Thursday, August 6, 2015

Loving a gift.

In loving memory of Dennis - 8/8/2011

Loving each other is not a pastime, it is a passion. 

My heart knows fear but soars to meet yours.
It's not chance but choice that makes love true and risky.
Two become one; in body and mind leaving the world behind.
To that place where time stands still if only for moments in time.

The journey of lovers who's story is worth telling.
One of breathtaking adventure and playful abandon.
One of unending commitment because trust has value 
and broken promises belong to the unfaithful. 

Knowing when compromise is not failure but faith.
Trusting your love is more give than take. 
Our touch flows out from the heart.
Until that day when we part.

Thank you for unwrapping the gift. 
Freely given in the good and the bad.
Forever in my heart you will be. 
We will meet again in eternity.

The time has come to let go.
To leave the past and meet the future.
Ever grateful to have been loved 
And you letting me love you back. 

~darlene sue armstrong


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

Last year I started a new tradition. I wake up early and I thought a trip to the beach would be wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. It was and I carried that new tradition into today.  It was an amazing time of peaceful joy drinking in the beauty. 

I had a special gift of having a one lone pelican waiting on the beach for me to capture on camera. I do believe it was a male. It had bright yellow adorning its head.  One of the few possesions Dennis brought to our marriage was a wooden pelican standing on a dock post.  Hence, my love for the gift of seeing that one lone bird.  The first Sunday after his death I went to the beach for waterfront worship and there where Pelicans everywhere. I had never seen so many.  I always felt that to was a gift to me letting me know he was living eternal life with the Father. 

It has been four years and this year is the first year I have been able to get excited about Christmas. I keep telling people I was sprinkled with pixie dust or something.  The one thing I found striking was I felt more Christmas spirit this morning at the beach than I did in two different worship services last night.  Last night I sensed an aloneness even though I was surrounded by people.  I saw a few people that I was able to grab a hug from but over all I felt alone. Not lonely just alone, how can that be when we are a loving church community?  

The contrast at the beach this morning really made me think even more about this.  Everyone was sharing cheerful and warm greetings of "Merry Christmas",  it felt so connecting and real!  After my walk/run I sat and drank hot chocolate and thought about how big our world is and how do I fit into His creation? 

May the peace of God fill you with the sense of belonging that you know you are His beloved!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unity in Spirit

Many of you know I work in a church office.  Much of my job revolves around people coming to the church looking for help.   It is the most difficult part of my job and takes a heavy toll on me at times.  I am often  the voice that tells them “sorry we cannot help you with that” and I send them on their way. The response can be varied.   Sometimes they accept the no and other times they yell at me saying “what do you mean you are a church?” 

Today, three younger black ladies came in wanting to know where our food pantry was and were we giving out turkeys for Thanksgiving.   I told them the pantry is only on Thursday but wouldn’t be open this week.  I invited them join us tomorrow night at 6 pm for Thanksgiving dinner. 

They then asked about our Thrift shop and did we give out vouchers for clothes.   We do and I am also the appointed gate keeper for deciding what to approve.   Our Thrift shop is run by volunteers and they could not know who has gotten help for day to day. 

As I was helping these ladies, a church lady came in and greeted us.  She then asked me “where was Dennis”.  It was like I entered a vortex and thought she was asking where my Dennis was.   I looked her and started tearing up.  I said, you know who I thought you meant.  She was asking about our worship leader is also named Dennis. 

My church friend mentioned to the ladies my Dennis was in heaven.   They immediately shifted their concern over their needs to me.  It was a genuine concern and one lady asked I needed a hug.  I assured them I would be just fine.  But in light of craziness that is happening right now, this moment of unity between women sharing something we all understand touched me deeply! 

It is so easy to stereo type people and put “them” (those who are different than us) in the boxes that we think “they” belong in, when all WE want is to know someone cares.
Giving thanks for the small things that become huge things.    
Peace be with you!  …just me, d

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dream Word for 2014

It has been forever since I posted anything to this blog.  I did pick a word for 2014 and here it is the end of October and I haven't shared with you my word for 2014. It is DREAM. 

It would seem the dream became becoming a healthier me!

In Jan  2014, I found myself back at 200 lbs and feeling bad and looking bad.  I had done fairly well and in 2010 was down to 175.   Then my life as many of you know took a terrible turn.  Dennis' sudden death August 8, 2011 of cardiac arrest at work rocked my world.

For almost two years I functioned in a fog.  I would call it my new "normal" even though there really was nothing normal about it.  Making dinner became a difficult task when you suddenly have to cook for one.  It became easier to just eat things that where easy and quick.    

Yesterday, I weighed in and I was at 155.5 lbs.  155 is the goal I initially had set for myself and I was happy to have finally met it.  I have had a couple of people ask me how I did it.

I signed up for Health Firsts "LIVFIT" program. It was costly 255.00 but it was the best money I have spent. I have spent a lot of money with Weight Watchers too!  But this 15 week class helped me to work on the three different aspects of successful weigh loss.

1. Tracking food faithfully.  I use My Fitness Pal app on my phone. I track every day.
2. Physical activity that dreaded exercise.  I go to the gym, or walk six days a week. One day I go to Yoga class which has been really good for flexibility and motion.
3. Behavioral aspect.  Why do I eat that when I know it's BAD for me?  I work on identifying am I really hungry or thirsty?  What emptiness in me am I trying to fill?  Am I hungry, lonely or tired.?  Lonely or tired are not fixed by food!!!

It has been a fun journey and I have made new friends that I cherish more than they will know. The encouragement to keep at it and learning how to push just a little harder to achieve a goal is easier when you have others cheering you on! My joy for living has returned and I am beginning to love this new life I have been given.  I can't wait to see what journeys it will take me on!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Celebrating the life of Gloria Page.

Yesterday we received word that
Gloria Page 
passed peacefully on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Gloria became a part of my journey through her book
         "Holy Moly Mackeroly...
                 from 3 Art Stamps to the Smithsonian...
                      reflections on the Business of Art
                                 and the Art of Life.

I was intrigued by the title alone and ordered the book.  It arrived gently wrapped in tissue paper and included this book mark signed by the author. I could not believe an author would take such time to present her book in such an artistic way.

She will be missed not only by her loving family but the many friends she has worldwide.  She fought hard to live strong, she has shared much of that journey on her blog my2nd life journey 

A wonderful Yahoo Art Community sprang up in Oct of 2004 where we shared thoughts about the book and business and worked on art projects together. Many friendships where forged and continue so many years later.  I was privileged to meet Gloria and several of the Holy Moly Mackeroly Art group members at a Retreat in Washington, MO.

At the retreat we exchanged Artist Trading Cards. 
This was her card to all of those who attended that year.

Dear Gloria, I love you too !!  Friend to all!  Until we meet again, darlene

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My One Word LIVE Jan 5, 2013

I recently came across a Facebook page called "My One Word". Along with the word, it is suggested you chose a scripture to go with your word. I have always done this before because I felt it helped me keep my word in my heart.

"Make every effort to live in peace with all men/women and to be holy, without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

Friday, December 28, 2012

JOY "One Little Word" 2012

One Little Word 2012 is coming to a close. I do know that it has been good for me to think about, write about, make pages about the word “JOY”. I believe it has helped me to recapture a deep abiding joy. Do I have it all the time? No.
The movement between sorrow and joy is as thin as the veil. The second half of this year, I began to know joy more than sorrow. I also know it comes not from me. An inner peace has enveloped me and I feel so much stronger.
I am anxious to move ahead with joy 2012, hope 2011, courage 2010, and in 2013, I choose - LIVE as my “One Little Word”. I want to live and feel alive. I want to live renewed. I want to live refreshed. I want to live joyfully. I want to live to embrace. I want to live to nurture. I want to live to have grace. I want to live to extend mercy. I want to live open to possibilities.