Tag Archives: death

Before You Know It

Happy Monday, folks. Well, I’ve had my coffee and have succombed to the morning, so it’s happy, but more so because I say it is. Plus, I woke up. That’s a bonus.

It seems my emotional state has been heightened lately. Maybe that is partly from not living on our own yet. I love his folks but not having your privacy takes it toll. And maybe part of that is being away from my kids. Maybe not being away, but realizing that they are all adults now. They don’t need me like they use to. They still need me, of course, but now it’s different.

I became a grandma in September 2012 and again in April 2013. Seeing my boys with their own children…that’s just a crazy feeling. People tout how great it is being a grandparent – and yes, it is all that but there’s another level that is often overlooked: seeing your child become a parent. The look in their eyes when they hold their child. The concern in their voice. It brings back memories of when I held them. And now, look at them, holding their own.

Missouri-139-v2 Mom use to tell me that you always worry about your kids, no matter how old. Man. Was she right. I pray for their marriages, for their kids, for their health, for their jobs, for the ability to make good decisions and cling to their faith. It’s never ending. And yes, Mom was right. The worry gets bigger as they get bigger. It’s no longer just a matter o worrying if they will scrap a knee or get their feelings hurt at school…

We also hear oh so often how “I’m turning into my mother/father”. Well, I definitely feel like I’m looking through different lenses. It’s like I’ve crossed another threshhold. Like when I watch my kids with their kids; I think to myself “So this is how my Mom felt.” It makes me miss her. My older siblings do not know how blessed they were. I was 33 when Mom passed. (And in that instant, I turned 5 again.) She didn’t get to see my grandkids. She didn’t get to meet Dave. She didn’t get to see me overcome my addictions and really make something of my life. I believe she is still around me. Albeit not the same, I find comfort in believing that she visits and knows how happy I am and how far I’ve come. I believe she sees that all the prayers she prayed for me, worked.

I guess what has gotten to me is, the realization that time doesn’t stop. Some threshholds are bigger than others… I can recall hollering for my mom to watch me do flips on the clothesline pole. I remember her opening the back door and hollering for me when I didn’t want come in from the rain. I remember her disappointment when I was caught playing sick at school and she had to come pick me up, when I stayed out past my curfew, when I dropped out of school. I remember her walking into the hospital room the day I gave birth to my first child. I remember her in her wheelchair, being there for my first college graduation. I remember that call at 4am that she had a stroke…I remember seeing her. It didn’t look like her. I remember her hospital bed in the living room and sitting on her bedside, crying when she asked what I wanted after she passed. Some day that will be me…I can only hope that I have a slue of grandkids, a book of stories, and all the aches and pains that come with age. And I can only hope that I’ve instilled good values in my children who will pass them on to their children, who will ultimately carry it forward after I’m gone. Maybe that’s why I’m so into photography. It’s a way you can stop time. Capture a memory, share it and relive it.

So, what’s the moral of this post? Heck. I don’t know. The old cliches just don’t seem to cut it anymore: ‘Live life to the fullest’, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, ‘Give it all you’ve got’…when we reach the end, who knows what happens next. All I know is, we will all makes mistakes. We will all have some type of regret. We will all fall down and hopefully, we will all get up better than we were before. We will all have good memories and yes, they will be sprinkled with some bad. I guess the moral is, own it. It’s yours. Take photos. Document your life. Leave behind something good. Be grateful for today, be grateful for yesterday and for as many tomorrows as you can get. Embrace the good and the bad and all the treshholds of life. It’s over before we know it.

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The Hoarder In Us

I don’t know why I watch this show…it really bothers me. I simply do not understand the desire to collect stuff, stuff and more stuff. Sometimes this ‘stuff’ has value and other times, it’s just plain junk. Of course I’m talking about “Hoarders”. Don’t get me wrong. These people seem truly conflicted with their obsession to collect stuff. They do it to survive whatever battle they are facing. Tonight, the lady is compelled to collect ‘stuff’ after surviving 9/11. She confessed to spending her entire retirement of $200,000 on ‘stuff’. Every square inch of her home is stacked to the ceiling, with the exception of a narrow path winding from room to room. Even the large garage is full while all 12 vehicles are parked precariously outside over 10 acres. It’s like these piles represent a firewall providing a type of security, a fortress against the forces that threaten safety. Again, I cringe watching this show. I don’t understand, but tonight, I had a revelation: some of us are hoarders, too, we just don’t collect stuff in our homes we collect stuff in our hearts.

I have a lot of built up hurt from past relationships and my childhood…who doesn’t. Little things can bring these hurts to the forefront of my mind where it gets really dangerous. It’s not good to think about things so much sometimes. I’m analytical by nature so the process of trouble shooting and problem solving comes natural to me. This is great for my profession, but harmful to me on a personal level. It’s easy to say ‘let it go’ or ‘just don’t think about it’ but the act of actually doing so is a huge challenge. We get accustom to our habits. And just like these hoarders, these habits don’t form overnight; it’s a process that develops over time. Reversing this process takes time as well, and sometimes it’s beyond what we ourselves can handle alone. We may need someone to help us through it – to help us uncover the root of why we hoard, why we over-think, why we obsess. And when we find out the ‘why’, we move onto the ‘how’. How do we start the process of changing our way of thinking? How do we let the old self die gracefully so that the new self can emerge?

This is a concept that has been weighing on me for some time: letting go of the old so the new can be revealed. The bible talks often about the old and new self. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!2 Corinthians 5:17. Tonight I read about how no one sews a patch of old cloth onto new cloth. (Mark 2:21) and how they did not pour new wine into old wineskins. (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37) These verses made me think about my journey in a new light: I am really going through a transformation! God is renewing me – He is making me new so that He can pour new things into my life, better things into me. I must let go of the old in order that the new can be contained and fully appreciated and enjoyed.

Habits are hard to change, but it’s not impossible. This walk, this journey, has not been easy. Many times I have cowered away as God reveals about me, to me, but I know it’s for my own good. God wants to shower His blessings on me…bigger and better blessings then the ones I’ve already received! But I have to be receptive – the old self was not receptive; the old self was driven by self – my way, my dreams, my hopes. But I can’t have it my way. The old self must die – the old habits must be broken. It’s time to invite God’s will, hope in God, God’s way. Change of any kind is never easy – ask anyone who has been through a divorce, job loss or the death of a loved one: change is hard, yet we must persevere. True safety is not in our minds, it’s with God. We must trudge forward, never giving up hope, never flounder in our faith. Let me interject here and say that even if you feel your faith is weak, all it takes is a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:14-20) God will never give up on you. The darkness is sometimes necessary to reveal the light. We must break down the walls that we have built that give us a false sense of security. We have to break the chains that bind us to our hurts and our fears. We have to face our old self, no matter how ugly and painful it is, so that we can say goodbye to it. Out with the old, in with the new.

“Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with the unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The Ties that Bind

Wow. What a past few days. I fully understand spiritual ties. I thought I did before but now I’ve lived it. Spiritual ties are the connections we build with someone when we spend time with them, get to know them and get closer to them. Such ties are created with sex, commitments, vows, and agreements. If anyone has ever been told ‘I love you’ just to be dumped knows what I mean. We mourn the loss of those ties from deep inside…the same place where our spirit lives. Spiritual ties are a must in marriage, yet premature and/or unhealthy spiritual ties can damage our growth and our health…and they can create a lot of pain and regret.

When in a close relationship, we come to rely on the words of the other person; we base our life and the foundation of our relationship on that knowledge. We trust them, and to truly expand the relationship, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, transparent. In a marriage these ties are necessary in order to unite the couple. (Ephesians 5:31, Mark 10:7-9, 1 Corinthians 6:16) When vows are recited they are intended to be upheld. No wonder the vows of marriage have faded; people use these words so carelessly anymore, they unknowingly create and build ties that are intended for married couples; belittling the seriousness of these words and actions only makes separation inevitable and detrimental to everyone involved, including the children. Binding words such as these should be treated more like a contract not a passing fancy. This is why sex is supposed to be enjoyed after marriage. The marital bedroom is sacred; it further solidifies the spiritual ties – the promises, vows and commitments –  between the couple. Who hasn’t cried over a lost love and felt additional hurt because of the sexual or intimate memories? Many of us carry this kind of baggage…

For those who uphold the true premise of love, spiritual ties are a requirement, but for those who abuse this principle, the pain lays in wait…it’s only a matter of time. When it’s a bad relationship, these spiritual ties create a bond that makes it harder for God to move or for us to move effectively. Bad spiritual ties create an environment for the devil. They lead a person to accept various forms of abuse without even knowing it. Women especially tend to accept faults, unable to break free from these ties that bind. In a marriage, these ties are necessary but in an ungodly relationship, they create a bridge to even more sin, pain and manipulation. I did some research as I was writing this and found a great website that explains spiritual ties and how to break them. Check it out here.A soul tie can serve many functions, but in it’s simplest form, it ties two souls together in the spiritual realm. Soul ties between married couples draw them together like magnets, while soul ties between fornicators can draw a beaten and abused woman to the man which in the natural realm she would hate and run from, but instead she runs to him even though he doesn’t love her, and treats her like dirt.”And folks, this is what happened to me.

My “special friend” ended up not being so special. All the promises, all the words, the intimacy, my understanding that we were trying to get right with God…all the ties…were lies…deception. I ended up discovering that he was already in a relationship for two months before we met. It started with that tugging in my gut – I’ll blog about this next, but sometimes our ‘gut’ is really our spirit warning us of impending danger. When the first signs surfaced, I confronted him and tried to understand, but with a liar you cannot converse. “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” ~ Proverbs 15:2. He knew what I had been through, he heard the pain in my voice as I had shared some of it with him, but he was only after his own satisfaction. He knowingly participated in creating these spiritual ties….but they meant nothing to him. And I was the one left in the darkness of his folly.

I was in such a familiar darkness trying to discern lies from truth. I prayed so hard…harder than I ever have in my life. I was at such a low…I wanted to escape the reality of the pain so bad. While I had no desire for drugs…at one point, I literally wanted to die…yet I did not give up. I reached out to God with both hands and a pleading heart. I prayed and read and talked to my spiritual counselor. Time is God’s. I sure wish He would’ve hurried the healing but everything is in His time, not ours. There were things I needed to see about him, about myself. Finally, through the lies and the pain, the Lord spoke two very clear words to me. “Do nothing.” WHAT?! I couldn’t believe it! The next 24 hours was unbearable. Then, He shined a bright light for me. I was shown things. I was going to get closure and truth from only one person: his girlfriend. Right or wrong, I contacted her …let’s just say he was surprised to see us together. “A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating.  A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.” ~ Proverbs 18:7-8.

He contacted me the next day trying to convince me that telling her was wrong, said he’d hold the gates of hell open for me. “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.” ~ Proverbs 19:3. I know it hurt for her to hear it. But I had already asked for God’s forgiveness if doing so was against His will…yet, I honestly don’t feel it was. God don’t like ugly and He sure didn’t like looking down on me, His child, suffering in undue grief. My heart and soul are still now. I have peace. I know I did right. My motives were not to ‘stick it to him’. I didn’t contact her with the intention of hurting her or anybody else, I contact her to present the truth and to discover it as well, to cut the ties that bind since he couldn’t do it himself. He tangled two women and nine children in this nasty web, not to mention other family members who will be touched by it. Did I enjoy his shaking and discomfort? You’re damn skippy I did, but…I actually feel for him.

I know he is consumed with sin, pain…and rage. The devil is having a hay-day with him. Maybe we haven’t been so callus, but we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, struggling with desires of the world, wanting it our way. I tried to support him, help him…love him, but he was deceiving me the entire time. I think the book honestly touched him; he just couldn’t resist keeping me in the lurch. I was a toy he was keeping on a shelf for whenever he wanted to play with me and my words made him feel good. How cruel. Then again, maybe the book meant nothing to him. Maybe he preyed on my faith as a way to escape as he knew I was closing in on discovering who he really was just prior to our break up. God have mercy on his soul if that’s true. But I’ve let go. I pray he knows that there is hope for him – that now is the time for true change. He can still be who God wants him to be…who he pretended to be. He needed this dose of reality just as much as we did. It didn’t have to be this way but he needed a smack of truth. (Proverbs 18:7-8) He can’t keep going around hurting women just to satisfy his own desires, covering up the emptiness he can’t face. Saving him is God’s job. I quit. The good news is, God never gives up on us, not even in our darkest hour which we sometimes create ourselves. But we have to repent and repentance doesn’t just mean remorse it means change. I knew in my spirit, THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. And now…it has…for all of us. We are each free to decide where we go from here. Two paths lay ahead of each of us: one leads to repeat sin and pain where we blame and hate, while the other leads to relief through our loving God where we truly forgive and repent. It is what it is and the deception is over. At least for me.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” ~ Ephesians 5:31

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” ~ Mark 10:7-9

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:16

“He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.” ~ Proverbs 5:23

“The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” ~ Proverbs 15:2

Love Heals Your Heart

Just loving me some Third Day lately. Love this guys voice and love this message. Danger of rejection is one of my biggest fears. But although it seems life is unbearable, it’s not the end. Let God fill your heart, let love heal your heart. There’s no love like God’s…none.