Archive for the ‘Perspective’ Category

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Weekly Photo Challenge: DOWN

Feb 17, 2012

Autumn Silhouettes

Tree Shadows

It was a crisp fall day and the sun was blinding while I walked a local trail, so I had to look down.

What a nice surprise.

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I Choose to Believe

Feb 16, 2012

NASA: The Eye of God

My husband is an Atheist.  Of course, I knew this when we married, but over the years, I guess I decided I just didn’t believe him.  It seems too unbelievable to me, especially because I know him the way I do.  I am a Christian woman, a believer, as they say.  I don’t subscribe to any “religion” because I think religion only serves to provide the most effective distraction from Christ.  Instead, I want a genuine relationship with God and His son, Jesus, based on His word – His love letter to us – the Bible.

Sadly, I also believe I fail miserably at being the person God wants me to be daily, but I get up the next day and try all over again.  I’m not trying to ‘believe’this comes easy for me.  I’m trying to “understand the greatness of Christ’s love – how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is.  Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love.  Then you can be filled with everything God has for you“.  (Ephesians 3:18-19)  And I’m trying to provide a good example of this love [that I cannot understand] to my children, my husband and anyone else I might meet.  But I’m pretty sure that all people see when they look at me is a broken woman, someone who struggles with physical illness (and doesn’t smile broadly and call it a “blessing”), depression, anxiety, financial problems and other unattractive issues in her life, and someone who can’t really wrap her head around the whole God-loves-ME-and-I’M-special-to-Him thing when I think there is a decent amount of evidence to the contrary.

Ironically, my husband is a better “Christian” than most of the Christians I have encountered in my life.  He is truly a good and loving man.  Where does that come from?  If God is love and he has no God to inspire him, what makes him loving?  What makes him moral?  I really want to know where his morality comes from, on what it is based.  But when pressed, he couldn’t answer.  Oh, he’s willing to “die for what he believes in” – he just can’t ‘explain’ what that is.  How is that possible??  How does a person – a brilliant, articulate person – emphatically believe in nothing?  Or in “mankind’s intrinsic goodness” (Humans are intrinsically ‘good’?  This is news to me.)

I’m the sort who needs things to make sense.  I realize I am somewhat neurotic (sometimes extremely neurotic) in my quest for everything to neatly fit into a box marked “logical”, but this is important stuff!  And while some would think there is nothing ‘logical’ about faith, with all my heart and brain, I believe that Christ died and rose again so that I won’t ever die, but will live with him forever after this life.  I also believe that my husband won’t be there with us because he chooses not to believe.  Oh, how sad this is to me.

My first husband was a believer.  We believed together until his death nearly 14 years ago.  I know he’s in a place we’ve decided to call ‘Heaven’ and that I’ll see him again one day.  I don’t claim to understand God’s ways when it comes to tragedy, sickness and sadness… or even love, but I choose to believe His wisdom supersedes my own.  [Even if I can’t explain it properly, either.]

 Bottom line?  He’s GOD.  And I’m not.

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Baby Steps

Feb 4, 2012

Baby Steps

Changing the theme of my page – and changing it to something more “peppy” and, dare-I-say, “positive” than the gritty looking theme I’d been using since I began this blog – was a very big step for me.  Writing again is an even bigger step.

A surprising side-effect of living a life that deals with chronic illness(es) has crept up behind me and caught me completely off-guard; while my former identity was slowly being siphoned from my new reality and the confusion of determining how a ‘sick’ version of myself looks and behaves has preoccupied most of my waking hours, I have been steadily losing… “my voice”.  Ideas may make it as far as a sentence in my head, but my inner critic – who used to be mostly just annoying – has developed super-human powers and has the ability to paralyze  and silence me.  And it does.  Regularly.

I have been writing for nearly 35 years.  Writing has been a compulsion, a joy, a job, a hobby, and a huge part of my identity for as long as I can remember.  Over the past year, though, the volume of the voice that says, “You have nothing of value or interest to say, just shut up,” has become the loudest and most prominent voice I hear.  And it is so convincing.

A surgery last February that was supposed to give me relief from my Crohn’s symptoms has actually exacerbated them, restricting my life and activities even more than before I went through that particularly hellish experience.  Each month of my recuperation, I was told I would soon feel better, but with the removal of my ileocecal valve (along with a portion of my large intestine), I spend more time IN the bathroom, RUNNING (faster) to the bathroom and praying that I MAKE IT to the bathroom in time. 

Putting so many of my eggs in that surgery basket set me up to plummet into a deeper depression than I’ve known in the past; too many days have been spent swallowing OTC sleeping pills and pulling up the covers after my family has left for work and school, then fantasizing about the relief that sweet sleep will soon bring me before finally surrendering to its numbing, comforting powers.  Funny thing about those OTC sleeping pills, though – they stop working after a while, preventing me from entering the sanctuary of sleep and introducing debilitating insomnia, instead.

Enter: Apathy.

Apathy is frightening.  I really want to feel something other than ‘sorry for myself’, but when I do, I feel nothing at all.  No disgust, no anger, no pain, no happiness, no love.  Apathy sucks.  Do what you can to avoid succumbing to it.

So I’ve been working at eradicating the apathy, primarily by forcing myself to list the things I truly am thankful for.  And, what do you know?  There are actually a good many things to put on that list.  This is not to say that I’m really any better at dealing with my chronic illnesses or the things they have stolen and continue to steal from my life, but even if my gratitude list has items such as: I’m thankful that I’m not also paralyzed, I’m thankful that I don’t live in a third world country, I’m thankful for my home (despite being behind in our mortgage payments), I have decided to give myself a tiny break and appreciate this baby step.

If I were going to wait until I had something I deemed worth saying, or wait until a time when I had the ability to write well enough to pass my own scrutiny, I would not be writing today.  And I wanted to write today, so I’m biting the bullet… then using it to shoot the perfectionist that lives inside of me.

Gotta start somewhere.  And I’m tired of berating myself every day for starting something else (a blog) and not sticking to it. 

I’m thankful that I managed to write 654 words, and I’m thankful I didn’t have to get up and run to the bathroom while doing it.

Baby steps.

Rest Ministries chronic illness support featured site

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Weekly Photo Challenge – SKY

Jul 2, 2011

“O, Beautiful for Spacious Skies”

Lying on my back in the grass on Liberty Island,
gazing up at a magnificent beauty.

 It never gets old.

Happy Independence Day!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

Jun 10, 2011

Invigorating Morning Vista

Between the trees, over the lake, across the street from my home… morning streams through my window and wakes up my soul.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Round

May 1, 2011

A beautiful Saturday morning at my daughter’s soccer game.

Later the same day: Dusk at a minor league baseball game with my husband.


A good day.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

Apr 16, 2011

Winter Revisited


The snow and ice weighed heavy on the huge pine tree in my front lawn, taking down some very large and heavy branches.  This view is through my glass front door, through the spokes on my front staircase.  Stripes of sun through the wooded lake across the street highlight the fallen foliage.

Note to self: In the future, clean the hazy dog breath/slobber off the door before snapping a picture :-/