Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Posts tagged ‘God’

Express Blog and Inconsequential Findings

I think I’m posting blogs further apart these days.  It feels like I am.  Quiet moments are not presenting themselves this past month; I’m not good at blogging around noise, or in a crowd.  I prefer no distractions.

Thank the Good Lord for creating Mark Zuckerberg.  Facebook satiates my hunger to express myself.  If you want to bet my Facebook friends that I am their most frequently posting friend,  you’ll win that bet.  I post a lot.

Here’s the alarming part of my Facebook presence.  My FB activity is an example of me exhibiting self control.  What my FB friends don’t realize is all that stuff I’m saying on Facebook is only HALF of what I WANT to say.

What’s wrong with me?

I give myself little lectures.  I say, “Okay Miki, that’s enough.  People have had enough of your shenanigans.  You’re going to resist the urge to post what’s on your mind for the next week. Got it?  Got it.”

Five minutes later.  Reggie is snuggled in the blankets projecting such cuteness, it would be a sin NOT to post a picture of him. Plus, I need to mention how much I love him.  Because, that’s original, right?  I mean I REALLY love my dog; nobody’s thought of that.    Suddenly, slipping back down the slope.

Sometimes I’ll post something on FB, let it sit for a few minutes, then delete it.  Occasionally, I’ve had friends ask me where a post went.  I just tell them I’m sorry.  I had second thoughts.

What’s a girl with an addiction to writing words, and a head full of silly thoughts to do?

Thanks for the therapy sesh.  I’ve missed this between us.

Now, in the interest of time, I’m going to express blog the rest of my way through this. I thought I might highlight a few random tidbits occupying the space between my ears. This might be how I blog until I have time to go old school, long blog again.  Prepare for your life to be changed:

Bragging

When people say, “I don’t mean to brag”, they mean, “I do mean to brag, but I’d like to be excused for it”.  I generally don’t mind when people brag.  They should leave off the, “I don’t mean to brag” part though.   When I hear that I wonder if I SHOULD mind.

Fitbit

The verdict is in; I’m ready to share the results.   I’ve had my Fitbit for almost one year. It works.

I have a routine I follow each day to get my steps.  It is rare for me to change my routine.  I had a couple of extremely busy days last week.  Time did not allow for my normal routine.  I fell quite short of my step goal on those days.  I realized on those days that my default mode is inactive.  I am not your friend who will bustle around you, fluffing pillows and picking lint off your sweater, because I just can’t sit still.   I LOVE being still.  Love it.

For some reason, my mind believes it’s accountable to my Fitbit; I’m not telling my mind otherwise.

The Fitbit works for me.

Walking

Speaking of steps, my super good work friend and I walk at lunch.  We walk the same route each day.  One day, there was a man who was standing off the sidewalk, more towards the street.  The man was smoking, and yelling something.  He seemed angry. At first, I thought the man may be in charge of some construction in the area.  As we walked closer, we realized there was no construction in the area.

That day, my friend and I decided to change our walking route.

On a different day, I was walking alone.    I was startled when I heard a man yell something in my direction from behind me.  I looked, and I saw the same man who was yelling in the street. This time, he was sitting in a lawn chair, outside of an apartment.  He was a big man, with a big belly.  He was wearing tiny shorts.  Nothing else. It wasn’t  warm.

My good walking friend and I have discussed this man at length.  We have agreed that if he should ever pursue us, we will make every effort to push each other in his direction to save ourselves. I thought I might say “Take her.  She’s younger. She’s smart. She can do your taxes.”

Sometimes it’s just good to have your cards on the table with people.

Faith

Zeke and Olivia are in a church group called “Impact”.  The group is an off-shoot of normal youth group.  Impact is for kids who might be asking themselves, “Why are we doing  this again?”

Impact takes an up close look at the Bible. The kids discuss what they read, and ponder how it may apply to their lives right now.  The other day, Zeke happened upon this scripture in the Book of Romans.  He was excited about it:

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.  So nobody has a good excuse.

Zeke thought this scripture answered a lot of questions for him.  I agree.  God reveals himself to EVERYONE through creation.

I hear from God every morning.   I see the black sky dotted with white stars first, until the sky turns pink as the sun rises.  My eyes take it in, and I know: man did not create this.   I would know it, If I had never heard a single sermon in my life on Earth.   I see an eagle soaring over the river.  I look at my small hands.  No hands like mine put that eagle in the sky. I feel humble.  My heart knows a God like this should be worshiped.

Rebekkah picture

*Photo credit to my friend, Rebekah Brackett.  She is an artist. She captures beautiful pictures of her world, and shares them on Facebook.

Ebola, Prisoners and Scary Stuff

Don’t you like it when bloggers like me say, “I’m sorry.  I just haven’t had time to post.”

Absolutely no one in the world cares when an every day blogger hasn’t blogged.  Those are just the cold hard facts.

But, I’M BACK!!!!  Never you fear, my friend.   I’ll be blogging from the grave.

Speaking of fear.  Ebola. Can I just say that me and my fellow hypochondriacs don’t need this?   I can turn a scratch on my arm into stage 4 Brain Cancer.  What am I going to do with bleeding eyeballs?

Don’t think I haven’t been making plans.  I told my family they were no longer allowed to talk to people in person.  They’ll be home schooled now, and I think we’ll be just fine with all the canning I did this summer.  Plus, Scott has all that smoked meat out back in the shed.  We should be good for quite some time.

Not true.  We’re totally screwed. We don’t garden, hunt, sew or home school. We’re so squarely on the grid, we might own it.

I meant to get off the dang grid.  Why do I have to be so forgetful?

I HAVE been talking to my family about improving their immune systems.  I heard that can help. But, I’m always preaching that.  That’s not really new.

My family is excited, because all this Ebola hype means that we’re going to have even less fun stuff to eat in our house.  And, they won’t get away with forgetting their vitamins.  That’s how you fight Ebola, with a vitamin.  I’m surprised the CDC didn’t think of that.

I was talking to my kids about Ebola at the dinner table.  I thought I was calm, and appeared unafraid.  I guess not.  Olivia’s hands started to shake.  She told me to just stop talking about it.  Yeah.  That’s not funny.  I promise, I stopped.  She’s a younger version of the big Fraidy Cat she calls, Mom.  So, I have to be careful with her.

Zeke told Olivia to stop being afraid.  He said, “So what if we get Ebola?  Then we get to go to heaven.”

Sometimes you just need kids to tell you it’ll be alright.

I admit it.  I’m prone to hysteria.  I hate that about me.

It’s just that lately I totally get it.  I get that the world is scary, and evil is real.  When I was reading the Ebola coverage, I clicked on a video about South American prisoners throwing prison guards from the prison roof.  I thought it was going to be a story to read.  It wasn’t.  It was a video.  Before I could process what I was watching, I saw these prisoners with Klu Klux Klan type white hoods on, literally pushing men off the roof.  One prisoner dangled a guard with a rope tied around the guard’s ankles.  I can’t believe I saw that.  I didn’t finish watching it.  Usually I avoid terrifying images.  Now those images are caught in my head.

Maybe I imagined it?  I’m not entirely positive,  but  don’t look it up.  I’m serious.  Don’t.

I didn’t actually sleep much the night I saw those images.   I slept for a while, but then I started dreaming about those prisoners.  I woke in a state of terror.  Then, I started thinking about Ebola.  Then, I wondered who’s dumb idea it was to never have any liquor in the house.  I was pretty edgy.

I started praying.

I begged, “God, just stomp it out.  Stomp out the evil.  You know you can. Why don’t  you?”

Then, God answered with a large roar from the heavens. Oh, wait.  That was Scott snoring.

I didn’t hear anything audible.  But, I thought something.  I don’t think it was my own thought.  I think it was a thought God was nice enough to give me.  I think He reminded me of how simple things are.    He reminded me that the ability  I think I have to control things  is an illusion. At any moment, I am one plague away from a completely different life.    I always forget that.

He reminded me that this comfortable illusion keeps  me insulated from the truth.  The truth that evil is real.  Evil is real whether or not I believe God is real too.   But, here’s the part that’s awesome. I do believe God is real;  I believe He wins.

I thanked God for the path He’s given me, given my whole family.  I thanked him for the comfort  I feel from Him.  I thanked Him for staying up late with me and listening to my heart.  I thanked him for giving me comfort when I’m scared of plagues and prisoners.  I thanked him for a battle that He’s already won.

I can’t remember what else I thanked him for, because that’s when I fell back to sleep.  And, that’s why I’m glad we believe God is real.  Because I can’t imagine a world with Ebola and scary prisoners without God.

Goliath and My Sister’s Blog

beauty ashes

I wonder what my sister, Gail,  would say if you asked her if she’d rather be hugging her eldest son who is now in heaven, or writing books with a prestigious editor.  I think she’d say,  “I’ll take my son back. Thanks.”

Life’s tricky like that.  Some of the things that we want more than anything to have a say on, we don’t have any say at all. The only say we have is in how we respond.

I always think about how God says He will turn ashes to beauty. I feel like the only way God can make the beautiful part is with our permission. A life can remain ashes.

Gail gives God full permission.  She’s open and trusts His greater purpose.

When I was young, I always thought Gail was like a warrior.  She welcomed going places she’s never been; places where other people are afraid to go.  So, here she is.

If you want to know a secret, I’ll tell you that having a sister with this kind of faith is always inspiring, and, occasionally, (just like twice a year or less) annoying.  Let’s just keep that here.  Okay?  I blog a lot of stuff that’s confidential.  Just seems like the right place for it.

Sometimes.  Just sometimes.  You want to be afraid.  You want to question.  You want to doubt.

Sometimes, Goliath just scares the crap out of you, and you want to yell, “Pick on someone your own size, ya big bully.”

You don’t want to hear, “Fear not.  The battle is not yours. The battle is won.”  You don’t want to hear that, because you’re the only one with the itty bitty sling shot in your hand.

Next time I’m having one of those days, I’ll read Gail’s blog.  Her blog is all handsome and professional now that she’s a real writer, wearing a real writer’s fancy pants.  Her blog is full of “Choose Faith.  Choose Joy.  Just choose it, for goodness sake!” I love it.

God allowed my sister’s beloved son to be taken from her on Earth.  Then, God lit up a new path; showing her just where to step, and how to give birth to something different; something that expresses truth and inspiration to so many others who feel like ashes just remains ashes.

I can see it all very clearly.  It certainly is beautiful.  Maybe you’ll see it too:

Gail Wahl’s Blog

Cotton Candy and the Kardashians

I get so mad when my life doesn’t know I’m a blogger.  It’s all crazy and busy, and I’m like, “Excuse me?  I’m a little bit of what you call a blogging genius over here.  Could we make some room for that?  I mean, someone has to save humanity through blogging.  It may as well be me.”

My life doesn’t listen.  It just stays all high speed and wild; never giving me a chance to think.   I crave time to think. I miss it when it’s gone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about humanity lately.  What a complicated, beautiful heap a crazy that is.  I just read one of my new favorite books that made me think about humanity even more.  Have you read, “Hiding Place”?  This book is a biography about Corrie Ten Boom.

Apparently, I am the last Christian on Earth to read this book.  The story is freaking me out.  Whenever I mention it to a Christian friend, they’re all, “Oh, I know.  I read that book 8 years ago.”  Show offs.

Corrie Ten Boom is just this wonderful, amazing, incredible embodiment of strength.  I can’t believe someone like her existed.  It seems impossible.

ten-Boom_Corrie

Corrie Ten Boom was Dutch.  She came from a loving, Christian family.  During World War II, Corrie and her family helped with the Dutch underground network.  They  assisted Jewish people with avoiding concentration camps and death, actually.

Corrie had a secret room built in her own bedroom.  When the Gestapo finally discovered Corrie and her family’s illegal activities, they stormed Corrie’s home. Corrie’s Jewish friends snuck into the secret room, and survived the raid.  Corrie and her family saved their lives.

Corrie and her family were sent to prison, and then Ravensbruck, a concentration camp.  Corrie was in her 50’s when she went to prison. Things got ugly.

This is a beautiful story.  I cannot explain how much Corrie and her family members moved me to want to be better at being human.  I cannot explain how much their faith in Christ renewed fervor in me for things unseen.  If you’re sort of anti-Christian, because Christians act all know-it-ally and holier-than-thou-ee, you’ll like Corrie Ten Boom and her family. They aren’t like that.

Have you read “To Kill a Mockingbird”?  That’s another favorite of mine.  Atticus is the only other character in my history as a reader that has moved me in the way Corrie Ten Boom has.  Too bad Atticus was fictional.  I think Atticus and Corrie Ten Boom should have gotten married.  They’d make extraordinary humans together.  How is that relevant here?  I don’t know why you want to talk about stuff that can’t even happen.  It just seems silly.

Atticus and Corrie Ten boom touched my soul because they both have a super human quality.  Humility.  They have unnatural ability to suffer humiliation with dignity.  In Corrie’s case , she claims her strength is not her own.  In fact, more than once when she’s at the end of what she can bear,  She admits it to us and to herself.  She tells God that she’s just out of strength; If he means for her to keep going, He must sustain her.

Right there.  That is the part when Corrie is revived.  Her strength is renewed. It’s almost like God wants her to get to the end of herself, to see His power to carry her is real.  Not a fairy tale.

Here’s what else I love, love, love about Corrie Ten Boom.  She does not judge.  She’s filled to overflowing with love for humanity. She works feverishly to meet the needs of those around her.  At one point she described celebrating Christmas and Hannakah with her Jewish friends. She spoke with respect of her Jewish friends.  She did not cast herself in a superior light.  It sounded beautiful.

Corrie figured her whole purpose on this Earth was to show Christ’s love.  She talked about it all the time.  But, more importantly, she showed it.  She didn’t try to convince people.  She didn’t engage in debates. I love Corrie.  Did I mention that?

I want to be like Corrie.  I want to know why I am here.  I want to remember that I have been called by Christ to love.   I want to make loving people my mission: Christian people, Jewish people, gay people, heterosexual people, Morman people, atheist people, all people.   That’s the point.

These are the kinds of thoughts I’ve been having.  They’re big thoughts. I was pondering Corrie’s dependence on Christ when I became distracted by Kim Kardashian.  It’s true. Sometimes that’s on at our house.  Olivia discovered this show on Netflix.

Do you know what happens when you are contemplating the love of Christ and saints like Corrie Ten Boom, and you’re yanked from your thoughts with angry voices arguing over a prada purse?  Or you catch sight of a 13-year-old girl showing her sister how to use a stripper pole?  It’s harsh.

It’s like being snuggled up in a warm quilt on a cold day, and having the quilt stripped away and ice water poured on you.  Or, it’s like eating a deliciously sweet apple and biting into a worm.  It’s alarming and abrupt.

I’ve been reading better books lately; books about inspiring people.  I’ve been trying to meditate on more scripture too.  I guess I’ve been doing a little too much of that, because I’m now officially unable to tolerate the Kardashians, or real housewives, or any other screaming, materialistic, self-serving reality TV personalities.

See how far I’ve carried my Corrie Ten Boom lessons?  In my world,  you love everyone expect for the people on reality TV.

I should probably tell Olivia that she isn’t allowed to watch the Kardashians.  But, I’m not going to do that. Not yet.  I think the Kardashians and folks like them are causing us to crave entertainment that is as good for the soul as Cotton Candy is for our body.  Cotton Candy is sweet on impact, but offers no nutrients to sustain us. We eat it because it tastes so good and harmless. But, a diet of cotton candy will make us sick and lethargic. And let’s face it, cotton candy is gonna slowly crowd our organs and skeleton with globs of fat.  Which is really bad, mostly because all those globs of fat will make our butts look big.  Sometimes I just get all caught up in this complicated theology.  It’s hard for the common person to even understand me.

Let me say it this way: Cotton candy offers us nothing but taste. That’s it.  That’s all you get out of it.  Oh, and a big butt.  If you want that, you should eat it.

If you like the Kardashians, I hope you don’t think I’m judging you.  Hah!  I have some ladies over in New Jersey and Orange County who I want to eat cotton candy with all the time.  I have SUCH a hard time saying no to those gals.

I’ve explained my position to Olivia.  Because, I’m Corrie Ten Boom’s protoge, remember?.  Corrie Ten Boom doesn’t judge.  She doesn’t tell other people how to live.  She just follows the path God lays before her, and loves everyone along the way.  Christ’s love through Corrie draws people towards her.  Towards Him.  He changes people through her.  It’s beyond her control. Corries friends are on their own paths. She’s not in charge of changing their direction.

I’ll keep loving Olivia, and eventually she’ll leave the Kardashians, because God is calling her there.  Yes, I’ll have loved her into it, because that’s what I learned from Corrie Ten Boom.  That, or I go bat crap crazy when I hear those Kardashian girls fighting over another dress.  Then, I’ll smash the TV in the driveway.

I’m not very good at this, Corrie.  I think I need to read the book again.

corrie ten boom quote

Our Story

Do you remember when I told you that our Pastor asked our family to tell our story?  Well, I did tell you that.  And, we did tell our story.  Scott, Eddie and I met with our Pastor in  our living room in late summer.  He asked us about our struggles.  Our Pastor wants to know what happens when faith meets hardship.

When Pastor Bryan first asked us to do this thing, we were scared.  Being on camera is uncomfortable. But, we didn’t hesitate.  We said yes right away.

A long time ago, Scott and I  told God that He could use our lives as He sees fit.  We said, “God, if we have to endure this thing we don’t want to endure, could you please help us see the point?”

We’ve told God many times that we would be very grateful to have Eddie be healed.  We’ve also promised God that we would be willing participants in whatever He means for us to do, regardless of the outcome.

The thing about making promises to God is that He remembers.  You don’t want to back out on stuff like that.  I’m averse to hanging out in the belly of a whales, and stuff like that.  I would just as soon do as I’m told.   I seriously  doubt whales have wi-fi, and I just don’t even want to think about how bad that would be.

Others folks in our church will be asked to do this man-on-the-street type interview.  I love it.  Because, guess what?  God is relevant.  He isn’t an icon, or out of touch.  He’s real, and He’s in every day.

I’m excited to hear other people’s stories.  Here is ours:

How I Know It’s Time to be Quiet

Sometimes you just know things.  You don’t have to hear it from someone else, or read about it.  You just know.

I’ve never asked anyone else about this thing, and how knowing things happens for them. Maybe I should.

I have a way of knowing things that takes time.  It starts with one thought or an idea.  That idea grows.  I can work over ideas for weeks or even years. Then, suddenly I know it. I don’t work it over again. My mind settled it.  I’m ready for the next thing I should know.

I have memories of being a young girl and going through this knowing process; it’s familiar now.  As a girl, I was overwhelmed with all there was to know.  As a woman I am grateful that I will never get to the last thing I know.  I like learning.

The latest thing I know is about silence.  It’s about being quiet.  We live in a loud world.  I’m one of those people who is making a lot of noise.  Sometimes I need to be quiet.  Sometimes silence is restorative.  That’s what I now know.

Fall/winter is trying for our family.  Fall/winter is running the gauntlet.  The only thing worse than running the gauntlet, is preparing to run the gauntlet again.  You remember how hard it is.  In theory, you should get better with all the practice.

I have been preparing for my challenge with silence.  I’m trying to be quiet.  Being quiet is not my natural state.

quiet

I’m using the quiet to think about what I’ve learned from running the gauntlet before.  How can I avoid the same missteps? Where can I find sure footing?

I’m using the quiet to talk to  God.  I’m using the quiet to listen to God.

I think I hear him telling me more about silence.  I guess I know it, because right now silence is what my heart craves.   I’m tired of hearing my own voice.

The other night I took a late night walk. I was a little sad.   It was Friday.  It was dark; it felt like I was the only thing stirring in my small town.

I looked into the black sky, and I told God a few things.  Then, I listened.  I enjoyed the warm breeze and bright stars.  I walked longer than I meant to walk.  I came back with a measure of peace.

After that walk I thanked God for helping me know.  I thanked him for using the simplest things to help restore.  I asked him to keep reminding me about those simple things.   I asked him to help me know when to be quiet, so that I can hear His reminders.

being quet

Dear Daughter…Embrace Your Inner Goody Goody

I love watching you grow.  It’s my favorite.  I like watching your brothers grow too.  That’s also my favorite.  When I became your mom, I thought that I was supposed to teach you everything you should know.  I didn’t know that you would teach me things too.  You have.  I like who you are.

The other day you came home and told me some boys were bothering you.  They were asking you if you’re a goody goody.  You said you smiled and told them to “shoo”.  You said they meant no harm.  I’m glad.  You’re probably right.  Boys can be super weird.

I have been thinking about your story.  I think it’s funny how people say, “history repeats itself.”  I think they might say that, because it’s true.  The things that you are going through, have been gone through before. By by people like me.

I was also called a goody goody by boys.  When I was a little older than you (14), I remember being at a party.  Not a crazy, wild beer party.  Just a bunch of kids hanging out in the same place.  At one point in this party, I was alone with a bunch of older football players.  I was a freshman.  We were laughing and having fun.  These older boys seemed to really be enjoying my jokes.  I won’t lie, I didn’t hate the attention.

At some point during the fun, one of the boys pulled out a  bottle of whiskey.  The boys asked me if I’d drink the whiskey with them.  Now, I can’t remember the exact words I said , but I do remember responding with something like, “It will be a cold day in Hell before I drink a bottle of whiskey with a bunch of older boys.  I AM 14!”

I guess I wasn’t THAT big of a goody goody.  I cussed.  I’m sorry.  I did.

Even though that was  a great  idea those boys had, and I’m sure it would have been a lot of fun, I  just couldn’t shake the feeling that the boys would have come out better on the other side of that great idea than I would have.  I had this nagging feeling that those boys didn’t have my best interests at heart.

After I declined the boys’  generous whiskey offer, they told me I was a goody goody.  They didn’t think I was funny any more.  I’m pretty sure I never held their interest again.

Do you think I feel badly that those boys decided they didn’t like me?  Maybe I did a little back then.  Mostly I felt good.  Like you do when you know you did the right thing.

Do you know how MANY things happened to me in my 14th year?  So.Many.Things. I wish I could remember them all.  I can’t.  Don’t you think it’s weird, that this one thing that happened is something I  remember?  I think I know why.  This moment was one of those moments you get in life that help define you.  This moment was an unexpected, unplanned series of events that put me in a situation where I had to decide whether to impress and be liked, or to choose what was best for me.  I had to use some courage.

This is a story I wanted you to know.  You are standing at the gateway of  what could be some of the most fun you’ll have in your life.  There won’t be another time in your life when your main priorities should be to try new things and  have fun. I want you to come out on the other side of your teenage years with good memories, a clear conscience and the start of an understanding of who God made you to be on Earth.

I see already  that one thing God gave you  is a strong mind. I thank Him for that.  I see you making decisions that you feel are right for you.  That makes me happy.  I hope you never come to a moment where you make a decision to please someone else, even while you’re knowing it’s not right for you. You might do that. I have.  If you do, remember grace.  God has plenty.  Every moment is a chance to start over.

I wanted you to know that being a goody goody is okay.  It takes confidence and strength to be a goody goody. Strength and confidence are attributes that become more natural for you the more you use them.  They are attributes that will serve you well and help you live a good life.  Not everyone does.

Sometimes people favor you only when you follow their lead.  I want you to be okay with falling out of people’s favor.

I want you to know your mind. I want you to like the person God made you to be, and not try to be something else. I want you to do all that and also be humble and kind.  That’s it.  That’s all I want for you.  Just the world. I’m kidding you now, daughter.  I can’t give you the world.  I don’t know that it would be good for you to have it.

We are on this journey together; I want to point out the tricky spots that I’ve passed by before.  Maybe you will hear me and those spots won’t be as tricky for you.  That’s what I was hoping.

Mother-Daughter-Magic

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