I suppose when I began to reach the more mature side of life is when the nostalgia commenced intruding. You find yourself reminiscing in the strangest times and getting lost in those thoughts. They can be wonderful, giddy thoughts of a fun time as a child, as well as sad, loathsome times. So vivid live those pictures at that moment that your entire demeanor can improve or suffer.
Holiday time swirls with a plethora of deep emotions for me, and I know that I am not alone. Just consider the stressors that accompany all the festivities. Facing crowds of people in retail stores to try and find perfect gifts, closely followed by a long wait in a check-out line that moves at a snail’s crawl to be greeted by an employee who is all too comfortable with sharing with you and the rest of the world that his job “sucks.”
There are parties with gift exchanges and Dirty Santa games. There are Chrismas Caroling at the nursing homes and for shut-ins. The church Christmas program practices and performance, and the special collection for the Pastor. There are new clothes to buy, Cakes, pies and cookies to bake. Decorate the house and the yard. Oh, and don’t forget that you volunteered to help decorate the church and fellowship hall as well.
Be a part of or at least see the local Christmas parade. Christmas cards to address, Christmas dinner to plan and grocery shopping to do. House has to be cleaned for houseguests. Linens all washed and folded for any overnight stays. I MEAN JUST WRITING IT GIVES ME ANXIETY!
Now in the middle of all this commotion, my mind will seem out of nowhere drift off. A smell, a sound, or the sight of something and I get all choked up. Tears well up in my eyes and all at once my mood changes. That sad memory makes me feel things that I now perceive with some deep down emotion that I do not possess the inclination of what I am experiencing.
I am writing this post because it has been a while since I posted. These all-consuming emotions are triggers for depression and anxiety. I can’t even tell you how many lists I’ve made and they even begin stressing me out.
So, as a beginning to the Christmas Holiday. I have vowed to make life easier. I am shopping online. Even grocery pick-up is so much easier. And those stresses are off my shoulders. I am learning one day at a time to try and find one thing to make me feel less stressed. A walk, a book, Mommy time alone, alone time with God. And I am discovering that sharing here with you makes me feel stronger too.
I probably will never stop reminiscing, but I pray for strength not to let those memories consume me, and tear me down.
Towering over nine feet tall, this Philistine champion was quite menacing. The shear strength of this giant is explained by the massive amount of weight he carried with ease as armor on his body. He wore a helmet of bronze that was about 150 pounds. He also donned a coat of mail, overlapped to look like fish scales, that weighed 125 pounds. He wore bronze leg protection and he harnessed a bronze javelin over his back. The shaft of his spear was extraordinarily stout made and from hardwood and about 16 feet long, topped with an iron spearhead that weighed fifteen pounds. Altogether he carried way over 500 pounds on his body for protection.
His boisterous voice abounded mockingly across the valley to the Israelites. “Do you need a whole army to fight for you? Send me one man. If he wins we will surrender and be your slaves, but if I win the Israelites will surrender and be our slaves. I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man!”
The Israelite army and King Saul was terrified. They could see the size and strength of this giant. They knew that they could not beat him. They were completely dismayed and grievously afraid. They did not want to become slaves of the Philistines. So quietly they sat. Barely moving. Wondering what to do.
Now, David’s older brothers were serving in King Saul’s army. Dad wanted to send a care package to them via little brother. David woke up early in the morning and headed out. Just as he reached the edge of the camp, he could hear Goliath shouting out against God’s people. He began to ask questions of the men in Saul’s army. “What are you going to do about this fool?” Most of them responded by going to hide. “This guy is defying the army of the living God!” David said as he began to get a bit more zealous, “We can not allow this uncircumcised heathen continue to declare war on God’s people!”
David marched into King Saul and announced that he himself would take on the champion. Saul was a bit unsure, but happy to have someone finally to accept the herculean’s challenge. He offered David his own armor which was too cumbersome and heavy for the shepherd boy to use. On the way to meet the giant David picked up 5 smooth stones and placed them in his pocket. So, David went out to face the giant armed with what he had used before. A slingshot and a shepherd’s staff.
David arrived in the monstrous shadow and stopped. Goliath looked down on the tiny little figure before him that was holding a staff.
“Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” Goliath questioned emphatically. He cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said, “Come here and I will feed you to the birds and the wild animals.”
Then David spoke, “You come against me with a spear and a sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty! Today the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head. Then I will give the dead bodies of your army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! God does not need a weapon to rescue His people! It is His battle, not ours. The Lord will give you to us!”
The mammoth figure moved forward to attack and David hurridly ran to meet him. David reached in his shepherd’s bag and retrieved a smooth stone which he hurled from his slingshot and hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone sank in, Goliath stumbled and he fell face first to the ground. David took Goliath’s sword and cut off the giant’s head.
It was known all over the land and all over the world that God took care of His Chosen People that day.
Now let us look at this situation more carefully. How does this story apply to today? Think about who David was. A young shepherd boy who loved and served God. He knew who he was in God. Do you know who you are in God?
David put all of his faith in God. Do you have all your faith in God? What’s that? You don’t have any faith? Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.” You have been given the measure of faith when you became a child of God. Now the scripture doesn’t say how large or small the measuring cup is, but it a measure. We all receive a measure. It is important to note that Faith is no good if it is not used. Like a muscle that never gets used, it gets weak. It will wither away to nothing if it remains not used. However, if it is used regularly it will get stronger and stronger.
Thinking back to the measure of faith. Knowing that we all have the measure of faith. Let’s read the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith as small as a mustard seed. A teeny tiny mustard seed sized faith can move a mountain. WOAH!
Do not miss this. Think about that measure of faith, and about that mustard seed faith.
Notice in the picture below: The wood spoon is the measure of faith. We are going to say that the mustard seed IS the faith. Now Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mountain. How many does it take to move a giant?
David, when he prepared to go, face Goliath stopped and gathered five smooth stones. He used one to take down the giant. 4 more remained in his pocket. Have you ever heard the phrase, you mess with one, you mess with them all? Hopefully, that’s not just a southern saying, but basically, it means that family looks out for each other. Well, Goliath had four other gigantic family members at home. This was common knowledge, so David was ready with a stone for each and every one of them.
So was it really the stone that took out the Giant that day? The answer is no. That little rock flung from the sling of that small young man did not. Faith took out Goliath. David put ALL his faith in God, did his part and God took care of the rest.
Faith can move a mountain and Faith can conquer a defiant giant. Since this has been proven over and over not only in my own life but in the lives of others, why do I still have so many enormous obstacles taunting me? I have the measure of faith. You have the measure of faith. It only takes a little bit to do great things, then we need to start cutting off some heads and leveling some mountains. Build up your faith. Don’t know how? Romans 10:17,” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Read God’s word. Share God’s Word. Live God’s Word.
Once you start using your faith you will feel it grow. You will be able to speak as freely as David did about what God is going to do because you will be more intuned to hie will. But it all begins with that tiny bit of faith put to good use. Before long they will be talking about the giants that YOU and faith killed.
Which is worse? The Craziness of the morning getting kids ready for school, or the afternoons of homework and after-school activities as well as little league games. Oh, and everyone’s favorite part of the day, dinner. Oh, no, did I forget to plan dinner? Okay, I will pick something up on the way home. Only on the way home, half the city decided to do the same thing and traffic is ridiculous! Your annoyance grows as you are standing in line that because of this you are behind on picking up people at the correct time. All you can do is pray that this day will be over soon because tomorrow you get to try again.
Every household needs to function like a well-oiled machine. Matter of fact, the more children and extracurricular activities + the more parents with jobs and social engagements = better functioning machine becomes crucial. Day to day events require us to tick them off the to-do list at lightning speed and without hesitation conquer the following one as well. Anything that happens to cause the wheels to slow down or even stop can cause frustration. There has to be something that can help a parent/guardian keep things rolling smoothly.
Well, Ta-DA. There are useful home products that this writer would venture to say that they are must-haves for every home. Let me first say that I am not trying to sell you these particular products. I am merely placing ideas before you for your consideration. You purchase, test and use at your own discretion which products and brands are right for you.
Life in our home would come to a screeching halt without storage bags. We use them for all kinds of things. I will make a list of things we use storage bags (all sizes) for in our house.
Cupcake baking cups
Medicine on the go
There are probably a dozen more I could find if I just looked, but you get the idea. They are cheap enough to toss out if it gets too dirty, plus all the kids can have identical bags on trips. Do not forget freezer bags. They are great for breaking down those large packages of meat into smaller, into easier to handle bundles. Your garden Veggies keep much better that way too, and you can eat them after the season is over.
This is an item that will aid cook and dishwasher by becoming a convenient way to cook and clean. Foil can be used to line baking pans or the grill, and also to make a pouch of food for quick and easy cleanup. It works wonders to cover the drip pans beneath the stove burners, to keep things looking pristine, and simple tidying up for sticky messes. Sometimes casseroles or meats must be tinted with foil for part of the cooking time to keep it from overcooking. The foil is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. Craft projects too. I try my best to always keep our kitchen stocked with Aluminum Foil.
Now, these little darlings are some of the greatest inventions that man ever made! Second only to the reason it was needed: the Crock-Pot/Slow Cooker. To use these precious gems, simply place them on the pot like a backward shower cap. Now it is ready to hold all your food and liquids. Cook as usual. The best part is that once the food and liquids are removed unless you have spilled down the side of the pot when you throw the liner away your slow cooker is ready for next time! And your next chicken dish! To understand that click here.
SMALL TRASH CANS FOR EVERY WORK AREA
I know that this may sound like a bit overboard, but trust me when I say it will help with frustration. Small trash cans are pretty inexpensive, and as I always say but my nerves are not. I have a can at all work areas, all desks, all sitting areas. The laundry room, and every bedroom and even my dining room. Now, these cans can be decorated to match the decor of the room or space. Or you can keep it simple and stick to one color. The idea is to not to have to run searching for a trash receptacle. Everyone is responsible for dumping their own trash can or assign all or some of them as a weekly chore. No matter the small details these small additions to your home will keep things running more smoothly.
A RECYCLE BIN/AREA
Recycling is a wonderful way to help the planet as we all know. But do not be fooled, it is a great way to help yourself as well. Once we had our recycling area, the amount of trash we had to deal with reduced significantly. I created some nice, neat containers for inside that everyone uses constantly. They were large grey totes, with green lids, and I created a sticker for the side that said recycle. It took a little while to get everyone into the habit of what to recycle, but now it is just an everyday maintenance.
COLORED GARBAGE BAGS
Have you ever asked a question like who put this garbage in the big can and were met with complete and utter silence? I mean we are taking tumbleweeds here. Well, we have color-coded our garbage bags so we always know what type of garbage and where it came from. Let me see if I can break it down for you.
WHITE bags, kitchen 13-gallon size, used for kitchen garbage including food trash.
GREEN bags, Large, lawn, and leaf, used for recycling–never used for food.
BLACK bags, Large, lawn, and leaf, used for regular trash–never used for food.
Small Colored Bags-These fit small trash cans-purchased on a roll. Can be designated for a particular room or person. You can recycle plastic store bags for this purpose as well.
PERSONAL BATHROOM KITS
Hate a messy bathroom? So do I! Bottles cluttering the sides of the shower, razors, and sponges ready to slide off the side. Well, I have an answer for that. Personal Shower Kits. These can be made from zippered pouches like a man’s shaving kit, or a small over nite bag if you need something just a bit bigger. Just make the kit personal to each family member. Then when bathtime arrives everything you need is ready and waiting. once you are clean just toss it back in and take it back to your room. The bathroom stays tidy, and mom keeps her sanity.
How in the world did we ever manage life before them? Oh, I know, it is just so much easier and much less mess.
We use them for:
Mommy don’t forget
A LARGE BEVERAGE SERVER
I am not really sure about other places in the world but here in the south, we love sweet tea. I am partial to mine with some lemon also, but that has nothing to do with this, so I digress. It is really easy to go through a gallon of sweet tea a day here at my house. who has time to stop and make the tea that much? I propose a large beverage server. Now, this bad boy will hold up to 5 gallons of tea at the time. This keeps that precious nectar flowing without mom having to stop every single day and make more drink. After all, it could be lemonade, kool-aid, juice with water, doesn’t matter. Kids can serve themselves and Mom can spend that time on something else, because you know there is always something else.
Now you are probably saying about now, duh. Everyone knows we need hangers.
But do not be fooled. All hangers are not created equal. According to HomeStratosophere.com, there are 29 different types of coat hangers. The basic design is about the same as the original one created in the 1800s. Do some research and find a style that you like and whatever you do, do not take a single plastic, “crap” store hanger when you buy clothing. These are cheaply made in bulk and will not hold up well at home. I mean if they break at the store they have a gazillion more and they just replace it, me not so much.
I personally also think that the wire hangers from the dry cleaners are best saved for arts and crafts. These fall into the category of bulk made, and low quality.
Save yourself some trouble. Color code if you want. No matter, but get something sturdy that will not leave your delicates on the floor and your blouses only partially hung. Everyone will have a favorite and a style that they loathe, but good hangers, my friend, are a bare necessity of life. (Disney Reference there. Did You Catch It?)
My boss had me on a tight deadline, and I was behind schedule. My insides were full of those proverbial butterflies, and they had begun to annoy the devil out of me. I was short additional help. Part of my equipment was down. For some reason, everything I touched that day seemed to turn to sand in my fingers. I felt defeated and lost.
I knew that in a mere couple of hours the phone would ring and I would be forced to listen to the voice of my supervisor. He usually reminded me of all the things that I was not doing to his satisfaction. If you sell well this week. Then you better sell more next week. Should you receive recognition from the home office for a particular win, he would quiz you about why you didn’t receive two. However, this particular day seemed more stressful than ever.
Customers would enter the establishment, and I would feel relief. They were the reason I stayed. They brought me joy and happiness. I enjoyed meeting people and doing my best to supply them with what they were in need of that particular visit.
The bell on the front door sounded the leaving of another satisfied guest and I returned to my task. I grabbed the stickers and went up the ladder. Being short was never any help in retail. I tagged a few more products and realized I was in need of more tags.
I tried to hurry so I could get this ordeal complete quickly and that is when my life changed forever. A searing pain like being stuck with a hot iron jabbed me in the center of my back. I thought I would collapse. I tried to continue working, but this monster that had a hold of me was not kidding. A began to sweat. It hurt to breathe.
I never returned to work. They could not fix the problem. They tried many times but nothing seemed to accomplish killing the pain.
I went through the loopholes for workman’s compensation, and suddenly I was declared MMI. Maximum Medical Improvement. I was not well, but they didn’t know what else to do.
So, I find myself not old, but moving like an old woman. I suffer from back pain, Sciatic pain, nerve pain in my arms and legs. Migraine headaches, depression and anxiety with panic attacks. NO WONDER I FEEL BAT CRAP CRAZY!
Crazy people are defined as mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way. Now, let’s be honest there are all kinds of crazy pictures running through your mind right now.
I can not sit or stand for long periods of time. I become tired easily. And anxiety can rear it’s disgusting head any time. I can become nervous because someone looked at me or because the Mart store moved something. It is enough to make a person feel completely out of control.
I am not telling you this for a pity party or for you to feel sorry for me, I do, however, want you to know that I am doing my very best to create something here that is unique. Something that is worth sharing. I believe that there are a ton of people out there that find themselves in a similar place to mine. Like, Man, even the government says,” No you are not bad off enough for benefits.”
I want regular people to know that someone understands that it is tough out there. I want you to be able to glean something from my experiences. I want to be able to teach you a trick I have learned, or a craft that I have created.
I want you to be able to smile and laugh. Even if you start the sentence out by saying,” I think this lady is a bit crazy, but guess what she wrote!” Get my drift? More on my situation: Follow this link: Future?
I am not an expert on anything. Unless you use the definition of an expert as a drip under pressure. Okay not the best joke in town, but I still think it’s funny. My point is I don’t know everything, but what I do know, I try and do my best at. This is all I can figure to do now, in my physical and mental condition. I set my own hours, and see the doctors and rest as needed. I wish there was more I could do.
I pray to the precious Lord above that you will enjoy reading the musings of an unbalanced middle-aged woman. I pray that you will subscribe to the email list, and receive freebies and exclusive offers that other folks just won’t get. I also pray that you will be praying for me and my blog to succeed. I pray that you will share it will your friends, family and even people you don’t know. I pray for God’s blessings on you and your situation too.
So, here I sit practically in the dark. My computer is in my lap and my feet are propped up and my back is leaning against pillows. My little dog, Bryant, is right beside me on the loveseat. I am becoming exhausted from finishing this up. Do not remember how many times I had t take a break. Yep, I must be a crazy person.
My best wishes to you and yours! It’s time for my nap while the bats are quiet.
Wow, there’s a title that will stop a crowd! Are you a Thrifty or Cheap? Have you ever considered that one of those titles could describe you?
Sometimes we honestly have to reevaluate things to be sure we are getting what we really want. Google defines thrifty as an action by a person using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. Sounds really practical. Most people this day and age work paycheck to paycheck and need as much thrift in their lives as possible. Afterall, the prices of everything has risen except for our bottom line.
Now cheap is defined by Google as an item low in price that is worth more than the cost. However, there are some items that are considered cheap that really end up being a waste of money. If you purchase something and it does not work once the package is open, or falls completely apart once you have freed it from its plastic tomb that could definitely be defined as junk.
Cheap carries with it such negative connotations. Why would anyone want to spend more on something just for the ability to say that they did so? I suppose there are a few of those folks around. But if you can get a deal then why not? That is why sales and coupons are sought after treasures. We really like saying things like,” Look at this pile of canned goods that will take my family through the Apocalypse and I got it all for ten bucks.” Crazy as it sounds we will go bats over a sale, but let someone say that we are cheap or thrifty and we take issue.
I asked a close friend of mine to snap some photos of me and my daughter while we were out looking at a Thrift store. She was slightly taken aback. “Do you want people to know you shop at Thrift Stores?” she asked. I assured her that I did not care about that. I honestly think people would like to learn that I am not one that lives, as they say, high on the hog.
Second-Hand or Thrift Stores are in my opinion a no-brainer for the Cheap-n-Thrifty Crowd. Another place that has been created out of people’s need for the less expensive is the dollar store. Dollar Tree and Dollar General are my favorite. We joke in our family that there must be a trip made to Dollar Tree every other day. It’s not every other-sometimes it is every day.
There are still a few people who refuse to shop in these places and my response is, “Suit yourself. That leaves more for me!” And I can tell by the number of shoppers I run into when I am there, that I am not alone. I have found items in both of these stores that I have not been able to find anywhere else. That is a champion thrift move because I not only get the best deal, but the quality is still decent.
Now, there are everyday items that are used in the kitchen at these stores, and my advice is to take time to do a little math. Decide what is the best buy. It is not a huge deal, and remember since you have your cell phone, there is a calculator at your fingertips, so you have no real excuse.
I have, as you already know, been around for a day or two so here is my personal advice on some items that can be purchased from dollar stores. Storage bags are a good purchase. I am not too keen on the freezer bags, but storage is good. Fun size candy bar packages. Vinyl placemats, hairbrushes, and deodorant are also a fair deal.
There are many other things that I could name that are good, but then let us not forget the bad. Canned goods that are normally 89 cents and below are not a good deal at the regular price of $1. Usually, dairy products are not for the short of money. Laundry detergents can go either way. Remember, you can also use manufacturer coupons at the dollar stores which can aid the Thrifter’s totals.
So during the writing of this, I have done a lot of thinking. Am I Cheap or am I Thrifty? I seem to go back and forth here.
I guess it depends on the moment, and what I am shopping for.
So, I am no longer cheap. I am no longer thrifty.
I shall now and forever more call myself: A penny-pinching bargain shopper.
No matter where you shop, use your money wisely. If someone wants to call you cheap. So be it. These days you gotta do what you gotta do. So grab your sales papers, clip those coupons, & even visit the dollar stores. Let’s be PPBS’s together!
Summertime is always an interesting time around our house. Someone is always needing or wanting to go to the place that they are not. If they are here they want to go there, but if they are there they need to go yonder. For those of you that do not understand Southern English, yonder means to go somewhere else besides where they live.
There are beaches, and rivers, and pools to swim in. Then there is the movie theatre, the Library, the Museum, the Bowling Alley, the Skating Rink and the Park. Of course, one can not forget that all their friends are also out of school and they want to see these people if at all possible. That is between working jobs, chores, online classes, and sleeping.
Needless to say, there is a lot going on and a day where several people are home during the day all at once is a rare occasion, but we were blessed with one of those afternoons this week.
Before I go into the meat of our story, I should explain a couple of things to you for clarity’s sake. The morning that this rare occasion occurred, I had accompanied Hubby to the medical doctor. After a discussion of the issue, the doctor began to discuss how important it was for Hubby to be performing self-examination for lumps as an early cancer screening. He wanted him to check regularly his neck, underarms, and testicles for any strange changes. He explained that it was as important as it is for a woman to perform a monthly self-breast exam.
So, everyone was home that afternoon, Hubby was busy outside and my Dad was napping. So, the kids pulled out a game that I really enjoy: Scategories. I am not necessarily good at it, but I enjoy it. Now, in case you are not familiar with the game here are the basics. You have a category with a set of 12 clues. There is a die with letters that must be rolled at the start. Once you have the letter. The timer is started and you have until it stops to work on your answers. Say the category is Food, and the letter is C. If the clue reads “something sweet,” your answer could be a cookie. If the clue says “something in a salad,” your answer could be Chard. I think you get the basic idea. You really need unique answers to score points, because if your answers are the same as another’s then neither of you receives points.
So, we are playing along in the category Potpourri. The letter was a T, and the timer started. I am working away, answering as many as I can as fast as I can. “Something that is red”, andI answered that one lickety-split. Then I get to one that says: “something you can’t touch,” I giggled a little more aloud than I had planned and kept on working until the round was over.
So, Elyssa, my middle daughter is reading the clues and asking folks for their answers. On and on we go until we get to:”something you can’t touch.” Finally, it came to my turn to answer,”Mom, something you can’t touch. What did you write down?”
“Testicles,” I said calmly, and the room erupted in gasps. Apparently, Moms are not supposed to use or even know those words. Even after I explained that it was the proper medical term and that I was the one who taught the word to them, there were a few still beside themselves.
Hubby walked through the door just in the nick of time and I said to him, “Sweetheart, will you help me with this for a minute?” He turned and looked at me and I explained my situation in a very mature fashion.
“I don’t know,” he responded instantaneously, “my doctor said for me to touch mine.” We all just roared in laughter. Some laughed with pink faces and covered mouths, but they were tickled none the less. Needless to say, it took me quite a few minutes to gain my composure.
Now there are two morals to my little weird story.
Be careful who you play Scategories with. They may embarrass you without having a single clue.
Be sure you are doing self-screenings in the shower at home, and report anything out of the ordinary to your doctor. You could save your own life.
If I have offended you with my words it was not my intention. My actual intention was only to answer the questions of the game. I laughed at the time because I figured no one would duplicate my answer, and I was right!
Have fun and enjoy life! Laugh often and mostly at yourself. That’s some good material there! (At least it is in my case!) Be who you were created to be: you. That wonderful, crazy, sometimes lazy, family-loving, faith-believing you.
I had hoped that today would be a day full of laughter and smiles, instead, it was full of new symptoms that can be described as waves. One moment I feel content and putting on my mascara. The next thing I know my mascara is streaming down my face. At first, I am busily going about my day, and end up dazed and confused about what I was even doing.
I realize that depression is probably an underlying factor, but these waves are new. They have sent my family into a flurry of, “Are you all right?” and “What is the matter?”
I find myself at a loss for words when they ask me these questions. It seems that this sudden onslaught comes out of nowhere. It is said that stress is a contributing factor to anxiety, yet at the moments when these surges occur, I am not necessarily feeling burdened.
So I am attempting to write this post and had to stop typing because my eyes were so fogged up with tears. I have no particular reason for this feeling, and once it passes, it is over until the next wave.
I have taken several days to complete this story and I feel that maybe I have a better handle on things now. My storm was very real and in my face. I have decided after much contemplation, that I have been experiencing grief. I lost my mother back in October of 2017. Every time I believe I have dealt with all the grief steps, something else rises up. And in this storm, it was coming fast and hard and scary. You know hindsight is 20/20. Well, after I am finished with the storm, I see perfectly.
Reminds me of a Bible story. Jesus and the disciples climbed into the boat to travel across the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has been preaching to throngs of crowds all day and was exhausted. He went down into the boat and fell asleep. A deep sound sleep.
A great storm arose with waves that beat against the ship and it began to fill with water. In my mind’s eye, I can see disciples bailing to keep afloat. They were scared to death and began to cry out and beg for help. Finally, some genius decides to shake Jesus awake and ask, “Don’t you even care if we die?”
And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)! And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness]. Mark 4:39 AMP
As a Christian, I have Jesus in my spiritual boat. Yet, I question sometimes if He is asleep. Be honest, you do too sometimes. Now even when He was sleeping in the boat with the disciples, He knew exactly what was happening. After all, Jesus was God as well as human. God also sees and knows what is happening to me. He feels the pain I feel, and the sadness, and even the loneliness. But He is always there to take care of me, guide me, and see that I do not go under.
And Jesus said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence [in me]?” Mark 4:40 AMP
Why am I afraid? 365 times in the Bible the words, “do not be afraid” is written. One time for every day of my life. Jesus rides with me. The ruler of the universe, the Savior of my soul rides with me. All I have to do is ask for His help. He will stand up inside my situation and speak peace. Even against a tidal wave.
I am in the family room with my feet propped up watching and listening to my two younger kids play a game. I took my turn and am now waiting. The title of this games is Keep Talking and No one Explodes. It is literally a bomb defusing game. It is played with one person on the computer and one with a printed manual. The idea is to communicate and not “blow” up. We have done fair. Only exploded 60% of the time. Okay, that is not so hot. The kids are better at it than me, but they have had a bit more practice. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
How many wires do you see?
How many red wires are there?
Okay, cut the last wire.
The last one?
Are you sure?
Really? Be sure.
Yes, for heaven’s sake, cut the wire!
BOMB EXPLODES ON SCREEN
Okay, maybe I wasn’t sure
Communication is a huge deal in life. It is a necessity to keep things running smoothly in every aspect where we deal with other human beings. Wow. So, we are referring to work, family, church, shopping, …. this is too much for me to fathom. I am supposed to be cautious and careful in my communication? Why don’t other people just make allowances for me, and then things would be just perfect? If only!
Sometimes when you need a bit of entertainment, go and people watch at the local Mart store or shopping mall. It is the funniest thing. When you get past the weird way people dress then start noticing people communicating, or not. People yelling at their family members, some so angry with each other they won’t even speak. Folk complaining to employees, and occasionally quite boisterously. Every single person trying to push their point of view on the other, giving no caution about the other’s feelings, or purpose.
Now, as I have said before, I am a Bible-believing person. I do my best to follow what the Good Book instructs me. Yet just like playing baseball, you may not get a home run every time, but you should always aim for the fence. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV) Wow, you can sure see that people watching!
Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Now for those of us who are not Bible scholars, corrupt is having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain. How many times have I opened my mouth with the intent of gaining personal superiority? In other words, giving someone a piece of your mind just to make yourself feel better. We have all probably been guilty of that at one time or another.
Edifying means to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift. So, these people who really do need our instruction need to be told in the right way. Oh, help me, Lord! Cause I honestly, want to tell them exactly how it is!
Grace in Ephesians 4:29 literally is a Greek word meaning that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness. When was the last time you set out to say anything that followed that pattern? Hum, you don’t answer that and neither will I.
Just like the kids had to learn how to talk to each other to keep the simulated bomb from exploding, we must learn to talk the right way and to listen the right way. Listening is just as important as proper speech. The person in the game giving the instructions must be heard correctly by his teammate or the instructions are useless.
There is a ton more that could be said here about positively communicating but I will tell you one thing I know for sure. It must start somewhere, and it might as well start with me.
So the game name should be Keep Talking Correctly or You Might Explode. I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but I bet the next time you think about telling someone off, you will remember this story and the scripture. Then hopefully a bit of grace will be on your lips.
Life with depression can have its lows and highs. There are days when you feel everything is wrong, and will never be right again. Yet there are the days when the sadness seems a slight memory that you long to make a distant memory. Those are the times when you push to do things that you do not normally do. Today was that day for me.
My husband and I had taken a short drive into town together, which was a pleasant change of pace. We even had time to hold hands and sing to some old Country and Western music playing on the radio. It simulated the moments from when we were dating. We have only been married for 9 years, but the stress we have been experiencing lately has caused us to lose track of time. He is the man I have waited for all my life. God took all the pain and sadness from all the past and multiplied it with twice as much love and happiness.
We picked up the middle child, Elyssa and ate lunch in town just the three of us. She is so busy with school and works during fall and spring semester we do not get to see her much. Full of our meal and of all our chit chat, we climbed into the car to start for home.
A quick side note here. Practically everyone in the world has a vice. Some people smoke cigarettes, and some drink alcohol. Some people get regular manicures and pedicures. There are even people who have to have only the latest and greatest tech items. This is not a judgment by any means, to each his own. I have a vice. Some people in my family might even say an addiction. My thing is Diet Dr. Pepper.
Just for the record, I also have Hubby addicted. I can say with definite certainty that we are the only ones that in our home that feel that way. I don’t think you could even pay any of them to drink it.
Well, today as we are leaving the parking lot, my dear husband reminds me that we are almost out of soda. Now I am scanning the sale papers in my mind trying to remember who has our delicacy on sale. Of course, the fog that comes along with my depression is playing with my memory.
I turned to my daughter in the back seat and requested that she ask Siri. Her phone is more advanced than mine. “Hey, Siri,” she said, and the phone beeped. “Where can I find Diet Dr. Pepper on sale near me?” Another beep comes from the small device.
“Okay,” the answer came, “I found a clinic with the nearest Dr. Pepper on…”I can not tell you exactly what Siri said after that because I was laughing so hard. Actually, we all were. We had gone from a beverage of choice being located to a real person of the same name. Just crazy funny! So many people use Siri or similar assistants every day. I hope they are getting better results than we did today.
There are millions of self-help books, preachers, teachers, videos and CD’s, all claiming to know how we should live, and change and be in this life. My personal experience is BE VERY CAREFUL. Just because someone is popular does not mean they are in the right. Just because they have published a dozen books is not proof that they are the one you should base your beliefs on. 1 John 4:1 read, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
You do not want to be deceived. You do not want to follow someone blindly. If someone is praiseworthy, you will be able to tell if you will only try the spirits. Ask questions about what they say. Do they line up with God’s Word? If not, leave them be. After all, today if I had followed Siri’s directions, I would have been sitting in Dr. Pepper’s office waiting for a beverage. It really just would not have made sense. Following people who look and sound good, but are leading people astray with wrong or slightly mixed up directions is a choice that will be detrimental to your eternity.
You really do not want to miss the article called GPS