Saturday, October 19, 2013




Grace said, "I'm glad you are my grandma because if you weren't, I would miss you.  I love you."  Ahh, this is from a granddaughter who sometimes chooses to "slide down the banister of life with all the splinters pointing upward," who listens to the beat of a different drummer...

"She always had that about her,
that look of otherness, of eyes
that see things much too far, and of
thoughts that wander off the edge of the world."
Joanne Harris

God's grace said to me, "I'm glad you are my daughter, because if you weren't, I would miss you. 
I love you."
But what do we do when we have thoughts that wander off the edge of the world?

What happens when a college English teacher gets bit by a great white shark while surfing in Eureka?
You get a quote like this...
What's strange about it was how amazing the morning was,
how everyone was having a good time,
and then the dichotomy."
Things change in the blink of an eye.  You fall asleep one way, and wake up in a different world.  Hank has a club foot.  He wears a brace at night to stretch his achilles muscle, but sometimes he has an unseen growth spurt and it suddenly becomes too taunt, painfully so, and he can barely walk, a drastic change overnight.  Unseen, unbidden, stuff happens. Crutches come out of the garage while yesterday he was riding his bike and running blocks down the street to play.  Life is like that sometimes.  Unexpected.  We can go through life waiting for the next shoe to drop with anxiety or relax in His grace which will be sufficient.
Most of us attended a wonderful workshop at retreat "Dealing with Fear and Anxiety."  Anxiety is the "unpleasant state of inner turmoil (body/mind/soul) a state of alertness when threatened or under pressure." "Rumination is compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences as opposed to its solutions.  Rumination focuses on bad feelings and experiences from the past."  "Worry is compulsively focused attention on potential bad events in the present or future."  "Worry is praying for what you don't want instead of going to God." 

Some worry bones are too big to chew...
My youngest son was bathed in utero with adrenaline due to his birth mother's chaos and drugs and alcohol.  Even as a baby which early memory cannot bring to light, he was caught in that pattern of adrenaline response.  He was missing important building blocks of development because he was on hyper alertness unable to filter out what was important or not important, real or merely an altered impression of reality. 
Some bring this into their adulthood.  Stress and anxiety is their constant companion.  They become a sitting duck for Satan's lies.  The only thing the devil can do to you is lie to you.  He is the author of all lies.  We all begin in the Garden and hear whispered in our ear, "Did God really say?..."  It is the lie that God is not enough.

"Be careful who you trust.
The devil was once an angel."
Feeding the devil (or your cherished little pet sins) with your fear and anxiety 
is like feeding a hungry lion by hand. 
Pretty soon your hand is bit off, then your arm, or perhaps your whole bite-size self. 
Then, shall we say, you have a *dichotomy.
*division into two parts
 "When a train goes through a tunnel
and it gets dark, you don't throw away
the ticket and jump off.  You sit still and trust the engineer."
Corrie ten Boom
Laurie Jennings said spiritually treating worry and anxiety is making the journey from pride and controlling issues ("If you eat this fruit, you will become like Him" - wanting to be in control) to submission, from insecurity  and fear to faith and trust.  Rather we should focus on God's ability, His love for us, His power to meet our needs, His plans to help us grow and trust Him more and more each day.  We need to capture thoughts that are negative that make us feel powerless and fearful and make them obedient to Christ (she used the illustration of a cowboy in a calf-roping contest.)  Yes, there are times when we need outside counselors and physical help (meds), but she reminded us the engine of the train is "Fact (God is who He says He is) followed by faith and feeling.  Don't ever let feeling try to lead or you will derail.
"Life always offers you a second chance.
It's called tomorrow."



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