25 May 2022 Mom

Hello to you today. How are you doing? I’m sitting here after a nice phone call with my Uncle and thinking about my birth mom. Today would have been her 80th birthday.

Drawing I did of my Mom several years ago

My mom Jeanne died by her own hand when she was just 26 years old. She suffered from depression and used a firearm. In the wake of what happened yesterday in Uvalde Texas, Brooklyn New York, Laguna California, Lowellville Ohio and just down the street from me here in Middleton Idaho…and places I haven’t heard about I am feeling discouraged about our country. After all this time my mom has been gone things aren’t much better in regards to mental and spiritual health in this country – it seems worse. This stuff keeps happening. People with some sort of problem be it physical, emotional, spiritual or economical either turning it on themselves or turning it on the world they live in and using a weapon to do it. After all the times we have been through the trauma of gun violence as a country….a world….still it goes on. Is God too slow to answer or are we too slow to hear and act?

People say if it wasn’t guns these people would use something else. Sadly, that’s a true statement. My therapist and I have talked about it. I tried to take my own life a couple years ago – it was access to pills for me. What I see going on is deeper than the surface issues, problems and causes we like to blame for these eruptions of passion. The “why” of it is where to begin and that is complicated and that takes time. It’s expensive. It’s easier to just keep dispensing cocktails of pills. I think we are still where we are at because no one wants to face the why of it, take responsibility and enact meaningful change. So we keep wiping up blood and handing down trauma with all its labels to yet another generation.

Pointing fingers without self reflection….we are so good at that! What our country is also good at is making troubled people famous. People who felt meaningless in life do something like what happened in Uvalde and just like that they are finally “somebody.”

What I have known from my own experience, people I have known and what I’ve observed these 54 years is that we are emotionally and spiritually sick in America. The mental health system of my mom’s day and a lot of what I’ve experienced being in the system are still inadequate. Some of us are taught to pray and told that will make everything okay again. Often things don’t change and later in life some of us learn there is action in prayer….God isn’t going to do it all for us. For some, especially those feeling powerless, this realization is enough to turn to other more immediate solutions for what ails them. As we are seeing….they pick up a gun and use it to express their unresolved problems and emotions. I know when I was growing up I wasn’t taught by anyone what to do with the insecurity and bad feelings that arose in me when I was bullied at school. I mostly turned those negative feelings and emotions on myself.

What’s different from my mom’s time and mine is now we have social media to broadcast suicides, hate and violent intentions at the click of a button. God, thoughts and prayers only go so far in this modern world of 24/7 media. Instantaneous poison for the spirit and soul.

I know…..echo chamber….preaching to the choir in my words here today. Can’t hurt to keep trying.

For Our Country

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Almighty God,
Ruler of all the peoples of the earth,
forgive our shortcomings as a nation,
purify our hearts to see and love the truth,
give wisdom to our leaders,
and steadfastness to our people,
and bring us at last
to that fair city of peace
whose foundations are mercy,
justice, and goodwill,
of which you are the designer and builder;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Woodrow Wilson

17 May 2022 Missions

Hello to you. How are you? It’s actually still the 16th for me lol but I have so much on my mind right now I can’t sleep yet anyway – may as well write to you and clear my mind.

I just finished watching a documentary about the late comedian Robin Williams and the disease that took his life, Lewy Body Disease which is a form of dementia. https://n.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308 – paper his wife Susan did about what happened to Robin. I’ll never forget how devastated I was when we lost Robin. He had been such a part of my life through his comedy and movies – he was a light in the world! I hope some day there will be cures for conditions of the brain.

I was really touched to see his message in his 12 Step book!
https://youtu.be/NcoNX1tF6nc – Robins Wish https://news.sky.com/story/amp/robin-williams-and-the-real-story-of-the-undiagnosed-dementia-that-took-his-life-12169663

Some messages from A Woman’s Spirit:

An active listener is to be prized above rubies. -Ruth Humlecker

Giving our undivided attention to a friend can be difficult. Even though we care deeply for her and value her friendship, we often find it hard to keep our own thoughts from intruding. As she talks, we take note of other people in the vicinity. We think about the tasks we have yet to complete. And we may pass judgement on what she shares.

Letting go of having these kinds of thoughts while in conversation with a friend is hard, but it’s worth the work. No encounter is an accident, and every exchange with a friend or even a stranger has its reward for us. We are God’s students every moment.

When we listen, we learn how to handle situations we might face in the future. We learn to show respect through our caring attention. We grow in our understanding of the value of friendship. Perhaps most important, we learn the value of cultivating a quiet mind. Only a quiet mind can hear the words of our Higher Power coming through the gentle voice of a friend.

I will be an active listener today. I am ready to learn whatever God has in store for me.

———————-

How about a walk?

Plane headed to the sun
My neighbor and I share the same feelings about wasps – they are important!
What a cool name for a street!
Pay it forward – the folks at the Sunrise and many of their regulars do just that! So grateful for this place and the people!
I wasn’t sure if this feisty little one would let me take their picture 😂
I was walking along and saw this beautiful leaf. It looks like it’s painted.
The single leaf lead me to this tree which lead to my meeting a beautiful soul living in the house nearby who….get this….loves to paint! I love how God connects us! Just have to be willing to go where you are lead.
This passage makes me think of places like the Sunrise and so many organizations and people who care for the least of these – two legged or four! So many really good people in this world!
Thinking of the folks in Brooklyn. Laguna, Ukraine and so many other places where hate has shown up. We have so much more in common with each other than we don’t. So many strengths!
Another version that elicits peace when I see it
Resting spot. The sun looks so big lol!
I saw this on the ground and couldn’t pass by without a picture. Someone might need this message!
Again, thinking about the world. You just have to be willing….just ask God to speak directly to you.

https://youtu.be/Xa-KuH3gLuM – Jesus Loves Me/He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands (beautiful messages in voice and song from Whitney Houston)