Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas Memories Remembered 1954 & 1984


A Christmas with The Anderson Family

I will begin with my beginnings as a child of 5 [1954] waiting with anticipation for that morning of awe and wonder......... Christmas. The night before on the eve of Christmas we would travel to my father's family across town, Grandmother's home along with auntie Adele and youngest cousin Ronveig. The only cousin named after a relative in Trondheim Norway. Always reminding all of us of the strong heritage we came from. It included all the food and goodies my Grandma Lena would prepare days before. I was the first grand-daughter born and very interested in the food. To this day I am the only family member to know her recipes and to continue to prepare as an adult.... the Yulekaka bread and much more.. My aunt a retired Opera performer, that included Madame Butterfly in Oslo, would rehearse carols with all her nieces lined up in party dresses to sing accompanied by piano. A spark, I am sure of inspiration for my third sister who became a singer performer and choir director..

My memories also include the side of the holiday that would be at times terrifying. Scandinavian culture includes the drinking of alcohol. I would watch each year in anxious anticipation the stupor and slurring of words as my father would fall into the drunkenness. I was so afraid of the arguing that would follow with my mother, grandmother, and uncles. And most alarming to me was who would drive us home. All I wanted was to be safe. In the following Christmas eves, I would hang out with Grandma in the kitchen throughout the night and learn her recipes. A joyful time for me. 

Lena, she knew how hard it was for the children to wait for the full smorgasbord to be displayed. Yulekaka cardamon bread, gravlax salmon, red pickled cabbage, fiskeball soup, and the notorious gefillte cod fisk. A tray was made for children only. I would eventually have this as my contribution to the table. Openface sandwiches on french bread smothered in butter, a thin slice of swiss cheese, and a long thin dill pickle on top. I would put this platter on the table and then I would find my safe place and crawl under the tablecloth hanging low. Sometimes Ronveig joined me, the youngest grandchild, to play hide and seek. What may have been perceived by adults as play, for me it was a way to NOT see my father stumble across the room and remind me what was coming,. The families' other holiday tradition. of high emotions and turmoil between relatives attempting to deflate their feelings of anger and old hurts.

It was as a teenager that the eve of Christmas parties ended as my family could not continue with the upheavals and further pain resulting.. I can still remember at 71, one of my childhood dreams that would rarely come true. Living in Portland Oregon as a child I seldom saw it snow in December. Of course, snow would be a desire for a young child, to run and play with a snowman in the front yard. Mine was the wish that when dad would fall to the ground between the car and our front door, I would visualize snow falling and covering him like a warm blanket so the neighbors would not see him there. An embarrassment no child should have to endure and leave a hard to forget the memory.

Story of Mama Red

This story begins many months before Christmas.[1984] with the birth of MA MA Red's third litter of beautiful red setter pups. It was springtime in Bralorne, British Columbia. My neighbor Sherry has waited through the winter for their arrival. Ten little bundles arrived and it was quickly discovered 6 of her 8 teats were infected and could not sustain 10 bodies. WE lived in a mountain town, 5 hours from a vet. A call was made to decide on the next decision that was needed, with the vet's advice at the clinic. He could send antibiotics for her in the mail, but the pups would not survive till then. The most humane course was to drown them, all ten?

Sherry could not do it by herself and asked for my help and support. I will not forget this new mother frantically pacing as we loaded the young ones into a drawstring bag and headed to the raging river overflowing from winter snowmelt, behind the house.

I was to be the one to carry the bag to the water's edge and drop it into the frigid waters. I would finally walk back to the house after the whimpering faded away to silence. A burial spot was chosen and Sherry watched in grief as I dug the hole. I was about to fill it in when I heard a muffled cry from the bag. I was in disbelief as it grew louder. I opened the bag, it was not in my plan to see them, and there was a ball of bodies all clinging to each other. I pulled it apart to find in the very center a male pup breathing and whimpering away,.....louder and louder. I put him in my warm jacket pocket and headed back to the house. Mama Red waited anxiously at the door. knowing of my pup in my coat?  Her two healthy teats were more than enough to keep this little one alive and healthy. 

A name was needed right away and how determined he was to survive was the inspiration We found a german name of "Deter". and so it was. A week later we drove to the Vet to have both mother and pup examined. Both were thriving. A blessing for us all.

Even though this is not at Christmas time... The final story for me and Ma Ma Red happened on the following December Christmas morning. I was invited to join and meet Sherry's family for Christmas celebrations. It was a 5-hour drive out of the mountains to the high plateaus along the Al-Can highway heading north to Alaska. Deter was adopted at 6 months by a friend in town and would not be with us. After a late party Christmas eve, I was the first to awaken early and bundled myself up and headed out the back door to walk the red setter. The frigid brisk air was filled with bright sunlight. I could have used sunglasses as I squinted. I watched as she headed down the driveway instead of up the incline behind the house. Some critter caught her site hound eyes. I ran to chase her as I watched her cross the highway, very quiet on a Christmas morn. I called her to come back. she was enthralled by the burrows in the hard winter ground and animal scents.

Then I heard coming from the northern direction, a big rig heading down the road towards us. I immediately stopped calling her name. She was not obedience trained and was so unpredictable in her behavior. I stood motionless in prayer that she would stay on that side of the road till it passed us by. Just as if in slow motion I saw her raise her head, have eye contact with me, seemingly not aware of the truck barreling towards us. And in my worst nightmare, she dashed towards me and collided with the truck.. It did not stop and kept going as I looked upon her lying in the middle of the road.

I walked over and she was gone, out of pain I lifted her and it felt like a 7-year-old child as I carried her to the back porch 30 yards away. I laid her down and cried until I had the courage to awaken Sherry with the grim Christmas morning news. A bearer of very sad tidings.


My Apartment Window in Lockdown 2020

A Covid-19 2020 Christmas To Remember

My Christmas prayer is to embrace my memories with compassion for myself and to acknowledge God's mercy. I hold Christ's birth as God's greatest gift to the world and his creation. The gift to myself this season of isolation for everyone's safety is to remember how deeply I discovered, we all need each other. Even my relationship with myself has spiraled down to the depths not felt for many years. Just as his gift to us is "relationship with Him", we manifest that each day through our personal relationships with family, friends, neighbors, strangers, and the creatures we depend on.



Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Holiday: USA 2020

Our First Thanksgiving Gathering 1621

A three-day harvest in Plymouth was held in the fall. It would take some natives 2 days to walk to the festivities. This is the story told to me in our elementary school textbooks. It tells of natives and colonists sitting down peacefully for a meal of thankfulness for the season's bounty.
This event was followed by attacks, killings of hundreds of natives, and colonists as an expansion upon native lands increased. for decades and eventually, for centuries, killings, genocide, continued until land confined reservations were mandatory for the "first Americans".
Abraham Lincoln designated an official Thanksgiving Holiday in the fall of 1867. It was to celebrate the end of the civil war and all our nation could be thankful for.
The native Americans in this country consider this holiday a "Memorial Day" for the many who fought and lost their lives to save their land and the freedom to live on their chosen ancestral lands. this sounds very much the same as our Memorial Day ceremonies all across the nation in May of each year.

How each family celebrates this holiday can be very similar, a turkey, pies, cranberries, and each culture with added treats. My family is chosen and is whoever lives nearby. 

Thanksgiving for apartment neighbors 2019 in Port Angeles.
Expanded this year to neighbors on the streets of my neighborhood 2020

"Doc and Bunny my partners in serving our neighbors"

This year in a pandemic we are asked to not travel as 60% of citizens usually do to be with family. This year there was only a 20% reduction in travel. We will see the cost for these holiday reunions in the next month to come in total new cases and sadly the new family deaths.  Family members that will not attend the 2021 holiday. How can I see the blessings amongst my friends and families when gratefulness is so needed?


" I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain. 
I wanna know have you ever seen the rain,
comin' down on a sunny day'?

This song by Creedence Clearwater "struck a chord" in me when I wanted to understand why this holiday was so different for me this year. It is easy to point to the pandemic as the source of so much disruption in our routines, traditions, or life as we demand and long for it to be. 

This world is now full of frequent storms, fires, and natural disasters. These disasters have come on the eve of this holiday too. Many have no home or family injured or dead. I see nature teaching me, as God wants me to understand and experience, I am not the master of my world. I am the caretaker of this world given to me to enjoy, not destroy. I am grateful for all those that continue to strive for climate change solutions. for the generations to come.

" Someone told me long ago
there's a calm before the storm
I know its been coming for some time
When it's over, so they say
It'll rain a sunny day
I know shining down like water"

So, what has love got to do with it?

Can I find a way to be grateful, thankful for the rain? Yes, when I know the sun will come up again and even in the sky, both can be seen together as the song says, "shining down like water". A grateful thankful heart comes from love. Can I find a way to be thankful this year, when the rain is relentlessly falling all around me.? I have lost one friend, 92 years old, Adele, to this virus. She was one of the first to die in a nursing home in my state of Washington. The sunny bright spot for me is that I was fortunate to meet her and know some of her stories. Hers was a long life.. Our common friend and my brother, Jerry, 88, is still going strong as ever though many miles from my home.

Jerry as a world traveler

I have the thought that this chaos may actually be a calm before the next storm in my country.. Hunger [ 1 in 6 families 60 million], political divisions, racial equality demands with unrest, and economic inequality [ more trillionaires being created] are festering like an old wound being scratched and reinjured and bleeding again.

Our President-Elect Biden in his Thanksgiving address to the nation on November 25th pleaded that we bring "LOVE" to the political arena... To come together and heal and see the opposition. in our partisan politics, and find our common values moving forward. This is a sunny day to hear these words from our newly yet contested winner. Now it will be each American to follow through [ or not ] and work for the changes needed to slow this coming, [, already here? ] STORM.

"Yesterday and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know been that way 
for all my time
til forever, on it goes."

In this country we live with motos of "The American Dream", " And Equal Justice for All,", " Right to Pursue Happiness", and religious freedom. These can be understood as a luminous sun on the horizon, yet felt by many here as only a dawning reality. The struggles many citizens have in the USA can be felt as a rainy drizzle or a torrent and flooding storm based on their skin color.. 

My faith has been my guiding light in these dark days.  Masks, distancing, and finding ways I can reach out to others at the same time. My blog is one of the ways technology has opened some "lockdown" doors. I look more to music and reading the WORD to find my way. Sometimes it feels like I can find the "light switch " for comfort from my fears and stressful moments. On the pages of the Bible, or in a songs' lyrics, or a smile on a stranger's face or a friendly text or the wagging of a pet's tail.....

Matthew  11:28-30
"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, 
I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, For I am gentle and humble of heart, and
you will find rest in your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden light."


The sun will be shining down through the rain.
and a rainbow may follow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

One Hundred Years in the Making: Equal Representation in Government

The faces of the President-Elect  Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris referred to as "Next in Line"
The faces of our country as it exists. Half men and half women,  along with the multiracial makeup of this country. As I and many other women have expressed, I am so aware that all girls and those to be born after this election will know the reality to be seen as the co-leader of our country. Yet an even greater awareness is how every male child as of this day will see a woman in this role. Women have been asking for equality, have already seen their ability to govern and to lead.

It began with the movement to vote as equals to men.

A feminist movement in the midcentury asked that women be seen in new ways along with men. Both were to be released from cultural norms.

"It's not fair " has become a cry of "it is our time !"

All women that have kept the goal in view are to be thanked by us all. Men and women both.
Women head corporations and men can stay at home with the children. Liberation comes to everyone when all are free to pursue their goals. " The pursuit of happiness," is meant for ALL.

Again thank you for believing in yourselves and any sacrifices made personally to see us reach this goal of equality in representation.

I have waited 50 years of my voting life to see this happen and know how important this is to those who follow. 2008 and 2016 held the promise before us. 

"A beautiful noise"

Bravo to all that voted on November 3, 2020.


God loves all equally. It is in praise and to honor our Creator when we see others as God does.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

GOD'S VOTE: A Rainbow

Our country has been a leader in the world and continues to be so even in these diverse and chaotic times. We have been examples of  "What is possible and what is regrettable" in how we choose to govern and care for its citizens.

My studies this week are of chapters 4-7 in the Book of Genisis. It became very vivid to me that I am in the floodwaters along with everyone. Including all creatures and plants striving to live in our increasingly polluted world. As the Bible describes the "Flood" the rains came for 40 days and nights, followed by many months of waiting for the land to surface again. A promise was made by God to never destroy the world again for its wickedness. We are on our own to choose love or not. All the suffering WE have created since then is of our doing. No matter how much suffering we create HE has chosen to let us choose.


What is a rainbow and how is it created?

After a cloud-filled sky empties torrents of rain upon the earth and the sun can shine again, a rainbow may be visible on the horizon. The light comes through the remaining droplets in the atmosphere and like a prism scatters the colors and an arc is formed creating a rainbow, and a clear vibrant message. The rains have passed. We have survived death, God's judgment and have a renewed opportunity to honor our Creator.

God has voted with a Covenant.

How will I vote and fulfill my obligation in this world of false promises, fake conspiracies, denials of scientific evidence, and partisan ideologies? As a lifelong non-partisan voter, I will vote for a person that may lead us towards some light, in the dark world of politics. Our political darkness includes divisive, dismissive, and racial attitudes.  These are the dark floodwaters we are in. How will the majority vote by next week, November 3, 2020?

Bar None & BanThee
[The dark politics as entertainment.]

 I will cling to the Covenant,  "Be still, and KNOW I am God." I am responsible for my own actions, not others, and their choices. We were made in God's image. He hears, sees, feels, and can touch our world...God knows my heart and I will strive to live my best life, as imperfect as it is, to love others as He loves me.

His handshake of 1968 was an enlightening moment for a young pre-voter [18]. The torch was being passed, only to be distinguished a week later in California.

This post is my prayer for our country and this world, as all of us continue to struggle to find our way back HOME.



Friday, October 2, 2020

ELECTION 2020: Debate and Updates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7


"Lead with Love thy Neighbor"

Walmart has dropped front door mandated mask-wearing at either entrance of the store.
They have chosen profits over allowing a minority of citizens to refuse mask-wearing in lieu of their "rights" or religious "beliefs"..Christ would wear a mask!
And a society of free democratic ideals does not mean doing what I want even if it harms others! 
Freedom in the USA is not the individual right to infect, harm, or kill another citizen. This is radical behavior.
I have chosen to boycott all companies that chose this route in defiance of state mandates. We are close to a quarter-million deaths(10/09)  and the third cause of deaths in the US.

Is our Political Climate a Hoax?

To let Love lead is not to accept lies and fears that will define our country,  especially in our year of a presidential election. Anything or anyone that divides and alienates us from our "neighbors" is not about compassion and being "in a loving relationship"..

 God's true plan for us..Amen

"As I say, I always like to play it down, the scientists don't know! I don't want anyone to panic."

White House Announcement: as of tomorrow a new and permanent residence for POTUS

Trump Tower

409 N Wabash Ave

Chicago Ill

( Furthest location from the eastern coastline. Trump Tower Manhattan not suitable)

"Rioters sticks and stones can't reach my bones and name-calling will never hurt me!"

"Fake News vs Fake Days"

Email sent to me on Oct 1, 2020, If he has added a day to September, the 31st, to collect quarterly donations  on October 1st, then maybe subtracting November 3, 2020, will make up for that additional galore, we won't have an election day this year!?"

As long as we look to the world, its leaders, and political bandaids, we will be under its spell.  It is an illusion that will only confuse and continue our suffering. Yes to participating as our freedom in this country demands us to do and vote! I have chosen to look for the LIGHT, even if only a glimmer,  and love wherever it shines. For I know now more than ever that Jesus is not just wearing a mask to love his neighbors, HE IS OUR MASK.

Art as Mask..Mask as Art


We the people have voted and the aftermath is coming.



Some of us my feel that politics has" gone to the dogs"!? Well, this collection from Anderson Island community can have my vote of support anytime!


"Tia" RIP.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

No Mud, No Lily

No words, No poem

No poem, No Words


[ I have only a couple of poems I have written. Yet I know from where they come from. An experience and a feeling I want to share. It begins in the heart, moves to words, then the words can recreate the experience and hopefully the heart of the poet. Painting is sometimes referred to as a colorful poem. These I have to many to count. Often the response  to my painting is "I feel happy when I look at it!" As a person with many long bouts of depression in my life, I was amazed to know my true heart was being seen and felt.}

No mud, no Lily

No  lily, no sunlight

No sunlight, no colors

No colors, no sun

No sun, no moonlight

No moonlight, no darkness

No darkness, no light


No tears, no joy

No joy, no peace

No peace, no faith

No faith, no forgiveness

No forgiveness, no repentance 

No repentance, no crucifixion

No crucifixion, no resurrection

No resurrection, no Jesus

No Jesus, No God

No God, no compassion

No compassion, no Love



No God, no free will

No free will, no crime

No crime, no Justice

No justice for all, no equality for all

No equality for all, no democracy

no democracy, no freedom

No freedom, no expression

No expression, no Art

No Art, no enlightenment

No enlightenment, no responsibility

No ability to respond, no humanity

No humanity, no suffering

No suffering, no humanity.


no blog, no readers

no readers, no blog



Sunday, August 30, 2020

Election 2020 : Let LOVE Lead

Portland Oregon "Mothers for BLM" [conflicted views of each other]

 It is 4am and I am up writing this political subject blog from my reactions to watching parts of the DNC and RNC in times of COVID. There were no large arenas or masses of citizens roaring in response to their party candidates. I have been in an artist mode creating several satirical cartoons about my observations. They are full of questions about how our country has an incredible way of reacting to our government and to fellow residents of this large land. I am going to begin my observations and reactions to past and recent events and finally, hopefully, find my responsibility in this political environment. 

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I want to profile myself first, as a 71-year-old "baby boomer"woman born after WWII. Raised in a small suburban neighborhood, my parent's American Dream home, south of Portland Oregon. I was the first in my family's generation to graduate high school and to go on to receive my BFA from UofO. I came from a modest home, although a struggle for my parents to keep steady employment, I lived in  the same home until I left for the university in 1967. I have traveled, lived, and worked from Alaska to Florida and Vermont to California since graduating in 1973. Currently, I live on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.

"Evolution" [from a "white life"]

I realized the year 2020 also means "hindsight" and that's where I will start. To take a look at all I have lived through and seen over the decades along with historical studies. I believe our country, perhaps the world is bearing its true soul to us all.  One blessing from the pandemic?

                                  Who we are, who we want to be in the world,

                          who we are going to respect, who we are going to include,

                     who we are going to give compassion, who we consider essential,

                         who we want to feed, who we want to have a livable wage,

                              who we will provide affordable medical care for.

The hope of finding some answers will require "the endurance of a relay race." [ Michele Obama's phrase in Aug podcast]. It could take weeks, months, years and even decades to see the changes required by hearts. To move on to a more loving society in the future, I will suggest a closer look at the past first. The following are some of the duality of America's intentions in the world.

We are those that built a new country for the freedom of worship and independence from tyrannical rule.

We are also the conquerors that committed genocide of native peoples for the land's natural resources.

We are the companies that built the infrastructure across the land on the backs of immigrants/slaves from the Orient and Africa.

We are who opened our doors to the world for the persecuted to build a life of freedom and do the dirty jobs at the lowest wages.

We are the country the world's "dreamers" have traveled to, to thrive and some to just survive.

We are the leaders in capitalism that still fails to encompass all residents of all colors.

"United Shades of America"

We are white workers fearing loss of jobs {failing economy] and rejecting our growing "melting" pot.

We are who believe that any move to be inclusive of all citizens to uphold their inalienable rights is a move towards socialism, a virus on the capitalist way.

We are global warriors in the name of peace and expanding our trade beyond our country, along with providing the war machines for the world. 

 Next a look at what I have witnessed since my birth and shaped my political thinking. I was a teenager watching the turmoil from three assassinations, equal rights riots, with deaths, and seeing elected officials finally enforcing the amendments made 100 years earlier. Especially the right to vote and access to equal education. Women have 100 years of voting history and people of color since the 1960s. Basically, we have only 60 years of true democracy for all. Still dependent on the area of the country and its enforcement. As a college student, I personally participated in anti-Vietnam war protests, participated in a "mock" political convention after witnessing Nixon, Kennedy, and McCarthy [ shook hands and spoke to all three] speak. I also embraced feminism gratefully. I became so disillusioned by the mid-70s I stopped voting until the nineties. 

 Finally, I realized that not voting was letting others vote for me! By the year 2000, corruption in politics was very clear to me. Now 20 years later I believe we are in a time of change and reckoning.

"Strange Bedfellows".[ how we see them ]

So, what has love and God got to do with it?

First thing first, "Love thy neighbor as thyself". With this commandment, I will frame my decisions when I vote. I will listen to the platforms and watch the actions of those that are representing me and my "neighbors".

"Running out of time?" [endagered species and polution]

I have said and made my peace with the politics of this country. Thank you for listening to my "ranting and ravings". I implore you to take your vote seriously and "lead with LOVE" in your mind and heart.

thank you.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

LOVE Songs [ Audio update Aug 28]

 As you can see I chose a song for the title of my blog.

What has love got to do, got to do with it?

What's love but a second-hand emotion.......

Who needs a heart, when a heart can be broken.

There are so many events in my life where I had wished I could hurt less. There has been so much loss in my life and I reacted in unhealthy ways..definitely avoiding feeling at all.

My first lesson in life about coping with loss was to learn how to feel again. Avoidance of my emotions has fueled the addiction I have spent many years in recovery of. 

In this time of isolation, I have listened to more music in my studio as I paint. I have discovered several songs that with a few word changes, have been about my relationship with God. I have found joy in creating "hymn-like" songs for me to sing to myself. The song I first noticed was "You are the Reason". the following is my revised lyrics.

Audio melody only

Lord, You Are The Reason


There goes my heart beating cause you are the reason.

I am losing my sleep, pray come back now.

There goes my mind racing and

You are the reason, Lord.

That I am still breathing, I am hopeful now.

I'd climb every mountain and swim every ocean

just to be near you and fix what I have broken.

Oh. you want me to see Lord that you are the reason.

There goes my hands shaking. Lord,

and you are the reason.

My heart keeps bleeding, I need you to know now, oh Lord. 

You have turned back the clock

made sure the light defeated the dark.

I will spend every hour of every day knowing I am safe.

I don't want to cry no more

I don't want to hide no more

I don't want to fear no more

come closer now.

Lord, you have climbed every mountain and crossed every ocean.

Just to be with me, to forgive where I am broken.

Oh, cause you want me to see,  that I am the reason.

So, I promise to climb every mountain and cross every river.

Just to stay with you and to be forgiven

Cause, you want me to know

Lord, that LOVE is the reason.

Thanks for reading my posts and helping me to feel connected with my friends, my loved ones.

Two more songs I love 

with no need to change the lyrics

"Only Love" by Jordan Smith

"Let love lead." by Terrain

Saturday, August 15, 2020

ONE Commandment : LOVE


The first

Yeshua said,

"You are to love THE LORD JEHOVAH

with all your heart

and from all your soul

and from all your power

and from all your mind."

Aramaic Bible

The second is like unto it

"Love thy neighbor as thyself."

MATTHEW 22: 34-40

Jesus was asked which is the great commandment in the law?  He answered with the one and only laws of Love. To love God , the Creator, and all others as The Lord loves us. All are Gods son's and daughter's, creatures and plants of this garden called Earth.


First mentioned is the heart. We best understand that Love is an emotion, yet I have many emotions that contain love.  Joy, kindness, gentleness, meekness, courage and trust and are all forms of Love and mentioned in the Bible. Fear is also mentioned in the phrase "God fearing'...Proverbs 9:10 exclaims; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." I am understanding from my own life, that all my emotions were given to me to experience. "With all my heart" means all emotions are to be expressed in order to fully give my love to God. So when I am in fear and the emotions of anger, anxiety, depression and frustration  arise, this becomes my opportunity to go to God and ask for guidance, for Rest and for Peace.  My Creator wants all of me.


My is described usually that we HAVE One. I looked to hebrew for the origins of this word. It was enlightening to find the word for soul is "nefesh". meaning throat and wind, two definitions. Further commentaries reminded me that in Genesis 2:7, "God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." Therefor man/woman IS a SOUL. So through the "throat" and "wind"  comes a living being. With this image I can see how the trees are my partners.  The soul, my breath is one with them. Also as a child in the womb breathes through the mother until that first "gasp of life" brings her soulful being into this world. I have concluded to "love God with all my soul" means with every breath of every minute and each day to be ever so grateful for a new one.


Next I will point to Proverbs 18:10. "Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Hebrew for strength is koach. Meaning comes from an unused root, to be "firm".  My first thought is to have the resolve to not bend away from my relationship with God. To trust in my journey and know God's will is far greater than my own.


Last is , "from all my mind " and I am not sure I can love God from all my mind on my own.  My mental health has affected by a traumatic life as a child and further events as an adult. The result is a mind that has been broken. Therefor my ability to make decisions in my life has been challenging at the least. At my best I have been able to follow my own journey home with help through therapy, meditation, and ultimately knowing who I am. I am not only my mind. My long boughts of depression kept me in the past, full of anger, shame and guilt. Anxiety and panic attacks came from the worry and fears over the future and even if I had one. After my baptism on August 5, 2017, I have come to a place of forgiveness that has shown me how to release the past, have it be complete as it is. My future is promised to me as an inheritance. I will be guided home. Peace and Rest are available to me now. When I accept my mind with all its potential for fear, I give it fully to Him and all is well.

Love thy Neighbor

This commandment is like a mirror of the first or even as a coin has two sides. Both are about love in our relationships, with God and others. My first response to hearing these commandments was, "How can I love this much, I am not able to do this! I struggle everyday just to love myself". So my conclusion is to realize I am struggling to love at all, GOD or others. My prayers are about Gods grace. I have a clue as too how much God loves me and how I can love others, when I surrender to His grace. Only then my eyes are open and my heart knows. Love comes from Emanuel, "god with us". Every page of His Word has Love in every line.  

"I am .. I am God...I am in relationship with you...I am love."

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"Sheltering in place"

As August first approaches, the "Stay at home, be safe" mandate from Gov. Inslee is relaxing a bit...with reopening in some areas causing spikes in cases and deaths, not unlike other areas in our country. The US holds the highest numbers for cases and deaths in the world. [25% of deaths worldwide and USA only 5% of worlds population].

I live in a small coastal tourist town on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula. As summer arrived with warmer weather, there is an ongoing influx of non-resident visitors filling the main street of town where I live in an apartment. A strong avoidance of social distancing and mask wearing is evident in only 50% or more of people on the streets below my  second floor window.

Being a high-risk target for the virus, I wanted to return to a southern Puget Sound island, only 5 by 6 miles in size..not even one stoplight! A small full-time population and ferry access only.

My goal was to be "safer". Both fear and a desire to "thrive" were my main two motivations..Fear of isolation far from my friends in distance and wanting to thrive with a beautiful wooded landscape and gardening to fill my hours..

As my plans slowly dismantled , one by one, my heart searched for an answer to..

"What has love got to do with it?"

 When the fear of living in this chaotic world with a pandemic , note being led by my own country, I  made a promise to find and express LOVE for GOD, myself and others.

My answer came quickly and the source was clear.

"I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings" Psalm 61:4. .. " nor the pestilence that stalks the darkness..a thousand may fall at your side.(  Death toll currently averages 1000 a day in US)..nor the plague that destroys at midday"..Psalm 91 6-7.

God's gift of deliverence is not a vaccine looming in the distant future against my own and others physical pain and possible death.

I have chosen with some courage to be present each day and open each day as a gift from God.. " I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you is a gift the world cannot give so don't be troubled or afraid." John 14:27

And at the end of each day in the evening.."In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.." Psalm 4:8

His promise, "Be still and know I am God" , Psalm 46:10 , keeps returning to my mind and heart and what follows is "Joy". Fear has no strength in the face of Love. This lamb's face is full of joy as she was carried in the right hand of the attentive Shepherd, shielded by the Lord's wing forming in the sky overhead. Only the emotions of Love and joy in this world stamp out my covid-19 fears .

 As God's word washes over me, like a rolling ocean wave, I will walk through each day as my true heart is slowly revealed by God's grace...