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

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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.

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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.

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-leah

Root Them Out

Today’s thoughts. 

I face painted a twin boy, once, whose twin had died.
He was four or five.
His mother told me in whispers that the brother died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
His father in prison.
He hit the child too hard in anger.

It is difficult to convey the turmoil and struggle for control as I painted the boy whose brother was killed,
trying to smile and be light-hearted while mom whispered a nightmarish story into my ear.

What they asked me to paint was the brother’s name on his arm. 
I did my job,
Compartmentalizing the horror, jamming my reaction into a box and shoving it down to contemplate later while I smiled and talked to the child whose arm was cradled in my hand.
The child condemned to a life without his twin by one angry man who blew it.

Ask Yourself, about the people in your charge…
– What type of person removes the blossom of a flower from its stem to crush the petals?
– What person cultivates a garden only to destroy it in a fit of temper?
Mommies?
Daddies?
When you are angry, how do you behave?
Husbands?
Wives?
How do you cultivate your garden?

God gave Adam a garden and he told him to care for it.
God has given one to you, too.
It is full of roses in bloom, dogwood trees with flowering branches, tulips and snapdragons and hardy mums…
How do you treat your loved ones when you’re angry?

Do you assault them?
With hands?
With words?
With shouting?

Consider the hard things today.
Look at yourself today.
Do not hide from You.

And remove the weeds you uncover.
Ruthlessly pull them out of the soil that is yours to care for. 
The health of your garden depends on it.

Seek the Master Gardener for assistance. 
Then rise up and walk.

Only a fool would turn to the most precious items in their life and destroy them in a fit of temper.

Let’s not be that fool.

The hard things.
The ugly things.
Face them.
Acknowledge them.
And Root. Them. Out.

– Leah

Leadership

There were times, I am sure, when Fletcher Christian regretted his decision.
Captain Bligh must have made things so miserable, that Christian felt he had no other recourse.
He is remembered and quoted as saying, “I am in hell. I am in hell.”  on that mutinous night.

The diverse outcomes were ruinous for many.

It reminds me of one of the ropes you would find on a great ship like the Bounty.
A gigantic thing made of many cords tightly wound together.
Braided into eachother…
Bonded.

Let them begin to fray.
Allow outside forces to break them down.
Do not care for the crucial tool properly, and as it begins to come apart from itself – As strands are loosed from one another – you will be left with a useless tangled mess.

Good leaders know how to keep each crucial piece connected to its brother.

Other leaders….
They may seem equipped for the job, but if you listen closely, you may hear one or more who serve beneath them crying in the night,
“I am in hell. I am in hell.”

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Unity. Many pieces wound together to create an item of substantial utility.

~ George Soros Advises Obama ~

How To Change a Nation

We find ourselves in the greatest battle of our lifetime. The Battle for the preservation of our nation and her liberties.

George Soros advises Obama to use forceful measures to override the will of the people. http://bit.ly/cp7Dap

If you read this article posted above, you will understand why I will forever say, that the fight for the preservation of the integrity and freedoms of this nation must be waged on our knees.

Were you aware that there are systems set in place that the President can abuse to force his “Vision for America” to come into being? He doesn’t need Congress.

“The Center for American Progress today is releasing a report, “Power of the President,” proposing thirty executive actions that the President can take to advance progressive change in the areas of energy, the economy, health care, education, foreign policy, and national security.

“The following authorities can be used to ensure progress on key issues facing the country today: Executive orders, Rulemaking, Agency management, Convening and creating public-private partnerships , Commanding the armed forces, Diplomacy…”

Thirty?!?

It seems that the President has plenty of people to help him remember each and every one of them, lest he forget and miss an opportunity to force his will into becoming reality.

There are two years ahead of us.

Two Years.

At the risk of sounding a bit doom and gloom, I have to say that there is a lot of damage that can be done in that time. We have no idea what plans the leader of our nation and his advisors may have.

Something that alarmed me greatly was said by President Obama on the The Daily Show on October 27th, 2010. Do you remember when he was called “Dude” by John Stewart? That hit the media like lightning, and it should have.  It also destracted from this statement that the President made:

“We have done things that some folks don’t even know about.”

Watch the link – it is at five minutes and 20 seconds.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-27-2010/barack-obama-pt–1

There you have it friends and lovers of liberty.

Our President has made it publicly known that there are things they have done that we don’t even know about.  Um, Who are “They”?
If this doesn’t send a chill down your spine……

{On a side note, I also found it ‘refreshing’ that the second thing the President said happened to be a slam against the Republican Caucus. Cheap shot, sir, On a show known for having a liberal audience…Way to go for the easy laugh.  Curiously, you didn’t mind smearing the men and women that represent more than half of your citizens on national television. Sadly, instead of making the Republicans look bad for not giving you a standing ovation every time you walk into a room, you made yourself look bad for wanting one.}

Without sounding ominous, I must stress that if we aren’t on our knees, sending our heart’s cry to the Lord of Heaven, there will be no victory even while our representatives do their best to make decisions that will reinforce the framework of this nation.

They have their own battle to wage and we must support them.
While our representatives are busy trying stop a runaway train, they are – no doubt – going to be approached by special interest groups.  There will be attempts to bribe them – yes – bribe them.  Not only that, but there will be political peer pressure applied to them.  Seasoned Congressmen will attempt to talk them into giving up a tiny battle to win the war. This is seductive reasoning that many have fallen prey to in the past.

We need to be in prayer that these freshmen in Washington will be able to stand in integrity and resist the voice of temptation.

Our Heavenly Father – He sees what we cannot.

We must rely on the One who does not slumber or sleep.

The God of Heaven and Earth.
The One who gives and takes away as He sees fit.

That includes the power to rule a nation.

Yes, we have power as Americans.
Yes, we can vote.
Yes, we can read and monitor the bills that are being written.

We can be a voice on the phone and a signature at the bottom of a letter or petition, but that is where it ends.

I stated above that we must wage battle on our knees. 

There is no victory without spiritual victory.

There is no spiritual victory without a heart of repentance and supplication.

If you are having a hard time thinking of what to ask forgiveness for while praying for your nation, start with abortion, then move to child pornography, sexual abuse and abduction, then you can move on to the physical abuse of children and spouses, I am sure that the sins of our nation will begin to come to the forefront of your mind the more you pray, and as your heart breaks for your country, you will love her more and more.

We are waging a battle to preserve the best freedom the world has never known.

We are waging a battle for the future of our children.

We are waging a battle against Socialism, Communisim and Terrorism.

We are trying to get our government under control – one that thinks it knows what is best for us, and that makes decisions for us instead of listening to us.

May God in Heaven grant us grace, mercy, and strength to fight a good fight.

May His will be done on earth exactly as it is in Heaven. No one says no to righteousness in Heaven.  There are no abortions there, no crime, no lies, no manipulative forces at play.

I also pray that He would benevolently grant us the victory only He can give, for we find ourselves in the greatest battle of our lifetime.
The Battle to Preserve True Liberty.

The Battle to Save America.

Almita