September 04, 2007
Let's Have A Picnic, Tanyard Creek Park Bella Vista Arkansas
Its officially the end of summer, here in the Ozarks. Kids have been back to school now for several weeks and there is the occasional cooler day. The leaves have started to turn and the rain comes a touch more frequently...I am glad to see it. It has not been an easy summer for me, filled with change and some uncertainty as Woody and I try to mend a few fences...
For him, he feels like we have come a long way. We "share" the bills and he feels, the responsibilities. That has been true in many respects and others...well, the house is a shambles ( a friend from California originally called her home a "wreck in the clearing stages" for those of you familiar with the terms used regarding the freeways in CAli-speak you know what that means...describes our home to a Tee)Not much help there.With the advent of Annabelle, I have less time to devote to anything else as she does require more attention that I thought that she would.Woody has been great about assisting with her care, but to me falls the bulk of it, and at times it is a touch overwelming
For me life is more difficult. The Mid Life Crisis vehicle sits in the drivewy day in and out (Woody drives the 10 year old beat up Avalon more than the snazzy Crossfire. The perversity of males is beyond me)and is a reminder of the huge lie he told me and the whole money thing in general.That purchase, which he hid from me for a month, is as bad as cheating with another woman as far as I am concerned...The separate lives... The separate bedrooms, the monthly bill for the new beds and the cartons that continue to sit un sorted and piled in my room are a testiment to me of the compleate and utter failure of our relationship. To wounds that will not heal and that I will be alone... in truth... forever. A great man once said that "True lonliness is a permanant condition, one is born alone and dies alone..." He was speaking of inner lonliness...for me the outer is just as painful and devestating. I dont know how to fix it. I just know that I have to continue to keep moving forward on my journey, regardless of what he does
In this summer of change there have been good things, the two retreats with John Michale Talbot were enlightening and opened my mind to new thinking both faith wise and daily living wise. I have started to really take a hard look at how I live. Do I put God first in all that I think say or do? Do I make the best use of my resources? Do I live for the Kingdom or just for myself? This has caused me to think twice about doing some things that might have been fun and given me pleasure, but in the long run were they worth the price both financially and otherwise.
Am I obedient to God? Do I really understand what I believe today and where am I at in this process of life. To that end I have begun studying privately with a tutor and preparing to enter the Catholic Church. I know that a lot of my friends wont understand and perhaps will have harsh words for me, but I see it as a path that I must take... When asked by a friend "Why be Catholic?" I ask "Why Not?" "If someone offered you "More" of Jesus would you not want that? I do. I see it as a "adding to" not taking away from anything that I am or am involved in. I will not be changing church affiliations nor giving up going to church with Woody to the Methodist church we are attending together. I hope to continue to be involved with developing the new contemporary service they are working on.
I find my "classes" facinating. I have a wonderful tutor who has his PHd, but I have been able to stump him a few times, and he said at our last meeting that this setting was the right one for me as I have had a wonderful formation as a Christian, and know the Bible as well as he did, perhaps better in some areas, but I do not "think" like a Catholic. For example, Protestant theology is based in reason, as it was born out of the Enlightenment period of human history... " To read is to understand." While Catholics are taught based on Augustine's priciple "To believe is to understand" in other words, faith first, then reason. There is a lot more that I could write about, but suffice it to say, I study the materiels for the RCIA (rites of Christian Initation for Adults)then we meet during the day for an hour or so and go at it on such questions as "Why did God create the world?" "What was most important, Jesus message or His death?" "Did Jesus know his whole life that he had to die, or only at the last?" "Did Jesus know everything or did he have to learn everything like we do, and did he learn as he went along teaching and preaching?" These topics are on topic but way ahead of the other 40 or so people taking this class. My tutor said that I would have been bored stiff.
I have been a part of churches that teach the Bible at the Semanary level, but we women were told that even if we were able to learn like the men that really would be the end of it. Here both in the Methodist Church and in the Catholic Church, Women teaching and learning along with the men is entirely acceptable. In fact women can do any non ordained function (they cant be priests or deacons)in the Catholic church but are allowed to teach at all other levels and there are a number of Lay Ministers that are well known nationally. In the Methodist Church 20-25 percent of the ordained clergy are women. I feel like I am now in churches where my talents and knowledge are appreciated. I also feel that once I am done with this nearly year long process, I will be better prepared to teach if I am called upon to do so in the future. And I see that comming.
Then there is Annabelle. My little bundle of fuzz has more engergy than the Energizer Bunny and is a slave driver on our walks together. Her personality is forming... in otherwards she is getting willful and demanding. I have found that scruffing her slows that down and bathing her has an extrodinary effect on her attitude. She is reduced to a guniea pig sized little creature that only wants love. She gets that in full measure. I spend a lot of my morning hours with her and try to have part of that time be lap time where she is brushed and handled and told over and over how pretty she is. She still wants things her way all the way but we are finding a middle path and I see this working out really well.
The kitties are getting used to her and this weekend we were able to let everyone be together, supervised of course. We let the cats set the pace, and try to keep Annabelle from barking chasing and otherwise creating a hostile enviroment for the feline members of the household. I know that eventually there will be an altercation, but hopefully all will be well once the pecking order is established
The evening is cooler and a thunderstorm has rolled through bringing even more releif to this parched and heat weary land. I love every season here and have enjoyed the summer very much, however I have looked forward to the end of the season and the fall colors with great anticipation. The end of the summer is the beginning of Autumn and a new season. I pray for the new things in my life and for the healing of the old, and for a new day after the twilight of the old.
Labels: Bella Vista, Breaking News, Dreams, Faith, John Michael Talbot, Praise and Worship, RCIA, Scenic Arkansas, Woody