Saturday, February 18, 2012

The importance of listening

My inner self wants to talk or write all the time but some reason my heart is encouraging me to just listen....and for the past few days that is what I am doing...really listening....I went to Mass this morning in a different church with a different priest and except for one woman that I know, a group of strangers...what I found after listening and paying attention is that through Christ and with Christ, there are no strangers and we are all on the same journey to get closer and closer to God...each journey uniquely our own but the destination is the same....sometimes we hold each others hands and talk, sometimes we just sit back and listen, but both experiences are important and keep us going forward into the right direction...

There are many roads to God....I just climbed out of a thick, huge bog on mine...unsure now of anything because my steps don't take as much effort as before but have not fully recovered from the sheer exhaustion that has not left me...I hesitate and ask God to help me on my way...He has experiences like today show up to encourage me and to let me know, for the moment, rest, listen, and then continue....I am and I will...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No one is immune from evil

No matter what your state, your circumstances, you are never immune from the sickness and evilness that humanity is capable of creating....  I haven't been a widow for a month and already ugliness is trying to make it's way into my life....subtle but there none the less.... now more than even I must be smart, be strong, and hang unto God....  it is the only way to conquer the darkness that can slither into our lives...I wasn't ready.  I had been warned of what could happen but I didn't listen because I thought I was immune....big mistake... but I only answered a door in innocence and now I can slam that door shut....I want to live in a world filled with good intentions but unfortunately I live in the same world as everyone else ...Lot's of good people but some who are bad....

God grant me the wisdom to know who is all right to let into my life....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


For the last couple of days I have been wondering if I should even attempt to write anything....I am still trying to discover what normal life only has a resemblance of what one would describe as routine....emotionally I don't really know where I am...some days I am proactive, trying to take charge of my existence and other days I am so tired, I only manage to be reactive...My mind seems to be racing all the time and yet there are precious moments of calm and quiet...  on Thursday, my husband will have been dead for four weeks, a month....maybe I want things too fast...

I went to Mass decision I made today....wanting God at the center of my life is the only thing I am sure of....I believe if I continue to make this happen then all will be well....I just have to continue to hold only my faith and keep on trusting...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Time To STOP!

I got up this morning with the intent of going to Mass and then coming home to work to cross more and more off the list that has become my life.  But from the moment my feet hit the floor everything seemed out of sync....  My brain seemed unable to function as I found myself not able to make the simplest of decisions.  I tried to make myself coffee and instead made a mess of the kitchen with coffee grounds all over the floor...I couldn't figure out what to wear to church and waking up my daughter Sky and then making sure that both of us got dressed to go became an insurmountable obstacle.. I froze  and my brain just seemed to be yelling stop, stop, STOP!  I sat in a chair and did nothing, feeling guilty and unable to move....

Then my brain began to race...."buy new tires today or you will have a wreck tomorrow."  "God is going to punish you for not going to church".  "Everything is still in a mess why are you doing more"..."Paulletta, who in the hell do you think you are?" "Sky's teeth, work it all out now, fix Sky's teeth"  "You just fumble through life and it is an accident that you are working things out." "Why haven't you talked to the benefits person again?" "Paulletta, if you do things too fast you will screw everything up."  "Paulletta, hurry up. You are doing things too slow."  "Do you opt for Jon's pension now or next year?"  "What about the state taxes, how are you going to take care of that?  "Where is the car title?"  "Why haven't you met your friend for lunch?"  "Is Sky getting enough attention?"  and the words kept coming on and on and on..... and the noise got louder and louder and louder in my head and felt like I was watching a train wreck unfold but it was my life and then finally, I could not take any more...


and suddenly all was quiet.....  I had gotten up at 615 and it was now almost 8...  I felt awful.... I grabbed some jeans and took a bath....a long, hot bath.... all I could think was "now what?'

It's Sunday.  This is supposed to be a day of rest....I haven't had a day or rest since my husband died....  I haven't stopped moving--not even in my sleep.... I am in overload...

Before all of this happened, to say that my life was a challenge would be an understatement---but I survived  because everyday I set time aside to just be quiet in the presence of life has completely flip flopped and everything is different...old challenges now have to be dealt with differently...I am learning how to deal with the new challenges and it feels like that every time I face one challenge a new one steps in to take it's place ...  my life is full of new wonderful positive experiences but I am also uncovering not so wonderful  secrets of the past.   I pray constantly throughout the day and I know that God is with me BUT

I am not setting aside time to just be quiet and embrace the presence of God.... no wonder I am in overload...

God needs to be at the top of all my lists....

I am taking a deep breath now...I am going to pray....all it quiet and I made it just in time to be with God...

For Guidance
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

LIfe goes on....differently

Back to work this week--trying to take care of financial challenges one day at a time...trying to adjust to the profound changes which are occurring in my life....hoping work will help me re-establish some routine while I discover what will become my new normal...

My spiritual journey has brought me to a place where what I feel is intense gratitude....gratitude to God for my life, gratitude that one day at a time I seem to move forward if only by inches, gratitude for all who have and continue to touch my life in very positive ways....gratitude for the basic necessities, gratitude for the hope I see for the future...

Alongside the challenges and frustration and sadness and pain, God has given me peace----which seems like a contradiction in terms when I look what was left to me to resolve.... but some how I know that if I hold onto my faith and trust God, all will be well.... and again, I feel grateful.

"Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:  Glory to him from generation to generation in the church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever,"
                                                                         Ephesians 3:21.21

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God is always there but especially when you need him......

this evening I had time to reflect over what has transpired in just two weeks....for me it feels like a challenge after another after another.....just when I would think that I couldn't take any more then the right person or the right information or the right door would would be there for me to lessen the load and give me respite....the same thing happened when my sister died suddenly several years ago and I found myself able to do things I never imagined I could do...  and I know that it was God who directed the answers that I needed to move forward...

Gratefully I can sleep at night but I am so overwhelmed by what I have done and still need to do, that I am very. very tired,,,  emotionally spent/.... today I was reminded that I need to slow down, that I have done about all I can do and that it is okay to allow some normalcy back into my life..... what is "normal?"  If it was what it was before, I really don't want normal....if it is what it could have been, I would like to know what  that feels like.... but I am thinking that maybe the slate is being washed clean and God has allowed me the chance to be happy if I will just hang in there and let Him work through me...

It is peaceful in the house...and my mind isn't racing any more... and I am trying to take one day at a time....I think God wants us to live in the present moment and have faith and not worry about the future...tonight I will let go and go back to the silence and just be quiet and be in the presence of God...and tomorrow I will try to take some time just for myself...



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Embracing the silence

This morning everything is quiet.  For the first time since my husband's death, my mind is not racing. There is still much to do but everything that had to be done "immediately" is done....I am embracing the quiet and sharing my gratitude with God. Through the love and support of family and friends, I am feeling God's love everywhere and am empowered to face all the challenges that lie ahead.   I finally can catch my breath.

My faith in God is strong and I embrace life.  Somehow through all of this, I hope that God can use me to bring others closer to him.  Everything in life is about choices.  God loves us so much, He allows us the freedom to choose Him.  When I chose Him, and then finally gave myself back to the One who gave me life, that is the moment when I became truly free---which seems a contradiction in terms if you look at the circumstances of my life.

Recently I wrote in an email to a friend the following except.  Today I can not express what I am feeling any better.  Hopefully, sharing my experience will make a positive difference in your life

For months I have been mourning the loss of my marriage even though Jon was still alive
..and then one day the mourning for the most part stopped.....
Then Jon died....I think I have felt almost every emotion that I can feel (if that is possible) in a week.
Then this morning, I realized that I had my life that isn't even right....
This morning for the first time in my life I realized that God gave me life and I understand what an incredible gift that is...
And I feel His presence everywhere...
And that presence is manifested in compassion 

If I would die tonight, what I am feeling right now would make everything in my life okay because it brought me right here, right now and it is positively wonderful
I can not express in words how grateful I in awe I humble I feel.....

Humility is what happens when you finally let God 100% into your heart and are overwhelmed by His love and realize that all you felt was a gentle touch.   

Monday, January 30, 2012

we all have a choice

It's hard these days for me to think about anything other than the challenges at hand...but reading the words of others I read the following and I choose joy....

Monday January 30, 2012

Choosing Joy

Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently than the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.

What makes us human is precisely this freedom of choice.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Healing Our Memories

From someone who knows, who thought they could never forgive and absolutely never forget a portion of my memories...with God's grace, my heart is filled with compassion and not only is forgiveness healing my life but my memories too...guess it is no coincident that for the last three days the meditations sent from the Henry Nouwen Society was exactly what I needed to hear....embrace forgiveness and your life will turn around!

Sunday January 29, 2012       

Healing Our Memories

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. When we forgive a person, the memory of the wound might stay with us for a long time, even throughout our lives. Sometimes we carry the memory in our bodies as a visible sign. But forgiveness changes the way we remember. It converts the curse into a blessing. When we forgive our parents for their divorce, our children for their lack of attention, our friends for their unfaithfulness in crisis, our doctors for their ill advice, we no longer have to experience ourselves as the victims of events we had no control over.

Forgiveness allows us to claim our own power and not let these events destroy us; it enables them to become events that deepen the wisdom of our hearts. Forgiveness indeed heals memories.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Last year I began a project to write every single day for a year about my spiritual journey....after over 200 posts  my husband accessed this blog and felt so threatened by what I had to say that I deleted all the entries to keep peace in the house...I knew that my husband was an alcoholic and I also knew that I was suffering from verbal abuse but I wrote everyday anyway knowing that one day my writing would have to end if he ever found out....

I was sincere and candid when I wrote...honest feelings and struggles as I tried to grow into a strong relationship with God in spite of the abuse and the deteriorating conditions of my physical life....what I did was an exercise of faith and I began to at least become spiritually free and truly feel the love of God.

Ten days ago my husband died....Thursday, He was buried....He is in God's hands and now I will begin the journey again.....My only regret is that whiskey was the center of his life and there is no more time for him to experience joy and love and God's grace on this earth ....but I still can and so can my kids and everyone who is reading this blog can, if they choose too.

I believe that a healthy part of mourning is finding the ability to forgive....actually the healthy part of living with love through whatever life throws at you is the ability to forgive.... the last two days I have been thinking about
forgiveness and then I read some wise words by Henri Nouwen who seems to describe it best....

Today I will close this post with what he had to say:

Friday January 27, 2012      

Healing Our Hearts Through Forgiveness

How can we forgive those who do not want to be forgiven? Our deepest desire is that the forgiveness we offer will be received. This mutuality between giving and receiving is what creates peace and harmony. But if our condition for giving forgiveness is that it will be received, we seldom will forgive! Forgiving the other is first and foremost an inner movement. It is an act that removes anger, bitterness, and the desire for revenge from our hearts and helps us to reclaim our human dignity. We cannot force those we want to forgive into accepting our forgiveness. They might not be able or willing do so. They may not even know or feel that they have wounded us.

The only people we can really change are ourselves. Forgiving others is first and foremost healing our own hearts.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Saturday January 28, 2012    

Forgiving in the Name of God
We are all wounded people. Who wounds us? Often those whom we love and those who love us. When we feel rejected, abandoned, abused, manipulated, or violated, it is mostly by people very close to us: our parents, our friends, our spouses, our lovers, our children, our neighbors, our teachers, our pastors. Those who love us wound us too. That's the tragedy of our lives. This is what makes forgiveness from the heart so difficult. It is precisely our hearts that are wounded. We cry out, "You, who I expected to be there for me, you have abandoned me. How can I ever forgive you for that?"

Forgiveness often seems impossible, but nothing is impossible for God. The God who lives within us will give us the grace to go beyond our wounded selves and say, "In the Name of God you are forgiven." Let's pray for that grace.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

May God Bless You....Paulletta