I woke up refreshed because I slept. It’s amazing the difference solid sleep can have. And so, today, I’m finally able to write. I’ve been wanting yc.to write a sort of spiritual mission statement. These days, people write books, tweets, or put up articles that show who they are and what they believe. They face persecution for their beliefs whether they are left or right winged. They are judged, challenged, insulted and in the worst news cases, they are killed and this has been true for centuries.
But, what about me? Where do I stand you ask? What do you want me to stand for? What will I march for? These are all good questions and in the state of the world, many are searching for solidarity, followers and like-minded thinkers. I get that.
So, today, having a bit more head space, I decided to write. Not to mention, Sunday’s are the day I allow myself time to think, contemplate, ponder, wonder, envision, dream and grieve. I’m not a part of any congregation currently, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worship, pray or have communion with God, my guide, my companion.
So, to answer the question, I’m a Christian, meaning that I attempt to follow in the ways of Christ as written in the bible. I’m not a perfect follower, nor do I believe any human can be a perfect follower. But I choose to have faith. Basically, faith is believing in what you can’t see. I understand what a stretch Christianity can be and how those who believe are believing in a “virgin-birthed” human who performed unbelievable miracles among other things, like walking on water and such. I get how these things go against any branch of science. The good news is, you have a choice! God is “pro-choice” in that way, he will never force you to believe in him, because force, continual unhealthy coercion and other non-loving tactics go against love, God’s love. But, regardless, I choose by faith, to believe. You can call me a believer.
So, just relax everyone! No true Christian will take your arm and bend it unnaturally in attempt to have you follow. (Sure there are extremists in every religion) A true Christ follower will love you no matter where you are, who you are, and whether you follow in Jesus’s way or not. There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear.
If you find yourself curious, seeking, lost or broken or have found yourself feeling disconnected, (as I have) there’s a reason and an answer in many books. But, the truth remains, you have a choice to seek for an answer, for love and this is your journey alone.
It was the decision to follow in the way of Jesus that began my walk with a God. A walk is an active practice. But, there’s also sitting in silence and listening as well. God speaks, but his voice is inaudible, however, he speaks in abundance, if you’re listening.
Thirty-one years ago, and despite many ups and downs in my walk, it still seems to good to be true, to be loved me just as I am. That I didn’t have to perform, earn or give up anything to receive his love. But there was one requirement it seemed. And here’s the part where faith comes in. If I was to be a follower of Christ, then I needed to understand his whole story. That not only was he human, but also God. I realized that it would take faith, not human knowledge to believe that God sent a son, his only son to earth to live as a human and eventually end up dying a terrible death on a cross and later rising defeating death to save all of humanity. I was like, “What the?” Growing up catholic, I’d been raised going to a somber church, reciting prayers while being reminded of how Jesus died. I would say the catholic prayers, looking up occasionally to see the cross and Jesus, bloody, hanging on it.
Well, after attending the young adult bible study and reading the bible myself, I learned that there was more to Jesus’s story. That him hanging on a cross was only part of it. He didn’t stay dead. He rose. That is what Easter is about, not some chocolate bunny and egg finding holiday. There is a God that is alive. He lives.
Anyway, that is my humble beginning with the faith and 31 years later, I’m frustrated because of social media, I have been feeling compelled to share my faith, to profess my faith and beliefs, but I knew what would come next, I’d be damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. My relationship with God had always been a very personal relationship, so to put it out there where others will judge it or misinterpret it wasn’t worth it for me.
But, now, more recently, I’ve come to peace about my beliefs. In part it came from living in a liberal city where uniqueness is celebrated. Sure, the opposite is also true. Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to live in many places across the US. So, I’ve had to think and reflect about who I am and what I stand for continually. So there it is. I follow Jesus. Jesus is the personification of love. So, if he is about all things love, then I need to attempt to be as well by his empowerment.
What a challenge in this world to be about all things love!
But, there is the challenge. The greatest commandment, to love God and to love others as yourself.
I put the solo piano station on Pandora in order to progress through the pages of a novel, but instead of words, I envision alternate realities.
I’m a slender ballet dancer alone in the studio, practicing plies on the barre, but I could also just as passionately, be found in the lab, again alone, studying images of the brain in curious exploration.
I’m also an artist at work in the studio, again solo, lifting, smoothing, spreading and blending hues until they return to me colorful arrays.
More often than not, and to some, not as esteemed, the melodies conjure the memories. I’m giving baths, caressing a head, I’m reading while also enjoying the warmth of a small child pressing into my lap and in step with the tempo, I see the trio laughing, skipping, climbing and exploring.
The last time I experienced so much snow around me was in Boise, ID with my daughter and today, I woke up to this in Seattle! It will probably melt soon it, but it’s a perfect “excuse” to sit in bed and write. It’s either that or go out and create a snow man of sorts. I did put on my very warm socks with the intention of taking some snow pictures later and taking a cold walk. We’ll see.
It’s also a great time for me to process some things. I think I seriously need to divulge because lately, my dreams are weirder than ever. I dreamed about mosquitos taking over a dish I was about to eat. I dreamed about a dog and how it killed an alligator that was in my bedroom and about trying to change a diaper and not being able to do it and last night about plants camouflaging to look like spiders!
So, I decided I needed to socially put this out there in hopes that it’ll alleviate some inner stress, face my struggles and hopefully help others who may be facing hard realities.
One thing. I am a true introvert and I don’t like to have attention drawn to me. So there’s that. And then my kids. First of all, they blow me away with their emotional intelligence. They have been open about their struggles and as a result, they face them head on while also (no doubt) helping those that struggle as they do and I’m encouraged to do the same thing.
So, I’ve been married for 24 years, but my marriage is ending and I’m separated. Even writing it down brings home it’s stark reality. But, strangely, writing about it also brings some peace. This is my very difficult reality and I’m not always together. People around me need to know why.
But, at the same time, I have healthy outlets and meaningful relationships. I also have a great therapist who I can see, if needed. I’m also a believer and so there’s the power of prayer. I have peace. But I still needed to be open with you.
My family, friends, readers. I need you and I value you. You are important in my life.
Thank you for allowing me this platform, this snowy day to truly update you.
“Ho, ho, ho!” I don’t think that’s what a merry laugh really sounds like. I usually hear “Hah, hah, hah, snort, clap!” Maybe Santa was actually “Ho-ing”in an attempt at lifting all he had to carry this year? Maybe he wasn’t laughing at all??
But, seriously, Merry Christmas to you and Merry “other-holidays” to others.
I wish you well in these days that most agree come with a mixture of Merry-ness and all sorts of other “nesses”.
As the year comes to a close, I wish it farewell. Thankfully, it went fast! I’m trying not to dislike it and instead see it for what it is, an opportunity.
The opportunity to break. To finally reach a breaking point, to reach a sort of end and completeness. An”end” to things feels sucky and dark. But, the dark side’s power is a sham. As a matter of fact, belief, faith, I think it has deep purpose.
I’m no expert. I’m no preacher, but I did watch some Star Wars movies. Old and new. The force is with us. (Look it up: mental and moral strength)
At some point, we can drag ourselves from this pit with the force, there waiting for us (if we want it) is the ever always heroes of: faith, hope and love.
And yes, the greatest of these is LOVE, but don’t discount FAITH and HOPE. These are BIG too. If needed, look at these as the branches of government. You get the idea.
Right now, if there is a sort of a dark power rising up in your life, step on the fucker with a foot of faith and hope. Even just a flicker will snuff out the power of the deadly red saber.
What I have been doing is approximately about 96% of what I should be doing. But, as I write this, I think, wait, who’s to say my choices are wrong? Who is it that dictates what activities I need to be involved in? What shows I watch, how I spend my money, or how I spend my time?
So, what am I doing?
I’ve been working, mostly and trying to manage time, energy and giving of myself between jobs, students and family.
What am I not doing? Well, apparently, the Christmas season is upon us(me) and so I should probably be playing Mrs. Santa and baking sugar cookies or whatever. There’s always something the world has us think we should be involved in depending on the season. Some of those things, yes, would be cool to do, but I’ve decided this year that according to those rules, if I get a Christmas tree up and decorated, that it would be good.
And enough of the philosophical talk, I would like to say that I’m happily busy with work and with relationships that are meaningful. I don’t think I can ask for more. I’m trying to be grateful for the people I’ve been chosen to love and for those who come in and out of my life by way of work, where I live and what I do on a daily, weekly basis.
What are you doing and how will you spend this busy season of life? I hope it’s good.
I had a case of “morn-somnia”, that is when you wake in the wee hours* of the morning and fail to go back to sleep, and so I thought I’d do a quick update and feel somewhat productive.
Okay, so the update:
Though I’m a writer at heart, and enjoy work in pj’s, I’ve pretty much launched myself headlong into the work-out-of-home arena. The good news? Well, there is the income thing, sure, but I think the w.o.o.h jobs have put some balance into my personality. I tend to withdraw from the world happily, and even though that’s nice for me, it does nothing to help the world at large. And in my opinion, the world at large needs every one of us to give of ourselves. So, like a good cup of coffee, each day, I attempt to pour myself out onto humanity to see what good I can help do. And if I can’t help, then at least, I have tried.
When I’m home, I try to recuperate so that I can then pour myself onto the people in my life that truly matter. All 5 of us were together for Thanksgiving and it was great to just be together and talk, eat and enjoy each other.
So, here it is Monday and it’s a new week. There is much to do, more to work on and love to pass along to others. I’m thankful.
If I’ve not mentioned it recently, I’ve been tutoring elementary students in reading since January of this year. I’ve been slowly trying to increase the number of student’s that I tutor without getting overwhelmed myself.
It’s September and school is in session and so, it begins.
Though the first few weeks, (even longer for younger students) are mostly about learning routines, the reading and homework soon begins and if you’re a parent of a student who struggles, then all the everyday stresses are compounded by the stress of your struggling student trying to keep up with his peers on top of all the “regular” stress of a new school year.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. A student who struggles with reading needs intervention from family, but also from professionals. Reading is the key to mastering all subjects. The more help and attention a student receives, the better.