Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do You Know These Ladies?

I find that most of us struggle sometimes with feelings of inadequacy. Some struggle more than others, and sometimes our experiences get in the way. Maybe you know someone struggling with more than their share of pain. Maybe you could help. Maybe you could reach out to someone and help them feel valued.

Consider the following stories. The names are made up. The experiences...well, you decide.

Sharon: She was widowed much to early, young and alone with a house to maintain. The neighbors stepped up to help. Mostly men. Some mowed her lawn and did simple repairs. She sometimes invited them in for a sandwich or a glass of lemonade. Tongues began to wag. Wives felt threatened. Rumors seeped through the neighborhood. Unkind words were spoken. None of it was true. She was more alone than ever. The pain never went away.

Kate: She is lonely. She sits alone in church. She volunteers for stuff, but no one wants her help. She goes walking every day. Alone. She's never invited to their activities, but she stays busy. Why don't they like her? Is there something wrong with her? She has given up on making friends. She feels useless, unwanted.

Ivie: She doesn't know why she is different. She doesn't dress like them. She doesn't act like them. Of course the money is part of it, but it's more than that. She would be different even if she had money. Their experiences are different. Their tastes are different. She feels like she is from another planet. They are nice to her, but it feels fake. Why is it so hard to fit in?

Margaret: She feels like they are judging her. She isn't perfect, but she is trying. Doesn't that count for something. They don't know what she has been through. She feels inadequate. She compares herself with the others and she knows that she doesn't measure up. The others are all so talented, and so beautiful. They cook, and clean, and polish. Their families adore them. She's just not good enough.

It's not always easy to fit in, and we can be so hard on each other, without even meaning to. If only we could peel away the earthy layers and see as God sees. If only we could see what's in the heart.

Let's see each other as we are, daughters of light. Let's choose kindness. Let's include everyone.

Look for the one who sits alone, who doesn't fit in, who acts different. Reach out. Make a difference.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Courage with Softness

"Women are like teabags; you never know how strong they are until they're put in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Don't you love that? I do. Eleanor Roosevelt had the right idea. Women are strong. Women are resilient. Our hearts may break, but when things are tough, we are tougher.

We are not tough in the same way that men are. We are tough on the inside, with tender hearts. It's an interesting mix. We are courage, with softness. We stand up for truth and for those who need us. We don't give up.

We can be there in a flash with a casserole, a flashlight, or a listening ear. We can dry each other's tears and we can strengthen each other's backs. We can inspire, hold, touch, hug, and scold. We do our best work heart to heart. We feel things deeply and we care deeply.

In crisis, we are calm and resourceful. We draw on inner strength from spiritual connections. We store food, soap, bandaids, water, and faith.

We can fix a lot of things. We use duct tape, gorilla glue, twisty wire, bandaids, and prayer. We kiss things better, and we put things back together again. When the damage is too much for us, we hold on, we love, and we trust.

We are healers. We can't do everything, but we know who can.

We use our hands to do His work, and we want our hearts to be like His.

Linda Garner

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just the Way You Are

Sorry, I haven't posted lately.

I was...busy... Every happen to you? I thought so.

I want to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day and thank you for spending your time with me. We do have fun, don't we. I love women. They are awesome. I love celebrating their gifts.

You are amazing and beautiful, inside and out. I love celebrating you. Today, take time to love yourself, remember that you are loved, and know that I like you, just the way you are.

Just the Way You Are

I like your eyes. I like your nose.
I like your elbows and your toes.

I like the way you laugh and shout.
I like your insides and your out.

I like the happy way you walk.
I like to listen when you talk.

I like the way you think and feel.
I like the part of you that’s real.

I like you when you’re on the go,
And even when you’re movin’ slow.l

I like to see you jump and run.
I like you ‘cause you’re so much fun.

I like to watch you sing and dance.
I join you when I get the chance.

I like the spunky clothes you wear.
I like the way you wear your hair.

I like the sparkle in your smile.
I like your attitude, your style.

I like you when you’re happy,
and even when you’re sad.

I like you when you’re snappy,
and even when you’re mad.

You’re gentle, brave, and helpful, too.
You’re funny, cheerful, honest, true.

You’re talented and very smart.
You have a kind and loving heart.

And even on the worst of days
When nothing goes quite right,

I like you in the best of ways.
I like you day or night.

And though you’re always changing,
You don’t have to change for me.

I like you just the way you are.
Be who you want to be.

Happy Valentine's Day
Linda Garner


Today I am celebrating the release of my first e-picture book, A Valentine Disaster. Click on the button on my sidebar to order your copy. You don't need a kindle to read it. Click here to get a free kindle app for your computer. If you like it, you can leave a review here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Did You get in My Mirror, Mom?

It was no secret. I looked like my mother. I heard it all the time. I had even been stopped on the street by people I didn’t recognize. “You must be Ruth Heiner’s daughter,” someone would say.

I assured them I was, and they would often respond by sharing a memory with me. My mother was a lovely person, beautiful and vivacious. I took it as a complement, but at sixteen I didn’t see the resemblance.

That was a long time ago.

Shortly after Mother died, she showed up in my mirror one day. It was a little scary. I thought she was gone, after all. And my mirror, of all places? Shouldn’t some things be sacred?

Though I couldn’t see the resemblance at sixteen, I could see it clearly at fifty- two, and it was no longer flattering. It was okay to look like my mom when she was a teenager, but I didn’t want to like her when she was…well,...old.

What are you doing in my mirror, Mom? How did you get there? I asked the older woman on the other side of the glass.

“You look like me,” she said. “You always have.”

Where did those wrinkles come from, and what about the gray hair?

“Well you do have seven children,” she said with a wink.

I guess I never recovered.

“Did you want to?” she asked with a smile.

No, of course not, I said as I reached for the hair dye.

Did I always have three chins?

“No, dear, but who’s counting?”

She giggled. I glared. What’s so funny? I wondered.

It’s great to see you, Mom, I lied. If I sassed her, would she come after me?

The truth is, I’d love to sit down and visit with Mom. I’d ask her about her new home. “How is Dad,” I’d say. “Do you see your sister much?” I’d want to know if she has made up with her siblings and if Grandpa still swears.

I’d ask her if she plays the organ, and grows bleeding hearts. I’d wonder what kind of quilt frames they use in heaven. I’d ask about our old dog Nikki and the horse she once named Hope.

I’d tell her about her grandkids. The same seven kids that turned my hair gray. They turned out great, I’d say. They are raising fine children and growing wrinkles of their own.

She would smile knowingly, because she’s been keeping track.

That’s only the beginning. I’d ask her about time in heaven. I’ve heard it’s different there, and what does heavenly music sound like? Has she bumped into any of my heroes? Handel? Bach? Joseph Smith? Heber J. Grant? Emma?

We’d have a lot of catching up to do, and if she had advice for me, I’d listen this time for sure. Maybe I’d take notes. Yeah, I’d love to see my mom, I really would. Just not in my mirror.

I have nothing against old people. They’re great. I love those silver haired angels, and who cares if they can’t remember much. You can always be their new best friend, and tomorrow you can do it again. Maybe someday I’ll take up Chinese checkers, or wheel chair racing, but for now…

I don’t want to look old. I don’t want to act old. I feel young inside. Even when my bones ache, and my blood sugar spikes, and I get winded pulling my pantyhose up, inside I’m still sixteen.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Linda Garner