Tag Archives: forgiveness

Carried

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Words, burdens and letting go…

For nearly 20 years, I have carried a small book around with me.  It’s gone pretty much everywhere I’ve gone.  Inside its front cover I wrote down when and where I bought it.

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I have always loved blank books and journals, their potential for creativity and a place for me to vent my thoughts.  This particular one drew me in for 2 reasons.  First, I loved its cover art depicting the sun, moon and stars against a swirly blue background.  I think it’s permissible to judge a book by its cover when the inside is blank!

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Secondly,  I especially loved that its pages were unlined.  I have enough restriction in my life.  The pristine whiteness of its pages gave me freedom to write whatever I wanted, in whatever way I wanted…upside down, in a circle, diagonally or just crooked.

This little book became my constant companion, a safe place for me to write down the feelings I could not express any other way.  Looking at those words now brings back memories of the extremes in my life at the time…mostly extreme pain and sadness.  It contains the overflow of my broken heart and spirit during the last year of Mama’s life on Earth, a period when I was afraid and lonely, not thinking clearly and not making good choices.

I’m not proud of a lot of what I did during this chapter of my life.  My spiritual life and relationship with God were at an all-time low.  I couldn’t pray, really; all I could do was hurt, and sometimes, feel angry.  I realize now that God heard every anguished scream of my heart, even though I was not talking to Him.  He was still listening.

Even as wretched as I was, as horribly as I was acting and as distant as God seemed to be, I know now that He was right beside me all along, carrying me when I could not walk through life on my own.  And not just carrying me, but sending blessings, glimpses of hope that I could survive this valley.  His grace eventually brought me out the other side, altered for sure, but profoundly grateful.

I don’t think I need to keep my little book any longer, or at least, not the words it contains.  I think I can finally let that part of my life go.  Those pages need to be burned up in the bonfire of forgetting, of cleansing, never again a burden to be Carried.

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God Grant Me…

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All that stuff in that prayer, and then some…

A few people recently have asked me about my New Year’s resolutions, if I make them and what, if any, they are.  My answer has been, I’m not resolving to do anything special that I don’t already do anyway.  And that’s sort of the truth.

The fact is that there are so many resolutions I’d like to make, I hardly know where to start, and the sheer number of things I’d like to accomplish makes my head swim.  Of course, as a weight loss patient, I deal with the daily ongoing battle of me versus the scale (one I feel like I am losing right now, by the way), me versus my nutrient levels, me versus the urge to comfort myself with poor food choices.  Me versus me.

A lot of my wish-list-to-do items are small and seemingly random.  Reed gave me a gift certificate so I could go and get some of my rings sized down.  That needs to happen soon…and I’ll get to it.

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My solution of using Band-Aids to snug them up (what I call my Redneck Ring Sizing Kit) is kind of pathetic, and I need to get them properly sized.  Several watches need new batteries as well.  One trip to the jeweler will take care of a number of items.

I did some baking for Christmas, and I’d forgotten how much pleasure I take from making something delicious to share with people.  I’d like to bake more in the coming year.  To SHARE.  I don’t need to be baking a bunch of tasty stuff and eating it all (refer back to paragraph 2).  But sharing is good.  I believe it pleases God when we share.

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Very slowly, I’ve been photographing some local signs and landmarks and adding those pictures to a Facebook album. There are lots more places I want to capture, especially the ones that are not going to  be around much longer, at least, not in the form I’ve grown up with.  So spending some time just out and about with my camera is one of my wish-list-to-do things.  And sooner rather than later.

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All those are concrete, measurable goals.  The real challenge I face is trying to find peace.  Life is complicated sometimes, and relationships aren’t always easy.  I’ve struggled lately with hurt feelings and a broken heart because things change.  Traditions aren’t what they used to be; family is not what it used to be.  Mama and the others who always held our family together are gone, and there’s no “glue” anymore.  As I was told, “It is what it is,”.  And that’s true.

It is my job to balance loving the challenging people in my life with protecting myself from the pain they sometimes bring me.  I need to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. I have a feeling I’m not the only person who struggles with these issues.  So in the coming year, I will pray and work to seek serenity, courage and wisdom.  And peace.

God, grant me.

 

 

Violets Are Blue

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Sometimes I wonder about the tiny miracles

Every spring, without fail, the violets catch me off-guard.  They shouldn’t come as a surprise.  They pop up as part of the rhythm of the seasons, the cycle of life on our planet.  But still, somehow, their appearance inspires wonder in my heart.Image

Sometimes our world is a very cold and ugly place, after all.  Crime, poverty and injustice are everywhere.  People do horrible things to one another for all kinds of crazy reasons, or for no reason at all.  People commit the unforgivable.

But for all its atrocities, our world is also a place of astonishing beauty.  Flowers bloom, butterflies flutter and children laugh.  Love happens.  The unforgivable, somehow, is forgiven.

I have heard it said that violets are the symbol of forgiveness, because it is only when they are crushed that they reveal their sweet fragrance.  It makes me wonder about the fragrance I waft into my world when I feel wronged.  Am I able to forgive and spread sweetness when I’m crushed, like a violet?

God made the violet so tiny, yet so beautiful.  I am always amazed at His creativity and attention to detail.  Why bother to craft something so small with such exquisite care?  It is just what He does.  Forgiving me is something He does, as well.  If He can forgive me for my offenses, what right do I have not to forgive those who offend me?  Lord, help me be like the violet, spreading sweetness when I am crushed.Image