Back to the beginning . . .

Oy vey… I have decided to become a blogger! It has taken me quite a while to take this first step. Why? Intimidation. I grew up in a world where writing meant putting pen or pencil to paper, writing a few rough drafts, typing it and correcting the old fashioned way. Do any of you remember how we did that? With a typing eraser and fudging to wriggle in a missed letter. I remember how ecstatic we typists were with “white out,” at least until we started working with it and discovered how messy it was, and how fast the bottle dried out, which was far faster than that which was applied to paper….That never dried and then it would gook up the typewriter keys. When home computers became ubiquitous, our children taught us how to use the things. They, my children, grew up with computers. I don’t think a one of them ever used a typewriter. When the kids were in the early elementary grades I returned to school to get my masters. I was so proud of myself because I was able to write my papers (many papers of great lenth!) on a Brother’s Word Processor! A huge step above the typewriter. I don’t know what ever happened to that processor. That went by the wayside years ago. Now I’ve been on the computer for many years. But this is my first attempt at blogging. So why start now? Actually, I decided to become a blogger for very selfish reasons. I’ve been unemployed for almost a full year (ugh) and the boredom has become tedious and obnoxious. My brain is going to mush with FarmVille and Farm Town being the most stimulating activity of my days…day in and day out. At one time I was a very good writer. One of the things I plan to do with this space is to revisit/rewrite some of my old sermons. This will also be a place to write “new” stuff. I need to keep my brain and creative juices flowing. One thing I’m learning in the few minutes of setting this page up is that I will have to learn a whole new language: tags, Post Tags, trackbacks and pingbacks, shortlink. What does “blog” mean, anyway? At any rate, I have a lot to learn and I look forward to the process.

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I wrote the above blog entry on November 12, 2009. It is now five years and a few days later and wow, is my life different! Reading the above entry sparked a flood of memories about the reasons I first began blogging. My expectation (hope? prayer? wish? last ditch effort???) was that this creative exercise would break the log-jam in my thinking that was keeping me stuck, unemployed, and depressed. I wasn’t sure where blogging would lead me, or if it would lead me anywhere. But writing was something I enjoyed, and this “new” way of communicating sounded intriguing. At worst, blogging was a way of mass communicating with my immediate family and close friends.

Another motive for charging into the blogging world was the fact that many of the places I applied to for work required recent writing samples. While I had numerous writing samples, none were recent. Blogging would not only allow me to hone my dormant writing skills, but would provide “recent” and ongoing samples that might help secure gainful employment. All I had to do was add a link on my resume. Or if requested, I could print out a blog entry that would fit the job in question and send it along with my application.

Within days of the first entry, as I was learning how to set up my “site,” and while still learning the jargon of the trade, I felt alive, creative, excited, and most importantly, hopeful about my future and endless possibilities awaiting exploration. My husband always believed in me but this new endeavor excited him, too. Creative juices were flowing and ideas were percolating!

In no time I found myself methodically evaluating my strengths and weaknesses, my interests and dreams for the future. I began to think proactively about how I envisioned living in my later years. Being proactive required taking a hard look at what I had to do to make that dream a reality. This exercise in combining dreaming and hard-core reality testing evolved into the notion that I could turn my strengths and passion into a career that would support me/us through the remainder of our years on this earth: counseling.

To make a long story short, I wrote my first blog on November 12, 2009, and began my first course in graduate school (second masters) the first week of July, 2010. In addition to beginning graduate school, I rediscovered a hobby that had fallen by the wayside during the years of raising kids and doing other life things. As academic writing superseded blogging, photography added another dimension for social communication and made my blogs more interesting for an increasing number of “blogging buddies”.

I completed my studies at Capella University on December 15, 2013, was conferred a masters degree on December 31, 2013, was called in for a job interview on January 3, 2014, and was offered a position as psychotherapist with Ohio Guidestone on January 7, 2014. And then on May 5, 2014 I was granted an Ohio license as a Professional Counselor. I am now working toward licensure as a Professional Clinical Counselor at which time I will be able to hang out my own shingle.

I often tell my clients that it only takes a small change to render profound results. Five years ago I was depressed, bored, and “unemployable” . . . or so I thought. Then I created a blog that I never expected to be read by more than a few family members and maybe a friend or two. Today my life is vibrant, happy, filled with hope . . . and yes, more dreams and reality testing for the next stage in my journey.

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2014, may you be blessed with a dream, the gumption to make the small change(s) that will open doors to realizing your dream, and the will to embrace hope and possibility.

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Homesick

Wow! Another quarter in grad school is behind me as I continue on toward graduation and eventual licensure as a professional clinical counselor. I’ve been at this for what seems like an eternity now. Fortunately the end is within sight. With this mini-break in studies, I decided to take a few minutes to pop into WordPress and take a quick look around before charging into my day–cleaning house (which does not happen when I’m in the thick of coursework), some “away” time with my incredible, supportive and loving husband, and starting a novel! (reading that is; no academic stuff for three glorious weeks)–but as I scrolled through my WP reader list, I suddenly felt homesick for blogging buddies that brought so much pleasure in the past. I miss you all. I miss blogging. I also know that this “away” time is for a season only. This is my “going away to college” time. The learning is phenomenal, and friendships are being forged many of which will last a lifetime. But today, I’m homesick for the friends I’ve made here. Your photographs are phenomenal, as always; your writing is heartfelt, personal, uplifting, humorous, sad, and real; your willingness to share your selves with others is humbling. I am blessed with so much, and you all are part of those blessings. Thank you.

Until I once again get a chance to pop in and say “hi y’all,” I’ll leave you a photo and send good thoughts and energy your way. Some day, sooner than you think, I will rejoin you on this road of self-discovery, artistic expression, and forging friendships that span the globe. Enjoy!

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Time for a Break . . .

Yes, I am to that time once again when I will have to step away from the blogging. You may have noticed that I don’t get around to your blogs like I used to. Soon I will start my practicum and fieldwork and time will be at a premium. I love blogging. I miss visiting your blogs. But priorities prevail and for the next year I will be tied up doing what I’ve prepared to do for years now. Last week marked by third anniversary of blogging. I began this venture as an effort to maintain my sanity while looking for work. Through writing and photography, hobbies that I let slip away years ago, I was able to redefine the trajectory of my life. And I am still walking down that road and loving it. This blog has evolved from writing about anything that popped into my mind to showcasing my photography when academia began to sap my writing energy. I don’t want to let “Inspired Vision” slip away into oblivion, so I will leave a word, a photo, or whatever, as time allows. Once I complete my studies I hope to come back to this page, or possibly create a new, improved site that reflects where I am at that time. At any rate, enjoy your days and count your blessings. I’ll see you when I can.

R*E*A*L*I*T*Y Blog Award

Thanks to scrapydo for this nomination. Click on the badge to be whisked away to scrapydo.wordpress.com’s beautiful blog!

As with all awards, there are a few questions we are asked to answer by way of sharing a little more of who we are. So, without further fanfare, here we go:

If you could change something what would you change?

That we all become more compassionate, accepting of differences, caring and kind; that no child (or adult) should go hungry or cold; that ‘wonder’ at the awesomeness of life never cease. . . (I’m sure there is more, but this is a good start!)

If you could relive one day, when would it be?

I don’t know about ‘reliving’ one day, but I would sure like one more day with special people I have lost: my brother, my grandparents, Miss Mary, Aunt Florence . . . Some have been gone for a very long time, some, not so long. But each of them were special and I love them still. Just a chat would be nice.

What’s one thing that really scares you?

Reckless drivers scare the hell out of me! (This was scrapydo’s answer but it fit, so I left it in. 🙂 )

What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

One dream is becoming a licensed clinical counselor, and I am on my way with that one. . . 2/3 of the way through school. Another dream is to sell photographs. I think that is doable, but can’t really concentrate on that aspect of my life now. It will have to wait till after graduation. Hopefully I will then be able to apply more energy and time into improving my photography and sell a few here and there. 🙂 All of this is doable, AND I’m working on making these dreams a reality.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

Oh my! I’ve lived long enough now to know that everyone has his or her problems, whether we see them or not, and I’m not sure I want to take someone else’s persona or their problems for even one day. SO, I’ll just stay who I am and continue to be as authentic a ‘me’ as I can be. 🙂

Nominations for this award:

This is the part of the award I always dread, so much so that I usually write some sweet piece about how all bloggers deserve this award, so I bestow it on all my blogging friends. Copout? Most definitely. This time I’m taking a bit of a different approach. I mean it when I say that all bloggers who spend time and energy baring their souls, sharing their thoughts, exposing their talents are deserving of these awards. This time however, I decided to highlight two blogs that have invited bloggers to interact with each other more by providing wonderful challenges for us to participate in each week. I don’t always join in due to course demands (school comes first) but I appreciate how their weekly challenges serve to build community. So, I pass this award on to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Jake’s Weekly Sunday Post. Head on over to their blogs and check them out. If you click on the badges below, you will be whisked through the blogosphere to their respective sites. Enjoy the trip! 😉

Thanks, scrapydo, for honoring me with this award. Much appreciated. 🙂 Thanks, too, to Cee and Jake for their contributions to the blogging community. I hope the rest of you will pay them a visit if you haven’t already.

Blessings to you all, and if you are an US citizen, please remember to VOTE in tomorrow’s elections.

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you to Doris for bestowing this beautiful blogging award on my blog. There were no ‘rules’ passed along regarding accepting the award. To be honest, it is nice to be recognized without strings attached, so I thank you Doris for your thoughtfulness. Due to the fact that I am back in school now and my time is limited, I am not going to “choose” who deserves an award such as this. So if you are a reader of this blog, feel free to take this award for your page. All of you are deserving! Blessings to you and may today be filled with contentment and gratitude.

A New Day!

Birds are chirping outside my window and the sun rays brighten the landscape of our back yard. Bees buzz around the rose-bush, and the tiger lilies that grow along the side of the garage are in full bloom. A breeze ruffles the leaves of the Oak tree that grows along the back or our property. A mother rabbit, followed by her bunny, hop across the yard quickly going from the pile of brush behind the garage to the shelter under our deck. Squirrels have already made their morning run to the bird feeder, and now many species of birds are joyfully enjoying the feast and playing in the makeshift birdbaths. A chipmunk scurries across the deck and I feel lighthearted as I quietly observe the morning activities in our back yard. Finally I have completed ten grueling weeks of study and am free to enjoy this new day unencumbered. What joy. I have missed blogging, really blogging. I have missed visiting your blogs. Thank you to those of you who continued to pop in now and then to see how I was doing. For those who haven’t stopped by, I am anxious to renew old acquaintances. Hopefully future quarters will not take as severe a toll on my husband and me as this one has. But I don’t need to worry about that now because for three weeks I am free. 🙂

After a little R & R, I have so much to share with you. And I look forward to getting caught up with y’all and what you have done and are blogging about, too. Have a great day and I will be seeing you around. 😉

WORDPRESS, READ THIS BLOG!

Dear friends and occasional readers,

I just want you to know that I have been stopping by your blogs and often leave comments. I realize however, that you would never know that because my comments just disappear. I don’t know why this is happening. I’ve sent emails to WP Support, to no avail. You might check your ‘spam’ folder to see if my comments end up there, but for now, I don’t know what happens. Like I said, I just want you to know that I have been reading your wonderful postings . . . at least for now.

I’m heading off to study (I’m back in school), so my absence will be real for a while, but until now I have been to see you. Maybe WP will see this (or maybe not) and possibly something will be done to correct the situation (possibly). At any rate, thank you for stopping by, and sometime maybe I’ll once again be afforded the opportunity to comment on your wonderful blogs. Who knows?

Sincerely,

Cecelia Futch

WordPress Please Help Me!!!!

Well, after all the changes I’ve made with this blog in an effort to make your reading more pleasurable and less stressful, new problems have arisen. I have written a detailed message to the support team and am waiting to hear back. This is frustrating to say the least. I have been blogging since November, 2009 and this is the first ongoing problem I have experienced. Hopefully WP will be able to help me clear up the issues and I will be back to tip-top running condition soon.

Having said that, there are several things going on in my life that are exciting and good, but will also create a time crunch. After some thought, I think that now is a good time to take a hiatus from “Inspired Vision.” My classes opened today, and I am enrolled in two demanding courses, one of which is absolutely mind-boggling as I look through the expectations outlined in the syllabus. The other “thing” going on in our lives is that we expect to close on a house–a bungalow–this coming week. We purposely chose a small house, but it is sweet. 🙂 This means that in addition to course work, we will be moving again, albeit only 10 minutes up the road.

Another “having said that,” I may post an occasional blog, time permitting, because I enjoy blogging so much. The school quarter ends June 15, so that is probably about how long I’m going to be barely present or gone. Instead of blogging here, I hope to post one or two blogs a week at the Perpetual Gratitude: A Photographic Diary blog. There I simply post a photo and a short blurb about something for which I am grateful. But even that is secondary to coursework. I’ll just have to see how it goes.  In the meantime, hopefully WP will be able to help me iron out my blogging issues!

Tonight is the first night of Passover, a time when we celebrate our freedom. This happens to also be Easter weekend for many of you. So to one and all, have a safe, meaningful and joyous holiday.

Here’s a Bit of Sunshine!

My goal here is to spread a little sunshine with my blogs. I try to share the things that inspire me with anyone who is interested or in need of a bit of an uplift. So it was quite humbling to receive this latest nod from Mama’s Empty Nest. I encourage you to check out her blog if you haven’t already. I enjoy her take on life, especially since I’m an “empty nester” myself.
As for the award, here are the rules:
  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.  Check.  See the logo, it even looks happy, doesn’t it?
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself. Check. Q & A  below!
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.  Because the myriad of fabulous bloggers  out there, I refer you instead to my blogroll at the bottom of his page.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated. (I simply can’t comply here. Please forgive me for falling down on this part of the ‘rules.” But, sometimes rules are made to be broken.)
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.  Check.  ‘Mama,” thank you so much for this thoughtful gesture.

Ten Sunshine Award Questions along with my answers:

Favorite color:  This is difficult because I like color so much! Probably warm reds and yellows.

Favorite animal:  Definitely cats.

Favorite number:  I’m not sure how one has a favorite number. Just pulling one out of the hat, I say seven. Tomorrow that may be different.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee, closely followed by green tea.

Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Not really into Twitter so I’ll have to go with Facebook

My passion:   Oy….so many! All things family, nature, healing and health (spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.)

Prefer getting or giving presents: Both! I know it sounds ‘non-committal’ but the cycle of giving and receiving makes for healthy living.

Favorite pattern:  This one I can’t even guess. Not even a wild guess. Although I do like patterns.

Favorite day of the week:  From sundown on Friday till Sundown on Saturday — the sabbath!

Favorite flower:  Definitely roses — all colors, makes no difference, but I am definitely a rose person!

 

So there you have it. If you want to give this a shot, please feel free to take that badge and post to your own site (pass a little sunshine) and answer the questions. I wish you all a wonderful, bright sunshiny day!

Very humbling, indeed . . .

I wish to thank mellifluousmurmurs and shoma abhyankankar at Astonishing India for passing the Versatile Blogger award my way. It is always nice to get a nod from fellow bloggers, and these two are phenomenal in thier own ways. I do hope that you will take a minute and check out their sites, and even subscribe if you find you like what they have to say. The wonderful thing about this world of blogging is the friends we make from around the world, and if we are willing and open, the things we learn about people and cultures. Thank you both for honoring me with this recognition.

Another award was passed my way via Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. The hug award is passed on to those who offer hope through their blogs. I apologize for taking so long to acknowledge this award, but I am truly grateful for this type of recognition. It is always my hope to inspire and encourage those who read my blogs, so this affirmation that I in some way do that very thing.

I’ve started making it a habit to post the award badges on the footer of my home page. Thank you to all for reading my blogs. I know I’ve slowed down quite a bit, but with reason. I send you all blessings for a geat day and life.

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