day long one day out of the weekend. Perhaps it's because its winter and the temperature outside is too cold for my liking. And perhaps it's because these days I'm trying to live life at the speed of slow, learning to push the pause button on life to soak in and relish all things and moments beautiful, and to live just slowly enough to really hear myself think because this year I've decided I want to live paying closer attention to my thought life. When I slow down, I hear my thoughts and when I hear my thoughts I have alot to write about.

During the winter months I enjoy the warmth and the coziness of my home and during the winter evenings, I enjoy being in yoga pants or pajamas pants like the very second I get home from the office. I'm not kidding; it is absolutely amazing how quickly I can get into those pants when I get home. [insert smile here] And when it's time to relax, time and schedule permitting, I enjoy lighting fragrant lavender candles and dimming the lights in the house and sitting in my large and comfy reading chair near the fire place to read by a near by lamp. I enjoy sitting there thinking and praying and penning my thoughts as well. I enjoy and love this like small children enjoy and love playing at the park.

If I could afford a one month sabbatical, I would take one in a heart beat. I would go away to a beautiful, warm, sunny place that mirrors paradise surrounded by magnificent nature filled with luscious greenery, the ocean for sure and watch the sun's disk disappear below the ocean's horizon at the end of each day. I would rise early to meet the day and catch the sun as it's rising to greet me with its glorious light and its dramatic brilliance and relish how the sun's brilliance makes me glow from the inside out. I would spend my days and nights reading and writing, thinking and dreaming until the light fades. I would release my words, my thoughts on paper and allow them to take on new form, a life of their very own. I would take nature walks and soak in the sunshine and drink green tea and listen for the voice of God in my breath, in the stillness of my being and in the nature before me. 

All of this is a beautiful dream, a lovely thought for sure. But I've learned that while a thirty day sabbatical is not in the cards for me in my immediate future, I can still experience moments and days like that. I can experience them here and there in different ways and on different days and in different seasons. It's beautiful to dream of extended periods of time doing what you know you were born to do but its equally as beautiful and wonderful to appreciate the here and now and to appreciate and to experience these moments when you can, even if it's only an hour, a day, a long weekend or a week away. 

Beloved reader, discover what it is that you love and do what you love the most, what makes you feel most alive for in discovering that, you will have discovered your purpose. Do what you were born to do because that is what becomes your life's work, the finger prints of love and the legacy you will leave behind.

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie

Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of her life, every quality of her mind is written large in her works. ~ Virginia Woolf


Sunday, January 13, 2013

If we had coffee today I’d tell you: It’s okay to live outside of your comfort zone.


When God removes you from your comfort zone, you will discover that depending on yourself is no longer enough. You will quickly learn to depend on God because you will have discovered that it’s the only way to get through and survive living outside of your comfort zone.

I’m learning that when God allows you to live outside of your comfort zone, He’s creating an atmosphere for you to grow. He is stretching you because He is preparing you for promotion, a new level but He will not allow you to be promoted unless you’re ready, unless you’re equipped, unless you are mature enough and prepared for the journey before you. 

So don’t become discouraged or give up when you feel stretched and challenged or when things aren’t unfolding as you hoped they would. Trust that God still loves you and that He is for you and with you. He has not forsaken you. Believe that He is in it, and that He is doing a good thing in you. When you are living outside of your comfort zone, remember that that is the place where He prepares you for your destiny, a destiny that will amaze you and surprise you if you will just stay the course and trust Him.

Until next time, 

xx, Ruthie



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Love life

Everyday life is laced with special occasions, not just here and there, or now and then but every where all the time. Grabbing hold of this simple idea is like winning a front-row ticket to the grandest adventure of all. So savor the journey. Feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Be thrilled when you make a new friend. Be swept away if you've found a new love. Laugh and cry at weddings. Dance the night away at every anniversary. Cherish your family and love your work. Roll around on the floor with your children or your grand children or with your spouse. Look forward to all your birthday mornings. And with every sun rise, start your life anew. 

For it is true: The more you love life, the more it will love you right back. 
~ Author Unknown






Friday, January 11, 2013

Sisterhood

Recently, I've had a few of my friends remind me how important our sisterhood is to them and every time I hear them share that with me, my heart melts with gratitude. 

It feels good to be loved and appreciated for who you are and where you are in life and it feels so good to have women I love and trust so much be a part of my every day life. I can't imagine life without them. Really, I can't. I love these women more than cupcakes and that says ALOT. And as I think about our sisterhood, it makes me want to cry in deep gratitude because each of them is so precious to me. Each of them have blessed me so much through the years and in their own beautiful gifted ways. They've loved me at my worst, guided me back to the light when I drifted and at times have talked me off the ledge when life felt dark, hard and unfair. Not really off the ledge, but you know what I mean. 

My sisterhood relationships are important, necessary and a gift from God for sure. They're my beloved sweet angels. 

I'm glad I have these sisterhood friendships because these are the women I do real life with. I share my heart, my dreams and my most intimate thoughts and struggles with them. I do this because I can, because they love me unconditonally and because they've earned my trust. There is never any competition or jealously or weirdness because while we recognize that we all have different gifts, we also recognize and embrace that we're all created in the image of God, to love Him and to love others, to serve Him and to serve others. 

Sisterhood is about doing life together. It's about authenticity. It's an authentic relationship where we support each other, love each other, tell each other the truth, like all the time and we stand in the gap for one another. We learn together and grow together and I love that about our sisterhood. 

The women I have sisterhood relationships with are brilliant, beautiful, and trust worthy and their company is always easy and the relationship is completely grace based. Aaaah ... how refreshing. We have Jesus to thank for that. Thank You Jesus!

A little bit about us ...

  1. We love each other unconditionally and celebrate our differences.
  2. We trust each other and listen without judgment.
  3. We tell each other the truth, and we say it with love.
  4. We hold each other accountable and we remind each other that we are never alone.
  5. We say I love you often and alot and remind each other how much God loves us.
  6. We love each others children and we pray for them as if they were our own.
  7. We stand in the gap for each other and we don't let each other give up.
  8. We recognize and believe that we are so much more than the choices we have made and so much more than the sum of our mistakes.
  9. We've learned that we all fall and when it happens, we pick each other up gently and carefully because we know that after a fall, we feel raw, fractured and fragile.
  10. We cry together.
  11. We pray together.
  12. We shop together.
  13. We laugh together.
  14. We do sleep over’s and road trips and coffee.
  15. We send and give each other gifts and cards, just because.
  16. We read the same types of books and talk about what God is teaching us in each new season.
  17. Last but not least, we take care of our planet because we recognize it's the ONLY planet with chocolate! [insert smile here]
Yes, indeed, sisterhood is a beautiful thing. It's a sacred, grace-filled relationship between women who get each other and who love each other, women who see people through the eyes of Jesus, through grace-filled lenses. And the very best part about our sisterhood is that we recognize that we are so precious in God's sight and that we serve an amazing King.

Thank you my sweet sisters! I love you more than more. I love you to the moon and back and more than cupcakes!!!