Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Burdensome

You know what I hate? People who speak for other people.

"She's already got enough going on."
"If you keep asking her to do stuff for you, she won't be your friend."
"You can't make them to do that. It's not fair."

If you're trying to make me feel guilty, congratulations, it worked!

These things have actually been said to me. First of all, I want to point out that the people in these scenarios are all adults, and, get this, can say NO. A friend (who I've never asked for anything) once said that "if you can't say no to a person, you have no right saying yes." I don't think I need to say any more about that.

But these barbs, as simple and non-offensive and helpful as you may believe they are, hurt. And I'll tell you why...I SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THINGS FOR MYSELF is what I hear along with the teacher of Peanuts fame. "Wah. Wah. Wah. You're no good. You ask for too much. You're in the way. Ain't no one got time for that." If I didn't add that last one, I'd be crying.

There goes another piece of my independence. *waves* Toodles. As if I already don't have a constant reminder that things are declining and life is getting tougher...you're giving me another one. Well, aren't you kind...

I personally have enough trouble keeping track of my own life to play my sister's keeper for anyone else. And I certainly don't want to put anyone in a position where they "have" to do something. No one HAS to do diddly squat for me! Nor do I expect anyone to cater to me. Besides, I'm a resourceful gal, I can figure out how to get something done on my own...or get myself anywhere I need to go. I have a Masters' for goodness sakes! I also worked in a Center for INDEPENDENT Living for 2 years. If I'm really in a bind, THEN I'll ask for a hand...or ride...and 9 times out of 10, I find someone happy to help. That's the definition of a friend!!!

One more thing: why is it not okay for me to ask someone "with a full plate" for help, but for you, it's all good? Is it because I'm getting in your way...taking time away from you?

I've often wondered why I even bother to think of asking for help, if I'm only going to feel like a nuisance doing so.

So often I forget that these are lies of the enemy (well, the self-depricating parts). God doesn't see me that way at all. I don't bother Him, and I know that He loves me enough to put people in my path who will say "sure, I'd be glad to help."

God has been taking me on a journey of healing these last almost 2 years. Physical healing, healing in my spiritual life, healing damaged and/or broken emotions, and healing relationships (that's a biggie...it ranks up there with healing from the sting of unrequited love, or as I like to call it, my life). I can't say I've enjoyed it, it definitely hasn't been easy, but I am in a much better place then I was when I first got here. I went from whining and moaning about how I didn't want to be here to being happy where God has me. I'd call that a success any day. And here's the most awesome thing: God's not done!

Monday, October 7, 2013

not a happy camper

I need to get this blogging absence stuff under control...or under a schedule. I like schedules...and belly rubs.
Okay...belly rubs, not so much. Hmmm...treats? Yeah! I do like treats. I'll admit, this is a happy camper picture...but because I'm annoying like that, I like to throw people off. Actually, I just realized that the 4 of you reading this (myself included...twice) don't care. You'd rather I just get to the point. But if I did that, this post would end up being two sentences long.

I'm really not a happy camper. I've fallen 3 times in the past 2 weeks...and the paramedics had to come twice. I think that they have a special service or whatever that just helps people get off the floor. Maybe I should put that on speed dial. And it's an ingenious idea...because this has happened to me at least four times. That would be at least $200 of the government's hard earned money (since I have to pay at least $50 per ambulance call)! But in today's society, would it really be hard earned? I don't do politics and government stuff, so I digress...

I was really going somewhere with this falling thing, but, if you haven't learned by now, you have to be patient with me -- I will eventually meander back to the topic at hand. Since falling (or, as I like to call it: 'body checking the pavement') has become a more frequent occurrence these days, we (my family & I) have agreed that it would be a good idea to use my walker full time. That's like one of the last pieces of my independence! I always say 'at least I can still walk'. How long until that's not true anymore? And after that lovely day, the challenges still continue! I'm sorry to be such a whiny baby...well, maybe I'm not. We all face challenges and limitations. I'm not saying mine are worse than other people's...I'm not wishing for a different set of circumstances (although, if God were to decide to heal me, that'd be cool)...or even a different life; all I'm saying is that this bites! It reminds me that no one really has any idea what the hell I actually HAVE...and so therefore it could be fatal...it could be curable...it could be treated completely differently than it is right now...who knows? Yes, I know God does...but it's going to be a few days until that brings me any comfort.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crushing Loneliness

I realize that isn't the most uplifting post title for a 4 month absence, but it has really been on my mind lately. I'm not one of those poker face types...my face reads like a book, and when I am sad or mad or annoyed, my face and body language will tell you, even if words don't.

I'm stuck in the past...no arguing that fact. If I hear a song or see something, it may trigger a memory that cuts so deep; I'll have to change the station/channel. I'm thinking that's not normal. Nor is taking 5 years to grieve the loss of someone. But that's how I am...not normal (in many other areas besides this one...but that's a separate blog all in itself) and it takes me a long time to get over things.

It's during these times of extreme sadness and brokenness that I am tempted to (and have) call out to God and shout "where are You? Don't You care that I'm hurting?" and my personal favorite: "how do You expect me to trust You if You won't save me?"

I've been stuck there for a super long time and have often wondered the point of my being alive. There are times when I feel like such a burden to others (both physically and emotionally) that I feel guilty because I think it's unfair to ask someone to help me up when they have themselves and their families to take care of.

I recently read that sometimes God brings you to a place of such darkness, such sadness, such brokenness, that the ONLY place you can go is to Him. Sometimes He'll even take away a "best friend" and not replace or bring them back until He's in that place. While it's true (or so I've heard/read. I have quite worked it out for myself) that God will replace what He has asked you to let go of, it's in HIS timing, not ours. Sometimes that's the worst part of it; we don't know God's timetable...nor will we ever. That completely contradicts today's "gotta have it yesterday" society.

I just have to believe I'll be okay...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Trust

I think my book reviewing days are behind me...I'll probably stick a random review in here and there, though :)

Okay, onto the "real" post...

Trust is something that keeps coming up for me. It's one of those words I don't like much. I'm not good at it.

I've been reading a book by Jerry Bridges - "Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts". I'm almost halfway through it and the main point so far is the sovereignty of God and knowing that God's hand is in everything; including natural disasters and illnesses, along with the good stuff.

First off, I wanted to get the definition of sovereignty: "rightful status, independence, or prerogative

Prerogative. Huh. I've been spelling it wrong all these years. It means: an exclusive right, privilege, etc., exercised by virtue of rank, office, or the like.

(thanks to dictionary.com for the definitions. There were a few others, but I found these most fitting)

When it comes to the "bad" stuff; because, let's face it, those are the times when many people find it hard to trust, God is not responsible, but He allows it to happen (usually for His glory). The hardest part for me is not understanding why. In some cases, that is. It's weird because I completely understand why I have physical problems. I would not be as understanding or have a heart to work with others with disabilities if I weren't disabled myself. Not that I always like that explanation, mind you. Especially when I'm left out of doing things because I can't walk much. Or when people get annoyed or impatient with my inability to do simple tasks that never caused a problem in the past.

But when it comes to the depression, I am at a complete loss. I don't think constant crying and sadness are helpful to anyone at all. And it's such a nuisance...especially living with people who don't understand.

I sure hope God's getting some glory out of this, because I sure as heck don't think I'm doing anything helpful.

I'm so used to dealing with these parts of my life, that I'm not sure I'd be me without them, so I've never prayed for healing. Bridges brings up an interesting question regarding this very idea: "can I trust God whether or not he straightened my "crook" (crookedness) and relieved my distress?"

and sometimes God's answer to our pleading to be set free from an infirmity is "no". In a fiction book I read recently ("The Moment Between" by Nicole Baart), one of the characters said this regarding God removing her mental illness. I think a more inclusive way to phrase Bridges' question is : "are we willing to accept and trust in God's sovereignty over situations?"

Lastly, Bridges makes an interesting point: it is more difficult to trust than obey. I agree with that selectively. Sometimes they're equally as difficult, especially if I'm unsure that God really told me to do something (which I usually am).

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book review: Until Forever

It seems that every time I try to create a new blog, it doesn't work for one reason or another. I just need to take the hint and stick with the two blogs I already have. That being said, here is the first (and only) entry from my well-intentioned book blog:

Ever since I got a Kindle last year for my birthday, I seem to be making up for all the reading I never did while I was in school.

My original intent in having a book blog was to ramp up my reading of non-fiction books and write an entry per chapter...BUT there would end up being months between entries. I just don't like reading non-fiction...

Anyway, a fiction review for you (and a rhyme as well :))


Until Forever - 3 stars
by Darlene Shortridge

Summary (as found on goodreads):

It was something she would never forgive herself for…

It wasn’t until lunchtime that Jessi remembered to call home. No answer. She tried calling several times while she ate her lunch. Still no answer. She closed her eyes and rested her arms and head on her desk. She breathed deeply, wishing she had remembered to call earlier.

Until Forever is a story of a young family that is torn apart by the devastating effects of alcoholism. Can healing take place in a relationship when an unforgivable act is committed? Will Jessi's pain and Mark's guilt keep them apart forever, or will unforeseen circumstances bind them together?





I wavered between giving this book two stars or three. I went with three because I liked the story and the characters. When I first found this book on the free list for the kindle, I was super happy. I've seen firsthand the damage alcoholism can do to/in a family. And the synopsis intrigued me.

Like I said, the story was good and the characters were likeable. And, of course, I was happy to see the Jessi and Mark got back together. However, I was disappointed with the writing. There were hopping POVs (many within the same paragraph), too many POVs (i.e. the Sunday school teacher's POV was unnecessary), and I wasn't sure who and what to pay attention to. found some of the character's actions (namely Olivia's) to be unbelievable. She was too perceptive for a five (going on six)-year-old. She understood things about Jesus and God that many adults don't get. Like God telling her not to tell her mom she could read...I'm not sure I buy that God would talk to a child on that deep a level. I'm not saying it's impossible...but some background into why would have helped.

Too many thoughts, feelings, and conversations were quickly skipped over without getting into what motivated a character to say or do something. For example, the process of Jessi forgiving Mark for killing their son. One page - he doesn't deserve forgiveness and she doesn't trust him; ten pages later - their daughter's spending the night at his house? Some internal (or external) dialoging would have expanded the story and given the characters more depth. Also, the ignition mechanism, or whatever it was that Mark had to use to be able to drive again. I have no idea what that is. Authors can't assume that a person knows what they know.

Lastly, it was a little too preachy and plastic-y, in my opinion. In my experience, the real world does not always yield strong convictions and the time or will to pray and read the Bible as much as these people did. When Mark decided to move from Oklahoma City to Wisconsin, he was convinced it was in God's will -- bing, bang, boom. He didn't even ask God or seek wise counsel from friends/pastors. He decided what he wanted to do and everyone agreed with him? I need to find those friends then because that has never happened to me!

There are some other things that didn't sit right with me, but I don't want to turn this into a book bashing. I'm not sure I'd read it again, but I'm not sorry I did.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Being present

One of my biggest problems is living in the past...or future. I'm hardly (if ever) in the present. I don't enjoy being with the ladies (and some gents) from church because my mind is swimming in the waters of what used to be. I'm not making new friends here because I'm waiting to go back. I can't get it right, which only causes me MORE pain. So, how do I soak in what's happening TODAY?

I have tried so many different things to do that and nothing has brought me any real success. I think we all do future planning to some extent, but there's a fine line between planning and obsession and I always get caught on the wrong side.

One of the "planning" exercises I find myself doing is deciding the next thing I'm going to say in a conversation when the other person is talking. I've heard a number of people say they do it too, so I know I'm not alone. Being in the majority is fine and dandy, but the problem comes in that we are not really listening to people; thereby sending the message that they don't deserve a basic human decency: the right to be heard.

I have to make a very conscious effort to tell myself not to do that. I guess that's an effective way to stop doing a lot of things. The hard part comes in training myself to tell myself no. I bet this is how "taking every thought captive to Jesus" starts. Seems like a daunting process.

Thought for the day (or week or until I blog again): Are we incapable of being alive and content in the present moment?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Idolatry

I told myself I wasn't going to use another devotional to fill my blog entries, but this was too much of a reality check to ignore:

What Lies Beneath

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” — Exodus 20:2-3

Idolatry isn't just one of many sins; rather it’s the one great sin that all others come from. So if you start scratching at whatever struggle you’re dealing with, eventually you’ll find that underneath it is a false god. Until that god is dethroned, and the Lord God takes his rightful place, you will not have victory. Idolatry isn't an issue; it is the issue. All roads lead to the dusty, overlooked concept of false gods. Deal with life on the glossy outer layers, and you might never see it; scratch a little beneath the surface, and you begin to see that it’s always there, under some other coat of paint. There are a hundred million different symptoms, but the issue is always idolatry. 

That’s why, when Moses stood on Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments from God, the first one was, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3). When God issued this command during the time of Moses, the people were familiar with a lot of other gods. God’s people had spent more than four hundred years in Egypt as slaves. Egypt was crowded with gods. They had taken over the neighborhood— literally. The Egyptians had local gods for every district. Egypt was the Baskin-Robbins of gods. You could pick and choose the flavors you wanted. 

The Bible’s paradigm is different. When we hear God say, “You will have no other gods before me,” we think of it as a hierarchy: God is always in first place. But there are no places. God isn’t interested in competing against others or being first among many. God will not be part of any hierarchy. He wasn't saying “before me” as in “ahead of me.” A better understanding of the Hebrew word translated “before me” is “in my presence.”

God declines to sit atop an organizational flowchart. He is the organization. He is not interested in being president of the board. He is the board. And life doesn't work until everyone else sitting around the table in the boardroom of your heart is fired. He is God, and there are no other applicants for that position. There are no partial gods, no honorary gods, no interim gods, no assistants to the regional gods. 

God is saying this not because he is insecure but because it’s the way of truth in this universe, which is his creation. Only one God owns and operates it. Only one God designed it, and only one God knows how it works. He is the only God who can help us, direct us, satisfy us, save us. 

As we read Exodus 20, we see that the one true God has had it with the imitation and substitute gods. So God tells the nation of Israel to break up the pantheon; send it home. All other god activity is cancelled. He makes sure the people understand that he is the one and only. He is the Lord God. 

You may be thinking, Thanks for the history lesson, but that was a long time ago. After all, in our time, the problem doesn't appear to be that people worship many gods; it’s that they don’t worship any god. Yet my guess is that the list of our gods is longer than theirs. Just because we call them by different names doesn't change what they are. We may not have the god of commerce, the god of agriculture, the god of sex, or the god of the hunt. But we do have portfolios, automobiles, adult entertainment, and sports. If it walks like an idol, and quacks like an idol . . .

This seemed to come up right when I needed it.  I've been trying to lose weight for a few months now. I was doing good for a while, especially since I joined a weight loss support group at church, but lately I've been eating everything in sight. I kinda feel like I've gained 500lbs. My clothes still fit, though, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

I read that devotional today and realized I was trying to lose the weight and eat right because of the group...it has become my god. Their opinion of me is more important than glorifying the real God, which is the best (and only reason)...health is right up there as well, but in order to be successful, I need to do it for God...not me. My body is His temple, I need to take care of it.

The only thing is that I'm not interested in doing that. I've been asking God and asking God to help me stop wanting to eat 24/7 (while stuffing a cookie in my mouth -- sad, but true), and I don't seem to be getting an answer or help or ANYTHING. I realize that God will not take anything until I freely give it to Him...but I'm not there and I can't seem to get there.

I think my best bet is to stop the group for awhile and get on the right track. Please pray that I can get through this :) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Anger

Lately my anger (at EVERYTHING) has become more than a nuisance...it's gotten out of control. I've always had a problem with anger, but in the past, I've been able to be (semi-) rational about it. Holding it in, even. Now I've just gotten absolutely ridiculous...yelling at inanimate objects, dogs, myself...

I had a little reprieve last week. I was talking to God (not really praying, but talking...that's another blog for another day) about this problem, and asked Him to help me WANT to change. That seemed to last for a little while. I felt peace; maybe even some joy. But now I'm feeling that monster creeping up inside me again....

I mentioned in an earlier post that depression is the result of being stuck in the past...well I've also heard (or read) that depression is anger turned inward. Is this like a two-for-one special or something? No wonder I'm miserable 99% of the time.

Okay, so where is all this anger coming from? That's what I'd like to know! My father was a very angry man, but I think it's more that just bad genes. His anger is not the issue though. Well, maybe it is...what if his death, in part, is due to the toll his anger took on him?

I don't want to die from the side effects of anger. What a crappy way to go. Not that there's really any good way to die...

What if my anger is keeping me from truly being saved? Is that even possible? I get angry when I think about reading the Bible and praying. God most certainly must not like that...the two things most closely related to Him and I avoid them because of the bad feelings they cause. There's really something wrong with that...

There are times when I don't even WANT to change this. It makes me sad...like I'm disappointing Him. Where am I supposed to go from here?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reversing Autopilot

At least I know when to throw in the towel. The depression blog wasn't going too well, so I just merged it with this one. It all seemed to relate anyway...my screwed up existence. That's what it feels like sometimes. I'm just OTF - Out There Flapping

That being said, there have been several changes I've wanted to make in my life recently:

~Lose weight/Stop being "hungry" (and no more eating when I'm not)

~Exercise/be more active during the day

~Read my Bible more/consistently

~Write everyday

~Stop being depressed

This last one is a biggie for me. I keep trying to stop the sadness, to get better





Always...


With my futile attempts to get better comes the realization that I am indeed worse. Worse than what? Someone without depression. Someone with depression. Maybe just worse. Well, to be fair...I really wasn't that great a year ago. I don't understand how I could have been stable for all these years and suddenly I'm not anymore. It feels like an excuse to say that the meds aren't working anymore. I'm just doing a crappy job dealing with life situations properly. What is wrong with me?





Isn't this the truth! Most of the time, I really don't. Even though I was diagnosed with it almost 18 years ago, I still don't have a firm grasp on what this depression is doing to me. Why it feels so different. Sometimes I feel like a freak. Like I'm on "The Truman Show", only this is no movie. There's no escape from the thoughts in my head. And these thoughts bother me...make me angry. Who gets angry over dumb stuff like not liking a movie (i.e. Twilight)?

Anyway...

The whole reason for me getting into this is because of a devotional email I got today about trying to change things on my own. Simply put, without God's help, none of the stuff on my to-do list (above) will ever get done. Especially when I'm trying to force a change...which is what I do.

"I just won't eat when I feel hungry."
"I'll make myself walk more."
"I WILL get this chapter written today."

Of course, none of that ends up happening because it feels wrong...then there's anger. All because I'm trying to reverse my autopilot (the part of me the cruising along with minimal effort) by myself.

It's not always easy, but asking God for the strength and will to change has to be the first part of the change. The rest will fall into place as long as it lines up with His will .

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nowhere But Up

I just finished reading Nowhere But Up by Pattie Mallette, who just happens to be Justin Bieber's mom. I'm a little too old to be obsessed to the point of fainting and crying hysterically when he's mentioned, but the kid's got talent...REAL talent.

I had the amazing opportunity to meet Pattie when I went to the Women of Faith conference in Orlando last year. I also got a free, autographed book, that was free...I love free! After she spoke, I was interested in her book, but had already spent WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY over my limit and couldn't afford anything else. I never really thought of it before now, but God blessed me...not only with a free book and a chance to meet someone famous (which most of the world knows since I bragged about it on facebook as well as to everyone I know...more than once), but with truths I needed to hear and things I need to face. And as yucky and un-fun as that sounds, I know I won't truly feel better until I do. Which is why I feel that my blog is the best place to be...well...real.

I think the one thing I was always afraid of is being honest with God...laying it all out there. I don't know why...He knows it all already. Not like it's a big surprise to him. As Pattie was talking about her struggles and how she came to find God, I noticed a lot of similarities between her and I. With a few differences sprinkled in for good measure.

To start, I was raised a Catholic...went to Catholic school, church on Sunday, sang in the choir (God help us all!). I'm not exactly sure what my parents believed and I can't ask them (but, man, what I would give to be able to), but I believed in God...and a little too much in sin. Everything I did 'wrong' was a sin, and I was going to hell...not kneeling when I pray, coughing during church, resting my butt on the pew behind me when kneeling at church. After actually typing all that out, I can now see where my being so anal stemmed from. To me, religion was legalistic...not a relationship...not love.

I went on this way pretty much through the end of high school, and in college, I realized that I didn't have to go to church every week, so I didn't. In grad school, I started to really question and figure out who God is...and whether I wanted him in my life.

That was a very abbreviated testimony because the important stuff (relating to the book) comes more recently, but I wanted to give a short background. Anyway, when I got saved in 2002 (sometimes I wonder whether I really am), there was no big hoopla...no ta-da...I wasn't "on fire" (I don't think I've ever been). In fact, I think I enjoyed the attention I received from friends more than anything. But one thing was different: God was back on my radar. I learned that He was more than just some hot-shot in the sky (hopefully I won't be struck down while writing this), but He actually wanted to know about me, cared about me. Here's where the honesty kicks in. I'm not sure I believe that. I mean really believe it...not just know it in my head. I believe that it's true for others...

The one thing I want more than anything is to be married (well, okay...have one date -- yes, embarrassing tidbit -- I've never been out on a date...never been kissed). The way I write it off in my mind is that God is so busy giving others picture-perfect lives, there's nothing left for me. Then guilt sets in:

You're not a true Christian

...not praying hard enough, not reading the Bible like you should, still listening to secular music, have no faith...

God doesn't want this for you...if He did, you wouldn't be disabled. You'd be more attractive. You wouldn't be a loser in her mid-thirties who sits around all day writing about teenagers who have the chances you will never have

I promise you, this is not a pity party...in fact the LAST thing I want is for someone to feel sorry for me. We all have our crosses to bear and I'm so not excluded from that. So please, don't feel sorry for me. And the first "Awww...you poor thing. You are beautiful. God loves you. I'll pray for you" I hear will be knocked through the window.

No, I don't want pity...I just want to be able to say how I feel sometimes. I feel like God isn't listening, He doesn't care, I'm not doing enough to reach Him, He's upset because I don't read my Bible everyday, He's mad that I don't trust Him, mad because I don't know if I truly love Him, mad that I haven't won any souls over...the list can go on and on. And usually does in my head.

One thing Pattie said when she was talking about her move from Canada to Atlanta at the start of Justin's career is that she missed home so much at times, it physically hurt...that's me. I'm a lot...A LOT...better than I was at this time last year, but I still get teary and wistful...it doesn't seem fair that I had to be completely uprooted and give up all my friends while he gets to stay there, nice and comfy and not have to change a damn thing!

It's been a year and this still hasn't gone away! I'm depressed, anxious, moody and tired of dealing with these feelings. Some days, I feel like I should have just stayed in "that" part of the hospital and some days, I really want to go back there. It's these times when I feel like God is off giving someone I went to high school with another baby to make their already perfect family even more beautiful.

Even I'll admit, that now it really sounds like I want pity, but I really don't. And in my head, I know that this is all satan and I shouldn't be led by my feelings anyway, but you know what? I don't want to hear it! I want to be mad and pissy...not because I have a right to or deserve it (I don't deserve diddly squat at this point) but because I am mad. I am pissy.

Though my words suggest otherwise, I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to everyone

Monday, January 21, 2013

Forgiveness


Are you "tortured" by an unforgiving spirit? Ephesians 4:32 has the answer: Meditate on Christ's forgiveness. There is no better way to cultivate your own.
In my email today was a devotion about forgiveness. This last line hit me hard. I never thought I had an issue with unforgiveness, but I suppose I do. Yes, there is a person I need to forgive; but more importantly is forgiving myself. Especially for things that aren't my fault.

I think that if I offend or anger someone, I need to make up for it...specifically by buying something. It's the only way that I feel I am worth something...spending my money to buy people things...food, music, movie tickets, etc. I can't fathom that I have something to offer besides money.

But that won't work on myself. I'd rather be mad at myself than other people because I can control it and "pay for what I did wrong."  It's easier to torture myself and be mad at me rather than others because I feel guilty for being mad at others in my life. Deeper than that, the other person probably doesn't care if I'm angry, hurt, or offended because of them. That knowledge often hurts more than the anger I started with. And I can't "buy" my own forgiveness. I deserve to be tortured.

That sounds like unforgiveness to me. Do I think I know more than God? Meaning...He forgave me (the Almighty Creator; King of the world), but I think I'm not worthy. That puts it in perspective. I never want to assume I know better than God, but I am assuming just that.

I need to forgive myself...easier said than done though.

Today I will remember that my failure to forgive myself is a prideful choice to not receive your grace.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Goodbye, 2012!

Time really flew by. Usually after I blog, I get revved up and can't wait to do it again. This time, not so much. I just couldn't get into the flow of it. Possibly because I didn't want to write about things and rehash all those memories in my mind. Writing forces me to think...really think things through, and I was getting to the point that I just wanted to forget...I didn't want to be sad anymore.

I'm moving on...I'm happy to be where I am. Mostly. Every once in awhile, fragments of the times I had in LOL and Tampa poke through and the sadness threatens to swallow me whole. It's in these times that I wonder: where is God? Why am I devastated, on the brink of inconsolable, while he has moved on with no problem? Even thinking about it now makes me well up. I often feel that God is not doing anything and praying is not worth it.

I opened up the Bible Verses folder in my email box, and this is what I got:

Hebrews 10:35-36

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Persevering gets tiring; especially when I don't see a result. People (other Christians) say that God often works "behind the scenes" and we rarely see it. I guess that's where faith comes in; believing that God is working even when we don't see it. Maybe in 2013, I need to set a resolution to display more faith. And not just say it...but really believe it.

I think starting a new tradition in this blog might help...or give me something to write about anyway. Last year, I signed up for goodreads.com shortly before I got my kindle and I consequently developed an interest in reading. (Better late than never, huh?) It would be cool for me to review the books I've read and talk about what I am reading. Thanks to inspiredreads.com (throwing websites at you today), I have over 100 books on my kindle that I haven't had to pay for. Everyday, Inspired Reads offers great Christian fiction and non-fiction for the kindle that is FREE.

I actually paid for this book, but it's the first book I finished this year.

Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Description (from Goodreads.com):


Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.

I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend - how could I have forgotten him? - my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true - can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?
 
This book was completely different from what I expected. That's not always a bad thing, right? In this case, it's most definitely not. Dekker weaves a story of conspiracy, intrigue, and suspense. It's difficult to know who to trust and "first" impressions are not what they seem.
  
Starting off, I automatically feel for Shauna (main female character), as she has no idea where she is and while trying to get answers, her credibility is ruined by Patrice (her stepmother). From there, we are taken on a ride with Shauna and her "boyfriend" Wayne to find her missing memories. She finds that she can steal memories from others by close physical contact and a willing spirit. Shauna's journey leads her to unravel a conspiracy reaching all the way to her father, Landon, a senator.
 
I give this book 4 stars. I didn't quite get all the nuances...but I got enough to understand the "mystery"