Please…just one more.

I can remember when I was a little girl and my mom would bake cookies from scratch. The whole neighborhood could smell these wonderful delights. I’d always ask for just one more. When we would spend time at my aunt and uncle’s place, I’d beg for just one more trip around their neighborhood riding the horses. In high school, just one more meant take another lap around the track. Later, I’d have to stay after work for just one more hour because the person coming in to relieve me was running behind.

I went to the doctor this morning determined not to reveal that my pain and some other symptoms are worse. But it is very difficult not to whence when she touches a few very tender areas. Only this time she didn’t say it was more fibromyalgia stuff. After a few more questions and a little more probing, she said this is Osteoarthritis. I knew I had arthritis but this broadens things instead of narrowing them down. I let out a heavy sigh which she heard and saw but didn’t really react to it.

She has seen me almost hyper on the days when I feel really good, even though those are betting fewer and fewer. She has seen me on days when I wanted to crawl under a rock. She has incredible instincts that I couldn’t fool for one second and I really tried. She added just one more med for this and one more for that and now I have three new meds. Which I am not happy about but it could have been worse. All of this could be so much worse than it is.

I am very aware that my symptoms and issues are getting worse. But through it all I thank God every day because I know “this” isn’t my eternity. My eternity is with a loving God who promises to wipe away all my fears, all my tears and all my pain. Thank You Father that You keep Your promises and that You love me like no other.

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Hey, Have you seen that movie?

My sister and I go round and round with this question. She’ll ask me if I have watched a movie with a few famous actors and I will say I had not. She’ll find it and save it on DVR and let me know so I can watch it. A few days later she’ll ask me how I liked it. I will say something like it had too much bad language or physically revealing scenes in it and I didn’t watch the movie.

She will always say “it’s only a movie”. We have similar conversations about books, TV shows and even lifestyles. I have struggled for a long time with how to explain to her my choice not to watch such shows etc. Well, I finally found the words. Unfortunately they didn’t come to me in a dream or a divine vision  🙂 ; I found them, of all places, on the internet. So here goes…

“I refuse to entertain myself with the things my God went to the cross for.”

Oh my Gosh! Every time I read those words I get chill bumps. What an enormous statement to make and to live up to. I still have a huge grin on my face while I write this. Not because I found it but because it is the ultimate statement a Christ Follower can make.

Is eating really a desire?

I went for more than a year watching everything I ate and making it as healthy as possible. Lately I have been wanting to eat everything in sight. Why the change? I wonder if it is a symptom or something else entirely.

Either way, I have to regain control, not regain the weight. So, I decided to pray this prayer. “Father, thank You for loving me with a ferocious love. Help me remove and realign the desires of my heart to match Your desires for me. I will pray UP my food cravings knowing You will remove them from me. Please remove all other desires You don’t want me to have. In Christ’s name, Amen.”

When I rededicated my life to Christ back in 2001, I said a similar prayer to stop smoking. It took about three months but I quit and never looked back. That was the event in my life that created the relationship I have with Him today. It keeps growing and growing and I have never felt better about my life. I still have the arthritis and Fibromyalgia etc., but when I am down, God lifts me up.

There are three words that are so similar in nature, I need to see their definitions.  They are all interchangeable for the duration of this post.

The definition of Feeling is “an emotional state or reaction to something”.

The definition of Emotion is “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”.

The definition of Desire is “a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen”.

Back to the title question. All choice comes down to desire, whether it is attitude, love or eating. We eat out of necessity sure, but not all eating is necessary. The snacking desire maybe sometimes necessary because we have skipped a meal or it has been a long time since we last ate. But what about the thoughts of that ooey gooey brownie. If eating one bite just to savor the goodness of the chocolate, it could be a simple, controllable desire. To eat the whole pan, is definitely a desire but also another issue altogether.

So what is this other issue? I never really understood what it was when someone would say to me or I’d over hear a conversation state that someone was eating their feelings. How can a person eat something that isn’t tangible? Some people find that eating is a quick way to adjust your feelings. You start eating a bag of chips to redirect your mind off of the feeling and onto the bag of chips. Then after some time, you now feel defeated for eating the bag of chips and the feeling, that started this mess, is still there. It’s OK, we have all experienced this in some fashion.

Surely someone has studied this phenomenon to shed some light on a cause/cure. Abracadabra! I did find a doctor that wrote a book on the subject and I’ll share several things that should be able to help us. She is clinical psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD. She writes the following. Since I gave her proper credit for this information, I will cut and paste her exact words and place in quotes.

“Identify your emotion. Observe how you’re feeling. Then describe the emotion by writing a letter to yourself.”  This step may take a fair amount of self analysis on our part. I don’t know about you but this may be the hardest step. So, sit somewhere comfortable with no noise distractions and relax. Take deep breaths but don’t fall asleep. Think about what emotion is driving you. What feeling seems to be out of control.

“Adjust the emotion. Imagine you can adjust your emotion like you would a dial. From 1 to 10 consider the severity of your emotion. If it’s at a 10, determine what you need to do to turn the dial down to a six.” 

“Reconnect with your body. Put the focus back on your body. As Albers writes, “Feel your feet against the floor. Let your shoulders and neck drop. Observe how it feels not to resist the pull of gravity.

“Don’t fight your feelings. Often the more we tug and resist our emotions, the bigger they become. So, if you’re feeling sad, feel sad. Albers writes. Tell yourself that you can accept your feelings. Find helpful ways to cope with them, such as seeing a movie or calling a close friend.” 

“Don’t punish yourself. No doubt we’re our harshest critics. And, whenever we feel guilty, instead of soothing ourselves, we impose a sentence. But, as Albers points out, this only kick-starts another cycle of mindless eating. ‘You gain more power by being compassionate with yourself and your compassion will prevent negative feelings from arising that could trigger more mindless eating.’ And remember that you deserve compassion and kindness.’

“Engage in daily rituals. An everyday ritual can help you release built-up emotions, according to Albers. Rituals have ‘a grounding effect and foster awareness.’ For instance, she suggests journaling, singing a calming song, saying a prayer aloud or burning incense. Try to practice your ritual at the same time every day.

So, there you have it. From the research I did, I found this docs information to be more practical and simply explained. My goal is to give this a good hard try. I’d love to hear how you are doing and what is or isn’t working for you.

God bless and stay safe.

The Vanishing Door

Co-dependency was a joke to me. I didn’t understand it completely so I thought it was a controllable state of mind. Little did I know that it was a conditioned state of mind not of my own doing. I learned this in therapy. For almost three years my therapist tried to tell me my husband was not going to change and I couldn’t change him. She hoped I could completely heal by someday leaving him. Whether it ended in divorce or not she didn’t really care, only that it would provide a way and the only way for me to completely heal. I had to get away from my abuser…the one that made me co-dependent. I was stubborn and would not leave him…yet.

During therapy she would play relaxing music and I would drift into a deep relaxed state where she revealed to me the things that were keeping me caged and bound in the place I was in. We would transition from one topic to another and enter and leave the session by closing my eyes and reaching for the door to open into a safe peace of mind, away from the abuse and fear.

Long after therapy, I started opening a door in my mind as a way to enter into my nightly prayer time. I would lay down, relax, take a deep breath and open the door. I wanted to enter into the peaceful place where God was. I wanted to imagine myself walking into a Garden so I could be close to God when I prayed. I did this for months and each time felt closer and closer to God as I went along. My prayers were more like conversations and my inner feelings were starting to come out more.

Until one night everything changed. I don’t remember the day being any different from any other. I was still dealing with the unexpected anger issues from my husband that had plagued our marriage almost from the very beginning. The Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde author must have been psychic because it was exactly what I was going thru on a daily basis as I saw my husband express his anger in ways that would make you cringe.

This night as I started to relax and look for the door, it was as though the non-room where the door was had changed. I felt myself walk around the room looking for the door but could not find one. After several minutes of looking for this imaginative door, I began to cry. At first I could not understand what was keeping me from entering the presence of God and then why. I went thru the last few days thinking I had sin I needed to confess and I couldn’t think of anything major so I prayed quickly to have God reveal any to me so I could confess it and give it to Him. But nothing came to mind. As I cried harder and harder I suddenly felt a very strong warm hug flow throughout my body. My crying stopped. I sat straight up in bed and was afraid that someone had grabbed me, It felt that real. I soon realized it was God although a hot flash did cross my mind.

My fears were met with a stern voice from God. He simply said “Child, why do you look for a door?. Do you not remember I AM with you always?” At first I was mesmerized and confused. I didn’t understand what He meant by there not being a door. I had been opening that door for some time now and I wanted to continue to open it. I thought it was the barrier that kept me safe. Again God told me “There is no door”! This time I understood it. It was a “Duh” moment. God was telling me there is nothing between Him and me at any time. Real or imaginary. I was mad at myself for placing a barrier between God and myself. There are so many uncontrolled barriers we face and I had put one there on purpose. I felt dumb and elated all at the same time. Now the barrier is gone, my Father is only a voice away and as I get closer and closer to him, He reveals silly things like this to me all the time. God is Awesome…Let Him be the Awesome God He wants to be for you too.

Smarter?

I’ve been below the radar for a few days dealing with this colder than normal weather and my symptoms that get worse at will. Although I am in the central Florida area, it is colder than usual. I feel my illness getting worse as time goes by but I am at a loss to get significant relief. Nothing the medical community suggests seems to ease it back for more than a few hours at a time. And while I am grateful for that short time of relief, remembering them is difficult because they are so few. Some days it feels like I’m holding off a raging fire while others feel like being in a state of rigor mortis. Having studied Forensic Pathology for a short time, many years ago, that is the analogy I used when my doctors would ask me what my body felt like. That was before my diagnosis but I still use the term “rigors” when people ask me how I feel on my bad days. The people that are familiar with the term do get it while the others just schlep it off.

I have been dealing with my mom’s bad attitude and regular outbursts of anger, racism and general disgust. My parents and sister asked me to move back in to the family home several years ago. It was actually a scheme by my sister so she wouldn’t be the one to deal with the folks alone. I was divorced, children grown and I made the move. I had no idea what I was getting into but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with all of them. That said, my mom has always been a highly opinionated person, which can be refreshing at times. But when she watches TV, which is mostly all she does these days, she talks back to it.

At first I thought it was just news shows, especially Fox. But then I noticed it was all shows. Even the game shows. So, we have been pointing out her behavior to her. I incorrectly thought she would take notice and change her behavior. Stop laughing! I would have checked myself if it were me. But this week, while I was reading my devotional and praying, God made something very aware to me. We were going about it all wrong. The bible has tons of examples of how to deal with many different types of conflict. There was no love in our behavior either. We were being judgmental and borderline confrontational to her. And while I don’t have an exact answer about how to deal with this yet, I do know that the old way wasn’t working (Duh!) and the new way should be here soon. I have trusted God for too long not to think He won’t come through. He always does. I think we have to learn what we were doing wrong first, before we can learn a better way.

Now back to the slight crush. I use to think that I could pray for God to show me what He wants. And while I still believe He can, I also believe He does things differently from time to time to teach us more about Him. So instead of asking Him to show me my future or something like that, I asked Him to remove the desires He doesn’t want me to have. It is looking for the same result but going about it a different way. It is a mind change and that is part of salvation.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay safe and God bless.

Worn

I haven’t had the opportunity to thank you for reading my posts, so thank you. I use to journal with pen and paper  but this works better. I love to share my life in the hope of inspiring others to greater things. It is liberating when we read about other people and we realize we are all mostly just as normal as the next guy.

I wasn’t going to write anything right away, just let the events of yesterday settle in for a little while. But I can’t stand it. I have to write. I guess if I had someone I could call at 11-ish pm at night, I might not have to write but I am the only person I know that doesn’t have a job to wake up to in the morning.

I am grateful that my family asked me to move back home. My parents are coming up on age 80 soon and I didn’t want to get the call in the middle of the night to “Come quick” so together we planned my return. It has given me an incredible opportunity to spend time with my folks that I would not have otherwise had. I feel blessed beyond measure. But this wasn’t in my plan. It wasn’t my idea to divorce after 29 years. While we had our issues, we could have worked them out, but he decided he wanted to finish life his way. I had pictured us retiring soon and traveling some and enjoying our grand kids together. But God had other plans. My vision was not His and sometimes I become weary waiting on God.

I have a slight crush (that sounds very silly for someone my age) on a guy my family knows better than I do. That feels really weird to say but during the years while I was elsewhere, their paths crossed almost daily. So, I have resisted saying anything to him except for casual conversation and always in the company of other family members. I have wanted to say something several times but I always back off because if this is something that God wants to happen, it will happen in God’s timing, not mine. And I don’t want to mess it up before God gets a chance to do His thing. Besides, I am still old fashioned and I never liked the idea of making the first move. I also figure since he is single and all that, if he were interested in spending time with me, he would ask. I am learning to wait on God but I will admit that waiting on God is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Phew! Now that that is out, I feel better.

I heard a song by Tenth Avenue North this morning called “Worn”. I have heard this song a few times but today, for some reason, it grabbed me.

“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 don’t like lingering in my fear and doubt. I hate it when I remember my mistakes and then I wonder how badly I crushed Jesus’ heart by not allowing Him to be my God. Then I remember I am human. He became human so He would understand us. And when He forgives us, we know He knows how we feel because He has been there too. Jesus experienced every emotion we ever will in the short time He lived on earth. He knows what it is like to feel “worn” and He knows what we need to be redeemed. It is His gift to us. And it is always free.

Father, thank You for loving me with an enormous heart. Please forgive me for breaking Yours. I love you dearly, Amen!

 

Overcoming Regret

A friend of mine recently lost her son, who became a quadriplegic after a car accident several years ago. When I visited her about a week later, she was noticeably still shaken and upset. Often during our conversation she would drift and I asked her if she was OK. She admitted to me she had regretted not being able to see him more over the time since she, herself, became dependent on a wheelchair. As I watched her reminisce I recalled the regret I use to feel about the loss of my marriage. I consider it a loss and I may put that on paper one day.

There was a time when I too would regret when I allowed my ex to act out the way he did in front of our children. I realized later that I did not have the power to stop him. I considered myself a bad mother for allowing them to be exposed to such a horrible example of a father. I often wondered when they would come to me, in the future and ream me over for my part in that mess. But they have been nothing but loving and supportive. Of course not unscaved. My daughter has father issues and my son carries a lot of anger. I feel blessed that although their father pulled them away from God, they are both saved and attending church with their families. Hope abounds.

Talking with my friend and remembering my own regret reminded me of a few truths. Most importantly, Jesus died to save us. He tosses away our sin once we confess, so according to Him, it never happened.  Next it is in the past and we cannot change the past. We can only learn from it. Regret steals our joy and Jesus calls us to be joyful. Pray up whatever is stealing your joy and let Jesus take care of it. I guarantee He will do a much better job anyway.

I love the lyrics to Matthew West song “Hello my name is”. The first issue the song addresses is regret.

“Hello, my name is regret
I’m pretty sure we have met
Every single day of your life
I’m the whisper inside
That won’t let you forget”

That little voice in your head is the devil robbing you of your joy. It took me a long time to realize what that voice was and the story Matthew West tells as the inspiration for this song is what really helped me to finally recognize those lies the devil is trying to rob my joy with. The fact that we are the children of the one true king is more than amazing and He loves us like no other.

Thank you, Goodnight and God bless.

Why am I so annoyed now?

Well, let’s see. I have been trying to find other blogs to follow because I love studying people and what makes them tick. But it doesn’t take long for me to come across a foul word or three, then I move on to the next one. This cycle repeats itself for what seems like hours on end. I get frustrated and tired and finally give up. I will never understand the appeal that using foul language gives people. It adds nothing to the subject. It doesn’t create good drama. It’s just plain nasty and turns me off instantly.

My ex drove for a famous rock band back in the 80’s. When they were at family venues, they were polite and avoided the foul language. We could talk one on one with them and they were also polite. But get them at a bar or related venue and the four letter words fly better than the birds do, no pun intended, lol. After speaking to the lead singer a few years ago outside a bar venue, he noticed us leave as soon as he started spouting the bad language. I received an email later asking if everything was OK. I told him exactly like it was as politely as I could. I thought it might make a difference considering he had asked me how we had kept our 26 year marriage going without killing each other. I was honest again and gave that glory to God. It didn’t make a lick of difference. They are still in love with the foul language. So we don’t bother going to see them anymore.

I will avoid writing about the other annoyances I had on the tip of my tongue because I have no doubt it will offend someone. It isn’t because I don’t care about them, I don’t want to turn them away from the God that first said those things are wrong. They still are.

I have been writing prayers on paper. I write one every day like a continuing book. Each day, either in the morning or before going to bed, I read the book from beginning to current. I am finding that I am having a longer conversation with God each time and repeating my thoughts is benefiting me in a way I cannot explain. But it seems to be helping. I don’t feel so aggravated at mom  with her negative remarks about everything and my high pain days don’t feel less but they seem to be easier to tolerate.

I love quoting the famous and brilliant Bruce Lee. He said “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” There is so much truth in that statement. People have free will so God won’t rob us of that privilege. He does allow certain things to happen in our lives but it is always in an effort to make us stronger. There is a song out and I can’t remember who sings it but the words go something like “He must think I am strong…” That line always makes me smile because I know I am strong only by the grace of God.

You would think with all of this faith that I would be the happiest most grounded person there is. Yes, when I get a flat tire I look up to God and tell Him, “I can’t do this but I know You can.” I get thru it but only because of Him. That faith isn’t what keeps me going, pushing through the pain, it is His love for me that runs my energy. My illness robs me of energy but God provides more when I think there isn’t any possible way to even stand up. His love for me is the key, not my faith. I think this is because I don’t need faith to know who God is and why He loves us. I am such a part of Him on a normal basis that I never have to feel left out or behind about anything. It’s hard to put into words, I know I say that a lot, but His love, once you understand it, is incredible.

This is a good place to say “good day”.

Peace in the midst of chaos

You can find peace in the middle of the chaos if you look for it. It’s kind of like the conscious decision you have to make when you get out of bed to have a great day. If not, you might not. I use to think this was hooey but of late I have tested the concept and it really works.

So this morning after my devotional and prayer time, God showed me a glimpse of my future. I had been confused and concerned about a lot of things, not worry mind you, just in prayerful concern so my attention has been more on God than usual. He allowed me to see a vision of myself standing with a tall man, whose features I could not distinguish, and standing slightly to the side and behind me was Jesus holding my hand behind my back. You may think this is craziness but it is an answer to prayer for me.

Maybe you’ve heard that humans were created to be relational, well that spells me to a tee. I miss having warm hands to hold and wrap around me and I’ve prayed about this often. I think God allowed me to see that for several reasons. One, so I will stop nagging Him, lol. Two, to reassure me of His promises and Three, so relieve the aching in my heart. My ex-husband did a huge amount of damage to me in many ways and as I heal, I began to long for the good things of our marriage. Mostly just having a warm hand to hold. Yes this is silly girly stuff but I am a girl after all. And I love pink and flowers and lace and all the things that make girls smile.

The other thing I have been struggling with is mom and her negative attitude about everything and everyone. I can put my earbuds in and listen to my music and escape some of the drama but I’m afraid I’ll miss something I need to hear. This morning I went to the living room door and told dad I was going outside for him not to lock me out. Mom heard me while she was in the back part of the house. A few minutes after I came back in mom asked dad about what I had said to him (she sounded like she was picking a fight to be honest). She asked him if he heard me tell him that I was going out back. He said he didn’t know anything about that and mom barked at him for not hearing since she heard it in the back of the house. I feel so sorry for dad not only because of her methods of talking to him but because he really can’t hear. And I know I can’t do anything about either one. So, I have started praying for peace with all that so it doesn’t affect me more than it already has.

I guess it is because my ex was always condescending, mean and crude to me all the time. It wasn’t until he started doing it to other people that he couldn’t hide behind me anymore. I guess you will all say I am bitter and angry about what he did and I guess I probably still am. I have let it go but for some reason lately I have wanted to slap him and ask him if this is what he really wanted when he made me choose. I’ll pray all of this up today, soon because I don’t want a headache or for it to poison me anymore. Maybe if I tell my story it will clean out some of this lingering garbage. I shall think about that. It is not easy to put your life on paper for strangers to read and pick apart but maybe it will be a good thing.

So I will enjoy my new peace for the time being and I hope you enjoy some peace as well. Good day!

Update to the update

Yes, I do that when I don’t have a real title. OK, update to the update is this, there is no update. Everything is the same so how can there be an update. Mom is still mom, which is great if you like to argue in between the generous moments. Sis is still sis who like mom likes to be contrary and moody and dramatic. Dad is still dad which means that is OK because dad is dad. And I am me. Since I only recently found me, I can honestly say that is good too. Now I am just trying to figure out how I fit into this unusual puzzle.

My days are mixed between being comfortable and uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to be comfortable all the time but those times are very few and some days it is aggravating. Now this itching thing is lingering beyond a few days but I do notice my pain is less when the itchy stuff is going on. I really would prefer the pain and the body aches are the same, they don’t fluctuate either way.

I have felt like venting and whining more lately and that isn’t usually how I do things. I usually pray it up and let God deal with it so I don’t have to. But lately I haven’t been doing that very much and I don’t know why. I do know I need more alone time but that is harder to get now too. I can have some in the evenings when everyone goes to bed, but then I’m tired too. Not sure what to do with that.

And now that the folks have decided to eat badly (unhealthy) the pantry is riddled with junk food that I have to work around. I guess I just have to stop worrying about everything, not care about anything and just exist. It lasted that long. Can’t do it.

So, the battle over the a/c continues too. Last night my dad put the heat on 76. I cried. This morning mom put it on 70. What the…? I don’t know if I am coming or going half the time. I’m looking for a change here and nothing is coming to mind. I need to pray it up more but then I’m back to the other problem. I don’t know why and I don’t understand. It’s like all the noise is robbing me of my time with God. I will try to spend time with Him tonight and see if I can get an answer to solve this problem. It is really bothering me and with that all out of whack, everything is out of whack.

I will post more later. Have a good night.

 

First things first!

After my 29 year marriage to a narcissistic sociopath ended, I didn’t know who I was. I had spent half of my life letting a horrible man, who called himself my husband, turn me into a moneymaking slave for his drug habit and God only knows what else. I recognize my fault in all of that but I am now free. Free to be me. This journey is a day to day struggle to learn what it means to be Me again. Only this time, it will be a far better me. So, I am enjoying this journey regardless of how my day to day blogs may sound. I am in the arms of Jesus as I travel through this ever changing world. And while I don’t always understand it, I know He does and that is enough for me. Thank you Father that you not only have my back but all sides. Help me always give You the glory. In Christ’s name, Amen!

For several years now, God has been showing me little glimpses of things. Most recently, He has shown me what it looks like when I love Him more than anyone else in the world. We say we do and we think we do but what He showed me was not even close to what I thought. I have had a crush on a local guy I went to high school with recently. I have asked God to put the man He wants me to be with in front of me to trip over because I’m not looking for him. I do know that God wants me to be with a Godly man of His choice, not mine. I was able to break thru the crush and expectation barriers and see what it really looks like to love God and love Him alone. Not like you love your family but more like you love yourself. I have learned the hard way to love people unconditionally, not because I want to but because God wants me too. Loving Him, His way is completely different than anything I have ever experienced. I don’t even know if I can describe it. Actually I can’t. I can however describe how I felt the moment I realized what was happening. The word glorious comes to mind first. I felt as though I didn’t have a care in the world. Like I was on cloud 9 above the world. Like my soul was so completely at peace and my heart was so warm and content.  It is very peaceful and assuring, surprising and mysterious, fulfilled and forgiven, and completely and totally loved. I wish I had better words. A better explanation. But I don’t. There are no words. It’s like John when he was on Patmos trying to describe heaven and the end days. Hopefully my smile and my changed outlook on life and love will shine thru in a way to be a blessing. Thank you Father, You are marvelous!

This weather hurts my body. On top of the cold nasty wet damp rainy junk, I stopped taking my MR on Monday. Why you ask. Mostly because I think it is causing other problems I want to eliminate more than the pain. I know that sounds wrong but I don’t know what else to do. I feel stuck and it is getting worse. Not just the pain but the fatigue. I don’t like having to do what this disease tells me I can and cannot do. Yes I give it to God but I guess I need to do a better job of that.