The Backwards “L” Saga

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will NEVER leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.” John 14:16-17a.

“My back! No! Not my back.” These were the first frantically panicking thoughts I had yesterday as I tripped and toppled down the last of the three steps of the stairs that lead to my hubby and I’s master suite.  

I’d been having severe problems with my back and had very recently received a pain blocking epidural to be free of the constant pain (if just for awhile) that has plagued me since having two falls in a six month period, a little over two years ago.

My my back seems fine, but the recent term ‘cankle’ did nothing in describing my “deformed” ankle. The paramedics used that term during their assessment of my injury. 

My description would be more that of a fat backwards letter “L.” Not pretty at all! 

As I sit here now, my leg propped up in my “toes above the nose” position, I can’t help replay the whole embarrassing, excruciatingly painful and mostly maddening scene.  

As I lie there in the hallway, now strewn with the last of the laundry and other trip necessaries that I’d knocked off the stairs as I went down, I remember looking at that very ugly ankle thinking, “No Lord, no!!!”

It was in that moment that I realized what had just happened, wasn’t a dream scene re-enactment of one of the medical emergency shows I watch now and again. No, this was real life and this looked serious.

In that moment sounds came out of me that I only remember making one other time in my life. Sounds so guttural and agonizing, I didn’t even recognize my own voice!  With the sounds then came the swearing and the pounding of the carpet. I now knew this was real and that this would probably at least, delay our travels to Hawaii.

The two week, very badly needed vacation Skip and I had planned, and worked for, for month. Now possibly over before it started:(((

This morning in my Charles Stanley devotional I read this sentence. “The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in our life. He is more a part of us than our bones and blood. We are privileged to have a divine Helper guiding us on the path of God’s will.”

Then after another out-of-body experience; that of riding in an ambulance as the actual victim and then spending my time in the ER hallway, (“Busiest day ever.”) we got the news that I feared the most. No, not, “You broke your ankle in three places.” Nor, “You’ll have to have surgery; but not for a week.” But, “You won’t be going to Hawaii!!”  This was the worst news ever!

Well, at least that is how I felt as I looked up at my now, sad, husbands face:((

Plans scrapped we started moving ahead. Crutches and the dreaded pain med prescription (narcotics are not the best thing in the hands of an almost five year sober and finally (I think) sane individual) in hand we went home:(( 

Today as I thought more and more about the intimacy of the Holy Spirit, and that He is more apart of me than any of the physical, I am confident that my bones, nor my sinew, nor my flesh aren’t what makes me who I am. Rather it’s God’s Spirit alive in me that counts. His Spirit alive in me that guides. That He’s always there for me. That the Holy Spirit is my helper and that over these next weeks of this, my new journey, He will be teaching me and showing me Gods will for me.

It evidently wasn’t in Gods divine plan for us to go (at least now) to the Islands. But maybe it’s in His plan to use this time for something bigger. Something even more exciting. Maybe it’s some truth the Holy Spirit will lead me into.

We’ll just wait on Him and see:)

                                   And yes, believe it or not, it is well with my soul:)

Posted in Change, God, Holy Spirit, Living LIfe, Marriage, My Hubby, Pain, Prescription Drugs, Travel | 2 Comments

HELP!!!!!

The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper that is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18

 

                             What does it mean to be a helper to your husband?

Don’t help him the way YOU THINK he should be helped, but the way YOU KNOW him to need help.

Ask him:). But with a quiet and gentle spirit. 1 Peter 3:4

Allow him to be honest and tell you without editing, correcting or interjecting your opinions of how HE needs YOUR help:)

Then prayerfully ask GOD to help YOU help the MAN YOU love:))))

 

And it is VERY well with MY soul!   How’s yours today?

Posted in Bible, Change, God, Living LIfe, Marriage, Methods for Doing Life, My Hubby, Recovery | Leave a comment

The Gift of Yourself

“Just because you are in someone’s presence, does not mean you are present”.

 

Today. Where ever you are, whoever you are with, be there.

TRULY be there:))))

It is well with my soul.  How is yours doing?

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Let’s Be Clear

“The prudent (wise) understand where they are going and what they are doing. But a fool deceives themself.”

Anxiety and Confusion come and make camp in our minds and hearts when we mix-up what we want with what we need.  Pray for the wisdom to know the difference and find peace that flows like a river.

 

                         It IS very well with my soul today!

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SHORT AND SWEET

“Tired of reliving the past. Done with   dreaming of what the future might be, she embraced the present for the gift it is.”

Won’t you join me in living that which is today.

And as always, it is well with my soul:)))

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The Empty Nest

As I awoke this morning I realized that it is still raining!  “Great,” I think.

This is a pretty big deal.  You see, here in Southern California we have been in a drought season for some time now, so this watering is very needed.

“Thanks Lord,” I pray as I sit here watching it come down. I’m thinking about how pretty the rain drops are, as the water glistens from the bit of sun shining on the bright green leaves, of the tree outside my window.  Next my prayers to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are for my relief from the drought I feel in my soul.

The Merriman Dictionary terms drought as “an excess period of dryness,” even one that can cause extensive damage. It is also said to be “a prolonged or chronic shortage or lack of something expected or desired.”

Hum?! Dried up is very much how I’d define how I feel right now.  I also feel very damaged as well. I feel as if I’m out in one of our deserts here in California.  Alone and parched.  I need some refreshment for my soul.

You see, I am officially and probably forever an “empty nester.”

I’ve decided the definition for the term “empty nester,” must be similar to a desert drought.  At least that is how it feels to be one. Dry, empty and void of life.

Walking out to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, I stop and stare into the room that used to be colorful and filled with the evidence of life. And it hits me that it really is  empty. Sure there are signs someone used to live there. There are nail holes, blue sticky gook where the posters hung and a few small items that had been left.

You see, my youngest daughter, lived the past 7 plus years of her life there in that room and others just like it.

I’ve always wanted this time to come for Alyssa. And I knew this time would come for us as well. The day Alyssa would move out our home. That the time would come when she’d finally be ready to step into a life of her own; on her own.

That she’d leave us alone.

Recently I’ve had so many mixed emotions. Ups and downs over her leaving. One minute I am so excited for her and in the next the gloom roles in like a foggy day and I’m left feeling all alone in my sadness.

I find myself not thinking about her at all and then breaking down in tears as I notice her empty closet. Or the space at the kitchen counter where she’d join us for a quick dinner before running off to work or church.  Then there’s that spot on my bed where she’d sit and tell me about the latest “cute” boy she met or the wacky customer she had at work. Then the tears start flowing again. Or maybe it’s a TV show that we both watched together. Or that I’d taped for her is no more to be saved. And there is no more picking out Mangoes at the farmers market for her either.

Alyssa’s hearts desire had always been to meet the man she’s been writing to in her ” to my husband” journals for many years. The man she doesn’t know yet, but knows God has for her. To fall in love and get married to this forever love. But now at age twenty-seven her man is still out there somewhere waiting for her and she for he.  And her prolonged desire, as the second definition of drought states, has still not come to fruition.

For either of us.

You see, this was something I’d always dreamed would happen while she still lived at home. That we’d experience her special day the same way I did with her sister and brother.   I dreamed of sharing this time of her falling in love with the man that God has for her. All the fun we would have sitting up late talking about him and perusing all her wedding magazines.  Making plans and tasting cake. Then as time went on I’d be there as she got ready for the day she’d always dreamed of.  That she’d ride off and out from under our protective wings in the arms of her forever love.

But this is not to be.

That is not how she left us.

I praise my God and the Father of my soul that like other parents of children that either were taken away for some reason or died, Alyssa left of her own accord. She left our home healthy, happy and ready to take on the world! Ready for a whole new beginning in a new place. Her own place. Alyssa flew out of our nest to feather her own in Nashville Tennessee.

I don’t remember having this drought kind of feeling when she was away at college.

Of course she was only a few towns over and we saw her regularly when we went to watch her Basketball games. She was close by. She came and she went and all was well.

Until it wasn’t!

Through the years since Alyssa was fifteen years old she has battled a mental illness called Bi-Polar and eventually 7 and a half years ago she had to come back home to live. There were times we thought she might never lead the normal life of a vivacious and sane young woman. But God is beyond amazing and He has allowed her to be the woman she has always wanted to be. Now she’s living life to the fullest!

My Alyssa is now on her own and so am I.

The busyness of the planning for her move. The research. And the legwork I did for her is over.  

She’s settled, she’s busy with work and making new friends.  She’s met a “cute” boy that’s invited her to church. She’s even loving the soft snow that falls there in Tennessee. Who’dathunk? A Cali girl enjoying scrapping ice off her car!  

I have heard it said that whether a child actually dies or simply leaves home for good, that the emotional feelings are the same.  I believe it.  It still hurts a month later.

While Alyssa’s new life away from Mom and Dad isn’t exactly the way we’d envisioned it, her days of drought are ending. And it feels like mine have just begun.

Her dream of life on her own is now being watered by the excitement of new experiences and friendships.

She’s still writing her letters to her future husband, just in a new nest still believing he’ll soon walk through some door one day. I pray he will. I believe he will.

Life was a constant buzz of busyness getting Alyssa ready to move away.  But now it’s not. Like a heavy storm, when it ends here in California, I am left wanting it to still be raining. To have her still here in the midst of what was.

I’ve decided that I am in mourning. I am grieving being Alyssa’s every-day-hands-on-kind-of-parent. It’s a dry desert kind of place in my heart. This space that caring and helping her daily held. But I think the sadness has finally been replaced by acceptance now that she is really gone. But where does an everyday hands on mother go from here? What do I do with the new found time I have, not doing for her anymore?

The depth of this pain I’ve been experiencing is similar to the desperation I felt when we first heard Alyssa’s diagnosis.  I fought the truth and the facts of this new found reality. But this time I am not really desperate for the diagnosis to be different, just for the pain of this new life I have without her to stop. My eyes nor my husband can take it any longer. I want and I need to feel alive again.  And I don’t think staying in bed and crying all day is what Alyssa would want for me either.

I thought about it one day and realized she certainly wasn’t sitting around in a pool of tears and lonliness.  So I begged God to show me, “What is next?”  And because He is so faithful He’s answered me. I believe the Lord is calling to me to spend this time I now have with Him. He’s invited me to come and spend this desert experience with Him.  In His Word He tells us that He will never leave me nor forsake me and will always be by my side.  I believe Him, so I think I’ll take Him up on His invitation.  Sounds good.  Some slow and quiet time just Jesus and me.

Time to cry and remember, but also to regroup and recharge. Time to spend time in His Word, time to journal and to pray.  I guess I need it.  I guess I’ll take it.

It’s strange though. I feel like I’m in this place of prolonged waiting too; although she really hasn’t been gone that long. It’s strange how long the days are with nothing to do. I used to crave these slow empty kind of days, but now that I’m in this space in time I’m wanting to feel alive again. Feel like I have a purpose. Feel the joy that comes from whatever that purpose is again.

Jesus spent forty days alone with the Father when He was in the desert, so I guess I shouldn’t hope for my time to be any less or anticipate the length of time this grieving thing may take.  So I’ll patiently try to be at peace with the necessary time this process takes.  And then I guess I’ll move on.  But move on to what I’m not sure yet.

But I am sure of this. God will reveal to me what His purpose is for me when the time is right. I know all things are best served in His time not mine, so I’m ok with the waiting.

And I am sure Alyssa is fine. Is happy. Is wanting me to be happy again.

So until the desert flowers bloom for me in my new life whatever that’s to be,  I’ll watch the  taped show of the Bachelor with Jesus by my side.  He and I will sit together on my bed and He’ll speak to me of the wonders of His great love. And as I shop He and I will converse about what avacados to choose. And then I’ll FaceTime with Alyssa about it all!

You see, no matter where my children are.  No matter where your children are.  The Lord will always be there right beside us to fill that void they left. To help us re-feather those nests.  To give us a new purpose in the life He created us to live.

There is more He has for me.  There is life beyond my children. Beyond my daughter.  Wow!  Did I say that?

Maybe I am really moving on through this process!  Maybe I’m almost ready for what ever it is that God has for me beyond being a mother!

But for now I’ll stay right where I am and watch the rain knowing that God’s love is still watering that dry and dusty spot of loneliness.  And as I wait for the spring of my new life as an empty nester:

“It is well with my soul.”

Posted in Stewardship | 4 Comments

Be-Lated Happy New Year

 

 

 

Any of you that have followed my blog, you know that it’s been months since I posted last.   And now that it is a new year I want to get back at it!

It wasn’t that I didn’t have any material or desire to write (the lack of desire did come, but that is a story for another time) it was truly that unless I got up at “the butt crack of dawn” as a friend of mine says, or stayed up way past even Jay Leno’s curfew I couldn’t have done it.

My life has not been my own.  I am not complaining mind you, just stating the facts.  Lots of  very legitimate reasons mind you that are very near and dear to my heart.

BUT now that the new year is here, (well almost February, but that is either here nor there), I am ready, willing and able (again) to start again sharing from my heart my take on those things in life that are the Dramas and Traumas we all go through and how they affect, change and challenge.

I don’t yet have a deep and meaningful, long blog post to share, but I do want to share a few thoughts that God has put upon my heart these last days of my recovery from these last months of my latest drama’s and trauma’s:

“Help me to get beyond what it is that I want. What I think I need, to what you truly want for me LORD.”

That quote was part of my prayers from today.

“Where there is no hurry, there is no worry. Slow down and simply just do today.” God

Words I heard my Lord tell me the other day.       peace in the unknown

And lastly not my quote, but a great one that is going to be my anthem for life in this new year:

“Watch your thoughts for the they become your words.

Watch your words for they become your actions.

Watch your actions for they become your habits.

Watch your habits for they become your character.

And finally, watch your character for it WILL become your destiny!”  Unknown

Until we meet again: “It is mostly well with my soul:)”

 

 

 

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What’s YOUR Question???

Mountain-Lake

                                                      My Summer was a mix of ups and downs emotionally.  I will say,  I knew it wouldn’t be a lazy hazy summer full of picnics and lemonade, but when it began with the drama and trauma of the 4th of July and loosing our sweet granddaughter Jo,  I had to surrender to God’s Will and myself to what ever was in store for the next 3 months.

For one it was none stop and I can barely believe we are in the middle of Sept already!

The summer brought relief and a renewed enthusiasm for our business Premium Nails after we had our best trade show results ever!!!

From there we hit the road for a 2 week road trip into the gorgeous mountains of Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona.  This trip quickly becoming one of our top 5 vacations.

Then the summer recently culminated with tears of joy and a new-found love in our latest arrival of our 7th grandkiddo, Amelia Quinn Frenzel. She miraculously came into this world wide-eyed and wonderful.

She is my reminder everyday of how amazingly gracious and merciful my God is!

Now the Fall decorations are up and the busyness has slowed down and it’s time once again for me to get back on the horse as they say.  I’ve been sooooo distracted by life that I really haven’t written much by the way of online posts, etc. this summer.  A few journal entries, no post till now and definitely no Plinky writings.  I even (as writers do) entertained giving up writing all together, wondering:

Why do it?

But as is the usual way things go for me, God quickly shows up to answer these kind of questions.

The words I heard Him say to me (get to know Jesus and you can hear from God in a personal way too!) were, and I quote, “Because you love it. Because I have gifted you for such as this and because I need you too.”

Then again, and of course, I continued to discuss with Him the why’s.  And He was quick to let me know that there are people who actually will read what I write and that it will be uplifting, helpful, insightful, informing, encouraging, enjoyable and the like to them.

Ok, I say and then was quickly reminded of  AA meetings. Of going to them. Which honestly, at times are boring and rote and I’d rather be somewhere else.  But, I am not at them so much for myself these days (Thank God!!!).  I must remember I am there for the new-comer and the person that might hear something I say and be helped by it.

That is why I go and don’t get me wrong, I do want to be of “Love and Service.”

And that is why I’ll saddle up and get back in writing mode.  I know God will give me the enthusiasm and the inspiration I need for the words He wants me to say. So I willingly write and hope you’ll read, pass on, apply and impart.

I know how easy it would be to give up and give in and not bother, but I can’t.

God didn’t make us to live in a vacuum, but to be in relationship and community. Mine is my family and my church. And those I meet online and at my AA meetings.

Those that God can and will put in my path at any time anywhere.

THOSE that God has placed in YOUR life!

So as I sit here and type, I wonder how YOUR summer was and what the rest of the year holds for YOU? What God holds out for YOUR future? Who are THOSE that God wants you to reach out to?

Is there something YOU need to be about that maybe YOU set aside? Maybe for even more than the past few months?

Is there something YOU are wondering? Asking the “why’s” and “when’s” and “what if’s” about?

I’m guessing; if YOU listen closely, God will meet YOU where ever it is YOU ARE at and He too, will answer YOU:))

“AND It IS VERY well with my SOUL!”  

Posted in Alcolhol, Change, Family, God, Grandkiddos, Jesus, Living LIfe, Me--Debi, Plinky Posts, Prescription Drugs, Purposeful Posts, Recovery, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sometimes Quickly, Sometimes Slowly

“Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly,”

IS a quote you might hear often in the rooms of AA Meetings. It is a reference to the developing life of someone who is in recovery, learning to live a new life as a clean and sober person.

But, another area I think of it in reference to, is God’s answering our prayers. Sometimes He in His Sovereignty chooses to answer our prayers in ways that sometimes seem quick and often seem very slow. And then there are of course the answers that appear to be “no.” Those hard things that seem so wrong in our eyes, that in God’s reality are so right.

These we may need to accept as God’s best will for our lives. We may not like these no’s or even the “not yet” or “wait” answers. But knowing we have a higher power who only has our best interests in mind, is very helpful to me.

  •  Yesterday was a wonderful example of God’s answering very quickly.

 It was towards the end of our day at our annual Fourth of July Family ‘Breakfast on the Beach’ gathering.

My daughter Sarah realizing she was no longer seeing her daughter Josephine playing in the sand pit, (where she’d been seen most of the morning), began asking all of us, if we knew where she was.

It quickly became clear that Jo was nowhere close and was truly missing!

Next as if from the starting gate of an Olympic Game, we all dashed off in different directions to scour the beach to search for our sweet toe-headed baby girl.

Staying put at our camp and keeping a watchful eye on my other 5 grandkiddos, the very first thought I had, was to begin a very serious conversation with God.

“Ok God, where is Jo? Dear God, where’d she go?!?!?! The water?  Dear God NO, not the water!!!”

My mind spinning, I decided that she wasn’t in the water. Being buried in the sand or playing in a sand hole had been the major focus of her day.

“So where did she go Lord?” I thought, as I continued my questions to God.

In my panicked state I stepped up the discussion.  “OK GOD, this is unacceptable that we lose her!!! You MUST let us find her. Come on God, show us where she is,” I prayed earnestly stamping my bare and hot feet.

“Please God, I pleaded, let them find her NOW!”

You see I was quite insistent on a deeper level as well because of what is going on lately in regards to my daughter and her family. 

Sarah is pregnant with her 4th child, Amelia who is struggling fighting her own battle with a benign tumor that is vying for space in her tiny body between her heart and her left lung.

Not to mention that Jo’s daddy, Derek had just returned from being treated by the lifeguards for a Sting Ray bite he’d gotten while swimming that day!

So suffice it to say, I for one (and I’m sure the rest of the family as well) was being very demanding of God at that moment.

As I kept an eagle eye on my other 5 precious kiddos I practically yelled at God verbally, that she be found NOW!!!

“Find her now,” I prayed over and over and over.

Just then word started to spread from down the beach back to my anxious ears.  I heard people I didn’t know that were passing by saying, “they found her, they found her!”

Next I saw Jeanine, my daughter-in-love’s mother, with obvious tears streaming down her cheeks coming towards me, saying the very same thing!

You can imagine my relief, as I heard her tell me that Michael, my son had found her, many umbrellas down the beach. She was there sitting contentedly playing with a little boy and his sand toys.

Being scooped up into his loving uncle’s arms, she never realized she was even lost, until her very grateful daddy gently explained how scared she’d caused us to be, and that she must never wander away like that again.

As we came back together we all seemed to say the same thing. “Time to pack up and go home!”

The time that had passed seemed like an eternity to us all. When in reality it had only been maybe 5 minutes or so.  Looking at it today, it was an answer that came very quickly. I praise God in this reflective time and will always give Him the glory for this, yes answer!”

  •  Aren’t we all at times like Josephine?

So into our own little hole in the world, whether we are at play, work, wherever or whatever? We sit in our selected spot in the sand isolated in our individuality doing our own thing, being content we think?  Then before we realize what is happening to us, we are lost!

  • Sometimes we are lost in our stubborn selfishness thinking our decisions in life are right and we choose to stay close-minded
  • Maybe we’re lost in obsession or addiction to something outside ourselves that we are allowing to have control over our better intentions.
  • Sometimes we are almost literally lost, not knowing the person staring back at us as we gaze into our morning mirrors
  • Maybe there are some of you who’ve lost your way and wandered from your family in search for your independence and desire to ‘find yourself.’
  • Or maybe you’ve wandered and have become estranged from your husband or    wife and would desperately love to reconcile!

The God I know sees you in whatever sand pit you are in and wants nothing more than to take your hand and help you out of that hole.

My God is in the business of seeking and saving the lost. No matter the trench you’ve found yourself in, He wants to take you into His loving Daddy arms, and carry you to the safety of a relationship with Him where you too can have deep and honest conversations about those holes and pits in your life.

Sometimes we are so lost that we can’t find our way back on our own. Sometimes we are so lost that we don’t even know we are lost, just like Jo was, but that’s ok

You can have that place with God where He’ll always answer your prayers. A content spot with Him where he’ll keep you safe, teaching and guiding you through the shifting sand and rising tides of life.

There’s another great quote I love that says:

 “I can’t, God can, so I think I’ll let Him.”

 As Josephine’s daddy was eagerly waiting for her to be in his arms again, our loving God and Father awaits your return!

So won’t you let Him rescue you today?  It’s a great day to be saved!

                  AND once again, thank you Jesus; it IS VERY, VERY WELL with my soul!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Alcolhol, Change, Children, Family, God, Grandchildren, Grandkiddos, Jesus, Living LIfe, Prayer, Prescription Drugs, Purposeful Posts, Recovery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN

As I read a post from a favorite blogger of mine at http://mypurposenow.org.  I thought of myself at times of being overwhelmed with life and living. And I remember what helped me get to the place of being what I call underwhelmed.

I finally, after much struggle found that through reading and studying God’s Word, that I actually and quite liteally needed to STOP. I needed to sit down right in the midst of the mess and look at what I was overwhelmed about, and then take it to the Lord asking for His wisdom. Wisdom in knowing what should happen in my life, to hopefully keep the insidiousness of busyness and worry from taking over that peacefilled place I’ve come to know and love. His Word tells us to “be still and know that I am God.” So I STOP and I take the quality time I need to listen to His answers in regards to the craziness that might be my life at that moment in time:

  • Often He’s shown me that I’ve not said no, to the good in order to arrive at what’s best for me and mine.
  • Or I fall back into super woman mode, thinking I can and should do it all.
  • And the worst; I see that some days I have not put Him first, actually STOPPING before I start my day to give Him my day.

Many years have now passed, and I’ve learned my head nod goes both ways and that God’s God and I’m not!

And that when I can’t (which is often, in my own strength) God can and so I think I’ll let Him.

But the only way I’ve come to mostly not get overwhelmed is by STOPPING, even in the midst of the craziness. Give God the authority He deserves in my life and ask Him to take my burdens and worries. And He does, every time! In return He allows me to experience again, that peace that surpasses all understanding.

That place of being underwhelmed with life and overwhelmed by God’s grace, mercy and love for me and mine.

And all is very well with my soul once again:))))

Posted in Family, God, Living LIfe, Me--Debi, Methods for Doing Life, Prayer, Recovery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment