Autumn Dreams

Ah, Autumn, how I miss the smell, the crisp air, the crunch of leaves under foot, a light sweater and the beautiful colors.  I sometimes wish I was still up north, enjoying the season in it’s full glory.

I used to love to hike in the mountains and enjoy the Autumn in all it’s splendor.  I love it so much and is truly the only thing I miss about this time of year.  I remember when I was pregnant with my son and we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl yet.  We picked two names.  If a girl, she was to be Autumn Hope.  But, alas, he was not a girl and his name is perfect for him.

It’s only 3 days until we celebrate his 18th birthday.  I can hardly believe that he will be 18.  The years seem to have flown by so quickly. I still reminisce about the joyous times we’ve spent together.  He’s been my miracle since birth and I have enjoyed every moment of it I’ve spent with him.  I am incredibly blessed by God to have been chosen to be his mother.  He turns 18 and 6 days later, I turn 49.  Best birthday present ever! ❤

Last night at church, our Pastor discussed Matthew 25:14-29 — The Parable of the Talents.  In this parable, three men are given talents from their overseer to take care of while he was away.  The 1st man was given 5 talents and multiplied it to 10.  The next was given two and multiplied it to 4.  The final man received only one and he buried and hoarded it, not doing a single thing.  Upon the overseers return, he congratulated the two investors and chastised the sloth, casting him out.

As we reviewed the scripture, we began to understand it.  God gives us each talents.  We are all unique, we are all in receipt of abilities that are ours alone and we are to use them to glorify God.  Because, sometimes, we are the only person who is seen by others as God in the flesh.

I took a “Spiritual Gifts” test to figure out what God had given me to use in this world for His glory.  I received giving, caring and mercy as my top 3 gifts.  (These were far above the other gifts you can receive) I have to say, they were pretty obvious to me, even before the test; but to have it confirmed, was a pleasant surprise.

As I reflect on my life, I see these gifts in so many parts of it.  I’ve always felt it is better to give than to receive.  I take great delight in giving things to people and watching their joy and happiness unfold.  I’m also a natural care giver.  I feel my best when I am able to take care of people and ensure their well being and happiness.  As for mercy, I have always forgiven others much more than they deserve.  It’s why my ex-husband told close friends of our years that he could sh*t all over me and I’d always take him back.  <sigh>

I do it all for Him, and still, I cannot do enough for Him.  It is just not possible.

It’s been a strange few weeks.  For some reason, the Lord is surrounding me with the name of my “love”.  I chaperoned my son’s competition a few weeks back and there were 3 boys with his name, sitting and speaking with me.  I turn on the t.v. and I hear both his given name and nickname, which is not a common one.  I hear it on the radio.  I’ve encountered several while out and about in stores, the mechanics, at the VA,  and on.  It is so weird; but also mysterious as to why I am being bombarded with his name.

November will be 2 years since we’ve reconnected.  In 2015, his name popped into my mind, unexpectedly, while driving home after dropping my son at school.  This has happened to me with various friends I’ve know and usually after I reminisce about them, I forget them again and move on.  Not this time.  Three days later, I am still thinking of him and I decide to look him up on Facebook.  He’s the first choice and I check him out and decide to friend him.  He immediately connects and I move on.  Nope, still there.  UGH!  So, I send him a message.  He had pneumonia, so I tell him I’m praying for him to get better quickly and I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all.  Low & behold, he not only remembers me; but looked for me on more than one occasion; but to no avail.  LOL!  Spelling my name is a bitch. LOL!  No one gets it right.  So we chat several times over the next year.  He dates a woman, I pray for his relationship.  It ends, I pray for his heartbreak.  Until last November.

November 2016 is when I get the vision of him in church during prayer.  It shocks, it disturbs and scares me.  I come home from church, deeply upset and after an hour of contemplation, I message him angrily and tell him I don’t appreciate his invading my God time, etc.  He finds it funny, I don’t.  I pray about it and God let’s me know His plan and his involvement in it.  I’m in shock.

As this year has gone by, this man and I have had several conversations in which he teases me, leads me on and then disappears from communication for months.  Drives me insane.  Now, I’ve read several articles that state if a man shows no interest, move on.  I have tried.  I pray daily.  I ask God for clarification.  Each time, God answers: “Stay faithful to Me, the plan and the man.”  So I do.

So, here I am.  Still faithful to my Lord, His plan and the man. 😀  Only God knows how this will come to fruition; because He is the author of this love story.  ❤

My son has only 2 more weeks until the end of Marching Band season.  Not sure if the new Band Director is going to be doing Indoor Drumline this year or not.  We shall see.  Because of Hurricane Irma, the band is not motivated at all.  They seem to have lost their mojo for performing.  My son and his friends, who usually love it, seem down and ready for it to end.

I’m almost hoping we don’t have Indoor; but we shall see.  I found out he is graduating on May 19th at 10am and I’m happy for him.  Looking forward to him to do so and also missing the fact that he’s going to go to college at the same time.  So proud of him, though.

And time marches on………………..

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Blessings and such

Last week, after dropping my son off at school, I turned onto my street and came to a stop.  Why?  Bunnies.  There were 3 of them blocking the road.  Wouldn’t move, so I had to get out of the car and shoo them out of harms way.  Yesterday, it was ducks!  Couple of weeks ago, it was ibis.  I am blessed to live in an area where I can see so many animals living free.

Yesterday, I was doubly blessed.  I’d gone to the VA for a dental appointment and as usual, afterwards I was in misery due to my TMJ and Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I was paying more attention to my pain and getting home to take more Tylenol than I was anything else when I spotted a police car and instantly knew I was in trouble.  Yup, that’s right, I was speeding.  UGH!!!  I pulled over and the officer asked if I knew why he pulled me over and of course, I admitted my sin.  No sense playing the innocence game, we both knew what I’d done.

Barely holding myself together, I handed him all my paperwork and waited for the ticket we both knew I deserved.  He walked away and I bowed my head.  “Dear Lord, help me.  I know I am in the wrong; but please have mercy on me.  Amen.”  Moments after I raised my head, I saw the officer was returning to me.  “This is your lucky day.  The printer just broke in my car and I can’t give you a ticket.  Slow down and have a nice day.”

I thanked him.  Tears sprang into my eyes.  I looked up and praised God for His mercies.  Prayer is not always instant gratification.  Sometimes it’s a hard lesson, won over time.  Sometimes they’re not answered in the way we think they should be.

Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Scripture tells us that we don’t know how or why God does what He does, just that He knows better than we do.  Sometimes that “no” is for our own good.  Though I regret nothing in my life, I sometimes wish I’d heeded His warning by listening to my “gut feeling” instead of ignoring that voice.

Over the last year, I’ve grown in ways I never imagined and it is all because I’ve tuned into the voice of my Lord.  He speaks to me in so many ways as to open up my heart, my mind, and my dependence on Him for all things.  Because I have done this, I see the blessings He bestows on me in the smallest and largest of ways.  I see God in the details.  I see His hands all over my life.

He has firmly closed doors I was still willing to walk through.  He has opened doors and gently push me through them in order to give me more.  He has spoken volumes to me when I’ve asked Him to lead me and show me.

Last night, my son and I attended the Memorial Service of a dear friend.  She passed after 73 years of love and kindness in service to the Lord.  When we first met her, she and her husband were the greeters at our church.  Each Sunday, they would open the doors, welcome us in and hand us a bulletin.

I shared a wonderful story about her with those in attendance about our 1st Cub Scout Sunday with our new church.  I had called up our Pastor and spoke with him about Cub Scout Sunday and asked him what my son could do for our church on that day.  He assigned my son to Judy and an instant bond grew between the two.  In the last few years, she’s been absent from our service; but not from our hearts.  An injury, followed by several mini strokes, kept her from rejoicing in the Lord with us; but she was never far from our hearts.  We celebrated her life last night and shared our stories about her and wished her Godspeed.  This lovely lady is home with our Lord, greeting everyone  welcome at the Pearly gates.

I can only hope that I will be as fondly remembered as she is by us all.  I want to be a blessing to those I know and meet, just like Judy.  ❤

Freedom

Tonight I went downtown to “Bike Night” and saw Lita Ford in concert.  Had a fabulous time and as I was driving home, it occurred to me that in the last year, I have truly enjoyed the freedom of not having to ask someone’s permission to do things and have them say no or to say yes and then upon the day’s arrival, force me to cancel my plans, leaving me disappointed.

I can hardly believe it took me a year to realize I am finally free!  I’m free of controlling men.  I can come and go as I please.  After spending the last 22 years with 2 different men who controlled my every move, I am free to do as I please, when I please, with whomever I please.

WOW!  I am amazed.  After all this time, I’ve finally realized that I owe nothing to anyone.

I always believed that a couple should share everything and respect each other and love each other and treasure each other.  In relationships where one partner is completely controlling of the other, you don’t get these same freedoms, love or respect.  You become a virtual slave to the other person and their needs are all that is important.  Even though I’ve completed some intense therapy, I have only just now realized the extent to which I was controlled.  I am so grateful that I am no longer in such situations.  YEAH!!

Knowing that God is bringing me my next relationship and it will be blessed by Him, I have no fear that I will have to worry about that again.  God is directing me toward His plan for my life and I have to say that it is greatly anticipated and looked forward to.

I’m keeping busy while I wait for this plan.  I’ve been crocheting blankets for Boggy Creek Summer Camp, which children with brain tumors and cancer attend yearly.  This camp gives each camper a blanket and teddy bear to keep.  So far, I’ve made two and am working on the 3rd.  I also am working on two other blankets for friends having babies in December & January.

I’m busy with my son’s Senior year of HS as well.  He got his Sr. portraits taken and the cost about floored me!!!  YIKES!!!  I didn’t really like them, either.  He has about 3 weeks left of Marching Band and the time seems to be just sailing by.  He’s working on his college audition videos with several boys from band and is making progress.  So proud of him.

I’ve lost 19 lbs in the last month and am happy with my progress.  I’m steadily getting my life in order.  I’ve got to downsize more and I am waiting until it is a bit cooler to start again.  UGH!  It’s still so incredibly hot.

I miss living up north sometimes.  I miss the leaves changing, the crisp smell of autumn air and the crunch of leaves under foot.   I miss hiking in the woods or up the mountains.  <sigh>

My grandfather passed away this week.  It’s been 18 years since my grandmothers passed, within one week of each other, while I was pregnant with my son.  My grandfather suffered with dementia for the last few years and it is truly a blessing that he has gone home to our Lord.  I know my NC family is grieving his loss.  It hurts that I will no longer get to see him; but I will one day, when I leave this world.  He will be greatly missed. ❤

Most of the missed hurricane days from school are going to be made up before the new year, with only a few days after the new year comes to finish it up.  My son will be graduating on May 19th at 10 am and my parents told me that they’re planning a cruise right after with my cousin, who’s twins will be graduating on the 17th of May, so we may tag along if the price is right.

My world is finally settling into a new normal.  I’m learning to be me again.  I’m who I am again.  Living my life, raising my son, taking care of my pups and loving the new freedom I’ve regained.

Life is good. ❤

 

Mom?

On Saturday, I chaperoned my son’s Band Competition trip.  They competed with other bands in their 2A Class at another high school north of us.  It was a hot and tiring day; but the kids were terrific and placed 2nd in their class and received a 1st place for their Color Guard.  Overall, it was a great experience with a lot of younger, freshman competing for the first time.

At the end of the evening, the leaders come on field for awards presentation.  I had moved from where our band was in the stands to the otherside of the field’s bleachers in order to take photos for the event.  As the 2nd to last band performed, I waiting with our kids and one of them told me he wished I was his mom.  I was stunned.  I gave him a hug and told him I loved him.

For me, it’s easy to love these kids.  I am their cheerleader, mom, task master, shoe tying, instrument holder, jacket zipping, water giving volunteer!  And I love it!  I have taken them to the movies, out to eat, hosted parties at my home, cooked for them and just given out hugs where needed.  I listen to them without judging and I give gentle suggestions when needed.  No child is turned away from this loving momma.  Need a hug?  I got one for you!

So, upon hearing this declaration, I was touched.  I was also shocked.  This young man has a mom and dad; but I learned today that his mom is 30 minutes from where we competed Saturday and he is currently living with dad locally.  That his mom, despite being so close to the event, couldn’t even care enough to attend.  My heart hurts.  He hasn’t seen her in months and I hurt for him.

I was telling my son this on the bus, just before heading back that night and a gal in a seat next to us stated that she, also wished I was her mother.  WTH?  From the sadness in her eyes, I knew she was also hurting and I smiled and told her that I loved her.  I later found out that she has a horrible home life and though there isn’t any physical abuse, you can tell she’s dealing with a lot emotionally.  A friend of my son’s told me that she is a Junior, has no cell phone or internet access, isn’t allowed to have friends over and her parents are very strict when it comes to what she can and can’t do.  Her parents also “forced her to come out of the closet” when she identified herself as a lesbian.  Though none of what I have stated about her home life is truly terrible in and of itself, I cannot help but think that whether my child is gay, straight, bi or whatever, it isn’t anyone’s business but his and who am I to tell him to announce it to all and sundry?

I have, in the past, listened to these kids cry on my shoulder for hurts and heartaches and even though my son is a Senior this year, I do believe that I will still be here for those he’ll leave behind.  His very good friend has already told me he was going to call me and invite me to games and competitions next year, so I had better be prepared. LOL!

I may only have given birth to one child; but my heart is filled with love and compassion for all these other young lives.  I adore them.  I remember my son telling me that one of the Seniors last year was telling him how he didn’t like to be touched or hugged and my son reminded him that he hugged me all the time.  This young man told my son that he does it for me; because he knows I need it.  LOL!  I think that worked both ways.  He never missed an opportunity to give me one. 😀

It’s been a great 4 years.  I love watching these young people go from tentative playing/marching to full on completed shows and victory!!!  Their hard work and effort really shows by the last night and I am there, cheering them on and showing my love and support.

The band director spoke to our bus and I asked him if I could say something.  When I spoke, I told them, as a 4 yr band mom, I was proud of them, they did great for their 1st Comp. and I could hardly wait to see the completed show and watch how far they’ll go.  They then screamed out that they loved me and we left to go home after a long, exhausting  day.

Not My America

It’s a sad day here in the USA.  It seems that the whole country has gone mad.  It is no longer “My America” any longer.

My America is beautiful.  We’re diverse, we’re proud, we’re free and we’re grateful to those who paved the way.  My America is color blind, kind and gives a helping hand.  My America salutes the flag, kneels before God and stands proud to claim to be American.

Growing up in America, I was raised in a small town in New York with only one traffic light, best friends who were black, Puerto Rican and Jewish, went to church on Sunday at our local Catholic church and even attended more than one Saturday evening in the Synagogue, worshiping with my best friend, Heather.

In the summer, we all swam in the lake and winters skating on that same lake.  We had numerous sleep overs, hikes up the mountain and overnight camping trips to various locations with the folks.  I’ve marched in many a Veteran’s and Memorial Day parades as a girl scout and attended more than one function at the local American Legion Post and our Elks Lodge.

I respected my elders and God forbid I gave them sass, because my Mom and Dad would find out and I’d be in deep waters.    I volunteered to help others.  I made regular visits to my grandparents and celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter in school!  It did not matter that my best friends were white, black and of Indian descent, all that mattered to us was that we liked each other and had the same interests.

We were poor and I never even knew it.  We were on the Government Cheese program where the government brought the dairy surplus from farmers and gave it to those in need.  We got it monthly and even cut the mold off it to eat it when we had it for so long that it began to go bad.  I wore hand-me-downs from my cousins and most of them were male.  LOL!

I was bullied.  I was beaten up by both girls and boys.  I worked it out.  I liked everyone; but not everyone liked me.  My parents didn’t fight my battles, they made me do it myself.  They didn’t involve themselves in kid fight; because kids make up and parents are still angry and it’s over kid stuff.

We celebrated our differences; but we also joined together in our solidarity as Americans.  It is the old school, hometown values that made this country great.

Big Jim and Tiny were the local gay couple we all knew were gay and that you could call on them for help if you needed it.  They also had a cool steam engine in their front yard, which was so cool.  A good friend of the family, a man named Niles, was Jamaican and the darkest skinned man I ever knew and we called him “Uncle” because he was like an uncle to us kids.  We knew to be home by the time the street lights came on and we were hardly ever at home; but out playing and enjoying the fresh air.

If a person wore a uniform, they were an authority figure and we had better behave or we’d be in trouble.  We knew most of the town police and firemen.  They knew who we were, too.  We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere.  We were safe.  We were home.

It’s why I, myself, put on the uniform and served this great nation.  To protect and serve.  To honor what those who came before me had already established so that my children could enjoy the same rights as I did.  And yet, here I am, raising my son in a country I don’t even recognize.  I also have to state that in Sept & Oct 2016, I received a flag for two fallen Marines, both of which served Honorably and passed.

People are killing people for being different.  People are disrespectful to each other.  People are rude and self – centered, self – obsessed, and selfish.  People move to this country and think we need to change to fit into a mold of the country they left.  If it is so important to you to have your customs, why did you leave?  Why should I have to adopt your customs and values?

When I was stationed overseas, I had to adapt to their local customs and ways.  I didn’t go their expecting them to change their laws and customs to accommodate me.  I was expected to follow their ways.  As a matter of fact, everyone who does go to a foreign country in the military, has to go through a weeks worth of orientation before going to their commands so that no one can say they were unaware of local laws, customs and traditions.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

With all that has changed in the last 15 years or so, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to bring this country back to it’s former glory.  It’s a shame.  Yes,  there are problems; but violence doesn’t help.  Protesting doesn’t help.  Treating people with disrespect doesn’t help.  We have to work together in order to work it out.

What I do know is all of this discord is tearing our nation apart.  I’m saddened and wanted so much more for my son.  I’m hurting for our children.  I’m hurting for the country I so love.  I’m hurting for those who are hurting.  I just want my country back.

I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  Today, not so much.  I was disappointed in the fact that they refrained from even entering the field for the National Anthem.  These men are paid to perform.  They are not a political organization.  They are overpriced showman.  It’s the same with actors/actresses.  They’re paid performers.  They make more than the average American does to entertain us.  Why are we giving them the power to do this?  We need to cut them off.

 

 

 

Irma & Faith

My son and I came through the storm wonderfully.  Minimal damages to the property.  My two plumeria trees have been bent, one so that the tree is lying down.  I can’t lift it up; but I do believe it can be salvaged and sent a pic to my lawn care guy.  Hopefully, he can get her upright again.  I also lost the mail box and the screens on the lanai.  No storm surges at my place and blessed beyond measure!!!!

We were without power for 28 hours.  Not bad.  We had no power for 15 days during Ivan in 2004, so this was a vast improvement. 😀   God bless the linemen for all they have done to get us back up and running again.  Grateful to God for all He did to save us.

As the storm approached us, the wind was wicked and wild.  On Saturday, I had friends tell me that I was committing suicide by staying.  No matter how many times I told them that the Lord was with me and that the Lord gave me a sense of peace and calm that I would be okay, they all thought me a fool.  I was so upset by what was said to me and not the storm.  I was hurt by those who couldn’t believe that I was in God’s hands and He was protecting me from harm.  I never doubted my Lord or His protection.

My son and I were not worried.  I’d never put my child or my animals in harms way.  I prayed continuously; but not in fear.  I prayed His word back to Him.  I prayed that He is my protector, my shelter from the storm, my rock, my strong fortress, my hope, my strength, the Creator whom I place my complete hope and faith in.  He hears and He provides.  He is an awesome God, who loves His people and when we put our trust in Him, His love is greater!

After the storm and I reported my safety to friends, I received a message that stated, “Your faith in the Lord is great.”  So, this friend drove with her family all the way up to PA.  Here I am in SWFL, the day after, lying on my bed and I send her a text.  “Can you bring me back a couple of cases of Birch Beer?”  “Sure!!!!”  I’m in HEAVEN!!!  So, it makes up for the whole, you’re gonna die by killing yourself thing. LOL!  Nothing like post storm, bed laying, birch beer dreaming, grateful to God for being safe, giggling to myself time!!!

A beautiful day outside today, as was yesterday.  Grateful to be safe and secure.  God is so wonderful.  I trust fully in Him.  He is my everything.  I couldn’t wait to share this testimony; because I have been walking with God since last November when he gave me a vision for my future and I have remained steadfast in my faith in Him.  I renewed my faith in Him in 2009 and have been faithful ever since.  I’ve prayed regularly since that time.  However, I have spent nearly the last year getting even closer to the Lord.   I have been growing my relationship with Him for a long time; but not as intensely as I have since November 2016.  My faith and trust and hope, in the Lord, are unshakable today!

So, I renew my faith in Him today, in gratitude and love.  I stand strong in the Lord.  I am the daughter of the one true King!  God is good, all the time!

I pray for quick recovery efforts by the state of Florida, as well as the state of Texas, after these 2 devastating storms.

Irma

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After living through a Cat 4 Typhon in Japan in 1992, Hurricane Ivan (Cat 5) in Pensacola in 2004 and Dennis (Cat 3) in 2005, I think I’m ready for Irma.  My son & I cleared the lanai, froze water in the freezer and have food, so we’re as ready as can be.  My landlord is coming to put up the shutters and we’ll be ready.  We live in a concrete block house, so I’m thinking the only thing may go is the roof.

Okay, bitch!  Let’s get this party started!!!!!!

Listening to music, singing my heart out and waiting.  And, we all know how much I hate to wait!!! LOL!

School’s been cancelled, my son is thrilled.  I’m in continuous prayer for our safety and the safety of the people who may be impacted by this storm.  My prayer is that the storm will keep moving eastward and zip on out into the Atlantic.  We can always hope.

I’m so hoping it won’t impact us; because on Sept. 24th I have tickets to Zac Brown Band in Tampa & I’d hate to have to miss it. 😦  Anyway, we shall see.  We shall see!

A week ago, I joined “Slimming World”.  It’s an online weight loss group with online meetings, accountability to a group and support when you need it.  I lost 11 lbs this past week.  Holy crap!  I’m sticking to it and have about 90 lbs to go.  Now, as long as I don’t got back on steroids, I should be able to do this.

The parental units are in Georgia, out of harms way.  Mother states the hotel is a fleabag; but at least they’re safe.  Her and the father are fighting; but I know it is because he lost a good friend on Friday and is just being his usual asshole self to everyone.  Not that he has a right to be an ass; but you know how it is.  He just can’t help himself.

 

Nightmares

So this week has been full of nightmares.  Started with the one that had me screaming and scaring my son and I both and continued over the week. UGH!

The second one I cannot remember; but woke up to me punching the mattress.  All I can think is that I must have been in a fight.  Who knows?

Next, I dreamed an elaborate American Horror Story nightmare, complete with Finn Wittrock as he killer I was trying to escape.  Unbelievable!!!

I discussed them with a friend at church last night and she thinks it may be because it’s been almost a year since my friend died, my cousin died and my ex-husband died.  Great, I’m going to be haunted by them until October.  Nice!  I’m hoping this is not the cause and it’s something else.  We shall see if the nightmares persist.

I do confess, though, I wish I could “download” the AHS nightmare; because I’d turn it into a best selling novel and share my crazy with the world. LOL!  It was pretty intense and would make a good book along the Stephen King line of horror stories.

According to Psychology Today, most nightmares are a normal reaction to stress, and some clinicians believe they help people work through traumatic events.  WebMD suggests that people with underlying diseases may also be the reason, two of which I personally suffer from (Sleep Apnea & PTSD).  Knowing this is no comfort and I will just have to ride this wave out.

My son & I spent a half hour yesterday getting his Senior Portraits taken.  Quick, easy and painless.  Tuxedo, Cap & gown and casuals taken in a studio.  We’ll see what we get.  Afterwards, we went to Chili’s for lunch and later went to church.

It’s been raining for days here and we have a small pond or large swimming pool in our backyard, along with a flooded front lawn and driveway.  Rain will continue through tomorrow as well.  They cancelled the football game due to in on Friday and it is supposed to be rescheduled for tomorrow; but if this rain continues, I doubt it will take place.  Flooding is everywhere and it was the main reason for the cancellation, so with no end in sight, I’m sure it will not be.

All this rain has the dogs not happy.  They don’t want to go out in the wetness to do their business.  I did get them to go out earlier this morning and they were not happy being wet at all.  Not that I blame them.

At least we’re not in Texas.  I pray for their safety.  I remember back in 2004 when we rode out Ivan, a category 5, with tremendous damage.  I’ll never do that again.  A tornado ripped through our back yard and we were fortunate enough that it wasn’t 10 feet closer or our house would’ve been destroyed.  Never again!  That was a bad year for Florida with 4 major hurricane hits.

And life goes on……

 

Justified

I absolutely love the Apostle Paul. What a brilliant man, whom Jesus chose to be a Disciple in the 30 days after His crucifixion. Paul was a scholar, a lawyer and knew Jewish law by heart. However, he became one of the strongest follower of Christ and spreader of the new Christian religion in the first century. He’s also responsible for writing 2/3’s of the New Testament. I just love intelligence and it was something Paul loved to share with his fellow followers.

Last night’s service was on Justification. How we are all justified by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. How, by faith alone, we get to heaven. By Faith Alone! Romans is one of the hardest books of the bible because it is Paul explaining how the Laws of Moses are no longer a way to get to heaven; but only through the faith we give to God and Jesus.

Through the cross, Jesus shed His blood for us, paying for our sins, once and for all. Confess that Jesus is Lord, was crucified, died, and rose on the 3rd day, and you are free.  Our sins are gone. Forgiven by God, we are now righteous and justified in the eyes of the Lord. WOW!!!! We can’t get to heaven through good works, only through Jesus. Even those who try to get there by following the law will fail daily. Paul tells us that we do. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who resides within us for only His help gets me through the day.

Justified = Just as if I never sinned. To be righteous with the Lord. Make straight.

Confess that Jesus is Lord. Confess your sins to the Lord. Repent and you’re forgiven. God forgives, all we must do is ask.

Only God can help us to heal. For years, I’d held onto the past.  For years, I allowed it to keep me in anger, fear and hurt.  It was not until I came back to God that I have been able to move forward and get where I am now, forgiven and free.

I’m presently reading the book of Ezekiel in the bible.  It’s a tough one.  It presents God’s anger with the Israelites and the punishment He allowed them — 70 years captive by the Babylonians.  Only Ezekiel & Daniel were able to stay righteous in the eyes of the Lord.  Ezekiel, the prophet, who told the Israelites God’s intentions and Daniel, who stayed faithful to God in prayer and heart.

I’ve been very busy over the last few months with bible study.  I’ve done “The Daniel Prayer” by Ann Lotz, a study of Psalms by Cindy Heald, a study of Ruth by Liz Higgs and now Ezekiel.  I’m digging in deep to the word and learning my Father’s ways and words.  He is truly a wonderful Father.

School is back in session and we’re settling into the new year.  My boy is a Senior and back in band classes and Marching Band.  So proud of him.  First game is Friday and it’s away, so I’ll be a chaperone for the night.  He has a new band director, so I will be able to attend.

I had a horrible nightmare the other night and woke up screaming.  Scared my son, who came running from his room on the other side of the house.  I must have been really loud for him to have heard me with his headphones on.  YIKES!  I told him I’d rather dream of Pennywise than what I had dreamed that night.

The eclipse was nothing like I thought it would be.  Barely even darkened the sky here.  It was darker in yesterday’s thunderstorm than the eclipse.  Location, location, location. LOL!

I think our oldest dog, who is 12, is getting ready to cross the rainbow bridge.  He’s lost some bladder control and sleeps more hours than is awake.  He’s not in pain; just slowing down.  We shall see.

Still awaiting God’s perfect timing and have been really calm and patient lately.  I’m surprised by how calm I have been.  I can work myself up into a tizzy when I want to; but haven’t even given it much effort lately. Ha, ha.

Life is good. ❤

 

13 Reasons Why

So, I just finished reading the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Not bad for a teen novel about such a sad subject.

SPOILERS!!!!  If you don’t want them, don’t continue this post.

So, the book is about a girl who committed suicide and leaves 13 stories as to what led her to do so.  Everything from rumors, lies, rape, drinking and betrayal enter into the mix.  Her first kiss becomes a rumor of lies that’s she’s a bad girl.  Reputation in ruins and humiliation.  Shame on you, Justin.  Alex made a survey that stated the poor gal had a great ass, which led to another student groping her ass, as if he had a right to touch her without her permission to begin with.  Jessica and her were friends of a sort and became enemies with a fight included.  Tyler was a peeper, with a camera to boot and there is nothing even remotely cool about a stalker!!  Courtney, butter wouldn’t melt in this girls mouth and even though she approaches you with the guise of friendship, she’s a liar and user, even she’s so kind and sweet.  Ah, Marcus, a guy who thought it was okay to grope a girl, in public, and got so upset when she pushed him away and he fell on the floor.  Didn’t find it funny, Marcus?  Aw…poor baby.  Zach, Zach, Zach….when all a girl needed was a bit of encouragement in a time of crisis, you stole it from her and let the darkness descend even further over her soul.  And the fact that you KNEW, well, that’s rich.  Ryan, the poet, the writer, the guy who stole her poem, letting the world know of her sadness – anonymously.  Then there is Clay.  Ah, Clay.  They all stole her from you, didn’t they?  The only innocent one of the 13.  All you tried to do is date your crush and she was so far gone by the time you kissed her, you wound up losing it all.  Justin came back on the scene the night of Clay’s kiss and allowed Bryce to rape Courtney at a party, while she was passed out cold.  Hey, bro’s before ho’s, right Justin?  PIGS!  Oh, Jenny, who offered her a ride home only to plow into a stop sign knocking it down.  Who knew that not 15 minutes later, someone would die because of your hit and run?  And finally, Mr. Porter, Guidance Counselor of the Year!  Your sad, broken, suicidal student comes to you in pain and in need of help and you tell her to basically get over it and move one, so she does.  She swallows the pills, she ends her life, she moves on, just like you told her to do.

Signs were everywhere.  Changing her look.  Giving away her possessions.  Withdrawing from friends.  So many signs and so little attention given to her as she spiraled out of control.

In this world, there are a million things that are going to go wrong every day!  EVERY DAY!  It is always darkest before the dawn.  Believe me, I know what that is like.  I know what it is like to want to end your suffering.  But for me, THIS IS NOT AN OPTION!

There is nothing so devastating that ending your life is the answer.  Suicide leaves behind loved ones who have to live with the guilt.  It leaves behind unanswered questions.  It leaves behind a world that is not better because you are gone.  Life is not easy.  Struggle is in everything.  You cannot allow another person to take your joy, your happiness.  Find someone, anyone who will listen to you.  If one person doesn’t find another.  Don’t ever give up!

For the last 25 years, I’ve suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia, a.k.a. “The Suicide Disease”.  It is listed in medical books as the most painful disease in the world.  I’m still here, still fighting.  I have PTSD with depression and days so black I want to close my eyes forever.  I don’t.  I have been beaten by and cheated on by the man I thought was my everything.  I’m still here.  I have buried my best friend after a long bought with liver disease.  I’m still here.  My parents should NEVER have had children due to their hate filled existences; but I am still here.  I have been raped.  I have been molested.  I have watched my world crumble too many times to count and I AM STILL HERE!

I beg of you, please, don’t let someone else dull your sparkle.  Don’t let this world beat you.  YOU ARE SPECIAL.  YOU ARE LOVED.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

Provides help to those in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday