When I am 51



photo credit: girl reading via photopin (license)


I wrote this poem last year as a follow up to a poem to my post on turning 50 and also dovetailing my poetic response to Warning by Jenny Joseph titled: Warning: Remixing the Purple Poem.



I Am More

Happy National Poetry Month!

I am happy to say that I have  finally linked all of the poems shared on this blog in one place- You can find them by hovering over the Writing {is} Life tab or clicking HERE.

Tonight I am joining with fellow poets at dVerse Poets Pub and sharing a fresh from the pen and out of the journal poem which I wrote Tuesday.



Head Games: The Body Image Trap


Be careful little eyes what you see…
It is hard today to avoid the onslaught to the mind’s eye of images which narrowly define that which is held in high regard. We are a culture saturated in imagery. We lust after that which appeals to our eyes, senses and desires. We fall for the deception of distorted illusions of beauty, health, success. That which your eyes feast on will have much power and influence over your mental psyche.
I want to challenge you to take a good look at what you allow yourself to see, to linger before, to devour mentally.
It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words…
Ponder what your stream of conscience expresses after you look upon images that are held as standards of beauty in our society.
Be honest and just examine, without judgment or conclusion, what your mind fabricates or articulates after you see these images:
*A billboard with models seductively posing and scantily clad.
*An exotic perfume ad
*A Victoria’s Secret model
*Fashion magazine layout
*A beauty Pageant Contestant
*A Fitness Competitor- or model
Note two things:

How you feel and your specific thoughts.
Do you feel good about yourself, better than or less than?
We are secretly addicted to images that wage war with our delicately designed psychological make-up.
So, here are a few suggestions on the journey toward a better body image:
These are just my thoughts from a lifetime of observations and experiences on my own journey.
Regardless of what you say you believe, the best advice I can give you is to avoid women’s magazines altogether or as much as possible. As a former magazine lover and buyer (since Young Miss and before that), I can tell you that after observing my own feelings as I came away from these seemingly innocent, helpful magazines, I found myself feeling “less than”. For years I thought many magazines were “inspiring” until I started to watch my thoughts, and especially emotions after dropping by the magazine stand. Save your money. Be your own best friend and biggest inspiration by not buying into the lies projected from the mass media. Even if it is for a season, or a partial “fast”- I encourage you to try this and see the difference. It helps, honestly. Consider it eye training or deprogramming.
Well, I would say, I do try to avoid most of the fashion images, not all. Let’s face it- a well put together outfit can make a fashionista’s heart skip a beat…just be careful out there. I still grab used mags for art collage and scrapbook/journals. Please note for the record: I am NO Fashionista, ask my daughter. She once plotted to get me on “What Not To Wear”. Sigh. I digress…
Next up don’t fall for the Reality Trainer Trap. This is not reality at all. Become your own Personal Trainer. No-one knows your body as well as you do. Use what you know to lead you to what you need to do. Having been a Personal Trainer for over 25 years gives one lots of insight, and I am telling you the last thing you need is a co-dependent relationship with anyone who you think knows you better than yourself! Of course, there is nothing wrong with getting coaching, instruction and support along the journey, but keep it in perspective. You don’t need Jillian barking obscenities at you to succeed.
You do need a plan of action.
A Journal is your best Training Partner. Record your dreams and goals. It is OK to use images but consider what nurtures your body, mind and soul. Strive to find and explore new images for inspiration which do not set before you unreal expectations. Which leads to my next point to consider:
Do not use a celebrity model or sports icon as your sole focus. I did do this for many years when I kept a training journal for bodybuilding competition and eventually I changed the images in my journal to my own personal pictures or images that served to inspire me without limiting my mental imagery or focusing on a person. 

The important thing is to not get lost in someone else’s image.
Learn to be your own inspiration – There is only one you!
Define who you want to be!
Free yourself from the body image trap by fasting from:

*images that make you feel “less than”

*negative comments from your stream of conscience

*some/most women’s magazines 

Do or you struggle, or have you ever struggled in the past, with body image?
Will you implement any of these tips?

This post is part of the series: 

I feel I need to also make a disclaimer here having been involved for so long in body focused athletic endeavors: I am not saying that we should never be inspired by others, but just to examine ourselves and what it is that is driving us, to see if it is worthy of our focus, attention, and time. Hope this makes sense.

Linking with my Sisters at : Finding Heaven
and Marissa @
Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

Inspiring Women Series Announcement


 Did you say “Inspiring Women”?
Wow! I can’t wait to spread the news!
Tomorrow! Tomorrow? Yes, Tomorrow!

Dear Friends, I am excited to announce this next series which I will be launching “officially” tomorrow!
I am squirming in my seat, as tomorrow’s guest has already submitted her post and I am chomping a bit at the BIT to share it with you! I am overjoyed at this next direction in my Bloggy Experience and hope that it will bless, encourage and inspire you! Each month I am inviting one special guest to write a post, be interviewed or share a special something of their own unique portion for my friends here at Beneath The Surface: Breath of Faith. I have diverse interests and I greatly enjoy the unique way God gifts each person and love to learn, share and hear about various perspectives from other women, especially those who truly inspire me. 
So stop by tomorrow for a very special Guest Post by an inspirational lady
 (who definitely INSPIRES ME!) who will share how you can think BIG for the New Year AND through the Holidays!
Do you want to catch a fresh vision for your life and be inspired for the season AND beyond?
Then stop back tomorrow for my first Guest in my Inspiring Women Series!

Shhh! It’s a SURPRISE! 

Oh – AND I will also be having my very first FREE GIVEAWAY! 
I pray you have all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving and are continuing into the holidays with gratitude, peace and joy!

I am thankful today for the many women God has brought into my life, who have challenged, shaped, encouraged, inspired, molded, and impacted me in the ways that continue to influence me!
Thank you Lord for each of these:

Grandmother’s -unfailing love and faithfulness
Mother’s -sensitivity and compassion
 Great Auntie Pep’s- humor and easygoing nature
 Rita’s (Step Mom)- gracious heart, patience and thoughtfulness
 Aunt Mona’s Chili con Carne- (It is my one awesome dish!), and many happy memories & visits
Cousin Dionne & Maria- for the sweet childhood memories
 “Cousin” Penny -who was my childhood hero and role model, 
I so looked up to her and I always wanted her long red hair!
 “Aunt” Susan’s sacrificial sitting by the pool and making my Summers special
Grandma L ‘s thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity. 
Joyce L – The vision to help others still remains – you are my memory of what that looks like,
even though you  probably wouldn’t recall this troubled teen who you tried to reach out to! 
Elaine- A boss who made it personal, and made a difference
Mama Sharon – Wit, intelligence, friendship, business savvy, sacrificial giving – and a “fox”!
what didn’t she show or teach me? 
Do-Do – My love for classical music came from you, 
and you modeled well how to grow older with style and punch!
Philly- supported me in all, professionally and personally
Sandy O – A model of excellence, wisdom, grace, strength and beauty
Sharon T – The gift of time and listening she shared, one on one early mornings over coffee
Karen B– always positive, uplifting, encouraging and REAL!
Lori R – always supporting my motherhood, her smile, wisdom and tenacity are a blessing
Ruth G- Her laugh, smile, hospitality, gracious example and heart are such a gift to me, if I ever do grow up I want to be just like her!
I could keep going (this list is NOT all inclusive!) and I am sure you could list the ways you have been blessed by the prayers, input and investment of others IN YOU!
Make your own list, I promise, God will remind you of your own many blessings…

Blog Bash Speed Meet

Let’s just make this a speed meet, OK?
So, here is a fascinatingly, fun list of random things about me!
Aren’t you excited you stopped by my blog?
*I started blogging at the end of May of this year- I am a newbie.
*I blog primarily about my Faith and the things I feel the Lord is leading me to share. 
* Tonight I just FINALLY “launched” my second blog, dedicated to Fitness.
*I have been in the field of Fitness (Personal Trainer & Group Exercise Instructor)
 for almost 30 years.
* Apparently I am really almost getting old!
* I have written for my whole life BUT refused to share,
I like to say blogging has helped me “come out of the closet” with my writing.
*I have competed in both power lifting and bodybuilding.
*I love to work with children!
* I teach Sunday School and love it.
*I am a “Domestic Diva” wanna be, but so NOT there!
*I lead a Moms In Touch group at my daughter’s private school and
am grateful to be able to pray with a few faithful moms weekly.
*Words swim through my mind all the time. It might be part of my ADHD, but writing is like breathing to me AND my very close connection with God.
 I guess you could say it’s my Love Language with God.
I am married to my BFF and just so happen to have a beautiful 11 year old daughter
 who knows everything (or at least more than me)!
*I enjoy writing poetry
These are some of my journals
*My writing is a reflection of what is going on “Beneath The Surface”,
the unseen realm of my hidden life with Christ, hence the name.
Here is my Blog place! I really want a laptop!
This is where I sometimes have quiet time.
But sometimes the desk kind of, um, well…
explodes and then I have it somewhere else…

Sometimes I will catch the sunrise and walk and talk with my
Lord along the shore…
we are @ 2 minutes from the beach!

Banjo is my “other man”. I wuv, this Rescue from Arkansas!

Aurora is my quiet time protege and she does not like me to stray
from my morning routine. In the Summer when I had QT on the back patio,
she would rebuke me from the kitchen window, with loud cries.

Buddy is my daughter’s Bunny, but he is part of the family, after all.

Ashley, (Aurora’s sister)  is posing as a lamb here,
see the resemblance?
Well, thanks for stopping by, leave a comment and I will be sure to visit you, real soon!
Happy Blogging!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

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