Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Resolution

Maybe I'm a perfectionist, probably not based on the "relaxed and lived-in look" in my house, but I didn't want to rush into a resolution; I wanted to wait for something really timely, and now I've got it.  Since this year has been one of trials, I see a desperate need not to hole up in a cocoon of my own suffering.  I need to, I am commanded to, think of others.  I need to know others and know their needs and interests, and I need to pray for them.  That is why I will be doing most of my reading reading about missionaries, and spending time praying for them and for the glorious message of the Gospel to be spread throughout the world, and also for that same message to be spread throughout my neighborhood.  We are not all missionaries, but we all have a mission.  May we be faithful in that, no matter how big or small it is.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Surprise Ending.

I thought I could make it
so no one would see;
I was completely alone-
just myself and me.
I was so sure 
there was no witness
to my attempt
to sabotage my fitness.
Even still, to hide
from any prying eyes,
I wore a simple yet
elaborate disguise.
I still felt guilty
as I took that bite
of chocolatey goodness
I had hid out of sight.
My guilt gnawed
at me all night.
How would I ever
get out of this plight?
No one saw me,
it is true.
This is just between
me and you.
Then a thought
caught me by surprise:
no one saw me,
but the potatoes have eyes!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Marriage

The end of 2016 and the entirety of 2017, plus the beginning of 2018 have found me reflecting on marriage in general, God's plan for marriage, and my role in my marriage.  Maritally speaking, this has been a discouraging year.  In the past few years, Mr. M and I have seen the dissolution of several marriages.  While the experience is heartbreaking for those directly involved, the news is disheartening for us.  For us, as Christians, divorce is not only sad, but it is sinful.  God says in Malachi that He hates divorce.  Jesus said that God only allowed divorce in the Old Testament because of the stubbornness and hardness of the peoples' hearts;  even when He allowed it, He hated it.  Marriage is meant to be a picture of how Jesus loves the church.  He doesn't love us for a little while, or leave us when we're no longer fun and exciting.  He loves us forever, when we please Him and when we don't.  He loves us regardless of whether we make Him feel fulfilled or not.  His love for us is truly the definition of commitment.

Suffering in Hope

These are just a few of the books I have on unexpected suffering-a beautiful young wife and mom suffering a debilitating stroke; an excited young man about to get married getting in a car accident that leaves him paralyzed; a young couple finding out their first child-and then their second-has special needs.  I don't read these to make me feel better about the much less suffering in my life.  I read books like these so that I won't get wrapped up in my own cocoon of suffering and think that I'm the only one who has bad, unexpected things entering into her life.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Dumbest Thing I did This Year . . .

I know there is still one day left in the year.  I'm banking on the fact that I won't do anything tomorrow that even comes close to being as dumb as what I did today.  (You can't get in too much trouble on a Sunday, anyway, right?)   Today, I looked at cookbooks.  It was a warm and lovely day, so Mr. M and I went for a drive to a neighboring county.  We stopped at an outdoor cafe and had lunch, and then went meandering through a bookstore.  While he did his browsing, I did my own browsing, and I ended up looking at all the cookbooks.  Actually, not all the cookbooks, just the cookbooks for slow cookers.  (Not books for cooks who are lacking in mental acuity, but books of recipes written especially for Crock Pots, commonly known as slow cookers.)  I was so intimidated!  There are so many recipes, and they all seem to have 500 ingredients!  I left the store feeling defeated.  I do take some comfort in the fact that two other women were looking at books for slow cookers, and they both said they felt intimidated.  I also take some comfort in the fact that my slow cooker is out of the box and ready to be used.  At least that shows intent, which is half the battle.  (Maybe.)  I suppose I just need to dive in and use the thing-maybe to heat some canned soup, just so I can have some slow cooking experience, and then I can move on to bigger things.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mi Querida Persnicketta

Woe is me.  I know you have your health issues and you never tell me about them.  You just continue on, undeterred, with your life of intrigue and international espionage.  However, I am not so quiet as you.  I will let you know when my health issues get in the way of my every day life.  As you know, I have a complex and very long-named neurological disease.  There is presently no known cure.  All I can do is manage the symptoms with prescribed drugs.  I have a wonderful neurologist at UCLA who is a great help and blessing.  Well, this past week, something happened, and my drugs just stopped working.  Without any warning, I could only walk painfully and awkwardly.  I couldn't drive anywhere.  I couldn't do much at all but sit on the couch.  I am hoping and praying-every minute!-that this is just a temporary problem that has an easy solution.  Please pray for me in this.  I want to be able to walk and drive and spy and climb mountains again soon.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Fun.

I am reading a good book about balanced Christian living (Balancing it All by Candace Cameron Bure), and in the book, the talks about the importance of having fun.  I'm sure we all know people who are major downers-people who see the worst possibilities in everything, people who are just no fun to be around.  If you are anything like me, you avoid spending much time with those people.  I don't want to be one of those people; not for myself, and not for the sake of my family and friends.  I don't want people to avoid me.  I don't want my friends and family spending time with me only because of a sense of duty and obligation.  I want to be pleasant to be around, and to find joy in living each day.  I do not want to let the trials and hardships in my life to define me or overwhelm my life . . . and as a Christian, I know that Jesus is bigger than any problem, and that He has overcome this world.  I hope you will find and celebrate the joy in your life today.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Dear Amy--Dec. 6

I've heard that a good way to deal with mental illness in the family is to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings; so that is what this is: my thoughts and feelings as I go through this dark valley of mental illness, presented as letters to a friend.

Last night, I finally felt defeated.  I felt like she had broken me.  As determined as I was not to let her get to me, she got to me last night.  It wasn't so much what she said, it was just the whole situation.  I'm so tired of it.  As usual, since there is absolutely no point in trying to use reason or have any kind of conversation with her, I just nodded in assent to everything she said.  So when she asked me if I was just in a bad mood last night, I answered with a simple, "Yep."  She walked out of the room and immediately came back in, apparently having forgotten her momentary anger at me.
When I got home, I read John 1, since I am reading through the Gospel.  As I read, and immediately remembered the greatness and mystery of the God who knows and loves me, I was reminded of the verse that says His Word restores my soul.  (That is from either Psalm 19 or 119.)  I fell asleep pouring out my soul to God, thinking of Hannah and how when she made her request from God, she reminded Him of His past faithfulness to Israel.  So as I asked God for strength and endurance, I reminded myself of the many times He's been so faithful to protect and deliver me in the past.