The authors share many helpful posts on their blog, Curious to the Max. I am honored to introduce Judy and Peggy’s blog:
From Curious to the Max comes a post many of you will find helpful. Here is the link:
From Curious to the Max comes a post many of you will find helpful. Here is the link:
Divine One grant me strength
To serve with love and compassion
With wisdom beyond my own
Energy when I am weak
Rest when I am weary
Inspiration when I am hopeless
Quenching waters for my thirst
And calm in the midst of storms
Divine One, come,
Fill me when I am empty
Comfort me in my sorrow
Give healing for my soul
Please take my hand and hold it
When I feel so all alone
For when the night is darkest
And when my tasks are done
Let your peace be my pillow
My blanket, trust sublime
Help me when a new day dawns
To do it all again
There is something so special about Christmas time. Something magical and spiritual and absolutely good. I don’t feel that way every year, some years it was just too painful coming on the heels of a death in the family or some other grievous situation. But this year I am so very thankful for the blessings granted us over the past twelve months. So thankful, and Christmas is bringing me so much peace, so much joy this year.
It’s been a challenging year in so many ways, and, as I think back over it, it was an uphill climb in so many ways: emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically. It’s not finished with us yet as we wait for a spot to open up in the dialysis unity here in town so my husband won’t have to be flown to Edmonton once again. I think we’ve had enough of that for one year. Yet, it was a year so filled with blessings as well. So many people people stepped up to help us in more ways than I can list here. God really does work in mysterious ways and I am so grateful for all the people who allowed the Creator to work through them; who reached out to support us in every way imaginable. It is through adversity that we may be tested, but we are also so very blessed, if we are open to receive. I read somewhere that issues come up to either bless us or to help us learn the lesson it brings.
Here it what I learned once again: we are never alone, unless we choose to be. No problem or challenge is too big for the Divine One. People are so intrinsically good and unfailingly kind. If we are open we will receive what we need, and often even more than we pray for. People remark on how they see me as being so strong. Well, I will let you in on a little secret: it’s not my strength they see but the strength of God who sustains me, no matter how big or contentious the issue may be.
So, I am praying that we each receive all we need; that we are open to receive the gifts the Creator is waiting to grant us; that we find true joy in the season; that every moment is peace-filled. I wish you well, my friends. I wish you more blessings than you can count. I wish you enough, always. God bless and Merry Christmas.
As I write this the washing machine is filling and I cannot help but think how appropriate when I am about to write about self reflection versus self recriminations. You may have noticed I’ve been rather quiet of late. That’s partly because I’ve been busy with work and just living life. But it is also partly because I have been doing a great deal of self reflection after spending a fair amount of time mired in self recriminations – which does nothing to help me or anyone else. Bear with me as I try to articulate the differences, as I understand them.
How does that saying go? “The unexamined life is not worth living”? Or words to that effect. My washing machine can wash the dirt and accumulated daily grime out of my clothes, but to “wash” my self of less than stellar qualities requires more than one trip to my internal “washing machine”, and a lot of time in prayer!
Yes, I have been awash in memories that have led to a fair amount of regret and sorrow. Taking out and fully examining past words and actions has caused me a lot of guilt and shame. The shame is never productive and leaves me feeling “less than” the person I’d like to be. It also leads down a dark tunnel of self reproach and self loathing. It has led to days of depression, which are also not productive nor good for anyone least of all myself.
Guilt, on the other hand, can lead to positive change, and that’s a good thing. Personally, prayer helps me a lot. The Creator is much more merciful with me than I am with myself and it’s that mercy and compassion that helps me pick myself up and try again, making amends where needed and apologizing when that is appropriate.
Oh yes, I can be judgemental, arrogant, bossy, and generally not very nice. On the other hand, I can also be very thoughtful and kind. Yet, those traits are not the troublesome ones – arrogance and judging others – those traits need to go. Yet, it is these traits, when they rear their ugly heads, that keeps me humble. I am blessed to have family and friends who ask the right questions to help me gain balance and perspective and of course the endless love and compassion of the Divine One who placed these people in my life to help me on my journey. I am so grateful for them!
I spent many years in therapy facing these demons and others. I asked this wise woman, my therapist, once if I spot these negative traits in others does it mean I have them as well. She answered in the positive, qualifying that with the caution that if not these traits, then the possibility of developing them. (Yikes!) But she continued, so too do the wonderful traits of compassion, empathy, and kindness. (Yay!)
So, after many days of prayer and self reflection I have been led to a place of forgiveness for being human and encouraged to go out there and try, try again, to do better, to be better. We are all mere human beings – none of us are perfect and so, I shall carry on and with prayer I will be better. I hope.
I dislike moving intensely and what with hubby’s health issues and work, it’s going to be challenging. But, we did finally find a place to call home. This time it’s an apartment, which will be a big adjustment and we will have to downsize once again. Purging cherished items can be difficult, but the up side is that there will be less to haul.
The new place looks over a park and there is a walking trail not far from the back of the building. So, at least we will have a nice view. I have to get back to packing, but I am taking a bit of time to myself today. I just wanted to let the people who follow my blog know that we have found something that I think will work for us. I appreciate you all more than you could possibly know. If I could prevail upon your kindness, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as hubby cannot lift or haul anything at all so we will need a lot of help. Yet, God is good and has provided for all our needs thus far. I will trust in the divine. Have a great day and a wonderful week. Until next time – cheers!
When the wait is long
And the hours slow
When we are in need of solace
And healing of the hurt
I beg you, come
When the unknown threatens to unseat our faith
And darkness cloaks the light
Remind us, Divine Creator
Of your power and your might
I pray for strength for me and mine
Carry us as we wait
Whether in the morning
Or when the hour grows late
We cannot know Your will, at times
Grant us Your gift of trust
Help us be patient as we contemplate the outcome
Help us know it will be all right
Whatever the day may hold
O Divine Creator, come
Deliver us from all fear and doubt
I beg You, please
Children are born so innocent. Unfortunately, they are born into an imperfect world peopled by imperfect human beings. Cycles of violence repeat themselves again and again, both in families and in society as a whole. I don’t have any answers. I wish I did.
Many people are broken as children through abuse of many kinds and it leaves them (us) with terrible wounds. I once read or heard that childhood is what we spend the rest of our lives getting over. I think there is a lot of truth to that.
However, some people do not have the courage, or the ability to trust, in order to do the arduous work to ‘get over it’. And some things are much, much harder to get over than others. Some abuse leads people to use alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate in order to deal with the pain. And that, naturally, leads to more issues, more problems.
I think the whole ‘war against’ drugs is a mistake. We should be fighting child abuse, in all its nuances and colors. Healthy children grow up to be healthy people. And by healthy, I mean every aspect of health: emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual.
I think we should be treating the pain before we can treat the addiction. I think we have a long road to travel before we can really address all the ills of society and I think we should begin at the beginning: in childhood.
Recently I have read articles about a particular school that is offering mental health education in primary grades. I think that is an excellent idea – one that is perhaps overdue, but it gives me hope for tomorrow.
Some days are just like that. I reach into a drawer for a bit of scrap paper and slice my thumb on said item. It’s very busy. People are lined up. I am alone on the desk; my co-worker is on break. I grab a Kleenex and wrap it around the wound, trying to staunch the flow while simultaneously checking out books for a patron, making sure I don’t bleed on them (the books, not the patron). Paper cuts hurt! Also, they bleed a lot. At any rate I survive and the books remained bloodless. Score! I win!
This morning we wake up happy and joyful. Everything is going smoothly. All is well. My husband is going to drive our daughter to work. Then it all goes to pot for a few minutes when we discover we have a flat and the tools to change the tire are at our son’s place across town. Happily, our friend and neighbour is not working today and offers to drive daughter to work. Crisis averted.
Stress can be such a pain in the butt. But, you know, most things we stress over are so small and inconsequential. I mean, we live in a beautiful home, in a beautiful city, in a country where we are free – truly free. No wars or starvation to worry about. We don’t have to fear for our lives. We have food, clothing, shelter and much to be thankful for. Stress really is all about perspective, isn’t it?
As we go about the rest of our day and arrange to get the tire fixed I hope we remember to count our blessings and to let little frustrations go. Some stressors really aren’t that important, especially paper cuts and flat tires!
Angels in human form
Admiration soars for
Angels in human form
“Out of massive suffering emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran
When I was a little girl we lived in rural Newfoundland. In the back of the field beautiful sunflowers grew tall and I loved them. So, this spring I decided to plant sunflowers of two different heights in the corner of the back yard. The seed packets read that some will grow to be as tall as 3.5 metres (approximately 9 feet) and the others would grow about 2 feet tall. I had this vision of how the flowers would look with the high board fence behind them as I planted them. Unfortunately, mother nature delivered a punishing rain on the weekend and the deluge caused flooding in parts of town. In my garden some of my sunflowers took a beating and are now bent over as if the weight of the rain was too much to bear. I spent the past hour propping them up and tying them off with fishing line in an effort to support them.
I cannot help but think how people are like that. Some people grow stronger when tested by life. Others need supports until they can gain their feet and their strength. We are, each of us, individuals. Some of us are much more resilient than others. I hope that there are helpers for those that need it. I hope that whether we are the ones reaching out, or the ones offering assistance, that we each find the strength we need, whatever life may dole out.
“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” – Ernest Hemingway