Monday, December 31, 2012

No Fears, Still Tears . . .



On this last day of the year, reflecting upon so much, the tears begin . . .

Shed in gratefulness and in sorrow.  Wondering in faith what this new year will hold for me, for mine.

Knowing that loving all of my precious family is the best I can do.  Knowing that some family members may be gone in 2013 . . .

Bittersweet.  

Heart-felt.

Hurt-felt.

And, trusting that the Lord has me, and them, on track and will guide us all, no matter what the new year might bring . . .

Trusting that He is always there  beside, before, behind . . .

May your new year be blessed and beautiful, dear friends!  Celebrate the love God has for you!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Moment - December 21




Photo by Danny Orlando

May the light of joy dance in your hearts!

Have a blessed weekend and a Merry Christmas, my friends!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Moment - December 14





JORDAN
July 1994 - December 2012

"I believe cats to be spirits come to earth.  A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through." ~Jules Verne

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Moment - November 23




Pretty in pink,
Don't you think?

Photo by John Kennedy

Have a happy and blessed weekend!  Remember to smile!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving . . .


1 Chronicles 16:34

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Thankfulness . . .



There is never enough time to be thankful, to be grateful . . . after reading my friend, Dawn's, blog post here , and after the special week I've had in the Nantahala Mountains, I could not contain myself.  Nor, should I.  

For every moment in our lives, no matter how desperate, or futile, how joyful, and embracing, deserves nothing less than thanksgiving to our God from us.  I believe, in my heart of hearts, that we are closest to Him when we don a gratitude attitude.

So, here is my thankful list for this week:


  • Travel mercies up to the mountains and back.
  • Internet access where I could at least post my blogs and comment back to the kind friends who take the time to visit.
  • Knowing my parents and MIL were okay.
  • Backgammon games where Danny mostly wins, but can't help showing me how to be a better player.
  • Movies enjoyed, caught up on because regular life is so busy.
  • The wind rustling in the leaves yet to fall.
  • Sunrises.
  • Cloud banks.
  • A sky so vibrantly blue.
  • Crescent moon at dawn and the myriad of stars in the evening.
  • Giving my business card to the locals in Bryson  City and the Nantahala Outdoor Center as the release of my book approaches.
  • Birds I can't identify, but will ever treasure their song.
  • Strong coffee in the morning.
  • Excellent meals served by Chef Danny.
  • The ever-changing shadows and light upon the mountains.
  • That all these treasured experiences are shared with the love of my life.
How about you?  In this November, the month in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, for what are you thankful?  Would love your responses in the comment section below.

May God bless each and every one of you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012



Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee . . .


Photo taken by Danny Orlando at the Glynn Academy Reunion, October 2012


As All Saints Day is here, we remember with love all those who have gone before us, who now dwell with the Lord, and with whom we will be reunited one sweet day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Things for Which I am Thankful . . .


This has been a truly busy week, full of ups and downs, uncertainties and promises fulfilled.  My heart is full.  My mind is overwhelmed.  My soul is resting in the Lord.  So, I thought I'd share with you some of the happenings in the last week for which I give the Lord the thanks and praise due Him.


  • Danny's successful trip to St. Paul and safe return.  
  • Being able to take my mother-in-law to the doctor's, to lunch, and bring her some frozen meal-on-wheels from Danny's kitchen.
  • My MIL - she is such a joy!
  • My Mom - for being so strong in the face of my Dad's Alzheimer's.  She knows my brother and I are here for the both of them.
  • My Mom, for letting me see first hand what courage and faith are all about.
  • My publisher for liking my head shot (above) for the book.
  • Making stepson, Giovanni, happy with breakfast meals for dinner.
  • Seeing my daughter, son-in-law, and grand-girl and loving every moment of the visit.
  • Having the first dry spell in writing answered by an absolute gush of productivity and satisfaction.
  • Praising the Lord in worship.
  • Pastor Wallace giving me more inspirational stories for my blog in one Sunday than he has in the past six months.
  • Deciding upon the cover photo for my novel.  Wow!  Big decision!
  • Not getting vertigo on the road.  Milestone!
  • The birds at the feeder, the squirrels scurrying in the trees, the chipmunks scampering through the leaves, the deer strolling through our yard.
  • The cool temperatures and the brisk wind.
  • Having the "daring-do" to write spontaneously upon the blog page.
  • Every one of my friends who have been so supportive.  Much love to you!
What are you thankful for today?  Would love you to share your most recent thankful experiences in the comment section below.  

In the meantime, may God bless you and keep you in His warm and loving embrace!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How Fortunate I Am . . .


For those of you who follow my blog, Meditations of my Heart, knowing about my husband, Danny, comes as no surprise to you.  He is my rock, my comfort, and my fellow traveler on this Christian road we travel together.

No wonder, then, it is difficult for me when he takes a business trip, and it is one I cannot attend.  Monday morning, Danny leaves for St. Paul for a National Energy Star Products meeting.  Leaving on a jet plane.  Flying.  Away from me.

Away from us . . .

It might not be so hard, so worrisome, for me if I had not experienced losing a former husband to a freak and accidental death . . .

Enduring the loss - the pain, the sorrow, the grief.

I can't do it again . . . I think God knows this.  No!  He knows!

I want Danny to return safely to me.  I expect it.

I pray for it . . .

Lord, I know you hear.  I know you care.  I know you know . . .

And, I pray for the faith to let Danny go, trusting he is safe in Your hands, dear Father.   There is not a day that goes by when I don't thank You for allowing me to be the most fortunate of women, and so blessed.

Bring him back to me safely, dear Lord, I know You can.

I know You will . . .

Travel blessings, dear Danny!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Moment - October 19th







“A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by theWee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Samuel Michael’s Photography. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.




Photo by Danny Orlando

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pulling My Hair Out!


Pulling my hair out . . . boy, was this ever the place I found myself in this past Thursday as we were preparing to travel to my husband, Danny's, high school reunion in Brunswick, Georgia.

We babysit for Virginia, our granddaughter, the night before we leave.  Oh, what fun, but, oh, how tiring!  She has more energy in her little finger than I have in my entire body.   No worry though, I think.  I've made a packing list and can easily throw my clothes and other necessities together in the morning.

NOT!

I wake to find an e-mail from my publisher.  What???  You need what by when???  But, I'm going on vacation!  How am I supposed to get all of this done before Monday, October 15th? 

I fly into panic mode.  E-mail fellow writers for supportive blurbs.  Send them the novel and pray all the while that they will have time to read it and write complimentary recommendations.  Belly up to the short-notice bar.  Oh, what a favor I ask!

I need them now.  I needed them yesterday.  Why was the publisher remiss in giving me a longer deadline?

And, then there are the acknowledgements, the dedication, the novel summary, the author bio, long and short . . .

Panic!

You need this by when?  Why wasn't I informed earlier?

Who dropped the ball?

Turns out, someone did drop the ball.  A someone no longer employed by the publisher.  The one who was supposed to give me all this information a month ago . . . and failed to do so.

Failed to care . . .

Failed to follow through . . .

Failed . . .

Fortunately for me, my publisher, Janie, completely understands and grants me a gracious extension.  And, because of her generosity and flexibility, my mind and heart can breathe sighs of relief.  And, my troubled soul is calmed once more.

Because, it is in my nature to care.

To always follow through.

And, "failure" isn't a word in my vocabulary.  Never will be . . .

With a huge sigh of relief, I can stop pulling my hair out, enjoy the reunion weekend, and meet the deadline agreed upon between my publisher and me.
~
If you have some "deadline" or "panic" experiences in your life, I would love you to share them here.  I know we can enrich one another through sharing our life lessons.


Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Friday!




“A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by theWee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Samuel Michael’s Photography. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.




Photo by Danny Orlando

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Feeling Thankful . . .



Are you thankful?  Every day?  I know I am!  For so many things, large and small.  When we observe life with what I like to call a "Gratitude Attitude", all the negatives and disappointments can't help but take a back seat, and that's exactly where they belong.

I have several blogging friends who routinely post the events in their lives for which they are thankful.  I always find these inspirational as they vary from the profound to the down-to-earth ordinary.  I never fail to be moved and motivated.  I never fail to find myself giving thanks to the Lord for them and for their gifts of observation - when the ordinary becomes extraordinary . . . miraculous.

So, I thought, why not share my own for this week?

Lord, I am thankful for:


  • Being able to attend husband Danny's high school reunion in Brunswick, Georgia, and staying on the pristine Jekyll beach.
  • My daughter, getting a promotion at work.
  • My son, finding a meaningful, loving relationship.
  • The responsibility I see step-son, Giovanni, taking on willingly and in love.
  • My dad, who had to visit the hospital this week, but is now home safe, healthy, and sound.
  • My mom, who cares for my dad unceasingly, and has the strength and the love to stay focused and able.
  • Inheriting an extra child car seat so I can transport my granddaughter, Virginia, without a hassle.
  • Feeling the warmth of Virginia's hand clasped in mine as she snuggles on the couch with me.
  • Appreciating the intricacies of patterns on the seemingly unimportant rocks and pebbles because Virginia notices and considers them all important.
  • Danny scrubbing the pots/pans tonight because I had laundry to take off the line.
  • Good weather so I could hang the clothes out.
  • The prayer chain which keeps me up to date with those in need.
  • My blogging friends who always visit, always comment, ever understand . . . What did I ever do to deserve you?
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for every blessing you have given to me.  I pray you grace my friends with that very same love.  Amen!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Freelance . . .

This is something new for me.  I've never just written straight onto my first blog, Meditations of My Heart.  I've always planned in advance.  Composing on Word what will be posted days later.  Letting the words marinate and flavor before the final product is delivered.

Something new . . .

Just letting thoughts flow, right here and right now . . .

The musing part of the moments in life.

So, in faith, and with thanks, here we go . . .

Cool, refreshing breeze this evening reminds me that the Georgia football game is only a game.  This, too, shall pass . . .

A phone call from my son when there's no emergency and all is well.  How could I be more blessed?

Watching the birds at the feeder, hearing their cheerful calls harmonizing with the chirruping cries of the squirrels.  My deck becomes a place of worship.

I read amazing posts by talented writers.  My heart swells.  My soul is enlightened.  I learn and I grow.  They lift me up.  God lifts me up . . .

In a hurry to get errands run, my daughter and son-in-law with Virginia in tow can't stay but a few seconds to collect some things from me.  From the front porch, I wave and greet my sweet granddaughter.  She waves back and smiles with unadulterated love washing over her face.  Love that washes over me . . . Be still, my heart!

Reconnecting with high school friends on Facebook who seem to remember me, too.  Wow!  How amazing you are!

Excited to be going to Danny's 40th high school reunion this week, and turning new friends into those tried and true.

So, what are your thoughts about your week?  What have you experienced?  What miracles have you witnessed?  

Would love to hear from you in the comment section.  Please share! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Moment

“A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by theWee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Samuel Michael’s Photography. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.





Photo by Danny Orlando

Friday, September 28, 2012

Atlanta Federal Center's Green Roof Project

“A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by theWee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Samuel Michael’s Photography. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Well, no single photo, but a few tell the story of green roofs in urban settings . . .









Photos by Danny Orlando

May your day be blessed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sometimes, I Wish . . .


I am thrilled to be one of 28 bloggers participating in the Blog Hop, "Sometimes I Wish . . ."  Sending out a heartfelt thank you to Momme for her introduction and link to my post here.  You can visit her at Mommetime and show her some love!


My husband, Danny, and I help lead worship every Sunday at our contemporary praise service.  Sandwiched between two traditional services, we are so busy setting up equipment after 8:30 church and breaking it down as the 11:00 worshipers are filing in, there is, regrettably, no time to mingle and chat with the faithful members and visitors who attend our 9:45 offering.

Sometimes, I wish we had more time to meet and greet . . . 

Ours has never been a heavily populated service.  Methodists are, for the most part, still fairly old-fashioned when it comes to worship.  They want their songs from the hymnal.  They find comfort in ritual.  That's okay.  We realize our service is an alternative not everyone will like.  We joyfully offer it to those who do.

Sometimes, I wish there were more folks in the pews . . .

We have four band members, three of whom have hectic and, at times, unpredictable schedules.  This makes it difficult for us to get together for practice.  Danny is always learning new material and is anxious to bring new songs to  the congregation.  How is that possible when the four of us can't get together?

Sometimes, I wish we had more time for practice . . .

Pastor Wallace reminds us of all the lost and hurting souls in our community.  How do we reach them for Christ?  How do we let them know this contemporary service is one filled with warmth and welcome?  Overflowing with unconditional love?

Sometimes, I wish our music could be broadcast to the street as people drive by.  Offering the invitation to come.  To find healing.  To find peace.  To know joy . . .

Sometimes, I wish.  We wish.  But, wishing alone doesn't cut it.  Because wishes without action, without goals, remain unfulfilled pipe dreams.  We can wish until the cows come home, but if we're not willing to put our money where our mouths are, what can we expect to change for the better?

So, this summer, we stop wishing and start planning.  Danny brainstorms with the our clergy and music director.  These are some of the concrete ideas which transform wishes into reality.

Sometimes, I wish we had more time to meet and greet . . .

Service time is changed from 9:45 to 9:55.  Members are encouraged to arrive at the old time so we can share in conversation and refreshments.

Sometimes, I wish there were more folks in the pews . . .

We order a large banner which advertises our service, now renamed "The Way", to place near the street.  This will allow thousands of people to know about our service.  They just might decide to give us a try . . .



Sometimes, I wish we had more time for practice . . .

Danny sends Rob, our bass player, and David, our drummer, links to the new songs he wants them to learn along with chords and lyrics.  Everyone practices on his own time.  When we gather for warm-up on Sunday mornings, we give it a run-through, and we're ready to go!  It's simply amazing how well this works for us.  There's nothing like the professionalism of seasoned musicians!



Sometimes, I wish our music . . .

Well, no, we haven't taken it that far yet.  But, we are hopeful that the banner will draw in the lonely, the curious.  Those who have given up on traditional worship.

We hope they might find our path is the right one for them . . .

The right path.  The one where we stop wishing alone.  And, find hope in God's promise of a life fully and meaningfully lived.  The life He has chosen for us.

Sometimes, I wish we would wish less, and do more.

Do more for others.  Do more for the Lord.

And, should you wish to listen to our musical offering, you may do so at our site.  May it fill your heart, your mind, your soul, with joy!


I'm honored to pass this Blog Hop torch to Mary Hudak-Collins.  In her blog, "Living With Food Allergies and Celiac Disease", click here, Mary not only shares amazing and delicious gluten-free recipes, but also pearls of wisdom in how she and her family cope with the challenges of growing teens and how she is meeting their unique needs.  Hope you will tune into her blog tomorrow!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Moment


“A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.”

This Moment is a ritual found on Life inspired by theWee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to me by Sarah-Jane, author of Samuel Michael’s Photography. If you find yourself touched by a Moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.



Unicoi Lake near Helen, Georgia - Photo by Danny Orlando