Rumination

worried-girl-413690_1920I sit here and sometimes I can’t believe how bad things have gotten. I haven’t wanted to write because it seems if you share an opinion that does not follow lockstep with the loud verbose “I’m following the science and you are selfish” side you are berated sometimes to the point of not caring to talk to anyone.

It is heartbreaking how much more mean we have become since we put on masks. Oh things were bad before because of who is president, but the minute that we were forced to put on masks the more perfidious we have come to be.

Yes, I said forced to wear masks. We have been forced by science and a media that can’t seem to decide what is the best way to combat this virus, but would very much like us to stay in a fearful state and believe that they are the only ones that are going to save us. Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” He was right. People that I never thought would bow to tyranny are willing to put their convictions, morals and even spiritual beliefs on pause or suspend them all together and it scares me!

I have been called selfish, uncaring, small minded, vicious, told that if I had friends before this I shouldn’t after, told that I should not call myself a Christian, that I care for no one but myself and the list goes on. Some of those were from people I thought were friends. I have to be very careful who I talk to and what I say to them, not because I am telling secrets or that I am bad mouthing anyone….it’s because I have a differing opinion. It hurts my heart and drains my soul. I can’t disagree with anyone I know, because I get called those things or the relationship is damaged, so I become a keyboard warrior with people I don’t know and don’t have any relationship with and even then find myself just walking away because it’s too damaging.

I decided to come here and write out some of my thoughts and the heck with the consequences.

1). Why is it that if lockdowns were so successful that the curve did not flatten much faster? Even with partial compliance it should have effected the virus at a much faster rate than it did.

2.) If masks worked why has there been an uptick in cases? Even with 60% compliance that shouldn’t have happened, or at least to the degree that they would like us to believe that there were.

3). My time is determined here on earth. It is not going to change because a virus has decided to change the way we all live life.

4). We all have a 50/50% chance of getting it; either we will or we won’t.

5). We are teaching our children to be afraid of their own shadows, that fear fuels life.

6). We are teaching our children that being mean and calling each other names is the way to behave.

7). We are teaching our children that violent protests are good. That rioting is ok to get your point across.

8). We are teaching our children that the government should run our lives and that they aren’t there to govern, but to tell us what to do, when to do it and how to do it (wow that was so incredibly frightening to type).

9). I do care about you even if I don’t want to wear a mask. In fact I care more about you than you do about me. I don’t want to force my beliefs on you, but you sure want me to comply with yours. You are scared and I get that and I have no problem if you think the mask makes you safer, go right ahead and wear it. I promise not to sneeze, cough, or spit on you at all. But please be aware that I do pick up things in the store to look at them and I may not have hand sanitized while walking in.

10). I care that you do not want to go where people are, stay home that is the best place for you. There are thousands of podcasts, video teachings, live stream events if you wish to “go to church” or even concerts. I care so much that if I don’t go my mouth may once again run away with me and I will not be kind nor will I be nice next time you impugn my character.

11). Why are we so afraid to use medicines that have shown efficacy in doctor’s practices simply because the president said it worked. (please do not use the argument that it has side effects. So does Tylenol for goodness sakes)?

12) Why is it that my moral character is constantly called into question because I am not willing to put my reliance on people like Dr. Fauci who was found to not be wearing his mask, along with his wife who is a nurse and bioethicist who serves as the head of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, at a baseball game? Or when he told us masks don’t work, or that he has a stake in one of the pharmaceutical companies that makes a medicine that is far more expensive and may help.

There are so many more things I could ask or say, but they all circle back to the some of the others. I don’t go out much anymore because it’s not worth ridicule, viciousness, and fear surrounding me all the time.  I’m tired of trying to speak out, I am tired of trying to fight an uphill battle. However, one thing those that are perpetuating the kind of malevolent behavior or wallowing in fear need to be aware of…..I think there are many more of “me” than there are of “you” and I don’t think you are going to like the outcome come November or when God takes His people home .

 

(any nasty, rude or verbally abusive comments will be removed without warning)

I Don’t Think I Can

559598_4571056396354_595701397_n (2)

I sit here and I read everyone getting up on their hind legs and telling everyone else what they want them to do, they want them to stay home. They want to flatten the curve, that it isn’t that hard, that our grandparents had to go to war and we only have to “go to couch”…I am here to tell you it is that hard.

For most of my younger life I lived this life of quarantine. My mother had 4 heart attacks before I was 16 and she never drove. My father traveled for work and was not home much until after I started school, so I was home all the time with her. My mom tried really hard, but she was confined to a bed in the living room off and on as I grew up. She taught me how to make paper dolls and I learned really well how to play by myself. I had some good memories, but I think it is a big part of why I am an introvert. I escaped into books and tried to copy how crafty she was, but it was lonely.

I heard my parents argue and worry about how they were going to pay the bills because my mom was sick or something went wrong with the car and my dad was the only one working. I was young, but some things just imprint on you.

Granted there were times where I played with friends and we went places (but only when my dad was home). Yet my world was pretty small. So now here we are almost 40 years later and we are being forced to quarantine in our homes. We will eventually not be able to pay our bills, we will not have arrested the virus by these actions (strictly my opinion and you are welcome to disagree if you like, but do so politely.  I will delete nastiness.) and we haven’t gained anymore than we should have just being the people that Christ has called us to be.

I sit here and I guess I begin to revert to that little kid who sometimes felt trapped in her own home. I hear people who can work from home calling it not such a big deal (yeah you, the one telecommuting……you still get a paycheck) and I remember not being able to do things because we didn’t have enough money or I couldn’t go because my mom didn’t drive and my dad was away so someone had to be home with mom.

I think to some degree this is the worst I have handled anything. I don’t want to think about your feelings because I can’t get a handle on mine. I don’t want to hear one more time about social distancing or sheltering in place because that was my life for so long. I absolutely do not hate my mom for her illness, but I am really beginning to not like a lot of other people in the present.

I’ll be over here and it’s best to leave me alone because I don’t think I can……….

Serious Concern

desperate-2293377_1920So there is this virus and there is panic ensuing and people are buying up toilet paper like it will be their last roll before their socks are going to have to take a hit. Am I concerned? Yep, full blown concern here, but probably not for the reason that would lead me to hoard toilet paper.

My husband just started a new job. After several years of struggling with the powers that be at his other job this new place had things looking up. My husband works on commission at a car dealership. We have had to forgo health insurance because cobra was far too expensive for us to pay for 4 people. We thought that 90 days would go fast enough that we would be ok.

Enter Covid-19.

I am immunosuppressed so that is a concern. I have had pneumonia 3 times, bronchitis more times than I can count and I am diabetic. So contracting a virus that we know so little about and one that people are being so flippant about makes my heart beat a little faster. They are now closing unnecessary retail, and other businesses which means that no paycheck for us if his business closes. He can’t sell cars remotely, he can’t really work from home.

So don’t tell me to chill out. Don’t tell me that it’s no worse than the flu, don’t tell me that the only people that it’s deadly for are immunosuppressed and the elderly (my parents are in their 80’s and not healthy)…in fact kept double the social distance from me if you are going to say something like that because I might just reach out and……..

I am trying to hold on to the fact that God is sovereign over all. That we will all get through this. That, “6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8. I am trying to hold on, but I could use a little prayer boost if you think about it.

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.

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.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

quotes-933816_1920I haven’t had any time to sit down and write at all really, as evidenced by this blog. Life seems to be swirling at an unimaginable pace and I am having a hard time keeping up.

My mother is disappearing at a rapid pace. The dementia is evident most days. She is always looking for confirmation from my father when telling a story or relating information. She also asks the same questions many times even in one conversation. It’s hard to watch and difficult to not lose my patience.

My father went in for his third cardio version. I DO NOT like his cardiologist, but he does and refuses to listen to any of our concerns about the treatment he is receiving.  This particular doctor does not like women much, so when my husband asked a question, she began speaking solely to him forgetting that my mother and I were in the room. She also discussed my father’s condition in a waiting room with others present (a clear violation of HIPPA) and then proceeded to tell us she missed the window to see my father’s heart back in sinus rhythm after his last cardio version. Really lady? It was 6 months ago, how big of a window do you need?

My sons are facing challenges in the adult world that I as a mother would like to make go away, but they are grown and I can’t. We always thought that the hardest challenges came while they were in school with their learning difference, but I think this season is much more difficult.

Then there is my mission trip to China on the horizon. I feel totally ill equipped to do what I am being called to do. Wrapping my head and my focus around what is needed to reflect Jesus in my words and deeds and still be able to help teach spoken English at camp is a daunting task to me. Praise God for friends and family that are helping, but I really need the help of the Holy Spirit and divine intervention to get me through.

Isaiah 41:10 
“‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

Struggling In My Space

holzfigur-980784_1920Today is the day that my father has his procedure. Usually I am the one who is not worried, but I must admit I am concerned this time. I think I failed to realize that I have not truly embraced the idea of not IF, but WHEN. I know that the outcome is in God’s hands and His will be done, but what will I do if His will is to take my father home?

I am not a worrier, my mother has that particular skill covered and so does my one son. however, to admit that my flesh so wants to worry is shaking my foundation a little and making me feel vulnerable. Growing up it wasn’t a good thing to open yourself to be vulnerable because that was something that wasn’t forgotten and brought up as an arrow to the heart to make you feel guilty later on.

I know that I should count myself lucky that I don’t have other family to battle over my parents leaving this earth. There will be no epic battles no other opinions, no hurt feelings and no sibling shouldering most of the responsibility. But I have to be honest, right now I would welcome some of that. Maybe because I don’t really know what that is like, to have to argue over every little detail or wish that my brother or sister would help a little to ease the pain and lighten the load.

I guess my biggest struggle is accepting that I have to leave this in God’s capable hands and grasp that whatever happens is within His perfect will even if I don’t like it. It’s just HARD. It’s time like these that, I think, test my faith. I can be all about prayer and being in His will until a really challenging trial comes and that is when I feel like I crumble like a cookie dropped on the kitchen floor. It feels like I hear this in my head more often than not (Matthew 14:31) “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” I wonder if I don’t inwardly become that little child throwing the tantrum and scream, “I WANT IT MY WAY! IF THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN I DON’T BELIEVE IN YOU!” I know that is the devil getting a hold of me and me not listening for the still small voice or waiting for the moment of peace to over come me. What I really need to rest in is 1 Corinthians 2:3-5, “I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

The power of God…..and a mighty power it is, rest in that.

 

So Tired

woman-1006102_1920This post contains affiliate links

I don’t think I can adequately describe how tired I am. Yes, I do have some chronic illness in my life, but this tired is not the kind of exhaustion you feel while battling an illness, this is soul wrenching tired.

I am an only child, and no, I was not spoiled, let’s just get that out-of-the-way. If you met my parents you would know that was impossible. Did I get a little bit more if there was extra money? Yes, but that was only because there was just me. Being an only child was not for lack of trying on my parents part. I know they, most particular my mom, wanted more children, but it wasn’t to be. That lead to my parents being older when they had me. By today’s standards they were still young, but my parents are old souls and over 50 years ago 27 (mom) and 31 ( dad) was considered “very mature” for starting to have children. So with the scene set let me tell you why I am so tired.

My mom has dementia. It wasn’t a surprise, yet how can you ever be prepared to know that your mother is slowly losing her capability to reason. At 79 my mom cannot walk without assistance (power chair and walker), she is significantly stooped over, with a heart condition that began back in her youth, and now she sometimes does not comprehend what you said 2 minutes ago. I will admit that I am impatient on my best days, but this is really testing my mettle. Today, I think I hurt things more than I helped while we were discussing scheduled appointments.

My father, who at 82 and still works full-time as an aerospace engineer (I heard that gasp of surprise, yes full time at 82), I think, is in denial. I know he sees and hears what is happening, but to acknowledge it means that reality becomes not, IF, but WHEN. Part of the fear stems from both of them not knowing for sure that they are going to heaven. Before you ask or berate me, I have tried. I have spoken gently, directly, scripturally, and even to the point of being pushy, but my parents are tough nuts to crack (and I wonder why I become intractable at times). Dealing with my father is a whole different issue. It has been heard that while I am the executrix of my parents will,  they have left everything to my two grown sons. I don’t care about any money or things, but to be passed over in favor of my children proves a point that while I was growing up I never quite measured up. I’ve accepted that fact and I even understand a little where it comes from, but it doesn’t make the sting of that knowledge go away. My dad almost refuses to hear me when I ask them to gather their papers, and to file for power of attorney for medical and financial issues. I am not asking to be named as such, but it needs to be done so that the state does not step in when something happens. It’s been an ongoing battle for awhile now.

All of this to say that I am leaning on God and Proverbs 3:5-6,
“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”
Yet, this is HARD and it is wearing me out. Consequently I have been dealing with bouts of depression because no path seems straight. I know that God will work this out and in His perfect timing, but even with that knowledge I am exhausted in mind, body and soul.

I think I am also draining myself looking for ways to help alleviate the discouragement. I am a part of the Young Living family and have been trying to come up with combinations to diffuse or put on the back of my neck, but it’s hard to isolate one symptom to try and ease. I have been scouring The Word and most especially the Psalms to give me perspective. King David’s Psalms have been some comfort as his Psalms run the gamut of human emotions which has been my life lately. Each way helps, yet when I am not actively doing them the depression settles in and sometimes takes root for a whole day. Lately it has been coming in waves and since Thanksgiving has been almost crippling at times. I will get past this, but in God’s timing. I feel this is my season of refinement and I am bucking the system.

My husband has been a wonderful support, but I fear that I will wear him out too and that would not be fair. So for now I have to hold on to the scripture I mentioned before and, Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” and Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” and most especially verse 8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Anxiety In The Pain

Back for blogI have found it incredibly hard to write as of late. Having moved and trying to put my house in order has taken up a lot of my patience and a lot of my time. I have also been not feeling up to par. I thought it was stress, but this is becoming a real issue and is wearing me out. Then there is the scariest thing…..

In 2013 I had major back surgery. I had gotten to the point of having to use either a walker or a scooter to get around because my back had gotten so bad that my legs would randomly stop working. I saw an excellent specialist and I became the owner of two rods 4 screws and three cadaver discs. It was a long recovery, but afterward I was so grateful that I could walk again even if there were twinges of pain it was nothing.

Then comes the big move. I was feeling some pain off and on and had some difficulty doing the tasks that usually came naturally, but being overweight and having to pack up a whole house was what I thought was the main contributor to the problem. Now the boxes are primarily moved in and while I am still overweight the pain is increasing at an alarming rate and I will admit, I am scared.

I have had to sincerely focus on Philippians 4:6-9, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” to just get by lately.  When you are in pain it is hard to find that for which to be thankful. I am thankful that for now I can still walk, I am thankful that the pain is not overwhelming, I am glad that my husband is understanding and helps all he can, I am thankful that no matter what happens with my back I am breathing and able to enjoy my family and our new house. I have struggled to find the peace of God, but I know it’s there and while it has been fleeting moments there at least have been moments.

I will make an appointment with the specialist as soon as I can, but I am anxious Lord, help me to focus on the steps I need to take to lessen the pain and not drown out your still small voice.