Plans to Give You Hope and a Future

Did you ever have one of those days, two years after a pandemic, when the sun is shining and everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done because at last–AT LAST!–you can go where you want and do what you want?

Except right there in the middle of your joy, there’s a feeling of not-rightness. And you remember Ukraine and want to cry for the heartbreak in their lives.

It’s a hard time and it takes me back to those days and weeks after Mister Man died and I’d wake up with the sun shining and for a blissful moment or two in my forgetfulness, I’d wonder what the glorious day would have in store for me. But in the next moment, reality would say hello again and grief would almost take my breath away.

Yeah, those were tough times, and I feel like a whole nation on the other side of the world might be experiencing those same feelings of loss and confusion.

And so here at home, we pray, we send help in whatever ways we can, and we grab ahold of the hope that a peaceful resolution can be found soon.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

And I know that even in my dark days, I needed routine. So I’m out and about again, singing with my choir, going to lunch with friends, and writing.

My plans–the ones I’m pinning my hopes to– are to finish up edits on my novel but first, I had to work out a bit of a sticky wicket with whether to have an epilogue or a last chapter. I discussed all that over at The Muffin in The Epilogue Question. (Spoiler Alert: I went with the Epilogue. )

And then, after watching Juniorette Hall perform in The Addams Family, a Musical, an idea just came to me, so I wrote The Just Trap.

All will be well, y’all. I just know it.

♥Cathy and Libs (who didn’t get her teeth cleaned after all, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

When Ukraine Is Fighting for Its Life

It feels wrong to complain about how much more I’m paying for gasoline, or that my cable bill went up again, or that Libby’s teeth need cleaning and THAT will cost an arm and a leg.

And even as I type those last few words, I wince, thinking about the people in Ukraine who may pay so much more than an arm or a leg in this war against Russia.

Much in my life feels trivial now as I watch innocent people, ordinary people, teachers and stockbrokers and grandparents for heaven’s sakes, willing to give everything to be free. And what can I do, what can any of us do so far away, and with limited ways to provide help to the people in Ukraine?

There are many ongoing humanitarian efforts that are available to which we can contribute. I just got an email from my church with a link (Catholic Charities working in Ukraine and in neighboring countries) to donate. We can give financial aid.

Pope Francis has called for a Day of Fasting for Peace on Ash Wednesday:

I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. I invite everyone to make next 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.

We can pray and fast.

So on this end-of-the-month day when I go about my normal routine, when many of us here in the United States will go about our usual Monday activities, maybe you, me, all of us can take a moment to be grateful and help in whatever way we can.

And if I have to pay five bucks for a gallon of gas tomorrow, then maybe instead of grousing, I’ll remember to say a prayer while I’m pumping.

♥Cathy and Libs