“The sky is falling…the sky is falling…”

Chicken Little

Well, I agree, to a point. It all depends on what is above you when you look up. Perhaps you are in an area where things are falling out of the sky, so to speak. I feel like it most days. I cringe when I think of the money flying out of our account for various things. It’s mind-blowing. Our senators meeting overnight to enact/approve Red Flag Laws for weapons. The insanity of that is bad guys don’t jump through government hoops to get licensed firearms. They get them off the streets. Illegally. Us regular people go through rigorous background checks already. And it’s not the combat vets you need to worry about – it’s these young men hopped up on psychotropic meds who are marginalized and seeing a shrink, who are mostly responsible for these shootings. So many rabbit holes about that entire subject! And the news media pumping out more fear mongering for everyone to chew on. It’s become comical when you watch those montages of programmed news spew the exact same words on stations across the country. Verbatim. It’s an eye-opener…

Verbatim News

I’ve become increasingly tense about everything. Will we have this life, this country, in the next 20 years? Where will the USA be? What will the USA become? Do we have the luxury of the next 20 years, or is it much shorter? 5-10 years? That long? Around and around I go. At night, it is the worst. Going to bed stresses me out because I KNOW I will toss and turn and take forever to get to sleep. I have tried it all – meditating, praying, no Kindle or TV an hour before bed (right?!?), taking melatonin. I’ve tried Benadryl and Tylenol. I now drink Golden Milk every night and it does seem to help. (I know it is helping my blood sugar, for sure). And I feel like this big thing is pressing down on me, and worrying me, all day long, intensifying at night. The dark makes everything worse. Up here, darkness takes so long to happen and it doesn’t stay long.

Today’s Light Hours

I try to just let it all go by the wayside. I focus on getting my sheets clean that my lovely puppy peed on this weekend while we camped. I try to come up with nice meal plans for my husband. I focus on my grandson’s baseball tournament coming up, or my middle son’s recent job interview and our youngest son getting enough work hours. There are things up close and personal I can focus my time on. I can let the rest of the country sort of fade from constant thought. I can opt to trust in God’s plan for everything and all of us and trust in my faith to carry me through. I can’t worry about the details. I can’t worry that the sky might be falling on my country, and that this world could be on the cusp of massive change. I can listen for my washer to ping to let me know the bedding is completed; figure out why the dogs are barking; try to keep the house below 80 inside without A/C (Alaskan homes don’t have air conditioning). On and on I could go. But why do I continually come back to the falling skies???

Anxiety – give it to God

Over and over, I have to remind myself I do not walk alone. God and His promises walk beside me. My husband walks next to me and I know beyond any doubt, he was God’s plan for my life. I absolutely love the life we have together and each moment of these empty nest days warms my heart. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. And I am blessed with amazing children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren, and some amazing friends. I know I am blessed. My heart soars when I think of everyone in my life, and when I look outside and see the land where I live. Totally blessed. The big “but” is next…lol. But I worry. Daily. Obsessively I think. And I am desperately trying to rein it in – again.

Do Not Fear

Once again I choose to cast my worries onto God. He spent 3 agonizing hours suffering on the cross for me – for my sins – for my doubts – for my worries. He paid the price – for me. I can do nothing to repay Him except to believe in Him and to love Him above all else. God makes no demands on us. He requires nothing from us. Just full acceptance. And in this age and in this chaos, the peace He offers is undeniable.

My peace I leave with you..

The sky may fall. Our culture may collapse. The world as we know may cease to be structured as we know it. We may loose our land, our homes, our families. We may lose our own lives. But we will never lose God, because He loved us first.

Believe

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Send me…

This verse, and the song written based upon it, have been a favorite since I chose to become Catholic, back in 1983. It has been a long and very winding road. It certainly is not a popular faith to espouse in public. Neither is it popular to say which denomination of the 1000s out there you are. Why is that? There are so many, and varied, reasons!

In the milieu that is social media, there is a growing sound coming from corners we’ve sort of made fun of – there are those discussing the flat earth theory; the lost books of the bible theory; the lost histories; the erroneous histories; the outright false histories; lost cures and health solutions that have nothing to do with big pharma and so on and so on!! Many areas that are popping up more and more. Some of the loud voices lump all these together under “conspiracy theories,” but these are but a few of the things popping up out there. And these are the ones that have been assaulting my brain!

Flat Earth Map

And the more I delve into all these rabbit holes, sometimes the more depressed I get. Because if all this stuff is true – and I have only barely touched the surface of it all here – our entire lives we have been lied to, and told stories to keep us compliant and in line with no one even thinking of stepping out of bounds. Plus!! And this is a big one – all those hours of studying were just spent memorizing things the powers that be wanted us to know – they are not the truth. On so much of it – I want a refund! And today, I still did not use Algebra. LOL.

Christ Pantocrator

I had a lengthy, and deep discussion with a good friend the other day, and that conversation is what enticed me to write this post. I was lamenting all these things that were coming at me, from all these different sources, about sp many, many, things. And she asked pointed questions: (1) Does knowing this stuff make your life less stressed? (2) Do these facts help your walk with God? (3) Does is change your faith? And she made me think. She believes the Bible is the “inspired word of God,” and she accepts that the Council of Nicea was inspired by the Holy Spirit to include the books God wanted in the Bible (and she is so not Catholic). She told me that she believes that God gave us the blueprint for living in His inspired Word. Anything else is just extra, dross, superfluous. And mostly unnecessary. She also told me that she refuses to let all this stuff in this crazy world make her miserable. She works in her yard, helps with community things, spends time with friends, and lives her life. She asked me what I was going to do. And this is what I came up with:

I am a woman of faith. I love attending Divine Liturgy and soaking up the Word of God. I love praying. I love being a Christian woman who attends Church. And I love incense, and beeswax candles, and icons, and hearing a chanted liturgy. Why deny myself the style of worship I love? Why pretend I am just a believer in Christ and not a church-affiliated person? Yes, there are things I think should change about the Church. Yes, I do believe the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and evil is everywhere. Everywhere. In every Church. In every belief system. In all aspects of government and public life. Because we have been suppressing ourselves, under the tutelage of public opinion. We need to take it back.

Madonna of the Streets

One of my favorite depictions of the Blessed Mother is the one above – the Madonna of the Streets. I have a 3-d bust of this hanging in the master bathroom. She just reminds me of being a mother, caring adoringly for her Child. And She leads by example. The consummate Mother. I have religious art over my entire house, in literally every room. And it comforts me. So why fight it? Why not continue living it, living my faith?

So perhaps the flat earthers have some legit points. Maybe NASA is all smoke and mirrors and that massive budget they have has nothing to do with outer space but are a way to influence the public… some sort of undercover alphabet agency. *Sigh* I suppose I can let all that slide. I can, instead, stop going to those sites. I can, instead, binge on Magnolia TV (Not gonna lie – mildly obsessed). I can wake up and pray, instead of checking social media. I can work to lose hours of phone time every week instead of spending so much time monitoring the moment-by-moment goings on of the DC swamp/establishment. Basically, I can take a breath. Settle my mind. Ease the stress.

Prayer

“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus prayer, recited every moment you think of it can help center your day. It leads me into deeper prayer with Christ. It can offset the chaos around me. It can help me enter into a deeper walk with Christ. And I can regain my foothold in this world, working on my garden, my family, my life. God is good. And after all is said and done, God wins.

Send me!

“Listen and hear My voice; pay attention to what I say.” Isaiah 28:23

Being profound or saying something of importance, is a hard thing to pull off. Especially for those of us who write and/or blog. Lots of us think we are arm-chair pundits or philosophers. Most of us fail miserably at it. But the overriding theme is that we just want to be heard. Everyone has an opinion, based on their learned experiences, personality, and outlook. Many of us base our responses and verbiage on our faith, and our interpretation of our faith. And there are many among us who spout off and say horrible things to one another, because of those experiences we have had, or perhaps a mental condition. There are many who are ill from a variety of reasons.

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me.

John 10:27

Trying to be Christ-like to others all the time is exhausting. I know we have all met people who seem to have an aura of peace around them. They are a pleasure to be around. Their presence lightens the room and our spirits feel filled. We also know those who drain the life out of us every moment spent in their presence. Quite often, just being in public where I am called upon to interact with others, can drain the life out of me. I love people and those who know me know I love to gab. As I have gotten older, and am alone more often than not, I have come to relish the solitude and quiet. And it takes a lot out of me to socialize.

And the crux of this post is experiencing the voices of others, and discerning import, and dross. And also, I do long for my couple of close girlfriends and our long chats at my table. I miss those days so much. Hubby works from home most of the time, so I try to leave him alone and not bother him. It makes for quiet days. And I understand why my dad, with his delusions, is so lonely for the voice of others, especially those he loves. I am not as angry or short-tempered with him as I once was. It was a steep learning curve! Being Christ-like can rip the energy out of me, but it also gives me profound peace. I love to imagine Christ smiling when I get along better with my dad, and others I have a hard time with. It is making me stretch as a person. So funny it’s taken 65 years! (No laughing).

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

James 1:19

Conversations these days are so guarded. We have to tip-toe around those who believe differently than we do because tempers seem to flare so easily. I have never understood why those who lean towards the left seem to be so angry. And there are so many self-righteous people who lean more conservatively, as well. It is a dance. Some days I just want to sit it out. Getting your voice into the miasma that is social media is not easy. I am happy to have made some internet friends who think more like I do than my own children, and who are “popular” or known in the conservative arena. They take the time to chat and reinforce my beliefs. It is like a safe kiddie pool to get into, rather than the raging seas of media exchanges. And even the times I miss with friends would not be repeatable these days because I am far more into all these odd theories than they are! I am sure they think I am a little nuts. And that is okay. We meander around the issues and stick to what we know – our kids, grandkids, recipes, gardening, husbands. LOL. The problem, as I see it (again, wanting to share my opinion and get my voice out there) is that the world is not getting better. We are going to have to pinch a lot of pennies to enjoy our upcoming camping trip – the gas alone is gonna kill us! It may turn out to be our only foray in our camper this year. The grocery bills are becoming daunting. Our savings are shrinking. And most of the pundits, even those on the left and even bankers, are warning us this is the lull before the big storm. What is a small voice like mine to do?

But whosoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.

Proverbs 1:33

I must put my cares upon the Lord. Only He knows what is best for me. And God wins. The war is won, although we are facing many battles ahead of us. With prayers on my lips, I can drown out the cacophony of noise that surrounds us these days. I can turn off media. I can listen only to Christian music, that will uplift me and give me courage. I can read only written works that speak to my spirit. I can rely on the many promises of God to protect his flock. In all of that, I can also put my hands to the plow and not look back, only forward, towards my Lord. (“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:62). We can each come out of this on the other side, better people than when these trials began.

And do not be fooled – the times we are in are just the beginning. We should all be prepared. We all should stock up on water and food, enough for months. We should start growing things to sustain us. We need to know where our food comes from – meet your local farmers. Get involved in food security groups. Plan ahead in case our freedoms are severely hampered or even compromised. Just like you plan with natural disasters – have safe places to meet up. Learn to communicate using radios and other methods. Be secure in your home. Know your neighbors. Be discreet in your preparations. But also prepare to help those who never thought bad things would happen.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age…

Titus 2:11-12

Living upright and godly lives in this present age…oh my word, this present age! I never thought we would have pride month where even mayonnaise gets a rebranding and spelling! Or children are encouraged to attend parades and be exposed to kink? Are you serious? We need to take this country back in so many, many arenas. We need God back in every aspect of our lives. We need strong men and women to take their families back and to just say no to the programming and interference in the raising of future generations. Not everyone deserves a trophy. Not everyone should go to college. Every child deserves to be safe, and loved, surrounded by family. The time to act is now. Grab those kids, get them into church, get them digging in the dirt and planting food, get them off the electronic gadgetry that plagues them, surround them with extended family and friends who feel the same way. Support other families like yours. Plan where your dollars go, especially as they are valued less and less. And teach your children to listen for that still, small voice of God in the every day of life.

The Lord said, ‘Go stand out on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’

1 Kings 19:11-13

We all expect big things from God. Enormous acts of fire and brimstone, ushering an age wherein the Glory of God will be shown. If you read Revelations with the end times in mind, you want to curl in a ball and hide. Those will be terrible times, to be sure. But we are living in pretty awful times as it is. I am not waiting for some Project Moonbeam holographic image in the sky from the deep state telling me it is the second coming of Christ. I will await that gentle whisper. Because God’s voice is unique – you will know when He speaks. His voice is what counts.

All the wicked of the earth You discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes.

Psalm 119:119

The rest of the noise is dross…the extra that comes from smelting or purifying metal. There is no dross, no imperfection in the Word of God. So discernment is key. Planning is important. Treating others the way God would treat you. These are the important things. And our voices will be added together to form choirs, praising God, even among the chaos.

I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:2-3

“I dipped my toes into the water and I got soaked to the bone…”

I dipped my toes..

As many of you know who read this blog with any regularity, I had my mom living with me, and she had end-stage Alzheimer’s. It’s been a year this month that she passed away. And I still have my dad. He lives on the other side of the country. His wife and stepdaughter had him admitted to a memory care facility. And he is mad. I mean he is completely pissed off.

He called me – twice in 5 minutes – yesterday, pleading for advice for a problem he doesn’t have and only imagines. Delusions are a part of his daily living. He ranted and raved at me for 1 hour and 35 minutes. I barely got a word in. Entering into Alzheimer’s World is like Alice going down the rabbit hole. I have been down some amazing rabbit holes with my mom, to be sure. But she got kind as the disease progressed. She passed over angry right around the time she was diagnosed. She accepted things. It still made her angry, but in some odd way, as she approached death, she got quiet and comfortable with herself. And she was great to be around. Not my father. My relationship with him has been chaotic at best. So very stressful. And each time he would nose his way in, my family would suffer. Because he treated me so poorly and my kids and husband despised him for it. And as this delusional aspect of dementia has grown stronger, he is more and more difficult to deal with. And I have not seen him in over 20 years – he lives on the opposite side of the country and was always too busy for me and mine. But now that he is alone in a facility, he wants me, his oldest daughter, to make things right. Like I have any authority whatsoever. He signed all that away years ago to his wife and his middle stepdaughter. Because of Hippa – I have no rights where he is concerned. And he is mad I cannot fix things.

Internet photo – but it looks a lot like my dad!

I tried to reason with him and finally got quiet. I had him on speaker on my laptop and actually played solitaire while listening to his rant. I didn’t bother commenting – it did nothing but fan the flames of his intense anger. It may seem strange that I am this bothered, but my dad has always been just out of reach for me. I never performed quite good enough; I was never thin enough; I didn’t become a doctor; I homeschooled my kids; we attended the wrong Church…it goes on and on. And my entire life I have tried to be the daughter that made him proud. Now, at 95 and in end-stage dementia with delusions, he tells me he loves me, he is proud of the life I have made, he thinks our kids are amazing adults, but he’s mad he has no relationship with any of us. His rant was pretty thorough yesterday. At one point he told me he never wants to talk to me again because I always make him so angry; in the next breath he says I’m the only one he ever wants to talk to because I challenge his intellect. *Sigh* It was a long, long, conversation.

The inner me…

I know he gets to me because I am still that 6-year-old girl trying to gain daddy’s love somehow. Dad was always working. And when he came home we were instructed to be quiet and not make noise or upset him. Mom had his gin-and-tonic waiting, all dressed and cleaned up, dinner cooking. Everything had to be clean and neat, because he was under so much stress. We had to be clean, dressed, and playing quietly, homework done, in our rooms. Dad was working most of my childhood on getting a man into space before the Russians. We lost that race; he had a mental breakdown. I was around 9 or 10 years old. Then we had to be really quiet! As my brother and I entered our teens, dad changed careers and had his own business. He was even more busy. Our lives were the dichotomy of feast or famine. LOL. We’d have lots of toys like boats and cars, and then we’d get food stamps. It was chaotic and nothing we could count on. We were forced to work at his plant on afternoons and weekends. It was all or nothing. And it still feels like that rat race when I speak with him. He is still on the treadmill… I wish he could have read, “Who moved my cheese?” It truly may have helped. I think dad is totally the “hem” character. If you haven’t, you should read the book!

Still chasing my cheese…keeps moving…

And so how do I help a 95-year-old who has delusional dementia, and who lives across the country? *sigh* For me, I go back to my faith. I have no authority in dad’s life to make any changes, for better or worse. That is in stone. I live literally 1000s of miles away and have not seen him in over 20 years. We were estranged for several years until this past year. Our relationship is basically one where he rants and I listen. I cannot affect any change in our relationship. My brother says we can never get our dad back, nor have any real relationship with him, other than to listen. Soon, we both believe, he will forget about us all together. Maybe that will be a blessing. And then we would wait for that final telephone call. I’m not sure. But I know this – God is merciful. My dad needs abundant mercy. And so I pray for that. For him. For me. For my entire, extended, messed-up family. I came across these lyrics today, and they made me smile and feel the love of God in my life. I will end this reflection with them:

I dipped my toes into the water and got soaked to the bone; I turned my gaze to my Father, and suddenly I was home.

I gave everything away and I became rich, indebted to the abundance that You so readily give.

I became obedient and my freedom flourished like a bird; I became selfless and fell even more in love.

I dipped my toes into the water and was soaked to the bone; I turned my gaze to my Father, and suddenly I was home.

Dipped my toes by kinnship

“But understand this….

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of Godliness, but denying its power. Avoid these people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Good Advice…

I have had a rather rough week. My mom passed away a year ago on Monday. It bothered me more than I thought it would. I can hear her voice and see her smile, and the way her eyes would crinkle up at the corners when she had a big grin on her face. I recall my stepdad telling us a story and mom leaning in and quietly saying, “Like I haven’t heard this one before.” And chuckling at her husband. He was an awesome story teller and even though he told them with great embellishment, we all enjoyed them, laughing all the while. He truly made my mom happy. Now they are both gone and I miss them being in my life so very much.

My dad is still with us. He is 95 and lives in a memory facility on the other side of the country. We chat now and then. This past weekend, he told me he was moving and was busy, and out of breath, packing his room up. I texted my brother, and he confirmed dad was going nowhere that he had been told. I texted my stepsister and her response was, “These are the delusions we live with. This is why he is where he is – we could not handle him any longer.” I had thought it was because of dementia and did not realize his dementia included delusions. It was a hard pill to swallow, as I have been enjoying what I thought were many lucid conversations with him. I spoke with him today and he had no memory of moving anywhere. He lamented that he had lived a good life, is making peace about death, and told me he is lonely. Told me no one comes to see him. And he misses me and wishes he were with me. (I have not seen my dad in person in about 20 years. So this was sort of a shock). He told me he wants me to come and get him and bring him to my home. He realizes I live across the country, but he said he is lonely for family. My stepsister told me that he tells her he does not speak to his kids, just his step kids. Sigh. Dementia. The long goodbye.

Dad’s under the impression that he has led a good life and that he is going to heaven. He also told me that after he hugs Jesus, he’s going to tell Him all the mistakes dad thinks Christ has made. Oh boy. Head-slap. His impression of himself fascinates me. And he knows he is in his last days, and he is beginning to realize that he may not awaken in the not-so-distant future. But he really has no concept of humility, nor of being subservient to anyone – especially if they don’t have the correct credentials. Dad doesn’t respect people very much who are not degreed or wealthy. Where he lives, there are at least 200 other people. He says they lack the education and only talk about farming, fishing, and hunting. None of those subjects interest him. So he sits alone, being miserable, watching birds outside his window and putting together jigsaw puzzles. Alone. In his misery.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent Icon

The icon above is one of my favorites. This is just a portion of it. I have a replica hanging next to the sink in my bathroom. Odd, do you think? Well, I chose that place so that each time I brush my teeth, I contemplate this icon. There are many rungs and there are pitfalls all along the way. Not all of us can hang on until we make it to heaven. Many are heading up there, but demons and choices yank us off. Before we die, if we are aware, we can make better choices and climb up that ladder, having a firmer grasp on our choice of heaven. Everything we do is a choice. And every choice moves us closer to God, or further away. It may just be a tiny step, but the direction is firmly one way or the other. Every, single, day we choose our steps. Every, single day.

In the world right now, life is chaotic. There are so many people making poor choices over and over again. Some people are at the ends of their lives; some are still so young. As I have aged, I have become more tolerant of people whose lifestyles do not align with mine. I choose to worship so differently than most of the people I have in my life, including my children, and other family members, and most of our friends. I do seem to be drawn to like-minded people in the areas of general faith, politics, economics, home life, etc. but they often worship differently. And that is okay. As long as their aim is upwards, towards God, I am good. Some of my friends dye their hair, whereas I do not. Some prefer trucks, while I drive a grandma sedan. Some are vegans, whereas I love my red meats. It’s okay to be friends with those different than us. However, as things get dicier and dicier, I return to the admonishment of St. Timothy above, “Avoid these people.” And in a way, it’s funny because my lifestyle precludes me from associating with many of those exhibiting those traits. Except for some family members. And there is the rub.

Sage advice,,,

I am deeply grateful for my life. I love my husband more than I thought I could love anyone. He is my best friend. He is who my world revolves around. We have amazing kids and grandkids. We live in a gorgeous place among the trees and mountains, streams and lakes. We have two amazing dogs that are accompanying us on this last journey. I have Medicare and just applied for Social Security. Times are slowing down. The glory days are behind us; peace is ahead. And still I ache over issues from family members. My dad is a case in point. We have not been close since I was in my early 20s. Once he left mom and chose to live apart from his family, that’s been his path. And it took him to the opposite side of the country. My youngest son only met him twice – once as a newborn and once as a 4-year-old. He is now 23. My kids have no relationship with their grandfather and he laments that – now. It never bothered him, up until he really started to age. (My kids adored my stepdad, so the roll of grandpa was fulfilled on my half. Their relationship to my in-laws was wonderful. They adored them. So that was great).

My thoughts center around the demented, aging population. How do they reconcile with God? My mom had no concept of God near the end of her life. Dad just thinks he knows better and would like to lecture God about the world. He has always been like that, which is why he flitted from denomination to denomination throughout his life. He could not abide preachers, thinking he knew more than they did. (He also thinks he has multiple doctorates, but that is part of his delusions). I had an Alzheimer’s counselor tell me once that the demented are at peace in their minds. They just don’t communicate out loud very well, and that God knows them intimately, and He knows their hearts. I was somewhat comforted.

Clinging to this for myself, and my loved ones.

And so I am trying to let this go. I seem to be on the verge of tears a lot. My granddaughter is getting three fillings in her teeth today – I wish I could be with her. I wish I could be out of my head some days and find peace. I am going to my grandson’s ball game later this evening. I will endeavor to find joy in the ballfields, amongst the sounds of the game and the children playing all around us. I will suck up the joy and youth and spirit and the life! God knows the hearts of His beloved. He will care for those I cannot care for. He loves us because we love Him. He knew us before we were even born (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…Jeremiah 1:5) and He will take care of us, as Isaiah reminds us above.

I leave all these thoughts with you because my brain is so busy and there is just so much rambling going on!! May the Lord bless you with peace…

This is for everyone in our lives, but especially our family and friends with dementia.

…”even the winds and the sea are obedient to Thee.”

And most of us don’t know it!

The days are getting stranger and stranger. Things are happening worldwide that boggle the mind. The USA is now being called out on their bioweapons labs – over 300 and counting – around the world. The ones in Ukraine are being systematically destroyed by Putin, and he has completed his task and is now working on peace with Ukraine. However, it is looking more and more like the recent bout with this plandemic was indeed that – a planned pandemic – that our own country has released upon us, and the rest of the world. (Research the China games with our military). DNA markers show us that Moderna had a patent on the genes in the virus. That our country is testing even worse viruses and diseases worldwide. The plan to reduce the population is being put into effect. What what is next? Honestly, I’m not surprised by much any longer. An article posted this morning was about the CEO of Disney being arrested (and then later released) for child trafficking. Meanwhile over 100 people were arrested in Florida for child trafficking and there were a few who worked at Disney World. The rumors of tunnels and kids missing from these theme parks are turning out to have much more truth to them. And it should scare everyone.

Help Stop Human Trafficking

The catchy phrases like “Save the Children” and others are not merely words to be bandied about. In most of the conspiracy theories out there, it all comes down to saving human beings from being treated like cattle – or worse. There are innumerous stories of human trafficking worldwide. There are names and places that crop up like Clinton, Haiti, Epstein, and others, all connected to this horrific trade in human beings. Children go missing at the rate of more than 460,000 per year in the US alone. How do we lose almost one-half million people EVERY YEAR????? And minor children at that??? Where are the values on human life in our country? We simply do not value life enough.

The Intrinsic value of each human life.

“The times, they are a changin'”…as the old song tells us, written by Bob Dylan in 1963. If only he knew then how much we would all change by now! He was born in the 40s and has seen so much change in his life, as I have in mine. The taking of the life of an unborn infant was so rare, and illegal. Yes, I am aware of backdoor clinics and drives in the night to have it done anyway. However, life was much more valued when I was a child. Each person had their own dignity, be it recognized or not. The societal changes that came about in the 60s is still affecting us in 2022. There were many good things, yes. Many! When I was a young girl in my teens, and I wanted to open a savings account, I had to be accompanied by my father – my mom couldn’t help because only men could do that. As weird as that sounds now! So many things we take for granted are now all being questioned. I trusted the world at large as a kid. I no longer do. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I trust almost nothing any longer. Like I posted before, I want a refund! LOL!

Because geometry….ugh

So much of what I was taught is bogus. And of course, the one above, geometry. It was the least favorite subject of mine in high school. Miss Vogler. She honestly used a pencil to keep her hair in a knot on the back of her head. She reminds me so much of the crazy teacher character in Men in Black they show on the big screen. I crack up every time I see that. But the point is, I seriously did not get geometry. So to use it as an argument about the sun doesn’t help me, but the graphics work better. LOL.

Sun dogs? Maybe not…

Here in Alaska we have this phenomena called Sun Dogs. We see more than one sun at a time. It is much like the top two photos. And then there are the bottom two photos. Ugh. We have been fooled once again.

So I have a wandering mind. My dad this morning (he is 95) informed me that he always loved that about me. How I would dive into a subject, get the gist of it, and move on to the next thing that caught my imagination. Ha-Ha. I responded that I am very much “a jack of all trades but master of none” in my intellectual pursuits. He replied that he wishes he could invert that about me. (Still not exactly meeting his expectations, even at my age!). He did, however, tell me he was proud of how I pursued knowledge in many, disparate, subjects. In college, I changed my major so many times that when I went into change it for the final attempt at grasping a degree, the kid at the counter asked me if my student ID was fake because “that’s a real old ID number.” So I took 10 years…I learned a lot. Ha-Ha-Ha.

Today I am still in that exploding brain emoji pattern. I keep being shown more and more evidence that still has the ability to rock my world. Hubby is coming out of it, but he is just pissed in general. It is part of that “cognitive dissonance” experience. I learned just a week ago that honey is actually bee vomit. We eat bee vomit. And it has rocked my world. I haven’t had honey since that day. Euwww….although I have since learned that bees have two stomachs, and one is for honey nectar and water. They do, however, spit it out of their mouths from this special stomach. So for me, still euwww. (Ha-Ha-Ha! Some things should not be messed with).

Bee doing its’ spitting thing in a hive…

So perhaps you can see how my brain does not let me get good rest. I keep throwing all these things into the air and grabbing onto them, and more I have not listed, daily. And as I sit here, I am trying to decide what dessert to bring for our pinochle game tonight. It is a veritable rabbit’s warren in my head. How do we find peace in amongst all this chaos? For me, it is in prayer. It is in community with like-minded people. You know you have found your tribe when you can express what you are thinking, sans any filters, and are accepted for who you are. How refreshing is that??? Good friends, community, all hemmed in with faith and prayer. The world can careen out of control, but if we tend our own yards, we can find peace. If each person in this world would tend to their own yard, imagine how quiet and peaceful the world could be. Of course, there are variants in all things, but the overall, and overreaching, tone would be one of peaceful growth – in self and in gardens and in community. So that’s where I hang on. I cling to the promises of God; I commune with Him all the time (“Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner – on constant repeat), and I seek like minded people to commune with. God is so good to me – some days I flounder particularly hard, but He always calms my spirit and brings perspective to all of this. Pray – constantly – my friends. Pray.

Pound Cake

Maybe a pound cake for tonight. Hmmmm….yep; aways thinking…lol! Maybe we are all mad here. LOL.

Save me, O Lord, for I am perishing! Behold my ship is imperiled by the battering of the waves of life and is nigh unto sinking! But as Thou art full of loving-kindness and sympathetic to our weakness, with Thine almighty authority rebuke the tumult of tribulations which threaten to overwhelm me and drag me down into the depths of evil. And let there be calm, for even the winds and the sea are obedient to thee. Amen.

Akathist to Almight God – for Help in trouble, st. paisius orthodox monastery

“…and I choose joy…”

Choose joy…

Today I read an interesting post. It spoke about how there is just so much ugly in the world – anger, violence, disrespect, war, famine, disease, deception…. over and over. It is almost like people are choosing the wrong thing on purpose…

There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.

Stairway to heaven – Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant

In this post, the writer urged everyone to choose joy, to choose the right path. Choose to write, to compose, to dance, to sing in the rain, to love this crazy life and to be the light to others by the way in which we live. To be that example of a life well-lived.

Our son showed us a video last night. The video showed a pile on the floor of one jelly bean for every day you are going to live. I’ve lived over twenty-three thousand days. That’s a pretty big pile of jelly beans, so far. I’m hoping for ninety, so I have another 20,000+ to go! How many days did I waste? How many spent doing absolutely nothing of consequence? The video broke down bathroom time, TV time, relationship time, even how much time you will spend commuting! It brought me to a sobering moment – of the waste of what God granted to me.

Francis Chan and the Rope

Francis Chan is an evangelical pastor. I happen to like his approach. A lot of people do not like him because he keeps straying from his “lane” and sliding over into mainstream beliefs and he’s dissed the evangelical movement a little here and there. He’s sort of a spiritual rebel and I gotta say, I like it! The photo above is when he spoke about “what are we preparing for?” and he showed red paint at the end of a long rope. In his explanation, he said we spend so much time worrying about the red section and then we forget about all that length of rope, representing eternity. The red section is our time here on earth. It is very short. In light of eternity, it is miniscule. But we focus on paying bills and getting married, buying the right house and driving the right car. Some women collect purses or watches. Some men collect guns or sports memorabilia or fishing trophies. It is pretty insane. We seem to put our investments where our heart lays. Where is your investment?

Investments

I have been digging into my soul today. There are corners that need to be mucked out, that is for sure. Great Lent is just ahead. The readings for the Pharisee and the Publican were just read in Church. And once again I had to look at myself from the perspective of the Pharisee, and Publican, both.

Now he also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and told others they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt. “Two men went up to the temple to pray; one a Pharisee and one a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and began praying in this manner to himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, crooked, adulterers, or even this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I pay tithes all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to raise his eyes toward heaven, but was beating his chest, saying ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner.’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other one; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 12:9-14 (NASB)

Do I attend church so others can see me pray? Do I perform gestures or dress in a certain way as to gain approval from those around me? Or do I attend church because I need to be there?

The church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners.

St. Augustine of hippo

For me, finding God has been pretty much a lifelong pursuit. I have been baptized seven (7) times – you read that right. Seven times. Why? Each time my parents changed churches, we were baptized again. Because each time it was a different denomination of Protestant. Guess they didn’t trust the other guy. When I entered the Catholic Church, the priest and I met many times. He asked me about baptism and confirmation and any other sacraments I may have had. When he learned of all my baptisms, he asked if I had been baptized as an infant and I let him know that I had – St. Peter’s By The Sea Episcopal Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He said, “Yay! Trinitarian! We’ll take it!” I thought that was hilarious. But that started me onto another path, searching for God.

The Pathway to God…

I had an interesting chat with a friend’s mom yesterday. She told me she had left the Church for 17 years and the infant son of her daughter brought her back. And she discovered Christ in the Tabernacle. She knows, with no doubt in her heart, that Jesus is there, always. And she visits Him often. She worries for her daughter, because she no longer attends Mass, but I assured her the faith was there, just not the practice. She may not attend Mass, but my friend is a prayer warrior! Their pathways are different, but their common goal is Christ. And although many of us worship differently, we all share a common belief in Christ.

I really hate arguing about faith details, because to some, your salvation is judged by the denomination of the church you attend; how believers look down on you if you are not of their particular persuasion. People are becoming more and more black and white – judgmental. I am trying, as hard as I can, to be more accepting of others. To ignore, or look past the package, and see the person. As far as I believe, we are all endeavoring to make it to the presence of God in Heaven. The route might be different, but the goal (as I said before) is the same. I would propose we support one another in our chosen pathway, and assist as best we can. There are people who purport to be Christians, but they do not treat others like Christ would. They neither support nor encourage our walk with God. And that, my friends, is sad. Heaven is a big, big tent. None of us have been there and returned to explain the details. We all have the Scriptures and various preachers telling us how to proceed. Well, proceed with caution!

Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture! declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:1
The Cross and Crown

Today it is blowing snow. We are expecting up to 5″ just this afternoon. And we are supposed to get 2-3″ every day over the next week. The sun must be up there because we have “light” but it is hard to see the back fence. I know the sun is there, because I have seen it. I have spent gloriously sunny days mucking about in my garden. I know the brightness and the warmth of the sun on my head. I know the tingle my skin gets when I have had too much sun. And today, in a pretty crazy snow storm, I am choosing the joy of the sun! I know it is there, even though I cannot see or feel it. I know it is there.

God is there. Always. The King of Heaven, who hung on the cross for me. He is there always. Like my friend’s mom believes when she visits the tabernacle – He is there. And so today, it is a joyful day. Among the muck of the world and people losing their freedoms, shortages on the market shelves, and the black and white of it all, and all this snow – both God and the Son are there. So today, I am joyful.

..”and here we are…”

I have chosen to view my increasingly naked scalp as just another leg in my 65-year journey, to date. As that awful saying goes, “It is what it is.” The back of my head is showing more and more, but there are some baby hairs. They are white, so my scalp looks naked, even with hair. When I was an infant, my hair was snow white. In fact, it looked sort of pink because my scalp showed through it. My mom used to use Caro Syrup to glue a bow onto my head so people knew I was (a) a girl, and (b) not bald. LOL. Perhaps my scalp/hair has come full circle. I have done a lot to my hair over the years. Some experiments worked out, a lot did not. I fell asleep in college with one of those hats on where you pulled the hair through and colored it in sections. I was adding blonder highlights. My roommate came home and woke me up because all she could see was “clear” hair. I was devoid of all color. We rushed to her mom, who worked at a local drug store in the cosmetics department (and actually knew her stuff) and she calmed me down and got pure color for me to add to my hair, in stages. It took all night. But I was a normal blonde by the end of it! I’ve been lots of shades of brunette. My favorite was “cedar red brown.” Dark brown with red highlights. Loved it. It was gorgeous in the sunlight. Now two of my granddaughters have red-toned hair! I also have a brunette and a golden blonde, and a light blonde granddaughter (5 in total) with a tow-headed grandson. I love the rainbow of genetics! I also love curly hair because mine is so not curly. It hardly holds a curl. I used to sleep in sponge rollers in high school. But by the time my first class started, it was straight. I gave up. LOL. But as an adult I have had several perms. My plan is to get my hair back and lightly wave it, with some purple for spice. You only go around once – may as well have fun. My boys do not like my hair permed. But they are all grown up with their own wives. I figure I can do what I want now! My husband is so patient. God bless that man. He says he doesn’t care, so long as I am happy with it. So blessed. Been together 39 years and married for 37 of them. He is my rock.

Ed and Jan @ MatSu Glacier, Alaska 2021

Yeah, I have lost 70% of that hair up there in that photo from last summer! LOL. Oh well, onward and upward…

As I was looking back at photos, and noticing my hair (how vain is that??) I also noticed clothing trends. I have never been a salacious dresser. I never wanted to bring attention to myself. If I have a lower-cut blouse, I wear a tank top underneath, to cover any cleavage. My mom had a mastectomy and she had these little inserts that hooked around her bra straps to hide her scars. I thought those were an awesome invention. And today in my newsfeed I was horrified to see photos of the new “Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition for the US” who Bydan nominated. He/she wears skirts and heels and has a list of preferred pronouns. He/she even posted a video about their preferences. And he/she now has the national stage. Ugh. And I come back to why??? Why???

Pronoun Person

There are a lot of photos of this person floating around the internet today and I am sick to my stomach. Since when did so much pornographic material make its way onto our newsfeeds, and it is deemed allowable? There are shots of them in various costumes doing various things that used to be unheard of, and certainly behind closed doors. My brain cannot unsee that, now. It is forever burned into my memories. And I feel assaulted. Reactionary? Maybe. But when did this become ok? I remember how TV got raunchy with the soap operas. And movies…there were some that crossed the line from soft-porn to mainstream and somehow we lost that line. I was recently blown away when I watched a program on Netflix and there was blatant sex, naked breasts and behinds, and every other word started with “F”!!! I could barely stomach it. How did this happen?? America??? Where have our standards dropped to now?

The works of the flesh are manifest , and they are fornication and uncleanness…and things like these. As to these things I am forewarning you the same way as I did forewarn you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the God’s kingdom.

Galations 5:19-21

Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort or greediness not even be mentioned among you.

Ephesians 5:3

Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite.

Colossians 3:5

We are afraid to impose our Biblical standards of faith and morals upon society at large. Why? They are certainly imposing their views upon us. Once upon a time, actors and plays were looked upon as lower class or dirty. The people would not normally be seen with them outside of a performance. In many countries (Japan and China among them) actors’ troupes were also a form of sexual slavery and the females were kept in bondage and used to curry favor with nobles, to allow performances in their regions. In fact, acting was considered to be below women (to protect their reputations) and most of the parts were acted by men in women’s attire (gee, I wonder what that did for male role models??). The females in the troupes were there to service men – clean the costumes, feed them on the road, and take care of all their sexual needs. They were not equal to the men. Even in the early days of film, actors were hosted at events as oddities. The idea of them being celebrities did not happen until the 40s and 50s. And now? Actors, who pretend for a living, are considered experts on everything from health care to climate change to politics and abortion. They pretend for a living. Remember? They get paid to act. So much of what we see is just a performance. Want to go down some rabbit holes? Look into actors and what price so many have paid for the fame they love so much!!

The Bible

As most of us know, the media is not our friend. It does not treat us with honesty. It is constantly spewing images at us that do not build the Kingdom of God. When I was a child in the 50s, you could not show a married couple sleeping in the same bed on TV or the movie screen. I love Lucy was one of my favorite shows. But it was also advant guarde in the way in which it showed two new images to the American audience: (1) Lucy was pregnant on TV. The first woman who was not block-filmed to hide their pregnancy (2) the bedroom. Their separate beds gradually moved closer and closer until they were next to each other. Separate blankets and sheets but they were next to each other. And that opened the flood gates for more and more that was then deemed “allowable” in our living rooms. Lucy Ricardo and the actress who played her were both staunchly left and all about women’s rights. Nothing was a mistake on that show. And oh so many others. We let it in, little by little, until it became an ugly beast. And now it is everywhere in almost everything. “Sex sells,” as the saying goes.

Pyrex Ad 1950s

There is so much being done to desensitize us. The lyrics in songs, the ads we see, the shows we watch, the books we read. I have recently gone through my kindle and deleted so many books that I realized were not building me up towards the Kingdom of God, but were rather taking me away from my faith. As I looked for books to read that were fun, but clean, I realized I had to change my parameters and read only YA, or Young Adult. Most of those don’t even have bad words, let alone detailed sex scenes or violence. Each of us has to decide what we will allow into our minds, into our homes, and into our lives. The Lord was pretty strong about pornography and licentiousness.

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.

1John 2:16

If you ever want to see a map of where our culture is headed, just read up on the end of the culture of Rome. You know the saying, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”? Well, Nero was fiddling around alright. He sent soldiers to burn out the Christian communities from Rome. Deep in the city, fires were started to run the Christians out of town. Nero was losing his numbers in the stadiums. Sacrificing the Christians to the lions wasn’t holding its charm. The people were tired of the deeply imbedded caste system and were tired of their overlords. Nero was a sick and evil man. He was from a long line of them. But pushing the Christians out, burning down half of Rome, did not have the desired effect. Many things caused the collapse of Rome and Roman culture worldwide. Nero and his debased lifestyle and his evil ways were a part of it, for sure. And if we look around us, we have stadiums filled with eager fans. Have you researched the prices for seats at the upcoming Super Bowl? It is blatantly disgusting. While people are out of work and suffering under stupid mandates, apparently it is ok in CA to cram 1000s of people into a stadium, as long as they pay the right price. What price are you willing to pay? The purity of your daughter? The lost childhood of your grandchildren? The closed doors of your Church? The evil in our capital??

My husband and I are watching the series, “The Hunger Games,” over again. In light of our current world, that series is almost prescient – like a forewarning (see Galations 5:19-21 again) we have been given about what our elites are planning for us. Maybe I see danger in every dark corner. Maybe I love conspiracy theories. Maybe I just took my blinders off and when I did, I did not like what I saw.

It is time…

Perhaps we need to put our money behind what we believe. Watch out who you spend your hard-earned dollars supporting. So many companies are bad from the ground up. The recent brew-ha-ha (however you spell that) with Joe Rogan and Spotify got really interesting when it was revealed the CEO of Spotify is on the board of Moderna – yeah; the same company that makes all those vaccines. No wonder they want someone like Joe silenced. But there are so many out there spewing facts and truth, that the narrative is slowly crumbling. Our dollars do make a difference. We can opt to fund things like the Trucker movement that is now worldwide. We can put our money to support the pro-life movement. We can stop shopping at the big box stores and support local businesses. We can support local farmers and eat local (we recently bought 1/2 cow from a local farmer! We know the meat will be good and we know where it comes from. No franken-meat for us!) We can influence for the good. We can outlast and out speak the evil in this world. Less that 3% of the population is aberrant insofar as Christian morals and principles are concerned. That means that 97% of the world believes in Christian values. And those statistics hold up in the USA!! Why do we allow the small minority to run our world? Our Country? Our towns and cities?

Evil is here. We see it more and more every day. We believe in Godly principles. We pray. We call ourselves Christians, and yet, here we are.

What is next? It is up to us!

On a dime…

On a dime…

Every once in a while, your life goes in a completely different direction. And it does so quickly. Like spinning a dime. My husband and I enjoy relative good health. We eschew many mainstream medical choices. Our GP is a DO – and osteopathic doctor. Treats the whole body. The whole person. I like that. Believes in taking control of your health. Likes vitamin regimens. Likes to see you exercise. Likes to see all her patients happy and healthy. We rarely ever visit her office.

Around the beginning of October, the hubs and I were exposed to Covid. So we stayed home. We treated it like the flu. We did our vitamin regimen. Probably not as diligently as we could have, because we got pretty sick. He was sleeping 20 hours a day and was so groggy and so tired. I just felt lousy. Our adult kids came to see us at the behest of our youngest son, who was concerned about us. They walked in and I guess I looked pretty sick. They called 9-1-1 and I was sent by ambulance to the hospital. Severe Covid. My blood oxygen saturation was 71. It is supposed to be 97 or better. Probably too much information, but I ended up being in the hospital for 6 days. My husband was sent by ambulance about 4 hours after I was. We ended up next to each other in the ER. He had Covid dementia. I did not know you could get that. It was why he was sleeping so much. It happens in about 20% of all cases. You can also get paralyzed. Who knew? I learned so much about Covid while in the hospital. I am still learning. I am home, but on oxygen 24/7. I got an enlarged heart from Covid, and I also became diabetic. It was just such a nice basket of goodies. And we are slowly coming out from under this thing.

Fearful?

I was asked if I have changed my mind about vaxxing or the illness itself. The “plandemic.” And I can say that many aspects of it have changed for me. For example, I am a little fearful of getting sick again. I almost died. And I am so conflicted on the mask thing. I know in my head they are useless. I just don’t want this again. So do I wear one? Do I stay home? I’m still connected to the oxygen machine, so I am literally tied down at home. (I need to get my portable one filled before I can go anywhere). I even used a shopping app on my phone and did my grocery shopping online, and we had a pick up time and everything. It was so weird, but kinda easy, too. It helped when neither of us was able or had the energy to go to the store. But am I becoming a hermit?

Wilderness Get-Away

We already live in Alaska. Which for most is rather isolated. But we live in a neighborhood. However, I only know one of my neighbors. So we are sort of isolated already. However, you can isolate yourself in a 20-story apartment building in downtown New York City. It’s how you move through life that counts. And we have a smaller circle of friends. We do. We have narrowed it over the years. But interestingly enough, when we got very ill, we had a community rally behind us. Calling us. Coming by to assist us. And our friends scattered over the lower 48 rallied with prayers and FaceTime. It really made me see how treasured some of the people in our lives are.

We could not have done a thing without our kids. My son and his wife who live near us, saved our bacon. They called 9-1-1. They took over our bills and even made our house payment online for us. They contacted our insurance. They stocked our refrigerator with healthy food. They were our go-between when we needed one. They were our connection with hospital staff and family members. It was something I was so honored to have. A real relationship. It goes deep and I treasure it.

Here we are!

Now it’s pretty much just the two of us. And our dogs. And now that the drama of our illness has passed, while we are recuperating, the intense scrutiny is over and so are the calls. I don’t blame anyone. Not one bit. We spend our days doing more and more, but still resting and napping a lot. Luckily my husband works from home and he can set his hours. He is pretty much back up to speed. I’m hampered with breathing and blood sugar. But we are bored and lonely, too.

Recuperating from something as serious as this was, makes you stop and think. I have never prayed so much in my life. I was laid in this special cushion on my stomach with a face cut out sort of like a massage cushion, while on intense oxygen therapy, for 7 hours a day. They were trying to get the infected junk out of my lungs. And so there was not much to do. I was able to squeeze my phone under there and I would stare at my screen saver of my husband and myself, which was taken just in September. We were both laughing and having a great time. And it kept me going. Seriously frightening to have your doctor tell you there was not much more they could do before they would have to intubate you! I fought for every breath I took. I am still fighting for deep, sustained breathing. They would let me out of this cushion thing for meals and a couple of hours of TV and sitting up, but then right back in it….all night long, too.

Maternity Massage Pillow I used.

I had legions of angels around me. I could feel the prayers. I could feel the energy. And I would do my breathing exercises as much as I could until I was exhausted. The nurses came and patted my back. They gave me breathing treatments by reaching the machine down and under the face part. They were as determined as I was to get me well. And I literally thanked God for the nursing staff. The doctor and I butted heads, but at least he supported my point of view. He even told me, “I am not your dictator. I am your partner in getting you well.”

Dr. Pol

It has been an amazing journey – into the hospital/medical side of this thing. Is it what I thought? No. It’s far more. The doctor told me they have no cure. They have no magical drug. Each person’s reaction is unique and they are running by the seat of their pants. There is no protocol in place. No perfect way to treat anyone. Each person’s case is unique. And with each person’s reaction to this thing, they come up with another way to attack it. I had no idea I was at such risk. I had no idea how poor my health truly was. I had no idea my life was on the line. And it stopped me short. And it has me contemplating for most of my days. Unless I’m watching the Hallmark channel, or The Incredible Dr. Pol on National Geographic. Ha-Ha. Trust me, they relieved my stress!!!

Am I all better? Not by a long shot. I am learning about blood sugar and food. What I can and cannot have. I have experimented with recipes. But it zaps all the strength out of me to cook, and so I am stuck with a few favorites that work. I know I will master this diabetes thing in time. But it is frustrating as all get out, on a daily basis. Who knew? I certainly had no idea. And my fingertips are sore from all the poking. Ha-Ha. My lungs are healing and that is amazing. They would feel like shards of glass were in them when I would breathe in. It was not fun. It is still there, but very minuscule in comparison. I hate having this thing up my nose all the time, but at least I am clear-headed and can breathe. I’m such a mouth-breather and had no idea how bad that is for your lungs! I am learning.

Do I believe in vaccinating with the vaccines being offered? I do not. I have natural immunity now, and with my temporarily enlarged heart, I cannot have the vaccine. Do I think you should get it? No, I don’t. There are too many unknown variables and too many outcomes that are not good, that are being hidden from the public. If you only watch TV for your information, you are missing out on 99% of the story. For a virus that is 99% survivable. I survived it. I am a survivor. Did I almost become a statistic? I certainly did. But I did not succumb. And if I can do it with all my comorbidities, so can you. I do not believe this is about our health. I believe it is about control. I believe it is about big government and big pharma and keeping us sick and dependent. I hate that I am dependent now. I abhor the way it happened. But I would rather it turned out this way than to become a vaccine injury statistic.

Is covid real? It is. It is a weird virus that can effect every person in a unique way. I had no idea about the depth of this virus. Do I thank God for every day? I truly do. I feel like I have been given a second chance at life and I do not intend to waste a moment. Hug those you love. Tell them you love them. Pray to God every moment of every day. Thank Him for your life. And live every day to its utmost.

God meets you where you are.

I bought this gift for myself this year. I normally hang my calendar (s) near my washer in the laundry room. I catch up on upcoming events and holy days, and give myself something to ponder while mindlessly doing laundry. But this calendar is special. Even the paper it is made of is pretty and strong and thick. So this year, I hung this calendar next to my desk. And my sweet husband has not noticed the new hole in that wall. LOL. He will after he reads this, if he does. LOL.

What I wanted to share is that this simple calendar really touched me. I love this sort of primitive folk art and her colors and content just captivated me. It spoke to my heart, right where I am today. Let’s face it, 2020 kind of stunk. There were joyful highlights to be sure, but the tone of the year will go down in the history books as one of the least fun years. I find it fascinating that a strain of flu has been used to shut down entire nations and their economies. The CDC estimates that the death rate overall in the USA will be less in 2020 than it was in 2019, before this bug invaded our country. But the lockdowns are still around; curfews are being implemented; people are protesting; and even the more liberal among us are pretty much over the mask mandates. So many people I know have lost their livelihoods. And many more are no longer friends with people they’ve known their whole lives; not to mention all the families with members no longer speaking – all because of a simple flu strain that is 99% recoverable. It saddens me that so many do not question narratives but choose to mask up and abide the lockdowns.

There is so much going on out there. The Rally at the Capital had a dramatic turn/twist. I fully believe that there was no rioting by Patriots, but by actors inciting and leading the way. I find it interesting that politicians had fully typed commentary on the “violence” by Trump supporters prepared and were able to preach and pontificate, even proposing legislation and enacting public policy, so close on the heels of their “frightening” ordeal. After a warning on their laptops, they retreated into their tunnels and safety from the antics of the paid actors (there are a series of tunnels and trams that take politicians to all the major DC buildings. Otherwise there would be no room for the rest of humanity of the city streets). The sole alleged murder (because reports of this being a false flag are circulating today. No blood at the scene and a sighting of the victim on a return flight to CA) of a peaceful veteran was not by a DC policeman, but rather by a staff member paid to protect a legislator. There are conflicting reports but I certainly will never again trust our media. The on-the-scene cell phone videos are far more trustworthy than our media is or has been. And the eye witness accounts paint a far different picture than CNN.

The world is not peaceful right now. People are angry and upset. And feel like they have no say and no power in their lives. Many decades ago, my mom worked for a real estate company that specialized in governmental acquisitions. Her job was to finalize purchases and to ensure all the titles were transferred properly. There was a project in the greater Los Angeles area for a new freeway expansion. The homeowners had no say in this project and they were required to sell their homes to the government. They call it “eminent domain.” The government was being fair, right? They get fair market value for their homes. No chance to make a profit by holding out, nor the ability to not sell and stay put. And that is when I learned that nothing I own is really mine. Whenever my husband and I have purchased a home and we have made those horrendous house payments, we have discussed how this beautiful place we call “our home” is never really ours. Until we make that last payment, the bank owns it. If the borough or the state decide to put in a skating rink and declare “eminent domain,” they can forcibly take our home, or remove us from it. Nothing, and I repeat this, nothing is ever really ours.

For Christmas, I was given the book above, Pierced by a Sword, along with the two other books that are in this series. God meets us, truly, where we are! And when we need Him! This friend prayed I would read these books as she gathered them together as a gift for me, along with some baked goods, a coffee mug, and a rosary her dad made, all wrapped in a warm shawl. Her dad has Alzheimer’s and is now confined to a memory facility, but he can make a rosary. How profound is that? Anyway, to make a long and interesting story short, I read this book – again. I read it several times more than 20 years ago. And I even knew the author and gave his books out to people (St. Jude Media distributed these books at no cost. Please go to their website at http://www.catholicity.com for the fastest way to get one into your hands). Let me just say, this gift was heartfelt and the Lord placed it on her heart to give it to me. And trust me when I tell you – this book is even more relevant today than it was 20+ years ago. I wept. I laughed. I was hooked, once again, on the characters and the storyline. I was also reminded that our world is careening out of control towards heathenism, debauchery, and absolute hell on earth. And nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever really ours. We cannot depend on our country or government to stay intact, nor our home being ours; nor our friends remaining friends; or our family staying intact. The sole thing we can rely and depend upon is our faith in God, and His unending and bountiful Mercy.

If you think the political and social world we are in right now is bad, it can easily be much, much worse. We are truly in a battle of good vs. evil. This is so far, far beyond the scope of Democrat vs Republican, or Liberal vs Conservative. So few of us bother to do more than give a cursory glance to what the media tells us. The black box in our hands or on the walls of our homes drones endless streams of information into our heads, and sadly it is not for our betterment. There is a narrative and those who control the media control that narrative. And through that, they control most of us. And they have no interest in the freedom of religion. They want our god to be our jobs, the car we want to buy, the purse we carry, the latest movie being released or the next sports game being televised, or the house we buy – anything but the Lord of All Creation. Because they deny God even exists. They removed Him from our schools, our sports, the movies, and TV – unless it shows a weakened, watered-down version of faith. God tells us all life is sacred – but our government, the medical professionals, and Wall Street all sell us that if a life is getting in the way, get rid of it. There is nothing parenthood-related about Planned Parenthood – its’ goal is to stop you from being a parent. What is our defense? The Full Armor of God. We need to seriously turn off those black boxes, and we need to return to the life of an active Christian. If you are Catholic, get yourself to Mass. Pray the rosary. Go to confession. Receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. And if you are a different strain of Christian, attend church services. Go to bible study. Get your kids to youth group. Character counts – surround yourself with people of character. People who strive to be their best selves. People who believe in God. Fill your homes with the symbolism that reminds you and everyone who comes to your home, that you are a Christian. Hang pictures, put a cross up, apply those decals that spell out great Bible verses on them, onto your walls. Do not let the evil one get a foothold into your homes or families, because he is prowling about, seeking the ruin of souls.

As the book, Pierced by a Sword, captured my heart and brought me to my knees, it also gave me peace and hope. If the world does go like some think it will, we will live in love and peace. If evil prevails, it will be our own fault through lack of faith and prayer. Because God is just waiting for us to turn to Him. Do not wait. Do not pass go and collect your $200! Time marches on and evil is prowling about. I can feel it. It is like the world is collectively holding its breath. And God waits. He waits on us all to turn back to Him and ignore the chaos all around us. Deep breath, and pray:

And the great doxology: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.