Search

maggiemarcum

Living Life with Purpose

Honoring the Women in Our Lives

Mother’s Day is this weekend. I was reminded by one of my favorite authors, Rosemarie Fitzsimmons of The Portrait Writer,  that it may not be easy for some of us to celebrate our mothers. Some of us may no longer have our moms with us while still others don’t have wonderful memories or relationships with their mothers.

As I reflect back on my own mother, I remember some sad times as she struggled in a marriage that was not kind to her and led her to find relief in a bottle of beer or cognac. Her alcoholism would tarnish her image for us children as we remember the angry outbursts and thefights with her husband. She could be rather brutal when under the influence and it would be easy to just remember that mother.

But my mother was also a generous loving woman. She loved her church and when not tending to the family, you could find her in service to the Lord or at school volunteering. People who met her there saw the heart of Jesus and a friend that would give everything for them. I think my sister and I learned those lessons–to give without ever expecting anything in return, simply because we are led by the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately because of her alcohol abuse my mother wasn’t always available to me as a mother. She did her best. She loved us. Her outbursts were usually the result of frustration and fear that we were moving away from God’s will for us–meaning the “rules” of Catholic life. We couldn’t always talk to her about things because they might come back to haunt us later. That led me to find other strong women as mentors and mother figures.

There were Mrs. R. and Mrs. C, who understood my mother’s struggles and knew that I needed that little bit of extra attention. There was Marie who showed up throughout my life to step in during weddings and from whom  I would learn how to set a table and host guests with grace. My neighbor Pat who helped me lose weight in high school and gave me confidence to find friends in an awkward time. As I moved on with my life and following my mother’s death I have come to know some remarkable women, starting with my sister Marilyn who I watched navigate the ups and downs of marriage while my brother and I went through divorce after divorce.

There was my dear friend Gail who taught me how to live as an unmarried woman in love with the Lord. God sent me wonderful women friends with whom I could share my life challenges and would remind me that I am never alone and I am worthy of love and friendship. Still other mentors from my church world guide me to forgiveness for my own actions and into redemption through healing prayer. I have met wonderful women living in ministry and with sacrifice in the service of the Lord and to other women.

Today I want to remember all of these wonderful women that God put in my world to help me navigate life and draw nearer to him. I am extremely grateful to them for taking the time to listen, to share their story, and to pray with me. I appreciate the lessons I have learned and their willingness to walk with me into a new changed life.

Maybe Mother’s Day brings up some pain in your life. Maybe you don’t have the TV perfect mother and feel that you missed out. Maybe your mother was missing as you grew up and you feel abandoned.

If that is you, I encourage you to look beyond the label of the day and look at the women in your life. Is there someone who had a special impact on your life? Is there someone who you cherish because of the woman of God she is and the blessing you receive every time you get together?  Maybe she is an older woman and maybe she is a younger lady. Think about her. Honor her. Pray for her. Give thanks for her.

Don’t let this Sunday be a gloomy day for you. Don’t feel compelled to celebrate in the traditional manner. Seek out a woman who has touched you and give her a call. Thank her at church on Sunday. Take her out for lunch next week. Be blessed and then honor her in the best way possible: pass it on. Be a blessing to some woman or young girl that she too may know the joy of a giving relationship with women.

And if you are fortunate enough that the woman who influenced you most is your mom–breathe in that love, let it warm your heart, and make sure she knows the love and respect you have. If your relationship is strained with your mother, lift her up to the Lord and ask that he redeem your relationship and bring healing and restoration. In all things, give thanks for the life she gave you and the woman you are today.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:3-5)

 

Walking Outside the Lines

I’m a rules person. I try not to drive more then the ‘acceptable’ five miles an hour over the speed limit. I try be on time (meaning early) for my appointments. I don’t lie about my age to get a cheaper rate; nor did I ever do that for with my child. I want people to think well of me and see me a ‘virtuous’ or ‘law-abiding.’

I’m also a horrific sinner. Yup, me the ‘rules girl’ have broken all the rules, one way or another. And for many years I have carried the guilt and shame of my past with me. Yes, I have confessed most of those lapses in following the rules and as open as I have been about God’s forgiveness of my actions, I still let them define me. I still stopped short of embracing my ministry because someone might unearth and reveal my sins for the world.

Fear can be so crippling. If we let it, it will run our lives. It will cause us to do things out of emotional blackmail and often drive us to make poor decisions, or worse yet, no decision. It can stop us from stepping into the life God intends for us  (a calling) because we think we aren’t good enough, not worthy to stand, or that our past has left us irreparably damaged. Continue reading “Walking Outside the Lines”

Walking Alone After Our Loss

The Single Walk is not always an easy one. It is frequently more difficult for people who have been in long-standing relationships who now find themselves walking alone. Singles struggle to find a new way to fit into community, especially religious community, following the end of a life with a partner.

Some of us are single because the person we planned to spend all our years with has died or left us. The singleness that comes from the death of our partner can leave us in un-imagined pain and grief. A divorce, or end of a committed partnership, can do the same for many; even when we might agree with the decision to terminate the relationship. We go from two to one. We are no longer part of the “couples community” and we aren’t quite ready to function as a single person. This is especially true for the widow/widower who may remain married in their heart.

Continue reading “Walking Alone After Our Loss”

Captured Memory

Mindful memories
Lingering sunsets
Beach waves
Quiet escape

Captured contentment
Awakened sunrise
Cool breeze
Stolen moments

Inspired beauty
Artistic allure
Bright splash
Colors alive

Canvas inspired
Images recalled
Brush swish
Composed splendor

Personal Pleasure
Desires explored
Broad strokes
Painted finish

 

 

Where the Light Shines

Do we dare to search?

Do we dare  to seek?

Will we break the bond?

Will they understand?

Does it matter?

Shine the light.

Lead the way.

Follow the path.

Move forward.

Trust.

Where the light shines.

Copyright Maggie Marcum

 

 

 

 

 

Friendship Walk

It has taken me a long time to have a friendship with God. We were more the ‘casual acquaintance’ type for many years.  Oh sure, we had our moments of closeness when I cried out in despair for help, not fully expecting to receive any help. And there were those ‘ah ha’ moments on spiritual retreats when I got all caught up in emotions of the worship and the message.

Real friendship was another thing. I still remember walking to communion one Sunday as the band played a song about Jesus being my friend and I realized that I didn’t feel that way. It broke my heart that others could know him that way but I didn’t. I mean I have been a Christian all my life so how could I not feel Jesus was my friend? Friendship implies a close relationship, a sharing of secrets, a deliberate presence in each other’s lives, and time spent together through all the good and bad times.

Wasn’t that Jesus?

Continue reading “Friendship Walk”

Pre-Dawn Walking

It wasn’t my plan to be outside walking before the sun came up this morning. However, with the dog whining and the daughter already off to work, up I was. And what a wonderful delight I found outside.

It was still quiet. Early enough that people were not out and about and late enough that I could see the lights turning on in the neighborhood. As Olie led me down the pathway I could feel the unfamiliar silence in the complex. The wind was lightly blowing, the grass slightly wet, and the crescent of the moon was still visable. In the distance I could see a glimmer of the new day dawning as I stood on the sidewalk looking skyward.

Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30

I found myself thinking that if I had stayed in bed even a few minutes longer I would have missed all this. I would have missed the crisp air bringing my skin to life. I would have missed the simple walk that brought light into my day. If I had focused only on me instead of the needs of a four-legged friend who depends on me, I would have missed the best blessing of the day.

How often do we hesitate to step out of our comfort zone for the good of another? How often to do pull the covers up and say “someone will tend to it.” How often do we miss the joy that God will send our way when we look beyond self and love and care for others in the world around us?

I visited the Lamb Center in Fairfax, Virginia yesterday. What an amazing place. It is a small facility that is making a huge change in the lives of the homeless, and in the lives of the volunteers. Here visitors are given a hot meal and a place to socialize. Here they can find someone to pray with them and attend recovery meetings if needed. They can get a hot shower and have their clothes laundered while they look for a job or talk to someone about government services. They can meet with a nurse practitioner or a dentist. And they are so loved and respected in this simple place.

You see people who are willing to step out are blessing others and receiving a blessing in return. They don’t do it for the return benefit – they do it because God has placed a love for the less fortunate on their heart. Here people don’t have the luxury of a bed let alone the covers to pull up to hide under. Here people have said ‘yes’ in a big way–one person at a time.

Start your day early. Look beyond the normal. See where God would love to use you. Maybe it is the homeless, maybe young children, maybe the disabled, or maybe just the neighbor next door. Look up and see the wonder of this world and see what you can do to lighten the walk of another.

God bless you on your walk.

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143

Shifting to The Lighter Walk

Life has a way of sending us in new directions. I have walked many roads in my day, many that have not been easy.  The past few years have been less complex as I continue to learn how to make my life less complicated.

And now I am ready for The Lighter Walk.

IMG_1125 (1)

I have a deep faith in the transformative power of Jesus Christ in my life. I continue to develop a rich personal relationship with God. I have learned to let the words in the pages of my bible come to life and guide me through the Holy Spirit. When I am willing to look, I see God in the world around me. I have come to appreciate the connection between those wonderful words, nature, and the way in which my heart and mind are more open in those spaces.

I am ready for life to be less complicated. I don’t need to walk a thousand miles to find myself or to find God. I don’t need to embark on a foreign adventure to find what is already inside my heart and soul. I do; however, need to open my bible, open my eyes, open my ears, and become willing to receive the love God has surrounded me with here where I live and any where my feet carry me.

I need to let the light into the darker places from journey’s past and walk in a lighter direction.

img_2350-1What does that mean for this blog? It means I will slowly begin to turn this over to The Lighter Walk. It means that I am going to start walking in nature here, and near, where I live. It will start with a simple walk in the parks, the fields, the mountains, and the beaches around me in Virginia.

The Lighter Walk is a journey I hope you will join me on. I hope that as I step out you might want to walk with me and share what God is doing in your life. I hope that we will discover that if we keep it simple, we will simply hear and be with God

More to come, but for today I am letting go of other people’s expectation about how a walk with the Lord should look. I am letting go of the notion that we need some complex deep theological angle to meet with God. I am letting go of all that has held me back and starting a simple lighter walk with God.

The Gift of Community

 

img_4868

 In general terms we define community as an organized network or a coordinated effort to bring people together. Communities develop as people are drawn together by common interests. Maybe they are inspired by activities such as sporting events/clubs or charitable events.

One of the most important aspects of community is that it is a place to develop new relationships. We are drawn to places out of common interests, but usually we are drawn there in the hope of developing new friendships. After all, isn’t the foundation for most friendships something we have in common be it work, church, sports, animals, or charity? Continue reading “The Gift of Community”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Busy K

Kathryn O'Kane's blog

Lucca's Blessings

a little of my life<3

Friends in Cold Places

Friends of the Washington Capitals

NoVa Caps

A Worldwide Community for Washington Capitals Fans

maggiemarcum

Living Life with Purpose

The Portrait Writer

Rosemarie Fitzsimmons

Georgetownrose

from glory to glory...