Sunday, 30 June 2013

Honey, Do! by Susan L

I hit the ground running this morning. There's already a few things on my Honey, Do! list. Since there isn't a honey nearby it's actually a DIY list. I woke up to discover that the main water pump in my sump pit wasn't working. Thankfully the back up pump is or there would have been a swimming pool in the basement. Thankfully all it took was shaking the float switch which turns the pump on...or not. (It worked briefly but now I see the back up is running again. Hmmmm...) The hose feeding my pond's little waterfall has a leak somewhere. It needs to be replaced. It took me a while to figure out where the water was disappearing from. Thankfully it is only the hose. My friend shared an exploration exercise with me. She called it a blessings timeline. Working through her life from as far back as she could remember, she made a list of all the good things, God's blessings. Many of them were simple. When you are five, having a kite to fly is awesome. (That's one of mine.) I am going to take my water challenges, sump and pond, and be thankful. One, that I have them and two, I have the skills to do the repairs. Even if I need to replace the pump! Thanks, H, for the inspiration. "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you." Deut 28:2

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Sore points by Susan L.

There's a good change taking place. I am starting to stop beating myself up for how long it has taken me to "get over" the hurts and traumas of my past. Writing my speech has made me realize how much has happened in the last nine years. There's been a long struggle just to find a caring and compassionate psychiatrist who would listen and hear what I have to say. It took a long time to recover from the doctor whose three half hour sessions left deep wounds. His way of dismissing me, as he scribbled madly in his notes was to point at the door as if I was a dog. He ignored my concerns about the meds he'd prescribed. Sure enough I was right, they were a huge contributor to my second trip to a mental hospital. (Yet another time eating struggle: finding the right meds.) Then there's the trauma of hospitalization. And it is terribly traumatic, "losing my mind". Being there and witnessing the nurses abusing another patient but being powerless and afraid to do anything has taken a terrible toll as well. The demeaning treatment took a huge chunk out of my fragile self esteem. Having read my hospital report, I was saddened even more. They'd missed the big picture and had used their omnipotent powers of mind reading to make assumptions about me that were way off base. (Don't worry, I know they don't have that.) But then, anyone who would bully the suffering and the lost doesn't care any more. The whole thing still angers me. I have often wondered why they have chosen the mental health field or why they remain in it. Being burnt out doesn't justify cruelty and negligence. It gives all the more reason why we need peer supporters in all hospitals. The system needs to be held accountable. I can say I am one if the lucky ones. I now have an amazing psychiatrist. It only took four years to find the right meds. And I have the best thing of all: my peers at The Krasman Centre. "And had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all she had and was no better but had grown worse." Mk 5:26

Friday, 28 June 2013

Wheat and Chaff by Susan L.

Today I start a new journal. Journey? As I've mentioned before my blog is first hand written then typed up on my cell phone. The first page of each of my notebooks is always a simple prayer asking the Lord to bless and fill the pages with His presence. My blog is my morning prayers and a chance to have a dialogue with my Maker. Art therapy is the same. A time of prayer. Although it was interesting what developed last night. It began with a false start which ended up in the garbage. I felt I was wasting paper and the money that was used to provide the materials. When this came up in discussion, the art therapist used a wood working metaphor. Is sawdust wasted wood? Without it nothing is built. Personally, I use it in the garden. Wood scraps make bonfires for enjoyment. Nothing is truly wasted. By making a fresh start with the art I was able to let go of what I thought needed exploring. The paper wasn't wasted because I was able to settle in to the place I was meant to be. Painting the word "Celebrate" with two exclamation points. "Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt." Jer 31:3

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Long Weekend by Susan L.

The Canada Day holiday is this weekend. There will be tides of people heading north to cottages, favorite camping spots and countless barbeques. There's a seasonal trailer park behind my house full of people from Newfoundland. I'm pretty sure Saturday will be a rollicking good time. I enjoy the music but thankfully the owners don't let the noise go on much past 11:30. (Long gone are the days of partying until the wee hours of the morning!) I am debating hosting a spur of the moment barbeque and bonfire for a few friends. It would be a bit of a scramble getting everything ready. We'll see. Really, I'm just not fancying spending the holiday weekend on my own. Fred the cat (renamed Pumpkin) is good company but I don't think an open fire and roasting marshmallows would agree with his fur. Besides, there's still a few fireflies around that I'd love to share. "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted calf with hatred." Prov 15:17

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

First Draft by Susan L.

You'd think these lessons would be so ingrained: cast your cares upon the Lord and that prayers will be answered. My blog is late because I spent about five hours this morning on the first draft of my story for the general meeting next month. I had been feeling anxious that I couldn't seem to face it. It is an emotionally charged subject. However, in rereading it now, it feels a bit fluffy. How do I compress a decade, a lifetime into ten minutes? " Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift my soul to You." Ps 143:8

Monday, 24 June 2013

Chatterbox by Susan L.

Goodness! My kitchen window is very dirty! I'm wondering, does that change how I view the world? A flood of cast aside negative core beliefs comes to mind. It's like the windows of my soul have been Windexed and polished so the Light could shine in. Okay. That was lame and corny. I'm trying too hard to write something this morning. That's why I was staring out the window. It's one thing to have a voice, it's another to fill space by talking for the sake of talking. Cricket. My dad called me that when I was little because I used to chatter and sing all day. Cute when you're four. Go-to-the-corner-school-unnacceptabe offence when you're five. Life, my marriage, silenced me. I suppose lifelong depression added its own gag. I'm glad I am rediscovering my voice. It's been punished long enough. "Open your mouth for the speechless in the cause of all who are appointed to die." Prov 31:8

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Eddies by Susan L.

It feels like thunderstorms today. The air is already hot, heavy, humid and there's barely any breeze. It's the first time this year I've needed to close the windows early to keep the heat out. Summer has arrived! It's a good day to play in the basement. There's a couple of projects I'd like to build. The first is a gravity feeder for dry cat food. I priced plastic ones in a couple of pet stores. Ouch! Basically it's a bird feeder for cats. Easy enough to build. The other is a wooden sign for the centre earmarking a quiet zone for creative endeavours. It's a good day to take a rest from the garden. Humidity drives the mosquitoes into a feeding frenzy. I don't feel like donating any blood to their cause. I like making sawdust and working with wood. It will give me some time to think about what I want to share of my story next month. I've made several false starts. Working with my hands clears my mind. I ask,Lord, for Your inspiration. Inspire me, correct me and teach me what You know needs to be shared. In Jesus' name. "But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup." 1 Cor 11:28

Saturday, 22 June 2013

New Pen by Susan L.

I have to replace the lovely fountain pen my daughter gave me several years ago. It rolled off the table and smashed the nib. I was so sad about it on so many different levels. We've travelled untold pages, the pen and I. It knows all too well the dark depths of the Black River. Many, many prayers and declarations of gratitude flowed from its point, too. It has documented my transformation from invisible thing into this wonderfully wobbly-growing-in-confidence woman of God. The pen has been crucial in learning how to express myself vocally. It has been a sword when I wrote a letter about the inhumane treatment I received while at the psych hospital. My complaint was validated although at the time I declined to take it further. I just wanted the human rights violations on record with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Being in hospital, twice, contained some of the darkest days in my life. Most of all, the pen has allowed me the opportunity of learning to hear God's voice amidst all the chaos and pain of the river. It feels a bit strange, writing an obituary for a pen because even though it doesn't work any more, I'll put it in my treasure box. It has been a major key that has opened my heart and soul to so many amazing things. "He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters." Ps 18:16

Friday, 21 June 2013

Ads by Susan L.

There's a current ad on TV that has left me rather disturbed. It's for a men's razor/shaver/trimmer. Nothing new there but in the ad, they "interview" tall, slender, model type women about what they like in men regarding body hair. This Gillette product is supposed to, as the tag line goes, "Give the ladies what they want." Meaning the men who use this product will attract only the most physically beautiful women. It bothers me because the dark message is so blatant. I know all the marketing aimed at women contains the same message. It is more subtle. We are taught we need to shave, primp, curl, diet, dye, pluck, have surgery (!) in order to be attractive to men. This is not just a North American issue. Beauty pagent contestants in India have their faces measured to see if they fit the cultural criteria for beauty! We drink it in, spending billions of dollars on miracle products because we are taught not to be happy with the way we look from cradle to the grave. There are whole TV shows dedicated to "fixing" the human physical condition with millions of followers. (Dr. Oz, I'll pray for you.) How can we instill respect for things like kindness, honesty, chivalry, chastity, dignity, honour, faith and grace when the media reduces children, youth, adults and the aging into nothing more than slabs of sexual meat? We know the cost. Eating disorders (on the rise in men), bullying, mental illnesses like depression. Even, so very sadly, suicide. "You built your high places at the head of every road, and made your beauty to be abhorred." Ez 16:25

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Christmas in June by Susan L.

This was the theme for my writer's group earlier this month. At that time, I couldn't write about it. Today? Well, today feels like Christmas. My houseguest, Fred the cat, will be taking up permanent residency. I spoke with his owner, telling her that I was growing too attached to him. I needed to know if she was going to take him back. In my heart of hearts I was hoping she wouldn't. I barely had the words out of my mouth when she asked if I would like to keep him. Keep him! Yes! I mean his ginger coat even matches my decor! No, seriously he's a good fit. He's not the pushy type who insists on playing with your pen when you're writing. An excellent quality in a cat especially since I write and draw. A lot. A few months ago I would not have even concidered a pet. But Fred? He's brought a profound healing to some of the wounded, animal related places in my soul; a four legged, fuzzy, purry healing. That and I had the chance to skip some stones across a river. How much fun was that! (I lost count at eight!) Thank You, Lord, for simple pleasures and unexpected gifts. Psalm 139 says it all.

Shake, Rattle 'n Roll" by Susan L.

For several weeks now I've kept waking up with a song in my head. It's not the alarm clock, it has an across-the-room-tossing-teeth-grating buzz. The songs range from this morning's 60's (?) hit, "Delta Dawn...what's that flower you have on?" to"Smile, Darn Ya Smile" from the 30's. Classical favorites like Pachelbel's Canon in D or gospel favorites have popped as well. It's odd, putting the kettle on for coffee with an internal iPod playing full blast. Some of the songs trigger a bit of anger like the 1940's hit, "Smile Though Your Heart is Breaking". Over and over the lesson has been drilled in to simply hold in the bad stuff, the "socially inappropriate". It's no wonder the rate of diagnosed depression is on the rise. That ideology is so prevalent in our culture and has roots that are centuries long. It's not just in music but art as well. Norman Rockwell, the New Yorker's leading artist for many years illustrated quaint and idyllic images of the "perfect American family". Every time I see one, although sometimes cute, drives home the understanding that because my life has been no where near that standard somehow I've failed to succeed. (It doesn't last long, thankfully!" Such subtle pressures to conform! It's even worse now, the marketing pressures that bombard us every day. You must have this..You are nothing without thin...eeeew! Wrinkles!... and on and on and on.Every aspect of our lives is under constant attack, our homes, our lifestyles, our children and even our bodies. We embrace it wholeheartedly or is it that we are being conned? "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" Lk 9:25

Monday, 17 June 2013

Outside the Book by Susan L.

A long time ago I was talking to a friend. She was angry, bitter, and constantly raged against her ex-husband. In the middle of one of these repetitive rants, I asked her why she hated so much. There was an abrupt pause as she looked at me. A startled expression came to her face, "Because it's easier!" Shortly after she came to know the Lord as her Saviour. All her acrimonious feelings faded away under His tender tutelage, praise God, as she began a life of living His word. As a new Christian, the good intentioned people who were my mentors for a while told me to read every scripture with the word "love" in it. I purchased a concordance (best purchase I ever made) and began to diligently study my Bible. Wow. It was an eye opener and made me terribly sad. In reading the verses, the only way I could relate to them was realizing the only thing I knew was what love is NOT! The Lord took this once-upon-a-time beaten down, abused and rejected woman whose only desire was not to be bitter and has honoured my prayer. Just like my friend, in letting go, I am finding the ever abundant love of God that exists beyond the words in red. How awesome is that! "To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God." Eph 4:19

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Healing Space by Susan L.

It's been tough going, doing my blog this week. Every morning has been an exercise in patience as I sit with my coffee and wait for Inspiration to speak to me. There's been a lot of halfhearted, random scribblings not worth sharing: the weather, the garden, the cat. I've been reluctant to delve into matters of the heart because there's a huge part of me that has needed to play; to celebrate the work the Lord did in my soul and spirit last weekend. (Was it only last weekend?!) It takes time for new understandings to settle in to every fibre of my being. Being outside in the sun brings even more healing. The shadows vanish as I get dirty, enjoy the birdsong and relishing the feel of warm earth between my toes. All followed by a long, hot shower where I watch the dirt disappear down the drain. This playtime is healing, too. Watching butterflies and bees drink at the flowers stirs up simple, childish delight. God's timing is impeccable. Every night the fireflies have been out so I stand outside in my pajamas and delight in them, too. These little things breathe joy into my soul. "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." PS 34:4

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Strange Encounters by Susan L.

It's a beautiful morning and as I was taking it all in, the fresh air, the bird song, a movement at the end of the driveway caught my eye. It was a small, black weasel like creature. I thought it was a Marten at first. I had chased one off of a rooster years ago. This wasn't anywhere near as large. It saw me and made a bee line straight towards where I was standing. This is odd. Is it rabid? It didn't seem aggressive. I realized it was a pure black ferret. It sat up and looked at me after sniffing around my slippers. She was painfully thin and there was evidence she had young somewhere. I wondered if she had been a cruel pet dump. Someone's unwanted pet. I hate when people use that as an option. I went and got a handful of cat food. She knew what it was and ate heartily. She was a bit skittery and wary but it wasn't disturbed by my presence. I was reluctant to pick her up or catch her in case she had young. Eventually she went on her way. Hopefully I'll see her again today and be able to give her some more food. "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." He 13:2

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bouncy, Bouncy bu Susan L.

I can't seem to string two sentences together this morning. Brain bounce. I'll spare you my ramblings. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow! "The preparations of the heart belong to men. But the answer of the tongue is the Lord. " PS 16:1

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Honoured by Susan L.

My boss asked if I would be willing to tell my story of recovery at the upcoming general meeting in August. It is a great honour to be asked and exciting as well. Although the question is, where to start? It has been quite the journey, and continues to be a work in progress. In looking back, the last nine years seems a long time but who I was nine years ago is so not the person who posts this blog. For those who have read the boot story (Set In Stone) there has been another bit of insight. I was that newspaper. And there it is. Thank You Lord for giving me a place to start. As I share my story, let my story be Your story. Guide my pen to touch the hearts of others that they may find affirmation and hope. In Jesus' name I pray. "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." 1 Pet 4:10

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Niches by Susan L.

Learning sure isn't a straight line is it? I picked up my firefly painting from the framers yesterday. She did an awesome job! This process challenged me on so many levels. Just surrendering the original art into a stranger's hands was a risky chance. Especially when I feel that it is the best piece I ever painted as well as it signifies such a powerful spiritual and emotional connection to God. I am thankful about being able to step outside my comfort zone, big steps and little ones. I am thankful that the realization has solidified that it's totally my decision about what to do or not. Is that ever freeing! I have offered my artistic services to the church. I am happy to help make props or whatever they need for their summer Bible camp. I will leave the actual camp in the hands of others, though. Way too much caffuffle and chaos for me! At the Writer's Nest for the first time I wrote something off topic! (Look out, world, we're creating a monster!) Yesterday's blog time was spent exploring a whimsical story about a brick I saw dented by a cat's foot print. It was a nice bit of lightness to celebrate the lightness in my soul. I truly enjoy writing children's stories. Thank You, Lord for helping me find my place in this world. "It was planted in good soil by many waters, to bring forth branches, bear fruit, and become a majestic vine," Ez 17:8 (Thank You Lord for many prunings.)

Monday, 10 June 2013

Recovery by Susan L.

Yet another sunny day was spent in the garden. There's still more to do but that's okay, I'm not feeling so terribly, suffocatingly, overwhelmed any more. I had to stop when numerous mosquitoes plagued me looking for a quick meal. Towards evening it was most enjoyable to sit on the patio with my good friend H. She came over with a lovely chocolate and fruit dessert for us to share. Good friend? No, BEST friend! There was a young robin hiding in the grass. We watched the parents fly copious amounts of grubs and squishy things to its ever demanding beak. The baby looked like a leaf in the grass, its feathers not quite grown in. Too bad they don't eat mosquitoes! Simple joys. Healing joys that help the wounds of spiritual surgery close. They help to shake off the last of the shadows in my heart, the haunting remnants that take some time to disappear. The fireflies were out last night,too. They were twinkling high among the tree branches. A contented smile came to my lips and a flood of good memories washed over me. My painting of these little bursts of light is ready to be picked up. Redemption. God's timing is always perfect. "I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me." Dan 4:2

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Raised Spirits by Susan L.

It was nice to spend most of yesterday in my poor, neglected garden. Weeds have gained a strong foothold. By the time I was done, dirt covered almost every piece of exposed skin. A sign of lots accomplished and a good day. I needed the time to allow the repercussions of the latest paradigm shift work their way into my heart, soul and spirit. Wounds I didn't know were there are healed. Misunderstandings are set aside. Detrimental core beliefs are exposed and disposed of as Godly truth takes their place. It happens so fast when God lovingly kisses the broken spots, validating the pain. And I am thankful. And repentant,too. I am and was far from perfect. And relieved as bitter helplessness, the black river, and the cloak of victimization are once again set aside. Vanquished. Sometimes I need to go there for a while, be a victim I mean, even though every fibre of my being rebels because it is such an ugly place. I know my prayers not to be a bitter, spiteful woman will be answered. There's that and I need to let that piece of me have a voice. She deserves being heard. I've been a silent captive for far too long. "The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy." Prov 14:10

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Set In Stone by Susan L.

Thank You, Lord, for those who gave me the time and space to follow my heart's cries until I heard Your voice, loud and clear. Imagine a clean hardwood floor. Imagine someone clomping in wearing manure caked boots. Not once. Not twice but time after time. The only eventual concession was to lift them up so a piece of newspaper could be put underneath to catch the stuff oozing off. Now imagine that person thinking it was incredibly amusing. Especially when there was company. After a while, it wasn't worth complaining about or asking for it to stop. Those pleas were ignored. After a while it wasn't even worth washing the kitchen floor. Step by step, those reeking, steel toed boots kicked and bruised and maimed. They just never left a physical mark. I've gained a better understanding about what my illness, Post Traumatic Stress, is about. I've done copious amounts of reading, the clinical breakdowns of its symptoms. I really know what flashbacks are about and the panic attacks. That is what has had me struggling these last few months. And as I said yesterday, afraid because I can't find my way out of the memories. God gave my experiences a name: Soul Trauma. An incredible weight has lifted off of my shoulders. My heart and mind, too. Those two words validated my feelings. My emotions have been justified even though they seem to contradict each other on a regular basis. I can grieve without feeling guilty that it has taken so long to get to this point. I can be angry without guilt. The malicious cruelty, rife in my marriage that had me so beaten down is not mine to receive or believe I ever deserved that treatment. The boot story is true. Father, forgive me for casting my pearls before swine. "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." Mat 13:16

Friday, 7 June 2013

A Bit Mixed Up by Susan L.

I confess I am getting hate and anger all twisted around. Season it with dollop of fatigue, a dash of unwanted bitterness and blatherings like yesterday's blog explode. The Black River's waters are still gaining strength and I am afraid. There it is. On paper. In black and white. Confession. Admission. Honesty offered up to God. Writing about anger is safer than exploring the stew of my own upwelling emotions. Fall out from TIR therapy (Traumatic Incident Reduction). Other unpleasant memories cascade through my mind. Connected, nightmare events I wish I could just walk away from. The memories are so vivid, I can even smell them. I have no strength to deny them. It was so long ago but at the same time feels like yesterday when insult was added to injury; the deep and cutting wounds that rocked my reality. Being laughed at, mocked, for my anger. Dismissed. Disregarded. Denied. Help me, Father, find forgiveness in my heart. Live me. Love me. Show me. Grow me, my Lord. Please, set me free! In Jesus' name I pray. "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Eph 4:24

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Looking at "Wrong" by Susan L.

Who or what defines "wrong"? I am talking emotional responses, not laws. Culture, upbringing, relationships and faith often clash in trying to grasp what is right or wrong. It gets confusing. What is right in one sense is wrong in another. When did our carefully shaped social conscience become the sole determiner of how we express ourselves emotionally? This is the biggy: hate. It's a powerful four letter word. It needs to be logically illogical. We need to be able to set aside our cultural teachings about who or what to hate. (Prejudice, suspicion) In Christian circles we are taught to hate the sin yet love the sinner. For some reason the ideology has percolated up that all hate is wrong. I guess a sign of growing emotional maturity is being able to separate the two, sin and sinner. Another is being honest with God about how I feel as I walk through the process of letting go. There are good days when I can reach this point of hating the sin and find within my heart the love towards those who have hurt me. Some days I can only get as far as having compassion for them. It's a process. How I feel is never wrong. And here's the crux of my own historically defined sense of wrong: Ugly emotions are bad. Happy, touchy-feelie emotions are good. Denying either is living only half a life. Denying any of it leaves no place to grow as a person. Thank You, Lord, for all my emotions! None of which fit the "wrong" classification. Amen! "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made." PS 139:14

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Logically Illogical by Susan L.

I've been seeking an answer to a question I didn't know I was asking. It's simply been a vague, haunting puzzlement. Confusion in other words. The answer came from my psychiatrist yesterday. I knew it was an answer because an illusive heaviness in my heart and soul lifted as random, ill- defined pieces suddenly clicked together. He said to me, "Emotions are not logical, they simply are what they are." This was connected to Wednesday's TIR session. Most of the emotions connected to the particular memory we visited were polar opposites: love/hate, panic/relief, anger/defeat just to name a few. I was having a hard time reconciling the positive feelings to what had taken place. At the same time, I was feeling guilty about the bad ones. Now. Which is which? What a messy conundrum! My Doctor's statement has released me of the driving need to make sense if it all. What I can do is use this new insight as an opportunity for validation. Yes, I feel many things. None of my feelings are "wrong"! "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Pet 2:5

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The Garden Unplanned by Susan L.

Wandering around my flowerbeds I've noticed plants spontaneously appearing where nothing was planted. Some might call them weeds. Dandelions's nice to see daisies, though. Forget-me-nots, pink, blue and white have crossed the property line from my neighbours. Poppies pop up. A type of indigenous fern moved in that is different than the classic fiddlehead variety. I acquired a type of day lily, deep burgundy and yellow. I have no idea how that got there!. Wild cucumber, a tender vine with a lovely pale green leaf grows near the road. There's a spot near the ferns that grows a type of mushroom in the leaf litter. Communities of them appear regularely although I don't know if they are edible. They are a beautiful mocha brown. I suppose an avid horticulturalist might be mortified at the chaos these invaders create in otherwise carefully laid out gardens. For me, it's God adding His embellishments and I am thankful for the wonderful surprises He tucks throughout the yard. "Then the nations which are left all around shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate." Ez 36:36

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Heart Thoughts by Susan L.

I struggle terribly with making decisions. Second guessing is second nature. It doesn't take much for me to spiral into a mass of shame, confusion and doubt. For such a long time my decisions were wrong simply out of principle. There were punishing consequences when I dared to make a decision on my own no matter how trivial. The silent treatment was the worst. Being subjected to unadulterated rage was a close second. I never knew what was coming. The subtly drilled in idea that I was incredibly stupid grew in this fertile environment. (I'm not!) It's hard for me to swallow when well meaning people question my decisions based on their understandings of the situation. Their "encouragement" to either set aside or go against my personal choices corrodes my struggling self confidence. I need to ask myself why does it matter so incredibly much? Their opinions I mean. Why does it hurt so much to be questioned? I need to claim this: I know what I need to do in order to stay well. I know what I can't do at this time in my life in order to stay well. I know these things are fluid and ever changing. What may be necessary now might be a trivial matter tomorrow. I'll leave the door open. May God's will be done. "Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." Jon 5:9

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Loose Tongue by Susan L.

My mouth sometimes races ahead of my brain and I say something which doesn't sit quite right with my conscience. At least, I don't feel it was right. This seemed to happen several times this week topped with not speaking up when it was needed. Good old conflict avoidance behaviour. The mental hamsters had a good run. Replaying the scenarios is such a futile exercise. I can now laugh at myself. It doesn't matter because opportunities "appeared" yesterday so I could make amends: by apologising, and being able to practice true peer support. Thank You, Lord, for enabling me to trust and utilize the communication skills learned in PREFER trainings. Thank You that I have gained a better grasp of leading without being commanding. Than You for giving me the opportunity to facilitate a much needed group discussion that was a safe place for everyone to practice self advocacy and boundary setting. Myself included! It must be spring. There was a huge amount of personal growth this week. Again, thank You! But does it have to be so exhausting? ;) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Mat 5:16