Thursday, July 29, 2010

Forgive and Forget...Really?

I am a hard person to like, always have been and probably always will be. I'm not a people pleaser and tend to hold grudges for a long period of time. Most women find me abrasive and harsh, I think mostly because women can't handle hearing the ugly truth, and this leads to few friends. I used to, literally on purpose, see what I could do to make people mad or if someone made me mad I would hold on to that hurt for ..... ever. Forgive and forget is something that my mom used to tell me, and I used to say ....ahh, no! Because really do we ever forget, let alone forgive, I don't think so. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the 'thing' that started the whole mess to begin with - even if there is some sort of forgiveness - I remember!!! I'm like the perverbial elephant...never really forgets anything. I also have the gift of carrying someone elses grudge. If a person hurts (emotionally mind you) a loved one of mine (friend or family) I immediately take up the offense. I become the avenger, even if the loved one isn't offended. It's truly a gift that I acquired (sarcasism enhanced here). These parts of me have ebbed over the past couple of years, I mean things still get to me, and I still get mad and hold a grudge for a while but I usually get over it very quickly and, whether or not spoken, I do forgive...altho the forgetting part....ya not so much, at least not yet.

Just recently I have been dealing with an anger issue that has become very, very deep seeded in my soul. I mean to tell you this anger and truly hatred has settled in deep in me and it fires me up when I have to talk about it to anyone. This person has done nothing to me, not directly, but to Lizzie directly and I, being the taker upper of offenses, have taken up the offense. (For those of you who don't know Lizzie is Kaleb's friend who was kicked out of her house in December and Kaleb came to me and Lee and asked if she could stay with us. Out of compassion we said yes.) Lizzie has been in our home for 6+ months with no problems for us, none that aren't unusual for a teenager anyway, and although we have been telling Lizzie that she needs to mend things with her family, as of late, I don't know if I (or Lee) really believe what we are saying. I know for me the things I tell Lizzie are things that if it was a direct offense to me I would never do. And yet I press her to move the way of forgiveness, when I would (in a former life) like to go to her mother and begin a fight (physical fight). For whatever reason, one I can't decipher, Lizzie's mother seems (or so it appears to me) to be doing everything she can to destroy everything Lizzie does or plans to do. When she found out Lizzie had worked all spring to become declared independent for college, she called the college that accepted Lizzie and told them she wasn't truly independent, thereby stopping Lizzie's chances at college this year. This is just one incident of many that I am angered about. And so anger and unforgiveness settled into my soul strongly in my heart over this woman's plight to offend and hurt Lizzie.

Then last night when I was driving home, alone for the first time a while, I had out -of nowhere ( and I do mean out of nowhere because I know my mind didn't come up with this)- ...I don't even know what to call it except a word. A 'word' I didn't want to hear and one that kept resounding in my head... are you ready for this!!!????? Good because I'm not ready to tell you...but here it goes, 'why are you not forgiving this woman?' So, that was it it was on!!! For 2.5 miles I was on fire! There is no way at all that I was forgiving that woman at all no way no how....and this went on for a long time...well 2.5 miles anyway. It even egged me all night last night until I got on and looked up 'forgive'. And the 2nd & 3rd reference were Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you to. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. This was not what I was looking for ...not at all!!! And, this little part left out, while I was on my way home, I was feeling the desire (and actually have all the words) to write Lizzie's mom a letter. Whether she'll read it or not, I don't know, but I have most of it written in my head already...AUGH!!!!! The first thing this morning...same thing!! How am I suppose to work and get thru the day, already a weepy day, with this stuff running thru my head??? So I started writing it here. And believe it or not, weepy and all, laughing with Lizzie and crying over facebook, its starting to make a little sense. I have issues with Lizzie's mom because I can't wrap my head around what her mind thinks, I have over the past years stopped reliving my children's mistakes and tried to keep them in the past where they belong and find all the good in them, and Lizzie's mom does not. I go and see Kaleb all the time, and she lives less than 1 mile away and has made no effort to come and see Lizzie, so my mind does not wrap well around the way she thinks...but something about me writing this letter to Lizzie's mom is suppose to make me better, not her. It's not meant to bring guilt on her- or I don't think it is - and its not meant to make her instantly change - I hope it does - but it's for me. Remember I said I think it makes a little sense, not complete sense. So today, against my worst judgment, I'm going to write the letter, ask a friend - someone not related to the problem - to read it, make sure I'm not my typical nasty self, and send it. It'll probably spark something I'm not ready for, but then again, I don't have a total idea of what this is yet, but I am hoping that it will make sense....sooner rather than goes nothing - or is it everything. I guess this is only the first part of my title, because I don't think forgetting is as close.

So I guess the question is, are you holding onto something too? What is it that you're being told to let go of for you own good and are still holding on to? I bet you know, I bet you even know what you're suppose to do but don't want to do it for fear of looking like the weaker party. Maybe what you're suppose to do is for you not the other person.

Against All Odds

For those of you who don't know this was a song and also a movie title... way back when, when Phil Collins still wrote and sang new songs and the movies were very long and with full dialect and a point to them.... Ok so why this title, well believe it or not because of what Job went thru in his life. Kaleb used to be amazed that Lizzie didn't know who Job was because, as he would say, "Job is one of the most important people in the bible". And then he would go on to tell her that it was ridiculous that she didn't know who Job was and then begin to tease her about not knowing others in the bible. A bantering that would continue for a little while and then end. Its funny how I remember little things like this converstaion with Kaleb in it, odd too I think. But against all odds it seems that these types of conversations, small as they are, keep popping up in my head. And I remember another conversation with Kaleb, one that happened shortly before he was saved, when he got in the car from youth and I asked what they all heard about that night. He immediately said Paul and then said "Did you know that Paul wasn't always Paul? And that he was not a very good man? And if God can save Paul than anyone can be saved." And the one when he realized that Caleb and Joshua were the only two people from Egypt that made it to the promised land and that Joshua and Caleb were the only two who trusted God enough to want to take on the whoeverites prior to the Isrealites wandering in the desert for 40 yrs. That little fact made Kaleb amazed at his name and the journey of his name.... against all odds.

So what sparked this journey this morning, Job's life. Against all odds, Job persevered through the loss of his entire family, loss of wealth, loss of friends, loss of his physical health, and loss of some of his faith for a little while and then persevered thru the trial that he was in and against all odds he was blessed 7 times over. So how did Job perserver? What did he have that we don't see? I have no idea!!!! And how did he get thru the years of pain and suffering to blessings and life? Again no idea!!!! But I can guess, I think its because he was blasted by all of his spiritual leaders, family members and friends to be against and despise God and he didn't, instead he talked to God. Job listened to God and God responded promptly and with info to Job to perserver. I guess that's the answer that Job just listened to what God had to say. Maybe that's the answer.. to listen to God speak. And someone asked me how do we know when God speaks? I think He still speaks, truthfully I do, I just think that our heads become so full of stuff that we don't hear his voice. Not the loud voice but the voice that is speaking in situations, circumstances, friends, family, books, and the bible. That voice. And even when I'm not listening - someone is, and the words get to me somehow, in some way, from somewhere - even when I don't want to hear them. And against all odds no matter how bad the place I'm in is, His voice still resounds, soft and in the distance but still there. Do you hear it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Old Friends & Faith

I was wondering this morning why it is that we have and make so many friends that come and go in our lives and then some friends that stay close forever? If you look at the facts it really doesn't make much sense really. I mean if we make friends and are good friends they should stay good friends forever or at least to some degree, but thats not true. I wondered this when I read Kaleb's facebook page this morning. I looked at the people who write on it and wonder how he could have known and how they know him. There's a lot of people that I have never heard of writing on his page and I wondered how close of friends they were. When you read their stories you would think they were very close friends. How Kaleb would make them laugh when they were upset or give good advice when they needed to hear a 3rd persons opinion. But I know Kaleb's friends the ones that were and are his friends forever. I know them. So I wonder why people come and go in my life and how they are touched or not touched by my presence. I have friends who I've known for a long time, I mean a long time, and there are friends ones that are a close email or once in a while call. And then I have friends who I've met that are an everyday email, I.M., phone call or text message. So what makes these sets of friends so different? Sure some move away and some stay close in location but that can't be all that makes them different, there has to be more... right?

This morning I had forgotten what I had read yesterday in my devotional book, so I recapped because then I started to wonder if I had read it at all. In a few moments I remembered that I had and went on to today. But something kept drawing me back to yesterday's scripture base, Gal 5:5, so I re-read that scripture. Mind you I'm not very ambitious as of late so if a scripture is not given to me then I just don't read it or attempt to find one. Gal 5:5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. Ok, so on the surface this has nothing to do with friendship right? Right! Except it does. I have read a lot of scriptures (one at a time) lately, and what they mean on the surface has little affect on me but what they say in my spirit means much, much more. So a little background on my point, I got this Streams in the Desert in June from a friend, and without fail had to read what April 24th said, it was all about faith and having faith in God. On July 24th (also a Saturday) the devotion was on faith. On Tuesday July 27th again on faith. Maybe faith is not so far from friendship after all...

Faith in the spiritual sense is believing in something you can't see, you can't explain, and you don't understand.... not to far from friendship is it? Friendship is something, when you really get to the core of it, can't be explained or reasoned. You can't take something out and say "see this is friendship". Friendship like faith is unseen, it is a presence between people that is just there and ready for use. We even use these two words together -my "faithful friend". Faith and friendship are not to far apart in my worldly life, and maybe faith is my friendship with God. I can't see faith and I can't 'see' friendship. I know I have friends and I know I have faith, even when I don't feel like I do, faith is still there in my life. My friendship with God is faith based, as I'm sure yours is too, and like a friend, He is there when I call on Him, altho I can't physically see Him, He still shows up. And just like friends, He can disappoint me, make me laugh, make me cry, fill me with joy, give me comfort, and just stand back and wait for the storm in my life to ebb away. When I least expect it He knows when I need His help, His words, His peace. When I don't call on Him, don't look for His number, don't search for His presence, don't want to be around Him or hear His name, He is there...a faithful friend.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blessings or Heartaches

I have a thing for telling, not asking, for other things. It's the way I have always been and I have, even with some training to curb that part of me, still been very bossy. Yep that's the thing, bossiness (I'm not sure that's even a word, oh well!).I have been pretty bossy these past months - mostly at work - and I haven't regretted words that have escaped my mouth. I really haven't, I thought I would and had this been last summer, I probably would have regretted the escape and went immediately and apologized for my lapse in judgment. But now, I find that I am acting just as though I have always wanted to act. I don't really ask for many things or suggest many things I actually tell or state abruptly the way I see things. Part of me that many of you have never encountered. And I see this 'me' mostly at work, I'm still reserved or under control at home and with friends. The other place that I am bossy is with God, I outright told God that I was not going to continue working at the law firm, I told Him "I'm leaving this job, I don't care if it's what You had planned or not, I'm going." I told Him that and I am sticking to it, I have not asked for His blessing and I don't know if Iwill ask for it (even tho deep in my soul I know I should).

See I was blessed with this career. Even when I didn't believe in God, I was blessed with being fired from a dead-end job and the ability, at the worst possible time to go to school. I got this job on a fluke interview and constant persistence by me to have a job that was Monday thru Friday. And I have been blessed with the ability to work for a business that generally lets me come and go, for the most part, as I please. Those are some of the benefits of having the same job for 11 years. Now I believe in God and know that this job is a blessing for our financial life...but it is heartache for my physical body and mental health. It is daily dealing with the death of a clients loved on, having to talk to people, spouses or children, about their recent loss of their family member and my heart aches with every call or email.

I know from past experience that not all things work out the way I plan them, and this will probably work out for the worst at first. But that is because I have already started formulating a way to make this plan not work, kind of a sabotage of myself. I don't believe it is God showing Himself thru these things, it is truly me sabotaging myself in order to have more heartache. And I know from the past few years that God sheds blessings where I least expect them. Proverbs 10:22 "the blessing of the Lord brings wealth..." Well, I had hoped for a long time for wealth in the financial form and was blessed with a job that pays very well but it miles and miles away from where my children go to school and have their life. I read this verse some time ago and thought yeah! Because we were financially doing very well. I looked up the word 'blessing' today and came across this verse and saw it differently. The word 'wealth' does not mean, to me, financial wealth. I mean it can and it has but on this day it doesn't mean financial wealth, it means wealth of the soul.

God may be looking for me to ask to leave this job that I am in, He maybe waiting for me to realize that I can't do this on my own, which is may not happen anytime soon but I understand those concepts. And I know that I should be looking for His direction and blessing but right now I am not, and by the way- He's knows that, its not a secret. But this morning when I was looking for something, I don't even know what, Proverbs 10:22 stood out to me. The wealth is not in the money, not anymore, the wealth is in my life and the lives of my children and husband. I've never been a real family focused person, I mean I've been at every event and happening but truly family has not been at the top of my list. Now it means everything to me. So maybe blessings or heartaches shouldn't be my title, maybe it should be from heartaches to blessings.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just a Short

I don't have a lot of time to write anything, so I'm going to share something that I read this morning. The reason for this little poem is because it has seemed that over the couple of weeks everything I read in Streams in the Desert has seemed to be focused on the place in grief that I am at (I know don't end with a preposition, oh well). This one particularly is about blessings from God, and the reading was about how if "you" are in God then everything has to come thru Him to get to you, good and bad. And, before you think or say anything, this can be taken as God is a bad God and has no power at all, read this "therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it." Now that sentence, when I first read it, made me mad once again at God for allowing the pain in my life and the life of my family and friends but the author goes on to say, in paraphrase, that God in us comes thru us in our situations. And if I only knew the good and only the continual blessings then I could not know or see the real power of God. Now, even with that little enlightenment, I'm still not totally sold on the fact that I am completely happy with God. And maybe I'm not suppose to be - yet. And that leads to my ending-

"Would we know that the major chords were sweet,
if there were no minor key?
Would the painter's work be fair to our eye,
without shade on land or sea?
Would we know the meaning of happiness
would we feel that the day was bright,
If we'd never known what it was to grieve,
nor gazed on the dark of night?

Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I loved as a teenager and young adult to watch scary movies. I loved the adrenaline rush that I got from being scared to death by some fiction character. The problem that I have with watching scary movies is that my imagination runs wild and when the movie is over the fear continues. Every bump in the night, slight sound or change in the wind,those all set my fear emotion off and I am, needless to say, unable to sleep. And no, watching those movies in the day time does not help a matter of fact that usually makes it worse. So, sometime ago, I stopped watching scary movies in order to preserve my mental capacity. That really hasn't changed me much I still have and feel fearful about things. Mostly because in my head runs what I call the ticker tape... you know the thing at the bottom of a news cast that tells you whats happening in the world that isn't actually news worthy...well I have one and it never shuts off. With any little thing that I could turn into something I should be aware of, the ticker tape starts running. From cleaning the house to major life decisions, the ticker tape can take over my frame of mind and ensue fear. I bet you have one too, you just aren't as aware of it as I am of mine. I don't know anyone who can go thru the day without something triggering a reaction in their mind that starts a ticker tape of fears, issues, resolutions, and maybe conclusions. I just believe that mine is much more prodominant and I am very, very aware of it.

The reason for the title "fear" is because, after a couple of weeks of my ticker tape running and me diligently ignoring or attempting to ignore it, fear has set in. The fear that is similar to the one that I used to feel after watching scary movies. A fear that could be ignored as just a reaction and the same fear that makes me look out the window to make sure no one just drove down the driveway. So fear has set in for me, fear of a lot of things. Fear of not moving from this place in my life, fear that I will not be a good mother to my daughters, fear that I will loose my friend, fear that this is not a test but the way things are always going to be....fear. And with those things that I fear right now, I fear the most that I am loosing this battle with the ticker tape. The ticker tape,unfortunately, is winning the battle in my life, it is taking control of the things that I feel and running amuck with them thru my head and now into my physical life. I have that ticker tape still running in my head, set off by some slipped in piece of a conversation, and now that fear has become real to me. I am afraid of those things listed above about my life, I am so afraid of them that they have become real to me. I see - from my eyes- that I am not moving, that my daughters are far away from me, that I am loosing my friend and that the ticker tape can not be stopped. Fear has truly set in.

Among many things fear gets me because I do not trust many people or for truth hardly anyone at all. Trust has always been an issue for me and has become more of an issue in trusting God since April. So with a half diligent heart, this morning I read in my small book todays date, July 21st, and trust was the focus. So I pulled up my handy dandy and searched out 'fear'. Why? Because I can not trust thru fear so I have to find a way to reason away the fear that I have and that I allowed to become real. And I came across Paul's words in 1Cor 2:3 where he is talking to believers about his preaching and he said "I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. I know enough about Paul to know that he was changed instantly by the sight of Christ on his way to kill believers and followers of Christ. I know that this man, this soldier of the priests, was once a murderer and in one instant changed his belief. And he was immediately sent out to preach the 'good news'. But he did it clearly without knowledge or self preservation because he says "I came to you in weakness and fear..." I wonder if Paul had a ticker tape in his head telling him that he couldn't talk about God and Christ to others because he had nothing good to offer? I wonder how much fear Paul went thru before he got to trusting God completely? I wish I knew, because then maybe I would have a mark to get thru this fear. Paul I believe did have a ticker tape running in his head, but thru his fear he trusted. These few words only gave me a little peace this morning, the ticker tape-unfortunately- is still running, and I am still feeling very fearful. But I do know now that the fear that I am feeling is ok, its something that I have to feel to work thru to trust and I can move from this place in my life, no matter how slowly, even tho I do it with fear. And I hope, daily I hope, that somewhere in this fear and trembling, that God is moving me without my knowledge. That He is trying to help me stop the ticker tape and I just have to allow Him to do that..thru trust.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I hate suffering thru things, whether it's bad weather or feeling sad, I hate going thru things. I am one, by the way, to avoid those times of suffering to pass them right by and make sure I don't deal with them until I feel comfortable - which is usually months and months later (sometimes years). Ah the art of avoidance!!!! I figure suffering is one of those things that I really in truly don't need to press thru, I can do what ever I want until I am ready to suffer. Ok maybe thats not entirely true, I suffer - just inwardly not outwardly. I have an ability to carry what hurts me around inside until it eats away at my life and I have no choice but to deal with it. That's the art of avoidance!!! You never really in truly avoid it you just tuck away, carry it around, and hide the suffering until you can't hide it anymore.

This morning I woke up sore from a severe headache yesterday and most of last night. And after walking past Kaleb's door once more, I started crying - something that I do not do around the girls if I can avoid at all costs. It's Monday and like most Mondays a day that I have to wind all my emotions back up in order to go thru the work week. Only this morning, like the past few days, I have been pulled into realizing that my heartache and pain is not something that I can avoid especially when a good day preceeds a Monday. Because in doing something that I get enjoyment out of, peace out of, I find that I feel worse afterwards, as though I was not suffering during that time of peace and enjoyment. This morning, in an act of attempting to be diligent, read again in Streams in the Desert, and as I have found in the past - today is right on point. The scripture John 18:11 "The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it" Means absolutely nothing to me...really nothing, in reading it alone, I can not determine where this sentence would fit into my day, week or life. But then I read what the author said about this passage.
"This was a greater thing to say and do than to calm the seas or raise the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always do and suffer the will of God. To do and suffer God's will is still the highest form of faith....To have the bright aspirations of a young life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability: to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life - to be able to say in such a school of discipline "The cup which my Father has given me, shall I not drink it?" - this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point. Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer."
In this small paragraph - John 18:11 took meaning for me, it meant that I was ok to suffer, that the feelings of suffering not quite enough are part of my life and part of me that, even though I did not foresee or expect this suffering, I am meant to go thru it. The suffering that I feel in place of the peace and enjoyment that I participated in, is the suffering that I am avoiding. This replacement of feelings is the thing that is pressing me thru this time of pain and heartache that I am trying to avoid.

I have no idea at what point suffering becomes a blessing to others, because that can be its only goal thru God to turn the suffering that I and a couple of good friends are persevering thru to be a word of encouragement for another. I can not begin to imagine why we have suffered the ending of our young sons' lives and now suffer the pain and heartache of those loses. And I do not know or speculate to know what suffering is being felt in your life but I hope and lien on the hope that there is, somewhere in the midst of this pain and suffering, a cup that is not so harshly filled, a cup that is not so full of suffering, and a day when all of His plan will make sense. I don't like the cup that we have been given, I don't like the fact that without choice, we had to drink from it and I am sure you do not like the cup you are drinking from, but somewhere in the midst of the avoiding of my cup, the suffering is still there- no matter how fast or far I run from it, the cup is still part of my life. What cup were you served that you are running from, avoiding and hiding from your life? Maybe the suffering is not meant to be avoided.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What to Write

I usually am not at a loss for words (whether the written word or the spoken word) my mouth seems to find the exact words to say whether right or wrong. Something that I am slowly working on controling (not going so well). So this morning I was attempting to "press in", press toward God and find some sort of comfort, direction, anything really, with no luck - honestly no luck. So I just milled around the internet looking for something to say or read, hear or do before I get up and get ready for work, exciting stuff I know!!! But truthfully I do not feel motivated, I'd like to sit in the bed and sleep all day, not go into to work and basically hide out with the girls. And since I know in my mind I'm already in trouble at work, that probably isn't the best plan, but it is a plan nonetheless. And here I am typing random words on a page that probably gets read and I'm sure some of you are wondering 'what in the world is this writer doing?' -'does she think this is a Sienfeld episode or something?' Well maybe that's exactly what this is a Sienfeld episode in the making, a blog about absolutely nothing with no meaning....humm not a bad idea, I mean Jerry Sienfeld did it for how many seasons??? So I guess I don't have to really write anything with direction, just something with a beginning, middle and ending that wraps around to the beginning.

So there I was trying to press in.....heehee, this is kind of fun and funny all at the same time. Letting my mind and finger walk me through the internet and the bible not really paying attention to anything to tell the truth, just blah, blah, blah walking around. You understand, right? Just not really doing anything or feeling anything, noticing nothing much at all, just blah. Kind of like taking a walk you really don't want to take so you just do it and get it over with to make the spouse, child, or friend your with happy. That's kind of what my morning has been like, just fiddle faddle around to waste the time.

Well in the middle of my none paying attention morning, I saw something. You know like when your walking or doing something and that one thing catches your eye, draws your attention and all of a sudden its like thats the only thing you see. Well that happened to me, I was milling through my bible and caught a glimpse of Mark 12:44 ".....but she, out o her poverty, put in everthing - all she had to live on." I have no idea why that jumped out at me or why in the midst of a walk in blah blah land (go ahead laugh its funny) this one underlined sentence stuck out but it did. So like a flower that catches your eye in the none eventful walk, I read this sentence twice and now three times. And wonder why would anyone give everything they have to a bunch of pompass butthead religious leaders? Then I thought about something that maybe Jesus was trying to say that I didn't get the first time I read this sentence, maybe this wasn't all related to money, maybe this woman didn't have money but other things that she had given up, lost, or gave away. Maybe this was something of a symbol of life that we have that we can give or have taken that we have not control over and God uses that loss or gift as a treasure for His plan and this woman was a demonstration to us. A demonstratoin of lack of control and lack of desire to hold onto earthly, human things. So my walk was interrupted but the sight of a flower that caught my eye. A flower that ended up being a beautiful distraction in the midst of blah blah land, no where to go and wondering what in the world I would say this morning. I believe that at some point, like the woman in Mark 14:22, I have given or lost something that I held onto very tightly. It doesn't really matter which way I look at something whether I mean to let it to or if it just gets taken, its still something, a part of my life that gets used for something other that what I had planned. Maybe in my poverty, poverty of life in general, I 'gave' everything I thought had without even knowing it and God is opening a door that I didn't even see was available.

I guess my Sienfeld episode didn't quite turn out as a nothing scene after all.