THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀

 

 

PURPLE HEART DAY

TL 8-8 PURPLE HEART DAY

8-8 TEMPTATION'S TUNNELOn this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit”.
Click image to enlarge

Today I overcame temptation and wanted someone to award me with the purple heart (or something similar).  This morning I was standing at the counter in Starbuck’s looking at all the really great espresso and lattes on the menu board. I was tempted to order something other than the tall skinny mocha latte I usually get.

Here is my thought process: For nearly FIVE YEARS I have tried to be good with my diet to support my husband on his diet. But guess what? I am here at Starbuck’s and I am all alone. If I did order something more yummy than the tall skinny mocha latte – he would never have to know about it! What harm would it do? I’m the only one that would have to know!

Then my brain paused and I caught a glimpse of my reflection (profile – eek!) in the shiny glass where they keep all the decadent pastries and things – and it dawned on me. I would know. Me – and my size 16 petite jeans that I fought so hard to get into… we would know.

I’ve not had to buy women’s sizes for almost 3 years. I’ve exercised myself silly and eaten healthy and for just a moment I thought I could sneak in a 500 calorie beverage. I was tempted.

Did I sin? Praise God – NO, I did not sin! See, those “temptation tunnels” are costly! There is a toll you pay before you enter in. And – if you make a choice to go in, it gets more and more difficult to turn around in there – the passage gets more narrow and darker as you go. You aren’t aware it’s going to do that (you think Satan’s going to tell you?). You just think it’s a tunnel and you’ll go through and come out on the other side into just as much sunlight as there was when you went in.

That’s not how it works. Think twice before you pay the toll and go into that tunnel. God loves you and He will help you out if you’re stuck. There’s no other way out but through Him. Pray and ask God through Christ to help you. He wants to make a way for you.

Some people think that freedom would be choosing the 500 calorie beverage. I think the REAL freedom is choosing the right – choosing FOR MYSELF – what I know is best for me. I choose the skinny mocha latte, not because I’m forced to choose it, but because it is the best choice. I choose to follow Christ because He has my best interest in mind and HE keeps me safe and away from the tunnel of temptation. Praise His Name!  I don’t really need the Purple Heart – I just need God to keep helping me do the right thing. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

WHEN GOD WHISPERS
Help people where they are.

God is not the author of confusion. If we allow His Holy Spirit to guide our lives, He is clear and concise in directing us. When I see someone in need I’m usually prompted to either say a prayer before taking action. A long time ago I heard God whisper to me and there was no doubt about what needed to happen.

She looked disheveled and frightened standing just inside the grocery store. The weird thing is, it wasn’t the grocery store I usually shopped at.  I recognized that demeanor because not long before I had been where she was. When I saw her I just knew I was looking into my own tragic past.

I didn’t always make great choices in life. I used to have a tendency to pick up strays – dogs, cats, men. I thought I could “fix” them. Who knows where that came from – but it was what it was. Oh, in case you’re wondering, you can change animals to some extent – but men?  Forget it!  Only God can change a human being.

I introduced myself and asked some questions. She was clearly cautious, which I can understand. You can’t be too careful because there are wolves in sheep’s clothing around every corner of this world – sadly. If my Lord would not have given me such a prompting to approach her, I might not have. She could have played me. But since I felt led to help, it was okay. I was praying as I talked with her.

With no mode of transportation, she had two choices. She could go with me or stay at the grocery store. I’m guessing she didn’t have anything but the clothes on her back, so she went with me.

It was late and I didn’t really want to take her home with me just yet. I drove us to a nearby fast food place so we could talk a little more. I had not let on that I knew her story even before she shared it – but as she told me what happened, it was as if she was reading my story back to me.

At that moment I realized that God had allowed the things in my life to happen so that I could help her. God sees the big picture while we’re stumbling around asking the big question – “why?”

She ran out of her house – no bag, no jacket (and it was pretty chilly outside), and no idea where she was running to. She ran without a plan. I asked if she had family and she indicated she didn’t have family that lived close by. When I was sure this was legitimate, I phoned my parents and asked if they would mind having her stay with us for a while. Mama said she thought that would be fine, so we headed there.

We helped her get back on her feet. She made arrangements to go live with her sister and promised she would divorce her husband. She’s doing well now and has found a good man (not a stray) and enjoys a better life. When God whispers and we obey, great things can happen! ❤

JOHN 3:16 ON 3/16

 JOHN 3 16 ON 3 16

FIND

I was looking around in an antique store not long ago and spotted a cute little sign that said SIMPLIFY. I smiled and thought about the simple life I live. I help when I can, back off when I should and try to stay tuned in to what my Lord wants me to do. Nothing is more simple than the Christian life.

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TL 3-16 JOHN 3-16

When I see atheists groups and other Christ haters and obstructionists talk about their rights for this and they need to be recognized for that, I wonder if they have any peace of mind. If they do have peace of mind, from what source? It’s not from God because they do not recognize there is a God. If they depend on themselves for peace of mind then it will not be a lasting peace, rather a fake peace, or a peace look-alike. It will crumble at the first sign of trouble.

There’s a famous line in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest is asked if he has found Jesus and he replies, “I did not know He was lost, sir.” The first time I heard that it resonated with me. Is God lost? Well of course He’s not lost, but we sure are! It seems to me that finding the Lord would be of great benefit to we mere humans here on planet earth. Why do some fight the process so much?

Some of it has to do with the way we are raised, I think. Maybe some of it is because people still think that believing in a just and Holy God means you have to clean up your act. That’s backward thinking. You don’t clean up your act to approach God. You approach God and He helps you clean up your act. But let’s be honest; a lot of people don’t want their act messed with. They like the mud hole they’re rolling around in. It’s warm and cozy and familiar. They don’t want the God of the universe telling them what to do. They don’t want to hear what His Word, The Holy Bible has to say. They don’t want to find Him…

Then one day something bad happens. It’s amazing how quickly they find a Christian and ask for prayers. Don’t wait until that time to find Him. Begin seeking Him now. You will find Him.

MAY DAY

TL 5-1 MAY DAY

https://youtu.be/U5LAw0yzqRw

Remember when you were a kid and made May Day baskets? You’d hang them on the neighbor’s front door knob, ring the doorbell – then run like the wind – !?!?! Those were fun times!  In England they really know how to celebrate – with a Maypole and everything!

Today I want to talk about another kind of May Day.  It’s known as a “Mayday” – a distress call, used only in cases of “grave and imminent danger” by those at sea.

Many people think that one “May Day” has something to do with the other, but that’s not true.  The root of the distress call “Mayday” is French –  m’aidez (help me) or m’aider (to give help to me).  There are no flowers or festivals associated with this whatsoever.  If you hear someone yell “Mayday” three times in a row, they are definitely in trouble! 

I was not at sea when I had to use a distress call, but I was at the end of my rope medically speaking.  By the time I discovered I have Type 2 Diabetes my body was definitely sinking fast!  

I needed guidance after my devastating diagnosis.  From the moment I got my diagnosis, I believe with all my heart that God put some pretty wonderful people in my path!  When you say “Mayday” to God, you don’t even have to repeat it three times – He is there once He hears the faintest whisper from you – He’s already helping you by the time you say “may…”

The day I found out I was diabetic we were in church getting ready to have a potluck lunch after the morning service.  My best friend was a Diabetic Educator.  She carried a glucose meter around with her, and asked me if she could check my glucose before we ate.  She checked it and it was over 300!  

I no longer felt hungry and was visibly shaken.  We walked back into the sanctuary and sat down.  She began to explain diabetes to me.  When she started talking about ketones, I just lost it.  I cried uncontrollably for a long time.  Finally, she grabbed both of my shoulders and looked me square in the face and said, “You can BEAT this!”

She made me believe I could – and I felt better.  She is just one example of the wonderful people God has set before me.  It’s been an incredible journey.  I learned about holistic medicine and its way to better manage diabetes a couple of years ago, through my chiropractor.  It’s true that when I eat a high-alkaline diet, my neuropathy (and my sciatica, for the most part) feels better.  Drinking water instead of soda improves everything as well.  Staying hydrated is key.

I met so many great people through the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) and received so much love, concern and support there.   

I see God’s Hand in my journey with diabetes.  He’s taking such good care of me, and I know He will care for me in the future as well.  I cried out to Him – “Mayday… Mayday… Mayday” and I knew He heard and answered my distress call.