Coni’s Psalm of Thanksgiving

5 09 2016

At the end of my drinking days, I had a daughter who had just turned 4 years old. I was on Welfare and working in a bar room as a bartender / bouncer. I was fired for beating up the customers and d…

Source: Coni’s Psalm of Thanksgiving





How sweet it is

15 08 2016

 

August 15 is a special day. It has been since 1982 when I married my soul mate. Ed has not been here to celebrate with me since April of 2011. This makes me sad and every August 15th I feel the ache in my heart and I cry a little, usually a couple of times throughout the day. I have come to accept that it is normal to miss someone so much that it can cause tears. What was surprising to me is the actually ache in my heart. I used to think the term “heartache” was a metaphor but my heart physically hurts when I think of how much I miss him and still love him. This all sounds a bit morbid but if you can stick with me, you will see I am going in another direction with this. I believe all the actions I just described are normal parts of grief. Grief is not a dirty word. I have had to give myself permission to express my sorrow. It only means I have loved deeply.
I have loved deeply. What an honor that is. What a gift to be able to grow and mature in that love and learn to trust another human being. I had that one person that I could count on through all of life’s winding roads. One person who knew I was filled with insecurities, imperfection and inconsistency and he loved me anyway. He couldn’t help himself any more than I could turn my love for him off. We were both far from perfect and we accepted that in each other. If I was mad at him, yes, it happened, he learned to leave me alone for a while until my hot Italian temper had time to cool off. Before the day was through he would put his arms around me and remind me that I couldn’t stay mad at him. He was so stinking cute, and he was right. We practiced the Biblical principal of not letting the sun go down on our anger. There is a free wisdom tidbit for you. it is important to the life of a relationship. Do not leave things unresolved.

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Today is a special day. I have felt the familiar ache in my heart and I have shed some tears because I miss my Eddie. But sorrow and grief will not define this special day. I have washed my face, brushed my teeth and put a little mascara on. I have called the florist and ordered flowers to be sent to the house. I will celebrate that fact that I have loved so deeply that I am still in love with one man. I am celebrating the fact that I have been fortunate enough to be loved and understood by a soul mate. I honor my husband today and I feel a touch of pride that I was Eddie the baker’s wife until death parted us. This is a joyous day.





Adoration out of the ruins

30 04 2016

Trying to put into words what this song means to me is much trickier than I imagined. The titled grabbed me as soon as I saw it. Broken Hallelujah. What Christ follower can’t relate to this on some level? God never promised that we wouldn’t go through the valley. Just don’t be tempted to stay there. That’s why it is called going “through” the valley. And He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He is always in control and always making the way for us. When the way leads to the valley, He is going with us. If it leads us into a fiery furnace, He is not going to be waiting outside until we get out. God will be in the furnace with us.

Knowing and trusting in those things does not mean that I will not experience heart ache. I will feel defeated at times. When times of suffering come, God is with me. He is who He says He is. He is my Father and my King. I adore Him even when I cannot feel His Presence. My circumstance does not change who God is. My God is for me and not against me. He is my fortress and my strength, He is my high tower of protection. He is my sword and my shield. He is my very present help in time of need. Even when I can’t feel Him. See, my relationship with Almighty God has nothing what-so-ever to do with my feelings and everything to do with Who He is. He is my creator and my Savior. He will NEVER leave me or forsake me. He holds me in the palm of His hand and no one can snatch me out. When my heart is broken into a thousand pieces, He is near to the broken hearted. When my life seems to be spinning out of control He is constant and unchanging. He always deserves my Praise.

I am learning a new song right now. Some of the lyrics say:

Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah; when my only offering is shattered praise, still a song of adoration will rise up from these ruins and I will worship You and give You thanks. Even when my only praise is a broken Hallelujah.

If you have a broken Hallelujah I would encourage you to give it to God today. It will change you.





This widow’s walk

9 01 2016

2016 might just be the year of the big breakthrough for this widow. There, I said it. Widow. I still don’t like to say it but I am gradually giving in to the  concept. I am not in denial of Ed’s passing. I know in the depth of my being that Ed is with his Savior in Heaven and he is not coming back!  I  wouldn’t  want him to.

I have been in denial of the fact that I am no longer married. It doesn’t seem quite fair that I have no say in the matter. I did not fall out of love. I was not cheated on or angry with or in any way mistreated by my husband. I was in love with Ed right up until his last breath. I am still in love with him.

We talked about some things pertaining to his imminent  passing away but none of our talking or thinking was about the fact that I would no longer be his wife. When Ed died, I became his widow. I hate that part. I could not reconcile it in my heart or in my mind. It has not been a graceful transition, to say the least. It felt all wrong to take my wedding band off and yet it felt like a lie to keep it on. Although, I did keep it on for a long time. I finally found a way that felt “okay” not to wear my wedding band on my hand. I found a necklace that allowed me to wear both our rings around my neck.

This has been my 5th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year without my Ed. I am coming to terms with the fact that I am not married anymore. On New Years day, I did not put my necklace on. I have looked at it every day since and made a decision not to wear it today. I have tried this before and after a day or two have experienced such anxiety that I had to put it back on. It has been 9 days today without my commitment being worn around my neck. It is okay. I did not break my commitment. I fulfilled it.

I have said it before, grief is different in everyone. We each have to find our own path through the process. Sometimes we can follow a portion of the path that someone else has traveled. Most of the time we have to blaze our own trail. I can still weep with the thought of how much I miss my man. I am on the journey. One step, one day, and sometimes one hour at a time.

Last night, I had a small dinner party with 4 of my close friends. I cooked a pot of marinara sauce and meatballs like I used to do. As we sat around the table in my modest kitchen with full bellies, I took a moment to look around the table. Everyone was at peace and looked contented. Everyone there knew my Ed and were not self conscious to speak his name in a conversation. What really struck me was that we were all laughing, sharing food, stories and talk of movies. Fellowship. My home was alive with fellowship. Ah, but that is for another post.

 





What was meant for evil…

21 06 2015

I believe that my steps are ordered of the Lord. I work in a crazy, talent filled, ADD inducing, creative, grueling industry with all kinds of people. I never sought out to work in the film industry. MY plan was to be a gospel singer/worshiper and travel the country sharing the message of God’s inexplicable love. God has placed me in Charleston, SC for a time such as this. I know that I know that God has a purpose for bringing me here, NOW. I have had the privilege of praying for several co-workers in the past 9 weeks. I have also found myself at the foot of the cross on several occasions confessing my failures and feelings of inadequacy. It is a great comfort to know that there are people of faith who pray for me. I need every single prayer that has been offered on my behalf.
Along with the rest of our country, I have witnessed the power of God at work in the hearts of His people who are suffering an unimaginable loss and heart ache. And yet, they stand before a young man who killed their loved ones and say these words, “I forgive you.” We are witnessing a supernatural act of God. He is working in the hearts of His people. He is close to the broken hearted and He binds up their wounds. These people are living out their faith as they have been taught to do by their Pastor who was taken from them in a violent act. Pastor Clementa Pinckney taught his congregation well.

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Today, I am reminded that this world is filled with evil, BUT GOD! God can bring good out of evil designs. By his own words, what this young man meant for evil, God is turning it for good. This young man has stated that he meant to cause a race riot. Instead, people of all races are standing together to rebuke this notion.
Lives have been tragically ripped away, hearts have been torn in two and people are walking out their faith in a God who loves. People who are broken in the face of hatred and violence are living out of the abundance of mercy that a loving God has poured into their hearts.
I know my steps are ordered of the Lord. He has ordained that I am in this great city right now. I am learning from the people of Emmanuel AME church. And hoping that, on some small scale, I can make a difference.





He’s Not Scary, He’s a Little Boy by AliceAnn Meyer

6 10 2014

Please look at this face. Look into the eyes of this little guy and then read about Jameson.

Kindness Blog

He’s Not Scary, He’s a Little Boy

by AliceAnn Meyer

We’ve had some encounters recently that have inspired me to write this post. This is something I hope everyone reads and shares. This is a message that doesn’t just pertain to my sonJameson, but to all children who are made fun of and singled out for their differences; and I am pretty sure their parents feel the same way I do.

 He's Not Scary, He's a Little BoyI want to begin by saying that I don’t hold anything against these children, or their parents. I understand that it can be extremely awkward when your child is the one making fun or being mean to another child. But, the next time this happens I hope these parents do more. Because although I cannot take offense, I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. It does. It hurts to see my child be made…

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Ponderations

14 05 2014

Every step brings us closer and closer. Even the steps backwards. Sometimes, the backwards steps reveal as much as the steps forward. They cause us to look at a short coming in a new way. We grow more honest with ourselves. Or they give us new insight to the path we should be traveling. If you have ever looked closely at a Monet painting you will most likely agree that his brush strokes can be mesmerizing. Then, we step back a few paces and we see the most glorious water lilies floating, as it seems, on a peaceful pond. That is a new perspective and so worth the backward step.

There have been many times on this life journey that it has become necessary for me to back up and see things differently. I am certainly not all that I will be one day. This widow’s journey has revealed many things to me over the past three years.

I have described my journey as “re-inventing myself”.  I would change that statement now. I am not re-inventing but I am becoming. And wether you know it or not, so are you. We fail. We succeed. We celebrate. We mourn. But we keep moving and changing, growing ever closer to who we are becoming. Every step along the journey is the real us. We may try to hide it under a character default that makes us feel momentarily safe, but the real us is still the one shivering under the disguise.

Okay, hang with me while I reel (real) it in.  I want to share a few ideas with my friends and readers who may feel stuck at the moment. Some of you have shared this sentiment with me recently and it has caused me to ponder. So, here are some of my ponderations.

1. Let’s give ourselves a break. Stop expecting to be perfect. We have never lived this day before, we have no prior experience with it so stop beating ourselves up over mis-steps. Forgive ourselves and keep moving.

2. Let’s give someone else a break today. Who has been insensitive to our needs? Can we just accept it, forgive them for being short sighted and move on? I am talking about the surface things that we let get to us, like being snubbed or getting a rude response to a question. Let’s not let that make or break our day. It almost happened to me yesterday in the super market and I had to ask myself why I would allow a snarky butcher at the meat counter to cause me to feel bad for asking for the fresh chicken breast. I just spent more money on a facial than this person makes in a day. Okay, that  was a mean thought but it made me smile and realize that this person is also on his journey. The little….. nope… not going there again.

3. Do something. Get off the couch, turn off the tv, wash your face and for the love of monkeys, brush your teeth! DO something. Suggestions are: take a walk, call a friend, write a letter (not email… a real letter on paper). DO anything that will change the perspective of looking over your feet in the recliner. DO something different than your normal routine.

4. Take time to appreciate the whole picture. Look at the successes as well as the failures. Surely we have done something right in the past week or so. (permission granted to go as far back in time as we need to find that one right thing). Celebrate the success and learn from the failure. Then forgive the failure. My friend Jennifer taught me to do it something like this: “Well that didn’t work out well. let”s not do it that way again.” Done; move on.

I hope I have made you reflect and smile today. It is not as bad as we think. Keep breathing and keep moving.

Give yourself permission to love yourself today.