I def didn’t mean to disappear. But life has been life. I think I’m gonna just continue to let life be and get back to it at the beginning of April.
However. I had a concrete, postable (is that even a word?!) thought earlier so I’m heeeeeeere!
There are, at times, cataclysmic events, people, seasons, and/or situations that shake the foundation, core, plates of our lives just like an earthquake.
Like legit. An earthquake is the moving and shifting of the tectonic plates in the earth’s crust. Far from where our eyes see, there is pressure at fault lines (thanks for the refresher Google and wiki) that causes the plates to grind and shift.
Some earthquakes are felt and some are not. Some we see evidence of and some we do not. But no matter what, something happened and left the earth forever changed.
The biggest earthquakes have visible changes, disturbances in roads resulting in cracks and sinkholes. Houses and buildings destroyed from the foundation up. Not to mention destruction of their contents. Water main breaks. Gas lines destroyed. Havoc wreaked on power lines. Death. The list is endless.
The smaller ones exist but, much like the daily rotation of the earth, we don’t necessarily see or feel them at the moment. But, as sure as winter turns to spring, summer, and fall, leaves and flowers, daylight and darkness, nothing stays the same.
Not to mention the aftershocks or shockwaves. Those tend to be worse and far more dangerous than the earthquake itself. Things are already out of whack and perilous. And here comes more shaking to add to the destruction.
For us, cataclysmically, death, loss, life, addition, quakes us. Changes us. Would seemingly destroy us. Or make us better.
If we stay at the quake we miss out on the beauty of it. If we hold on to whatever it is, good or bad, we don’t make room for the goodness that can come of it.
Being stagnant is not always a standstill in grief. Sometimes we think we have arrived at the best we’ve ever had and as good as we think it’s gonna get. So. Out of an abundance of caution, we park there so we don’t risk it or lose it. Never mind the possibility of more or better.
There is something to rebuilding though. Processing the event. Learning from it. Growing from it. Mourning or celebrating. Grieving or rejoicing. Going through what the earthquake brought you and putting it into proper perspective. Learning the lesson and accepting the gift.
All life really is is a collection of moments sewn together to make a well-used, patchwork quilt. It is up to us to determine what we do with the pieces and how we embrace or even use what is sewn together.
All I had as a draft was the title. Ima see what I come up with.
Words matter. Sentence structure matters. Semantics. The English language is one of the hardest to learn for a person for whom English is not their first language. So many words sound the same but are spelled the same. The silent letters. The rules. Sure, for English speakers, other languages may be difficult. I learned Spanish. Their rules make a lot more sense than some of those I remember from my English classes. There are a multitude, a litany of exceptions for our words. For the most part, Spanish rules are pretty constant.
Lissen. Those last couple of sentences are sending me somewhere I cannot go. Lol. Just ponder them and see what you come up with. 😉
The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). James 3 is a whole situation about the tongue and our mouths. He talks about how small they are and how much fire they can kindle. The thing that I thought of is his question in verse 11: Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter.
When reading it to put a couple of other things here I was also reminded of verses 9 and 10: Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
God spoke and created the earth. Go catch that first chapter of Genesis. Throughout the ENTIRE Bible, the words, promises of God and His vessels, Jesus shift lives and entire nations. Over and over again.
My thing is this. God breathed His breath into man in Genesis. Jesus promised us power to do greater works he did (John 14:12). He stated that things could be spoken to or spoke to them (fig tree, mountains, demons, wind and sea). So, if God spoke, Jesus spoke and promised us greater works than him, if we speak, we have the ability to have what we say.
It is so very crucial as believers to only speak positively and what God says. When I say what God says, I mean speak His word. The Bible. And, if He speaks to you personally, say that as well. Saying what God says isn’t 100% literal though. We have to speak well of, about, and to each other. With kind words. That is the essence of His Word and those who wrote under His inspiration.
Many of us were called things contrary to the plan of God for our lives. Many of us were called things contrary to who God made us. People didn’t know better or they passed their issues onto us. Some of us began to become what others said we were. Some of us began to call ourselves what others called us.
I thought about that thang one day. And you know what I did? I put the Word on it! I bound it because Jesus said what I bind on earth would be bound in heaven. I loosed what God thinks, what He says because he said what I loose on earth would be loosed in heaven (all bof of em are Matthew 18:18). I cursed it at the root and sent it back to the pit of hell where it belongs (churchy phrase with likely origins to that fig tree mentioned abouve).
I submit to you today, that if you are struggling with your words, study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Study the Word. Say things the way they should be said and say only what should be said. Not idle, wasteful things. I’m working on this myself as I believe I stated elsewhere.
Faith y’all. Faith.
Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.
My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.
First off. These are huge. Second. There are pictures of dirt and trash. Look away if you want. It will make sense in the end.
I was at someone’s home who has a dog. But the dog gets sick if it eats random crap. In order to let the dog be free and not get fussed at for eating stuff, I decided to vacuum the floor where the dog is allowed to roam.
As I vacuumed, it seemed like it wasn’t picking up what I was vacuuming. As you can see below, the tank looked empty. I was confused. So, I took it off and looked inside. All of that clumped stuff in the middle was in the hole on the vacuum and in the part that connects one of the hoses.
Since I cleaned the vacuum, I decided to just sweep up what was left after picking up the clumps. No need in dirtying up what I had JUST cleaned with the same dirt.
I put the vacuum back together and swept the carpet. I took the vacuum apart again and this is what I saw.
Now at first, I thought maybe I had missed all of that in the tank. But when I looked at the pictures again, I didn’t think that was the case. I think that is a bunch of dog hair.
That is what the filter looked like. I had a bag less vacuum and when it got dirty I washed off the filter. I decided to do that this time too.
I think I failed to upload a pic. Ion care. I’m not going to. Just know, it looked better when I applied water before applying any soap. This pic is after water and soap.
I told the person I washed it and they questioned me since it was going to get dirty again. They said they never thought to clean it. I let them know that I had before and at least it would be clean.
I have had several thoughts and lessons flit, come through my mind while typing this and intially forever ago when I created the post.
First of all. We may look clean but there is a whole lot of mess and stuff in us. If we don’t clean it out we will not work properly. Huh. Sounds similar to what I just wrote in Still There. This was a draft before that. I guess I had the same thought again though since it got published first.
Second. If there is more than one way to do something, and you have made progress with one way, why not try it another way? Aaaaaand. If you have cleaned up one area, don’t just mess it up again because it is easy to do what you have done.
I could have just vacuumed up the leftover dirt from pulling the packed dirt out. But why? A broom and dust pan is just as effective. I didn’t just do what was easy or what I had done and plug it back in and vacuum it back up.
Third. If we do use the same methods, go the same way, we may just have to clean again. But in a different way. Some different issue or consequence will arise. We don’t necessarily reap the way we sow or reap the same way we have reaped before (Galatians 6:7-8). I used the same vacuum on a different surface in a different area. I thought I missed the dirt. But, upon further inspection, it was different dirt in a different area of the vacuum.
Fourth and finally, just because all looked well and clean, that was NOT the case. In the pic of the trash can, it appears that the filter may just be dirty from the way I dumped the tank. However, upon further inspection when I flipped it, it was FILTHY. It was hidden.
What are we hiding? What have we cleaned some, cleaned one way, given to God some, given to Him one way but left dirty, held on to? He knows it ALL. Just give it ALL to Him. He wants it. He can handle it. Let Him be God! Let Him give us what He has promised us!
Galatians 6:9 (KJV) promises us good news: let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
I did not give up. I kept looking and made sure I found all of the dirt. I didn’t wash or wipe the whole thing. Just the filter. But my diligence, persistence, the fact that I kept going, ensured that the vacuum was cleaner and capable of functioning properly. Unlike the condition I found it.
Fooling with the vacuum wasn’t that hard. Examining myself sometimes is. I don’t always wanna act right. I don’t always wanna say the right thing. I just wanna be in my lil fleshly feelings. I mess up.
However, I am doing the hard work of trying to emulate, be like my friend, my brother, my lord, my savior, my Jesus. It has not been easy. It has hurt. It has been confusing. Like why that thang was dirty but I saw nothing.
But guess what? I see change. I see growth. I am obtaining the fruit of the spirit. I am hearing from God and getting alla this revelation in ways I wasn’t before.
I am cleaning my life, my relationships, my emotions, my mind, what I consume (entertainment, food, and conversation). I am making room and space for my relationship with Jesus.
Like I said the other day, it looks a mess on the outside. But, to me, this is the best life I have lived thus far. I’m content in the state I find myself in (Philippians 4:11).
I’m yelling cuz I mean that thang.
I’ve been heavier than others most of my life. It is what it is.
I’ve starved myself and been smaller for a while. Unsustainable.
I’ve done keto while working full time and going to law school part time. It was physician supervised and was team a lot. Unsustainable.
I’ve tried multiple things multiple times. What was it? Unsustainable.
I started working 4-midnight October 2019.
I don’t really mess with breakfast. When I worked during the day I would do lunch and dinner. For multiple, various reasons, I was only really eating once meal maybe twice between four and midnight. Sometimes I’d eat a snack after I got home.
I went to the doctor November 2019. I saw my weight. Not surprised. At some point during the pandemic, I went to urgent care and I’d lost weight.
I went to the doctor October 2020. I was already planning on discussing losing weight among other things. Color me surprised that I lost more weight.
I told her that I didn’t eat right cuz I didn’t do breakfast and keto was too much food for me. She pooh poohed at that. She told me about intermittent fasting.
I’m pretty sure a former coworker who lost a decent amount of weight told me about it too.
I told her, or figured out, that I was basically doing it anyway. While eating junk and fast food.
The actual reason around October for the weight loss was that I would stay up after work until 2, 4, 6 am and then sleep all day or not want to leave to get food.
I didn’t have groceries at the house on the regular. It’s an interesting thing buying food and cooking for one person. And I don’t like eating the same thing for a week. I could also just cook at work depending on what I wanted.
She told me to read a book on intermittent fasting and to drink at least a half gallon of water a day.
Things got rough. I wasn’t drinking enough of anything let alone water prior to that visit. I was retaining water. I was walking too. The scale was not moving down. I think it went up.
I went back and found out I was likely dehydrated. I went back to the doctor from 2019 in December. Found out I had lost 11 pounds in a year but only two since October.
I told people so what. I felt like it was a test to see if I would keep going. I said I would. And did.
Well the end of December hit. I was tired and not feeling well. The water and exercising went down a bit.
I went on vacation. I did get some exercise in. Water was still down
I moved nine hours away last week. Water and exercise down.
But guess what happened when I got on the scale this morning? Down 13 pounds from October.
It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. It doesn’t matter that you’ve failed before.
KEEP GOING! DON’T BE DISCOURAGED!
I’m listening to somebody sing an awesome song. I’ve conversed with them and they dont seem to trust the God they are singing about.
Jesus commissioned the disciples to do what he was doing. They watched him,earned from him, and then he said go to the people do what you’ve seen me do. (Mark 9:1-6)
A couple of them came back unable to cast a demon out. Jesus did it. The disciples asked why they couldn’t. Jesus said it was because of their unbelief. (Matthew 17:14-20)
It’s a puzzling, interesting thing that we go to church and hear sermons, hear songs, read the Bible, do all of this God-centric or God-adjacent stuff yet…
We don’t see the promises of God manifested. We look at the problem and not the problem solver.
We look at the wind and the waves and sink instead of focusing on the Savior in the middle of a miracle. (Matthew 14:25-30)
We create this hero who we don’t allow to become our friend. We create this Santa Claus but don’t fellowship with him. We create this genie but don’t allow him to lead and guide us.
We ask, but not according to his will. (1 John 5:14) So, we end up with issues. We don’t do what the Bible says do in, the way it says to do it in order to receive because we aren’t fully believing it. Why? Because our concept of who he is and how we should relate to him is skewed.
We aren’t taught or ignore the character and mind of who God truly is. If we don’t know how can we believe? Our relationship is a two way street
But, if we are conditioned to always ask, have our hand out, expect him to just do whatever we ask, we are disappointed. That affects our belief.
What a world this would be if we allowed the Word and the giver of that word to come alive in our lives. What a world this would be if we invited him in and gave him control. What a world it would be if we simply, truly believed.