When Irish eyes are smiling

I shared in another story one of the cool things that happened during a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, (“The End is Near,”) and now I’ll share this one.

While my husband and I were in Seattle, WA, we visited a couple brewpubs and a place called The Blarney Stone Pub.
It’s a nice little bar/restaurant, with a neighborhood feel.

We had ordered some drinks and food, and while we were waiting for our food, I decided to head outside for a smoke break.

They have a little seating area outside the front of the bar, for such a break.
As I was sitting there, drinking my Guinness, I was watching all the beautiful people pass by, and hoping they wouldn’t see me.

Judgment and being seen as a second-class citizen comes with the territory of being a smoker.

In the little seating area there are two stools on both sides of the entrance, with pails on the ground of each area for cigarette butts.

It was a beautiful day, and the foot traffic was heavy during the lunch hour that we were there.

And my mind, as it usually does in the presence of many people, was going miles per minute, in many directions.

Then I spot him, a man, disheveled in appearance. Walking and weaving, hands flailing about while talking and even yelling to himself.

No one else seemed to see him, but amid the traffic of beautiful people, he stood out like a precious stone among sand to me.

He stopped to look inside the first butt pail, but they were empty of cigarette butts. He kept on weaving/walking and talking down the sidewalk, then he sort of hung out just beyond where I was sitting, on the other side of the traffic of beautiful people.

I pulled out a cigarette, and waiting to catch his eye, then held it up, in a way that asked if he wanted it. He gave a quick nod, continuing to talk to himself and weaving, came over to get it from me.

Then instead of walking on, he hung around long enough for me to pull out my lighter and ask if he needed a light.

All of this happened without words.

As I light his cigarette, he placed his hands around the flame to guard it from any wind, but also careful not to touch me…not that I would have minded if he had.

And in that moment, just as the cigarette was lit, a quiet peace. Absent from the noise around us, absent from the bombarding thoughts in our minds. He looked straight into my eyes and said-“Thank you.”

Then he returned to the walking/weaving and talking to himself that he had been just before coming across my path.

And with my heart and eyes filled, I cried.

We had made a connection, and touched one another’s pain with love.

I don’t know if he’ll ever remember me but I know, I’ll never forget him.
This beautiful brother of mine.

The end is near

My husband and I recently took a vacation to the Pacific Northwest that included a trip to Seattle, Washington.

While there, we went to a Seattle Mariners game, but before the game we had a couple of cool encounters.

On this trip we decided to visit a few brew pubs and eateries to sample the local craft beers.

We were leaving one of the pubs to go visit another one before the game, when we encountered a man getting some signs out to warn people of God’s judgement against them if they didn’t know Jesus.

I admit the moment I noticed the guy, I was irritated, and had no desire to even go near him. I said to my husband, “Oh jeez.”

However, we had to walk past him on our way to the next stop, so we did. He asked us something about if we knew Jesus, and my husband said, “Yeah.”
The guy replied with a “Praise the lord!” and something else I wasn’t paying attention to. I just wanted to get past him.

Well, the next stop on our brew tour wasn’t located where we thought it was, so we crossed the street and decided to head back over to the ballpark.
Another guy approached us and said something (I’m not sure if it was in English), while handing us a tract. Obviously, he was with the other guy who was warning us about hell.

Then something happened while making our way back to the ballpark: Papa’s love for the guy with the signs started welling up inside me.

I told my husband, Nick that I wanted to go talk to the guy.

Nick told me that he knew he couldn’t stop me, but that he wasn’t going to go with me. That, right there, made me a little hesitant, because I wanted his backup…LOL!

As we walked past the guy (while on the other side of the street) I started speaking blessings over him.

When we crossed another street to get to the entrance of SAFECO Field, I wanted to finish the cigarette I was smoking, so we stood there in the front of the park, while I finished it.

While we were standing there, I still wanted nothing but to love on the guy with the picket signs, and Papa knew it.

When the guy approached, he was now not only carrying signs, but he was ALSO speaking into a microphone attached to a speaker.
He was using the microphone to speak to the people that he was standing right next to.

Then I watched as he crossed one street, and then another, and headed straight toward me.

I saw my opportunity and I took it.

I walked up to the guy and said, “Papa is so pleased with your dedication to Him,” to which he replied with (yet another) “Praise the lord!”

Now, I have no accurate recollection of what I said next, but it was something about Papa also loving all these people, as I pointed all around.

The guy brought up that if they weren’t “IN Christ,” they would perish (all of this was while praying in tongues in between sentences), and I said “Papa is light and in Him there is no darkness.”

He told me that I needed to read my bible again.

It was around that time that my exchange with him started to go downhill. He didn’t want to hear any more about how big Papa’s love is, or that Papa isn’t the angry god this guy thinks He is.

He started rebuking me (which didn’t surprise me one bit), and it didn’t matter, because I had come to him in Love, reached out and touched him in love and spoke what I knew Papa wanted the guy to know.

What I wasn’t aware of was the audience of people witnessing this exchange. The guy’s friend, who had handed us the tract earlier, was standing behind me, smiling.

I said a few things to him, all while his friend was shouting things like “Don’t listen to her!” “She has the mark of the beast!” “She is of antichrist!” and, “She is an apostate!” (all of the usual garbage that religion screams).

There was also a lady in a wheelchair there, seeing this all go down (keep note of her).

…And then it was over.

I didn’t have any regret and I wasn’t puffed up, thinking that I showed that guy…nothing like that.

Papa wanted him to hear that He loved him, and the rest of their story is on Papa.

We went inside to go to the game, but first we stopped at the team shop to buy a few trinkets for our friends.

The shop has an elevator and we rode the elevator back upstairs.

Inside, there was a lady that was sort of operating the elevator…
…It was the lady in the wheelchair from outside.

And she asked us if we got some good stuff (in the store). We told her that we did, and she said, “I bet I have something you don’t have.”

She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a stack of baseball cards. She sorted through them, and began reaching in her pocket again, because she hadn’t yet found the one she wanted to show us.

Finally, she had found it! A David Ortiz card!

For those who may not know who he is, he is my most favorite Boston Red Sox player of ALL TIME!

He retired last year, and we got to see him play at Fenway his last year!

I have his autograph from years ago, and he is BIG PAPI!

My husband and I could hardly believe she had this, and that she was giving it to us!

I bent down and hugged her and blessed her.
While we were walking away, my husband asked me, “How did she know?”

It was Papa.
It’s always Papa!

Daddy’s Eyes

She would’ve been between the ages of 21 and 22 years old.

I had a dream about her during my first pregnancy with my son, and I’ve had dreams about her after my second pregnancy with her.

I have dreamt of her dark hair and chubby cheeks.

She has the most gorgeous eyes.

She is a perfect combination of all that is beloved in her parents.

My husband and I.

And we terminated her life.

We made that “choice” as a result of not knowing Love or how to trust Love or ourselves.

On that day, Jesus was at the clinic with me, trying in vain to stop me from following through with my decision, but my will was stronger.

He had given me that will in the first place, and I used it against Him.
Against Life Himself.

I felt I had no options and I felt I had no support to make a different choice.

The weight of the world was on my shoulders and even though I was married, we were not yet a support to one another, except as it turned out, in death.

Last night I watched a program about the holocaust.

It’s a subject that I’ve been almost obsessed with since I was a young girl.

They were showing the trials at Nuremberg.

I heard a lady testifying something that I didn’t recall hearing before.

I think we all know the atrocities that occurred during the holocaust, but this is one of the worst of the worst.

She testified that at the camp where she was, the defendants had run out of gas for the gas chambers, so they started throwing children into the furnaces, alive.

I started grieving the moment I heard this.

I thought, what kind of broken person would be able to have the strength to do something this heinous.

Children burned alive!

This morning, I woke grief stricken and remembering my own heinous act of murder.

I haven’t ever tried to blame anyone but me for the abortion.

I do know though, that had I known that I had another option to choose, with all of heaven backing up that choice, I would have chosen Life.

When I made the decision to take life rather than fight for life, I had entered into the same group of people who put living children into furnaces.

At the time, I didn’t feel I had any other choice.

Perhaps those Nazi soldiers felt they had no other choice.

Something is terribly broken in an individual when they take life rather than give it or protect it.

We were made in the image of Love, in Whom there is no darkness, but too many of us have yet to know the truth of how loved we are by Love.

This is one of the reasons I bless and do not curse.

Papa, thank you for Who you are to me.
I bless all who may feel they’ve run out of options for Life, because of whatever reason…give them hope, faith and trust, for these a part of your personality.

May they know how supported they truly are by You and the hosts of Heaven.
And I bless those who have yet to know how to be supportive to their brother or sister in need of support. In need of good courage to choose Life, for themselves and others.

We weren’t created to turn blind eyes to suffering.
But to look upon the sufferers in Love with the eyes You gave us.
They are the most beautiful eyes that see us and that we have seen.

You are loved…no performance necessary

I used to be driven by performance.

Any task I began, was a task to be completed and I wouldn’t be happy until it was completed to my view of perfection.

As a young girl, I would clean and organize to the best of my ability, my mother’s and my little apartment.

I enjoyed doing it and my reward for it was the look on my mom’s tired face after coming home from a long day at work, seriously made me high.

I also remember a time or two, organizing and cleaning other people’s clutter when at their homes, just because I loved the sense of accomplishment.

But the work never ended, because it would get messed up again and again, and I would begin again and again…until I was done.

Early in my adulthood, I did hair in a salon in Phoenix, and being professional there meant, no matter what was going on in life, you didn’t let it effect the work.

I was at work when my mom called to tell me that she found out she was terminally ill with cancer. Then after that phone call, I answered the salon phone with tears in my voice, and it was the owner of the shop. He asked what was wrong, and when I told him, his response was for me to pull myself together and get back to work without letting the clients see me crying.
And so, that’s what I did, because I was able to.

But then came a time, when I wasn’t able to do that anymore.

I remember the time just after my “breakdown,” when I had quit doing hair. I had also quit doing a lot of things around my own home.

It was hard on me, but I couldn’t do the stuff I used to, like I used to anymore.

What used to take me half a day to complete, was taking days, and still wasn’t getting completed.

And I felt like a failure.

But my husband loved me.

I wasn’t able to work, or help him, or give a shit about much.

And my husband loved me.

I never realized through all of my performing, how loved I was apart from it, until I could no longer perform the ways I had before.

And my husband loved me.

It didn’t matter to him if I could contribute or pull my own weight, because his love wasn’t based on me, but on him.

And then I knew what love was.

So, I allowed Love to be my healer, to be my motivator, to be my reason for everything and my reason for nothing.

Some time after this, I ran into a lady who I used to attend church with, who also happened to be a client of mine, and she said to me- “You quit doing hair.” And I said- “yeah.” She then said- “you didn’t call me.” And I said- “no, I didn’t.” Then she said- “that was rude.” And I said- “I don’t care.”

That statement summed it all up, I didn’t care. At least I no longer cared if someone thought I was rude, or putting them out, or letting them down or any of it anymore. Because, I cared about me.

I didn’t say to her that she could have called me to see how I was. I didn’t put any burden on her to be the source of my happiness. And I didn’t apologize either.

That was also something I had been delivered from, apologizing for not meeting someone else’s expectations for me.

Expectations to continue to serve them no matter what was going on in my life. No matter how depressed I had become.

I still love to do good work well, but now I know on the days when I can’t, I’m still loved. My performance isn’t required in that truth. It’s that truth, the enables me to perform well, and keeps me when I can’t.

Love is second to none

The Love we get to experience when we allow the natural to flow without trying to control it is absolutely amazing.

I remember when the time had come for us to leave church. I was afraid to leave, but I was more afraid to stay.

It had become so unbearable and uncomfortable, like a shoe that’s been outgrown.

The uncomfortable had come to my husband first, and he took it in stride with tremendous grace.
He and my son had always been more involved in the little church we attended than I had.

It was my insistence that we attend church early on, but I never felt at home in any family/group setting.

They thrived while I just went along for the ride.

I’ve spent many of my years crossing the line, but I also spent many of those same years trying desperately to fall in line, or walk the line.

I tried to do what I thought I was supposed to, and believe the stuff I thought I was supposed to. But that wasn’t meant to be. And it hurts when you can’t find a place where even the ones who you love most can.

Anyway, my husband was ready to leave church and I struggled with the actual leaving part. I felt the time coming, but I had fear about it.

Then I had a dream and the answer full of clarity came to me in that dream, and we left the church we had attended for over 7 years, into the great unknown.

We started attending a different church where some healing took place, but there was also religion there that tried to get it’s hands around our throats again.
But that wasn’t going to happen. We were free and no one was going to place a yoke on us again.

After a year there, we knew it was time to return to the other church we had left, but we didn’t know why.

We went back, but it was only to be a temporary thing. Papa sent word to me one day during worship in the form of a scripture. It was Jeremiah 23 to be exact, and I had to look up that scripture right then to see what it said, and it was very clear, we would be leaving for good.

And the Good has been amazing.

Freedom from fear.
Freedom from guilt and shame.
Freedom from religion.

Perfect Love truly does cast out fear and all the beliefs we held tightly to. Beliefs that said we had to walk a line, or do certain things, or love only certain people.

We’re free and it’s wonderful, but now we’re in the place of helping others be free too. Not necessarily free from church, but free to live wherever they do live.

I’m thankful that it’s not my job to tell people what to do. I get to live free of that burden. And we get to walk with them and love on them as the deconstruction of all they’ve held tightly too, gets gently blown away from their hands by Love.

And Love, second to nothing, stays forever. To live in their hearts, and hands forever.

Find me somebody to love

This April, it will be 25 years since I walked into a Circle K in Phoenix, Arizona and walked into my destiny.

Let me take you back with me as I remember.

I had been spending quite a bit of time with a young man who I had been in love with for a few years. He and I had been together, then apart, then after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed, we tried to be together again.

I loved him and wanted to marry him. It didn’t matter to me that he was wheelchair bound. I wanted to grow old with this young man.
But he didn’t want to marry me.

He wanted more for me, and as heartbreaking as it was at that time, I’m ever grateful to him now.

The day that we finally parted ways for the last time as lovers, was the day I met my husband.

I had left Robert’s house in tears, and driving home, I cried out to God to send me someone to help me get over Robert.
Just as this prayer left my heart to the Heart of Papa the song- “Somebody to Love” by Queen came on the radio.
I sang that song with all that was in me…it was my heart’s cry.

Then that evening, I walked into the Circle K that was across the street from my apartment, and I heard another song blaring on the radio inside the store.
It was another song I like -“One hundred and two” by the Judds.

The young man behind the counter quickly turned the blaring radio down as I walked in, and when I said to him that I liked that song and that he didn’t have to turn it down, he laughed. The most wonderful joyous laugh I had ever heard in my life! And then when I came up to the counter I noticed him.

I may or may not have seen him before that, I have no idea. I went to that store nearly every day for one reason or another, but this was the first time I saw Nick.
During that following week, I had a discussion with my oldest brother Glen, and I told him about the man at the Circle K.

I let my brother know my interest and insecurity about showing my interest to the man at Circle K.

My brother told me to let the guy know. He said that even if the guy wasn’t interested in me, he would be flattered that someone was interested in him.

And that became my motivation, to show interest in this person.

I had no guarantees of a positive outcome, but I also had no hope for one if I didn’t at least make my feelings known.

So I did call Nick and make my feelings known.

And sure enough, as I learned later, the first thing that attracted Nick to me was my interest in him.

People desire to be wanted. And the answer to these heart cries a lot of times is found in the people that want them.

Nick had recently gone through a divorce right before I met him. He had even dated a couple of women prior to us meeting. But I was the one who pursued him, because of the answer to my own heart cry to Papa.

I prayed for someone to love, and Papa gave me someone.

My prayer hadn’t been to find someone to love me, and that’s the one thing that over the years Papa has shown me was the key.

He created me to love, and I wanted to do that so desperately that I tried to concoct my own ways to do that, but when I made that my prayer; He swooped in and gave me the opportunity to love the one He had chosen for me to.

I can’t imagine what life would have been like had I not pursued Nick.

Papa knew how loved I would be by that man too.

He has loved me through the death of my mother, the death of 2 brothers, one being the brother that advised me to pursue Nick in the first place, the death of a sister and 2 nephews.

Papa has given me many people to love, in many different ways, because He created me to love.

And I want what Love wants.

He has given His heart to me, and continues to show me how to love those He loves, in ways that I alone could probably never figure out.

He has put His heart in mine, and put his desires in mine…and then as I pray His heart, His answer is always Yes and He makes them happen.

There are so many people who are just waiting to be loved…by the dynamic duo of Love and you.

Thank You Papa, and keep doing what you do- Finding somebodies for us to love.

Good will toward men

On our most recent trip to Phoenix, my family and I had an experience that I want to share.

My husband, his daughter and I were standing outside the hotel where we were staying, and while we were outside, a lady pushing a stroller was walking by. Directly behind her was a man screaming at her while they were walking down the street.

She just kept walking while this man, who I assume was her significant other, was in a fit of anger.

We kept watching, and then the man yelled that he wanted to punch the lady.

This immediately got our attention and our hackles up.

And while we were standing there, ready to charge after the man if he laid one finger on the lady, I started to feel Papa’s heart for the man.

As I did, I started to speak peace into the atmosphere. I sent it out from my mouth on the wind, and in my imagination, saw that declaration of peace dance in the air toward the man.

Instantly he stopped screaming, and they continued to walk down the street and out of our view.

I believe the lady already carried peace within, even though she was being screamed at. Her pace stayed the same as it had while the man was fitting out behind her, but it was he who needed the peace and He got it.

While I was reflecting on this, I was reminded of a couple biblical characters. The apostles John and James, who were referred to by Jesus as the “sons of thunder.”
Who had offered to call fire down from heaven for Jesus, and Jesus rebuked them for it.

I believe these men knew how to make that happen. And I also believe Jesus was showing them that it isn’t God’s heart to do that.

There are many people who are capable in their own strength to deal with an abusive, and even violent person.

Some of us have been just crazy enough to face off and even go after a man who would hit a woman. This isn’t a sexist remark, but I think a lot of us can agree if we saw something like that, we would not ignore it.

It isn’t Papa’s heart to ignore these kinds of situations, but rather to change the atmosphere surrounding them, to let Him loose so to speak.

To continue the good work that He began, of bringing Peace on earth…the same Peace that’s in Heaven.