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For a long, long time now, I have had something with me whenever I drive anywhere. It is my car’s license plate that reads “CLARITY.” When my car died as I was going into Pauls Valley in the 1990s, I purchased a brand new Toyota Corolla and added a personalized car tag to the vehicle. What I had been striving for at that time was clarity. I wanted to be “crystal clear” about my beliefs and about changes I was making in life and to so many decisions I was making for my life. For instance, “I have been married a year. Is it time to let my apartment go?” “What do I need to do to become more balanced in my life?” “Why are so many beliefs that I held in my past changing?” “Am I just becoming me?” “Do I need to give up my nutrition business completely to seriously promote seminars in Oklahoma that I used to do in New Mexico?” And the questions went on and on in my head.

I had made so many mistakes in my past that I questioned myself. Yes, I wanted clarity in my life. To my surprise, this word was available. I received the tag saying “Clarity” and put it on my car, having no idea others might appreciate it. However, it did touch other people’s lives. When attending a meeting in Oklahoma City, a woman stepped into the room where the meeting was being held, saying, “Who owns that car with CLARITY on the license plate?” I said, “I do.” She then continued, “That made my day. Thank you.”

This appreciation of my license plate continued, and I continued working on clarity in my life. I even had a minister stop me and ask, “Do you think you have clarity about everything?” Why in the world do you have that license plate? I answered something like this, “I will be watching for clarity in my decisions the rest of my life. It is a reminder to take life a little slower and think before I act. When making some decisions in my past, I reacted a bit fast as I was hoping to satisfy my physical self by jumping to something different and satisfying my emotional self without thinking. I did not look at how it might affect everyone else or affect my own life down the road. It just might take care of my situation in the present moment. Have you ever done this? As I stepped towards gaining my answers from God/Spirit rather than others, I “listening to God/Spirit” and began checking myself. I realized that I could not hear answers, but I could check what I felt like when my answers came directly to me as I listened and watched for answers. Here is one activity that I would do when I was making a profound change.

I had worked for years building a big business for me and helping others develop their companies selling Shaklee products. I was in a new marriage, was still working on my business, and was writing a book about my spiritual journey. This book seemed to be taking years to complete. In addition to all of this, I also still wanted to spend more time with God/Spirit through prayer and meditation and Native American ceremonies. Did I have the courage to let go of a business that was bringing in money? Could I make the same amount of money or possibly more by creating and doing seminars in firms and individuals? In making such a decision and for other choices in my future, I did this exercise.

First, I made a circle and divided it into four sections: one was for the physical, the second was for the mental, the third section was for the emotional, and the last was for the spiritual part of the Self. In the center of the circle, I placed my divine source. For me, it was Jesus. I made a prayer for my help in receiving answers. Next, sitting in the direction of the physical part of the circle, I asked questions and listened to what thoughts came. If I let go of my nutrition business, what would happen? How would these changes affect my life and my marriage? Physically, how would this change my life healthwise, timewise, stress-wise? What will my physical surroundings look like for my business? Next, I moved and sat behind the “Mental” part of the circle. What could happen with this change? What could happen that is (1) good, then (2) not good? Would I be worse if I made the change than I am now? How? How might I be better? Listen to thought. Listen to the wisdom that comes when you are quiet and waiting in each area. Now move to space behind the section on the Emotional part of Self. Ask questions like “How will this affect my relationships in life? With myself, with family, with others. How does my heart feel about this? Listen. Now move to sit behind the Spiritual part of Self. Again ask questions: What would your divine source do in this situation? Will this change improve faith in any way? Will it help me spend more time doing what I value? Listen carefully. Evaluate.

You will have your questions in each section and your answers. Questions will come to you when you take the time to do this—no need to write them down. Just sit and do it. This exercise will also help you balance your life. Then what vibrations will you exude to others? The time you spend doing this simple exercise will release chaos and confusion. You will exude vibrations of peacefulness and contentment as you gain understandings for your Self. So much more is available to us when we take the time to participate in a self-made exercise like this. Enjoy doing this when you need to make a tough decision. See what you learn about YOU. It is amazing what comes.

LESSON: There are activities you can do to gain insight into your Self. You can hear your answers. You will pay more attention to your attitude, your words, and your actions. You will “feel” when it is not correct, and you will feel when you have found what your soul wants for you.


This exercise gave me help in making my difficult decisions.

I watched as my faith kept increasing, my ability to be true to Self kept growing, and I spent more time in my life with what I valued.

Walking forward after deciding to release me from a business I built, I missed many of the people I talked to regularly, but I saw new doors open. I also still have many that remained good friends.

I finished my book and self-published it. I have sold more than 4,000 to date. The average sales for a self-published book are 250. I feel fortunate. Of course, I did not know that. I ordered 1,000 initially and ran out. I then ordered 5,000 more, still not knowing that number of 250. So I have a few left if anyone knows someone that might want one. Or I told John if I had a funeral, he could pass out books.

The Giving Tree

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If you have ever had a child, you may have read the book,The Giving Tree. I was blessed when I received this book as a present from a friend. In my thirties, I fell in love with this book. My children were in their teens at that time. I did share it with them, but the words seemed to mean more to me than to them when they were that age. Ordering the video of the book allowed me to present The Giving Tree in seminars for families of First Offenders in New Mexico. Why did this book hit me so strongly? The book is about a tree that grew to be tall and beautiful. It offered shade to many people, plus sometimes an apple to eat for nourishment. The tree gave and gave in different ways until it was old. Then it continued to give even when it had lost many branches. It inspired me,

Then in my late 40’s, I attended a Native American ceremony on the Rosebud Reservation and watched a cottonwood tree “be prayed for” that would give its life to be used for the ceremony John and I were attending for the first time. That tree brought the giving tree in my book to life as we saw how it was treated and how it gave and gave for the people. John and I watched this same respect and honor for a tree being cut and used for Sun Dance each year. We traveled and attended this ceremony more than ten times. Each time, the tree was caught by many when it came down. Participants of the Sun Dance then carried the tree that was chosen and cut until it arrived a few days later at the place where it would be covered with small prayer ties on the trunk of the tree and prayer flags in the top of the tree. This tree was always handled gently from the very beginning and until it was placed in the center of the circle for the Sun Dance. When the tree arrived on the land of the ceremony, the ones carrying it laid it down carefully on a long bed of sage. The tree was then finally raised. It stood tall for all to see during the ceremony as it remained in the center of the circle for this four-day ceremony. There is so much more that I could tell, but you would not want to read it all! I will say this: After watching how gently all people attending treated this tree and also how they handled other sacred objects, I returned home and began handling my Bible differently. It is a sacred book that I do not let touch the ground. Nothing is set on top of it. When I carry it, I attempt to do so carefully and with reverence.

This ceremony draws people from all over the world. Many people of different religions gather once a year to pray for peace, harmony, and resilience. A variety of religions are represented. We prayed together from sun up to sundown, spent four to ten days together when we attended and treated each other with honor and respect. It has been wonderful every single time. With all our differences, we lived harmoniously, visiting each other and helping one another. We accept others that were different from ourselves. It is an amazing experience, and it is what I hope to happen in this world.  

This tree in the center of a circle at Sun Dance made a drawing of a “Tree of Life” in our home come to life for me. When I returned home, I began to pay attention to every “tree of life” drawing or painting that I saw in real life. The feeling of sacredness returns every time I see a picture of a tree standing alone or see a drawing that represents a tree of life. My thinking about ancestors that had already died and those still alive entered my mind more strongly. I wished I had talked to some of them that are already gone more. Some of them had answers to questions that I did not think to ask. My life was busy, and I kept thinking that I would spend time with them later. Later never seemed to come.

Looking at the cottonwood tree at Sun Dance, I paid attention to the fork in the tree.  Everything is both feminine and masculine. That tree represented both masculine and feminine to me. It was another way I was like a tree. I am both masculine and feminine, just as each of us is! Above the fork in the tree is “all that is above,” our divine source and Spirit. Below the fork, the tree’s trunk represents all that is happening on earth that we need help with. So many prayers are put on that tree’s and so many prayers are said for so many while the ceremony occurs. I focused on where I wanted to be on the tree. I wanted to be right below the fork of the tree with one foot on the other side so that I might hear my answers from God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit and one foot here on earth so that I might stay grounded. I also focused on staying balanced in life. Once I realized my place, I never experienced the world the same. Today I see Heaven differently and everything here on earth differently.  

Confirmations of my realizations once I found my place on the “tree of life” began to appear. What were my confirmations? Simple items to support that my prayers were being heard about my tree coming alive to meI. For instance, I received a card with the “tree of life on it” from a friend that had no idea about my new understandings.  Was I manifesting this with my thoughts about the tree? I received another card with a tree of life on it also. Then I received a necklace with the Tree of Life pendant from my granddaughter. Later I received another necklace from my daughter with the Tree of Life as a pendant. She had it made using real jewels to represent every person in our family. These unusual manifestations continue to come forth through other people.

So, do you remember that what you do in your earlier years becomes a part of your foundation? Example: I decided to find an answer by fasting one day a week for four weeks in the early forties.  Then in my late forties, I found myself doing Native American ceremonies where I fasted for three and four days at a time. I call these things that happen “strengthening my foundation.” At some level within, using The Giving Tree repeatedly in seminars in New Mexico in my thirties was the beginning of my guidance in finding a live tree that would become a giving tree to help so many that have prayers of healing for many people, for all life, and the earth, plus prayers of gratitude. 

LESSON: Be open to receiving answers! Pay attention to what is being given to you or sent to you. Next, look backward to see what happened in your life and how it was built. Are you today building your foundation stronger, or is it built on sand? We can always strengthen our foundation, no matter what age we are! Is there something that you did or believed in the past that expanded in your future? Or did it catapult you into a different situation? The biggest lesson is “Pay Attention.” 

An understanding of how Spirit works do come as when we watch closely every day.

Giving brings blessings back to us.

Gifts came from being open to what was presented to me. I listened to my gut, and it felt right. It brought answers. I discovered what I had a passion for. Answers from God to the many questions that I carried with me about my mother dying, and then later, when Don acquired cancer, we learned he was terminal. I was searching for answers here on earth from God, and I got them.

I take the time to pay attention to relatives and my children and grandchildren. I have many answers for them, but they are much like me. They do not ask. Perhaps they will before I die, or perhaps I can send them an answer from Heaven. Who knows?



A Tree Of Life

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I was walking through our house and noticed a framed drawing painted by someone years ago hanging on the wall. It has a trunk and limbs and leaves, plus other items growing on the limbs. This brought about thoughts about my tree of life and perhaps yours.

I believe we each begin as a thought of God. We enter this world headfirst. Somebody pats us, and we take in that first breath of life, and that is when our soul enters. We are turned right side up, and so much begins to happen. Hopefully, loving arms are ready to help us enter a family we chose while still in Heaven. We choose the family we choose for what we are to learn here on this earth. We have a “tree of life” and are added to other relatives’ and friends’ trees along the way.

My tree includes past and present relatives plus extended family plus friends along the way that became a part of our family during my time with them. My tree encompasses an amazing lifetime. I invite you to think about your tree of life. Being 80, having four children, spouses, grandchildren, and those that came before this time of life, I had past life experiences on the tree. I added my grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends that have been like sisters and brothers, teachers that touched my life, and all in my past on my tree that represented all of the love that I have had in my past. I also added some that I never had the opportunity to meet because their stories touched my life. I even put a few relatives and a spouse that hurt me and allowed me to learn more about myself on my tree. They went on a limb alongside a few that gave me the skills to heal.

In my late 40’s, I was asked to speak at a seminar to be held at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City. While waiting for my turn, a friend asked me, “Are you more enmeshed with your mother or your father”? I said, “I do not know.” She turned and casually said, “Do this. Write down the issues that you have had in this lifetime and are still having. Next, write down your Dad’s issues in this lifetime and what your Mother’s issues were before she died. Even look back to your grandparents if you know some of their issues. Now look to see which side of the family you are most enmeshed with.” All of that only took about twelve minutes. I always thought I was most enmeshed with my mother and her side of the family, but I quickly found out that I was enmeshed with my Dad and his side. She quickly said, “You have the opportunity to heal all of the issues you wrote down, and it will make everything better for all of those that are on your “tree of life” today and all that will be coming in the next seven generations.

That was all we did, for I was the next up to speak. Walking onto that stage in front of those people, I had difficulty focusing on the present. I felt like I needed to go home and get to work on myself. This information I just received about my life so quickly had inspired me to go further with what I had been doing to improve my life. So rather than inspire them to keep on keeping on and give them ideas about what might be good to do to help their own lives, I wanted to go home. However, I did get it together, and my talk turned out to be helpful for them. I took my list of issues home when I left and went to work on reorganizing my life and what I could do to work on those issues that were handed down to my Dad and then to me. I knew I had to rid myself of each issue. I must heal my past to change my future. The paths for healing everything from money problems to checking my beliefs began to open. It felt like my whole tree was flourishing as I changed.

Today I wish I had spent more time listening in my life. I wish I had spent more time talking to and listening to my grandparents, great-grandparents, and even parents. I wish I had asked them questions about what they saw their issues in life were. What did they see happen in their grandparents’ lives, etc. What were their happiest moments? What were the most difficult times? Instead, it was much more important for me to play or go to work, make more money, or visit my cousins or friends. I see our own children and grandchildren doing the same thing. And I imagine this is in every generation. Interestingly enough, I did not see this on the reservation when we visited, perhaps because they did not have as much stuff as we all do.

My next blog is going to be Part II of the Tree of Life. It will be about the Tree that I see in my mind when I think of the Tree of Life.


Our Tree Of Life brings us so much more information than we expect. Listen and think about all of those people that are part of your tree. When you have an opportunity to talk to someone older than you, listen. Watch to see if younger ones are having some of the same issues as you have mode through. If it is possible to visit with them, do so. We cannot change anyone else, but we can tell stories, and perhaps they will have a seed planted within through a story.


The amazement with all the meaning of a Tree of Life when focusing on one, imagining all the leaves, or perhaps drawing one yourself.

Appreciation for all of those before me that have touched my life and appreciation for all of those that are in my life today.

Love within and without.

Positive Thinking

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What is positive thinking? Positive thinking is having thoughts of hope and thoughts of a bright future of possibilities. It is not focusing solely on the negative. It is thinking about the good that might appear around the next corner of your life. It is creating your life. Negative thinking can also create your life. Positive thinking will draw blessings to you. Negative thinking draws negative. You can control your thoughts and your words. When I was in a negative space and was having a negative thought, I learned to go back and create four positive thoughts to make up for the one negative thought. This, I found, helped to overcome the negative! Eventually, I did not have to do this often as I learned more about myself and my reactions, and my life straightened out. I learned how to see the positive in most situations even though it appeared negative initially.

Eventually, I learned about an electromagnetic energy field. That was about forty years ago. I became fascinated with the subject. I found very little information about it at the time but began my own experiments. Now more information is finally coming out about “the electromagnetic energy field we each have. It is actually being shared with some nurses to help them understand how they might increase healing for patients in a hospital setting by checking themselves and their energy field before stepping inside a patient’s room. They expand their electromagnetic energy field by thinking about something positive and then carry peace into the patient’s room. Every one of us has this electromagnetic energy field. When improving our thoughts and words, our energy field expands. This energy field we carry can touch many lives besides our own as we enter a room or spend time with others! It also will help us draw to us what is truly ours. As our inner habits change, our soul even becomes happier.

Positive thinking definitely expands your electromagnetic energy field, which helps you in every part of your life. You feel more confident and secure in life with a good energy field, and you draw good to your life. When you are thinking about something ho-hum, but not negative, your normal energy field is about 18″ or so around your body. However, if you are thinking about something negative, it disappears. When your thought is focused on something outstanding in your life, it expands far beyond that 18″ limit. Know that your energy field will affect others you pass by also. I have been thinking about what we could do if more of us think more positively. It appears to me that we could greatly affect “peace” within and “peace” without. In other words, we could bring Heaven to Earth as is stated in the Bible.

I had an example of positive thinking to follow. My mother stayed positive even though she learned that she had diabetes when she was pregnant with me. They did not know nearly as much about diabetes as they do now. I was born in January 1941, and from that time on, we struggled. Many times things were challenging in our home. You see, at that time, they canceled one’s insurance due to diabetes. Yes, they used to do that. She would do fine for a while and then be in the hospital a week or so. She was my best friend. They advised her not to get pregnant again. She did her best but did get pregnant with my little sister, who was born three months early and weighed only one pound, six ounces. No one expected her to live, but she showed them! I was six when she was born. My father thought he could begin his own window business. Hospital bills for my mother and sister seemed never to allow him to get ahead. After being in an incubator for months with no touch, Mamma and Daddy could bring her home. I was so excited.

Even with money problems, health problems, and much debt, life felt good. We lived in a three-bedroom, one-bath home, and my mother saw that we were happy. I attribute that to her positive thinking. We were also going to a church that taught God had unconditional love for each of us. The minister taught faith, hope, love, and the belief that good will always overcome evil. Everyone left every Sunday feeling like they could face the week inspired. That included me. Yes, we had lots of stress and tension in our family due to misunderstandings, such as Daddy getting home late and being unable to telephone unless he stopped, not having enough money, and other such things. With all of this, I felt that we were happy, plus “hope” made me believe that something good was coming just around the corner.

During my formative years and grade school, I became “the peacemaker” in the family. I was fascinated when my sister threw temper tantrums and could get her way. That did not work for me by any means. Instead, I tried my best to keep the peace. During those many years, I also watched my mother closely to ensure that she was not going into a reaction that would sometimes lead her into a coma. My caretaking skills increased. While growing up and then going to college and getting married, I transferred my actions at home to my personal life and became a great and sick codependent.

My best lesson during life was how to stay happy even through the most difficult times. I heard my Dad repeatedly say to me when times got tough, and he caught me not smiling, “Susie, where is that smile? Go inside, clear down to your belly button, and feel a smile. Then move that smile move up, up, up until it comes to your face!” Try this! You will be surprised. When I was upset, I sometimes had to smile a couple of times, but it did help and usually worked. I used it in college, walking across campus when I felt “out of sorts.” I used it through marriages. I did my best when I was going through my first 17-year marriage, the terminal cancer experience with my husband until his death, and then that second difficult marriage that brought me to my knees with not many smiles. The gift of that marriage was that I had many lessons and was taught how not to repeat my mistakes.

As that second marriage got worse and the emotional abuse got worse, I tried to stay focused on faith, positive thinking, and affirmations to face the world every day when I worked. Finally, this brought me to my knees and began my search for God’s answers, not mine. I had lost myself. The same positive thinking that I talked about and taught in New Mexico came to the forefront with nothing working in my life. It helped me to release fear, look at new beliefs, and move forward on a path of my own. Positive thinking and opening to what I was being shown allowed me to acquire counseling. That did feel awkward since I had been an administrator and built a large mental health center in New Mexico. I added fasting for a month, one day a week, to acquire further guidance. I had always been closed to the idea of fasting but was watching for God’s answers that were coming to me. God brought this answer through a man I did not know on a ski lift as he shared about fasting. I listened and opened to the possibility. I was desperate for answers. That lead me to Al-Anon, where I gained some wonderful tools we can all use when upset. Al-Anon brought me back to being my “Self.” Every seminar I did for the United States Department of Education included positive thinking. During that ten-year period in Oklahoma working on me, I began doing seminars in Oklahoma and always included “positive thinking.” Then when I married John after being single for ten years (a twenty-seven-year marriage so far), I went from doing seminars for institutions, associations, and businesses to doing seminars for individuals wanting to improve positive thinking techniques and become more open to all of life! So think positively, expand your energy field to help you, and know what you are doing to reclaim positive thinking is helping others!

LESSON: Watch blessings come to you as you learn how to stay more positive. Know you have help from the invisible world. Be happy. Smile more. God and Spirit are always with you, waiting for you to ask. Know that sometimes answers take time. Watch for little and big gifts and be grateful! Give what you want to receive, and have no fear about giving.


Three years after my divorce, my life turned around. I practiced positive thinking did affirmations, simplified by making many changes in my life during those three years. Today life is amazing. In fact, it always has been. I can now see how my life’s timeline and all that I did brought me a huge change in life. I attribute much of this to feeling positive. My thinking, words, and actions tend to remain positive, smiling, and loving. Sometimes I do slip just like we all do. It only lasts a short time, though! Try all of these suggestions I put into my blogs, and smile as you watch what comes back to you. At the same time, do allow yourself to grieve when you have a big loss. Even during that time, It will help your health if you can have some good thoughts or unexpectedly have a good laugh!

Another gift is that I have a God that I talk to about everything. I began a close relationship with God and God became my partner in creating the life I have today.

Letting go of beliefs that no longer work brought amazing answers and new beliefs God showed me.

An amazing and appreciated relationship with all four of our children and grandchildren

Many unexpected gifts my whole life! As I look back, I can see how God and Spirit worked with me through every loss and gain. Unbelievable and surprising gifts came at times when I most needed them.

I gained wisdom about making it through the most difficult times in life knowing something better does come!

When asked, I can then help others move through their most difficult times.

Are We Unteachable?

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Apparently, I sometimes am! Or am I just slow to catch on? For instance, I am now 80 years old and did something today at lunch for the first time. Am I a slow learner or just slow to change patterns in my life? Am I teachable? Yes, but maybe I have a harder time with my answers when they are not given to me, and I have to figure it out for my Self! Here is what happened. John and I went to a Chinese restaurant that we enjoy. Usually, a waiter asks what we want to drink. Me: “I want mine with no ice, please.” John: “I also want water, but with ice.” Then we go to the buffet and acquire the food. I sit back down at our booth and see my napkin with a spoon and a fork inside. Realizing that I need a knife to cut my broccoli, and I do not know where the knives are, I try to get the waiter’s attention. I have done this every time I have gone into this restaurant. Sometimes I get frustrated because I cannot acquire the waiters’ attention. Suddenly, John and I talked about patterns, simple ones; I realized I could help the waiter by asking for a knife when I tell him what I want to drink. I began eating in this restaurant years ago, and I just now figured this out! Yes, I have had the previous pattern for years! It was my pattern! Ha! Today, though, I asked for the knife initially, and when I sat down and looked, my water was there, and my napkin with a spoon and fork rolled neatly inside. The waiter had nearly placed the knife with the blade resting on the napkin not to have it on the table was neatly placed. How great! No more frustration! It is difficult to change patterns, and this was a straightforward one. Think how difficult it is to break bigger patterns.

How long do people live with emotional or physical abusers before taking steps to change a pattern? Someone on the outside can clearly see that something is wrong, but it is much more difficult to admit to ”self” that we can improve life if we are willing to change our own pattern rather than trying “to control” someone else’s behavior. So how do we become aware and take steps forward?

Sometimes we go back to the way we have been taught. We choose books to read that might help us. That is the way I began a huge transformation in my life. I turned to books. I told God I would listen for the name of a book, and when I heard it three times, I would buy it and read it. We have always had teachers who taught by reading books or memorizing what we needed to know. That gives us book knowledge.

Perhaps I was ready for another type of teaching and was guided to the Native American path that John and I were both on for twelve years. I will never forget when I stepped onto my first reservation experience for a ceremony and walked up a hill to find a seat on the ground to listen to the Elder and leader of the ceremony. I heard someone say as we were walking, “Listen carefully, we are going to receive a teaching.” I expected something quite different from what we got. No paper or pencil, no pages passed out that we could have for a guide, no instruction.

Their way of teaching is to ask you a question, tell you a story, or perhaps later send you out on a task. They do not come back and quiz you on what you learned. Instead, they watch! One of the things that they are doing is to distinguish between the people attending the ceremony. There will be true teachers, and then there are others that are “would-be teachers.” There are also people that “think they know it” but do not.

This Native American teaching is never meant to be definitive. Their whole way of teaching is for you to learn the answers! You will never be taught more than 80% of a particular story or teaching. The teaching they give always leaves room for you to fill in the blanks. This Native American way of teaching is a medium for you to find your truth within YOU!

A true teacher, in this way, will never tell you that you are wrong or argue a point with you. The purpose is for you to find your truth within yourself. It is not to make you over in the image of your teacher. The true teacher is to help you find out who you are and see what talents, gifts, and skills you can discover and develop within. The whole purpose of their teaching is to assist you in finding your Self! The fact that I am passing this along is not for you to go out and teach others this as great teaching…because this is only my understanding of how they taught us.

I truly thought I was unteachable at first. I did not understand the point of the stories, nor did I understand why they were sending me on some of the errands they asked me to do. I began to understand a little when a ceremonial leader would ask me a question like, “What did you learn when you went to collect the sap from the tree? What did you learn about yourself? What did you think about when you were collecting the sap?” I was much more used to my teaching from reading books and what people told me. You know, parents, preachers, and others. I took everything literally. For these answers, I had to look within. Slowly, I learned about why someone suddenly told me a story on the reservation. Sometimes it took me quite a while before I got the “aha” and received my teaching from the story!

I thank all of the teachers in my lifetime, everybody from parents, relatives, and even those that brought me my most difficult times (they were great teachers on what not to do or what not to choose ever again). I love life. We may all think we are unteachable, but we are not! We can learn. We learn from without, but learning from within is amazing!

LESSON: When a teacher appears in life that is a true teacher, listen. Listen to the four parts of Self, the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual part or, in other words, body, mind, heart, and soul. If the teacher is good, it will be great. Know the teacher will eventually no longer be in your life once you have learned!


Gaining new patterns and new understandings about my life as well as all life!

Gaining more compassion and empathy for self and everyone else!

Gaining a relationship with nature and all within and upon this earth!

Appreciation for all teachers that taught me!

Maybe I am still open and teachable since I am now “asking for a knife along with my water” in both the Chinese restaurant today and when I go to the Mexican Restaurant where I generally ask for a knife to cut the tortilla on the bottom of my chalupa! New patterns, a simple change. It makes it easier for me as well as the waiter!

Openness To Possibilities

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I had a dream a few nights ago about a cousin that I could ask for advice following the death of my mother. Her name was Margaret, and she had a sister named Julia. I always knew that they were both there for me when I needed them. They both were from Pauls Valley, and I loved growing up going to their houses to visit, playing with their children that were my cousins, having fun. Margaret and Julia drove from Oklahoma to New Mexico when Don died. I came home from the funeral home one day, and there they were, both sitting on the floor of my bedroom, looking at pictures. That surprise lightened my day. Margaret came back into my life in a big way when I returned to Oklahoma while in a bad marriage, filed for divorce in l986, and then had to sell my house in l989 and move into an apartment. To my surprise, Margaret moved from the apartment where she lived into an apartment in my apartment complex.

Margaret seemed to have less fear than normal, a positive attitude, and was interesting to watch. I attribute that to her family and their unconditional love. She married young, had a baby (another of my favorite cousins, Judy.) As it turned out, Margaret’s young, good-looking husband was an alcoholic. Having enough of his escapades, she picked up their baby and turned to her family. When women did not get a divorce, and not many women worked, she divorced, got a job with a bank, and went to work to help support both she and Judy. Eventually, she became involved with her sister’s brother-in-law and married again. This time she stayed married for years until he finally said enough of the wrong things to her. The last ugly thing he said to her caused her to stop in the middle of cooking dinner. She turned off the stove, packed a bag, and left. She was 65 then. I was on the phone with her daughter Judy, who lived not far from my apartment in Norman when the doorbell rang. Judy returned to the phone saying, “Susanne, Mother is here with her suitcase. Apparently, she left J.D. and is going to file for divorce. I better get off the phone and see about this.” It was true. After owning her own business and leaving everything behind, Margaret began looking for jobs that she, sixty-five years of age, could qualify for the next day. She planned to begin again! J.D. begged her to return to him, but she was not about to do so. As soon as possible, she moved into her own apartment. Not liking her apartment, she decided to move into the complex I was now living in.

After moving into the apartment downstairs, she was asked to be the house mother for the Chi Omega house at Oklahoma University. This job brought her a raise and more vacation, plus she loved the girls. Are you noticing that she had no fear of change? She definitely was also open to new possibilities with every step forward she chose to make. She encouraged me to keep stepping forward and was the inspiration I needed for my losses. I met Al, who lived upstairs two doors from me. I soon noticed that Margaret was visiting me more. She had noticed Al. Al was from the Isle of Man. He called himself a Buddhist Christian, was about Margaret’s age, and I introduced them. The two of them were talking for hours at a time. Eventually, she and Al called, asking for a meeting with Judy and me. They wanted our permission to move in together, explaining how much money they could each save. Both had come from two bad marriages. Judy and I both said, “Yes.” They were living together by the following week! That was quick. This was in the late l980’s. Margaret was in her late 70’s. Al was a little older. They explained that, at their age, they needed to hurry if they were going to try this! Margaret’s siblings got quite upset. They thought they were living in sin. This was in the late ’80s. Margaret and Al did marry about a year later and lived happily married until Al died five years later.

John and I married, and I moved to Pauls Valley. Not long after Al died, Margaret decided to move back to Pauls Valley. She rented a house suggested by a rental agency here. It was across the street from us. Several years later, and having some health problems, she decided to move into an assisted living center here in Pauls Valley, the Willows. When moving, she telephoned John. She said that she wanted to bring us some jelly. John said, “Come on.” She walked over and brought KY Jelly, not the jelly we were expecting. We laughed and laughed about that. She lived in the Willows until she ran out of money, completely out. She next moved in with Judy. With neither of them liking this, she moved into the nursing home in Norman, not far from Judy’s. Margaret was beginning to have problems with dementia but could cover that up pretty well. After moving into the nursing home, she began telling stories about her life with Al. She kept saying that they used to go whaling. It was not true, but she told an amazing story to all of the people sitting at her table and to others, including her doctor. The story had so much detail that everyone believed her. John, Judy, and I did not realize people believed her stories. But then Sandy, her granddaughter, received a telephone call from the doctor. She grabbed the phone because he rarely called, and she feared the worse. But here is what he said, “Sandy, your grandmother told me that you were writing a book about Al’s adventures in whaling. Do you have a copy? I want to read it.” We were amazed that he thought it was true! Margaret thought her stories were so true that she convinced others they were true. Amazing!

Al was in a mustard pot. When Al died five years after they married, he was cremated. His children spread his ashes. However, Margaret kept some of his ashes to mix with hers when she died. She did not know what to do with them. John and I gave her a mustard pot, a small crock, that perfectly held the ashes. She filled it and put it in her cupboard in the kitchen, moving it every time she moved. When moving into the Willows, she left Al and telephoned us, saying, “Will you bring Al to bring me? He is sitting on the kitchen counter.” We did take him to her. When she moved from the Willows to Judy’s and then to the nursing home, she lost Al somewhere along the way. We all looked for him and eventually found him. I took him to the nursing home. By the time she died at 98 at the nursing home, no one could find Al again. Where is Al?

Obviously, Margaret had ups and downs, but she remained “open” to new possibilities throughout her life. She called one day and asked what I was doing for lunch. I told her that I had plans to go to lunch with a young friend who asked to talk with me. She announced that she was going with us. I reluctantly agreed but decided my young friend might gain something like “a bit of wisdom” from Margaret. Sure enough, this young lady posed a question to Margaret. She asked, “When in your life were you the happiest?” Margaret replied quickly, “From 80 to 85. It took me that long to take the time to learn about me, which then helped me lose negative patterns and gain new ways of having a great marriage.” This young lady was surprised that she said from 80 to 85 were her happiest years. She also stated that at 85, she was still learning and growing and could not wait to see what new possibilities God would bring next.

LESSON: Pay attention to what God sends and stay open to new ideas and new possibilities. Do new things. Go to a seminar that might bring new “aha’s” or “new ideas.” (Margaret even came to a few of my seminars in her late 70’s.”) In her 80’s, she and three others in their 80’s went to Colorado and hired a guide to take them on a one-day river rafting trip. The guide almost backed out when he saw who hired him.


Margaret was an Elder cousin/friend that showed me how one could have ups and downs at any age, set new goals, be open to what might come next, and remain happy within.

She was a gift. I do not know if she intended to stay close to me and then to John and me or if God just kept opening the space for her to be close.

I had the opportunity to do things for both John’s Mom and Margaret that I could not do with my own mother since she died when I was in my late 20’s. I took them to doctor appointments, for emergency room visits, etc. They were both a joy to be around even when they felt bad.

A positive attitude and opening to the joy we each have within is a huge help for our own health and happiness in life. I had a good example of a person that did this and had the courage to be true to herself!

I had the opportunity to attend her marriage to Al, officiate Al’s funeral, and then co-officiate with another cousin Margaret’s funeral.

God-Given Tools For Stress

We have to have some stress in our lives to keep going forward. However, when we have too many negatives in too short a period of time, our stress level greatly increases! I have been watching how I react to major changes in my life. First, I hold myself together to take care of and help others. I encourage others, love others, and help others. When I was in my early 30’s, my mother died. I did great helping my Dad until I left Oklahoma City and started home. While driving, I became so sick that I had to stop in New Mexico for two hours at a relatives’ home before meeting Don and our children in Ruidoso. When I arrived, he took me straight to the hospital to get a shot to help me. I slept over twenty-four hours. I was 38 when Don died. I already had taken off six weeks to help him while he died. The funeral was over, and I felt pressure to get back to work. After all, Dawn and Johnny had to go to school, and I was now the sole supporter. Two years later came a five-year negative marriage and divorce. With the divorce over and still not believing that I made such a mistake, I went to bed and did not awaken for over 24 hours! Now Pearce died, the brother that we helped out of diabetic reactions in the middle of the night, in the daytime, anywhere that we discovered him “out.” It was non-stop until the funeral and stayed non-stop with all that had to be done following the funeral. Again, I was forced to look back to myself and take care of myself, because after two weeks of non-stop, I had problems! Between John’s eye surgery on June 10th, which was stressful enough, and then his brother’s unexpected death on June 11th, I held myself together again for two weeks before becoming ill. With too much stress, our immune system suffers. How could I be sick?

I had to drive John to many appointments! I knew what I had to do. I encouraged others to do this in seminars for years. First, balance me every morning by doing prayer and at least ten minutes of meditation or by reading something inspirational for ten minutes, then pay attention to what I was putting in my mouth. Was it junk food that we are all tempted to use when stressed or healthy snacks? I needed to force myself to go toward health, lessen my caffeine intake, regain more balance in my life, and allow God to take over how to do some things rather than me. In other words. Later in the day, I would sit down and make prayers rather than running all over, I could get out of God’s way, and God/Spirit/Angels could help us with all we still had to do. Eventually, I went to see my doctor and followed the doctor’s orders. It has now been two weeks of being sick, and I am finally better since I got the crud. I feel like me again

Since I strongly believe in the “power of prayer,” so I easily turned to prayer. I pray every day for everyone else. Suddenly realizing John and I were at the bottom of my prayers, I moved John and myself to the top of the list for healing his eye and getting rid of my nasty, nasty cough. I also consciously watched every word being said in my prayers for the two of us and others. There is power in every word we say and every thought we have, so I also became more focused on positive, healing thoughts, words, and visual pictures when praying for us and everyone else. These are only a few of the God-given tools I used. I watched for signs as to what to do to help my Self.

We had so much to do, and we had stopped watching movies in the evening and relaxing. The television had not been turned on “at all” for three weeks. Finally, we picked out a movie we knew nothing about to watch. Would it be good? Who knows! The messages in it were great! There was no coincidence that this movie is what we picked, but what was my sign? Was I to be more grateful? Was I to release negativity? The movie we watched was titled “The Dreamseller” on Netflix. There was one line in it that movie John and I both loved. It is “The first to benefit from forgiveness is the one who forgives. Not the forgiven.” That immediately took me into our past and into some of the healing ceremonies that we attended. The person requesting the healing was always asked, “Is there anyone that you need to forgive or anyone you still resent?” If the answer was yes, the medicine person said that he would reschedule the remainder of the healing until the person receiving the healing took the time to take care of “his or her forgiveness and resentment of the person mentioned.” “When you let that go, releasing the negativity in you, we will complete this healing.” I always returned to watch the healing be complete and the miracles following the healing. Others not willing to let go of resentment or forgive sometimes improved, but I did not see the complete healing like took place with those who went to work on releasing negativity. John and I loved that movie so much that we watched it completely again the following night to stop feeling resentment within. If you decide to watch, listen to the words carefully and read the subtitles. It does have subtitles, but it is so worth watching!

How can one release the resentment towards someone that hurt them badly with their words and what they did in your life? When I was hurt and felt some resentment towards a person, I had a mentor suggest to me, “Get on your knees every day and pray for that person that hurt you and that you resent. Ask every morning first thing for what you want for you that day, only ask it for the person you are angry with that hurt you, not you.” I put the shoes I was to wear under my bed, so I would have to get on my knees in the morning. (Today, I use a chair rather than get on my knees.) I could hardly get the words out initially, praying for someone that hurt me so badly. A short time went by. I began to feel different. Slowly, every muscle in my body changed when I said my prayer, and I eventually felt peace within, which later brought peace without. At the end of thirty days, I put her in the God Box. All negativity was gone, and I could wait to see the results. I watched the change in her! Today, we are great friends. I had practice, especially with that bad marriage. Now I do it when need be.

I also knew that I needed to re-energize to keep going because there is still so much to do. Sometimes we have to step back and re-energize. We have a perfect example of prayer and stepping back in the Bible with Jesus. How could I do this? Before getting sick, I went into every meeting with John everywhere he wanted to go. I answered the phone and talked on the phone all day sometimes. That takes energy also! For the last two weeks, except for one of his doctor’s appointments, I remained in the car and did nothing while he took care of his business. A great time to pray! I created positive thoughts for both of us and prayed for us and others. For instance, I visualized a strong tree? Do you know that you can go to a tree when you get frustrated or angry, place your hand on its bark, and give the tree your anger? Think about it being “The Giving Tree.”

Visualize moving the negativity within you out, through the tree, on up to the top, and disperse for those in Heaven to help you heal. I have done that at several gatherings. I also have done it before some talks. Some find me strange! Ha! Focusing on nature, season changes, etc., which we often follow without paying attention, I realized that today we are all in the heat of summer, halfway through the year. This is a good time to work on relationships close to you or changes to make when the leaves fall off the trees. It is a great time to think about “Are there any beliefs that are no longer working in my life that has been passed down to me? “Are there any perspectives about life I need to change? What irritates me that I can release? What fears do I have that I need to let go of? Do I need to reduce the time I spend on my iPad or watch television or video games instead of relationships in person? I can do all the things I know to increase faith in my life (meditate, personal prayer life, use my God Box more, make prayer ties). Perhaps this will give me the courage to be true to myself at all times and pay more attention to what I value in life.

Remember what I said in an earlier blog. With every loss, my faith became stronger due to what I learned. The spiritual part of Self increased. Each loss taught me so much! I learned more about flowing and waiting to see what God/Spirit brought next. I have been with money in my past and without money, feeling like I had many friends and then feeling alone in life. I have had life turn upside down on me and then put into divine order. I used everything I could to help me remain positive about possibilities that will come in the future. This helped me stop pushing against the stream and taught me to flow more through life rather than forcing it, trying to control it, or meet everyone else’s expectations of me. Instead, I could still set goals and allow everything to happen in its own time. I learned more about how to flow, giving God and Spirit time to create and do the work while I did my part to gently and carefully step forward!

Life today is amazing. John and I started life over again together. My life with John is fantastic. We have amazing friends. Our children are wonderful. We love our relatives, all of them. All of this came after those stepping stones of loss taught me so much, and I finally spent the time to “look within” for peace so that I could bring “peace without” for me and hopefully be a guide for others. Our security is within, not without. Our treasure from Heaven is also within, not without. It is not money. We each have it within! When found, one can be happy with or without and can go through a negative in a new way!

LESSON: Learn to appreciate the negative and the positive! Take steps to release what is negative. Watch for “your” signs. The more you listen and spend time gaining inspiration from what you, yourself, hear through others and dreams or a Holy Book, or through an amazing thought that comes to you. Listen for God/Jesus/Spirit. You may get a “literal sign” on a highway that speaks to a thought you have been thinking. Pay attention is the lesson! Watch what happens in your life as the season changes, as a loss takes place. Watch it all! Soon you will appreciate the negative as well as the positive, and all will be well again.


I received major reminders that I “must” go back to the basics of what I have done to relieve stress.

I got well, and John is slowly getting better. He does not have Chron’s disease. Prayers we all have said works. Thank you! Those many prayers were a huge gift! Please keep those prayers up. He is still the one-eyed John and cannot yet see out of the eye he had surgery on!

My gift was a surprise that so many people commented on the blog about “it”! Amazing that so many are now reading my blog. I heard from relatives, friends, and people that I did not know! My prayer has been from the beginning that my grandchildren will eventually read my blog and that this blog will perhaps touch someone’s life.

Grateful for my life and for yours!

What Happens When “It” Happens

Normally June is filled with celebrations of birthdays for two children, three different grandchildren, and remembering John’s brothers. Even if we are not with them, we buy gifts, try to mail cards, and make calls. Last month, the month of June began with special dinners with special people. June also brought a scheduled endoscopy and colonoscopy for John, where we learned a cat scan was being set up for John to acquire more information. On Monday, June 7th, John and I had a routine eye exam. And “It” began. There was a surgery on June 10th and a death on June 11th.

A few days before the appointment, John noticed one eye was having a problem, but there was a scheduled appointment to see both of us in only a few days. When Dr. Mendel walked into the examination room to check on my eyes, I said, “Dr. Mendel, I hope you are taking care of John’s eyes. He needs to be able to drive at night because I no longer can.” Dr. Mendel: “Susanne, I was going to wait to tell you, but John has a bad eye. He has a hole in one eye. I have just set him up to see a specialist. As soon as you get out of this chair, you need to take him to Edmond to the doctor for the emergency appointment I just made.” I was stunned! My thoughts consisted of “Why had we not insisted on John seeing Dr. Mendel when we casually stopped by and upped our appointment by a few days? Why didn’t we tell the receptionist what John was experiencing with his eye? Then I switched to mad at Dr. Mendel and John for not telling me there was a problem six months ago after his last appointment. Why was Dr. Mendel not checking more often on the problem Dr. Mendel noticed at that time?” You know, it is always easier to blame someone else.

I canceled my afternoon plans, and off we went. On this challenge of quickly driving to the specialist’s office in Edmond, I thought about some of the stages of change I taught in every seminar on change! First, I was shocked when John told me a problem he was having with one eye but was more shocked when Dr. Mendel told me there was a hole! (so first, shock) Then I apparently denied (next, denial) to myself a serious situation we were facing. Dr. Mendel told me the problem. My attitude changed. I became angry (anger with others and with Self) with myself for not paying attention to what John said the previous week about a problem with his eye. He did not seem worried, so I did not worry. We arrived at the office in Edmond. The receptionist was waiting for our arrival. However, the doctor was with another patient. We had a seat and waited. I was totally disgusted with myself for not insisting John pull into Dr. Mendel’s office the previous week and tell him his sight was diminishing. So now I had not only blaming Dr. Mendel and John but also myself (blame). It is also easy for self-pity to set in and perhaps depression. (next one might have self-pity or depression). Or one can begin to focus on actions to move forward and make the best of every day even though they’re in pain. It is good to allow time for grief which I did not do when my first husband died. However, when people go through “it,” many never get past the stage of self-pity and anger. Next, behavior improves (attitude changes) as we begin to think rationally about our situation and create a plan for ourselves. With a look within Self at the situation, we begin to use new knowledge, understanding, and skills to accept where we are at present (acceptance).

Yes, I was sitting in a doctor’s office thinking about all of the stages we go through when faced with the challenge of change. While waiting, I also thought about when my first husband, Don, died and how long it took for me to move through the stages between the doctor in Mayo telling us that he had cancer and then six months later, death. It took time to let go, accept it, and heal. Death, divorce, any life-changing accident or event, or maybe even losing sight in one eye can bring about change. The time it takes for each person to move through the stages is different for everyone. After Don died, I ran away from my life, thinking that would relieve some of my feeling of “not fitting” and the pain of loss within. I made some big mistakes. Hold onto faith that you can and will move through this. Hold onto that trust and belief that tomorrow will be better and life will eventually become better.

The doctor called us in. By the end of the meeting with the doctor, we gained a plan, a scheduled surgery for Thursday, the 10th of June. Due to my inability to see at night and having to leave at 4:00 a.m. for the surgery, a fantastic friend drove us to Edmond so that John could acquire his surgery. After surgery, we received follow-up instructions. John was to lie on his stomach for three days with his head facing the floor. Also, he was to return the following day for a follow-up. We understood that John could not drive. I was now to be the appointed driver until he could hopefully see again with his bad eye. Well, we got home about 2 o’clock. All went well until 5 a.m. the next morning when our sister-in-law telephoned and yelled into the phone, “John, you and Susanne get over here. I need you. Pearce is dead.” Who was Pearce? He was John’s older brother. John had literally jumped out of bed when the phone rang, answered it. As he sat the phone down, he immediately ran downstairs, telling me not to bother getting dressed. We arrived at their house, which, by the way, is not far from us. There were many police cars, an ambulance, and unmarked cars. The home was filled with police, EMTs, and others. Martha was in shock. John stood and visited with the police and others that he knew from being a Judge. Another friend, that is more like family, offered to drive John to his follow-up appointment for his eye surgery. I needed to remain with Martha. Did John keep his head down? No. So from the time of Pearce’s death, John did not do anything he was supposed to do. Thus, they might have to redo the surgery if it had been ruined. By the grace of God, he was still alright. Al helped John, and I was able to stay with Martha and help her digest what just happened unexpectedly to Pearce and to her!

Needless to say, June was not turning out to be a normal June. We had two “it’s,” one right after the other. When difficult situations arise in our life, change takes place. Sometimes we choose to change our priorities, and then there are times when we are forced to have a huge change in life. We need to remember that all is being put in divine order in every situation we are in! To keep going, it is good to keep our eyes on “small miracles” that take place. Sometimes our lives are turned upside down, and we do not understand; however, when we look back a few years later, we can see all we learned from what we went through and the positives brought forth. Many times our compassion for others is increased, and empathy is gained.

When “it” arrives in life, know it is normal to go through these stages and grieve for our old way of life. However, get up and know each day is a new day. Watch for those small miracles that arrive unexpectedly to you to help you through. It may be as simple as a smile someone has for you as you pass by, a telephone call that you needed, or a cloud passing overhead that is shaped like an Angel. Know that there is a divine plan for you, and you will see what God has planned for you next when it arrives. It takes time.

We will not know if John’s eyes are okay with all he did after the death of Pearce, nor do I know how long I will need to be John’s driver. What I do know is that I changed my priorities with all of this happening. I changed commitments that I had made from “yes” to “no.” I did not do my blog for several weeks. And I may still be a little sporadic because now we are learning some of our children and grandchildren will be coming and going the rest of the summer. Always remember that relationships are more important than “things.” Love is the answer.

LESSON: DIfficult lessons of change teach us to look within. We might gain the opportunity to change our perspectives about life. What we learn will perhaps show us that it is time to let go of a belief that no longer is working in our life or that there is help out there we can call upon when we need it.

GIFTS: After the death of Don, I was still helping everyone else and found myself two years later married to a great teacher. I then began stepping back and learned how to help myself. First, I got counseling. Then I began studying codependency and attended Ali-Anon. I finally began taking care of myself. I had literally lost “Self” following Don’s death. The study of Self brought new answers and a kinder me. I was kinder to myself as well as others.

I learned to build on lessons in the past to not move to the dark side of life again. I wanted my light to shine brighter than it had ever shined as I moved forward in life. My life lightened!

I taught other people how to flow rather than fight the stream of life. A difficult time is a great time to practice flowing. I practiced.

I attempted to be “like the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark” every day! Some days I failed at this but took care of my Self on those days.

I was single ten years and then I met someone I love dearly that brought a new experience to me. We have a peaceful, wonderful marriage that I would not have had if those difficult times had not forced me to my knees and made me get to work on my Self!!! So I love the negative in my life as much as my positive in life! My prayer every morning is to turn whatever appears negative into a positive!

Lunch With Rick Cheney

Here is the story of Rick Cheney. On the way to church, John asked if I would like to go to Legend’s in Norman for lunch and then to Oklahoma City for an event we discussed over breakfast. I happily agreed. As we turned off Highway 19 on the outskirts of Pauls Valley, driving up the ramp entering I-35, we saw a clean-looking man hitchhiking that looked unbelievably hot standing with his thumb out. He only had a small bag in his other hand. I thought about the times my car had broken down during my lifetime, and some kind person stopped to help me in some manner. I wanted us to pick him up but was still thinking when John said, “Do you think we should pick him up?” “Yes!”

As soon as he settled into the back seat of our car, I began asking questions about where he was going and a few questions about his life. He shared that his granddad taught him carpentry in his past.  He earned his money to make this trip by working for a woodworking business in Austin, Texas. Now he was on his way to see his parents and a newborn grandbaby. It had taken several days to get this far. His first ride was with a young couple that he thought was nice, but when they stopped for gas, he decided to take the opportunity to go to the bathroom quickly. When he returned to the car, it was gone. They took his suitcase, money he saved from his carpentry work, clothes, everything, and cell phone. That was hard for him to digest. That led to a discussion about letting go, how God works, and my book, “When Spirit Speaks.” He asked for a copy. I said that I would be happy to send him one, so he gave me his Dad’s address and telephone number where he planned to be in Michigan.

By the time we got to Norman, we had invited him to go to Legend’s Restaurant with us. He was hesitant but said that he would be grateful. In Legend’s, as we went on visiting, Rick shared, “I have to tell you two something. I have been in prison. He was quite afraid that what he shared would have a negative reaction from us. However, I smiled and responded with, “That is okay, Rick; we have other friends that have been in prison.” I went on to share that John was a retired Judge. He thought that was interesting because his second ride was with a retired Sheriff. We took him onto Oklahoma City and dropped him off far North on I-35, where it might be easier to find another ride. We also gave him a small amount of money to help. When I got home, I telephoned his father. He was reticent at first but finally figured out that I was okay. I explained we picked Rick up,, and he was still fine and on his way. His mother called me back a few days later, wanting me to know their prayer group that met once a week was so happy we telephoned them. She said their whole prayer group wanted to make certain I knew how much they appreciated that telephone call because they had been praying every week in their group for Rick for years. After Rick visited with them for a few weeks and then left their home…vsited for the return trip, she wrote me a letter that I treasure. 

That was gift enough for me, but guess what happened. Our minister requested John present a sermon at church. John quickly decided to speak about Rick and did so. He talked about scripture in the Bible and how generosity is given to others and often returns to us from the oddest places. During regular conversations the next few weeks, we learned that people hearing his sermon had gone into a restaurant and purchased someone else’s meal as a gift anonymously. A few months following John’s presentation, we went to Legend’s again. We ate well and then ordered a dessert and coffee. When John asked for the ticket, the waitress said that someone else in the restaurant had taken care of it.

I asked if it was a friend of ours that was also eating there. She said it was not. Pretty soon, almost all within the restaurant had left. We were in a great discussion. Only one other couple that was still there. I asked the waitress again if it happened to be a couple sitting not far from us. She would not say but smiled and nodded yes. I went over as we left and thanked them. It was so great. They were younger and said they had been watching us and just wanted us to have a great afternoon. Interestingly, they were Native Americans. Little did they know how much we had the opportunity to give on the reservation and did so many times. Our Native American experiences came into my heart with this gift of a beautiful meal at Legend’s Restaurant. They had no idea of our connection. How wonderful!

LESSON: Listen to both your gut and heart when making a decision. If the answer is yes, no matter how unusual it seems, follow that answer within that was received. We picked up a stranger that we later learned was a carpenter and had also been in prison. It reminded us of the story of the “good samaritan” in the Bible and Jesus.

GIFT: All three of our lives were touched. And that energy continued as I made contact with his Dad and later with his Mom. They, in turn, touched other peoples’ lives through their prayer group that had been praying for Rick.

It felt so good to have helped someone. Then when that young couple in Legend’s treated us, wow! My theory has always been “when you give to someone; eventually, you receive.”

When John was asked to do a sermon, he told our story about Rick. He also shared our philosophy of “To Love Is To Love All” and give. Buy someone’s lunch anonymously or unexpectedly. Pay for the person going through the line that you have never met, etc. Later, when you need it the most, watch what happens! God and Spirit are watching. It is an amazing life we have been given the opportunity to live!

The Recipe

In 1965, I was living in Marysville, Missouri, when I decided to make biscuits. I liked rolls, not biscuits. However, I had watched my mother, grandmother, and aunts make biscuits at different times. Biscuits seemed so fast to make and so easy. After looking through several of my recipe books and making a few long-distance telephone calls, I did try, and I did not like any of them. Finally, while living in Las Cruces, NM, in the late ’60s, I made biscuits that all four of us in our family really liked! Finally!

When we lived in Portales, NM, I came home from work one day and looked to see what I could make for supper. With it being time to go to the store, it would be creamed tuna over biscuits. This was one of our favorites, with a few vegetables along the side. We had just finished eating when the phone rang. A friend, Nancy, wanted to know if I could take the boys to Boy Scouts? I, of course, said “certainly.” On the way to Scouts, I asked my friend’s son, Matt, “Why is your Mom not driving to scouts tonight?” He explained that she was taking all of her baked goods into competition at the fair with others. My mind began whirring. “Hmmm, I had cooked biscuits for dinner. Suppose I could enter my biscuits in the competition?”

When I got home, I called the Fair Barn and, to my surprise, someone answered, and after a polite greeting, I asked, “Is it too late to enter biscuits into the competition?” The lady’s answer was, “No, but you only have thirty more minutes.” I then explained I wanted to bring biscuits and wondered how many I should bring. She said, “Bring four.” When I hung up, I quickly looked at my biscuits. I had three uneaten ones left, but I needed four. I decided to look in the trash to see if I could gather one up that might not be too bad and quickly take it to the fair barn. There was one at the top of the trash with one bite taken from it. I brushed it off and arranged the four biscuits on a plate, and I was off. The one with the bite out just made the biscuits look tempting. To my surprise and my friend’s surprise, my entry won 1st place! They were then blue ribbon biscuits.

Years later, my daughter was living in San Francisco and was working in a five-star restaurant, Gary Danko’s, when she telephoned one morning and said, “Mom, I just made your biscuits to take to the staff today since it is a holiday and we all have to work.” My children and our grandchildren love these biscuits. A month or two later, she telephoned and said that the pastry chef had asked for my recipe and wanted to make them for her family at Christmas. When the pastry chef returned, she went to Gary Danko and asked him if they could start serving these biscuits on the menu. Now Gary has won the James Beard award several times. I know him because Dawn worked with him for so many years, doing his training and working in almost every position serving customers. She next took on the role of maitre de’ several nights a week. Gary agreed. Biscuits were served with lobster soup.

Dawn had fun with our biscuits being on the menu. One night as a couple left the restaurant, Dawn said, “Did you enjoy the meal?” The lady replied, “Yes, but my favorite was those biscuits! Do you think the Chef let me have the recipe?” Dawn replied, “Those are my Mom’s biscuits, her recipe.” She could not wait to tell me the response of the lady and others about our biscuits. So the life of these biscuits went from a blue ribbon win in Portales to being served in a five-star restaurant.

Here is the recipe:

Sift together 2 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Now cut in one long stick (8 tablespoons) butter until everything looks crumbly. Pour in 2/3 cup of milk and stir. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. It just takes a minute or less. Now pat out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut it into the size wanted with a glass or biscuit cutter. Cook in the preheated 450-degree oven for about ten or twelve minutes. This makes enough biscuits to fill one long casserole glass dish, 12 to 16. If they are not brown on the top, cook a few minutes longer. Delicious! When there are six people to eat more, I usually make 1 1/2 the amount. Sometimes I double the recipe. Even if there are leftover biscuits, they can be warmed and served again.

LESSON: Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get it right! But when it is right, it can become a family favorite and even a favorite of others.

Gifts: Every time I make biscuits, I think of my grandmother, my mother, and my favorite aunts.

People were shocked that I won the Blue Ribbon in Portales and that I made biscuits that were good enough for a five-star restaurant. They knew I worked hard and traveled in my job some, had two children that I had fun with, a husband I supported in his endeavors, and I believe they were shocked that I cooked! I cooked lots until Don got sick. I did not begin cooking again very much until John and I married. Then the biscuits were back! Now I have four children that love my biscuits, as well as a great husband that appreciates them