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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

May 30, 2019

Avocado Toast

Shake up your morning and your taste buds with an order of avocado toast. I’ve seen this on some menus, and it’s a quick and easy dish to make at

May 23, 2019

Float Your Troubles Away

There are many ways to improve your state of mind and health that have nothing to do with food. Floating is one of them. Floating therapy is the relax

May 16, 2019

Fitness Made Simple

When you boil it all down, getting fit is really very simple. Here’s the secret: Create a habit that leads you in the direction of improving your he

May 9, 2019

I Ate Raw Cookie Dough

As I was making a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, I caught myself swiping my finger along the inside of the bowl. I then proceeded to lic

Feeling Stormy? Experience Growth!

 

One of the really cool parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…so much.  Like, the warmth of the sun on a summer day in July, and a cool breeze off the Lake.  Or, the soft rain on our skin when we get caught in an April shower, just before the flowers bloom.  We love the feel of happiness, when a day just seems to roll along in the right direction.  Those moments when everything seems at peace in the world, or our world, at least.

One of the toughest parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…too much.  When our child gets hurt in the game and is out for the season or someone makes a remark that cuts through our heart.  Nothing goes our way no matter how hard we try.  Illness zaps our energy and causes every bone in our body to make itself known.  The thunderstorms of life have the potential to drown us. 

So, what do we do?  Such a blessing and a curse, to feel, really feel, life.  Wouldn’t it be sweet to just savor the good parts and let the rest go?  It would, for a while.  But how would a great day in our eyes make itself be known if we didn’t have a less than great day to compare it to?  We would never appreciate what it is to be well, if we are never ill.  And I am absolutely positive that after a few months of winter, I appreciate my crocuses much more than a person who can gaze upon the beauty of fresh blooms all year.

We experience duality for good purpose.  It is the only way we can grow as individuals and become who we are truly meant to be.  Adversity builds character and creates a foundation that has the potential to become unshakeable, if we allow it.  We don’t have to like it, merely embrace it for our good.  Oh, and equally as important, for the good of the next friend we are able to help through the storm. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 NIV

Sometimes All We Can Do is “Be”

 

I recently spent most of my days sitting and “being.”  Reading anything of substance was merely an exercise of moving my eyes across the page.  Nothing would sink into my brain.  I could work puzzles…easy Sudoku and a few crossword.  Even my Bible lessons seemed impossible to figure out.  Hmmm. Perhaps because not every answer is clear cut. 

What I was able to do, besides pray, was be.  And nod off to sleep.  For days and days, I sat at the bedside of my mother as she transitioned to eternity.  She had been an Alzheimer’s patient for over a decade.  Her mind and body would be free at last, while all I could do was be.  Mindless.  Still.    

I recalled the early days of her illness, when it was best to sit together in silence.  Conversation went in circles.  We would simply be.  Together.  And in the final moments of her life, the circle became complete.  When I came into this world, it was the two of us, together.  As she left this world, it was once again, the two of us, together.  All we could do was be.  Still.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10 NIV

Good Times at the Farmhouse

 A couple weeks ago I paid a visit to my Aunt Susie.  She is ninety-four years young, the only remaining child of ten.  We did what ladies like to do, and went out for lunch.  The chicken and noodles we had were not nearly as good as she and her sisters once made, but the comfort food brought back some good memories.  A nice surprise, her son Bruce stopped by while we were enjoying our time together.  He gave me a gift of a drawing he had done of the farmhouse that our parents grew up in. 

Since there had been no pictures to draw the house from, he drew it the way Aunt Susie described.  The farmhouse was a two-story frame with a porch that nearly wrapped around the entire house.  A porch swing was hanging in front of the kitchen window.  A warm light shone from the family room, as that was the center of activity and warmest in winter. 

I listened intently as Aunt Susie described the interior, which room was which, and all the happy stories that came to mind along the way.  She also told me of the difficulties that came about when her father was killed.  She helped raise the youngest siblings as her mother and the older ones went off to work.   

What really amazed me was that in spite of the hardships they endured, she enjoyed growing up when she did with her family and all of its imperfections.  Her memories were happy and I delighted in listening to them come alive through her stories.  Now, if only I could recreate the chicken and noodles that were once made in the farmhouse kitchen…

“The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but the people who have learned to live with those things that are less than perfect.”  James Dobson

When You are Swallowed by Fog…

And you cannot see.  Anything.  Dense, thick, dark fog surrounds you and yes, you feel like you have been swallowed.  Now what?  Fear, anxiety, anger, impatience.  The list goes on. 

The fog may come as illness, depression, addiction, death, abandonment.  We all have been swallowed at one time or another, and sometimes again and again, in different ways.  We wonder, how long will it last?  Will I ever be able to see clearly again?  And if and when I do, when will the fog return?  It is a vicious cycle of despair…unless.

Unless, you find a light!  It may be dim at first, but it brightens.  The light may be a friend who listens in the midst of your fog, an answer to prayer, a stranger who smiles, a song that uplifts, a word of encouragement and praise.  There is plenty of light to clear the fog.

We share so much.  We all experience fog sometime.  We all are light…if we choose to be so.  When we are swallowed by fog, we must have a foundation of trust to know that light will come.  When we are the light, we must choose to shine as brightly as possible, knowing that it is our time to help others through their fog.  And so the cycle repeats.  That is a constant of life.  Thank you to all who have been my light!  My deep gratitude enables me to be light today.  Shine with me, friends! 

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:16 NAB