Childhood Memories

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Today I’m going to try my first attempt at “free writing.” I’ve said a prayer and hope to have some divine spiritual guidance as to what the purpose of my life on this earth is…there’s got to be something greater than what I’m doing. I believe I was put here during this specific time to meet specific people who need to hear my story or experience my love and assistance with whatever it is they’re struggling with.

Life can’t just be about walking through day by day with no clear direction just taking one day at a time. Sure, one day at a time is all you can do when you’re working towards a goal or something bigger than today but I have no direction really, no clear-cut purpose for my life.

I’m 51 years old and I can remember my mother telling me all the years of my life that God has given me gifts to use for His greater purposes. I just need to figure out what those gifts are and use them. So, for all these years I’ve been searching on my own and can’t, for the life of me, figure it out.

I’ve always been more comfortable at home rather than fighting to climb some corporate ladder somewhere where nobody cares about you and all they care about is their next paycheck and their next raise and next promotion. I’ve never been that type of person. I’m happiest just going about my business and doing things at my own pace and when I want to do it. I’m too old now to have someone telling me what time I have to wake up each morning. When I can eat lunch or go to the bathroom, when I can take a break and when I can take some time off for fun. Not gonna do it at this point in my life. I’ve done it before, many times and those were the lowest points in my life for the most part. I’ve had low points when I wasn’t working but every DAY sucked when I had to get up from a deep sleep, get in the shower, make myself pretty whether I felt like it or not, got dressed and left all of my responsibilities sitting in the dust at home while I went to make someone else richer, to build their business and secure their future.

It’s my turn.

My gifts, I believe are my love and passion for writing like I’m doing here in my journal…I could do this all day long. I’m not as much a fan of writing if I have to do a ton of research on a topic I care nothing about or know very little about. Now, if it’s something I want to learn about (like the self-help, loving yourself, finding your purpose in life, etc. that I’m learning about now, I’m all over it.) If you want me to write about a famous historical figure or the conditions in German concentration camps, I’ll pass.

My other gift, I think, is photography. I believe I have an eye for good composition. I’m learning the technical details of photography while working with Nellie, my mentor, and friend. Her focus is on photographing women which is fine but I still struggle with being so damned shy that I can’t move and I hope and pray every time that she or her client cancels and I don’t have to go but when I do, it’s fine and I have a good time and all is good. I also struggle with zero self-confidence and fear of rejection or someone thinking I’m not good enough, especially Nellie. She’s a rockstar photographer in town and people really respect her work so I have a lot to bring to the table. She has her CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) credentials and has won awards. She rubs elbows with nationally and internationally known photographers and it’s terribly intimidating to this shy little girl.

I like photographing my own pets, macro photography and landscapes…just about anything besides people. People are nervous and I’m nervous and it’s just all uncomfortable. I’m fine with some people, most people, actually, but it’s that initial getting past the pleasantries and getting my butt to the studio or whatever location.

So, what is my purpose in this life? How can what I’ve lived so far in my life, help someone else? Where do I go from here? I am open to hearing what the angels and God and whatever other guiding forces are out there have to say to guide me to what’s next. I’m here and waiting for His spirit to move through mine and onto this keyboard in some miracle because I’m at a loss. Something that can give me a reason to get up every day and put on a smile and face the world!

Is it a blog about fathers? A blog to fathers? A book to fathers ? A book/blog to other girls growing up without fathers? Being a girl being raised by just my mom and my older brothers who weren’t quite the best role models, I have learned how important it is for girls to have a decent father figure. There are so many psychological issues that crop up when a girl doesn’t have a doting daddy.

Growing up, my friends’ fathers always had pet names for them…”Buttercup,” ”Pumpkin,” “Princess,” etc. I remember always craving to be somebody’s princess. One day, while doing a Bible study when I was probably around 35 years old…it occurred to me…I have a Heavenly Father! I am a wonderfully created, one-of-a-kind, daughter of the KING of KINGS! I AM a princess! I am HIS princess! The best and most flawless father known to mankind! I suddenly saw myself as lucky! I was lucky to not have a human father, messed up from his own childhood and other issues, I had the perfect Father and I was His Princess! *Squeeeeee!!*


I believe my “tribe” will be girls and women who are growing up or did grow up without a father figure at home and possibly none at all.

Where does my photography fit in here? My focus will be on fathers with their daughters being who they are when they’re together…finding the relationship between them and bringing out the emotions and bond that they share. I will also photograph girls/women with the father figure they relate to if it’s not their biological or adopted father.

Down the road, I could probably even expand on this to include the relationships between mothers and sons. From personal experience, I know there is a special bond between mothers and their sons.

I would love to read any comments from anyone who has tried free writing before and anyone still searching for their purpose in this world.

Until next time…


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holiday-Traditions-picEarlier this week I wrote a post for my blog about holiday traditions and promised to share any new ones I got throughout the week.  You can read that post here.  I didn’t get a lot of feedback in the comments section but I did get a nice note on Facebook from one of my new friends and I had someone share one of hers a couple of weeks ago, so I wanted to give you two new traditions to think about and possibly weave one or both into your holiday somehow.

My New Friend

Carol wrote: “Ya know one thing that I really miss? When I was little we would go to my ma and pa’s.. not only would we have a small Christmas present that santa left for me, my brother and two sisters but there would be a box under the tree wrapped on the outside with Christmas wrapping paper..but inside there were apples, oranges and all kinds of nuts. we would sit by the fireplace and eat from this box of special goodies that our grandma made for us as my dad played Santa and my grandpa read a Christmas story…. that was 50 years ago and oh how I long for just one more night sitting with my family under that tree and in front of that old fireplace…Merry Christmas Phyllis and Jon!”

What sweet memories these simple, but loving acts from her Ma & Pa have left her with.  A tradition doesn’t have to be a full-blown, all expense barred event.  It can be something as simple as gobbling up fruit and nuts by the fireplace and hearing a familiar Christmas story.  I can feel the warmth of the love in the room as I imagine the kids snuggled up with grandpa as he reads the story.

A Long-time Special Friend

A couple of weeks ago, I got this one from another friend for a Thanksgiving tradition her family shares but this one can also be used during ANY holiday, even a birthday celebration.

Cindy writes: “Our family gathers in the family room after dishes are done and we give each person a pen and paper to write what they are thankful for. We then put them in a bowl and a designated person pulls one from the bowl and reads it. We all then try to guess who wrote it. Then that person who wrote it elaborates a bit on why they wrote what they did. We all come away feeling like we know a little more about each person attending. Happy Thanksgiving!”

How cool would that be if you were sharing the holiday with a new family member present or people visiting that you didn’t know all that well?  Cindy and her husband have been Missionaries for many, many years so I know they have shared and passed this tradition along to many different people.  Probably more than they know. That’s the beauty of it.

Our Son

I asked my son the other day which traditions our family participated in that he recalled most fondly.

Here’s what he said: “Sleeping in.” I laughed when I read this because EVERY year…every SINGLE year…from birth to present…Jon and I anxiously get up and sit…and wait…for Justin to get up!  What kid can sleep in on Christmas morning?!?!  Ours did.  Still does.  Haha.

He said that the conversations around the dinner table were special to him.  We’re a family that lingers around the dinner table.  After all the effort that goes into preparing a big meal, it’s a shame to jump up and put it all away without lingering for a while and conversing with each other.

Justin also has fond memories of each of us cooking our own little something in the kitchen.  Justin has been interested in cooking from a very young age so he always had something he wanted to make for our special dinner so we would all three be busy in the kitchen.  It’s always rubbed me wrong when the men are all on their butts on the couch while the women worked their tails off in the kitchen, before and after the meal.  I never understood that and when I married Jon, he LOVED to cook and me, well, not so much.  So, it has always worked out great that he and Justin liked to cook.  I help of course when there’s a big meal to prepare and insist on cleaning up when I haven’t.

We deep-fried our turkey for a couple of years and Justin really enjoyed that whole process and the result was well…incredibly delish!  Unfortunately, dad was never up to cleaning up the mess after the oil had cooled so I would keep finding the deep fryer still sitting in our barn where he cooked it, covered in and full of oil even weeks after the holidays were over.  Needless to say, the fryer is no longer part of our collection of cooking gadgets.

So…let’s hear yours.  What are some of your family traditions at this time of year?

Image representing Shutterfly as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

My husband’s dad was an avid photographer while he was growing up, therefore, we have a lot of photos of my husband Jon as a kid.  Several years ago we were visiting Jon’s folks in Florida and his dad expressed the desire to have several boxes of slides made into photographs that he could get copies of and give to all the kids.  We brought the boxes of slides home to Missouri after our visit thinking it would be a simple process to have them converted to prints.  Au contraire.

It’s been several years since we’ve had his slides and we’ve had good intentions all along.  I’ve looked high and low for an affordable solution to this problem to no avail.  I finally found a place that was more reasonably priced here lately, but still pretty expensive.  Over 1200 35 mm slides have been sorted by date, shipped and converted to digital photos onto a CD.  Technology at its best!  When we received our CD, we immediately made copies for each of Jon’s siblings & packaged them up to ship to each of them.  Then, we uploaded the entire CD to Shutterfly, an online photo storage hub that allows you to create all sorts of gifts from your photos.  We made two photo books for Dad.  His birthday was February 8th and we wanted to have the books created & shipped to him as a gift on his birthday but it took us longer to sort the slides by the year they were taken than we thought.   Anyway, we got it done and the books are shipping to dad tomorrow!!  Several hundred dollars later, I’m just happy we were able to preserve all of those family photos that were in the process of deterioration from years of storage in their boxes.  Where family memories are concerned…money doesn’t matter.

I can’t wait to hear what he thinks about our little project.  I know he will cry.  Then he’ll call us and cry some more.  I just love that man!

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