Tag Archives: reaping and sowing

The “Love” Garden

21 Apr

The advice that I would like to share with new gardeners, is to have patience.

A garden is quite  forgiving and gives you multiple chances to find what works best for you and it. Immediate  fulfillment can be found in a beautifully landscaped garden designed and planted by a professional. However, you will find that the truly unique gardens, are created of love and tell the story of a lifetime. The “love” garden cannot be created quickly, however it often speaks the loudest to our hearts.  

When you walk in a “love” garden and hear of the memories…  a plant shared by a friend, a tree  planted when a baby was born, perennials grown from seeds and nurtured over time, or the Easter  lilies given as a gift each year, these things bring life and love to a garden.

When you relax, give  yourself grace, laugh at your mistakes and rejoice in your accomplishments, magic happens. My garden really took off after The Year of the Cicadas. I found healing for my soul, and answers for my heart while digging in the dirt that year. Reconnecting with nature is one of the ways that  God reminds us of the circle of life.

My garden has taught me many things about myself and the  world in which we live. Start slow if you are busy with work, family, sports and other events.  Your garden should be a  place that allows you to relax and reconnect with what matters most to you. Your understanding of  plants, growing environments and propagation will grow along with your garden, allowing you to  mature together. Allow your garden of love to evolve just as your life evolves, one event at a time.  

Enjoy,

Catie

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or our websitewww.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen ShowOprahThe View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

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Forgiveness is a complicated subject…

12 Nov

Forgiveness is a complicated subject, one which I heard a great sermon on last Sunday. I have worked hard on forgiveness most of my life.  It does not come easily to me.  I am often asked if writing the book, The Year of the Cicadas was an immediate cleansing for my soul?

The answer is no, actually quite the opposite.  I realized upon reading my first draft that I was both hurt and angry about a lot of things, with a lot of people, and with myself.  Putting all of my emotions down on paper had allowed me to see that I was nowhere near healed from this experience. I now had all of these written emotions staring me right in the face… and the question, what was I to do with them?

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As I shared my manuscript with each relevant family member they requested changes, additions and heaven forbid… deletions. I was forced to make a shift, a small shift in my perspective and see things from a new vantage point. This was not an easy thing for me to do. I discovered that although we disagreed we both needed to consider the other’s viewpoint. Then the rewrites started, thirteen in all. It was during the rewrites that the magic happened.

Often weeks or even months would go by while I walked the bay, through the woods or over the coastal beaches of Maine giving these new viewpoints time to percolate my bubbling emotions.  Over time I began to see the events through their eyes and wrote and rewrote drafts finding a neutral ground that we could all agree upon. As one thorn was removed from my soul, I naturally went on to the next working it out as best I could.

Fortunately I had excellent support from my husband. He did an amazing job of encouraging our children to allow me to write from my viewpoint, to honor my artistic freedom. He supported our family by bringing their emotions to me for consideration.  It was an amazing balancing act performed by him.  He helped us to reach a healthy compromise and sometimes we simply agreed to disagree.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We are a close family, our relationship with God was strengthened, and my son is healed.  How could I continue to be hurt or angry with results such as these!

By looking at it from the viewpoint of others I was able to find real forgiveness. The angry woman that wrote the book disappeared. I am embarrassed today by some of the things that I did, or didn’t do. I am also content with many of my actions. I will be eternally grateful for all of the hard work that went into the writing of our story, and even more grateful for the unwanted journey that was forced upon me by the rewrites.  After all, forgiveness is a complicated subject, but so worth the extra steps in the end.

Hugs, Catie

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or our websitewww.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen ShowOprahThe View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Our Heavenly Father is just a pocket talk away….

4 Nov

Hard times will find us, for some of us sooner rather than later, but eventually hard times will find you.  I believe that it should be our mission in life to turn a negative into a positive. Turning a tragedy into a triumph has been the catalyst for many causes and foundations that help millions.

As a young girl I was the middle child of a second family for both of my parents. My father walked away from his first family, then he walked away from us as well. I was just a baby and we never saw or heard from him again.  This happened in the late 1950’s when Father Knows Best and the Donna Reed show ruled the airways. Things were different then. Parents stayed together.

We were the only family in our school without a father. I was told in Sunday school that we all have two fathers, an earthly father and a heavenly father. I was ecstatic, I had a father…one that I could tuck in my pocket and take around with me.  I talked with him all the time. But then, I grew up.  I married, and had four children. My husband and I started off madly in love; with our busy lives we hardly saw each other. With a travelling husband, four teenagers, sports, work, and all that comes with life…. I didn’t make the time to speak with my heavenly father. I was not satisfied with life.

Although I had turned away from him, he was patiently waiting for my return. I started talking to my heavenly father again, asking for change. You must be careful when praying for change… it rarely comes in the form you expect!

On May 23rd, 2004 we received the phone call that every parent fears.  We were told that our son had fallen 180 feet while camping at the Gorge.  To hurry, he was being airlifted, and the outcome looked grim.  Twelve hours after his fall, our son was airlifted to the trauma center.

The doctors were amazed, they couldn’t understand it. Our sons insides should have been mush, his bones should have been smashed and yet, he had only fractured one of his vertebrae. No one could explain it! They also informed us that he had dissected his carotid artery causing a stroke and that he was paralyzed on one side.

The blow to his head by a rock he hit on the way down had allowed his spinal fluid to leak out of his ear, relieving the pressure on his brain as it swelled throughout the night. This had saved his life.

The real damage they tell us is to his brain.  His brain had been injured in several different ways. This is our introduction to the world of Traumatic Brain Injury. Each brain injury is as unique as the patient and the circumstances.

We were told there was little chance that our son would live. If he did live he would probably be a vegetable, or low functioning for the rest of his life. We were told that he was not really out of the woods as of yet.

No one could foresee his outcome, nothing to do but to pray and wait.

Our son was a fighter. He fought to stop his descent, he fought to stay conscious to call for help in the canyon, he fought his rescuers, and he was still fighting for his life. Still fighting, he took out his breathing tube, time and time again.  Finally they removed it and he was breathing on his own!

He continued to fight. Fight to learn how to swallow, eat, talk, walk and to remember…whom we were and whom he was. Finally the day came when he was allowed to go home.  He continues to amaze us all.   He was not accepting any limitations from any of us.  He has completely recovered.

God cannot prevent bad things from happening, they will happen but he can show you the way to turn the negative into a positive. By sharing our story we hope to influence others.  Our story has an amazing ending, and I wrote about it in a book entitled: The Year of the Cicadas.

Our heavenly father loves you so much that there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for you.  He carried my son down to the floor of the canyon; He restored health and vitality to my son; He renewed my marriage; He returned our family to faith; Just be careful when asking for change, it may not come in the form you expect.

Catie

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or our websitewww.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen ShowOprahThe View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Life Lessons from the Garden

3 Oct

So many lessons about life have been learned in my garden.

A perennial to one person is a weed to another. It is simply a matter of taste.   While moving out an extremely invasive plant I remind myself of this quote, “No flower can prosper in your garden without your permission.” This is so true in life as well.

hollyhocksI harvest seeds from my cottage style garden nearest my kitchen window each fall.  I know it is not necessary to do this, but my garden has become thick over the years. Left to it’s own management the landscape from my window would look quite different than it does today.

I have been a gardener for a long, long time. I understand that I could simply let nature take her course. Knowing that the wind would scatter both the seeds of discontent as well as those of my choice.  Allowing these invaders to choke out the flowers that are important to me is not acceptable. It is best to remove the undesired plants before their seeds can scatter and grow.  I move them to their own spot, far away from my cottage garden.  Giving them space to spread and grow within a safety zone.

The view from our kitchen window changes with the seasons, and I am protective of this view.  I am always excited to watch what pops up next, which flower will bloom where, and depending on the rainfall, the warmth of the weather, and many things beyond my control, it is constantly a new and exciting garden. 

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Mother Nature and I have agreed upon a dance, she can move the seedlings around, with the help of a feathered friend, or a gust of wind. I also harvest seeds to deposit them where I hope they will grow and delight both my grandchildren and my heart.  If I am diligent and remove the unwanted plants before they turn to seed, my job will be easier next spring.

Doing nothing is a choice. Over the years I have been responsible for ignoring invasive species by allowing them time to become a full-blown epidemic. Eventually choking out my most beloved blooms by stealing all of the nutrients and light, some are lost forever.  I raised these beauties from seedlings, fed them, watched over them, and have been overjoyed at their masses, and deflated almost to tears when they were unable to find space to come back next spring. 

The cause most of the time is that I have spread myself to thin.  I have many beds within my garden and only one of me.  I also have many other activities that compete for my time, love and attention.  Almost always, I saw these invaders but simply didn’t have the time to deal with them.

garden1It is so easy to see the chaos and the fight in your garden, but so difficult to detect in our own lives. We each only have so much time, when something new comes into our lives something else must either go or suffer. What unwanted invasive plant has entered into your life?  Are you allowing other “weeds” to crowd out your most beloved?  What seeds are you allowing in, or ignoring that are taking over your time?  Will this invader wreak havoc upon your health, spirituality, and emotional wellbeing by sucking out all of the nutrients and light from the things you love?

Harvesting and spreading the seeds of love every once in a while will make your garden of life a beautiful bouquet.  Don’t let invasive plants, ones that perhaps you may have liked at one time, overpower and overtake your life. Choose well, because what is a perennial to one person is a weed to another.  Happy Harvesting.

Catie

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or our websitewww.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen ShowOprahThe View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

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