Rocky mountain paths have always fascinated me, especially if they end up beside a stream.
In the mountains of West Virginia, streams abound. There is no shortage of forest paths and places to just feel like it is you and whatever walks those dense woods.
I am blessed in all ways, but find it is true, this saying: There are roads you will walk alone. Challenges that only you can face. Choices only you can make.
The road, the path, the place you trod may be dusty and unfamiliar, or rocky and treacherous.
It may be full of water, or a rushing river overtakes it from time to time.
Nonetheless. There you are. Walking. Alone.
Many times in my life, people have chastised me for my belief in God. Truth is, I have and still do make mistakes.
But this I do know .. even on my darkest days. When I think I am alone, I really am not.
Somehow in God’s infinite wisdom, He lets me know He is there.
And that is such a blessing.
I can make a lot of choices. Am I going to gripe about this path? Am I going to spew over every little thing? Am I going to walk carelessly, add my own setbacks? How has that been working lately? I have also a choice at hand. Listen to the music of the waterfall. Sit in wonder at a butterfly’s flight. Breathe in the fresh air and just be thankful. Look for the beauty in life. Make my own tranquility.
Because truth is this: Your life, my life, is what we make it.
My daughter’s heart monitor squealed as her heart raced out of control. Afib is no fun. She looked a little out of place in the cardiac unit, full of people up in their years.
An hour later, she was in surgery. Two different times, she had ablation on her heart (basically where the surgeon cauderizes part of the heart so it quits its frenzied rate).
My mind went everywhere as I watched her being wheeled away, surrounded by a team of highly skilled medical professionals in West Palm Beach.
This too shall pass.
I stitched more on her quilt that I had been making since she was a child. Anything to pass the time.
Thankfully, she is here today. One of my four beautiful blessings.
The phrase “this too shall pass” was used frequently in our home. One child with epilepsy, one who was born preterm (almost in a 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagle helicopter), one with afib, and one child who had learning issues because of a seizure he had when he was young (after waiting 8 hours in a hospital ER, with nurses who said high fevers for babies were normal. Nothing would bring the fevers down.) As it turns out, even though he had issues as a child, as an adult, you would never know. He is brilliant. A scientist mind which is always learning something new. A great kid. My preterm baby was fine as well .. he plays in the worship band at a nearby mega church. And my epilepsy baby conquers her challenge every day, choosing to rise above it and love the world.
Stuff happens. Life is not always fun.
I think of all the things I faced in college. My grandmother’s death, daughter’s heart operations, other daughter’s seizure diagnosis, a rear end collision, gallbladder surgery, diagnosis with hashimoto’s, finally finishing my book (published 2013 while working full time and going to school), a broken ankle, and a divorce.
This too shall pass.
Truth is, there are better days that will come. Some things you can fix, and others, you learn to deal. (We talked about that yesterday.)
In the midst of trials, remember it all passes eventually. Every day is brand new. There is always something good to think about.
The dream was so vivid and terrifying, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was swimming in the ocean, far from shore, when the waves started tossing me fiercely. The first wave came, and I made it through that one. The second came, a little larger. But the third wave was catastrophic. I screamed “God help me. What am I going to do?” And then a man suddenly appeared next to me swimming. A lifeguard? Dark, short hair. Maybe 40 something. “Hold your nose and go under the wave. You will be fine.” Many things happened in my life in the months after that dream, some of which I cannot share.
Somehow, the dream served as a focal point for every heartbreaking situation.
This year has been full of bad news for me, my family and friends. Some things, again, I cannot share. People are private. Others involve illness, financial difficulty, car accidents, the pain of watching others in pain and feeling totally helpless.
What do you do when all the news you get is bad? Another devastation. Another phone call.
I have asked many over the years this question, especially those who serve in occupations that always intersect with a person’s devastation.
“Does it (the pain) ever leave you?” I asked.
“No,” they say. “You just learn to deal.”
I have noticed that such people seek those “life opportunities” and “chances to celebrate.”
We do get to that point where we say “I can’t even.” Can’t fix it. Can’t take it away. No money will make it better and well wishes seem to fall flat to the floor.
Deal. So we deal. There was a bailiff I knew who had the unfortunate opportunity of listening to the county’s worst murders and crimes, in court. Graphic. Families that showed up in tears. How do you get away from the stench of tragedy?
“I live an hour away,” they said. “So I load up on jazz.”
A physician who weekly has to deliver “the news of no cure,” travels. “Everywhere and as often as possible.” Sees new things.
An individual who has watched people die despite their best attempt to save them, says it does indeed follow them home. Movies. Drama. Comedy. Binge watching.
Another person is an empath. They seem to “feel” everyone’s pain, and despite their best efforts, cannot numb out enough to avoid crying literal tears in the bathroom for people and their situations over which they have no control.
“Church, art and music,” they said. “My friends know I struggle when they see me break out in art.”
Prayer. It helps, many have said. And science occasionally gives it a hurrah as well, tipping to the possibility the Creator exists and really hears His children.
I believe He does.
“Help others,” another said. “Do nice things for someone else, and it helps your pain.”
That person lost a son. What pain.
So, hey, just wanted to encourage you that you are not alone. Tragedy has not settled on your doorstep because of something you did. Unfortunately, it seems to be rampant these days. But we are all swimming right there with you.
Hold your nose and go under the wave.
We will all deal, together.
Have a blessed day. May sunshine abound today for you. May your senses be opened to the songs of morning birds. May blessing find you, no matter where you are today.
The mid-day eclipse drew the entire downtown out of their offices and into the city streets, as many had purchased special glasses to watch the celestial event.
The most unusual thing that happened was that the iron park benches, usually blazing hot on a sunny day, were cool to the touch.
The Central Park fountain gushed as it usually does, a comfort to the senses for anyone who needs a respite from their busy day.
I watched as children played, and adults used various devices, to see the eclipse.
Suddenly, a deep grey shadow fell upon the park, and it looked as if the sun had literally, quickly set. Though not as dark as some on the planet would experience, it was enough of a hush to capture attention. Then.
The light. The lunar, solar, beautiful and most unusual light caused the fountain to glitter like diamonds.
The children danced. I stood up and drew near to the fountain.
And had a moment with the Creator.
There are all kinds of scripture that talk about how God is bathed “in inexplicable light,” how “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.”
So then, light becomes life.
And darkness flees.
As I stood in the town square, gazing in wonder at how different everything looked, for just a little while, I thought of my own life with its every day pace.
And how inspiring it was to simply stand in the light. I wanted to dance.
There is sometimes, however, a moment when you see the heavenly glory, when all you can do .. is be still.
A Brighter Thought for today.
Whether you dance, or be still, enjoy the light of God’s love.
A brand new day is ahead, and the first thoughts spoken can change its course for the better. “Today is going to be a great day,” “I am blessed because,” “I am so thankful for,” “Did you know how special you are?” We live and thrive on the spoken word. And that settles into our bones. Is it true we have trials and setbacks, sorrows and disappointments? Yes. And yet we are the victor when we press on for the kind of day we want.
So have a wonderful day. Carry a blessing journal. Write down things throughout the day that make you happy. Combat darkness with the Spirit of Light.
“With God, all things are possible.” She ran down a long rock road, barefooted and gasping for air, trying to get away from the man who said he would kill her. The little girl had thrown away his alcohol, pouring bottle after bottle in the toilet, and when he found out, he was furious. Her blond hair billowing in the wind, tears stained her face and her chest hurt from running so fast and hard on those rocks. She was never a runner, could never breathe like that. Until she had to. Finally making it to her best friend’s house, she found respite for the next few days. The episode would serve to set her free from the sexual abuse she had endured since she was tiny.
Growing up, her parents were poor, and many said she would never amount to anything. She was awkward, bullied at school, and it seemed her only friends were at church.
That summer, she discovered her gift of writing. Burying herself in books, she was always “that girl” who carried journals and pens with her.
A trailer park child, she looked at the sky, and wondered, “is there more?”
Carrying armloads of books, she traveled all over the world, by herself. Well, not really. But the books carried her to places she wanted to see.
Time passed, and the little girl grew up.
She wrote her story and published a book about it. For a little over a decade, she was a professional writer. And she had the privilege to interview the first female writer of Wonder Woman comics, a worldwide legend.
Trailer park girl made good.
Nothing is impossible with God.
Looking back on that rocky road, I see that my feet have always been in motion. People say, “wow, you are really driven.”
They have no idea.
Big goals. Big dreams. And a notebook full of plans.
I have been blessed.
You know, I don’t know where you are right now, what you are running from,
or to. But I do know that whatever you want is within your reach.
The grasshoppers are singing, and the sun is rising slowly this morning. Ralph, my betta fish, is swimming happily in his tank, and the twinkling lights of my little pink tree are casting an expectant glow of the beautiful day ahead.
Just wanted to let you know that I hope you have a marvelous day. Know you are loved by God. Each day is a calling, and whether we succeed as we thought we would or in the world’s eyes, miserably fail, nothing changes God’s love for us. And that is why we can smile.
What a beautiful day. What a special moment. Isn’t it great to live in a free country? How blessed I am to have a family. Thank You Lord for my job. The rain sure helps the flowers grow. Did you see that man hold the door for his mother? Something smells wonderful in here. Is it your perfume? How about those Rays? Wow, they left it all on the field. Did you hear that girl sing? What a voice she has. Just like angels. The sun is still shining above the clouds. Things will get better. Did you know you are special to me? I am so blessed to have a friend.
Words we say define our future. This moment. Tomorrow’s moment.