The majority of my life, I have lived it in the northern Hemisphere in the great state of Louisiana on the central west side. Thanksgiving Day always holds a very special place in my heart because it normally fell close to my mom’s birthday. I love my mom to bits. She was an amazing cook! Thanksgiving is a special time to be with family and friends. Any North American can identify with this wonderful holiday. It doesn’t matter if you are from Canada or the USA, you know what Thanksgiving is all about. The only difference is if you are Canadian you celebrate in October and if you are a native of America (USA), you celebrate it the 4th Thursday in November. Another special thing about Thanksgiving is that the two sisters I grew up with both married fellas whose birthdays also fall around this special day. Glenn was on the 25th of November and Eric is on the 28th which means this year is the actual day he shares it with the holiday.
When I first moved to Australia, I would still celebrate this holiday inviting friends over who didn’t quite get the special day. They didn’t really like the way I did the sweet potatoes with marshmallows but they ate politely. This year, I didn’t do a big Thanksgiving meal. I didn’t invite anyone over but I often think of my family across the world. As I type this blog, they are getting ready to get together and celebrate. They will watch the parades, eat turkey and football (not soccer or rugby but gridiron as the Aussie’s term American football). I will be with them in spirit and try to call.
It’s sort of strange trying to explain something that I grew up with to friends here. Adam gets it but we always seem to get each other. I always say I was made for him and vice versa. It is like trying to explain mate-ship or Anzac Day to Americans who would just have to experience it for themselves. Some people still might not get it which is what I found when I try explaining Thanksgivings Day to Australians. They get it but not quite.
Also, when I first started celebrating Thanksgiving in Australia, I would do it on Thanksgiving day Australia time but then I thought maybe I should do it on the actual day that Americans do because I would have the dinner on the same day as my family. I know this might seem strange to some that I was so wish-washy about it. It was also easy for people that I invited over to come over on the Friday instead of the Thursday. It just made sense to me.
I am not feeling the best which is another excuse but I don’t see a point in doing a huge meal when it’s just me and Adam. We took our dogs to the beach and enjoyed our companionship. I feel like I had an epiphany yesterday, which was my mom’s birthday (27th). I had been struggling with something for the longest time inside of me. I thought I had given it up long ago but I had a dream.
In this dream, I came to realize that I don’t need anyone’s approval to proclaim the Good News. I had felt the Lord had draw me towards Evanglisation when I was living in St. Marys. I went to classes to learn more and wanted to contribute more. I was well on my way to do this because I had finished a course on St Paul and it was as if the scales on my own eyes on my feeling of unworthiness fell away and I could see the greatest potential God wanted for me. I just got side tracked is all. Someone asked me a question about something and I was honest with my answer. This person was the one who I looked up to and felt mentored by. It was after my honest answer, that I was instructed that I could not teach for the School of Evangelisation because I needed to do something which I felt was unnecessary. She let me do more menial things. I could lead songs and write a piece for the newsletter but actually talk in front of people…. it just wasn’t allowed. I wasn’t worthy enough in her eyes. My dream though had a mixture of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in it and my own mother and they told me that if I felt the need to speak the truth about Him there was nothing to stop me. I didn’t need a sanction from the church to do God’s work. I just had to be lead by the Holy Spirit.
God has a way if you are open to Him. It may not be the way you may have ever imagined but if He wants you to do something, you will do it with His guidance on His time table not yours.
I am thankful for the opportunities the Lord has put my way. I know I am not perfect but I strive to love like He does, with acceptance and compassion. Lots of forgiveness and openhearted, with anticipation of what He has in store for me. He has given me a unique family and some very wonderful friends (Shauny G and Bishop Eddie Tatro, and Rachie from WordPress a huge hug too from me). I will try and give thanks not just because it’s Thanksgivings Day but because He has given me another day to simply BE!
If you don’t believe in God, that’s ok. He still believes in you. I know how silly it may seem to an unbeliever. I am not writing this to chastise the unbeliever but to maybe give them a clue about why I so fervently believe in God. I can thank Kozo Hattori for this blog because his post on 15 September started me on this train of thought. He posed a question about first memories of God and wanted comments but what I have to say will eventuate into a blog all on it’s own.
I was raised Roman Catholic. My very first memories were of going to church with my family. I am closest to my sisters Judy and Margaret because we were raised together. Michele, Aggie, Roberta, and Chuck were out of the house by the time we moved to Louisiana. Kevin left us when I was about 5 years old. He got married I think when I was 11. I know the month was June of 1978. I feel closest to him brother wise even though it’s been almost 30 years since I have seen him face to face. I feel as if I am digressing but I also feel this is sort of pertinent to understanding me.
We three girls were more than sisters. We still are close friends and confidants. We feel quite comfortable having discussions about God and spirituality. We could also thank our mom for this too because God was always the center of her world, followed by us and dad.
One of my first memories of God I was outside on Vernon Lake Road in our front yard playing with Judy. I am not sure about my age. I could have been three or five. We were just talking about all sorts of things. I know it was before I ever went to kindergarten. We were looking at a caterpillar. Judy was saying that it was going to turn into a butterfly one day. I looked up at the sun closing my eyes feeling the warmth of it. Seeing the images of Judy’s face and the caterpillar in all the different colours I had an aha moment. I thought about the creator, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because that is what I was taught. It’s hard to put these sensations into words because it is hard to remember exactly but the residual is He is real. He created everything.
As the years go by and I get older, sometimes doubt creeps in. It’s at these moments when the doubt seems to stifle the feelings of wonder of God, I get little reminders of how special this world is and everything that is in it. We take things for granted. I hold on to the inner child I have and try to let her out a lot. I love those aha moments when they come. I share them a lot on WordPress.
Throughout my spiritual journey, I have often gone to courses where I have had these aha moments. I know I am being called to being a really big work that I have already shared on my blog about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. One day, I hope to have started one or help start one. I am struggling with self-doubt but I know one day I will make it happen. I do believe that we are lucky to start out as little children full of wonder and awe because compared to God we are just little children. He is always there with us even when we think we are all alone. He sends special people to us in our most dire times to help us on our journey of life. We might think things will turn out one way. The reality of the situation may be even beyond what we ever expected.
Little children are wise. They are believers in magic. We all have magic inside ourselves. Children seem to see more than us so called adults. We can learn lots of things by being with little children. They can make us see more aha moments than we ever thought we could see for ourselves.
Thank you Kozo, and Jett for sharing your thoughts on God. It was a true pleasure listening to your wisdom! To listen to the pearls of wisdom given by the Hattori family please use this link: http://everydaygurus.com/2013/09/15/god-is-in-your-poop-and-pee/
Two days ago I turned 45. Yes, that’s a big old cold sore on my bottom lip which I wish I could just erase but sometimes when I stress too much I get those. I was going to blog on my birthday about turning 45 but I have been busy this last week with a temp job which has actually gotten me out of my comfort zone. I had forgotten how fun it was to actually be out of the house and doing things even if it was just data entry. This is the first time since last Monday that I have actually gotten a decent amount of time to do something with my own desktop. I tried taking pictures hiding my ugly cold sore but you know what, that is just my vanity getting the better of me.
I got my haircut yesterday which I like. I used to like it long but as I get older, I find that I like having it shorter. I think it keeps me looking younger as well. The upkeep is easy. As you can see I am in my favorite colour. I am a passionate person and think purple is a passionate color. There is a watercolor on the wall behind me which is of one of my favorite Australian birds: Kookaburras.
My husband and I were both born as summer babies. He was born in February and I was born in June. Now I know what you are thinking but I am not lying. I was born in the Northern Hemisphere where June is warm bringing summer to a start. He was born in the Southern Hemisphere where February is the middle of the summer season. The water is just about perfect for a swim in the ocean. It has taken me a while to get used to having a cold birthday. I guess it really isn’t that cold but it is a far cry from being able to have fresh peaches on my birthday which my mom used to treat me with. Last year, I had my first hot birthday in 9 years when we went back to the states to visit family. It was a fantastic trip which I am so happy we did. I have really great memories of New Mexico and of course, meeting my older siblings and some of their own children in Las Vegas on the 18th of June, 2012. I am glad that I didn’t die that night but if I had, I don’t think I could have been any happier at the time. We ended our USA trip by going to Maui which was AMAZING for our tenth wedding anniversary.
I try to be the type of person who stays positive but sometimes it’s a huge struggle. I hope I get to live another 45 years but if I don’t, at least I can say I gave things a go. I get scared and sometimes let my fear stop me but I know if I want to live I have to persevere. I have to go out of my comfort zone. I need to make sure not to hurt anyone in my life, try to help to make this a better place to live in because if I don’t make an effort, who will? Geeze, I didn’t mean to get so preachy there.
Turning 45 isn’t so bad, it’s just a number. I know I may not have a perfect body but I love the skin that I am. I really love the person I am becoming and hope that the impact that I make on others is positive. I know I have a very blessed life. I was born into a very loving family which has a really cool dynamic. I am married to the man of my dreams (Literally, I am not exaggerating.) Even with my blessings though, I wonder about what could be or could have been but I am learning in my life, it’s the moments that make it great. Every last detail whether it be bad or good, it impacts on me. It makes me who I am and it is I who choose how I will make changes to myself, which things to hold on to and which to throw away. It’s a pretty cool concept.
I know I have a tendency to over think but that’s what makes me who I am. I thank God for that and the way He helps me filter through all the crap. I am a huge believer in signs. I can be over sensitive, shy, overbearing, over the top, but it’s just me being me and that’s the best way I can be! I don’t want to be anyone else.
We all have paths to choose and how we choose them make us unique. I thank God for the diversity of the universe.
I am proud to blog I am 45 and feeling fine for the most part. I would look better without that cold sore but it’s only temporary. Just like I am, temporary but happy to be alive and feeling fine.
Life is a journey. Where it takes you depends all on your outlook and adaptability. Let me take you on a little journey that I am struggling with and that is doubt. I believe in God but that doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt at times. I believe that there is such a thing as free will. God loves us so much that He wants us to love Him back but He wants us to do it willingly. He loves us unconditionally and wants us to love Him back the same way.
I was raised Roman Catholic. I try to do the right thing. I strive to do better but I fail more often than succeed. I have gone to bible studies. I have attended spiritual conferences and formation seminars. I strive to let the light of God shine through me but lately I have felt like a failure. I feel unworthy yet I want to do something that I feel so strongly about which I think God is calling me to do but I keep backsliding.
There is nothing wrong with doubt. When I was doing training for my certificate three in scripture teaching for the Diocese of Parramatta I learned that it is only natural.
If we fail to question, [then] our faith cannot leaven our everyday life and we do not meet God in the ordinary events. Gerard Hughes God Where Are You?p. 73.
There was a lot of soul-searching in that course but I have to confess, everyday I do soul-searching. I don’t mind at all because I like to think if I am not searching, trying to change and be open to the person I am suppose to be; I am not evolving into the person God wants me to be.
Then I wonder if I am rushing things trying to do things as I want and not as God wants. I keep telling myself that I have to do things and remember that if it’s meant to be, it will be in God’s time. It’s this see-saw that keeps me in the back slide.
I need to persevere and remember that adage I made up in that course when I had to fill in the line which said Faith is like…
Faith is like an ocean tide with its highs and lows but it is always there.
Where there is faith; there is also doubt. It is with hope that I also walk by.
By the end of the course I came to this conclusion. God is love. Where there is love, there is God. The calling that God has for me is still growing inside me. I just need to find others who hear this calling to help me along this journey.
Today I am cheating a little bit. OK, I am cheating a lot because I feel this old email was so beautiful I wanted to share it with everyone. I can’t take credit for writing it. I am pretty sure you may have already seen this in one form or another but it’s a great reminder. I love this a lot and while working on my facebook page stumbled upon it. A friend had sent it to me, I shared it with Adam back in our courting days and now I am sharing it with you. With the week I am having, I can’t help but feel sentimental.
Maybe God wanted us to meet the wrong people before meeting the right one
so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be
grateful for that gift.
Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we
look so long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been
opened for us.
Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing
with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best
conversation you’ve ever had.
Maybe it is true that we don’t know what we have got until we lose it, but
it is also true that we don’t know what we have been missing until it
Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you
back. Don’t expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart;
but if it does not, be content it grew in yours.
It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone,
and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
Don’t go for looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades
away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to
make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.
There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want
to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.
Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to
be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you
want to do.
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you
strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
Always put yourself in others’ shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it
probably hurts the other person, too.
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything;they
just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched,
and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of
people who have touched their lives.
Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.
The brightest future will always be based on a
forgotten past, you can’t go on well in life until you let go of your past
failures and heartaches.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.