Grace to balance, courage to stumble.

little itty bitty tips

to untangle complication

sip coffee and smile

don’t spend more than you make… it doesn’t make sense.

it’s ok to be alone

it’s ok to reach out, too…

it’s ok to just be.

it’s safe to smile

it’s safe to ask for help

little by little

slow and steady wins the race

patience is a virtue

good things take time and yadda yadda yadda

and that’s alright, darlin’

ain’t no thang but a chicken wang

are you in a hurry?

be fruitful, not frantic.


Some artwork I painted in my office.

Painting helps me slow down… and reflect.

The creative arts are also a great way to achieve better brain balance.

(Courtesy of Google Images)

The left brain: I am the left brain. I am a scientist, a mathematician, I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate and linear. Analytic and strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.

The right brain: I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. Movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.

What are some ways you search for balance in your life? Is it working for you? How do you define balance?

All about the “word-play.”
August 9, 2013, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Just for fun all you word lovers out there!

Happy Friday!

Thank God it IS! ūüôā


Keeping aware.

“Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God;

so there’s no room left for worry thoughts.”

– Howard Chandler Christy –


Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so thankful for your loving care.

Your provisions are sufficient for all my needs.

Keep me ever aware that I am Your child.


Thinking and feeling.

“Apparently, the most difficult feat for a (Cambridge) male is to accept

a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking,

but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.”

– Sylvia Plath

U1889231(courtesy of google images)

Precisely their necessity.

“They might not need me;

but they might.

I’ll let my head be just in sight;

a smile as small as mine

might be precisely

their necessity.”

– Emily Dickinson –

emily(courtesy of google images)

Very inspiring.

Thank you, Shaun from the blog prayingforoneday for this acknowledgement through the interwebs in bestowing to me the “Very Inspiring Blogger” award. It’s really nice to hear this from someone other then friends and family (who I suspect have to tell me I’m inspiring just because they love me and I never stop talking about my blog… i.e. “Omg, here comes Steph and she’s referencing her Word Press site again *eye roll.* )

Bloggers like Shaun and many others in the Word Press community have really inspired me through their writings and very honest sharing of life stories and struggles. Blogging and writing can be a very personal and very difficult endeavor. I’m grateful to have this humble lil’ avenue to speak my mind and heart and to connect with others. And it’s nice to know – just once in a while maybe – that you can inspire someone! Lord knows I have found much inspiration here!


The rules of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award: 

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about me…

1. Jesus is my King, my love, the song in my heart… the most graceful, loving kindness.

2. I love going to church and having church. I love talking about religions and spirituality. Who says you can’t talk about religion and politics among a group? Put a pot of tea on, pull up a chair and lets get talking. I’ll make a snack! Or, we could just talk about the weather or sports. Booooring.

3. I just signed up to run a seven-mile race in August to raise money for adults with autism and brain injury research and treatment (stay tuned for future blog posts on this.) Umm, I’ve never even completed a 5k succesfully. We’ll see how this goes…

4. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. (Umm, refer to number 3!)

5. I have a 12-year-old cat named after the biblical prophet Elijah. He is the most socially aggressive cat ever. Yesterday he head-bumped my beer bottle into my teeth in an attempt at a cuddle. He also drools like a dog.

6. One of my favorite movies is “Waking Life.”

7. I’ve lived in Madrid, Costa Rica and five small towns in Pennsylvania before moving to Cape Cod. I love it here.

My nominations for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” are…

1. Sethsnap¬†Join 11,000 + followers for some pretty inspiring photography and travels here. Sethsnap was also one of the first bloggers to frequent my site. Yes, I noticed. And I thank you ūüôā

2. Bucket List Publications Travel, Adventure and New Experiences

3. A Devoted Life Practical, daily devotionals for the real world. (So real and so good!)

4. Broken Light, A Photography Collection – very artistic photographs taken from people who are managing or struggling with a mental illness. So many of the posts here really encapsulate what mental illness can be like. Great understanding in this site for anyone working to erase stigma in mental healthcare.

5. The War in My Brain – A very brave and honest blog about living with an OCD diagnosis and managing the symptoms.

6. Full of Roses Inspirationals – Christian inspirational photography and poetry

7. ShrinksAren’tCheap – Very creative, very playful, dark, fantastical work. This blog title is one of the best I’ve seen. What is better therapy than writing, after all? I mean, if you’re a writer.

8. Words of Balance – Great inspiration and clear-cut simple tips and tools for life.

9. The Better Man Projects – Very inspiring. Enough said.

10. OneBraveSurvivorHealing – I am of the firm conviction these days that healing does take courage. So this blog is very inspiring and I nominate it with gusto.

11. CHRISTian Poetry by Deborah Ann – Very inspiring and beautiful words, stanzas and verses here.

12. Shift – because the only thing constant is change – And this blog constantly inspires, too. That hasn’t really changed.

13. Seeker of Truth – A fabulous literary blogger who also loves to talk about Jesus. A gal after my own heart.

14. True Warriors of God – Ephesians Chapter 6 ūüôā and many other lovely thoughts.

15. Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Great nature photos and wildlife information here. One of a few wildlife blogs I subscribe to thanks to the influence of my biologist hubby. Have you hugged a tree today?

That is my list of the 15 nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I frequent these sites at least once a week. There are so many more great blogs out there, but this is a little view into what I’ve been reading and what has most recently inspired me. Check them out.¬†Very inspiring, indeed!

Slowly, surely… Walking away from broken love.

I was inspired by a Jill Scott tune last night and it got me thinking about all the good women in my life with such beautiful voices, hearts and spirits who have been survivors of broken relationships, harmful histories and hurtful connections on so many different levels. I wanted to write something to empower women today to tell them that love does not hurt. Love heals. Love strives to protect and to build you up, not bring you down.

I often struggle with how much personal life history to reveal in my blog. Since I felt called to write this today, I will say that I struggled with a co-dependent mindset for many years as a teenager into my early 20’s. (It is actually still a part of me, but now I know I am only fully responsible for my choices, my life and my health and personal well-being. I can help others only after, I, myself, am properly cared for, loved, and nurtured.) I truly believed, as many women and some men, of course, also now believe, that they are capable of changing another person. Their heart may be in the right place, but what usually happens is their spiritual, mental, emotional and perhaps even physical resources are depleted in an effort to “help fix” or “heal” a broken person struggling with an issue such as drug and alcohol addiction, an incorrectly treated mental health diagnosis, or explosive or violent behaviors. It is impossible to change another person. What happens with a co-dependent mindset is that you place a lower priority on your own needs and treat the other specific individual or number of individuals above yourself. You begin to harbor guilt, hurt, and low self-esteem when you find (ultimately) that you have no control over another’s addiction or diagnosis.

Codependency affects people in a variety of ways. Common characteristics of Codependents include:

  • Excessive Care-taking:¬†Codependents feel responsible for others‚Äô actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one‚Äôs needs and often wonder why others do not do the same for them.
  • Low self-esteem:¬†Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for¬†anything¬†that goes wrong.
  • Denial:¬†Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that ‚Äúthings will get better when…‚ÄĚ They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings.
  • Fear of anger:¬†Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one‚Äôs anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
  • Health problems:¬†The stress of Codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma and high blood pressure.
  • Addictive behavior:¬†Codependents may themselves develop addictions in an attempt to deal with their pain and frustration

I know many people who have struggled with this, but since this blog is mine I don’t feel comfortable writing about their stories. My first relationship and my dive into the world of “love” was with a person who struggled against his own drug and alcohol addiction. I was young, naive and hopeful. There were several people around me who nudged me and told me truths, which I chose to ignore in my co-dependent mindset. The relationship lasted four years until I knew nothing would change and that all I could do was done. Feeling broken, lost and confused, I turned from faith and began living a kind of numb, shallow life on the inside, though on the outside I was still pursuing education, bettering myself, travels and learning. I was blessed with the support of great friends and family members, which I know many women stuck in wrong relationships may not have access to. I believe all along the spark was still inside of me to come through my pain, although I did not fully recognize it. I stumbled through other empty relationships and unsafe behaviors with men until I began dating my husband, who has been on the journey of healing with me. I was blessed by our relationship, as we were friends long before we began a romance. He knew me in my “co-dependent days” and he knew me as I grew out of them. I never thought I’d be one of those girls to marry her best friend, but I have. I count myself truly blessed.

It was put on my heart to write this today – ¬†if you feel you are being abused emotionally, psychologically, verbally or physically you must reach out to a trusted friend or relative. If you are struggling with a co-dependent mindset and you put your own health and and worth below another’s, you must reach out for help and begin to see how truly special you are. Look up resources in your community, whether it be a church, women’s organization or a domestic violence hotline. Talk with someone.

When women thrive, the world thrives.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 it is written…¬†

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

“Slowly Surely” by Jill Scott

Slowly surely,

I walk away from 

that old desperate and dazed love 
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love
thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love¬†I just don’t know
Where i should go
Slowly surely
I walk away from
constantly hurting me love 
deserting me love
you said, I said, we said
butSlowly surely
I walk away from 
confusing love 
misusing love 
abusing love
this can’t be

Slowly surely
I walk away from
self serving
constantly hurting me love

I just don’t know
where I should go
I just don’t know
know, know, know
Where I should go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
that old desperate and dazed love
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love

thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love

I just don’t know where to go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
I walk away from
Slowly surely
I walk away from love
slowly, surely one step at a time
but surely
I will pass the old love aside
and love me
surely I walk away from
slowly surely I walk away from desperating love
caught up in the maze love
crazy crazy craze of love
slowly surely, I walk away from [repeat 5 times]
Slooooooowly Suuuuuuurely, slowly surely

“Man has not invented God; he has developed faith, to meet a God already there.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

Giving a hug of hope.

The SimplyEnjoy blog was nominated for a “Hug Award” through A Hope for Today by Ajaytao 2010!

Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by this blog, share a little love and promote my site. I really appreciate the hug!

Check out my nominator’s blog for some great inspiration, writings, photographs and thoughts on life. Thanks, again, Ajaytao 2010!


‚ÄúHope¬†is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a¬†ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.‚ÄĚ

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they: Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness.

The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets the guidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people.

The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

The HUG Award© is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word ‚Äúhope‚ÄĚ in their work or creative talents.¬† They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use¬†their available resources‚Äďa smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs‚ÄĒto make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.


Thank you for spreading the hope…

a piece of hope today from Job 11: 13-20:

13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.
20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
and escape will elude them;
their hope will become a dying gasp.‚ÄĚ

Love and Things that make you go hmmm…
February 13, 2013, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Art, Minimalism, Motivation, Poetry, Spirit, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , ,

With room to wonder and space to fill

With thoughts like yellow daffodils…

wishing Spring would just show up

like relatives on holiday

or rain when only sun should stay

Surprising like a free dessert

a waived late fee

A reduced-price shirt

Today I tried to shop for my niece and the store was closed. Wanting not to go home yet, I thought to try the antique store across the way. Then my stomach growled and lunch at home seemed the more aggressive choice.

“I’ll try that place another day,” I thought.

I drove to melty pork bbq, paid some bills, wrote some mail.

In line at the post office, an artist peers at my doodled envelope. He’s shipping a canvas to London, he says. Have you been to my antique store yet?

Why, I almost stopped there today… but didn’t. What are the odds?

Some days there are just small things to “hmmm” about like random conversations that introduce new thoughts. Like antique mirrors and assorted goods – 3,000 square feet of them. And talking about painting sunrises and rescuing blue herrings while waiting in line with a stranger. Then getting a business card with a glint of inspiration.

“Try painting with your left hand and see what happens,” he says.

But also today, the very best news… though I am far away from family…

Two very special people together and loved by so many… saying “I do.”

Sending all my love to Pennsylvania today… to the Mayor.

To D and C with love:

“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” – Jim Morrison


Love and hot tea.
January 30, 2013, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Poetry, Spirit, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , ,

Tea steeps –

Steamy water absorbing leaves.


Infusing flowers, plants and buds…

In one hot cup

Of momentary joy

Lost in warmth

In the subtle taste of


When I speak,

it’s slowly… words drip. Drop –

As I’m heard across the table.

A thoughtful look.

A squeeze of a hand.

A gentle nod.

A whispered “Yes.”

long days

bound up with pomegranate.


relaxed with green leaves.

Healing hope.

And still, it’s there…

Where palms press ceramic heat

from mugs filled

with love and hot tea.


Valerie Rumfelt

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