Only One

In this world of “I need to be like the Jones”, in is a relief to know you really don’t have to be. 

We are not supposed to be like the Jones!  Each and everyone of us are so very special and different.  That is for a reason.  If we all were the same and contributed the same way to mankind, something would be left out and missing.  We were made to each have our own purpose, our own qualities, and our own path.  Be inspired to work more on celebrating you and only you, and not being like someone else!  Be you because you are the only you!

Only One

I will dance among the flowers.

Sit in the grass.

Fly with the butterflies.

And sing with the birds.

I can do anything.

Because I am made special as my own.

I was made to imagine.

And dream and believe and go anywhere I want to.

Deep inside no one else can be me.

I have qualities all put together.

Each one supporting the other.

To form me only.

I will sit in the rain and feel its cooling.

The fire will give me the comfort of warmth.

The leaves of all colors will provide me a picture show.

As I look up into the portrait they make within the sky.

I will float through the water.

I am light and lifted when it surrounds me.

It softens sounds to my ears.

And supports me with very little effort.

I hold my warm coffee cup to my chest.

The warmth permeates to my heart.

The heart that holds my compassion, love, and kindness.

All the wants I will give away to all.

I will prance and skip with the fireflies.

They light the path I take.

I watch as the movie develops.

As the fireflies blend into the stars of the night.

As the day turns to night.

I catch the wing of a firefly.

And it takes me to a star.

Who leads me through the universe!

I lift the dirt of the Earth.

And let it sift through my fingers.

Its warmth touches my inner soul.

I know I am a part of it.

I walk under your shade.

And your flowing arms of green.

Gently reach down and take my hands.

Leading me off into the brilliant blue sky.

Because of who I am.

And who made me.

I will go anywhere.

And I can do anything!

I am special.

Just like you are special.

We will follow who we are.

Into the everlasting.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

This week enjoy yourself and celebrate being the one and only you!  Also appreciate everyone else being themselves.  A garden with only one flower, with only one fruit, or with only one vegetable is so boring.  But the variety makes such an exciting experience!  Each of us being so different in our own way in this world provides the same exciting experience.  Be you, and only you, this week! 





The Hushed Woman

As a young girl, I remember the days when I would see some women with bruises and marks.  Although they would claim that these came from some accident, they always seemed to have them somewhere.  Even though I was not as wise as I am today, I always felt uneasy about these stories of accidents.  I felt like there was something deeper.  These were admired women of the community, as well as those not noticed in the community.  This seemed to be a secret that was just kept, never talked about, and of all things never questioned.  It was “that time” in the scheme of things.  Well thank goodness my wisdom increased as I grew.  Upon reflection I was able to decipher exactly what had gone on with these women.  I would be able to stand up for these women and pull the rug off the buried crimes.  Fortunately, today is “the time” that we can speak up and say no more abuse.  This will not happen to well rounded, independent strong women.  If I did not learn from what I witnessed as a child and become better in helping, then I would be letting life pass by without responsibility.  If you or I see this happening in the world today, we need to intervene. There is no stronger force than one amazing woman helping another amazing woman!

The Hushed Woman

The strong woman I perceived,

Worked outside the home to help her family.

As well as doing all her work at home.

She made her home like one out of a magazine.

She was always full of grace and style.

Her presentation was elegant and stunning.

I saw her as a woman of faith and love.

She always had a kind hand for others.

The more I watched her the more I noticed.

There were horrific injustices on her body.

These showed me she was far stronger than I thought.

But it showed me her need for help.

Her small wrist showed a bruise around it like a rubber band. 

She said she caught the ironing cord around it while ironing.

The delicate fingers were marred black and blue.

She said she mashed them in the refrigerator door.

The beautiful cheekbone that accentuated her face showed life’s harshness in blue and yellow.

She said she ran into a cabinet door she left open.

Her neck had a circle of red where her pearls normally laid.

While cleaning she said she had caught the window blind cord near her neck.

The speckled bruises up and down her arm showed from beneath her spring tops.

She had poked herself with kitchen utensils as she cooked.

Above her eyebrow there was a bruise that ran into her brow.

She had hit it while getting a pan from underneath the bottom cabinet is what she said.

The inside bruises were as bad as the outside.

Her emotional soul was damaged.

Her goal was to always be perfect.

Because of the intimidations, threats, and harsh words.

This was a woman that lived during a time of hushness.

The quietness of society was accepted.

And she would not dare speak against society.

Her life goal was to be society.

The woman I once thought was free.

Free to work and be the woman she so believed in the magazines.

Was not free at all.

The bruises were her chains to society.

The marks, bruises, and burns indicated she was owned.

Her life was not hers.

If only my wisdom would have been there then rather than now.

I could have broken her chains by seeing better.

I could have helped her escape.

I could have shown her how strong she really was.

I could have soothed her bruises.

I would have stood with her against her persecutor.

The times have moved on.

The times have now changed.

In my wisdom she and no other perfect woman will ever stand alone again.

This woman’s bruises made us all perfect women.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

It is easy to say that is not my business when we witness abuse, but it is not the right thing to do.  Abuse is wrong, physical and emotional.  All some people need is the acknowledgement that someone hears them and is there for them, especially someone to support them getting out of the abusive situation.  Be the support soul for anyone you see that needs it.  Help lift these individuals up out of the abusive situation.  The strength of souls together will use these marks and bruises to step high above the abusers!  Grace and love be with you this week as you serve as a soul lifter!




The Last Winters

I love the South in the Spring!  It is just one of my favorite times.  One of the things I love best is watching for the last winters.  The resurrection of Spring may start with the redbud trees bursting out everywhere.  The buttercups are right there with them.  Everything gets excited to come out again!  Then immediately, everything steps back for one more moment to recover from this explosion.  And so our redbud winter is born!  With each resurrection, there comes the recovery until summer is here.  Moments in our lives are very much like these winters of Spring.  We have resurrections when we rise up, and then we fall into a recovery time until the next resurrection.  This recovery time is one of learning and growing to gain a better understanding of ourselves and others.  The resurrection time is one of celebrating that learning and growth!  As the winters come about this Spring in your life, appreciate your recoveries and be ready for your resurrections! 

The Last Winters

Your dark, small limbs peek out from behind the others.

The redbud blooms you make are a deep, magenta.

You are striking amongst the tall cedars.

These beauties along with the buttercups kick off the Spring!

And end the last winters.

Within days and just weeks,

Tender petals start bursting out.

Your small statue means nothing this time of year,

Because your dogwood, snow white petals signal it is Easter.

Another frost will still come so yet another winter comes and passes.

Then as the days lengthen.

The locust trees tower above the others.

Their white flowers fall through the sky like snowflakes.

They are tall and lanky.

They tell of the next winter in the South.

As all things green,

You decide too bloom and stand out more.

Your vines climb together.

They make beautiful bouquets,

But even better after this winter the blackberry fruit will be delicious!

As we start to be outside more,

The large, heart shaped leaves of the catalpa trees come out.

They signal one of the south’s last winters.

Their large, white bell-shaped flowers hang in clumps.

The blooms lay on the leaves like Egyptian queens.

These sounds will signal one of the last winters in the holler.

Whippoorwills call out letting us know one of the last frost may be on its way.

Tender seedlings are covered and safe.

The sound is soothing and haunting at the same time.

These little ones let us know another winter has passed.

We smell these delicious flowers next to the last winter,

Before we see them.

Their yellow and white blooms are so sweet.

The honeysuckle vines twist and wrap everywhere.

Giving us the sign that summer is about to be in full blast!

Now as the last Spring chill blows through,

The last winter shows its cooling charm.

Britches winter tells us to get rid of the winter pants,

And break out the summer cottons!

Because there will be no more winters in the South this year!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

I hope you enjoy the Spring winters as much as I do this year.  My hope is that you can see this as a time of learning and growing.  I am always open to learning to be a better person and growing into a better person.  Take this time and do not let those winters slip away.  They will go very quickly!  I would like to report my surgery went well!  I am recouping as we speak.  I cannot thank all of you enough for your love and prayers.  I also cannot thank you enough for taking your time to join me again this week.  Immerse yourself into your recoveries and your resurrections!  There is no telling what you will discover and what you will be able to celebrate!  Happy Spring!




The Prayer Flags

Our faith requires us to use many mechanisms in order to reach God.  However, many of us get in a rut.  We tend to approach God and communicate with God the same way over and over.  We become very complacent.  Of course, we are given the freedom to approach God in silent or spoken prayer anytime or anywhere.  But let’s not get stale in our approach to God.  We can plant a special area of flowers or plants where we seek God.  A field of crops is sometimes where we honor Him.  Many feel closer to God on or near water.  Some say prayers while others write prayers.  Some people use art to show their faith in God.  And yet others use their voice or an instrument to show their faith to God.  This week I chose to write about the use of prayer flags.  What a binding way to love God by a group of people!  This week I challenge you if you do nothing else, find your special way of showing your faith to God.  If you do not learn to speak to Him, how do you ever expect an answer?  I challenge you to seek a different way and watch God work in your life!

The Prayer Flags

My heart had been heavy due to the weight of life.

Troubles had built up in my mind.

I felt defeated.

I decided to take a stroll through downtown.

I was trying to give my worries away.

And then I saw them.

Their bright, beautiful colors attracted me. 

The wind softly swayed the many colors,

As if a person was slightly blowing on them.

Each had writing and symbols on them.

They were bond together by a string.

My curiosity had the best of me.

I saw an elderly lady.

I could tell she was not rich nor well off due to her clothes.

But she was kind looking and humming softly.

The care she gave each cloth was very noticeable.

This showed me she was patient, intentional, and caring.

She was gently attaching one of the colored cloths when I approached her.

I politely introduced myself.

I told her my curiosity was raised when I saw her.

With her soft voice she replied these are prayer flags.

I inquisitively asked “Prayer flags?”

My mind then went into a million questions.

But I had to make a choice of one.

I ask her “What do they stand for and whose are they?”

Touching my shoulder gently,

And placing the next one in my hand,

She said “These are the voices of our town.

When we desperately need help beyond ourselves.

We place that request on this simple piece of cloth.

The cloth is attached to a string.

And the wind blows these to God.

When our answer has come,

We find the flag blows off the string and into the heavens.

Sometimes the flags are still bright and sturdy when taken to God.

Other times the flags are faded by the sun and worn from the rain or snow.”

She continued to say “It does not matter which.

When they are blown to the heavens, God has answered.

We say these prayers silently many times. 

But other times we show our faith by giving these up to God on our prayer flags.

When they are strung together,

It means we all are behind that prayer as well and we all become stronger.”

She asked “Child would you like to place your request on one?”

My heart became a little lighter,

And my head was so relieved.

I wrote out my situation in letters, words, and symbols.

I handed it to the lady.

She attached it to the string.

As my cloth joined the others,

I felt the slight breeze lift the worries from my heart.

I became as free as the flags.

I felt the wind carry me up into the heavens.

I had always voiced my quiet prayers to God,

But never had I physically given them away.

If you ever see a small cloth on the ground,

Or one flying through the air.

Or one gently swaying from a branch of a tree.

You will see a great act in faith right in front of you!

God has already answered these prayers,

And given faith to another Soul that needed soothing.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Find your faith in a special way this week by flying your prayer flags!  Your way may be a song, art, a written piece, and the list goes on!  It is our faithfulness that God seeks.  Why would we ever hold back on that?  Thank you so very much for being with me this week.  I may not be with you next week.  God has answered a great prayer for me—one whose request was raised to God from many!  Back issues have troubled my life for a long time.  In order to correct some of these problems, I am having a minor(outpatient) back surgery next week.  I know in my heart this is part of God’s plan for me, and I look forward to receiving the healing he is providing through skilled medical personnel.  Please lift an extra prayer flag for me this week!   I hope spring is filling your heart, and the time of the year is filling your soul.  I can never thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of your life.  Praise God for recognizing all of our faithful ways!




My St. Patty’s Day

With St. Patrick’s Day happening this week, I could not help but to think about my family and the blessings I have because of them.  I am Irish on three of the four sides of my family.  I was very blessed that my grandparents and great-grandparents shared stories with me about our family and their journeys.  All three sides were commoners, farmers, and skilled workers.  When times got really bad for survival in the Home country, they had to search for other options in order that my family would survive.  That option for all three sides was seeking refuge in America.  It was difficult and hard, but they made it to the Free country.  However, the difficulties and struggles did not end by just arriving.  They fought elements, poor living conditions, hate from others, and all other complications that come with uprooting from a familiar country to an unfamiliar country.  They did survive and thrived!  And the families after them and the ones following them.  Each generation was given great opportunities and hope for success, peace, and freedom. 

My family became a part of a new family while sharing their own Home country traditions and by making new ones.  I, my children, and my grandchildren are the beneficiaries of this fight they fought.  We have and continue to have so many blessings and opportunities due to their decisions.  When days like St. Patrick’s Day come around, I have to acknowledge and recognize the real sacrifices my family members made and the courage they had that got us here.  Just like we also remember our Home country traditions during Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holidays.  We never lost the traditions of the Home country.  They just became intertwined with our New country traditions.  Always celebrate your Home country traditions to honor and remember those that brought you where you are today.  Never let the weeks or days go by without celebrating!  Go all out!  Because many sacrificed so you could!  Honor those that have blessed you and brought you where you are!

My St. Patty’s Day

Tales told by the family.

Home country of green and heather.

Gaelic stories of the people and the land.

Desires for a good life began.

Farmers of crops.

And farmers of fish.

Provided by the lush green.

And the sea sides overflowing with fish.

Seeking freedom from governmental domination.

Risky for the whole family.  Would they try?

Packed with their valuables.

A journey across a sea of danger was their course.

Survival of diseases and dangers.

The way of the Lady led them.

To the free America.

The hills and trails led the others.

Both making a new life of hope.

Struggles were real.

New crops to learn and new types of animals.

Some became community leaders in the wilderness.

All finding their place in a new land.

Poor with very little.

Came with only their skills.

Dreams of something better in life.

Dreams of hope for their children.

I sit here comfy in my blessings.

On a day of celebrating.

Gaelic ways joining with Christian ways.

St. Patrick leading the way.

Successful career.

Fulfilled life.

Children and grandchildren with a great future.

Freedom to be and do anything.

How can I be free?

Because of family bravery.

Sacrifices, death, perseverance.

To be free.

The Homeland is in us.

Ways and traditions are kept.

Our heritage celebrated.

Even in the land of the free.

All coming together, old and new.

For our families.

And our family’s future.

Always being who we really are and what we become.

The new life opened new ideas.

The old life included traditions of who we are.

My heart is in the Home country.

And my soul holds the freedom of the New country.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thanks for being with me this week.  I hope you find inspiration in today’s piece to remember your heritage.  Thanks for celebrating one of my family’s favorite holidays this week.  Search out and find what great blessings you have been given from your heritage.  Although we all have the part of our family’s past that may not be the best, we all have many more parts that are great to celebrate!  Celebrate your Home country with your Free country!  You will find out just how blessed you are!  Be proud and know you are blessed!




Birth Day

It’s your birth day!!!  Oh! How we all interpret this so differently!  As a youngster the most exciting thing in the world is to know your birth day is coming or it is here.  It brings gifts and parties which means cake and yummies.  Then as teens we are so excited because it is usually a day we get to celebrate with peers.  A time where you have established yourself as a member of a group.  You start to understand belonging.  As a young adult we see the birth days giving us that freedom we have so desired.  We are out on our own exploring the world! The next birth days in our 30’s and 40’s become a little less about you and more about who you are sharing your life with.  More of reflecting on the goals you are reaching and are you pursuing the right path in your life.  Then the middle years arrive.  Our birth days remind us how precious life is.  As we lose some of those we love and gain others that we love, we understand the true meaning of living.  We examine our life to see if we have done all the great things we dreamed of, and if we have not, we become very focused on making those happen.  Then the years begin to add up to the golden years.  Wow!  Are these birth days special!  We are very excited to see another birth day!  Our day to day living includes hobbies you dreamed of, trips you planned, and the miracles you witness each and everyday of this life.  No matter where your birth day lands in the year, and no matter what level of celebration you are at, never let a birth day go by that you do not give thanks!  Give thanks that you were chosen to be here for others! Celebrate your uniqueness as a human!  Be joyous over what you are doing or what you have done or what you will do!  This day is so important because you were chosen to put your mark in this time and place for a specific reason.  So—Celebrate!  Party!  Give thanks!  And rejoice for who you are and for the fact you really do have a birth day!

Birth Day

Moment by moment.

Hour by hour.

Day by day.

Year by year.                                          

These seconds of our lives are connected.

We turn around and it is another birthday.

The minute, hour, and day we were birthed.

We become a separated physical and mental being.

Capable to physically live by oneself.

Mentally able to grow.

We either go from this birth,

Kicking and screaming.

Or flailing and in a panic.

Or inquisitive and calm.

All entrees demanding our own needs.

From that day of celebration.

We make our tracks in this world.

We are our own individuals made like no one else.

We lay our hands on the lives of others.

Our growth is due to the care and love of others.

Our memories lay in our rigged minds.

The experiences we go through are stored there as well.

The heart and the soul that is ours.

Make choices that create this path of our life.

The decisions within our souls on that birth day.

Some of us support birth days.

As if there may never be another.

Others of us see them coming,

And wish there had never been one.

But no matter our view they come around.

But that is not our choice.

What sets that birth in motion,

Also sets the life we will live.

Or the life we will continue to live.

Documented from year to year.

Maybe that birth day,

Is when we were picked from the stars and the angels.

To enlighten others in another world.

To bring love, joy, and happiness to someone else.

To carry out our specific purpose and to serve others.

Then a day comes when our journey ends.

Our hearts and souls move to another place of love and joy.

Bringing all our experiences that has fallen from birth day to birth day.

Making each little moment between those precious.

All of these moments there forever.

Let not your birth day come without celebration!

Someone somewhere felt you were worthy enough to be chosen to love others.

Chosen with your own special code of structure.

Do not let a moment go that you do not love.

And do not let a year go by without truly living these seconds of your life!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thank you so much for being with me this week.  I totally understand that your time is very special.  I am so honored you spend some of that with me!  Stop and think about your birth day this year.  Do not let it go by without celebrating.  This does not have to be put on by other people.  It is your day, so celebrate like you want to.  You make it happen because it is your day.  Make it happen in the fashion you want.  Just never hesitate to celebrate the unique person you are!  Happy birth day to each of you all year long!




Agape Love

Very few humans are capable of the types of love I discuss today in my piece.  We put our very best effort out there, but we just always fall a little short in reaching this type of love. I guess that is the difference in our human hearts and an Agape heart.  Does that mean that we don’t try?  Do we just give up and never aim for that type of love?  No!!!  We keep at it!  We try to accomplish this love above anything else.  Practicing this type of love no matter my attitude or the person’s attitude I am being asked to love.  If we give up, we have lost hope.  But if we continue trying, who knows what level of love we can reach!  A love that is amazing, awestruck, astonishing, and awesome!  Go out into the world this week and practice your loving!  Send that love out there without any expectations or requests.  You never know what you will get in return.  It could be enough love to last an eternity!

Agape Love

I don’t understand how You do it.

You love me no matter.

Your hand touches my soul,

And I know I am loved.

I can say bad things.

My actions can be wrong.

I can hurt someone,

But You never stop loving me.

Unconditional love.

Love above all.

How can anyone love so deeply?

How can one not reciprocate that love?

I do not know what You see.

You think I am capable of so much.

Your confidence tells me I am loved.

This gives me hope for a purpose.

If only I could love as You do.

Without expectation.

With giving of oneself,

And never expecting an action in return.

You allow me to make mistakes.

This allows me to learn and to grow.

So, when the next situation arises,

I know the right decision that should be made.

You always forgive me.

Someday I hope to forgive as greatly as You do.

To forgive and give any person love.

Love instead of anger or pain or revenge.

I give thanks in my life for Your love.

Please be with me no matter how silly I get or badly I act.

Thank you for teaching me to love.

For the greatest gift of all is loving all the ways You do.

I hope Agape love is my goal.

With your help I can reach that goal!

To find the awestruck love you find in all of us.

To love us more than we love ourselves.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

What better goal to have this week than going out and loving people!  I know last week I gave a person trying to help me a very angry, rude response.  I choose this week to call back and apologize to this person.  I gave this person a gift they never realized they would receive.  I could hear in their voice just how much they appreciated being loved this way!  They knew I sincerely cared about them and their situation, not just my own situation.  Don’t forget while you are passing out love this week to pass out some to yourself!  If we cannot love ourselves, it is much harder to love others.  As March brings us new growth, let that growth be in our own hearts and minds!  I thank you for being with me, and know I truly love you!




Her Winter Touch

We were able to witness Mother Nature’s beauty and power over the last few weeks in my part of the country.  Her performance was beautiful!  The scenes She created were just so magnificent!  One of the great things about this performance was it allowed our performances of day to day living to stop.  All our hurrying, appointments, meetings, activities, and more came to a stop.  We were given a few moments in life to stop and enjoy life.  The silence, the beauty, the other creatures we share the Earth with, and the time with those we love.  We played, reflected, relaxed, and enjoyed a few quite moments of true living!  I have come to appreciate these moments given to us.  If Mother Nature sends you a message this week, take Her up on it and live to the fullest through these moments!

Her Winter Touch

She lightly blows Her breath,

And the land turns white.

Soft and gentle,

One layer at a time.

She sends the crystals.

All with the same elements,

But all individuals and different.

Each joining hands to make the perfect covering.

With the tip of her finger,

She paints the trees lightly with white.

She gently whispers white dust up and down the cedars.

The scene becomes magical!

As She touches the rocks,

She lays the snow around them.

They begin to glisten.

Appearing as jewels buried.

She misses the humans.

They give Her joy as they delight in Her gifts,

But they cannot come out in the ice cold.

A tear falls from Her eye forming long icicles where they fall.

The blanket she has laid.

Allows all the creatures that were hidden.

To come out and play.

Tracks of everyone dot the white landscape.

She gently pulls the bottom of Her gown along the ground.

Dusting the grass with flakes of white.

As she pulls Herself on the edge of the wind,

Gliding away into the clouds.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

I cannot go without mentioning the other side of Mother Nature’s visit this week.  We so appreciate those that get out and still do their jobs during these days.  Our law enforcement, health care workers, city and county utilities, and so many more.  We are so very grateful for you! Also, our prayers and love go out to all who have been adversely affected by the rough weather.  Our hopes go out to you for a great recovery.  Thanks to everyone taking time to be with me this week.  I hope the reading has inspired you to approach life in a wonderful way.  Look this week for all the moments God gives us through Mother Nature and Her gifts!  And someone please have a serious talk with that groundhog about an early Spring!




The Life of Pain

For those who have never experienced pain, my prayers are that you will never.  Pain, which can be physical or mental, makes life so very difficult.  And many times physical pain can lead to mental pain, although both can occur alone.  People with pain have to view every day and every moment of each day with strength and courage to keep going.  That sounds easy until you are the one having to push yourself to not give up.  Every day we are around people experiencing great pain.  We may not even know it, so this is one reason it is better to give everyone the benefit of doubt.  We never know what pain people have gone through or are going through.  If you are that person in pain, never, ever give up.  Make sure you have a support family.  Someone or a group of some ones that can give you a better perspective on life and living.  If the mental pain increases absolutely seek a professional.  We are not alone in this world, and professional counselors prove that to all that they see.  If your physical pain continues, be your own self advocate with the physicians you see.  Press these professionals until they find the source of the pain.  People do not hurt on purpose.  Physical and mental pain can be beat!  Focusing on living our lives to the fullest will help us to see all the many blessings we do have!  If you are in pain, keep your ounce of hope this week, no matter how small.  Reach for your smallest blessing and hold it tight!  Like the mustard seed, the smallest hope can become enormous in the presence of faith!

The Life of Pain

I feel like a normal person.

I can laugh and have a conversation.

Just like a regular person.

When I am doing this while sitting,

I really feel real.

Then with all my strength,

I try to stand.

The pain bolts through my body.

Then as I take the steps,

The pain makes a continuous bolt.

With each step,

I remember.

I am not normal.

The difficulty walking and moving

Cannot be what normal is.

When I am driving a car,

All seems like a regular driver.

I feel like a real person.

One cannot tell that my back

And my legs are weak.

As I swing my legs to get out of the car,

The ting of pain says slow down.

One foot goes down.

Then the other,

And the standing says the pain remains.

Waking up from a restful sleep,

All seems so well.

When my feet slip into my house shoes,

And I make that first stand,

The pain quickly reminds me there is no peace in taking a step.

As I sit,

My mind says do this or do that.

You can get all these projects done!

Then as the mind puts the physical into motion,

The pain puts a halt to all the projects.

I head to the grocery.

Looking like any other shopper.

Until my back gives way.

Then I lean further and further over the cart.

The debilitating pain keeps me from making it through the store.

I head to the patio.

In hopes of feeding the birds.

With each step I have to breath deep,

To keep the pain from stopping me.

In between feeders I have to sit just to survive.

My joy of gardening, cooking, and decorating has just come to a standstill.

Pain does not allow for these types of joy.

I try to hold on and do these to some degree,

But the pain rises and days after are spent on recovering and more pain.

A soothing bath is so welcomed.

However, it becomes a major undertaking.

The motions have to very slow and very intentional,

In order to not fall and be more damaged.

What once was soothing now is stressful.

I pray that the pain will go away.

I do have faith.

Although it has worn thin begging God to heal me.

No matter what I do or don’t do,

The pain is there.

I try to doctor and protect the damaged body.

But It means giving up things.

It means sitting out on art exhibits, shopping trips, or dinners.

To be brutely honest,

It is very difficult to live with.

Some days I want to give up.

I just think its easier to sit down and not move.

Then I remember, I am not here for just me.

I am here for those I love.

And for those that love me.

God has me here for a special purpose.

I would never let that opportunity go by.

I will hold my faith strong.

My hope will rise up,

And I will live the fullest life through pain!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thank you for being with me this week.  Pain is a tough subject that we often smooth over or ignore all together.  Remember, we do not know what others go through in this life.  Pain is very real.  It needs to be acknowledged and treated, whether it is physical or mental.  Let others know they are never alone in this world.  May your week be pain free and filled with love!  Plant your mustard seed of hope and watch it grow!




Soul Love

I just cannot understand why people find it so difficult to love others.  It does not take a big effort nor an above the norm action.  Love encompasses the smallest act in the most genuine heart kind of way.  It is not the big things people remember about love.  It is the moment by moment, day by day, year by year, commitment to demonstrate love.  Love also does not apply to one “kind” of person.  It applies to all people, rich or poor, with a home or without a home, gruff or sweet, not one religion over another, and the list could go on!  Now there are those people who that make it very difficult to love them.  Usually because they are afraid or have been hurt so deeply by trusting the love of someone else.  But even these individuals need our love.  Make it your goal this week to reach out and love someone.  It can be someone you know or even better someone you do not know!  As Corinthians 13:13 paraphrased says, “And the greatest of these is love (charity)”!  Whoever would have thought you were being charitable when you were giving out love!  Give it away this week—all that you can!

Soul Love

Having my coffee ready in the morning.

Texting me with morning blessings.

Taking your time to see my Dad.

Carrying my chair to set on the beach.

If you don’t know love,

This is it.

Taking time to talk on the phone with me.

Holding my hand as I walk down the hall to the doctor.

Putting my sock on the foot I cannot lift.

Buying lunch on my birthday.

Love appears in many forms.

This is love.

Celebrating life with me.

Taking me on a shopping trip.

Laughing at me,

And laughing with me!

Love is always genuine.

You show me great love.

Sending me a card that makes me smile.

A positive written message through text.

A hug of reassurance.

Holding hands during prayer.

Love can be spread so quickly.

Demonstrated in the simplest way.

You return my shopping cart.

You offer to take and put my purchases in my car.

You make me smile with small conversation as I check out at the grocery.

You genuinely say have a nice day as you serve me.

All motions of love.

Love can be shown by anyone.

Picking up my fallen wreath in the yard.

Having lunch with me at the tearoom.

Your voice and tone says I need you.

Conversations of respect for each other.

All actions of love.

Love without strings.

Taking me to a show and having patience getting me there.

Lifting me up with your words of encouragement.

Just being with me in silence.

Just letting me cry on your shoulder.

All ways to love.

Love that we never forget.

For those who think love is a big gift.

Or those that think love is only taking.

It is not big, or glamorous, gaudy, extravagant, or difficult.

Love is small, it is every day.

It is given away without expectations.

Love comes from a place of peace.

Love is simple.

Love is kind.

Love is the smallest act of giving.

Love is the greatest act of receiving. 

Love holds us together.

Love gives us hope!

Love is in front of all of us.

We just must look and be willing to share it.

Love is the gentle nudging.

Love can only be given from deep within the soul.

Soul love within each of our hearts.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Love this week with everything you have!  I am so blessed everyday to receive love in the many ways I discussed in my piece today.  And I have been able to give love away in even more ways!  I hope this week your love is great—giving and receiving!  As always thank you for being with me this week.  You show me love every week you join me.  My love is in the form of thanks to each of you for helping me to encourage others!  Thank you!  May the love be with you!