Archive | Musings RSS feed for this section

Spiritual update, fall of 2016

4 Sep

A recent sermon at the Wesconnett Church of Christ was about whether we are a Christian.  I’m not going to even try to relate all that was covered.  You can check it out at:

http://www.wesconnettchurchofchrist.org/sermons5223/?Sermon=322

The thought I retained is that being a Christian is so much more than just saying, feeling and believing we are one.  I really connected with the idea that beyond being persuaded to be a Christian we must become a disciple.  A disciple is one that has disciplined their life to be like their master.  The term Christian was given to the early disciples because they were so like Christ–in thought, word, and deed.  This ideas is not new to me–as I have heard it most of my life.  But now I’m hearing it afresh.

Yes, I now worship at the Church of Christ.  And it’s with trembling gratitude that I can say I’m a part of the church of Christ.  This is the faith I found last year.  It’s where things were finally explained in a way that makes sense.  It is a place that doesn’t run from questions–in fact they welcome questions!  I had known for some time that good teachers like questions.  And that everything that is really true can stand up to any questions. But in my former religion we were taught not to question–as if that was somehow wrong,  I was always given the answer ‘”do you want to be contentious?”  Or “are you questioning God’s way?”  These ‘answers’ never answered my question and only left me feeling like I was ‘bad’ and something I shouldn’t be.  Another thing I began to notice was that it seemed to be “the way” of God that was worshiped, almost more than God or Jesus.  In fact that was one of the things I remember that started to really bother me–we didn’t sing hardly any hymns that praised God.  We didn’t really seem to worship Jesus as our Savior.  We looked upon Him more as an elder brother, someone to pattern our life after.

The Church of Christ wasn’t  the kind of church I thought I was looking for.  In many ways, it seems a lot like my former religion.  There are not musical instruments in the worship service, communion is served every Sunday, both claim to follow only the Bible and they are not churches that you “join”.  Yet this new church is so different.  As I look back, it seems to me that my former religion tried to pattern after the New Testament church.  Whereas, this faith seeks to only follow what the New Testament says to do.  This may sound the same, but it isn’t.

This spring I was telling one of my daughters of how much I liked the church I have been attending.  I explained to her of how I had came to first attend the church and how warm the people were.  I told of attending the Ladies bible classes and then of the personal bible studies I had with two of the ladies.  Now I tell her of how much I am still enjoying it–how that there are no ‘off limit’ subjects and how everything is explained in ways that make sense.

I remember how—at those early Bible studies—as they answered my questions and I read the scriptures, I could see things that my former religion did that were not according to scripture, along with not doing some things that were scriptural.  But then the topic of baptism was introduced.  This was a hard one for me.   I had been baptized as a teenager and it seemed wrong to be baptized again.  (My former church had the same idea of being re-baptized–although I never understood why).  But there was one big difference between the two.   In my former religion baptism came a year or so after conversion, after the person had ‘proved them self’ (although I’m still not quite sure who we were supposed to be approved by).   In this new church the teaching is that baptism is a part of being saved.  This was a new concept for me.   But as I read more, I realized that is what the scriptures say!   Then one day in the study, I was asked if I had been baptized for the remission of sins and I realized “no” I don’t remember those words being said at any baptism I ever attended.  (When I ask my daughter about this she says that she thinks it was implied.  But this doesn’t add up for me.  Shouldn’t my sins have been forgiven when I was saved when we “professed” or made our choice to serve God?)

But back then, as I thought more about the things I was learning about baptism and as I continued to really read the Bible–what it says, not what I thought I knew–it just suddenly came to me.   It was so simple–it’s what the Word says, so just obey it!  And so I did.  I was baptized–if I remember correctly–in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins.  It was such a different experience for me, nothing at all like my former one.  This baptism was not solemn, instead it was joyous!  The ladies and minister were happy–I was a new sister!   And as I was telling my daughter–I never expected to feel any different after the baptism–but I did!   I felt new, alive and oh so joyous!  And such a peace!  I thought I had peace before, but never like this!  This is truly a ‘peace that passes understanding’.  It’s with me all the time, a constant joy.  I can’t even find words to explain it.  As time has passed, as I continue to learn, I now have a deeper understanding of baptism.

I thought I had been a Christian since high school, so the idea of being termed a ‘new convert’ at first seemed really strange to me.  But I realize it’s what I am!  I am learning what it means to obey the Word.  I still have lots of foggy areas—a lot of former concepts that need correction.  There is so much I still need to understand.  But the wonderful thing is that I’m learning as I go and that’s ok.  Because at last, I’m on the right path–learning and following the New Testament Word as it is written.

I’ve had several good discussions with my daughter and hope to have more.  I want to be able to tell all my children, family and friends the wonder of what I now have.  My blog posts, along with other media, are my way of starting to reach out to others.  I hope with God’s help and prayer I can continue to be a disciple of Christ forever!

 

 

My spiritual journey a year later

3 Apr

 

I’ve been writing this post in my mind for several months, composing and decomposing it.  I started writing it a few times, but always had trouble. Even with the title.  One title began ‘I have found’, but that didn’t convey exactly what I wanted to say.  Then I came up with ‘My spiritual journey has ended’.  But immediately my heart said ‘no, NO’!  Because I never want this journey of learning more of my Lord and Savior to be over.  I think it will take all of eternity to learn and understand the infinite heart of God.

Sometimes it’s hard to put words to feelings.  And throughout this journey I’ve experienced a multitude of feelings.  It’s a scary thing to realize that something I’ve had confidence in for most of my life no longer brings me peace.  And it’s hard to leave the comfort zone and go into unknown territory.  But it was something I realized I must do.  I can’t live without peace in my soul.

Although it has taken me quite awhile, I’m greatful for God’s patience with me.  I would never have been able to take in, change my whole line of thinking and accept what He is showing me without the time to search my soul and reflect.

Soon after the time I described in my April 1st post, I moved.  It’s true that I had liked the community church, but I decided to check out some closer in my new area.  I attended one in the downtown area with a friend,  But in had a tone of some of the things I could no longer handle in my own church.  Then I tried one that another friend recommended.  But to me the sermon was as dry as toast.

Last Mother’s Day I was going out with my daughter for brunch, so searched online for churches nearby with an evening service.   One that came up was Baptist.  When I was living in Missouri I had attended a Baptist church a few times when staying with friends, so I decided to try it.  i enjoyed my brunch and a leisurely afternoon, then in the evening drove to the church–only to find no one there!  Evidently they had cancelled the evening service due to the holiday.  While driving around, wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my evening, I saw two ladies outside of a church.  I drove in and ask if it was a church service.  (I wanted to be sure it wasn’t some other activity related to Mother’s Day.)

They said yes, to come join them.  So I did.  Everyone was so welcoming, greeting me with smiles and handshakes.   Immediately I was struck with the ‘feel’ of the place.  I’ve been in places that were welcoming, some that were friendly.  But this was a warm welcome.  I could feel that they were glad I was there!  I’ve never felt such acceptance.  It brings tears to my eyes, even now, as I write this.

I don’t remember now what the sermon was about, but I liked it. Afterwards there was more greetings, everyone telling me how glad they were I had come and to please come back.  I was invited to the Tuesday morning Women’s Bible Class, which I attended.  I attended the Wednesday evening service, and both the Bible Class and the church service the next Sunday.  And every service possible since then.

Writing this now, I realize it’s going to take more than one setting to relate.  Because of content length and the emotions that I’m feeling as I write, I’m going to end here and contine my story later.

 

Visiting Area Churches

1 Apr

As I was –finally–attempting to write an update on my Spiritual Journey, I found this draft which I thought I had posted a year ago.

I attended a Christian church last Sunday.  The first one I went to was a community church.  As I mentioned before, I liked the community church.  I liked the music, the casual atmosphere, friendliness and the music.  The sermon was ok.  I like the emails they send me.   But I wanted to check out more churches in the area.

I was attracted to the Christian church because I liked online sermons.  And I felt the sermon this morning was very reverent and helpful.  I also like the friendliness of the congregation and it had a casual feel.  But the funny thing is, although I love music and crave to worship with music, the music in this church might be the reason why I’m not sure if I will go back.  It seemed more of a show, and not nearly as uplifting as at the community church I visited.

I plan to visit a Presbyterian church next Sunday, the contemporary worship, which is before the traditional worship.  The contemporary appeals to me more than the robed choir.  Next on my list is possibly a church up in the city.

After visiting these four for worship sevices, I plan to check out their bible studies and outreach.  I’ve read about each online, but I want to feel the atmosphere and see where I seem most at home.  It occurred to me this morning that there might be a possibility that none of them gives me completely what I’m searching for.  If that should happen, I’m wondering about the possibility of attending the parts of each that I am I tune with.  I don’t know if this is frowned upon or not.  It seems from what I’ve read that most people attend one church.  Yet, if we are all followers of Christ, should it really matter?

As I said, that was a year ago.   My next post will be in real time.

What I learned from my 2015 blog stats

30 Jan

I like that WordPress compiles my stats and it’s a plus that I can post the summary.  It thrills me to learn people from 78 countries have viewed my blog in 2015!   I enjoy blogging and am glad that people are interested in reading it,   I’m pleased that I have followers.  And I always enjoy the comments.

Yes, I’m glad for the stats.  For they tell a story.  And what they told me this year was a surprise.  Although I was pleased to see the attention my blog is receiving, I was a bit appalled to realize how few posts I actually wrote last year!

I told myself, it’s because it was a year spent more by doing things than by writing about them.  It was a busy year.  However, upon more reflection I had to admit that I wish I had written about more of the things I was doing.  The blog is sort of like my diary–it provides me a record of  what I do and what I think.  It also provides reflection and learning for me.  There were many times I thought of something I could write about, but I just didn’t take to time to do so.  I gave myself the excuse–I don’t have wi-if here.  Yet, I could have written the draft and posted later when an online connection was available.

And although I was busy, there were lots of times that I could have written.  So, I’m hoping that this year I will write more.  My church (my ‘church search’ post is currently in draft form) had a sermon relating to “more” for a New Year resolution,  I like that idea.  Instead of saying I will write so many post and then fall short, just resolve to do more.

As always. I welcome feedback back and comments on all my posts.  Have any of you had any surprises when reviewing your stats?

 

Lately I’ve been dabbling in

5 Dec

Fermented foods.  When I mentioned this to my children last year after I had attended a soda fermenting class, they were like–‘oh no, mom’s going to be high on alcohol soon’.  I tried to explain that there is a difference between fermented and the alcohol ferment.  They weren’t convinced–or perhaps more likely–just wanted to have a laugh at another of mom’s crazy ideas!   And there have been a few times (ok, maybe more than a few) when things didn’t turn out exactly as planned.

Like the year I tried to make brandied pears.  My daughter’s tree had produced abundantly that year.  And I hate to see anything go to waste.  I dried lots of them. Then hit on the idea to use up my alcohol on hand (leftover from a sampling spree I went on went on some time back) to preserve the pears.  As always, I wanted to do it as simply as possible.  I searched websites and concocted my own recipe.  I cored and sliced the fruit then poured brandy over them, put the lid on and set them under the sink.  After all the brandy was gone, I still had pears.  So, if I remember correctly, I also made whisky and then tequila pears.

Later that fall my daughter-in-law was there and we got onto the subject and I remembered the pears.  Of course, I hadn’t really forgotten about them, I just wasn’t brave enough to sample them.  So we tried them.  VERY strong!  But we did agree the syrup would be good over ice cream.  A few months later I strained off the liquid–which I saved–and threw the pears into the compost pile, since the pears themselves were completely tasteless.  All the flavor was now in the liquor.  I’ve used it in recipes since then.  I still have a tiny bit left that I’m saving for some special occasion.

Another fermenting was years ago when we had wood heat.  One fall I decided to make vinegar from the skins, peels and pits leftover after canning apples.  I had a large crock which I covered with a towel. I kept it behind the wood stove.  I don’t remember how long it took, but I believe it had it there for several months.  And I had vinegar!  It usually needed diluted a bit when using in salads and recipes calling for vinegar.  I remember when we got near the bottom and I showed my kids the ‘mother’ which they thought that was gross. I can’t remember now what I did with it.

Also during those years I kept sourdough starters.  I had at least two ongoing ones,  a sweet one and the regular one for bread.  I remember one time I kept it for over two years–freezing it when I was going to be gone for several days.

I’ve also made cheese, which is a culture kind of ferment.  Some of my earlier posts have been on my varrying degrees of success with that.

But now, I’m trying something different.  Fermenting fruits and veggies. When I was growing up mom, and every family I knew with a garden, always made kraut. But mom always canned hers.  I remember being at a friend’s house where they just packed the cabbage and salt in jars and put them I a dark cool place.  I realize now, that was probably fermenting.  I remember I always liked their kraut better than ours.

A recent success is kimchi.  Last year on one of my trips I stayed overnight where at breakfast was this strange stuff near a cooker of rice.  Being inquisitive I at first ask other diners what it was–no one seemed to know, except someone said it is what Koreans eat for breakfast.  So I tried and liked it.  Encouraged, a few of the other tried it.  Some liked it while others didn’t.  After I got home I researched it and found it was kimchi.  So….

I have eaten nearly a quart of my homemade kimchi the last couple of weeks!  As I was dishing some out just now I realized I need to make some more.  Well really I should have started more a couple of weeks ago, if I want a steady supply–and I think I do, because I really like it.  I’ve found websites that have up to 21 ways to use kimchi.  But so far I’ve had it mostly plain.  One day I did mix some with some instant brown rice I had on hand.

I tried fermented soda last year, but it didn’t turn out like the one I had received from the class.  After reading more about the process I believe the reason was because I used city water.  The chlorine seem to inhibit the bacteria needed to ferment.

So I’m going to try the soda again.  I have a ginger bug going at present.  Even though it is cooler in the apartment than it was during the summer, the bug seems to be doing well.  It is a bit cloudy, bubbles–especially when I add the sugar–and has a zingy smell.  I’m going to start some fruit juice sodas next week.

I also want to try honey fermented cranberries, fermented bananas, kraut and maybe a few others.  I joined a Facebook group–Wild Fermentation–where I’m learning a lot. I will try to keep my success/failures posted, along with the websites I have used to gather recipes and info from.

Wish me fermenting success!

New Spiritual Journey

29 Mar

I never used to understand that Bible verse about ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’, Phil 2:12.  But in the past few years I have been realizing it is a very real search/journey.  I have had a lot of soul searching and done lots of Bible studies on various topics. Experiences in my life have convinced me, beyond a doubt that God is leading me closer to Him.  And, trembling sometimes, I am trying to follow.

For several months I’ve been feeling like God is calling me to something ‘more’.  I have felt such a need to praise and worship God.  And my church meetings haven’t fullfilled that need.  Yet I’ve kept trying to go.  Sometimes it was a good experience and sometimes not.  I love the sharing part of the meeting.  Yet I know there are parts of the (tradition?, beliefs?) that I don’t believe.  Parts I now realize I never have believed.  But still I tried to keep going, feeling like I had been part of the problem so I should be part of the fix.  Then I wondered “who am I to try to fix something?”  And I kept getting these pricks–“Follow Me, I have more for you”.  And, “why aren’t you listening to me?”  Finally that verse came to where Jesus says to Saul/Paul–it is hard for you to kick against the pricks, Acts 26-14, and I realized I need to listen and take heed.  It’s a scary thing to leave something you have grown up mostly beleiving.  Yet it is a whole lot scarier not to follow where I know is God/Jesus leading me!

I visited with a woman from my Quest group (we are on a quest to learn more about ourselves, each other and God) and she invited me to her church for a presentation.  I liked parts of it.  I was invited to a women’s bible study there, but haven’t gone yet. She believes in Once Saved, Always Saved.  And my church certainly doesn’t!

Since I feel God is leading me away from my church, I decided to visit area churches, because I do want to meet with believers.  I want to praise God–to sing and well, really to shout–of His wonderful encompassing essence!

I went to a local church last Sunday.  I liked it, but wanted to check out others.  I found another nearby that sounded interesting.  I was planning to go this morning but they are having pre Easter Kids service and egg hunt today and I wasn’t interested in that.  I also want to check out a couple up in JAX.  I found one up in the city that sounded really interesting, but since it seemed to be in a questionable neighborhood I drove up there first and decided–maybe not.  I am also signed up for a bible study in my Quest group led by the woman whose church presentation I went to.

But today, since it was too late to go back to the place I we last week, I didn’t go anywhere.  Instead I’ve been researching online opposing views on ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ doctrine.  I read a Lutheran link that had a lot of helpful scripture (which I took notes from) and views, at least until I clicked on their doctrine.  Some of which I believe is NOT scriptural.  So then looked at other sites.  I’ve taken notes of some links and quotes.  I especially like the one about our enemy being Satan–not believers who have differing view.  Because that is one thing I have Always hated about Meetings (what I’m calling the way/church I have been in since a teenager).  I have always cringed inside when I heard the criticism of other religions, especially when I could hear the contempt in the voice.  Yet there have been times in the past, when I too, felt like I had something that others didn’t.  I hate that.  It only brings self-righteousness.  It causes a terrible feeling inside, something I never want to feel again!  A certain pity for others, but no joy to self or to others.

Back to my research.  I will probably come back to it many times, but for today after browsing through my notes, I find the best concept is that both views are correct.  Even though they seem to be opposing.  Yes, there can be a falling away, but also we can believe God’s promise that ‘nothing can separate us from His love’.  Although I didn’t note it specifically in my notes, I believe this was taken from the Lutheran site. (I will try to find the link if any are interested.).  The ‘falling away’ was spoken to the ‘Old Man’–our flesh–who wants nothing to do with God.  Whereas God’s promise is to the ‘New Man’–who believes in Christ.  When we believe that Christ died for us to become righteous before God, and that through grace by Jesus Christ and for His sake we are ‘saved’–righteousness and eternal life are given to us!

One site mentioned that the word Believe in the Greek translation is an ongoing verb.  We must continually repent of our sin and believe in Christ saving power.  The Christian life is one of continual repentance; true repentance and turning away from sin brings about a changed behavior which is pleasing to God.  This brings up another opposing subject: faith vs works.  That Is a study I started over three years ago, which I continually return to.  Maybe I will post on that another time.

Another study I may do is what is referred to as ‘the Great Commission’.  I think most churches preach that all believers need to spread the Gospel, whereas my church seems to feel that it should only be the ministers.

As a result it has always been hard for me to speak to to others of God.  However, now God is leading me in this.  Just the very day after I had finally said (in my heart), “Ok God, I will go where you are leading”, an experience came where I could share something that, previously, I would have never mentioned.  A coincidence?  I think not.  And even in this post I am sharing, with trembling jubulation, where God is leading me. Praise be to HIM!

 

I have to admit

21 May

Yes, sadly, I have to admit that I have fallen into a little slump lately. Things have seemed, just–well, just a little blah. I’m not really down, but just feel a little off, somehow. I don’t have quite the energy and enthusiasm of the past several month.

Contemplating this, I wonder about the cause. Is it (horrible thought) that the “new” is wearing off of my new living experience? Or is it, that knowing I will soon be leaving for at least several months, makes me think of all that I will miss while I’m gone? Or. Is it something else?

Could it be that again, as too often in the past, I have begun to think about what I don’t have?  The top on THAT list, would be a significant other. No one to share my days and nights with. No one to listen to all my thoughts and feelings, No one with which to share the enjoyment of life with. I suppose the list could go on and on.

So, which is the cause? Probably a combination of all of the above. I know it is sometimes difficult for me to sustain interest in activities. I seem to be attracted to the new. Yet, I truly enjoy all my activities down here, and I do realize that life just doesn’t always offer new opportunities. But, now as I’m writing this, I realize that I have several new things planned for the months ahead.

Ok, say the new hasn’t worn off yet. Why am I not able to joyfully embrace the new activities in the next several months? The activities I enjoy here will still be here when I return. I may even find deeper enjoyment in them after being gone for awhile.

Which leaves me to the dreaded conclusion. I’ve been having a pity party! Not a full blown one–thankfully I’ve recognized it before it reached that stage. The possibility that this might be the cause of my slump came to me this morning, in a very simple incident.

I had walked down to the Dollar store for a few items. It was still nice and cool and as I smiled when I met people and spoke to a few, I realized how much I was enjoying the moment. I also notified that others seemed to return the smile. And I realized, how often I forget to enjoy the simple things, and how those brief moments can brighten our day so much. When I get so caught up in my own feelings and thoughts, I miss many pleasures of life. I also miss giving a taste of those little pleasures to others. I remember in one of my earlier posts I wrote about how I can brighten another’s day.

Even, now, as I think of the that day at the store, my heart swells. There is so much in this life that brings enjoyment, so many simple pleasures that can enrich my life. Why do I let myself get so bogged down at times? I really don’t know. But I do know, and am very glad that I don’t have to stay down. That is my choice.

I want to learn how to think each day of finding something to savor and then share it with others, if possible. I want to look more for the beauty of life and when I find it, I want to take the time to appreciate it.

PS:  I wrote this post some time ago, then got busy and didn’t post it.  Today, as I read over what I wrote a few months ago, I realize I have learned something else about myself.

As I was reading, I wondered–why do I let myself get–well, I guess I get bogged down in myself? Although I don’t really to admit it, maybe it’s just a part of who I am. I’m usually an upbeat person–but not always. But, really isn’t that that’s ok? Because I’m certainly NOT super woman. I will have my down times, just like everyone else. At least, now, I am becoming more aware of my feelings and ways to pull myself out of the dumps.

Perhaps the most important thing for me, is just to admit where I’m at–what the condition of my thinking and feeling is at the moment. Then, if I find it isn’t where I want to be, I can find ways to change–to become what I want to be. For I am a person, ever changing, learning, and hopefully improving.

All I can do is laugh

1 May

Last week my laptop did a really strange thing.  I was using it when the screen went black and startled me with a loud continuous buzzing.  I tried pushing the Alt/Control/Del with no success.  Then I unplugged it and continued pushing buttons.  Suddenly, the noise quit and the computer turned off.  I was really afraid that is was fried!

I decided to leave it for awhile.  Later, fearing that I might not be able to get in, I turned it on.  Surprise!  It booted up as usual.  I couldn’t see anything wrong, so continued what I had been doing when it crashed.  I then went to YouTube to look up something, only to find that their was no sound!  I checked the Control Panel/sound, and it showed the same volume I have always had.  So, of course, I thought that whatever the crashing problem was, it had taken out my sound.

I wasn’t happy about that, but decided I could live with it.  (I’ve been shopping for a replacement iPad, and certainly didn’t want to get another laptop too.)  After a few days I was on practicing my Spanish on www.duolingo.com and realized the sound was working!  I really didn’t understand how it could have fixed itself, but I wasn’t going to complain.  However, when I tried YouTube again later, it still wasn’t working.  Rats!

Well, those of you who are more computer savvy than I, are probably shaking your heads!  But although I was perplexed I still couldn’t figure it out.  Okay, besides shaking your head you are probably thinking ‘that poor woman’.  But if you think that is bad, just read on.

Yesterday I had been online comparing prices and models of i Pads.  I had also been looking at houses for sale.  There were papers all around me where I had jotted down prices and addresses.  I was using my laptop to search the sites, and my iPad to find the address.  My phone was also nearby in case I wanted to compare two different sites.   In the midst of all this my brother called.

I am always happy to talk to him, but unfortunately right then part of my mind was still half on what I’d been doing.  So I was gathering up the papers, sorting them into piles, turning off the laptop and iPad when suddenly I wondered where my phone was.  I knew it had been right there!  I remembered laying it on the arm of the couch. I searched down in the cushions, but couldn’t find it.  I was beginning to panic—I must have my phone.  Then (I guess I must have been a little of topic??) and my brother ask if I was busy.  I started to tell him, I couldn’t find my ph…..Oh Wait!…..HOW STUPID CAN I GET!!!!!!

I burst out laughing.  I told him what a stupid, stupid sister he had.  I also told him the next time when he can’t find something–we both are convinced it must be an age thing–to just remember, he isn’t as bad as his younger sister!  We agreed that, even though we do things that are really crazy sometimes, it is good we can laugh about it.  Sometimes that’s ALL we can do.  Laugh and shake our heads.  That’s so much better than getting mad, which would only  upset us more.  Maybe this silliness is due old age, maybe it’s too much multi-tasking, maybe just not paying attention to detail.  Whatever the cause, it is just something we seem to have to live with.  So if laughing helps us handle it, great!

Oh, and just a few minutes ago I figured out why the sound on YouTube hasn’t been working.  I usually use my iPad for YouTube.  It has a slider tab for the sound.  But my laptop doesn’t.  However, it does have–I found–a little icon for sound.  I selected it, and wonder of wonders I again have sound!  In turning it off and on (just checking) I realized there is a little ‘x’ beside the icon when the sound is off.  I don’t know when I pushed it off.  Perhaps when I was using the pause, since the icons are side-by-side.  Whenever it was, I only noticed it after my laptop had frozen.  Such a simple thing, don’t know why I never noticed that icon before.

Even as I continue to laugh and shake my head when I think of these experiences, I realize that at least I have learned something today.  I am a tiny bit more computer savvy than before.  I still don’t know why my laptop crashed that day, but since it is working now I’m not going to fret about it.

I was going to text this to the daughter I had told about my sound problem, but decided to post it here instead.   My silliness is still making me smile, so it might bring a smile or laugh to others.  If so maybe it’s worth it.  In fact, maybe it’s even worth it to me.  I probably needed a good laugh too .

 

Love doesn’t hurt

31 Mar

I just read a  Facebook post that says it isn’t true that love hurts.  What hurts is rejection, loss, loneliness and envy.   The post said that everyone gets these things confused with love.  But in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again.

This is so true. And we all need love so much!  I started to write a comment, then decided to put my comment on this blog.

We all feel painful emotions at times.  That’s just a part of life.   It’s wonderful when we have special someones that love us and make us feel better.  But what about those of us living alone, without someone special.  We need love too.

Sometimes I get to wondering why I’m even around, do I really make a difference in anyone’s life?  Then I’m reminded that I don’t always have to be on the receiving end of love.  I can be the one to give it.

Thinking about this, I realized that it really doesn’t have to be someone special that I love or show love to. I can extend that marvelous emotion with everyone. Love, in its simplest form, is just caring about someone.

Take the woman I met in the mall parking lot the other day.  She had long brown hair, extending past her waist.  After smiling and saying Hi, I told her how much I liked her hair.  She said “Well, thanks.  I really need someone to like something about me today.”    We spoke a few minutes.  I told her about the French Twist hairstyle my daughter and I had recently seen.  Then we parted, each going our separate ways.

I don’t know who that woman was and I’ll probably never see her again.  I don’t know what problems she is facing, or why she needed encouragement. The only thing I know, is that I’m glad I reached out to her.  Such a little thing, maybe 3 minutes.  Yet, I think it lightened her load.   Maybe her day became better, at least for a few moments.

It also did something to me.  I’ve been thinking of her often since that day.  I’ve prayed for her, asking for help for her to face the things she is going through.  This has brought me out of myself.  It has made me aware that I shouldn’t be waiting for someone to love me–I should be loving others.

Because it’s true.  Love doesn’t hurt.  Love heals.  Care heals.  Just the smallest concern for someone helps.  And love is a two-way street.  Every time I reach out to someone, something comes back to me.  (This can happen in a bad way, too.)  So I want to be careful that I’m reaching out to others with care, concern, interest and love.

This is easier to extend to some people, than to others.  Some just seem to rub us the wrong way.  Maybe the best way I can love those is to stay away from them, and pray for help–not just for them (cause, after all they are the one that needs help, right?)–but for myself  to understand how to love them.  As I think of that, I believe love needs to start at the basic bottom level.

If I can have a concern–a desire for the well being–of those who I really don’t care for, then that is the start of love.  If I truly feel that I don’t want them to be lonely, rejected, and suffer loss–then I am on my way to loving them.  As the Bible says–Love works no ill to our neighbor.

Does this mean that I’m going to strike up a conversation with everyone I see?  Of course not.  I don’t even have eye contact with some people.  With some I may share a smile, or extend a short greeting.

But sometimes, I will reach out with a brief comment.  And for a few moments I may connect with another.  There may be an exchange of  interest and care.  If the other doesn’t respond–instead of feeling rejected–I want to learn to love them.  If I l can still have a care for their well-being,  I won’t really have lost anything.   In fact, I will have gained.  Because every experience that causes me to want to have more love for others is an experience to value.

I know this is true, because it has happened often in the past.  I have learned so much from my experiences.  And I hope they are making me a batter person.  Won’t it be nice, when I get to the place where instead of feeling rejection or hurt, I feel love?

Because that is the wonderful thing about love.  Love doesn’t hurt.

 

A better afternoon

4 Mar

On my last post I told about my Sunday morning experience.  I’m happy to report that the afternoon went much better.  After I had finished writing the post, I felt revived enough to venture outside.  And so glad I did.  It was a lovely day, and I had a full tank of gas.  I headed north, up to the Home and Patio show.

Like I often do, I took the back roads.  Less traffic and usually much more scenic.  I drove past several beautiful parks where families were enjoying the nice weather.  I love getting glimpses of the river between some of the stately older homes. And, as I like to do when I’m not pressed for time, I took Ortega Rd.  It has an old bridge.  It’s a drawbridge actually, but you can’t tell it driving over, except there is a stop light above.  Well, this day the light before the bridge was flashing.  I got to see the bridge when it was up and watch the boat pass underneath!  There were arms that cross in front of the traffic like a railroad crossing. I had never noticed them before.  I noticed a couple who had been walking lean over watching the boat pass.  Then the bridge lowered, it seemed by increments.  It was such a neat experience.  Something to savor.

As I sat on the bridge, waiting, I was again struck by how beautiful the downtown skyline is–seen from that place.  This is the closest bridge to downtown that crosses the Ortega River. There are two parks, one on each side of the river.  You can see the larger St John’s River and then beyond the tall buildings downtown.  Sometimes they seem to be in a mist, but this time they were very clear against the blue sky.  Like always, I’m struck by a yearning to draw the scene.  So far I’ve always been going somewhere or coming back and haven’t taken time to stop very long.  One of these days I hope to go there just to draw.

Surprisingly there was not much traffic, even downtown.  It seemed most people had already arrived at the show.  The main parking lots were full but I was able to find parking several blocks further downtown.  And on such a nice day really I enjoyed the walk.

The show was huge.  I text my son=in-law to find where his booth was, but it still took quite awhile to find it.  Of course I did stop and look at stuff along the way.  One thing I purchased.  It’s a little shredder plate.  It is made of ceramic and has raised bumps.  You just rub whatever you want to grind over the bumps.  Viola!  It is ground and on it’s own little plate.  They had different colors, with different designs.  I chose this simple black one.  It has a little scroll that the picture doesn’t show very well..  Ceramic grinder mini plateIf  you want to put whatever you’ve just ground over your food or to add to a dish just use the little brush to sweep off what you want.  The blue cylinder is for removing the garlic peel.   In the demo I saw, they ground nutmeg, garlic, and cheese.

As I walked along, something else caught my eye.  One of my sons has a Robo vacuum.  Well, this wasn’t a vacuum, it’s a Robo lawn mower!  It goes around the yard on its own.  (I think your yard would have to be really smooth for it to work well.)  I text my son about it then continued walking along, looking at things.  I watched a few demos of juicers.  I would like to have one, but don’t want to spend the money.

After a couple of hours I found my son-in-law’s booth.  He said there had been a lot of people through.  By then I decided I had looked enough, so headed back outside.  I was hungry.  I haven’t been to a show like this for a few years, but I noticed a big difference in this one than the ones I used to go to.  I don’t know if it was due to this being a different part of the country or that money is tighter now or what, but the ones I used to go to had lots of vendors passing out food!  Here I only received a handful of very tiny samples.  Expecting the free food, I hadn’t brought extra cash.  Outside there were several food carts, but I had only a credit card.

I text my daughter and granddaughter to see if they wanted to eat somewhere.  It was then 2:30 and my granddaughter had already eaten.  My daughter was shopping in another area of the city.  I asked her where a good BBQ place was.  That’s what I had been smelling for most of my walk back to my car.  She said most of the downtown places aren’t open on Sunday.  But she told me of a drive-through place down on Hwy 17, just before the airbase, so I headed for it.

I found it and after a few U turns pulled into the parking lot, only to find that it–like the downtown restaurants–was closed.  In the same center area there was a Tiajana Flats and a Hurricane Wings, but I wasn’t really wanting either.  Then I saw the Tuptim Thai.  Thai is one of my favorite types of food.  So I went in.

It was now a quarter to 3 and the sign said they close at 3, so I barely made it.  I noticed a special of Mango rice and decided to have that.  A  minute or so after the waiter had taken my order, he came back and asked if I knew that dish was a dessert.  I hadn’t.  He said it is mango served with sticky rice.  I decided to have it anyway.   When it came, the look of the dish alone would have made my day.  I’ve seen the TV shows where they plate everything so pretty, but I’d never had it in real life.

Mango Sticky Rice       This pic doesn’t begin to do it justice.  It was so lovely, just to look at.  I had never seen a real, live orchid before.  In fact, I had to ask what kind of flower it was, just to be sure.  I also ask what the green leaf underneath was–banana leaf.  I had never had the sticky brown rice like that before either.  Both the rice and the mango was covered with a thin, white, subtly sweet sauce.  The whole thing was delicious!  I ate it all and told them I would come back sometime for lunch.

Then I headed on south, back to my apartment.  Funny thing though–although the dessert was delicious, I was still  hungry for BBQ!  So I decided to splurge.  Went to Sonny’s BBQ and got a pulled pork Carolina sandwich.  There may be other places better, as my daughter said when I told her, but this definitely hit the spot.  BBQ with slaw on top.  Of course I added some sweet and hot sauce to perfect it.

Well, even counting my crazy morning, this day was one I count as special.  It ended with me full and contented with a smile on my face.  It started out rocky, but later gave me unexpected pleasures.  My eyes had much to feast on.  The beauty of the drive.  I saw the drawbridge up.  I have my grinder plate.  I know I will smile every time I think of my dessert.  My younger son and I had often said we should order dessert first sometime–but I had never done it before.  Now I have, and know that it doesn’t  spoil your appetite to have dessert first.  A new learning experience for me.

And I brought my beautiful orchid home.  I’ve been trying to draw it.  First with colored pencils, then with just regular pencil.  I still want to perfect both drawings before I post them, but hope to get them online in the near future.  I also took a picture of the orchid, to have as a remembrance.  picture of Orchid from Mango Sticky Rice

The orchid is still beautiful now, a day later, though not quite as fresh looking.  I wonder how long it will last?  Not nearly as long as my memories of the better afternoon of a crazy morning.

the mind of michelle

a sort of art blog

Don Rankin's Watercolor Studio

Don Rankin's Watercolor Studio..painting tips

Watercolor Journal

... a place for people with a passion for art

An Artist's Journal

An Artist's Journal: The day-to-day life of a full-time artist, exploring the highs, the lows, and the in betweens.

The Cayenne Room

Exploring paths to healthy and sustainable living

muddome

Got Mud?

Earthbag House Plans

Small, affordable, sustainable earthbag house plans

Mudgirls

Natural Building Collective

Small House Bliss

Small house designs with big impact

the WALK & TALK

For the busy people who want to enjoy life.

Everywhere Once

An adult's guide to long-term travel

Czech the Flip

Musings of a Filipino mom about life in the Czech Republic

TheWoollyScouser

and her adventures with yarn

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

Interweaving life with fiber arts! (Photograph by Carly Moskat.)

%d bloggers like this: