Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

ABBEY

My youngest daughter invited me to go to a woman’s retreat hosted by her church. I have attended a few over the years and totally enjoyed each one of them. It is a chance to take a break from my life, spend time with my daughter and see if there are any messages that haven’t gotten through because I’ve been too busy.

Normally the retreat is held in September, this year, it was later, almost November. Cooler weather — winter coats anyone. Thankfully I had already switched my summer clothes for Fall. We had been at the Abbey before, but I had forgotten all the stairs involved in getting from place to place. In the warmer weather, we had just exited the building, walked through the grass and entered where we needed to be. Not wanting to carry a coat around, that wasn’t the option this time.

Thankfully my knees have improved. I don’t know how I would have managed if the retreat was held during the summer. Arriving at the Abbey, before dark, the parking lots were already full. Eight hundred woman had signed up for a refreshing of spirit. My daughter parked close to the spa. And we entered that door. It was building three of five — all of which are joined by hallways and stairs.

I had a pleasant surprise. It had been a four hour drive and since my daughter has an SUV, my knees didn’t hurt. As a matter of fact, I didn’t need the adjustment time that normally occurred when I had been sitting for more than an hour. Our next car might need to be an SUV.

The distance from where we had entered to the front lobby was interesting. Made more interesting when we decided to help a fellow member who was loaded down with luggage, bags and a cooler making her way to building five. We offered helping hands. Many hallways and flights of stairs later we arrived at the lobby, helped by the lobby signs pointing the way. Only to learn that our room was on the first floor, near the spa, in building three.

I was VERY GRATEFUL that I had been taking Arthocin for three months. I hate to think how I would have managed if my knees were still as painful as they had been in the summer. I have to admit that I shared my experience with the Arthocin with many of the woman at the retreat.

I won’t bore you with the minute details — just the highlights. The theme of the weekend was Grace Overflowing. And I noted many times that Grace was Overflowing. It started on the way to the Abbey. We stopped at a Barnes and Noble in Rockford — just to break up the trip. I found a mystery book by Donna Andrews that has given me many hours of laughter — two books in one, at a reduced price. I was unfamiliar with her books and plan to investigate further.

During the opening prayer, I closed my eyes and had a vision of many rosaries — the whole screen filled with strings of beads. Many people praying for not only the retreat but family members, our world and other concerns. The room assignment near the spa gave me signs to follow getting back to our room. We decided that since the car was parked so close to our room, to leave it there and eat at the Abbey. The food was excellent.

I opened the bible on Saturday morning to Psalm 107:21. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men.”
Snow showers during Saturday morning. I attended a session on the importance of taking care of your body and soul. The importance of celebrating the Sabbath — taking time to refresh, restore. I talked to the person who was leading the yoga and decided my time would be better spent in the pool and hot tub.

We crashed a party on Saturday of some of my daughter’s friends. The restaurant was completely booked, they had reservations for thirty five, not including us. The manager found a couple of chairs, we became a party of thirty seven and totally enjoyed the buffet of crab legs and prime rib.

Sunday morning, I opened the bible to Isaiah 6:8 “Whom shall I send and who will go for us.” And I laughed.

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REMINDED AGAIN

When I first started writing this blog, I should have numbered the ramblers instead of giving them a title. I’m finding coming up with titles — DIFFICULT — almost worse than actually writing a thought ramble. I NEVER date the thought rambles, I have no idea when the first REMINDED published. Rereading it was delightful. I’m guessing it was at least three years ago. Somethings haven’t changed — Mother Mary is still an important part of my life. My memory is no better and perhaps a bit more shaky.

Returning from three weeks in the country with only a couple of days home before we leave again is still ROUGH. What did I do before we left home — especially when it comes to paying the bills that needed to be paid but haven’t arrived yet? I thought I had the situation well in hand — I phoned for a balance of what was due and mailed a check. While we were gone — the bills arrived. Were they paid? They didn’t jive with what I thought I paid. Many prayers sent top side to ask for “help”! More phone calls to straighten them out. More round and round with their answering computer systems. I miss live people! I’m paying bills in advance again. Hopefully I have made enough notes to refresh my memory.

I knew I needed to bring out Spenda, my husband’s sugar substitute. Just in case I had forgotten — the box of more than 1200 packets fell, spilling its contents all over the floor. Since I had to pick up the packets any way, I filled a storage bag to take more with me. That happened on our first day home.

I brought a package of defrosted hamburger meat home with me. Before leaving the camper, I planned to make meatloaf for supper but my husband planned that we would eat out. I decided to make a pot of beef, lentil soup — it would use up the hamburger and some of the broth I had opened. Thankfully I had lentils and barley in stock.

Second day home the bible suggested I get Wisdom, Understanding. Proverbs 4:5. Queen of Angels opened to CURE FOR OVERWORK. Bills were paid but I still needed to replenish supplies. A person I met had asked to read my book Journey. I didn’t have any copies with me and planned to look for them before we left again. I received a phone call from the company that published the book. It reminded me that I needed to go on a search and find mission. Thankfully I found the extra copies right away. I opened the book randomly to CUYLER, and I was impressed with what I had written. I didn’t feel I needed to rewrite.

Third day home: Trump — North Korea were in my face when I opened my ipad. Bible: My son, why increase your cares? Sirach 11:10. Queen of Heaven chapter 4: Keys to Healing. I sent up prayers for our world and asked for “HELP” WRITING. I wanted to have at least three thought rambles ready to publish before we left again. My life gets VERY INTERESTING when I fall behind.

DENTIST

It should come as no surprise that I’m not a regular at the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Sadly I have been without a dentist for many years when my last one retired because of cancer. I didn’t have any problems with my teeth and didn’t look for a new one. Then while eating a hamburger, I thought a rock had been included in the meat. Actually, it was a filling. I had lost a portion of a tooth which made inhaling interesting. I didn’t even want to think about drinking or eating. Thankfully a friend had returned from Florida and shared the name of her dentist. Thankfully the dentist was able to fit me in that evening — remaining after closing time. After he fixed my tooth, I made another appointment. I figured I might need more work done and I knew my teeth would need cleaning.

I was right. I don’t know the last time my teeth were cleaned — how many years had passed. The hygienist used interesting equipment to take the x-rays, which showed that my teeth required more than a surface cleaning. I needed DEEP CLEANING. The top right side was cleaned that day and I made another appointment. She warned me that the bottom would be harder.

The day of the appointment my horoscope told me that “Its important to know that, for whatever reason, people notice you today.” The comics made me laugh. Dennis told a friend that his parents use the house phone to find their cell phone. I used ours for that purpose the day before. Garfield noticed that his owner didn’t know how to use the phone. Our friend had just commented that her brother didn’t answer the phone when his words weren’t working. (It reminded me of when my father had Alzheimer’s.) Marmaduke provide a laugh when he stole the leg bone from a dinosaur.

I arrived early at the dentist’s office and they were running late. A son had accompanied his aging parents. His father had a motorized cart and a walker. His mother was still receiving treatment. I found a current Times magazine for the Dad, and National Geographic’s for myself. The issue was dedicated to the Vikings. I was amazed when I learned that it had been discovered that men were not the only warriors. Woman’s bones had been discovered with high ranking weapons and gaming pieces. Indicating that they had played an important role in the conquests.

I used that information during the cleaning. I’m half Swedish and kept reminding myself that I’m woman and I’m strong. Most of it wasn’t too bad, except for the part that wasn’t numb, under the gum line. I still have one lower part to go.

I have straws in the house for our grandchildren. They came in very handy when anything I tried to drink didn’t make it into my mouth.

The next morning the bible reading made me laugh. Abraham popped up. I was reminded of God’s promise to him. Abraham pops up regularly in my life. Exactly what it means, I don’t know and haven’t tried to figure it out.

WOMAN AT THE WELL

I’m a practicing Catholic. As I write this we are in the middle of Lent. Last week at the church in the country, the gospel revolved around the Samaritan Woman at the well. How she went into town and asked her town folk to come listen to Jesus. I’m rather familiar with the story since Peter, Paul, and Mary had a song Jesus Met The Woman. They are a favorite of mine. The pastor at the church in the country reminds me of the way our religion was practiced in times gone by. Saying the rosary, fasting, set prayers, preparing for Easter were all mentioned.

Today’s gospel revolved around the restoring of sight to the blind man. Today I was at our church in the city. The focus was on the upcoming Parish Mission and Stations of the Cross. The gospel homily reflected modern times. The contrast in the styles of the different homilies caught my attention. Now you are probably wondering why I’m spending time and energy writing about this. If you have read my last thought ramble titled OLDER, you might remember that I wrote about being confused — wondering just what I am supposed to do. Knowing that a message is out there, I just haven’t been able to decipher it. I had surmised that part of it concerns Angels as Playmates, another part concerns the importance of my family. I’m often at the right place, at the right time to share a story: Pap and The Pancake Turner: my father let me know that he was fine when he passed. Or the story of Shanae’s spirit running through our house. Recently I gave a copy of my book Journey With Me to a woman who had lost her only son and was trapped in grief.

My morning reading often refers to being chosen — the question is often asked “Who can I send?” So I’m wondering if I’m the woman at the well. If my thought rambles are meant to share information of life after death with anyone who wanders onto my page. This morning’s gospel: “blind but now I see” is interesting. I know that many years ago I crossed a bridge. I have a better understanding — I know that I’m never alone. I was blind, but now I see. I like that knowledge. My father passed over more than 25 years ago. I’m sure that he is often around. It is interesting how often I meet someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s in their family. My mother was able to hide the fact that she “helped” me. Looking back, I can see times when I received “help”, especially when my father’s Alzheimer’s intensified. Since I neither see nor hear “my friends in high places” — my experiences might help you to recognize the “help” that you receive.

BE NOT AFRAID

This is the title of a religious song that I first heard when I planned to publish the story of living with Pap’s Alzheimer’s disease. “Be not afraid, I go before you. Come follow Me.” I almost said that it was a new song, but my father passed over more than 20 years ago. He definitely isn’t gone, I’m reminded of my “friends in high places” regularly. Which in my life is a good thing.

I had a warning storms were coming into my life. THANKFULLY THEY ARE NOT HEALTH CONCERNS. I have the ability to turn a tiny bump into a mountain in the blink of an eye. When there is only one problem at a time, I have a better chance. When they pile up, it is harder for me to relax. Even if I have done my best to solve it, and am waiting for the results, they continue to surface like the bubbles in the boiling hot pools in Yellowstone.

Many of my warnings come from the bible. When I open to Job or the furnace in Daniel, I am aware that storms might be coming.The verse often hints at the severity of the problem. Am I proclaiming God’s strength in Job, or listing shortcomings. Have I pointed to the beginning of the furnace where there are three walking or to the ending where they have an angel with them and are praising God?

I won’t list the turmoil in our life right now, I’m sure you have enough of your own but thankfully God is in charge. I needed to tell our neighbor about an upcoming project. He is in Arizona and I didn’t have his phone number. Luckily I opened our curtains and saw his tenant outside. Not only did his tenant have the needed phone number, he will be able to unlock their gates when we have our tree trimmed.

Some of it is just little things — temperature and humidity levels in the hundreds that continues for days. Strong storms when we have a leak in our roof. A flash of lightning that looked like it hit our house. Thankfully that was just a reflected light. (We had a lightning strike hit our house when our children were young.) The car battery loose.

While the bible often alerts me, as well as my book Queen of Angels, they also remind me that God is in charge. “Who made the world a desert? ” Daniel 3:28. “The Lord goes forth like a hero.” Isaiah 42:13. “saying to the prisoners, come out.” Isaiah 49:9. Church is often in the mix: “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.” Psalm 138

The key is to be aware of the interactions in my life. To keep my eyes wide open, the blinders off. To have courage — God is in charge.

I read something interesting last night. It was in the June 30 issue of Woman’s World. I often buy the magazine but don’t often read it cover to cover. Trying to get rid of some of the clutter on our table, I scanned quite a few of the magazines and found this. “Taming tension with red meat. Eating 16 oz of beef or pork weekly could help you feel less stressed in as little as five day. Red meat is rich in iron and all nine essential amino acids which together relax tense muscles. ”

After the birth of our four children, my request to my husband was for an Italian beef sandwich. I’m often looking for leftover beef in our fridge or getting a hamburger. Makes sense now.

The problems in our world make the problems in my life extremely small. OUR WORLD NEEDS OUR PRAYERS! Please join me! Years ago I read that a group of people joined in praying for the world during a crisis.

ICE

There is no warning — doctor’s appointment, test results, accident — nothing like that, life is normal — no warning that I’m walking on ice and I’m about to fall through. All of a sudden I find myself in this black hole that I can’t crawl out of. The news on TV doesn’t help. Actually I try to avoid the news but it finds me. Policeman killed in Texas, Hundreds killed in France, Police killed in Louisiana — the world in which we live desperately needs the HELP OF GOD. Or has He/She given up on us. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT FOR AN INSTANT.

Normally when I find myself in a black hole, I avoid people and definitely WRITING. How can I stay positive? How can I write anything of value that would help either myself or others? Interesting questions — NO ANSWERS or are they? This morning getting ready for church I opened the bible to: Isaiah 49: 9 ” saying to the prisoners: “Come out.”

Good! I will admit that this didn’t necessarily help me. Come out from where? Am I a prisoner? But it is my custom to read the whole chapter. “The Lord called me from birth.” I will admit that gave me pause. I’ve read this before, and usually think “I’m in trouble now!” Did it HELP? I am sure it probably did — because I’m sharing this ramble with you rather than hiding under the mess of stuff that is my life. Recently a person about to retire shared his plans with me — he has two pensions which he is banking. He plans to work another year before he retires to Phoenix where his grandchildren live. I’ll admit that sounded wonderful, maybe? This gentleman sounded like he liked to go places. My husband likes to drive but he is particular about the food he eats. When we were in Texas he DID NOT LIKE THE FOOD available there. Traveling with him is interesting unless I’m doing the cooking. Are we supposed to travel — good question? How? We lost our motor home in the tornado last year.

Now I’ve stated before that I do not hear or see “my friends in high places.” But they get their messages to me anyway. Recently I’ve been getting hit on the head A LOT. It might be because I have not been writing.

Whatever the reason, it is comforting to me that I have “help” in higher places. Recently we were at the camper and I noticed a woman pushing an enclosed stroller. As I passed by I noticed she had dogs for passengers. I just had to stop and talk to her. I’m glad that I did. She noticed my shoes and told me of a source of the shoes I was wearing. A) I found them comfortable. B) I didn’t think they were expensive and didn’t know how I would get more. Question solved. Just a little “help.” As you can tell, I NEED ALL THE “HELP” — I can get.

PERPLEXED

I’ll admit that I was confused. I know my memory is not what it was, especially if I’m on automatic pilot — put stuff away or do things without thinking. But usually I remember the titles of the thought rambles I’ve recently written or those that are scheduled to publish. Since I’m no longer young, I have many friends and acquaintances from many walks of life. Many like myself walk to a different drummer. I don’t remember who told me this but I think it was an actual person in my life, not the newspapers or TV.

I remember being told that my words would reach around the world. At the time I was astounded and I’ll have to admit not necessarily fully believing that announcement. “Sure! Right!” would have been my reply, if not out loud, silently to myself.

It wasn’t long after that announcement that I received a comment from someone in another country about one of my thought rambles. “Oh, you of little faith” — comes to mind. I’ve also been told to believe the promises of Abraham. How Abraham interacts with my life is a question still to be answered. I have to admit that when His name pops up, I pay attention. “I repeatedly fail to trust God’s promise to Abraham” was in my morning reading. ??

So by now you are wondering just what I am rambling about. Sunday morning I received an e-mail that a new person is now following Wandering With Spirit. The e-mail mentioned that she liked STEERING WHEEL. I didn’t remember Steering Wheel being a title that had recently published. The recent titles where about our trip and other recent happenings. I asked my husband if he remembered the title and received a negative response. All during church the question surfaced in my mind. We were visiting our daughter in Central Illinois so I didn’t have access to my files. I will soon celebrate the FOURTH year anniversary of Wandering with Spirit. Since I try to write a thought ramble a week the number is in the hundreds.

Question: Did I publish a title STEERING WHEEL. When? What was it about? Thankfully the data base gave me the information. Steering Wheel was published December 21, 2013. No wonder I didn’t remember. How was this particular thought ramble found? The subject of the ramble provided the answer. God is in charge. With God all things are possible. The ramble was about a tandem bike, God doing the driving, I’m behind, doing my best. The ramble is as relevant then as now — I still put my hands on the wheel, trying to drive, I’m still reminded of WHO is in charge.

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