Finally got back up to Bellingham for my boardwalk walk this morning. (I haven’t been up there for maybe a week – the snow and cold has kept me on the neighborhood roads for my walks.)
I was sitting in the car, getting ready for my drive, and I started looking around for a CD to listen to on the way. My eyes went to the pocket on my driver’s door and I spotted a CD there and pulled it out. It was still hermetically-sealed in its plastic – hadn’t been opened, yet – and I have no idea how or when I came upon this CD. Did I buy it? Did someone give it to me? How long ago?
The writing was too small for me to see what kind of music this was or who it was by…I was intrigued. I unwrapped it and stuck it in the CD player and this man’s voice came through the speakers, singing one of my favorite old Christian Science hymns: “He leadeth me, He leadeth me; by His own hand He leadeth me…” (Joseph H. Gilmore)
I started crying. Love knew exactly what I needed at just that moment.
Later on – when I could look more closely at the writing – I found the CD was made by a musician named Andrew James. Bless him.
Music connects us one to another, doesn’t it?
“Whatever inspires with wisdom, Truth, or Love – be it song, sermon, or Science – blesses the human family with crumbs of comfort from Christ’s table, feeding the hungry and giving living waters to the thirsty.”- Mary Baker Eddy
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
My dear Humoristian hooligans – The world is in need of all the love and courage you can shine on it today – the world is in need of your reflection of all that is good and decent. You are important – each and every beautiful one of you – in your expressions of kindness, honesty, and irrepressible, unstoppable, insurmountable joy. May the scared, misguided and misinformed be awakened by your unwavering wisdom and unshakable faith in Truth. May the bullies and belligerent bigots be transformed by your buoyant, unbreakable belief in the brotherhood and sisterhood and kinship of all creatures. May we all help our world find peace. Amen. – Karen Molenaar Terrell
Pep talk to myself during these strange and really surreal times –
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.)
No, it is not alright to grab your guns and threaten the lives of election officials who are doing their jobs. If you think it’s okay to use violence to put your candidate in the White House – if you think it’s alright to start a Civil War because your candidate lost – if you think it’s fine to go against the votes and wishes of the majority of your fellow citizens – then you are NOT a patriot. You are a bully. I have no respect for bullies. -Karen Molenaar Terrell
Forgiveness. Forgiveness is something I’ve given a lot of thought to over the years. At different times different thoughts about forgiveness have been helpful to me. When I realized that I should actually THANK people for gifting me with the challenges that helped me grow – that was a huge step forward. When I realized that to NOT forgive was hurting me more than anyone else – that was another step. And this week I had another epiphany about forgiveness – and, for me, this one was HUGE.
There were a couple books I read recently that helped lead me to my most recent revelation:
I’ve been reading Baroness Orczy’s “Scarlet Pimpernel” books (The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all-time favorite books – I re-read it a few weeks ago and then started reading some of the other books in the series). In one of the books – I Will Repay – one of the characters says: “To understand is to forgive.” Whoahhhh. That got my thoughts going all kinds of interesting places. If we can understand other people – feel empathy for them – we can forgive them because we recognize in them our OWN human-ness, right?
After I’d read a couple of the baroness’s books, I felt the need for a change in genre – I needed to exchange the blood and muck of the French Revolution for something a little lighter. Something with some humor. So I brought Christina Lauren’s latest romance, In a Holidaze, to my Kindle. It was the perfect book for me right now! Funny and light and with a happy ending – just the escape I needed at the end of 2020. And it was in this book that I came upon another quote that I found helpful in my pursuit of forgiveness: “All this time I’ve been upset with him for simply being exactly the person I always knew he was.” Sheesh. It makes no sense to be angry at someone just because he/she/they is a human being – with the same human flaws and foibles we ALL share. I mean – none of us is perfect. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t done something stupid/thoughtless/unkind at some point. Let’s forgive others their faults, and let’s forgive ourselves, too, while we’re at it.
“How embarrassing to be human.” – Kurt Vonnegut
“To punish ourselves for others’ faults, is superlative folly. The mental arrow shot from another’s bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our pride that makes another’s criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another’s deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another’s self-assertion. Well may we feel wounded by our own faults; but we can hardly afford to be miserable for the faults of others.” – Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings
Season of Shameless Plugs (Day 9): (dramatic three notes – dun dun dun) The Audiobook
So if you google my name (which… okay… I have) you’ll see the audiobook for Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist comes up near the top of the first page. With a one-star rating. No review. Nothing to say about what the critic didn’t like about it. Just. One star. It has been sitting there like that for months now – a festering freakin’ sliver in my thumb. If you go to the next page of Karen Molenaar Terrells – or maybe the one after that – you’ll see that someone in Australia (bless her/his/their heart!) gave me a five star rating for the same audiobook. (Australians obviously are a people of great discernment and good judgment.) So. Yeah. If any of you are into listening to books on your devices you can, for less than the price of a cup of coffee (I think you can actually get the audiobook free if you already own the book), purchase the audiobook (and find a sample from the book) here. (You can also find the audiobook right next to the other formats for the book on the Amazon site).
In 2014 I published my third book in the Madcap Christian Scientist series, The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New. This one was all about starting over. It has four reviews on Amazon now – all five stars! Here’s an excerpt:
Two years ago I would never have been able to guess where I’d be today, what I’d be doing, and what new people I would be calling my friends and colleagues. Two years ago my youngest son was close to graduating from high school, my 20-year career as a public school teacher was winding down, and I was looking for a new job and a new purpose to fill my days. Two years ago I was starting over.It was scary. It was exhilarating. It was absolutely awesome!
For the first time in years I didn’t have to try to fit my life into a rigid schedule and a tight structure. My life was my own to create as I felt led…
Season of Shameless Plugs (Day 4): At the age of 51 I went insane. I did not like it so much, but I sure learned a lot from that experience. I wrote about my journey through depression in The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book. The Middle Book has six ratings now – all five stars! Here’s an excerpt:
On New Year’s Eve, 2007, I was hit particularly hard by the belief of depression – caught up in weird and intense feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. I don’t know what led me to check out my book on Amazon that night, but when I clicked on Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist I found that just that day someone had added a new review for my book. The review read, in part: “Karen becomes your friend, someone you know and love and you know if she knew you, she would love you the way you want to be loved.” I read those words and was so touched by them I began to cry. This was exactly the message I needed at that moment. If I could love others, I had worth. If others could love me, there was hope. I’ve always felt that the man who wrote that review had been listening to the voice of Love that day. He’d been guided by Love’s direction to take the time to write a review for my book – and, because he did that for me, he helped to bring me out of a place of deep despair.
We all have access to an incredible power to bring good to other people’s lives. That day my book’s reviewer had tapped into that power. *** My eldest son, Andrew, understood that I desperately needed to get away from “myself” – needed to get away from the routine of my life – and volunteered to go with me to the Oregon coast during our Spring Break. His willingness to accompany me on a fourteen-hour drive (round trip) meant a great deal to me and, frankly, surprised me. What sixteen year-old young man do you know who would volunteer to go with his mom on a road trip? We had such a great time. We’re both kind of easy-going when it comes to traveling. Sometimes I would wander, accidentally or on purpose, off the beaten track, and it would take me awhile to find my way back to our route – but Andrew never panicked about any of this. He just let me take him wherever I ended up going, without worry or concern about it. I remember one time we pulled over at a “scenic viewpoint” to find ourselves looking down on a sawmill and pulp mill that was belching up great plumes of smoke. Without saying a word, Andrew and I looked at each other and started snickering – I knew what he was thinking – scenic viewpoint?!
On the way down, we stopped to visit with my beloved Aunt Junie. Here’s what I wrote in my journal about that visit: “Spent the night with Aunt Junie. She is so amazing. She’s like Yoda. I was all weepy, told her I’d made mistakes and had lost close friends who told me I was a bad friend and a bad person. Junie was appalled. She said I am a good person – all her intuition tells her that I am a good person and she has no doubts about that.” Junie believed in me, had faith in me, and trusted in me. And I really needed that at the moment. She told me that “there are no unrightable wrongs, no unforgiveable sins, no fatal mistakes, no fatal diseases, only the eternal now.” To be given hope and a fresh start is incredibly freeing.
The Season of Shameless Plugs (Day 3): In 2005 I published my first book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. It now has 33 reviews on Amazon – and 4.7 stars! I’ve made some really good friends through that little book, and it’s introduced me to people all over the world.
Here’s an excerpt from the Introduction: Years ago an old boyfriend said to me, “I can’t see that Christian Science has made you any better than anyone else.”
“I know!” I said, nodding my head in complete and happy agreement, “But can you imagine what I’d be like without it?!”
He raised his eyebrows and laughed. What could he say? He was looking at a self-centered, moralistic, stubborn idealist who saw everything in terms of black and white. But I could have been worse. I believe without Christian Science I would have been worse.
Let’s get one thing clear from the start: I am not the best example of a Christian Scientist. I’m not as disciplined as I could be. I have fears and worries and doubts. I’m a little neurotic. I am the Lucy Ricardo of Christian Scientists.