He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

What’s in Your Heart?

COVID-19 has done a number on hearts around the globe. It’s made them fearful and angry, frustrated and confused. They’re impatient. Restless. Bored and lonely and just want everything to get back to normal again. At least that’s what my heart has been feeling these days. So, to help keep my mind off the bad and the ugly I created some happy hearts that I hope will brighten your day.

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Say it with Pictures

My first grade teacher taught her pupils the alphabet using big flash cards with pictures. And for some odd reason, the letter S with a picture of a snake on it was my favorite one and the only one that still sticks out in my mind. So, in my case, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you like pictures more than words, then you will like my word art creations.

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A Touch of Wimsey: Digital Art

Computers are fantastic. Till they’re not. Mine died and I had to buy a new one. Then, I had to re-install all my art programs only to discover that one of my favorite plugins, Eye Candy 4000, no longer worked. Finally, after figuring everything out, I’m up and running and will try my best to get caught up on reading everyone’s posts.

Before my computer crashed, I was working on this post. I finally finished it today. Enjoy!

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Our Little Ray of Sunshine

Lucas, our great-grandson, had a rough start in this world, from being born with an enlarged head, a hole in his heart, and respiratory and swallowing problems. Later he developed muscular weakness, preventing him from walking. Just weeks following his birth came a battery of tests ruling out fluid on the brain, autism, and downs syndrome. He’s had physical therapists, speech therapists, and chewing and swallowing therapists. And through it all, he has never lost his beautiful, contagious smile. Lucas will be three next month. He is walking and talking and knows how to spell his name. He may be delayed in some things, but smiling isn’t one of them. He is truly a ray of sunshine wherever he goes and teaches us many, many things about life. We love you, Lucas!

 

Life is Tough. It’s Tougher if You’re Old . . .

So, my plan was to help Buck pick up all the limbs in the yard . . . lots and lots of limbs. Big limbs. Little limbs. Way too many limbs for a young person, let alone a shriveled up bag of bones. After thirty minutes of bending and stooping and sweat burning my eyes, I quit!

Not my thing anymore!

Will never be my thing again!

EVER!

I feel like crying.

NO! I feel like cutting down every blasted tree, pulling up every blade of grass and pouring cement!

Then I’ll cry.

A deep, overflowing river.

Long gone are the days of working in the yard from sun up till sundown, jogging twenty miles a week, cleaning the house from top to bottom, and working five days a week. Never again will I run up a flight of stairs, bend over and touch my toes, and press a hundred pounds.

Wait. When did I ever press a hundred pounds?

I’ve never been weak and helpless. I’ve always been able to pull my weight and somebody else’s too. Even as a kid I was strong as an ox. Stubborn as a mule, too. But we won’t go there.

I think you get my drift, especially if you’re where I am at the moment . . . old and tired and frustrated and discouraged and weak and puny and . . .

Stop! The list is getting too long!

When did it happen? When did old age wrap its bony fingers around my neck and choke the life out of me? When did it break my back? When did it chop off my arms and legs?

When I started jogging at thirty-six, I assured myself and everyone that I’d keep on jogging even in my seventies. I stopped at fifty-eight.

One of my many regrets. 

I did take it back up when I was seventy-one. But it was never the same and after my back injury, I had to stop. Even walking makes my back scream. But, occasionally I tell it to shut up and I do it anyway.

So, here I am. Wishing I could do the things I did five years ago and reality laughing like a crazed hyena in my face.

So, back to picking up limbs. Buck finished my job and is mowing, now. He likes to mow. And I’m happy he likes to mow. No. I’m ecstatic he likes to mow. Now, if he just liked doing laundry. And cleaning the house. And taking out the trash . . .

 

A Little Birdie Told Me . . .

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:26, 27

Hear the birds chirping? See them fluttering from the trees? Can you Sense their happiness and peace of mind?

Birds don’t worry about stuff like coronavirus or running out of toilet paper. They don’t fret over empty shelves at Walmart or starving to death. And they certainly don’t get their feathers ruffled over clutter on the back porch.

Jesus knows what a bunch of worrywarts we humans are. That’s why He tells us to look at the birds of the air and observe how lighthearted and carefree they are. They don’t work for anything. They don’t store up anything. Yet, God takes care of them. (Matthew 6:26)

God reminded me of that again this morning as I sat fretting amongst the clutter on my back porch and wondering what the heck I’m going to do with it. How quickly I forget that God is in control of every little detail of my pitiful life. Nothing happens to me that He doesn’t know and care about. I don’t have to pace the floor biting my nails to the quick. I don’t have to beg and plead. I just have to trust Him.

Yep! That’s what a little birdie told me this beautiful sunny morning while sitting on my cluttered back porch.

I captured a few pictures while sitting with hubby and our two girls on the back porch. Pepper doesn’t mind posing for a snapshot. Bella, on the other hand, refuses to cooperate!

 

My Two Wannabe Queens of the House

Smiling, I watched as Pepper ate peacefully from her food bowl this morning, remembering how she had to fight for every morsel a few years ago. She was abandoned with 15 other dogs when we rescued her. She was so starved that for weeks after bringing her home, she ate bugs in the yard when we let her out. I didn’t think she’d ever get meat on her bones.

Bella was skin and bones, too when we rescued her from the dog pound. And she was skittish and cowered in the back of her cage afraid of her new surroundings. We didn’t shut the door during the day so she could go in and out as she pleased till she felt safe with us. Now, the only time she goes in the cage is when we go off or she’s in time out or she thinks Buck and I are fussing when we banter back and forth. As soon as we raise our voices, she gets up, hangs her head and creeps into her cage. It’s funny and sad at the same time. It makes me wonder what happened to her before we rescued her.

Sharing our home with two queens isn’t always easy, especially for me. Buck grew up in a house with four sisters his mother and his grandmother so he knows how the female world works. Me, on the other hand, grew up with four brothers. My sister was practically grown by the time I came along. So, I know how the male kingdom works.

I know they’re animals, but having owned only male dogs throughout our married life, these two queens are definitely different, especially Bella. She and I are both alike: strong-willed, sassy, and difficult to get along with. So, it’s a never-ending battle as we compete for the throne. So far, I’m still the one wearing the crown.

I love my girls and I’m so glad we rescued them and are able to provide a safe haven for them. I fuss and fume when Bella drags a loaf of bread off the table and eats half of it before she’s caught and when Pepper chews the corners of my throw pillows and still pees and poops on the floor. But, they are sweet and truly fill our house with joy.

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Take Up Your Mat and Walk Like a Boss

So, I’m paralyzed. Been this way since the car accident. I can’t walk. I can’t feed myself, bathe myself, even brush my own teeth. And this Man comes to me and asks, “Do you want to get well?”

And with a big, pearly white-toothed smile I say, “No. I’m good. I like people waiting on me hand and foot. I like using my handicap as a crutch. I like not having to do anything, prove anything, take responsibility for anything. I like people coddling me, making excuses for me, doing everything under the sun for me.

Of course, this ridiculous scenario is just fiction. I’m physically healthy. I can clean my own house, pull weeds from my flowerbeds, even walk around the block a few times.

But the man Jesus approached at the healing pool had been an invalid for thirty-eight years and Jesus had the audacity to ask him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) 

Why would Jesus ask such a no-brainer question?  Why would He even think that the man wouldn’t want to be healed? He was at the healing pool, wasn’t he?

As a snotty-nosed kid, and seeing the world through my over-sized rose-tinted glasses I often wondered about that scripture. Then, when I grew up and those glasses got punched off my face, I saw the world and the people in it differently. I even saw myself differently.

Reality stinks. It rattles our brain and makes us see things about ourselves and others that we’d rather not. Don’t open my eyes and I won’t have to see how people use their long-time physical and emotional handicaps to bully and control others. Stick in a pair of earplugs and I won’t have to hear their never-ending moans and groans.

It’s funny how you can sit in a room with strangers or even people you know and friendly conversations often become a contest of who had the most surgeries or take the most pills or has the worst ailments or suffers the most pain.

Why do people do that?

As kids growing up, my brother and I had rheumatic fever, but Kenny’s was more severe than mine. He was sickly all the time, in and out of the hospital and pumped full of penicillin at the least sign of a cold. He cried a lot. Was coddled and babied a lot. And I felt ignored a lot.

Then, when I was in the third grade, I got deathly sick every day after lunch and laid my head on my desk trying not to throw up all over the floor. Finally, mom and daddy took me to the doctor to discover I had walking pneumonia.

Finally! I was one up on my brother and rubbed it in his face boasting that I was the sickest, now and it’s my turn to get all the attention!

But, Kenny wasn’t having it and argued that he was still the sickest. After dragging mom into it, she finally ended the contest by calling it a tie. We were both equally sick.

For many years I expected people to treat me with kid gloves because of my out-of-whack emotional disorders. I relied on others to do things for me that I was afraid of doing myself. I relied on my loved ones to protect and defend me, to be there for me, to boost my confidence, to validate and make excuses for me. And the more I relied on others the more dependant I became.

Then hearing my desperate cries at the healing pool one day, Jesus knelt beside me and whispered, “Do you want to get well?”

When the prison doors swung open, I just stood there gazing wide-eyed into the vastness of freedom. It was scary out there without my crutches —- those emotional handicaps I so desperately clung to for so long. The smell of freedom was alluring and sweet, but stepping into it was like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

I still rely on the love and support of my family, but I don’t expect them to sit and hold my hand twenty-four hours a day, not that I ever did. I don’t expect them to make up for everything I lost throughout my life. I don’t expect them to coddle me and pamper me and agree with every single thing I do or say.

Just as God has set me free I set others free. I know what it’s like to be bullied by someone else’s handicaps and I’d rather cry alone in the coldest, darkest cave than to ever do that to the ones I love.

Freedom always comes at a cost, especially if you’ve been enslaved for a long, long time. In order to gain one thing you have to let go of another and another and another, whatever tattered rag you’re clinging to because it feels reliable and safe.

And as crazy as it seems, many people would rather lay around sucking on their emotional pacifiers than get off their pity pot and walk.

I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to get well. I want to be what I was created to be. I want to take up my mat and walk like a boss!

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6

 

 

 

Till Death Do Us Part . . .

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Demon from hell, I don’t like you.

You make me sick.

You’ve robbed my strength.

My eyesight.

My hearing.

You’ve knocked out my teeth.

You pulled out my red hair and planted a cotton field.

With your slimy, drooling lips you’ve sucked my skin dry and turned it into a shriveled prune.

Piece by piece you chip away my brain, making me confused. Making me forget stuff.

And what did you do to my hands? I can’t even open my prescription bottles! And they hurt like hell.

And my legs! Look at them!!! You stuffed them full of lumpy dough boys and made them turn to rubber. They can barely lift me up a flight of stairs. They used to be my best friends. Now, we can’t stand the sight of each other.

My mother warned me about you. But I didn’t listen. I thought I could out-run you. Out smart you.

But, here you are, demon from hell, laughing and sneering in my face. Just like you did my mother’s and my dad’s and every person you finally killed.

Well, hear this, demon from hell. You can destroy my mind. You can ravage my body. But you can’t touch my soul! It belongs to Jesus. Remember Him? The One you thought you killed on the cross? The One who rose from the dead? The One who smashed your head to smithereens?

Yeah. Him.

So when you’re done playing around with me and thrust your bloody sword deep into my heart, don’t stand laughing beside my grave because my life in heaven has only just begun.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

 

 

 

Why? Because . . .

My sister-in-law, Shirley and I laughed our heads off the other week when she told me of the time she had to write a paper on “why?” for a course she was taking. When each student  had finished their scenario they could leave.

A few moments later, Shirley slid out of her chair, turned in her paper and strutted out the door ignoring the wide-eyed stares as if she had suddenly grown another head.

In two lines, she wrote:
Why?
Because . . .

And she got an A! 

If only the answers to all our why’s were so simple.

And funny!

Sadly, though, they’re not.

Like when we moved in the house we live in now, why did I sit on the floor balling my eyes out? Why did I get so enraged and physically ill when the neighbor’s dog kept me awake barking all night? Why did my insides explode at the sound of loud music, dirt bikes, and ATV’s racing through the neighborhood? Why did I feel so exposed and afraid, like I was living in a house without walls? Why did I want to move every waking moment of every day?

Why?

Why did I cry every day to and from my new job and could’t sleep a wink night after night till I finally quit and took a job working at home?

Why?

Why did the empty nest syndrome suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks although my son had already left home and been married for several years? Why did I wear his old, thread bare shirts he left behind for weeks on end?

Why?

Why did I always feel like a legion of spoiled brats were kicking and screaming inside me and I couldn’t hear myself think or figure out which voice was mine? Why did I cry all the time? Why did I feel like I was on a never-ending ferris wheel of high’s and low’s? Why did my heart feel like it was being slaughtered with a chainsaw?

Why?

Why did I burn with uncontrollable rage? Why did I want to punch the world in it’s hideous, grimacing face?

Because . . .
My brain is twisted, like looking through a distorted mirror in a fun house minus the fun. And when your brain is twisted, you see things that aren’t there. You hear things no one said. You feel things that don’t even make sense to you or anyone else.

And it’s a living hell.

If I could unzip my skin and expose my soul you’d see the bloody bandages of self-destruction scattered around, and the walls and barbed-wire fences I built. You’d see the blood, sweat, and tears of trying to fit in, to belong, to understand what I did so wrong that the whole world turned against me. Then, you will only see a glimpse of the pain I’ve endured before I even started first grade.

Although I’ve been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, it doesn’t make it any better. It’s a bit comforting knowing there’s a name for it, but  medication is expensive and often makes my symptoms worse instead of better. And sometimes if the medication works, I can’t tolerate the side-effects. Counseling in the past helped tremendously, but nothing of late helps me at all. However, I have an appointment with a new doctor who specializes in BPD.

Maybe help is on the way.

Time will tell.

My weaknesses have made me strong . . . even tough. “Badass mama” my son jokingly calls me. Though it took nearly a lifetime, I’ve finally embraced my God-given Choleric/Melancholy temperament and stopped pretending to be the gentle, easy-going Phlegmatic like my brother and like my mother tried forcing me to be.

It’s been a long, tough battle I fear I will never win on this earth. But, through it all, I’ve learned to laugh at myself . . . one of my many coping mechanisms. Even after slamming the door and bawling my eyes out for however long it takes for me to become human again, I can laugh.

Eventually.

Well, after a day or two.

Okay, at least in the same year!

Why?
Because . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

South Texas Watercolor Artist

Corpus Christi, Texas

THE POETIC SAGE

This site is dedicated to my amazing writing skills.

Straight from the Heart

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3

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