Ten Perfect Minutes

I found ten perfect minutes today – sitting in the shade outside the coffee shop – all alone in the space set aside for patrons, sipping my blueberry-spinach-coconut milk smoothie. I watched the sailboats and paddle boarders and kayakers gliding by on the bay – and, with my mask securely fastened about my face – asked a pair of friends who’ve known each other for 40 years if I could take their photo for them – they said yes and thank you.  Another pair of friends – a black woman and a white woman – walked by and stopped on the walk in front of me to look out at the water – and I had to comment on the beautiful sweater one of the friends was wearing – she smiled and thanked me and told me she ordered her sweater online. Just as I was contemplating leaving and continuing on with my walk a family came out of the coffee shop and joined me in the space for patrons – my table was the only one in the shade, and I told them that I was leaving and they could sit where I was. They smiled and – making sure to keep the proper social distance – we moved around each other and they took over the table out of the sun.

Ten perfect minutes is a pretty wonderful thing.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

Our Prayer for the World

Let’s do a prayer for the world together. I’ll start, and then you all can add on with your own prayerful thoughts. Let’s keep this non-political. Let’s keep this kind. You don’t have to belong to any particular religion – or any religion at all – to participate. This is just going to be about embracing the entire world in a big ol’ loving hug. ❤

Here we go –
I feel the presence and power of Love enveloping each and every one of us – protecting us, guiding us, sheltering us, providing refuge and sanctuary, giving us direction. I feel Love filling the universe with light – there isn’t the teensiest tiniest nano space that isn’t touched by Love. No one is out of the reach of Love. No one is out of the reach of Truth. No one is out of the reach of harmony and peace, kindness and honesty. NOTHING can separate us from Love – not fear or anger or hate or confusion or ignorance or guilt. We are RIGHT THIS MOMENT where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing, supplied with everything we need. We are worthy. We are deserving of good. Every moment we are new. We are meant to be here.

Okay, your turn… 🙂

A Message from my Younger Self

Found an old journal from probably 40 years ago as I was sorting through old boxes and bins.

I word-doodled (this was a free write ramble – there was no organization to it): “Even if ten years from now you’re not the same person, this person that you were really existed and lived. Love and trust and beauty aren’t magical – they’re real – and you can take them with you wherever you go. Be happy that you’re alive for this one moment of peace and contentment when you have everything you need.”

I think I needed the voice of my younger self speaking to me today from the before-times.

 

Grateful for Our Connection

Back in February and March – when COVID-19 was first making the news – I had terrible fears for a loved one who was traveling though Europe. (Maybe someday I’ll share more about that.) My terror caused me to pull out all the tools I’d acquired in my life to get me through troubling times – and one of the chief tools was expressing gratitude for all the good in my life.

I remember lying in bed one night in particular – my thoughts were all agitated and I couldn’t find peace. I was just staring at the ceiling, trying to calm myself, and I started listing in my thoughts all the people I was grateful for in my life – my sons, husband, Mom and Dad, siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws, friends from grade school, junior high, high school, university, Mount Rainier friends, neighbors, colleagues, church friends, Humoristian friends, FB friends, WordPress friends – and then I found myself including people who might not be considered “friends” – people I thought had maybe treated me unkindly or unfairly, people I’d had a rift with – and I found myself genuinely grateful for THEM, too, and for my connection to them.

It was a cosmic moment for me. I felt my connection to all of God’s, Love’s, creation – and each and every expression of Life. I knew this overwhelming gratitude that I’m not solitary and alone in this vast, infinite universe – grateful for my connection to all the infinite expressions of Life. I felt Love’s presence with me – supporting me – sure and comforting and healing and powerful. My fears dissolved away and I was able to go back to sleep.

I’m going to practice having more of those cosmic moments.

And I know those moments begin with love.

Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

Shaming

Let’s stop shaming each other,
stop blaming each other –
stop looking for the faults and flaws
in each other.
No human is perfect –
we’ve all made mistakes –
let’s stop pointing fingers
and each do what it takes
to tear down the walls,
and set free the doves
celebrate our differences
and practice Love’s love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“If the Christian Scientists would be saved they must love. If there is any health in love, in life, you must stop hating. Stop saying hateful things; stop doing hateful things. Simply get to work at number one and make a lover of him as rapidly as possible. Do not think you ought to find fault with some one else; let him alone.”
Edward A. Kimball, Lectures and Articles on Christian Science

“Remember that no human being is without shortcomings. Even if you were in the company of an angel, eventually they might tick you off about something, and then you would say, ‘Look, I’m sorry but you have to go. Get thee back to heaven!’ But maybe instead of kicking the angel out the door, just acknowledge that no one is perfect and you won’t take it personally if it turns out that the person is merely human after all.”
– Mooji, Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space

Excerpted from “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman (click here for a really powerful youtube video of a workshop session for the movie):

I’m not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one will love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

And I know that I deserve your love
There’s nothing I’m not worthy of
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is bruised
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me…

– Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

A rainbow arches over Padilla Bay in Skagit County, Washington. (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

He Underestimated the People

He underestimated the goodness of the people of this country.
And that was his downfall.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Moon rising over Mount Baker. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell._

Moon Over Mount Baker

Giving Each Other Some Grace

“Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Shopping at Fred Meyer’s this morning. There was an interesting feeling/atmosphere in there. Kind of edgy. When I went through the checkout I saw one of my old students was doing the bagging – Kayla with the Cheerful Heart. Kayla is ALWAYS smiling, and usually laughing. I found myself smiling just to see her there, working her magic. I asked her (muffled through my mask) how she was doing and she said she and the cashier had been yelled at a lot this morning – I looked over to the cashier and she nodded her head in confirmation. I wondered out loud what was going on with people right now. “It’s Sunday,” I said half to myself, trying to work it out, “Maybe people are just coming from church.” (I’d noticed the church parking lots were full this morning.) Kayla and the checker started laughing out loud, nodding their heads, agreeing that THAT was probably what was happening.

Then Kayla said this was the first day in months she hadn’t worn a mask – she’d been starting to feel sick because she’d had to wear a mask for months on the job and it was making her asthma act up. She said one of the customers had yelled at her for not wearing a mask. The cashier nodded her head – she’d just taken her mask off for a moment to talk to someone when the same customer had started yelling at her, too.

Sheesh.

I turned to the guy behind me in line – he wasn’t wearing a mask. I pointed to my smiley masked face and asked him if he could tell I was smiling under my mask. He laughed and said yeah. I asked him if anyone had yelled at him this morning because he wasn’t wearing a mask (probably half the folks in the store weren’t wearing masks today) – and he laughed and said no, he just did “this” (and he showed me a cranky-looking frown) and people mostly avoided him. I started cracking up. I agreed the frown probably worked wonders in those kinds of social “situations.”

My groceries all packed up in paper bags, Kayla and the checker lady – and the unmasked guy behind me – all wished me a good day and I moved on.

As I walked out of the store I started thinking about the whole masked/unmasked thing. I wear a mask when I’m in supermarkets and public places because I figure it’s the least I can do right now to help the folks around me. When I consider what generations before me had to sacrifice as they went through World Wars and the Great Depression a mask doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. BUT I am not going to judge other people’s choices about that. It seems silly, to me, to let masks (or no masks) define people or determine their worth and value.

We’re all dealing with a lot of challenges right now – financial challenges, social isolation, concerns about health and politics. People are stressed. People are scared. And, for some people, fear presents itself as anger, indignation, self-righteousness, judgmentalism, quick tempers and impatience. I’m going to make an effort not to be one of those people – but I’m also going to make an effort to understand and be patient with my fellow humans who find themselves snapping and angry and indignant. It ain’t easy being human. I’m going to trust that we’re all doing the best we can.

If ever there was a time to give each other grace, it is now.

So Grateful I Was Raised by These People

Missing Dad and Moz today, but so glad they’re not here to see what’s happening to our poor country.

I spent an hour today driving around to the places Dad and I used to go on our drives together – feeling the echo of his presence still there, talking to me. I had a flashback of a time when a young black man in a hoodie stopped to open the door for Dad, and I remember how Dad took the time to stop and thank him before he went into the building. It was a brief exchange – very quick – but the power of the brotherly love I felt being exchanged between Dad and the young man is still with me.

Thinking of Moz and imagining her shaking with indignation and anger at the injustice and racism we’re seeing – just as she did when I was a little girl and we encountered a racist at the Sears store. The man had nodded his head towards a little black family and said they should be shopping in their own store. When Moz understood what he was saying she was furious – “They have as much right to be here as you or me!” she told him, trembling with rage. The man realized, then, who he was dealing with in Moz and got all red in the face and scurried away. That was a moment I will never forget – it had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling very proud to be Moz’s daughter.

I remember how Moz and Dad celebrated the night Obama got elected – they were both so happy. Dad said he never thought he’d live long enough to see an African-American in the White House – his whole face was lit up with pride in his country. Moz had tears in her eyes with the joy she felt that night.

I’m so grateful I was raised by these people – so grateful I was brought up to see beyond the color of someone’s skin to what was in the heart of people. My parents gave me a kind of freedom with that.

Here’s Moz in her Obama hat. 

This picture of my mom, wearing her Obama cap, always puts a grin on my face.