A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)

THE ESTATE SALE

Estate sales are so much fun because, like a treasure hunt, you never know what you may find!  There may be a house filled with things that you are sure you can’t live without at bargain prices, or it might be full of things that you can easily walk away from and leave behind.

All decoration is about memories.  – Mrs. Henry Parish

The last estate sale we went to left quite an impression on me.  There is a housing development just south of ours that we laughingly refer to as “the high rent district” because the homes sell for over $500,000.00 and the HOA dues are about triple what ours are.  We’re talking about a very nice area!

Ah!  There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.  – Jane Austen

I was first impressed by the landscaping as we approached the beautiful front door.  Obviously these people did not do it themselves.  It was professionally done.  At the door there was an intercom.  I suppose that is to announce your arrival.  We walked in the door and the foyer was lovely with tile floors and textured walls.  I turned to the left and saw the master dining room, separated from the living room by two columns!  Yes, I said columns!  Do you have columns in your house?  Yeah, me neither.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.  – Johann von Goethe

I thought about removing my shoes, but as I looked at others, I realized that I should probably leave them on or look like an idiot walking around in sock feet while everyone else was wearing shoes.

A little house, a house of my own, out of the wind’s and rain’s way.  – Padrak colum

The sale was fairly ordinary actually…  it would seem that even wealthy people use items such as cotton balls and heating pads.  I must admit, however, that the massive stained-glass window in the oversized master bath took me aback!  The his and hers walk-in closets made me think of our own closet space – and our bi-fold doors.  To those of you who don’t know – having bi-fold doors on your closet means that there are items in your closet that are hidden forever because you will never be able to reach them!

An open home, and open heart.  Here grows a bountiful harvest.  – Judy Hand

Back to the estate sale…  yes, let’s go back to those lovely walk-in closets!  I could see each item of clothing and for a moment I just imagined what that must be like.  I think I could stay there and find out…  her clothing was all too small for me, which came as no surprise.  Most rich women are skinny.  It seems so unfair somehow, doesn’t it?  To have money and be thin…  that’s just almost too much good stuff for one woman!

I wondered through the five more than adequate sized bedrooms, the fireplace room and a few rooms that I don’t even know what they were – not sure they knew either.  The man had a very detailed train set in a train room in the basement – it was marvelous!  The woman did crafts and sewed as there were supplies and some quilts that I’m sure she made.

In the very back part of the basement, I saw it.  That is when reality slapped me upside the head – finally.  The heart pillow – you know, that heart pillow that they give folks who have open heart surgery.  I recognized it.  I knew immediately what it was and what it meant.

Surely people with wealth don’t have health problems, do they?  Are they really human like me?  And, this is an estate sale, so…  either they are downsizing or they no longer need this beautiful home for some other reason.  Suddenly my discontentment was replaced by empathy and sympathy.  There’s a reason these things were being sold and a reason the house was being auctioned.

Isn’t it strange how we can look at things more than people?  I admit it – I had house envy and was jealous of the nice closets and the size and beauty of the place.  When I saw that little heart pillow, something clicked inside of me – because I remember our experience with our own.  My mind went back and I finally put two and two together.  Reality came rushing back.

May God help us all to look beyond the temporal to the eternal.  That house will crumble and fall one day, but those people will live for eternity.  No matter what background we come from or how much education we have, one day we will be called away from this planet.  May God help us to stay focused on the things that really matter – and those are not things at all.  ❤

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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…  ???  😀

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

john-f-kennedy-63160

On October 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy advised Americans to build fallout shelters. I was only 6 months old, but my daddy made sure our house had a fallout shelter. Bomb shelters had to be built a certain way with specific features. It was more involved than building a tornado shelter and they were not inexpensive to build. When others in the neighborhood were buying fancy new cars and putting nice new furniture in their homes, my dad was building a bomb shelter to keep his family safe. It was not large or fancy, but cold and damp with a distinct sort of musty odor. If the civil defense sirens had sounded, the entire neighborhood would have clamored to get in to our dank little shelter.

Thank God the bomb shelter was only used to hide from Mother Nature’s tornadoes and not from the big bomb everyone was dreading. Was it worth it to be prepared? Of course. In my dad’s mind, it was more important to protect his family than to parade around the neighborhood in a brand new Cadillac or have a new color television set.

We welcomed the neighborhood in to our shelter when the tornado sirens sounded, but it was quite cramped when everyone was there. We sat there shivering, shoulder to shoulder, quietly listening to the transistor radio for the latest weather report. Even as a small child I remember thinking,

We could be here as long as it takes a tornado to come and go, but what if this was a bomb threat? There’s no way we could be stuck here like this for any length of time!

The neighbors got the same advice from President Kennedy that we got. Their priorities were mislaid or they just assumed they could come “live” in our shelter. While they were buying all those nice new things that, hello – if a bomb had been dropped – would surely be destroyed… my family drove an old car and we had an old black and white television. Daddy made much of our furniture, but I remember spending Saturday nights at the Bud Palmer auction, bidding on used furniture. We loaded it up and took it home in our pickup truck. No furniture trucks ever came to our house.

I’m proud of my parents! I’m also very VERY thankful we were not faced with a life or death situation in which we would have most certainly had to turn our friends and neighbors away from our shelter. Thank You, God! ❤

 

 

WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY

TL 5-8 WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY

When we are faced with grief and loss, where can we go?  We can go to the foot of Christ’s cross.

 

PLEASE READ AND SHARE THIS POST!!!

Wear teal today – it’s WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY!!!

Today is the day we raise awareness about ovarian cancer, the women’s cancer with the lowest survival rate for which there is little awareness and no cure. On this day, ovarian cancer awareness organizations from across the world will aim to have a singular focus and talk about ovarian cancer and its symptoms.

World Ovarian Cancer Day will take place on May 8th each year.

I am so glad that there is a day to make women aware of the dangers of ovarian cancer because it has the lowest survival rate of all gynecological cancers. There is a frightening lack of awareness of symptoms and late stage diagnosis which is almost certainly a death sentence.

Today is the first World Ovarian Cancer Day.  Ovarian cancer organizations from around the world will unite to educate their communities about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. For women living with the disease, and their families and friends, World Ovarian Cancer Day will build a sense of solidarity in the fight against the disease.

My message to you today is – Keep your appointment with your OB/GYN.  If you do not have one – get one!  A total hysterectomy is a very scary thing to face, but it’s sure better than facing ovarian/uterine cancer! 

Every year, nearly a quarter of a million women globally are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and it is responsible for 140,000 deaths – largely due to late-stage diagnosis!  Statistics show that just 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years compared to up to 89% of women with breast cancer.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • All women are at risk of ovarian cancer
  • Awareness of the early warning signs of the disease could save lives
  • Diagnosis at an early stage vastly improves a woman’s chance of survival
  • Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage.
  • The cervical smear test (Pap test) will NOT detect ovarian cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms include:

  • Bloating that seems to be persistent
  • Increase in abdominal size
  • Feeling full all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination

If you notice changes and you have an uneasy feeling about things – a sense that something is not right – see your OB/GYN.  I would rather keep the appointment and be told that I’m wrong than to not keep the appointment and find out that I was right.  By then it could be too late.

The earlier you receive a diagnosis of ovarian/uterine cancer, the better your chances of survival!!!

Here’s the bottom line to every woman reading this post and every man who loves a woman and will tell her:

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!!
SYMPTOM LIST:
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