Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Parenthood and the Stream of Consciousness

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Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs around. It might just be the toughest, because it’s never really done. A few quotes come to mind, though I’m not going to look up who said them. I’m just going to give them to you:

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Someone told me this after my second baby was born. It’s true. She’s going to be 23 years old in less than two weeks. It seems like only yesterday……

“Having a child is like having a piece of your heart forever walking around outside your body.” I might not have quoted that exactly.  This one hit home for me when my kids each started school, and when they became teenagers, and when they moved out of the house. Even though things are more peaceful now, I still worry about them.

“Raising a teenager is like trying to nail Jello to a tree.” I have no idea where this comes from, but it was helpful to read. It made me  feel a little less alone. I got to thinking: is it possible to nail Jello to a tree? Because anything is possible. So, I imagine creating a platform to put the Jello on and nailing the Jello to the tree after putting it on the platform which would be attached to the tree somehow. But I would not really want to nail anything to a tree, because ouch! I love trees. Of course it’s a hypothetical analogy. I suppose  if the Jello was dried up and turned into solid Jello, you could nail it to a tree. But then, would it still be JELLO?  And where was I going with this?

It is possible to raise a teenager. Teenagers, and children in general, can be lots of fun. Like when my daughter taught me those songs by Pink and Evanescence and shared her dark, silly humor with me. With teenagers, it helps to balance out the hard times with fun times. I’m proud of my outside-the-box adult children, even though, blah, blah, blah. (Letting go of the even though.)

Whether you’re a parent of a human, a parent of a dog, or cat, or a parent of yourself, (because sometimes we need to re-parent ourselves) being a parent is hard work. Being a mother is hard work. So be nice to your mother on mother’s day and every day. Oh, and my mother is an angel in heaven.

(Damn you, stream of consciousness! Did we really have to go there?)

I love you, Mom. Thank you for loving me for all those years. Especially the ones when the Jello would not stay on the tree.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: “apparent/a parent.” If you want to join in, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/05/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-716/

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.

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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My First Art Show

Tree lady  w 2 hearts

Last weekend I went to my first art show as a vendor. For set up, I got to follow the sign on the front door of the the old church venue saying,

“Artists enter by side door.”

I’ve been an artist since I was  10 years old, but this was the first time I’ve gone in the special door. It’s the first time I’ve put my visual art out there for sale.

“What if I don’t sell anything?” whispered the voice of self-doubt. “It will be so embarrassing!”

“Shut up! That’s no way to talk!” responded my critical parent voice.

“Be positive! What if you sell a lot of your work?” said the nurturing parent. “I’m proud of you for doing this, no matter what!”

“Okay, as long as something sells,” said self-doubt.

I put in a lot of time creating art, matting prints, and painting angels and mermaids on rocks and shells to be included with each purchase. I ended up selling a few pieces which covered the $75 for the space, plus art supplies. And I have plenty of leftovers for the next show or to go in a gallery!

The “Tree Lady” (above) and the healing angels (below) sold. But not the larger pieces.

IMG_0918    Comforting Angels

And the original of “Delivery,” a practice piece on scrap wood, sold.

Angels w baby

Delivery

I learned a lot from this first art show, like art is subjective. Some of the prints I thought for sure would sell didn’t. Small pieces of original art sold best. People admired the three larger paintings, but didn’t want to spend that kind of money, which I can understand. So for next time, I’m making a few prints of the larger pieces.

Seeing other artists’ work provided a feast of delight and inspiration.

But the best part of all was not about what I sold.

The best part was about what I gave away.

I’d brought with me paper and plastic bags for the art I’d sell. One bag came from my mom’s bedroom, the bedroom my father hasn’t changed in the several years since she died. I go in there now and then to look for things I can convince Dad to donate or get rid of.  The bag from Mom’s room was a lavender paper bag with handles. While sitting at the art show, I rummaged through the tissue paper in the lavender bag. At the bottom, I found a little, pink, crocheted purse. Or so I thought it was a purse.

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(It actually turned out to be a holder for those personal sized Kleenex packets.)

I put the little pink purse in the basket I’d brought the painted rocks in, and put it on the table thinking someone might like it.

A couple hours later, a little girl, who looked to be about 5 or 6, came by with her parents. She stopped to look at the painted shells, lingering on each one. Then she came to the little pink purse in the basket.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“I think it’s a little purse,” I said. I could tell she liked it by the way she admired it and worked to figure out the button clasp.

“That’s for you,” I said. “My mother wants you to have it.”

My words came out spontaneously.

The little girl smiled and thanked me politely as did her mother. They figured out it was a Kleenex purse, and said she always had trouble finding tissue at school, so it would come in handy.

The brief and powerful connection with the little girl and my mother’s pink Kleenex purse made my heart sing. It was as if my mother had been there all the time, watching quietly, waiting for the chance to be part of my first art show.


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God Has a Plan!

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Lone Bird, by JoAnne Silvia

Psalm 13:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long shall I have perplexity in my mind and grief in my heart, day after day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me?

Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death.

Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him.” and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.

But I put my trust in your mercy; my heart is joyful because of your saving help.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly. I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.”

This psalm takes me back to the grief…the pain of separation after being married for 20 years, followed by an unexpected divorce. I believed that my husband and I would grow old together, that when the kids were grown, we would travel across country in an RV like my parents did.

The grief was most intense on August 18th, the anniversary of my first marriage – the one I believed would last until death parted us. I could not understand how God could have let this happen. I felt deserted and confused.

Even I didn’t know what a wreck I was after the divorce, until I woke up from the nightmare of a sick rebound relationship.

In the years that followed, I wondered what was wrong with me, that I couldn’t find anyone right for me to date, let alone, marry. It seemed like I was alone for a long time, but in retrospect, it wasn’t that long, and I was never alone.

Good Shepherf Window

It was love at fist sight when I walked into my church and saw him over two decades ago.

God was with me the whole time. My guardian angel walked beside me, shaking her head in exasperation. And Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was always there, lighting the path of love, that led back to the fold.

Jeremiah 29:11 was my life preserver.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give your hope and a future.”

Maybe God wanted me to be single so I could accomplish more, because relationships do take time and effort, even the good ones.  And the unhealthy relationships, well, they can be insanely distracting, taking us way off course…

(Or maybe not off course, but learning what we need to change to be ready for the gift.)

What I know now is that I had to work on me, and be a better parent, and draw closer to God.  I had to love myself and do what was right for me as a single person.  I kept going to the church where I felt accepted and cherished. I kept working and learning, singing and enjoying creation.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other, loving the family and friends who walked beside me.

And God did have a plan!

Now, August 18th is just another summer day with the love of my life. God has dealt with me richly, with many blessings, including bringing my soul mate to me when the time was perfect.

In times of uncertainty, I must remember God’s mercy and let my heart be joyful!

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Heart Cloud, by JoAnne Silvia


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They Come Around

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Young pine tree on a cloudy day, growing in sandy soil

My son told me, “You’re the only one who’s making any sense right now.”

“I’m just glad you’re listening to me,” was the response I chose.

“I know,” he said. “It only took 28 years.”

There was a whole year when my son was in his early 20’s, living in the mountains on the other side of the state, when he wouldn’t even talk to me, let alone listen. It nearly broke my heart.

Now my son is a parent. His unexpected visit from several states away came with his own relationship crisis and an opportunity- a wake up call- for change.  He’s been calling me more lately.  And that’s totally okay.

I remember a few years ago, my dad was talking about some crazy thing I did in my early 20s. “Well, I didn’t have my head screwed on right back then, Dad.” I said. Dad’s laugh was one of great relief. He was so glad I’d finally realized this and that I’d lived to tell about it.

The lesson here is that we continue to love, even from a distance, and maybe they will come around. And even if they don’t, send love anyway.

I think about some of the parents I work with who’ve lost custody of their children as a result of addiction. When their parental rights are terminated, they wonder, “What do I have to live for?”  Of course they need to live for themselves, for the hope of a better future for themselves, but sometimes they aren’t ready to hear that.  So, I tell them: Keep working on yourself. Be the best person you can be. Someday, maybe years from now, your daughter (or son) might come looking for you. You want to be ready.  They might be angry, but they also might need your strength and your wisdom.

The seeds we plant sometimes take a long time to grow and God can write straight with crooked lines when we see God’s work from a distance.

Don’t give up. Keep sending love.

cloud heart

Heart Cloud at Wrightsville Beach