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Joy with the one who knows you best

Yesterday was Best Friends Day.

Few things compare to having that one person who knows you best, but loves you anyway.

But then, it happens.

That BFF with whom you thought all was going swimmingly and then, suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re ghosted.

No note.

No phone call.

No text.

My BFF’s method of rejection was to simply stop returning emails, unfriend me from Facebook and stop following my blog. 

Yeah . . . it sucked.

The funny thing is I was so close to finishing an afghan I was crocheting for her cabin. I picked colors specifically with her in mind and it took months in the making. I decided to try to finish it anyway, probably holding onto the hope we would repair things.

It. Was. Gorgeous.

But you know what? Right after I finished off the last strand of yarn several blocks of that afghan started to unravel. 

A bit symbolic, right? 

It looked fabulous on the surface from a distance, but with just a tiny, minute tug in random places it started to fall apart. 

The stability of that afghan was compromised. 

Rejection is a common part of life but what sucks is being blindsided by it, asking yourself what on earth could be so horrible about such a fun-loving, easy-going, OCD, Texan gal like me? Politics? Religion? Shoe size? 

I think tolerance grew too heavy for her to carry anymore.

Which strand was it that caused it all to unravel? 

I don’t really want to know why my ex-BFF rejected me out of hand. I’ve learned by sad experience that knowing why someone hates your guts more than gorilla BO is not as satisfying as you think it will be. 

Another friend wisely stated, “It sounds like she wasn’t the person you thought she was.” 

On the surface it all looked great. We were great. But the integrity of our relationship wasn’t stable.

Authentic Intimacy

I’ve yearned for that authentic intimacy from a girlfriend. You know, the traditional kind that is reminiscent of skipping down the sidewalk together, holding hands, sharing secrets, talking into the night on the phone, swapping books, sharing dreams. 

I miss that.

It seemed easier in elementary school, and even a bit in middle school. High school seems to get dicey because boys start to surface in our purview and then all loyalty goes out the window.

As you grow, it seems harder to find and keep that intimacy, that giddy feeling of picking up the phone and chat with someone who can make the most mundane things seem stimulating.

I’ve realized that as I’ve aged and changed, so have my relationships, my friendships. A simple phone call or text can feed my soul much quicker than hours long conversations. 

I now know that I can be happy, joyful, and at peace with the one who knows me the best: me. 

We can all arrive in the place that we are happy in our own skin, to know that rather than “trying to bob and weave what life throws at us, [we have] the comfort of knowing that [we] can take life’s best shot and be able to get back up and move forward.” 

Even with the rejection of a BFF, or a tribe we thought we belonged to, it’s empowering to know that there’s more for us than against us, that as we move forward we still matter.

I still create beautiful Afghans for people I love in my life, but now I also have made some for me. I’ve taken great care with all of them, learning from the mistakes of that one that unraveled long ago.

Because I know who I am, and the person I want to be, there will always be joy waiting around the corner.

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Adam to rule over Eve: what the . . . !

Check out Medium, a great hosting site that offers excellent articles. It’s like a blogosphere on steroids, but instead of “likes” writers are given “claps.”

I just published a new article. Come on over, read the article, and express your appreciation by clapping!

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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Memorial Day: Soldiers bring home more than their uniforms

I don’t think anyone has any idea the effect of what serving in the military or in war has on a person and his/her family. It’s something that one never “gets over.”

My father served as a foot soldier in WWII, fought at the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes. He never shared any war stories until my husband joined the family asked for them. 

Later, while living in Belgium we took our kids to visit the Ardennes, to the many tributes and memorials that the Belgians and Europeans erected for the Allied Forces.

I was so proud to be an American.

I can’t imagine having those experiences, being on high alert at all times, losing friends, losing a large part of yourself.

My dad had PTSD way before it was ever called that, before there was ever a call or resources to serve those who had served us. 

We knew he had something, and that it was associated with the war.

The veteran’s family is often called to sacrifice while never realizing that that is what is going on; without knowing why something is happening, or what it was this time that had triggered such an intense reaction.

My mother and older siblings took the brunt. Then my sister and I took the brunt from them. I had many a time when, though I couldn’t articulate it, I knew I was paying a heavy price for something that happened way before my time, and that it really didn’t have anything to do with me.

But I was still left with bruises on my heart.

So, I learned how to become invisible. Which wasn’t all that bad. I took to books and writing, loving and breathing the outdoors, listening to conversations when people forgot I was there, taking in life first as a spectator, then looking for tribes that would accept me as a participant.

A tribe I have learned to love are the veterans. I don’t think I’ve met a more giving and humble group than those who have served our country, served even those who don’t understand what an amazing country they have, the freedoms that are worth sacrificing for, because they don’t understand what it means to sacrifice.

Not as a veteran.

Not as a family member of a veteran.

And as I’m not invisible anymore, one of my missions is to make sure neither are those who wore the uniform, or those that still wear it and have long since been buried, who didn’t make it home to experience the PTSD or unseen triggers that might leave their families bewildered but still in love with the veteran.

Living with a veteran can be a complicated existence, and it certainly depends on the personality and personal experiences of the one who served in the military. But there are two truths that are self evident, that should be on the forefront—and not just on Memorial Day. 

  1. They served our country, YOUR country. 
  2. They deserve our respect, our compassion, our reverence. They deserve WAY more than we are giving them in return for their sacrifice, for their families’ sacrifice.

Here are a couple of things YOU can do to support our veterans:

  1. assign a veterans organization as your Amazon Smile’s charity recipient. Make sure you purchase through Amazon Smile and not just the regular site and Amazon will donate to that charity. My personal choice is Camp Hope in Houston, TX, a facility that houses veterans with PTSD and their families and provides pastoral counseling and peer-to-peer mentoring. 
  2. If you have a particular skill perhaps you can donate some time to a veteran organization of your choice. Most have websites that list needs. 
  3. Say thank you! On social media, in person, waiting in line. Appreciation goes a long way.

For those who made it home with your uniform, thank you. You make the world a better place. For families of veterans, you are not invisible. We see you. I see you. I know what it is like. To you, Thank You as well!

Photo credits: top photo by Daniel Foster, bottom photo by Todd Trapani–both on Unsplash

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Why did Eve not need a “help meet?”

As a woman there has always been a question in the back of my mind: why was Eve/woman created? Was she only created to help Adam? Was she not created in her own right? Was Adam not needed as a “help meet” for her? Was she here only to help Adam/man to succeed? 

(I picture the ghost of a pearl-wearing June Cleaver whispering, “When he succeeds, I succeed, and we both succeed, which means we all succeed, which . . .”) and you get the jest of this loop.

Great questions, right?

People say:

“It isn’t in force anymore.” 

“That was the old way of doing things.”

“Of course it is still valid and as the man I’m the head by gum!” (I know . . . I hear it. I’m old . . .)

“Well, it’s a means of protecting the woman.”

But whatever direction we turn, we still come face-to-face with the same Biblical text. 

I think we can all agree that for the most part, at least in the US, that cultural thinking of “man is the only boss in his home” is gone by the way side. Even in faith communities, at least in practice, there is a lot more unanimity in decision-making and sharing of household responsibilities.

In general.

The biblical text goes something like this:

Male made first. Male made in image of God. Woman made second. Woman made from part of man. 

(RSV—Ramona Siddoway Version)

This is the KJV.

So much of cultural narratives about females around the world have some foundation in this allegory and the interpretation of the text that followed. 

What if I shared with you some research to show you that most of what has been taught in the mainstream culture has been wrong?

Ok. Tainted? Misconstrued? Misunderstood? What about that some of the text was altered?

Here’s the thing. We need to go deeper.

Read it as it was written and intended, not as we want it to mean.

It was written as an allegory. The order and symbolism are all meant to teach us something higher, something grander, something about who we are and can become in our individual and distinct genders as we embark on our way to become like God.

The creation of Adam/man and Eve/woman was only the beginning to creating man and woman in God’s likeness and image. 

Yes, woman was made in God’s image as well

The entire sequence is a setup for what is going to take place later:

The Fall.

Let’s also remember that it wasn’t Adam who said he didn’t like being alone, it was God who pointed out that man shouldn’t be alone. And once Eve was in the picture, Adam was smitten. It was like, “Ohhh! I get it! This is kind of nice!” (RSV)

So, taking the symbolic rib from Adam was a message for Adam and man: you are not and cannot be whole without Eve/woman. 

See that?

Ok, what about Eve? She’s created second. Here’s Gordon B. Hinckley’s take:

“Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.”

(The symbolic rib was also teaching Eve/woman that she has a strong connection with Adam, that she is not whole without him.)

So, back to the “Eve creation for her own sake” conversation.

By bringing attention to Eve’s creation—the timing, the statement of it not good to be alone, etc.—God (or Moses as the writer) is setting the stage to introduce to Adam/man and the world Eve/woman’s high and holy calling as:

The mother of ALL living. Life and light bringer.

Annie Henrie

Come back tomorrow and we will discuss my most favorite part of this whole allegory: the stewardships of the two trees and why the Fall was in God’s plan all along.

(Top photo credit: by Jannes Jacobs on Unsplash)

*   *   *

Want to know more about Adam and Eve’s partnership in the Garden of Eden? I go into much more detail in my book, to be released in September of this year!

Can’t wait? Sign up for future posts to read more about this fascinating subject!!

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A Little bit of Healing

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

There are few things in this world that give me more joy, more peace, more healing than just being in a garden. I love everything about it, from feeling the rich soil in my hands, running my palms over the tops of the growing plants, listening to the cicadas in the evening as I stand, looking out over the order I’ve created out of a simple rectangle piece of land.

Each morning I go out to train the cucumbers onto the string, notice how much my luffa vines have grown over night, prune the “elbows” from the Roma tomato plants, watching the fruit form, all green and smooth, soon to turn pink and then bright red.

Do something today, just one thing that brings you closer to that vegetable garden. And if you already have one, pick up one new piece of knowledge that is going to help your garden succeed.

I do.

Every year.

And every year I am healed.

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Audio Book pick

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

They’ve become quite popular these days: audio books and podcasts. They are fast replacing radio as listening choice in the car, and it is fun to wear ear buds around the house listening to a new or old favorite book while burning through household chores.

At first, I was hesitant. No way did I consider listening to an audio book count the same as reading a book! And yes, it is not technically reading with my eyeballs. But, I found that the right narrator makes all the difference and I can get through my book pile so much quicker.

And I do love a good story!

My current listen is:

Narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal, this book has been so entertaining. It is warm and witty, the story of a widow starting over in an unlikely space: her own back yard.

As soon as I get my car to run errands I click this on. Ms. Kowal does an outstanding job, and the writing is spectacular.

One of the nice things about Audible is that you can click on a narrator’s name and find other books they have done.

So, dig in to your next book, whether it be off a shelf or in audio form!

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Great News!

As of today, March 25, 2020, I have signed with Cedar Fort to publish my non-fiction religious book:

We are ‘adam: the partnership of Adam & Eve and what it means for you

I am very excited for people to read it, to become as fascinated and enthralled with the gems of the Adam and Eve allegory that have been stripped or muddied by culture and by scribes. I dive into original Hebrew meanings, funnel the best expert research, knowing that this work will enlighten both men and women. There is divinity in womanhood!

The tentative release date is September of this year. I will have a link for purchase at that time.

Stay tuned!

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash (this is not the book cover, only a placeholder)

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A Mormon Woman’s Guide to Murder

I am almost finished with my first draft. A quirky mystery that features . . . you got it . . . a Mormon woman (now referred to as LDS but we won’t split hairs unless it is off the back of the Fighting Burros!)

Fighting Burros? Why, just the mascot for the local high school in Packsaddle Texas!

Stay tuned for more updates and teasers . . . or could it be . . . tasers????

For now, hold on to your cats!

Photo by Jae Park on Unsplash

Adam and Eve together as a temple unto God

Photo by Mark Burnett on Unsplash

Ever wonder why Eve was made with a “rib” from Adam? What if it was poorly translated and with a better translation their creation and union become much deeper and more powerful?

Check out my new post on Medium.

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My newest book, “We are ‘adam: the Partnership of Adam and Eve in the Garden and What it Means for You,” will be released in September.

Lovin’ my Luffa

I love my garden.

Have I mentioned that before?

Every year I either try something new or, much to my chagrin, have to learn new ways of keeping my darlings alive. (I am grateful I can learn, and have the flexibility to do so.)

When I was ordering from the garden catalogue for my spring garden I saw seeds for Luffa gourd plants. Luffas! You’ve seen them in the stores. They look like this:

I’m hearing a collective “Ohhhhh! I thought those came from the ocean!” Yeah . . . so did I! They start out looking like regular gourds/squash:

They look like long cucumbers.

They can be eaten like any other squash. But leave them until late fall, let them dry, peel the skin from the loofah and voila! Here is a quick YouTube video on the process.

Life. Is. Good.

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What I’m watching . . .

Best. Mystery. Ever!

Enter a gifted criminal psychologist. Insert a journalist sister who is the only normal in the family. Add a dash of a manipulative mother. Round it out with a serial killer dad in maximum security prison who only wants a relationship with his son.

Stir in some great actors, superb writing with twists, turns, and season finales of, “Holy Cow I can’t believe they did that!!” and you’ve got a series makes you giddy when sitting down to watch it.

A bit on the gore, but not Friday the 13th kind. There is enough humor that makes it light; and incredible acting on the mad, serial killer dad that you can’t help but identify with/love him.

(Stop staring at me . . .)

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