All In For God With Faith

faith

5The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”

6But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
–Luke 17:5,6 Message

Doesn’t that sound just like us? I mean, there were the apostles, they had Jesus, the LORD Himself, in the flesh, and they wanted more. It wasn’t enough.

I’m learning, slowly but surely, that faith is one of those I was given just enough of, and it’s up to me to do with it what I wish. Like concrete here in Michigan, it can expand and contract, but it’s still the same. The measure of it hasn’t changed. Maybe it’s shape, it’s edges, the form it can take – but it’s the same amount I was given at the beginning. Sometimes it might feel smaller because the ground is shifting, and sometimes it feels huge because everything is smooth sailing.

The last 48 hours have not been smooth sailing, but I had to make a decision – last night – to be “all in” no matter how I was feeling, and keep moving with the understanding that God knew what He was doing.

God always knows what He’s doing. I can’t always see it because I can sometimes only see as far as the nose on my face, and I can only see that if look through the corner of my eye. ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I made that decision, when I pushed “all in,” something shifted . . . in me.

There’s still some work to be done. I still can’t see very far, but I don’t think I need to. I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Peace out.

Getting Down To The Knitty Gritty

I want to introduce you to a few friends of mine from my knitting group. Our group is very large, and many of them were shy, and some claimed they were not quite photogenic (which I so beg to differ). ๐Ÿ˜‰ They are each lovely in their own special ways. Below each picture here I have explained who the person is and a little about them.ย 

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This is the incredibly talented Bev, who works a lot with complicated lace patterns, and this day she was wearing a cute and fun sweater hat. The “arms” can be worn down, as shown here, or tied together on top of the head. Bev is a wonderful, generous person who always has time to help others of us in the group who are not quite as far along as she is with our talents. For some reason I couldn’t get these two pictures to separate, so the top one is Bev holding the hat that Linda, another group member, made for me.

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In the top of these two photos is Brenda caught in profile. Brenda is very kind and compassionate, and she sat next to me the day I decided to try and stay the whole two hours. There she is working on another cowl for her Dad, who has Alzheimer’s. He likes the cowls, she says, because “they feel like hugs.”

Helene is our eldest and funnest member of the group. When I asked if I could take her picture, she said, “Well, sure, all right, but it might break your camera!” Boy, did we get on her forย thatย remark. Helene Is a continental knitter, which seems very fast to me, and I would love to learn that method. I’m a plodder. ๐Ÿ˜›

So there you have it. There are many others, too many to mention. There are very few rules to knitting but there are some that ought to be mentioned. 1. Never take yourself too seriously. 2. Always have more than one knitting project going so that you don’t get bored. 3. Have a complicated and an easy project going at the same time to give yourself a break when you need to. 4. You can never have too big a stash. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 5. Mistakes can always be fixed.ย 

Peace out.

Taking Care of Ourselves

self care

Who do you think about first thing in the morning or last thing at night before you fall asleep? Who do you feed first in the morning? Remember the airplane instructions about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child or even the hurt person next to you? There are reasons for those.

When I was a kid coming up in the world, the last thing I thought about was myself. Sure, there were a few times that were carefree, like I remember playing Red light, Green light; Red Rover; Hide-and-Seek; Say-say-oh-playmate; Mother May I; all those games that kids play in their neighborhoods or towns growing up. But underlying it all was that elephant of drunkenness, anger, and violence. Towering over the elephant stood the giraffe of secrecy.

On the outside we had to look the part of perfect normalcy. Very proper, well-cared for, every hair in place, not a bruise showing, no tears no tears, mustn’t let the world think you are anything but absolutely ordinary. No, more than that: extraordinary. After all, my father was an officer of the law. If his children couldn’t be expected to behave in public, whose could? Our outsides, of course, terribly mismatched our insides. We hurt, we ached, we carried bruises (some physical, some emotional) . . . we carried secrets about drunkenness and violence, secrets in the words only our childlike voices could tell.

In Al-Anon and in therapy I’m learning to take care of myself – not better care – but to actually take care of myself for the first time. Dori (my sponsor) helps me to see my limitations and what I can and cannot do, before I actually hit the wall of exhaustion (as I’ve done). There is a whole chapter in the Al-Anon Big Book, How Al-Anon Works: For Families and Friends of Alcoholics called -oddly enough- Taking Care of Ourselves. Hey, is there some plagiarism going on here? How did they know I was going to write this blog?

What’s best about the Al-Anon Big Book, for me, is it’s simple enough that I can understand it when I’m distressed. Because when I’m in a situation and I need it, if the language were too complicated or flowery, I wouldn’t be able to absorb, intelligence not withstanding. Intelligence goes straight out the window when one is panicked and in distress.

There is a strong connection, in many ways, between the techniques taught in the Al-Anon and in the AA Big Book. For instance, I was pleasantly surprised to read under the SETTING PRIORITIES AND LIMITS section of this chapter, the acronym for H.A.L.T., which is usually often discussed in the AA Big Book.

This reminds me of my doctor’s appt yesterday for a re-evaluation of my chronic fatigue syndrome. I’ve been feeling much worse, dragging all the time, and lots of “brain fog”, which is upsetting. Well, the nurse took at least 20 vials of blood and I have to go back in a week to get more blood for a cortisol draw, since that needs to be done in the morning, and to go over the results of the lab tests thus far.

Here’s hoping they’ll have some answers for me. Even the slightest hormone mishap can cause a lot of fatigue, and if that can be corrected, I’m all over it. Taking care of myself is one of my number one priorities right now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

How about you? Are you taking care of yourself?

Going Along Faith’s Journey

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” – Emmanuel Teney

You’ll have to forgive me as I’m not feeling very well today and that’s why this blog is so late in being posted. My chronic fatigue is flaring something awful, to the point I’m wondering if I’m having a true mono episode. But I didn’t want to skip, so please understand if some of this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

I grew up in the Catholic faith, but am not of that faith anymore. I’m not here to bash Catholicism, so relax. It was a personal choice, borne more out of how my own father lived the “do as I say but not as I do” credo, and the fact that someone always ended up crying on the way home from church, if not in the lobby. It was not a pleasant experience. There was also something more personal that happened to me in my late teen years that I’m not comfortable sharing in my blog. Let’s just say I needed the church in a big way and it was not there for me. Everyone is human, even churches I’m learning, but at 18 and in a crisis, I couldn’t wrap my brain around that.

So I didn’t attend church for a long time when I went on my own to – of all things – a Catholic college. As a matter of fact, except for weddings and the occasional Christmas mass, I never went to church until I started seeing a therapist after a suicide attempt. He steered me to a protestant church in my area, to the single ministry there. I wasn’t interested in that, but I did go to a Sunday service, the 10:00 – the busiest time there could be – and “just happened” to find a space in the parking lot. My faith doesn’t allow for coincidences anymore. Through that protestant church, I converted my faith and became a born-again Christian on March 5, 1997.

It hasn’t been a straight-road journey, don’t at all let me lead you to believe that. Not all roses and chocolates. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever received a dozen long-stemmed roses in my life! But my faith has taught me that my personal journey wasn’t meant to be straight and narrow. God knows who I am. He, after all, made me. He knows where I am and what I am writing this minute. My faith helps me trust that the doctor tomorrow will find some reason I am feeling so much sicker. Because God made the doctor. And because I will pray for wisdom for the doctor, and He always, ALWAYS answers the prayers of His faithful.

How do I know this? Because God gave me my faith in the first place. I’ll leave you with this poem I found on the internet that just took my breath away.

A drunk man in an Oldsmobile
They said had run the light
That caused the six-car pileup
On 109 that night.

When broken bodies lay about
And blood was everywhere,
The sirens screamed out eulogies,
For death was in the air.

A mother, trapped inside her car,
Was heard above the noise;
Her plaintive plea near split the air:
Oh, God, please spare my boys!”

She fought to loose her pinned hands;
She struggled to get free,
But mangled metal held her fast
In grim captivity.

Her frightened eyes then focused
On where the back seat once had been,
But all she saw was broken glass and
Two children’s seats crushed in.

Her twins were nowhere to be seen;
She did not hear them cry,
And then she prayed they’d been thrown free,
Oh, God, don’t let them die!”

Then firemen came and cut her loose,
But when they searched the back,
They found therein no little boys,
But the seat belts were intact.

They thought the woman had gone mad
And was travelling alone,
But when they turned to question her,
They discovered she was gone.

Policemen saw her running wild
And screaming above the noise
In beseeching supplication,
Please help me find my boys!

They’re four years old and wear blue shirts;
Their jeans are blue to match.”
One cop spoke up, “They’re in my car,
And they don’t have a scratch.

They said their daddy put them there
And gave them each a cone,
Then told them both to wait for Mom
To come and take them home.

I’ve searched the area high and low,
But I can’t find their dad.
He must have fled the scene,
I guess, and that is very bad.”

The mother hugged the twins and said,
While wiping at a tear,
He could not flee the scene, you see,
For he’s been dead a year.”

The cop just looked confused and asked,
Now, how can that be true?”
The boys said, “Mommy, Daddy came
And left a kiss for you.”

He told us not to worry
And that you would be all right,
And then he put us in this car with
The pretty, flashing light.

We wanted him to stay with us,
Because we miss him so,
But Mommy, he just hugged us tight
And said he had to go.

He said someday we’d understand
And told us not to fuss,
And he said to tell you, Mommy,
He’s watching over us.”

The mother knew without a doubt.
That what they spoke was true,
For she recalled their dad’s last words,
I will watch over you.”

The firemen’s notes could not explain
The twisted, mangled car,
And how the three of them escaped
Without a single scar.

But on the cop’s report was scribed,
In print so very fine,
An angel walked the beat tonight
on Hwy. 109
– Unknown

Peace out