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….is the Thing with Feathers

hope

Another trip around the sun…. another year older and hopefully wiser. Hopefully. Hope.

hope-4

This word that came to me as I was choosing my saint for 2017 (or was he choosing me?). I used the saint generator I use every year. Here it is… go ahead… find out who your saint is for 2017: http://saintsnamegenerator.com/ 

So the saint that was chosen for me was St Jude, the saint of desperate cases … the saint of the impossible!  

st-jude

I immediately thought to myself, oh no!  Does that mean something horrible will happen to me this year and I will need his intercessory prayer?  Aaaahhh!  NO! … But as I read up on him I found out that he is the saint of HOPE.  Oh good. Something I need; a soft, comforting word that I can wrap my mind and arms around. Great word. Hope.

I found a wonderful intercessory prayer to St. Jude about hope that I plan on reading every day of 2017:

God the Father, give me hope. Help me to know that your hope is alive in me as I offer kindness, forgiveness, and tenderness to others. I seek the calm that comes from trusting in your hope and your healing presence. I trust that your servant St. Jude walks with me in all the blessings and challenges of my life, and intercedes on behalf of my petitions. St. Jude, fill my heart with hope.  Amen.”  

Last year was the year of Mercy… this year, for me anyway, is going to be the year of Hope.

hope-anchors

Do I need hope? Sure, don’t we all?  Was 2016 a bad year? Hmmm. Yes and no. As I look back on 2016 I am not deeply troubled as some people are… it seemed the end of the year many celebrities died and many people expressed (on Facebook) that 2016 was a horrible year… um… people die every year. I am more upset that my friend died unexpectedly and also my husband’s wonderful aunt lost her battle with cancer than I am with a variety of random celebrities dying …  

2016 did not start off good…  I spent the second half of my school year (as a special ed teacher) humbled and depressed, though, of course, my students were/are always a joy, that is not what ruined the end of my school year … I will not going into it now … just know that I will be careful how I pray in the future.

So this caused me to rethink my summer job. Every summer I worked as a teacher at Camp Connect, a camp for autistic students.  So, though I loved doing that, I thought I needed a summer off because of the rotten end to my school year. Heck I’m a teacher and I have the ability to have summers off! I may as well take advantage of it!  So I did. Bad thing about it~  no extra income coming in, so that was a bit of a struggle. But I am glad I rested and gave myself a break for once. Plus I was able to go to morning Mass. What a blessing.

One other major obstacle/hard ship that happened this year was our old, corroded pipes leaking and flooding the basement for months with horrific sludge. We finally got the pipes fixed and we cleaned up the basement… but that was a real nightmare for us for several months. NIGHTMARE. O.o … Owning a home… it seems that something always needs fixing… but I am grateful for this cute little house. Our home.

Good things? Sure, lots. Went camping off season (mid-June, right after school got out) with my husband and sons at Papoose Pond in Maine. I read several novels, rode my bike, swam and sat around the campfire. Bliss.  Since I took the summer off I decided to get season passes for myself and the boys to Water Country a water park in Portsmouth, NH. We had a very sunny summer! One of the high points of the summer was my annual trip up to Gunstock in Gilford, NH for Soulfest a three day Christian rock concert. It was amazing this year. I finally got to see Skillet!  They were awesome!  The three days was a blast, always a good time! Most memorial moment during the weekend… the crazy storm/flood that happened during Saturday evening mass and ended as soon as mass ended. Wicked cool. Holy epicness. or Epic holiness?

Another bad/good thing that happened to me:  winding up in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack in July … which in turn had me reassess my eating habits… and now I am down 15-20 lbs (though I probably gained some over Christmas). Keeping up that life style change.

One of the best things that happened this year was a successful Rachel’s Vineyard retreat for the newly formed (well…4 years) RV NH team.  We had an amazing Holy Spirit filled weekend… probably because we had an army of angels, saints and friends (church militant!) praying for us… plus I soaked the outside of the retreat center with holy water. Haha. I am so blessed to be part of this ministry and to have such beautiful women in Christ as my friends.  So thankful for them!

hope-2

Probably the most important “good thing” that happened this year was the defeat of Hillary. Yes that defeat was HUGE for me. She had to lose… because I could not live under that gloomy, oppressive liberal cloud for another 4-8 years. As I went to bed the night of the election, not knowing what the outcome would be, sick and fearing the worst, I prayed and hoped and prayed for this country. I believe a lot of people prayed and many novenas were said!  I was so overjoyed in the morning when my husband exclaimed, “He won!” that I literally wept. Thank you, Lord!  If she had won 2016 would probably have been the worst year for me. Seriously. That was an early Christmas present. January 20th cannot come soon enough. Hope and change, baby!

Resolutions?… humph. I usually don’t like to make resolutions…  but knowing that there is HOPE in my future no matter what happens I will make a few.  First one: I will read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I had my oldest son buy it for me for Christmas; I have never read it and I believe it is an important work to have read before I leave this earth.

hope-tolkien

Resolution two: save money instead of spending it and getting horribly in debt. This is a big issue for me…

Resolution three…. Three? I better not keep adding more… I will surely fail if I have a big list. I suppose I can pray that I will become more Christ-like this year… this is something I need to do daily and not yearly.

Wait! Resolution four: blog more! I hardly blogged in 2016…

One more thing as I leave 2016 behind… there was a lot of great Christian rock that came out this year: Skillet’s new album was probably my favorite. Other favorites: Switchfoot, David Crowder, Kutless, Tenth Avenue North, Needtobreathe, Relient K, Thousand Foot Krutch, Unspoken, Decyfer Down, Newsboys, Rend Collective …  I am sure I am missing some… great year for music. So I will end this year with one of my favorite songs of the year… all about hope… but of course.

Happy New Year!  God bless.

hope_is_the_thing_with_feathers

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Why I refuse to say “Happy Holidays”

merry-christmas-text-png-image

Yes, you read that right, I refuse to say the generic seasons greeting, “Happy Holidays” this year, and come to think of it, forever more during the Christmas season. I will say to everyone I greet, “Merry Christmas!” with a big cheery grin, no matter who I am speaking to. I don’t care if you are not a Christian. I don’t care if you are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, an Atheist or are from the planet Neptune. I will still say, “Merry Christmas!” with a big cheery grin even if you state you don’t celebrate Christmas. You may think that is being insensitive and politically incorrect in this day and age, but I do not think that by me, or any other Christian, wishing someone a “Merry Christmas!” is being insensitive or even offensive at all. I believe it does quite the opposite. It does what it was meant to do. It expresses kindness and joy.
Let me explain by giving an example. Say you moved to India, or Iran, or Brazil, or Neptune for a year and during that year while you were hanging out with your new foreign friends their big holiday came up. Now would you feel included and accepted if they expressed their happiness of the season by stating their favored expression, “Merry Sacred Cow day!” or “Happy Buddha’s birthday!” or “Happy Neptune Monster Day”… whatever? Wouldn’t you be happy to be included in their joyous time by having them express their happiness to you in their favored statement? Or would you be offended because you’re not Buddhist, Brazilian or Neptunian? No, of course you would be open to and would enjoy experiencing their holiday and all the happiness that goes along with it, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t saying, “I don’t celebrate that and I’m offended!” be rude?
Okay, here’s another example. Back in the early 1990s I worked as a bartender in the Chinese Restaurant “Joyce Chen” in Boston’s Theater district. I was one of only a few Caucasians working there. I enjoyed working there and learned to speak a couple of phrases in Cantonese. I loved learning about the traditions and celebrations of my Chinese co-workers and friends. During the winter months (January/February) they celebrate the Chinese New Year. Now this is a big holiday, a huge celebration for these people and during this time they taught me how to say, “Happy new Year” in Cantonese, if I remember correctly it is, “Gung He Fat Choy” or something like that. Every member of the Joyce Chen staff would wish me this greeting and invited me to their big celebration at the restaurant. I felt accepted and happy that they wanted me to be part of their special time. They could have just thought, “Oh, she’s not Chinese, why should I wish her a ‘Gung He Fat Choy’? She’s not one of us.” But they didn’t do that, they reached out to me, and invited me to celebrate with them, and I thought that was awesome.
And that, my politically correct friends, is why I believe expressing my season greeting in the traditional way, “Merry Christmas!” (for it IS the Christmas season), is right and good and wonderful because it is embracing and sharing with the whole world my joyful time. I am not “shoving my religion” down non-Christian’s throats. I am not trying to convert (well, I do try to evangelize). I am just sharing joy. That’s it. By stating “Merry Christmas” to everyone I come across during this time I believe is showing them how much I care, that I want to share this happiness, this joyful time of year. How can saying this be offensive or insensitive if what I am doing is greeting them in a joyous way and wishing them peace and good will? It doesn’t make sense to be “offended” by happiness unless you have a mental disorder.

war-on-christmas
Now, I know what you’re going to say. Not all American’s celebrate Christmas; and some people celebrate other December holidays, so by saying “Happy Holidays” to whomever you bump into, you are covering all your bases. Okay, that is true, not everyone celebrates Christmas, you’re right. But how many is the question? There are Jewish people who celebrate Hanukkah (it begins on December 24
th this year, Christmas eve!  How awesome!!!). Hanukkah is cool, I used to watch my Jewish friends light the menorah when I was a child and loved being part of it. As for what Jews think of Christmas, I don’t know about the whole group, but I have heard from some Jews that they love Christmas and all the joy that goes along with the season, they don’t find hearing, “Merry Christmas” offensive at all. I also asked my Atheist friend about the statement, “Merry Christmas” and he also was not bothered by it either. And not to make any less of this “Festival of Lights,” but this holiday is not the big Jewish holiday of the year. Yet Christmas IS one of our big holidays (Easter should be our biggest). Besides Hanukkah, what other holidays are there? Hhhmmm… I know one person that celebrates the “Winter Solstice.” But how many celebrate that? Hardly any. So what is left? Aaaaah, Kwanzaa… don’t get me started… but you know what? Most people have absolutely no idea, not only what this “holiday” is, but its origins. For one thing it is NOT an African holiday. And it is only 40-odd years old. A paranoid, racist, torturing (yes he was all those!) criminal (yes he was a convicted criminal… he tortured, yes, TORTURED women!), Ron Karenga formed the radical, violent (yes violent) group the “United Slaves” (a rival to the Black Panthers) back in the early sixties and thought up this fake holiday~ a black alternative to Christmas. I personally find the story of the man who started this holiday to be horrific and disgusting and cannot accept or embrace this holiday as a real holiday at all. But that’s just me, I have principles.
So, that brings me back to Christmas, the biggest holiday of December. What IS Christmas? We all know that it is the celebration of Jesus’ birth our Lord and Savior. .. so what is Christmas about? Look at all those Christmas cards, the words they use are: Joy, hope, peace, happiness, and good will, to name a few. What do we do during Christmas? Reach out to one another; wish each other happiness and joy and good will. And we give, not only gifts but many people give to charities and spend time helping the less fortunate have a Merry Christmas. That is what Christmas is. It is something precious, something good in a world gone mad.
We all know this. But still, for the past several years (decade!) there has been a war on Christmas. Many American towns ban Mangers, or Christmas trees or candy canes, or caroling … any and every expression of the Merry season is banned all in the name of political correctness in mortal fear that one person MAY be offended. It’s all quite Orwellian, how you must watch what you say, the Thought Police are watching. God forbid you say “Merry Christmas”, you could be fired for being insensitive and “offending someone.”
But aren’t you offended by this nonsense? How many American’s celebrate the Christmas season in some way? What do you think? Fifty percent? Sixty? Seventy? No~ 96%! Read that again: ninety-six percent! That’s a lot! So, who are the teeny tiny minority who do not want us “intolerant” (yes I have been called that!) to “push” our Christmas on them? Who are the whining Humbug Scrooges who don’t like to have someone wish them a warm happy greeting? Really, that’s what they are and they have gone too far. I am offended and I am going to do something about it.
So, that is why I will forever more express my happiness of the season with “Merry Christmas!” I have already wished several retail workers and grocery store clerks a “Merry Christmas” and you should have seen the smiles on their faces and they greeted me the same way. Awesome!
And so the season starts and so the war continues and so I finish this by stating:
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a jolly good fight!”

 hesonhisway

Footnote:

I believe I wrote that approximately 6 years ago and I have posted it every year. Though I love this Christmas rant I actually think I should try to start a new trend. Instead of stating Merry Christmas I should wish people a “Happy Advent”… for Christmas does not even begin until Christmas day. Advent starts tomorrow!

advent-meme

I wonder what sort of reaction I would get if I stated, “Happy Advent” to everyone… would some people be confused and not even know what I am talking about? Probably. Well, let’s try it!  I’m game, are you? ! So, into the “season” we go.  Just remember people… keep Christ in your Christmas celebrations. God bless.

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Holy Cheerfulness

thankful

I have been kicking myself for weeks … months really, about not blogging…  what has kept me from blogging? … huh. Ya see I think I have a good idea but then I realize it is just angry ole me wanting to vent and rail about politics and how stupid and intolerant (especially those who claim to be tolerant!) people are… Yeah that’s what I want to write about!  My anger and frustration! This whole election cycle was CRAZY… before and after! I could go OFF on a rant about it… mostly disgusted at fellow Catholics who voted for her (!!!) … AAAHHHH… (thank God she did not get in!) …but that is not what I wanted to blog about today… I want to blog about what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Recently I seem to be battling daily niggling demons….  That feeling inside me of disgust, anger, frustration… it overtakes me and I stew and fume for hours about certain situations.. whether it be other’s (idiotic!) political ideology or just daily friend/work nonsense that irritates me…  I have a hard time letting it go…  the anger boils inside me and I really want to let someone have it. 

angry-girl

I found the only way to stop this irritating feeling is by prayer… by asking God to PLEASE give me the GRACE to be at PEACE! I want to lose that feeling of anger and frustration and just be filled with His peace and love…  so I let it go. I give it to Him. I pray. Sometimes just a small prayer, or a rosary, or a Divine Mercy Chaplet… and wonderfully… within minutes (sometimes hours) the feeling of despair and hate lifts. Those demons have been taken out (St Michael to the rescue!) and I no longer have that burden of loathing upon me. I am free. It is quite miraculous because sometimes I am really angry and I am “hatin’” bad… like I never want to speak to certain people again … it is that serious. It’s like this vermicious k’nid type demon has grappled upon my back, sinking it’s claws into me, seeping its evil venomous lies into my brain, poisoning me, smirking its yellow sharp smile, snickering and giggling as I fume on and on, temperature rising, steam pouring out of my ears, steely daggers slicing out of my eyes, hatred and mockery belching out of my mouth..… Yeah… that bad. I hate that it overtakes me so easily and turns me into something horrid, despicable… 

So I pray, beg, plead, because I do not want to feel this way… I do not want this fierce anger nesting in my soul. Unhinge this beast, Lord, and fill me with your pure light!  .. and He does. He answers my prayers. I am given the grace to overcome. There is no way I could do it without Him. No way. I am not strong enough. He gives me  …Holy Cheerfulness. I came upon this phrase today~ It is interesting that I read this chapter from Thomas of Celano’s  The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul (the Francis Trilogy) today:

“This holy man (Francis) insisted that spiritual joy was an infallible remedy against a thousand snares and tricks of the enemy. He used to say, ‘The devil is most delighted when he can steal the joy of the spirit from a servant of God. He carries dust which he tries to throw into the tiniest opening of the conscious, to dirty a clear mind and a clear life. But if a spiritual joy fills the heart, the serpent casts its poison in vain. The devils cannot harm a servant of Christ when they see him filled with holy cheerfulness…’  The saint therefore always strove to keep a joyful heart, to preserve the anointing of the spirit and the oil of gladness.”

 I want to be like St. Francis,  (thus, as a Secular Franciscan, I follow his ways) but I need God’s grace to get there… to be always joyful and full of peace.

So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things…. from family and friends (to the election results!) … but most of all I am thankful for God’s grace. For the gift of Holy cheerfulness.

god-of-hope

 

 

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Perpetual Lent

cup-of-st-francis

Happy Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi! This morning I enjoyed a nice cuppa with Father Francis… a nice cup of… almond milk…. yes, almond milk! No, not my beloved and coveted coffee….  Yes I no longer drink coffee… GASP! I know, I know…  crazy as it seems I can no longer enjoy one of my all time favorite beverages… due to my evil reflux I had to acknowledge that coffee was indeed what was killing my gut and making me ill… so I had to give it up. *sigh*

Now as you may recall, several years ago for Lent I gave up coffee… worst thing I ever did. Horrible.  I was miserable! It was indeed a sacrifice!  So here I am years later HAVING to give it up due to my health. So about a month ago, one miserable Monday, I gave it up cold turkey. … and after enduring 3 days of head aches (and doubts!) I am actually happily surprised to say~ I am good. I don’t miss it. Really. Seriously. Ya know why?  Grace.

Remember when I prayed back in the summer to be healthy and lose weight and I wound up in the emergency room and I was pretty much forced to eat healthy? Yeah, that. Yeah well, God honored that prayer … He knew it would be difficult for me to do…  He gave me the GRACE to do it. I was able to do it and I did not deviate from the plan. I ate less, I ate healthy, and I did not eat any junk food for over 2 months (well, on my birthday I, of course, celebrated and ate cake, chips and cider donuts…)  and I lost approximately 20 lbs! Woooo HOOOO! Only by the grace of God was I able to do that! Because Lord knows I could not do that on my own.

So during this whole healthy eating cleanse it dawned on me… Again I am giving something up … being created new … I feel like, little by little, I am living…enduring … a perpetual Lent!  Six years ago I gave up beer (alcohol) and I do not miss it (that is GRACE!). I feel that every once in awhile God prunes me, makes me give something up, even when I do not want to(!!!), but He gives me the grace to do it and to become a better version of me.

I think that is why I love St. Francis so much. He was a wild party animal… but was touched and transformed by God…

st-francis-unholy

I feel the same way, if God can work through me He can work through anyone…  Thank you Lord for your love, mercy and grace. Thank you for always challenging me and working in me… for changing me for the better… though at times I go kicking and screaming… you help me through. Amazing grace.

and St. Francis was the father of fasting….

st-francis-lent

hahaha. Happy Feast Day my Franciscan peeps. Pax et bonum.

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Letter to my Rep

first feminists

Several years ago I sent a pro-life card to my state Representative Carol Shea-Porter about the Freedom of Choice Act.  In response I received a typical form letter from her office. I was so enraged by the generic response that I wrote her another letter. I actually used the letter in a short story and as I was rereading my collection of short stories today I came upon it and thought I would share it with you since in it I mention Hillary …

Dear Ms. Shea-Porter:

Thank you for responding to my post card about my concern over the Freedom of Choice Act.  I am sure you are extremely busy, but I wanted to touch on a couple of points you did make, and a couple of points you failed to acknowledge concerning this “extremely sensitive” topic.

First, I want to agree with you on one point you made.  You stated that your philosophy is “that the government should not be involved in private lives and decisions.”  As a Conservative Republican my philosophy is also less government intrusion on our lives, along with less taxes and more personal responsibility.  In general, I believe the government should stay out of most of the aspects of our lives.  I do believe, however, that the government should protect us, especially the weak and the innocent.  As a woman, a mother, this is very important to me.

I noticed in your letter you talked about women’s decisions, women’s privacy and women’s reproductive freedom, but what I noticed you failed to acknowledge, what you completely left out and outright ignored, was the other people in the equation-the babies.  If you truly believe in “liberty and justice for all” in America, then what about the rights, the liberty and justice, for the child being aborted? If you are truly for women’s rights, what about the thousands of female babies aborted every year?  Or are only the adult women important?  As a liberal, don’t you believe in protecting the innocent from injustice?

You can argue that you believe a fetus, in the early months after conception, is nothing more than a blob of tissue, but being a mother yourself, did you feel that way about your children in your womb when you found out you were pregnant?  Were you having a baby or were you just carrying around a bunch of useless tissue?  I’m sure you were elated; you knew you were having a baby.  Thing is, when someone becomes pregnant, no matter what the circumstances behind the conception, the result is a baby, nothing less, no matter if the woman wants the baby or not. You have to agree that it’s a baby, a child, a human being, for you have had two children yourself.

And do you not agree that when someone’s life is terminated unnaturally by another hand, it’s considered murder? Abortion is murder; it always has been, no matter what some judge deemed 40 odd years ago. It still doesn’t change the fact of what it is. You can gloss over this by calling it a “woman’s choice,”  “reproductive freedom,” and that one should have a right to “privacy,” but it doesn’t change the fact of what abortion does to a living being.

I also notice that you claim to be Roman Catholic. I too am Roman Catholic and know what the church teaches on abortion, that it’s murder of the innocent and definitely wrong, a sin.  As a Catholic woman, how can you, in good faith, think it is okay to believe abortion is all right? If you truly believe in your faith, how can you defend such a heinous act?

I am very grateful to have a woman’s voice representing me in Washington. Yet at the same time I am concerned that that voice will carry my beliefs and concerns as an American woman.  Did you know that the original feminists, women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony were all pro-life and were disgusted at the idea of abortion? Alice Paul said, “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”  Susan B. Anthony called it “child murder” and Elizabeth Cady Stanton called it “infanticide.”  Stanton also said, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”  How has the women’s movement gotten so far away from its original message? Why is abortion now considered a “right?”  Because it is deemed okay, because it is legal, women now use it as birth control, without batting an eye, believing they have a right to do what they wish with their bodies, not caring about what they are doing or the consequences. Didn’t Hillary Clinton mention that she wanted abortion “safe, legal and rare?”  Rare?  It is far from being rare, and that is because it is legal, and so many see it as an easy way out in this selfish world we live in.

Maybe these points have been brought up to you before, and they haven’t changed your mind. But I ask you again to rethink what abortion is and what it has done to America, how many people, people who might have become great American minds, it has killed.  You say you will keep my concerns about abortion and FOCA in mind, I pray you do.

Sincerely,

…me

oh on a side note… this is the first woman to run for president~ Victoria Claflin Woodhull… and she was pro life.

woodhull

 

 

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Wake Up Dead

Heart

“The greatest gift that we can receive from God in the present world is this: To know how, to desire, and to be able to conquer self by renouncing our own will.” St. Francis of Assisi.

Careful what you pray for. Yeah. Again I prayed for something and did not expect the response… I had prayed that God would help me get in shape and lose weight. Yeah, I prayed that.  I have been struggling with some extra weight and I felt like I was getting nowhere… so I prayed about it. Please help me Lord. So what happens?  Last Thursday night I wind up in the Emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack! Yeah really!  If that’s not a wakeup call, supernatural slap upside the head, I don’t know what is!

Now I’m not saying that God is a big meanie … no I know God is merciful and loving… hey, I admit, it’s all my fault. Sure I exercise ~ I bike 14 miles on the rail trail, lift weights and use the elliptical at Planet Fitness pretty much 5 days out of the week… but my diet…. Heh … here I was asking for help and I was not holding up my end of the bargain. I eat too much (though most of it is healthy, well, maybe not most) and I snack too much…  like a whole bag of Veggie Stix… yeah they’re made out of vegetables…  but I scoff down the  WHOLE BAG! Yeah. That. Years of eating like that.

So last Thursday I had been feeling like someone was squeezing my heart. All day.  I had felt this on and off during the week but on Thursday it was a continuous feeling of a pain in my chest. Right in my heart. I assumed it would just go away. Nope.  So at about midnight I was lying in bed with this chest pain thinking, “What if I am having a heart attack?”  I also had shortness of breath and a weird sensation/pain up my left arm. Knowing that women can have different symptoms than men I began to get nervous. I also have a heart murmur. What if I go to bed and wake up dead? O.o  Seriously.  Yup I came upon that dreaded moment… what if I die now?  What about my family, my boys, my friends, my students, my collection of short stories I never published … 50 is too young! AH!

So I woke up my husband and told him what I was experiencing … off to the hospital (props to my hubbie who stayed up 40 hours with me!) and they did the usual battery of tests, blood work, chest x-rays, stress test (running on a treadmill without a bra! Woo hoo hahahahahahha!)

Here I am all hooked up, yeah right on my tattoo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

my heart attack

… but it all came back negative for a heart attack. It wasn’t my heart! So of course I had sent out messages for all my friends/family to pray for me… what a great feeling to know that so many were praying for me (such love!). But once it was all said and done I kind of felt like an idiot when it wasn’t a heart attack. I know that sounds weird… but when they said it was probably reflux I thought… “Huh. …really? That’s it? It really felt like a heart attack! Reflux sounds lame and embarrassing.” Yeah I know. Silly me. It was good news and I was getting all embarrassed. Duh.

So this was God telling me, “Hey, Kelly. You asked me to help. This is where you are now.  You have to eat healthy now or this pain will not go away.  You have to eat a restricted diet. You know I love you and you know you have a lot more to do. So you have to get healthy. You got this girl.  I am with you.”  Okay. Got it. I don’t like it.  But hey, I usually need a divine dope slap to get me to take things seriously. I know, I know we are not here forever so I need to take better care of myself.  

I needed help conquering self.  Daily conversion. Transformation. Yeah  I know… but I thought I could eat ice cream and potato chips while transforming… hmph.

Okay Lord, I will try harder. Thanks for  not giving up on me.

 

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Desire

 

Writers-Block

I’m staring at a blank Word document.

The desire is there…

I haven’t written a blog in months…. Uninspired or maybe just overwhelmed and thrown into grimacing despair by a slightly crappy school year… whatever the reason, here I am … finally deciding to write.

Okay, … so start.

Just do it.

Go.

What are you waiting for?

Humph.

Well, I did write during Lent. Instead of giving up something like coffee (never again!) or swearing (no coffee made me swear!) I decided to write. What did I write? Haikus. Yes, every day I wrote a Haiku. I Haikued. Some days I wrote more than one. Yip, that’s what I did. Early morning… me, my coffee and my fingers counting five, seven, five syllables …

“As the desperate

dismal night clutched eagerly

at her lonesome stars”

Yeah, stuff like that… but usually biblically inspired stuff… Hey, it was Lent.

Anyway…  so as we slide gleefully into  what I call ‘finally spring’ (May) … because Lord knows March and April are not spring in New England… Not at all! It is my least favorite time of year, it is more like purgatory really…. Cold, rainy, sometimes maniacally snowy … once in a while there is a warm day thrown in there just to tease and annoy us! But for the most part… Marpril is gray and miserably bleak. Yup that’s the perfect word for Marpril. BLEAK.  The imagery I see…

“Screaming naked trees

Moaning, reaching for blue skies

Find sad loneliness.”

Yeah, sorry. Haikuing again…   So here we are in May…

“When the leaves finally

open their green eyes and bloom

Laughter in my soul”

Derailed… Ah! I started sliding gleefully and I derailed and Haikued myself again … as usual… anyway: The whole point of me writing today was not about my Lenten Haikus or how much I despise early spring… it was about God’s will in my life. Yes! How I sometimes wonder if I am really following God’s will or if I am skipping off silly and oblivious in my own prideful selfish direction….

And there  Jesus is … face palming ….

Jesus face palm

Shaking His head, saying, “There she goes again…”  when He really wanted me to go that way instead….  Or did He? Not sure… and I hate not being sure if I am doing God’s will.  Like the decision I made recently…

So normally in the summer I teach at a camp for high functioning autistic kids. I enjoy taking a break from teaching teenagers (I am a special ed teacher in a high school). I get to play/teach K-3rd graders in the summer.  I enjoyed doing this… though at times it was challenging, it was something I liked to do. Well, I won’t get into it, and to make a long story short…  it turned out that a decision was made and I was told I would be teaching the teenagers at camp this summer. Just let me say I was not happy about the decision. I wanted to be with and teach my little ones! So after some thought/prayer and discussion with my husband I decided: Forget it! I would just not work this summer. Was it a knee-jerk decision I made because I didn’t get what I wanted? Was this a new direction I was supposed to go in (teaching the teenagers), or was it a door closing (don’t teach this summer)? Ya see, at times I just don’t know if I am going against God’s will or if I am being steered in a different direction… huh.

Thing is~ I made my decision. I am not working this summer. No camp for me. And when I think  about it~ I need this. I need a break. I always seem to take on too much. Busy busy busy. I never have time to do things around the house.  Ah, to have the summer off and be with my boys. To finally scrape the wallpaper off my son’s room and paint. To be there to help my son study for Driver’s Ed. … To write. To BLOG! To read. Novels! To ride my bike everyday if I want to. To relax at the lake. To enjoy the sound of the waves at the ocean… things like this. I do desperately need to take time off for it has been a hard year!… and to have time to get ready for the coming school year (I never had time to do this)….  This is a good thing. Yes. I need this.

So yeah. I do feel a peace about this. I am hoping/assuming it is God’s will for me…  but like Thomas Merton’s Thoughts I Solitude sometimes I just don’t know.  I DESIRE to do His will… and even if I stray off the path He had for me at least He knows I do desire to do what He wants…

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton.

I love that  because it makes me feel like I am not the only one who feels clueless at times about God’s will. God knows I at least try. I desire to do His will. I desire to be holy. A saint! Even if I wind up taking the long way to get there. Hey maybe I need the long way… thing is: God is there for me no matter what.

And if nothing else … He knows I will keep Him entertained this summer with my silly Haikus.

 

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