Today I am tired. I have finished the major yard work! Yea! The tired I am is called good tired. Now I have to move one to other things. The next things coming are positive bue even good stress can be stressful. This kind of stress is cause eustress.
The end of August will be busy. Our great grandson will be baptized here at our home on August 25th. A flurry of circumstances made this a mess to figure out but thankfully God intervened. Here in the south we have what are called “kissing cousins.” They are usually related but distantly. My kissing cousin is a Lutheran Pastor, retired and aging. I was hesitant to ask him but found an opportunity and chanced it. He was thrilled and we will have a family baptism.
Right after that we start the process for my husband’s knee surgery. Two more trips to Mayo but positive outcome expected. My husband’s brother and his girl friend will keep our dogs. This means deep house cleaning for me but whatever???
All this means that I am starting on a roller coaster of emotions and am beginning now to stay with all my tools for defusing myself. I really want to show myself that I can stay focused and do well. That will be a big plus for me. Support from the blog community is always there and appreciated.
This will be a good test and I will manage no matter what but I do so want to see progress in how I function. With God’s help it will be good.
I am at the age where so many milestones are behind me…..the events that make up our dreams and ideas when we are young. I have been to college (two different degrees). married at a wonderful wedding, given birth to three children, have 6 grandchildren and 1 great grand child. I have worked at several jobs…some fulfilling and great and some not. So, I ask myself what is the next milestone? It could be a depressing thought if you felt that there was nothing left to aim for. We all need something for a focus.
I really hadn’t thought about it but I realize that I am not depressed by the thought. In many ways it is satisfying to see so much positive behind me. I also do not feel that I am finished. This is the time of life when I have the time and, thanks be to God, the energy to look at these years as the time to give back. Our culture spends little time thinking about the wisdom gained through experience. I have written about this before but I think it is important enough to mention again.
We are here…those of us who have lived through many battles. We have the scars to prove it and the knowledge to teach others. We can show you how to fight and make it through so many trials. Why struggle when you can tap the resources in the wisdom of your elders? Maybe technology is something that some of us are less savvy about but the ups and downs of life change very little no matter the changes in how it comes about.
Many of us continue to learn ourselves and advance our own knowledge. Not all of us sit in a recliner and watch TV. We are out in the world sharing where we can. Take advantage of the wisdom available to you. We are not dead yet!
I am here if my experiences can be helpful. Believe me I have just about heard it all. I am a nurse, patient advocate, compassionate, loving person with a heart for listening. There are others like me who will understand and listen. Use us.
Today I was very disappointed. On Tuesday’s I have lunch with two wonderful people from the church where I worked. While there I asked the pastor (who is an interim) if the “weekly” (lands in the pews each week) could include the address of my devotional blog Hear God in Other Voices. (heargodinothervoices.blog) He said that other people had asked that their addresses be included and that it couldn’t be done. This is not his being unkind but it is just policy and probably shouldn’t be his call at this time anyway. New pastors are coming in August and it really is up to them.
It did, however, make me sad. For many of the 20 years that I was there I wrote and published devotionals for the church. People were very complimentary and I was asked by many to continue doing it.
I guess this just (again) brought home to me how disconnected I am from those years of work. Part of this is (of course) my own fault for not attending church there but I felt it was the right thing to do to help people adjust to my not being there after so long.
I am sad and will send a link to some church members I suspect would enjoy the blog but that doesn’t really help how I feel. I know that this is part of the changes we face in life but at times it can really hurt. I am so thankful that the church I attend with my husband is happy to include the link in the newsletter.
Life moves on and we have to move with it or we are left in a past that is no longer there. My life will continue to be fulfilling as I branch out into new paths. My writing is a blessing to me and is healing in itself. We each have to find the things that provide solace and healing when we are down and remember to use them.
Cultural cloning …levels human personality and deifies predictability. When this is the goal, diversity is no longer recognized as a strength in this culture. Sameness becomes the bottom line. —–Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder
Are we headed in this direction? It seems that we are but I really hope not. Are we destined to be identical robots? Will we lose the ability to think for ourselves?
Just picturing us all being the same reminds me of 1984 and Soylent Green. If anyone thought for themselves they were corrected…that is reprogrammed. In a society such as this anyone with any kind of mental disorder would either be reprogrammed and if this was not successful, eliminated. Aberrance would not be tolerated. Most of us who express our opinions on blogs would be done away with.
And yet, it seems to be that the function of society at this moment appears more likely to create people with emotional distress. The more we separate ourselves from each other the more our mental stability is at risk. We are humans who need others to thrive. Isolation causes emotional distress. We are communal in nature.
I have noticed there are two types of people. Probably related to introverts and extroverts (but not entirely). Some of us feel better if we can share our emotional distress with someone else. Usually with someone we trust deeply. Then there are those for whom sharing makes things worse. They may have had a bad experience with this in the past. I feel better for sharing.
This is the beauty of these blogs. Even those who feel insecure sharing can share in a community of understanding. It has been a blessing for me to be able to share my anxieties in this format and find support, positive feedback and understanding. I know that occasionally someone will respond in a negative post but I hope that is the exception.
Mental disorders are difficult to cope with and just as difficult to share. Too often the response of the public is one of disdain or, at the least, not understanding. Understanding comes from those who have experienced similar things in their lives. Helping others by sharing is a gift.
Those of us who are Christian have often struggled with finding a place to worship that feels right to us. I think that part of this disconnect comes from our struggle with Christians themselves…including us. We keep wanting to find a place where Christian behavior fits Christ’s lessons to us. Yet we never find it.
There is a reason for that. Churches are made up of people and people are flawed. Not only are we flawed but each of us has our own beliefs and our own ideas of how to live them out. Probably no two of us would agree on everything. Some of us want to be given rules or directions to follow. We are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Some of us want to think for ourselves and are not afraid of asking questions and doubting answers. Some people are in the middle and expect a blending of both.
All of this makes finding a place where you feel at home more difficult. However, we need to think about a family. Families certainly don’t think alike or function in the same way.
The conclusion that I have reached is to try and find a place (at least for me) where you feel at least accepted. One where you can be challenged to grow and where you can hear stories of the struggles and journeys of others. We will always agree with some and disagree with others. This is normal. Church is not perfect and never will be. It was created by mankind not by God. God speaks anywhere at any time. Church gives us a place to share our faith and a community of believers even if we don’t agree about everything.
It is very hard to follow the teachings of Christ outside of community.
My friend Deirdre loved and cherished all those who crossed her path. She welcomed people from different faiths and different cultures. Her death was so amazing with people of many faiths joining together to send her on her way. I wrote this poem following that experience. The “all shall be well” is a loose copy from Hildegard of Bingen.
The Death of De
The light is waning and the gloaming is here.
There is a hush in the turning of the earth
it holds its breath for just a moment.
We stand watch sensing each breath
matching it with our own
anxious with each pause
while darkness encompasses the room.
Her soul loosens but holds
I sign the cross on her brow and Christ is here
A Hindu friend joins and her prayers are added.
Another comes and the prayers to Allah are lifted up.
With loving hands we anoint her with sweet lotion
brought from France by another.
All faith is here, we can feel God's gentle breeze,
there is true communion
My friend is held in the arms of love
She is suspended between life and death
through the night.
As the sun lifts itself into the heaven
love lifts her on her journey
and with the smallest wisper
she is gone.
Behind her from the air come the words...
All shall be well
and all shall be well
and all things shall be well.
Lately 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.
I 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.
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!