Today I Chose Joy

I woke up to find out that someone(s) had attempted to steal from me – long story involving trickery and someone posing as me in an email. Anyway. At first I was freaked out by this. But then this weird thing happened. I felt this kind of detached calm about it all. I took the steps I needed to take to to try to fix the problem, and then got in my car and drove up to Bellingham for a nice walk on the boardwalk. The sky still had pink in it when I got up there. There were goldeneye ducks and seagulls and cool patterns in the bay. Everyone I passed gave me a friendly smile for a smile. It was lovely.

I stopped at the Colophon and as soon as I walked in the hostess/server asked me if I’d like my favorite peach Arnold Palmer drink – she recognized me! And then she led me back to my favorite seat in the corner. I ordered some avocado toast and sipped my peach tea and just soaked up the happy vibes.

It came to me that I was in control of how I was going to feel. The person who had attempted to steal from me wasn’t the boss of me, and had no say in how I was going to feel about my day.

The server gave me another peach tea to take with me when I left, and I left a big tip in appreciation for the friendly kindness I’d felt at the restaurant – a reminder of all the good folks in the world with me.

Shakespeare wrote: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And I saw how true that was today. I could choose to be all ruffled and affronted at the way my morning had started. Or I could choose to find joy for myself.

Life isn’t “out to get me.” Life is good.

(Photo below is of a goldeneye duck on Bellingham Bay this morning. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

Affronted by Life

affronted by life
like it’s some spiteful human
bent on attacking

it flows on, heedless
while I grapple with
the human woes we

all experience
“Nothing is either good or
bad, but thinking makes

it so.” I choose how
I’ll respond to what comes my
way and what I’ll feel

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Drink Your Tea and Think and Be

Note to self:

You don’t always have to be “on.”
You don’t always have to be doing.
You don’t always have to be pursuing
some goal or ambition.

There are times when it’s enough
to sit in your chair
and drink your tea
and think
and be.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

And So It Begins

Last sunset of twenty twenty-two
rotates into first sunrise of twenty-three
connecting yesteryear to a year that’s new
and what we were to what we’ll be.
I pull off the road to take this year’s
first photo and a man stops his car
to check if I need help and gives me
my first kind smile of the year.
I thank him and tell him I’m fine –
just taking in my first sunrise of a new time.
He laughs and says he understands
and watches with me as a swan lands
and we wish each other a good year.

And so it begins.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Love is the Only Cause and Effect

Love is the only source;
the only cause; the only effect;
the only power; the only presence;
the only creator. Love is All.

We come from Love;
we are the effect of Love;
we manifest the power of Love;
we express the presence of Love;
we reflect the perfection of Love;
we are the image and likeness of our creator;
we are the ideas and children of Love.

Anything that would keep us
from being the reflection of perfect Love
is a lie
for we are Love being Love.

Love is omnipotent, omnipresent, glorious All.
And we are Her children.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

An Ode to Boxing Day

It’s a humble holiday, tucked in between
Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s really keen.
Things look a little bedraggled, it’s true.
The tree’s a little droopy and no longer new.

The movies and music of the Christmas season
are getting on our nerves now, and we’re seeing no reason
to eat even one more sugary oversweet sweet.
It’s time for broccoli and carrots (maybe hold on the beets).

The pressure for perfection comes off on this day,
the toys have been opened, and it’s come time to play.
And if before we were wearing faux holiday cheer
to blend in with the others and not Scroogey appear –

it’s time now to be genuine, and honest and real –
the food banks are empty, people still need a warm meal.
The homeless and hungry and jobless and alone
still need love and caring, still need a home.

So maybe we can celebrate the day after Christmas
by keeping the spirit of hope alive,
we might make that our business.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

Christmas Has Landed in My heart!

It’s 3:00 in the morning when I awake
to find it arrived while I slept!
Christmas has landed in my heart!
I slip out of the bedroom
and go downstairs and the cats
greet me in the hall.
I think they feel it, too.
I plug in the Christmas lights
above the mantel and settle
into my chair near the woodstove.
Black cat rubs his head against my hand.
Calico cat jumps up in the chair
next to mine and tucks her paws
underneath her and closes her eyes –
we are enjoying each other’s company.
The Christmas lights sparkle off
the smooth surfaces around me.
I sing “Silent Night” to the cats
and they turn to me and listen.
Magic is here! Incredible good beyond
imagining is here and more on its way!
Peace! Joy! Love! Hope!
It’s here! It’s here! It’s here!

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Christmas Lights

Grateful for the Christmases That Have Been

The sons are no longer toddlers
bopping and skipping around the home –
they’re grown now
and making traditions
and lives of their very own.

Mom and Dad have passed on –
they’ve moved on to their next chapter –
and I guess we’re moving on, too,
and finding the new adventures
that await us in our “after.”

Whatever the future holds –
I’m grateful for the Christmases that have been –
for the love and the memories
that will be with me forever –
for the love of my family and friends.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Christmas Wrapping

The Light Will Soon Return

separated and alone
isolated in a cold, dark season
yearning for what was
and looking for a reason
to go forward

it will take courage
to move into the next chapter
to step forward and adapt to
whatever comes next
but trust that Love is there, too,
waiting for yours, waiting for you

the light will soon return

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Lake Padden Forest (Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)