Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five ~ Decisions, Decisions

It's been a long time since I've participated in the Friday Five. I think the last time was before I moved two years ago. It feels good to be back.

RevGal Sharon asks:

How do you decide? Check out the following pairs and tell which one of each appeals to you most:

1) Sunrise or Sunset

Sunset! I haven't seen too many sunrises, but I have great memories of sunsets. The most beautiful sunsets involve pick clouds to which I always proclaim, "Red at night, sailors' delight!" Last year Gary and I witnessed a beautiful sunset on Marco Island, FL from our hotel room balcony. We ran down to the beach to try to get a better picture and by the time we arrived the sun had melted into the ocean.

2) To the Mountains or To the Beach

Mountains! Marco Island vacation aside, the mountains are where my heart is. I would much rather be taking in the view from the top of a mountain than sitting on a beach all day. This probably has to do with the fact that most of my childhood vacations involved camping and hiking. Each year we would head to Baxter State Park and chose a new peak to climb. Living in Vermont I love that I am surrounded by mountains and can see them (weather permitting) every day.

3) Coffee or Tea

Both! One cup of coffee when I first get up is essential. One cup of tea mid-day helps me focus. I could not get by with out both!

4) Advent or Lent

Advent is a beautiful season, but I get much more out of Lent. I find that my focus during Advent is divided between all the church work that needs to get done and all the personal preparations for Christmas that also need to get done. Lent is a quieter and more spiritual time for me. It is also longer. I always feel much more spiritually prepared for Easter than I do for Christmas. (Maybe I should try to do something about that!)

5) "Raindrops on Roses" or "Whiskers on Kittens"

Whiskers on kittens. Those who read my blog know how much I love animals, so enough said!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Blessed or Just Lucky

Ten years ago today I was the victim of sexual assault and attempted murder. The anniversary date has always been inextricably linked to the Fourth of July celebrations. This year, like most years, I passed on the fireworks and treated the holiday like any other day.

But not quite like any other day. Each year the anniversary date hits me a little differently. This year I spent the days leading up to it reflecting on the past ten years of my life. In these past ten years I've married, become a stepmother, moved twice, been commissioned and ordained, met many wonderful people and made life-long friends. These are all things I never would have experienced if July 5, 2001 turned out differently.

The other day I began to reflect on how blessed I feel to have experienced all these past ten years had to offer. But then I began to feel uncomfortable with the word 'blessed.' To say that I was blessed would be to imply that someone who didn't survive a similar situation wasn't blessed. Yes, I feel that God was with me on July 5, 2001 when I survived. I also know that God would have been with me had I not survived. I don't believe God saved me for a particular reason, and not someone else, as part of a grand plan. Why one person survives a horrific event and another doesn't I don't know. There were certain things I did that night that aided my survival. Yet, had just one thing been different I likely would not be here today. In many ways I feel just lucky.

That is not to say that blessings can't come out of what happened to me. That is, I believe, the true blessing of any experience ~ what one does with it. The healing I have experienced is one of the biggest blessings that came from this situation. This week, as the anniversary approached, I began to feel my PTSD resurfacing and it was a blessing that I could recognize it and do something about it before it became overwhelming. The work I have done with Bady has been a blessing and, hopefully, the work of the Bady Partnership will be a blessing into the future. For me, the greatest blessing I can imagine is to share the hard work I've done to heal with someone else so they can experience that healing too. This is my prayer ~ ten years later.