I Don’t Like This, So I Wrote About It

God-of-My-Emotions

 

Clenched Chest. Unclear mind. Randomly upset.

My moods and emotions are pretty steady most of the time, but there are days when my chest feels clenched, my mind can’t focus and I feel upset for no reason. Believe me, I try to find a reason, and often times I don’t. I don’t know why something will bother me more on one day than another – hormones? Maybe. Whatever the reason, I. Do. Not. Like. It.

I don’t like it at all.

I don’t like it so much I wrote an article about it at momsoffaith.com. Find it here. (God of My Emotions)

Be encouraged. 🙂 If you struggle with this, I’d love to hear from you.

I write articles for Moms of Faith twice a week. Find me there every Wednesday and Saturday. PS – You don’t have to be a Mom to visit. I promise, no one is checking. 

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Praise the One Who Paid

My children and I always pray before they leave for school, well, usually I do the praying. Yesterday my little P spoke up as soon as I said “amen.”

P: “Mom, I want to pray.”

“Dear Jesus, I’m so sorry we killed you on the cross.”

I’m not sure how she put that all together, I hadn’t mentioned it in my prayer.

Praise & Paid. Today, especially, I remember these words. (Good Friday)

He didn’t have to pay.

Sometimes the words of my heart are already written.

“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”-Elvina M. Hall (1865)

“Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.” -Kristian Stanfill

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” -Psalm 105:1

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OhO

One Good Man

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Once I was naĂŻve.

I thought I could tell if a man were good or bad, kind or mean.

But I was wrong.

I learned the hard way that a man is not always who he portrays himself to be. I learned the hard way that he could hit and slap, kick and shove, beat and rape, subject you to public humiliations and break your heart.

I learned the hard way that the one person in the entire world who is meant to love and protect you is the one person in the whole world that you need protection from.

Recently I was invited to the 60th birthday celebration of a dear family friend, a man I have known my whole life, a man I admire and respect. You know who you are. We were told, no gifts, just a card. As I sat to write my hand and brain seemed incapable of expressing what was in my heart. It came out a mish mash of random thoughts that probably just seemed weird.

What I wanted to say was this: When I was growing up, I saw men who loved their wives and families. My father. My grandfathers. My uncles. My brothers. My Christian brothers. I was not unaware that there was evil in the world, but I had been exposed to men of integrity all my life, so when a man came along who lacked integrity but radiated charm and possessed a dynamic personality, I was easily deceived.

When I was at last free, my heart was broken once again, then a third time.

I can’t help but think of my favorite Christmas Carol taken from a poem by Longfellow.

Christmas Bells

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

At times I feel like changing the words, “There are no good men on earth I said,”

But like Longfellow, I am reminded,

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

And I remember those men, the ones that I have witnessed all my life, who love their wives. Who love their children. Who love their God.

And I am thankful for them. They are my own bells that chime to remind me that all men are not bad.

Joy Inducing

The word is: Paint

I invested a lot of my High School years into art. I loved (still love) art. Yet, after four years I came to the sad conclusion that the internal creativeness that I believe is required for an artist to produce art was not present inside of me. I could imitate art but that wasn’t enough for me to consider pursuing it.

Twenty years later I discovered the key to unlocking the creativity in my heart. Repurposing.  I love to repurpose objects from the past and make them useful again for a new generation.

I’m a very practical person. I feel the most creative when my art can be used in some way. It’s why I love to bake and cook. Crochet. And especially create repurposed items to wear or for the home.

Recently I’ve been painting with my words. In the same way as the art I create with my hands, I want my words to be useful. To have purpose. I want the picture that I paint with my words to produce something in the reader. I want them to induce JOY.

Health

Healing

Laughter

Hope

Companionship

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I paint with my words.

 

5minutefriday

This post was written for 5 minute friday – click for link.

death. Life, Living, Everlasting Life and ETERNITY

It’s Sunday afternoon and my neighbor was found dead this morning. This is not the first paragraph of a crime novel, it really happened.

A little after 8:00 AM I was on the way to the basement to get the clean laundry so we’d have something to wear to church. As I passed through my office at the front of the house I noticed police lights flashing outside and that an officer was walking toward my neighbor’s door. As I moved in for a closer look out the window I saw the body of my neighbor lying in the rain next to the trash and recycling buckets.

I ran through the kitchen and opened the front door and saw that poor Bill was not passed out as I hoped, but that he was dead in a puddle of water.

Let me pause to explain our bizarre living situation. I live in a 120 year old Victorian that at some point mid-century was divided into two apartments and offices. This unique division means that several parts of the house are inevitably shared living. So Bill was not a “far-away” neighbor but a man I saw and spoke with almost daily. The door to the basement which led to the clean laundry that we were about to wear to church, was in his kitchen.

In fact, I was the last one, to my knowledge, to speak to Bill, in person at least. The oven in my kitchen has been broken for months and it has just been easier to come downstairs and use Bill’s oven for all my baking and cooking needs. He didn’t mind, he never used it. Last night I was pulling out pork chops and baked potatoes and Bill came stumbling in from outside.

He was in his late sixties, a life-long smoker and was deeply depressed. He was alone in the world except for a daughter and a ninety year old father. Last week my dad and brother had to call Bill’s family to look in on him because it was clear to those of us who saw him on a daily basis that he was unwell, not eating and fading away. This wintery winter had been hard on him.

His daughter took him for a full check-up last week and the report was good. Bill even perked up for a few days! But last night he was not right. Dizzy. Unstable. I helped him to his seat and talked with him a bit. I asked if the medicine was making him dizzy and he said it did. I told him to call me on my cell phone if he needed me, I would come.

That’s the last time we spoke.

After the events of this morning I wish I had called my dad last night to come and check on Bill. In hindsight, I would have done things differently, yet I will live with my decision. He had been so weak for so long that his appearance was not as alarming as it should have been to me.

I am saddened that his body had to be found outside in the rain by a passerby. I am sad that he seemed to have nothing to live for and chose to fade away.

I am glad that his body was found on a Sunday morning and not a weekday when my children would have been walking to school and witnessed it. I’m thankful he died in an open place where he was found and not in his bed so that after a few days myself or my brother (who works here) would have smelled his remains.

This is raw. And this is honest.

Bill did not have a relationship with the Healer of Hearts, Jesus Christ.  That is the saddest news of all.

His death, as with all situations of this kind, has opened a door of conversation with my own children about life, living, everlasting life and eternity, so I will treasure and nurture these conversations. If there is only one glimmer of sweetness in this tragic, bitter end, those conversations are it.

death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(E for Eternity & Everlasting Life)

 

PS – this was written last Sunday.

Beginnings

I’ve shared a few times what prompted me to start (and keep on) writing this blog (Why I Blog, Why Do YOU Write and Clothed with Joy.) One fruit of blogging has been the opportunity to be a writer for a faith based blog called Moms of Faith. Starting today my articles will be featured every Wednesday and Saturday.

This is very exciting, yet so intimidating at the same time. The articles I write for Moms of Faith are a different side of me than is usually seen here at Clothed with Joy – a much more vulnerable side. Plus, I’m writing for someone else and a bigger audience – so I’m sure that plays into the shaky elbow feeling as well.

My first article is called “When Everything is Not Awesome.” Even if you are Not a mom,take a minute and hop on over there – there’s no check in required, you will not need to show your stretch marks as proof of motherhood.

My hope is that the words I write hold messages of truth, blessing and healing that transcend gender, marital status, parenthood and belief system.

Find link here: When Everything is Not Awesome

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