Unsettled

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Where do I start? I don’t know. I am still shook about the nasty message I got last night. Someone I not seen or heard from in forever storms back in and begins to berate me? Yeah, that is not sitting well with my soul. My inclination is to school them, publicly on a few things, but that is my flesh talking. I am sitting here pouting because the Holy Spirit has a restraining hand on my typing. It would not be profitable, but it sure would feel good.

I think in this life there are times that we have to create family because our own flesh and blood are not who we need in our lives to be content. I was rarely content when interacting with ANY of my flesh and blood family. Yes, some of my thoughts and opinions were colored by my parents and how they felt, but there were actions and deeds that tinted how I perceived things. There are most definitely three sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. My dad is a good man. He is patient, but most definitely aloof. My mom had an acerbic tongue and could cut you off at the knees, but she also had soft heart. Much like our home, when my dad would have rather not connected with his family, my mom was the one who prompted him to reach out. There were some to whom I know my dad was close, because it was never about the old feuds, it was just about love. Now he is just trying to keep his head above water caring for a wife who is leaving us piece by piece.

I need to let go of the indignation and the need to just “let it rip”, it is not what needs to be done. I long ago forgave the players, now I am being forced to let it go again. I was told that I was prayed for and I won’t turn down prayer, however, I too will pray, yet it is prayer to change how I see this person and others, so that I can be settled in my soul.

Haters Gonna Hate

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Yes, I know it’s very late and yet here I am writing. I am wide awake because I chose to check my email after awaking to a noise and received a nastygram on this blog from someone I haven’t heard from in years. Surprise, it was from “family”.

The comment will be deleted because I am not going to entertain that kind of nonsense after addressing it once, here….. No matter how you believe things to be, you don’t get to tell others what they have experienced is wrong, you didn’t/don’t live their life and from your end things probably looked a lot different, however, you don’t get to negate their experience just because you don’t like it.

You don’t get to sneak around peeking in from the outside and pass judgement on them if you haven’t spoken to or contacted them in years (like close to 30). You don’t get to try and chastise them now when you have been MIA. You also don’t tell someone that you have prayed for them and then and then backhand them in the next sentence. You can try, but in my experience that usually leads to dirty laundry being aired.

My experiences are exactly that, MINE. They are what I have lived and am living out with my family here and now. If you don’t like how I see them that is for you to work out, not send a “bless your heart” email thinking that you have made things right, that the record is now correct.

Despite not having extended family in our lives, we as a whole, are happy. My parents are doing the best that they can without extended family and I know they are ok with that. I know, like me, they don’t miss what didn’t exist. Just as this “family” member has the right to be indignant on their parent’s part I do too. I can be upset that my father was not included in goings on and had to find out that children were born or lives were being lived by a third party and I know that it hurt his heart. I can be upset that communication that had dwindled rapidly to a once a year phone call (sometimes) on a birthday did not make him feel loved and missed. I also know that he cringed when my mother and I were provoked to wrath on his part because he never felt he should rock the boat (probably because he knew he would receive a nastygram or call and didn’t want to deal with it).

I admit many years ago I stumbled and said some things I shouldn’t and offense was taken. I apologized sincerely, but I couldn’t and can’t make it be accepted. However, don’t lurk and sneak about and then believe it is your duty to berate me for my experiences, my perceptions and writing about it. I choose to “ramble” about my what I am dealing with or what I am contemplating at the time. YOU are not required to read it.

BTW the people that are around me? Some of them are family……CHOSEN family.

 

 

What Were You Expecting?

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So I have been forced this last week and a half to slow down. I had surgery on my toe to replace the joint in my big toe. Yes, they can do it, no I didn’t know it was an option either till just recently. There have been disadvantages to it and advantages too. I learned that I can get wrapped up in nonsense, be it the tv or Facebook or Instagram easily and that naps make it hard for me to fall asleep at night.

What? You were expecting some Brainiac insights into my character, or the world today? Ok well here are a few…..

When you say you are going to pray for someone, do you really do it?
If someone asked you who you were would “child of God” top the list or is it further down than it should be?
Do you truly stand on scripture or do you massage it to fit the “modern day view”?
Do you listen to too many podcasts by teachers who only have a message instead of teaching verse by verse and read too many other things instead of the source material?
Is it more important to you to be the “cool kid” on earth instead of the saint in heaven?
If you stood before God right now and He asked, “My child what did you do with the talents I gave you and the gifts that were yours?” What would you say? What could you say?

We are so much closer to Jesus returning than we ever have been in history, but we are also further from the cross than we need to be to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”  I plan to do something about that…I am just not sure what it will look like yet.

Scared

french-bulldog-4278114_1920I am going to need surgery on my foot. There is no more cartilage in the joint of my big toe on my left foot. My right foot is headed that direction but hasn’t quite caught up. Funny thing is I am scared. I have had multiple surgeries and even a serious one in my back and none of them bothered me like this one is. I had a peace with all the other procedures, but I am not as peaceful with this one.

I know that God has got this, and yet I almost can’t stop myself from saying, “Yeah, but….” something I abhor when others do. This, what seems minor, problem had caused a myriad of other issues. My thoracic region in my back is sore and I cannot turn to see over my shoulder easily, my hips ache and I am more tired than I want to be. So the fix is necessary…..hasn’t made the scared go away.

Guess I need more quiet time and discussion with “Dad”.

Frayed

stress-2061408_1280“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world…

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left”

These two verses from the song Worn by Tenth Avenue North are really about how I have been feeling lately. I seem to keep saying, “I don’t like people…” I add today in there, but it has gotten to the point that it’s not just today.

Even people who normally would be those I would consider friends have either disappointed me or just plain ticked me off.

Just the other day I got caught in the crossfire of a power struggle between two people and got seriously wounded.  I never thought I would be spoken to by this one person in the manner that they spoke to me, and I most certainly did not deserve it. I was trying to simply do what I was told to do. It reminded me of my car accident several years ago, I did everything right, but still wound up with a totaled car and an injury that would later cause me to have surgery.

The funny thing is, this all happened in church. Now I know you cannot expect perfection when you put a bunch of sinners under one roof. It can sometimes look like a refuge camp at Sinner Town with the same attitude of a toddler who hasn’t had a nap. However, for quite awhile now I don’t feel like I can do much right and it makes me not want to step out and serve for fear of snap back.

Yes, I am fragile in the feelings department. Living day to day has become a little harder than I expected. Slowly losing my parents, still trying to raise my adult children, and losing bits and pieces of me with each surgery or malady that comes along, it makes for someone who is easily hurt or angered depending on the day.

But I am tired, I am worn…and I am crying out with all I have left.

People are just messy.

Why Can’t Women Fellowship?

people-2567915_1920Why is it as women we can’t seem to get our acts together? Even as Christian women we still stumble into the pitfalls of the world around us. I see it at various churches. I know of a women’s ministry that is more like the movie Mean Girls than it is about lifting each other up and coming alongside of each other. There is a group in the movie called “The Plastics” and to me these are women who don’t have the ability to really show who they are deep down inside and what they struggle with on a daily basis. It’s like saying you know the Bible, but it’s all head knowledge and nothing is really tucked into your heart.

However, even in other instances we as women tend to develop clicks that can be hard to fellowship within. It seems that we become like the 12 tribes and can’t intermarry if we want to keep our inheritance. Why is it that we display this behavior?

Maybe this is why I tend towards being on my own. My flesh every once in awhile will poke at me and whisper, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of the popular crowd?” But then I am given a snapshot of the cost of being part of that group and my conscience tells me that I really don’t want to pay that price; I am stingy like that, and not just with my money.

It’s a shame really. God created us for fellowship yet many of us leave a lot of others wandering alone in the wilderness.

Weight Limit

suitcase-4410369_1920If we are honest we have all struggled with our faith or even had a crisis of faith. Let’s face it sometimes when we really don’t understand what is going on the very foundation on which we stand can feel a bit shaky. I know there have been times that I questioned whether God was really in the mix or just sitting by letting it all happen. I have been having one of those times lately, yet I know if I let go of my faith, what do I have left?

There have been a few people in the news recently that have stated that they are moving away from the faith, because what they are believing now is reality or real. You know what? Have at it, but not at the expense of others my friend. A leader in the church no matter how big or small is held to a higher standard and I guess it can weigh heavy on a person’s shoulders, but don’t try and take others with you when you essentially defect to the other side. I can hear the words, “If you put so much faith in a person than you really weren’t worshipping God, but man.” You know what to some extent you are right, but what if that person was the one who helped lead you to Christ? What if their music helped get you through a rough time and turned you to Christ when you had been running away? What then?

Romans 14:21 tells us 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Now I am not saying that a person does not have his or her right to their beliefs, what I am saying is there is no reason to “take them out” with you. To publicly declare that you no longer wish to believe that Jesus died for you and you will have an eternity with Him and that the world offers so much more and things will be great if you are just a “good person” THAT IS WRONG! If you feel this way, as I said, have at it, but go about your business quietly so as not to shake another person’s faith. It’s like taking someone out on a boat and then deciding for BOTH of you that you need to take a swim.

John Cooper of Skillet addressed this in a post and I personally think he was spot on. He said, “Why do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier.”  It is cavalier, you are now taking people to a place that they don’t belong. Fellowshipping with the saints does not require others to follow you into the pit, but to help pull you out of it.

Cooper goes on to say, “As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying ‘I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.’ So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.” Again working a bit like Satan roaming about looking for those to devour.

I say to these people stop trying to shake my faith. I wrestle with enough on my own thankyouverymuch without you, the “faces of the faith” coming out and saying that the world’s idea of love one another is so much better than God’s. I will just say it, what sin are you trying to hide or get in front of before it is discovered? God sees it and it will eventually come to light. Was your thinking that you could make it look less ugly if you disavowed what you have been learning and teaching for decades? If so as a fellow Christian I stand with people like John Cooper and call you out on your baloney. Leave me to struggle with my own faith without carrying your baggage too…….much like airplanes, I have a weight limit and you have reached yours.

Human

man-2125123_1920I got a really good lesson recently. I am human….go figure. I, without a doubt, know that I have a strong personality and I still find myself having to stop fighting just to be right. I have to force myself to think, “Do I want to die on this hill?” It has lead to me biting my tongue more often, but there are times that I just don’t stop myself soon enough.

One of the things that will cause me to be less than loving in my response is when another person’s tone of voice is condescending. When I hear a, “what do you know” type of attitude my hackles are raised and I respond in a less than appropriate manner. It’s taken me a lot of work to reign this attitude in. Growing up in my home my best was never good enough. I couldn’t try and not succeed, in fact I had to excel, which led to me many times not even trying.

I have stepped out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways since leaving my home, some 30 years ago, simply because of my husband’s personality which has forced me to be less of an introvert, but also because that still small voice wouldn’t leave me alone and I have found myself in places such as Africa and China.

Now I sit here believing that my inability to quelch my right fighting has lead me to a place that I haven’t been in a long time, or least since living with my parents. I am in a place where I know that quite possibly I have lost something that I enjoyed doing and loved doing it with the people who were involved. It hurts and it’s where I find myself being very uncomfortable with my own humanity.

This one is going to leave a mark.

What Am I Worth

gold-1369453I can’t seem to get my act together. I know there are people that write every day. I know there are people that sit down and do nothing but write so that they have content for days or weeks. I guess I just don’t think that what I have to say is that important or maybe I feel I am complaining too much if I talk about the trials I am walking through.

Some days I just don’t think that I can keep all the balls in the air and make it look effortless. I was talking to a young mother the other day and I was trying to encourage her that if she and her three children were still alive at the end of the day and there were no missing pieces-winning! I think I was also talking to myself in a way. If I got up, got dressed and at least managed to cross off one thing on my to do list then-winning!

I  put so much pressure on myself to “get it all done”. I think I need to learn to be more gentle with myself and remember that God does not measure my worth by what I got done today; why should I. If I have prayed, if I have asked for His guidance, if I have asked for Him to help those who are hurting in my life, if I have cried out because my body aches all the time, if I have asked why, if I have told Him I don’t understand, if I have asked for help staying in His will, I have done a lot.

The second half of the definition for the word worth is; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated. I know that too many times I measure my worth by the world’s standards. How wrong is that? The world expects far more than I can ever accomplish in the manner which they want to see. God expects me to sit with Him and obey Him. He will meet me where I am and I am worth so much more to Him than I ever will be to this world, even if I don’t get it all together. Even if I don’t write every day, even if I don’t think anyone cares what I have to say.

“6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 KJV

Make It Count

memory-4111092_1920I don’t know if it’s a wives tale or not but yesterday it was proven to be true for my mom; it is said that if you take a dementia patient out of their normal patterns the disease shows up in all its glory. Well, it did.


My mom had fallen a few days ago and apparently was still complaining about the pain from the bruises she sustained, so my father took her to the ER on Sunday. The doctors decided to keep her overnight for observation. My illogical resentment reared its ugly head over this development. When I was growing up, I was never allowed to really be sick. I was always told that it wasn’t that bad, or that I needed to stop complaining so much. So, when my dad called to tell us he had taken her to the ER I had flashbacks to all those times, and I was not very nice about it.


My dad had to have a dental procedure and not too subtly asked me to go sit with my mom at the hospital till he could get back there. I got there early and they occupational therapist was helping her to move to the chair instead of sitting in the bed. The therapist was asking all kinds of questions that my mother was answering as if it were 15 years ago and she was not in the world she has been transported to lately. If I tried to correct the answer, I was told that she (my mom) did not want to be called a liar and I was to be seen and not heard (yeah like I hadn’t heard that growing up).


My mom’s attitude wasn’t bad, she was cranky and a bit snappy at times, but overall it wasn’t horrible. Yet, I could see that my dad at 84 and with a fib could no longer take care of him by himself. However, my parents have been stonewalling me at every turn when we discuss any next steps to be taken. As an example, I don’t even know where their paperwork is for the cremation they paid for ahead of time.


The physical therapist showed up and started asking me questions in front of my mom and she was becoming more adjugated, so I asked to speak with the therapist in the hallway. I let her know the situation at home with my parents. I also let her know that they don’t listen to anything I say.

The physician’s assistant then came in and we essentially repeated the same process. She said they would be having a meeting about the patients in a little while and maybe if they spoke to my dad, things would change. I felt horrible going behind his back, but to them I am still very much the child to them. 


When my dad got there, it was like a switch had been flipped in my mom. She became combative and belligerent. She was rude and outright nasty to the people that were trying to help her. I spoke to her much like you do a child that is misbehaving telling her that she was being rude and that was not appropriate. I tried to negotiate her making a choice so that the nastiness would stop, but my dad looked at me and said, “Cool it right now!” I picked up my stuff and I left.


On the way home I realized I still had my mom’s cell phone in my purse, so my husband (who has been my rock in all of this) called my dad to let him know we would get it back to them this evening, since I did not want to speak with him just then. We found out that at least the hospital heard me and refused to release my mother unless my dad signed a paper stating that a home health care nurse would come to the house every day. My dad told my husband that he supposed he needed to apologize (haven’t heard from him yet).


All I can say is that my prayer is that this trial counts…..just make it count.