Thursday, 30 May 2013

T.I.R. by Susan L.

My therapist has several options in her arsenal of healing tools. She was trained to facilitate Traumatic Incident Reduction Therapy. This involves sitting in a highly charged memory and talking about it. No. It's more than that. She provides a safe place without judgement or condemnation. She sits with me, guiding me, as I allow myself to relive the event so I can explore everything: my emotions, my perceptions, and my beliefs surrounding the trauma. She also helps me stay in that place of pain. I couldn't do it alone. Both of us have learned there is a reason for the memory to have surfaced. In the world, this type of therapy is used to desensitize or diffuse the emotional charge associated with traumatic events. We are blessed, as followers of Christ to be able to take it one step further. We ask the Lord to reveal Himself. He does. Every single time. He also reveals the lies or contorted core beliefs forged within the event. It is far from an easy thing to do but has been a tremendous tool in overcoming PTSD. Finding God in these memories has redeemed some of the most difficult and heart wrenching events in my life into places of comfort. There is still pain. Yes, they still stir up grief and sorrow but that's okay. I now know I wasn't alone. "Mercy and truth have met together;righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven." PS 85:10

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Into God's Hands by Susan L.

I did something special for myself yesterday. Earlier this spring in Art Therapy a painting emerged from a sad and heavy heart. The session began as always by me surrendering my brush to the Lord and waiting. The image was born the moment I chose black watercolour to begin expressing how I was feeling. It gradually took on a form of its own as I followed the colour flowing over the paper. It evolved into a windswept, grassy field and trees in the dead of night. Using acrylic paint, the sky was dotted with white and yellow stars. Other white and yellow dots became fireflies gathered in the sheltering Lee of the trees. It's a very special piece to me. A game changer. When it was held up I was able to acknowledge, with some surprise actually, just how good it was. It is a tangible image of redemption. Out of sadness and melancholy a thing of beauty was born. Definitely God's hand on my heart. I took it in to have it professionally matted and framed with UV protective glass. It will be ready in a couple of weeks. I can't wait! "The hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil." Heb 6:19

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Little Red Dot by Susan L.

What is it about a laser light that all cats love chasing? Fred, the housecat, is a bit challenged by laminate floors. No grip for his claws. He skids and slips around trying to catch the uncatchable. He talks to it, too, as if it had ears. It sure makes me laugh. A good way to start the day. I wonder what goes through his kitty brain when he puts his paw on it and it magically appears on top in full view. Maybe the chase is all he wants. Just like me and my faith. It's the seeking, the hunting, and yes, the scrabbling after God's heart that gives me purpose and meaning. The difference is when I finally catch my own red dot, the Lord places it in my hands to keep forever. "For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her." Prov 8:11

Monday, 27 May 2013

Early Start by Susan L.

Circumstances at work have confirmed even more that I have made the right decision to pare back my extracurricular activities. Being able to help my fellow staff members when they need me to fill in is important. This happens very rarely. I got a call yesterday asking me to fill in and attend the SSSCC meeting this morning. Don't know the exact meaning of the acronym but it is a meeting of the South Simcoe health services. The Krasman centre is under that umbrella so it's important we have a presence. It doesn't start til nine but I woke up shortly before seven. Very unusual for me. I guess I am more nervous than I thought. Lord, please fill me with the right words. I pray You lead me to the people I need to speak with. Thank You! As I pray these things in Jesus' name. "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

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Hold On A Second by Susan L.

My friend from PREFER and I got together to do some reading/discussing about a couple of handouts we'd been given during our peer support training. One of them was about empowerment. First of all it defined it. Secondly, it spoke on what is necessary to build that sense of autonomy and self determination in psychiatric survivors. Most of the time those rights are stripped away by the medical/clinical system.(Something we are fighting to change.) There was one statement both of us felt was way off base. Judi Chamberlain states, "And the client who recognizes that he or she is earning the respect of others increases in self confidence." Don't get me started about the dehumanizing use of the word, "client"! Both of us questioned this idea that self worth is based on how others treat us. I've personally spent a good chunk of the last eight years trying to get out from under that puppy. This is a concept that disempowers us by making us responsible for others behaviours towards us. It denies us the right to be uniquely unique. It forces us to embrace the spirit choking necessity of appearing "normal". Whatever that means! "What then? Are we better than they?" ROM 3:9

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Armor, Armour, Amore by Susan L.

"Confusion is the breeding ground of growth." This gem of an idea walked in off the street a couple days ago. It sparked a profound and insightful conversation amongst a group of ladies. It goes hand in hand with the Mandarin symbol for crises. It consists of two characters. One representing danger, the other, opportunity. When things aren't going well I've learned a lot about myself. My walk with Jesus began in the book of Ephesians. God's armor was what I needed to embrace in the beginning. I was surrounded by chaos both inside and out. The love stuff would have to wait. I couldn't have received it then anyways. Love, at that time in my life, meant hurt, abuse and betrayal. Armor and fighting for survival I understood. God took my confusion, my crises, and turned on my brain. My coping skill of numbing my mind and emotions could no longer serve. The sword of the Spirit sliced through the blanket of lifelong depression so I could focus on God. At that time it was a golden filament that enabled me to be willing to live another day. And another and another after that. It has grown stronger through many crises and mountains of confusion until here I am. Slightly battered, often confused, and regularly overwhelmed. I am gradually embracing the idea that this is good. History has shown that in these times of human upset I am growing to understand the love of God even more. "Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air." 1 For 9:26

Friday, 24 May 2013

Can't by Susan L.

One of the tasks that's been hanging over my head is writing a personal status report for disability. It's been sitting on my table for longer than it should but I couldn't seem to bring myself to the point of being able to face doing it. It's taken the events of the last couple of weeks for me to face reality and grasp the understanding of where I am in my recovery. Most of this is recognizing what I need to do in order to keep working or rather, what I need NOT to do! I tend to choke on the word, "can't'" because a whole lot of ego gets in the way. I am reflecting on Canadian culture because it's all I know. The words, "I can't" create condemnation disguised as encouragement. "Yes you can! You should! You must! Don't be a quitter!" Let's toss in, "wimp!" Boy. I hear myself loud and clear. "Who is he who condemns?" ROM 8:34

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Overdose Training by Susan L.

Yesterday was a full day staff enrichment program. We had a couple of wonderful women come to the Richmond Hill Kras man centre to do a workshop. It was about how to recognize an overdose situation and what steps to take. They came as peers and shared some of their stories of addiction. It was an eye opener. Neither "looked" like the "type". Overdose situations aren't restricted to the stereotypical person with addiction struggles. Little old ladies can of on prescription meds just as easily. This is a situation that can touch all of us at some time. I also walked away with the understanding that I know far more about these situations than I realized having experienced someone who had God's on alcohol. It was scary but at that time, I only had gut instincts to go on when the person lay comatose on the kitchen floor. I called 911. Not a happy memory but I can give thanks for the experience. It will serve me well. "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow." Mk 4:3

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Gradual Accomplishments by Susan L.

The only area I haven't really done any landscaping was under the living room window. I was given a gift card for a local nursery so with a sense of adventure it was off to shop. I've decided to forego church for a while. This area was one of my "had to do's". The good thing is it wasn't a chore at all. Yesterday was spent puttering and mucking around my flower beds: moving, dividing perennials, pruning, planting and watering. I got good and dirty spending most of the day on my knees. I felt more connected to God than I have felt in a while. The lilac bushes are in full bloom. My house is almost surrounded so their sweet and powerful fragrance is everywhere. Inside and out. Natures incense. Giving up the veggie garden was the best decision. I am simply anticipating the grass seed growing. Nothing says hope like planted seeds. "The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come." Song 2:12

Is There Something? by Susan L.

Yesterday I met another person connected to my ex-husband. I don't know why, but he felt he needed to tell me all about him. I don't believe in coincidence. That is two people in less than a month. Hearing about his sad existence as an alcoholic is sad. It isn't anything I didn't already know from my marriage. At that time, nothing I said or did could turn him from that path. That choice has to come from within. May God have mercy on him because honestly, there's days I can't feel merciful towards him. Alcoholism creates a truckload of collateral damage. Some of these wounds have been healed. I acknowledge it's okay to be angry about others. Being angry doesn't mean I haven't made the choice to forgive. Being angry is being honest. The challenge, as a follower of Jesus, is to be angry at the sin. That way I am able to maintain compassion for my ex in his brokenness. Some days it is very hard. Others, not so much. I can give thanks for the amazing healing the Lord has brought me. Some things simply need more time. There may be some wounds that will never have full closure until the Lord takes me home. I can live with that. My heart is always open for more healing though. I am sure this quotation has come up before but this is where the Lord led me this morning. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable perfect will of God." ROM 2:12

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Brainstorming Bits by Susan L.

Being overwhelmed creates mental paralysis. Now the door's been opened, it's time to prioritize what's important to improve my state of mind. I need to give a voice to the turmoil of emotions these decisions create. (Sounds like WRAP, wellness Recovery Action Plan!) Church is a biggy. No. This is connected to my therapist. After being together for seven years, we are slowly lessening the frequency that we meet. We've come a long time way together and this is a good sign but it is frightening to face the absence of someone who has been an integral part of my life. That's part of why I started going back to church. Trying to establish a support system before flying solo, so to speak. It hasn't gone well. I like the pastor. He's a wonderful and approachable man. The people are warm and welcoming. Sunday services are simply too noisy, too busy. Fighting panic attacks is not conclusive to connecting with God. I have left church every Sunday emotionally and physically drained. I think I'll set this on the back burner to simmer for a while. Deciding not to go has stirred up its own stew of emotions. I need to hear the words, "It's not a failure!" "We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us." 2 Car 10:12

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Prioritization by Susan L.

The mini-meltdown finally came yesterday. It's been building for a while. It's all about feeling overwhelmed. I went to the center, not wanting to be alone with the turmoil of emotions that had swept over me. It was the smart thing to do. That's what peer support is. Sometimes we give, sometimes we receive. I was able to sort through everything I felt I "had to do". This is in quotes because the old issues of performance were chewing away at my equilibrium. On the way home I bought a bag of grass seed to fill in my veggie garden. It's one job I don't need to take on this summer. Last year I wasn't working so the garden wasn't an issue. It felt good and a wave of relief swept over my heart as I scattered the seeds. This is a different kind of harvest. There's still more to coincider. I want to keep working. What else do I need to surrender in order to work and stay well? The answers will come. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul." Mat 16:26

Friday, 17 May 2013

Saturday Sunday Drive by Susan L.

Or maybe it's a pilgrimage. My friend and travelling companion are heading out tomorrow on a day long road trip/picnic/hike. The weather is supposed to be fine for such things and I am looking forward to it. My sketchbook is coming, too. I'd been wanting to draw some clouds and old barns for reference material. I hope there will be an opportunity. Mind you, clouds can be drawn while moving. The barns, not so much. Everything, chore wise, can wait. The work is always there. Road trip opportunities celebrating God's land and creations are not to be missed. "I will also meditate on all Your works, and talk of Your deeds." PS 77:12

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Withdrawal by Susan L.

I've been on a huge learning curve by being blessed to help one of the bravest people I've ever met. Their story is one of courage, of determination and sacrifice. I am humbled in seeing only glimpses of their fight which comes at an incredible mental, emotional and physical cost. I never realized what it can take to be clean and sober. That's all for today. "Concider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes." PS 13:3

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Writer's Nest Topic: Pebbles by Susan L.

There was a mountain, once upon a time, that touched the very sky. Wispy clouds parted far below the icy, snow clad peak that reached where the air was thin. She looked down upon her neighbours, the cliffs, the glaciers, and the people she had heard about but couldn't see. Although, their ploughed fields, their woods and winding roads filled the land to its very end. She was ancient, ageless and proud. The weather best upon her breast: the frost, the rain, the heat of the day, the chill of the night for time untold. Green things: twisted, stunted trees adorned her wherever they could find a small crevice that held a tiny bit of earth. They clung desperately to her harsh and inhospitable cliffs, slowly driving their seeking roots ever deeper into her sides. Her stony heart gloated, "Invincible!" She sneered, "Mighty!" She crowed to the world around, "Magnificent!" Her days were spent admiring her reflection in the turquoise mountain lakes she'd trapped. One summer day, a storm rolled in; black and billowing, not able to pass her. Bigger and fiercer the swirling clouds gathered and bumped together. Rumbles of the storm's thunder called to the mountain, "Please, let me pass!" He growled in his deep voice. She simply smirked and mocked him, confident in her strength and power. The storm shook his thunderhead in dismay. Everyone was tired of the mountain's conceit and pride. With a mighty roar, he aimed a single bolt of lightning at a crack a tiny tree had opened. This was the final blow in the war of time. The earth shook and rocked as the mountain fell. Great clouds of dust filled the air where the mountain had once stood. All that was left of her mighty cliffs, her soaring peak was a jumbled heap of jagged, shattered stone. A giant boulder was all that remained of her heart. She ranted and raged and hated the trees and the storms. She wept bitter tears over all she had become. Age upon age passed. Snow, sleet, rain filled newborn rivers that once were captive lakes. The rushing waters eroded her heart breaking it smaller and smaller. The water rounded and polished the razor sharp edges and scattered the pieces far and wide. A carpenter's Son ran upon a sandy beach playing tag with the waves as boys like to do. A retreating wave left a tiny stone shining brightly in the sun. It was smooth and soft with gold and silver flecks that danced in the light. Delighted with this little treasure, He raced to show His dad what He had found. It was only then the mountain understood the reason for her fall. She could finally forgive the storms and trees that had brought her to her knees. Safe and warm in the Child's palm, she realized it wasn't about being the best, the biggest or the most powerful. Her purpose in time was to grow to be a pebble. One that was just as beautiful as when she had filled the sky.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Reunion by Susan L.

My high school is celebrating its fiftieth year at the end of the month. It doesn't seem that long ago that the twenty-fifth was held. I didn't go then but I might go to this one. I have connected with a few people lately via the school's Facebook page. One of these people was my best friend from grade six through nine until she moved thousands of miles away. We lost touch. Actually, she found me after I hooked into the school. It was wondeeful to reconnect with her. The years somehow melted away and we've kept in touch. Those were simple days. Endless days. Games of Canasta, listening to music, singing along. Sleeping out on the back porch in August. Teaching her dog to jump like a horse. Wishing the dog was a horse. Dreams of cycling across the USA. Summer on a horse farm riding, daydreaming. The last days of childhood. What wonderful treasures. Maybe I'll go to the reunion after all. "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgramage." Ps 84:5

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Choice Moments by Susan L.

It's all about choices and having an arsenal of wellness (warfare?) tools nearby. I cranked up the worship music yesterday and it raised my spirits out of the valley for a little while. Long enough to get some much needed household chores accomplished. That also has helped. I am feeling much lighter today, not so overwhelmed. Sleeping late this morning has helped, too. Being over tired hasn't helped matters. Although, I have a question. How come the cat ended up with the lion's share of the bed? Having missed church this morning, I've realized what a huge stressor it is. I don't want it to be. I don't want to avoid it because it is challenging. It's not the people. They are most welcoming. It's my stuff, the nervousness, the wariness. But then, bulldozing over my feelings is not the best thing to do either. That's the old way of surviving and extremely unhealthy. Maybe I need to re-think this. Maybe I need to slow down a bit. That's okay. (I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The weight of performance and expectations. ) Thank You, Abba. "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you." 1 Pet 5:10

Saturday, 11 May 2013

What's Up? by Susan L.

It's been hard to get out of bed these last few weeks. Broken sleep and a heavy heart make the days long. Just getting caught up on laundry feels like a monumental task. Never mind what's on the need-to-do and want-to-do lists. Feeling this way is frightening. Is this just the beginning? I've been worse. Sure don't want to end up there again. And the loaded questions follow: what's wrong with me? Why.... I admit there hasn't been a lot of thinking lately. Classic avoidance. It's high time to have a heart to heart with my Father. Fear is a great devourer of motivation isn't it? What ifs gnaw away the hopes for tomorrow. And therein lies the answer. My world has shrunk into the old and familiar keep on trucking lifestyle with no sense of a future. A sure fire sign of depression. I've tasted it, the future I mean. My battered and struggling soul longs for that joy in possibilities to return. I am tired of living an existance. I want life with a capital "L"! Maybe tomorrow will be better. "Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me." Ps 139:16

Friday, 10 May 2013

Clouds by Susan L

I'd like to be able to paint clouds better than I do. Every sky is so illusive and unique. It's hard to capture a single moment. It's challenging to create the sense of movement in the static mediums of paint and paper. I spend time sky watching, even chasing summer thunderstorms with my camera in hand. We get some spectacular storms here in Ontario in August. April, the beginning of tornado season, brings its share of awe inspiring skies. These storms violently sweep in, snarling and flashing, but don't usually last that long. Sometimes the only proof they ever existed is wet, steamimg roads and a glistening freshness to the air. I was terrified of thunderstorms as a child. They still make me nervous even though I'm all grown up and understand the scientific mechanics. The big storms somehow make me feel so tiny and helpless. Thunderstorms are going to come and there's nothing I can do but wait until it's over. "He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven." Ps 107:42

Thursday, 9 May 2013

A Softened Stance by Susan L.

My houseguest, Fred the cat, has finally accepted me. Last night he came, demanded cuddles, and actually slept in my rocking chair before curling up at my feet on the sofa. He later discovered me in bed and slept most of the night there. That was true risk taking. I am an extremely restless sleeper. He's disappeared back downstairs to his safe place this morning. Probably because I kept him awake and alert to the danger of thrashing limbs all night. Okay. My heart is softening. Maybe a hairless cat would be okay to have as a pet. Mind you, it's a known fact that fuzz therapy is beneficial to both physical and mental well being. There was a shift yesterday. I finally shed the last traces of guilt, regret and sadness attached to owning or being responsible for animals. My heart now truly understands that the farm situation wasn't my choice. It just grew into a nightmare and was a means of controlling my freedom. Thank God I was able to say no to a goat dairy operation (definitely not my idea!) because then I would have been tied to the clock 365 days a year. This time it will be me who makes the choice or better yet, I'll let God create the opportunity of pet ownership. If nothing comes of it I'm okay with that. "Knowing that from the Lord you will see the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Col 3:24

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Losses' Gain by Susan L.

Yesterday's cat blog stirred up a cascade of animal memories. My ex-husband was a wannabe farmer. Long story, but because he worked outside the home, the responsibility fell on my shoulders. At our largest we had nearly fifty mixed sheep and goats, seven cows with calf, the bull, eight horses, copious amounts of free range chickens, ducks and geese, and a pair of llamas to guard the flock. There were a couple of Welsh Black pigs, too. Oh, in the spring there was the added work of raising 150 meat chickens. There were fatalities: accident, illness, stillborn, age and ignorance took their toll. In the latter years before we sold everything and I left, the coyotes wreaked havoc with the sheep. I know that without the llamas, there would have been far more deaths. Every single death eroded my heart and spirit. Every loss cut me to the core. Willingly or unwillingly, I was their shepherdess. The final blow came when I held a lamb whose throat had been ravaged by a coyote. He died in my arms, covering me with his blood. I simply couldn't take any more grief. I felt myself slide deeper into what I know now was severe depression. God had plans. Shortly after, my ex confessed his infidelity. His actions set me free. I found Jesus. The Lord has used this particular memory over and over. He has redeemed the despair and heartbreak to the point I can now give thanks. For me, it is the greatest tool of embracing what being covered by the blood of the Lamb truly means. "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him." Rev 22:3

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pets by Susan L.

My friend's cat has finally made an appearance. It took nearly a week for him to emerge from his hidey hole in the basement. He's been eating so I knew he was around somewhere. Now he is accepting my presence and a good old fashioned belly rub. He is still uncomfortable upstairs which suits me fine. It's spring so he's shedding. I'd been toying around with the idea of getting a kitten. Fred's copious amount of hair loss quickly changed my mind as I rub my nose and sneeze. I worry about him, too. Perhaps more so because he isn't mine. When I had my own cat I used to worry about him, too, when I wasn't home. Daniel vanished one night and I was devastated. That's something I don't want either because I can't help but become attached to furry love. I think I'll stick to goldfish and even then, having the same ones for four years, maybe it's time I named them. How does Goldie One and Two, Patch and Whitey sound? "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them." Gen 2:19

Monday, 6 May 2013

Strange Happenstance by Susan L.

I don't believe in coincidence any more. I do believe that God has set things in motion according to His plans for our lives. Yesterday saw me fearfully indecisive about going to church. My spirit resounded with a hearty and encouraging, "Go!" On the way, as I stopped at a red light, I looked at the driver of the truck which had pulled up beside me. To my surprise, I recognized my ex brother-in-law who I hadn't seen for years. He looked away as we sat there and never once turned his face towards me. Initially, I was unsettled by this "chance" meeting. Triggers and all that. It's a long and not very pretty story. Then I realized, he couldn't look at me for whatever reason. His actions validated the understandings which were exposed only a short while ago about responsibility. Thank You, Lord, for divine appointments. "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops." Mat 10:277

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Let the Sun Shine In by Susan L.

It felt good to get out into the garden yesterday. I got my decorative pond cleaned out and the pump installed. It sure is nice to hear the little waterfall burbling away. I'm know the fish will be happy to be outside again in a couple of days. The well water is too chilly so it needs to warm up first. The four leaf clovers have returned, bringing a smile to my face. I didn't pick the three I saw. Gonna let them flower and seed. When I mow the lawn, I'll miss that area. It needs mowing. The warmth has stirred tremendous growth and I need to stay on top of it or it chokes my mower. I was given a rain barrel so I need to build a platform to raise it high enough to attach the hose. God has provided once again. I'd been wanting one for a couple of years. Chickadees are building a nest in a bird house I hung from the clothesline pole. High compliments to my iffy construction. Maybe the paint job sold them on this fine piece of real estate. I feel like the birds with this blog. Springtime chatter and song. It's a celebration, really. Winter has come to an end and being outside connecting to nature eases the troubles of last week. "The Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed." Gen 2:8

Friday, 3 May 2013

Simply Bizarre by Susan L

I was outside last night just as the stars were beginning to appear. It was a beautiful spring evening. A man I didn't recognize walked past. Then he came back. He must not have seen me because when he reached my driveway, he bent over and scooped up the weekly newspaper. It had arrived only a short time earlier and I hadn't collected it yet. "What are you doing with my paper?" I called out. It must have startled him because I heard a thud as he dropped it. This morning it's nowhere to be found. I live on a country road. Pedestrians are rare. I have no way of knowing where he came from. It wasn't a neighbour, they get the same paper. I know them anyways. It wouldn't have been prudent to chase him. He was a fairly big man. Odd. Baffling. Somewhat disturbing. Is this petty act related to last Saturday's phone call? I hope not. "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; may He send you help from the sanctuary." Ps 20:1

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Just Okay by Susan L.

It's funny how quick we are to say we're okay when someone asks, "How are you?" It was a long day yesterday with work and a trip to the city for the monthly PREFER meeting. My travelling companion wasn't able to go and I sorely missed her company. On the drive there and back, I ended up chewing over what's going on behind the scenes. Even though I gave the reqired response, "I'm okay" to those who asked. Most of my ruminations were about what happened over the weekend. It made me realize how insulated my life has been. Safe. As I worked my way to recovery only venturing out to seek help from my supports. It makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to function in the 'real world" for any length of time. My forays into church haven't gone that well. Okay. I'm being hard on myself again. The last nine years, I've been relatively alone due to several major upheavals in my life. My time has been spent in the resulting struggles with PTS and major depression. The related traumas of "losing my mind not once but twice have swallowed a good chunk of those years. Thank You Lord for this insight: the previous decade saw me grow more and more isolated. It's a tool of abusers as a means of control. It's been a long haul, really. Help me Lord, learn to trust in the way You have laid out for me. No matter where it may go. "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path." Ps 142:3

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Cat Prayers by Susan L.

A friend of mine is going to be away for a couple of weeks. Her original cat sitter backed out last moment so she called and asked if I would look after him. There's now a cat somewhere in the house. I haven't seen him yet this morning, poor fellow. The new surroundings have quite unnerved him. Last night he made a brief apoearance from under the guest room bed. He emerged seconds after I prayed to the Lord to reassure him that this is a safe place for him. I'd forgotten how quickly animals respond to the Lord whispering in their ear. Hopefully a day in his new surroundings will see him relax a bit. He's an affectionate cat and likes to be petted. My friend needs prayer, too. She's entering a lions' den and is going through a difficult time. Lord, be with her. Let her feel Your presence every waking moment. These things I pray in Jesus' name, amen. "My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me." Dan 6:22