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  1. I'm back Given recent events, I feel fragile as I wander the aisles of the grocery store. I want to be left alone, which is unlike me as of late. I glance at a man here and there and wonder. An elderly one stands looking perplexed in the spice aisle. I consider offering help, but no, not today. I need to keep to myself. Opposite him, I reach for a bottle of olive oil. “Are you an expert?” He asks from behind. I turn and he engages me in a pleasant, lengthy conversation. As we part ways, he assures me that if he ever finds out what and where ham seasoning is, he'll let me know if we see each other later in the store. Almost finished shopping, I swing through the meat area to grab some pepperoni. He's there talking to the butcher. “The ham seasoning is with the soups and bouillons,” he says. “Good to know!” I reply, smiling broadly. My hand extends naturally. He reciprocates. Shaking hands, we connect. “It's been an absolute pleasure,” I tell him. I walk away knowing full well that God put him in my path today to assure me of the goodness of mankind. “It'd be nice to see him again,” I think to myself. That is highly unlikely. God continues to play peek-a-boo with me. He shows up most unexpectedly when I most need to know love. He asks me not to cling to his messengers, but to him. So I thank him and hold the gentleman he gave me this morning in my heart. He knocked gently and eased his way back in. As I leave the store, I greet Bill, my carry-out friend. We engage in a brief, warm conversation. I'm connected again. I'm open. I'm back. December 4, 2017
  2. Justified. It's the word that came forth from my pen as I journaled about the Matt Lauer deal. Most women have a story. I have mine. Like Matt, he was well liked and fun loving. Along with that, there was a facet of him that was so not okay. I am grateful there is more exposure. We've worked through this in my own Catholic Church. Expose it. Name it. Claim it. Fix it. Heal it. Unfortunately for the victims, healing continues for a lifetime. Certainly with help, the pain and fear can lessen significantly. It remains, though, a fact of their life history. The perpetrators need healing, too. Our culture needs healing. Let's talk about “locker room talk.” It's dismissed as no big deal. Honestly, in college, I become desensitized to it. Didn't think much about it. Just sorta played along, laughed it off. It needs to stop. I need the honorable man in the room to say, “Hey guys, this isn't okay. See ya.” And if a woman is present, give some gesture of support and protection. The dignity of women. The dignity of men. The dignity of the human person. We're better than this. We were designed to be better than this. Justice, as a virtue, is a quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and all what belongs to them. For the purpose of this conversation - Dignity. So while these are sad times, they are also liberating. There is hope. We can do this, but not alone. We need to turn to our brothers and sisters for help - those that are close to us that love us and support us and professionals that are compassionate and trained to heal. Ultimately, God is our healer and comforter. Let's get to know him - as a culture - as individuals. He is pure Love. Love itself. Love is the antidote to this. “...it does not not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things…” (1 Corinthians 13: 6-7) December 1, 2017
  3. Transfiguration When he opened his soul to me, we were on holy ground. As I leaned against a door jamb, He appeared before me. Eyes did not see, rather soul burned. He stood before me. “His face shone like the sun and his clothes become white as light.” All spirit. Permeable. Radiant. Alive. He and I. I and Him. One. Mt. Tabor. I wanted to stay. Cling. Lord, it is good that I am here. Shall I build three tents? As for Peter, James, and John, Jesus gave a glimpse of his glory and fullness. Life is not the same. Never will be. New life is within. Stoney heart has turned to flesh. Do not cling to this encounter, L. I have even greater in store for you. Receive this gift. You have me forever, if you want me. I will reveal myself to you in other circumstances to come. I promise. Look for me. Listen to me. Move to the next rung. Rise and do not be afraid. Go. Tell. (Matt 17, John 20, Sarah Young “Jesus Calling”)
  4. You are a good writer. I could see and feel this. When I was working with my kids in home schooling, we had a book entitled, "Show, Don't Tell." You're doing that! You are sure to excel in your Composition class!
  5. Glad to hear it! Continued blessings on your venture!
  6. Scene Change An old hag sits hunched over at the end of the bar at Judy's. Cigarette in one hand. Gin in the other. Smoke burns her lungs. Gin rots her gut. Her skin is leathered. When someone approaches, she tells them to go to hell. She's alone. She's cold. She's closed. She's hard. Scene change... An old lady sits in her favorite chair, in her long time home, gazing out the window, in contemplation. With both hands, she cradles a cup of tea, savoring its warmth, fragrance, and beauty. The cup, adorned with pansies, was a gift from her beloved family for Mothers Day all those years ago. When someone approaches, she smiles, gestures widely in welcoming. She's connected. She's warm. She's open. She's soft. ~~~~~~~~~~ It wasn't too many years ago that the scene of the first lady was what I held of myself for my later years. Not because I was a drinker, rather because in my early, tender twenties, I built a wall around my heart. The moment of that decision remains clear. Walking toward University Park, I stopped dead in my tracks and resolved to let no one in, again - ever. Thirty years later…Scene change…I now imagine myself as the lady at the window. ~~~~~~~~~~ I will attempt here, to capture and illustrate some of the experiences that have propelled me forward to my transformation, my metanoia. Quotes, wisdom, advice, and spiritual insights from others will be sprinkled among, because “Life comes from the recognition that I can't do it on my own.” (Jean Vanier) I did not, nor do I continue to do this on my own. I will do my utmost to be forthcoming, transparent, and honest. Raw. My story is full of hope. Albeit, at times, barely a flicker, it has never died. It burns brightly now, as I settle into my middle years. Join me, if you'd like, into the journey of my past, continuing into my future. My continuing metanoia. "I will lead the blind on their journey; by paths unknown I will guide them. I will turn darkness into light before them, and make crooked ways straight. These things I do for them, and I will not forsake them." ~Isaiah 42:16
  7. Wishing you all the best! Good for you moving forward into something that you love. Will pray for you this week. A couple thoughts on your teacher being a man. I venture slowly and carefully, when having to work with a man, assessing along and trusting my gut. We had some construction in our home recently, so the place was crawling with men. It was very difficult initially, even hiring the general contractor, but one stood out of the three interviewed. He was non imposing, soft spoken, and respectful. He turned out to be a catalyst for significant healing and growth for me. I continue to be amazed how God comforts and moves me forward when he knows I'm ready. Sounds like you're ready to give this a shot! Go for it girl! 👍🙂
  8. Hi everyone. I've only spoken in the confidentiality of therapists and some close friends. 30 years - After silence - I'm ready to speak. Finding you and after reading some, it feels like I've found my tribe. Grateful that you are here.
  9. I also want to wish you well in reducing tension. I am a 30 year survivor and have struggled much with it, so similar to what you're experiencing. Always waiting for the next shoe to drop is a bugger to carry. Lots of therapy, prayer, and developing healthy relationships with healthy men has enabled me to make a lot of progress in this area. Getting to a place of real connect and trust in God has been the key for me - to believe he's got my back and will never take back his love. This is starting to sink into my bones. I get how you felt so relaxed with your niece. The innocence and unbridled love of a child has been a place of relaxation and safety for me over the years. I appreciate you sharing on here. I can relate on many levels. (I'm new and this is my first interaction in the site) Reading your stuff drew me in. Thank you.
  10. I've been reading "Jesus Calling" for a few months now. It is truly balm for my soul. I hope you are finding more peace each day.
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