Grain Must be Ground to Make Bread

Grain must be ground to make bread. Isaiah 28:28

Oh, the pain we go through in our lives. The misery. We scream. We yell. We beg. We throw our hands up in desperation. We cry.

I’ve done a lot of that.

So, when we have experienced great pain, we are better able to reach out and help others who are going through rough times, we can more readily understand and be empathetic toward someones anxieties, frustrations, struggles, losses and grief. This sorrow is not too big a price to pay to be able to reach out and help others, is it? Oh man! I struggled in my grief, I hated and felt so lost. But my pain is what allows me the privilege of reaching out to others to help them through their pain. To help and ensure that fewer realize the same pain I had to endure.

Those of you who know me, know that my whole life has been filled to the brim with pain. I’ve “been through a lot”. And yet, somehow I have been given the strength to endure and thrive. But, don’t think for a moment that there were not very dark times. Moments of great despair where I thought that nothing would ever change, that I was being sucked down into the darkness forever. Moments? Years.

The best artists, poets, composers have been through pain. And think of people you know who are therapists, counselors, psychologists and social workers. Even doctors, lawyers and politicians may have experienced a great form of pain in their lives that have motivated them to work to help others through their pain.

I recently was asked a question about whether or not my Facebook posts are helpful or harmful to me professionally. My job has me in a position of great trust. I manage what is likely the most valuable assets that a person may own. And I work with people who trust me because they know me. I post successes, struggles and failures. I try to be real. Real-real. I’m open, honest and raw. Very little sugar coating here. We all need help and trust those who have struggled and found success! They proved they can do it!

My constitution is that of a survivor. I will not let pain, suffering or loss get me down. Well, not for long. And I have to keep on working on it (sometimes daily) because we are always facing new loss, frustration and disappointment. It took me some time to realize that not everyone is like me. I want to be here to help motivate and inspire you.  I had to learn that I am grain that needs to be ground into flour to be kneaded, baked and made to bread which may feed others.

I asked a FB friend what she thought and this is a brief excerpt from her response:

“You make me feel like I have been invited on the journey with you. You’ll not only ask for advice, but actually listen to see if you can apply it. You aren’t afraid to admit you don’t know everything. I love how you find something to laugh about when you’ve hit a bump in the road.It’s like you take the goal seriously, but have learned to find a positive in a diversion when things don’t go exactly as planned. And the way you share it, it’s as though we’re sitting with a glass of wine, relaxing and you want to gently share, thereby teach by your experience. Yet the way you do makes me feel like it would be OK for me to try and OK if I hit a bump as well. The way you share makes me feel like, if I’m laughing, you TOTALLY get I’m laughing with you and know I’d be thinking I’d have hit the same bump. ”

I invite you to join me on this journey. Let’s sip a glass of wine and share some fresh baked bread together and talk it out. Let’s feed one another with the wisdom of our experiences. The best baked bread comes from fresh ground grain.




Life Assignment

Sometimes, What Matters is what is in your heart. Are you listening very closely to what God has assigned to you? Are you really? Keep your mind and heart open….meditate and listen through your soul. I’m listening….contemplating and considering…I simply need to be all in, not just 80%. But, then, watch me…Sheyna is all in. She knows her assignment.

Cross Country to Cure Kids Cancer

trig pic

My Life is full. I’ve had 4beautiful children who have flown the coop and I get the pleasure of being an observer of the fruits of their maturity and growth into adults. In one way it’s difficult, because when you spend 20 years pouring into your children, one is a little lost for purpose when that is no longer your role. Yet, it’s rewarding, because watching them fly (and sometimes fall) is a reminder that they are Living Life. They are doing their assignments.

noun: assignment; plural noun: assignments
  1. a task or piece of work assigned to someone as part of a job or course of study.
    -the allocation of a job or task to someone.
    -the task or post to which one has been appointed.
  2. the assignment of individuals to particular social positions

Since the death of my firstchild, my son, Cory, my Life perspective is…

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31 years ago, thirty-one!

Today would have made it 31 years since Karl Michael Bauer and I said, “I do” in front of the Justice of the Peace in Germany. It was three weeks before our church wedding in Cincinnati. We had hosted a traditional party the night before to celebrate. The whole village was invited! Hundreds of people came to the party, which we held in the municipal building. Brats, mets, salads, hard rolls and beer, Apfelwein and shots! Lots of shots! And there was the traditional “making a mess of things”….Paper, porcelain, china…all smashed in our courtyard for us to clean up. Its a silly tradition that can get completely out of hand when your husband-to-be is a leader in the community. He was a volunteer fireman, soccer player, former hockey player, Fasching board member (Marti-gras), on the men’s comedy dance-team, and a former member of the fitness society and President of the County Electrical Union. Yep….lots of paper and porcelain. LOTS. We had to hire a dumpster to get it all hauled away. The premise is to make it so hard, that it can only get easier in married life.

Well, we returned to our apartment after a long night of pushing brooms and sweeping, socializing and drinking only to find our bedroom filled with balloons….We had to pop hundreds of them to find our bed! A few were filled with soda, which really pissed me off! Really? Let’s make a mess inside while we’re at it! (It had to be his best friends…). And, then to make matters even more terrible and push me totally over the top….our bed was filled with dried peas, lentils and rice….all under the sheets. Now that needed to be cleaned up as well. AND your appointment at the courthouse was at 10am. It was going to be a really hard day. I was in tears.

Sincerely, it could only get better from here, right?

Of course the morning brought with it tears of frustration (still LOTS to clean up) and joy. Our lives were on path of the first day of the rest of our lives. Celebration with the family in Germany and dinner and gift opening (hundreds of them!). I think we got 6 butter dishes! I still have one today, the square European kind! Towels, and more towels still. Breakfast boards galore (Brettchen used for sandwiches). And on and on. It was the beginning of what we wanted.

Now we had a “wedding” to get ready for. White dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen, 125 guests, wedding cake, a live band and the whole 9 yards.

This was it, what every girl dreams of; the beginning of our Happily-ever-after.

Why am I writing this Blog?

I’ve had quite the journey. There have been so many moments along the way that I have felt lost, and I’ve had to find ways to get out of that “lost-ness”. History has made my life difficult, but we all have our challenges, right? The real challenge is moving forward and not getting stuck in the muck of the negative feelings.

So, I am going to start writing about my journey with the hope and the purpose of dealing with my feelings and maybe, just maybe, I’ll inspire and help someone else along the way.

For some reason, and it must be my past, I have a strong resolution to push forward. I haven’t always felt this way. There were years where I simply dealt with situations by reacting, not resolving. I’m learning to deal and not simply react. It’s a process of learning and growing through the pain. I have a LOT of help. Friends. Family. Fabulous people in my life who contribute to my healing. The hard part has been learning to reach out and work through the pain. Recognize the emotion and learn how to solve the problem. I’m a work in progress, as we all are. A beautiful creation of our Makers beauty. Time to recognize that I’m not truly alone.

I grew up as an only child in a home with strong parents who were driven to succeed. I understand that their background is why and what drove their passion. The problem was that I didn’t pick up on dealing with my emotions in a healthy way. So, now, as an adult, it’s time to put my ‘big girl’ panties on and figure out where I can do the work to find the woman I know I can and want to be. Confident, loving, compassionate and wise.

I hope you might find your path as I write about how I discovered, and am still discovering, mine.


It’s NOT too Late to Begin Now

Let go of cheating on your future with your past. It’s time to move on and tell a new story.

So you haven’t started saving yet? Your retirement is non-existent? So what? Will putting it off for the next year make it any better? No. You are the CEO of your future, just make it happen.

Start paying your most valuable employee first. You! Begin by figuring out how much you want to save by year end and just make it happen. You can do it. I highly recommend an Automatic deduction from your paycheck or an Automatic Investment Plan into your investment account. If you an open an account at an investment firm where the money is not as accessible as it would be in a savings account, then it will be more likely to stay there! You can begin with just a little, say $100 a month or per paycheck.

Remember to consider putting money into a retirement account for your future. The earlier you begin investing in your future the better off you will be! This sounds so logical, but you’d be surprised how many times I run across women who are not taking advantage of their company 401(k) plan and are leaving the “match” money on the table! Don’t give money away that is yours. Have at least the amount that the company will match invested into your 401(K) or company retirement plan. This can be an immediate 50-100% gain! There is NO investment company in the world that can get those returns!

I also recently saw a challenge that I thought was fun. If you start out at the beginning of the year, save $1.00 the first week, $2.00 the second, $3.00 the third week and so on until week 52, where you are putting $52.00 in the bank, you will save nearly $1,000.00!! That’s giving up between the cost of a candy bar and up to only a dinner out a week (and that only in the last months). That’s definitely doable!

Good luck this year with all of your goals. I hope you will consider your financial future and put some money away for a rainy day, a gift fund, an education fund and for your retirement. Let me know if I can help you!

Begninnings and the Future

June is the month that my third child was born by Cesarean-section. And although it is a very special day for him, it is even more so for me. 19 years ago, during surgery, the Dr’s lost a patient for a few moments. Those moments were just long enough for me to understand that we are here for a deeper purpose. It took me days to get over it, but now, years later, seeing all that has happened between then and now, I understand why I was pulled back.

How can we possibly know what is going to happen 20 years from now? Or in the time that it takes to get there? Although we ought to live for the moment and enjoy every day in its entirety, we also have to keep our eyes glancing into the future. If we don’t prepare for what is coming our way, we could be caught in a bad situation.

You can look at your financial planning for your future in the same way. Life Insurance, Retirement Savings, College Savings. Make sure you’re reevaluating your plans so that you are secure when you get where you’re headed! Sit down with your advisors:  Attorney, CPA, Financial Person and even your Spiritual Advisor, to make sure that you are planning and preparing for what’s next in the best way you are able.

Not Everyone is Like Me

I volunteered at the Flying Pig this year at the Delete Blood Cancer booth to encourage people to sign up to be a marrow donor. Our goal was 1000 swabs and we reached and exceeded our goal! It’s a simple swab of the inside of your mouth, nothing else, to save a life.  (Curious?

While I was volunteering, thoughts were, what motivates one person to be a giver and the other to not to consider giving in any manner at all? Is it genetic? I tend to give and give of my time, my energy and my thoughts. I share, help and reach out. There are others that I know, even those who I know very well, who have never donated time or money. Ever. I was so angry watching so many people walk by and not even take notice. So often I wonder and wonder why others just don’t care!

We’re all different, and what is especially hard for me is to remember that not everyone is like me. Only I see the world through my eyes. Others have a different view. Their eyesight is their own, and their emotions are affected differently by their surroundings and what is happening to them. Who knows what is motivating each of their steps. Which of them is guided by fear or being influenced by someone else’s choices in their lives.  I need to remind myself that I and they are unique.

Everyone’s situation is unique. Whether it’s how you invest your time or your money. Each situation ought to be reviewed and evaluated so that the individual is comfortable with their choices. Give or not. Invest aggressively or conservatively. We’re all unique and we need to do what will make us happy.