My Life is Yours

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Your truth, your love embraces me
Yet I still try to be,
my own person with a worldly view,
not considering to whom I should be true.

I stumble, fall and wonder why,
and I don’t even stop to look to the sky.

Your word sits at my desk,
cluttered in a chaotic mess,
like my heart, soul and mind
desperate to find
hoping to be
only to see
a worldly reality!

You SCREAM
You SHOUT
Yet, I’m still in doubt

A whisper of sanity crashes in,
tearing through my veil of sin.

Your mercy I find, yet don’t deserve
Promises written in your word,
of forgiveness, mercy and glory divine.
I pray that your love will forever shine.

Bind Me
Break Me
Mold Me
Make Me

Take my life and let it be,
a guiding light for all to see.
A beacon in this evil place,
so that I may glow with your grace.

I love you Lord, with all my soul.
I pray that you’ll help me continue to grow.
Please give me chances that I may talk,
and prove my love with my walk!

My Insanity

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Psalm 55. When I read this chapter the desperation and darkness was the first thing that stood out. Verses 4-5, “My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.” And to see in verse 13 it’s because of a trusted friend. But at the very end of the chapter in verse 22 the focus completely changes to, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Sometimes in our lives we let the world, pain, deception, and every other thing that is negative overwhelm what is positive and found only in Christ Jesus. So I guess Psalm 55 just reminds me that even if my heart is in anguish within me my God will take my burdens and he will sustain me and he will never permit me to be moved from where he needs me to be!

The following is a piece I wrote in my journal back in 2002. I still think it’s fitting for today!

I stand here debating a contingency that no longer exists. Dwelling in uncertainty and fear. Comforted by hypocrisy and lies. Thinking that this insanity is my reality. But, it’s the reality of the world. A hideous black hole of humanity… the world and me. I have embraced this insanity. Swimming in this sea of garbage.

Technology is not the helper of man, it is the destroyer. Sent here to enslave the population and convince them that they are immortal. Empowered with knowledge and false grace, they walk around blinded by their false sense of security.

So, I wallow in this world of self absorption. Concentrating on me, on what I am and what I want. Giving no thought on how my actions affect those around me. Seeing myself as the only thing that exists in this realm.

How disappointed God must be in me. What a consistently inconsistent Christian I am. I reside in my own reality where my action, or the lack thereof, affect everyone. Yet, I am so involved in my own humanity that I can’t even evaluate the humanity that surrounds me.

What are my goals? They are a husband, children, family and a nice home. Do these things reflect God’s purpose for my life? Or, is it an empty fulfillment in my life to pass the time?

My one and only goal should be to serve the Creator. It is He that made me, and He that sustains me, and He that directs my life.

Yet, even though I possess this knowledge, I still crave the worldly goals. Continually convincing myself that the Lord should grant me my desires.

Why?

What makes me think that God should grant me anything? My prayer should instead be, God, please help me to die to my selfish desires daily and only make Your desires the ones that I think about. The only desires that consume me.

Please God, consume my every fiber, every bone, and every ounce of my energy! And help me to stay focused on Your goals, so that they are the only desires of my heart.

Oh What a Dark Pit

dancingThe following poem is inspired by the following verses and dedicated to my Sister in Christ Jerrilyn! Love you Sis!
2 Kings 19:16, “Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.”
Psalm 56:8, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
Psalm 55:18, “He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage for many are arrayed against me.”
Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalm 30:11-12, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”

Lord, sometimes all I see
is the oppressive darkness that swallows me.
It drowns me in the pain I have
there’s nothing that helps, no healing salve.

A deep pit of despair is what I inhale
I’m being whipped by a stormy gale.
I try to rest my weary head
but there is no comfort in my bed.

I pace the floor hoping for some relief
there is none to be had, I’m a dry dead leaf.

Oh God, where are you? Do you hear by cry?
Oh God, where are you? Just let me die!
Why are you mute? Why leave me here?
Do you even see or incline your ear?

The anguish I experience day to day
is more than I can bear or even say.
Words won’t be uttered expressing my fears
though I am reminded you count my tears.

Collapsing to my knees I finally see
Your overwhelming love surrounding me.
Battling the darkness and driving away
all the lies that try to cause me to sway.

I will NOT be moved from your arm
You are the only thing that keeps me from harm.
You, my God, redeem my soul
You, my Lord, rescue me from the hole.
You, my Warrior, fights the battle I wage
You never end, you’re from age to age.

Therefore

I will NOT fear though the earth gives way
though mountains may crumble and the sky is gray.
I will not turn from your loving embrace
nor move my heart from your perfect grace.

You have clothed me in gladness
You are claiming my sadness
You are turning my mourning and plight
into dancing and flight.

I shall soar forever on an eagles wing
I will NOT be silent, I’ll forever sing
of your mercies that abound all day through
and how I am changed by salvation in You!

To Jerrilyn – I love you my sister. I am sorry that this is the path God has you on but you inspire me every day with your honesty, strength, courage and light! To God be the Glory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey’s Are Not for Wimps

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There are a lot of inspirational quotes regarding journeys:

  • “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • “Success is a journey, not a destination.” Unknown
  • “If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters! Stay cool.” Unknown
  • “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Tony Robbins
  • “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao Tzu

All of these quotes are great, but they don’t represent how I feel about the journey I’ve been on over the last few months. “Sometimes your path is chosen for you, and the only way you can successfully make that journey, is through faith, and with a single breath.” Sheri Watkins

March 16th, 2017 dictated a new path in my life. I took no step on that path. I made no decision that this was the path I wanted. I didn’t determine the course of action that needed to take place. All paths were orchestrated by God, and God alone. That’s why I say a journey begins with faith, and a single breath. You can’t possibly walk a path, if you’re not first breathing. And you can’t breathe peacefully and confidently, unless you have faith in something bigger than you!

March 16th I almost died. March 16th I was given a third chance at this life. March 16th, 2017 I took a breath and stepped out on a path that God has chosen for me to walk.

That morning, I awoke thinking I was off. Something was wrong. I just couldn’t go to the bathroom, and that seemed weird. I had no fever. My back was hurting so bad, but I wasn’t overly alarmed. I thought that I possibly had a bladder infection. No biggie. Some meds and then I’d be on the mend. I was very wrong. I walked myself into the ER, and into a room and then… in the span of 4 hours, my temperature skyrocketed to 102, I was Tachycardic, I had kidney and liver failure, extreme dehydration, my BP was falling minute by minute, pulse oxygen was falling, my gallbladder was infected and abscessed, and I was septic. My body, was shutting down little by little.

It’s kind of strange how much you can process when you’re really sick. I knew this was bad. My husband looked gray, his brow was furrowed with worry but he tried not to show it. My kids were scared. My parents were scared. Family and friends were all concerned. And yet, I was oddly calm. I listened to all of the conversations and decisions that were being made on my behalf. The flurry of activity trying to get a line into my veins, bags being hung of IV fluids and meds. And yet, I was at peace.

Peace is a hard thing to explain, especially when you’re laying at the pathway to death’s door. It’s beyond surreal, and this wasn’t the first time I’d been hanging around that doorway. When I was 22 (maybe 23?)  I fell out of a white water raft and was trapped underneath. As I inhaled water I prayed a simple prayer that God would remove the pain and an amazing peace washed over me. There is something to be said for simplicity in faith. I wasn’t flowery and formal, I just spoke to God and God answered.

As I laid on that gurney on March 16th, they wheeled me away to get an ultrasound. It was in this moment that God and I had a simple heart to heart. You see, I hadn’t chosen this path. I didn’t eat wrong things. I didn’t take drugs. I didn’t harm my body to make myself infected. I didn’t ignore symptoms because all my symptoms had been atypical and pointed the medical staff to other issues. I had done everything right, but God CHOSE me for this path. So I laid there and said, “God… I’m really looking forward to heaven, but today is not that day. Please don’t take me, I’m just not ready to leave yet.” And then I did the only thing I could do, I took a breath and had faith that God had everything under control.

Obviously, I’m still here today so God still has some stuff for me to do. And yes… I’ve done this whole death’s door thing a couple of times, so either I’m bullheaded and God has to do major things to get my attention OR He needed me to be a testimony regardless of the path He CHOSE for me to walk. And I suppose that’s my whole point of this blog entry. I’m sure there are some of you out there that have planned out your whole life. You’ve made all the right decisions, and you’ve done all the right things. And there are those of you out there that have had major detours thrown in your path, and you’re thinking WHY ME? What on earth is God trying to do to me, or with me?

My response – why NOT you? When we surrender our lives to Christ we give Him ALL of us, not just our predetermined paths. We give Him carte blanche to determine where HE wants to take us, not just where He can fit in with our personal goals.

Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps (NIV).” You can fight it if you’d like, but you’ll be miserable. It’s much easier to give Jesus the ability to establish our footsteps. Then we just need to breathe, have faith, and walk in lock step with Jesus Christ.

And let’s be honest, it may not be pretty. It may not be fun. It may be painful, and scary. You might be angry and bitter or overwhelmed and sad. You may be happy and elated or beaten down and worried. Each step may be painful, but when you walk with God – ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

I have a dear friend, my sister in Christ and my sister in my heart. She has been chosen to walk a path that is treacherous and overwhelming and scary. She has an incurable disease and she is trying to educate all those she can about Gastroparesis.  Please take time to read about her journey. Even though it’s a scary path – she walks the path with Grace and Dignity and lives out her faith with every breath that she takes. I love you! Jerrilyn’s Journey

 

It’s Okay to not be Okay

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I have had two near death experiences in my life. One was in my twenties when I drowned but God chose to save me. The other was on March 16th, 2017 when I just thought I was sick, but that turned out to be an understatement.

For those that don’t know I’ll do a very quick recap (I’m going to blog more about this at a later date). I was septic, kidney and liver failure, tachycardic, and an infected and abscessed gallbladder. I just thought I had a backache and maybe a UTI. Boy, was I wrong. On March 16th, my surgeon called me a hot mess and then proceeded to place a drain in my gallbladder to drain off the infection. This meant that I had a tube that came out of my body and drained the gallbladder for 6 1/2 weeks until I had surgery on May 2nd. Through all of this, I have tried to remain optimistic and positive, but I’ve also allowed myself to not be okay. I’ve allowed myself to cry, feel dejected, frustrated, angry, tired and sucky!

A few years ago I was at an Orange conference. During the conference Perry Noble gave a lesson on depression, suicide, angst, fear, etc... It was titled It’s okay to not be okay, it’s just not okay to stay that way. 

This lesson really changed my perspective on the struggles any human being can go through, and how we react. Lately, I’ve been applying this viewpoint to my current situation. It’s okay for me to say “this SUCKS”. It’s okay for me to cry out to God and say, “Seriously??? How many more days do I have to carry this bag of green goo around?” It’s okay for me to say, “I HATE THIS”, and mean it! It’s just not okay for me to remain there.

I think the problem we Christians have sometimes is that we believe we have to maintain this positive outlook AT ALL TIMES or we will somehow do God a disservice. Then I was reminded of Jesus’ actions. He wept, he got angry, He asked that the cup would pass from him. Ultimately, Jesus was honest about his feelings and He talked to His Father about how He REALLY felt. He didn’t mask it. He didn’t pretend that He was okay at all times. He was REAL! Well then I need to be real too.

Here’s the other things we Christians do, we look at our loved ones around us and see their struggles and then and say to ourselves, “Suck it up, they have it much worse.” But if it’s a big things for you, then it’s a big thing for God! You’re allowed to say THIS ROYALLY SUCKS! That’s okay. Be honest about how you feel, just don’t remain there in the muck and mire. That’s not where God wants you to stay either. He wants you to cry out to Him, then He takes that burden FROM you and carries it FOR you. And if an hour later the enemy whispers in your ear that you are to overwhelmed, you cry out to God again! It’s okay! God doesn’t limit our cries to just one a day. Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find REST for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” God just says COME UNTO ME. He doesn’t say, you’re only allowed one cry per day. If you need him every hour, every minute, every second, then you only need to ask and He will be there.

If you’re not okay today, then that’s okay. Just don’t stay there. Ask for help. Talk to God, and be honest!

Yesterday I cried. I was tired of hurting, but that’s okay. Jesus certainly loves this hot mess! Today I’m good, still hurting, but good. In an hour I may be different. But either way, I choose to be honest with my Father. Joy with my Father truly runs deeper than the sadness of despair.

Typecasting

I do this thing while watching movies and TV. I predict the ending, the bad guy or girl, the plot, sometimes the twists and all sorts of things, within the first 15 minutes of the show. This irritates my family, most notably my oldest daughter.

I do this because of 2 things.

  1. Shows usually follow a standard formula. Once you determine the type of show you are watching, you can generally infer some of the formula they’re going to use for the remainder of the show. You can see misdirection, twists in plotlines and other common themes. They’re all very similar, and since I’m so old, and have seen so many of these shows (don’t judge me, I watch TV when I crochet – I crochet A LOT) I’m able to anticipate the show.
  2. Actors are recycled. Often who you’ve seen as a bad guy in one show will generally be a similar bad guy in the next show because he’s been typecast. Hollywood has determined his acting career based upon previous performances and now, that’s what he’s going to do for the rest of his career. So, when one of these “generic actors” show up in a show, I remember them from another show and immediately can determine how the course of the show is going to go because I too have typecast them.

Recently I was watching a new TV show all by my lonesome, while crocheting, and I spotted one of these “generic actors” on the periphery. I thought, hey – I know him – he’s usually a nerd and a good guy. Strange… At the very end of the episode it’s determined he’s a drug kingpin and a murderer. I wasn’t really thrown off, but it did make me pause and consider how we ALL typecast those around us in this world based upon past experiences and encounters with similar people.

You may look at someone in a suit and think they’ve got their entire life together, but deep down inside they’re struggling for purpose. You may see someone that cracks jokes as happy go lucky and determine that they’re life must be hunky dory, but in reality they’re using humor to mask their pain. You may see a moderately overweight woman in her mid forties with purple hair and think, man – she’s a mess, look how she’s trying to be someone else. She must be going through a midlife crisis. You may see someone with a Mohawk and tattoos and decide you need to cross to the other side of the street, but what you don’t know is that they’re in a gang of bikers that protect children who have been sexually assaulted.

We all typecast every single person around us based upon their outward appearance. We straight away decide if they’re depressed, overly unique, angry, happy, judgmental, gay, hateful, bigoted, and so on and so on. And often, we keep those people at arms length so that we won’t get hurt, or challenged, or changed. And we are missing out!

I am almost 47 years old. I have purple hair and 4 tattoos. I have 3 piercings in one ear and 2 in the other. I am overweight. I am a devout Christian and wear a butterfly cross necklace around my neck every day. I draw in my bible. I am quirky. I’m funny sometimes. I’m a little socially awkward and I hate to cry in public. These are all the things you can see from the outside or through social media. But this is not WHO I am.

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The only One that will ever be able to know me is my Lord, because humans look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).

Let me challenge each and every one of you 25 people that read my posts, it’s time we stop typecasting everyone around us based upon what we SEE from the outside, and get to know the people around us by interaction and investment into WHO they are on the inside.

Here is the only thing you need to know about me above all else – Jesus Loves You, and so do I! I don’t care if you have tats, purple hair, an atheist, vegan, gay, or straight, whatever. I love you! Sometimes an outward appearance may intimidate me and make me pause, but I refuse to let this world tell me that it’s okay to typecast everyone around me. I done with that life.

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Can’t we all just be HUMAN?!

I’m sick, tired, angry, irritated, disgusted and just plain DONE!!! I’m done with people losing their humanity and I’m done with people expressing their opinions in disgusting and vile ways!! I’m over pettiness, hate, and disrespect.

A few days ago my sister shared a post about a shoe repair shop in Ohio. The picture below is how the owner feels about this country and some of the decisions being made by the President. This picture isn’t what got me fired up, it’s what happened after. The moment he placed his protest in the window of his shop he began to receive threatening notes and phone calls. People have threatened his livelihood and his life!

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What kind of world do we live in where protesting has turned to threats? Disagreement to hate? Tolerance to intolerance? Discussion to accusation? Conviction to violence?

If you think this blog post applies to you, then it probably does. If you think I’m speaking to you directly, then I probably am! If you think you may not want to be friends with me anymore, then start stepping because I have NO ROOM in my life for people that cannot be kind and loving and treat others with respect!

If you disagree with someone, then talk about it, agree to disagree. Share in love and concern for the OTHER HUMAN BEING that you are talking to. If you don’t like what a company stands for, then don’t shop there. If you want to boycott a place, then do – but don’t threaten them.

God’s word says so many things about how we should treat others. Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Mark 12:30 – 31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” No other greater commandment than loving God and loving others.

Whether you share my belief in God or not, you should share my perspective on humanity or maybe you should then begin to question whether you are even human. I may not agree with people’s political ideology, morality, decisions, religious beliefs or the lack thereof, but I agree that you are human and therefore I LOVE YOU! I love you regardless if I agree with everything you stand for. I love you because God first loved me and has commanded me to LOVE! If love is not at the cornerstone of every interaction you have, then you may need to question your motivations and perspective.

Tirade over, thanks for listening!