Tag Archives: mental health

Brave Enough

Once again linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and others for Five Minute Friday.

I promised myself I’d start back up with the Five Minute Friday in May. Here is it Saturday, and the Five Minute Friday post for yesterday is just now going up. But, better late than not at all.


We often think and even say someone is brave, much braver than we’d be in the same circumstances.

But, here’s the thing, we’re as brave as we need to be at any given moment if we just allow ourselves to be.

When God called my husband home, several of my friends said, “Oh, I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know what I’d do if it was me.” And then later when I’d do something different, “You are so brave.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

First no one knows what we’d do in someone else’s shoes. We haven’t been there yet so how can we know? I certainly didn’t know what I’d do when left alone. Not completely alone of course, God was always with me, and my husband’s memory stays. But, physically, alone.

I just took one step at a time. Sometimes not even whole steps. Sometimes not even steps, I just stood still and let God hold me up. But, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, I muddle through.

It’s the same for everyone. Whatever their challenge, we all bravely face it a piece at a time.

The same way we make a quilt, even a difficult one. We do one row, one block, one patch at a time.

There are quilts I haven’t gotten brave enough to tackle yet, maybe I never will. Yet, there are others that I do with relish. Brave as I need to be for the project at hand.

We are as brave as we need to be at the moment. Don’t worry that you don’t have the bravery of someone else, you don’t need it yet. What are you bravely facing today?

Linking up with Lisa Jo Baker

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

and Boost your Blog.



Begin 7:17


Stretch, do we stretch to reach the items on the top shelf? Maybe we stretch out to reach that illusive toy under the bed? One of my favorite exercises is the stretch. Reach toward the sky and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Bend at the waist and stretch down to try and touch the toes. Stretching relaxes me, even as it pulls my muscles, and keeps them growing and working. Yes, I know, the other exercises help, but I like the stretching ones.

The stretches help wake me and my body up.

Stretching in life does much the same. Join a Toastmasters group, stretch my speaking ability? Sure, however, first I had to walk into that meeting of strangers, talk about stretching! But, just as my stretching exercises help my muscles, stretching and meeting new people have enriched my life. Not only am I a better speaker (hey, I had no where to go but up, in that area), but the people I’ve meet, have enriched and improved my life.

Sewing with a new technique? Yes, stretching in another way. However we choose to stretch, while it may be difficult to begin, we usually feel better.

How have you stretched?

Stop 7:22

Joining up with LisaJo at The Gypsy Mama today with Five Minute Friday.  With her Five Minute Friday, I have once again pulled myself out of the blog mire and began posting. After all who doesn’t have time to write for five minutes?

There is much I want/need to do to this blog, but in the meantime, posting is good. Eventually, I’ll get it looking more like I envision, and the posts will be more regular, and actually have a common thread (maybe).

While you wait for me to get my act together (it could be a long wait), go check out LisaJo’s blog, join us and write your own five minute take on connect. Read what some of the others have shared. You’ll be glad you did.

The Aching Heart

It’s Five Minute Friday when we join up with The Gypsy Mama and write for five minutes.LisaJo says,”Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.

We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to finger paint. For joy in the process. No matter how messy the result.

Got five minutes? Come and write with us, we promise to tell you we loved it!

Join us on her blog, The Gypsy Mama.

This time I thought long and hard about posting, but in the end, well, here it is:

The Aching Heart

It’s been five and a half years since he left. Five and a half years, you’d think I’d have a handle on this living alone thing. You’d think, my heart wouldn’t still ache. But it does.

Most days I do ok. I’ve learned to watch out for those days that will be sure to bring remembered pain. The day he was diagnosed. The day we quit going to the doctor. The day we called hospice. The day the angels came for him. His birthday, just days after his death.  The bittersweet of our only granddaughter’s birth, days after his birthday. Those days I plan for, those days I expect the ache.

It’s these other days. The ones that slam into me without warning that blow me off my feet.

Maybe it’s because it’s stock show season, he was an ag teacher, we practically lived at stock shows. It could have been the news that one of his former students is now the father of a boy who is also showing, the news didn’t seem to faze me at the time. Possibly it’s a picture on Facebook of our friends, Joe and Shelly, and their daughter, with her winning animal. As I looked at the picture of the young lady I remember when she was born, and the fun she and my husband had together as she grew.

None of these things seemed to bother me at the time, but now, days later the ache has returned. It threatens to take over. It won’t, the love will stomp it out, but for now, it’s here.


That’s it. Come and join us, tell us about your ache. Good aches, bad aches, funny aches, we’d love to hear. Leave a comment if you play so I can go read your take on this five minute writing.

Sanity Saving Quilt


Quilt by MrRobert

Quilt by mrrobert

It was a quilt of paper, not fabric that saved her sanity, a picture of a quilt made into a puzzle. She spent hours of her free time working on the puzzle, carefully studying the colors and shapes of the small pieces. Working on the puzzle gave structure to her suddenly unstructured life.

She had been a career military woman. For over twenty-five years her days organized and no doubts about what she’d do. Most of her off hours were detailed, she slept, she cleaned, she prepared for her next day of duty, she visited friends and family. A few hours of unclaimed time she could fill, entire days, were more difficult, it was the weeks, months, years of unstructured time looming ahead of her that did her in. She cracked. This strong woman who could handle most physical challenges, found herself drowning in sea of  free time. Recognizing the problem, she sought help and admitted herself to a hospital for psychiatric help.

She thrived in the hospital environment, once again her days were defined. Slowly, with help she began to pull away from the structure of the hospital routine, and devise her own day. Still, she stayed within the confines of the hospital. She stayed where it was safe, if she couldn’t make a decision, someone would make it for her. During this cloudy time, she wasn’t yet in complete control of her day, yet the hospital staff did not schedule her day, she found solace in working on a puzzle.

The 5,000 piece puzzle featured a picture of a postage stamp quilt. Struggling to fit the small pieces of the puzzle together she began to put the pull the pieces of her life back into shape. An idea was formed, she’d make a quilt. Except, she didn’t know the first thing about quilts, or making them. Her counselor helped, she introduced her to local quilters who quickly took the woman under their wing.

Now that she had a purpose, making quilts, she felt ready to tackle everyday life, outside the confining, safe walls of the hospital. Under the tutelage of the quilters she blossomed and bloomed, happy in her new life outside the military. Today she spends part of every day working on a quilt and she displays her work regularly in local shows.

Her name isn’t important, she isn’t the only quilter to face this, or similar challenges. She is real though, I met her a few years ago at a quilt show where she gladly shared her story.

Quilting helps us all deal with the trials and tribulations life throws at us. How has quilting helped you?

The pictured quilt was made by the quilter Mr. Robert, you can see more of his work here.