The Invisible Woman

OneHotMess:

This made me cry. Mostbdays i feel invisible. When one is invisible, who cares? Still, i continue on with my tasks, even when i am so sick that i cannot , stand, as i was this past week. I have six beautiful adult cathedrals. Just one more to go!
Excuse all typos.I. cannot see when i post on my phone. Xoxox

Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
January 17, 2014

It started to happen gradually¦ One day I was walking my son Jake to
school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when
the crossing guard said to him, “Who is that with you, young fella?”
“Nobody,” he shrugged.

Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we
crossed the street I thought, “Oh my goodness, nobody?”
I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to
my family – like “Turn the TV down, please” – and nothing would happen.
Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand
there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder,
“Would someone turn the TV down?” Nothing. Just the other night my husband
and I were out at…

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2014. 5 Comments

God weeps for You

OneHotMess:

Truly lovely!

Originally posted on Soul Healing Art:

God as Woman Holds Creation Dear

God as Woman Holds Creation Dear

God weeps for you- have no doubt.
Tears slide not because of your failure, but because you think you failed at all.

God suffers for you- have no doubt.
The heart of God is weighted not by your imperfections, but that you would see yourself as imperfect at all.

God worries for you- have no doubt.
Concern arises not because of your weakness, but because you would think yourself weak at all.

God only sees you as Love and
God’s words to you are simply this:

“I love you. Please tell Me, what can I do to make it better?”

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‘I’d Read Plato, and Listen to Sly Stone’: Cornel West’s Testimony

OneHotMess:

Love.

Originally posted on The Bully Pulpit:

Cornel West“I’m a Jesus-loving blues man in the life of the mind.

I’m a Christ-centered Jazz man, which means that I do try to take, quite seriously, the endless quest for unarmed truth, understanding that a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. So I don’t even think about trying to be true unless I’ve tried to enact and embody a sensitivity, even a hyper-sensitivity to the pain, the suffering, the hurts, the wounds, the scars, the bruises of people.

That deep compassion that you not only talk about, but that you embody…

Just. Bear. Witness. Be a sermon rather than give one. You don’t even need to talk about humility; just be humble. You know, a couple of months ago in the States, we had a sustained discourse on civility; and you know, I thought – why don’t you just be civil? Why do you have to have…

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2013. 2 Comments

Practicing patience pays off…

Today, I got the “action-y” part of my day taken care of early, as I had hoped. As I was proceeding through it all, it became clear that the process was going to require quite a lot of patience over a period of time, and I realized that I was fine with that. 

doublerainbow

I got to the grocery store and up to the check-out, and the cashier, who I adore, told me that their DSL had been slow all day and that I might need to be a bit patient. I said, “I am in no rush. Being patient seems to be the order of the day today.” She looked at me with big eyes, vigorously nodding her head she responded, “It really does seem like that, doesn’t it”?

Sometimes God sends us orders for the day, in fact, He probably sends them all of the time, we just often do not hear them. Today I am listening because God is asking me to be patient instead of rushing through everything. It’s a good order for all of us, and who knows what unfortunate circumstances we may avoid by simply slowing down and being patient.

I got home and sat on my front steps and listened to the bull frogs talking to each other in the pond in the front yard. There is more than one now, and they sound hysterical conversing. I sat and listened and giggled to myself. Last night, sitting in the same spot, I saw my first fireflies of the year. Nothing makes me happier than the first glimpse of fireflies. Three nights ago, I saw a double rainbow from the same spot. Life is grand even when we have to wait, and probably even more grand when we take the time to wait and look around. Happy Monday!

Are you wearing sewage stained glasses?

It’s a lovely day out there and the little man is headed to school having recovered from a bout with the stomach flu over the weekend.  Although he was feeling better, this morning he woke up with a spirit that was lacking in gratitude. He’d forgotten all about his excitement on Saturday at finding an Army duffel bag from the Korean War, and many other treasures, when he helped clean out a friend’s garage.

He’d also forgotten about all of the board games, books, and DVDs, that we had gotten for free after a yard sale closed yesterday, on our way home from a ginger ale and Jell-O run. What did he feel he was missing in life? Television… He had a sleepover at a friend’s house Friday night and was able to watch copious amounts of television.  Suddenly something that we have not had for nearly two years was all that he could think about.  I am considering it, television, but it is not a top priority to say the least.

Flowers from the front yard!

Flowers from the front yard!

When we go through a day feeling lack…lack for what we do not have, or lack of gratitude for all that we do have, it is like putting on a pair of sewage stained glasses, and everything we look at is tainted by the color and stink of that sewage. We become blinded to all of the goodness in life, and close our hearts to gratitude.  However, it does happen to the best of us at times, even me. ;-)

A sense of lack often leads to thinking that we lack even more, as we continue to compare what we have to what others have and end up feeling even more ungrateful and lacking, whether it be lack of personal attributes, or lack of things.  Comparison almost always leads to a feeling of lacking in some way or another, which is why God cautions us not to compare ourselves with others.  It this world, that is hard not to do, but not impossible.

The little man is only 8 years old and at his age, comparison at school, and out in the world, is common.  He is using comparison to figure out how he fits into the world.  His teacher tells him not to compare, and I do the same, but it seems to be human nature, whether we are 8 or 80 years old.

I know several people in the late 70’s who constantly measure their own worth by what they have that others do not.  At 8 it is something that is fairly natural, and provides many teachable moments to help the child value who he is as an individual, and to help him to know and appreciate just how blessed he truly is, and how he can use his blessings to bless others.  At 80 years of age, it is a sad sight seeing someone who feels that the only way to measure up is to outdo everyone.

God loves people who are content with what they have, and who feel as if they are lacking for nothing.  God loves people who feel that they are enough, and have enough, and likewise, other people are drawn to those who are content within, and without, both literally, and figuratively speaking.  Gratitude does not come naturally to everyone, but I believe that it can be nurtured within, and learned over time, and strengthened into a habit.

Once you begin to appreciate all that you do have, it is amazing just how much more begins to show up. You will find yourself surrounded by grateful, content, people, and as you open up to feeling that you have enough of all that you need, you will also open yourself up to receive the things that you may have been blocking with those sewage stained glasses—opportunities that you just could not see, or did not believe existed will become visible, and obtainable.

So, today, put on a spirit of plenty, and glasses stained with the color of joy and gratitude, and don’t be tempted to take them off.  If you need to wear a pair of blinders for a time along with your joy tinted glasses that is perfectly all right.

Once you establish your focus on gratitude, goodness, and plenty, and make it a habit, the blinders will naturally fall off in such a way that your view of life will be brighter, balanced, and the scent will be so sweet that you will not believe that you lived with the scent of sewage for so long.  Take the time to develop a habit of contentment and gratitude.  It is a very worthy summer project with such beauty all around!

In the Quiet Curve of the Evening

OneHotMess:

Gorgeous…perfect love.

Originally posted on Teacher as Transformer:

Life is uncertain. One thing I am certain of is unconditional love of a Creator and those close to me. I cannot explain or describe what they mean, but I have faith they exist.

Last weekend, Kathy and I participated in a special event for her niece. She was commissioned as a minister of the United Church of Canada. We sang this hymn during the celebrations. I am not sure how to credit the song.  Julie Howard wrote the lyrics, but I did not find links for her. As I head into the Sabbath, the words say it all for me.

In the quiet curve of evening,
in the sinking of the days,
in the silky void of darkness, you are there.
In the lapses of my breathing,
in the space between my ways,
in the crater carved by sadness, you are there.
You are there, you are there, you…

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This entry was posted on June 8, 2013. 3 Comments

Life, love, lemonade, and letting go…

I love the writing of the late Nora Ephron.  Her writing style is clean and crisp, not forced and flowery.  I especially love her personal essays.   They are honest, funny, perceptive, and often profound.   I can read them over and over again and still take away something new each time.  I love that, too.

The quote below is from an essay she wrote called Moving On.  In the essay she talks about falling in love with an apartment and the many rationalizations that she uses, not only to justify the cost of getting into the apartment, but for staying for a decade despite poor conditions and numerous rent hikes.

lemonade1

Finally, once her rent is raised by 400%, she instantly falls out of love, and finds a new place that feels like home just as fast.  These two sentences sum up so much of my life, both in terms of relationships, and many other things, as well.

I was raised to be strong.  My mother was a strong woman who had endured much and she tried to form me into her own image.  “You’re stronger than that,” she would say when I was having a tough time and it was showing.  Stronger than what, I now wonder?  Was I to be stronger than a team of oxen?  Stronger than what, exactly, is still my question.

But I am a good learner, and life provided many powerful experiences, so I got stronger and stronger.   I could, and would, endure almost anything.  It was a point of pride.  I was persistent.  I persevered, no matter what the circumstances might be.  I endured and I tolerated like few can and I rarely complained about it.   Again we go with the pride thing, as you can easily see.  Of course, all of this enduring and persevering and sticking it out and being strong almost killed me, but that was beside the point, wasn’t it?

When I left my last marriage, I swore that I would never allow myself to be in a relationship that was so unhealthy that I had slipped into a place of tolerance that is beyond all reason.  I would never tolerate such conditions and treatment again.  I would be grateful and happy and free, even if I was never in a relationship ever again.  For the most part, that has been true for going on four years now.

But then I had to go to prison.  Going in, I was determined that I was going to do prison like a champ and come out better for it.  Guess what?  I did prison like a champ and I came out far better for it.  Coming out of prison, I was determined to thrive and succeed and be completely open and honest about my past while continuing to move forward.

Within five days of my release from prison, I had found a little cottage in the woods to rent, and my little boy and I were soon moved in, and I was working, and parenting, and making it through a nasty divorced, and smiling all of the while.  Every day was like a gift.  I danced in the living room every night.  I was in love, or so I thought.

I didn’t mind having to use a sled to haul groceries and laundry down the luge run of a road.  I overlooked all of the many ways that my landlords deceived me.  I tolerated the hot water heater that allowed for a three-minute shower, and when the entire place molded last summer, I did my best to clean it up, and move on, despite my mold allergy.  I rationalized, I tolerated, and I endured.  I was a trooper, because I do “trooper” well.  In short, I fell back into old habits.

Fall of last year came, and I renewed my lease when my hopes of a better place fell through.  By the time winter hit, the bloom was long off of the rose.  The long promised new hot water heater never arrived.  It was impossible to remove the entirety of the mold in that place.  The road was poorly maintained, and I still did not have a blessed smoke detector after asking for one over four times.

My friends and family were constantly encouraging me to break my lease—that I was within my rights to do so, but I kept on enduring, mostly because I had no idea where the money for a new place would come from.  My car had also broken down again, and my little boy was in the middle of a school year.

At the same time, though, I began to finally assert myself with my landlord.  That did not go over well, and soon I found that I was being evicted.  I knew it was wrongful, and that I could fight it, but after I finally wrapped my head around the whole mess, which took a couple of weeks, I finally saw it for what it was—a rescue from God.

My tenacity and desire to persevere is so danged strong that God often has to give me the old 2×4 upside the head treatment to get me to let go of something, or someone, that he wants me nowhere near.  And so this buttercup bucked up, started a fundraiser online, and had first, last, and security deposit for a place provided in no time.

We are now living in a home right where I had been praying for years to be, on our lake, once again renting from good and honest landlords from the past.  After a year and a half in a cottage so dark that it was debilitating, we are enjoying light every day, and space to move around,  a huge  yard, lovely gardens, and the ability to stick our feet in the water and dig our toes into the sand anytime we like.

The front yard.

The front yard.

Our constant congestion, coughing, and for me, asthma, is gone now that we are away from that bloody mold.  We no longer sound like a couple of chronic lungers. That place was killing us.  We are happy, filled with joy and gratitude, and truly free.  My little depression has lifted.

The living room.  See all of that

The living room. See all of that

Life has left me with a highly developed ability to make lemonade, but I simply do not tolerate citrus.  It gives me terrible reflux.  I am done making lemonade just because I can do it especially well.  Yes, I will stay positive, and I will remain resilient, and I will look for the good, and live in gratitude of God’s grace.

The sitting area

The sitting area

However, I refuse to endure anything less than what God has finally shown me that I deserve.   I deserve all good things, including love, and I am now finally strong enough to be vulnerable enough to ask for help, let down the walls, and allow myself to be loved, by God, and by all of the beautiful people who surround me.    I am finally open enough to allow myself to be deserving of goodness, not simply enduring.  What a blessing!

Our lake!

Our lake!

To end this, having not written in so very long, I would like to thank all of the people who have nominated me for various awards, including the Very Versatile Blog Award, and The Shine On Award, a couple of time for each!   Thank you so much!