The Mountain and The Word

So how is everyone else’s 2012 going so far?

Mine has been blessed, perhaps a few aggravations here and there, a couple set backs, but nothing to dive into the darkness and dwell about.  Just have to find alternate ways of getting a few things done ’round here, is all. 

But that’s life!  Full of obstacles and challenges, unexpected pitfalls and blessings.  Gotta love it!  Or at least try your best to keep loving it and having Faith throughout it.

My wife has been out of town since Thursday, off to celebrate her son’s graduation from Navy boot camp.  Words lack the actually expression of pride from his accomplishments as a young man of God.

I wanted to go but finances and household management wouldn’t allow for me to join.  Instead, I stayed home with our daughter so she wouldn’t miss any school.  I wasn’t really looking forward to this time spent without Babe, we miss each other terribly when we’re apart from one another, but I had to suck it up anyway.  To tell you the truth, I was more worried about having to spend five days alone with our daughter than anything.  As I’ve said in the past, she can be the cause of some grief around here, between her mother and I, and just with me.  It’s not that we don’t get along because we do.  When she is alone with either her mother or I, she doesn’t give much grief at all and makes the time seem well spent, most of the time.  The problem is, she needs to find a way to be able to handle herself in the same manner when it’s all three of us, instead of pitting her mother and I against each other, and furthermore, show the same respect for us both while we’re together that she does when we’re apart.  Conversely, we need to be able to open up to spending more time with her individually when we’re all together, perhaps “date days,” so that maybe she doesn’t feel left out.  Maybe, and I’m praying for this, that between both theories, we can all live together in a more peaceful, less tense, less aggravated, and less saddened environment.

Knowing our daughter the way I do, I would say that the task would be like trying to move a mountain.  Well, we can’t do that, we just don’t have the strength, even all three of us combined.  However, it’s not so much about moving the obstacles and challenges out of our path, as it is trekking through them, actually making that climb instead of just moving the mountain.

So that’s what we did!  In addition to a couple other fun things my daughter and I did in her mom’s absence, we climbed a mountain.  No, it wasn’t a big mountain, and it wasn’t a scary terrain, but it was the biggest and steepest rocky hill I’ve ever attempted to climb, not to mention the fact that I wasn’t even going to do it in the first place.  But our plans for Saturday derailed because of a big event going on in the city, so instead of heading back home to do hours worth of nothing, she talked me into climbing “A” Mountain.  I was worried about doing it because I’ve been battling a cold with a nasty cough for a couple weeks, I didn’t have my inhaler, I was wearing my black converse, which are not good for hiking, and my attitude toward the climb, and how much effort it was going to be, was shying me away. 

Faith!  Just climb the mountain and don’t worry about what “might” happen.  Like my mother-in-law said the other day, “if” is a big burden for a little word, and that would have been a lot of extra weight for me to carry up those trails if I hadn’t just left “if” at the bottom of the hill and just started walking. 

It was steep, I was out of breath, my legs were burning, my shoulder was hurting (chronic situation but gets worse with more movement), but it didn’t take long before I looked back and we were halfway up.  Yes, I would have liked to have my inhaler, but I decided that I would make it without it, because this was a challenge, it was fun, and it was going to be worth it…that’s what my daughter said whilst walking, anyway.

We made it to the top and it was beautiful.  We rested on some rocks for a while, talked to a couple people, took some pictures, and just hung out.  “I feel closer to God up here,” she said.  Whether she said that to please me because she knows the pride I carry in being a follower of Christ, or if she said it because that’s how she truly felt, then she was right in what she said at the bottom of the hill.  It was totally worth it.

This morning in church, we continued our study on The Book of John and the prayer that Jesus prayed in front of those chosen eleven, from whom the gospel has spread generations later to you and me.  I took notes like I usually do but, honestly, I don’t really have much to say about the sermon, although it was great.  The best part of service was, at the very end, watching my daughter, on her own accord, go up to the front to pray with someone.  I’m not sure what it was about…I didn’t go with her.  I thought that if this was her making another step toward a relationship with Jesus, then there was no room for me to be there in that moment with her.  If she wants to share, she will.  And furthermore, her mother and I are always here to help with her conflicts in faith, or at least try.  But we are only capable of so much.  Her relationship is hers and Gods, and there is nothing anyone can do to lean it one way or the other, regardless of our hopes. 

The only thing we can do is do our best to live in The Word, as it has all been put in writing for us what it is that Jesus, His Love, and His covenant is.  It’s a simple, yet, tough guide to follow and be diligent with.  However, our Love for Jesus should be the easiest way to guide us through life, as it is simply to Love. 

I know, there are many other “rules” in The Bible, and trust me, I have a hard time grasping some of them too.  In 2012 it’s just kind of hard to wrap your mind around some of the teachings, but I’m doing my best and I pray to help me not fail…or at least fail too badly.  And when I start to stumble, as we all do, we just need to remember that The Word is there to help us, encourage us, guide us, and teach us.  It will never change, it will never waiver, it will never lessen.  Our job is to live within The Word while living in this world, whilst not being part of it…with Jesus, we are so much more than what this world is and what it has to offer. 

Know it, live it, love it, Love Him and Love it forward…and we’ll all get where we want to go.

~Dear Lord, thank you for your many blessings this week, especially for the safe travels of our loved ones and for the time well spent with our loved ones.  Please help us to continue to shine in the light of your Love so that we may count ourselves among the multitude of those that may enter your Holy Kingdom.  Please forgive me my sins, and help me work on correcting them, especially my dirty mouth, so that nobody may ever condemn me in my speech.  Lord, I pray that my Love shines as bright as yours.  In your Holy and Precious name, I pray.  Amen~


Thank You…::rolling out scroll::

**Disclaimer – This video is the original video by Alanis Morissette who has taken the artistic liberty she felt by this song to appear naked, HOWEVER, her hair covers her breasts and her lower area is faded out.  You just have to be comfortable with the human form and allow yourself to appreciate the lyrics, music, and message**

Last week, part of our sermon was to be thankful to God for every thing at every moment.  Although that proved to start out a little rocky, it started getting easier throughout that very day.  In fact, many aspects of that sermon became something that needed to be taken off the bench and put onto the field almost immediately that day.

My pattern of thoughts and behavior were tested in order for me to not revert back to being the one that all the expectations fall on, along with the unnecessary guilt, and to gain an idea of worth in the hearts of others.  Unfortunately, my situation right now with moving and in such little time, doesn’t allow me the time or energy to accommodate much outside of a certain schedule or travel area.  But perhaps, by voicing feelings, it may have changed the pattern of thoughts and behavior of others as they may, or may not, recognize a cry for involvement.

I got to see my family while they were up from Texas, we had a nice lunch together, and they all made it safely back to Texas.  Thank you, God, for those things.

We had planned on continuing the yard sale on Sunday, which normally we wouldn’t do because we rest on Sundays.  Instead, because everything was crazy by the time we arrived home from church, neither one of us had the energy, mostly desire, to sit outside in the heat and wait for people to show up and maybe buy items that were now marked down to a dollar or less.  We were aching, we were aggravated, and we just didn’t want to deal with anything more that day, so we loaded up the rest of the items and hauled it all to the curb.  Some of the items were things that we had gotten just as decorative items, some of the items were things that we had for a while and were a bit more personal.  We had already been thinning out the clothes, throwing away things in the storage area in the basement that we decided we didn’t really need since we haven’t used it in at least nine months or no longer had plans for, sold off a lot of personal things already, and now we were watching people come and scavenge our things at the curb.  Things that nobody was buying the day before but now picking up for free.  Oh well, it’s not like we hadn’t done it before!  And it’s all out to the curb, and I got some of the bigger trash items out of the garage that day too, with the help of one of our “foster” boys (when they still liked us), so…thank you, God, for that.

So, later on in the day, approaching evening, a woman comes up in a small car, looking over our stuff, picking through what’s left…slim pickings.  I can’t remember what she had just put in her car, as I was still bringing stuff out from the basement, but she asked me if I had any baby stuff.  Well, I did.  I brought up a baby crib that we had been dragging around with us and gave it to her, then asked her if the baby was a boy or a girl.  The baby is her nephew, and she, a seemingly good woman of faith (assuming by the garb she wears) takes care of him for her sister.  Now, I had a bunch of baby clothes that I finally made a decision to do something with, and that was to donate them, but I didn’t want to donate them to the Salvation Army because the last time I went into the local store they turned it into a boutique and I couldn’t afford anything.  Anyway, I decided I wanted to donate the clothes to her, because I believe God made it possible for she and I to cross paths.  I mean, let’s face it, she could have just got back in her car and drove away when I came out, or I could have taken longer getting outside, or taken a break in the back…anything.

So a few days later, after I go and get the clothes, she comes to get them and, through casual conversation, we find out that she needs a bunch of other items that we just happen to have and that we are selling.  She takes a walk through the house and decides she wants the items, and arranges to pick them up the next day.  It worked out perfectly for us, considering that we were down to one vehicle because my wife’s was in the shop and we didn’t have enough money to get it out (with 12 days left to leave), and when we combined the money that we made from the yard sales, the sudden curb-dive to sudden “House Depot”, we only had to come up with about $30 to go get the car, which we had.  There ya go again, crisis situation…Thank you, God, problem solved….

The real struggle I’m having right now is with the drama in the house.  We took in two kids this last year, trying to give them a place where they know they are safe, cared for, loved, encouraged and wanted.  They were our daughter’s friends, 17 years old when we took in the one, and the other is 17 still.  We never asked for any rent, we never expected them to buy their own food, although the one had his parents chipping in every now and then, which was quite helpful.  All we asked was for respect, follow some basic house rules, do a few simple chores, and be honest.  Honestly, these kids had it better than most kids that we know around here, considering they each had their own parents and we were not being reimbursed by anyone for taking care of them.  At the time, we were being reimbursed by their love, and it was wonderful.

Now, time has passed, comfort took over, age made one think that rules don’t apply, the two we had taken into our homes and hearts soon began to stop showing the love and start showing disrespect.  They were both offered a spot in Arizona with us, but decided that have their own things they want to do.  I was saddened at first, at the thought of leaving them behind.  Now I’m saddened because they’ve disappointed me, they’ve hurt me, I never expected the one to do that to me…and he did.  And the one that I expected to disappoint me right away, didn’t do it until the end…after I tried to tell him not to be a follow of anyone that will lead him astray.  So I’m also saddened at the fact that while this countdown my wife has on the chalkboard is for the benefit of keeping on track, and for the joy of heading off to a new life, it’s also a countdown until I can be done with the crap these kids have put my heart and mind through in the last couple months.  It hurts me to feel that way, because I don’t know if it’s wrong…but at this moment in life…during this time of limbo, I have to look out for me and my family, to keep us on track to get us where we need to go.  Unfortunately, if it means selling any item that belongs to me, even a bed, because my family needs that money, and they feel they have the right to talk mean about it when they’ve had more than ample notice of when they needed find a place to be, then that’s just the way it is.  I cannot feel guilty about that…guilt does nothing for me except hold me down, and I can’t be held down by other people’s patterns of thought and behavior when I’m trekking my own path to a higher ground.  I’m just confused about how to respond to them anymore, when each day they seem to spur on something just to make matters worse.  So…thank you, God, first for giving us time with these boys, time to love them, find out who they truly are without the negative influences of other people who have no motivation in life, thank you, God, for putting this situation before me to figure out how to handle and evolve into a better person for it, and thank you, God, for your love and spiritual guidance through it.

Through all this craziness around here, we’ve been doing our best to get packed up.  Our house is the most disorganized it’s ever been, and I love being an organized person.  Perhaps I’ve been jumping the gun on packing up certain things, but at the same time, I just want to get it done, so that we’re not running around at the last minute trying to get too much done.  It’s been hot, muggy, and we’ve been losing power on and off because of the heat.  It started off that we were losing power just because of the heat, but then the power company started planning it between certain hours.  We are already in a house with no air conditioning that we are trying to cool down with only two window units, which works well enough, but when there is no breeze, it gets super hot in here.  The power company seems to think it’s a better idea to turn the power off during the night, that we won’t mind, not really…makes it harder to sleep, and as exhausted as we get through the day, the sleep is very welcomed and needed, but hard to get.  Oh well, thank you, God, for giving me the foresight to get most of the packing done earlier on and saving the odds and ends for now and later on, and that at least we still have power at times, and thank you, God, that we only have a little bit more packing to do…I think.

We picked up our money from a survey that we did today, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  It helped us to pay for our car insurance…once again, here at the end and living on God’s good graces…which, we thank Him for.

We’re planning on going to the zoo today, one last time!  They are having a members only deal to be able to go into all the attractions for free so we’re going to take this last chance and go for it.  Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for a call back for someone to buy one of our televisions and still praying that someone will call to buy my washer and dryer and set of baseball cards.  We really need to sell those before the moving truck gets here…at least the washer and dryer.  Thank you, God, for giving us the ability to put those things up for sale.

Tomorrow is church and we couldn’t be more anxious to get there.  We only have two more services at this church before we leave and we can’t help but think of how much we’re going to miss it.  We’ve invited a couple people to go with us and we’ve made it a goal to get everything done so that we can attend the church picnic the last Sunday before we leave.  We are looking forward to it.

Wow…Let me start off by saying thank you, God!  I say this because I just had the entire rest of this post finished, just spent forty-five minutes on it, went to publish it, web froze, clicked back…gone!  This was just after I spent that forty-five minutes capturing what I got from this morning’s service, which focused in on thanking God, and I thought, heh, how funny, I’ve been focusing in on thanking God all week, which is why this post is the way it is, and the song…well, the song came out of nowhere as I was driving along, as usual.  Nonetheless, I had just talked about how we have to thank God, even in the midst of crappy circumstances…even though I didn’t use that word in the first draft.  I mentioned how it was sometimes difficult to find a reason to thank God when bad things challenging things come up, but that I had been doing a pretty good job.  After all, unexpected car repairs alone were quite a challenge, but having thanked God for the challenge and the guidance to figure it out, so far, we seem to be doing well with that situation, and Trust that it will continue to go well.

Reverend Jim talked about how there’s this force in the universe, that when we start owning up to our faith in God, that the universe turns around and says, “oh really?”  Yep…really.  From the small things…like, trying to publish Sunday’s post but the web freezes up and you have to go back and write it over again to the best of your ability, to the big things, like getting dealt a big blow of someone’s health issues…now whatcha gonna do?  Every situation is a situation that you can evolve from…”the answer is in the challenge,” so says Reverend Jim.

Sometimes the challenge is finding what we are supposed to thank God for within those challenges.  How are we supposed to thank God when we don’t have enough money to pay for car repairs when we HAVE to repair the cars to make a 2,000 mile trek across the country in ten days because we took a leap of faith and decided to pick up our entire lives and move to Arizona?  Trust.  And thanking God that He is providing you with tools and resources necessary to enhance your mind and life with what you will need to progress in your life just because of this one challenge.  How is someone supposed to thank God when they find out someone they love is suffering from something that it seems like only a miracle can cure?  Trust.  And thanking God for all that you do have and will have with that person, and for what you will possess because of what that person will leave with you when they leave this world.

I have much to thank God for.  I could sit here all day list things that I am thankful for, but I have started getting into the habit already of thanking Him as often as I can, even in the midst of storms, or even in light drizzles, and of course, in the sunshine, so He knows all that I’ve thanked Him for.  It’s a good habit to have.  I’m down with being a Jesus-junkie!  Why not?  Why not submit my concept of power in this world to the one person in this world, who is aware of, and allows me to walk free in all my vulnerabilities lately, who loves me more than anyone, whom I have vowed my love and faithfulness to, to hold me in His hands?

~Lord, please wrap your arms around us and keep us in your safe and peaceful arms.  Watch over us and guide us as challenges arise and keep us from turning away when the storm gets rough.  Please keep us safe in our travels and see us through issues with health.  Thank you, Lord, for each and every blessing, those that we are aware of and those that we fail to recognize.  In your most holy and precious name, I pray.  Amen~