Category Archives: Uncategorized

Birthdays and the Resurrection

Mom went home almost 3 months ago now…  And I have to say, these past few weeks have been a bit difficult for me.  I miss her.

I miss being able to talk to her, and just visit.  I hadn’t been able to talk to her and visit for several years, but it was like you just move on with it, yes there were times that it was rough, but, she was with us, and you just evolve the relationship.  You work it out.

I don’t know how much of it is the rudderless feeling I have particularly on Thursdays, or so many pictures that I took of us doing things of course had mom in them, but it is an almost constant reminder on Facebook.  It almost seems daily that some sort of “memory” comes up to share, and she is there.

I don’t know how much of it is the total absence now makes the void a black hole, where I can feel grief try to take hold and suck me in.  And then I have to refuse grief.  I allow myself to feel sad, but I refuse to allow grief to strangle me.

I remind myself, that she is where she always wanted to be, with Jesus, and Marymom and DaddyCarl.  And between the 3 of them, you should see the place they are making ready for us.  Mom with her amazing talent, Marymom sewing anything and everything, and DaddyCarl building and putting it all together.  I am imagining many paintings and sculptures, and crocheted flowers and afghans, and each house built especially for all of us so that we are together again.

I suppose it was about 6 weeks ago that I looked up when Easter was and found out it was Mom’s birthday.

This is my first holiday with out her, her first birthday without her, and although, there is a underpinning of sad, I’m determined to power on…. I find it significant that her first birthday in heaven is the day that we as the body of Christ celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

It’s like the Father is reminding me of the promise of eternal life once again. That He promised to never leave us or forsake us…. that He lives.  And because He lives, I live, and Mom lives, and I will see her again. I miss her, but I do have a Comforter, someone who has always been next to me, He is someone I can talk to at anytime of the day or night, and since I work nights, we talk a lot.

And I have a cat.  I got him right after MaryMom went to be with DaddyCarl, and he loves me, and most of the time wants lots of attention. And he is my cuddlebug when I need a hug, eventhough he hates to be held.  So, I’m ok…. I miss mom, and sometimes I find myself wanting to call her like I did way back, it’s odd to me, but it makes sense too.

I’m a Gemini, so I can be a walking contradiction like that. And it’s ok to be sad, just not to wallow in it.  So, I actually cut myself some slack on Thursdays, and if I sleep all day, and I mean from getting home from work to going back to work, that’s ok, it’s just that day, and it helps me from feeling lost on that day.

And if I don’t, then that’s ok too.  I hope this Holy Day, reminds us all that no matter what the plan, or how dark the path seems, that His love and power, the same love and power that raised Jesus from the dead, will envelope you and raise you to the high place seated with Him forever.

Love you.

 

 

 

Covered

coveredToday I found this amazing photo of a Father bird standing over the Momma bird and nest protecting them from the rain.

Look at the fierceness in his face as he protects.  I know some of it is facial structure and angles. That’s how I feel Holy Spirit is with us.  Covering us. I love that BBC America posted this pic on their fb page, I love birds, love seeing them fly, the other day as a matter of fact, I was driving down a side road between my place and the parents, and there is a gully-ditch thing with the protective barrier fencing, and there was a hawk clear as day and less than like 10 feet away from me… those things are huge, and he was almost on the ground searching out food.  Poor little squirrels 😦 ..

Psalms 91:4  He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.

Deuteronomy 32:11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings

Psalm 36:7 How precious is Your loving-kindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings

Psalm 61:4 Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

Psalm 57:1  Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.

The last verse, about taking refuge until destruction passes by, reminds me of a story I once heard. There was a worship leader and he was talking about going to a friends’ farm after their barn had burned down and was helping him to survey the damage.  He saw a pile of something, looking like really rags, maybe feathers, and he kicked the pile, and when he did, all these little baby chicks came running out.  They had been gathered by their momma, and she gave her life protecting them under her wings. They were not consumed by the destruction.  I still bawl and scrawl when I think about the love of that momma hen protecting her babies even in death.

How much more so does our Father protect us? I remember one time when I was younger, I worked at a grocery store.  I was really bad about keeping more money in my till then I was supposed to, and I always had decided that I would close my drawer and lock it if I was ever accosted.  I probably would have been shot.  At the very least, because I wasn’t conforming to company policy, would have been fired.  Anyway, I was young, stupid (invincible) but God was protecting me.  I honestly don’t remember all those shoppers in my store, but suddenly, I had at least 2 large baskets, and a couple of smaller purchases, so much so that the night manager came up, opened a drawer and helped me check out everyone before we closed for the evening.  A few minutes after locking the door, one of the customers (one that I saw every week, I knew his face) came knocking and asked to use the phone, because he had been robbed.  He had used a rather large bill to pay, and because I was so busy, the ones that would have robbed me, saw that as an alternative opportunity, He handed it all over so he was safe.  I knew then that God had protected me.  A part of me still thinks some of those customers were actually angels, because I honestly did not see them walk in the door, or walking through the store.

Most of my life, although I knew God, I didn’t always feel His presence, or even seek it, it just wasn’t really taught to us that way.

I have heard other amazing stories that actually rival Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace.  Even the Apostle John couldn’t be boiled in oil, so he was exiled. Our own President George Washington was said to have been shot at several times during a battle, an Indian Chief was witness to it, could even see where there were bullet holes in our Founding Father’s coat, but, he was unharmed.  And the Chief refused to fight him anymore, because he knew God’s hand was on him.

I really want to segue into how under His protective wing we should, like the momma bird, likewise shelter others, but I am finding difficulty, so I think I will leave that until another time.  Because I have some really strong feelings about that subject.

Love ya!

 

Knotted 3… The victory of patience!!!

I did it!!! I finally did it!!! I unknotted that mess of thread, a huge skein, worth 3 smaller skeins of baby thread, and its all unknotted!!!!

I never did find that one string that would just unravel the whole mess. Instead, I had to painstakingly unknot piece by piece, end to end.. but, I finally did it.

When I got impatient, I made the knot worse.  but if I was calm, and took my time, and noticed the small things, and paid attention to the path of the thread, I got it.

And of course, because I see in pictures, like a lot of us, I saw how this relates to our lives.  As the creator of this piece, I could see the desired finished product.  I know I have great thread, it is so cute! I chose it specifically for this project for a very special person to me.  That is why I wasn’t willing to give up.

I love that thread, and I love what I am planning to create, and I love the little baby girl and the family I am making it for.

Now as I looked at the mess of a knot, sometimes I could be further away and broader in my pulling and winding up a new ball without any knots. Other times, I had to be close up.  but you know, sometimes that was difficult, because the knot seemed to fight me a lot.  It liked being in that state, and really didn’t care if it changed.  Other times, the knot would run away from me, as I pulled and stretched out the thread, the weight would then pull the knot away.  Sometimes even, the friction of the two or more threads would cause them to almost fuse and I had to even work to pull that apart, so I could continue my work of redeeming that knotted mess to make my beautiful creation. And I was determined to do it, because, let’s face it. I had paid the price for it. I had bought it and taken it home.  It didn’t have to wait to become the new object for it to be taken home.

Then after I had unraveled that last bit that had eluded me, I began to think about the finished piece that I would be finishing now.  I thought about how really, it’s such a lovely pattern, that looks somewhat intricate, but, really is a series of simple steps to make it wonderful.

I think about the fact that I actually bought 3 of those large skeins and at any time I could have abandoned that mess of a knot and just started with a different skein.  But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t, because I could feel the Father showing me something.

So often, we sing songs and we shout out prayers that we want to do great things for God, we want to be a vessel.  We want, we want want want….and then when He begins to pull at our knots, we fight him, because so often we don’t understand that we are really a knotted mess without true form, contorted, out of shape and useless even to ourselves, really.

It is only in us yielding to Him and Holy Spirit, letting them pull those knots loose, to expand our borders and being submitted to The Plan, even if we don’t quite know what it looks like, that we can begin to experience the wonders He has created us to be, a gift for others to know just how special they are to Him.

Purchased, and fashioned and made beautiful for a gift, in this case, a gift of warmth and comfort for a very precious little girl of a family I love so much because of the wonderful care he gives my mom.

If I am willing to go through so much for a simple gift for a little girl named Glory, that I nicknamed Grace, how much more is He willing.  His patience is boundless for us, which I must say, is so comforting, because I know I can be trying.  Let’s just leave it at that.

I hope you will find comfort in the untwisting and unknotting of your life as He retwists and reknots you into something more glorious that ever imagined.

Love ya!!

 

Knotted part 2

So today after weeks of leaving it alone I picked up the knotted mess of string again.  I just had gotten so tired of the mess and the tedium and just needed to put it down and work on something else.

And that something else was lots of things, but also the baby afghan.  I was thinking the other night, how pretty the colors are together and how I like working in the little squares to make a larger piece.

And I got to thinking, that’s how the Father is with us.  Sometimes we just need a rest from the mess. all the pulling and tugging and unwinding and layers we just need to lay that down for a bit and see the wonder of the new creation we are becoming.  I think it helps us to build our faith, and eventually our stamina and when we see God working, then we can take the next step when the time comes.

That’s how I see it anyway, I wish I had gone ahead and taken a picture of the huge mess of thread it was in the beginning, because it actually is much smaller now.  I keep thinking if I could just pull that one string… that one spot and the whole thing would unravel.  Hasn’t happened yet, don’t ya know.

I’ve also been thinking about the whole cutting it to make it easier thing.  Contemplating, is that man’s answer? or is it wisdom?.  I imagine, it could be either, depending on the situation.  What is in your heart? What direction do you find peace?

What I think so far, is until I find a knot I cannot undo, that is too tight that I can’t untangle, I will keep doing it the way I have been doing, It’s a good work, with something so beautiful in the making, that I will be patient, which really is not a strong suit for me.

love ya

 

 

Someone understands, and my heart is lighter

I miss my mother, I miss my grandmother. Sometimes it really just weighs on me. I don’t talk about it often, usually because there is nothing I can really do about it. I wish things were different, that mom and dad could really enjoy his retirement, like go on cruises and trips and stuff. I wish I could cook like mom did.  I can cook ok, and I do like the turkeys I make at thanksgiving, it would just be more fun if we could be more spur of the moment in our lives.

I wrote earlier about my frustrations with mom’s primary care physician.  I was so angry with the way she treated dad and I. I do believe that she is trying to do well by mother, but her almost insistence at mom being in a facility, and her needing medication.  I acquiesced and did allow her to put in one for the heart, but I was still so angry, I bawled.

It wasn’t just her, it was also the hospital, and whomever turned in mom to APS saying that she seemed in poor health, you tell me how you would be after you had a seizure and was disoriented on top of Alzheimer’s and being surrounded by faces you hadn’t seen, stripped naked and hands all over you.  How would you react? I would have been swinging, she wasn’t, she was like a little child.  I wouldn’t let them give her any meds though, that would have sent her body into shock I think. all they gave us was saline solution and we went home. And then I got the call from APS.  I cannot tell you the amount of stress that put on top of me. I called my brother, who is a peace officer, and he wasn’t concerned.  He just told me to make sure certain things were taken care of and they were.  Then the case worker postponed his appointment, and I felt better, I felt that if he had thought it was an emergency he wouldn’t have put it off.

And God worked that out too.  I had to go back to the dr. to get mom’s home health nurse and PT back, but the dr didn’t see that it was effective, really? Mom hadn’t fallen in about a year, until she didn’t have the PT to work on her knee.

No, she thought mom’s blood pressure was too high, and that we couldn’t take care of her and she should be in a facility.

Dad tried to say, yes it would be easier if she was, but that she never would have wanted that, and it wouldn’t be good for her.

I can tell  you, it wouldn’t be easier for me, not for a minute.  That Doctor has never been there when mom’s away from us.  She’s never seen how small mom becomes, or scared or even combative because she wants to do what she wants to do.

The one time we tried a facility that was supposed to help her even out her meds, they only gave her more and we could only see her a maximum of 3 times a week.  for an hour.  and we had to be in the same room with druggies and all manner of people with issues, all loudly talking over each other, so that mom had no voice.

Mom even fell in that facility so bad that both her ankles were purple from bruising them, and they didn’t call us.

So no, I will not put her into a facility.

That is not a judgment on anyone else however, every Alzheimer’s patient is different, every story is different, and if I were the one with the issues, since I have no husband, and no children, to not burden my family, I would probably choose that option, but we are neither here nor there with that.  Plus, I know people that they loved being where they could be around other people and visit.  Not all facilities are like that one mom was at, I get that, but I have to have some sort of control, and besides, have you looked at the cost of those things? It’s outrageous.

Anyway, all that stress and the Doctor on top of all that, trying to shame us…. and that was what it was, she wants her way, apparently her way is the only way, so  she rejected the home health care, and instead wanted them to come out to do a safety survey of the house.

Thank you God that I had already spoken with the health care people and they knew what we wanted, and when our old nurse came out that knows mom, and saw mom at her worst last year, he saw the difference in mom that the Doctor refuses to see.

You should have seen his face when I told him some of the things the Doctor had said. It felt so good to have someone agree with me.  One person that didn’t think mother needed to be on pills that would make her faint and dizzy to keep her from falling.

Someone that saw mom and knew we don’t need hospice.  Someone that didn’t care and set mom back up with PT.  It felt like I had my team back, and the burden was lifted just enough to breath again. Dad even said, “this is the happiest I have seen you in a while.”

I take my responsibility very seriously, and it’s not mom that’s the real burden, it’s the so called professionals that want to cookie cutter everything and is insistent on prescribing pharmaceuticals and not trying to help us find a better alternative.

I even tried looking at a more natural approach, which back in the day, D.O.’s had, and they are not in this area, or, they are “OUT there”.

I need to keep a Dr. so that I can keep the home health care, but, it’s not going to be the same person.

I wish I hadn’t convinced dad to go with her now as well, because now I need to change his doctor too even though he likes her, if she is that resistant to mom being off pills, how is she going to be when I get dad off his?

We still have some time, but, my end goal has always been off all meds.  I will need a Doctor that understands that and welcomes it as well.

 

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.

 

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.

Mother

My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. through the journey of the past several years, we have chosen a non medical approach to her life.  It isn’t that we are against medicine, it is that the medicine was making her miserable and catatonic and aggressive because she couldn’t communicate how miserable she truly was.

She almost always has a smile for me now when I see her.  And the other night, we were at a fast food joint and she saw my niece coming up to meet us.  She recognized her and even called out a version of her name.  Wow, that was amazing.  I spent 2 1/2 years not being able to work, because every time I started even looking for a position, we had a hospital stay.  She would fall.  It took about 7 months before we actually got to a neurologist and then she had seizures diagnosed.  The funny thing is, she never had seizures before she had the medicine for her heart.  Those medicines made mealtime a hit or miss with mom.  with most of the time it being a miss.  She just wasn’t hungry, and wouldn’t drink anything of consequence and would become dehydrated and pass out, which actually was a seizure. At the time that we had our first EEG, she had little almost constant seizures.

She had a big one on June 5th of last year.  I know what day it was because we were going to see dad’s urologist and she had the seizure in the car.  She was so lifeless, it was terrifying.  They doubled her seizure medicine, and wanted us to see our neurologist, slight problem, our old one had changed practices and our new one didn’t have an opening till about 6 weeks later, that was our appt.  I tried to call to see if I could get any help before that, but I think the doctor was out of country.

Those weeks were the worst we have ever had.  I can’t even remember how bad things were, really dad and I both have forgotten the past to focus on the positive and the future.  But when I spoke with dad and we both determined, although I told him I wasn’t going to subject mom to all that medication anymore, he agreed.

That was the hardest decision I have ever made.  I had to trust God that this was the right thing to do, it was like, even though, I hadn’t really been involved with Him at all for several years, He expected my faith to be at the level it was years before.  I’m sure if I really look at it too, part of it was, I had started talking to Him again anyway because I needed help with mom.  I wanted to do what was best for her and would make her the happiest and most whole.

The medicine was the key.  I had gone over to make a shake for mom with the medicine in it, and ended up tasting it thinking it wouldn’t be that bad.  It was horrible, the most bitter thing imaginable, and she had been trying to drink it.  The taste of it stayed in my mouth for hours.  I felt so bad that mom had been trying so diligently to eat the stuff we had been giving her and it had been so rank.

That night I just told dad, if she drinks it she does, if she doesn’t that is ok too.

The next day was my day to stay with her so dad could have some time off. Dad tried to give her some of the medicine, but she didn’t take much of it, if any. But she started to come back from the catatonic abyss.  She started responding.  The longer she went with out the medicine, the more she was engaging to the world around her.

And that was the night I had the most difficult decision; keep the medicine or ditch it all together? I struggled all night over it.  Asked God for an answer, and heard nothing.  I wanted a huge booming voice, the dog to suddenly talk, or the cat, a squirrel.. something on facebook or Yahoo that spoke to the truth I needed right then to make the right decision concerning mother’s care.  All I could feel was Him looking at me, asking me to trust Him. and by asking I mean with the look.

So I spoke with dad that evening when he got back and I was about to go home.  He was ok with it.  I told him that medical science had no cure for anything that mom had been diagnosed with.  And they were not helping her to be happy.  And I thought we should stop the medicine.   And then I told him about how mom was talking and seemed happier and I think I even got her to eat that night.

36 hours after ceasing all medications for mother and we went for breakfast at a place where we know the waitresses and they know mom and dad, and the plate of food I would get for her that was a bit of everything just to get her to eat one thing…. and she ate the entire plate.

As a matter of fact most meals she eats everything made for her.  There are a few exceptions, if she drinks too much tea, she might not be as hungry, but we just take it home and she consumes it the next day, instead of making lunch.

Mom lost her words a while back.  Some words she can still pronounce, but sometimes not in a complete sentence. When she asks me a question, sometimes by context I can figure out what she is asking and answer. Other times I just answer and either way she seems satisfied.

I was speaking with one of the waitresses actually earlier this week about care for mom. She knows that dad is a veteran and is trying to help us make sure we have all his benefits he is due.  One of the things she was talking about was dad being disabled and thereby impaired to totally assist mom.  Dad does a great job with mom; however he did suffer hearing loss in the service and it has never gotten better, and it makes it difficult to hear her or me sometimes.

When she brought that up, it was a very valid point.  There has been a time or two that she has fallen in the bathroom and he didn’t hear her and she was there until he got up to look for her in the middle of the night.  She wasn’t injured, and seemed ok, but that can be a bit scary as well.

So, maybe we can get that looked at and then, the VA will help with hearing aids and we can get our ducks in a row so that everything is as simple and easy as it can be in the further transitions of our lives.

Something else I’ve noticed with mom, she tripped last week, Dad had his hands full and wasn’t holding hers and she lost her footing.  She is unable to catch herself with her hands anymore, but she’s been like that for a while I think. Anyway, she must have just missed her eye, because her nose was scraped and right under her right eye and above the eyebrow and temple. Literally all around her right eye.  I spoke with dad about she has to have help, or, walking right beside her, on level ground.  My brother was there, he should have helped as well.  But you know guys don’t always think like that, maybe they aren’t as overprotective as I am (lol). Anyway, what normally would have taken weeks to clear up, I barely saw any damage to her face by Monday, that was from Tuesday of the week before to Monday, and her face was clear.  That is God my friends, supernatural recovery.  That is the exact opposite of when we had to have surgery in 2014 to repair 10 hernias and then had to go to the wound clinic, because she wasn’t healing.

I honestly can’t say that much has even changed in anything that we are doing other than she is not on any of the medication, and she is eating.

A friend from church that I used to attend used to post all these great things her mom would say and do. Although she had this horrid diagnosis as well, it hadn’t stolen her spunk.  Her Mother passed away recently, and I realized, I hadn’t been celebrating the life we still have with mom.  That’s why if you are on my facebook, you will see those now.  Going to eat, or even the doctor’s office (if it’s a dr she likes).

And sometimes, I realize, I am very much my mother’s daughter.  I like things in a particular place, you can mostly see that either on my desk, or work space, or at the dinner table.  Sometimes it’s because if I don’t mom will confiscate my food as her own.  She did that one time, picked over the smaller biscuit and took my big biscuit along with her big breakfast she had already had.. lol Dad and I kinda just looked at each other.  I’m not sure how much more she would have eaten if I had let her.

Mom’s Birthday is Saturday and she will be 71.  And although her doctor wants her on medication, she is the happiest and healthiest I have seen her in at least 4 years.  And although I am not ready by any means for her to leave us, as long as she goes in peace, and knowing we love her, I can live with that.