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Archive for September, 2012

Silence

Silence. I adore silence. Silence and stillness is my favorite part of every single day that I am able to breathe on this earth.

Silence isn’t for everyone. I know many people that do not find the solace in it, and need some type of sound to comfort them. After all when the tv is on it makes you feel less alone when you are actually alone right? Not for me. I literally live for the silence in the day, and not just because I have three kids either.

I lived in possibly the nosiest city on this earth for five years. I often went out of my way to seek silence in it. I would crawl out of bed early to walk along the river on the upper east side, or get over to my favorite angel statue in Central Park before all the tourist came spilling out. I sought out the stillness in the city that never sleeps. I had to because in those moments it was the only time I had a physical, and focused connection with Him.

In silence I am never alone. Of course you are thinking, we never are. However, in silence is when I have the best connection with God. I am focused and open. There isn’t something on tv distracting me, or busying my body just so I don’t feel alone or bored. In stillness is the best place to find the best part of me. A place that nobody on the earth can see. A place only made for me and my maker.

Last night I sat in silence. The baby slept in my arms and I prayed. I started thanking Him for such a glorious gift. When I opened myself up in prayer and spoke to Him about feeling the pull to have to write and pray he answered. I heard clearly “I am with you” among other things that lifted me up and confirmed I am never alone. When I feel like something is pulling me to do something, or something happens merely by “coincidence” it is God speaking through me. Looking at my blessed little Bennett who is creeping up on 6 weeks, everything about him speaks God.

I went to mass last Saturday for a variety of reasons. Mainly I am sending my oldest to CCD. Not because I think Catholicism is the “way to go”, but because he needs to learn the basics and the importance of the big book and the big man. This of course will come with Mom’s own twist on things. I want to show him he can find God in everything and everywhere, but that doesn’t mean church is such a bad place either. It is an hour focused, often in silence, on Him! For me I love the sermons. I love to find that nugget of something that clearly is meant for me. Last weekend it was the priest talking about giving birth and how it is a personal visit from God. This wrapped up the emotion of birth for me in a statement. It is impossible to give words to that moment your body delivers life into the world. You can not possibly deny God in that moment. I often feel out of place in church because little of the ritual of religion speaks to my actual experience with God and dying. I always feel one foot in and one foot out sorta speak. I am starting to learn this is ok for me. It is my experience and should not be the forced experience on my kids. Their journey is their own. The sermon that night was confirmation that God agree’s my foot in the chruch is a good one to be and it is also ok to have one foot out. Faith is all or nothing but religion doesn’t have to be.

No matter how busy life gets I find a moment of silence. I find a moment that I close my eyes and feel like my body isn’t weighted down, and that I am elevated into thin air. That the air and I are no different–we just are. When I close my eyes and feel like this the door swings wide open, and it starts. I never want it to end, and it always does. I always wake to go on better then I had moments before I sat in the silence.

Next time you dive for the remote control when nobody is home, try to sit in the silence. See if the door opens for you? You will be amazed how much you can find in the mere stillness of the air, and being centered in your own mind.

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I never really believed in evil until that day 11 years ago. I always thought if true evil existed that it would often go unseen because God’s love and light always prevails. Prior to that day I thought people did evil things as a product of what has happened to them in the past, not digging deep for a relationship with God, mental illness, or being steered by the wrong life principles. All of which I still think support much of evil today, but after September 11 there was no longer a question for me that the devil exists.

The thing about evil is many die hard religious people think that just because they enter the church doors every Sunday, or read the bible they get to go to paradise regardless of how they act behind closed doors. However, they think their neighbor who does not go to church but lives their lives doing good things for others won’t. I know for a fact even really seemingly good church going people can be living a life driven by evil. Just as I know plenty of non-baptized people that are living life to help others are worthy of the other side and God’s love.

September 11 reminded/taught me this. As I knew someone down there that day. I had hoped it would have changed him, as he survived while thousands lost their lives. It didn’t, but it changed mine. I realized that even surviving something like this can’t bring you closer to God unless you seek it. I learned that the heart evil often lays in the heart of ones ego. I learned that even people I loved and prayed for could still live a life on the ugly side of things. I am grateful for those lessons and the ability to have survived that day and the ability to learn those lessons. That year it was not a coincidence I choose to be baptized myself. 

I Was able to go to ground 0 soon after that day. So much for my soul to take in. The silence of an otherwise noisy city, and the smell of death that saturated my skin that not even a shower could take it away. The miles of missing people posters, and the feeling I often get as a “sensitive” soul. The air was thick of people that just left this life and entering into the one I have been to as a kid.

Lots of people like to use the term “Never Forget” on the anniversary of this day. I push to wonder what they are actually doing to alter their lives in a way the reflects that. What have you gained from it? How have you lived your life differently?

Today is not only day about remembering those that crossed over; It is a day that has a lot of power towards the greater good of humanity from here on out. If everyone, even just for today, took the time to actively be a kinder person to others, and to reflect, it would have a ripple effect.

Today when you are remembering, take the time to reflect on the impact it has had on you. What can you make good on in honor of that day? It is amazing what even a smile to a stranger you are walking by can do for that strangers day.

Shut the ego down. Say the I am sorry’s, the I love you’s, and hug your kids more.Stop worrying about the laundry list of things you HAVE TO DO today; focus only on how you can love more.

Never Forget with all of heart and being.

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Little Blessed One

In the deepest part of me I thought I knew the answer to my prayer. The prayer that I begged God to reveal what I am meant to do. “What now?” I would plead. I thought I had the answer but it was just what I wanted to hear. Sometimes when you are pleading for something to happen the fact that it isn’t happening is just that– the answer. That day I had not even imagined myself a mother of three. I had not even contemplated all the different ways He could have answered. 

He answered alright:

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Bennett Gardiner Dos Santos was born August 16, 2012. He was granted a very strong spiritual name because he was literally an answer to my prayer. My prayer that didn’t contain the words “please God give me a baby” –but more of the words, “Lord reveal to me what you want me to be doing with my life”. When I realized I was pregnant, and the shock wore off, I realized this was absolutely God intended. This meant I must find a name that fit that! 

My oldest (who is 6 yr old) came home and told me he wanted to name his brother Benny one day. I brushed it off thinking it wasn’t going to happen. I fell upon the name Bennett and then saw the meaning: Little blessed one. Could this not be more fitting? His middle name comes from my grandfather. Bennett was supposed to be born the on 20th which is the anniversary of my grandfathers passing. Gardiner was his middle name, and I thought it would be fitting to give it to “Baby Benny”. And of course, our last name meaning “Two Saints”. Now that is a whole lotta spiritual love nestled in a name don’t you think?

 There is little in life to compare to the vast beauty of when a baby takes his first breath into this world. While one the operating table I could not stop crying when he came. I could not help but thank God. They put him on me and as I looked into this new life’s eyes I knew this was God speaking to me directly. Bennett left the room with his Dad and my surgery continued. It was a very difficult one. One that I kept praying I would survive. I know this sounds sort of dramatic, but the truth is I was scared. I was scared that I would be leaving that baby behind and never get to relish in his time here. The surgery cost me ending the possibility to ever have life in my body again. I was ok with this because it meant for me I was safe. Having another baby may have literally killed me after this one. Knowing this I promised myself to drink this last baby in. And to think I never even entertained the idea I would be a Mom of 3!

On one of my first nights home I was laying in bed holding Bennett. I could not believe he is was here. For 9 months I carried him but I sort of felt like I was in a haze of denial. Now he was reality. I was feeling overwhelmed and knew I had plenty of trial and errors coming my way. However, I was thankful. So very very thankful. I thanked God for his life. For answering my prayer not in the way I intended but what was meant. He is forever my “little blessing”.

Food for thought: remember prayer isn’t like a list to Santa. Just because you try to ask for something  specific doesn’t mean you are deemed to get it. Prayer is more about guidance and less about the “gimmes”. It is having faith He knows what you need and will you lead you there. You can dream big—you can make things happen, but on His time not yours! Trust that whatever comes your way there is a reason designed very purposely just for you. Trust you are enough to take it. 

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