Lessons from 2012 and before

It’s the last day of 2012 which means reflecting on the previous year. I didn’t have my brother in my life this year but I did have the book I wrote to share his life and my insights available at this link. (https://www.createspace.com/3766028) I don’t have any of the 20 I bought to sell and/or give away and 13 were sold on-line. 33. He was only 33 when he died. Curious coincidence? I don’t think so.  While his book was (hopefully) blessing people down here he was Home celebrating his 15th year of ultimate sobriety.

A new blogger friend challenged his readers to look at the positive that can be gained from their experience. I think I can do that. After all, I’ve had quite a few years to think about it. So here are ten things I learned from having an alcoholic in my life.

5. Time isn’t the healer; the Author of time is. Through prayer, I have walked the path of peace.

8. Fathers don’t wake up but they do whisper happy memories in your dreams.

2. Pictures can be worth a thousand words, a thousand tears, or a thousand smiles.

4. You have to separate the alcoholic from the brother and focus on the brotherly qualities, no matter how deep they’re hidden.

10. DNA is only part of who you are. It doesn’t have to dictate your life. The blood of Christ covers me so that the chains that held my grandparents,  brother, and even my mother for a short season have no power over me.

3. I am living a, “there but by the Grace of God go I”  life.

7.  Pain can become a platform from which to pray.

1. Struggles make us stronger if we’re rooted in the Spirit.

6. When God takes away, He gives back in abundance. I have at least 10 new “brothers” because of the Inside Out Men’s Home.

9. There is no rain in Heaven.

You may be wondering why the numbers are not in order. That’s because blessings do not come in an orderly, predictable fashion.

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Where’s Jesus?

It’s Monday morning. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m wondering where Jesus went.

It was many years ago, I can’t quite recall which one, when I heard the news that Jesus was gone. More specifically Baby Jesus was missing from the manger. With only two children and no visitors since the last time anyone saw Jesus, it didn’t take long for Mom to pin the blame on one of us. Naturally she blamed my brother. And she was right. For some odd reason that we never did figure out he had taken and hidden the Babe in swaddling clothes. Now it wouldn’t have been hard to do. We had a small Nativity that sat on the piano. Jesus could have easily fit in his pocket unnoticed.

It’s Monday morning. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m wondering why Jesus went.

Just because I don’t remember the exact year doesn’t mean I don’t know the approximate time frame of the Kingnapping. I know it wasn’t when we were little. I’ve heard stories of little kids who just want to play with the figurine but that wasn’t it. It was when we were older. I think Paul was already in his teens–that time of life when young people start to drift away from their parent’s influence and assert their independence. And Paul was drifting from his childlike faith. Perhaps he took Jesus out of the manger because He had already been kicked out of Paul’s life. Perhaps my brother didn’t want to look at what he no longer believed in.  But why take the figuring? Why not just ignore it?

It’s Monday morning. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m wondering where Jesus is.

I don’t think Mom ever did find the Baby Jesus.  She replaced it, and eventually stopped decorating after we were all grown and moved out and it was too much work for just one person. But where is Jesus? It is a mystery that refuses to be solved. Teen-age angst sent Him into exile, both literally and figuratively. It was soon apparent that my brother wasn’t carrying Jesus around in his pocket and was ignoring the One he invited into his heart at a tender young age. I don’t believe Jesus ever left that heart. As it hardened towards Him, it hardened around Him.  Baby Jesus was never found but King Jesus stuck with the angry young man, the alcoholic, the homeless bum until they were reunited in Heaven.

It’s Monday morning. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’m wondering:

Do you know where Jesus is?

Please Donate

http://gogetfunding.com/project/reunite-a-family?fb_action_ids=4367731944701&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366

Unexpected Christmas Hero

The story that came out after the story was written and the cover was chosen has hit close to home. The man on the cover of Kathi Macia’s latest book is not a model. He is a real homeless man and now thanks to her publisher his family has been found. I’m asking you today to donate to the fund to make the reunion happen. I know how hard it is to wonder about the health and well being of a family member on the streets. I’ve driven down the street and made a u-turn only to realize the homeless man I saw was not my brother. I’ve cried during rain storms. Winter has chilled me to the bone on a physical and emotional level. Mr. Willard Parker is not well from what I understand. Please donate.

Click the link above to take you to the funding site. Minimum donation is only $1 but as of this post they are only 1/3 of the way to their goal so please give generously.

Aside

No Parking In The Past

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It’s Monday here in my neck of the woods and that means the cars are off the street and some of them are at the mall across the street to avoid a ticket from the parking patrol. It dawned on me that since my memoir is titled Then Monday Came (because so many significant things happened on Monday) and it is about my past I could be in danger of parking in the past. I have things about my past that are cherishable and things that make me cringe. Either way, if I dwell there I will be guilty of what my mother called living in the past. She would be upset to find out the character loosely based on myself in my novel Night Blooming Jasmine is named Rosemary Rae since that is a nickname from the past. She wasn’t too fond of reminicing even over the pleasant parts of the past.

I do not believe I am parking in the past. I cherish the happy memories and have learned from the not so memorable. But I know people who do and I wish I could tell them how to move their cars to the mall parking lot. Right now they’re just stuck and the street sweeper is coming. Metaphorically speaking they won’t get a ticket from the parking patrol. The problem is the debris the street sweeper can’t clear away so they can be free from the pain of the past.

Debut Novel

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000598942/Night-Blooming-Jasmine.aspx

If you’ve been following my blog you know that I lost my brother to alcohol and drungs when I was 30. I realized the other day that for the first 15 years of my life I had a brother and for the second 15 I had an alcoholic. Night Blooming Jasmine takes the best memories of those years and weaves them into the fictional Powell family. Only some of them are based on real people and that just loosely as old memories fade.

It’s my first novel and I can’t help but wonder what Paul would think. It’s time for me to move beyond wondering what he would think and think about you, the reader. I wrote this for you with splashes of nostalgia and simpler times and examples of faith in adversity. I want you to enjoy it. So pick one up and then come on back and tell me what you thought. And if you ask about a specific scene I’ll let you know if it’s fact or fiction.

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