Quote of the day

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Helping Others?

This morning while punching the time clock in the lobby I noticed two appeals for aid.One to assist an aid who was trying to get his sons and mother out of Haiti and one to donate hours of pto time to a nurse who found out she has cancer and needs some time for her,hopeful,recovery.
I walked into the elevator and the aid I was with said.I'm so tired of people asking me to help.I can't even help myself.
I know how this person feels.Sometimes it seems like everyone needs help every where you turn.No one wants to turn anyone down but one can get burned out from all these pleas for help.
Sometimes I also feel helpless.How do we help everyone in need? How do we pick what is important and what is not? sometimes I feel like I'm shoveling sand against the tide and you know what the tide is winning.
I never like to see anyone in pain.I guess that's why I became a nurse because I have the need to help others but sometimes I feel like I'm drowning myself and am not sure which way to turn.Like I'm being pulled in all different directions.
I try to find charities that I feel are really in need but lately it seems like everyone is in need and I do not know which direction to turn in.
Tomorrow when I stop at work to straighten out some insurance bills,I will donate some money to help this father with bringing his family here and will probably donate 8 hours of my vacation time to the nurse with cancer.Maybe,for whatever reason,this will help in a small way.
Its all so over powering where does it start and where does it end?
To those that much is given much is required.But how much?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Freud

In our day to day lives we spend much time trying to discern what our inner feelings are and what our outer responses should be.
When I was in college I took several courses in psychology.We studied most of the history makers of the analytical world namely Sigmund Freud.
Now Freud spent a great deal of time talking about the conscious and subconscious world we all face in our day to day lives.Our personal struggles with our selves.
Freud referred to the id and the ego.Both trying to take over and over powering us while we try to keep our selves in check.
When I was a kid we used to think that we were in a spiritual war with the good and bad in our own make up.The devil on one shoulder and the saint on the other both trying to pull us in their direction.
As we get older we realize that the world expects us to be a certain person,to fit in and contribute to society.But we also have our subconscious,that which gives us ideas and dreams.Wanting things we can not have and dreaming about things we,in our everyday world have to suppress.Things like jealousy,rage,hatred and desires.
As we get older our lives on the outside may not be what our animal nature on the inside is.
Things we know are wrong to do outwardly we suppress and think about inwardly.
If our id and ego are in balance we are able to meet these internal desires and accept or face them down in order to keep our lives on track.But when our ego or id are off track we are off.This is why people molest,have affairs,rob or are abusive toward others.Since we have no balance we have no self control.
When most people think of Freud they think of a kind of sex nut but you must remember he lived in the time of the Victorian Era when people put skirts around the legs of their tables because it was to racy,or suggestive for the pure mind.
Some of Freud's principles are still very valuable and though Freud tended to like to blame parents and toilet training he also helped us to understand why we are torn apart in our personal lives.
Its been a great many years since Freud became the father of psychotherapy and since his time many scientist have come up with more practical therapy's like behaviorism,which states that we can change our lives if we learn to change our reaction and thought patterns.We are never a slave to our circumstances if we can meet our selves,understand our selves and change our behavioral pattens of action and reaction.
We do not have to lead the same old lives if we are willing to evaluate who we are,why we react the way we do and how we can change our selves for the better.
No one should be afraid of change if they are not afraid of themselves.Sometimes changing thought patterns also changes reaction.
We are as happy as we are willing to make ourselves and our surrounding.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Decompression

How do you decompress after a long tough day or week? what do you do to unwind?
I work at a job that is somewhat high stress.Every other weekend I work a three day stretch and let me tell you come Monday I'm just ready to be to me.
Since I have no real hobbies,because everything interest me but not much hold my undivided attention,I tend to have more of a routine that I practice.
Monday morning starts out with prayer,some bible reading then some readings from prayer books from St.Francis.
Once up I hit the shower,dress,grab my Cd's and its out to the car to catch up on some errands.
Now this may not seem very relaxing to you but it is to me.The freedom of driving and singing to my disc is uplifting to me.Its a time when I get to think about and make plans on all that has gone on in my life in the past three working days.
Sometimes I mindlessly go to different stores and look at clothes or gadgets with no real reason to be there just to admire the view.
Many mornings I stop for breakfast at a small restaurant in Putnam.I watch TV.and eat in peace with no one saying "Linda come here","someones the phone for you","can you help me do this or that?" or my favorite "Linda come quick,I need you now".That's never a good one.
In the nice warm weather I like to go up to St.Anne shrine in Southbridge Mass. and walk around the stations of the cross,stopping to think about each as I walk by them.
My favorite part is sitting on the bench across from the giant cross on the hill and just looking up trying not to think of anything.This cross is so large that if you walk up the steps to the top of the hill your head will come only up to the feet of Jesus.Now that's putting things into perspective.How small are we and how great is God?
Many of my friends when I tell them I enjoy times of just being alone feel bad for me,like I can't get a date.But I enjoy my alone time it gives me time to think.
Between you and me I must admit I have a bad habit.If I happen to be somewhere and see a friend or acquaintance I try to think of ways not to bump into them so I do not have to converse with them.I know this sounds bad but some weekends I feel I given so much to others that I have nothing left to give and nothing left to say.
Its not a snub to them its more of a need for me.
So I guess this is how I handle things and keep things in perspective.No life and no job is perfect we all need to find our outs and my out is alone time.
You know there is a reason God told us to make the seventh day a day of rest because he understood no person can be totally consumed every day.We each need to take time to meet ourselves and understand that we deserve our own attention.We are just as important to us as the rest of the world is.
We can't do God's work if were to tired and burnt out and we can't love our neighbor if we don't like ourselves.
Sometimes selfish is not always a bad thing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meditation

Meditation to me is much like walking.Both are spiritual,freeing and good for both body and soul. Unfortunately both also require DISCIPLINE.Yuck...
Now I am what you would call a "fair weather walker".The temperature,timing and intensity all hinge on the weather.
To hot,to cold,to wet,to dry,to light or to dark all play a part in whether or not I put on my shoes and brave the great outdoors.
I love walking and feel really great when I'm done,always wondering why I ever doubted the venture in the first place.In the end it is always worth the effort.
Several evenings ago I decided it was time to get serious and start to meditate again.I have not done so in at least 6 months and like walking wonder why I gave up on it.
The past two evening I have tried to invest at least 10 minutes of my time,little to ask out of a 24 hour day I know,in this endeavor.
Now don't get me wrong meditation is a lot harder then one thinks its not just a matter of semi-closing your eyes and clearing your mind its about focus and discipline and learning to get ones flighty mind to relax and be still.
Please realize that I work at a job were I never relax or sit still.Even when I can find a few minutes to eat I'm writing papers,answering phone calls or talking to patients or family members.There is nothing calm about my day.
When I do get home its do dishes,make supper and anything else that needs to be done.run,run,run.
Thursday evening I decided its time to start meditating and stop making excuses.
I started out by lighting a candle,turning off the bedroom lights and sitting on my bed cross legged,yes I can still do that but not for long,with my hands palms up on my knees I tried to remember how to start the process of freeing my soul.
Lets see "Close your eyes slightly then breath".Breathing is always good,listen to you breaths,breath in,breath out.
"Wait am I breathing correctly?",funny I never thought about my rhythm before,oh yeah breath in for 5 seconds breath out for 10 seconds.Nice work "but am I starting to feel light headed?",no I guess not.
OK now relax and think of a word to repeat to help focus."What word?" "any word". how about "peace".O.K.Peace.
Peace,peace no I don't like that word "how about salvation",no there are three syllable in it,I'm only suppose to use two syllables words,one part to inhale on and one on the exhale on."OH FOR GOD SAKE JUST THINK OF A WORD ALREADY!!!"
Oops better start back at the breathing and relaxing part again.
I can honestly say that after 10 minutes of meditation I finally came up with one true minute of broken solitude.
Between rechecking my breathing,arguing with myself over which word to use,remembering not to close my eyes completely and wondering if my picture of Jesus was to close to the candle in the votive holder. It was,to say the least,not pretty
Yesterday when I went to Target I decided to make meditating more exciting.I found a wonderful wooden box to store my things.I bought a Crystal handled lighter to make it special,some incense a glass dish to burn them on and a nice smelling soy candle and most important of all a special pillow to sit on.
Last night,with great anticipation I opened my box and set up all the things I would need to make my meditation experience something even the Eastern world would appreciate.Who knows I might even experience "Nirvana",no not the singing group,the state of mind.
On the lid of the box I placed my candle and incense and light each,so far so good.Then I took my special picture of Jesus the teacher,my favorite and tried to get it to stand up,which it refused to do.Eventually I found a standing picture frame to lean Jesus against and put it between my candle and incense.
Now with the lights off and my pillow in place I sat down,well fell down onto it. For some odd reason the floor seemed allot lower then I remembered.
Now came the breathing part,hey so far so good.Next a word I know "adore" 2 syllables easy to repeat,I think I'm on my way.
With great resolute and relaxation on my side I began to think about God and his mercies,how gracious he is,how thankful I am to him and...how this incense smells like the exhaust of my neighbors wood stove,I thought it said vanilla not wood pile pine.This room smells like a campground and to think I spent...Darn off tract again.
Lets see where was I... oh well back to breathing and repeating..
I think in the end I got 2 good consecutive minutes of praise and thought.
Now I'm beginning to think bed time is not a good time for this.
Alright today is Saturday maybe I'll try this afternoon around 5pm.No that's when I start cooking supper.We'll maybe 4 o'clock,I'm not sure about that time.Maybe after supper would be good,oh wait we're going to the movies tonight.Yes bed time it will have to be.But what if I'm to tired?
Here we go again.Maybe I need to start breathing and relaxing now.
Forgive me God but I am trying,honestly I am.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mercy,Love and Justice

What do you do when you are hurt by the actions of another?
Most people who have been wronged try to make that person pay.
But do you know that when your angry at one person you become angry with everyone you meet.It's an unconscious way of making the whole world pay for being wronged by one person.
Funny the words love and forgive appear more times in the bible then you can imagine.
Jesus understood pain because he lived and bore witness to the wrongs of the world and said things like"love your enemy.forgive them forty times forty.what good does it serve you to forgive and love only your friends even the tax collector,gentiles and thieves do this and you are called to forgive and love enemies,you are called to do more."
The word hate and christian are an oxymoron.you can not call your self a christian and hate your fellow man.You are called to love your enemy and do good to those who are not good to you.Turn the other cheek,so to speak.
We all suffer in this world but its what you do with that suffering that determines who you are.
When something bad happens to you make something good out of it.Find kindness,show mercy and give love.
God says justice is mine.
So today if you feel someone has wronged you in anyway take the time to even just smile at others.Say something kind to someone,extend a helping hand to those in need and in this way we help to heal our own wounds.
Being proactive allows us to see that just because we've been kicked down by the world God uplifts us.He always pays us back in spades.
So be good to everyone,including your self,and be healed

Monday, January 18, 2010

Joyce's Horse

My last post was a rather sad and shocking thing I know.
Who expects to know such turmoil and be privy to all the details.
My entire weekend at work,has been filled with speculations,innuendo and sadness.
First for the victims and next for the slayer.God only knows what drives a man to be so low and angry that he could end not only his own life but his wife too.
Nobody should be shot in their sleep by the man who claims to love you,how selfish!!!!!on his part..
Yesterday I saw Walt,the maintenance man.Being not sure what to say to him,I simple said "Walter how is it going?" he told me he spent several days crying and still can not understand that Joyce is really dead.
You know this one action of desperation has turned many peoples lives into pain.
My patient Alice,whose family has been with her every day,morning until night,holds her stuffed animal Joyce gave and just says "why?"and cries
We as the staff had come to know Joyce and her poodle coco and could not believe we will never see either of them again.How some one so full of life can be no more is hard to understand.
One day here the next day gone.
Yesterday I read in the paper that her horse Picaro is still alive and at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton.He has lost some skull fragments and his right eye had to be removed and the poor thing is in a traumatic state.
Horses are very sensitive creatures and they feel deeply.
If any one is interested and wants to send money to assist in this poor animals medical fees donations may be made to:

Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton,Ma.01536

please make checks payable to:

Trustees of Tufts College

to give on line visit:

www.tufts.edu/vet/giving

I plan on sending a check myself and will do it today.Not only did Joyce not deserve what happened to her neither did her beloved horse of 22 years.

I can tell you the horse community is a close knit group and will jump in with offers to help this poor animal doing all they can for him but your help will be greatly appreciated and if he makes it,and things look good so far,this will be Joyce's legacy of love.
This beautiful and proud stallion.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Such Sadness

Since I'm not sure where to begin this post I will start at the beginning.
Last year we got a patient named Alice,who is totally blind.When she came her home care giver,Joyce,accompanied her to assist with her settling in process.
Alice and Joyce were very close to each other.Joyce,who was married,came to visit several times a week and brought her little brown Poodle,Coco.
Has spring came Joyce began to become friends with one of our maintenance men,Walt.They would go out dancing and doing things,she said her husband could not do because he was disable.
Soon things began to seem romantic and I tried to not be around when Joyce and Walt were together.Being very set against affairs I felt it was better for me to do other things.
Joyce began to confide in me telling me she and Walt were not having an affair and that her husband really liked him,so much so,that they were all planning to move to Florida together.
Now don't get me wrong I liked Joyce and she would talk to me about her horse and how she loved to dance and take walks and Walt helped her feel alive when they were together.
One day she told me she had found out she had thyroid cancer but it seemed under control and she was hoping soon to be well enough to visit with Alice more often.
Today when I got into work,Janice,the third shift nurse said "Linda you need to sit down I have something for you to read."
She then handed me a piece of paper that told of a woman named Joyce found in bed shot in the head.Both her dog and horse were also shot.
It seems her husband had gone into the house shot her, set the house on fire,went to the barn shot the animals,started his truck on fire,then went into the house and shot himself in the door way.
I was in shock.How could such a thing happen?
I went into Alice's room and said "Alice before I check your blood sugar let me hug you."
She said "Linda how could this happen? how could someone do such a thing?"
I told her this was a crazy world,who knows why someone does what they do.I guess we never trully know some one and what their capable of doing.
Alice began to cry and so did I.
I am at present still numb from this whole thing.
Someone told me their house was to go up on the auction block today and that Joyce's cancer had gotten worse and she had no hope.
What ever the reason it just seems so wrong to me and I still feel as if I lost a friend.
May God have mercy on all their souls.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Abortion

Now if you want a passionate subject bring up the word "Abortion".
Seems like everyone has their own opinions.Pro Life,Pro choice,it doesn't matter which side your on it will boil your neighbors blood,especially if you say the wrong thing.
This probably is one of the few subjects that you can get into trouble just by speaking your thoughts.You don't even have to have had an abortion and you can be made to feel like a great sinner.So much for freedom of speech.
Now I'm the kind of person who feels talk is good,no matter which side your own,its always good to air your views and come to understand another persons reason for why they feel the way they do.Give and take is always the right thing to do.
Tonight we had an adult education class and the subject turned to abortion.Why its right or wrong and how the church feels about it.
Fr.Peter brought up a good point that if a man knows his wife/girlfriend is having an abortion and does nothing about it he also is as guilty as she is.
"Good for you Fr.its about time men get to be apart of the guilt not just women."It take two to have a baby and two to have an abortion and if your not part of the solution then your part of the problem.
So stand up and be a man,help raise this child,its yours too you know.
Several months ago one of the aides at work come to me and told me her 16 year old daughter was pregnant,scared and was thinking about an abortion.
My friend was not sure how she would tell her husband he was to be a grandfather in in March.
I told her I was so excited about this baby and she should be too.We talked about how thrilling it was going to be to hold this baby in her arms and forget all the trauma she was going through right now.
Last week I got an invitation to her daughters shower. March is just around the corner and we laughed and I said "doesn't it seem like just yesterday when you were wondering how to break the news to your husband and your new grandson will be here before you know it".
I think this may be the answer to the abortion question.Just say.. how can I help? isn't this exciting? and most of all.. I will be here to support you through this,you are not alone.
Although this girls' boyfriend is not interested in this child we at work are and I can tell you I plan to attend this shower and hopefully soon hold that cute little boy in my arms.
The problem with being alone and pregnant is its frightening.Women need support and men need to take responsibility,even if marriage is not in the picture.
We need to stop with the guilt and start with the possibilities of how beautiful the future can be if you just hang on.
We has a church group need to be the support system so when some one feels they can not possibly carry and raise a child we say "yes you can and we are here to help you.you are not alone".

Is God To Blame

Why do bad things happen to people?
Could it be because we have wronged God in some way and this is his punishment to us?
Funny how some folks,like Pat Robertson,feel that the people in Haiti some how deserved this earth quake because back when the French owned their country the people decided to make a pact with the Devil that if the France went away so they would make God go away.
You know back in the time of Jesus people believed if you had some issue be it physical or mental,either you or your parents were to blame.It was God way of punishing you for the ills of family members.
Now I don't know about you but I feel God is loving and kind and although we probably get him upset from time to time I do not believe he is out to get us.
It's to bad a person who professes to be a man of God would think so narrowly about our creator that he would send fire and brimstone down on us for a so called pact made by an ancestor with the evil one,hundreds of years ago.
God made us each who we are and as such does not go out of his way to punish an entire population because of the wrong doing of some.
We are not placed on this earth to be anymore then who we are and we are asked by God to love one another has he loves us.If he loves us why would he want to destroy us? Would it be to teach our fore fathers a lesson? Does this father want his children shaking in their shoes every time they do something stupid? This makes no sense to me at all.
I believe that Mother Nature is who she is and the world ebbs and flows because God set it into motion many millions of years ago.In its time,like in our own,it will end.
We have catastrophes on this planet to give us the opportunity to make good on helping each other.We are here to make thing better,not worse and in most cases we try to.
The United States is one of the most generous countries in the world and I think most of us believe we need to help others.
Now if Pat Robertson wants to take anything away from this disaster it should be that most Americans are at their best when others are at their worse. We love to roll up our sleeves and pitch in.
We're there for the under dogs of the world no matter which country they belong to.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Letting Go Of Your Life

Last Saturday night our church held a coffee house in the church hall.
We had coffee and pizza and a musician named Mark Bishop Evans,who played the guitar and told us fascinating stories about getting closer to God and his own experience with his past.
Seems Mark had been molested by his Minister step father and spent many years doing cocaine until finally after great paranoia and fear he decided to call on God to enter into his life and help make him whole again.
One Story Mr. Bishop told was how when he thinks of God calling him he sees a great ocean of water so great there is no land.God tells him to come into the water and after sticking his toe in God says "Mark all the way in."
He talks about his fear of running and jumping into the great depths of the water and being engulfed by Gods greatness and his own fear of letting go of his life and letting God have it.
After he told this tale it reminded me of how I see God as a great and shining light.Me on one side of a door and God and his brightness on the other.
The closer I try to get to God the brighter this light becomes.God beckons me to push open the door all the way but every time I try to push the door open a bit more the light becomes so bright I have to close my eyes and close the door again.
In my heart I fear the brightness of this light will be so all encompassing that I will be lost in it and their will be no more of me only Gods radiance.
Basically the whole fear is letting go of myself because lets face it after all these years,for better or worse,I've become pretty attached to me.
So in the end the thought of losing myself in God stops me from opening the door wide and becoming one with the light.
This is my earthly struggle my inability to totally let God take over.My fear he may ask me to do something I am not ready for or prepared for.What if I can't do what he wants will this make me a failure? will God be disappointed in me? will he never ask me to do another thing? What if the voice I hear is not God but my own?
I know these are all illusions in my mind.
The other guy helping me to stay put,don't give in to much,fool my self into not even trying to do what I am being called to do.Basically fearing the unknown
You know in the end as we journey closer to God we have to go farther away from us.We are to become one with the creator and you can not serve two master,God and this world.One must become greater and the other lesser.
We as people are always in a unnecessary spiritual war.Holding the key to our freedom but to afraid to open the lock that chains us to this world.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Anniversary

Yesterday was our Wedding Anniversary and we decided to eat out.
At Christmas my Aunt Anita gave us a $25.00 gift card to Chili's so we decided to go to Auburn Mass.our nearest Chili's restaurant.
Now being Friday night we had to wait about twenty minutes to get in,so we went and sat in the designated waiting area and has is par for the course we had a couple sit near us with small unruly children.
Trust me when I say I don't hate kids and I understand that children will be children but maybe a fast food place would be more of an advantage for everyone involved.
If this is impossible don't be afraid to set boundaries,even a two year old understands what is right and wrong and if all else fails bring toys and snacks.Remember waiting is boring not only for you but for them too and they don't understand what to do with all that energy.
Once at our table we each decided to get a top shelf Margarita and
while waiting for our drinks my husband found a two for meal special on the menu.
For $20.00 we could get one shared appetizer,each an entree and shared desert.
Now I love a good Margarita and that's tough to find,most restaurants are not good at making these drinks.So with great anticipation and what seemed like forever my frosted,salty rimmed glass full of this yellow concoction made it's way to our table.
With both hands around my glass I lifted and tilted my drink to my mouth,closed my eyes, took a long swallow and realized the strength of the alcohol was over powering,to say the least.
I called the waiter over to ask that more lemon mix be added to which he said "there is no mix in this,it's real lime."He kindle took both glasses back to the bar and had them add more fresh squeezed lime to them. Making both drinks taste wonderfully fresh and fruity.
Vic and I both ordered the baby back ribs for our entree,so good they just melted in our mouths,and although I don't like this term... "they were to die for."Our feast ended with a shared hot brownie topped with ice cream...yum yum....
What a great night we had and what fun.When the bill came we both laughed because the total for the food was $20.but the total of the drinks were $15.00.I can tell you we were glad we had our gift card because it allowed us to splurged on our beverages.
So thanks Aunt Anita this was well spent money on your part and we greatly appreciated it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Talent

Have you ever wondered what your talent is?
I have wondered for many years what mine is.
I have two friends both named Laura.
Laura G. and I have been friends since grammar school and high school.Laura was always a very talented person.Good at math,spelling,memory but her best talent was drawing.She could draw with charcoal like you could not believe,her specialty was horses.
I remember being in high school and she would take art classes and the drawings and talents she had with her hands were,well impressive.
Now my other friend Laura D.I have only known for 4 or so years.She has a beautiful singing voice so nice she could record and sell her religious songs.
I have never been clear on what exactly my talent was.It seems anything that I do in life requires a great deal of work.nothing has ever come easy to me.
I know what I enjoy but nothing is outstanding or truly special.
Last Saturday while my husband was away I rented the movie "Julie and Julia",this movie is about a woman who decides in one year she will try to cook over 500 of Julia Child's recipes.
Now Julia Child did not start out has a chief,she liked to cook but nothing more.
While her husband and she were living in Paris,she needed a Hobby to keep her self busy while he was at work.
She tried all kinds of different classes but found she had no real interest in any of them.
One day she signed up for cooking classes but became bored because it was to basic for her.After some searching she found a class for more advanced students taught by a male teacher for men only.She was able to persuade them to let her take this class and found she really loved French cooking.
She had found her talent! And once she graduated and earned her chief license she started her own cooking classes then,with the help of a friend,wrote a French cookbook for American housewives,"in English" unheard of in her time.
I have come to the conclusion in my life that this most likely is how I too will find my talent,through exposer to different things.
No one can discover who they are by only doing what they know and how do you know what you can do unless you try.
We has Americans tend to shy away from what we do not feel we are good at,we fear failure like the plague.We are all overly sensitive to what others opinions are of us and fear the end before we even start the beginning.
I think this year I will try to be a bit braver and try out more new experiences.
After all you only live once so why not live with a little adventure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

"Oh Christmas tree,oh Christmas tree how lovely are they branches"
So today is clean up day.I only planned on taking a few Christmas things down and saving the tree and manger for the weekend.
No such luck.
Now I have this problem when ever I decide to do something it becomes all or nothing.So having finished the things I wanted to put away I slowly moved to the tree.
I told myself I would only take some of the bulbs off but suddenly they were all off and the next thing I knew the lights and garland were neatly packed too.With this sad little tree sitting on the small book shelf by the window and its needles cascading to the floor with each touch,I decided to put it outside by the front steps to make it once more part of mother nature.
Next came all my antique Santa's off the entertainment center and before I knew it the manger and stable were boxed up and ready to be put back into the attic.
After the floor was vacuumed and things wiped down the thought hit me that I should finish putting plastic up on the parlor and kitchen windows.
So off to Wal Marts I went to help decrease our winter oil consumption,Al Gore would be proud.
You know its always sad to take the decorations down.The house looks so empty and it is as if happiness has left the building.How do we do it all through the year with out such loveliness all around us.
How do I decorate now,what can compare? flowers,plaid,bright colors? oh how confusing.
But you know while cleaning today I came across a box and in it were all the things needed to start a window sill herb garden.I think this will be my new happiness,I will plant them today put them in the window sill and watch daily to see if they take on life.Every day one step closer to full growth.
Maybe that's what Christmas has left us,the gift of a new year and new growth,every day one step closer to being who we should be.
Now isn't that a nice surprise and a nice challenge.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Church Patriarchs

As you know I belong to an Orthodox Christian church which is part of the Romanian Dioceses.
We like the Catholic Church have hierarchy we have bishops and patriarchs but we do not have one primary leader,like the pope, Although we do consider that the patriarch from Constantinople takes a higher position in order he is not the ultimate law maker.We have a synod to lead us in major issues of church doctrine and laws.
Last night while listening to Fr.Peter "Shepard of Souls" number 84.A very interesting concept was brought up.What would happen if there was no hierarchy to lead,if God forbid,they were taken from us.what would we do?
This morning while laying in bed I got to thinking about this.
Are we ultimately the product of a hierarchy or our we has priest and church members more then our hierarchical leadership?
Our faith was founded by our leader Jesus Christ and although he did not found the religion he did lay out the values and frame work of our beliefs.
He intern chose 12 apostles who spoke to the masses what his message was and how this pertained in our daily lives.They were responsible for keeping the new churches on track and when St.Paul came along he helped establish how the church would teach and be run and how not only religious people should lead their lives but how priest should conduct themselves and their churches.
This morning I came across a very interesting passage in 2 Corinthians chapter 13 verse4-11 in it it states.
"For though he was crucified in weakness,yet he lives by the power of God.For we also are weak in him,but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith,test yourselves.do you know yourselves,that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you are disqualified.
But I trust you will know you are not.
Now I pray to God that you do no evil,not that you should appear approved,but that you should do what is honorable,though we may seem disqualified.
For we can do nothing against the truth,but for the truth.
For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong.And this also we pray,that you may be made complete.
Finally,brethren,farewell, become complete.Be of good comfort,be of one mind,live in peace,and the God of love and peace will be with you."
Suddenly these verses shot off the page to me and I think this is what would help us through our loses if we had no hierarchy.
We has a church have been taught how to live our lives through the teaching of Jesus Christ in trusted to our own priest.We,has through what has been taught to us,need to follow by Jesus example how we are to love each other and keep ourselves,though we be weak,in the following of our daily lives with these teachings.
If we live by the rule Jesus taught us to be good and love each other then although we are weak we will be strong,especially when we are united to each other,which is our Church and other followers of the faith.
Our church is made up also of our leaders the priest who carry the knowledge and understanding of the church teachings and practices through their many years of schooling and faith reading.
If we were to lose our hierarchy the faith would remain on our shoulders and although we are weak if we follow what we were taught we will become strong for the faith will be in each one of us and we will never lose it.
So like any other good organization if each hierarchy were to leave the priest would take over and if anything happens to our priest we as the next in line,the true believes of the church,would have to pick up and carry out what we have been taught and bring it forward to others in the world.That is why through our faith we are enlightened and through our weakness we are made strong.
So although we may be lost at first we would always have our ultamite head of the church Jesus who would guide us through our journey.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Day/A tribute to Stefan

Today is New Years day and although I had to work it ended up being one of those quite days.Only one patient went out and only a few residents had visitors today.
After morning med pass we heated up the lasagna,I brought, and broke out our small buffet.
The aides just loved having this treat it made their day seem a little on the festive side.We all had fun and it helped us not miss our families so much on this holiday.
Today my husband was to drive to Pennsylvania for a funeral for his cousin Stefan.
Now Stefan and his wife Maria and their children started out life in Bulgaria during the reign of the communist Russians.
When life became to unbearable under this rule he and his wife and family decided it was time to escape and come to freedom.
They we're able to hide and walk until they ended up in Italy in a displaced persons camp.
Once there they got a hold of Vic's father who sent them the much needed money to come to the United States,where they lived with Vic's family for several years until they we're able to work and take their M.D. test to become doctors in this country,since that is what he and Maria were back in the old country.
They moved to Pennsylvania and set up a family practice where not only were they successful but being one hour away from Washington D.C. they were inflectional with the Bulgarian Embassy.
Stefan ended up getting cancer in the neck area and after several attempts at experimental drugs decided he could no longer fight a losing battle.
Several day after Christmas he left this world.
Today my husband and his sister decided to fly,rather then drive,out for the funeral on Saturday and although I miss Vic very much when he is away,I also understand how important this trip is for him to make.
So this is in tribute to not only a wonderful doctor but also a loving and kind man who touched not just my life but many others and whose healing hands brought comfort to his patients.
Here's to Stefan Alexandrov a very special person who will be greatly missed.