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Written by YPM®

Surprised by LOVE


As many of you know, my “Word” of the year begins in August after I travel to Vista, California.  My word journey began by “accident” as far as I knew.

So this is my 7th year to choose a guiding word….  or should I say the word chooses me!

Crazy really.

The past two years, unlike the previous five, I have had a word in mind before I arrived in Vista.  I had been talking to God for several weeks about this year’s word since I had a preconceived notion of what it might be.  I asked God to make the “right word” really clear for me so that his direction would trump my own.

As usual, I called my friend, Joy in Vista a few weeks in advance of my arrival.  You see, it is at Joy’s booth at the Vista Farmer’s Market where I retrieve my word.

When I called Joy to secure our annual Saturday connection, her response left me silent for moments… Joy’s news was devastating to me.  She was not going to be at the market!   I thought, WHAT??  How could it be?  WOULD I HAVE HAVE TO GO WORDLESS?

Joy stepped into the silence (though the panic in my mind was loud and clear) with what she expected would be reassuring words.  “Not to worry. I have already put your word aside for you. I feel strongly about this word for you.”  EXCUSE ME?, I thought. How could you possibly know what word to choose?  This journey is personal between me and God! Read more →

I Give to You…OUR SONG of the Year

This Valentine’s month I share a piece of my heart with you – Our “Song of the Year”.

Do you ever feel like you just don’t need any more “boxes wrapped in strings, or designer love and empty things” as the Goo Goo Dolls say so eloquently in their song Better Days?

Well, the past few years my husband and I have felt this to be more and more true for us. So, one of the most rewarding gifts we have shared has been a song to call our own. A song to hold, to share, to revisit all year.

Some years we slow dance when I unveil the song. Last year my family participated in the gift and we did a “mini family flash mob!” It was hilarious and touching at the same time. This year it was more simple and more private. Read more →

I Repeat…My word of the Year is Patience

 

 

I repeat… “My Word of the Year is Patience.”

Have you noticed that “New Year’s Resolutions, Revolutions, guiding words, goals and hopes” topics are resonating out there? Each year, in August (since 2007), I’ve identify a word of the year to live by. Since it is now a new calendar Year it seems appropriate to re-post my “Word of the Year” blog.

I hope you enjoy a little patience as you read on again, or for the first time.

If you were to choose a word of the year to live by, remain rooted in, would “PATIENCE” ever come to mind? Me neither! But this is how this true story unfolds….

My husband, Ken, and I travel every year back to the Vista Farmer’s Market (VFM) in California. (see other blogs: Back and Forth to Vista) This year was not exception. So, we arrive at the VFM and per our usual Em-O, Ken bee lines to the breakfast tamale booth as I continue to seek Joy – that would be my dear friend Joy Blessman and her booth filled with INTENTIONS. For the past 7 years I have returned to Vista to discover my guiding word for the year. I find the word or more like it the word finds me.Then I choose to live in it, by it and sometimes through it for the entire year. The word serves as an area of growth in my life and my faith. Read more →

Word for the Year – A Trip Back to VISTA

If you were to choose a word of the year to live by, remain rooted in, would “PATIENCE” ever come to mind? Me neither! But this is how this true story unfolds….

My husband, Ken, and I travel every year back to the Vista Farmer’s Market (VFM) in California. (see other blogs: Back and Forth to Vista) This year was not exception. So, we arrive at the VFM and per our usual Em-O, Ken bee lines to the breakfast tamale booth as I continue to seek Joy – that would be my dear friend Joy Blessman and her booth filled with INTENTIONS. For the past 7 years I have returned to Vista to discover my guiding word for the year. I find the word or more like it the word finds me.Then I choose to live in it, by it and sometimes through it for the entire year. The word serves as an area of growth in my life and my faith.

This year, unlike past years, I arrived with a preconceived notion of what my next word of focus would be. I was sort of getting fired up about what I was sure would be my new word. Although, since it is important to me to surrender to what God’s plan might be for me, I said a prayer before we headed to the market. My prayer went like this, “God, please just make it clear what my word should be. Otherwise, I’VE got a plan. You know me, God, the sign has to be clear so I can be sure.”

So, when I arrived at Joy’s booth and laid eyes on my friend she greeted me with her smiling eyes and a new curvy, smaller frame. She shared her story about her new nutrition cleansing plan that clearly worked. Her size, her shining spirit, her glowing skin all revealed a cleansed new starting point. Somehow, Vista represents this for me each year. I yearn for this trip and these moments with JOY.

As our interlude continued to unfold my eyes began to search her booth for her famous INTENTIONS soaps and for my new word to treasure for the next 365 days. Concern entered my spirit. I did not see the soaps, only four INTENTIONS candles one of which was my anticipated word. Ok. Now all I need is the soap and I’m good. When I asked Joy about the soaps she said that a women earlier in the day had purchased almost all of her INTENTIONS SOAPS but she had this little row of them left. No matter really. I only needed one of them… right?

So, I begin to review the row of soaps, one soap hiding the next one. I looked at the first soap, it said “patience.” Well, no this is not it. The next one, “patience.” No way. The third one, yup, “patience.” The fourth, “triumphant” which was my word two years ago. The sixth and seventh soaps, “patience!” There were two more soaps, both said “joy.” As you can imagine, my heart was pounding. Not one WISDOM in the bunch! Maybe I’m supposed to switch to a candle this year. Who says the word has to be on a bar of soap?

Really, God? Patience? Ok, you may be asking me, why not joy? Great question! I thought that myself. Get this.

As I stewed in silent denial about the word that appeared 5 times out of 8 possibilities because someone else had bought all the others after asking God to make it really clear, I waited for the answer to change. I moved back toward the four candles. Remember, one of them had “MY” word – WISDOM – on it. I reached for wisdom. Meanwhile, my friend Joy had no idea what was going on inside of me as other customers were coming and going in her booth. Finally, as I reached for the wisdom candle I hooked the ribbon on the candle next to it. That candle fell into my hands. Joy quickly said, whatever that candle is that fell must be your word, Robin. It nearly jumped off the shelf at you. You are not going to believe this… YES! Dog gone it! It was the PATIENCE candle.

A brief moment after that happened, I remained in turmoil as more customers came and went. I picked up the “joy” soap telling myself that I could live with joy for the year. That would be just fine. It wasn’t wisdom but it trumped patience. Then a noticed a customer reaching toward the candles, as she was reaching her finger hooked a ribbon of one of the candles and it fell toward her. I repeated Joy’s advice – “that must be the one you are supposed to buy. It came right to you.” She looked at me, kept browsing and finally purchased the one that fell toward her. She said as she paid joy for her COURAGE candle, I do believe this was the one meant for me. REALLY. (Why couldn’t it have been the patience candle? She was ACTUALLY reaching for patience!) There was a complete stranger, hooking a candle just like I did. She accepted the message and moved on.

Joy looked at me. Robin, I can feel your angst from here. Why are you fighting patience so much? Girl, don’t you know the only way to it is through it? You may have all the wisdom you need for now to take the next steps in your dreams and God’s plan. Trust that. You just may need more patience to understand it all. She wrapped up that patience soap. We embraced. I left ready to tell my husband the unbelievable story.

He asked, “so what’s your new word of the year, Rob?” I said, “are you ready to hear this story?” His response, “it’s a whole story. Maybe later.” WOW. Already, I’m being tested in patience. No problem. I can wait.

While I thought I had grown so much in patience I guess there is more to learn. I’ve grown more patient with others, with the pace of the world, even more patient with myself, but I’m not so sure I’ve been patient in understanding how and when my dreams may be realized. People say that God’s timeline is different than ours. That’s a tough one. That means I’m not always the driver. I’m learning that I’ve got to depend on others and God to help me in this “dream plan.” That’s not easy for me. How about you?

Do you fight or embrace patience? Do you have a story of patience you can share in the comments? I’d LOVE to hear it! I’ve got all year…

 

 

Risking to Really Live!


“If we risk nothing, we risk everything.”
Geena Davis

Words are never sufficient when we lose those we love. My heart goes out to all of you who understand this. A year ago, we lost my beautiful and courageous niece, Samantha, my sister’s daughter. Sam was 23 years and 5 days old. She stepped out in risk… a lot. Sam loved mischief. She loved adventure. She loved deeply, especially little children. She risked using her voice for others and for advancing a worthy cause or project. I learned so much from this young, yet very wise soul. I understand that losing those we love is part of life, but it is difficult to accept. It is painful. Grief from our loss lingers within us. I am also learning that grief is part of healing.

It is becoming clear that I must risk to really live which in turn honors what Samantha taught me about living. I am learning to risk through stepping out in adventure. I am: risking to stand up for what I believe… risking to support others…. risking to share my faith… risking to speak words of love over judgment, perfection or self-doubt… risking to take on physical challenges when my mind or fear would prefer to stop me. Read more →

Un-ZIP Your Courage!

I have a fear of heights. It’s not exactly the height I fear necessarily but the falling from up high. Looking down makes my stomach feel like swirling butterflies. Therefore, I probably avoid situations of significant height unless I have solid ground under my feet so I can enjoy the vast vista. Therefore, when I signed up to “BE BRAVE” recently, as part of a conference in Nebraska, jumping off a 55 foot platform to ZIP LINE and walking swinging wooden planks 45 feet above the ground was what I had in mind to expand my comfort zone. I guess that is why they say “EXPANDING” your comfort zone. Read more →

Pause Creates New Space

Your Path Matters logoOne of my favorite quotes, “Create the space and a bigger life happens” is by Alysia Reiner. The first time I read this quote I felt the need to de-clutter my physical space. You know, purge and eliminate piles. It seemed I was skilled at creating little piles in every room – and my desk… forget about it.
So, I began the task of eliminating piles to create more physical and visual space. With each step toward “less is more” I found a desire to “create space” in other areas as space can be physical space, calendar space, mental space or soul space. I was discovering that in all of these spaces “clutter happens.”
Read more →

I Need a Sign… A Phone Call

Sweet Nancy fills my heart and my soulI Need a Sign… Part III of A Skywriter, A Billboard, A Bumper Sticker and A Phone Call

This time God dialed in through A PHONE CALL…

It was March 2011 about a year after I had the privilege of presenting my very first Women’s retreat. I set this goal, dream actually, in 2008, to help other women find joy, purpose and fulfillment. THIS, I believed would be my mission forward. This vision was rooted in my faith. I hoped that through this retreat process and the sharing of my own life stories others would see God and all his goodness.

In August of 2009, my friend Nancy and I were sitting on a balcony overlooking the San Diego harbor sipping a glass of Chardonnay. Nancy looked at me and said with direct inquisition, “So, Rob, you have been talking about this retreat stuff for a while now, when is the first one going to take place?” I understood. Dreams are good. They set direction and focus to our goals, but it was up to me to set a concrete date to my plan in order to advance the dream. Nancy was right. Together we set a date and agreed the first retreat would take place in Nancy’s retreat-like living room. There was new fire within me to complete the itinerary for the 2-day event. All my focus was directed toward making that dream come alive. Read more →

A Billboard, a Bumper Sticker…

Part II of – I need a sign…

A Skywriter, a Billboard, a Bumper Sticker and a Phone Call…

Sometimes it is easy to write things off to coincidence and other times it’s just impossible to do so. Sometimes the signs are so loud and clear that hope and reassurance fill my heart. As I continue to follow my life path it’s nearly impossible for me to ignore the signs that are placed in front of me.

My Dad has always possessed a very special part of my heart. My Dad practiced medicine in the times when house calls were still made. In fact, he would often travel on his bike or a scooter with his black crocodile medical bag in tow. He was always ready, always willing and always filled with a guiding spirit of care. My Dad truly has a servant heart.

There was one thing about my Dad that made me pause. I was fearful of that he doubted faith and God. While that doubt was easy to understand, it was difficult for me to accept. I believe that Heaven is for real and I wanted my Dad to believe that too.

A few years ago, I discovered the book, Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg. It was reassuring to see the words together. I planned to gift this book to my Dad for his 82nd birthday. I wanted to write a dedication in it for him, but I was struggling for just the right message. After all, what would he think about receiving a book about faith from his daughter? What would he say? Would he reject it? Would he be offended by it? What would my mother think about it? Read more →

I Need a Sign …A Skywriter..

I NEED A SIGN… Part 1

A Skywriter, a Billboard, a Bumper Sticker and a phone call…

Just ask… Really?

I am learning how amazing and powerful prayer just is. There have been times when I have so badly desired God’s guidance. Do you ever feel like that? While, for me, His answers are not always clear sometimes the answers show up in such a big way there is no mistaking they are a response to my “ask.”

The very first time I remember intentionally asking for a sign, I was sort of new at this believing thing. I was not really sure that God could love me so much that he would provide personal answers to prayer requests. I thought that I would give it a try even though the magnitude of this love was hard to grasp.

Shortly after I had made a commitment to try on this God life, I was invited to go on a girls golf trip. I had reservations about this trip as the others in the party walked on the wild side and I was pretty sure they might not “know Jesus.” Silly, really. I know that. I wanted to share what I was learning but was afraid I might be rejected by them. So, I decided to ask God, “please send me a sign in a way that makes it possible for me to share my new found faith.” I wondered if and how God might show up on this trip to answer me. After all, I was new at this prayer thing. I didn’t have any idea if God even answered such prayers when there are so many greater needs in the world. Read more →