What I know for sure is that God is everywhere. He is in the moments you are to busy, the times you are being self absorbed, and in all the moments you forget to call on Him. He exists in every nook and cranny of our existence.
Our personal relationship to God, or lack of one, is our own sacred path. It should not be judged by others. Nor should we be divided by religions using words like “us” and “them”. In my opinion we are all one, with the right to choose how we should worship our God. I truly believe a person finding and praying in his backyard can be as holy and as connected as someone attending mass weekly.
As humans we function well in structure and tradition. It isn’t surprising many in the community frowned upon Ash Wednesdays “Ashes To Go” at our local coffee house. It is hard for some to think out of the box when it comes to God. Many are used to such definition and tradition, that often those that aren’t -are forgotten. The strides that the First Congregational Church of Bethel and St Thomas Episcopal Church took day, in my opinion, were grounding breaking.
For every person that walked up to Molten Java was asked if they would like ashes in a loving manner. They were not asked if they were Christian. They were not asked what they did and did not believe. They were not preached to in any form or manner. They were offered regardless just for being a child of God.
The purpose, as stated in a handout provided: “We’re offering ashes outdoors today as a reminder of need, humility, and healing shouldn’t be confined to a church building. We probably need it more when we are in the middle of our daily business! Throughout today, the ashes we receive here remind us of our need for God, and of God’s call to us”.
A reminder that we are all loved by God everywhere we go in everything we do.
When I went, they also offered up a prayer if I needed one. We prayed openly and aloud in the front of the coffee-house for a little boy who is fighting for his life at St Jude’s Hospital. We prayed for our community and the healing it is in need of. They also offered blessings for my children. A beautiful few minutes of feeling God’s abundance of love on the streets of the town I live in and love. Ending with a perfect latte. Which may sound odd to some since it wasn’t mass, but it was my mass. It fit me just right. The message that God is with me even when I am drinking my latte. The message to me being I am right where I am supposed to be.
I personally would like to thank both churches for thinking of those like me, that often worship God in other ways and in other places. It has reminded me to reflect more, and remember Him in my everyday life.
On the heels of the two month anniversary of Sandy Hook tragedy, this reminder of love is one preserved and well received. Our community continues to feel the pain. The answers of why will never make sense to us in this life time, and we are forced to carry on. It is in Gods love–and on in His–that we will be able to try to do this. As our lives our forever changed– as the Sandy Hook Promise states: “Our hearts our broken but our spirits aren’t”. Today’s small gesture of ashes on the street made me feel part of something bigger then just the confines of a church. For this, I am forever grateful.
I walked this earth closed up for some time. It was a mechanism to shield myself. A way, perhaps, to ensure that nobody could take away from me what I knew.
My road has differed from many. I have walked it with one foot here and one foot “there”. After experiencing the after life, it is almost impossible to walk souly here, and nor should you. The blessed experience touched by the most holy of holy, should never be underestimated and should be carried through life as nothing but the most precious gift ever given to you.
I was given this gift.
I love the gift. I treasure the gift. I kept the gift secret for years. And now I am holding it up to the light, looking at it, and wondering “Lord, what do I do with this to help you?”.
“What have you done for you fellow-man?”
Oh yes. The words spoken to me while I was in Heaven as a first grader. The words that sent me back on the earth. The words that are clearly the reason I am still here. Obviously I have not done enough, nor have I finished what is intended of me.
I am sure with all of my being that part of this mission and this quest to carry on, is about the gift. It doesn’t seem conducive to stand at the corner with a sandwich board that states “Ask me about Heaven I know”. I might just get more offers to seek out mental health. I also don’t want to pry into people’s lives who sit in grief and assume my story will heal all. I barely have the natural words to speak of the experience as it has lived in my heart and head for over thirty years. What continues to feel natural and seeps into the head and hearts of others is this: written word.
For the truth is I am not a speaker but a writer. Words sort of fall out of my finger tips in the right spaces. People often have asked me where they have come from– the simple answer is it part of God’s gift to me. As when I was in Heaven there was no spoken word. Everything was telepathic and felt with raw emotion of the soul. For me communicating through spoken word ever since has been like learning a new language. I will never get it. I do my best at it, but it is something I will never do in an elegant fashion. I feel so much more than words could ever be spoken. My hugs mean more than my spoken words, and my written words often transcend as a big ol’ hug.
So while I have been digging for the answer of what I have done for my fellow-man, I can happily admit it happens to be a lot of nice, kind, loving, gestures over the years. However, in the thick of what I am supposed to do, I truly believe it is mixed in with this.
I am currently reading Proof Of Heaven by Dr Eben Alexander. This is one of two books on near death experiences people I love gave to me for Christmas without me asking for them. This particular book keeps speaking to me in many ways. One that happens to warm my heart, is I remember Eben on I Survived Beyond And Back. He is in the same “club” as me. Trying to make use of his gift to help others.
While I have been sitting in deep, almost palpable grief in the past month, I have also found great comfort and solace in my own experience. I keep returning to it, as it is the only thing that makes sense of a situation that makes no sense in this world.
I have yet to find the true purpose God intended me to fulfill with this gift, but as I move on I just hope I do it with grace. I hope I touch people’s lives, and that I move them closer to God. I pray I am a better person with every day that passes, and that the person that was once closed to the world is open far stretched to let everyone in. I once believe my heart was not big enough to fill with a lot of people, and then I realized the concept of love is endless–the heart has no boundaries even if physically it looks like it does.
Since waking up, and opening up, I have met some incredible people. People I can tell will be my friends forever. People I know God placed for a reason. I also realized that the energy you put into the world is what you get out.
Today ask yourself “What have I done for my fellow-man?”. For what I believe is this is why we are all here. Once the mission is complete we are blessed to go to the next level. May you find your mission, and may your loved ones you have lost along the way be dancing in the lush green meadows of Heaven thankful they have completed theirs.
God has gifted us all in many ways. It is our job to unwrap it and praise Him for it.
My grand finale of 2012 ended with unexpected darkness that I struggled to fight through back to light. It felt like a heavy blanket of gloom that covered every inch of our community, and sadly even thicker and more dark for the community next door. Many dear friends messaged me through Facebook about reaching out and sharing my near-death experience as a way to help heal others. The truth is I could barely keep myself from feeling the heavy weight of it all while trying to make sense of something that took all of my security and hope away. I was afraid of my own shadow. I nearly committed to homeschooling, and I tried so desperately to get a goodnight sleep without thinking of those babies and their families mourning them just miles away. My experience didn’t have its place in this massacre but my prayers did. I didn’t want to reach out and making it about me and my story, but wanted the town to feel my love, my grief, for them souly.
Since, I have put a few things in motion to help long-term when the world turns away and stops donating and sending all their prayers this way. This, I believe, is the time I feel I could help. I want those neighbors of mine–regardless of who or where they were that day–to feel my love from every angle for the rest of their lives because it will take a life time of healing, not a media moment.
I start this post out with the gloom of 2012 to say that 2013 can be a movement. Random Acts of Kindness for 26 people is wonderful–but I wonder what it would be like if we just lived our lives doing that always. If a random act of kindness just developed without thinking to do so, like breathing. The need to post or blog about such wonderous things weren’t needed because it became who you are for only God to see.
What is 2013 brought families together, and friends who never seem to be able to make time for one another. What if new friendships were being made not by convenience but because of love.
You may be waiting for a video posting of me singing koom-by-ya, I get it sounds nieve. However, with so much evil in the world being splashed across our tv screens, and we continue to believe in it, why not try to believe in the goodness of others instead.
None of us are born perfect. I have flaws that are less than gleamingly loving. But while thinking of New Years resolutions and what just happened in my sweet sleepy part of this beautiful New England state I got to thinking about those parents who just got their kids backpacks with uneaten lunches from FBI agents this past week. If I gain 100lbs in the next year it won’t matter on my death-bed, nor will it matter if I will 100 million in the lottery. What WILL matter, and what I was asked when I died as a child is what difference had I made on this earth? Have I loved and been loved. Is God proud of the person I promised to be in this life. And so I committed to 2013 as the year I take careful consideration of the person I am and if this is who I am supposed to be.
I’m going to love on this world even when it tells me not to. I’m going to set aside my ego and say things that are hard. I’m going to make time for those that matter, and make time for those who matter in the future. I’m going to try to be conscience of what God intended of me. I may just even sing koom-by-ya my friends.
Why? because where I went when I died LOVE ALWAYS WON. The souls I met over there loved me like I was their own child. Everyone–just LOVED. I need to try to make this happen here. I need to love more. Because even here… where evil lurks and waits for someone to find darkness, LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
May 2013 be the years that makes the world sing as one.
Breathe Aimee just breathe.
It is the only thing I have control over. I am powerless in my community that is grieving such devastating loss. I am walking in a fog of grief that is palpable wherever I go. Every single person is feeling it. Every nook and cranny here has someone who has known someone who joined Heaven yesterday-mostly-the unimaginable–a child.
The town I call home and raise my children in boarders Newtown, CT. Sandy Hook is an area we frequent. This town is often intertwined with ours. My daughter went to preschool last year there, our dear friends live there, so many connections, TO many connections.
Newtown, CT is a town before yesterday, parents would be fighting over to send their kids to school in. The town is the essential picture of New England, and the perfect picture of the average American family dream. The main part of the town stands a large American flag that is the center. It is the main land mark when giving directions (people always start with “you know where the flag pole is?”), and stands in front of a church. It is a small town filled will proud American’s with deep faith, and a strong sense of community. It is a place I personally tried to get a teaching job more than once, and have wanted to move to.
Yesterday changed everything. Now Newtown, CT that once was like just any other town in the United States, is now the new Columbine. A town in my backyard. A place filled with people and things I love. Our small town innocence lost. Our bubble burst. Forever changed.
There has been many times I questioned evil. I always saw in existed from afar, but I always thought a piece of God is in each one of us. I always imagined that piece could come at the height of evil and take it down. In an elementary school that housed teachers and young students of our community I learned that evil is everywhere, even in the sweet neighboring town that my husband and I always hoped to move in to. That evil can look sweet innocent, God loving faces of children and murder them.
I tried to focus and say something powerful to God. All I had coming out of my lips in-between sobs was “PLEASE” in a begging manner. Over and over and over again. I can not focus, function, or sit in it.It is to painful.
When thinking about those 20 babies I thought about my near death experience. I know where they are, and how they feel. However, their parents can not. Quite frankly, as I watch my 6 yr old playing today, if it was my son, I would still not find solace in my own experience, because I would be stuck with the fact he wasn’t there. I nearly slept with him last night at the very thought of this. It is unimaginable–as a nation, and the fact it is miles from my sons own elementary school adds an added sense of fear and loss.
The crazy news I have to tell you all is I dreamt this the night before. Not the where part but of mass murder of children that I couldn’t save. I was shaken when I woke up and even told my husband I felt like I had to call the cops. Then my nightmare came true in my community, and I will never ever be the same. EVER.
Please Seeking Up community–please send your love and light to this place. Newtown, CT is depending on surviving this by faith alone. We need the Lord’s strength.
Lately I have been feeling as if I am circling my greatest spiritual potential. I know I can be, give, and offer more, and yet somehow I am holding myself back. Recently I was talking with a dear friend of mine that is also deeply spiritual and gets me. Talking with her about God has ease to it that I haven’t found in any other. She happens to be a devoed Catholic, Bennett’s soon to be God Mother, and very, very open to concepts that religion doesn’t always lend itself to support. I love this about her. She reserves a space within to be open. We all should. While answering and supporting me when I need some religion guidance.
One thing I discussed with her was why others have found the need in the recent years to try to convert me to something. Why on earth would another human being want to pigeon-hole another? My guess is out of fear. Maybe the way I live spiritually free while attending a religion when I want bothers some. Maybe they think I am going to hell, or that I am not right for speaking of my experience and think I am lying. Maybe, just maybe, they truly believe their way is the only way to God, and are coming from a good place. Regardless, I have been feeling like time and time again I am being judged, and disrespected about my relationship with God. I am not sure why this is happening over and over again in my life, but I am guessing it is a lesson that I have yet to fully learn. Maybe it is about strength, faith, or being open, or maybe it is about freeing those that live with pointed fingers of judgement. I am not sure. What I am sure of is this. I have to check my ego every time I am in this type of situation. When someone tries to tell me they know God better than I do, I so badly want to say things like “I don’t need a religion to tell me about Heaven. I have been there”. However, I refuse to get in a pissing match about God. God disputes are off the table for me. I do not know God better than you, nor do you then I. He is in each one of us equally. It is just how we communicate with him, and on what level, that differs. I get that my way may seem absurd to others. Yes I am sending my kid to CCD, and yes I ask them if they WANT to go to church each week because what I do believe about religion is that the basics of Christianity should be taught, and that religion should be ones free will even when a child. Thankfully, in this great country I have the right to offer that to my kids.
So here I am. Circling.
Here is what has happened most recently that I have seen God and my connection with Him in.
*Cardinals are my sign for pregnancy. Usually this means I, or someone close to me is carrying life or will be soon. I have seen them every single time in the past 6 years. Recently I have seen them steadily for 5 days. yesterday being the most poignant when there was one on my door step when I arrived home. Nobody has relieved news to me, and I am waiting with bated breath because this sign is a constant in my life.
*Last year, as you may recall, I had a major God talk at a local park. The sun was glistening on the water as I meditated and asked God to show me where to go from here. The show had just aired, I was getting e-mails, and I was trying to help while being humble. I got a little to big for my britches for a moment there. My deliverance slowly started to become more about me and less about God and it didn’t feel right within my soul. So I asked him directly. What do you want from me? Where shall I go in my journey? I also saw a cardinal that day in that park. I should have noticed the meaning. Since a month later, my prayer answered with a positive pregnancy test! God’s answer was less about my near death experience, and more about giving life. Just today I returned to the same spot to pray about the circling and sending light to a little boy trying to beat cancer at St Judes. I prayed hard. I felt uplifted. As I left I noticed something I hadn’t put together about last years prayer the name of the park is Bennett! The same name I named my son that God blessed me with. The name that means little blessed one. Amazing.
*While sitting in the Starbucks drive thru I had an odd feeling that I knew the person in front of me. The name that popped into my head was someone I haven’t seen in months, don’t know all that well, have no idea what car she drives, and lives in a town away. I messaged her through Facebook to ask if she was at Starbucks. Of course it was her. I freaked her out, and myself. She hasn’t a clue about my back story over here, and I am sure she thinks I am a stalker
*Often when I am sleeping in my room alone I feel like I am being stared at by a mob. Recently I felt someone caressing my head. I woke up nobody was there, but I felt the weight of a hand still stroking me. I did not freak out. I just knew it was a visit from my grandfather calming me down over the stress of a new baby. A new baby that holds my grandfathers middle name.
Coincidences are not what I would call these. All things happen for a reason and I plan to work it out. My message here is we are all learning. We all have the room to become closer to God. Most importantly we all have our own way in doing so. Before you pass judgment upon another’s way of faith or even someone who doesn’t believe at all, think about what that means. God wants you to accept others, not cast stones, and love. Open your heart up to others not on your path and it will help you gain a perspective you haven’t seen before. Expect more of yourself rather of others. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is all-knowing. We are all in it together.
I remember my favorite part of the pledge of allegiance was: One Nation Under God. I get it stirs controversy, but to me my mantra has always been–we are one world under God. We shall embrace each other more, and judge each other less.
While I circle, can we just walk as one?
Lately I have been feeling like I need to tap into a place I used to devote much of my time to-helping others. Prior to kids I revolved both of my careers around helping those in need. The gratification often came from watching people rise above their struggles, while my paycheck paid the rent. There was never a day while helping others that I didn’t see the value in it. It often made it easy to see God in all aspects of my life when you are dedicated to serving.
I miss serving others. While thinking about this, I realized I serve my kids everyday. It is a service that goes unnoticed since it is obviously expected. It is hard to compare such work when you are talking about watching various people kick a drug habit, and wiping a kids behind. The truth is it is all necessary.
The difference being, this stay-at-home Mom serving isn’t paying the mortgage. I have been wracking my brain over how I could continue to nurture my kids, while get some income while helping others. Returning full-time to social work or teaching is just not an option right now, especially since the baby is so new. And so I have been praying for months for something to speak to me. Something, anything, that I felt compelled to really work for while not sacrificing my family. After all, three kids, with one being a newborn, is mighty time-consuming, and exhausting.
Recently a dear friend told me about a company her sister in-law co-founded with her two friends after traveling the world and wanting to help. The idea was to help women in underdeveloped countries struggling in poverty by giving them fair trade work. It would also give women in the US job opportunities during our dwindling job availabilities. Women helping women! The women in dire need would hand make jewelry and accessories and sell to this country at a fair trade value. Women here in the US would sell the products to friends and family to support giving the women consistent work, while also paying for their own bills. The idea that a simple bracelet could help save lives spoke to me. The Mena bracelet for instance, is made of gun-metal hand crafted by HIV Ethiopian women needing the work for healthcare. Why buy factory made when you can by something not only handmade, but made by hands that lives depend on that bracelet sale. It moved me. It spoke to me. Now I am knee-deep in it.
This is who I am. When I commit myself to something and find passion in it, I want to be the over achiever that leaves a mark of goodness behind. And so, this is my new side business-Threads Worldwide! Selling this amazing stuff via online, home parties, and while doing fantastic fundraising to! It may not be a direct one on one way to save someones life, but the gratification of the work is still there.
(insert commercial voice)
If you are moved to do so, check out their website http://www.threadsworldwide.com and if you decide to purchase something or have friends and family that would like to, please make sure to put in my referral code “2006-Aimee Dos Santos” in the “referral box” at check out. Like us on Facebook too! And if you are also yearning to do more, you could also join the consulting team! Just ask me how!!!
(end of commercial)
I am so blessed to have yet another prayer answer and to be working for a company focusing on impacting the change in the world, and less about the greed.