AVFM: Spring at Last!

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

Divine love

Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”   How much more eloquently could one express the first breaths of spring?  The pastel palette set on a deep green background, the sounds of birds on their way home, the baby rabbits hopping in and out of the shrubbery, and even a family of geese wandering down the sidewalk as if it were constructed for them—all favorite moments for me, tingling my senses with the newness of another year.

Spring has always been my favorite season.  It gives me an acute sense of wanderlust.  I crave the open road and the thought of new experiences.  I love the feeling that my world has once more come to life.  The fresh sunlight brightens my spirits while it brightens my surroundings.  The moderate temperatures and the sounds of children playing outside once more inspire me to move out of my winter “bear cave” and enjoy!

In that light, my husband and I have purchased a bright yellow Thunderbird convertible in which to cruise and savor our spring.  It has headlights like “McQueen” in “Cars”, and each time I see it, the nostalgia is overwhelming.  This year, my craving for the open road will be sated, even if in small doses—and the earth will feel my bare feet and the winds will play with my hair.  Hallelujah!



Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.

Covenant Relationships- To Be Real

I sat across from him at the table and fidgeted a bit.  He smiled with his disarmingly sheepish grin.  He had asked me to be real with him….to take off the diplomat words, kid gloves and vagaries and point the sword of my thoughts and words directly at him.

I squirmed with the weight of it.  Real words are heavy boots that kick down doors and open us up to vulnerability.  He was my friend and deserved the real, vulnerable, open me.  He deserved to hear that I thought his plan was self-absorbed and full of fear.  He deserved to hear that he had become my brother and I would be sad if he stayed on his current path.  He deserved these words…real ones….but didn’t get them….

Because I was afraid of being real.

He walked away from me that day not knowing – my real thoughts, my real feelings, or, frankly, my real advice- and I have regretted it ever since.

If we are to open ourselves up to covenant relationships, we have to learn to be real.

We all know this, right? We hear words like authenticity and integrity all the time.  But, to live these out takes guts. Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
How right is she?  It’s not easy to check our need for validation at the door of our relationships and be open and honest.  But it is the first skill that needs honing in the quest for covenant relationships.  We need to know how to Be Real.

But how do I do that?  How do I let go of the need to be “just right” and know that who I am right now is “enough?”

It starts simply, with the acceptance of your true identity.

“…you have to keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: ‘These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.” – Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved

When we begin to accept ourselves, our stories, our wounds and brokenness as part of the Beloved child of God each of us is, the courage to be real is cultivated…and the result is absolutely beautiful.

Stay Connected,

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

– Brene Brown