“No matter how long you’ve been gone…”

We’re having a “June Gloom” summer here. The sun has been playing hide and seek with us. We have had lots of rain, too. But that means everything is growing like crazy. The home improvement stores are making a killing – everyone is planting and getting yard things done while the weather holds. We chose to put in planters around our house. And it was a chore for my poor husband to dig all that up and rototill it, exposing the rock quarry underneath! Honestly, each time you dig in your shovel you hear, “PING” as you hit the next rock. It’s crazy! The plants we put in seem very happy to be here – so far. The berries from last year made their appearance. And for this season, I have only had to yell and chase off the moose one time! LOL!

When you live in a vacation destination, things get dicey during the “season.” We roughly double our population in the summertime. There are so many campers and trailers on the roads, as well as tourist busses from the cruise lines. The roads are crazy. I try to avoid it if I can, preferring to hide at home. LOL. And we are scheduling visitors. LOL. Right now we have the daughter of some dear friends. Their oldest daughter is married to our middle son. I’ve known her since she was an infant. And she is decompressing after a rough year and checking out the northern climate! So we will be sightseeing. I actually love doing it, because it is so beautiful here, each time I go to a special place I am reminded over again of why I chose to live here. And there are few regrets.

One thing we try not to compromise on, during this busy time of year, is Church attendance. When we lived in the greater Seattle area, you could tell when the Seahawks or Mariners or Sounders were playing a home game – the pews would be empty. Or if the fish were running, or it was hunting season, or even in ski season. Here, in winter, the pews are actually full. We tend to stay home in wintertime, if we are not snowbirds. In the summertime, the latest mass in the state, held at 7:00pm on Sunday night, is usually packed. Squeaking in before the deadline, I suppose. Most 10:00am masses are pretty full. They are usually the family masses. This past weekend, it was Corpus Christi. That is one of my favorite feast days. And I was surprised because there were few in attendance.

For some reason, a reason deep in my soul, I could not help but weep this Sunday. The reverence was something I needed, something I missed. The beauty of the songs in Latin were wonderful. The gorgeous Monstrance and the way in which our priest was so reverent and the way in which he gazed upon the Blessed Sacrament – my heart was full and my eyes overflowed. And that has not happened in, literally, years. I also came to terms with me. With my lack of reverence. With my shortcomings. I have not been my best self lately. And that is not good. We must always strive to be our best selves. There is just one shot at this and we need to be sure we do not waste it.

And it was so wonderful to empty my heart, weeping at the True Presence, just waiting for me to come to Him. And it was almost like a rebirth, in some ways. Afterwards, I was able to go about my day, feeling happy, relieved, and rejuvenated. I am so glad we pushed ourselves to go to Mass. We were tired and aching from a long day of working in our yard on Saturday. So we struggled to go, and it was more than worth it. My heart was full and my faith shined on throughout the rest of the day. And today I am entering into my prayer journal how wonderful the Benediction and Procession was; how beautiful and right it felt to be in His Presence. I feel so blessed. And I am smiling today because of the warmth of the Presence of God. He spoke to my soul and it feels pretty amazing.

I am so far from perfect. Some days I am not even good enough to be recognized as a Christian woman. We all have those sorts of days. And those days pass. We struggled, but we got back in the game. We did not wallow in our shortcomings, but recognized them and got back up. And the Lord was there, waiting for me, just me. He came for me. Just me. That is the beauty of our Faith. He would come, Jesus would die, just for me. Just for you. Because He is love and forgiveness and hope and charity and all the light and joy in our lives. And we live through that, sharing it with others.

Today I admitted defeat. I burned a pan of rice. And I mean, I burned it. I am hoping I can save the pan. LOL. The house stinks of burned rice, so I am running my diffuser with “Purification” essential oil (from Young Living). It is working pretty good. I really wanted steamed rice, so I hauled out my rice cooker. I have never really adapted to using one. But I decided that when I failed at doing it on the stove, I needed to use the appliance that makes it easier. And when I am wrong, I am wrong. The rice is cooking nicely now. I guess I need to keep it in the house and not relegated to the garage. And the episode of burning the rice is what inspired me to write today. Because I realized I mess up. A lot. And I need correcting. A lot. And yesterday, the Lord worked in me. He re-aligned me where I had gone crooked. He made His Path straight in me. And it is like using the wrong pot to cook rice. Sometimes it comes out okay, but other times it is burned beyond saving. Why even bother with the possibility of burning, when you can get it right the first time? This week, I knelt before God and asked for help. Today He showed me I can mess up, but I can reorganize and start over…and get a bowl of perfect rice. See? We can do this!! Have faith. Get back up again. Join in the journey to eternity. One day at a time.

Come back!!!



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