Markers, Part II, and Other Thoughts

I wrote about “Markers” and how some things/pictures/words just resonate with you and I speculated that maybe they come with spiritual “markers.” I suppose you could interpret that as meaning it has a big flag attached that draws your attention, or that is has been highlighted, with, say, a yellow magic highlighter. You may not even receive the significance of it right away, but it sits there, vibrating in your conscious.

I remember many years ago reading the book IT by Stephen King. At one point little brother Georgie was standing on the stairs, afraid to go down into the basement. He looked over and saw a tin of Turtle Wax on the wall shelf. He was momentarily transfixed by it, but didn’t know why. King went on about the spiritual significance of the turtle.

I wonder if King understands the significance of markers and thinks about them the same way I do. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone talk about this, have you?

You can hear the same old cliches, sayings, and expressions, see the same old objects and sites and pictures, and one day what was previously mundane can slap you in the face. It has been given a marker!

As a preteen I was exposed to the Baptist religion by my father’s mother, and learned there to add, “In Jesus’ name I pray” or “I ask this in Jesus’ name” because they believe we only get to heaven through Christ. This habit became ingrained in me but I did not understand the significance of it. I said it quietly, and in my head. Some prayers I wanted to pray did not get prayed because next to this ending, they seemed trivial and worthless. It sounded funny to me. Countless times I asked God over the years if I really had to. (Awwww…do I have to, ma?) Eventually God answered.

In case you haven’t noticed, Jesus has never been considered a terribly cool name with the mainstream society. Claiming Him as your friend does not garner a lot of popularity. Usually at best you will be politely tolerated. I suppose at worst, you might have been boiled in a vat of oil.

Habit caused me to pray this way, but my heart was just not in it. I felt that all paths lead to God, that God’s plan is mysterious, and that all will return to God eventually. It is not for me to understand everyone’s path and plan, only to listen and act.

I had always heard that Jesus had said if any man is ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of that man in front of His Father. This always made me a tiny bit nervous, and seemed small-minded considering the Source, but I didn’t dwell on it.

Then, one day, a few weeks ago, it slammed me: it came with a marker. I heard or read it again and for no apparent reason, this time it sat in my mind vibrating and STARING at me. I suddenly saw it in a whole new way. Just imagine, when you were a child, if you had made friends with a really awesome kid. You thought that you and he really connected, really bonded, ahd great times, greats laughs, and everythings was joyous when you were with him. Your life suddenly just blew wide open with this new blessing. Then, one day, you are with him and run into a group of his friends you do not know.

Suddenly, he turns his back on you and treats you like a dog, like something attached to his shoe. His friends laugh at you, eye you with smirks and amusement, roll their eyes, make “knowing” comments under their breath. They scorn you, and your hairs stand on end with horror and the realization of your rejection. You are ALONE. You feel sick to your stomach.

Would you want to introduce this kind of “friend” to your family and bring them into your HOME?  Introduce them to your mother and father? Your siblings? Oh, HELL, no!

This is what you are doing to His Son, when you are ashamed of Him. When this analogy, made for me, personally, to bring home the point,  hit me, I saw it in a whole new light.

I asked for forgiveness, and I YELLED my prayer ending with pride. (Go ahead, roll those eyes, LOL! ) I continued to pray aloud until it became ingrained in me and I could feel the approval BLOOMING! in me, like a physical  warmth in my veins. I KNEW I had done the right thing and the blessings began to arrive by the TRUCKLOAD. My spiritual ‘phone line’ opened up and the ‘calls’ started pouring in.

I do not believe Muslims are going to hell. Or Buddhists. Or even atheists. I am not sure hell is actually for humans. I do not know the details of hell, and do not want to. My gut tells me this is not for me to concern myself with, and to listen to what I receive and share it. I believe God has a plan for every human being, and their path to Him is a mystery I do not understand, nor is it any of my business. Your business with God is YOUR business, and I will not tell you you are wrong. I will only live as I feel is right, and hope that something positive comes from the WATCHING.

Even Billy Graham, Baptist Preacher, said God may send him to another planet to work! The only evangelist I ever loved, this raised my respect and joy in him even more. God says to me, “Don’t fret, little donkey, you just do what *I* tell you to do and let Me worry about the rest.” This is what I can handle. I do not believe God will give you a bigger job than you can handle.

It is not for me to judge. MY mission is to share my blessings and tell. People are WATCHING, always, and they may never say a word, but what you do and say affects them. You never know what ripples your positive or negative behavior may cause. That is why I believe it is more effect not to criticize, but rather to quietly live/be how you feel is right, and be an example.  The damage you cause with the tiniest rude or critical comment needs 7 positive things to cancel it out. It sits and vibrates hatefully in people’s countenance.  It is harmful.

My next challenge was the expression “Praise the Lord.” I have always hated that expression.

I associated it with annoying foolish television evangelists and a certain angry, challenging, argumentative relative (no, not the grandmother) who would say it and smile with angry, intense eyes. YIKES!

For this challenge, I received a song.

It was divinely inspired-just came at me all at once, complete with a tune! I have sung it about a million times since. “Praise the Lord” is a major part of the words. It has an addictive tune, and I could not stop singing it! The expression is becoming more and more comfortable to me. I cannot call it out like the more devout, but it is working on me. I am continually adding more to it, too.

I want to leave you with this picture from my good friend Romeow. She sent this to me a while back and it came with markers. It just stuck in my mind’s eye and I kept seeing it with pleasure.  Finally, I put a border on it and captioned it and it says exactly how it effects me. Thank you, Romeow, for this beautiful picture of your babies. Here, TJ is watching La Luz joyfully do the “pushy paws” on the floofy rug..

(PS…to those of you who are watching, I have not had a drink since my post, and do not miss it.  PRAISE THE LORD!)

WATCHING

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Ripples Addendum: “You Make A Difference”

My mother made me watch this today. Please watch it to the end. It is powerful.

http://www.blueribbonmovie.com

The Healing of an Alcoholic

The Donkey has a secret.

She is was an alcoholic.

Now, I may lose a few friends with this post. Not because I believe that any of you would judge me for being an alcoholic, but rather because you may think I have finally gone overboard and am a chronic liar, an insane attention whore, a delusional freak, or all three.

Some of you know. (I never told you but I figured you had enough sense to realize it.) Others, reading what I post, and seeing the type of personality I have, have probably guessed.

The story of the IBS healing was pretty amazing. I am still living that miracle. But this may be a little too far fetched for some of you to believe. If you do not, I understand. But it needs telling.

I have exhibited red flags in the drinking area since I was a teenager. It just got worse over the years. The last couple years it has blown up.

I have been drinking at least 1 pint of Vodka every single night when I come home from work. Once in a while, more.

My mother and son have suffered tremendously.

My father is also an alcoholic. That is why I haven’t been kicked out of the house. What can he say? He has criticized me for everything under the sun over the years, but cannot bear to bring up this issue.

When my spiritual blossoming occurred as of late, I knew a day of reckoning would come. I have terrific power issues regarding what I consume, because I have a hungry hole the size of the Grand Canyon. It is rapidly closing.

I finally came to a decision. I was NOT going to stop. I was NOT going to AA. I was fulling admitting of my alcoholism, and chose to continue it. I dug in my jackass heels and told God, “Make me.” God said, “Fine. You can’t deal with. I’ll take care of it.” I said, “Goody!” and assily poured another drink.

(Uh, uh!! C’mon fat hippo! Ding! Noah!! Wuttt??? Those are both female! “You change one of ’em!!)

I didn’t think God did that. Apparently he does, for stubborn jackass donkeys who won’t even try.

I drank my pint. Not much affect…huh.

So, I went out and bought some more. Then I stayed up UNTIL 3 AM DRINKING NON STOP UNTIL I KNEW IF I DIDN’T GO TO BED I’D MISS WORK. I was so wired and sober feeling and full of creative energy.

I went to bed, wondering why the hell I didn’t feel drunk.

The next day the desire was gone…I thought, huh. How odd, and poured a drink in the afternoon. Nothing. Continued to drink for the rest of the night. Nothing. I have never felt so sober in my life. Finally it got through my skull: He changed your metabolic process when he took away the IBS (I could feel it happening inside.) And now it is running through your system like water. I lay the bottle aside and didn’t take another drink. Why bother?

I called mom while out on the road the next day and told her I had been healed. The hungry hole is slowly closing, being filled by God and my friends and ICHC. She almost cried. Her voice sounded real soft and funny. I asked her to do me a favor and go through my room and throw all the bottles away, as a favor. She did. 🙂

Now I am typing and enjoying the smell of sausage she is cooking for the spaghetti, and enjoying a cup of decaf coffee with Pralines and Cream Coffee Mate Creamer, which never tasted so delicious. I don’t even miss that stinky ol cheap vodka.

Praise the Lord!

I used to hate that expression. Made me think of old annoying preachers giving you the hairy eyeball and judging you. Now I say it more and more.

And now I will go catch up on some letter writing to some friends who deserve my attention.

Life just gets more and more amazing.

I think I have lots of work to do, and I need to be sober.

I love you guys.

PS….yah, I’ll continue to dants for the furstees while you have ur martoonies! 🙂 I’ll just be havin some new creative healthier choices than I used to! 😆

PSS .,..maybe weight loss will come next? ….I’ll keep you posted!

Katnmomgermany

Ripples in the Water

Have you ever been so blessed to have the experience doing something and then seeing the ever widening results, like ripples in the water? A tiny stone thrown into the stagnant water causes a ripple effect.

Our daily deeds are like that. The tiniest little actions that we never stop to give a thought to have great ripple effects we will never know. The ripples go out and touch others, causing them to touch others, an on and on it goes.

My first true and significant realization of how my actions really affect others, and how, as my mother would tell me, “People are always watching.” was when I married my first husband at eighteen. I was painfully ignorant and immature. I lived in a very small town (2,000) and everyone knew everyone else’s business. I received a card in the mail. It said, “The merchants of Orleans have contributed to a Family Bible for you as a wedding gift.” Now I was not particularly religious at that point in my life, or even that spiritual. I was an ostrich. But I was deeply touched at this lovely gesture, and I filled out the card and mailed it in.

I received a beautiful white Bible with our name in it. I was not about to read it, haha! But I appreciated the love, intention, concern, and other motivations behind it. I felt gratitude. Ignorant child that I was, my mother had instilled in me the necessity of writing thank you notes.

I wrote thank you letters to every single merchant that contributed to that Bible.

As you can imagine, that town had a depressed economy. It was tough to find a job. Our best market was run by a real go-getter who only employed the most winning personalities-kids from my high school-the ones that made everyone smile. I was a reserved, quiet child. I did not exude that charm. But I had put in my application anyway, and of course was not called.

Soon after the thank you letter went out, I was hired.

Just think about that. That simple little Thank You note. Now think about this: how many people do you think sent them a Thank You note for their Bible?

This really does not fit in with my subject today, but it feels like an important prelude. It made me aware of how my simple actions could touch others. Here are some more things I have picked up over time that I am aching to share with you, about kindness and affecting others.

In my senior yearbook, a girl I barely noticed from my art class wrote, “To the most considerate person I ever met.” I cried, and never forgot it. Later I realized her last name was that of the family who was friends with my mother’s side of the family.

When I moved from Indianpolis, from a huge school with many cruel children, to Orleans, a tiny school (my class had only 50) I noticed a stunning difference in the personalities of the children. They were not hateful to each other. They did not mock. They had “decent” upbringings and mores.

I made friends with a neighbor girl and her friend who rode the bus with me but were still in the lower school, a few grades behind. I gave them nicknames. “Sarah Hare” and “Joy Robin”…(as you can see I have not outgrown my connection with the significance of avatars…) One day on the bus they passed me a note. I had not received many notes as a child, being reserved, a little odd, and not given to being cheerful or very outwardly friendly, so I was titillated with joy! I rushed into the house and opened it. It was, really, my friends, a love letter. It was covered with stickers and said, “We like our names you gave us!” and “We’re glad you’re our friend!” and other things. I had never in my life received anything like that. I sat and cried.

I was a home health aide in southern Indiana years later. One man, Mr. L, loved his aides and was grateful for them. His words belied this, but his body and expressions did not. His body and affect were stiff. I do not know his diagnosis. He was like a stone. I knew much was going inside that prison of a body he was trapped in….

One day he expressed his angst at his predicament. He wondered of what use he was. Why was he even alive? Useless, useless…he thought. My heart almost broke for him. Oh, Mr. L! I told him, with great emotion. I am sure my whole, normally reserved, manner exploded with expression. You have no idea what plans are made for you! You have no idea what effect your tiny little actions might have upon the world! One tiny little thing that you think nothing of may cause a ripple effect that will spread out and cause a major effect that will change the world!!

His stiff, stone like body collapsed inwards, in a heap, and he howled! “HUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNHHHHH!”

I shook with the knowledge of what I had effected in his spirit. I will never forget, in a million years.

Other beauties: when I was eight months pregnant in August in Indianapolis, living in hell, my (second) husband got in trouble and was separated from me. I was alone. No airconditioning. No stove. No food. No brain. We were insane.

The next door neighbor of our duplex came and knocked on the door. He lived with his children and their mother. He was a nice man.

He took me to his home. He led me upstairs in their air-conditioned bedroom and told me to take a nap. When I awoke, he served me dinner in bed. Not long after my mom and cousin came up with the station wagon and moved me out of there and took me back home to Orleans.

Bob on Tacoma in Indianapolis in 1989, God Bless your soul. I hope you are happy wherever you are.

In San Francisco I managed a bakery (now closed) in Pacific Heights. A customer began to come, who acted strangely. I believe what he suffered from was similar to Tourette’s. I had the funniest intuition/imagination that when others came around, he would worry that he would have a “spell” and the nervousness would bring it on. I would save my coffee bean grinding for his visits. I would keep a peripheral eye on him, and when it seemed right, would turn on the loud grinding machine, and no one could hear any odd sounds, and no one could be embarrassed for making them. I do not know if he knew I was trying to work with him. I hope he did and that that was why he kept coming back. For a while. Then I suspect the owner, not much of a Donkee, spied him one day and it was all she rote. 😦

I remember a lovely lady, a co-worker of sorts, that sadly left recently for Arizona recently. I guess I was not aware of the level of my affection for her. One day when calling her from one store to ‘clear’ before coming, she answered and I blurted out with uncharacteristic verbal enthusiasm, “Hello my sweet friend!”

Dead silence. My face burned.

When I got to the store, there was a piece of paper in my parts box. It had a childlike drawing of a smiley face -highlighters had been used to enhance it. My eyes began to sting a little.

I said without thinking, “Who did this?” and co-worker said, “I think she did.”

She was sitting in front of the computer. She would not look at me. We were stiff with our difficulty of expression and embarrassment of emotion. I said, “I have a special place at home I put things like this that people give me…letters and notes and things. It will go there.” She nodded stiffly with a smile. We both knew and understood what we meant to each other.

Isn’t it funny, the little things that happen that touch you so deeply?

The quality of your life can explode with intensity when you begin living to love. Just little acts can have such an impression, and you never know who is watching or being affected, and how they will go on and touch someone else.

I share these things that touch me so that I may touch you and that they will make a difference.

Live your life as though the people who matter to you are watching.

Laboring With Love

I was listening to NPR and they asked some people, “What makes for a good work ethic?” and I listened to the answers. There were some good answers. One lady said, “You either have it or you don’t.” I used to believe that, too.

The late Linda Goodman spoke of “laboring with love.”

To me, laboring with love is about finding what you do best, and love to do, and when you do, you will achieve happiness. You will experience what is called “flow,” that state that occurs when time is passing unnoticed, and you are in a kind of dreamy state-you are just cooking with gas!

When you labor with love you don’t have to be told to get out of bed-you WANT to go to work. You don’t have to be nagged or pressured. You don’t get a “turtle headache” on Saturdays because you are wallowing the bed. You are up, doing what you love!

This is what *I* love-writing. I don’t receive any money for it, so to contribute to the household I am a courier.

I love my courier job- I am in the car thinking all day of WRITING ideas, fantasies, conversations, good deeds, singing songs, etc.-all fodder for my writing. I take notes as things come to me. When I can afford it, I plan to look for a voice activated tape recorder and use that instead.

The sheer ecstasy this frame of mind puts me in is beginning to overflow into my driving job now. I am beginning to see it in other peoples’ reactions to me. It improves my mood and has changed the way I relate, and therefore the feedback I get. The things I write on ICHC site have blessed me exceedingly, too-I have received such wonderful letters and responses from the most loving and supportive people. Laboring with love has ENVELOPED me with love, and daily I ask my Maker to help me radiate that love out and touch others, and repel negativity.

I think I can pinpoint a major turning point of this transformation to around Valentine’s Day: I had found the most incredibly ethereally beautiful interactive Valentine’d Day card and sent it to my loved ones. The letter I received from my mother had “markers!” *smile* It was so loving, so kind and gentle, that tears came to my eyes. She had always been this way, but this was the penultimate, what she said to me about my soul.

She told me to pray and God’s will would be revealed to me.

Now, I share this with you. If you are not laboring with love, whether you meditate, or have a “higher power” or God or positive thinking or however you work these things, I recommend that you ask that your talents and your purpose be revealed to you.

You may have to do this repeatedly-things don’t always come at the doorstep when we hang up the phone.

My heart aches for all the people on earth who labor with no satisfaction, or perhaps have no job at all-who suffer and strive and plod.

I think of those who hate their job, their co-workers, their daily drudge, and let its negative feedback continue to define their worth. Day after day they drag out of bed and go to jobs they hate and their spirit suffers.

I ask for my reader that they be bestowed the blessing of the laboring with love, too. May all your dreams come true, my friend, and may you find your true purpose.

Markers

My beautiful, supportive cheezfrend, Romeow wrote me a wonderful letter yesterday.

(Long overdue note of explanation about this site and its inspired origins: “cheezfrend” is a friend-WHAT a friend!- made on the ICHC site that inspired MY blog…Wordpress has an odd way of having me publish my website title: “Confessions of an ICHC addict” in tiny font to the left of my blog…the address of said site is http://www.icanhascheezburger.com Obviously, my name there is Kafleen and my avatar is the donkey you see above!)

Ahem.

Anyway, her long, kind, supportive, flattering, and heartwarming post reminded me of something I thought of the other day.

Wouldn’t it be interesting/beautiful/amazing if there were spiritual “Markers” put on certain messages we receive?

Oh, I’ve received a few. Sometimes in the quiet of my mind will come a message. Sometimes that message is BS, or just noise. Sometimes it is worthy of a second thought, or three. And sometimes it comes with such a je ne sais quoi (certain something) that you can NOT ignore it!

We all have phrases we have heard from as far back as we can no longer remember.

My father’s: “LISTEN! Learn to LISTEN! Pay ATTENTION! Foll-ow DIR-EC-SHUNS!”

and:

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELLLL YOU!!!”

(Mom says when I was little I would hold up fingers, and ask, inquisitively, “DEES meenee?”)\

Oh, It all just goes over your head.

Until one day. One fated day a certain phrase will come by and go SLAM! and it will hit you like a ton of bricks. Not because of anything happening in your life, but just oddly. It will stick. And you will say, HUH! and reflect on it!

For the first time, it makes sense to you.

Why?

I like to think that sometimes messages have a little spiritual “Marker” put on them. Sometimes someone will say something trite to you, that you have maybe heard before. But THIS time is goes deep inside. It flies within you into a special place, and settles there, vibrating magically, fluttering, like a butterfly, constantly reminding you. You cannot forget it. It is simple and you are embarrassed to share it, because your thrill, your emotion at its power, cannot be subdued and you do not understand why it is so powerful!

It is a special blessing, and it shines.

It seems magical…but it is scientific, I think…and we, as mortals, cannot understand that level of science. Our maker puts a ZING on the message and it blesses us, exceedingly.
Isn’t life full of extraordinary blessings?

The Prank

I have a very fond memory of a prank I pulled on my father many years ago. My father is quite the curmudgeon and not given much to many fun, jolly memories in my mind. This one, however, was just so much fun that I wanted to share it with you.

He is a retired hospital employee. He was on-call for years. I have memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases, dreading the phone. I wanted to strangle those poor patients…dad said they would get sick/hurt and put off getting help….and come to the hospital on the holiday.

One time, when I was in my twenties and at home with mom and dad, some weird freak of nature occurred….for once, he was not on call that weekend. ONE WHOLE WEEKEND….OFF.

His glee was unbelievable. He had plans of going to the living room with his Budweiser and television, and grooving. I was so happy for him.

Then came the immediate, dun-dun-dun moment.

His mother (a whole novel in her suffocating, disapproving self) was going to have a minor outpatient surgical procedure. Would he come up? (Two hours north in Indpls.) Her daughter and the rest of her family was up there and was able to be with her.

After much anguish, he decided, (Bless his brave heart!-perhaps my mom bolstered his decision? I do not know…) that he would stay, and that she would do fine with the family she had with her.

I know his guilt/glee over his decision was strong. He had made it, though, and survived without a thunderbolt. He was in the living room, shades drawn, Bud nearby, watching a game. The weekend was young, and he was delirious with his new freedom.

Forgive me, friends, for what I did next.

That was when/where(?) you could dial your own phone number and it would ring back.

*insert evil grin here*

And that is just what I did. Then I walked to the living room, and, not letting him see my face, called out, in a sad, pained, timid voice: “Dad? Grammas on the phone…”

Silence. Momentarily, from his lips, a high pitched, quiet, grieved word: S#!*

I ran off.

I watched as he shuffled, shoulders slumped, head down, countenance broken, to his little “office” next to the garage.

He stepped down into the little space, sat down in his oak swivel office chair. He sighed deeply, and picked up the phone.

In a high pitched, sweet voice, he said, “Hi Mama!”

I watched, from the step.

Silence, naturally, met him, cruelly(!) from the other end.

“Mama?” he asked.

Now, I must digress for a moment. Dad told me once that when he was young (in the 50’s?) he and his friends had a little expression. When they had pulled one over on someone, they would cry out, “OVUUUURRRRR!!!” with a Steve Martinish like wiggle, if I recall correctly.

Back to the phone call. He sat in his swivel chair, the phone to his ear. “Mama?” he asked, apprehensively.

I leapt…down the step….into the office! I landed not a foot behind him ! The stomp startled his ears! My cry made him spin around!

“OVUUURRRRR!!!”

I wish I had a video of him, spinning round in that chair, phone to his ear, his big brown button eyes popping out of his head with shock! It took him a moment to realize what had transpired.

He lay the phone back in his cradle and chased me down and tried to get me with a pillow.

Imagine, my friends, what a sweet, delicious weekend he had.