Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another addition of "thoughts of a smarter person than myself"

Nadia Bolz-Weber
Pastor of "House of all Sinners and Saints"

This lady is a Lutheran Pastor and has a church in Denver called "House of all sinners and saints".  I gotta get there soon!  If you don't have a ton of time, listen after 12:20.  She is an amazing lady.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Smarter people than me...

Here are some thoughts for a Monday from people who are much smarter than me:

From the Huffington Post:

‎"Not all people of faith believe these things," an excerpt from the letter: 

"In the coming days and weeks, you will probably encounter well-meaning people who will say to you, it is all part of God's plan, even if we don't understand it now. Everything happens for a reason. If these words are helpful for you to hear, I'm glad. But if these words tear at already-raw places in you and fill you 
with anger or despair, please know this: not all people of faith believe these things. I do not believe them.

The God I know in Jesus Christ does not use natural disasters or human-caused massacres to reward some and punish others. I believe God is able to reach into sin and death and pull out healing and life; this is a different thing from engineering tragedy for a so-called greater purpose. The God I serve and proclaim to others does not cause or desire human suffering.

This next excerpt is from my dear friend Mary, who really understands love:

I don't know. I don't have any need to believe that there is somewhere better than here. I guess I just frankly don't. Here is sometimes paradise. Not always by any means but sometimes it truly is. Loving and nursing our newborns- paradise. Falling in love- paradise. Watching the ocean, slipping into its coolness into the depths below it- that other world- paradise. Watching the sky above it change and form into storms and then clearing, watching the sun set, setting the water on fire and then into darkest blue and purple- paradise. Holding my grandchildren, watching them learn and grow and seeing the way Gibson looks at his mother- my own daughter- paradise. Watching Glen play with Owen- again. Paradise. Slipping into sleep. Slipping seeds into the ground, patting the dirt firmly over. Waiting for the miracle and every-day fact of growth.  My heart reaching out to a friend's heart and being touched back. All of these things are paradise to me. 

They are present always, even in the midst of horror and death and suffering. They are, Terry. We just have to be open and still enough to notice. I think all humans have the capacity for holiness. I do. Capacity. Not certainty. I think the work you do is holy. As holy as it gets. 

I think that love may be the entire engine of it. The juice, the blood, the heart. I don't think that humans really know what love is. I think we get glimpses of it, especially in our children. I think that's as pure as it gets for us. But like particles in physics that ARE there but which we don't have the ability to see (yet) it doesn't mean it's not real. Love and light. Man, I think those are the real deals.

I am spending a lot of time in my head thinking about this gunman and how in the world this could have happened.  I guess it's easy to see but for my brain and how I think, I cannot see any reason to cause that much pain and suffering in this world to anyone, let alone innocent folks at a movie.

As I read and re-read my Mary's email to me, I know she is right.  Here, right now, this morning is holiness and paradise.  To look out over Pike's Peak and see the sky, to see the little birds who built a nest over our porch lite, that hot cup of coffee in the morning, my 15 year old spilling out of his bed, asleep with his eyes half opened, safe and sound  and my beautiful daisies on my patio that I planted last year.  I just have to take more time to see these things, to spend a few seconds taking in the majesty and sweetness of them.  I need to stop taking things for granted.  This blog is not to remind you to do these things but to remind me.  

Today, I challenge everyone to look around at the holiness...because while there is so much darkness in this world, there is so much holiness in the regular lives we live...may we slow down and see it and push the darkness away.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Calling all angels...

Yesterday had been a routine day in my house for two teenage boys in the summer.  They ran down to Pep Boys at the request of their father to get the "beater" truck aligned.  Of course, because the truck is a beater, it needed more work and it wasn't a simple alignment.  Go figure...

The boys called with that news, and then an update on the plans of their day.  "We're gonna hit the "white trash" water park (a natural rock outcropping where there are slides and tunnels) and take a hike in the neighborhood...we'll see you at home."  I had an odd feeling all day about these boys galavanting all over town and wondered why.  They are 18 and 15 and know the rules and how to have a good time.  I thought about all the potential problems, from crashing the truck to falling off a rock and cracking their skulls.  Then I scolded the voices in my head and told them to have a good time.  Thankfully, when I got home, they were in my kitchen along with another buddy, eating crackers, drinking milk and talking about all the fun they had.  "We don't need dinner" they said, "we're heading to watch the Silver team play" and as they were running to the car, "Ma, we'll call on the way to the midnight movie."

"The midnight movie" is a concept I am not used to.  My daughter was not a big movie fan and didn't feel the need to be at a theater in the middle of the night.  But these boys...they love this kind of thing.  So they went and I laid in bed waiting for them to come home.  I went to bed around 10, and then woke up multiple times looking at the alarm clock and waiting for time to pass.  Sure, I dozed...but the last time I woke up, it was about 3:05 am and felt a sense of gratitude that they should be home soon.

About 3:30, my 18 year old walked upstairs, bent over and kissed my cheek and said "we're home" and I let the anxiety go and fell into a deep sleep.

But, as we are all learning, I am one of the lucky ones.  My boys were in a theater in Colorado, watching a premiere that was hyped just like the ones in Aurora.  My kids just happened to be in Littleton...in the theater closest to Columbine.  Ironic, huh?

Once again, Colorado's heart is broken.  I can't imagine what it is like to wait all day for news that you know your going to hear and wish you weren't.  News that will break your world apart and take away what most of us with kids live for. 

Last night, after a baseball double header where Howie plays and Mac helps coach, we sat around the kitchen, each one of us with a computer opened to a news source.  We took turns throwing out information about the tragedy, the people lost and the gunman.  We talked about how senseless and how angry we all are,  but mostly how terribly sad this whole thing is.  We talked about the what if's...if someone had a gun, if there were no guns ever made and so on and so forth.

Is there a way make sense of this tragedy? I personally don't think so because there is nothing sensible about this.  As I watched them interview the gunman's neighbors and people who knew him, it seemed to me he was kinda normal...as normal as a quiet, smart kid that did well in high school and college and was loved by his parents.  So what happened?  

I remember in 1999, when Columbine happened, I got a sitter for the three kids, while Jim and I wandered silently in the sloppy snow for hours.  We went to pay tribute to the folks that were lost at Columbine...but that's all I did.  Sure, I prayed for them and their families and every time I go to Clement park, I walk through the memorial and remember.  Is that enough?

What can I do?  That isn't a direct question but a rhetorical one.  I don't need to hear about gun control right now or gun rights or anything like that...I'm not a gun anything and to be totally honest, I hate guns but...that's another conversation for another time.  I mean, what if anything can I do for the families, for the victims, for the state?  What can we do as a group?

I went to bed thinking about this and woke up thinking about this.  I am one of the lucky moms.  Think about this absurd statement...

"My kids went to the midnight movie and came home alive".

I guess we add that kind of thing to the worry list, huh?  

I don't have an ending for this post and don't have an answer to any of the questions I pose.  Maybe you do and if so, let me know.

At times like this, I question, get mad and scream at God.     My husband, Jim always says the same thing, "Honey, you gotta lean on your faith."  I gotta tell you, I'm leaning hard and waiting for an answer.  Let me know when you get one...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,


Friday, July 13, 2012

Be still...

My sister and I at dinner.  It was awesome and did we eat?  Yes we did.

                            The sunset when we got home...

The longer I stay, the more I understanding I have about what I am supposed to be doing.  Sounds weird but it is true.  Gotta slow down and just be...

Be still and know that I am God...
Be still and know that I am...
Be still and know that I...
Be still and know that..
Be still and know...
Be still and..
Be still...

Just trying to be...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Almost wagon-time...

Yesterday it rained all day here.  The thunder and lightening were endless and it seemed as if the world was going to end.  It does that in Colorado but seemingly, when it does, everyone says the same thing..."We need the moisture" and goes on.

Here, where the water from the Gulf is 50 feet away in the canal, it feels dangerous when there are downpours and when the water collects in the street.  The grass is saturated and the canals are full.  

I feel out of sorts  this trip.  In the past, I always have an agenda.  It generally includes floating  in the pool, eating and drinking a bunch.  That's it.  I have had times when I visited and did not take my suit off or wash my hair the whole ten days...just ate, drank and floated.  

This trip, I have floated some but I don't want to turn into a leather bag anymore.  I put sunscreen on my face, and believe it or not, I have showered twice since I got here and changed my clothes.  Things have definitely gone down hill.

I have also been quiet and thinking a lot and wondering how I do what I do.  I think I'm beginning to understand how.  I don't stop long enough the think...and when I do, at least lately, it's with a cocktail.  I have learned the art of keeping my feelings out of the equation of life or at least feeling them in the safety of my home so I can quick...pour a drink in the evening.

That revelation is good and bad.  It's good because now I know what I have to do...go on the wagon.  But it's also bad because...I have to go on the wagon...

Jim and I talked about it before I left.  I asked if he had noticed that I was drinking more lately...and he said yes.  I didn't take offense really, I just thought that he was right.  Almost like I was looking at us talking from above and thinking it was time to figure out a new coping mechanism.

Now to figure out what that is going to be...

I have eliminated my eating as a coping mechanism, mostly and now I am going to eliminate my drinking coping mechanism.  Can't take it out on Jim...I mean, I guess I could but that wouldn't be nice, and I can't kick the dog.  So what is left?  

I have to think about it some more...and then decide.  But in the meantime, I'm gonna put my suit on and pour myself just a small drink and float.

Let me know if you have any better ideas...I would love to hear them.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Quiet...

Yesterday, after the torrential rains, I floated in the pool for hours.  I dozed off and I thought about what life is about.  I fretted about eating and drinking too much, about my son going to college and about how my husband and I will do next year with one at home.  I thought about my sister and her new life, my car that needs fixing and how I want to get my toe nails done while I am here.   The last thing I thought as I laid on the float was how my hair grows in spurts on my legs and contemplated what that may mean.  

You know what that means?  I don't know what the hair thing means but I do know that when I am thinking about that, I'm not thinking about my job, and my patients...

I have been consumed with everyone else in my life for months now.  I have worried about my patient's pain, nausea, their families...the end of their lives and how to manage all that.  I have been worried about my son and my daughter and my husband's job.  My brain has been so engaged in thinking about others that I haven't stopped to think about myself.

It sounds funny to say that as I have been on a quest to be fit and healthy...so I must be thinking about myself.  But, I don't think I was.  When I got to the gym in the morning, I would set my phone to the side and check it every few minutes, just in case I would miss an important call that my patients needed me.  Then I would shower and be available almost 24/7 to care for them.  Sounds like a martyr, doesn't it?

I can tell you that I don't want to be and am not a martyr.   I just work really hard and seem to never be done.  When I left for Florida, it was so hard.  I felt guilty for going on vacation!  What is that?   The world, the agency, my patients will do just fine without me...even my family.  

I've read the National Enquirer while I was here and looked at the 50 best and worst beach bodies, slept until almost 9 am and haven't washed my hair or showered since Friday.  

Don't I look awesome?

It's quiet here.  My one sister is at work and my other one is waiting on a refrigerator for her house across the street.  I am alone without anything to do...No charting to catch up on, no laundry to throw in or fold or sort...nothing.  The quiet and idleness makes me a little uncomfortable but I can feel a sense of peace creeping into my mind.  

I was just wondering what to do for the rest of the day and it feels so good.  I don't have to do anything.  I haven't gotten my pool time in today, so that is an option along with reading the paper and the new Star magazine where poor Jessica Simpson is blowing up.  I think I will wait until 5 to hit the pink wine, put some dinner on for my sisters and cherish the alone time.  

I wonder sometimes if I can quiet my mind and stop thinking...

Today, I realize that I can if I just take the time and quiet to do it.  I am going to do this more often...

Enjoy the rest of your day.
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I have had the pleasure of a party, seeing my siblings, drinking a bunch of pink wine and relaxing in the pool for hours at a time.    I am in Florida with my sisters relaxing.  

It is a little different than most trips as we are missing one of our favorite parts...my sister's husband.   If you remember, he passed away last valentine's day and we haven't been the same since.  This trip is about finding the new normal, enjoying what we have and remembering the good times.

But, it is hard...

We miss him and we miss the way things were.  It's just not the same.  And even as I deal with this kind of thing damn near every day...it is hard and it tests what you are made of and what you believe...At least what I am made of and what I believe...

I love coming here and remembering my life when I was younger.  I think of times when I was as young as my kids and the shenanigans that I pulled, and I love the floating for hours in the pool and the sun burning my old, leathery skin...yes, I sure  love all of that.  

But, I grieve... and I have flashes of the past and remember...

Decompression is not so easy...It takes work to feel what it takes to get through the pain and sadness.  I'm not so good at that.  I tend to work really hard and sleep...so as not to think.  Here, in Florida, I have no choice...there is quiet, there is time and there is relaxation...all the things to decompress.

So wish me luck...I need time and quiet to do this and I think I will get it.  

But, if you want to meet for a drink...you know me, I would love it and it is near the beach close to sunset...even better.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,