“…keep moving forward.”

On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination:

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Progress is the law of God…”

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”

“… there is never a retrograde step, never a return to positions outgrown.” 
– Mary Baker Eddy

“…let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”
– Amos 5:24

Guemes church 2

 

 

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Cast Thy Burden…

Earlier in the school year, at a workshop for teachers, this twenty-something man conducting the workshop said something like, “You know, we all have parents we can turn to when we need help…” and I felt myself suddenly and overwhelmingly filled with a huge sense of loss and grief. My nose and eyes started filling with snot and tears.  I had to get up and leave the room.

No, I was thinking, we don’t all have parents we can turn to when we need help. My mom is dead, and my 99 year-old dad needs me to be there for him now – not the other way around. I’m responsible for his health and safety and finances and well-being.  No, I thought, don’t assume that everybody in that room has parents they can turn to for support. As I sobbed, and blew my nose into a wad of toilet paper in the bathroom – feeling all sorts of sorry for myself – I was thinking the days when I had a mother and father to turn to for help were gone for me.

But the other day, as I was contemplating the nature of God, Love, this thought came to me: God is responsible for me. It was a really simple thought, but I found it wonderfully comforting.  “God is responsible for me,” I said out loud to myself, and turned the idea of it over in my thoughts, examining it. God made me, maintains me, governs, and guides me, I reasoned. I am here because of God, and for God. I am God’s, and God is mine – my Mother and Father. I can nestle safe and secure in Love’s arms and trust She will take care of me.  God, Love, is where I can always turn when I need help.

A sense of burden was lifted from me in that moment, and a sense of peace filled me. The false sense of responsibility I’d been feeling for everyone I come in contact with dissolved. I realized God, Love, is responsible for ALL Her children – Dad, my sons, husband, friends, students, colleagues, strangers on the street, and, yes, me, too.  In that moment it was clear to me that I’m not alone, on my own, here. We really DO all have a Father-Mother we can turn to when we need help.

It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
– Psalms 18:32

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
– Psalms 100:3

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…
– Psalms 55:22

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings…
– Deuteronomy 32:11

Two eagles in a nest in Bow, WA. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

Two eagles in a nest in Skagit County, Washington. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

We’re not here to die, but to live…

“See here,” she said. “Don’t let us talk about dying; I don’t like it. Let us talk about living.”
– Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

All preoccupied with warning signs
and symptoms, sickness and dying,
bouncing from one fear to the next –
expecting a crisis around every corner.
This is no way to live.

Death, you are not the boss of me.
My Creator has other plans for me.
Sickness and dying and fear
are not why Love put us here.
We’re not here to die, but to live.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
– Jeremiah 29:11

Were not here to die

What is thy birthright, man,
Child of the perfect One;
What is thy Father’s plan
For His beloved son?
– Emily F. Seal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have to Believe

I have to believe we really can get better, day by day.
I have to believe that we aren’t fated to accumulate
baggage and burdens, fear and loss, problems and weight,
ailments and affliction until the day we die.
I have to believe that each challenge that presents
itself to us can be an opportunity to learn a lesson
about the power and eternal ever-presence of Love.
I have to believe there’s no problem that can’t be healed,
no limitation, and no dismal destiny that can’t be unsealed
and overcome. I have to believe there’s a divine
reason and a purpose for everyone – him, her, and you.
And me. If I can believe I can make it true
for myself. And for my world.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Except for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, man would enjoy more than threescore years and ten and still maintain his vigor, freshness, and promise. Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness…Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight. ”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Butterfly on Table Mountain

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

 

 

Leaving a Wake of Kindness

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

I’ve been thinking about you, and feeling filled with gratitude, knowing you’re out there in the world, leaving a wake of kindness and love wherever you go. Wherever you are right now – whatever continent you’re on, or whatever ocean or sea – I know you will be working your magic today. You are transforming the universe. May your irrepressible joy bring hope to the hopeless. May the stodgy, stingy, and stuffy un-stodge and un-stuff themselves in the presence of your unstoppable silliness. May the bullies and bigots, bossybritches and busybodies, bellicose and benighted lose their fear and find their better selves in the power of your honesty and integrity. May you bring a good laugh to those desperately in need of a good laugh.
Amen.
Karen

Honoring Moz and Dad

Dear friends,

I am going to continue to post things now and then that you may not agree with. This does not mean I don’t like you, or that I think you’re a bad person. It doesn’t mean I’M a bad person, either. It just means we disagree. It happens sometimes. But it’s not in my genetic make-up to stay silent or keep my thoughts to myself when I feel strongly about something. Moz and Dad were writing letters to newspapers since as far back as I can remember – and they set an example to me of how I should use my own First Amendment rights. I honor them by following in their footsteps.

You don’t have to read my stuff, of course – you can just skoot right by my posts and I won’t get hurt feelings or anything. But I’m going to continue to write them. For Moz. For Dad. For the causes that matter to me.

Karen

“The times they are a-changin…'”

Did you all see the video clip of the high schoolers protesting at the White House today? Young people are not going to put up with crap. They aren’t going to put up with homophobia, racism, corporate greed, self-serving politicians or the NRA. Our young people give me hope for this world. They are articulate, educated, informed, and they know how to “spread the word” to each other.

The times they are a-changin’.

And it’s none too soon.

“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

“Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.”
– Bob Dylan