Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reflection

Reflection

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 
1 John 4:18

My forty days of reflection has begun with the beginning of the Lenten season. Some people will announce what they are doing for the Feast of Reflection, some will not give the Fast of Sacrifice a second thought, and others will wonder what all this Christian hokey pokey is about. Well turn yourself around and I’ll tell you.

Isa. 58:6-8 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.”

Lent, just like Advent is a highly misunderstood Holy Time of the year. Many people assume it is just something Catholics partake in and it’s a ritual they WON’T take part in. Some people will tout that they reflect and sacrifice all year so they won’t partake but I’m here to tell you, it is SO much more!

Lent is a forty-day period of prayer, penance and fasting. It is a season of sacrifice, spiritual exercise and renewal. My season begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter Sunday the day I celebrate my New Year and my spirit is mentally refreshed and healed.

Sacrifice – It can also mean fasting, not always celebrated with the refusal of meat, unless meat is a hindrance in your life. Sacrifice means to give up something that is hindering your spiritual growth. To REALLY sacrifice is not hiding on days you feel like it and slipping into old routines because no one is watching. Can you imagine giving up politics, hate and judging of people like blacks, Jews, Christians and yes even Muslims for forty-days? Imagine giving up Social Walls for forty-days. Giving up sex for forty-days. There are so many things YOU can give up and sacrifice for your Lord.

This sacrifice is all about YOU and God! A forty-day sacrifice is extremely hard and grueling, sometimes painful and feels like it is punishment but this is the LEAST we can do for a man we believe was whipped and had skin shredded, falling off the bone and hung on the cross for US!

Prayer – This isn’t the normal prayer you pray when someone says they need prayer and you say, ‘praying’. This season of prayer is deep meditative prayer for YOU, for all you hate, for all you judge, for strength in lasting forty-days. This is a cleansing prayer feast between you and God. 

Renewal – After the season is over and you awake on Easter Sunday there is a refreshing, honorable feeling that overwhelms you knowing you made it the forty-days without fail. That is the secret. Not failing. We fail all year but in these forty days WE DO NOT FAIL! That is where the sacrifice, prayer and renewal of spirit comes from and washes over as if you yourself bathed in the river Jordan.

My prayer for you is to know and understand what this season is all about. I pray that you know and understand the true meaning of sacrifice and that you see and feel internal growth by the Rising of the Lord. 

May God walk with you all and bless you in more ways than one!

Because I am loved by God… I can be grateful for another day of life.

1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You Can't Force Love

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

You Can’t Force Love

Can you imagine a heavenly Father forcing himself on us and making us love Him? Or trying to guilt us into loving him unconditionally? No, I can’t imagine that either. That is why we have a thing called free-will, we have a CHOICE to love the Lord or not to. We can love Him from afar or have an up close and personal relationship; the choice is ours. 

Relationships, whether earthly or spiritual, work two ways. Let’s say a person gives love but the receiver doesn’t return that love, but expects more and more love from the giver without ever acknowledging the heartfelt sentiment from the giver. Does that sound like love of any kind?

Take for example God. He gives you love, you receive it but never ever thank Him for all the love He has given, then when you’re down that’s the first thing you want is your Heavenly Father. 

Do you have a relationship with God where you do all the giving and He does all the taking? I myself cannot see a God that doesn’t reciprocate the love you give to Him. I can however see mothers and fathers and children with earthly choices choosing to do all the taking without ever an ounce of giving. I can see children growing up in the ‘me generation’ making love all about them without ever giving the love that it takes to get some in return. 

The children today are all about what THEY need, what THEY want and never thinking far enough ahead of what was given to get to this point of wanting and needing. Children today are very selfish and always worrying about their wants and not focusing on Him. It’s a hard realization when we come to terms that life is not about US, it is about Him and the sacrifices we must make to be at peace and have a relationship in a clogged-drain world. Kids today don’t realize the severity of not having Him first and foremost but they’ll learn, one day. 

True stories:
I have a niece born out of wedlock, an illegitimate child. Her mother forced child support, while bio-dad forced visitation rights. A compromise was made and thirty years later all involved has a mutual love-filled relationship; all because of CHOICES made in FORMING the relationship.

I have other nieces born out of love but torn apart by divorce. The choices of the mother and father to have relationships and be involved in their lives make the world of difference between bitter or self-absorbed. 

I have a son, who was born out of love who was torn apart by divorce, never seeing or knowing his dad since he was seven and as an adult now makes the CHOICE in whether he seeks out or has ANY relationship with his father. He chooses not to have one and I won’t FORCE him to do anything different because he’s an adult now. 

Some parents build a fantasy world for their children like telling them Santa exists and will bring you presents only for the kids to grow and realize their parents lied to them. If they lied about Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy what other lies were told that you, as an unknowing child, bought into? I’ve seen over the years so many kids torn apart by lies and deception only to find out later the truth. I never lied to my son about Santa, he never knew him whereas I tried to FORCE my God and all of MY opinions on him and it backfired. I didn’t lie to him about God, but I tried to FORCE him to love God.

God will never FORCE himself upon you. He gives you truth as a gift and it is up to you to wrap your mind around the giver or let it blow in the breeze like a self-entitled receiver. When we lie to our children by giving them what we think they want to hear, it is going to backfire and hurt the children in the long run and in the end FORCE them into making decisions as the adult they’ve become. We can no longer make decisions for our adult children because they have already formed an opinion. Either from what we forced on them, lied to them, or tried shaping them into.

I always told my son the truth about his father and our relationship and it is now up to him as an adult, to shape whatever if any relationship will be had later in life. The choice is now his, I can’t make it for him. God gives us the CHOICE to have a relationship with Him. My son now knows it is up to him to have a relationship with God and as an adult, he makes his own choices. Mom can’t save him now, only God can do that.

The CHOICE is always yours!

“A perfect relationship is two imperfect people who refused to give up on each other.”

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Poetry Sunday ~ I See Him


Eph. 3:3-4 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

I see Him in the light of day
I see Him in the clouds that sway
I see Him in the breeze He breathes
I see Him in the soul that seethes






    
                                             
I hear Him in the songs of praise
I hear Him in intuitive ways
I hear Him in the reprimand
I hear Him in the Promised Land

I touch Him in my daily need
I touch Him in diurnal deed
I touch Him with my active prayer
I touch Him with each wisp of air

I taste Him in the scented dew
I taste Him in His words so true.
I taste Him in the daily bread
I taste Him in the cross He bled

I see, hear, touch and taste
The scent of Him in honor placed
For all I see and all I do
It is my God I share with you!



God Bless you all






Saturday, February 06, 2016

Quotation Saturday ~ Positive Beauty

Job 40:10” Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.”

POSITIVE

“Thoughts are like an open ocean, they can either move you forward within its waves, or sink you under deep into its abyss.”
~ Anthony Liccione

“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.” 
~ Brian Tracy

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder

“Do not dilute the truth of your potential. We often convince ourselves that we cannot change, that we cannot overcome the circumstances of our lives. That is simply not true. You have been blessed with immeasurable power to make positive changes in your life. But you can't just wish it, you can't just hope it, you can't just want it... you have to LIVE it, BE it, DO it.” 
~ Steve Maraboli

INSPIRE

“Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” 
~ Roman Payne

“Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.” 
~ Criss Jami

“When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.” 
~ Steve Maraboli

MOTIVATE

“Destiny reveals itself only when there is truth and action.” 
~ Suzy Kassem

“He who coordinates his thoughts with his actions controls his own destiny.” ~ Amunhotep El Bey” 
~ Amunhotep El Bey

“If an ordinary person’s words have consistently good wisdom, then he may have to wait long before most people appreciate and rate him high; because almost all have mindset to often uplift heavy things later and light objects earlier and this has been in vogue or practice since time immemorial.” 
~ Anuj Somany

“Words do less than 10 things, but actions do more than 10 thousand things. Leaders don’t talk in vain; they follow with actions.” 
~ Israelmore Ayivor

BEAUTY

“Remember the Lotus Flower”

Great people will always be mocked by those
Who feel smaller than them.
A lion does not flinch at laughter coming from a hyena.
A gorilla does not budge from a banana thrown at it by a monkey.
A nightingale does not stop singing its beautiful song
At the intrusion of an annoying woodpecker.
Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower.
Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud,
It does not allow the dirt that surrounds it
To affect its growth or beauty.
Be that lotus flower always.
Do not allow any negativity or ugliness
In your surroundings
Destroy your confidence,
Affect your growth,
Or make you question your self-worth.
It is very normal for one ugly weed
to not want to stand alone.
Remember this always.
If you were ugly,
Or just as small as they feel they are,
Then they would not feel so bitter and envious
Each and every time they are forced
To glance up at magnificently
Divine YOU.” 
~ Suzy Kassem

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” 
~ Ashley Smith

ANGER

“And I just want to tell you, at some point it doesn’t matter who was right and who was wrong. At some point, being angry is just another bad habit, like smoking, and you keep poisoning yourself without thinking about it.” 
~ Jonathan Tropper

“Angry people are not always wise.” 
~ Jane Austen

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” 
~ Mark Twain

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder

“Your anger and hatred makes all the positive beauty turn into nothingness. Are you the sum of your hatred or the sum of your beauty?”
~ Joni Zipp


Friday, February 05, 2016

Hope

Prov. 10:28 “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.”

Do you have hope? In the world? In people?

The definition of hope in the dictionary is: 
*the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: or 
*to believe, desire, or trust:

Yesterday I had hope that someone would come and plow us out of the 14 inches of snow that lay on the ground like a baby in a crib. The snow had imprisoned us in our homes so hope was all we had to hold onto if we were ever going to see the ground again. On Wednesday we had a family event, we all took turns out there with the one shovel we own. A path was made around the house leading to the front door; a little area was made for my dog so she could get out there too. I had hope we’d be freed and it happened by us all pulling together with the same hope on our quest.

Prov. 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

Funny thing is Monday and Tuesday we HAD to have a little area for Sassy but the winds kept blowing all the shoveled snow back and kept the area from staying clear. The clearing had to be shoveled time and time again. Even with my back problems I did my share of shoveling to keep up on the storm. 

Life is like that sometimes; we see hope within our grasp of becoming a reality only for it to be covered by the winds of negativity that blow all the ugliness back into a heap. We can shovel and shovel all of the loaded bull that is flung out there, we can hide and disguise it with snow-white clarity, but it will never be gone. People do not want to change. 

The winds blow to keep the sailboat sailing. Like lies, rubbish and insincerity, people are the winds that keep the negativity flowing. They thrive on it because they want to keep the momentum moving forward and around and around the world it goes.

I have no hope in mankind. They are all set on destroying the world and the way I see it, they are succeeding. One positive does not shift the tons of negatives you feed the pool of hate, it’s like throwing a pebble in a raging sea and then trying to find that pebble. It isn’t there! It got gobbled up and became a part of the ocean floor. That is what your one positive thought for the day does it becomes obliterated in a sea of hate.

Yesterday hope came mounted on a John Deere tractor with a snowplow attachment that shoveled tons and tons of snow out of the long driveway allowing passage to the road needed for transportation. He plowed for hours even coming up on the back lawn giving Sassy and extended path and a much easier route to the mailbox. 

Why was I sad? He did a good job but left behind humongous tire tracks and blackened soil all over the place taking away the beauty of crystallized joy that I saw for days. I was sad because it metaphorically spoke to me that this is what man does to the beauty in the world; they plow their way over the flowers of the world with their hate and anger leaving behind mud. 

I held out for hope that the warmth would beautify everything again, instead I woke to more snow, falling aimlessly trickling and blowing and covering all the ugliness exposed yesterday. Man has within his hand the power to beautify the world but instead he chooses the darkness that he tucks away in his soul. 

Prov.29:20 “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.”

As dark matter swallows up parts of the cosmos, man in his darkness is swallowing up the globe called earth. They feed off this darkness and serve it to unwitting victims and people gobble this crud up like it’s mashed potatoes and gravy.

While I maintain hope in the pure white snow and the written Word of God. I’ll allow Him to judge the men who have sent their soul to hell all in the name of God? This is a sad day humans.

Isa. 38:18 “For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”

Hope…there IS reason to HOPE is there not?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Disability Awareness

These clouds explain what my body feels like

Job 14:22 “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.”

My friend posted an MS fact-check list, a slightly humorous take on what people endure and how misunderstood the disease is and compassion should be thought of before judging people with MS as just ‘dumb’. I have never thought that my Lower Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis was so similar to MS and now I’m rethinking if I should be checked out. I think there is only two or three on the list that isn’t me but maybe I miss the signal?

I do not take meds. Having never been diagnosed, I self medicate with holistic healing and Vitamin B12. That’s been working for about three years now. I wonder now how much longer…

While I don’t feel I have MS, the symptoms are eerily close to what I suffer with every day.

“The cause of MS largely remains a mystery, even though the disease was discovered in 1868. Researchers know the nerve damage is caused by inflammation, but the cause of the inflammation is still unknown.”
 ~ The Heathline Editorial Team

20 facts about MS (Multiple Sclerosis)

** Fatigue – I’m always trying to work through fatigue. Just a shower is scary and exhausting.
**Walking Difficulties – The insulting remarks of ‘your so young’ hurt. Yes, I am young, I didn’t ASK to be ill. I didn’t insist on the inability to walk. And I’m NOT OLD! Show a little compassion.
**Spasticity – No this doesn’t mean I’m a spaz, this means my illness wins the majority of the time.
**Numbness – Again, insulting remarks of ‘You’re numb’, hurt. I take it to heart. Yes I am numb. While you can feel your fingers and toes, I really need to be careful because scalding myself is a real threat.
**Vision Problems – Again, people make remarks ‘that comes with old age’, if they knew what I suffered with DAILY they might understand that it is NOT OLD AGE! Driving does not feel safe so you, the ‘other’ driver, should be glad I recognize my inability to drive the same road as you.
**Dizziness – The pity look doesn’t help. Yeah, I’m sorry this is happening but don’t look at me with pity, try understanding!
**Bladder – Some days are better than others, be glad.
**Cognitive Difficulties – I’m not old! This happens to people with MS and I relate to what they are going through.
**Pain – I occasionally take generic Naproxin and it helps a little. Meditation helps more. I’m glad I learned that skill when I was young. (there) Apparently our nerves are misfiring sending mixed signals to our brain.
Swallowing Problems – no. But don’t ask me a question while I’m chewing. 
**Heat and Cold Intolerance – A little understanding goes a long way when I pass on an outing if it is too cold or too hot outside. 
**Speech Problems – While mocking my wrong choice of wording, understand the cognitive energy it is taking for me to even verbalize a complete sentence.
**Emotional Changes – Maybe it is NOT PMS! It is NOT pre-menopause/menopause! Did you ever think I’m having a hard time dealing with my disability as much as you don’t like seeing a vibrant, beautiful, YOUNG woman wobble across the floor?
**Itching – My goodness. The numbness makes me itch! Once I start, I can’t seem to stop.
Tremors – no, but I do have a lot of eye spasms.
**Breathing Problems – I get out of breath very quickly. Reading out loud is a chore in itself.
**Hearing Loss – Not LOSS, but the ringing, fluttering and the feeling I’ve been swimming all day creeps up on me but it does go away.
*Sexual Problems – Life is not all about sex! 
Headaches – not many
**Seizures – I don’t have the uncontrollable jerking kind, I have lapses of consciousness where it feels like I’m daydreaming in a world that is spinning. Or the jello legs. I’ll be walking and a nerve just sends my ankle bending. Sometimes I catch myself, sometimes I fall. 

#10 - Swallowing and #19 – headaches - are not on MY list. I do feel as the years go on I will add the other two and maybe possibly become wheelchair bound. Many people don’t see me in a wheelchair so they just assume ‘I’ll get better’. I’m going to do more and more research on this and I have to thank my friend for posting this on his facebook wall. Maybe he didn’t know why God led him to post this but let me assure you, as I read, I cried because of the realization that this is me. I didn’t cry because I was sad that this was me, I cried because it opened my eyes and made me see me for who I am now, and I accept this, I just wish everyone else did too.

5-13-15 Wedding Day

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

20 BLIZZARD 16




 


Pss. 55:8 “I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

Winter came in like a lamb. We had mild temps all throughout December and January. Nebraska wasn’t the only place that had mild temps, even back in Baltimore they were boasting of an uneventful mild winter until… the Blizzard of 2016 that is!

The term blizzard is defined as:
a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold.
a heavy and prolonged snowstorm covering a wide area.

Baltimore was hit with 30 inches of snow and left the kids out of school for an entire week. This blast of snow looks to be Nebraska’s big storm of the year. We’re due a hefty 14 inches! If my husband didn’t have to work outside in this stuff, I’d probably enjoy the beauty of the falling snow a little bit more. But he does have off today and tomorrow so my heart and prayer goes out to anyone who has to be out in this storm.

When we first moved here to Nebraska, we were hit with TWO blizzards back to back dumping 24 inches of snow both times! So now you know where all of my back problems began to surface. Now seven years later the wintertime is nothing to write home about. I won’t call it anything but a mild winter.

I knew Baltimore was going to be hit hard when I heard the term ‘Snowpocalypse’ and ‘Snowmageddon’ but namely when I heard they NAMED the storm, Jonas! When did they start naming winter storms? Goodness! 

I think they name the storms for the severity they expect, like this one that is hitting Nebraska they named Kayla. Well that’s not a life-threatening name. The thing about this one is that it is a very WET snow and has it clinging like wet napkins to everything in its path! The winds are howling, the snow is flying horizontally and the house trembles at every gust. 

I was up very early and it looked deep out there but the worse is yet to arrive or so they say and from the looks of it, I’d say they nailed this one! I’m sure I’ll have more pictures as the day rolls along. I’ve been up since 5:30 snapping shots in the dark until the light came and now… it is even DEEPER!

I want to run out and make a snow angel! Maybe later when I try to get my dog out there to do her business, if my back allows. Other than that the day is definitely a stay-inside-cook-and-enjoy-the-view kind of day. Cocoa anyone? 


More pics to come later as the storm rages on








early morn

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award