CIRCLE OF COMPASSION

There are occasional events that transpire in life which appear to be a measure of chance, yet in reflection, seem as if they were crafted by a God of love. The following is a story of one such event.

I was driving home when I saw the dog on the street. She looked flustered and sad. She had not only caught my eye but also that of another neighbor. We both were about to leave on vacation so it was a toss up as to who would take responsibility for the dog.

A storm was brewing and I relented to putting her in my backyard. My wonderful next door neighbor said she would feed the dog while I was gone.

The last thing I needed was another expense. I had gone two years without an income and feeding a dog did not come cheap.

Yet when I brought this to the attention of my Heavenly Father He reminded me of a wonderful shopping trip that we had recently gone on where I walked out with loads of cat food and litter with barely a penny spent. (I always take God shopping. He is a very savvy spendthrift and loads of fun.)

So I knew that this was planned. Yet I still had no income. The one thing I did have was wonderful friends. One of my dear friends knew my financial situation and asked me to meet him at Costco. I thought that was an interesting dating location but i am always game for new adventures so I met him.

That dear man blessed me with the necessities I needed and also enough dog food for several weeks. That was such a wonderful gift it still warms my heart.

But alas, there were problems with this dog. She barked at all hours and when I would take her in the house, she would soil my carpet. (Thank God for my steam cleaner)

Then in October another storm rolled in. She started barking and I knew one of my neighbors had just come home from an exhausting trip so I took the dog in for the night. I didn’t get any sleep but I was hoping my neighbor did.

I woke up to a mess on my carpet. At that point I was ready to see if the dog would run off. I opened the gate to my backyard and she took off. I was so happy and I realized she had never really been my dog to begin with.

I had just one lingering problem. Left over dog food. I prayed about it asking God what to do with the blessing of dog food. Within a week I found out that one of my patients was in financial straits and he had a dog. I will bless him with some of the food and bless my neighbors with the rest of the food.

When I reflected on this story I realized that it started with a storm and ended with the same. Yet there was such a circle of compassion intertwined, that all that remains in my memory is a rainbow of love.


JIAN GHOMESHI

I have broached the subject of BDSM before. It is a very dangerous arena to enter if you are looking for love.

I happened upon the story of Mr. Ghomeshi while checking my email yesterday. It appears as if he thinks that abuse is acceptable in the search for love.

This man seems to be quite accomplished in his profession. I wonder why he thinks it is necessary to beat young women up if he is really that successful?

Now because he was let go by CBS he claims that he told them about his sexual exploits in confidence and they should not be used to evaluate his performance. That would be true in most arenas. Problem with this is that he is a public figure and three of the young women who he abused are now coming out with allegations of violence in the bedroom.

Poor guy, someone snitched on him.

What a pitiful victim.

He, on the other hand, beat the crap out of women who were 20 years younger than him, choked them almost to the point of death and now he claims they had “safe” words.

Hmmm, how the hell is someone supposed to speak a “safe” word if you are choking the life out of them?

He said it was consensual. Okay if that is the case how about those girls slapping the shit out of him? Or choking him until he turns blue? Would that be fun? I mean if it is consensual shouldn’t the women have the same amount of fun?

I personally have never heard of him before this blew up in the media. I have better taste than that. In fact, I don’t think that many people know about him. So the world will not stop turning if he does not get his job back.

The other question I have about this man is why is he even still out on the streets? Choking, slapping and beating someone happen to be crimes. I hope someone gets their head out and puts this shmuck right where he belongs – behind bars.

GLOBAL MISSIONS

I recently started reading a book on global missions. I had no idea how offended I would be by reading it. If I had known, I would not have even read a word of it.

I will not state the book’s title nor state the author’s name but is was the most anti-American book I have ever read.

The author cursed Americans for not sacrificing everything to support global missions. I was so offended I stopped reading at that point.

I understand that other countries are not as well to do as America is. I also understand that most would not be as well off as they are without Americans continually helping them out.

I understand that many foreigners are jealous of Americans because of our favor with God. A large number of these foreigners do not worship the God that we do. You would think the light would go off inside of their dark minds and they would re-examine their beliefs, if they seek the blessings that we enjoy.

I know that there are probably terrorists that have slipped into this country. Although I respect many different belief systems somehow when you cut a person’s head off with a machete, because of your belief system, my respect evaporates.

I have a very nice home and a beautiful property and I will not be guilted into thinking I am sinful for having such. I gave 10% throughout the whole of my lifetime to God and I believe that my home and my property are His gift to me.

Although I now tithe to my church when my children were little I tithed to missions because I worked on the weekends. Fortunately it was not this specific global mission.

I do think it is important to give to church, as well as missions but to be guilted into it and to have someone speak curses over my country is not the way to get me to give.

I think the author would have been much more effective if he would have told more stories and stayed out of the judgement seat. If I am not mistaken I think only God has the right to judge.

I found it ironic that this man was bitter and jealous of America and it was Americans who had paid his entire tuition at a local seminary. All I can say is that I will keep this man in my prayers and hope that God softens his heart.

America is a wonderful country and we are immensely blessed by God. We have a generous nature but I think that part of being a cheerful giver is to give without coercion or guilt.

MY BUCKET LIST

I am finally starting a bucket list. I am 51 years old and it is about time. This weekend I started knocking out my first item in my bucket list.

The event I attended was one which I had wanted to attend for several years. I never allowed myself the pleasure though. I wanted desperately to attend the Alliance Air Show.

Each year as the show came around those dear sweet pilots would fly over my house and tempt me. My neighbors and I would congregate in the street and look up into the sky with awe. I would tell them how much I wanted to see the show up close but there was always a reason why I couldn’t.

This year I decided there would be no more excuses. I went and even invited a friend of mine to go with me. We had an absolute blast.

The first thing we did was to go into an army and air force trailer to get a feel for what the soldiers do. My hat goes off to every soldier in the Army, Navy, Air force and Marines. You all are totally awesome.

Next we looked at some planes and helicopters.

Then we saw some stunt planes and even a sail plane. We saw several parachute jumps and enjoyed each show.

The last show was the Thunderbirds and they were just amazing.

It was a beautiful day to be out but just a bit too hot. My friend was getting overheated and as we watched the Thunderbirds there was a man who handed her a water bottle and a piece of ice to cool her down. That was so sweet and made her feel much better.

As we were leaving, my friend and I talked about how much we wanted to help out soldiers who were wounded. I don’t know how to go about helping them but I intend to find out.

I am not a very patriotic person but at the end of the day I was more than grateful to be an American.

THE “PERFECT” HOME

I invited a dear friend over yesterday for breakfast. We were planning to attend the Alliance Air show and make a day of it.

She has a bit of OCD so I try as hard as I can to make sure my house is perfect when she comes over. Perfect was a long shot for me yesterday. I had spent most of Friday working on my guest rooms upstairs. While I was getting my guest rooms in tip top shape, my downstairs had decomposed to a blooming mess.

I apologized for the mess when she came in. She said that my home looked lovely. She normally doesn’t lie so I just thanked her and apologized again. She raved over the breakfast I had prepared and thought the cascading roses in my backyard were stunning. Bless her heart she didn’t mention once the litter of scattered papers on my living room floor.

I must have apologized again because she then said something which made an impact. She said,”Your home is warm and inviting. It is comfortable.”

I have had other friends who came into my home with a critical spirit. They made me feel ill at ease in my own home. I have also been embarrassed to host events at my home because my carpet is worn and my couches are tattered.

As I reflected more on her kind words I realized that my ideal of a perfect home was seeded into my consciousness in childhood.

My mother was a perfectionist. By the time I was born she had become a frustrated perfectionist, which is the worst sort.

Whenever we had company she would become a living terror. Fretting about every little detail and screaming at the rest of us when we did not execute her task list with perfection.

I remember asking her why in blazes our house had to be perfect every time my sister came home from college. She never gave me a suitable answer.

By the time the company would arrive she looked like Martha Stewart but the rest of us were a frazzled mess of raw and hurt emotions.

My sister got the perfectionist gene also. Her home looks like a museum. She is a very competent and wonderful hostess but faces self condemnation when her standards of perfection are not met.

I have always wondered why I didn’t get that gene. Maybe it is better that I didn’t. I don’t particularly like screaming. If people are going to be critiquing my home when they walk in the door then maybe it would be better if we met at a restaurant or coffee house.

As for the friend I had over for breakfast yesterday, the door will always be open. Through her kind words, I have come to the realization that God made me to be a Mary, not a Martha. I surmise it may be more important to have a home that is inviting and warm instead of having one which is a museum and perfect.

THE EBOLA CRISIS

The Ebola Crisis didn’t worry me much at first. Africa is a long way from Texas. This didn’t mean I was not concerned for those in Africa who were struggling with it. But Ebola had been on that continent since 1976. I figured they may be smart enough to handle it.

Then Mr. Duncan entered the picture. Why in blazes we did not have a travel ban in place still perplexes me. They say we can not do that, but other countries have, so what makes us any different? In fact Rwanda has placed a travel ban against the US and Spain because they consider us a risk. (Now they have lifted it. Sheesh, these governments can sometimes make my head spin)

Not only did Mr. Duncan enter the country but he plopped himself scary close to me. Yeah, Dallas is just a stone’s throw from my suburb.

I started watching CNN and became concerned about the government response to the disease. It seemed as if no one was at the helm of the ship and according to CNN our ship was sinking.

As I continued to watch the news coverage I did what I could do. I prayed for the two nurses who had gotten the disease. I also kept my ears open to make sure I knew how to protect myself and my patients.

I began to educate myself on the Ebola virus. First thing I wanted to know was how it transferred from one person to another. It appears to spread through bodily fluids such as blood, semen and sweat. Blood and semen are pretty easy to avoid but in Texas sweat is a common malady of every underarm in the state. If we could sell sweat we would all be millionaires down here.

The other aspect of Ebola that concerns me is that it appears to stay alive on surfaces for quite a long time. My daughter told me that the only thing which can kill it is sunshine. I also have learned that bleach is a fatal substance for the Ebola virus.

Nonetheless if the Ebola virus was that crafty I think we would have had an epidemic already.

There is nothing I can do to stop the virus other than prayer. As I continue to pray for the nurses which have been infected my prayers also go out to those who are afflicted in West Africa. I am sure that those sweet people are terrified of the Ebola virus.

I think that the government’s response to this crisis is a bit hap hazard but I know that they have not had any practice with a situation like this. I think it is good that they are developing protocols which can address this situation. The Ebola virus may not be that virulent but we never know what other virus may be lurking on the horizon and it is excellent that we are beginning to become prepared.

I know that my blog has an international flare and I am aware that I have a slew of subscribers which are so kind as to read my blog on a regular basis. I don’t ask much of you as my readers but I would like to ask you to pray for West Africa in relation to the Ebola crisis. The fear that they must live in daily would be paralyzing to me. If you feel led to also pray for the two nurses in Dallas who are battling the illness I am sure they would be grateful.


ACHIEVING A BALANCE

I have the pleasure of being invited to quite a lot of wonderful events. There are also many invitations that I have declined.

Usually the reason why I decline is because I want to write in my novel. Either that or my house needs to be cleaned. Then there is the garden which needs to be weeded. Or my guest rooms in the upper floor of my home need to be deep cleaned. OMG the pantry is such a blooming mess I can not find the bullion cubes I need to make gravy. The list is endless. There is always some excuse but lately I have realized that the excuses don’t hold up.

Case in point. Last week I had a challenging week at work. It was not a bad week, nor was it unduly stressful but it was a long week with several very long days. My house did not look good at the end of the week.

Saturday morning a wonderful friend came over to help me garden and I enjoyed spending the morning and the afternoon with him. It was quite fun skipping out to garden and then back in to cook meals for us. That was fun and energizing but then I had to clean up the mess in the kitchen. UGH!

Plus there was the wash to do and by Saturday evening I had not gotten all of my cleaning done. Frustrating to say the least, because I like to have that done by the start of the Sabbath.

Sunday morning rolls around and I was still exhausted but I needed to set up an appointment for my I pad because the last update made it ill. I hate going to the Apple store and that is usually how I set up the appointment for going back to actually have the work done. Silly buggers want me to remember my id and password to set up an appointment over the phone. Like Really? Do they have any idea just how many id’s and passwords I need to remember on a daily basis? Pllleeeaaassseee

So because I hate this whole Apple store mess I decided to try to lasso a friend into lunch near the Apple store. She said she was having lunch with her Mom but she invited me over to visit in the afternoon. Well, that was NOT going to get my vacuum sweeping done and my carpet looked like it had been trampled by a herd of swine. I debated a little bit but I realized that my carpet had no intention of running away if I did not vacuum it that day. Being that my friend is a very busy and successful woman, who does a lot of traveling, I had to catch her when I could.

I completely ignored the whole Ipad illness thing and did not even stop by the Apple store. I love my I pad but I also have a MAC and between the two of them they have me going to the Apple store for repairs more than I go to the bathroom. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to ruin the day with stress or dirty carpets or disorganized pantries.

So I didn’t, I had fun. I went to my friends house and then came home and went for a walk in the beautiful autumn breeze.

I didn’t get the vacuuming done until the next evening after I got home from Bible study but I am beginning to realize that in the balance of life, friends should weigh a lot heavier on the scale of priorities than a dirty carpet.


A HUNGER

All my life I have had a hunger for something which some people seem to feast on. I have always hungered for friends.

The other day I was talking with my son who is going to college in Florida. He said something that took me by surprise. He is very popular and a great kid. He said he learned how to make friends by watching me.

That made me feel so good but I wondered then how come I always felt as if I didn’t have enough friends. If I tallied up all of my friends the number would be very high but I always hunger for more.

I have a multitude of wonderful guy friends. Some which I have dated in the past, some which I am currently dating and others who have been terrific friends without even one date.

I have lots of good girlfriends too, seriously, some of the absolute coolest women in the world are my friends.

I think that this hunger is tied to a ministry that I am to have for women and until that ministry is launched, that hunger will gnaw at my heart, always making me strive to make yet one more friend.

As I pepper my day with interactions with my friends am I defining the qualities I will use when I launch the ministry which God will lead me into? Are the conversational techniques and the way I try to cheer people up more than just small talk?

I honestly believe that every moment in a Christian’s life is worthy of notice by God. Every little nuance could be used by Him for greater purpose.

What is it that your heart hungers for? Is that which you strive for leading you to a greater purpose?

BOO YA

I have learned as a single Mom to do many things that I thought I would never do. When I accomplish something which is unusual for any female to do, I call it a Boo Ya moment.

The lastest Boo Ya moment happened last week. My daughter’s handle on her toilet had broken. She asked me if I could call my warranty company and have them come out to fix it.

Last time I had my warranty company come out to fix something it cost me close to $400.00. I do not have that kind of money floating through the air at my home, so I decided to take a look at the toilet myself. I told her,”I thought I could fix it myself.”

I examined it closely and realized if I unscrewed the plastic thing that was on the inside of the toilet bowl, I could put the new handle that I had purchased in. Problem was that sucker was screwed so tight it would take more muscles than what I have to unscrew it. What I needed was a man. Thank God a friend of mine had reserved me for an evening that week.

He came over to take me to an elegant dinner and I wrangled him into looking at it. Sweet chap didn’t complain once about looking at a broken toilet when he came over. (It was flushed and clean, don’t worry)

After he looked at it he told me he would need some tools. I have tools, boy do I have tools. What I didn’t have, was the one tool he needed. We did not have the perfect size wrench to unscrew the plastic device, which connected the handle to the flap thingy. What I did have, was saws. I figured if we couldn’t unscrew it, we could saw it to smithereens.

So we started sawing and effectively sawed off enough plastic that there was no way it could be removed now. Geez, the elegant dinner was looking so good right now, that we took off for our event.

I spent sometime that night praying to God about it and in the morning a vision of one of my saws came into my mind. I got the impression that that saw was the answer to my prayer. In a couple of days I took that pointy saw to the plastic again and was successful in removing the obstacle and placing my new handle on the toilet.

I was excited as I realized this was definitely a “Boo ya” moment. Now if I can just figure out the electrical system in my car I will be really happy. Hmmm….

Dedicating the day to God

I try to always remember to invite God into my day. I love having Him tag along with me even when I have a 12.5 hour work day like I had today.

Yesterday I was planning on having a breather. I only had four patients and I really wanted to get home early. Then I got a call from the office asking if I could take the new nurse along with me again. I love the new nurse, seriously, I love her, but training someone else always adds more time to my visits.

I had a trach patient though so I offered to take her along for that and another patient because this is the second trach patient I had ever seen in my entire nursing career. Plus the trach patient’s husband is just the coolest black guy ever and I am so proud of how he takes care of his wife I like to show him off.

So I made arrangements for her to meet me at a patient’s house and then I would drive to the other two visits. So we met up. When she got in the car I asked her how her day had gone and she told me it hadn’t gone so well. So I let her vent for a little bit but within five minutes tops I had her laughing so hard she could barely breathe.

It is hilarious because we are about as opposite in our personality types as they come but yet we crack each other up without even intending to. I think that God knew she needed to laugh and He just made sure that she teamed up with me for a little bit to get her giggling again.

He also taught me a very important lesson yesterday. When you ask God to be involved in your day, it seldom is about you. It is most commonly all about someone else and twice as much fun.