As I recover . . .


I thought I would re-post the following from over a year ago.  I’ve got a new post rolling around in my head but everything is still jumbled up from my recent craniotomy so I shall have to let a bit more time pass before I can put two sentences together in a reasonably cohesive way.  Oh, but when I come back!  Wait for it!

https://nantubre.com/2014/07/25/the-motorcycle-mama-and-the-lord/

enjoy, and please pray for peace in the world.  Don’t forget!

The Motorcycle Mama and the Lord


stock-vector-mad-granny-on-a-bike-89888923

We went for a lovely late afternoon/evening motorcycle ride and didn’t get home till somewhere around 9:30pm. It was really nice. I wear a full helmet that has the thing around the front and the visor that can be pulled down over my face. I gotta thing about wrecking my face if I ever fall off.
ANYWAY, I discovered that the rear view mirrors are right in my line of sight so I thought I’d take a peek to see what a woman in her 60th decade would look like sitting behind her man on a Harley Davidson. Lawd, first thing I thought was “Damn, I shoulda tucked my face in!”

When I was a kid, there was a period of time when my family was surrounded by motorcycles. We all rode. Heck, my brother even had his very own Honda. Those were good days, a summer of fun, exploring, stretching to see how far we could go. It was the last summer we had as a family and I’ll never forget it. Even my mom rode, may she rest in peace. I still chuckle at the memory of her on a bike, snaking across a pasture behind our house, her very ample boobs about to beat her to death, poor thing. As for myself, I was always a little timid when I drove. I don’t know why. I remember a dirt bike trail we frequented. I finally made myself brave enough to take it on. And to my surprise, I found it to be FUN! But still….every time I got a good run going I backed off. Why? What was I afraid of? Broken bones? No, it wasn’t a dangerous track and I don’t remember any of us ever getting hurt on it. It’s funny how we develop personality traits at a young age. I’ve done the same thing for most of my life in many different areas. The thought was worth exploring.

Now all of these years later, I realize I was afraid of success, of letting go, of stepping out of my comfort zone, of feeling unworthy to succeed. Man, it took me a long time to put an end to that kind of behavior! It’s basically the story of my life. How sad! But you know what? It’s never too late to change, to grow, and to prosper. Ok, you know where this is going, right? John 10:10. If you get a chance look it up in the bible. Meditate on it. It will change your life.
It says:
I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.

Wow. He loves me enough to see that I am well taken care of! He wants me to live and live well! To see that end, He has to heal me, body, mind, and soul. And guess what? He has over and over and over. For every crack that keeps me from wholeness, he patches up with his love and desire for me to have life and have it more abundantly. Oh Sweet Jesus, how can I repay you?

Well, the answer to that is not such a hard one to find but you gotta look for it and do what the instruction manual (Bible) says. Very clearly it says to love one another. And in doing so, do everything else that comes with it like help each other, take care of each other, reach out to the poor, lonely, displaced, misfit, etc. Just love one another. That’s all He asks. Everything else will fall into place. As it should.
Can you imagine a world where we all took the time to love one another?

Pray for peace, people. Please.

Spiritually Overcoming Abuse


jesus and child

I intended to post the following yesterday but I had to sleep on it and pray about it to be sure I wanted to share it with the world. Plus, I don’t want to hurt anyone who has hurt me in the past. With healing comes forgiveness. Or maybe the other way around.

I don’t even know how to put into words the experience I had, or I should say, the truth revealed to me last night. I was at my weekly prayer meeting, a group of Catholic Charismatic ladies who get together to praise God and offer prayer intentions. And sometimes share a bottle of wine. Hey, we’re Catholic, what can I say?

ANYWAY, during the course of the evening we shared and prayed and meditated. I think we all had the same thing on our hearts because it seems the conversation drifted into the realm of our pasts and the pain of our childhoods. Isn’t it something how God brings people together who have so much in common? Not a coincidence, a God-incidence. There were only three of us last night but we still made a joyful noise unto the Lord, as the saying goes. When we got down to brass tacks, it was all about surviving abusive relationships and childhoods. One by one we shared things in our lives that were devastating. We cried for each other and prayed for each other. And we thanked God that He is a God of mercy and compassion. The more I thought about that, the more I began to recognize a truth that had evaded me for as long as I could remember. And with that truth came healing.

In terms of what we all have to suffer in life, I can’t say I know the reasons why we do. The world wide web is not the place to discuss some things so I’m not going there. But I will say this: God’s timing is not our timing but his timing is perfect. Recently, I saw a post on fb that said our bad memories need to be removed from our lives because they are toxic to ourselves physically and mentally. Personally, the suffering I have had to endure was bad in my eyes but compared to some, maybe not so much. Nevertheless, it was so complicated it had to be healed by layers. I can’t say I was always fully aware of each step into healing. All I knew was I had pain that was tattooed on my heart and soul and I wanted to be free of it. I wanted to be ‘normal’, whatever that was. As the healing progressed, I began to understand the reasoning behind why I felt ‘less than’, as well as defining and understanding my own behaviors that were destructive and self-deprecating, at the same time, inevitable; symptoms manifested by my pain.

A little at a time, the eyes of my heart have been opened to see the reasoning, if there is such a thing, behind why I suffered what I did. With each revelation came healing. Like an onion (I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it still rings true) peeling away layer by layer, so were the obstacles that kept me from the area in my life that most needed healing. And it was a s l o w process. Finally, just last night, I came to understand that I needn’t search for healing and the ability to rise above. It would come to me. God would see to it. Suddenly last night, as clear as a bell, I realized that God knows what He is doing. I had to wait until His time was right to complete the work He began in me. I discovered that the reason I wasn’t healed the first time I asked was because God knew I couldn’t deal with the reasons why what happened happened. I simply wasn’t ready. God knew when I would be and he tilled the soil and fertilized the field, and pulled the weeds until I was in the exact spot I needed to be, a place where I could accept hearing what happened, what made me the way I am.

I would have not been able to handle it otherwise. Premature enlightenment of the truth might have destroyed me. There could have been weak areas in me that couldn’t go there without more damage occurring.

God’s timing is perfect. I’m pretty sure I am a much stronger person with perhaps more insight and rebounding abilities. All thanks to God.

I don’t blame Him for the bad, bad experiences I have had. His gift to the human race is free will and it isn’t His fault that the choices of others have had a negative impact on my life. For that matter, some of my own choices have had negative impact on other’s lives. But God, in His mercy, has all the tools we need to become whole. His understanding and compassion are perfect, therefore He knows the exact time in which we will be able to accept our healing so that it will become totally complete.

Amen.

Please pray for peace.

Got My Sunday Preachin’ On!


I was inspired by a blogger by the name of Andrew Hines. I’ve included the link here: http://www.andrew-hines.com/2013/10/06/more-than-average/ This young man is a fresh new voice with a beautifully developing spirituality and I think he will definitely go far. I hope you take a look at his blog to see what I mean. I’m pretty sure you’re going to like his point of view. ANYWAY… his post for today is great food for thought, but if you know me, you know that I can’t leave well enough alone, especially when the subject is anything Divine. I had to offer my opinion, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just how I roll.

I LOVE that Andrew’s point of view today is to be more than average, and change your circumstances to fit your dream, and God wants you to be happy. Wise, wise words, don’t you think? This is the comment I left on his page:

“Andrew, I like your post but please allow me to add my two cents. John 10:10 “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Jesus said that. He also said “It’s easier for a camel to get through an eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven.” Seems to be a contradiction here, right? No. first of all, if you do your research, you will find that Jesus wasn’t saying that all rich people are not welcome in heaven. If you note, he was referring to those rich Pharisees (and others) that give a lot of lip service to doing good things and focus on material things as valuable, serving their pride and status before anything else at all.
That’s not what Jesus meant. He really does want us to have ‘life more abundantly’ but not to the extent that all we are is a materialistic people making our worth nothing more than the amount of electronics we have, how many awards we have, how big our bank account is. An abundant life is much more than that. To love one another, to serve one another, to be His hands and feet on earth are far more rewarding than anything material.
At the same time, He blesses us with the desires of our hearts. There is not one thing wrong with being rich. There is a lot wrong with using wealth only in a self serving way.
I love what you said about bettering ourselves and changing our circumstances to fit our dreams, not the other way around. Self-improvement, working hard to succeed, being grateful for your blessings, becoming a better person – If that brings out the joy in you, imagine how proud our Heavenly Father is of you! Love is a mighty thing.”

I felt pretty good about what I said and that I had taken the chance on that platform to say it. Then I thought I might sound a little bit holier-than-thou and that’s not the impression I wanted to give. I hope you forgive me if that is what you thought. But God has a way of working things out and I shouldn’t be surprised when he does. I received a lovely email from a priest I know with this quote from Pope Francis’ Angelus address given today:
Pope Francis and Doves

“Do not be ashamed to bear witness to our Lord, nor to me, in prison for him; but with the power of God, suffer with me for the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8). But this is meant for everyone: each one of us, in his everyday life, can bear witness to Christ, with the power of God, the power of faith, the small faith that we have, which, nevertheless, is strong! With this strength bear witness to Jesus Christ, be Christians with your life, with our witness!”

Wow. Of course, I can not add anything to the wise words of our Pope, except for this observation that may relate to the subject of Andrew Hines’ post and my reply to it. In the scripture from 2 Timothy, Paul says he is in prison for Him. He willingly faces the consequences of the decision he made in life to declare the good news of our Lord. He becomes a prisoner for what he believes in (notice I didn’t say by what he believes in).

In the same way, we too make a decision to face consequences for what we believe in – materialistically and spiritually. To become a slave to a materialistic life cannot bring joy, not everlasting joy, not joy that counts. But to use the gift of our free will to become the best we can be in all areas of our lives is a testament to the love and generosity of our Father. He is a good God and we are His beloved.

I’m probably going to get some flack from non-believers and haters who ask “where is God during wars, starvation of children, birth defects, etc?” That’s ok. Exercising free will is still a gift whether you believe it or not. And I am not so learned or knowledgeable to spar with them. Simply put, I don’t know the answer to that except to say that maybe, just maybe, He wants US to act, to prove our integrity, to be His hands and feet on this earth. Maybe He expects us to feed the hungry, give to the poor, ease despair, do what we can in His name. 2 Timothy 1:9 makes more sense of it: “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to His own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,”

Can I get an AMEN?

Can I get a comment?

And don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. Believe me, the whole world needs your prayers.

NO JUDGMENT HERE


spoiler alert: Got some good preachin’ goin’ on up in here!

Isn’t it odd how we think of ourselves as good people because we are good deed doers and don’t judge others for the mistakes they make, for being down on their luck, or suffering from their weaknesses? How sometimes we go out of our way to help a person because they have a specific need? How we think we are doing the right thing when we give to the salvation army, or buy raffle tickets for a worthy cause, or do volunteer work? It makes us feel good, like we are nice people trying to do the right thing. Like we are people who don’t judge others. See a man on the side of the road picking up cans? Here, you can have this one too. No judgment here. See an obviously homeless person hitching a ride? Jump in, no judgment here. Some painfully poor person panhandles for your loose change? I’ve got plenty, no judgment here. How about this one: a perfect stranger on face book needs someone to listen to her problems? Sure, take my ear. No judgment here.

My question is this: Do we exert ourselves in the same manner for our family, and friends? Are we as kind to them as we are to some strangers down on their luck? Do we give the people we love the most the same amount of respect as we do to people we don’t even know, or perhaps will never even meet?

I’m asking these questions of myself today. A distant memory triggered this onslaught of soul-searching and I realize there are a lot of sins I have not asked God to forgive. I hadn’t asked Him to forgive me for resenting my mom’s efforts to help a child in another country with a monthly donation. It was probably thirty five years ago and I remember my grandmother saying at the time “charity begins at home”. I agreed with her because I thought my mom would have better spent her money on me every month, after all, I was a single mother trying to get by. In all actuality, I was a self-centered knot-head with an it’s-all-about-me attitude. My world had an invisible boundary that hindered my ability to think beyond the ‘dome’. I never stopped to consider that my mom’s contribution might very well have changed the future for one little person, a change that might have an impact on the whole world, all because of that one little gesture, one little contribution. God said He forgives me. I hope my mom does too. If she were still with us, I would ask her from the bottom of my heart to forgive my selfish resentment – and for judging her wrongly.

Mankind is best served by all of the do-gooders out there and for obvious reasons. Jesus said “love one another”. Did you think this post would be about serving others, taking care of the poor or homeless, loving others as we love ourselves? In a way it is, but don’t forget about those already in your life, people. Don’t forget that your family, maybe friends, too, need your kindness. Or understanding. Or forgiveness. Or even to be forgiven. Don’t forget them in all your efforts to serve God’s people. They might be the ones who are down-trodden, disheartened, or misunderstood.

Don’t judge them either.

I used to be the world’s best at judging others. Just ask any of my former co-workers. I was baaad. It’s really hard to think before I judge, but I am practicing.

I’m going to have a go-to-Jesus meeting for a long list of wrongs I’ve done that I brushed aside because I thought ‘doing the right thing’ was enough. And I’m sure you’ve heard (over and over) how if you are in flight and the oxygen mask falls down, put it on yourself first so that you have the strength to help the person with you.

That’s what I’m talking about.

So keep doing good things, people. Don’t stop, increase your efforts. And keep in mind there will be no judgment here.

think before speaking

And don’t forget ya’ll – pray for world peace. Our entire world needs more prayer.

Insanity – Enjoy It!


insanity

I saw this on facebook today and I immediately thought about – me. It is such a funny way for a person to see herself, but for me there can’t be any other way.

I’m crazy and I know it.

I’m crazy and I own it.

But it’s not so bad most of the time. To keep it in the right perspective, I make light of my foibles when I can. Take today for example; I went to see my little princess (although she was crowned Tiny Tee Cotton Festival Queen today) all dressed up in her darling little smocked dress. Afterwards, I ran by Sonic to get my husband something to eat. Unfortunately, I left my wallet at the Queen’s house and had no cash on me. The Sonic people assured me they would hold Mr. Pete’s order while I backtracked for said wallet. So I’m on the road again and well, you know how a person’s mind wanders. I figuratively fell into a deep hole filled with negative thoughts. Dang it. I was so tangled up in the hold they had on me, I passed the Queen’s palace – not once, but twice. Talk about feeling like a damn fool!

Oh, but that’s nothing. You ought to see me when I’m stressed! I don’t do stress, it does me. I’m allergic to stress. I try to avoid it at almost any cost. And I’m the kind of person who doesn’t sleep well thanks to fibromyalgia. Not sleeping = hyper-stress. Therefore, I take sleep medicine. It takes a lot to put me to sleep and trust me, I’ve tried EVERYTHING from holistic natural this-n-that, melatonin, self-hypnosis, no TV/computer at night, making sure I’m absolutely exhausted before bed. When I say everything, I mean everything. So I depend on meds. Or rather I am dependent on meds. But sometimes they don’t work, and when they don’t, I tend to do crazy things. Like get up in the middle of the night and cut my hair. Waking up the next morning after that was a real joy (sarcasm intended). I laid there for a minute before deciding to get up and face the music. Hair was all over the bathroom and apparently I even changed my hairy pajamas before going back to bed. The real surprise was that my hair looked awesome. Even Mr. Pete noticed. He said “Your hair is beautiful today. Did you get it colored?” Nope, I told him, I had a crazy night and cut it. He understood and was ever so calm when he told me my inner-beautician did a good job. I love that man. I enjoyed the moment of insanity and wish they all turned out as well. They don’t. Lucky for me, I am able to laugh at myself. A person like me has to from time to time just to keep her head above water. If I didn’t see the funny side I don’t know what I would do.

I’m willing to bet you feel the same way too. Life is weird that way. Individually we often think that what we do, the way we do it, and our faux pas are exclusively ours. They are not. I’m going to tell you something that you may not believe. Every one of us is the same. You may not get up in the middle of the night and cut your hair, but I bet you’ve thought of yourself as crazy at one time or another. Now, am I right or am I right? Of course I am. And the reason I know this is because I listen to people. It is amazing what you hear when your ears are open. Your heart also has to be open when you listen to people because what your heart hears is all that matters. This week I heard a lot. I heard the tears of a friend with stage 4 cancer. I heard the joy of my granddaughter’s excitement for her birthday, I heard a heart breaking over loneliness, and I heard the silence of a son who needs time away. This morning I heard church bells and God calling. This afternoon, my mood shifted to the I-must-be-crazy mode with my foray into absentmindedly driving around trying to get lunch taken care of for Mr. Pete, and I heard my own exasperation. We can make ourselves feel like we are crazy by being too busy, having a lot on our minds, or maybe even reacting to a full moon. Trauma of any sort will set you up for craziness. Don’t forget hormones, that certainly can do it. Even eating the wrong things can throw a person off balance until the world no longer makes sense. We feel crazy when we have random thoughts like I’m unattractive, I’ll never succeed, I’m not worthy, I can’t….fill in the blank. It’s all relative.

Whew. Take a deep breath.

Up and down and down and up. We all go through it. It’s normal. I know something else you might not know. There is hope even when we are crazy. You see, this kind of thinking is not from God and He says this about that:

Resist him (the enemy) standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1 Peter 5:9

Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Hebrews 12:7

I’m not saying that God sends us hardships. I would never say that because I don’t believe it. What I do believe is that He sends us what we need to get through the hardships (read craziness). He sends us grace, healing, peace. He sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us. He loves us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:35, 37

Let me say this; Even when I have my crazy insane moments, I know He is there for me. I know He will get me through it. I know my life is in His hands. He doesn’t control me (crazy little thing called self-will) but He does hold me. And for that I praise Him.

If you have read my book Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club, I hope you got the message that those old broads feel the same way. Even ol’ Stella says “It doesn’t hurt to be a little immature (substitute crazy) now and then!”

relax

Please don’t forget to pray for peace ya’ll. Now more than ever the whole world needs your prayers.