Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Remembering- Not Worshipping

When the old lady from "Titanic" goes to where the documentary is being made, she had so much stuff.  She brought a trunk and it was okay to put the trunk down and just lay out the stuff to make it feel more like home.  I'm looking around at my messy room now.  Someone recently asked me if I was a neat person.  I had to say that I was not a neat person.  I look around my room with the touches of pink, on the bookshelf is the painting that Robin made me that I cherish.  By my bed, are the pictures my children made me and my husband put up so that I could wake up in the morning to be reminded of  them.  How could I take that down?  My husband loving arranged it for me!!!  I have to take it down but I would have to keep the pictures.  Already they are teenagers, I want to keep my memories.  

I see myself.  I see myself taking my scarves and fragrances.  I see myself with my books and frames.  I have to wrap up the pieces.  My son, he is like, "Why, Mom? Just give it away."  A lot of it I will give away.  I promise I will.  I told him.  You have to hold on to it until you are ready to make peace and give it away.  It is harder than you think.  For some, all you see is a piece of paper with some scribbles.  For other is can be a treasure because it is the last note that your father wrote you before he passed.  When some people see a cup, you see the mug that your husband drank his coffee from every day.  There are some things you can gladly get rid of, there are other things that you hold on to until you you are ready to give them up.  

I think God understands this about us.  We hold on to things.  He tells us, "Let it go."  With tears in our eyes we look at Him.  I want to believe he understands why we do it.  "No idols."  He tells us sternly.  It's just stuff after all.  We leave it all behind for other people to remember us by.  

That old lady from "Titanic," even though she had all that stuff.  You could tell at the end it didn't really matter.  She didn't worship the stuff.  She didn't even worship the diamond that everyone was looking for.  She had it to remember but not to worship.  We would do good to remember this.  I would do good to remember this.  

Monday, April 27, 2020

Less of a Hotter Mess... Some Day

I had been doing well with everything until some things happened that revealed that I'm still a hot mess in need of some Jesus.  The first thing that happened was, I had a leak in my toilet.  My response was awful.  These are my little things that drive me crazy.  I had a mini-nervous breakdown.  The same thing happens when the check engine light comes on in the car, or I get a flat.  There are some things that I face strongly.  Then others, I am learning, are like a mouse with an elephant.  They freak me out!!!

I'm going to tell you once again that my children are the ones that helped me through the whole thing.  I love them.  They surprise me with the way they help me through life.  They made fun of me afterwards.  I let them.  They deserved it.  We all got through it a little worse for wear but we did get through it.  I am thankful for it.  Still I'm a little sore about it all.  I hear something in my bathroom and I go running to find out if everything is still in place.  I did everything I could not to have a crying fit in front of the man from Home Depot.  By the way, did you know that if you go to Home Depot at about 4pm on Saturday, it's a circus?!!  Wow!!!  I had no idea.

The other thing is that a good friend of mine announced that they may have found someone they could start a relationship with.  He's been dating officially for about 4 months or so?  I'm not sure.  He's such a good guy with a good heart.  I am so very happy for him but in the same breath, at the same time, my selfishness just loomed up and I was envious.  I was envious for a moment.  My main emotion is happiness for my friend but... underneath, I'm green with envy.  I'm a May baby so green is my color but not this shade of green.  You should know that this paragraph was hard to admit to.  I'm sure that if I look even deeper, I'll find even harder things to admit to.  I guess you can say that I am confronting my flaws.  I think God is telling me that there is still work to be done.

There is this idea that this quarantine is either going to refine you or break you.  I find that with God, it is all refinement.  I know that there are verses I should include here.  I'll include this one:
James 1:2-4:
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

I don't know, Friends.  Right now I should be comforted but part of me wants to lay down in bed and wallow in my envy and fear.  So... what do I do instead?  I work.  I get ready for the day.  I drink my coffee.  I put on some perfume.  I will face the day and then... I will pray.  I will pray that God help us through all of our fears.  I will pray for my dear friend who has found someone he thinks he can be happy with.  I will pray that God look at the cracks in my own heart and I will pray to be less of a hotter mess... some day.  That's all for now.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sensing Details, Finding God

The other day, I bought some gluten-free everything bagel thins.  I buy them at my local supermarket.  I put them into the toaster and buttered them with real butter.  I put some cheddar cheese and scrambled eggs in it and I took a bite.  For a moment, the world fell away.  I was no longer in my kitchen.  I had been transported.  I was in a blissful ether.  Pandemic?  What?  Where was I?  A delicious bite had carried me away. Why was that so good?  My son would tell you it's' the butter.  Maybe butter really does make everything better.  My children make fun of me when I get "absorbed" in what I am eating.  I close my eyes because I really want the experience.  It is a delight to taste something good.  God is good.  Psalm 34:8 states:
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."  I was so thankful to God to be able to have that moment of pure bliss.                 

Ever wear wonderful perfume?  I didn't know about perfume.  I remember the first real perfume that was bought for me.  It was a gift for my Sweet Sixteen.  It was called Beautiful by Estee Lauder.  I have a bottle currently.  I wore it before my husband died.  I remember Cari, my dear friend, tell me how it reminded her of a different time.  Just thinking about it now shows me how very old I have gotten.  When did I reach this age?  It is such a blessing!!!  There is a Bible verse about perfume.

Proverbs 27:9
"Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man's counsel is sweet to his friend."

Friendship is as sweet as perfume.  It's harder to hear from our friends these days, but God is the Friend that is always with us, right?

I have taken the time to watch the sunsets each day.  I have been hearing wonderful music.  I have been stretching out my back and legs.  I have been feeding my senses during this time, Friends.  I make sure that through the peaks and valleys of this situation, this quarantine, that I remember the goodness of God and the provision that He has for us.  Pray and encourage each other.  God bless.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Modelling Motherhood

I have always been the type of person that has given myself a lot of grace.  My biggest motivators has been the internal accountability that I have developed for myself as I have made my way in this world.  Even as a girl, I wondered what I should be doing at any given time.  I'm going to tell you what I did to learn about this.  I watched Soap Operas.  I generally watched them for the commercials, especially after my mother died.  I liked to watch cleaning products. There is something about watching something dirty become clean that is cathartic. You see, I was learning how to become a woman by watching and since my mom was not around, I had to learn from the women and the houses I had access to, Soaps.  Every now and again, I would be invited to a woman's house and they had every sweet intention of teaching me how to do something.  I felt like I was a borrowed out slave instead of actually learning how to do things.  I was made to do things, which I would do but I would be bitter about it because I was just shown once and I wanted to watch it being done not do it for you.  This bitterness clouded what I was learning so that I didn't really learn but stewed.  I liked people who would invite you over and made you sit down and you would talk while they worked and I got a real sense of what you were supposed to do. You see, people don't automatically know how to sweep or wash dishes.  People don't automatically know how to mop.  I had to learn.  In fact, to this day I am not sure that I am doing it all right. 

I had a hard time dressing too.  I wore a uniform for school.  My dad would take me shopping and I had no idea of what kind of shoes or clothes to buy.  I remember that I went to Alexander's because at the time, I only had one pair of sneakers and my school shoes.  I needed some dress shoes for church.  For what ever reason, we were asked to not wear our uniforms.  My dad didn't know what kind of shoes I should be wearing either.  I found ones that may have been for old ladies and had a little heel.  I took them home thinking I had a great pair of shoes but then realizing that I didn't.  I was so embarrassed I didn't wear them.  I don't think I ever wore them.  I wore my old blue sneakers but, apparently the slacks I had chosen had gotten too short so I got made fun of all day for wearing "high waters."  I watched the soaps and I took mental notes.  I would experiment on my hair and with my make up.  I got asked why I dressed like a teacher.  I had a way of dressing and doing my hair.  I thought I looked fancy.  I guess people didn't realize that I was emulating the fancy women that I saw on the television. 

There were gaps in my education.  I'm feeling it now as the mother of teenagers.  I don't know about you but I'm sure you go back into your own memory to figure out what your own mother did with you when you were growing up.  Even the bad things that our mothers' did is helpful in not repeating that.  You learned how to dress or how not to dress from your mother.  You learned how to cook.  You learned how to clean.  You learned how you spent your down time.  Some of you very blessed people can pick up the phone and still talk to your parents.  I don't have that.  Instead, I ask myself, "What should I be doing?"  My children will carry with them into their adulthood the strange ways I would pause and think about what to do.  I like hearing about the mundane things people do to fill time.  My kids think like me.  We see a big house we think, "Man, that must be hard to clean." 

We are understanding what we need in our lives.  We need less things and more time together.  My son doesn't like watching television or movies unless we are at a theater.  I watch shows with my daughter and I go walking with my daughter.  I cook and clean with my son.  We eat our major meals together. They will periodically ask me if I need something.  They are learning.  I still have to remind them, they are kids after all. 

I think about what we will need in the future.  I have them with me now.  What do I still need to teach them?  I walk.  I want to be healthy.  When they call me from their homes I want to be able to pick up the phone and give them advice.  When my daughter is pregnant, she will think of me the way I thought of my own mother when I was pregnant with her.  She will call and I will want to go to her.  I pray that I will have the words.  I pray that I can model Jesus.  I pray that when they think back, they think back with love and not confusion. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

I sing

Let me tell you about singing.  I like to sing.  I don't know when it was I started singing.  I think about pink lipstick when I think about singing as a kid. I think it had to do with this pink lipstick I would buy and wear when I was at home just fooling around singing.  I would sing and then ask my mother, "How do I sound?"  She would always tell me that I sounded great and to keep singing.  I'm laughing now.  I wasn't a great singer.  I'm not the best singer now but I like it.  When I sing around at work, some of my friends joke and tell me to shut up.  Every now and again, I'll sing for the students.  They are always so surprised to hear me sing.  They'll start laughing.  It's a strange reaction.

I hear my daughter sing.  She has a lighter, softer voice.  My voice is aggressive in the lower registers and softer in the higher although I think I have worked on the volume enough to do some transitions between head and chest when I need to.  There is breathing in singing.  It is meditative.  I sing more for myself these days.  I had a period of time where I thought I would be a singer.  I loved singing in high school and college.  I would practice for the longest time.  My dad would help me.  He would make me record myself to get used to the way that I sounded.  I then would need to correct all the nasal intonations and cracks.  There were some really great voice singer.  My choir director, Tony who I thought of and treated as my older brother.  He introduced me to some of the best gospel.  I learned to harmonize in the choir he ran.  I sang in the Gospel Choir in High School and for part of college.  I performed in musicals.  I sang on the worship team in the churches I went to.  It was a blessing... for me.

I remember reading "Sonny's Blues" in high school.  It was written by James Baldwin.  There is this  blues player and he is talking with his brother about suffering.  As he passes a revival tent, he hears a woman singing and he talks about how much suffering she had to go to in order to sing so beautifully.  There was a revival tent by this church I used to go to.  I remember visiting the tent with my father and sitting in the back as a guest.  Women wore coverings on their head and although I had longer hair, I wasn't able to go up close but I understood what Baldwin was trying to say when this woman sang. 

I found this poem by Bhakti Larry Hough.  I tried to find it but it went something like:

"Maybe one day I'll sing,
And like Marvin [Gaye],
Vent my soul
To allow the demons to escape
On wing of melody
And become angels in the process."

There is this idea of allowing the pain and suffering to escape through song.  I wonder what God hears when I sing.  I am thankful to have a song to sing to Him, it is new every day. 

Psalm 96:1
"Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth." 

And so... I sing!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Allegations of Futility

I'm a teacher.  I teach.  I am currently blessed to be working under this pandemic (why use another word?).  I think that part of my job has always been to motivate.  In my head I think, "I will push you toward this education because I truly believe, not only in my heart but in my soul, that you need at least this little tiny bit of education at least to have a chance in this world."  I am one of the ones that believe, "Knowledge is power."  I would and could quote the parts of Proverbs where knowledge is the better investment.  I won't.  This post is not about knowledge, it's about futility, or allegations of futility.

I call the kids up.  "Why are you not engaged?  What have you been doing with your time?  How come you haven't been doing your work?"  I get calls from teachers.  Parents have not been picking up my calls.  I have been leaving voice and text messages.  I try and call the kids directly.  Can I work with you?  Can I help you?  Let's work on a goal!  Let me provide services for you.  This is the impression that I get: It doesn't matter.  I will wait until the world opens up again.  There is this idea of "pause" that we are on as if this time does not matter.  Time passes anyway. 

I'll give you an example.  I painted my nails today.  I painted them royal blue.  Very few people will see them.  I look at my hands as I am typing right this very second.  They are pretty. They make me feel happy.  Some of you will argue that it is a waste of paint.  I will tell you to read my post on wearing the Chanel.  It will waste or become stale no matter what. It is not a exercise in futility!!!  It is an act of nail and self care!  It may FEEL futile but in time, it may do something; it may prove something. 

There are so many things that may feel futile but aren't.  Whenever I talk to my children; whenever I go out walking; whenever I take vitamins; whenever I make my bed.  There are times that I hear my son tell my daughter my words.  There are times that I am happy to be able to walk when so many others can not.  I don't know what vitamins do but if they help me from aging and going bald (hair, skin and nails) then, let's go!  I still won't make up my bed but  when I do, I like falling into it at night.  Just because some things my feel like they don't matter doesn't mean that they don't. 

*Takes a breath and gets off of the soapbox.*

So... encourage one another:
I Thessalonians 5:11
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Doing Kindnesses

My co-worker and friend, Joe, he did me a kindness.  At some point yesterday, I had a sad moment.  I looked up at the sky (my ceiling) and prayed, "God send me help."  In that moment, Joe texted me.   I am thankful for him. 

Today he came by and dropped off delicious Chicken Tikki Marsala. We are like family over at Maya High School.  He is one of us.  He was just dropping it by on his way to another "relatives" house.  He is teaching me hospitality. 

Can I drop off something for you?  Is there something you need?  Can I draw you a picture?  Can I send you a text?  Would you like video chatting me as I lay in bed and we can sing songs?  Earlier today I had Janet paint a stone and we put Jesus on it.  It will be a sharing stone. Tomorrow we will do another and another.  I will line my messed up weed filled lawn with these stones and hope that people will feel compelled to take them and share them.

Yesterday evening, I shared through video one of my sunsets with Jodi.  She did me a kindness.  She let me talk to her about an emotional owie I had.  I am thankful.  Harriet dropped off her favorite kinds of cookies and today she sent me a text telling me she is praying for me.  My neighbor Craig did something wonderful.  He mowed and trimmed my lawn because he knows that I hate it.  Blessings after blessings have come to me.

Even my children are kind.  I bought a box of decadent ice cream bars.  They looked at the box of three and I said, "To share."  My sweet children came into agreement and said, "No, Mom.  For you."  My cup runneth over.   Surely God is good to me. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Thoughts on a Mother's Death

Today when I woke up, I got the worst news.  The mother of my dear friend and sister passed away.  Here is the thing: I prayed for her.  I prayed for her healing.  It really seemed to me that she would turn a corner. I can't imagine my friend losing her mother this way.  She had so much life!!!  Like any mother, when around a motherless child (like me) she sort of became the mother I didn't have.  I remember her giving me advice and looking after me.  I remember conversations we have had.  I remember that she was allergic to dust and how supportive she was of her daughter and by extension, me.  Even if it is not true, I feel that prayers were not enough.  I don't know.  It feels like I let her down.  I'm praying for her, her brother, her sweet daughters and her husband.

This morning I woke up and I got ready for work.  I walked the 5 feet to my little desk set up in my bedroom.  I sat down and started the day with a video conference.  My cat, Midnight, climbed up to my lap for attention.  The sun is shining so bright outside but in another state, in another city, people are dying.  There are people praying for health over a relative, over a friend.  There are people in mourning.  Some joke about this.  Here in Arizona, in my little ranch house with my children, there are times when the horror is far far away.  I hear of news from New York City.  I hear of news from other countries with much much stricter regulations for quarantine.  Every time I think of the word: pandemic, I am in shock and awe.  There are days when it doesn't seem real to me.  This is a global issue, a global pandemic.  I am living in a movie.

A friend of mine tells me of a guy that he knows that doesn't feel that quarantine is real.  He is not following the guidelines.  I'm not sure how but he tells him that he should maintain the 6 feet and he should be social distancing.  I also hear from yet others how this is some way for the government to control and manipulate the media and the people.  It is real.  I feel it.  I feel the pain of loss and of grief for this wonderful woman and my dear sweet friend.  I long to fly over to where she is and hug her and just keep hugging her until she is sure that I love her.  I don't have this ability.  Instead I only have my words and prayers.  Be merciful to those who are suffering, Friends.  Pray for peace upon their lives.  May God bless you.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunsets and the 10,000 Steps

I'm so sorry that I haven't been writing. I have a flow going on and it's so sweet.  I wake up and I go to work promptly at 8am.  Although there are some that disagree, I love video conferencing.  It allows me to further prep for the day.  Instead of just making lists and calling people, I go to the bathroom and I put on my make up.  I do my hair.  I put on a work top and yoga pants.  Shoes are optional so I keep them off.  I have these mini-breaks where I check on the children and I go to the bathroom.  I have lunch around noon and then I go back to work.  I like it.  I work until about 4pm.  I like to take a nap right after.  I wake up after 30-45 minutes and then I have a meal or a snack.  Then I go for the highlight of my day.  I put on my workout clothes.  I put in my ear buds and I make my way to the park where I have the best seat in the place for the Light Show. 

I don't know when I became addicted to the sky.  I want to make sure I get it so I even check when it is so that I can go and watch the sun go down.  I take pictures but no matter how many I take, it will never ever take the place of just being there and watching it.  I can't get enough of it.  I usually take Janet but even if she doesn't go, I will go by myself.  Every now and again David will go with us but he prefers staying home.  David is my cooking and cleaning buddy.  That's how we spend time.  Walking, shopping and baking are Janet things. 

After the sun is put to bed, I start my walk.  There are times when I have been cleaning so I do half of my steps at home.  Most of the time, I will walk 10,000 which is about 5 miles?  I have started a squatting challenge with a friend.  By the time I'm done at night, I have no words.  I am more focused and I have more energy during the day.  I write in my prayer journal in the night time and I spend time with my children and with God. 

I like this flow that I have going on. I will write more now that I have a few minutes.  I miss you and I miss the words that I have for you all.  God is good to us in this pandemic.  Stay safe and sane, Friends.  I'll see you when I see you.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

What is in the Quiet

It rained not too long ago.  Now, the sun is making a valiant effort to shine and I hear the birds singing outside.  Nothing too bad can happen if the birds are singing, right?  Going through this quarantine is like learning how to find your balance.  I used to be able to skateboard as a kid.  There was this sweet spot when you are on your board and you can navigate and turn and have control.  Then you forget and you have to relearn.  There are days that I wake up and and I am flowing.  There are days that I wake up and it would seem that I have forgotten how to find it. 

It used to be that the quiet would bring sweetness and peace.  I never know what the quiet will bring today.  There are some days I avoid it.  I never understood when people said before, "It is too quiet."  I understand this now. 

There are no Sunday outfits to wear tomorrow.  I have decided on a brunch.  This is the first holiday in quarantine.  I'm thinking even now how to commemorate.  It will be quiet again.  We will attend the live stream of church.  We will be thankful to God for dying on the cross.  We will think of Him in this time and be happy.  Again, it is quieter than I would like it and I like quiet.  I wonder how some of my more extroverted friends are handling this.  I hope you are doing well.  I hope the quiet brings peace and not despair.  I hope that you have good moments with family. 

It was quiet that Saturday Jesus was in the tomb too.  It was a day of mourning.  It was a day of tears and remembering.  They didn't know.  They didn't know that on Sunday, Jesus would have risen from the dead.  Not just for them, but for all of us as well.

Be hopeful, Friends.  I will be hopeful too. Sunday is on its way.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday 2020

Good Friday last year I went to church with my children.  I sat at a restaurant and ate with friends after the service.  Today is much different than last year.

We usually go to a Tenebrae Service.  As we go through the final statements of Jesus, the lights dim.  We leave in darkness.  It feels right to mourn and grief our Lord.  I lay all of my doubts, misgivings and sin there in the dark with the hope that we win the war.

Today I did something for the first time I have not been able to do.  I thought that I was changing.  I thought that this was a new normal.  But today, I slept in.  I slept.  I lingered in bed.  I read.  I have not been able to read but today I read significantly.  Already I am thinking about the next book that I can read.  I am favoring mysteries instead of my normal Chick Lit fair.  Today I felt a little of the old me for the first time in a long time.  The me that makes plans and does not get distracted.  The me that is more brave and less scared.  The me that likes to do things and finds pleasure in the doing.  Have I just been missing him this whole time?  I think I have.  I am happy to report that on this Good Friday, I am thankful.  I have a plan for one day at a time.

Today is the day that we commemorate the dying of our Lord on the cross.  He is not dead now.  He has risen.  He didn't stay dead.  We don't stay dead, we who believe.  Even in a pandemic, Jesus is alive.  He is alive and we can live too.  Hopeful?  Yes.  I send this hope to you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Busy Making Messes

I am an only child.  My mother had Lupus when I was growing up and she was sick often.  My bedroom was far away from my parent's bedroom.  It was at the end of a corridor.  I spent a lot of time in this bedroom.  In my head, I can see it.  I had lacy flower curtains and hot pink walls.  The furniture was white.  It was wood painted white not clapboard.  I had this huge television.  It was an incredibly girly room.  Every time my mother would leave me alone in this room, I would keep busy.  For the most part, I kept it pretty clean until I hit puberty.  Then I don't' know what happened and I can't really tell you.  But I will tell you this: I was either busy cleaning or busy making a mess.

You may not know this but I have this thing with Doritos.  I don't know if you have ever had Doritos but they are messy.  They leave crumbs.  Your fingers are sticky from eating them.  Your breath stinks.  They are wonderful.  They have no nutritional value.  They may cause you serious harm if you eat them every day.  Of course, they are my favorite!!!  I am always equating sin to these Doritos.  I'm having a bad day, I buy my Doritos and tell myself, "It's okay, Elle.  You should have these Doritos."  I'm celebrating, I buy Doritos.  I'm not doing anything at all, I'm buying Doritos.  You get the picture.  It is easy to equate these Doritos with sin.  Should I buy a box of wine?  Yes because these are trying times.  Should I get angry at my student?  Yes, I should. They should have been working.  Should I be making plans to go dancing after quarantine?  Yes.  I am making all of these plans.  I'm eating Doritos.  I am busy making a mess, Friends. 

So... I will take a moment and re-think and re-evaluate things.  It is a good time to do so.  I will take a deep breath in and out a few times and think about the things that really matter.  I am appreciative of the people in my life that make things better not worse.  Another breath in and out, I am thankful to spend so much time with my children.  Breath in and out, I will be thankful to God for providing for me and looking out for me.  I need to be busy cleaning not making a mess.  I just think sometimes you have to make a mess before you find the need to clean. 😉  That's all for now.  Stay safe and stay sane. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Hurry Up and Wait

I am one who is always saying that life is short.  I want to fill the moments, every second and minute with things and experiences and colors.  I want to Elle-ify the world.  Why?  Because in my head, and in my space.  I am better in it, No? 

Just kidding... somewhat.  With life being so short, I want to move! Move! Move!  In New York, that bustling city it was all about movement.  But... lately my friends have been posting and all is quiet.  God bless New Yorkers trapped in the apartments.  Pray for NYC, please!  We are all at a stand still.  It is quiet and still.  I think of God, "He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'" Psalm 46:10.  We are waiting.  Psalm 27:14: "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD."  

This whole waiting thing grates against my go-go-go nature.  It feels like I have been running just to wait; hurry up and wait.  It reminds me of something.  Back in college, the financial aid line was super long.  The first time I stayed in the line it was unbearable.  The second time, I made friends.  It started by talking with the person behind me.  I included the person in front.  We talked about nothingness, by the time we got to the front of the line, we had a party.  I learned the same trick while waiting three days in a Bronx Courthouse for Jury Duty.  Instead of Call of Duty, Call of Jury... Duty.  It sounded good in my head!!!

Okay, so... here I am waiting.  I am writing.  I am singing.  I am finally doing what I love to do as I wait on God.  I pray for those around me.  Prayer is a powerful thing.  I believe it.  Life is still too short so... I will choose to trust God.  I will choose to have faith and I will choose to be happy.  Come with me.  I think that you won't regret it.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

An Isolated Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday.  I had forgotten about Easter.  In my head, before the madness that is this pandemic even started really, I had imagined that it would be over by Easter.  It's not.  It would have been my daughter's official last egg hunt as a member of the children's ministry.  It would have been her last Pinewood Derby and she would have been prayed over and given something to commemorate her tenure as a child attending church for the majority of her life.  This year my children will be transitioning to high school and middle school without much fanfare.  I will fare my fan for them but it will not be the same. 

On my feeds, people are dying.  I have said, "I am sorry for your loss." more than I would have imagined.  I am sitting here looking at the palm trees that surround me.  I am praying for healing.  I don't know how to feel or what to think.  I look up to the sky and I am thankful this day.  I am thankful to God.  You see, I want to be worried.  I want to read all of the articles and I want to worry about when things will get back to the alleged 'normal.'  I want to wallow in the muck of worry and anxiety and have an excuse to behave badly.  Instead I sit here and say silent prayers.  I thank and believe in God.

I heard from someone recently that religious people are the worst.  Aren't we though?  I know that I am no angel.  I tell people that I am one of those Christians that really do need Jesus.  You know what I mean, "That girl needs some Jesus!!!"  Yes I do.  Hence the hotter mess tag everywhere.  Let's not forget how much I need Jesus. 

I have no more words to write for now.  I am praying for you all.  If you need to believe in something, I offer to you God.  That's all for now.  Praise God!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Perfect Day

At the end of the movie, "A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)," the Pinocchio figure, David, was granted a perfect day.  I remembered crying at the end of the movie.  I watched it the first time with Santi. A perfect day was enough for this boy for the eternity that he would continue to exist.  Can you imagine living in a memory?

A few years ago, I asked Santi if he had one day to live, what would he do?  He described our Saturday.  Wake up late and hang out in bed reading or talking.  We would get up late morning/early afternoon to have lunch.  We would watch a movie or clean up.  Early evening we would go for a walk, and maybe watch the sunset.  We would come home and either make dinner or go to one of our favorite places to eat.  Maybe we would go shopping; maybe we would go to the mall.  Santi's idea of a perfect was every day.  We had a lot of perfect days.  I think back on them and I wonder if all my perfect days have past.

Listen to me carefully, even if I never live another perfect day again, God is good.  That statement right there is warmer and more comforting than all of the perfect days I have been blessed to have.  In the midst of this quarantine that has lasted longer than imagined and will continue to last, I look around and see that I have been blessed beyond all measure.  I have my two babies.  Somehow, God in his infinite wisdom, has allowed me to have two beautiful children.  Every day, life is a blessing.

Today in the midst of a pandemic, I worked.  I was able to talk to some parents, kids and teachers.  I went on a hike with my children.  I saw the sky and I let the sun hit my face.  We then bought water and some food.  We argued and fought.  We laughed and leaned on each other.  We ate good food.  Every day has the ability to be a good day, no... a great day.  Maybe even a perfect day.  You never know.  Praise God!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Staying Sane

My late husband (it is strange and unnatural to use this term) would tell me that I was a little crazy.  It would come out in arguments.  It was as if he was protecting me from the truth of myself and all of the worst things I suspected about myself would come out because we were fighting.  One of those things is being crazy. 

Gnarls Barkley's hit song, "Crazy" resonates with my ideas of insanity.  I see insanity as an abyss or another country and some of us get closer to the line than others.  In college I wrote a poem about the freedom that insanity allows you.  There is a permissiveness that society lends those who are "off." It is not my intention to make fun of or lessen the plight of those suffering from mental illness.  I do think that we are fragile beings who are vulnerable to bouts of mental illness or lapses of sanity and that we do well in remembering this. 

Here I am, attempting to work from home.  I wake up.  I start my day.  I attend meetings.  I talk to people through video chat and phone calls.  I attempt to help and console, especially my students.  In the evenings, I go to a nearby park and I sit and watch the sunset.  I then walk home attempting to make my steps.  Once home, I cook or spend time with my children.  We may clean or make plans.  We take stock.  I am acclimating myself to it.  It is helpful to have a routine.  I find I am just as busy if not busier.  At the end of the day I do not want to look at screens or read.  I am already tired.  Video chatting is not the same as meeting with people.  However, I have been able to stave away any negative mental activity... for the most part.

I find that I was more introverted as long as I had a person at home.  I am less so now.  I am not alone.  I have my children and God.  I am comforted by this.  I have missed putting my head on a shoulder.  So simple and yet... so telling.  I could borrow a shoulder but what I think about when I do is, "Not mine."  Some people can borrow books.  Other people need to buy their own.  I can borrow a book but when it comes to leaning on someone, I want that person to be mine. 

Thinking back on my younger years, I wondered how I did it.  Younger people have more friends that are willing to do things with you.  We are not all hampered by our own lives yet.  I grew up with a girl by the name of Joanne.  I think of her as my sister.  We spent endless time together, before life crept in.  She was my person.  I had her and my father and by extension, her family.  I have friends now.  I hate imposing though.  But I will if I need to, and I have needed to. 

My advice to you is impose.  I always think about the shortness of life.  Do this to stay sane.  Do this in order to keep others sane.  Text too much.  Write letters and Pray, pray pray to our God who loves to be called upon.  I am sending virtual hugs out right now to each of you reading.  May God bless you and keep you... sane.