... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stimulating Those Little Gray Cells

Since my last post, I have had 2 days of advanced training for Parish Nurses. Sessions included Theological Reflection and Spiritual Ministry.

Before my time, folks used to say, "You gotta be prayed up!" And that sure applies to Parish Nurses. We cannot minister to others unless we care for ourselves: mind, body & soul.

I am a fast learner (LOL). I feed my spirit and soul by attending a Christian Women's Conference for 1 1/2 days.
What a blessing it was!

Over the next few days I'll be sharing bits and pieces with you from both the training & the conference.

Shalom, Connie

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Little Ones to Him Belong"

Recently I watched an elephant family on PBS &, if I learned nothing else, I learned that you don't mess with a baby elephant. Not only will the mother come to its aid, so will all of the adult females. When a baby is in danger the female adults surround it like the covered wagons pulling into a tight circle when under attack.

A friend just put a poem on her website called "Listen to the Weeping Child" I encourage you to read it AND to act upon it. Go to http//:www. mariane holbrook. com (leave out the spaces) and click on home then poetry.

I want to mention that there are all kinds of abuse- physical, sexual, emotional- that can forever damage a child.

Here is a true example:
Being short has been a handicap in many ways, but one day, while shopping, it was an asset. I was hidden by a rack of coats & overheard a conversation that made me bristle with anger. The mother was trying on coats; once she found the one she liked, I heard her say, "You know what to do, but wait 'til I get a couple of aisles away."
A small voice replied okay.
As I came out from behind the rack, a pre-school aged child began crying and running down the aisle- in the opposite direction of her mother. Clerks quickly came and attempted to calm this distraught, lost child. It didn't take much imagination to realize that the coat would be taken out to their car and the mother would return for her lost child. It also was apparent that this wasn't the first time this ploy had been used.

Guess you could say, I became as angry as a mother elephant. I ran to the child & told her bluntly to turn off the crying. Told the shocked clerks to call a manager or security a.s.a.p. as a coat was being stolen. At first they hesitated, but thankfully someone picked up the phone. The child, having been caught, stopped crying to say an unkindly word to me, but I still was going to protect her.

To steal is bad enough. To teach a child to help you is reminiscent of Dicken's Fagin and his pickpocket boys.

Folks, there are times we need to circle the wagons, to become like mother elephants. Please, don't look the other way; don't think that someone else will do something.

That day I stopped an abusive mother; no one interceded for me when I was a child.


No "shalom" today, Connie

Sunday, May 06, 2007

This Is a Test

As a student, I dreaded surprise tests. As an adult, I get irritated when a my favorite music gets interrupted to test the emergency broadcast system. A couple of weeks ago, I was awaken by the fire alarm- wow is that loud! I pulled on my jeans, grabbed my purse & my sneakers, & out into the cold morning I went. There was no fire & by the time I put my shoes on, we could go back inside.

Those surprise tests showed me if I was really learning each day in class & as I studied at home. The radio or TV tests became important on 9/11. The fire alarm, caused by a oversensitive smoke detector, could save lives in my senior apartment building, if there really was a fire.

As a young nurse, I had a fire on my unit in the hospital. Later, lightning hit my house. As traumatic as they were, they were minimal compared to other trials and tests in my life: loosing a baby, becoming a widow at 27, nearly dying in surgery, being hit head-on by a drunk driver, being evicted with no where to go except my car, being fired for being "too compassionate," being unable to function because of constant pain and depression...

I'm sure you, too, can make a list of your life's unfair times.

But ponder this thought as I did today: "Without a test there can be no testimony." Simply put, without rain, we cannot appreciate the sunshine; without heartache, we cannot savor the times of peace; without sadness, we wouldn't recognize the joyful moments. It is the contrasts of life that color our world.

As Christians, we cannot identify the needs of others until we have been tested and comforted. Only then may we comfort others.

Yes, this is a test! What hardship are you going through today? Or is a time of peace and happiness? If you are trying to be the best that you can be in Christ, troubles are here or are coming for we are being molded, shaped, polished, refined, and perfected for eternity.


Shalom, Connie