Find a Quiet Place~

A few weeks ago Greg and I took advantage of the many beautiful places within the area that we live. We got up extra early on a Saturday morning to beat the crowd.   As we drove into the “launching area” we were thrilled to only see 3 cars. 

I looked out at the serene view in front of me as the mist lightly lifted off the water; such a peaceful and beautiful sight…..I could feel my heart rush with an emotion I often long for……peace.   After pulling my famous yellow kayak out of the truck, I pushed into the water and began to paddle.   

I saw two mama ducks with 9 babies each and I slowly snuck towards them as to enjoy them and not to cause them fear.  Once I paddled close by I just sat still……very still.   I felt such needed peace. I observed the way the mama loved and protected her littles and God whispered “this is how I love you.” 

As Greg and I meandered further out to a big open area behind beautiful Mt Bachelor we just sat in silence, taking in the beauty surrounding us.  We are both talkers but in this place silence was needed; and we heeded the call.  We felt God whisper; “ I bring you this peace.” 

I was again reminded of the need within us all to “turn off the noise”.  I know I am fortunate to live where others vacation yet I believe for all of us we need to get away, to be quiet, to breathe, to hear God. 

The past two years have been interesting—lots of noise, conflict, and confusing rhetoric.   So many voices. So many opinions.  I beg you…….find your place to breathe…to rest…..to hear God speak peace to you…to recalibrate.  God has not lost sight of you in all the noise and He wants to bring you peace. 

Sitting here this morning, I am thinking of the many people I love and the challenges many have faced.  Certainly, I don’t have all the answers for your challenges and yet, I know, that in nature, in a quite space He will speak.  He always does.  Find your place and breathe……….. 

Abundantly Grateful~

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Today when I awoke from my soft, comfy bed I made my way to the kitchen for a cup of good, warm coffee.  I sat down in a quiet space and picked up my Bible, which I am free to leave sitting on my coffee table~ I read and prayed freely.

Later in the day I drove on safe roads while I made my way to a grocery store with an incredible assortment of groceries; never once did I have to fight anyone for the “last” of any item.  So many choices, so many options!

Today I didn’t wake up in a worn-torn area where bedding and warmth are impossible to find.  I did not have to drink dirty water out of an old plastic container because there is nothing else available.

Today I didn’t have to rummage for a few pages I had found from an old bible; hiding away in a dark corner just to read their words of life; praying not to get caught.

Today I did not have to walk to the old dump to rummage for bits and pieces of edible food along with many others without viable ways to feed their families.

This is why I am thankful to be an American,  even with our problems and strife.

We are not a perfect nation and we are continually challenged with ongoing issues; yet we are still enjoying so many freedoms that others around the world would never dare to dream for!

This 4th of July~ I am abundantly grateful for those who fought tirelessly for my freedom.

Aw Spring~ I love you!

Today was epic.  Today was 68 degrees after a long winter season, But it was more than that …it has been an inside season, a mask season, a non-gathering season.  Today…the warm sun, the blooming flowers lifted my spirits to a fresh place…..a place of hope!

My tulips and daffodils have cheered me up more than ever before.  I even broke the cardinal flower rule in Bend and potted strawberries and blackberries with the belief that we are actually more in Summer than Spring!  Everyone says “wait until June”.  I could not.

I have noticed my need for hope more than ever before in my life; to see the future with vision, dreams, and creativity.  To be honest, even as a seasoned Life Coach I have been challenged by my own sense of loss and hopelessness.  

I have been hearing the whispers of the Spirit calling me to dream again; you too?  I have been hearing a call to hope, joy, and trust in a fresh way! You too??

I think God in His goodness is up to something fresh, something good, something new and I want to partner with Him.  You  too??

How about we enter this Spring season with renewed joy, strength, vision and resilience!  Just like that crazy bulb that pushes through the volcanic rock to show it’s glorious face even so we should fight to shine Joy and Hope in a fresh and new way. You too?

Galatians 5:22-23 – Joy Is A Fruit Of The Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joypeace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Lessons from Yosemite.

We can achieve our goals one step at a time!

Dianna Salciccioli

We had the  joy of going to Yosemite years ago and used that time to do some quality hiking! Some hikes were easier than others and some had views you just didn’t want to miss!

One trail promised a view to die for so we got to the trail early in the morning.  When we starting out, we walked on a paved surface, on that path we passed people of all ages and languages. We enjoyed views of the valley below as we meandered along at a leisurely pace. Eventually the pavement ended and the surface became a little more rocky, and a little steeper. By the time we had reached this point we were growing in our excitement to see the falls; we were committed to going all the way!!

Within a quarter mile the hike changed dramatically as the path led us up a path that caused us…

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Ugly Oranges~

I still learn more every single day!!

Dianna Salciccioli

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My local grocery story was bought out and within 3 days had been unveiled as a new, more “northwest” store. I actually approve of the changes but when I re-entered the store for the first time after the grand unveiling my eyes were drawn to the front display case with piles of shrivelled up oranges. These oranges were really ugly; I remember thinking ” what are those things, they do not look appetizing!!”

As I made my way to the store register I overheard a conversation between the Checker and the woman in front of me. ” Checker~ “Wow, you are getting a big bag of Oranges today but have you tried those ugly oranges in the front of the store?” “No” said the shopper “those oranges look really awful!” The Checker replied ” OH!! I will never eat another normal orange again!! Those ugly oranges are the best things…

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Slippery Slope~

These thoughts still ring true~

Dianna Salciccioli

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Climbing down the slippery cliff toward our favorite beach, we held on for dear life. Rain the night before had made the already treacherous path even more dangerous. Yet, beach goers like ourselves knew that the snorkeling and swimming below was worth the effort so we forged ahead!

In our little group we had two toddlers to be mindful of so it was truly amazing to watch how thoughtful and kind other “path climbers” were to allow us to pass making sure those kids got to the bottom or the top safely. Mind you, stepping out-of-the-way or making room was as challenging as actually making the trek!

Feet full of red clay, a few scratches here and there and a fresh bruise on the bottom of my foot; I and my family made it to the bottom to enjoy this spectacular beach; not once but 4 times during our stay…

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I always wanted 2 things~

There are two things I always wanted as a kid (well, other than marrying David Cassidy or Davy Jones) was to be skinny and to be a great singer.  To me, anyone I admired was both of these.  Unfortunately, I was born as a tall girl with skinny legs and wider hips.  I also have a lower voice which works really well for creating harmony to other great singers, but I was never going to win any awards.

This may sound a bit shallow but as a middle child in a family of 6 girls I just wanted to stand out. I wanted my identity to be connected with my two “wants”.  I had so many friends in elementary school and even High school who wore between a size 6-8….I wore a size 10 and in a beach community where a bathing suit was a regular clothing requirement; I really struggled. 

I remember starving myself, drinking vinegar, or making myself sick simply to reach the goal of being a skinny girl.  I look back at that now and it makes me sad.

Now, I am a Mimi to some incredible world changers and I would never want them to be fixated on goals that clearly don’t represent their value at all!! I want them to clearly know that they are special, amazing, and full of promise.

Recently I have been taking my grandchildren through a gratitude Journal and as I ask them key questions the little girl in me is taking notes……I wish I would have been more comfortable with the person that I was and even more appreciative of the healthy, strong  body I’d been given!

In this journal there are good questions that have led me into nostalgic and meaningful thinking:

  1.  What do you appreciate about yourself?
  2. What’s your favorite feature?
  3. Where do you exel?
  4. What do you want to thank your body for?
  5. What do you think others love about you?

                            Wow!

As I ask myself these questions – ponder them as you assess yourself!  Are you content with who you are?  Do you love you? Can you appreciate the view others have of you??

Sadly, we tend to speak to ourselves with critical comments; I know I sure do.

Maybe this year we can break that chain of criticism and move to love and appreciate how special and unique we are. 

Because – we are amazing and unique and special– Every one of us!!

Looking forward with hope~

This is the season when so many of us take some time to look back over the closing year and look toward the year ahead.  This year will be an especially interesting time of reflection for me and I can only imagine, for many of you as well.

A big part of my time of reflection is to ask God to help me to see the past year with fresh eyes and I also ask Him to give me a guiding “word” for the coming year.  Last January the word was “relinquish” and I didn’t necessarily find that word to be very inspiring at the time. Now, as I reflect on the past year I see how profoundly that word served as a reminder to me that 2020 was not a year I would be able to control.

2020 has taught me many interesting things; though there are elements that I have sincerely not enjoyed.  However, I have seen myself “grow up” in some areas realizing that the inconveniences of 2020 have revealed how much I have simply taken for granted in my life: going to church, travel, eating out, gathering with friends and family, shopping, exercising in a gym, coffee dates, trainings and events, and living a mask free life.  

2020 has been a catalyst for revealing to me my need to be grateful, flexible, creative, and patient in finding ways to still keep activities and relationships fresh in my life. Whether birthdays, meetings, or holidays – it has all looked different.

Certainly it is my hope, and yours, that this is not our new normal but that we are learning to combat our present challenges and can go back to life as normal. This year took us all by surprise and between Covid and the election all of us got a bit churned up; worry, challenged relationships, inability to dream about the future, and even anger.  It is my hope that as we take time to reflect and move forward into 2021 we will be able to address those negatives and find a way to see all the good that we may have missed by being distracted by them.

As I’ve reflected and prayed over the past week I received my word for the year, another interesting one.  God gave me the word “Guard”.  The verse that came to mind to support its meaning is “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

After 2020 I can understand why this word is necessary and I look to see where it applies to my life in 2021.

It’s time to lift our heads and dream again, replace good life practices where we’ve gotten discouraged or lazy, and set good goals for 2021.  As we know, a lot can change in a year; be on the side of good change for you and for those you love.

Happy New Year. Be blessed.

Sometimes we don’t see the whole picture~

This past week my husband and I have been in Scottsdale, Arizona to get some time together and to make some memories.  I’ve learned a lesson or two while being here.

We went to beautiful Sedona, Arizona for a couple of days!! So beautiful.  One day we went on a hike at a state park. High above our trail was an incredible adobe house overlooking the entire park! I imagined how lucky the owners knew they were to be able to live in such a place! I imagined they loved their home!

As we hiked higher and higher up the trail we noticed that there was a chain link fence all around the property and the grass was way overgrown; it didn’t really look as lovely as I had hoped and it didn’t look like the owners valued it as much as I assumed they did…..sometimes things aren’t as perfect as they seem.

On our trip I have posted so many lovely pictures of our trip; Greg and I look so happy and energetic!! Those seeing these posts on Facebook must have thought- Boy! Those two are so lucky….I wish I could have a trip like that!! Yet, to be completely honest; I spent 4 of those days really sick! Really sick.  I still did stuff but…whew, I didn’t feel well!

Why do I share these two examples??? Sometimes, especially on Facebook or Instagram we see posts that appear to express a perfect person, a perfect life, etc. YET, you may only be seeing a tiny part of the real story!!

We can all tend to compare ourselves to what appears perfect until we get really close or until we get the whole picture!  There’s always a backstory so be thankful for who you are, what you have, and the life you live!! The grass is not always greener! 🙂

Social media is fun until we compare our life to another! Remember……..we always project our best selves…..but it may not be the whole story! Love your life and your story!

A fresh look this Thanksgiving~

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This Thanksgiving feels different this year; don’t get me wrong as I am still incredibly grateful for my faith, family and friends.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am completely smitten with my grandchildren, so my heart is very full.

What feels different this year is the experience of a Covid/Election year; It has filtered the way I now see life.  As I sit and ponder the past year I realize that I have learned a great deal about myself as I have weathered all the collective challenges that 2020 has brought into my life.

I am choosing to be grateful for all that I have learned and continue to learn as I look with hope into the coming year.  I wanted to share some of the tidbits I’ve learned in this interesting season:

I don’t mind being home.

I had a lot of closets that needed to be cleaned out.

Cooking new recipes can be fun.

Not hugging people hurts my heart.

I’m not a zoom person. I can do it but I love to be present with people.

I am fortunate to live in a place of wide open spaces; being outside fills my soul.

Hallmark entertains me which could make me a cheesy person.

A steady diet of the news causes depression. Time alone with God brings hope.

I am more creative than I thought I was; there are lots of ways to accomplish a goal.

I can remain in a vibrant relationship with God even if my church is closed.

Instacart is good.

Having a dance party with yourself is not a bad idea.

It is possible to smile with my eyes.

That it’s easy for me to feel hopeless when a hard season shows no ending date.

I have a greater appreciation for many, many opportunities and options I once easily had.

I miss traveling.

Wearing a mask makes my nose run and I am afraid to sneeze as someone may think I’m sick.

Adult color books are a good thing.

Extra time with my family is a blessing.

Politics are volatile and I need to focus on changes I CAN inspire.

Yoga pants can complete an outfit.

Most of all, I’ve learned, like so many of you, that I am more resilient than I thought I was.  The challenges have pulled me closer to things that matter the most, balanced my busyness, and caused me to be grateful for each day. I choose to be grateful for it all.

Have a meaningful Thanksgiving as you ponder all that means the most to you this year.