Blog Archives

Depression POINTS To Something More

@Grace2Grow: ‪#‎Depression‬ comes in MANY forms & 4varieties of reasons. For me one big issue: I perceive on an “intuitive” level &struggle 2identify ROOT.

* In fight against #Depression I PREACH 2myself: ‪#‎faith‬ = often NOT understanding. Still, God is pleasd I believ him when I dont FEEL like it.

* #Depression is very real for ALL, tho we like 2deny it. Perhaps bcuz #faith is supposed 2cureall. ‪#‎Jesus‬ IS our hope ESPEC in midst of fire.

* #Depression usually manifests when I’v tried 2TAKE OVR some aspect of my life – 2MAKE sumthin happen. ‪#‎EvidenceImNotYielding2SpiritsLeading‬.

* #Depression is not ALWAYS an indication of a lack of surrender. Sumtimes there’s grief that invades &drowns the voice of Hope. ‪#‎TheGoodFight‬

* More than ever Im persuaded that HOPE gives birth 2FAITH. So when Im battling #Depression I must actively HUNT 4voice of HOPE 2find LIFE.

* My experience = I can “feel” when weight of a #Depression (oppression) lifts. &Always this comes after I express my longing heart in prayer.

* I can KNOW I must pray & give my “groanings” 2God as an offering, BUT in midst of pain it feels like THE most impossible thing! #Depression

* It helps 2make a literal ‪#‎notetoself‬, even a tweet: God is faithful, our feelings lie, #Depression does NOT last forever, our ‪#‎HOPE‬ is sure!

Be BLESSED, Beloved ❤

~Leah

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“BETWEEN THE FOLDS”

As I was checking out after a recent dental appointment, a handsome, tall young man was approaching from my left side, pushing a wheelchair to go around behind me – the older, oxygen fed woman in his apparent charge was in need of the restroom.

“HELP ME!”

Initially, I made no other observation than this, until a moment later I hear the woman directly behind me crying, “HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!” and the young man – whom I now learn was only her taxi service – is nowhere to be found.  The woman couldn’t wheel herself into the tiny unisex, single door room, and she was exclaiming she couldn’t control herself and needed help right away!

I don’t work for the dentist office, nor for any care service; though I did once live with and care for an elderly lady in her home for almost two years, and I suppose my more “human” instinct took over.  (I didn’t even think about our litigious society – so I had no fear until AFTER the fact, that I could be sued for trying to help her!  Thank God nothing went wrong!)  I just took charge of her for a moment, straightened out her chair, helped her line up properly so we could inch her inside, had to lift the backside of her chair a couple times, and finally .. Success.  (During this process, I could see the 20 year old wide-eyed young girl behind the counter who had been checking me out after my own appointment was clearly trying very hard not to panic – she was sputtering and asking what she could do, thanking me profusely, and despite all the shuffling and awkward movements between the three of us, no one else around gave any indication of even noticing our little fuss.)

I asked the woman her name, gave her mine, told her I used to live with a lady and help care for her and I’d be glad to help, I just needed to know what she needed.  She said she could get herself up on the toilet herself, so I aimed to leave her in privacy – but explained I would leave the door unlocked if she needed anything.  I was waiting outside not even thirty seconds when she was crying for “HELP!” again.  I quietly entered, and found she had caught herself on her oxygen tubing with her pants half down, and she had clearly already wet herself – thankfully with some kind of absorbent undergarment, but she had no clean replacement on hand.  So I made sure she was sturdy holding herself up by the railing beside the toilet, got her untangled so her oxygen could flow freely, and then proceeded to help remove her soiled “adult diaper” and get her settled.  She couldn’t get on the seat properly by herself and wasn’t able to “aim” without risking further mess ..

“BETWEEN THE FOLDS”

She was a heavy woman – easily twice the weight she should have been.  And I learned she was only about sixty, though she looked twenty years older than her real age.  And her body put off a VERY foul odor .. her rolls of fat were marred with myriad stretch marks front and back, her skin pale and clammy, and between the folds was growing some kind of systemic yeast infection – the worst being a thick, blackened nastiness, visibly fuzzy, completely coating the crevice of her buttocks.  As I tried to help maneuver her, I couldn’t quite tell where her fat ended and her “real body” began, and apologized for my clumsiness – I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed ..

“LEFT ALONE”

In the end, she agreed to several folded paper towels, padded with toilet paper to soften, to replace her soiled absorbent padding.  We got her cleaned up and dressed and re-situated in her chair, mindful of the oxygen tubing, and wheeled her out just as she was being called back for her own appointment .. the hygienist obviously making the same erroneous presumption about me that I had made about the man who wheeled the woman in in the first place – that I was her care-giver.

I tried to graciously extricate myself – I had to get back to work!, and the woman was once again … left alone.

TWO POWERFUL OBSERVATIONS

1)  Thank you, Lord, that I was in the right place at the right time.  The woman needed help, and I was perhaps the best possible person to offer it in the moment.  I consider this a gift to the woman .. even if it was for just one tiny moment of her obviously difficult life ..

2)  The more painful observation .. I have lost over 130 lbs .. I need to lose about 30 more, and I will be (God willing) LESS THAN HALF the size I was when I started this journey … I WAS morbidly obese.  And at (then) 36 years old, I already looked at least 10 years older, and I was carrying rolls of fat riddled with stretch marks from years of abusing my own body. Please realize my above horrifying descriptions are not statements of judging this woman, but this woman IS what I could have become, but for the grace of God intervening in my life ..

“THERE, BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD, GO I ..”

I was disgusted with myself for being disgusted by this woman’s condition .. but I also was powerfully struck by the living example of a life imprisoned by the consequences of decisions (or a lack thereof) made during her earlier years. I KNOW obesity isn’t always or only the result of overeating. Mine was in large part an issue of spiritual strongholds, including a desire to HIDE from the sexual attentions of men as my way of dealing with some past abuse.

But sometimes it is just as simple, too, as realizing that our decisions DO have consequences.

Dear God, please let me sow good seed! ❤

Unintended Consequences

I have made a TERRIBLE mistake. 

The other night, I was up late, browsing online, and I stumbled onto a little tip from an otherwise reputable journalist concerning signing up for one of these “online survey” sites where you can get PAID to offer your OPINION.  Which for someone like me – with approximately as many opinions as I take breaths in a day – this sounds like a dream come true, right?

At last, over an hour into clicking here and clicking there, I am tired and it’s well past midnight, and I realize I’ve submitted my email address to half a dozen or so sites, completely awash with the foggy delight of possibly making a few dollars out of those extra minutes I “waste” by wandering around online any given day.

And then I woke up the next morning. 

In less than 24 hours I was ‘bot-blasted with hundreds of spam-like emails and over 20 phone calls to my cell phone for weight loss and educational offers – Oy! and to make matters worse, I had GUARDED against giving out my number for precisely the fear of landing in various telemarketing schemes that I would never be able to un-domino once the first piece was knocked over.  And with every escalating argument with a caller, and every half dozen new email “opportunities” from which I had to “unsubsubscribe” – the cumulative effect being the loss of HOURS of my time pooper scooping – HOURS for which I received precisely ZERO redemptive dollars, by the way – I could only keep hearing in my head the mantra of “Stupid Stupid Stupid Girl!”

I had brought this mess on myself in a moment of weakness.  And I couldn’t even really be justified in getting mad at these people – or the “system” I am so prone to rail against – because I had VIRTUALLY (literally) INVITED them into my world.

I allowed a tiny promise to deceive me into thinking I could “redeem” my wasted TIME, and it cost me far MORE in wasted time than I could have spent in all my online traffic in ten times as many days.

EVERY decision, whether it concerns the spending of a MINUTE or the spending of a DOLLAR, has consequences.

I am reaping what I sowed.

I must remember to view each of these things – my minutes, my dollars, my words, too – as SEEDS.  If I am more intentional about what I SOW, and if I am more attentive to the GUARDING of the field in which I am planting, I can have realistic CONFIDENCE about precisely what I will harvest and that my Produce will be healthy and nourishing in due season.

What a painful little reminder.  I am going to be cleaning up this mess for many days to come.  Here’s hoping that is the worst of my consequences.  😉

~Leah

PS – Related, here is a sermon by Pastor Chuck Stanley on Reaping and Sowing you might appreciate.  ❤

http://www.intouch.org/broadcast/video-archives/content/topic/the_principle_of_sowing_and_reaping_video

 

Cold blooded Christian?

“I believe that many professing Christians are cold and uncomfortable because they are doing nothing for their Lord; but if they actively served him, their blood would begin to circulate spiritually, and it would be well with them.”

~CH Spurgeon

Reflecting on Fear vs. Faith

Reflecting on Fear vs. Faith ~ some more recent tweets.

 

  • There is no place in the kingdom of God for ANY fear other than the fear of the Lord. As that is the beginning of true wisdom, its fruit is “perfect love” which CASTS OUT ALL OTHER FEAR.

 

  • Fear of God, the beginning of wisdom, is the BIRTHPLACE of Faith. But any other fear is an ENEMY of Faith, exposing IDOLS in our hearts.

 

  • We knowingly &UNknowingly become SLAVES 2being thought well of by others & make costly sacrifices 2obtain their good opinions. #FEAROFMAN

 

  • Scripture tells us the Righteous walk by FAITH not sight. When we “fear” the unknown, we expose a heart idol: I wish I were “god” of my own life! That is the true “original sin.”

 

  • “Faith” is not blind bravery. Faith comes by hearing the WORD OF GOD. Do u feel afraid? anxious/worried? My rule 4myself: “Flee 2the Word!”

 

  • [progression of YIELDING]  ….  I THINK I CAN! -> I thought I could -> I think I can’t -> I know I can’t! -> I think He would? -> I think He can! -> I KNOW HE WILL!

 

I think there is a future book in these reflections….

 

Be Blessed!

~Leah

 

Even So, Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!

Listening to the radio on the way back from Dr. appt ~ talk show reflecting on nature of Heaven according to Scripture, and the very “physical” (in contrast to misconception of “ghostly”) experience we will have there. I was SO blessed to be reminded of the truths laid out in Revelation 21 and 22, and where we will be together forever with our Lord! … 

“Then he who is seated upon the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new!’ … Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the thirsty water without price from the fountain of life. The victorious shall inherit these things, and I will be God to him and he will be son to me….‘ … Then he carried me away in spirit to the top of a vast mountain, and pointed out to me the city, the holy Jerusalem, descending from God out of Heaven, radiant with the glory of God. Her brilliance sparkled like a very precious jewel with the clear light of crystal.

“…I could see no Temple in the city, for the Lord, the Almighty God, and the Lamb are themselves its Temple. The city has no need for the light of sun or moon, for the splendour of God fills it with light and its radiance is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. The city’s gates shall stand open day after day—and there will be no night there. Into the city they will bring the splendours and honours of the nations. But nothing unclean, no one who deals in filthiness and lies, shall ever at any time enter it—only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Then he showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal as it flowed from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the street of the city and on either bank of the river grew the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, a different kind for each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

“Nothing that has cursed mankind shall exist any longer; the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be within the city. His servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name will be upon their foreheads. Night shall be no more; they have no more need for either lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will shed his light upon them and they shall reign as kings for timeless ages.

“Then the angel said to me, ‘These words are true and to be trusted, for the Lord God, who inspired the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must shortly happen.’

“‘See, I come quickly! Happy [Blessed!] is the man who pays heed to the words of the prophecy in this book.’ … ‘See, I come quickly! I carry my reward with me, and repay every man according to his deeds. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End. Happy [Blessed!] are those who wash their robes, for they have the right to the tree of life and the freedom of the gates of the city. Shut out from the city shall be the depraved, the sorcerers, the impure, the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practises a lie!

“‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the Churches. I am both the root and stock of David, and the bright star of the morning!’

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let everyone who hears this also say, ‘Come!’ Let the thirsty man come, and let everyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift….

“He, who is witness to all this, says, ‘Yes, I am coming very quickly!’

“Amen, come Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all his people.”

(from JBPhillips NT)

Like Paul

I LOVE HOW SCRIPTURE gives us background on the life of Paul, New Testament apostle of the Gospel which was to both Jews and Gentiles, making “one” of “two” and “many.” Radically transformed from murderer and religious zealot, chief of the order of Pharisees the likes of which Jesus scathingly rebuked during his earthly ministry, Paul was a highly educated man with at least a dual citizenship which God would use later in his life to spare his life more than once. Paul was knocked to the ground by a literally blinding, brilliant encounter with the Risen Jesus, a man with a scholar’s mind and, once converted, a pastor’s heart. He went from slaughtering the people of God to *shepherding* them, with boldness in confronting sin, and adamant reassurances of the promises of God. Clinging to the Word! Clothed in the righteousness of Christ! He was a man with his eyes FIXED on Jesus, and a heart and life DEVOTED to seeing people transformed by the grace of God. THIS is a godly man.
(see especially Acts ch. 9 and ch. 17 ~ if you have time, read the 2nd half of Acts as records most of Paul’s missionary journies. He also authored the majority of the books of the NT, so you could take time to read more of his instruction to the churches (called “epistles” which means “letters”) and concerning the Word of God in such books as Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, and more.)

Like Sarah

I LOVE HOW SCRIPTURE calls out Sarah (wife of Abraham, mother of Isaac) as a “holy” woman who *adorned* (dressed/clothed) herself with submission (grace/humility/yieldedness). She is held up as the example of a woman with a quiet and gentle spirit, trusting GOD more than her husband time after time, a woman who “by faith, received strength” for the miraculous to be made manifest in her life precisely because “she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Neither “walking by faith” nor “submission” have been great hallmarks of my own life ~ I feel I am just now walking (toddling!) where I have only till now “crawled.” But I truly *aspire* to be more like Sarah in the above, and in that God gave her a NEW name, and blessed her because of HIS good pleasure. ♥ ♥ ♥

(see 1 Peter 3, Hebrews 11, and Genesis 17)

Zeal Under Control

“It’s not about the ‘jump,’ it’s about the LANDING. It’s about

controlling the [muscle] contraction.”

~Jillian Michaels (personal trainer / fitness mogul)

^^^ This is something Jillian’s said in this “week 1” exercise vid which I’ve now worked out to about 2 dozen times; and until this morning, I didn’t realize the potential for “PARABLE” in the above statement….Perhaps because today was the first time I was able to DO the “jump” without hurting my knee (I’ve been doing a modifier which is more of a step-touch), so there was a whole different correlation to the muscles I was using as I realized I have been building “balance” over these past few weeks.

I’ve always been much more of a “explode out of the gates!” like a race horse kinda gal, especially emotionally.  Today, I see the above line from Ms. Michaels has a great bit of wisdom in it, too, with respect to emotional maturity ~ that sometimes the “unseen” work (sticking the landing – ie, the stablizing, isometric “squeeze” of the various muscle groups to establish “control” vs. the more visually impressing, dynamic “explosion” of the jump with the arms and legs extended) is of essential importance to the desired outcome.

Zeal has its place, but “self-control” reins it in and points it in the right direction, and tells it how far it can go before it risks compromising the very results it’s aimed at achieving.  Thank you, Jillian, for such deep spiritual wisdom.  😉

Building Myself Up in the Lord!

Today has been a very TRYING day! … Calling to mind bits from Ps. 37 (NKJV mixed w/a little of The Message) to keep my mind stayed on HIM who is my Source and my Strength, and my Protection, and my BELOVED!

“…Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on HIS faithfulness!….Open up before God, keep nothing back…Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light….Quiet down before God, be prayerful before Him….Do not fret – it only causes harm….Bridle your anger…Those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth!….THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, AND SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THE ABUNDANCE OF PEACE!”

Ah, thank you, Lord!! ♥

“…A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked…the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever…The wicked are moral weaklings, but the righteous are God-strong…They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of FAMINE they shall be SATISFIED!…In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be FULL!…The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand!…The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved FOREVER!….”

“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice….[He] chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins!…None of his steps shall slide….Wait on the Lord, and keep His way….Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path. He’ll give you your place in the sun while you watch the wicked lose it….Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for THE FUTURE OF THAT ONE IS PEACE!…The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; HE IS THEIR STRENGTH IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them….And save them, because they trust in Him!…The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil – when we run to HIM, He saves us!”