I am kaitco

a writer's log

One of the hardest things thus far… Monday, October 23, 2017

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 7:39 pm
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From blog.doriennesmith.com/:

My Pastor went home to glory last week. His homegoing service was today.

This has been one of the hardest life experiences I’ve had thus far in my life and it’s so easy to fall into a spiral thinking “there’s so much more darkness ahead as well.” but, I’m going to keep on keeping on.

I have to keep reminding myself that the reason all those around me seem to be doing so well with all of this is because they’ve already had to bury fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, children. And, they all got to go through with their Pastor by their side. This is my first time dealing with death so close and I’ve no Pastor to talk me through this.

It’s just been so hard. The calls and texts of encouraging someone whose spiritual strength I’d often taken for granted. Overcoming my own anxieties to see him during hospital visits. Literally picking myself off the floor after collapsing at the news that he was being moved to hospice. Visiting him in hospice every day he was there and watching him slowly transition onto glory. Accepting the news that he was gone. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard or as much in the entirety of these 33 years I’ve walked this Earth. I’ve got my ramblings to say and these words may not make sense to many others, so perhaps this is just here for me.

Years and years ago, I was a very skeptical agnostic. I’d been baptized a Christian as a child, but had never really belonged to a church home and with very sporadic church attendance throughout my teens, very little remained of my Christian experience and understanding. In a lost moment in college, I’d attempted to find a renewed spirit within one of the churches my mother and I had visited some years earlier. I walked into that building a proverbial lost lamb, but I walked out of it no longer a Christian and certain that God, whatever form He took, was not to be found withing Christianity.

An extremely difficult period followed afterward, where I’d figuratively wandered lost within the world, but as providence would have it, God brought me to what would become my church home through the teachings of a very great man who would become my Pastor.

After so many years of absolute distrust in ministers and most Christians, my Pastor proved to be a man of the highest character. One of the things that I adored most about Pastor was that he put God first in everything that he did. Because his ministry was about Jesus and not about uplifiting himself, he wasn’t afraid to bring newer or even stronger preachers into his pulpit and he was never afraid to admit that sometimes he simply did not have all the answers. These weren’t overall concerns because he did not feel the need to put himself first, but God. He acknowledged that there was no way he would ever fully understand every single thing that the bible said, but to use a phrase he often did, “I may not know all the specifics about how electricity works, but I’m not going to sit in the dark until I do.”

He often quoted Matthew 6:3: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” and he had this deep, mighty voice that always stressed FIRST; that we were to put God first; that God was not running for any place in our lives but first; that anything that we put before God was idolatry. These teachings allowed Pastor to become the first preacher that I ever really trusted. Above all, I trusted that he would never purposefully tell me something to lead me astray or that would go against God.

Pastor focused on bible-based teachings and rarely did all the screaming and shouting “performance” that is so often found within black churches and we used to talk about that a lot. I told him often that I never liked all the “hootin’ and hollerin'” sermons because that was all show and had more to do about uplifting the preacher than the Word. I also told him that it was part of that latent skepticism that I struggled to lose. He agreed that the shouting was often part of the show, but that sometimes that’s what people needed to ignite their spirits. He also reminded that, in reference to my skepticism, that faith and doubt could not occupy the same heart, and I remind myself of this as often as possible as I continue on my journey.

We disagreed from time to time. He wanted me to be more involved in church auxillaries and often chastized me for quitting just about everything from the choir, to the usher board, to a helping auxillary, to teaching Sunday school…I’m sure there are many other things I’ve even forgotten that I’ve quit. And, he was very right; I quit a lot of activities, arguably out of fatigue. Every once in a while, I had something to throw back at him, though. Once, he demanded that all his lady ushers had to wear skirts when they served, so I sat down and quit. Eventually, it got back to him that the reason I’d quit ushering was because the Word said that men and women were to be dressed differently to be readily identifiable as such, not that men wore pants and ladies were skirts. If I’d been trying to usher in a men’s suit, then by all means call out that behaviour, but if I wanted to serve wearing a finely cut women’s pants suit, where was the harm? Later, he agreed with me and removed this rule, but this was the type of man he was. He acknowledged if he was wrong and moved forward.

One of the things I cherish most, however, was that Pastor never hesitated to teach God’s Word. When I was teaching Sunday School, he gave me (what I later learned was a very expensive) Matthew Henry Commentary Study Bible with my name engraved on it. He’d given one to my mother as well. I think I’ve learned more about scripture and also myself from reading this commentary than anything else in life. I remember asking him how much the commentary cost because my church is sometimes just barely able to keep the lights on, but he refused to say, and refused to accept any payment. I’ve several other spiritual books Pastor has given to me in this same manner and I’ll treasure all of them always.

He didn’t just preach and give out books, though. He was a 21st century pastor. Over the years, I could always depend on texts from Pastor. Admittedly, of late, they were of the variety “Daughter…you are MIA” if I’d missed more than 2 consecutive Sundays. Mostly, though, I could text Pastor any of my questions about scripture and he always had answers for me:

Many Sundays, I would approach him after service and ask further questions about his sermon. Sometimes he would even roll his eyes and laugh when he saw me coming. He’d say, “I knew you’d be coming up here after I preached that!” He always encouraged us, though. He often said, “Don’t just take my word for it. Read the bible for yourself. When you get to glory, God isn’t going to hold you accountable for what Pastor said, but for what God said.”

What I take from this most is that I will miss him so very much. But…in the same way, all those years ago, when he waved me forward as I stepped out in the aisle to join the church, he said to me in that deep voice of his, “Come on, Daughter. I’ve been waiting for you.” I know that when I get to glory too, he’ll be there waiting with a smile again saying, “Come on, Daughter. I’ve been waiting for you.”

One of his last sermons:

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Being Blessed Saturday, May 31, 2014

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 10:09 pm
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I had planned to write today about how my writing has gone over the last month, but instead, I’m a little more intrigued by how blessed I am today.

I spent much of the day with my mother, cleaning my patio of its four-foot weeds, putting down garden fabric, and then garden stones to keep out the weeds going forward. It was very difficult work and probably cost more than $50 for the fabric, the stones, and even more for Mother’s ticket to Ohio and gas from Dayton to me.

I consider myself truly blessed for this action not just because my mother would do nearly anything for me, but because I have a mother to share such experiences. In the last year, I’ve had friends and family members lose their mothers at ages not much greater than my own and I’ve got a mother and both grandmothers, as of this writing, in good health, feisty, and fighting.

It’s not to brag or stand in pride of my blessings, but I write in awe that God should be so gracious to bless me which such gifts as the love of my family, when I am always straying from The Path.

In June, I’ll continue to write as I always have and I’ll continue with my plans for London, but going forward, I want most to try and take a moment each day to consider how blessed I have been.

 

So, a seal walked into a club… Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 11:55 pm
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…it said, “Ouch!”

I’d forgot to post yesterday since I’d had such a wonderful time with my grandmother all day and though I’ve not written anything for close to 48 hours, life is still good.

I’ve not much to say to tonight, but knowing how this off-cycle works, I know if I miss one day, it’s easy to miss another and another until I’ve gone 3 weeks without even looking at the novel, hence the rationale for a post this evening.

I suppose everyone needs a little something to remind them of all the grander things they’ve been neglecting to make way for the simpler things and I’d prefer not to get to a point, where, as my mother always says, “I’m surviving, but not thriving.”

 

Great year for 2012, Take Two! Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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So, when speaking to my grandmother yesterday, we both noted that January was an incredibly long month for us. There just seemed to be so many things going on with the start of the year and Uncle Buddy’s passing that there was no way that this could only be the end of January.

Trying to put a positive spin on this, I’ve got a whole new month to get those goals I’d set for myself in motion. With a few prayers on the wind, I may even get the novel close to finished to next.

Speaking of prayers, I’ve decided to start teaching Sunday School again. Right now, I’m just getting back into just getting there on time for the lessons before I’ll start actually teaching, but I think the best way for me to get back into this is to have myself pushed right into the deep end, which is what my mother did last week when she volunteered my services to help. I’m thankful though, because without that shove off the diving board, I’d have never got around to planning to get to Sunday School on time again.

I got a little bit of writing in today, 399 words (You’re never like this) and I’m glad to get them. February is another month, so Cheers! to another chance to get it right.

 

Contrast Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For the past few days, I’ve been working diligently to study the bible prior to writing. In my mind, if I can manage to post something every single day, and write more than 500 words every single, then I’m more than capable of studying the bible…every single day. I’m not quite to a place where I look forward to my study every night, but I’m getting there and I’ve even started to note some of the more memorable verses, like Matthew 6:33 to which my pastor often refers (“‘Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven!'”).

Studying the bible each night has started to calm my mind a bit so that I spend less time painfully staring at the laptop screen in search for inspiration. On the other hand, I’m starting to have some…issues, for lack of a better word, when writing some of these characters, namely Corey.

I’ve said before that Corey’s nature makes him sometimes difficult to write and it’s never so difficult to write Corey than it is after I’m fresh from studying the Word.

There is a fascinating contrast that almost limits my ability to “channel” him properly after I’ve studied. Case in point, tonight I tried to write Corey using the Lord’s name in vain as I have many, many times in the past, but tonight’s pause last long enough for me to debate with myself whether or not this was really what I wanted Corey to say. I settled with allowing him to curse, but only to do so by making him appear unnecessarily foolish, which I’m not sure I like doing because, despite the often horrible things he says and does, I like him to some degree. I’m just intrigued by the contrast between Corey’s dialogue and the words in red in my bible.

I wrote just 527 words tonight (smiled from the doorway) and I’m lucky to get that considering all that’s going on with my grandmother right now. I suppose I just get sad on days when all I’ve really got left is prayer.

 

790 Monday, September 5, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 10:08 pm
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It’s got cold recently…and I love it.

The heat drives me crazy because I don’t like showing off my body, so my only choices are either to bring personal fan while I wear long sleeves or sweat in long sleeves because I really don’t like showing off my body. The temperature’s dipped into the low 70s and I hope it just gets colder. I just need one good frost to kill off all the crickets and cicadas to have a decent sleep at night.

I spent most of the day with family and was redeemed by my Bumby as yesterday’s brief meeting ending with half the family poking fun that the baby would scream anytime he got close to me. Today things were, thankfully, different and I got to spend half the day just holding any playing with him.

I’ve not got anything particularly note-worthy to say other than the fact that today marks the third day where I’ve studied my bible prior to writing. It’s not been illuminating on my writing so far, but I know some good will come of it eventually.

I wrote 790 words tonight (mannerisms still concerned him.) using the notes I’d created yesterday afternoon as a guide. Tomorrow will be a day of cleaning, writing and Rock Band; preferably in the that order.

 

An extraordinary night Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tonight would have been an ordinary, boring night, if not for one thing.

I ate a mediocre dinner suitable for a college freshman and watched a movie I’d give, at best a C+…honestly, Tim Burton must stop remaking things like Alice in Wonderland, etc. before these image-heavy, story-lacking films start giving him a bad name.

What made the night interesting, however, was a call from my mother. I’m a bit sick and that’s something for which mothers are well known. My daily alarm advising me to write went off while I was on the phone with her and I told her why I had the daily alarm after she inquired. At the end of the call, though, she told me to a) get some rest, but also to “go write.”

I admit this didn’t set me into a tizzy of literary inspiration or vigor, but it did make me smile, at least on the inside, since I feel so rotten on the outside of myself. For most of my life, I’ve always thought she looked at my writing as a waste of time and talent that could be better spent elsewhere, but tonight she gave me a bit of encouragement to write. I have to say that I find that rather extraordinary.

I wrote 425 words tonight (speak to him again for the rest of the day) and finished another chapter of Damen. All in all, my mother made me feel quite extraordinary tonight.

 

 
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