Saturday, June 30, 2007
My eyes are fine. The doctor didn't dilate the pupils so I was able to shop for Aunt Tod this morning and then visited with her for a couple of hours before she went into dialysis. She slept most of the time. Her doctor has bumped up the levels of her synthroid, so that should help her feel more like being awake than she has been feeling. She has been complaining of being tired all the time and falling asleep everywhere. I was attributing it to the facts that she's 94 years old and at least 15 pounds underweight -- all of which certainly affects her energy levels -- but finding the thyroid levels too low and correcting for that will certainly help her rebound.
I picked her a new bunch of roses from my garden and replaced last week's vase with a new one to give her fresh, new posies for the week. They really makes her days.
After that, I went to H&L Produce for some fruit and read about twenty pages in the Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible, then took a nap with Ashley cat atop my lap for a couple of hours. When I awoke, I read some more from the Stanley book. That has been the extent of my day so far, and it's almost over now! Time to get busy on this blog!
Yesterday evening I watched one of my new YOU ARE THERE DVDs. Bobbie Bobstein told me there are some professional DVDs of YOU ARE THERE on the market and that De is in a number of the episodes available, so I went to Amazon and got two of them, used. They arrived this past week and last night I saw the one containing the episodes about the first big oil strike in Beaumont, Texas (Spindletop) and the capture of John Wilkes Booth. I have another one containing Gunfight at The OK Corral in which De portrays Ike Clanton. This is the episode Hal Wallis saw that convinced him that De should portray Ike Clanton again in his upcoming movie GUNFIGHT AT OK CORRAL with Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. Alas, De was already under contract to do an AC Lyles Western that was shooting at the same time, so Wallis gave De the smaller role of Morgan Earp in his movie.
De's Ike Clanton is hair-raising. He's a minimalist actor -- he doesn't have to do a lot to grab the audience's attention and captivate or intimidate it. His bad guys are among the best ever seen on the silver screen or on the smaller TV screen. If you can manage to divorce yourself from ever having known him as "Dr McCoy" and just experience him in any of his earlier bad guy roles, it can bring on nightmares. I've had a couple dreams where "bad guy" De arrived and intimidated the starch out of my sister and me. I wouldn't want to meet THAT hombre in a dark alley or arroyo. How he ever managed to be that convincing a badass is beyond me, as gentle a man as he was, and is one of the reasons I believe he should have taken home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar or Emmy many times in his career. I think if he had portrayed Ike Clanton in the motion picture, he would have.
But that's all water under the bridge... for now.
Some writer or speaker (can't recall who) said that in heaven we will receive recognition we didn't receive on earth. As an example, this expositor said that it's highly likely that some unknown little girl who died at age eight would be recognized as the greatest pianist who ever lived-- far above any noted names -- but that she had died young from smallpox or polio and had not been given the chance to reveal her passion for music and the gift it would become to the world, given time, before she died. That makes some sense to me...
There are many, many people in the world whose gifts are local, quiet, and far greater than the noted "givers of" music/art/acting/ministering that are emblazoned across our screens. It only makes sense that these lesser-known folks will receive some of the loudest applause in heaven from their peers who recognize their greatness. Mother Teresa will applaud some unknown assistant in a nursing home who gave all she had and was far from the limelight, out of the goodness of her heart; Caruso will applaud someone who was not known to the world who could sing circles around him... That kind of thing.
I think De will be among those who receive "extra credit" not only for being an underestimated, under-used and under-rewarded actor but for being an exemplary servant (giver of grace) as he offered his gift to the world. He had an ego, but it was under the control of the Holy Spirit. He had quiet confidence -- he didn't bluster or come across as arrogant... He knew that his gift and fortunes came from above and were not entirely attributable to his own efforts or worthiness.
It makes sense that people will recognize, once they get to heaven, what their true legacy to the world is. On this side of eternity, it's pretty impossible to tell.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Toninia Edwards sent me this:
A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of their town. People would say, "What a peaceful & loving couple."
The local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage.
The husband replied, "Well, it dates back to our honeymoon. We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down to the bottom of the canyon by mule. We hadn't gone too far when my wife's mule stumbled and she almost fell off. My wife looked down at the mule and quietly said, "That's once.
We proceeded a little farther and the mule stumbled again. Once more my wife quietly said, "That's twice."
We hadn't gone a half mile when the mule stumbled for the third time. My wife quietly removed a revolver from her purse and shot the mule dead.
I shouted at her, "What's wrong with you, woman? Why did you shoot the poor animal like that? Are you crazy? She looked at me and quietly said, "That's once."
And from that moment ... we have lived happily ever after.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
More later. Must off to work!
It has been raining quite a lot the past couple of days and will again today. The weekend is supposed to be sunny, though, and that’s right around the corner. I told ya I live in Camelot! (If you happen to be a web-footed native, that is… Quack, quack, honk, honk…)
That’s why Washington is called the Evergreen State! God’s Automatic Watering System keeps everything pretty much ever-green on the we(s)t side of this state! (Okay, so that’s not why we’re called the Evergreen State. It’s ‘cause we are awash – ahem – in Evergreen trees!)
That’s all right --- you don’t have to move here. Stay where you are. I like the population pretty much the way it is right now. We can drive the speed limit on the freeways here without too much slowdown a lot of the time. Most beach states can’t make that claim, I don’t reckon – and in another fifty years we won’t be able to make it, either. But I won’t be here in 50 years so I am content to brag on my home state for as long as I shall live. After that, I imagine it will become just about as crowded and frantic as the other Atlantic and Pacific states… Too bad, but people have to live somewhere. It might as well be in “God’s country” – the northwest corner of the United States!
Lots of military bases are located here. The troops who come here hate the area at first; but they usually end up falling in love with the four seasons, the mountains, lakes and people and relocate here after their tours of duty are over.
That says a lot, I think. You have to live here a while and get through all four seasons for a couple of rotations to recognize what a precious gem this area of the country is. But let me repeat and make it clear: I’m not encouraging you to move here! Like I said, I like it pretty much the way it is, population-wise, so STAY PUT –except for Alison, Margot, Billie Rae, The Inquisitor, Bobbie and Joel… oh, heck… come on and move, y’all! We’d have a block party to end all block parties if you did!
My cousin Vernie Foxen lives in Lompoc, California (Lompoc is pronounced laum-poke, in case you're wondering). She had a toe amputated a month or so ago because of gangrene.
You might wonder why I'm telling you this? Yes, I suppose you might! Allrighty, then...
As it turns out Vernie's foot doctor, Dr. Faridi Sherieff, is "the biggest Trek fan in the world" (Vernie's words). He has TREK stuff all over his office! She told him about me and said I had written a book about one of the original cast members but she couldn't remember which one except that she knew he had passed away... Dr. Sherieff said, "Well, there are just two who have died...." and when he said "DeForest Kelley" Vernie remembered: "That's the one!" (I guess by this you can tell how much in touch Vernie and I are and how much a TREK fan she is...).
Dr. Shereiff was impressed, so Vernie called here wanting me to send her a book to give to him; wanted me to sign it to him. My books are all Print On Demand so I don't have any extras lying around. I called to tell her I would send a signed "De and Me" photo to her to give to him and a black and white copy of the present interview in STAR TREK Magazine, and that I would even inscribe a sticker note to him in the event he decides to get the book after getting the rest of what I send. I also included the address to this blog, so before too long I fully expect to have a visit here from Dr. Faridi Sherieff! Say hello to him, everyone!
I inscribed the photo, "To the Real McCoy from the Reel McCoy's personal assistant and caregiver, Live long and prosper, Kris Smith." (Hey, so I plagiarized from what De used to write to Doctors. I don't think Dr. Sherieff will mind; do you?) I reckon he will frame the photo and bolt it to the wall in his waiting room or office... (blush). That's okay. Hey, it might convince some of his other clients to buy my book as well, especially if he goes out and gets the new TREK magazine and places that in his office, opened to page 42... I wouldn't be too upset by that...
See what one little strategically placed photo and article might do? (Boy, do I have a great imagination, suddenly!HA HA HA HA HA) It might do absolutely nothing, and it might do a lot.
So here's what I propose to all of you who have the magazine: LEAVE IT LYING OPEN TO PAGE 42 ALL THIS MONTH, WILL YA? AND TELL PEOPLE YOU KNOW THE PERSON WHO WAS INTERVIEWED THEREIN, AND SEE WHAT COMES OF IT... SEND THEM TO THIS BLOGSITE AND LET'S ALL GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER. LET'S ALL MEET IN VEGAS ON AUGUST 11TH AND GO TO DINNER THAT DAY OR THE DAY BEFORE...
Are you up for that, Dr. Sherieff?
Vernie says he's ADORABLE...
Maybe he'd better stay home, in that case...
All those actors don't need any competition from the audience...
Sad news: Joel Siegel has passed away. I must read his book In one of his chapters "A History of the Jews in Four Jokes" he wrote in explicating for his son the meaning of Joke Number One, the possible differences between Jews, Christians and Muslims: "They (Christians and Muslims) communicate with God through an intermediary who might get it wrong. We get it wrong right from the source."
Delightful man, terrific heart. It's always very sad to see people like that go... It makes the world a darker place...
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The weekend approaches and I’m ready for it. Saturday morning I have an eye exam so will be useless to all intents and purposes (as a writer/reader) for up to four hours afterward because the doctor is going to dilate my pupils and take a look around inside. Oh, joy. If that weren’t part of his plan, I could have had an eye appointment during the week and had a weekend filled with normal vision. But hey, it’s important…
I’m contemplating the first draft of the final (?) version of the Vegas presentation.
It’s in the editing phase that The Critic comes out -- otherwise I lock her in a closet, or I’d never get a blasted thing written!
The Critic Within wreaks havoc with me (as it does with most people, mostly to our detriment, I think). If I can put something away for three months or longer and then come back to it and re-discover it -– as happened recently with the STAR TREK Magazine interview –- often I’ll be surprised by how good it is. (A brief aside to bestow credit where credit is due: In the case of the two TREK interviews with Billie Rae Walker –- at STARTREK.COM and in STAR TREK MAGAZINE -- without the insightful questions Billie posed, there would have been very few good answers… so she gets the lion’s share of the credit for the lasting quality of these interviews. Hers were the best two interviews I have given to date. It is due to her careful reading of the two Kelley books beforehand and other reading and insights she brought to the table that made these interviews the gems they became.) But while I’m in the throes of the “editing” process, it’s not all that cut and dried… As long as something is fluid, nebulous, not yet written in stone, I worry it the way a dog worries a bone. I guess that’s good for the reader, but it can be pretty disconcerting at this end! I just don’t want anything to see the light of day unless I feel awfully certain I won’t be embarrassed when I see it down the road again in three or four months!
This reminds me of the time a boss sent me to appear on a television program to defend the right of wild burros to exist on public lands. I still see that interview on TV from time to time and cringe! There’s a chapter in my book LET NO DAY DAWN THAT THE ANIMALS CANNOT SHARE fully detailing this “adventure in interview land.” That interviewer did not take very good care of me... The editors and producers edited it so poorly that it appeared I was proclaiming that burros (rather than horses) evolved in North America! GAWD AWMIGHTY! The Bureau of Land Management fellow they interviewed for the same episode had a heyday with that... I still blush and then get ticked just thinking about it. "That's NOT what I said!" (I had been talking to the sound man in the back of the pickup truck about eohippus -- the forerunner of the HORSE -- evolving in North America. I'm sure he was not the editor or he would not have spliced that sentence into an argument for having BURROS accepted as native species on public lands...)
All that aside...
De and Carolyn let me know I did a wonderful job on that show. They said I looked utterly confident and unself-conscious. Carolyn asked if I would like to become an actress as a result of this TV interview; De would get right on it, if so!! HAH!
Bless their hearts -- they didn't know enough about the wild horse/wild burro land use controversy to realize that in the editing process I had been changed into a complete nincompoop!
My boss said I did a great job, too. AND HE BETTER HAVE, OR I WOULD HAVE HURT HIM BADLY! Burros were not one of my issues -- wild horses were (which is why I was talking about wild horses in the back of that pick-up truck, to establish some credibility as a critter expert) -- but the burro experts were in Washington DC in front of the feds arguing for the burros that day, so I was drafted to be the burros savior for TV .. ARGHHHH!
So I come by my fear of looking like a fool based on a certain amount of experience, you know?
It's just one of several crosses I bear...
"Kris, go get changed into ranch clothes. You have to be there in 90 minutes and it's 60 miles away...."
"You'll do great!"
"Keep breathing in and out -- you look a little blue. Don't worry! You'll be fine!"
"I WANT MY MOMMY!!!!"
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Creation's Las Vegas STAR TREK convention (http://www.creationent.com/cal/stlv.htm) is just six weeks away. It's time to prepare in earnest.
I have begun to "Meditate on De" more frequently -- every lunch time -- and to imagine different presentation options. This is a bittersweet process. The sweet part is obvious: thinking a lot about De and recalling all the fun, funny, wonderful interactions we enjoyed. The bitter part is that I am beginning to miss him again. A lot.
When someone you love passes away, you eventually have to move on or your life is over to all intents and purposes. I deliberately decided one day in 2000 not to become a bug caught in amber.
They say that "Women survive by remembering; men survive by forgetting." I am somewhere in the middle in this regard.
For many years and for several years after De passed away, I had a "Kelley Room" -- a fun sort of "shrine" (without the idolatry attached) that kept me smiling and ever-aware of the immense impact the Kelleys had on my young life and all the years after. I would enter the Kelley Room to grin, to sigh, to look at the photos and remember where each one was taken -- which convention, which visit... and to realize how much I had grown and blossomed as a result of their contributions to my sense of "measuring up" and being a worthwhile individual. They had helped me discover that I was a blessing (before I was born again), and that I was designed to be a blessing, not a wallflower!
When I moved back to Washington four years ago, all but three or four of the photos went into albums, as did the notes and cards that had been a part of the Kelley Room. I knew it was time to put the past in the past and work with the sense of adequacy the Kelleys and my born-again status had given me and to begin to manifest all the dreams and goals they and God knew I was capable of achieving. My legacy from the Kelleys had to take wings and not be kept to myself in a room with four walls any longer. I was a Writer and an Encourager and a born again Christian, and my life began to transform in a new way. Not away from the legacy the Kelleys had left, but away from the day-to-day reminders in that room of all that was past.
Not lost, not gone, but past.
So over time I was able to largely divest myself of the "missing" part, mostly by reminding myself every time I started missing them in earnest that the Kelleys are now safely in heaven and that they don't want me -- or any of us -- being morose over the fact that they aren't here anymore. They are dancing where they are and want us to be dancing and making contributions down here until we can reconnect up there.
That is how I was able to step away from the burden of missing De, by focusing on what is left to be done. And part of what is left for me to do is to reconnect with his fans at times and let them know -- confirm for them -- that they have really great taste in human beings and that what they believed they saw in De is exactly the way he was -- good, through and through. Not perfect -- none of us are -- but very, very good.
The "not perfect" aspects were habits/strongholds (smoking, drinking until late in life) , not essence. Some fans have bellyached because De smoked and yet portrayed a doctor and should have known better. He did know better -- all smokers do. He never smoked in public because he didn't want any fan thinking that because he did it, it was a cool thing to do.
Like most people his age, he got hooked on cigarettes when he was a teenager or young adult, long before there were any studies out about smoking's deleterious effects on the human body. Of course, growing up in church in the 1920's and 30's he heard sermons aplenty from his father, I imagine, regarding drinking and smoking to know that it wasn't God's will for him ("Your body is the temple of the Lord, don't defile it...") , but that aside... it was a common "affliction" of adults in the decades in which he grew up... We're in a new era and there are far fewer smokers these days, so the habit looks gross now where before it was as much a part of the American landscape as trees and lakes and skies and smiles. (To the delight of the tobacco industry.)
Other than those two vices, the man was an utter gem. His compassion, sense of humor, concern, treatment of people and animals -- all were exemplary. In him I saw what Man was supposed to reflect: peaceful, marvelous grace and mercy. And fun! SO MUCH FUN!!!
When I do set out to "remember De" these days I find myself intellectualizing too much. That can be deadly. It doesn't resurrect his essence to intellectualize too much.
There was something primal there -- something remembered from childhood, before the world became a scary place and not even a parent could protect you from it. (In fact, at times it was a parent who was the scary place...)
There was a time when we all felt perfectly safe with someone, likely the mother whose breast sustained us and a father who couldn't hold, cuddle, tickle and hug us enough. (Likely before age four or five, the age when we begin skittering away to finding the rest of the world marvelous and magical and Mom and Dad mostly good for riding herd on injuries and regular meals.) Our earliest years are not a time we can remember the way we can remember our first traumas. It was an innocent, precious time of life when we somehow knew that God lived in our houses and our mother and father reflected Him, without judging us in any way deficient, lacking or in any other way a disappointment. We were loved without limit and we knew it!
There was a time when we were loved and as safe as if we were nestled physically against God's own breast.
That's how I felt being around De. Every time. It was childlike; it was total trust...
Oh, not at first! At first when the Kelleys took such an interest in me, after I moved down to Hollywood and came within their reach really for the first time, I was very, very suspicious! I couldn't imagine what they would want with me, unless it was something twisted... You know... "Hollywood people" ... you get the feeling they will find ways to violate you if you get too close and let them into your heart and life the way an innocent, unsuspecting child would...
I was leery at first. It was hard to remember to be leery of them, because they acted so genuinely harm-less and so pro-actively helpful, but I was. My sense of my own value to others was pretty much in the toilet, so I couldn't figure out why they were being so solicitous of me, unless... unless.. they had ulterior motives...
I was as flattered as a person can be by the attention... but I was... paranoid! (Hey, maybe that helped cement my relationship with Carolyn. They pretty much had to pursue ME, so she deemed me no threat to HER!)
And yet... I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame... and realized I could get very badly burned if in their heart of hearts they weren't honorable people.
I laugh about it now, realizing how much time I wasted back-pedaling like that!!!
DeForest Kelley was not ever going to hurt me... or you... or anyone else... if he could avoid it. And apparently he avoided it very, very well because you saw the responses of fans and co-workers and friends when he passed away. No one had a single bad thing to say about him.
Nor do I.
De was the dad I "shoulda" had, I sometimes think, and then I remember: God doesn't make mistakes assigning us parents! I had the parents I needed in order to become the person a genuine treasure of a man like DeForest Kelley could reclaim and set back on her feet. I can help others the way De helped me -- the moment I recognize anyone with a similar fragile self-image.
Leonard Nimoy once wrote "We are all children searching for love." I would agree and I would add that God is Love. We are all children searching for a God Who loves us the way De loved us.
I have found the God who loves that way. I guess De had to go away before I would take my eyes off him long enough to see the outline of the One inhabiting him and directing all his actions!
It's like that sometimes. I never worshipped De. I knew that was not appropriate. But the Person who animated De -- the Holy Spirit -- is entirely worship-able.
Let Him love you -- run to Him the way a toddler runs to his or her mother, arms outstretched and yearning with all your might to reach Him -- and you will discover what it was like to be loved by De. And more! This One will be here to love you forever -- and forever after!
You are utterly safe in the everlasting arms of a Father who loves you without limit no matter how many times you have run Him ragged or embarrassed or ignored Him.
He's ready right now to receive you. What are you waiting for?
It's too bad I can't say anything resembling the last part of the above in Vegas without being ruled "out of line."
THANK GOD FOR BLOGS!
Read this. It's just terrific! Applause for Patti Davis (Ronald Reagan's daughter)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Alison sent me a quick email this morning to let me know she has made it to her destination. She is very, very, very sore and will be blogging again this weekend.
WELCOME BACK, ALISON! WE MISSED YOU!
Subject Heading: ouch...ouch...ouch...
I've reached my goal! I arrived in Santiago yesterday and my name was read out in the cathedral today as one of the pilgrims who made it! I walked 75 miles over hill over dale Friday through Monday, arriving at 1 pm on Monday. I have a pronounced limp from muscle strain but I'm otherwise just dandy.
Lots of very strong mixed feelings. I have 1001 stories to tell. I'll be back in Madrid by Thursday night so this weekend will be the weekend of the blog!!!
Off to the seaside tomorrow morning to be wistful on a rock and hopefully peaceful as well.
I hope you're safe and well. I'm off to eat lots and lots of food and then enjoy a night in a PRIVATE room with a BIG bed and WARM blankets AND A BATH.
Don't believe I can top that for the night, so will leave well enough alone until tomorrow night.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
At church this morning, I learned this is Friendship Week. (Hey, I don't get out much or turn on the TV much.) Un Kyong, a pew mate of mine, gave me a necklace she made herself. The wonderful thing about her gift is that she gave it to me before either of us knew this was going to be a service about friendships. When we found out the sermon topic, we both looked at each other and tears filled our eyes. AND WE HARDLY KNOW EACH OTHER, except for praising and worshiping together and hugging and hello-ing and goodbye-ing!
It's amazing what sitting in a pew with others can do to and for you. I arrived at CFAN alone and was a stranger. Over time, I have developed "pew friendships" with three or four people. We have never visited one another's homes or gone to lunch together, but we feel like family somehow...
The lady who sits on my right in church, Marian Hawkins, is in her late 70's (I estimate). I learned just this year that she has been an extra in a few movies. She was in a scene in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. She walks with a cane and this week she is back east visiting with a sister she has not seen in 38 years. Their finances have not allowed them to get together in all that time. Some benevolent soul blessed her with an airline ticket (wish I had been financially able to give the blessing; my heart certainly wanted to do it!) and that's where she is today. I can't wait to hear how it went next Sunday when I see her again.
On my left often sits either Un Kyong or Grace Choe, two Asian Americans. There is a bit of a language barrier and it always embarrasses me a little to communicate with either of them because I have a hard time understanding what they say in response. Part of this is their accents, part of it is the public address system in the Worship Center which is always broadcasting in the upper decibel stratosphere, making it hard to hear oneself think, let alone to hear another person speaking. (I belong to a large church, http://www.churchforallnations.org/. You can catch today's sermon about friendships on the web at this address in a day or so -- and I highly recommend that you do!) But I do know one thing -- the look of affection and the hugs I exchange with my pew partners are among the most genuine I have ever received. I know they love me and that they pray for me, as I do for them. I can see why "the family that prays together stays together" in so many cases. You can't get "naked" before God in church or at home and not feel that only His grace will get you through the encounter. These folks also do this, sitting beside me, and so we know we have been together when the refining of our souls has been going on. That creates a bond between us. The love and forgiveness and grace that each receives from above gets dispersed and flows out to the person you sit next to... I think that's it.
Heaven will be like this. All nations will be represented and the language of love and grace will be spoken fluently!
Un took a copy of STAR TREK Magazine home, wanting to read my interview about De. I have no idea if she is a STAR TREK fan or if she has even a fraction of a clue about who De was or what he did -- but that's what friendship does: It expresses great enthusiasm for whatever it is in your life that animates you. Friendship says, "What you consider important matters to me. Let me find out more about it, because then I will know and cherish your heart songs better."
I could learn a lot from my pew friends... about reaching out and not feeling like I'm imposing if I want to know someone better. I have a real problem figuring out how to get to know people better. My life is an open book (an open FOUR books to date!), so people know me pretty well, at least on paper, but I have never felt comfortable asking them to open up about themselves. It seems to me to be an invasion of their privacy to ask. I think, "They will tell me whatever they want me to know about them whenever they decide to tell me. Don't force the issue."
But this respect for their timing may make me seem unconcerned about them or uninterested in them. I'm not unconcerned or uninterested. My "aloofness" is my promise that I will not violate their space or their time without an express invitation!!!
I don't know if this reserve comes from a lifetime of feeling that what I have to offer "ain't much" in the grand scheme of things... or if the essential me...my interests and passions were just ignored or belittled so much as a child that I didn't develop a decent sense of being worth anyone's time. Really, I don't know where it comes from, but this morning's friendship sermon convicted me in a number of ways. It didn't intend to do that, at all. The Holy Spirit was just dealing with me, quite aside from what was being said and shown on the big screen.
I know one thing about me for sure: I'm an amazing friend if you're in crisis. (My De book pretty much proves that point.) But on a day-to-day basis, I feel I'm "intruding" unless you make the first move -- and all subsequent moves -- to include me. I'm an official "fifth wheel"
-- great when you get a flat tire -- but I wonder, now, how good I am at maintaining friendships during the in-between times, when life is pretty much on an even keel...
Not very good...
I don't call my friends. Or family. Ever. Unless they call me first and say, "Call me." I feel I may intrude on them if I call unannounced. Even when I KNOW they would enjoy hearing from me, I hesitate. This is pretty insane. Don't you agree?
I have a handful of friends I have known for thirty years or more. Some of my more recent friends, I know I will have for life -- for the next thirty years and more -- and on into eternity. It has taken me this long to figure out that friendship is a gift God gives us to choose for ourselves new members of our eternal family! Our biological families are usually among our closest friends, but not always -- and not in all cases. We develop friendships over a lifetime that bless and support and help us conquer our fears, get through tough times, and celebrate victories. A good friend warms your heart.
I have not always been a good friend. I'm getting better as I age and as I evolve as a Christian, but there is still a long way to go. This morning's sermon let me know (via self-evaluation) where I succeed and where I can improve as a friend. I am going to ponder this all week in my rare spare time and see how to tweak my "Friendship Action Plan" to make me a better friend.
Loving someone isn't enough unless it somehow translates into loving actions. They don't have to be huge or cost a dime. It can be a gift of time, of holding a hand, of listening, of encouraging... of showing grace and mercy...
Jesus called me his friend. Then he laid down his life to give me eternal friendship with him.
I am supposed to emulate that when I am with friends. Lay down my life and be available in theirs. I didn't even do that at the beach last weekend. I invited my loved ones along and we shared a degree of quality time together, but I did not lay down my life and truly "enter in."
I was protecting "my" time because I feared it was my last free weekend for a long time.
Supposing it had been my last weekend on earth? How would I have acted differently had I known ahead that it would be? (Smile -- I would have insisted to them that God must become first in their lives IMMEDIATELY so that I would be sure to see them all in heaven someday! And in a way I did that, didn't I? My free time that weekend all went to getting to know God better... whenever we weren't swimming, watching a parade, building fires, eating s'mores, runnning in the shallows, etc.)
What kind of strategy is it in Satan's game plan that knows to "Keep her thinking she can't be of much value to anyone one-on-one. Keep her thinking she's a fifth wheel, only good in a crowd once in a while -- whenever someone wants to know about De."
That limits me to being a blessing to De's fans every few months, is what it does. Good strategy, if you're Satan. It makes me feel "too humble" to step out boldly and shout about God from the rooftops.
Thank God for the Internet and blogspots! HERE I can get on my soapbox and shout it from the rooftops:
GOD MUST BECOME FIRST IN YOUR LIVES SO THAT WE CAN SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN TOGETHER -- FRIENDS ABSOLUTELY FOREVER!"
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Saw EVAN ALMIGHTY this afternoon and enjoyed it immensely! Don't listen to the pagan critics -- it isn't preachy... it's great -- and it's fine for all ages five and up... Lots of animal scenes that will enthrall the kids... Lots of cute kids... Good story line... GO SEE IT! SUPPORT A GOOD MOVIE!
Friday, June 22, 2007
9:30 p.m. Sorry I'm Late!
I found out today (or was it last night?) that my Realtors are going to host an Open House at my condo sometime this coming week during the week. This news, of course, has put me into Hyperactive, Hyper-vigilant Mode.
So I got home tonight and washed the windows inside and out (I don't remember the last time I did them, so it was time!). I went around and dusted even though there was no dust to dust. I will go into the garage tomorrow after I have helped Aunt Tod all morning and be sure the boxes and stuff in there are neatly stacked and that the floor is swept and all looks tidy... I've deadheaded the roses and watered the lawn and looked around to see what else might be viewed as unsightly or "not quite perfect" around here. It's a good thing I won't be here during the Open House -- I'd probably put ME in the garage, as I'm not quite perfect and there's not a thing I can do about it to make me perfect between now and any time next week (or month, or year, or decade, or lifetime). (To put it wildly mildly!)
I also fielded calls from Margot (I call her "Marmot" affectionately) in Colorado and Anne in Australia (I call her "Annie" when I'm far enough away that I know she can't bean me for it... and right now I'm safe until we meet again, which will hopefully be next year in Aussieland when I appear at an Adelaide convention, God willing and the creeks don't rise)...
I met Margot Worthington in Los Angeles in 1991. We had both just turned 50 (she on February 12th and I on March 5th). She found out about me, I think, as a result of reading my book. She emailed me and we began a fun correspondence and found out how much we had in common, so in the summer of 2001 she decided to fly to LA on a whirlwind two-day weekend and meet me. In a very short span of time, I took her to De's star, by his and Carolyn's house, and up to Vasquez Rocks so she could see where De had made a few STAR TREK episodes (Bread and Circuses and Shore Leave among them) and Westerns. We never shut up the entire time. It was just glorious. The weekend was over long before either of us wanted to consign it to past history! That's the last time I saw her in the flesh, but we have emailed frequently all along and talk on the phone several times a year -- whenever I can wrest her away from a job that demands a great deal of her energy and devotion.
Margot will be flying to Vegas to reconnect in August during the STAR TREK convention and will be bringing a Beauty and the Beast fan/friend along with her. I can't wait for my hugs!
I told her I was getting nervous and she said, "You'll do fine! I can't wait!" I sent her a video of my Seattle or Sacramento appearance (since she couldn't get to it) and she is CERTAIN I will have NO trouble in Vegas... so I am resting on her faith in me... and Billie Rae's... and Nancy Graf's... and... anyone else who will keep telling me what a GREAT presenter I am! Right now I need all the emotional support I can get! There is in me one giant CHICKEN wondering what the h--- I'm thinking whenever I say "yes" to a convention appearance. The months preceding each appearance are beyond nerve-wracking -- very much like standing in line for the fastest, longest, tallest, scariest roller coaster on the planet... "Jesus, hold me close!!!"
I'm reading The Shy Writer by Hope Clark. Boy howdy, has she got ME pegged. (She's a shy writer, too.) What she has to say in her book has been very helpful. It underscores what De told Brent: "Just love them." If I stay focused on that one simple direction, I will be just FINE! Hope is the creator of http://www.fundsforwriters.com/. You might want to check out her website and wisdom if you are a writer or a writer wannabe. I just ordered six of her downloadable e-books. You get a huge discount when you order five or more. Check it out!
I met Anne Richardson of Australia in L.A., too, the year De and Carolyn were supposed to meet with her -- 1995, I think it was -- but Carolyn came down with a terrible case of shingles and they had to cancel. Anne was De's Australian fan club President and flew to the U.S. for a vacation whose crowning glory was going to be meeting the Kelleys. They felt terrible about having to cancel with her and sent her on a tour of Paramount Studios, gathered De memorabilia for her in abundance, and then asked me if I would show her around town. I was delighted to do that! So I was her "blind date" -- except that she knew of me a little (as "Krazy Kris"), as I did of her (the Kelleys had shared her DeCoy newsletters with me) -- mainly by reputation. The story of our first meeting is in my book so I won't re-trace it here.
Three years ago Anne flew back to America to accompany me on a cruise to Alaska. She arrived a few days before the cruise was set to sail from Seattle and then stayed three weeks after we got back. We had a terrific time.
To this day I feel so sad and sorry that she missed meeting the Kelleys.. but then I think, "If she had met them, she and I would probably never have met..." and I can't imagine what life would be like without my Aussie friend! So I can look at it selfishly and say, "Her loss has been my gain..." but I STILL feel very much saddened that she didn't get more than a few minutes with De on a phone call. It's a lot more than most fans got with him, but Annie truly deserved more and I wish she had been able to meet him.
She'll meet him in heaven and then there will be lots of time to make up for lost time. I'm sure she's looking forward to that.
BUT NOT ANY TIME SOON, ANNIE! YOU STICK AROUND!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Alison, get in touch!!! I don't know how to call 9-1-1- in Spain (other than nueve cero cero -- and that code probably doesn't even work there)...
I have to get on the stick and start thinking seriously about the upcoming STAR TREK convention! It's less than eight weeks away now.
I started re-reading my DE book a couple weeks ago -- got halfway through it... and put it down again. That's not going to get me where I need to be for Vegas! I need to stick with it. Maybe the July-August STAR TREK MAGAZINE with my interview in it will get me motivated. It should be out any day now... I await with 'bated breath!
I'm caught between thinking I need to create a "presentation" for the Vegas appearance and wanting to just relax and tell my story (briefly) before opening the event up to questions from the audience. With a "presentation" I will be far less comfortable; may look like a deer caught in headlights -- er, footlights. If I just relax and talk to De's fans the way I would if we were sitting across the table from each other, I will have more fun.
But that doesn't require any "preparation" and I think if I'm going to be in Vegas I need to PREPARE! What do you think?
How about, "Prepare to be relaxed?" Meditate on the result instead of how to get to it and expect that "the way will open."
I wonder how much De prepared to meet his fans. I wonder if the thought thrilled and scared him as much as it thrills and scares me...
I just have to remember De's profound response when Brent Spiner asked him what he should do to be a hit with TREK fans before his first convention. De told Brent, "Just love them."
The man was a genius. I will repeat that to myself as I step up those few steps in Vegas and gaze out at a bunch of people who love De. "Just love them."
Love them for De. Yes. He would like that. And I would love to do that. So... that's what I'll do!
Do any of you (who will be there) have any questions about De that you would like answered then? Let me know what they are. If you've read both De books (DeForest Kelley:A Harvest of Memories and FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST) you may feel so well-versed in De that all you want to do it hang out and dig him with me when I'm NOT on stage. (I will be in my room waiting for anyone who has time to visit whenever they aren't enjoying another presenter.) Now, that would be terrific. But if there are still questions that you think I might be able to answer in a crowd setting, please bring them up BEFOREHAND to me. I don't want to be blindsided.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
More when I get home tonight...
6:40 pm I got both of the brother cats bathed tonight. While they are nursing the damage inflicted on their dignity, I will get something written here! It feels great to have that chore out of the way!
The weather was gorgeous today -- nearly 75 degrees again. It's supposed to rain for the next several days now, which is perfect timing, because the lawn will need watering along about tomorrow and I won't have to do it if it rains enough.
See, the Pacific Northwest really is a lot like Camelot. It rains often enough that watering lawns by hose or irrigation system is not as frequent a chore as it is in drier climes. Suits me just fine! That's why I keep coming back here -- well, that and the fact that my sisters and their families are here. If I could drag them along with me, I would probably be writing in larger cities where Creatives are much better compensated for their professional skills.
Actually, if I were willing to commute to Seattle via the Sounder train (35 miles to the north of Tacoma), I could receive very good wages... waaay more than I made at Warner Bros as an executive secretary. When I get moved into a duplex, perhaps I will consider that again... and decide against it again. I'm a confirmed Tacoman, I guess... It's dumb, but it's true!
What I'd really love to do is find some freelance telecommuting jobs as a writer or editor, so that I could enjoy the job I have (without fretting about making ends meet) and make money evenings and/or weekend here at home. That would be the perfect scenario. I love my day job and the people at work. I just need more money! That's the bottom line. And now that I'm writing for a living, it's all I want to do for a living! It's been my passion ever since I learned how to string words together as a grade-schooler!
But if I get a larger duplex than our minimum wants, I could rent out part of mine and that would make it feasible to have only one job -- this job -- the one I have.
God will provide. I do know that! I've had enough experiences getting down to "nothing left" to know THAT! I GET THE PICTURE -- God is GOOD all the time!
I was feeling pretty low-spirited after the weekend at the beach for a day or so. Don't know why. Just tired, I guess. But my spirits are up again. I feel positive and hopeful -- my usual modus operandi.
I just have to remind myself frequently (daily -- sometimes hourly!) that I'm not orchestrating this "life stuff" all by myself. I tend to fret otherwise... And guess who applauds and jumps up and down with glee when we allow ourselves to fret? Powers and principalities of darkness -- Satan's brood of vipers. They love to create doubt, uncertainty, and other dipstick crap like that. It's their passion!)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
It's 75 degrees outside right now so I figured this is a good evening to bathe Cat #1 -- Poppy, the 16 year old. She needed it most because she's too arthritic now to do a very good job herself. (Don't tell her I told you that. I'm sure this should probably have remained confidential -- just between her and me.) Her winter coat is completely out now (I did this once a month or so ago) so she should be more comfortable and there should be less excess hair as well.
Tomorrow I'll catch Cat #2 (whichever brother allows me to catch him up before he figures out what nefarious plans I have for him) and the following day it was be Cat Final. Then I will feel great that all cats are hair-free (except for what's stuck on them) and gorgeous for the rest of the summer. The water never looks dirty when I bathe my cats -- its mostly just a Hair Patrol kind of activity. When they "blow their coats" this time of year it's hard to keep them spic n span without at least one bath. A lot of hair comes off during the bath and then the leftover loose hair comes out as they are drying off.
I wrote a bunch of notes at work today and sent them out to prospective clients -- veterinary hospitals and churches (since I know a lot about both, having worked for both, and had an "in" with them as a result). I did that because I was caught up with client callbacks by ten a.m. and had to think of something contributory to do while I awaited responses from clients who were pledged to get back to me today or tomorrow (yeah, right) so I could finalize their on-hold programs and place them into production.
There are days when we are busy every second and days when we feel pretty sure the entire population of Earth has been raptured except US (wouldn't that be a jarring surprise!) -- it gets quiet -- like a cemetery almost except for those of us yukking it up in the office. (The other copywriters out-do each other in the humor department whenever they get the chance.)
Quiet days seem to happen most often when the weather is exceptionally good. I understand! Lucky for us that we don't have 75 degree weather more than about sixty days a year up here in the Pacific Northwest! (Of course, if we did, it wouldn't be such a novelty!) Friday afternoons can get quiet, too (which is good, because by then we are plenty pooped!) because we are on the west coast and a lot of our clients are all across the country, so as the east coast and subsequent time zones button up for the weekend, we receive fewer and fewer calls... By the time 5 pm rolls around on Friday, the phones have pretty much quit... which makes the balance of the 4 o'clock hour seem..... v..e..r..y.. v..e..r..y.. s.........l..........o..........w.......... When it's busy at work, time goes by in what seems to be the blink of an eye! WHOA!!!
What else? That's about all!
My rose bushes are blooming and so I have vases of flowers placed hither and yon. They make the condo smell and look lovely and welcoming. I will probably take a vase in to work tomorrow for the reception desk. May as well spread the joy while they are doing their thing!
I will hit the hay early again tonight. (Need to do that because I get up early to walk before heading to work.) If the phone rings after 8 pm I don't answer it unless it's urgent. (I screen my calls after 8 p.m. because most people who call at night are telemarketers and I don't have caller ID.) The people who know me know I don't like to receive calls after eight. I get too wired if I accept a call after 8p.m. and then I can't sleep afterward. NOT a good thing!
Ciao for now!
Bobbie Bobstein suggested I buy and read BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA -- which I did, and bawled. Then I ordered the DVD of the movie. It arrived today and I watched it - and bawled again. It's a really good movie. It's made for kids ages -- what? nine and up ? -- but it's a really good movie. One of the principals dies in it. I don't want to give it away... but it's a good introduction to loss for children... I recommend it!
And now... goodnight for real! It's almost 9 -- waaayy past my bedtime! :-)
Monday, June 18, 2007
Maybe it's the result of socializing all weekend with the family -- although I did less of that than everyone else did. (I designed this weekend to be serene and studious because I don't know when I'll get another free weekend in the foreseeable future. The convention is coming up, so I need to focus a little more on that; my aunt needs help on weekends; my condo is listed for sale; there will be duplexes to look at... You get my drift. I'm tired just thinking about it!)
"Sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof..."
I drank about five cups of green tea today, clear up until three thirty this afternoon so I will be very upset if I can't sleep tonight because of it. I feel I could sleep for a week right now, but sometimes as soon as my head hits the pillow, my mind goes into hyper-drive... I have attributed that to tea, and had decided to cut myself off at noon, but today I felt so wiped out I kept drinking it. Sincerely hope it doesn't keep me up tonight!
There isn't any news worth reporting. Blah blah blah, so guess I'll sign off for this time unless I think of something else to pass along tonight... Probably won't. My mind and body just want to go "TILT!" and crash!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
End of disclaimer.
We got back from the beach a little while ago. The weather was wonderful every moment that we needed it to be. When we were in the indoor pool, it poured outside; when we walked to the Flag Day Parade route at Ocean Shores, it began to pour just as we got back after enjoying the parade. This morning it rained buckets while the girls were swimming indoors again, and as we were leaving, we had just enough time for a quick trip to the beach for a bonfire to make s'mores for the girls. Even Jackie's van space wasn't taken the one time we had to relinquish it when we drove to the store for kindling and some wood for the bonfire!
I was praying strategically all weekend long, not daring to tell anyone because if it had rained at the "wrong" time, it might have given others the impression that prayer doesn't avail much.
Truth to tell, I wanted to tell the family I was praying, but was fearful God might not answer all the prayers because the weather pattern all around our hotel looked pretty dead set on rain. How's that for a lack of faith in the power of my personal prayers to God? I should have had more faith and proclaimed the prayers aloud, but I just kept thinking, "God undoubtedly has better things to do than making sure the clouds don't rain on our outings." But guess what? Despite everything else that God rides herd on, He has all the time in the world to answer picayune requests like the ones I lifted to Him this weekend. Isn't that amazing?!)
I spent about five hours this weekend getting to the tail end of a book I'm studying, Praying the Names of God. At one point, two of the girls (Lizzie,9 and Casey, 6) asked me what I was doing. I told them I was doing a Bible study. Lizzie asked, "All by yourself? Aren't you supposed to do that in a group?" I said, "When I can, yes. But I live alone and I want to study God's words a lot more often than that -- so I study alone when I'm alone or when others are busy doing other things." Lizzie asked, "What have you learned so far today in the book?" I looked up and she and Casey both were intent on learning what I had learned, so I spent about five minutes telling them. It was the best five minutes I spent with them all weekend, because they focused. They were riveted. They learned something, and agreed it was good stuff to know.
I think the more they see us doing this kind of activity, the more they will realize the importance of learning more every day about how to strengthen our relationship with God. These girls attend church regularly and we now have a Bible study going on at Jackie's Sunday nights after dinner (using the Bible and The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as our texts). While the adults do our study, the girls watch one of the Nest Publications Bible stories. Sometimes Lizzie comes by afterward and sits in on ours. I can tell she really is into it. She gets miffed if anyone takes a bite of food before the dinner prayer. The bowing of her head and closing of her eyes are reverent, not ritual. I see a deep sense of wonder and reverence in her now that she's nine. It's a lovely thing to see! I think all the girls will eventually get to that point.
Youngsters (and grown-ups, too) need to know in this unsettling world that God is always eager to be at our side and that all we need to do is bow our heads and ask. I can't imagine growing up in today's world (post 9-11) without this knowledge as a foundation. It's crucial. Absolutely crucial...
I think part of the problem that today's kids face that we didn't in the 50's is that they are being raised more or less feeling like a pinball in a pinball machine. They don't feel they have any control over their destinies since most are taught we're just an accident of nature, an evolutionary step up from apes, no different really than any other species on Earth. We just "got lucky" that we can think, and learn, and love, and recognize life spans, and plan our finances accordingly...
"Poppycock!" as my favorite doctor would say!
Our design is fashioned to reflect the Designer. When we understand that, it gives us a pattern to follow. When we follow the pattern, what we become is something extraordinary, special and very much needed. What we become is a blessing...
There are some amazing real-life stories in Praying the Names of God (by Ann Spangler). It's another book I can recommend without hesitation. But get LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS first. That way all books you read after it (including the Bible, if you haven't yet studied it) will be given the respect and due diligence owing to them...
Friday, June 15, 2007
It's almost 8:30 a.m. my time as I write this. In just a few hours my sister Jackie, nephew Phil, niece Wendy and all four of Jackie's granddaughters and I will be loading into an SUV (in her family, believe me, one is NECESSARY!) and heading for what is, at the moment, rainy Ocean Shores, Washington. But it's supposed to be less likely to rain there than it is here in Tacoma, and it should be 54 to 58 degrees (Fahrenheit, you can figure it out in Celsius -- what's that, about 10 Celsius?) so we are expecting to have a good beach weekend. Ocean Shores is throwing a parade sometime this weekend, so the kids will probably want to see that. Other than that, we have no real plans except to have a lot of fun!
Canterbury Inn is a luxury beach resort (I won a trip there - certainly couldn't afford it otherwise!) so even if the weather turns ugly there will be plenty to do indoors. There's an indoor swimming pool, exercise room, and other stuff to do. And I plan to have my laptop along (unless it won't fit into the SUV after we get all the other "must haves" loaded) and can blog when things get quiet if I'm tired of napping! (Napping? With four grandkids along between ages three and nine? What an inspired fantasy! It's okay to fantasize... There are two rooms... I might be able to shut myself up in one of them... Ya just never know!)
I'm packed, everything on my list is in the car. Whether it will all make it into the SUV is another story. I brought a sleeping bag that can stay back if need be. I like sleeping outdoors at the ocean, if there's a secluded "outdoor" patio attached to our room. I love the sound of surf and ships' horns and the whole ambiance of the ocean. One of the neatest things I ever experienced was on a cruise to Alaska in 2004 (another trip I couldn't afford, but God found a way!). We went through some fog (only at night, like Camelot!) and our ship, the Diamond Princess, and other ships would send out a fog horn alert every couple of minutes -- perhaps more often. You would think it might become annoying, but it was magical! I even looked for an ambiance CD when I got back to see if I could find one with the foghorn from a big ship on it! (Didn't find one. If you know of one, let me know!) The waves rocked the ship gently during this time. I slept as soundly as I've ever slept in my life. I have never forgotten it. I remember thinking at the time, "This must be what it's like inside the womb..." gentle rocking, sounds from far away -- digestion, inhalation, music... a sense of almost surreal peace, true shalom!
My astrological sign is Pisces. Pisces is a water sign and it's certainly true for me. I swim like a fish and play in water with the abandon of a sea otter -- except in the ocean. I have a deep fear of sharks. Perhaps I was a sea otter in another life and had a fatal run-in with a shark! (Christians are supposed to have nothing to do with astrology or reincarnation, but I was a pagan a whole lot longer than I have been a designated Christian, so I know at least a little something about these things! :-) And from reading LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS I also learned that astrology back in the long ago and far away was not considered pagan or even odd. The three Wise Men who followed the star to Bethlehem were astrologers. Regular people survived by "reading the stars" -- knowing when to plant during the seasons, etc. God placed the stars, so there is rhyme and reason to them -- I'm just pretty sure that TODAY'S astrology is keyed more toward entertainment and making big money than it is toward "discerning the things of God." The zodiac itself was originally a Christian construct, but was adopted and misused by other people. Isn't it amazing what I learned while reading LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS? It has some truly amazing "aha!" moments in it, aside from proving to the reader how the Bible has to be the inspired word of our Creator and Benefactor!)
Oceans, lakes, rivers, even swimming pools attract me. They "sedate" me almost like a drug would. I feel completely at rest and at peace next to them (unless there's a wee one nearby who doesn't know how to swim).
I hear that the larger the body of water, the more negative ions one is exposed to. Negative ions are not negative to our bodies at all -- they counteract the more prevalent positive ions found in cities and on dry land. Negative ions are good for us. Maybe it's that which gives me such a sense of well-being and peace. Who knows?
Anyway, I expect to experience lots of negative ions this weekend -- starting in just a few hours.
If I can fit my laptop into the SUV, I'll "take you along for the ride"; if not, I will report on it when I get back. How's that?
I pray that you will have as good a weekend as we are planning to experience...
Til next time -- SHALOM!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Received a nice long email from Alison this morning (http://senoritainvierno.blogspot.com/). She is crying a lot in the churches she visits as she passes along the Camino and can’t put her finger on any concrete reason for the tears. They just erupt and she realizes they are somehow important.
She found two churches in one town – one well-cared-for and immaculate (she had to pay to enter it) and one dilapidated old cathedral pretty much on its last legs (this one was free to enter). She cried like crazy in the dilapidated one.
Not everyone can afford the entrance fee to the immaculate church, so a few visit the dilapidated church – and where did Alison sense God’s presence most profoundly? There, while utterly "alone," in the crumbling sanctuary!
God is always available to those who are alone and quiet. You can’t “wall” God inside a beautiful cathedral, no matter how splendid, and expect Him to stay there. He’s going to be found in a quiet spot ... where there can be no doubt that you have experienced Him.
Alison experienced Him in the church where she sat alone and cried -- and again later in another church with images from the life of Christ on the wall.
Alison’s reaction inside these so-called lesser churches is telling. She was overcome to a point of crying non-stop for 20 minutes in both places, and couldn’t figure out why. She sensed in both something she calls “tangible sorrow.” Palpable, universe-wide, unmitigated sadness.
I think she was sensing all of creation groaning for its long-desired return to the "very good" status that God designed creation to be. But we have to sit still, and be quiet, and sense His presence, in order to sense the sorrow of a universe that witnesses so many of us being "too busy" -- too "otherwise occupied" with the idols of work, family, fame, status, celebrity -- to commune with God, whose desire is to bless us, to console us and to promise each of us, individually, that all is not lost. All will be well for those who seek His face and find Him waiting with open arms to embrace them. The return to "very good" is not far off. God has promised.
It’s apparent that the Camino has a way of communicating this to sensitive pilgrims who travel it. God is there.
And He's here...
“Seek and you will find.”
“Ask you and will receive.”
“Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
These are three promises from God.
And God doesn't know how to lie.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This is beach weekend coming up! Remember the luxury weekend vacation I won a month or so ago? This is the weekend we picked! I will likely carry my laptop along so I can write a blog or two, and check for personal emails and follow Alison’s exploits (if she finds another opportunity to blog soon), so I can’t swear I’ll be AWOL from this blog – but don’t worry if I am unless you hear of a tsunami at Ocean Shores, Washington ( a little beach gallows humor, there)! I’m going to play it by ear.
This will probably be the last laid-back weekend for the foreseeable future, what with the condo being listed and my Aunt Tod needing weekend support as well. I am praying to God every morning, noon and evening to remind me that I’m not in this alone and that I don’t have to carry the emotional load of “so much going on in my life all at once” solo. There’s an army of angels and lots of earth friends who are praying me through. Vernita is walking with me four days a week and that helps my endorphins kick in so that I feel positive and enthusiastic and forward-looking about the upcoming change in my life (move to a duplex) WITHOUT worrying so much about how in the dickens I’m going to get there without having to farm out my cats and in other ways have a nervous breakdown... (Hey, at least they aren't servals! They're regular house puddy tats. Getting them housed should be a wee bit easier!)
For a person who appears to have the hide of a rhinoceros, I am not very good at handling multiple crises or inconveniences in bunches. I can work splendidly one-on-one with a single crisis or issue, but pile two or three on me, and my left side (shoulder, neck, face) starts to “bunch up” and hurt a little. It was diagnosed as a “painless migraine” the several earlier times in my life that it happened (when Mom and De were dying), so it doesn’t overly concern me, but it DOES compromise me physically and emotionally. I have to literally stop and pray and focus on the reality that “There is no tiger in the room… this is not a 9-1-1 situation…. relax… breathe… The easier you take it, the easier it will go.”
Anxiety -- feeling “out of control” and all alone without God's help -- is a favorite tool of Satan and I want no part of it. So what do I do? I remember what the Bible tells me to do: “Do not be anxious about anything…” and let the entire promise of that passage wash over me. Then I remember another Bible verse: “For I know the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..”
I am so glad I have studied the Bible because these passages bubble up unbidden, like a fresh artesian spring, every single time I start to stress.
Any time I think I have to enlist as General Manager of the Universe or all will spin out of control eternally, I stop and wait… and pray... and if I don’t sense in my spirit exactly what it is I should be doing… I wait some more.
We can make ourselves nuts when we think we have to manage an unmanageable situation, you know? As long as proper steps, in order, are being taken, that’s all God expects us to do. The destination/solution may be “in process” and not yet ready for us to grab hold of. Remember it took an angel three weeks to get to one of God’s anointed in the Bible because of the battle in the heavenlies – but the angel got there and was still in plenty of time.
I know that a solution is in process. It’s not up to us to “help” God manifest it beyond what we have already started. I learned that when I landed this present job at On-Hold Concepts (http://www.onholdconcepts.com/). I learned to trust the process – to trust the waiting time – to trust the outcome. I am so grateful that I didn’t “cave” during the time everyone around me was FREAKING because I was hemorrhaging savings so badly during the unemployed/ underemployed final few months before God handed me this job. I wasn’t even their first choice – but I measured up in record time, surprising them and myself!
You can’t plant a seed and then dig it up the next day to see how tall it has grown. You plant a seed ... and you wait.
So I have learned to trust in the Lord. It’s dicey sometimes… it can be scary… but these days when it gets scary I just grin and bear it because I know that I am in good hands… Our Father is making the arrangements even as I write this. All will be well.
So... let’s go to the beach and let God work the weekend without our (inept) “help” and see what happens! If we'll just keep our hands off the request we handed Him and stop pulling it back into our own hands, God will be able to move much faster toward a solution, methinks!
From Inner Journey:
Open your hands
"More than any other part of the body, our hands reveal our inner state."
-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Today, be aware of how you hold your hands when you’re not actively doing something with them. With the stress of our daily lives, many of us find our hands typically clenched in fists.
This is proof of the tension we hold in our bodies. And ponder this: how can we receive the abundance of life if our hands are not open to receive it?
When you become aware that your hands are closed tight, stretch your fingers and spread them wide in the shape of a starfish. Deep breathing will also help you relax into the moment.
"What is always speaking silently is the body."
-- Norman Brown
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I'm not a fan of Bill O'Reilly. When he disagrees with someone he annihilates them verbally -- he doesn't allow them enough space or time to explain their side -- he just arrogantly wipes them out with his attitude, bluster and words.
But he gets a few things right. (Actually, more than a few things, but he's such a bully I want to slap him half the time and don't like siding with him publicly because of it. Sure wish he had learned humility and how to show grace in Catholic school, but he must have been absent those years. And he'd probably be less successful now because his fame is in his bluster and badgering.) Among the things he gets right is the following:
Bobby Kennedy was the most effective politician I've ever seen. I mean, he wiped out the Mafia. Nobody wanted him to do it. But those guys just pissed him off and he said, I want these guys out. And he did it. Single-handedly. Now, why did he do it? He's a rich guy. They don't have any impact on his life — Hoffa and those guys had no impact at all. They were actually helping his brother. What was it inside him that made him do it? I'd like to talk to him about that.
He'll get to in heaven one of these days.
Now, here's a truly upsetting news item!
Just dashed over to Wal-Mart for some liquids -- I was thirsty and bought four bottles of Powerade, two boxes of Slim Fast and 3 cases of Diet Dr Pepper. Now, I realize water is better for me, but water does not intrigue me unless there's tea in it, and if I drink tea tonight I will be up until morning, so this is what I came home with. I will drink one of the Powerades and wait a while to see if it does the job. It should. It's for athletes working in a field, so it ought to quench my thirst. (I became thirsty because I ate Panda Express for dinner. That does it every time, even if I swig down a cola with it.)
The Realtor sign is up outside and the lock box is on my front door. Someone already called today to come see it, but I was at work when the call came in, so they won't be by until tomorrow... It's time to pray, gang! Pray not only that this condo sells for $215,000 but that Jackie and I find a duplex at precisely the same time that we can afford so that I will only have to move once and not twice. If I have to move twice, into a rental or my sister's house first (if I can find babysitters for my three cats), I will store almost everything until we move to a duplex, but it will still be two moves in essence... and no one is looking forward to that very much, because that will make it THREE moves (counting Jackie's move, too). One move is bad enough -- three would be a total drag!
The wife of one of my co-workers is about to undergo surgery for cervical cancer. They are a terrific couple with relatively young children. Please keep them in your prayers, that God will guide the surgeon's hands so that the surgeon will excise all that's necessary to return her to vibrant health.
There's a controversy raging about whether young girls should be immunized against cervical cancer. I think some of it is ridiculous (How ludicrous is this stance: "If we immunize them it's the same as saying we condone sexual activity before marriage."), but some of it is of legitimate concern. My niece is a nurse. She says the immunization hasn't been tested long enough to see if it can cause unknown, dangerous side effects. (Remember the DES babies in my era? There are many cases of thyroid cancer and there were many birth defects because DES wasn't tested sufficiently to determine its residual effects in the children of mothers who took the drug back in the late 40's and early 50's.)
But the church's stance that it's "ungodly" to give little girls shots to protect them during sexual activity is as dumb as denying condoms to teenagers to protect against STDs including AIDS. The vast majority of young people are going to be sexually active in their teens whether their parents "condone" it or not (I know very few parents who condone it but if they think their kids are remaining lily white until the marriage bed, I have news: NOT! in many cases in this day and age... or any previous age, either, I don't suppose!).
Except for the legitimate worry about long-term side effects, I don't see any reason why a parent shouldn't immunize their daughters against something that can kill them: cervical cancer. It isn't "condoning" anything other than the ongoing health of a female child whether she remains a virgin until marriage or strays... either way, she will someday become a wife and a mother if nature takes it course the way it usually does AND SHE SHOULD BE PROTECTED WHATEVER ROAD SHE TAKES AND WHATEVER POTENTIAL MISSTEPS SHE MAKES. She is a human being and deserves to be protected in every way medicine can assist.
I lost a dear friend to cervical cancer (and she did not stray). It's a nasty disease. If it's preventable and if the drug is deemed safe, I would have no problem seeking immunization for a daughter of mine. Ya don't even have to tell her what it is if it upsets you. Fer gosh sakes, tell her it's a freakin' chicken pox booster if you think that telling the truth will cause her to lift her skirt and go shrieking after the next hot 10 to 20 year old that wanders by! KEEP HER SAFE! IF THERE'S AN IMMUNIZATION AGAINST CANCER OF ANY KIND, GET IT AS SOON AS IT'S DEEMED SAFE!
This seems to be such a no-brainer to me. But NO, I don't think it should be mandatory as some states are trying to dictate. It should be up to the parent to decide what's best for his or her (or their) child. The government has overstepped its boundaries in too many areas already.
No one likes to think of their teenager (or younger child) as sexually active -- any more than we like to think of our aging parents or other geriatric folks as sexually active... but many are.
And there is also the epidemic of incest and child rape to consider. Nearly half of all female children are victims in these areas. These children deserve immunization protection as well. Sex happens, sometimes consensually, sometimes not. Protecting little girls in this way is just a drop in the bucket, but it's a drop that will reap large rewards: fewer and fewer cases of cervical cancer as the years pass. Fewer mothers undergoing surgeries and/or dying before their time.
If you disagree, please tell us (other readers of this blog and myself) why in a comment. I'm willing to learn more about both sides of this issue.