Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

The love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ surpasses all understanding. It is unfailing, given in abundance and for all to receive.

Thank You,  Jesus Christ, that You will let no one separate me from Your love. Even now, You stands before our Father God, interceding on my behalf, knowing what to pray for me, knowing what it is I need. Your Holy Spirit lives in me and is my Guide and Counselor.

Let me not be discouraged, nor falter in moving along the path You have set before me. Open the eyes and ears of my heart that I may see, hear and act on your Word. Even when I don’t know why I am in certain circumstances, I know that you are there with me.

You are the Creator of all things, You sustain the universe, You are the great “I AM” , Who was, Who is, and Who forever will be. I pray that I shall never let the world’s condemnations stop me from moving on Your chosen path, nor keep me from speaking your Name or of the love you have for all of us. Your mercy and forgiveness is for everyone and I pray that I shall share this message and not be discouraged nor let condemnation or fear of ridicule keep me from doing so.

I pray in Jesus’s most precious and Holy Name.

Romans 8:34-36  New International Version (NIV)
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered

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Dealing with chaos

In my last blog, I stated that I can only think that I have been in a relatively calm period that I should want VERVE or excitement. Now that a new crisis has arrived, I realize how foolish I have been.

Yes, I wanted to change my life style, but I wanted the changes to be good ones, not bad ones. Now I realize that bad changes come and it is how we deal with them that reveals who we are. Letting go of anger, letting go of false expectations, letting go of grief, is the only way we can move forward.

Today I wanted to recap this period and, of course, started with getting quotes that would help and inspire me. Man, was I surprised to read these quotes because now I know that there is truth in them…that is, chaos can bring newness…new ideas, new changes that will allow growth and hopefully, eventually, understanding. Dealing with my fear of chaos and overcoming that fear was my biggest problem. Isn’t it funny that after we go through a difficult period that so many times we look for the inspiration that we should have sought at the beginning.

“Order brings sameness. Chaos brings newness every moment. The problem is first overcoming our fear of chaos, and then mining for the great ideas and bringing them back home.”

“Chaos in the midst of chaos isn’t funny, but chaos in the midst of order is.” Steve Martin

“Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.” Harat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S.

When critical events come into one’s life, it is amazing how quickly doubt comes in to play. Doubt about how to handle the problem that will change almost everything.

  • Did I do the right thing for everyone involved?
  • Am I seeing the problem right?
  • Is there a logical solution that will benefit everyone?
  • Where is the perspective that should allow me to step back and view the big picture?
  • Am I hearing the words spoken to me or is my hearing blocked by doubt?
  • Words are spinning in my head and scenarios abounding of possible conclusions (mostly bad) causing mass confusion.
  • Where did trust go? Trust that God is helping. Trust in the good and expert advice that was sought. Trust in the goodness of the people one is dealing with.
  • Where did my sense of humor go? I now realize that the ability to laugh at one’s self is so necessary when going through difficult times as it gives perspective to the situation.

Tunnel vision is another problem that can happen during a crisis. Even though we may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we can’t see the hurts and anxiety that others in our life may be going through. Our own problems loom so largely often times it works like the blinders on horses that doesn’t allow them to see anything but the road ahead. During some of my most difficult times recently, I did not sense the anxiety and worries that others close to me were also going through.

While I was going through this chaotic time, I became nervous, sleeplessness prevailed and I felt that my life was changing too fast and I felt scared. I was dealing with anxiety, and most of all, I suffered from a mental block. Such feelings of apprehension would come over me that at times I felt immobile, unable to walk, talk or think. I also felt as if I was in a double life, one in which I must act as though everything in my life was going well and concealing the turmoil inside. As I finished this last week and the decisions were made, I felt some relief and a belief that there was going to be good coming from it; that a strengthening would come.

Most of all, I wanted my closeness with God to strengthen. I wanted His Word to become more important than anything else and to know that the following is true: Struggles will always be with us and anxiety and vulnerabilities to circumstances are part of living.

There are many books that can help us to deal with the anxiety and panic that comes upon us during times of chaos in our life. Techniques of breathing and meditation to calm the body and mind can be very beneficial. My favorite will always be the Bible. His promise of peace in the midst of a storm, His shelter in times of distress and His Love for us gives me the most comfort and the most security.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

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Crossing the monkey bars

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis

I like this one and it reminds me that courage is necessary because sometimes letting go of old life styles is the only way to move forward. This is the third of my four quotes that I chose for my ‘reinventing my life’ blog.

Wow! In just a moment one’s life and life style can be changed. Just one moment an announcement of a health problem is made, and…BAM…your life has been changed. For me, this time, it was a health issue. It could be loss of a job or of a loved one. Any one of those situations can change our lives. Of those, the loss of a loved one has changed me the most.

I have lost loved ones; friends, my mother, my father and a young daughter. My live was changed so much after each of those losses. It’s not only that your life has changed, but that you have been changed. Still today I can not speak or write of the depth of the loss I felt from the death of my daughter. Yet you have to get back on the monkey bars. You do. I can still vividly remember the first time that I fell off monkey bars. The breath was knocked out of me, my eyes were open, but I couldn’t breathe and I remember wondering if I was still alive. That is just how I felt when my daughter died. I stayed on the ground a long time wondering if I could possibly live. Later, it gave me a perspective of what should matter in life. Letting go of grieve was my new monkey bar. I carried grieve with me, it was buried in me and I couldn’t let it go for many years. You might wonder if I let my life stand still during the grieving period, I didn’t. I started a new job with my brother and learned new job skills that would allow doors to open up to opportunities that helped my husband and myself later on. My young son was the recipient of both the good and bad decisions made during this time.

So, in wondering how to change my life style, I realize that most times, it is circumstances that changed my life style or should I just say, changed me. Health, death and even wealth will change how we go about our life, who will be in it, how we will work or, even if we will be able to work.

So C.S. Lewis says it is letting go to that allows us to move forward, but what’s forward? That is what got me thinking about changing my lifestyle. Now, it has become a process of retrospection. It’s funny, because my life has been in many ways conflicted, complicated and complex. It has been filled with intense sorrow, joy and love. I find it funny now that I should be seeking a change…seeking verve…in my life that has been fulfilling in so many ways. I have love (my husband and I have over 50 years of married life and still want to be with each other more than any one else), my son, grandchildren, sisters and brothers and friends. I can only think that I have been in a relatively calm period that I should want VERVE or excitement. Now that a new crisis has arrived, I realize how foolish I have been.Yes, I wanted to change my life style, but I wanted the changes to be good ones, not bad ones. Now I realize that bad changes come and it is how we deal with them that reveals who we are. Letting go of anger, letting go of false expectations, letting go of grieve, is the only way we can move forward. I know that it is sometimes very difficult to get back up and get back on the monkey bars to move forward and I know that it may take time for the process. It’s just that letting go is truly the way forward, or as Budda says” You can only lose what you cling to.” Now the dilemma of letting go.

Letting go of bad things, hanging on to good thing; how simple it sounds, but for most of us it is not easy at all. Through some very difficult times in my past I know only this “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” So if I cling, let me cling to my Lord and if I do well, let me praise Him. Now I realize that I cannot anticipate the future and should not hold on too tightly to the past, but right now, RIGHT NOW, enjoy the moment.

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I want to change my LIFESTYLE!

So many things have happened recently and I now realize that I don’t want to change myself. That’s OK. The circumstances in my life have changed me into the woman I have become. Many changes have made such a deep impression on my psychic that I don’t think I can reinvent myself. I am what I am. I mostly love who I am. If I was younger this may not be totally acceptable, but many years have just taken their toll.

I want to change my LIFESTYLE! I want VERVE! I am in a rut and have made certain changes to step out of it, but not very big ones, just small ones. So how should I start?

I have looked over my list and decided to pick two or three interests and explore the how, why and what for.

  • New Interests: I need different interests and  allow doors to open to new experiences for opportunities to do something different. Over the years I have explored lots of things now what comes to my mind most often are not new interests, but ones that I had abandoned: writing, painting, traveling.
  • I can’t seem to get enthused over things. (This is where verve comes into play)

Those interests let go of or never explored:

  • Travel – I really hate traveling in airplanes now because the seating is totally uncomfortable and whenever the person in front lowers his seat I want to scream and great waves of claustrophobia come over me. I like traveling in a car with my husband and some of our road trips have been memorable and are still laughed about at family gatherings. So I want to do more of that: Road trips with Ron.
  • Work less — write more. I once dreamed of being a writer. Maybe my sister and I could write a mystery. Yes, I would like to write a mystery book with my sister. We have talked about this over the years and maybe we could get it done. Our discussions about our story line sometimes included undercover stuff and just doing any of those things would add VERVE to my life.
  • Scribble Sisters. Our books of quotes and art need to be exposed to a bigger market. I want to go to a book fair; a really, really big one and meet with people who could help us. Starting with San Francisco then maybe London (even though I would have to fly), would be a dream come true.
  • I have begun painting pictures… really. Through a national art program called Paint Night offered in many cities one can paint classical and modern art with the instructions and help of local artists. This has been so wonderful for me. I don’t paint well, but my paintings actually look similar to the original. I’m doing something I have dreamed of, but never believed I could. Next, I want to be be creative and paint something of my very own.

Traveling and writing would open me up to experiences that would certainly allow other changes to happen and I may once again be changed as in the past. That’s OK.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein.  This one encourages me to keep being creative, to keep thinking and be open to change.

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This week I thought about reinventing my life. Did I mean reinventing myself? After contemplating, I knew that I needed to look closely at myself and decide, is it my lifestyle or is it me.
I have been changed by circumstances that have happened in my life. This is how it should be, for how can we remain the same when great tragedy happens. Happiness also changes us and I have been fortunate to have much happiness in my life. Love, oh amour, you too changed me and I shall be eternally grateful for those changes. I have become a woman different from the young woman who wanted success in business, success in marriage and success as a wonderful mother.The dream of leaving home, traveling and being a cosmopolitan woman of the world is no longer a dream. I left home, got married, got a job and gave up the dream of being a world traveler and very successful career woman. (Have you ever noticed how “very” is in our descriptions of our dreams). My husband and I worked hard and became successful business owners, which consumes one’s life in ways I never comprehended. Success takes its dues and when dreaming of success one never anticipates the costs. Being a wife and copartner in business can be — NO, IT IS stressful and calls for greater struggles in being successful as a wife. In fact when I first got married, I didn’t even know what a successful wife should be. I just wanted to be one. When I became a mother, I now realize that I didn’t know what being a successful mother was. Does anyone really know?Looking back, I think about all those dreams and how my life changed them from idealistic, romantic ones with new dreams taking their place;  ones with more pragmatism and more achievable. I think also some dreams just go away, lost in the day to day struggles to make ends meet.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King, “but praise God, I’m not the woman I once was” I still strive to become the woman I ought to be and this brings me to back to the question, do I want to reinvent myself or reinvent my lifestyle?

“I may not be the man I want to be, I may not be the man I ought to be, I may not be the man I could be, I may not the may not be the man I can be, but praise God, I’m not the man I once was” Martin Luther King


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