The Turning Point

There comes a point in one’s life when they stop fighting.  You know the person because, hopefully, you are the person who may be the family oddball, black sheep or scapegoat-primarily because you can think for yourself.  When you break the chains of codependency, you truly live in a land of freedom; but may I caution you to maybe, if possible, not argue, harass or demean anyone for any reason-especially for their political or private beliefs.

The past three years have hardened our determination to fight for God and country.  Yet we are weary and battle fatigued; some of us have PTSD, others family in the military.  Basically a group of anonymous patriots who want our God given rights to be protected, our children safe, human trafficking ended.  Our families divided, our friendships lost-it adds up and it is my belief that most of us just want the truth to come out.

Yet we remain in suspended animation, awaiting the other shoe dropping-the one that will send the people you love reeling in thoughts of hopelessness, or helplessness.  I have learned a few things about the Great Awakening, and in so doing Jesus has shown me how to overcome any thoughts of enmity or rage.  I have come through to the other side, through persecution and great grief-and now I want nothing but God, love and peace in my life.

I’m not perfect, I still fight dirty on Twitter when I’m fatigued.  I can meme with the best of them, but I try to do it with humor.  I will not fight, condemn or fear another man.  Simply put?  Don’t harsh my mellow man.

You hide in your mansion, with young people’s blood…   – Dylan

For every fallen angel, demon and predator-to those of you who hide in the dark alleys and crawl the crevices-God have mercy on your souls.

The best we can do, as soldiers of Christ, is allow His love to fill our hearts, His grace to calm our souls.  We need to love one another back to health, one day, one need at a time.

The Storm has finally arrived.

I hear it’s going to be biblical~

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There Was a Formula

My freakishly large head is spinning, I am reticent to say this-you know, like when you state out loud that your  marriage is better than it’s ever been, and then you have the worst fight ever; so I’ll just put this out there:  the last few days of my life have been, for lack of a better word-perfect.

My idea of perfection is one of very simple values.  My faith and Jesus come first, and I cling to His robes each and every day.  After that?  The health and emotional welfare of my husband, my dog and myself.  I married a man I am still crushing on, and he is my best friend.  I am sober, my depression is lifting as we head towards Fall. My flower beds are bursting with Zinnias, roses, butterfly bushes and bubble gum pink petunias.  We like our new place of worship, and the pastor is red pilling my husband.  Bliss.   I have a Lord and Savior who loves me, passionately, as He loves you.

There is no fear nor condemnation in Christ.

I was reading out of the book of Proverbs just now

I see a change in the direction of my writing.   The focus  will be the same: Christ-centered, authentic and sassy-it’s the way I roll, so thank you all for reading my musings! It is my constant prayer that they will reach the eyes that bleed for comfort and community. Here goes nothing!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

The really important things in life can’t be said, only shown.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

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A while back I wrote about a friend from church who had told me God spoke to her in the early morning hours, about me, about my loneliness-as she was going down her prayer list. Unable to sleep, Lisa grabbed her Holy Bible, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide her in prayer. When she came to my name, the message was loud and clear:

She will have beautiful and meaningful relationships. She went on to try to explain just how much of a blessing this would be, but she cried with me instead.

I think of her and that moment often, even daily. Over the past few years, I have traded my sob story for one of real and true joy and reconciliation. Sadly, some of the changes did not suit a few of the people I had been holding on to; long after I knew that there was little left to grasp.

SCRIPTURE OF THIS GLORIOUS DAY

Kind people do themselves a favor, but cruel people bring trouble on themselves. -Proverbs 11:17 NCV

I quietly walked away from those who knew me as my former self. The friends who knew me to be a people pleasing, bleeding heart doormat-who allowed herself to be treated very poorly. I cannot stress the importance of one of the keys to happiness: you’ve heard this a million, zillion times before, but if you don’t love yourselfit will be impossible to gain the respect and love of others.

Although I have decided to keep the posts about Narcissistic Abuse and Complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the bare minimum (I have seen professionals who suffered at the hands of a narcissist make careers out of helping other survive the phenomena. While I respect the hell out of these people, I can not, will not allow this family tragedy define who I am. In order to survive, I am putting the past where it belongs. At the moment, the California fires are raging: these are not the usual forest fire-and they are headed oh so steadily towards my brother and his family. I have no way of knowing if they are okay. I have no way of knowing if ANY of my family is okay; so I will let go and let God.

However, there is so much to be said for sticking to your guns-not allowing others to control the narrative. Guard your heart, that’s what the Lord says-and in doing so I have emerged as if a Phoenix rising: finally able to be myself. No peanut gallery comments, such as:

After years of struggling with alcoholism and depression:

“Are you on the right medication? I think you may be Bipolar.”

After hosting mon frère for lunch (last time we spoke, in August)

“Quite sure you suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Have a great weekend.” Sent via email. And after telling my estranged sister not to bother showing up at my funeral:

“You fucked up Michele. YOU FUCKED UP.” This, by the way, from my “best” friend who almost killed my cat while we were in upstate NY last year on vacation.

SONG OF THE DAY

Oh, Happy National Dog Day, by the by.

My sweet boy.  Jesse Bocephus Happy Hoffmananoff.  Stay 6!

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Fearless

Fear. Gripping, faceless, heart-stopping emotion. Different things frighten different people-but I remember, even as a child-being petrified by everything. I believe the dysfunction stemmed from a childhood in which I was raised by two incredibly anxious parents. As the years went by, I grew more and more fearful. Heights. Highways. Social venues. The straw that broke my back was the stalking I experienced two years ago-I dove into a depression so devastating, I thought for sure I would die of heartache. The world was becoming an increasingly violent place, and I wanted no parts of it, none.

I dove into the Word last Summer. The more I read the scriptures, the deeper my peace became. I began stepping out of my comfort zone: crossed a wooden bridge 800 in the air, over a rolling, rocky river. That was Jesus and to this day, I remember the way in which my terror was transformed within moments. After giving my husband a firm NO WAY, I quietly asked my Abba,

“Give me the strength Father, for Dwain. Let me be brave for my husband.”

Seconds later? I crossed that bridge like a boss, without any trepidation. I walked that rickety death trap twice, as we had to use the bridge to return to our truck, after having visited the other side of the river. One day I will find and share those pictures, as they may inspire hope in fellow Chicken Littles.

I began trusting Jesus for everything. Seemingly overnight, my crippling fear eased into a new normal, of brazen acts and caution, thrown oh so carefully to the wind. I put on the full armor of God. I prayed without ceasing, and failed often and miserably. One day I took notice. I stopped to reflect, to look back and see how incredibly far I’d come-how loved and cared for I had always been. I take it minute by minute, literally. I know the Holy Spirit will lead me to discernment. I force nothing-if it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t get done.

In days such as these, when courage is required to simply be, it is as simple as calling out His name. I have my bad days, but not for stretches of time, as before. I know what to do, in those darkened hours of grief and angst: he will never desert you, ever.

No matter how hard it is, no matter what the size or magnitude of your pain, reach out to Jesus. He knows each and every hair on your freakishly large head. 🙂

Orphan Girl

 

God is calling me back from the news, the heartache and raw emotion:  He is lovingly nudging me towards a gentler, kinder version of myself.  I am treading water in a pool of nothingness.  I feel joy once again.

Today is my beloved mother’s birthday.  We love you, Mary Lou.  Sigh.  It never truly goes away, grief.  I wonder at the force of love, the easing of the pain that comes with time.  Also, an understanding of why and who she was:  an absolute rock in times of crises, a nurturing caregiver, a best friend; despite the years of emotional abuse.  My mother had the same problems with her own mother-a lack of boundaries, codependency and still, unyielding love.

I’d give anything to see her again.  Anything really.

There is the scent of her perfume in the air-I double check, yes, L’aire Du Temps.  I reach out to Jesus, and ask that he tells her I love her.  The candle lights the window, and she is here, oh yes, she is here.

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Fearless

Fear. Gripping, faceless, heart-stopping emotion. Different things frighten different people-but I remember, even as a child-being petrified by everything. I believe the dysfunction stemmed from a childhood in which I was raised by two incredibly anxious parents. As the years went by, I grew more and more fearful. Heights. Highways. Social venues. The straw that broke my back was the stalking I experienced two years ago-I dove into a depression so devastating, I thought for sure I would die of heartache. The world was becoming an increasingly violent place, and I wanted no parts of it, none.

I dove into the Word last Summer. The more I read the scriptures, the deeper my peace became. I began stepping out of my comfort zone: crossed a wooden bridge 800 in the air, over a rolling, rocky river. That was Jesus and to this day, I remember the way in which my terror was transformed within moments. After giving my husband a firm NO WAY, I quietly asked my Abba,

“Give me the strength Father, for Dwain. Let me be brave for my husband.”

Seconds later? I crossed that bridge like a boss, without any trepidation. I walked that rickety death trap twice, as we had to use the bridge to return to our truck, after having visited the other side of the river. One day I will find and share those pictures, as they may inspire hope in fellow Chicken Littles.

I began trusting Jesus for everything. Seemingly overnight, my crippling fear eased into a new normal, of brazen acts and caution, thrown oh so carefully to the wind. I put on the full armor of God. I prayed without ceasing, and failed often and miserably. One day I took notice. I stopped to reflect, to look back and see how incredibly far I’d come-how loved and cared for I had always been. I take it minute by minute, literally. I know the Holy Spirit will lead me to discernment. I force nothing-if it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t get done.

In days such as these, when courage is required to simply be, it is as simple as calling out His name. I have my bad days, but not for stretches of time, as before. I know what to do, in those darkened hours of grief and angst: he will never desert you, ever.

No matter how hard it is, no matter what the size or magnitude of your pain, reach out to Jesus. He knows each and every hair on your freakishly large head. 🙂

Cuffed on a Dirt Road

 

Okay, I have a million different things on my mind, it’s my 26th wedding anniversary, and I forgot my husband’s card.  I have eleventy hundred boxes of cards-as a matter of fact?  I collect them.  I.  heart. cards.  Big time.  I guess I could use one of those, but hey-it’s not the same.  Somehow, spending twenty bucks on a card makes it mean more, and Hallmark?  You have enough of my money, thank you.

Dwain and I have moved mountains since we met, or should I say God has moved mountains for us.  Financial instability,  cancer, anorexia, a motorcycle accident, the almost-divorce, alcoholism and drug addiction, the death of my parents-issues that would normally drive a couple apart, only served to bring us closer.

I wanted to find a way, if underwhelming, to put those years into a blog.  But there aren’t enough hours in the day-I have so many memories, which will turn into stories, perhaps, one day.  So, here’s the Reader’s Digest version, ’cause it’s our day and my man is kicking me in my kidneys.

I was engaged to a decent man.  Or so I thought.  We brought out the worst in one another.  He became abusive on our honeymoon.  He knew I was in love with another man, and despite my pleas, we were married on June 9, 1990.  Allowing myself to be coerced, I made the worst mistake of my life.  I had cervical cancer at the time.  The stress was overwhelming.  I sent Dwain a card from my honeymoon.  

The marriage lasted one week.

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The biggest challenge and love of my life.

 

I moved in with Dwain not long after.

It was wild, all consuming, raw and passionate love.  We couldn’t keep our hands off one another, it was a sickness-a curse.  When he left the room, I ached.  When he came back?  I swooned.  We are still as passionate and crazy in love.

God protected us from murdering one another over the years.  Alcoholism.  Drug Addiction.  Anorexia.  A shit ton of mental health issues, denied grief and a violent temper-all on my part.  We never laid a hand on one another.  We have never cheated on one another.  Although, I deliberately tried to run him over when I caught him driving his secretary back from lunch one Spring afternoon, years ago.

We were poor.  Dirt poor.  His first wife took everything but his soul.  I was a violent, malicious drunk-and the tears flow every time I think of how I must have wounded him.  There was emotional abuse on both sides.   Cops.  Court orders.  And, finally?  Jesus.

He is the song I sing.  He will always have me, heart and soul.

What a beautiful gift He has given me!

 

 

Hesed Love

There are peaks and valleys in everyone’s lives-moments when we throw our heads back in laughter and joy; and those where we have to dust ourselves off, check for permanent damage and regain a grip on reality.

We had a wonderful weekend. Our Christmas party for our church was held locally, so we finally made it this year. I imagined dimmed lights and a D.J. I was dressed in an original Bob Mackie jacket, fur boots and a gold trimmed dress that takes my breath away-sadly, whilst trying to zip me in the back, Dwain broke the zipper-so I went wearing said dress anyway, safety pinned in the back. Black velvet. Vintage clothing, and luckily I bought it for 50 cents. Imagine my shock when we walk into a room lit up like the sun itself. I am morbidly overdressed, and the track lights are making me anxious. I consider wearing sunglasses, but can’t embarrass my husband like that, and trust me-I’ve tried.

So long as we love we serve, so long as we are loved by others,
I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend. -Robert Louis Stevenson

We didn’t dance, there was no music. No disco ball.

The food was fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Corn. Warm pineapple compote.

No booze. No hard drugs.

Just us and our belove brothers and sisters in Christ. We laughed until it hurt, shed a few tears of compassion-and loved one another. I won a door prize, which shocked the shat out of me. There was no hangover the next day, no remorse, and no time to waste-we were having good friends over for dinner, I had promised spaghetti and meatballs-and we prayed before they arrived, as they are facing hardship and heartache, in their unique valley of doom. We love them so much, it hurts to see them hurt.

I broke into tears over the parmesan cheese. Somehow, the conversation had turned to the Great Awakening, politics, the hardest stuff…and after carrying the weight of the world upon my shoulders (or so it seemed) I cracked. I began blubbering about the Bush funeral. I sat with my dear friend while she watched videos, articles and memes-convinced that I would hear what I have heard from day one- Fake News!!!!

But here is the profound conclusion I came to last evening:

If another truly loves you, and respects your thought process and ability to think for yourself? Chances are that you will be heard. Heard and loved, despite your words, despite the news. She took it all in, calmed my heart, heard me out.

Psalm 136 speaks of God’s steadfast love, which endures forever. The Hebrew word for this is Hesed love. It is repeated over and over in the Old Testament, and written twenty six times in Psalm 136 alone! While no modern word can fully capture the meaning; we translate it as “loving kindness,” “mercy,” or “loyalty.”

Hesed is a loved based on covenant commitment; love that is loyal and faithful. Even when God’s people sinned, He was faithful in loving them. His love for you will remain steadfast-a reality that provides the foundation, therock on which we place our entire lives.

Oh what a foundation it is!

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