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 the 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.        

      

Sunday, July 23, 2017

No Way to Treat a Lady

The stress has reached monumental proportion, as of late, in this divided house.  It began last Friday afternoon, as Shabbat was approaching.  Let me clarify, in a divided house, there is always a certain level of stress, but this past week . . . Oy Vey!  And there has been absolutely no one who would understand, if I tried to share my feelings of disappointment.  I've tried to share my concerns of this division with a few, along the way, but Mr. B can be likable.  How well I know that . . . I used to like him.  At any rate, it's not about a popularity contest, or even being honest or hypocritical with others.  It's just become a situation that really can't be discussed with anyone on earth, and that's okay.  Our Heavenly Father is well aware of the situation and I can pour my heart out to Him . . . and I do.

The past week was particularly difficult, in that the only time Mr. B spoke to me, was in front of others.  So the tension when we are alone is intense and has affected me.  This is where I don't sound so good in the story.  Father told me a couple of months ago that I resented Mr. B, and I realized I truly did.  All of the people who come here are my guests and he takes it upon himself to invade my time and space with people I like.  It used to be worse before I began homesteading, in that I was fairly high profile in that town, and he vied for every opportunity to be in the spotlight.  I didn't mind that so much, as I really don't care for the spotlight.  I do appreciate the fact that he, at least, does have "good guest manners," but the brat in me doesn't want to share my friends with him.  Sharing the spotlight was fine, but not my friends.  I've gotten to the point in this division that has endured well past a decade, I don't want to share time with him.  I do try to find things to appreciate about him, and he has gotten more involved in the maintenance of this homestead, but his involvement at this point just doesn't really touch me in a positive way.  That is my fault.  I've come to the point in life, I prefer no interaction with him, other than to prepare his meals and do his laundry.  Thankfully, ten acres affords us the space to work independently.

Stress is not good for MS, and the regular level of stress that I live with daily in this divided house has taken it's toll, for much longer than the past week.  Although I'd like to look Mr. B in the eyes and belt out the words to Helen Reddy's song, "No Way to Treat a Lady," I can't.  His apathetic expression would only heighten my stress level and my potential response would undoubtedly require repentance.  I have to look at the woman in the mirror and repeat that song to myself.  Allowing another human being to define me and affect my atmosphere, my health, and my attitude is my problem.  It's also very unpleasing to my Heavenly Father, and my responsibility to change - repent.  Now here I have to repent and I didn't even say what was bouncing in my head . . .

Royalty establishes the atmosphere and I am a daughter of the King of the universe.  What have I been thinking to have allowed this?  He's treated me as an afterthought, or worse, since shortly after the marriage.  I'm not for a moment suggesting that I should be disrespectful to Mr. B., but the days of me allowing his opinion of me to define me, are over!  The days of his resentful attitude controlling the atmosphere of this home have come to an end.  Considering the spiritual division between us, now, it only makes sense that we'd have opposing views of everything.  It's a well known fact, women are to "create" the environment of the home . . . home and hearth are in the hands of women.  That isn't feminism or ERA, it's Proverbs 31.  So, as I prepare for Shabbat, I'm preparing meals, scrubbing floors, and straightening my crown.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

In Reflection

Earlier this year, as I was washing the milk bucket and preparing the churn, I noticed my reflection in the kitchen window.  After chores, evenings are pretty quiet with plenty of time for contemplation, and so I did just that, as I went about my kitchen duties.  The realization that it's taken 59 years to become whom and what I was created to be, nearly overwhelmed me.  I felt such gratitude welling up in my spirit as a few specific Scriptures came to my remembrance.  The sudden revelation of an answer to a question that has plagued my mind for years became clear in the instant of seeing my reflection.  Also in that moment was the memory of my own words spoken from the pulpit on more than one occasion.  "Moses was 80 before he even started his ministry, and Noah was 500.  Nobody here is too old to be obedient."

From the time I was a child, I felt out of place, and looked forward to being 40.  I just knew that was going to be "my year."  In all honesty, 40 was the best year I'd ever had up to that point.  It was fantastic!  I'd been in ministry for about 4 years by that time.  At the age of 40, the MS went into remission, I had my first book signing in Barnes & Noble Booksellers, started the "Living Water 9th Street Mission," and received a word of Scripture that I knew was for me, out of the book of Esther.  Obviously, Esther 4:14 isn't exclusive to just one individual, but when it was spoken, it definitely rang in my spirit.

As looks go, I'm the Leah in a family of Rachels and Esthers.  Well, Leah is inaccurate, as I do get a lot compliments on my eyes, but I always knew I wasn't the pretty sister, and my daughters, nieces, and granddaughters are all very attractive.  Regardless of my appearance, I didn't have the confidence to ever "feel" pretty, or smart, or talented, and my weight complex had begun by the age of 3.  Folks always assumed I was older than I was, but at 40, my age and appearance seemed rather synchronized.   The years since 40 have not been bad, and although I was serving G-d, I still knew I wasn't in the "fullness of my purpose," and none of the years were as good as 40.  I'd begun to feel like 40 was just going to be a wonderful memory and be thankful that I'd had one amazing year in life . . . but at 50 my life changed.

The training for homesteading had come to an end, and I was moving to the "big place."  The reality that I was legally bound to a non-partner was now a looming bleak fact, and the time honored dysfunction of the family would become a glaring, unrelenting reality.  If all this sounds ominous, it was!  As it turns out, my full purpose was about to unfold.  2012, in the words of Dickens, "was the best of times, it the worst of times."  That year was definitive in nearly every relationship I have. I'm thankful to have made some good memories, but sorry that they are indeed, now, just memories . . . yet I digress.

There have been several Scriptural passages through the years of ministry that have had great meaning of application in my life, but last night, in looking at my reflection, I knew I was created to be a Titus 2:3 woman.  We all want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, of course, but my family was grown by the time I entered covenant with Father and I have no control over the way Mr. B feels, so although I am an early riser and self-employed, I just cannot claim the family relationship verses.

I have been blessed to do much of what is listed in Proverbs 31, but I clearly heard Titus 2:3 as I saw the grey haired woman in the kitchen window.  I know a number of things of value, especially in the nearly lost arts of simplicity, and I also can offer some trial and error to be avoided.  One of the greatest things I've learned in these past few years as an aging woman, is to pray Psalm 141:3, both in managing a healthy diet and dealing with people.

Set a watch, O YHVH, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.