Saturday, January 14, 2012


The Sweet Joy of Surrendering to God's Waves

I am sooo lucky to live where I live. And for all of you that live in
the bay area: rejoice! It's mid-January, and it's 60, sunny, and clear.
On top of that, for a lot of us the ocean is only 20 minutes away. I am at
Half moon Bay again, Teddieless this time. It's a little windy but
outside of that a perfect day in my opinion.

That's why I left Chicago. As I have told countless people, I counted
the actual days that were pleasant in Chicago... 76 out of 365 the year
I last lived there. Here it is more like 300 days. The bay area is
sunny and mild most days while the Chicago area was overcast, frigid, or
hot as a stove most days I remember it.

I wonder sometimes if the climate affects our soul, as well. Many of
the friends I left in Chicago were hard, cynical, and deathly afraid of
change. Maybe that's the way I was to some degree. A couple of my best friends tried to control their environment, I guess out of necessity, and when that
failed they acquiesced to the inevitable waves that came.

I hoped they would eventually become like surfers riding the wave: twisting and
turning with their intentions yet surrendering to what they expected
and didn't quite expect. They never quite got there. They then tried
to control the truth I spoke in love, and in the end our friendships
ended. These were long-term personal and close friendships that
navigated many storms together, and yet the last storms were too much
to weather. Their past mistakes haunted them, and the waves
eventually capsized our friendship, a major interruption in this life.

But I rode that wave knowing there were other roads God's will would
lead us to individually. God is so great that way; even in our
missteps, even in our hurt and in our anger, He always gently tries to
lead us to a joyful and happy place. Surrendering to God's will would
seem desirable if it meant not only accepting the waves but actually
enjoying them!

One friend recently asked me, "What does that mean:
surrendering to God's will?"

Well, humbly and as low to the ground as I can be, I will try to answer
that query on a slightly deeper level. God makes us all unique and
unrepeatable. God designed us all for a purpose. However, we are not
quite polished yet, not quite the perfect piece to fit in the grand
mosaic of heaven. And so we are here to have our edges polished.

As an example: my candor can sting your illusion, and your resistance
brings even more of my candor out. We cut and shape each other, perhaps
with some angst. Or my candor brings out your reflection and gentle
agreement or disagreement, and we dialogue and shape each other another
way. My candor can be gentle or sharp, but it is my gift to the world,
sometimes wanted and sometimes not. And the world's response to my
candor, whether gentle or sharp, is its gift to me, whether I want it
or not.:-)

Surrendering to God's will for me means being true about my needs and
about my desire to love. It's about my desire to be as transparent as
I can be, having full confidence that God's will will be done, that in
this surrender things will be mutually decided, and the path will
naturally narrow. Trying to please everyone or fit in everywhere is, in
short, trying to force things. This naturally will lead to

Trying to impose our own will and control the flow of communication
and the expression of love will lead to resistance. So the choice
simply becomes being true to ourselves and true with God and true with
one another in the moment and letting God/Love in to the situations that polish our
edges or trying to control what happens by shutting out Love/God or
trying to force it.

Both scenarios bring dramatic moments, healing moments, joyful
moments, pleasurable moments, exciting moments, sad moments, peaceful
moments, and resistant moments at times. The more we love, the easier
the polishing is to handle, and the more we resist, the more painful
the polishing will be.

In the end, if we embrace it all we will find an overarching peace
and joy knowing God/Love is in charge. Even though we will dance in
this life between surrendering to God's/Love's will and imposing our
own ego, I pray all of us, while living and upon exiting this life,
allow ourselves to experience and to trust the sweet joy of
surrendering to God's waves.

Sunday, January 8, 2012



It's amazing to me that I could be Catholic for so long and not know what this feast means until now. That alone should keep me humble, knowing that I know so little it constitutes not knowing at all for all practical purposes:-).

The feast of the Epiphany is the next to last day of Christmas and celebrates when the Magi followed the star all the way to where the baby Jesus was with Mary. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and did him homage. They recognized that this infant was God incarnate. For more information on this special day here is a good article on the celebration:

Because Epiphany is such a powerful word, I looked for definitions of what it means. Here is what I found. The first two are from Wikepedia. I have attached the link for those who want full context:

The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine.[6] Today, this concept is used much more often and without such connotations, but a popular implication remains that the epiphany is supernatural, as the discovery comes suddenly from the outside.

An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. The term is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has "found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture," or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference.

And one last from e·piph·a·ny

1. ( initial capital letter ) a Christian festival observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.

1275-1325; Middle English epiphanie < Late Latin epiphanīaepipháneia, Greek: apparition, equivalent to epi- epi- + phan- (stem of phaínein to appear) + -eia -y3

Epiphany (holiday), a Christian holiday on January 6 celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus Epiphany (feeling), a sudden realization of great truth.

For me, after reading these articles, I feel epiphanies are rare. In a sense we are always seeking and discovering new realities both collectively and individually, but rarely is that final piece revealed.

If our life is a puzzle then we are always collecting and putting a new piece in. We see more clearly what the picture is but more often than not we don't see the whole picture. That could range from a broad question like, "What is the purpose of my life?", to a very specific question like, "Why do certain people enter my life?" or "Who has God willed to be my mate?". We seek answers and get some confirmations. We can see some reasons, but rarely do we see the whole picture.

This first week of the new year for me, I have received lots of signs. The first is in what I have received unexpectedly in career options and deeper friendship connections. Later, some very powerful and unexpected feelings were revealed to me. Finally, prayers were answered and signs pointed me to someone, and doors closed away from others. The purpose, reason and outcome I do not know. What I do know is that God/Love has milestones in mind for me this year. He has prepared my heart.

As we journey in this life not knowing what the next moment will bring and not knowing when our efforts will pay off, let us trust in the divine voice that resides in us. Let's trust it to guide us through the light and dark moments. To trust that step by misstep, if we hold on to God and Love as much as we can in this life, we will eventually see the Epiphany.