Good Friday

In the Christian world, this is a day like no other. It commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The belief is Jesus died for our sins so we could enter the Kingdom of heaven. I’m blown away even all these years later. Whatever beliefs you have, it’s hard not to believe there is something greater than this earth. Heaven, in my opinion, is a place where we’ll all be restored to health physically and spiritually, and we’ll have an even better existence for eternity. We may disagree about a lot of things. And that’s ok.

As kids, we were taught by the nuns pre-Vatican II that we are not worthy of what Jesus has done for mankind. Many, many prayers began, “Lord, I am not worthy.” And we’re not. By enduring a death by Crucifixion, Jesus wiped away a centuries old curse put on our souls when Adam and Eve sinned against God. The pageantry accompanying the services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday really drove the point home. The dark church building, the dimming of the lights, the music, the litany spoken, the fire and brimstone voice of Monsignor Aughney, all made for a memorable experience.

I can’t imagine they still use that approach now. I haven’t attended those services in years. In the Methodist Church, I see a focus on how much God loves us. How special we are. They focus on after Christ’s death, not the crucifixion. The cross in the Protestant churches I’ve been in focus on the empty cross. What Jesus did for us after that horrible act. It’s a much more positive message. My God has never been an authoritarian God. He is not a punishing God. He guides me towards right over wrong. He gives us so much beauty in the world, in nature, and in our humanness. It’s our choice to use it for good or not.

Through my life, when I’ve forgotten God and strayed off my path, I’m reaping what I’m sowing. And I’m sorry when that happens. I know better. But I’m human. We all are. Let’s just stay the course, and do what we’re supposed to do. It really isn’t all that hard. We make it a lot harder than it is. Humans want what they want. They want it NOW.

Let’s just think about that aspect of our very human nature as we go from today towards Easter. You don’t have to be a religious person to be thoughtful and spiritual about being a better person. I try every day, and boy, can I fail quickly! We all do. Let’s collectively be better. How? Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Hold a door open. Pick up your litter if you drop something. Donate anything you don’t love or need. Reduce our excess.

Thank you for reading today. I will be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you, too. Have a beautiful weekend. Be Safe.

Monday, Full of Promise

Good morning, from the sunny Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. If you don’t appreciate the beautiful blue I can see this morning, I’ll say a prayer for you. It’s been dark and overcast for a few days. Even without talking with Mom, I know she’s grateful for more light to maneuver around in. It also makes the day go faster, your internal clock gets off kilter with too much darkness. Hang in there, Mom!

Listening to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen right now, “Letter to You.” It’s a nice collection, all what I would expect from him in his later years – he’s 71 years old. The words ring true in my heart right now, as I listen. We all have fears and doubts that haunt us right now.

I see it through the eyes of a believer in God. He provides for us, maybe not what we want, but what we need. We sometimes don’t know the difference between the two. It’s amazing if you’ve seen His timing in your life. An event can happen that puts you on a totally different yet much better path than you are on at the time.

I put my worries in God’s hands right now. I don’t know how we will end up at the end of the week, but I cannot drive myself crazy about it. What good does that do any of us? Our mental stability is shattered and that is when trouble happens. We hear all sorts of rumors and dis-information, I don’t trust most things I read online anymore. And television news? I think not. I suppose my information will all become “after the fact,” and my primary concern is for law enforcement in Washington DC, the Capitol Police, the Secret Service, and all the other agencies who are keeping order in our nation’s capitol until after the Inauguration. I hope Biden and Harris help us settle down. He is my president, whether I voted for him or not. Let’s just move ahead.

I had a noon class today with the Storyteller Academy. It’s a free, seven day series of classes about Picture Books. I gleaned something very important during the class today. Jim Averbeck mentioned you need to consider the child’s emotions. I’m so glad to hear this. It is about the child, and things which may evoke some strange feelings they are unfamiliar with. My book talks about loss, and how they feel. It is offering ideas to cope and heal, too. It’s a topic people don’t like to talk about, which is exactly why we need to talk about it. Grief can derail your life if you don’t know how to handle it.

Let’s have a positive attitude for the rest of the day. I’ve accomplished a lot, although I wish I could have published this sooner in the day. I’m plotting about how to do more in a week than we do now, and if it’s possible. These books won’t write themselves!

Thank you for reading today, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Be Safe. Hugs and Love to all of you.

Remnants and New Horizons

If you know the Babe and me personally, you know I have supplies for a bunch of hobbies. And I mean a bunch. There is a giant closet full of fabric of all kinds. Partial Bolts, large pieces for specific projects, remnants that go with my stash for quilts and clothing, and fat quarters (no, it’s not a body part), fat eighths, pre-cuts, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls, it all sounds so delicious! Those are all the names of certain cuts of fabrics for quilts. It’s a vast collection. And I swear I have a use for it all. It’s not hurting anyone, and it’s not eating anything, so it’s fine. Of course, when the Babe talks about it, I could mention the barn-shaped shed, the woodworking tools, all that. We won’t go there.

Those remnants and bolts are important to me for future projects. Just as are the manuscripts I looked at yesterday are important to the author’s journey I’m on. It’s gearing up this year. It’s time. Now or never? No, not that extreme. It’s becoming important to move into it. Call it intuition; call it timing; call it what you want. I’m ready. Let’s go!

There are people to contact, questions to ask, formats to learn, photos or drawings?; What font? What do kids like? I feel like I’m on the high dive at the Olympics! Have I mentioned I can’t swim? Terrifying yet exhilarating. Woo hoo. I hope you’ll stay with me. We’ve come this far.

As my new friend Carol Gino taught me in her book, “Me and Mario” (the story of her twenty-year relationship with Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather), Puzo said a story is like making a quilt. (Boy, did this make sense to me!) I can take these parts of a story (pre-cuts, layer cakes, bolts, and so forth) and put them together. Through the magic of ProWritingAid and editing software, I can rearrange the pieces in any order, until it reaches the most pleasing arrangement.

Today is all about a beginning. Keeping parts of what is important. Building on those pieces. Adding more when you see fit. Changing things that don’t work. Being brave to be yourself. Be brave enough to tell your stories. My musician friends have done that very thing all year. Facebook Live got a workout. They established Venmo accounts. Survival is what it’s about now for them. As soon as you can, go see live music again. Please! They need your support now more than ever.

As I write a to-do list for me through the month of January 2021, know how grateful I am for your support all this time. We’ve met nearly 500 times through my blog. Thank you for being here! I’m off to pick up groceries (it saves me so much time!) and stow them. Then write the e-mails, etc. for creating the LLC, contacting the illustrator, all stuff that’s overwhelming and exciting. Who says retirement is boring? Not me, never! Blessings on all of you.