Archive | May 2012

Be Like The Rice Plant. . .

In Indonesia we have the proverb, “Jadilah engkau seperti padi. Makin berisi, makin merunduk“. The proverb  means ”Be like rice plant. The more it grows, the more it bends”.

Well, of course you all know what that translates into our life. We need to adopt a rice plant philosophy: the more knowledgeable, powerful, or well-off we are, the more humble we need to be.

(These opening paragraphs are courtesy of Subhan Zein and his WordPress Blog ~ www.subheinzein.wordpress.com ~ It would be worth your while to read him.)

I like this philosophy!  I love to read about other cultures and how they express their spirituality.  This particular philosophy ~ To be like the rice plant is a good way to look at growing, thriving and moving toward God and humility.

Right now I’m trying to grow toward being more patient with people who just drive me up the wall.  Sometimes it just makes me crazy.  I it has to do with someone who thinks they know everything and continue to argue the point and to have the last word.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much.  I have heard that the person who makes you the craziest has the same traits as you and THAT is what is making you crazy. Perhaps what I lack is the humility that comes with knowledge. . .really  gotta meditate on that one.

I think I may have blocked myself into a corner of irritability.  Hmmm.

I’ll get back to you. . .

Sandy Ozanich ~ (c) 2012

Pentecost

I wrote the following poem several years ago.  At that time and still today I tend to look upon the Holy Spirit in the feminine.  Don’t know why, just feels right to me.

MY COMPANION ~

The Spirit of the Living god

is a dear sweet friend of mine.

She helps me with my human-ness

and shows me the Divine.

We’ve travelled oh so many roads

along my journey home,

And if I wander off the path,

she’s with me as I roam.

A gentle nudge is what she gives

if I should stray too far.

Some people call her conscience,

but, I know who you are!

She knows my heart is fragile

so she handles me with care.

But she’s not afraid to let me know

when I might need more prayer.

I love this constant friend of mine,

I trust in her concern.

She’s taught me all the simple truths

each human soul must learn.

I’m confident she’s leading me

in the way that I must go,

for I’ve seen the bright green pastures

where the gentle breezes blow.

I’ll always need her by my side

for that’s how it should be.

I give her all my gratitude

for the love she’s given me.

Sandy Ozanich ~ (c) 2012

Immaculee’ Ilibagiza

About a year ago myself and some friends went to the Diocesan Catholic Women’s  Conference which featured Immaculee Ilibagiza.  Immaculee is one of a few survivors of the massacre in Rwanda in 1994.

I am so in awe of this woman and her strength!  She survived this massacre by staying in a small bathroom with 7 other women for 90 days!!!  Try to imagine that ~ 90 Days!  Needless to say these women lost  lot of weight but gained strength in God.

Immaculee’s story is recounted in her book, “Left to Tell”.  I highly recommend it because you will see love & hate, miracles & forgiveness.  And if we pay attention, we too will gain a deeper love for Jesus and His Mother, not to mention the visionaries you will meet who, through the warnings of the Blessed Mother fortold of this massacre.

Immaculee is a very humble woman and the most amazing thing about her is her joy!  She has found within her soul the ability to forgive those who murdered her mother, father and brothers.  How is this possible?  It is only possible by giving your grief, your anger, your rage to God and ask him to redeem it.  To ask the Blessed Mother to hold you to her heart and help find that joy, peace and forgiveness that is so needed.

She has written several books; let me recommend them to you.  You can look on her website:  www.immaculee.com  or through www.amazon.com.  The titles are:  Left to Tell, Our Lady of Kibeho and The Boy Who Met Jesus. 

Our Lady of Kibeho is about the visitations Our Lady made to 3 High School girls in Kibeho and a boy named Segatashya.

Segatashya is the subject of the book, The Boy Who Met Jesus.  I am currently reading this book and I can’t tell you how moved I am by this book.  Jesus comes to this boy, someone who lived in a hut, who had never seen inside a church or heard of Jesus.  His testimony is incredible!

Do yourself a very big favor and read these books.  You won’t regret it, in fact I expect that you will thank me for it.  Although, no thanks are necessary, just read the books and get ready to have Jesus and the Blessed Mother speak to your hearts.

One more thing, Our Lady of Kibeho visitations have been sanctioned by the Vatican as authentic.

May the hand of God caress you in love, joy and strength for the journey!

Sandy Ozanich – (c) 2012

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round. . .

Well, except they don’t go round and round because you find  a police van behind you asking you to pull over!

Ok, so it was the end of a work day and on my way to the chiropropractor. . .but not so fast!  I was driving through an intersection with a green light and noticed a school bus coming the other way, stopping with its yellow lights flashing.  To me that means that you can still drive past that bus because the lights were yellow.

Next thing I know I’m being pulled over by the city police.  MAN!  The police officer came to my window and said, “Ma’am, you passed a school bus when you shouldn’t have”.  I said, “Sir, I believe the lights were still yellow at the time”.  He informed me that the “bar” was out.  You know that yellow bar that swings out so the children can walk around it and so the bus driver can see them while they cross the street.

The police officer wrote my ticket and told me to have a good day and be careful.

Oh, alright!  I’ll be careful and I thought I was being careful.  Now I can’t read the ticket because Mr. Police Officer didn’t press hard enough on the ticket and the impression didn’t take on my copy!  I don’t even know how much (cha-ching) this will cost me.  However, I do plan on challenging it.

I decided to go to the local precinct – from which this officer hails to ask them if they can decifer the ticket.  They couldn’t decifer the charges (money amount – not violation charges)  They did tell me that this is a serious offense, but couldn’t make it out either.  I explained what happened in the incident and that I didn’t believe that I did anything wrong.  I was very quickly told that I should just send it in, plead not guilty and wait for a “trial” date.  Then the male officer also said, “You weren’t told to come here either”. WELL, what a kind and thoughtful thing to say.  I thought these officers were there to “protect and serve”!

Whatever, I have mailed the citaion in.  I may win I may not, but I’ll tell you one thing, be very careful with school buses.  We do have to remember that that rule is very important in order to keep the kids safe, but if I were you, I wouldn’t even proceed when the lights are flashing yellow.  Better safe than sorry!

Sandy Ozanich – (c) 2012

Just Sloggin’

          Sometimes I wake up and think, geez, what’s the point really?  I don’t have anything scheduled, I’m tired and my mood???  Forget it.

          Being clinically depressed is a disease I have lived with for many years.  Depression is something that is still talked about quietly because people who are depressed are afraid that they will be stigmatized or passed over for a job or promotion.  Who wants to be known as “nuts”?  Not me!

          So many professionals and celebrities have come out over the last few years to de-mystify depression.  I am grateful for them; I hope more people will acknowledge that they are grateful too!

          On days when I am really in the “pits” I don’t even want to get out of bed, let alone work, or clean or do anything at all.  The feeling is that it’s just not worth it.  I have stayed in bed until 4 or 5 in the afternoon at times.  Why bother, no one will notice anyway?  I have to say that it still happens from time to time, but not nearly as frequently as before thanks to a wonderful therapist and medication.  Without them, I could fall into that deep, dark hole again – and who knows if I will make it out again.

          About 3 years ago I was so depressed I felt that if I didn’t wake up, it was ok with me.  I had had enough, didn’t care, and didn’t want to do anything.  I love my husband, my children and grandchildren, my Church, I love my choir, I love my friends; but even that was not enough to shake me out of this “slogging, thick, blackness I felt.  None of the things that used to bring me joy brought me any kind of feeling other than nothingness.

          If any of this sounds familiar, I would first tell you to get in touch with a professional.  Depression is not something to fool around with.  Believe it or not, chronic depression is one of the leading causes of death. 

       I also learned that depression is genetic.  That explains why my mother was so depressed all the time and why my son may also be clinically depressed.

       I am a happy woman today and someone who recognizes the signals and knows how to deal with them.  If you are depressed, do yourself a favor and see a therapist.  And listen to this; you don’t have to accept the first therapist you see.  For goodness sake, find a therapist who you can feel comfortable and safe with.  You must have a good rapport with your therapist in order to be able to tell him or her your deepest feelings without feeling threatened, unsafe or just not compatible personality-wise.

          Do this for yourself, not for anyone else!  When you do it for you a whole new world will open up and will be able to live your life, not react to your life.

          May the hand of God caress you in love, joy and strength for the journey!

Sandy Ozanich ~ © 2012