A Soldier’s Gift

My family has a long history of military service dating back to the Revolutionary War, Civil War and more recently my grandfather in World War I, my father in World War II and my brother in the Vietnam War.  We were lucky that they all came back home physically whole.  My brother Jerry who served in Vietnam brought the war back home with him as many vets did then and are doing now with current conflicts.  He also came home with a new gift or “curse” which I write about in my book “Blessed Assurance Through Visions and Dreams”.

Jerry developed a sense of who was going to die in battle.  He told me it was something about the person’s eyes that gave him the sense of the person’s fate.  Years after Jerry died, my daughter told me of a conversation she had with her uncle.  He told her that he would see the person in black and white and that would be the sign that death would be near.

After the war, this ability continued his whole life.  I remember one instance where he said good-bye to a co-worker on a Friday after work and he knew she wouldn’t be back on Monday.  She was killed in a motorcycle accident on the weekend.    It was a huge burden to know something, but not be able to do anything about it.  How do you tell someone to be extra careful because you think they might be at risk or ill?  Having fore-knowledge is a gift but also a curse.

I remember him watching television and Joe Louis, the boxer, was in the audience.  Jerry said he was going to die.  Mr. Louis died the next day.

Being an intuitive comes with responsibility to be ethical, compassionate and empathic.  If you have a gift, I would love your feedback on how you handle your fore-knowledge of events.

A Mother’s Love

This past Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day.  I like to think of this day as celebrating all those women who have nurtured me along life’s journey.  The list includes Aunts, neighbors, church ladies, co-workers early in my career, pastors (yes, I was lucky to have female pastors growing up), and of course, my mother and grandmother.

These women taught me how to me a strong, compassionate, faithful woman.  I am deeply grateful for each of their influence on me.  My mother was the best.  I know you are thinking the same thing about your own.  She was raised on a farm in Tennessee and brought southern values into our home.  Her work ethic was beyond reproach, her faith in God steadfast and her love for her children ran deep.  She also had the gift of precognition, so I grew up knowing it was not to be feared.

She died when I was 26 and my grandmother died a few months later.  I became the matriarch of the family at a very young age.  The other women in my life became my mentors and mother-figures.  The person who entered my life thirty years ago was my mother-in-law, Laverne.  She showed me how to be a loving wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother.  From the moment I married her son, she accepted my children as her grandchildren.  There was no “step” in front of that title.  Her love is unconditional and I love her deeply and am grateful each day that when I married her son, I also her as part of the package.

Even though my mother has crossed over, she is never far away.  I feel her presence at the times I need a mother’s love the most.  I pray to God for her to be near and I feel her close.  The bonds of love can be very strong and survive even death.  I have been blessed with many “moms” that I give tribute to this day.  But none are as strong as the love between my birth mom and me even in death.  Be sure to let your mother know how much she means to you this week and every week.

Precious Life

A mentor and friend who has blogged the last eighteen months of her journey with cancer has just been put on hospice care.  She has been courageous in her battle and open in her struggles and her joys.  She looks for the good and calls them her “God sightings”.  These are places where people have walked into her life at moments that could bring despair but instead bring comfort and joy.  To say she is a positive thinker would be an understatement.

Her last journal posting talked about how important it is to tell the people you are close to how much you love them and hug them each day.  We all know that.  We have heard “never go to bed angry”, “treat each other like it is the last time you may see them”, “count your blessings” and countless other bits of wisdom passed onto us.  But, how many of us are faithful to this wisdom.

It is so much easier to hold a grudge, give a cold shoulder, give someone the silent treatment.  Freedom comes in forgiving and letting go.  Life is a precious gift.  I, for one, do not want to waste it with regrets.  So, I am going to take my friend’s advice and give some extra big hugs this week.  I hope you will too.

Nurturing Relationships

This past week my husband and I were on vacation in Florida. We hoped to get away from the rainy weather in Wisconsin. We did find the Florida sun on most days, however, we also found a couple of much needed rainy days followed us there. April showers are indeed required everywhere to bring May flowers.

Before we left on vacation, a chance one minute interview on the television news, lead me to a reunion with a person who was very important to me in my teens. The interview was with her father, a WW II purple heart recipient, living at the Veteran’s home in Union Grove, Wisconsin. My husband and I went to see Henry the next day.

There were a group of us neighborhood kids who took ballroom and modern dance lessons from Henry for a couple of years at the YWCA and then at his own downtown studio as teens. He had two daughters who were our ages and we became good friends but lost touch as the years passed. Now suddenly, an opportunity presented itself for us to reconnect. And, reconnect we did. Not only did we visit with Henry who at 94 still enjoyed talking about those days of long ago, but we reconnected with one of his daughters before leaving on vacation.

Our little reunion was important because while in Florida, we connected with another member of this small neighborhood group, Bob and his wife Carol. After years of trying to locate him, we found him on facebook several years ago and saw him last year while in Florida too.

Why do I tell you of these connections? It is never to late to nurture a relationship, new or old. Relationships are precious interactions with others. They need conscious effort to maintain. Those friendships we choose to develop and nurture are ones that last a lifetime, both now and in the life to come. If we want to make certain that those we love are with us through eternity, we need to nurture those relationships on our earthly journey.

We All Get To Heaven

                Why do I believe that God welcomes all to heaven?  Quite simply, because the God that I worship and praise is a gracious and loving God, one that cares for everyone’s eternal spirit.  I believe like many philosophers and theologians before me that there are layers or steps in heaven.  Once we arrive there is still work for us to do, lessons to be learned.

                Depending on the lessons we have learned in this lifetime, we will arrive in heaven on one of these tiers leading us ultimately to one with God.  I base this belief not only on reading other theologians’ work, but on experience in my family.  For example, there have been members of my family that have not lived the Christian life, yet they have appeared to me in my dreams after they have died and become spirit.  One was a self-avowed atheist who appeared to my father the week that he died.  Surely she would not have gone to heaven, she was a non-believer. Yet, her spirit survived.

                The first two years after my mother died, she visited me often in my dreams and brought me messages from beyond.  Than one night she popped in to my dream and said good-bye, that it was time for her to move forward, to learn new lessons.  That same night she visited my oldest brother and his wife, who she never met, with a similar message.  This visit reinforced for me that indeed there are layers in heaven and lessons to still learn once we get there.  When I need my mom, I pray to God for her to visit me and she usually comes.  So, she is still watching over me, but from a little farther away.

                Since we still have opportunities to grow once we leave this physical world, I strongly believe that we all get to go to heaven.  We just may have never starting places once we get there.  What do you think?  I would love to hear from you.

Life After Death

Is there life after death?  People have been debating this issue since the beginning of time.  Theologians, philosophers, astronomers, physicians, scientists to the common folk have all weighed in on this topic.  Often, they come to the same conclusion – there is some part of us that appears to live beyond us at the time of physical death – they just arrive at this conclusion in different ways.

Some people need hard proof that there is life after death.  They find comfort in the many books that are being written right now about near death experiences.  Reading about a person who has been clinically dead and yet can describe all that is happening to them during an out of body experience is validating to us that part of us is alive outside of our body.  They further describe a personal experience of going to heaven which has elements of others near death experiences.  We all want to believe heaven exists.  We want to believe there is life after death.

Some people believe there is life after death based on their faith tradition.  Whatever their religious tradition has taught about a life after death, they simply trust the teachings as a matter of faith.  For others, it is a combination of the above that forms their belief system.  It is that way for me.  My faith founded in the Christian religion along with the writings of near death experiences and my own experiences in dreams convince me that there is life after death.

It is my family members that I have had the strongest relationships during this life, that appear in my dreams to bring me messages about the living.  When they appear, it is very special.  They only come when they have a message for me.  I do not routinely dream about them.  Or, they come when I pray and ask God specifically for one of them to visit me when I need them.  For example, if I really need a mother touch, I will ask for my Mom to hold me that night and God has graciously allowed that to happen.    It is because of these visits in dream that I am confident there is life after death otherwise my deceased family members would not appear to me.

With nearly 30 years of dream history behind me, the single most learning has been the importance of strong relationships in this life.  Earthly life is relatively short compared to eternal life.  No one knows how long we will be on this earth, so we need to make the most of each day.  The messages I have received over the years all have to do with relationships.  There is no time to live with grudges, anger, regrets…there is time to live with love and mutual respect.

Instead of living like this is the first day of the rest of your life…. Live like this is your last day.