Young and Stupid

109AFED2-EACF-4123-A491-4DAFC3FF4F62I definitely remember being just that… young and stupid. A lot of things could be said, but I got through and learned some major lessons, some the hard way. So I try to remember my youth and the rebelliousness and my ways when listening to my son with his thoughts and plans recently.

I am sure each one of us could admit that, too, of making crazy decisions. This one thing that came to mind when talking to him and growing irritable with him 897E95B7-AE85-48FB-AFB8-49BE3FCE5C83within, while trying my best to remain calm, was when I withdrew my retirement.

I did not listen to anyone, ask for direction or do any research of what happens if I took out my retirement of almost twelve years working. At that time in my life, being newly married and expecting a baby, we did not feel that old age would be an issue or come so quickly. How crazy is that? It did! While it was a nice down payment on our first house, I lost out. I find myself still having regret over this but there again, young and stupid. I could have retired many years ago, remain working at my present job to accumulate more for a second retirement. Now, I will work longer in life but thankfully I enjoy my job. I learned my lesson and will advise others to not do what I did.  83C51930-D5F0-4ACF-BB1C-242F4E6701C6

No doubt years from now, my son will have some regrets. He is so much like me. Somewhat scary. Still he will learn, the hard way. E6246A32-09B3-4C05-8DD3-3A3B90CE9804

He is a full-grown adult now, I have no say really in his life anymore or the decisions he will make. As his mother, it gives me great joy and pride in how well he has done but in other areas, I want to scream, please listen to me or someone. While the control and panic is felt within my body and my mind is swirling of how it would be better if he would listen, I still have to let go and realize he has to walk his own path. All I can do is pray.F0C03789-7C93-4E10-8546-7AABEFC5690C

Being a parent is wonderful but it is hard. No matter how old they get, there is still that motherly instinct to oversee them. Letting go was hard years ago when my boys attended college, knowing home would never be the same, for them or for us. I feel as though it is letting go once again.

594E5D97-9828-4048-9114-D852E3644F95One day, the roles will be reversed by them taking care of me and making decisions on my behalf and odds are, I will not listen to them or be happy with some decisions made or worse. Guess I better keep my mouth shut now.BA016A88-5F6D-4BE7-A682-4D876C84F3F1

Oh to be young and stupid. I would definitely do things a lot differently in so many ways. I have heard that from so many through the years.

So I will continue and will to my dying day, pray for my boys, love them and support them in all they do. I may not like some things but they will never have to doubt my love for them.17CDC782-B2B7-4571-9385-0DD5C62B8848

The Lord knows and sees each one of us and we all make and will make  some not-so-good decisions at times and mistakes, etc. Still, He loves us like no other and He will always be there for us. May we never doubt His Love for us. Trust Him.

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Terrified with Faith

I am at a point in my life where I am being pushed forward into the unknown somewhat, wondering if can I do it.  Questioning myself and God of how this situation A78CCC54-9AE9-4C38-A21F-22660E7039D5had all come about so perfectly but the doubt hovering over me with what if I fail?  The balancing act with many encouraging me and those that I have shared my hesitation with, their encouragement that will support me either way. At times, that did not help, still feeling at a loss as to what to do. In the past few weeks, a part of me desiring that somebody would say, just do it, taking my hand and leading me, helping me and conquer this fear. I’m scared, okay terrified.

BC147DB3-4AD4-429B-A91E-E087A8314780I am sure I am not alone when trying to make a big decision, allowing faith to manifest but fear lurking around every corner.  We all have to make decisions in life with jobs, marriage, education, purchases, etc.  Adulting is hard, even at my age.

As I was being encouraged by a lawyer friend yesterday to go forward and expressing my fear and hesitation, I asked him if he experienced this when going to law school. Without hesitation, he said he was terrified. Today, he is one of the finest lawyers I know. His position just did not happen overnight, as he had to face fear head on.  Just his words of, ‘I was terrified’ brought comfort, knowing what I am feeling is normal. Sometimes knowing normal is not just a dryer setting, can take pressure off of an anxious mind. I realized that when with my former counselor, a lot of what I thought and felt was quite normal. It is the shame-based thoughts that keep us bound by thinking we are not normal, something is wrong with us.

Dealing with the weight of this matter on my mind and 5C5859A9-7215-4E34-AA86-FE897089F51Bmaking a final decision this week, I felt encouraged upon waking.  I have dreams and sometimes they are so real, just like this morning. Sitting quietly in a church service but next to a side wall not in a pew, my pastor came over to me. He took my hands and held them, looking at me and just said, ‘You know He is with you.’ How encouraging! Yes, it was a dream a spiritual dream, but I do believe and know that God can speak to us in them. Perhaps because our mind is quiet and He can get our (my) attention.

ID0F6AF27-7611-4796-BB3D-EEC4392F8B2Dn my quiet time this morning, of course, with coffee nearby and before I start my day cleaning and enjoying my home, I was reading scripture.  Just so happened, guess what I turned to and read first?  Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” How awesome it is to know that God’s Words are LIFE words soothing our soul, that brings calmness to our spirit and giving power and joy to our day.  He is with me. He is with you. We just have to quiet our minds, whether sleeping and in a dream to be reminded or in the moment acknowledging Him as we go about our busy, chaotic lives.  That’s God. Trust Him.

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9 Bible Promises About Your Sleep, Dreams and Night Hours

 

Escape Plan

33D9F4A0-764B-49AD-9BCD-7CB884F1E342I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.

No doubt, at certain times or in joking, the lyrics of that song were sung and maybe deep down wishing it to be true.  I know I have, many times.

Remembering a time while talking to my counselor yesterday, there was a time I did take a jet plane and flew out west to visit a friend.  I needed time away and was desperate to get out of my life, an escape. It was probably the worst time of my life, feeling lost and numb and wanting to walk away from everything and everybody. Trusting few as my trust in others was growing smaller and smaller.  How could I open up to a pastor or church leadership when the preaching and so forth was on faith, trust God, your joy is in the Lord, etc. Why be subjected to more pressure of not having enough faith and be disillusioned even further of my church family that seemed as distant and trustworthy as my own family.  Where do I go?

Thankfully, through these years, I knew enough and was strong enough in my Christian walk to know that the Lord was my only hope.  I have always heard through many sermons that we must know the Bible enough to grasp hold to the words as if we did not have a Bible to reference.  Plus, we cannot depend upon others to walk this Christian way for us.  I was learning that well through this dark, lonely wilderness.  I had nobody.  At times I felt invisible and walking through a maze blindly.

Since that time, I have managed and all by the Grace of God.  When I felt so alone, I knew deep down that He knew my name and He knew where I was and I had to say those words aloud so many times in desperation, “Lord, you know my name and you know where I am.”  It has been hard at times and still feeling my way through the maze of chaos and confusion but the end is in sight, I know it is. There is joy and then there is fear and sometimes they seem to slap one another within my mind.13578DBA-BF26-4992-B77D-DC5431BEBD1B

I am at a point again to escape but this time to settle some things and get a new perspective, alone.  Just me and God.  A sweet friend said the other day that she did this at a pivotal point in her life, just her and God hashing it out.  That is exactly where I am.  To escape as there has to be more and I need His direction.

966C8FC2-09BE-4567-AE40-A02F221B38AELife can be overwhelming and we can be consumed with hopelessness in situations.  If you make no changes in your circumstances, nothing will change.  We have to make a decision to want more.  I seriously started with this change back in 2014.  It seems like forever ago but there was a lot to sift through and I do not regret the time spent, financial aspect or the emotions expressed.  I am not the same person I was when I walked in my counselor’s office the first day, back in September, 2014.  I had to and you have to make a decision to start taking care of YOU.  Nobody will do this for you.

Sometimes we have to escape to find ourselves.  It’s okay!

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My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove. I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah. I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest” (Psalm 55:6-8).

https://stillnessofthemorning.wordpress.com/tag/psalm-556-8/

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I Wait

4DD5F693-E894-462A-A418-4088F4293B0DThe other day, working and running from one appointment to another after leaving work early, in hopes that everyone needs to run on schedule as I had to.  Three appointments, an hour each, everything worked perfectly.  It was a good day, the stars all lined up, as they say.

Well, until the last one. It was the third appointment, at 4:15 that I pushed to get there on time and I sat.  I waited.  I enjoyed a few mints.  I usually never dig in the candy 10AB8E47-3B46-4ECC-922E-94DEAB502A64dish although I have one on my desk that is open for guests to enjoy. I waited more, thinking the appointment my counselor was in would soon end and she would be rounding the corner to greet me.  I waited, still.  I wrote, texted, read, ate another mint and I could feel myself melt in the chair EBD01CF0-49A0-48AD-A1CD-B3BF90F9A094from tiredness of the early morning alarm and the busy day.  I was now too tired to really talk, the clock was ticking away and I finally set my time that I would leave.  I wrote a brief note and I left. I never do that either. Done.  Goodbye.

Realizing, I had somewhat of a guilty feeling to leave but I was forgotten. A fear of abandonment and rejection that normally would knock me down and cause panic within me.  A conversation my former counselor and I have had many times before.

The fear and panic that would overwhelm me, but I did not feel that this day. It was one of those shake your head moments. Now, in real time, I am actually forgotten by my present 1C50A904-3D97-4456-AD9D-9B07D5AA037Fcounselor. Oh my gosh! The ‘OMG’ panic, fear and anger was missing. Whether I was too tired or was I just frustrated, I tried to figure out.  Was it me? Did I forget or have the wrong day? Knowing this was an off day to meet due to a previous engagement, but we both agreed the week before and also confirmed in an e-mail days before. My mind tossed this and that as I drove away. Have I changed that much? Has there been a healing in this weak area of my life of fear of being left, rejected, forgotten? I even had to think of my relationship with her compared to my former counselor, is it me that I do not care enough for this counselor. I do care. There is a difference between them, of course, but that was not it either. This feeling of being forgotten before would not matter whom it was or situation.

So. What just happened? Who am I?

To definitely get the one question answered and clear, she is a great counselor also. I know, too, what happened in this circumstance, as I came on a day before my normal appointment and she just forgot to write it down. So yes, I was forgotten but instead of digging a hole of self-pity and sadness to bury myself, I accepted the fact and in the end, was right plus receiving an apology from her.

With me sitting there so patiently, I did realize I am very patient, more than most would be.  I have had a lot of practice in this area, I believe. I try to give a benefit of a doubt to people and situations but sometimes that leads to anger afterward within me. Accept, shrug your shoulders and move on. I am to E6C17036-4CAA-47BB-B48A-38A334D14F0Bthe point that my time and that it is more valuable than being concerned with things I have no control over.

I realized I apparently did pick up some tricks of the trade from my former counselor of many years, which was rewiring my brain. Just like the thoughts of ‘what if’ and I would continue down the dreaded rabbit hole of negative thinking. I did it! I came out on the other side. While I approached home and at the last traffic light, I had a brief moment where I felt the tears building, my heart rate increasing and that panic.  I recognized it and acknowledged. Fear. I was exhausted. Again, to recognize and realize, I knew she would not purposely forget me.52C92B41-EAC9-4D34-9275-36E4201969A6

 

We are not to believe every thought we have. Turn those negative thoughts or lies around.

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I was just amazed and still how that time sitting and waiting did not knock me out of the game of life and counseling. If anything, it made me stronger within myself and probably the connection between us as counselor and client.

Moving forward as I will not let this stop me.

Above all, and most importantly, I know the One that will never forget me.  He loves me. He sees me where I am.  He knows where I am going.

Same with you!  Trust Him.

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Zoom In?

D033BD35-324B-4B9F-85AD-CB34C5C90FDESmile, you are on camera.

These days, I sense ‘frown’ you are on camera. They are everywhere. While very handy, they can also be intrusive.

I have cameras inside and outside of my home. I get that. Our cell phones can take great pics and I like that until used wrongly.

Where I am going with this, is in the church and those emotional moments at the altar or in worship.1486566F-A67C-4548-8816-9D2414A8F116

I don’t mind the cameras rolling to get the service so the service can be shown for many to view to shut-ins, around the world to spread the Gospel, to watch again, etc.  What I do mind whether it be me or others, please get that camera out of my face and allow my private time in prayer or worship whether in the congregation and especially at the altar.  630FBAFC-E0B4-4D5B-8A99-C2EAA3243044

Then you know the cell phones and in church. People feel they can video or snap pics of the same.  Please have respect.

One service I was at, one heavy set woman was touched by God and she was worshiping. I could see her fat jiggling as she was dancing and joyful, being touched by the Lord. I was happy for her but would have been mortified if she knew behind the scene, the cell phone camera.  The mother and daughter in front of me were giggling and videotaped this of her.  I was livid. No wonder I do not move out in such services.  There are other reasons but the cameras are hindering the move of God, not just in me but for many, which is not right.

Many, as I stated, not just me feel the same. They, too, will stay seated and not move anywhere the camera might zoom in.  The altar for one, and the most important place of a church.

Respect! Where has it gone?

15CB6338-7CDA-4FE4-888A-28DB1CECF8B9This past weekend, I was at a great ladies conference and while no large camera was rolling, I saw many cell phones out and being used more and more as the conference continued.  It was like, monkey see monkey do.

I would say that many would be intimidated by such and freeze. This action halts the flow of the Holy Spirit. While we should not hinder His move, it does.  To bring this up, it goes in one ear and out the other of those in leadership. Sad.

I myself attend a late church service when I know no camera is used and it is less drama and theatrics.  I know some love the spotlight and I understand the 3E63E732-FAFC-4D5B-8670-3810AD8D6CEEplatform of those to be on camera, close shots, etc., but the congregation in worship and prayer, it is not the place.  To cover the whole service from the back of the sanctuary is sufficient and still allows a freedom.

This is my pet peeve, as you can tell, but I have heard so many say the same.  How about you?  What are your thoughts?  Do you experience the same?

Please be considerate and respectful during such spiritual moments. Reconsider your camera use. If your church and mine and video techs are zooming in on the ugly cries, please stop.

6301DAB7-F907-4F46-8F7C-5E945BB9D65AThe ugly cry. What is it? Urban Dictionary defines it as “a type of crying that feels really good and really bad at the same time.” But it’s more than just that. In an article for New Republic, Rachel Vorona Cote writes that “to ‘ugly cry’ means to weep so fervidly that one’s face contorts in ostensibly unattractive ways.”  

These days, more than ever, people need God. Those camera moments can be made from a distance and the message received for the hearts to receive instead.  Newcomers are fearful enough and dealing with sinful matters that they do not need to fear this, too.  Even professed Christians are dealing with matters, we all are, so let’s pull back the cameras and let God move.

Let God move on the hearts of those in attendance. Please!

We all need a move of God more than ever in our lives and in our churches.

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Give Me Your Pen

For whatever reason, I guess after discussing with my present counselor last week because I am coming up on my one-year anniversary from my former counselor, I am still grieving.  While I am blessed to have my present counselors, I sure miss my former one of four years. Still, I am moving forward and as they say, life goes on.

Being one that has dealt with feelings of abandonment throughout my life and understanding that fact in those four years, I recognized things about myself. Those moments of I do this or I do that, all of which were coping mechanisms I managed to use and still as an older adult, they appear.  I never knew the effects of such until then so the last five years I have been getting to know myself, the good, bad and ugly and understanding the whys in life.

It has been almost a year since a session with former counselor, as I stated. When meeting regularly, weekly sessions usually, I found myself in a panic and feeling the abandonment before she would go on vacation. I thought a week or God forbid, fourteen days were forever. The anxiousness and CDCC0BB6-758F-4B2E-8CE1-CD64A17BF769unsettledness was ever-so present. I counted down the days until her return.  To help me and I shared with her, I installed a timer app on my phone, I still use it.  My coping mechanism, as it keeps track so my mind can be somewhat at ease of not counting.  With this, I can just look at the time, acknowledge my thoughts and feelings, cry if I need to and move forward.  Technology in this sense shows me I made it, some days were rough and have been, but I was and I am moving forward. It’s what works for you to bring calmness.

We discussed this matter many times before and after vacation periods. Many times, and being one dealing with abandonment, a physical item such as a pen is helpful to hold onto. There were times, I wanted to ask her to give me her pen. A2807F53-426E-47CF-A4CC-F3A6A79D58A3The pen she holds that just made notes about me in her file because of the connection between us.

While that pen was an inanimate item, it would have given me a part of her to hold onto.  I would give it back upon her return.  I would be keeping her pen safe with me and I felt safe, as she was still with me.  Abandonment sucks. 9B2A83DB-B250-48D0-AD89-CDFD39EC7C32How sad it is to consider that a little girl, now older woman still clings to such. What happened in that little girl’s life to hold on for dear life to such objects? Maybe one day, when the Lord feels the time is right, I will know exactly why and mostly, what happened to cause such a deep root to still rear its ugly head.  Abandonment in love, emotional neglect was definitely evident.

As crazy as this is, it is somewhat normal, especially one with abandonment in their past.  This was part of my coping mechanism then and still.  Just as in this pen, it is a bonding between us and serves as a way to calm the anxiety within me, just meaning she is still with me.  It’s a transitional object, such as a security blanket for a young child.

As I researched, the weighted blanket that many use nowadays, it calms the anxiety within.  Not saying it is due to abandonment but anxiety can disrupt life.  Anxiety sucks, too!

Whether it be an inanimate object, timer on my phone, a ACDE0AED-5710-49AF-BE61-507DFC2DD64Fphoto, these were typical of me through life and sadly still.  I know the three hundred and sixty-fifth day is approaching since our last session.  My grieving is present still, I acknowledge that.  Will I see her again for a session? No. It is just my coping skill to get through the loss, sadness and hopefully healing as I see this pattern and know I have made it and I will make it.

My time with her was definitely orchestrated by God in those four years. Many times her wisdom and expertise in her field along with her sweet and caring nature and at times stern comments, I grew and will always be thankful.  The Lord knew I needed her as my life became very hopeless in past situations for years, she was my lifeline. Understanding of the past and present became real to me so I can look forward to the future.  88A1B105-FCFA-40D6-855E-87E449118E91

There was a bonding between us.  I can acknowledge, as I did when in session before or after her plans for a leave on vacation that there was a panic within me that happens, which is abandonment.  I did not take her pen but I wanted to each time, or some object.  I survived even though anxiety was apparent.

Today, I can also acknowledge that abandonment became real when she left her counseling position abruptly.  Not only discussing it but also experiencing it by her.  A real life sink or swim moment came into effect dealing with the emotions, thoughts and even anger.  Most importantly, I am still thankful of our time together.

FA259C47-230E-4B65-B0DD-940CC9A03161If you have dealt with loss and lack of love in childhood or as an adult, you will understand me.  It’s real.  It’s real hard, too.  Through it, you have to learn to care for yourself, re-parent yourself, get in touch with your inner child and just love and appreciate yourself.  Do I have all that together?  No, but I do know now what I am dealing with and what I lacked and taking one day at a time.

I am worth it and above all else, I have had to fully trust the Lord moreso, as He loves ME and He will never leave me.

You are worth it and I pray that you put your whole trust in the Lord, as He loves YOU and He will not leave you either.

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Fear Upon Me

Fear.  Nothing new to me.

Faith.  Nothing new to me either.

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It’s distinguishing them is the trick sometimes.  Thankfully, I am full aware of the feelings both bring.  Fear brings chaos within me and faith is peaceful. I try to rein in those when I have a decision to make or situation before me.  Easy enough, it seems.

BE819327-CB9F-4226-877C-707DF6EBDAEBToday, I had read about a pastor that committed suicide and the focus was on the anti-depressant drugs.   How sad.  Then my mind went to my son who was prescribed anti-depressant medication this past month.  He is doing great so I have faith that this was a good turnaround for him but then reading this post, fear immediately went into action.

I also thought of a friend and her husband committed suicide and there, too, there was anti-depressant medication involved.  My head was swirling with fear and questions and unable to do a thing, as my son is of age to make his own decisions.

50FF3085-BE03-4342-8C23-FD9E726A6A25Oh how I miss the Tonka truck days and dirt tracked in the house, a house full of their friends and feeling like a short-order cook.  I have no control.  I have no say.

I do know he is doing better and it has been great to have my happy, talkative son again.  I missed him.  I do believe medication is good and in his case, a definite.  It’s the ‘what if’ questions and fear that I have to fight against in my own life for him.  The meds are helping (faith) but what if he contemplates suicide from them (fear).

Working through my fears and thoughts as I am mopping the floor feeling stressed, it was when I prayed.  Lord, I have no control.  You know all about my son, you have your hand upon him and always have had.  You know his counselor and the doctor prescribing this drug to him  Please protect him.  I have to give him to You yet again.  Peace came.

How many mothers (parents) deal with this or similar all the time, day after day?  I have to trust and put my faith in the Lord.  I have to basically do the same with my son, as he is grown.  He has to make choices and hopefully wise decisions.    CC208DCD-8735-4E46-84C0-A7A1E99C81BA

What I can do is continue to pray for and encourage my son, which I do.

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Perhaps you have dealt with the same or similar, and still.   It’s not easy.  Perhaps you have dealt with or know someone that suicide took a life.  Devastating.  All I know is to trust the Lord and in that, too, anger might be present.  It’s normal.  Perhaps not what you wanted or expected with your child’s life or whatever situation you may be facing.

Many years ago, I had a situation, and I was angry and with God.  It was when I confessed and screamed that out to Him, while I thought it was crude, I also grew in my faith.  Seriously, He knows we or that I was angry anyway, so I might as well confess it.  Life can give us some hurdles but it is trusting Him through them.

Being a parent is not always an easy task, no matter what age but it is the most rewarding.

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When You’re Angry at God