“…tossed by the wind.”

Lord, Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Most major religions have a tool for believers to use when they pray repetitive, contemplative, prayers. Catholics have rosaries, in the east, we have the Prayer Rope, like the one above. They come in various lengths. I wear one pretty much every day, and mine is much smaller than the one above, whereas when I am at home or traveling, I use the longer ones. Most priests carry one that is longer (150 knots or so) and monastics also carry them as one of their few belongings. But I often find myself just saying the prayer above, the “Jesus Prayer,” whenever I find myself stressed out.

Today, I have been doing. There’s dinner in the crock pot, laundry is whirring away in the laundry room, my prayers were ALL said this morning (major miracle) and I have been scrubbing away at the parts of my oven my husband took out for me. Why? Well, I spilled a chicken and rice casserole, upside down, on the bottom of the oven. Don’t ask. And we have been digging out rice ever since. He took the oven door off and took parts out so we could get to the bottom of the oven, itself. The dogs were happy to help with the rice clean up, too. We were able to vacuum under the oven and found a Hot Wheels car! My grandson will be happy.

I have been praying all day about this quarantine thing. I have spoken to two close friends more than once on the phone today. A very old and dear friend is going through a very rough patch and we spoke at length. And my heart was breaking. So I rattled off some Jesus Prayers while we spoke. It was a hard conversation. Very hard.

I was putting clean clothes away, lost in my task, when I turned around and promptly tripped over our 13-year-old Springer Spaniel, Miss Poca. I tried not to hurt her and I found myself dancing and hopping like an Irish Sword dancer. And I was yelling for her to get out of the way, and our 1-year-old Standard Poodle thought this was lots of fun and started jumping on me, too. I wrenched my entire left side. This weekend I threw out my back trying to lift a stupidly heavy box. So this was just peachy. And I fell to my knees, and just bawled. It was like all of this pressure has been building up and with all of these things heavy on my heart, I just fell apart. And I wept for all of these things – friends, family, our country, the world. It is sometimes too much.

And then I started praying the Jesus Prayer. It really is so simple. Jesus, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. And when I pray that prayer I offer up all those issues that are assailing me. I prayed so so hard. Over and over and over again. And then I recalled the Scripture from this morning….the book of James.

James 1:2-6

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

And as this passage is so famous, I was shocked at how much it struck me. The last half of the last sentence more than most: “…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” Is that true these days or what? We are tossed by the winds of information, or lack of information, or quarantine, or whatever. I am on overload and I did not even realize it. And I must continue in genuine prayer, without doubting, asking for steadfastness in this period where my faith has been sorely tested. I know I am not alone. Perhaps we all need lots of the Jesus Prayer in our heads and hearts, to help keep our focus on the important things in this life – our faith, our family, and friends, our country and the world. We (read that as “I”) need to keep in the forefront of my heart and mind, that God totally has us all in the palm of His Hand.

 

 

1 Corinthians 11:27-32

I don’t think I need to add much more, but I will preface this to say this was my reading for my Lenten Study today. The Lord is guiding us all! It’s no joke. We are being asked to #stayathome and to re-connect with our families and our faith. When I read this, I kept thinking, “I am totally gobsmacked!” (LOL. The Brit coming out in me). But seriously, crack open your bibles and get into what wondrous truths the Lord has for us. His truth stands outside of time – they are eternal truths.

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgement on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgement;  but since we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”

 

“…See that you do not despise one of these little ones…”

My parents used to be so frustrated with me. Why? Well, they wanted me to become a doctor. They insisted on all my classes in High School were to assist me getting into college. So I was put on the “courses for the college bound” tract and it was all heavy stuff. No fun classes like basket weaving for me. Nope. They did not have AP back when I was in HS, but the courses I took all had to be earned. Prerequisites that built on one another. Chemistry and Physics, College English and mathematics all the way through Trig and Calculus. They even pushed me to finish my academics early so I could spend the last semester of High School taking classes at the University I would be attending, as well as participating in work/study programs like Emergency Room Aide, Physical Therapy Assistant, Police Department front desk assistant, Doctor’s aide in a private practice…candy striper was not good enough for my parents. LOL. In addition, I was expected to hold down a part time job, which I did. I went through several during HS because my schedule to work had to work around my curriculum. I was a waitress, I worked at a cute little combo knick-knack, knitting, and plant and tea shop (yes, somehow that all worked). I wrapped Christmas gifts at the local department store. I loved waitressing because I could gab. And it kept me busy. Wrapping presents was horrible. People can be so mean. LOL. My parents, however, thought they were pushing me in the direction I should go. I had different ideas.

After graduating HS with a little honor (lol), I attended the local university. My father wanted me to enter as pre-Med but I fought him and entered as pre-Law. LOL. One of my many, many majors. My dad pushed and pushed but the competitive backbone I needed to be at the top of my class just was not there. My heart was not in it; I didn’t really want to be a doctor or lawyer.

All I ever wanted in life was to find the love of my life, and have lots of kids, and be a housewife. Definitely not what mom and dad envisioned! My parents are only children. No aunts, uncles, or cousins. Plus my parents left all their extended family and moved to America, further isolating us. (My paternal grandparents eventually moved to the USA, too, so I knew them very well). When my husband and I were dating, we tried to scare each other away by competing with each other about how many kids we wanted. It wasn’t fair, really, because he comes from a huge family. He only has 2 siblings, but his parents have tons. His paternal grandparents had over 35 grandchildren. I loose track with the great’s and great-great’s. That is an awful lot of cousins, and that is just from my father-in-law! LOL!  I loved getting all confused and lost among them all at family events. They all knew who I was, and who each other were, because they had grown up that way. I spent years trying to figure out who belonged to who. And I loved it all. And I lost the bet about how many kids – I wanted 6 and he challenged me with 8! Ha-Ha. And so I married him! God had other plans for us.

Our first son was born 5 weeks premature and just 20 days before our first anniversary. So we had him baptized on our first Wedding Anniversary. (Subsequently, all our children were baptized on the same date. It just worked out, somehow). My first pregnancy was fraught with difficulties and I spent the major part of it in the maternity intensive care section of the hospital associated with our doctor. He came into this world in a hurry and he still has not slowed down. After our son, we suffered 4 miscarriages. They were brutal and by the time our oldest was 4, he knew what a miscarriage was. “That means mommy doesn’t have a baby in there anymore.” Yeah, out of the mouths of babes. Then our second son was born. No issues at all. Normal pregnancy. In fact, he had to be induced, he liked being in there so much. LOL. And then I suffered 3 more miscarriages. We gave up. We became licensed foster parents. We had quite a few come through our home and family. It was hard on our two boys. We decided, after the last sibling pair had been ripped out of our family in a very painful way, that we would just be a family of 4 and we felt good about it. And just like that, our youngest son was given to us. What a miraculous event that was in our lives – overnight we had a third boy. I held him for the first time at just 4 hours old. So, so tiny. Only 6 pounds and 18 inches long. I could not stop holding him and cuddling him. At the time, his older brothers were 9 and 13 years old, so they were very much a part of it all. Even diapers and bottles. They are awesome big brothers, even today. When our youngest was about 5, I suffered my last miscarriage. And I cried and cried and cried. I just was not meant to have the large family I so desired. And so we settled into life with three amazing sons. And now, I have those three sons and 2 incredible daughters-in-law and they have blessed us with 6 grandchildren, so far, and I feel overwhelmed with love just looking at them. God is so amazing!!!

Yesterday, the president announced that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and his formal declaration makes clear his desire to aggressively prosecute those who abuse children. He is leading the way to #savethechildren and to protect our children. I am thrilled with his resolution.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the pervasiveness of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and child trafficking. It is a global pandemic that far outweighs our inconvenience in quarantining for this Covid-19 virus. The statistics should horrify everyone. In the United States alone, over 800,000 children go missing – every year. That number should astonish you. Missing!? Where are they? Who took them? Why? Did they just vanish? After researching the answers to those questions, I came into contact with pure evil. I read and saw photographic evidence of just flat out evil. And I have spent part of today weeping over the children. Our children, right here in the USA, and those around the world. This is a global issue, not just a national one. And the prevalent evil is also not just here in the USA, but global.  I so desperately wanted a lot of children, and my heart yearned for lots of babies to cuddle, so this is almost beyond my comprehension. How can people throw away children? I have held my miscarried babies in my hands, weeping over the loss of life. How can this happen to children? Do they find no inherent value in the life of a child? Is it all just about their sick desires? And they abuse them? And I mean real physical and mental abuse. And they sell them? It is often just too much to fully take in and fully understand. The people who perpetuate these crimes against children are sick. And I know they need help. But some are just so sick, I believe it moves into evil. Pure and simple evil. The part of us inside, the little voice, that tell us something is wrong, is missing in some people. I know that goes against our faith, as we believe the spark of God is in everyone (we are made in His image), but this evil against children goes against everything we believe in.

Matthew 18: 1-14

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

And I am remembering this Scripture and so much more, as I read some horrific stuff. I think, if things go like some of the people involved in rescuing these children think it will, everyone will know about this evil. I am just hopeful the children can be saved and that there will be justice for those who do these horrific things to children.

I would ask that this month, to any of you who read this, to please focus your prayers on these poor children who suffer immeasurably at the hands of these monsters. Offer your trials and sufferings in this quarantined world to the efforts at getting them out of these bad situations, getting them the help they need, and helping families reunite. God bless the children. God bless those trying to help them. And God bless the families who may be made whole again.

Lord Jesus, we call upon Your blessed name and pray for the children who are abused and suffering from wounds inflicted deep within them, and those led into sin at a young age, not knowing what they are doing. In Your blessed power, release them from these captives and may their hearts be healed, in Your perfect love and healing. May those who abuse and inflict pain upon them and those who use little children for illicit earning, be brought to justice and be granted the punishment according to law and may these truly be taught of the repercussions of them inflicting pain upon these innocent ones. Father, we pray to become better adults and to contribute towards society in nurturing the children and preparing them for a better place in the world as Your appointed people. May we in all the ways we can, do a little to save a child from these torments of abuse, suffering and neglect, and give them a bright future and a hopeful beginning towards a better world, in Your sight and favour.

We pray in the blessed name of Jesus, Amen!

(Copied from ChristianTT.com)

“When things get windy…”

I am quarantined, as is pretty much of the rest of the world. Stuck at home. Chores current. Not in a book mode, yet. We are having 30-degree weather with 85 mph wind gusts, so walking around outside is sort of off the “to do” list right now. So I have been online. I have been researching this Covid-19 virus. I have been looking at national reaction, as well as international reaction. I have also seen people ignoring it all. Pretty much going on as if nothing was happening. A relative of mine assumed a wedding on the beach for 60 this past Saturday would be okay. She had to be reminded to look at the news. LOL. I am all for disconnecting from social media, and taking anything the MSM has to say with a bucket of salt (way past a grain) but we also need to stay informed of what is going on around us!

I am feeling like we are in a battle we cannot even see. I firmly believe this virus was sent to disrupt our economy, and the worldwide economy, and that the unseen powers in this world orchestrated the entire thing. However, I also firmly believe that this event has been hijacked by the good guys and that they are now firmly in charge. I am gaining confidence by the day, alongside my doubt. They are running neck and neck! LOL! But because I tend to be a “half-full” sort of person, I am erring on the side of positive.

A good way to look at it, is this is Lent. We have another week until Holy Week here in the west. It is good to remember that we all need to carry our cross with Christ as He walks along the pathway to Golgotha. Asking to stay at home and avoid other people is pretty easy in comparison. It seems so very little. I have seen memes about how our grandparents were asked to fight in WWII and all we are asked to do is sit on our couches. Ouch!! That seems not enough somehow.

Part of what is happening in the world is up to “digital soldiers” who are parsing information and disseminating it to others who are not open to alternatives of what is going on. There have been so many clues and whatnot that are claimed by “those in the know” and all have thoroughly been debunked by the MSM. I always question that sort of flat dismissal. Nothing is ever that cut and dried. And so, as we are encouraged to do, we do our own research. We scan through links and read things for ourselves. We do not rely on anyone else’s research to be co-opted as our own. So I am doing my part to sift through all the stuff online. And there is a lot to sift through! And some wonderful memes and posts, too. Here are a couple:

There is our Secretary of State offering some comfort for our future yesterday. And then a meme about what a lot of people think this virus was all about. It will be interesting to see what comes from the other side of this virus thing. Some say we are in for a social reset. Some say a financial reset (return to the gold standard and the end of the Federal Reserve). Others say inventions and cures the government had been holding on to will be shared, once the smoke clears from this. Lots of sealed indictments that will be unsealed and arrests made. And like I had stated in a previous post, above all of this, one thing the theorists all say is to pray. That the Lord has the victory. So I cling more and more to that. And I am being smart and being prepared. For the eventuality of communications going down, food supplies being shortened (yeah; I have TP. More importantly, I have coffee). Here are some giggles for you:

But I want to leave you with this:

With our low temps and 85 mph wind gusts, this hits close to home! May God go with you, my friends. May you realize that all of this is in His Hands.

 

“God’s got this…”

My brain is all scattered and full of stuff. We are all adjusting to the “new normal” this virus and quarantine is asking of us. My husband normally travels two weeks per month and when not traveling, he works in an office on a military base almost an hour away from home. Now he is literally working from home; no travel. It is not bad, it is just different.

Our youngest son is still technically living with us (we keep his room door tightly closed because…because he is 21 and has a lot of stuff) but is working about 8 hours away and has been gone over a month. He is due to return mid-April, but with all this quarantine stuff, none of us is sure if that will happen, or when it will happen. He gets housing and per diem expenses, so he is fine where he is. Plus he is happy doing “guy” stuff.

And I am adjusting to having hubby around me 24/7. Now mind you, we have been married 35 years and together for 37 years, so I actually like him, not to mention, love him. So it is not that. I am just getting no alone time. It is like having a newborn, sort of. LOL. We are loving the empty nest thing. We started playing Cribbage. We have a 1500 piece puzzle ready to set up. And the domino box was located and that is ready to go. There are only so many things you can stream on TV. And we have no regular TV channels, which is actually freeing. No MSM. No fake news to deal with. All in all, this quarantine thing is peaceful. I’m cooking some great meals (last night it was broccoli, potato, and cheese soup and it was yummy. Hubby shredded cheese while I diced veggies. It was fun) and we are having some amazing conversations. We are finding we are still best friends in this life, and that we enjoy being together. We even found our old pastor, who moved very far away, is having Divine Liturgy live! We now even have Church at home. Win-win for quarantine!

I am current on my chores. All my laundry is done and put away. House is clean. Dishes are done. Kitchen is clean. And so what am I doing while the hubby is diligently pecking away on his laptop? I am reading. I am researching. I am learning. Things I perhaps never really wish I knew. Things I had doubts about. And things that are not popular, and are quite controversial. But, the truth will be known very soon. Am I a conspiracy nut? Maybe. Am I wondering about this entire quarantine process and why the entire world is hunkering down and staying home? Why there are reports that not that many people are actually lining up at ERs and how statistics are being manipulated and fear promulgated to the masses stuck at home? You bet I am. There has never been anything like this in my entire lifetime, that I can recall. And I am questioning everything. We all should be. We all owe it to ourselves to look into all of this. What is coming next? Will this usher in the New World Order we are all so fearful of? Will there be a financial restructuring of the world to the gold standard? Some people say that there will be and that the Federal Reserve will be disbanded. The interest rates will all go to zero. There is a program that was ratified in the early 2000s (2006?) called NESERA. That program would abolish even the IRS. It was signed but not enacted, yet. Check it out. Google removed all their filters and research is wide open these days. Things that were hidden are now all there to see. Old photos and articles that have been buried for years are there to read. Who assassinated JFK? Google the theories. Fascinating reading. World-wide cabal? Maybe. There is some ugly attached to that! And as they say, once you see something, you cannot un-see it. So, we will see! Ha-Ha. World wide end to child trafficking and sex trafficking? One can only pray it is so. #savethechildren is a trending hashtag. There is so much going on with troop movements around the world. Today I read of a Russian sub lost off the coast of England and now there are 5 Russian ships off the coast, looking for their sub. Sounds like the movie, “Hunt for Red October” to me! Indictments being unsealed and arrests being made. The President of Venezuela?! Wow! And 15 others. MS-13 gang leaders arrested in CA. Dozens of them. Lots and lots happening. Installation of 5G towers while everyone is at home? At schools? What is 5G? Is it good? Bad? This multi-trillion relief bill. And all the pork in it?? Who asks for funding for Planned Parenthood during a global pandemic? The Presidential suspension of habeas corpus in certain cases – most to do with treason? Warehouses being found full of medical supplies like masks and respirators (sounds like Puerto Rico, doesn’t it??). People worried about making rent and buying food. Industries at a standstill. The fear those of us in that older category have about even going to the grocery store (my local store now has senior hours Monday – Thursday from 7-8am and that is when we go). There are so many “facts” floating around out there, and as many opinions about them. It boggles the mind. Like I said, there is a lot up in my head right now. And I am sure it is the same for many of us. If not all of us.

One over-arching theme to all this conspiracy stuff is that most of the leaders in that movement are asking us to (1) pray. Know that God is in control. Have faith. And (2) don’t take anyone’s word for anything. Do your own research. If you automatically call me a conspiracy theorist, perhaps it is because you listen to only certain sources and accept everything at face value. Maybe with more time at home, you can spend some of it looking into issues you feel vehemently about. And that way, you can form a platform from which to take in new information and to be able to judge it for yourself, in a sane and logical way, rather than with a knee-jerk reaction. I am trying to inform myself, so I can be prepared for whatever comes next.

So, if nothing happens and this blows over and we all go back to “normal,” nothing is lost or gained. Status quo. If, however, there are drastic changes and the world goes dark while it adjusts, just remember this post and know within your heart, that ultimately, God wins. God has all of us in His hands. Praise God in all things, at all times.

I think I will read a book on my kindle. Maybe play with the dog, or watch a girlie-movie while hubby works. Oooo…maybe I will create something fantastic from a cookbook, for dinner. All I have is time on my hands….

 

 

“…But small is the gate…”

I ran across a couple of people who were not familiar with a saying I use a lot. So I thought to share it here, too. I think it speaks to how we treat others and when we give of our best, and when perhaps our best is not appreciated.

“Do not cast your pearls before swine.”

My grandmother used to tell me this when I would lose a friendship or a boy I was crushing on did not return my affections. LOL. It was a lesson well learned. The part of Scripture it comes from is part of the Sermon on the Mount. I recall, as a child, our pastor doing a series on the Sermon on the Mount – all of it – not just this portion. And I also recall this was the last time we quit going to church, because my dad did not agree with what the pastor was saying. I was bummed because we had been going there regularly for years and it was at that church I had been baptized for the 7th, and final, time. First Christian Church. I was angry because I loved going there, and it was the last church my family attended, as a family. I remember being able to wear fish-net stockings for the first time at Easter there. I think I was about 12 years old. I loved lighting the candles, or helping out with the services. I even was asked to read Scripture during Services, because I was a good reader. And besides all that, I liked what the pastor had to say! “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life and only a few find it.”

This part of Matthew always stayed with me and I am glad it has. We sort of need to be reminded of the fullness of Christ’s Word when the world around us gets a little shaken. So here is all of Matthew 7, for your pondering, prayer, and enjoyment. Blessings!

Matthew 7

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ 

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” 

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

 

 

“…always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people…”

Boy, you guys, keeping a positive attitude is getting harder and harder. I need to stop doing so much online research. Google suspended its filters and so much of blocked information is now out there, for everyone to see. And it is not pretty. In fact, it is causing me to lose sleep. My shoulders are aching from carrying the stress. My dreams are not peaceful. There are some very sick people out there. And it frightens my soul.

I am worried for my elderly parents. My grandchildren. My kids. What will the world look like in August? I am not sure. Will we be broke as the country “re-sets” itself? Are we going back to the gold standard and abolishing the Fed? Are we going to have no income tax and the IRS be abolished? There are so many theories out there. I was up at 4am, tossing and turning, re-reading research in my head. I think that today, I need to take a break. I need to deep breathe. One of my sons suggested I use the frustration to deep clean and/or organize my house. Get into all the closets and organize. Clean until the house sparkles. Yeah. Gotta psyche up to do that. Maybe I need to get on Netflix and re-watch Marie Kono and choose the things that bring me joy! LOL!

Just seeing that meme makes me smile. She is so darn cute. And I have kept my dresser and pantry and linen closet in her style. Somewhat. Better than they were before! LOL! However, that was done in sunshine. There is no sun. We got 6″ of snow yesterday and more is due tomorrow. It is bleak and dark and cold. I am finding the love of white and snow and cold to be waning just a bit. This is the first year in the past 7 years that we have experienced this much snow. And up here, it never warms up enough to melt away…it just accumulates! Thaw should be an interesting mess with a puppy.

And I realized that I allowed evil to be the center of my thoughts. Evil intent and acts by others. I do not need those images in my mind. I can know of them, yes, but to dwell on them allows evil its day. And so we struggle against all these things. Yes, it is a daily struggle to maintain our focus on the joy of prayer and inner-reflection. It is LENT! That is when we all work closely with ourselves to become better people. And when we focus on God, the evil one sends his minions to distract us and keep us from that spiritual joy that they are jealous we have. So, I am digging in. I am becoming determined to be on God’s side in all things, even my temperament. Because believe me, we are in a battle. It is big. It is all around us. It is physical and spiritual.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

And because of that, I choose to put on the armor of God and to fight. I will not allow my sleep to be disrupted by these thoughts. I will turn away and turn to God and “He who saves.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18