Let’s Riot! I Get It.

A darkness used to reside within me, a malignant darkness and I became internally furious. I constantly was searching for something that would render relief. I became angry. 

For so much of my life things happened to me that were not my fault, abuse that I could not stop. At the age of 6 until I was 12 I was molested and raped by someone who was supposed to love me. 

6 years of pent-up aggression. 

When we are done wrong, anger is triggered. Sometimes it is dealt with immediately and resolved and at other times it beds itself down deep and festers. Anger is natural. Righteous anger has its place but rioting and hurting the innocent is not righteous anger. Anger that leads to lashing out, looting, hitting, punching, shooting, and killing is not righteous. That type of anger points to a poison. 

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8‭-‬9 NIV

Satan is very keen on the thresholds he can get through. Just as God watches our every move so does Satan. Just as God loves us so much that He sent his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, Satan uses anything he can against us to bring us darkness and destroy us from the inside out. Suppressed anger is his forte.  He hates you. When you allow the poison to build inside of you, you let darkness enter the world. Evil and Satan has no power over you unless you let them have it. It’s a choice you choose. Whatever pain, whatever abuse you have faced, was not your fault but this decision to be filled with hate is your choice. 

At the age of 12, I was put in the State’s care and in this process I constantly came face to face with adults that would talk me through some poor form of healing. They would tell me how I should behave, try to help me cope, tell me how I should feel, and move me from home to home. I felt like the criminal and not like the victim.  I got angry. 

I understand to a point, the desire to riot. When so much pain gets packed down inside of you and it comes wave after wave with no relief, you’re like a volcano needing to vent. However, like the volcano you put others at risk. 

Same thing goes when you fail to heed instructions and maintain self-control. Eventually enough rebellion heaps a load of consequences you weren’t looking for and you find yourself expelled from relationships and facing we punishment. 

I had my rioting. I let Satan fill me with dark anger. I’ve had my rebellion. I’ve acted out selfishly.  I’ve danced with my anger and have burned bridges. And I will say not an ounce of what I did brought relief at all. My insides are scarred.

I have learned the rage in me wasn’t me seeking justice but wanting vengeance. The Lord makes it clear. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:18‭-‬21 NIV 

I realized I had a heart issue and dropped the vengeance seeking and step by step I sought the Lord.

To the one who is on the verge of volcanic explosion, I ask for just a moment of your time. That hurt that you harbor, it wasn’t your fault. The constant attack again and again… you were so young. You weren’t meant to handle a load like that. We live in a sick world and sick things happen but does it really make sense to continue making a mess of things? 

You need relief? I totally get that. It’s like a poison in your veins and you want to bleed it out. You want to be free. You want reconciliation. You want justice. You want acceptance, to be understood. You want relief from painful things that run in your mind non-stop. I get it. 

I started cutting myself and swallowing pills. I had sex at a very young age trying to find something to alleviate all the pain I held in. I had a kid at the age of 15 and had to grow up super fast. For 4 years I did the best I could and got nowhere. 

People will never fill you. Rioting will never cure you nor justify the wrong you’ve endured. You instead of being a victim, become a criminal. Justifying your actions by making excuses of ‘being hurt first’ only prolongs the freedom you seek. 

Let’s be real. 

There’s not a single human on the face of this Earth that has never made a mistake. We are not in a position to judge as we all have things we’ve done wrong. We can’t say or rightfully feel what we went through merits the right to do whatever we want. If that’s the case then whoever abused you… had the right to make that decision.

Rioting solves nothing. It’s like a bad hangover, it finds you feeling worse when it’s over. 

2020 has been a year unlike one we’ve seen maybe ever, in our lifetime. We are to be socially distant. Some of us have lost our jobs and are struggling pretty hard. Our lives have all been changed by something we can’t fix. We are tired of oppression. We want to be heard. We want change.  

No one on the face of this earth can make what you’re going through any better. They can give you a friendship to help you get through it, but they can’t heal it.

But I know someone who can. I know someone who has been poor, misunderstood, spat upon, slapped, beaten, mocked. Someone who has faced heartaches you nor I could fully understand. I still don’t and I’ve known him 20 years. 

John 17 reveals His heart. He prayed for you. Hebrews 9: 24-28 states why He came to Earth in the first place. 

You’re not the only one who carries a heavy burden. You’re not the only one. 

In sharing this with a brother of mine, he added some thought that added even more substance to what I have written. I will share. He commented,  “We are each one shaped and molded by our experiences of life to be left with a void unique only to us. We all seek to fill the void inside of us and each one of us expresses our need to be complete in different ways, anger, silence, laughter, over-attachment, you name it.

The issue is the process to create the void was so unique to each and everyone of us. The void is like a snowflake, one of a kind, never to be duplicated again. This void can only be filled by the Master Carpenter who makes the perfectly shaped piece crafted specifically for you. In every instance perfectly matching your failures, success, laughter, and disappointments to give you completeness to the point that forgiveness is a possibility. Forgiveness for who? …

Well, that’s just like a snowflake.”

We all have messed up in some form or fashion (Romans 3:23) We all need our hearts to align with God to get the healing we seek. The Bible speaks often of a contrite heart. In Isaiah 66:2, the Lord says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.

Then from there God starts the healing on the inside of the heart. Rioting and anger will never bring you justice.

You’re not the only one who carries a heavy burden. You’re not the only one. 

Mr. Frosty Bear

December 7, 2019 is a date I will forever remember. It was a Friday afternoon about 6pm. My family and I were cleaning the vet’s office. In the back room as I went to get the broom, I seen this tiny little white ball looking up at me. He had his toenails caught in the towel he was sleeping on and could not move around very well.

I do not usually open the cages to interact with the pets, mainly because I fear some rabid animal ripping my face off, lol. Yet, this one had all my attention.

I carefully detached the towel from his nails and held him in my hand. I felt so full of joy that I wanted to cry. He cuddled against my chest. I loved on him and put him back in his cage. Instant bond.

In my heart being unable to handle his isolation I contacted the vet and said, “Please tell me that little white puppy needs a home.” I honestly felt it was a long shot. Who on Earth would not want this little guy?!

To my surprise he answered, “If Crystal has not found a home for it, it is yours. I figured you would see it.”

Are you for real?!

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Pure Blood Maltese; Mr. Frosty Bear

Saturday morning had me at the vet at 11am picking this little guy up and bringing him home and though he has been an adjustment and we have had our trials with him, he is nothing short of a blessing and we feel he was born just for us.

 

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It has been 5 months and I have never experienced such love and loyalty. I realize now that this little Maltese was a gift from God. I have had some deep emotional trials lately and the nurturing love this little guy gives is therapeutic. My husband and I both value him more than we ever thought possible. I finally get the dog mom. Our pets do feel like another child. You feel just as responsible and loyal to them as you do your own babies.

 

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Proverbs 12:10 “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”

2020 Adventures – Spring – Post 4

Soil provides such therapy for a burdened soul. I honestly could stay out here in my garden and flower beds forever.

A few treasures I’ve found digging around.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar
Orange Jelly Fungi
Black Walnut Seedling. It looks alien to me.
Black Walnut 🌱
What type of pupa would you call this? I have looked it up and find it to be a wasp or a moth baby. Not sure. Do you have an idea?

2020 Adventures – Spring – Post 3

It seems the rain has became quite fond of our area. I try so hard not to complain. My garden plants are taking these storms and cooler temperatures like a trooper but I am not sure how long they can endure. They are tender little plants and too much of a good thing, becomes well, a bad thing.

I find myself constantly checking on these little seedlings and telling them to, “Hang in there, better days are coming full of sun.”

2020 Adventures – Spring – Post 2

The seedlings need a new place to spread their roots and grow. See what I did there? They can’t grow wings and fly. That would be silly.

Green Beans and Cucumbers in their early moments.
Seedlings need a new home.

So, it’s off to the garden. *Sigh* I could stay in the garden all day.

Though it is not very appealing at the moment and the seedlings seem microscopic in the distance, I know new life is being created. I step back and look at the work thus far and dream of what the garden will look like come July. It makes me all giddy!

In the mean time these little plants will need nourishment, tending, and even protection from storms, bugs, even other animals. I keep in the front of my mind, though I plant the seed and tend to it, the Ultimate Gardener, brings forth the harvest. My job is to plant. His job is to bring it to fruition. Yet, a harvest can’t happen if I am unwilling to participate.

When I am gardening my heart and soul reflects over my life. I process thoughts like, “If I can love the tending of a garden as much as I do (even all the frustrations and sometimes seedling deaths and replanting) how much more God must have loved His garden in Eden. And it wasn’t the garden itself per say but the quenching of Adam Eve and the animal’s dietary needs.”

I also think, “Life is like a garden. It’s full of challenges, responsibility, growth, even death…as the plant has to grow well enough to produce a flower and that flower must die to bring forth fruit and once it’s duration of fruit bearing is over, it begins to cease existing.” Nature moves me. This time of year I would rather be outside at any point than indoors.

What do you find enjoyable about garden? Which stage is your favorite starting seeds, weeding and tilling soil, planting seedlings, watching it all grow, or the harvest?

2020 Adventures – Spring – Post 1

Our winter was really wet. Gloomy days, dampness all around, foggy evenings, and on the brink of freezing temps, had me feeling rather glum. I held on doing all I could to make things as positive as possible yet towards the end of the season I had the worst case of cabin fever.

Then this pandemic with COVID hit and restrictions were implied furthering my yearning for brighter, warmer days.

2020 will be a year to remember. We will want to forget, but too many first time experiences probably rule that one out.

Our vacation was canceled rendering an opportunity for a staycation. You know, there has been a lot of stuff around here I have been wanting to clean up, create, and get set up, so I will be posting my journey in these following posts. I hope and pray somewhere in the realm of circumstance and time that these posts will relax, encourage, motivate, and encourage you.

First thing I want to get going is my beginner garden. It’s about an 8X12 fenced in area . I’ve made a garden twice before and loved it in this very same plot. I have planted cumbers, tomatoes, and yellow squash in the past but this time I will also be adding eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and green beans.

I love feeling the soil. Cold. Moist. There’s something therapeutic about sifting through the soil, tossing out rocks, and removing weeds.

I reflect a lot when I am outside. Gardening is like life, it teaches you many things. It’s refreshing. I love we live in a world where this is possible. I believe counseling services should have huge backyard gardens that can be tended during therapy sessions. Something about it opens you up.

What preparations do you make in order to have a productive garden during the winter months?

Do you feel a garden is therapeutic?

Good Friday 2020

Whoa. This is pretty deep. Surreal. Last night all I could think of is how Christ must have felt. This is a very dark day. I cannot imagine Christ’s yesterday being the last supper with His friends, the washing of their feet, the walk to the Garden to pray (all the while with this heavy and broken heart)  only to have his friends pass out in sleep, and then the betrayal by a kiss from one of His 12! 

Then on today (many years ago) the movement to have Christ killed came so quickly. The mocking, the beating, the scourging, and finally the gruesome crucifixion. 

He asked for this in His prayer the night before, “If there is a way Father let this cup pass from me,” “yet not my will but thine be done.” Matthew 26:36-39

Christ knew for a moment God, while He hung on the cross, was going to turn his back on him. For a moment, Jesus was going to feel what it was like to have no God in your life. The emptiness. The guilt. The sin. Yet, He did it all for US!   

He CHOSE to redeem us and give us life. Nothing about this task was easy. Nothing was comfortable. It was the most agonizing experience ever to happen in history. 

I think this video kind of brings us to a mindset where we are able to ‘feel’ Christ’s hurt at just a portion. 

What we call Good Friday, I find hard to be joyful and at peace … without first thinking and meditating on what it cost Christ. It’s humbling. It’s painful. Yet, at the same time, it speaks volumes. 

Christ is the only thing that dictates my worth, my purpose. He is protective. He is compassionate. And everything He went through during the Easter week many, many years ago… should leave me with no question of who I am.  And you know what He suffered for us ALL. Yet, don’t forget, He would have done it just for one, just for you. 

You are worth more to Christ than His value on His own life! It’s agape love. It’s real. It’s deep. It’s everlasting. But He has respect. You don’t want Him in your life, He won’t force himself as that’s not a relationship. 

However, regardless of choice, there are consequences. That’s not Jesus being sneaky and manipulating you to worship and believe in Him. It’s absolute Truth and it’s your choice. 

Our souls never die. We have a physical body at the moment but that will not be the case forever. Soon the spiritual life will come, where our bodies, and purpose, and rest of eternity is quite different all because of this Good Friday many, many years ago. 

You choose—–>

A life forever with Him striving to follow, serve, and live, all the while in constant communion and relationship with Jesus even in the spiritual life following this physical one on Earth.

Or a life without Him, still loving and being a ‘good’ person but without a relationship with Christ yet there is eternal separation in the spiritual life when this physical life on Earth is over because you chose it. 

then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10‭-‬12 NIV

This video cuts deep. I wonder if the world was as vacant and as quiet like this as Christ hung on the cross? Afterwards, when He died, did the world grow vastly different? Imagine there not being any Hope. Imagine the emptiness. Maybe around us today are small glimpses. It’s important to remember. To process. To self-evaluate.

https://youtu.be/-VH0l5fuKUc  (watch video here)

To those who choose not to believe or question your belief, can you really afford to be wrong?

Hush

I hate it when I cannot sleep. I toss and turn, aware that with every move I make I am risking interrupting my husband’s sleep, yet my mind races!! And I know if I can’t get a prayer to calm my mind, writing will beckon me next. 

When I was seeing a psychologist due to trauma of abuse I encountered, one of the ways they would encourage you to process thoughts and fears was to write it out. For me, the pen or keyboard is a siphon to rid my mind of much unnecessary clutter. It also helps me zero in on a focal point, that’s why most of my prayers are written and lengthy. 

I have been so blessed with good conversation lately with people I have been blessed to meet just within this last year. Oh, how I love deep conversations. One thing that seems to be repeated lately, is the messiness in the minds. 

This messiness causes us to not be focused, to forget where we were going in our general conversation, to literally forget words. For me, I am having to seriously battle in my head before I can get out a solid prayer, hence, the lengthy written out prayers I have compiled. I would say the first part is me asking God to get Satan out of my head. What does it look like to have Satan attacking your prayers?

Here you are, head bowed, eyes closed, and you start, “Dear Heavenly Father… ( you should be up about getting your bookkeeping situated) … Dear Lord I ask that you clear my mind ( Did you make that phone call yesterday, what about ordering fuses for the lights in the Kia, oh and you need to schedule a doctor appointment) Jesus, please get Satan out of my mind. I cannot focus. Lord, the world is dealing with a huge spiritual battle. (It’s a virus) (No, it’s not, that is what you want us to focus on, now get out of my head) Lord, forgive me for being so distant. Satan is making it hard to focus. While there are these things I need to do in the world today, my heart and mind needs You. I can’t make him leave. They say at the name of Jesus, Satan has to flee. That he cringes at your name. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… not today Satan. Leave me alone in Christ’s name. Back to where I was…. Oh yeah, Lord God so many are suffering in many unique ways. I ask that you be with my children, Lord. Not just my own but those I have bonded with outside of my home. You called me to youth. And I have many in my life. Lead, guide, direct and protect their lives spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. I know some of them are still on a search to find who they are and what they believe and I ask in this moment of wandering, what Grace has given me you take and give to them. Their lives over mine, Lord. (Oh, you need not pray for them. They are doing what they want and it’s not your business.) (Satan, hush!) Lord God, our Governor made a formal announcement that due to Coronavirus that schools would not meet back in a classroom setting for the rest of the year. ( I don’t like that idea really. My influence is stronger in their friend  social groups than with them at home. So now I’m trying to make them feel isolated, to make them feel not worth much because their friends give them their worth and purpose. Being home with parents and siblings makes this harder yet I think I have a great idea moving forward.) Lord, I ask that you empower these momma’s to build worth and relationship with their kids in this unique period of time. That the child’s worth will come from a stable home and not a teacher or a group of friends. I am not saying these are not important but I am saying we have forgotten the importance and influence of family. One thing solidified even more for me is that in the end all you really have is your Faith and family. We have been separated from friends, from school, from work circles, from distant family, even from Church (yeah, separating you from Church didn’t go as planned. You all have created such new ways to share the blasted gospel but don’t worry I’m on it trying to silence that as well. Notice how Facebook is having a lot of technical issues and how Zoom totally shut down?) (I said hush) but the one thing we haven’t been separated from is Jesus and our immediate family. All those years growing up I tried to find my place to fit in at school. It’s just how things were and I wasn’t shown any differently but these kids… God, you are calling an army. They have been given a unique time to focus on faith and family and I pray these momma’s see the importance of their own roles as nurturers in their lives right now. They are on the front lines of the family, Lord. The defeated feelings I am seeing, it’s not from you. (I….) (I said hush…in Jesus’ name) Lord God forgive me for the times I have failed you. For the times I let Satan hault my prayers, for the fear and worry of things out of my control. Strengthen me in your name. I ask Lord, that you lead, guide, and protect my husband, our church, all the pastor’s preparing your Easter message, and the families at home together. May our minds be as empty of the junk of this world as the tomb was 3 days after Jesus’ death. May revival spring forth as we finally can bring ourselves to a place of worshipping with our whole heart and mind. It’ll take a lot of hushing Satan. But I know we can do it. We want it. We need it. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

I hope and pray that for you the battle isn’t as immense as it seems to be for me. But if you find yourself like me, I have found the following scripture to help. 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

2 Timothy 1:7‭, ‬9 NIV

So Long Fear

God never meant for us to live in fear.

He came to give us an abundant life. Abundant joy. Abundant peace. Abundant blessings.

A focus and perspective based on His promises found in His Word (the Bible) seems to be the sole source of finding this said peace and joy that we are all seeking in this moment of uncertainty and it is apparent in a life right with God.

Right with God, meaning you’re humble enough to admit your flaws and determined enough to honor Him with your life and be obedient to His Will.

His Will is not for us to succumb to fear, especially media-driven, in the financial, relational, and physical and mental health areas of our lives, but instead be meek enough to trust God highly cares for us and is working all things for our good despite the chaos along the way.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:5‭-‬7 NIV

The people I admire most are those who seem cool under pressure. It’s like no matter how hard their lives get they don’t get stressed. Instead of where you would usually find uneasiness, a prominent presence of peace lies in its place.

It’s peculiar yet at the same time, refreshing.

This is the advice I am taking during all the chaos, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5‭-‬7 NIV

May it help you too, friend.

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Be The Change

How is it easy for you to be so kind to people,” she asked her momma.

“You of all people have every right to be mean,” she finished.

“My precious girl, it’s because I have been treated so meanly that kindness comes so easily,” she smiled as she pulled her daughter close and kissed her forehead.

Moral: Be the change you want to see in the world.