Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Let your Light Shine: Creating the Calm in your Christmas Chaos




Let your Light Shine:

Creating the Calm in your Christmas Chaos


Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
By Dr. Maya Angelou

Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.

We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Published 12/15/2005

It’s Christmas time. The most wonderful time of the year…And yet, for many of us, it can be a very crazy, busy, and sad and lonely time of the year. It’s not easy to stay still and focused, as we look hard for the little light inside us. Don’t spend your Christmas all tangled up in tinsel and tasks –take some time to find that inner calm at the heart of your Christmas chaos. We need to let our inner light glow and grow from a spark into our very own bright light.  
Because of Hurricane Harvey, other hurricanes, wildfires, terrible floods, snow storms and other natural and man-made disasters, so many of us are still virtually homeless. Tossing and turning in and out of homes and beds, looking for a place called “home” we ultimately realize that we carry “home” with us –always. Home truly lives in our hearts. 
“For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, made his light shine on our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” - Corinthians 4:6
I helped my daughter Claire put up a tree in her empty home that’s not yet ready to live in. Her #homeforChristmas is not going to happen. Not for her, her husband or her new born babe – born the day after their home flooded. Nor will I be home for Christmas, as I gifted my home this young family my home. While we won’t be in our homes for Christmas, we will all be together. We will celebrate with family and friends and enjoy sharing special time together. This year we lost my father in law, my children’s grandfather, my mother in laws soul mate of 62 years – but sweet Charlotte was born. Life is bitter and sweet. We are grateful to be together and to sit in the glow of a candle with laughter and tears because it is all about love! Our lights will be shining so brightly!
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. 
We know life is short. We know it is fleeting, and yet we also know we have a responsibility to keep the peace, to grow the flame of light inside us, to hold hands, to share hugs, and to live. To live a life of light, to help others that surround us and to hold them up in our love, our light. To live a bright life full of light and wonder – a flame we need to learn to nurture from within. 
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
This Christmas, I’m calling you to action. If you are lonely, or alone, or crazy busy with all the chaos, promise me you will stop, take a moment to step back, breath three deep breaths, focus and move forward. Get a hot chocolate, take a walk, read a poem, sing a carol out loud, help someone around you that could use a hand. Do something to stop the crazy madness inside you and lean into your light and your life. It will enrich you. It will move you. It’s ok to hurt, to cry, to feel, because it means we are still alive! We hurt because we loved. Make a choice to take a chance and make a change. Go ahead--Let your light SHINE:
Share: Spend some time in peaceful, calm centering prayer; listen to the still quiet voice inside you. Thank God for all you have and be glad for the joy feel from appreciation. Set the world on fire with your love light!
Help:  Do something for someone else. It helps you get out of your circumstances. Donate gifts of food, toys, or volunteer. Spending time with someone that would love to see you is the best gift of all. Be a blessing to someone else. 
Inspire: Encourage others around you! Be the light you hope to see in others. Act on your gratitude and share with others; a smile, a word of encouragement, a secret surprise for someone anonymously. Let your light shine through you. 
Nurture: Take some time for yourself; hot bath with candles, festive holiday music, read a special book that warms the heart, schedule some quiet time doing something you enjoy! There are so many ways to share your light but we must keep the flame bright inside us!
Enjoy: Drive around and look at the Christmas lights, listen to a holiday choir, attend a special service or event, schedule time to spend with family and friends; enjoy special holiday treats – When was the last time you had a hot chocolate? No matter where we are or what trail we are going through, we can always choose joy!
I know that little light in you is ready to shine, to grow bigger and stronger, and to light your path to your new life. I promise it is there, deep inside you, waiting for you to bellow it bigger and bigger and bigger until you can see it and you can share it. It will keep you warm. It will help others. It will lead you on your path. Just let it shine. Let your light shine!
“You are a light,” she replies gently. “And when you shine, you shine bright.” ― Marie Lu, The Midnight Star

Thursday, November 30, 2017



Begin again…
with a Grateful Heart

Joanne Fink

“I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual.” 
Henry David Thoreau

As November comes to an end, and the Thanksgiving holidays fade into December, we need to take a moment to reflect on all we are grateful for. Many of us engage in the 30 days of gratitude on Facebook for November, but truly, Thanksgiving and being grateful should be a way of life…every day! On Giving Tuesday, I nervously shared on Modern Widows Club Facebook Live what it means to me to be a leader. I love serving YOU. That is why it is so important to me to serve as a MWC leader. Because I felt so called to be a leader for Modern Widows Club and was empowered by mentoring with the great minds and hearts of Carolyn Moor and Jodie Rodenbaugh and so many others, I have really raised my bar of perpetual gratitude for the awesome and amazing life I live now daily…It’s given me a great chance, a wonderful opportunity, to begin again and to create a new life, a life that I always had, but never knew was deep inside me. Meeting all the people, visiting wonderful places and working for MWC has given me great peace and a powerful new purpose I enjoy daily. I am grateful.

We are on a journey we never chose, a place we never wanted to go to, a club no one wants to join… except I love my new life. I do. I’ve met you and you warm my heart. You encourage me, you inspire me, and you empower me. I have seen the power of transformational change. In me…and in you. We are not the women we were the day we said: “I do”. We are not the women we were the day they said “He died.” and we have a brand-new life now that allows us to experience things we never knew…. Knowing you and watching you grow – to see your heart reach and your mind expand, has made my life all the richer. And I am grateful – grateful for YOU!

Our Houston Chapter Co-Leader, Dr. Flavia Horth, always tells us to wake up and put your smile on!   After Kevin died, I threw myself into studying what helps people move forward. I read Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and so many others, to learn more about change. As a result of my personal study, I obtained the advanced certification in Prosci, the science of the people side of change and became a Change Leader for my company. One of the key ingredients of change is adopting an attitude of gratitude. Last month we talked about using gratitude journals and really taking a few minutes at the end of each day to focus on a few things you are grateful for. It helps you heal. Brene Brown, Jen Sincero and many many more encourage this activity. There is real value in being grateful. It helps us begin again… This chart by Amit Amin illustrates some of the benefits of Gratitude:

The Benefits of Gratitude by Amit Amin

To see how you rate, you may want to take his Quiz! http://happierhuman.com/how-grateful-are-you/.

A big part of Gratitude is being thankful for where you are and how you are right now!

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

Here in Houston so many of us are still living in survival mode post Harvey. In so many ways we are learning to begin again, as we do when we become widows. Beginning again is painful – there is both grief and growth, but in the end, we get to become all we were born to become. As November slips into December, take some time to hold on to your gratefulness and carry it with you wherever you go. Know that you are never alone on this journey. Together we thrive. Keep gratitude in your heart and life and let it help light your way…as you begin again.


Thursday, October 19, 2017





An Attitude of Gratitude

Connection with Self and Source,

with Relationships, Finding Wholeness & Grounding

Natalie I. Lancaster, Change Leader
(Written for Modern Widows Club Blog)


Brother David Steindl-Rast
I love being  able to share my life with so many lovely ladies that I would have never met except for loss. It is a strange feeling to realize we would not be who we are, and to some extent who we were born to be, if not for being widows together... It always makes me grateful that I get to be who I was born to be because I met YOU!
However, when I was asked to write the blog about Connection with Self and Source, w/ Relationships, Finding Wholeness and Grounding this week, I hesitated.  I have recently accepted a very exciting consulting job, and am literally driving around with my wardrobe and jewelry in the back a rental car (as a result of of some of our family impacts caused by Hurricane Harvey) ... so it's been a little crazy. A friend asked me how I was enjoying "living out of my car" and actually I can honestly say, I'm enjoying being a vagabond!


Change makes us grow when we have to live
outside our comfort zone and try new things.

It also keeps us grounded and grateful for all that we have.  I have found I can pray, walk, work, eat and sleep just about anywhere. Sharing dinner and pillows at different places has been very enriching. And I have also learned to appreciate all that I have in my own life, my family and friends, my home and this new, ever evolving single life.  

I am joyful.  I am blessed. I am grateful.

Having an Attitude of Gratitude has been my saving grace all my life. I do always try to see the silver lining in the clouds. I can see the hope that springs from chaos. I know the growth that comes in suffering. We have to pull and stretch, and reach up in order to grow. Gratitude keeps me focused, aligned and grounded.
I think one of the first things that "grounded" me after I lost Kevin was that life is fragile and should be lived out loud. I had always had a bit of this mindset, especially since I lost my boyfriend, Philip, at the tender age of 16, to suicide. He always encouraged me live a rich, full life. He truly taught me to live my life out loud and not to be afraid to try new things. I do challenge myself often. If I want to do something, but I’m a bit scared, I just make a deal with myself and push thru. At my first Texas Land Title Convention I made myself promise that I could not come back to my room until I had “met three new people and stayed at the reception for one hour.” I did it and I made it. This month, I am honored to be featured author as the “centerfold” article in the American Land Title Association's Magazine "Title News" on the Need for Change Management. I served as the chairman of the Education Committee for over 10 years. You really can make yourself do uncomfortable things and live through it. And it will be amazing!

After Kevin died, I became even more committed to living my life outloud!  I never ever wanted to have another ordinary day again. I want to live an extraordinary life and I struggle watching others do less...
"An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit
to express thankfulness and appreciation
in all parts of your life, on a regular basis,
for both the big and small things alike."

As a ballerina in my early years, I studied Martha Graham, an American modern dancer and choreographer, who danced for over seventy years changing forever ballet in America. She shared:

“There is vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.” Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham by Agnes De Mille.



Father Charles Shelton, Jesuit priest, psychologist, and the author of The Gratitude Factor, says that the choice to live gratefully can help to improve virtually every aspect of a person's life. "Gratitude gives depth to the experience of joy, and profound meaning to less desirable tasks -  by ‘re-framing’ both as important aspects of the life that one receives from God. Since it is oriented toward others, the experience of gratitude can especially deepen bonds with friends and family."

Andrew Merle from the Huffington Post shares:
Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:
(My thoughts in parenthesis.)
Write down 3 things you are most grateful for daily.
(We have done this exercise for our Houston Chapters and I often share journals with our new members)
Start a gratitude journal - Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about.
(Next to my bed!)
Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished. Instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing!
(It's sooo important to have YOUR goals and visions ... you have to KNOW them to BEHOLD them!!)
Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you - oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged
(I'm so delighted to have met all my lovely ladies!)
Every day won't be perfect,
but focusing on what we are grateful for
tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity.



Connection with Self and Source, with Relationships, Finding Wholeness and Grounding is a part of developing your brand new life; a Grateful Life!

Andrew Merle from the Huffington Post recommends a daily ritual:
Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for.  
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
(My thoughts in parenthesis.)
Write down 3 things you are most grateful for daily.
(We have done this exercise for our Houston Chapters and I often share journals with our new members)
Start a gratitude journal - Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about.
(Next to my bed!)
Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished. Instead of comparing yourself to others, give yourself credit for the big and small things you have been doing!
(It's sooo important to have YOUR goals and visions ... you have to KNOW them to BEHOLD them!!)
Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you - oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged
(I'm so delighted to have met all my lovely ladies!)

Every day won't be perfect,
but focusing on what we are grateful for
tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity.

Like anything else, if you commit to it, it will lead you to living a fuller life and enjoying every second. To be able to develop mindfulness, purposefulness and to begin exploring all you were born to be, gratitude must be practiced. Even if you have a really bad, terrible, awful, no good sort of day, you can choose to find joy in a flower, a big, bright blue sky, a friend’s smile. It is there, all around us and we just need to stop, take a breath, look around and let it soak in.

We can lift ourselves, and others as well,
when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought
and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.  


Thomas Monson

Always be grateful & enjoy every second!
Love always & Forever

Natalie



Natalie Lancaster
MWC Leader,  
Houston and NW Houston/Katy Chapters
Houston, TX
natalie@modernwidowsclub.com



Natalie I. Lancaster is the Region Leader of the Modern Widows Club Houston Chapters. She calls herself "the Texas Tornado" and plans to promote chapters across the southwestern region of the United States. Additionally, she is the Innovative Change Leader of Lancaster Leadership, Inc., offering professional change leadership focusing on communication, consulting & training as well as personal development and transformation. She shares her insights on life and love after loss on eNJoyEvery2nd!


Natalie I. Lancaster
Innovative Change Leader
Lancaster Leadership, Inc. 
Coaching@LancasterLeadership.net



Sunday, September 3, 2017




Back to Basics
The Hurricane Harvey Edition



WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 
Those are the three things that Dr. Katz told me I had to have to survive the birth of our twin daughters. He told me that if I couldn't sleep & eat and take care of me, I would never be successful in caring for them. They were tiny 5.4 and 5.14 and they had to eat every two hours. Nicole was a slow eater and it took me over an hour to feed her and by then I had to feed Claire. When I was finished feeding Claire, it was time to feed Nicole again. I wasn't able to nurse. I couldn't produce enough milk. I felt like a failure as a mother. And then he told me what I had to do to survive, for all of us to survive and to begin to Thrive. I had to get back to the basics...  WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 

When Kevin died, I had to get back to the basics again. I was so focused on his care for three years, it was hard to wrap my weary mind around the fact that he was gone. I woke up the morning after he died, hearing the most horrible, guttural, terrifying scream, only to realize it was coming from me! My grief felt like my heart was being torn wide open; a pain I had never experienced before. As the days moved forward without me, I realized that I had to survive. The world would not stop. I had to keep living... WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 

I'm writing this blog to you during Hurricane Harvey. I have power, I don't have flooding (well yet...), and all my family is safe (so far!). But many of my friends, and other people all around me in our community are living with the impact of the strong, long lasting, storm that is dumping water on our area. Over 40 inches of rain in many parts of our community. Flooding, tornadoes, fear and danger surrounds us. Hundreds of thousands homeless and each new dawn brings more disaster to our city. It's time to get back to the basics again...WATER  *  FOOD  *  SLEEP 

   

But it's equally important to fill our "heart" basics; our spiritual and emotional needs. It's just as important to feel connected, to feel love, and to know you are safe and supported.

That is what the community of Modern Widows offers you. A peaceful place of hope to help you lean back into life after loss. To become resilient to learn to live a brand new life again, to THRIVE!

One of our recurring themes at our first ever Widows Empowerment Weekend in Orlando earlier this month was to take care of yourself first so you can take care of others. In other words, as Carolyn Moor says, "Put your oxygen mask on first! It's the only way you can help others." As women, and especially as widows, we often forget to do that. We are so focused as caregivers to care for others that we often forget to care for ourselves. It is so important.  

"We don't have to do it all alone. We were never meant to." 
Brene Brown - "The Gift of Imperfection"

Living through the ongoing storm of Hurricane Harvey with so many of my family, friends and wisters this past week has made me realize what we really need... 
Emotionally, 
Spiritually &
Personally. 
We need to be connected and to know we are safe in someone elses care for our soul. I think what I have grasped about humanity is that we must have that human connection to live and most certainly to thrive.

"We must remember that on some level we are already profoundly connected...
The more we go within to tap into this supply, the more equipped 
we are to come from there in our dealings..."  
Katherine Woodward Thomas - 
"Calling in the One"

It has been truly amazing to watch people from around the world come together to help all of us in Houston. At this treacherous time, we have all put aside our opinions, our hate, our pride and bonded together to serve. Right now, in this moment of tumultuous fear and devastation, we have no color, no race, no creed, just connection. We have love and hope and help for everyone that surrounds us in the depths of our despair, swirling in waters of our unknown future. We are not dressed up, we have no make up, or pretense, we are not wearing jewelry. Many have lost all their earthly possessions but together, we are UNITED. Together we link arms and push forward. Together we are connected! We will help each other move forward towards the light and dry land ahead. We shall overcome and we will THRIVE!

We see this as wisters as well. We leave no one behind. YOU are NEVER alone.  But this week, this unbelievable week, has left us both devastated and renewed; alone and together, homeless and bonded. Our hearts are brimming with love. Abandonment is supported by compassion. We are united in effort to rise above the water, the turmoil, and the fear, to work together to begin again and to survive. Yes, we are built To Thrive!

We are far from finished from the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and yet, we have grown so much because of this devastation. I'm sad to say sometimes these things are the only way we learn to grow as humans and it is always about getting back to the basics...We have been called to THRIVE!

 

PS: The photos of the flood posted are of my daughter and her husband's beautiful home. The night it flooded, their first child - a baby girl was born. We are truly blessed!

Natalie Lancaster
MWC Regional Leader,  
Houston and NW Houston/Katy Chapters
Houston, TX
natalie@modernwidowsclub.com


Natalie I. Lancaster is the Regional Leader of the Modern Widows Club Houston and Northwest Houston/Katy Chapters. She calls herself the "Southwest Regional Director for MWC - otherwise known as the Texas Tornado" and plans to promote chapters across the southwestern region of the United States. Additionally, she is the Innovative Change Leader of Lancaster Leadership, Inc., offering professional change leadership focusing on communication, consulting & training as well as ;life coaching including personal development and transformation. She shares her insights on life and love after loss on eNJoyEvery2nd!

Sunday, July 23, 2017






Some much needed FREEDOM...




Every human has four endowments -
self awareness,
conscience,
independent will and
creative imagination.
These give us the ultimate human freedom...
The power to choose, to respond, to change.
Stephen Covey


Steven Covey had a very powerful influence in my studies as Director of Learning & Development, and certainly in my current work as Change Leader. It makes me realize that we always have the power to choose how we respond to the events that impact our lives. It’s our attitude that truly determines our success in life. We are at choose each day to chose whether or not we live our lives enslaved by our own thoughts &  feelings, or free to live out lives out loud. It’s always about choice and decision. We get to decide every single day.


When I’m standing at the top of St. Barbe in St. Jean de Luz, France, it’s where I feel FREE! I am whole. I feel complete. I am one with the universe. Absolutely nothing is missing...It’s the perfect place for me. I think since my parents met and married there, I have roots that started there...long before I was in the twinkle of two lovers’ eyes, long before I was a vision or a conception…While it’s not an easy place to get to, I always enjoy my journey to get back home there.




The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage. Thucydides


I lost my husband, Kevin, 5.75 years ago at the young age of 53; the exact same age my Maman, lost her husband, my Father. Kevin and I have three amazing children and the journey has been long & hard, as you all know. However, this year, the 5th year, has been a year of growth. And as I learn, and stretch and grow, I do begin to feel more “at home” with the new me; the brand new me I’m creating. I’m starting to enjoy some new found freedoms….and I like it!




Change is ALWAYS about choice and decision. Last night, at our MWC Chapter Meeting, in preparation for writing this article, I asked some of our ladies what new found “freedoms” they have been enjoying… they shared a variety of fun things that included buying some fun clothes, learning line dancing, hiking up some great mountaintops, embracing exercise and healthy eating habits, long, adventuresome road trips, trips to  Disney World, the Holy Land, Ireland, Morocco and beyond.  Many, many new things these amazing ladies would never have done in their former lives, but that they are enjoying in their new lives.


My brother, sister with her whole family, and I were able to gift my Maman with a trip “home” to St. Jean de Luz, an idyllic fishing village in the Pyrenees mountains, for her 89th birthday, to visit all her family who lives there. We all had a wonderful time and she enjoyed being able to visit with all her children and family in one perfect spot on the planet. It is my favorite place by far on earth and it is there that I feel free…




Going to France this summer also allowed me to do some much needed healing. We went to St. Emillion and got to revisit my Father’s family Vineyard, Chateau Monlot, and to see his grave for the first time. I also was able to see my grandmother’s grave as well. She was an amazing influence in my life… she spent hours in her salon teaching me all about classical music (which I adore to this day!) and how to knit (which I never, ever mastered). She would walk me through her garden to smell the roses and clip vegetables and fruits for our dinner. The magnolia I smelled so fragrant then, is still standing strong now, generations later. She taught me to make homemade vinaigrette and soups. I also saw the military monuments built to honor my grandfather, Dr. Charles Ichon, a neurology surgeon, who helped save Jews (while being catholic) during the war, and their son Michel, who died in the war serving his country. My Grandmother lost her husband, and two sons before she passed away. She was a very young widow with many children to raise and a vineyard to run. She was powerful and successful. She had gumption! It was healing and freeing to see the places of rest for my beloved family members. We have a lot of history with that land. And it confirmed that Freedom  does always come at a price.


Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. Hans Christian Andersen


I just got back from France a few days ago. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the cobblestone streets winding before my feet. I can taste the flesh of the white peaches & sips of rose wine. I can smell the fabulous flowers. I can hear the church bells summoning the faithful to come and rest. Come Rest in me and I will set you free…



We never chose to be on this unique journey of widowhood. And yet, here we are. Standing. Now, we have to Walk towards the light of our new freedom. We have to smile big & share hope. We have to live our lives out loud. We have to breathe and breathe again. Finally, we will find some peace.  


“The truth will set you free” (John 8:32)


I never ever lived alone before I lost my husband. I met my husband and married at 21 and moved out of my family home to my married home. We were together over 32 years. We have three children. We led busy, full lives. Now, after losing him, I have learned to live alone. And I have to say, while I miss his companionship, and the pitter patter of young feet all around me, I love the Peace and Quiet that being alone brings.It’s healing. It’s freeing.  I can clean my house, or water my flowers any time of day. I can do anything I want whenever I want and no one will question me. It’s my little piece of heaven and I love resting here. There is a price for Freedom, it is true. But we do have a choice each and every day - a Gift - to decide how we want to spend that time. We can spend all our minutes whirling around, but we are called from time to time to just STOP, to be still, to hike up the hill to the very top of St. Barbe and look around. See the beauty that surrounds you, breathe it in. Hold your breath, let it out slowly and just know you will overcome! You shall survive; you will grow & be strong & beautiful. We will THRIVE. Women are Survivors. It’s who we are; it's what we do. Modern Widows Club is totally committed to empowering YOU to find your way on your unique journey; to help bring you to a place of Peace; a home of FREEDOM and some much deserved REST. If you follow our lead, if you step out in FAITH, if you walk away from Fear… I PROMISE, the Rest will Follow…



“You can Stand in FAITH or you can Stand in FEAR; but you can’t stand in both places at the same time…” Quote from my son’s youth group


Love always, Love All Ways
(the way Kevin always signed his notes to me…)


Natalie