Monday, March 5, 2018

Comparing and Questioning is Inevitable

This blog topic has been rattling around in my brain for awhile now.  Interestingly, it simply must leave my head today.  Yesterday was the day most married couples celebrate and commemorate the day they said, "I do."  I don't celebrate it, but I don't really make an adverse point of it, either, usually.  Today is sad, in that I no longer have enough emotion about this issue to even feel angst about it, although with the sorrow of "nothingness" I am feeling a bit of regret.  I've never been married so long, and felt so little to celebrate.  When Mr. B stated in regard to the marriage, "he "planned to just ride it out," I felt the last of the angst.  Once I got past that, I gained perspective.  The "bonds of holy matrimony" are much different than the bondage of a marital contract.  One is sharing a life and the other is "serving life."  Does it feel like a sentence?  Absolutely!  But then, I have privilege on good behavior, and unlike prison, when my good behavior is questionable, Mr. B just chooses to not deal with me at all, so either way, win/win!  What I have learned through the years is apathy is regarded as "good behavior" while emotional displays are deemed bad.  The great thing after all these years, is I no long have an emotional investment.  That seems so strange to realize.  Which has brought an interesting line of thinking to the forefront that I used to do my utmost to keep buried or at least on a back burner.

I have a seriously shameful marital track record.  Some of that is based upon poor choices for the altar while a couple of them are just genuinely my fault.  Unlike many divorced people, I do not and cannot say all the men were bad.  Well, a few of them were, but not all.  Three of my ex-husbands were good men, but sadly we were not a good couple.  I didn't think I was a horrible wife, but at the time, do we ever think we are the problem in the situation?  To be honest, I wouldn't go back to any of my previous marriages, because Scripture prohibits returning to an ex-husband if a woman has remarried and divorced again or been widowed.  Yes, marriage after divorce is outlined in Scripture!  Many denominations believe that one should not remarry after divorce and although I don't actually agree with that blanket statement, at this point in life with a string of failures, I can say remarriage after divorce may not be best for everyone.  That's not the point today, though.  A person can remain in a failed marriage while still being productive, but that's when the memories and the comparing may begin . . .

Obviously when a number of years have passed, the good memories are intensified and the bad memories have faded, so another very good point in being obedient to Scripture to not reconcile after another marriage.  I've seen folks remarry after divorce and I'm guessing within a month, both parties remember all the details of what led to the divorce!  I honestly don't know what all my ex-husbands are doing now, but I do believe the good ones are happily married or in quality companionship relationships.  All of my exes were considerably older than I was and as of this morning I'm sitting at 60, so everybody mentioned is on social security and medicare.  The thing is, and I know from my own history, I've never given a longing thought to an ex-husband . . . until this prolonged situation.

Granted, in my younger years when things were difficult, I regrettably called it quits, but in this situation, things became difficult hours after the wedding, and there is no way out now, except death . . . Which makes one's old memories much more vibrant and valuable . . . and oh, how they are!  I'm in no way saying my current husband is a bad man, but he is the one who chose to reject me.  He let me know very early that, as it turned out, he did not desire me as a wife, yet insisted that we not divorce.  I knew his pride was fragile regarding another failed relationship, so I endured, hoping we'd find an quiet, amicable way to go our separate ways, but . . . When his illness and disability came into the picture five years after the marriage, I knew all hope of a divorce was gone, and by that point reconciliation was certainly not a desire on either part.  So, I have gone on all these years, simply as a prop to make him look the way he wants to appear . . .  Although void of companionship or marital intimacy, I've been able to live the life I was called and ordained to live, outside of a marital relationship while still in a marriage.  I don't have to keep trying to do what just isn't attainable.  I live as a single caretaker, who doesn't date.  Given the circumstances, I don't think I'm sinning.

In the early days, my mind wandered at times, to merely recuse myself from whatever potential intimacy might be looming to transpire at the time.  That first lesson came easily on the honeymoon and went on from there.  I may be the only woman whose fantasies actually involve my own absence . . . but in the past 15 years my mind shifted; and in the absence of any attempt at closeness for so many years now, my mind has wandered to the "what ifs" of yesteryear.  Not that I would go back, but just the fact that I did make some good memories with someone!  With those what ifs, has also come the memories of "what was" and what made the good times, probably better than they really were, but some of the good times and good memories were genuinely good.  Thus the rub . . .  I don't dare speak of what I think, therefore, spending much time thinking on these memories is probably not a great idea.

Never, in the history of my relationships, have I ever compared men . . . until now.  People are simply different and we are all different at different points and ages in our lives.  Mr. B gave me some wonderful insight, several years ago, when I was very concerned in my dealings with another individual.  Dealing with this individual was always unstable and certainly lacked trust, but I didn't want to hold a grudge either.  I asked aloud, "I don't want to hold a grudge, but at what point does repeated forgiveness turn into setting yourself up?"  His response was clear.  He said, "If there's no change in behavior, remembering is not a grudge, it's wisdom!"

And so it is, all these years later, there's no grudge, but simple resignation to the fact we share an address.  I am sorry, however; when I think of good times in marriage, those memories have nothing to do with the current situation.  I do have to say, though, unlike the bands above with "the sentence" ALWAYS and FOREVER engraved; my wedding ring set is gorgeous!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

True Confession of a Peculiar Princess

Scripture uses the term "peculiar" as a very good and special description of the people of The Most High.  Of course, our society has a different, somewhat negative definition, and truthfully, both definitions fit me.  My Heavenly Father calls me peculiar, in a very good way, because His Son has made that happen.  Our society calls me peculiar, because I march to a drumbeat most do not hear.  It's at this point in life, however; I'm not marching so well . . .

I've been giving the idea of becoming 60 some serious thought for a few months now.  I'm not going to be an "old lady" in a red hat, or an old lady dressed in purple, although I may wear those vibrant colors . . . I'm going to be sporting a red walker, while my silver locks are adorned with a tiara! 

I truly wanted to be vibrantly healthy at 60.  I was hoping for a much better year than last . . . I got so much accomplished in 2016, and then literally fell flat just as 2017 rolled in.  I got over the first fall, pretty well.  I never missed chores or even a day's milking, but the second fall was another matter, entirely!  For a time, life came to a screeching halt.  I literally couldn't get up and down on the milking stool, so a very dear friend helped me dry off Annabelle.  He offered to continue milking her, but I told him we needed to dry her off, as I knew this recovery was going to take some time.    Between you, me and the fence post, I didn't expect it to take THIS MUCH time!  There were a few days, the only thing that didn't hurt was my right pinkie and it has a scar from years ago . . . The road to recovery was rockier than the gravel road that leads here, and it had more ravines.

The bruises have diminished and most of the bones are back in place, but the MS has been ugly.  I can honestly say, for the first time in nearly 20 years out of mainstream health care and off of pharmakeia, I've had a temptation or two.  The thought of just one day pain free has crossed my mind, more than once; but then I'm reminded the pharmakeia doesn't heal MS or even eliminate the pain, it just numbs my brain.  With my body needing extra rest and my brain not being numbed, sometimes my mind has wandered back to the years I wasted . . . back when I had energy and a stable gait, but I simply can't focus on the past and keep the vision in sight.  Father's grace truly is sufficient.  He forgave me for those wasted years.  I've been blessed to meet a great many people who also struggle with chronic illness and autoimmune disease.  I want them to know, they still have purpose in this world!  And I continue to pray and seek natural formulas, that folks may become free of pharmakeia.

In this year of injury, MS exacerbation, and chronic pain like I've never felt before, I've come to realize; stoicism is not the answer.  I can't just grit my teeth and push my way through some of this.  After 12 years of running a homestead with a walking stick, I have to move on to a walker, if I want to keep moving.  I think for a number of years, folks just saw my walking stick as a sort of "prop" for my image, but deep down, I knew I needed it for the balance.  That fact was confirmed nearly six years ago when I fell and broke my arm while walking without it.  My son-in-law could always find me, by where my walking stick was leaning . . . and I can assure you, this walker will be hard to miss.

I can't say the tiara will be a daily part of my attire, but on days I forget who I am and Whose I am, it will be a nice reminder.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

When You've Done All You Can Do . . . Stand

It seems this blog is often a venting place . . . Sorry, but I figure I'm not the only daughter of the King whose crown becomes askew, so I share the trials of a princess.  Sometimes life is a royal pain!

It's now too cool to get in my pool, but in this, I have found the most wonderful chiropractor.  Well, I think he is.  I've only seen him twice, but he's not one of those "in the system guys."  He is actually working for his patient, which makes me happy, and of course chiropractors are NON-pharmakeia.  Win/Win!  Until I could no longer get in my pool, daily, I had no idea how much pain was still lingering from my fall several months ago.  Then there's the rain that comes in it's season here in the autumn.  I can now, forecast the weather with greater accuracy than a degreed meteorologist.  On a positive note, I have developed some wonderful pain relieving formulas for the Land of Goshen, LLC.

With my new found chiropractor, came his warning that I had some terrible misalignments, etc. and should take it easy the next couple of days, AND there would be discomfort!  His warning was strong enough that he even said he'd see me on the weekend, if I needed him . . .  He repeatedly mentioned the fact that I'd done more damage by "toughing it out."  Oh, I'm definitely one to persevere . . .  Gritting my teeth and denial are two of my best coping methods.  Schedule and accomplishment are more important factors than pain.  So, in my time of "taking it easy" I've done some serious soul searching in regard to the difference between grit, denial, and faith.  Pain is very much linked to our memory, so I've also, sadly let my mind wander into some dark old days, but when I realize it, I try to quickly change my thinking.   

Thinking is good, but it must be well directed and with purpose.  I've not felt good enough to get any real thought provoking projects started, so there's been what I call "too much free time."  I just hate it when I feel too bad to even read for very long, but for several months now, every position grows painful in less than 30 minutes.  Sitting has been the absolute worst, but now, I have specific instructions to not overdo and mess up my treatment.  I've given enough thought to various topics to realize, I do better if I don't let myself "think in free fall!" 

Our Heavenly Father gave us wonderful things to think about.  He is wonderful to not only think about, but commune with and it is only in His presence that I have found any serious relief from pain.  I've also had to hear some rebuke and admonishment regarding my denial and grit, which has often been rooted in the flesh.  Ouch!

So, as I have repented for trying to handle my injury "in the flesh" and repented for letting my mind wander in dark past places I didn't need to go; my body is adjusting to "being still and knowing that He is Elohim."
Be still, and know that I am Elohim . . . Psalm 46:10a
Through this I have really come to realize, I was trusting in my own determination to continue my homestead activities regardless of the pain and toll on my body, not to mention the distraction of my mind and neglect of my spirit in the painful exhaustion.
And thou shalt love YHUH thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  Torah and Messiah

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Warrior Princess

The spiritual battle is real, and it intensifies before the High Holy Days.  I personally believe the adversary receives entirely too much credit for the works of the flesh, which are diametrically opposed to the workings, fruits, and gifts of The Holy Spirit.  The battle is real!  Living in a divided house, I'm reminded frequently, of just how very real and distinct the line between the leading of the Holy Spirit and the works of the flesh truly is.  Sadly, it seems, some days, I straddle that line in dealing with Mr. B.  The truth of the matter is, just like Samson, I allow myself to be bamboozled.  Sometimes I'm battling the flesh, in the flesh . . . to which there is no victory!

I'm not going to delve into the sad sorry past, as it is what it is, but through the course of this long tedious battle, I've changed.  I believe it's for the best, but since we are on opposite sides of the battle, it doesn't always make for "easy negotiations" and there'll be no concession for peace . . . I've already been that route.  I nearly lost my salvation over that.  Regardless of what you believe about hell, I can tell you, the idea of spending eternity with someone to whom you are unequally yoked is the most vivid description of "hell" I can imagine!  I've jokingly described my marriage as being "like a bad date that simply won't end."  We ran out of small talk in 2005.  By the time he became disabled in 2007, I knew divorce was not an option, and yet I digress.  Let's get on to the heart of the matter.  There is a spiritual battle and for many of us, it's not about good vs. evil, but G-d's plan vs. social expectations!

This is not to brag, but Mr. B knows he's got it made.  Father has blessed me with several talents, so when it comes to low maintenance and high productivity; I'm basically . . . a catch!  He's married to a minister, an author, a business woman, a natural health practitioner, and a back to basics homesteader, who; while pushing 60 still gets a few compliments on her appearance; while I'm married to a guy who . . . thinks a lot of himself.  Although he did quit working at the age of 51 to "keep Sabbath," then changed his mind; he has been legitimately disabled since he was 56.  I, on the other hand; still have to work quite hard to cover all the bases, plus keep my obligation in regard to the marital vows I made.  What I had hoped would be a partnership ministry is really a front line battle, with the front line between the two of us.

He likes to look active in front of others and to be honest, the biggest battle I face, is trying to be tactful without being hipocritical.  There's simply no reason to air dirty laundry in front of my guests.
The only time he has shared in the Sabbath observance is when I have a guest or guests . . . which makes for a very strange and strained circumstance.  He can and has fooled a few of the "church ladies."  At any rate, I found it interesting after yet another Sabbath alone, he wanted to just start the new week like we had something to share.  Having been withdrawing from his attempts for the last several weeks, I finally, overtly explained my decline of conversation over a glass of wine and simply prepared dinner.  Within moments, I was accused of complaining while he was simply "trying to ride this out."

Here's where it gets tricky for me, as to which side of the line I was to respond.  Although I truly do want to be pleasing to our Heavenly Father, when Mr. B mentioned "just riding this out" as in tolerating the marriage until one of us dies . . . Like "til death do us part" is a sentence!  I felt a bit of a Bette Davis response rising up in me . . . something to the effect of riding it out . . . "it's going to be a bumpy ride!"  Thankfully, I bit my tongue on that one and simply stated, "Well, cowboy, to say 'riding out a marriage' is nothing more than waiting for one of us to die.  Even knowing a divorce is not possible, that's just not a concept I choose to embrace."

I am coming to understand when someone has turned their back on the One True G-d of the Living, death becomes a very stark reality and the sad end of a sorry life.  I cannot imagine looking at life in the way he does, and I'm so thankful that I don't.  The spiritual battle is real and it begins in the heart!  Not caring about another person's goals or happiness, while just waiting to die seems like such an empty existence.  That's not living!  Although, I'm seeing it up close and quite personal, just existing in America, is quite common.  How many in this country are trying to fill a void with gadgets or addictions, or just buying their time with entertainment?  How many folks are still looking for companionship, living by the old cliche, "misery loves company?"  How many have never met our Creator?  How many have turned their back on our Creator?   The battle is real and it is a battle between life and death.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  Deuteronomy 30:19

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Princess Life

As a child of the King, I definitely delight in my life as a princess.  Scripture refers to us as a "peculiar people" and some folks in my circle of influence point that out as well . . . I've been blessed to not have to strive for peculiarity, in that I never caught on to average mainstream, before following Messiah in Torah Covenant.  I truly love the life and service, Father has called me to live.  I do have to take care, however; in that it's easy for me to get too busy and not spend as much time with Father and Messiah as I should . . . Father created us to be human beings, not human doings!  A covenant life in Messiah is not all rainbows and glitter, but  my worst days now, are better than my best days used to be and for that I am very grateful!

I'm blessed to be a country girl princess, so I have a bit more freedom than my urban and suburban dwelling sisters.  Truth be told, town would be a very difficult transition for me, and a big city would be overwhelming.  Growing up in the country, I was just sure there was a city girl longing for the rat race, but that's just not who I was created to be.  When I entered covenant with Father, it wasn't long until I heard . . . "land with a well."  I was single then, and wasn't sure I'd be able to manage, alone, what is now called a "homestead."  As it turns out, I remarried.  Then had not been "farm living" two years when he became disabled, so . . . I learned very quickly "I can do all things through Messiah, who strengthens me."  I also learned I had a Moses temperament that needed check.  For a time I know I sounded like the children of Israel in the wilderness, yet Father forgave me.  And I've grown spiritually to the point, I've been able to let go of my expectations and bringing glory to the Father is more important than speaking my mind.  Yet I digress . . . back to the beauty of being a country princess.

With spring comes the spring arrivals of such cute baby goats.  In a matter of days, they are frolicking.  With the exception of tomato and pepper bedding plants, the garden is in by early March.  I usually spend my birthday barefoot in the garden.  By April there are fresh salads . . . without tomatoes, but the greens and radishes are ready!  Early May brings the most wonderful fragrance wafting in my kitchen window.  You haven't lived until you've smelled the combined fragrances of strawberries ripening and honeysuckle blooming!

In my opinion, the sunrises of spring are the most beautiful of sunrises and autumn sunsets exceed the other seasons.   There is no sound like rain falling on a tin roof, and I still enjoy my rainwater rinses after washing my hair.  The dew often looks like sparkling jewels in the grass and there are a number of rainbows that follow afternoon showers, so in a sense this life can be described as  "rainbows and glitter."

Much of the summer can truly be described as "peaches and cream" and blackberries!  The garden is just a wealth of fresh veggies and the orchard is coming along nicely, not to mention the amount of cream on a gallon of fresh milk from my Jersey cow.  It's such a blessing to watch the jars of veggies increase through the canning season.

With such a mild winter, last year, there has been one down side to my lifestyle as a country princess.  The mosquitoes and ticks have been horrible this year!  What's a princess to do?   First, I'm praying for a winter that is not so tick friendly!  "Pest Rejection" formula from the Land of Goshen and extra Vitamin B-1 has been effective to repel mosquitoes.   The "Pest Rejection" does help against the ticks as well, but it is not 100% effective, so I sip on a nice glass of Chardonnay while picking ticks.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Princess Kind of Day

Lately, I've found myself noticing other mature women . . . wondering if they are older, younger, or about my age.  Yes, I admit it, pushing 60 has challenged me.  Not that I'm dreading 60, but rather, I've noticed it seems to be the determining age that sets health and activity level for the rest of one's life.  From what I've observed, there are those who are still active at 60, and there are those who are markedly older, and slowed down dramatically at 60.  I don't plan to stop at 60, but this last injury still has me in recovery mode.  Oh, I'm milking, and gardening, and canning, and the usual, but it feels different this year!  I've also added water exercises to my daily regimen, which has helped tremendously.  I have always used a walking stick on the homestead, but I now have a town walking stick, as well.  Does it make me look older, I don't know and I don't care.  I'm not worried about appearance, I just want to stay active.  I plan to be a vivacious 60!

Last week, I took a short day trip to the Cherokee nation.  I just love being there!  Although I am truly grateful to live where I do, I very much love Oklahoma.  Unlike so many Americans, my great great grandmother was not a Cherokee princess, because the Cherokees have chiefs not kings; therefore no princesses.  If someone's great great grandmother was the daughter of a chief, then someone's great great great grandfather was a chief.  Now, that's an exciting heritage!

In traveling, there are always stops to be made . . . and at every stop, the gentlemen were just wonderful!  Doors were held open for me.  Does this make me feel old?  Not at all, it makes me feel pretty and feminine.  I love the differences between the sexes and take delight that chivalry is not dead.  Even once, a gentleman who had already exited before I got anywhere near the storefront, actually went back to open the door for me.  More than one young man called me Ma'am, and that never offends me.  It doesn't make me feel old at all.  It reminds me, some people are still raising their kids to show respect.  I like it!

One particular incident, could have been just a bit awkward, as a gentleman and I nearly ran into each other as we exited our designated rest rooms.  After our awkward "oops" he just clearly and openly declared, "You are a beautiful woman."  I thanked him, and he went on to tell me how beautiful my skin tone is, my eyes, and then launched into his opinion of my hair.  As it turns out, his wife grayed early and wanted to cover it, but he persuaded her to leave it natural, as he found it just beautiful.  So, his parting words to me were, "Don't ever color or cut your hair, it's beautiful!"

If there were such a thing as Cherokee royalty, I had a princess kind of day.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ten Years Ago Today

written July 31, 2017

Interestingly, I didn't think it would hit me the way it has . . . Thankfully, after that day, ten years ago, I just never gave it much thought, but today it suddenly hit like a ton of bricks.

I made the conscious decision to sign a paper that would save another person's life, so I was told . . .  but in that signature, I also signed away my hope to ever be loved in this life.  At that time, life was not about me, and my expectations had to simply go away.  I certainly didn't want to shirk my responsibility, but at that same time, I felt the hope to be loved, simply die.  It truly is physically painful, but that day there was a more critical situation for two other people.  Oddly, those two other people really didn't even like me much, but they needed me, they needed my signature, and they needed my servitude that would last a lifetime.  As a bereaved mother, myself, I knew I didn't want Mr. B's elderly mother to experience that horrific pain, and as I considered the five years I'd been with him, it became very clear that . . . he was afraid to die.

The signature I gave was a surgery consent form for Mr. B.  The date on the consent form he'd signed had expired, as his condition had been too grave for surgery.  The first night in the hospital, he was placed in a medically induced coma and I was not allowed to stay in his ICU room.  He continued to decline.  The next day, however; I was in there the entire day and night, except through shift change, in which time I raced home to do chores and return. Having brought and placed my prayer shawl over him, I read Scripture aloud through that night, and by the next morning he was showing improvement, but the sorcery of American science is persistent.  I refused to sign the consent form that day, as he simply was not strong enough to withstand such an invasive and lengthy procedure.  I told the doctor, he needed another day to gain strength.  Well, that didn't set well with Mr. B's family, but nothing I'd done ever had, so I stood by my decision, and the surgeon accepted it.  Through that day and night, Mr. B did gain some strength.  By four the next morning, the powers that be, brought in the consent form.  The surgery would take place about 18 hours later.

Instead of the nice tidy divorce I'd asked for a few months earlier, I was signing on to become his caretaker for life.  So many potential surgeries had been mentioned that I carefully went over that consent form with the surgeon and even crossed out a few vague statements of consent, consenting only to the surgery Mr. B had first agreed to, which was a total amputation of his left leg.  Necrotizing fasciitis is vicious!  Flesh eating bacteria, as it is commonly recognized, wasn't in the headlines back then, as it has been more recently.  Through the surgery, they took extra liberty, leaving three more open wounds to include the removal of his birthmark . . . presumed to be infection.

In looking back over the years, Father has blessed me greatly through this.  Mr. B kept track of the bandaging, which; according to him, lasted 18 months to the day.  He got back to driving in about a year.  Daddy extended the back porch to give him access to the publishing bus, and by 2013, Mr. B was gathering eggs.  In that time, I had my moments of murmuring and k'vetching . . . and a few meltdowns, requiring repentance; but in that time, I also learned a great deal and received a great many revelations and gifts from our Heavenly Father.

I've learned American religion appears to believe our Creator needs a great deal of human help.  Although, in these recent years, I've been blessed with some wonderful friendships, I've also learned to live without needing human appreciation or approval.  I've learned the difference between being meek and being a doormat.  I've learned to walk in the confidence of Messiah.  I've learned, what other's think of me, is none of my business and that I am called to be busy about my Father's business.

I've also received an answer to a prayer I prayed back in 2001.  I asked Father if He would please show me His heart . . . He has, to the point I can barely take it.  I have come to realize how painful it is to love people and not have that love returned.  I've learned how very painful it is to give my absolute best, and have it rebuffed.  I've also learned, I probably wouldn't have learned any of this, had it not been for what transpired ten years ago.