About Me

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Well let’s see. I was born during the Blizzard of 1978 in Lima, Ohio. I have lived in Ohio all my life. I like it here. We have corn fields instead of oceans, overpasses instead of mountains and fog instead of smog. Sure it's not the promise land, but sometimes one doesn't need postcard worthy beauty on the outside to have it elsewhere. I'm a writer for fun, a Paralegal for profession, and while one pays the bills, one feeds my imagination, or perhaps my imagination feeds my writing...either way, Writing is as much of who I am as the color of my eyes, or the way that I smile. Blogs are great communication tools, and I'm here to communicate with YOU...yeah, you who's reading this right now....*assuming anyone's out there* *crickets chirp* Alrightee then, IF anyone should find themselves here, be it by accident or on purpose, welcome, glad to have you aboard. Throw anchor, stay awhile! Sunshine & Smiles, ~Heather Lynn~

Friday, September 28, 2012

Good Intentions:

I don't know where this week's gone.....I had such great intentions to finish book #3 while Jerimy was out of town for schooling, but somewhere between feeding the ferret, the turtle, Easton, the dog, doing the dishes, going to the Dr., and to the grocery store and finally getting a hair cut....I dont' know where all the time went....
One minute I was carrying my laptop in the front door on Sunday, preparing for my 4 days of writing and dedication, the next, my laptop was buried under a pile of clothes on Jerimy's bedroom floor and it was already Thursday and Jerimy was bursting in the front door and I was hugging him like I hadn't seen in in years instead of days!
Good intentions.....I so had them.
Perhaps this weekend shall be my new goal.
Something I'm really excited about.....I have a new reader...not of this blog, but of my books.  Her name is Stacy, and she's a family member of one of my family members, and boy let me tell you, she's a real pistol this one.  I liked her immediately last year when at my cousin's child's birthday, she showed some....we'll call it "color"....and man I wasn't sure if I loved her, or should fear her......and you know me, I'm more about the love, so I kinda just thought, secretly to myself, I think she's pretty neat.....I like her "gruff gusto" as I call it.  She's very outwardly abrasive.....but yet jolly and totally lovable....and people, let me tell you, abrasive and jolly....are fairly opposite.  TO HAVE "gruff gusto" is a rare quality and a total contradiction, and for some reason, Stacy is the best of the gruff, and the jolliest in the gusto.  She's outspoken and let me tell you, this girl, oh, she doesn't sugar coat things, she is a tell it like it is, if you don't like it, tough! kind of person, so I thought to myself, as did Rachel....if there were anyone who would read my books and tell me that they suck, (if that's what her opinion was) it would be Stace.  She would rip me apart on storyline issues, she would tell me if a character sounds cheesy or hokey, if anyone would tell me straight up and gut-wrenching-ly honest if there were flaws in my book, I could count on her obscene sense of honesty and extreme avid reading experience to come through with flying colors.
At our most recent family shared function, we got to talking to Stacy about my books and we (Rach and I) mentioned something to her about reading "Book #1"...and she said she'd take a look and let me know her opinion.... *GULPS*....I was excited to have a reviewer who I knew wouldn't love my book just because they loved me.....and I knew she wouldn't be "AFRAID" to hurt my feelings, or ruin our friendship....Stacy could be counted on 100% to be unbiased and completely matter-of-fact about my writing ability, my story line....the whole deal.
This is where I said a prayer, or twenty...."please don't let her hate the book, please don't let her hate the book!"....and when I got to my computer the next day, I took a deep breath, and sent her the book.
It was a weekday, and by the end of my workday, she'd finished it.  To my surprise, she really did just tear right through it.
The entire day, I got little texts from her with her thoughts on this or that, and to my amazement, she actually said she LOVED it!!  Not liked it, LOVED it.  Can you believe it, this avid outspoken, not related to me person, LOVED my book!  *crinkles nose, smiles and looks mystified*....
OH, i was so relieved of course, I felt like I was on stage naked in front of my classmates....waiting for someone to relieve me of the embarrassment I was sure to endure should I move my hand/arm from covering my breasts, or my other hand from covering my lady parts.....so you can imagine how this hypothetical scenario changed when I started getting the texts and she wasn't telling me that my book was a rotten.
Those texts from her were like music and a stripper pole to my mental naked fear scenario...instead of slinking off the stage awkwardly as I was afraid I'd wind up doing.....her words of positivity where the music.....so I took my hands down, then threw em' up in the air danced naked and said "wooohoooo" and then for good measure, hopped on the stripper pole and took a swing around not caring about who saw.  That's the kind of high you get when someone looks at something that is a little piece of your heart and soul, and they say, "hey kid, I like what you got going on here"...
I also want to send a very special thank you to Andrea, Diane, Deborah, Angie, Ann, Ryan, and Michelle and Jess, and Jen, and Lisa, and my mother, and Chris M. and Jerimy, and Roger, and to all of you who read my book and encouraged me to keep writing.  I can't tell you how much my little and sometimes fragile naked ego appreciates your support and love.  You all mean the world to me....I hope you know that.
Anyway, I must now take my leave, work waits for no woman....and mine is stacking up and I really must tackle it head on today.......MUST CLEAR OFF DESK AT WORK.....motivation is not always my strong suit.....but then again, if you're reading this, you know me and likely know this about me! *laughs*
Hope you all have a wonderful Friday, the sun is supposed to come out here in NW Ohio today.....THANK GOD.  Jerimy says it's because he's home from Chicago....while I'm inclined to believe him, because he is such a big source of brightness and warmth in my life, I doubt he can take credit for mother nature's life's work, but I smile, and let him believe the sun follows him around if it makes him happy.  After all, he is sunshine to me.....
this kind
makes you feel sunny on the inside doesn it?
It does me anyway....
Bask in my Sunshine my friends, just don't tell Jerimy I shared him with you!
Hugs and Luv,
~Heather Lynn~

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's a sad day....

Its never easy to say goodbye, and to express my sincere and utter heartbreak that I feel in this moment is hard as well.  I got the news this morning before I was even out of bed, that my Aunt Mary had lost her battle with cancer.  And it shook me.  For weeks now, my mind's been saying over and over...all the time, just like a song stuck in my head "Life is short, but sweet for certain".....over and over and over again it played in my head, in my mind, I thought perhaps that "I" was dying, and my brain was telling me to enjoy every moment I have left, but perhaps it wasn't about me (as so many times we think it's about us)....

With a heavy heart I just wanted to write a little something....I'm sure I'll write something better later, but right now, all I can muster is a nice video, and much sadness and loss.

Prayers to my cousins Sue and Keith who have lost their mother, prayers to my Uncle Floyd who lost his redheaded partner in life....(and everyone knows, red headed partners are more fun than a bucket of monkeys!)....and to the grandkids and brothers and sisters....today, we are all in mourning.

Aunt Mary, I have always and will always love you with all of my earthly capacity.  There's no way you're not in heaven with my grandpa Rollie, David Hendricks my friend from high school, Travis Tippie, the boy I used to make out with while I babysat for my cousin Terrie's kids, my Grandpa Red, Mary's Dad, my Aunt Deb Blockberger, Uncle "Slick" Mueller....and to all of those who have gone before.....which by the way Aunt Mary, I personally asked Travis to look out for you up there....and if I know him, and I'm pretty sure I do, there's no way he's not at the front of the line to greet you.....with that really big grin of his....

I can just close my eyes and see the two of you smiling at each other now.

Can't you see it too?  Heaven just got warmer....brighter.....happier with these two together.

No matter how sad the loss here on earth, I know that she's in darn good company where she's at.  A place where cancer has no place....

Bodies die, souls live on....I have to believe that....that from the ashes we rise.....and we live on forever through those who love us, through the memories we leave...and in the end, with God, who I believe created us to be mortal, so eventually, we'd all come home to him.

As for you, CANCER, I just want you to know you suck, and someday, someONE is going to defeat you, and then you'll know how this feels.  Your number will eventually be up.....KNOW that.

Heartbroken and in Mourning,
And missing my Lovely Red Headed Aunt,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Since this is a "Author's Blog"....I suppose I should write about something "Author-ey".....right?
(and yes, I realize Author-ey is not a word)
*looks thoughtful*....
this is a bad sign isn't it?!
Oh, well, in "writing news" I can tell you that as of like 15 minutes ago, I think I FINALLY found my ending to book #3!  And what a relief that is, because I've been beating my head against a wall trying to find "THE" ending.
I say "THE" ending, because not just any ending will do.....you ever read a book, and it's good, it's got you in its grip, and then, there's just this anti-climactic end that leaves you feeling like the author took a whole 60 seconds to just wrap things up in a single paragraph.  I HATE that, don't you?  It's like, seriously?  you made me read 400 pages for THAT?!?!?!
I can't do that to my readers...assuming that some day I have "readers"...right now I have 'friends who read"....which is great, but not the same thing as having "readers".....God bless my "friends who read though"...without them, where would I be?!?!  (seriously, thanks guys, I love you sincerely).
So now, now that I have the premise on how to end it, now I just have to write it.
The last ending I wrote, for book #2, I did in a hospital waiting room, while spending the whole day getting blood work done and a glucose test that took 3 hours to complete.....and I was amazed at just how easily THAT ending came to me....easy peezy, but no, no, no, this 3rd book-child is my problem child.  It has given me fits the entire time, demanding so much attention, behaving badly if it didn't get enough, it wasn't like "The Ordeal"...who was such a good little book-child, so easy and lovable.
As you can tell, I don't have kids, but I do have books, and my books are my babies, and I want to have babies to talk about like all my friends.....like normal girls my age, so I've decided to have book babies.  Someday, I hope to have pictures with them, and celebrate their birthdays and everything! *winks*  A girl can dream.....but you think a paper cut on your finger is bad......can you imagine giving BIRTH to a book.....!??!?!  OUCHEE!  That's all I'm saying.
And....subject change.
Something that I'm learning about "creative types".....we are all very sensitive about our work.  AND, from the others I've met, writers, photographers, musicians, so many are their own toughest critics.  For some reason, whatever it is we create, we somehow never fully think it's "good enough"....we always have this worry that it could be better, or that someone else could of done it better.....I know rock stars can seem very cocky.....but deep down, I bet they are also thinking about the note they didn't hit like they had in practice.....
My books aren't rocket science, they are just fun little reads, and I'm sure I'll always fret about them, just like a momma does with her children......hoping they do good, hoping nobody picks on them....wanting to make them the best she can....
I'm buzzing to the brim with anticipation now to finish book #3....now that I finally have my direction.
Direction....ahhhh, it's a beautiful thing.  And today, I'm sooooooo thankful for having found mine! 
Anticipa-torily and Inspired-ly yours,

Monday, September 17, 2012

Soul Mates:

Do you know this woman?
Have you seen her before?
She wasn't someone I could of picked up out of a line up either not so long ago.  I knew her name, knew her by reputation, but she wasn't a household name at my house.  Even after watching the movie based on her book in the theatre several years back, I had only thought to myself..."I should read that book someday"...someday being the main word there.  Someday has finally come as it turns out. 
Over the years, I've quoted this woman warmly, however, until I read the book, I didn't realize just how much I'd fall in love with her outlook, her warm and witty ability to be brutally honest about her self and her shortcomings and with her book Eat Pray Love. 
She's a brilliant writer, and human inside and out, even if she doesn't always know it about herself.  You cannot read her book Eat Pray Love without seeing just how genuine of a human she is....or anything she writes for that matter...
Anyway, the reason for today's post is this:  Elizabeth Gilbert quite possibly is my 'soul mate'....not in the sense that most people think when they think of a "Soul Mate", but by a truer definition of the word.
Her definition.
These are Elizabeth's definitions:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life."

"A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave."

"A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...”
Now before you think I'm creepy stalker HeatherLynn, let me say that her insights are just too beautiful not to be moved by, her honesty and willingness to really own up to her own shortcomings is admirable....and when I meet / learn of someone of her caliber, I can't help but to be excited and honored to have made the acquaintance.
So last week or so, I saw that she had started a facebook page....and I was like...woohooo....!!  The idea of getting a daily dose of whatever Liz is doing or what new discovery's shes made about life, or love, or the pursuit of happiness was just a breath of fresh air to imagine getting.  I could only dream of traveling the world as she does, meeting the amazing characters she has, experimenting...learning.....for the love of all that is holy, this woman spent 4 months on the "no carb left behind" diet in ITALY!  Who here can say as much?
I relate so much to her writing in EPL!  In so many ways.  Get this:  Liz was the same age as I am now when she wrote the book, she was about my age when she went through her divorce, she had all the same guilty feelings about wanting a divorce, and to top it all off, EPL was published on my birthday in 2006....what a gift huh?  Think it's a coincidence? *smiles*....I'm leaning towards not.
2006 was also the year that I moved out of my marital home.  I hadn't even read it, but after reading it, there's a big part of me that wishes I'd of read it sooner.  However, I know that in reading it now, it finds me wiser and more mature and ready to accept some of the more deeper messages the book as to offer.  Had I read it sooner, I'd of been too grief/guilt stricken to have not have dwelt on the divorce story line and not see the other very important insights that are bigger than divorce.  As so many things are, you just can't see the forest through the trees when you're in the thick of it.  Divorce can be thick, very, very thick.
While I read EPL....so many times I looked at the pages at something she wrote, I found myself nodding, and sometimes jumping up and pointing and saying out loud:  "ME TOOO!!!!!!!!!" looking astonished because she literally had ripped something out of my mind, or repeated a conversation I'd had nearly word for word and it just floored me!  How could there be a person, a virtual stranger in the world so close in soul-fiber that we were nearly made of the same fabric.
So anyway, I befriended her on facebook and sent her a message, and to my utter delight, she responded.  I thought I'd post our exchange here, mostly because I think it's so wonderful I wanted to share, but also, because I want to keep it here, with all my other thoughts, so as to never forget the extraordinary time, I spoke with someone who could open up my mind, my heart, my soul, and to do so in print, well, does it get any better than that?
Here it is:
Ok, ok, so I might of gushed a little....
I can't help it, when someone writes a book, and there are absolute CHAPTERS that you just don't "identify with" but you feel was ripped right out of your own brain/heart....it will have a pretty lasting effect on you.  Like somehow there's this other person walking the earth, a total stranger who thinks like you, and knows your secret thoughts, but not because you told them, but because they are their secret thoughts too.  It's weird, but cool.
Aren't books wonderful?!
What would the world be like without them?
So Liz, if you are reading this, thank you for existing, thank you for writing Eat Pray Love, I'll forever be grateful for having read it, and I look forward to reading additional books of yours in the future. 
A girl's got to have priorities....
To think I've been 300+ pages into this 3rd book without being able to finish it is just ridiculous....
I tell myself often "FINISH IT ALREADY SLACKER!"
I keep waiting for that to motivate me..
So far, NOPE!  Not an inkling of inspirational grand finale has been generated in my meager brain.
*raises coffee mug*
Here's to tomorrow!
I don't have writer's block,
I have "writer's would rather be doing something else syndrome"!
Do they make an app for that?
(I have a smart phone now, can ya tell?)
Happy Monday to you, and you, and you!
(I'm fairly certain I have 3 readers)...and to those three readers....one being my mother...
Have a wonderful start to your week
Happily yours,

Friday, September 14, 2012

Simplify:(Life + Mind) = Happy?

{I just Love Albert Einstein...wasn't he just the coolest?}

I don't know if you know this about me, but I HATE math.  I totally and unequivocally SUCK at it beyond words.  Even though here I sit trying to find the words to tell you how sucky I really am.  *shrugs*...Not only is it NOT my forte, I also have what I'm pretty sure is "Math Anxiety"....someone comes at me with a Math Problem these days, I throw my hands up in the air and say "heck I'm the worst person to ask"....but in my younger school days, when confronted with Math, my stomach would gets all queasy, palms sweaty and my head would instantly get foggy and swirling with confusion.  To me, Math is complicated, and things have to be done in a particular order, it's very structured, and perhaps that's why my mind rejects it, because my mind is far from orderly, disciplined, and certainly doesn't always come up with the correct answers.  Not in Math, and not always in life.

In recent research and developments and discovery of ideas and whatnot, I've heard it said that life isn't supposed to be so complicated!...ain't that the truth!?  Why IS life so complicated?  Do we make it this way?  So I want to try and do something about this:

This became clear to me as I was contemplating purchasing a new cell phone and cell phone carrier/plan.  Oh the fancy phones this world has to offer!  They talk to you, they navigate you, they entertain and keep you company.  How many times have you went to a social function where 78% of the people there aren't even talking to each other because they are on their phone's, surfing the web, texting, throwing Angry birds at things?  Pretty frequently in my experience.  Our phones are never off, away from our pockets and purses...we are chained to them like prisoners to a leg iron and ball.
Now don't get me wrong, I like having a phone, and technology is great.....BUT....when faced with purchasing a new phone....a "smart phone"....I really thought about it, and I don't want my phone to take up more of my life than it already does.  I don't want to be constantly checking my email.....surfing the web, googling the answer to everything I'm asked.
I'm at a computer all day at work, I have a laptop and a desk top at home.....why do I need ANOTHER device to distract me from really awesome things like talking to Easton....getting to hear how football practice went today, having him show me the fat lip he got.....or enjoying the dinner I cooked....without facebooking.  It's no wonder our minds are constantly OCD, the television's going, our phone's are ringing, the microwave's beeping, there's a radio blaring down the hall.....alarm clocks going off.....Is there any peace left in daily life anymore?

 {sometimes I feel like all these things are weighing over my head and are about to cave in on me}
And that's what the experts are saying, we are overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion in our lives these days.  Especially Americans.  Other cultures make it a point to go slowly, deliberately, stopping to smell the roses, stopping to feel the sunshine on their cheeks, working only to get to be able to relax, and enjoy life.
I've been thinking a lot about meditation.  I've heard a lot about it, and I find it interesting.  To sit quietly and learn to navigate your mind, the way an explorer navigated the undiscovered West back in the early days of our Country's history.
I want to learn to take deep breaths, and calm the buzzing insanely random thoughts that bounce around inside my head.  I want to find clarity and peace in myself.
They say that meditation, not to be confused with MEDICATION can help you with this.
I'm not entirely sure how one begins to get into something like this....I supposed by googling "how to learn to meditate"...which I did yesterday....it was mildly educational...but not totally fulfilling.

I'm going to continue to read up on this Meditation stuff...perhaps it would be good for me.
In other news, I've totally NOT worried about things for awhile now!  Isn't that fantastic.  I said I wasn't going to worry about things, and I've like.....wow, really let go of the notion that I need to.  Now, when i feel that flutter of worry down in my stomach, I just take a very deep breath, and tell myself, "Heather, m'girl, we're not doing that anymore"...and then just like that, I'm not worried.  Flutter ceases and I go about my day.  It's such a weight off my shoulder to feel like...I don't have to worry about anything.  I either do what I can to fix a problem, or I don't...there's just no good that can come from WORRYING about an issue, worrying in fact turns out to be a gigantic waste of time.  Huh, how did I not see that before?
In other news furthermore:  Due to my last post, something most profound happened.  I got an email from someone much wiser than me, someone who knows more, done more, been more than I have yet in this life, and this person sent me an email and gave me some scripture verses she felt I could appreciate while my heart was still open and excited about spirituality.  She said God had tapped her on the shoulder and said "Ok, you can talk to her about it now"...apparently she wanted to share some spiritual things with me previously, however bit her tongue, because she wasn't sure I was in a good place to receive it.  She was probably right of course......
So anyway, she typed up the scriptures, and they were good ones, but nothing was so good, or so profound that would top what she said to me after:
Here's what she said:
Heather, I just realized I left out the most important part of my response to your email. I forgot to say how much I enjoyed your blog and how much I'm enjoying your journey of self-discovery. You are such a sensitive and caring soul. This always comes out in your writing. I hope I didn't share too much of my faith in the last email that it might have made you uncomfortable because I would feel terrible if that was the case. Before today's blog, some of your others have been filled with the 'what ifs' in life which is why I felt God tapping on my shoulder and saying, "Share some things that will remind Heather she doesn't need to ever fear anything."


 I have been absolutely CRIPPLED by what'if's in my life.
And I was wound so tight to trying to keep a grip on things, so these what if's couldn't happen.
I'd worry about the what'if's.  I'd obsess about them, I'd over extend myself to try and head them off when I thought I could, I would wrap my world around these damned what'if's and they then became rooted at the very center of my being.
Like my beating heart at the core of me, there were those damned what'if's running the show, coursing through me in every fiber of my being.
How I ever let it get this bad I dont' know, but as soon as this person sent this email, as soon as I read: "doesn't need to fear anything"...It was like I was released.
I was free of fear.
God told this person to tell me it was ok to stop.
And I was like, "he's so totally got my back"....
and worry then just kinda took it's leave, fear waved goodbye, and out the door they went!
{it's so simple, how did I not get that before}
*slaps forehead*
See, us humans can make the most simple things complicated!
Lastly, I want to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  I have absolutely too much stuff!
I'm not a hoarder by any means, but I think that in "stuff"....less is gonna be more.
That calculator i had in college, the fancy one, I'm never going to use it again, why keep it?
That argyle sweater that I keep saying I need to have "just in case"...just in case what?  I have an argyle sweater emergency?
The Michigan State hoodie that's 2 sizes too big, that I bought in Michigan....I don't even like Michigan State, and haven't worn it in like 6 years....time to go bye bye.
So I'm going to (hopefully this weekend) go through my entire house, and purge.  Goodbye cluttery nick-knacks.  Goodbye rainy day wardrobe....and T-shirts I'll never wear.
It's time to simplify.
Here's to getting a cell phone that doesn't take me away from "living in the moment"
Here's to saying goodbye to clutter
And lastly, here's to throwing out the things I don't need,
to make plenty of room for the things that I do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A conversation I didn't see coming:

So, let me start by saying, I'm far from the perfect Christian.  I don't attend church regularly....I'm not a perfect person, I curse more than I should, I smoke cigarettes when I get stressed out, I wish I could tell you I always do the right thing, sometimes I even do shots of tequila and forget where I left my shoes.....so, yeah, sometimes I fall short of glorious.
I am not perfect, not even by a long shot.
However, my struggles with being in touch with God....I think are lessening.  Maybe I'm less stubborn, or more optmistic about things....maybe it comes with age, or maybe it comes from years of making your own mind up about all things religious.  Deciding what in your heart feels right, and not just doing what a religion says, but following a spiritual path that you know in your heart is the right one for you.
I've been thinking about God a lot lately, and doing some soul searching....reading, researching, and most of all, I've been doing a lot of listening.
Through the help of some very helpful and insightful reading, I've come to accept the idea that God doesn't expect me to be perfect....I'm not going to hell if I curse every once and awhile, and that regardless of what bonehead thing I do, God made me this way for a reason....and he knows that despite any and all failed attempts I have here on earth, I always have good intentions, and when and if for some reason I would do something with malice or spite, he knows I'll feel guilty about it later....and I 99.9% of the time always do, and he knows that too.
I was raised in many churches growing up....we bounced around from Non-Denominational, to Lutheran, to Non-Denominational....back to Lutheran....to here and there and everywhere.  I never felt closer to God though however in any other place than while in my bedroom at 2 a.m. when I talk to him like he's my buddy or my very best girlfriend, and I pour my heart out to him, ask him for help, for guidance, and then sit quietly waiting for the peace that generally comes when I know I've turned something over to him to sort out for me.
I've never felt that I could be a "conventional christian", and in some of the religious avenue's I'd been down growing up, I felt like you had to change your WHOLE life, devote it to Jesus.....and you had to be this perfect person....and it always felt like, to surrender oneself to a higher power would make you into someone else.  I had to be this "goodie-goodie-perfect-never watches R rated movies, never says #(*&$(@)#*&$, church going, always do the right thing, meek and mild, vessel of god"....and let me tell you, there was 50% of me that knew I couldn't ever be that person, and the other 50% of me didn't want to be.  So I've always been really conflicted.  Yet open to the idea that there were other ways to God, aside from those I'd been taught or had experienced thus far.
I think God is even bigger than organized religion.
Don't get me wrong, I think that religion is a good thing, but I think the books, the lessons I've learned, are only a slice of the pie.
I've always thought, how can there be so many religions, so many different God's....in India Cow's are holy....in America, we put ketchup and mustard on them and eat them between a bun.  There's the Catholics, the Protestants, the Sunni, the Shia, Hindus, Jewish, Buddhists, Shinto's, tribal religions, Muslims and Christians. (just to name a few)
All organized religion, yet all vastly different in some respects, but with commonalities joining some of them, while other ones in stark contrast to one another, in opposition to one another.  To believe in one might mean you can't believe in another....but they do have things in common....they are a way to seek God, to understand the universe, they are a way of life, a state of mind, a set of rules that govern our behaviors....they are a path to take you somewhere else....to someone or some state of being, that is other worldly.  Some call it Heaven, others call it something else, but it's all about getting to the next level....be it closer to God, to heaven, to your next life if you believe in reincarnation....or perhaps just to a state of absolute peace here ON earth.
Certainly all these religions, all these believers, we can't all be right, and we can't all be wrong, so what if we're all "partially" right.  What if we all are searching for the exact same thing, and that thing merely has different names.....different ways to achieve finding that which we seek?
What if HaShem, Allah, Hari, Buddha, God, Mazda and all the others, what if they are all the same entity, the same divine super power?  And what if you didn't have to be a "perfect person" to experience his love, to know him, to feel him within you and with you and around you every day?  What if he made you just the way you are, with a certain skill set that is not as big as a liability as you thought, and what if you didn't have to change WHO you are to have a relationship with him?  What if, you are exactly the way you are, because that's exactly WHO you are supposed to be?
I can be very self involved, all up in my head about this and that and worrying, and stressing, and analyzing and over analyzing, I beat myself up over things I cannot change....I'm filled chalk full of nervous energy sometimes, to the point I clench my jaw when i sleep....I have issues, I know this, I do my best to hide these sort of things when I'm not writing here....but here lately, I've had this sense of calm come over me, and all that crap kinda melted away.  I've had this amazing clarity, and there have been times in life that I've had this feeling, it seems to come at the end of a season, especially when summer comes to a close, I've experienced this phenomenon before and this year has been no exception...this year, once more, God's calmed my mind, settled my spirit, and left the door open for something to come through it.  He made sure I wouldn't have any distractions either...all seems to be strangely a-ok in my world.....as the air around me has been so quiet, so calm.....so peaceful.....amidst a sea of chaos, and uncertainty in politics, in world news, etc., I somehow quelled all of that chaos and knew to be still and something was on it's way.
So I kept my ears and eyes and heart open, ready for whatever it was that was coming.  And that's when I started to think about Rachel.  At first, it was just a mild flutter of thought....as she over the past few weeks has been very very sick....I was thinking about her, wishing there was something I could do for her.  That thinking lead to a very strong desire to want to see her.  So I offered to come lay in bed with her and hold the puke bucket if need be, at least I could do that....but my offer was declined, she was just too sick for even company.  So I went back to mild flutters of thoughts and positive wishes going out in her direction.  But it didn't stop there, once more, I was yearning to SEE her, I had to see her, so Friday night, I went to her house and knocked at the door.  No answer.  I called her cell.  NO answer.  I left in defeat.  I felt angry...why was Rachel keeping herself from me!?! (and I NEVER EVER GET MAD AT RACHEL...I mean, it just doesn't happen!)
Two days later, with determination and angry still in my blood, I went back, riding my motorcycle over there this time, once more, nobody was home and she'd still not returned my telephone call either.  By this time, I was getting very angsty over wanting to see my cousin and one of my very best friends in the world, and it was like the planet had aligned to keep me from her and damnit, I felt driven beyond explanation that I had to see her.  I didn't even know why or what I would say to her when I did see her, I just knew I wanted to.
Finally Sunday night, she called me, and we spoke, she had news to share with me about feeling a little better, but that this most recent battle with illness had really taken so much out of her, that she had felt like she was lost there for awhile, that she had been sucked completely and utterly dry of herself, unable to perform basic human functions like carrying on a conversation, smiling, sitting upright....etc.
After I hung up with Rachel, a conversation that I recently had with Rachel and I's former guitar teacher and his wife came to mind.  I heard myself explaining to them how sick she was, and how working in the school system (where Rachel works) is likely one of the WORST places for her, due to the exposure overload that comes with working with kids.  And I thought to myself.....I wonder if Rachel would ever think about giving up her job.  I wonder if she'd like to be a stay at home mother.  Here she is, one of my closest confidants in the entire world, and I don't know if she'd like to stay home and not work anymore.  You'd think you'd know that about someone you're ridiculously close to, yet I didn't know this about my friend/Cousin, so I texted her:  "Would you ever want to be a stay at home mom?"
For hours, the text went unanswered.  As those hours passed, I thought about why I'd asked her that question.  And it came to me.....and it came to me like someone breathing it into me....that I couldn't help Rachel get well, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a healer.....but I am a writer.  Even if I'm a "nobody" in the world of writing, I AM A WRITER.  And Rachel, oh, boy, my Rachel is, and I'm not lying or exaggerating when I say this, she's an angel on earth.  I have my entire life observed this wonderful girl, and know without a shadow of a doubt, that she's special.  Meek, mild, enduring.....unconditional, unselfish, unwavering.  I have always known she was one of God's very special creations, and that there weren't two of her in all the world.  I always felt that God had given our family her as a gift, our own angel to watch over us, to show us grace, and love, and lead by example....and let me tell you, when I was a teenager, out drinking and smoking and having pre-marital sex and cursing and basically doing all things bad....I still knew Rachel was an Angel, and you know how I knew, because she loved me anyway.  She never judged, she never tried to change me, she just loved me as I stood.  Just as I was, flawed and all, and she did it with a love greater than any I had ever known.  All the love I'd ever knew came with strings attached, or guilt, or conditions, and mostly I disappointed those who loved me.  But not Rachel, the crazy thing was, she didn't have to say it, but she made ME feel like I was the special one! HA, isn't that ironic, my little angel on earth, wouldn't even take the glory for being glorious, no, no, not Rachel, instead, she served as a mirror, that God's light shined on....and then she reflected that light onto those around her.  She always shined on me, in good times, in bad, through all the years....she's shined.
Until the past several years.
Until tragedy struck.
Until every facet of her life was tried, and tested and then tried and tested some more.
And it has felt like a horrible injustice, bad things happen to good people all the time, but Rachel and her family, no, they didn't just have one or even 5 bad things happen, they had EVERYTHING go wrong.  Struggle after struggle upon struggle, health, wealth, joy....every single good thing we take for granted on this earth....in some way shape or form has been taken, tested or hidden from her family.  Her light grew dim on occasion.  I saw her growing ever dim.  And I was outraged, Not Rachel, not my Rachel.....she's THE best person I know, if ANYONE in the world deserves better, it's her, God, it's her, please listen, please hear me, RACHEL DOESN'T DESERVE THIS!!!
I shook my fist at Heaven, I don't understand God!  I don't understand why!!
And then, not just months, but years drudged on with hit after hit.  Job loss, sick children, a very, very sick Rachel....struggles upon struggles, upon unbelievable struggles.  All of us around her just say, "how much more can they take?!" and I think about Jesus, as he carried that cross...as he drug it and was beaten, and bled and suffered....That's how I envision Rachel's journey through life as of late....she's dragging that heavy cross....tiny, little, brittle, mild, and meek, yet unwavering, undaunting, unyielding Rachel, carries that cross....she's dragging it as we speak.....can you imagine it?
I've said many times, Either God Hates Rachel, or he thinks she's the strongest human on earth, because the cross she carries, the burden she endures, endlessly, is one that would of broken me.  It is a unlucky path that would of had a lesser human crumbling, hopeless and surrendering....yet, she carries on.  And without so much as a complaint.  DO you know that in all the years of Rachel's horrific turn of unfortunate events, she's never complained, she's never said..."wonder what I did to deserve this"...is she so wonderful that it never occurs to her TO complain, or does she know, on some unconscious level that God's not giving her more than she can bare?
Isn't complaining like the most human thing we do....
Oh, woe is me, why's my life so sucky....
God why do you punish me so?
But she never has....
so either she's not human...at least not like the rest of us,
She knows.....well, or maybe she's about to.
So yesterday on my way to the Chiropractor, on an average ole Monday at 4:30-ish, Rachel called me.  "Hey you!" she said cheerfully.
"Hey yourself!"  I said back, happy to hear from her, as I always am.
And we proceeded to have a conversation that I'll forever remember as a conversation that I was meant to have.  Rachel asked me, "so I got your text, and I called, because I wanted to know why you asked that...I'm curious as to your thoughts behind your question?"
And I began to speak...and then it was like the words flowed out of me, before I even know what I was saying and I said "Rachel, I cannot help you get well, I cannot make you feel better physically when you need it most, and I'm helpless....and I can't stand it, but what if, what if you could stay home.  What if perhaps, my books would sell and you, as my editor, were able to work from home, ....(this being the first realm of thought)...I can help you do that.  I can make it so when you're unwell, you can work from home, you can be comfortable, you can edit from bed, you can edit from anywhere....what if we were successful, what if WE got "Dead in a Ditch" going and we were able to really do well with writing and editing together....that would help right?  It COULD happen right?
And then suddenly, my brain shifted, I began to cry as I realized, and said "Rachel, what if it's not a coincidence that even though we didn't grow up together, (we lived pretty far apart), that we were always extremely close, despite the distance between us, despite our age difference, despite everything, and that I would be a writer, and you would suffer a great great misfortune.
"Rachel, what if it's not coincidence?  What if all your suffering, all your misery, it is and has always been your purpose to be a messenger?  Is it possible, that the only sense that can be made of all of this, is that God gave you a story, and he wants you to share it?....and he wants me to write it?"
Tears flowed, snot erupted, Rachel got goosebumps, and on our cell phones, her pulled over in the parking lot of the A&W and I driving between Cairo and Columbus Grove on State Route 65, I knew God had just used me, he'd just either spoken through me, or placed it upon my heart to tell Rachel, that it wasn't all for nothing.  Her suffering, it's not blind chance, it wasn't just unfortunate luck, her life, her struggles....they are Divine in their origin.
Rachel said, I was just going to text you back a quick text several times today to answer your question, but I just couldn't, every time i tried, I just put my phone down, unable to do so.  And finally, I just knew I owed it to myself to call you and speak with you about why you had asked.  And my mouth said to her "God wanted us to have this talk"....I didn't even really KNOW that until I said it.  It kinda wowed me and again came the tears and snot, and goosebumps.
I felt my heart was opened when D. Knippen was taken...I felt it ripped WIDE open when he put it upon me to write about it here in this very blog.  I was like "God', seriously, are you sure this is a good idea, why me?  I'm not the best person for this...you know me!  I'm not religious enough, I'm not a good Christian, pick someone else, surely there's someone better for this than me"  But he filled me with inspiration and hope and love and holiness, when I read the responses that came in on that post.  I was moved beyond worldly recognition by the experience.  So many times I was moved to tears, and touched significantly by everyone who spoke to me, every comment that came in and the general out pour of goodness that came in such a dark hour from my community right here.....and for a family who was in great need of comfort.  I think when God can't physically hug you, he sends the arms and voices of those here on earth to do it for him.
I was scared to write for D. Knippen
but it was put on my heart for a reason,
and I truly believe this was too.
Or I'm going stark raving mad and think God's talking to me,
when really it's just the voices in my head.
Faith tells me I'm not crazy
Love tells me to shut up and believe in something worth believing in.
There's a lot we don't know about the universe, why does one person die, when another one lives, who is God, where are the heavens....but it's amazing that when we quiet ourselves, and stop trying to figure everything out on our own....some mysteries are answered FOR you....by God himself.
We don't have to do everything ourselves
Some things are always going to be up to him.
Whoever he is, and whatever name HE has or has had
we are teeny tiny in the universe
but we are big to him.
and I know in my heart, he had made me just the way that I am, and that it's ok to be who I am, because I'm who I'm supposed to be.
And if he wants me to write Rachel's story for her, with her, then I will do his will.
This being the start.
"Just because something "sounds" crazy, doesn't make it any less worth believing in."

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's been awhile....

Hello My dears,
(doesn't that make me sound like I'm 90 when I say that?  I hear my voice being all little and wobbly, like a older, futuristic version of myself....or myself as Mrs. Doubtfire)

or shall I say "Hellooooooooooooooooooooo"?!
I know, I know it's been awhile and I've neglected you shamelessly.
My apologies.
Today I write to you in summation of the last couple weeks.  So much has happened, I'm not sure where to start to be honest....this may be a crappy post....again, my apologies.
Let me first start by saying:
Women are prone to loose themselves in their relationships.
Not all women, and not all the time, but some women, sometimes will find themselves a little less themselves than they remember.  Especially when they are really, really in love with someone.  I know, because I am, and I have, and I did and I'm working on it.
In the last couple weeks, I've been working on some things like:  Working out, playing my guitar, reading things that make me think and that feed my soul, been trying to finish writing the ending for Book #3, dealing with the insurance company and nightmare that is a flooded basement.....etc, etc.
In short, I've been dealing with MY LIFE....with "ME" stuff.
Which all women need to stay on top of their "ME STUFF" because we become unhinged frazzled,  my-roots-are-showing-crazy-haired, sweat pants wearing, bags under our eyes mad women when our lives start to unravel and we can't stop it from happening.
I don't know about you, but I don't like to feel like my life is completely out of my control.
wow, now there's a concept!
Why is it that feeling "in control" feels so good.....
yet, when we finally let go of the death grip we have on that control, we feel sooooo much better?
And why is that even though we KNOW that not holding on so tight to things will help us relax and enjoy life, we continue to hold on like there's no tomorrow to this IDEA that we are in control, that we got everything handled, we're "on top" of things....
Is anyone really?
I'm not.
This much I know.
This being something that will be the death of me if I don't stop doing.

I don't know how it happened, or exactly when it took me over, but somewhere along the way, I've become such a worry wart!

And folks, I hate it.
So I'm going to try and stop....stop "what if'ing" my life away.
How amazing would it be to just say, "goodbye worry, I'm done with you!"
I think it won't be easy, but I'm going to do everything in my power to stop, to make myself stop holding on so tightly to things, to stop thinking and over thinking and then thinking more about everything I am AFRAID 'MIGHT' happen.
If they happen, they happen, but worrying about them won't stop bad things from happening.
The Dalai Lama said:
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” 
He's right of course, worrying only cripples us from doing anything constructive.....worry is an endless cycle that hurts the worrier and doesn't do a damned bit of good for the problem at hand, assuming there's even a problem to deal with as opposed to the mere possibility of a problem that hasn't even happened yet!?!
It's just madness I tell you...
So yeah, Hello, my name's Heather and I'm a worry-a-holic
and I'm going to try and quit.
So the other day I totally thought I was going to die.
How scary is that right?
Jerimy had taken me out for breakfast at Baked to Perfection...we had a lovely breakfast him and Easton and I, and afterwards, he dropped me off at home as he was going to go home to workout.
Which, when you boyfriend tells you he's going to go workout, you immediately have workout guilt, and think about the dozen cookies you just bought, and think..."Yeah, yeah, I better workout too!"

So I decided I'd take a bike ride.
I was about two miles plus into my ride, and out on the corner of State Route 66 and I'm going to die when I realized that something was wrong.
I stopped pedaling, and stood still which is when I realized that my heart was beating so loud that I felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest.  I felt it pounding in my ears, my eyes were pulsing, my fingertips were pulsing, my back was pounding even.  THEN...it gets worse....I start feeling like my eyes are going black...I'm going to pass out!  So i pull myself and my bike off the road, and that's when the nausea sets in, "Oh great, now I'm going to barf AND pass out!"  I tried to steady myself, take deep slowed breaths, but my chest felt tight and I was sweating all over, and it wasn't until I squatted and put my head between my knees that I started to feel any relief.
It took ten minutes or so to get myself together...and I contemplated calling my mom to come and get me, but I told myself I was ok, and i would just pedal slowly back home.  Once home, my heart was once more beating like mad, I was really really hot, my chest hurt, I felt faint, so I laid down on my bed and once more tried to get myself back to good.  After about 10 to 15 minutes, things steadied, and I went from hot to cold, I covered up with my blankets and fell asleep for about an hour and woke up feeling ok.
This of course should be something I would normally WORRY about, but I'm trying to STOP worrying....
Everything always collides when you're trying to do your body good doesn't it.
I want to stop worrying...
I want to work out to be healthier....
so what happens...
I take a bike ride and have heart attack symptoms!
total bullshit isn't it?

 Yes, yes it is.
and lastly....
The Pursuit of Happiness.

Things that help you worry less are things that you enjoy.  Self improvement and enjoyment of one's time make me feel like my life is good.

I don't know of many of you know this, but I have a wonderful friend who lives in Rome.  Her name is Alex and she's fabulous.  Say Hello to my Alexandra the Italian:
{Isn't she just awesome?}
Anyway, My dear sweet Italian I will one day visit.  And for as long as I can remember I've wanted to go to Italy, and in knowing her, it just sweetens the pot.
I've wanted to learn Italian for a very long time, it's a beautiful language and honestly, how amazing would it be to speak to my friend in her native language, in one of the most beautiful languages known to man?
So I'm thinking about taking Italian 101 through Apollo this fall/winter.
And if I die of a heart attack, I'll be able to say:
"Ti amo, addio"
to my loved ones.
I think I want to be that cool when I go, to whisper something that sounds that lovely as my final words.
I want to spend my life, being a "DOER" not a "WORRIER" so I'm turning over a new leaf,
Just a few things I'm working on.
Yours Earnestly,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Another Reason Why I love Author Elizabeth Gilbert:

“As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

and it's so true.
I know, because I've tasted the bitterness that is resentment.
I don't like it,
and I don't want to do it.
so I won't.