Smack In The Middle Of Life: True Stories and Blessed Aha’s
This compilation of real-life episodes has been called “a gentle, humorous collection of insightful accounts.” In promoting it, the Midwest Book Review said this:
“Smack In The Middle Of Life: True Stories And Blessed Aha's is a gentle, humorous collection of insightful accounts of using spiritual and Christian principles to better cope with the loopy and hectic situations that ordinary life throws at us again and again. The true powers of love, faith, and endurance are tested and brought to the fore in these heartwarming vignettes, such as the one titled "Jesus needed to make a personal connection." Smack In The Middle Of Life makes for superb inspirational reading and also makes a delightful gift book.”
Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator “Chicken Soup” series, said this: “The more you are blessed, the more you can bless others. Read this book, experience your blessings and your aha’s and then bless others.”
Alan Cohen, author “Deep Breath of Life,” said this: “These heartfelt vignettes will give you much to ponder. Filled with wit, inspiration and just the right human touch.”
A chapter from the book:
Ally ally oxen free: We can come in now
I was 26 and stretched out across the couch with my boyfriend. We were looking out the window at the night sky, his arms wrapped around my shoulders, his mother's quilt wrapped around us both.
I stared at a radio tower in the distance, with its three red lights on a vertical tower. I was hypnotized by the incessant blinking ... on ... off ... on ... off ... on ... all night long. The tower stood like a sentry, guarding the night sky.
My boyfriend whispered to me, "I want to be your sanctuary." That's when I knew I wanted to marry him and be safe.
Over time, the safe feeling dissipated, but, to this day, when I see the red tower lights blinking, I feel warm and protected. Sanctuary is something I've been seeking all my life.
As a child, I felt safe. Protected. Snug as a bug in my upstairs bed, on Saturday morning, while, downstairs, my dad scrambled eggs with chives and my mother set the table. I could hear their conversation drift up through the floor register, and I used to wonder how I would ever live in a house without someone older there to protect me at night.
When my dad died, it felt like my cloak of protection had been jerked from my shoulders. He hadn't been able to keep me from painful lessons during my childhood or adult years, but his loving presence gave me a certainty that I would survive ... and feel safe again.
My baby brother, now in his 40s, once had a stuffed lion he called "Gooey" that watched over him all night long. One morning I walked into his room to find Gooey's shredded foam stuffing all over his crib. It was a brave act for a two-year-old.
My stepson, when he was four, threw his Linus-blanket onto a luggage carousel at the airport to watch it go around with the suitcases, except that the moving ramp caught the edge of it and swallowed it forever. My husband still remembers the astonished look on his son's face.
My son uses pets to simulate Gooey and the blanket, and, at 17, he still sleeps with our cat beneath his bed covers. My daughter has a favorite comforter (there's truth in advertising) that accompanies her to every slumber party, and, even, every bedroom around our house.
I see New Age folks with crystals. I see Catholics with scapulars - I wore one for years. I see the well-rubbed belly of Buddha statues. I see Jews with mezuzahs on their doorposts. I see the Unity Prayer for Protection printed on wallet-sized cards.
In the face of fear, does God just give us symbols? And how much power can these symbols have, when they can, like the blanket, be yanked away at a moment's notice.
Maybe it's time to recognize that we are the ones who give power to the blankets and the bears and the statues and the stones. Without our attachment, they're as powerful as lint.
And what is the power that we give to these things? It's the power to make us feel safe, secure, loved.
Somehow we have to move from giving the power away to outer symbols to fanning the Energy inside, where an infinite supply of security, safety, and love exists ...
If I have the power to say that a husband or a parent or a blanket can keep me safe, then this must mean that the power lives inside me, and I already am safe and secure and loved.
We can't give away power that we don't already have.
Ally ally oxen free. It's safe. We can come in now.