Celebrating You on This Inauguration Day

My dear friends –

We’re still here! We’ve lived through yesterday and made it to today and that has been no small feat.

On this Inauguration Day I celebrate you – each and every beautiful one of you! I celebrate your compassion, courage, and commitment to kindness. I celebrate your honesty, your decency, your charity. I celebrate your moral strength and integrity. I celebrate that you stand for justice; kneel for equality and fairness; and dance for the joy that no one can steal from you. You have transformed the world. You have made it a better place. You are a wonder.

A new day is dawning. Go out there and work your magic, my friends.
Karen

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

May: Sunrise over Skagit County, WA

No One Can Steal Your Joy

“No one can steal your joy from you.”
John 16:22

Went on a nice long walk in Bellingham this morning – needed the fresh air and space for my thoughts.

I reached out to Dad in my thoughts (I don’t mean that I, like, “summoned” him – Dad’s not a ghost or anything – he and Mom are always with me in the same way Love, God, is always with me). And the thought that came back to me was full of joy. I know Dad’s happy. I think I was trying to talk to Dad about all the uncertainty and grief of these times – but it came to me that the things I seem to be experiencing are no part of Dad’s experience – no part of “where” he is (and I don’t mean “where” as in a location – but as a state of mind). I felt that I was being encouraged, then, to claim my own joy, too. The words from John came to me: “Your joy no man taketh from you.”

I’m not sure I’m explaining any of this at all well, but… the gist of it is that what I’ve been learning, lately, is that whenever I feel like I have a hole in my heart – it’s instantly filled with Love. Love is constantly giving me whatever it is I need. My sense of being connected to the infinite Love of the cosmos isn’t dependent upon my parents or husband or children or friends – it’s always with me.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind…”
-Mary Baker Eddy

We Need to Acknowledge What Happened Last Week

I have friends questioning why congress is taking on Trump right now. Congress should be trying to take care of America and not wasting time with Trump, these friends say. And here’s my response to that:

Last week legislators were running for their lives, under siege for hours from pro-Trump extremists who’d been incited by Trump to storm the capitol building. Rioters were calling for the execution of Pence. A noose was displayed on the capitol grounds. Zip ties were brought. I don’t think anyone should be surprised that these same legislators – from both parties – now believe Trump should face consequences for his insurrection.

What he did – and continues to do – creating divisiveness, distrust in our democratic process, sowing hatred – the fire he’s created and continues to feed – IS the biggest problem our country faces right now. Our nation cannot continue on until the mess Trump has created is addressed, acknowledged, and dealt with.
-Karen Molenaaar Terrell

Glimmers of Hope

I’m searching for glimmers of hope these days – those “thousand points of light” a former president was always talking about. And I’m seeing some! I thought I’d take a moment to share some of the glimmers I’ve seen…

Patriots’ Bill Belichick rejects Trump’s Congressional Medal of Freedom
Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman hailed as a hero
Transcript of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s powerful speech
Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after the riots
Former Army Ranger Rep. Jason Crow comforts colleague and helps others put on gas masks
James Corden gives us hope
Lawmakers returned from their hours under siege to certify Joe Biden as the next president

“…Now, with the past few days, friends from all over the world have been calling and calling and calling me. Calling me distraught and worried about us as a nation. One woman was in tears about America, wonderful tears of idealism about what America should be. Those tears should remind us of what America means to the world. Now I’ve told everyone who has called that, as heartbreaking as all this is, America will come back from these dark days and shine our light once again…”
-Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
-Bill Belichick

“… I think if there is one thing that we can have after the last month in this country, it’s hope. You know, as an outsider growing up in England, I used to look to America as this beacon of light and possibility. A place where anything can happen, a place where you’d be lucky to work. A place where many people that I knew used to fantasize about living here. A place that gives an individual more opportunity than they would get elsewhere but cares for their fellow man. Today people across the world would have looked at these pictures from Washington and wondered, ‘what on earth has happened to this great country?’ But I truly believe, and make no mistake, that they know that the America that they admire still exists. They know that the America that so many aspire to will be back. It’s just been hijacked by a lunatic and his crazy army for the last four years…

“…on those same steps, where that mob fought and pushed past police, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the president of the United States.”
-James Corden

“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”
-Anne Frank

“Progress is the law of God…”
-Mary Baker Eddy

Loss Brings Love

Loss
teaches me there is no separation
in Love
there is no space between
Good and me
Loss shakes old beliefs
shakes off what is untrue
and makes me look at everything new
What’s left is real
what’s left is true

Love brings loss
Loss brings Love
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

O make me glad for every scalding tear,
For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain!
Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear
No ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.”
-Mary Baker Eddy

April: Indian Memorial at Little Bighorn, MT



During These Strange and Really Surreal Times

Pep talk to myself during these strange and really surreal times –

The Awakening

Fear not. Feel the movement of the universe
endlessly adjusting, unfolding, winging like
a great murmuration of birds in flight – moving
as one body in waves of Love on winds of Truth,
winking and twinkling in the joy of the Cosmos.
Unwinding, untangling, unfettered and free-flowing-
always moving towards Love, towards Truth,
towards Life – irrepressible, unstoppable, the mighty
inexhaustible, relentless power of justice, of wisdom,
of kindness and peace. All of creation pulled together
and pulling together – The Awakening.

Amen.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell. Skagit County, Washington.)

May: Sunrise over Skagit County, WA


What Will Matter in Fifty Years

Last night as I was falling asleep I thought again of that one-star rating someone gave me for my audio book (that rating appears at the top of the page any time I google myself) and I came to terms with it. Sort of. I figured it was going to be there as long as I needed it to be there. I decided to be grateful for whatever lesson I need to learn from it. And then I thought bigger than that. When I die, I realized, none of any of that is going to matter – not the five stars, not the one star, not my name or my reputation or my popularity – that stuff – all of it – will soon be forgotten and in 50 years nobody will even remember “Karen Molenaar Terrell” was here. The one star and the five stars have nothing to do with who I really am – with my real identity as a child of the Cosmos. What WILL matter in 50 years is that I was kind while I was here, and honest. Even though my name won’t be remembered, I figure any kindness I leave behind me will leave an impression – a ripple maybe – that will join all the other ripples of kindness and help bring our little boat of mankind to the shore in a wave of Love. (I know. I am so deep, right?)

So anyway – this morning – the first morning of 2021 – I googled me again (I cannot help myself – remember that scene in “Schitt’s Creek” where Johnny asks a freaked-out Moira if she “googled” herself again?) and some kind someone had added a 5-star rating to my audio book! Bless their heart. That brings my audiobook up to three stars now. And – to be honest (and because I’m still human) – that feels a lot better than one star.

Thank you, kind person.

Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist

34 ratings now and 4.7 stars for Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist! Whoo hoot!
VolP – Dragon User writes:OK, after reading the reviews, I thought this might make a nice Christmas present for a friend. When it arrived I decided to “peek” at a few pages, but couldn’t put it down. I finished reading it in one sitting. But how to review the book is a challenge. It leaves you with such a joyful uplifted feeling and one of appreciation and relevance. At first I found myself saying, “I want to know this woman” and after I finished the book I felt I did.Karen brings very positive reinforcement into the reader’s experience and the easy flowing style just melts in your mouth like comfort food. I found dozens of instances where I saw a parallel in my own life, that were entertaining and inspirational in a down to earth sort of way.I’m wearing a smile having read this and can’t think of a better way to pass an evening than this quick roller-coaster ride through another’s eyes of refreshing gratitude.It touched my heart and soul. Highly recommended.

Why Would I Choose…?

Why would I choose bitterness
and deny myself the peace
of forgiveness?
Why would I choose anger
and deny myself the joy
of kindness?
Why would I choose hate
and deny myself
the healing presence of Love?
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

May the peace, joy, and presence of Love fill your hearts and home this Christmas!

Love and a Sunrise

I went for a drive as the sun was rising this morning and pondered the concept of Love. I put in a CD of Alison Krauss’s music, listened to her sing the Beatle’s “I Will” – and let the music lift me up into that magical place where there’s no anger or fear, enemies or hate – where all of creation knows nothing but joy and good will. This poem and these pictures are what I brought back…

If I open myself up to Love
I avail myself of all the power of Love –
the warm, healing presence of Love.

Love isn’t some fragile thing.
It’s not destructible.
It’s not pretty in a Christmas tree
glass ornament way.
It’s enduring, dependable;
as solid as a mother’s lap;
as strong as a father’s rescuing arms;
as beautiful as the sound of Beethoven’s
“Joy”-  indestructible, and perfect.

Love fills all space –
every corner, hole, and crevice –
the collective consciousness
of universal compassion and kindness
nurturing and reaching out to
the love in all of us.
And the love in all of us can’t help
but respond.

And that’s how we heal.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Click here for a link to a video I filmed of the sunrise.

Photos of the sunrise over Skagit County, Washington, this morning. Photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell.