Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday:


The universe is conspiring in every moment to bring me happiness and peace

I am growing and Hey my growth spurt maybe different from yours
How I choose to express this encompasses my whole being
My core beliefs
My thoughts on God, my thoughts on Jesus
(Jesus is a friend of mine)
My whole self, that as I start to dig deep, the layers are in order.

Phenomenal things are happening to me
On the surface they may present crazy, they may sound negative, they may even  look nebulous
But really, it is all solid, and fluid and flowing
A thought whispered to me: it said Ramona you are loved and you are adored, beautiful and worthy of belonging.

My blog is so small and inconsequential. I don't know who reads it, or not. I don't care. 
This is me
And I feel like this sometimes
I am only human after all

I used to apologize for being myself. Not obnoxious, not overbearing. But me, confident, wise and full of wisdom. Humble, meek, truth seeker, truth talker.
Believer, follower of the Holy one, light bearer. Vulnerable, inquisitive, honest, lovely, beautiful... strong
I will not apologize anymore, I won't play small because you can't meet me where I am.
Take me or leave me
It's cool   

Ilusion Of Bliss - Alicia Keys (Live)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

throw back Friday....grandma's hands

So its Friday, again. What a difference a week makes. Right now I feel like Jill and Jack only no Jack. Fell down some stairs, reminded me of Alice in Wonderland when she fell down that rabbit hole. Her life changed drastically after that. I have a lot of thoughts and things I want to share, but my “trigger finger”, my right hand is sore, not wanting to cooperate. So I’m calling this a throwback Friday. Lately I have been literally “ghost writing” the story of my life”. A wise man blessed me to “get in touch with my family”. I thought about that, easier said than done buddy. I have a blooming family tree started on Ancestry.com and I have had a D.N.A. kit, with my name on it for the last year, waiting for me to spit in it and send it out. I am a chicken heart.  
Last year I was obsessed with the Broadway show “Hamilton”; a musical about the life of a founding father, Alexander Hamilton. My favorite opening lines was this:
How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar?
 In those words, you know just about all you need about a guy named Alexander Hamilton. And truth be told, it took me a few minutes to figure out just who Alexander Hamilton was; “The 10 dollar founding father”.  At the time I was really motivated to work on my family tree, try to answer the question: Who am I, why am I here? Who do I look like, where did my people come from. So lately I find myself in similar situations like Hamilton, an orphan, a widow, no family close by, stuck in a place that I honestly would not have chosen to live, for any reason I could think of. Hope is the thing with wings. A friend said to me that maybe the stuckness is because I haven’t made an big enough effort to live in my family history. Maybe looking at an ancestor or even a grandmother can help me to progress. So today’s throwback post comes from my sister blog the”72 hour rule”. It is a post about my paternal grandmother, who I was almost named after; Elizabeth. But my mom found a better name for her “baby girl”’. It’s called “The Most Influential” Sept 26 2014


THE MOST INFLUENTIAL

Sept 26 2014

Earlier this year Time magazine published it's "100 Most Influential People “issue. Beyonce' Knowles-Carter is on the cover. I don't know if she is number 1 or 100, I was curious as to what her sphere of influence was; but then Oprah wasn't on that list.
I wanted to list a group of influential people in my life, but I tend to over analyze and I can't think of 100 people I have known. But I thought about my paternal grandmother Elizabeth.  She was very strict (to me) and she always had a "switch" in her purse which was often used judiciously (on me). Now those of you who don't know what a "switch" is, I suggest you look it up in the dictionary of Southern Idioms. Let's just say she was a strict disciplinarian.
She was also a serial church-goer and attended at least 3 on any given Sunday. And more often than not, I was her companion. A typical Sunday would start very early; we would all attend the early morning services at the local Church my mom and dad attended. Afterwards we would have lunch and then start out for the "country" church she loved. Getting there would require two cabs and a long walk down a country road. During all of this, I would ask her, "Are we there yet"? The country church was in a "shotgun" type of building that Louisiana is famous for, and with no air conditioning. On the hottest days of summer all of the kids would sit in the opened windows at the back of the church


     My grandma was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Board, so on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, she wore either a white dress with white gloves and shoes, or she wore a navy blue dress with black shoes. Her role was to help people find their seats, or help moms with crying babies, or discretely remove small children who were in the throes of an uncontrollable tantrum. As for me, I had the honor of sitting with her in the back, and of course the switch was there with us too.     

When I was in high school my grandmother had a stroke, she recovered but had to live in a nursing home. My dad would visit her at least 3-4 times a week and my brother and I would come too. I don't remember having a lot of meaningful conversations with her. But I remember on one occasion I came to visit her, I was suffering from a broken heart. I wasn't talking to her because her speech and cognitive skills had deteriorated, so we just looked at each other. Then something happened, she spoke to me in a clear strong voice. She asked me why I was so sad and I told her. She gave me the best advice that only a loving grandma could give. She said “Baby don’t worry about that boy, he doesn’t deserve your love anyway.” Then we hugged and she told me that she loved me, she had never told me that before. Then she lapsed back into her incoherent babbling. Wow, what a gift, and I am thankful that I was able to appreciate it then and even more now. I have often wondered what was the legacy she left . What was her sphere of influence on me? Over the past few years I have been working on her Family History. The little bits and pieces of info I have found are hard won. I discovered that she was married to only one man, my Grandpa Will, but it seems they did not have a happy marriage. It was so unhappy that two of her sons changed their last name in protest. She lived with her mother for a time; she was a share cropper, a domestic and other odd jobs. She raised 5 boys alone and they were fiercely loyal to her. Sort of like the "Sons of Katie Elder". I realize now that it was her strong testimony of faith in God that helped her to survive and live as long as she did. She never ceased to praise God, or testify of his good works in her life. She did her very best to instill this in me. The best thing she did for me was to teach me to read the Bible and then enjoy it. I feel like she is my guardian angel and I am forever grateful for her.   



AUGUSTUS - Grandma's Hands (Bill Withers cover) | TEAfilms Live Sessions...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

He is able


So yesterday, I fell down the stairs, specifically my basement stairs. I am still trying to figure out how it happened, but most of all why.  But this is how it occurred, I was late for work, as I am wont to be, I ignored the alarm, both on my phone and my clock. So I was sleepy and cranky. Had to get the recycling and trash together. Still had to shower, but had to make a trip  downstairs to the laundry room  for clothing reinforcements. So I must've been sleep walking, cause I missed a step and fell head first. I think my head stopped my fall, but I didn't black out. My thought was that " Dang I can't get a signal on my phone in this basement", if I called 9-11 surely the firefighters would have to use a battering ram to get in my house. So I found myself twisted up like a pretzel. My EMT training kicked in, and I checked myself out, no broken bones, so I stood up and got to the laundry.  But I was in some pain, my entire right side was screaming at me, and I had a "goose egg" swelling on my ankle, and a big knot on my elbow, my knee was threatening not to support my weight. So I took 2 Advil's and a warm shower . After much discussion within myself, and among my friends (who love me), I reluctantly decided to go to the Urgent care center. So 150.00 dollars later, some uncomfortable x-rays, and an ace bandage I was released in the same amount of pain I came with, to go home. No Wonder drugs were given, just an ace wrap. I had to wonder that if I had not gone, would the results have been the same. 
So a couple of years ago I wrote a post in my sister blog {"the72hourrule") about the pattern of healing utilized by Jesus. You know Jesus was really good at demystifying the process of healing. He made sure that everyone knew the difference between say a  demon possession and a sickness or injury that was treatable. Even though, we attach the word "miraculous" at times to certain healing, or disease clearing up. I believe that there is a specific pattern of how the body heals, regardless of how bad it looks. Now the miracle comes when we believe unto faith that a healing is taking place in our lives.


HERE'S MUD IN YOUR EYE

So, have you ever had this happen? I woke up this morning refreshed, from a really good sleep, so good that I almost missed the alarm, well I did miss it by 30 minutes. I love it when I am able to fall asleep and then wake up uninterrupted, it is a rare thing. So I woke up, and I noticed that there was something in my left eye. I couldn't see too clearly, so of course I rubbed it. I checked it out in the bathroom mirror and  saw that the eye is naturally red and upset from me rubbing it. But there seems to be something “floating” over the surface of my eyeball that I “see” from the inside out. (I know this sounds like an episode from Alice in Wonderland). Why, it’s a “Floater”!! And my brothers and sisters, this is a real medical term; floater. I checked out Wikipedia to find out what a “floater” is and what is really going on. I don’t know about you, but this is not my first experience with a floater. It does eventually disappear, and not for the reason you think. This is what causes the “float”: Age.

Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye's vitreous humor, which is normally transparent. At a young age, the vitreous is transparent, but as one ages, imperfections gradually develop. The common type of floater, which is present in most people’s eyes, is due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humor
It can be caused by damage, maybe too vigorous “eye rubbing”, I have allergies and the pollen is super thick this year….. I digress. It is caused by age.
Causes: There are various causes for the appearance of floaters, of which the most common are described here. Simply stated, any damage to the eye that causes material to enter the vitreous humor can result in floaters.Floaters can be a sign of retinal detachment or a retinal tear but in most cases (98% according to the National Health Service it is simply age related or due to natural change in the vitreous humor.
So, sometimes I might accidentally “punch myself in the eye” when I sleep; It could happen. Did I mention that I have allergies?  
Treatment: While surgeries do exist to correct for severe cases of floaters, there are no medications (including eye drops) that can correct for this vitreous deterioration. Floaters are often caused by the normal aging process and will usually disappear as the brain learns to ignore them.
So, after I determined that it was a true “float thingy”, I put some “allergy” drops in my eyes, and I took an allergy pill and put a warm compress in my eyes. The float thingy is still there but my brain is “learning” to ignore it and that takes anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of days. (I think the pill and the drops worked too.)
Of course, this reminded me of my Sunday school lesson this past Sunday. In John chapter 9 Jesus heals a blind man by using “spit” as an active agent. On this occasion, he spits into some clay on the ground, makes some “mud cakes” and puts them on the eyes of this blind man, and directs him to wash three times in a pool. Now this was sort of what I did, only with drops and a hot compress.
I love this lesson because Jesus seems to be portrayed as a country doctor, using various folk cures to heal people. But with one exception, he actually cures the illness and affects a whole person healing.
John 9 Living Bible (TLB)1 As he was walking along, he saw a man blind from birth.“Master,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”“Neither,” Jesus answered “But to demonstrate the power of God. All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. But while I am still here in the world, I give it my light.”Then he spat on the ground and made mud from the spittle and smoothed the mud over the blind man’s eyes, and told him, “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam” (the word Siloam means “Sent”). So the man went where he was sent and washed and came back seeing!
So why did Jesus use spit and mud? I found some info from an ancient medical book (online) that describe several techniques used during Jesus time to “cure blindness”. One remedy was that if you happened to “awake” into blindness, you were to immediately “spit” into your hands and rub it into your eyes vigorously. As the first morning spit after the fast had some powers. 
The next remedy was that a person experiencing blindness, after they had washed their feet in the evening, dip their finger in the dust infused wash water and place it on their eyes three times.

Wow!! So Jesus has a tendency to “come” to a person where they are in their faith. What type of faith did this Blind Man have? In his day, there were no rights for disabled persons. He was a beggar, maybe kicked out of his home, living on the streets. He seemed to have found a place to beg in front of the Temple and maybe during his days, he may have heard talk of Jesus. But Jesus came to him. According to the scriptures, he simply “came” to him, and having compassion on him, offered his assistance. He seemed to use the prevailing practice of the day because I am sure this Blind Man was acquainted with the treatment. Jesus did not take him out of his comfort zone to minister to him. Jesus is cool like that!!






MercyMe - Even If (Official Lyric Video)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

not ashamed

I wanted to share this with you, because this has been an exciting and far out week for me. I have asked the Lord to allow me to be an instrument in his work. Now what does that mean? Sometimes it refers to missionary work, sometimes it can be a personal thing where the Lord will continue His refining process, building up the content of our character, strengthening us, tuning us up, Like Nephi he will at times lead us to places and situations unknown, but we are guided by the Spirit. What do we do when we get there? Do we come out with guns blazing, scriptures flailing in our hands, a retinue of verses at our lips? 
I don't know, because I am Nephi. I am walking a path, and with no ulterior motives toward anyone, my light is shining. I can't turn it off and it would be a sin to hide it under a bushel. I am going to let it shine, let it shine. 

Saturday 7/22/17 Journal Entry
So, this  woke me up this morning, this verse from Psalm 16:11 Thou (O God) will show me (reveal in all fullness) the path of life: for in thy Presence is fullness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore,
Sometimes I awake , coming out of fully realized conversations ( with God) and I usually write in my journal. Sometimes I pray to know what it's all about.
So, wow it has been an intense week, at least for me.  In my waking this morning I thought to myself that" I want to live in that "fullness" of life. I don't want to live within the limitations of my life, or even those that may be imposed on me." I had a moment that felt like the first taste of fresh orange juice. I want to awaken each morning with joy bubbling in my heart and share it. (at that moment, a thought, a scene filled with sunshine encircled meI am not ashamed(powerless or left naked) in the presence of the God that I serve, and even in his iterations, namely in revelations. Which have nothing to prove, but to make true (to me at least).


Divine / Sailing / Time / Hymn (Acoustic)

Friday, July 21, 2017

FIVE THINGS FOR FRIDAY: the gratitude edition



A wise man gave me a blessing and at the end of it he said:
Ramona, you need to get in touch with your family
and you should practice gratitude
Write it down, speak if forth, make a journal, keep a record.
Touch someone and start the healing process

I made a new friend, cause sometimes in our circles, friends have their time. We fade in at the right moment and then we fade out, but never leave
As new friends, we ask a thousand questions, because we have to build "intimacy" so that we can talk without speaking
My friend asked a series of questions  about me, about my family. Now I am used to being an object of curiosity, with rude questions. But she asked me questions that formed the story of my life and I have never told anyone my "whole" story. I am the story keeper these days. But I started to listen to to the words coming out of my mouth , and it was sad. But not in a bad way, because I have already lived that life, but I guess I needed to hear it one more time.

thankful for family


Speaking of rude questions, another friend literally "called me out", right in the middle of Book Club. I suppose she was trying to make a point about the book we read. Can't remember the title, but she said: Ramona, tell us what its like to be Single. ( now I am an exhibit at the Zoo). Shocking, my mind immediately started to go into a frenzy, Why did she ask that, what does she know? I thought silly old pooh bear, you're not Single are you ? Because I swear I was a part of something, until recently or maybe lately. So I said "You tell me", because I have always been apart of something.

Thankful for friends who "get" me and love me. Thank you


I have been reading a lot of books lately, so I will put the list at the bottom of the post. I have always loved a DIY project. You can gather your tools, and paints and whatever and remodel, or fix or change something all together. Lately I have become a DIY project, new clothes, different hair, makeup. Building up my confidence, its working. I really just want to be me the familiar but I am moving toward Ramona the Brave. But don't clap for me yet, don't encourage me with pats on my back. Not ready for that, just a hand up though.

I have a friend who has the ability to cut through bravado, she tells me to be careful, but be brave anyway. She asks me "What do you want to do?" And helps me find the answers. I am thankful for her too.

Thankful, for this life

Life is fluidLove is everlasting…and I want to be a witness to the supernatural process of how God heals a broken heart.How does he do it? With band aids? With balms rubbed into sore spots.I want to see the blessings happening in my life, so I won’t be caught by surpriseBut I don’t believe that Heavenly Father does anything by surprise, unless you haven’t been paying attention.So I am a “Girl on Fire”, I am “Superwoman”. I am a part of the process of a woman’s work in this life, and I am not finished yet. God has plans for me.The errand of angels was given to women.I had a thought, a moment where I was impressed to know, that Jesus will meet with me one day, and we can share scars and stories and he will show me all the tears he has collected from me, my entire life, and then pour them out. Wipe them away and blow my nosea
Lately I have been listening to music that speaks to me in context, it stirs my soul and helps to motivate me to action
I am a girl on fire. 
I am reading this book "One Drop" by Bliss Broyard.
It is a book about discovering who you really are, Embracing the family you have and coming to terms with it.
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