I’m Not ME Anymore

It has been a long time since I have put thoughts down.  I know I need a major adjustment for I feel lost, burnt out and so tired physically, mentally and spirtually.  Things I once took pleasure in now seem to be a challenge.  A business discussion or the simple activity of sorting things can become overwhelming and I want to yell STOP! I go through the motions but inside I am screaming, help or I don’t care anymore; this is not who I am –  this is not ME.

My body and spirit have been trying to recover  ever since  I was involved as a First Responder with Hurricane Katrina, then Rita, Ike and recently Irene.  It has been an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs these last years as I have tried to be a Good Stewart and help those in need, be there for  family, friends and acquaints and volunteer with various organizations, churches and as an individual.

Throw into that mix the everyday things that we need or should be doing, sprinkle with various health issues and mix well with the unexpected things that we encounter and I feel like a basket case on the verge of falling apart.

Talk to someone, I wish I could but don’t feel I can without feeling guilty about it and then I don’t know who it would be if I could.  I would feel like I would be telling  family,  church or people that are counting on me,  sorry, not today – please call and make an appointment.

You don’t want them to think you you don’t care, don’t love them, are that you are weak, and not dependable so, how do you say I need help myself when they look at you for strength and answers? How do you say fix it yourself when you know you can do it or have an idea on what to do to make it work.

How do you tell your spouse, who is the light of your life and know he is dealing with his own tiredness from long hours at work and daily stuff, or your daughters,  who you adore and who are going through their own problems and could use Mom’s support and help, that you can’t handle any situation so, let’s not go there.

How do you say please, somehow hear me as I don’t know how to tell you how fragile I really am right now. How can I say I am on over load and cannot deal with even one more thing no matter how simple it might be?   How do you erase the guilty feelings of saying I have to pay attention to me and not you?

When can No, mean I underst and what you are going through but please, just give me a little time and space so that I can be there for you but just not this minute, this hour or this day?

Please don’t think I have a huge igo as I know and so does My Lord that I am replaceable and there are others that are capable of doing the things I do.  Why can’t I see them; is my vision so obscured that I can’t see the beauty of  others ability because of all my short comings or attitude?  Lord, help me as I pray with all my heart that is not the case.  May my goal always be to strive to do your will and help my Neighbor as You have taught us.

My compassion to help runs deep.  At times it seems like I can physically feel the pain that my family or someone is going through. I can hear it in their voice or see it in their body language or the activities they do or don’t do. Sometimes it is in what goes unsaid vs. what they actually say. It hurts me when I feel helpless with hands that seem tied and cannot ease the load they carry.

I feel I have lost ME somewhere along the way.  My zeal for life, the joy that I get from family, friends, critters, church and helping my neighbor is gone.  Let’s face it, I think my attitude sucks. I have gone from I care, we can help, we can make a difference to I am tired, I hurt, I just don’t care; and then I realize what I have said or was thinking. I fight the tears as I know that is not true and it is not ME speaking. Where have I gone?

My heart breaks and I want to cover my ears when I hear of suffering or injustice. Sometimes I want to shout to the world, why do you cause each other and all of God’s creatures such grief, pain and destruction?  What do you not get about loving one another and all God’s creatures? What do you not understand about the golden rule of treating others like you yourself would like to be treated? What do we not understand about love God and love  neighbor?

I stop reading the newspaper and hesitate listening to the news or watching certain programs. I don’t want to see the suffering and pain; it’s like a knife, it cuts my heart, it hurts too much.

Where do I go,  to whom shall I turn?  Deep within a small voice answers. I feel the darkness, there is no light; He is there and will not abandon me. He seeks to guide His lost Lamb back to His Father’s Flock. He drops signs here and there for me to follow. I feel a flash of hope as I utter a single word; Jesus. I will stumble on the journey, my fears will fade as The Light creeps in, for He is with me as I return to the sanity of His Grace.

Why Go To Church?

Why Go To Church?

 A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.   “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons.  But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them.  So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor.  It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

“I’ve been married for 30 years now.  In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals.  But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.  But I do know this….

They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.  If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.  Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!” 

 When you are DOWN to nothing…… God is UP to something!  Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!  Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment.

Author Unknown

Source – Email

Look Into My Eyes

Today is the Anniversary of 911. I want to share this story with you.

Here I am aboard an American Airlines flight  from Richmond, VA headed to Tulsa, OK by way of Dallas, TX. I am really looking forward to getting back on home ground.  I really enjoyed being in Richmond  but friends and church await me in Tulsa, not to mention my four legged equine friends. One thing I did not expect on this flight was for me to withness the Catholic teachings of  the “Just Faith” program I had attend at  a local church. 

 As I waited for take off, I noticed an elder gentleman of maybe Indian/Muslim decent being assisted in boarding our plane. He slowly moved forward and took the seat across the aisle from me. It was hard not to notice this distinguishing looking man. His turbin gave way to a tan face with a long pepper gray beard. His intense but kind eyes seemed to be taking everything in as he took his seat. He was very well dressed in white with a black vest to match his turbin.  I glanced his way several times as we were taking off;  his eyes were closed and lips moving as if he were in prayer.

As soon as the seat belt sign went off, he got up and walked to the rear of the plane. The lady next to me turned and watched him. I knew what she was thinking. I am ashame to say, the thought had crossed my mind as well; “Where we going to arrive in Dallas in one piece?”

I thought about the lessons of injustice my class had been studying.  I wondered how many times people have had that same thought cross their minds in his presence? This fellow Child of God – because of 911 – how much indifferences has he had to deal with – how many stares, how much injustice and discrimination?

He sits silently in his seat now; his eyes closed. His shoulders  bend slightly forward as if bearing an invisable weight.  His head rests in hands that tell a story of much wear. What things does he ponder or is he in prayer?  I wonder……….

I too sit quitly reflecting upon this lesson of unjust judgement that My Lord has chosen to teach. My thoughts slowly become compassion. A prayer for my neighbor takes over as I ask that his journey be one with no ill feelings exchanged to or from people he encounters along his way. I ask that any burdens he carries be lighten.

I prayed that he would reach his destitation refreshed so he could accomplish his goals whatever they maybe. And yet, as an after thought – I hope his intentions are good; is that not a form of discrimination still trying to raise its ugly head? Lord, help me to follow your example. Let me too tell Satun, get behind me and dare not temp me with his whispers of evil.

Give us the grace to look at “all your people” as Your Children.  Lord, for ones  that appear to be less favorable in our eyes - let us see those people  through Your  eyes and learn to love them even more. Let us  realize that unless we walk in someones shoes we do not know what they are really going through; ” Judge Not Least You Be Judged”, why is this easy for us to say but hard for us to live by?  You, my Lord, are the only one who really knows what path our neighbor has walked.  Lord, help us to realize that not just some and not just the ones we choose, but  ALL are our Neighbors as  taught by your second commandment. 

Lord, you said to ask and it shall be received; knock and the door shall be open. So Lord, I ask  - help us all to work in the right way for justice, truth and freedom for the rights of all our fellow man. I knock with compassion on the door of your teachings. Guide our actions and the work of our hands; let each movement be given with love and received as a sign of hope and peace. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.    Amen.

Teamwork or Missing in Action

Within the last week two events have occurred in differnt communities put on by two different organizations. Both events took place during a hot and muggy day. Each event secured donations from local businesses and members.  Each organization put out flyers, had articles in the paper, put ads on their webpage and  bent the ear of many a person with news about their up coming fundraiser. Both organizations were providing a community service and hoped they would be able to make a little profit for future activities.  After all was said an done each experienced a modest turn out.  So, what was the difference and how did it effect the two events and its members?

The location and co-operation from the manager of each facility was one key factor.  A working relationship between an organization and a facility manager is a must. If that relationship is not established from the get go it can help make or break the over all experience the people will have that attend the event as well as the people who put on the event. 

One facility was clean, ready for clients and came with a professional attitude and staff doing everything they could and then some even to the point of making suggestions on ways to make the event even more successful for all involved.

The other facility was in disrepair, not furnished with the proper necessities, including minor but important items for the restrooms, which should have already been in place and cleaned.  The various areas of use had to be cleaned several times before being considered safe and functional. The working relationship from the get go was if you want it – it will cost extra. The sad part  is that with just a little TLC  to the facility and a cooperating attitude of professionalism from management this could be a great money maker for it’s managing board and provide a unique service to the community.

The second factor was the support received from each organizations membership.  I was raised to believe that you joined a church, organization, club and etc. because you had a common belief or interest and wanted to help promote that interst and/or provide a service to your neighbor and community.

The “Reality” is that it doesn’t always work that way and I have for the life of me to understand why not?  One group stepped forward, work together and enjoyed the fruits of their labor.  However, the large majority of members of another group were what I call  members “Missing In Action” as they were no where to be seen. The active  members were tired from a long day of work and left with unanswered questions including as to why wasn’t there a show of support from our other  fellow members ? 

Have they forgotten what their organization is all about? What happen to the belief of cause and purpose that brought them to seek membership in the first place? Don’t we care about our fellow members,  accomplishments, success, goals reached and services provided? 

 Is it easier to pass the buck and let your fellow members do your part; after all you did pay your $25.00 to join so why should you have to participate? Isn’t this a social club? Such an attitude but reality is a lot of people feel that way.  What if you didn’t pay dues but volunteered, for a lot of people the same story still applies. You are a social club in that you come together  united by a belief or purpose and you can have FUN together on the road to your accomplishments. Then there is the other “Social” club where you come together to just have a fun period all the time, which there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes we tend to forget what club we are in.

The main issue in most organizations is how do you get everyone to do their part? How do you stimulate involvment so over and over again you don’t see the same faces coming forward as “team players” to get things done while the rest of the membership is “missing in action”. Maybe we need to have a good screening process in place for membership and let prospective members know what we are about and what is expected of them when they join the organization before they sign that membership application. It reminds me of some horse owners, I have horses in my pasture to say I have horses but I never do anything with them and sometimes I don’t even take care of them but I have a horse. Same thing, I belong to this or that club and I never do anything but I belong to that club.

Just as members have an obligation to their organization or whatever it is they are a part of, so does that organization have an obligation to their membership. Running any organziation is work and most of that work takes place outside of the meeting. It takes a slate of officers that can come together and lead their fellow members  in a respectful manner to  accomplish their common goals. Keep things interesting at your meeting. I know that is not always possible depending on the business at hand that needs to be covered as some of it can be boring but thats all part of it. Have speakers of interest, if possible have a little variety and don’t always meet in the same place. Be open minded and listen to your members they might surprise you as to what they have to say or contribute. Keeping in contact and letting your members know what is going on is not only important but it is the right thing to do as your members are the foundation of every organization; without a membership there is no organization, club or even a church.

Everyone should have been taught, and I know they all haven’t been,  that when you join an organization, no matter if you join as a youth or an adult, you assume the responsibility of being part of a group of people and sharing in whatever activities it takes to keep that group going wither it be physically helping in some capacity as an active warm body, being a participant,  or being a financial supporter for the group. 

Maybe we should add to our club bylaws that the ability and purpose of  membership in any organization includes being able to work together as an active team to build a strong foundation which would give that organization the advantage to succeed  at any undertaking  they choose no matter how big or small.

As you read this please understand my comments are not directed at any one person or group as this problem seems to be a common issue among a lot of well known and not so well know organizations all over.

I only hope my comment make you rethink your role in whatever current organization, club and yes, even church that you attend. Are you doing your part as a member and if not, why not? Maybe that group is not for you and there is another one that will serve your interest or family better so that when you do accept that membership you are ready to be an “Active Member” and not a “Member Missing In Action.”