Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interesting Anecdotes from the Last Few Days

A couple of interesting incidents I thought I'd share from the past week. Yesterday was a run around and do errands day with Jonathan, my husband. One of the appointments we had took us to a neighboring town about a half an hour away from where we live. As we were driving there I saw a young man walking in the opposite direction along the highway carrying nothing but his jacket, I said to God well if he is still walking when we come back I will offer him a ride. Thinking that surely someone else would pick him up...I thought no more about it. Well we were there about two hours, and driving back I see this same young man. I said to Jon, I think we should stop for him, he said he doesn't have his thumb out. I said I know but he was walking a few hours ago and he has no water or anything...and I told God I would stop. Well if you told God you'd stop we'd better, said Jon. So this young man gladly took the ride we offered to our town...even though he still had another half hour drive to the town he wanted to arrive in. He used my cell phone to find a friend that would give him a ride and I gave him some money for a drink and some food. He had started walking at noon and we picked him up at 4:40pm...this young man had walked for almost five hours and had used his thumb until his shoulder was too sore...and no one had offered him a ride. When he had found his friend in the Seven Eleven, he put his hands together in a prayerful posture and did a gentle bow, thanking us with his beautiful brown eyes. God and he left a lasting impression on me and my husband. Our sons are around the age of this young man and I have always hoped that some lovely people would help my sons if they were ever in need.

On the previous Thursday, with God's help I stopped and helped married strangers who were having what looked from a distance a fight in the ditch. I saw the woman running away from the vehicles and a man grabbing at her from behind when a rock flew up in the air. I could not drive by, sorry, I know it seems dangerous but when someone is getting injured I can not ignore it. So I stopped and rolled down my window and asked if there was a problem and could I help? The man proceeded to tell me that they were locked out of their van and their child(3) was inside and his wife was upset and wanted to break the van window and could I calm his wife down while he went with their other vehicle and got keys. So I said sure. Parked my van and approached the van and the upset woman and started talking about what was wrong. She was also worried about her five year old that she was supposed to be picking up, so she used my phone and found out he was okay. Then we just visited until about five or ten minutes later the little boy pressed the unlock button and she had her van back. Just a minute before the little boy pressed unlock I thought to ask God to help him press the button the right way...and suddenly it happened. God the midst of upsetting situations big or small He cares. And if I do what He asks of me and remember to involve Him in the things I am doing I get to see miracles everyday...and I get to meet some of the wonderful people He created.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Well as I have previously mentioned I am going for counseling, the ladies name is Val and I find it most useful. She is presently helping me to overcome what could only be called rage at the church, due to being raised a preacher's child and exposed to what most people would call abuse. Yes I believe that the church abused me throughout my upbringing and then of course I have yet to see it stop. With her help I have come to recognize the wrong beliefs and values I once thought foundational, and sort out the parts that I am responsible for and the parts that just are what they are. Anyways it came out at my last session that I have a huge trust issue with God, and anyone for that matter. I learned that I very quickly put up walls and protect myself from others, including God. Its kind of like I make deals...I will do this if you do that...or I will tell you this if you tell me a secret. Bargaining. But you see there is not a lot of room for love or grace to flow with a bargain. Logically it should be less risk, but actually its pretty lonely.
So my homework for this session was to spend four hours with God with no distractions. No phones, no computer, no tv, no radio, no people....just me with my thoughts and God. So one morning after everyone left the house, I wrapped up in a blanket and sat on the couch. It took a while for all the to do lists and should do requirements to stop running through my mind, but eventually they stopped. And every once in a while I would drift off to sleep and then wake up and think my thoughts, think about God, leave all my worries with Him, and slowly but surely as time went by I got more and more relaxed. I experienced peace and acceptance like I never have before. I felt like a child, sitting on God's lap and had no cares in the world. I made no bargains with Him and He required nothing from me. I was not convicted, shamed, guilted, judged, nothing negative. He just accepted me for who I am. His creation. No pretenses. Just being. No fear. Just peace. And when I was finished my four hours, I could barely get myself pulled together to function. I was pleasantly surprised, I had actually been afraid to spend this much time with God because I was afraid of what He would expect of me. And much to my surprise He expected nothing.
I think that I would like to go back and have another visit with my Maker.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Slow Dawning

I just read a verse that turned a light bulb on for me in my brain. For those of you scholars out there it is the Message translation and Matthew 17:22 "The Son of Man(Jesus) is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God."

My dawning comes because it was the religious leaders who had Jesus killed and in this verse Jesus says they "want nothing to do with God." And my poor little brain goes oooh. Now I understand. Most people in church want nothing to do with God. This makes so much sense. They just want some form of religious theory to make them feel better and give them some sense of security. Because as far as I can tell wanting to have more of God is absolutely certifiably drop dead not safe!!!! So of course the pew warmers are just their to get their junkie fix from another shot of religion found in church. Not that God can't be found there if you are really looking, but God is everywhere in my experience from the bar to the strip joint and the crack house, so that is no surprise that He is at church too.

See all my life I have tried to put together something that I saw as polar opposites. How the polite, nicely dressed church leaders behaved on Sunday and then what happened all week long when they tried to under pay employees, barter people down, take a little extra for themselves, be stingy, no compassion, impatient, pushy, critical and on and on and on. You get my drift. And this explains it they don't want anything to do with God. Because all of the above behaviors would be totally ruined and you would give your last dollar away and that would be absolutely ridiculous. Cause we have to be logical and practical in our walk with God and keep control of ourselves and our belongings so we can be responsible. Right. Oh but this is not the God of the Bible, but this is the God of religion. So the next time I see the hypocrisy I get it.....they just simply do not want anything to do with God....and I will pity them, because it is truly their loss. And I will extend grace, love and mercy to them because God freely gives it to me and I desperately need it because there are days that I too have been too frightened to have more of God.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Too Busy

Too busy is how I feel right now. Too busy to sit down and blog, but sometimes you just have to shut down the busy and evaluate and reflect on your own thoughts. My son Aaron turned 17 today. Seventeen years ago he was born, a ten pound 14 ounce baby boy, who ended up in the neonatal ICU because he had trouble breathing when he was born. I did not get to hold him until the second day when they took him out of the incubator. He was a huge baby beside all the tiny preemies. Oh well that was Aaron. He was born being able to hold his head up and by three and a half months he was on all fours. He has turned into a wonderful man and I am proud of him.

Well the plumbers came again today to look at the job of plumbing the sink and tub in the other house. Apparently it is a bigger job than I thought cause this is the second trip to look at it, and I think a different man is going to do the job. They told me Friday they would come and work on it. Oh how I hope so!!! I would like that hurdle crossed. I keep climbing that mountain of a house and one day it will be finished. It looks finished, but those of us who are involved know its not yet.

Tomorrow I get my housekeeper to help me clean my house, which is truly a blessing. She and I clean together and I am blessed in my heart as this older woman teaches me and encourages me in life. God has brought Sheila into my life and I can't say enough good about her. She is 69 years old and has some health concerns, so I don't know how much longer I can have her, but she has come into my life and helped me when I really needed it.

Also tomorrow I have my wonderful counselor Val come and she too has truly been another blessing. Just when I was about to totally give up on church, along came Val, and she has loved me and accepted my rage and pain and cried with me. There really are no words to describe that gift. It is really hard work right now to keep digging around in my heart and getting the garbage cleaned out, but I know it is for my own good. It makes me tired thinking about doing this tomorrow.

I also have been blessed by a young man named Jay, who has helped me build the other house in our yard. Without Jay's help and encouragement I could not have done it. Jon, my husband was busy with his work, and so I had to enter the world of construction and men, and learn how to do many jobs. I had the courage to keep going because of my friend and work partner, Jay. He has taught me much about life and God. I can't say enough about him either, and when I look around the gorgeous house we built together I think we make a great team.

Yesterday I sat in the restaurant having lunch with my friend, Cecile, and I was crying. My heart just got too heavy and full and the tears just came. I was very grateful for her listening ear and understanding and kindness. I am not sure what I would do without this dear friend either. Until Tara moved away we were the three musketeers...but now it is just the two. And we do miss Tara, its just not the same as in person. I have other dear friends who have moved away or our paths did not stay intertwined, people who I would call soul mates, like Gayle, Elizabeth, Victoria, Katherine, Carol and Audrey. I talk to some of them once and a while and some of them I never see, but I never forget how much they mattered. Sometimes when the sorrow flows over me I think oh I should not love so deeply, cause then it would not hurt so bad. But then I would not have all the rich, deep treasures in my heart. So I will keep loving with God's help and the help of the beautiful people He brings into my life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I am going to use my last blog as a spring board to continue this discussion on religious legalism which essentially boils down to one word, judgmental. I am still exploring this, but I am getting frustrated with the group of people that declare someone as knowing God or not knowing God according to their list of requirements. As if anyone of us has the perfect ticket to heaven and understanding of God here on earth.
The older I get, the more I realize there is a lot out there and the less sure I am about what I know. We in the church talk a lot about God being big, great or amazing, and then when we are faced with another view on God where our beliefs might be challenged, we go running to quickly dismiss what we just saw. See my thinking is that if God is BIG and I am small I have a skewed view of God.
When we stand at the base of a huge mountain, we don't claim to be able to see all of it...same with God. So if I am standing on one side of the mountain and you on the other, we will both see something different...even though looking at the same mountain. So why not compare notes, discuss differences and accept that there may be more out there than I first thought? Would it be because then we would have to seriously look at our beliefs and throw some of them away? And the religious box could fall apart?
See I have always loved Paul, who was one of the first missionaries in Acts, in the Bible, to share about Jesus. He walked into a town full of all sorts of religious beliefs and started talking about 'the unknown God.' He didn't say 'oh by the way you are totally wrong and I am right,' no he said 'hey this is what I've been learning about God and I am excited to share it with you.'
I also really loved the book "The Shack" because it gave me a totally new perspective on God, and suggested that there are many routes to finding God, and that God is not above using anything to draw us to Himself. I think Christians have had so many conforming rules that its extremely difficult for God to be in relationship with the very people who He longs for and who He created to be like Him.
I don't think I can tell where anyone's spiritual journey is going, its hard enough keeping track of myself.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I was raised conservatively and have held to what I would now call a lot of judgmental thoughts. I am not one to jump quickly into something, but I found this you tube which pushes the envelope about mixing Jesus and marijuana. Because I love to rock the boat I just must share, I look forward to a mixture of reactions. Before you jump to conclusions I don't use marijuana, but I have been convicted to stop judging those who do. I think we love our boxes and we want to fit people into them and label them for life. This judgment goes all directions those who would say we don't want Jesus just the mary-jane and those who would say you can't have Jesus if you use pot. I say I need Jesus, and Jesus says He loves the WHOLE world, unconditionally. What do you say?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I realized something about myself just a minute ago, I blog when I am needing to sort out my emotions. I notice that I have been silent for a while and that was primarily because I was content and busy. I am a person who is passionate, and so my feelings any direction are strong, and I have learned in order for me to stay healthy I must regularly spend time sorting through my emotional vaults in my head and heart. Otherwise there can be landslides of all sorts that can hit innocent people just walking by.

I was trying to file a tax return for a friend last night and it got messed up somehow, and I feel discouraged about it this morning. I was able to do this last year and I am uncertain why the big change. I do not like to fail and because it is May 1st I missed a deadline which adds to my feeling of failure. I have always been anal about meeting deadlines, but I did not get some of the info I needed until yesterday and then the glitch. So I have a problem and I must inform my friend this day that I am not the hero I had hoped to be. I prefer being the hero...but no happy ending yet.

Also I and some of my family went for counseling last night, which always brings out lots of feelings. Of course as usual I have homework from that. You know turning 40 this June and having gone for lots of counseling in the past you would think I had it more together. But alas, no, I am human and must work on my problems. My most recent revelation was that I must become brave enough with my relationships to be vulnerable and tell people nicely at the time of the pain that how they just hurt me. Ouch! OUCH!! OUCH!!!!! Okay always embrace the pain, be vulnerable and never stop loving, this is one tall order. I think I will never get it all right. One emotion of mine or another always gets in the way and I must extend grace to myself in my blunders. Oh the pain of being human. Like when I get hurt by someone, to know what I feel enough or to be aware of what just happened to politely and objectively explain how I feel. My tendencies are to walk away thinking you are a complete moron or get mad and say some hurtful thing back at you. Groan...I think I would like to quite, but I won't. And tomorrow I go to see my own counselor, to discuss some more of the reasons why I hate church, cause this is the present issue I am working on. For all of you this is a life time issue for me, dating back to when I was born a pastor's child, and before you get your underwear in a knot I do still love God. I just don't have much use for organized religion called church, even though I usually go.

Tonight is the Awana Penny Carnival and I will be putting washable tattoos on children and teens all evening. My husband Jon will be doing balloon animals and my son Aaron is doing a dart board. Its just a fun windup for the kids, they can do any booth in the whole gym for a penny, and then they collect tickets from doing the activities and cash them in for candies. It is a lot of fun!
This year to celebrate my 40th I am going to get myself a tattoo for my birthday, if I get myself in shape. This is my gift to myself. So I started working out on WiiFit and so far I have lost 1.8lbs. I had to laugh cause this computer thing assesses you and it says I am overweight my co-ordination says I am 68 Wii years old and it asked me if I trip when I walk. How rude eh?! Well I guess I can only improve. My teenage children were present while I was doing this assessment doubled up laughing at me on the couch, because I needed there help to start the Wii up. Fortunately I was laughing with them, it was so incredibly rude it was funny!

Oh and by the way on Tuesday night a moose sauntered through our yard, went right through the garden and down the lane. He kept perking up his ears at the rock and roll that was coming from the music lessons in the other house. Rock and roll is alive and well out here in my yard. I find it makes me smile every time I here any of the kids and even a few adults playing, its very good for their souls. Its a rare day that I don't hear live music coming from either drums or guitars. I love it!!