The Weeping Cherry

light painting at night
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The holidays are over, and as for me and my house? We will serve the Lord, whilst picking up the tornado wreckage that is our abode. Boxes, tissue paper and gifts, looking like a scene in Toy Story, which by the way? That movie ain’t for any kids I know, serious sexual undertones and witchery abounds…take your kids to see Halloween, trust me, the therapy bills will be much lower.

I had lifted myself out of the funk I was in by Christmas Eve. As I sat, crumpled over in my chair, I heard the faintest of words, and they grew, in volume and enthusiasm…it was our Children’s Choir, and singing Silent Night at that. I felt a surge of hope, a hope that this year, we win the war against Human Trafficking, Suicide and Homelessness. Anything is possible with God.

As I finished up the dishes, I walked out on to our deck Christmas evening, to see the stars and find some peace.

What at first appeared to be a shadow of a man, (Good Grief!!!!) appeared instead a Weeping Cherry tree. A gift from my husband, as I have wanted one to place at our golden Dylan’s grave out back.

I dried my hands on the dishtowel; and ran to the man who embodies my soul, and makes all my dreams come true.

And then I gave Dwain a hug, a big fat kiss on the lips.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

By Our Love…

 

I love my home church-for better or worse, this family stands behind one another, in sickness, tragedy, poverty:  we love one another and it shows.  Don’t get me wrong, we all have our moments, but in general there is love to spare.

Did you ever feel defeated?  That is how I’ve felt, more or less in the past week.  I get up in the morning and go through the motions, and obsessively compulse about the house, which leaves me fatigued and cranky.  I feel as if I am one of the least of these.  What did Jesus say to his followers about the least of these?

I tell you the truth, if any one of you give food or clothing to the least of these, you will be feeding and clothing  me.  

You see, Jesus loved us so much that he chose to become one of us in order to pay for our sins.  He continues to love and nurture us, meet our needs and work behind the scenes-to give us comfort, joy and peace.

I’m pretty stoic about my story.  I give my testimony when asked, and sometimes when the Holy Spirit puts it on my heart to come alongside a kindred spirit, or weary soldier- let them know that not only will God use your pain to bless you abundantly, and that  they are not alone in their battles.

steps dune dunes sand dunes
 Because, my child, I was carrying you.

I’d been feeling that I had nothing to offer, and was not worthy because my Lyme is charity inhibitive.   Oh, my will to help is there, but by the time I get dinner on the stove, I am battered and bruised from my battle-I just want to sit and repair a few brain cells at the end of the day; maybe pet my dog, you know…

As I was leaving the service this morning, a woman I have prayed with but don’t know well approached me outside.  She went on to tell me that she woke at the crack of dawn, couldn’t sleep and got to praying.  She said that God spoke to her, and she wanted to relay the message-

“He knows you are hurting.  He wants you to know that your relationships will bring great love and beauty to your life, that he is working behind the scenes, and that the truth will come out in the end.”

I wept and hugged her.  I thanked her and put my hands to her beautiful face.  She could not know what she has given me, what I needed more than breath itself.

If you need help, reach out.  God hears your angst and it’s healthy to pray for yourself as well.  Give your burdens to Him.  And look out for those hippies full of peace and love-follow them-they have what you need.

Monday Motivation

Good morning world! I say world because I am seeing viewers from Bangkok, Syria, Hong Kong, the UK and more. This, of course, gives me a lift in my loafers, if you smell what I’m stepping in. 🙂

I am beginning something new for the saddest, dreariest day of the week. I don’t know about y’all, but I begin my mourning around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and I don’t have a job I dread. I’m not complaining, but just as you’re getting your weekend groove on? Monday rears its ugly head and does a demolition derby on your ass. SO, each Monday I will be featuring a story of people who have inspired me, and my first writing is about Abby the Spoon Lady. Many of you have seen her featured in my blogs, and her story is INCREDIBLE.

Yesterday, our church celebrated its 50th birthday. We had a combined service and although we have lost a few members, there were no extra chairs left, and standing room only. Below is a picture painted by a member of our sister church in Bulgaria.

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The story behind this is beautiful: each time our pastor, JoAnne (she faced so much ugliness as a woman pastor)saw congregants leave the church, she went into a full blown grieving process. Our pastors take no salary, and are two of the smartest, Christlike people I have the privilege of knowing. JoAnne was confiding in a friend one day, and this is what her friend said:

Each time a family leaves Hosanna, you must know that you have done all you could to spread the Word of God, to instill leadership and kindness. You are planting seeds in different parts of the world, and you should be pleased with that notion.

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Have a motivated Monday. Hold your head up, and carpe diem.

Spirit in The Sky

Starving artists, one and all
Hear the caw,
The Raven’s call.

Charcoal paintings,
Photographs-
They beckon,
Mother Nature laughs.

The faeries dance
On fallen pine,
they bring such joy,
they’re friends of mine.

A bubbling creek or
mourning dove,
all are signs that
from Above,
You aren’t starving
after all,
but yearning for what’s free,
the love.

The Zoot Suit Riot……..

So, I have been struggling with returning to the local ER, where I volunteer.  Sick since August, with the latest plague offered up at the hands of reckless, inconsiderate patients who A.  cough directly into your face, 2.  Kiss you on the MOUTH and c. get into your personal space without your permission.  I wrote to my boss about my lack of immune health (Lyme disease) and thought that would be the end of that.

I have been down and out since the first day I entered said hospital.  I don’t know what the illness is, as my physician, ((let’s call him Mr. Dippy Dopp)) tells me it is a virus.  I have no faith whatsoever in my doctor-I diagnosed my Lyme disease, after he ignored a swollen lymph node the size of an orange.  I kid you not, he didn’t even ask me to take my pants off, and my groin became bigger by the day.  He also gave me a flu shot the day I visited him, and I’m pretty damn sure you’re NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!  If you aren’t senile, your first question is:  WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO HIM????????  I can answer that-no matter what physician I go to in this little country burg-well, I have to be my own advocate.  Dr.  Dippy Dopp let’s me do that.  He also prescribes my Suboxyne, and I am down from 8 mg. to I/2 mg.  I don’t want to start over, and when I am completely free of the drug that made it possible for me to stay out of prison, I will flee his office like my hair is on fire.

Anyhooser, I wrote to my boss-

So sorry to let you down again.”  Yada yada yada…….I thought if I told her I could only work Fridays, well, she would be put off and, well, case CLOSED. 

I had just read an article about the most dangerous job in the world, for women anyway.  You guessed it-ER Nurse.  Oh the humanity-needle sticks, violence, HIV………the list goes on.  Apparently, it is easier to be killed in an Emergency Room than walking the streets of Isis territory.  If that didn’t scare the life force out of me, nothing would.  Unfortunately, this was her response:

“I completely understand.  You are an asset to this hospital.   See you next Friday.”

I don’t know whether to be flattered or, as in most situations I face-hysterical.  I can tell you one thing:  have mace, will travel.  Oh, and I can’t forget the Zoot Suit…….

By Our Love…

 

I love my home church-for better or worse, this family stands behind one another, in sickness, tragedy, poverty:  we love one another and it shows.  Don’t get me wrong, we all have our moments, but in general there is love to spare.

Did you ever feel defeated?  That is how I’ve felt, more or less in the past week.  I get up in the morning and go through the motions, and obsessively compulse about the house, which leaves me fatigued and cranky.  I feel as if I am one of the least of these.  What did Jesus say to his followers about the least of these?

I tell you the truth, if any one of you give food or clothing to the least of these, you will be feeding and clothing  me.  

You see, Jesus loved us so much that he chose to become one of us in order to pay for our sins.  He continues to love and nurture us, meet our needs and work behind the scenes-to give us comfort, joy and peace.

I’m pretty stoic about my story.  I give my testimony when asked, and sometimes when the Holy Spirit puts it on my heart to come alongside a kindred spirit, or weary soldier- let them know that not only will God use your pain to bless you abundantly, and that  they are not alone in their battles.

steps dune dunes sand dunes
 Because, my child, I was carrying you.

I’d been feeling that I had nothing to offer, and was not worthy because my Lyme is charity inhibitive.   Oh, my will to help is there, but by the time I get dinner on the stove, I am battered and bruised from my battle-I just want to sit and repair a few brain cells at the end of the day; maybe pet my dog, you know…

As I was leaving the service this morning, a woman I have prayed with but don’t know well approached me outside.  She went on to tell me that she woke at the crack of dawn, couldn’t sleep and got to praying.  She said that God spoke to her, and she wanted to relay the message-

“He knows you are hurting.  He wants you to know that your relationships will bring great love and beauty to your life, that he is working behind the scenes, and that the truth will come out in the end.”

I wept and hugged her.  I thanked her and put my hands to her beautiful face.  She could not know what she has given me, what I needed more than breath itself.

If you need help, reach out.  God hears your angst and it’s healthy to pray for yourself as well.  Give your burdens to Him.  And look out for those hippies full of peace and love-follow them-they have what you need.

A Pool of Tears

 

Not complaining or anything, but I have an optical migraine-technical terms for a headache in my eyeball.  Given an antibiotic a week ago, and yes, I am my own worst enemy!  I am going to buckle and get Thee to a pharmacy; this is a bowl of crap chowder, and I have not been able to shirk one, not one responsibility-and it feels awesome and exhausting at the very same time.  I loathe whiners, too much to be grateful for, why concentrate on the one bad thing when there are millions of good and great things to be thankful for?  But since my husband won’t listen and I would never bother my social media with such rhetoric-well, you guys are my tribe-and hey, you owe me that!  🙂

This day was more, oh so much more, than I had bargained on.  Toying with the idea of skipping my Thursday exercise class (it was pouring down rain, and I felt so fatigued.)  I went up to brush my teeth, and found myself dressing for a workout, so there’s that.  After class, I go downstairs to help with a weekly free meal in the same church as my class.  I have grown to love these ladies in a matter of weeks, and feel shame and embarrassment that I hadn’t known them earlier-I was a drunk and an addict; who in the conservative area of Schaefferstown would even bother to give me the time of day?  People knew nothing but rumors, and most of them untrue-I was too busy self medicating to set them straight.

wanted to go home and lay down with my golden, on my new and comfy sectional sofa-the first in twenty-seven years of marriage.  I headed for the jeep, one of the women from class called out to me. We stood and talked for some time.

“They aren’t having the free lunch today are they,” I prodded.  “I didn’t smell a thing in class.”  My head pounding, sweat pouring from each and every orifice, I awaited her answer with just a little too much hope.

“Oh, yeah, they are.  I saw only three, they really need help.  Don’t you volunteer today?”

Like Charlie Brown, head hung low-I walked back into the church.  I should have kicked my own ass in the process.  Wimp.  One of the women I work with is the mother of a dear, dear friend of mine.  He is one of my rocks, and I know that if I ever needed anything, well-he would be there.

Ana Mae was sitting in the kitchen when I arrived.  As I busied myself with my hairnet, she spoke softly.  I had to sit down next to her and ask her to please try again, I hadn’t heard her.

“They have given Scott six months, he is training his wife to take over the business.”

I felt winded, as if I had been dealt a low blow.  I jumped up and ran to the back of the kitchen, trying to hide my hysteria, trying to regain my composure in order to comfort her-the woman who will be losing her son.  I tried to hold her as she cried, but she wasn’t comfortable with that, so I just left my hand on hers.  My heart broke into shattered pieces, lay on the floor for all to see.

“I will pray for a miracle, put him on our prayer list, visit with them this weekend,” I wept openly.  She nodded, gracefully, resigned to the notion-I would have given anything to tell her she was wrong, misinformed, just misunderstood Scott’s words.  I could do nothing of the sort.  I pulled myself together and went to serve pot roast.

These gypsies who gather each week in a tiny basement of a small town church, well, they have become family, and I went in search of a lively conversation.  I like to get them riled up, and as clumsy as I am, it doesn’t take much.  My eyes caught sight of a gorgeous silver necklace, and I stopped to admire and compliment.  This woman was younger, no one I had met before.  I told her how exquisite I thought her jewelry, she broke down into tears.  My thought cloud read, sweet Jesus, what now?

She went on to tell me that she lost her son just two weeks ago, and that his ashes were inside the shell on the chain.  She said he died of a heroin overdose, that her young son was battling both pain and addiction-he was doing well with oxycodone, until the pharmacist decided not to fill his script.  Her son had come by his addiction honestly-by a physician over-prescribing narcotics after a sports injury.

“He just wanted to take the edge off.  He didn’t die from the heroin, it was laced with Fentanyl.”

Again, we sat crying together.  I understood that her son made bad decisions.  I also understood that she adored him.  The loss was just too much to bear.  I thought to myself, I hope she has faith, I pray she finds comfort in Jesus-I hope she doesn’t give up on life, like so many of us yearn to do when the pain rips our souls apart.  I was ready to succumb to the pit of despair, survivor’s guilt mixing with sorrow-the day ahead loomed like a giant black cloud, just waiting to burst open and rain on my parade.  Again, I found myself crying.  And then, well then I felt a little nudge, to give this woman another look.

And as I lifted my eyes I came to her belly, which was full of promise, renewal and a new life to love~