I’m Back!

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No I did not fall off the face of the Earth.  I only got a wild hair to take on a full time job that I thought I would enjoy.  I felt like we needed the added finances and it might do me some good to get out of the house…….So I accepted a job at Charter Communications as a Billing Coordinator Specialists.  (or shorter name…answering phones to angry people who were upset about their bill.  Ok not shorter, but much simpler)

Little did I know that the last 8 months would be the most exhausting 8 months of my life.  I was a little apprehensive about it at first due to the fact that there was five weeks of training.  Wait…what?  What could possibly be so hard that would require five weeks to learn.  I mean once you learn the software and how to make changes to an account, what else could be so hard?  I am a pretty fast learner, however after completing training and heading to the floor, I began to see it was not as much about the software but how to handle the customers.  I have done Daycare or manual labor jobs my whole life, dealing with the public on many aspects, but this job was a new breed of “dealing with the public” than I had ever experienced.

I must say that the job was not a horrible job, it was just very stressful and for someone like me full of anxiety and self esteem issues, even more stressful.  My husband works there also.  He loves the job and is already starting to move up in the company.  For someone like him who has excelled in everything he has ever done, it is a great job.  He comes home mentally exhausted on good days, but he can handle that better than I.  He lets things roll off his back like water off a ducks back.  I, on the other hand, didn’t understand the anger in people for being in situations that they had most of the time caused themselves.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had plenty of times in my life where I couldn’t pay a bill, but always understood when I called whatever company it was and they had policies that wouldn’t allow an extension.

Problem with this job was that it started making me loose all faith in humanity.  The nice understanding people that I talked to on a daily basis were few and far between.  Mostly people yelled at me for 8 hours, calling me all different names, (some of which I hadn’t heard before), and thought that the world owed them something.  They didn’t understand that Cable and Internet are luxuries, not utilities.  I left almost every night in tears and I began feeling down and felt like I was loosing everything I had spent the last few years building up in myself.  I knew I had to get out of there.

It is definitely a job that is not for everyone.  I gave it my best shot for 8 months.  So now, I am once again, going back to daycare.  I have done this most of my life and probably will continue to do so till I am no longer able.

For the 3 people that are still waiting on me to come back to blogging…..I’m back!  Hopefully I will start writing my devotional posts soon!

I am also going to write on this blog a series of blogs centered around “The Good Ole Days”.  A few years ago, my mother blessed us all with a book of her ‘memories’ and I would love to share them with you.  They are not just her memories, but a way of life for my parents generations that grew up in the 40’s and 50’s.  I can’t wait!

Jeannie

Kindness Changes Everything

 

 

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The definition of Kindness: The joy of meeting someone else’s needs before your own, or simply for the sake of the relationship.

One of the steps of learning to express kindness is to observe act is of kindness. Have you ever done any kind of pay it forward activity? You know what I am talking about…paying for the car behind you at the drive-thru, not knowing what they ordered, or leaving a roll of quarters at the laundry mat with a note saying God bless. Maybe you witnessed someone handing out blankets and sandwiches out to the homeless. These are all Random Acts of Kindness. If you have never been a part of this kind of activity, you should definitely try it out! It is quite invigorating and makes you feel so fulfilled.

I remember being in Hannibal, MO with Richard for our anniversary one year. Hannibal has always been a favorite place of ours to spend a weekend retreat. Lots to do, and plenty of outdoors events to take in. We stopped into Hardees, one of my I favorite places to eat–hot ham and cheese with mayo, lettuce, and onion! The best ever! As we sat down to eat our meal, we noticed an elderly lady sitting over by the window all alone eating. She seemed to be just staring out the window in bewilderment, as if she was wondering what the world had in store for her life. I knew that God was drawing me to her, I just didn’t know how she would feel about me walking up to her and saying “Excuse me, my name is Jeannie and I just wanted to tell you that my husband and I were sitting over there eating and I felt that God was telling me to come and sit with you. May I join you?”

So I said those exact words to her and waited for her to look up and acknowledge. A few seconds passed for what seemed an eternity, and then she reached out and grabbed my arm and raised her scarf covered head and I noticed she was crying. She said to me, “Hello, Jeannie, my name is Mary and I have been coming here for lunch every Saturday for over 20 years. Up until 3 weeks ago my husband Albert and I used to come here together.” I said “Oh how sweet. My husband and I do everything together. It drives everyone around us crazy but we press on because we love each other.” She proceeded to tell me, “Three weeks ago my husband passed away; I guess from old age because he was as healthy as a horse, and I miss him so much. I have continued to come here every Saturday and eat lunch and I will until I am unable to. You see, my husband had a job that was very demanding and we didn’t see each other of most of our 63-year marriage. Saturday’s were our only time together. We didn’t have any children and most of our other family is gone. You are the first person to come up to me and show me any kindness at all. I want you to know how much I appreciate that. You are an angel sent from God.”

She went on to say that I should not care what others thought of our love and to cherish every minute of our lives together. Don’t ever take any of it for granted, because one day it may be gone. Show each other every day that we love each other. Tell each other that we love each other everyday.

We sat and talked to her for about 30 minutes or so and she was so thrilled just to have someone to talk to. We exchanged phone numbers, but I never heard from her again. I tried to call her phone and it was disconnected. She was so broken-hearted about his death that I pictured her dying of a broken heart. And for her that may have been a blessing. She was so lonely. And our one little act of kindness may have been the difference between her despair and happiness.

There were people all around us looking at us and at first it did feel a little awkward. Then as I sat there talking to her, I saw how her face lit up just to be able to talk to someone while she ate, something she hadn’t done since her husband had died. Soon, everyone in the restaurant had disappeared and it was just her and I sitting there enjoying each other’s company. It was one of the sweetest moments I have experienced in my life. Although I do not know what happened to Mary, I know that in that one moment in time, she knew that someone cared. She knew that God cared. She could see the Jesus in my all because I followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to show a simple act of kindness.

So how do you take that leap of faith and show others kindness? Well, first, you have to recognize a number of things. You must be able to see the needs of others; you have to be able to look past their shortcomings, and see their value. Not their value in what they can provide you….but their value as a human being. Now hear me when I say this. NOT their value to society; NOT their value in their job; NOT their value as a parent; NOT their value with how much money they have…..but instead look at their value as a human being. What about them makes them valuable. Not valuable to you or anyone else….but valuable to God.  Plainly put…you MUST be vested in their happiness. You have to be invested in their needs.  If you walk around only thinking of yourself, you will be unable to express kindness unconditionally.

Let’s face it. When it comes to kindness, most of us have to admit we could use a little attitude adjustment. Most of the time we are only kind when there is something in it for us. ‘I’ll be kind to you if you are kind to me’ attitude. In order to have this kind of love and kindness for others, we need a change in attitude. So how do we be kind to others when someone is a stranger, or more difficult still, when we know them and they have treated us harshly.

Now I am not saying to use kindness to manipulate people. In that case it would probably be better to just keep kindness to yourself. You wil only do harm to them and yourself. But when you see how kindness can change a person, you may become more eager to be kind.  Kindness is a choice. A choice you have to make every day.  When I choose to be kind, I feel better.  When you wake up bitter and upset everyday, it is harder to be kind.  It is kind of the same concept as choosing joy.  If you choose joy, you will be joyful.

When you choose to be kind to all people, not just the ones who are kind back, not all kindness will be accepted.  If we are kind to someone, and that person reciprocates kindness, then we can usually have a meaningful relationship together.  If they reject our acts of kindness, we can only show more them more kindness and hope that our acts will change their minds and turn towards us instead of running away.  In the latter example, the more we show them kindness, the more they will want to experience it and will eventually turn towards us and begin to emulate our actions.

How can we emulate kindness?  Here are a few examples of little things we can do to show others kindness:

1.  Use positive words when speaking to others.  Do the words we speak to others build them up, or tear them down.  The words we speak to others have more of an impact on their lives than we can imagine.  Telling someone they CAN’T do something is much different then telling them “you have my support no matter what the outcome is”.

2.  Affirming Words.  Kind words affirm who people are and what they do.  I will share a story with you about my daughter who is in college.  She was worried about an exam that she was sure she would fail.  She studied and studied and worried more each day as the exam drew closer.  She needed a 60% to pass this particular exam.  The day came, I was at work and she text me and told me that she got a 66% on it.  I said “well at least you didn’t fail it”.  When she texted her dad he said to her, “That is great!  You passed it.”  She was so excited with his approval and disappointed in my perceived “dis-approval”.  We both said virtually the same thing, however mine was perceived in a nonapproving way, and his in an uplifting way.  I did not use affirming words to describe that I was pleased that she  had passed.

3.  Truthful words:  Be sure to speak the truth to people.  The challenge is to be truthful and kind at the same time.  We must learn to speak out of love.  Listen to yourself when you speak.  Are the words you are speaking out of love.  For instance…”I love you because you are my husband” is much different from “it is because you are a precious gift from God given to me, that I love you”.  Both are truthful, but the latter is more loving.

What do you think your life would be like if you saw in every encounter with another person as an opportunity to express kindness?  What if you decided not to only be kind on pleasant days but also on difficult days?  What if you always looked for opportunities  to affirm the value of another human being?

I want to challenge you this week to try one of the following:

1.  Try to visualize every person you meet as having value beyond measure.  Not to you, but to society.

2.  Choose a day this week and record ALL acts of kindness that you witness throughout that day.  Keep it simple, what the act was and who did it.

3.  At least two mornings this week think of five opportunities you might have in the day ahead to express kindness to someone in words or actions.

4.  Practice hearing yourself talk.  After each verbal encounter, ask yourself, What did I say that was kind?  What did I say that was unkind?

Kindness can change a person’s life.  Yours, and theirs.

I’m Not Crazy…I Promise!

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I am going to warn you right off….this is a long read, but I really felt the need to explain  in complete detail this subject.  So I apologize from the get go….and when you have finished reading this post…you will know why I am apologizing.  :)

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have ever wrote.  I have put it off for way to long.  I feel like I am at a point in my life that I can somewhat explain what this feeling is that I have had my WHOLE life, and why it has been so hard for me to have a feeling of fulfillment.  At times, in fact at the best of times I have been a very hard person to live with, as I am sure that my husband and children can substantiate.  I thank God everyday for their love and patience in dealing with me on a daily basis.

So a little background.  When I was entering into a time in my life where everything should have been a very intriguing time, I was experiencing so many hurdles that were mandatory to jump over, that I felt like I was so overwhelmed.  The more overwhelmed I felt, the more I would pile on myself, to cover up exactly how I was feeling.  You know the old saying, put your problems out of site and they will be out of mind?  Well that is how I lived my life.  I was not where I needed to be, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or even mentally.  I was 23 years old, pregnant, living in the city (I was very much a country girl), going to college and wondering what was wrong with me.  I should have been happy.  I had the whole thing…a great job, great house, picket fence, and was waiting the arrival of my first child.

I was feeling a bit nervous about all that was going on in my life, so on my next OB appointment I explained all of this to the doctor and he felt maybe I needed to talk to someone.  So he sent me to a phycologist.  On my first appointment I took a battery of tests to sum up all the feelings I was having.  We chatted a bit about how my parents had divorced when I was 14, how my big baby brother moved away, (he is actually older than I but the youngest of three older brothers, hence the name).  How I turned 18, graduated, and got married all within a 5 months span of the same year.  I expressed that my life was not where I thought I would be, how my marriage was difficult, my relationship with my mother had become strained, at best, because of my marriage among many other “wrong” things in my life.  Then we scheduled my next appointment.  Two weeks later, I was given a diagnosis that would haunt me for nearly 20 years.  Clinical Depression.  I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t even know what depression was.  Sure I felt down sometimes, but was always able to “get happy” relatively quickly, so I never gave it a second thought. It was important to me that I not take any meds at the time because of being pregnant, so we waited until after the baby was born to do anything about it.  Once I gave birth, I started taking a myriad of drugs that would put me in a drug induced state for many years.  My daughter was 3 weeks old.  For some reason because I suffered from “clinical depression” the phycologist feared me getting postpartum depression, so he felt it was important that I start on something right away.  I wasn’t able to breastfeed so that wasn’t a problem.

So I started taking medication with hopes of everything getting better.  Then another bombshell.  At the age of 5 weeks, my baby was diagnosed with Cancer.  So then I felt I had a reason to be depressed.  What followed was 2 years of living in and out of a hospital watching her get better then get worse.  A the age of 2 she became tumor free and life once again should have been sublime.  But as time went on….so did my symptoms.  The medication wasn’t helping.  I returned to the doctor for more help and he changed my medication and said once again….this should help.  All the while I didn’t feel like anything had changed.  Everything was the same.  Still had all the problems that I had while off of medication.  I didn’t want to go anywhere.  I didn’t want to talk to people.  I even stopped working.  I started babysitting at home and eventually I started to feel a little better.  I did notice however that nothing made me happy.  I was always irritated at everyone and everything. I had no energy.  I started to gain weight.  And to top it off, my marriage was not good.  We were just going through the motions.

Years passed.  What followed were many more things to add to my “depression”.   A miscarriage, the birth of another daughter,  another miscarriage, moving back to my home town, my divorce, and then my daughter was diagnosed again with cancer at the age of 4.  Again everything was falling apart.  It seemed that everything never seemed to be “going right”.  I once again felt like the “medication” wasn’t working.

Eight months later, my daughter passed away.  I had some really hard decision to make in the preceding months.  Her doctors and I took her off of therapy in July before she died in September.  Knowing the end of her life was eminent, I poured all of my time into spending it doing what she wanted and making her happy.  Again putting my own feelings on the back burner because that is what mom’s do when they unconditionally love their children.

After she died, I was so wrapped up in getting on with life without her, that I forgot to live.  I stopped all things in my life and just attempted to get on with day to day life.  I still had a child to take care of, and she barely knew she was supposed to miss her sister, and after a while just stopped talking about her.  I again didn’t want to go anywhere, shopping terrified me, I rarely left the house.  At times, the only place I felt safe was in my house, in my bed, not talking to anyone.  Not because I was depressed, which is what I was told was wrong with me….but because I felt unsafe and unprotected.  I felt exposed and vulnerable.  Everywhere I went I felt as if I was known “as the one who lost the child I read about in the paper.”

It was then that I started changing my perspective on what was wrong with me.  To me these were not feelings of depression.  I was told that I had major anxiety issues.  But I wasn’t having panic attacks….I was afraid to leave my home… I wasn’t afraid of other people…I just didn’t want to be around anyone.  When it was time to go grocery shopping, I had to work up to it.  Making a list and buying a ton of stuff was not an option for me.  I ended up going to the store and only getting what I needed to make a couple of meals and that took a max of about 20 minutes.  Once I returned back home I was fine.  The problem was that I didnt’ feel this way 100% of the time.

As time went on, my symptoms changed.  I eventually remarried and had another child.  The relationship was a very abusive relationship, physically and mentally.  So for the next 8 years I was wrapped up in trying to make him happy so no harm came to me or my children.  Eventually  I was able to get out of that relationship, and met the man God intended me to be with from the start.  We married, and finally started our lives together.  For the first time in my life, I had no “reason” to feel the way I felt.  But for some reason, I still felt that way.  I still felt anxious about anything and everything.

My husband became a pastor at a small church and we began an 8 year journey that would change my life….AND how I felt about it.

I can remember the day as if it was yesterday… I had what I know now to be a panic attack.  It was in the middle of a church fellowship dinner.  I felt as if I was having a heart attack.  My body felt all tingly and I got dizzy. I felt like ice was running through my veins. I wanted to run away from my body but I couldn’t, of course. Shallow breathing. Heart racing. Total panic.  I felt like the organs inside my body were shaking so violently that they were going to shake out of me.  (I actually can kinda feel that right now…just typing how it made me feel).  I felt like the walls were closing in around me and I couldnt’ breath.  Claustrophobia had nothing on this feeling.  Everything felt like it was out of control.  I felt like my body was trying to shut down and I was going to eventually stop breathing and just die.  As bad as I felt, death would have been a welcomed sight.  (No I wasn’t suicidal….just needed that feeling to go away).

I left the room, ran outside, got some fresh air and my husband tried his best to calm me down.  We left the dinner and went to the hospital.  The doctor I saw have me a shot of Ativan, calmed me down.  I didn’t understand. What was wrong with me.  What was physically wrong with me.  The problem was that I FELT like it was a physical problem, but in all actuality it was a physiological issue.  There was nothing medically wrong with me but my body was acting as if there were.  They were called panic attacks.  What?  I used to make fun of people that said they had panic attacks.  I thought they were just silly.  How could someone panic to the point that they wanted to literally just die to feel better.  Well now I knew what that was like.

I then went to see a doctor in the clinic, and finally, got a proper diagnosis.  Although I did feel depressed off and on, I was not a depressed individual.  I didn’t have suicidal thoughts, depression medication didn’t help, and nothing I did seemed to improve my mood.  I desperately wanted to know what was wrong with me.  I continued to not want to be around people, and felt safer at home, in my bed, where nothing seemed to hurt me.  Finally, the doctor explained to me that I suffered from an anxiety disorder, also known as social anxiety.  It involves an overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others to the point of being embarrassed to be around other people for fear of not being accepted.

I have never talked about this in public before for fear of being judged and made fun of, feeling as if noone would understand.  Fear they would think the same thing I used to think about people that experienced what I have been experiencing.  My husband and daughter and a couple of very close friends are pretty much the only people that know…and are the only people that know what to do when it happens and helps me to overcome it.  I am telling you I have never felt anything like it before.  And the older I get the worse it seems to get.  I do have an easier time identifying when it is happening than I used to and I know how to overcome it faster.  I will tell you it is a feeling of panic, on a level that I have never known, and there are times that people think I am just being a grouch…when in fact I am actually trying to overcome some feeling of not being good enough for whatever reason.

So there you have it.  I am not crazy.  I am not trying to be a grouch. I am not trying to be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes…..sometimes I just don’t know what to do to hide it anymore.  So I am not going to hide it any longer.  I am just putting it out there for the world to know.  Not so they can feel sorry for me, but so maybe they can better understand why I do things the way I do.  You don’t have to tell me that it is satan at work…I know this.  I don’t need “more” of God in my life….it is only with God’s Grace and help that I can even talk about it and maybe help people to better understand.

I don’t ask that you feel sorry for me, or even like me.  All I ask is that if you choose not to try to understand that this is a physiological issue, not a mental one, then maybe try not to be so judgemental.   The difference is that a mental issue means there is something wrong with your brain wether it be a challange you were born with or a chemical imbalance that has developed in your brain.  A physiological problem is something that your body tricks you into thinking there is a medical problem.

So, the next time someone tells you they are dealing with an issue that they don’t want to talk about, try to understand that maybe, just maybe, they are afraid to talk about it for fear of not being accepted.  Life is just that.  Life.  And life happens to everyone, just in different ways.

 

Sorry For The Delay

  

Wanted to let everyone know that I am having computer problems. My computer decided to have a mind of its own this week. I had two blog posts written and it crashed BIG TIME. I messed with it for a couple of days and then finally handed it over to the computer guru… AKA my husband, LOL He started working on it this morning…finally determined that he couldn’t save my files…and is now in the process of wiping the hard drive clean and reinstalling Windows. It has been at 2% done for about 2 hours now. LOL. So I might be back on by Christmas. Going to try to post from my iPad tomorrow. Will see how that works.  

Book Review:  Disaster At Havendale

I just had to share my thoughts and review on my hubby’s first book that he has published titled “Disaster At Havendale.”  It is the first of a two-book series; he is working on the sequel right now. I am so proud of him for accomplishing this after 30 years of lugging it around with him.  I am so excited to see what the future brings for his new passion/career!  So with no further adieu…here it is:

 
 A very well-written and thrilling story! (and no I am not being partial…It really is good!)

The main character, Dick Travis, is the sort of everyman hero who is likable with an air of mystery about him as he struggles with the past loss of his parents to a severe storm many years ago. As he realizes the extent of the weather system bearing down on them, he and his teacher try to warn everyone, but to no avail.

When the storms hit, the vivid description of devastation is both believable and at the same time horrifying. The author seems to have done extensive research into weather terminology and gives us a sneak peek into possible future technologies.

This novel reads very fast-paced and is a page-turner. I was especially riveted as the survivors struggled to be rescued during the aftermath.  It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was coming next.

Overall, an excellent start to this author’s writing career and I look forward to reading other works! Highly recommended!!

You can buy the Kindle edition for just  $0.99 cents until the 9th of Novermber.  Then the price will go to $4.99.  The paperback copy is just a mere $11.99!  You can preorder either now by going HERE.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  Can’t wait for the second one to come out!

Spiritual Desert (The Final Chapter)

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

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The final chapter of my spiritual desert is certainly an ongoing one.  The ending is not yet written.  The middle of it is just that…the middle.  My spiritual desert still tries very hard to creep into my life from time to time.  It is so very hard to stay focused on the task of earnestly seeking God.  And by earnestly seeking I don’t mean reading my Bible, taking part in a Bible study, and/or reading/writing my devotions.  I mean the type of seeking that you fall on your face in prayer because you can’t feel Him at your side, or hear Him speaking to you in your daily life.

I was doing what I thought God wanted me to do….but He was still silent.  I have always said that when God answers prayers he has one of four answers…Yes, No, Wait, and Are you kidding?  I believe I was in a time of waiting.  I thought God was being silent in my life.  I believed that He was trying to tell me I wasn’t doing something right.  Instead he was just saying that I needed to heal, and wait upon Him to reveal to me the next chapter in my life.  I was at a breaking point of what I would call “the point of no return.”  The hurt that I experienced over the last 5-6 years was so unbearably deep that He knew that I needed to heal from that to move on to His next appointed task.

So I sat.  And I waited.  And waited. And waited.  I felt like God was never going to return to my side.  I longed to hear His words in my ears.  I longed to feel Him sitting beside me.  I think I was blinded by a spirit I had let take a hold of me and I allowed this spirit to take my thoughts and feelings and run down a path that I had traveled many times before and was certainly familiar to me.  I think I had a spirit of doubt about me.  Years ago I was diagnosed with depression and was on medication for a number of years to deal with it.  The medicine helped me from being depressed, but it also made me unaware of many things around me.  Like my children, my family, my life in general.  I was so wrapped up in my diagnosis that I was blinded by the fact that it was not depression I was suffering from…it was living in the world and not letting God handle things in His time.  Praise God 10 years ago I took myself off of all of the medicine that had been prescribed and put my trust in God that he would take care of all of my needs.  And He did just that.  He delivered me from all of those dark times and put a renewed spirit in me that made me realize He can deliver a person from anything they want to be delivered from.  That is the key.  You have to want it.  I was perfectly fine wallowing in my depression because it made me feel better.  It was easier than getting up and fighting.  So when I felt myself slipping back in that direction…I decided to skip the medication part and go straight to God.

See here is the issue.  When we pastored the church in Missouri, it was a very tough church to pastor. Without boring you with the details…we went through a lot of hurt in 5 years. I miss my daughter (who’s been with Jesus for over 23 years now) but I think I buried her with less pain than we experienced over a 5 year period at that church. The town that we lived in is a very spiritually dead town and people don’t want to serve Jesus. We had death threats from church members, friends that stabbed us in the back many times, and we were even slammed on television for defending our faith while trying to run a store that sold synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia out of town. Even worse my extended family was at the head of some of the gossip and wrong doing. Through all of that we stood firm in Jesus and continued to spread the word of God diligently. With that….came lots of persecution.  This is the MAIN reason we moved to Wisconsin. We all needed a fresh new start….we needed to shake the dust off our shoes and move on.

So fast forward to the last week or so.  Richard had been off for two days and we have had a wonderful time together with our daughter home from college. I have been sharing with my husband about how I felt like I was alone in the desert…seeking God’s face and I still couldn’t hear Him or feel His presence. I knew He was there….but felt alone.

A few nights ago I was praying that God would speak to me. I asked Him to take this hurt and pain from me and allow me to feel closer to Him again. I prayed that He take it all away just as He did 2 years ago when I was having trouble drinking things with caffeine in them because it was causing cysts all over my body and covering my uterus and ovaries. I asked Him to take away my desire of it. (He did…the very next drink I took tasted like some kind of cleaner and I haven’t drank it since) I stopped praying…looked at my husband asleep next to me and wept uncontrollably. I later told Richard that I just realized that all along I have been waiting on God and I just realized that He was waiting on me. I knew He could take away this pain and hurt just as He did with the caffeinated drinks I just had to believe that He would. As soon as I was done praying I went to sleep. The last thought I remembered having before going to sleep was that of which satan put in my head….”He really won’t you know. He is going to just leave you here in this desert to rot.” I sat up in bed, husband fast asleep, and said “GET THEE BEHIND ME satan YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME. I AM A CHILD OF GOD AND HE HAS FORGIVEN ME!” Then I went to sleep.

I felt a little “off” all day for the next day or two.  The last couple of days I have a feeling of peace that has come over me and I realized that I was allowing other peoples actions, and circumstances in my life to dictate my faith. How could I be deceived so easily? How could I have so little faith that I would allow all that I have been through to keep me from discerning what was actually happening. I keep trying to tell myself that these feelings were many years in the making and the longer I waited to trust…the harder it got to trust.  I asked God where He wanted me to meet Him and he said to me “Where have you been trying to meet me?”  I realized that I have been waiting for him to reach out to me, when in fact I am the one who needed to reach out.  He has been there waiting all along…I just needed to once again…look up and clean out my ears.

So although I am not a huge supporter of “getting over it”….I do believe that people have to work through things and we all process things differently……I can say that I think I have felt better the last few days than I have felt in MONTHS! I even started thinking about posts on my devotional blog again….and the ideas just came flooding back in so much that I had to start a list of them. God clearly said to me this morning in my prayer time…..”it is time Jeannie.” I was so grateful again to hear His voice. I have put off writing this final part of my “Spiritual Desert” series and now that I actually have an ending to write about it was much easier.

If you find yourself in a spiritual desert…the only advice I can give is don’t look for an oasis.  Create your own oasis.  Create it by diligently looking for and seeking God’s face.  He may be silent to you for a bit but He merely means for you to wait upon Him.  It will all be in His time.

My Dream Come True – Wildwood Prize

Check out this post written by my hubby on his blog…. sliceofhome.

Slice of Home, Slice of Life

In just about 12 days, I’ll know whether or not my lifelong dream has come to fruition: having my novel, “Disaster at Havendale”, published in print!

Since the age of 16, when the idea came to me (literally) on a dark and stormy night in Brookfield, MO, I have labored; sweated; and shed many a worrisome tear over this novel. It has undergone several rewrites while remaining mostly true to its original storyline, and, of course, as the times and technologies have changed so has the tech in the book. Yet, it is mostly intact, and the same DNA intermingles from then to now in the bloodline.

You know, there’s nothing like the first thing you write; it is like giving birth to a healthy 10-pound baby in all its ripping, gnarling journey out of the womb. Long suffering agony gives way to smiles and joy as the pain recedes…

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