Tag Archives: fostering children

Adjusting Effectively

Thirty years ago, in Washington state, one week before harvesting our sweet cherries, it rained. And rained. The cherries drank in the water, causing their delicate skins to burst and crack. Open to mold. For the next three weeks, I watched our source of income rot and drop to the ground. I cried and had nightmares. Yet I didn’t want to wake up to my feelings of despair, anger, and hurt.

Positive thinking? Useless. And ineffective up against my feelings.

I wrestled with the need to adjust. Do I adjust to a new normal based on loss? Do I adjust to loss as the new normal?

Answers to those questions were blurring. So, I backed up. To find a more effective way to adjust. But maybe, it’s the very act of adjusting, that packs the punch?

Looking to history for insight, I sat down and read a bit of religious writings for input and happened upon a story about a forlorn, destitute mother who was asked by a wise guy, what do you have in your house?

The question jerked my mind. From thinking about what I lost, to thinking about what I have.

I’ll be honest here; my mind wasn’t too pliable at first. I was scared. I begrudged our downsized house and reduced buying habits. I resented having cherry trees that brought grief yet still required our care and borrowed money.

That’s all the further I got in the thought process before our young children demanded my attention. Up I got to go give it, but with my newly jerked mind, I glimpsed an adjustment had been made in mind.

Instead of answering the demands of loss, I answered the demand of family love.

We had in our house, family love, and I could hold it tight by sharing it.

After discussing it with my husband, I picked up the phone and called Social Services. We became licensed foster parents. Not for everyone but fostering for our family worked.

Three years later, the cherry crop brought in a gain. Large enough to pay off the debt and obtain a house with windows that didn’t let dirt inside (sandstorms are popular in southeastern Washington).

And guess what? The gain had as much power as the loss. Brief power.

Life makes sense when I adjust to the knowledge that gains and losses don’t define me.

But the good I have in my house does. Even if that good looks puny. And growing family love proves to be an effective adjustment.


Uninterrupted love

Divine love can’t be interrupted.

The continuity of God’s love persists through time and change.

Here is an example:

Yesterday, I spoke on the phone with a friend I hadn’t talked to in two years. We both are busy in life, yet we think of one another often with thoughts of joy and compassion. Those memories and expectations are what keep love continuous.

The second we connected on the phone, our conversation was serious and happy. There was no discussion about weather, politics, or trivial tidbits. She told me about her niece, who is living with her and her husband now because the niece’s mother just never adapted to motherhood and moved to Mexico.

The niece had fallen back two grades before moving in with my friend and her husband. She is in sixth grade now and doing well in school. And playing the flute in band.

Love is magnified with gratitude.

Even though we don’t talk with one another often, our love stays uninterrupted, unbroken, and only gets stronger and clearer.


Newly released 5th edition of 21st Century Science and Health

Updated November 2021, click here for sixth edition of 21st Century Science and Health

Preface to 5th edition of 21st Century Science and Health

Burned into my foster mothering psyche are two pictures: I see a 2-year old foster child, unable to communicate his confusion. And, I see a 9-year old, who thinks being unwanted is normal. In both cases (though different children), I felt them asking me the age-old questions, Why am I here? Why be good? What future?

Sometimes in life, we don’t know how to communicate the gut feeling that there must be something more to life than what meets the eye.

In my search for cohesive answers, I’ve found the knowledge of truth and love to be vital.

Cover_final_Cheryl_PetersenTruth and love help us communicate.

Identifying with Truth and Love also helps to ease the conflict between the fortunate and the unfortunate, the good and the bad, the yin and the yang.

We can learn from unfortunate situations, but we don’t have to allow their pushing and pulling to control our experience.

Stretching our mental barriers further, we learn that Truth and Love have control and that Truth and Love is God. This definition of God wipes out the common collective notion that God is a humanlike superman, or a contradictory force to reckon with, or a façade.

In reality, God is willing and able to give us a reason to live. The ideas in this book help us learn that we are wanted by God, not to do God’s job, but to express life, soul, and a holy purpose.

The methodology read in Science and Health is timeless, first penned in the 19th century by Mary Baker Eddy and termed divine Science.

This modern version is not a revisionist divine Science, because the Principle of the rules in Science are constant. But the words and references in Science and Health have been updated to show how divine Science, as presented by Mary Baker Eddy, is applicable to today’s situations.

The driving factor in 21st Century Science and Health encourages progress in religion, science, family, society, and medicine. The book discusses a Mind-healing system.

The theme in Science and Health administers the potency of Spirit as the only substance and power, completely good. You can read the scientific statement of spiritual being, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; matter is human error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and we are Spirit’s image and likeness. Therefore person is not mortal, but is immortal.”

The rhythmic prose in 21st Century Science and Health appeals to our tradition of inhaling the new, while exhaling the old on a regular basis. You can begin reading wherever you want in the book. Each fresh breathe is infused with the spiritual reality that, “God is Mind, and God is infinite; and so all is Mind.”

The vocabulary in 21st Century Science and Health has been tagged with accessible terms. God is dignified as infinite Mind. “Person” is idea, image. The term “error” is used to denote anything unlike truth and love.

We read, “Remove error from thought, and it will not appear in effect.”

For clarification, error is defined in Science and Health, as, “the theory that pleasure, pain, intelligence, substance, and life, are existent in human mind/body…Error is the contradiction of Truth. Error is a belief without understanding. Error is unreal because untrue. Error is that which seems to be and is not. If error were true, its truth would be error, and we should have a self-evident absurdity—namely, erroneous truth. If an erroneous truth were real, there would be no such thing as Truth.”

After putting aside error, we read that through, “Spiritual reasoning and free thought…” do we discover trustworthy truth and love.

We also read that, “Spirituality is the basis of true healing. Whatever holds human thought in line with selfless love, receives directly the divine power.

“Systematic teaching and the student’s spiritual growth and experience in practice are requisite for a thorough comprehension of the Science of Mind-healing. Some individuals realize truth more readily than others, but any student, who remains true to the divine rules of spiritual Science and becomes one with the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Science, overcome error, heal the sick, and add continually to their supply of spiritual understanding, power, enlightenment, and success.”

Please bear in mind, the above mentioned “divine rules” are not the same thing as the rules of a church organization. History shows that anytime the divine rules are placed secondary to church rules, spiritual success becomes dim and diminished. But we can wipe off the tarnish of human rules and respond to the gleam and shine of spiritual rules.

I’ve experienced profound spiritual healing in my life, including the healing of 2nd degree burns on half of my face. I attribute the healings to divine Science.

As a freelance writer, when writing, I often choose my subjects. But, I’ve found that the subject of divine Science chooses me; and it’s ever unfolding spiritual ideas continue to be communicated. Now in its 5th edition, the vital components of 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures are:

  • Use of the latest research made in technical, Biblical, religious, and medical study
  • New vocabulary from the expanding English language and today’s idiom
  • Footnotes
  • The use of modern English versions of the Bible
  • Treatment of today’s social issues
  • Gender-inclusive language

All first person references are Mrs. Eddy speaking.

Cheryl Petersen

November, 2021: Click here for link to 6th edition of 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A modern version of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health

Thanksgiving Tater-tots and Laughter

A ludicrous series of incidents played out the “blind leading the blind” a few years ago.

Nothing was planned, it just happened, and to no one particular reason.

Thanksgiving was coming up and we didn’t have any plans. The foster child who had been living with us for over a year had just moved forward in her life and that took precedence of our time and energy.

School was out for our daughters and we were home taking a breather. Finally it was suggested we go to the cabin. My parents had a small cabin in the Blue Mountains. No telephone. Fire crackling in the woodstove. We acted on the idea. We threw some clothes in a bag and headed to the car for the hour and half drive.

Someone finally asked, What about food?

None of us expected the others to whip up a Thanksgiving feast. So, we stopped at the grocery store and laughed our way through the isles picking up things like chicken nuggets, heat-n-serve tater-tots, and fresh fruit.

Once in the Mountains, we parked the car and prepared to carry all the stuff down the snowy hill to the cabin. The driveway is closed when there is snow.

Car lights kept us going, or rather I should say, kept us in the dark because we were oblivious to the fact that it was pitch black outside with no light whatsoever. Our delight in the snow blinded us further. Once all the lights were off, we stood there unable to see one another. No moon. No stars. No flashlight. We forgot the flashlights.

Stumbling and bumbling down the hill we eventually arrived at the cabin. It was freezing cold inside but within a few hours, after starting up the fire, it warmed up. We cooked our Thanksgiving dinner in a toaster oven and ate in the light of candles. A peace ran strong through our giving of thanks.

We spent the night and went home ready for the world. Ironically a few weeks later we were again able to go to the cabin. But, we remembered flashlights this time. The result was getting a good laugh at ourselves—again. We definitely were impressed with the pitch black dark of our last trip, but acting on brain imprints was a joke. The moon was so bright it felt like daytime.

Following brain imprints is the blind leading the blind. What worked yesterday is not meant for today usually. But, following the spirit of thanksgiving is love leading love.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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