Week 2 of the Advent: Peace
Peace is not my strong suit. I’m a fighter, so I struggle with things more than rest in them. But sometimes God wants me to rest and, in a way, “grounds” me (like, “you’re grounded to your room”).
I’m grounded at the moment… and it’s okay. I recently was officially diagnosed with an autoimmune. This explains why I have been struggling so much with a weakened immune system over the years. I had a counselor, amazing woman who I thinkly warmly of, Jennifer Knutsen, who has auto-immune issues. She once told me to not show (for appointments) if I even though I may be getting sick. I didn’t fully understand then, but I do now. This year a common cold, a bug going around (allbeit, a bad one that has caused many to get pneumonia) has had me sick for 4 weeks. Two rounds of antibiotics, and I am still weak from constant coughing. Financially, things are pretty rough. I had to lay my wolf down (which has been pretty hard on me emotionally & exhausting as well); this costs money. I have 4 students taking the holidays off, and haven’t seen 3 in 3 weeks due to illness on my end and/or business on theirs. I have had no earned money coming in (I get a very small disability income monthly), but as we adults comprehend, bills still do. Plus, there’s Christmas, too.
I have struggled with this: determined to find a way to get well quickly, find a way to make money and now, etc. And though a few ideas are coming to mind, for the most part, I’ve been spinning my wheels in the mud: getting sicker while getting nowhere… but it’s going to be okay.
For the first time in 16 years, I have a home that is my own (I share it, but I’m not renting a room but sharing a flat). As I fully unpack for the first time in 16 years, I find my decorating taste has changed; it sucks in that I have hundreds of dollars in nice decor that I am not going to use, but it means I have things to give for Christmas and to sell. Yes, it’s not the same as buying gifts, but it is putting nice things to a proper use that will help another, and it’s an opportunity for me to give gifts this year despite my financial position at the moment. I will also be giving my nieces & nephews more of my time, which matters more than gifts. Yes, it will be the first in many years that I haven’t taken my middle nephew to a 3D Imax of an amazing movie, but it’ll be a chance for me to spend time hanging out with him in my home.
This rest has brought me to appreciating what I have. Appreciation leads contentment; contentment to peace.
The reality is, sometimes we need a breather. I’m not good at giving these to myself, so God on occasion grounds me. I can continue to struggle with it, like “pissing in the wind”, or I can rest.
Now that I’m accepting this, I have a peace beyond explanation. My disability stipend will help make the basic bills. When I recover and my students are ready, I’ll teach. I still haven’t had my car assessed for the damage of the hit & run; this will help. And God will provide the rest and blow my mind in the process like He used to do for me back when I was more intimate, surrendered, and receptive to Him (and I immediately mentally struggle with this notion, almost a panic to find a way to do it myself; but I am not going to give way to this desperation which I haven’t the energy for), so I am going to follow suit: God wants me to rest & be at peace, so I’m going to pray and rest over the next couple of days. Maybe the peace & rest will be what my body needs to heal; idk; but I know it will be more than okay. “In our patience possess we our souls”; resting is exercising patience, it brings time to appreciate, which leads to contentment, and contentment to peace; and in peace I will seek Him, just “be”, appreciate what I have, and then, with a clear mind and better view point, find a way.
Week 2 of the Advent is peace.
I have been in a crisis in my faith for some time. My posts actually really don’t show it: I’ve always had a deranged & pervy sense of humour and have always sworn. But know me deeper than Fb, and you will see it.
The more my health declines, the more I have been believing that God Isn’t there for me, that he just walked away or must not give a damn. My PTSD was bad enough to deal with, but now this?
I know I am a Christian: once a person knows God, they never forget… and he is still with them & still loves them. I know my faith & my logic don’t align: how can God never forsake me & still love me, yet leave me in this mess?
And I am angry. I am not even 37, but my health is really poor (I just hide it well & rarely leave home), despite a super genious iq I failed out of college twice from my health, & I can’t hold a job, not to mention let friends down or end up distant from them; and I’ve improved my Honestly, I was going to share some of it, but I am tired of bitching; it doesn’t do any damn good, & it makes others uncomfortable. And, because I have state health insurance & test healthy, I can’t see any specialist who could help me.
I love God, yet I am so upset. I miss the walk I once had with God; yet my distrust of Him keeps Him at a distance: being vulnerable hurts too much because it leads to disappointment. I know God is understanding of where I am, but it doesn’t help me more than give me a tiny bit of peace. And God help the man or woman who even alludes to me going to Hell, because I will rip them apart. Prov.13:12 states that “hope deferred makes the heart sick”; yup.
I realised today that my ex-husband had a crisis of faith towards the end of our marriage, but I was do insecure that I wasn’t there for him. I am dating a man who is not following God & doesn’t understand how to be there for me in mine; he just grows weary of my unreliability. And, now being on the “flip-side” of my previous marriage, I realise how much I failed my ex-husband. That was a lifetime ago, and he had forgiven me long ago, but I think realising this today must be important. Josh, sorry again. Meanwhile, I think I will read The Problem Of Pain by C.S. Lewis, and try praying a little today… Idk, I’m just so angry.
Liz Zegers once observed that I talk a lot to avoid talking about me; so I am sharing this with you today.
Yes, my circumstances seem less than ideal right now (rather frightening actually), but God is so good.
I have been grieving for some time. I used to be incredibly open & intimate with God; and i had an overflowing joy & contentment that I always bounced back to as I always turned to Him; but I closed down behind a protective barrier in my heart, and life with me.
Practically overnight I quit really praying (aside for dismissive glances) last year. Something happened & I broke & shut down; everything hurt way too much to allow even a moment of vulnerability, and even the smallest sincere “I love you” melted me into tears. I grew cold & cynical, and lost myself.
Over the last few months I would pray for others briefly when the requested it; but again, no depth: depth meant dealing, and dealing pierced, so no dealing, meaning no depth, so no sincere & personal praying.
I started an intense therapy recently; something I’ve needed for a very long time (gripe all you like, but I am thankful for Obamacare). I found that, for a small moment right after each session, while I was still vulnerable & closing down (therefore open), I could pray. And though incredibly brief, those moments were intense to the core of my heart; and I felt an encompassing peace that God completely understands that I have been trapped in the anger & defeatist stages of grief, that He understood all along, has still been with me (despite my not actively including Him); that He has not been vexed at me because of this. He knows that somewhere in me I love Him, that I never quit acknowledging who He is overall, even if I was closed to seeing Him in me; that, if He is real & it is essential & beneficial… that I want to be close to Him again… but wasn’t ready to give way to the vulnerability that this would require just yet.
Today my counsellor & I had a breakthrough: we realised that I have, in the last year, been combining my value with my view on life (which I was concluding to be determined by my failures & circumstances; been like this since the event a year ago).
She asked me to determine my view of me today; not my life, not what I do, but who I am. I used to know this; but in my heartache, that little girl, hurt, was buried to my actions in life; to my circumstances & “failures”: my thinking I was, helplessly defeated, failing at being a successful adult no matter how hard I tried because of my health. I lost hope.
When the little lightbulb turned on today, I was able to suddenly separate my value from life, to see who I am. This is huge.
On the way home O Holy Night by Josh Groban aired, & it was like more little lightbulbs kept coming on.
“Long lay the world in sin & error pining”:
we based our worth on our failures, wanting success & goodness.
“‘Til He appeared, & the soul felt it’s worth”:
He brought worth to our souls in Him; not in anything we can or can’t do, but because He is our value, thus His entrance brought that. “For the joy that was set before Him, Christ endured the cross”. “The apple of His eye”. His “beloved”.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new & glorious morn'”.
Hope. He brought hope. I quit hoping some time ago. Yet He is hope, and as He is omnipresent at all times, He brings hope to them & us because He is here.
“Fall on your knees.
Oh hear the angels voices!”
(As they said “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people… On this this day the Saviour is born, in the City of David: Christ The Lord.. … Hallelujah. Hallelujah…” Luke, KJV, The Bible).
Joy from hope. To all people.
“Oh hear the angels voices. Oh night Devine. Oh night that Christ was born. Oh night Devine. Oh holy night”.
The revelation of Christ’s coming, Noel, reaches us intimately, surrendered & vulnerably, throughout the year & in various moments of our lives; like a lightbulb, it clicks on! Today was one of these wonderful days for me. Hallelujah!
“Chains shall He break…” The wall I put up, the one I repeatably put back up to hide, He is crumbling it slowly. And as it comes down, as I realise I don’t need to hide, that I can trust, I will return; my confidence & joy will return, my sociability & ability to love in an involved way, hope will continue to grow, contentment, life, me reaching out as I’m reaching in, healing.
Today is the first time I sincerely prayed in a long time; the first time I opened up. As Josh Groban sang the words & my eyes were being opened, my heart was breaking in awe & surrendered reverence of thankfulness & re-realisation; in seeing what He birthed that day, in us.
Idk, this might seem blah or silly or odd to you; maybe it only holds meaning in my life that I can perceive today. What matters is who He is, that I had a very special moment, a marked place in my life; a reference point. That He & I talked, that I was able to see my value separate from my life; to start healing in the now. “Chains shall He break… and in His name all oppression shall cease”.
I just thought I’d open up & share this part of my life today.
30 Days of Thankfulness
I think I will put in some deep thought into this (at least part of the time; sometimes the simple stuff deserves representation).
Day 1 (yesterday)
I am thankful for family. Yeah, we might not always see eye to eye, we may grate at each other’s insecurities, we may be misunderstood by each other or feel frustrated that we have a momentary need being met in a dif manner than we want, or want the best for each other and have to remember to let each person not meet our preset standards (created out of love & wanting the best for each other); but we get each other in some ways that no one else will, share memories, share genetic attributes in our personalities & quarks, love each other, and share a bond no one else can grasp as they weren’t raised under the same roof or with the same genetics as you. Truthfully, there are no words for the depth & width of this connection; it is priceless.
Day 2: close friends. They may not be blood, but they might as well be. The older you get, quality beats quantity of companions. And I cherish mine. There are no words to describe how deeply I love my close friends, how much I enjoy sharing life with all my friends (including Fb statuses), how beautifully each of you are in your perfect place in this artwork called life. You are appreciated & loved more than you know.
So, I have been statusing a challenge of 7 days of thankfulness, along with dreams of late. I am going to blog them to see if they are worth looking back on or not.
Right, Amanda Billings tagged me to share 3 blessings for 7 days & tag 3+ others to do the same
Getting it out first:
1) I choose to believe in one where, though I am not cookie cutter to it (nor want to be), nor want to be legalistic, but logical.
2) I am free to be me & loved as I am, faults & all. I swear, have a warped sense of humour, fall on my face often, and will not live in bondage of fearing condemnation if I am me.
3) I have a purpose to my life, even when I don’t see it; one I can’t mess up. My value & ability to be loved is not works base: I don’t have to be good enough.
Right 3 people today, in their own statuses, share 3 blessings for 7 days:
Cheers Tricia Lyden-Newkirk, Liz Zegers, Adelayda Kristen Ish, Brianna Discenza, Valentina Brinkmann, Suzanne Discenza, Diane Yarbrough, John Harju, Phillip Brown, Khouri Potts, Ryan Warzecha, & Kathleen Cavender for inspiring me to just be me.
That goes for Jen Hake, Michele Frances, Darita Bonita, & Mack McLendon as well.
And Sarah Reinhart for teaching me to like me, and for (Johanna McDougall as well) teaching me that God is so much bigger than me; that I am free because I can’t mess this up; and Jen Hake for teaching me that it will be alright in the end.
3 things day 2/7.
3) rock & roll
2) physical intimacy, love, & companionship with the right person (it could happen)
3) contentment being, be it single or dating
Freebie: lightsabers, & fast & sexy cars.
Pick 3 people to list 3 blessings in statuses for 7 days… Liz Zegers, Liz Johnson-Simon, Suzanne Discenza
Thankfulness day 3/7 is 2 parted:
A1) my family
2) the ability to learn
3) me knowing my worth
Guys & gals, I may have a lot to learn, but from the few guys I have dated, let me shed a warning to you when it comes to relationships:
If you ever decide to rip apart an ex or friend publicly, or even just hurt them, ask yourself an important question first: will what you are about to do haunt you?
Sure, relationships can be messy, and we all do things we regret, especially when hurt. But if you can’t look an old friend in the eyes, & feel the need to avoid that person because what you did to his sister was so horrible that, years after, as adults in your 30s (who by then understand that people do things they regret) if the guilt’s going to be that bad, maybe you shouldn’t do it.
Yet, I pity him that he lives in that much guilt and fear, or so much bitterness: these are heavy weights to carry; I have been slowly ditching them myself. I long forgave him & my own immaturity; I have wanted to tell him; but it is apparent that he isn’t open to such (sadly, not my problem: boundaries). I pity that he will never allow himself to find that out. But the whole event freed me of my regret & guilt as I am willing to apologise. I am not judging him: I pity him & hope he comes to a place someday where he, too, can be freed.
Meanwhile, I realise my worth. Never again will I ever believe a man is worth more than me, is better, is more worthy; never again will I consider & concern myself, feel the need to prove myself because of such voices from others.
After this event, as I see the sadness of lack of reconciliation, I will work be more aware of my actions so that I don’t continue to end up fearful & regretting. I choose freedom. We live & we learn. I pray he finds the same.
Pick 3 people to list blessings. Amanda Richey, Amanda Tsubota-Prebula, and Amanda Billings
Day 4/7 of thankfulness
Tonight I am thankful for God giving me opportunities to learn stuff.
He has been good at giving me the opportunity to attend Boundaries book studies and a series by The Purpose Driven Life guy…. I can’t remember his name (keep wanting to say Walter, not it); the series is called Celebrate Recovery (it’s for everyone, addicts, non-addicts; it helps you to learn from past situations, heal, and learn to better love). It has given me freedom & confidence; it adds joy, peace, and contentment, even in sadness.
I have been under the weather all day & at the fair yesterday, yet today & yesterday were set aside for cleaning by my roommates (go team); I am thankful my roommates are patient as I didn’t clean until this evening as I had rested all day today and was gone yesterday; again, go team.
Lastly, I am thankful that I have been learning healthy trust boundaries. I am naive & have a bit of idealistic childlike innocence in me that naturally leads me to being far too trusting; because of this I am more easily burned. From painful circumstances, I have been in a process of learning to love myself (loving you all is easy; but I was raised to be driven, even critical of myself, so it’s not been a natural process for me; we all have our things, right?) … enough to not need others, therefore am freed to let others earn my trust; thereby setting up healthier boundaries and giving me more of a life of my own, and more peace & joy.
This may all sound silly, but we all spend our lives growing & learning in our own weak situations; these just happen to be mine. I am thankful to have learned to like me, so as to not be so hungry for others to approve; and to be coming to terms with this. Cheers.
3 people to list 3 blessings for 7 days… Jasmine Bonner. have I already picked you? Lynzee Biggs, Kel Johnson
Thankfulness Day 5/7
1) good music
2) good movies
3) that wonderful feeling that comes from an area once you’ve deep cleaned it.
What about you?
3 people to share 3 blessings a day for a week:
Jenna Theis, Jill Buchanan, & Kayleen Smith’
Life is interesting. Instead of jumping back in to dating (which I have been receiving offers & could; ego boost at least, hehe) and other life stuff, I am in this inbetweenish place where I have been taking time to process through & heal from previous life stuff, and to get my crap together to become the kick arse woman I can & am able to be: to grow up & get my life in order; it feels slow going (to me), but is totally worth it.
My dreams seem to be on board. I rarely remember dreams when I wake up, but lately I have needed a lot more sleep and am awaking with vivid dreams still present in my memory every day.
My mom, Diane Discenza & I went to a yard sale in Pack River so I could quickly drop something off (not sure if I did, but some other couple (that I don’t know) may have had me babysit?) and I was pretty bummed to miss the Loon Lake one (Bev) because there weren’t enough days left; I had already briefly seen it, but it had a novel I wanted.
My brother & I, after passing 2 chocolate shops full of Easter candy in an indoor Mall of sorts Downtown, went to pick Christmas ornaments from a Downtown candy shop’s tree (my brother had the hookup) that turned into picking wrapped presents for free (I think; they were going to do something with the remaining, and were semi-waiting on us so we had to hurry before they packed them up); I got one with Sleeping Beauty wrapping for him (it was a heavily crocheted or knitted manly throw), another with wrapping I really liked (can’t remember now, though; I also want to say a car seat cover inside for his kids, but also can’t remember), and was sad to not get The Penguins Of Madigascar one, but we were in a hurry. Can’t remember what he ended up getting me. Suz, Justin will get how much this sounds like the Goodwill trucks thing… Weird!!!! (I think I just interpreted part of this dream).
Kayla, apparently you have an adopted son; I ran into you & some of your coworkers doing a meeting that was taking place in a Fred Meyer; you asked me to babysit him, he then tried to shoplift a Christmas toy. And I gave you (without thinking it through) my unconnected phone number (which is a real thing; maybe my mind is nagging me), so you couldn’t find us or or us you in Fred Meyer; you called the police & your friends, & Kelli Dexter found us.
Yeah…. I can’t interpret dreams, but I am pretty sure they are mental.
Just had another couple of former students (sorta; was sorta their youth groupish leader at the YMCA (Teen Center) while teaching voice there) refer me to giving voice lessons to their friend. Can’t share enough how much I appreciate all referrals to grow my studio; you guys are awesome!
I think day 6/7 is covered yesterday & Tuesday; so day 7/7 of being thankful for 3 things & tagging 3 to do the same:
1) encouraging words, assistance, and blunt & kind wise advice from friends when it’s needed,
& 3) the company of good friends.
3 peeps to do the same:
Melissa Shirley, Jill Buchanan, Juliana Andrade
Pain brings change, and therefore, in a twisted way, is good.
“Life is like music; though there are elements that are extremely important, no one element is more important than the rest.” – Ryan “Doc” Corativo
“Triumph is born out of struggle, faith is the alchemist. If you want pictures like these, you’ll need to use some dark colors.” Bruce Almighty
“Borne on the wings of pain and suffering come many of life’s greatest treasures.” – Wes Yoder, Rachel’s Tears by Darryl Scott & Beth Nemo
“I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I feel it not. I believe in God even when He is silent.”
Joe Hueter Without the miracle of a tiny pain my cancer would have never been found and thus it would of been down and out for me.
September 8 at 8:31pm · 1
Andrea Llewellyn Discenza and yet, because of the pain, here you are.
It’s time for an attitude change. Heck, my whole life is about to change, and I am excited for the changes to come. “Beauty from ashes” Isaiah. “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve” (Yamamoto). “Are you going to fight back Annie?” Bridesmaids.
I partially blew my knee out last night; I can no longer walk more than 30 feet, am back in a cast, am (well should be) on crutches, and will either get surgery soon or will finally be in a wheelchair. Last week my doctor pulled me out of physical therapy and said we had to find a surgeon immediately as I had little time left walking; I had no idea he meant a week. I thought that, since my dad’s doctors had said he’d be in a wheelchair by 50, yet he lived to 57 never touching one, that my doctors saying I’d be in one 6 years ago, that I would never see one, either; whoops.
I had a job program to start today that I at least have had to postpone a month. I am in pain, pent up with unvented rage, and feeling even more disillusioned.
Eleven years ago I had a day like this. I went through a nasty divorce, blew my knee out the days before I had an interview for a Summer job that could lead to a new career (and was told in ’05 the dislocation would happen before ’08 one more time leading me to becoming wheelchair bound; dear surgeon, you were off a few years, and I will learn to walk again), had to retire my career, and was left feeling financially hopeless and disillusioned about my dreams and life.
Yet, those events 11 years ago led to a serious of events I could have never imagined and me beginning to grow up. I could make a long list of huge changes that took place, circumstances that I would have never believed in that hopeless place that would blow me away: falling in love & loving (feeling and action) and receiving those in return that led me to almost marrying again (instinctively I wondered at the start, but am glad I tried it out; he is happily married to a wonderful woman now; I am glad to have explored the opportunity anyway), changing denominations and leaving a cookie cutter & childhood ideas behind (to be myself no matter the convictions of others or whether I fit a mold, to not be confined to a doctrinal mold, to not judge, to live & let live, that life is not black & white, Kohlber’s 5th level, that God has more for me than the cookie cutter life I always wanted whether I like it or not, changing political views & doctrines within the same dogma (my dad would be proud on both), being shy of 3 BAs and 1 ed cert, various other employment explorations, finding my dream career was what I instinctively knew as a child (my dad would roll over in his grave; 2/3 isn’t bad daddy. I must have amazing instincts), learning that life is not anywhere close to what I would have imagined or wanted but still is good if I appreciate what is good (all about attitude), that I need to take care of me before I can take care of others & step into parts of life, where some of my faulty foundations are so I can fix them, to think about why I do what I do and what I believe (to question these and look for truth, to not be blind), boundaries, healing, & so much more; that I am fierce & amazing, and dreams more than come true or we find even more amazing ones.
So guess what life, you can kiss my arse, because if there’s four things this lady has learned from the last 11 years (I used to hate those two numbers),
1) there is hope for amazing adventures & changes to come,
2) I am blessed with the most wonderful people to share life with,
3) though Scott & Diane are each right: I experience the most awesomely blessed circumstances past the most unpredictable rain,
4) and, lastly: do not underestimate me: I am far more capable, stronger, and more determined than anyone could ever imagine; and am about to grow and mature into an even more amazing woman than any of us imagine.
So bring it on life; like the quote of my nation’s history, you should be afraid for you “have awoken a sleeping giant”. I refuse to curse God from this. It may grow worse, idk, but “this, too, shall pass” and it shall open up even more amazing doors and make me even more capable of great things. I will not curse God: With Everything Praise The Lord.
(Ps Dr.Wagner, you are so right: I have little dog syndrome, but I always get my win!)
If you can read this, congrats, you are a choice few, and our friendship means even more to me and/or you did something noteworthy to me that I am mentioning.
Tonight I am thankful for relationships that endure storms, struggles, and honesty.
1) I am thankful for my roommates for being so cool, understanding, and chill the last 2 days; and, this evening, especially for Pat for being someone I can be vulnerable with, bare my soul to; who, tonight was understanding, encouraging, and helped me to see truth where I needed a gentle push.
Struggle builds good character. Sadly, there is no other way: like diamonds it is grown under pressure. Relationships only grow through enduring struggles with one another. Like valuable stones such as Jade and Turquois, they are polished and refined by smashing into one another in a tumbler; or, as the Bible puts it, “iron sharpens iron”. And as much as I dislike it, we all run our own races and I am where I am, like it or not; so giving myself mercy where I am is something I am thankful to be able to do.
The last 2 days I have been an unbalanced, overemotional, oversensitive, defensive, ready to lash back (like an angry rattle snake coiled and ready to strike if anyone moves near it), angry, frustrated PMS (PMD) nutcase (we all have our days). I need a med that Obamacare hasn’t been willing to cover, and the affects are not pretty (please don’t pity me or suggest meds: I know people mean well, but at this point it just annoys me (especially today since I lack patience). I have an amazing doctor who knows his stuff and is on this); I am not a victim (as we all have flaws) & somehow I need to learn to overcome this ridiculous agression & state in the meantime (I realized tonight). The affect of PMD lately has not just been hard on me, but on others around me… and it really sucks because I care & today I lashed out at one of my closest friends.
2) Tonight I am also thankful for courage to be honest with others so I can have healthy relationships (even if I need to work on the presentation) and myself so I can change & grow; and for courageous friends who will kindly put me in my place. I am thankful that, in our own ways, we all screw up, do things wrong, and are growing past our weaknesses and fears; and that I am no worse than anyone else (thanks to my neighbor gals for reminding me of this), nor is anyone worse than me (we all run our own races).
I am thankful for mercy, forgiveness, and that we can grow through & past our struggles. I am thankful that I am gaining even more confidence and self-acceptance through these, despite my falling on my face to do so. I am thankful for healing & growth in the hurts we cause others and in all forms of relationships as we all will, so that the injuries heal (very humbling).
I am thankful for truth that comes from communicating through our fears. I am thankful for patient friends who are tolerant of my flaws; for peeps who either: introduced me to Mindfulness activities & materials I can glean from and practice as a method of strength and growth; or are studying it with me (yay!), mentoring me and reminding me that change takes time, spending time taking care of my med stuff (such as writing letters and calling Obamacare), reminding me to be kind to myself and to offer myself grace where I am, being easygoing and patience, and are great relationships that are awesome resources and encouraging examples; and for hope to grow past stumbling blocks.
I am thankful for struggles; for the mature character and durable, tight-knit relationships they develop; and that they teach us to get up despite failure, & give us the strength to do so.