Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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Little Love Gifts

Heart box in grass

“God has planned little gifts along the way to brighten our day, and sometimes big delightful surprises – perfectly timed, perfect for us.”

Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go. February 2.

I just had to share this  quote from today’s daily meditation. It fits well with my story in Trust the Timing, which I’ll be giving away as an e book on Goodreads starting February 12.

The quote sorta also goes with Bee’s prompt, Adoration, on Love is in Da Blog, because God adores us so much we get these little love gifts – like spectacular sunsets, flowers growing in unexpected places, and hugs. It’s not always easy to see the gifts. We might have to look in new ways and in new places, but they are there to encourage us and give us hope.

Love is in da blog (2)


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Holiday Whirlwind

IMG_1290 (2)

I’m back in the world of WordPress and playing catch up! At first, I felt a twinge of guilt, a void with my absence here. But that didn’t last long. I’ve been bizzeeee!

After spending five days with my energetic, high spirited, six year old granddaughter, I’m still processing the whirlwind.  She stayed in the room I’ve been fixing up for her for two years (the room that has doubled as my art studio) with plum colored walls, yellow curtains, butterflies, and angels. Earlier this year, due to complicated family matters, I didn’t know if I would ever see her again. So her being able to stay with me was an answer to many prayers.

We had some wonderful times, playing hide and seek in the back yard, making cookies, singing Christmas carols (“Frosty the Snowman” at least 20 times), reading books, and playing make believe as kitty cats, pirates, and characters from the movies, Frozen and Moana. Church went well on Sunday, and later, I got to answer (or attempt to answer) lots of questions about God: Does God live in the sky? How big is God? Does God have parents? Did God make everything? Does God know everything?  How does God know everything? Does God know we are talking right now?

I received an abundance of opportunities to practice setting boundaries, standing my ground, and going with the flow, with many deep breaths and an abundance of hugs. I am extremely thankful for my husband’s support and for help from my daughter (Aunt Ayla) during this whirlwind holiday.

If necessary, I and my support team would be fully capable of taking care of my granddaughter until she is grown. But after five days, I  was happy to return her to the loving care of her father and his partner. There’s a certain wisdom to menopause. God and Mother Nature have been kind to women in not allowing us to have children after a certain age.

There’s always something to be thankful for.

I hope you’ve all been enjoying warm and happy holiday moments and wish you many blessings!

 


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The Box of Salvation

 

Heart box on leaves (2)

 

If I stay quiet,

Don’t rock the boat,

Will they think I agree

And never know

I’m not part of their

Exclusive club of condemnation

With all the right answers?

But if I judge the judgers,

Am I a judger, too?

What’s that, God?

The bottom line is

To lean into,

Hold on to, and

Share the L O V E of Jesus.

We are all part of creation

All loved by the same

God of different names.

Even the judgers.

How big is the box of salvation?

Is it big enough for all of us?

Is it made of concrete?

Is it a box or a cage?

Or  could it be a sphere

Safe and warm

With soft openings

For everyone?

 

heart puzzle from pixabay

 

 

 


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A Meditative Prayer

 

 

red glowing candle

On Sunday, having spent the night with my friend who helped with the estate sale, I visited her little church which is much like my own. Next to the hymn book, I discovered this meditative prayer. It’s helping me deal with something, someone, beyond my control. I hope you find it helpful, too.

 

AN INVITATION TO PRAY

 

Enjoy three deep breaths.

The first breath will help you be fully aware of your body.

The second breath is to clear your mind so you may be fully present.

The third breath is to open your heart and welcome the holy spirit.

 

Notice a question that draws you in.

 

Are you bringing someone with you in your heart today?

See that person in your mind’s eye.

Picture that person whole, healthy, restored, reconciled.

God is at work in the person’s life.

Ask God to show you the role you may play.

Are you counting your blessings today?

For what and for whom are you feeling thankful today?

As you get in touch with gratitude, express it to God.

 

Are you anxious today?

Whatever this is, God cares about you, and all those for whom you care.

 

Are you in need of laying down a burden today?

Hear Christ, the burden-bearer:

“Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Be ready to lay down your burden at the foot of the cross.

Open your hands. Close your eyes.

Breathe deeply and slowly.

Empty your mind. Let sounds pass you by.

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cicada Serenade in Moonlight

Blue moon scape (2)

The symphony of cicadas, crickets, and frogs rose and reminded me I was not alone. The clouds parted, and the moon illuminated the grass where I stood and bathed my whole body. I moved so that my face was shadowed, so I could see the moon without being blinded, and breathed deeply of the warm night air. Then, stepping back into the light, I closed my eyes, arms lifted out beside me, palms open.

“God, help me trust you.”

It’s going to be okay, is what I heard.

Journal entry: 8/25/07

The moon tells me not to worry.

Her light reflects the love of God.

She knows I am a child of God,

And a child of the Earth

I am richly blessed.

 

(The above is an excerpt from Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again.)

 


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Book Title: When God Says Wait

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When I saw that today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was, “book title,” I thought, yay! I get to write about my book. Then I read the directions further: “Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only.” 

On that title only? Well, that’s different. And clever. But this is my Stream of Consciousness, so I don’t know if I can keep my own book title from creeping in to the stream. You never know.

I thought about moving my book to the nightstand for just one tiny second. It WAS there just two days ago. But my usual tendency toward honesty chased that temptation away with a tsk, tsk. What I am reading now, what I’ve been reading for quite a while, because I’m such an embarrassingly slow reader, is the book, When God Says Wait. I’m afraid to look back and see if I posted about this book before, because it might tell me how long I’ve been at it. It’s a good book! But I’m S L O W. Like always the last one done on tests in school slow.

But I can’t blame the fact that I’m still reading this book on being a slow reader. Reading  books seems to be the last thing on my list – after blog posts, reading other blogs, comments, responding to comments, book marketing, book technicalities, taking my daughter to work because her car broke down, and all the other things that come before reading a book, even though I love reading books.

Oh, I’m supposed to be writing about that title. When God Says Wait. I love the title and the idea of the book.  Sometimes God says, yes, sometimes, no, sometimes, wait. Like God said, wait when I asked him (or her) to send me a partner who would be a good fit, and God sent my sweetheart to me when the time was right. I had to wait til we were ready. I had to Trust the Timing (which is the title of my book which is available on Amazon.)

When God Says Wait is very closely related to my book. It’s like the “how to”  guide to my story. I thought about titling my book, Perfect Timing…. God’s timing was perfect. But who likes to wait? Right now, I’m waiting for my e-book to be up next to the paperback. This whole thing has taken sooooo long. But I guess God knows I need to learn this lesson of waiting and trusting better, like when you pray for patience and then get all these opportunities to practice.

I’m going to finish reading When God Says Wait (by Elizabeth Laing Thompson) very soon. I’m going to schedule an appointment with this book – a date with a book – and not wait. I just put an appointment in my phone, with an alert, for Wednesday at 11:00 AM. But I might not  wait til then. Depends on what God says.

You can find more Stream of Consciousness posts about book titles at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1517/

Here are the rules:

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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Serving at Cursillo: a Spiritual Weekend

 

Trinity Center pond

My weekend was intense, busy, and very social. I knew it would be outside my comfort zone, but I was asked to be on the music team, and I wanted to give back for all the blessings I’ve received. Leaning heavily toward introversion, I’m more comfortable finding my spiritual moments alone in quiet places, but thankfully, I found God in many varied moments during my four days serving at “EC 95” (The 95th Cursillo weekend of the East Carolina Episcopal Diocese.)

Cursill is a three day adventure for 20 pilgrims who are there to learn about Christian leadership and to be loved and served by the team. One of the common experiences shared by pilgrims was a deeper relationship with Jesus and one another. As a team member serving the pilgrims, I felt this deepening, too. Even with the lack of sleep from late nights and early mornings, even with my occasional discomfort from being around  many people who I didn’t know well, I felt the deepening. I felt the love for people who became family.

It helped that our Cursillo weekend was held at Trinity Center, a place close to nature and close to my heart, where they build around the trees.

Tree in deck

Trinity is an Episcopal retreat center nestled on the North Carolina coast between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset at Sander's Point (2)

ocean from the pavilion

One of my favorite places at Trinity Center, besides the beach….  and the sound….. and the pond….

pond throug trees (3)

Trinity Center pond

…is the tunnel that runs under the main road and leads to the beach.

tunnel sign

tunnel entrance

tunnel with turtle

The tunnel is a great place to sing. Imagine the echo. Or is it called reverb?

On Friday afternoon, as I walked the wooded road to my room during a short break, I stopped to admire the light shining through the leaves ahead.

path of connection with Mom and Dad (2)

It was here that I felt the powerful and undeniable presence of my parents. They “told” me (in feelings more than words) of their joy that I was there serving with my husband, and that they are proud of us both. My parents had a long history of ministry in soup kitchens and working with veterans. This is the first time I’ve felt them both together since my father died in January. The confirmation that they are together still makes my heart sing.

djembe purple background

I finally got me a Djembe!

And I did a lot of singing at Cursillo. As part of the music team, I sang, played my guitar, and got to experiment with the new drum I bought for this occasion.

Cursillo music is mostly folksy with some contemporary praise songs. When somebody requested “Wade In the Water,” we had to hunt for the music because it wasn’t on our song list. But it turned out to be such a big hit, we sang this powerful spiritual three times during the weekend. This article explains that “Harriet Tubman used the song “Wade in the Water” to tell escaping slaves to get off the trail and into the water to make sure the dogs slavecatchers used couldn’t sniff out their trail.” 

The following arrangement, while different than the simple version we sang, gives a feeling close to what I felt during our closing service singing with about 50 people and three guitars as I kept a strong, steady beat on my drum.

In spite of the intensity, I’m thankful to have served at EC 95. But some day,  I want to go to Trinity Center just to relax. I bet I’ll do some singing and wading, too.

Silver beach (2)