Friday, December 4, 2009

Let Go and Let God...

I'm sure I've used this title before, but I'm using it again, because sometimes this is all that you can do... and right now, this is all I can do.

Because of my wonderful (note:sarcasm) downstairs neighbor's harassment, I have made the decision to break my lease 6 months early and move into a house... or so I am hoping. My current property owner said that my last-month deposit will cover my being in the condo through 12/21, and then I will be charged per diem after that, which I can handle, and he said he wouldn't hold me to contract for rent until the unit is leased to someone else, which is very generous of him.

Come to find out, through negotiations with the property owner for the house, that he will give me the option of a month-to-month lease so I don't have to lay out $4400 (first/last/security deposit + pet deposit) but I still need to put down $3000 (first/security deposit + pet deposit) asap, that he cannot hold the property if someone else comes first that can pay the full deposit.

I have to agree to the terms for the condo by 12/11, and cannot put a full deposit down for the house at once- I put in an offer of putting down $1200 12/25, $1400 01/08, and the $400 pet deposit after that... I'm just waiting to hear back from the property manager, who has been an amazing GOD SEND through all of this!!!

So, it's out of my hands. I have to pray that the home owner finds compassion and understanding in his heart to accept my offer. Otherwise I could potentially be homeless as of 12/21... and that's a scary thought. I mean, my parents have offered to let me move back home until I find a place, and I'd have to rent a storage unit...

It's time to leave work now.... and you can bet your buttons I'm going to be praying the entire way home.

So- what I haven't had the chance to add is that, right after I posted this with a prayer, the property manager called me and said that my final proposal was acceptable!! Now it's just a matter of negotiating a move-in date. I hope I can move before the 21st, otherwise I will technically be "homeless" and paying per diem at the condo... which can get real expensive, real fast.

Thank GOD for answered prayers!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


In reference to the feeling I had and blogged about in 2008, I find myself repeating the chorus to the hymn Be Not Afraid.

Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.

As I was driving to my parents' house last night, I was hit with the sudden urge to pray for the same family friend. I don't know why, I've been too afraid to call and see how things are- I've just been praying like mad. Why am I afraid? Because these feelings come to me when people are either in or coming close to one of the darkest moments in their life, illness, death, tragedy... and I feel their pain like it's my own, and it's hard. I'm afraid to find out what pain is coming, what pain is here. I guess it's sort of a passive-aggressive way to help God with this prayer request, but I still don't know that I'm strong enough to channel this again. Especially for this family. I mean, my connection with them is what started this all, back in Paris, 1998, when Brandon died... and then when their family wasn't coping and I had the visions and dreams, messages for them... and then when Norm died...

Sometimes I want to throw a tantrum like a 2 year old, stomp my feet, ball up my fists, and shake my head while yelling "No! No! No!"... why can't I know when people are in situations in their life of extreme joy?! (and I already know the answer, so shush- it's a rhetorical question) *sniffle*grin*

Okay, prayer time. I need to get back into my meditations, find my center, my peace. It's the only thing that helps with how intense these "Soul Cries" are. And I think I'm going to close my eyes and imagine my favorite and most comforting mental image, in the arms of the angel... as cheesy as it may seem, when I envision an angel holding me as my soul seeks comfort and my heart prays for those in need, I find my peace.

No "out-loud" prayers tonight, my heart knows what needs to be said.
Amen, and blessed be. <><

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Guardian Angel Smells Like Roses

For a few years now, I have wanted to write a book about Faith. Steve got me a book called Putting Your Passion Into Print, and while it had a lot of good information, it sort of intimidated me... but, sharing my point of view and my beliefs is more important to me, so I'm trying to find the motivation to get back into the groove.

One of the narratives I have completed is titled "My Guardian Angel Smells Like Roses", and I was just reminded of it the other day as I was driving home from - somewhere - as my car was filled with the faintest smell of sweet, fresh roses. Almost every time I've had a "Soul Cry" I've smelled roses, when I'm lost in thought and prayer, when I'm driving.... the smell is so comforting, words cannot do my soul justice to express how it feels to know that I'm not alone, and that I have a being of light with me, watching over me.

Remember the movie "Michael" with John Travolta, and how people always argued about how he smelled, and it turned out that people would smell whatever scent was comforting to them? That's what this reminds me of- it's so wonderful.

What does your guardian angel smell like?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Guitar 3, Melinda 0

This photo speaks volumes- these are the broken strings that started my night, one of which snapped back and lashed me across the top of my hand!

You know it's never good when you've got a pair of pliers with your music journal... or when you need both the pliers and a nail file to string your guitar for the second time in an hour. (courtesy of the broken strings, shown above)

Here is how I ended up tying off the ends, since the kid at the music store- who played the sax, not guitar and sold me the first set of strings that were too short and snapped- gave me a set of nylon strings, which was very kind of him. They were, however, plain ended strings. As you can see by the photo below, my guitar is not like standard acoustics, and the saddle & bridge are separated. This makes tying the knots on the plain strings particularly challenging, along with the fact that it makes it a necesity to have LONG strings... Long strings that don't slip and untie like the stinkin' nylon strings do! (this is where the pliers and the nail file come in) I can't tell you how many times the strings would slip out, sending the screws from the "Bone Yard" (aka the saddle) flying all over the room.

This evening was highly frustrating. I was thinking about playing the guitar all day today. My plan was to re-string it with cursed steel strings- figured I'd learn it right to start with- and then I was going to master F#m. As it is now, the nylon strings are definitely easier to hold in the correct position for F#m, but they won't hold a tune for nothin'- by the time I'm done tuning the last string, the first one is about 3 whole steps flat again!


Finding my way back to the Path is not meant to be easy. While this evening with the guitar is more comical than not, the entire time I kept thinking "God is not always easy, it's a struggle to find Faith and keep it. This is only the beginning for you, Melinda." How true is that?!

I also found out tonight that one of my dear friend's cousins was killed in a motorcycle accident this past weekend. Saturday night/Sunday morning, while his body shutting down, I wept. No idea why, but I did- I had to- and I prayed for peace and healing- didn't know who it was for, just knew that someone needed it. It was really hard though, because a few of us were sleeping over at a friend's house & I didn't want to wake anyone up.

Another soul-cry. Two in two weeks. I tried to ignore it on Saturday, chalked it up to a sleep-deprived, emotional female moment, but it wouldn't go away. (maybe this is why I had such weird dreams that led to me being terrified of critters on the back deck at 4am?) *sigh*

It's so hard to have these, but I know that God uses me to help those who really and truely need it. I just pray that I can be strong enough when I'm needed. Somehow I need to find my own set of pliers to hold me in place, a nail file to tighten the knot that holds everything together... right now I feel like I'm about to slip back through that hole & send the screws in the "Bone Yard" flying.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Be Inspired.

I have so much to say, but don't know how to let it out, where to start.

First off... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Going through a bunch of old stuff, I found my old artwork and writing... I didn't realize how much I missed those creative outlets until I was there, looking at what I used to do. I need to get back to writing, back to drawing... painting... playing piano... and now the guitar as well.

This is a very challenging path for me to walk right now, because so much of my joy and my pain that I feel in my soul is expressed through these talents God's given. Since I made the choice to not major in music, I have felt a little twinge of guilt about denying others- and myself- the full extent of the talents I have. I thought that with a minor in Studio Arts, I'd be able to continue sharing, but as more people broke my heart, they stole a piece of my heart, a piece of my soul, a piece of my joy that inspired me- to the point where I haven't been able to allow myself to access any of those creative outlets- if and when I do, I end up crying, sobbing, feeling all of that pain that caused me to seal myself off all over again.

I am choosing to change this! I can't keep living in fear of my own feelings, my own emotions, my own healing process. There have been particular people who have really helped to inspire and encourage me in beginning this journey, and I pray for you all, thanking God for bringing you into my life. (and like I said after that first night, my mom thanks you too! :-) She's so excited that I'm playing piano again!)

There are 24 songs I'm going to learn on keyboard and/or guitar. I dug out my sketch books and will be picking those up from my parents' house this week. Swing dancing, singing jazz songs, photography, and drawing little cards have been only the very tippy top of what lies deep down inside... I'm sorry that I've been cheating all of you!

Hold me to this!!! Don't allow me to not be inspired!!!

Second ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I believe that the above will help me with my Soul Cries. I know that the conversations I've had with some of my friends recently has helped me to gain new perspective, and it really does help to know that I'm not alone. For so long, that has been my biggest fear and hardest hurdle- being alone, feeling like I'm alone, not having anyone who really and truely understands what I mean when I say "I know how it feels..."

Again, I thank God for bringing our paths together, you are such a blessing in my life.

There have been a lot of people who have helped me to get to this place, and you are the ones who are inspiring me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I Hate to Say It, but I TOLD YOU SO!

Last weekend, or was it the weekend before??? Jo Ann and I were talking about God, Faith, religion, etc, and I did my best to explain my "Soul Cries". I realized then that it sounds so silly when I verbalize my logic behind so many things in avoiding church and such! Jo didn't realize just how much she was calling my bluff on it, because as I said it outloud instead of journaling or blogging, it sounded so juvenile! When we got back home, she prompted me to share my story with another friend there, which completely took me by surprise.

I liked her logic though- "I know him, I know you, and while you don't know each other well, I know you both, and know this needs to be shared."

So I shared, we all shared a little bit, and I acknowledged within myself, within my soul, that I was going to make the effort to open myself back up... Jo even had us pull Medicine Cards and I turned the Beaver.... very fitting.

(here comes the "I told you so" part)

In the past when I've closed myself off from the Spirit, I've justified it as a self defence mechanism against these cursed-compassionate Soul Cries. I am bound and determined not to let this keep me closed off anymore!!! Last night I had one. I didn't know who for, I didn't know why, I just knew I had to pray, and pray hard. It had me all distraught, and it felt very deep, very heavy, and very solemn. By the time I went to bed, I was convinced I had an army of angels praying with me, and when I woke up today, I could feel the lingering presence, the depth of the dark burning, the intensity of channeling the Spirit with such great force. I did my best to shake the feeling by listening to Bing Crosby, because- well- who doesn't melt when they hear that man sing!

When I got to the office today I walked right back into that intensity. One of the women in my office passed away Thursday morning, very unexpectedly. She'd been working in the office since March 1978- that's longer than I've been alive! I feel at peace about it, which is surprising, but I feel the intensity of everyone else's pain in the office. The thought of going to the funeral makes me hide inside myself because I know that I'll feel all of everyone's pain, but I really feel like I should be there because I have so much experience in grieving, and so much experience helping others find their way on the path through grief to healing.

Hmm... perhaps it's time to stop being selfish and hiding inside myself. Saying "I told you so" doesn't really fit right, but it's true- I always say to my journal that as soon as I open my heart back up to the Spirit, something happens and a Soul Cry hits me right down to my core.

Jo had talked about how- while having a support system is important- I need to be able to find the strength inside myself... I just don't know how to do it! I'm a networker, I like to talk to others, get their take on the situation, how they would handle it- or have handled it- and build my framework from there. Trying to build it alone hasn't worked so far, and trying to find support in building my self-sufficient support system hasn't helped either, because I haven't been able to find anyone who can really and truely understand what I experience. Fr Jack, I think, had the closest understanding of it... but he advised me to seek counsel from a spiritual guide, and all Sister Joan did was tell me it sounded like I had a good start on my own...

Somehow I need to embrace the concept of modern mysticism and build up from there. I just wish I had someone to lean on every now and then...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rumi, and Other Ramblings

Being Human is a Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

I really enjoy reading Rumi. There is always so much to be learned, so much that is in the every day life that we really overlook!

I get readings every day, from soul journey, higher awareness, and various other inspirational/motivational email subscriptions. Sometimes they speak volumes and sometimes I archive them for a later date, when I will randomly select exactly applies to that point in time. It's funny how God, the Universe, whatever higher powers that be- they provide for us in our times of need! Mother Teresa said "I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." AMEN TO THAT!!! How many times have we been faced with things back to back, to back, over and over again, to the point where we feel like we just can't go on!?! As my grandmother would have said, be grateful that you have a house to maek a payment on, or that you have a car to break down, because some people don't even have that. Take what life gives you, accept it, and change your outcome.

There was a magazine article that had "4 Steps Towards Emotional Discharge" which I thought was an odd title, but I'm rollin' with it. It's actually in the front of my journal, and I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before. Anyhoo- the first step is 1. Accept whatever happens as the perfect medicine for the situation.

In reality, how hard is that?! Something, or rather someone, helps me to remember this. My very good friend sat in my apartment about 5 years ago, and together we were crying over the death of her grandmother. She took a deep breath, in and out, and said "Everything is as it should be." I have never forgotten that. It seems to be a concept that eludes so many of us, the illusion that we have some sort of control in what happens to everyone everywhere, when- in reality- we can really only control our own actions and reactions to what happens, what is meant to happen.

This is a quote filled entry, but I'm going to leave you with just one more, for the time being.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~Joseph Campbell

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2 Corinthians 5:13

"If we are out of our minds, it is for God..."

This is the quote that I have on my whiteboard right now, and I do intend to keep it up there until I can find another one that both inspires and humbles me.

When I was at PLU, this quote kept me grounded. It reminded me that every time I was called away from my sanity to help other people, that I was doing it because God has given me gifts to help other people. That last year before I got so sick I learned to put myself first. I had the help of a few dear friends (ex-friends) and they helped keep me grounded in Faith and in Life. They helped me realize that it was okay to put myself first and still honor God.

As those two ex-friends hurt me more and more, I stopped going to church because all it did was remind me of 1)the friends God had given me 2)how their free-will choices hurt me which led to 3)all of the emotional coping tools became moot points.

Since then I've tried to go back to church, but it just doesn't fit. Catholic, Lutheran, Non-Denominational... nothing feels right. Could it be that I'm not feeling comfortable in my Faith because I was betrayed by people I loved in that Faith? Could it be that I feel betrayed by what my Faith had given me for so many years, by that comfort that is so elusive now? I know that part of it is because every time I open up my heart I feel so vulnerable to love and hurt that I cry at the thought of it. All of the above, it's a little bit- or a lot- of everything!

I still pray all the time. I still feel the Holy Spirit guiding me day in and day out. But I still feel like something is missing.

Now that things are falling back into place, now that I can no longer ignore this burning for Faith, I am going to keep finding churches to go to, because I know that somewhere there's some Faith Community that is just waiting for me with open arms. I know that there has to be a church where I belong, it's just a matter of finding it... and the search is going to be an adventure, a Faith Adventure. I'm really, quite looking forward to it, actually!!!

Stay tuned- I'll let you know what Sunday brings.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I just had my palm read at Kent Station by a random older gentleman. He got almost everything right, down to what type of allergies I have, the 2 times I'd fallen in deep love and had my heart broken, and pretty much my whole life... except numbers. He said I was really good with numbers. He also wrote poetry- on the spot poetry. Asked me for a word, I said "idunno" and shrugged... he proceded to make up a poem on the spot! It started "I asked her to dance, she said 'idunno'. I walked away and asked her again, she said yes..." and it went on about how she cautiously opened up, finally let him in to her life, her heart... if that doesn't hit home, "idunno" what does!

The funny thing is, I thought he was an obnoxious old man. When I walked into the little shop he was leaving and said "Be good to yourselves, ladies, just not in public," and chuckled.

Just goes to show that just when I think I can read people, they surprise me!

As I got home, pulled into the parking lot, two gals were playing near my car. One of them is hearing impared, and she usually sits in the window and sort of yells a distorted "HI!!!" to everyone. Her little sister came right up and asked if I could take them swimming at KM. I tried to explain that their parents might not want them to go somewhere with strangers. Unfortunately the little sis translated "strangers" to "bad people" so then I had to try to finger spell my way out of that one!!! :-P KT's going to help me learn some basic conversational ASL, and I'm going to make flashcards. I'll probably ask the gal at work to help me out too.

This is a big week! I'm one step closer to getting my Italian-dual citizenship, I was selected to go to the SSA bilingual conference in Seattle for two days in August, I'm taking claims at work, one of my claimants died before I could tell her she was approved, I had my palm read for the first time ever, and am planning to learn another language!

I feel like my heart is going to explode, in a good way- so filled with blessings and agape love, that's the best way I have to explain it. Maybe I'm more aware of it because of the claims I'm taking, maybe I'm more aware of it because I've started dabbling on the piano again, maybe it's just time for God to start stirring in my soul... I think this time I'm ready for it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hail, Mary, Full of Grace... The Lord is with Thee!

A woman was murdered outside my apt last week, and I haven't been able to sleep very well since it happened. Sunday night, I couldn't take it any more, and I prayed & sobbed my way home from Easter dinner. The only prayer that felt right was the Hail Mary.

And speaking of Mary- Bones's new episode has what everyone thought was an image of the Virgin Mary on a piece of cardboard... of course, this si more of a murder than a miracle, but ironic, no?

Back to the praying. It's been said that Mary will never turn her back on anyone who asks for her prayers. Now, let me clarify- as a Catholic, I'm not praying to Mary, I'm asking her to pray for me. And who knows- maybe it's all in my mind and after 30 minutes of meditation it calmed me down enough to sleep for more than 2 hours, but my faith- my Faith- believes that it's the help of the Holy Family. God the Parent, Jesus the Brother, and the Spirit as guide. My meditations with each round of the prayer was that I would feel the Spirit, sleep easy, and find peace in my soul with everything that happened.

Now, while this prayer is filled with little bits of guilt- CATHOLIC- it's my favorite, and I'm going to share it with you. When you feel lost and not sure how to start praying to the Big Man, start a little smaller, and ask for help with your prayers. Have faith.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee!
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"A Better Choice"

from God is not Reasonable and other tales of Mother Macrina

"I need some direction in my life," a woman told Mother Macrina, "and I have been praying a lot for a word from God to tell me what I must do."
"And did you get one?" she asked.
"No, not yet," the woman replied.
"I'm glad to hear it," said Mother Macrina. "Perhaps now you'll try listening to God's silence instead."

What does this mean to you? How does one listen to silence?

Honestly, it's one of my favorite challenges to offer up to people. Listen in the quiet places of your heart, what do you hear in the silence? It could almost be capitolized, a proper noun. Silence. God's Silence is often deeper and even more fulfilling than just regular silence. It's sort of like when you blind fold yourself and let your other sense tune in to compensate for the loss of one of the body's senses; when you sit in Silence, your mind, your soul, your Self begins to tune in to what you didn't realize was there. God's Silence. It's not Him ignoring us, it's not the spiritual cold shoulder, it's God challenging us to grow and encourages us to challenge ourselves to increase the depth of our own Faith.

So far in to Lent, stop and don't think.


Listen to God's Silence.

Oh, my God,
Please open my heart and strengthen me to grow in your Silence. Help me feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as It guides me closer to you. Let Jesus continue to stand beside me and walk with me, and may I always find my way back to Your path.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Think, Think, Think...

I haven't forgotten about you- I'm just hitting an inspirational, spiritual, emotional, personal writer's block.

When it comes down to it, I'm working on me, and that's a BLOCK in and of itself!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lenten Blogging, Week 1.5

So, I meant to get this started earlier, a weekly blog during the season of Lent... perhaps my Lenten commitment will be to stop procrastinating???

A pal from PLU posted a blog entry that's motivated me to start talking about Lent.

It was always hard, growing up Catholic, to find something to give up- I felt like I was punishing myself because of God. But our family priest put a fresh spin on the tradition, and challegened us to think of Lent as a time to better yourself for God, rather than making a sacrifice. Now, from a matured point of view, these things could be synonymous- but from a child's point of view, it made so much more sense! Don't punish yourself for 40 days by giving up coffee or chocolate, but make a change to better yourself...

Another friend of mine from PLU and I made a pact to give up negativty each Lenten season, and I still do- I have the little calendar page Becky gave me, with the verse on the back and everything! I actually laminated it, and it's in a safe place with all of my materials from PLU. (I'm going to go searching for that, now that I mention it!)

My thoughts for the moment- and my challenge to you 1.5 weeks into Lent- are to answer these questions: How have I failed myself? How can I prevent that from happening again?

That's all for now... break's over, back to work!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Soul Aflame ~ Friday ~ Lauds

(this is a very delayed post, but I feel like it needs to be posted too)

So many people gave me something or were something to me without knowing it....

I always thnk that we all live, spiritually, by what others have given us in the significant hours of our life. These significant hours do not announce themselves as coming but arrive unexpected.

We find ourselves in a new movement of thought. In a movement where, through science and through the searching of our hearts, everything has become mysterious. Science has led us from knowledge to knowledge but also from mystery to mystery. Mystery alone can lead us on to true spirituality, to accept and to be filled with the mystery of life in our existence.
Albert Schweitzer ( Alsatian, 1875-1965)