Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living. It is the beginning place, the foundation upon which more can be built.
Where trust is, love can flourish. – Barbara Smith
Hi friend! I am so honored you’re here! Can we get to know one another? Allow me to begin.
Childhood in Maine
Life was simple in the small paper mill town where I grew up. Trusting others was second nature and relationships were easy.
My hardworking parents created a safe and loving environment for my two younger brothers and me in our home in Maine. When I was eleven, Mom achieved high honors in nursing school, and Dad’s long work days sometimes brought him home just in time to catch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, while he snacked on crackers and canned sardines.
My Grammy loved books and cooking perfect meals; my Grampy’s work ethic led him to work two jobs. Mémère taught me about baking breads and pastries, while Pépère quietly taught me about loving the Lord.
Food and Hospitality
Mom tells me I cut my first tooth on a lobster claw (pronounced lobstah—as Mainers believe the letter “r” is overrated). As a child, I remember my Grammy cooking dandelion greens and seafood while I helped my Grampy harvest tiny cukes and baby carrots from the garden. We’d go inside, wash them and crunch into their crisp freshness. Whenever I eat fiddleheads, steamed clams or lobster, I am brought back to my freckled, pixie-haired youth.
Rest and Writing
While my native state is known as “Vacationland,” I struggle to embrace a vacation mindset; rather I remain a workaholic multi-tasker—known to spring out of bed before the break of dawn and end up exhausted by early evening after a full day of spinning from laundry to dishes to dusting, off to my job as oncology nurse, and then spending a few evenings a week engaged in my church’s ministries. In between rounds, I turn to writing for this blog and other places. It has always been my dream to write and encourage others.
I love words, good books, long conversations and the beauty of nature. I try to preserve what I see by snapping pictures, however, my husband is surpassing me in skill. The Pine Tree State sweet-talks me to into rest—among its flourishing forests, craggy coastlands and lucent lakes and streams. I love kayaking through a glassy calm, as loons wail out across the still of time and stir my soul. Rest replenishes my body and spirit. I try to preserve what I experience through writing and what I see by snapping pictures.
Marriage and Relationships
I am married to my best friend Andy, who can fix anything, including any of my cranky moods. Most often, he can make me laugh and always make me smile. He was the first to look long enough into my hazel eyes—and see deep into my heart.
We each have two children from prior marriages. Estrangement has assaulted our lives and emptied the extra bedrooms in our home. Through this, we have learned not to squander the many blessings around us. When I get brave, I write about this.
My dog Moxie was named not after the official soft drink of Maine, but for his courage, spirit and daring. He loves life and lives full of attitude and perseverance. He has seen me through bleak days and shown me how to live strong.
I am a writer, oncology nurse and Christian with a passion for how our stories connect and heal us. The Holy Spirit guides me as I write about relationships, faith and forgiveness, redemptive perspectives, hospitality and life.
During my lifetime, I have repeatedly asked myself why relationships and life can be so hard.
No, they haven’t always been easy for me either.
I am mom of two estranged adult sons whom I have missed for many years. My 30-month divorce resulted in their estrangement. My parents and siblings were also rejected. Many of our friends made decisions of avoidance for their very personal reasons.
Snuffed out by assumptions and accusations, betrayals and rejections, I wondered if I could ever trust again – even myself. It brought me face-to-face with the sting of loneliness and isolation as I lost faith in people, myself and God.
A Pivotal Moment
It was Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm and time to wrap up another workday at the cancer center. Our last chemotherapy patient inched her away out the door.
I tried to hide the aching emotional pain the holidays carved into my heart, and onto my face – lines that would never go away. My friend and co-worker, Arlene, could see them clearly, for she knew my story. The death of these relationships was killing me.
We sat alone in the dimly lit reception area. We talked. I cried. The illuminated red EXIT sign urged me to leave this dark season of my life behind.
Arlene dared to help me see things from a different perspective. “Your pain is serving you a purpose right now; it is your way of holding onto your sons. Is this how you want to be with them emotionally?”
It took courage for Arlene to invest in our relationship. She dared to help me see things with a different perspective. In that beginning place, I dared to start trusting again.
Unfortunately, many people carry the emotional pain of broken or abandoned relationships. We suffer in silence. Isn’t it time to shed the shame and break the silence?
~Welcome to My Imperfect Blessed Life~
My conversation with Arlene prompted me to work with a life coach, who was able to help me build on the changed perspective. The biggest shift? Accepting the Lord back into my heart changed my life.
I wish I could tell you that I am on the other side, that with faith and moxie my fractured relationships are reconciled, all my problems resolved. Instead, I sit here beside you—working through some of the very same issues as you.
If my stories speak to one person, I feel joy knowing that everything He has done in me has potential to help others, and nothing is going to waste. I don’t think God meant for us to waste any of our experiences. He wants us to use them for good.
What I can tell you is that you can find peace and joy beyond the tensions in your life.
Maybe you have to start by trusting, and touch a heart.
Please join me. The best is yet to come.
sailboats drenched in fog dreamy visions float along— quilted in the clouds (Photo by Sharon A Gibbs)
Rainfall slows me down to drop chores, draw near nature —wet kisses court me (Photo by Sharon A Gibbs)
Play It Forward, a Tweetspeak Poetry writing workshop, encourages us to incorporate play into our writing and personal life. My recent visit near a wooded area resulted in photos and some writing fun.
For years, I strived to host perfect holiday parties, as if they were an exam to pass. Hours before guests arrived, I dressed the table with my porcelain best, each item set precisely in its place.
Welcome. This is the second in a series on Sabbath rest. We can learn to make room for spacious living despite the crowded schedules of our ordinary lives.
One evening a few years ago, my husband and I hosted our first church small group. A warm plate of banana-oat chocolate chip muffins tempted us from the kitchen counter;
Crammed in the back seat of my mother-in-law’s Dodge Omni on a February morning, I held hope as she rushed me to the hospital.
My mom let some insecure words slip through the phone line the other day. She shared her sense of insufficiency as she wondered what words to offer her friend—one whose doctor recently said he thought her cancer had progressed.
One morning last week as I drove down a familiar country road and the chalky sky dulled the day’s light, I yielded to my yearnings and stopped to snap a photo.
In a recent poetry workshop, we were asked to write a poem from a memory about Grief. The memory of a few trees had the power to remind me of a special person and the realities of life.
The other day, I reached for a handful of Kleenex for a friend when her tears were the only things I could wipe away.
Lessons in Physical Education Lines of freshmen girls intersect at the locker room door, making way to second period Phys. Ed.