Females Just Want to be FREE

happy-girlsYou know that song, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun from the ’80s?  I’ve never really been a play/barrel of fun/life’s a party kind of personality, but I’ve always really gotten that song.  I’m thinking maybe “fun” could best be interpreted as FREEDOM.

We all want to feel free.  Our femininity and creativity are huge factors in this.  We want to be who we are.  Free to go and do what sings to us, embrace what we were created to have and become. Dance in our authenticity.  Celebrate our aliveness.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to be that which you truly are.”  (Joseph Campbell)

Who we are is housed in the recesses of our hearts as DESIRE.  Desires are the tiny seeds planted in our hearts that turn into dreams. We often don’t allow these dreams and desires full expression because of the cultural labels and limits attached to them.

I’m not just talking about our culture at large limiting us, I’m talking about our sub-cultures: our families, our friends, even our churches.

When we heed the culturally-generated lies and don’t honor the desires of our hearts, a part of our soul dies.  During this soul sickness, we judge others as they boldly and confidently pursue their dreams.  We judge and attack because we secretly wish we could give ourselves permission to pursue our own.

How would it feel to let your dreams all come out, unjudged, unreserved, unabashed?  And spiritually allow others the freedom to do the same?

Well…I think that is a loaded question.  I mean yes, it would feel absolutely AMAZING – a little vulnerable – but mostly cathartic and wonderful.  Are we always supposed to feel wonderful and amazing and fulfilled at all Stations in our lives, though?

Here is where Surrender and Sacrifice come in.  There is a perfect season , or Sacred Station, for the dream(s) to be made manifest.  While YOU may want it badly, God may hold it in reserve until HE feels it is time for the dream to be born.  Sacrificing our will to His is the key to finding the Sacred in the waiting.

Forcing what you want will bring darkness into your life so fast it will make your head spin.   The way will be hedged up almost immediately and you will experience disappointment, disillusionment and the like.

Yet, that does NOT mean we stop nurturing those desires.  They need to be “held with hope” in our hearts.  There is a divine reason they reside there in the first place.  I cannot tell you how many women I have met through my speaking and coaching who have disconnected from their dreams – from what is wanted – simply because they’ve put cultural judgment on the desires of their hearts.  They have labeled their dreams “unspiritual” because somehow it is taking them away from family or church or community service.  These women misunderstand Sacrifice.  Sacrifice is not giving up your dreams for an organization or for another MORTAL(including husband and children).  It is placing your dreams on hold for only a season…for GOD.

joyful-woman-at-ocean-199x300

Know that your dream is considered a “righteous desire” (or NOBLE DREAM) if the fruits of the Spirit are felt while reflecting on it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (Galatians 5:22)

If, when you reflect on this dream or desire, you feel the above feelings, it is noble.  It is right for you, and you can let go of the judgment of it.  Isn’t that FREEING?  In fact, God works through your righteous desires to motivate you to carry out your life missions.  You need divine motivation – through the medium of your righteous desires – to feed the world in your unique way.

Sometimes the path to realizing this desire or dream is not the path you would have chosen to take.  This has happened to me sooooo many times.  God has taken me in some interesting directions!  Just be ready to ACT when He says to act.

The point is, continue to nurture your heart’s desires, regardless of whether or not you are being called to act on them. They may not have the divine seal of approval for complete expression right now, but that is the beauty of spiritual creation.  The Earth itself was created in seasons – in Sacred Stations.  God’s pattern is to create things spiritually before He creates them physically, and this should be our pattern as well.  There is much you can do to spiritually create your dreams – within your mind’s eye, your pen and paper, your heart’s imagination – before you take one physical step toward their attainment.

I look forward to the day when all of the desires of my heart will reach fulfillment, as I have been promised.  When my dreams and desires reach their full expression, inGOD’s culture, I will be living in divine authenticity.

To me, that is total Freedom.

Welcome to Earth

Today I learned of the birth of my little “niece”, Brianna Kathleen.  I have niece in quotes because technically she’s not my niece.  At least not by traditional familial standards.

brianna

In my heart, though, she most definitely is.

When my sister Shawna took her life in 2005, she left behind five young children (ages 12, 8, 6, 4 and 2).  Her husband David was completely devoted to her and for many years tried every avenue and available known resource to help her depression heal.  Priesthood blessings, in-patient treatment, 12 Step Programs, clinical therapy, medications and many other forms of therapeutic intervention.  Nothing ever seemed to “take,” which is why I believe Shawna ultimately “took” her life.

It was hard when, within months of Shawna’s suicide, David married a woman named Amy.  I mean, we all understood those children needed a mother and he needed stable love and companionship.  To this day I know that the hand of the Lord was involved in their meeting and marrying.  But it was still very difficult to see Amy in my sister’s stead.

Amy had never been married or had children of her own when she and David met.  We watched her step into that home and establish order and stability with her natural peacemaker-slash-get things done personality.  She was a marvel and a mystery then and remains so to me today.  Shawna’s children now call Amy “Mom.”

Yesterday (four and a half years after their wedding), Amy gave birth to she and David’s first child.  My little – okay, I’ll own it – NIECE.

This picture’s so sweet…such a fresh, straight-from-the-womb-into-this-world snapshot.  Her dad, and my brother-in-law David, posted it on Facebook.

I like to think Shawna was one of the last to spiritually hug this little one before she came down.  I’m sure in their Sacred Station she told Brianna what a special family she was inheriting.

And I’m sure it was a little bittersweet for my sister, too, because it was the inheritance she has temporarily lost.

Personally, I can’t wait to hug them both.

The Two Who Are Missing

I’m about to share something really personal, even Sacred to me.  I wouldn’t normally post such things, but I’m feeling the, “It’s okay, others might need to hear this” prompt from the Spirit.

I am 41 years old and my husband Jeff and I are not done having children.   We thought we were – seven years ago – after our youngest was two and I’d suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage.  We figured the Lord had completed our family and the three cherished children we’d been blessed with were it.  I accepted this, even though I’d always wanted more kids, and just went forward with motherhood and my life mission.

miscarriage

A few years after that, the desire to add to our family came back.  Strongly.  I chalked it up my mother’s heart not wanting to put final closure on having children.   Yet, the overwhelming desire would not leave, and Jeff and I both began to receive spiritual impressions that our family was incomplete.  I bought a cute little puppy — didn’t help much.  I looked into foster care and adoption – even went so far as to put start putting dossier paperwork together to adopt a little girl from China – but every time we moved forward in the adoption direction, a door would shut or it wouldn’t feel right.

Then my 6 year-old Sawyer pronounces I am to have a baby and starts praying relentlessly for babies to come to his mommy’s tummy.  I’ve learned to never take what comes from the mouth of babes lightly.  His older brother Noah “prophesied” at the age of 3, that he was getting a baby brother soon.  It came out very non-chalantly at the kitchen table after preschool one afternoon as simply, “Mom, Heavenly Father knows I want a baby brother.”  I was pregnant 4 weeks later…with his brother Sawyer.

mother

So eventually, all spiritual and emotional indicators were pointing towards pregnancy as the right thing to pursue.  I was 38, and Jeff was 39 when we made that prayerful decision.  Our kids were 6, 8 and 10.  I swore I wouldn’t have caboose babies later in life!  My dear Grandmother Mary Lou was pregnant with my mother twice…having a baby at 44 and another at 45.  I grew up thinking that was kinda weird.  Yet – I cannot imagine our family without Aunt Kim Sue (my sister’s age) and Uncle Jeff (my age).

I knew pregnancy was the right course, because proceeding in that direction brought no “stupor of thought” and as we went forward, my impressions became stronger.  I begin to sense, then perceive, then know that there was not just one, but two children waiting to join us.  A son and a daughter.  Looking back, I think I needed to have this knowing or I would have given up on bringing them to Earth long ago.

We tried for two years to get pregnant once the decision was made.  In those 2 years, I held out the hope that they would come, but started to become impatient with the Lord.  It was frustrating and disappointing.    Then finally, at age 40 – last summer – I got pregnant.  We were over-the-top excited.

Then I miscarried at 11 weeks.  So devastating.  I went to the Lord in the midst of my deep grief and asked if I should just “give up” on this whole after-40 pregnancy idea.  I immediately felt a withdrawal of the Spirit upon presenting that to Him, which to me was a strong indicator that I should not give up.  I later received beautiful reassurances – promises – that the desires of my heart would be realized.

I got pregnant again within a few months.  I was SURE that this one would take.  At 7 weeks (2 months ago), I miscarried again.  You can read ALL about that devastation on my February post entitled Loss.

There is so much that I could write about miscarriage and infant loss and what I have learned with respect to why the Lord gives and takes away.  Maybe I’ll expound on another post.  There isn’t room on this one now.  (Why is it that I cannot write short posts?)

boy and girl see saw

Prior to and since the 3 miscarriages, I have filled pages in my journal (3 years running) with longings for these children.  One night the longing was so great that I got out of bed and wrote this poem:

For the Two Who Are Missing: My daughter and son, not yet conceived
Cherie Burton, September 1, 2008

I see you, brave son, standing behind your sister
Noble in your resolute desire to strengthen and protect
The sacred bond which cannot endure separation
In either estate.

And you, determined daughter, reaching forward
In beautiful feminine splendor and swirling clouds of joy
Waiting to join a mortal stage compatible with
The majesty of your mission.

It has been a year since my mind’s eye received you both
Since this mother’s heart knew there were two spots missing
In the joyful family portrait which hangs in her hallway
And graces her soul.

So my feet continue walking with the wondrous gift of knowing
That the stars are moving in alignment and purpose
While elements of body and earth combine with the miracle
Of your perfect creation.

May you see with infinite clarity the purity of my intent
To embrace our Father’s design for this glorious family circle
Accepting –daughter and son of the light– my most humble offering
To be your mother forever.

I’ve entertained the thought that these two recent miscarriages were the boy and the girl I’ve been waiting for and that all they needed was a body in that brief time to serve their mortal purpose as my children.  My mother’s heart beats so strongly, though, for the chance to nurture them, love them, raise them to the Light.  I know He knows this.

So I’ll keep waiting on Him…because I know His promises are sure.

12 Sacred Stations of the Feminine Soul, part three

In Part 2 we discussed how Deity seem to organize and assemble things in twelves to achieve perfect balance and structure.  Twelve is a type of ordinal fulfillment represented repeatedly throughout heavenly and earthly creations.  Including our bodies.

In Part 1 we discussed how energy, or Light and/or darkness, are held in the Sacred Stations of the body.

The Ancients called these “wheels of light” or, chakras.  If you have read about chakras, then you probably know that there are seven generally recognized Stations or centers of Light, ordered this way:

chakras

Many people cringe when they see color wheels in a picture of the body.  We’re used to Gray’s Anatomy as our reference.  This picture (Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Man” that someone has added the chakras to) is not a depiction of some New Age false doctrine, it is simply a representation of part of the physical properties of the soul!  It’s got to be fringe and “unproven” if we don’t have a chart of it in medical journals, right?  (Or worse yet, the argument that it must be “evil” if it’s not commonly accepted doctrine in church).  There is MUCH the majority does not study in church or in biology that is Truth.  Just because we aren’t studying gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum and dimensionality in church and medical manuals does not mean these fields have no validity!

color spectrum

“Energy” and color are part of the organic nature of our spirits, the unseen, but VERY real.  As we talked about in Part 1, there ARE scientific instruments that photograph and measure these color frequencies and energy vibrations within the body.  It is not pseudo-science or the supernatural.

This knowledge has been passed down for thousands of years.  The word chakra is Sanskrit –a very ancient language of India.  The oldest written Sanskrit is dated to about the 5th or 6th centuries before Christ’s birth.  I believe Jesus Christ had to know about the body’s energy, or Light, centers – as He spent many of His formative years near the regions where this knowledge originated.  While we do not know if He went to India in his “missing 18 years,” we do know He – just like Abraham and Moses and Joseph before Him – spent considerable time in Egypt.  Ancient Egyptians knew much about the human energy system and represented the chakras in their art and architecture.  In a later post I will introduce an interesting “point to ponder” with respect to the “Seven Devils” cast out of Mary Magdalene from the Nag Hammadi’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

There is a lot of speculation/info floating around about there being not just seven of these centers, but twelve.  Most of what I have studied on the twelve chakra Stations is not congruent, in that there is no “set” or generally recognized location order for chakras 8-12 as there are for 1-7.

Our understanding of the soul is ever-changing and evolving.  I have taken the liberty to create Twelve Sacred Stations that are uniquely feminine, and not necessarily in the same ascending order as the accepted 7 chakras.  These 12 centers of “Light” are representative of a woman’s power, through the Divine, to serve, strengthen and bless…

The Twelve Sacred Stations of the Feminine Soul

  1. Crown:  Connection – “Knowing”
  2. Mind:  Focus – “Discerning”
  3. Eyes:  Seek – “Seeing”
  4. Ears:   Hearken – “Hearing”
  5. Mouth/Throat:  Express – “Speaking”
  6. Heart:   Nurture – “Feeling”
  7. Solar Plexus:   Sacrifice – “Acting”
  8. Center:   Create – “Desiring”
  9. Knees:   Surrender – “Kneeling”
  10. Hands:   Heal – “Touching”
  11. Feet:   Lead – “Standing”
  12. Presence:   Shine – “Being”

I will be using these Twelve Sacred Stations as a basis to explain how the soul/body is ordered as a divine feminine template for joy, beauty, purpose, love, and power.

Especially when merged with our Celestial Compass Rose in the 4 Divine Directions (more to follow on that)…:)

By Her Own Hand

jessica

Oh, how my heart aches today for my friend whose 17 year-old daughter just took her own life.  Jessica was (is) a beautiful girl with so much love inside, so much kindness and empathy.  An empathy born of her own struggles with despair and hopelessness.  Able to see pain in another’s eyes because of the pain behind her own.

In her obituary, written by her grieving father:

She was employed at a Senior Living Center, where she shared compassion, friendship, and service to the elderly residents with whom she loved with her whole soul.  She was happiest when she was serving others, and had many cherished and spiritual experiences with these elderly friends….[Jessica had] an enormous heart filled with compassion for others, especially the elderly, the disabled, children, and animals.

I was saddened to hear about Marie Osmond’s son who also recently took his life; Bryan, 18 years old.  His funeral service was earlier this week:

Bryan was memorialized by six of his seven siblings as a lighthearted person and a deep thinker who had a brilliant sense of humor and a kind, generous heart…An accomplished musician, Bryan played five instruments and wrote his own songs. He was also dedicated to service and since high school had been working with special needs children.

Every person I’ve known who has attempted and completed suicide (my sister included) has had a sensitive, kind, warm and generous heart with a deep desire to serve others.  How the arms of mercy must sweep towards these gifted and Sensitive Ones who suffer with despair, who have struggled so desperately to feel at home on this Earth…

Last year I helped my dear young friend in Provo work through the trauma of walking into the aftermath of her 18 year-old neighbor’s suicide.  This sweet 18 year-old shot herself after a break-up with her boyfriend and a long history of clinical depression.  I was heartsick for my friend, who’d been directed by the Spirit to walk directly into this scene prior to the police’s arrival and succor the boyfriend, the mother, the roommates.  A stronger lady than I.

I really become affected when I hear about suicides, even if I don’t know the person.  Since the 2005 suicide of my sister Shawna, a mother and musician, I have developed a deep compassion for those who die by their own hand.   My spirit yearns to pierce the veil and throw my arms around that lovely, precious soul.   Tell them how much the Earth still needs them…the elderly, the animals, the children.  The music.

I wish I could take every suffering and hopeless mortal daughter of God, sit her down on my couch, hold her hands in mine, look her straight in the eyes and somehow “download” into her mind and heart the love the Heavens have for her.

Then again, Christ has this covered – for the mortal and the immortal ones.  He can throw His arms around all the lovely, precious souls my arms can’t reach.  He downloads the love of the Heavens all the time.  Those who have ears to hear will hear.

If only the suffering Sensitive Ones would really just hear.

I truly believe that the measure of creation for many of the Sensitive Ones is to walk this Earth with a deep comprehension of suffering.  They develop profound compassion and a wellspring of tenderness and love from understanding pain.

jesus hugging a childSometimes He allows these souls to come Home early so He can release them from the fetters of this mortal sphere.  So they can finally rest in peace, in the safety of His arms.  So He can bathe their wounds with His healing hands and presence.

I can tell you that He welcomed my sister, instantly, without reserve or judgment.

As I know He does with all of us.

12 Sacred Stations of the Feminine Soul, part two

We have established that the body has Sacred Stations which hold Light and darkness in varying degrees.

Why twelve Stations?

Numbers are significant to our God of Order.  The number twelve is referenced 189 times in the bible, most often affiliated with heavenly structure:  12 apostles chosen by Christ as the foundation of His Church (Matt. 10:1-7) as well as the Kingdom of God (Luke 22:29-30),  12 tribes of the nation of Israel as a type of His earthly government, 12 stones on the breastplate of the Hebrew high priest, 12 foundations in the New Jerusalem, as well as 12 gates, 12 pearls, 12 angels of Zion.  And so much more.

heaven

The number 12 denotes governmental perfection. It signifies the beginning foundation, or base of an organization, as well as what is completed; that which forms a whole, perfect and balanced unit.

Twelve is the product of 3 (the “heavenly” number – Divine perfection) and 4 (the  “earthly” number of what is material and organic).  Twelve designates the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners of the Earth (3 X 4 = 12).  If three denotes things of the Divine and four is the number of the world – and their product is twelve – we can see that “perfect structure” can only exist with multiplying, or combining, heaven and earth.  This is the holy government of God.  There is a perfect connection between that which is governed (earth/matter) and that which is governing (heaven/God).

Taking it a step further, in order for our BODIES to have perfect balance and structure, we must connect matter with spirit.  Our power is unlocked and multiplied as we merge our flesh with the government and order of God.

ocean

Daniel Ferrera, in Studies in Astrological Bible Interpretation, points out there is a significant order to the beginning and ending of God’s creation:

First, God said “Let there be light” and this created (1) “day” & (2) “night”. Then God created the (3) earth and the (4) Sea. (5) Let the earth bring forth vegetation, (6) Lights in the sky for signs and seasons. (7) Then he creates two great lights, the greater to govern the day, (8) the lesser to govern the night. (9) Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures. (10) Birds in the sky. (11) Let the earth bring forth-living creatures. (12) Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness. God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.

Again, symbology and numbers are important to our Creator.  He not only teaches us in signs and patterns, but His Universe and government are ordered by them.

John wrote of the 144,000 special ministers of the Gospel, a representation of 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  (12 X 12,000 = 144,000).  This 144,000 is not an exact “count” or finite number of His ambassadors.  It is symbolic, as is the reference to the “sealing” of their foreheads.  These called-up servants constitute a complete, structural entity during the final coming of our Lord.

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.  (Revelations 7:2-4)

Note that it is to be four angels called to reap destruction on the Earth, (4=”of the earth.”)  I also find it interesting there are references to the forehead in this scripture, which is the area where we perceive and recognize Truth…the 2nd Sacred Station.  Those who have His name sealed upon their foreheads, who truly know Him and have resonated with – and BECOME – Absolute Truth, will be of the 144,000 called up as His ambassadors and teachers during the final season before His earthly return.  They will be “sealed” HIS through special ordinances – through a high and holy calling – separating them from the lip-service worshippers.

And yes, I believe, as do many scholars, that women will be included in this special “last hoorah” missionary force!

The skies are also divided into twelve sections…the twelve heavenly constellations of the Zodiac.   The sun (which rules the day) and the moon (which governs the night) pass through the twelve signs of the Zodiac to complete a great circle of 360 (12 X 30) degrees to govern the year.   These heavenly bodies, the sun and moon, have Twelve Sacred Stations themselves!

zodiac

We, as in our bodies – our souls – are ordered in the same grand schematic the Universe and government of God are.  This is the basis for The Twelve Sacred Stations of the Feminine Soul. Our bodies are the prototype of all that is holy…throughout all of creation.

12 Sacred Stations of the Feminine Soul, part one

For a few years, I’ve been researching, pondering upon, and even obsessively sketching the “divine ordering” of the female soul.  (Males, I don’t mean to leave you out of this – most everything I write about will encompass your gender as well – but we ALL know that females and males are structurally, emotionally and anatomically different.  Not unequal…just different!)

universe map

God is a God of Order and has structured all that is under the mantle of His creation with perfect precision, function and spiritual representation.  That goes from the Universe at large to the mortal body right down to the tiniest subatomic particle.  My research in this department has led to some fascinating discoveries which I’ll intermittently expound upon in future blog posts.

The ancients brought us the idea that the human body houses an “energy field” wherein lie certain centers or chakras that regulate the flow of our life force.   I believe these centers are Sacred Stations which hold untapped spiritual power, innate intelligence and rich, divine symbolism.

Bio-energy fields have been recognized for thousands of years in almost 100 distinct cultures.  Western medicine is behind-the-times in the “bio-energy” respect, simply because modern science is based on what is observable, not on what is “unseen.”  How can we base the understanding of our human function and existence on the empirically observed when we are spiritual beings?

Dr. Bradley Nelson, in his book, The Emotion Code, purports that our spirit is an energy field within and around us.  He writes,

“One day, after uttering a silent prayer for help, I turned to the patient lying on the table before me.  At that moment, I was given a gift of understanding from above. I perceived that I was standing in the presence of a sacred temple; the temple of the body.  I was filled with the deepest sense of awe and reverence.  This inspired perception revealed a truth about the body on a much higher level of understanding than I’d ever had before…

…Abundant evidence exists to prove that the human body is an energetic, vibrant, emotional, and spiritual entity.  The old mechanistic approach proves to be more and more limited and simplistic as we learn about the nature of energy and of the universe, and of how everything is in constant communication with everything else.”

light rayUsing the word “energy” makes many Christians uneasy, and understandably so.  The term’s been irresponsibly thrown around throughout many New Age doctrines and hedonistic philosophies with false bravado.  Energy essentially manifests itself as either Light or darkness.  Each of the two polarities constitute an energetic force that is unseen and powerful.  If the energy, or force, emanates from God, it is Light.  If it emanates from Satan, it is darkness.  Every mortal being holds varying degrees of  these polar opposite “good” and “evil” energies within their mortal Stations (or bodies).

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.    (Genesis 1:3-4)

And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space— The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things    (Doctrine & Covenants 88:11-13)

God operates with the energetic power of Light.  His energy is what animates us.  The energy of Light is our life force. When we have the energy of Light, we are literally operating at a higher energetic frequency compatible to God’s and will feel buoyant, vibrant and alive.  When we have the energy of darkness, we are operating at a lower energetic frequency compatible to the Adversary’s and will feel heavy, sluggish and depressed.

Light has spiritual and physical properties.  Therefore, your light level will be spiritually and physically seen and felt by others.  The more Light you hold in your Sacred Stations, the more radiant, beautiful, pure, healthy and joyful you become.  The more darkness you hold, the more imbalanced, depressed, confused, and pained you become.

You can usually sense where someone’s light level is at, simply by the “vibe” they’re giving off and the animation of their countenance.  There is no way to hide, mask or fake your light level.

Your Light and your Presence go before you and speak volumes of what you have allowed yourself to become without your ever uttering a word.  They literally herald your arrival.

jesus holding lightAs I will discuss more in depth in later posts, the way to hold the most Light in your Sacred Stations is through accessing Christ.

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light…I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness  (John 12:-35-36, 46)

Higher Ground

Alright, how coincidental is it that I would be writing about rough waters and end up dodging an actual Tsunami?

tsunami_wave

Last Monday I received a call from Barbara, a mentor of mine for years, asking if I could get on a plane Wednesday (as in 2 days later) bound for – of all places – Hawaii.  Could I go, all expenses paid, to join a staff of women who were to teach university students from Third World countries about professional protocol?  My assigned topic: Demonstrating Self Confidence.  (I wasn’t on the “first string,” but the lady originally teaching this class had a family emergency).

I didn’t really care about being second string.  I just knew I wanted – and needed – to go.

18 hours later, without purse or script (at least without my Power Point together), I kissed my husband and 3 children goodbye and hopped on a Honolulu-bound plane.  My first trip to the Island.

I didn’t even feel mother-guilt.

8 hours after that, I’m in a beach house, listening to the waves lap on the shore (still not feeling mother guilt) and gazing into the darkness through the palm trees near my window.  (While intermittently trying to throw my thoughts together for the next morning’s classes)

It was hard to sleep that night…feeling the pull of the tide and the beckon of the full moon, calling me to come and take a peek at the still and pristine North Hawaiian shoreline.

The pull I felt was literal.

It was almost like the Elements knew I’d been yearning to connect with SOME kind of Paradise (after my January from Hell).  Like they wanted some kind of acknowledgment of the majesty of their creation or to say to me, “Ah, you’re  here.”

hawaii at night

This picture was taken with my phone of said full moon and calling-to-me shoreline.

8 hours post-sleepless night, I’m walking on a private beach – alone – marveling at the wonder of God’s handiwork around me, bending my knees in prayer, squaring my face to the sun, and wishing I could spend the entire day just relishing in sand and sea and sunshine and praise.

I actually cried I was so overcome with the beauty of that morning.  (Seriously, I did.  I’m a mom from Utah, and no world traveler).

It’d been waaaaay too long since I’d felt God’s presence so powerfully in nature.

A Sacred Station indeed.

hawaii beach

This picture was taken the morning I blubbered all over the shoreline.  I now have a locked-in visual image whenever I need to go to that “special place” in my mind during meditation!

Fast-forward 2 days and 8 exhausting-but-rewarding classes later, and I’m not Demonstrating a whole lot of Self Confidence.  It’s 3 am and one of the nicest ladies in our group calls into my room, “Cherie, don’t panic, but meet us in the living room.  We’re gathering for a prayer.”

When someone says not to panic, isn’t that an indicator there’s underlying cause for doing so?

My first thought was that an intruder was on the premises and we all had to congregate for protection.  (In retrospect, I would have preferred that).  Anyway, I throw myself out of bed and race to the next beach house to be with the other ladies, hoping the intruder isn’t close behind.  I’m panting and last on the scene, and all I can see are concerned faces in a circle.  Maybe they all just looked a little more somber to me because they weren’t wearing make-up…?

We’re all looking to Char, the sweet native of Laie (our “intruder”) who’s bearing some interesting news.  8.8 earthquake in Chile, definite Tsunami headed our way as a result, must evacuate immediately.  Official local instructions (as we see on the TV screen) are to grab food, water, and other provisions for 5-7 days.  And head to higher ground.

Bill, the sole male member of the staff and designated-everything, offers our prayer.  I love the calm, peaceful, it’s-gonna-be-okay shift that settles after a group prayer.  Particularly when it’s offered by the voice of reason, the voice of one God-fearing man amongst a throng of jumping-to-worst-case scenario women.

Despite the assurance we’d be safe after Bill’s prayer, there was still a degree of excitement mixed with urgency and disbelief as we prepared to evacuate.  I’d never been in a real-life natural disaster scenario like this and I discovered I’m about as low-key as it comes in such circumstances.  Was it peace or simply detachment?  I wasn’t sure, but I was not proceeding in great haste and had definitely retreated inward.

Someone rips maps of the island out of the phone book and distributes to all drivers in our caravan (impressive; it wouldn’t have crossed my consciousness).  Another approaches each member of the group to exchange cells phone #’s in case we became separated (equally impressive; I was nowhere near that line of thinking).   Another forcefully commands me not to “primp” as she sprints past my room (which kinda irked me, as I’d intended all along to go au naturale and was simply packing my cosmetics).  Someone else jumps in her car to get in long lines at the gas station before anyone in the group knew where she was going (we called her to come back with assurances a half tank would be plenty to get to our destination).

I’m pretty sure I was the group sloth.  The most monumental contribution I made to our evacuation efforts was to saunter to the fridge to check for bottled water (which someone had already packed).  Oh, and I did think to text my husband (at 6 am Utah time) to tell himI was about to get wiped out by a Tsunami.  I thought he deserved some early morning adventure, too.

You learn what you’re made of in these kinds of situations!  As the youngest member of our group, on some level I took an emotional backseat to the happenings around me.  I think I learned how important it is to be mentally engaged and emotionally present, even with a group of think-ahead, powerful and capable people. Someone always needs your peace, your inspiration, your strength, your presence.

And you need theirs.

tsunami-evacuation-area-signI could keep going with the high drama that unfolded after our evacuation, but this is turning out to be much too long of a post!  I grew to love these women and wanted their safety as much as my own.  Our group goal was simply to move to higher ground, and once we’d found our way there, there was great security.  This has layers of spiritual meaning all over the place, so I’ll not expound on the obvious.

The Tsunami itself was what the media termed a “dodged bullet,” in that no damage was done, no lives lost.  But the faith-filled locals at church the next morning called it “The Staying by the Hand of God.”

My heart aches for those in Chile and for those in Haiti who are desperately grieving and suffering from the after-effects of recent earth-rumblings.  We know, as it prophesies in Matthew 24, to expect earthquakes in “divers (many) places” during these end times.  Within 12 hours of the 8.8 Chile quake, there was a 7.0 in Japan and a 6.3 in Argentina.  These clusters are no seismic coincidence.  The Earth is groaning to be cleansed.  In fact, the day after the Tsunami scare, we all noted how restless and angry the seas seemed, as though they had a message.

I think the message is to move to Higher Ground.

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