Tag Archive | God

Transitions and Dichotomies


images (9)Have you ever noticed that the rhythm of life seems to bring highs and lows at the very same time? I have often wondered if it’s God’s way of balancing our hearts so they do not break under the pressure of sad events. It is the rainbow that is in the midst of the rain and lightening. It is hard to notice one without noticing the power of the other. And I suppose the why of it all and the timing sequence is one of those questions that will remain unanswered in this lifetime.

090607 (31) - lotus flower closed close-upRight now, I feel that life is in transition in so many places. My son is marrying the love of his life in less than a month. My daughter will soon follow next year. The joy I feel for them both is still tripped up by the mourning of that time I had with them as children. Oh sure, they are still my children but soon they will be someone else’s spouse. The center of their world has already shifted but mine is lingering behind. My day to day life has changed and that is not painful. But those still quiet moments when I think of what has ended forever, my heart breaks in the memory of it all. So life at home is changing and shifting every day.

87678138On the other end of the spectrum, while my children move into beginnings, I see endings for others I love. One of those is my Grandma. I still am blessed to have both of my grandmothers – one 94 and the other soon to be 90. The older one is recovering from 2 strokes and it seems at times that she is slowly slipping away. Her mind is still fairly good but her body is weakening. When I sit with her she sometimes is quite focused on what’s happening here and then I notice her drifting forward, looking, seeking, longing for what’s next. Even asking for it at times. I know this is the cycle of life, but the timing is right in the midst of joyful transitions. It seems that the timing is “off” – I am jumbled in the joy and the sadness.

On the career front I have been dreaming and working toward a new possibility as I see the long-term career cresting toward the final years. This is a bittersweet transition as I have great longing for both possibilities. But as one bloom on the tree of life wanes, another begins to appear. It is the balance of yin and yang. Dark and light. Morning and evening. The world seems to be spinning out of control and standing still at the same time.

day nightPerhaps transitions is one word to explain it and dichotomies is another. It appears that life has 2 opposites existing at the same time for me. For many people this is true I imagine. And I find myself not knowing whether to celebrate or to mourn. To plan or to wrap-up. Today I stand in the middle and my mood is fickle.

What transitions and dichotomies are you grappling with? Any tips and tricks for standing in the middle?

Be blessed!

Comments for a Cause: Adventures in Missions


Ahh, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!! Been running around getting busy with preparations for my son’s move out, his upcoming wedding and miscellaneous other family oriented things and I plum forgot to come back and finish up May’s business.

logoMay is concluded and so has my counting of comments for cause on behalf of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital! They are a wonderful organization that is bringing life and support to so many in our community. It is my pleasure to be in support of them! You can click HERE to go to their website, learn about them, and support them as well.

DR_give iconJUNE’s CHARITY:  ADVENTURES IN MISSIONS – Disaster Response Fund

My cousin Michelle Harbin is an inspiration to me! She follows her heart and God as he calls her to help in this world. She has started an orphanage in eastern Europe, she has taken two mission trips to Haiti after the earthquake, she has moved to another state to follow her calling to minister there. She’s a mentor and a friend. And now she’s on the move again as she’s taking a trip to Moore, OK to help after the devastation from the tornadoes. Therefore, in honor of my cousin and her stepping out in faith, this month I’m supporting Adventures in Missions as that is the group she’ll be going with to help in middle America. Thanks Michelle for the inspiration – your friends and family are all behind you!

So, spread the word – for every comment I receive on any post in my blog in June, I’ll make a donation to Adventures in Missions Disaster Response Fund. I call it Comments for a Cause. It’s free for you and fulfilling for me. So, don’t just “like”, share the news and speak up to have your comment count!

Be blessed!

 

 

Spirituality moves me …


Today I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague/friend. It’s not the type of conversation I venture into very often because for some people it is controversial. But, since this is my blog and my thoughts, I figure I’m entitled to share them here if I so choose. So I do so with a caveat – if you disagree, I am completely fine with that and respect your point-of-view, and hope you do the same for me. Please refrain from any negative harassment as I won’t tolerate it on my page – either by readers or towards readers. It’s just my ethics.

religion-spirituality-christianity-scopo-ebook-98710433233_xlargeSo… the conversation was about spirituality vs. religion. Now to be fair let me say that I was raised Catholic – Catholic orphanage run by nuns, Catholic grade school and high school, also run by nuns. I even attended a Jesuit Catholic college. My world was singularly Catholic, which is not uncommon in Cincinnati as it is a predominantly German Catholic culture. That was, until I lived for 5 years in a small town that was decidedly NOT Catholic, by majority numbers anyway. I am proud of my upbringing and find solace in many parts of my religious upbringing, particularly the reverence I find present in the church during worship.

Nope, that’s not the controversial bit. What is … is that I find as I get older I become more spiritual and less religious. The more I know about the big churches (no, not just the Catholic church) the more it is blatantly apparent that the “rules” have really strayed quite a bit from the life of Christ and I find it difficult to look at them without seeing that. As I’ve grown older I’ve continued to seek God and to deepen my relationship with Him. That life of spirituality moves me and … it supersedes religion. This is a relationship that makes my soul sing. It is a place that recognizes God in people no matter what their religion or background. Funny things is, I learned so much of this from some nuns I met in my adulthood.

I still consider myself Catholic because I believe in the basic tenants of the faith. But I do not consider myself to be a blind follower of “the church”. Yikes that won’t sit well with many people I know and love. And I’m okay with that. Actually I believe when we die and transition to heaven there will be a lot of Catholic people (and others too) who will be shocked to look around and see who else is there. lol Sorry, I can’t help myself from laughing. I know that God is love and love is all encompassing. I know that the building you sit in to praise him is irrelevant to him. The labels we use for ourselves and others are meaningless in an eternal view. Jesus did not come here to start a religion. Wow – that’s quite a heady statement if you really, really, really examine it. And with all the human frailties and sins committed by people of every faith I cannot imagine a scenario in which God’s Heaven – His eternal domain, is not big enough and loving enough to include us all. We all sin differently but we all sin.

spirituality

I saw a bit of shock in my friend’s face when I stated this. And in that moment I knew, yet again, that spirituality is a topic that doesn’t get talked about enough. There should be no mystery about a relationship with God just because there are religions who profess to know all the answers and have the only path.

And so I sigh a heavy sigh. I pray unceasingly that Love overtake the world, no matter what the denomination.

Be loved and be blessed!

Did you know that I love you?


Today seems to be such a “charged” day for people. Those who are in love, or are loved even have a difficult time deciding if it’s a love/hate relationship they have with Valentine’s Day. Is it just another Hallmark card day? Is it really about hearts, candy, jewelry and gifts? Or is it simply the celebration of St. Valentine himself? Does having a romantic love have to be the only way or reason to celebrate it? All the questions and comments I see make me wonder if people really know what love is anyway.

Love is a gift – not earned, not force-able, not ending. Here’s what the bible has to say:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8

I notice that the definition doesn’t have any “or” in it. That is the key I think. And none of that quote says anything about romance, sex, dating, marriage, etc. It’s all about love. Love of self – it still all fits. Love of neighbor – yep, it still fits. Love of family, friend, partner – you bet. Love of God – indeed!

love fractal heart

So today, while my life and my relationship status may be different than yours, I still find today a reminder of what is real love. There is no reason to force another to give it to me – I simply choose to give it to you!

So Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy I love you because I can day! Happy be the love in the world day! And be blessed!

 

Just another day in paradise …


I’m so glad that God still performs miracles! He does them every day and thankfully I try to be aware of them. I know I miss some along the way by being busy and distracted. However, some are just too HUGE to miss. Yesterday I received one of those – BIG, really very BIG!

I’ve shared on my blog that I am adopted. I spent ages 3-8 in the orphanage and was adopted by a lovely family. I don’t even think about being adopted anymore really – they are simply my family. I spent most of my life turning my back on my painful past and keeping my eyes on my good fortune and the love this family showered me with. I was saved and I have no idea how or why. God plucked me from a hellish situation and gave me another path to walk. Leaving the past behind me worked for me as I got to create myself anew.

However, as I’m dancing in my middle age I have been gradually collecting blessings as I reconcile my past and my present. I realized along the way that there is enough love in me to keep my family and to reconnect with those in my birth family as well. And last night I reconnected a little bit more.

It was a quiet evening – just me and my puppies sitting by my fire trying to figure out what to watch on TV. One of my regained sisters, Lynnette, called me out of the blue. I’m thankful to have reconnected with her but we don’t get a chance to talk much (not nearly enough). She said “get in your car and come now”. She went on to tell me that my “baby brother” who lives in Texas and drives a big rig was about 90 minutes away from her house and was stopping on his way through. Wow! Now that was not a call I was expecting to get. So into my car I got and I drove the 50 minutes to her house. It was a multiple event as this was my first time meeting her lovely children and wonderful husband. That was momentous enough.

Then we hopped in her car and drove to the rest stop an exit away where he was to meet her. Of course she didn’t tell him I was coming but it was a wonderful surprise! I cannot describe in words what it feels like to look into the eyes of someone you’ve not seen for 43 years since he was a babe in arms. I cannot articulate the blessing and the healing that happens in that miraculous moment. Even with my command of words and love of using them … I cannot describe it.

I am bone tired but happy for the conversation into the wee hours of the night. I am blessed to know that the pains of childhood really can be released in adulthood. I am so awed that in the midst of craziness and hardship, this man turned out to be a warm, genuine, sweet man. The miracles just don’t stop happening when you are hanging out here in paradise.

Hugs your siblings, hold them tight … and be blessed!

Humanity Revolution


Today I saw a picture that included a bit of statistic. It stopped me in my tracks. Here – I’ll share it with you.

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I knew we had the means in our modern world but it never sunk in … until I saw this. What the HELL is wrong with us? How is it we as a people have traveled so far from our Divine roots that we would think that this is okay. We have enough firepower in this world to kill everyone many, many times over … and yet we can all only die just once. Apparently that’s not enough because we build more, we threaten more, we bully and we fight more. Evil has settled into our society and we no longer see it as such.

And we also have the ability to feed every hungry child, mother, father, elderly and needy person over and over and over and yet we don’t do it even once. We share a little but only during disasters. Isn’t starvation every day a disaster?

My heart aches today. The way we destroy our world is one thing – a horrible thing. But the way we ignore, destroy, and debase other human souls is simply unacceptable. There is nothing but grace of God that has made me born where I was and having the opportunities that I have. I surely didn’t deserve them. I didn’t earn them. I simply have them. I have an embarrassment of riches and it is an awareness that keeps me giving whenever I can.

What does it take to create a Humanity Revolution? I see pockets of people in the world here and there doing what they can. We show our kindness in groundswells but I still feel very small in this. I feel like all that I do is but a drop in an immense ocean. How do we rise up in revolution to actually change the world, once and for all, without excuse, without boundaries and national, selfish pride? How do we let our divine humanity overtake the evil that wants to keep our eyes clouded or distracted?  I want to do more. I want to inspire more. I want to save the souls that don’t deserve any less than me. All I can do is inspire those that know me. I can only feed those that come in contact with me with the limited funds I have. I cannot solve this world’s problem alone but I vow, every day to save those that I can.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to sway the hearts and hands of those that rule this nation or any other nation bent on war. But I pray that every heart that knows love will stand up and feed instead of fight. I will stand up and feed. Will you join me … and be blessed!

 

Celebrating fleeting beauty …


sunrise CincinnatiI don’t know about your corner of the world, but the last few days here in Cincinnati has seen an explosion of color in the sunrises and sunsets. The science of it I’m sure is fascinating, but I see the glorious colors of God’s palette. The Master’s hand is of course, perfect!

What is it about blazing fuchsias, kissed by buttery golds and royal purples that makes hope and optimism spring forth so boldly in my soul? In those precious few moments of the day when the grey shadows recede and the blackness of night backs away I feel like there is nothing wrong in the world. There is only beauty. There is only a light show that is created simply to kiss us good morning or wish us a sweet dream at night.

I feel blessed to see the artwork of nature and know that this moment, this masterpiece will never appear in this same way ever again. It is much like the masterpiece that you are. In an existence of many sunrises and many sunsets, or many men and many women, there is only one unique and glorious you.

Today, I celebrate the fleeting beauty of nature, and I celebrate you! Be blessed!