Tag Archives: prayer

Restoration, Rainbow Trout and Friends I’ve Never Met

gone fishin'

So there you have it. My hand holding my new fishing rod and enjoying every minute of it. I took off on Wednesday, April 18th, for the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I wished for restoration like in Psalm 23: “He leads me beside the still waters.He restores my soul.” God gave it to me.

Ever since I can remember, trout fishing has been one of my favorite pastimes. At one point in my life I was lucky enough to live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and went fishing every day I possibly could. I had just been through a series of difficult times in my life, and God restored my soul each day I sat with pole in hand, marveling at the wonders of nature. I watched a family of baby ducks grow up, saw the seasons change from fall to winter to spring and felt that I had learned several very important lessons.

These last four days helped me put some things into perspective in my life and get a renewed energy toward finishing my book. I’ve needed that for a long time now. I’m looking forward to getting it done!

Everyone needs restoration time. And we don’t necessarily have to get away to get it. If we set our minds right, we can rest from our busy lives just about anytime we want.  But we have to REALLY want to do that. Otherwise, it’s useless.

Time was when I would have done nothing but fished. My passion would have been my obsession. But I have changed. Now I can exercise my passion and leave myself open to opportunities of the moment at the same time. And as a result, my trip had many facets: fishing, meeting new people, cooking at the condo and eating out, reading, sitting quietly without reading or watching tv or doing anything, praying, meditating and more. I’m glad I didn’t lose those things by spending all my time trying to catch my favorite fish.

As a result, I did catch one fish, which was more than anyone else caught. 🙂

What do you do to restore yourself?

On this trip I stayed in a modern condominium with all the comforts of home, met some friends I hadn’t met yet, ate some tasty treats, and visited an historic general store.

Old post office at Mast General Store, Valle Crucis, NC

500 types of old-fashioned (mostly) candy



Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

A few of “THOSE” days…

My pansies are still blooming, even in this 90-degree heat! That’s because they’re in the shade and I water them every day!

It’s been three or four days since I wrote in my blog. I know you’ve missed me (smile). I’ve missed me, too.

I’ve always been bad about letting people rent space in my head. Sometimes I think I should have some signs made to put on the back of my shirt or dress. They would say, “Space in Ellie’s head for rent. No charge. Get it before it’s gone!”

However, recently I’ve been working on not letting that happen. As with many things, the minute you start trying to change, the old stuff comes up more fast and furious than ever — it’s trying to see how you’ll deal with it. Will it be different this time? Will the people win the free space, or will you maintain your serenity? Do you get the white elephant gift or the grand prize?

The main problem with allowing others to have that power over you is that you not only lose who you are in the process, but you also feel absolutely crummy, downtrodden and almost physically ill.

The latter is what happened to me this week. I was depressed, felt worthless and couldn’t sleep at night.

When I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate. When I feel depressed, it makes me wonder how I could feel that way again. When I feel worthless, I don’t really want to see many people…only my good friends who give me hugs, words of encouragement and remind me to pray more.

Yep. When those negative feelings happen, I sometimes forget God. Not for very long, but I forget. This is different than when something negative happens to me, such as a flood or fire (yes, I’ve experienced both). It’s the negative feelings that take over my mind that really are my EGO. EGO in this case means “edging God out.”

God’s grace is so deep, however, that He always puts someone in my path to help point me in the right direction again. Sometimes I have to make the phone call. Sometimes someone calls me. It doesn’t matter who makes the call. What matters is being able to listen to the truth without getting angry or feeling even more “less than” you did before.

My guardian angels were busier than a mound of termites eating a house this week. I would get down and then get a phone call. I’d be okay for awhile and then get down and make a phone call. That lasted some time, then there I was at the bottom again. Then I would pray for God’s guidance and ask for the strength to follow it.

It’s about thinking I can do it all myself. It’s about how we’re brought up to be independent and taught that we’ll have more satisfaction if we do it ourselves.

I started really coming out of it yesterday morning (except I still didn’t sleep last night — oh well).

Remember my friend Wille from a prior blog? Here’s the link in case you missed that one.

Well, Willie came over yesterday with his darling daughter Kim, whom I haven’t seen in quite awhile now. They came to help me plant some plants that desperately needed to go into the ground and to fill hanging baskets with multi-colored treats of nature. Kim and I worked on the latter; Willie worked on the former, as well as hanging plant brackets, helping me turn my mattress around and pressure washing my deck (Gosh, it looks SO good now!).

Playing in the dirt always calms me down and makes me concentrate on the task at hand. I talked about that in another blog. In case you haven’t read that one either, here’s the link. That, in turn, begins the process of evicting the unwanted tenants in my head. Watching little Kim use the trowel to fill the hanging baskets one at a time, seeing the delight in her eyes when I told her the last one was the one she could take home, and having Willie kid me as he always does turned my whole day and week around (except for the sleeping – but that’s a small price to pay, don’t you think?)

I told a friend who’s having difficulties of her own to pray unceasingly this week. When I said the words, a little voice in my head said, “So, are you going to follow your own advice? Huh? Huh?”

I did. And maybe that’s really the thing that turned my whole day and week around, because when we are trying to BE like God and do God’s will consciously, something in our whole being changes.

I hope you’ve had a good week this week. I hope that you feel strong, healthy and at peace with the world.

Two final notes: If you want to see how someone overcomes adversity, watch this video about a homeless boy in South Korea auditioning on Korea’s Got Talent.

And finally, if you like my blogs, won’t you please pass them on to your friends and family and publish the link on your facebook page? Thanks so much! (Shameless self-promotion 🙂


Filed under Feelings, Uncategorized

What Eating Chinese Food, Gardening and Fishing Have in Common

Veggies from my 2010 garden

I found a great new Chinese/Japanese place to eat yesterday. I’d driven past it a million times, but something always kept me from stopping. Since my favorite soup/salad restaurant in the same area closed down, I thought it was time to try the Fuji Steakhouse in Spartanburg, SC.

If I had a fancy cell phone with all the whistles and bells, or if I’d thought to bring my camera, I’d be showing a picture of the most amazing plate of food I ordered. It was tofu with veggies and fried rice. Huge. Really. Beyond delicious as well.

While I was eating and reading a new book by Janet Evanovich I found at the dollar store, something occurred to me. I always eat Asian food with chopsticks. After two years in Korea and a love of far Eastern cuisine my whole life, I consider it almost a sin to eat these delicacies with a fork! As a matter of fact, I have also taught tons of people to eat with chopsticks in under two minutes. However, I digress.

What came into my thoughts was that you have to pay attention to eat this food with chopsticks. I don’t mean shoveling it in your mouth without thinking as you do when you’re eating with a fork. I mean you REALLY have to pay attention. If you don’t, you’ll not only not be able to eat anything, but you also may wind up with food all over the table and your clothes if you don’t. Real hand to mouth contact, so to speak.

I’d been working in my yard for a good part of the morning before I went out in search of the perfect meal or perfect deal. I found a pretty perfect deal, but I decided to wait.

When I’m working in the garden or fishing, I lose track of time. I am fully engaged in those particular hobbies of mine, just as I am paying exact attention when I eat Chinese food.

The Buddhists call it “mindfulness.” The new-agers call it “meditation.” Many Christians call it “prayer. It is being fully in the moment. It represents a time when we can concentrate profoundly on what we are doing, without letting the stress of our everyday lives get to us.

For me, I don’t think about what I’m going to eat, wear or if my house needs repairs. I forget painful memories, don’t worry about anyone else and feel joy and peace in every part of my being.

It is my way of communing with God, nature and my inner self. I sometimes get great revelations when I do so. I sometimes don’t.

I did forget for a moment yesterday and spilled a little food on my bright turquoise peasant shirt. I almost tripped and fell while walking down my uneven pathway while gardening today.

But I always catch fish. Come to think of it, it’s that time of year, and I need to go fishing.

One year I had the extreme pleasure of living in the mountains of Northern California. I went fishing every day there wasn’t snow on the ground. I caught tons of rainbow trout, my favorite fish. I felt awe at watching a family of ducks grow up. seeing the leaves turn their brilliant colors and looking at the reflection of the trees in the crisp, clean and cool water. That was one of the most painful years of my lives in other respects, but the fishing made the pain go away.

I hope you have hobbies or habits that do the same for you.

What will you be mindful of today?

Hey, and if you’ve read this far, how about leaving a comment! I’d surely appreciate it.


Filed under Uncategorized