Category Archives: Christianity ~ trying to walk the walk

Death is a stalker

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I am stressed tonight.  I have a dear friend – her husband had a liver transplant several months ago.  He has had nothing go right; everything that can go wrong, has.  They have the greatest hearts in the entire world, and with each new downturn they just keep trusting God to get them through it, to make things right.  In whatever way He deems right.  Yesterday we had a guest pastor from a church in the Chicago area.  He sort of specializes in healing prayer.  I’m not going to get into all the things I feel about all that; suffice it to say I have issues with… stuff.  Holy Spirit stuff.  But those are my issues.  Our friend, he got prayed for.  I was skeptical, of course.  But, he’s had this severe pain the entire time since the operation.  And it was gone.  I must have asked my friend about it half a dozen times over the day – really?  It’s gone?  You’re sure he’s not just non-complaining, as usual?  But they assured me, he was feeling good – as he’s not felt in, well, years, actually.  Last night, we prayed some more.  Explained how it’s not just his pain, but how there are all these other issues going on…. and he got a lot of prayer.  We all went home feeling good – really good. Then this morning I get a text from her that his potassium level is off the charts, his heart is in danger, he is being admitted to the hospital….

Death is still stalking him.  And I am feeling very angry.

Stumbling in the Darkness

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Depression sucks. 

Depression sucks the life out of you.

Then, someone will tell you “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with life….”

Uh, huh.  Have you ever thought about that statement?  Do you even know what boot straps are?  If you do, you can maybe understand why I think this is about the stupidest statement ever made.

Here is a cowboy boot:

A cowboy boot comes up about mid-calf, so for the sake of argument, I will allow you a hunt boot, which comes up to your knee (to give you a little more leverage):

On the english boot, the strap is on the inside, but you can see the stitching where it’s located.

Now, picture this:  Life gives you a good sucker punch to the gut, followed by a whack upside the head.  Or, if you prefer to stay with a horse related theme, let’s say that crazy horse of yours has bucked you off… at any rate, you are laying in the dirt, struggling for breath… not only have you no real idea how you really got here, but you wonder how in the world you are going to get up. 

The best scenario involves a friend who will come and give you a hand. But sometimes it’s someone close to you who’s doled out that sucker punch, so you can’t always depend on that.  No, you may have to get up on your own.  So – pull yourself up by those boot straps!  Picture yourself laying flat on your back.  You’ve got those boots on!  So, reach up, grab those straps, and pull.  Hmmm – not happening?  Not getting up that way?  Okay, here, I’ll even give you a cheat –

Boot hooks.

These are just what they say they are – hooks to help pull your boots on.  Or, in this case, pull yourself up by.  You loop that hook right through that boot strap and haul yourself on up.  Still nothing?  C’mon, try harder!  Harder!!

Geez, loser.  Can’t pull yourself up?  I can guarantee you, no matter how hard you tug on your bootstraps while you are laying on the ground, you will never, never, get up that way.

You will, eventually, have to try something else. If it was an easy fall, you may be able to just sort of pop up.  A harder fall, you may have to roll over and use your arms and your legs to push yourself up.  A serious, life-changing sort of fall?  You may lay there awhile.  Then, you may have to drag yourself over to the fence and slowly, gingerly pull yourself into a sitting position.  How long it takes you to get all the way up is anyone’s guess.

I have been living under a cloud for… years.  Over a decade and a half.  Oh, I’m waaay better than I was at the beginning – back when life blindsided me, tossed me under the bus, however you want to put it.  A traumatic event happened in my life, and I have yet to get fully “over it”.  I’m no longer standing in front of the medicine cabinet, wondering if I have enough stuff in there to end my life or not… Thank the Lord.  In fact, most people who know me wouldn’t know this about me.  I seem fairly happy on the outside.  I actually feel fairly happy on the outside. I make people laugh – alot.  I just have this… underlying sadness; it is always with me.  And what I’ve realized is that I am not really living life.  I am not fully “here”.  I’ve spent so much time under this fog that the years have gone by in haze – I am missing it.  

My little girl is 13.  Already.  Don’t get me wrong – I have enjoyed being a mom, and loved the moments we’ve spent… but I wonder how much I have not enjoyed.  Not just the mom stuff, but all the life stuff!  I want it to stop.  Not life, like I wanted in the past, but the sorrow.  The missing.  Living in the past so I can’t live in the now. 

It is time to try.  Not to pull myself up by the boot straps, ’cause that’s plain stupid.  And impossible.  But to let the past be the past, to embrace the future, without fear, come what may.  I don’t want to miss today because I am in fear of being knocked down in the future.  I am going to try, God help me.  Because, I know He will.

Quietly, Subtly Rebellious

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From the outside I look like a fairly well-behaved girl.  I generally do what I am supposed to do, without too much fussing.  Not exterior fussing, anyway.  Growing up, I almost always did what was expected of me, didn’t go off the deep end or anything.  I was never a party girl, even though I thought that would be sooo much fun – way more exciting than the quiet, submissive life I was leading.  That ended the night I took my dog for a walk past a huge, high school party that was happening right at the end of my street.  I walked by on purpose, trying to catch a glimpse of “that life”.  I saw a girl come out the front door – she was about the most popular girl in school.  Perfect body, perfect skin, perfect hair.  Cheerleader.  Dating the big athlete.  The girl I wanted to be.  She stumbled down the porch steps; she was crazy drunk.  She laughed to some of her friends then walked face-first *smack* into a tree in the yard.  Hard.  She fell backwards, crying.  Her friends gazed at her, and since they were at least as drunk as she was, they just laughed and laughed… no one helped her up.   There and then I decided I didn’t really want to be that girl.  That maybe being myself wasn’t all that bad.

Still, I have this nasty rebellious streak in me.  The kind that, when I am on my way to, oh, I don’t know, wash the dishes, will turn around and leave them dirty if my husband happens to say while I am walking to the sink something about am I just going to leave those dishes in the sink…. you big jerk, I was on my way but they might just stay there all week now!! No matter that I really want to wash them and put them away – now that you told me to, no way I’m gonna.   Yeah, that kind of thing. Last week my small Bible study group was trying to pick a new book to read (no, not a book from the Bible… altho that would make sense, right?  more of a book to, I don’t know, extend our knowledge? anyway…) so, someone had a suggestion, and some others hadn’t heard of that particular book, so someone pulled it up on their computer and read off a little synopsis of it… and I’ll tell you what.  I have had several people tell me it’s a good book, and I had wanted to read it.  But this reviewer made it sound like you’d have to be a complete jerk if you didn’t read it.  Like you must want to be sub-par, complacent.  I’m sure that isn’t the intent of their writing, but phoof… someone is going to have to make me read that book now, ’cause I sure as heck don’t plan on reading it willingly!!

Yeah, I am a pain in the butt like that.  And my husband finds it rather hilarious to push that button… even though it usually backfires on him.  He’s kinda dumb that way.

Life, Death, and the stuff inbetween

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I had to go to a memorial service today. I say "had to" because I didn’t want to, at all. The last one I attended was my own little sister’s, so I really just would have preferred to have not done this today….. besides, I didn’t even know the kid who died (he was just 27)…. however, I know his family… and, from that experience of my own sister’s funeral, I know how important it is to see how you have people who love and care for you, who stand with you in your time of grief and need. So I went. And it got me thinking…. that the stuff that matters in this brief time we have on Earth is the love we share with those around us. Just like my sister, this kid had made bad choices, messed up his life, and that ultimately cost him his life, way too young. And yet, the way he had touched others, impacted their lives forever because of his realness and love of them, was huge. Even the most screwed up of us can make someone else feel significant by simply loving them. All the other stuff that clutters up our lives and takes up our time fades in comparison.

I am glad I am on this journey of clearing out the clutter of my life. Even though it began as a quest to rid my home of actual, physical clutter so I could sell this house and move back east to be with my husband again, it has become a ridding of the very real clutter in my head and in my heart. And I will be so much the better for it when it has all been tossed out, and some clear space is left for the important things in this life.

I’m better now!

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Well, I am okay today.  I just had to have a little whine at my pity party, but I’m over it.  I do, really really do believe that the Lord is in this!  There is probably a reason that Alan isn’t supposed to have that job.  You know, we’ve been praying that God will open and close doors, to lead us the right way, and then when He closes a door, we throw a fit!  Geez, dumb humans that we are, lol!  We met for (a cheap) lunch today, and had a good talk…. we are just going to keep on trusting and see where God takes us (what else can we do?!).   We are trying to think "outside the box" in looking for jobs, to really explore all our options…. and I guess I am  going  to  have  to  clean  the   stinkin’   house.  I’ve tried to get out of it, I really have…. but I guess there’s no getting around it….pootie-poo. 
 
Quote for today:    "I prefer Hostess Fruit Pies to Pop Tarts as they don’t require as much cooking".
 
– Carrie Snow
 
 

I think I just sold my soul

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Well, I am – mostly – kidding, but gosh!  I had my ‘interview’ at church today for my position at the coffeebar, and basically once you are a church employee, if they say "jump" you have to ask "how high?"!   Like, my actual job will be Tues/Wed/Thur mornings and Weds evenings, but it sounds like any time the church is having an event with which they need help, even if it has nothing to do with coffee, if they say ‘be there’ you are required to be there.  I’ve had lots of jobs in my life, and never had that sort of expectation.  It seems weird to me.  I guess that’s why you see people like our school principal always in the midst of stuff at church that has nothing to do with school, and so on!  I will just have to wait and see how it all pans out.  I mean, don’t get me wrong!  I like my church, and I haven’t got a problem with helping out – I have done that many, many times in many ways….  but to feel like it’s "forced volunteerism" bothers me a bit.   Once the school year is rolling, being a homeschooler, I get pretty busy – I just worry that all of a sudden there will be this huge burden on me to do ‘stuff’.  I will have to relax, and try not to stress unless something comes up…. and hope I don’t get myself ‘excommunicated’!!  Lol – they don’t do that at my chuch.  I don’t think. 
 
On a happy note, Kiki and I are joining my parent’s with their church for a picnic and train ride in the mountains tomorrow!  My niece is coming along also (in fact, she’s spending the night here) so Kiki will have someone to keep her occupied – so I am really looking forward to a day of relaxation. 

I’ll be gone for the weekend

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I’m leaving in a few hours to go to a women’s retreat with my church…. I’ve tried to get online several times the last few days – I have so much to say!  So much to cry about!  Or maybe, whine about?  Some to laugh about, too – but my daughter had the flu, and various and sundry other things kept me away… and now I’ll have to wait ’til Sunday night or even Monday!  Poop.  But I did want to pop on to let you know why I’m not blogging…. I’ll be baaaaaaack…..!!!!
 
Have a great weekend, everyone!  C~ya soon!
~Ann~
 
 
I think I’ll eventually do this in a list form, but for now, it’s been one week and I need to stay accountable, so here ya go:
 
today I weigh 273.  Lbs lost = 3.  Yay me!

Today is Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday is the day that Jesus made His "Triumphal Entry" into Jerusalem, the Holy City.  Think "parade"!  And the people all cheered and waved palm fronds.  The little drama at church today went really well.  The guy who played Peter is amazing!  How he could remember all his lines is beyond me (and he was once a big-time drug addict!  I’ve no excuses but  I think I have less brain cells than he, anyways…)  Kiki did great – sat very still and looked as if she was listening intently.  Of course, that was 1st service…. who knows, maybe by 3rd service she was twirling her hair and looking for lint between her toes…… Kiki said to me this afternoon…."Mom, I don’t get it.  How could it be that on Sunday they were cheering for him, and by Friday they had decided to kill him??  That doesn’t make any sense at all."  I think she does get it – because, no, it doesn’t make any sense at all.  This is the stuff that puts me into tears…that God loves us all that much.   This week is always a full and busy one at our church.  On Thursday we will have a drama/communion service that re-creates the last supper – the passover feast that Jesus shared with his disciples.  On Friday we all head over to this old, stone penitentiary that once housed territorial criminals but is now a musuem of sorts…we have Roman soldiers, people running in the streets, little market stalls…. trying to create the feel of how it would have been.  Then there is a play about Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  It’s always really moving.  We all leave feeling pretty down, because, after all, it’s only Friday and we don’t know how it’s going to turn out, right??    Then of course we have Easter sunrise service, and we’ve all made lists of the "stuff" we want God to take away from us, and we put those lists into a locked, wooden box, make a huge bonfire, and burn it all up.  It’s very cool.   And we sing wild praise music because we are so happy that Christ rose again!!  Yay!    All in all it’s an awesome week… it’s all done because we want to make it real.   Sometimes I think stuff like this is hard for long-time Christians – we’ve heard the story a million times, "Jesus died on the cross, yada yada….." and it becomes just one more little Bible story.  Gee, isn’t that sweet.  So this makes it come alive, and you remember "oh – my – gosh, that must’ve been painful – horrible – He did that for me???!!!!"   If you  really let that sink in, you can’t ever live the same again. 

The Peace that Passes Understanding, or…

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am I just delusional?  lol.  It would seem that jobs are pretty hard to come by.  Poor Alan has spent hours on those online job sites, and he’s applied for a bunch of stuff, but all he has gotten are a few rejections and then a whole lot of no responses at all.  Oh, except for sales jobs… he’s been contacted by about a hundred insurance companies to ‘join their sales force’….hmmm… yeah.   The wierd thing is that I don’t really feel worried.  I feel like God has is all under control….which of course He does, but how do I know just what that looks like??  I mean, maybe "the plan" is for us to lose every material thing we have – maybe it means too much to us.  I don’t mean that in a "God’s messing with us" way… I just know that God is…well, God.  His thoughts are above my thoughts, it says in Scripture.  I’ve been bankrupt before, and I survived.  I’ve had a car repossessed before, and I survived.  Shoot, my marriage has been in the toilet, and I survived.  HowEVER…. it didn’t feel very good.  Any of it.  I’d really prefer not to do any of that ever again, thanks.  The biggest thing is, honestly… I don’t ever want to feel like the Lord is "letting me down".  I’ve felt that way in those other situations, because of course God could have changed things.  Made them turn out differently.  Jumped in and saved the day.  But then, I’d be a different person today.  So, my greatest prayer is that I am able to hang on to the belief that God loves me and it’s all going to "work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose".   Look at Job.  Where was I  when God created the Universe?  What do I  know??  There are probably going to be days I whine and complain here… I’m human, cut me some slack!  But I want to keep fighting the good fight.  If you are going to watch and see, I hope I don’t let you down!
 
In Other news…
 
We have an appointment to take the rat to the vet this afternoon.  I am pretty sure the result afterwards is that we’ll be heading to my parents’ house to bury her next to her old cage mate…. sigh.  Poor little thing.  Poor Kiki.