Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
February/March 2001 — Issue #56
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This is Annie's section
We survived the great ice storm of Christmas 2000. It was touch and go for a while, especially since we had gone to Dallas to spend time with family and decided to drive home on Christmas day. We thought we would be able to drive past the ice, but the storm was simply worse and more widespread than we realized. You would have thought we were in a movie titled, “The Perfect Ice Storm.” It was a scary experience, but God, our faith, and the angels saw us home. The next day we became isolated without electricity and phone service for three and half days. All our preparations paid off; we survived and did amazingly well. It was inconvenient, mostly to Byron who had the duty of going out in the cold to bring in wood for the wood burning stove that kept us warm, and to care for the generator.
What did we learn through all of this? It helps to have a sense of humor, a bit of faith, and the supplies you may need in place and ready. Actually it took more than a bit of faith—it took tons during the drive home. And it took faith to know that the ice storm would pass and things would go back to “normal.” I heard, “See the humor,” and “Look for the blessings.”
I took the “See the humor” and decided to try to make it fun, but it was difficult. My oldest son was home; he is the one with Down’s Syndrome. He made it all funny; for example, he wanted to watch TV. We turned it on periodically to watch news and weather. For three days he sat in front of the blank TV screen looking like Snoopy. He likes to watch his Disney videos and had them all lined up in the order he wanted to see them. I explained about the electricity and soon realized he wasn’t understanding. To simplify things, I said, “The TV is broken.” When we finally got electricity, I said, “Mark, now you can watch TV.” He looked at me with a smirk that said, “And you think you’re smart?” He replied with one word and his smirk, “SEE!” Not for one minute did he believe the TV was broken.
So in tough situations humor helps. But more important is faith. Faith to me is the confidence that, no matter what happens, it will all work out for our good, that God doesn’t send us more than we can deal with. There are times when it feels like we will not be able to handle the circumstances, or situations, we find ourselves in, but even on a cold, icy night, when so many cars and trucks around us were flung to the side of the road, we knew that if we couldn’t do it—God could. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe we could be one of the cars on the side of the road, it was more that I believe if we had found ourselves in that situation we would be all right. Death was a thought because of the danger we were in, and I realized that because of my faith, I believed I would be all right even if I died. My confidence was unshaken in the goodness and love of God.
Faith helped me to pray, not only for ourselves, but for the people, who like us, had decided to travel under harsh conditions. Faith was the security that helped me see beyond our own needs to the needs of my fellowman. This was a new insight for me. I had never before thought of faith as being the security in my own safety and the ability to see that others were in as dire a situation as we were. Faith in a God who is loving helped me remember that this was my choice and not a punishment of God. It was our choice to travel that day, knowing that the weather was not the best. It was our choice to go home. Even if it was my choice, God was with us, helping us in so many ways.
Oh, but the need to be home is so great, isn’t it? It was almost like we had a homing device within us that took us through ice and sleet until we had made it. This set me to thinking that the need to be home is something that goes deeper than the need to be in our physical home. Maybe this need to be home is our need to have our soul, our spirit, filled with God, The Holy Spirit. Maybe it’s the urge for security, stability, acceptance, and love. Maybe this is where faith comes from. It comes from someplace deep within our soul, and it gives us the assurance that all is well.
One other thing happened; I spent several days with family because of a family medical situation in mid-December. For years I’ve said, my family doesn’t know me. They know who I was, but I’ve changed, and they don’t know who I am. My faith and confidence in God and myself gave me the inner security to be myself. Haven’t you noticed that sometimes with family, we revert to who we were in the past? This time I worked hard not to do that. Faith and confidence gave me the guts to be me. In totally accepting myself, I was better able to accept individual family members. That helps when you realize your family is really a comedy of dysfunction. And a sense of humor goes a long way to making things easier.
It wasn’t until I was back in the family of my birth that I could tell how much I had changed—how strong I am now and how far I’ve come in the forgiveness process. Sometimes it takes going back to our origins to see how well we’ve learned our lessons. Being with family also lets us see if there is any residual turmoil left. The best feeling in the world is gratitude for completed inner work. You know there is nothing else to forgive when you are at peace. If it is a family member, then you are at peace with them, with yourself concerning them and your history with them, and the present. You are at peace in every way there is to be at peace with that loved one.
As I told my niece, I live in peace. But I’d often attributed it to our locale. We have a very peaceful place here. Now I know that a big part of my peace is having resolved old issues, and my faith in a loving God. Our home is peaceful and beautiful in a rough, wooded way. Since we bought the property, I’ve been seeking a good name for our home. It took me six years but I’ve found it. It’s name is Bella Tierra, which means “beautiful land” in Spanish. In order to have a peaceful home, the people who live in it must be peaceful. And faith is also needed. Our faith and peace were tried by circumstances, and we are assured that our faith is in place, as is our sense of humor, and our peace. I hope this year brings you greater peace, more fun, plenty of money, and an abundance of love.
Until next time I remain your friend,
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you in love and filled with love. You are the beloved children of a benevolent Creator. I am proud of the way many of you are heeding my call to prayer. I request your devotion to the cause of praying for yourselves, your loved ones, and your fellow companions, who reside on this earth. I request your courage in living a life of love and prayer. I ask that you allow love to fill you with courage.
Within you is a strength that is persistent, indomitable, and stalwart. I ask you to live courageously, which is without fear. When you are assured of God’s love, His unconditional love, you will be fearless and strong-hearted. God’s love will be the basis for your courage. You have nothing to fear when you choose to live daily filled with His love.
To live a fearless life requires you to have strength, courage, and bravery. You will not shrink from anything, nor will you become dismayed. You will have valor and vigor to accomplish that which is given unto you. Many of you have come through trials, you have survived disappointments and betrayals. These things happen in life. They are the circumstances that allow you to grow or to cower. When you are sure of God’s love, you grow, for all things grow, when in the presence of love.
It is most important that you begin each day in recognition of God’s love. It is equally important that you express your love for God, that is the only commandment that Jesus gave you. To love God with all that you are is the way to express your love. When you live each day from a standpoint of love, you will find within you the qualities that you need in order to live a fearless life.
There will be no need to worry, to anguish over situations, to berate yourself or anyone else. You will not need to bolster your ego with false imaginations. For God’s love is truth, and in truth there is no fear. The only fear that will be present in your body is that which is a part of your internal preparedness mechanism. That which prepares you to flee or fight in dangerous situations. You will not carry fear in your heart or mind for long periods of time. You will not react out of fear, unless it is warranted, and then only for short periods of time.
Fear can hide and disguise itself in your life. When you become confused, apprehensive, or nervous, it is time to pray. It is time to acknowledge God’s love. It is time to choose to be only in God’s love. It is time to allow God to help you. To live in God’s love is a conscious decision you make at every turn of events. When you find yourself in the throes of jealousy or envy, you are in fear. When you see yourself as lacking, and others as living in abundance, you are in fear. When you feel inadequate or not good enough, you are in fear. When you berate yourself and find fault with your body, mental processes or feelings, you are in fear. When you wallow in self-pity and feel sorry for yourself, you are in fear. These are the fears to ferret out of your life. These insidious fears can become habitual in your life.
It is important for you to understand that all people were created in God’s image; that means that every person on earth has the same attributes, however, not every person uses their attributes or recognizes them. God created every being out of His love. It was love that was the clay used to form the human body. It was God’s devotion to His creation that was the reason He instilled all you need throughout your lifetime.
Do you need courage?—it is found in God’s love. Do you need hope?—it is found in God’s love. Do you need consolation?—it is found in God’s love. Do you need strength, or understanding, or wisdom, or knowledge?—it is found in God’s love. These are some of the attributes that God placed within you. He has given freely to each of you, so whatever you need at the moment, turn to God’s love to find what you seek.
Jesus said, over and over, “Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Luke 11;9) All you have to do is ask, with your whole heart and mind. You have what you need. It is within you. The help you desire is available, the comfort you seek is within you, and the blessings which are in every situation await your acknowledgment.
The reason Jesus was so sure that what you seek, ask for, and want revealed, will be, is because he was assured that each person has it all within themselves. The way to access what you seek, how to find the answer, how to see when it is opened unto you, is through your earnest desire to know. When you are sincere and earnest in your need to know, you are ready to find what you seek. Then nothing is withheld. You are given what you can comprehend and a little more. Jesus was totally trusting that this was truth, and he relied on God’s love every moment of his earthly life. This was one of the lessons he taught: that God loves like the good parent. And he often said, “If you who can give your love to your children, how much more does God love, who is all good.”
So I’m requesting that you trust His love so much that you live each day fearlessly. That when challenges present themselves in your life, you will trust that, because you are loved, you have the ability and the knowledge to meet any challenge. Courage will fill you with the fortitude to do, to endure, to cope, to resolve what seems impossible.
Love is not just an emotion, it is a choice. You can choose to live each day courageously, filled with love and gratitude, or to live in fear. Pray for the needed attributes to surface so that you can live fearlessly. Choose each day to have hope for a good outcome to every situation and circumstance in your life. Love looks at life and sees good; fear looks at life and sees trouble.
Pray with this in mind. Pray for your loved ones with love and see only good coming to them through the situations of their life. Choose to be uplifted in love. Seek to be cheerful and hopeful, no matter what is happening in your life. You have all you need to live fearlessly, hopefully, and lovingly. You are the beloved child of a loving Creator. Never forget this; it is important to commit this to your consciousness. I am praying with you and loving each of you. I hear you, I see you, and I care about you.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
This is Byron's section
Byron's section was discontinued as of the previous issue.
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Original date: Feb 3, 2001
Last updated: Feb 3, 2001