Annie Kirkwood, Author
700 East Shawntel Smith Blvd.
P.O. Box 1376
Muldrow, OK. 74948-1376
August/September 2003 Issue #71
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This is Annie's section
I hope you are doing well and enjoying the summer. I had an enjoyable 4th of July when David and his blended family visited, all ten of them. I got to spend time with the grandchildren and great-grand babies. It's been a beautiful, cool summer until the 4th of July, now it's hot! In some parts of the country there has been flooding and the people in those areas have been in my prayers. Over the years I've come to consider each of you, my neighbor. So when the news comes that one part of the country is experiencing some difficulty, my heart goes out to you. And from what Mother Mary has said repeatedly, the best anyone can offer another is a prayer. I don't tell God what to do, or what is needed-I figure He knows that. What I do is simply to say, "God, I pray for the people who are experiencing difficulties because of the weather, or fires, or whatever is happening." This is above and beyond my continued prayers for the people of the world. You are not only my friend, but you live in my neighborhood. My next door neighbor is about a mile away. You are a neighbor that lives a little further out.
With the help of my friends, we are preparing for Mother Mary's day. There are maps on the website and if you need more information, call me at 918-696-5998. And for those who cannot come to Oklahoma, you can join us on August 15th with your prayers and meditations. After all, Mother Mary says we are one. That we are interconnected and interwoven in marvelous ways.
Now on another note, I've been trying to determine what I'm learning at this time. And I really believe that at times, you can't see the forest for the trees. Meaning that, while you are in the process of the lesson, you cannot see what it is for the learning. Mother Mary has said time and again to look for the blessing in every situation. This has really been a difficult time, and I can't see the lesson just yet. One saying that is repeated in my thoughts is, "Life goes on." Perhaps now I'm seeing the truth behind the adage.
One evening I was thinking back to the days of Byron's death. Really thinking of all the good people who called, wrote and came during that time. Then I remembered how scared I was. It's clear to me, that I've changed without wanting to. At first, I couldn't see how I would live without him. Just the logistics of life were too much to handle. All the things he did around the house fall to me, and more importantly, making decisions has been excruciating. I went from not having to make a decision without a mate, to suddenly doing it alone. And these were decisions only I could make.
The most overwhelming was taking care of his business, which is something that a person without any business experience or sense finds easy. One of my life-long lessons has been to trust God, not with lip service, but with actual faith. I know I'm now trusting completely because I've depended on God to run the business, and the fact that it is still an on-going enterprise demonstrates to me that I am trusting. I asked God to be the CEO and direct this business in all details. I've insisted on His help. Now I'm learning to trust with all my heart and let the future truly be in God's care. That doesn't mean I don't make plans for the future. To me the future is God's, and I can make all the plans I want-they may come to fruition and they may not. The outlook no longer fills me with fear, because I really believe that God only gives good. And, I trust that whatever happens in the future with my plans will be good because a greater plan is unfolding.
That may not sound like a big deal, but for me it is. I've not been a trusting soul. Yes, I could go back to my childhood and give it a reason, but the bottom line is that I don't trust easily. At times I've been cynical and somewhat jaded. Since I know that about myself, I make allowances for it. I give people the benefit of the doubt now. For instance, I didn't trust Byron when I first met him. It took him a lot of energy and frustration to finally get me to trust him-and about 5 years. He persevered and I learned to trust again, among other things. But then he was one of the few men I did trust for a long while. I've continued to have difficulty being completely trusting. That has all changed and, to my surprise, it feels good. It's another way to have peace and serenity within.
I'm not sure that I am a totally trusting soul now, human nature being what it is, but for sure I do trust God. I believe that there is a benevolent Spirit who has created the Universe and all things in it, in such a way that in all things there is order. I also believe that every experience brings a blessing and is used to enhance our spirit and purpose, even during chaotic situations.
I don't know, maybe it's the mellowing of age, but things seem to be getting back to a more even keel, at least some of the time. Or it could be that, since I've given up victimhood and no longer live in a "crisis consciousness" (Byron's term for when you live from crisis to crisis), it doesn't seem as devastating. It has been my goal not to allow myself to fall into old patterns, and to remember that I can deal with life because I have faith in God. I'd been feeling as if the light and joy of my life had been extinguished, and it had. Frankly I was afraid I would never feel good about life again. What has helped the most is telling myself the truth. Like this, "The truth is that this is my life now, and all the wishing that it were different won't bring Byron home. The truth is that I am grateful for the time I had with Byron; it could have been shorter; we had 21 good years. The truth is that I have a choice and can make my life miserable or can find small and, if I look hard enough, some larger pleasures. The truth is that God is with me and now I need to be with God."
I still have the most trouble on weekends, when we were more active together, and I will always miss him, but it's getting a little better. Work has helped a lot. Family, friends and neighbors like you have been a tremendous support. Please keep Byron's mom and me in your prayers. I lost a husband-she lost both a husband and her first-born. And I will be praying with you, too.
Until next time, take care my friend,
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you with a heart filled with love. I love all of God's children, and am especially proud of you who are true to God. True in the sense of how genuine you are with yourself and with God. Being true not only incorporates being loyal and steadfast, but also factual and authentic. It is easy to desire to put forth a good appearance and presence, to want to give good impressions-this is human nature. Often people forget that God can see behind the face and knows what goes on beyond first impressions. He sees into your heart of hearts. He sees into that place where you keep your longings and secret desires. He knows what you don't know about yourself, for God knows the truth about you.
It is quite human to hide facts from yourself, to deny what is obvious at times and to cope with situations through this method. Because of this tendency I urge each of you to look at yourself and your life circumstances in a factual way. Put away the deceptions. Many of you are doing well. Yet it is the unconscious deceptions that I urge you to watch for. When you know this is a tendency, it is easier to search out your heart to see if you have been deceiving yourself.
Being true to God means that you will hold His Truths in your heart and incorporate His truths in your everyday life. God loves you unconditionally, that is an absolute Truth. His love for you is not something to take for granted, it is to be appreciated. God values you; it is up to each of you to have true value of yourself. God values you because He knows your worth. He values you more than the mountains, the oceans and the stars. Each of you is important to the whole. Without you, humanity would suffer and God's creation would suffer. Now I urge you to use your value for the good of the whole. I urge you to value your prayers and to keep praying for your fellow humans, whether you agree with them or not. Everyone does not need to believe the same.
Remembering that God believes in you, it will easier to believe in yourself. God knows you as no one else does; He knows you because He knows how He created you. Believe me, little children, you are very capable of being true, of knowing your inner value, of having confidence in yourself.
Being loyal and true to God means that you will be compassionate in all your dealings, that you will treat people just exactly like you want to be treated, even when you are not treated that way in return. Being true to God is to be sincere and earnest in seeking a close relationship with Him. My little children, it is within you to be loyal and true. It is inherent in you unless you have been taught otherwise.
Loyalty is faithfulness to your belief. Understanding that God is much more than your belief or anyone's belief. God is above religion, He is above and beyond anything known on earth today or at any time. When you can allow your mind to hold this concept, then you will come closer to being loyal to a God who is much more than any concept on earth. He is more loving, more compassionate, more understanding, and very much more tolerant than people give Him credit for. It is an ignorance to believe that one person can speak for God. No one on earth can speak for the wholeness of God because He is beyond your conceptual knowledge.
Another aspect of being true to God is to be devoted. Devotion is not an emotional feeling. When you are devoted, you place all your concentration on that which is your devotion. My little children, I would have you place all your concentration on God and in that way stay in a state of devotion. Give yourself to God, your thoughts, your aspirations, your life. Devotion is a commitment that you make with yourself to seek God first in all things. In this manner you will be ready for any eventuality that comes into your life. Devotion is not a passive action, but a very active participation on your part. When you arise in the morn, your first thought is on God; when you retire at night, God will be your last thought. This is true devotion.
What I am asking of you is to have a very real relationship with God. To allow God to participate in your life in all your dealings and in all your longings. In this way you are able to consecrate your life to God. When you take a drink of water, be grateful for the water, for all that the glass of water represents, the rain, oceans, rivers, creeks, springs, wells, and most of life. For without water you cannot live as a human. When you eat your food, thank God for all it represents, the seeds and plants which nourish your body and the bodies of animals too. Food represents work to the people who make it possible for you to so easily have food. Be grateful to the farmer, the truck driver, the people who work in preparing the food for market, and to the people who work in the marketplace.
Be committed in your gratitude and in your acceptance of God as a loving and benevolent Creator. When you think of God, allow yourself to have joy in this thought, for God is good and He loves you so very much, my little children. Above all be aware of God's goodness in your life. When you look at your life, look for the blessings and not the trials. Become aware of God in every aspect of your life-this is true devotion. Be aware of God within you, in the deepest part of yourself, your spirit. This is the way God created you like Himself. You are spirit as God is spirit. Welcome the Spirit of God into your being, for He is there. Welcome God into your everyday life, as you work, play, and socialize with others.
Most of all, be true to God in your consecration. As your awareness of God increases, so will your devotion, and then you will consecrate your life to Him. You will make your life a sacrament of love. When this occurs, then your life will be God-filled, blessed and fulfilling. This, however, does not mean you will no longer have challenges and problems. It means you will not be devastated because your true devotion is to God who gives only good. You will believe this with a fierceness of spirit, and your belief will be unwavering and true in that day.
I have confidence in you, my little children. You are very capable of this kind of devotion. You will be devoted and true in your heart and not so much with your words only. Your life will be a consecrated, true devotion to our Creator.
I am loving you,
Mary, Mother of Jesus
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Original date: Sept 10, 2003
Last updated: Sept 10, 2003