Friday, January 20, 2017

Seeing LIGHT In The Dark

Prov.16:9 “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps”.

Here’s My Take: Seeing light in the dark

I know many of you think me to be ‘flighty’ with the peppy step in my words. You can only visualize my happy-go-lucky happiness that I carry with me every day, so for many of you to hear of my breast dilemma it might come as a surprise that I’m taking it as lightly as I am. 

I think you all kind of understand my beliefs of right and wrong, good and bad, Light and dark, God and Satan. Yes, God and satan (nothing about him is proper so I don’t capitalize his name.) If you don’t understand then read my past seven years of posts to enlighten yourself.

For forty of my fifty years of life someone (or something) has always tried to steer me away from the truth and light that I hold dear to my heart and soul. Everyone thought me weird and strange because of my beliefs and many of you believe the exact same thing as I but have too much pride built inside yourselves to admit to it. I’m okay with that, I’m a warrior and I’ll carry that uneasiness for you. I got your back.

My take on the entire situation from my back problems to my breast problems is going to bring God into the equation as always, of course; with a little dash of satan tossed in because where there is Light there is dark hanging in the outskirts waiting to drown out the Light. 

Let me take you back in time a bit and remind you of my husband becoming blind. From the search for a new home (in Nebraska) to a new doctor to medical funding for a cornea transplant, all happened in God’s time not our time. Sure hubby would’ve liked not going blind at all but, such as it was, he did and got his sight back when God was good and ready for him to receive such a miracle. All of those years were fought with the Light and Dark.

Almost immediately upon the return of his sight, my back went haywire. I told you how driving for three eight-hour trips to Omaha did my back in (to me - four hours each way, three times in a week) and as much as hubby and his mother (she can make the Omaha trip in two and a half hours – each way) want to think otherwise, the driving did me in completely. Then we had to do it again when he lost his other eye completely. The trips through the high winds, torrential downpours all took its toll on my overworked back. With limitations on his driver’s license due to being blind in one eye, I was the sole driver in the household.

I went to get my back checked out by a Nurse Practitioner in town. I know they are not doctors but she would set me in the right direction, right? Wrong. She sent me to get an x-ray and I never heard from her again. The x-ray people called and told me I had Lower Lumbar Facet Joint Arthritis in my back and that physical therapy might help with the difficulty walking. Don’t ask how it was paid for because that was nothing short of a miracle also. 

Fast forward to four almost five years later and I still can’t walk right and of course, satan is all too ready to put negative stuff in my mind to have me thinking of all of the WRONG things, and searching google doesn’t help either. I’m sure most of you are accustomed to checking out headaches or insomnia only to find a dire explanation via WebMD or any other source??? Like, you have a brain tumor and death is imminent. Well yes, we’re all going to die, but google searches will have you there much faster than God ever intends.    

As much as I want someone to say this is all normal for a perimenopausal woman, I’ve had no such feedback from anywhere except the worldwide satanic web! It is the dark in a lightened path, I tell you!

So, here’s my take on this as whispers from God come into my ear but resounding trumpets blare in my ear from satan. In other words, I’m listening to that still, small voice who reigns my soul. I’m going to see the light where the dark tries to obscure my vision.

Matt. 10:27 “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.” 

 I saw MS info on facebook and the meme seemed to be clearly referring to my disability since I have eighteen out of twenty symptoms. Now as I sit here today with hindsight and I see satan’s machinations at play to get me to believe in something that just isn’t true, I have arthritis AND I'm premenopausal! That’s it! I will NOT be put in a tube to be radiated to find out otherwise just so you know. 

The storm last week keeping me from my doctor visit? Somehow instilled fear in me that I hadn’t had up until then, I’ve been prancing around and joking because I don’t believe it is as serious as satan would have me believe. He used the FEAR of my aunt, uncle and father’s death to have me second guessing MY disability and illness. 

The ice storm Jupiter gave satan ample time to play with my head as I scurried to make a new appointment and had yet another week of waiting time. All time that he has to mess with my head. BUT, I don’t think he was expecting me to place God higher than himself. He expects everyone to listen to all his lies and deceit and as people listen, it then becomes their truth. 

HA! I have a lump on my breast, a cyst, it will be drained and all will be okay. And if this isn’t the case and the negative thoughts win out in the end and cancer is found and I’m given six months to live, let me tell you, I will die in the arms of the Lord because this will be HIS will and no other will can play in the game of chess except dark and light, white and black, good and bad, right and wrong. I love playing chess and yes, I ALWAYS choose the WHITE side of the board. I don’t ever remember in all of my life ever choosing the black side of the board. This is not racism, these are just colors, and technically neither is a color.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!” 
― Ted Grant

Luke 11:36 “If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”


Our God is an awesome God He reigns!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Doctor Appointment: Take Two

out my front door before the meltdown

Luke 1:30 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”

Doctor Appt.: Take Two

Well, I’ve been in kind of a funk this week, not a negative hate-the-world kind of funk an ‘oh well, deep sigh’ kind of funk. It kind of has had my days in a cloud and I can attest to the fact that this morning, the heavy veiled visible fog has my mood affecting my outside physical world.

You see, I was really looking forward to a much-needed Doctor’s appointment on Monday. I slept a good nine hours on Sunday evening so I was raring and ready to go come Monday morning to go and see the doctor.

I can also attest to the FACT of God’s timing never being OUR timing. We make plans and expect them to go off without a hitch because for some odd reason the majority of folks feel like they are in control of their own lives. I imagine in non-Christian households when plans don’t go their way, they chalk it up to coincidence or just bad timing. Whatever the case may be, I’m on the God Plan so…I sort of expected Monday to turn out the exact way it did.

Let me start by saying hubby had a scheduled eye doctor appointment and that is the reason I made Monday’s breast check-up appointment for myself. He was off of work, and I was ready in every way to see what path the Lord had set for me with the much-needed exam but it was not meant to be.

The winter weather advisories started streaming in well in advance of the storm. I made an appointment on the 11th I believe and on the 12th, four full days before my scheduled appointment, the murmurs were rippling through the airwaves “Ice Storm Jupiter could wreak havoc on motorists come Monday.” 

Great, another named storm ruining my plans. Weathermen have been totally wrong before so here goes optimistic Joni, holding on to hope and wishing to breathe the storm AWAY! Didn’t happen. My plans are not His plans. Instead, I woke to evidence of Jupiter (the storm) playing mental anguish with my mind. 

On Sunday, (yes Sunday) my husband’s doctor had canceled his Monday visit to our area; the doctor and all of his assistants come in from Omaha, heard the severe storm reports and canceled. They called on Sunday to inform us!

I have to admit, I was holding out hope for my visit but one look out the door basically shattered any hopes of making it into town. This was my view of the storm that day:

“The petrified tree branches are creaking with the slightest breath of wind. Weakened limbs snap and fall missing the electric wires and the beloved truck. Littered is the lawn with limbs gone by. The darkened sky speaks to my heavy heart and the tears from the clouds erupt into ice pellets that are attacking everything in its path. Blessed be His name, the Protector of all.” ~ Joni’s thoughts

More had fallen after this pic was taken

The ice storm was mesmerizing, to say the least, and opening the doors to the tomb outside awaited me. The ice had clung to the road like a wet napkin, the branches small and large were breaking in the slightest wisp of wind, and the silence of no human life was eerie. I felt I was opening the door on a graveyard where the dead were resting but the icy atmosphere was tapping out a Morse code telling me to beware, stay home, and be safe.

The call came shortly before noon that the office was going to remain closed as the treacherous roadways were impassable. I had read story after story of 18-wheelers toppling, and one caught fire after it slid into a ditch and tipped over on the highways out there. I was safe, I was inside and didn’t have to break my neck and already pained back. God protected me! 

The next day came and my mind was blinded by the sunshine and hugged by a new day, a new chance to reschedule my much-needed appointment. 

My thoughts on the 17th were something like this: “Like an ocean of diamonds, the trees are lit by the sunshine’s glare. Ice is meeting the warmth in a creaking display of sound. Ringing out through the trees are resounding sounds of hail beating a tin roof echoing with the lightest wisp of wind. Will the weighted ice give way and topple more limbs or will a subtle melt leave intact the beauty of the days brightness?” Joni is a darned good writer! I wax poetic OFTEN.

I called the doctor’s office and started to get anxious when the day I wanted wasn’t available and after a good cry and a shower I listened to what God had whispered in my ear, “Just call and take what they have!” and so I did, making hubby’s work schedule work around ME. Tuesday the 24th! Yes! It’s going to happen! The positive influx of emotions filled me once again!

And so here is where I am today, I checked the weather and lo and behold, guess what Tuesday looks like? Snow and ice, AGAIN! After the big meltdown from ol’ Jupiter with the teasing of spring-like temps (yes the upper forties is spring-like after our lovely 28 below zero windchills left us bitter.) (pun intended)

So here I am (and shouldn’t be) questioning what God is up to now! With a lighthearted spirit, I walk hand in hand with God knowing full well He will carry me through this juncture of my journey. 

The journey to continue…

Mark 6:8 “And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ice Storm 1 16 17






The petrified tree branches are creaking with the slightest breath of wind. Weakened limbs snap and fall missing the electric wires and the beloved truck. Littered is the lawn with limbs gone by. The darkened sky speaks to my heavy heart and the tears from the clouds erupt into ice pellets that are attacking everything in its path. Blessed be His name, the Protector of all! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Breasts

Pss.22:9 “But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.”

Breasts...the title alone got you to click

I imagine since the beginning of time, breast were being obsessed over just as they are this day and age. I imagine Eve tiptoeing toward Adam with her head hung low after biting the apple and having sex with satan and enticing Adam with the apple so he could see what she saw. 

His first bite opened his eyes and pierced his soul and what was the first thing his eyes beheld? Breasts, the alluring nakedness of her sensuous curves had him wanting her in a sexual manner. And there you have it, man has never gotten his soul returned to him. This is the very lust that man and woman must fight.

Today man objectifies, ogles, lusts, breathes and pants heavy just looking at breasts. Whether they are real or fake, small or big, round or sagging, men lust after breast. What they don’t lust after is the reality of all that breast really are. 

If the breasts are fake, man doesn’t see the scars that it took to make them that way, or the pain and stitches the woman had to endure so he would look at her and pay her any sort of attention. Without those fake breasts, she is just another woman in the garden.

If they are real, men don’t see what the woman has to go through with wires poking them to keep them up, or what pain a woman lugs around as they get too heavy to carry causing all sorts of back pains, or the natural way gravity takes a hold of them pulling on them making them look like dried grapes hanging on the vine. 

No, while the female anatomy is an obsession to man it is the very heart of motherhood. Breast are to sustain an infant's life. They are not to sustain a man and his libido but I digress…

Prov. 5:19 “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” 

We have objectified women for centuries.

Cant. 8:10 “I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.”

From pin-up gals to Victoria Secrets runway shows, women are to be objectified in today’s society never looked at as part of the human species. I’m curious, do men objectify their mother? Do they see her as a sexual, sensuous being that has had sex with their father? No, they see her as their life-giving nurturer who sustained their very life and breadth of being, nothing more. But when men are grocery shopping, what is it that grabs your eyes at the checkout counter; exposed skin of a woman more than likely, not Field and Stream or a National Geographic magazine.

From Marilyn Monroe to Dolly Parton, from Farrah Fawcett, Daisy Duke to the today’s obsession of the Kardashian clan. No one thinks to see the breasts as carriers of cysts, or dormitories for cancer cells, or over-bearing back-breaking hindrances, no they only see what the images titillate the eye with, they never see an entire picture of the shell being portrayed.

Ezek. 17:7 “I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.”

Which brings me to the reason for a much-needed doctor’s appointment. Cysts, tumors or something out of the ordinary has taken over my left breast. Yeah, that’s something to be looked at, a lop-sided woman. I should fear this event in almost every woman’s adult life but instead, I’m empowered to bring you my journey. 

Hos. 9:14 “Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts”.

I find it quite amazing that God places hindrances in your life for you to admirably overcome to only toss another one in to see how you handle THAT one. It’s like a one-two punch that you hear about but seriously don’t ever want to experience or have to live through.  

I also find it quite confounding to go through almost three years of blindness with hubby to watch the success of the miracle of him regaining his sight only for my body to take a mystifying fall almost immediately after his sight returned. I strongly supported him, now it is his turn to be my Hercules and support me. This is me and the journey of my life.

And so the story goes… Monday an ice storm is going to hit this area we live in and it looks like something is going to try and hinder me finally being looked at to find out what has taken over my body. As I said, I could be down, sad and scared but instead, I am amazed that I am worth this much trouble for God to choose ME to carry this to YOU! Praise be to God!

Keep me in your prayers as the story continues not without surprises and twists and turns. 

2 John 1:10 “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Overwhelmed? Take it to God!

Blizzard of 2009
talk about overwhelming

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV), “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 

Overwhelmed

Have you ever been overwhelmed? Here lately my pain has overwhelmed me to the point of frustration and I don’t like that part of me, angry Joni.  The holiday took more out of me than I thought; I felt exhausted, tired and just totally done with the world. So what did I do, I took a time of rest! Something slashed me right across the face; maybe it was the 26 degrees below zero wind chilling temps?

While I love the cold I cannot and will not embrace extremely bitter, skin scarring, back biting cold. The winds alone feel like little shards of glass being plunged into your skin and any part of you that is exposed will surely freeze on impact and bleed when you thaw, so I stayed inside. While I consider myself somewhat of a recluse, the walls begin to close in on you and smother you in the bitterness of the season.

Top that off with a chronic pain and you have a recipe for disaster waiting to spin out of control and spit in the face of anyone that gets in your path. I try not to allow my pain to get that out of control and what is my saving grace? Well God of course. Prayerful meditation.

I realize that when people become so overwhelmed with say (snow) work, classes, bills, pain; their ability to fight is hidden and they shut down and give in to the ‘okay, you win’, worry and stressing about the overwhelming event, if you can call it that. It is what it is and that is LIFE. 

The only way that the events in life stop is if we die, and well, we don’t want that to happen, so what do we do? We deal with everything on a daily basis, sometimes by the seconds of the day and we need our prayerful meditations to just snuggle us tightly and get us through our life event. 

You know how people have huge walk-in-closets where they store everything but the kitchen sink? Yeah, I don’t have one of those. And then there are some smaller more reasonably sized closets; yeah I don’t have one of those either. Then there are the broom closets where you pack all of your junk in there until the walls are about to explode; yeah, I have one of those!

I’m telling you now, the bigger the closet the more problems of being overwhelmed you’ll encounter. People tend to hoard their life in a walk-in-closet when they only have a pantry size cupboard, that is when the overwhelming sneaks up on you and you burst. What to do? Take it to God and leave it in his mansion. He has plenty of room but you know what, He doesn’t store your problems or hide them or pile them back on top of you when you least expect it, nope He carries your junk effortlessly to the shores and places them by the sea. You see where I’m going with this? 

Have you ever watched waves crash on the shores? I remember when I was small we used to go to Ocean City, Maryland. I’d build sandcastles right close to the water but not too close for the waves to come and wash my beautiful creation away. By nightfall, the tide had moved in and my sandcastle became a part of the sea, no longer a part of me. 

That is what happens to our problems when we take them to God instead of storing them in our closets. He places them at the waters edge and it takes very little time for the hoarded problems to wash away. 

The other night I had a dream, one where our landlord came to the house for an inspection. The first thing he did was looked in our closets and started moving stuff around telling me that this closet needs to be organized. I woke with the overwhelming sensation of needing (no not cleaning out my closets!) but to organize my problems and prepare to load them up and take them to where God was standing and waiting for me to unload the accumulated junk in my life.(worries, problems, pain, stress) 

Sometimes we wait for a deadline to come upon us then turn to God when we should have been turning to God all along. We might think, ‘oh this is just a small problem (whether it is pain, bills, a dilemma) that we can handle on our own’, but we soon realize via the intensity, we’ve stuffed our closet to the max and there is no room. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve taken so much to God that I feel I overwhelm HIM and can handle the small things on my own. Boy, was I ever wrong! Like I said, He has a mansion the size of an ocean to store your problems, to Him they are but a grain of sand. Have you ever seen a grain of sand? To me, it is smaller than a grain of salt. To Him, my problems must be smaller than a grain of sand!

Don’t be afraid to take the small stuff to Him. Allow him to organize that closet to where your little pantry looks like a humongous walk-in closet upon opening and allow the sea breeze to swiftly wash over your face lifting your hair in a whoosh to carry your problems away.

It’s that simple, take your overwhelming worries to God. Don’t hoard the small stuff either, it just clutters the closet. ;) 

Matt. 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Monday, January 09, 2017

Happy New Year...To My Return!

The frozen Platte River
Prov. 7:19 “For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:”

Happy New Year…to my return

Well, that break went well, except I missed writing every day. I tried and I am committing myself to pulling out some of my fiction and working on it but my blog needs me, my friends need me. 

You might think I don’t see you suffering in pain, and you might think I’ve left you all behind never to spare another encouraging word but it is that need that pulled me back. I need you all as much as you need my encouraging words.

Again I am not pinpointing anyone out here; my words are for many who see themselves in what I say. Pain. Who doesn’t relate to that one? Sickness! Who can’t say they haven’t been warding off a sickness these past couple of months (if not years); Not many I’m sure. 

I realized something the other day and am quite honored to say that people respect me and expect a certain manner and moral compass from me. They look to me for inspiring and encouraging words and will quite surely make note of when I’ve veered off track.

I posted something on facebook the other day with a negative overtone. While everyone expects the positive and encouraging words from me, they are quick to call me on anything negative. It’s kind of funny though, for an entire year I watched people day after day (and still do) share negative and hate filled posts and no one calls them on spreading hate and negativity. They just bask in the glory of feeling good about themselves by sharing the hate with the world.

That’s when I realized something, people respect me so much and have come to expect a positive energy from me that when something appears to have a negative overtone they steer me back on the enlightened path. That’s when you know your words actually are having an effect on the masses. That’s when you know that you’ve touched the souls of many.

So by realizing people miss my words of encouragement, I of course do what I normally do and that is WRITE! I think you all miss my blog because it is like I am journaling and you like peeking in on all that is going on with my life and how much like your journey is to mine. Not in a bad nosey kind of way but a good concerned kind of way as you relate. You think to yourself, ‘I wonder how Joni is doing’ and maybe wonder what I do to get through the same pain-filled days you yourself might be trudging through. I think you might need that bit of encouragement that has left your reading days empty while I was away. 

I’m back. I can’t give up writing and I certainly can’t leave you all hanging in wonder. I’ve decided to take you on this journey of discovering my medical condition so I don’t feel so alone is the process of whatever is going on with my body. 

I’ll seek a doctor, I’ll get diagnosed and I’ll let you in on the homeopathic process I hope I’m allowed to take. The only way they can diagnose MS is through a spinal tap and just reading about it made me cringe, so that is a big no! An MRI okay, if it’s an open tube (I’m claustrophobic), if not, I’ll live with my disability as I’ve been doing for four almost five years now MED FREE! 

I have some stuff to share and no facebook post is enough space, I NEED my blog, I NEED to write, and most of all I NEED YOU, my friends who CARE about me. So come along on my continuing journey of Christ and see where it is I’m being led to now. If you’re reading this, like it or not, God called you along for the ride! 


My trees awakened by the morning sun!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Poetry Sunday ~ Memories

4 Ezra 4:45 “Shew me then whether there be more to come than is past, or more past than is to come.”

Memories

When tears leak from my eyes I find
a place of healing that’s no surprise,
I find I’m lost once being found is not easy
To mechanically turn life around.

The glorious light of which I cling to 
Allows me comfort waters to wade through
I’m not the one who lives daily in fear
Let me make it clear why I’m still here

The days are long often filled with pain
I’ll say it again in life I’ll remain
The one who finds God in all that I do
As I waddle through memories I once knew

The past is there for me to step around
Tiptoe through eggshells for all I’ve found
Religion and alcohol a cocktail of frights
I made it through the dark stormy nights

I didn’t have a mother who cooked and baked 
I’m lucky to have had the food that we ate.
A penguin filled schoolhouse was my only friend
That carried my memories to the rivers bend

With a concrete garden and asphalt street
My life in Baltimore was never complete
Crimson skies lined my sunset dreams
Away from home’s not as murky it seems

I’ll go and drown my empty sorrow 
For all I carry to every tomorrow
What’s done is done what’s gone is gone
I’ll live my life and carry on.


Sunshine Award

Sunshine award