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!

 


22 Comments

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

 

 


17 Comments

Six Years Ago

It was six years ago today, probably around 8PM, that I got this Facebook message from my high school sweetheart after 39 years of no contact:

Greetings to you! After many years I hope you are well. Take care and be safe!

After that, everything changed.

You can read all about the 39 years, what it took for us to be ready to meet again, and what happened next, in my memoir which will be available this summer!

ebook cover -1536x2048


14 Comments

I Can See Clearly Now

Song Lyric Sunday

When I saw today’s theme was to share a song surrounding a happy memory, I wanted to find one from 1972, the year I fell in love for the first time. When I looked at the list for the top 100 songs from that year, there were so many good ones! But it was the sad songs I remembered best. In 1972, My first love moved 700 miles away at the end of the school year.  “Precious and Few,” by Bread, was bittersweet, and Harry Nilsson’s “Without You,” made me wail.

Then, I came across “I Can See Clearly Now,” by Johnny Nash. It didn’t make a big impression on me when it came out in 72, but it has brought me comfort and affirmation over the years.

In 2003, I had just broken free from the blinding rebound from hell and was on a freedom road trip with my almost teenage daughter. We sang a lot on road trips back then. When I taught her Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman,” she was not as enthusiastic as I’d hoped, but maybe that’s because I sang it at the top of my lungs. On our way home, a rainbow appeared in front of us, and the song, “I Can See Clearly Now” came to me. Or maybe it came on the radio. Anyway, it became my victory song for that year. It packs a powerful dose of hope.

 

Today, my physical eyesight is not so clear, but my spirit can see clearly that things work out wonderfully when the time is right. I am grateful beyond words.

Song Lyric Sunday is brought to us by Helen at:

https://helenswordsoflife.com/2017/06/03/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-6417/

where you’ll find more good memories.

 


25 Comments

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)


14 Comments

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/