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The Flow

Imagined or real? I do not know…The place of inspiration and revelation. Some people call it “magic”. Others call the ability to write being in The Flow. The Flow is my stimulation from God…the place outside myself. Once in, I float through words like flotsam on the sea. I sit down at my computer, looking at the white page. Then the feeling comes over me, a word expands into a sentence, and so on. I can write a novel, a scene, or about anything. The realization of writing begins within me.

God’s inspiration takes me outside of myself. I feel multi-dimensional.  I sometimes don’t even remember what I wrote. I don’t care if someone likes it, hates it, or thinks I have no understanding of the English language. Those sentences are mine and no one created them but me. They are right for me, my imagination, my visualization, and my pleasure. Everyone will not love my writing. Just as in life, everyone cannot be pleased nor does everyone like me. There is always a doubter or hater. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein on a whim, stuck inside on a cold day, never realizing its potential to the arts. There is always someone who thinks writing without publishing is frivolous. A “successful writer” can write one book and doubt their ability to write another publishable piece.

Is writing a squandering of time, spent mixing an insignificant collection of words? Many writers let this question burden them. The question lingers in their mind like smoke in the air from many campfires. The time for writing is lost in worrisome contemplation, anxiety choking out creativity. Published paid writers have written books on the subway, the ferry, in the car, or at their lunch time. Some even get up early or stay up late to write, because they love it. All the while maintaining paid employment with a boss they barely tolerate.

The Flow helps me to forget about rude and obstinate school children, dirty dishes, dog messes, my regrettable past, and uncertain future. The anxiety of life is eaten up in the imagery of story. Trying to justify writing only bears uncertainty and fear. Apprehension leaves a hollow spot in my self-confidence, but the love of writing gives me wings and makes me fly. Every time I write a sentence, a page, or whatever, I feel the self-confidence barometer go up sending me into the clouds. I believe I’m a writer, I believe I can fly!

So what if the audience is me, my book never gets published or paid? I accomplished the feat of entertaining myself. I stayed sober. I’m not worrying about cancer coming back or the diabetes. I had time with God. Depression was lifted with my free therapy session. My love for writing is a gift to me or anyone with an open mind.

True success is not being on the New York Times bestseller list. Stardom matters not, nor does the audience. I don’t care if I get published and paid, although my bank account and my creditors would enjoy the payments I received. I write for me and the pure love of writing.

I am a real writer, because I have written a book, a poem, and a dissertation. I trust that I have talent, wit, and imagination. Money does not confirm my talent. Being appreciated or loved by others does not authenticate my ability to write. Every piece of writing I enjoy makes me efficacious and more inspired.

Writing is not a sacrifice, but my art. Art is existential. Quilts, paintings, drawings or other artistic mediums whether hidden or shown will be fashioned. The creation was done for the well-being of the person who began and finished the piece of art. All artists hope their piece touches someone else, makes a person better, or gives pleasure to others, but their desire to create will not be stopped by those who do not accept their gift. Dr. Seuss’ zany words and creatures were a gift to young readers and fostered people’s imagination.  Oh the Places You’ll Go! has inspired countless graduates on their new beginning into adulthood. Rejection may knock the wind from us for a moment, but once the breath comes back, a filling of the lungs stimulates inspiration arousing creativity and triumph! Just as Dr. Seuss confirmed with his tenacity to write, through adversarial encounters can come great achievement!

HOMELESS

In the United States, every year between 2-3 million individuals experience some form of homelessness (Caton et al., 2005). Homelessness is the existence of people who lack secure, safe, and suitable places in which to live.

People living in makeshift homes such as tents, temporary housing, overcrowded conditions, or staying in motels for extended periods of time are considered homeless. Individuals of homelessness include families with children, individual adults, and young people. Poverty, lack of low cost housing, mental illness, and substance use are the leading causes of homelessness.

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 550,000 people experience homelessness on any given night. This means that about 17 people out of every 10,000 people experience homelessness in the general population. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2018)

In 2017 people experiencing homelessness increased compared to the 2016 totals due to population increases. Most of the homeless population lived in some type of transitional housing. Homeless status during this time also included abandoned buildings,  the street, or areas not suitable for human habitation. The compilation of individuals included: veterans at 7.2 percent, 7.4 percent were children and young adults not accompanied by an adult, 33.3 percent were family members, 66.7 percent were single individuals. The most dramatic decrease in homelessness has been people in unsheltered locations and veterans. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2018)

The above information is just a sample of articles available on homelessness. Every day people can also become homeless. People act shocked when someone is homeless. I know because I have been homeless.

Chronic illness, medical bills, and crushing debt from those situations can financially alter a person’s future. It damaged mine and my husband’s future. I was diagnosed with cancer, had multiple chemotherapy events, and radiation therapy. The crushing blow was the bone marrow transplant and the insurmountable bills that accumulated from this treatment.

It took awhile for the expansion of the debt, but eventually it exploded. We were forced to sell our home to pay off debt. Then we lived day to day in several hotels, because we could not get an apartment.

You always think it can’t happen to me, but it can happen to anyone. The Lord has blessed us since those fateful days. I would never have thought we would have a home again. Good friends, trusting partners, and answered prayers to the Lord were our salvation. I am thankful to God for all the blessings and connections made at this moment in time.

 

 

Caton, C.L.M., et al. (2005). Risk factors for long-term homelessness: Findings from a longitudinal study of first-time homeless single adults. American Journal of  Public Health. 2005 October; 95(10): 1753–1759. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.063311

Happy Anniversary Baby!

One year ago I began blogging. I find enjoyment in writing. Stringing words together and stretching my mind brings me satisfaction. I am currently working on a book about a thirteen year old homeless kid. The fictional journey he is on is his and does not belong to anyone else.

I have noticed that life has damaged my creativity. I struggle more often than not, with my ability to generate fresh thoughts. I don’t know if others struggle in such a way. Maybe they do since many movies are regenerated versions of other movies or stories.

I see beauty in many things and would love to draw and paint my way back to my old self. I have been working on my “studio”. A small bedroom I have designated as a place to create. Currently it is a disaster. But I am planning it and buying organization pieces to get myself to a space where I can create beautiful things.

I can draw, paint, crochet, sew, and make crafts. I also want the space to write on my book. It is quiet and has good light. I get closer every day to the idea I have for the space. Maybe one day it will be a haven of creativity.

Ireland-Clonakilty-Astna Square

AULD SHITEIreland is so much fun! We love the villages and the Irish people. My husband and I were walking along Clonakilty-Astna Square. We were looking for stores with antiques or second-hand items. We came upon this sign. Yeah we were looking for some “auld shite”. We went down to the store. A bench in front of the shop was “auld”. One of those if you sit on it, have a camera ready.

As we got to the far back, the man’s dog came out from under some antiques and he said to the dog, “Ah, there’s my one true love!” (with an Irish accent) His wife, who appeared to be grumpy, was standing next to him. She did not laugh at his picking. We chuckled and meandered out of the shop. We too have had days where our dogs were the better companions. We all get grumpy.

There were many items in the second-hand shop, cabinets, windows, tables, and architectural items that were quite old. Some of the non-furniture items, we had as kids or as teenagers. Life is full of irony! As we left the street and looked back at the sign, we laughed because we were “auld shites” too!

 

Returning to Ireland

Ireland at this time of the year remained true to form. In the north of Ireland the cottage snuggled between the mountains and ocean. The sheep across the road eating and bleating. Several days the weather turned blustery and the mist came over the mountains. The vent on the roof tapping noisily with the blast of the wind. Since the weather remained wet and cool the beach was lifeless except for James and I. We walked along the beach looking at the massive rocks coming up out of the sand. Then off to explore the caves. The tide totally left the bay and the kelp hung limply over the frames. The farmers in their boots harvested the kelp quickly.

Our next exploration we drove through the mountains on roads big enough for a cart and donkey. The grass growing up between the worn lanes. The wind blew gently today. As we explored further down the road we came to the end and the Atlantic Ocean. The waves splashed big against the rocks sending spray high into the air. The sheep and their tiny lambs nibbling the grass and bleating their sheep song. A memorial sat high on the cliff reminding us of lives lost on the rocky coast. A spiritual peace lay over the cliff and entwined with our spirits as we stood looking out at the Atlantic. Ireland a beautiful, stark and intimidating place.

You are Precious to God!

Do you know you are precious to God? Do you know you are unique? God loves you! He chose you, set you aside, and knows all your difficulties! He is bigger than anything you face. If you feel like you do not matter and the World hates you, you are not alone. I have felt that way. I have been hurt by life. I have been down and broken. Many people including prophets and disciples have felt unloved, disconnected, or broken. Jonah was one of the chosen biblical people loved by God. Even when he disobeyed and tried to hide from the Lord, God still loved him. God loves us! All of us are not worthy of God’s love, not one of us, but the Lord gives his love to us anyway.

A biblical illustration includes Jonah and the people of Nineveh who were disobeying God. But he showed his love for Jonah, the Ninevites and animals he had created when the people repented and asked him for forgiveness.

Jonah’s path was a story of God’s grace and benevolence to Jonah and the great city of Nineveh. Jonah was commissioned by God to proclaim to the people of Nineveh that in forty days the city would be overthrown. He went off to hide from God running to Tarshish. He got on a boat and a great storm came. The men on board asked him to repent to his Lord that they all might be saved.

Jonah told the men to throw him overboard, because the storm was his fault. He was thrown overboard by the sailors. The men became afraid and feared the Lord because they had thrown Jonah overboard. The sailors made sacrifice to the Lord in repentance. The storm calmed and Jonah fell down into the deep darkness of the water. A great fish swallowed him. He was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. The fish eventually throws him up on the shore. Being puked from the belly of a fish seems pretty unloved and disconnected. I would say that was broken and reeking!  Ewww!

Again God calls Jonah to go to Niveveh and tell them that God is going to destroy them. He goes to and through the city for three days proclaiming the destruction. The king heard the news and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the dirt. The dirt was probably to cover the fish smell from Jonah.

The king decreed that both the people and animals could not eat or drink. He also told the people to cover themselves and animals with sackcloth. The king also impressed upon the people to call urgently on God and hopefully he would relent from his anger and have compassion on the people of Nineveh. God saw the people’s  repentance and relented, not destroying them as he had threatened.

Jonah was angry at the Lord’s compassion and wanted to die. He went outside the city, built a shelter and waited to see what would happen to the city. The Lord provided a leafy plant to grow up and give Jonah shade. He enjoyed the plant and shade provided to him from God. Then the next day a worm ate the plant causing it to wither and die. Jonah grew faint from the heat and angry the plant had died. God explained to Jonah that the plant’s life and death were important to Jonah even though he did not plant or tend the plant. He was so angry he wanted to die again. God continued to expound on the concern he had for the Ninevites. There were more than one hundred twenty thousand people and their animals. The grace and benevolence God showed to the great city of Niveveh is the same grace he shows to each and every one of us. God loved his people and the animals he created. He loved Jonah.

The king’s decrees and declaration to the people of Nineveh provided a second chance from God. Choices made in the flesh affect the consequences for the spirit. The provision of salvation was given in the offering God made of His son in the crucifixion of Christ, subsequent death, and resurrection.

God chooses us in all our imperfections. He made us and is continually perfecting us through his love and grace. None of us are worthy to be given such a great gift, but God provides the mercy and the grace. God said to Moses: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom. 9: 15 NIV).

The hope and peace that we receive is from a relationship with God. The acceptance of Christ opens the door to finding a relationship of hope and peace with God.  Scripture affirms the type of relationship we can have: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1 NIV). The hope lies in the acceptance: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1-2 NIV). Through redemption, we can walk in peace and hope through Christ Jesus our Lord. The hope for a future is our salvation and joining of our Father in heaven. God made us worthy to be his child through his son Jesus. I thank God for his grace and the gift of his son, Jesus.

Everyone needs salvation to have a relationship with the Lord, but none of us are worthy without the grace and purpose of God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD” (Rom. 6-23 NIV). Eternal life is a gift from God to humans through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

After Christ’s resurrection, He appeared to over “five hundred” people over the course of “forty days” (Acts 1:3; I Cor. 15:6 NIV). That was a beautiful and tremendous gift to Jesus’ disciples and the inspiration for their continued faith and teachings. The resurrection sightings have been one of my favorite cool events in the Bible. I am straight up jealous I was not a disciple or one of the blessed “five hundred”. The resurrection sightings give me goosebumps. Awesome!

After Christ’s ascension, the disciples stood at the temple filled with joy praising God (Luke 24:52-53 NIV). Today’s disciples have not been gifted with the presence of the resurrected Lord, but our joy should also be in the Lord. We should be praising God and thanking Him for the gift of salvation through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the daily blessings he provides to us.

A New Beginning

Beginnings can happen any time in life. They are not reserved for babies or people who move. Beginnings are a freshness, a step out of the mundane. A trip to a place you have never been. In 2014 we took a trip to Ireland. My husband and I had never been out of the United States. We had barely taken any holidays or special trips. We have never had the money to do that. However, our daughter is very good at planning and saving. She helped us plan and pay for the trip. She helped us realize a dream and enjoyed the trip with us and adding to our memories.

We went to Ireland. The trip was a huge step of faith for me. I am a big chicken. We have beautiful memories and pictures. Our daughter made us a book of our travels. I just sat and looked at the book again. The photo brings tears to my eyes and my throat gets tight.

We are going again this summer. All the terror attacks and the people involved scare me and I am frightened to go again, but my faith will kick in and give me courage. My husband, backpack, and the Lord my only traveling companions. We won’t have our daughter this year with us. She is traveling to Peru on her own great adventure.

This second beginning is my husband and I going alone without our daughter for backup. We are not flying the same route, going to the same places or staying in the same cottage. We are stepping out there and doing something different. That is faith. The unseen, the unknown, but the ever present belief that God is out there leading and guiding the way.

Ireland is beautiful. A beautiful island made by God.

Become a Blogger

I am a blogger! Tonight I went to a Christian writer’s workshop. One of the people asked what a blogger was. So, I came home and became a blogger. I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was resurrected after three days. Scripture also states that he was seen by over five hundred people over the course of forty days. I am so jealous of the people who witnessed the supernatural appearance of the risen Jesus Christ.

I started a blog to talk with other people. So, if you are reading the blog, chat back.