Monthly Archives: April 2015

Dad and Daughter shared Ice Cream

another moment of grace captured and shared so beautifully

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

ice-cream-bowl-clipart-k14833923

My heart has been very heavy lately, which is a feeling that I am very unused to. The fact is, as my children age, some into young adulthood, their problems are more real life problems, not just a tantrum in the grocery store. 2 of my younger children, with as many good traits and skills that they do have, do not having the capacity to be fully self-sufficient as adults, including incapacity to maintain a paying job. Yes, SSI is a possibility when they are adults, but even that provides only poverty level income. They are my family and my financial responsibility, which necessitates looking at the ability of our extremely diminishing finances to care for them during their lifetimes.

Although hubby and I both work, often 6 days a week, and are considered solidly middle class, our bank account does not reflect this. Every time Marie has a PTSD…

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Face Book and Politics

Politics seems to make people fair game for personal attack. I don’t remember attacking Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, etc., so I don’t understand the kind of viciousness about Michele, or even Hilary who actually is a politician, that comes out of people that I thought were reasonably kind. I don’t understand the kind of viciousness that politics brings out period. Sometimes it seems like people can’t find anything to be for, so they just attack people. Politics brings out fear in me, because I become so aware of the human fallibility of everyone involved. But that makes me want to pray, not attack the people who may end up with the weight of the world on their shoulders. The friendship and cooperation of ex-presidents Bush and Clinton makes me realize how it should be. I try very very hard not to judge people since I’m so very imperfect myself. But what happens to me when I read the attacks by my face book friends on people none of us even really know, immediately the flaws I know about in the people making the attacks come to mind. I mostly have relatives and fairly close friends on my face book page, I love and care about them and I try very hard to focus on their virtues and strengths even while not pretending that they or I am perfect. I don’t want to read things that focus me on their human flaws. I hope this explains why I either hide things on face book or when they get so profuse that I feel battered after going on face book, I start to consider un friending. I would hate to have to give up face book, which has given me the joy of daily seeing photos of grandchildren, even ones living far away, and keeping up with what’s happening with my family and friends. I have this blog where I can express my opinions and even though connections to this are on my face book page, no one needs to go to my blog unless they want my opinions. Maybe it would be a good idea for everyone to get a blog for their political opinions during election years and leave face book for happier and kinder fare.

Gifts of Age (Part Four) Nobody Came Home in an Urn

The “fun” of European travel in a wheel chair.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Old Lady Klutz

Though one of the most positive aspects of reaching retirement age is the opportunity to travel, I wish I had photos of the incredulous expressions on airport security personnel when my husband and I show up. They look like, “Why don’t people like you, just stay home?” Their feelings may be justified since they spend twenty minutes patting down my husband, whose pacemaker can’t go through the x-ray machine, and about fifteen minutes examining my wheelchair as I limp through, at the same time others are dismantling our sleep apnea machines. I’m not sure what terrorist profile we match, but believe me, you are safe from us.
Back in our youthful sixties, we each took only a small rolling suitcase and backpack for eleven days abroad. This meant we could take it all as carry-ons and not risk the trauma of lost luggage. Now, in our seventies…

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Adventures in a Wheel Chair

About twenty years ago on one of thirteen trips to Europe, about nine of which were made with the challenge of being in a wheel chair.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Mt. Pilatus, Lucerne :accessible by tiny red train.
Monte St. Michel: settle for cafe at the bottom.

Mt. Pilatus at 7,000 feet is accessible by a small train, a cable car, and chair lift.  We used them all.  The train was the scariest!

The much smaller Mt. St. Michel defeated us when my husband and son, emboldened by a couple of beers, tried together to run pushing me up the cobblestone road.  The rubber rim of my right wheel went flying off about a fourth of the way up.

I settled for coffee in a sidewalk cafe at the bottom.  My son and husband were gone so long, the waiters were huffily removing my cup and setting my table for the next meal.  I resorted to writing a note in French saying my son and husband would be back soon to join me for dinner.

Under threat of abandonment by…

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What Are My Treasures?

A Devotional Booklet asked this question today.

I knew right off that my first treasure is my relationship with God through Jesus, because every other treasure, no matter how wonderful or beloved, can be lost in this lifetime.

Tied for second are both my husband’s and my kindness and humor, which are the ways we express our love for each other and everyone else. Those are the two traits I value over all others.

Third is my eyesight that enables me to see the beauty of nature, whether a snow capped mountain, a star filled sky, a sunrise, a tiny Spring flower, a bright colored bird, rainbow raindrops clinging to branches when the sun comes out or even a really good painting of nature.  This is a treasure I can enjoy even when alone.

Fourth are my grandchildren. My relationships with them are far less complex than with my grown children. I can value their talents and goodness and just delight in them without any feelings of guilt about their human shortcomings. (I can always blame those genes on someone else!)

Fifth are my children, my brother and those they love. I am grateful and humbled by how well they all turned out by the grace of God in spite of my less than perfect human mothering. They have all loved me even when I have been difficult to like and they and their spouses have all been there for me in my hard times and illnesses.

Sixth, I treasure friendships, particularly two women who are like my twin sisters, Myra Berghane and Pat Wheatley. They share my strengths, some of my weaknesses, my humor, my history, and my faith. No matter what I am experiencing or feeling or thinking, they understand.

Seventh, I treasure my moments of graced inspiration that not only help me grow, but give me something hopefully helpful to share with others, which in turn gives me a sense of purpose.

Eighth, I treasure my opportunities to share my faith by leading worship, proclaiming the scriptures,  sometimes teaching at my church, speaking to women’s groups and blogging.

Ninth, I treasure my women’s groups: The Doves – a church group who study together, pray for one another and those we love and rally to help each other in times of crisis, The Study Group- a group that is very diverse politically, religiously and in age, who value each other across our differences. The Review Club, women who gather to hear speakers that challenge us to keep growing intellectually. And the Dickson Writers’ Group who both critique and encourage one another in our attempts to write for publication.

Tenth, I rejoice that I have lived long enough to experience the riches of the internet that bring the far flung parts of the world and the knowledge of the ages to my fingertips.

I am truly rich with treasures.

My Tiny Personal Creed

There is a place of grace within each of us that I and others call God.

God is NOT a very old man with a beard, but the creative spirit or force both within and without us that can free us to begin wanting to live as one and can show us how to draw on resources not limited to our tiny personal part of the universe.

For many of us it is reached only in surrender either when we “hit bottom” or when we finally just recognize that we can let go of our ego without losing our unique place in the universe.

So the heart of Spirituality is about letting go of our illusion of being separate/better than the rest of humanity or even of the rest of creation and realizing we are only one tiny unique aspect of an awesome whole and that we sink or swim along with that whole and the rest of the tiny parts.

Since I am a relational kind of person and God and the universe are pretty much beyond my understanding, Jesus is my translator for learning how to grow in a creative relationship with what is beyond my grasp.

Anatomy of Addiction

Why do some people choose self-destructive addictions?

Some people are just born unsettled, ill at ease with themselves, expecting so much that eventually they just throw in the towel. The pain of failure is too great.

Any addiction in some way lessens our sense of inadequacy. Extreme-housecleaning or obsession with becoming the absolute best in a sport to the detriment of the rest of our lives gives temporary relief; pleasure such as food, drink, sex, escapist reading or watching TV all can deflect us from facing our fears about ourselves. Some of us become addicted to drama by overreacting emotionally to anything even slightly alarming as an excuse to curl up emotionally in a fetal position and expect others to rescue us from any real or imagined dangers.  And any of these can move from just a way to relieve stress or feel better about ourselves to a need, an automatic response to unease or pain or fear: an addiction.

Some psychological addictions can be as hard to break as ones that develop a physical component. Some of us simply have addictive tendencies and may just have to work to find one that has the least self-destructive side effects and has the least negative fallout for others.
We can find relief in many acceptable ways to keep our demons at bay. I simply don’t know if we can get perfectly free of them.

One thing I have realized is that some of us not only feel basically inadequate, we fear that we are literally broken and live with a sense that we may at any time fall into the pit of despair or insanity.

Even alcoholism seems preferable to that, because there’s always a hope that you can manage to quit drinking, but you are not sure that you can quit being crazy once you get too out of control. Sometimes the only way to get past that is to go down into your inner bottomless pit and survive. Then instead of Jell-O at your center, you find a rock to stand on. Some of us call that God.

This I Believe

Diana, author of the blog, Holistic Wayfarer, speaks so beautifully what is in so many inarticulate hearts.

A Holistic Journey

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I am ashamed to claim faith in Jesus Christ, unworthy as I am
to bear that name and call myself a Christian. For my sake he was
crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered death and was buried.

I love the order and witness of the Christian faith;
the unassuming birth, disarming life, unjustifiable death,
and the deserted tomb that answer prophecy of Scripture.

A burning stick snatched from the fire, I believe I am more sinful
than I could imagine and more loved than I dare hope.*

Yet I worship at the altar of Self, and often insist and want and
worry as though there were no God. As though I were not loved.

I believe in right and wrong, and that I need saving from myself.
I need a God who is wiser than my purposes, deeper than…

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