Adam and I parted from Lisa yesterday. We knew it was going to happen at some point since she had things she needed to sort out before she comes out to visit us. It wasn’t an easy day for me and I am pretty sure it was the same for Lisa. She was flying with Delta while Adam and I flew with United. It was pretty cool that her gate was right next to ours. She almost missed her flight to Atlanta so we didn’t get to hug. I suspect that was a good thing because if we had, I think I wouldn’t have let go.
Our two weeks together were pretty great. We were almost glued at the hip. I have never experienced this sort of connection with someone outside my family with the exception of Adam, even with him it took a little time because our friendship blossomed over time. We had conversed for many hours via the phone or ICQ. With Lisa though, it was different. Sometimes it’s hard to put this into words.
I went to bed on the 14th feeling very melancholy. I had been fighting off tears and finding it very hard to sleep because I knew what the 15th was going to bring. I always hate leaving family. Margaret and Judy I grew up with. It hurt to leave them too. I started crying as we pulled away from their place and headed out towards VPS. I wanted to be brave for Lisa. I didn’t want to break down and cry in front of her because she’s hurting too. She has lots of things to sort through. I am thankful though that we had two magical weeks together. We drove all the way from Huntington, West Virginia to Philadelphia, PA. We then drove from Philly to Crestview, Florida with a drop off in Augusta, Georgia for Sandy. I had always wanted to do a road trip and Lisa was great company as well as driver. I will never forget the fun we had and a few scares too with crazy drivers.
I am writing this on the 16th of June in Las Vegas at my eldest sister’s house. I know we will enjoy our 5 days here and then fly to Los Angeles for 4 days before we fly back to Australia. Yesterday was hard but aren’t we always parting ways in one shape or another? In this journey of life, I am beginning to realize that I am always parting ways with others. Sometimes the connections are very short but the ones with the most meanings are outstanding. They really impact you in your life. I can only speak about my own realizations. I firmly believe that things don’t happen without a reason. God sends us blessings in mysterious ways even when we are parting ways. God is love and love lasts forever.
Ever had one of those moments when you just go where do I go from here? Yeah, I am having one of those moments a lot lately. In fact today, I was instructed to just go have a good think about what I want to do. I am really good at that. Thinking, it’s like a natural thing to do especially for me. I do it non stop. In fact at times it can cause insomnia. I can focus on things a bit too much at times that it will actually prevent me from moving forward. I will ponder, wonder, and concentrate on something come up with nothing but it’s still fermenting in the back of my mind until I finally get the light bulb going off. I like that moment the most when I know exactly what I will do but the real challenge can be finding that light bulb moment.
I can fumble around in the dark so to say not as good as my man but figuratively. You would think at 45 I would know exactly what I want to do with my life. I find though even though I might plan something, it won’t go according to plan. I can adapt. I am not afraid of change. I can actually adapt well to change and try to work with it sort of like a willow caught up in the wind bending to whims of the wind but not breaking totally.
I can be a very passionate person. I have lots of varied interests which can take me down many different tracks. I am just trying to find out exactly what I want to do professionally which will reward both my employer and myself.
There are so many things I need to or want to do. I know there are things that need to be done more like praying and meditating. I sort of pray while I am thinking. I have conversations with God a lot. I look for the answers in subtle signs or turns in conversation. For non-believers I know you may not believe but it helps me to do this sort of prayer while soul-searching. I can hear the sceptics going ‘Hogwash’ but it works for me and that is what is most important.
I need to sit down and do SMART goals. I know that would help me a lot. I need to look at the big goal and just break it down further into more manageable short-term goals so that I can get to the big goal. It just getting that big goal sorted out. I feel a bit like Robert Frost in The Road Not Taken. I have two paths I can go down and even if it doesn’t work out the way I think it will, I will still be glad I went on the journey that I took.
I will be soul-searching for a bit but I am sure I will find my focus. I will get encouragement and draw on the strength that I know I can handle whatever may come. Each day brings new challenges which will help make me be me.
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!
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.
I know it’s not like me to do two blogs in one day but something has happened to me and I wanted to share it because it feels special. I would even venture to say extraordinary. I have noticed that things don’t just happen by chance. I am really realizing this today because there are things that I am feeling very bombarded with but not in a bad way.
I read two blogs earlier or maybe even 3 which really affected me. All 3 were written by fellow bloggers whom I really respect and they have a very loving spirit. The first one was by Anne Birkelo http://ambirkelo.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/tuff-enuf/ It was something that I really needed to read at the moment and still struggle with a lot but I am trying to rely more on the wonderful Spirit that our Lord has given us because I am trying to be the person that He wants me to be if I only learn to trust in Him more, to surrender all.
The other blog that I read was by Meg at Firsttimefreedom http://firsttimefreedom.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/brother-and-sister/. This reminded me that we all have family that we love and long to know better but the one that really smacked me upside my head was by Kozo http://everydaygurus.com/2013/05/15/daily-dose-of-vitamin-s/. He posed a really wonderful picture of needing our daily dose of vitamin S. I was trying to think of a really cool response to him but couldn’t think of one when a good friend of mine contacted me on Facebook to let me know that his dad arrived to his home and how happy he was. My friend has a really debilitating autoimmune disorder. His wife is trying to help him with their small children but I think the fact that his father, who traveled all the way to Canada from Australia just to be with them in his most troubled time of need just gave me a wow moment. I am not talking World of Warcraft sort of wow moment but a really goose flesh sort of in awe kind of moment when I knew for certain that there was a higher power out there. I look back on my life and where I thought I was and where I am heading with this hope that I will be able to help others on their journey in this life.
We all need encouragement and the best source I found for encouragement is a good dose of Vitamin S that Kozo blogged about. I found that Vitamin S (the Spirit) while talking with my friend who is in Canada. I try to see the Spirit in every person I encounter and I pray that they will see that same Spirit shining back when they encounter me. I am just a child compared to God and I want to make Him happy because He has blessed me with this wonderful life at this wonderful time. I know I had been very cynical inside but that boost from my friend has buoyed me up as well as these beautiful blogs that I have posted here. I will leave you with a photo I saw on Facebook today.
For those who can not read the image it reads: Dear Lord,
Open my eyes to opportunities to bless others
for Your glory!
There is a movement going on in the Catholic Church but it’s not just for Catholics. It’s also happening throughout other denominations of Christianity. It’s funny how it has gotten very big in the United States but I only learned about it after I moved Australia. It was while I was at an Evangelization Conference called “Parish On Fire” in Melbourne where I thought my calling was to help spread the word about God. It didn’t exactly turn out the way I expected but isn’t that always the way it goes?
This movement that I am talking about is called the Catechesis Of The Good Shepherd. This is a Christian formation for children between the ages of 3 to 12 years of age. The age groups are broken up into 3 categories. The first being 3-6, the second being 6-9, and ending with 9-12. It is broken up like this for each child is in different stages of development. The children come together to pray and meditate in a place called an Atrium which is a sacred space for all involved.
I could give you the history of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd but I am not going to do that. I want to share with you this fascination that I have with this process. How it really draws me in and how I want to create one as well because of how it makes me want to echo the teachings of the Good Shepherd who has called us each by name. In the Atrium the teacher is God. The children and adults are equal. The adult shows the child how to do something and the child responds to how the Spirit moves him/her to do. After a task has been shown for the child to do they can choose to do the work they were just shown or go off to do something else that they are drawn to do as long as they have been shown the work they want to do. It is the adult’s task to monitor and write down the tasks that the children do.
Some people don’t quite get this process. They think that they are responsible for teaching their thoughts on the presentation but it goes against what is desired in the atrium. It is not like a classroom in the sense that some may think it is. An Atrium is more like a place of worship where they come together, adult and child to ponder all the wonders of the kingdom parables.
I feel as if words are failing me. It is something that needs to be experienced. I find that through showing a work to a child I too am drawn deeper into the mystery because I am asking questions myself. There are no right or wrong answers because it is the Spirit that moves me. It is as if the truth of what is being discovered or shifted to the surface. The children are being monitored to see which work they are drawn to the most. The more answers I find the more I am drawn to wonder deeper into the things that I have discovered.
If you think this is interesting might I interest you in exploring more about the history of this formation. Here are a few links to help you on your journey of discovery. I know if I had a child, I would definitely want to expose them to this beautiful teaching.
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.