Monday, September 23, 2013


September 12

The train of thought that I will now take that any reader that so chooses to follow me down began yesterday. However, I opted not to put fingers to keyboard until today in order not to diminish the gravity of tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001 by the parallel that I will soon draw.

Upon leaving mass yesterday, the thought occurred to me of the date. The common thing you hear on 9/11 is, “I remember where I was on 9/11”.  My mind wandered to where I was when I received a call. “Is your TV on?” I was sitting on the edge of my bed in my apartment in rural Murfreesboro, TN when I took that call. This image of me on the edge of my bed sparked the thought of another time I sat in the very spot on the edge of my bed and had a realization that has carried me over the past 12 years…

No matter what is taken from you; material possessions, your reputation, relationships, etc. The two things that no one can take from you are your ability to forgive and your ability to love. They are wellsprings.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Morning Walk, A Blue Top & A Chinese Proverb

A morning smile crept across my face as my 12 pound, bossy little lady gave her doggy version of a little girl putting her hand on her hips, tossing her head to one side as her pig-tails set high upon either side of her head follow and said, “Come on mom. I want to go outside. This is soooooo boring!” I was being selfish and was already busy at work before taking her for her morning walk. I sometimes forget that I enjoy these walks equally as much as she does.

This morning’s walk was filled with the oscillating cadences of nature’s song. It’s hard to place all of the sounds. This morning I was curious as to what controlled the different rate at which crickets and other insects chirp and learned there is a correlative effect to temperature and this relationship is known as Dolbear’s Law.

Anyhow, during this perfect, peaceful morning walk down a tree-lined verdant street; I noticed an electric blue, round plastic top, which measured about 3 inches in diameter. The lid had slits in it, which were in the form of pinwheels. I may have past it once or twice before. Actually, I am pretty sure I have, but I tend to daydream on my walks, so I have never given it much thought. However, yesterday, I saw this very same top on my godson’s snack holder. It is a brilliant invention!!! It is designed so that the little tyke can get his hand into the snack holder and the snacks don’t easily fall out!

The point to this morning’s rambling is that we often see things in life, pass by them, listen to them (songs), read them etc. But after we experience them, they take on meaning and we recognize them for what they are.

I had no idea when I began writing this that I would get to share one of my all-time favorite quotes!! Yay :)

Tell me, I’ll forget.

 Show me, I’ll remember.

 Involve me. I’ll understand.

Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finding Faith....

I have a very strong belief system albeit one mixed with a mosaic of the world’s religions. My belief system comes from my heart and I have learned throughout life that when I can trust nothing else, I can trust my heart. I start here because during meditation this morning it was weighing on my heart that I have unevenly misrepresented my belief system. Although my blog is in its early stages, there is not one quote from Catholicism or any mention to it when in fact the first place I turn in times of trouble is prayer and to mass. A few months back when I found myself unable to understand what was happening, living in a state of disbelief despite reality staring directly at me that I found myself feeling hopeless and lost. I went to mass daily and prayed and took communion. I went back daily and waited to be relieved from the pain that my mind could not really conceive because it wouldn’t even accept the reality of the situation. This entry is not the full story to when I finally accepted the reality and let go, but rather a few other tid-bits that I have failed to share along the way.

One day, I was running a few minutes late to the 12:10 mass, so I scurried in and took my place near the back of the cathedral and listened to the priest as he continued with is homily. In all of my years of attending mass I had never heard a homily quite like this. Sure I have heard the Catholic Church speak about homosexuality and abortion, but not the entire homily speaking down on someone who has an abortion or is attracted to the same sex. I began to “go down a tunnel” aka have a panic attack. Have a panic attack in mass??? This was ridiculous. This was supposed to be my sanctuary, my oasis in the middle of the desert. My mind began to race. “How could I take communion from this man? I don’t agree with him. I don’t feel it is my choice to place judgment on any other person. Although a decision is not right for me, who am I to say what is right for someone else? Does the bible not say that charity (aka love) is above all else? What if god gave us all of these other differences to make us realize the most important thing is love? How can I take communion from this man?”

That was the moment I realized I had began putting faith in man and that my faith and relationship with God has nothing to do with man.

So, now that I have introduced a rather jolting experience that strengthened my relationship with God, but would likely be seen as blasphemy by a more traditional and non "Cafeteria-Catholic" such as myself, I have a little more food for thought. Below I have provided the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, something I have used as my centering “mantra” for many years now to ground me. It is actually on a placard in my favorite city in the United States, Saint Augustine. St. Augustine is lovely and charming. It is the oldest city in the States and has a tiny little chapel. It has never been hit by a hurricane and is said to be protected by the prayers of the nuns who originally came over. My family and I vacationed in St. Augustine when we were children. The photos here are from a mother/daughter trip in December of 2008

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

- St. Francis of Assisi