Summer Solstice

Today’s Summer Solstice, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, will be a little longer for some.   Today my sister-in-law buried her oldest son.  What should have been a day to celebrate the beginning of summer, instead was a day of mourning.

At the graveside service, the officiant quoted from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.  This version is from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE).

3  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2  a time to be born, and a time to die;
    a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3  a time to kill, and a time to heal;
    a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
    a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5  a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
    a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6  a time to seek, and a time to lose;
    a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7  a time to tear, and a time to sew;
    a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8  a time to love, and a time to hate;
    a time for war, and a time for peace.

While there may be some wisdom in these words, the loss of a child upsets the order of things.  For everything there is a season… a time to die for us all.  Parents want that time to be before our children.  Time will bring acceptance and healing.  Until then, we allow ourselves to grieve the untimely passing of Zachary Rausch, gone too soon.

A Prayer

Many people around me are hurting today.

Today’s post is simply a prayer…

A prayer for comfort for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who just lost their son, and for all those who have lost loved ones…

A prayer for healing for my step-father who is very ill and headed back to the hospital, and for all those who are struggling with health issues…

A prayer for rest for those who are overworked…

A prayer for abundance for those who are struggling financially…

A prayer for sobriety for those with addictions…

A prayer for safety for those in harm’s way…

A prayer for companionship for those who are lonely…

A prayer for courage for those who are afraid…

A prayer for the human condition.

The wide spectrum…

The wide spectrum of mothering
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food
stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we
mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and
disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t
mean to make this harder than it is
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit
with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your
experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of
motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who have aborted children – we remember them and you on this day
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn
that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be – we
grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption – we commend you for your selflessness and
remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate
with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have
real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
By Amy Young (http://messymiddle.com)

This was read in my church this morning.  It touched me so I thought I would share.  The link to the pdf is here. It was originally part of Amy Young’s May 10, 2012 post, An open letter to pastors {A non-mom speaks about Mother’s Day}, on her blog The Messy Middle   

Daniel Fast: Day 8

Today is my 8th day on the Daniel Fast.  The first two days I was exhausted, but my energy has returned and I am happy to say that I have lost a little over 5 pounds.  Surprisingly, it really hasn’t been difficult.  I have done many different fasts, detoxification processes, and purification programs.  This has been one of the easiest of them.

As part of the process, I have also committed to daily meditation and to the clearing of a space.  Meditation is something that I have done sporadically for many years, so this is just a way to be consistent.  The clearing is something that I really started doing about 7 years ago.

There is something freeing about letting go of things.  I have decided I will go through my closet and dresser and get rid of anything that does not fit or look great on me.  I did this several years ago after reading an article explaining how to empty the closet/drawer and to try everything on before hanging it back in the closet.  (To expedite the process, I ditched the things I didn’t love first. Then toss the things that have holes, stains, etc.)  I thought these would be appropriate spaces to clear since my focus is on losing weight.  The bonus is that clearing spaces always allows something new to come into my experience.

So, I have 13 days to complete this process.  I am looking forward to optimizing my health, releasing excess weight, and seeing some great new things in my life.

 

 

 

 

Daniel Fast

Today I began the Daniel Fast, a 21 day, biblically based, eating plan.  It is a way for me to hit the reset button, as I have been on a weight loss program for a while and I have hit a plateau.  The primary differences between this eating plan and the way I eat now is that the plan does not allow meat or dairy.  I am not a huge dairy consumer and I am not one who must have meat, so this shouldn’t be too bad.  I was on a cleanse last year that didn’t allow meat or dairy for the first week and it was fine.

The most compelling thing for me is the spiritual component of the fast.  The purpose for the fast is to gain clarity.  I have chosen to make it my own, so I am meditating in the morning as part of my program.  I meditate sporadically.   I will do it faithfully for months at a time.  Then, for whatever reason, I stop.  Meditation is good for me.  It calms me, centers me, and gives me a sense of well-being.  I am hoping that doing the Daniel Fast will help me get back on track and that I stick to my meditation for a while.  I will post about my progress over the coming weeks.  Until then, here is my favorite meditation story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mutual Benefit Plus

I mentioned earlier this week, that I was hiring someone to help me with some clearing.  Well today she started working on my son’s room.  Ironically, the person that was helping me was someone I had met a few years ago and only today did I remember it.  When I became reacquainted with this woman a few weeks ago, I kept saying that I knew her from somewhere but couldn’t place where.  She was a teacher, but I knew we had never taught together, so I kept searching my memory banks but to no avail.

Today, I realized that I had been to her home for a Buddhist gathering with a mutual friend.  It was such a relief to have finally solved the mystery and then I was able to enjoy getting to know her better.  She shared her knowledge of Buddhism.  I told her about my seeking.  We talked about teaching and tutoring.  And we cleared my son’s space.

It was fun to have someone nearly twenty years my senior, singing Elvis tunes, enthusiastically cleaning out a closet.  She helped not only get a room in order, but she lifted my spirits as well.  I love the way it feels when a transaction produces mutual benefit, like paying someone to do a job I cannot do.  But I love it even more when I connect with another person and both of our lives are enriched in a variety of ways.

Finding Dimes

finiding dimes

I have to preface this post by saying that I had drafted a post prior that was about writing “fluff” for the sake of keeping my writing agreement.  I wasn’t judging myself, but I was committing to writing the posts that had been lurking in my head but I had not taken the time to write.  Ironically, I lost the draft in cyberspace.  I have never had that happen.  It literally disappeared.  So instead of trying to recreate that post, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and get one of the defining moments of my life out of my head and out into the blogosphere.

People that know me know I tend to be a bit “airy fairy.”  (If you are intuitive, a healer, or have some other spiritual gift, please don’t think I am being flippant.  I believe the reason Angels can fly is because they take things lightly… including themselves.)  I am always looking for signs and symbols.  I consult my dream book on a regular basis.  And I have had lots of uncanny experiences.  I have no problem with the the notion that I have these because I am looking for them.  I do believe that perception is reality.

A few months after my dad passed away, I began finding dimes.  It struck me as odd because I began to realize it was always dimes, not quarters or pennies, not other objects, but dimes specifically.  I found them everywhere and often.  The first few times, I thought little of it.  After a few weeks, I began to think about this oddity more and more.  I had never heard of anyone else having this experience, but it had become so pronounced that I began to talk about it to other people.  Finally, my teenage son decide he would “Google it.”

Knowing my son, I don’t think he really expected to find anything.  I think he was doing it more for comic relief because he was sick of me telling him where I found my latest dime.  I was blown away when I read all the accounts of people who had begun finding dimes after losing a loved one.  Much of what I read held that finding dimes in random places were signs from a loved one that had passed.  Some think the message is specific, other think it can be very individualized.  Now before I lose you, hear me out on this.  It doesn’t matter whether you believe this or if you think it is utter nonsense.  When I read the internet articles on the subject I gained something very valuable.

I chose, after reading extensively on the subject, to view these dimes as a message from my father.  This message was one of love and comfort.  My dad had a way of letting me know things were going to be all right, especially when it seemed as though things were hopeless.  Notice I said, “chose.”

Whether the fact that the dime is the thinnest coin, with the smallest diameter, thus easily lost, or whether it is an instrument of communication used by those from the great beyond is irrelevant.  For me, the end result is the same.  When I find a dime in the washing machine, on our lawn, under the seat of my car, or at the bottom of a swimming pool, I heed the message.  It doesn’t matter whether this message is from the great beyond or from my own memory banks.  “Dad loves me, and it’s going to be all right” comes across loud and clear.

I didn’t do it initially, but now when I find a dime, I keep it.  I had a pile of them on the nightstand beside my bed.  Now they are on the top of my dresser beside some flowers from my father’s memorial service.  They serve as a daily reminder that I am loved and that everything will be all right.

Do you have any signs or reminders for yourself?

The Power of Prayer

Holding another person in prayer has a profound effect on me.  I have been holding someone in prayer today as part of an intentional spiritual exercise.  As this person crosses my mind throughout the day, I envision him with his prayers already answered.  In return, this same person is praying for me.  Knowing this is comforting.  As we are intentionally praying for each other, I am reminded that I am not alone in my struggles.