Quote of the day

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Right Choice

Have you every had a time when you can feel "the call".When you know your on the right track and you have no doubt in your mind the direction is correct.
Most of our lives are spent looking for the right choices.The right job,the right spouse,the right friends the right church.
We walk through cloudy shadows and hope what we pick is "right" for us.
Sometimes we trust that fate will lead us where we need to be and sometimes conscious decisions need to be made and the best out come hoped for.
Right and wrong have never been a real problem for me.Once I know in my heart of hearts that the right choice is picked I can,like Tom Petty's song says "stand my ground and I wont back down."
Even when I was a child I never had a need to do as my friends did.If it seemed wrong to me no amount of begging from them would sway my opinion,even if it meant losing them as friends.
Being true to myself because I have to live with me,is always my best options.I can always feel proud of who I am and sleep at night knowing what I did was the way to go.
Although prayer has always helped me make the choices that seem correct I,like Moses,sometimes need a burning bush in my face because whispers don't seem to work for me.God every present small voice can be to soft for me to distinguish from the rest of the noise around me.
Many of my answers to issues come from things I've read,people I've spoke to and every once in awhile TV. or radio.They just seem to jump out at me like a bright light.
I have found that things in the end seem to work out even if the path seems dark.If My inner feelings are calm then my direction is correct even if the trip to get there is hidden by the trees.

Knitting Mittens

2 weeks ago while at Michael's craft store in Dayville.I began to look around at all the different crafts and before I knew it I was in the yarn section.
It has been a very long time since I have knitted and to be honest I have gotten rid of all my needles during one of my "I'm never going to use it so give it away" phases.
While in the aisle I noticed that some of the skeins of yarn were on sale for $.99 and suddenly the urge came over me to knit.
But what should I make?
Some thing easy and short and something I could give away.
But what?
I know mittens!
As the excitement grew I knew this was to be my next project so I picked up some inexpensive bamboo needles a skein of yarn and an inexpensive knitting book for beginners.
Sitting down to work on my first mitten was lots of fun until I realized this was going to take longer then I thought,since I had to reacquaint myself with how to add on stitches,slip them off and keep count.
Being determined to do this I plodded on.It's very hard to make things when you are anal and I can be stubborn especially when things are not,what I consider,perfect enough.I will restart something a dozen times if need be because I insist that things have to be done correctly.
With in one week I had finished the first mitten then the next day I had started and finished the second one (yeah it really only takes a few hours to make one once you get the pattern right and stop being so ANAL!!!!).
Now with extra yarn left over I decided to make a knitted headband to go with the pair of mittens for a head warmer.
I have not decided where I plan to send my mittens but have decided to try and make one pair a month in different sizes and maybe I will send them to a homeless shelter.
Either way I don't care the excitement is in the making and the knowing that maybe someone who would have gone without this winter will have some nice warm,but imperfect,mittens.
I guess its not how perfect they are its how warm they are and how my time is being used to help another person in some round about way.
Anyways you never know where you will be when something important will strike you and a call will be put out to you,even if its just to make some mittens.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Simple Living

The thing about living in this imperfect world is that we are always having our lives and values chipped away at.
We may think we are in control of our destiny but soon find we are not.
As Christians we are called to be certain types of people.To give when needed,love when we are unloved and forgive when we really don't want to.
The world sees us as crazy people who are more concerned about trying to live simply with no excess while everyone around us tries to mass accumulate all the materialism of the commercial market.
We are to chose the simple uncomplicated lives.We do not need excessively large McHouses or multiple closets to store our unused clothes.
We are to be simple or at least try to go in that direction.
Being an American is suppose to mean more things then we need because we want them not because we need them.
We have a hard time in this country to understand the difference between a want and a need.We think we need everything we want,we do not.
My husband and I live in a small home,have few closets,one t.v. and older vehicles,which we plan to own until they are unusable.
Most of the things we own we use and those we do not use we try to give to those who need them.
We dine at restaurants we can afford and eat home made meals which are tastie and although good quality,are not excessively expensive.
Our mortgage is small and easy to pay our car payments are none.We admire the beauty of those who can afford the grand things in life but also understand that we are not all meant to live such lifestyles.
In my life I want nothing that I can not pay off in several months and bigger does not mean better.
We enjoy being able to take off in our car for trips and not have to worry how we are going to pay for them.
We have friends whom we enjoy doing simple things with,like walking on a beach or attending plays and when Vic and I are together we can think of nothing nicer then taking a walk in the woods and admiring the views of the forest or lake,even,should I say,having an old fashioned picnic.
God gave us the simple things in life to help us realize how lucky we are.Admiring the ducks on a lake or watching sail boats go by can be a very nice time indeed.
Many would find such things boring especially in this age of amuse me all the time with electronic gadgets,but in my mind you lose something from life when you have to be constantly "plugged in"
Back in the days when I was growing up we spent a great deal of our time outside playing with our friends and on weekends going out as a family to a park to walk or a lake to swim.
I can remember on warm spring evenings siting outside with my parents having a bar- be-Que and talking with each other watching the cars drive by our house.
I think people have become very poor in the skills of being sociable with each other.Many people live in the same large house and probably do not say more then a few words to each other.Why I know someone who text messages her kids,in the same house because she doesn't want to walk to her kids rooms to ask them things face to face.
I guess I'm just from a wrong generation and maybe its a dying one but you know I still enjoy the company of a friend face to face rather then on a telephone and their is nothing better then laughing with a real person sitting next to me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

May 6th National Day of Prayer -- Stand Up!

Did you know that May 6,2010 is the National Day of Prayer and has been since 1952?
Did you also know that a judge deemed it to be unconstitutional due to its Religious bias and of course separation of church and state?
When I was a young teenager in high school it was said that telling a student that they could have a moment of silence so they could pray was unconstitutional because it might offended a student who may not be of a religious denomination.
No one did anything at the time about standing up for their rights to religion,every adult complained about how terrible this was to our students,how could the government do this? Then every one just shrugged their shoulders and walked away.
O.K. well here we are again and now I am no longer a high school student following the rules and doing what I'm told.Now I'm a grown adult and am insulted by this whole thing.
You know people can complain about losing their religious rights but where are all the people standing up and saying "This is wrong!"
I am embarrassed to say that I never even knew about this day of prayer up until last year.Why? because at no time when I attended any church had I ever been told "May 6th is a national day of prayer come to the church spend a few minutes and pray with us."
I always get my fur up when things like this happen.Where are all the religious leaders getting outraged and saying "Lets do something on this day".
May 6th is around the corner.I have not decided what I will do but something needs to be done.
I couldn't stop no prayer in the school but I can stop this insult.Do we just sit back and take it! because if your willing to do nothing then don't cry on my shoulder about how you rights as a religious person are being taken away.
As far as I'm concerned to say and do nothing isn't having your rights taken away its giving them up with out a fight and you deserve what you get!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Celibacy In The church

I was raised a Roman Catholic and for 46 years practiced my faith on and off.
When the sex scandals broke into the media a frenzy of reporting took place especially on the Boston Channels,seemed they had a vendetta going for any priest or bishop caught up in any way with these sex abuse scandals.
At that time and still at present,when these things crop up the first thing people say is "the Catholic Church should let their priest marry then they would not be molesting children or buying sex."
I never understood this train of thought.First of all just because you've chosen celibacy does not mean your need for sex would pervert you and drive you toward children.If this were so why are so many children molested by married family members.
Second I heard,just the other night,that if women were allowed to be priest these scandals would not happen.Now I'm all in favor of women being priest but do you know children are molested in schools and many teachers in most school systems are women.
Some people seem to feel that homosexuality brings out pedophilia in men and drive them toward molesting children.If this were so why are a great deal of child molesters,men and woman,not homosexuals.
Child molesting really has nothing to do with sex it has to do with power.A person in authority who befriends a child only to use his power to molest then keep the child silent.
This year during Holy Week and Easter day all the media seemed to want to talk about was the sex abuse scandals and how the Pope should resign.
Today a Boston paper printed a story of a priest from New Hampshire who answered a Craig's list add and went to a motel to probably have sex with someone.Unfortunately for him it was a police set up and he and 6 others were arrested.
why is it when something inappropriate happens to a priest we feel its good reason to attack an entire profession,most of whom are good men working daily to assist the world around them.
Celibacy is not for everyone even St.Paul said this clearly when he speaks about Unixes. He says some are born that way,some are made that way and some make themselves that way.Those who can take it should those who can not should not.
Celibacy as been around since the early church and some people feel a need to be chaste in order to be closer to God.No it is not for every body but for those who can do it It's very important to them.
You can not judge the choices people make and you can not blame pedophilia or prostitution on the fact that some one has chosen not to have sex or be married.
Selling and buying of one body has gone on for thousands of years and many a married man has used the services of a prostitute.
So who is to blame those who are buying or those who selling?
People make mistakes we are all human and to discredit an entire religion or group of men over the bad choices of a minority is wrong.
I think many people like to see a religious people fall because it makes them feel like these people who profess to be so godly are just as bad as the rest of us.
I say let those who are with out sin cast the first stone because I don't know about you but my house is made out of some pretty thin glass.

Only A Few

If you are one of the many who work in a personal profession with others such as nurse,doctor,priest,firemen,police officer and such,then you understand that we give a great deal of our time,love and caring to try and make things right with people in our everyday lives.
We choose to help others because we have a need to spread what little we have in time and talent,to help affect the lives of those around us.
Although there are a great many of us who selflessly try to do the best we can and be the best person we can be we are constantly bombarded by news both in printed articles and t.v. media of those who abuse the professions we have been called to serve.
In today's Boston Paper an article ran of a priest in New Hampshire who had gone on to Craig's list to meet someone at a motel,whom he probably planned on having sex with.upon his arrival he was arrested,even though no money had exchanged hands.
Last night,on the evening news,they showed several police officers beating on a person up against a cement wall.The police tried to say this person had been kicked by one of the mounted police horses' but the camera proved otherwise.
During Holy Week and Easter the Catholic Church was under attack about pedophile priests,cases from over twenty years ago. The media saying the Pope had not done enough and he should resign his position.
Many months ago a nurse was arrested because while working in an emergency room she decided to inject herself with narcotics then replaced the used needles back in the draw among the new needles.Unfortunately for the patients whom these needles were used on they received hepatitis from her,which she knew she had at that time.
You know these are minorities and one bad apple doesn't make everyone in the profession bad.
We who are in the trenches,so to speak,are the ones making the differences while these misguided people cause havoc,we are left to pick up the pieces and wear our uniforms proudly in the face of adversary.
No one person defines an entire group but because of sensationalism form the press we are all put into one category.
How many selfless people do you know who go to work every day and truly give of themselves for your benefit?
People who give you a warm handshake,listen to your problems and try the best they can to help you in times of physical,mental and spiritual distress.
I chose nursing because I wanted to make a change in the lives of others and it is a slap in the face when all the media wants to do is show how bad a profession is by the evil a few people do.
You know we belong to jobs that not only do we see and hear terrible things from the people who come to take council in us but are also not allowed to share these facts with anyone else.
The amount of mental burden placed on another human being can be excessive,some people can take the stress and some people can not and crack under it by acting out and doing things that we as professionals would not condone.
Its never an excuse to say I have a drug addiction,have sex with children,sell myself,am a gambler or alcoholic because of stress but it is an issue when you can not face these things and seek help for yourself.
I am very fortunate I have friends who are fellow nurses whom I can vent to and a very good spiritual leader in my priest,who is able to help me in constructive spiritual ways to be at and come to,peace with my emotional needs.
To help others is one of God's greatest gifts but we also,now and then,need to learn that we too are in need of help.If we do not face the facts of who we are and what our own needs are then we can not hope to help others.
It is never a good thing to lose your self to your demons.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Respect at School

Several weeks ago a young girl who was bullied and harassed by her fellow school students decided not living was better then living a personal hell and so she hung her self.
Bullying is a terrible thing and unfortunately as been going on since the dawn of time.
No one deserves to be treated badly by anyone and especially not by fellow class mates.
What was so terrible about this young girl was it her British accent,her shyness,her not being able to fit in with the "Cool kids"?
Was it fun for those who taunted her? Did it make them feel big and important? Was no one brave enough to stand up and say "leave her alone".
In the real world if you abuse anyone,be it mental or physical,you are arrested and sent to jail.Yet in the school yard why is this considered acceptable behavior to attack the weak in order to make others feel strong?
Why are we more concerned about sex education and denying children the right to pray in class then we are about how our children are allowed to treat a fellow student whom we should consider precious?
We spend more time in schools worrying about a word like Christmas and how it will offend someone from outside the school system,then we are concerned about the offensive nasty words that come out of children's mouths every day that truly degrade and belittle another.
There are many reasons and people to blame for such things.The teachers who do not get involved,the parents who say "not my child how dare you pick on my child",the principle who tolerates unacceptable behavior.
I feel there should be classes in kindergarten to teach these children empathy while they are still innocent enough to understand and care.Children should be taught "put ups" not "put downs".
Zero tolerance should be allowed for bulling and early interventions for both those who are bullied and those who do the bulling should be acted upon right away.
No child should have to spend every day in dread and fear and now days not even be able to escape it when they get home because of computers and cell phones.
Parents need to take more time to help encourage their children into activities and not be afraid to punish their children for irresponsible behavior.The state should not walk in an interfere with your rights as a parent.
It takes many people to raise a child and those who do not have the support they need at home need to have support from elsewhere.Granted we put way to much responsibilities on our school systems and teachers but sometimes all it takes is one person to interfere in the life of a child to make a special impact on them.

taxes

Yesterday at the end of my shift I started to write up my nurses notes when suddenly it struck me "today is April 11Th Oh My Goodness I have only 4 more days to do my taxes and mail them in".
Now I must tell you I am not opposed to paying my fair share but I am opposed to filing three separate forms,one federal and 2 state.Why you ask all these forms?First I work in Mass.then I reside in Conn. and thirdly I am a citizen of the good old USA.
My federal taxes are pretty easy compared to my Connecticut state form.Every year I dread this form.It is to complicated and although I send them my W-2 form to prove I have worked in Mass. I now also have to furnish them a completed copy of my Mass.tax form.
Now I'm sure you say to your self why don't you just move to the great state of Massachusetts and save your self some paper work and kill a few less trees?
See my husband is a landlord and owns property in Connecticut and we don't even want to talk about how complicated that whole issue would be if we were to move.
Well you say why don't you just work in Connecticut? I like the idea but Mass.has more job opportunities then Conn.does and besides I work 10 minutes away from my home which is great in the winter on the days I have to drive through the snow.So at present until I come across a career opportunity worth jumping at I still have to file a Mass. and Connecticut form.
My whole answer to this mess is that the federal and state government should take a certain percentage of my pay every week and just keep it.All this playing around with dependants and tax write offs is just foolishness and set up for the rich anyways.
Render onto Caesar I say and let me move on with my life.
Now I know there are plenty of people,Lawyers,tax preparers and such,who would disagree with this notion and what would become of all those poor IRS employees whose job it is to process forms thus taking and giving money to we the people.
What would become of all these poor people left unemployed? That I can't answer but I've been to Washington D.C. and the Dept.of Agriculture is a pretty sizable building they could probably absorb a few of the displaced there and not even realize it.
All I know is make my life easier folks and go with a percentage tax then I and many like me,can enjoy April 15Th instead of dreading crunch time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Circumstances

Have you ever thought you knew exactly how you felt about a certain thing only to be shot down and redirected by circumstances?
I always think I know how I will deal with situations but just looking into some ones face or hearing someones story can turn my whole out look on something around.
I have this annoying habit of being able to tell by someones demeanor what sort of mood they are in.It doesn't take me long to size someone up and decide what I'm up against.
This can be very distracting.Just when I think I have every thing figured out I'm thrown a curve ball simply by how someone speaks,looks or acts.
Although this is a great quality when taking care of people as a nurse,it can also be a double edged sword.When you think you have gotten your best laid plans all in place suddenly they are smashed into a million pieces.
Maybe this is what the Holy Spirit is all about.Suddenly your filled with empathy and grace for another person and your own personal view flies right out the door.
How do you go from self centeredness to otherness any other way?
I can tell you it can be very upsetting to suddenly turn from its all about me to its all about you and your problems.
They say we all have gifts and maybe this is one of mine.Its not exactly the gift I would choose for myself but maybe,for some unknown reason,this is a gift to be worked on and figured out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Clutter

Now that spring is upon us and the weather out side is bright and sunny my house is in a sad state of affairs.With Holy week last week and Easter on Sunday not much has been done here except the smallest chores.
Today was a good day to start to slowly attack all those overwhelming things that I steer at each and every day and say "I'll get to that on my next day off" but never do.
I started with the smallest room in the house,which always seems to take me the longest,the bathroom.You know it doesn't seem like something so compact could require so much time but it does and although I did a pretty good job on it I know that a full cleaning of walls and such will be put off until my energy level is a little higher.
You know life is like my spring cleaning it seems everything gets put off until the nice weather has come then looking at my life seems clearer and more in focus.
I'd like to say that resolutions seem to work out better at this time but they do not.All those things I promised to do in January seem to be slowly losing there appeal and the bright sunshine seems to be in every nook and cranny showing me the dust that has accumulated in my life.
This time of year I always vow to get rid of all the unnecessary things laying around cluttering up my house and my life.I always want to scale down my life to the minimum.I look at all the unneeded clothes and things I stored away through the winter months and think some one else could use that,since I am not.
I feel the same way about my emotions things I felt so close to and had such a need for seem to be stepping aside allowing new feelings to emerge,some good,some not so good.
Feeling are a funny thing many times they just get in the way and confuse us but then we refocus on new feelings and things seem alright again.
Suddenly I have this need to search and try to understand if where I am in my life is where I need to be or if some sort of change is about to happen which I can not fully comprehend as of yet.
Never put to much stock in feelings they tend to change with the weather but do put recognition into the gut feelings that could sway even the most cowardly of us to new heights and directions.What ever those directions may be.
Sometimes in my mind and heart I feel this need to just wander out into the world.No real destination just walk out the door,down the street and put just one foot in front of the other,its like a beckoning which I know at this point in my life is not a reality.
Its good to feel this need of freedom and its good to know that small changes in our lives can at some point lead us to larger and greater things.I am very fortunate I have a wonderful husband and son but I think the time has come to clear my mind and soul with some walks in the park or trails in the local forest.Sometimes being closer to nature allows me to be closer to myself thus helping to clear the dust from my brain and my soul.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spiritual Needs

Easter Day proved to be a rather interesting afternoon for my family.
We began the morning with an Easter Breakfast then went to my sister in law house
for lunch.My brother in law,Nick,brother Sam and his wife,from Bridgeport,were also present.
As always the conversation seems to turn to religion.Sam tells me that the Bridgeport Orthodox Church,which they build just last year,as been growing with an influx of people being converts to the faith.
They had so many people at Saturday evening service that as they stood in the entry way with their lit candles awaiting the great entrance into the church,the heat from both bodies and candle flames set the fire alarms off,so the fire department became an uninvited but welcomed guest.
"Christ has risen" even for the Bridgeport Fire department.
Sam went on to say that since they now have 2 priest they do two Sunday Services,one at 9 am for the converts and those who prefer an English spoken service and one directly afterwards for those who want the traditional Romanian Service.
His wife,Louise,told me that all this mesh of different kinds of people has enriched the church and helped it to grow.She said that many is the time you can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit among all those gathered together in prayer.
At one service in particular,the priest spoke about how when he was young he was always into trouble. A man who no one would have expected to turn his life over to God.He talk about his conversion and how unworthy he was to have had God take this special interest in him. When he concluded he had every one stand and sing "Amazing Grace".They said there was not one dry eye in the church.
On another occasion Louise talked about a woman in their church who found out she was very ill.The priest asked her to come to him he blessed her with holy oils then asked every one in the church to come forward place their hands on the woman and pray.Louise said it was the most stirring thing she had ever done and the warmth of all those prayers and hand touching helped this woman to feel like a true part of the community and regain her courage as she fights her battle to become well again.
Some time I think we spend to much time worrying about traditions and getting everything right and we forget that the reason we are in a church community is to be just that "a Community".We are suppose to up lift,comfort and help the other members of the church so they know they are not alone.
We are a family and how much closer can one get to another human being then to pray for them and physically touch them.
St.Paul talks about "holding all things in common and sharing as each one has need".
Need can mean many thing to each person but the aim of the church and its members should be to help fill needs no matter what they are.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Resurrection

When we think of Resurrection we think of Jesus rising from the dead on Easter Morning.
But a Resurrection is also a dying to ones self and rising up to God.Every time we choose to do the right thing in God eyes we die a little to our selves.We rise closer to God and farther from ourselves.
We as Christians are told we are not of this world.Jesus said that if we were of this world we would be loved by this world but we are not of this world so we are hated.
We live a life style contrary to the world.We are not to be all about us but all about our brothers and sisters.We understand that there are rules and regulations to our lives and we freely give our selves over to these rules even when they are uncomfortable and confusing.
Jesus said "they hated me and they will hate you." "You are not greater then the master and you will be treated badly because they treated me badly."
But we are part of the Devinne plan which at present we are not allowed to see.We willingly give up our selves to be something hard and difficult something closer to God and farther from us.
Is it frightening? yes it is!
The Bible says we are tested like metal and become purer from the flame and heat.The harder we become the stronger we become until the steel no longer fractures from the stress of the pounding.
Being a christian requires perseverance,dedication and most of all love.We must love all in some way because every one is a part of the almighty himself.Even Jesus nailed to the cross said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do".
To take on the life of Christ and move forward with him means picking up your cross and letting your personal self be nailed on it in order to be resurrected to a life in God.
Today is Holy Saturday the day Jesus went down into hell to rescue those who believed in him. Many we're asked but how many made the trip out of hell with him?
We are no different every day Jesus puts his hand out to us, beckoning to us to take hold and be raised out of our personal hells.
He wants us to become one with him and the Father and make a personal Resurrection to a better life.
Tomorrow is the day Jesus tramples down death by death for us.What will we trample down in our lives for him?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

And on the third day he arose from the dead...

Today is Good Friday the day Jesus took our sins onto himself and bore them to the cross were he died for our unworthy sake.
The apostles were in fear their leader had been crucified and was now dead.What were they to do? How could they possible go on? What about them? would they too be arrested and killed?
How frightened they must have been.How little faith they had left.It was not suppose to end this way.Wasn't this Jesus Christ the Messiah the Jews had talked about for generations? Wasn't he to be the great military leader striking down the Roman world and raising up the Jewish faith,the chosen people?
What was it he said.. in a little while you will not see me,and again a little while you will see me again because I go to the father.What did he mean by this? Speak clearly.. we do not know what he is saying...In a little while...you confuse us..
Sold for thirty pieces of silver to the Jewish leaders by a friend,denied three times by a chosen one,who he affectionately called the Rock,born false witness against by his own religious leaders,sentenced by a Roman Governor, mocked,beaten,whipped and nailed to a cross by Roman guards who divided his clothes for gaming wins.
What now? does the story end here on a hill surrounded by thieves and murderers?
Does the body placed in an new tomb mean the final end for a man these apostles thought would save them?
Was the slaughter of this perfect pure first born lamb really necessary to full fill something to great to comprehend even by his close and chosen disciples?
Luckily we as Christians know the ending,unfortunately the disciples did not.They feared for their lives but little did they know at that time how great a mission they had left to accomplish.Little did they know that in the year 2010 their witness would bear the grace that would save you and I.
Come Easter Sunday a new and bright dawning is coming.Jesus will rise from the dead and his apostles will know the rest of the story and bear witness to us so we in turn can witness to future generations.
All this because this simple God/man called Jesus died today Good Friday to a lost world only to be raised up to a new dawning.A new testament.