Life on the Merry Go Round


It is incredible what we have learned about neurology and the brain over the past fifty years.  Leaning about the intricate structures and workings of the brain has allowed us to better understand how people work and what goes on in their thinking.  For many years I would often feel so weird or odd because my thinking would be all over the place.  Most of the time very different from others.  Teaching one year, my teacher assistance, who I absolutely adored and loved, came into class one day and said, “Ok, where are we getting off the merry go round today?!”  She said this because I was always changing directions to create something new and interesting for my kids.  That is how my brain worked riding the merry go round.

My thoughts and directions would hop off and then back on to another spot.  Now this is a great thing if you are teaching middle schoolers because they are never bored!  However, most adults just could not understand and definitely had a hard time following.  The thinking of most adults would run more on the playground horizontal ladder—beginning to end.  Although many people would prefer the slide thinking—go quickly and start all over.  The geodesic dome would be the choice of others—methodical methods of moving from the ground to the top.  Some would prefer the swing—go one direction to the end and then change direction and swing the other way.

My family even today has difficulty following me many times.  My husband is a horizontal ladder person, so you could see where the difficulty comes in!  My conversation will be at one stop on the merry go round, and then jump back on to just get off two stops later.  They have gotten better at connecting the dots, but it is still a struggle.  As for me, all the research I have studied demonstrates my brain works the way it should for who I am.  The merry go round with the many ons and offs allows me to search for new meaning in different directions, create, develop, and take adventures.  My merry go round adventures have led me to be the person God wants me to be.  Through all the brain research there is a truth that cannot be denied.  We are all very different and how we carry out God’s purpose for us is very different.  Which also means our thinking processes should also be very different.  All the observations of how the brain works allows us all to see where we fit in.  So, use the reading this week to encourage and inspire you to study your brain, personality, and soul.  If you know where you stand, you can be more confident in who you are and better find your fit in this playground of life!

Life on the Merry Go Round

When we first really understand our place in life,

It can truly be sobering,

Especially for a dreamer.

We understand the purpose of the merry go round.


It is amazing how in the middle of so many people,

Souls can be alone on their own.

We all go through life looking or thinking that we have a special task or a special mission.

We so often feel we are here to set it, change it, or make that difference the world needs.


Then be it fate or faith,

We disown the task or mission.

We know at that moment it is not about our task or mission.

We have emotions that create fear leading to loneliness.


We pray for the hurt not to rise or to go away,

But it is the pain that shocks us to the Presence.

Loneliness comes in all ways and all forms.

It really comes to one in the middle of many—trying each day to just be.


Alone will come,

But my faith knows it will go.

Lonely—Alone—Loneliness—The mind’s hell among the living.

The place that draws me to God.


I am who I am.

I fought for many years.

I forgot for many days.

I thought I needed to be what others wanted.


I may not always think or do what it seems should be done or thought.

I may not always do what I am suppose to do.

I have learned joy on my merry go round.

Instead of fighting my mind wandering, I have come to take each wandering as an adventure.


Just as the deer venture from the safe haven of the cedars,

I also venture into the space created by the present moment.

I know I was with God and was sent here for His purpose.

It is in my spirit to be what God wishes me to be, not what others wish me to be.


It is my wish that He is in me.

I have a lot of work to do on this self and body.

But I have grown in soul and love by my ventures.

I will continue to strive for my being to be.


I will recognize the ons and offs of the merry go round,

And let each move take me more into God’s being for me.

Dreams of the past and expectations of the future will drift into the space and presence,

But not escape to be unfulfilled.


Why?  Because God is my presence, my reason, my dreams, and my passion.

I am because I am God’s being.

I do not want a role.

I do not want a label.


Being is the faith I seek.

The merry go round provides me the haven to see color, hear melodies, smell excitement, and feel the wind in the middle of many.

I am the breeze created by God’s merry go round,

That ventures into the space of others and creates the touch of presence.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Research the new brain and neurology studies this week.  This will allow you to examine your own thinking and behavioral patterns to better understand yourself.  Enter your search through prayer and with an open mind that the Holy Spirit will lead you to answers.  There is not right way, there is just your way, and how that way leads you to your purpose in this world!  Have fun on your ride of choice!











In The Lonely Place

in the lonely place

This season can be a time of loneliness.  All the excitement from the holidays has disappeared.  Family and friends are back to normal routines.  We are all back in normal routines.  The dreary weather and dark skies may make us believe there is no one there for us.  This can even happen whether one is in the middle of a million people or in the presence of only one person.  And it can happen right in the middle of our normal routines.  The more the atmosphere darkens, we seep deeper into ourselves.  Not always in a good way.  We can retreat into our own dark thoughts and downward spirals.  The piece today speaks to a time when I felt deeply alone.  I did have people to reach out to me, but I was not reaching back.  When we recognize this downward spiral to loneliness, we must put our foot down and say stop!  Stop!!  Reach back!  So, as this weather, atmosphere, and environments starts pulling us down, we have to resist.  Resist and reach for the light!  There is a hand or voice waiting to grab you!

In The Lonely Place

It happens by oneself.

It happens in the middle of a thousand people.

The empty depths that is ourselves creeps in.

As one suffers, others continue around the one without ever knowing.


Distant murmurs are the only sounds.

You cannot feel.

You cannot touch.

It is not dark.

It is just lonely.


The only thing beating is your own heart.

Your own head and mind are the only things speaking.

You cry deep within.

You stand crying while others go about their day.

You want to say, “Hey! Here I am!”.

Look at me!


I can share with you.

Here-Here I am.

Don’t you see me?

Did I die and I do not know?


I am here.

All alone.

See me.

Hear me.

Touch me.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

I hope this week if the dark loneliness time creeps into your life, you can be stronger and courageous enough to reach out.  You are never alone.  Somewhere and somehow you have touched and meant so much to others, there is someone trying to reach you.  And the Holy Spirit is always with you providing companionship and guidance.  You can take that step!  Reach out!  Escape the lonely places!








Passing Moments

passing moments

Being different is a very difficult thing to contend with.  Most of us have a decision to make at some time in our lives to be different, to be our authentic self, or conform to societal frames and boundaries for the socialized norm.  When we express our uniqueness, it can be frightening to many people.  This is not a discussion on mental illnesses, and how a mental illness may harm oneself or others by being medically different.  I am addressing not hiding who you really are.

As wisdom and age arises, most people can better understand and celebrate the many differences that we may have.  But as young individuals, it is a difficult job to stay yourself and be accepted.  Others will give unwise advice to others when they notice differences.  This is not what you need.  Many people like to make it their life’s mission to try and change others.  This is not celebrating and spreading love for all of us to express our differences.  If you need changes to happen in your life, you need to be spiritually guided, which allows you to dive in and discover the depths of your soul and heart.  Being your own original self as the final goal.  This includes all the experiences you have gone through, not what someone else has gone through.  However, this process is not a one-time, I got it done, process.  It can be an ongoing discovery!  Often in this world we are told what we are not, rather than who we really are.

The very best way one can be accepted is to accept oneself.  Speak who you are and be proud!  We were given these amazing spiritual vessels to live in for a reason.  Your reason is as varied as mine.  In this life with every passing moment, we do not need to hold back.  Be who you were meant to be with all of your differences.  Don’t waste your energy on those that cannot live freely with who you are.  Be yourself in every passing moment!

Passing Moments

Oh—Dear Lord—Let me forget.

Let the moments that I know not be true

Hide them—please Dear Lord.

Hide them in my heart because I am different.


Please, God let the words disappear from my mind in these passing moments.

For I know they are not true. 

I pray the words of the love, the thank you, and the praise are what remain in my soul.

Not the words of deception, hurt, or blame.


We all do many things differently.

We all write and speak and live differently.

We all come to You in different ways.

We full fill our purpose differently.


As for me, I come to you so that I can be Your vessel no matter what is said.

You have prepared me.

You continue to develop me.

Let those moments mold me in Your image.


Let my image sing and speak with those that are different.

Write and worship with those that are different.

Live, love, and learn with those that are different.

Because I am one that is different.


I am your vessel.

One that you will fill and use in all its different ways.

A different type of vessel.

And my difference will be celebrated because of you.


For every day is a new day, in these passing moments

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Celebrate how you are different this week! Think about and list your unique characteristics.  Look at your polished areas and those that could use a little more polishing.  There is a reason God made each specific DNA strand differently.  So, I can be me, you can be you, and others can be themselves!  Jealousy has no place in all of this—no one can be jealous or envious if we are all to be different.  Celebrate our differences this week with respect and love!  Be a spiritual vessel—a piece of pottery made like no other!!







My Role

my role

I have played many roles in my life.  Mother, daughter, wife, granddaughter, grandmother, daughter in law, mother in law, professional, student, and teacher, and the list could go on.  My piece today explains how we can get lost falling into a role and lose ourselves due to the expectations put on us by others.  I was put into a place where others felt I should act a certain way because I own a specific title.  Although titles come with some expected behaviors, they do not define who we should be or who we are.  It demonstrates how people can put us into a role with specific characteristics and limits.  They set boundaries and try to define who we are rather than seeing who God really made.

Even though I have played many roles the most important is myself.  See these roles are only titles.  We have to display our true heart in each of these roles and not be forced into something we are not.  If we hold in and suppress ourselves, we are in danger of not living free as God wanted us to.  Suppressing our true selves also keeps us from loving others completely.  If we suppress ourselves for too long the very worst in who we are can come out.  We also should never judge another person by the role they are in at a certain time of life.  Telling someone you should act more like a “daughter”, “mother”, or some other title places restrictions on that person.  It holds that person back from being all they can be and all that God intends for them to be.

As you read today try to reflect your roles and if you are sacrificing yourself for unrealistic expectations.  Think back if you have been in this situation or if you have put someone else in this situation.  Even though we all have different roles in different seasons of our lives, we must remain true to ourselves and flourish to be all God intended us to be!

My Role

I have played the role for years.

Doing what’s expected.

Being the good girl.

The good girl who does what society wants.


No matter the hurt caused on the inside.

No matter the pain hidden.

No matter the damage left.

I always played the good girl.


So the one time I no longer play the good girl.

The one time when I release all the pain.

I am seen as selfish and cold.

I am seen as not being a Christian.


This time I’m looked upon as the bitch.

The girl who chose to speak the truth,

Is then seen as the pitied one filled with rage.

Rage brought about by her own choices.


I just can not keep it all inside anymore.

I never set out to hurt anyone.

I never wanted to separate anyone from anyone else.

I just feared my heart would explode and my mind would go crazy.

If I did not speak the truths.


So do I remain the bottled up Christian?

Am I the good girl of the world because I do not come forth?

Do I pass the days remaining silent in order to make others happy?

Or am I me?        


Or do I live the true me?

Free to breath deeply with my heart relieved.

Free to know my soul said the right things.

Free to rest in knowing I was truthful in protecting myself.


Consequences of my choice are difficult.

But do I save myself or do I throw myself into the world?

To be tied down and beaten by fakeness,

Or to be squashed by my own religion?


My choice was difficult.

I knew the consequences would not be positive.

But we do what is necessary to survive mentally.

That is the only way we can save our soul and our mind from oneself.


I become weary of being the good girl.

 Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

As your roles change, never let the light of yourself die out.  You must feed the light to be stronger than any title.  There are many people in this world that hold many titles, but no one holds who you are!  You are unique, different, and special!  No matter your title wear yourself freely and proudly for God in this world!  So sometimes you got to just light up the world!!














Years of Cleansing

years of cleansing

I seriously started last year this time cleaning out my mom and dad’s home.  My sweet mom, Em, passed away 5 years ago after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  My dad had to make the decision to live with us due to health issues.  Now for some reason, I just could not do this task for over 5 years.  I just did not want my dad to feel another loss, that of his home, so closely associated with the loss of Em.  I tell myself that, but also I just could not let go of my home.  My security.  The ones that had always been there for me.  The place I could always go for comfort.  After living with us for a while, my dad came to the realization that our home was his home now, and it was now ok to clean out and sale.  You will see this was not just the cleansing of a house, but it became the cleansing of my soul.

The task was overwhelming.  I am an only child, and my husband is also, so there really were no relatives to rely on for help.  And the one or two cousins I am very close to were dealing with their own lives.  Our children, the grandchildren, were also busy living everyday lives.  But last January it was evident the time had come.  The cleansing had to happen.

Cleansing is a difficult task and especially in this case.  You touch everything and have a memory associated with what happened, where, when, and who it happened with.  It is painful, especially when you have seen your parents work so very hard to maintain a home and household.  They were both children of the depression, and having anything was seen as a luxury.  But on the other hand, cleansing also allows you to laugh, cry, sigh, and be angry.  I will never forget the day I started in the dining room.  I held a piece of my mom’s crystal in my hand, sat down, and cried as hard as I did the day she died.  Being a depression child, this piece of crystal meant so much to Em.  It stood for security, stability, having food, being warm at all times, and having a roof over her head at all times to call a home.  This was truly rich.  It was used to celebrate birthdays, Easter, Christmas, and even a great summer night meal!  It was just an object, but it came with deep memories and associations.  They had so little being the children of tenant farmers and laborers, they truly knew what it meant to be poor.  They had spent their life providing all possible so that I would never want for anything.  They did not want me to go through what they had gone through.

Cleansing allows you to cleanse your emotions.  It allows your soul to let go.  It helps you to see clearly where life has been and what life means.  Especially when there has been loss.  I really feel every year needs to be a cleansing year.  Maybe not just physical things, but emotionally.  We need to see ourselves and the life we are living.  Where we have come from and where we intend to go.  We need to cleanse ourselves of unnecessary goals, unproductive paths, and people that drain our lives.  So, this time of the year is perfect for the cleansing of your soul.  Not for setting unrealistic physical goals, but for examining the true life you want to live.  But to do this we sometimes have to clean the slate and just start over with the jewels we have.  We finally got the house completely emptied—and it is at that moment when the cleansing had occurred that one realizes what a true home is—-all the souls that have been there, what they did, and what they contributed to your life.  We have some of the tokens to reboot those joyous and exciting experiences, but mentally the love is so deep one could never lose it and no one could take it away.  The cleansing of the soul is the same.  Afterwards, what you have left is truly yours, and what you need to remember becomes very clear.  Please read and reflect if there are any areas of your life that need cleansing today!

Years of Cleansing

The slightest color or object itself brings memories to the surface.

Whether these bring happiness or sadness.


The big brown bean pot holds my crayons you would hide for me.

The bright yellow pottery vase was the same color as the daffodils you would pick for my birthday.


The frosted fruit lighting the crystal bowl which always made the room glow.

Your choice of a special place in the room so the fruit illuminated the darkness.


The cross stitch picture with the Irish blessing and gypsy couple dancing hung proudly in the kitchen.

The motto of our family and the first piece of cross stitch you taught me to make.


The rich green pottery flower pot providing the growth for red and pink amaryllis.

They adorned the spots next to the gas heater to warm the rooms in winter.


The maple bookcase with sliding doors that exposed the precious books and writings within.

You placed this right next to the big couch and chair where I would always find a place to read.


The English man and woman with their shiny glaze and aristocratic appearance guarded the spindle table.

They stood stately as if they were in a palace or castle.


The tiny ballerinas so tall and straight toed.

Held the lights that signified celebration and another year of growth.


The shiny ornaments sprinkled with glitter and beads.

All signify the brightness of a season!


The quilt, now worn and rugged, bears the names of family.

Its softness warmed us in the winter and tucked us in for a good night sleep.


The yellow plastic corn holders push into the ends of the corn.

When these came out we knew it was summer and time of sweet fresh corn.


The Aladdin oil lamp stood tall on the hearth.

Positioned and ready at any moment to spread light during a storm.


The wooden carved clock, stately in its place, kept us up on the time.

Its chime set by the maker in the “30s reminded us where we were.


Some see these things simply as objects.

But for some the year of cleansing is the year of being.


The objects represent good places, times, and people.

All of which one does not want to forget.


Cleansing releases fear,

Yet retains memories of love.


Although painful and hurtful,

Cleaning brings joy, laughter, and tears.


It shows one where they came from.

And it sends one where they should go.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

I know many of you have experienced exactly what I described today.  I know unfortunately, some of you will have to go through this in the future.  I pray you can use this as a growing experience.  I hope you can cleanse your heart as well as your life where ever you are on the journey today.  You do not have to suffer a loss to cleanse your life.  Most of all I pray for peace in this process.  Now, get those rags and cleaners (spiritual words and journals) and get to cleaning!  Happy New Year!