Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: A Different Kind of Courage

Today’s mission is to find a word that starts with or contains, “val,” to use it any way we like, and of course to enjoy.

The first word that came to me was, valiant.

When I was still a child, probably and older child, I used to read the comic strip, Prince Valiant in the Sunday newspaper. It was a series that started maybe in the 1930s, and I think it might still be going on. Prince Valiant was around in the times of King Arthur, so there was a lot about honor and swords, chivalry and horses. I had a thing for horses in my late childhood and beyond, even to this day, so horses might have been part of the draw.

It seems I got a little bored with reading Prince Valiant as I got into my teen years and just started looking at the pictures as my attention became focused more on basketball and eventually boys. I don’t remember much about Prince Valiant, but maybe it set the stage for my love of The Lord of the Rings which I’m watching as I type this on Friday night.

The word, valiant reminds me of courage. Sometimes, especially in today’s world, we need a different understanding of courage. Being valiant isn’t always about charging in with swords drawn or guns blazing. As Yoda said, it’s not wars that make one great. We are now fighting an enemy that will not be killed with arrogance or belligerence.

 

“Courage doesn’t always roar.

Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says

I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

We now need the kind of courage that helps us stay put and wait. There’s a courage in patience, the courage to face what comes up when we are still – the demons and dreads that we may have been covering up with busyness. But we can have the courage to find healthy ways to wait. The courage to try new things, to be creative, to learn who we are deep down and not run away. We are finding the courage to love ourselves and others enough to wait and be wise, to wait until the coast is clear and learn from this time of quiet waiting, to trust the timing.

And then we will have the courage to be valiant in fighting for the health of the planet and her people. But first we must live to fight another day and in a new way.

I went looking for some visuals of Prince Valiant and found this cartoon from the early 90s which I don’t remember seeing, (I was pretty busy then) but now, I want to. Watching the intro, I remembered the characters. You can see LOTR similarities. There are some interesting names in the opening credits, like Tim Curry who was the voice of Sir Gawain. You can read more about the animated series, The Legend of Prince Valiant, here.

For details on SoCS and more streams, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-25-2020/

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!


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I Don’t Usually Do This, But….

I’m making an exception on this Pass it Along Getting to Know You questionnaire, because

  1. I only have to tag two people (I don’t want to impose) and
  2. The  questions are interesting
  3. There are only 7 questions

When M. Oniker tagged me, I first thought I’d decline as usual. But after reading her answers and thinking of some of my own, I started to reconsider. If you’ve tagged me on this same questionnaire already, I apologize. I still don’t do awards or anything where you’re supposed to tag a bunch of people, or if I just feel overwhelmed…. Why do I feel like I have to explain? Anyway here goes!

1. Name a moment in your life when you felt you were most courageous.

There were many moments of courage in the 30 something years I worked as a substance abuse counselor. It’s amazing to me now that I even did that job for so long, especially since I’ve retired and my inner introvert has come out of the closet. I don’t recall one specific moment, but I often had to assert my truth and confront the voice of addiction coming from clients who were angry and rude because deep down they hurt like hell. Sometimes I faced the monster with gentleness. Other times, I had to be firm and practice boundary setting. But I could not run and hide. I must’ve gotten better with practice, but it was never easy. Thank God for the moments of rejoicing and the privilege of witnessing recovery.  It took courage to leave that job, to say, enough, to the growing bureaucracy and red tape and trust that I’d be taken care of – just like it took courage ten years earlier to say enough after the post-divorce rebounds and trust that God had a plan for my life.

2. If you had to choose only one breakfast cereal for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Oh good. Now we get a light and easy question. Every morning, I eat oatmeal with apples, bananas and walnuts (plus pomegranate, blueberries or peaches when in season) The every morning part might sound boring, but it’s really good and my husband makes breakfast, so I’m okay sticking with that. Occasionally we go to IHOP for dinner and order pancakes and omelettes.

3. When have you felt the most scared?

I’m sure it was when one of my kids was in trouble, like when the police called about my son when he was 15 or when my daughter was going through something scary. Nothing grabs hold of my heart like when one of my kids (or dogs) is in trouble. It was worse when they were young. I’ll never forget that feeling of being in a public place and losing sight of my child even for a few seconds. They’re grown now, but I still get a gut/heart blip  when they’re going through something hard.

4. If you could sing like any musical artist, who would you choose?

I love to sing, especially when I can experiment with harmonies. Not to brag, but I used to have a good range. Now it takes more work to keep the old vocal chords in shape. The high notes are harder to reach these days. I love listening to Celtic music and wonder if I could’ve been a Celtic Woman. But other paths called. When I read this question, Sarah McLachlan came to mind.  I also like Pink. And then there’s Loreena Mckennitt. Take your pick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do you collect anything?

Yes. Too many things, so I’m de-cluttering. The things I collect that give me joy are snow globes. Plus, I’ve inherited my mother’s angel collection and will keep many of them. Oh, and blue and amber glass bottles. But that’s it. And rabbits. And candles for hurricanes. That’s it.

angels

6. If you could live inside a TV show or movie, what would it be?

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you might think I’m going to say Star Trek. If it was the 60s, I would definitely say that cause of my old crush, Mr. Spock. But now I know I get motion sickness too easily, and beaming any where would probably make me faint. Plus I love old mother earth, so I’m going to go with Northern Exposure – as long as I can fly south for the winter after I’ve seen the Northern Lights. There’s something about that quirky little town and being close to nature. But I have a feeling I’d get tired of it about mid-winter.  This video gives the best overview of the show, though I wish Ed and Marilyn could have made it.

 

 

7. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? If so, what was it?

Water has been the most common element in dreams I remember. In my twenties, I had a lot of dreams about tidal waves – trying to get out of the way, and OMG Where did we park the car? Then there were the dreams about going over steep, high bridges. Later things calmed down, and I dreamed about water covering the path ahead of me. My favorite water dreams are about stepping out in faith as a stepping stone rises to meet my foot and the dreams where I was able to breathe under water. I love to swim, so those were the best. I could stay under water as long a I wanted to. But I’ll never forget the dream where I was flying low and fast over the marshy intra-coastal canals just inches from the sparkling water.

bridgeoverwaterway28229

There. I did it. That’s all the questions. The hardest part is tagging two people. There is absolutely no obligation of course.

Joey at https://jolenemottern.com/ does these things sometimes, so maybe I could tag her. Joey has some hilarious real life posts. I like how she makes up her own version of words that flow naturally.

Then there’s Laura from https://riddlefromthemiddle.com/  where you’ll find a diverse range of topics like social justice, family, and lots of fun stuff.

Anyone who wants to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged and feel free to link your post in the comments!

 

 

 


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Good News Tuesday: Prepare to Be Inspired

“If you do something wrong to my animals, I will catch you.”  ___Vimbai Kumire

A female anti-poaching unit protects elephants in Zimbabwe.  Many of these women are single mothers or survivors of abuse. My heart cheers with hope for them, for their courage and dedication. In this video, you can see how important their work is to them.

Fighting the monster of addiction also takes courage. It’s harder than most people realize. Crystal Champ gave her baby to a hero, but Crystal is a hero, too.  In this video, she’s been sober six months.

 

Good news is happening all over the world.

The world needs to see it.

Sunflower w address


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One-Liner Wednesday: Rescue

“The World Came to the Rescue.”

(A statement halfway into this news video.)

 

Working together with courage, skill, and cooperation we can accomplish the seemingly impossible.  Over 1000 rescue workers, plus volunteers, plus the hopes and prayers of people around the world focused on the boys in the cave came together for a common goal. Imagine what we could do with this kind of focus and cooperation for peace, for the earth, for finding what we can agree on.

 

Cave rescue

I’m sending prayers to the family and friends of Saman Gunan, (also spelled Kunan)  who died while delivering oxygen tanks to the boys and their coach. He will be remembered well.

Sanan Kunan

∞∞∞∞

One-liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more information, please visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/11/one-liner-wednesday-like-a-ghost-caught-on-camera/

one-liner-wednesday-badge-2018-19

 

 


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No Sides, Only Love

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Utah. Too many young people have died, both in body and in spirit, as a result of being marginalized, hated, and abused. “Encircle” is a resource center, a safe haven, for LGBTQ youth and their parents started by a Mormon mom in Provo, Utah. After watching videos about the program, I feel tremendous admiration for those who had the courage to open its doors with the motto: No sides, Only love.  It’s not always easy to lead with only love. But programs like Encircle and its people give me great hope.

 

Got good news? Please share!

Sunflower w address


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Why Waddle When You Can Fly?

A couple weeks ago, Father Dan Macgill told us the story of the First Goose Church. It’s a story originally by Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. When I looked it up, I couldn’t find the story about geese, but I found the one about ducks.

Geese, ducks, take your pick. It’s a good story. I think I’ll go with ducks.

Duck from pixabayThere once was a mythical little town inhabited exclusively by ducks. Every Sunday the ducks waddled to Duck  Church.  One Sunday, the duck minister delivered a particularly inspiring sermon:

“Ducks! God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles!”

“Amen!” said the ducks.

“No walls can confine you,” he continued. “No fences can hold you!”

“Amen!” said the ducks.

“You have wings! God has given you wings, so YOU CAN FLY!” he shouted.

“Amen!” shouted the ducks.

The ducks felt excited as they filed out of the church, thanking the duck minister for a wonderful sermon.

And when church was over, they all waddled home.

In fear, they talked about how flying could be foolish, maybe even dangerous! Ducks who flew didn’t stay plump; they got skinny. There were rumors of ducks who flew and were never seen again.

Most of the ducks never realized their full potential.

What keeps us from soaring to greater heights? From reaching our dreams? What keeps us in situations that are familiar and safe when we know we were meant for something greater, something more fulfilling?

We must not let fear keep us following the same old paths that lead nowhere, repeating habits that hold us back, hanging on to old prejudices that distance us from divine love.

We are on the brink of miracles.

Let us push beyond what we have known.

Let us have the courage to fly!

Thanks to KG for helping me find the song below in this post:

https://booksmusicandmovies.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/tuesday-tunes-74/

Thank you to pixabay for the duck photo.


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Global Warming and the Serenity Prayer

fan

The highs this week, in my neck of the woods, will be in the upper 90’s. Today, it might even reach 100 degrees. This is not unheard of here in the Carolinas, but we typically stay in the 80s for most of the summer.

When I was a kid, in the 1960’s, my family didn’t have AC. We did have window fans though. And Popsicles. And a freezer I’d stick my head in and inhale deeply. I have no idea whether this is hazardous though, so I’m not recommending it. We rolled down the car windows to get air, except when my parents bought that portable air conditioner unit that fit into the passenger window of the ’68 Chevy for the drive from the East Coast to Camp Pendleton, California. Somewhere in the desert, the chord wouldn’t pull. Dad reached over and gave it a yank, and the machine spit ice water all over Mom making her shriek. We went back to rolling down the windows after that.

For most of human existence, there was no electricity, no AC, not even electric fans.

How did people get by with no electricity, no window fans, no Popsicles, even?

Now, as I start to think outside my own little world, how do so many people living in hotter climates  today still get by without air conditioning?  Am I spoiled or fortunate?

I don’t have central air, but I do have ceiling fans and two window units in my modest abode which I resist turning on  until it’s in the 90s.

But sometimes, like this week, even our abundant shade trees can’t keep it cool enough to prevent the heat and humidity from growing mold on my old shoes in the closet. The window units are running a lot more this week, not really for the shoes, but for the dogs.

When I think about the Serenity Prayer, which I wrote about last week, I usually include “The Weather” on my list of things I cannot change.  But what if we did this? What if this is global warming? Can we change it?

(I look forward to hearing what Pope Francis has to say about this later in the week.)

Most big changes take a long time. There are those things that maybe we can change, over time, with organization, like laws and injustice. We have to decide where to put our energy.

People changed the status of slavery so that it’s no longer legal in the US.  Once upon a time, women, and African Americans did not have the right to vote in my country. But brave women and men worked hard to change that one step at a time.

Can we change the weather?

I don’t know. But we can do our part to change our habits, and maybe that will, at least, slow down the destruction of our planet. At best, we can, help our lovely planet heal, one step at a time.

I’m partial to this list of 10 things we can do from “Flood London” http://www.floodlondon.com/global-warming/

Let us not take the earth for granted.

Today, let us have the courage to reduce our carbon footprints.

Let us express gratitude for the earth

…and for things like air conditioning, clean water, and Popsicles.

Earth, The Blue Marble

“The Blue Marble”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

This post was inspired by the prompt, humidity, a few weeks ago by Andi Floyd-Cumbo, leader of the Online Writing Community via Andilit, and topped off with my series on the Serenity Prayer.


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Gethsemane: Facing Fear

This post is part of my week long series revisiting the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. Thanks for joining the journey!

Ted Neely’s powerful performance as Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, gets me at the core of my being, every time.

Seeing the human fear and the weariness Jesus feels in this scene inspires me and even comforts me. He died for us in spite of his fear. His powerful connection with his loving Father gave him courage, but it was far from easy for him. Otherwise, He would not have asked for a reprieve.

This scene reminds me that each of us can deepen our connection with God, to give us courage to face our own trials, large and small.

We can ask God questions: Do you really want me to do this?

We can ask for help: Okay, God. Show me how. Help me feel your presence, your strength. Please give me the courage to do this.

 


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Re-blogging about Very Hard Things

Sometimes computers are hard for me. Or maybe it’s just my I phone. When I tried to re-blog this post with my phone, other random post parts jumped in uninvited.  I deleted the post, and now, I’m starting over on the lap top.  But it says I already re-blogged the post. Oh Well, there’s always a way.

http://tonningsen.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/very-hard-things/comment-page-1/#comment-6973

I like the post from Eric Tonningsen’s blog because it gives three clear suggestions to help make coping with very hard things possible.

Like in January when I put my Golden Retriever, Jesse,  “to sleep.” I had no idea when I started to re-blog Eric’s post that I’d get to process some of this grief again, but that’s how grief is sometimes.

https://joannaoftheforest.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/ill-see-you-on-the-other-side/

I used Eric’s suggestions then and now.

I found, and still find, beauty in the memories of  our life together, Jesse’s protectiveness, and how he loved to swim.

I let family help me but asking my husband to carry some of the weight (figuratively and literally carrying Jesse when he couldn’t walk) and calling my father on the phone from the vet’s office to pray with us.

I had compassion for myself, reminding myself of all that I’d done to try to make Jesse comfortable, and that I would get through saying goodbye to him. I feel sad remembering this now, but after nine months, it has gotten easier: the waves of sadness do not come as often and they’re not as intense. (Deep breath.)

I would just like to add that, in my experience, God can help too. When I don’t feel like I have the strength to get through something, I ask:

“God help me, get through this,”

Courage comes to me from a power greater than myself.

I know I am never alone.

 


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path  opening up to lake

Take a step toward opportunity.

     I was thinking about acceptance and the Serenity Prayer this morning right before I came upon a news story about a “fast food worker” telling the CEO of McDonald’s she can’t feed her kids on the $8.25 an hour she makes after 10 years with his company.  She had accepted this job for 10 years. Now apparently her hours have been cut since she made the public statement. The article did not say anything about whether she had asked for a raise previously or about her performance. The CEO’s response, that he had been with the company for 40 years, was not only dismissive, but rude. He didn’t say how much he made. He should have taken her name and said, “We’ll look into your history and work performance and get back to you.”

     My recommendation to the employee would be to ask this question: “What do I need to do to get a raise?” The employee needs to sit down with any supervisor who will give her some time (by asking, when is a good time to talk?) and ask if it’s possible to get a raise and how can she do it. If she is told “it’s not possible,” (which I wouldn’t believe) then it’s time to find another job. It’s human to want to share that you are struggling to feed your two kids, but the focus needs to be on: How can I change this? instead of “I can’t….”

Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like it. But when we  catch ourselves thinking, “I can’t…,” we need to focus on changing the things we can. What are the small steps you can take to improve on a situation you don’t like? Small steps can add up to big changes. The things we can change fall under two categories: our thoughts and our actions. Thoughts make up our attitudes and beliefs. We can always tweak our thoughts for the better.  Our actions include changing our clothes, our our tone of voice and how we breathe. In any situation, we can always take a deeper or longer breath, well unless we’re under water, then we can kick our feet and swim to the surface. (That’s what I get for questioning my “always.”)  Taking a deeper or longer breath can help  calm us into wiser decisions or give us strength to face a challenge. But we can always pray and we can ask for help when we need it. How we ask for help makes a big difference.  If we only criticize what’s wrong, we are less likely to get help.  If we ask, “How can we make this better?” we move toward a solution.

Have Courage and ask the right questions!

God, grand me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference…..Amen.