Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


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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!


25 Comments

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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Like an Adolescent Girl Approaching Menopause

Song Lyric Sunday

It was years ago, after the rebound from hell, after stumbling around in purgatory, as I entered my unintenional five years of celibacy, that I was crazy about the girl band, Superchick. Their style was aimed at adolescent girls and had subtle Christian undertones. That must have been what I needed back in those post-divorce years. In some ways, I was like a adolescent girl, approaching menopause, trying to find myself again.

“Beauty for Pain” in particular helped pull me out of darkness and gave me hope.

The chorus is my favorite part:

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
Though it won’t be today, someday I’ll hope again
And there’ll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday was, “pain.” For more information, visit Helen at:

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-42317/


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Soulmates: Finding a Good Fit

puzzle pieces

Since I often use the word, soulmate, That Girl’s post: The Soulmate Phenomenon, grabbed my attention. It got me thinking about the word, “soulmate,” which can mean different things to different people. I never liked the expression, “my other half,” or “my better half.” I am not half a person. My soul was okay without a human partner,  especially having human and animal friends who loved me. Yet, at times, I did feel like something was missing. I considered that annoying void carefully.  If my soulmate was still out there, I didn’t want to get side tracked (again) by an impostor. I clarified what qualities my soulmate would have.

Here are some things I’ve learned about soulmates:

What is a soulmate? The word, soulmate sounds romantic, but for me, it goes beyond romance. It’s someone who is a good fit – not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. My soulmate is someone who nourishes my soul, my true self, the part of me that will live on into eternity. My soulmate was meant for me. He gets me.

Who Can it Be? Can we have more than one soulmate?  I believe so. I probably thought my first husband was my soulmate. At first we were a good fit. But in the twenty years we were married, we both changed and grew in different directions. I think I changed more than he did. He would probably agree, but I wouldn’t swear to it. My soul was pretty shaken when he left. After that, I had a much deeper appreciation for my friends. It’s possible that a close friend or relative  could be a soulmate.

When is he (or she) going to get here? A soulmate comes when we are ready. He or she may leave and come back again. The man I am now married to was my first love. We dated for less than a year, then he was gone – a sweet memory for 39 years – until the time was right. Though he says it would not have worked out when we were younger, we are clearly a good fit, now. He nourishes my soul. He feels like my soulmate. Maybe he’s my super soulmate.

Why Care? It’s different for everyone, but having a partner or close friend to share life with is a comfort, and in many cases, increases longevity, as long as that person is a good fit, someone who respects you and doesn’t add constant stress to your life. Being with someone who understands and nurtures us, improves the quality of life. Soulmates encourage healthy growth and well being in one another.

How to find one? In my April newsletter, I’ll be sharing about the five steps I took that helped my soulmate find me. Here’s the overview:

  • Clarify desires
  • Turn it over
  • Work on YOU
  • Focus on friendship
  • Imagine!

For details coming next week, sign up for my monthly newsletter at the sidebar on the right.

Or just click here:  http://eepurl.com/cLDxdD

What are your thoughts about soulmates?  Do you think we can have more than one?


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Lesson Learned – One-Liner Wednesday

“If it don’t fit, don’t force it.”

I learned this lesson from my two post-divorce rebounds. It took long enough! The first one, the “rebound from hell,” lasted a year, which was a year too long. The second rebound lasted three years and was not hellish, though it did feel like purgatory in the end. At least I was making progress. Five years of celibacy taught me that it was entirely possible to be happy without a man in my life and helped me accept that I could be the love of my life. Then, I got the surprise of my life!

1linerwedsbadgewes

One-liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. You can read more one-liners and see Linda’s pretty new colors at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/12/one-liner-wednesday-colour-my-world/

Here are the One-Liner Wednesday rules which I sometimes follow:

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!

 


12 Comments

Give with Balance

SOCS

“Give until it hurts,” is not my idea of healthy.  Giving is good, but not to the point of exhaustion, unless you get to rest a lot and recharge your batteries before you have to give again. I think I got burned out on giving during various times of my life. I would sometimes give in too often.

Never give up on your dreams, but if you want to change your dreams, that’s okay. It’s okay to give up something that isn’t good for you. I should speak for myself. I have given up on people who were not good for me. I’ve also hung in there with challenging people. There are people, like my children, who I will never give up on. There are people who I will also love from a distance. And pray for from a distance. Letting Go sounds better than giving up. Letting Go is good as long as you’re not dropping something you don’t want to break.

I heard someone say that everything she ever let go of had claw marks on it. I can relate to that. I don’t want to let go of some clothes that I think I could fit into again if I lost ten pounds. But I want more room in my closet. So, I remind myself that if I give these things away, someone else can wear and enjoy them now.

I will continue to give of my time and my love, but not to the point where I am hurting myself. I will not give up on my country, even though I cannot watch the news much. And the thing I most want to encourage, comes from a song from The Lion King:

“You should never take more than you give.”

 

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt from Linda Hill was:  “give/given/giving,”with instructions to begin our post with one of those words.  And I got bonus points if for ending with one of them. Ta Da!

For more on the Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-817/

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!


18 Comments

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