Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Day - Reviewed

I first wrote this on December 31, 2008, about three weeks before my husband died. In hindsight, it was almost prophetic. The world has become more like this that it was in 2008. I wish the darkness had passed by now and we were in a new day. We are not. Instead, we're still sitting there waiting for the darkness to pass. I fear many of us will not live to see that new day.


The Last Day

We finally reach it - our last day. Mankind had reached a nadir while above the sun is shining. On the horizon is darkness and one can only wonder what lies ahead for us all. Will we go on? Was there a better place waiting? Or would the crouching darkness devour our very souls? What will we do?

The last year has been one of radical change, chaos, and confusion. We'd weathered it but there were many wounded and many battle-scarred. Some had died on the field. Even the earth had been assaulted. The villages and towns that still stood were reeling under fiscal problems, energy crises, and joblessness. In many places, children cried for food while famine raged in the land. Wars among factions had only increased, their participants splintering skirmishes around the globe.

Terror had become a raging monster fed by a demonic mindset. Children had lain bleeding or dismembered in the streets, a sacrifice to a violent god filled with hatred and minds so twisted by their fables that they believe a lie and are damned themselves.

I scanned the horizon, looking for some sign, some rising star, some glimmer of hope. I saw none. We had obliterated hope along with faith. No one prayed anymore for peace and safety because there was no longer a God to pray to. Or if there was, He must remain hidden in case someone actually grasped His garments in desperation and began to believe in Him. Goodness was servant to selfishness. Mercy lay dying on the altar of intolerance, bigotry, and self-righteousness. No longer was there freedom to speak without fear. No longer could one assert a righteous indignation without fear of reprisal or accusations of religiousness. Death lurked around every corner waiting for a willing participant to utilize his tools.

I sat down on the rotting stump of an ancient oak. It had stood many centuries, growing tall, strong, and full. Its branches had sheltered many from storms, given shade to the weary travelers, and lifted up a multitude of downcast eyes. But long ago they'd begun to hew it down. It had taken a couple of generations to succeed but finally, they had chopped it down and burned the carcass. Only the stump remained, a slowly rotting reminder of a time when people actually believed in something good. When ideals, dreams, and hopes were allowed to flourish without dissension.

The sun was lower in the west now, near the time when the darkness would be complete. From the East, it had begun to crawl along the ground, reaching long probing fingers toward us. We stood and watched, making no effort to greet it and none to stop it. I knew that it would overtake us but some part of me continued to search along that dividing line between light and dark, as a thirsty animal searches for a watering hole. Still, I saw nothing but approaching darkness. The light behind me dimmed further as the power of that darkness began to overwhelm it.

Then, it came. One moment a fleeting glow suddenly shut out by overwhelming blackness the consistency of tar. My heart pounded so hard I knew others must hear but I couldn't see beyond my outstretched fingertips. I felt tears course down my cheeks and my stomach twisted in knots as I stood in a night deeper than any well I'd ever seen. I had no measure of how long it lasted because without the sun time didn't exist.

Just as the last flame of hope in my heart began to gutter like a candle in the wind, I raised my head and hands and strained my eyes to the void. Suddenly, from the farthest reaches of the heavens came a tiny flicker, so faint it would have been undetectable to the casual observer. But I was searching for that flicker and as I watched through blinding tears, it grew and expanded and blazed forth with gathering strength, until it broke through the darkness and glowed brightly -a single star in a vast expanse of nothingness. All around me I heard gasps as first one, and another and then, another star broke through until all the heavens were filled with brilliant starlight, their beams stretching to touch one another.

I looked at the horizon again and saw where the earth and sky formed a line and stars blinked along it the way diamonds do on a necklace. I turned back to my ancient stool for a seat to observe the wonder of it all. At the base of the stump, where gnarled roots snaked away and into the ground, a single green stalk now stood. Tender green leaves had unfurled during the long dark night and now began to reach to the lightening sky.

Then, it came, blazing from the east and banishing the darkness to the depths. A fresh breeze began to blow and dawn came with a chorus of songbirds. We were here.

Now, what will we do?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Just Me

Things have not gone exactly as planned.

I see. Whose plans?

Well. . . I expected the surgery to fix my problem. That was the plan I had in mind.

They told you that might not happen.

They did. I thought you'd be involved in this, too.

I was there.

I know. I was never afraid at all and I expected to be a little nervous. I wasn't. I was talking about afterward.

You're disappointed.

Ya think? I still have an arm that is dipped in boiling water most of the day. When it isn't, it is simmering. So, disappointed is an understatement.

.....

I watched a video of a girl being healed yesterday. It was amazing. Awe inspiring, even.

......

I don't think I know what faith is and that's distressing Is it belief you will or belief you can? Because I know nothing is impossible for you. I also know you don't do everything you're asked. So believing you will doesn't make it so. Believing you can if you choose... well that's different. I think it is your choice. If you don't want to do something, no matter how much I believe you will won't change that.

How does that make you feel?

Sad. Disappointed. Frustrated. Confused. Because I don't understand which it is and it makes it impossible to know what to do.

.....

I'm being truthful, here.

I know.

I hate when they quote that scripture about faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I have no idea what that means. I've researched it and I don't think anyone else does either.

That could be true.

This isn't helping me.

Oh, I think it probably is. You usually come up with something.

Not today. Today is dark, wet, cold. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

You've had answers to prayers. You believe.

......

Just not always the answers to the prayers that mean the most to you. 

Things that involve me. I prayed for Sarah a few days ago for some severe jaw pain she was having and she came running down the hall five minutes later, wrapped in a towel saying, "My jaw doesn't hurt anymore!" That meant something to me. I've prayed for myself.... Repeatedly. Without the same results and I'm kind of tired.

Everyone has that feeling at one time or another. When the journey gets rough, find a place to rest.

Rest! That's a whole 'nother blog post.

You trusted me in the surgery, when they took knives to your spine. Why is it you don't trust me in this moment.

I don't know. I don't think it is a trust issue.

Then what is it?

Just me.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

When Life Goes Sideways

I'm posting this on all three blogs to save time. I've not posted anything on them for a few months. This serves as an explanation, not an excuse. 

Here we are at the end of September and I can't figure out where the summer went. I was doing rather well at finishing my novel, Hidden in the Mist. In fact, I'm probably less than 2000 words away. It was the 9th of July. The story was going well. I was working on the study/den/dining room to get it repainted and reorganized. I felt pretty good. There were plans to sell books. Things looked . . . bright. The road seemed smooth and straight. 

That's when things always go wrong. Somewhere, in the dark I hit something. 

Actually, in the wee hours of Sunday morning at 3 a.m. I woke up screaming and had to call Mike to come get me and take me to the hospital. My whole left arm was in excruciating pain and felt as if it were on fire. It was also paralyzed. I'm left-handed. I couldn't hold my phone, dial it, or pick up anything. Every move sent me into screams. 

I went to St. Vincent's ER (Primary care is at that hospital) and they did x-rays, gave me a shot of morphine and a steroid, a script for valium, and orders to go to physical therapy. I have a pinched nerve. I went home. 

At 5 a.m. Monday morning I was back at a second ER. This time I decided to use the hospital (Deaconess) where my records were for all my ailments. After CT scan and a couple of shots of something they sent me home with Loratabs and ordered to go see PT. Monday I went to urgent care at the orthopedic urgent care and the doctor said I could shoot myself. Yeah. Scheduled me to go to PT a few days later. 

It would be two weeks before I could see a PT doc but they could do physical therapy before that. I went to my primary care doc on Tuesday and she prescribed steroids, Gabapentin and Skelaxin. Let me just say that at this point, not a single medication had any impact. The narcotics took the edge off to stop me screaming. The Gabapentin made me a zombie who felt pain and I stopped it but it took three days to get my mind back. I had acupuncture the second week and believe it or not, 50% of my pain disappeared in 2 hrs and I could actually hold my fork! Brushing my hair and wiping my butt was still beyond me. 

I won't go into the rest of the last two months. Suffice it to say I alternated between screaming in pain and writhing with gritted teeth and sobbing. Eventually, after a fainting spell in my RA doctor's office, I was sent to a neurologist who did an MRI and found I have a compressed spinal cord. She immediately sent me to a neurosurgeon. Turns out I have a ruptured disc. I have to have surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks to repair it and to fuse some discs. I hope.

And that is how life has gone sideways. 

I was unable to type for three weeks and still have problems after typing for very long. The pain in my arm is bearable but only just. It still feels like it is on fire on the bottom side of my forearm, side of my hand and third and fourth fingers. I'm very clumsy and that is frustrating because I've always been very dexterous. 

Now it is as if my hand belongs to someone else. Thankfully, as a lefty living in a righty world, I'm a bit ambidextrous and I've been able to do a lot of things with my right hand. I'll never be able to write with it and I can't remember to do some of the other tasks with it but it has been easier to let the right hand pull extra duty. As a result, the right hand is a bit more functional. Probably a good thing since the doctor said he couldn't promise my left hand would return to full function with no pain. Apparently, when a nerve is pinched this long (07/09 thru 09/17) it might not recover. 

There's always a silver lining, isn't there?  I'm hopeful because God is good and I've got stuff to do. 

As a side note, during all of this, my son Mike fell off the delivery truck at work (about 4 feet) and broke his right arm and injured his shoulder. So the one person who helps me the most is also incapacitated. 

See, I told you there was a silver lining. 

And that's the way it is as of today, Sunday, September 17, 2017. 

If you pray, put us on your list. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

No Other Name

Courtesy Pixabay.com
I have been reading my Bible a lot more lately thanks to a little app called YouVersion. I really love it. It is a Bible app but it has these really good Bible studies written by various people. So far, they've been very good and it has got me started on forming a habit.

Every morning I get my coffee and sit down to enjoy it while I read my Bible studies. I always have two or three going. Each day's study varies in length and each study is from one day to a year long. I usually select those of different length. This results in rotation so that every few days I'm starting a new one while finishing up one. Some of them also contain recorded sections where there is a prayer through Abide, another app. You don't have to have both apps, however.

Anyway, I've been really enjoying them. Last week I started one called Praying the Names of God, by Ann Spangler, and it, like most, was based on a book by the same name. She wrote this study as well and it contained a recorded prayer. In this study, she is teaching how we should pray the Biblical names of God. I followed along and enjoyed hearing about the meaning of Elohim. Then she started to pray and I closed my eyes to pray along.

In the middle of this prayer, something happened that rarely happens to me. I heard a voice. I can't say that it would have been audible to anyone else had they been with me, but it was very clear to me. I heard it with perfect clarity and it stopped me in my tracks.

"There is no other name given, under heaven, whereby men must be saved." That is a paraphrase from Acts 4:12. I opened my eyes and turned off the prayer immediately. But He wasn't done.

"There is no reason to pray any name except the name of Jesus.And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." That's from Colossians 3:17. I didn't know the chapter and verse at that point. All I heard was the Word.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14."

I turned off the app and deleted that particular Bible study immediately. I won't bother with that one again. I was very uncomfortable at what happened and I sat for a long time thinking. For example, the "names" she talks about are actually words that describe the attributes of Jehovah or Yahweh in the Jewish faith. We say "God". But even God isn't a name. Many cultures have a "god". They have names. The words this study is using as names aren't names either. I suppose you can call them names but they're not. Elohim means strong one and is a plural noun but the Jews use it in the singular. Jehovah Jireh is another one. It means Jehovah will provide. So, Jireh is not a name but rather an adjective that describe one of God's attributes. Jehovah Rapha is the God that heals. Again, not a name but an adjective describing his ability.

I'm not Jewish. I'm a Christian. And clearly, what hit me between the eyes is that I don't need to be praying in this manner, using a bunch of adjectives because I want to "tap into" some special power. I'm instructed very clearly to pray using one name and one only.

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, Philippians 2:9-10"

I don't know this author. I have nothing against her.  I haven't read her book. She may be a very wonderful, sincere person. I only know I've been given a name above every name ever known and all the power of heaven is in that one name. To pray any other name would be disobedient and a bit idolatrous.

One thing I can tell you is that when I received this ... message I wondered how many other people are following this method of prayer. I realized that even that is covered in the Word. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Galatian 1:8."

Always stick to the Word for instruction. Following every new fad is not safe when you're dealing with spiritual matters. I'm so thankful that the Lord halted my spirit in this. Because that is what it was. When I read the study it didn't really seem a problem. It wasn't until she began to pray that I was jerked up short. I'll be honest, it scared me a bit. God hasn't ever done that to me that I can recall. I suppose that is a good thing. I don't want him to have to do it again. But I'm glad he will if he needs to do so.






Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meanderings With a Point

Are you there?

....

Hello?

....

{sigh}

You know, it is pretty silly to ask someone in the room with you if they're there.

Ah. Right. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Not funny.

It's been one of those weeks. Thursday was good.

I saw that. You were very busy. 

We should probably talk about the weather.

Nonsense. Boring topic. Weather is just weather. It happens.

Yes, but in my sphere, that has a whole other meaning. It really happens. Physically.

You know, I'm sorry about that. 

....

Yes, well, as I said, the weather is boring and also an uncomfortable subject. What did you actually want to talk about?

I don't know for sure. We haven't had a real chat for a while. I mean... I pray... but these post, well, they give me a lot of pleasure and often I get some real insight into things.

Me too!

Right. My fault. I've been very focused on trying to write. And you know, the weather....

You're published.

I am. It was very exciting. And I have some great co-writers that I'm very happy for as well. Now if folks will buy the books and give us some reviews so we can learn from it.

Are you sure you want to know what people think?

......... Yes. Because if I don't know what I'm doing wrong, I can't fix it. So, it if stinks, painful though it may be, I need to know or the next might stink, too. It may anyway.

So, you like it when someone points out your faults?

Uh, well, my writing can't improve without feedback.

That's true of many things. Yet most folks don't want to know about their ... faults, I believe you said. 

We're not supposed to criticize people. That's judging.

Really? You do know I'm a judge. 

Yes. YOU are. I'm not supposed to criticize. If I do it, that's judging.

Even though the criticism is designed to correct something bad? Do you people even know what criticism is? 

In English, it has two meaning. One is an expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. The other is an analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.

You looked up judging, didn't you? 

I did.

Surprised?

Yes.

And what is judging?

Well, here's Merriam-Webster: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises;  to sit in judgment on :  judge a case;  to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation  ;  govern, rule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader ;  to form an estimate or evaluation of ; trying to judge the amount of time required; especially :  to form a negative opinion about: shouldn't judge him because of his accent ;  to hold as an opinion

Surprised?

Yes. They're not the same. At all. And in light of the definitions, judging is not precisely a bad thing. It is based on evidence and testing, inquiry and deliberation, evaluation. But it can be negative. Again, negative is not necessarily a bad thing

So, if I say your story stinks.

That'd be hurtful. But if true, it isn't wrong.

True isn't always good. So, if I said it lacked structure or organization... or that you used too many passive verbs?

That's less painful and more helpful.

So, it isn't the judgment but rather the delivery. 

Yes..... But you try telling someone that their lifestyle is a sin. You can get a black eye that way. And that delivery is what hurts. Aren't we supposed to tell them they're sinning?

So we're issuing black eyes of our own? What happens when someone reads a story? They learn about the character, what they like, how they act, how the resolve the conflict in the story. In a good story, they may even talk about the character and ask questions. They'll learn a lot from that story. Readers also learn a lot about the writing and they may point out errors to the writer. It is up to the writer how they take those criticisms. 

So, it isn't all on the critic it is also on the one being critiqued?

It is. And it is a sign that there are deeper problems when one doesn't know how to take criticism and doesn't understand the purpose of it. A prize pig at the county fair can be judged but the behavior of a human being can't? There's something wrong with human beings when we place more value on the size of a pig or the posture of a dog but the behavior of human beings must not be called into question. 

But you said it is in the delivery?

That's true. Pay attention to how judges at county fairs judge animals. They're not trumpeting it to the world so much as making an assessment based on specific criteria. I have given you a set of criteria that allows you to make valid assessments. 

I can hear people now saying, "Humans are not animals."

Aren't they? They've determined that humans are descended from apes. Therefore by their own judgment, humans are little more than animals and can be judged as you would an animal. Appearance, behavior, and parentage. All open to interpretation and judgment. 

But you know that's not true!

Yes, I know it.....

Oh.

.....

I have no idea how we ended up here.

Well, I was just sitting here quietly watching. You started it.




Friday, April 21, 2017

A Rotten Assignment

Today my skin hurts. My hips hurt. My feet hurt. I am tired and would like to curl up in a warm bed with my hands under the covers. That means sacrificing my sleep tonight. I got plenty of sleep last night but I suspect the raging inflammation in my body is creating fatigue as it tries in vain to fight off the inflammation. By bedtime, I'll be exhausted and depressed because I've lost another day I could have been productive and wasn't. 

I want to write, to work on my book but I can't think. I've tried to read but I can't focus for more than a few minutes. I suspect this is a bit like an attention deficit feels but can't be sure. I feel fidgety and restless but I'm too tired to do anything to combat it. 

Yesterday was a great day. I cleaned house and put away some of the laundry. I washed a load, too. Beds got made and floors swept. I cut the back yard and found time to play with the grandkids. Today is a black hole swallowing my life.

This is a pretty negative post for a praise blog, isn't it? And yet, I'm OK with that. My intention has always been, from the inception to make this a place that I praised God. How better to do that than when I'm miserable? Jeremiah was able to do it in a dark dungeon, in a pit of mud up to his armpits. They couldn't even go down and get him. They had to send a rope down and drag him out. For all my pain, I think he was in a worse place than me. You can bet he wasn't happy with his situation, but he didn't forget God. 

Despite how I feel, God is still real. He's still faithful. He still loves me. No matter how dark the dungeon, how deep the mire, God is a deliverer. My pain doesn't mean He isn't God. And it doesn't mean he isn't worthy of praise. I'm fairly confident that once the clouds clear and the rain passes my pain will ease. I'll find myself sitting on the patio staring up into a bright blue sky, the red umbrella sheltering me from the sun and I'll be thinking of how very great God is all the time. More clouds may roll in but God will still be God. He'll still be faithful. 

Life is all about change. Our situation can change in an instant, from good to bad and back again. Our response may vary but one aspect should remain fixed. God is amazing and worthy to be praised. That doesn't mean we can't moan in pain and cry. We hurt and the body is designed to deal with pain in predictable ways but although our pain is beyond our control, our minds are not. 

Yes, I rail against circumstances. To no avail. I rant and rave and get angry at my life going off the rails. I didn't sign up for this, did I? This was not in my plans! No, we were drafted. For whatever reason, this is the assignment we were given and we have to make the best of it. Sometimes it is the worst duty assignment.  But...

God is still faithful. He never fails. Get this, the Creator of the Universe is in charge of your life, your circumstances, your future. Who better to be in charge? 




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Rain

For a few days now I've been overwhelmed with a sense of just how amazing and wonderful the Lord. It is beyond my abilities to tell you of his greatness and the feeling of something so grand, so infinite, so beautiful as this Savior who always seems to be just beyond my sight and yet so clear to my soul.

For days I've been miserable with growing pain. The weather has been horrible and we've had heavy clouds for days with scattered showers. The worst weather for me. My hips hurt when I try to walk and my lower back feels as if it has been replaced with a steel plate and rebels with sharps pain when I ask it to bend. My shoulder sends spikes of pain into my neck. My hands feel like sausages as they run thru the machine that grinds and then shapes them into links.

But God is ... he is just right there. My craving to talk to him, see him, burrow into his shoulder is tangible and the elusiveness of it is more painful than all my physical pain because I know that there lies the rest and relief my body screams for but can't seem to find.

And still, my heart says with complete confidence, "He is my shield. He is my strength. He is my portion. He is my shelter. He is my strong tower. He is my Deliverer. I trust in Him."

The storm has started here, with dark clouds and blowing rain. I'm not too worried. I have my shelter.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Not Nearly Enough

Today is Be Humble Day. Did you know that? Neither did I. I don't even know what that means, actually. Humble -- well, of course, I know the definition but how does one "be humble"? And if you go around being humble are you a showoff? And isn't that the opposite of humble?

Of course, I'm belaboring the issue here but I just find it very confusing. I don't actually like the word humble. It is supposed to be a spiritual attribute so I guess it is a good thing but if it is a good thing, why do we get bombarded with memes and psycho babble telling us to think well of ourselves and eat a steady diet of positive reinforcement on how very important and valuable we are to the world? That's not being humble.

We're told to be all we can be. Treat ourselves well and focus on our good characteristics. We're smart, witty, attractive, funny, canny, etc. But does anyone say, "I'm a really humble person"? No, of course not. Because that wouldn't be humble.  

Micha 6:8 says: "He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" KJV

The Amplified version elaborates: "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?" AMP

Wow. Overblown self-importance. That'd fill a stadium. Or a country.

I had to look, of course. I found one page with 72 verses about humility so obviously, it is more important than the modern era realizes. I mean, it seems like a life and death issue.  All those mouthy folks who get up and spout all they've done for humanity .... they're not humble. Mama used to say actions speak louder than words. If a person has to get up and recite their accomplishments, well, they're not actual accomplishments. They're advertisements.

No, I think this humble think is critical. It isn't all about us, is it? We're far too full of ourselves. Humility is an obsolete word in the current era.

But it is important.

"Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD'S anger." --Zephaniah 2:3

 Perhaps? No guarantees, huh? Wow. You might be hidden.

I really have to do more research. I don't know how humble I am but I suspect it isn't nearly enough.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Bad Day

Psalm 34:1-4 says "I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

It's easy to say but much harder to do when things go south. You wake up feeling lousy. You get a phone call that gives you bad news. Someone you trust does something that destroys your faith in them. You wreck the car. You get a negative diagnosis from your doctor. Your child gets sick. The list is endless but it doesn't change anything. We're still supposed to bless the Lord at all times.

The last few days, in fact, the last week has been a good week for me. My pain levels have been manageable. Waking up and getting out of bed was hard but after the first hour, things perked up quite a bit and I was able to accomplish many things that usually give me difficulty. It's easy to praise the Lord on days like that. I'm so grateful for even small accomplishments that it's not hard it all. Although, when I first get up I'm praying "please, Jesus, help me", but once the stiffness and the pain lessen I can say it with more enthusiasm.

No, it's those days when things just seem to go wrong with no help from you. That's what it's hard to utter blessings and praises.

I didn't come here to offer you a solution. Today I'm stressed and frustrated and disappointed. I don't feel like blessing the Lord or praising anyone. It doesn't take much to ruin a day. But the Psalm does not say any of those things are an excuse not to bless the Lord. It teaches you how to find your focus and when things are bad, how to ease your desolation.
5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 
9 O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.  
           -King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
I'm still depressed. I'm still frustrated. I'm still disappointed in people I trusted. But these are not worthy of my attention to the point that it causes me to not bless the Lord or praise him. If I can bless him for the great week I've had then I can also bless him for holding my hand on the bad days.

It has taken me years to get to this place. The journey has been long and arduous and there have been too many times that the things that overwhelmed me drove me to flail against the very one who would comfort me. Blessings were far from my thoughts and railings at my plight were easy. If it were not for the blessings of God, even on the worst days, I would have been gone long ago.

So, I do not have a solution for your lousy day. I cannot help you with your depression. I cannot ease your frustrations. But I can tell you that if you focus on blessing and praising your Creator you will lose sight of the catastrophes for a short time. If you do it often enough it gets easier and the bad day passes. They always do. They may leave scars but they will pass.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. It doesn't take much but the outcome can make tomorrow a better day.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Booboos

I've managed to get through the holidays relatively unscathed by the darkness that has so often accompanied this time of year.

Yes, you've done well.

Truth is, I've been too sick to notice what month it was, never mind what anniversary. I was sick through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year. I totally forgot my wedding anniversary... even though my son got married on the same date. I didn't remember until he posted something on Facebook. And the anniversary of Jerry's death... I remembered the day after.

How did you feel about that?

Horrible. Like I'd done something wrong.

Life goes on. 

Really? Cliches?

I invented them... well, I said things that others made into cliches. 

I know I've used a bunch of them. Anyway, so, today things got dark. It sort of rolled in like a fog, I felt it approaching yesterday and today it just settled over me. I didn't want to be alone but Sarah went home for the weekend.I honestly was looking forward to some alone time.

How long did that last?

About 5 minutes. Well, actually longer but the heaviness just sat there. It is past my bedtime and I know if I go to bed I'll not rest well. I'm in pain, too, so it isn't helping. My RA meds finally wore off.

..........

What am I missing?

I don't know if you're missing anything

I'm not going to write a sigh or the mental laugh that I just had but I thought you knew everything?

What makes you think you're missing anything?

Because I don't feel like I get anything right.

You've felt better; I don't mean pain wise.

It was just a fluke.

I don't do flukes. Unless you're talking about liver flukes. I did those. 

All right. I admit. I've had a more positive attitude. I've felt like ...

Go on, say it. And don't give me that look.

I've felt like some things were ... right.

There. That didn't hurt, did it?

Actually . . .

Stop.

I feel terrible.

Had you bothered to have a conversation with me earlier, I might have been able to alleviate some of your stress. You choose to wrestle with it and have suffered because of it. You come now and expect me to kiss your wounds and make it all better. I can't. Unattended wounds tend to get infected if left untreated. You know this as well as I do. Yet, you let it fester. 

Uh. . .

I'm not done. Yes, I could just wipe it all away but if I did that every time you hurt, you'd never learn anything. You have a choice to live in a bubble or live life. The reality is that life, real life, hurts. It hurts tremendously. To have life, you must hurt. If you don't, you're not living. However, when it hurts, you have a physician who can get you through the rough spots. You'll have wounds, you'll bleed, and you'll have scars. You'll just live life through it. 

.......

I'm done now.

I guess I just forgot.

If I had a nickel....

I think I'm going to bed now. I'm sure rest will be good for me.