The Girl You Want…………

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to hold tight to the female friendships I have cultivated.  Let’s face it, when you head for your forties-well, you start to realize what is important in life and what is detrimental.  You begin to stand up for yourself, and by the time you reach menopause?  You’re a whirling dervish of angst on the road to having no female friendships because you have told off just about every friend you have, for one reason or another.

I have lost sisters near and dear to my heart-but the loss was temporary, as those were the women who treated me with disrespect, dishonesty-they were not  the friends I thought they were-but it didn’t make it any easier to end the relationship.  My best friend in sixth grade (let’s just call her Shitstorm) threw a bowling ball at me because I had the highest average in the league.  She was also responsible for bringing a picture of me into school in the seventh grade, one in which I had cut my own bangs, and let’s just say she passed it on to my high school crush.  Mortifying.  I was friends with her for 30 more years, until she did the unthinkable…..that’s right, she was another narcissist, and crossing her was akin to playing hopscotch with Satan.

But when you hit your fifties?  Why, you hold on to your female friends like grim death-the ones who love you no matter what state you are in, root for you when you are up against it, speak to your husband when your sister pushes you over the edge and you grab that bottle of vodka………why, they are your true blue tribe, and you have earned each other’s trust.  I am not saying there won’t be disagreements (holy crap on a cracker, that’s part of the equation ladies) but you will learn that nothing is more important than women who get and cherish you, zits, nervous breakdowns and relapses be damned.

Why, I can’t spare a square…….I adore my gal pals, each and every one of them.  And I will hang on for dear life-sorry ladies, you’ve been served.

They Do the Sharp Turnoff…..

 

 

Just back from an uneventful walk in the woods. The poor dog, he can hardly stand waiting for ol’ grandma to catch up to him on the trails. He keeps turning around and looking at me, like, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY HUMAN? This too shall pass.

Today I want to talk about all of the talk, innuendo, and just plain information there is out there-about God, Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. If you listen to Oprah Winfrey (please don’t :))you may believe that there are many ways to Heaven, that Eckhart Tolle and Abraham Hicks have all the answers, and that there is no such thing as Hades.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. JUST PLAIN MISINFORMATION, OR PURE EVIL?

That’s right kids, I am getting on my high horse for a moment. And no, I am not judging a single person, far be it for me, a lowly sinner to pass judgement on anyone…..it isn’t my job, it’s God’s and only God’s. The ONLY way to HEAVEN is through Jesus Christ-asking Him to come into your heart and life, giving your worldly life to Him only, and through that spiritual and personal relationship we can enter God’s presence, and the eternal kingdom of heaven.

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There is no such thing as “Christ consciousness.” Jesus is NOT an ascended Master, He is the one and only son of God who put on human flesh, suffered human despair and longing, and carried His cross throughout his life-never pretending to be anything more than what he was, our Lord and Savior. He died on a cross to pay for our sins. That’s right, we are covered by his blood and thus all of his children will be forgiven their confessed sins, and given a fresh start. The word repent? I used to hate it until I found out what it meant in terms of Yeshua. Repent means “think anew,” leave your sinful ways behind and do your very best (we are human and God knows we will sin again) to be the hands and feet of the man who sits at the right hand of the Father, and who will one day return-to bring justice to those who have harmed his children.

He’ll be back with a vengeance one day-and the Good News? He’s taking his beloved with him, to paradise-to live for eternity in the land where milk and honey flow like water, and reunite us with our families and loved ones alike.

Come as you are. He isn’t picky. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and this I know, this I have experienced.

Joy and Peace

 

Two years ago, right before our 24th wedding anniversary and subsequent trip up to the cabin in Potter County-a man I called friend, shot his ex-girlfriend at point blank range:  in broad daylight, with children everywhere, at the Jigger Shop in scenic Mount Gretna.  Patrick then put the gun in his mouth and ended his mental anguish forever.  His ex died on site, and she left two heartbroken children behind.

I met Patrick and his brother Mitch when first dating my husband.  They were dear, uproariously funny and rebellious.  I left the Philadelphia area to get away from drugs, namely-cocaine.  Working at a Houlihan’s in the King of Prussia mall, I had developed a habit, and I had just shaken an addiction to methamphetamine months before.  Coke was the perfect substitute, and it was very, very easy to score.  When my then fiancée asked me to move with him to Pennsylvania Dutch Country, I jumped at the chance.  It wasn’t long before I met my current man, who, unfortunately, had a behemoth of an addiction himself.

Patrick and his brother, Mitch, were the local suppliers.  Patrick and his wife were the first friends I made out here-it wasn’t long before the midnight phone calls began-Liz, out of her mind frightened, as Patrick would come home drunk and ready to rumble-waking his wife and infant, smashing Christmas trees, and yes-he hit her.  More than once.   I would come and talk him down.  But I began to loathe him-domestic violence is no joke-I have been a victim of both emotional and physical abuse.  I stuck with Liz, but Patrick faded away.

At one point I heard he was doing jail time, for beating the crud out of his new bride, who just happened to be an attorney.  But nothing stuck, and his actions-combined with the mentality of local police and judges alike-would be dismissed out of hand.  Thus the murder-suicide.  Tragedy is an understatement, this rocked our collective worlds.

At that time, my sister was also creating in me a downward mental spiral.  I hadn’t even heard of Narcissistic Abuse; it was on this vacation that I found information that would, two years later, set me free.  Yet my state of mind when we arrived at the cabin?  I believe I was in shock, grieving and mentally/physically at my limit.

As we entered the cabin, Dwain went to turn on the water, heat and other appliances.  I went for the bottle of Tequila, and sipped slowly as I read the news from home.  I mixed the liquor with Juicy Juice, so my husband wouldn’t suspect anything.  I had been sober for the past nine years, but I made the deliberate choice to drown my sorrows,  I didn’t get drunk on this vacation, but it was enough to remind me how booze can take away the pain.  A reminder I didn’t need at the time.

Standing in the kitchen, just a few days ago, my husband asked a question which led to my confession.  The only person I had told, previous to this conversation was my friend Joyce, a fellow recovering addict.  In the rooms, we are told to make amends, absolutely, but not if the process would leave the person hurt.  I had thought of coming clean many a time over the last few months and years; I just couldn’t do it to Dwain-and no, it wasn’t an excuse.  I was afraid he wouldn’t take me to the beloved cottage in the woods of Potter County.  I was in fear of the truth marring his memories of our anniversary.  To tell him would be cruel, not?

I answered his question, then turned my face in his direction.  I confessed.  And it hurt him, very much so.  He screamed he couldn’t trust me, I screamed back.  I cried big, fat, ugly tears that evening-angry with myself, angry with my addictions and yes, even angry with my loving husband-who doesn’t deserve the likes of me, and never did.

The moral of the story is this:  yes, we want to be truthful, as Christians-it’s a pretty serious matter.  But the past is the past.

Keep it there.  Ask Abba for forgiveness.  And swear an oath of secrecy to Jesus, to yourself.  The past is just that, but the future awaits us-like a diamond in the rust.  Polish that stone often.  Don’t look back, for you are a child of God-and your remorse and repentance is more than enough.

 

Love Is Wild……

What is love, really? And how do you know if you’re on the right track, if you are loving someone enough, or …in a way that tells them they are loved?

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not anger,
nor does it boast.

This is what we find in our bibles, and make no mistake-God meant what he said, but how many of us can rise to that place? For me? Love is compassion. Love is validation. Love may take it up a notch or two-as lovers are passionate, and the frenzy can make us crazy. My husband and I still rant and rave, but at the end of the day? Love, somehow prevails. I remember not so long ago the days of begging him to love me, and now the tables have turned-love doesn’t hold anything over your head, and if you wax and wane poetic, but have no understanding or compassion, what does it amount to? Dust. Dust in the wind.

True love allows the other person breathing space. It listens, nods its’ head in sorrow, puts you in the shoes of the lovee.

Don’t you speak over my words. My reality is hard won, and I won’t trade my newfound jewels for stones-not today, not ever~

RAGE……

Remember early on in years
I carried you and
swiped
your tears.

The party days left long ago
perhaps the only time
we grew
close as sisters should be.

I rushed to your side
at each
birth,
and cared for what
I thought to be
my forever
family.

Then things changed,
they rearranged
and sister turned
to sinister.

Most days
are fine,
and love remains
the answer to the
question.

You haven’t only
kept me from
the children who
adored me-
you took their right
to family;
Oh
Jezebel, you
have
scorned me.

The time will
come-
I’ll be long gone,
at home and loving
Jesus.

And you’ll
be left the memories
of ruin and resentment.

I Am Warrior….

 

I dropped off Jesse at the groomer this morning.  The groomer is my gal pal Sherry, and her husband Scott.  I was privileged  to work for them six years ago, and even though they live less than a mile away?  I hadn’t really known them until I became one of their dog walkers.

Scott has been given six months to live.  He had oral cancer sixteen years ago, and the miracle is that he is still among the living.  At 60, he is not willing to have any treatments; his body has been through enough.  I have wept a million tears over this, but the good news is he is now using CBD oil, and I am asking for as many prayers as you can give:  we want a miracle, and I believe in the power of prayer.

After the initial cancer diagnoses, after the treatments (his face is unrecognizable to some, but to me, it’s the only face I have known) he became a born again Christian.  He drove around the tri-county area, stopping in with people he felt he owed an apology.  He began loving everyone and every minute of life he was granted.  He is as strong as they come, physically and mentally.  I don’t want him to go, I can’t lose another friend.  And my heart absolutely aches for his wife.

The good news is that he is trying a round of CBD oil, just recently prescribed.  Sadly, it took months to go through, and his first attempt wasn’t very pleasant.  He took a small dose the first night, then for reasons only know to him, he tripled the dose.  Too stoned to move, he lay in bed for two days.  He swore it off, but God had other plans and he is back on the small dose.

Life is so precariously short-I try my best to put aside petty differences, and forgive quite easily-I want my father in Heaven to forgive me, and the hardest thing I have ever done is forgive my sister.  But here’s the thing: we have a God to go to, our Lord and Savior-Jesus.  But what about those who don’t have the faith?  Well, our prayers mean everything.  I am living proof of that.  He is mighty and loving and all seeing.

And I am his warrior, from now until eternity.

HEROES

I volunteer in a local Emergency Room.  I was scheduled for yesterday afternoon, 12 to 4, and no matter how hard I tried?  I could not muster the enthusiasm to take a shower, let alone go to work.  I picked up the phone several times to call off, but something made me put down that phone, and I am here to say, Praise God I did.

Used to working the morning shift, I had no idea what to expect.  As I approached the double doors a sense of purpose filled my veins, and what I was about to walk into was the most horrific day of my entire nursing career.  Every room full, I immediately went to Room 14, as I heard wails of agony and pain.  The man in the bed was in his nineties, and he was hysterical.  I introduced myself, but he couldn’t hear me, he was too far gone.  

I asked his son and wife what was going on.  His son shook his head, wiped away a tear and told me that this was NOT his father.  He was a good Christian man who was beloved in his community and family.  His dad was strong and stoic; I could tell the family was terrified.

“Oh Jesus, take me now.  I am so sorry.  I am dying.  My legs are on fire.  Please, take care of my wife and children….my grandchildren, OH MY GOD, WHY?  I AM DYING, PLEASE GOD, I DON’T NEED GOLD WALKWAYS, JUST TAKE ME NOW………”

This went on for another twenty minutes.  I spoke to him, loudly and clearly.  What have you seen?  Why are you so frightened?  You aren’t dying, your stats are perfect…..he was white as snow, tormented…..and then I knew.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what was wrong. 

“The Diablo.  He is making me curse Jesus, think terrible things about my Lord.  I deserve to die, TAKE ME OH TAKE ME JESUS,”

I closed the curtain.  The nurse administered a sedative.  I asked the family to shush.

“You have no authority here, Satan.  No authority.  Drink the blood of Jesus demon and be gone.  Jesus is here, God is holding you.  Drink the blood of Jesus……”

I was convinced the doctor and nurses would think me insane and fire me as soon as I walked from beyond the curtain.  I waited and continued to pray out loud.  Within moments he calmed down.  Enough to listen to me.

Who is the father of all lies?  Satan is toying with you, but once God has you no one can ever take you away.  Do you understand me?  God loves you, and so does your family.  Listen to me…….”

I retreated for another warm blanket.  As I walked passed the gawking nurses, (and I mean every single one of them had their jaws open) I didn’t make eye contact.  I couldn’t.  I walked back into the room.  He was given another sedative.

There are things that I cannot divulge, but may I say this?

Praise, Glory and Honor to the Most High, and thank you Jesus, for your love and strength.

I walked Bob out to his car with his oh so thankful family.  He was dapper and strong, laughing at our jokes, and he kissed me on the cheek…….

“I don’t know how to thank you,” his son and wife said.  It wasn’t me they owed any gratitude, it was our heavenly father and Yeshua.  But they knew that.

And as I walked into the ER, prepared to be told to leave, the doctor said this:

“You are worth your weight in gold.  You couldn’t pay someone to do what you just did.”

I kept walking, straight to the nearest empty room.  And I got down on my knees and wept.