This is a video:)
Have a happy weekend.
This is a video:)
Have a happy weekend.
|“You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.” Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence; it can only be attained through understanding.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The freest people in the world are those who have senses of inner peace about themselves: They simply refuse to be swayed by the whims of others, and are quietly effective at running their own lives.” Wayne Dyer,
In front of me stood a memory of long ago- an orchard- and in the inner quietness of my still body and mind, I began to tear up. The trees were past the blooming season, and its fruits, far to early to eat, were a great promise of what was to come. The orchard belonged to a female classmate’s parents, back in Romania, and at the tender age of thirteen, I had no idea this image would come back to me years later to teach me a lesson, a good lesson.
“What does it mean, God?”
“What does it mean to you, Carmen?” So I thought some more, this time letting my heart speak to me.
“Resting point. But why am I crying from a memory so very beautiful?”
“Because of its significance.”
The silence meant I had to figure that one out.
“And do you have it?”
“Mostly, I do.”
“No, not today.”
There are some inner changes happening in my soul, good changes, but as most of you know change brings along a certain mix of emotions, none need to be frightening.
I’ve never denied my love for God, but I’ve denied church and religion, especially lately. After all, I met people in church willing to hurt me and my family, some in the name of God, most in the name of self-satisfaction and egotistical needs. I’m sure you have met some yourself. But I wonder how many times I too was placed in those categories by another? But this is a subject for another post, another day.
My need, a healthy one, to form relationships with people and attend a church comes from a want to heal. Isolation, even from a medical point of view and scientifical evidence is not healthy. I’ve had a fantastic support group when I was too weak to go anywhere but now that I can, I want to find a church and hopefully grow in a healthy way, not a religious way.
I’ve prayed and meditated, I’ve listened to a sermon done by Rick Warren called “the Battle of the Mind” and a podcast called “You Listen to you” by Rob Bell (considered by some religious folks a heathen). To me, Rob Bell is a very intelligent human being with some amazing answers or explanations to some of the questions I’ve carried in my heart for many years.
Two styles of thinking and speaking: the first one, although intelligently put, left a trace of guilt (not conviction) behind, the second one left a trace of hope and goodwill. First one spoke in the familiar language of the church the second one in a new and upcoming style. I got some answers to the inner struggle but not a complete picture and I’m fine with that. It’s my search, thus my effort.
But back to the orchard; to me signifies peace and rest, a season I had to be in these past four years in order to heal, but in this season I’ve learned more than any season of health and busyness taught me, and I do confirm: we can hear God better in the stillness of self, in the intimacy of time, space, and effort.
What is your resting place? I don’t like telling people what to do, I figure everyone already knows what they want to do and their actions prove it, but as a gentle advise I can tell you one thing that seems to be valuable; we all need a resting place and we all need to visit this place often.
I’ve been able to forgive (and mean it) my parents finally, after 40 years of struggle and pain and I’m at peace. I trust God more than ever now, for that, I’m at peace. I’m very thankful for my life, for that I’m at peace. Don’t confuse temporary irritations and frustrations that come and go from living this life, I go through them, I feel them fully, I react to them, but I forgive and move on because I want to be healthy.
I sincerely want you to be at peace in the midsts of your life, even if it’s not functioning as you dreamed of, hoped for or envisioned it would. May God’s peace be upon you and your family, within you and your family and all around you like a healing oitment.
First picture left to right: Fanu and Alex- the two buddies:)
Second picture: Alex and his wife, Mia:)
Born number ten in our family, Alex came into the world only couple months before the 1989 Eastern Block revolution and the fall of communism. He was a happy child:) I do believe between Iulian and Alex my mother lost another baby. Due to the small gap of only one year and a half in age, Alex and Fanu (number eleven) had a very close relationship. The two buddies spent long hours playing with their toy cars, building imaginary adventures and charitable work plans together. Outside, in the courtyard, they stuck together and always picked each other on the same team, either for a game of soccer or tennis. It’s hard talking about Alex’s childhood without mentioning Fanu, since the two were very close. Their friendship was special:) Alex was only 13 years old when his best friend and brother, Fanu, died and he never got the opportunity to say good by to his little brother and best friend. He had a dream soon after and asked Fanu to show him his disection cut, which Fanu did so.
Soon after Fanu’s death my mother moved in Vilcele, full of grief, and left Alex, Oana and Iulian behind in Hunedoara at my father’s mercy who both starved and abused them.
After he graduated from high school, Alex left for Roma, Italy and lived with Delia, while working with Sami, Delia’s husband, in construction. There he gained his first electronic item in the form of a laptop. Back in Hunedoara he tried to go to collage but did not have the means to do so and settled for a job in the factory of electric wiring system from Deva, a city 30 minutes away from Hunedoara; also the same city Nadia Comaneci trained in.
On a Cristian single site “Pom Verde” he met Mia, who had the same last name, Damean. Thinking she was related to us, Alex began a conversation but it turned out she was not related and they began dating. One thing was very important for the both of them, a sign from God showing they were meant to be together and they got it within 24 hours of each other. After the wedding, a wedding I could not attend, Alex moved to Ludos, where Mia was from and worked hard trying to provide, but they lived paycheck to paycheck and Alex’s skills as an electrician only went so far. Mia’s parents lived in Portugal and the newly wedded couple decided to go visit them for a month, but soon Alex found work and they moved to Portugal permanently where they live to this day. It’s been three years already and they still love it in Portugal having lots of fun together any opportunity they get. You should see the pictures of the delicious foods they send us on a regular bases. Alex works mainly as an electrician as well as a maintenance man and Mia does make-up for weddings and special occasions part-time and recently got a job as a waitress.
The two of them sure have so much fun together, always visiting nice parts of Portugal or enjoying a nice evening out. Mia’s father works as a chef in a restaurant and the two of them visit him quite often:) Their lives are simple and full of happiness. I’m so very glad to see that.
Alex protects his small family fiercely from his abusive father and in general does not have much contact with him. He’s chosen to be happy. Good for him:) I applaud that decision. I’ve gotten to know Alex more so in his early twenties and I’m so glad I did. He’s a great guy:)
P.S “Pom Verde” web site was introduced to Iulian and Oana by Alex, where all three met their spouses.
I grew up poor. It sort of came with the territory of Christian parents, twelve children, small salary that wasn’t going to see any increase in it unless and until my father denied Christ. So far, my story is a very familiar one to Christians individuals that grew up in the socialistic communism of the Eastern European block.
But the poverty I experienced in Romania -you didn’t have to be a Christian to experience poverty, you simply had to be part of those countries to experience the “glories” of socialism- left an unpleasant taste in my mouth and it’s marks all over my body. Unlike other people, I had the blessing to be rescued from that environment:) But looking back, there was a movement, a spiritual movement I bought into for a long period of time, a sort of spiritual pride of our poverty. It was a coping mechanism. Something I only recognized years after leaving Romania. I do not blame the ones left behind that still think that way, it’s their way of coping with a hard situation the best they can. But years have passed, Chet and I worked hard and made certain decisions that proved to be smart financial moves and I no longer feel poor. There will always be others that have more than us, but there are far more people in this word that have less. I am grateful to God for everything we have, every day of my life and I do my best to help out others that still are in the midsts of poverty, usually in impoverished countries. But the funny thing about poverty that I’ve come to understand, it is a mindset. Let me explain my findings.
While in Romania -or Russia, or Bulgaria, or Africa, or India etc- there was a realistic and evident state of material and nourishment lack. Here in America is not so -unless one goes through an unfortunate turn of events in their lives that can leave them at the steps of poverty for a temporary period of time- its more a mindset that some have while spending unwisely or foolishly.
Example: Back in 2014-2015 I lost my job because I became very ill, medical bills piled up, the economy was not yet strong to sell the house and Chet’s company was having financial troubles and unable to pay him for months at the time. It showered on us with one bad news after another.
Example: Some great friends of ours, in their retirement years lost their savings to a crook that lived next door. The stress of such loss gave the husband a heart-attack and he died, leaving a widow and a child behind to fend for themselves.
These are hard situations, that come in our lives uninvited.
I’m getting better and our financial situation is fine, but it took sacrifice and great work. Our friends are recovering as well, but it took great work and sacrifice. These are only two examples in the sea of uninvited hardships coming in the lives of great people.
But there’s the other side.
Example: Couple that spent unwisely, lost their home, eventually their marriage and through it all used many trusting people and friends to keep up a facade that was crumbling anyway. To this day I haven’t seen efforts to put right what they’ve done wrong. Further more they’re the victims in their lives and everyone else who helped them were the abusers- their perspective. I’m sure this sounds very familiar to some of you. Chet and I had our fair share of such people.
Example: I was selling a wedding rental business piece by piece, mostly on Craigslist, after I realized it’s not going to work for us. The prices were fantastic. One buyer in particular, came to pick her items, but needed up lingering for an hour giving a sob story about her sad situation, and how expensive life was. I almost gave in to lower my already low (some items were .50 cents a piece) when I heard her phone ring and she pulled out of her purse the newest and best cell phones on the market. Listening to her conversation I understood that she expected stuff for free because of a mind set she was raised with. Once she hung up, I tolled her to either buy or leave since I had other engagements. She purchased what she came in for and left, but waisted an hour of my time.
Which brings me to my final thought; perspective. What one thinks about their lives can look dramatically different from the reality of their choices. Of our choices, I’m not excluded from the “life’s mistakes club”.
In truth, here in America at least, we have far more opportunities to leave the poverty state, if we put aside laziness, pride, ego, and whatever else excuse people use to stay poor. I can see some people rolling their eyes and fuming while reading these lines. When I grew up, there were no such things as: food stamps, shelters, programs to help the poor, low-income help, missions to shelter the poor, food banks, planned parenthood (which I do not support), etc. When someone said: I have no money to buy bread, it ment no money, nada. There were no credit cards back then, just a whole lot of poverty to share with each other.
PERSPECTIVE. Here in this country we still have far more than most of the world has. Opportunities as well. There is much to be thankful for. Little to be unhappy about. Keep the right perspective.