Friday, November 9, 2012

Honoring Vets

When something keeps "coming up" in my mind, I think there is a reason. Sometimes it's Satan tempting me to say the wrong thing! I need to be careful about that! But sometimes it's God "tempting" me to do the right thing- share something encouraging...It says in the Bible to "Spur one another on to love and good works" Hebrews 10:24

I think I will always remember this incident when I go to vote. So I thought of it on Tuesday. There aren't any other times I had to wait to vote- none that I remember anyways! I didn't wait in line this year either!

Decorating for the Veterans Day luncheon at Byron Middle School yesterday and today, also made me think about what happened when I went to vote in the last Presidential Election:

From my journal Tuesday, November 4, 2008:
I’ve been to vote! There happened to be two men with “Vietnam Vet” caps behind me. So I let them and their wife’s go in front of me and I thanked them for their service to our country. The couple right behind me was white and the couple behind them were African-American. They had the exact same cap on and the man directly behind me started up a conversation with the other man behind him, that’s how I noticed him also. The first man seemed stunned by what I did and when we got into the building after getting our yellow cards, he turned to me and said, “Can I thank-you?” he looked so sad in his eyes, I thought I saw tears and I said, “You’re welcome.” It was such a small thing for me to do, but I was so glad I did it!

Thank-you (Election Day 2008)

I was standing there waiting,
Like everyone else
Exercising my freedom,
He stood behind me
his wife by his side,
With a far away sadness in his eyes,
His cap said "Vietnam Vet"
There was a time he wouldn't wear it, I bet...
He noticed the dark skinned man behind,
His cap was the exact same kind!
Brothers, they were friends instantly,
They'd been through the same war and insanity!
I decided to offer a kind gesture of "Thanks"
Go ahead of me,
Both of you,
I'm exercising my freedom that was bought for me,
I didn't have to pay,
I got it for free,
You paid it for me!
It was such a small thing
It was nothing at all
The man was astonished,
Were those tears in his eyes?
What small thing can you do?
On any special day,
To show them the honor they're due?
Do it now!
Don't delay,
Because you may not have another day!

This poem is in my book The Seven Story Tree

Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Romans 13:7

Thursday, November 1, 2012

One Thing- Why I Hate/Love Men

From the Disney movie, “Enchanted”

Morgan Philip: Remember, when you go out not to put too much makeup otherwise the boys will get the wrong idea and you know how they are...
[off Giselle's wide-eyed look]
Morgan Philip: They're only after one thing.
Giselle: What's that?
Morgan Philip: [laughs] I don't know. Nobody will tell me.

I hate you but I love you
I can't stop thinkin' of you
It's true, I'm stuck on you....Stacie Orrico 

Ambivalence......It's the Story of my life!

      I think it began with.....J.....haha....Lets just use his initial to protect the GUILTY. But we are ALL guilty anyways, aren't we? J. was my brother's best friend and I had a huge crush on him. I was probably only about 8 or 9 years old. So he was like 11 or 12? He showed me something. What did he show me that for? Idk? Later I thought, "Because to a boy that's the most important thing!" It was abit confusing to an 8 year old...but I still liked him, 'cause he was just soooo cute! Like hey I was 8 years old- cut me a break!

It's true "You can't judge a book by it's cover" And in Matthew 7:1 it says not to do this! But so many do. You size someone up- oh I bet they.....You NEVER should do this! You never know what someone's been through! Walk a mile in their shoes and maybe you'll understand why they act the way they do. I have many 'habits" and "hang ups" but I've never been addicted or even tried any of the illegal drugs and thankfully I never went through a "wild period" in college-I never went to college. We had Sarah instead! I've only "been" with my husband but that is only by God's grace-having been in many situations and places where I shouldn't have been, like making out with a boyfriend at the beach--it's a miracle I didn't get myself raped. Because of the way I related to my Dad and the things he's done, I developed this "Love-Hate" relationship with men. I either love them or I hate them but rarely do I trust them! I was sexually harassed in high school and "used" by boys whose former girl friends were sleeping with them. Twice this happened to me! Someone (on the rebound) asked me out to get their (old) girl friends jealous and get them back and even if they didn't (get them back) they'd just, "blow me off" because I didn't "put out" like their former girl friends. Sometimes I'd break up with them first because nobody was gona break my heart!

You can read one of those stories here: Average Girl

My best friend growing up in California until I was 12 (when we moved to Fl) was Louise- she had horses and we'd go riding and I'd help her with everything to do with her horses, even cleaning the stalls! Louise's dad just adored me and loved me and getting that attention from him, while not getting it from my own dad was kinda nice- at first anyways. I always rode Louise's white pony named Pigeon (Louise rode her black pony named Brandy)- and when I was about 11 or 12 and getting too big for Pigeon I rode Louise's dapple gray quarter horse named "Traveler"- btw that was the name of General Lee's horse. Seems like a name a Southerner would pick but they're not Southerners- so I guess they just named him that because he was gray. Anyways, I'd ride Traveler and Louise's dad would say, "This is your horse!" Which was awesome.....But somewhere in those pre adolescent years -Louise's dad started giving me the creeps- he kissed me on the lips! Gross! When we were littler we'd go sit in his lap and give him a kiss (on the cheek) and hug but when you're 10, 11, 12? Sorry, no thanks mister! Once when I was about 13 and back for a visit, he grabbed a hold of me to hug me or kiss me and I pulled away and ran! When I say he grabbed hold of me, it was a tight hold! Like a death grip! I don't know how I got away! We were in the stables and I went to climb the fence, just like I'd been doing for all these years Louise and I had been friends and whack! I hit my shin on the fence and had a big sore there for awhile, it took a long time for that scar to heal! I don't know what he was after. I also don't know why he wouldn't let me go. Perhaps it was nothing....but why did I have this over-whelming relief like I had narrowly escaped something very very bad?

                                           This is what "Traveler" looked like!

I remember something that was hanging in Louise's Dad's tack room. I loved that place, really, smelled like the sweet grain we fed the horses and leather. Filled with saddles, bridles.....even a fridge with soda for us in it, beer for Louise's dad and usually some tequila too.

                                           Marilyn Monroe

What was hanging on the wall was a Marilyn Monroe calendar. And this was not the clothed Marilyn! If you look up some of the things Marilyn said, they are also very revealing:
"A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing." Marilyn Monroe

"Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered" Marilyn Monroe

When I moved to Florida and was in Middle School, there was...G......who harassed me everyday on the bus. He would sit in my lap, like everyday! Really! Sometimes he'd get with another boy and "gang up" on me----talking trash......Once he had another boy hold me down and he kissed me on my forhead- at least that was all he did. But gee THAT was my first romantic! Thanks alot G!

I've already wrote about some of the sexual harassment I received in band when I was a sophomore and a junior. I talk about some of that in my Average Girl post. So what did I do when I became a senior? I just dropped out of Marching Band! I had had enough! But you can't escape the evil in the world and along came this underclassmen whose locker was above mine. Why above? I'm a senior- his locker should be below mine! He was cute. I began to just admire his persistence. "Perhaps he won't say anything to me today?" Nah! Also this was when I was in a cult (The World Wide Church of God) for a few months and I wore no make-up and dressed pretty conservatively for a 17 year old. 

Wow, he STILL thinks I'm.....I was going out with Bob for the second semester. This really was a "year of turmoil" for me! When the boy who was harassing me, stood on a bench and proposed THAT really started getting to me! So when I broke up with Bob and Bob found someone else.....hmmmmm? Now I have someone readily available to make him jealous! But that was when God stepped in and I was saved. I didn't realize that was when I was saved until later. God is never late! I'm glad He stepped in at that time, otherwise it could have got real ugly.

I was recently listening to The Fray's song "You Found Me": It goes, "Lost and insecure, You found me, You found me...." Yes THAT was me!

 To be honest and I actually said this to someone once; If God had not saved me  (young) I'd probably be a single mom now with a bunch of kids with different last names!

  So when I was a teen, this was my constant battle....I liked attention...but no not that kind of attention....I'm NOT supposed to enjoy this!.......but no I like that boy, he's cute but all he seems to want is.....argh! It was so so aggravating!
 The first time I read something that explained this battle I was having was when I read, "Not Even A Hint" by Joshua Harris. Everyone talks about the man's problem but I was having my own battle with wanting to be sexy! Even as a teen I just felt so much shame to enjoy causing someone else to lust. I knew it was wrong! 
I put in my status last week about a comment a man giving his testimony made:

OK so the point last night that women should dress modestly because "Men are dogs" does NOT really help someone like me whose experience is: men are much worse than dogs! Reminded me of that L.M. Montgomery quote that I loved, "The more I saw of men, the more I liked my cat." ("Chronicles of Avonlea") Why, oh why can't men NOT be dogs? If we dress modestly does that magically change them? Oh I wish! Cause I do and I make sure my girls do also!



Wait- let me say I've known this man for a while and he is NOT a dog- he was trying to make a point but I'm just sharing the woman's perspective here.

You want to know what I think? Jesus said it all starts in your heart. (Matthew 5:28, 15:19)  All men are NOT dogs -and they don't have to be!  Women need to not dress to be "sexy" . There's a difference between "dressing attractively and dressing to attract". 
Bob's cousin commented on liking all the sexy Halloween costumes women wear. Oh yeah, "Hey Bob how about you be Batman and I'll be Cat Woman? Or Ironman and the Black Widow?"  No, I can't do that! Goes back to what I was saying in my last post about your MOTIVES. Why would I want to be Cat Woman? It may be fine for some  body else---I'm not condemning anyone. I think I have a friend that was Cat Woman. But me- No!!!!!
My sister-in-law had breast cancer, so part of her breast was removed. She had reconstructive surgery and said, "They said I'd even have clevage" I'm like "That's great!" But me? My girlfriends have my permission to slap me if I ever show even abit of cleavage---not happening! No way! I want men to look me in the face---thank -you very much!
I have in the past had wrong motives to lose weight. Do I want to look "hot"? Just for Bob, right? Hmmmmmm? When my mean doctor called me at Christmas-time (2007) and told me if I didn't lose weight I may become an insulin dependent diabetic (He called himself the "Ghost of Christmas future" lol)---Then I got busy and lost 30 pounds! But some of it keeps coming back! So I press on always examining my motives every step of the way.
  It was really funny when my cousin said, "My red hair gives me super powers"
I replied, "With great power comes great responsibility" lol
But seriously I knew exactly what she meant!
Going into church on Sunday I think the usher noticed my hair, although still red, was a different shade, so he joked, "there's a dollar charge for all redheads" haha so I replied as he let me pass, "It usually gets me in for free"
But it's not just redheads, all women have this "power", this responsibility, and men have it too. None of us should abuse it. Women shouldn't "abuse" their power by teasing men. 
I believe this is how Eve got Adam to eat the fruit! "Hey hon, you gotta try this, it's really good" she said as she batted her eyelashes at him.
 The problem seems to be: Women love to tease men and men love to be teased. I mean what was the name of that bad bar in town?- "Teasers" .
Men shouldn't disrespect women, treating them as objects created solely for their pleasure nor should they play with our hearts, promising security yet leaving us in the lurch. Men are supposed to "protect" us from becoming objects. They need to be strong enough to say, 
"Hey Eve quit talking to that serpent! Don't you know he's only after one thing?"
Instead he's thinking, "Oh yeah that serpent wants my wife 'cause she's hot but he can't have her, she's mine" 
Quit being "dogs" guys! Stop treating women like your possessions! "Look mines better than yours-that means I'm better than you!"
Men- When you look at porn you are hurting women! And your relationships with them....and not just you're girl- friends, wives etc. You're hurting your relationships with your mom's, sisters etc. You de-value them. They are just pretty things to look at- only good for "one thing".
From the “Trochia” FaceBook: Purity of heart is to will one thing, God's will, with all of one's being and doing. ~Davies and Allison Therefore, "above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Prov. 4:23
Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 
Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough? To where will you go child? Tell Me where will you run, to where will you run? Tenth Ave North, "By Your Side" 

I think I must have cried when I first read this verse:
So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. Psalm 45:11

Oh, so who will I be this year for the Fall Festival? "Merida" from the Disney Pixar movie, "Brave" and you know what? I think she's the first Disney princess that doesn't need a "Prince" to complete her! I really like that! And she has her own horse!


     The Fall Festival for Southside Baptist was in Fort Valley (GA) at Lane Packing, the day I posted this. (November 1, 2012)

How do you start getting free? Check out this blog post: One Thing: How Do You Get Free?

 To read Part 2 of "One Thing": Cats and Dogs

My Chains…….(I wrote this poem over a year ago, only my therapist- who I haven't been to in over a year has read it....until now)

I dreamed I was in high school again…..
I was taking a test….
I hadn’t studied, I was bound to fail…..
Dad, where are you?
He’s more interested in helping that single mom at the office,
She could use some help, but Dad I need you…
These boys are annoying me, what should I do?
Can you come to my band performance? No-
Can you pick me up from practice? No-
Well whatever, Dad, since you don’t have the time,
at least the boys at school do….
But I won’t go past second base, don’t worry…
I’m a “good girl”- “Goody two shoes” that’s me….
I’ll be faithful, Dad, can’t you see?
I won’t be like my brother……
I won’t even start….
I won’t get “locked up” in the prison of addictions…
I’ve never even touched those drugs….
Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?
No one sees inside of me…
The battle’s in my mind and I am losing it!
There’s a war raging inside my head….
That annoying boy’s harassing me every day…
In between the inappropriate things he says and does….
He smiles at me…..he’s kinda cute…
Perhaps he does like me?
Dear God, today he stood on a bench and proposed…
It’s the nicest thing he’s ever said to me…
But he doesn’t even know who I am….
Or that I’m enjoying this attention….
This guy is nuts…over me? Go figure….
Having this “power” is intoxicating…
This can’t be happening….
I’m addicted and I can’t get him out of my mind…
It’s like gravity….the spiral down…
If he doesn’t “annoy” me I’m disappointed?
Lord, please help me, I’m so pathetic….
He makes me manic- high…
Mom doesn’t notice…
She’s trying to be both parents….
At night I hear her crying….
She’s dealing with your mania….
But I’m sinking…….
It’s not a dream…war is hell…
This is a nightmare….
Who will deliver me from “the body of this death?”
Jesus! “Awake!” He says, “Peace be still” …
He breaks my chains in pieces….
I can breath for the first time….
I take in the warm air….
Look up to heaven and whisper a prayer….
For a while He leads me beside the still waters…
He said He’ll be my perfect Father…..
Up further on the mountain than I can see…..
Awaits another battle……
But with Jesus there is victory….

What Elephant? (I just wrote this recently-What's your "Elephant"? An addiction? Mental illness? A Pit Bull perhaps? It can be many things or situations- whatever it is we can trust God with it!)

Was there ever an elephant in your room?
When it moved it went boom,
You tried to deny it,
But you couldn't hide it,
Where can you hide an elephant?
Oh no that's a cat,
You'd try to say,
Or maybe a bat, it'll fly away....
If you can't admit it,
There's no way to quit it,
Go ahead face it!
Can you trace it?
Could the truth set you free?
Or will "they" all laugh at me?
Who are "they" anyways?
And why do we care if they laugh?
They have a hyena in their room,
That's so much worse than just an elephant!
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time,
One day, two day, three...
Day by day these things I pray...
I have a Higher Power Who created elephants,
Maybe He can take care of it?
I wonder what He'll do?
Will He take it to the Zoo?
What!? People will come from miles around,
To see the greatest show in town?
The elephant, he now does tricks,
And people pay to get their kicks?!
God can take your ashes and give you beauty,
You thought you had to sacrifice,
Everyone must pay their price,
If I give Him the elephant he'll die
But the Ring Master doesn't work that way,
The elephant will live another day,
He'll sing and dance,
Because he got another chance,
The Circus is a place of joy and wonder,
Because the Ring Master has a plan,
Trust the elephant in His hands!

Now I've memorized this and have said it for many people! You can hear me saying it here

 I almost died! No not really! But Lydia came to me with this elephant a couple weeks ago. I had forgotten all about it! It was my mom's! And it's the cutest, softest most adorable elephant like ever!!! I was telling Lydia thank-you because she had had it and was giving it back to me and she didn't even know about my poem! I said, "I love this elephant!" She said, "I know, I can't even look at it or I'll want it back!" haha And to top it all...squeeze his belly and he trumpets!!! lol
To hear me read the poem watch my Video Bible Study: Storms

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The King of Hearts

Relax....This is only a test.......

 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10

But, O Lord of hosts, You who judge righteously, Testing the mind and the heart....Jeremiah 11:20

The last two weeks have been soooooo weird! Well, it is October AND the moon is full---I saw it yesterday morning: Claire Bear was hibernating too long, so she drove us to school and there it was. Claire said, "Did you see the moon?" It was beautiful!  

One of the funny things that happened last week is that my sister finally got me on the phone when I was coming home from Claire's school---Claire was driving again---I guess it was last Monday. Everyone called me on my birthday which was on the 13th and I only talked with my brother Christopher, everyone else left messages-and they were funny too! I tried calling my sister back but couldn't reach her. Dad and my step mom were out of town. My sister said Dad was in his "mood" -so my step mother will finally meet the real dad, she said. But, I've been thinking about that....Is THAT my real dad?? When 90% of the time he's normal?? idk?

I posted this picture on my facebook the other day.....

This is what I said: Oh I never run out....but I did forget to take it Tues. haha That may explain alot.....but seriously my doctor says I'm a "normal"  BiPolar person lol whatever that means--really that's an oxymoron---but what she meant was I wasn't like the Bipolar patients that have to go to the hospital because they're extremely suicidal or delusional----And THANK GOD FOR THAT!

When my doctor told me I was a "normal" BiPolar person, I said, "Yeah that's good and all but it keeps my dad, who is like me, in denial...." Oh I'm not like THAT, I'm not suicidal...I'm not crazy or my fav. "Don't call me a maniac!" (No, Dad I said "You're manic" Not a maniac -there's a difference, right?:) he won't take the medicine and level out.

So my dad wants to sell his house and is unhappy with his pastor....etc. Yeah Dad and I have a problem with people, especially those in authority when we're manic...Like you want to trade in your spouse/boss/pastor, also sell your house, move to....there's just got to be something better out there! 

 Kay Redfield Jamison said, "There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones."  ("An Unquiet Mind")

When the man who came to Women's Aglow was talking to me about having enough faith to come off of my medications, he kept talking about "depression" . Which showed his IGNORANCE of me AND BiPolar Disorder! BiPolar Disorder involves "Ups" and "Downs"- so I am on an antidepressant AND a mood stabilizer for it. Perhaps one day God will take away this man's pain? If scarecrow only had a brain! lol What was this man doing at Woman's Aglow anyways? Get lost mister!

 Yeah when I got in trouble at my old church back in 2001- I was very angry with the pastors over there and Bob. I thought they should have confronted Bob about him insisting on building a big house that he wasn't even finishing. I wrote them angry letters and I initially was in trouble for sharing my Average Girl article with a teen at church.

It has been edited some but much of it is the same -OK I've never shared this before-so listen up-I'm giving more secrets away. So that's why I called it "BiPolar rants" - Because "Average Girl" is a rant against the evil teenage boys I had to deal with in high school. So Bob and my pastors (at my old church) met and I guess decided together that I wasn't allowed to write anything....What!? Are you kidding me!? So part of my next (slightly sarcastic) note said...."Please share this note with Bob. I'm trying to get him to divorce me. Maybe he'll just shoot me. Darn! He won't do it and you won't kick me out of church either. I guess I'm not too good at being a "bad girl", maybe I should try harder?" If you think someone's crazy (and I WAS) and you send them for counseling, why would you take seriously something like that? Isn't that obviously a joke?

 They told him I wanted him to divorce me or shoot me

My next (most major/worst thing) manic "episode" was when we had changed churches. I actually thought this married man at church was "in love" with me and I said something to him that alluded to this (Not in church- through an e-mail) I was DELUSIONAL. Thankfully this was my first (hopefully last)  "break with reality". I think that's what had to happen for me to admit I was BiPolar and get help for it and I did. God was still there and He spoke to me. No, I wasn't hearing voices! I had one of my many "desperate moments"- where I get on my knees and open up my Bible and I read......

The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:9-10

So back to my sister and I's conversation-you know the one in the car? She said, "We need to go on  'Long Island Medium' and contact Mom" What?! So I said, "Um, I can''s against my religion" My sister was like "What? Why is it against your religion?" I said, "It's in the Bible that you're not supposed to contact the dead." This is in Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, 20:27, Deuteronomy 18:10-11 But guess what I said?! Because she continued on "What's with all these rules? Why does your religion have so many rules?" ETC I said, "Oh never mind I'll go with you." What?! What's the matter with me?! Yeah I'm the "Waffle girl".

I was thinking about a particular story in the Bible with regards to this. It's in the old Testament and it's about King Saul and the Prophet Samuel. It's in I Samuel 28. Samuel had already told Saul when he was alive that God was displeased with him because of his disobedience. That's in I Samuel 15. In chapter 28 though Samuel has died. In verse 5 it says the Philistines were assembled close by, ready to attack and Saul was afraid, he tried to inquire of the Lord in different ways but it didn't work. So he decides to go to a medium and contact the prophet Samuel. And Saul who was king had himself, probably as an appeasement to Samuel "put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land." You know it also says in the book of I Samuel 16:7 "For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Joyce Meyer says, "God is all about motives. He cares even more about WHY you do what you do than what you do!"

So Saul disguises himself and goes to the medium and calls up Samuel and Samuel reprimands him and says, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” (verse 15). I remembered this part of the story and was saying to my family, "I can hear Mom reprimanding me now, 'Susan! I thought you knew better!'"haha

 So the point I'm making here, is NOT that this medium Saul went to was a charlatan- she really called up Samuel! Probably with the help of demons, though. The point is Saul was not hearing God because of his disobedience! When we're disobedient we're not trusting God to work things out in His way and His timing. Samuel tells him,

"Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day." (Verse 18)

In I Samuel 15:22, Samuel had told Saul,

"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
And then Samuel says the saddest thing to Saul,
"And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me." And "his sons"!? I would be like "Just take me, it's me, it's MY fault, leave them out of this!" Wow, that makes me really want to obey God, how about you?

So I started writing this post about how God tests our hearts, but now I'm talking about OBEDIENCE? Well, yeah because God tests us to see if we'll be obedient! I wish I could say I always pass these tests! But I've heard it said you don't flunk out of God's school, you just have to keep taking the same test until you pass it! This is called MERCY.

Waffling about the medium reminded me of  July when I failed another test. You see my aunt Dorothy came to visit and her and my Uncle Howard are like wine connoisseurs- which is cool with me, really. They had never been to see us before! I was so glad they came! They hadn't noticed that when we went to see them that I didn't drink and....I had some wine!!!! OMG! It's not a big deal, really, Jesus turned the water into wine right? Well, for you (especially if you're over 21) it's not but for me? I wrote about drinking, chains , addictions etc. If you've read what I've wrote about/against drinking I think you may be very disappointed in me right now and I wouldn't blame you! I had just a little and I didn't have the courage to tell my auntie that I don't drink! What a coward I am! So I finally "came clean" and told her the truth some weeks later.

This time of year makes me think of hearts. Why? It's NOT Valentines Day! Well, let me explain; Two years ago I was the evil "Queen of Hearts" (From the movie, "Alice in Wonderland")  for our Fall Festival at church. Lydia was Alice, Brooke was "The White Queen" and Bob was the "Mad Hatter" . We have fun. Then last year we did "The Wizard of Oz" and Brooke was Dorothy (Because Lydia was the "main character" last year), Lydia was the lion and I was the Tin Man. It was funny, I was talking with Lana, one of my Sparks at Awanas on Sunday and we were talking about the Fall Festival and I asked her what she was gona be and she asked me, "Are you gona be the Tin Can again?" lol They're too funny! Love them Sparks!

But originally I was gona be the lion, Lydia the scarecrow and Bob the Tin Man and I laughed inside to myself when I thought, "Yeah cause he's heart-less!" lol But then Bob went out of town. Also I found a silver jacket that was perfect to be the Tin Man. 

But wait! This story is NOT over yet! God is always working on me and it's rough but at the same time, it makes me feel special/loved that He would pay such attention to lil o me! In Hebrews 12 it says when He chastens us He is treating us as His sons and daughters! One thing He is always trying to help me to do is listen to my husband. I have trouble trusting men but more on that in my next post.

When Teddy first went off to school, he came home one Christmas with his friends who visited us for a few days before going home to their famlies. My kids all know that Mom and Dad have an "Open door policy" -we love having people over! So we had Al, Francisco and Patricia over- they were in the CURO Program with Teddy at the University of Georgia and only about 16 freshman Honor Students get into this every year! So while they were at our house a cute little black dog showed up and they all had decided to be room mates the next school year and Teddy really took to the dog, so they decided to keep her and take her to college. I tried not to be too jealous---Lucky dog- she gets to go to college and I don't! But Bob was not too keen on all this, he said, "That's a Pit Bull- they're dangerous" Funny one of the names they considered for "Layla" was, "Danger" which would have fit her, actually! Bob also said, "Where's she gona end up when you all are done with school? We can't keep her!"

To make a "long story short" we ended up with Layla because Teddy and his friends moved into an apartment that didn't allow pets---Then last August I was babysitting my friends little girl and Layla bit her! I was devastated! Layla is an insecure but sweet dog! Betty Kate loves dogs and I wrongly thought that they had got to know each other and I turned my back on them, I was cooking dinner. I think Betty Kate made a move that Layla interpreted as "threatening". I was determined to find a home for her, somehow. I had to take Betty Kate to the Med Stop and Layla was quarantined (at home though) by the Health Department for a few days! I couldn't help thinking, "Oh how I wish we had listened to Bob!!!"

                                           Lydia with Layla

August turned to September, September to October and I still didn't know what to do with Layla. I had called Teddy and told him the whole story. I did place much of the blame on myself. NEVER leave any dog, especially a Pit Bull alone with anyone! Especially a child! Dumb move, Susan! My friend and her family had moved to Washington state. If they had not been about to move, it would have been more awkward to keep the dog. I wouldn't have felt like I could have Betty Kate over anymore with Layla around. But my kids and I still loved/love Layla.

So now we're to October and the week of the Fall Festival. I ended up having to take our family dog, Bobby to the vet because she couldn't get up one morning (hip dysplasia). This was when Bob was out of town. So I decided to put Layla up "Free to good home" on the wall at the vets, but wait! I can't lie! So what do I say? "But careful she bites!" "Free to good home with no children"? So I told the receptionists the whole story. They said, "You can't give her away, if she bites someone again, you're liable" What?! I'm like, "So what can I do with her?" So they said they'd go ask the veterinarian. And the vet? She sentenced Layla to DEATH! That's the best option? No, no, no ,nooooooooo! But we love her! But Teddy's already mad at us, now we have to kill his dog?! Like I said Bob was out of town 'til Friday night, that's when we have our "Date Night". So I prayed about it. God's like "Remember what you learned from Layla about listening to Bob? Let Bob decide" (Again This is NOT an audible voice! lol) "No way God! He hates the dog. He'll kill her for sure!" But with some anxiety, I decided to let Bob decide, I told him the whole story when we went on our date, what the vet said etc. If we didn't put her to sleep we'd have to keep her....Bob paused, then replied, "I don't want to have her put to sleep" Then he added, "I'M NOT COMPLETELY HEARTLESS" lol I was soooooo relieved! You see, sometimes when you are just willing to sacrifice to be OBEDIENT to God---He will give it back to you!!!! You CAN trust Him! He loves you! He's definitely NOT HEARTLESS!

This is what happened with Abraham and Isaac:

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2

 Some people can be offended at this, how could God ask such a thing? In today's civilized society - it sounds outrageous. My father-in -law seemed astonished at the thought. He said it showed the "dark side" of God, but God is only light in Him there is "no shadow of turning". And in Abraham's time of idol worship, it was a practice to sacrifice your children to the "god", Molech. It is referred to in many places in the Old and New testaments.

Abraham and Sarah waited so so long for their son Isaac. Isaac filled their hearts with joy. But when you get blessed like that God knows there is a danger of you putting the created (Isaac) before your Creator (God) and turning God's blessing into an idol:

 I found this song, it like cuts to the quick- Jimmy Needham sings it (but it was written by someone else). It's called, "Clear the Stage" and here are some lines from it:
Any thing I put, before my God, is an idol
Any thing I want, with all my heart, is an idol
Any thing I can't, stop thinking of, is an idol
Any thing that I, give all my love, is an idol

Abraham passed his test and he didn't have to offer up his son! God provided a ram for the sacrifice!

"Every time God gives us a test, we can tell how far we have come and how far we still have to go by how we react in that test. Attitudes of the heart that we did not know we had often come out through tests and trials. Embrace your tests as opportunities for growth and development. " Joyce Meyer, "The Everyday Life Bible"

I wrote this poem in March and struggled with it ever since....Why? Because I didn't know whose heart it was, but I thought I did. And I just didn't have the heart to do it! lol

The Heart                                                                                                                         

O Responsibility,
One that I never asked for,
What's in my hand?
A heart?
O that it would depart!
Take it away, Lord!
"Break it" He says,
"I will bind it up"
"No, I can't!"
"Do you love Me?" He says,
"Lord You know I do!"
"If you love Me, you'll keep my commandments"
"Lord, I do! You said to be kind!"
"But not this time",
"But Lord I can't, it's just too hard!"
"That's a lie" He says to me,
"You can do all I require"
"Just trust Me, I will take you higher"
What's up there, Lord?
I cannot see,
"Didn't I say, 'Just follow Me'?"
"What's in your hand, Susan?"
"Oh, the heart!"
"Break it! I said
And give it to Me,
Some day you will understand
Just follow Me, I have a plan"

Heart on my Sleeve
(I just wrote this)

I took the heart from my sleeve and held it in my hand,
Lord why must I always wear this here,
I don't understand,
People don't either,
What's that on your sleeve?
Must be a red flag,
You must be dangerous,
Why do some think me courageous?
I cannot tell a lie,
I give all my secrets away,
Cause I would rather die,
Then lead someone astray,
Yeah I'm so good because of me,
Nah I want them to see,
It's only 'cause of Him
If my prides already gone,
There's noone that can hurt it
If my heart breaks it's OK
Because I hear my Savior say,
Now your heart looks like Mine....
Broken hearts are the best kind....

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

1-29-13 While Birthday shopping with Lyd on Sunday we got Layla a new tag!!!
9-30-18 So in 2014 I got the crown tat and in 2017 completed it with the heart on the opposite forearm

And Part III: Who Holds Your Heart?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Which Way do I Go? It Depends; Who Am I Trying To Please?

But it's all right now. I learned my lesson well. You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” Rick Nelson

"All my life I’ve tried to make everybody happy, While I just hurt and hide, waiting for someone to tell me it’s my turn to decide" Sara Bareilles

Once again I'm in that place where I'm saying, "Should I do a blog post?" "What should it be about?"

I seriously have an An Unquiet Mind  so many ideas about what to write about- just so many ideas period- if my head could explode, I think it would-Thank God it can't!

So perhaps I'll flip a coin? I read that in a little book I purchased at my church called "Today...I Will"- it's by Matt Walls and Michael Tally. But it is in the Bible, but in there it's called, "Casting lots" and Gideon that "great man of valor" laid out a fleece. (Judges 6)

But I didn't flip the coin about what to blog about but with regards to another decision I made last Tuesday. Last Tuesday I was excited about this Bible Study/training opportunity coming up next month called, "Run for God"- it starts on September 20th. I already had asked Bob about it and he said I could do it. He only complained abit about the cost. ($60.00 which includes the materials- book , shirt, 5K race at the end) Bob has a thing though about paying to run, he's like just go out and run--it's free! But I got him on that one cause he pays $80.00 to play soccer! What?! For some reason I decided to flip a coin about this "Run for God" thing---so I did and the coin landed on, "No"...What?! Ok best out of three? No, no is no. There's no point in doing this if you don't believe God can speak to you in this way, OK? So, then I was like, "But God why? I thought this was You? There's nothing wrong with doing this." But then I remembered something; I had thought God (a few years ago) wanted me to get involved in our Celebrate Recovery ministry at my church (which is on Thursday nights like the Bible Study)---but I felt as if He was saying, "Wait" Being BiPolar and I guess just being me, I have, in the past, taken on too many things...good things perhaps....Oh they need help in the nursery, I'll do that...they need help in Awanas....I'll do kids HAVE to play.....I should help out with....OK now I'm gona explode again! Lately, I've seen this in myself in just little things...oh they need help friend needs help cleaning up her house....these are all "GOOD" things, right? But then the Devil has made a liar out of me! I don't have time to do everything I decide I want to do! Where was God when I decided to do all this stuff? Right there waiting to be asked, "God, do YOU want me to..." Why not even ask the hubby? So many women, myself included get all "bent outa shape" about the "obeying your husband" thing in the Bible but sometimes this can be very freeing...."OK you want my help with....?" "Let me ask my husband about that" Go ahead and give me that weird look.....I no longer care! Now THAT is very freeing also and leads to my next point: Don't just do stuff to please people! God is the only One we need to please!

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” Paul the apostle (Galatians 1:10)

I received a call that (Tuesday) afternoon right before heading out the door that a family member I've been praying for is ready to get help for her alcoholism! Getting involved in Celebrate Recovery will surely aid me in how to better support her in staying sober. If that was not enough, God also confirmed I had made the right decision when I got to hear Bruce Goddard speak again! He is the author whose link I put on last months blog post- Six Feet Under

God is continually teaching me! And I'm so thankful for that because I need all the help I can get! I've mentioned before Joyce Meyer's book, "Approval Addiction" but more than just reading a book, there have been things in my life happening that have caused me to ask myself hard questions and made me see I haven't progressed as far as I had thought! Wait a minute! I fell for that?! Who would've thought? I am pitiful!!!! But when we are in a place where we can admit our weaknesses, it's right where God wants us! He wants us to be dependant on Him. He wants us to trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He wants us to have faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6)

For an example of one of these lessons: What if your child seems to reject you? Unfriends you or worse blocks you? lol What if they say you were a bad parent? I've discovered that much of my significance is tied up in what I do---well, duh! If I fail at being a good wife and mother---that is my main job! I've failed miserably! But what a person says or thinks about me shouldn't define me, even if that person is someone I love very much. I need to ask God what He thinks! Perhaps there are changes I should make? But I can't get "out of balance" and place too much importance on what mere people think of me. Also I'm learning to NOT just sit back and take it when my children are disrespectful of me. If they want to LIVE they're gona have to R-E-S-P-E-C-T their mama! (Exodus 20:12) Bob is also getting better about getting onto them about this.

Then again...there's Bob....sometimes even a spouse's opinion can carry too much weight . What if your spouse wants you to seek a job that you don't feel is in the direction God wants you to go? What do you do?. Jesus said, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:37) Not to contradict myself----there is a balance here also! Bob is not asking me to sin. He wants me to get the job which pays the maybe as a receptionist at the hospital (I was a receptionist at a Drs office before Sarah was born) but I want to seek being a substitute teacher in Peach and/or Houston County and he said I can still seek to do that, so I'm seeking both and trying to be equally enthusiastic about either one---maybe a compromise could be Wal-Mart or Target? I'd love to work at Gottwalks Book Store, but then I'd have to have extra self-control (Because I can tend to buy too many books!). And, most importantly, I need to trust God! I started to get mad at Bob because I started thinking I wouldn't have any time to write, but God will lead me! I know God wants me to keep writing and He wants me to obey my husband (as long as he's not being abusive or asking me to sin- and he's NOT) so, one day at a Dr. Seuss said "Life's a Great Balancing Act" ("Oh, The Places You'll Go")

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 29:24-25

What if someone seems to think you hung the moon or something? You can't let that go to your head either. I love a good complement! I think that perhaps the many actors, actresses, music "Idols" have often ended up going down the wrong path because of this, perhaps the fame went to their head? When they could no longer get their "fame fix" because they were old or "washed up" they needed to turn to something else for their "high" and who can blame them? Being "on top" with your name in lights must be very intoxicating! And access to all that cash sure doesn't help the addict! It is said that Whitney Houston squandered her multimillion-dollar fortune on drugs, before she passed away last February. This is so sad! I just found out that today (8-31-12) is a day to remember those who died from their addictions.


This all brings to mind a favorite quote of mine on humility:

If we were humble nothing would change us- neither praise nor discouragement. If someone were to criticize us, we would not feel discouraged. If someone would praise us, we also would not feel proud. Mother Teresa

Now that's BALANCE!




THE GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF THE BEST! In Luke chapter ten Martha was working hard: that's "GOOD" , isn't it? But  what was her motivation? God sees our hearts! That can be both upsetting and reassuring, can't it? And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 41-42

 Martha was concerned with what people thought and Mary with what Jesus thought- this, I believe, is why Jesus says, "Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her”  (vs. 42) because the “praise of men” is “taken away” as Jesus also said about the Pharisees “they have received their reward” (Matt. 6:2). However the “praise of God” will NOT be taken away! Who are you seeking to please?”

I consider myself blessed in so many ways, but I don't want to be stupid with the blessings God gives me. I don't want to squander (or misuse) God's precious gifts! Nor should I bury it in the sand like that, "wicked and lazy servant" in the Bible. (Matthew 25:14-30) I used to think, "Well God isn't that harsh? He didn't lose it." Well he did in the end! (See verse 28) "If you don't use it, you lose it"

One of God's gifts is time and in Ephesians it says, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17
"The time is short, and God is looking for people who are serious about His kingdom. He wants to empower you to walk in purity and proclaim the gospel throughout the earth." – Brother Yun Living Water
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go." Isaiah 48:17

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21