Lions and lambs

Life seems to be full of lions and lambs, lately mostly lions. Unfortunately, fear seems to have a grip on the world’s functioning and living. It seems to me, this would be a tendency during a world-wide pandemic, at least initially. As time has gone on, we’ve learned more about this virus and how it affects the human body. At the same time, it seems the more we learn the more this frustrating virus mutates. We, Americans don’t deal well with anything we have to “maintain”.

Our culture demands immediate viable solutions so we can move on to the next thing. Over the years, it seems we have developed a culture that honors the individual over the many. We value the strength of character that can pull oneself through just about anything that comes along. Those who need more help tend to be regarded as weak, the assumption is that somehow they didn’t or don’t measure up and therefore are in their situation. We’ll help initially but there seems to be an invisible timeclock that says if you need more help than this you’re on your own. We tend to move on to other “things” considered more important.

Years ago, my ministry and I were disregarded by a local leader as a “just a do gooder program”. Often this is the general attitude toward those who hang in there with the many who are struggling to recover, heal, put their lives back together following a crisis of one sort or another. Yet, this is what it means to be Christian, to hang in there, encourage, assist, and love one another in real life giving ways. In fact, this is what it means to be true to our humanity.

We were created to be in continual relationship with one another, self and God. Life giving relationship demands that we hang in there with one another. Sometimes it’s something as simple as wearing a mask to protect others from this deadly virus we could possibly be carrying. Sometimes it’s about volunteering with a smile, week after week, at the food pantry so our neighbors can eat healthy foods. Sometimes it’s about calling on the single person in the neighborhood to make sure they’re ok. Always it’s about creating ways to give love away even to those who don’t seem to deserve it.

We will NEVER go back to the way it was. We need to mourn this now and begin to take inventory of the lessons we’ve learned since the beginning of 2020. Why can’t we go back? Simply because we are NOT the same people. We have a brand new experience under our belt that has brought the opportunity for us to grow and learn from successes and failures over this time. So the future will benefit from our learnings, that is if we take the time and honor ourselves and one another enough to grow. This isn’t something we can do without thought or intention. We must forgive ourselves and others to move forward. Holding resentments will only take away our life, resentments do NO good. Forgiveness is that pathway forward. Forgiveness does not take away accountability, it simply releases the forgiver from the need to exact revenge on self or others.

This work, this walk forward is no easy task. And just because it’s “forward” does not leave anyone behind to fend for themselves. We move forward together; step by step. This move forward take courage, the courage of a lion with the heart of a lamb. The temperament of both and the love of God. May we find our way together, may we share words of encouragement effortlessly, may our hearts grow to guide our lives in life giving ways. May we be all God created us to be together.

Shalom – Pam

You’re in charge

After 2020 it’s truly hard to believe that “You’re in Charge”. Most of us feel battered about by every wind that came our way. Of course, it didn’t start out that way. But how much is any one person supposed to take and still be standing? Even those of us with lots of tools to deal with whatever comes our way were weakened. Some chose to deal with it all through denial which includes all kinds of behaviors including turning back to addictions, others with manipulation, others adapted (the best they could), the list of methods for gaining control include both healthy and unhealthy steps.

As we step into this new year, 2021, we discover our future full of possibilities. It’s as if Mr. Bee, above, just flew around a new corner and there before him lies blossoms and flowers in all directions and all states of development for as far as he could possibly fly in a year. What do you see Mr. Bee doing? Do you see him skidding to a stop, eyes bulging and hairs quivering? Perhaps he drops to the ground to catch his breath and consider the possibilities. “It must be a trick!” he thinks smelling the pollen just waiting for him. “No! Don’t go for it.”, he mumbles as he paces back and forth on the fertile moist ground. He becomes frozen in fear for what might happen. We can understand, after all, look at what he and the rest of the world had been through.

Meanwhile, Barbara Bee zings around the corner and eyes her friend on the ground. She lands on a leaf nearby and calls out: “Mr Bee, oh my, what are you doing on the ground!? You know you could get stepped on. Please come join me on the leaf.” Mr Bee is now totally absorbed in his fretting and his legs and wings have become covered with mud. “Oh Barbara Bee, it’s no use. The end has come and I just don’t have anymore fight in me. Save yourself if you can.” Barbara Bee looked at her dear friend and sounded the alarm calling all nearby bees to help. As they came, a few also got stuck in the mud with Mr Bee. Most were able to fly again after the dried mud flaked off their wings. Mr Bee followed their example and was soon flying again. Others however just didn’t have the strength and gave up. Soon the surviving bees were busy learning the ups and downs of their new field as they flew back to the hive laden with pollen.

Just like Mr Bee, it’s easy for us become weighted down with negativity and anxiety after the trauma of 2020. Let those who love you encourage you and even help you find new ways to move forward. If you, like Barbara Bee, have been able to hold onto your strength, share what you can with those who will listen. Encourage and assist if necessary. Remember, hope is real, God is reaching out to you where ever you are and who ever you are. You are never alone and can accept God’s healing embrace at any moment. The choice is yours. The path won’t necessarily be easy, but you can manage it.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-11

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, a about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

God is most definitely with you and me even now

This has been one of the most painful years of my life and believe it or not, the cause of the pain has nothing to do with Covid19. I know so many others have really struggled for all kinds of reasons this year. Regardless of what has caused your challenges, stress, pain, most of us are more than ready for relief. Naturally, many are looking to Christmas for some comfort, peace, some hope. And yes, it is here that we will find the miracle of God’s presence with us. I pray with all that I am, that you are able to recognize these wonder-full blessings right there waiting for you to accept.

This year Christmas has received an early welcome by most of us. Each of us reaching out for encouragement, hope, joy and comfort. As we reach out we find that God has already been reaching for us, to touch us, hold us, be with us, comfort us.

Our scripture begins: “Comfort, comfort my people! says your God” what wonderful words to hear from the one who truly can comfort our fears, anxieties, woes. God, the Source of All Being, our Creator, the One Who Loved Us Into Being is reaching out to us again calling us beloved. God, our Salvation, Redeemer has come down to truly Be With Us, Emmanuel, even in the chaos and pain of our living. God, our Nurturer, Constant Companion, Guide walks our chosen paths with us whispering to our souls, “This way.” God, the Architect of all and Ruler of Creation reaches out to us, a divine embrace birthing healing and salvation by grace.

No matter what you and I are going through, no matter how we choose to be as we go through it; God reaches out, offering this wonder-full divine embrace. You might be saying, yea right, I’ve heard all this before but nothing changes. Please take a look at the picture above. The hand on the right is God’s hand, see God’s finger reaching out? The hand on the left is “Adam’s” hand. Notice Adams hand just hangs there, not yet responding to God’s reach. Respond, say yes to God’s reach for you. Not just for this one thing or one time. But grasp onto God’s reach and don’t let go. Allow God’s embrace to envelop you, your every move, your every thought, your every decision, your every breath. Allow yourself to learn and grow in God’s ways and you will notice that you change, your reactions change, your strength changes. You’ll notice that things that once destroyed you no longer have power over you. But you must grasp God’s reach and hold on.

There is much in our secular world about the “MAGIC” of Christmas. God’s Beloved, my sisters and brothers, there is NOTHING magic about the true Christmas. Life doesn’t just POOF and the world is suddenly utopia. But God’s reach, Emmanuel, the baby in the manger is there for you to accept and allow into the intricacies of your life and living. And you will know true hope, joy, peace, and comfort today and every tomorrow regardless of what’s happening around you. You will live in confidence that God does win, always.

Enjoy the lights, the songs, the cheer. Remember your neighbors, friends, family even though you can’t visit with them. Face time with them, send cards, call, send letters, emails, messages let everyone know they are loved. Decorate your homes, cars, golf carts, pets. lol Laugh. And receive God’s embrace, reach for God’s presence, look to recognize Divine blessings and gifts. I guarantee they are there. You are loved. Hope reigns today and everyday. Allow peace, love, hope, joy agape, the divine to transform you AND your living today, tomorrow forever.

Love – Pam

Hallows Eve and All Saints

Did you know that at one time there was a relationship between Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and All Saints Day? Of course the All Hallows Eve traditions had very little in common with the current Halloween practices of today. In fact, the only thing it had in common was that it was held the day before All Saints Day.

All Hallows Eve was originally a time for Christians to prepare themselves for reverent practices of All Saints Day through prayer and various other ways. How you prepared for All Saints Day entirely depended on the practices of where you lived. In England, parents would take their children from house to house to beg for a special pastry treat called “soul cakes” and to pray for all those who had died from each house they visited. There is a very interesting Catholic tradition where children are taught about saints on All Hallows Eve by dressing as saints and going house to house. This link will take on a fascinating ride through this creative style of faith education. How I would love for all of us to have this truly fun experience of honoring and remembering who the saints have been and are. Unfortunately today most of us do not continue the Christian celebration of All Hallows Eve. Secular living has popularized a secular fun filled day we know as Halloween instead.

Of course all of this is to lead us to All Saints Day. Unfortunately a widely unknown feast day in the lives of Christians everywhere. In the 4th Century AD, the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrated this day as a day to remember all Martyrs on the Sunday after Pentecost. However, Syrians celebrated the “Commemoratio Confessorum” on the Friday after Easter. Over history the day was celebrated at various times, sometime to honor Martyrs and others to honor all Saints. In the 9th century a Byzantine Emperor Leo VI (the Wise) , to honor his late but very devout wife, changed this day to remember all Saints rather than just the Martyrs. Likewise, Pope Gregory III established November 1 as the official All Saints Day.

Some people today argue that the final date of November 1 was chosen because of the Celtic pagan Samhain being held on that day. Personally, I don’t see the problem either way. Christianity has historically taken various pagan, wicked symbols and changed them to become holy symbols. There’s also that scripture, Isaiah 2:4 “He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Charles Wesley took many bar tunes and put Christian verses to them and these are beloved hymns of today. Knowing who the saints are and celebrating their significance is vital to the body of Christ yesterday, today and tomorrow. Whatever day we use, let us use it. November 1st it is.

Now, many of you might be thinking … well, ok so what IS or who IS a saint? While the Catholic Church has specific venerated saints. However, protestant churches recognize all people who believe in the Triune God (trinity) as saints. We are the communion of saints. We include both the living and those believers who have died. The United Methodist Church has a brief description of All Saints Day here. The practice of remembering, naming and celebrating the cloud of witnesses, the communion of saints in our lives in a collective way can go a long long way to encouraging us in the faith. Life is hard. In fact, it’s the hardest thing we will ever do. Let’s us stand together, hold one another up, encouraging and supporting our brothers and sisters to live in faithful ways by celebrating all the saints who have touched our lives. Celebrating all those saints who have guided us and those who continue to bless us grounds us especially during this time of uncertainty and stress.

Look for celebrations of All Saints Day in your local community this year. If you can’t find one locally than perhaps you can find one online.

Forgiveness and your health

Many of you know that I have high respect for Dr. Robert Enright, the founder of the Forgiveness Institute. Much of the forgiveness work that we do at Living Springs Counseling is guided by the the scientific research of Dr. Enright’s institute coupled with Christian teachings. Recently, the Institute has produced the following video that provides some helpful insights in light of COVID19 symptoms around the world. Dr. Enright and Sam Ness join together discussing and singing about the benefits of forgiveness.

Ho! Listen!

Isaiah 55: 1-5

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
    and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.

Is there any text more appropriate for today? For us in the midst of a worldwide pandemic?

Here is an interpretation by Pam of this powerful life offering, mind altering, life changing text.

Ho! What's it going to take for God to get our attention? Yo!! Listen up ...
Those of you with no money .... wow! While some have been incredibly fortunate to continue getting an income, the vast majority of us have lost a good portion to all of our income and we're terrified ...
How to continue, food! housing! bills! health care costs!
What do you think is controlling people's thoughts these days?
What are you concerned about? Consider ...
What if your concept of a healthy economy, during this pandemic, is costing people their lives? 
What if your beliefs about good stewardship is costing people their lives?
It's hard and incredibly painful to truly consider these questions. But God asks us, in this time ...
Why? Why do you focus on bread that does not feed, bread that does not fill, bread that does not satisfy? God asks us, would you rather line your pockets than fill to satisfy?
Wake up! Ho! Listen! 
Listen now, listen to me, your God, the One Who Loved You Into Being
NO! I said listen! Incline your ear toward me and hear

You want to live?
You want to leave a legacy? You want to make a difference?
Even David, adulterous and sinful David, even David is my beloved
I made him known, I made him a leader and commander of not just people, but of peoples.
To these peoples I made him a witness for me. How much less will I make of you?
Listen, incline your ear and even the nations who have no knowledge of you will hear
Why? because I will make it so. Will you listen and hear (live) the truth of my Word?
God beckons - come to my table and eat your fill.

OK If it wasn’t crazy before it surely is now!

Sorry for the delay but … well, I borrowed the following … it’ll explain my tardiness. 🙂

I DIDN’T WRITE THIS BUT WHOEVER DID IS HILARIOUS!!!!!!Dear Diary 2020 Edition,In ❄️ January, 🔥 Australia caught on fire. I don’t even know if that fire was put out, because we straight up almost went to war with Iran 🇮🇷 . We might actually still be almost at war with them 🤔. I don’t know, because 👩 Jen Aniston and 👨🏻 Brad Pitt spoke to one another at an awards 🏆 show and everyone flipped the crap out 😲, but then there was this thing happening in 🦇🇨🇳 China, then 👑 Prince Harry and Megan ✌🏼 peaced out of the Royal family, and there was the whole impeachment trial 👩‍⚖️ , and then corona virus 🦠 showed up in the US ✔️“officially,” but then 🏀 Kobe died 😭and UK 🇬🇧 peaced out of the European Union.In February, 🌽 Iowa crapped 💩 itself with the caucus results and the president was acquitted and the 👩🏼‍💼Speaker of the House took ten. Whole. years. to rip up a speech , but then The👨‍🔬🌎WHO decided to give this virus a name COVID-19, which confused 🤔some really important people 👔 in charge of, like, our lives, into thinking there were 18 other versions before it, but then Harvey Weinstein was found guilty👨🏻‍⚖️, and 🇺🇸 Americans started asking if Corona beer 🍺 was safe to drink🤦🏻‍♀️, and everyone on Facebook became a doctor 👨‍⚕️ who just knew the 🤒flu like killed way more people than COVID 1 through 18.In March, stuff hit the fan👿. Warren dropped out of the presidential race and Sanders was like Bernie or bust 💥, but then Italy 🇮🇹 shut its whole country down 🚷, and then COVID Not 1 through 18 officially become what everyone already realized, a 😱pandemic and then a nationwide state of emergency 🆘was declared in US 🇺🇸 , but it didn’t really change anything, so everyone was confused or thought it was still just a flu 💁🏻‍♀️, but then COVID Not 18 was like ya’ll not taking me seriously? 💡 I’m gonna infect the one celebrity everyone loves and totally infected Tom Hanks👨🏻, get y’all to close all of the schools so y’all can 🙏🏼 appreciate teachers 👩‍🏫 for once (because you can’t teach them anything other than how to use a touch screen🤦🏻‍♀️ ) close down all of salons so you can’t get your 💇‍♂️ hair or your nails done💅 , everyone had to work from home and attend Zoom meetings in their underwear. The 📉 DOW took a crap 💩 on itself, and most of us still don’t understand why the stock market is so important or even a thing 🤔 (I still don’t), We were then all introduced to 🐅 Tiger King and the ONE thing we can all agree on this year , 👍🏼Carol totally killed her husband⚰️ ….. whacked him! And then Netflix was like you’re welcome, and we all realized there was no way we were washing our hands enough in the first place because all of our hands are now dry and gross and were all searching for lotion now.In 🌧 April, Bernie finally busted✌🏼 himself out of the presidential race 🏃 , but then NYC 🗽became the set of The Walking Dead 💀 and we learned that no one has face masks 😷, ventilators, or toilet paper, or THE FREAKING SWIFFER WET JET LIQUID , and by now our 🦁outgrowth is showing, so there’s a shortage on 📦 box hair dye and all of our hair dressers are like , 😱 NO DONT DO IT!!! But, then Kim Jong-Un died, but then he came back to life … or did he? Who knows, because then the Pentagon released 🎥 videos of UFOs and nobody cared, and we were like man, it’s only April….In 💐 May, the biblical end times kicked off , historical locust swarms, we learned of murder hornets 🐝 and realized that 2020 was the start of the Hunger Games🙈 however people forgot to let us know. people legit started to protest lockdown measures with 🔫 AR-15s, 🏀⚾️sports events were cancelled everywhere. But then people all over America finally reached a breaking point with race issues and violence. There were 🗣protests in every city🌃 ,which was confusing to some of us because people were definitely gathering in 👫crowds of more than 🖐🏼🤚🏼10 and for sure closer than 6 foot away ⬅️➡️from each other . Those people must have forgotten about the 😖pandemic called COVID Not One Through 18. Media 📺🗞 struggled with how to 🤬focus on two important things at once, people in general struggle to focus on more than one important thing. A dead whale 🐋 was found in the middle of the Amazon rain forest 🌳 after monkeys 🐒 stole COVID 1 Through 19 from a lab 🔬 and ran off with them, and either in May or April (no one is keeping track of time now) that a giant asteroid ☄️ narrowly missed the Earth🌍.In ☀️ June, common sense just got thrown 🤾🏼 straight out the window and somehow 😷 wearing masks became a 🏛political thing, but then everyone sort of remembered there was a pandemic, then 👨‍🔬scientists announced they found a mysterious undiscovered mass at the center of the earth, and everyone was like 🙅🏽‍♂️🙅🏻‍♀️🚧DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT, but then everyone took a pause to realize that people actually believed Gone With The Wind 💨 was like non-fiction, but then it was also announced that there is a strange 🛰radio signal coming from somewhere in the universe 🌌 that repeats itself every so many days 🗓 , and everyone was like 👽 DON’T YOU DARE ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE WITH IT‼️🚫 but then America reopened 🙌🏼from the shut down that actually wasn’t even a shut down, and so far, things have gone spectacularly …. not that great 👎🏼. All of the Karen’s came out at once, and people started tearing down 🔨 statues. Everyone is on Facebook arguing 🤼‍♀️ about masks 👃🏼, but then Florida 🏖 was like hold my beer 🍺 and let me show you how we’re number one 🥇 in all things, including new Not Corona Beer Coronavirus. Then we learned there was a massive dust cloud ☁️ coming straight at us 📍from the Sahara Desert 🐫 , which is totally normal, but this is 2020, so the 👻 ghost mummy thing is most likely in that dust cloud. We then 📚 learned of meth-gators 🐊 , and I’m like that is so not on my flipping 2020 Bingo card 😡 can we use it as the free space?? 🤷🏻 Then we learned that the Congo’s worst ever Ebola 🚨 outbreak is over 😓, and we were all like, there was an Ebola outbreak that was the worse ever? 👀 ……. and don’t forget we just discovered FLYING SNAKES! 🐍, seriously! FLYING SNAKES!!!!So here comes July…. at this point we are over it , just tell us what’s next …. 👽 Aliens? 🔱Zeus? ☄️ Asteroids? Artificial Intelligence becomes self aware? Can it just be something cool 😎 or fun for once? Maybe even a good laugh , like hahaha 😂 April Fools! We all actually wouldn’t mind that joke at this point.Also, why didn’t I know about the whale in the Amazon? Or a few other things because I just can’t keep up anymore!But I’m sharing it because as long as we make it through 2020, I really want this to pop back up in the memories a few years from now. Copy and share to your page!!!!! LOL

Help! The world has gone crazy.

Do you even remember life on March 1, 2020? It was ‘normal’. We were just beginning to hear about this thing called “Corona Virus”. Many even joked about the like named beer. It was in China. The OTHER side of the earth. Then came March 15 and suddenly 90% of the world was out of work having no idea when or if we would go back. We received our last paycheck and the bills came marching in, one by one. And the bills continued to come marching in. Our commissioners made the very wise decision to do whatever it took to protect Monroe County residents including closing off US1. We began wearing masks to do our banking, we began to worship through facebook or zoom, we began to learn so much about ourselves.

Social Distancing, the new “4” letter word of 2020. Who could have known how painful it would become? Who could have guessed the mental health issues it would create? Who could have guessed, of all things, we’d run OUT of toilet paper? Who could have anticipated the level of domestic violence that erupted like an epidemic throughout our community? Who would have anticipated that mom and dad are no longer safer in the nursing home?

Here we are, June 1, just 2 months later and the world we knew, the life we had, the future we looked forward to no longer exists. Life, for every single human being in the entire world, is changing into a whole new form that we still can’t quite imagine. The changes has slowed down but with the recent reopening and loosening of protocols may well send us right back into a spiking of COVID cases and deaths.

If that’s not enough, people are truly going crazy. Domestic Violence has become common, still not acceptable in any way, shape or form, but we don’t know how to live in close quarters 24/7 without trying to exert control over our “significant others”. Hate has risen to a new high as we mourn the senseless death and torture of George Floyd.

How do we live; where do find hope; how do we breathe into the future?

We must look to that which is infinite. We must look to that which is greater than the greatest of us. We can only safely lean on the embrace of the one who is the Source of Our Being. Only this Divine One can stand up to all and win in the end. This one who calls you beloved, even though you might not have heard the call. This one who embraces you with healing, hope, justice even though you might not have felt the embrace. This one who waits on you to turn and and say yes. This one reaches, calls, waits, holds, carries, and so much more. I know because somehow, the Divine Spirit touched my life many years ago and got my attention. I know because this one who calls me beloved somehow reaches into my space and guides me in life giving ways. I know because something inside me recognizes the Source of My Being and draws me into life empowering me to share that same life with others.

If the idea of God, Higher Power, the Source of Our Being is strange to you please just take 30 seconds to invite the possibility. Sit quietly and just invite that which is great than yourself to just be with you in the moment. Sit for 30 seconds with the open invite to this one. Then go about your day being mindful of the invitation you extended earlier. The next morning do the same: 30 second invite and then mindfully going about your day. Continue this for 30 days, one month. I will be praying for you and I know God will be walking with you.

Faith, God none of it is magic, rather it is much better. It is miraculous.

May you know God’s blessings through all things.

  • Pam

Simpler Times and Resources for Today

Doggie EasterOnce upon a time, in a place called America people spent most of their time at home focused on family. They would venture out greeting neighbors as they worked in their yards and take walks around the neighborhood daily. On an average day one could see whole families out on their bicycles toward evening. Commonly each day they would enjoy a meal of fresh fish casually caught on the shoreline or out in the family boat.

Over time life became more and more complicated and the priorities of the people became skewed. Happiness became more and more difficult to find, to claim, to recognize. The people began to see one another more as a means to their own advancement than relationships to be cherished. The people began to drink to excess, eat to excess, do everything to excess.

One day a ferocious monster invaded all the land and the people scurried into their homes. They used the internet to communicate with one another and share the latest news. Each day they read how many of their neighbors were injured by the monster and how many lives the monster took. They saw stories about how the monster was all over the entire world doing this same thing. Businesses were closed, traveling restricted, schools closed, jobs lost and life began to feel much much smaller and restricted. It was the best way to protect not just themselves but one another. Fear threatened to overcome the people.

As time went on, the people began to realize how much they truly cared about one another. Each day as the numbers of those injured or died went up and even just one more each person was touched with sadness and prayer for the rest. They began to care about how they affected their neighbors. With less and less income and absolutely everyone in the same “boat” they began to share food with neighbors, making sure no one was forgotten.

They dealt with their free time by cleaning up around the house, taking care of things that needed mending long ago. After 2 weeks of this quieter simpler life they began to recognize the value of relationships, free time and they were surprised at how they were learning how to live without spending money.  They became creative in ways to connect with one another in worship, study, and just being in groups safely. Their priorities began to shift again and happiness re-entered their lives.

The people so valued the lessons they learned they realized that they wanted to reorganize their way of living, their priorities so that even after the monster was slayed, their lives would stand for so much more than they ever thought before.

Resources for COVID 19 times

www.monroecountyem.com

free COVID19 testing with appointment only – Saturday in Marathon, CHI call 305.216.2107 for appointment

for help with birth, babies, children needs – keyshealthystate.org

Economic Assistance

FKOC – $250 per household/month no rent assistance right now

Rent assistance – Campisino 904.878.0708 or email tmorgis@ccfcfl.org

Rent assistance – Catholic Charities – 305.292.9790

Monroe County Social Services – Rx, LiHeap, etc  – 305.852.7125

Click here for the absolute most up to date Keys resource listing

“He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.

He lives, He lives salvation to impart! You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.”     Words by Alfred H Ackley, 1933

Springtime Dancing

busy bee

What wonderful opportunities we’ve had over the past few weeks to enjoy the joyful busyness of our lively honey bees collecting pollen everywhere the possibly can. Each day the beautiful blossoms proudly display new life about to burst forth on every tree, bush and flower.

Imagine our joy last week when my husband and I discovered that our native Satin Leaf tree that we’ve had for 8 years, began providing us with succulent purple plum like fruits to increase our health. Our black sapote tree supplies the entire neighborhood with plenty of chocolate pudding fruit every day. The Valencia Mango tree exploded with beautiful yellowish/orangish/brownish blossoms everywhere. The Holy Basil bush is delighting our honey bee friends every morning with tons of flowers along with the Brazilian cherry  blossoms. The sopadilla tree hangs heavily with ripening fruits. Our yard is bustling with life and busy happy honey bees because we keep everything organic. Birds are making their nests high in the trees loaded with berries, puppies are chasing the lizards around, opossums are keeping the unwanted insects away, mosquito fish keep water clear for the wildlife, God has a plan and we are blessed to watch it and help it along. As we love this earth it loves us back.

What signs of life are you witnessing? Where in your neighborhood are you experiencing hopeful signs?

 

 

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