My musings, my rambles and I welcome you.
LIVE WITH INTENTION.
WALK TO THE EDGE.
CHOOSE WITH NO REGRETS..
DANCE IN THE LIGHT
APPRECIATE MY FAMILY & FRIENDS.
“Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!"
— Ogden Nash
From Collected verse from 1929 on
|“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
— Dr. Seuss
From How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Merry Christmas Everyone
|What does Christmas mean to you?"
Christmas meant going to Mass when I was little. Sitting on a cold wooden pew and listening to the priest, sounding like Charlie Brown’s teachers’ (wha wha wha wha) hoping the service would end soon. The only good thing about the experience was the Nativity scene at the altar. Made of plaster, painted badly even to my 6 year old eyes and chipped from wear, it was something to look at and think about while the service dragged on and on.
What kind of God would send His Son to earth? To worse poverty than I lived in? At least I didn’t live in a barn. Did God hate his Son that much or love us that much? And what kind of Son would go? Did He choose or was He banished? Why would He come if He knew in a few months we would be celebrating His Crucifixion? (Time has no meaning to a six year old or an ADDer so Jesus grew up pretty fast.) Had I paid more attention to the priest, I would have had answers to my questions but he was old and boring. He used words like redemption, salvation, and sacrifice. Words and concepts too big for me to understand.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV John 3:16)
When the priest read those words, my ears perked up. Here was something I could understand. Someone loved me enough to make sure I went to heaven. It bowled me over then and it does now. Tears formed in my eyes as I came to my realization. I heard my mother sigh and whisper to my dad something about me being too tenderhearted. Unfortunately tenderheartness and childhood are very short. God and I parted company about the time I turned 10 or 11 and I didn’t really seek Him out again until I reached my late 20’s. I am rediscovering my tender heart with God’s help.
These days Christmas is about working around the work schedules and finding a day to celebrate. It’s about finding a not too crowed church service and the snuggling under the Christmas tree. Presents are nice but not mandatory.
I want to share this conversation I wrote a few years ago. I wrote to express conversations I have with God about big decisions. I showed it to a pastor friend who thought it was a perfect example of the conversation between Jesus and the Father. Let me know what you think.
What do you want?
You must choose.
You have to choose.
But what if I choose wrong?
But what if I do?
No matter what you choose it will be alright.
I’m thinking that you could choose for me.
Well……if you choose for me, I won’t choose wrong and
You will choose whatever is best for me, right?
So you choose for me.
And God smiled at His child’s choice
| Write about a holiday in which things just did not go as planned
I suppose I could come up with something from my childhood that is patheic and sad to match my last entry. This year isn't done yet and it isn't going as planned. Fiscal cliffs, job uncertainty are making this a particularlly anxious time of year. So I am going to lighten up and recycle something from a few years ago. Enjoy:
How has my Holiday been? Interesting to say the least. After many delays and prayers, hubby was on his way home from overseas. Weather delays, ticket snags and TSA checks hindered, but did not stop hubby's trip home. I tried to work magic with my schedule to be with him. I shopped in the Christmas crowds for his favorite foods, tried to clean the house, but I had no focus. Late on the night of the 22nd, he arrived to an adoring wife and dog. A wife who had to work on the 23 and 24. Homecoming celebrations delayed. Work cancelled on the 24th so last minute holiday preparations needed to be finished. They consisted of more shopping,cleaning and decorating.
All through this, hubby says he feels great. No headache or grouchiness that usually accompanies a trip home.
Finally, after all preparations were done and we were sitting enjoying It's A Wonderful Life, he said those three little words,
"Jet lag, honey."
Homecoming delayed again.
Next day after a good night's sleep, hubby was feeling better. He turned over and I looked at him in the eyes as only a wife can and said those other magic words
"Peroid time dear."
|Write about your most cherished childhood memory.
One of my most cherished childhood memories happened at Christmas. We were told Santa was poor this year. Christmas dinner was the only present we would receive. My father has spent three months in the hospital earlier that year recovering from back surgery and complications. He was just now getting back to work and on his feet financially. No Christmas tree, no presents, it looked like a gloomy holiday season for us.
On December 22, my father dragged in the scraggliest evergreen I had ever seen. He said the priest from our parish told him to bring it home. It was part of the greening of the nativity scene and no one would miss this one tree. God bless him, he was right. The branches were scraggy and the needles were falling faster than we could decorate. It didn’t matter. To me and my brothers and sisters, it was beautiful. We covered the bald spots with as many plastic icicles as we could find. Does anyone else remember aluminum/plastic icicles? They made such a mess but they were cool.
One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to sit next to the tree with the lights on. And wonder about Santa. What was he doing? Why was he poorer this year? I kind of half way suspected the answer, but I really didn’t want to know.
No one rushed to get up that Christmas morning. And yet Santa came! There were coloring books and crayons, candy canes and nuts and dollies! My sisters and I each received really nice dolls. I don’t remember what my brothers received.
My doll had black wavy hair. She had blue eyes that closed and cherry read lips. She wore a red jumper with a white blouse and she had Mary Jane shoes. I gave her the most beautiful and exotic name I could think of: Dianne. She was my constant companion for many adventures after that Christmas.
I had hope Santa had brought these riches, but I overheard my mother whisper to my dad that “they were generous this year.” I have no idea who “they” are but I suspect “they” were our parish. The Church had helped us out when my dad was ill.
The best part of this memory is the feelings of love and of “enough.” I remembering sitting next to the Christmas tree thinking “I have Dianne, I have coloring books and crayons. I have candy. I have the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world. I have everything.”
Hopefully tomorrow’s prompt won’t be favorite Christmas memory
|The most surprised I've ever been is when I found myself in love.
I met my hubby at a Bible study and we were friends. We went out on a few
double dates with other couples, but there were no real sparks for me. We weren't even
traveling the same spiritual path. So he tells me there is this formal party
he has to go to, but really doesn't want to go alone. I thought I was working so
I told him to have a good time. (nice friend huh). Anyway, being the space cadet
that I am, I completely misunderstood the date. Later, when he mentioned it again,
I said, “Oh yeah, I’m off that night. I’ll with you, if you don't want to go alone.”
At the time I was living in Hawaii, so a formal party could mean anything from
tux and tails to keeping your shoes on during the party. When he talked about his
dress blues and shining his shoes, I knew this is a real party. I started grumbling
about the things you do for friends.
I knew it was a REAL DATE when he showed up with a rented convertible
Mustang instead of his island beater! After this boring formal party, he took me home.
The goodnight kiss he gave me lit my toes and told me there were definite
The good/bad thing about being a space cadet is that life has to slap
you in the face to get your attention. Life is always full of surprises. And Love if you pay attention.
Anyway, we've been married 17years this year and he still can surprise this space
cadet with sparks!
|Name everything you've done that you're proud of
I wrote this in 1998 a year after I was diagnosed with ADD and before it was really cool and almost a cultural mandate. I wrote this to someone who felt that his ADD made it hard even know what was going on in his own life. This is not cry for sympathy or self-pity. It was my friend's bid for understanding and my celebration of achieving goals.
You are not alone in feeling that you are faking or not taking responsibility for your life. I feel sometimes I should get an Oscar for my performances. I fake all the time that I know what's going on around me, that I’m paying attention.
I was diagnosed last year with ADD. Ritalin and Zoloft have helped tremendously; the diagnosis is a doubled edged sword as you said. It helps to know there is a problem but acceptance is another matter. Sometimes in my daydreams I want someone to put their arm around my shoulder and say, "I know how hard it has been to accomplish all that you have done. Good work."
What have I accomplished? Ordinary dreams. I finished 3 years of college with good grades, I'm a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, and I have a loving husband and nice home. Ordinary dreams I never thought possible because I was such a space cadet, I felt like I’ve worked twice as hard as "normal" people to achieve what they take for granted. That’s why I want the hug. Why I feel like a faker, because I have achieved ordinary...
Good luck to you
Just a couple of other things. My relationship with God is something I proud of when we're not struggling. Well, I struggle. He listens. And my NICU grads. I have been a NICU/Level 2 nurse for 24 years which means there are two and a half generations of kids running around that I have touched. It makes me proud and humbles me. A full life indeed.
|What is your greatest regret? You cannot change the past, but if you could, what would you do differently?
I wish I had finished my education. I have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing but I would have liked to have received my 4 year or Bachelor’s Degree. In most of my job situations, a 2 year or 4 year degree would not have made a difference. The work and the pay are basically the same. With Bachelor’s degree, it would have given me more options. I could have done management or worked in more specialized areas.
Truthfully, one of the reasons I didn’t pursue a higher degree was I liked my work. And it seemed the more education you get, the further away from the patients you get. Bedside nursing is all I ever really wanted to do in the profession.
The reason for regret is I hate to leave things unfinished. I was in a 2+2 program. Get your 2 year degree, work as a nurse while you finish your last 2 years. Problem was the university dropped the BSN portion of the program about the time I was to enter it. So my education feels unfinished.
I think I would have had more job opportunities and more mobility within the profession. Education is lifelong so I did get certified in my specialty and I keep up with all the latest research. I just don’t have the “want to” to go back to school at the age of 50.
|If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you want to have seen?
I would’ve liked to have seen Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I was seven years old when Apollo 11 took off. The night of the event seem to drag on forever. My family and I were sitting on the couch or floor listening to Walter Cronkite of CBS news give the play by play. The lunar module in shadow was impressive but not much was really happening. Even Uncle Walt’s enthusiasm seemed to be waning. It was late and I was tired.
Now this is where my memory gets a little fuzzy.
It seems that the lunar module we had been looking at was the NASA model. The TV folks would switch to the real thing when Armstrong was ready to take his walk. It should be just a few minutes they said. Right. To a tired cranky seven year old, their few minutes seemed like hours. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and started off to bed.
“You’re going to miss it,” said my brother.
“I don’t care. I don’t believe them anyway. We are watching a model. I’m sleepy. They can do this without me,” I said this with all the superiority of an eldest daughter.
The next day, my eldest brother informed me Neil Armstrong walked on the moon just after I went to bed.
Irritated I replied, “I still don’t care. There will be other chances to see.”
“But never another first.”
I never admitted it to him but he was right. I wish I had stayed up. I wish I could have seen it myself. Ah well, that God for youtube.
|December 01, 2012: What is your most prized possession?
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV)
These two parables have always puzzled me. No, I get the meaning: anything worth having is worth the sacrifice, like heaven, salvation and spiritual peace. The thing that bugged me as a child was now what. The man with the field and treasure has sold everything. He will eventually have to sell some treasure to build a house or work the field. And the merchant, he only has one pearl. He’s going to have to sell it to live if he truly sold everything. Such are the workings of the mind of child and even now I wonder about the rest of the story.
As for me, I am having trouble answering the question. Is a prized possession a costly possession or a well-loved item? Or both?
I have a ring my husband gave me. It is a beautiful pearl with diamonds that I had asked for on one of his first overseas trips. He gave it to me with much ceremony. I wore it, showed it off and then one day saw the pearl had dropped out. I felt terrible and my husband replaced it with a caveat. The pearl was much more expensive than I ever dreamed and if l lost it again it would not be replaced. So it sits in a box in a safe giving joy to no one. My engagement ring is the same. A delicate white diamond that is too precious to wear so in the safe it sits.
My wedding band is another story. It is white gold almost too big for my finger and gets banged regularly. Because it is plain, I can wear it at work. I love it because it means I belong to someone. Someone cares if I call, come home at night or take all the covers from the bed. The wedding band doesn’t look like much but I love it. I guess it is my most prized possession along with the heart that gave it to me.