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Be Your Best Self

Don’t let anyone rob you of your joy;

Don’t let anyone discount your ability;

Don’t let anyone discredit your knowledge;

Don’t let anyone reduce your security & comfort;

Don’t let anyone prohibit your future safety net;

Don’t let anyone make your choices for you;

Don’t let anyone denounce you or ridicule you;

Don’t give away what is rightfully yours.

It’s your life ~

take control ~

be courageous ~

be honest ~

be fair ~

be yourself!

strength

Music is My Prayer

When I find it hard to go on without those who’ve gone,

I turn to songs.

I mix a potion to heal my wounded heart by melding

lyrics to those songs.

When I seek to bring hope and peace to others,

I write words that rhyme.

But when I try to say how you touched my life,

I find the music is out of tune and out of time.

I know this dissonance surely can’t be right.

But I know One who can calm the troubled shores~

One who loves no matter what – and then even more~

One who says, “You don’t have to do it all alone.”~

I’ll stay with you through the darkness of the journey home.

I can feel when we’ve turned the corner into light.

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I reach deep inside for the music that strengthens my heart.

I listen quietly, the prayers take rise, and the music starts.

With your memory close inside me for the lonely times,

I’ll come back again and sing to you the words I’ve I turned into rhymes.

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Don’t Miss the Chance

 

It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity. ~Frederick Phillips

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Seize every opportunity along the way, for how sad it would be if the road you chose became the road not taken. ~Robert Brault

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A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman

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Grasp your opportunities, no matter how poor your health; nothing is worse for your health than boredom. ~Mignon McLaughlin

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Traveling With Me

 

Today is the first anniversary of this blog, so I wanted to let you know I appreciate your spending time here.

If you’ve been traveling with me for the last year, THANK YOU for hopping on board.

If you are reading this post and visiting this blog for the first time,  WELCOME to my journey. 

 I’m reminded about the message of love I gave my children:th3US0WZ7J

If I could write a blueprint for living, I would wrap it in love, tie it with ribbons of hugs & present it to you anytime you need to be reminded you are God’s child.”

I hope my message has been clear, both to my children & grandchildren.  I believe in treasuring the wonderful times & even the troubled days…for how can you know you are blessed if you haven’t seen the other side. 

To say that I’m in my second “life” would be an understatement…I’m living again and maybe fully for the first time…but I can clearly see it’s right for this time.

When I retired, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do.  I thought my purpose was over.  Now I’m finally understanding that I am here EVERY DAY for a purpose.  It has amazed me the people who have followed my blog or tweets who connect because of a comparable belief, thought or interest.  I never imagined some of those casual contacts would become true friends across the miles – but that’s what has happened.  I didn’t imagine either that old acquaintances would re-visit me emerging from this new tool.

I’m honored to hear from my readers with comments such as:

  • “I needed your thought today” 
  • “Thank you for caring”
  • “ Welcome to my world”
  • “Hope to meet you”
  • “Good to see your post”

With a dream in my heart, I knew it was time to live it! Nothing fades faster than an opportunity not explored.  Writing has been my passion, so I began this journey one year ago. It is here on these blank pages I can pour out my thoughts, beliefs, ideas & words.  It has become my peaceful place to offer a word of encouragement or a lesson learned in my life. 

Having come through some health issues, daily I’m grateful I’m still standing upright & even standing!  I’m really careful about where I step, walk & things I do…but for the most part…I’m trekking down paths I never thought I would be able to explore.

New Journeys on Old Roads has become more than just a title for my blog; it has come to describe my life more than I ever imagined. 

  • Sometimes the roads are rough, so I slow down and approach with caution. 
  • Sometimes they have detours, so I look for an alternate route. 
  • Sometimes they are brand new black-topped roads over what used to be dirt, so I speed up a bit. 
  • Sometimes I get lost…but I get out my map, connect to my GPS, and try again…a lot like what happens when you fall down or fail.

If something I’ve presented here has been helpful, I invite you to post a comment or contact me in other methods listed here on this blog.

THANK YOU FOR TRAVELING WITH ME ON  MY 

NEW JOURNEYS ON OLD ROADS!

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Understanding Yourself

This is what I want from now on:

a slower pace~

a more centered existence~

and the feelings of perfect happiness to be found

in the moments I come home to myself.”

Linda Weltner

 

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HOME IS WHERE…

Home is one of the hardest words to define.  Is it the building? Is it the geographic location? Is it where I’m from but not where I am at the moment? Is it the collection of people who are relatives? Can it be a group of people who aren’t related? What if you can’t define home?

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Being a product of the “baby boom generation,” I finished high school in the mid 60s living in a peaceful, suburban area where all the kids looked alike—middle income and white.  There was another world out there that most of us never saw—the race riots, horrors of the War in Vietnam, new discoveries in space and astonishing acts of violence that took the lives of a president, a presidential candidate’s and a race relations leader.

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I was on the tail end of a generation where young women were making their choices of an advanced degree in college or homemaking and motherhood.  I never regretted the road I chose.  I just see it so differently now in a generation twice removed how the roles have changed & women are allowed/accepted women in many roles i.e., professional wife/mother; single mother; adoptive mother to children of the family or from other families and even foreign countries.  Lines are more blurry now of who is related to whom and who is a good role model.

I know the definition and the difference between home & family. I know the words don’t mean the same to everyone.  For me, the choice was part of who I was growing up to become.  I completely felt the need to follow my young husband first to college, then into the ministry, then the military, and back to college to complete a degree.

Before I was old enough to vote, I was a mother.  I became a mother the second time 2 years & 8 days from the birth of my first child.  I reveled in that role with full commitment and understanding.  How could I achieve that so young? Because I had seen family and home in my life as being the safe place where we live.  It is the place we hone our skills of personality & acceptance.

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There is forever that “leaving” that happens when children reach a certain age.  And who in the world can find what that perfect age is?  For me it was a way to be with the man I loved and start our family.  Those little tiny packages that came on hot summer days in the years of 1967 & 1969 were the most precious little human beings I had ever seen.  They were the perfect companion for a life I was to live.  They were sweet, loving and so cute; they had tempers, crying spells and their own little personalities.  And, in the end, I was left to build and modify the mold in which they would be shaped.

Experiencing some changes just as the beauty of glass comes after the heat of the elements,  I was alone to take them into their teen years & adulthood.  How could I do it?  Who would I lean on and turn to?

Family

…there’s no other word that conjures up for me the feelings of peace and strength.  In family I find encouragement and understanding.  I had such a huge lesson to teach my children and I didn’t know where to start.  How could I instill in them the importance of relying on each other?  How could I be sure they would always do the right thing when I wasn’t always there?  What would be their choices when I let them make those choices.

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Suffice it to say I was in fear of this huge responsibility.  But, time was marching on; and as each orbit marked a day upon a day, I knew one of those days was THE moment when I let them choose and make their path.

Oh, how could I be sure they’d ever come back home?  What would I do if they failed?  How could I be there for them when time & space wouldn’t allow it?

Love

…the never-ending self-sufficient heart-warming kind of feelings that would translate to trust and safety.  Did I need to worry about them in their lives?  Of course, I would but I didn’t NEED to because I had equipped them with the best tools I knew: love, trust, faith, friends, family and a HUGE amount of self-worth and purpose to which I added load of hugs.  I then added my words of trust and confirmed to them that I knew they had made good choices.  It was such a hard time, BUT I EVENTUALLY GREW UP!

Forty plus years later I can see I need not have worried about how and what they would choose.  They have gone through the same questions I did.  They have made good and bad choices.  They have learned from certain mistakes but they have kept their faith and love close to their heart and have given it to those with whom they surround themselves.

I didn’t need to worry at all.  I didn’t need to lose sleep waiting up for them.  I had no real reasons to check on them even when they said “it’s all good.”

I didn’t have to…but I wanted to!  I wanted them to remember that home & family are the place you find the strength to take your first baby steps and those young adult bigger steps and the huge giant steps when you create your own little human beings.

I humbly say, “I’ve done well.” But so can they…they can be proud of where they are in their life now and what it took to get there.

Want to come home? Need to come home? Sure that’s an option, but I’m much happier they’ve made their own homes with those they love.

Good job, kids!

This post is dedicated to my children who recently had August birthdays..and to my granddaughters who are on their own now making choices.  My advice is:  pray about your life; work at it; stay true to yourself; think of others…and most of all…learn how to love and be loved.  Life is a fabulous gift…use it well. 
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Johnny Mathis “I’m Coming Home” 
 
 
 

It’s About a Journey

A new day begins
And the work continues
Don’t be discouraged
that it’s a life-long job
YOU ARE WORTH IT!

strength

 

© Van Hess and New Journeys on Old Roads, 2013-14

 

Closed Doors

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When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Abraham Lincoln

 

 

2 Sisters’ Road Trip Comes Home

2 Sisters' Road Trip Comes Home

ALL ROADS LEAD TO SOMEWHERE…and that’s where I’ve been for the past month. After 28 days on the road; after crossing 11 states and 15 major rivers…a familiar road led me back home!

After nearly 3,600 miles, I can truly say each turn and each straightaway brought unexpected views and amazing vistas. Some were paths; some were dirt roads; some historic drives; some interstate highways; and some should not have even been where they were!

I believe even more now than before that there’s only one reason I venture down the pathways of life…and that is to find New Journeys on Old Roads.

Welcome back! I’ll begin posting stories, photos, trip routes and ramblings over the next few weeks. Follow along…let’s travel across this great country of ours. See part of America through my eyes!

Alone in the Crowd

 

What does it take to stand out in the crowd?

  • conviction of purpose

  • commitment to values

  • courage to own every decision 

Sometimes it takes just one act of courage; sometimes it takes many occasions strung together through a lifetime.

Turn your uniqueness into the loudest voice among the crowd. Make the right choice for you.  Stand strong through it all. 

 

You’ll never regret an action based on your conviction. 

But you might regret remaining silent.

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