Friday Prayer

Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.

-Fyodor Dostoevsky


An Angel

My husband just went back to visit his parents. My mother-in-law was having some health issues so it sparked him to jump on a plane and go be with her.

As I shared about Angels in our lives earlier this weekend, Pat Cargnoni is one of those Angels that was placed in my life. I love to tease her that I am her “Favorite Daughter-In-Law!” I am her only Daughter-in-law…but, still…her favorite! It is always so fun to be with her. I have been known to drag her to yoga, make her come to visit the preschool, and most of all just hangout and laugh together. She has such a joyful spirit. Age has only made her more fun to be around. I pray that I, too, will age to become a lighter more joy-filled spirit just like Pat!!!

She has this amazing and easy way of just being in your life. When she comes to visit she folds laundry, cooks meatballs, sits on the floor and watches movies with her grandchildren. She has a way of being present and loving everyone so naturally and so tenderly.

She grew up in Hawaii with 10 siblings. She was the youngest girl. They lived in a house that had no running water. She can make any plant grow, bake the best Christmas cookies, sew a gorgeous quilt from fabric scraps and most of all, she appreciates the beauty of every day.

Hallie made her these 3 single stacking bracelets. She loves blue, silver and white. It makes me smile to know she is wearing Healing Knots in Illinois. She is rockin’ the knots in her 80’s!!!! Healing Knots is for every generation and Pat is our cover girl for how to be in your 80’s!!!

Pat can teach us all how to stop and smell the roses!!!  



So many different ways Angels touch our life. Sometimes it is a perfect stranger that opens a door for us when our arms are full of bags. Sometimes it is the co-worker that fixes your printer when you are in a time crunch and cannot get the darn thing to work. Sometimes it is feeling the love of someone that has been gone but, you know their love is still surrounding you and filling your life with just the right juice to make it through the day.

This pendant is one of my favorites. So simple. So powerful. Just like the angels in our lives.Who are your angels? Maybe today you can be that same thing for someone else.

Happy Saturday!


A Day at a Time

A day at a time, a step at a time.

My friend Leslie has left so much for all of us to love and cherish in her memory.  Her husband John and the three children are all our constant link and reminder of her. John is from Mississippi so I have informed him that the two of us are almost family since we are from the same “dirt.” If you live in Texas and you are not from Texas since birth, the locals all think of you as an “outsider.” Do not forget we live in a state that has recently had elected officials speak of Texas becoming its own country. It is funny and scary!!! Mostly, comical which is how most Texas politics seem to be.

But, being that I am from Alabama and he is from Mississippi, well, these two states seem to be lumped together for many reasons. So I have decided that John and I qualify to be “family.” But even more than that…he is an amazing man, father, husband and person!!!  WE would all wish to have someone like him to call family.

John has continued to shine through the darkest of times. His heart is golden and he has been sharing some of this journey with those of us that were close friends with Leslie. This last piece he wrote was so beautiful, I had to beg his permission to share with my Healing Knots circle. His writing is so real, so moving, so honest. Even if you do not know his story, his message is something that will speak to you.

I am honored to share John’s words with you.

The Rear-view Mirror and Looking Ahead
via "AllforLeslie"

Time has a way of slipping by quickly, events seem to recede like signposts in your rearview mirror. It doesn't seem like a month has passed since Leslie left us, but it has. At this time (12:37) on June 8th, Leslie's brother David and I were standing in her room as the nurse said she would probably pass by the end of the day. Around 1:30, he and I were sitting on a bench outside Brookdale when the call came. The past month has been a blur, and I cannot begin to express the depth of gratitude I have for the love and support that has been shown to us. As I have had discussions with ministers, friends, and family, there is a commonality in the questions. I thought it would be best to document and share these, if only to capture them for posterity. Bear with me as I discuss the questions of grief, the role of family and friends, and where I feel God comes in to aid the process.

In the hallways of my mind, there is a room with shelves stocked with bottles and boxes which contain the memories of Leslie and I shared over the years. Some are happy, some sad, others the mundane putterings of everyday life. At times, I consciously open a box, process its contents, then place it back on the shelf. Other times, boxes rattle and shake, springing open whether I like it or not. For me, grief is like a little black cloud, hovering out of the periphery of my mind's eye. I have found that sometimes a random thought, sound or even a knowing smile from a friend can swing it into full and all-encompassing view, breaking open boxes and bottles with abandon. It can be crippling sometimes leaving me unable to breathe, other times only a passing shadow. But I have found confidence in knowing that the moment will pass, I can repack the boxes and move forward. I try, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "To be at the still point of the turning world." The cloud is smaller today than a month ago, and the frequency of crippling moments is declining. We move forward a day at a time, confident that it will get better.

I love the Indiana Jones movies. In the second movie, Dr. Jones faces a rickety rope bridge over a yawning chasm of doom. At times, I feel life is similar to that bridge. I am trying to keep my eyes forward, gripping the ropes tightly and stepping across gingerly as life sways back and forth. But how can you do it? The answer is that you cannot do it alone. Friends and family are there supporting me, working ahead, often out of sight, laying planks, mending frayed ropes and supporting rotten boards so that I can keep my eyes on the goal and step forward as confidently as possible without looking down into the void. I can move forward a step at a time, confident that support is there.

Where does God fit into all this? What do I pray for? Simply put, I pray for understanding and peace. I ask for understanding so that I can glimpse the big picture about the "what" (I gave up trying to figure out the "why"). I ask for peace so that I process a box and put it back on the shelf with no regrets. I don't believe God is a universal Santa, granting and refusing favors based on whatever rubric you choose. But prayer allows me to focus and know that the situation/problem will be resolved (for better or worse) and that worrying about it is a fruitless endeavor. To me, God is a giant safety net under the rickety rope bridge of life. I can keep moving forward with confidence and worry less about the sway, the planks, or the destination.

Thank you for allowing me to share.

A day at a time, a step at a time. 


The Countdown!!

I love this time of year. Summer is my favorite season. Luckily, I live in a place that has 3 seasons….Hot Summer, Medium Summer and Chilly Summer. Texas really does give you the opportunity to never put your shorts away!! Whenever someone moves here I always tell them, “You will spend Thanksgiving in shorts!! Get ready.”

But, this is my favorite season of summer. Every night I beg my husband to come sit on the back porch with me. After being inside for work, I crave the summer sun, heat and humidity. Yes, that horrible word humidity. I have come to realize I don’t even know when it is in the air. So every night I say, "Come on…let’s sit on the back porch…" and most of the time I open the door and he gasps…. "It is so HUMID!!!"

I then go plop down in the chair and respond, “This feels so GREAT!”
We are all so different when it comes to what feels comforting and makes us feel alive. I guess for me it is the bliss of summer, humidity and all!

Many of my Healing Knots creations are made on my back porch with sweat rolling down my back…that is the ever famous “Sun Beading” that I love the most. I feel so fortunate that my favorite thing to do is sit in the sun and make a new bracelet for someone…filling each knot with the sunlight that is pouring down on me and the bracelet!

Not only do I love everything about summer….I love that it is also brings my birthday. Now I will annoy you with this but, I love to celebrate my birthday. I think it comes from losing my mother when she was only 39….I realize that every year is a gift and we are so lucky when a birthday rolls around and we have one more trip around the sun!

So I have been bursting with excitement because my birthday is around the corner. Days away actually! Now, I do not need a party or even a cake. I just need summer! Sunshine, outside activities, swimming of any kind, a cotton sundress, a pair of sandals and marking this time that another year is going to begin and I get to change the number by my name.

Earlier this summer I went paddle boarding with my son Nathan, his girlfriend and Hallie Jane. I decided I was going to behave and wear shorts and a tank instead of my usual bathing suit attire, deciding that hitting 50 might be time to grow up. When I told Nathan I was trying to act my age and not wear my bathing suit….he gave me my birthday present – he said, “Mom, that is ridiculous, you look great for your age!” Okay, the smallest gifts. For years I have been waiting for my kids to yell at me for wearing my running clothes or yoga clothes in public…or telling me that I was embarrassing them. Luckily, his words gave me the gift of  - “Be Yourself, do what makes you feel good, age is not a burden, be proud.”

So….I am filled with Joy and Celebration. I want to share it with each of you.

Remember every day is a gift. Every birthday is another year to make a difference on this earth.
Go play in the summer air and sweat….throw on your bathing suit and go swimming…no matter what birthday you are celebrating!

Happy Day to all make it a fun one.


Let Go – Try Something New!

"Letting go doesn't mean we don't care. 
Letting go doesn't mean we shut down. 
Letting go means we stop trying to force outcomes and make people behave.
It means we give up resistance to the way things are, for the moment.
It means we stop to do the impossible – controlling that which we cannot – and instead, focus on what is possible – which usually means taking care of ourselves. 
And we do this in gentleness, kindness, and love, as much as possible."
- Melody Beattie

Today I did what many people find very ridiculous….but, I packed up my car with a cooler for lunch, beach chairs, sunscreen and a really good friend and we drove to the beach….for the day. 

Okay…I live in Austin, TX….and the beach is 3 ½ hours away….but, for some reason I just realized a day at the beach is a possibility and I am going to try it.

We left at 6:20am…got to the beach by 10:00am and home by 6:40 PM. Now I know you might think we are crazy…but, it was FABULOUS and worth it. AND…we will do it again.

Sometimes we need to “let go” of all of the rules and complications and just do something fun and a little silly. And today we did.

When we turned off the highway and drove through the dunes we were already giggling at how crazy this whole idea was…when we rounded the corner and saw the crashing waves it was like paradise.

Truly, no hotel, no suitcase, not a few days away from our life…just one simple day. We captured it.

We walked on the beach, picked up shells, took a nap, body surfed in the ocean, ate a fabulous picnic lunch…walked again, rested again and swam one more time. Not many men understand that 3 more hours in the car was a chance to talk, laugh and tell more stories – just like teenage girls do…

It was bliss. So, “let go” of your routine…do something silly and fun, just for a day. It is summer…be a kid and have fun!!! It feels so good.