Inspirations by Francis Durisseau

As the month of April comes to a close, we can look back at what was – both the good and the bad – or we can look ahead to May and all it might bring. I want to look back on some things but also feel the importance of looking ahead at what might be.
May I remember all the good. May I learn and grow from the things that weren’t so good. May I not let fear enclose me in its powerful grip, so may I have an extra dose of courage please, with an extra portion of dreaming good dreams, and fulfilling my purpose?
May I remember that, even when it feels like everything is going wrong or being stripped from me, I need not harden my heart but instead open it for love and other good things to enter in. May I have a renewal of strength when it feels as if life is beating me down, to rise up once again, infused
not only with power but also with peace.
May I remember that sometimes we have to go through what might seem like the worst, in order to arrive at what could be our very best. May I remember when I feel like throwing up my hands and screaming “I quit!” that, at times, things have to go wrong before they go right.
Goodbye to April, a month of renewal, the onset of spring and change. Hello to May and all that it might bring, to all that we have to encounter, to all that might be awaiting us and which just might enrich our lives in ways unknown to us now. May we approach May with excitement, encouragement and empowerment for all that we might discover during its 31 days!
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Inspirations by Francis Durisseau

Moving is such a process. As you read this today, Sunday, I will be loading, unloading, hefting and basically wearing myself out in the relocation of my “stuff” to another abode. At first, I was very resistant to the fact that, suddenly, I needed to move and take my “stuff” with me. I was very sentimental about where I have been and the prospect of having to let go of my attachment and memories was beyond difficult for me.
Sorting though my late husband’s “stuff” is being forced upon me. I have been resistant in actually doing that for the past couple of years. Now I have to. Going through years of memories is tough but every now and then we all need to go through our “stuff”. We need to evaluate, re-evaluate, sort, toss, donate, clear out and figure some “stuff” out in various ways. No matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, no matter how emotional it leaves us, we need to deal with our “stuff” and sometimes even let go of it or relocate it.
I’ve already cleaned out a lot of “stuff”. There comes a time in life we must do just that. Soon, I will unpack all the important “stuff” that is left in a new place. I’m feeling better about some “stuff” now and am ready for a little less clutter – and a brand new view out of different windows!
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Inspirations by Frances Durriseau

As I sit down to write this article, I am being distracted. There are very loud noises coming from the condo below mine. They have had some flooding and leaks in their kitchen, plus pipes leaking in the ceiling of their bathroom, and they’re having to undergo some major construction. There is clanging, banging, buzzing and knocking and it’s extremely loud.
As usual, the wheels in my brain have started spinning and that can be loud at times too, even though no one else except me could hear it – until you, because I shall now bring it to your attention. Sometimes, before construction in our lives, there has to be destruction, and often not by choice. Something happens in our life that results in some damage and repairs have to take place. Walls have to be taken down. Part of our ceiling needs to be cut out. Flooring has to be replaced because the damage from the top has also affected the foundation.
That’s what’s been happening in my life, from ceiling to floors and everything in between, since losing my husband. There has beena lot of noise inside me. The repairs have been costly in many ways. Yet, with time and dutiful construction, broken things are being fixed, changes are happening and the old things that need repair are starting to take new shape.
I’ve had some help from “construction experts” along the way. I’ve cried when the repairs hurt and things were being ripped from me or were torn asunder. I’ve felt saddened by losing some things that needed to be replaced. But my foundation has remained strong and resilient, although shaky at times.
There was still something behind worth building upon. The clanging, banging, buzzing and knocking of the repairs that were and still are needed isn’t quite as loud inside me as it once was but it still appears – and that’s a good thing. The construction of my life will be a continuing process. I am learning to turn down the volume of the loud noises made by the tools that are needed to complete the work.
I am hoping and believing for a job well done.
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Inspirations by Frances Durisseau

Loss is a word that conjures up many thoughts, scenarios and situations. April 19 is a day that reminds me of many things that are good and brings loss to the forefront of my mind. On this day many years ago, the man who would become my beloved husband took me in his arms, held me and whispered words into my ear that I will never forget, and thus the love story of Michael and Frances began, adding to what was an already wonderful friendship. Until I lost him to God’s final embrace, Michael and I always celebrated that milestone anniversary, even though we didn’t marry for another 20 months.
Loss can be painful, indeed. It can be permanent. But it can remind of us of good things as well. It can change us into stronger, more motivated, people. It can bring about a change in physical addresses, retirement of an old vehicle, the departure of a loved one or a much adored pet and many other things that are sometimes difficult and painful. But it can also mean finding a new purpose, new job, new car, new home, new view, new outlook and other opportunities that we would never discover if there had not been loss in our life.
It is so challenging and painful when the loss is someone we love who is irreplaceable in our lives. But, even in that loss, there is gain, because in surviving loss we grow, we change, we evolve and mature in ways we never knew were possible. Loss can be so very difficult but, on this anniversary, I am still thankful for all the good that has come about in my personal and even professional life. I wouldn’t change a thing.
And I will wrap myself up in the precious memories I hold so dear to my heart and replay those words spoken in my ear so many years ago. Without Michael, those words and even the pain of losing him, I would not have gained all that I now have. Loss is so very difficult. Loss is life-changing. Loss is part of our journey on the road to gain.
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Inspirations by Frances Durisseau’s

I’ve heard it said that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit of extra. When faced with any kind of problem, we can make it our excuse, complain, fret and worry or we can choose to make it part of a greater story.
Extra-ordinary doesn’t always have to be what we would normally think about. Sometimes it’s just the effort to keep going when you feel everything is out of your control. It can be taking a few moments to lift the spirits of another who might be feeling downtrodden or alone. It could be finding the resolve to make a bad situation a little more bearable for self or another.
A little extra-ordinary can be so simple to do. Hardly any extra effort at all can change a person’s thoughts, day or life into something more. We all have something extraordinary residing in our hearts. Do remember that as you go through your day, week, month and life because you are extra-ordinary in so many life-changing extraordinary ways.
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