Sunday, July 17, 2016

praying again

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris, by Melissa Mathieson

It's been awhile since I've prayed. Why? The most honest answer I can come up with is that I just plain haven't felt like it. I'm still angry with my maker for allowing such a tragic end to my sister's life. Of all people ... She was a Jesus follower to the core! How can anyone even begin to make sense of something like that?

Almost every day I'm hearing stories of evil in the world — each one seemingly more horrible than the last — and there's an extra pang in my heart for the victims of these atrocities and their loved ones. But here's the thing ...  in spite of the evil and madness, there continues to be love, laughter, and beauty in the world, and in my life. How it all can exist simultaneously is hard to get my head around, but darned if it does.

So, yes, I'm praying again, but my soliloquies have got to be sounding a bit different to their recipient. Instead of literally coming to Jesus in my "prayer spot" overlooking the ocean near my former home in the Pines by the Sea (hey, it was nice while it lasted!), I find myself coming to my maker in random moments during my day simply to say Thank You. I'm feeling compelled to do this more and more, in spite of the fact that a madman recently plowed down hundreds of people with his truck on Bastille Day evening in Nice, France, killing 85 of them. All of this while my daughter, studying abroad, was not far from the scene that very night enjoying fireworks by the Eiffel tower. While I must throw up my hands and say, "What the hell, God?" I must also thank him for protecting my girl, and providing her with opportunities to enjoy her life to the fullest in a wonderful foreign land. I just got a text from her ... she has a free day on her agenda and is shopping on the streets of Paris at this very moment. (:

Perhaps prayer is acknowledging the good and simply omitting the bad ... coming before God in sheer appreciation and gratitude, while thoroughly admitting I don't understand the roots of evil, madness, bigotry, selfishness, sickness, pain, natural disasters or why people I love have to die. Prayers for peace and comfort? I suppose, but if he has the power to grant these things, wouldn't he also have the power to stamp out evil, etc.,  altogether? I am clearly not going to figure this out at my computer on a Sunday morning.

Truth is, my God has plopped me right here in the middle of the Garden of Eden surrounded by love and light. Doesn't he deserve to be acknowledged and praised for this?

For now, the Thank You prayer is all I've got. Maybe it's all I need?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

transitional time

It's been a while since I've checked into this blog. Just haven't felt like my creative self in, oh, the past couple of years, really. I'm no longer a "single" mom — moved in with my partner Lloyd a little over a year ago. I now reside in beautiful Santa Barbara, a whole different kind of Paradise than foresty Cambria ... palm trees and all! I imagined a picture-perfect existence in SB ... I'd finally be with my man 24/7 while making a decent paycheck (for a change) at a job I landed before I moved south. But the job turned out to be not so great and I found myself desperately looking for a way out. Worst of all, I lost my dear sister/best friend — a victim of a tragic circumstance (see previous blog entry). To say her death was the most horrifying shock of my life would be a huge understatement.

I needed to take a breather and simplify my life. I somehow landed a part-time job as an administrative assistant to the marketing director of our local community college — the same school my daughter attends. The position is perfect for me! (My sister would've called this a "God thing.") So my recent days have consisted of work in the morning, walking the dog (I forgot to tell you we got the cutest Pug puppy!), napping, and cooking for my man. With my part time schedule, I'd have lots of time to write, I told myself ... which of course, I haven't done! But that's OK.

Apparently, when you go though large doses of life changes and tragedies, you need a good amount of veg time to let it all sink in — at least I do. I'm thankful for afternoon naps, a rambunctious puppy, and a supportive man in my life. Oh, and great new friends and coworkers! Because of their healing powers I find myself crying less, smiling more, and better able to see myself as a competent, creative soul. Or maybe I'm just hearing my sister's voice telling me I am!

I've been offered a full-time position at work and I've decided to take it. I am ready.