Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Terrific Quote. Memorize It and Believe It!

"I'd gone through life believing
in the strength and competence of others,
never in my own.
Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real.
It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."

-- Joan Mills
The above is what I discovered about my helping abilities and resiliency during the fourteen month period of time during which I lost my mom, DeForest and my dad to death. In the first two cases, I became a trembling caregiver for mom and De (eight months apart), not knowing if I would be able to provide what was needed, or whether I would survive the trauma of what was being required of me.
It's also what I discovered as I began to truly trust in my abilities as a writer. I stopped comparing myself with other writers and discovered the truth of what De and others had been telling me for years: I have a remarkable knack for stringing words together!
I hope you, too, have found that the above quote has resonated with you and that you recognize, with a smile and a little surprise, all of the things you are capable of and all the things you have accomplished well. God doesn't make junk, you know! (We may at times make junk of what God has created, but He didn't create any of it to become junk.)
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And... on another spiritual note....
I just received an email comment about yesterday's blog entry from Mary Doman and asked her permission to publish it here. She said yes, so... get a hanky.
Dear Kris…Your blog remembrance of the May 4th anniversary when you first met De and Carolyn transported me back to a time nearly 7 years ago, when my father died.

My 85-year-old Dad went into the hospital for a gastric upset on Thanksgiving Day 2002. By the next morning he was comatose. He died later that day, surrounded by his family and a myriad of friends. I experienced a sure and certain conviction that he was resurrected and with Our Lord. And yet I still could not find a way to reconcile the incompleteness I felt at his absence. That incompleteness became a fervent focal point of many of my prayers.

June 8 of the next year (the day after my birthday) was a Sunday. I went to my church, Emmanuel Episcopal, for Communion. As I knelt in my pew for the blessing of the Offering (the monetary collection and the Bread and Wine), I suddenly felt the distinct presence of my father next to me on my left, his arm around me.

At the same time, a voice inside of me interpreted the words of the blessing in a new way, and I received the reconciliation I had been seeking. When I read your remembrance, I received a very strong directive to find the interpretation I had been given, and send it to you, modified to suit your relationship with De. The words in quotes come from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

So, on May 5, my late mother’s birthday, I am sending it in honor of De and you, and the very blessed relationship you shared. The words come to you as they did to me, from Our Lord:
"All things come of thee, O Lord"...including DeForest, whom I gave you to help guide you. As you treasured DeForest, so he treasured you, recognizing that you were My gift to him. Likewise, DeForest was My gift to you, guiding you by his words and deeds into the paths I have chosen for you.

"...and of thine own have we given thee." Now it is your turn to open your hand, the one that held DeForest’s hand on Earth. I do not ask you to let him go, but rather to make room for My hand as well as his, now that he no longer walks the Earth with you. Put his hand into Mine, for he is Mine, just as you are Mine.

Be at peace and comforted, Kris.
Mary
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We (Carolyn, De, Pastor David Grant, and I) were all holding hands as De passed away, and we had all given him our permission to go with the Lord. So we really did hand him over to God in those final moments.
I guess I may as well tell, here, of my own spiritual visitation (one that occurred four years after the completion of my first book about De.) . It seems proper timing for it!
Just two weeks after Carolyn Kelley passed away (in 2004), I was lying in bed just about ready to fall asleep, in that state where the mind is free and thinking of absolutely nothing just before you slip into unconsciousness.
Suddenly I sensed, palpably, two spirits leaning over me from the left side of the bed. I knew immediately that they were De and Carolyn, even though I hadn't even been thinking of them when I slipped into bed.
And both of them were at peace, and I knew they were smiling (although I couldn't see them). Their very presence existed at that moment, it seemed, to bathe me in their love, in God's love. I suppose I should have been afraid to experience something this real, this palpable, from the spiritual realm, but I wasn't, at all, because it was a heaven-and-earth interface -- there was absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
The visitation lasted for just a few seconds but I know it was a gift from God, letting me know that the Kelleys were both safe, and with Him, that they are healthy again, together again (so much for "til death do us part"!) and that they are very happy where they are.
I know it's going to take me at least a couple centuries of earth time before I even think to take my eyes off Jesus after I get to heaven, but when I do begin looking around for who else is there, I know I'll find De and Carolyn and Mom all standing nearby, just waiting for their embrace...
"When I get where I'm goin'
Don't cry for me down here!"
-from the song
P.S. I apologize for the formatting errors. It looks right in "Preview" but formats weird when I publish it! I really do know all about paragraphs and such!
This has been happening for the last two days...

2 comments:

Bonnie Toews said...

Kristine,

I am Laurie's friend, Bonnie, and I see why she wanted you and I to connect. I too believe that the people we know on earth are the ones God brought to us for His reasons. What you describe is so spiritually beautiful and pure. As much as your description evokes a desire to shed a tear, it also brings a loving smile because this is the wonderful gift God brings to us. We are never alone.

Are your books sold at amazon.com in print as well as in e-format?

Marching forward in faith.

Bonnie

Kristine M Smith said...

To get my first De book (HARVEST OF MEMORIES) in e-book format, you have to buy it at Authorhouse.com. Amazon only sells softbound and hardbound editions. (And if you do buy it in e-book format, all of the inside pictures are in COLOR, and you can do searches to return to favorite passages after you have read it once. But it's a VERY long book to have to read on a PC - 244 pages - so I recommend that you buy a tree-book (hard or soft cover) to read and an e-book so you can view the photos in glorious color -- you can even print them out and frame your faves!)

The second book (ENDURING LEGACY) is only available in e-book format. You can order it at http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=382995