Church, God, Guilt

iyou chooseI was born, raised, schooled (and guilted), Catholic. Later in life I toted my kids to Methodist services which seemed to ease the ‘guilt’ of previously not making them go to church, as my parents made me. After that, I discovered a few mega churches which operated as nondenominational but screamed BAPTIST. Now, I read the Bible and various other informative texts

If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest. ~ G. Gurdjieff

How ’bout you? Are you Jewish, Protestant, Islamic, Buddhist? Does it really matter? Not to me. Not to Him. I use to hate the question, “Where do you go to church?” Especially when I didn’t go. My choice, no one else’s concern.

I hate labels, “Christian”, “Jew’, “Catholic’, ‘Atheist’. What are you? Why should it matter to anyone? I like to think of myself as a seeker. I am constantly seeking answers, explanations, understanding. ¬†I have much to learn about God, Jesus, the Bible, life. Heck, I have much to learn about much. Aren’t you glad we (currently) have the freedom to worship any way we choose. I choose talking/listening to Him directly, no mediator (aka preacher) needed.

Where do you go to church? I don’t. Why should I go to a building? I go directly to Him. Keep your money, but help where you can. Be kind. Do no harm. Listen and learn. Learn some more. Consider unconventional ways of worshipping. Trust your gut. Follow your heart. Listen to your inner voice and never stop learning, loving, caring…

Hey Olive, You’re 1!

A letter to my grand daughter.

Dear Olive,

Woo hoo for one year of life on this planet! What a year it’s been. You’ve gone from a beautiful lump on my lap as I sat in the sunshine of your parent’s loft in Mt Laurel to a feisty, inquisitive busy little body scooting all over the place finding each and every spec or pebble on the ground (to attempt to insert into your mouth). I feel so blessed to have been able to see your cuteness each week for the past year.

My sister and I (both 1st time grandmas) often wonder how our mom (your great grandma) was able to only see her grand-babies (our children) a few times a year. Maybe she got her overdose of babies by having 7 of her own. Maybe with the aid of the internet, texting and frequent (daily) photos we became obsessed with our offspring’s offspring. Whatever the case, I think I am completely smitten with you, my little Olive Arvin.

So, my dear granddaughter, you are the apple of my eye. You make me a better teacher because I view each and every child that walks through the school doors as someone’s grand-baby. How would I want YOU to be treated by your teachers? With as much love and patience as humanly possible. No less.

For once in my life I have in mind what my dream job would be and that is to ‘baby-sit’ you while your mommy and daddy work. Sadly, this Grammie needs to bring home an income for those pesky grocery, fuel and insurance bills. Maybe we’ll win the lottery so I can babysit you AND buy groceries ūüôā

Olive, you are one very loved little girl. God picked the perfect Mommy & Daddy for you, little one. May you always know how blessed you are. I wish you much happiness, love, fun, adventures and peace. Maybe you can tell your grandchildren stories about me one day-cause I hope to be a big part of your life.

Happy Day of Birth #bebeolive

Love, Grammie (or whatever you wanna call me)

Sweet baby O.
Sweet baby O.
Hey baby O!  You're ONE
Hey baby O! You’re ONE

A Few ‘Thank Yous’ To My Kids

My Kiddos
Back when we were young.

To my kids, I thank you.
Thank you for loving me, even tho I wasn’t able to stay married to your dad.
Thank you for not getting hauled off to jail (under my watch).
Thank you for adjusting so well each and every 5 years that we uprooted and moved you to another house, school, city, state.
Thank you for growing up to be independent people, not relying on someone else to pay your bills.
Thank you for allowing me to move to Idaho (and then coming to visit me).
Thank you for not getting fat, anorexic or a drunk.
Thank you for getting good grades, tho in retrospect, I just wanted you to be happy.
Thank you for not complaining (to me) about my lack of involvement in your weddings.
Thank you for finding a mate that loves you SO much that I no longer worry about you (much).
Thank you for any and all (or none) of the grand-babies you may (or may not) give me.
Thank you for being people I’d love, respect and adore, even if you weren’t my kids.
Thank you for being such fun/sweet/easy/lovable kids to raise. You made my mommy job a breeze.

Education vs Learning

Presented without comment (see more of Erica’s writings at AmericaViaErica):

Coxsackie-Athens High School Valedictory Speech 2010

Here I Stand, by Erica Goldson, 2010-07-07
America via Erica
America via Erica

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, “If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years.” ‚Ä®The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast – How long then?” Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.” “But, if I¬†really, really¬†work at it, how long then?” asked the student. “Thirty years,” replied the Master. “But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?” ‚Ä®Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.” Continue reading “Education vs Learning”

2014-08-21 Petra Building Update

I’ve posted a bunch of problems of late. I’m actually kinda embarrassed by such negativity. There’s so much for us to be thankful. We are very blessed. This post has a couple of positive developments.

First, not included in the video, the diesel generator is now working. Seems that it just had some bad fuel. It hasn’t been tested thoroughly yet, but it ran for about 15 minutes under load without a hiccup.

Second is an update on the well pump:


Unconventional Ways

Unconventional definition:: not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed, “his unconventional approach to life“.

Who wants to do things the way they’ve always been done, just because they’ve always been done that way? Sometimes we’re just lazy and don’t want to put any effort in what we do. Sometimes we just don’t want to be different. For whatever the reason, I am drawn to the unconventional (when it makes sense). Continue reading “Unconventional Ways”