Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running the Race (With One of My Shoelaces Untied)

Good morning, Fellow Folders. Was so blessed to have my treasures share Easter with me. Unfortunately, I had to work so I was unable to fellowship with the like-minded. I sure miss regular church. But my kids made the day a delight.

My sister was in town for a few days. I had contacted her about Mom's illness resulting from the outpatient medical procedure. My other siblings told me they were not interested in her health updates months ago. Concerned that Mom might pass, sister arranged for a trip out here to help, and to visit with Mom.  My Mom hungrily soaks up concern and interest, when her kids provide it, so the trip went very well. I encouraged her to visit because I honestly don't know how much lucid time Mom has left.

It was fun having her visit - when she is with her family, there's a lot of enabling, infighting, conflict and the like. She's a baby Christian, but very sincere and dedicated to make up for the many years that she wasn't.  I like that she's trying so hard to WWJD, as she considers herself a prophetess, and to a "seasoned" veteran (Myself, I hope), her understanding of our mutual faith seems skewed. We can't really discuss Jesus, as she believes herself more enlightened and doesn't want to offend my humble faith :). Sis was able to subtly communicate that my church of 30 years wasn't up to snuff, and that the parishioners were afflicted with hero-worship. We can't "see" that the Pastor is not really anointed because we are so enamored by his charisma. She added that she briefly views him on TV, but only if she stumbles across his broadcast while surfing the channels, and just for a moment. The fact that she exercised such restraint is a real testament to the fact that she is growing.

Listening to her speak, her perceptions on life, family, and situations, jolted my spirit. She has encased herself in a bubble and, like many of us, has crafted her own faith in Christ, her own truths, and her own doctrine. At her level, I don't condemn her, I think it's like being encased in a womb, providing an opportunity to receive nutrients and safety while developing. It freaked me out. How deceived am I about the situations and people around me? Am I perceiving myself correctly, or are people talking about me like I did her in the paragraph above? I proceeded to repent for every single thing I could think of, including deception. I forgave her, again, for the persecution and cruelness she put my family through before becoming a Christian. I encouraged her, gave her a vintage book by Gunnarsson that I owned and inscribed Numbers 6:24 inside the book. Other than kind of running a few red lights while we were driving Mom around (oops), I hope I was a good witness for God. I'm posting a guard against deception, as seeing it's shift-changing moves was creepy.

It reminds me of Joel 3:14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." Isn't it amazing how true that prophecy is today? Most everyone we know is a "Christian," or believer, but we shape God to our Will, rather than shape our Will to God's.  I don't believe that the "decision" in Joel is whether or not to become a believer, but of believers to consciously choose to obey God and His commands. We can be "Christian" using our hand-crafted faith for only so long. If we choose to remain in the bubble, we don't have a chance to build up immunity to sin, grow, change, and we eventually die when tough times come our way. And brother sister, I promise you we will.

So, I've regressed a bit. I'm kind of sad about it, too. For the past four months I've been riding an emotionally-wrenching roller coaster, in addition to the current trials that are part of my daily life. The feelings are akin to when I lost my boy. My love of reading is waning again, a sign that all is not well in my brain. Every day is a waiting game. Here's an interesting aside: After my boy passed, I received many beautiful flowers and plants. I have a black thumb, so the chances that I still possess these plants is nothing short of miraculous, and one is named after him :) About four months after he passed, I walked up to the table and said something to the plant, calling it by his name, and I heard, "Mom, I'm not a plant." He was teasing me, of course, but that was the only time I heard from him or felt his presence after his death. Fast forward four years, and I was driving and interceding for this current heartbreak, and I "felt" my son, and that he was aware of what was happening and on the scene! Immediately after, his "song," that was played at his funeral came on the radio,  a confirmation that I hadn't imagined the exchange!

Ha Ha! Just received a communiqué from Sis: She left Mom a $300.00 check (I know, she's a millionaire, don't say it, just forgive :), and Mom was so excited to be able to have the trees in the yard trimmed. They're quite unruly, I can't reach them nor do we possess the equipment even if I could. Sis has demanded that it only go towards medical expenses. Ha! What she doesn't know won't hurt her:).

The beast has reared his gruesome head and is pestering my middle daughter. Did you know that it's possible to post psychotic rants via text? She blocked the first number, but he must have picked up a disposable. Oy. It's time to play "Change the Phone Number Game!" The hassles of letting all your business associates, medical professionals, and close friends know your new number - fun by the hour. Each of us has had to play a round, I myself THREE! It makes us appear unstable, but we have died that death years ago. Then there's the strategy of the game: OK, who gave it to him, and how do I make sure that person doesn't get the new number? Pray that he crawls back into his drug den and leaves the kids alone. He doesn't dare bother me again, he already did four months in prison for it, and I don't think they have the same flow of drugs and alcohol available as they do on the outside.

I am so thankful that Jesus didn't treat woman like dog meat. Recently, I was listening to one of my Apologetic MP3's (19:55), and the speaker pointed how unusual it was that Jesus was first seen by the Marys and Joanna. During this time, women were not valued enough to be considered witnesses in court, according to the speaker. The fact that the angels met with them first, AND DIRECTED THEM TO BE THE WITNESSES to the apostles, and that Mary saw the resurrected Christ first, and the apostles obediently recorded it in the books (perhaps against their moral upbringing), made my heart sing. Jesus values me. I love Him so much.

Day off - time to paint Mom's cabinets. Have an Outstanding day.


  1. Interesting buffet of topics in this post. Made for a great read - of course, that's par for the course here...

    I agree, we all seem to fashion our own versions of Jesus and the Gospel, to fit our own tastes... it used to bug me, but I try to look at it like you do, in a way. It's almost like a unique language that God uses to communicate with us, and I think He's allows it, and subtly causes it to evolve and clarify and move toward the truth as the years pass... at least I'd like to think that's the case. I also shudder to imagine the areas I'm blind and/or deceived in. It's humbling.

    Did you may the O in "outstanding" bold because of O Day? lol...

  2. Dave,
    I'm so pleased that you take the time to read. I don't often have the time to visit other blogs, and when I do, I don't find a connection. I've tried to blend scripture with the every day life of a 100-fold Christian, for good or for bad, but claymation, recipes, and photographs seem to be in higher demand.

    May I poll my only demographic? Does this blog offer you anything of value for your daily walk with Christ? Are there 30 others just like this, with better graphics? I could still write, but perhaps limit the viewing to just family. Not looking for compliments, just honesty.

    Thanks for your support during my blog sojourn.

    PS: Yes was for "O" day, you sharp cookie.

  3. I really hope you don't water down your approach by adding recipes or claymation, etc. (though I'm sure your artsy stuff would be fun). Yes, what you write here is valuable, and no, I haven't seen another blog quite like this. Sure, there's plenty of Christian Bible-based blogs, but, well, how to say this and be polite...? Hmm... well, let me say there certainly is a valuable place for the basics... finding the deep end of the pool seems to be trickier for some reason...

    I still see you as stretching out your wings here... I certainly hope you don't get discouraged and stay in the nest (so to speak). You need to fly.

    In my opinion, since you asked!

    Dave the Goof

  4. Much appreciation! I don't want to be swayed by others blogs, so I don't peruse (plus, they don't offer me fresh manna, as it were). I also struggle with adding too many "I" stories. Wrestle with current issues (this past week has been a doozy), deciding how much to share, how to filter out the delicate while remaining honest and true to myself, yet edifying others.

    Thanks for your faithful readership.

  5. I'll second Dave's sentiments: Yes, your blog is encouraging and edifying. There is genuine honesty in the way you write and what you have to say. This kind of sincerity is lacking in many Christians. Keep it up, I say.

  6. My dear Folders:

    The Lord works through many or few, and I will continue to write.Thank you for your honest feedback, as the days become thicker with confusion, may this blog be a zone of clear reception for those wanting to finish the race. Like a particular spot where you can only get a few bars on your cel phones.

    May the Lord bless you both and your families, make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, and turn his face toward you and give you peace.