Tag Archives: peace

Broken Ground

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The 15th anniversary of 9/11…

I remember the events of 9/11 as vividly as if they occurred yesterday.  We all do.  My closest connection with the tragedy was the fact that my brother, Reed, was caught up in it.  He worked for American Express in the World Financial Tower, which was very close to the WTC towers that were destroyed that morning.  Like many other families, we watched the footage unfold on TV, horrified by the images bombarding us.  And like many other families, I and my loved ones anxiously waited to hear from Reed, praying that he was safe, at least physically.  We were among the more fortunate families, hearing from him hours, rather than days, after the towers fell.  I was working for the local Fox TV affiliate at the time, and I reported to work that afternoon, thankful that Reed was out of harm’s way, and surrounded by my work family as we all watched the horror replayed for hours on end while news people and experts tried to make sense of it all.  Our boss, Tom, my friends Larry and Dan, and I, kept master control running that day and into the night.  One of my clearest memories of the day was when Dan’s sister came by that evening with her baby boy, and she let me hold him.  Cuddling that sweet child comforted me, reminding me that God is still at work in our world, and that life indeed goes on.  Dan told me on Facebook that his nephew has his learner’s permit to drive now, and that he has been told the story of how he blessed me on 9/11.

The world seemed to break that day.  Buildings, peace, faith, even the very earth underneath the city.  Broken ground.

Flash forward 15 years, and I am sitting in a church service at Ebenezer United Methodist Church where I have just recently accepted a call to sing and serve, leaving behind a church I have served since 2013.  The decision was not made lightly or without deep soul-searching, consideration and prayer.  On the 15th anniversary of the broken ground of 9/11, my new church family celebrated the groundbreaking of a new sanctuary, welcoming me into their heritage.  The significance and timing were poignant and emotional for me.

At the end of the service, we each received a river stone symbolic of “raising our Ebenezer”, then went out onto the lawn to stand where the new sanctuary will be built in the days and months to come, to pray for God’s continued blessing on the church family, and to break ground.  As I took my place on the lawn with the rest of the choir, I noticed something at my feet that has become a meaningful symbol of God speaking to me…

 

I hollered at my friend Marc to show him the feather, and he said, “That’s just like something that would happen to you!”  I replied, “It’s more like something God would do,”.  Then he and I dug into the dirt and celebrated the same blessed peace that holding that sweet baby 15 years ago had given me…that God is still at work in the world, and life indeed goes on.

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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.

 

 

Pieces of Peace

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Reading, Writing and Rain

Sitting on my comfy couch one Sunday afternoon recently, I found myself enjoying a little moment of Heaven right in my living room. My sweet husband had gone out to do some errands and to see a movie (this was not the Heavenly part!), and I was snuggled up with tea on the table next to me, a book in my hand and the dog, affectionately known as Our Boy Roy, curled up on top of the quilt in my lap.Image

The sky was cloudy and grey, and soon I began to hear thunder. Not sharp claps of thunder, but low rumbles, the kind of thunder that can lull a person to sleep. After a few minutes of this, raindrops began their gentle, percussive dance on my windowpane.Image

I closed my eyes for a moment to take in the stillness, thinking that life is sweetest at moments like these. It was a chance to give thanks for all my blessings. Life can be so hectic and fast-paced most of the time that these little pieces of peace are rare. As I sat feeling the knot of stress behind my sternum gradually unclenching, I wanted to write and try to capture the stillness of the moment…but first I wanted to feel the moment.

In my desire to share the patchwork and potpourri of my life, there is a balance I have to strike between documenting an experience and experiencing  the experience. Sometimes my world swirls around me in what seems like a great big tornado of crazy! My Sunday piece of peace reminded me of what stillness feels like, enabling me to savor it, and to share it.