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Showing posts from May, 2017

Time to wander in the forest a bit

My eyes are gritty and my feet are sore. My heart aches for all that had to be left behind. And yes, even as a woman of strong faith, I cry out to Abba, "Why?"

Yes, I know that so many others have suffered far more than I: the Syrian Christians, the people of Turkey, the mother whose child has been hospitalized for more than a year with a rare illness.  Their suffering has been enormous.

Now is one of those times in my life when prayer becomes a gaping yaw. There are often no words, just tears. I cling to my rosary, talking to Mary.

My biggest concern right now is that I have lost all trust in people. My last two jobs, I had bosses who've nurtured and taught me professionally, pushed me when I needed it, were stringent regarding my writing and were so very kind to me.

Until I got booted.

Now, I'm wondering if I can ever trust someone in management above me again. I'll always be second-guessing myself, trying to figure out if what they are telling me is some sort…

"God has loosed my cord and humbled me"

For the second time in less than two years, I lost my job.

In case you're marking my scorecard, in the past 18 months, we've lost our house, my mom died, I've been diagnosed with inoperable spinal cysts, my daughter moved 1000 miles away and I've been through two jobs.

Can anyone say, "Job?"

Did I not weep for him whose day was hard?
Was nor my soul grieved for the poor?
But when I look for good, evil came;
and when I waited for light, darkness came.
My heart is in turmoil, and is never still
days of affliction come to meet me. (Job 30:25-27)

I was told yesterday, before I even set my purse down, that I was being "let go" since my department needed a third graphic designer, not a writer and editor. Budget, you know. So I hurriedly tossed the contents of my desk into a bunch of boxes and drove home, hot tears burning my eyes.

I am so incredibly tired. I have no desire to find another job. I have poured myself, heart and soul, into my past two jobs, both o…

Teaching Religion in Public Schools: A Bad Idea

I have taught religion for many years. I taught at both the high school (a Catholic high school) and the college and university level. My educational background is in world religions, and I hold a B.A. and an M.A. in this field.

I am wholeheartedly against teaching religion in public schools.

Why? Because there isn't anyone who can teach it well  at most public schools. Public schools do not hire people with degrees such as mine. So, who is going to teach religion? The history teacher? The sociology teacher? The lit. teacher?

Now, all of those teachers may have some inkling of religion, as it intersects with their field of study. However, I can pretty much guarantee that none of those folks have done the work I've done.

When one of my kids was in high school, she did a "unit" on world religions in a history (I believe) class. She came home and told me what her teacher had told them about Hinduism. And I said, "That's wrong." I went and got one of my bo…

My Spinal Cysts (Upon Learning More Than I Wanted To Know)

My dad served as a U.S. Marine at the tail-end of WWII. He was an MP, serving in Occupied China, Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

When the Korean "Police Action" broke out, he was called up. However, after a physical, he was told that he had spinal cysts, and could not serve. (He wasn't too broken up about that.)

I have inherited many things from Dad. I love military shows and movies (although, I confess, I do not share his love of Tora, Tora, Tora.) I love to read. I have bunions and hideous seasonal allergies.

I also have spinal cysts.

To be precise, I have Tarlov cysts. These are rare. Some people who have them are asymptomatic (like my dad) and others suffer a great deal. I seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

I spent most of last year trying to get relief from the incessant nerve pain. To that end, I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted, which seems to have done the trick.

Except, it does nothing for muscle pain. Which I have a lot of.

It's disheartening to reali…

"A Personal Relationship With Jesus"

When I was in college, there was a woman who worked in our food service. Since it was a small college, and we all ate in the same cafeteria, we got to know the workers, at least by face.

Whenever this lady was working, if she caught your eye, she'd ask, "Do you know Jesus?" Of course, we were all smart-alecky about it.

As Catholics, we often get asked that perplexing question: "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" And our answer is usually, "Uh......"

Catholics don't use that phrase. It's not Biblical for one thing. (Then Jesus commanded His disciples to go out and make personal relationships in His name...) For another, it is sort of ... obvious. We are baptized in the name of Christ, we receive His Body and Blood at every Mass, we are devoted to His Sacred Heart and His Divine Mercy .... That's about as personal as you can get.

Pope Benedict XVI was great at reminding us of this:
For us, the Holy Father concluded, Christianit…

Thinking about Mother's Day: please don't buy anything

It's hard to miss Mother's Day. The commercials are hammering it home. I saw a billboard yesterday along the expressway from an asphalt company: "Wishing you a pot hole free Mother's Day." That sure was warm and fuzzy. Thanks, guys.

Sometimes, I am the most unsentimental mother in the world. I didn't keep every precious card my kids made me, those sticky construction paper and glue creations. If you ask me how much my kids weighed at birth, I'll have no idea (I wasn't there remember: adoption.) Even still, my blase' attitude about that last fact has shocked some moms.

Other times, I tear up just thinking about a kid. That time my youngest came home from school adamant that we needed to go to the funeral home that night. A 4th grade classmate's mother has died, and my boy said he needed to be there for his friend.

Waiting for my Curly-haired daughter to get here! She's coming home, since the big move to South Carolina in January. I can'…

Musings on meds, scapulars, PTSD and dogs

I haven't written much here lately (my work blog keeps me busy!), and I keep thinking, "Oh, I don't have anything to write about.

Which is a lazy writer's cop-out.

I've been telling people I have a 3-ring circus going on in my head right now, but I heard a line on TV last night that also seems accurate: "He's crazy! He's got squirrels juggling chainsaws in his brain!" Work is crazy-busy, but in a good way. Hubby is in the midst of (a rather depressing) soccer season and our calendar keeps shifting and filling and moving.

I have slowly been weaning myself of the meds I've been on the past two years. So far, I've cut two of them in half, dosage-wise. I've also been making a concerted effort to eat better - and I'm doing fairly well, surprisingly.

I found a brown scapular laying on the ground Monday, outside the doctor's office. It's got lovely embroidery, with Our Lady of Guadalupe. I feel bad for the person who lost it, bu…