November 30, 2007
The Quiet Storm
Peaceful beach Panama City
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...
I long to have my heart as quiet this beach... I have had a rough few days I think a lot of it is just the whole change of life thing but also I know that I live a life that is not the norm and it takes a bit of struggle just getting ones head around it. I tend to go out of my way to find difficulties and strife, even when I would rather not. I am highly forgetful, and have lost a bunch of things, such as an expensive pair of sunglasses and the keys to the shop...fortunately empty and not a security risk or anything. I just wish I had my head together. Instead I feel this heaving emotion inside of me that wont stop and occasionally blows off the top
As a result I was on blogging Hiatus. I couldn't come up with a passage from the Bible to post or anything. Pretty sad...
There seems to be a lot of sad around me. The situation at "thisplace" is somewhat dismal. People on my account are shopping new opportunities on other accounts or departments and the reshuffling of duties and desks is traumatic. I came to the risky decision to tell my employer of my plans since, other than (God forbid)something happening to Charlie Conner, the teacher at the school I plan to attend, I am out of there and on to Louisville in April, no matter what. They can sack me now or I can resign at a later time. They have graciously asked me to stay on as long as I can which is great for my wallet. I feel better that I am not sneaking around and pretending to be committed when I am not. Here for the ride only. Once the account is gone then I am too.
I have had some sad revelations on the spiritual front, that made me sad for him and for the world as a whole because it just shows how hard it is to stay committed. One of the Father's at EWTN had once been a regular reader of this blog and had been at one time, encouraging me to pursue my spiritual journey. I didn't know him other than superficially and that was fine. He has recently admitted that for an indeterminate period of time he has been involved with a widow and her children, and for that reason was leaving the ministry. Leaving all of the discussion about married priests aside, what saddened me was first that he was tripped up and allowed this to go on, and that the woman involved was so selfish as to continue her involvement with a "married" man. I feel badly for both of them, they must feel really hurt and confused...
This came at the heels of my own realization that my thought life was out of order with regards to someone, and frankly I needed to repent. Daydreaming about someone else other than your mate is a sin, just as surely as literally going out on them is and it violates at a lot of levels. Most importantly, by indulging this I fail to do the most important thing I can do which is to focus on the here and now, and live in the moment... Moment by moment taking things as they come. I realized that my harmless little daydream had become a sort of fluffy blanket to wrap myself in against the emotional cold of my marriage, but because it isn't real, it only leads to frustration and discontent, and anger, and like the alcoholic, you think the one drink is only warming you and lightening your heart, but really its leading you into a darkness because that one glass in your hand becomes two..."What will it hurt?" and then its the bottle and it consumes you...
Years ago, when I was single and in ministry, I woke up one morning to the realization that I was in love with a married man. He had turned the barren soil of my heart with some words that he should have only shared with his wife, and a situation that I shouldnt have shared in. The seeds were planted in my heart, and the plant that I unwittingly nourished had to be torn out by the roots.It hurt as bad as any break up perhaps more so as I could say nothing to no one. He never knew. But other saw it perhaps in my face...and years later accused us of something that thankfully never happened.
Around the same time I took a bus tour and was paired up with a lovely woman that I knew of from my church, but had not personally met prior to this. She was a speaker and traveled extensively. We became great friends and once the trip was over and I was home and back involved in my life, I wrote to her and we spoke on the phone frequently. One morning it occured to me that I was crazy about her the way I had been about the men that had passed through my life. Knowing how these feelings can hurt even ruin both the lover and the beloved, having been involved with and known a number of gay men and women...I threw myself upon the Throne of Grace and begged God to help me to deal with this aright. Inordinant affection, like a wild plant sprug up in the garden of ones life must be delt with immediatly. The damage that I would have done to her and myself would have been significant. I cant imagine how it would have affected my family and others involved in my life...
I have learned how to disipline my thought life, and can do it. It is not impossible to do the right thing, unlike what the world says..."Just Do IT" or "If it feels good, do it." Sometimes things feel good but they are bitter fruit in the end...
And so I sit in the midst of my quiet storm. The glasses and keys were recovered, and I feel better about my decision to be obedient and to take every thought captive. My attitude has improved and I feel a little brighter today. I know that the road is not easy but it is the right road to travel on, and in the end, my Heavenly Father will approve. ...and I will feel better taking my days one day at a time
Labels: Catholic, Family History, Old Flames
November 22, 2007
Cultivate A Heart Of Gratitude
American Bandstand, Belleville OH
Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms
has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills,
in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns
with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God,
whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
This is one of my favorite hymns, and I love it that our church uses it often in services year round much more than the ususal once or twice a year at this time in the calander.
I love Thanksgiving and all of the warm fuzzies that go along with it even if we here in our house skipped the cooking and went to Mimi's
Had a lovely Thanksgiving meal with Woody. He is sleeping it off, I came home and took Annabelle out for a breezy walk in her new pink quilted coat with a faux fur trimed hood. Yesterday it was a burgundy sweater... she endures all of this without one complaint. Woody complains that Annabelle is neither my little baby nor a doll to dress. I just want her warm... Now hair acessories are another thing all together!
I miss the family social thing but after traveling last week I am so glad I wasnt going anywhere this weekend. Just enjoying the quiet if a bit chilly house has been lovely.
I have a little plaque that sits on our table that reads "Be Grateful" Its so easy to forget how much we have, not just materially, but just the basics like food shelter and freedom from fear. How many people in this world have none of those things... Quite a few.
I have to admit though, my conciousness has been raised somewhat in the past few months. I have not been a big giver... Sadly, in my heart there has been a hardness toward the poor ("Just pick yourself up...I did..." ect)for much of my life. I see a lot of these people as hand out seekers and "gimmee" people. As I have been more and more exposed to a Catholic mindset and a real understanding of how Jesus viewed the Poor, I have felt a giving over. That has lead to having a more grateful nature.
I am thankful for many many things, people and situations in my life. I try to count my blessings at least once a day. I have been encouraged to pray the "Morning Offering
" prayer. But I find that I would rather pray and just thank God for getting me to this new day and thinking of ten things that I am thankful for. That helps me put on a happy morning face rather than a grumpy one. Although I must say that getting miss Annabelle out of her bed and to her bathroom, being licked for joy all the way has a wonderful effect on my mental outlook. How can you be grumpy when your doggy just wants to love you...
But seriously...I am asking God to remind me more and more as time passes and the world is changing and I think, going to become a very hard place to live in... Just to remind me of how good I have it and how I need to just be happy and not worry so much. To be thankful and to care about the things that matter and let go of the things that dont matter. To be open to God's best and let the rest fall away like the dead leaves that fell off the trees last week.
I love todays "blog of note" Attitude of Gratitude
In nearly evey post Scott W, a man recovering from addiction, lists things he's grateful for. Like my morning prayer. I found many of the things mentioned on his lists touching. As many isues as I had in my past, chemical addictions were not among them. Another thing to be grateful about...When thinking about this, I realized that I could make a list of my own...
Woody, exsaperating and misunderstood as he is, he champions me and supports me not in everyway but in more ways than most.
My life situation here in NW Arkansas. I am constantly surprised at how life has turned around. While there are hard days and I often feel very alone, I have met more straight up people... I certainly work with more straight up people, than I I ever have before. My home, my job, my health, my future, is brighter and better than at any time in my life...Im grateful for that.
Im grateful for the people that are supporting my spiritual journey, from my cousin Lyn, to my Methodist Pastor, to those that are a part of RICA at St Bernards parish, to the folks at Little Protion and John Michael Talbot...even those that are trying to disuade me right now from "crossing the Tiber" are a blessing as they get me to thinking about what I am doing. I want to be Catholic for right reasons, not just emotions or impulses
For my beautiful kitties and my sweet doggy...For the wildlife that comes up close to us and the beauty of this lovely place we call home...
For opportunity, health and well being, for enough of everything overflowing into excess. May God forgive our over indulgence, our selfish greed.
As I sit on the lanai looking out over the forest full of leafless trees... the freezing grey of a late autumn evening...snow flurries likely...me and my Annabelle, I am so glad that I have you my readers and friends on the journey as well. I love you all and so very glad that you have joined me on the journey over My Wide Blue Seas...
Labels: Catholic, Faith, Family History, Prayers, RCIA, scripture, Thanksgiving
November 21, 2007
Golden Sunset Panama City Beach Florida
This prayer appeared in the Ann Landers Column 40 years ago. It is reprinted every once in a while. I found it in my papers during the recent clean out in my garage. I love it and hope that when I am down I can remember to thank God for every little blessing
The Thanksgiving Prayer
We come to the table today, O Lord, humble and thankful and glad.
We thank You first for the great miracle of life, for the exultation of being human, for the capacity to love.
We thank you for joys both great and simple-
for wonder dreams and hope
For the newness of each day;
For laughter and song and a merry heart
For compassion waiting within to be kindled
For the forbearance of friends and the smile of a stranger;
For the arching of the earth and trees and heavens and the fruits of all three;
For the wisdom of the Old;
For the courage of the Young
For the promise of the Child
For the strength that comes when needed;
For the family united here today
Of those to whom much is given,much is required. May we and our children remember this. May God bless us and may we forever continue to cultivate a heart of gratitude...Amen
Labels: Faith, Prayers, Thanksgiving
November 18, 2007
Deuteronomy 8:11-20 Forget Not the Blessings of the Lord
Burning Sunset Panama City Beach Florida
Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Labels: Florida, scripture
November 17, 2007
Kekaimalu or "The Calm Sea"
The gleaming shore, Panama City Beach Florida
Written at The Summit,
Panama City Beach, Florida November 11, 2007
I am surrounded by Kekaimalu. The Calm Seas... The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are the resplendent shades of the tourmaline
. There is an offshore breeze and so the soft "shuff shuff" sounds of the surf are subdued... almost subliminal... If you cant tell by now, I love it here...
We came to this strech of sugar sand beach in 2005, recovering from The Huakai or the Journey from Hawaii to Arkansas. We drove down through the Katrina ravaged Gulf coast to find this town still recovering from Hurricane Ivan the season prior. I enjoyed our time here so much that Woody bought me a week of timeshare here so I can always come at this quiet time. I was to buy an ajacent week a few months later so we can come at this time every year for two weeks during Thanksgiving time. When I have my business I will be able to do that. Currently "thisplace" only allows you to take a week of vacation time at a time, unless it is unusual circustances ie, when I was considering going with John Michael Talbot to Ireland in October. They were going to give me the time off simply because it was such a rare opportunity. I am SOOOO glad I chose not to do that as I can hardly walk 30 minutes now let alone a whole day of sightseeing, up and down stairs
Our journey yesterday was even more simple than the flight to Charleston was last spring. We boarded our flight at XNA, which is near "thisplace" and flew to Atlanta, had just enough time to change planes...had a deplaning delay even on saturday, I try to avoid Atlanta and OHare for that reason, but Woody booked this flight. Our only worry was Ms. Annabelle, who was spayed the day before and will be boarding with Dr. Eric, her vet, for the time we are away. She was bedraggled and not feeling very well when we left but assured that we would be called if there was a problem. When we went to Louisville she was well cared for so I have no doubts about her care now, but we are nervious parents...
We ate at Captain Anderson's a local Icon of a resturant. We missed them last time as they close for the holiday season and reopen in early spring. The place was packed and we dropped a c note for dinner...the place is making a killing...was it worth it...absolutley..
Poolside at the Summit
We have spent two full days here and while our quarters are a lot smaller than we are used to, (about 350 sq ft)there is plenty of space and amenities that we need, like a King sized bed and a washer dryer. Knowing that we could launder stuff allowed me to pack only half of what I would normally pack and I had a plesent surprise when the luggage was weighed. Woody's was overweight by 6 lbs and mine was just 40 lbs. Pretty good considering how heavy the bags are empty, you put a few clothes in there and you get screaming counter people and overweight fees
11-14 The weather has been spectacular, so we have spent our days driving around to different points of intrest. Yours truly is not as agile as she thought she would be so my picture taking has suffered. However the view off out 14th floor balcony is spectacular at sunset and I got some great shots the other night.
Woody have not talked much. I think he and I have so much on our minds. The situation with going to Louisville and the new business is never far from my mind...Then there is RCIA, where Ed challenged me with one paragraph in the Catachesim..."this is the summation, the rest is commentary" I will be writing more on this at a later time as I want to post on why I am making this huge decision...
The rest of the trip was wonderful. I got down to the waters edge a number of times but not as much as I would have liked. I was really concerned about putting stress on the newely formed joints in the break in my foot. The tendon is healing and reattached but its going to remain fragile for some time. The sand felt good to walk on as long as it was somewhat stable and level. I wore a sand shoe on the dry sand and that was more stable than athletic shoes.
Woody walking the beach
The water had already turned cold, and the cold burned the broken place but it was delicious to have my feet in the ocean. Walking along the shore, seeing the life in the sand as the sea creatures would work to keep themselves burried as the waves washed over and over the sand, seeing dolphins and loggerhead turtles sticking their heads up to look at us. They were the only other people on the deserted beaches
Other than the night club next door to the resort that cranked up the band all night on the weekends...I hear it everynight during the busy season, how the residents stand it is beyond me... It was a beautiful quiet time
A pool day, poolside at The Summit, Panama City Beach FL
Labels: Florida, Traveling, Woody
November 16, 2007
Happy Anniversary Woody
Woody, holding Annabelle age 4 months at the groomer.
Ive been thinking
that regardless of the pains
that we endure together
due to lack of
We must love each other
For how do you explain
enduring far beyond
So, thank you for
and not giving up on us
God will explain...
or maybe He wont have to
Eleven career changes (at least)
Ten Hawaiian vacations (not including the 4 years of living there)
Eight bank accounts
Six Cross country drives
Five Church memberships
Three Business ventures
and one Dog
This is a snap shot of the moments of our life. It has been an amazing time, and a trying time... I sometimes want to walk away, other times the thought of living without you is unbearable. Maybe one day, we will understand, but for now it is enough to know that you are there.
I love you
Labels: Annabelle, Marriage, Woody
November 10, 2007
Psalm 44 ~ You, God Will Be Faithful
Bridge near Cape San Blas FloridaPsalm 44 Come to Our Help
O God, we have heard with our ears,
our fathers have told us,
what deeds you performed in their days,
in the days of old:
you with your own hand drove out the nations,
but them you planted;
you afflicted the peoples,
but them you set free;
for not by their own sword did they win the land,
nor did their own arm save them,
but your right hand and your arm,
and the light of your face,
for you delighted in them.
You are my King, O God;
ordain salvation for Jacob!
Through you we push down our foes;
through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.
For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah
But you have rejected us and disgraced us
and have not gone out with our armies.
You have made us turn back from the foe,
and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter
and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle,
demanding no high price for them.
You have made us the taunt of our neighbors,
the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me,
and shame has covered my face
at the sound of the taunter and reviler,
at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us,
though we have not forgotten you,
and we have not been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back,
nor have our steps departed from your way;
yet you have broken us in the place of jackals
and covered us with the shadow of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God discover this?
For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face?
Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust;
our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help!
Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!
November 05, 2007
The Turning Leaves
The turning of the leaves,Lake Avalon, Bella Vista AR.
Its seemed to be a overnight occurrence, but with a few near freezing nights this past week, the leaves seemed to "pop" into glorious colors.Our back yard and forest area is ablaze with glorious golds and reds. The air is chilly and the breeze kicks up sending leaves out in cascades off of the trees. The cats still hate this as stand at the window and hiss at the leaves... I took Annabelle out for a walk yesterday, and she flung herself into the piles of fallen leaves with great abandon.Taking a long walk is a treat of sorts as she gets plenty of exercise running about in the house. She is still under tight supervision, not just because of house breaking, she is pretty good about that business, in fact almost prissy about it. However the cats are both wanting to have their way with her, and the outcome is not likely to be good for little miss doggy. She is a fly weight at 4.25 lbs with Kanani at 14 and Makoa at 21 lbs...the big boy particularly has a bone to pick as Annabelle likes to steal his toys and actually snuck up on him and bit him on the back foot once. Cats have very long memories...
Our nights have been cold enough that we have broken out the space heaters and bought two new ones. We now have people and creatures sleeping in three rooms rather than one, so a heater is needed for both of our bedrooms and the large bathroom when Annabelle's crate is located. Her fur is long and still the fluffy "puppy" fur, so that helps to keep her warm. I have succumbed to thwarted motherhood-ness and bought 2 tiny sweaters and a pink quilted coat with a pink fur trimmed hood. She looks adorable in them.
With the turning leaves comes the end of the busy freight season. We have seen a huge slowdown on our account. This is somewhat normals and no reflection on the situation that the account is leaving. But it makes for a long day and an even longer night shift. We that work on this shift are doing out best to not get into any bad habits and to give 100 percent to the employer. There has been some goofing off at the expense of the things on my desk. I threw a fit and got a manager involved. I wanted not to get someone fired but to stop the horseplay, and messing with my chair. The goofball guys had been lowering my chair and loosening the back which I keep locked and stiff. I sat down a touch stiff and the chair nearly scooted out from under me. That was what prompted me to put a sign on my chair telling those clowns to lay off. It blew into a full on meeting with scoldings for all.
On our shift there is so little to do that I have been working on my business plan and the others do what ever. We all get out work done and that is cool with the bosses but I think I will be out of there sooner than the end of March... I wish they would lay me off then I would have more time to get the business set up before I go to Louisville. But the money will come in handy so I need to stay as long as I can.
I havent followed the elections that closely,not because I dont care...I do, but because I work at night I havent seen much of the debating. I dont trust any of the spin doctoring news outlets, conservative or liberal, as I dont feel they have my interests at heart. I am a conservative that feels that we need some type of intervention on the healthcare issue. I am a religious righter that believes that if civil unions will bring equality to our society which has used marriage as a means of delivering social benefits, then lets have them. I am a flat taxing, ship out criminal illegals, dont mess with my right to bear arms, but cant we spend some to fix out roads bridges schools and for heaven sake do something about the lax security at our ports...you get it, I dont fit the mold...
So I found this:the Candidate Selector
I plugged in all of my choices and was very surprised at what came out. Maybe you will be too.
The cooler weather didnt bring down the price of gas, in fact fuel is going up and up. Its 305 here. Last year I wrote a peice called "The White Line is the Lifeline for the Nation"
where I tried to raise a bit of consciousness about what 5 dollar a gallon gas will mean to our consumer driven way of life. It will be chaos and no one is talking about it. But it needs to be addressed and soon.
My Catechetical studies are way behind. My Catechest and his wife who is also my sponsor, have been in and out of the country for the past two months. Add my travels to this and we have a failure to connect that might mean an end to my hope to be confirmed in the spring. With the trip to Louisville next year it may be well 2009 before Im officially a Catholic. I have continued my studies and have selected my Patron Saint. Theresia Benidicta a Cruse, or in English, Teresa Blessed by the Cross. She is better known as Dr. Edith Stein, whom I wrote about in this post two years ago
as I was beginning to explore the concept of making the Catholic Church a part of my life. I loved her story and now as I am reading more about her and hopefully more of her work, I am truly amazed at her life an how God used this Jewish woman of extraordinary gifts in His Kingdom. She may have been the most important German Woman writer in the 20th century, she is by all accounts the most controversial of all of the late Great John Paul II cannonizations. I wonder what the reaction will be at my choice... I like the name Teresa, and like so many converts do may chose to use it as a part of my daily routine. My current given name is difficult for many to pronunce... I have "runners up" in the Patron Saint selection. Teresa of Avila, Elizabeth of the Trinity, John of the Cross...(as much as I lean towards Benedictine spirituality intellectually, and yet hang out with Francisicans ie John Michael Talbot and company, I seem to be attracted to Carmelites...hummmm) Still I am glad the process is continuing and that my reading has proven to be so enjoyable, and stimulating. It is my hope that Ed and I will be able to continue our studies soon
Woody and I leave for Panama City Beach Nov 10, our Anniversary week. Looking forward to this trip. We have a lot of things we want to do this time that we didnt do before By the time we get back it will be nearly Thanksgiving, the bright Autumn leaves will all be off the trees and the elegent spareness of the Ozark winter will be settling in. God Bless you and see you in a few weeks...
Labels: Bella Vista, Scenic Arkansas, Traveling
November 04, 2007
Ephesians 1:15-23~ For All The Saints
Tree Aflame, Bella Vista United Methodist Church, Bella Vista, AR
Ephesians 1:15-23Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Faith of the Saints
For this reason, because I (Paul) have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Labels: Scenic Arkansas, scripture