If we were having coffee…

I would tell you that I had an awesome breakfast with my husband, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, and Vanilla Bean coffee. He puts love into and makes them perfectly every time.

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I would tell you that I had a great week, which started with meeting a friend for brunch last Sunday. I hadn’t seen her since shortly before the shutdown last year, but we hung out for a few hours catching up like we had just seen each other or were still co-workers. My week continued with a couple of good chats with friends and co-workers, receiving early Christmas gifts, and time to relax and hang out with my husband.

If we were having coffee, I would ask if you have tried Jack Daniels coffee. Talk about delicious! We will have to drink some next time we get together for coffee. Also, have you had Lou Malnati’s pizza? Definitely try the cheese pizza, it’s like a tasty, warm hug.

I would tell you that I am looking forward to several days off this coming week, with Christmas and the way the holiday falls on the calendar. I will have 5 days off, including a day I added to an already extended weekend. I am sad that I will not see my family but I know that we will have some calls and video chats. I hope the time that the rest of the family has together goes well and that the crazy travelling I won’t be doing also goes well for them. I’m sure I already told you the reasons I am not going, which include not wanting to leave my husband alone for the holidays but also that the rest of my family believes in the COVID vaccines, testing, etc. and is already a little concerned about exposure. Me, I’m still here, have been mostly healthy throughout this whole thing minus a few days. We are all entitled to our beliefs and freedom to make our own decisions.

If we were having coffee, I would share that I am excited to soon eat homemade waffles, which we will make with our newly received waffle maker given by my parents. Breakfast is my favorite! And, we will be feasting on Lou Malnati’s Pizza, given by my brother and sister-in-law and by Husband’s godmother. Yes, two different groups of people gave us the best deep-dish pizza ever! We will be eating well, if not healthy, for quite a while.            

I would tell you that I am excited for family and friends to get the gifts we gave, and we are hoping to make cookies and brownies to share with them as well. I am disappointed that my work unit didn’t have a Christmas gathering for the second year in a row – last year because we were all working at home, this year because we were in the office on different days, some co-workers have a lot going on, anxiety about everything, etc. They are like a second family, for better or worse, and it’s nice to eat together and be out of the office trying a new restaurant, playing puzzle and gift-exchange games. Maybe we’ll do something in the New Year…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that some days I feel great and I can handle all that life throws at me, while there are other days when getting out of bed is a struggle. When you read the backstory to so many things going on that most people don’t want to hear about and pretend don’t exist, it’s a tough boat to row. Sometimes I stick to shallow waters and stay off the boat.

I’m glad we were able to have coffee today. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and experiences. Maybe it made you feel less alone, or maybe you think I’m crazy. I’m just a girl trying to get through each day the best I can.

Have a good weekend!

Faith

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Good Faith.”

My faith has fluctuated throughout my life. I grew up Roman catholic, then lost touch and have, over time, found a comfortable level of faith-based beliefs and independent spirituality. I believe in God and that He gave us free will.  I believe that miracles can happen. I believe that we sometimes face challenges that help us learn and grow. I believe that He can intervene in life but I am sometimes confused how it all works, the why and how of it, and I don’t believe that He saves close parking spaces.

I recognize times in my life when I got a favor and I was clearly given a hand, if you will, though I struggle with faith in other situations. I had an alternator go out while I was driving on a city street but I was able to keep the car running long enough during a brief red light to turn a corner, turn into a business parking lot and park the car in a towable parking space before the car completely shut off. I believe that I was kept safe in a situation that could have gone wrong. I was a on a two-lane street with no street parking available, my panel was not lit and I had no idea of the speed I was going. If the car stopped in the middle of the street, it likely would have resulted in an accident. This car presented me with other similar situations and I was protected each time, thank God. I also believe that God has helped me through some tough times.

I struggle with faith when it comes to bad things repeatedly happening to good people and the suffering they endure, seemingly while bad people carry on with minimal consequences. They somehow manage to get sympathy, justification for their bad behavior and, in some cases, multiple chances for redemption, while others get the book thrown at them for the smallest of infractions. I am told that they will “get theirs in the end”, that “God’s justice is not the same as human’s justice”, and that “everyone deserves a second chance.” Yes, and I am familiar with the Holy Bible’s stance on this  in Matthew 18:21-22 NASB.

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

I get that we are all human and that we will have our day of judgment to answer for what we have done in our lives. I am even sympathetic to the plight of the wronged and abused who were not taught a better way and committed horrible acts but I believe that they still, in many cases other than severe mental illness, made a choice. We are all held accountable for our actions and the choices we make, especially as adults. I believe in forgiveness and its power to free us, yet I also believe that our forgiveness of others can be taken for granted.

I believe in free will and I believe in divine intervention, but I often wonder how God decides when and when not to intervene. Why does He intervene in some situations and not others, especially a situation of magnitude? Or did He try to intervene and the people were willful, preventing a different outcome? I contempt this as I see terror attacks, wars, crimes against humanity by companies, countries and individuals, oppression, child abuse, and a world in which the most basic human freedoms are being restrained and struck down by powerful individuals working for the supposed “greater good”.

I have faith that there are good people who care about others and about what is going on around them, and I have faith that they can make a difference by speaking out, helping and educating others and by just being honest, decent human beings. Maybe God is using them as instruments to fight back against the evil order at work. Although I try to be a realist, I remain optimistic that life can get better, even as I see signs of life getting harder, and that humanity can band together to fight for true good – freedom, liberty, healthy non-genetically modified food, clean air and water, self-defense, self-sufficiently, an end to wars and power struggles, true healthcare rather than sickcare, individualism and respect for our likenesses and differences. We all need to have faith.