Monthly Archives: July 2016

Venting

Today, I left my mother’s doctor’s office, furious.  So angry, I ended up bawling at the restaurant. Dad doesn’t like tears, lol bless his heart.  There are other ways to treat mother than just her way.  I have an appointment in 2 weeks with her again, guess who isn’t going.

The reason I needed to go was to make sure mom was getting physical therapy to help keep her mobile as long as possible, but the doctor denied that, and wants instead to put her on the medicine again.  of course you do, because apparently that’s all you know.  Guess what, I was furious with you.  You have no idea who my mother is, you have no idea what I go through making sure we are taking care of mom as well as we can, but for you to not honor our wishes, and instead keep trying to peddle your poison into my mom… I find that very difficult to forgive.

I looked up what the drug does and what its side effects are… guess what? They are EXACTLY what I am trying to avoid with mom.  So, no, I will NOT put her back on that, I will NOT go back to you, I will also pull my Dad from you as well, and if needs be, will report you to the world.

I believe you went to school to gain knowledge, but, western science is not the end all to be all, and you do not have a lock on helping mother.

And as far as the physical therapy, we will work it out somehow.  I don’t need you anymore, you did help me get mom to a place, but then you refuse to see that her needs had changed, And your response for the past year has been to put her in a home.

Just as you can “see no change in her attitude” because you see her for a minute, doesn’t mean you would know how she would respond to being in a home.  I do.  I’ve seen her whither, I have never seen my mother look so small and vulnerable than when she’s been separated from us because you all in the medical field think you know better than us.

So no, as long as I have breath in this body, I will speak out, and while I might not beat you down in the examination room (because jail time would not be good for mom) doesn’t mean that I haven’t heard every insinuation or “meaning” behind what you are suggesting.

Thank you, but your services are no longer needed or wanted in my family.

 

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Faith, writing, teaching.

Tonight I was looking back at some of the posts I have made, and I had forgotten several of them.

So I reread them, and I was pretty astounded, they sounded pretty good.  They didn’t sound that dissimilar to other posts created by professional writers.  Of course, just like I tell my sister, generally if I don’t remember saying something that impacted her, it wasn’t me, it was just my mouth and something Holy Spirit was saying.

So I am glad He is so articulate, because it impressed me.  It reminded me of my Junior year in High School in honors English, doing that dreaded term paper.  When I got back my report, my teacher wrote next to several of my topic sentences, “Sounds Bookish”. I remember going up to her after class and asking her what that meant, and she basically accused me of plagiarism, but since she could find no proof, because I didn’t plagiarize them, I am just that good at writing, when I am encouraged… well you get the picture.

I guess it actually took me almost 15 to 20 years to realize what she meant as an accusation, was actually a very strong compliment.  She thought my Topic sentences to my paragraphs were of such quality that they could be published.

Now, for some reason, earlier in my English classes, I remember learning how to make really strong Beginnings.  I don’t remember as much emphasis on the body of the work, and I certainly have had issues with conclusions.  It’s a lot like comma usage, lots of times I feel like I either missed that day in class, or I might have been daydreaming, you can never tell with me.

I am such an auditory learner, and skimmer when reading, there honestly is no telling.

Anyway, like I was saying, she definitely thought I had lifted those sentences from somewhere else, but had no proof, when ironically, a few years later, I actually caught a term report that was pretty blatantly plagiarized by a student, because it was about the very author I was reporting on, and I had picked up and read the same books, and then read the passages in the report. (the same errors that were in the book about the story were in the paper, word for word and that was only one of the instances unfortunately there were several)

What I didn’t know, was that student was still enrolled in that University, and I think I got them into trouble, but no, I didn’t, they did, they made the mistake that was found out.

I suppose if you look at my life, I love to read, and I love the creative force of writing.

Mother is this amazing artist, some day I will share some of her works with you all. I got words, I really don’t have the patience to draw.

Every once in a while, I can hold my own, depending on the medium, and the subject.  I can oil crayon the best paper bag you’ve ever seen.  Mostly, a first grader has more natural talent than I do.

And that is O.K. with me.  See, I never felt like I had to compete with anyone.  And the cool thing, is all of Mom’s kids and grandkids are creative. All with different mediums, but all creative.

A large part of that is whether they know it or not, God is the All Powerful Creator, and he created us to create.  Regardless of whether it is life, or art, or food, or words, or music.

So words are my big thing.  I would rather find the correct word and use one as opposed to several to convey a meaning.  I remember writing one thing and this guy that I was just obsessed with looked at me and said I needed counseling.  that was crushing. I read the same passage to a friend from work, and he told me that he could see the picture I was painting like it was a movie in front of him.

Guess which stuck with me more and kept me from writing for several years? You are correct, the negative (incidentally that was that same guy that told me that God didn’t expect him to change, I was really wrapped up in that guy, God had to move me back home and 3 hours away from him to free me of that mess)

So, I am working on, not being influenced by the negative.  I had an interview for a possible promotion at work a few weeks ago.  They chose someone else, no worries, I had already told God, that I knew that would mean He just had other plans and I was good either way.

Anyway, one of the questions was about “criticism” then, she changed it to constructive criticism, when did that ever help me and how would I blah blah blah… I don’t remember the rest of it because I was dumbfounded at criticism

Let me get this straight, I am a first born, and sometimes a very cranky first born, so I can be very critical of things, especially if I am tired or hungry or upset or just empty spiritually. However, I find nothing constructive about criticism.  I find it destructive, and divisive and hurtful, and most of the time petty.  Color me all of the above when I become super cranky pants.

What builds, is instruction, it’s taking the time to teach and grow the other person’s knowledge and confidence. It isn’t tearing down, it’s holding up when they can’t hold themselves up.  it is bearing with each other, and instead of jumping to conclusions of someone’s motives, stopping and praying, and seeking the heart of the matter and choosing to see the best in the other no matter what.

So many times, we assume the worst. And we need to change our focus.

We have to learn to trust our Creator that He knows and that He always, always, always has our best interests in His heart for us. When we have that confidence, we can take correction, or discipline, and it is a light thing, because He teaches us and shows us His ways.

I’m thinking I have crossed over like 3 different subjects with this blog. For those of you that know me intimately, you know that actually is my way.

Love you, peace.

 

 

 

Directions, or a study in the blind leading the blind

Last night an interesting thing happened in my hotel.  I had a guest that was trying to tell another guest that didn’t have GPS or I suppose a smart phone how to get to my hotel in the middle of the night. The guy was lost, had been lost for hours before they finally sought my help.  Let’s call the one at the hotel Ace and the fellow trying to find the hotel Pops since he was a father of one of the young adults in town for the Special Olympics.

So Ace keeps assuming that Pops is in Arlington and trying to give him directions… and Pops is just getting further and further lost. When Ace asked me to help, the first thing I told him I had to know where he was to give him directions to my building.

To put into perspective those who do not live in the DFW Metroplex, and shocking, I know but there are a few people that actually don’t live here.  Arlington is basically south central area between Dallas and Ft. Worth.  Irving is more north and closest to Dallas.  Now these gentlemen were from more of the Houston area, so they came up I-45 to I-20 which merges with a loop around Dallas and a loop around Ft Worth.

So Ace is giving Pops directions, assuming that he is where he should have been if he hadn’t gotten lost in the first place.  When I asked where he was, Pops said he was on Abrams.  And Ace got all excited, I on the other hand,  thought that Pops was in Dallas and not Arlington.  Pops found a hotel, and went in, but there was no one up at the front to help him get his bearings, but he did find a police officer, mind you it is about 2:30 am at this point.  And, it was a Dallas Police officer.  the man was about as lost as he could be, driving at least 4 hours only to get lost and drive for another 2 or three hours here in the Metroplex. (if DFW International airport is as big as Manhattan Island… how big do you think the Metroplex is?  Anyway, the Officer got him headed more in the right direction, but still out of his way than I would have sent him, but that was also because Ace kept telling him to go to I-30, the hotel is not on that road.

Eventually, the story did have a happy ending, the guest did find the hotel, and I think he might have gotten an hour or two of rest before competition was to begin.

The whole situation really spoke to me about how we actually live our lives sometimes.  We assume we know exactly what we are talking about or where we are or where we are going, and we are on the wrong road, or we actually have no idea because we are so lost ourselves. And yet we think we can lead someone else to the place we need to go.

I do have this sense of direction, that I must have inherited from my grandfather, that if I drive someplace one time, usually, I know how to get there and I never have to look at a map again.  even if its been a while since I’ve been there.  My Grandmother thought I never got lost, and it wasn’t that as much as I would drive in one direction until I saw a road name I recognized, and then would know the way home.  The only time that didn’t happen was when we went to Waco, and we missed a turn.  I was a little lost, and that stressed me out, but short story long, we found our way to my aunt’s and back home again.

Part of the issue was my cousin forgot a street, or he isn’t as precise as I try to be with directions, and this was before GPS on your phone or smart phones even.

So faulty information, can get someone lost.  Thinking you know where you are and you are actually lost and don’t know it, can get someone really lost, I think Ace would have had Pops in Louisiana soon if he hadn’t asked me to intervene.

And that’s what the Father and Jesus were talking about with the blind leading the blind.  There is nothing more dangerous I think especially to a new believer than wrong instruction, unless it is being unnecessarily overly judgmental.

The only way any of us should teach about Biblical principles is with the …. ready for it? … the Bible.  The written word of God that lays out His will for us, His plan for us, His love for us, His everything for us.  The wondrous gift we have of Holy Spirit leads us back to the Word.  You know every time I need answers, it goes back to a verse, or passage.  I have a lot in memory, but I still look it up, so that I don’t mistake Abram in Arlington with Abrams in Dallas.

And if I am on the wrong Abram, looking at The Map, The Plan, will get me back to the right place, because He is just that awesome to us.

Love and peace.

 

Gutted, Hurting, Peeved

The past few weeks have been really trying for me personally.  There are some personal things going on with the family, that just takes time to get ironed out. It just is.  But what has been more distressing for me, is what is happening with our nation today.

I really could care less what side of what fence you are on whether politically, or demographically, educationally, or philosophically.  What I am seeing is a staggering absence of love.

It is more acceptable to ridicule or be mean spirited about an opponent than to have true dialogue.  Every side believes their side is the righteous and moral side, whether or not that is truth, and consequently, because of that, no one is ever heard.

So each side escalates.  And people die.  Agendas are more important than the blood shed at these memorials, unless the family is strong and just tells them to leave.  The frustration of not feeling heard boiling over, fires stoked by again agendas and rhetoric that complete this horrific cycle of anger and bitterness and death and grief that turns in to anger and bitterness and death and grief.

We have leaders in our community, secular and regular that either are out of touch, or seem that way because instead of addressing the grief, they want to appear so strong that they shout their mantra.  No Fear only faith.  and yes, I understand, however, you have to address the hurting.  Jesus came to bind up the broken hearted…. I can think of no greater broken hearted than what our nation has seen.  We are so mired in each side being right, or politically correct, or victorious that we run over the smallest, the mildest, the weakest, and we dishonor God.

We put up or like more inflammatory posts on social media because we are all frustrated.  And no one feels they are being heard.

But are you listening? Are you waiting to speak until you hear the words the Father puts on your lips to speak peace, healing, love into a situation? Are you falling on your knees like I saw soooo many “Christians” posting after our officers in Dallas were ambushed and murdered. Let me tell you, as a daughter of a retired police officer and the sister of a current police officer, and friend of others, I was personally offended that those of you instead of words of comfort or peace, put up what felt sanctimonious and prideful and judgmental verse at the time. Now the verse in and of itself is not any of those things.  but for you to use that to “Preach” in a situation, I was very upset and knew you were just like everyone else, you have an agenda.

Let me tell you, sometimes, God gives YOU a verse at times of trouble, not to share, but to act upon.  Did you ever think if you had spent the time to actually get down on your knees and humble yourself before the Lord and pray, instead of finding the right graphic and building it and posting it….. maybe, just maybe, we would not have lost 5 officers that day?

Maybe just maybe, all the other police officers that have been ambushed whether in Minnesota, or Michigan, or Louisiana, maybe if you spent half the time pointing fingers you were one your knees praying and seeking God’s heart in all of this… Maybe just maybe, there would be a 4 month old who still had his daddy to hold him tonight?

You as Christians have been given the tools of the Kingdom.  Whatever you bind on Earth is bound also in Heaven, and whatever you loose ( or allow by your silence) is loosed as well.

I am really getting tired of all the selfishness in this world. Everyone is offended at everyone else, everyone thinks only they know anything.  Let me remind you of a little something.

NONE OF US CAN EVEN TAKE A BREATH, UNLESS THE LORD ORDAINS IT FIRST.

Yes he has made us more than conquerors, and we are victorious, blah blah blah.  It is meaningless and useless to be anything God has created you to be unless you use that blessing to bless others.

I am not just talking monetarily either. it costs nothing but your time and your pride to forgive and to pray.  Just because every place you set your foot you have authority over, doesn’t mean you own the world, it means, I set my foot on the police substation’s ground, and I claim that authority to protect these men and women.  I pray that all darkness is exposed. That any trap or snare is tripped early so that life is preserved.

Maybe later, I will go into more detail.. I just had to get this out, like I said before, it’s been roiling around in my spirit, and I just had to put it to words.

I do love you, I just know we can do better.  we are better because of the Blood, we can’t be like that man that looks in the mirror, steps away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  We are the reflection of the Father, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth and of all of us. And He loves us, and is about ready to come and start putting some things in order.  And I want all of us on the right side of that order.

Walk in Love, let Love be your driving force. and you will be on the right side.

strongholds vs Strong Tower

Many times we think we know what it is we need to pray for, we pray for it and pray for it, and then we might walk back and mess up and think we need to pray for it again, because we opened that door again, or walked down that path again, or whatever.  We can hold ourselves under such condemnation and self anger because we believe we undid all the growing and maturing in the Lord by going back to that mistake. So, not only do we feel bad because we missed the goals we had for ourselves, we beat ourselves up for doing it, and that is the opposite of receiving God’s grace and love for us.  But why do we mess up? or turn back to look once again behind us, longing for the life we before, the simplification, the ease, the joy, those are clouded memories.  Not the warm fuzzies.

I have a friend that has asked me several times to pray to break a soul tie they believe they have with another person.  One of the times, I knew that it was broken, and I didn’t need to break it again, they just needed to stop running back to that situation.

I was speaking with that friend later and again, they talked about the pull being so strong, I still didn’t see a soul tie, I wondered if because they imagined that was it, it lured them back, and that could be part of it; however, I was praying for family, and friends, and I suppose it was just time for Holy Spirit to show me what it really was.

He told me it wasn’t a soul tie, it is a strong hold.  And, it made so much sense to me at the time.  Both are powerful.  Both have to be addressed by the blood of Jesus.  Both give a sense of belonging, safety, and peace; but it’s all counterfeit.

Years ago, I was working through many things with God.  I was learning a lot about Holy Spirit, and Jesus and the Father, things that had never really been taught to me as a child.  I was raised in a Christian household, and the Church we went to emphasized knowing scripture, and reading the word. So I don’t get upset that it took me until I was almost 30 to learn about some of these things.  Some never get to go that deep. Some never even realize on this side of glory just how real and present God is in there life.  So I have no regrets about that.

I was having some issues trusting God though, other stuff that happened as a child were directly responsible, for me feeling unworthy and unprotected.  Anyway, I had a vision/dream, I don’t remember how, because a lot of times I would fall asleep praying, or talking to God.  It doesn’t matter how it was, it was in color, so either way I knew it was God talking to me.

I was on the top of a huge tower.  It felt like the tower was more than a football field wide, and the stones were huge, and we were higher than any arrow could get, and the land around us was green and lush.  It was a beautiful place, and I was safer than any royal could ever hope to be.  And then I saw Jesus looking down at me. He said, “you see all I have done for you, do you think you could trust me and step out of your fortress now?”  I looked down, and here at the top of this massive Strong Tower, I was in a cardboard box, hiding behind inside the walls.

That was a shocker, and as His way, the more I thought and dwelt on the vision, the more He spoke to me about it.  Cardboard won’t stop arrows.  Cardboard gets wet and disintegrates, and holds the water in and destroys what is inside. Cardboard is flammable. We can go on and on about the things cardboard is and isn’t, but we can all agree, it only makes a fantastic play fort for kids.

I bring up this image of the Strong Tower for a couple of reasons.  Psalms 91 gives us some great visions of fortresses and High places. I don’t think I really have to at this point go into the significance of high places for tactical superiority.

So, as is our fashion, God and I, He shows me something, and then we chew on it for a while.  Other aspects of it come to light.  It makes it easier to see why they are so difficult to remove (I know you think with a name like stronghold would be a clue).

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Strong holds are so difficult because they are strong, they are places of refuge we created in our lives either in error or in rebellion.  Remember, we have an enemy that just loves to counterfeit and deceive others into believing they are following God, and while sometimes it is blatant, other times, it is so subtle, that unless we are daily tapped into the Father we might never truly see the deception, and might never understand why we aren’t seeing the victory we know in our hearts we are supposed to walk in.

So, in the same vein as God showing me all those years ago my own Strong Tower that He had built to protect me, He showed me a vast field.  In the distance I could see the majestic tower.  In the foreground, I could see a smaller tower.  I actually could see several smaller towers.  As I came closer to the nearest one, I noticed that there was no mortar between the stones.  The stones were haphazardly placed in the tower formation as well.  One good shaking, and the person taking refuge there would be crushed, it was that precarious.

So I pondered why we would run to this obvious counterfeit and dangerous structure for safety, and then He showed me.  We don’t run to the stronghold when it is sunny and easy and we can clearly see.  We run for safety when our eyes are scaled over with fear, loneliness, despair, anger, sadness.  A gloom clouds our vision, and in that mist, that fog, it looks strong, and sturdy.  It is a dangerous counterfeit meant for our destruction.

And that is why we must pull them down.  They exalt themselves to be protection, to be God’s will, to be His promises, when they are nothing but lies. The only way to be done with it is to tear that puppy down.  Then, when you have made that tower rubble, do like the Israelites do, and use those stones to erect a memorial for what God has done and His faithfulness in your life.

Don’t be surprised to find several strongholds either, we are constantly assaulted in our daily lives with images that are not God, but try to pass themselves as the Father. In many cases, it has taken years for these to build up, BUT God can help us with our spiritual weapons to pull down every strong hold, every thought that exalts itself against  the knowledge of our loving Father.

And remember above all things, His love for you is more powerful than any weapon the enemy might take against us.  Please do not be bogged down by feelings of shame or condemnation, for He doesn’t condemn us…. He made us, and when He saw us, He said “It is good.”  Because you are part of Him, you are good.  And because He lives, we move from Glory to Glory, we grow, we mature in the light of his love and the water of his Spirit.

 

Love you.

Knots

I have been working on a baby afghan for the new daughter of mother’s physical therapist.  I have this beautiful variegated thread, and I bought enough to probably make a king sized blanket.. lol.. I digress.  I made a fatal mistake, I followed the instructions on the binding on how to use the thread.  It said to squish down the tubular skein into a big ball looking configuration.  And, the knots.. oh my word the knots… I finally just had to stop and try to pull out all the knots and roll up the thread myself. It has been tedious work, and many times, men have come and offered scissors to cut it to make it easier.  That isn’t what I want. Those of you that crochet know that a knot in the middle of a dainty piece is difficult to hide.

Anyway, as I have been working on the thread, I heard, or I thought, or.. I don’t know, I realized that I was taking one knotted thing with no discernible design into a knotted something created for beauty and a purpose.

When people talk about how difficult crochet or knitting are, I always just say its just a series of knots you are making, actually, depending on the type of afghan you are making, it is really just one long knot built up upon itself to create.

So, I’m working on staying patient and sometimes making it, other times getting a bit frustrated because just when you get started it snares up again.

And since God usually does speak to me in these types of object lessons I suppose… it has really clarified some things I want to share with you.

Sometimes, doing what the “instructions” that are supposed to help aren’t very helpful at all.  They can cause a larger problem than you ever intended. which can be irritating especially when you followed those “instructions” to avoid such issues, and they just exacerbated the situation.

Then I began to see, how, I had to work the knots.  Sometimes, I’m pulling right at the beginning, but other times, I am having to attack the knot way back in the body of the thread, to loosen up and allow the thread to move.  I think we see God do that with us too.  We might not even realize why we are told to deal with something totally unrelated to what we are asking for, or working towards, because we are the knot. and we can’t always see what the obstacles are, but He does.

I also see that again at the point of the knot (the part that holds the thread too tight to move) in the beginning, sometimes we get going really good and then its a complete stop.  Sometimes, it’s the same part of thread that chokes the flow, and other times, it’s a new part.  The end is the same, our progress is choked off, stifled, stopped, until we take the time to unknot that part.  I think it’s why we can get so frustrated with ourselves thinking… “I conquered this already… why am I facing it again?” The simple fact, this is a new level of the knot, and you haven’t gone as backwards as you think you have, and you need to give God the credit and see your knotted self the way He does, beautiful thread that is worth the work, to make into an even more beautiful piece used for His glory and purpose.

I sit here amazed at thinking about that, I know how stubborn I have been insisting on unraveling this knot, and not just moving on to another skein of thread, because I see the worth and value and challenge of this skein.  This skein I chose to make a beautiful blanket for a beautiful child to honor a family that we love not only for the way he is so gentle and loving with mom, but also just because they are.

How much more stubborn, (steadfast) is our Father, he never gives up on getting the knots out that the world, and we ourselves have put in our lives, to weave us into something amazingly beautiful.

Love you.