That Was A Left, Right?

Soul-gatherer

Nightmare lord,

 Lead Recruiter of Evil,

Huddled behind

The wooden cross

Above the pulpit.

Demon intern,

Lousy mapmaker;

Jumbled left and right.

He’d give him Hell,

If not paralyzed

By the Light.

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TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to Trifecta’s weekend prompt:

It’s now time for some Trifextra fun. Thirty years ago, Roald Dahl published the book Dirty Beasts, a collection of poems for children about weird and wonderful animals. The last poem, however, is called The Tummy Beast about a boy who thinks there’s someone living in his belly. Your Trifextra challenge is to write 33 words on a beast in an unusual place. No swamps or forests or caves, we really want you to take your beast out of its comfort zone.

I figured what could be more out of the comfort zone for a demon than the inside of a church?  Behind the cross no less 🙂  That demon intern had better watch out though, because if his boss gets out, I see pain and misery in his future!  (On a technical note:  the photo above is of a Catholic church.  I’m not Catholic, so I’m not certain if they have images of the cross inside.  The Baptist/non-denominational ones I’ve been to have…but I didn’t have a photo of one easily accessible.  Meaning:  I’m too lazy to retrieve my backup drive and search it!)

If you want to read other responses, or even better- submit your own, click the link above to view Trifecta’s site.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a beautiful weekend!

That Friend

The phone rings one evening and Caller ID reveals it’s a friend who has been MIA for over three months.  Curiosity wins.  Pick up the phone.  Friend’s car is in the shop and she needs a ride to work.  Never a call just to see how things are going…only when she needs something.  Last time, she needed a dog sitter for a weekend vacation.  Before that, she spent two hours complaining about her problems.  The one-way conversation was an emotional drain.  Can you help this time?

Attempts to sustain a friendship stall when messages go unanswered.  How do you feel when you’re on the trying side of a relationship and the other person doesn’t make an effort?

One-sided friendships feel like this…

As I said my prayers one night for those I know who face struggles, I also asked God for inspiration on my spiritual posts.  I’d been praying for days (weeks?) and still, no inspiration.  That’s when it hit me:  I’ve turned into that friend in my relationship with God.

I’m the one who expects God to bless the lives of those in my prayers.  I expect Him to drop blog ideas into my lap so I feel enlightened.  I ask for guidance on my story writing.  I expect Him to be there for me, when I want Him to be, yet I slack in my efforts to know Him better.

Here’s where I could insert a laundry list of excuses, but it wouldn’t matter.  Excuses are just free passes to continue on the same path.  The whole point of writing about my spiritual journey was to keep myself moving.  (I tend to linger in stagnant pools simply because they are familiar.)

It would be easier if the Bible flew off the shelf and whacked me in the head.  Since that hasn’t happened yet, I moved it back onto my desk.  I want to get back into nightly reading (I’m not sure when or why I stopped.)  Right now, I’m putting it in writing that I commit to find fifteen minutes even if it means I skip reading a couple blogs, omit a comment or two, or write a little less.

I know things are bound to get off-balance when one half of the relationship is human, but I need to make more of an effort if I am to grow my spiritual self.

Do you ever find yourself as the “slacker friend” in your relationship with God?  How about in a human relationship?  Come on, you can share your best excuses here 🙂  (Maybe I could use them.)

Did I mention that I have a lot of growing to do?

Lead Me (Journey in Photos)

Sometimes I feel alone; like I could be swallowed by the great expanse of our world.
I look for signs – What is my gift? Where should I be? How do I live a life that leads? The answers lurk in the shadows, camouflaged from sight.
If I open my heart and my eyes long enough, I often find the guidance I needed; friends who leave an imprint on my life while showing me the way.
I have times of clarity, where I feel I know exactly where I am and where I should be going.
The repeated process of feeling lost, then found again, nourishes my soul and encourages my spiritual self to grow.

Pleas to God:

Psalm 25:5 – Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 143:10 – Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground

God’s Response:

Psalm 32:8 – I [The Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

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Since I know I’m going to be lazy playing with my kids on Monday, I’d like to acknowledge Memorial Day here:

My cousin is back on U.S. soil, and for that, I am thankful.  My prayers don’t stop, though because there are thousands of other men and women who are not at home with their families.  Last Memorial Day, I wrote a post titled “In the Absence of Peace, I Have Faith.”  I still feel it, so I’m not going to reinvent the Memorial Day blog post.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.  For readers not in the U.S., have a glorious Monday 🙂

Fear Should Not Be A Factor

Fear is an unwelcome guest who drops by unannounced and brings two mischievous cousins – Worry and Doubt.  I bolt the door and pretend I’m not home, but fear doesn’t care.  It kicks the door open and drops its overstuffed 6-piece luggage set in my entryway, switches the TV to ESPN (oh, wait…that was hubby :)), eats all my brownies and has the nerve to leave the crumbs between my couch cushions.

I put on my ‘nice’ face (i.e., not the one I wear when the kids use my best kitchen scissors to try to cut rocks in the back yard) and sweetly ask Fear how long it plans to stay.  Fear laughs at me and cranes its neck to see the TV screen behind me.  Doubt and Worry get inside my head and mess with my senses.  I begin to wonder if I can extricate the trio from my life.

Fear comes in different forms.

There is the fear punishment and infliction of mental anguish:

The IRS and I are pen pals. There's another post in this mess somewhere!

There is fear involving life and death – our mortality or that of someone we love.

Whole lotta sweet, in a little bit o' dog

Some of you might remember how Josie came into our lives in November.  If not, click here for the story.

Last week, Josie started having seizures again.  The mild seizure activity from the evening culminated in my hubby rushing her to an all-night animal hospital at 2AM after a horrifying seizure.  She was stabilized and so far, her blood work is normal.  The only test result missing is Valley Fever, but the vet is skeptical this is the cause of her issues.

Little Josie is on Phenobarbital now.  At least the Pharmacist has a sense of humor….they sent home a bottle of small pills with instructions to cut them into fourths.  I crushed the first pill I tried to cut, and no amount of angry muttering could put it back together again.  My husband got one clean cut before botching the second cut and nearly cutting his fingertip.

For two days, I have been watching Josie.  Every facial twitch, muscle spasm and collapse of her legs sends my heart into my stomach and riles Fear (and the annoying cousins.)  I fear each errant movement will turn out to be another “big one”.  I doubt my ability to calmly get through the experience, and I worry I won’t know when God says it’s time to let go.

We’ve been told it can take several weeks for the medication to get in her bloodstream.  We’ve also been advised that the wobbliness is normal.  For me, neither statement offers much comfort.  I’ve had to look elsewhere for that.

John 14:27:  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I open the door of my heart for Peace to make itself at home.  With Peace, there is no room for Fear, Worry or Doubt.

The Perfect Sibling

Matthew 13, verses 53-58 tell of the lack of faith Jesus encountered when he went back to his hometown.  They saw him as “just” Jesus. 

Matthew 13:55-56

“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?  Aren’t all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man get all of these things?”

I’m taking this as yet another sign that something may be wrong with my brain, but the reference to brothers and sisters caused me to pause.  Can you imagine what that would have been like?  I mean, did Jesus ever throw a temper tantrum because he was served peas with dinner and he detested peas?  I think not.  Jesus was without sin, so he wouldn’t have lied, he would have always respected his parents and he certainly wouldn’t have stayed out late with friends getting into mischief.

Then my mind drifted to what life must’ve been like for His siblings.  Were they jealous because they could never be as good as Jesus?  Or did it not bother them because they knew Jesus was God’s son?  Did the siblings ever argue with Jesus?

Then my mind wandered further.  (Oh, a wandering mine is a dangerous thing…when it’s my mind, that is.)  I imagined current day sibling situations as they would have been experienced by Jesus’ siblings.

Identity:

Jesus’ sibling walks down the street when someone calls out, “Hey, isn’t that Jesus’ brother (sister)?  What’s his (her) name again?”

Rivalry:

<sibling to parents:> “You guys like Jesus better!  You act like he’s perfect or something.”  <stomps out of room>

or

“How come three wise men didn’t bring gifts when I was born?”

Accomplishments:

<Mary to sibling:> “It’s so nice how you helped old Mrs. Yamin draw water from the well.  Did you hear how Jesus fed thousands with one loaf of bread?”

Tattling:

“Mom,” (drawn out into three syllables) “Jesus is turning water into wine again!”

Yes, being Jesus’ brother or sister would have been tough.  If you have a sibling, be thankful that he/she is just as imperfect as you are 😉  I know I am!