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Year Four, Day 213: St. Zita Here. The Stage Can Wait!

Today was a perfect fall day! The temperature was mild, and the leaves on the trees are such vibrant colors.  As I sat on the bus to Portland earlier, I told myself to be present in the moment. Because if I blink, it will be winter and the trees will have shed all of their leaves!

I must apologize, yet again for my absence. Not sure if anyone follows this blog daily, but my intention was to blog every day. Life does get ahead of me at times, but when I am not blogging, I feel like something is missing.

I tend to have so many thoughts swirling around in my head at any given moment, that sitting down and putting them into words that actually makes sense is extremely therapeutic for me.

Since I last posted, I've had some revelations and imminent life changes.

First, the revelations.

As you probably have surmised, I am a highly sensitive person. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life.  I tend to worry.  And get overwhelmed.

Recently I was trying to pray about all the suffering in this world. Especially the family of a young man who had gone missing from University of Portland.  This case hit so close to home. I have piano students at U of P. I have a good friend who used to teach there.  I have taught private students in the neighborhood.  And I have a son who gave me a few scares in his teens when I did not know his whereabouts.

Sadly, the story did not have a happy ending. I was grieving for them all.  I could barely keep up with the news, I was so sad. My daughter tells me I should avoid the  news and social media.  I agree I should limit my time online. It can eat up your whole life and destroy the present moment if you allow it. But part of my daily regimen is checking Facebook, Twitter and breaking news.  And then praying for the people who are suffering.

But this whole last week, I felt nearly paralyzing with worry and grief.  And then something made me turn to my Bible. I honestly do not know what led me to this scripture, but I found it in Matthew 17:4-5:

Matthew 17:4-5(NKJV)

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, [a]let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Then I read verse 5 again. Slowly. And when I got to the last word, I put heavy emphasis on "HIM".

And it was like a light bulb turned on over my head.

I get so confused with all the words being strewn about. They are like leaves falling and blowing about in the wind.  But when I listen to the word of God, particularly Jesus, I feel peace. And it makes sense.

So that is my scripture of the moment.  When I get confused, depressed, anxious, and irritated, I read it slowly.  Emphasizing HIM.

It occurred to me that I would like to write down every word that Jesus was recorded saying.  So I ordered a "red letter bible" from Amazon.  It should arrive this weekend. My plan is to get a notebook and write out by hand all of Jesus' words.  Of course, Jesus said many words that weren't recorded. Beginning as an infant. I wonder if his first word was "Mama"? Or was it "Abba"?

I found an interesting article regarding Jesus' first words in which the author actually compares the first and last words of Christ. It is an interesting read. The link is below, if you are so inclined.

My second revelation had to do with my Grandma Annie who passed away about 22 years ago. The night before my son, Andrew was to go into surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. Andrew was only 5 years old. He was having severe sleep apnea due to his enlarged tonsils and adenoids. But in surgery, he had a reaction to the anesthetic. He almost died.  They rushed in a team of specialists. The nurse afterwards turned to me and congratulated me on my calm demeanor.

I truly believe it was spiritual.  It was almost as if my Grandma was in the room with us, holding  my hand.  I have never felt so close to God.

And now, I am thinking of her yet again.  Because my daughter has asked me to babysit  my granddaughter more hours.  She and her husband will give me free rent and a small monthly paycheck.  It is truly a blessing. I have gotten weary of running all over, piecing income together with teaching piano, playing in a church and accompanying choirs.

I will still work, but less. And spend more time at home.  I have been getting up much earlier, hooping, cleaning and making breakfast. I was afraid I would be bored or restless. But a feeling of serenity comes over me when I am in the kitchen, planning and creating meals for the family.  And now that I have designed more structure for Gracie's time and I together. She is thriving. We even have "school time" where we practice writing her ABC's and numbers, and do a little music. She helps me with the cleaning and chores too. 

It occurred to me that I had blogged about my Grandma Annie before.  And I had!  Way back in 2016. It was part of a post where I talked about St. Zita, my name sake!

 Here is part of the post:

Year Two, Day 4:  "St. Zita the Little Cook" (5/12/2016)
  ...Let me tell you, dude, those cabbage rolls I made in my crockpot yesterday were amazing! I had one for dinner last night, another for lunch today.

I had some leftover filling for the cabbage rolls, so I stuffed two green peppers and froze those for a future crockpot meal.  My daughter has a new job and is working many hours, so I told her I would be happy to take over the kitchen. I enjoy cooking, especially since we have this system!

Also, I can't help but feel like I am honoring my grandmother. My Grandma Annie, my mother's mother was from Czechoslovakia. She raised a family of four children on a farm in West, Texas during the depression with just her sister to help. She farmed, baked her own bread and kolaches, butchered her own chickens. Was up at the crack of dawn every morning filling the house with wonderful smells and taking care of her family.

I was always awe of her.  It somehow feels right to come back full circle to cooking for people I care about. It feels me with a deep inner peace.  Must be in my genes.  I was named after a saint, after all. "St. Zita the Little Cook" of Sicily (1218-1272). Apparently her feast day is April 27th - I just missed it! She was known for her baking. I don't think they were gluten free back then. But you can read about her here:

I do believe I am transitioning to grandmahood. I have fought growing older. I have always been restless and uncomfortable with domesticity. I believe I thought something better was waiting for me. Could have been my childhood fantasy:  "I want to be a concert pianist when I grow up". 

Well I am grown up now.  And I want to enjoy being a grandma.  She will be in school someday and I have another one on the way.  I hope to continue to get healthier and stronger, so when the day comes that I have more time for me, I can utilize it.

The stage can wait!

On that note, I need to get home and to bed. Early to bed and early to rise for this grandma!
Peace and blessings to you!



P.S. I have not (and will not!) given up on hooping!  Today was day 175!  I am dying to get back to the gym. I have a bit of time off in the coming weeks, so that is a priority! I am still intermittent fasting, but focusing on whole foods and opened my eating window a bit.  I must admit here that I was indulging, yet again in too many cheeseburgers!


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