Sad-urday

Yesterday was a sad day for me. Really tough. But fascinating.

I was a mock juror yesterday for a local mock trial firm in the Tampa area. I can’t say who I was working for or what case we were hearing. But I can say it was for a car accident working towards a civil settlement.

I should explain. Real case. Real accident. Not a real judgment or decision we were offering. It was a test before trial. The two parties involved were trying to reach a settlement and determine how a jury might find.

Needless to say, the occupants of the car had their lives changed forever oh-so many nights ago. It was hard to hear and hard to evaluate/judge. Who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s responsible and for how much.

It was a grueling almost-12-hour day for me, but a drop in the bucket compared to the families affected by the incident. Negligence was at play, on the part of the driver, along with recklessness. Many other jurors agreed.

I think we all assume too little when we undertake the responsibility of driving. We often take for granted the luxury of driving and allow ourselves to be distracted. Easily. How often do you rummage through your purse while driving one-handed? How often do your children ask about the mysteries of the universe or where their favorite toys are or if they can have some treat from the backseat while you’re navigating from Google Maps while negotiating a multi-ton vehicle on a 70 mph highway? How often are you looking for the perfect driving music on your phone or radio or CD player? Instead of 10 and 2 and using your peripheral vision to spot surprised deer, raccoons, rabbits and other cars and people!

I am a freak about my driving. I rarely let others drive me. I’m a defensive driver. Overly cautious. Sometimes too much to the frustration of my husband. I have driven professionally and pay close attention to the road. I often drive with two hands, white-knuckled! But even I make mistakes. Big mistakes.

The driver from yesterday made a big mistake. The biggest mistake a person can make. And he blamed everyone else.

That was tough.

Ever made a big mistake and instantly wanted to take it back? Ever made a big mistake and blamed the world around you, immediately, because you couldn’t accept the weight of your own idiocy? Ever made a big mistake and no one noticed, but the guilt inside ate away at you silently? For years? Ever made a big mistake and lied about it and no one ever knew?

We all fall short. We all sin. Small and big. And we all get grace. That’s tough. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. None of us deserve grace. But we’re all made in the image of God. That’s tough. Because to find God’s face in someone so evil or ugly or un-remorseful is almost impossible. Almost.

So I’m going to pray today. For that young man. For this country. For myself. For those who died. For those that will live with their mistakes and consequences. Pray for God’s will and perfect plan.

That’s tough.

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Love

Love is letting go

Of who you used to be

To fit inside the hope

Of becoming a better we.

True love is never found

Inside of someone else.

It’s a gift you give

When you sacrifice yourself.

If love is an altar

Where we bring our gifts to offer,

Then carve out that place

And make me so much softer.

I’m harsh and angry.

I’m hard and mean.

And I blame it all

On where I’ve been–what I’ve seen.

Erase that hurt.

Make me over, God.

Give me something real.

Replace this hateful fraud.

I want to love you.

I want to know you.

I want to love people.

I want to show you.

It’s hard to be vulnerable

And offer up my heart.

But asking you for help

Is a wonderful place to start.

Exorcism

I’ve got many demons.

Food addiction. PTSD. Depression. Self-esteem issues. Trust issues. Pride. Over-blown sense of fairness. Fear of people. Fear of intimacy.

These are all residuals from abuse, triggers or coping mechanisms. Haunting ghosts. My demons were born of circumstance and pain. Called upon before the age of 5. Schooled in my weakness. Summoned as experts of how to tempt, specifically, me. These are the things that will cause me to stumble and hold me back from fulfilling my purpose and destiny.

I imagine each demon:
black, faceless, with their name written across their chest, written across my existence, swirling, whispering, flowing around my body.

Floating me down some river of negativity. Holding me under from God’s intention for my life. Drowning me in doubt.

Or will they drive me to my purpose? Will I kick and spit and fight until I fly?


To my demons: Yes. I will overcome you. And in doing so, fulfill prophecy and promise. You have no idea who you’re dealing with–God.

Happy Bday, Baby

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. Happy birthday, Honey! 🙂

Guy isn’t the best husband I’ve ever met or known. But I don’t see what everyone’s husband is like at home. So, I sit and write, corrected. He may be the best. Maybe. But, for sure, he’s the best husband I’ve ever had. (I’ve only had the one.)

Guy is very caring. Listens more than most. Can be very understanding. Is emotional. Sentimental. Loving. Sexy. Affectionate! Flawed.

Temperamental! Demanding, at times. Sometimes selfish.

Guy is still the funniest person I personally know. Perhaps just as funny as most celebrities. And just as creative and talented, given the chance.

He’s brilliant, in his way. Sensitive to the world. And darn handsome IMO.

He puts up with my issues/PTSD/abuse history. He also accepts our meager living due to my artistic passions and multiple difficulties with physical and mental health.

And. Guy is striving toward a relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is his most wonderful and inspiring trait right now. I see him trying. Struggling. Holding a light of inspection over his life to see how to make it better. For me, for Lilli and for himself. But most of all, to serve God.

I see this desire. I see his yearning. I pray for him every day that it will grow and that he will change. Not for me, but for himself and for God.

I love you, Honey. I’m so glad you were born. That you survived. That you’re here with me, that we created Lilli, and that we have this place, together. I know I’m not perfect. Neither of us are. But we have each other and that’s a lot. I’m so glad your parents loved each other, created your life, and that you are here against all odds. They would be proud. And I know my mom loves you, like you were her own. So many people do love you. You have done good in the world and I praise you for that. HBD, Guy.

You saved me from a life of loneliness, isolation and destruction. Thank you.

¡Tricicleta Naranja!

I went for a morning bike ride today! Felt great. (Also! Painted my toes teal with sparkles!! 😀 Yay for glitter! It covers a multitude of mistakes. lol)

Here’s my commentary while resting on the porch at 8:53 am.

My face is very red and sweaty and freckled! My freckles pop when I’m red-faced. 🙂


The air was so sweet this morning. Humid, perfumed and tropical breezes. I had fresh morning flowers and swift coastal breezes to carry me back and forth from Sharky’s Pier. Glad to have that done and under my belt for the day. Great way to start the day.

It was difficult. But worth it.

I’ve been stuck for about a week or so. Just one of those things. I’ve had a larger appetite, so that may account for the stuckiness. I was down to 314-ish, but I determined that was an error. Did you know if you move your scale around on tile, it can weigh you differently?? Yeah. So I have picked a spot and I will always use that spot.

This morning before my bike ride I was over 324. Normal for morning before any liquid removal. 🙂 Current weight=320.8 lbs after morning exercise, breathing hard, sweating and taking of my Furosemide. I can tell I’m getting rid of more liquids now. That’s how you lose weight. Exhalation (breathing hard, seriously), sweating, and going to the loo. That’s not bad. It ain’t great, but I haven’t gone up all week. I hope that with my vigorous exercise (for me!) this morning, my body will wake up.

Also, I ran out of my med–Synthroid. We lost insurance at the end of May, so I couldn’t get a doctor to call it in. The last script was for Synthroid only. No generic. Well, Synthroid is very expensive without insurance. So I needed the generic equivalent which is Levothyroxine. I found out at least from my PCP in Missouri that I can take Levo because they tested my numbers on both Levo and Synthroid and they were the same. Good to know.

So I finally got a script of Levo and am taking it now. Only $11.90 without insurance through CVS! Thanks, CVS!! I really needed this med. Without a thyroid any more, you have to stay on Levo for life. It really does make a difference. Helps with weight loss, hormone production, body function, avoiding headaches! LOL It does everything that your thyroid does and thank God it exists. The thyroid does a lot–tiny, little, fleshy butterfly in your neck. Controls the whole body. Heart, endocrine, weight!


Thank you, God for flowers, doctors, medicine, trikes, beach, Florida, ocean, family and my body–as hapless as it may be. Thank you! God be praised. So happy to be alive and in need of medicine. So happy to have legs to hurt after bike rides. So happy to have all the little moments that make up even the worst of days.

SpiritPrayer

I’m sure, God,
Our desperate prayers
Don’t always sound
As they should.

We require
An interpreter
For our cries
To be understood.


Romans 8:26-27 NIV

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.


I prayed an angry, ugly prayer the other day, but thankfully, what God heard and what I said were two different things. The day started off bad, but quickly turned around after my desperate prayer.

statue

I forget that He is working for me, unseen. Always. He’s got it figured out before I even utter “Help!” I just need to come to him.

I do pray. Daily. But I have to admit–sometimes? It’s not as heartfelt as it could be. Or as clear as it should be. Or eloquent. Or un-profane. Or correct in any fashion.

I learned the lesson of God working unseen when I was young. From the story of Job. Job is a mess of a story, but if you can get through it, so very valuable.

I think many people think of Job as patient. The patience of Job. And he was. But he was never just totally okay with everything that was happening. He complained. A lot!

He was miserable. He sobbed. And cut himself with a broken clay pot. Dragged it over his sores. Sat in ashes. Lost his family, his house, every-thing! His wife told him to curse God and die. (Thanks, Wife!) Job cried out to God, “Why?? Why me??” (Why did you give me this wife?? lol) Complained to his friends. Rejected their flawed reasoning and comfort. But Job never cursed God. Or turned his back. And there’s the difference.

Job’s body was probably pocked with scars. From head to toe. And emotional scars as well. Job had every reason to curse God and die. Job had wealth beyond compare, a happy family life and then fell a long way down. When he thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. And he got frustrated. Desperate. Wrong-headed. Subjected to and influenced by bad reasoning.

I think we can get frustrated. Desperate. But the key is to always turn to God. To His power. Submit to His control. Never turn your back and say, “God doesn’t exist.” or “God has no power.” If you say that, then that will be true. God has no power where you will not allow it.

Submitting to the process is hard. Crazy. Ugly. Seemingly not worth it. But. In the end, all you can ever do.

Trust. It’s never over until it is. And it’s always darkest before the dawn. Trusting is hardest when you don’t understand how it can get better. But it always does. Eventually.

Job 42
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters…15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.


If you’re going through hell, keep going. –Winston Churchill

Paul, the Know-it-all

This morning in church,
Tried to listen for your will.
But my heart simply fluttered
Off the window sill.

She flew over
The hanging cloud.
She made her way back
When Pastor prayed out loud.

When they prayed for change,
I searched my mind.
What do I want?
What is there to find?

Paul.

I hate this guy.
I hate this Paul.
He’s way too intense.
A self-righteous know-it-all.

Why would I want to be him?

Paul was passionate.
A hard-core monk.
And all-too-ready
To unpack his junk.

He was confident.
A writer.
A traveler.
A speaker.
Uncompromising
And truly a seeker.

Courageous and bold.
Boaster of weakness.
Loyal and hungry.
Submitter to meekness.

I want to be a Paul.
Tamer of sin.
Lover of all.
Overcome where I’ve been.

Saul was blinded.
But Paul can see.
Struck by Jesus.
Suddenly set free.

Saul had everything.
Or so he thought.
But Paul understood
How grace is wrought.

It’s not something to study.
Or something to attain.
It simply falls
Like a gentle rain.

You can’t buy it.
It’s not earned or learned.
It is experienced.
Selfish life turned.

You either kneel in the fullness
Of Jesus’ shed blood.
Or stand with fear
Of the impending flood.

Paul chose against his past.
Saul repented from his brilliant plan.
Paul rose to the impossible task.
Saul was buried by Paul’s own hand.

“Die to yourself and follow me.”
That’s what I want.

Trouble

I’ve heard some friends and bloggers talk about their weakness, illness or sadness today. I am praying for you. I hear you. God is by you. Do not despair.

Haiku for You


Thankful for trouble.
It teaches me endurance.
And hard times won’t last.


“Please, heal me, O Lord!”
He said, “Grace is sufficient.”
I embraced my ill.


Kingdom come! I’m weak!
His power is made perfect
When I require him.


Be patient. Hold on.
His perfect timing will come.
And trouble will go.


Amen.