Fun and Just Because

Purple Rain

We all have that one song that just transports us back in time. I’m sitting here deciding what to write and listening to 80’s rock ballads. I wonder why I torture myself. It’s just a reminder that I’m getting older. The days of my youth and the days of my older years and sitting right in the middle. I guess that’s why they call any age over 50 “over the hill”. You’ve officially left that spot where being in between the two is no longer. I’m 52, so I’ve just barely crested the top of the hill. I remember so many fun, amazing, and beautiful moments when these songs come on. I remember being a teenager in junior high when Prince came onto the scene. They were just starting to offer dances on Friday or Saturday nights. It was great because they were actually at the middle school in the front lobby area strangely enough. They would hire a DJ to come in and the entire front of the school was transformed into this magic dance club for all of us to enjoy. These were the days when we would meet our crushes, got to learn how to slow dance for the first time, and maybe even got to steal our first kisses in some dark corner where a teacher or chaperone wasn’t lurking around. All of us girls came dressed in our mini skirts and over-teased, aqua net sprayed hair. The guys were sporting their windbreaker pants and van sneakers. We can’t forget the tons of black stretchy bracelets so that we could imitate Madonna. Most of us girls wore our china doll shoes or jelly shoes. Our moms would take turns picking, and dropping us off. Sometimes there would be sleepovers, or you were left to go home and just lay in bed trying to calm down from the amount of fun that just transpired. These dances didn’t seem to last long until they stopped hosting them. We all moved on to high school and then got to participate in Jr/Sr prom. Homecoming dances and just being able to hang out with our friends on the weekends. The town close to where I grew up had a section of road that we all called “the circuit”. It was a stretch of road that was maybe 5 miles long around. It was one day, you would drive down through the city with your car windows down and radios blasting. You proceed to the end of the stretch where you could turn left and go back up the opposite street which was also a one-way. You did this over and over again until you got bored or another opportunity was presented. Sometimes, you would run into friends while driving, scream out the windows and plan to meet to discuss plans. See there weren’t any cell phones back then so calling each other wasn’t an option. We figured it out though. You could be sure that 80’s hair bands was the music blasting out of the cars though. Most of the time it was guys driving around to show off their cool rides. I remember one time we had an assignment for school that involved caring for a raw egg. They didn’t have those mechanical babies that they do now that cry. We had raw eggs that we decorated to look like kids. We each created a basket or box to carry them in. The goal was to record what we did with them, and most of all keep them “alive”. Some of us had “husbands” assigned to us, and others were single parents. I was assigned a “husband”. Well one Saturday evening, my assigned husband took our egg son to the circuit to ride around for the evening. At least he was taking the assignment seriously. We both received 100%, so I guess we did pretty good. I don’t know if kids today still drive the circuit. I believe the police and city have tried everything possible to end that tradition. I also, don’t know if it would be as cool today as it was then. Things have changed, the music has changed. This simple thing would probably be boring to kids today. The simple task of just driving around and looking cool. We weren’t bothering anyone, we weren’t drinking, we weren’t trying to cause problems. We were just entertaining ourselves. They say that each generation has their own moments that will stand the test of time. I think that the music of the 80’s is ours, and there will never be anything else like it.

Photo by rikka ameboshi:

Journey of Faith

You weren’t made to fit in

You weren’t made to fit in. I often hear that phrase, but can I believe it, live by it, and understand it? Maybe. As a Christian, I’m taught that God has a plan for my life. That I need to give it to him and to lean not on my own understanding. Apparently, I signed up for the premier subscription. I’m also blessed. I can’t deny that at all. So how then do we deal with the every day crap that just keeps getting piled on top of us? All I can do is what I know how to do and that’s pray. Pray and talk to God about my prolems, concerns, my hope and dreams. I was so exciited when I came home from being incarcerated. I was ready to conquer everything with a new outlook. I didn’t plan to end up with a 3rd retinal detachment. That wasn’t in my plans AT ALL. I wasn’t planning on having to have two surgeries to fit it, which then has left me with worse vision that I had before. As I sit here and type this, I’m only able to do so because my loving husband bought a huge monitor for me to be able to then use bigger fonts. The other day we went outside and a Dove built a nest inside the rafters of one of our outdoor structures. My husband pointed to it and said, “do you see it?” I said yes, but only faiintly could I see it. I couldn’t see the fine details, or if there were any babies in the nest. Those days of seeing fine details further away are now gone. Tomorrow, I go to see my surgeon for another follow up. As frustrated as I am, I’m not sure how I want to approach this appointment. Do I want to go in and shake the crap out of him and scream, “why “? Absolutely. Will I? No, of course not. This man has the bed side manner of a stick. I want answers to the “why’s”. and I need to know the “how’s” to proceed for the future. When I was told that my retina detached for the 3rd time, I was basically told that the best possible surgery to have was one that resulted in adding silicone oil to my eye to then stay there and then be removed at a later day. Previously, I was given a gas bubble that self absorbed over time. The reason I was told that the oil was now the better option was because I had a tear in the past. What I wasn’t told was the possible problems afterwards and if given a choice which would I have chose. You go to doctor’s and rely on their expertise. Here’s what happened after the fact, leaving me in the situation I’m now in. Whenever you have eye surgery or certain trauma’s to your eye, it requires you develop a cataract. Therefore, I had that surgery years ago and was given an IOP or lens to correct the cataract. After the oil was placed in my eye and removed last November, I expected to be able to see crystal clear and things be the same as they were. That didn’t happen. I started noticing what appeared to be particles floating around and as if I was looking through smudged glasses. I brought this up several times at my other appointments, but nothing was ever said. I figured it was part of the recovery process. Finally, a month ago I was able to go see a regular eye doctor for new glasses. I brought up my concerns to him and he sat and listened to me with the same care and concern that I felt. I also shared with him a medical article I found online from an opthalmology website discussing the silocone oil and people that have IOP’s (lens) in their eyes. The article stated that oil isn’t a good idea because they are finding that all of the oil isn’t able to be removed and therefore it adhere’s to the lens, making it “dirty”. My regular eye doctor was able to see and confirm this finding during my eye appointment. He said that his concern would be that no cataract surgeon would feel comfortable removing and puttiing in a new lens because of my retinal detachment history. (How wonderful!-NOT!!). I expressed to him that I understood his concern as well because the article also addressed the fact that not all of the oil can be removed. There could always be remanants floating around. Which he also confirmed, that was the particles I was seeing. So, even if I got a new lens, there is still oil in there to potentially reattach itself to it. I asked if there was a way to flush the eye. He wasn’t sure, which I appreciated his honesty. I mean, he’s a regular eye doctor and not a retinal doctor. I also read in this article that removing the oil could create a negative space, causing the retina to pull again. Boy, what a vicious cirlce! So I indeed have a lot of questsions tomorrow during my visit. I pray that those questions can and will be answered. If not, I may be in the market for a new retinal doctor. I can only continue to also pray that whatever God’s bigger plan is for my life is soon going to take a turn for the better. This has affected my ability to work and the end of January I lost my job. I’ve been actively trying to look, but also hesitate with the challenges I’m now facing. The company I worked for was “kind” enough to lay off 4 of us, not offering any severance and it was just shy of the required time to work there to be able to collect unemployment. I’m being sarcastic of course. I started an Etsy store. If you care to take a look, that would be awesome! I’ll keep you all posted on my visit tomorrow.

Photo by Pixabay:

Bible Study

Is God taking you to the next level?

Before God takes you to the next level, he needs to separate you! Do you ever wonder why you “don’t fit in” or “why you were put in a situation you never ask for”? God is calling you to do something great. I know it doesn’t look like it right now, but he needs you to be focused on him and not the noise around you. He needs you to rely solely on him. He needs you to hear his voice and not the voice of everyone around you. God separates us for three reasons! (Isaiah 41:10) He wants to give us the tools for our destiny. 1. You’re not alone, you’ve been separated! 2. He wants you to clearly know his voice. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He wants to put us in a season where he can teach us now to know his voice and hear it. 3. To mold us in his image. When you make wine, you first need to crush the grapes. You crush those grapes and press them, but by doing so you are changing them into something totally different than what they started out as. God does that to us. He will press us and send us into intense situations to mold us into his image. Paul tells in Romans 5:1-5 that, “we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perserverance builds character, and character builds hope. , character; and character, hope.”

Some of us have lost touch with the Fruit’s of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23 there is a list of 9 Fruit’s of the Holy Spirit that each of us were given:

Fruit of the Spirit list:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Patience
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faithfulness
  8. Gentleness
  9. Self-control

When I was sent to prison, I learned that I needed to work on a few of these on the list. Other items on the list, I was able to show other’s and what it looked like to be kind, gentle and have joy and love in their lives. I had a roommate once tell me that she was jealous because I had so many people that truly loved and cared about me. She didn’t know what that felt like. It made me so sad because that is the same sentiment that many people in prison have. They are so far detached from their family, friends and loved ones that people have stopped caring all together once they end up in a place like that. People would ask me why I was always so happy. I heard the expression before that “sometimes people don’t like you because your gifts and calling agitate their demons.” I can say I believe that to be 100% true. People will purposely try to tick you off or rain on your parade to see you miserable. Rebuke that noise in Jesus name and send it back where it came from! You have every right to be happy and at peace. As God starts to elevate you, you will start to see these fruits grow inside of you. You’re going to want to spend more time with him, you’re going to want to please him. You are going to start to see your interests change. There are going to be friends that you’ve had for years that are no longer going to be able to be in this new season of your life. There is a song by Hillsong that explains about the grapes to wine and how God will press us into something better. Are you willing to allow God to use you and make new wine out of you?

New Wine

Words and Music by Brooke Ligertwood

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus bring new wine out of me

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

You are breaking new ground

Where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
The Kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today


#Hillsong, #HillsongWorship, #NewWine, #Trials, #TrustinGod, #Pressure