Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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For My Father

 

When I was in my twenties

searching for myself,

I did not understand

the man you were,

how you suffered and fought

and how deeply you loved

my mother,

my sisters,

and me.

As I got older, you got older.

And now that you are gone,

I am in awe

of the integrity of your life.

And now, as I pray for my daughter,

in her twenties,

searching for herself,

I wonder if this is how

you prayed for me

and if somehow, some day

my strength,

my faith,

will rub off on her

as yours has on me.

 

Dad in raincoat at rehab (2)

The Strongest Man I’ve Ever Known, 1931-2017

 

 


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Flowers and Faith

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday is about flowers. Helen, our gracious host, aYsked that we post a song with a flower in the title or lyrics. First, I want to share about my mother’s miracle flower.

When Mom was close to 80, she had this red, plastic flower in a small pot on the coffee table. She called it her miracle flower because he never had to water it. It stayed red and beautiful. Around that time, I’d read something about mental health being a dedication to reality at all costs. I was all serious business in those days and wanted my mom to be mentally healthy. So I told her something like, “I don’t know mom, I think this flower might be plastic.” She  looked at me like I was crazy and insisted her flower was real. Then she changed the subject. To this day, I wish I’d joined my mom in celebrating her miracle flower. What would it have hurt? She only had a few more years to live.

My mom’s ditzy-ness embarrassed me when I was younger. I didn’t understand why some of my friends thought she was so sweet. Now, I get it. In the end, Mom’s faith was more important than whether a flower was real or plastic. So, before I post a flower song, I want to share this beautiful version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which was one of my mom’s favorites:

Remembering Mom’s song (and her faith) helped me during the lonely years. Maybe she planted a seed.

My flower song reminds me of my first love, a love that faded and became dormant but never died. It was like “a seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring became a rose.”

(You can read more about my first love on my Work In Progress page.)


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Inter-faith Dreams and Gardening

socsbadge2016-17

The first thing that popped into my head when I read Linda’s post for today (inter) was “Inter-faith.” But then I wanted to go look up inter-  so I could understand the word more.

Dictionary.com says:

a prefix occurring in loanwords from Latin, where it meant “between,” “among,” “in the midst of,” “mutually,” “reciprocally,” “together,” “during” ( intercept; interest); on this model, used in the formation of…

What if we could sit down at a table and share about our faith and work toward understanding one another? A picnic table would be nice, or a round table, like King Arthur had. What if we just listened to each other and looked for common ground? But accepted the differences too! I know it might not be easy. But it would be interesting. I use that word a lot, interesting. But I like it. It would be interesting if we could be open-minded.

We have strong beliefs about some things, so it’s not always easy. Like yesterday I went to feed my feral cats at church and one of our church members who loves to do landscaping was planting the Easter lilies in the garden. Then he started pulling up these plants that I like with purple flowers on them because they are looking leggy and past their peak. I said I thought they were pretty. We’ve had a similar discussion before. We have different philosophies about gardening. I don’t like to kill anything and therefore have a very natural looking yard. Some people would call it overgrown, and they would think they were being nice in saying that when they think it’s a mess.

Anyway, I wanted to get on a soapbox and only briefly mentioned that I didn’t like to kill things. Then I went into the parish hall to wash the cat dish and I prayed: God help me with this. Help me be…. just help me. When I went back out, I saw that the garden did actually look a little better without the scraggly, leggy purple headed stalks. I took one bunch home and planted it in my overgrown yard, and the rest are going to another church member. I helped my friend clean up a little and told him the garden did look better.

So, we both have strong opinions about gardens, which we shared, and we ended up on good terms. Lots of different kinds of flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees in the world. I’m not crazy about zinnias but my friend is. No particular reason. I love honeysuckle and mimosas, but some people think they’re invasive. I think they’re prolific and beautiful. Sometimes honeysuckle intertwines and takes over. And I do have to cut it back some. For the most part, we can coexist, we can tolerate each other’s beliefs. We can figure out a way to respect each other. Sometimes we compromise, sometimes we don’t.

This is a stream of consciousness post, so I don’t have to have a tidy ending. Tidy is not something I’m into anyway. I much prefer interesting.

I just did some research and found out my leggy flower friends are Tradescantia, aka: spiderwort. They come in purple, blue, pink and white, and they are prolific.

spiderwort from pixabay

Today’s stream of consciousness prompt was: “inter-” provided by our interesting host, Linda G. Hill. You can find her and other SOC posts at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-617/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


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Believe In Your Dreams

“When your belief in you and your dream is greater than your belief in other people’s opinions, you will have mastered your life.”    __Johnna Parr

1linerwedsbadgewes

I use this quote by Johanna Parr in my upcoming book, Trust the Timing.

For updates, tips, and inspiration, subscribe to my Monthly Newsletter.

Visit Linda G. Hill, our host for One-Liner Wednesday, at

https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/08/one-liner-wednesday-to-pooh-a-villain/

Here are the 1LinerWed rules:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


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New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk

christmas_labyrinth_web-church-of-the-servant

It’s becoming a tradition for me to walk the labyrinth on New Year’s Eve. On December 31st, 2010, in the center of the labyrinth, forgiveness was the key to making room for love to re-enter my life in 2011. Ever since then, my New Year’s Eve labyrinth walk is something I don’t want to miss.

On Saturday night, I expected something powerful might happen in the center, but the message was a little different. Here’s what I wrote to remember what happened:

Am I doing this right?

Don’t worry about it. Just walk.

Am I going too fast?

Maybe. Just walk.

[Restless in the center, I can’t get comfortable. Tried child’s pose and squirmed like a child. Tried sitting in the chair, tried laying down but there wasn’t room, went back to child’s pose. Refreshed the Forgiveness business]

Then I heard:

It’s time to go walk some more.

On the way back, God clarifies:

Keep moving.       

        Don’t stop.      

                  I’m with you.

Confident, encouraged, I slow the spring in my step because
I don’t want it to end.

I carry the message out with me.

prayer-candles

Kneeling at the prayer candles,
I light her candle,
but don’t want to blow out the torch.

God says,

Let it Go
Her flame will grow.
I got this.


Keep moving.
Don’t stop.
I’m with you
All the way.

finger_labyrinth

(After I published this post, I saw that the spacing about what God said was different from what I had typed in the draft. I worked on it for a while, but couldn’t get it where I wanted it. I’m guessing God wants it to be however you see it now.)


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A Gift You Can’t Buy in the Store, Part 1

wooden-balloon

Tuesday was my last full day at the job I worked for 30 years. In January, I’ll go back for a few hours to wrap up some paperwork and get the rest of my stuff, and there will be a “retirement” party. But these things will be on my terms and at my convenience.

My husband told me he was proud of me for retiring on my terms. But it was because of him that I was able to do it that way, cutting my hours back gradually, building my courage for the leap of faith, trusting that I would be taken care of. My husband, not wanting to contribute to the commercialization of Christmas, doesn’t like to buy presents from a store, but he loves to make things from wood like candle holders and Christmas ornaments like the balloon above. I tend to agree with him. He’s giving me the best gift of all the Christmas – the gift of retirement.

It was hard to say goodbye to my clients. But it was the right decision for me. Now, I get giggly inside, like a kid at Christmas, as I realize I don’t have to go back to the bureaucracy, to the demands to do more in less time – or bringing work home,  or to the witnessing of the wreckage of addiction.

I am forever grateful to have witnessed the triumphs over addiction and for the privilege to be able to help a little. I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned. But I believe I’ve paid my dues. Now, it’s my turn to follow my heart back to its creative home. I’ll probably do a stress management group somewhere, maybe a group with a creative twist! But it will be on my terms.

I will remember all those late nights I drove home exhausted, my hands aching from the keyboard, wondering if I would ever get caught up on the paperwork, wondering if I  could make it another 10 years until social security and medicare kicked in, wondering if those benefits would even be there for me in 10 years.

I will remember praying to God for deliverance, telling myself, God has a plan.

Little did I know how marvelous that plan would be. God was watching me, loving me, encouraging me, and doing the same for my soulmate 700 miles away. God waited for the perfect time, when my soulmate and I were ready to journey together. (And in case you didn’t know, I’m writing a book about that.)

Ten years ago, I asked God to take away the desire for a partner, or to send someone who is a good fit.

Today, I thank God for the gift of my husband who is a good fit. And I thank my husband for the gift of freedom to be me. On my terms. And on God’s terms.

doorway-apostle-island


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Cutting the Cord

bird-taking-off

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”  Lao Tzu

For the past six months, I’ve been working just one day a week at the old job, the counseling job I’ve done for thirty years. Some would say I’m moving gradually into retirement. I believe I’m moving into my second career, a career my heart longs for.

Moving to one day a week and letting go of my insurance and vacation benefits was a big leap of faith. But on Tuesday, I made an even bigger leap. I gave notice that I’ll be terminating employment in January.

As far as the hours go, it won’t be such a big change, but it’s cutting the cord to the job that paid my bills for most of my adult life. The job that taught me so much about giving and boundaries and life, the job that provided security, the job for which I am thankful.

As I’ve moved into a more creative life, working on  my book and painting angels, I’ve kept one foot in the old job while stretching into my new life. But you have to let go of the shore if you want to sail the ocean.

It’s hard to say goodbye, especially to my clients. But it’s time to move fully into the next phase of my life and to trust that I’ll be taken care of. Words cannot express how thankful I am for the opportunity to come home to my creative soul.

In a few days, I’ll be 61 years old. Yep. I’d say, it’s about time.