Guest Blogger, Medical Issues

I Am Who I Am

I Am Who I Am

I Am Who I Am

Being who I mean that I do not have many friends.  It is hard for me to open up to other people, because of how often I have been used.  Also for being backstabbed by these so-called “friends”. My circle of friends is very small due to this issue I have had in the past.

I have maybe 4 close friends who actually care about me and my well-being. I would do anything for them.  Honestly, I am loyal to the end. It is hard for me to let go.  Especially when potential long-lasting friendships end. I also tend to take on my friends’ problems.  Sadly, I claim that I am the cause of their issues.  I will just as easily take the blame for everything rather than have them take the blame.

This One “Friend”

This one “friend” is currently my co-worker and unfortunately my neighbor. The first nightshift we worked together we instantly clicked.  We became comfortable with each other which is incredibly rare for me. As the days led on we continued to text constantly about work and life.  We would hang out at my place and watch movies on our days off. His friends and family became comfortable with me as well as we continued to hang out.  Working together was a blast since we got along together and the kids enjoyed it when we both worked on the same day.

Tragic Event

He was always there for me when I needed him. There was a huge party at the apartment where I used to live.  There were easily at least 200+ party-goers.  This definitely goes against the contract of the apartment complex. Unfortunately, the party got out of hand.  There was a tragic event that turned the party into a nightmare.

My anxiety was at an all-time high and I needed to get out of there, my friend came to rescue me as quickly as he could. He was so understanding and was there to help distract me from this event. My friend even insisted that I did not return to my apartment until things calmed down and the police finished their investigations.

Maude My Orphan Kitty

My friend was also supportive of me when my little orphan kitten died that I was trying to bottle feed after her mom rejected her. I stayed up late nights and took that little kitten with me literally everywhere, we eventually had a routine and I was so proud of the way she was progressing.  I do not do well when animals die, especially if I am the one dedicated to their health and well-being. The little baby passed away and I was heartbroken, my friend was with me and he took the kitten and buried her for me since I could not do it myself.

I Told Him Everything

We did not have secrets and we knew each other pretty well. He was concerned for my mental health and physical health since the job profession we work in is extremely taxing for someone with mental health issues. I was grateful to have someone to talk to that has some of the same problems that I struggle with on a daily basis. This person was the true definition of a real best friend, or so I thought.

We did not date even though he admitted having feelings for me that I just could not reciprocate for personal reasons. But we remained best friends for a long time, that is until his current girlfriend came back into his life. They had dated once before in the past. I was supportive. I still wanted to hang out with him and I also wanted to get to know his girlfriend because I was trying to be supportive of their relationship.

All of a Sudden

He stopped talking to me and he did not text or call me at all. I had no clue what I did wrong to make him not talk to me because we spent almost every day together. Things just got worse from that point, I tried to talk to him but he refused to acknowledge my existence and futile attempts to get him to speak to me.

I admitted to him that I was jealous that he spent every day with his new girlfriend and the fact that she moved in with him only two weeks after them dating. Not jealous in the love sort of way but jealous that my best friend put all of his attention on just his girlfriend and nobody else.

Then One Night

One night I was walking my dog and he was outside on his back patio with his sister and girlfriend. I did not say a single word to him. He shouted from his yard that he needed to say something to me and he let me have it. He told me never to talk to his friends or family again and that if I had something to say I should say it to his face.

Instantly I got defensive and shouted back an obscene comment while rushing back to my own apartment. Granted, I should have handled that situation with better decorum but I was not prepared for that verbal attack. He would text me nasty things and his girlfriend even got in on the action and told me to stop talking to her boyfriend or things would get bad for me. I did not know how to handle this situation at all so I just ignored him.

My Depression and Anxiety

My depression was through the roof and my anxiety about the whole scenario kept my mind running in 20 different directions. He drunk dialed me one night and I just broke down and told him everything that I was feeling and how betrayed I felt about the whole situation. He blamed me for his drinking and dipping problem and he told me that I am the one that caused drama between him and his friends and family.  Being the person that I am, I claimed his problems as my own. I honestly started to believe that our entire friendship had been some sort of one-way street and that I caused all of his problems.

Eventually

After we were mature and decided to end our silly feud, when we would work together, he started talking to me more and we kind of fell back into our usual best friend ways. He said that his girlfriend did not like me and she did not like the fact that we would hang out all the time and text each other constantly. I told him that if she was threatened by me trying to “break up their relationship” that I could never ever do that to someone. I’m not that kind of person. And I reiterated the fact that I will still support him and care about him because he played a part in my life whether I wanted it to happen or not.

I Missed my Best Friend

Honestly, I told him that I missed my best friend, and I truly did. I missed the days we would hang out together and just be goofy and have fun with our two dogs. The thing is, is that I hold onto the people that come in my life.  I try to make any situation better by offering to help however I could at the time. My friend kept in contact with me but we never actually hung out except when we were working together at the boy’s house. He fell into a bad depressive state and I tried my best to be there for him since I know how rough it can be when you get in that depressive state.

One Random Night

His girlfriend added me on Snapchat and sent me a message. I dreaded opening it because I hate confrontation. We talked for a good long time and we were okay, I explained that I did not have feelings for him other than feelings of being a best friend, and that I was not trying to break up their relationship.  I called my friend and told him what she said and how everything was good between us again. Everything was fine for the next two weeks.

Enter My Mom

One day my mom came over to visit me and she wanted to introduce herself to my boys and my friend since I had already told her about him. All she did was shake his hand and introduce herself. Two days later, I got the most hateful message from him early in the morning. He accused me and my mom of trying to start drama and that she came over to his house unannounced. I was confused and hurt by all the hateful things that were sent to me.

Horribly Bullying

He called me a crazy psycho manipulative bitch and that he never wanted to see my face ever again. We were NEVER friends were the exact words that were texted to me.  That was along with some other things I will not mention. I was at work at the time so I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom to cry and then compose myself best I could. My hands were shaking and I could feel my blood pressure rising with each nasty message. I was confused, hurt, betrayed, and I seriously started to believe all of the things he was saying to me.

Is This a Joke?

I honestly thought at first that it was a joke.  That it really wasn’t him because my best friend would never say things like that to me. I profusely apologized even though I did nothing wrong, but he did not believe me. He said that I am not innocent and that I think that I never do anything wrong. I allowed myself to be sad for a little while.  Then I had to get over it and finish out my shift so I could go home. Why?

Seriously, Why me?

Why do I always end up getting into situations with people that betray me and my trust? I love fiercely and I am loyal to the end. I would never do anything to hurt my friend. But he hurt me. He hurt me so badly that I felt like my chest would rip open. I was miserable for the next week or two. His friends would always come at me.  They would send me nasty messages.  I just took it all on my shoulders like I usually do.

I really need to stop doing things like that

And that doesn’t make me a bad person. I am allowed to have feelings.  To be sad and mourn my best friend who I managed to alienate in my life somehow. After I attended a church sermon one day, my pastor said something that resonated within me.  It probed me to remember how badly he hurt me. He said that even though someone might have done us wrong, we need to forgive.  Also, pray that God will bless their lives abundantly.

I started to cry thinking about all my past friendships that crashed and burned for whatever reason it was at the time. Then, I sent every single one of my so-called “friends” a message.  It was a ‘to the point’ message which said exactly what I wanted to say. I did this in a kind and Christ-Like manner. I do not know if any of my friends even read that message.  At least I sent it to them and forgave them.

Message to my “Friend”

I still see my neighbor around and I also see him at work. Today, I will choose kindness.  Also, I will choose to still love (as a friend).  Furthermore, I will care about him even though it is hard. I will choose to make friends if God brings them into my life. Also, I will still love fiercely and be loyal to them no matter what comes my way.

And to my friend, even though he says we are not friends, I hope that you have a fruitful life.  That you and your girlfriend are happy together. That is all I ever wanted for you. I want you to be happy and successful. Even if that means our friendship is at an end. That’s okay. I will be okay. Because my heart belongs to God and I believe in his everlasting love for me.

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Now What?

Now What?

Now What?

Now what?  Honestly, what am I supposed to do now?  Over a decade of friendship and now, aside from your son and the children, you are all gone.  This ache is deep and my tears flow freely at any given moment.  It is so strange knowing that you are gone because that is not what we talked about.

I Miss You

It has only been a few days but I miss you.  We would chat, most nights, until about midnight about all the things.  I would watch my car detailing videos, mute, and tell you about every detail.  Then, we would discuss the children and what they were doing.  We would fix the world’s problems and now I don’t have anyone to talk to.

 

Always Wondered

I have always wondered is it best for others left behind for a loved one to die quickly or to *know* that they are dying so you can say what you need to.  Honestly, I have experienced both ways and they both suck.  For me, they do.  The ones who have passed well, as a believer, once your eyes shut on Earth, they open in the presence of the Lord.

Instantly

When your loved one dies instantly, with no warning, there are SO many things unsaid.  That last I love you, the last I am sorry, the last smile…when did you hug them last?  For me, it has been 6 mths due to conflict.  I remember the last words spoken.  Furthermore, I remember the last words he spoke to me.  Also, I remember sitting in my car screaming at the top of my lungs just to get out the anger.

Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness.  My fear was knowing how my husband would react to the words said to me.  My sadness was knowing what the outcome was going to be.  It was an outcome that I never wanted but was necessary in order for my husband to heal.  Yet, the pain that came in the morning was devastating.

A Small Amount of Time

This time, however, I have known of “not feeling well” since February or March.  What started out as vertigo and back pain ended in death.  Something so treatable as those 2 things.  Doctor visits yield Meniere’s disease, possibly.  Could be allergies.  Maybe it is stress.  Go to the chiropractor, get some blood work done, blah blah blah.

Those things led to not being able to keep anything down and losing weight.  Energy waning.  Speech slurred a bit.  Upset stomach and passing out.  She was “forced” to go to the ER where they said, “your electrolytes are low and you are dehydrated.”  Well, let’s pop in an IV and get that up.  For a moment, she was better.

Until She Got Worse

That moment was fleeting and we all tried to convince her to go to the doctor again.  This time they did x-rays, co-vid testing, and blood work.  There were bacteria in her bloodstream.  I remember her saying that.  Then she said, “good news, I don’t have co-vid!”  A sigh of relief.

Then silence.  She said, “but they found a mass on my pancreas.”  My heart went into my throat and I asked if it was cancer.  She said she did not know and she had an appointment with an oncologist on October 7th.  This was the day after her 61st birthday.

When I Got to Her Place

I walked in and there laid a shell of the woman I was used to seeing.  She had lost so much weight and was so jaundiced, I knew that this was serious.  I walked over and laid my head across her chest.  She patted my head and said “Brandi, I’m going to fight this.  It’s going to be okay.  I’m too mean to die.”

I snuggled up with her on the couch and we talked about all the things.  Once again, we solved the world’s problems.  I came by almost daily to check on her and the children.  At night, I would call.  Then she went to the doctor on the 7th…she said they called in hospice.

The Next Day

I came over and we started talking about other things.  Things neither one of us wanted to talk about.  Funeral homes, flowers, plans for her grandchildren and son.  She kept saying that this was all pointless because she was going to get a second opinion and fight.  This woman fought to the very end.

Most days she would ask me to “take her feet apart.”  AKA rub her feet because that felt SO good.  Then she would want me to play with her hair.  Somedays, I massaged her stomach because the swelling was so much that she said it helped her feel better.  Other days, I would just curl up next to her.  Sometimes we would nap and other times, she would nap and I prayed.

The Night at the ER

She finally could not take the pressure and swelling of her belly.  So, she asked me to call an ambulance just to have her checked.  They got there and the stress of moving her caused her to pass out.  We all thought she was gone and rushed to the ER.

Her son and I got there before the ambulance.  They wheeled her out and she cut her eyes at me and waved.  I crumpled in the parking lot.  It was like all the air being let out of a balloon.  Her sisters were there and we all rushed in.

The Beginning of the End

I knew that night, that she would be gone soon.  As I sat by her bed watching her breathe, we talked again.  She talked of her salvation, her husband, and her daughter that died before her.  David died 5 years ago of cancer and her daughter died 2 years ago by a choice that was horrific for her family.

She said they were standing up there going “oh hell, here she comes!”  I told her there was no swearing in heaven.  We both laughed a bit and then the topic got more serious.  She knew there was no fight left.  It was a matter of time and that time was up to God.

Final Words

She asked what would happen to Steve, her son.  Then we talked about Lexi, her granddaughter.  Next, we talked about Austin, her grandson.  Sierra, the precious girl that lived with them and expecting Donna’s great-grandson (whom Donna named).  She talked about Kenleigh, her great-granddaughter.  We got it all squared away.

Then, she looked at me and said “who is going to keep you out of trouble?”  I just sat and cried.  She said, “wanna crawl up in this bed, there is room?”  If I could have, I would have.  I told her we would get in trouble and she said she didn’t care.  She begged to go home.

We Got Her Home

Home.  She was not Donna anymore.  There were moments when she would focus, but we all knew the time was coming.  That time came…my Donna was gone.  Once again, I walked in and laid over her chest, and cried.  I listened to the wails and sobs of her son and grandchildren.  Her sisters.

I haven’t even fully processed it all but today is her funeral.  Everything changes for everyone.  Life never stops moving, does it?  I feel lost and go to pick up the phone and realize, there is no one to call.  Oh, Donna.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  We talked about that, remember?

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Hurt People Hurt People

Hurt People Hurt People

A phrase my mom has always said is Hurt People Hurt People.  That is a true phrase.  I always thought that I was your favorite person. You would make time to come down and see me, you brought me books and movies. We would go to the movies and have the best time ever. It meant everything to me that we had a good relationship. But all that changed… now you can barely say two words to me. Now you won’t even make eye contact with me most of the time. And to be honest, it is hard for me to talk to you because I don’t know what to say. 

 

Life After Death

 

After my cousin died, I was hurting so much. After realizing that he may not be in heaven where I so desperately wanted him to be. After him leaving so suddenly and I never got the chance to say goodbye, it was hard on me. Because I loved him and I wanted to know I would see him again. And I loved you so much that I wanted to know that if you left suddenly that I would see you again. 

 

Blaming Myself

 

Do you know my mom would not even let me read the letter you sent back to me? Because she knew it would hurt me if I read it. It was easier for me to not have to read it. I blamed myself for ruining our relationship. But now, I think it was more on you than on me. I was coming from a place of love but also of sadness and hurt. I didn’t understand why you didn’t believe the way that I did. I had no idea you would react the way you did. 

 

You Stopped 

 

You stopped writing to me. Also, you stopped all communication.  You just stopped. And that was hurtful for me, I looked up to you. I wanted to come to stay with you and wanted to be like you. I admired you for being as successful as you were. I understand now that what I said may have offended you, but at the time, I was a child and didn’t understand how it would offend you. 

 

Ensured Salvation

 

In my mind, I was just wanting to ensure that I would see you again. That I wouldn’t have to have the knowledge that you would be in the next life and not in a bad place. I was hurting so much and I was only a child. How was I supposed to know that one email would change our relationship forever? 

 

I think our Aunt blames me for our relationship not being where it used to be. I can see it in her face. I can feel it in her energy. But I know this was not my fault. My intentions were not of malice. You sent very hurtful letters back to me. It was not my intent to hurt you. Ever. 

 

Now, I Understand

 

I have gone through a very hard time since then. I have suffered much and you have no idea. And I so desperately wanted you to love and accept me like I love and accept you now. I feel guilty because I didn’t mean to hurt you. I would never intentionally hurt you in any way. I would hope you felt the same way about me. I do not judge your lifestyle, I am not a child anymore. I now understand how offensive some statements can be and I choose not to make those statements. 

 

I love you. I want you to love me too. 

 

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The Pain of Losing a Friendship

Happy Without You

In Happy Without You, this young lady shares her feelings about losing a beloved friendship.  Friendships come and go like the ebbs and flows of the ocean.  That is what I tell so many people because it puts in perspective that the things of this Earth are not forever.  Yet, losing a friendship is so very hard.  I always say you can either release them and enjoy the memories or you can hold onto them and be left with scars as Jesus rips them out of your hand.

 

This story is written by a young lady who is experiencing the loss of her relationship with a friend.  Her pain is evident and this is her way of releasing those emotions in a healthy way.  I pray for peace and restoration for her and her friend.  We always have to remember “but God.”  He is the healer of all things in His time.

 


 

 

Happy Without You

 

Happy Without You.  Hey, you know that if you want to hang out with me, you can just text me. Not trying to make you think that I don’t give a shit about you. Would hate for you to feel that way. You know, you really should be careful of what you put out in this world. You could really hurt someone.

Hence the reason I have taken measures to prevent you from hurting me. And this is only one of many instances. I have to do this for my mental health. It was hard and hurtful to me to see and hear those things, these passive-aggressive, attention-seeking words that really bore deep in my soul. 

 

My Offering and Your Response

 

I have offered to be a friend, have fun, live our lives together, create things, and made things that I knew you would like.  And you decide to say some bullshit like that? And even if you didn’t mean it towards me, maybe it wasn’t your intent. Doesn’t matter. Still hurt. And sorry is not going to fix this. 

 

I am so sick and tired of your antics and your attention-seeking behavior. Do you even care about me? You haven’t once asked me how I have been. Not in all of this time.  Not then and not now.  Do you know how much that hurts? Honestly, do you know how badly I want someone I can trust? Do you know how badly I want to be your friend? 

 

Why Stop?

 

You quit texting me. Also, You quit hanging out with me. You. Not me. This is your fault. Not mine. It is all on you. You make things all about you anyway so why should this be any different? I feel unwelcome in your presence. Awkward is what I feel because I cannot trust you. I don’t know how to act around you. Honestly, I don’t know who you are anymore. And it is so hard that I can’t trust you anymore. 

 

My Reasons

 

So.. Do you want to know the reason why I don’t make plans? Because every time I have tried, you find someone or something better for you to do. And that hurts. I would go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and that you wouldn’t see my depression.  So you wouldn’t have to see my anxiety. So you wouldn’t have to see my trauma. You don’t seem interested in hanging out with me. Do you ever try and point the finger at yourself? Or is it everyone else’s fault but yours? 

 

What Did I do?

 

What did I do to hurt you? Is this my fault after all? Everything is usually my fault, but that comes from my trauma. But do you even care? No, you don’t bother to ask. I was there for you for everything. I helped you, I supported you, I loved you. And I got nothing in return. And I didn’t want anything. Because that is what true friendship is really like. Or have you forgotten? 

 

I don’t know who you are anymore. I don’t understand your thought process. I don’t understand why you have such disdain for me. I don’t understand your words. I am really hurt. And I can’t trust you. Trust is such a fickle thing for me. Once you break my trust, you are gone. And I gave you so many chances. But no more. I have tried and tried and tried some more to open myself up to you. 

 

What You Don’t Know

 

Do you know that I have been in trauma therapy for months? Do you know the horrors I have had to relive? Do you know how bad my depression has gotten? Do you know that I have panic attacks when I am triggered? Do you know that my anxiety is through the roof most of the time? No. BECAUSE YOU DON’T CARE. You obviously don’t care, otherwise, you would have said something. You would have asked. 

 

I really want to be passive-aggressive back to you. I want to say something so passive-aggressive it makes your blood boil. So you could know what it feels like when you say something like what you did. But I am a bigger person. So I won’t do that. And that is ok. But I secretly want you to read this. I want you to know how badly you have hurt me. I want you to know how many hours I have cried over our friendship. I want you to know. 

 

I Have Always Loved You

 

But it is getting harder and harder to love you with each day. I am heartbroken. And it is your fault. I am not going to sugar coat anything. You are one of the reasons why I don’t trust anyone. Because I trusted you. And you broke it. You betrayed me. I feel so alone. Do you know how badly I wanted to be your friend? Can you even fathom? 

 

You are one of the Best People I Have Ever Known

 

But I don’t even recognize you anymore. And it is not because I judge you. I have never and will never judge you. I have done enough things that I am ashamed of that I do not feel the need to judge every single person I meet. So if that’s the reason you hate me so much, then get that thought out of your head. I have never judged you and never will. But you have changed. The person that I thought cared about me doesn’t seem to exist anymore. 

 

Someone to Trust

 

I want someone to tell my story too. That is something I want. I desire that. But I can’t do that with you, you made sure of that. Trauma is a bitch. But I have been stuck in my little bubble for so long that it is hard for me to reach out. Because of the times, I have tried to reach out, I was judged and I retreated back into my bubble. And now I am working through this messy middle of trauma therapy and it is not easy. Not that you care. Again, you never asked. 

 

So instead of blaming everyone else, why don’t you start blaming yourself? You pushed everyone away, the people closest to you. I was one of those people that you pushed away. You are the definition of a guilt trip. You are such a triggering person. You gaslight people into thinking that it is their fault instead of yours. Your guilt and manipulate to get your way. In a way, I am better off without you. 

 

Without You

 

Without you, I survived my trauma. I got married, without you. Without you, I got myself into treatment. I was blessed with the best gift anyone could ask for, without you. It’s currently kicking inside of me now. Without you, I survived my suicidal ideations. I got myself medicated without you. Without you, I got my life back on track. I got closer to Jesus without you. All of these things I did without you. 

 

And you know what? I am a freaking fantastic person. And you are missing out. So peace, love, and Spock signal. Hope you are happy. Because I sure am. Happy without you. 

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Emotions From This Week’s Story

Emotions From This Week's Story

Emotions From This Week’s Story

My Emotions From This Week’s Story are all over the place.  I have loved this woman since before I even knew she existed and came into my life.  When I met her, it was like my other half.  The fun we have had, the tears we have cried, the food we have cooked, and the yardsales we have done.  My goodness.  Shared histories, shared life stories, so much of my adulthood has had her and her family in it.

I have been holding her hand for almost a quarter of a century.  Or maybe she has been holding my hand.  How’s about we just hold each other’s hands!  When one is up, the other is down.  Then when one is down, the other is up.  When we are both down, we say inappropriate things and bleach our homes.  It’s a thing and it’s our thing, so why mess with what works.

How We Operate

When we are both up, we are a bit hard to handle.  We giggle like schoolgirls, bake, talk, and fix the world’s problems.  I love all of our history.  It has shaped me into who I am today.  It’s like we can read each other’s thoughts.  We feel when things are not right and we call each other out, in love, when we are screwing up.

Life was good until it wasn’t for a season.

A Difficult Time

There was a moment…or decade…that we struggled.  That was a hard chunk of time because I missed my friend.  I knew she was struggling but there was nothing I could do.  Letting her go and not be a daily part of each other’s lives was the hardest thing ever.

Things happened, as you can read in her story.  Yet, there is so much of her story that had to be left out for a variety of reasons.  One day, she is going to share it for all to hear and it is going to be used for God’s glory.  The strength she has exuded has been that of Christ.

Even in the darkest moments, she knew that she was His daughter.  A daughter of the King.  I cannot even properly articulate how proud I am of where she is now compared to where she was 20+ years ago.  Honestly, or even last year!

Getting the Call

When I received the call that something had happened, I did not hesitate.  I rushed to the hospital and I stood by her side.  There were moments when I fixed her hair, cleaned her up, and whispered in her ear on things that she would find funny.  I prayed over her.  With her family, we all prayed.  We didn’t know if she was going to live or die that day.

Anger ensued as a particular person was there and I made a decision to “use my words” with this human.  It wasn’t received well, threats were made, and I stood my ground for my friend.  He was no longer going to hurt her.  Her family was rallying around her, I was there, where I should have been and we were all going to protect her.

That we did.

The Days Following

Man, they were hard for her and her family.  She woke up and saw the people she loved most.  Her children and family.  She and I talked like we had not missed a beat.  Things were discussed.  Plans were in place.  She had a system and everyone was working towards helping her.  It was amazing.  God is so good.

There have been a couple of relapses where she didn’t use the plan.  Yet, this time, she made a call.  She wanted to live but for a moment, she yielded to the internal pain of all that has happened in her life.  It has been unspeakable the pain that her family went through.  That I went through, as her friend.  Yet, her pain was 1000 times more.  In her right mind, she would have never chosen this.  She was sick and needed help.  The first time help almost didn’t arrive in time. The relapses…they did because SHE made the call for help.

She Has Come So Far

My goodness…it seems like a lifetime ago that all this happened, but it wasn’t a lifetime.  It is still fresh and raw in my mind. This is a situation that I still have not fully allowed myself to feel because if I did, I would explode.  Now, we have talked about it, some, but not much.

When she has a bad day, she calls and we work through it.  She has an amazing husband and bonus daughter now.  She has 3 grown children who still like to come over and eat and play games.  Sometimes she has to be reminded how strong she is and how proud we all are that she chose to live.

Her relationship with Jesus is wonderful and she is a strong prayer warrior.  She is in counseling, seeking help, in church, and reaching out to those she loves and feels safe with.  Every day is a day that is filled with blessings and challenges.

For Me

I am SO glad she lived.  My life has been better with her in it.  I never want anyone to feel the pain and desperation of what she felt.  Never do I want someone to yield…for just one moment.  I can barely breathe when I think about those times.  She is loved by me.  Loved by her husband and children.  She is loved by her family.

I have to go and cry now…my feels are really feeling things.

My friend…I simply love you.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

Domestic Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Related Posts

Choices

Struggling wtih Depression and Anxiety at a Young Age

I Will Never Be the Same

 

Life or Something Like It

Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19

Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19

I have been in this house since the beginning of March.  Well, I have been “out” 2 times.  Both times were to take my son to treatment.  **Be jealous.**  I do drive around town, occasionally.  My son is medically fragile.  I choose to be safe and keep my behind at home.  My husband works outside the home 2 days a week.  Boo, our oldest son, does have a job.  For the most part, my family is contained.  We don’t see anyone and no one comes here.  YET…things are slowly opening up (wear masks and wash your hands)!  So, Self-Care 101 During Co-Vid19 is happening!

Excitement #1

People of the internet land, I am getting a massage!  I cannot tell you how excited I am.  When my friend texted me, she told me that A) she was opening up with HUGE restrictions based on our state.  She scheduled me.  Then, B) she had to cancel because the number of restrictions were hard, so she was going to have to wait until it loosened up a little bit more.  Safety for all people, ya know.  Mad respect for that, yet HUGE disappointment.  Then, C) because God is good…our governor switched things up again and I got scheduled again.

90 minutes of sheer bliss.  I can’t even.  Not only do I get to see the precious face of my friend but she is totally going to jump on my back and work her toes into my knots.  She is AMAZING!  I’m so pleased that she is so mindful of the rules, my health, her health, and all the things.

I might have told her that I was gonna walk in with nothing but my mask on.  She, politely giggled and said “Uhm, no.”  LOL.  I love the fact that we laugh and talk.  It isn’t total silence.  We catch up on all the things.  Then, when she does my back, I fall asleep and drool.

Excitement #2

I GET TO SEE MY MAMA!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh.  My word!  I have not seen her in 3 mths.  Now, we talk multiple times a day but I get to SEE HER FACE!  You will not be able to peel me off the ceiling!  As you get older, you realize that you still need your mama (and dad) and how precious they are.

I gave her instructions.  First, we were going to hug for an hour.  Then, she was going to rock me for at least 2 hours.  Next, I’m going to curl up in her bed and she is going to stroke my hair and sing to me while I nap for about 4 hours.  Last, I’m going to wake up and she is going to have cooked my favorites.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and lima beans.  Before I leave, we will hug for another hour.

She kindly said “now, Brandi, we probably won’t do all of that because there is no touching.”  Little does she know…I will wear a garbage bag or something to keep the cooties away.  I just want to see her person.

Excitement #3

We are meeting friends for dinner, at their house (where they have not gotten out…so no one will have been exposed).  Grilling out, swimming, chatting with other adults.  All my kids (who again, have been quarantined).  Stop it.  Just stop it right now.  I miss this friend, terribly, and I’m so glad that we have 1 case in our county.  For the most part, people are abiding by the rules.  There are the ones that don’t listen well, which is sad.  Having a medically fragile child puts all the things into perspective.

Excitement #4

I am getting my hair done.  Let me clarify, I’ve decided to let myself go gray (oh my word).  So, I’m just getting a haircut BUT I miss my friend.  I’m so excited I get to see her.  There have been some amazing humans touch my hairs.  I have been so blessed by the hairstylists who have become good friends.  Now, if God would just create in my hair a pretty blonde and ringlets, that would be great!

I have been cutting my boys’ and husband’s hair for a long time.  It is an art and I am not qualified.  Luckily, my husband lets me shave his off.  My boys’ hair, I have learned how to scissor cut and not make them look like they have an Amish hair-do.  I did, last night, trim my daughter’s hair.  My friend gave me tips and I did a pretty good job.  No layers, bangs, or anything wild over here.

Excitement #5

Because all things have been closed, my #2 daughter has asked that my oldest daughter, the youngest daughter, and me over to the place where she sleeps.  She wants to have a “spa” day and treat us all.  I mean, how sweet is that.  We will probably order pizza and watch movies while we pamper each other.  By “pamper” each other, I mean they give me a mani- and Pedi- because that is not something I’m good at.  Maybe we can get those peel-off masks that are so relaxing to me!

All of this is happening over the next few weeks, so it’s not like I’m doing it all in a day.  My mental health has taken a hit, like most people.  Self-Care is not selfish or wrong.  It is imperative that we take care of ourselves.

Listen to Me

Reach out to a friend, call your pastor, check with a counselor, call your doctor, take a bath, take a nap, read the Word.  Find a good book or movie or show.  Pet a cat, bake cookies.  Whatever you find relaxing DO IT!  There is no shame in having a movie marathon day.  Your mental health is so important.  If you need help, it is there.  You are loved, you are worth, you are strong, you are kind, and you are good!  Love yourself.  If you ever feel like life is too much, you can text 988 for help!  Or you can call Suicide Prevention Hotline.  Your life is worth saving!

Related Posts

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Stress Organizing Food Areas

So Very Sick

Faith Journey

Thoughts on Psalm 69

Thoughts on Psalm 69

Psalm 69

Save me, O God,
    for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
    I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
    and the floods overwhelm me.
I am exhausted from crying for help;
    my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    waiting for my God to help me.

Thoughts

Keeping my eyes above the waves...that is the phrase I have used a thousand and five times.  Now, I know where that phrase was derived from for that song.  This is how I feel 99.5% of the time.  Like I’m one wave away from drowning.

I mean, people have gone through much worse than I have in their lives.  Honestly, I cannot imagine the pain that some of my friends are continuing to walk through.  Loss of marriages, children, spouses, jobs, etc.  It is almost more than my mind can bear.  Yet, we have gone through a lot in the past 5 yrs (well, the past 14 if you wanna get technical LOL).

I know that my lack of trust is a factor in my drowning feeling.  I’m learning how to talk about things but I still keep things very close to my heart.  I share, but it is not complete sharing, does that make sense?  Share enough to get my point across but not enough to bare my soul.

Section 2

Those who hate me without cause
    outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
    demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.

O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel.
For I endure insults for your sake;
humiliation is written all over my face.
Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me;
they treat me like a stranger.

 

Thoughts

Recently, I have had to have some introspection going on with some issues.  Social media can be the root of evil.  Honestly, a lot of it is.  Yet, I have learned the art of the “unfollow” button but more importantly the reporting ads function.

I am so sick of seeing half-naked women on there wanting me to buy bras, underwear, or shapewear.  My husband and I have a joint account.  He certainly does not need to get on there and see that crap.  Learning to report the ad has stopped those ads.  That has been one issue resolved.

Politics

I have my own thoughts on politics but I do not discuss them.  It is not worth getting into a war of words with another human.  I choose to “hide” a discussion or “unfollow” until a certain election is over.  It just keeps peace in my heart.

The Real Issue

Recently I have been on the wrong end of the stick with someone.  This is a person that I have held dear to my heart and for a reason that is foreign to me, I have upset this person.  Enough so, she has “unfriended” me.  A year ago, that would have upset me so badly.

This time, however, it truly does not bother me.  I cannot control the perception of this person.  Then there is the choice to not bait in the feeling of satan pushing that “you aren’t good enough for this person” bruise.  The issue is not with me, it is a personal thing that really I have no part of.

I still love this person and her family, but what she is walking through is between her and God.  Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight your battle.  You simply have to be silent.”  I choose silence.

Remember Life Before CellPhones?

Not my circus, not my monkey type of thing.  I’m beginning to remember what it was like to not be available to the world 24/7 (thanks to cell phones). I don’t really care what people think of me (thanks to social media).  It just is what it is.  I keep my phone ringer on vibrate.  I’m going to delete the apps on my phone.  When I do get on social media, it will be Jesus or blog related or to ask a question.

Perspective.  I’m gaining perspective.  This is a good thing and I hope that my children hold onto that and do not become a slave to cells or social media.  If we read the Word more than we scrolled…what would our lives look like?

Section 3

Passion for your house has consumed me,
    and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
    they scoff at me.
11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
    they make fun of me.
12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,
    and all the drunks sing about me.

13 But I keep praying to you, Lord,
    hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
    answer my prayer with your sure salvation.

Section 4

14 Rescue me from the mud;
    don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
    and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
    or the deep waters swallow me,
    or the pit of death devour me.

16 Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
for your mercy is so plentiful.
17 Don’t hide from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!
18 Come and redeem me;
free me from my enemies.

 

Thoughts

He does answer my prayers, just sometimes not the way in which I would want Him to answer.  That is hard for me.  I see the “blinder” version of my life.  While He is in a helicopter and He sees from beginning to end.  May I learn the art of trusting and obeying?

Section 5

19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
    You see all that my enemies are doing.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
    and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
    if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison for food;
    they offer me sour wine for my thirst.

22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.
23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.
24 Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
and don’t let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don’t let them be counted among the righteous.

 

Section 6

29 I am suffering and in pain.
    Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing,
    and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
    more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
    Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
    he does not despise his imprisoned people.

Section 7r

34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,
    the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem
    and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
    and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
    and those who love him will live there in safety.

Related Posts:

Psalm 68

 

Faith Journey

Power of Intentional Forgiveness

Power of Intentional Forgiveness

Power of Intentional Forgiveness

The Power of Intentional Forgiveness is something that is not lost on me.  Forgive is a verb or an action.  You are actively doing something.  It means to grant a pardon for or absolve something; to cease to feel resentment against (as in an enemy).  I love the beauty of forgiveness.

Forgiveness DOES NOT mean that we are somehow giving permission for another person to hurt us or excuse the choices of another towards us.  It is, however, a release for us.  We are releasing that pain and memory so satan can no longer use that against us.

God is Clear

That He is the ultimate Judge and Jury. He states in Exodus 14:14 “the Lord will fight your battles, you simply need to be silent.”  Thankfully, He knows what is ahead of us and He already has the PERFECT provision in mind for every situation.  We just need to stop, be quiet, and get out of the way.

For Me

I am pretty quick to forgive but I am not quick to forget.  That is a fault of mine.  It is hard for me to just shut that infraction out of my mind.  Well, I guess it depends on the situation.  It is like the sting of the pain is gone, but the scar remains.  So, in satan’s true form, he presses on that scar and he picks at it.  What a vicious cycle.

The Hiding Place

As I was reading this book, it was SO impressed on me about the power of love and forgiveness.  Seeing the person that hurt me with a different set of eyes.  With the eyes of Christ.

I have been talking with a friend and we have worked through this concept a whole lot lately.  The end of this inspiring story of Corrie ten Boom struck me so much that I did a screenshot of it and sent it to her.

Preface to a Section of the Book

Let me preface this quote by giving some context.  Corrie and her family were turned in to the Gestapo for hiding the Jews and helping them.  They had served in several different and horrific concentration camps.  They had lost their father, their nephew, and many friends to these camps.

At this moment, in the story, they found out who it was that turned them in.  Corrie is wrought with anger for this person. She is beyond hurt, mad (understandably) at how a “friend” could harm their family in such away.

This is the conversation between an angry Corrie and her sister Betsie.

Corrie:  Betsie, don’t you feel anything about Jan Vogel?  Doesn’t it bother you?

Betsie:  Oh yes, Corrie!  Terribly!  I’ve felt for him ever since I knew – and pray for him whenever his name comes into my mind.  How dreadfully he must be suffering!

*****Excuse me people, but what freaking kind of angel is Betsie to “feel for” and “pray” for this man who caused SO much death, destruction, and pain.  Yes, I yelled that while I was reading.*****

Corrie’s Thought Process After this Conversation

“For a long time, I lay silent in the huge shadowy barracks restless with the sighs, snores, and stirrings of hundreds of women.  Once again I had the feeling that this sister with whom I had spent all my life belonged someone to another order of beings.  Wasn’t she telling me in her gentle way that I was as guilty as Jan Vogel?  Didn’t he and I stand together before an all-seeing God convicted of the same sin of murder?  For I had murdered him with my heart and with my tongue.”

Emphasis Added Was Mine

For real.  To put Corrie ten Boom, who sacrificed her family and her life to save others in the same category as Jan Vogel… a man who killed, literally, several humans out of devotion to Hitler and the cause is insane.

Insane.

Then, that sentence that I bolded.  God does not distinguish between sin.  Sin is black and win.  You either sin (gluttony, lying, adultery, homosexuality, murder (the physical kind), murder (spewing hate in your heart), stealing, the list can go on and on) or you don’t sin.  We are human, we sin.  That is why we needed a Savior to die on the cross to save us from our sins.

She despised this man and this man killed and tortured many.  In God’s eyes… the boy sinned. Let that sink in for about 3 minutes.  I need a swig of coke.  She killed with her tongue and heart.  He killed and tortured with his hands.  Yet, both created in His image.  Both loved by God.  Finally, both sinned in the eyes of God.

I’m having a hard time with this, can you tell?

Her Prayer

“Lord Jesus, I forgive Jan Vogel as I pray that You will forgive me.  I have done him great damage.  Bless him now, and his family.” That night for the first time since her betrayer had a name, I slept deep and dreamlessly until the whistle summoned us to roll call.”

For.  Real. People.  Absorb that prayer.  Adapt it to add the names of the people who have hurt you.

Friends who abandoned you in your greatest time without a word.  These same friends make you question all the things that you could have done wrong and you are eaten up with pain and confusion.  God is NOT the author of confusion.  Let that crap go.  Forgive!

People who rip your children out of your arms claiming you are an unfit parent because they are jealous and want these precious beings for themselves.  Hateful humans want to remove children just because they feel like it, with no regard to what is right and wrong.  Forgive.

So Many More Scenarios

Pastors who you trusted that hurt you and your family.  Accusations are thrown around like confetti.  Allowances of idle gossip within the church to try and accuse you of being an awful parent to kids from hard places.  Pastors refusing to help others, accusing you of affairs, chastising you in dark stairwells because you are trying to protect your children.  Pastors who blamed a child for someone who preyed on them and molested them.  You are asked to leave yet the accuser stays and he is free.  Forgive.

Men who claim to love Jesus and the law who underhandedly try and destroy your family.  They do so while still talking of their love Christ and family.  They lose no sleep.  Let me tell you…what man meant for evil, God meant for good.  Forgive

A family who disowns you for falling in love.  Co-workers who treat you like crap to your bosses but never to your face because there is no basis for the hate they are spewing.  Forgive.

Oh, this woman goes on!

Am I speaking my pain?  Are those deep dark chambers of my heart being unlocked?  Let me tell you.  I have a situation, right now, that I have buried so deeply for over a decade.  It is completely fine tucked away in the back corner of the attic.

Guess what?

God has a sense of humor.  In being content with my pain being hidden away, He decides (cause He is a funny God) that He is gonna bring it all right back up.  Just like vomit.  What this man did was atrocious and unforgivable by my standards.

Yet, there is God.  Only God could orchestrate what is happening.  I have played out every scenario of meeting this human and all the things that I can say.  Honestly, I want to make him feel like shit on the bottom of my shoe.  No lie.

But God

Clearly, He sees that I can’t move forward until I move past this.  Again, forgiveness is not about giving permission for that person to do what that person did.  It is about releasing control that satan has over it in my heart.

I know that.

Now, He has aligned the stars to where it is time for me to face one of my deepest hurts.  It is like a train coming down the tracks.  I see it.  Yet, I don’t need the ticket right now.  This train is going to run over me and my family.

God is my Protector, Defender, Shield, and Stronghold.  May He be my words.  I pray I can see through the pain of the past to see the hurt this man must have gone through and is going through.  May I show Him the love of Christ.

Right now, my flesh wants to bring down a world of pain.  Yet Christ died for him.  Forgave Him.  What more does He need to give?

It is time.

Related Posts:

The Hiding Place

Psalm 56 & Proverbs 25

Faith Journey

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20

Psalm 51 & Proverbs 20 definitely has a little “cut Brandi to the core” theme going on!  The Lord completely put me in my place.  Now, if I can heed His warning and behave!

Psalm 51

A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
    blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
    Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
    it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
    I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
    and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
    teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
    you have broken me—
    now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
    Remove the stain of my guilt.

Section 2

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
    and they will return to you.
14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;
    then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,
    that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
    You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
    with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
    Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

Thoughts

I love verse 10.  It is such a hopeful verse.  Create in me a clean heart.  Our hearts are nasty.  Sadly, I keep lots of locked doors, “do not enter” signs, cobwebs, and more in certain spots.

But God.

He jumps in the most sensitive parts that no one can see…yet He sees.  Not only does He see, but He gets to work cleaning out those parts.  I have an issue of unforgiveness that looms over me.  I have harbored BAD feelings for over a decade.

This person would not know me if I bit him on the butt, yet I can’t stand him or anything he touches.  I keep that door locked uptight and on occasion, I bring it out and I shame him more.

But God.

He has orchestrated, since before He created the Earth, a moment in time where I will have to come face to face with this person.  I mean, it is imminent.  This person is going to see my eyeballs and we are going to shake hands.  The first thing that I want to come out of my mouth is “I absolutely cannot stand you and what you have done.”

Probably not the best thing to say, but that is what I want to say.  I would love to close my eyes and have the knowledge that this person just dropped off the face of the planet and that I didn’t have to ever see him.

But God.

He jumps in, gets some of those channel locks and He rips the lock off that room.  Right now, He is all up in my business, cleaning out the corners of that room.  Soon, I will shake this man’s hand.

I have no idea what will come out of my mouth.  God knows…He knows every thought in my head and word on my tongue before I speak it.  Honestly, makes me wanna throw up a little.

Proverbs 20

1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls.
    Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar;
    to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
    only fools insist on quarreling.

Those too lazy to plow in the right season
    will have no food at the harvest.

Though good advice lies deep within the heart,
    a person with understanding will draw it out.

Many will say they are loyal friends,
but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Thoughts

Friends, true friends, are hard to come by.  I am a “keep you at a distance friend.”  Sadly, I have been made aware of that by some people in my life.  It is what it is.  I am very loyal and forgiving, but making an effort is hard sometimes.

Luckily, He sent me a few friends that I have had for eons.  Then there was Ms. Jo.  Now, He has blessed me with a friendship that started 30 years ago.  He is reintroducing us, as adults, and we are having such a good time.

Good things come to those who wait…once the wolves in sheep’s clothing are identified.  Man oh man, there have been some wolves.  God is bigger!

 

Section 2

The godly walk with integrity;
    blessed are their children who follow them.

When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence,
    distinguishing the bad from the good.

Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart;
    I am pure and free from sin”?

10 False weights and unequal measures—
    the Lord detests double standards of every kind.

11 Even children are known by the way they act,
    whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.

12 Ears to hear and eyes to see—
    both are gifts from the Lord.

13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
    Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

14 The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,”
then brags about getting a bargain!

 

Section 3

15 Wise words are more valuable
    than much gold and many rubies.

16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.
    Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.

17 Stolen bread tastes sweet,
    but it turns to gravel in the mouth.

18 Plans succeed through good counsel;
    don’t go to war without wise advice.

19 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
    so don’t hang around with chatterers.

20 If you insult your father or mother,
    your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.

21 An inheritance obtained too early in life
    is not a blessing in the end.

22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.

 

Thoughts

Well…does verse 22 just speak to my above thoughts from Psalm 51.  I guess I got my answer as to what I need to say or do.  Dangit.  Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.  How much more clear can one be.  Dangit.

23 The Lord detests double standards;
    he is not pleased by dishonest scales.

24 The Lord directs our steps,
    so why try to understand everything along the way?

25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
    and only later counting the cost.

26 A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat,
    then runs his threshing wheel over them.

27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit,
    exposing every hidden motive.

28 Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king;
    his throne is made secure through love.

29 The glory of the young is their strength;
    the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

30 Physical punishment cleanses away evil;
    such discipline purifies the heart.

Related Posts:

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

Psalm 50 & Proverbs 19

 

Faith Journey

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6

Here is my take on Psalm 37 & Proverbs 6.  Please let me know what your thoughts are if you are following along!

Psalm 37

Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
    Trust him, and he will help you.

Thoughts

Wow.  Again, as I was speaking to one of my children about her dreams and desires, this is what I said to her.  It is so instilled in me that I didn’t know that I was quoting from Scripture.  It is something I just live by.

She is an instant gratification kid.  It pops in her head and she hyper focuses on it so much that it soon becomes her reality.  Through her spontaneity, there have been many things that have proven to be not so great.  Lots of natural consequences to her choices.

She has dreams.  I’m all about dreams, but if you are so ingrained in the Lord through Scripture and prayer, magic happens.  There are blessings He is WAITING to throw on you.  Things you didn’t even know you wanted but when it happens it knocks your socks off!

He gives you the desires of your heart, but you have to give your heart to Him first.

Section 2

He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord,
    and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry!
    Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
    it only leads to harm.

Thoughts

This can encompass so much in my current life.  I have to stop being angry.  Also, I need to turn from my rage and control my temper.  This has been a trying couple of weeks plus the added fun with a couple of my kids.  May the Lord temper my mouth and convict me instantly.

Section 3

For the wicked will be destroyed,
    but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
    Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land
    and will live in peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the godly;
they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs,
for he sees their day of judgment coming.

Thoughts

Verse 13 makes me giggle.  These people, these bullies, that I have been dealing with…I rage and I lose my temper.  Yet, this verse says that the Lord just laughs at these people.  He knows judgment is coming.  Really, I need to just shut up and let Him handle it.

Section 4

14 The wicked draw their swords
    and string their bows
to kill the poor and the oppressed,
    to slaughter those who do right.
15 But their swords will stab their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.

16 It is better to be godly and have little
    than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
    but the Lord takes care of the godly.

18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent,
    and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.
19 They will not be disgraced in hard times;
    even in famine they will have more than enough.

20 But the wicked will die.
The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.

 

Thoughts

As I get older, I see more and more of the context of these Scriptures.  People are ready to pounce on a person.  More times than not, there really is no reason.  How sad is it that we live in a time that hate is so prevalent?  What holds more sadness for me, is that my grandchildren will be raised in a generation of more hate.

The comfort I seek is in Jesus.  He is my Help in times of uncertainty, fear, and hate.  I questioned my salvation in my younger adult years.  Heavily.  Honestly, now, though I screw up (we are human), I am certain of the fact that I am His and He is mine.

Section 5

21 The wicked borrow and never repay,
    but the godly are generous givers.
22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land,
    but those he curses will die.

23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.

Thoughts

“Though they (meaning me) stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

Just wow.

Section 6

26 The godly always give generous loans to others,
and their children are a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good,
    and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice,
    and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever,
    but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land
    and will live there forever.

30 The godly offer good counsel;
    they teach right from wrong.
31 They have made God’s law their own,
    so they will never slip from his path.

32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly,
looking for an excuse to kill them.
33 But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed
or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

 

Section 7

34 Put your hope in the Lord.
    Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
    You will see the wicked destroyed.

35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people
    flourishing like a tree in its native soil.
36 But when I looked again, they were gone!
    Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

37 Look at those who are honest and good,
    for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.
38 But the rebellious will be destroyed;
    they have no future.

39 The Lord rescues the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in him.

Thoughts

Honestly, I have set back and wondered about verse 35.  You see all these people, who by their fruit, are not kind people.  Yet, they flourish.  They spend thousands of dollars on whatever it is they want.  It seems like as they drop cash, it is because they “need” something.  New this and new that, new cars, jewelry, the best schools, nannies for their 1.5 “typical kids.”  If they want it, they get it.  Money is no object.

Now, I’m not saying all people who have been blessed with money have no fruit on their spiritual trees.  I know lots of people who have more money than I will ever see in a lifetime.  Yet, I also see this enormous fruit from their tree!  They are some of the most generous, giving people that I know.  Sitting back and watching them blesses my heart and inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be.  With or without money.

By all appearances, they are “godly” humans who just need a few extra things.  Yet, I’m over here thinking about how I’m going to pay for treatment for my son because insurance won’t pay for his treatments.  All the things break (dishwasher, dryer, deer through the windshield) and we are scrambling to be able to replace at least the windshield.

Yes, these are first-world problems.

We have done without a dishwasher for YEARS.  The dryer, however, is a necessity and so is the windshield.  Still, I digress.  I hope you get what I’m saying.  We have been to a developing country and we have seen with our eyes how blessed we are in America.  I mean, we are blessed!

The love of money is the root of all evil.  This, I know.  However, it does make things easier.  Yet, when things are “easily” accessible, why would I need a Savior?  I should depend on Him more instead of myself and this thought process that permeates my mind.  Rich or poor, if you give and do with a spirit of the Lord, He will bless you!

I’m rambling.  I know.

Proverbs 6

My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt
or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said—
follow my advice and save yourself,
for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy.
Now swallow your pride;
go and beg to have your name erased.
Don’t put it off; do it now!
Don’t rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net.

 

Thoughts

I have met these words intimately.  There are, at least 4, distinct times in our marriage that we fell into the prey of “friends” and helping them out.  Once, we needed our name placed on something like a … oh what do you call it … a co-signor of sorts.  Then, another incident happened where there was another sum of money that was needed.  We did what we could, yet we did not pray first and ask the Lord if this was the right course of action.  Sadly, we paid for those decisions in a not so great way.

There was another situation where someone needed to “borrow” money with the promise of paying it back.  Yep, that never happened.  It wasn’t a lot, but at the time, it seemed like a fortune to us.  Then, yet another time, we were needed to do something for someone.  This time, we knew we wouldn’t get that back.  Honestly, we tried.  Yet, the Lord intervened, and nothing we tried worked.  That is when we knew, we had gone too far.  Also, again, we did not seek the Lord’s face in any of these decisions.

We were super stupid in the first scenario.  Our desire was to help, their desire was to take us for what we were worth.  Then, when the “well” went dry, they no longer associated with us.  Such a hard time.  Very hurtful to our entire family.  In the second scenario…we were equally as stupid. You’d think we’d learn our lesson!

Section 2

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

 

Thoughts

Idleness.  Keep your hands busy because if you don’t, you will be attacked.  I would love to say I was prepared for all the things all the time, but I’m not.  We are working towards that.  I will post a blog about our debt and where we are now.

Section 3

12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
    They are constant liars,
13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
    a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14 Their perverted hearts plot evil,
    and they constantly stir up trouble.
15 But they will be destroyed suddenly,
    broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.

16 There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that kill the innocent,
18 a heart that plots evil,
feet that race to do wrong,
19 a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.

Thoughts

These are all pretty clear, to me!

Section 4

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
23 For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life.

Thoughts

I wish, as a child, I would have embedded these words in my heart.  My mom is such a strong believer.  I can close my eyes and see her old brown Bible opened at the kitchen table with her cup of coffee.  She would be sitting, reading, praying, writing.  What an inspiration!

Section 5

24 It will keep you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25 Don’t lust for her beauty.
Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26 For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,
but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28 Can he walk on hot coals
and not blister his feet?
29 So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
He who embraces her will not go unpunished.

30 Excuses might be found for a thief

    who steals because he is starving.
31 But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole,
    even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
    for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced.
    His shame will never be erased.
34 For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
    nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.

Thoughts

Uhm, this is absolutely discernable.  Don’t be stupid.

Related Posts:

Psalm 36 & Proverbs 5

Operation USE IT UP Underway