Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Archive for the category “Giving”

My Untold Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I have a book almost written and it’s been in this condition for years. I have a screenplay almost completed as well. I have been reading Steve Harvey’s Book “JUMP” and I love it. He is so inspiring! He encourages the reader to live their dreams. I am going to begin to write again in earnest. I am going to blog. I am also going to finish my book, “A Mother’s Ring” and get it published! It is inspiring to think of. My whole attitude is more positive because I am writing again. The book was written on this blog. I’ll begin by copying each post, putting it in a word.doc and start editing. Wish me luck!

My plan is to finish the entire process including publishing it in 2017. It is an ambitions undertaking but I will have help. Nina Amir who wrote, “How to Write a Book on a Blog” is an email friend. One of my friends knows a woman busy publishing her own e-books on Amazon. I have begun my research on publishing. I am no longer going to bury my dreams. I am going to live them. I have wanted to write a book since I was a little girl and it’s time.

Next project, dusting off the screenplay!

I’ll keep you all posted!

Love, Libby

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Memories Are The Best Gifts

Christmas Eve Christmas.am.j“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

1-Christmas15.gChristmas Day, 1/2 The Celebration Showing in the Photo!

Christmas is a mystical and spiritual time. There is the mystery of gift giving still mixed in my mind and heart with my youth, my parents, Santa Claus, visiting his Summer Village with my dad. An event which caused me to believe in him until I was at least 10!

Christmas memories blogged about here:

“Mom’s Christmas Tradition” and “Dad’s Christmas Tradition”. Filled with such fun and adventure. A divorce cushioned with such positive memories of family  ~ difficult time made merry by their efforts.

My dad just loves to have fun. He remarked to me after this year’s extravaganza in my sister Suzy’s party room ~ how fun it was to watch the children and grandchildren  What intelligent, sharp people they are. How fun, how happy. Many years of love, many Christmases have contributed to that.

Our faith. Our churches. Our parents. Traditions. Dad and Uncle Dick’s free for all wrestling matches every Christmas Eve. The Merriment. The dedication to children. The laughter. The joy. Eyes twinkling. Bells jangling outside near the roof at dad’s house. The tremendous energy that went into creating occasions and memories for all the kids in our family.

I saw a movie this season. One of the characters told the father in the film something I found profound. “You cannot stop the bad things that happen to your children in life, but you can create good memories for your children.” And that is a Father’s gift to his family.

I believe that is true. And in believing that, I know our family is very rich indeed. Thank you Dad. It’s no wonder your birthday follows so closely after this sacred and mystical time of Christmas. This is a loving and giving time. This time when Earth received Jesus the greatest gift of all.

You are first and foremost a giver. I want to thank you today…12/29/2015 your 86th birthday for all the wonderful memories you created for me, the greatest gifts you have given me. Happy Birthday Dad!

Love you! Lib

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Open House Christmas Week with Son and Grandsons

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Signing off with a fave Christmas Photo of Dad and I

 

 

 

What I Love About Father’s Day!

20140807_094555 (1)What I most love about Father’s Day is our Father God choosing the love of a Father to show us His love for us and sending His very own son to this earth to show us how much He loves us!

Secondly, I have and always will be a daddy’s girl so from the beginning, though I love and loved my mom with all my heart it is also my father’s love I sought. He was my hero, mentor, the one I followed around on Saturday mornings, went for hikes with ~ and on whose every word I dwelt.

Has this served me well in life? After all no father is perfect! Of course! Dad’s don’t have to be perfect to be good people to emulate and want to be like. Father God is the only Father who is perfect and who we should study and want to copy in all things. But Dad’s teach us lessons and show us the way in all aspects of their personalities.

I love my dad’s laugh. His witticisms, his personality, his work ethic, his outlook on life, his twinkle in his eyes, both of them, his stories, oh his stories! I love his way of laughing at himself. Laughing at my quirkyness. Our laughs together. Our conversations. His art of conversation. His tales of his young life, mid-life, yesterday. And of his tales. His writing. His speaking. His love of life. His love of his wife. His love of his children and his adoration of his grand-children. She has a really good heart, he’ll say of his generous wife. He’s a good driver he’ll say of his grandson on his latest job parking cars. You’re a good worker, he’ll say of me on my 102nd job. She’s so capable, he’ll say of my sister who is always on top of the family situations, so good with her children. He’s a worrier like me, but he doesn’t let that stop him from always asking what’s happening and keeping tabs on just what is happening. He cares so much for all his children and grandchildren. He must, but now have found a way to give things to God, or he wouldn’t still be here at 85-1/2!

We’re going for pancakes on Father’s Day. I tried to rally the troops and was unsuccessful. So many families. So many people coming in and out of time. We laughed together about it. He knows he’ll see all his children in and around Father’s Day. He’s not uptight about gathering all the chicks! I love my dad. His laugh. His ready smile. His laid back nature, he’s developed as he’s aged. He’s a wonderful Father. No matter how many Father’s days we have left. I will spend them all with him. My dad. My favorite first best friend. Love you dad!

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Dare to Run!

“Dare to Be”

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

20140812_195236I was trolling through Goodreads.com for great quotes as I often do and found this one Above, which I LOVE on so many levels. It’s how I want to live ~ fearlessly daring to be the best I can ~ following my Lord with confidence ~ my eye on the prize.

Like this verse in the International Standard Version:

Hebrews 12:1-2

We Must Look Off to Jesus

12 Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles[a] us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us, fixing our attention on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of the faith, who, in view of[b] the joy set before him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Bold is mine and I bold the words that show HOW and WHY the race is run! Keep running, don’t give up. Run with endurance the race set ahead of us in life by our God, you may say circumstance, Fix our gaze on Jesus our Lord. Laying aside all things (sin) EVERYTHING that tries to slow us down and RUN the race of our lives for the JOY that is set before us: JESUS the PIONEER and PERFECTER of our Faith! who is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Gee, I should just bold the whole two verses! Because to keep our eye on the prize is to keep our eye on Jesus and where is He leading us? To the right hand of God’s throne where he will be and we will be with Him and worship our God throughout ETERNITY.

Back to Poem by Steve Maraboli. “Dare to Be” is a blueprint for staying on the track in life. Dare to keep trying. Dare to help others. Dare to stay in the race. Dare to be a friend. Dare to do the instinctive things within you, The promptings of the Holy Spirit Dare I say? Letting you know what the right thing for you to do is. Dare to do it and lead a daringly-successful right-on life!

I’ve got a Bible. I’m going to by Maraboli’s book. I want to see if more of it inspires, meshes and gives me hope and a kick in the pants to get going, The Apostles were no slouches. Neither were the early Christians, or Mother Teresa, or my Mom. I’m not going to sit back in fear using my anxiety disorder or bipolar as a convenient excuse to be too passive. I want to fly in my life, I want to run the good race. I want to kick it up a notch. How about you? Are you with me? On our good days and even our bad? Let’s run the race set before us!

Evil’s Destiny

cloud-computing “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have  always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem  invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NIV The Bible:

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

These two passages, one a quote from Ghandi, one a passage from the New Testament, the Word of God, have two strong things in common. Everything turns out all right in the end. Good triumphs over evil. Life over Death. God over evil.

We who believe in the Bible as the Word of God then should not be living without hope no matter how dire the circumstances. Right? And true students of history should all know the end of the story whether they believe the Bible and have read the book of Revelations or not. Like Ghandi they should have observed that good triumphs over evil and rejoice. Obviously! They should be living without bitterness, hatred toward an unfair and unjust universe and be filled with hope.

Why then are so many people living with despair, hopelessness, depression, doubt and disillusionment, then. Where is the gratitude? Where is the optimism? Why all the heartache? Why is everyone so down?

The answer hit me as I was driving home in the dark down the freeway tonight. It’s because of EVIL. Palpable, Out-To-Get-Us, destructive, human-hating, despicable, LYING, wanting-us-down, dead and defeated, anti-God, anti-good, anti-life, joy-sucking evil.

That is the answer!

For many years when I have been seriously depressed one thought that plagued me was the biggest lie of all. I have a life insurance policy that when I die my beneficiaries get a lump sum to settle my affairs. It’s a pretty good policy. I got it when I was young and it’s going to help out should I die before my husband and obviously I will before my dear daughter. Now we have always seemed to struggle financially. So when I have suicidal lying horrid thoughts, the taunting I will hear is, “You know you are worth more dead than alive.” “You don’t even work, your family is better off without you, look at you, you’re a depressed, crying mess, why not end it all?”

What a horrid, evil, hideous lie!

But it wasn’t until today, driving home that I tore that lie to pieces and expunged it from my psyche for good. I was listening to KTIS Christian Music, as I often do, and I started to turn it down because I was praying louder than they were singing. I was suddenly thanking God with deep gratitude for all the wonderful blessings and richness in my life. Everything big and small, well they’re all big. I felt grateful for everything, even the challenges, because I just kept talking to God and using the word gratitude, my heart was getting more and more tender and I was starting to cry, but in a good way.

I started to thank him for making me and for all He had blessed me with. All I could do, write and paint and talk and share with people and pray and love and give and laugh and love my family and my friends and I began to see my worth to him, as a human, and with Him. I began to realize the infinite worth of one human life to God and to the world …so much that God send His son to die for that one life. There are Infinite things one life can accomplish in this world and the next! Then I got really angry at the evil for the LIE. I began to shout at the evil in this world to stay behind me then and always and never trouble my mind again or risk again getting kicked out of my thoughts ~ because it was so ridiculous to compare the worth of one human life to money.

I realized compared to a human life, money was refuse, garbage, worse than nothing, of no value to eternity and of little impact on this earth compared to what a human life can do. And I started to laugh at the silliness of the lie and the ridiculous premise of it. And I laughed and praised and thanked God for a long time, all the way down the almost empty freeway.

Wow! Evil. It is insidious. It had a hold on me. No longer. Not on that subject. What chased it away? Gratitude. A grateful heart put everything in perspective, God back on His throne and me where I belonged: worshiping and praising Him for the many blessings He has brought into my life always.

I’ve had my share of heartache, sure. I have also had double the share of comfort from my God. My Father in Heaven. My Savior Jesus. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Three in one. The Triune God. Always with me. He goes before me. He goes alongside me and as always: has my back. What can evil do unto me? Nadda. Nothing. Can I laugh in its face? Evidently. I just did. Hey, no room for despair. I know how the story ends. Love and blessings, Libby

Generous Souls

Mom's 83 Birthday

Mom’s 83 Birthday

On this page I have pictured the most generous souls I have ever known. The first being my mom. She and my father both were generous. My mom was giving of her time and energy. My father as I got older became busier and less able to give of his time, but he gave unselfishly as much of it as he could. He did however, become a very successful business person and gave tirelessly to his children of his earthly goods, as much and more as he could spare. He met our needs and then some. As he got older and retired, he was able to be very generous of his time again!

Then there is my brother Scott pictured with mom and I. He was always a very generous soul. I don’t mean to focus on the material. But since Scott was very young he was a giver. He would give you the shoes off of his feet and did so to a homeless man when he was living in California. More remarkably, when he was a young teen, he gave his younger cousin his 10 speed bike long before he could drive…when he still needed it. He felt somehow that his cousin needed it more than he did!

Generosity goes against the natural man, our selfishness so deeply ingrained within us.  Jesus was the first and most generous soul ever. All these souls I mention with their selfless generosity are showing the love of God, the love of Christ to others. I pray I will be more like them. More like my savior Jesus to others too. For that is the commandment He left us all with. To love the Lord Our God with all our Heart and Mind and Soul and our neighbor as ourselves.

Scott lives that way. I wish for all of you such wonderful people in your life. Thank you Lord for these blessings in my life and for my whole family of faith and my other brother and sisters. May they be blessed at this reading. My sister-in-laws too. My stepmother who is more like a best friend. Not one unselfish act goes unnoticed by the Lord, even if I fail to mention it in this little blog. Bless them all Lord and thank you dear God for the wonderful network of family and friends you have given me. Bless these Big Hearts, these Generous Souls too Lord and give back to them in joy and love and extra measure! Love them so much! Thank you Lord! AMEN.

And There Were Still Six

Before:

Dad holding Scott, Bill, Mom holding Suzy, Me :)

Dad holding Scott, Bill, Mom holding Suzy, Me 🙂

I ran into a good friend of mine online this morning Veronica De La Cruz of MSNBC news. Her non-profit “And Then There Were Two” is sponsoring a campaign to keep families together called Stand Up Man Up to keep men in the home and families together.

Here is my Facebook picture supporting that campaign:
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Their website is: http://www.andthenthereweretwo.com/wordpress1/ Please check it out!

It affirms single motherhood and talks about the absentee father as the problem in today’s society…which for the most part seems to be true. But not in my family. Oh we have divorce. I divorced when I was very young. I remarried now for 34 years this month to a wonderful man. My two brothers are divorced and they both have shared custody of their youngest children. But they are their father’s sons. My sisters Suzy and Sarah both have long-term marriages to their high school sweethearts!

My parents divorced in 1963. I was 10 years old and the oldest of 4 children. Two girls and two boys. It was hard, but my parents made it easier. My father made some promises to us that he kept. He never moved farther than one suburb away. We saw him on weekends and holidays and took vacations with him and our stepmom, Betty and later on our new sister Sara. He had a big house and had us for sleepovers. He promised my mom alimony and child support for each one of the four of us which he paid until we went to work or graduated college, or got married. Sometimes longer. Never past marriage :). My mom’s alimony was until she remarried. She never did. She has Alzheimer’s now. I don’t know if she realizes it, but 50 years later he is still paying it to her custodial guardian my sister Suzy, who uses it for her care. My father is a man of his word. A man of love. A man of character.

My mom is one classy lady. She refrained from saying bad things about my dad when they split. She turned to her faith. They took care of us as always. They tried their best to keep a united front like parents should.

My parents weren’t good together as a married couple, but they were excellent parents to us. It shows. They have kids with pretty solid self esteem. Well adjusted enough to love each other like crazy and pose together in cowboy gear at my brother Billy’s 50th birthday. We hangout together at parties with both parents. No hard feelings folks. It’s okay. We understand about you being human and not being married. We can deal. Thanks for thinking of us first so very much of the time. And there were still six of us! Actually 7, but Sara wasn’t there that day! Come one move back to Minneapolis, Sara! 🙂 Well eight counting our newer vintage stepmom Patricia! 🙂 Poor Sara’s mom died when she was in her 20’s. We are one BIG happy together blended supportive family. American family.

If you want to encourage families to stay together please sign this petition for the SUMU campaign

http://www.standupmanup.com

Thank you!

After:

Center: Me, L to R Suzy, Mom, Scott, Dad, Bill

Center: Me, L to R Suzy, Mom, Scott, Dad, Bill

What Is Love?

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Romans 12:9-13 New International Version (NIV)

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

That’s what love is to me.

I cannot love that way on my own. I am only truly sincere with the love of Jesus in my heart loving others for me. I can only hate evil with His heart inside me winning out over my fickle heart. I can only love and honor other people above myself, if I have surrendered my will to His and am asking for His strength and the power of His Life and Love to Reign in my life.

So how can we live our lives as this type of love in action? Only with our Lord. Not on our own. That is for sure. Even if we think we are doing good for other people. We may be doing it on our own. God may not have asked us to do it. We may just be winging it on our own strength. Kindness comes from within yes. From Jesus within in us, from our Lord’s kindness, not some fake niceties we have manufactured on our own.

On our own we are not genuine. We are only trying hard. Trying and falling short. This is what I have found. I want to serve others. I want to give. I want to live a life of unfettered giving and hospitality. I must do this as the Lord shows me, not on my own ~ or I will fall short. So each day I must surrender myself to him and ask him to show me the opportunities in each new day.

Opportunities to show love. To serve. Love in action. That was Jesus. That was His life. That can be my life, surrendered to Him. Hear my prayer, Oh Lord, precious Savior.

What is Love? You are Lord. Make me more like you and less like just me, I pray. Help me to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Faithful in prayer. That is a good habit. Joyful in hope. Those are beautiful words come true. Patient in affliction, that is a real tough one! Be my strength dear Lord to make me patient in the hard times. Patient in the bad moments. Patient in waiting for the end of the trials. Believing always in you.

And lastly, help me to share. Share of what you have given me always with others. Share myself, my time, my prayers, my resources with those who are in need…and keep my heart and home wide open to practice hospitality, generosity of spirit. For some I know have entertained angels unawares!

Thanks Lord, for your love. For your wisdom. Your teaching. Your blessing. I surrender all.

Life Is What You Make It

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“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soul mate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I have said it before in other posts that I know Marilyn Monroe was a very wise woman. These words prove it. And they are very much similar to the way I feel about life. It is tragic that her life ended so tragically and a terrific blessing that mine is still going strong at almost 60 years old.

I have been blessed with wonderful sisters and girlfriends I call my sisters because they are so dear, Heather Siebens and Mary Triviski to name two. My sisters Suzy Miller and Sara Zeiss both Baker girls like me are dear and have been since the day they were born. Days I remember well, seeing as they are my younger sisters.

I have not had certainly the string of men in my life that Marilyn had, but I have an ex. He was not the best for me and I have a wonderful soul mate now whose life I cherish and celebrate and thank God for with each passing day.

She had a great attitude about failing. She expected it to happen, as do all great minds, Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” when inventing the light bulb. You just have to pick yourself up to start once more and try again.

She had a zest for life that I feel. I wake up every morning anticipating the surprises the day has in store. For each day is a surprise waiting to happen, a blessing from the Creator waiting to unfold. It is up to us to discover it and live it.

Believe in yourself. I do. I also believe in the One who made me and gave me a purpose on this earth. I believe I am here for a reason. For a plan. To give to others. To share love and life and joy. I live that plan every day. His plan for me. Because He believes in me, I have confidence. Lots of it. For if He who built the Universe has a plan for my life I can flow with it, love, live and fulfill it.

Now there you see a departure from the wisdom of Marilyn and the wisdom of Libby. And maybe the key to why I am here, about to be 60, and the world did seem to swallow her at a much younger age.

Perhaps a strong Faith is the difference. His presence, His Love, His Strength, His Peace and His Power. Ask me about that sometime. I will be glad to elaborate! Love to all….Libby

Don’t Listen To Them: Be Kind Anyway!

Mom's 83 Birthday

Mom’s 83 Birthday

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
― Mother Teresa

This world is getting too tough for me. You try to do someone a good turn and the naysayers are everywhere. People are afraid of kindness. Oh my brother and I didn’t get any flack for taking mom out to lunch for her birthday. We were rather a small party considering she turned 83. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I’m just saying.

People are very busy these days and don’t take the time they used to help each other out it seems to me. This week I did some driving for a friend and the naysayers said, that’s his responsibility, why doesn’t he get a car? Never mind he’s just getting on his feet.

When did we lose our sense of community and helping each other out? What about friendship? What about kindness? What about caring and unselfish giving to our friends?

I feel like I’m on a bit of a rant here and you can take me with a grain of salt if you like, but ask yourself this question, when was the last time you went out of your way to help someone other than yourself or a member of your family? Do you think you should? I don’t mean with money, but with giving of yourself and your time?

I think we have lost this quality in our society. I think we are losing it. I don’t think we are connecting with our needs and helping people where they need help. I think people are afraid to ask because they are sure they’ll be turned down. I know I am sometimes.

We all need people we can count on. We all need fellow human beings we can turn to when we need help. We need someone to pitch in to help us get through the day. Do you have people like that in your life? Are you that person in someone’s life? In a few people’s lives?

I know we can’t all be a Mother Teresa. Be we can be helpful to others in some small way we are asked to be. I know we can. We can answer the call to be kind. If we do this world will change ~ at least our corner of it.

The next time you feel the urge to do a favor for someone else, do yourself a favor and do it! You will reap the benefits of feeling love for that person and feeling loved and appreciated back. You will reap the rewards of kindness. What are they? Happiness, joy, peace, blessing, little things like that!

Kind people have purpose in life. They are giving and receiving the blessing of doing so. Their hearts are expanding not contracting, getting bigger and fuller, and they are increasing their capacity to give of themselves.

Kindness grows, it echoes as the quote below demonstrates. So spread a little kindness with your family and friends and feel your heart grow. Love and blessings! Libby

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
― Mother Teresa

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