Monday, August 31, 2009

The Sermon From The Window

Mark and I, at this time, chose to live in our RV. It's 31 feet long, has a very nice back bedroom and is just right for the two of us. Plus, it gives us the flexibilty to move any place we want. Last year, at this time, we decided to move to the San Francisco Bay area to be closer to Mark's mom who is 80 years old. She is a tiny little fraile lady of about 96 pounds and can be blown away if a strong wind were to arise. She has had many hip and knee operations and now has one leg which is about two inches shorter than the other, which causes her to walk with special shoes and a cane. Nevertheless, she is still very active; driving; visiting friends in the hospital and going to church every Sunday. She told us during a visit several years ago that she wanted to remain as independant as possible for as long as possible. We wanted to make sure that happened for her, thus our trip down here.

Our little "house" sits probably three feet from her bedroom window. The weather is usually very nice, but this past weekend, it got HOT! To make sure she didn't cook in her house, we opened up her bedroom windows to get some air flowing through. And along with our windows being open, well let's say, we know what she watches on TV at night!

Sunday morning, as usual, the little dog next door woke me up as he barked at the squirrels that were running up and down the fence teasing him. And then IT happened. The air inside and out of our little home was filled with voices singing at the top of their lungs. . . "how great thou art......" I've been away from fundamentalist Christianity for many years now, and many hymns hold bad memories for me, so I was NOT pleased! As I began to prepare breakfast for Mark, the choir continued and I began to search for more positive thoughts to change my attitude. Finally I came up with, "she gets enjoyment out of this music, so who I am to begrudge her of that?" And with that, I was able to enjoy the music with her.

Then came the sermon! Yelling, Bible pounding, sermon! It reminded me of the sermons I heard at a Church I was involved with in Florida many years ago. Now I had to choose once again to feel the pain and hurt of that past experience or continue in the joy I've since been able to find. Once again I remembered the joy it gave Ruth, and it's not my right to rob her of that joy, even in my own mind. I have no idea what was being preached, but by the end of that sermon, I had gone from a place in my heart of anger and horrible memories to understanding, compassion and joy. Joy, that Ruth could listen to what brought her happiness. I could almost feel how uplifted she felt at the end of the sermon. The closing prayer and music that followed just blended into the background for me, then all was quiet;
in the air and and in my heart and mind!

How do you deal with past memories? Do you allow them to control your present life, and dictate your future? Or have you come up with a way to finally put them to bed and move into your future of happiness and joy? It IS a choice. So why spend another second allowing the past to play re-runs in your mind? You've come a long way, baby!


  1. Pat, it sounds like you have become really good at compassion for others. You transitioned from making the sermon about YOU to making it about RUTH! And that is what it's all about, baby. When we don't take things personally, when we open our hearts to what anything is for another, that's where the magic unfolds.
    You and she are both lucky that you have learned to take full responsibility for your feelings.

  2. Thank you Sandy. I don't think people understand how freeing it is to accept responsibility for oneself. When you don't try to find a reason to blame someone else, suddenly, like you said, magic happens, and it seems all ill feelings fade away.

  3. Love it. I could feel the vibration change WITH you as I read your blog.. I also have a similar history with the church that would cause that stuff to initially grate at me... what a cool story of you letting go and allowing both sides their joy! That's the Essence of Joy. AWESOME Pat.. thanks for sharing! also, i got some good giggles out of it too!!!! ;) ~Madison

  4. Thank you Madison! I know you have had your struggles too, so I'm happy you could relate.