Doomsday Dilemma

May 17, 2011

The end of the world is May 21, 20011 and my son and I have a world-ending dilemma; what kind of cake should we buy? My son and I have a tradition; whenever someone predicts the end of the world we have cake. I started this tradition because I remember being afraid of the end of the world when I was a child.

My parents were divorced and their families practiced different religions. So one week I was told I was going to hell. And the next at another place of worship I was told I was really going to hell for visiting the previous place of worship. One of these places of worship would periodically predict the end of time. In fact I became a theology major just to find something that resembled truth.

It was a relief to discover Apostle Paul struggled with his followers about end of time issues and not knowing when Jesus would return. I decided long ago to take the Apostle Paul approach to the delay of the parousia; therefore I’m okay with the ambiguity. Although, all these people coming out of the woodwork predicting the end is getting a bit lame. In an effort to avoid confusion for my son, and to somewhat make light of the situation we have cake.  

We have had a lot of cake over the years. This time my son does not even care what kind of cake we purchase; I have to figure it out on my own. How could it be, the end of the world has become ho-hum in our family? What is this world coming to when we cannot get a little enthusiasm for what may be our last day on earth. I figure our last day on earth can’t be so bad if we get to have cake.

© 2011 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life.

Happy January

January 7, 2011

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Happy January, everyone! Well another year is upon us and I have not quite gotten over last year. I apologize for my long absence but it was necessary. As last year was nearing an end I realized I still had a lot of work to do to fulfill my 2010 goals. A couple years ago I gave up making New Year’s resolution in favor of setting goals.

 

 When you make a resolution, it’s kind of like a wish you make it and let it go. Setting goal is different. Setting goals means putting in writing what you want to accomplish and the steps you plan to take to achieve the desired outcome. When you make a resolution you usually let it go by the end of January, whereas, your goals follow you throughout the year. In fact it is difficult to set new goals for the coming year if you did not accomplish your previous goals. Not accomplishing your goals is letting yourself down; especially since all you have to do is put in the time and effort.

 

After you have put in the time and effort if you still do not succeed, that’s okay, but not even trying is never acceptable. Thank you so very much, to all my readers for being so supportive. I will begin posting on a regular basis on Monday. Please don’t forget to set goals for yourself this year. I pray all of you have a blessed, peaceful, and prosperous year.

 

© 2011 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life.

Meditation for Writers

November 16, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Writers should meditate on a daily basis because clears the mind, renews the spirit, and helps to fill that empty void. Meditation clears the mind by allowing for moments to just be; you have no future no past just this moment. Meditation renews your spirit in that it’s like a mini vacation where you come back refreshed and ready to take on your life.

 Meditation is like a vacuum cleaner in that it clears out the negative voices that tell us we can’t do this or that. It stills that voice that is always trying to under mind our sense of self-worth. It helps to fill that empty void by getting rid of all the clutter; getting rid of the clutter makes room for our prayers, religious, and/or spiritual practice to take root and actually fill us up.

 Meditation helps us to stop retelling all those old stories we tell ourselves about our lives. Stories like this person is to blame for my down fall… the world is against me… why try…. In meditating we are able to live more fully in this moment realizing there is nothing we can do about the past and if we wish to build a better future, we start right now in this moment.

 Meditations is a must for writers in order to see life as it is rather than creating mental models for individual and putting people into the little box of who we think they are; such as, if we work together and you think I’m a jerk, then that’s the lens through which you view my every action. No matter what I do because of the mental model you have in your head about me it’s going to perceived as a jerk move.

Meditation frees the writer to see people as themselves rather than a series of acts. When we see people as individuals and expect the best from them we will be amazed at how often they rise to meet your expectations. When are free of the negative voices that weigh us down, we are also pleasantly surprised when our own lives begin to surpass anticipated outcomes. So, right now in this moment, take a few seconds and just breathe.

Categories: Life.

The World Stopped

November 3, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It rained last evening and the world stopped. The world stopped to look at the individual droplets rolling down the screened patio until they all merged and were simply wet. The rain is so thick you can barely see beyond the screen. We all have important things to do, yet, the world stops to listen to the weeping rain.

 The world stopped because a good rain is like a good cry, it renews your spirit. It makes you feel like no matter what has gone wrong in your life everything will be okay. Rain is such a charming part of nature; you have to love its churning sound; the way it showers the world making everything fresh and new. I imagine God is patting Him or Herself on the back so pleased to be the official sponsor of rain.

Last evening’s rain  was an answer to a prayer, for we all need a little rain in our lives from time to time so that we may stop and get that cozy feeling of just being. No future, no past, just rain. A tranquil rain is like a symphony for the eyes and ears; it captures your attention and enthralls your imagination.

Last evening’s rain with its dark clouds gave an ethereal quality to an already beautiful world. I can almost hear God say, “Rain, yeah, well done, well done.” Amen. So remember the next time it rains to stop watch the show nature puts on just for you.    

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life.

The Most Essential Word

November 1, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

The word “because” is one of the most essential words for writers. Although, it is quite utilitarian in nature it also possesses a certain poetic quality. I use because often, some examples are I Write Because and Because…, but the Beatles use it best.

Because is such a simple word yet it has such emotion pull. We are more inclined to listen to others when they give us a reason. Because is a lovely word not necessarily in its sound but in its varied uses and its ability to evoke emotion. John Lennon writes, “because the sky is blue it makes me cry.” What better reason to cry?

Because not just a valid word for writers, we all use it. Apologies go much better if you say “Please forgive me because you are so important to me, I never want to hurt you.” Someone would have to be made of ice to overlook an apology like this.

If that does not make you give the word because a little more respect then listen to this: because has been scientifically proven to be the most persuasive word in the English language. People seem to respond to it because it strikes a cord somewhere deep within the subconscious and compels others to listen to your reasoning.    

Will you get your way every time just by using the word because; absolutely not, but it will ensure others will listen to you. This is part of life we all want to be heard, loved and appreciated.   

 

2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life, Writing.

Finding Balance…

October 4, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

In looking at my coming week I see so much work and so little time. I am trying to balance writing, work, school, and something that resembles a personal life. Although I am taking time out every day for prayer and meditation I am having a difficult finding the perfect schedule.

Right now that perfect schedule seems to be if I awake I am working. I know from experience this agenda will take its toll on my health and personal life; but I don’t see another choice. I stop, and remember to breath. I remind myself that the world doesn’t fall apart if I take a nap.

I feel grateful that a lot of my work can be done from home. Lately I find it more comforting to take on one assignment and complete it before starting another. I am no longer a multi-tasker I am someone who follows through on projects.

I’m hanging up my cape I no longer wish to be Superwoman; I just want to make a peaceful contribution to my little part of the world. I do that best by sitting at my desk putting a few words on a page.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life.

Because…

September 20, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I recently perused some fine art on the internet; needless to say it was lovely; as I study all the lines and intricate details for just a few minutes wish I had that talent. Then I remember to be grateful for the ability to paint pictures with my words.  

 

Because

 

Because my words can paint pictures I can see, touch, taste and smell.

Because my words can paint pictures I can ring or un-ring any bell.

Because my words can pint pictures the world belongs to me and me alone.

 

Because my words can paint pictures I’m a sailor without a clear home.     

Because my words can paint pictures I am sometimes lost at sea.

Because my words can paint pictures all roads lead to me.

 

Because my words can paint pictures sometimes the paint fades and becomes a dull gray.

Because my words can paint pictures they lure me to come out to play.

Because my words can paint pictures I have unlimited sight.

 

Because my words can paint pictures there is no wrong or right.

Because my words can paint pictures art is words and words are songs.

Because my words can paint pictures I can create a world where I belong.

 

© C. J. Stegall-Evans 2010 (All Rights Reserved)

Categories: Life, Writing.

The Other Side of August

September 6, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I am always grateful for the Labor Day weekend because it seems like the other side of August. This past August represents mild chaos; I did little harm but I must admit I owe at least one apology. I am able to let go of the harm that was done to me, and chalk it up to August madness. To ensure I  avoided August madness and always reacted with kindness in the classroom I posted one of my favorite prayers:

 

Fathers Mychal’s Prayer

 Lord, take me where
you want me to go;
Let me meet who
you want me to meet;
Tell me what
you want me to say, and
Keep me out of your way.
 

Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.
Chaplain, New York Fire Department
Copyright ©2001 Holy Name Province
Permission to reprint requested

 

 

This prayer is certainly a life saver for me in that it reminds me to set my ego aside and pay attention to what is really important. I pray that we all have a blessed and peace fall season.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Writing as a Silent Scream!!!

August 9, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

On Friday, I was driving my car happy as a clam (that is if clams are really happy), on my way to the University of North Florida Writers Conference. I have been waiting for this conference for months; looking forward to all the speakers and the wine and cheese reception.

Although it is a three day conference I could only get a ticket for day one because day two and three are sold out; that’s how I know this will be a totally amazing conference. I am so excited just ridding along and my car makes a noise like gravel hitting the undercarriage.

Nothing going to stop me from having a great day so I keep going. Pretty soon the noise is just too loud to ignore. I exit the expressway and make my way to a plaza parking lot. I pop the hood and notice the drive belt seems to have been almost completely eaten away by rabid squirrels. 

This is okay I am at peace with the world.  I wait two hours for a tow truck, knowing I can at least make a half day of the writer’s conference. I make it to the car dealership and by noon I give up hope and call the conference to cancel; the receptionist giggles and I hear the faint sound of music. Soon after, the customer service person tells me the cost to fix my car. I just burst into tears because this feels like an August conspiracy.

To make a long story short, I am sitting in the waiting room with an urgent need to scream or writing. Since writing is more appropriate I write. I begin to think about the conference and how much fun they are having within me, which makes me want to cry.

I know this year at the wine and cheese reception this year they break out the loud music and strobe lights and everyone just lets their hair down.  Usually these functions are a series of lectures, seeing old friends, getting to know new people, a great networking tool; but this year since I am not there I’m sure it’s more like Bookworms Gone Wild.

The thing that really gets me is at the next conference everyone will pretend it never happened. I assure you this is not my writer’s imagination taking hold. I look around the car dealership and I am so disappointed, I just want to scream. The writer in me knows writing will make feel better and it does but I will be looking for tell-tell signs of the wild party at the next conference.  

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans   All Rights Reserved

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life, Writing.

Cathartic Writing

August 5, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I meditate on a daily basis in order to feel grounded. I either sit low to the ground, on the floor, or with my feet touching the ground. When I feel grounded I am as much a part of nature as the birds in the trees.

Writing makes me feel grounded too. When I am writing I am able to lose me, and just be. The ability to be at one with nature is a gift, one that I hope all writers possess. It’s a very freeing aspect of being a creative person.

It allows us to put everyday life on hold, for the time we are writing we can get in the zone, and become a pure creative instructive instrument. Sometimes writing inspiration calls to us at times when it’s not always convenient but it is always worthwhile. 

Answering this writing call helps writers to feel more stable in our everyday lives. Writing can sometimes be all consuming but finding balance and writing about our joys and pains allows us to keep our lives in proper perspective.  

Writers have to work hard on being grounded which is sometimes difficult when your profession requires that you keep your head in the clouds. Daily writing and meditation may not be the cure all but it may make finding your place in a world in which you don’t fit in a bit easier.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life, Writing.

Embracing Failure

July 26, 2010

 

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It seems like since forever my life has been a text book in overcoming obstacles. Just when I think I have it all together life throws me a curve. A couple years ago I was truly enjoying my life oblivious to the fact that it was full of stress and out of control.

I reasoned, I am enjoying my life therefore I must be doing everything right; everyone deals stress it’s just part of life. I kept going paying no attention to the stress knowing I could endure whatever life throws at me. Endurance is that what life is about?

 I did not ask myself any questioners, I gave the marching orders and soldiered on. I was on track like most people, not paying attention to my life and bearing the weight of whatever came my way. I had my head in the sand and had no idea my life was not all it should be. I was going on with my life as if I were in control of the whole matter.

When I crashed and burned no one was more surprised than me. I began to feel like a failure on so many levels until I realized something spectacular. The stress is gone; I’m okay; heck, I may even be better. After all the smoke had cleared it was springtime again.

I now had the time to stop and mindfully think about how to rebuild my life. There is something that is so completely freeing about starting over again. The wonderful thing about failure is it brings the gift of opportunity. The sin is not in failure; the sin is in not even trying.

So if any of you are feeling like a failure right now, know that this is opportunity in disguise. Opportunity rarely comes dressed up on a silver platter, but rather is a simple piece of coal made brilliant by the buffing of adversity.

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Quiet Spaces

July 8, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. My mind keeps racing back to this morning when I went out on my patio to greet the sunrise. I found the world so noisy I had to go back in and embrace the quiet spaces. I get through the day; but I can’t seem to get through the night.

 

Quiet Spaces

It’s the middle of the night.

I am hunted by the quiet spaces.

I find it comforting, yet, I am afraid.

 

The quiet spaces are where you face yourself.

You ask yourself the tough questions.

It is the pulse of your existence.

 

There is no hiding.

Your soul looks back at you in the mirror.

There is all this time, there is no time.

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

That Obnoxious Bird

June 30, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I start most mornings out on my patio watching as night gives way to day; I am at peace as I listen to the world waking up; then the obnoxious bird starts his songs. This bird sounds like someone randomly dropping instruments down a flight of stairs.

This bird is so awful all of nature stops to listen; at first he just drowns out all the other birds but then they just stop. When the other birds stop the obnoxious (Oxi) bird seems to get louder as if they stopped to hear his delightful tunes (excuse my giving Oxi a male persona but I have big brothers and this is exactly what they would do).

Oxi is not satisfied to give the occasional concert; this bird practices his art almost every morning much to the chagrin of Mother Nature and anyone else with ears. After four years of Oxi’s pollution I decide:  I don’t have to listen to this I have choices; I can go inside, wear ear plugs, or (sigh) make peace with Oxi music. I chose to make peace.

Since making peace with Oxi I have come to see the beauty in his awkward music. This morning when he sang instead of thinking how obnoxious, I just smiled. I have come to appreciate Oxi’s gift, after all it is a joyful noise.

To quote American Idols Randy Jackson “Dawg, you took that song and made it your own, dawg.”  This bird really does have its own song styling, and it is going to make a joyful noise whether anyone wants to hear it or not.    

 Listening to Oxi’s song I begin to think perhaps we all should be like Oxi. Perhaps we all should practice our art for art’s sake. Perhaps we should find that voice that’s uniquely our own and sing our song, dawg.  

 

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Confessions of a Reformed Plant Killer

June 15, 2010

C. J. Stegall-Evans

I am walking through Home Depot with blinders on trying to only buy enough supplies for the prototype of my latest invention (don’t ask). I am being very good until I spy a Topsy Turvy. A Topsy Turvy is an upside down gardening system.

If I can’t grow plants the regular way why on earth would I be able to grow them upside down? This is madness at its best. I try to walk away but at this point I am reading the package and become completely enthralled. I can see myself eating fresh tomatoes every day. I also look at several verities of tomato seeds; I am drawn to the Roma. I don’t buy any.

I get my Topsy Turvy home and think this is an impulse buy, and how quickly can I get it back to the store? I look at the monstrosity for a few more days and decide to keep it. I could attempt to grow tomatoes and if it does not work who would know; I know you won’t tell anyone.

However, I did tell my mother who is plant-lady-extraordinaire (Her house looks like a jungle and I’m expecting Tarzan to swoop in at any minute and scoop her up) about my wild idea and she reminded me of what I always tell others, “Your words have power.”

She suggested I call myself a “plant grower” rather than a plant killer. I have noticed the older my parents get the wiser they become, funny, I remember them being dumb as rocks when I was a teen. But I must admit I was a lot smarter as a teen than I will ever be at any given point in my life.  

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)  

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Ideas???

June 9, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans 

Ideas are the things of which dreams are made; it’s the only real magic in the world.  Merrian-Webster.com defines ideas as “something imagined or pictured in the mind.” Ideas start from within and it takes a courageous person to bring them into fruition.

Usually when people have brilliant ideas they take them for granted or just brush the aside because the idea comes from within them. I recently read that everyone has a million dollar idea.  These very people are usually amazed when someone has the same concept and makes a success of it.

The key is implementation; just thinking up an idea does not get it off the ground and running. The idea has to be thought about, written up and brought forth in a functional form. People usually stall in implementation because of that old voice inside their heads that says they will fail.  

There is nothing wrong with failure. The true failure is in not trying. Someone much wiser than myself one said “the more I fail the closer I get to success.” So what if you fail; you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and on the next great idea.    

Ideas are given to humanity for a purpose, we are to use them. Ideas can change your life. Ideas have changed all of our lives. Remember, there are lessons to be learned from failure and it makes the sweet smell of success even sweeter.      

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Return to the Rat Race?

June 1, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans
In the next few weeks I have to decide if I am going to return to fulltime employment or write fulltime for another year. It’s not like I would be returning to a labor camp, I am a teacher. After a few weeks of thoughts and prayers it finally dawned on me, how could I be happy going back to work fulltime if I considered it a rat race.

It does not have to be a rat race I can take my peace with me wherever I go. I can apply for only the jobs I truly want and let destiny take of the rest. If I don’t find a job that works for me I am perfectly fine continuing with my current lifestyle.

In fact my current lifestyle is so simple and peaceful I’m almost afraid to do anything to shake that up. I only step outside of my comfort zone because I realize that’s part of the way we learn and grow as humans.

I find learning and growing in groups with others endlessly fascinating. It is true I am not interested in a part of the rat race but I quite interested in staying connected to the human race.

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Rushing the Sunrise

April 27, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

When I went out this morning to see the sunrise, I was in such a rush. I had so many things to do I just wanted to catch a quick sunrise and go on with my day. Although, I wanted my sunrise quick and dirty but the sun just took its time.

The sun did not seem to know I had read, write and study because I have a deadline. The sun could care less about my deadline. It seemed to purposely come up as slowly as possible. I finally gave in realizing I could not rush the sun.

The sun seems to be a good metaphor for my life coming up slowly and shining bright.  When I push, pull, and wrestle with life it doesn’t work well for me; but when I practice non-attachment knowing everything is as it should be, then I’m in a peaceful place.

These days I constantly remind myself to slow down and enjoy the journey; it’s all about the journey. While watching the sunrise my stress level went all the way down because I know in the end it’s not about deadlines it’s how we live our lives.

I don’t want to live my life stressing over deadlines. I would much rather be at peace knowing “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). I live with so much ambiguity that it would be nice to have a little more stability. For now my stability lies in the fact that I know the sun will come up tomorrow.   

 

 

 


 

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

A Message in a Bottle

April 19, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

I have had a to do list since I was in my teens, I refuse to call it a bucket list since I plan on being around a very long time. One of the newer items on my to do list is to cast off a message in a bottle. A message in a bottle is as romantic as writing letters. A message in a bottle makes one dream of exotic locations or far away ports where the bottle may wash up.    

The most recent message in a bottle story I read was of a light house keeper named Anne Hernandez.  Her story made me  suddenly feel the way I feel when writers die; as if there is something missing in the world. As if humanity has lost a special bit of something. I guess I hold a special place in my heart for people who communicate with the written word.

Anyway, I have made a listing of  some of my favorite message in a bottle articles. Please feel free to post or email any you may have.   

 

Anne Hernandez’s Message in a Bottle

A Message in a Bottle Mystery

A Message in a Bottle Returned

A Message in a Bottle Lands in Africa

A  Message in a Bottle Painting

 

 

 


 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Missing the Sunrise

April 14, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

 

Lately I’m either working so much or sleeping in (on weekends) that I don’t take the time to appreciate the sunrise. This morning I step outside for a few moments at 7:00am and realize I have missed quite a few sunrises. I wonder what was so important that I could not take fifteen minutes to watch one of Gods greatest creations.

I rarely get so involved in the business of life that I don’t take the time to indulge in the simple pleasure.  I’ve come to my computer almost every morning and working right through sunrise. I take a step back and remind myself that even though next week includes impossible long days I still need to be outside when the sun comes up.  

 I am grateful that when I am getting off balance that reality sets in to pull me back on course. My connection to nature is what makes me feel alive. I enjoy working and I am fortunate that my work is also my passion but I have to find my balance and not get lost. I have a lot of opportunities at my fingertips and its challenging to figure what’s really right for me; so for now I’m juggling.   

I have such a small, quiet, peaceful life and I can’t let anything change it. Taking the time to luxuriate in the sunrise is part of what makes me, me. I think for most of us life comes barreling at us and before long we forget those things that were important to us.  Sunrise is important.   

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

The Happiness Factor

March 24, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Happiness is a choice we make every day. This morning as I was reading, 101 Small Pleasures you can Enjoy Every Day, I began to get that warm fuzzy feeling I get when curled up on a rainy winter day reading a good book. I noticed I was feeling happiness vicariously through someone else.  

I have always been one to read things that lift one’s heart, mind, and sprit. When I was an undergraduate I enjoyed taking classes with Father Moore because he stressed the importance of what we put in our gnosis, or our bank of knowledge. In other words put good in, and good comes out.

I not saying only read those things that bring on the warm-fuzziness but do try to incorporate things that inspire you to be happy into your life. I have listed below five books that I have read within the last year that inspired me or made me feel happy. Enjoy!

The Last Lecture

Have a Little Faith: A True Story

The Time Traveler’s Wife

BECOMING A WRITER

The Portable Thoreau (Portable Library)

© 2010 C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

If I Could Put Time…

February 23, 2010

 By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Since my weekend passed in the blink of an eye and I wonder where the hours go to make their escape. According to Albert Einstein, “Time is an illusion.” I believe this because time just wanders away. Sometimes time is fast and sometimes it’s slow but it always passes. No matter how time meanders through our lives we must not allow it to steal our goals, hopes and dreams.

Time is what happens when we are not awake for our lives. I am a widow and during my undergraduate and graduate levels of religious studies I often encountered classes and situations dealing with death and dying. I have come to respect death as a natural part of life.

I don’t plan dying anytime soon but I am curious, and hate that I won’t be able to come back and tell everyone “I died and it was amazing!” What is amazing is the process of dying, in my class on death and dying and contextual education in hospice ministry I learned a lot about what’s important in life.

I know that older people who have not fully lived have regrets (for all the thing they did not do) and are afraid to die; and young people who have lived their lives boldly face death with a wisdom and bravery far beyond their years. In fact until I encountered these studies and these situations I was not aware I was not living.

If you want to be a writer start writing today. Whatever it is you would like to do start today, not because of fear of death but because life is for the living. Life is so precious and so short it should be lived passionately without regrets. When we are near the ends of our lives we should all be smiling because of all the things we have done that made ourselves and others happy.  

A few years ago my only regret was I was not living in Florida and writing. It took me a while to realize I was the only person holding me back. Of course, my family wanted me to live close but at the end of the day my life has to be your own. I now live in Florida and I write almost every day. Is my life perfect? No, but it is my vision of my life, I own it. Am I happy? Absolutely!

So, stop reading and go write your book, sing your song, climb that mountain, do that thing you were meant to give to the world. Be your own reason for smiling.

 


 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)   

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Sunday Sky

February 22, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

It’s a beautiful day outside and the birds are singing. It must be wonderful to be that carefree. The clouds are spread out over the sky like mayonnaise on a sandwich. It’s a good look for a Sunday sky. A few birds float by, it seems they know its Sunday and have decided to take it easy too. The rhythm of the all cricket chorus is slower than usual. The cars are going too fast, haven’t they heard of Sunday driving.

 I got on the computer to do research for an hour this morning and proceeded to work the day away. I meandered outside early evening and decided to spend the rest of the day in peace and celebrate the quiet Sunday sky.

 It’s getting a bit chilly out but I cannot go in because I don’t want this day to end. I want to remember this evening as if it were a painting. I always try to save up good memories no matter how small because they come in handy on those rare days when I can’t seem to see through the fog.    

The weekend is almost gone but I’m taking the time to savor the outer recesses of it.  I watch the clouds spread like mayonnaise across the sky and am amused when a little nose pops up in the center. The little nose wants to smell the fresh air of the Sunday sky.    

 


 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Be Word Wise

January 29, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

This morning I was in bed praying for the right words to use in my post today. I began concentrating on the word “word.”   Words are so powerful we really have to be careful how we use them. After all God spoke and the world came into existence. When we speak we may not create a world but we do evoke emotions. While it is true we are not responsible for the actions of others we can speak in a manner that triggers a reaction in others that may be positive or negative. Therefore we have to be responsible for the words we put forth in this world.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Words are so important that in Christianity Jesus is referred to as the Word. Maybe you do not consider your words sacred but you indeed create your environment with your words. When you speak hostile words you create a hostile environment. When you speak peaceful words you create a peaceful environment. While we are not responsible for how others react to our words we must realize most people are asleep at the wheel. In general people spend so much time thinking about their future or their past that they are not present for their life.

 It is up to each of us to create the kind of world in which we want to live. According to Gandhi we should “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Changing our home life, work place, and any other environment we wish to change starts from within. Today I plan to choose my words wisely it is my hope you do the same. Have a blessed and peaceful day.    

 


 

 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved) 

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

Trains: The Music of Life

January 28, 2010

Ty C. J. Stegall-Evans

I awake to the sound of a train barreling down the tracks. I close my eyes and feel the quivers of disturbance as the train makes it way to unknown places. The sound of the train is like music to my ears.  Other than the island of Guam, I have always lived within hearing distance of a train route. I am prior military and have moved more than the average person but trains always remind me I am home.

By home I don’t mean an actual location but a feeling of familiarity, or security in a world in which I sometimes feel wholly inadequate as a person. My feeling of inadequatecy is not a bad thing; I just don’t fit, which is the price one pays for being one’s self.  Trains are a simple constant in an uncertain world.

I luxuriate in simple pleasures and try not to take them for granted. I am grateful that I get to hear trains every day. Actually, I am grateful for everyday.  What makes you grateful?

 

 


 

 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans (All Rights Reserved)

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Life.

A Prayer for Haiti

January 19, 2010

By C. J. Stegall-Evans

Along with most everyone else in the world my heart is breaking for the people of Haiti. I have had to take a step back from technology for a few days to reflect on what I can do to help. A few dollars and a few words just don’t seem to be enough. I guess when you add my dollars with your dollars and your neighbor’s dollars we began to pick up steam. But the faces of the children are haunting because they are not just on TV but are real people with real lives that crying out for help; Words just seem so insignificant.

Although words seem insignificant, there is a pseudo-religious leader and a radio talk show host saying all the wrong words. There are so many in need, how could we ever condemn them or ask people not to send aid. When we help others we elevate our humanity; when we neglect to help others we diminish our humanity. We are all connected when we help the Haitian people we help ourselves. The United States is such a blessed country how could we not be of service to others. There are so many third world countries that seem to be the Jobs of the world. Let us pray that like Job from the Bible God gives the Haitians what they need to survive yet another calamity.

A collect is a short Christian prayer that makes a request of God. The following is a collect I wrote for the people of Haiti. Like I said previously words seem so insignificant right now but maybe the prayers and positive words will add up and the Haitians will feel all the love and support they are receiving from around the word. Remember “Where two or more are gathered in my name I shall be there also” (Matthew 18:20).   

 

Heavenly Father,

Who saw Job through his trials and tribulation

Please lift up your Haitian children and cradle them in your arms

So they may be feel the comfort of your love, and know there is power in your name

In the name of your son, Jesus Christ

Amen

 

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do
 

 

© 2010 by C. J. Stegall-Evans   

 Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Categories: Blogging, Life.

Page 1 of 212»