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.

12771500_10204116416070112_1062940544567809039_o (1)
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~

Into His Arms…

 

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

 

Hells Bells

Well,hey there, ho there!!! Haven’t been around for a day or two, and that’s because my concussion caused some pretty unpleasant side effects, such as- migraine, dizziness and extreme nausea. Not complaining, as I firmly believe that at the end of every valley is a rainbow so stunning, us puny humans can’t grasp the real significance. And so it was that I awoke this morning: stronger, less nauseous-a better person all around. 🙂

Today is my first New Music Thursday! I will be sharing music which is new to me, so, if you’re thought bubble reads-

This music isn’t new, I’m not smelling what she’s stepping in! Well, say something once, why say it again?

I love their haunting melodies. When it comes to the lyrics, I don’t relate as much as I usually like to: before I commit to the tune, I have to hear the words. In most cases, but not all-The Talking Heads, B52-s, St. Vincent? There music moves me so much that I could care less what they’re talking about.

Then we have Joni Mitchell, Patty Smith, Bob Dylan, Adele-those lyrics hit you where it hurts-and that’s precisely why you listen-it’s all a matter of mood, whether you want to cry in your beer, or dance until you hurt. I’m not telling you anything new.

It occurs to me that music has helped me heal in a myriad of ways: it gets me going in the morning-I seriously can’t wake up until I listen to something uplifting, or intense. Stop Making Sense comes to mind, or anything Depeche Mode, The Smiths. Joni Mitchell got me through my one week marriage, sobriety, and to this day? The occasional crying jag.

I take my depression and anxiety much more seriously as of late. I know when I’m in despair, and this past week has been a roller coaster of emotion. From this moment on, I intend to enjoy every moment of the holidays. I will throw back my noggin and laugh-even in the face of danger. 🙂

Into His Arms…

 

I have to start out by telling you I have consumed my happy juice and am a bit crosseyed at this time.  But praise Jesus, for he has given us every herb, plant and fruit bearing tree so that we will live healthy, peaceful lives.  Medicinal.  Used for my CPTSD, it can take me from despair to joy, and that my friends is worth its weight in gold.

I’ve been thinking about what is happening in this world, and obviously, it all but freaks me out.  After watching a video I shouldn’t have, I was overwhelmed-feeling as if the entire three ring circus was on my back.  First sad.  Then frantic.  Then Jesus.

I tell him, Jesus! I am clinging to your robes today, I need you badly!

These are the times when I run, full throttle, all engines on to God.  I picture myself running in to his amazing hug, and hear him say There, there child.

I can’t do this Jesus.

I know too much, why do I know so much and when did you make the decision to take a scaredy cat like this girl, and lead her in the direction of Doom.  Real news.  Investigative reporting.  I have felt the Holy Spirit driving me in this direction, and some days?  Down with the ship I go.

He never pushes, never demands.

I come to the realization that He alone is my Lord and Savior.  He will not leave me nor forsake me.  He is in control.  

I take a long hot shower.  I plug in my tiny white lights strategically placed all over my home, to give comfort.  Put some cinnamon on the stove.  And then He takes me back to who I was before I got clean.  I am profoundly grateful.

I fall into His arms.

 

Green Are Your Eyes…………

My brother came up for a visit a few weeks ago, and as we conversed he brought up the wedding that my father spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on.

“They were devastated,” he told me, dead seriously at that.  Craig lived in California at the time.  My mother was battling ovarian cancer, although she, nor the doctors, knew.  I remember one phone call from mom, in which she told me daddy had cried for days-and to this very day I wish I had run away……because I didn’t have the strength to stop the snow ball that kept rolling, gaining momentum, until it was so big it crushed me in its wake.

I did not choose this particular war.  It chose us, Dwain and myself.  I was in such angst that my mother sent my sister to baby sit, rather than sit down and discuss my strong resistance to a wedding that never, ever should have taken place.  In a therapy session, with my parents, the man with all the answers (he thought so anyway) asked my mother why she was so angry.

“The fucking whore just wanted a party.”

The therapist looked at me and then at my father.  When I looked back at him his glasses were askew and he appeared alarmed-distressed, if you will.  I had warned him.  I knew it was coming.   My father, always and forever my best friend and supporter, offered this:

“Honey, he said, looking at my mother as if she’d lost her mind-“Why don’t you let us get you an apartment, just be by yourself for awhile so you can figure things out.”

I couldn’t and didn’t consider that option.  I loathe the fact that I hurt my parents in any capacity whatsoever.   It breaks me and was a contributing factor in my rush to oblivion, alcohol, pills, cocaine………..my heart was a ball of fire, and I wept more than I smiled.

But, green were his eyes…….and their melodic and hypnotizing pull are evident this very day.  And for that, oh for that I am incredibly blessed.

Laughter After Tears

Two of my all time favorite artists in one video-you can’t beat that with a stick! And as I was led to this song, I knew exactly what to write about. I have learned, once again, that through intense emotional pain we can grow leaps and bounds in our faith, relationships and overall mental health. I spent the past few days in bed, albeit sick with the flu-but depressed and anxious about the chance that my marriage could fail miserably, and at any moment.

10492546_10201511085338472_4357884074414569740_n

Because I am a grown woman, and have plenty of life experience-I know that I can cling to Jesus during the desert places, praise His name and look forward to a beautiful lesson and blessing that would surely follow.

It always does.

We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.”
JOHN F. KENNEDY

As miserable as I was, I immediately felt shame; I thought of the least of these.

I have lived half of my life as one of the least of these.

There are times where life is so good, when I am surrounded by love-my social calendar full, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. Actually, He has answered my prayers-I live a quiet, creative and authentic life, and I owe every single step toward my recovery, every breakthrough and success to God. To Him goes the honor and glory. But what happens when you have become accustomed to this life well-lived, and the bubble bursts, leaving you blindsided? Do you question God? Do you find yourself shell shocked and incredulous? Do you feel hopeless?

Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins. They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
“Lord help!,” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of Thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts!
-Psalm 80

Dwain and I are fine, and mea culpa-I was being incredibly sensitive. Yet when we argue, I shut down completely-although I am much better than I used to be. I’ve gone from hysterically phoning my therapist, to not crying at all.
Yet I cease to function or care-and that isn’t the place we need to be-yet I know Abba is pruning me-as He does to all of his children. I know in my secret places that something amazing will come out of the melee.

Call out to Jesus.

He wants you to trust Him. You are so very special to God-each and every one of you.

B.O. and Bad Sushi…

I don’t know where to begin.  Ahem.  I don’t blame this on anyone but me, and I have come to the place of acceptance, and laughter-and a deeper understanding of my profound love for my husband.

The morning began with a decision.  Dwain had gone target shooting with his son, (thank you for your prayers, dear friends-that situation is healing) and I was left alone, looking at the darkened sky, hearing the rolling thunder.

“Should I risk driving to church with the jeep top down?”

I knew darn well that every time I stayed home because of the “weather” I missed out on relationships, the lunches, the shopping.  I decided then and there-I was going to chance it.  My friend Leeny awaited me.  A sinus infection had kept me away from the every other Sunday service (we are members of a church in Lititz, Hosanna A Fellowship of Christians) I had promised her, upon learning of her recent health scare.  I just wasn’t about to let her down, that’s what it came down to in the end.

At the service, just as the preacher began his sermon on the prodigal son, thunder shook the chapel-the congregation laughed.

“The Holy Spirit has joined me,” he chuckled, to the delight of the crowd.

All I could think, was crapstastic.  And oh, how tastic the crap became.  I left the church, in a light Summer frock, no jacket-to buckets and buckets of water.  On the way to my jeep, I see a poor woman fall-flat on her poor face-right down the backdoor stairs.  The EMT in me assesses the situation and kind men pick her up and set her on her feet.  Prognoses?  Possible broken nose.

I run as fast as I can in heels, on slick parking lot, without killing myself.  I open the door, the jeep has at least 2 inches of water puddled on the floor.  It’s pouring and I am chilled to the bone.  I see that traffic isn’t moving because a big, black truck is trying to come towards us-he is going the wrong way!  Son of a BITCH!!!  

Now I’m in full panic mode.  I reverse and try to go the other way.  It won’t work.  I see the car in front of me move, so I do a U-turn and try again.  This time the truck is coming alongside my vehicle.  The parishioner is asking if I want him to help me put the top on.  I just want to get the mojo out of there, and I brush him off.

“JUST GO!!!,” I scream.

And just then, it hits me.  The “parishioner” is my husband.  Later, he will tell me that when he hit the Pretzel Hut (a local ma and pa burger joint) he realizes that I am at church with the jeep top down and it is raining cats and dogs.  He says he drove 100 mph (frowny face indeed!) on slick roads to come to my rescue.  When I get home, he apologizes profusely, saying had he not gone away with his son, I wouldn’t be shivering and, well, drowned is the only word that comes to mind.

I tell him he’s ridiculous.  He needs to spend time with his son.  I am not a child, I am accountable for my own actions.  In the shower, I beam and my heart swells with love and gratitude.  I take my time in the shower, jump into warm clothes and my favorite bunny socks, take a little bit longer with my makeup.

I nuzzle up close to my man, and he is pleased.

“You smell like B.O. and bad sushi,” he gushes.

And he laughed and laughed and laughed, until I found the little piece of flesh, on his inner thigh, and twerked it-as hard as I could.