Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Compassion at the Gate

stream-of-consciousness-saturday-2018-19

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!”

I like to have that up there as a reference, even if it is stream of consciousness writing that I’m doing. I want to remember that “have fun,” part because this prompt has got me thinking all serious. Maybe I’ll work the fun part in. I don’t know because we’re not supposed to plan. That’s like telling me I’m not supposed to check the stove 3 times, lock the door, and jiggle the door knob before I leave the house.

Anyway, I was thinking about the saying that the end doesn’t always justify the means. That is especially true when the means means being mean. I don’t usually get political here on this blog. In fact, I try real hard not to. But some people are just plain mean.

Moving back to my own little world, I have felt mean when setting healthy boundaries, but that comes from years of being too nice and a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I’ve been saying “no” more as I get older to things that feel toxic. If someone wanted to live in my house because they had no where else to go, I’d say no – unless it was a family member who I got along well with. But it’s hard when you don’t know someone how far to let them into your space.

I’m thinking of the caravan of people who are not coming to my house. They might be coming to my country. It’s a big country full of abundance. We have to have some boundaries of course. But I keep thinking, what would Jesus want us to do? What did Jesus try to teach us about feeding the poor and helping the homeless? He and his family were refugees soon after his birth.

I know we can’t accept EVERYBODY into the country. I know we have to have rules. But I don’t want us to be mean. I mean, let’s have some compassion for people who are in trouble and not assume they are all dangerous. Let’s find out.

It’s hard. Okay. I know this is weird for an introvert to say let’s be accepting of people coming in if we can do it through the channels – let’s not close the gates, when sometimes I want to close my own gate. Let’s try to figure out how to not do it mean. Let’s not lock the gate and lose the key.

I’m sending love to all the lost souls and meanie heads out there.

It’s complicated, I know.

Speaking of gates, here are some pictures I took, looking from the outside in, at the Land of Oz which opens twice a year on Beech Mountain, NC. It wasn’t open the day we went exploring.

IMG_4883

There’s a surveillance camera on top. We waved.

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IMG_4887.JPG

 

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A horse of a different color on the other side of the fence.

It occurs to me now that I would not relish going to Oz on one of the weekends when they open because they have LINES and CROWDS which I don’t like much. But if I was in trouble and had to get out of the country (or my granddaughter really wanted to go) I’d probably go stand in line. It would be nice to go to Oz. Is the US like Oz? I know the movie was symbolic. I think I’m getting in over my head. Gonna close that gate for today.

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-10-18/

Go check it out!

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. I will post the prompt here on my blog every 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 will simply be a single word to get you 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 all of them! 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 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!


18 Comments

Sorting Through Memories

 

folder-for-dads-retirement-certificate1.jpg

I’m very close to finishing up with my dad’s room. Today, I finished the closet, except for some shirts. I already donated about 30 pairs of pants, or as my dad would say, trousers. After wrapping several years of receipts and tax records in paper bags and duct tape  and lugging them to the trash, I finally went to reach up to the top closet shelf. There were more tax records to wrap,  a picture of some general or colonel he must have served under, and finally a large padded envelope. What could it be? Something important, I imagined.

Inside the envelope was a thin red book with the Marine Corps emblem. Opening the book, I discovered it was a folder with my dad’s certificate of retirement after 20 years in the Corps and a photos of him with 17 other retirees in khaki uniforms. My dad was clearly the handsomest. But they made a mistake on the date! The certificate says he retired in 1979. But he retired in June of 1969 right after I finished 6th grade. Oh, well.

I carried the red folder in the chair I keep in my dad’s room, my grief chair, where I go to feeling my feelings, and cried. I’m not sure if it was the significance of the retirement certificate or that I hadn’t cried in a while and have been working intensely on this room for a few days. Then Doodle came in, tail wagging and a concerned look in her big brown eyes. She can be a sweet dog sometimes.

I took a breath and decided to talk to my parents:

“I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were alive. All the challenges and struggles you went through. Your strength. Your courage. Your faith. Thank you for passing that on to me. If you can, guide me, help me to pass that on to my children, even though they are grown.”

My parents responded:

You’ve done a good job. We are proud of you. Just keep setting a good example. Love them. Don’t be afraid to tell them, “Jesus loves you.” He does love them, and he loves you, too.

Talking to my parents helped. Their message helped. Crying helped.

My father’s retirement must have been a big deal. Definitely a relief, but maybe a little scary. Like my retirement. If I’d gotten a retirement certificate, I would’ve hung it on the wall. Or at least the refrigerator.

My father is the person who told me when I was 12 years old, “Nothing is impossible.” His words made an impression. But now, I realize that his life made even more of an impression. Even after his 20 years of military service, my parents faced and overcame big challenges. They want me to clarify that they couldn’t have done it without Jesus.

I still have a little more of Dad’s desk to clean out. No telling what I’ll find there. He saved everything. There’s a cigar box full of shoe laces. And I will never have to buy paper clips again. Here are some things I’ve found in and around my dad’s desk. You never know when you might need some carbon paper.

stuff from dads desk

Later I spent a couple of hours making a collage from one of Mom’s old angel calendars. It was an intensely fun diversion. I think the hands are interesting.

Angel Calenar Collage

Tomorrow, I switch gears and get some yellow paint samples for the kitchen!

 


13 Comments

Song Lyric Sunday: Alive!

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday is, “days.”

Three days after Jesus died on the cross, Mary Magdalene saw him alive.

….Then the disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

                                                                                                                          John 20: 10-18

 

You can see Mary’s joy in this video perfectly aligned with Natalie Grant’s song, “Alive.” It gives me chills, or “Godbumps,” every time.

“Alive”

By Natalie Grant

Who but You, could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies and dream of me?
What kind of Love is writing my story till the end with Mercy’s pen? Only You.
What kind of king would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars to win my heart?
What kind of Love tells me I’m the reason He can’t stay inside the grave?
You. Is it You? Standing here before my eyes, every part of my heart cries

Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive!
Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before I am His because He is alive.

Who could speak, and send the demons back from where they came with just one Name?
What other heart would let itself be broken every time till He healed mine?
You. Only You could turn my darkness into dawn; running right into Your arms

Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome; Death has lost and Love has won Alive! Alive!
Hallelujah, Risen Lord, the only One I fall before I am His because He is

Emmanuel, the promised King the baby who made angels sing Son of Man who walked with us, healing, breathing in our dust
The author of all history, the answer to all mysteries The Lamb of God who rolled away, the stone in front of every grave

Alive! Alive! Look what Mercy’s overcome;
Death has lost and Love has won.

(Hallelujah)

Alive! I am His because He is alive. Alive!

Lyrics from: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nataliegrant/alive.html

 

For more information on Song Lyric Sunday, visit Helen’s blog at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2018/03/31/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-4-1-18/

May your Easter be full of joy and blessings!


10 Comments

Jesus Christ Superstar, Revisited

As Easter approaches I have extra choir duty, I’m getting rid of a nasty  cold, and preparing to drive to the mountains on Monday.  So, to make things a little easier on myself,  I’m doing a bit of re-cycling here on WordPress.

In 2015, I did a series of posts about Jesus Christ Superstar and how the movie and music impacted my life.

In this song, Jesus, played by Ted Neeley, faces his fear in the garden of Gethsemane. Sure puts my little challenges in a different perspective.


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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

 

 

 


8 Comments

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


26 Comments

A Pet Peeve and Other Admissions

socsbadge2016-17

I admit that I get annoyed with people who can’t admit they are wrong. Especially when they are wrong. It just makes me want to stay away from them. Being open-minded (when it comes to beliefs, and theories, and possibilities, but not as much about my own behavior anymore) tends to make me say things like, “I think…..” or “I believe….” instead of “This is the way it is.”

I’ve known a couple of people in my life who stated their opinions as indisputable fact. They were so sure sounding, that I almost started to doubt myself. Almost. I think (there, see) it was about the location of a certain agency that had moved. I knew they’d moved, but the other person said they were located at the old place. There was a policy change, too, that the other sure of herself individual didn’t know about. She stated the old policy as fact with great confidence. Of course, I just dropped that one. Except that in both cases I looked it up to make sure. Even though I knew I was right.

I admitted that I was powerless over other people and trying to have power over others has made my life unmanageable at times.  I know I need to focus on me.

I admit that I forget things sometimes, like where I put my checkbook, where I put my phone, that I’m not thirty something anymore, or 40 something, or even 50 something. But I remember the important things, like feeding the dogs, making sure the door is locked at night, checking the stove before I leave the house, and then checking it again, because maybe I was thinking about something when I checked it the first time and didn’t really LOOK at the knobs, and checking it one more time, just to be sure.

I admit that I’m a tree-hugger, and proud of it, and that I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe that stuff about women submitting to their husbands. That’s why I go to an Episcopal church.

Sometimes I think about calling myself a follower of Jesus, instead of a Christian, because “Christian” has such a negative connotation (in some circles) because of  people who can not admit they might be wrong and believe their truth is the only way. It’s so hard to love some people.

I admit that I don’t love everybody. But Jesus does. 😉 Even when we are too sure of ourselves, or forget to pray, or get irritated at arrogant people who think they know everything, like what Jesus looks like.

buddah and jesus

Well, I’ve been saying I want to be more authentic, so there you have it.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was, “admit.” For more info, visit our host, Linda G. Hill:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1017/

Here are the SOCS 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!