Author: Geannie


the Mondayest Monday ever


Hey y’all.  First, thanks for the well wishes, prayers, and concern.  I’m happy to report that I’m doing a little better.  I skipped church just because last year when I had this thing, every time I thought I was getting better and went somewhere, I’d end up taking a backset, so I decided not to risk it.

Of course, then Monday I had an appointment with the orthopedic doc to see about my left forefinger that’s been painful and

stiff for about six months now.  Not only that, but guys, it was POURING rain!  Not warm rain, either, but that kind of rain that says, “Hey there.  Just wanted to let you know, cold weather is coming.  Get used to it.  Next time you see me, I might be SNOW!”

Sheesh!  I was doing okay in the main waiting room that was packed out until someone who smelled like a month-old ashtray came in and sat somewhere near me.  I never saw who it was and didn’t really care, but they had to have been sitting right behind me in the row of chairs lined up back-to-back.  ARGH!  That started me coughing and that knocked crud loose that then kept me coughing and if you’ve never had lung crud fly up and hit your tonsils every time you cough, you just don’t know how important is it to be able to spit.

I know, I know.  That’s GROSS, but people, facts is facts.  I didn’t have any tissue so I just dealt with it the best I could, but soon, people were shooting me those worried glances that say I wonder what she’s got?  I continued to cough and hack until I was sweating, which is always lovely, right?  After about an hour, they called me back to an exam room, where I was finally able to calm down after coughing through all the questions from the nurse.  She felt so bad for me she was like, “Just nod.”  Ha.

So, yeah, I was there three hours just to have X-rays and be told there was the beginnings of arthritis in the tip of my finger, be asked a dozen times if the finger was locking (no, No, NO!) to then have the doctor come in (after his PA) and physically TRY to get it to lock (me, wincing & grimacing the entire time) while beginning to explain to me, “There’s this thing called ‘trigger finger’ that…” to which I replied, “Yeah, I know.  I had surgery for that on the other hand.”

He was surprised and had to make me show him the scar from the surgery HE did about 7 years ago.  ** insert eye roll here **  Granted, it had been about 4 years since I’d been in there and then I saw a different doc, but still, he could have at least flipped through my file.

Since I told them I really wasn’t supposed to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen because it can make my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) give false readings, they were like, “So you haven’t been taking anything for pain?”  No.  “Well, there’s not much we can do until the arthritis gets worse.”

Nice.  You couldn’t have told me that two hours ago?

Argh!  I then proceeded to march out of there in an extremely pissed manner, slam into my car and cry.  I was just SO upset at the way they blew me off and at having to wait so long to get such crappy news and with the rain beating down on my red-hot red Challenger, I guess I had fallen into a puddle of depression while sitting in there hoping they would do something to ease the pain.  Then, as ashamed as I am to admit, I called Tommy to let him know what the doctor had said and when he was at a loss for words, I was kinda ugly with him.

He wanted to meet me for lunch, but was very unclear about his intentions so I didn’t know he was coming to the sandwich shop beside where I was going to pick up the bare-minimum groceries we had to have.  I cooled down a little in there, but it was still raining when I came out, so I was still in a funk-nasty mood as I loaded the trunk.  Opening that made me mad at myself because I had forgotten to take two big boxes of clothes to the donation center.

 

I’m telling you guys, I was just a foul person to be around for those hours yesterday.

Being such a foolish, discouraged and disgusted person!  I was driving toward the road when Tommy called and asked if I’d forgotten about him.  I had no clue what he was talking about when he explained he was in the shop eating his lunch, watching me leave out the window.  I fussed at him for not being more clear as I pulled around there to park and walk inside.

I wasn’t hungry, so I just sat with him, trying to stop being such an unpleasant person.  At that point, I was just plain ol’ depressed.  If you don’t live with chronic depression, you won’t understand how it can sometimes just consume you out of the blue like this, but I’m learning to recognize all the triggers.  When they all line up like this, it can be overwhelming, but at least now I don’t let it take over.  I can stop and realize it’s just because things are “out of whack” and things will get better.  After that, it’s a matter of not beating myself up too much for acting on the feeling.  Seriously.  I am really mad at myself for letting it get ahold of me so bad yesterday.

 

 

 

Tommy ended up coming home from work, even though I said no when he asked if I wanted him to.  I’m pretty sure, though, he was thinking about doing it anyway since because of the rain, the contractors weren’t working.  I felt bad though until I realized that.  I hate when he feels like he needs to physically come console me as if I’m an emotional invalid, but then again…I was kinda acting like one.

Forgive me, Lord!!

We ended up having a nice evening.  I slowly got over the foul mood and we spent the time dealing with some personal phone calls he had needed to make and putting his KeySmart together and repairing a hole in the awesome Eddie Bauer down jacket I’d got him from Plato’s a while back.  You can’t even tell there was ever a hole there!

ABOVE IS SOME HELPFUL INFO FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A PERSON LIVING WITH DEPRESSION AND **YOU** IF YOU ARE THAT PERSON!!  EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT TO DISCUSS!

Ha, ha!  I know that doesn’t sound very refreshing or enjoyable, but in our lives, getting little things like that done is a big relief.  Those were things we could neither do alone, so it was nice to have the time to clear them off the to-do list!  Well, he could have probably got the KeySmart together himself, but those suckers are hard to handle so having an extra set of hands made it easier.  He loves it and even though I honestly didn’t even “need” one (because it turned out that I didn’t have as many keys as I thought I did!) they are really nice and with all his keys, it really made them all easier to deal with and fit in a pocket.

So even though the majority of my Monday really was super-Mondayish it ended in a much more almost-the-weekend way.

And thank God for that!

{note:  I tried to link images that had credit URLs available, but not all of them did.  If one of these belongs to you, please contact me about removing or crediting it properly!  THANK YOU!}


who let the monster in?


I’m referring to the Bronchomonster from last year, folks.

(also referred to here, here, here, here and here. )  Oh wait…. also here, here, here, and here.   Yeahhh, it was THAT great.  ** insert eye roll here **

Here’s the thing, I had this WHOLE long post written up (remember guys, it takes me a ton longer to get a post published these days for some reason) I mean, a full-on, several-hundred words post about how great it was to have NOT had to deal with this bronchial infection stuff the way I did last year.  And you can just guess what happened after that, right?

 

Yep.  I’m sitting here, sucking the nebulizer as I type.  ARGH!  Seriously, folks, I AM thankful that I haven’t had it all this time, since last year, it started in August and did NOT leave until mid-November!!!

I think it probably got a foothold in when I went to have out-patient surgery last week.  GAH!  What’s that about?  Oh, well…you know since we knocked out out-of-pocket limit in the head back in March, Tommy and I have been getting all sorts of tests done and with a bout of weird “lady things” going on, my general physician wanted to send me for a consult with the gyno.  Yay.

They’d already done a really painful ultrasound earlier this year looking for something else.  I had to have that REDONE so there was that.  Then I had to have this tissue sample taken and THAT was simply horrific.

 

DISCLAIMER:  for the dudes who may be lurking out there, this is going to get really “woman-y” really fast, so brace yourselves for lots of uncomfortable info about what we ladies have to go through to keep our honey-pots healthy.  There.

 

So they tried to do this tissue sample thing in the office.  It was supposed to be a simple procedure, right?  No.  Not for Geannie.  Nothing is ever really simple with me.

They had to change the speculum THREE TIMES!  That thing is always painful to me since I’m made so weird in there anyway, but I had to lay there with one ill-fitting contraption in me while the nurse went to get another one, and then that one didn’t work either.  It was MISERABLE!  Then they started with the actual tissue retrieval.  Um, NO!

What they told me was it would be a small straw-like thing that the doc would then “spin” around in there to grab a bit of tissue.  Apparently, the first one collapsed on itself…I dunno, I guess it was defective and I’m thinking to myself it’s like when you get a straw with a hole in it and can’t drink your soda through it?  Who knows.  But yeah, then I had to wait while the nurse left AGAIN to get another one of those too.  I was bawling by the time they were done.

Both the female doc and the nurse were apologizing profusely, but that didn’t make it any better.  It was awful!

Early the next week, I get a call from the nurse telling me they hadn’t even gotten a tissue sample, just some “mucous” and I was waiting for her to say they had to do it again to which I was going to reply, “OH NO YOU DON’T!  I don’t care if it all rots and falls out, I am NOT going through THAT again!!”  But what she said was they wanted to do this as an out-patient surgery.  The plan was a hysteroscopy with D & C.  They had spotted a polyp which needed to be removed and biopsied plus I think they planned to just sorta clean all the thickened tissue out if needed.  So I’m like, “General anesthesia?”  which the nurse confirmed, so I said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

So anyway, I had that done last Tuesday and it was a breeze comparatively.  Other than some minor cramping and the sensation that I’d been scrubbed out down there with a brillo pad, there wasn’t a ton of pain.  All the rawness was gone and I was feeling pretty much back to normal the next day…except for a sore throat.  The nurse told me that was from the tube they’d put down my throat during surgery.

But I knew it wasn’t.

I started doubling up on my elderberry syrup and vitamin C, but apparently, it was too little, too late.  By yesterday evening, I knew I was in for a bout of the Bronchomonster.

I think probably having an infection (found out from the pre-op tests I had a couple bacterial infections brewing) my immune system was weakened just enough to let this awful broncho-stuff take hold.  Oh, that and it just turned pretty cold around home, too.  Not that the cold weather gives you a cold, of course, but it sure didn’t do my throat any favors on top of all the other stuff.

Thank God, though, the throat isn’t a big issue anymore.  It’s this coughing, but–again, thank God– it’s nothing near like last year and hopefully, I’m getting on top of it soon enough to clear it up without any steroids or antibiotics.  My good friend echinacea is going into the teapot today and I’ll be adding some other germ-fighting, immune boosting home remedies to the roster.  Ha.  If only it were that simple, huh?

I’m not even going to bore you with what the surgery/anesthesia/sick-getting has done to my blood sugars.  I am throwing insulin at them by the vial and still, they’re staying up around 300, which adds to yuckiness.  I’ve never had this much trouble with my sugar going high when I’m sick before.  Usually, only steroids do anything close to this.  UGH!

Okay, so there you go, folks.  You’re pretty much up to date on the state of affairs in my world right now.  I hope all of you are staying well and healthy!  If you have any other good self-help, home remedies for me, please leave a comment!  I’m open to ANYthing that’ll get me well ASAP!

THANKS!

 

 

 


balancing act – grace : truth


Guess what, guys!  Another great sermon yesterday means I’m gonna rehash it here with you today!  Woo!  (seriously, I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!)

So balance.  It’s something almost everyone strives for in life.  At least for some stretch of time.  We all feel it when we’re off-kilter, teetering on the edge of madness while our life seems to be swinging wildly between one extreme and another.  Hopefully, this state isn’t a long-lasting one, but it seems to hit us all many times as we keep at this thing called Life.

Yesterday, Pastor Trevor spoke about how Jesus is the perfect example of balance in all areas of life.  He was always balanced, even when it doesn’t seem to us that He is.  You have to remember that since He is the one person who could ever fulfill the title of “Perfect”, then He is the only one who could understand those times when we just can’t seem to “get” what He’s showing us.  That always helps me whenever I find myself struggling to comprehend something our Savior did that I can’t reconcile with my faulty human brain.

This whole sermon series (found HERE & this week’s sermon–BETTER COMMANDMENT) has been about Jesus’ perfect example of balance in all areas.  Mainly, though, in the area of Grace VS Truth.

In Jesus’ day, this seemed to be the religious establishment’s main issue with Him…that Jesus would introduce the concept of Grace while all the guys in charge of making, enforcing, catching people not keeping the rules wanted desperately to make RULES the main thing.

As you will see from reading the Old Testament, God instituted LOTS of rules for the Israelite nation.  He did this, in large part, for their benefit.  You see, when the nation of Israel first set out across the desert after fleeing the Pharoh and Egypt, these people had lived as slaves for CENTURIES!  Four + centuries.  They had no clue how to live free and under their own ‘rule’.  They’d lived all those generations being told what to do and when to do it.

Of course, this aspect of slavery is THE most burdensome, but it also led to the nation really not having a clue how to govern or really even take good care of themselves!  They needed rules for the preparation of food, how to keep illness to a minimum by having proper “elimination” practices, among other things.  So when you see God’s “commandments” in this light, it makes the whole “God is too big on rule-making” thing seem less of a sore spot.  Of course, there were also those rules we find offensive that categorized people as clean or unclean according to their health or physical state of being or even for a period of time after touching something dead.

I mean, let’s be real… for any of the women out there (and men too, because according to those rules, if you touched someone considered ‘unclean’ then you were also unclean!), it can’t be just me that finds it to rankle the nerves just a bit to be referred to as “unclean” while menstruating and required to undergo a cleansing ritual when the monthly bleed-fest is over.  Can’t it??  That’s just, well, kinda RUDE!  I mean, it’s not like we can help the fact that our bodies do what they were created to do, is it?  I’ll be the first to admit, yes, the monthly menses are NOT a fun time and yeah, it can leave a woman feeling pretty icky, hygiene-wise.  But unless we do something unnatural (yep, I’m referring to those awful birth control meds that cause you to stop menstruating for months or years at a time… that can’t be good for your body!) our bodies are going to shed all that tissue and stored blood if we don’t conceive that month.  It’s just a fact of life!  When I think about that, it just makes me really not understand why a woman had to be considered ‘unclean’… but then again, I realize that since the people needed SO much instruction about how to live life independently and manage to stay healthy, God naturally had to tell them how to care for those unmentionable things like disposing of waste products, including menses, and I realize that’s how the people had come to refer to these things, as ‘unclean’… it still just rubs a raw spot on the nerves to classify people as either clean or nasty.

So yeah, since the Israelites didn’t know how to take care of themselves, God gave them rules and laws so they wouldn’t suffer from all this freedom they had no clue how to control.

Later on, men (or humankind, if you prefer) got far too involved in all these laws.  You know how some people are real sticklers for keeping rules and like to remind everyone that they know the rules and especially when someone else is breaking one of them?  Well, these people were kinda like that.  They LOVED the rules.  Not always keeping the rules themselves, of course, but ALWAYS reminding others to keep them.  Then they began to add to the rules, to add stipulations and codicils.  There was all manner of crazy laws like precisely how far was permissible to walk on the Sabbath day.  It became so burdensome to try keeping all the hundreds of laws that is was actually impossible to do!

 

When following God becomes burdensome and oppressive, it starts to be very attractive to just walk away instead.  And there were lots of pagan cults around then to take up the slack for people when they wanted to give up on following God.  Where the Jewish religion had an abundance of laws, pagan religions had an abundance of gods.

And neither group felt a close connection with any of the deities offered to them.  Jews felt a distance from a God who demanded so much rule-keeping, especially when a lot of those rules seemed impossible to keep and made life sad and depressing.  On the pagan side, they felt that their gods were always toying with them.  They felt like playthings in the hands of vindictive and manipulative gods that cared nothing for their well-being or happiness.

Thinking of how weighty and hard living life as a Jew back then must have felt reminds me of how it was at our last church.  It seemed every sermon was about how bad we all sinned and that if we didn’t do and think and behave exactly like the pastor or the small elite group who did most things in the church, then we were never good enough.  When we left a service, it felt like the way a dog will act when it has been caught doing something bad…. you felt like you had to tuck your tail and hunker down to be beaten about the head with a rolled-up newspaper.  There was never any mention of how to turn things around or of the hope that can be found in God’s word.  There was never a challenge to do better, never a solution given to overcome these many sins that so easily overtake us.

When Jesus stepped on the scene and began talking about a new covenant and grace and forgiveness of sins, it upset the Jewish religious establishment.  In their minds, Jesus was just entirely too grace-y.  Too much grace!  They could never hear what truth Jesus spoke because He showed the importance of grace which the established order of Jewish law had done away with.  There was no grace in all those laws.

That is why Jesus had to come in the first place.  He was the only person who could or would ever be able to keep all the law.  He was the only one perfect enough to follow all those rules and because He was the embodiment of the deep love God had for His creation, Jesus poured out grace, even though He knew full well that none of us could ever keep the law like He could.

I think that’s why we as Christians can sometimes have a hard time with grace ourselves.  It just doesn’t “feel” right.  We know there are laws and there are things that you just shouldn’t do so when grace comes along and forgives that?  We just get this all-over tense discomfort with it.  We can’t seem to manage a balance between grace and truth.  But Jesus does.  He can freely give grace in spite of the fact that we’ve ignored His truth.  We have sinned, and sinned greatly against God and deserve all the punishments written in the law…most notably, death!  But Jesus can see past that through the deep love of God that we can’t seem to fathom.  He came, willingly, to take our punishment and not just that, He continues to love us.  It wasn’t “Okay, I’ve paid your debt, now I’m outta here.”  Jesus continues to be with us and comfort us and bless us.

That’s why it’s called amazing.

Amazing grace.

have we made the world fall out of love with Jesus?


For those who read here, I hope you haven’t minded that the past several posts have been my rehashing and fleshing out the latest sermons from church!  I’ve just found the content really fascinating lately, more so than usual, and I can’t seem to stop thinking about it through the week.

This past Sunday’s sermon was a continuation of Pastor Trevor’s “Better” series.  He’s focusing on how the general public view of Christianity and religion as a way of life has changed in the past few decades.  He explained how up until the fifties and early sixties, over 95% of Americans would have classified themselves as being Christian or having a belief in God, a way of living “religiously”.  Even people who would not self-identify as Christian still had beliefs in a Higher Power, in a being “out there” who was greater than themselves and in control of things here on earth.

He brought up how much that has changed in the past twenty years especially.  He talked about the similarity of our current culture that seems to be burnt out on religion as a whole and Christianity specifically to the culture that Jesus stepped into when He began His ministry.  A statistic he quoted says that most people today say they feel their lives are better without any sort of religion.

Wow.  That’s a huge departure from the days just before my own appearance on this planet.  I was born in the late sixties and grew up feeling as if most of the kids I went to school with knew about God and believed in Him.  It was fairly common that if you used the Bible to support your view of something, it would more often be accepted as truth than not.  If you decided to pray over your meal, others around you would respect that by not interrupting or by turning their conversational volume down a bit while you prayed.

Nowadays, of course, the Bible is almost automatically questioned or outright dismissed as any reputable presentation of truth.  I will interject here that back in the time I refer to in the previous paragraph there were also a good amount of folks who would just as soon thump you with the Bible as read it to you.  At least the little I can recall of those years as a young child, people weren’t all that subtle about their religiosity or their beliefs.  It was expected that you believed in the Bible and if you didn’t you were labeled stupid or rebellious.  EVEN if you had a legitimate question about what was being taught from scripture, if it went against the mainstream of whatever congregation you affiliated yourself with, you would be severely chastened if not completely dismissed or blackballed!

Those are not what I consider “the good old days”.  I’m still recovering from those “old

days” and growing up in a church culture that was more exclusive than inclusive, more separatist than mediator.  That required me to learn that others who grew up in that same kind of culture had the same unasked questions that I did! Being able to learn from those people, getting together to discuss those questions we weren’t allowed to ask and find the Biblical answers was healing to my wounded spirit.  It turns out that a lot of the ways, things I was taught and beliefs held by what I consider old, traditional church is not exactly the way Jesus presented it.  It had strayed into some unscriptural rule-making and expecting the outside world to understand what we on the inside of the church were talking about when they (the outside world, non-Christian) didn’t have any context… and then getting mad about it when they didn’t comprehend our “good news”.

All that to say this…yes, our society is changing.  Probably not for the best in general, but there are other changes happening too.  While there is plenty of moral decline in America and the world, there is also some renewed Godliness.  Not spirituality or religiosity, but true Godliness where the Creator of All is revered as the Ultimate Authority and the love of Jesus is shown to those who in the past would have been rejected in and by a church.

Like I mentioned in my last post, the very first thing God ever did when He began to give men the words that would become our Bible was to present Himself as a creator.  And as a creator, you must have a certain amount of love, passion, and joy in whatever it is you create.  God took SO much time… well, OUR concept of time at least, so much CARE, I should say, to make everything unique and beautiful.  Why would He do that for a world He did not love?  Not to mention His loving us SO MUCH that instead of giving up on us, He gave up Jesus for us.

It’s been wonderful to learn more about scripture and be able to explain why, in my childhood and teen years I felt so discouraged by “the gospel” and my church.  It’s also been hard to move past the teaching that was drilled into me about who was and who wasn’t “suitable” to come in the church… who wore the right kind of clothes for church, who sang the right kind of songs, played the right music or had the appropriate instruments on the stage.  It’s been freeing to learn that just because you like a different kind of music than me doesn’t make yours any less worshipful than mine.  God doesn’t care what we wear, but rather about the condition of our hearts.  On the topic of clothing, which was a major sore spot in my home and my childhood church, when I’d hear people picking apart someone else’s wardrobe choice I often wondered why then was it not a factor when David tore off his outer clothes and danced for joy in his underwear?  (2 Samuel 6  – Where it says David wore a linen ephod?  That’s his underments made of thin linen cloth!!)  And why was it not a hindrance for the repentant thief who hung next to Jesus that day??  All of them– he, the unrelenting thief and Jesus– eventually were naked in public!  Why was it okay to say he was forgiven while he was indecent in public?  And what about the other sinners Jesus ate and sat with?  I’m sure many of them were inappropriately dressed… um, hello!!  You know those “loose women” didn’t run home and throw on a “church dress” before they met Jesus .. especially since Jesus met people where they were!  In their mess!  In their hooker clothes!

Oops… sorry.  I got off track a bit there.  But you can see how those nagging questions can lead a person to reject the gospel when there is a contradiction between what scripture says and what a body of Christians do.  I know and have heard testimony of many people who literally walked out on God because of the way they were treated by or how they saw others treated by people who said they represented Jesus.

That needs to stop!  We as the body of Christ need to get back to the basics of Jesus’ teaching.  The greatest commandments are these:

Matthew 22:37-40

  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” 

 


What God did first


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.

~Genesis 1:1

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

No.

GOD IS MIGHTY

Nope, not that either.

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS

Nuh-uh.

GOD IS LOVE

Not even that…

GOD IS MERCIFUL

El-nope-o!

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

CREATED!

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?!???

 

What is God like?


TITLE: What is God like?

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?”

TITLE: 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.angry preacher with pointing finger

 

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 text sign-- sorry, but I'm not interestedin 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!

 


3 things I am totally not loving right now…


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:

the weather

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.


eclipse pix and less-astronomical info


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.

solar eclipse 2017

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017  –zoomed shot with nothing but clouds for a filter!

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!

 

 

the thing nobody wants to discuss


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 tragic.

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.

http: //www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2014-08-suicide-selfish-wanting-someone-live-pain/

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. *

How??

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.

Blessings…

  • scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
    Exodus 14:16

Genesis 22:3-14

Daniel 6

Daniel 3

 

Additional encouraging scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:13

2 Thessalonians 3:3

Hebrews 10:23

Isaiah 12:2

1 Thessalonians 5:24


the indomitable human heart


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!

Be blessed!
HERE YOU GO!! VIDEOS!