Remember to Whom you belong. (Ephesians 2: 19-22)
So, I’ve noticed my blog has not yet been shut down or abandoned me… I feared it would put me in a time-out corner for not visiting, but alas, it’s still here, faithful. Coooool….
I have a lot to say and nothing being that I’m clam-like. I’m wondering if better writers are more open? OR, maybe what I should’ve done to begin with is used a pseudonym, (now I get it….)
So, on to the non-open topics of which may not attract so much attention, but which I choose to write in my “non-pseudonymed” state:
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.
In case you never knew, I had desires to adopt a child. I went through the process with visions of providing a home for a needy little human. This never happened…the process got delayed by my lack of finger prints. And the end of that process was the beginning of my temporal insanity days.
Nobody knew my growing obsession with listening for cries as I passed a dumpster. Nobody knew how I swerved in traffic as my eyes scanned the highways for an abandoned child.
Never would I ever dream would come next. I began viewing adoption sites on-line. It’s quite easy to get lost in the faces of children in need. I even scanned the pictures of children of other countries. I even began to learn Russian. In case I could make a connection to a foreign child.
Though I’ve never told many of these desires, they existed. It’s okay now. Those times are over, and I got over my desire. Accepting what I could never have was a private difficulty. No one needed to know my unfulfilled wish. After all, I was blessed with three beautiful, intelligent children who I love dearly.
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.
I’m a mother.
It drives me to the coast of Rhome
It grants me passage to the peaks.
It yearns to harness nightly waves.
But, there in sleep, defenseless, I dream.
Then, realizing, I breathe and then turn away.
Awake, I rise from the warmth of the eve and rise to tangle in worlds unknown,
Traversing to corners and cultures new.
In woods and paths unknown, I unravel wounded threads,
Pass and intrude. In a gentle sweeping and uncovering, it’s trapped.
Hidden, trapped, desiring release.
I rest, waiting. Sometimes it comes.
I rest, waiting. Sometimes it flees.
Seeking. It can’t always be hidden.
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.
~Peace and more peace….
I’m actively pursuing peace, because, that does make sense and it’s what I’ve read to do in the bible, but I didn’t know one actually needs to hammer it out of life…
This morning, I woke up early, but not early enough to have my morning shower. It didn’t matter, I would just put on comfy clothes and makeup and make it work. I was proud that I had at least put my contacts in and made a straight enough line with my eye-liner.
I proceeded to my morning, feeling justified in calling a Lyft. I was awake and ready, no use being late if I could help it. Plus, parking is a *&%.
I arrived, sat near an outlet, plugged in my half-charged phone and smiled listening to an old, experienced man talk about having been in business for 45 years so far. He was still in business! I think that alone was worth the drive. And then…
When the 2nd speaker walked in, I had a dejavu feeling, and then the material seemed especially familiar. “Had I taken this workshop before?” Cue the “wut” look on my face.
After the 3rd speaker walks in and starts speaking, it was undeniable. I knew I had heard all of this before. UGH.
I paid 85 dollars for the workshop. Again. Really?
Peace, Lyft, sit, peace, listen, repeat, peace, Lyft, home.
Ellen Grace Olinger
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