Glory Be To God

Image by Karina Cubillo

Image by Karina Cubillo

I believed we’d live out this life together.

I look at your picture-bright blue eyes brimming with adventure,

Your passion for life glowing purposefully from within.

A beautiful soul of love and trust, hope was your anchor.

You knew tomorrow would always be a brighter day;

A nature child who loved to walk in the woods and swim in the rain.

You felt a kindred spirit in every living thing,

Whether it was human, animal or something from the natural world.

You beheld every sunrise as a unique painting created by angels;

You, my muse, my purpose, my true love.

I trusted that we’d be together, that youth overcame

Hardship, disappointment and sickness.

I knew in my heart that a loving God would never take another of my children.

But I was wrong. He took you.

At first the devastation forged rivers of anger, disbelief and mistrust to my core.

Why were two of my children buried side by side in a graveyard,

When children are the lights of parents’ hearts, the promise

That elderly parents wouldn’t spend their final years alone?

My anger became despair; a sadness so deep

That I had to distract myself minute by minute so that I wouldn’t give up.

I had to fight to be there for my only child left to live out this pain with me;

Now the only child with no siblings to confide in, laugh with or grow old with.

My only child trying to raise a child of her own, putting on a mask of bravery every day,

When her soul is ripped to pieces right along with mine.

I knelt before God, asking why? Why again?

I heard an answer in my heart. “I understand. I too lost my son. My only child.”

I was reminded of a passage of scripture:

There is a time for everything under the sun. A time for mourning, a time for dancing,

A time to sow and a time to reap.

And then, like a golden thread weaving through my consciousness,

Hope stirred within me as I perceived the understanding that

The Lover of my soul is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.

When darkness comes to call, I know the battle has already been won.

All things will work out for good. I need only trust, hope and believe.

An easy earthly life is not promised, but an abundantly blessed eternal life is.

Glory be to God!

Blessings

Life has been hard but life has also been good. I have gone through things I never thought I could handle. I’m still standing. I think besides the greatest thing I’ve come to know-the love of God and Spirit, the second greatest thing I have learned is that hardship can work for good if you just have faith.

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For those of you who know my story, please humor me over the next paragraph. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my story, I will suffice to say that life has been rough. I’ve gone through abuse of numerous kinds, substance abuse, the death of two children and suicidal tendencies as a result of the pain that has rocked my life even up until recently. I am happy to say, though, that I have made the decision to move forward in the honor of my children’s memories and most of all, in the honor of my heavenly Father who so graciously saved them from the fate of death. It’s been a long, trying, at times desperate road, but I choose to walk the rest of the way in as much peace and love as I can muster. The perspective of being a help to others keeps me motivated too. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post: my extreme gratefulness for the awards I’ve won for my books.

My books are written about the pain that I’ve been through. I was hesitant to start writing about my life but I have found that in the three books I have penned thus far, the lessons I’ve learned and shared in my poetry and prose have blessed other people. I had no idea they would be so well received. It is a bittersweet yet beautiful opportunity that I’ve had to experience the effect my writing has had on others. To date, I have won 30 awards for my three published books. I can’t even describe how that makes me feel. So much pain has gone into the pages of these books, including the memory of my most recent child’s death. Before she passed, she convinced me to write Breaking The Silence. Because of her that book is published. I also penned Poetry and Ponderings while she was still with me and we were waiting expectantly to see how that book would help others as well. Unfortunately, she left me before Poetry and Ponderings was published.

To all of you who have gone through trauma and grief, know that you are not alone. Also know that there is a possibility for a brighter day on the horizon. It is with great respect to you and hope that you can find strength to move on that I accept these awards. Because it has not only changed my life but also those of you who have contacted me or left reviews regarding my words that you have read. I will never take these things for granted because I believe that we are all here for a reason, together for a purpose and destined to do something wonderful that will help each other and the world around us to thrive. I pray we will all grow in Spirit and fulfill our destinies. Because that is the end result which will change everything for the better.

God bless!

Grace

Since I was a young child I’ve loved the number 5. I remember counting by fives over and over again. I enjoyed the rhythmic sounds of multiples of 5. I didn’t know what the number 5 represented. I only knew that for some reason I loved the number.

Years later I found out that 5 is the number symbolizing God’s grace. I was comforted because I loved the number so but I also found it quite strange. The reason I found it strange? The life I’ve lived and the hardships I’ve endured required that grace would hold me up and strengthen me. I know that it was God’s grace that brought me through-and still is.

In spirit, coincidence doesn’t exist. Only destiny does. We are predestined to come and live on this planet. Everything happens for a reason: good and bad. It took over half my life for me to admit that even the worst things I’ve endured have happened for a reason. I believe we are here to learn and grow. To experience and understand. To gain wisdom about what love truly means and to prosper despite adversity. We are all born from the same beautiful spirit. But we have free will to decide whether we will stay in our predestined union with God or if we will turn away.

It’s easy to turn away and run. To become angry and hurt. The things of this world bring such pain that we have a knee jerk reaction to flee. But I have learned that because of God’s wonderful grace we can stand in the storm, accept the harshest reality and prosper anyway. It takes resilience and trust which are a test to gain in themselves. It isn’t easy. But if we are able to learn to reside in that grace, we will find peace. Not temporary peace but the peace of spirit. The peace that holds us together and calms us even when our lives have literally turned upside down.

Back in my twenties, after burying my first child, I was emotionally, physically and spiritually bankrupt. I had endured over a decade of molestation by extended family members. Then I buried my first child. I was an atheist. My family had taught me that we had descended from apes- the classic theory of evolution. After what had happened to me I had no hope. I had no reason. Then the day of my first daughter’s funeral came. And she visited me. I sat in front of her casket for over an hour, my hand resting on her tiny chest. At the moment I touched her, I was gone from the funeral home and encapsulated by the most beautiful bright white light I’d ever seen. I was completely at peace. There was no sadness, no regret, no pain. Just pure bliss. I could hear my daughter laughing and running through the light. I will never forget how cheerful her voice was when she told me, “Don’t worry, Mommy. I’m happy here.” Those words began my walk with God and carried me through the next twenty years as I dealt with the pain of her absence. God, in His great mercy, had allowed me to visit her forever home where He lived. It was such a vibrant, amazing visit that I’ll never forget it. And that was thirty years ago.

I thought I had learned a lot in the last thirty years. But it wasn’t enough to prepare me for the death of my second child just weeks before her 19th birthday. I waited to talk to her at her funeral like my first child had. But she didn’t. However, God opened up communication between us that has remained since she passed. I feel her, she visits me, and she communicates in ways that let me know she is always at my side. I believe she is one of my guides now, helping me put into words the experiences we have. I am convinced that it is my destiny to write about what I’ve encountered and to help bring the love of spirit into the lives of those who read my books and enjoy my art.

Life isn’t about who’s better or who owns what. Life is about learning and valuing each other. It is about growing into a person of deeper kindness, compassion and resilience. It is about turning to our Father and creator-the one who loves us and knows us better than we even know ourselves. And that is a lifetime commitment of deepening trust and understanding. Things that only grace can provide. It is my hope that I will increasingly gain that type of wisdom each day I walk out my time on this planet. And it is my prayer that everyone and everything will learn to live in the grace and mercy that life of that magnitude invites.

Your Heart Will Lead You

There are so many reasons why it is important to have a childlike faith. And one of the reasons is because of your heart condition. Not your physical heart but your spiritual heart. The heart of who you are as a living being.

Children are amazing because they are accepting, kind, caring and peaceful-unless an adult changes that reality for them. Children come into the world needing their parents, needing someone to watch over them and guide them, someone who will keep them safe from the storms of life. We are God’s children. And we need Him more than any written word besides the Bible itself can tell us.

This world has a way of jading us. Of creating hardness in us. It is a world full of pain, anger and deceit. We as people on this planet have to find our way through the muck and mire into places of happiness and peace. If we look at the world system as a way to lead us, we will always be let down. Forsaken. Deluded by lies. Let’s face it: things that happen on this planet can be very difficult to endure. That’s why a childlike faith is so important.

We try to figure out the answers, to create solutions to every problem. But sometimes there are no solutions. What can someone say when their child dies? When a child becomes sick with a deadly disease like cancer? When a family loses their income and home because a parent gets sick or is fired from their job? There are so many devastating scenarios that I could write paragraphs of them. When it comes right down to it, we need to trust something or someone. When we put that trust in other people, we eventually will be let down because all people have flaws. Nobody is perfect. Except our Father and Creator.

We have the choice to discern and follow the advice of others or the promptings of Spirit. Since God is perfect, we can decide to follow Him. He can be the maker and ruler of the path of our life. I found out a long time ago that He knows best. So I decided to follow His lead.

Truths of this world are transient and brief. A “truth” may hold up for a long time but eventually it will be discarded for another truth. Such as the discoveries of science. And the discoveries of technology and sociological norms and theories. We always seem to be led to new ways of insight and understanding. This is because Spirit is so vast that humanity could spend eternity attempting to figure things out and never come up with answers, or spiritual truths, to everything. Unless we allow Spirit into our hearts. Then we can have a taste of actual truth.

Our hearts lead us and guide us. The words we speak come from our hearts, or who we are deep in our core. If you are looking for explanations and understanding, let your heart guide you into eternal realms. The ways of God are a mystery, but He is willing to unfold some of His wisdom to help us end well. That’s what I’m hoping for, along with being able to join my children in Heaven one day and gain complete understanding as to why they had to leave and what their absence accomplished in me. I have some ideas but certainly nothing near completion. I know I crave completion. How about you? Do you long to understand things that don’t seem to add up? Things that haunt you and don’t make sense? If so, there is Someone waiting to take you by the hand and lead you into beautiful, inspiring places-even when life is hard. Give it a chance and heal your heart condition. You will discover insights that will truly amaze and comfort you!

Breath Of Life available  here .

Breath Of Life available here.

Introducing Artist Laurie Cairone!

Eternal Optimism available  here .

Eternal Optimism available here.

I am currently featuring a beautiful piece of art in my art group, Emotive Art. The piece is entitled Eternal Optimism and it was created by Laurie Cairone. Her art is spiritual in nature and flows with a sense of peace and light. So I was immediately drawn to her creativity! I am always excited to introduce new artists and authors and Laurie Cairone is no exception! I asked her to write up a post about her creative process and background which you will find below:

I have created art intuitively for more than 40 years. Why Do I create art? Because creating soothes my soul and is a form of meditation for me. I enjoy working with Pastels, Watercolor, Acrylic, and Charcoal mediums. I also enjoy now learning and working with these mediums digitally in Procreate on my Ipad. 

My interests in the Universe,The Healing Arts,The Metaphysical World, and the Mind, Body, Soul Connection influence and inspire my art. I have also practiced as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years and hold a Second Degree Reiki Certification. Over half of my nursing career was spent in the specialty area of psychiatry, so I am very drawn to the introspective process. I believe that keeping our minds healthy with positive thoughts is a main ingredient to good health. 

I have always found Art to be a therapeutic, relaxing, creative process that soothes my soul. Creativity is a form of meditation for me that allows a way of letting go of the dust that builds up over time. Art can be a healthy form of distraction for us. Creativity can open the door to self-reflection that can aid in helping us gain clarity and peace over every day life. Drawing can be a sacred process of creating images from the heart. 

The creative process for me is often from a shape and a color. I seldom have a vision or sketch out what will evolve. I love to see what evolves and once I feel a piece is finished is when I name it. Here is where the introspective work arrives. I analyze my creation and look to the symbolism behind each color and shape and that is when the title hits me. Sometimes the title provokes much contemplation about a subject, so I will then write about the piece in my description. Sometimes the description to a piece is left for me to do a little more introspection before I can write about it. 

I have enjoyed the creative process since childhood and when I look back over certain times in my life, my work often reflects the joys and sorrows that we all go through at times. I will say that creating has helped me during some of the most difficult times of my life. I experienced a stillbirth full term many years ago and creating art kept me in one piece during that time. 


A percentage of all my sales are donated to Magnolia Pediatrics to help Dr. Linda Del Vecchio-Gilbert provide palliative care to children with complex, chronic conditions. You can learn more here

You can find Laurie and her amazing art here. Thank you, Laurie, for being a guest on my blog!

Forgiveness

I feel led to write about forgiveness today. I have been going through a lot in my personal life. My father is clinging to existence and is having a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that he will be leaving us at some point. The family history and current situation has prompted me to think about forgiveness once again.

My life has been rough like many of yours. We have had our share of angst, anger and hurt in our family history. All types of it. I have spent years trying to overcome the demons of the past. Once I began writing about my life, I started to heal. No sooner had I begun publishing books, but my youngest daughter passed away just before her nineteenth birthday. Which led me on more rabbit chases as I begged for wisdom and understanding from Spirit. It’s been a long couple of years. During that time my earthly father became suddenly ill and has been waxing and waning in health issues for a while now.

It’s really interesting when hardship strikes. It has a way of bringing out the best and the worst in you all at the same time. Everyone in the family has been affected and it has brought the topic of forgiveness into the limelight.

People used to tell me to forgive. Counselors, friends, some family members. I thought, “If you’re telling me that what happened to me was okay, you’re nuts. I’m not forgiving those who molested me and abused me.” But I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned that forgiveness is a gift which we give ourselves. Forgiveness is a gift from Spirit. It’s a gift that lets us know we are loved and cared for by Spirit and that we will heal.

When I talk about forgiveness, I don’t talk about forgetting. I talk about accepting and moving on. When you’ve been mortally wounded in your life, you can’t just forget it. But you can learn to give it to God and set yourself free.

Sending some Sonshine available  here .

Sending some Sonshine available here.

There’s a big misconception about forgiveness. The misunderstanding which blindsides us and creates rigidity in our spirits is the concept of forgetting. If you were molested, raped, beaten, verbally abused or endured any type of debilitating trauma, I know you can’t forget it. So many people bristle at the topic and dig their feet in, promising themselves they will never forgive. But the truth of the matter is, when you forgive you are giving the pain to Spirit and asking for help. You will find that your heart will soften and you will begin to be able to receive understanding and empathy which will override your anger. After that, you will further notice that the pain of the past will begin to fade. If you take it a step beyond and decide to help others who have been through and are going through what you’ve experienced, you will turn the negativity into positivity. You will be able to teach those who have suffered like you how to transform themselves into better, more loving people because of the hardships they have endured. It really is a beautiful thing. A design of love and light.

There is nothing as precious as helping a fellow human being discover freedom. And quite honestly, if you’ve experienced trauma, it can lead to deeper freedom because of the wisdom and understanding you’ll receive as you let it go and give it to Spirit. I know it sounds strange, but it will deepen you to an internal point that will create more strength, dignity and respect within you. A sort of light that will lead others to truth.

I’m right with you in agreeing that this life is hard. But with a decision to forgive-and that is what forgiveness is-then we are learning to spread our spiritual wings and fly. Good can come from difficulty and pain. If you learn to believe it and embrace new possibilities, you will find yourself a much more fulfilled and peaceful person. It’s only a matter of time!

Essence Of Soul

What happens when we leave this earth? Where do we go? What do we do? Age old questions of uncertainty. As I speak, my father is wondering what the answers to these questions are. He has been advised to be put on hospice. I am again contemplating the answers to these questions myself. My daughter passed into eternity two years ago and I am preparing for another round.

I have spent years studying the afterlife-since I lost my first child nearly 30 years ago. I have read books, watched documentaries, even delved into a sampling of physics and other sciences. I have read the Bible. I have learned a few things but it seems that the more I learn the more questions I have.

Essence Of Soul I available  here

Essence Of Soul I available here

Is it even possible to understand what we look forward to after we leave here? I think as God’s children we will come to know much. But I don’t think we could ever know all. Only God, in His wisdom could ever understand all of the nuances and infinite possibilities that His realm has to offer.

When I was younger, I imagined Heaven to be a place where we floated around on clouds and watched angels fly by. Now I believe Heaven is so complex that it would take eternity in itself just to begin to comprehend all there is to know. I guess I’m grateful for that. Because I don’t like to be bored! So I am looking forward to being infinitely amazed once I get over there. And very much looking forward to seeing my children again.

A parent-child bond is a beautiful thing. I could share stories of visitations from my children; signs that they are still around. And actually I do share quite a few stories in my upcoming book. It was written as a dedication to my youngest child that passed away two years ago. I prefer to say that she graduated. Anyway, now as I prepare to send my father off in God’s love and light, I hope he sees her and tells me that she’s doing well. I know she is. I still feel her around me, wrapped in God’s love. A beautiful feeling. I am and ever will be grateful for that love and that guidance until I too join them on the other side.

Essence Of Soul II available  here

Essence Of Soul II available here

I created these pieces of art as I imagined what we look like when we journey Home. I think of us as being healthy, happy, in perfect condition physically with God’s beautiful light shining in and all around us. Overwhelmed with gratitude and peace. That’s how I hope it will be. I look forward to hugging and laughing with my dearly departed ones. Until then, I will write and create art inspired by the beliefs that I hold.

I am convinced that this life is a learning ground. A school for the soul. I know I’ve learned a lot here and I still have time left. So I strive to do my best through the good and the bad to evolve to a point where I can be happy and peaceful here as well as in Heaven. That is what I wish for all of us. And for understanding that we can forgive and move on from all types of hardship, knowing that the harshest of days create in us empathy, compassion and understanding. All qualities that I consider to be of high spiritual significance.

Until next time, take care and try to enjoy your journey. The time we have here really isn’t that long. Even one hundred years happens in the blink of an eye. If we make the most of it and learn from our pain, I believe we have gained enough wisdom to enjoy our next phase of existence!