Something Has Changed Inside of Me

Grey, dark, cold – rain pounding
on the streets. Dreariest of dreary
days. I feel myself going under –
filled with worries and fears.
This year has been a rough one –
death has danced around me
and mine, dishonesty seems
in power, grasping greed weaves
its way through our world,
wanting more, wanting ours.

I get in my car for the drive home.
And Mindy Jostyn’s music flowers –
blooms in my auto’s space –
she’s singing of kindness and love
and a new day dawning. And I
stop. I shift. My thoughts rise above
the dark and grey and I smile. I
will stop and see Dad on my way
home and it won’t be a chore –
I’m grateful he’s still here – I’ll
hold his hand and kiss his forehead
and tell him I love him once more.

He asks me if he’s coming home
with me. I tell him his home is here.
He says whenever he tries to get
invited to someone’s home, they
tell him he’s already there.
He grins and tells me he’s lucky
to have me. I tell him I love him
and blow him a kiss.

And back in the car again. The day
is still grey, and the rain still pours,
but I don’t see gloom. I don’t see drear.
Something has shifted in me and I soar
over the road and over the clouds.
Nothing has changed at all outwardly
but something has changed inside of me.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Bow Sunrise

Sunrise on the way to work. October 2, 2017. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

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“Reason for Unsubscribing”

There were 150 messages waiting for me in my inbox when I woke up – most of them from organizations wanting me to sign things or send money. I can’t live like this…

I do not want you in my email inbox
I do not like your picture that shocks
I can’t keep up with the messages I find
and all the petitions I’m asked to sign,

You automatically signed me up
for monthly donations to fill your cup
and I had to work to make it one-time
– now I find I don’t want to give you a dime.

So don’t ask me for money –
I’ll give when I want
to the causes I choose.
Sorry – felt I had to be blunt.
– Karen the Curmudgeon

Suggestions for talking with…

I wonder if I might make a few suggestions for conversing with others about religion on a discussion board? I have had some experience with this, and I’d like to share some of what I’ve observed and learned.

The most important thing to know, I think, is that if you ever encounter me on a discussion forum I am always, always right. And if you disagree with me about this you are wrong.

Once we have established that basic and most fundamental of all facts, we can move on to other stuff:

Might I suggest that we never, ever, ever presume to know what other people think, feel, and believe just because they identify themselves as atheist, theist, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, pagan, Christian Scientist, or as a member of any other ideology.
Generalizations, stereotypes, and lumping whole groups of people together as one “type” are not helpful when trying to understand someone else’s perspective.
Don’t tell other people what they think. Let them tell you.
Although pomposity cracks me up, not everyone shares the same reaction as me to puffed-up know-it-allness. Humility is a beautiful thing. Let’s be willing to laugh at our own nonsense before we laugh at someone else’s.
Remember that we’re all human – we all have our own flaws and foibles – none of us is perfect here. Might I suggest that we correct our own flaws before we start trying to correct someone else’s?
Give each other grace.
Listen.
More specifically…

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities…
– Mary Baker Eddy (Miscellaneous Writings)

I wonder if I might make a few suggestions for conversing with others about religion on a discussion board?   I have had some experience with this, and I’d like to share some of what I’ve observed and learned.

The…

View original post 1,515 more words

Dear Humoristian Hooligans, thank you…

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

2017 has been kind of a challenging year, and it’s made me all the more grateful for you. Our world has been blessed by you. Thank you for bringing laughter into a world in sorry need of a good laugh. Thank you for your kindness, and your honesty. Thank you for caring. May your irrepressible good humor and love of life continue to bring magic to our planet. You were made for these times. You are meant to be here.

Karen

Beloved children, the world has need of you, —and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives.
– Mary Baker Eddy

perfect-time

The Pressure to Feel Merry

(Excerpt from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book)

It has been a challenging month for a lot of people. Yesterday when I was running around, doing last minute Christmas shopping, I ran into three friends who teared-up when I asked them how they were doing – one had lost a husband not long ago, the second had lost her mom, the third her dad.  The husband of a fourth friend is going through medical treatment for cancer. And then there is the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut.

It just might be that some of us are not inclined to feel all jolly-cheery right now.

And I’m here to tell you, if you are one of those folks – it is alright. It’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.  There’s no need or reason to judge your feelings, or to try to force them to be what they’re not. That’s just silly.

At Christmas there’s a lot of pressure on people to feel “The Christmas Spirit.” No one wants to be the Christmas Scrooge.  I think we all want to share in the spirit of joy and generosity and hope.  But pressuring ourselves to be happy, trying to force ourselves to be jolly, is maybe not the best way to get there.  Then it becomes a battle, rather than a natural unfolding.

Here’s the good news: There’s no law that says we can’t feel the Christmas spirit on December 26th, or December 27th, or March 1st – we‘re not limited to feeling joy, generosity, and hope on this one day a year.  So even if, this year, we just can’t seem to get there on December 25th, we still have the opportunity to feel the spirit whenever or wherever it unfolds for us.

And here’s another bit of good news that I’ve discovered in my own adventures with sadness and grief: I have found that it is possible to be happy even when you’re sad. Which. Yeah, I know that sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? But it’s true!

May joy settle upon you gently, moment by moment – may you catch it in the playful grin on a child’s face, in the uplift that comes from Beethoven’s Joy, in the smell of something good baking in the oven, in the hug from a friend – may you relax and enjoy those moments for what they are, and what they give you.  And may any pressure you feel to somehow make those moments bigger, or brighter, or louder ease and lift from you.

The_Madcap_Christian_Cover_for_Kindle (6)

“What would your ten commandments be?”

I was scanning through the Amazon Religion Discussion Forum the other day and came upon this question: “If you could rewrite the Ten Commandments, what would yours be?” I love questions like that – questions that ask us to think in a deeper way about concepts that we often just accept without question.

So I thought about the question – and then, using the original Ten Commandments as a sort of framework, I came up with these:

1) Thou shalt have no other gods but Love.
2) Thou shalt share your wealth: Thou shalt not make unto thee any tax-free institutions or corporate loopholes to acquire money or power; Thou shalt not bow down to money or corporations; Thou shalt bring fairness and equality to the disenfranchised, the down-trodden, the underpaid, unemployed, and homeless.
3) Thou shalt respect the power of Love and Truth, and use that power to bring peace to your planet.
4) Remember to set aside time every day to appreciate all the good around you, and to use your talents – whatever they may be – to share the beauty you see in the world.
5) Honor all those who have nurtured and cultivated the best in you, and nurture and cultivate the good in others, also.
6) Love without discrimination, prejudice, or condition.
7) Keep your integrity
8) Be grateful for all that you have.
9) Look for the good in others.
10) Care for your environment and your fellow creatures.

I’d love to hear what any of my readers might come up with for this question. Care to share? 🙂

To help you get started, here are the original Ten Commandments (from Exodus 20):

1) Thou shalt have no other gods
2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images or likenesses… Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them
3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
4) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
5) Honour thy father and thy mother
6) Thou shalt not kill
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery
8) Thou shalt not steal
9) Thou shalt not bear false witness
10) Thou shalt not covet

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

I was scanning through the Amazon Religion Discussion Forum the other day and came upon this question: “If you could rewrite the Ten Commandments, what would yours be?” I love questions like that – questions that ask us to think in a deeper way about concepts that we often just accept without question.

So I thought about the question – and then, using the original Ten Commandments as a sort of framework, I came up with these:

1) Thou shalt have no other gods but Love.
2) Thou shalt share your wealth: Thou shalt not make unto thee any tax-free institutions or corporate loopholes to acquire money or power; Thou shalt not bow down to money or corporations; Thou shalt bring fairness and equality to the disenfranchised, the down-trodden, the underpaid, unemployed, and homeless.
3) Thou shalt respect the power of Love and Truth, and use that power to…

View original post 219 more words