A Marriage NOT Made in Heaven. . .or, on Earth, Either!

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I wasn’t ready for what I read.  Even after I finished, I could hardly believe it!
The husband of an acquaintance of mine had retired after a very long, laborious career at a petroleum facility. Last time I saw him, he looked like he had taken quite a beating over the years.  Since the two of them had done a fair amount of RV travel, I made a little comment about it when I dropped her a line.    What came back was biting.  I could hear loathing and bitterness!  They might be married, but there was no marriage.
“Yes, he HAS retired and I am very upset that he has done this.  He is too young to retire yet!  (63)  I’ve been asked by so many people why he retired.  He should be working until at least 65-66 years old.  I don’t understand why he was in such a hurry.  With this economy as bad as it is, was not a good time to retire.

What made me even more furious about it, was that he never even discussed retirement with me at all.  He just went into the office and told the company he was retiring and started the paperwork.  Now, is NOT the time to retire with the price of gas is going sky high, and cost of living as high as it is.  It was just ridiculous to even consider retirement.

I resent him doing this!  Now my future is unsettled!  I fear that there won’t ever be the money to do the traveling I had hoped, or for the care that my cats will need.  I hate him for doing this!

I hope he gets bored to death now, because we will not be able to afford to do anything!  There will NOT be any traveling for this year and possibly into the next few years, not with the price of gas!
Whew! I had to sit for a minute in order to absorb all that spewing hatred.  A few other words expressed how she wouldn’t even miss him if he died.  I think she meant it.
Pretty harsh, I’d say.
Here is a woman who has been able to stay home and do whatever she pleased her whole life.  She has not worked, and has no children. Spin cycle and swimming classes, along with her 20-some cats, fill her days at the moment. Her love of online shopping brings many spendy purchases to her door.
Her vet bills alone, probably drove her husband nuts.  Two cats went through extended chemo.  Other feline friends had conditions for which medical treatment costs equaled that of a human.
Still blinking in disbelief, I thought over our brief written communications of the past two years.  I couldn’t recall even one time where she considered him – – for anything.  Not much thought had been given to her husband’s desires at all.  It appears that he was “just a paycheck.” 
I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, he got that message and decided to do something for HIMSELF before HE ran out of time.  Perhaps he felt that he’d been the punching boy for too long and this was the only way he could “punch back”.  Of course, I don’t really know.  Perhaps, since through the years, she’s done what she wanted without discussion, he didn’t feel any obligation to communicate.  How sad.
During my own times of tough challenges, Peace helped both my husband and I to be proactive, not reactive.  It provided insight where we had no clue. When the unanticipated shook us at our core, we had The Rock to steady us.

I hurt for people like my acquaintance. She has no clue that she is blind, wretched and miserable.  She has no foundation and no Peace; the one relationship (her marriage) that should have given her stability, is excruciatingly splintered.

With a sister as an only friend, my acquaintance has allowed selfishness to push everyone else away.  She expressed this dilemma to me, but my suggestions about getting involved with community, volunteering, or church fell on deaf ears, accompanied only by sarcasm.

I’m out of words.  Zero.  Nothing for her. 
There is no way I can commiserate, and I cannot offer condolences! I have no idea how to connect.
So I’ll say nothing. . .

Nothing, at least, until the Holy Spirit releases me and gives me the words. It is going to have to be HIM, because I know I have nothing to offer. 

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.
This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And with With Shanda On Your Heart Tuesday

Did You ‘spel Gas?

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Did You ‘spel Gas?
(or.. Perception is Not Always Reality)
It happened at the grocery store.  It happened when I had all five of my young children in tow.
I don’t know why, but the store, any store, seemed to be an attraction for awkward or embarrassing incidents.
The Tri-Valley in sunny California was experiencing an unusually hot summer! This muggy afternoon was no exception. Already uncomfortable, I hated to drag the whole brood out, but it was necessary!
Just a quick trip?  Sure, I wanted it to be that way, but that was probably asking a little much.  As soon as we arrived, somebody needed to go to the bathroom, while the older kids clamored to the drinking fountain.   
Me? I took a deep breath.  I wanted to get in and get out, but I also didn’t want any accidents, so off to the restroom, it was!
As I waited, my four-year old fidgeted in the stall.  Little grunts and noises echoed.
“Everything aaaal….right…..?   C’mon Jo-Jo, let’s get going – gotta shop,” I encouraged.
“Uh! I needa fart,”  squeaked a teensy little voice.  “My tummy hurts.”
Her sisters laughed, egging her on.
Then she yelled out loud, “ My tummy hurts – – -.and I neeee-eeed tooooo faaarrrrt!”
Oh man! There was that word again – coming from my young daughter’s mouth. Obviously, the recent instruction at home hadn’t settled in yet. I closed my eyes for a minute and continued,
“Remember what I told you about using THAT word? It doesn’t sound nice.”
“Uhhhh-ungh- huh!” she grunted. “ I – have-  to – say – ‘spel- – gas, right?” she inhaled.
“Sure…” was my truncated reply, as people filed into the restroom.
Singing…..Oh no, she started singing at the top of her lungs! 
“Wipe, flush and wash!  Wipe, flush an’ wash. Whenever you go to the bathroom, remember never to leave the room, ‘til you wipe, flush an’ wash!” (To the tune of ‘Three Blind Mice’)
“Okay I did the first one,” she crooned as the toilet flushed and she burst out of the stall, underwear still around her legs. 
The lady next to me exploded with laughter.  “Your kids have a bathroom song?  That’s pretty good!”  
I should be used to this by now.  Kids! I needed her to move it, but little daughter was busily singing again as she washed her hands.   
“Jo,” I whispered, trying to direct her attention to her ankles.
She looked down and reached to pull up her underwear.  Stopping suddenly in the middle of the action, she wailed – – -” I forgetted to wipe”. 
Dear Lord….now she was in tears!   I bent to console her and move her out of the way, but she wasn’t having it.   This was my child who embarrassed easily, so she thought everyone was staring at her!
 Finally!  Pants up, tears dried, we managed to get out of there. 
Fresher air at last!  I dashed for the milk, grabbed some TP, and made a beeline for the checkout  – – – just in time to stand in a long line.
The store air conditioning had stopped and it was warming up fast.  My restless children jiggled about.   I can’t say what happened to the PA system or the music, but the store got quiet all at once.
People began looking around. Hushed small-talk floated into the air. The checkers were still ringing up grocery orders, so the lines crept forward.
image courtesy photobucket.com
A loud, squeezed “bw-raaah-nk” of a sound broke the silence in my line.  A large man shifted and smirked, but said nothing.
“P U!”  A little voice laughed. 
“Mom………………….did you farted?” my daughter questioned, loudly.
I looked down at her, “What?”   My eyebrows were scrunched in disapproval, not thinking she’d repeat her question.  Repeat she did!
“Shhhhh…no, I did not…and what did I tell you about using THAT word?”
“Okay” she whispered.   “ So…did you ‘spel gas?” she insisted, more than questioning.
“Hush!”  I tried to shush her with my short, agitated, whisper- tone.
Now she was frustrated because she truly believed I had done it. Her little face twisted, pouty lips pushing forward. 
 “You DID too!  It was YOU!  You did too faaarrrted!  You not supposed to tell lies!” she blurted out.  
I could not believe it;  my persistent child was almost in tears over this. I laughed a little at her and continued to let her know it wasn’t me.  She was resolute and the more she insisted, the louder she got.  This was no longer funny!
The quiet store ruptured with chuckles and snickers.  Since there was nothing else to distract them, my child and I seemed to be the focus of attention.  My face was hot.
And – – ?  My daughter would NOT drop it!  All the while, the man responsible for the offensive bodily noise was har-haring in his overalls! 
Ah! Just get me out of here!  I was SO embarrassed. Just let me escape!  I needed air!
Once in the car, I relaxed a bit.  My daughter thought I was being unfair. She was convinced that I was the guilty one!    A few strong words from me, and except for my daughter’s sniffling, the other kids were extremely quiet all…the…way…home.
In retrospect, I’m sure it wasn’t really THAT big of a deal. Embarassing?  Certainly, for those moments.  But, my daughter’s insistence on her perception of the situation was the real problem. 
She needed to listen to what I was saying, but because she was convinced with wrong information, her behavior left her – and ME – upset.
It has made me think more than once.
I’ve pondered the times when I was SURE that GOD was trying to tell me about something, but I was so insistent in my own understanding that I totally missed His direction.
How many times did I not understand why I had the outcomes I did? I knew better than to accuse God of being unfair, but still I wondered …
Who am I to insist that my puny mind totally “gets it?”   Who I am I to have a hissy fit when it was ME who lacked proper perception and instruction in Righteousness.  He alone is Lord God over the whole universe!
Our perception of His Word comes from a basis of our constant relationship with Him.  Then, when He speaks, we’ll recognize His instruction and be able to receive.  The supernatural outcome is that we will be led by Peace.  Obedience will be automatic because we trust whatever He tells us. 
My daughter and I can finish each other’s sentence now.  She grew well-rounded and strong in faith.  She has dealt with her own perceptions more than once and is quick to compare them to God’s Word.  
Sometimes, I think she learned more quickly than I did!
Linking up with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday
And with Jennifer at: God-Bumps and God-Incidences

I’m In Your Corner

God knew…. He always does.  He has His Special Ones praying over you more than you know. Certain things might not make much sense at times. When there is no clear picture or direction, it’s much like looking into a mirror when there is little light.

I am here for you, quietly in your corner.

Those unfulfilled hopes and dreams?  He wants you to know this: The tears you’ve shed, the longings of your heart – are being made complete. God Knows – pour out your heart to Him.  Life is full of hurts and unrequited desires.  He knows…He knows…. He knows!

He is there, quietly in your corner.

Only He restores and completes you.  So, dig deeper than ever into His ways. God’s desire is for you.  He plans to do something remarkable – through YOU! There is a catch . . . You know it inside .  You need to ditch certain things, and certain people, who do not contribute to building you up.  It is like extraneous clutter.  Cut those ties!

They are NOT present for you, in your corner.

They will only tear you down. Don’t think twice – run from them!  Run to Him! Step aside from those regular everyday things you trust.  Change it now.  Don’t tell anyone.  Just Do it!

The Holy Spirit is there, in your corner, with you.
This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty
And with Shanda’s On your Heart Tuesday  

How Can I Lose?

Lord I Worship You
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How Can I Lose?
Mercy will not leave me by all by myself,  –  or ever depart
For I wear a special necklace called “The Words of Truth”
These same words are also . . . tattooed on my heart
It’s like having keys to a city, so great  –  I go where I choose!
And, everywhere I do go, I find Favor and High esteem;
God approves of me , then . . . comes favor with people
I have chosen to put all my whole trust in God  –   there’s nothing in me.
My understanding has limits,  so I don’t even  go there;
Everything I am comes from God . . .  His will is the key.
There’s no other way to say it, it’s GOD – Holy Perfection!
He keeps me focused, on target, as I give Him control
Things are ever clear, and I move . . . with Divine Direction.
1/31/12 Nancy Kehr
This post is linked to Faith Barista Jam Thursdays
to Laura’s, Brag on God Friday
and with Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays