Category Archives: Words Of Wisdom

Just Playing


I actually just needed something to post in order to try out something, but this poem has a special place in my heart.  I was honored to be chosen to read it to the PTO luncheon gathering at the end of Gabe’s first year of pre-school.  It swelled my heart to the point of bursting then, as it still does today.

Just Playing
By Anita Wadley

When I’m a building in the block room,
Please don’t say, “I’m just playing”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play
About balance and shapes.

When I’m getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies,
Don’t get the idea I’m “just playing.”
I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint,
Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,
Please don’t let me hear you say, “He’s just playing”
For you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair
“Reading” to an imaginary audience,
Please don’t laugh and think I’m, “just playing”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,
Don’t pass it off as “just playing.”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle,
Or “plaything” at my school,
Please don’t feel the time is wasted in “play”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is just “play”
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,
And I say “I played,”
Please don’t misunderstand me.
For, you see, I’m learning as I play.
I’m learning to be successful in work.
I’m preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I’m a child and my work is play.

A New Day


Well, I’m still wallowing in the murky depths of writer’s block.  I love my blog and I do love writing, but when I get to sitting in front of my computer, there’s a complete wall that goes up… the tallest one I’ve ever encountered.

Anyway, while swimming around here the other day, I came across a great post called, How Your Audience Is Like The Mogwai” I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and got some great tips for successful blogging.  Here are some ideas I liked:

  1. Carry a journal, a little notebook for jotting down ideas, phrases, whatever for blog posts:  I need for this NOT to be electronic.  Too much of a learning curve for me; and has happened in the past, hasn’t worked out (to put it kindly).
  2. Create a blogging schedule:  Decide what is “realistically” achievable.  I think I’m going to aim for twice a week, but realize that once a week might be what I’m only capable of for right now.
  3. Timing publication of posts wisely:  I’ve never thought about this, but I will.  I am a late-night writer and as soon as I’m done, I publish.  Well, maybe I’ll need to hold off until the next day.  I live on the east coast of the United States.  Don’t know where this will fit in, but I’ll have to give it good thought.
  4. Using Facebook and twitter to advertise published posts:  Well, I never really liked this idea, but heck, I’m not doing anything else that’s positive with these accounts (except of course for playing Bejeweled Blitz).
  5. Use Pictures:  I don’t remember this from Joey’s blog, but I love using pics in my articles.  I like to use at least one each time.

Okay, so that should be enough for today.

Winner Announced


Grace is the Winner of my Start-of-the-Summer-Quiz! Yea for Grace!

She correctly named the author of the quote in my last post, here, to be Marianne Williamson and I did a quick google, because I’m ALLOWED, and found out it’s from her book, “A Return to Love”. Grace mentioned that this piece is usually incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech; but in reality, He quoted Ms. Williamson. My records are, of course, Wrong, so it’s back to my files to make corrections to my little collection for posterity.

Congratulations, Grace. I just might have the perfect prize for you… but not the shawl, yet. Please send your address to my email address.  Oh, as a note, even if I didn’t google it, I would still believe Grace because these are just the type of books she would be reading!

Ooooo… A Start-of-the-Summer-Quiz


I found this on 4/28/1999 and it helped change my life.  I publish it here in hopes that someone, just like me 8 years ago, will read it and carry it forward.

A quiz.  Can anyone tell me who wrote this WITHOUT googling it?  I will, of course, publish the correct information in a couple of days.

Having a Great Summer?  Today was DH’s first day back to work after a week off.  He’s recovering on the sofa from culture shock.

??????????

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us:
It is in everyone.

And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Story of Life


I came upon a ton of saved files recently on 3.5 floppys. (not sure of that measurement) Yesterday we were at my brother’s house and he, as it happens, has a floppy “A” drive. This piece was something that helped form who I am today. I wish I knew who wrote it because whoever did, was a person meant to influence my life, whether they knew it or not.

This is why I do not hate my ex.

This is why I can give of myself in love 100%, blindly, but with my eyes open.

This is why I’ve reconciled things with my mom.

This is why I can forgive those who do me harm.

This is why I can be grateful for those horrible experiences.

This is why I can love myself and be grateful for everything that I am. (because I am a teacher, too)

All for the learning experiences that teach us how to grow.

 

THE STORY OF LIFE

 

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be (possibly your roommate, neighbor, coworker, long-lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger),

 

*but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way. *

 

And sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower, or heart.

 

*Everything happens for a reason. * Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck.

 

Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

 

The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become.

 

*Even the bad experiences can be learned from. * In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

 

If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious when you open your heart.

 

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.

 

*Make every day count. * Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to.

 

Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you. You can make of your life anything you wish. Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets.

 

*Most importantly*!!!, *if you LOVE someone tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store. *

 

And learn a lesson in life each day that you live. THAT’S THE STORY OF LIFE

Tag, Now You’re IT


I saw this on Naked Soul and decided to leap right in. First, I am SO lucky that I cleaned up all my son’s books. Some of them have more than 130 pages.. the fairy tales. The next book I picked up was “The Wounded Healer” by Henri J. Nouwen, but it only had 87 pages. My eyes next glanced at Webster’s dictionary, but I ignored it. Then I saw this book on my bookcase that I forgot that I even had, so I grabbed it for this. It had a CD of chanting in it, and I love to play it, but I’ve forgotten all about the book.

Chanting~Discovering Spirit in Sound

Chanting~ Discovering Spirit in Sound
by Robert Glass (with Kathleen Brehony)

“If we let our minds wander, we love the rhythm and the pattern of the music. Even while we are letting go into the chant, we must also maintain an awareness of where we are, of the unique qualities of this moment and the next. In this way, chanting is a practical metaphor for the spiritual path. In the words of the well-known Islamic saying, we ‘pray to Allah but tie our camel.’ We learn to reach to the heavens while keeping our feet planted firmly on the earth.”

Wow. I am so glad that I did this. This book is about discovering spirit in sound, which is something that I am tapping into while singing in the choir, while remaining ignorant of what is actually happening. I definitely will be reading this book to see if I can place any correlations between what I am feeling while singing and what is described here. Also, I love chanting music and would love to really get into it for itself.

If not for this ‘game’ I probably never would have picked this book up. We have stuff piled up in front of our bookcase because the little drake keeps pulling down all the books…. which he loves, by the way. We are hoping he gets into reading like his mom and dad.

Thanks, Mark!

UPDATE:

The “rules” for the 123Meme are as follows:

For those tagged, here’s what you’ve got to do:

1. Grab the closest book to you.
2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Include the title and the author’s name.
5. Tag 3 people.

Of Blessings


Life Blessing

Let me preface by advising that all quotations in this post are in italics, unless otherwise stated, and taken from an article in the Liguorian, a Catholic magazine we subscribe to, entitled “Discovering the Blessings of Kindness”, written by Patricia H. Livingston. I feel that I must say that if I attempted to write on this subject after reading this article, I would have used much the same wording as she, so I thought it better to just quote her. My own thoughts will be in plain old regular text. I apologize ahead of time if this becomes confused, but I will do my best to keep my words separate from her words.

“The Jewish concept of blessing, the b’rahah, is a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, blessing God for giving us any of countless gifts or moments in our lives.”~ “Discovering the Blessings of Kindness”

I felt moved to take numerous quotes from this article because they express what I wish that I could. My opinions and feelings are reflected through them. Sure we can be charitable by donating a gift to the poor, whether it be money or clothing or food. Most of us will do so in anonymity, and there is a good in that because it does not draw attention to our acts of kindness, our egos are not encouraged to get a big head. The reason a lot of us move in this way, however, is specifically so that they do not have to come into contact with a person in need, for whatever reason. It seems to be a giving, when, where and how, of convenience and not necessarily where the true need is. I will not attempt to analyze this now because it will draw me away from what I intend to write about, which is the blessing that comes when we DO interact with people.

In my own opinion, I’ve always felt that the act was incomplete unless I could see the person on the receiving end; to see their face light up, receive acknowledgement. In addition, I’ve always felt that this was very self-centered of me to think and very ego-based. I always felt that I needed to actively work against satisfying myself of this need. Then I read this article and gained new insight. A bit of background on this is that this speaker is the sister of the author and was diagnosed with serious illness.

“I get a break from my preoccupation with the endless road of suffering ahead when I am doing something loving for someone else, someone who needs my help. It has to be in person. And they have to want it; they need to respond somehow so that I can see it matters to them…… Unappreciated efforts to little for my angst! Something has to pass between us, be given and received. Their receiving is as important as the gift…. I guess what I am saying is that what helps me is knowing that I can still be a blessing to someone else.”

I found this profound and identified with it right way. I suddenly felt that maybe it was not selfish of me to desire to see the results of my actions. Just maybe it was not my own ego desiring praise that was motivating my actions. I have since trained myself to think to what my thoughts were, what my motivation was before I did some good deed. I dwell on that because at some point, I will look back with pride and I feel that this pride is damning thing and contaminates whatever good was done. Now, I feel that the greater thing is the blessing created from the personal interaction with another. Read on:

“The capacity to bless life is in everybody. The power of our blessing is not diminished by illness or age. On the contrary, our blessings become even more powerful as we grow older. They have survived the buffeting of our experience….A blessing is not something that one person gives another. A blessing is a moment of meeting, a certain kind of relationship in which both people involved remember and acknowledge their true nature and worth, and strengthen what is whole in one another….. I think this mutuality of blessing, of helping one another to live, is enormously important…. The receiving is as important as the giving. We strengthen one another in the exchange.”

This seems right. A blessing is not to be just one sided; both parties, the giver and the receiver, contribute to it’s manifestation. I have had experiences that confirm this dynamic of blessing since I first began to understand it. I have a friend from church who is poor and she wanted to learn how to knit and crochet. She is slow to pick up the techniques, but she is optimistic and persistent. To be truthful, when I first learned how to knit, I gave up on it because of my impatience with myself; but she is wonderful. I told her that I have plenty of extra yarn, needles and hooks she could use, or even keep if she wants; but I thought it would be better that she used my tools until she knew which sizes she best liked to work with before she went out and bought them.

Anyway, she learned how to make chains first with the crochet hook; but she stuck with that and doesn’t seem interested in learning the actual crochet stitches to make things. She is content to make seriously long chains. That first day, I sent her home to practice. The next time she came over, she had long chain necklaces for my son to play with. I didn’t tell her that it might be dangerous for him to play with them; and accepted them with awe because I never expected her zeal for giving back in her own way. The next time, she brought beautiful little mats that I could put on my couch. They were made with chains and sewn together in a spiral. I consider her to be very creative because on her own she combined multiple strands of yarn and had the idea to sew them together for mats, or if bigger, rugs. It gave me much joy to witness this happening between us… and to RECEIVE gifts of two mats from her learning hands.

“It might seem like such a little thing, but I believe that it was a blessing being exchanged. Her receiving is as significant to me as the giving was to her“; and visa versa. I realized, as the author of this article did, what a very important point this is.

“We can be ashamed of our need to receive. Yet the receiving is just as important. The blessing happens. We need the kindness.” I can relate to this, too, because I was the one ashamed of being financially needy after my divorce.

“This is sacred truth: We bless one another when we meet in kindness. In those moments we are one with the primal energy of God’s outpouring of life and love…. This realization has helped me understand our part in God’s blessing… God is constantly offering abundant blessing, but our receiving, our appreciation, and our gratitude in response are a necessary part of what makes the blessing fully happen.

“Each time we notice, each time we pause and say thank you, each time we savor a gift and remember it, we deepen the sacred moment, we increase the kindness in the world… When we meet in blessing ‘the light of the world is strengthened, around us and in us’.”

And I am never broken
We are never broken
We are God’s eyes
God’s hands
God’s mind

~ “Hands”, Jewel ~ Only Kindness Matters

One View of the Other Side


Hi Everybody…

Well, I am finished with my session condensing… I guess that is what I would call that. If I can’t write my own piece right now, I’d like to quote a section on death and life after death. I think it could spark some conversation. I have never, in my life, understood life, death, what happens after death, purgatory, prayer for the dead… so many things. It’s as if a little window has opened for me and I must seek out fuller understanding than I have now.

In the past, I’ve some to view “the other side” much as a child must view “the other side” during the process of it ‘s being born from the womb. I think that is the perfect analogy, comparing the two. I like that perspective. The babe is frightened of the unknown, not knowing what is in store for it. The new world is cold and harsh, from what it has known in the warm, nurturing mother’s womb. We take our place, awaiting the unknown of death. Why do we fear it? I am thinking it is because this is the only life we remember and we are afraid of the unknown that awaits us. Sadly, we do not remember any of our other lives, or existences outside of this one. I do not know what I believe right now, but the idea of purgatory appeals to me as if for the first time hearing of it; but in truth, I’ve known about it my whole life. Even though we would not be in heaven, there is still hope that we will one day get there… and what is pain, other than the separation we feel from God?

The bold sections below are taken from the Catholic Catechism and the bold references are of sections of the Catholic Catechism. Technically, I did “type” it out:

“We believe that we are united to Christ, will rise with Christ on the last day, and “will appear with him in glory in his heavenly kingdom” (Colossians 3:4) (1003).  This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity—this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed—is called “heaven”.  Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness (1024).  By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us.  Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ (1026).

             “But to rise with Christ, we must die with Christ (1005).  Why are we often afraid of our own death?  Death is not easy, because in many ways it is unknown.  We try to flee from it and go to any extent to prevent it from happening until it touches our lives through the death of a loved one or through an illness or accident.  Jesus promises that those who enter into death with him will enter new life.  Death is a natural process, and we are encouraged to prepare ourselves for the time of our own death (1014).  How important it is for us to embrace death with faith and hope!  St. John of the Cross said so knowingly: “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love” (1022).  It is a marvelous reflection to think that at the time of our death we will be asked: “How well did you love?”  Since God is love, heaven is living in that complete love.  To be devoid of love is to be excluded from God.  This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell” (1033).

“The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.  Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”  The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs (1035).

“In the beautiful mystery of the communion of saints, those still being purified from their sins in purgatory are linked together in a bond of love with the faithful on earth and those who have already reached heaven.  In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others…(1475).  By God’s grace, our prayers and words of charity can still affect the souls of persons who have gone before us, just as the loving care of those in heaven continues to be a blessing to us who still struggle in this world.

“Each of us has within us an innate desire for God, a desire to go home.  When a child is born into this world, the child experiences the vastness and “coldness” of a world so different from the mother’s womb.  So, too, when it is our time to die and enter into a new world, we may experience a resistance to newness, yet there is the wonder of so much more than we could ask for or imagine.  It may be only after we have entered into eternal life that we will fully realize that we were only pilgrims on this earth.

             “While it may be difficult for us to even imagine, we are promised that at the end of time, God’s reign will come in its fullness (1042).  In the Book of Revelation (chapter 21), we are promised that in this new universe, God will dwell fully among us.  The direct experience of God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and death shall be no more (1044).  For us as human beings there will be the final realization of the unity of the human race that the Lord created (1043).  For our universe, there will be a full transformation and fulfillment.  We will no longer see ourselves as separate, but at one with God’s universe.  We will dwell in harmony in this new heaven and new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which our happiness will fill and surpass all the desire of peace arising out of our hearts (1048).

pax

The Cry of the Poor


Refrain
The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Blessed be the Lord.

Verses
1. I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the Lord,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

2. Let the lowly hear and be glad,
the Lord listens to their pleas;
and to hearts broken God is near,
who will hear the cry of the poor.

3. Ev’ry spirit crushed, God will save;
will be ransom for their lives;
will be safe shelter for their fears,
and will hear the cry of the poor.

4. We proclaim your greatness, oh God,
your praise ever in our mouth;
every face brightened in your light,
for you hear the cry of the poor.

Here is a link to the melody if not the verbal words, but the sound is very beautiful.  I’ve always loved this hymn.  Had choir practice tonight, and this song is coming up this weekend. I am so happy! I am hoping that I will be chosen to lead it because there is nothing like doing this leading when a song oozes out of your being. What I mean by leading, is just standing up at the podium and announcing the title and number of the song, then lifting your hand up high to signal everyone to sing…. but it’s not a solo or anything… everyone sings. During Advent, I will be doing some of the psalms which will mean singing by myself for part of it… kind of scary, but the more practice I do, the more confident I will become.

This hymn has a kind of wailing to it. I am not musical enough to say, but I think the music is in the flats (b)… but very emotional sounding. I don’t have the hymn book in front of me right now to check, but I am pretty sure of it. Nope, wrong again. Just checked and this hymn is in sharps (#). Still very beautiful. I love to sing slower than our music director likes to play…. ugh. Singing slower allows you to hold the notes longer… AND… give more time for recovery if you lose your place! Little trick there.

Musically, I used to play the acoustic guitar… again, love the tones, melody. I officially labeled myself a rhythm guitarist because I played chords… mainly because learning melody, which means learning exactly where the notes are, which means having to KNOW what notes actually are, was just too hard much for me to learn. Still, I loved playing chords, too. Gabriel’s arrival pretty much put the kabbash on the guitar, but when he gets a bit older, I’ll whip it out so he will think his mom is cool.

The Last Resort~Eagles


She came from Providence,
the one in Rhode Island
Where the old world shadows hang
heavy in the air
She packed her hopes and dreams
like a refugee
Just as her father came across the sea
She heard about a place people were smilin’
They spoke about the red man’s way,
and how they loved the land
And they came from everywhere
to the Great Divide
Seeking a place to stand
or a place to hide

Down in the crowded bars,
out for a good time,
Can’t wait to tell you all,
what it’s like up there
And they called it paradise
I don’t know why
Somebody laid the mountains low
while the town got high

Then the chilly winds blew down
Across the desert
through the canyons of the coast, to
the Malibu
Where the pretty people play,
hungry for power
to light their neon way
and give them things to do

Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught ’em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus,
people bought ’em
And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea

You can leave it all behind
and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did, so many years ago
They even brought a neon sign: “Jesus is coming”
Brought the white man’s burden down
Brought the white man’s reign

Who will provide the grand design?
What is yours and what is mine?
‘Cause there is no more new frontier
We have got to make it here

We satisfy our endless needs and
justify our bloody deeds,
in the name of destiny and the name of God

And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it’s like up there
They call it paradise
I don’t know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye ……………………………..~ Glen Frey, Don Henley ~

his is how I felt about this country then, and I still feel this way now… only it’s worse. Do any of you remember this from when it came out on the Hotel California Album>>> YES, a VINYL record. I could sing all those words with or without the record then and now. It really pierces the heart.

Tyler’s post tonight, Declaration of Independence, is about how we are seduced by everything we come across out there, whether it be the media, music, advertising. Just about everything is either directly or indirectly marketed to us and has the potential to change the way we think and perceive our world. I would recommend reading it because it’s well thought out, very clear and exquisitely expressed. Well, my post sort of goes in a different direction; but that is like me, starting off with one thing and drifting off into another. It’s where the flow of thought takes me, and I am a willing passenger!

Tyler’s message is different, but as I was thinking about it tonight, I remembered this song. Like people being seduced into thinking that this world is a paradise, but only for some people. We wear masks and do not see how much we are really destroying this earth. I am ashamed of much of our history, as an American and as a white person. We have trampled down the indigenous peoples of this country (and others) and it makes me sick. If that was not enough, we are also killing the land, and it won’t be long until it’s all over.

I have always been a pushover for good writing, and this is unbelievably great writing! Both the song and “Declaration of Independence”.

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