NOTE: I’m working at almost 10pm WHILE doing several other chores, so no pix in this post unless I come back later and upload some. Please read even if the post isn’t properly decorated. smile I really want to share this with you AND hear what you think!!
I’ve had this thought rolling around in my head all day after reading a short devotional about the topic.
If you’re like me, you’ve read the verse AT LEAST a bajillion times. Well, at least you’ve heard it read or referenced to that many times. It’s right there in the very front, the very first taste of what the Bible holds if you opened it like a novel (and mostly we don’t) and expected to figure out what the gist of the thing was by that first grab-you sentence. But we always overlook it.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
I think pretty must anyone knows that one, even if they’re not “religious” or weren’t raised in church or ever read the Bible. I don’t know if it’s because we kinda already know that God is going to do some amazing things in the “story” or maybe we are too eager to get to “the good parts” or even to a part we want to argue about that we just skip over this introduction.
I mean, think about it like this: it’s the FIRST picture we get of God directly from the Book He guided and instructed all those people to write over all those hundreds of years and so what is the first thing you’d think He might want to tell the world about Himself….
GOD IS POWERFUL
GOD IS MIGHTY
Nope, not that either.
GOD IS RIGHTEOUS
GOD IS LOVE
Not even that…
GOD IS MERCIFUL
GOD IS TRUTH
No. None of these important things are what He chose to be the very first representation of Himself by Himself to His children.
He chose to tell us that first, He
GOD IS CREATIVE!
When I first got that it was a major “WOW” moment for me. Now don’t just keep your mind in the vein of creating or “making” all the creatures, planets, trees and stuff. Think about the WAY He created them all.
Think about all the thousands of species of birds there are… think about all the colors, the sizes and shapes, the habitat and characteristics, the traits each one has. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it?
It is to me! I mean, okay, so God could have made everything gorgeously, unbelievably beautiful…every type of land animal and fish and bird. He could have made them all one certain color, or one shade, or one size… one ANYthing, you see?? But He didn’t. He chose to CREATE with each one and then give them the ability to adapt, learn and propagate its own species, retaining the appearance and such but inside, each one is still uniquely genuine. One bird’s DNA isn’t exactly like another of the same species.
Take this robin for instance… I took this picture years ago because I noticed the nest down low enough to be eye-level with it and then that the mama bird didn’t seem overly frightened of me. That’s when I decided to try taking a photo.
And this was one of the old-fashioned kind of pictures. I had to send it off to be developed before I could see how it turned out!
I don’t know if you’ve picked this up about me, but I am a bit of a bird fanatic. More of a bird-ee than birder, I’m afraid. My boys and I got really into birds when they had a group study about them with our homeschool group and from there, it just grew to something we spent a lot of time doing. I bought us several identification books and those awesome coloring books with details pictures of different birds. We even got Tommy interested enough to chase a golden eagle all over the lake once summer evening with our little boat.
I guess that’s why I just automatically chose the bird to illustrate God’s creativity. There’s just SO MUCH variety in them and such vivid coloring and such interesting habits and abilities.
Anyway, so after reading the devotion this morning and thinking all day now about how God took His time, didn’t just speed through His creation of everything. Even though He could do it all in ONE day if He’d wanted, He took His time and made things so unique and so individual.
Just like us! I could ponder this kind of thing forever but I can’t believe it never occurred to me that God had actually presented Himself to us in the Bible first as a creative being.
It got me to thinking… I think we’re all a little the way I feel. I sometimes think I could just burst with all the creative ideas I have. Some of them are just NOT gonna come out of me no matter what. Like painting an awesome portrait, for example. But I CAN paint and I can do a fairly decent job most of the time. But I don’t nurture that gift. I’ve never realized it actually IS a very great gift.
Like my book… I haven’t worked much on it lately. Part of the reason (or so I tell myself) is that I fear perhaps my volunteer editor has gotten too busy to help me with it. I know this is just an excuse and I’ve been saying that I can only work on it when I FEEL like it, but really… that’s not exactly how successful authors do it. They write EVERY DAY!
I’ve GOT to start doing that. Sometimes I feel like I can’t get the time to write, to flesh out my thoughts, even if it’s not for the book.
Like this post, actually. I’ve been busy all day since the hubby is off work for a long weekend. We got our new mailbox (along with the HEAVY iron column Tommy cut and sanded for it) put up and cemented in. We even primed and spray painted it. I also got the yard mowed. Even though this took a trip to town for supplies and even after Tommy had to leave first thing this morning to help my dad with something. We still got some things done.
And the whole time, I’ve been pondering these thoughts and thinking, “Boy, I’d like to make a post out of this.” and then “But you’ve been a crappy blogger for the past month!” and “It takes you too stinkin’ long to put together a post these days.” so I didn’t think I would even try and right now??
Right now, Silvey is in the next room ringing her bell to go outside. Tommy is sitting in the recliner in that same room flipping through Netflix on the television. He so rarely has a chance to do that, just sit and watch tv, that I can’t bear to ask him to let her out. But he is literally four steps from the door.
So I take a deep breath, get up, walk in there and open the door… and I can’t help letting a little attitude slip into my voice as I call her a butthead for deciding, nah, she doesn’t wanna go out now. Yep, she just looked at me like she didn’t know why I was holding the door open, letting bugs in…
ARGH! Oh, and I’m fixing supper, too. Spaghetti squash and sausage. So I’m jumping up from my laptop on the kitchen island to go flip sausage patties or check on the squash. Oops! Now I need to go and fork out the squash since it’s done now…
I begin to feel a bit down and probably a little sorry for myself, but I shouldn’t. I mean, yeah, that writing-only-when-I-feel-like-it will probably only ever work if I do it when Tommy’s gone on a week-long trip and Silvey is… I dunno, not such a poop!
I can’t blame these things, these people (and dog) for bothering me right now. I just need to be more disciplined in using my creativity. And I need to nurture that creativity more.
I need to see it as the gift from God that it is and not something that isn’t worthwhile.
Does any of this make sense to or resonate with anyone else? Anyone? Seriously… ANYBODY?!???
That was the main question and basis of this week’s sermon. Once you’ve answered the question “Does God exist?” then you almost automatically wonder “What is God like?”
Pastor Trevor went over several possible answers that people usually have. The first is often that God is angry. Why do people think this about God?
Do you even have to ask? People think God must be angry because by and large, most of the population that identifies itself as “Christian” seem to be angry almost all of the time. Christians seem to be always letting the world know what they are against, what they disapprove of and who they see as unacceptable.
Obviously, not all Christians behave this way, but for the most part, many of them do. Or maybe it’s that the media likes to show us those who behave in an angry way. After all, it’s no “fun” doing interviews with happy, peaceful, loving Christians, right? (blah!)
Some people also see God as violent.
I get that. I do, seriously. I’ve read the Old Testament. There’s a lot of violent goings on in there. I’ve never had a huge problem justifying these things, not that it’s my job to justify them, but my thought is that God is God and I am not. Therefore, I am not going to understand everything He does. I figure that anyOne who is able to create anything out of nothing probably knows a whole lot more than me so it wouldn’t be very wise of me to question Him, even when I don’t understand His plan or His reasons for doing/allowing/commanding what He did back then or even yesterday.
I know this line of thought doesn’t work for everyone. I understand that some people have trouble with just trusting that God knows best and letting it go at that when they see things they feel are unjust. I don’t know if that means my faith is bigger than theirs or maybe they just haven’t reached that point in their own spiritual journey. I don’t know if it’s just that we are all wired differently and we all think differently. I don’t know if it’s just a fear of handing that much control over to God to accept whatever He deems righteous or acceptable. I try not to be too naive in this because, for real, I haven’t had any great losses in my life to really test my faith. I haven’t lost a parent or a child to death. I haven’t had a terminal diagnosis given to me or a loved one. I haven’t had a chronically, critically ill child to care for. Maybe I have had it too easy to say I can just trust God, no matter what. But I have people in my life who HAVE dealt with these things and have done so with a huge faith and they are an inspiration to me. I hope that my faith could be as big and strong as theirs if I ever had to face any of those things.
Another way people tend to view God is that He’s uninterested. They either think God is too busy to take an interest in such minuscule things as our health or our happiness or that He is just too big to bother with such things. I can understand this line of thinking too. I mean, being God is a huge thing, right? I think people who feel God is too busy to be bothered see Him as a VIP. A celebrity. Someone who, in human form, usually IS too busy to be bothered. I guess they can’t imagine how God is much more, much bigger, more powerful than anything our human minds can comprehend. And granted, it IS hard to imagine how someone could keep up with, let alone personally know, every person on earth. I have a hard time just keeping track of the few people in my own life let alone a bajillion humans occupying the planet.
But God IS that big. He can and does know each of us, not just by name, but He knows us intimately and immensely better than anyone else ever has or ever will! He created us, after all, and not to just wind up and set loose on the floor like a toy but to love and guide and be interested in every aspect of our lives.
If He knows each sparrow that falls from the sky as it says in Matthew 10:29, then how much more will He know what is going on with us? If you’re not familiar with this scripture, the gist is this… if God takes the time and “bother” to know when each sparrow’s life ends (when it falls from flight) then how much more important are we to Him than the sparrows? Doesn’t it stand to reason that we would be of higher value to Him? Since it is us and not the birds who are made in the image of God, doesn’t it make sense that He would take even more care and interest in us? That is always a comfort to me, that God cares enough to notice each little wild bird (and we can surmise that ‘any bird’ is contained in the word ‘sparrow’ and is not just limited to that one genus of bird) that He would take at least as much interest (and MORE so!) in me.
If you’d like to watch the awesome sermon from my church, you can do that HERE. I’m so thankful for our church and to have a pastor who is so concerned for the Kingdom of God, so focused on outreach and bringing in those far from God.
Please share…how do YOU think of God? How did you feel about Him before you became a believer or if you are not a Christian, please tell me why you feel the way you do about Him? I would love to discuss with you and know what you all think!
Hey, everyone! I hope you are all safe during this crazy-weather season. Without cable, I don’t have access to the 24/7 coverage of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction down in Texas, but I have family in the Houston area so I am keeping up with things through my mom or snippets of news I see online. So far, thank God, they are all safe and have not lost anything to the flood waters. My prayers are for all those who are trying to live through this and for those who have gone down there to help. God bless them all with safety and meet their needs!
THING 1 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:
I wanted to pop on and share a few things that I’ve been doing lately… like looking for a remote job, for one.
I’m hooked up with RRR (Rat Race Rebellion), Remote, LinkedIn and Indeed. I have been on LinkedIn for ages and never thought about looking for work there, but more to promote the blog and network with people. It was suggested to have a resume on Indeed as well, so I went to sign up on Indeed only to find out that sometime or other, I had already set up an account there.
Sheesh! I hate when I don’t keep track of that kind of stuff, but I made sure my info was still correct, updated the resume and never really thought any more about it until I got an email through Indeed.
I was SO excited at the prospect. The lady said she was an attorney relocating from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in a city near me and needed an assistant for both office and personal errands. It sounded like a great job and I was really thinking “What a great blessing!”
After letting her know I was interested, she asked for some info about me, just an informal bio-type of thing so I told her I was an empty-nest mom, married 32 years who had worked in bookkeeping, office management, retail management and most recently in various call-center jobs including a few government contracts. I told her I’d homeschooled my sons and how they are doing in their jobs. For some reason, I feel a need to include this somehow on my resumes because it seems to be proof that I did a good job. (ha ha! I don’t go into how it was mostly God that did it because He had to hold me together through most of it!)
So anyway…she replied that it sounded like I was perfect for the job and she wanted to “secure me” now as she was going to be leaving for Turkey soon to arrange to bring her two children back with her. She told me this stuff in that second email, but her mother currently cared for the children but no explanation as to why. This was sort of odd to me, but then when she said she wanted to advance me a weeks’ pay and have me start immediately “to test proficiency” and so that I’d be ready to help her get started as soon as she got back when “mind you there will be a formal interview when I return” so it seemed legit enough but something about the way she had misspelled some words (a pet peeve of mine, however, I don’t think I’m nazi-ish about it) and that it seemed as if English wasn’t her first language (also not something I would normally judge someone on, but an attorney in America? I’d think being well-versed in using the language would be a must, ya know?) So I got suspicious about it.
I haven’t been able to find ANYONE in the Pennsylvania town she gave as her current location by her name. She hasn’t given me the name of a firm, so I assumed she was opening her own practice here, but there should be SOME mention of her name if she’s been practicing there at all, right?
** sigh ** Oh, and did I mention she wanted to pay me $500/week to work part time? That is of course why I was thrilled to think about taking the position, but then to advance me that sight-unseen? Um… say it with me, FISHY! So, I found a forum on Indeed and asked if there was any way to check out a potential employer through the website. All I got was “If it sounds fishy to you, it probably is. Scammers make me furious!”
She wanted just the name of my bank, and then the other info she asked for would be available on my resume. So I’m going to reply that she can find all that information there and then I’d prefer her to pay me through Paypal this first time until we can do the formal interview. Let’s see what response I get from that.
Gah. I’m so sad. I thought for sure God had dropped the perfect job in my lap! (almost perfect–it was still going to require that I drive 40-some miles several times a week each way to work in the office– I really want a remote job but thought for part time, it would probably be a good way to get out of the house a bit)
Ah well… if He DID do this, it will all work out, but if not, I am so thankful He gave me the good sense not to just shoot her my info in a fit of giddiness about a part-time $500/wk fake job!
Have any of you dealt with this kind of thing? I mean, I’ve seen the emails that say “Work from home, 5 minutes a day and make $100k/year!” Ha! Those are so obviously a bunch of crapola. But this one was much sneakier.
How would you respond (or would you respond at all?) to a job offer like this?
THING 2 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:
deceitful people online (or in real life, for that matter!)
The other thing I am not crazy about right now is the high cost of dental care. If you know me, you know this has become the bane of my existence! Due to diabetes, my teeth are more prone to decay anyway, but I also inherited just awful teeth from my mother. She was about my age when her teeth just began to fall apart.
Thanks, Mom. Mine are doing the same right now. Seriously, there’s a lot to be said about good “teeth genes” because my husband takes MUCH less care of his teeth and has had maybe ONE cavity in our entire marriage. My kids, thank God, got some of that trait from their dad. Well, thank God for the good “teeth genes” but not for their dental hygiene habits. They are as bad at caring for their teeth but have little to no problems with their teeth either, so praise God for that one!
My teeth are just SO brittle and they are literally falling apart. Not all of them at once, thank the Lord, but enough of them to cause me a lot of trouble and getting them fixed is just ungodly expensive! I’ve had so far about 4 teeth pulled either because of a deep cavity that I opted not to fix or because the tooth just broke and instead of paying for a crown, I said, “Just pull it!” That plan has worked fine until the last one. The tooth had just crumbled apart after having a chunk break off of it a few months prior. Of course, my dentist had been nagging me to let him fix it. After it crumbled that way, it left some fragments in the gum that were like little knives that I tried to manage. At first, they would only cut my tongue occasionally and I could deal with that. But then, since I have some allergies and also something called geographic tongue (yes, it’s a thing…click on it and see what that’s about!) so when something causes a reaction, my tongue gets very angry and sore and it hurts like the devil! By the time I’d had enough and set up the appointment to have those fragments pulled, I was afraid I’d possibly set up cancer because there was this ugly, inflamed hole in the bottom of my tongue where it had rubbed against those tooth-fragment knives for so long. I’m serious…it was a defined hole with a scary white ridge around the edges. And it HURT so bad!!!
Thank God, though, once I got those fragments pulled, the hole healed up and went away, but now I have just one molar behind that one and the gap left by the missing tooth feels massive which makes it feel like I don’t have much to chew with on my left side. And now, as of about a month ago, an old crown came out on the top right leaving behind, you guessed it…some little tooth fragments. Thankfully, they aren’t nearly as huge or sharp so they’re not bothering me except that with only one molar behind that gap as well, once again I have little left to chew with over there. And while the fragments don’t cut my tongue, it does hurt like crazy if I accidentally bite down on something
with those little suckers. Try as I might, it’s hard not to let a bit of food slip over in that gap and it will mash against those fragments and send pain shooting through my face. It usually bleeds too which only adds to the ghastliness
of the situation, right?
I have decided I won’t spend a bunch of money to fix my crappy teeth anymore. What I WANT to do is have dental
implants, but then again, that definitely is going to cost a ton of money. BUT it should be a more permanent solution, so that’s what I am holding out for… I’m just not sure how long I can hold out. My oral surgeon recommended I wait til absolutely necessary to do that. He said he has an aversion to yanking out perfectly good teeth, especially from a diabetic. And then there’s the whole process of implants… pull any remaining teeth, wait possibly up to 6 months for that to heal, then place the implants, go through the healing process for them and then several visits to make sure they are properly fitted and aligned and so forth.
So, I’m waiting. Impatiently, but I’m waiting all the same.
THING 3 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:
dental work and expense
So, friends… what kind of things are going on with you lately that you just really hate? Do you also struggle to afford dental care? Do you have dental insurance (because I do, but it’s not worth a whole lot once they tell you what they won’t cover!)? Are you a fanatic about dental care or do you avoid it? I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.
Hey everyone! I hope you all got to see the eclipse on Monday. I didn’t have any viewing tools and planned to just stay indoors and watch it online, but Tommy came home so I could take a gander at it through his welder’s lens. I also saw a couple of amazing photos that he and his work-mate snapped.
I did go outside just to experience the atmospheric change from the eclipse. We weren’t in the path of 100% totality, but we weren’t far from it, either. Kentucky got some awesome publicity and tourist income since Hopkinsville was directly in the center of the shadow’s path.
I watched the Facebook live feed from a guy in Nicholasville who got some amazing footage.
As I stood outside watching the shadow slowly overtake the sun’s rays, it became an eerie, dusky “texture” outside. Not nearly as dark as I had imagined it might become, but definitely odd since the sky was relatively clear. The temperature did drop a few degrees, but the stickiness from the humidity didn’t completely dissipate, so it really felt strange out there.
Then there was the way the birds stopped singing for several
minutes. You couldn’t hear anything at all except the crickets and cicadas chirping away. If you ask me, that insane chirping in the middle of the day seemed so loud and out of place it was enough to make it seem much more creepy!
I loved watching the satellite image of the shadow as it passed across the country and I took time to look at some of the most stunning photos from coast to coast.
The entire time I was keeping up with that Facebook footage though, there were a TON of people commenting about how they couldn’t see anything, when was it going to happen and even that the whole thing was fake because they “didn’t see” anything happening.
Seriously. ** insert thoroughly disgusted face here ** Come on, people!! I am perfectly fine with you being ignorant about this, but please don’t advertise it all over Facebook?!? It’s not like people don’t normally give anyone from Kentucky enough stereotypical grief for being dumb already, right? ** huff **
I’ll move on to refrain from going on a rant about how some folks just love to argue and flaunt their willful ignorance in the internet’s face for all to see. ARGH!!
For your entertainment, here is what Silvey Fluffy Muffin thought of the eclipse…
granted, her vantage point wasn’t the greatest, but she was content to sit inside and wonder what in the heck I was doing out there.
Okay, so besides my Eclipse Day, I got a new haircut finally! The guy who had been cutting my hair must have just gotten completely too busy to fool with the likes of this old lady. HA HA!! I’m poking fun at him now since he was one of the kids who was in the youth group at our last church years ago.
I ended up going quite a distance out of my way to see a lady from church at her salon. For clarity’s sake, my “quite a distance” is about 20 miles. Honestly, I hate going to people I don’t know at all to have my hair cut. I haven’t done that in eons… like since the boys were little! The last time I did that, I told the lady I didn’t want any weird angles and I did not want it cut close to my neck. I was going way out on a limb to trust her to cut my hair in a short style and what did she do?
The EXACT thing I told her NOT TO DO!! I don’t know if she didn’t understand what I was saying or not, but believe me, I was EXTREMELY clear about it! I ended up with a cut that was one length on one side and shorter on the other and shorn close to my neck like a man’s cut!!!
I was livid and told my mom and sister since they’d both recommended this woman, that I would never trust them again for a stylist!!
** ahem ** So… that’s why I am so particular about who I let cut my hair! When I had that last horrid cut done, it was the middle of July and hot as blue blazes. My hair was thick and long and it was burning me alive! This was just before I got diagnosed with my thyroid condition, so my thyroid was churning out hormone in huge amounts which made for an extremely hot and sweaty Geannie round the clock! Otherwise, I would have never let a total stranger cut my hair short.
Yesterday though, I did get my hair cut shorter. About as short as I’ve ever had it cut since The Nightmare Cut of 1993. HA HA HA!! This is a bit thinner than I was expecting, but it will definitely make for flippy ends like I wanted. I just hope I can get it to have a little more volume once I wash and style it myself. Otherwise, though, I really like it. She did almost the entire cut with a razor, which was new for me. Most of the time all they ever do is razor cut a bit on the very ends after doing the rest with scissors. *** Photos MIGHT be posted later. Don’t hold your breath, though. 😉
Something else I did today was work on my Bible reading plan. Not that I’m writing one, I just mean trying to catch up on the one I’ve been working on this entire year. I was really, REALLY bad and got over a month behind on it! (hey, I TOLD you I was bad, okay?!—I wasn’t kidding!) As of today, I’m about 25 days behind.
I’m using the F260 reading plan from YouVersion, in case you’re interested. It takes you through the Old Testament, Psalm, and Proverbs in a year. Well, y’know…in a year if you don’t get behind. ** blush **
Today the reading was mostly in Ezekial, Jeremiah, and 2nd Kings. I never liked reading those Scripture that talk about how wicked the kings and people became during that time period. As you read through, it’s like “and this king did evil in the sight of the Lord, and this king did what was right in the sight of the Lord, then this king did evil in the sight of the Lord and this king did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father did…” Sometimes I’m like how in the world did you people not recognize the pattern?? How could you not see that following God’s word was more beneficial? How did the sons of the righteous kings turn out to be some of the most wicked? And how did the sons who became righteous kings do so when they had such evil fathers?
Then I look around at the world today and I can see very similar things happening. It just looks a whole lot plainer and is more easily recognized when it’s all written out and displayed in such concise little paragraphs.
I wonder if any of those men, those rulers from that day, can see now. Can they see the words of the Bible, how they have been memorialized in God’s word and pinpoint where they failed? Can they see the exact moment when they went off the path or when they made the decision to leave a wicked trajectory and change course from the way their evil fathers had lived?
How awful would it be to see our worst moments forever preserved that way? ** shudder ** No thank you. I’d rather not.
God’s plan is His plan and men cannot thwart it no matter how hard they try. Just the way Herrod and the Sanhedrin were used in an attempt to keep Jesus from doing the work God had set out for Him to do.
What thoughts go through your mind when you read things like this in the Old Testament? Do you have similar questions or are there other thoughts that spring up? Please share!
About that title… I had a post all-but ready to publish yesterday. I was looking for photos to use in it when I ran across something on my Facebook timeline. I have searched all through the year it happened and cannot find it. There are about 4 days missing and I even went back several years to see if it was there instead, but no. It was about something really important.
And controversial, of course.
I am SO upset that I can’t find that post because it linked to an article, which is what started the post in the first place. I debated just giving up on the idea of even writing about it at all, but guys, it’s REALLY important and I’m being serious here.
I feel like, as so often happens, the enemy is attempting to thwart something that would bring God glory, so even though I can’t find the post or article, even though I’ve spent literally almost FOUR HOURS looking for it, I’m going to go ahead and write about this.
I think there may be someone out there who needs to read what I have to say today. It’s something that feels like one of those “God nudges” so I’m not going to ignore it. Please bear with me since I will have to explain SO much because I don’t have the linked article!
I’ve found only one article that is even halfway similar to the post I mentioned in my FB status, so I’m going to put the text link here, but I’m not linking to the article. You’ll have to copy/paste into the address bar to read it and I encourage you to read it. I just don’t want to popularize it by linking it from my blog.
The blog post I saw back then was just a few days after the suicide of Robin Williams. The lady’s point was that suicide was not selfish and I didn’t agree with her.
Now, before you get riled up at me, I didn’t start a debate with this woman. I merely created a status stating that I disagreed with no links to her or mention of her name, etc. I didn’t want to increase her pain since she linked her feelings to the loss of a parent by suicide. I didn’t and won’t even pretend to understand how one would begin to cope with such a tragedy. I was not and am not trying to pass judgment on her, her parent, RW or anyone else!
However, given the fact that RW’s decision to take his own life was linked to depression, and depression is something I know, I’m going to address it. I know depression well. Depression and I are like ** this **.
I’m not going to deny it. In my worst, most desperate moments of deep depression, I have pondered committing suicide myself. More than once. If you know anything about depression, you know how it can grip you, how it can strangle you and make you feel like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to go on.
I want to interject here that my thoughts and opinions about all this are filtered through my faith in Jesus. If you do not consider Him to be your Savior, then you are not likely to understand my intentions here. Just be aware that you MUST use this faith-filter in order to even begin to know my intent.
I believe without doubt or hesitation that my faith in Christ is the only reason I didn’t go through with ending my life. Perhaps it was guilt over the thought that I would be disappointing Him if I carried it out. But when I had lived a couple of decades with depression, after I had resisted the temptation to get rid of my pain through suicide, I finally learned something that has kept me from ever seriously considering it again.
My life is not mine.
Before, when I was younger and would consider suicide, I could only think about how death might bring some peace to my aching heart. I thought about how not having me around would take undue stress off my family and loved ones. I thought about how things would stop being so hard, so painful, so worthless.
In short, I thought a whoooole lot about one thing: ME. I was too young and immature as a Christian– because yes, sometimes even us Christians think about ending it all– to realize that I am not the “owner” of my life.
That probably seems like a strange thing to anyone without faith in an eternal God and Creator. But here’s how it works… if I believe that God created all things, all humans, then I must recognize that God is the Giver of Life. If He gave this life to me, then in reality, it isn’t really mine, is it? Especially when you go further and add to this the realization that our lives, our time on earth, is just “borrowed” and we must one day, when this life is over (whether by our own hand or not) give an account for how we used our time here, it really sobers you up in a hurry. It makes you put down the spirit (as a liquor) of persecution, of pettiness, of self-focus and yes, selfishness.
While I pondered how I could not imagine dealing with one of my own parents committing suicide, the way this lady was, I then put my children in that spot. If I thought it would be hard for me to cope with, why on earth would I consider putting my own children through that? How utterly selfish and thoughtless of me! That thought is possibly more of what kept me from killing myself when I was a young mother. I couldn’t dream of doing such a thing to my babies.
It was later that I realized what sort of thing my suicide would be to God.
I believe that all things are created for a purpose. I think most Christians believe this. Even bad things can be turned into good ones through Christ. I have lived that doctrine out many times! So, if God created me, He gave me life and meant it as a gift, something precious to be treasured and used for His glory…then how dare I think I know when it should end and how dare I contemplate ending that life myself?
How dare I??
When I put it that way, I am stunned and ashamed that I ever even entertained such thoughts. And don’t get me wrong… I still fully understand what it’s like to be in such a deep pit, lost in such total darkness and in such great pain that you think there’s nothing left but death. I am not trivializing the way that feels at all.
I wouldn’t dare do that, either!
But…I am adding to it another thought. A thought beyond the temporary (but sometimes extremely too-long) pain that is depression. The realization that this is not my life. God gave it to me. He intended me to use it to glorify Him. What glory do I bring Him if I let desperation and depression SO overcome me that I take my own life? What glory is it if I dismiss His might and power to keep me safe, to direct my path, if I throw away the gift He gave me? Where is my faith if I let what I KNOW to be the work of my enemy destroy my faith that God is enough. That He is mighty enough to deliver me from this, just as He made a dry path through the Red Sea for Moses. Just as He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham as he prepared to prove his faith in God by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Just as He closed the mouths of lions and kept Daniel safe and sound. Just as He walked in the fire where the three Hebrew men (who refused to bow to an idol) had been thrown. *
Once my mind was healed enough to realize what suicide actually is to God… a virtual slap in the face. A statement that He actually doesn’t know best. That God can’t keep me safe or heal me. That He doesn’t care and the gift of life He gave is worth nothing to me.
And most tragic of all, that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for me.
I am not wise enough to state or debate about whether committing suicide will keep you from entering Heaven. I know some people believe that as much as they believe the sun gives light, but I don’t. I admit that I could be wrong. ** chuckle ** We all know, I could certainly be wrong about a lot of things, especially something so spiritual and eternal as this. So I won’t debate it but I can’t think God would “undo” the promises made when a person accepted Him because they later became so despondent and so wracked with grief and pain that they made a foolish, albeit eternal, choice. Again, I DO NOT KNOW THIS and I’m only stating my opinion. You decide for yourself if you must ponder the question.
I am so thankful that my mind is no longer so clouded. That even when I am deeply depressed I can remember Who I belong to. Yes, I do STILL get depressed. Not sad, not discouraged, but deeply grieved and almost physically unable to smile it seems. Depression for me is hugely physical and not just emotional or psychological. It’s like having a heavy black cloth thrown over me that I must fight to get out from under. When I’m there, in the darkness which can feel completely isolated, I can recall that God made me and He DOES have a purpose for me. Then I can ponder what He wants me to learn from this season.
I hope my rambling and sharing has helped someone out there. I hope it speaks to your heart and prods you to look at God’s word for healing. EVEN when He doesn’t “cure” your depression, you can still rest in Him knowing that He doesn’t forsake and He knows the plans He has for us… plans for good and not harm; plans for a purpose and to bring us to right where He needs us to be.
As I like to say, I don’t have to understand it. I just have to trust God with it.
Email me if you have questions or want to talk through anything.
- scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
Additional encouraging scripture:
It’s been crazy around here since my last post. It took a lot out of me to write about losing my sweet puppy-boy, Max. But the point of that post was that God can heal any disease, any injury, even a broken heart.
I also told you that I needed to find another little fuzzy to fill the void left by Max’s death. Tommy and I had been looking at all sorts of rescue and adoption sites for Shih-Tzu mixes and at our local shelters. We found a possible one in Georgia and we would have gone through with it had it worked out. As it was, the adoption people have not yet contacted us about our application and God orchestrated a different plan in the meantime.
A local friend of ours messaged me one night a few days after my post was published. She said she had a little Shih-Tzu mix puppy that she needed to rehome. This friend has seven children, the five youngest she is still homeschooling! She said she’d thought the kids would have more time to spend with the puppy, but their busy schedules had not afforded it much time. She loved the pup but could see it was suffering from neglect (emotionally, that is) when it had to beg for attention from the kids. As you can imagine, all those children, plus homeschooling, each child with extra-curricular activities and a husband with his own business is a lot for a mom and it came to the point she realized she needed to find a new home for their little pup.
She had already asked a few other friends since she didn’t want to put it in a rescue situation, so she hesitantly messaged me that night to see if Tommy and I might possibly consider taking her.
We went to pick her up the next morning. (ha!) It just seemed like another situation God had worked out in advance. She is young enough, like we wanted and now we would know about her background instead of unsure of how she was treated. We know she was well-loved and taken care of.
And now we have little Silvey, an 18-month old Shi-poo (Shih-Tzu/Poodle mix). The past week has been an adventure to be sure, but Silvey (short for Silverbells Piddlepie -haha!) settled in amazingly well. We even took her to Knoxville with us the day after we brought her home and she did excellent.
She’s so different from Max, it made me tear up a bit as we drove down the highway, thinking about how he used to cuddle up in my lap but Silvey wanted to sit independently on the center console. The next couple of days, though, she became more cuddly as she adjusted to feeling at home with us. She gets along great with Samson, our chocolate lab, and seems each day to feel more and more at ease.
I have not posted anything on Facebook or Instagram about having her to avoid having my friend’s younger kids see it and feel sad about having to part with her, but soon, I’ll share some photos on there. Right now, she is needing to visit the groomer and so I will wait until she’s got a new hairdo to post pix.
For now, I’m trying desperately to get a video up here for you guys of Silvey fussing at the bad doggie in the mirror of our bedroom. She’s been mad at that dog all day long and the weirdest thing is, she has seen that mirror before today. Goofball! Ha ha ha!
In other news, today is Tommy’s fifty-first birthday. I’m gonna attempt to make a gluten-free chocolate cake for him. With all his allergies, it’s so hard to find things he can eat. If we find a restaurant where he can eat, there are never any wheat-free desserts on the menu, so I’m fixing this cake for him. I sure hope it comes out right!
Our Ohio kids (ha!) are coming down tomorrow evening to be here for Tommy’s birthday and we have a girls’ breakfast planned for Saturday morning since the boys are squeezing in a bachelor-party/camping-trip thing. I’m looking forward to that!
Beyond that, life is pretty normal. I’m still struggling with low energy despite the fact that I’m taking B-12 injections at home each week. We haven’t got to ride bikes this week due to rain and a severely neglected yard (we had to rake the entire thing the grass was so tall and thick!). Maybe we will get to go this weekend, though. I start missing it so much if we don’t get to go.
I need to get back to editing what I have written of my book. Editor Elaine has informed me that she is almost ready to send chapter two to me with suggestions and a rewrite along with her notes on my rewrite of chapter one! I can’t believe how productive it makes me feel to have her notes to work with! I am SO thankful she is helping me like this!
I’m off to get you a video… You’ll see why I needed this little stinker…she makes me laugh the way Max did but at an entirely different personality.
The heart is never too broken. Our hearts are indomitable, always rebounding, when God makes the repairs.
Thanks for hanging with me!
HERE YOU GO!! VIDEOS!
Ah, broken hearts. They’re the stuff great songs are made of, am I right? And if you have one, they are like the longest, most painful night of your life.
Unless you’re like, 4 days old, you’ve had a broken heart. At least once! At this point in my life, I’ve had many-a broken heart. Like they say, time usually heals them but some take more time than others.
I don’t spend a lot of my time worrying about having my heart broken from things like a death in the family or a betrayal by someone dear to me. If you know me, you know I’m not really a “worrier”. I really do try to leave it all in God’s hands and be as content as I can be with His plan and His determined outcome.
However, in the past couple of years, I have just occasionally and quite randomly found myself mulling over how I would handle it if something tragic happened to one of my children.
I don’t know why, really. Well, yeah, I do. It’s the enemy trying to steal my joy and keep me from concentrating on God and what He wants me to do. Then there are the times I fret over the fact that it worries me being some sort of forewarning. I’m telling you, I can drive myself crazy with it if I don’t stop it quickly.
I have several dear friends who have lost their children from illness or accidents. Some of them just amaze me with how they have handled it. They have a peace and a joy that I can’t quite comprehend. Others of them tend to dwell and hold their sadness close, even after a decade or more.
I’m just not sure how I would do. I want to think I could allow God to take it and I could find peace again, but somehow I can never feel confident about that. It’s like I wonder how I’d do with a test such as that. Like Job losing ALL his children in one fell swoop on top of all his bodily torments and other losses. I just marvel at how amazingly God can sustain our frail human hearts.
So anyway, the reason I am pondering all this stuff is that I had a terrible heartbreak this weekend. We lost my sweet little puppy, Max. I am so heartbroken to lose him. Tommy came in Saturday with a look on his face that told me it couldn’t be good news.
He knelt down beside me and said, “Honey, Maxie’s been in an accident,” and that’s all it took. I said, “Is he gone?” and when Tommy confirmed, I just dissolved into tears. I’ve had pets all my life. Mostly dogs, but sometimes cats when I was little. We’ve lost countless dogs over the years to either accident or illness and I have always been upset, but never like this. Of course, growing up, we never had inside dogs and somehow, when they don’t live right “in amongst” you, you don’t get quite as close to them. We had an inside dog before Max, but he was never as attentive or as “stuck” to me as Max.
We got our sweet Max, a little “Malti-Tzu” (Maltese/Shih Tzu mix) when I was at one of the most dark, depressed states of my life. I needed him and he needed me. We got him from a lady who had taken him even though she knew pets weren’t allowed in her apartment. She kept him crated all day while she was at work, so over 8 hours. He was a mess, all long and matted. He was afraid of men because, as she told us, her boyfriend didn’t like Max and would yell at him (and who knows what else).
It took awhile, but soon he was not just my baby, but Tommy’s buddy as well. He loved people, most people, well…after he had barked at them a bit and decided they were okay. We have a few friends he never took to though and I’m pretty sure it was because they had sort-of loud or a different tone to their voices. Otherwise, though, he made friends pretty quickly. He was very protective of me which at first, I think was a behavior held over from the yelling boyfriend of his previous owner. The first couple of times Tommy moved to hug me, Max would leap between us and like I said, the first couple of times he made a faint growl at him, but soon as I assured Max that it was okay, he stopped making any aggressive sounds. Soon, it was done just because he was a nosy little stinker. He would wedge his way between us with this “Whatcha’ll doin’?” look on his face. He had a huge personality.
Max loved to play and was really a joy to watch. He would skip and run and sling his “baby” or ball around then run to catch it. He loved to drop his balls into containers then act like he was on Mission Impossible trying to get them back out. He’d drop them in Tommy’s boots, the laundry basket, my purse… you name it. It was such fun to watch him play.
Max also loved to cuddle and sleep. Bless his heart, when I had a bad day and could barely keep my head up, he was just as game to lay in bed all day with me as he was to be up following me all over the house. I think this is the main reason I’m so devastated over losing him. I’ve never had a dog that loved me so good. He just wanted to be with me, no matter what. He was entirely too cute for my own good.
Even though he wasn’t one of those “yappy” dogs that barked all the time, the house seems so quiet without him. I think it’s because the sound of him jumping off the couch or bed to run see who was outside or his little feet clippety-clipping behind him on the tile have become comforting sounds and I miss them terribly today.
Max had a huge sense of adventure and was, like I said, game for anything Tommy and I were up for. He loved to travel and was the best car-riding buddy ever. We took him with us along on more road trips than we can remember. He loved to ride and would get so excited about a car ride, but soon as we were on the interstate, he’d be out like a light. The interstate was like valium to him!
Max went camping with us, he’s gone to various cookouts, hikes and bon fires. Fishing at the pond was a favorite. He even went for a ride on the four-wheeler, but that wasn’t his favorite since we had to rig him a “seat” (aka: milk crate with harness) because he would NOT be still and let me hold him! He wanted to jump off and chase every critter we saw.
He even rode with Tommy on his bike once. I’m not sure he liked it a whole lot, but he liked being with us. He was better satisfied as long as he could see me riding behind, but if I got in front, he would have a fit to climb over Tommy’s shoulder. We wanted to try another camping trip like this with the bikes and try him in a basket, but we never got the chance. Max was willing to try just about anything we did as long as he could go with us.
Max was a peculiar little poot, too. He had this thing, maybe all little dogs are this way, but if any dogs were around who were bigger than him, he HAD to make it clear that HE was the boss. Our old chocolate lab, Samson, was a prime example and he probably
made Max worse because of his own super-gentle temperment. Sam was always the gentleman, to a fault! He was never the least bit aggressive unless you threatened his food. And sometimes, he’d even share that with Max. He never took the ball away from him, love his heart. He always let Max get the ball. Maybe that’s because Max would start growling and snarling like a rabid skunk if some one threatened whatever he considered his. And of course, ALL THINGS were his. Humans and toys alike. And if another big dog came around, even one of our boys’ dogs (Corey has an Austrailian Shepherd and Casey has a Golden Retriever) if any of the big dogs was aggressive with the other, he would be all over them as if to say, “HEY! Shut it down! I’M the only one who gets to do that!” It was really hilarious and I’d have to explain to other people that he wasn’t really being mean, it was just his way. Bahaha. Max definitely had a unique way of socializing. But he still had lots of buddies. Seriously, even the dogs couldn’t help but love him.
Max was the sweetest, craziest, noisiest little pup ever and I am really heartbroken right now. After crying my eyes out for almost two hours solid, I’ve collected myself and can ponder why. I don’t know why this had to happen at this point in time. I don’t want to dwell on how it happened
other than to say it was an accident and happened right in our driveway. Max was, as anyone who’s been here knows, a horrible one to run up to and around and under vehicles as they approached or left the house. We tried every way we knew to break him of it, but he would not be stopped. The only way was to forcibly hold him or just take him inside. It never failed that I would no sooner let him out in the yard to play than someone would pull into the driveway and I’d have to go out and try to catch Max or watch with my stomach clenched as the person tried to slowly bring the car or truck closer. Whether it was a delivery truck or someone who had been here a million times, he would go at it barking like mad and running as close to the tires as possible, so honestly, I wouldn’t blame the person responsible at all. This person has no clue that they even ran over Max. Another reason I don’t want to dwell on it is that I could end up getting mad or even more upset. I know this person was distracted with trying to hurry home even though they know how Max is and have had to deal with his antics a million other times. For whatever reason, God saw fit to let this happen and I am trying to cope.
Which brings me back to my first thoughts up there of fretting about how I’d deal with it if something awful happened to one of my boys. I am wondering if God isn’t letting me know that this is not the worst thing ever. He knows that I would have been in much worse shape if I was dealing with losing one of them. Why I need to realize that now is something I don’t want to ponder long. I think it’s become more of a thing with me ever since Corey moved to Ohio. I felt like I was literally losing him. I realize now that was silly since we actually talk to him and Melissa and even see them more often than we did when they lived a stone’s throw away! The moving and now this has all taught me never to take anything or any one for granted as I am so apt to do.
I’m so thankful that God put Max in my path (I found him on Craig’s List!) when He did because we really did need each other. I hope he felt every bit as loved as he was. Especially after spending part or maybe all his life feeling like he wasn’t wanted. I loved that little fella SO good and through him and my family and others, God brought me out of the deepest pit to recover my joy.
It feels terribly lonely today though and I have cried through sorting for pictures to share with you and have realized I don’t want to feel like this. No pup can ever replace my little Max, but I need the companionship of a silly, funny pup. I have been busying my mind in the search for another Malti-shuh or whatever they are calling the Maltese/Shih Tzu mix. The characteristics of both breeds are just what I need, I believe. But it’s hard to find them except from expensive breeders, which we can’t afford or people who are no longer able to care for aged dogs, which I don’t need. I need a younger dog that can be trained. Corey believes we can train a dog to help alert us to low blood sugars which would be extremely helpful! I know this breed isn’t the top recommendation for this sort of training, but right now I’m determined that I need a little one that will be a cuddly furbaby, too. Even if they can’t be FULLY trained to alert, I know that dogs have the natural ability to sense things like that and it would still be helpful even if they don’t know proper alert actions. My mind may change but as it stands right now, it doesn’t much matter. We can’t afford to just purchase a pup from a breeder and besides, I’d rather not do that anyway. I’d like to be able to get a younger dog from an owner who has discovered they can’t care for the dog or maybe has had an unexpected litter of pups. I’d like to find one less than a year old and even a straight-Shih Tzu, Maltese or even a Yorkie would be great. (just throwing this out there in case anyone knows somebody who knows somebody… heh)
My experience with Max tells me that for the most part, the combination of Shih Tzu and Maltese traits are just wonderful other than the drive to chase, which is high in most small dogs already.
I’m thankful for the time I had Max. He was like medicine for my hurting heart. I know God has another dose of good medicine out there somewhere and at the right time, he or she will cross my path. In the meantime, I’m also thankful for my family who has been so sweet in understanding my heartache and sweet Tommy, who I know is also heartbroken but has been so strong for me the past couple days. I am blessed and highly favored.
Go and tell your family and friends you love them and hug your pet. Any and all of them are blessings to be treasured! Always remember there is peace among the pieces of your broken heart if you just let God handle the reassembly.
You may or may not know this about me, but I used to be a horrifically passive-aggressive person. In my defense, my parents weren’t good communicators so this sort of thing was all I knew. They weren’t always what you could call passive-aggressive necessarily, but they did not communicate what they wanted, expected or thought very well at all. So I guess my only response was to learn to communicate in this way.
“I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was.”
I say “I used to be” because, trust me… you can ask the Hubby, I was a WHOLE LOT worse in the past. But even though my passive-aggressive tendencies are extremely reduced these days, there are times when I reactively resort to coping with things this way. I guess you could call me a ‘recovering passive-aggressive’.
I began researching today about how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior. Once I was aware of myself acting this way and took steps to stop, I became keenly aware of others who were severely passive-aggressive. And it is other passive-aggressive people who seem to instinctively pull that same PA reaction out of me.
Let me clarify here by saying that I did NOT realize this is what I was doing all those years. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t really know the term or even when I heard someone use it, it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was complete blind to it. Now that I make an effort to NOT live passive-aggressively, my life is much more peaceful. At least my “inner voice” isn’t forever playing this running monolog of the latest conversation with someone else or some upcoming confrontation I was going to or WISHED I could have.
So far, I haven’t read anything about this trait so maybe I’m the only one who did it, but I suspect that’s not at all the case. I think it’s probably the main “thing” with any PA person. I could spend entire days replaying some conversation, changing my responses or creating new scenarios. I would work up these awesome, very dramatic confrontations I wanted to have with people who had hurt me or wronged me. In my scenarios, I would passionately make my points, I’d ‘tell it like it is’ and give them a piece of my mind. I’d tell them how horribly they treated me or how deeply they had wounded me and they’d always see the error of their ways and spend the rest of eternity trying to right their wrong.
I’m telling you, folks, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.
I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was. I mean, sure, I also dealt with depression and diabetes too and recognized those “ailments”, but I just never realized how terribly passive-aggressive I was as just a routine…an everyday occurrence.
“…it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was completely blind to it.
Now, after a few years of coping with recognizing and having others around me, some new and some not-so-new, who are very passive-aggressive, for some reason it has finally occurred to me to research how to deal with them! I don’t know why I never thought about it before. I guess this is all some sort of self-therapy and I’m just giving a name to the behavior I displayed for most of my life. I wish I had known this stuff before now, but as it stands, I guess there’s a reason for it all. If you have known me for eons and tried to point out my ugly temperment, I’m sorry. At the time, I just could not see it and I probably responded poorly. ** * sigh * **
Right now though, I’m desperate to make sure my mind operates in a completely NON-passive-aggressive way so I can get through to others who are seriously PA and tend to direct most of that inner bitterness at me.
Maybe that’s because they know I myself have been and can still react passive-aggressively? Is it a thing that PA’s try to push other PA-people’s buttons? Hmmm… I wonder… but I bet it is.
“I’m telling you, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.”
I may be wrong, y’know… because for reals, I’m not a psychology major nor do I play one on TV, but in this case, I realize that I behaved this way because of deep-seated hurts and rejection during my childhood. Coupled with the depression, I think any sort of dismissive attitude towards me had to make things worse. Just to be told your thoughts are not valid is such an awful feeling. When it’s repeated in a child’s life, I guess you end up with someone like me. Someone who feels worthless, guilty, useless and bitter. The only way I knew to deal with people was in a very non-direct way. That’s why I am a MUCH better communicator in writing than I am in person, face-to-face.
I’m learning to stop that self-destructive, harmful-to-others, sick-mind way of living, finally. It’s a slow process, but maybe, hopefully, Lord willing, I am at a place where I can now destruct difficult relationships with other who are way too much like me… like the me I used to be. But I’m not sure how to deal with it when it feels like all the manipulation and aggressive non-actions are just to be mean. When I was at my worst, I don’t think I ever just set out to see if I could manipulate someone for the heck of it. It was never just to be mean. But if they hurt me, boy, I could be one of the craftiest, nastiest passive-aggressives you ever met. That was a sort-of justification to me: you deserved it if you’d been mean to me. And not knowing any other way to communicate with people, I reacted in kind! In that way, I feel like I was different than some PA-people are. From where I sit, it seems some people just want to manipulate me for fun. Just because they’re bored maybe? I don’t know, and like I said, I don’t remember ever being passive-aggressive toward someone just to be mean, just because I didn’t like the way they looked or because I wanted all the attention. I ** * think * ** I was only that way towards someone who hurt or attacked me. It was my defense when someone was just ugly to me. I’ve never been a mean-spirited person however maybe my poor husband would tell you otherwise. I don’t think I’ll ask him at this time. Maybe one day, when I’m more confident that I’ve overcome that way of responding. ** * ha * **
Again, I’m no psychology major by any means, so I’m not sure if this is even possible … to have different motivations for PA actions? Is that a thing? Or does this behavior always stem from insecurity and low self-esteem no matter if the person is mean-spirited about it or just defensively reactive? Are some people just really mean without having some past damage to their self-worth or psyche?
Hmmm… so interesting.
ANYway, I’m trying to educate myself here. I know there’s a lot of scripture that can be applied here, but I am too tired to look it up and paste it here. Just don’t think I’m looking only at the psychology of it and not the spiritual side of having this kind of personality. Believe me, I certainly realize living with a PA attitude is NOT at all Christ-like. That’s just one more reason I’m so thankful God gives big grace! I have needed and STILL need tons of it! I can now see how very sinful my attitude and actions were when I lived my life from a place of hurt and bitterness.
I just hope I can learn to leave that all behind, even in snap-reactive situations when it’s more likely to slip out again. I want to live the way Jesus wants me to. I want to be able to help other people to either overcome passive-aggression in themselves or help PAs around them. I know we can be difficult people to love, hard to interact with and I want to help people see how destructive and reversible it is. Jesus can heal the diseases of bitterness and manipulation and passive-aggressive mindsets.
Lord, let it be so!
PS: I realize being vague, like leaving out any identification, is a tactic of a passive-aggressive person however, in this case, I definitely do not want to identify anyone since any of the several people this could apply to could possibly find this post. I also don’t want to identify anyone, even people I am not “analyzing” or whatever just because that would be rude.
Remember, I have also “analyzed” myself in this post. I am trying to make myself better and be able to help anyone else who may need it to overcome what I am overcoming.
For God’s glory!
Hey y’all. I finally bit the bullet. Um… it just occurred to me that maybe I say things like that a little too often here and you are probably expecting some big revelation when it’s not really such a big deal. Am I wrong to think that? Ha ha … It sure seemed like a bullet to me, at least, but okay, I’ll try to watch about doing that.
I guess you’d have to realize how big things seem to me, or perhaps rather, how big I make them in my mind! gasp I know, you can’t imagine that I’d so such a thing, right? more belly laughing
Okay, so this bullet involves the book I’m working on.
It still feels really weird to refer to “my book” as if it’s a real, actual thing. I’ve spent so many years with it just rolling around as an abstract in my brain that it is going to take getting used to thinking of it as something tangible.
I’ve spoken to many people, at least ‘many’ when I consider this blog or online conversations, about the fact that I’m writing a book, but as of yet, I had never let anyone read it. Oh, not because I didn’t want input or some insight on how it was going, but the fact that I was just scared witless!
I very much wanted SOMEone to read it for me, to see if it really was as rambly as it seemed to me or if it was confusing the way I explained things or if it was even interesting enough to bother with. But I didn’t really know of anyone I felt even halfway comfortable asking to read it.
The last time I served on an Emmaus team, I had the honor of serving in the conference room with the lady who was lay director of my own walk! I hadn’t seen her much in some time so it was great to have a bit of time before the weekend began while the pilgrims were still arriving to just chat and catch up.
In our chatting, I learned that she was working on writing a book herself! I was so excited to hear this. For the past couple of years, she’s been dealing with some medical issues as well. Specifically, a loss of her vision. I won’t go into the details here, but it’s a random, not-very-understood condition where there is loss of blood flow to her optic nerves. It doesn’t just make her ‘unable to see’, but it does all sorts of crazy things to her vision making it hard to balance, walk or view things properly since most of the time her field of vision is blocked in different areas.
So yeah, this essentially-blind woman is writing a book. How, you ask? Well, obviously, she had to retire from her job when all this vision trouble began. It was a job she really loved and apparently, all the people there loved her a lot too. One of the people from her old job ran into her some time after she left and as they talked, her book idea came up. She told him she had not worked on it because it had gotten so much harder to do so with her vision issues and her computer was older and not very reliable. He told her if she would promise to write this book, he’d buy her a new laptop and the software that makes it possible for the vision-impaired to use a computer with more ease.
She promised, laughingly I think, and says she then forgot about it. A few months later, another person from her old job called to see if she was going to be home. She said she would, wondering why he needed to know. He then informed her that the unlikely benefactor who’d promised her the items had brought them in and wanted him to come over and set it all up for her!
Isn’t God amazing like that? So yeah, my friend is now working away on her book and when we spoke, we talked about how nice it would be to have a fellow writer to encourage us. That was about two months ago and I haven’t worked a lot on my book lately, but I have mostly been “polishing” and trying to proof it and make sure things are readable and “followable”, that I’m not too rambly or scattered.
I had been thinking about asking my friend if she would mind reading what I have thus far and giving me her opinions, but then I’d think, “She probably doesn’t have time” or “It might be too hard for her to read that much” even though I knew she had software that would read to her and even though she had already been the most encouraging person for keeping at it.
Finally, I just did it. I emailed to ask how she was doing and if she could possibly read for me or if she would even be interested. She responded with an enthusiastic YES and so I sent it to her later that evening.
And then I waited.
I tried not to let myself fret about it too much, but then a whole week went by and no word from her. My mind went crazy thinking, “It must be awful!” and “She was probably shocked… or bored to death” and “I bet she hates it and is trying to figure out how to tactfully tell me it’s a waste of time.”
I finally couldn’t stand it, so I emailed to see how she was doing again. She’d been fighting a horrible bronchial infection during that first email reply so I asked if she was recovered from that and if she had got to read any of my stuff.
She replied almost immediately and told me she had not realized I had sent it to her already! #ohmygoodness I told her how I was fretting that she must have hated it and she said she’d been thinking that I had chickened out and decided not to send it.
Anyway, she must have started reading it right then. She emailed again and said she finished the first part and was “hooked”.
A bit later, she emailed again to say she’d read through the fourth chapter and needed to take a break but she loved it and thought it was definitely something other women could relate to and the things in it would resound with many others.
You can’t imagine how relieved I was to read that!Ionut Comanici
I figure she is enough removed from the whole thing to be objective, ya know? I’d thought about letting my daughter-in-law read it but then thought that she was just too close to it all and so I thought of another friend who is a librarian and voracious reader, but I felt uncomfortable asking her since we haven’t been that close for quite some time. I was afraid it would be an imposition. I may ask her now that my friend has given me some confidence that it is actually of some interest.
I’m waiting though, to see what she tells me after reading it all. It is mostly chronological so she has yet to get to the more “dramatic” or sensitive parts.
We shall see.
Oh, this friend recently published her first-ever blog post and it’s inspiring! She explains about her vision problems and how she is dealing with all this change in her life. You will be glad you read it, so please visit her:
Restricted Vision : Unburdened Sight (don’t you love that title?!)
Do you ever wonder what God’s love looks like? Well, I’m going to show you just one of many shapes His love can take. Observe:
Yes. That stack of medical supplies is just one example of the way God’s love looks to me.
Let me explain.
If you read here at all, you probably picked up on the fact that I often worry about money. I honestly don’t worry about much else. Maybe if one of my kids is sick or hurting emotionally, I’ll be concerned and prayerful about that, but things like medical crises and being sick or injured myself doesn’t worry me. I think that God has shown His hand SO many times in that way that I no longer spend very much time worrying about my health or things like that. But money (or rather, the lack of it!) has always had the power to bring me to my knees.
Worrying about how we’ll pay the bills or afford to fix something can mess me up big time. I will fret so much about it that I almost just freeze. Nothing more so than when it comes to the dire necessities.
God has grown my faith and matured me a lot in the past several years when it comes to trusting Him. I don’t say that to brag, but to point out His grace in being patient with me and giving me second, tenth, eighty-fourth chances. It has always bothered me that I worried so much about money. I’m always trying to figure out how to make more of it, how to generate more income or in times of serious need, I start thinking of things to sell and we just don’t even have a lot of that when it comes to making a quick hundred or so. Yes, for us, an extra $20 can sometimes be very hard to come up with, just so you understand my frame of reference.
After some wonderful sermons that have been speaking to me about growing my faith, I determined that I would stop fretting about money and paying bills. I would begin to wait, lean on and trust in God to meet these needs. And before I knew it, a perfect opportunity presented itself.
I was almost completely out of supplies for my insulin pump. I had called the supply company already over a week ago trying to sort through a balance they said I still owed. I explained to them that I have a second insurance policy that should have paid the balance. They said I had one amount from the first of the year already in collections and another balance. After being given the run-around and being told various things by various people, I finally had a sales rep tell me they don’t “participate” with my secondary insurance company.
Nice. After having TWO different people who were supposedly from the company’s insurance department assure me “we will get that filed with your other policy right away”, now a sales rep tells me they don’t even take the other insurance?? ARGH!
I have no patience when it comes to this kind of stuff. It sets me on edge and makes me a nervous wreck. There’s just something about being told you have an outstanding balance of almost $1500 that makes me queasy. When it’s all we can do to get the utilities and mortgage paid and have a little left over for groceries while juggling a stack of hospital, doctor and lab bills from month to month? It just overwhelms me and sets me on a track for a real fear-fest. Echos of “how are we going to afford…” and “where will we get that much…” begin to cripple me.
So here I sat, down to ONE line set and three reservoirs having visions of having to go back to multiple daily injections and thinking about how awful my levels would become without a base rate of insulin from the pump… I just stopped and thought, “Okay, God. You’re going to have to take care of this. I can’t see ANY way to come up with this money, so I’m going to just trust You.” It’s much easier to “trust” God when you have at least an idea of how it might be possible to make something happen. That’s why He does things like lead several million people to the edge of a sea with a murderous army pursuing them…so He can show Himself and it be known that without a doubt, there was NO WAY they could have escaped without God’s provision. (Read the story of Moses)
He erases any chance that a thing could have “just happened” or that man could have had anything whatsoever to do with it.
That’s where He had us. We were already behind on one of our big payments and thinking we would barely scrape by if we paid the big ones this week, then the lesser bills next week. Now this?
I was thinking about how I could maybe use another reservoir but reuse the same line set when this reservoir was empty. That’s risky and can cause an infection at worst or irritation at best. I was trying to think of EVERY POSSIBLE SOLUTION all the while saying, “I’m going to trust God with this.” Even though, in reality, I wasn’t really trusting Him completely. I have to say, though, I was doing better than I would have in the past. At least I hadn’t allowed myself to fall into a deep depression and cease to function. I hadn’t curled up anywhere to cry. I was actually doing better than usual, but still… I hadn’t let go of trying to solve the problem myself while I was “trusting God”.
Shame on me.
The very next day after getting the news that we would have to pay $600 of the full balance before they would let me order again, I got a text from a lady who has been doing my physical therapy. She works on Tommy’s back too, so we have both gotten to know her. She’s really sweet, but struggles with self-worth and depression too. We’d been trying to get her to come to church with us, but it hadn’t worked out so that she could. I ended up sending her this sermon after telling her it would do her a lot of good. I told her to MAKE the time to watch it when she could concentrate and pay attention. So she had called me when she got to listen to it while driving a couple hours to another town for a job. She was almost in tears and said I was right, the message was exactly what she needed to hear.
So then, the day after getting the news about having to pay the huge amount before I could order supplies, she texted to see if I was coming in for an appointment that week. I told her no, I wouldn’t be there til the next week. I forgot to mention, she is now moving to Georgia (moving this weekend, actually!!) so she said she would be gone by then but she had something to give me and could I stop by the office. I said I could come by after lunch.
When I got there, she hugged me as usual and I chit-chatted with the receptionist while my friend went to get this mysterious “thing” she had to give me. When she came back, she handed me a plain old envelope and told me not to open it until I was gone. We hugged again and said our goodbyes. She promised to keep me updated on how things were going, I told her once again she was going to do great and everything would be fine and then I left.
When I got to my car, I couldn’t stand the suspense, so I opened the envelope, which was sort of “puffy” and inside I found 10 bills totaling $70 and a note explaining.
I was floored when I saw that it was cash. I mean, what on earth? I wondered why in the world is she giving me money since I knew she was a bit worried about having enough to make the move and get settled before starting her new, better-paying job in Georgia.
The note explained that she felt led to “tithe” wherever she was spiritually fed. I’m still not sure what I think about that, but anyway, she said I had helped her so much and the content of the message I’d sent her had been exactly what she needed and she knew that was only through God.
I sat there, stunned, thinking this is God showing me He’s handling things. I mean, it’s not every day people just give me such a sum of cash, ya know? So I KNEW it was God but still, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “This is great, God, but it’s not nearly enough… but I am going to trust You still…”
When I told Tommy about it that night, he was flabbergasted too. He said it was just God giving us reassurance that He was taking care of it. He said that someone had offered to buy one of his hobby tools and that might get us another $400 so we were encouraged and went on about our lives hanging onto the peace that God would take care of it.
Yesterday when Tommy came home from work, I knew something was up. He came in telling me he HAD to tell me something. It’s always serious when he comes directly to me instead of checking on something he’s been working on in the shop.
He began telling me about going into a place where he had to buy some things for work and also some that were needed for his dad’s old pickup they’re rebuilding. I thought to myself, “Great. This is going to take forever and there’s a possibility it doesn’t even concern me at all, he’s just excited about something!” I will admit, I’m not very patient when it comes to listening to Tommy tell me some long, overly-detailed story about what they’re doing to that truck. Ha. I don’t know half of what he’s talking about and I’m not super-interested in how it’s coming along until he can tell me it’s done! He gets so excited about stuff sometimes he HAS to tell SOMEone ALL about it, and I am usually that someone. It doesn’t matter to him whether I understand him, whether I care or even if I listen for the most part… he just wants to tell it and ‘get it out’ of his system somehow. It drives me crazy because I seldom EVER do that to him. He would croak if I told him every time I got excited about finding a new way to get stains out of his clothes or if I went into great detail about how difficult it was to do my own nails or something that he has absolutely no interest in. He doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t care how many times they tried the whatsit in the thingamajig to get the whatchamacallit up to 2000 RPM’s or whatever. sigh
ANYway… this wasn’t that kind of tale, thankfully. He started telling me about talking to a lady who worked there who also has type 1 diabetes and was having a bad day with high blood sugars and when her sugar finally came down, she was feeling really awful. He then said they got to talking about supplies and insurance and it came up that we were having trouble getting my supplies. She looked at him and said, “Oh, well the way my insurance is now, I actually have some extras. I can give her at least a box of each.”
Tommy said he almost started bawling the same way I was in tears at that very moment. I was just FLOORED. So THIS is what God was planning?? And all that time I was trying to figure out where we’d find the money to just pay what absolutely had to be paid soon enough for me to not run out and all along He had it more than well in hand.
We made plans to meet her at a local store at noon today and when we got there, she handed a bag through the car window with not one, but THREE boxes each of line sets and reservoirs! I was just stunned! God had provided above and beyond what we even asked for!We thanked her profusely and then started talking.
Tommy knew she hadn’t been in church in awhile, so we invited her to go with us. She seems to want to but is hesitant. Most people are, I guess. Even when they know they need to get back in church and back on track with the Lord, we always seem to draw back as if we don’t know how much better life will be.
We told her we’d call her in the morning, so I’m praying something changes her hesitancy into eagerness or at least willingness to go with us. She’s a single mom with a young daughter so I’m really hoping she will come. Perhaps, just maybe this is the reason God lined all these things up?!
I don’t know, but once again, He has provided. I’m so thankful for His patience and His grace. Now we have time to gather the money needed to at least let me order supplies again. What the lady gave me is almost three months’ worth of supplies. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? We offered to give her some money (remember the $70 my friend gave me?) but she refused to take it. I was really hating to have to part with that cash if I’m being honest, but I would have given it to her if she’d taken it. I feel so ashamed that I wasn’t more willing to give it away since it was given to me. See? I am still struggling with feeling a sense of want.
All the more reason I am SOOOO thankful God is patient with me.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? Do you worry about money too? If so, how do you deal with it?