1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Schererville, IN

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September 24, 2020

Pumpkins, Apples, and Pears, Oh My

Welcome to fall and an abundance of pumpkins, apples, and pears. These are just a few favorites that enjoy a big debut this time of year. The Great Pu

September 17, 2020

Creating Space…in Your Refrigerator, Freezer, Life

Lately I’ve noticed that I have the need for more space—physically, mentally, digitally, and when it comes to my schedule. And no, I do not want a

September 10, 2020

Standing in the Doorway of September

We’re standing in the doorway of September. Summer days still linger, yet autumn is inching its way into our lives—and wardrobes. It’s one more

September 3, 2020

Sometimes I Eat My Feelings

Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I eat my feelings. How about you? We feel sad, so we eat food that soothes us. We feel like celebrating, so we

September 2, 2020

Carob Brownies

(This recipe first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Ingredients:  1/2 cup all-purpos

September 1, 2020

High-fiber, low-fat legume adds the flavor without the drawbacks of chocolate

(The following article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of Get Healthy, a publication of The Northwest Indiana Times.) Online version Most pe

August 27, 2020

Are You Ready?

Are You Ready? Or are you waiting for the perfect time to…                             …learn a new skill? …write the book? …ea

August 25, 2020

Gluten Free Pie Crust

This recipe yields two 9-inch pie crusts. 2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend (Namaste and King Arthur are brands I’ve used)  1/2 teaspo

August 20, 2020

It’s Tomato Time

As I was caring for my tomato plants, I had the memory of my father teaching me about cutting off the suckers–those shoots that show up between

August 13, 2020

Enjoy a Bit of Sabbath Today

Today, take some time to lighten things up a bit and do something you really enjoy—for about an hour. Warning: this may take some discipline. Monks

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

 

When the Gifts We Receive are not the Gifts We Desire

 

Have you heard the song that goes, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need?”  If not, you have missed out on a classic by The Rolling Stones.  Those specific lyrics apply to so much in life.  Does it not seem that we always want more or different or better?  Yet, by whose standards? 

We are each given a specific set of talents or gifts.  Those gifts are not something we had a special request for, we were just born with them.  For example, there are those who can sing with seemingly no effort…and stay on key to boot!  Others have engineered ways for us to reach the moon and beyond.  Neither of those gifts have I been blessed with, at least if I have, they have not yet been revealed! 

So, what is the point?  I have been blessed with other gifts, gifts that I keep discovering as time passes.  Some were revealed to me at an early age, like my ability to create delicious concoctions in the kitchen.  Others are a work in progress.  The point is, I find my joy in using the gifts that have been given me.  I find great challenge in cultivating gifts that are not innately mine. 

As I celebrate another year of life, I realize that the best use of the time I have left here on earth is to polish those gifts I have been given.  I am to use those gifts to bring light to the darkness that envelops others.  I am called to help others shine in the light of their gifts.  The challenge is for you to do the same.  After all, we can still sing along…  

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  1 Peter 4:10 NIV 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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