Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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We Are the World and Trees are the Lungs of the World

dogwood in front of pine

As I looked for a story to post for today’s kickoff of  We Are The World, there were many. But I kept coming back to this man who died and came back to plant trees. I first found this interview at ALK3R ‘s blog. It’s a fascinating story, originally published at Daily Good. Here’s the link:

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1549/the-man-who-planted-trees-a-conversation-with-david-milarch-awakin-call-editors/

watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-white

To learn more about We Are the World, you can visit Belinda’s blog:   http://www.belindawitzenhausen.com

 

 


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Sometimes We Just Need to Be Held

Song Lyric Sunday

Two songs came to me in response to today’s theme: Healing

At the turn of the century, I thought my world was falling apart. But time gave me a different perspective. “Just Be Held,” by Casting Crowns, affirmed, years later, that  God had taken the divorce that brought me to my knees and replaced it with  a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
(Stop holding on and just be held)
Just be held, just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

Natalie Grant sings, “Held,” a powerful song about being held through the devastating loss of a child. The song is written by Christa Nichole. Listening will convey the power and love best with this one:

 

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-32617/


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A Letter to My Divorced Self in 2001

I commented on Oneta’s post, Graduation Day, that it made me think about what I’d like to say to my younger self and what my older self might want to say to me, now. Oneta encouraged me to write about it, so I’m going to take that one step at a time. This first step takes us back about 16 years. In some ways, it seems like yesterday, and in some ways, it was a lifetime ago.

broken heart from pixabay

Dear JoAnna,

I don’t know how you will get this letter, or if you will, but I’m writing it anyway. I’m hoping you will get this when you need it most, when you are newly divorced and feeling abandoned.

I know this is harder than anything you have ever dealt with, that you never expected to have the rug pulled out from under you like this. I know it hurts like hell.

But here are some things I want you to know for sure:

You are loved and cherished deeply, profoundly, and forever by the one who created you, the one who will never leave you, the one who will help you heal.

You will heal. The pain will get easier and your mood will lighten. It will take time – longer than you think it should, but you will feel peace and joy.

You are beautiful, valuable, smart, and kind.

You are a woman of integrity and truth.

You are strong, stronger than you think. But it’s still okay to cry.

You have a purpose. More than one purpose in fact, and the world needs you well, so taking care of yourself, loving yourself well, is good for the world.

You are whole. You do not need any other human to complete you.

Focus on the constants of your life that have always been there for you. The people who have always had your back and the things that bring you joy, peace  and comfort like  music, art, writing, and nature.

Know with certainty that God has a plan, a plan more wonderful than you can imagine. Trust the timing.

If you want a peek at God’s plan, read about my Work In Progress 


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Love Letters From My Father

Dad with Baby mk and me (2)

 That’s me on the right, just in case you couldn’t tell.

After my father died, I found letters he’d written to me over the years and saved, like a journal, hidden in the old cabinet he used as an end table next to his recliner. I’m still processing the content of these letters. One of them is about why he didn’t come to my rescue when I wanted to come home from the college in the mountains.

This excerpt from my work in progress explains:

On my second day in Boone, before classes started, my roommate and I went to a pub not far from campus. I recognized Chris, a super brainy girl from my high school who’d already been at the college for a year. She waved to me and invited us to sit with her. My roommate saw some people she knew and went to sit with them. Chris made me feel welcome, and I started to feel comfortable with her. Maybe the beer helped. She asked me how I was doing.

“Well, I’m a little nervous,” I admitted.

“That’s normal. It’ll get better.”

“And I miss my boyfriend. I’m actually thinking of going back home.”

Chris looked thoughtful. “You know, you’ve got your whole life to go to college,” she said. “If you want to go home, it’s okay. It’s your decision.”

I was surprised by her response. I’d expected her to encourage me to stay. If this brainiac said it was okay to go home, then who was I to fight it any longer?

I called my parents and said I wanted to come home. Having just driven seven hours each way to bring me there a couple of days earlier, Dad refused to come get me. He didn’t say much, leading me to guess he was disgusted or at least disappointed.

Being stubborn, I managed to find another way home, but that’s another part of the story.

Fast forward to 43 years later when I read my Dad’s secret letters last week. One his letters revealed that the reason they didn’t come get me was because their old station wagon had a blow out on their trip home and left him “without a spare.” He wrote in Jan 2011: “Money was very short and, we had very little in the bank, and almost nothing on hand. I would have to have gotten permission from work…We also thought about what you were giving up….I have to admit my love for you was and still is a factor. After we made our decision not to come up, we went to bed, but I don’t think either one of us slept that night. The decision bothered us for years and we talked about it for even more years, even after you were married….I still felt guilty.”

I had no idea that money was a problem back then! I figured it was all about not wanting to bail me out when I should have stayed. I thought it was just because he was mad at me. I’ve carried that shame for years. And all this time, HE felt guilty for not coming to get me. I knew my parents loved me, but I didn’t know how much until I read these letters full of love.

Ive always wanted my father to be proud of me, even when I resented him. Even when I didn’t like his conservative beliefs. Even when I avoided him. I still, deep down, wanted him to be proud of me.

And what I’m finding out from his secret love letters is that he was.

love letters from dad (2)

Some things are worth waiting for. For a chance to win a free, signed copy of When God Says Wait, sign up for my monthly newsletter before March 21st by clicking the box on the side bar to the right, or just click here: http://eepurl.com/ch52KT


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Mercy, maybe it’s not too late.

Thank you to Barb for today’s  Just Jot It January prompt: Mercy. I needed it and still do.

For most of the morning, I felt irritated. I’m not a judgmental person by nature, but I found myself judging, mostly to myself, about various things that are unimportant in the big picture. Maybe it was because I stayed up too late on the computer, again. Or maybe it was the remnants of hormonal fluctuations or eating too much sugar, too likely suspects who take turns getting the blame for moods that don’t seem to belong to me.

At church, the word “mercy” kept jumping out at me from the bulletin, the prayers, the sermon, and I knew “mercy” was today’s prompt. Mercy, Mercy, Me. Jesus knew I needed mercy and help being merciful. So I wasn’t surprised at all when I messed up while singing with the choir, because I wasn’t paying attention being busy with all this thinking about why was I so irritated. It was a minor mess up which will be soon forgotten. But it made me laugh at myself, again.

So here’s my peace offering. Maybe it’s not too late.

 

Have mercy for the birds and mercy for the bees,

Mercy for the whales and mercy for the trees,

Mercy for the animals who want to be free,

Mercy for my enemies and mercy for me.

 

Have mercy for this planet- a gift so rare,

Mercy for the hungry who need a share,

Mercy for the lost who just don’t care,

Mercy for the hope that helps us dare.

 

Have mercy for leaders old and gray,

Mercy for dreamers looking for a way,

Mercy for teachers without much pay,

Mercy for children who bring a new day.

 

 

Just Jot it January is hosted by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/15/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-15th17/

Thanks to Shan Jeniah for filling in for Linda today.

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


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Tangible Healing

broken-heart-from-pixabay

It was 16 years ago. The emotional pain was tangible. Like the bottom fell out of my stomach and my head was somewhere far away.

I had believed that “to death do us part” meant that we would grow old together, and travel out west chasing the sunsets.

I was willing to work on it, to do my part, be more attentive, go on vacations, whatever.

But it was too late.

They said it was just acid-reflux that made my chest feel so tight, like a fist closing around my heart.

So I had to learn to take slow deep breaths in between the sobs in the hallway sitting on the hardwood floor when the kids had gone to their dad’s new place.

It took time for the pain to subside into mere sadness. Then there were the cover-up rebounds. The first one a disaster, the second better, but stressful and not a good fit. But at least I was  making progress.

Finally, I learned to work on me, and to trust that God had a plan.

Now, my heart sings a new song, better than any song I could have imagined.

Now, the joy is tangible like the ocean waves  caressing my skin, like a cool breeze on a warm day, or a warm blanket on a cold night.

healing

I painted this during the cover-up rebounds.

(The broken heart at the top is from pixabay)

This post was written in response to the Just Jot it January prompt: “tangible,” provided by Prajakta at https://anarmchairperfectionist.wordpress.com/

This post is also for TS.

Except for the last two lines, it summarizes Chapter 13 of my Work in Progress.

 

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.

 

 


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Opening Doors

doorway-to-the-ocean-from-pixabay

It had been a year or more since my last acupuncture session. It gives me good energy and made a headache go away once, but nothing especially dramatic. In October, I ran into the healer at a potluck. I’ve known her for years as a casual friend but had never had an acupuncture session with her until last week – after my body told me to make an appointment. But this was not a typical session. I must have been ready. The time was right. This was my experience:

November 10, 2016,

two days after the sky fell,

Interrupted cries still lingered in my solar plexus

like mucus bogging down muffled screams

waiting to be flushed free.

Then the drunk guy threw a key at me

when I was only trying to help.

Who needs this?

But that cop wasn’t following  me after all

as I pulled into the space

to visit the healer with magic hands

and the skill to find the stuck places.

She began with my old friend,

Lavender,

to settle my nerves.

The first needle only hurt for a moment

as the door opened and sparks flew.

The others didn’t hurt at all.

When qi started to flow,

I almost giggled

then followed her humming

with my own breath –

Inhale, sooooew. Exhale, Haaaaaah,

like the song of the ocean.

Cardamom opened the doors wider.

Right after I turned over onto my back

is when it happened.

My cold hands finally got warm.

Then, I started to cry. And laugh. And cry.

Mama. Mama? Mama!

Is it really you?

Hold me, Mama.

My fingers can’t reach you!

Daddy is hurting. He misses you so much.

You want me to tell him you’re okay?

Mama’s okay, Daddy.

She’s okay.

Tears.

But wait.

Am I supposed to be

learning how to talk to other ghosts?

Or just my own?

Sandalwood brought me back.

Shaking, I drank from the cup of water

and called my father to give him the message

he already knew.

_________________________________________

My mother died November 14, 2008. She collected angels. Dozens of them still decorate my father’s house. He hasn’t moved any of them. And he won’t move out of that house because he feels her presence there.

angels-among-us

Angels Among Us, a mural by JoAnne Silvia