I Love Dandelions!

Everyone ought to read this article because it is both humorous and so very accurate. If you like it, please be sure to thank the author.

Bible-Science Guy

(3 Minute Read. 7Jul2021)

Many years ago when our children were young, a green-lawn salesman stopped by to sell me on his lawn service while I was in our front yard. The conversation went something like this.

LawnGuy: I can take care of these weeds for a nominal cost.
Me: Take care of? Do you mean fertilize, water, and tenderly nourish my weeds?
LawnGuy: No. Kill them.
Me: How?
LawnGuy: Herbicides.
Me: You want me to pay you to spread poison around my yard?
LawnGuy: Toxicity fades in a week. Then we’ll come back to reapply. You should keep your kids off the lawn anyway. They’re wearing holes in it.
Me: We raise kids here, not grass.
LawnGuy: How can you find them in the weeds?
Me: I blow my whistle and they come running.
LawnGuy: You really…

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Unlisted

He only began to get nervous when the pretty girl stomped hastily away from the queue, tossing her open suitcase to the wind right there in front of everyone. Besides dresses, slips, and other garments, numerous unopened letters with a familiar postmark scooted along the sidewalk before a light breeze. At seeing the postmark, he felt a lump starting to form deep in his throat.

But there was no time to think of that just now. Shaking her fist heavenward, the girl shrieked, “I HATE YOU! HATE YOU!!! DO YOU HEAR ME? THIS IS SO UNFAIR!”

From inside a room next to the wall, a deep voice replied, “I hear you loud and clear. Goodbye. Next.”

Everyone stepped forward one place. The single-file line was mostly straight, composed of varying types of people, all facing the imposing wall at the front.

Surrounded by people, Sam found he might as well be completely alone. None talked to the others, though some appeared to be smiling and relaxed, carefully reading a letter or a familiar blue book.

He had planned this vacation for almost longer than he could remember. When his friend Dave told him about this place, it was the one thing he thought of day and night. Dave and his family had been preparing together for this for weeks. Sam, who had always been alone before, decided to join them.

“The kindest man on THE PLANET owns this great resort place, and he has invited us to join him for a couple of weeks. And he has everything. I mean. EVERYTHING. Anything and everything you could want: round the clock massages, heated swimming pools, a working orchestra that anyone is invited to join. Plus, the food. Oh, Sam. I’ve heard that no one ever goes hungry at his table.”

Sign me up already, thought Sam.

But Dave wasn’t finished. “At the end, the host sometimes invites a few, lucky souls to stay with him at his place and live with him. In his home. With everything they need. Like forever.”


If it sounds too good to be true…

“What’s the catch?”

“Catch?” Dave shook his head, as if trying to swirl the foreign word down into his brain for a closer perusal.

“Condition? Stipulation? Come on, man! No one just invites a bunch of strangers to vacation with him and live in his home afterward.”

Dave’s eyes opened a bit wider. “Oh, yeah,” he mumbled. “The conditions.”

Overhearing their conversation, Dave’s mother sidled over. “The conditions aren’t hard, Sam,” she began. “There’s a screening process, of course.”

“Of course.”

Smiling into his worried eyes, she continued, “But it’s so easy anyone can do it. There’s a guidebook that the host wants all the guests to familiarize themselves with.”

I bet that’s only the beginning, he thought, shrinking a bit.

He was right. “You have to register. There’s a phone number you have to call, and then they ask for your address. After that, you will be asked to meet with others to read the guidebook and start getting ready. Once a week, you will receive a letter. And the host encourages potential guests to write letters back to him.”

“Write letters?”

“They don’t even have to be long. Especially at first. The host just wants a chance to get to know potential guests. I’ve heard that he answers every single letter he gets, no matter how many.”

“Impressive,” replied Sam, mentally excusing himself from this first exercise with the thought that with THAT many letters, the host wouldn’t miss any from him. How hard could it be to win the man’s favor? Sam would start right away by not making extra work for him.

When Dave’s mother left to take his 2-year-old niece to the bathroom, Dave continued the spiel: “Sometimes you may get a phone call from the host. I got one last week, and it was the most encouraging visit! You just can’t imagine! If you miss that call, try to call back as soon as you can. The host likes to give guests little assignments—”

“Assignments?”

“Just little assignments. Things to do to prepare for the vacation. Nothing hard.”

“For example?”

“One time, my mom told us she had received an assignment to go right away to the hospital. She said it didn’t make any sense.”

How could it? Thought Sam.

Dave was shaking his head. “Turns out, one of her friends had a kid in surgery. He had been injured at the park, and his mom had no one to sit and spend time with her while she waited and tried to get hold of her husband.”

“How long was your mom detained?”

“Detained? You mean, on assignment?”

Sam rolled his eyes and nodded.

“Not that long. I think she said it took a couple of hours. Sissy and Dad had gone to the zoo, and Mom didn’t have anything else planned. It all worked out.”

“Clearly,” snorted Sam. For convenience, he’d go ahead and plan to skip some of these crazy assignments. Who had the time?

“So, what else does the host require?” he asked, wondering if he even wanted to know.

“Well,” Dave faltered, “he says he is always on the lookout for people who want to be friends with his children.”

“What’s wrong with his children?”

“Sam, what has gotten into you? I don’t make the rules. I just follow them. Are you sure you even WANT to go on this vacation?”

Remembering that his last vacation had been a disappointing, low-budget trek through one of the national parks during rainy season, he changed his tune. “I want to go. Really. It has to be better than my last trip.”

“It’s not just better. It’s restful.”

Rest. That was something Sam hadn’t had enough of for far too long. While he had been daydreaming, the line had been moving quietly forward. Only two people stood between him and the host. And if they didn’t move quickly, he was probably going to gag pretty soon because the woman immediately behind him smelled funny. He couldn’t decide whether it was a dirty smell. Or just a hair product he didn’t particularly care for. One way or another, he needed to get AWAY from it.

Sliding a little to his right, he caught a quick glance at a rather tall stack of letters in the hand of the host, who stooped down to get to eye level with a brown-skinned girl with brilliant red hair.

“Gloria!” the host boomed heartily, as if wanting the whole world to hear him. “I think I would know you anywhere! You’re much prettier than your picture, and your letters have been a constant source of delight for me and many others in my family.”

“I’m, um, I’m, I’m THO vewy gwad to finawwy meet you, Thir,” she lisped.

“The pleasure is all mine, my dear,” he answered. Gently patting her hand, he announced to not just her, “It has come to my attention that you are in the habit of dividing your lunch in half every day and giving the other half to your friend Suzi to eat. Did you know that is sometimes the only food Suzi gets?”

The little redheaded girl looked away, biting her lip. “No,” she whispered. “Thuzi never complained. She also twied not to wook at my food. Oh anyone elthe’s. She thaid Thomeone would be watching out foh huh.”

“Someone was. You, my dear, played a huge role in Suzi’s rescue! I’m so proud of you! I feel as if we know each other already. Of course, you DO put much of yourself into those delightful letters you have been sending me.”

Sam could almost hear the smile in the redhaired girl’s “Thank you, Thir!” Hearing the host’s next words, his already sinking heart continued to sink a little lower.

“I just know we are going to be the best of friends. I have a little girl your own age, and she has been asking to meet you. Come on in, and welcome!”

The person just in front of Sam would be summarily rejected, then it would be only the host and Sam, finally face to face. Sam’s fingers started drumming again against his guitar case as he waited for the inevitable rejection for the ridiculous fool standing between him and the host.

“I’m just so sorry to appear in front of you, Sir, in this condition, I most surely am,” the ragged man stammered, hurriedly wiping one hand against a pants leg that couldn’t have been cleaned for at least a couple of days.

Just as I thought. Sam nodded to himself. Perhaps he had a chance, after all.

“What do you mean?” asked the host, not unkindly.

“I wanted to look my best. Do my best. BE my best.”

“And—”

“This was the best I could do.”

“I see.”

Sam, though feeling a smidge of concern for the man before him, really wasn’t all that surprised. He was right so much of the time. This time wouldn’t be any different.

“Listen, Paul—” the host began,

“You know my name?” Even clothed in dirty rags, the man’s unfolding dignity shown through to Sam’s shocked eyes.

“Why wouldn’t I?” asked the host. “After our many late-night calls, and lively correspondence?”

Could Sam have been wrong all this time?

“I have a couple of advisors who have been tracking your movements. I know that you have traveled for many weeks from a distant country. I also know that instead of buying new clothes when you had the chance, you used the last of your money to feed and clothe a homeless woman and her three children. Your kindness gave her hope at a time she was almost ready to give up. Your name is already well known inside, and we have a whole wardrobe of new clean clothes for you to choose from once we get you settled. Come on in! And welcome!”

From the front of the line, Sam discovered himself alone for a few terrible minutes. Seemed like in the beginning the vacation was free. To those who had done the right things. Had he opened even a single one of those beautiful letters that had been arriving at his house? He remembered opening the guidebook. Once. Seemed like just another book of rules. Mostly common sense. Surely, he shouldn’t be required to study that? He already studied his dictionary religiously. Wasn’t that enough?

All the people who studied the guidebook had been gradually changing, and not all the changes looked good to him. Some of the more enthusiastic guidebook readers morphed into loud monstrosities that others labeled “Clubbers!” And who wanted to be a part of that group?

Behind him, the smelly woman had started quietly chanting again. “I’m actually FRIENDS with THE HOST. THE HOST wants to be my FRIEND. BE A FRIEND TO THE LIKES OF ME! WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE!”

Sam thought wonders WOULD cease if the woman could learn to FINALLY be quiet.

Before he could complain anymore, Sam found himself looking into eyes that were at once kind AND disappointed. “And WHO might you be?”

Sam coughed for a moment, then managed to choke out, “I’m Sam Worthymore. My friends call me GOOD SAM. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I clean up after myself constantly, so I never leave any messes. I’m sure you’ll want to include me in your vacation group.”

“Sam Worthymore? Good Sam? Constance, can you please come over? Has anyone here heard of a Good Sam? Or a Sam Worthymore?”

Huffily, Sam snapped out, “Listen, Mister. I’ve been planning this vacation for weeks. My last vacation was nothing to write home about, and I’ve just about had it with rules and pushy people. All I want is to rest, relax, and spend time with worthwhile people.”

He found the host squinting into his eyes. “You do? You want to have a good time? At my house? On my dime?”

A pudgy woman in brilliant pink had grabbed the hand of the host, whispering just loud enough to be overheard. “Sir, at one time, we DID have someone by that name included in our mailing list.”

Sam straightened up a bit.

Only to slouch when he heard the next tidbit: “After a year of expensive mailings, which were never answered – maybe never even opened – his name was dropped. We determined he was no longer interested.”

NO LONGER INTERESTED????

“Sir, please!” he began. “I’ve been thinking of your lovely orchestra for months. See? I’ve even brought my guitar? I’ve been practicing every single day. I bought a new swimsuit—”

Miss Pudgy in Pink whispered louder now, “with money he SHOULD have used to hire a taxi and ferry his sister to a doctor’s appointment across town on a day when public transportation was totally shut down.”

“Son, is this true?” he was being asked.

“Sort of. Technically. But what made you in charge of me? What gives you the right to tell me how to live my life?”

The host sighed heavily. “Apparently, NOTHING. Especially if you won’t be spending any time in my home.”

But Sam wasn’t quite finished. “I’m exhausted from just the trip to get here. I NEED to be here. I NEED to rest. I NEED to eat good food. And have good times! And be treated good.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Really! What kind of host are you anyway? What kind of person invites strangers over only to turn them away at the last possible minute?”

“I’m afraid you don’t understand, Son.”

“Don’t call me son,” Sam spat.

“Clearly, you’re not my son.”

“You got that right!”

“I thought my friends and the guidebook made the parameters perfectly clear: I am seeking FRIENDS – not strangers – to come spend time with me in my place. Our records indicate that your home address received not fewer than fifty, heavy, weighted invitations, some of them with large gift cards inside. But you never opened them.”

Sam felt his eyes narrowing at the memory. All the fancy gifts in the world couldn’t tell him how to live his life. And he wasn’t about to change now.

“Additionally,” the host was saying, “You received at least as many phone calls, all bundled with the possibility of help and training, had you ever asked for assistance.” He was shaking his head now, while briefly blotting his eyes with a silk handkerchief. The price of that handkerchief alone would have solved several of Sam’s more urgent problems. He felt his anger rise to new heights as the host delivered the final nail to Sam’s vacation coffin: “Son, I don’t know you.” He was speaking slowly now, lowering his tone to that level that demands attention and respect. “In fact, after multiple attempts by both me and my associates, I have never known you. And judging by your response, you have never wanted to know me either. As it is, there’s a payphone just down the road. Here’s a quarter. If you want, you can call someone who cares. Whatever you do, you will have to leave here. We don’t know you. And you’re not welcome. Goodbye now.”

As Sam left the line, he was horrified to hear the host greet the woman who smelled so bad with, “Caroline! Is it really you after all this time? I’m so glad to finally meet you!!! Come on in!”

Bumping both his guitar case and his overstuffed suitcase down the sidewalk, Sam silently cursed his bad luck, while wondering who he could call to come pick him up. Maybe his sister?

“I’m so sorry, Sir,” the voice on the other end of the telephone line was saying. “That number is currently unlisted. Is there something else I can do for you?”

The End

Gwennon, June 24, 2021

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With Tears in My Heart

Earlier today I gave one of my favorite encouragers a bit of advice that she didn’t want to hear. And that I didn’t want to give.

I mean. The UNFAIRNESS of it all.

Our story began some time BEFORE.

Now that my friend found herself again needing GOOD HELP, she made plans to go back to the place where GOOD HELP was said to be dispensed. In fact, it’s a place where she has gone and received GOOD HELP on multiple occasions. Although it’s not PERFECT HELP—only God can provide that—this GOOD HELP was so helpful that my friend expected the GOOD HELP to be helpful again today.

Except it wasn’t.

Someone said something.

Someone who was supposed to give GOOD HELP ended up deciding—of all things!!!!—NOT TO HELP AT ALL.

Because my friend is one of THOSE PEOPLE.

Without the smallest smidge of guilt, this PRIDEFUL PERSONAGE (known from here on out in these writings as THE RUDENESS), who is gainfully employed to give GOOD HELP at a place known to give GOOD HELP on a regular basis, decided right then and there that my friend did not merit his GOOD HELP.

He even went so far as to suggest that my friend, who is not in a position to easily do so, seek GOOD HELP in the next town.

My friend was crying when she told me about it. Before she finished, I was crying, too.

On the inside.

On the outside, I was red-hot-ready to say things that shouldn’t be said and do things that shouldn’t be done.

Before he even knew what hit him, I poured out several painful complaint paragraphs about this morning’s whole miserable episode into the ears of my heroic husband, Sergei, during his lunch break. I’m telling you, Sergei must have been praying for me because my thoughts, though still angry and bitter, began to take a turn.

In great heaviness of spirit, I remembered the Bible passage in Matthew chapter 5. The one where Jesus talks about blessing those who DONE YOU WRONG and even CONTINUE DOING YOU WRONG.

In slightly less heaviness of heart, I sent my friend a copy of Matthew 5:44 in the KJV, because in that version this verse lists five different categories of MEAN PEOPLE. Hesitantly, I suggested that THE RUDENESS had to have suffered some hard hits in life to have morphed from GOOD HELP to THE RUDENESS in the first place. I told her we might oughta start praying for God to bless THE RUDENESS who DONE HER WRONG today. After that, I told her I love her and I’m SORRY SOMEONE MEAN DONE HER WRONG.

She liked the last message: the “I love you and I’m sorry THE RUDENESS treated you so bad” message.

But she has not responded to the previous messages. Which, admittedly, are NOT EASY.

I think these NOT EASY messages may be the key to healing the BROKEN that was ramrodded into her heart this morning.

With this in mind, I want to set my heart like flint to speak blessings both over THE RUDENESS (who is likely to NEVER CHANGE) and over MY SWEET FRIEND. I’m hoping my friend’s heart may eventually soften enough to start speaking those blessings that will boomerang back to bless her own heart.

And I’d like to invite anyone reading this to pray this with me.

Thanks!

And thank You, Jesus!!!

Gwennon
June 10, 2021

Matthew 5:44 King James Version: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

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God Winks Look Like Kindness

This is one of my favorite blogs to follow. I hope it will be one of yours, too. If you enjoy this article, please be sure to thank the writer.

The Beggar's Bakery

By: Jana Greene

I’m in a terrible mood.
Didn’t sleep last night.
Shoulder blown out.
Systemic pain off the charts.
Worried about many things.
The next two weeks is a constant treadmill of doctors visits and medical procedures.
But God…
But God keeps winking at me, in spite of it all.
My prayers have become less “God, show me you love me” to “God, increase my awareness that you love me, so I can love others.”
The checker at Trader Joe’s this morning could not have known that I’m having a rough time. It was the standard transaction, albeit friendly, as TJ is know for. But then he plopped this into my cart. I was dumbfounded.
“Just a little something to brighten your day,” he says. I can tell he is smiling even though he he is wearing a mask. His eyes are smiling.
The flowers are beautiful, and even…

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Yet Unsolved

Sometimes we know we are creating our own problems, even as we are making them. I knew this to be the case a handful of years ago. But I honestly never imagined it could be this bad.

It started innocently enough. I decided to share my latest favorite novel with one of my dearest friends. A smart woman, just to be on the safe side, would have paused and taken the trouble to write down the name of both the title and the author.

In that particular weak moment, as in multiple others, I was not a smart woman.

Because the book was so unique, and so utterly engaging, I just knew that I could count on my memory, which is wonderful for weeks at a time, to file the necessary information indefinitely. How hard could it be?

How hard, indeed.

By this point in my life, although before our separation I read it at least five or six times, I have probably spent more time searching for the book than I ever spent reading it, which surprises me because of its many unique elements.

Written by a female, Christian, retired government data analyst, this lovely hardback was the talented author’s debut novel, published, I believe, in the first decade of the 2000’s. Crafted with the elegance of a Jane Austen, but with the urgency of a Michael Crichton, it delved into the shady-but-scary-fast-developing world of organ tracking and trafficking, via (no surprise to me) a nationalized health care system.


Two of the main characters, surnamed Reagan, worked in Washington, D.C., while often visiting another main character in farmland in Pennsylvania. Adventures included pie-making and a horse-drawn sleigh ride on Christmas Day.

The cast of characters included a female US President, whose 5-or-6-year-old child was dying.

A number of single women were kidnapped and tissue-matched without their consent, several of whom were killed for organs coveted by the rich and powerful. This one sentence fragment burned itself indelibly into my brain, “with the organs harvested from Nora Cole….”

The action was simultaneously harrowing and riveting. The love story between the doctor and his wife was sweetly romantic, while leaving all the right parts to the reader’s imagination. Plus, it seems that the writer was able to concoct a tale that never once relied upon filthy, or low-grade, language. These days, especially, that’s rare.

Pennsylvania Baptists, who feature prominently as a group, play a pivotal role in the resolution of the book’s most urgent conflict.

If anyone can help me track this book down, I would be eternally grateful because I love it more than Pride and Prejudice; Airframe; Jurassic Park; All Right Here by Carre Armstrong Gardner; and a number of other top favorites, including the entire Father Timothy series by Jan Karon, which is almost impossible to beat.

As of this writing, it shall always be known to me as “that beloved book that inexplicably GOT AWAY”.

Can anybody help me?

Gwennon
November 4, 2020

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Advent with the Prophet Jonah: Day 23

This really blessed my heart, and I hope it will yours as well. If you like it, please be sure to thank the diligent scholar who wrote it in the first place.

The Consolations of Writing

When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4:8

There’s a parallel moment to this in the Old Testament, when the prophet Elijah, after defeating the prophets of Baal, finds that Queen Jezabel is still out to get him. In a burst of adrenaline he runs and runs into the desert and finally, after an extensive time of not eating and reaching what today we would call complete burnout, he calls on God to take his life. It’s an interesting parallel: Elijah has been deeply zealous for God and has risked death multiple times; Jonah has fled from God, been spared death three times – once from the storm, once from drowning, once from the fish – only…

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Sovereign!

This is especially encouraging me to. I hope you will enjoy it, too. I was amazed to realize that Moses never led Israel out until Pharaoh granted permission. Please, if you enjoy this article, be sure to thank the one who wrote it. Blessings on you, dear readers!

Bible-Science Guy

(4 Minute Read. 4Nov2020)

Last week’s blog Fear Not! prompted an important question submitted as a comment by a reader. Here is what reader Michael asked:

If He [God] appoints the leaders of men, why would He appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il and on and on back through time? Does “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” apply in such instances? As a believer I find this extremely vexing.

Here are my thoughts on this insightful question.

First, I affirm that the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe is completely sovereign over the universe. He certainly did appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, et al to rule and govern. This is clear from multiple Scripture passages, as God Himself tells us He is sovereign over leaders and…

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HIS WAYS

Please be praying for JD and his family. And if you like this piece, please be sure to tell the author. Thank you.

A DEVOTED LIFE

wp-1593004281838.jpg

There is a degree of confidence that comes with knowledge.  Assurance rises through the fullfillment of an agreeable plan.  We rest comfortably while our lives unfold in accordance to the foreseeable circumstances of normal.

We rarely have difficulty when our thoughts are aligned with His and His ways correspond to ours.  The course of life is comfortable while the heavens seem in line with the earth and God does not demand anything beyond our normal aspirations.

What happens when our ways diverge from His;
when His ways cause pain and His thoughts seem cruel?

The worlds of the created can fall apart in the of a span of a day.  Within a week, I received the news that my Sister-in-Law and my cousin have limited time on this earth.  It appears that God’s ways are truly not my ways.  His thoughts assuredly are not my thoughts.  The diagnosis of terminal…

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lions

This is such a sweet photo, highlighting, I think, the beauty and humor God has built into our world. If you enjoy this photo, please be sure to thank the original poster. They did good in the world!

Cool Fur Babies

lions

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She Just Didn’t Get It

The woman just wanted to be happy. She spent a lot of time thinking about ways to be happy and to make herself happy. She cried and complained more than was healthy for a well-adjusted adult woman. Her friends, after hearing her many complaints, started offering both diagnoses and advice, some of which were more helpful than others, but many of which, the woman ended up taking.

For starters, her friends whipped out ideas and labels, many of which they tried to glue or staple to the woman, with or without her permission. Her dad, with whom she talked on the telephone several times per week, ordered her a large, suitcase-sized box of the vitamins she must have been deficient in, from a company with a reputation he trusted after doing some research. The vitamins might have helped. If the woman hadn’t been so afraid of overdosing. There were just so many pills. She had no idea where to begin. And wasn’t her body supposed to make all the nutrition she needed if she only ate right? At her house, she and her husband and baby ate so many fruits and vegetables that she decided that perhaps the vitamins were not necessary.

Another friend told her she needed more color in her life. Literal color. Her house was a little bland. A few strong splashes of bright colors, which the woman was encouraged to spend time studying for a few minutes daily, should have elevated her mood, banishing both discontent, and depression. Liking this idea, she scurried out and bought a vividly-printed shower curtain for her bathroom.  Unfortunately, the curtain wasn’t exactly the right size for the tub. Besides that, the many strong chemicals leaching into the air she was trying to breathe gave her a headache almost immediately. The next day, hat it hand, she slunk back to the store, receipt in hand, to get her money back for the shower curtain she couldn’t use after all. She left the store feeling worse.

Later, a friend told her that she needed more time away from her children. This friend, being both unwilling and unable to help in this area, told the woman that she should buy a good VCR. That way, she could keep her children entertained and she could slip away to her room for a few minutes at a time to rest. That week, the woman and her husband bought a VCR, along with several movies. Some days later, the woman noticed that her toddlers, who had spoken normally before, were starting to adopt some of the ugly words they were hearing on the television as they all spent more time entertaining themselves. Now the woman wasn’t unhappy all by herself. Her children were becoming discontent with her.

Finally, a few of the woman’s friends from church decided that the woman was severely depressed and ought to go on medication. This not being an idea that her husband liked, the woman found herself having to fight and campaign heavily in order to start popping the expensive pills that were supposed to make her feel better. When he got tired of fighting with his unhappy wife, the husband allowed her to ask the doctor for the medicine. Three different prescriptions later, prescriptions that the woman never finished since each medicine actually made her feel worse than she had before, the woman quit going to the doctor and gave up on pills altogether.

For several years, not knowing that what we study and focus on is what we will become, the woman gave up, giving herself to the foods, entertainments, and hobbies that would give her temporary relief from the sadness she couldn’t run away from. Some of these hobbies, for example, her musical instrument practice, and her creative crochet and jewelry pursuits, allowed her to create and share a number of interesting gifts for friends, family, and the occasional stranger.

But with the wrong foods, the wrong books, the wrong television shows, and the wrong sleep and exercise habits, the woman continued to get worse. Compounding the woman’s sorrow were the health issues that had quietly crept in when she was “pampering” herself with the wrong foods, and with too much sleep. Her friends wrung their hands, gossiped freely about her, and wondered why they even bothered. While she dropped some of them, others were either dropping her deliberately, or simply allowing their connections with her to weaken, until they had drifted too far apart to easily come back together.

And while the woman studied herself, her moods, and her problems—in essence, bowing before and worshiping that about herself that she had proven over and over that she was powerless to change—the One person who could help her, but Who she had forgotten really had her best interest at heart, her good Shepherd Who had never forgotten nor forsaken her, held her gently to His chest as she cried in her aloneness and despair, unable to hear the racking sobs that He silently cried with her.

Gwennon, September 10, 2019

This is my story: literally and figuratively. One of my closest friends, having read it, expressed some concern for me. But I have started moving into the peace that Jesus has for me. And I hope my readers can learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them. May God bless you all! A huge portion of my healing journey started about three weeks ago, when I started praying some family members through the book of Proverbs. Though I have no idea how or if this has helped them, I am seeing some very encouraging improvements in myself along this process. This is a longer story I hope to develop and post on another day.

 

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