29 October 2011

Forecast: Willing to be Willing

You know the old saying. Red skies at morning- sailors take warning. Red skies at night-a sailor's delight. Whatever storm that's plaguing me is waning. I can't think of any trick little saying about my mood though I have thought about it which is alarming. It's good to take inventory when you're frumped and wabbed. Let's see all the things that it might indicate.

1) Bad attitudes often demonstrate neglected soul work. Yeah, I have things I need to take care Check.

Do I need to continue? Probably not until I take care of #1.

Eventually I will be grateful that God never lets us off the hook. Until then I am only willing to be willing to be grateful. That's several steps ahead of what I was willing to be when last I wrote.

27 October 2011

Storm Warnings

The wind has kicked up. Whatever storm is coming will not just pass over and die down. No, it seems intent on blowing my house down and leaving me completely naked and exposed. Whatever this is that I am sensing, it's not my definition of good. God doesn't really give a rip how I define things though. God is on His throne and does as He pleases.

Is it a coincidence that this morning my attention has been drawn to two specific items available on the Internet? Since God's sovereignty eradicates things like probability, chance, luck and thereby obliterates coincidence I would have to say "no" but then my question was rhetorical. What are the items? The first one is here and it focuses on "taking your soul to task" which, I don't mind telling you I need to do. That said I am compelled to be honest enough to tell you I have no real intention of actually doing so. The other is found here and features Nancy Leigh DeMoss discussing Psalm 46 . I may actually sit down and read the Psalm myself a few times today- if only in the vain hope of assuaging my guilt glands.

Of course there is always the possibility that God will miraculously and instantaneously change my heart and attitude causing me to spring from the rubble that is my life, arising with with joy and shouts of hallelujah. I wouldn't hold my breath for that. Not that I don't believe in miracles, I just don't hold out for instantaneous relief from anything. Seems to me that the chaos I call my own has never been instantly anything. I keep waiting for the "And suddenly" moments to happen and am routinely disappointed. The book of Rosemarie is full of "And eventually" summations or worse yet "And for a little while" moments. "And eventually Rosemarie quit kicking at the goads." Or, "And for a little while Rosemarie learned to keep her mouth shut."

For the nonce I am taking a nap and letting the winds howl.

26 October 2011

Is It a Precipice?

There is a strange wind stirring in my soul. I wish I could find the appropriate words to describe what I mean. There's not a pending catastrophe or anything I am especially concerned about. There's nothing scheduled of any significance for me until next month and those are things I am looking forward to such as visits from old friends. It's not often I am rendered incapable of communicating. What I feel is akin to looking over the side and discovering you're much higher up than you realized but in this case, I didn't know I was climbing anything at all. You know the strange dream you have that is all too real and familiar feeling when you wake up? The sort that leaves you wondering what is real and what is not? That is close to how I feel. I don't know how I got here and don't know if I should be alarmed or excited. Am I standing at the edge of change? On the precipice of some major self-discovery? Am I headed for a fall?

It's sort of like something needs to change for me. Some elusive piece of the puzzle needs to fall into place only I didn't know I was puzzling on anything. I am not anxious. I am not worried. Am I lonely? Is this what it feels to not enjoy your own company? Is this a signal that I should be anticipating something wonderful? Something horrible? Is it weird to be unable to identify what emotions you are feeling when you are certain you're responding to something? Maybe it's a physical response to something.

I am at a loss. Perhaps it's nothing at all. Only God knows.

Daniel 2:22

It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.


24 October 2011

Scorched Breakfast Detent

I burned my breakfast this morning. I make the same thing with some minor variations every morning. I saute sliced zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms or whatever veggies I may have on hand and then make a one egg and three egg white omelet. I slice some avocado, sprinkle some sharp cheddar cheese, dash some Frank's hot sauce on the top and finish it with a dollop of sour cream. Often I will add some fresh fruit to the plate and then I feast. For years I skipped breakfast. Then I read that skipping meals can make your body think it is starving, thus it holds on to every ounce of fat reserve so it can outlast the famine. Like I need its help in maintaining fat. Me, who can draw calories from the aroma of food cooking. I did my research and I began eating just a little something. In all honesty I felt better through the day. Then I was given medication to take in the morning with instructions to take it after eating a meal. Now I eat a huge breakfast. Between eating well and the new medication, I feel pretty spunky these days. This morning though I am a bit scattered and pensive. My omelet got scathed in the process.

Unfortunately, I didn't burn the vegetables enough to justify throwing them out and starting over. I wish I had because I knew I wouldn't like the taste of my omelet using the blackened asparagus and mushrooms. It would be perfectly edible and not so disgusting as to make me gag, but it would have the charcoalesque taste of food ignored too long on the stove. For me, there's not enough Franks in the local Kroger to disguise that kind of nastiness. I should have thrown things out and started over but I was feeling guilty because I walked away from the stove. I made the choice to go into another room and become involved in something. I set up the recipe for a disastrous breakfast meal. It was all my fault. I have to pay the consequences.

I had a conversation with my sister yesterday. She was relaying some of the joys of communicating with a husband. She is hearing her daughter's stories about the pitfalls of life with a man and trying to impart wisdom to her; things hard learned in that last twenty-five plus years. She had me in stitches as she relayed the challenges and then she said something that stuck with me. She said her daughter was too busy being mad to listen right now. My sister was trying to feed my niece a morsel from the secret of a happy life cake she has baked and my niece wanted to eat a scorched omelet. She wants to live with being annoyed because it seems easier than working for what she wants.

Funny how God is able to hold up a mirror when you're laughing at someone else's folly so you can see yourself; how your behavior is exponentially sillier than that of the person you are laughing at. The ladies bible study I attend has been reading a book on prayer that I wouldn't recommend. I think it is very feelings oriented in its approach to prayer and how to relate to God. However, that said, it has stretched me. God has used the book with all of its faults to demonstrate to me how begrudgingly I come to him. I want to be miserable in my situation because asking Him to change anything could be worse. He might not answer the way I think He should. He might not change my circumstances at all. He might change me and what if he changed the things I like about myself? Then it hit me. What if I am putting my soul into starvation mode because I am not seeking the nourishment that only spending time being vulnerable with God provide? Is He offering me cake and I am content to choke down scorched omelet? Am I hanging on to what is easier and comfortable rather than to ask for what I want? Do I know what my soul longs for?

Rosemarie, if you want something different you must do something different. Ugh. I hate being pensive. No deep thought goes unpunished. I am so fearful of being disappointed. What if I change and nothing comes of it? What if I do something different and the same old stuff keeps happening? What if I am just too stupid to know what to do? What if I really can't be honest with myself? Confrontation is only valuable when it is linked to the solution. Self-confrontation without offering solutions is a recipe for hopelessness. I don't need more of that.

Oh dear God, get me out of this cycle of thought! Sigh. If only I hadn't burned the omelet....

20 October 2011

"180"

This is a movie everyone should watch. It's not easy but it is worth it.

18 October 2011

Word Gravity and Winsomeness

There are few burdens more difficult to carry than the weight of harsh words on a weary soul. Perhaps the only thing harder to do is laying that burden down once you have received it. You cannot unhear words any more than you can unspeak them. Harsh words echo in your heart and reverberate in your soul for what seems like forever. If the right word spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver, unkind words are like spent plutonium rods embedded in your brain.

I imagine you could be reading what I just wrote and thinking that someone had said something unkind to me. It would be a logical conclusion. It's not the things I have been told that cause my pensive reflection upon the gravity of words. It's remembering some of the things I have said. My tongue is sharp. There have been times I have taken a measure of pride in being able to deliver an insult that would cut the recipient to the bone but take them several moments to realize they had been wounded.

I have repented of that sinful behavior. I still have moments when my flesh rises and unsanctified thoughts find their way to verbal expression. I think I struggle with this character flaw more than I ought and probably because just stopping yourself from saying things aloud isn't enough. Rebuking your thoughts isn't enough. In Ephesians Paul goes to great lengths to tell us about how were formerly and how we are to be now. Formerly you were that way now be this way. It's the now be this way part I have to obey.

I think empty flattery is one of the cruelest abuses and I am suspect of people who say kind things to me. However, I have to admit that I like being encouraged. We in the Christian community mostly encourage folks to forsake a sinful behavior or habit. It hasn't happened often that I have been encouraged to continue doing something or received praise for a skill or ability. I think Christians often wrongly conclude that affirmation of a brother or sister is somehow a denial of God receiving glory as the author and creator of the talent being praised. Or that affirmation of the person will lead them into vanity or conceit. While I think those are valid concerns, I don't think we should abandon this type of encouragement. I also don't know how to do it.

I am struggling with being winsome and I think winsomeness is important.

1 Thessalonians 5:14
We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.


17 October 2011

Color Me Happy


It's been a while since I have written. None of my three readers has protested my absence so I am not certain why I should feel guilty about not writing. Blogging, like relationships, takes work and I imagine I am feeling a guilt akin to being neglectful of a friend or acquaintance. That and the fact that I genuinely enjoy writing have caused me to return.

I have been focused on getting my health back to the extent that I can. I do not want to end my life a lump of flesh behind a computer monitor waxing poetic about the good old days or complaining bitterly about the stupidity of everyone that doesn't share my opinion. The physical misery I have been through these many months has been good for my soul. My body hasn't cared too much for it but that's often the way of things that are good for you. Isn't it? I have had to face my reluctance to be broken and vulnerable even with God. As if I could hide it from Him. Really? For a woman who enjoys a modicum of intelligence I behave like a cowardly fool far too often. It takes more courage to live in abject spiritual poverty than it does to put on a brave front and pretend everything is hunky dory between you and God. Although learning this has been worth every moment of physical discomfort I have endured, I am ready be courageous and feel better.

In an act of desperation accompanied with hours of consultation with Dr. Google, I decided that the best thing I could do for my body was to attempt a gluten free diet. I was certain sure that some tests I had would prove that I did, in fact, have celiac disease. I do not. However, a few weeks of being gluten free has changed everything for me. The energy level that I have now is astounding me. I feel so much better that I am almost manic. I honestly thought I was experiencing some sort of placebo effect. My mind had decided being gluten free was the answer when I wrongly self-diagnosed a case of celiac sprue and come hell or high water my body was going to respond! A few days ago I went to the doctor and she had some blood drawn. The tests showed that my blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides had dropped. My triglycerides had dropped tremendously. I haven't given up carbohydrates, just carbs from gluten. Doc said that for her it was proof positive that my body wants to be gluten free. My skin has cleared, no more sores in the mouth, energy levels have returned. Color me happy!

Speaking of color, the leaves are turning here in Kentucky. We have had some blustery winds and it is stripping the trees of their leaves. I went for a ride yesterday and snapped some photos of what color there is, fearing that the wind and coming rain are going to ruin our fall show. I anticipate the fall color and the spring bloom each year like a child anticipates Christmas and their birthday. I figure God has developed His color palette for His glory and my delight. It's difficult not to pout in disappointment when He opts not to put on a spectacular show. As with all the disappointments brought to me with age and poor health, pouting isn't the actions of a God fearing woman. I have to remember the same God that paints the leaves breathes the wind that pulls them down before they are finished with their performance.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—


04 October 2011

Taller Rants

Listen, I am going to stand up tall and stick my neck out here and more than likely folks are going to pick up whatever ax they are grinding to take a swing at me. It's OK. I am not that fragile. In fact, I swing a pretty mean ax myself. Just fair warning that when I sit up tall I am going to rant. Here I go.

Despite being a bible believing Christian, I am not a homophobe and you cannot make me one just because you label me so for adamantly disagreeing that homosexuality should be considered normal and accepted. No more than you can make me attend Pat Robertson's church or become a card carrying member of the hateful group of folks at Westboro Baptist. Seriously, I would sooner attend a gay pride parade in the middle of the Castro. I would know what to expect there and wouldn't be disappointed. There's nothing worse than expecting folks who profess to know and preach the Gospel acting like they've never read it. Especially when to believe it is to live it.

Last night I watched Dancing with the Stars. The judges, who normally show no reticence at all to criticize ad infinitum the efforts of the amateur dancers, couldn't find a criticism for Chaz Bono. Why? Because everyone is afraid to say something negative to a person identified with the LGBT camp. Saying something the least bit negative is, apparently, akin to using the dreaded "n" word. Furthermore, can I just say that the agenda set by this group is ridiculous and illogical. Don't believe me? Then why on earth has this been declared LGBT history month? Tell me the logic in a group of people telling me that it's none of my business who they have sex with making a spectacle of their sexuality by demanding a month be set aside to recognize achievement based on what criteria? Their sexual preferences of course. Come on folks, this is just one more example of a small group of people with money and an agenda asserting themselves for uber rights and no one seems to notice. It is wrong.

You might be asking what precipitated this rant of mine. I guess it was started by all the brouhaha about Chaz Bono being on DWTS and how that made me crazy. Crazy because it furthered an illogical agenda that I think is wrong, yes, but mostly I wanted to shout at the folks making all the noise about it, "Watching TV is a voluntary act. If you are disappointed in the cast they have assembled, turn off the TV!!" Honestly, can't folks think anymore? Are we so rights crazed that we think we have the right to be entertained by what is on the television? Seriously? If you don't like what is on, turn off the channel. If you feel compelled, write the station and respectfully tell them why. But come on, death threats? Really?

I have always enjoyed ballroom dancing and will watch the old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies whenever they are on and I have the time. I wasn't sure I would enjoy this season of DWTS and was prepared to give up watching the program. I will straight up tell you I detest having the homosexual agenda force fed to me. Frankly, I am glad I turned on my TV to watch. I have been inspired by J R Martinez, truly inspired. How can I feel sorry for myself with a little arthritis and stuff when this young man has given so much in service to his country and can be so positive? It blesses me to watch him dance. Carson Kressly flat cracks me up and is as entertaining as he could be. Now, to the real burr under my saddle. Chaz? Chaz Bono can't dance. SAY IT. Say it aloud and with confidence. Shout it from the mountain tops. Here, I will help. Chaz Bono cannot dance!!!

Look, I am not offended that Carson is gay or that Chaz is now considered a man. I don't think they are less valuable human beings. I don't hate them and you can't make me. I think they are lost and acting like the godless folks they are. I can show you more godless heterosexuals than I can godless homosexuals. Lots more. However, I am outraged that the homosexual community wants to be treated as a protected class- rights I am not afforded as a celibate woman. I am offended at the comparison between homosexuality and slavery. Homosexuality is a voluntary behavior. Even if you are born with homosexual preferences you do not have to act upon them. Slavery was not voluntary. I have to say that that the only comparison I see is the fall out if you are white or straight and say something in disagreement with a homosexual or person of color. You can't make me a racist because I disagree with something you say or do either. I digress and that is a rant for a different post. Here's my real deal.

I am sick to death of the plea for tolerance when that's not what is being asked for at all. Special treatment is not tolerance. Deriding me for my dissenting opinion is not tolerance either, so quit pretending you want what you aren't willing to give in return.

Please hear me when I tell you that I do care about how you are treated, whoever you are. Homosexual, heterosexual, black, white, green with purple polka dots, I expect you to be treated as someone who bears the image of God- whether you like Him or not. Whether you agree with me about His sovereignty or not. Whether I agree with you or not. I honestly care about the disposition of your immortal soul. I am not perfect, but I am perfectly willing to disagree with you respectfully and to voice my opinions respectfully. Am I wrong to expect you to do the same?

P. S.

And while I am at it, I finally have something I can agree with President Obama about. He was right when he said it was shameful of the Republican candidates to remain quiet when folks booed the soldier during the recent debates. Again, I am irritated when I hear the constant declarations of "I am gay and..." but for the candidates to remain silent when a soldier was booed was unconscionable IMO. I was hoping one of the candidates would have the class to say so.