Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
She calls everything and everyone
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I would like to share a sacred experience. I hope that I am not casting my pearls before swine. After reading this experience after I first posted it on facebook, one friend said that I had heard with my spiritual ears, (as it is referred to in the scriptures) and I agree. But, even though we are discouraged from sharing too sacred of experiences, I feel compelled to share this experience. Someday perhaps, when it is my time to go, it will provide some comfort for my loved ones.
Nancy Boyer and her husband, LeGrande, are permanent fixtures in my husband's life and through marriage became my extended family too. So, on hearing of Nancy's passing, last week, I was totally and completely overcome with despair. It was close to bedtime, and so I told myself that just as soon as I was ready for bed, I would kneel in prayer. I tried to keep focusing on the task at hand, but I kept getting this urgency to pray. I finally succumbed to the urgency I felt and made my knees hit the floor in prayer and supplication. I then had a very sacred experience. It was truly an out of body experience.
I had been bawling and when I knelt to pray I totally surrendered to the despair of losing Nancy. I love her so much. She was one of few people in this world that I felt took the time to truly understand me and love me. Nancy was a person who had a mighty ability to love. Everyone knew how much she cared about them. So, as I started talking to God about Nancy my bawling turned to incoherent sobs and shaking that got increasingly more violent. I tried spitting out my request for Nancy's husband, children, and grandchildren to be comforted, but I could not make the words sound out loud. I felt relief knowing that God could hear my silent prayer.
All of the sudden, out of the middle of nowhere this crazy conversation from a few years ago came flooding back to memory. A long forgotten conversation between Nancy and I made way for an awesome calm. As I was remembering, I came to the realization that my body was completely still and there was no longer even a trace of despair or crying. It was as if God himself placed his hand on my shoulders so that I could hear what needed to be heard. I was completely focused on this conversation from years ago that had occurred shortly after the passing of another friend.
I had confided in Nancy that I would often try to strike up a deal with my husband that if he died before me, he would find a way to send me a message that I was on the right path to join him. I am certain that I am on the right path, but I am also afraid of the unknown and it would be nice to have some reassurance of my place in the next world and that someone I know and love would be there to help me when the time came. I embarrassingly admitted to Nancy about my fear of death. Nancy had a way of getting all kinds of stuff out of people. (I think this is one of the reasons that I loved her so....we both revere honesty, the giving and receiving of it.) I knew she wouldn't laugh at my confession. In fact, looking back there was only one natural thing for Nancy to do. She said that sounded like a great idea and that when she died, if there was any way she could send me a message to know about the other side, she would like to play along.
As soon as my mind finished replaying the conversation, word for word, I knew in my heart that my good friend Nancy was somehow fulfilling her promise. It was not in any way that I had expected but it was so like Nancy to make sure she didn't leave anything unfinished. It was an absolutely amazing experience and will always be remembered by me as one of my most sacred. From complete shakes and loud bawling to total and complete stillness and peace, there was a reason for this remembrance of something that otherwise would have been completely forgotten.
I looked up, completely marveling, knowing somehow she was right there. By looking up, I felt like I was somehow acknowledging that I had received her message. It was as if I was saying, "NANCY, WE DID IT. You came through big time!" As soon as the whole minute passed for this experience from start to finish, I could literally hear Nancy's perfect robust laugh (one of my favorites in the world). Unlike the memory, it wasn't in my head that I heard the laugh, but I literally physically heard her laugh, as if she were right there. I then knew that her laugh was her way of telling me back, "ALICE, WE DID IT..the impossible." There really is a way to communicate through the veil.(Of course Nancy would be the one to deliver such a message - she was an accomplished and prolific genealogist, who I am sure experienced some of these moments of her own) I know Nancy came to me. I felt of her urgency in saying good-bye, as if she was rushing around to see everyone she knew one last time. But, somehow because of that promise to a scared young woman, I had gotten a special treatment. Another thing so like Nancy, to seek out the one who needed it most. I immediately felt the urgency of Nancy being ushered on to where she was going. Her laugh was such that her back was turning.
I cannot even tell you how I am left feeling about the significance of this experience to me. I have always feared death in a terrible way. But, I will never fear it again. Because I know that I am doing the right thing, as she surely told me so. And if anyone wants to question my belief in the next life, I will tell them that they are going to have to take it up with her. Because I think somehow she will find a way to sneak them a message too. And as Nancy's children will attest to, when Nancy is right, she is right...no discussion allowed.
Friday, October 15, 2010
And I am pondering
But, I hope I can
Emotional distance is a temporary boundary to give your heart the space it needs to be safe; it is never a permanent way of living. People who have been in abusive relationships need to find a safe place to begin to "thaw out" emotionally. Sometimes in abusive marriages the abused spouse needs to keep emotional distance until the absusive partner begins to face his or her problems and become trustworthy.You should not continue to set yourself up for hurt and disappointment. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you should wait until it is safe and until real patterns of change have been demonstrated before you go back. Many people are too quick to trust someone in the name of forgiveness and not make sure that the other is producing "fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8) To continue to open yourself up emotionally to an abusive or addicted person without seeing true change is foolish. Forgive, but guard your heart until you see sustained change.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Short and sweet book. Really, it will take you all of 20 minutes to read the whole thing.
What did I learn?
Besides the fact that I am not as good of a wife as I thought I was?
#1 And most important (which is really hard for wives to hear) You can't change your husband.
#2 Love your husband. Just the way he is, and you might inspire him to be better.
#3 Be grateful that your husband puts up with you.
#4 Your husband is really a lot better than you give him credit for.
#5 Don't criticize EVER. Unless he asks for it, and even then you have to deliver it in a way that seems complimentary.
#6 Men talk for information, women talk for interaction. Define your roles, needs, and communication styles and then remember them when interacting.
#7 Affirm affirm affirm and let him know you love following his lead. And make a big deal about everything that he does that you like and/or appreciate. Thank him specifically.
#8 Talk about your admiration for each other, especially in front of other people.
#9 Speak each others' love languages.
#10 Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is, treat him as he is the man you want him to become and he will become that man.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I remember hearing about Pat Tillman and his decision to join the army after September 11, 2001. I had no idea at the time that I was just another unassuming American being sold on a war by the US Government and the US media. I am glad that on a whim I picked this book off the new additions shelf a the library.
This book was absolutely fascinating in two ways. The first is obvious: Pat Tillman was a remarkable man. He was patriotic and tough. He was unmaterialistic, almost anti-materialistic, and that is why it wasn't a big deal for him to walk away from his NFL contract and sign up to be a soldier. He was loyal. He stayed with his same girlfriend through high school, college, and the rest of us his cut-short life. One of my favorite parts of Pat's story was how he gave up a 9 million dollar contract with another NFL team way before he went to war. He was loyal to the coaches and team that gave him his first chance at professional football in the 7th draft, and he wasn't even worried that he lost millions. But, I already told you that he wasn't materialistic. What a breathe of fresh air in today's stuff-saturated society.
Pat is a hero to me. He's an unlikely hero for me. He was agnostic and almost self centered. However he was smart and confident. In reading this book he wasn't portrayed as the selfless guy that I imagined him to be, but as a high risk junkie. I am not sure if I liked that. I know that just as this book made me non-trusting of the government and news networks, I am also now untrusting of the story teller. No one man can ever write enough to really let you know a man you never met. I will tell you this, after reading about Pat Tillman's life, I would have loved to be able to sit down with him and discuss ideas. He was a philosophy kind of guy...always testing ideas. This is why he is a hero to me. I like thinkers.
Interestingly, Pat never wanted to be paraded through the streets as the guy who believed in the war, and this is precisely the reason I chose to read his biography in the first place. In fact, Pat was disenchanted with the war. He joined to go and find Bin Laden and kill him, and Pat was pissed when his whole first tour turned into Bush's ulterior motives of defeating Sadam Hussein and Iraq. As a naive American, I never knew that warheads were made up by our government just to use the 9/11 opportunity to defeat a country we felt was a threat. But, Iraq was never a terrorist threat like the Taliban and Al Qaeda members harbored in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iraq just happened to be a convenient neighbor close enough to Bin Laden to rally Americans to attack. I finished this book, also pissed that I had been dooped into fighting the wrong war and upset that our government wasn't more successful at finding every last terrorist and wiping them into oblivion.
The second facet I loved about this book is that it was a living history lesson. It was a lesson to me about world events that I was never in touch with. I learned all kinds of stuff about the middle east and our foreign affairs with them; things I am ashamed I never took the time to know before. The way that the story was written as a go between of a fascinating soldier and a fact telling story was especially effective at keeping my attention. I would never just pick up a daunting tell all of middle eastern events, but mixed in with the story of Pat Tillman, made it all the more fascinating and relevant, for this ignorant US citizen who tries to keep US politics at bay.
Good read. It is recommended by me for all kinds of people: People who like world history, US Politics, the National Football League, the US Military, war histories, the Middle East, terrorist plots, or just plain old philosophy.
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