Sunday, July 14, 2013

MOLOKA'I

I am reading a wonderful book titled Moloka'i written by Alan Brennert. Its a story masterfully told. A story that tell of the life of Rachel Kalama who at the age of 7, in 1891, contracts leprosy and is set to live on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i at Kalaupapa, a leprosy settlement.

I would categorize this book as historical fiction. It is my favorite genre of fiction so I was immediately drawn into the story and would recommend it to anyone who loves to read. What I want to record here though so I can find it again is a quote from near the end of the book. It is a statement made by the character, Sister Catherine. At the time she makes this statement to Rachel, Sister Catherine is 70 years old and has been ministering to the young girls who are sent to Kalaupapa for over 50 years.  The two are speaking together after the funeral of Rachel's husband and Rachael has just been considering ending her life by just walking into the sea. Years before the two had observed the fist biplane to ever fly over the island and Sister Catherine had made the observation "Who can doubt the presence of God in the sight of men whom He has given wings?" Now she rephrases her thoughts on God. This is what she says.....

"God didn't give man wings; He gave him the brain and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt or to struggle on when we feel like giving up.
I've come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice or death is the true measure of the Divine within us.....
....I used to wonder why did God give children leprosy? Now I believe, God doesn't give anyone leprosy. He gives us, if we choose to use it, the spirit to life with leprosy, and with the imminence of death. Because it is in our own mortality that we are the most Divine."

Why is this statement one I want to remember? Because for me it is a statement of faith. It is a statement that can fit so many situations in our own lives. In my life I have often wondered why God allowed my marriage to end. I can see now he didn't cause the divorce and it wasn't up to him to stop or prevent it. He has however put into me the ability to survive it and live with once again being single and alone. I just need to choose to use what He has put into me and move on into my new life.
This may not be the life I or He envisioned for me, but He has equipped me with what I need to live a happy, content and successful life where I am.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

UPS & DOWNS

For several years now I have felt that I have been on a roller coaster emotionally.  I thought and hoped that given time and the finalization of  the change from being a married woman to being a single divorced woman the roller coaster ride would calm down. Obviously that has not happened yet. I still don't know what my emotional state will be on any given day.

Thankfully I have days that are wonderful and I see the possibilities of my new status in life.  I live in the moment and cherish each moment. I get excited on those days and enjoy dreaming of my future. Then the next day I wake up and all the day is made up of challenges that I just can't seem to surmount. I feel alone in the world and there seems no resolution to anything.

Where am I today...I'm okay....For the most part I can say life is good. I have some things to look forward to coming up.  I'm trying not to dwell on the future, but live in the present one day at a time. I am grateful I am basically healthy. I am grateful I have made some very good friends here in FL. I am grateful that for the next few months I have a nice place to call home.

There are things I wish I could change about my life and maybe one day they will change.  Some day the challenges I'm facing will end, but I guess I have to be honest; they probably will be replaced by new ones. So I guess I will forget about the roller coaster ride ever ending and will make the most of it. Maybe even I can find some excitement in the ride.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

BEHIND THE 8 BALL

I know that "behind the 8 ball" is just a cliche.  At the moment when I look back on my life is seems that often I have lived my life just "behind the 8 ball". What do I mean by that? Many things in life seem to have a bell curve associated with them.  Say for example a craft group (since I am involved a lot with craft groups). In the beginning of the groups existence things are exciting and great. People are really involved, things happen and in general all is well. Then after time the group seems to peak.Maybe people get tired of it, maybe they get tired of running things or maybe they just have done everything within that craft and are ready to move on to something new. What ever the cause the group and its activities and excitement begin to wain and it begins to move down from the peak.  I look back at many things I have joined across the years and I seem to have a history of joining groups just before they peak and begin their downward slide. I'm behind the 8 ball.
 
Economically I feel I am living behind the 8 ball as well. I need somewhere to live come the end of the year. I've wanted to purchase a home for some time now, but due to circumstances which are pretty much beyond my control the bank will not give me a mortgage. While I wait to meet their qualifying factors I try to do everything I can to improve my chances. I've worked to get a FICO score that is in the upper range of excellent.  I've put aside money for a large down payment. I've tried every thing I can to get a job to no avail. The one thing I admit I haven't done is claim my social security early.  I will do that if pushed up against the wall to generate income. I don't need the SSI to live on now and would prefer to wait till I do need it in 3 years and get more as I will need everything I can get then. Unfortunately I may need the lower SSI now for the bank to issue me a mortgage. This brings to mind another cliche....I'm in that proverbial CATCH-22! Anyway while I wait to get that blasted mortgage approval I'm watching housing prices which have been low for over 5 years climb and I'm watching the mortgage interest rates go up even faster.  See.....once again I am behindthe 8 ball in life.

I'm trying to be patient and philosophical about all this.  I even try to find humor in it.  I'm working really had to trust that God has a plan in all this that I just don't see yet. I do admit though I am not good with patience and I have days where it is difficult to find the humor in not knowing where I will be living come November. So what I am left with is my trust and faith that God will somehow straighten out this mess my life currently seems to be in and that he does have a plan. Every day I pray "thy will be done....but God you know some resolution to my personal looming housing crisis would be nice.

Maybe the humor here is God know best and he knows I can't handle owning a home on my own so he's just not going to let me get one.........
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to Approach Life

This was my short devotional reflection from the Upper Room this morning.  It is so true! No matter what challenges on is facing in life this is the key to making it through them. God is so good and he sends each one of of so very many blessings each day. We must learn how to open our eyes and see them.  They are there! 

ALL GOOD TIMES are not in the past.
We are surrounded by everyday epiphanies. To get in the habit of encountering them, look each day for two things:
  • Something that surprises you
  • Something that inspires you
Many of us blunder through our lives as though we were asleep. Just being deliberately focused on seeing makes you more alert, more excited, more optimistic. You look, listen, and expect a life-giving surprise. … You may see things you have never noticed before.
- Judy Gattis Smith
Fear Not: Learning from Your Cancer

Thursday, April 04, 2013

LIFE AT 63

Life at 63 is not quite what I expected it to be when I was 19.  When I was 19, 63 sounded so terribly old.   Actually it sounded ancient!  Now I am 63 and I find I am amazed that.....

  • I love my jeans and still wear them.  Jeans for me are better than any other cut or style of slacks.
  • I still sit on the floor when all chairs and couches are full with other people.
  • I still love to sing and dance when ever possible.
  • I enjoy going to rock concerts.
  • I'm still wondering where I will be living in another 6 months.
  • I continue enjoy driving.
  • I love learning new things.
  • I still worry about being alone for the rest of my life.
  • I continue to wonder what my future will hold.
  • I dream about finding someone to love, be loved by and grow old with.
  • I still wonder who I am and what my passion is or if I have one.
When I look at my life at 63 the thing that amazes me the most is that in many respects it is not a whole lot different than what it was when I was 19.  How scary is that?  The one big difference is that when I was 19 I was sure that by the time I was the ancient age of 63 my life would be settled and boring.  How wrong I was.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

I have such wonderful memories of many fun Super Bowl Parties at our home in MD.  The chili was HOT!  The subs were yummy and yes even though it was a church related party the wine and beer was good.  Kids were running around the house and there were even a few serious football watchers.

Memories are wonderful but so are the present activities.  Today is another Super Bowl Sunday.  It's been a lone time since I've been to a Super Bowl Party.  It's been even longer since I've seen a Super Bowl with a "local" team playing.  When it comes to football I am still a Marylander and when the Redskins are out I become a Ravens fan!  To  night I am going to my first Villages Super Bowl Party.  It will be interesting.  I will know only two other people.  I will have fun!  I will cheer my team and yes there will be chili! Only time will tell if it is as good as our chili was.....I doubt it will be, but I'll give it a chance. 

This party won;t be the same as the past ones where I was surrounded by family and good friends, but it will be a new beginning of sorts.  New memories will be made and it will be fun!

GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MUSIC

I think it really is true that "music soothes the savage beast".  I'm not sure where that phrase comes from, but I do believe it is true.  Since I was a teenager facing all of the trials and emotions of those tumultuous years music has been something that has spoke to my soul and it did again tonight

I am so blessed to live in a community that has music available every night of the year.  Plus it is available not at just one location but three. AND it is free!!!!

 I love music.  It truly does speak to my soul.  I remember when I was a teen my mother used to say she could always tell what my mood was by what music was coming out of my room and that if it was "A Night on Bald Mountain" beware!  I also will never forget one night crying my eyes out and feeling that I had no friends and so alone.  My father came into my room and told me his song for me was "You'll Never Walk Alone".  Yes music has always played a large part in my emotional life.

Tonight I spent the evening with some friends at one of our town squares.  We went to hear the music of a band called "3 For the Road".  A group 3 guys who meet at our Beatlemanic club and decided to fulfill a life long dream of being in a band. How wonderful to fulfill a dream.AND how wonderful to bring music into the lives of others.

As I listened to their music I covered the range of emotions from sadness to euphoria.  Sadness and loneliness at the words of the love songs and euphoria at the songs of celebration and hope. I closed my eyes and while feeling alone also cherished the thoughts that even for me love would one day once again be a reality.  I swayed and sang along with the melodies and yes even danced when there was a line dance I knew the steps to.

I love music!  It does indeed soothe the savage beast that crouches in my soul.