Sunday, November 29, 2009

Asking and Caring


Photobucket Image by Speigel16

Have you ever asked that question that many people take for granted? Yes, the one for which we only expect a cursory answer. You know the one I mean? It rolls off our lips like winning coins coming out of a slot machine. The question is "How are you?"

Most of the time the answer is a one-word or less fly-by: "Fine," "Ok," "Lousy," or something of that nature. I have one online friend, who when I ask that question goes into great detail. Now, I know to expect this, but I'm also interested in how this friend really is doing at the moment. We've talked online and sometimes on the phone quite a number of times, so I know the situation.

I've often given detailed answers to this question, because sometimes a simple answer won't do and life (mine or anyone else's) can be complicated, rather than requiring a simple answer. If I didn't care about how my friends are, I wouldn't ask. Fortunately, I mostly have the time to listen to this friend and we can discuss what's happening in both our lives in detail. Maybe we can't help solve any situations at the time, but sometimes just talking things out and having someone listen helps.

I know when I was going through the challenging times where nothing appeared simple, I was very grateful for those who listened to me. I was also grateful they encouraged me to adopt a positive attitude no matter what events I was experiencing. Maybe friends will get tired of hearing you talk about the same thing if it goes on for too long (well, some aren't like this), but one sure thing is that God never tires of listening to us. And, He not only listens, He makes a way where there is none. How do I know this is true? Because it happens in my life over and over again.

So, next time you (or I) ask someone "How are you?" be prepared for an honest answer.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Nature Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Image by KimCandy2

I always imagine peace to be someplace where it's quiet, like beside a rocky stream in the woods with no people around and just the sounds of nature to soothe me. Yes, that's peace. But from my experiences peace can be found in the middle of a crisis or a noisy, crowded place (I'm thinking a sidewalk in NYC). ;-)

It can even be found in the middle of heartbreak. I remember several years ago when I was living in a place where I was very unhappy and lost both my cats I'd had for a very long time within weeks of one another. My heart felt crushed and I was afraid to love, fearing that anyone or anything I did love, well, that something bad would happen to them. Someone I was very good friends with then reassured me - many times over - that this was not true. Even in the middle of this I managed to find peace - it may have been temporary, but I still found it.

Now years later and after going through many more crises after, I understand that peace - something I heard years ago - is not separation from the storm, but in the midst of it. Not easy to do, but once I was sure of my faith in God, it became more of a certain feeling, because He is my peace.


Photobucket Image - Icons

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Difference One Day Makes

religious Pictures, Images and Photos

From Photobucket by Merileebrooke

Commentary: Today everyone gave thanks for all kinds of things. Tomorrow many shoppers will battle each other to grab at items so they can save a few dollars for Christmas.

Is this what God intended when His only Son was born? Somehow I can't believe that this is the Spirit of Christmas that the Lord wants us to feel. Jesus was born to save us from the death sin brings. Although it is better to give than receive, Christmas (which means the Birth of Christ), is not about mob scenes at 4 am to buy the best present for someone. Christmas is the celebration of the Birth of Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

I, for one, do not intend to be apart of this scary, yearly tradition, which I would love to see outlawed. Where in the tradition of Christmas does it say that it includes the insanity and greed of Black Friday. Nowhere.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program and pray for the safety of anyone who chooses to participate in Black Friday.

Michelle Rose

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grumpy, grumpy...What?

black and white Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo from by findstuff22

All day I have been checking my bank balance. Nope, the deposit didn't go through. I've been feeling quite down about that. Ok, tomorrow's Thanksgiving and I had planned a nice vegan menu, but I can't do it because I have around $6 in my checking account and a couple dollars in quarters.

But on the tail of these self-pitying thoughts came others. Some people can live a whole month on $6, while I only have to wait for a couple days to get my deposit. I have food in my refrigerator. Ok, it's kind of empty, but there's food in there. Some people go to bed and wake up hungry. They wish they had a refrigerator and food. Children and babies in third world countries cry from the hunger they feel and die from lack of food. I am nice and warm in my apartment. Other people, like the homeless in Los Angeles (and many other places) sleep on concrete and have no roof over their head. I am in fairly good health and I have medical insurance and doctors to take care of my medical needs. People in 3rd world countries and even here in the United States die from diseases that medicine eradicated many years ago. I have a computer, phone, cellphone, television, MP3 player, alarm clocks, a bathroom with a toilet, shower and sink, plus other luxuries some people only dream of having.

So...what do I have to be grumpy about? NOTHING! It never fails to amaze me how much I have that many others would do with what I have for a longer period of time. My Saviour, Jesus, had no home, no food in a refrigerator, no place to lay His head. Yet, He sacrificed everything for the sake of my forgiveness and salvation. Sometimes I can be so fixated on material things, when concepts like friendship, love, kindness abound all around me.

I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Michelle Rose 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ripples of Peace

Droplet Pictures, Images and Photos

Images from by Laurieanon.

"If I live in peace and peace lives in me -- I am a tiny stone plopped into an ocean -- My existence makes only small ripples -- But as my motion moves it joins with others -- Each touching makes the disruption grow -- Until the many tiny ripples become a tidal wave -- To wash away the beachfronts of fear and hate."   ~Chrystine Julian, a California poet and musician~

I don't know if Chrystine coined this quote herself or found it somewhere, but it certainly gives me pause to think about how I act and what the results are. Today my 6th grade math student really tested my patience, since she was up and down all through the 2 hour session. I let her slide a little bit, but I really wanted to superglue her to the seat. This was an example of just keeping quiet most of the time, but letting Adrianna (my student) know in a calm way what I expected of her.

The same is true for how I relate to other people. I see so many things that people do that just don't make sense. Mostly, it's not my place or business to say anything, so I keep quiet. Yet, I notice that when I'm at peace, it shows to others and they react in kind. Everyday, I do what I can to say something nice to someone - a small compliment, a little help when I see they need it, or just smiling at someone. I've gotten some very good reactions, but even if I don't, I know I feel good inside from my effort. Isn't this what God wants us to do? Relate to others in the way He says in the Bible, to love others as we love ourselves. Isn't this the way of peace?  

Monday, November 23, 2009

God is Good

bokeh Pictures, Images and Photos

Part of this is a lesson from Charles Stanley's In Touch.

Psalm 100:1 (but read all of it) "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth."

"The Lord's goodness is expressed in a multitude of ways. He is our Creator, and we are His people. (emphasis mine) Every breath we breathe is given to us by Him. As our loving Shepherd who watches over us, He provides for all our needs. But the greatest expression of God's goodness is the cross of Christ. What appeared from a human perspective to be the ultimate in cruelty and unfairness was the only way to rescue mankind from eternal separation from the Lord."

When I think about Psalm 100 and the paragraph that I read this morning and printed here, it is the greatest miracle of my life. The fact that God never met me personally, but cared enough to save me from suffering, not only in life, but also after I die. Many other miracles have occurred during my life, but of all of them, this is the one that counts the most, that God loves me totally and completely through His Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

That leads me to an affirmation I receive by email from Marla Sloane, PhD., which relates to how God being in my life helps me feel:

"I give thanks and gratitude for my wonderful life. I am lucky to be alive and I count my blessings each and every day. When I give thanks and help others' it comes back to me."

One day of thanksgiving a year? Not in my life. Because God is so good to me, everyday is thanksgiving. I thank God everyday for something in my life. True, I've been through difficult times when I've had to look hard for something to be thankful for, but I've always found something. Yes, God is good. Or as another Christian friend of mine says, "God is Good all the time."

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become."  ~Harold Taylor~

As I was walking home from the farmers' market today, I thought about freedom. Freedom comes in many forms - personal, physical, mental, financial, emotional, and governmental (and probably more). I have learned quite a bit about freedom in my life with the experiences I've had and the lessons these experiences have taught me. I don't smoke, drink, or use drugs, so I have freedom from substance abuse. I don't drive a car, so I have financial freedom from the expense of owning one. I don't own a house, so I don't have the expense of upkeep and repair. I don't eat certain foods, so I've lowered my risk of certain diseases.

Yet aside from all of this, when I think about freedom, it goes much deeper than that. I think true freedom comes from within - from the way I look at life and how I process my environment. I don't have to own many of the material possessions that some people feel equate freedom - and to them they might and that's ok. Although I do have certain possessions in my life and they help, freedom comes from the beauty I see around me, a God in my life and His love, good memories of times like yesterday - a bunch of poets and teachers having dinner after a poetry reading, or being in a quiet apartment with my cat next to me. Freedom is an abstract concept although it can have concrete manifestations.

Most of all, freedom is looking back from where I've come to where I am now and not worrying about where I'll be going, since I know that's not in my hands, but in the hands of someone greater than I am.

The following is a poem I wrote about a picture I saw online for another project I'm writing poems for - the return of people to the internment camp at Manzanar. One photo struck me particularly. Maybe this is what started my thinking about freedom.

pierced heart

in darkness my heart
is pierced by that from
which i can't escape

an unwilling
prisoner of hate
not because of what

i am only because
my association with
events make me who i am

free me to love again
as i once did unwrap
this wire from my spirit

Friday, November 20, 2009

This and That...Attitudes

Several things went through my mind today.

I finally had my MRI. It was like agony and ecstacy. I have a bit of restless leg syndrome and my muscles cramp easily if I don't move them because of the fibromyalgia. During an MRI, you can't move or it will mess it up. The closed MRI only takes about 12 minutes, but I don't like being in the small tube. The open MRI takes a half hour and today it appeared to be the longest half hour of my life willing my arms and legs not to move, and telling myself the cramp in my back was ok. That was the agony. The ecstasy was when the technician finally opened the door and told me I could move. It hurt so badly to move, that I nearly started crying, but I did slowly and finally moved normally.

Next I went to Ralph's to grab a small lunch from their salad and olive bar, afterwards going outside to eat it. One of the employees tried to talk to me. I was so hungry that I didn't want to talk. Later, after I finished lunch, I noticed that this young man had hearing aids in both ears and he is employed taking carts in from the parking lot and who knows what other simple jobs he does. I also noticed that he appeared to have had some kind of emotional disability. I felt so ashamed. He wanted to just be friendly and I couldn't stop to do that even for a minute.

When I came home I made a couple phone calls. One call resulted in finding a senior site where they had a whole page of jokes written by seniors. Even though I wanted to make dinner (which I finally did), I could not stop reading these jokes and laughing. How good it felt to let loose and look at life from the funny side.

So, within the space of less than a day, I've experienced three different levels of emotions and feelings, among others. My emotions, because of the disability of bi-polar disorder, once spun out of control in sharp peaks and dives. Now, medications level me off, but situational depressions still return - not as often and not as deep as they once were.

When I think about these 3 times during the day, I know that first I did the best I could during the medical procedure - and it was quite difficult. Next, I could have changed my attitude and talked to the young man. And last, I laughed freely. Through all of this God was right there - encouraging me, nudging me to change my attitude, and providing emotional relief.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Joy of Life

"I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters." ~Oprah Winfrey~

I woke up this morning in a wonderful mood. I ate breakfast and then left to go to the bank, the pet store, the library, the health food store, and Albertson's (food store). In fact, I didn't just ride there, but took the bus to the bank, then walked from there to the other places, then walked back down again almost to Vermont and Prospect.

As I was walking up the hill to the pet store, library, and healthfood store, I realized that, "Gee, I'm out before 12 p.m. and I'm exercising!"

I was feeling quite well most of the day, then when I was tutoring my student, a ferocious headache descended on me. Still, I was not going to let it ruin my day. I think it happened because of something I ate today. I appear to be getting more sensitive to certain foods.

I finished the book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David A. Kessler, MD. This book examines and approaches compulsive overeating from such a different viewpoint, not only from the point of view of the compulsive overeater, but also the food and diet industries and others. It's an incredible book and has helped me immensely. I am more aware of what I eat and the results of eating certain foods. This, to me, is part of the joy of life, that I have made a breakthrough in something that has controlled me for many, many years.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life's Boomerangs

"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy."  ~Florence Shinn~
Sometimes I say or do things, then afterwards wonder why I did or said them. My thoughts and words are usually under pretty much control, but tonight, something I said came back to me. Embarrassment is what I feel at being a bit loose lipped and saying what I should not have said.
I think the situation will work out ok. Sometimes the passage of time helps situations resolve themselves. Other times they haven't. In those cases, I just have to let go of the people, places, or things that don't work out and move on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Before and After

This morning in reading my morning meditation - the scripture reading - from Charles Stanley's In Touch, I saw a picture of myself. Not that I didn't know what I was like before, but it said it so plainly that I am grateful that I am a Christian.

Galatians 5:19-26

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we life by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Charles Stanley says: "The key to living a life of joy, peace, and victory is found in Galatians 5. Notice that I did not say a life without conflict or one free of temptation, trial, or heartache. Those are part of the human condition. But we can triumph through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, today's passage makes clear how vital it is for believers to life a Spirit-filled life."

When I think about the before me, it is evident to me why not only did people not like myself, but I didn't like myself either. Now, self-love has not come immediately and in a big rush. It has taken many years of belonging to Christ (and many, many changes in my life) for me to get to the point where I like myself just as I am, looking like the Michelin tire (wo)man or Pillsbury dough girl and all. ;-) But God does not look at my outsides. He created me with love.

Yes, it took quite a long time to love God's creation (me) the way HE (emphasis mine)  sees me. But I do and I less and less I allow others' perception of me (the negative ones) to influence how I feel. God loves me, He shows me how He loves me. I am becoming (the after me) the person God wants me to become.  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Magical Day

Today I spent a whole day with cats, dogs, and birds. Well, I wasn't with all of them, but they were at a big event sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Many of you know how much I love animals. I have so many reasons.

- are God's creatures
- helped me when I was first diagnosed with my emotional disability
- love unconditionally
- expect nothing in return for their love (oh, but we give them so much anyway)
- are therapeutic (for eomtional and physical disabilities)
- understand when we feel happy or sad
- have emotions just like we do
- help me learn some of life's lessons

Ok, I could go on, but those of you who love and/or have animals understand what I'm talking about. When I look at Sasha or some of the animals I work with at the shelter, or other animals in my life, I see God's handiwork. Of course, some animals, like my neighbor's dog, Buddy, aren't so friendly, yet I still see a creature God created. If I didn't see the unbeautiful along with the beautiful, then I would not be looking at life with open eyes. And many times, my work with animals and just being with animals helps me to get along with and understand people. Maybe not everytime, but the lessons are there.

I'm blessed to have Sasha in my life and all the other cats and animals that have been in my life and are now gone. This is one way God's shown me that He loves me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Staying Close to God

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Ps 119:11 from the

I have many friends, some are Christians others are not. When I go to AA meetings, some people use profanity. It's something I'm not entirely successful at eliminating from my vocabulary, although I do my best to honor God with clean language. Each morning I begin the day by reading God's word and meditating on the message for that day. I also read several chapters from the book of the Bible I'm reading at the time - right now it's Isaiah.

The more I practice the principles God would have me follow, the easier it is to resist following those who choose the way of the world. God's word lives in my heart and it follows that I will choose to show others what loving God means by acting that way He would have me live.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taking A Timeout...

This week I've been troubled by knee pain. It has not been a particularly busy week, in fact I did not work Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. As I write this I'm quite tired, but I wanted to get it done. On Saturdays, I usually go to an AA meeting in the morning, then head out to Pasadena for a poetry workshop/reading. I don't even have the energy to do that.

So, I'm allowning myself a real time out. A whole day off to just rest. If I work on the computer, it will be sitting in bed. If I read, it will be sitting in bed. Other than that, I will just spend some time sitting on the porch if it's warm.

Many people (out of love) tell me to exercise to feel better. But that's not been happening. The more I walk, the worse my knee and legs feel. So, instead of listening to others, tomorrow I'm listening to my body and taking a time out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Sting of Loneliness

All you really need is the One who promised never to leave or forsake you - the One who said, "Lo, I am with you always." - Joni Eareckson Tada -

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody. The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity. - Mother Teresa -

I found these 2 quotes in Everett Christian's Good Things, which is in my email every day. I'm glad I found them, since the other night I was feeling a bit left out of some things. Okay, but this was just my feeling, not reality.

When I feel lonely, I still remember that Jesus promised He'd never leave me. And through all kinds of situations, day in and day out - He's with me. His promise is as good as His word. And the fact that I know Jesus is always with me, well, it takes the sting out of the feeling that I'm never alone. Never. I may not be with people, but I'm with the God who created me and no one knows me better.

So, next time you think that you're alone, don't look down. Look within your heart and up to the heavens. There is where the One who will never leave you is. And He's the best friend you'll ever have. I know it's true for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Recently, I returned to AA meetings. Being with other recovering alcoholics and working a program feels good, very good. One problem I consistently struggle with is self-acceptance. I've always measured myself by the yardstick of how others look and feel. After 30 years of sobriety it's become better and I look not so much at others, but look to myself and how I can become more of the person I want to be with God's guidance.

When God looks at me, He does so through the blood of Christ Jesus, who shed it for my forgiveness. It makes sense then, that I look at myself not from my own point of view, not through others' eyes, but through God's eyes. I may not be perfect, but God loves me just the way I am, because of Christ's intervention. That's an amazing thought.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I would like to hear from those who read this blog. If something I say helps you or touches your life. Please feel free to leave comments. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Surprising Changes

Today started out wonderfully. I slept well last night and managed not to wake up during the night. I made it to the womens' AA meeting I tried to get to last week. They were on Step 10, "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." I believe when I write these Lessons from Life, I'm doing just that. In the 3 years or so I didn't go to meetings, I continued to work the program.

On Saturday and today, I took a cake for 30 years of sobriety. Today two other women took cakes also. It was nice to share our sober birthdays with each other and the group. Womens' meetings have always been special to me, since I we can share things in them that we can't in mixed meetings.

After the meeting, I went to lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant, went downtown and bought a pair of silver studs to replace the one I'd lost, so I can have two matching earrings, then went to Out of the Closet (thrift store) and bought a pair of pants and 3 shirts. The shirts were colors that I previously would not have considered - yellow, dusty pink, and red. Mostly what I wear are dark colors or grey. I believe God is changing my heart and thoughts about myself. I am looking at myself differently than I once did. What an amazing God I believe in who loves me without end. WOW!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lifting My Heart

The physical pain I've felt the last couple of days has not done much to lift my spirits, but I'm mostly a positive and upbeat person. Today, I decided that I would wear some different colors from the usual grey teeshirts I normally wear. I wore a tangerine colored shirt and lime green socks with some orange in them.

All day long I kept thinking that these colors truly lifted my spirits, in spite of some annoying things that happened. But was it truly the colors that made me feel better or God providing what He know would help me?

Before I left for work, I was chatting with my friend from high school, Howard. He'd lost his cellphone and was quite upset about not being able to find it. He asked me to pray for him, telling me that I always had prayer warriors in Florida. I'd like to think that I'm as strong a prayer warrior for others who need it, praying for them without asking. Sometimes one of my friend's names will come into my mind, and I know I must pray for them, not even knowing why. If nothing else, praying for them helps me know I'm helping them, even when I can't do anything more.

Today's message in my daily reading was about the disciples wanting to sit at the right and left hands of Jesus. He told them that if they wanted to be glorified, they must become servants. In praying for others, I become a willing servant and it lifts my heart in ways that many other actions or words can't.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Listening to My Body

I woke up early this morning and could not get back to sleep. Instead, I called my Aunt Nettie in NJ, then got Sasha's food and my breakfast ready. Today, I've been having trouble with pain in in my arms and legs, but I've attempted to keep somewhat active anyway. I went to the farmers' market, since I was out of baby lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes. It's a bit of exercise and gets me out into the fresh air and sunshine. In the desire to eat better and change my eating habits, I've allowed myself the "luxury" of buying and eating fresh organic food. I love the taste more than fruits and veggies I buy from Ralph's Market.

After I ate lunch, a vegan meal I bought at the farmers' market, I was on the computer, but felt very tired. I wanted to stay on the computer chatting with my friends on facebook, but my body had other ideas. So, I got off the computer and lay down to take a couple hour nap. This, like the good food I gave it today, is what my body was telling me it needed.

Sometimes when I don't listen to what my body (physically) is telling me, I've gone over the limit and experience more pain. It's like that when I don't listen to what God is telling me. I have more pain in my day or in my life. Past mistakes tell me to stop being stubborn and listen to what I don't know but something or Someone else does. It saves me the pain of making the mistatke again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fear and Laughter

Last night I had a mixed experience. After tutoring, I ate dinner and walked around Panorama Mall for a bit, then did some shopping at WalMart. As I walked outside to catch the bus all "hell" broke loose. Cop cars and choppers were everywhere, several black & whites parked at the intersection where I catch the bus. Needless to say it freaked me out a bit and I was scared, although with all the cops around, I'm not sure why I was. Yet, this morning I thought how silly of me to be scared (ok, I was tired and wanted to get home), but God had the situation in control - He would not have allowed me to be hurt - not with all the police presence. Anyway, I safely got on the bus, although I had to cross the street to run after it a bit, since it turned the corner to detour from its normal route. I still don't know and really don't care what was happening, I'm just very grateful that God got me out of there safely.

Now the laughter - today in Good Things, Everett Christian posted this quote,
"Nothing is harder than gracefully getting down from your high horse."
- From Reminisce Magazine -
I think I know why this made me laugh - it's so true and typical. How many times have I had to do this? Maybe my horse has a special stall where he waits for me to become willing to get off him, but I do know that at times when I've had an attitude reversal, my face has been quite sheepish. Everytime I read it I laugh again, and laughter is so good for the soul!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life's messes and the "clean-up crew"

"18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life hand down to you from your forefthers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. I Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

This morning I woke up to a mess my cat had left by the bathroom door. She had an accident and it wasn't her fault. I simply cleaned it up without becoming angry with her. Even when Sasha, my cat, gets miffed and attacks me because I've crossed one of her boundaries and attacks me, I don't get angry, but love her where she's at in the moment.

Similarly, when I sin or make a mistake, Jesus doesn't get mad at me, since He died to wash away my sin. That doesn't mean I intentionally sin, but do my best to walk away from temptation when it presents itself.

Yesterday, I was talking to the woman who moved into my old apartment next door when I had my last roommate. One of the things I said to her was that Ed and I did not get along well - he wanted me out of the apartment - but things worked out exactly the way they were supposed to. That's true, but God brought me through the experience of 3 roommates with whom I didn't get along, until He brought me to the place where I'm in an apartment I can afford and have the serenity I sought. The point is that if I can forgive Sasha and God can forgive me, then I can forgive my last 3 roommates for hurting me. It's just part of life. Messes happen, but the "cleanup crew" changes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Payday and Blessings

I woke up early this morning. Well, I had something to do, then I went back to sleep for another couple of hours. When I woke up, I was ready to wake up and got out of bed right away. Today is a beautiful day - the sun is shining and the temperature will be warm again. I get my deposit from SSDI, so I can pay my rent, buy some things I need, and get my hair cut tonight.

It's only 9:48, but my day has been filled already with so many blessings. I read a short article in Charles Stanley's In Touch called, "An Hour of Gratitude." The author goes about her day, doing her normal routine, but everytime she does something, she thinks about how many people are without what she has. I went to the bathroom in one with a toilet that flushed and a sink with soap and water to clean my hands. How many people don't have facilities like this? I washed my dishes and my cat's dishes in my sink with clean, running water. So many people in the world don't have clean water to drink, much less flowing water. I fed my cat and myself with food I bought from the grocery store and kept in the refrigerator. How many of the world's people go without food and clean water? I turned on my computer to type this and catch up on other news online. How many of the people in world in 3rd world countries don't even have electricity, much less computers? I'm looking out the window of my studio apartment - the window has glass in it. How many of the world's people live in huts they've made from what the earth gives and don't have glass in their windows? After breakfast I'll take a shower, get on the bus, and go to the bank to do some shopping and go to an AA meeting. Again, how many of the world's 3rd world people, don't have any of those things?

It hasn't even been an hour yet, but I've put down a whole list of things that I sometimes take for granted. And, as I go throughout today, I'll think of other things for which to be grateful and pray for those in my life or not who are in need. Gratitude like certain lessons in life never end.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Exactly Lessons from Life

This morning, I woke up early, then needed to sleep a bit more, because of the physical pain I felt. After waking up, I swept my apartment and made breakfast. I thought today was the day I had 2 doctor's appointments, bu they are next Monday and Friday.

Here we are in November and another year is almost done. Looking back, I've accomplished some of what I set out to do and other goals remained unfinished. Yet, I feel more serene, more content, more self-confident in many ways. So, I can't say this year has been totally bad. There were many wonderful parts, aside from the overstressful crises I went through.

Will I renew writing Lessons from Life? I don't know. I do know that writing them helped me through an extremely difficult time in my life. It brought me closer to God, brought me a new understanding of my abilities, and what I could handle. This year I made many major decisions - to move to a smaller apartment, to resign from substitute teaching, to return to AA meetings, letting go of many things I had held onto that were crowding my life, in addition to other lesser decisions.

This morning I made another decision - to start my day reading Nan's Calendar on the computer, then move onto my email and other things online. Next I will read my email, including Good Things, written by Everett Christian. When I first woke up, I read my Bible. As I move through the day, I pray for people in my life and others, plus situations like the war and those in need. Will I continue writing this on a daily basis? I don't know - I only know it helped me this morning and I needed to see my thoughts in black and white.