LOOK WHO IS WATCHING

GOOD MORNING WORLD

It is the afternoon of the 11th of August.  I just want to make this clear that inspiration can come at any time any moment and from unexpected places.

This past few days we have had the joy of having #2 Grandson and his dad visiting.  It is bittersweet for this author as it may be the last time for many months that we see either of them.  Saying good-bye was tricky smiling and waving and wanting to cry and not doing it to keep everyone strong and happy.

On our first day here, we stopped to get some groceries where we saw a homeless man in the median. I mentioned how I was hoping he would be there when we came out and on our side of the road so I could give him some money.  Sadly he was gone when we left.  We saw him once again and before we could get back to his spot again he was gone.

The conversation at different times this last few days has been on homeless people and people who are hurt.  Our grandson asked about the scar on my neck.  I told him I had had surgery to which he responded it really upset him when family had surgeries.  He said he also was upset by homelessness too in the same conversation saying he could watch scary things on TV and they did not upset him as much as those two things.  Interesting conversations.

This morning our son showed us a video of a man giving a sleeping Homeless man $100 bill.  The camera then followed the Homeless man as he went and bought a sleeping bag and a pillow and few sundries at Target.  The Homeless man came back to the bench where the “Giver” of the $100 bill was sitting.  Since the Homeless man was sleeping he had no idea who his benefactor was.  The two men on the bench began talking and the “Giver” shared how his daughter needed medicine and he could not afford to buy it.  The “Giver” was really going on and on as the Homeless man stood holding his bags and listened.  Then the Homeless man asked the “Giver” to watch his back pack for a bit if he was going to be there awhile.  The “Giver” said sure he had no place to go.  The Homeless man returned empty handed and gave the “Giver” a $100 for the medicine for his daughter.  Imagine it.  At this point the man told the Homeless man that he was a videographer posting on the web and that his act of kindness had been recorded.  He said he was going to publish this video and gave the Homeless man $500 for his generosity.  The video ended with the Homeless man in tears and thankful.

My three guys, the boyfriend, the son and #2 Grandson are on their way to the Zoo today.  I am cleaning for an upcoming Open House.  Truth be told Zoos are not a favorite.  I do not go into the Reptile House and a few other places so why go???  The boys will have a ball.

An aside here………Grandson #2 lost a tooth last night and the tooth fairy found him even though he was not in his own bed.  He could not understand that as he thought he had this tooth fairy thing all scoped out.  She left him $2.

As the three guys arrived at the Zoo I got a phone call from our son – a proud father at this point.  He said, “You will not believe what your Grandson did.”  It seems they were stopped at an intersection with all the windows down.  Those three do not believe in air-conditioning like I do!

At this intersection was a homeless woman with a sign.  Before the men in the front knew it Grandson #2 in the back seat handed his tooth fairy money to the lady.  What a special moment for them all.

Lesson – you never know what your children pick up from you.  Live well, Laugh often and Love much! You never know who is watching.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

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REAL ESTATE – NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning I had to go out for an appointment.  On my way back I saw a lady, on this drizzly day, carefully raking the small garden in front of her home.  I am betting it was no more than a foot or maybe 2 by 10 feet.  Her care reminded me of the care “Grampa Smith”, our neighbor in one of our homes gave to his @20 X 40 garden.  As I drove home and thought of these two examples of care, it fit right into my theme that has been running through my mind this last few days.

There is no one size fits all in anything.

The beginning this thought came when I was told to ‘stage’ my house for selling it.  We are downsizing some since there are only two of us living here.  I was offended by some of the advice I was being given.  Having bought and sold over 10 homes in the last couple of decades, I am not new at this buying/selling thing.  The current thought in real estate is to strip your house of any presence of you living there.  De-clutter, unclutter, stage the house – the words that are used to tell you to get out of your home before you sell it.

I hope you noticed the two words used.  The realtors are selling a house.  I am selling a home.  There has to be a happy medium here.

As I thought about the sale of this house – our home – it came to me there is no one size fits all for realtors and staging either.  I thought more about ONE SIZE FITS ALL.  Does It?  I do not think so!

I back this answer up with a couple of current facts – statistics if you will of another product.  If there was a one size fits all philosophy out there we would not have 50 different brands of toothpaste according to Wikipedia.  Two countries seem to be the major manufacturers.  Japan and the US currently have the market.   The Japanese even have a brand called ‘”Etiquette Toothpaste”.  I wonder what it is like.

A great story in the research was “Tom’s of Maine”.  I remember when this brand was started in 1970 and trying to break through to the market.  The Chappell’s, Tom and Kate, were big into natural ingredients and wanted that in their toothpaste.  They began the business with $5000.  They sold it for $100,000,000. to Colgate-Palmolive in 2006 retaining a 16% share.  Congrats to them!

Backing up even more with another product we all use – toilet paper.  I could not find the exact number of brands that are out there.  I did find there are 6 manufacturers and Good Housekeeping has tested 20.  Imagining there are more than 50 brands with worldwide usage.  I did find a website that calls itself “The Encyclopedia of Toilet Paper”.  (1) It claims to have the history of toilet paper from 50BC to the present day.  It has much else including the fun fact that 72% of people first start their roll with the paper coming OVER the roll.  A question that is ageless – right?  Now you have an answer.

If there were a one size fits all we would have only one brand of toothpaste, one brand of toilet paper, one brand of coffee and I could go on.  The fact is we do not.  We have choices.

The question then becomes,  as I return to the premise of this blog about real estate,  “Why would we all want to look at sterile homes devoid of all the warmth that a families existence has brought to the dwelling?”  I would answer that with: “Take them to a model house”.  This house will have no knicks or dings anywhere.  A home on the market has had life in it.

There are many different kind of real estate buyers.  I have purchased houses to live in myself and create a home and I have purchased houses for rental.  I still try to find good bones in a building and obviously want it to be structurally solid with utilities in good working order.  My choices for either depended upon their use.

Decor means nothing to me as I see beyond it to what I can place in the house.  Our most recent purchase was an empty house, painted in a color I do not like and can live with.  It is carpeted throughout the living area and has oak kitchen cabinets.  I have no problem envisioning hardwood floors throughout with a white kitchen.  Anything and everything can be changed if the structure suits you.

Supposedly it is easier to sell a furnished house then an empty one.  Thus builders will put furniture into their model houses to help the buyer see themselves in this building.  While most model houses are lovely they seldom reflect my eclectic way of decorating so I have to look beyond their tastes.

That is my point.  As long as the house is clean, picked up and neat then decor should not matter.  The photographer that came to take the pictures of our home told me that she made her father put away all his reminders of his many travels to sell his house.   I wondered how he enjoyed living in his home from then to sale with no reminders of the joy of his life.  Did it sell his house any quicker?

Since 1990 we have sold 6 homes and 3 rental houses.  The homes were in various stages of furnishings .  Some had furniture others did not. Some were on sale in slack real estate markets, other not.  The favorite was the TN home that sold in 20 days for full price while we were on a business trip in Paris.  We did not stage a thing nor put away personal items.  The home was tastefully decorated and had our familiars throughout it.  We decided if we sell another home we simply have to put it on the market and go to Paris.  Sadly this trip has not yet happened again.

We have friends who are selling their home as well. They were told by their realtor to go through it and make it impersonal, to start packing their belongings and paint the walls a neutral color.  They did all of it as the marketing agents said it would sell better and quicker.  They worked extremely hard.  There were many showings in the beginning.  Their house is on the market still while they are contemplating lowering the price.  I hope they do not as their house is worth the price though the marketing people are now telling them differently.  It is a lovely home and will sell.  They are being told their drawback is that the lot slopes back.  Really – they liked it and bought it!  Someone else will as well.  How is staging going to change the shape of a lot?

Here we are being told to start packing our own things as well.  There are those who might say I am a wee bit stubborn as I refuse to live in a house that is not a home.  I have given in some by taking down most of our family pictures that filled our bookshelves.  I have removed any clutter from our closets.  All the clothes are hung up not on the floor.  We are going through our storage and tossing so those areas will look neater.  We are going through the office and disposing of books.  We close up the roll top desk to hide the real clutter.  In the meantime I am still comfortable here at home as I was in all the homes that sold furnished – there were 5 I believe.  This house will sell when our buyer is ready to buy.

It is my job to keep our home clean.  It is the realtors job to sell the clean home.  They hopefully will be savvy enough not to bring someone here who wants a ranch – we are a 2 story.  Hopefully if a person wants a first floor master they will pass us by as we do not have one.  If they want a completely finished basement they must move to something else as we have a craft room, bathroom, a storage room and a workshop in our basement.  Just as I am keeping up my end hopefully realtors do their homework as well.  Tell me they do not like my deck or do not like our craft room.  Solid comments.   To hear that the decor got in the way says the people did not want this house at all or had no imagination thus decor is an easy excuse.

Blessedly our realtor is understanding and supportive of my position on staging.  She believes she can sell our home furnished or not.  Some of the realtors she had at her open house seemed to agree.  My favorite comment was “Lovely home – I have someone I want to bring by when they are in town.”

I leave you with another thought.  There is no one size fits all being the first.  I believe this with all of my being.  No one size in anything!

The second thought is that your perspective is your reality.  I believe our buyer is coming.  I believe they will be here in God’s time not mine.  Our prayer was that the first person who sees this house buys it.  That prayer was not answered.  Now we are praying the buyer comes soon.  They will in God’s time not ours.  It is our job to take care of this home until they arrive.

A sweet friend of mine who lives with MS said this today as she was headed for a treatment…..

“When you have an eternal perspective, and your eyes are on the prize, the little things that can bring you down don’t seem so bad.”  Wisdom from a 30 year old!  Thanks Jenni. Making this my perspective my reality – I am not in control!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

(1)http://encyclopedia.toiletpaperworld.com/surveys-stories/toilet-paper-statistics

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY HONEST LES

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This is the first Father’s Day without my father on this earth. He graduated to heaven last November.  While I was rarely with him on Father’s Day, thankfully I was last year.  Other years there was always the call and gift though I have to admit the gift might have arrived late.  My timeliness is a joke in my family.

I have ever been a ‘Daddy’s Girl’.  I was proud of my father.  I wanted him to be proud of me.  I wanted to please him.  For much of my life I used his values as being the measurement for all of my choices.  He was a faith filled man who believed in loving his fellow man.  For years he helped out his best friend who had MS.  There was a team of 4 men who would get Don up out of bed and put him back in bed every day and Daddy was part of this.  He was a camp counselor for teens at our church camp and beloved by the letters I have found since he left us.  As I said in the eulogy, Daddy, like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”,  was the richest man in town if you count the love of his family and friends of which he had many.

In the eulogy I gave, I said that Daddy’s legacy would be written by those who knew him.  It would be different for each and every one of them as well.  A friend of mine remembers him as a neighbor and patriot and took the time when he could to stop and visit.  One of the last times Johnny visited he gave Daddy a coin, they are called “Challenge Coins” I believe.  My father was thrilled with this small gift from one serviceman to another.  Another friend will remember him from the golf course and ever being on it.  And another from having him as a boss.  Another from being in a Bible Study with him.  His pastor remembered him for his being well dressed and chiding Pastor Brown about preaching without wearing a tie.

Today I briefly mourn the lack of a father.  I say briefly as my joy of being his child is so much more prevalent in my heart.

Being who I am and loving my father, as the only constant parent (my mother and step-mother both died) I had, I imagined that when he died I would be bereft. I imagined myself keening like women do in other countries as they wail in that high pitch tone.  I imagined that I would go through a dark depression and barely be able to function let alone live a normal life.  Little or none of that has happened.  My mourning the loss of my father’s being has transcended into the joy of being blessed to have been his daughter.  I am amazed at what is going on with me. I am thankful to God.

Do not get me wrong, Daddy was no saint.  I long since have managed many of my own values and measurements. He was still the best father in the world for me and I think my siblings.  If any negative emotion is stirring in my soul it is the jealousy I have for my siblings having had so much more of his time as they were living in town and I have been away since I was 21.  This emotion rarely comes as I chose my life from the foundation that my father helped create.  He led me to believe I could do anything and go anywhere.  I have and I did.

So on this day I honor the man who gave me the best gift I could ever want – him as my father.  He gave me the gift of learning, the gift of gab, the gift of loving our neighbors, the gift of faith, the gift of loving marriage, the gift of family and ultimately the gift of hope.

The last time I spoke with my father was the Wednesday before he left on Sunday to attend the Big Church.  He had called to ask about a scripture. I told him I thought he was not right and then said let me go to the internet.  While we were chatting I checked the web and in fact his thoughts were spot on.  I was not really surprised. I learned something new again.  Our last words were “I Love you Daddy” followed by an “I love you too”.  Does it get any better than that?

Happy Father’s Day Honest Les!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

FORGIVE AND FORGET

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning I have been contemplating these two items.  I even was in a conversation about them.  I maintain that forgiveness  is a choice and must be freely given.  I maintain that if it is, then forgetfulness will come about in time.  That is not to say that the situation will not come up again in our minds.  The choice then becomes how we handle it.  If forgiveness has truly been given then it will be easy to look at the issue and forget about  it and once again forget it.

Perhaps this is too simplistic.  As I do I went to the web.  A plethora of items were on the list.  Books about forgive and forget.  Movies about the subject.  Oprah weighed in on the subject.  Pinterest had a mention as did Wikipedia.  There was even a ‘web md’ article that dealt with the health of these two actions.  There  is a link at the end of this if you care to look into it.

The information in the ‘web md’ article was more about the forgiveness portion of the equation.  It began with:

Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love — a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.

Of course, forgiving is notoriously difficult. “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive,” said C.S. Lewis.

I am certain it is hard to forgive otherwise why would it be a gift?  Is not the forgetting a gift as well?

Do the names Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Samuel, Ephesians, Hebrews mean anything to you? They are all books in the Bible and all of them in one way or another speak to the issue of this thought.  The simplest of all of these is quoted from the NIV Bible and Luke 6:37 says simply “Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

From the above it would not be a stretch to say we would all feel physically better and scripturally upright when we forgive.  I will buy that.  I will also buy that I am human.

The other statement from an essay by Alexander Pope that comes to mind is “To err is human to forgive divine.”  Does this mean that since I am not a divinity that I cannot truly forgive?  Or is it that my humanity lets me forgive leaving me the work of forgetting? OR am I not called to what we say daily in our prayer “…..forgive us our trespasses (debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us (debtors).”

I have no answers.  I often have said “by the Grace of God” as a prayerful comment when I hope I am on the right track.  Perhaps that is how we choose to forgive.  If we are prayerfully living – even trying to live – in the Grace of God then that perhaps is the key? We can forgive with and by the Grace of God?  Pondering this more today.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/forgive-forget

http://www.acts17-11.com/forgive.html

…..AND LASTLY FOR 2014

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I awoke this morning at 5:33AM after a full night’s sleep.  Last I knew it was 11:30PM.  I did not wake in the night.  This may be normal to others – for me not so much!  I awoke with my mind racing from thought to thought.  I tried to calm my brain and relax.  I lay there for the next hour plus meditating thinking reviewing and planning.  It was quite simply unusual that I slept let alone woke with energy of sorts.  Is this how 2014 is going to end?  Unusually?  That will be interesting if nothing else.

Tonight we are going to Raclette for dinner again.  A tradition started last year when my sister gave us the grill for Christmas.  Our guests all enjoyed it and we had such fun.  Three of them were 13 and under and up for anything!  Tonight after raclette we will finish our game of Monopoly and then watch a movie which has yet to be selected.  A quiet evening so not sure what the unusual will be.

Wait a minute – perhaps I will be winning the lottery.  Yesterday playing scrabble with friends on facebook I got three Bingos.  A Bingo in scrabble is when you use all seven of your letters as one word.  I am not the greatest scrabble player and am still on the learning curve.  For me to get one Bingo is unusual.  Three in one day is outrageous.  With that in mind I am going to buy a lottery ticket today!  Maybe a powerball as well.  I am going to encourage my boyfriend to do the same.  His luck has been outrageous too.

For Christmas the grandson in residence this year asked for a Pokemon Monopoly Game.  Of course Grandmama got it though did not opt for the one that was for sale for $149.  Seriously that game sold for $149.  Have no idea what was in it.  We got a lesser priced version.

This game is the same as the original with the exception that the properties have Pokemon related names and the pieces as well are shaped like Pokemon players.  I am currently using Pikachu.  Whoever or whatever  that really is in the game I have no idea.   I normally play as the thimble so the shape is different.  My two favorite spots of Baltic and Mediterranean are now Geodude and Onyx.   Perhaps you know these better than I.  To me they are still Baltic and Mediterranean with brown bands and different names.

I have loved playing Monopoly all my life.  My BFFs and I would play it for hours even if there were only 2 of us.  We used a house rule that any fees or taxes would go into Free Parking and if you land on it you get those funds as a windfall.  Well it seems our kids have stepped this up and the bank ponies up a $500 bill to fund Free Parking each time it is taken.  One could easily make a political comment about the funding of our Nanny state here yet I will refrain for any lengthy diatribes.  I complain about this funding each time we start and play anyway as I said I love to play Monopoly and board games in general actually.

Our first game playing this new version we were 4 around the table.  The Free Parking was funded and off we went.  Free Parking was taken in that game approximately 10 times.  We lost count though all agree it was 9 or 10.  Of those ten times, my boyfriend got it 7 at least.  It was bizarre.  He won the game.  Something he has rarely done.  Even when we played alone together I usually won.

Last night we began game #2.  Free Parking was funded and off we went yet again.  My boyfriend took Free Parking 6 of the 7 times it was won.  Two of those time were consecutive.  Not ever in all my days playing this game have I seen such luck.  The game was put on hold for bedtime for the 10 yr old.  We will finish it tonight and it is anyone’s game actually even though the Free Parking Impresario has over $3000 from winning it so many times.   I suggested my boyfriend buy a lottery ticket also.

To finish up the year a few comments on older posts.  I was the Willow tree.  The contradiction here was that I, as scattered as a Willow tree, am a fanatic about a straight un-mangled tube of toothpaste.  I am not a squeezer.  My tube is straight and clean and the boyfriend mangles!

I also heard from many cat lovers that toilet paper in their households necessarily has to come up from the bottom.  If it comes out from over the top then it is a toy not a necessary bathroom item!  I bow to their wisdom.

Thus ends 2014 and many will say what a year it was.  I make no judgments about that.  I will look back on occasion to this year with smiles and tears.  I will look forward to 2015 with angst and hope for what is to come.

As I was lying in bed this morning in a meditative state of sorts I thought I am thankful for the smiles and tears, the joy and sorrow and look forward ever to what comes tomorrow.

…………as you sing your “Auld Ang Syne” remember it is about  friendship and health and good will and that  I have already wished that for/to you and yours this day…..may 2015 bring you your heart’s desires.  It is promised to us in the book I read in Psalm 37:4.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

GOOD MORNING WORLD

From where did, and when did, the phrase appear?  According to Mr. Webster a consequence is a ‘conclusion derived through logic’.  He also says it ‘happens as a result of a particular action or condition’.  He says it is ‘something produced by a cause following from a set of circumstances’.  This all sounds very deliberate to me.  So the question becomes where is the ‘unintended’ part in all of this?

I remember my chemistry class.  I was not great there.  One quarter I got and E and then a D for the whole course.  It was my junior year in high school and I had other more fun things to attend to I believed.  Luckily I had studied some for 2 quarters at least.  Our teacher, Mr. Furtwengler, kept cautioning us about procedure and safety.  The consequences of our experiments were known.  If we did them correctly we would get the expected results.   In this case I can see where mixing the wrong chemicals could bring about unintended consequences.  The question at this point becomes why would you do that if you know the best way to create a successful lab project?

Back to the phrase above ‘unintended consequences’.  It sounds to me like this comes from a time or place or action or situation that no one pays much attention to such that they are not certain of the results.  Without clear thought and understanding why would one consciously make a decision or choice or choose a direction that would give them unintended results?

Oh I hear you out there the naysayers – what is this aging woman yacking about.  Has she not ever fallen in love?  How do you know the results of that?  Well of course this can be a fair question.  I fell in love many a time when I was in school.  Fun and free and not forever.  At the time I did not care about the consequences.

The part of this discussion that is missing and according to Mr. Webster, is that consequences come from logic, actions and conditions.  In the case of a chemical experiment you know when you mix a with b you will get c.  In the case of love while you may not know the consequences you do know that your actions can influence them.  Looking back 46 years, the spontaneous marriage in November of 1968 of two kids who just met in February of that same year, was not a bad thing.  The consequences while not known were ever influenced by many positive actions in a fertile condition that had us wanting to remain together.  While we had no idea we would be happy, we planned to be, worked toward that and the resulting good life has been intended through our actions.

All of this prefaces the real point of my post this morning.  We got a call to pray for again for a child who spoke about suicide.  I’ve written about this before.

I am not a stranger to despair.  I know the depths to which our detachment and isolation can lead us.  I know the hole that death can leave on our personhood.  I know the destruction that can come from all of these.  I know the black.  I know the silent.  I know the sensation of screaming with no sound coming out of your mouth.  I know the rage that wants to rend apart everything in its path.  I know the edgy, the jittery, the cold of your body when it is hot outside.  I have heard the raging sounds of water in your head when no such thing exists outside of it. I know the begging to God for something to change only to hear little response.  The emptiness.   How do I know all of these?  Does it matter?

Unintended consequences?  This sweet young child is in a mental hospital.  What is the life situation that brought this thought? Did they think that was going to happen when the words were expressed. Or were they simply just said with no thought?

I have no answers.  I have not lived a perfect life.  I am figuratively, since the dawning of age and arthritis, on my knees daily in prayer.  I am a stream of consciousness pray-er.  As I said I woke up with this request in my mind and heart.  I prayed last night when we got the call.  I will keep this child in my heart, as I move about the day, along with all the other people for whom I have committed to pray.

Unintended consequences – what are they really.  Perhaps it is simply living life not knowing all the answers.  If in fact that is it, then we all must expect them and are they really unintended?  For every action we take there will be a consequence.  I know that when I pray I will not necessarily know the answer.  What I will know is that I have spent some time in the quiet of my heart thinking of someone or something else in hope that the prayer is answered as they want.

…..and there it is…..hope.  Even in my darkest times and the tragedies that have come into my life, in the end  I have not ever lost hope.  The spark of hope may have been covered in dust and in the shadows yet there it glowed every so steadily.  The proverbially one candle in the room that overcomes the darkness.

How can I pass this on to this child who wanted to end their life?  How can I let him know that there is nothing – I mean NOTHING – in this world that cannot be forgiven and overcome.  I might come in different ways to different people yet the consequence of hope is simply a ray of light to lead you out of the shadow in which you find yourself at the time.  How can I let him know that life IS worth living? I can’t.

I can only write and share my musings.  I can dare hope that someone who reads this may find something for which they can share with others.  I can pray that people think before they make choices that effect others.  With hope comes choice.  I will continue to pray for this family.  If you read this additional prayers are invited.   The consequences of all of this?  People praying for others.  Doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Perhaps the best words for hope and consequences were spoken through the pen of A.A.Milne when he had Christopher Robin tell Winnie the Pooh…..

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

 

 

 

 

SHALL WE DANCE?

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This week has been fraught with prayer for people who are ill.

On Tuesday we got an email from out of the blue about  friend that we had last seen on April 27th.  Dick looked good and full of humor and working as always at our ministry we share with he and his wife.  The email on Tuesday the 6th said:

“We are humbly asking for your prayers for Dick, he will be having a triple bypass surgery tomorrow, May 7th at about noon.  This was unexpected, as he wasn’t having any chest pain but had been feeling tired and was out of breath some times.  The doctor sent him for a stress test and the test where they put dye in his veins, about a month ago and the results were inconclusive so yesterday he had a cardiac catheterization and they found 3 major blockages.  The doctor tells us his heart muscle is strong and has not been damaged so they feel very positive about the results.  He is currently in the hospital and will be until about 5 days after his surgery.  I know in the end it is up to the Lord and he will answer all our prayers.”

The surgery went well despite finding a fourth blockage.  Prayers for Dick for an easy recovery.

Another  friend of ours, who also works with us in ministry, flew to Tennessee to be with her sister as the sister’s husband is fighting to come back from an April 28th surgery to insert a heart pump as he awaits a heart transplant.  The poor man has had two additional surgeries as he had blood clots.  To date he is off the vent and this morning the post said:

“Morning update: he had a good night–breathing is good. Creatin level up this morning–watching that. Goal today is to sit up on mobile bed chair. I got a happy to see you, when prompted, this morning. They will probably give him blood this morning. Hasn’t needed bipap since yesterday–leaving it up to nurse–May need after getting him up. Baby steps in this dance.”

It has been almost two weeks.  Prayers for Charley that today is the beginning of the uphill direction.

This last post said “baby steps in this dance”.  I immediately knew what needed to be shared on this facebook post.  I went to google to find it for sharing.  I found it and many other interesting bits when I put in the words ‘Dance With God”.  I have the google link below.  I was surprised to see the author is unknown.  I printed this out years ago and it sits atop my desk where I can read it every day so I not ever forget who is in control.

Sometimes a blog writes itself as the words pour out of my head and or heart.  Today the post is shared as I believe these words are important.

SHALL WE DANCE???

DANCE WITH GOD

Author unknown

When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of the word.  I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.  When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.  The movement doesn’t flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.  When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.  It’s as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE.

When I saw “G,” I thought of God, followed by “u” and “i.” “God, “u” and “i” dance.  God, you, and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you on this day and everyday. May you abide in God as God abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting God to lead and to guide you through each season of your life. This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. If God has done anything for you in your life, please share this message with someone else, for prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards; so let’s continue to pray for one another.

AND I HOPE YOU DANCE

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

https://www.google.com/#q=Dancing+with+God

R E S P E C T

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Much was made of the current resident of the White House making a mistake when he tried to repeat the Aretha Franklin song after a concert earlier this month. (1) I am not so sure he did flub it as I thought he did say the ‘e’ before the ‘s’ and not going to argue the point nor is this a political post. I save those for the Corner Soapbox.

What this is about is kids and respect. I had the opportunity yesterday while visiting with my 97 year old aunt and her daughter, my cousin, to speak about some of my very little cousins. We were sharing how we have such wonderfully well-behaved little ones in our family. These particular children are full of respect and it is refreshing with what is happening in the world as a whole. Or perhaps to be more to the point what we see through the media of our world. I am convinced that most children in our world are respectful yet we see the worst on TV. Smart mouthed and disrespectful to all.

This topic brings me a bit further as I contemplate the issue of respect. I saw the following on facebook – posted by our own son. He is correct had he not shown respect to his elders he would STILL be grounded.

If I had spoken to my parents the way some children do now,

I wouldn’t be here to share this status.

Some children need to learn the meaning of respect.

Share this if you agree.

When does respect end? The answer of course is NEVER. We are to, according to the book I read, “Honor our Father and Mother” and “Love One Another” and “Do unto others as you would have done to you”.   Perhaps that last is the most important and what is being instilled into the well-behaved in our world. That was surely drummed into me. I was not to be mean to my friends as I did not want them to be mean to me.

I suppose you could look at that as self-centered yet I believe it is other-centered as you are putting goodness out into the world without a thought of the return. The general belief would be that if you put out good that the same would return. What if it doesn’t? For me I do not worry or care as I know I have done my part. I have sown seeds of kindness and will reap goodness. Those who sow seeds of bitterness or uncaring or thoughtlessness will also reap a harvest and I am thinking it might be a harvest of bitter fruit.

As I watched my cousin care for my aunt and I helped in getting her to the car as well, I am pleased and happy. These feelings come from a couple of places. One of course that my aunt is still here and going strong at 97. The second is grateful that I can be a part of her life in helping ever so minutely as well as enjoying her company.

Same for my parents. I am blessed that my dad is here at 92 and that my mother (the third one and blessed Dad chooses great women) is here too and I enjoy their company. They are quite independent and find it hard to accept help though we are all ready to do whatever they want. Being 12 hrs away and unable to make daily visits, like my brother and the two of my three sisters (one is also a couple hours away) who live on the island, I try to call at least once a week. I delight when I can show my love for them through some act of service to be of help in some way.

Most recently I introduced them to my new favorite of crock-pot meals. I brought up a small crock-pot for our cottage which turned out to be just the right size for them. Immediately it was decided we would trade and I got their bigger crock-pot for the cottage and they kept the smaller one. Great fun and a good trade all around it seems.

The delight for me is more than a simple trade of crock-pots. The joy was mine by being able to offer something to make life easier for them.  It made me happy.  I love and respect my parents so much that I believe that I am called as their child to remember them daily in some way or another.  That may be only in my prayers some days!  Along with calls and gifts at Christmas and birthdays (which of course are always sent ), I send the occasional ‘just because’ gift of a movie or a book. These things are done out of love and respect and leave me with feelings of happiness. Being other-centered and giving and doing for them leaves me very satisfied and maybe that is selfish! There is perhaps also the hope that one day my children may love and respect me enough to show me the same kindnesses.

I think I was taught and shown RESPECT at an early age though my parents. I believe I am trying to live a life of respect and love through my choice to live an other-centered life. Why do I live this way? Perhaps the odd thing is that giving to others brings much back to me in happiness. So the question again is am I truly other-centered or in giving and loving the happiness I receive am I being self-centered? Food for thought!!!

So how about you – a question of the day – do you put others before yourself or put yourself first? Realizing of course that there are times, as the airlines tell us when we fly that we need to hook ourselves up first to oxygen, when we have to go first. As a general rule do you enjoy doing for others? Do you care for babies, teens or parents? Other-centered? Self-centered? Questions of the ages. I think I have written about this more than once as well!!! Still pondering it seems…………….

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-botches-spelling-of-respect-while-lauding-aretha-franklin/

WORDS AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Lives of quiet desperation.  These were the words I first heard in my brain this morning and I had no idea why.  The book I read before sleep was about redemption.  Perhaps the low ebb of the life of that soul is what was in my mind?

Deep blue harbor.  Sheets frozen on the line.  Attitude of Gratitude.  These were the words that followed in my morning quiet.  Seemingly much more of a positive frame of reference.  Simple words filled with pictures and meanings and how important.

I remember taking poetry in school.  When in grade school our teachers would have an appropriate poem on the board for each season.  Last week on the first day of spring there would have been words about that.  Later in high school we got into the sonnets and iambic pentameter and simple rhyme.  It was later in college that we went deeper into the specific types of poetry such as romantic, blank verse, free verse, ballads, allegory and more.  Haiku was the one that entertained me.  The use of words in such a way that in their simplicity they create a picture. Perhaps I liked it as it was short! (1)

Poetic Form: Haiku

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.

Haiku began in thirteenth-century Japan as the opening phrase of renga, an oral poem, generally 100 stanzas long, which was also composed syllabically. The much shorter haiku broke away from renga in the sixteenth-century, and was mastered a century later by Matsuo Basho, who wrote this classic haiku:

An old pond!

A frog jumps in–

the sound of water.

Among the greatest traditional haiku poets are Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, and Masaoka Shiki. Modern poets interested in the form include Robert Hass, Paul Muldoon, and Anselm Hollo, whose poem “5 & 7 & 5” includes the following stanza:

round lumps of cells grow

up to love porridge   later

become The Supremes

Haiku was traditionally written in the present tense and focused on associations between images. There was a pause at the end of the first or second line, and a “season word,” or kigo, specified the time of year.

As the form has evolved, many of these rules–including the 5/7/5 practice–have been routinely broken. However, the philosophy of haiku has been preserved: the focus on a brief moment in time; a use of provocative, colorful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination.

This philosophy influenced poet Ezra Pound, who noted the power of haiku’s brevity and juxtaposed images. He wrote, “The image itself is speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language.” The influence of haiku on Pound is most evident in his poem “In a Station of the Metro,” which began as a thirty-line poem, but was eventually pared down to two:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

My effort at college had been graphic.  I attended a school near a paper mill.  If you have ever smelled a paper mill the following may create a picture.

“We here

at Gorham think

you stink S.D.Warren.”

The image it was to bring about was of people holding their noses.  Evidently the teacher appreciated it as I passed!

I think that is what I got this morning first thing with those first three words.  The picture was of someone living a life that the world sees as good and yet the person inside is desperate for a change or attention.   As I said the book I was reading was about a man who made a choice to change his life.  He did not change it through moving or schooling or anything physical.  He change his mind and how he looked at the world.  He chose to find the good and not focus on the bad.

The next words were from my own actions and show me that no matter where we are emotionally that we have the choice.  We are in charge of what we think and how we behave.  We can change our way of looking at the world.  Our world and what is going on around us may not change.  The only thing that changes is how we see and live in our surroundings.

We can continue to look at the world through lenses that are fogged with anger and pain.  We can allow ourselves to be downtrodden by our circumstances.  We can see no positive in our daily living.  We can berate and rail against the heavens that this is not fair.  The question that quickly comes to mind is what picture does that portray.  What would that Haiku look like? Would it read,

“Life in quiet desperation,

my feet stuck much like a statue,

clouds above my head.”?

Do you see a cartoon picture of a person with their feet stuck in cement and a word cloud above them?

How about the Haiku reading,

“Life of quiet desperation,

grabbing a different mind (set) train

wind at my back.”

Does this bring about a cartoon of a person hanging on to a train as it whizzes away?

My effort at Haiku perhaps failing, the choice really is ours.  We can stay stuck and never look for any good in what we perceive is our life.  Or we can choose to move our mind beyond our surroundings and see the goodness.

A further example may be the hanging on of winter.  It is officially spring and in parts of our world, the one that I am sitting in right now, there is still snow.  More storms are predicted.  Many are very upset that this weather pattern will not move to sun and spring.

Me, I come looking for the snow.  I like winter.  I do not complain about the cold.  I may comment on it though do not complain.  I am so vocal in summer about not liking the heat that I do not believe I can have it both ways by complaining about the cold.

If I am not really enjoying a cold day I will look to find the goodness of the day.   I change my mind-set on purpose.  Last week there was this one day when I felt a real chill. I had a fire in the woodstove.  Instead of concentrating on the chill, I changed what I was doing, sat by the fire, read a book and enjoyed the time.  I changed my mind to find goodness and not focus on the cold.   Not saying it is easy.  Saying it is really worthwhile.  Making this choice to find the goodness blesses me with a happier life.  I am working very hard to accentuate the positive and have an attitude of gratitude daily.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

(1)http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5782

REVIEW – ASH WEDNESDAY AND TEA

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I was all excited to begin my Lenten season once I happened upon the idea of quiet time with a cup of tea and reflection.  When the time was over, I had consumed one cup from the two cup pot and I was in tears.  I am not so sure this is the result for which I was reaching. 

In the meantime it seems I may not be ready to spend time alone in contemplation.  The book I had taken with me to peruse for inspiration is “One Thousand Gifts”.  I bought it along with the DVD and workbook to take the 5 week course over Lent.  See I was planning ahead.  I even bought a CD of the Rosary thinking I might do that daily.  The thing I have shown myself on day one of Lent is that I am certainly a planner – follow through is totally lacking.  Can feelings of failure be far behind?

The book ‘1000 Gifts’ is a great read so far.  Challenging.  I did not really get into that as I was stuck on tea.  Teas that I had given participated in and missed. I remembered my great Aunt’s Tea House that she ran in the summers.  I remember going there with my mother.  The tea house is long gone.  My mother is as well.   Those teas are no more.

I was lost in thought of all the “First Day of School Teas”  I had for our children as they tumbled in from the bus filled with stories of who their teacher was and who was in their class and the latest from the playground.   Those are no more.

After supper in the evenings when the kids were little my husband and I would have a cup of tea and talk.  The kids were told there was an imaginary circle around the table and they could not come in until we were done.  This was a time to catch up and slow down from the day and transition to the next chores of bath, stories and bed.  Those are no more

In my reflection I was sitting in a kitchen not far from the shore with a cup of tea on an old metal table with a gray and yellow top.  The table that years ago on TV they would advertise for sale by showing you that you could light a fire on and it would not harm it!  Many a cup of tea I had there with Auntie and we shared stories and intimate details of our lives I am betting she shared with no other.   We laughed and cried and visited.   She’s now gone.  Those are no more.

I was thinking of the many teas we had on Fridays.  That ‘tea’ usually had an alcohol content on the package on those days.  We used to call it tea as many of those gathered were teachers and we could ask if we saw them at school would we see them for tea on Friday?  Laughter that led to suppers that led to Trivial Pursuit to end the work week with fun.   The numbers could have been 2 or 4 or even up towards a dozen adults and kids.   Those are no more.

I have to admit all this led me to wonder what Jesus was thinking on His first day in the wilderness.  He knew the end of his journey.

As I sat with my cup of tea and tried to focus on my 1000 gifts I was being distracted by tea thoughts.  I was reminded of tea and popovers that another of my dad’s sisters took us to in the summers on occasion.  Those are still available and I can go on my own in the summers when I am in Maine!  

And there it is…HOPE.  I was reminded that my word of the year is HOPE.  I heard it from many places in January so assumed I was to adopt it for the next twelve months.  I am not so sure my Lent has gotten off to a great start.  My penance for this day seems to be mourning what is gone.  I can only HOPE that it goes up hill from here.

I am still going to try “tea thoughts” each afternoon.  I have decided that for Lent this year, along with observing the no meat Fridays, it would be simpler to write what I am grateful for each day at the end of the day in a journal as I had done a few years ago.  Finding something of which to be grateful for may be enough challenge in and of itself some days.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

PAUL HARVEY IN HIS OWN WORDS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I am a stickler for correctness in my own words and deeds.  Others can choose what they want.  Our children are very familiar with ‘the look’ that says ‘elbows off the table’ or some such eye to corrective behavior.

I was taught a long time ago that the world belongs to the Devil.  Calm down Dear Readers.  That is not necessarily a statement of fact.  There are many writings that uphold this.  I am not going to get into a religious debate here.  Suffice it to say the Bible has a few things to say about this.

The first Gospel refers to Christ going out into the desert and being tempted by the Devil.  The Devil  says he will give him the ‘kingdoms of the world and their glory’.  How could he give away something he did not own? is a question that comes to mind.  In the last gospel Christ says in John 18:36 “My Kingdom is not of this world.”  Lastly in 1 John 5:19 it says” … the whole world is under the control of the evil one”.   You make up your own mind.  For me I am counting on the grace of God and Jesus love.

Let us move on, to get to the point of this blog, that the world does belong to the Devil.  Our job as Christians is to choose to live God’s path for our lives.  This is what I believe Paul Harvey did.  He was born in 1918 and worked as a radio broadcaster and died in 2009.  I encourage you to look him up. Part of his obituary from Wikipedia sums him up nicely.

The New York Times obituary says:

[He] “personalized the radio news with his right-wing opinions, but laced them with his own trademarks: a hypnotic timbre, extended pauses for effect, heart-warming tales of average Americans and folksy observations that evoked the heartland, family values and the old-fashioned plain talk one heard around the dinner table on Sunday.

“‘Hello, Americans,’ he barked. ‘This is Paul Harvey! Stand byyy for Newwws!’

“He railed against welfare cheats and defended the death penalty. He worried about the national debt, big government, bureaucrats who lacked common sense, permissive parents, leftist radicals and America succumbing to moral decay. He championed rugged individualism, love of God and country, and the fundamental decency of ordinary people.”[4]

I used to love to catch him on the radio and hear what he had to say.  It was usually inspirational and certainly informative.  I was reminded this morning  of a broadcast he did in 1964.  When you read this you will be amazed especially if you are younger.  Many gems have come and gone and it is good to recall, stop and listen and maybe even heed sometimes.

It was called, “If I were the Devil”.  Since it has been mangled some since its delivery I also have included the link to a you tube of him speaking it.  I encourage you to link and listen to him speak as you follow along with the words.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3Az0okaHig

If I were the Devil by Paul Harvey

If I were the prince of darkness, I would want to engulf the whole world in darkness.

I’d have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — thee.

So, I would set about however necessary to take over the United States.

I’d subvert the churches first, and I would begin with a campaign of whispers.

With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.”

To the young, I would whisper that the Bible is a myth. I would convince the children that man created God instead of the other way around. I’d confide that what’s bad is good and what’s good is square.

And the old, I would teach to pray after me, “Our Father, which are in Washington …”

Then, I’d get organized, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting.

I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil, I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves and nations at war with themselves until each, in its turn, was consumed.

And with promises of higher ratings, I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames.

If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellect but neglect to discipline emotions. I’d tell teachers to let those students run will. And before you knew it, you’d have drug-sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

With a decade, I’d have prisons overflowing and judges promoting pornography. Soon, I would evict God from the courthouse and the schoolhouse and them from the houses of Congress.

In his own churches, I would substitute psychology for religion and deify science. I’d lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls and church money.

If I were the devil I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil, I’d take from those who have and give to those who wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. 

What’ll you bet I couldn’t get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich?

I would caution against extremes in hard work, in patriotism, in moral conduct.

I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun and that what you see on television is the way to be. 

And thus, I could undress you in public and lure you into bed with diseases for which there are no cures.

In other words, if I were the devil, I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.

ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…
http://reluctant-messenger.com/Lost-Doctrines-Christianity007.htm

http://www.netbiblestudy.net/denominations/

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0201.html

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04764a.htm

THREE – AS IN CHRISTMAS

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I had hoped to post more this month and hope and action simply did not meet – at least for blogging.  I managed to get my Christmas shopping done.  The packages got mailed and our sock project was once again completed this year.  Look at it – three things.  It hit me late last night as I was preparing the third of a real surprise for this Christmas how many things come in threes.

The surprise that arrived last night and completed three surprises for the season cannot be discussed until tomorrow as it is being handled as a gift.  It was the kindest most generous gift and the best thing is the giver has no idea what a gift he gave.  The other two surprises were ornaments.  They are doing double duty as they are combined with a third ornament I had no idea I would receive.  Again the story of three.

The first of the three ornaments arrived and brought me to tears.  It was in a small package and wrapped in a plain brown paper bag folded.  The outside said to share with another sibling next year.  I had no idea what was in it and since it was not sealed I believed the intent was that I open it right away.  I did.  All of a sudden tears welled up and spilled out of my eyes.  I could not believe what was in my hands.  It was a Rudolph ornament.  At this point the reader is saying -‘ yes, so what it is Christmas so what is the big deal?’ 

The ornament in my hands was over 50-60 years old.  It was THE Rudolph from my childhood tree.  I S__1540remembered the note to share it next year and thought what a wonderful thing my younger sister had started.  Tears rolled down my eyes as I shared the story of how the two of us would argue every Christmas as to whose turn it was to put Rudolph on the tree.   When I left home I bought a Rudolph for my own tree.  It never was as cute as this one.  Though our youngest grandson asked when told the story, “Where are his spots?” and left unimpressed.

This morning I was reminded in a conversation with the same sister that as children we did not buy new ornaments.  What were on the tree each year were carefully packed away.   I had not even thought of it until now really.  We rarely if ever got a new ornament for our tree as kids.  For our children I bought a new ornament every year and when they married I packed them up and gave them to them for their trees.  Interesting memory and the packing away carefully as a kid must be why I save boxes and rebox every ornament every year.  Painstaking yet I remember the glass ball that would break on occasion and how sad Mumma was at those times.

S__1540 (1)The second of the three ornaments was from our #2 daughter.  She remembered that we sing “Happy Birthday” every Christmas morning to baby Jesus and then put him in the manger and celebrate His birthday by opening our gifts.  The ornament is a Hallmark Cupcake that says ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ on it and when you push the button it plays the song.  Tears again of course and joy.  When we had early Christmas on Saturday morning the grandson in residence put the baby in the manger as the cupcake played.  A real addition to our Christmas.

The third ornament was opened this morning.  In the same conversation with my sister she asked if I liked the ornament.  I said I did not know it was under the tree.  She told me the words ‘open before Dec 25th’ were on it.  So as we were chatting I went to the tree and retrieved it and opened it to find Linus beside Charlie Browns Christmas Tree.  When you push the button he speaks the piece that he does in the TV show.  S__9541

“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

It is wonderful.

So the gift of three this Christmas – The Three Ornaments.  Christmas ornaments 2013The Three Wiseman.  The Father, SON and Holy Spirit and for us three beautiful Grandchildren who we will see over the course of this holiday season.  We are blessed.

As we celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior who brought hope and light to the world let us all share the hope and light and love in our hearts.  See Three again…..threes in your life?

May God Bless you Everyone.  From our home to yours, Merry Christmas 2013.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…Christmas tree 2013

 

 

 

THE LISTS AND LATER

GOOD MORNING WORLD

The list at this time of year is ever long.  Plus there are many different lists.  There’s a Christmas card list, shopping list, gifts list, decorating list, party list and each of you can fill in the blanks for the lists you have in your hands.  Baking is on my list as well.  The fruitcakes are done and rumming up so that only leaves the cookies to bake.  I am waiting to see if a little helper might be found around the 20th!

How many times have you gone over your list and said “I’ll leave that for later.”  When is later?  Does it ever come?  When does later become now?

It came to me this morning, on a cold snowy one, that later is hard to find.

“Mom can I talk to you?” “Later.”

“Dad can we play catch?” “Later.”

“Will you please call me”” “Later.”

“Can I get that recipe?” “Later.”

“Will you send me that_______?” “Later.”

“Can we play a game?” “Later.”

I think you get the picture.

We need to remove later from our vocabulary.  The word serves no purpose.  It takes no action.  It simply delays a response.  It puts off purpose.  I can clean that later.  I can vac later.  I can iron later.  I can give you a hug later.  I can call you later.  I can play later.  I can _________ later.  Later does not come.

When was the last time someone said it is later I am going to do my chores.  It is later and I am going to write that letter, send that email, make that call, give that forgiveness, send that loving note?  Later never arrives as when we are doing those things it is the now.  Why do we even have the word later?

The word later exists so that we can put off something we do not want to do right now.  We cast aside as we are too busy?   Too disinterested?  Too into our own activities?   I do not want to deal with you right now so I will tell you later.   I do not want you to interfere in my life so I will ask you to call or visit later.  Later can be too late if it does not become now.

Saving for a rainy day also enters into this concept of later.  I am the first to say that preparedness is very important.  We need to save.  We need to prepare.  The question of later in this instance is how many of us are saving for later and not living now?

Last night I heard a voice filled with tears sharing the news of the illness of a dear friend.  This sweet girl was told not to visit now and to wait till later.  My response to her was later may be too late and she needs to go now.  Last week several of my friends lost family members and had family who were ill.  I prayed for them all right then not later.  All of these of course were the inspiration to write today.

I wrote a few posts back about no man being an island.  Same concept only more personal.  Do not wait till later to do what you want to do.  Do not wait till later to share your life.  Do not put off that visit.  Do not put off that phone call.  Do not make a list and not work at it.  Do not live a life of good intentions without action.  Do not wait to forgive an injustice.  Do not wait to tell someone you love them.  Do not take time to play that game.  Do not wait till later.

Later never comes.  Now is ever present.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

THANKFUL THURSDAY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

As I have often said for me Thursday is ‘maids day off’.  It goes back to my childhood when my small resort hometown would bustle as all the maids from the homes of the summer people came to do their shopping.

As an adult the day I would go out for lunch or visit seemed to be a Thursday as well.  Though there was one group I met with regularly that did meet on a Wednesday.  It was a ‘playdate’ (before the word was invented)for my children also.   Thursday was then just another work day!  Today it is another work day as I took yesterday off to help a special dear person.

This morning I awoke with a new look on life.  Yesterday our phone rang at 7:10AM with a plea for help if I could give it.  I was off and did not return to our home until 5PM.  The day was spent helping another and for that I am thankful.  This thankfulness is three-fold.  I am thankful that I was asked, thankful that I had the time to go help and thankful that it was easily solved for that day.

I also awoke this morning feeling refreshed and ready to start anew and face whatever this day held for me.  I am expecting nothing out of the ordinary.  My plan simply is to go back to yesterday and attack the list I had waiting on my desk and ignored as I flew out the door to be of help to someone else.  This thought led me to the inevitable wondering of why I was feeling what I was feeling.  Do others spend their lives with introspection?

When I got up I dressed in a new bright yellow shirt I had ordered and a pair of old black pants.  I felt very comfortable in my own skin.  This feeling is not common for me.  I thought that I struck just the right cord in my clothing.  I found the style that suited me and would work for my mood.  I could do a whole post on styles and how I envy those who know just the right clothes to wear and how envious I am of their sense of style.  Then I stopped and thought that perhaps this all went to my sense of well being today and my thankfulness.  I quickly did an internal audit.

Yesterday, while I would have gone to help regardless,  it was easy for me to leave as I was caught up with my to do list.  Is that part of my feeling of thankfulness and well being today?  My to do list will never be completed all at once I have come to realize.  The fact that I am current is a big deal.  I have no jobs pending that have deadlines.  I have much to complete and the pressure is non-existent.  Where do I get pressure?  Who pressures me?  What deadlines?  I am at home and describe my job as ‘domestic goddess’, ‘domestic engineer’ or’ homemaker’ depending on the day.  Today I am feeling capable and energized.   Doing for others has that effect.  The audit continued with the ultimate question.  Why?

Why? …..and there it is… backwards YHW……Your Holy Will.  “Do unto others as I would do unto you” are words that popped into my head.  The Golden Rule?  Yesterday I did for others and today our loving Lord is allowing me to have a good day from the start.   I am feeling good!  I am feeling empowered!  I am thinking that I can accomplish much today.  I am also thinking that if I do not get my list all done that will be okay.  I am also enjoying a sense of well being as I found my style.  I am eclectic.  I have said that all along.  Today I am embracing it.  Today I am wearing it for others to see.  The bright yellow shirt is plastered with black splashes of paint.  Very not me and I love it!!!

The Thankful Thursday recipe is to go out and help someone else it will give you the energy to enjoy your own life.  Not think you are better off than others rather to be thankful that you can help others.  Helping others gets us out of our own self interests or self pity.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

I love the journey I have had these last two days.  I thoroughly enjoy my eyes opening to pull me away from my self-interests.  I am energized!  Could it be the shirt?  (Only could find the purple picture for my kids to see! Mine is bumblebee yellow! and I look nothing like this model!)   slubbed topThink not.  Think it is the thankfulness I am enjoying this Thursday.

Every morning the last thing we pray together in our bed is “Thank you for this day.”  This Thursday I am embracing it, singing it and living it in all that I do today.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

OCS TRAINING

GOOD MORNING WORLD

This morning I am grateful for my life.  Last night I attended two lectures and a game night.  It was a wild time here at OCS.  The lectures could be determined by many to be from opposite strata of life yet they worked beautifully together for me.

The first was about Feng Shui.  Okay I can see all your eyes rolling right now.  Oh my she has stepped into the new age mindset and is lost to any reasonable facsimile of reality.  Feng Shui is really ‘out there’- wherever there is for you.

Feng Shui is in short form is the harmonizing of us with our surroundings.  The Chinese made it an art.  Many today poo poo it as new age and thus ridiculous in its essence.  I on the other hand choose to have an open mind until I can make up my own decision about if it works or not.  I know for myself that there are areas in my home that I really enjoy and usually sit in them and experience peace and tranquility.  The Chinese said we can do this in a structured way so that all around you elicits these warm comfortable feelings all the time.  Who would not want comfort in their home?  I certainly do.  I was fascinated by this talk and am afraid I may have to move our bed when I get home for maximum comfort.  I will measure for certainty as I am certain of two things – the bed is large and I will receive resistance!  Hopefully once I clearly can see the room and measure all will remain calm.  Which is the goal.

The next lecture was entitled ‘Practicing the Power of Gratitude’.  Now I have been trying to live a more positive life for a long time.  I try to focus on the good and not the bad.  Pollyanna comes to mind and while I may not be exactly that I know some of my blogs have come across with the tone of the ‘happy happy joy joy’ of the cartoon.

The lecturer was Jerry Posner and a man I have not ever met.  He was warm and funny and welcoming and I was grateful for his delivery and message.  It is simple – live in Gratitude.  Be grateful for all you have.  During the lecture he mentioned red lights in traffic.  Long have my children plagued me as I say “Thank you Lord’ when I hit a green light and really needed it.  They said ‘God does not care about green lights.’  My contention is that God cares about me so that if I need a green light and He can help then he does!!!  I live in the world that I am only in control of what is before me at the minute and that God controls all else.

After the wonderful day I had here at OCS with my massage and dinner and friendship and the first evening lecture I was indeed grateful and believed I had my priorities in order.  When Mr. Posner asked if we ever wrote how grateful we were for someone I raised my hand.  I was surprised when he called on me and I shared that every day I tell my husband what I see in him for which I am grateful.  Mr. Posner asked me how long I had been doing that.  I answered, “For 25 years.”  At that point he stopped and looked and said, “Please tell the people that we have never met and that you are not my shill.”  Easy answer I was not.  I was not being boastful.  I was simply at one with myself and my world and grateful to share.

The evening ended with a game of Bingo that I have not ever played except with our grandchildren.  I won a prize!  I was very surprised.  Evidently my reactions showed that.  Someone in the audience said casually, ‘she looks like she never won anything before.   Someone else asked the question as I was going up to turn in my card, ‘Have you ever won anything?”  My immediate response was “Only my husband.”  I heard murmurs of ‘how sweet’, ‘isn’t that nice’ and the like.  For me it was a spontaneous response from a woman who at that time was feeling very grounded in my being.  The prize was a delight as it was the Canyon Ranch Cookbook that I was planning to buy before I left.

I continually wage war with myself and my insecurities as to how much I deserve in life.  Did I do this correctly? Am I living up to this measurement or guideline, do I deserve a day off or buying this dress which I probably will not wear much?  How can I spend this when we are saving for that?  Why come here and why not go back to college for more learning?  Have I been good enough?  Have I given enough, served enough, forgiven enough?  While there is a great little story out in the cyber world about the word enough, it does not answer my thoughts this day.

Last night I was feeling so aligned in my soul – God, My Husband, My Family, My friends and all was well.  Why do we allow ourselves to let  our personal wars derail our energies from what is right?

Well, Dear Readers, that is our humanity I believe.  That is why prayer is my ‘go to’ for worry and stress.  That keeps me grounded and centered.  Now I can add harmony and gratitude to my ‘go to’ bag.  It all works together when we keep our focus on our higher power and for me that is God who had a son Jesus who blessedly runs* with me every day.  My job is to remember to go visit Him at least weekly at His house!!!

By the way – OCS is a term our son has coined – Overly Comfortable Spa!!!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

*http://www.amazon.com/Are-You-Running-With-Jesus/dp/1561012750

TRIVIA OF THE DAY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

I am not certain that I have heard of this before and yet there is that little niggle of a maybe in there that I heard it and forgot it.  Regardless I love trivia and this seems to be an important piece to pass on.  It came across my email this morning from a supporter of my blog.  Thanks Tom.

In an effort to assure that even snopes was not wrong I found some other sources to support the information.  It really is a powerful piece of information I believe.  I wish more had been made of it at the time.  I do remember well the astronauts reading Scripture at Christmas as the were in space.

I will let the rest Speak for itself.

———————————————————————–

What was the first liquid and food consumed on the moon?

http://www.snopes.com/glurge/communion.asp

I presume that most of us were unaware of this story.  I didn’t ‘t know this, but it ‘s awesome!

43 years ago…guess what happened.. many have not heard of this before:

Communion on the Moon: July 20, 1969   (This is an article by Eric Metaxas)

Forty-three years ago two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon.

But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps

even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. “I ‘m talking about the fact that

Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.

And a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting him myself.  I asked him about it and he confirmed the story to me,

and I wrote about in my book , Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask).

The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life,

and knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history, he felt he should mark the occasion somehow,

and he asked his minister to help him. And so the minister consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine.

And Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth ‘s orbit and on to the surface of the moon.

He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement:

“This is the LM pilot. I ‘d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be,

to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home,

he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion. Here is his own account of what happened:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine.

I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup.

Then I read the scripture,

‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit ..Apart from me you can do nothing. ‘

“I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute

[they] had requested that I not do this.

NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading

from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly.

“I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility.

It was interesting for me to think the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”

And of course, it ‘s interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ,

who made the Earth and the moon – and Who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the “Love that moves the Sun and other stars.”

How many of you knew this? Too bad this type news doesn’t ‘t travel as fast as the bad does

. .. . share it if you’ve felt God ‘s love.

———————————————————————-

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/a/aldrin-communion.htm#.UdrJD_m1Fw4

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/sep/13/buzz-aldrin-communion-moon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzz_Aldrin

http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/12854-why-nasa-covered-up-buzz-aldrins-communion-observance-on-moon

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

GOOD MORNING WORLD20071018_declaration

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
 He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
 William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
 George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

ENOUGH SAID!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

HUMBLING AND THANK YOU

GOOD MORNING (late) WORLD

I am very late posting today.  We had to speak at a different church today at 8AM and 12 noon.  It is a fun thing to do and today I looked at it as my birthday tithe.  A tithe is 10% of time, talent and treasure.  Today I gave 10% of my day to the Lord and met some really nice people along the way.

God gave me a gift by having one of my favorite songs sung.  The fourth verse gets me every single time.  The song I have posted about before.  It is called “The Summons”.  It is about God calling us to follow Him.  It is not without strings as He is calling us to give all to Him in trust.  The fourth verse also convicts me every single time as it calls me to do the hardest of all things – be open with who I really am!!!

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

I cannot usually get through the singing without tears. There is a link below for the lyrics and it can also be found on youtube to listen to it.

We returned from church (and getting some groceries for my birthday dinner) to missed birthday calls and facebook wishes added to all the gifts I have received and cards that adorn our mantle.  I celebrate my birthday each year with joy and gladness feeling very blessed I have made it through another 365 days.

Today I am in awe of all of you and your outpouring of love for me.  It is wonderful to hear and read the expressions of that caring.   At dinner tonight when we say our grace I will express thanksgiving for this day and my family and friends.  It leaves me  feeling humbled! Thank you and God Bless you all!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

http://www.spiritandsong.com/compositions/30338

TWO-FOR DAY

GOOD MORNING WORLD

Today is a two for the price of one day.  It is a rainy day and a Monday.  I love these days.  Today not so much and I am disturbed as to why.

Upon examination I do remember I had a horrid dream last night.  Not a screaming nightmare simply a horrid dream which left me uncomfortable and fearful as to what the day would bring.  Obviously the dream means nothing yet so many times I believe God speaks to me in my dreams.  Well I did not like the message last night.  Upon examination I have found that it simply could be a reminder not to put off as I posted about last week.  I am remedying that if it is in fact what I was to hear.  Two more phone calls and I will be caught up.

The feeling I awoke with was uncomfortable.  It had a sense of foreboding in it.  It was like walking through a dark scary wood.  Like the Scream mask on Halloween.  It was a cold feeling like a chill you get when you hear an odd noise in your home.  Been trying to shake it all morning.  I think I am winning!

And then as it happens a light shines and another message comes through plain and clear.  I found the quote in an email I received this morning.  Actually I received the email a couple of days ago and only opened it and read it this morning.

Matthew 19:26

New International Version (NIV)

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So the message of the day is to remember that prayer in the morning is just as important as prayer before sleep.

I am awake to the goodness of a rainy Monday and off to get to work with new enthusiasm.  I need a slap on the side of my head occasionally and God provides!!!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

EXTRAORDINARY CHOICES

GOOD MORNING WORLD

We all make choices in life.  We choose to get up in the morning and got to work.  If we did not we might not be able to choose what food to put on our table.  We choose our life’s work by educating ourselves in a field where we have interest.  Some people choose to teach knowing this will not be a large paycheck.  The reward is in the work.  Others choose to be lawyers hoping perhaps there will be big pay days.  I know generalizations! Others choose a life of service with no regard to payment at all.  They simply want to serve their fellow man.

The men and women of this country who choose to go into the military to defend America may or may not believe the hype of ‘see the world’.  It is my belief that they have deep-seated desire to serve.  I hear the nay sayers out there that this it is an easy out for many.  I believe the vast majority of our military are there as they believe in what they are doing.  You cannot tell me that my friend who is away from her family since Jan 1st loves life in Guantanamo   Bay Cuba. I think she would rather be home taking care of those she loves instead of we who mock the military on occasion.  Her husband struggles with health and her girls are growing without her.  Easy way?  Lots of pay? No! Extraordinary choice.

There are others who make extraordinary choices in their lives to serve as well.  In many fields you will find people who love what they are doing.  Some say they would do it for free if asked as they enjoy their life’s work.

One such field is that of the Priesthood.  All of these men have taken a huge hit in the last few years with the news of the sex scandals in the church.  These types of scandals happen in every profession and every faith.  This was particularly repulsive as it was about children.  It was a horrid thing for sure.  Of the priests in this world it involved a few.  The other extraordinary men living a celibate life were swept aside.

I have been blessed to have been raised in a family that was involved with church.  I had wonderful ministers that were a part of our family.  Two in particular became real examples of Christ on this earth when our family was in need.  I am ever grateful for their loving examples.

When I converted to Catholicism I saw the priests as above me. Above even my ministers.  As I grew in this faith I was reminded that the Church put Holy Orders and Marriage in the same sentence as the same Sacrament.  Both vocations are equally important to the church.  My marriage vow is as important to the church as a priest’s vow!!!  That was a huge WOW!!!

In our ministry of Worldwide Marriage Encounter we have met some wonderful priests.  They all have joyfully made a choice to give their lives to God in service.  Can you imagine it?  They have chosen a counter-cultural lifestyle to serve the Lord.  They have chosen celibacy.   Despite the news, the men we know are good honest caring men who believe in what they do and live their vows.

One of these men became a Bishop and he told the story that he knew from an early age that he was going to be a priest.  Instead of playing cowboys he used to pretend to say Mass.  His uncle was a priest and he was emulating him.  I’ll never forget his comment about a pretty lady.  I made a wisecrack about the inappropriateness to which he answered, “I am celibate I am not dead!” He has gone home to the Lord and we miss you +Jack!

Another is Father Mike who says outrageous things that we are often called to ask if he really is a priest.  His claim to fame was that he often celebrated the Mass for Elvis week in Memphis!  There is Father Stan with the Polish first name and Italian last who is the most joy filled inquisitive man.  Being with him is like a warm blanket over you as he bubbles happiness.  I do not think there is a hobby he has not tried as he continues to challenge himself in new ways daily.  He is beloved by his parish family.  I could go on and on with names like Father Jude and Father Chris and Father Charlie.   Ordinary men who made and live a life of extraordinary choices.

Some of these men serve a diocese and actually receive a paycheck.  Others, usually order priests, take a vow of poverty.  Again can you imagine saying you will serve the world, not physically loving anyone and by the way do not pay me?  There are men who do just that and serve us with daily.  There are also women who do the same when they become nuns.

This whole post today came about as today is the 40th Anniversary of Ordination of a very special friend of ours.  Father Joe serves with us in our ministry.  We first met him years ago when we were living in St. Louis and attended a meeting run by three couples and a priest – Father Joe.  They were from another area and they were going around the country giving retreat weekends for couples and priests.  I was quite taken by Father Joe’s presentations on celebrating love in marriage.  He was challenging we men and women to live our intimacy and to not take each other for granted.

Then we met him again when we moved to Maryland and have gotten to know him and love him.  He is an order priest as an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales.  Through Father Joe I have learned much about St. Francis de Sales and the simple wisdom he imparted to our world.

Today Father Joe will celebrate his 40th anniversary by participating in the First Mass of a newly ordained Priest.  Another man has chosen to serve his fellow man through the Priesthood.  In fact yesterday in this day and age of cynics and non-believers three men in the Diocese of Wilmington Delaware were ordained by our Bishop.  While that may not seem to be a large number it is a blessing.  For Father Joe to be celebrating his anniversary by sharing it with a new priest – well the smile on his face when he told us about it said it all.  It will be a great day!

Happy Anniversary Dear Friend and thank you for your extraordinary choice Father Joe!

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…

By ktsquared Posted in Faith