Wednesday, July 17, 2024




God Makes A Way No Matter What

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God Makes A Way No Matter What
Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for I don't know what exactly, but it is something you don't mind not having at other times.” Kate Bosher

Holiday festivities have built in power. Happiness and joy? Yes.

Also the power to stir the pot, make waves, get us riled up over the small stuff, pushing buttons we may not be aware of until after it happens. You know what I mean.

Even within loving families there are tensions, old hurts and whispers from the past, like Marley's ghosts in A Christmas Carol, lurking within the shadowy places only to poke you in the ribs at exactly the wrong time. Ouch. It doesn't tickle.

This time of year is difficult for many: families in conflict, those far from home, and especially those without a place to call home.  

Without relatives or support, we may find life very hard.

Is the situation impossible? No.

From personal experience I  find it is helpful to look at the circumstance.  Yes! Look it right in the eye. (Even poke 'em in the eye if you like.)

Then stand back from it -  deliberately find reasons to be forgiving and kind to ourselves. All life is an opportunity, from the vantage point of a bigger picture. One must find the bigger picture in order to re-frame hard times and to know that such circumstances like all things, are subject to change.

Hard times come and hard times go. But hard times at Christmas? That is tough.

For a long time I simply did not like Christmas at all, not one little bit. Like Dr. Suess' Green Eggs and Ham, “I did not like it here nor there. I did not like it anywhere.

My home and family life were traumatic.

Survival came first, then understanding, then forgiveness and finally – growth. I got past it all … except at certain times like when co-workers, for example, talked about certain holiday traditions in their homes, then inquired about mine. I just invented stories. I had no traditions to share at that time.

Family: The Ties That Bind...and GAG!” Erma Bombeck

When we lose family through death, or other drastic events, we are obliged  to create family. Not with relatives by genes or bloodline necessarily, but individuals that may become “family” by their offering of friendship.  

As a young person making a way on my own, I  was big in self determination and never without persistence. It was hard. I made whopping big mistakes.

Yet whatever I  lacked in social skills, good judgment or wise parental guidance, I made up for with a strong commitment to making it. I just kept going, not looking back, only forward.

Without asking or  knowing exactly how or why, provision came from time to time, unexplainable, providential, divine, beyond reason ... wildly miraculous at times.

Some of these provisions were people. They were teachers, by example, or by skills shared. Others protected though I was not aware of it. Beyond my circumstance was unlimited source, aware of me. I was certainly not aware of it, however.

Miss Minnie.  Her name was Minerva - I called her Miss Minnie. She was like a grandmother to me.

She taught me how to thread a sewing needle and hem a skirt. I had never sewn anything before. Such a simple skill to not have, right?

It was a red wool skirt with silver buttons. I still remember the day I actually hemmed my own skirt for the first time. She taught me lots of basics, cooking, laundry, how to grow things.

I sometimes spent the night there. Once she heard me crying and knocked on my door. I had a really painful ear infection. I hoped it would just go away. (Abused kids from violent homes are not used to asking for help for any reason).

Then there she was. In the middle of the night at my bedside - dentures out, her long red hair flowing to her waist , wearing an old chenille bathrobe. She asked what was wrong. I told her. She poured some kind of wonderful warm oil into my ear, and then “Do you want  me to pray for you?”

I agreed. It might help. She placed her hand on my forehead and prayed for my ear to heal,finishing her simple prayer with a heartfelt whispered  “Thank you, Jesuuuuussss, we praise your Name.” I felt so loved.

Yes, she was a church lady.  Once a week, she wore a perfume called Hawaiian Ginger by Avon, with her long hair up in a braided bun and her “just for church” Sunday dresses.

Later, she made Sunday dinners, often roast beef, which smelled and were delicious.

At the time, I thought Avon's Hawaiian Ginger also smelled like heaven. How funny.

One Christmas, while nosing around under her tree, I found a major surprise among the presents.

What! How could this be? One of the gifts sported a name tag underneath a big shiny bow. It had my name written on it! TO: Karen. FROM: “Guess Who?” I was just so amazed and stunned by this. Who would be giving me a gift and how did it get there under her tree? She just laughed and laughed saying she “had no idea how it got there.”

Then she would burst into laughter again.

(It was a beautiful black, fluffy and fringe-y wrap that she made for me.)

We could not have been more different in most ways.  She insisted on lightning me up by making me laugh, almost against my will. She slapped my backside. She made faces. I was so serious. God knows I needed it.

Oddly, she sometimes knew what was going to happen before it did, or what the truth of a situation was through her dreams.

I did, too, so we had that in common. She called it the “gift of prophecy” - you know, from God, biblical and all. I was not sure what my own psychic dreams really were about, but she was a safe person to share them with. She urged me to pay attention to my dreams and to what I knew. She said it could protect me.

It has.

When  she died, I thought my heart might break. She found ways to contact me after death and it feels good to know I have what I  can really call a 'family member' over there.

Later, Reverend James and his wife Louella came along. My boss recommended I rent a room from them, said they were good people, and the rent was reasonable.

They had old time Christian names and they were old time Christians, and to me in my youthful ignorance - they were just plain old, too!

I rented a basement apartment in their home for several years.

I rarely had much food. My fridge was usually empty. I was skinny as a stray animal (which I kind of was) and they noticed.

They also saw I was without support or family so they simply filled in for a time.  

To this day, I am grateful for their concern, laughter, many kindnesses and their willingness to share what they had with a struggling girl.

Rev James practiced hymns and sermons in the laundry room, which was on the other side of my basement wall. Plunking  and clunking the sticky old out-of-tune piano keys to songs with wording like “Leaning on the everlasting arms” or “I shall not be moved..” or “There is a river that flows from deep within.” Sometimes Louella sang with him – as singular harmony backup.

What he may have lacked in actual musical talent he more than made up for with sincerity, feeling, vibrato and most of all - VOLUME.

I didn't get all the leaning and not being moved in those old hymns – these made me laugh (Why lean on God's arms? Wasn't not being moved kind of stubborn?). I did like the river song though.

James and Louella found ways to offer me meals, keep me company at times, and in general kept a watchful eye on me - without making me feel uncomfortable or unwilling to accept their help. They just did it.

When I found a mouse in my room in the middle of the night I turned into a big chicken.

So I crept upstairs to their bedroom. The door was always open, literally and figuratively

Louella, I discovered, wore a long nightgown,VicksVaporRub, and a night cap over curlers. James: baggy undershorts with sleeveless undershirt. No socks.

- Just in case you ever wondered what a Christian minister and his wife wear to bed.

“Louella! Wake up, there is a mouse in my room!”

She woke the Reverend,whose plan was this: He would put on Louella's nightcap, covering his bald head and making him “incognito.” He would go then to my bed with his infamous BB gun hidden under the covers. That goofy plan to help me with the mouse problem - this one thing seemed about the closest thing to the caring family that I never had.

Not to mention the extreme silliness; it was just plain hilarious.

Maybe you had to be there, I don't know...

Anyway, I was to sleep with Louella. Toward morning I heard the BB gun so I guessed his plan succeeded.

The BB gun was the preacher's sidearm. Often, I'd find him dozing on the daybed, wearing the under shirt with suspenders holding up baggy pants- reclining in the sun room, upper and lower dentures on the window sill, mouth open, hearing aides buzzing alongside his dentures, book on the floor, BB gun across his belly.

If he heard or saw a certain neighborhood cat in the yard he opened the sun room window, told the cat to get lost and took a shot with the BB gun. I don't think he ever hit a single thing – ever. No danger to cats or mice in the area, most likely.

In fact I think the cat enjoyed outsmarting him.

Standing at the doorway to the room I  once watched this happen. In pretend shock and appall I said: “ James! A Man of God! How could you do that to one of God's creatures?

I could improvise a straight line really well, if I do say so myself, even back then.

He blushed, and then we laughed.

Many years later, after Rev James died, I stopped by.

Over tea, Louella told me that they had worried about me when I lived with them,sensing  my struggles and unhappiness.

I remembered they had fed me, invited me in to watch TV with them, taken me to church, etc but I never guessed that Rev. James would get in his big ole loooong gold Chrysler (when Louella woke him up at night)  to follow me quietly at a distance, when I walked down to the nearby river in the middle of the night.

I guess she heard me going out the basement door which was right under their bedroom window.

When I walked outside at 3 AM it was usually in response to a nightmare. Walking outside helped me calm down.

I never knew anyone cared or knew about middle of the night walks.

Different people, all unlikely sources of support,  pure forms of spirituality in action - they taught me, helped me, loved me just because.

When times are tough during a holiday or any other time it is helpful to know simple true stories like mine, and others' stories really do exist, just like the M&M commercial – we just haven't met others with similar stories, yet they DO exist!

M&M Faint:

Helps with seeing the bigger picture and allows us needed perspective. Hard times come and more importantly, hard times go.

As for the holiday I used to dread so much and refused to like ...The message of Christmas has always been somehow tied to the unseen world.

From Santa Claus to Marley's ghosts in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Our material world, bound to the invisible spiritual realms... where dreams are made manifest, and miracles of all description are born. I like this thought.

We learn that nothing is impossible in the kingdom of God - or within the Quantum Field.

Besides all that, don't we need at least one day a year set aside to remind us that we are here for something beyond our selves?

Christmas has been called the season of hope.

Let there be hope, and expectancy as well. In that atmosphere there can be miracles, and kindness such as friends that are willing to pass as family for those of us without one.

God makes a way, man. God makes a way.” Carlos Santana

Share the love and join the conversation by leaving a comment below or, better yet, share the blog with someone who could benefit from it.  - Tallkat
Posted in: Spirituality, Inner Guidance, Motivational, Self-Improvement, Tallkat, Holidays, Love | Tags: Christmas , self-improvement , family , A Christmas Carol , Dr.Seuss , Erma Bombeck , Miss Minnie , prayer , Sunday dinner , presents , Christian , Santa Claus , Kingdom of God , Quantum Field , God , spirituality , Holidays , Tallkat , Motivational , love | Comments (0) | View Count: (1806)

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Copyright 2013 by Karen "Tallkat" Conley