Waves and Wind

Before I begin, I want to talk about the utter joy I feel when I watch this man lead thousands of people in worship.  People have taken great joy in watching the demise of this man, and understandably so-the arrogance, the Taylor Swift! Whom-in a bizarre turn of events not witnessed since Stanley Kubrick produced and directed the moon landing-is now a part of the Illuminati while Ye has turned to Jesus.

Those jaded will think me naive.

Those enlightened by the Holy Spirit will see what I do, if they listen to their hearts.  Which brings me to my next subject.

In loving memory of Barbara Elkins~

A few years ago, I stormed my physician’s office after three months of getting the run around.  I was wearing my white, tattered robe and fuzzy bunny slip ons.  My hair had been drenched in sweat from fever, and matted to my head.  Every inch of my body was in pain, and I meant business.

I’ve done my research, I have Lyme disease.  Please give me 30 Doxycycline and a shot of Toradol.

The doctor, aghast-apologized so many times that I had to intervene.

Please, you’re human.  It’s okay.

The now hysterical doctor was in tears.  Five minutes later it was I who was in tears, as they sent my Lyme riddled body for testing-all I wanted was my bed, but you can’t always get what you want.  They sent me for an ultrasound, because my lymph node was the size of a grapefruit.  That, in turn, led to a transvaginal biopsy (without the lidocaine ladies-she was a bitch)  By the time the tests were completed, my Lyme symptoms had long before vanished.

My sister and I could be physicians without going to med school.  We grew up with a very ill mother, and picked up-as if  by osmoses-a vast knowledge of anything that has anything to do with the medical field.  Our collective hypochondria added to that vocabulary-the worst book ever written?  That big, fat medical encyclopedia that explained any and all illnesses.  My siblings and I would spend hours upon hours reading the news of our impending demise, running from friend to grocery store cashier for advice on our latest and greatest ailment.

Did you ever swallow in a way that your sphincter muscle twitched and the backfire caused pain in your anus?

Oh, it didn’t matter how mortifying the question, we would not be reassured unless ten to twenty of our nearest and dearest had given us satisfaction.  Looking back it isn’t in the least bit humorous, as we wasted the best years of our lives like Woody Allen in Annie Hall.  It’s hard to enjoy life when you think people are poisoning your food, or worse, telling you about their recent harrowing brush with death.  I mean, how TERRIFYING!!!

All of this preface was necessary, and in the following prose you will understand why.

A few months ago, I found my grade school report cards in my father’s filing cabinet.  I opened them with great anticipation, as I assumed I had been a reasonably intelligent child.  What I found shook my very foundation:

Michele continues to resist any form of discipline.  She struggles with social structures and often retreats from the group.

Michele is having trouble with motor skills a child of her age should have mastered by now.  She isn’t able to skip and will not pass unless she can show improvement in this arena.

Michele continues to have difficulty with division.  I will send exercises home with her, please follow through and test her skills often.   I don’t want to hold her back a year.

One day, my eye caught this video about Asperger’s syndrome.  Odd, I thought.  My video subscriptions are either music, history or politics.  I wasn’t subscribed to this channel.  Apparently, God wanted to get my attention. He had it.

On the third visit to my family physician, he tested me.  To my utter shock, he confirmed my suspicions.  On one of the tests I took, where 34 was the cut off for Asperger’s-I scored a 41.  I wasn’t convinced.  Why hadn’t someone caught this sooner?  I loved my family pediatrician, Dr. Shultheis.   He was a capable and compassionate physician.  Wouldn’t he have picked up on it?

Here’s the rub:  my early years (beginning at age 3) were spent in and out of the hospital.  I had Pyelonephritis and required multiple surgery.  I spent months at a time trying to recover from the latest surgery, latest dilation.  It was painful and I came to the point where every time my mother made lasagna or meatballs?  I knew what was coming, another painful hospital stay.

In my early teens I developed anorexia.  That required a tremendous amount of money and work on my poor mother’s part.  By the time I married my husband at thirty one, my teeth and hair had been ravaged by malnutrition.

My point?  There was always something else going on, something that took any thoughts of curing my depression, anxiety and other issues out of our minds.

The need to isolate.

The hours and hours I spent in my bedroom, headphones on, rocking back and forth in my hanging wicker chair.

My trouble with angry outbursts, extreme sensitivity, a shyness that came off as arrogance to everyone around me.  My intense desire for routine and structure.  My heightened senses:  I can smell a dead mouse from a mile away, and I hear things my husband tells me I have no business hearing, as in–

How in the HELL did you hear that?

I attributed it to the Elkins nose, the hearing to a God given gift.

My name is Michele.  I have spent my entire journey searching for answers to my need to isolate, my fear of dirt and germs, my utter lack of common sense, and my passion for music.  Why couldn’t I manage my temper?  Why did I become so enraged?  Why did loud noises cause me such anxiety?  Why did I lack the common sense, the street smarts others seemed to own?

Why God, was I so incredibly different from everyone I had ever had the pleasure of meeting?  And how did I build this incredible wall around my heart after years of rejection and ignorance?

This is my journey, my cross to bear.

  My newest friend, a young Mennonite girl named Jolene, is a cashier at our local Good’s.  I was drawn to her love and compassion.  Last week I burst into tears while buying a can of paint.  Her precious heart was evident when she came around to embrace me.

“Would you like to have my youth group sing to you tomorrow?,” her angelic smile lit up her beautiful face.

And so it was, that ten of God’s angels sang The Old Rugged Cross in my tiny living room.  The Grinch’s heart let loose a sigh, and thanked the God she worshipped for blessings in disguise.

 

 

 

 

Trouble For Sure

The weather is changing, much to my delight.  I wither in the heat and under the scorching sun-Fall is my time of year.  The hiking get better and for longer stretches and higher hills.  The chill in the morning, changing foliage and rainy days add a rise in my spirits, seconded only by visits to the beach.  I haven’t seen the ocean in three years, yet this is where I heal, always have-by the water.

The living waters.  God calls us to the water, where he comforts and consoles.  The lull of the tide, mountain air or sounds of the seagulls all serve to bring me to a place of pure joy-and I have always been that way.  Drawn to beaches from Siesta Key to the Adirondack mountains of New York’s lake George-it isn’t so much about what body of water, not at all.  I am drawn to the bubbling cogs and lappy romance of the foamy tide, breaking on the shore.  The smell of salt, it heals you, you know.  Nope.  No sinus infections at the beach, not in the mountains either.

In the books of Voltaire,  the writer and wit of France in the early eighteenth century-we find that the characters in his books go to the water to be healed-and I believe it to be a long practiced therapy among the rich and well to do.

I believe God intended for us to feel His presence here, a lullaby and love song – a promise of better days, a Shush now and rest, an invitation to listen to what it is He wants you to hear.

I will always be here.  Come to the living waters and heal thy soul.

Rejuvenate, and rest before picking up your cross once more.

Well, it’s a good thing I live by a lake, because my arse has needed some healing-like, on a daily basis.  It began a few weeks back, when I met another like minded friend on Twitter.  I remember the exact day I gave her my phone number.  I had noticed she was following some major deception as in the New Age which is the creation of the New World Order-and will be used for deception and great heartache.  I am not an expert, however I did live my own miracle when Abba brought me out of the arms of Doreen Virtue and into the arms of Jesus.

I was at the grocery store when I received this text:

Blah, Blah, Blah said the three days of darkness will be any day!  We have to lock all of our windows and put sheets up so the demons that are roaming the earth won’t see us!!!

By the time I walked out of that store?  I was an unraveled mess.  It took me approximately 10 seconds to Google this phenomena, which was tracked down to a Catholic nun who dreamed this while in a coma.

It hit me with the subtle touch of a nuclear bomb.  They’re behind this, I know.  So I did my research and messaged her back that I was reporting the Tweeter and that she should block him and follow accordingly.

Months later?  She hasn’t taken my advice, not once.

It shocked me when I remembered that story, and what shocked me was why I was still punishing myself with the friendship.  So I did a bible dip, and came to Hosea.  It spoke of how mercy and justice are of equal value to God.  Yet, if we are too caring?  We can encourage a person in their sin or lack of wisdom to the point where they stay stuck.

I wasn’t completely ready to walk away, and a song came to mind before I arrived at the kitchen.  I hadn’t thought of it in years.

You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

I don’t have to be hit in the head with a brick.

Dabbling in the new age occult was a profound and extremely unpleasant experience, and I am writing a series on it right now.  Look for the second piece to be out this week, I am very outspoken about the New Age, yoga and any other demonic practice, person or entity.  I unwittingly entered the dark side, God brought me out.  He saved my life, again.

I can tell you one thing, Jesus is as real as real gets, and He loves you despite what you fear.  You are worthy of love, you deserve the truth, and Jesus is only a whisper away.

Be blessed~

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For you, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done. I will sing for joy at the works of your hands! How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. -Psalm 92:4-5

Hidden Treasures

 

God shows up in big and small ways in everyone’s life at one point or another.  For me?  He is always there like a rainbow at the end of my storms, and my gratitude knows no bounds.  After an honest talk with my physician, I realized that I wasn’t depressed or angry for no apparent reason:  in the hustle and bustle of life?  I had forgotten I was grieving the death of a friend.  Scott was the third best friend I have lost, and frankly?  I had given up hope and need for love.  It was too big a risk-I trusted no man or woman with the likes of my heart.

I was terribly lonely.

Here is the rub, I would rather be alone than suffer another fool.  Period.  Oh, I had tried, on numerous occasions, to make new friends.  And each and every time it was a bust, a mind fuck, a disappointment.  Recent revelations (not ready to write about it yet) cemented my belief that I truly didn’t need anyone out of my intimate circle.  I was content with the few friends that stuck, and to be honest?  I thrive in isolation.  The quietness of the soul, the freedom to create, the soothing voice of Jesus unheard whilst among others.

And then something miraculous and totally unexpected happened.  Numbed by pain and missing my family, I went through each day mechanically-doing what needed to be done.  I had lost my joy, lost myself.

Would I come back to me, or was the Sara of old never to return?

I missed her.  I longed for her.  Where was the girl with all of the spunk and laughter?  What happened to her lust for life, her ability to get back up-no matter how impossibly down?  I ached, I shut down completely.

Suddenly, as Jesus would have it-love began to appear in my life once again.   I ran into friends and reconnected.   There was a visible lift in my loafers, my spirits soared.  Slowly but surely, God made good and sure that I knew of the love others had for me.  I feel as if I am surrounded by angels and backed by heaven.

I stood on the deck, waiting for Dwain to park the truck.  I realized that my hair, which had been cut off last winter after a bout with the flu, had grown to it’s former length.  I noticed the Pileated woodpecker in the big old maple.  How long had I gone unawares, of life, of the people and places around me?

It’s good to be back.

It is well with my soul.

 

 

White Lines on the Freeway……

I was trying to catch up on my reading a few weeks ago, my WordPress reading that is.  It was a cold and rainy Sunday evening, and I stopped dead in my tracks when I read his blog.  I didn’t know him, or of him, I just gave a little love to a stranger, one who had lost his brother-one who was on the verge of suicide.

It broke my heart to read his words.  No one had commented, and I was frantic.  I quickly wrote in the comment section, no.  You are loved.  You have a place in this world.  You must not give up, I will help you.  It didn’t matter that he lived half way around the world from me, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know him.  I just wanted him to feel the love that makes the difference: between being utterly alone in this world, and having someone love him.  We began correspondence immediately, so sweet, my friend Mohammed.

He said it helped him to know I existed.  It helped him to know a human being, albeit thousands of miles away, loved him-simply because he was in pain, dire straights, and experiencing a loss most of us would be shattered by-simply because he was and is a child of God-they will know we are Christians by our love……

He kept in touch throughout my journey with Lyme, and the infected lymph node that had basically convinced me I was dying.  The day I went to Med Express, alone and frightened out of my mind, he said these words:  Don’t worry.  I am here.  Five words.  Five words that helped me to feel safe, loved-cared for.  It mattered to him, my poor health.  And I thought that a miracle, in so many ways.

Today, while chatting, he said he had one thing to ask of me.  I told him anything, yes anything for him.

“Can I call you mom?”

So, this is how our Abba works.  I have no children and my step son hates me for reasons I don’t understand, as I was always loving, always supportive.

This touched me in places I haven’t been touched in, well, forever.

And as I let the tears drip….one by one, I answered.

Yes.  Of course.

And for this I am blessed beyond measure.

Hope Floats

When will the pain diminish, Jesus?  And why can’t I be satisfied with every blessing you have bestowed upon us?

Fact is, I am perfectly perfect, on paper.

Then why is my heart breaking, my soul darkened, my joy spent?  It isn’t depression, I know of depression.  It is as if I am searching the skies, the heavens for a moment of respite-that peace that surpasses all understanding.

Could it be that I have taken the growing pains of this world, the children who have suffered at the hands of beasts, the victims of widespread and horrific crimes against humanity and placed them upon my own shoulders?  Or is it something more insidious, the creepy crawlies that surface right around this time of year, the tribeless holidays are approaching and I am left adrift.

Rocking on the sea of inequity, buried in the storm of abandonment.

This world needs our prayer right now.  I will not focus on my own sorrow, no, I will aspire to be a light in this darkness.

I am a blood washed servant of Yeshua…and in my weakness He alone can strengthen me.

Ain’t Kids No More

I could listen to this song all day, all night and then some.  Lord I love these girls; their harmonies are like a symphony to the ears, and their songs are so relatable, at least for me.  I’d love to see them in person, but the chances of that happening are between slim and nada.  I have been begging my husband to PLEASE take me to see Mumford and Sons-one of my very favorite bands.  The old excuse was he didn’t want to camp at a festival for three days, which I partially agreed with.  Apparently, they have arrived, but the new excuse is financial practicality.

The feelings of melancholy have had their way with my psyche.  Probably not the best time to cut my Zoloft dosage in half to save a few bucks.  Why, why do I do it and what was I thinking?  I saw a video the other day, a man called Nubreed was preaching about demonic spirits.  I usually love his stuff, he is a righteous dude, but the subject of depression/anxiety/mental health issues being demonic possession is a pretty, pretty, pretty loathsome one for me, for the obvious reasons.  These videos are about as joyful to watch as the ones about pagan holidays, and why we must ban Christmas, Easter and every other beloved tradition known to humanity.

I mean, haven’t these dark forces taken enough from us already?  Good grief!  I’ll be the first one to tell you that, as far as I know, you will not go to hell for going to Christmas Eve mass.  Pretty sure, just don’t quote me on that.  I am not a pastor and I have no intention of having people’s souls in my hands.  Just making an observation.

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Don’t even get me started.

I can tell you, I am 99.9% sure that I do not have a demon within.  Rid myself of them years ago, and I do my best to put on the full armor of God.  Am I a sinner?  Yes.  Does Jesus love me anyway?

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

So, we had a lovely fall day together-me, my husband and the pooch.  I repotted a gimongous succulent, and we considered picking our pumpkins from our patch, but I wanted to watch them grow for a few more days.  I know, and yes, I am as ridiculous as I sound.

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My precious niece, Esme Elkins

And yes, she does take after her Aunt Michele, God bless her.

So, if you are new to my blog, I must preface this story by telling you that I have lived across the street from the monster in law for the past 30 years.  The first words she ever spoke to me were to say that Dwain was still in love with his ex wife.  Thins went downhill after that.  I don’t want to overuse the words, but if ever there was a narcissist?  It would be Miriam Hoffman.  I’m just beginning to believe that she may not, after all, be the anti-Christ-but God knows she’s something.  Something else, as in, eleventy hundred on a scale of 10.

For years and years I thought it was me.  Au contraire mon amies!  You see, I didn’t know what a narc was three years ago; and it was quite the nausea inducing surprise to find out that I was surrounded by them.  I own my crap when it comes to my codependency-a child of an alcoholic, and emotionally abused for a time by my mother.  Mom wasn’t a narc, not even close.  I now know that her empathy and love for us would have made that misnomer impossible.

My monster has ignored, belittled, aggravated and gossiped about me since the day I married her son.  How do I know?  My friends would tell me, my husband would tell me for crying out loud.  As the years went on, she knowingly and with malice put me through freaking hell to the point I thought I’d commit Hare Kari.

And then?  It happened.

I always knew that there would come a day when she slipped her mask, reaped what she had sown.  I just didn’t know how forcefully things would proceed-I had no way of knowing that God would take a church service to put it to her good, but that’s exactly what he did.

I must have been really stoned when I had the idea that, yes, why don’t we join Dwain’s parents at their church.  Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise, a loving gesture?  Unfortunately, we liked what we saw and began attending their church regularly.  One day I decided to wear my brand new, vintage Kentucky Derby hat-polka dots and all.  Dwain had just bought it for me, and I was tickled to find a dress that matched fashionably.

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I don’t wear hats to church to show off, nor do I want the attention of others.  While I can’t say that has been true my entire life-you know.  I wear them to honor my mother, who looked like Audrey Hepburn, even on a bad day.  As we entered the church, Dwain’s parents were greeting.  I told his mother of the gift I was wearing, don’t ask me why.  God forbid I have an enthusiastic moment, for crying out loud.

It wasn’t until a few moments later, when I mentioned my animosity towards Bud’s girlfriend, that she snapped.

That’s not something you say in church!  That’s not something you say in CHURCH!!!

Coming from a woman who openly mocked an autistic child during last year’s children’s choir Christmas pageant.  A woman who said,

I know where I’m going.

when approached by an out of her mind with grief daughter in law.

Nough said.  The next day I happened to be down at her coven.  She gets this snarky look on her face, but still, I don’t see it coming.

You looked nice yesterday.  I could have done without the hat.

Well, that was the icing on the cupcake.  I have never been spoken to by such a viper, and I’ve had some vipers, let me tell you, in my life.

And so it was, when Dwain informed his mother that I would not be attending tomorrow’s “birthday celebration.”

“What did she say,?” I wondered out loud.

She’ll just have to change, honey.  She has to change.

And my heart broke just a little bit, when I saw the sadness in his face.

I thought there would be joy on the day of reckoning.  No joy, it comes at the cost of my beloved~