As I begin my day I light my spiced pumpkin candle. The light representing the presence of God. The smell awakening my senses and I give thanks for another day to experience what life has to teach and offer me. Then I open my little marble book that holds the names of people who are in need of prayer. I don’t ask God for what he already knows their needs to be. I simple see them as receiving whatever it is that God has to offer them on this day. Then I center myself through meditation and as I concentrate on my breath I can’t help feeling blessed to be alive yet one more day. One breath at a time and nothing else matters except the moment I find myself in. All else stems from this moment of thanks and praise. I breath in wellness and out happiness in and out filling myself with all that is good and right in the world. Remembering that with all that can go wrong there is so much more good to draw from.
May your day be blessed and filled with all your hearts desire.
At the end of the mini series “Genius,” Einstein is dying, and as his long time secretary looks at him with sadness, he takes a flower from an arrangement and holding it in his hand says, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”
I looked at Tom with a childlike excitement, and said, “I learned that all by myself!”
Just a few simple lines, and yet they hold within them a great awakening, opening up a whole new world for us. You don’t even have to be a genius to discover it yoursełf. It reminds me of when my father-in-law had his cataract surgery. He said he could see things with such clarity and crispness, and the colors were so vivid. When our own blinders are stripped away we can also say, ” I can see clearly now.”
As I sit in contemplation and prayer today, the beginning of the inauguration has already been set in action. I find that I am unable to enter into proper prayer and connection with the God I so desire to be one with without first laying aside my own feelings of anger and pride. It is hypocritical of how I try to live my life daily working to see the better good in everyone. Trump has continued to make that difficult, but today I put my faith and hope in the power God can do to change our ways. My prayer is that he has a change of heart in how he goes about things, and he sees the responsibility he has that affects every level of our county from our children to the world itself. I hold my hope in the famous words…that anything is possible through God.
An important note: I do not say this in support of any party. I am not conservative or a liberal. I base my decisions on what reflects the better good of all. Some might say that makes me a socialist. I say, if that’s what you think than what does that make God who wants nothing less. No labels please only know I speck out as one wanting to move on. There is much work to do yet, let’s do it through the grace of God.
December 24, 2015
A Note from Ollie
“I’m ready for this party to get started!”
“The Grandkids are coming that means I’ll be cleaning up the floor tonight! Can’t wait!”
This popped up on my Facebook timeline this morning, and I lost it. There’s no Ollie this year here, they’ll be no grandkids here for our annuel Christmas Eve celebration because of my condition. I do have a lot to be gratful for though. My family and friends who have done so much in these past few weeks to make things easier for me. And we are still having our celebration at Shannon’s this year as our kids pitch in together to carry on our family traditon. Letting others do things for me is not easy, but has been a good lesson in humility. In turn I’ve been blessed with much grace. I guess the lesson for me is to remember with change comes much pain, and yet beneath it lies the grace that gets us through it.
Merry Christmas and may we all be blessed with a health happy New Year!
On October 23, 2016, we laid our sweet Ollie dog to rest, and our hearts have been broken in these last few days without him. I think about how ironic it is that this happened on the same day that I always posted “Sundays with Ollie.” For us it was literally our last “Sunday with Ollie.” I kept thinking he was 13, but after looking at his papers he was actually 12. He became a part of our family in October of 2004. I remember the day we picked him out. I was going to take home the first puppy that came up to me. They say it’s their way of picking you out, but Ollie was too busy chasing his brothers and sisters around the yard, and he was the runt of the liter. I fell in love with him right off the bat. He was 6 weeks old and so tiny I could hold him in my two hands. As we took him away from the only family he knew he was scared, but he melted in my arms as I began to hum softly in his ear. Our bond began, and while Tom wasn’t much of a dog person, it made him happy to see me so content. Ollie, being the personality that he was warmed his way into Tom’s heart as well.
As I was looking through his papers I found the receipt for a dog training class I signed him up for. It made me laugh remembering how totally uncooperative he was. Ollie was more interested in playing with the other dogs then learning how to behave and listen. He had no fears of other dogs, he’d let the biggest ones know that he was no push over. By all accounts some people might consider him an irritating dog with his loud bark and his piercing stare, but it was his charismatic personality that overshadowed anything else. I would do anything to hear that bark one more time right now. As Tom said, Ollie was one of a kind, and surely our most favorite of all pets.
God has a way helping us through our losses. We simple must be open to what he has for us to receive. As we left the pet emergency, taking Ollie home to bury him in our back yard. A woman appeared out of nowhere seeing how distraught I was she said to me, “peace be with you sister, you’ll see your furry little friend again someday.” Then she took my hand and prayed that God would bless me with his loving peace. I felt like she was an angle placed right where and when I needed her. The next day as I was sitting in my sacred space, the void of Ollie was overwhelming. His presence always played an intricate part in helping me to become centered. Feeling unable to concentrate on anything, I started flipping through my “Science of Mind” Magazine stopping at an article called “Dog gone grief.” I couldn’t help thinking how much the title sounded like something Ollie would say in one of his post. The author Stef Swink was writing about the recent loss of her own 13yr old dog. She was reminded by a friend, that it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel life’s heartbreaks. “Deep love,” she goes on, “is worth the pain! If you are in anguish, allow it and honor it.” That’s what Tom and I are trying to do. It feels like we’re on roller coaster of emotions, same as we were when we lost our loved ones. There’s the ups and the downs, the twist and the turns, and the downhill screams allow me to cry as loud and as hard as I need to, letting my tears heal my heartbreak. I talk about my grief, because I can only share what I feel. But both Tom and I know by the grace of God our “dog gone grief” will slow down when the time is right. It is then that we can sit with the treasured legacy that “Sundays with Ollie” has yet to offer us.
Tom tries to lighten the mood by telling me that Ollie is with our other dogs now, his brothers, and knowing Ollie he’s probable chasing them all over the place in heaven.
I can hear him saying his favorite line, “I’m a lucky dog, indeed!”
Sleeping under the stars
“We’ve never experienced this very moment before, and the next moment will not be the same as the one we are in now.” -Pena Chodron
I’ve been sleeping propped up on the couch for the past few nights since my surgery. Our couch sits up against the big bay window in our living room. As I can only lay on my back to sleep right now it gets a little uncomfortable through the night. At some point I opened my eyes to get resituated, but I couldn’t move because of what I saw. It was as if I was sleeping outside under the stars. The sky was clear, the moon was almost full, and the stars were shining extra bright, at least they looked that way to me. I would have never been able to see this view from inside my house if I hadn’t been laying at the angle I was. It’s funny how one little open door of awareness can open us up to all the things around us we have blocked out. Suddenly I was aware of the cool fresh air coming in the corner windows, and the sounds of the summer night as if in full concert mode. Between the sight, sound and fresh clean air I felt like I’d been given a glimpse of heaven. It was a captured moment in time in which all else was forgotten. There was no pain or discomfort and after a while I fell back to sleep forgetting why I woke up in the first place. Every mindful moment like this seems to build on top of the other for me. Through this whole ordeal I’ve been able to find a way to see something better than my condition, and it’s had an amazing effect on my healing so far. I don’t question anymore where it come from. I know it comes from the grace of God, and all it takes is a moment of awareness to tap into.
Today I was reading about Grace. Not the person, but it’s many meanings. The very sound of the word congers up thoughts of beauty. “Amazing Grace how sweet thy name,” comes to mind. I once knew a friend who called God, Grace by name because it better expressed the gentle loving Creator she came to know in her life. Grace means many different things in the English language, religions, and to each individual. As I look up the word in Google I realize I could write a book on the subject itself. So I’ll just stick to what it’s come to mean to me in my life.
I have learned that God is not as complicated as we make Him. I experience His grace each time I remember that we are inner connected. He is not off somewhere apart from me. It is in Him, through Him, and with Him, that I am the authentic person He created me to be. It’s where I find my purpose, and everything falls together as it is meant to be. His grace is always sufficient, and the only time it becomes difficult is when I forget who I really am.
“God experiences life through each of us, and we experience life thanks to God.”-Peter Sheperd
To sit among the trees,
To listen to the silence,
To notice your breath,
To awaken to the smells,
To taste what never touches the tongue
To open your eyes and see?
It means all that is,
and all that ever will be,
has become One.
And through mind, body and spirit,
God has the pleasure of experiencing all His creations,
through our eyes, emotions and senses.
It is truly being in the moment of Grace!