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

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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.

Moral High Ground

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This is not the first time that I have bumped up against both of the issues that I am about to explore, but they are wearing thin for me as of late.

Both issues that I am going to talk about make us, as Christians, look very hypocritical. They both deal with controversial topics. They both arise from the verses in Deuteronomy 18:10-14 “10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

In a Bible study we were talking about the above verses, someone mentioned about a “medium” who happened to be blessed by her local priest for what she was doing. I hear across the room, “It was Catholic? Figures.” Yes, according to my beliefs and the scripture I stand on the Catholic religion gets a lot wrong, but there are things that they get right too. What really bothered me is if the person has been told it was a Lutheran minister that blessed what this medium was doing would they have said the same thing? “Figures?” Maybe it bothers me more because my religion of origin is Catholic, or maybe that is where we becomes the “judgmental Christians”. We figure that everything that is bad comes from any religion or denomination that is not Protestant. What we should be doing is learning to stand on scripture so that we can combat bad ideas no matter where they come from and not automatically assume that it comes from a place like Catholicism.

The other situation that I am going to wade into is a bit like wading into shark infested waters. Of course Harry Potter was brought up when this particular passage came to be discussed. Yes, I know what Harry Potter is about. No, I do not believe in those things. Do I condemn those who like to read it or enjoy it for what it is? Not in the slightest. What burns me is those that will make a HUGE stink over Harry Potter, but will let their children/teens watch Frozen or The Avengers or Superman, Spiderman and the like. It’s the same thing! It’s hypocritical! Now does that mean that there aren’t people who shouldn’t watch these types of shows or movies or read these types of books? No it doesn’t. However, if you will notice in the above scripture it says, “one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. ” It’s about being wrapped up in the practices of these types of things, believing that they actually exist and can do what they purport to do. It doesn’t mean sitting in a Harry Potter themed coffee shop sipping a latte and admiring the replica of Harry’s wand or movie posters from the Goblet of Fire. Nor does it mean reading books about a little witch who does good things in her community or superheroes who save the world from a diabolical evil scientist. If you cannot separate the two them you probably need to stay away from it. Just like the alcoholic who should probably not go to a wine tasting or the gambler not go to casino night at the PTA.

We, as Christians, need to climb down off of our high horses and thinking we have the moral high ground all the time. It’s not a good look for us.

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.