Call Me the Clay

On a Journey to See What God & This Life Has In Store

February 19, 2014
CallMeTheClay

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Thought-Provoking Movie Night

Movies.  I have watched a couple of movies recently that really touched me.  Movies that had me coming away still thinking about them and I thought I would share some of those thought with you.

The first was called ‘The Intouchables’ – a 2011 movie and based on a true story – full of meaning and humor.  It is about a quadriplegic who hires a young man to be his caregiver – who at first glance would not be your typical caregiver.  This movie reminds us not to ‘judge a book by its cover’ in so many ways.  First of all – the young man from the projects has more skills and abilities than those who are supposedly ‘qualified’ for such a position – but he also brings other things too.  He tells it like it is and is very up front about everything.  This is refreshing for the quadriplegic who is tired of the way people see and treat him.  He appreciates that the young man doesn’t ‘see’ him as unable or crippled.  He ‘sees’ him like anyone else.

The two men grow close and the story allows you to see how each one cares for the other in different ways.  It also shows us that though our lives are busy and full – we shouldn’t forget those less capable of the simplest of things like walking or feeding ourselves.  They still have life in them too.  They still have feelings and desires and dreams.  And, they have much to offer if we only slow down a bit and pay attention.  And maybe that is why this movie touched me.  Suffering from Fibromyalgia means that I am not able to participate in all of the things that I would love to do.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be included or at least invited to activities.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to spend time with my friends and family….but I may need to make some adjustments to when, where or how.

The second movie is a recent movie by Kirk Cameron called ‘Unstoppable’.  I was excited when I heard this movie was coming out because I have really enjoyed the Christian movies that Kirk has been involved in such as ‘Fireproof’ – which was awesome!  I have to say that I was initially disappointed in this one though.  I appreciate Kirk’s efforts in what he was trying to get across…..but it just took too darn long to get there!  My daughter and I kept sitting there wishing he would hurry up and get to the point.  And honestly, there were some aspects of the movie that we never did understand the purpose of it – he must have been thinking on a much deeper level than we were – Ha!  But I understand that he was trying to present this in a manner to help those who may not be Christians as well as food for thought to those who are Christians.

Ultimately, Kirk is trying to explain some sort of ‘answer’ to the age-old question of ‘Why did God allow (fill-in-the-blank tragedy) to happen?’  For instance, why do kids die of cancer or why did someone die in a car wreck.  I’m not going to provide his ultimate explanation – which really leaves the viewer to draw their own conclusions – but I do have some thoughts about some of the things he mentioned.

First of all – he referenced cemeteries as being called ‘Gravegardens’ – and though I haven’t actually been able to find that specific terminology pertaining to cemeteries (I ran across Grave Fields once), I like the term.  While using various stories from the bible he suggested that when one passes away we become seeds that scatter in the wind – and that it is part of the process for growing elsewhere.  Basically he was saying that we all have a time here before moving on to the other.

But this triggered some other thoughts for me.  I’m thinking – aren’t we supposed to ‘plant seeds’ in this life?  So it seems to me that maybe we scatter the seeds and touch lives of others while we are here on this earth.  We all have a specific ‘allotment’ for whatever God’s purpose is – and when we are done – is it our time to move on?

Think about it.  Just think of how those miraculous children with cancer touch our lives.  As a society we are always amazed at how strong they are and how happy they are though they are going through so much or how full of faith they always seem to be!  They inspire us to be better.  They cause people to consider their own belief systems and their own life situations.  I firmly believe that they touch more lives in their limited lifespan than many of us who live many more years.

Everyone has a purpose – and maybe some don’t even realize what purpose they serve.  But in the end – who is to say that they have not fulfilled their purpose and it is now time for them to move on to their next adventure with their Creator?  Grave Gardens – where God’s flowers are planted so they can bloom into the next season.

Okay – maybe this sounds cheesy…..but I like it.  I would rather think something like that than to try to ‘convince’ myself once more that ‘they are in a better place now’ and yet not feel comforted.  We always say that don’t we?  ‘They are in a better place’ or ‘They are no longer suffering’ – which does help some….to a point.  But then what?

So for me I like this little picture I now have.  I know that we will never understand God’s reasoning behind everything – but for me this helps to paint a picture that provides a bit more comfort in the ‘unknown’.

To sum it up – the movie/documentary is extremely slow at getting to the point.  And then I’m not sure what the final outcome is for everyone – make up your own mind with the food-for-thought that Kirk provides.  But I am glad that I watched it.  I like that it provided some thoughts that had never occurred to me before.  I like that it stuck with me afterwards……for me, that is a sign of a good movie!

SO – have you seen either movie?  If you have – what are your thoughts?

January 14, 2014
CallMeTheClay

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Life Experiences: Fibromyalgia & Fibro Fog

Many people have never heard of Fibromyalgia.  Some have heard of it but have no idea of what it is.  Some people know that it means you have chronic pain – but that is all they know.  Some don’t believe it even exists….

I remember the day my doctor finally said that he believed I have it.  Leading up to that day, I was in his office on multiple occasions with tears in my eyes telling him I was so very tired of hurting all of the time.  We tried many things.  Finally on that day, he said he hated to put this diagnosis on me because it would be like putting a label on me.  He said that many doctors still do not believe it is a ‘real’ disease/condition and therefore tend to ‘ignore’ your complaints.

However, I was somewhat relieved in simply having an answer to my problems.  It was a relief to have a name to put with the condition rather than believing I was going nuts – LOL!

My doc knows me well though – and as he predicted – I was not ready to throw in the towel and start taking prescribed meds for it.  I wanted to see what else I could do.  I was already on an anti-depressant and it wasn’t doing much.  The thought was that if one was depressed, it could bring on pain – OR that the pain was bringing on depression (chicken or the egg situation).

So he recommended several things such as massage therapy, exercise, etc.

I tried them.  Massage therapy caused more pain.  It created newer areas of pain.  Exercising seems to make me hurt more.  Not the kind of muscle pain – like a good exercise would do…..this was down deep-in-my-bones kind of pain.  I researched online to find what others were doing – and I tried various things.

Ultimately, the best solution for me is taking Luminex that I purchase through a company called Melaleuca.  It is a St. John’s Wort & Griffonia Seed Extract combo.  I’ve tried over-the-counter St. John’s Wort – and it has not worked for me, but I read that it has helped many. When I take Luminex I find that not only does much of the pain subside – but I also have clarity of mind.  Which is HUGE!

You see, when you have Fibromyalgia, you also get Fibro Fog – which is a term used for describing forgetfulness, memory loss or the lack of mental clarity with this disease/condition.  I can best describe it as when you try to recall someone’s name and you say it is ‘on the tip of your tongue’.  It feels like I know this – but can’t get the thought or memory to come to full fruition. Or you find yourself having trouble concentrating and are very forgetful. It is very, very frustrating. 

It took a while for my family to realize that I really didn’t remember things.  They would be so aggravated because ‘we already discussed it’ or ‘I already told you – don’t you remember?’.  We finally got on the same track and they understood that no, I did not remember and they were going to have to get used to reminding me.  And I’ve learned to set reminders on my calendar or set alarms on my phone for even the smallest things.

I’ve also learned my limits.  I know exactly how much energy and how many days I can go before I start suffering from major pain now.  For instance, I know that if I am out doing things after 8 hours of work – I better call it a night early to compensate for that or by the end of the week – I can barely make it through the day without being in loads of pain.  So I space my activities out to allow for more resting than normal.  I plan ahead for activities on the weekends too – I have to allow plenty of down time afterwards or I will be missing work the following week.

I have also discovered that stress is a major factor.  Once I made it through my divorce and I changed jobs – because I had been in a very high-stress position for several years – many of my symptoms went into remission.  But let something stressful pop up and I instantly feel it in my back.  My back and neck will knot up and within a day or two it will feel like it is on fire in one or two concentrated areas.  And, if left long enough without my attempting to do something to relieve it – I find that the pain often travels to different areas.

And just in case it helps someone else – I also found that when something just won’t stop hurting – such as a specific spot on my back or leg – I can take a Loofah-type back scrubber and lightly scrub the area of pain and surrounding area as well.  It is like it stimulates all of the nerve endings and therefore the area that was causing so much trouble kind of relaxes. 

So how did it all start for me?  I thought I had pulled some muscles in my back when in labor with my son because they did a double dose of epidural on me and when it came time to push – I couldn’t really feel if I was pushing or not.  So I was doing my best without feeling….and figured I over-did it because I made myself throw up in the middle of all that trying.  

Even weeks afterwards, it got to the point where it felt like my entire back was one giant muscle spasm – constantly.  To top it off, the slightest touch hurt like I was bruised.  It actually took 3 years for the muscle spasm feeling to subside.  But the bruised feeling remained.

These days I often say my ‘everything hurts’ – because most of me does hurt.  There is never a day or a moment where there is nothing hurting.  For me it is mainly my skin, muscles and joints.  If something scratches my skin – even if the skin is not broken and there is nothing visible to the eye – that spot will hurt for a day or two just as if it were an open wound.  I have an overall pain that is constant – and then there are more concentrated pains such as the burning in the muscles of my back and shoulders or random shots of pain that can be anywhere.  Sometimes I will get an electric shot of pain in the palm of my right hand for instance, and then it will quickly shoot up to my elbow and then over to my left arm or something weird like that.

Many times I can’t sleep because my entire body hurts.  There is no good way to sleep when your skin hurts – and all of that constant pain and lack of good sleep tends to make the mind weary.  I suppose that is where the Fibro Fog comes from.  My retention for things is gone.  And that is tough as I have always been a sharp-minded person.

I could go on and on – but you get the picture.  I recently told my dad that I really believe my mom (who passed away in ’08) had Fibromyalgia – but it didn’t have a name way-back-when.  My heart hurts for her in all of the pain that she was in and no one could comprehend or understand.  I remember her crying because she hurt – and nothing seemed to help.  And let’s face it – it is difficult to have sympathy for someone when you can’t see what their problem is in a physical sense.

So for those of you who have it – I’m so sorry.  And I understand completely – even if your symptoms are different than mine.  I get it. 

For those of you who do not have it – please tune in and try to have compassion for others who are suffering from this or other conditions that are not visible to the eye.  It doesn’t mean it is not real.  It doesn’t mean that we are complaining for no good reason.  We don’t need you to have the solution – trust me, we’ve been there, done that with all of our doctors and tests – but just know that we may be a little slower or need to rest a little more often in order to maintain a decent life.  Know that we want to be included – even if we can’t participate – we appreciate being remembered – at least invited.  And if we can’t make it at all – we still want to hear about it afterwards – don’t shut us out completely.  Don’t leave us lonely.  It may seem like we just want to lay around and be lazy….but that is not the case – trust me.  We just need to plan ahead even for the smallest things and we need to be able to cut out early if need be.

Thanks – and have a wonderful week!

January 14, 2014
CallMeTheClay

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Can You Believe It Is 2014?!

It’s 2014…..can you believe it!?  Another year has flown by already.  This year will mark many changes for me – some of them will be bittersweet.

I’m not one to do New Year’s resolutions or anything like that – for me it has always simply been a new number on the calendar and that was it.  But not this year – not 2014.  Why?  Let me tell you…

My 21-year-old daughter and her hubby have finally made the decision to move out of town.  They are moving to ‘the big city’ in search of fulfilling their dreams.  I don’t blame them.  As a matter of fact, I told my daughter that recently.  She mentioned moving and wondering what it would be like and whether there would be more opportunities.  I told her that if I were her age and had the chance – I would give it a try.  They don’t have children right now and they aren’t tied to a mortgage….so now is the time to go and spread wings!  Of course at the same time, I will miss them terribly.  And it will be weird not having her so close.

Of course I will have a good excuse for getting my tail out of town once in a while – that’s exciting!  But it will be hard.  I feel that she is my strongest ‘connection’ I have to another earthy being.  Don’t worry – I don’t mean that I am all-consumed with my daughter and her life….she lives her own life here and I don’t interfere.  But we are close – we are friends and we are in a good place with each other.

2014….here we are a mere 14 days into the year and my poor son has had quite a tumultuous beginning.  He just turned a big 8 years old!  Side Note: Do you know how hard it is to have a great Christmas for a child and then turn around and have a memorable birthday in less than 10 days afterwards!? Ugh!

So my little fella had a rough time starting this year.  He keeps telling me that it was ‘the best Christmas ever, Mom!’ – which of course does my heart good.  But my ex-husband and I split up in 2010.  Since that time, the ex has been out of the country with his new love during Christmas on into the beginning of January each year.  That means he has missed our son’s birthday. 

This year, his father decided to stay in town/country and have his honey join him here.  He then decides that he is going to basically take over the birthday party planning – and I let him….let him foot some of the cost for a change!  Long story short – dad had his times wrong about when he set the party up at the facility – so many of the guests arrived too early.  Here we are – my son, my daughter and myself – trying to work something out with the people at the facility to accommodate the guests early…..and dad was nowhere in sight (he arrived late). Then we discover that the party room was set up for a girl…..so they had to take the decorations down and re-do everything real quick.

Then when they finally got around to the birthday cake – my ex’s family has a tradition of smashing your face in the cake – don’t ask me why…I never have understood it.  My son experienced this when he was 2 yrs. old and the look on his face broke my heart – they all speak Spanish and my son and I do not….so he had no clue that they were going to do it or why.  So at this year’s party, dad sticks to the tradition – and again, my son is bewildered….but also embarrassed because here are all his friends seeing this and laughing…..and again he has no idea why it is done.  He then comes running out of the room to look for me (I had taken a child to find his mother) with cake on his face and crying.

After the party – it was planned that our son would stay the night with his dad and come home the following day.  When he arrived home the following evening I discovered that he and his father had it out….apparently it was like a war zone at his house.  Sadly, at 8 years old, my son told his daddy that he hated him and never wanted to stay with him again.  Since then, dad has called to apologize and I even took him by dad’s place to drop off some papers thinking it would give them a chance to visit.  Nope.  My son is simply not interested right now.

And finally, to top things off – my son came down sick this week and has had to make a visit to the doctor’s office.  Let’s hope it gets better for him soon!

In addition to all of this…..I will be turning the big 5-0 this year.  Now how depressing is THAT!?!?!?!  I don’t FEEL like I should be that old.  I don’t WANT to be that old.  And it certainly makes you think about life.

I have always said that I have no regrets about my life.  Disappointments – yes, but not regrets.  But now I’m thinking there are a few things that I wish I had done differently.  I think that is probably because I had a different idea of where I would be at this point in my life….and honestly, being an overweight, single mom was not even close!

I really didn’t expect to be in a position of having to work full time at this point either.  Now, don’t go throwing rocks at me….but my mom worked because she wanted to and I guess I assumed it would be the same for me.  And I envisioned having a good man in my life who desired to be a friend, partner, lover, supporter and companion.  I think that part is my biggest regret.

I am without a doubt thankful for my children – and had I not been through what I have – they would not exist.  It is because of this that I will never ‘wish’ it didn’t happen…..but I regret that I am not married for the long haul.

And I regret that I allowed myself to be physically unhealthy.  I was always really thin and never had to worry about my weight.  But when ‘something’ in my body changed, I was not prepared.  I didn’t know how to eat healthy and that exercise would be crucial until it was too late.  And try as I might now…..I am having a terrible time at this.  I often wish I had someone to go through the process together with – but I don’t.  So if I do this, I am on my own.

I also thought I would be more financially set by now.  Through the many ordeals of my life and starting over so many times….I have nothing.  I live paycheck to paycheck.  I am putting some into a retirement plan….but too little too late if you ask me. 

On the flip side of all of this though….

For the most part, I am happy.  I enjoy my family though I wish we could spend more time together.  I like my job.  I have my own home and transportation (though it is pretty iffy at times – LOL) and I’m still kickin’!

So every day I thank my Father above that I am surviving.  I thank Him for taking care of us and for what I believe is headed our way.  I don’t give up and I never will.

Here’s to hoping that you too, dear reader, will have a very blessed 2014!

 

December 15, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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He Came Through Again – And Technology is Great!

I did it again.  I let my faulty ‘auto-pilot’ kick in when an unexpected problem came up recently.  I had to give myself a good talking to for sure!  Good news though – I am learning to lean on my Father more and more.  And though I may panic for a bit I continue to remind myself to stop and pray.

This year has been financially tougher than I’ve seen in several years.  And I will be honest, as a result I’ve been a bit more emotional about it – I think a lot of it has to do with my Fibromyalgia giving me troubles so much.  When one is in constant/chronic pain, you tend to find yourself weepy and depressed if you aren’t careful. 

I try not to allow myself to ‘go there’ if you know what I mean.  But sometimes when I’ve been working through the pain and staying strong for so long – if one more thing comes along, I lose it.   I guess that is what happened this week.

As mentioned in previous posts I’ve had several learning experiences concerning my finances of late.  To give a bit of history, I was not taught about money-handling, so I will be the first to tell you that looking back – I made bad choices throughout my life.  The frustrating thing is that I get all straightened up and doing well financially and then get stupid.  I allow the influence of others get to me and end up allowing them to blow through all of my money and even ruin my credit.  Not their fault – it is mine.

But through this I am learning to lean on God.  And I do.  And He comes through.  Every. Single. Time!

So this week, my phone crashed and burned – permanently.  It is our only means of communication because I, like many others these days, did away with the landline (in order to save money).  So I was freaking out about what I was going to do – I have a near-8-year old child – I need to be available for school calls, etc.

Once I calmed down – I decided to see if I could get one of my old dinosaur phones to work.  I did and was back in operation within a very long and agonizing day. Whew!!

Two days later I come home to find that the furnace is no longer working at my home!  So we borrowed an electric space heater and I turned the electric oven on for a bit – and we bundled up to keep warm.  I lay in bed for hours not being able to sleep worrying about what in the world I was going to do.  You see – we live literally paycheck to paycheck with a negative balance of about $300 in my bank account.  I don’t have credit cards and no savings. 

By morning I was a mess.  But I kept reminding myself that God was in control and He has never let me down.  I even felt guilty for having all of those negative, dooming ideas.  I continued to pray and talk with God all the way to work.

When I got to work I asked someone for advice on what he thought the problem was and who I should contact for repairs.  He gave me the info.  I made the call – told them my situation.  The man quoted me a price range of $200 – $500 (based on my description of the issue).  So I requested that they just come out to do a diagnosis only.  Once he came up with a solid figure – then I would determine what I was going to do.

You see, in addition to all of this financial mess I’m in – because I haven’t felt so great physically this year – I hadn’t even started buying Christmas gifts yet!  So I was in a real pickle.  To top it off – I felt I needed to do something special for my son this year (long story – will fill you in later).

In the meantime, I set about hitting the old ex-husband up for some of that child support that he was behind on and I needed.  Though I didn’t get all that I asked for – he did come up with $200 for me.  Then I went to my employer to request an advance on my paycheck that comes after Christmas – and they agreed.  All along I was singing praises to God!

This morning my dad met the repair guy at the house.  I left a blank check and told my dad that if the repairs were $300 or less to go ahead and pay it – and if it was more, to call me first.  As it turned out – the total bill was $169.00!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say, I’ve been grinning ear-to-ear and thanking God over and over.  I’ve also apologized for being a goober and lacking faith….again!  Saying that you have faith and then worrying about things contradicts itself.  I know that.  And I don’t know why I keep stumbling….but I am working on it.

I’m so blessed – and so thankful.  And I am His child!

 

 

Okay – this is totally changing gears here….but I want to get it down before I forget.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our world lately and the technology that we have.  Where a lot of folks my age may grumble about what our world is coming to – I find that I am fascinated and inspired with the advances.  I’m not going to get into all of the details – but wanted to mention a few that touch the lives of many.  Just to let you younger folks realize how quickly things are progressing now:

Keeping mind that I am now 49 years old…..

My mother’s family was one of the first in their town to have a color television!

I have used the following for music:  vinyl records, 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, Walkman, CDs, I-Pods

When I was a junior in high school I took computer programming classes – which was practically unheard of at that time.  They had just started having home computers – but were not the norm for everyone.  We used DOS.  We bought a Radio-Shack TRS-80 computer.  And we had a blast!

I remember when they first started having paperback books in the library!  THAT was a treat!  BTW – I now have a Kindle, thank you very much!  And yes, I love it!

I seldom handwrite anything anymore….and that’s okay by me – I love email and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and texting and more!

My 76 year old dad texts – awesome!!!

My mother was in her 60’s and was emailing and surfing the ‘net – how cool is that!?  BTW – my dad operates an online business – Woohoo!

And I won’t even start with the automobiles – but let me tell you we didn’t have electric windows or locks when I first started driving.

Alright – enough of that – but I have to say I embrace all of enthusiasm that the younger folks have for advancing and seeking new things!  I may be a bit slower….but I love it too!

Have a wonderful day and thanks for stopping by – come again!

November 19, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Catch Up Time and In the News

ME:

I have posted about the detox I was trying.  And I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned how it didn’t work for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m pretty sure it would have worked – but for whatever reason it did not do well with my Fibromyalgia.  And though I was told that it was just a phase that my body was going through and it would pass – unfortunately I could not ride that wave out.

It triggered something that kicked my pain into gear and I have yet to get it under control.  This has now been going on since May of this year.  I have been in more pain than ever before.  My Fibro Fog is back more than before.  And for the most part it seems to be getting worse. I feel miserable.

But I have to tell you – I am hard headed and I don’t give up easily!  So, I am determined to find a solution that works for me.  

I stumbled across something on television and then started reading up on it on the internet that intrigues me.  Hormone imbalance.  So, I’m thinking I might check this out a bit more.  I’ve acquired some supplements that supposedly helps to regulate certain things and we will see how it goes.  

Though I’ve gained my weight back that I had lost through all of this – I am hopeful that if nothing else, this will at least help me to feel a little  better.

NEWS:

Have you heard of this ridiculous game called “Knockout”?  Can you believe that our youth are finding this entertaining and funny!?  We have raised a generation of unfeeling, uncaring individuals.  They are cruel and mean.  Here is a link if you would like an up close and personal view of what this entails.  I want to say more – but words escape me.

And here is a link to an article and video that shows just how dumb we’ve become – can’t see the forest for the trees kind of thing.  Whether you agree or disagree with what the father of these children says — you have to admit that arresting this man for obstruction is stupid. 

Can you believe that typhoon in the Philippines recently!?  Scary, scary deal.  My uncle’s wife has family there – it was a long and torturous wait to see if they made it out alive.  Thank God they did – but they have no place to live now.  And help was slow reaching them.  I don’t believe people realize just how dangerous life is after such an event.  There are gangs of people stealing and raping and doing whatever they want.  And no one to protect the innocent.  Can you imagine the horror that the children have seen?  How does one ever get over it?  How does it not haunt your dreams forever?  Please pray for these poor people as recovery will take years I’m sure.

OTHER:

And finally, I watched a movie recently while taking care of my son (he had bronchitis) that really touched my heart.  Where I was when ‘The Letter Writer‘ came out, I have no idea.  But this movie is quite inspiring.  If you haven’t seen it – do so – you will be glad that you did!

Okay – enough for now – I just wanted to touch base.  I’ve wanted to blog more – but my Fibro Fog has me at a loss for words.  But don’t give up on me – cause I’m not!  I will be back 😀

October 27, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Amazing Love, Power Thoughts, Prayer Power & Lifestyle Changes

Amazing Love

I watched a movie on Netflix called ‘Amazing Love – The Story of Hosea’ last night.  Have you seen it?  Even heard of it?  I was surprised to find out that this movie came out in 2012 because it felt like an older movie.  I say this because the acting wasn’t great and it was a bit on the cheesy side in the beginning.  But at the same time it had a magnificent story about God’s love in it too!  This story is not exactly from the bible, but rather how a specific story in the bible may have taken place – the behind the scenes story – maybe.  And, it teaches about unconditional love and faith put in a way that many have never heard it.  I recommend this movie for sure – but please make sure you stick it out – the campfire story is well worth it!

Power Thoughts

I have been listening to Joyce Meyer a lot lately.  I tend to relate with her on many levels – sometimes it feels like we have lived the same life (except I was not sexually abused as she was growing up).  She talks about thoughts and actions that I have experienced in a way that I fully relate to.  And knowing her past makes one think that if she could rise above all that she did – then I really have no excuse for not doing the same.

However, she has been speaking about how our thought life makes all the difference.  I’ve written about this in past posts before – but it just keeps hitting home with me.  I always have good intentions to start thinking more positively – I really do.  But then when I hear another message like Joyce’s I realize that I haven’t been doing it as well as I would like.

I find myself frustrated.  Whether it be ‘old habits die hard’ or ‘immature Christianity’ or whatever it may be – I’m tired.  I’m lost.  I’m saddened.  I’m……I don’t know.  My inclination is that I need to read more of God’s word until its ingrained in me – but I struggle with this because God’s word is not comforting or helpful when I read it on my own.

Let me clarify this – I like to read – a lot.  I grew up ‘living’ in books.  But reading the bible is different.  Everything I read in it seems condescending or someone making sad pleas to God for something or cold or negative.  Now when I listen to people teaching – yes, I can then see their interpretation of the same scriptures I’ve read.  But isn’t that dangerous?  To rely on another human being – seems like a good way to be misled!

So what is it?  Is Satan messing with me?  Am I allowing him to constantly keep me in negative thinking so I cannot grow?  Maybe I’m being too critical of myself? Or is it something else?  I do not believe that God would keep me at arm’s length so-to-speak for this many years.  I’ve been trying to break through and have victory over this for more than 20 years, folks.  I have been searching for God’s input and His direction.  I long for Him to take over my life and to do His will.  So what is it?

And surely I’m not the only one on the face of this earth that has struggled with this.  Right?  But I have yet to find anyone who can relate.  Oh sure, I get those well-meaning people who try to offer advice in how to pray before reading, what to read and what to ask God for while reading…..and I’m grateful for that.  But ultimately I don’t seem to be making any progress in this area.

Prayer Power

All the while struggling with the above – I still believe and have witnessed answered prayers.  God does indeed take care of His children – and that includes me.  I have no doubt.  And no one will ever change my mind about that.

I believe that prayer is not necessarily that you go sit in a corner somewhere with your head bowed and your hands together.  For me – it is more of a constant conversation with God throughout my day.  And it is not just asking for things either.  It should be thanking Him for even the smallest things or simply talking with Him as if you can see Him sitting there beside you.

I’m not completely there yet – but I’m getting closer all of the time.  I do talk with Him throughout my day – but not quite as often as I wish I would.  Some days I get to the end and then realize I haven’t spoken to Him much.  But other days I do – and if is awesome!

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Changing gears now – I want to mention something about making healthy lifestyle changes.  We’ve all heard it.  Diets don’t work – it must be a lifestyle change.  Everyone talks about it – and there are many who have successfully made those changes.  I, for one, am having a terrible time with that.

But before you go judging me – let me set the stage for you.  I like vegetables.  I like fruit.  I like nuts.  I love Mexican food.  I don’t like fish/seafood.  I cannot swallow Hummus (tried it – can’t do it).  I don’t like strong seasonings/flavorings.

My problem?  Well, I don’t know what to do with my very limited budget, my extremely finicky 7-year old son, my limited knowledge of variety and cooking skills and time.  Honestly I find that when I switch my foods to ‘healthy’ – it lasts for less than a week and then I am feeling so un-satisfied and unsettled I don’t know what to do with myself!

In a previous post I mentioned doing a detox of sorts and mainly eating vegetables.  I did start feeling better and it was working for a while.  But then something kicked in and festered up my Fibromyalgia like never before.  At first I thought it was the diet.  Then I decided that maybe it was the supplements that they had me taking instead.  At any rate – I still haven’t gotten myself straightened out from it and that started back in April.  Needless to say – I am really, really struggling now because besides being overweight the Fibro is causing constant pain and I can’t concentrate.

I recently watched a video on people who were juicing and the testimonies of how their physical well-being has improved.  This piques my interest except that I tried the juicing thing years ago and it was costly.  The juicer was expensive, it took a lot to juice enough veggies/fruits for a glass of juice and cleanup was time consuming.   So I thought that maybe the one that actually blends/grinds/pulverizes the whole fruit/vegetable might be better.  I got one.  I like the way it works.  However – I find that I am having an extremely difficult time getting a full glass down – never mind multiple glasses in a day!  I simply do not like the strong taste of ‘green’ things.

So, I’m not sure where that leaves me now.  Back to square one, I guess.

October 8, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Childish Government Antics

So our government has shut down.  I typically don’t get too involved or pay much attention to all of the b.s. that goes on in our political world anymore.  It doesn’t really matter which group it is – it has become nothing more than who can bully the best and stomp their feet the most.  It seems to me that everyone has forgotten what the real purpose of our government is supposed to be.  People are so geared toward attacking what they deem to be the ‘other side’ that it really doesn’t matter what the issue is – they are simply set to argue.

I find it interesting (and sad, actually) that we the people continue to pay these people enormous amounts of money to do nothing more than act like little kindergartners.  And – sadly we allow them to rule the playground with their bullying and their tantrums.  I wonder when we the people will say enough is enough.

If you ask me – I think we should boot them all out and start over.  And I don’t believe they should be paid any more than what they vote in that the average person in America will get paid.  Make them actually work for a change. And, when you quit that job – you don’t get paid anymore – just like the rest of us.

I’m sorry, people – but come on!   Let’s get real – if we had people in office that were just like you and I and the reason they were there wasn’t because of the power or the money – but simply because they cared – don’t you think we would be in better shape?  I know that every now and then we get someone that we vote in that we feel will make that difference….but reality proves that one or two can’t make a big enough wave to knock the other greedy ones out.  So let’s clean it all out and start fresh.

It is very similar to our justice system these days.  I don’t believe that people get a fair shake in this area anymore either.  Again, it’s a matter of whose lawyer can’t be the biggest bully or at least the most creative.  The juries no longer hear all of the evidence – but only that which the lawyers couldn’t find a creative way to have it blocked out.  Honestly – since when has it been deemed that one can make good and fair judgments and decisions without all of the information?

And why-oh-why do we have so many ‘rights’ for the accused to the point that the victim is again victimized by our own legal system?  The way I see it – if you do the crime, you do the time….and it shouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Okay – so I got off track here a bit.  But what I am getting at is that we have gone too far with all of these silly, childish antics from our government.  Have you heard of some of the ‘government shut-downs’ of late?  Tell me it’s not intentional when they cause privately owned businesses to shut down because the road or the parking lot leading the business is run by the government.  They actually hired people to give out traffic tickets to people who stop on the side of the road to look at Mount Rushmore (since the park is closed)?  The Vietnam War Memorial is privately funded – but again, they have hired guards (where there were none before) – just so they can be jerks about it knowing that we have Freedom Flights from all over this country scheduled to arrive.  Huh?

All I can say is you have got to be an uncaring, silly individual to think that anyone in government is doing the right thing right now.  It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ you are on, people – this boils down to common sense and decency….and apparently we have none.  How embarrassing… I wonder what the other countries think of us now?

October 4, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Did You Know That Bullying Is Funny?!

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At least that is what our young people are being taught.  Did you know?  Yes, bullying is a huge topic and there are many efforts to put it out there in the public eye that bullying is wrong.  BUT – have you checked out television lately?

Please understand I am not one to get on that bandwagon to say that television shows or music or video games will make our kids go out and do violent things.  I do have opinions about all of that – but it is not the purpose of this post – so bear with me.

Just recently we all saw on the news where the motorcyclists harassed that little family in their SUV and then proceeded to seriously beat up the driver.  My heart hurt to see how quickly something so minor escalated to the point that a man is beat in front of his child and is most likely going to be paralyzed for life – if he survives, that is.  And can you imagine the impact of watching something like that for a small child?  Ugh….it makes me sad….and angry…..and nauseous.

While thinking about how such a thing happens, my mind then wanders to bullying in general.  Then it hits me.  How can we expect people to act any different when we put it in their face that it is funny to be ugly acting? 

I have a soon-to-be 8-year-old son at home and I try to monitor what he sees on television.  I have to admit that I was not raised that way – we simply watched what we wanted.  Of course back then, you didn’t see much that was inappropriate.  These days I feel you need to keep an eye and an ear towards the television if your child is watching.

In the past week, here are some of my observations about the shows in general:  

·         You see harsh critiquing of other people’s attire or overall appearance – on live television – not a kind piece of advice, but outright ugly and embarrassing comments while the person is standing there in front of thousands of people

·         On multiple afternoon kids’ shows you see young people being extremely sarcastic and rude to others – and the producers then plug in laughter soundtracks – so it comes across as funny

·         Again on multiple kids’ shows you can see youth being outright disrespectful and often mean to adults – again with the laughter plugged in to make it funny

·         You see slamming doors in others’ faces – laughter soundtrack included

·         You will see hitting or throwing things at others – with laughter plugged into the soundtrack

·         The practical jokes that you see people playing on each other on the kids’ shows are not harmless – in reality they would be very hurtful, sometimes potentially dangerous – but, let’s plug in the laughter track to make it innocent fun

·         Seldom will you see repercussions for such actions

·         You can often see the kids lying and being deceitful to others – and again there is always laughter

·         You see people destroying the property of other people – and it comes across as funny or justified

·         On one very popular show – you can see someone in a teacher/coach role who is always undermining others – and you see her saying very, very mean and ugly things to them – and you never see anything that teaches that this is improper behavior – just more laugh tracks

·         When is the last time you’ve seen a show for the younger crowd that doesn’t contain a lot of yelling? (Followed by laughter track)

·         And yes, there are all of the sex and offensive language on there too

Are you starting to see the picture?  If society is bombarded with this type of behavior why wouldn’t they act in similar fashion?  Yes, I believe we are to teach our children right from wrong – but let’s face it folks, when things are put out there in front of you constantly – you become numb to the impact of it.

Back in the day – they didn’t allow kissing on television….or blood….or cursing.  Then that changed and it was allowed – who gives it a second thought now?  Are you shocked to see someone kiss?  I doubt it.  Are you shocked to hear a cuss word these days?  Maybe, maybe not depends on your age or maybe the word.

I believe we are losing empathy these days.  It makes my heart hurt.  I feel sadness for the true fun and innocence that my child will not experience in the ways that we did years ago. 

Don’t get me wrong – I am an advocate for the technology that we have these days.  I enjoy some of the advancements that we have made and we owe much of it to our younger folks.  So I’m not one of those to say that the world is going to hell-in-a-hand-basket as the saying used to go.  But I do wish that we might back up just a tad on some of the things that we are flooding our eyes and ears with and simply enjoy a little peace and love towards others a little more.

What do you think?

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September 6, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Attitudes – The Good, Bad and Ugly

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I’m frustrated with society – or is it just my life? I know that I get a bit grumpy when I’m tired.  Or when I’m hurting (Fibro-pain)…..and I have definitely been hurting this week.  It’s been pretty bad, actually.  And forgive me if something isn’t spelled correctly or my words get jumbled – that happens a lot with the Fibro-fog. 

But I don’t think that the above-mentioned symptoms are the reason for my frustration of late.  And I find myself extremely tired.  No – not lack-of-sleep tired…..but rather tired of all of the complaining and nit-picking that people want to do.  Yes, I know that many times it is as simple as removing oneself from a situation so as not to participate in all of the negativity…..but sometimes that is just not feasible.

All I know is that I am so very, very tired of everyone complaining.  If you have followed my blog much – you know about my Fibromyalgia.  Yes, I have it and yes, I am in pain – often.  But I don’t go around whining and complaining to people about it all of the time.  I mention it as it is part of who I am now.  I deal with it and continue on in my life the best way I can.  Sometimes I have to make adjustments to my plans or miss work due to it – I hate that…..but it is what I do in order to continue on in life.  It is what it is. 

Someone told me one time that they were amazed with everything I have been through in my life that I was not be a bitter person.  And I remember my mother saying that she couldn’t understand why I wasn’t angry at my ex-husband (she was – very much so).  I said to them and still tell people that I figure I have a choice here.  I can choose to do the best with what I have and try to live a life of quality or I can wallow in self-pity about what I don’t have and be miserable.  To me I don’t see a good reason to waste all of my energy hating and being angry or bitter about things I cannot control.

And sometimes, people – even if it could be changed, you have to look at whether it really is worth all of your time and energy.  Is using up your resources really worth it in the long run?  Will you be adding to your quality of life or taking away from it?  Will your kids/loved ones be robbed of your time because you are so focused on the bad stuff?  What about your health?  If you stress over things long enough you develop serious health issues (I know this first-hand).

Let’s take a look at this Boston couple in the news right now who are fighting to have the Pledge of Allegiance taken out of the schools because it mentions God.  They are claiming that they do not believe in God.  And therefore if they say the Pledge – they are stating something they do not believe and if they choose not to say the Pledge then they ‘come across as’ not being patriotic.  Regardless of where one stands on this debate I guess I don’t see why people can’t simply use their heads a little.

If the majority of people do want to say the Pledge and they do believe in God or at least it doesn’t bother them – then I wonder why one would think it is reasonable to waste their time, the court’s time, not to mention money to have something like this addressed?  If it were me, I would say the line in the Pledge as follows: “And to the republic, for which it stands”, (pause – while everyone else says ‘one nation under God’), “indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” You get the picture?  I guarantee you that no one is going to notice that you took a breath or paused or whatever during that one little clause.  Done.  No anger, no fighting, no wasting resources on anyone’s part.  Move on.

It seems like people are getting some sort of adrenaline rush by jumping on the bandwagon to accuse others of the tiniest things anymore.  And I wonder why.  It’s exhausting and honestly disheartening to me.  Has it always been this way, I wonder?  Maybe as young kids we just didn’t notice it? Or maybe we didn’t see things that way until others bring it to our attention….

I remember observing this with my own daughter when she was young.  She met her best friend in preschool.  And he is of a different race than she. But she didn’t know that – all she knew was that he was her best friend (and at 21 years of age now, they are still very close friends).  It wasn’t until they had a teacher in the 1st grade that treated him differently that she asked me why.

And it doesn’t have to be a media issue either (though they certainly create a lot of it).  How about the workplace? I’m SO very tired of people gossiping and stabbing each other in the back.  Yes, there is always going to be that one person – that one person that you simply cannot like no matter what.  But that’s okay – it is not part of your job description to like everyone.  You were hired to do a specific job – and most likely that means dealing with a variety of people.  So do it.  It really is possible to be cordial to people that you don’t really care for, trust me.

I have even lost one of my best friends because I chose not to participate in her constant negativity and coworker bashing.  If she complained or said something ugly, I would either try to change the subject or state that maybe the situation wasn’t as it appeared.  It ticked her off.  The final straw was when I was invited to church by a coworker that she despised.  I accepted the invitation and was later told by my best friend that she simply could not ever ‘forgive me’ for betraying her.  That ended a 12+ year friendship.

If you read any article these days – with the lovely ability to leave comments and most likely you will find some of the meanest, cruelest, ugliest comments.  Many times it doesn’t even fit what the story was about.  Example:  I wanted to check out the story behind Google’s Doodle for the day. But rather than people finding the story interesting – they all jump on the bandwagon of criticizing one typo in the article.  It’s one thing to critique and another to simply be ugly.  So…making someone feel inferior gives people a rush, I guess?  And we wonder why there are so many hate-crimes these days.

It’s like we can’t get away from it!  It is everywhere……and this is why my family and I often joke around about heading for the hills…..to get away from all of the chaos.  But I would challenge people to take a long hard look at their attitudes and the part they are playing in the big picture – because how can we expect our young people to be kind and to love one another when we are constantly bombarded with the opposite?  When there are very few places to go to escape the ugliness it eventually rubs off on you. 

Okay – so I can’t end this post without circling back around to say that though I am frustrated with society as a whole – I still have my eyes on my Savior and He allows me to see the good in people.  And yes, there are a lot of good folks out there.  And though it seems that the positive is being covered up by the negative, His light will always shine.  He protects.  And He blesses.  All we have to do is claim Him as our own and invite Him into our lives.

Thanks for stopping by……Kelly.

Gratitude List (in no particular order):

1.       I have a job – it pays the bills

2.       My beautiful daughter & son-in-law

3.       My super-awesome son

4.       My Dad – who is always there no matter what

5.       My Brother & his family – live so far away, but always near in my heart

6.       God’s grace

7.       Breathtaking sunrises

8.       Nourishing rain

9.       New Bible Study Group

10.   My home – provides shelter that we need

 

September 2, 2013
CallMeTheClay

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Always Trying to Be in Control – Ha!

ImageDo you ever struggle with hearing God’s gentle voice?  I do.  I believe it is because I am a ‘take control’ type of person and I tend to act before I think on things too much. This often means I bulldoze right on into things without checking in with God first to see if He agrees with my plans.  I don’t mean to do it – I really don’t. 

It seems like it is a survival mode that I somehow acquired during my lifetime – but I don’t know where the off-switch is located.  I am so used to having to take care of things and make things work.  I struggle with handing it all over to my Father.  I know that God can handle everything much better than I can.  And I want Him to do so – I truly do. 

A perfect example of this would be a recent chain of events that took place concerning our plan for my son’s care after he gets out of school.  I am a single parent and therefore I have to make arrangements for someone else to care for him until I get off of work.  I stumbled across something that I was sure was something I was supposed to do – after all, I had been trying to get him into this program for several months.  It was the eleventh-hour on the Friday before this new school year started and I was scrambling to make it all work out – there were several hurdles that I had to maneuver.  Each time one would pop up, I would have an uneasy feeling about it – but I kept telling myself that this was meant to be.

Then on the first day (Monday) – I go to pick my son up.  I can tell immediately that things did not go well for him.  I ask him if anything is wrong and he tells me ‘no’ – and I can tell it is because he doesn’t want to talk about it in front of others.  When we get to the car – I find out what took place.  Now normally if my kiddo tells me how he/she doesn’t like this or that – I convince them to stick it out a bit longer and see how things go.  But after all of the roadblocks that kept coming up while trying to get this all set up – it finally hits me.  God was trying to tell me that this was not His plan for us – and silly me…..I wasn’t listening! 

I went back to the drawing board and talked with my loved ones.  As it turned out – I was able to work things out so that everyone involved benefits in some way.  I have peace about my son’s care.  He is happier.  Others make a little extra money for their efforts.  And we all get to see each other on a regular basis – which typically doesn’t happen.  Of course!  God’s ways are always the best! 

On another note – and this is in reference to my previous post, but God is showing both my daughter and I a few things about our ‘automatic drive’ of negativity.  We are both learning and growing and excitedly sharing with each other what is happening!  I will write more on that some other time – but just wanted to openly thank God for His love and His grace and definite patience with those of us who are a bit slow in learning things!

Take care and I hope you are enjoying your life journey!  If not, turn to God and see what He has in store for you – I can promise that you will be greatly blessed!