Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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Pay Attention to the Signs

danger

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is the word, “sign.”

Our bodies will give us signs. Like acid reflux or upset stomach when stressed. At least mine does. My acid reflux is always an indicator of stress, or eating too fast. I ignored the signs that my post-divorce rebound, aka, the “rebound from hell,” was not a good fit. I ignored the fact that he drank a lot. (Maybe I could help him with that – OMG was I messed up!) I ignored the jealousy – accusations that I must have been with someone when he couldn’t get up with me, or “out of pocket,” as he later called it. Oh, how I hate that expression and the memory of it.

I ignored the little voice in my head that maybe I could do better. I was seriously wounded.  My body gave me other signs too – a mysterious female ailment that would not get better.  My body knew he wasn’t good for me.

But years after the rebound from hell ended, my body got better. Eventually, I knew I was better off not dating anyone. So, after five years of celibacy, I was hesitant. Fearful. Nervous, yet excited about the man from my long ago past. My high school sweetheart. People change a lot in 39 years, I told myself. BE CAREFUL!

But God gave me signs that had to do with timing. Should I give it away? Did I give it away in an earlier post? It’s in my book which comes out sometime this summer. Let me just say that I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t do something until something else happened. The timing of when my high school sweetheart re-appeared fit right in to this promise. And there was another promise about a criminal background check before falling in love again. The way he responded when I told him that was a sign of honor and respect.

When some one honors you and helps you keep your promises to yourself, that means a lot. My body felt comfortable and safe with him. Excited and aroused, too, after five years of celibacy. But I had learned that you can’t trust just that kind of arousal. I had to have the safety and comfort, too. And respect. I’ve read that respect is really important to men and being listened to is most important to women. Well, I can tell you that I want respect, too. And joy. And feeling safe. All those things are part of being loved and loving.

If I had not found all those good qualities in another person, I was prepared to stay single, celibate, and solo, with friends and dogs for company. Being willing to stay single was my strength. I had finally learned to honor, love, and respect myself enough to be in a healthy relationship.

I just have to bend the rules and enter another stream of consciousness to add this sign which I forgot about. Dang. I wish I’d written about this sign. Well, another time….

sign at Summerland key wharf

socsbadge2016-17

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more information, just follow this sign:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/06/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1717/

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!

 


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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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Intoxicating Smells

 

mimosa flower close up

Right before I read today’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt, I was outside picking up mimosa flowers in my backyard. Some people seem to find mimosas a nuisance. The flowers are everywhere, littering, NO, not littering, gracing my back steps, patio and yard. I  think mimosas are delightful. They are not “invasive” to me. They are prolific. And their flowers are intoxicating – mildly intoxicating. When I pick up a mimosa flower and breathe in it’s gentle fragrance, my eyes close and roll back a bit in my head.

Mimosa fragrance is milder than honeysuckle, my other favorite flower smell. Gardenia is nice, but it can be a bit much. Another smell I love is a wood fire. I don’t much like sleeping on the ground any more, but I remember going camping in years passed and not wanting to wash my clothes because of the smell of wood smoke bringing back memories of sitting around the fire and looking at the stars.

And I can’t leave out the intoxicating smell of my first love when he found me again after 39 years. I hope you don’t get tired of me writing about that, but I might have some new followers who don’t know about it. It’s just fascinating to me how intoxicating I found his smell when we first reconnected in 2011. My nose would linger over his neck and drink in the mild, almost imperceptible scent of his skin. That scent must have imprinted hard on my 16 year old brain. That’s just one of the many things you can read about when my book comes out sometimes this summer. Maybe even next month…. I wonder if it will smell good. Don’t you just love the smell of old books, or new books? Kinda weird for a lover of trees to love the smell of books and burning wood. Sorry about that trees. What can I say? Smell is complicated.

socsbadge2016-17

Today’s SocS prompt, “smell,” is brought to you by, Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2717/

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!


16 Comments

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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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)


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God’s Glitter

Look up at the stars

Connect to infinity.

You are not alone.

 lonely dog or wolf howling at the moon

Years ago,

I sat on my hardwood floor,

my back against the wall,

wondering why this dry spell

seemed to last so long?

I yearned for someone,

hoping there was one for me

but learned to accept God’s plan,

even if it meant there was no one else

but me and my dogs

getting older by the minute.

When I walked out into the darkness

and saw the glitter high above,

I remembered it was there every night

Even when I didn’t see it for the clouds,

Even when I cried myself to sleep

with tears that watered the garden

of my weary soul.

Gazing at the glitter overhead

dried my tears with love that never ends.

God, who heard my cries,

had it all figured out.

And when the time was right,

Brought love home to me.

(I found the picture on pixabay and fell in love with it.)

 

 

 

 

 


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Time After Time

Song Lyric Sunday

Today’s theme from Helen Espinosa is to pick a song from the 80s.

“Time after Time,” written by Rob Hyman and Cyndi Lauper, came out in 1983 when my spirituality was just emerging. I realized later that the chorus could relate, not only to romantic love, but also to the divine, forever love of our creator.

If you’re lost you can look, and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time

You’ll find the lyrics in this “video” where Sarah Mclachlan joins Cyndi Lauper.