About Karen Molenaar Terrell

Karen's stories have appeared in *Newsweek*, *The Christian Science Monitor*, and *Pack and Paddle Magazine* and she's the author of *Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad*, *The Second Hundred Years: Further Adventures with Dad*, *The Brush of Angel Wings*, *The Madcap Christian Scientist* series, *A Poem Sits on my Windowsill*, *Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom*, and co-author of *The Humoristian Chronicles: A Most Unusual Fellowship*. Her photos are featured in the spring 2014 edition of the *Bellingham Review*, and the "Photos from the Field" page of the April/May 2017, December/January 2018-2019, April/May 2019, and June/July 2020 issues of of *Mother Earth News*. Her photos can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60803140@N06/ Her books can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Molenaar-Terrell/e/B0044P90RQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1312060042&sr=8-

“And Now You’re Saving Lives!”

There’s a large part of this story that’s not mine to share and I’ll leave to my friend to share if she wants. But I think I can share this part:

Looking back on Facebook at the history of our friendship, it looks like we met on November 8, 2018, and became immediate friends. I was taking my walk on the Bellingham boardwalk when I first met her. It was a cold day. She wore a hat, I remember. I recognized a kinship – I saw in her expression a shared experience. I opened my heart to hear her story and she poured her heart out to me. Heart-to-heart. I felt so privileged by that – by her trust in me.

I understood some of what she was going through – I’d gone through a similar experience about ten years before. I’m not sure what I said to her. I might have told her that I understood – that I’d been there, too – that I knew she was in a scary place – but that she was also in a really amazing place – that she was completely free to create a whole new life for herself and that I knew that was scary, but that I thought she’d find it was also really exhilarating. An adventure!

I went home and found her on FB and discovered we had a bunch of friends in common. That was cool. And I asked her to be my FB friend.

Through the last four years we’ve sometimes run into each other by magic – not purposefully, but always perfectly. We’ve come upon each other at rallies and in the supermarket and walking along a street. When it was my turn to get a COVID vaccine, I was a little freaked out, and I contacted my friend because I knew she was working at the vaccination site and I knew I could count on her to help walk me through what I had to do. She was a blessing to me during that time.

And today I ran into her at the supermarket. She shared with me that last weekend, through her new role at work, she was in a position to help someone who told her that she “most likely” had saved his life.

As she was sharing her story I started crying. And then she started crying. And we hugged and cried and laughed together. She asked me if I remembered where she was when we’d first met, and I nodded and said, “And now you’re saving lives!”

In the last few days, I’ve felt the Cosmos reaching out to me with hope and reassurance and love. I’m being constantly reminded of all the Good in the world. I’m so grateful for that.

I Remember You

I was working in the yard when our neighbor walked by with his daughter and his little five-year-old grandson.

Karen: Dmitri, you’ve grown so big! It’s so good to see you again! (I wave.)
Dmitri waves back and then runs across the lawn to give me a big hug. I feel my eyes tear up a little bit.
Karen: Dmitri, it’s been a long time and you might not remember me, but…
Dmitri: (looking up at me) I remember you. I remember you like hugs.
Karen: And that’s why you gave me a hug?
Dmitri: (nodding) Yes.

May the little children of the world save us, one heart at a time. ❤

Sunset over flooded fields in Skagit County, Washington State. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Unchanging Law

A thought I’m working with:

All that’s changed are human laws.
The law of Love and Truth (God’s law)
is still here
and won’t ever change
or be impeded,
can’t be thrown out
or superceded
by human opinion
or a human court.

God’s law is supreme.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
-Galatians 5:22-23

What’s Real Can Never Change or Die

So much has changed
in the last day, week, year –
and I feel great fear.
But then Clara Kitty curls
up on my lap and I see
Love is still here
and a butterfly flutters by
the window and flits
through the blue sky
and I feel Life moving ‘round
me in an eternal satisfied sigh.
Life and Love: what’s true
and real can never change
or die.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Forcing Their Will on Us

There are two men sitting on the Supreme Court who have been accused of sexual misconduct towards women. Those same men were among those who voted to end the right for a woman to have control over her own body. It feels, to me, like what those two men were accused of doing to individual women, they are now doing to an entire collective nation of women – forcing their will on us. And it seems to me they are among the LAST people who should have been given that kind of power over others.

I Found Hope Yesterday

I was feeling discouraged this morning. No, “discouraged” is an understatement for what I was feeling – what I was feeling was something beyond that. As I was posting on FB, my friend, Kathy, commented that she could use a hug and said she’d be working to register voters at the Mount Vernon YMCA. Coincidentally, I needed a hug, too. I also needed to get some groceries. So I got in Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and drove, first, to the supermarket, and then to the YMCA.

When I got to the supermarket, I saw a man standing on a corner with a sign indicating he was in need. And the thought that came to me was, “I maybe don’t want to be on this planet right now, but maybe I can do some good while I AM here.” So I parked and walked over to the man and asked if I could get him something in the supermarket. He said he was really hungry, so I asked him if I could get him a sandwich, and he said yes. I bought my groceries – including TWO quarts of Paul Newman virgin lemonade – and then picked up a sandwich for the gentleman on the corner.

When I brought him his sandwich, I realized he was probably pretty thirsty, too – it’s hot here today – and I realized the second quart of lemonade was for him. He smiled and thanked me and took the sandwich and lemonade from me.

I was already feeling much better.

After the supermarket, I drove down to find Kathy at the YMCA to exchange a hug, and met a whole lot of other really cool people, too. There was young Roran with his rainbow drawings, a woman who helps victims of domestic violence, a couple people who work with Planned Parenthood, and folks from PFLAG of Skagit County. And meeting these people – brave and compassionate and caring people – has given me back my hope.

It’s Too Big for Words

I know.
I can’t find the words.
It’s too big for words.
So much seems too big
for words these days.

It’s hard to wrap my head around
the fact that we live in a country
where we are all at the mercy
of other people’s religious beliefs.

Just know you’re not alone.
You have a world of mothers,
and fathers, aunts and uncles,
and sisters and brothers
standing right there with you.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Why Watch This?

Why watch this? That’s a fair question. It’s caused some self-reflection here, and that’s always a good thing, I think.

Why did I watch?

-I still feel traumatized by what I saw on television on January 6th. I saw heroes in capital police uniforms holding the line at risk to their lives to keep our democracy alive. I saw a Republican vice president and the Republican senate majority leader make the choice to stand by their oaths of office and finish the job of counting the electoral votes right after their lives and the lives of other other legislators had been in peril. I saw bullies and thugs trying to force what THEY wanted on the rest of us (the majority of whom elected Biden president in a legal election). I saw bullies and thugs chanting to “hang Pence” and threatening the lives of public servants who were just trying to do their jobs.

– I wanted to see the heroes publicly acknowledged.

– I wanted to see the bullies and thugs publicly exposed for what they are.

– I wanted to see the liars and cheats publicly confronted with their lies and cheating, and I wanted those who blindly believed in them to finally come to see they’d been misled.

– I wanted to see the insanity and terror of January 6th publicly addressed.

The United States should not be run like it’s some organized crime syndicate by a mob boss who expects his “underlings” to “find him 10,000 votes” – and is surprised when they don’t go along with his insanity.

Spoiler Alert: This Has a Happy Ending

Spoiler Alert: This has a happy ending.

I have felt really stretched and fragile and on the edge the last little while. I know the last few years have been challenging for all of us – and we each have our own slant and perspective on the challenges. A lot of my perspective comes from the point of view of someone who is hard of hearing.

Imagine being someone who depends on hearing aids and smiles and reading lips and facial expressions to communicate with others. And then imagine lips and smiles being covered, voices being muffled through masks, and hearing aids getting all tangled up in mask strings and falling out. I have been conscientious about wearing a mask when I knew it was helping others and helping allay fears – I felt it was something I could do for the good of my community. But I think two years of feeling shut off from the voices and smiles of others had slowly pushed me to the breaking point. So when a loved one suggested I wear THIS kind of mask because it had THESE kind of strings that wouldn’t get tangled in my hearing aids – I reacted more strongly than I might have two years ago. NOOOOOOO!!!!! No, no, no, no, nope. I pointed out to my loved one that he has hair that’s an inch long – and I have hair to my shoulders – how was I going to get those strings through my hair? And and and… earrings, hearing aids, sunglasses…. NOOOOOOOOO…. it was, like, the last straw for me. I told my loved one I never, ever wanted to hear another word about masks. I’ll wear them when I need to, but I don’t want to talk about it. He got the message and we moved on to happier topics.

So a couple days ago a friend called for a chat on the phone. I have to take off my hearing aid when I’m on the phone so it doesn’t whistle at me. I was sitting in the dining room, picked up my hearing aid from the window sill, and moved to the family room while I was talking to my friend. And somewhere between the dining room and the family room I lost my hearing aid. I mean. It completely vanished. Disappeared. Poof. Gone.

I felt like I had finally broken. I wondered if I was going crazy. I had a kind of panic attack about it. I might have made a sort of cursory prayer about it – “there is nothing lost that won’t be found” and “nothing is lost to God or outside Her consciousness” and “everything is exactly where it needs to be – nothing is misplaced in God’s universe” – but really, I felt like I couldn’t even deal with one more thing right then. So I gave up and went to bed and hoped for happy dreams about smiling unmasked faces.

Fast forward to Father’s Day. We’re all sitting around the table – the husband, the sons, and the sons’ wonderful wives – and I start talking about my missing hearing aid, and my youngest son gently taps me on the arm and says, “Kyla is wondering if that might be your hearing aid over there?” And I look over to where the son is pointing – and there’s my hearing aid! – sitting on top of a candle on the window sill!!! My daughter-in-law, Kyla, had been listening to me tell my story and her eyes had gone to the window sill behind me and she saw the hearing aid sitting right there!! (Insert the music of a heavenly choir here and rays of light shining down on the hearing aid.)

Hugs and rejoicing all around! For me, that hearing aid had come to be symbolic for my life, and it was found again!

Amen.

My Father-Mother never stopped loving me,
or took a break from being All-Good, everywhere.
She is always now, always here – Love Be-ing.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell