April 13, 2009
A Life Well Lived
Flowering trees taken off the Upper patio of the First United Methodist Church Bella Vista AR
Its Holy Thursday and I have enjoyed listening to the services on EWTN. They are showing the evening service from Rome, presided over by the Pope... in the church of St John Lateran
, I think my favorite of the churches in Rome that I have seen photos of, very beautiful
I am also engaging in a personal ritual. Every year or so, this time its about 13 months, I finish one personal journal and start a new one. This will occur in the next few weeks and I wanted to have the new one selected and ready.
This process usually means my digging in my cedar chest formally known as my "hope" chest, but after two failed marriages there is not much hope there. I have my journals stored in it now to protect them from humidity and the elements. There are 40 completed journals beginning from 1978 till now. Some are in better condition than others, the cheap paper caused the inks to fade, others are as bright as the day I penned the words... thousands of hours of prayers, reflections and narrative... my life bound up in ink, paper and cloth...with insertions of clippings photos and little bits of life. For example... I found a mat clipped from Annabelle's coat a week after her death, the lump of silky hair missed the waste basket. From trash to treasure... I kissed the tiny bit of my beloved and placed it between the pages of my current journal where I noted her untimely passing and my torrent of grief...
I also found a very good photo of my mother that I didnt know that I still had that fell from the pages of one of my journals... I have so few from those last few years of her life. This was taken before Parkinson's hardened her face into a twisted scowl.She was happily riding on a friends borrowed Rascal scooter, Dreaming of her own I think. She was to cannive her way into ownership of a Rascal, just when she could no longer manage it. she took it out and lost control of it and rant the thing off the sidewalk and tumbled her out of it... The Bellflower police brought her home and the nursing home took the keys away from her... Sadly the scooter languished on a uncovered patio, while the payments racked up. These ads on TV for the "scooter store" that tease seinors into buying something they cant afford are criminal. The thing promised freedom that she couldnt afford and couldnt manage. I shed a few tears for the frustration and pain she endured in those last years... it wasnt easy for her...
When I look at my journals, which is not often really, I can spend hours reliving the past in them. I am amazed at what I write about and what I dont write about. The pages of prayers and reflections on Biblical studies in the Hosanna years of 1988 to 1996, and how my writing abruptly changed... How all of my life in Hawaii spanned only four volumes, how thankful I am that I blogged and took all of the pictures otherwise it would all seem like a dream
I said a lot about my mis adventures while married to the Engineer, but nothing specific enough to use in my Magesterial Annulment. Too bad as I really need some help here.
But I think what made me the saddest was the pages and pages of rage directed at Woody and our relationship, and the pages of tear stained missive of how lost I have been over the years, spiritually since the Calvary Chapel debacle. In counseling this past week Susan, my new therapist, and I touched on how the "Offense" that we receive from another Believer or another can be a vehicle for the enemy of our souls to impede our growth as persons and as children of God. I know this to be true.
The two situations are linked. Now that I have been apart form Woody for the better part of a year I have really been able to move forward away from both issues and see real healing in my life. The proof is the forgiveness I have been able to freely give to other "offenders" like Linda the gal from Birmingham, or even the Vet that cared for Annabelle and maybe didnt do all that he could have. I see a peace that I have not had as far as the past goes that I didnt have a year ago.
Looking backwards is a useful tool if you have an objective means to do so. My journals provide that. True, they are subjective because it is only my view of events but I try to be as true to myself as I can be
As I was going through the chest I found the huge stack of letters that I have saved over the years, Certainly not every letter that I have ever received, If I did that I would have a pile big enough to fill my garage floor to ceiling! No these were letters from old boyfriends and old cards and things... A lot could go with no regrets and I re read some of them and had a laugh and tossed the rest unread. The bundle halved I retied the ribbons and stowed the much smaller pile away
Some times I need to dig through some of this for perspective. I have had a good life. And its only maybe half over God willing. I want to be more present in the moment... More intentional about caring for others and for myself...less concerned about the past mis steps and those things I cannot control and lastly more trusting in the God Who Sees me, Who knows me and all that I am. All that I have and all that I am is from Him. I need to learn to believe that He is for my good and that the rest of my life will be just as well lived as the first half was
Abigail playing with her pink doggie... I miss the little mutt let
Labels: Annabelle, Church, Faith, Family History, Marriage, Personal Growth, Woody