May Spring Bring Forth………

May this Spring bring forth flowers of many colors, shapes and sizes…. may it bring forth blossoms on our lilac and forsythia bushes. May it bring forth lush green grass and leaves of every kind. May it bring forth birds to sing in the garden, and to build nests in our trees and then to eat a bite or two at our feeders in our yard.

May the hummingbird and the orioles come to their special feeder with goodies of jelly, nectar and fruit.

May the sun shine brilliantly as we tend to the garden. May we have friends and family to share the spring and warmth of the summer and then to have a barbecue of various goodies cooked to perfection.

May this Spring bring forth the promise of good health to enjoy every day, and laughter, joy and silly times. May there be a healing wherever there is a need,  of emotions and relationships.

May each and every hour of each day be savored so that when the winter comes again as it will, there will be memories to warm our hearts and perhaps some pictures to remind us that Spring will always come….. it may be late like it is this year….but it will come and we will realize just how wonderfully blessed we are.

Happy Easter everyone….  Diane

Easter and Christmas Joy or ‘Not’

Photo Credit freebibleimages.org

Photo Credit
freebibleimages.org

This post is one where I’m speaking of a personal observation and experience. While Christmas and Easter are two of the most important Christian days of celebration and supposed Joy, sometimes they bring the opposite.

I’m not speaking of times suffered perhaps in depression where holidays bring about sadness for various reasons, as it is very hard to be around people who are happy. It drives home to one… how ‘unhappy’ they are!

What I’m referring to is something that has happened to me… or observed happening to me for the past two years. It maybe was before that time but not taken notice of.

As a Christian, I believe that there are heavenly spirits or ‘angels of light’ to use a term to describe them. Sometimes these angels take the form of humans, and that’s where the phrase comes from that one should treat every person they meet with kindness as you never know if you have ‘entertained’ or been in the presence of an angel.

Just as I believe in the ‘angels of light’, I do believe also in the ‘angels’… although I hesitate to use that word…but Satan according to the Bible was cast out of heaven along with some messengers…. or angels’ of darkness. And it is my personal belief that just as angels seek to promote goodness and the love of God, these ‘powers of darkness’ seek to do the opposite, and that is to promote ‘unrest, ill will and hate’.  Ephesians 6:12 …”we fight not against flesh and blood but against the powers of darkness”

I am going to recount an incident many years ago, when I was in one of my times of depression and vulnerability, and was awakened one night unexpectedly and when I did I felt such an oppression and that turned into ‘fear’ because I felt the presence of evil in that bedroom and around me. It lasted for several minutes, and I believed that the only weapon I had, was the Bible and so I got it from my nightstand and began to read it and pray. Within a very few minutes I felt relief.

I realize by recounting that story that many will say that it was the depression that caused perhaps a hallucination or it was a bad dream. I won’t spend time defending what I felt because I only know that to me it was real. I will also say right now that there are many who know the Bible and about spiritual things far more than I…. these thoughts are  only my personal opinion and thoughts and experiences. They are not meant as a theological explanation!

Again, my personal observation that the two Holiest days of a Christian, Christmas and Easter are times when this ‘darkness’ tries very hard to destroy the joy that is relevant and evident at these times….Jesus’ birth and His resurrection.

This past week I just realized on one specific day that I was unusually irritable to the point that I was jolted to ask myself ‘why’… why did my feeling of contentment and happiness all of a sudden ‘crash’. When I say crash, I mean I had an outburst that surprised and confused me to the core. And then it was almost an immediate revelation that it had happened to me last year at the same time…. Easter Holy Week.

Some of you will think me to be at the very least somewhat dramatic or even silly, and some of you will think even that I am being an extremist or some of you might use the word ‘crazy’! I am just putting into words something that has been very real to me.

So, what am I going to do based on this for lack of another word… ‘revelation’… I’m going to celebrated tonight with our Church a replication of the last supper..  the Seder, I’m going to remember tomorrow, Good Friday ..called that because if Jesus hadn’t been crucified we would not be able to have a relationship with God before and after our death….. and attend church to acknowledge his suffering on that cross, for US!    AND

…………most especially I will attend services on Easter Day and celebrate with joy Christ’s resurrection and His defeat of death, giving us hope of new birth in Him!

If Christ was not defeated, neither will I be, at Easter or at Christmas!!!!

Wistful Thoughts and Reflective Moments

I guess I have two sides to my personality; the one that is content with life, and goes about the tasks of each day doing the necessary things.

Then there is the emotional, wistful part of me who while content in general, has feelings deep inside about issues which I sometimes have no control over, and for which in the quietness of the day or evening these reflective moments come. During the busyness of each day, these feelings are pushed to the recesses of my mind, only to resurface each day.

 

I feel that I should keep these thoughts to myself most times, although I do on occasion share how I’m feeling. This can be anything from wondering if we’re ever going to feel well, to wondering if we should move again, or to our family and the various issues facing them and us.  Our children of course are adults as are our grandchildren for the most part. Two of them are teens but the others are in their twenties or thirties. Our influence in our children’s lives was done during the years of raising them, but now we can only look on and while we would sometimes like to see them with more of an emphasis on the spiritual side of life, we can only pray. They are so busy ‘living life’ …. work and then the social aspects.  I’m not saying that they don’t think about God, but He is kind of on a shelf right now, to be taken down when there is a specific need.

Did we act somewhat the same way when we were younger? Yes of course we did, but we were perhaps more aware of  the realities of life earlier than seems to be the case with this generation.

Why do we have to be older before we think less of the sometimes superficial things of living and concentrating on ‘things’, instead of what is perhaps most important…. our spiritual being. I’m not suggesting for a moment that we don’t have fun or be interested in other things… just to have our priorities in the right order. There is a reason we are in this world; a purpose for each of us but so often we don’t really think of that during those very busy years.

The one blessing we have in this, is that God is very patient with us …….He watches, I’m sure shakes His head at some of what we do, but He waits until that time when we finally acknowledge Him, and then He smiles !!!

I Think I Shall Go and Buy a Red Hat !

 

I think I shall go and buy a red hat!

 

I went for lunch on Wednesday, with a group of ladies belonging to the Red Hat Society, who incidentally are in many places in the world.  Probably many of you have heard of them, but for those of you who haven’t it is an organization started by a woman named Sue Ellen Cooper. She had purchased a fun red hat one day and shortly thereafter read a poem called ‘Warning’, written by Jenny Joseph who lives in England. I looked to see if she was still living and couldn’t see anything to indicate otherwise, so am assuming she is. It was/is a fun poem written when Jenny was 29 years old and thinking about the carefree days when she would get older and what she would like to do and mentioned the wearing of red hats and something purple. The organization started when Sue Ellen started giving red hats and a copy of the poem to her friends, and ultimately Sue Ellen and friends decided they should form a group

I’ll print the poem at the end of the post, but I just thought I’d say that I think that I want to join this group, because it seems exactly what some of us perhaps need in out ‘more senior’ years. They are mainly ladies over 50, but if someone younger wants to join they may but must wear different colors until they turn 50. The actual colors worn are red and  purple,  two colors that really don’t compliment each other or the wearer really and the author Jenny admittedly doesn’t like the color purple.

As far as I know the only agenda these women have, is to have fun doing what they want and their meetings are done at various places. Wednesday, we went to a fashion show at a shop that sold clothing, costume jewelry and many other items, AND had tea and sandwiches and dessert squares and tarts…. not coffee you understand but ‘tea’. The next meeting is at a Bistro with quaint shops nearby to visit. Laughter is the main goal, and fun and fellowship.

I think I shall  go and buy a ‘red hat’!   Here is her poem, written in 1961 when she was 29 years old.

WARNING
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

 

 

 

 

 

DP Challenge – Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Prompt: Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

Photo Credit stockvault.net

Photo Credit
stockvault.net

Growing up and even as an adult I found it very difficult to make friends. As a child I knew our family was different from most others. Back in the 50′s believe it or not, divorce or being raised by a single parent was out of the normal way of life. I fell into that category as my mother was the person who was the sole supporter. That fact alone and that I didn’t have the latest style in clothes etc. made me feel introverted.

I guess some of those feelings carried over into my adulthood, and I still felt it hard to make and confide in others. When we married we did have ‘friends’ but not really close, with the exception of one neighbour. She was easy to talk to and seemed to understand me and to this day, we still maintain contact. When we do get together it’s a though we just saw each other yesterday.

When I worked at various places there really were not many who became a ‘friend’ in the truest sense. They were acquaintances and co-workers but not friends. Again there were exceptions as there were two women who I was able to connect with. I do still speak with one of them, and the other I also see at least a couple of times a year.

When we think of friends I guess that implies someone outside our immediate family or home, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my sister as my ‘best friend’. We are so close that we know what each is thinking before it is said. We feel what the other is feeling… sadness, anger frustration or joy. We have had times that were stressful in our relationship, as I think many have, but we never ‘lose’ each other. We’re able to talk about anything and everything and most of the time we have ‘like minds’ in so many ways.

I have to say that I’ve made so many friends here blogging on WordPress. I can hardly believe sometimes that many of you seem to ‘like me’  you ‘really like me’. It may sound silly to say that, but it’s as thoughyou can see into my heart and in only the limited time that we have connected it is amazing. You have become a circle of ‘love’ … in the purest sense.

I am truly blessed!!!!

 

 

Twenty-Six Years Ago

Twenty-six years ago today Heaven opened it’s gates to my Mother.  She was a woman who gave so much to her 10 children, and to her over 50 grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and her great-great grandchildren.

She didn’t know the meaning of  ‘to give up’.  She never did give up on any of us, no matter the circumstances.

She was solely responsible for raising us, because my father relinquished the duties of being a father. I suppose he should receive some credit for helping financially the family, although even that was sometimes neglected. I don’t want to make this about him however and his failings, but instead about my mother.

She was 16 when she gave birth to my oldest sister, H and during the next 25 years had 9 more, me being the last. During that time she had also had 2 other children that died immediately after birth.

Since my father was no longer in the home when I was born, it was my mother who I looked to for all my needs as I grew up. I observed and learned from this woman of God. Her strength, perseverance, patience, kindness, love and character. I think most of all her selflessness and always putting and thinking of others’ needs above her own. She was always available to any of us when we were in need, whether we were 5 years old or 35 years old. When any of us had our babies she was there to offer help in any way that was needed.

She had to work at two jobs for many years when we were younger. One job in an office during the day, and then often going to her second job as a coat checker at a major hotel in the city we lived in. One night when she came home, likely around 1 or 2 am in the morning she found my brother’s and my two goldfish floating in the small fishbowl they were in. She realized that they were important to us, and proceeded to change the water and then stir it until the fish were revived. Then and only then did she go to bed, to be up at 6 am the next morning for work. This likely seems so silly to many, but my brother and I didn’t think so. Those two little fish lived for over 10 years, and were the only ‘pets’ we had.

She struggled financially as even with two jobs, it was difficult and women didn’t make as much as men did. One time when I came home for lunch one day, I noticed all of our furniture and belongings on the front lawn, even our fish. The landlord had bailiffs enter the home and just put everything outside. I won’t go into it all, but my mother had to find a place to live, which she did that very day.

That’s just a glimpse into the ‘lady’ who was my mother. There is so much more but today I  am remembering her and wanted to recognize what an important person she was to me and to so many others.

When it’s my time, I will be reunited with her as I know where she is…. ‘with God’.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt – Green-Eyed Lady

 

Prompt: We all get jealous from time to time — what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?

When I read this prompt I thought about it really hard, and actually while several things came to mind I determined that ‘jealousy’ is different from ‘admiration’ or ‘respect’ for some of the things that potentially could be considered as a reason to cause the ‘green-eyed monster’ to appear.

For example, I read other blogs that have a theme of  ‘creativity’. I am enthralled and amazed at some of  the abilities they have. There are those who cook and bake food of every kind and do it with seemingly no fuss or fanfare. When I read though what is involved I know that my talents are not there.  Two of these bloggers are here and here.

There are those blogs that have such a decorating expertise, and can make a room go alive with color and fashion. There are again those who have crafting skills, and each week do scrap- booking layout pages and cards that are just so interesting and beautiful… such as Ellie here

The photography and poetry accomplishments are so amazing also, such as the ones done by Imelda here:

There are also bloggers who have such an ability in their writing, either fiction or non-fiction. Russ is an amazing writer and has published several books most notably his children’s books. They are amazing and the theme found within them is ‘kindness’. There’s a tab on his site to view them. He writes poetry and songs as well. His site is here

Then there are the artistic blogs that do such beautiful paintings, some of whom do it mostly as a hobby.  ‘Zoe’ writes about ‘abuse’  but she also writes beautiful poetry and is published  and paints and currently has one for sale… She is found here  

I could have listed many sites that have many skills and gifts mentioned above, and so enjoy reading and viewing the various ones. I know that often when links are given you may not initially intend to go and look, but if you’re interested in anything mentioned it would be a good idea to do so.

I’ve decided that I am not jealous of these people but ‘in awe’ of them. I have recognized that not all are given the same abilities or gifts, and mine are not of that nature so I can admire them freely.

For me right now I do have a tendency to long to have a body and mind that is whole and well, and so if there is a hint of jealousy it might be for those who have this…. those who while they might be older and have limitations of a kind… nevertheless can enjoy good health.

God has determined that I am what I am;  that throughout my life the challenges either physically or mentally are allowed for a purpose that while I may not understand, I do accept. I do so though not always with grace or without complaining or sometimes asking ‘why’ but I think He understands. I realize that my disabilities are far less than others who have a much more difficult ‘path’…. and many of them do so with more grace and acceptance than I.

So I am what I am, and who I am supposed to be, and looking and comparing myself in any way… body or mind or abilities serves no good purpose and I will try to always be content within myself and my prayer is towards that end.

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