Jacqueline

 

We are in the midst of a glorious snow storm, so I bake cookies, do research, take the pup shed hunting.  I am like a child when it snows.  Yesterday?  We took to making a snowman, and I made snow angels, for the first time in years. 

Presently, Jesse gnaws on frozen fox, I am beyond horrified, tell him to come, drop it, good boy.  We hunt five square miles of prime shed territory on two different plots of land.  I grumble that my hands are empty.  I apologize to God, thank him profusely.  I feel like a shmuck.  He has blessed us abundantly, with the things that truly matter in our lives-family, a loving marriage, food on our kitchen table-the very same one as in my childhood- I simply can’t bare to replace it.

The word on the street is that dysfunctional families raise dysfunctional adults.  The friends who don’t fill that shoe are few and far between.  So, what happens when your very best friend is dwelling in the silent place, and you are incapable of helping her.  You can’t wrap your arms around her, like you want to-because she’s a bit too restrained.  She is holding you at arms length because her relationship with her father was complicated, she suffered.  You are working through boundaries and self esteem issues after a life time of narcissistic abuse.  You have ended lasting friendships with people who refused to take you seriously, or took you for granted.

 

But this girl?  You just can’t shake her-you have become as close as your familial histories have allowed you to be.  She has always taken you seriously, and always respected you.  It just hurts too much when she forgets our plans, or fails to return numerous attempts to ask about her well being.  I do not judge her for this, she is hurting and I hurt for her.

You love her and hope that she knows this.

Sometimes there isn’t an answer.  Maybe you need to let go and let God.

So you decide that you will not allow her to slip away.  You take a step back and give her the space she needs.  You miss her, but know-deep within your very soul, that she is in the arms of the angels.

Jesus has this.

 

The Christ Child

Be patient with me, I am mid allergy flare (stupid dust from the wood stove) and my eyes are closing as we speak. I haven’t written in some time, as I try not to force anything, if I don’t feel it? I move on, baby, I move on! Plenty of things to keep my busy around a mildly run down farm house. A two hundred year old one, at that. I need to paint, my entire house no less-and have a kazillion things to fix, mend or glue. I mean, bathroom floor, refinishing our hardwood floors, the list goes on.

As it turns out? I love this old house. I treat her with kid gloves, and in return she gives me joy amidst the toil, a thank you of sorts, for continuing to love and respect what she once was, what she will be again, some day. I have done almost everything humanly possible to create a warm and inviting space-big, soft blankets strewn across our leather furniture. Each room an individual feel, no two rooms alike-that’s for sure. I suffer from depression at times, and it is my prayer to refinish her in a way befitting of her old, stoic beauty.

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This is our view from the deck at the pond.

So, finally getting to the point, I want to tell you that I was not myself over the last few weeks. Seasonal blues, combined with the side effects from my recent head injury and ensuing concussion (nausea, mood swings, headaches, and fatigue)put me in a place of utter despair.

I gave it all to God, and that helped immensely. Yet I still felt deeply saddened, as if the grief were going to swallow me whole-suffocate me with its deadly black cloak. I didn’t want to do, be, talk to or even participate in the holiday festivities. I had been depressed around this time of year before but this year? I had the added burden of wondering if we should be celebrating this holiday with pagan origins. I look at it this way: we know that 12/25 is not the date of Christ’s birthday, but we are celebrating our Lord and Savior as tradition has taught us for eons. I got into a quarrel with a Youtuber named Daniel Lee of Torah Restorations Ministries on his channel. This is what transpired, the cause and effect of an almost-ruined Christmas Eve:

Me: Merry Christmas Steve! (talking to another subscriber, not the MAN himself)

DANIEL: HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT TO SOMEONE KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE!! DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, MICHELE, DO WHAT JESUS DID, PRACTICE HONUKAH INSTEAD!!!

I want to preface the next few paragraphs by telling you that I was a big fan of his channel, and we had grown to be like brother and sister. So much so that he was planning on staying with us this Spring, as he tours the universities of the East Coast to preach his message.

Me: Daniel, calm down. I’m not judging others, not my job, and Merry Christmas? Really, Daniel.

DANIEL: NO! YOUR HUSBAND AND YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

It was brutal, and on Christmas Eve, no less.

I dressed, unceremoniously for Christmas Eve service, we had to be early, as we were helping set up. I slowly went around, to each window, and plugged in the gorgeous wreaths. Nothing. I sat in the chapel while the band practiced, hoping the music would inspire me. Zilch.

Nope, it looked like I wasn’t going to rally for the cause. Christmas would come and go, and I would be left in the dust, blindsided by regret and pain. I held back tears as I sat for the service. The evening was beautiful, and as I watched the children take the stage in a haphazard way-I leaned forward, in order to see, in order to listen.

I watched as my pastor, Tony Blair, looked at the children on stage. His face softened, his eyes grew moist. He gazed at those precious little people, with such tangible joy and love-it was heart wrenching.

There are good people in this world-well meaning, honest human beings who truly care about the least of these. The world became a brighter place, instantaneously. As we lit our candles, one by one, I had drifted off to the landscape of the starry night in Bethlehem, and the very thought of the Christ child lifted me up and out of my inertia, my numbness.

Back at home, hours later, I sat in the dark and took in the beautiful Christmas tree, my dog and cats asleep beside it, dreaming of sugarplums-no doubt. I say there for some time and prayed.

I felt a bit of childhood whimsy, the spark of pure adrenaline a kid feels when they even think of Santa Claus. But this time? The floaty stomach and profound love in my heart was due to the love of my Lord and Savior, my Prince of Peace, my evening song-Emmanuel~

Got Flonase?

 

I can laugh about it now, so that means I can write about the crazy ass allergies I have experienced this Summer.  Not since my first hay fever attack (I was ten and I thought I was dying-my father had just mowed the grass, and my eyes sweat tear after tear, then shut, completely)  have I experienced more than a sneeze or two.  This year?  Holy optical migraine, Batman!  What, please tell me, are they putting in the air?

By 5:00 p.m., I literally had to don sunglasses, IN the house.  My husband teased me relentlessly, and I did wish him bodily harm, as there was no way on God’s green earth that he was going to give me some compassion, hells no!

“What, may I ask, are you doing?,” he asked, one evening last week.

What did he think I was doing?  Practicing to be a starlet?  Trying to look super Coolio for the dog?  Possibly practicing some form of ritual to erase my many wrinkles?  NO.

If you, like me, have allergies-you will want to get your ass to the nearest pharmacy and buy some Flonase.  I did just that a few days ago, actually I went to Wal-Mart, but that fiasco is a story for another day.

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Yep, by late in the afternoon I could feel the melodious pull downward, and not just my sinuses.  The pain would begin in one dry eye (causing a pretty obvious eye twitch) and then proceed to the other.  Seeing, well, anything became a problem.  I found the idea of going to bed (most depressives will tell you that bed is depressing.  We associate bed with melancholy) absolutely loathsome.  So, I donned my red wayfarers and took up my cross, no matter the cries of protest-it was all I could do not to shoot myself in the nasal cavity, let me tell you.

So, if you got allergies-you got troubles.  Something wicked this way comes.  Do yourself a favor and buy the juice-the sweet, healing nectar will reduce the inflammation.  Your dog, cats and husband will be glad you did-take off the sunglasses, that is.  🙂

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