Wednesday, April 27, 2011
From A Man Called Peter by Catherine Marshall
There was the story about the delightfully naughty little boy who squeezed toothpaste in neat zebra like stripes across the back of the dozing cat, then added insult to injury by shaking all the apples off the trees in the orchard, and whacking off a sleeping barber’s hair.
In the movie cartoon from which Peter derived this little gem, the boy was required to go back and put everything right- and did. “But” said Peter, “in real life, boys and girls, you can’t do that. Life has certain finalities. You know, you can’t fasten apples back on a tree and make them grow. There is nothing quite so final as the barbers’ scissors. And say, have you ever tried to push toothpaste back into a tube? It just can’t be done. I’m a Scotsman, and I ought to know! It’s just the same with the unkind things we say about each other. You can’t take them back. All we can do is ask Jesus to forgive us. Then ask the person to whom we said the unkind things to forgive us, and try never to say them again. But the best thing is not to squeeze the tube in the first place!”
I wrote Part 2 to this and it's abit longer but worth the read! I called it, Hope For A Tree
To buy my book on Amazon go to "The Seven Story Tree"
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Went to Proctor CRCTs again today. Mrs. Fishers class missed me yesterday. I had an appointment with my Thyroid PA (Physicians Assistant). I found out my Synthroid (artificial thyroid hormone) dose affects my moods; hypothyroid (what I became when they burned off my thyroid with radiation) = depression, weight gain etc Hyperthyroid= an elevated mood (i.e. mania), anxiety etc. So this is another testament to the fact that I have a medical (not spiritual) condition! Not that I don’t often have a “spiritual condition” (I still sin- unfortunately) but when I do I go to Jesus in repentance and He takes care of it. I hate it--- I mean ABSOLUTELY HATE it when Christians say, “Oh God healed me and I don’t take medication (antidepressants) anymore” Like if I got right with God (like them) I could go off my antidepressants and mood stabilizers also. Don’t tie heavy burdens on people like that! I know people who have caused so much pain cause they insist there is nothing wrong with them and refuse treatment for their BiPolar and don’t want to take any medicine because they’re too proud to admit they have a problem, even when everyone around them knows they do! I spoke with a Christian artist who was at our church who gave a “testimony” about being diagnosed as Bipolar like his mother and then “being healed” and getting off his medications. Well, I had a little chat with him after and said, “OK it’s fine how you share your testimony but God doesn’t heal everyone the same way (I’m not saying that some people may be) and you could just add that you met a woman in Warner Robins Ga. who God healed through the use of medicine.” Unfortunately, I don’t think he took my words to heart. I , however, took his wink to mean: He may "come around" eventually!
I read in my “Letting God” when I was at school this morning. I think this goes right along with this:
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
Mark Twain said, ‘Tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.’ More than that, it will save your soul. Nothing is more important to recovery than honesty and the whole truth…..What we fear is not the truth but rejection. We fear the emptiness of abandonment. We are terrified that if we are discovered we will be deserted. Thank God, our Lord does not work that way. He knows us and embraces us anyways. Thank you Lord for loving me even though you know the truth about me. Amen. A. Philip Parham”
To read more about Bipolar Disorder, follow the links: An Unquiet Mind
2015: Get my new book of poetry on Amazon here: The Seven Story Tree
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
“Susan what do you see?” “I see a can of worms, Lord” “So what happened?” I hung my head and replied softly, “I opened them Lord….I’m really really sorry! I didn’t mean to. Please forgive me.” “You know I forgive you…but have you learned anything?” “Yes Lord…I should never open the can o worms, even if they’re gummy worms and they’re calling my name.” “So what do you know about the can o worms now?” “Lots Lord” “Well go on tell Me” “ Number 1: Don’t let what the can o worms says go to my head! You say I’m fearfully and wonderfully made! You died for me on the cross! Why do I care what a can o worms thinks? You’re the Awesome God of the Universe and you love me! Number 2: Do NOT in any way shape or form flirt with (or encourage) the can of worms. Lord I’m usually better about this one!” “Do you know what happened, Susan?” “Yes Lord, I was Hypomanic” “Don’t use that as an excuse but be aware that if your Hypomanic your more easily swayed. FLEE! Avoid the places where your tempted. Avoid every appearance of evil” “And what’s number 3?” “Number 3 is tell the can o worms about You.” “Susan you are really great at number 3, you are always talking and writing about Me and that pleases Me.” “Thank You, Lord!”
“Uh and Lord?” “Yes?” “What do I do with these gummy worms? Can I put them back in the can?” “No Susan, you can’t” “What do I do with them then?” “Give them to Me” “But what are you gona do with them Lord?” “Well, what else do you do with a can o worms? I’m going fishing”
Here's a past post about BiPolar: An Unquiet Mind
Friday, April 15, 2011
For truth is always strange; stranger than fiction. Lord Byron (Our town is named after this famous BiPolar Poet!)
For more on Lord Byron see this post!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how ironic life can be sometimes and sometimes God makes me lol (you know “laugh out loud”). Sometimes it's Satan's irony because he counterfeits everything God does! So it may be sad or perhaps just weird but I’m not one who thinks it’s a coincidence- no- everything and I mean everything happens for a reason! And the timing happens for a reason also! Like my brother Tim going into the hospital on the 3 year anniversary of my brother, Paul’s death. Tim died 7 weeks later. Was that Satan or God? I'm not sure but I do think my parents seemed to "know" what was going to happen because of it and perhaps they were better prepared? Who knows?
One Friday I went to eat lunch with Lydia at her school. I’ve been reading at school ever since my kids started regular school in 2003, first to Claire’s class (until 4th grade) and now to Lydia’s. Except for last year when Claire and Lydia were homeschooled with Georgia Cyber Academy. So after I went to sit down to eat with Lydia, Kaitlyn who had been in Lydia’s class before said, “I know why you’re name is “Story” because you like to tell stories.”
Once upon a time there was a princess. She lived in Boca Raton. She didn’t even know she was a princess. Well, long story short…she kissed a whole lot of frogs! And all along while she dated frog after frog, the handsome prince lived next door! True story! Perhaps I’ll tell the kids that one sometime?
I answered Kaitlyn with, “I also like to write em” Well, I couldn’t very well explain God’s ironies to a 9 year old, could I? Maybe…One of God’s ironies is He uses the foolish to confound the wise. (I Cor. 1:27). “Out of the mouths of babes…He has established strength” Psalm 8:2 But what came first? The chicken or the egg? Perhaps one reason I married Bob was that I liked the last name, “Story”? So, I simply answered, “Yes, Kaitlyn, that’s true”
As I thought about this I thought of so many examples of ironies everywhere, there are too many to share them all. They’re in the Bible, like I already mentioned; For instance; Jacob deceiving with a dead animal skin to get his brother’s inheritance; then being deceived himself by his son’s with a dead’s animal’s blood (they said Joseph was dead) (Gen. 27&37) How about the bad guy getting hung on a gallows he made to hang the good guy! That’s in Esther 7:10. What an irony the apostle Paul was! He was killing Christians before he became one himself! But I want to tell you some ironies that have happened to me, recently…
The very day I first shared Tamara Lowe’s “One Minute Sermon” with Lydia’s class was Friday, September 3rd, I shared it after sharing with them about my brother’s deaths and the “chains” of addiction. (a shortened version) The point I try to get across is “Don’t even start” because once you’re chained; it is so difficult (but possible with God’s help) to get free. I shared with the kids that I had a brother who was in prison as the result of his addiction (I did NOT share with these 4th graders that his addiction was sex).
That morning I had an appointment in Macon (actually with my therapist) and found out that an acquaintance I knew there’s daughter was hospitalized because of an over-dose. She was an addict and had attempted suicide So, I left there promising to pray for Margaret.
One part of Tamara’s sermon says,
If you're looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil you can shop non-stop or pop a pill …. Little did I know (same day!), Sarah (at home with a month off before leaving for the Dominican R) turned on Dr. Phil! To her surprise there was a couple from our old church talking about how the woman “fell in love” with another woman and left her husband, who was there with her. She said she was confused and thought she’d be ostracized by her “Church community”! No Joke! True story! I’ve been praying for her ever since and I have even been trying to get up the courage to call her and invite her to my new church where I know she would NOT be ostracized.
Speaking of which, that brings me to my next irony: my old church; basically I was kicked out of there- no lie-but it was NOT all their fault- part of the fault does lie with me. That said, In 2008 it had been 6 years since I left there- and I never, never thought I’d ever set foot in that place again (being “escorted” out of someplace is pretty humiliating) but…..There was an author and I got on his mailing list and I said to him, “Tell me if/when you’re in the Middle GA area---I want to come hear you speak”) I had his books, his mother was also an author and I was a fan of her too. Of all the churches in Middle GA (let me tell you- this is the Bible belt- there are lots of churches!)—guess where he came to speak? You guessed it- my old church! I had to pluck up a lot of courage and Bob was out of town, so I found a friend to go with me. After a few surprised stares (especially since I had also lost 40 lbs), I was welcomed back. I may have turned a few heads and it was a very good message.
To read more about my old church and my new church, see: My Church Story and Cat Fights, Canines and Confrontation
I had gave this author a letter about all this and a couple of my articles to read. I did particularly want to let him know how much his mother inspired me. But, later when I thought about it, and became anxious about “What would he think of my writings?” I realized I had wrong motives. I had wanted his affirmation, why? I already had God’s, I knew God had lead me to write everything I wrote and I didn’t need a man’s approval. One of the article’s was very personal about my struggles, ironically, it was a lot to do with wanting man’s approval and the fear of failure. It’s called, “What if I Stumble” after a DC Talk song. In it I share how I made my self accountable to three different women friends when I went through this and how they helped me through. I also said that sadly, I was out of touch with all three of these women for different reasons; one was/is a missionary with Trans World Radio in Guam, one was on the opposite side of my church disagreement that I already mentioned and the one whose beautiful note (encouraging me to be true to my family! Oh the IRONY!) I quote in the article had left her husband and children- I was in touch with the husband and oldest son, but they were unable to get me in contact with her. This, of course had baffled Bob and I.
I have since included parts of that article I gave him in my posts: Love Story and Seven Steps to Victory but What If I Stumble?
As it turned out when the author finally sent a note back to me, he didn’t even mention my writings at all but only thanked me for saying his Mom inspired me. Then months later I was reading his commentary on the book, “The Shack” and he mentioned a woman he met recently who was “loaded down with fears of various sorts” and he went on to psychoanalyze her and said she was that way because she didn’t have the right kind of father in her life and that she didn’t feel God’s love. (This is loosely based on I John 4:18) How judgmental, even if it wasn’t about me at all- it was wrong. I was devastated and sure he was talking about me. I laid down on the bed and cried, it was not long before the phone rang and it was my Dad saying my Mom had passed away that morning! (April 14,2009) This was the day I cried the most of my life, so far, I hope I never cry so much again. God, Why?! Why do these things happen on the same day?! I think that something’s going on here. In the book of Ephesians it says; “ For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Remember when I posted about our Enemy whose out to “kill, steal and destroy”? (The Police Car and the Cone of Shame ) But my tears are in His bottle (Psalm 56:8), and God was about to take me through some “trials” with Dad down the long and winding road to forgiveness.
For another example of the enemy’s irony: I know you are going to laugh- Did someone say Christians had to be serious all the time? Every time I have a fight with my hubby, Bob (which was like everyday when we were building this house) Not long thereafter----wait for it----along comes some cute young guy who starts flirting with me! Seriously all I have to do is get in a fight with my hubby! It happens every time! Before I lost weight, right after having Lydia….etc. In 2009 after my Mom died I had an awful Summer (except for a great visit I had with Dad and my family in July), I was still grieving, and Bob and I had had an ongoing difference of opinion (about one of our five children) and I knew I was right and his attitude was wrong, so when that happens, we go for counseling, so we can go in there and they can tell Bob he’s wrong and he can repent and we can get on with life! The wise (old?) man we spoke to- (just kidding Bro Jerry!) very gently said, “Susan, I think you are trying to change Bob” Well, duh, brother Jerry, he’s wrong!!! I’m sorry to say it took me all Summer to learn to accept Bob and the way he felt and stop arguing with him and trying to convince him and not too long after the situation changed and I was like, “I ruined my whole summer arguing and worrying about something that God just made disappear!” When will I learn?
I’m always just going along minding my own business (I’m toting the baby to the grocery store, the kids to soccer practice, picking up a movie at BlockBuster, doing chores at home etc.) when out of the blue- BAM There’s a good looking young guy looking at me (and you know “the eyes are the window to the soul”) and saying stuff like; “Is that your sister?” (about my 13 year old daughter)“Are you happily married?” (that was a soccer coach) uhhhhh What?! “Is there something wrong? Cause I’m studying to be a counselor” (That was a bag boy I later found out could not even read!) “Your back! I missed you!” (checker at BlockBuster) “You’re forty- something! We thought you were 29!” and I think my fav was simply, “You're beautiful” (The guys selling meat that Summer of 2009 and I purchased the meat just to annoy Bob- cause he hates frozen beef- the guy started saying these things after he took my check) Lord have mercy! Is it getting hot in here? Boy, don't stand so close to me! In fact, just go home! I can pretend not to notice—to be “aloof”- but inside? It used to drive me nuts for days! I would usually try to “witness” to the guy---I used to pass out copies of my testimony all the time. Jesus did say, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mark 1:17) haha After that, the best idea, is to “Flee!” (2 Timothy 2:22) In 2009 with these guys selling the meat though I was really depressed cause of my Mom and the arguments with Bob, so I simply said, “Thank-you” and they left, never to be seen again. Later on though, I felt really bad to not have even gave them a gospel tract or my web-address card or anything. I always always tell Bob about these things. He’s really sweet about it and he trusts me. He’ll say, “Well, he can’t have you…your mine” :-) Proverbs chapter 31 is about a “virtuous wife” and says, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.” (10-12) this is the type of woman I want to be. There are verses that describe the opposite also, the woman I don’t want to be “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5 . The prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament describes the Nation of Israel as an unfaithful wife (this analogy is used throughout the Old Testament) “But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.” Ezekiel 16:15 I certainly don’t want to be that! I want to have that “incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4 Well, we’re working on that!
So what about that author whose opinion I was so concerned about? What’s the irony? Well, I started looking into him. I thought I knew all about him from his Mom’s writings---well, I didn’t. I found out he was divorced. Whoa! That was surprising but what bothered me more was that it seemed he was trying to hide it. There’s tons of divorces in the church these days. Sad but true. Even among pastors. I was reading this man’s commentaries and he often went on about meaningless stuff, attacked conservatives (why shoot someone on your own team? It’s just stupid) So perhaps he didn’t like my article because it convicted him? Perhaps he was divorced because he had an affair? Idk Joyce Meyer says maybe there wouldn’t be so many problems in the church if we would speak more openly about these things. I love Joyce! She’s hilarious! “All the unmarried people are sad…all the married people are mad…the unmarried people all want to have sex..the married people don’t…we have got a problem!” There’s a big problem with pornography in the church. This is not setting a very good example to lost people! Neither are all these divorces and remarriages. Do we aspire to be as glamorous as Liz Taylor? If Jesus is the answer, why can’t He help us keep our families intact? I was gona show this man! So I started a letter….that never got sent. I just kept praying about it (IRONICALLY in a prayer diary written by his Mom!) and never finished the letter.
In early September (2010) he suddenly died….
My last irony: strength from weakness : His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
What does this mean? I think it means that when we can be humble enough to admit our weaknesses, He gives us His strength! Apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15) God says we are to come to Him humble as a little child, admit our weaknesses and replace them with His strength. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
I see this working in me all the time. God is always working on me! I have admitted I’m BiPolar: I wrote about that here. and on my website.
Gee, now I’m “labeled” Who cares?! We’re all labeled. We’re all human beings. We’re all sinners. So I go to the Doctors (Psychiatrist) and also a Therapist from time to time. Yes, I take meds! And I could write a book about all the pain caused by BiPolar people who refuse to! The result: I’m (mostly) pretty sane now! I just talked to my therapist about being kinda manic.(Hypomania) Which means I have more energy, sleep less, I’m kinda hyper, I’m losing weight! Yeah! and I write....so I asked my therapist, “Should I go to the Drs?” She said “No, you’re fine”
Vulnerability. Humility. Accountability = Victory! How IRONIC!
Note: A mild to moderate level of mania is called Hypomania. Hypomania may feel good to the person who experiences it and may even be associated with good functioning and enhanced productivity. Thus even when family and friends learn to recognize the mood swings as possible BiPolar Disorder, the person may deny that anything is wrong. Without proper treatment, however, hypomania can become severe mania in some people or can switch into depression. www.lifeloveandbipolar.com