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My Mom…

My Mom…
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◊ was a great cook. Her fried chicken was the best in the world. Yes, world. And her banana pudding…there aren’t words. Baking powder biscuits, pork chops, salmon patties, and the list goes on.

 

◊ was an inventive decorator…she knew pretty. And there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t tackle. She could sew, paint, knock out walls, reupholster, and crochet. I’m not talking doilies, she crocheted full-length tablecloths. They were exquisite. And mom was a repurposing queen long before it became a fad.

 

◊  was a smart business woman. She bought and sold our homes always upgrading in the process. My dad didn’t make much as a milkman but somehow our mother figured out ways to make it work so we always had what we needed and more.

 

◊ was a sturdy woman of faith. Mom loved Jesus of that there was no doubt. She loved God’s Word. She was a woman of prayer. She was generous and forgiving. And she gave motherhood all the energy and love she had.

 

Thank you mom.
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January…you confuse me!

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One moment you are cheering me on with high fives and the next moment you are reminding me of all the years I made resolutions I didn’t keep. Well, c’mon, I kept them a few months, but then they twirled away like dishwater down the drain. Yes, yes, I know I’m not alone.

So I’m rethinking my approach to making change.

I’m going to try to set one goal a month, instead of a dozen, and see how I do. At the end of the month if I still need to improve on my effort in that area then I’ll maintain that goal for another month…and so on. But let’s say by month three not only have I maintained, but its become instinctive and its been incorporated into my daily flow, then I move on to a fresh goal…..but only one. This way I’m not overwhelmed by a whiny, screeching list and I have time to emotionally make friends with my change.

If your childhood overwhelmed you because of chaos, abuse, health, drama, trauma, etc, then a list of resolutions will probably always be more dismantling then helpful. Or if you were indulged and became lame and lazy, then mercy yourself. Don’t blame. Don’t excuse. Just look for ways that are effective for you to grow. We are all designed differently and if our backgrounds modeled and molded some less than helpful habits it will take more sweat equity, but we can do it.

God created us with a powerful tool for personal change called a mindset. Let’s access that advantage and let’s not hurl stones at the mirror. We are not perfect (yet) but we are in process….so, one step at a time will get us to the roof…where the views will give us a higher perspective. We don’t have to climb to heaven Jesus has already secured that ticket in our behalf. But in taking the next step here it will enable us to die to self and live more fully for Christ.

Okay, my first goal is to drink more water. Does that sound too simple? Trust me its not. I shudder at the thought I’m even going to try again. In my over 70 years on this earth I have never done well with water intake, so for me this is a biggie. Water nauseates me. No kidding. And no, I don’t like flavored water either. So I’m going to need a mindset to get past my objections, which will be like dismantling a brick wall.

With the Lord’s help let’s leap over the wall of our resistance into a new freedom. Doing the right thing always leads to personal respect.

Let me know your first goal, that is if you don’t mind sharing. I promise I won’t peek in your windows to see how you are doing, like a Resolution Cop. But I will pray for you…and hope you will pray for me as well.

Love, Patsy

What 2016??

Wow!

I just got into the rhythm of writing 2015. It feels like someone has their foot on the accelerator of my calendar. 2015 was a rip roaring year of conferences but also a year of severe health issues for my husband…which kept my heart on nervous tiptoes and me darting between airports, home, hospital, and rehab center.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.26.13 PMMost of you know Les had his left leg amputated just below the knee. Had that been all it would have been enough for our whole family, but then he fell 3 different times splitting open his surgical sight each time. One of those times he had to have a blood transfusion and the last one sent him back to the hospital for surgical repairs. Through all of this Les continues to tell goofy jokes and sing Willy Nelson songs. His resilience is inspiring if not miraculous.

Now on to 2016 where the Clairmont’s are praying for restored health.

Just think we have 366 new days to learn, explore, share, and trust.

One new resolution I’m making has to do with God calling us to be givers. I am aligning my heart prayers with and for a ministry in Nashville to help homeless women, recovering prostitutes, and women trying to resume a life upon release from prison. It was established by Becca Stevens an Episcopal priest. The women are taught business skills making candles and bath products. I have been to their work center and their new cafe and I love what they are doing. So don’t be surprised when you see me offering their candles on my sites or using the hash tag #loveheals or the name Thistle Farms.Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.26.20 PM

Another resolution I am trying out is setting reading goals. I read daily and eclectically and I’d like to be more intentional. So I am aiming at 24 books for the year. I’m not sure if that’s too many or too few for my time and travel commitments but I’ll find out.

Also I would like to improve my photography skills, my painting, and my poetry.

I believe in the arts if for no other reason then for my sanity. Besides travel can be lonely and the arts are great companions.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 9.26.35 PMOne trip coming up that I know won’t be lonely is Andrew Greer’s Stories & Songs cruise to Alaska. I hope you will join us. It will be fueled by creativity and adventure. The settings are breathtaking and the wildlife is thrilling. And we will sing and laugh and eat and learn and sightsee. We are not booking the whole ship but just a patch of rooms. We are looking at a more intimate experience where we can get to know each other and have time for our hearts to feel safe…because we believe that’s the atmosphere God does some of His sweetest work. My friends, singer/author Ginny Owens and speaker/author Robin Gunn will join Andrew and myself on the high seas. Come join us as we applaud creation and our Creator God and explore the power of our words.

Hand writes the word thank you

Thank you for supporting my ministry and for your prayers. I pray you will experience in 2016 the fullness of His plans with a receptive heart and a grateful attitude. God bless!

Patsy

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