It’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I apologize to those who actually read these! Ha-Ha! Thank you for hanging in there with me.
These past months have been, to say the least, difficult. There have been days (like today) when I am on the verge of tears so often, I almost just want to sit and cry and be done with it. Instead of giving in to a sort of despondency, instead I sat and prayed this evening, seeking the Lord’s guidance in our lives, in my life. And I would formulate words, but then nothing would come from inside my head; words just would not come to my conscious mind. However, it felt like something was already there, just waiting for me. And now I sit here, and I am smiling. I felt such a peace, a serenity, and a presence of God. I know He works for our best and has nothing but our souls in mind as He works all the little miracles we barely notice day-to-day. He is working towards our eternity and we can barely see past the end of our nose!
I had a wonderful conversation with a fellow parishioner this weekend. It was so nice, sitting knee-to-knee and looking at one another, and really connecting. And one of the things that came up was that I have learned so much over the past 4 years. For one thing, I have learned that the world calls us and calls us to a certain standard and we compare ourselves all the time to the people sitting next to us. But we miss the point. God is also calling to us. He is calling us to an eternity. Not the latest purse or smart phone, house or car, but eternity. We can choose to listen to the noise and chaos and all the emotions that come from that, or we can opt to close ourselves to it. I have learned to let go; to let go of money, homes, the things we fill our homes with, and certain people and situations I filled my life with.
The other day, I could not sleep. It’s been happening a lot lately. I read novels until at least midnight but am awake by 5 or 6 am. It is finally dark in the mornings up here, as the days are gradually getting shorter. I always walk to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. When we lived in SoCal, we got a Keurig coffee brewer. It’s one of those coffee machines where you put in a little plastic “pod” and brew one cup at a time. I love coffee, I should explain right off the bat. And I mean I love the taste of it. I love coffee candy; chocolate-covered coffee beans; coffee ice cream; coffee-flavored coffee cake! So for me, the sensual pleasure of brewing my single cup of coffee was pure bliss. We relocated to the Seattle area and I learned so much about coffee. There is literally a coffee kiosk on almost every corner. And I learned about roasting the beans and where to buy beans from and how the soil composition and elevation, temperature and rainfall all affect the beans. I went to the first Starbucks next to Pike’s Market, stood in ridiculous lines to have a cup from that particular location (with a dear friend who was visiting from SoCal), just to say I had done that! I have tasted some amazing coffee from some amazing roasting companies. At one point I was having coffee delivered to my home on a monthly basis. And then our Keurig broke. We bought a regular, old, coffee brewer; the type that brews an entire pot at a time. Nothing too fancy, but it is bright red, which is my salute to interior design! I digress; I got up this morning and started to make a pot of coffee; it was about 6:00am. As I grabbed for the can of Folger’s Columbian Brew, I got the giggles. Folger’s? Really? In a huge pot, no less? Where had I sunk to? Ha-Ha!
The thing is, once it was brewed and I tasted that first cup of coffee, I sighed with joy. It tastes wonderful. And I followed it up today with a pot of decaf from a grocery-store, plain wrap can. No brand name, at all. And I enjoyed that, too. I have learned so much from these moves. I do not need labels; I do not need much at all.
I was able to sit down this afternoon and pay our bills. Next month, that may not be something I can do as readily. But we have made it this far with prayers and help from friends and family. We have had to ask for assistance from time to time. We have had to tell people, “Thanks for inviting our family, but it is just beyond our budget right now.” Things like that are very, very humbling. But they are also freeing. No, I don’t have much. If thieves broke into my home, they would fine keepsakes and things that mean something to me, but not riches! And people who know we are struggling have been incredibly generous, without making us feel bad, or less about ourselves. It has been uplifting, for our hearts, heads, and souls.
We have been blessed beyond measure with family close by, a home that we love (small and humble as it is, we have found it really fits us so much better than any home we’ve lived in), and a parish community that is welcoming and filling some holes we had in our lives. We are making new friends and establishing ourselves in a new community. Our son is being blessed in friends, organizations he belongs to, and an incredibly amazing schooling experience he is about to begin. We are blessed in ways we never imagined or expected – hoped for, of course, but they are unexpected because they keep cropping up and showing us the Presence of God in our lives in places we did not expect.
So I could choose to panic and worry, and not sleep. I could be crabby or hide away in my house, bemoaning our situation. But I cannot help but smile; I have such a deep sense of contentment and peace. We have no source of income in the ways of this world, but we are becoming enriched in ways that count, in ways that matter. God is showing me that He is preparing my eternity and that I am to hold tight to His promises and His guidance for me and my family. He is faithful to us; we are the ones who wander off, on our divergent paths. We are the ones who lack the patience to allow God to work in our lives, in His time!
I think I will go heat up (E-gads! Yes, in a microwave!!) a cup of decaf and settle on the loveseat with my two doggies, and enjoy an evening of quiet. I am blessed; I am very much at peace, and still smiling! And the Lord walks with me.