Monday, December 24, 2012

Greater than through love and support: another day and Merry Christmas

I had the most amazing experience this past week. Yes..i got to ride in a fire truck..and in the bucket to boot. That in itself would have constituted "amazing" as it turned me into a 7 year old and I sat resisting the entire time pushing all the buttons as the siren blarred as I..yep, to ride in it for a special cuase! :)

But what was truly amazing about that night...magical even, was that I was playing Santa Claus. While I have done this for adults and for a couple of parties over the years, this time it was for reals. I was, for about 20 kids, running up to greet the truck as we entered into the park for the lighting of the tree, Santa. I saw it in their eyes, I heard it in their voices, and I literally felt it. For a moment, after I arrived, I was overpowered by their anticipation and joy...I literally could feel their glee on seeing Santa...and I just stood and something took over...I gave myself to their joy and for the next hour or so, I was with them. I was with them enjoying all the possibilities and the joy of Santa and it was bliss!

I was not sure exactly what to do as I stood their facing the walk up to Santa's chair, so I knelt down so i could be right with the youngin's and asked how everyone was. They smiled with such glee and I was offered hugs! What unconditional love. It was the very essence of what we know as good. As I rose, I asked if they could help Santa to his chair and they grabbed my hand and as if leading someone royal, they cleared the way and led to the place of honor. Then one by one, they sat and told me what they wanted for Christmas. So thoughtful, so sincere. And they believed. It was in their eyes. I believed too. I believe in the giving and the magic that comes with it and I wanted to bottle that up and live that every minute of everyday...and while i try, I so needed it, more than usual.

It was the next day that the tragedy in newton happened. Still on that day politicians could not set aside their rhetoric and polarization of our economics and continued to debate this cliff, and while there were some that truly mourned the deaths of those children and those staff at the school, I saw more than I care to remember, more posts about the protection of individual gun ownership and heard and saw stories about people lining up to buy them.

The bodies were not buried yet and owning guns were the issue, not those dead children. Then, here in Wilmington a young man, a CFCC student, returning from getting a late night meal was murdered in cold blood on the way back to his car for two 5$ bills, his sandwich and his cell phone. Shot in the head. Dead. Two of the assailants had been in a program that I value and pray for everyday that seeks to serve inner city youth, and one of the youth got on the news, not saying he was sorry, but just trying to say he was not the one who pulled the trigger.

As we learned the calculated, cold, and vicious plans these four had for a night of crime, as they told this story to the was chilling. I felt anger, deep and dark. I felt sorrow and as I looked at these four, I was as close to cuastic and unfeeling as I have ever been. I was afraid. Afraid that all I value, all i work for, all i believe in was and is throwing water in the ocean..that would never be enough. somehow it just was too far gone and there was nothing left to do but follow suit, arm up, protect what was mine and angry...feel that sense of "well I did what I could", wrap it up and move on. And then....then someone was put in my path. An addict. An addict who admitted that he wanted to drink that day.

He shared that he was feeling bad, that he was in a bad place and all he wanted to do was drink. For him, he is psychologically and pysiologically engineered to do just that. But something inside of him wanted to live a different life. Something inside of him wanted to get better....and he made the call and said "I want to drink" and by doing so, he didn't. He stayed sober one more day, went to a meeting, shared and helped others...and in that day, he made a big difference.

For me, he was this clanging of symbols, this truimpet from heaven, reminding me that there are choices and that by being an active part, an active participant in making the next right choice, doing the next right thing...all things are possible. It does not change the does not change the horror..we have to....I have to feel that. I have to acknowledge that.....but dean....I believe and am witness to miracles in my 46 years that I can play in my head and share each and everyday. I am witness to God's grace and love and strength..when we choose it! I am witness to people who actually see the tragedies in our world and instead of reacting in fear and selfishness and self interest, see a greater good...see something that can and will come out of it as a way for us to be better, live those children that gathered in my lap who believe in magic and love and santa live in a world where we are thoughtful and we act for each other...rather than to protect ourselves from each other....
God sent his only begotten Son on this Eve because he loved us so very much...I pray we start to love ourselves a little more each day..
God bless us everyone!
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Greater than through love and support: another day

I'm not exactly sure why we go and visit gravesites after people have died. I know it's a learned behavior because I've been doing it ever since I was a kid and went to Graves with my dad with my grandmother or with other relatives on special occasions or just on trips on Sundays to go visit different cemeteries.

The commentary on those trips always brought up memories about the different people that we were " visiting". And of course there had to be the occasional slide in on how pitiful or how sad it was that certain families weren't maintaining the flowers or letting them fade on certain graves and wasn't it just too bad and bless their hearts etc. etc. My dad spent a lot of years and a lot of time and a lot of money making sure that my grandparents graves always had flowers no matter what his health or his condition. he would make sure that they were changed out on a regular basis. Sure I am aware that part of that had to do with appearances but I believe in my heart of hearts that it was about love and respect and even with those little slides and comments back in those days I know that the maintenance of those graves and the visiting that was done was sincere and love and was about really honoring those people and in someway staying connected to them.

I guess I know it even more now because today I went to see my dad's stone be placed. It is a lovely piece and my sister did such a great job stewarding the process with this and sending the images and asking me what I thought. it really ended up making it very special. The most special part was the scripture that says from James Blessed be the man who perseveres. It really is very lovely. While I stood there and looked at the stone and the grass that has given way to the winter Brown and flatten under my feet I knew that my daddy was not there. But at the same time I knew he would be very very pleased with what I was looking at and feel honored by what we had done. There was a real sense of peace and a real sense of warmth even in that cold air. Like something out of a movie, the bells in the chapel struck 11 right when I stood in front of it and that beautiful sound in the wind and everything culminating together just made for a perfect moment in which I could really sense daddy at rest. For the first time in my life standing in front of a gravesite while still knowing that daddy wasn't there I got a genuine sense of comfort. It was reassuring and at the same time still dealing with the newness of all this in experiencing Christmas for the first time without him it was also a real feeling of finality. Now for me I'm not going to take up space in the ground when I go. I'm good to be cremated and my ashes spread on Mount Piagah Above Asheville.

. I was given two places to lay my head one when I was born because Poppa Phelps had made a plot for the whole family and everybody had a place in that lot and then Mr. freeze before he passed away bought places for Michael and myself in a place near his resting place in Salisbury. But I figure those spaces will just have to be taken up by somebody else. Not to mention the fact that neither of those spots nor the spreading of my ashes are anything that I am planning on doing any time soon. But when you go to visit gravesites one's mind does tend To wonder.

Best I could figure one day at a time I am still being granted this gift of life and as long as I have a purpose and I'm given some opportunity I have some things that still need to get done. The blessing of it all is that no matter what I have extraordinary opportunities and great people and so many blessings and all those people that I can visit like my daddy at those gravesites have given me so much to propel me even further each and every day by both the blessings and the teaching that they've given Up until this point.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Greater than through love and support: another day

One of my commitments recently has been to blog again at least twice a week. This blog was for me from the very beginning  a way to pay it forward and to talk about this process and about my recovery in health and wellness.

Since daddy's death in July I've really lost track of regularly blogging and I have to admit that as a result I haven't been holding myself as accountable as I should with regards to a number of different things. As a result there have been some pretty interesting things happening around me and frankly some things that I would prefer to get onto a different track.

Regardless there have been huge miracles and amazing things that happened along the way and of course just because I haven't been blogging hasn't meant that there haven't been extraordinary things happening in my life. But I do know that when I'm taking inventory, when I am taking time to sit down and really write down what's going on, and take a look at what's happening, helps me to slow down and really pay more attention and it's a really great tool.

That said here I am!  I'm on my way to a construction meeting for the new parts that we are building for the miracle field and of course since the last time I blogged I had just gotten this job and it has been just one amazing new thing after another. It certainly has its challenges and there are moments when I just have to remember to breathe because there is a lot to do it. This morning I panicked a little and had to remember that I'm not in control and that my job is to show up and to follow through and do the things that are necessary to make things go as I'm directed. See too often I think I'm supposed to "manage" things and make things happen instead of facilitate things and realize that I'm a part of things and that it's about being a part of the good things are going on rather than being the almighty powerful having to control everything. The project that I'm currently working on was brought about by a bunch of people that really believe very strongly in making this happen and they were volunteers that believed in making a difference in peoples lives. That has nothing to do with me. But I believe in what they believed in and that does have something to do with me and I can be very much a part of it. So instead of trying to control it, I can do the best I can to serve the purpose that we're trying to be a part of. That's where I'm at today. I'm at that part where I'm remembering that it's about love and service. And it's interesting because that's where I'm at about my relationships and that's where I'm about my health and wellness as well. Too often recently I've been trying to manage relationships that are explosive or that or controversy old or that are just out of my control instead of just remembering that my role is to be a part of things and
To love. That my role in this world is to yes be of service but also to participate in a way that doesn't involve all this drama. I'm so grateful to have a loving and caring God who gives me the opportunity to live just that life. Same can be said about my own health. I show up for myself every day and I'm not trying to control it or I'm not trying to put aside who I really a.m. in terms of being a food addict her being someone who wasn't always out there being active for being a part of physical activity. I'm showing up now for someone who wants to live and be healthy and I'm redirected every time I get off that track. Able to love and be of service to my own self and it's a really beautiful thing. In other words it's just a good day

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