Archive for August, 2012

Too hard, or really, really hard.

A number of years ago when I first started trauma counselling, I was working on being able to be in crowded places again. I started small, with my local shops, then large shopping centres, and I was building up to more unfamiliar and larger crowds.

The airport was a good place to practice. At first it was frightening to go through the security checkpoints with strangers in front and behind me. But I got used to that and needed a bigger challenge. I told Dr Lee that my daughter had asked me to go with her to the rugby game in two weeks time, and he was really excited – much more excited than I was! He thought that would be perfect. I would be attending something that I was passionate about, and the excitement around me would be a positive reenforcement.

When I turned up at my next appointment he asked how the game went and I had to tell him I didn’t go. I said, ‘It was just too hard.’ He held up a hand to stop me talking and said ‘Wait a minute, let me write that down.’ Then I was encouraged to go over the reasons why I didn’t go. I ended by saying that it was just too hard.

‘Let me tell you something,’ he said. ‘When you say that something is too hard, you’re implying it can’t be done. Like flying… no matter how hard you flap your arms when you jump off the roof, you can’t fly because it is physically impossible. That is too hard. When you look at a mountain and say, “it would be too hard to climb”, then you’re saying that it is impossible to climb. But if you say that the mountain would be ‘really, really hard’ to climb, then there is at least the possibility that it can be done.’

It forever changed the way I think. When I am tempted to say or think something is too big, too hard, too far etc, I now ask, ‘Is it really too hard?  Or is it really, really hard?’ There’s a big difference between something that is impossible to do, and something that is hard to do.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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A play on words for you today. I think someone has too much time on their hands… I came across this years ago and don’t know where it came from.

PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER: When you rearrange the letters:  MOON STARER

THE EYES: When you rearrange the letters: THEY SEE 

THE MORSE CODE : When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS
DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM

SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY 

ELECTION RESULTS : When you rearrange the letters: LIES – LET’S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS : When you rearrange the letters: ALAS !  NO MORE  Z’S

A DECIMAL POINT : When you rearrange the letters: I’M A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE

: When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER

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Good Monday Morning to you all :) I came across this saying and picture and thought I’d share it.

I Believe….
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had
And what you’ve learned from them and less to do with  how many
Birthdays you’ve celebrated.

So with that in mind, go out this week and eagerly take note of your experiences, and learn from them – grow in maturity :)


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Have you ever thought how remarkably perceptive children are? They constantly observe, listen, and process what they absorb to the level of their understanding. But sometimes what they observe and understand is a little off the mark.

One of our daughters had just moved out of home and into a place of her own. It was just getting dark when I arrived at her house, and after letting me in, she went and turned on the back outside light, leaving the curtains open. I asked why she did that and she replied,’So that no one can see in.’

I was confused, and quizzed her further. She replied, ‘But you always did that.’ Did I…? I went over my nightly routine, and eventually the ‘light’ went on. My dog was afraid of the dark. So every evening when I put her out for a nature call, I put the back light on, leaving the curtain open at the door so that I could see when she was ready to come back inside. I took my daughter outside and disproved her theory, while I explained why I left my curtain open with the back light on.

Another daughter was busy moving into her first place away from home, and I was helping her settle into her kitchen. She looked around and asked, ‘Where am I going to put my dishes? I don’t have a pantry.’

‘Put them in the cupboards under the benches,’ I suggested.

‘But you never did. All your dishes are in the pantry.’

So I explained that the only reason my dishes were in the pantry, was because I had a back injury and couldn’t bend down to get them out of low cupboards. So a shelf on the pantry at a good hight  meant that I could set the table and put away clean dishes without pain.

Just goes to show that what we do and say can have a powerful influence on those who watch/listen.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012


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I was hugely disappointed last week when I discovered a mistake had been made regarding the size of my picture book.

Somewhere along the line, my wishes for the largest size picture book were not passed along. My cute little picture book really is ‘little’ now. I almost cried when the expectations of this book came crashing down. I felt like the book was doomed to fail.

Who was to blame for this? Ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure every production process knows my wishes, no matter how many times I feel that I am repeating myself. I was reminded of Romans 8:28 which says ‘ And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans.’ (Living Bible)

With that in mind, I could look at it differently. Okay, I’ve got this ‘little’ book now, is it really doomed to fail just because of its size? Of course not. It fits in an A5 envelope, which will be less expensive to post. I can actually fit 10 or more soft covers into the one envelope if I have a request for 10. Which is not out of the question if things go as I hope. I want this book to be used in aid organizations, hospitals, welfare agencies, etc., so having orders of 10 at a time is quite possible. Because the book is smaller, the price will be less, making it more affordable to purchase and to ship overseas. And I’m sure over time, I will find even more reasons to be glad about the size of my little book.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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Good Monday morning to you all :)

I came across the definition of a ‘good friend’ a while back, and it went something like this: A friend gives you a hug, helps, plays with you, etc. I sat back and thought about it for a moment then asked myself if I was a ‘good friend’ to others, and changed the statement into questions. Like…

Do I give hugs? Help? Do I play with my friends? Do I show love towards my friends? Do I go to my friend’s house? Am I always there for my friends? Do I share? Help when my friends are hurt? Give chocolate? Give my friends something they need? Am I nice towards my friends? Do I make a picture for my friends? Do I bully my friends?

So next time I turn up on your door step with a box of chocolates, a picture, a hug, or anything else, I hope will you recognize me as your ‘good friend’.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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The Blind leading the Blind

One evening I was sitting around watching the clock, just waiting till it was time to pick up my daughter from work. Finally I left, even though it was about ten minutes earlier than usual.

About 3 km from home, I slowed, wondering why the cars ahead were all stopping, then changing lanes and tuning. When I arrived on the scene, a car had run into a power pole and live wires snaked across the road. Police were there, directing everyone to turn right.

My heart lurched in fear as I turned the car right. I had no idea where this road would take me. Ahead, I could see the tail lights of three cars. The lead car turned left and I hurried to catch up so that I wouldn’t be left behind. In my rearview mirror, I could see three sets of lights behind me.

I turned left just in time to see the car in front of me turn right – he was still following the person in front of him. By the time I got to that intersection, the car I was following was just turning right again. I put my foot down, afraid of getting left behind in a neighbourhood I didn’t know. By the time I turned, the cars behind were speeding up behind me. Obviously afraid of being left behind too.

Then a left turn, and I arrived in the street to see our lead car sitting in a driveway, the surprised driver standing beside his car looking at this long line of cars now at a standstill stretching around the corner.

I was laughing so hard I could hardly drive. The kind gentleman standing beside his car pointed up the road and we all took off again. This time following a new leader. Eventually we ended up back on the highway, and I was just in time to pick up my daughter.

Makes one think… how many times do we just follow along, not knowing or questioning the credentials of those we are following? Do the people we follow have credibility, integrity, honesty?


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions this week – A high, then a low, then another high :)

High: I received the print ready PDF of ‘It Doesn’t Matter’. It’s the first time I’ve seen all the illustrations and they are gorgeous! Thank you Katie Brooks. I am absolutely thrilled to bits and cannot imagine a better looking book. The first hardback copy is being express posted to me and I should have it in my hot little hand by Friday! So exciting :) Happy, happy, happy.

Low: I have started on the first edits of Operation Alpha Papa, and I am really struggling to accept what they are asking me to do. This is the third edition for Alpha Papa, and I don’t understand why they want it changed so much from what has been a successful book for so many years. But, I will keep going and see if I can feel happier and make it work.

High: Book one of the series, Operation Foxtrot Five has been released in the US. For those interested or curious, here’s the link to the Tate online bookstore.

I get a higher royalty percentage for books sold through their online store. It is also available in B & N, and Amazon (I believe – haven’t checked it out yet).


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Good Monday Morning. I came across this the other day, and I couldn’t have worded it better, so with permission from Dr Dan…

As we run the race of life we all need encouragement and need to give it to others.   Matter of fact, the word comes from a combination of the prefix “en” which means “to put into” and the Latin word “cor” which means heart.   Encouragement is like an arrow that goes straight to one’s heart that has the power to inspire, infuse strength, and help someone who has grown weary in life’s race to continue on with patience and fortitude.   By our words and actions we can “put into the heart” of others that needed strength to help them through those tough stretches of life. We need to be part of that stadium of people who are shouting encouragement to those whose legs have grown weary. As well, if we listen closely we need to recognize and appreciate the many around us who are shouting encouragement to us.

Read the whole story here 

 When I look back over the years, I can see how far I’ve come because of encouragement given by those around me. I also see many people are where they are today because I was one who encouraged them.
Who will you encourage this week? Take note of those who encourage you, and thank them.

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About 33 years ago, only a couple of years into our marriage, I was still cooking a range of things, seeing what my husband liked and didn’t like. It was time to try Chocolate Meringue Pie.

Using my mother’s recipe, I spent the morning whipping up one of my all time favourite desserts. I halved the recipe, knowing it made a large pie that would feed 6 greedy or 8 well-behaved people. Come dinner time, I cut the pie into half, then one of those halves I cut into half again. It was delicious! After much discussion and temptation, we decided to leave the other half for the next day.

The following day, every time I opened the refrigerator door, I saw that pie. Finally I grabbed a knife and cut a small sliver off, and ate it. A bit later I cut another small sliver off and ate it. Next time I opened the refrigerator door, I could see that the pie was obviously not half a pie. Oh dear. Maybe I should just divide the rest of it and eat my share now. So I did that. By early afternoon, I was temped beyond endurance and sliced a tiny sliver off my husbands piece of pie. Next time I open the refrigerator, his piece of little pie sat there so forlorn and miniscule on that pie plate, I decided to just eat it. Then I felt bad. He’d been out working all day and was going to come home and expect chocolate pie after dinner. I couldn’t do that to him.

So for the next hour I was frantically busy, whipping up another chocolate pie. When it was done, I wondered how I would explain it. I shook my head, grabbed a knife, cut the pie in half and put one half on a plate. Over the next hour I ate that half of chocolate pie.

Come dinner time, he was none the wiser. But it was a long time before I made Chocolate Meringue Pie again. What did I learn? 1. It really wasn’t worth it. You know the saying, ‘too much of a good thing…’  2. I’m easily tempted with nice food.  3. When you are aware of your weaknesses you can work on them.

I’m pleased to say that Chocolate Pie is safe in my refrigerator these days.


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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