Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update: Peace, Love, and the Man from Crete

Wow! It seems like *forever* since I've blogged. This might be a long one. So, get some herbal tea, wrap yourself in your favorite robe or blanket, and lets catch up!


~sigh~ Aside from all the drama, the latest is I'm still waiting to hear from Olive Garden this week or next. I applied for the kitchen. Most people I've told so far suggest I wait tables as I'd be 'great with my personality' lol. I'll tell you what I told them..."thanks, but have you met me? I am so not coordinated. Me+walking+a tray filled with food=disaster!"

As for Dr. Pepper, here's what I know...or think I know as rumors have been swirling. They closed my salad station permanently. They put me in the gift shop last week permanently. This Monday, they put me back in the kitchen permanently. While the move back to the kitchen was an answered prayer, it's kind of funny that the Evil Troll doesn't know the meaning of the word permanently. And, at this point I am thankful for that!

Since my station is closed (permanently!) and they fired the guy who worked the stir fry station (it was deserved, but it could have been fixed and we're all bummed) I now get the stir fry station. The good news is this is a good culinary move as I go from cold foods to hot. The better news is that not just my co-workers, but my customers were extremely happy to have me back! And, they complained so much all week about not having salads that we had a salad today and I was able to have the chef put them on the menu next week with 3 days of salad and two days of stir fry! The bad news is that on Friday's we have to keep the taco salads. But hey, I'm gainfully employed and working with people I *adore* (evil troll and chef notwithstanding! lol)

Rumor has it that a new company is taking over the kitchen and will most likely roll over us current employees to their company. So, this is good!

So, thank you for all your prayers for my job situation! I'm asking for continued prayers as God's will be done! Oh! I almost forgot to tell you! Today, at work, one of my *favorite* customers comes up to me and says "I don't want anything but I wanted to ask you a question. Do you go to St. Jude's?!" I proudly told him I did! It turns out he happened to be at church Sunday and saw me. He said when he finally realized where he knew me from I was gone. But then, when he went to Mass (at 5pm) he saw me in the choir!!! SMALL WORLD! But it was a little smile from God today!

Speaking of Mass this week...

You all know how much I *love* to sing, right? I was born to be a back up singer. I love, LOVE being a background singer. Well, this past Sunday, it was Mike, Me, and a new girl. I was okay with this until Mike put me on the first mike to bring in the congregation. Instead of singing assuredly like I do most of the time, I became timid and was *so* not comfortable. I had a friend at work tell me today that clearly God wanted me to stretch out of my comfort zone a little! lol

So, in a nutshell, work is going okay at this very second. But that may change at any time.

This has been a emotionally tumultuous week. I knew Wednesday was coming. It was the one year anniversary of the day Mom was diagnosed with her pancreatic cancer. Also, there is the subconscious countdown to the one year anniversary of Mom's death (fourteen days as of this very minute). I wasn't looking forward to my weekly chrp meeting or the Cenacle on Wednesday evening. I knew it was the case of once I get there it will be okay, but I just didn't want to go. Sunday, at least four people asked me if I was going to cenacle and I hemmed and hawed. Finally, someone says they were having a good-bye thing for Mary Branson (she leaves in two weeks :( ) and of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

So I go to chrp on Tuesday:

They have us take a snack baggie and fill it with sand, one spoon full. I make sure to get the tiny blue shell in mine. I played with it all evening (we were suppose to hold it all night). Carolina and I sat next too each other (we're an awesome combination!) and we just giggled! Carolina is *so* funny and most of the time, so easy to make laugh and that's what I love to do. Make her (and you guys) laugh! I held up my sand and showed her and said "look! It's a poor mans' etch-a-sketch! lol
But, I digress. The sand represents our earthly treasures. My first thought was "this isn't a lot". Until we're told that each grain of sand represents one treasure. Emotional, physical, whatever. It's what is our own earthly treasures.

Then the evening begins with a story: The Man from Crete. It goes something like this...

There's this elderly man who lived in Crete all his life. It is his beloved country. He never left. Ever. He loved it so very much. Then, as he is dying he gets a hand full of the earth from Crete and passes away. When he arrives in heaven in front of the pearly gates (made of actual pearls) God comes out to greet him. "I'm so happy you're here!" says God "Come on in! I've been waiting for you!" and then God looks into the mans hand and asks what he is carrying. He explains to God that it is his beloved Crete. God tells him he cannot come in until he lets go of what is in his hand and that he'll be back later.

A little while later, God comes out wearing overalls with a beer in His hand and party noises wafting behind Him. He asks the man if he is ready to let go and come inside, but the man isn't ready. God tells him it's okay. Take all the time you need, I'll be back in a little while.

A little more time passes and this time the child Jesus comes out and asks the man to come in. He isn't ready to let go yet. So Jesus asks him what's in his hand. The man explains and the child Jesus asks to see it. Now, the man has been holding onto the Crete earth for so long that all the moisture is out of it and nothing is left but sand. He opens his hand to show Jesus. And, a wind comes by and blows it away. The man takes the child Jesus' hand and into heaven they walk and what is behind the gates? His beloved Crete!

The moral is 'what are we holding on to that is preventing God from giving us the gifts He wants to give us?' My answer was easy. Anger. I am holding onto my anger at losing Mom.

As the evening wound to a close we were to take some time and reflect and when we were ready to empty our sand back into the box and release whatever we have been holding onto that is preventing God from giving us what He wants.

This was the hard part. To say I was crying would be the understatement of the year, but I was being quiet about it shrinking myself into a corner as to not draw attention. But God, as usual, in His infinite wisdom, had other plans! Carolina came to me, leaned down, put her arms around me and talked with me. Then Mary Branson came over and the two of them talked with me and helped me do one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Let. Mom. Go. I won't tell you our conversation b/c it is private and beautiful and I am going to be selfish and keep it for myself. But, in the end, b/c of these two women whom God sent, and with Carolina going with me, I emptied my sand and I let Mom go.

That night. Tuesday night, I had the best night sleep I have had in a very long time. And, since then, while it's only been a couple days, I have been filled with a peace that I cannot describe.

Again, God is continuing to show me on a daily basis how much I am loved. I don't think that is something that I'll ever get used to. Being someone who never had friends and always felt like I didn't belong to having friends show me on a DAILY basis how much I am loved is a beautiful feeling. And, if that wasn't enough, I had a friend tell me on Tuesday evening that they love me "with all their heart"! That just melted in my soul and will stay there forever.


The Cenacle was beautful and Mary (Branson) was the speaker. The one thing she said that stuck with me was about looking for Joy. No, it's not a lost child, or a cookbook. I can't recall her exact words but it had to do with looking for Joy in all things. So, since that was just last night, I figured I'd give it a whirl today and y'know what? Today was the best day! Maybe she's onto something!

Prayer requests:

Please pray for healing for Philip as he has a fever (not good!). Pray for the safe return for my brother from Iraq. We haven't heard from him in about eight weeks. And, please pray for healing for Tina's Grandma Kate.

Until next time,
What are you holding in *your* hands that is preventing God from giving you His gifts?


PS. Suzanne, I think you hung the moon! I love you so very much! Kim, ha ha ha welcome to the vortex, there is no escaping! Carol, thank you for being you. I love you more than you will ever know! Tina, EIGHT more days!! We'll take the RV to El Fenix and I can't imagine taking the road trip with anyone but you! Love you BACK! Carolina and Mary, I am deeply indebted to you. There is no way I can ever repay your generosity. Whatever you need, I am here for you forever!

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