Strange apathy –missing what?

apathy1200xLately I have felt apathetic about going to church. There is no specific reason for this that I can see. Nothing is wrong with either the church I worked at or the church I am attending with my husband. They are both friendly churches that adopt members as part of the family. You always feel welcomed and loved. It makes me wonder what’s up?

I am not really sure. I have not backed away from my relationship with God. It is growing stronger than it has been in a while. When you work for a church there is always the danger that you are working more than worshiping. I know I fell into it easily.  Now I actually spend time with God. Not enough but much more than I was. My connection with God is enriched and I am grateful for that.

I do still miss greatly laying hands on people and praying for healing. This is a part of my past ministry that causes my soul to ache, It fed me in a way it is difficult to explain. I was not doing anything myself for it was God who was using my hands and my love….outpouring for others. I still tear up when I think of what it meant for me. God was physically present each moment.

My spiritual life is much more solitary and I am not a solitary person. This is a struggle for me but one that God is pushing me into. I am caught in the longing to do something more physical instead of meditative. Maybe I need to try moving meditation. (which actually is a thing) I would still want to do it with others.

connection-004I have always been aware of my need to deepen my relationship with God and at times during my life have had a deep and amazing connection. Now I need to re-connect.

So why does this translate into a lack of passion for church itself? I wish I knew. I can see clearly that stepping away is not the right choice. It is so easy to develop a pattern of staying home on Sunday morning and it becomes a habit that is hard to change. Church is also not about my feelings although for me, until now, it has frequently been an emotional boost. Church has not changed. I have and I need to spend time delving into myself to seek answers.

soul on fire1

I need an emotional boost. I need to find an amazing conference or heart rending speaker who challenges me and reignites the fire that I can’t find.

God will supply my need. I just wish he would hurry up!

Death comes all too soon – choose life

Eventually we all lose the people we love (or they lose us). We cannot live forever. Life for each us does have an end. Is this a bad thing? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.

marcusaurelius1-2x

At one time in my life I was angry about a child losing her life in an automobile accident. I railed against her losing her life so young. Her life was cut short. I resented that and was angry at God.

I visited a minister friend to talk about this feeling and I frequently bring to mind what he said. “Each of us has a life span. It is ours and ours alone. It may be long or it may be short. But it is ours. Each life is not cut short. That is the length of their life.”

Whether you agree with this or not it gave me much to think about. I have decided that the idea contains much wisdom. It helps when I can’t understand why someone’s life has ended.

There are some things that are harder to deal with than death. It is so difficult to watch someone we love disappear one piece at a time. This is what Alzheimer’s patients do. Little bits of them fall away. Memories are gone, friends are unknown, family is not recognized. I see this slow fading as worse than death. It is called “the long goodbye.”

There are other times that death comes as a blessing. Agonizing chronic illness can make the person long for death. Having a loved one become weak, disabled with no recovery and slip away day by day is another.

For those who suffer with mental illness especially anxiety and depression there are times when death can feel like an escape from the pain of living. I hope that each of us can find some help, some relief that moves us away from that decision. Life is worth living and things can be better. Never give up life. We only have so much time and each moment, each day is a gift.

Today I will choose life notebook-500x500

I did not intend to write such a sad post but these things do happen. Losing someone is painful no matter how it happens. Losing ourselves also brings grief. When that happens we have to find a new way to be. Find ourselves as a new and different person. One who can move forward each day.

Choose life!

Memories

best-memoriesYesterday my brother-in-law flew in to visit us. He and my husband have not had lots of time to visit each other over the years and this visit ia wonderful thing. They are having a wonderful time sharing memories of childhood and information about the family. We don’t often take advantage of renewing memories and sharing information.

My mother and my aunt were the last two of their generation. When they died all their memories and information were gone. I often think of something that I wish I had asked when they were here.

Two years ago my best friend died taking with her the only connection to my childhood. I don’t think I realized what it would be like to lose that connection. It was so wonderful to be able to pick up the phone and say “remember when?” Now that link is gone.

This is not an unusual happening in life. If we are blessed enough to have a long life there will be many connections to our past that we will outlive. My grandmother lived to be 100 and I can remember her saying that there was no one left who remembered the world she grew up in. It is clear that it is a loss.

dr seuss

If you have elderly relatives take the time to record their memories. It doesn’t matter if they are written down or recorded. There are some online companies who will set up a line that can be called and memories recorded for posterity. What a wonderful idea. My daughter wrote down some of my grandmother’s stories and I am working on the stories my father told. He was a wonderful storyteller and I don’t want them forgotten.

Past history will disappear quickly and once gone it is gone forever. Take the time to keep those memories.

An interesting hospital visit

mayoToday I am tired. My husband and I traveled to the Mayo Clinic for him to schedule a knee replacement there. His knee was originally injured at West Point playing lacrosse and then his time in the Army jumping out of airplanes didn’t help. He had a replacement 21 years ago and now it is failing.

It was interesting to go to a major medical center. It is so different from a local hospital. We stayed overnight in a hotel to make our morning appointment. The hotel is in the Mayo complex so one can assume that most people are there because of a medical issue.

People were so anxious to talk. Everywhere we were, at dinner, at breakfast, on the shuttle to the hospital people just wanted to talk…mostly about why they were there. We saw all sorts of people. Some young, some old, some in between.

I don’t know if all the people who wanted to talk were extroverts or if some introverts were included. It seemed that talking about their problems allowed them to ventilate. I am sure that most people there have major medical issues on they wouldn’t be there. Everyone seemed anxious to support each other.

Some came from foreign countries and spoke little English. The center has an international office that greets and helps them both with translations and to manage their way through the system.

We got through his appointments and will have to return for the tests the physician wants in order to determine the best course of treatment.

This is healthcare at its best. Unfortunately not everyone has access. The Mayo Clinic web site is one of the best for medical information. I have used it for years to answer questions for others. It has more educational information available than any other medical center I have looked up.

Don_t+believe+everything+you+read!If you want information on a problem please use Mayo as a resource. The information is accurate and well written. Too often people find medical answers on the web that are not good resources. Some of the things people have told me that they got from the web are really scary. Just look up mayoclinic.org.

It was good to get home to very excited and loving dogs and sleep in my own bed.

 

I am NOT tense

I am not tenseI love this picture done by Jane Seabrook. Her book called Furry Logic is wonderful. All the drawings and captions make me laugh. I have this one in a calendar and it is permanently on my cork-board. It is how I feel a lot of the time. This is such a better way to put it.

A lot of the time I do feel terribly alert. At this time in my life health issues crop up and they can take the stuffing right out of you. I don’t want to say that I am anxious but that is what happens. This photo reminds me that there are different ways to explain things.

For most of my life being subject to anxiety was not acceptable. I was good at denying it. I was good at managing to get medication from doctors to tide me over until the episode passed. I was good at seeming to be fine. Life went on and I managed. Thank God I was able to.

Things are better now. They are not perfect but they are better. Physicians are beginning to have more understanding of mental illness. I remember one physician, knowing that I had anxiety, told me that he was going to put down a different diagnosis so that I wouldn’t be tagged with that diagnosis! Shows you how it was understood. I know there is a long way to go and we are not there yet but I do have hope.

Hope_596x.progressive

I keep hoping that the new brain chemical studies will enlighten the medical community and the rest of the world. There is hope everyone will have it easier in the future.

Who is that woman? What matters most?

aging gracefullyLife never goes backwards. It continues to move us forward even if we don’t want to. We all have thoughts about what we will be like as we grow older. I envisioned this slim elegant woman. Didn’t happen. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder “who is that person.” I have not aged the way I thought I would. I imagine you have noticed that the picture on my site is one of my basset hounds. There is a reason for that. I always thought that I would age gracefully but it has not worked out that way. My body didn’t cooperate. Who is that person in the mirror?

The good news is that some of the other (and more important things) have come true. I am still active, my mind is ok? at least I think so. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t learn something new.

what-matters-most-figuring

We may have certain ideas about how we will age but many of them are not important. We need to keep working on the things that are important. We need to have people we love in our lives. We need to keep learning and growing. We need to share ourselves with others. We need to participate in the world both the one near to us and the wider world. If we do these things then life will continue to have meaning until the day we leave this world. Concentrate on what is important.

I’m still wondering “who is that woman in the mirror?”

A spiritual connection to the earth

We have had our friend, Harold Littlebird, here for the last few days. Harold’s heritage is Pueblo (I’m sorry I don’t remember more specifics) and he is an amazing potter, poet, storyteller, songwriter and singer. He is amazingly talented.

This is one of his pieces. Each piece has a story attached to it.

P1010277

He is also deeply spiritual and an amazing Christian. He sees God as both infinite and immanent. God is present with him at all times and when you are with him you can feel that presence. It is a joy to be with him.

Having him in our home is such a reminder of the things I fail to do each day to connect me with God. Silence is his friend but he can also be fun and funny.

We have other friends who are native Americans (First Nations) and I am always awed by their connection with God and the earth. We all need to learn from them. We are so often careless with our use of the resources of the earth that God has blessed us with. We are supposed to be stewards but we have so often raped the earth. Our total disregard of the fact that things are not limitless has made the decline of the earth almost inevitable. I really hope that it can be turned around and that the earth can be sustained. I worry about my grandchildren and now my great grandchild. What kind of a world have we left for them?

earthhelpdesktop1

I see on the web young people who are finding solutions to the problems that we have created and it gives me hope. Maybe it will take the next generations to reverse the trend. I hope so. I really hope so!

Seeing the destruction we have done makes me anxious for the future. Will we ever learn to care/