On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wherever Lady travels, there are families

From the USA to across the pond, Families are a blessing

I love meeting families from all walks of life.  Familia.  Familj.  Familie.  I enjoy learning their different customs.  Russians.  Greeks.  Israelis.  Swedes.  No matter where my tired feet have ended up at the end of a long day, families have always restored my energy and well being.  But no matter what country, city, or state I hang my hat, I can always sense the harmony ... or disharmony in that home.

When God created man and woman, He said it was very good.  They were to be fruitful and multiply,  and so they did.

God created family, so we can see why Satan tries to split them apart--he wants to tear down what God created.  Satan's happy when he succeeds.  And we are the ones who suffer ... the husband, the wife, the kids, a nation.  And the damage can last for years.  Dysfunction loves to settle in.  Estrangement often arises and its hard when the family member was once close and you still love them dearly.

We have family members who are easy to love.  We also have those who are challenging for us to be in the same room at the annual Christmas gathering.

There are the one-sided relationships.  YOU want it; they don't, for whatever reason.  Over the years I've found myself frustrated about a family member who I just can't get close to, no matter how I've tried.  But I can't read minds.  What am I doing wrong? I asked myself over and over.  Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, "Sharon, you can't expect something from someone that they don't have to give."  I thought about that one sentence long and hard, and it helps me a lot when I start to mull over the situation in my head for the hundredth time.  I admit that I'm a slow learner.

So what to do?

A few tips:  First of all, I'm not a psychiatrist, but I have enough common sense to know that it begins with me.  So my friends,  let us be the ones who pray and break the generational curses of dysfunction over our families.  We cannot force relationships, whether they are our spouses, our children, or our siblings, but we can let go of our own years of family baggage and continue to love them and pray for peace and reconciliation.  God will show us the way, step by step.  It is our choice to follow Him, trust Him, and love Him.  When to say I'm sorry?  Perhaps never, but you will know in your heart when and if it is time to say those two words that causes your heart to flutter, yet brings so much freedom afterwards.

One thing I know:  right now, I am thanking God for my blogging family!

I wish your family smooth sailing and oceans of blessings!


When all else fails, get a dog!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Advice from Lady Traveler: from Russia to Israel to the USA, be aware of your surroundings

It's a big world we live in!

Since my first trip to Russia in 1991, Rob instructed me, always be aware of your surroundings, so whenever I travel abroad, I'm on the lookout for unusual sitings.  Today, more than ever since the Boston Marathon bombing, I'm keeping my eyes open here in the USA.  In the supermarket.  At the local mall.  Yes, times are changing fast.  Israel has lived for years with this type of terrorist attacks.  Now, again, terrorism has reared its ugly head on our American soil.

I'm not writing this blog to be political or religious, and this isn't meant to be a Bible study, but when I was recently in California visiting friends of different backgrounds, certain topics always seemed to surface:  How can such bad things happen to good people? Did God do this?  On and on.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but the Bible talks about these subjects.  So I'll make it as simple as possible.  If you want more details, you can study further via your Bible.  So here goes.

There were three archangels in heaven, Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer.  Lucifer was the worship leader; he was a beautiful, anointed cherub, perfect in all his ways, but as the years went by (thousands, millions?), iniquity (evil, distortion) was found in him.  Because he desired to be like (as God), Lucifer was cast to earth (Ezekiel 28:12-17; Isaiah 14:12-14).  One third of the angels decided to follow him, now called demons (Revelation 2:4).  Satan brought this evil and distortion with him to earth, and he is temporarily the prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), going to and fro, causing as much havoc as he possible can because he knows his days are numbered.

When I became aware of this revelation, it helped me to understand why evil abounds all around.  But God gave us a way out ... he sent his son, Jesus, and through His death and resurrection, we have power over our enemy, the former archangel Lucifer, now called Satan, or more familiar--the devil.

TiP:  Go ahead, open your Bible and turn to John 3:16.  Once you start reading, you won't want to stop!  Until then,

I wish you smooth sailing ... be aware of your surroundings ... and yes, oceans of blessings and waves of peace in the midst of all turmoil.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Making my way back Home ... slowly.

Central Coast, CA
After spending two weeks in SoCal, I'm home.  Home sweet home.  I still have jet lag.  I had JL when I was in SoCal, but I fought it because we had places to go and people to see, but now that I'm home, I can see through blurry eyes that my calendar is clear, so I'm giving into JL ... sleeping later ... naps  ...  slower walks ... no phone calls, emails ... well, perhaps just a Facebook entry or two. 

Besides my 'Lady and the Sea book launch' party last year, our SoCal trips have always been focused on family, but this trip was unique.  This time we connected with friends; I lost count at forty.  The older you get, the more friends you accumulate.  Most were 'spur-of-the-moment' hook-ups (Hey, if you're free in thirty minutes, let's get together!)  Those who weren't able to hook up on a moment's notice, we'll catch next time ... if there is a next time.

Friends are like jewelry ... there's fine jewelry and then there's costume jewelry.  You ask me why I just wrote that?  My answer: I have NO idea!  I'm still suffering from jet lag.  I knew when I sat down at my iMac that I would be rambling on about whatever, and I was right.  So, on that note, I shall close and come back later ... after I've slept in, and after a few more naps.  Until then,

I wish you smooth sailing and oceans of blessings!

Costume jewelry ... priceless


Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Break

Stay tuned .... Don't go away ... I shall return ... Just taking a Spring Break.  Decided not to blog while on holiday.  Too busy visiting fam and friends.

I'll be chatting with you soon!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Travelin' Three-Thousand miles To...

Huntington Beach, January 2012
Looks like summer to me!

Dog sitter: check.  House sitter: check.  
Notify post office: check.  
Somehow I'm forgetting something.  
Oh, yes!  I must pack.  
For me, the most challenging part of traveling is 
figuring out what to pack, 
especially since I travel with only one carry-on and a large purse.  And Aunt Eunice is no help at all. 

"Darlin', shouldn't you take a see-through dress?  
After all, you are going to California!  
Who knows who you might run into!"

I can only sigh and answer kindly, 
"Aunt Eunice, I don't run around with the same crowd as you."

So I will throw a few things in my old, basic-black carry-on
that has been around the world a few times.  
Why buy a new one when the old one still works? 
I can hear my beloved Mother saying.

I feel strange flying to California and 

not staying with our kids, 
(Tom and Jacquie now live 20 minutes from us).  
Our son, Shawn, and his wife moved to 
Washington almost two years ago to follow their dreams.  
Not much family left in SoCal.  
So we opt to stay in a little Best Western on 
Pacific Coast Highway in our former home town of 
Huntington Beach.  
Nice, but strange.  

After we have a private memorial service for my Daddy, 
then handle some unfinished business regarding our 
former H.B. house, 
Rob and I will pack up our stakes and travel like 
nomads for the remaining eight days.  
We figured as long as we had to return to the west coast, 
we might as well take a mini-vacation.  
The Central Coast beckons, 
so we'll visit friends along the coast highway.

Yes, times change.  
Family has moved, but so glad we have 
special friends to reminisce with while we're there.  
Afterwards, I'll be happy to return to our home in the south 
where folks take time to chat, 
you can openly talk about Jesus, 
pack a you-know-what (with a CWP* of course), 
and spend the summer sipping sweet tea.

Hoping to see some of y'all in California!     

Sunset in Surf City, CA
Here's wishing you oceans of sunny blessings,
Sharon Leaf, the almost-famous author

(*Concealed Weapons Permit)