Maybe, Just Maybe

Four years. 

At first I thought that my actions insured the consequence of my having to rely solely on myself to survive. I believed that getting a divorce meant God could (or would) not bless me, support me, or assist me, but then he caused things to fall into place (behind the scenes) when I would run into obstacles, enabling me to overcome and move forward.
Because of these occurrences, I adjusted my thinking to accept that God allowed the rain to fall on the just and the unjust – But there was something else. 

He was carrying me. 
I was blinded by pain and I knew it. 

I couldn’t see where I was going. I was stumbling on the path, yet He was there for those blind years, leading, guiding, showing me which way to turn when I came up against a wall. 
Little by little, God has continued to draw me closer, and I have learned that He still wants relationship with this broken woman, which blows me away. I’m still smudged with soot on the inside of me, like a fireplace chimney.

When I first found the Lord, my life changed dramatically. I wanted to do great things for Him, big big things, but I didn’t do great things at all, in fact, my life was something I was often ashamed of.

What if…

What if I, like Sarah, tried to make things happen in my own strength due to my own natural reasoning, instead of simply living and obeying God while allowing Him to do what He has always done,

Bring it to pass –
In His way

In His Time

By His Spirit.

Do I understand God’s grace spilling onto my life?

No, nor do I advise going through a divorce to learn about His unconditional love, and faithfulness,

But I marvel as He continues to call me even still.

It causes flickers of hope to ignite within my depths that maybe, just maybe, God’s original plan for my life will be realized just yet.

– leah

My Pastor Said, “Timing”.

No matter how Broken You Are,
No matter how low you feel,
No matter how blind you are,
I promise
The God of Heaven sees you.

On the way home I was thinking about when the disciples asked Jesus why a certain man was blind.
It was on my mind because of a conversation I had with my pastor a few weeks ago.

I asked for five minutes.
He gave me five times three.
How many of you know that in the land of the busy, five minutes times three is a very long time?⌚:)

Back to the story,
While driving home I thought of the section where this blind man was healed.
Jesus didn’t leave him like he found him. ♥

Blindness.
The inability to see.

It isn’t just the eyes that can be blind, is it?
We can be blind to our own behavior,
our self-sabotaging ways,
and our flaws.

We can even be blind to a solution when we seek one.
And I was blind to a solution
For a long time.

I didn’t want to be blind,
and looked for a way to receive sight. I needed a mystery to be solved.
I wanted to fix what was broken because I was so tired of the cloud around me,
Like the cloud of dust that Pig Pen kicks up wherever he goes.

The untraceable scent that it produced – It was stubborn – and I couldn’t wash it off.
I couldn’t rinse it down the drain, like I do my make-up.
It was in my pores, and it emanated from me, the way the smell of smoke sticks to a person after they’ve been camping.

But –
God didn’t leave things that way.
He gave me sight.

The pastor was preaching, on a regular Sunday morning, and I was taking notes, when all of a sudden,
“click. click. click.”
Just like that,
Every missing piece slid into place.

I had the answer.
Mystery revealed.
Blind eyes opened.
Solution in my hands,
mixed with ink that was flowing from my pen,
taking solid form as words were spread across the page.

I wrote
quickly, furiously, hurriedly,
Capturing and preserving every word that detailed the answer to a problem that had plagued me
all
my
living
life.

And I wanted to tell the pastor what had happened in his church.

When I did, haltingly and choppily, because I cannot speak as well as I write, I detailed how long I’d searched.
He told me, “It was God’s timing.”.

He didn’t say, “Yeah, I’m anointed like that.”
He didn’t say, “I get that a lot, Alma. Wherever I go, Breakthroughs a-plenty.”
No.
He said, “Timing.”

And I stared at him, (which is what I do when several reactions occur at once).
I stare because when so many things ::can:: be said, I have to select very carefully what I choose to say,
To communicate.

I opened my mouth and said, “Oh.”.
Yeah, I am all about the brilliance.
I said,
“Oh. I thought it was because of this place.”.
And then I asked, “Why would I not find the solution to this issue for more than 40 years? Wasn’t it the anointing, here?”.

I don’t remember his exact response, so I am not going to write anything, I just know he was patient, and that, as I left, the word “Timing” continued to resonate inside of me.

Which brings me back to the original topic.

Jesus healed a blind man and “his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”.

Jesus basically told them that he was born blind for that day of his healing – because the greatness of the work of God would be shown to all through that situation.

And as I drove, I wept.
I wept and considered a child, an adolescent, a teen, a young adult, learning to live with an impediment in that era.

The son, the mother, the father, friends, family, etc…
All whose lives were touched, affected,
who supported,
who adapted to the situation,
Who gave grace.

I thought about the culture then, in which someone who was blind lived, and I wondered how they supported themselves.
Did he have a girlfriend?
Was there someone he wanted to marry?
Did they try to go to doctors to correct the blindness,
the way I went to counselors looking for my solution?

And were they just as frustrated and discouraged as I when they couldn’t find it?

And then,
What did he think when he found out he was especially chosen by God for that day, that time, at that hour?
So that God could show everybody in the world that he was real…
And Cared.

What was it like for him to know that he was chosen,
Not because God was cruel,
Heavens no.
But because God ::made him:: to be able to withstand that temporary suffering – knowing that he was going to bless him with deliverance later.
What was it like to be chosen?

The Lord is weaving a magnificent tapestry and everyone is a thread.
When it’s finished, we are going to marvel at its beauty and be glad we were involved.

Each one of us has a purpose,
A plan that God designed when he formed us in our mother’s womb.

Each one of us has a struggle that we deal with and some of those things are temporary,
but others cannot be removed unless God supernaturally intervenes.

When he does…
For he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him,
he will do it in such a way that no human will be able to lift their hand and say that they were the one who made it happen.

When God sets a person free,
He does it in such a way but there is no doubt about who was at work in that situation.

And he does those things to show his love for all of Humanity on this planet.

No matter how Broken You Are,
No matter how low you feel,
No matter how blind you are,
I promise
The God of Heaven sees you
And He knows with what you are dealing.

There will come a day when he will remove the thing that makes you less than what you could be.

When he does –
You won’t be blind anymore.

It will be your responsibility
Not to walk forward,
But to run.

To run forward
Looking ahead,
With your two
Good
Blessed
And beautiful
Miracle-seeing eyes.

– leah ♡

Sunlight is Dim

Nothing is the same
Without you here.

The sunlight is dim.
The flowers smell sweet,
But I can’t breathe them in.
The days are warm now,
But I’m cold, even so.
It’s spring,
And summer waits to embrace,
But nothing is the same
Without you here.

No sparkling eyes laughing at my jokes.
No smile to add happiness to my day.
No sound of your voice.
No view of that expression on your face.

You probably didn’t know how much you mattered.
Or that your presence in a room brought it to life.
How one look from you made my thoughts scatter.
The way bees in search of honey leave the hive.

I wait.
For sun to shine again,
And water beckon.
For scent of rain to give me what I lack.
The sound of laughter during pleasant moments
Appreciation for the little things,
A heart that learns to feel again,
Acceptance of the truthful things,

The fact that you may never find your way back.

The 5th Wave – A book review.

I read _The Fifth Wave_ this week;
A book I wanted to complete before seeing the movie.
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It was prose and science fiction in one book.
I’ve never read a book quite like it.

The characters are developed well and I bonded with a couple of them even while waiting to get a good grasp on a couple of others.

Because it was science-fiction, I struggled to comprehend some facets of the plot,
Necessary facets for space travel and an alien invasion.
So I’d read those spots over again until I caught on.

My mind has always had a hard time comprehending science.
It’s a gift I lament not possessing.

To continue –
Wrapped up in this battle for survival, involving very real gunfire sequences, and wars fought in the mind as one attempts to ascertain who is enemy and who is not,
Is this magical, lyrical, poetic style of writing that soothes your soul,
Even as you allow yourself to think about the unthinkable.

And Rick Yancey is genius;
Mixing terrible with beautiful in one prosey sentence,
slipping past barriers we naturally construct in our minds.

He enters our hearts with this story and life-lessons, and he touches those hearts with love in between necessarily gruesome incidents.

A love story hides within the pages.

It is quiet and soft and surprising, and you accept it,
even as you accept the reality of shrapnel being dug out of bodies with military issued knives,
and heads being blown off by artillery,
And killing in cold blood to live one more day,
Or to preserve the human race against insurmountable odds,
To preserve your own life,
Or what is left of it.

You accept this quiet love story woven in the bloody tapestry because you need to find beauty in the willingness to kill in order to survive,
Or to protect
Someone you love.

Do I recommend the book?
Yes.
Yes.
And Yes, again.
I will read it once more, highlighting the quotes that rung true in my spirit.

Do I recommend it for children?
No.

For teens, and adults,
Yes.

It is beautifully written;
Intelligent and harsh,
ghastly, and magical and wonderful,
All at once.

An adventure
And some lessons
Inhabit its pages
For those who are willing
To find them.

– Leah

I am no bird. No net ensnares me.

This may be one of my favorite quotes in the world.
And it’s so hard to choose just one.

Being in a very authoritarian marriage, where our church preached something called “Spiritual Authority”, a concept backed up by many biblical scriptures,
A woman was to submit to her husband whenever there was an impasse in decision making.

Example, (a benign one)
Man wants to spend 100$ on item A.
Woman wants to spend 100$ on item B.
Conflict.
Man pulls submission card.
The end.

Maybe the woman’s choice was for the family instead of herself.
Maybe it was the wiser choice.

If a man is not humble enough to consider the intelligence of his wife…

If a man is selfish and has lost sight of his mission to be a servant to his family, to follow the example of Christ, who washed the feet of all twelve of his disciples,
Who died for them and for us,

If a man is short-tempered, and full of himself, loving himself before his wife and children,
He could snap at his wife right away, pulling the “I’m the boss around here.” reminder card out of his pocket, and silencing her.

I didn’t do many things I wanted to do because I obeyed.
I didn’t work,
Attend college,
Or Pursue a career.

Grow as a human.
As an intellectual.

I educated myself with Readers Digest Classics and other books I’d check out or purchase.

Mi mente tenia hambre.
My mind was hungry.

What a revelation, to read _Jane Eyre_.
To read of a girl, lost and rejected, mistreated,
Then placed in an orphanage to be mistreated further, but to find a friend who taught her about God.

There, Jane and Helen learned what true godliness was, even as religion in its unyielding granite-like hardness oppressed them.

They created a warm nucleus of friendship and learning of Christ and they existed that way until Helen died.

Jane is plain.
And poor.
But her spirit found expression in her resolve to survive and in her sketches.

And a very strong and stern man fell in love with her.

image

He was married, though, to a mentally-infirmed woman watched over night and day by nurses he hired.
He fell in love with Jane and asked her to run away with him as man and wife where no one would know them.

During this moment of decision, she finds strength to rise up from within, to remain true to her values despite her desperate desire to say yes, and she protects her individuality, preserving her freedom.

Charlotte Brontê, alias Currer Bell,
In the 1800s,
Was setting women free in their hearts through her writing.

She sets people free today.
She lies in a grave but her words remain full of life,
Full of deliverance.

Exhortation to stand.
To not deny one’s self.
To allow the soul to branch out into greatness.
Despite what others, even those loved most, say.

I look back at the history of intermittent  violence in my marriage with a bit of shame.

My cousin (who survived cancer) asked me one night,
She and I were lying in bed together last August, for she’d come up from the Carolinas for a family reunion after her strength returned,
and we slept in the same room…
She asked me, “Why did you stay?”

How do I explain to my cousin, a fighter of, and victor over the invisible clutches of cancer, why I would stay in such a union, when I could have simply got into a car and driven away from it?

I had many answers and zero answers.

There ::is:: a helpless remorse that accompanies regret, and if I allowed it to, it would destroy me.
Like a thick gray cloud of smoke invades the lungs, remorse would invade any man’s senses until they ceased to try anymore.
It’s an ugly emotion and must be taken by the horns and forced to do good in a mind.

Become fuel that drives a body to rise up from ashes and live better.
Stronger.

No net of guilt.
No net of anguish.

Instead,
A Strong-Hearted human being who is NOT a trembling bird,
But a human with…
An independent will
That won’t be bent or twisted into a warped thing ever again.

The only chains I will ever have,
will be the chains that bind my heart to the heart of God,
who loved me ,
who designed me ,
who gave himself for me,
and who saw each tear when they fell.

Golden bonds of love we have,
Holding us together.

And it is He who works in me still,
Both to desire,
And do,
His will.
Even as he’s given me my own,
And the freedom that goes with it.

God Bless Currer Bell.
And Jane.
And Helen Burns who died prematurely,
But not before she shone the light of true Christianity in the freezing corridors where religion cast its shadow.

image

-leah

Feather Your Nest

“FEATHER YOUR NEST”
Words I saw painted on an outside wall of a store in Dundee, MI.

I thought about the words.
A gentle command to turn your house into a cozy place.
Not a showcase.
Not a gigantic window display.
But a home.

So many thoughts filled my mind as I drove down country roads to my own nest.
It isn’t feathered very well.

Sure, there’s furniture inside.
Blankets, pillows, some things that I love,
But it isn’t feathered.

Birds build their nests from sticks and mud, but then they look for soft things to make it warm.

God put that instinct inside of them.

And he put it inside of us, too.

I both love and hate where I live.
It is refuge, the place I landed when I had to go.

I had almost nothing yet everything at the same time,
because I had peace.

Why would I hate it?
Because my children aren’t in it.
Before,
I was baker, I was chef,
I was homeschoolMommy.
Mother.

I guess that’s why it isn’t very feathery.

But it’s been three years now.
And God was gently nudging when I read that painted wall in Dundee.

“Feather your nest, Alma. It’s time.”

And I agree with Him.
It’s Time.

image

– leah

Trump vs Kelly

I stand by Fox’s M. Kelly, and I liked her questions.
The left is going to hammer those same points in campaign ads, and sound bytes of Trump saying a woman would look beautiful on her knees will play so often – we will hear them in our sleep.

Especially if he ends up running against a woman.

If Trump can’t handle any heat here on his home turf during a debate,
He sure won’t be able to handle it on the world’s stage.

He was pouty, cranky, and arrogant.
He avoided answering questions and deflected more than the House of Mirrors at a carnival!

His apparent willingness to raise his hand regarding running on a 3rd party ticket shows anyone – who cares to see – where his heart lies.
It lies in winning winning winning,
Even if it costs the conservative movement the election.

I respect his intelligence,
But it ends there.

He is not a true conservative.
He is not able to see the big picture and step down like a gentleman, (if he isn’t selected) offering his vote and support to whomever the GOP nominates.

That alone should give a person something to think about when they are deciding how to cast their vote.

Any person arrogant enough to think that they would win an election on a 3rd party ticket is too blasted prideful to run this country properly.

They will think of themselves first.

They will NOT occupy the WH with the knowledge, attitude, or heart of a privileged servant of the American people, and no man or woman can properly lead a nation unless their heart is humble.

Trump is stubborn.
A wedge of division.

And when it comes to this nation’s chances of gaining truly conservative leadership, he is dangerous.
Because he will prevent success instead of provide it.

– Leah

The Sting of an Insect, Blind With Rage

I have the right to dress in a white sheet and preach white supremacy, but I don’t.
I have the right to create art that desecrates the image of Christ and his disciples, but I don’t.
I have the right to do a lot of things in this country – and I will defend the rights of others, even when I do not agree with them, because of the men who bled and died to defend our freedom.

But it is my opinion that to engage in behavior that disrespects and provokes others to wrath by purposely desecrating a symbol or person they esteem – even if they wrongly esteem them – is an act of poor judgment.
For example, Mohammed – who was not a prophet – but instead, a horrible, misguided,and deceived man, has followers which should be taught the truth, and the truth is, Islam is a cult ruled by men who are not taught to control their passions.

In many countries, even this one, they drape their women in black, punishing them for their beauty, because they cannot control the lust of their own eyes, and as a culture, overseas, the majority are not taught to manage their tempers, so some allow themselves to be worked up into a (murderous) frenzy when they are offended.

The creation of events – such as the one that recently took place in Texas – are unproductive.
No one is being encouraged, edified, instructed or even converted to a better understanding of the militant blood-thirsty pedophile that Mohammed was, and the freedom of speech, while being exercised, is not being publicized in a very flattering light.
It is categorized in the “How to Pick a Fight”section.

Having a “Let’s use our artistic ability to mock this villain” contest, is not only a poor usage of our freedom of expression, but it is the opposite of wisdom.

Engaging in provocation for the “Because I can and you cannot stop me.” reason is beyond the realm of peace-making activity and into the realm of idiocy.

I do not condone the stifling of creativity – but one should question their motives.
Does one really care about the thousands upon thousands of people who are deceived into living a life of oppression?
Is ::that:: why something is being drawn or painted?

And while I do not condone the reactions and actions of the men who attempted to take lives, (who could?)
Nor can I approve of, or condone the stupidity that pulled those termites out of the woodwork, either.

Shove a stick in a beehive and you will get stung.
It is a simple law of nature.

I saw a beehive once, in Mexico, about ten years ago.
My uncle had one – a gigantic one – in an avocado tree on his property in the country, away from the city.

He warned us before going over to see it – he told us to make sure we didn’t go near it or allow the children near it.
We took great care, let me tell you.

It was one of the largest natural beehives I had ever seen – a truly beautiful and terrifying display of God’s creative ability – it was the picture of teamwork, cooperation, and living in harmony.

Yet it was a lethal community, capable of killing if one wrong move was made. Not because bees are mean, but because they defend blindly what they’ve worked to build.
Welcome to many sects of Islam.

We didn’t stand there to look at the beehive for very long.
Why flirt with death?

What was my uncle going to do with that beehive?
I don’t know.
Maybe nothing.
It was a job for professionals.

Again, welcome to ISIS – or Al Queda – or the militant sects that have found branches here in our country to build a “beehive” of their own. They are out of control, another job for professionals.

Can you see what I am getting at?

Choose wisely how you utilize your freedom of expression in this country.
The man who established the Islamic faith is no one to look up to –
But the bees are not aware of that.

If you want to educate the deceived – you don’t do it by taking a stick and slamming it into their hive.

– leah❤

No Man Gets To Break You

I received communication today full of accusations regarding my divorce.

The accusations stated blatantly that I did not care about my children. They accused me of not putting them first when my marriage was in dire straits.
Of course the accusations were from a soul whose mind bore a one-sided perspective.

I cared about my children.
Of course I cared.
The main reason I stayed in the twenty-one year situation was for their sake.
Every storm weathered, every desire denied, every tearful night endured, every sacrifice made, every price paid was for my children.

Until my soul was almost shattered beyond repair like the windshield that bore the brunt of his most recent outburst of anger.

I lived in fear.
I lived alone.
I had no mate.
I had a master.

Like the woman in an airplane who puts the oxygen mask over her mouth before helping others, I did what I needed to do to stay alive so that my children would have a healthy mother.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a hospital unit.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a long-term mental health facility.
I didn’t want them laying flowers near a headstone with my name on it.

Yes.
I left.

I offered a six-month plan,
One that preserved sanity and postponed a permanent divorce situation.
The plan was rejected three times in one evening.
The door was closed.

Ladies who endure domestic violence for the sake of your children, this is what I learned:

You are building a glass house for your family.
When it breaks, everyone will bleed.
If you are fortunate, you will be able to prevent them from bleeding to death.
But the scars will show.

Your “mate” may never embrace the blame for wounding those who were in his charge.
He may play the victim whose spouse left him.
He could point a finger and accuse, “You didn’t love them, me, us, enough to stay.”.
Even if he does admit at least half of the blame, it is quite likely that you will be accused of not forgiving him.
It will not matter how many times you’ve forgiven him before.
If this occurs you must make yourself deaf to it and this is why:
Because no man gets to break you and then blame you for being broken.

No man gets to break you and then blame you for wounding your progeny when you leave to preserve your sanity.

No man gets to break you and then act like he is the victim.

Do you hear me?

No man gets to break you.

Look at your children and ask yourself,
What are they seeing?
What are they hearing?
What are they learning?

If you love your children, you will not subject them to negative images that will never leave their memories.
If you love your children you will remove them from the environment if it drains life from a soul.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would allow your child’s mate to treat them as you are currently being treated.
Answer all of these questions honestly, and then do what is right for your family.

You do not want to live in a house made of glass.

You can clean up the mess when it shatters,
But you will always see the scars.
And try as you might,
You will not be able to remove every bloodstain.

-leah

Rise up and Walk

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It is hard not to adore the first someone who treats you like the valuable thing that you actually are.

The one who sees you sitting on the floor and lowers their own body to the ground so they can speak to you eye to eye.
As equals.

It is easy to gaze at them with stars in your eyes.
So if you find yourself in love with that person, it is okay.
But…
You may have to release them.
Sometimes they are only there for a season.

But be patient with yourself if you do.
Those things don’t come to us overnight, and letting them go won’t happen overnight either.

Sit on the shore.
Watch the ship sail away.
Watch it as it shrinks to the size of a bath toy.
Watch the ship until it is a dot on the horizon.
Until it disappears.
And then get up.

Rise up and turn around, with the sea behind you and new paths before you.
You know who you are now.
What you are.

Rise up,
Turn around,
And walk.

– Leah