Tuesday, July 31, 2012

That's up to you

I was just watching an episode of Law & Order.  A woman gave up her child for adoption.

It got me thinking about myself.  For all intents and purposes, I was adopted.  My mother dropped out of sight when I was 3 and I seldom saw her growing up.

After I turned 18, I had no contact.

On the one hand, I wanted to know all about her; on the other, she wasn't there when I needed her.  My stepmother consoled me when I was depressed, and encouraged me to eat when my weight dropped due to antidepressants.

OH, I could have used some counsel on how to manage my illness, but she didn't know herself.  About the only lesson I took away "Don't drink or do drugs, it will wreck your life like it did hers".

I had to figure out "illness management" and "smart living" for myself.  That's one reason I maintain this blog, to provide the kind of counsel I needed.  I want other people to come here, read what I have to say, and navigate away thinking "OK, take my medication as directed, no drinking, no partying, and I can have a great life!"

Maybe they get curious about my faith and explore the Bible, too.

Anyway, growing up, anything to do with my mother was this huge mystery.  The other kids used to taunt me with stories - even kids at school.  I didn't know enough to say yes or no.

I just knew, I wanted to know why did my mother have me?  Why did she leave?  Why couldn't she be my mother?

When I was 13, I confronted my Dad and I got some answers.  My parents HAD loved each other deeply.  She was a severe alcoholic even before "my" pregnancy.  I was a planned - the thermometer, charts, and everything.  My mother wanted to mother; but she just wasn't capable, which left me crying,  hungry and neglected in my crib.

I get various answers on why she left; but my safety was at risk.  I prefer to think she left because she realized she couldn't take care of me, and worried about my safety.   In my version, she figured my Dad would remarry, a nice lady who could have cookies and milk for me after school, who never drank to excess, who'd love me like her own.

That's pretty much what happened, years later.  I ended up calling her Mom - viewing her, to this day, as my adoptive Mom.  My birthmother gets relegated to "birthmother" and an interesting notation on the medical file under "history".

Interestingly, my illness is far more severe than my mother's.  My birth mother never had psychotic "features".   I don't know the rest of her illness, just that she was type one, with manias.  Heck, I remember those manias.  Yike.

My mother had 3 children who live today.  She gave us all different talents.  She gave my brother and sister her blue eyes.  She gave me light brown eyes.  In most regards, I favor my father.  I have his hair, nose, body type, complexion, and engineering bent.  I have her mouth, her illness, her hands, and her artistic ability.

I manifest that differently from the other kids.  My brother draws, makes jewelry, and builds custom motorcycles.  My sister is very musical, a beautiful voice, and plays the piano like Mom did.  I'm more "crafty".  I would hope my artistic ability manifests itself in writing, mainly, with a little knit/crochet, etc.

That's up to you, to decide.

For Mark

Mark!  You get your own blog!

I am very flattered you shared everything you did about your personal life.  I know how a lot of people would have reacted.  Ah, nuclear?

Yeah.  Anyway, you know the evangelical, Bible-thumping position, so I won't restate it.  That's for you to work out.  To paraphrase the Bible, you will need to work out your own salvation.

I will let you know I'm praying (you are covered in a couple of categories) for you daily.  That's all I can do, and hopefully provide such an excellent example of faith you cast everything aside in pursuit of it (mostly kidding, there).

I thought you might get a kick out of a Ron-ism.

You may not know my husband suffered a very bad head injury, rated "Extremely Severe".  Basically, he had one of the worst head injuries one can have and still keep the brains in his head.

OH, I do hope you have the right paperwork for your husband.  I had a HORRIBLE time because Ron and I were not legally married at the time of his accident.  I had to beg his father to sign all consent forms.  Ugly, awful, time.  Please let me know you've taken care of all that.

Anyway, Ron recovered, with God's help.  He is extremely outspoken now and has a few interesting viewpoints.

"Ain't nothing going in my mouth but food" being the primary statement.  He says it anywhere!

Pray for me!

Typical Day

A little more about my average day: get up, do my God Time, shower.  Eat a small meal, take the antidepressant and antipsychotic (I have an unusual reaction to it - it wakes me up, so I take it AM),  and go to work.  I may go to the wholesale warehouse first, and then take the merchandise to work (tomorrow), to go straight to work (yesterday).  At any rate, I get to work, stock vending machines, repair them, etc. Help Ron - he does a lot of hollering for me.

It's good for helping me to be patient.  Ron uses a wheelchair at work, he can't stand for long due to the nerve disease and stroke.  He makes being blind, partially paralyzed (entire right side), and a wheelchair-user - he makes it look easy and natural.

Yesterday, at work, some woman kept gaping at Ron at work.  I knew she must be knew.  The regulars treat Ron as part of the scenery.  They are good at ducking out of his way as he approaches in the wheelchair.

We get out of there in the early afternoon, I come home and usually take my nap.  The lithium, at 4 a day, really makes me tired.  Oddly, I sleep less at 4 lithiums than I did at 3.  After about an hour, I'm up,  Ron and I might grab some fast food, I take all 4 lithiums when I do eat.

I have fewer side effects, taking it all at once.  Doc says that is fine, as long as I take it consistently.  I do.

Then, I do the house and yard work, whatever needs doing, laundry, get online for a little bit, do my PM God Time (a little Bible study only), and then go to bed pretty early.  I'm up at 5 pretty much every day.

What my faith looks like

I'll never forget the moment I found out my illness had a name, and medication.  I'll never forget the feeling of power - taking back control, as I took my first dose of medication right in my doctor's office.  It was wonderful, and I thank God every time I take my medication.

God has given me so much.  Hope, peace, confidence.  I want everyone to have that - but that's nothing new.  You can find something along those lines all over my blog.

I don't think I've ever talked about this: what my faith looks like.  This all came to a head today, as I showed Ron my Haldol.  I told him "This is control of my thoughts, and no-nausea.  Wonderful, isn't it?"  Ron muttered invective at God for "breaking" me and I had to  laugh, thinking about my readers and how they must view my faith, at home.

I envison blog readers picturing Ron and us getting up early to thank God for the new day, spending time in prayer and Bible study before we go to work.

No.  I get up an hour early, on my own, to do my God time (Bible study and prayer for everyone in the world).  If Ron realizes I am having my God time, I get to hear him raving about how God doesn't "deserve" my worship.

Sometimes I wish I had emoticons - the little animated faces you see on message boards.  I'd put the one called "twitch" right about here.

Ron tends to get very angry at God, whenever I make a comment about gratitude.  Not "You should be more grateful" but "OH, thank God, it's a straight trip on paratransit".  Ron even calls God "Torture man" and has now nicknamed God, "Torch" short, for Torture Man of course.

Ron complains to God, bitterly and incessantly.  "If you loved me/us, you'd get us off this rock."  God doesn't fall for those tricks, so Ron's left resentful.

Ron will take me to church, most weeks, because I think he enjoys the companionship.  The rest of the time, he complains bitterly.   He had to get up early.  He hates long rides on paratransit, etc.

Bible Handouts: For years, Ron thought I needed a medication adjustment.  He then decided if I wanted to do them, fine, but he wouldn't help.  That was fine, I did them by myself, taking a hand cart on the bus.

Then, he came along, because he was worried about my safety.  We all know bad guys avoid blind men in wheelchairs.  It makes Ron feel protective, to sit in his wheelchair on the corner, listening to music.

I'm happy to have him along, my love language is quality time.  I do the Bible Handouts because I am compelled to share my faith; the wonderful blessings I have in knowing God.

I've been told I "have a heart for the lost" - and I do.  I see unreached people and I just want to love them.  I can't help it.  Today, I saw a gangsta type riding by, and I so wanted to give him a Bible.  I just want to hug them, love them, pray with them, and get them started on a wonderful road to faith.

It's irrepressible.  Even if I could turn it off, I wouldn't.

Ron?  I think he just wants people to get saved so God will rapture us, sooner.  Or so he says.  However, he's out there every time.  That's got to count.  He makes it a lot easier to to do the handouts, and I can hand out more, as well.

If I had an easy faith life, it probably wouldn't be very strong.  I have to think the obstacles I face in Ron's ongoing objection to God Time (quality time with God), make my own faith stronger.

I would love to sit down and do Bible studies with him, read devotionals, but he won't.  So, I pray alone.  Maybe with the cat, and study the Bible on my own.  God gave me the Holy Spirit, so I'm never really alone anyway.

What does my faith look like?  By myself, but never alone.

I'm praying for you daily.

Monday, July 30, 2012

"Where are you, Heather?"

Delivery day is always interesting.

Last night, I had a hard time falling asleep.  They had some alien invasion program.

I am not worried about an alien invasion, but I was interested to see how they'd present it, because I believe aliens will be used to explain the rapture.  "The aliens took away all those close minded Christians, so the rest of us could evolve" - possibly.

You'll have to wait and see; but I always pray you'll be with me.  I don't care how awful you are, what kind of comments you leave, no one "deserves" the trials you will have in the Tribulation.

Anyway, I watched that for a while.  Ron fell asleep at the end.  He loves to sleep with his TV on headphones.  His Dad used to fall asleep with the TV blaring, maybe it's genetic.  All I know, Ron sleeps GREAT when he does that and we have separate rooms, so it works for both of us.

I went to bed around 7, because I had to get up at 2.  Ron woke me up talking about a new alien show on TV ("Roswell").  He kept calling me, and woke me up.  "Where are you, Heather?"

"I'm asleep in bed."  Ooops!  Ron felt terrible.

I just didn't sleep well last night.  I got up at 3 and took my shower.  I shaved my legs.  Poor things look like I tried to hurt them, but at least they weren't hairy.

I woke Ron up, his alarm malfunctioned.

Our driver was early, and banged on the door until I opened it.  Ron got on the van by himself, like he always does, and when we got the stop she blocked/crowded him as he got off.  If she had backed up and let him use his cane, he could have "seen" where he was going, but she grabbed his arm roughly and pushed him where she wanted him to go, while giving really bad verbal directions.

I had to keep saying "He is fine, let him go.  HE'S FINE."  Ron finally pulled his arm away and used his cane.  Sometimes the overprotective drivers are worse than the ones that ignore him.

One woman crowded so closely behind him, she caused him to lose his balance.  Then she tried to say "See, he almost fell!  That's why I had to help him!"  It was pointless to tell her he would have been fine without her "help".

Anyway, a little bit of a gripe: stop helping Ron.  If he needs help, he will ask for it.  Ron has a theory.  The people who go blind as children are much more capable, especially if their parents encourage them to be independent.  The people who go blind as adults, are, in Ron's word's "Incompetent" and actually need someone to tell them to raise their foot 3 inches for the curb.

In Houston, they don't use white canes either.  Most don't want to publicly identify as "blind".  Others foolishly think a white cane will make them a target (quite the contrary, even the drug dealers were nice to Ron, and me, his wife).  Anyway, for whatever reason, they are depriving themselves of a very important tool for navigating safely.   They are also completely dependent on other people  for navigation.

Ron's always been an independent fellow, one of the many reasons I love him.  So, we went into work.  All the machines were working, except coffee.  Stupid plunger. That will set us back over $100.

I did meter readings, the pull, and counted it.   I got paid my "new" salary, less, but that means we can buy adequate snack machine inventory.  It wasn't that much to begin with, but Ron pays all the bills.

I talked to the other vendors, Ron introduced himself to the new guy, and we waited on Dr Pepper.  We didn't see them for hours.  The handheld computers were malfunctioning.  I got my entire order of 22 cases.  Wow.

We used to get over 100.  OK - reader, the one who finds Obama such a good leader: when he took office we got 90 cases a month.  Now we are getting 22.  Still think he's good for the economy?   Not ours, he isn't.   Sales have dropped by 75%.  By his own words, if he couldn't fix things, he should be a one-term president.  I will be happy to make that happen.

Back to work, so we did all we could.  I do need more snack inventory.  I had a jar of change I'd been saving.  Ron ran it on the coin sorter and sold it to the credit union, giving me a little fun money.

I have a lot of expenses on a lot less pay: charity debits, doctor visit, and medication.  Ron offered to help with the medication.  Good.

Something funny about my husband buying my antidepressant.  [giggle]

We got that delivery, and the sandwich delivery.  One of the clamshells had popped open.  Ron and I decided to eat it, a nice turkey sandwich.  "I'd buy this" I said with my mouth full, as Ron nodded.  Good stuff.  I like to know we have quality product.

The Dr Pepper guy helped me put the soda away, because I'm willing to do it on my own.  He saw me putting it up, helped, and we got all 22 put up in a few minutes.  Then he took the stack of pallets back to his truck.  He's a nice guy.

After work, we had another "special" driver.  I understand he may not want me to give directions.  I understand he may ignore my directions.  But when the GPS and I are both saying "turn left" and he gets in the right turn lane... agh.  I ended up yelling "It's on the left!"   He told me no it wasn't, it was on the right, and I said I've been coming here for 12 years!    Even Ron yelled "It's on the left".  Oh, well, since the blind man said it, he got in the proper lane and turned.  [head slap]

I hope he perks up, or he won't last long.  He had a nasty attitude.  Ugh.  Happy to get off that vehicle.

We had a good ride home, and took a nap.  I only slept about an hour and a half.  Bubba-cat got into bed with me and I dropped right off.  When I woke up, he was gone.  I probably rolled on his tail or something.

Remember last year, when that kitten wanted to live with us?  One time it slept in my bed and I kept rolling over on it.  He let out such an awful squeaks.  I need a big fat kitty in my bed, one I won't smash!

Ron took me out to dinner, a good place that has a very affordable afternoon special.  It was great.

I thought it was wonderful, when I pushed his chair in the doorway a waitress, the one we had last time, came running up and said "I'll take them!" with a big grin.

She was a really great waitress.  I love this about Ron: he's a great tipper.  We left when it started getting busy and waited outside.  We had a good ride home, a nice young man.

Ron went straight to bed.  He's exhausted.  I can hear him snoring.

I checked the mail.  The insurance company wants me to replace the siding/trim on the garage, trim the tree (it is overhanging the house), and prune the backyard.  I can do the last.

My uncle would LOVE to trim the tree.  He keeps talking about it every time he sees the tree.  I may have a hard time restraining him.

The repair work? Well, we'll see.  I can afford to buy the parts, I just need some help with the labor.  Ron has a call in to someone from the church.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I got smart and prayed about it.

I've had a lot of political angst this year.

As an evangelical, evangelist, I had some major issues voting for the incumbent.  We don't agree on doctrinal issues of salvation.

As a born-again, I had some major issues voting for a Mormon.  How can I vote for someone who thinks the Devil, and Jesus, are brothers?  Abhorrent!

But I always go back to what God called me to do, years ago: pray for our leaders.  I pray for all of them every day, big ones and little ones.

I have to feel that God will guide them, regardless of religious belief - otherwise, why have me pray for them?   God can get through to anyone.

Ron was very excited tonight, watching Romney talk about Israel.  I found myself agreeing with everything I saw.

Then I saw something with the incumbent and felt my usual dread he might be re-elected.  I should add here, many of my like-minded friends have insisted I must vote for Romney, as an "against the incumbent" vote.

Well, I don't like that.  I can't do that.  I have to live with myself after I vote, and I want to feel I made the right choice, not the lesser of two evils.

Finally, I got smart and prayed about it, then took some quiet time to think.  "Heather" I felt God saying "Do you really think I can't work with a Mormon?   That I can't use him in spite of everything?"

I realized, God was right.  I also realized, on his own merits, he is better for the country than the incumbent, so I'll be voting for Romney this election.

Back to the aliens

As it turns out, I did have a migraine.  Ugh.

I had to take a phenergan tablet and lie down.  I came back to life around 3, just in time to eat and watch "When Aliens Attack" with Ron.

Oh, and read the new manual.  The other vendor is wrong; we only pay our percentage after they deduct expenses.  We'll probably pay something like $20 a month.

Back to the aliens.

Allow me to distract myself

I woke up with a "bad" headache.  I have a scale: headache, "bad" headache (will become a migraine without intervention), migraine (no vomiting), and "bad" migraine (vomiting).  So, in one sense, it isn't too bad, but it is a bad headache.  

Usually I can kill it with a hot shower and some OTC generic headache pills.  Walmart sells something "Headache Relief Formula" - a generic Excedrin, 2 bottles of 100 count each, for $4.  That's a good deal.  

Not much else to say about it, it will either go away or it won't.  I took the tablets, hot shower pending after I post.  Onto other topics.  

Recently I purchased some small vials of roll-on perfume oil.  Ron was rather free with his favors during his single days, so many perfumes remind him of other women.  

I don't want Ron thinking about another woman when I walk in the room!  I had a very hard time finding something I liked, he liked, and no reminders.  

For a while, in the mid 90's, I wore something called "Water Lilies".  It was a light floral, kind of vanilla notes.  Then I went to White Musk, again, another "white" floral, but it started triggering migraines.  

When I worked food service with Ron, I didn't wear perfume.  I just wore the delectable aroma of cooked hot dogs and baked chicken.  

I began wearing a fake version of "Red" right before Ron's accident.  We both liked it.  I loved it when I was manic.  The rest of the time, I found it a little heavy, but we both found it appealing.  Fragracenet describes it as a blend of oak moss, fruits, spice, and musk.  

I wore it to the hospital when Ron was in a coma, hoping to trigger a vestigial memory.  I also asked permission to do aromatherapy.  I was very into aromatherapy before Ron got hurt.  

I bought a vial of lemon essential oil and encouraged the girls to take a sniff if they were feeling run-down.  They liked it.  I got some "relaxing" and "alert" blends in glass vials,  peppermint and rosemary essential oils.  

The staff were fine with aromatherapy; I'd sprinkle a few drops on a tissue and put it near Ron's head.  It would fragrance his area only.  They didn't like the rosemary, they would come in, sniff, "What's that?" with a distasteful expression, so I stopped it.  I didn't want them going yuck every time they saw Ron.  

So, I went with the peppermint oil.  I'd put a few drops on the tissue and they'd walk in with a much happier expression.  If they asked, I'd tell them I had permission to do aromatherapy.  They loved it and worked with diligence.  

I didn't realize how that would come back to haunt me.  One of the things I bought recently was a "mint blend" fragrance oil.  I put it on and immediately became very depressed.  It took me over a week to figure it out: mint oil - hospital - flashbacks.  

So, I think I ruined mint fragrances for myself, after Ron's accident.  I get profoundly depressed when I smell it.   Anyone want a barely-used vial of mint fragrance oil?  

After Ron's accident, I started wearing Red (the generic) again.  I was walking home one day, carrying my backpack, when the cap came off the small aerosol "freshen-up" I carried in my backpack.  The perfume leaked out, over everything, as I walked home and I stank for days.  I took countless showers and had to throw out the backpack.  I have a pretty serious distaste for "Red" now.  

Since I do work in the food industry, less is more.  I do have a bottle of Tea Rose, and a bottle of Tea Rose Jasmin.  Grandma wore Tea Rose and I loved it.  I do have to be careful wearing it around my aunt, though.  I'd warn her before she saw me because fragrances can take a person aback.  

Like me, and the mint oil.  Ugh.  

So, I had them.  I like to wear Tea Rose when I'm feeling stressed, it's a very comforting fragrance for me.  It doesn't last all day, though, at least not with my activity level and chemistry.  

That's how I found the wholesale perfume oil people.  I was looking for some tea rose perfume oil; it's more intense, and I can carry the little vial in a padded pouch on my backpack.  They didn't have Tea Rose, but they had other things.  

The prices were very low, so I thought "Why not?" and bought a few.  

[I went to the bathroom.  Ron's awake now so we chatted a minute.  "Heather" he said "I wonder how many vegans get angry when their cat brings them a dead rodent?"  Good question, Ron.]  

So, I got a few things, here.  Ron and I, since he does have to smell me, I wanted his input, decided to get various florals.  

So, I got Rose Petal and fake Ombre Rose.  Both, I found ghastly.  For me, at least.  I loved the Somali Rose, a spicier rose fragrance.  I'll be getting more of that.  

In fact, my top three are: Orange Blossom, Patchouli-Lavender, and Somali Rose.  The other fragrances are nice but I haven't worn them yet (Lily of the Valley and Lilac).  I also got something called "Spicebomb" but I haven't tried it yet.   I like spicy fragrances, though.  

Anyway, Ron is happy with all of them, and so am I.  I like the Orange Blossom when I'm manic-y.  It's a very soothing fragrance.  The Patchouli-Lavender is nurturing, good when I'm depressed.   I like the rose fragrance anytime.  

It's interesting to see how many rose fragrances exist.  I have to wonder how many of them smell as bad as those other rose fragrances.  I'm happy with my $1.50 a vial perfume with the roller cap.  

God knows, they have plenty more fragrances.  If I get bored, I can certainly buy more.  

Happily, my headache is a little better.  It's still there, and I feel really sweaty and jittery from the headache tablet caffeine content, but I don't think it'll escalate to a migraine.  

Thank you for allowing me to distract myself from the migraine.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

When God says no

Ugh.  I rode with someone involved in a cult.

Normally, I like to give the driver a bag of candy with some kind of Jesus.  This time, I got a no.  I have learned to listen to the "no".  Once I realized she was a JW, I got it.  She would have just thrown out the "Jesus".

It is very frustrating to talk to them, they are into their set little lecture, one-way "conversation".  In this case, she said believers didn't go to heaven.  I was dying to quote 2 Peter 3:10 " 2 Peter 3:10
[ The Day of the Lord ] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

Revelation 21:1 also discusses how the current Earth will pass away.  

But, then, how productive will it be to argue with a cult member?  I got a "No" so I didn't.  

Once or twice, I disobeyed the Holy Spirit.  The first time, a bus driver went crazy when I tried to give him a Bible.  He had seemed like such a nice man, I thought God was "wrong" to tell me no.  Once I got a look at him screaming and raving, I was happy to exit.  

Even if I hadn't been at my stop, I'd have gotten off.  He accused me of failing to pay the fare (another woman who looked a little like me had gotten on without paying, but I had used my fare card)

The second time, I was at a gas station manned by a muslim.  He seemed like such a nice guy, I got a no, and I tried to give him something anyway.  He went crazy screaming at me, demanded I "take it back" (a bag of candy with The Amazing Life of Jesus - who they are supposed to respect as "a prophet" if nothing else), and basically scared me half to death.  I have never gone back to that gas station.  

When God says no, I listen.  I didn't even discuss it.  I asked Ron a question, effectively changing the subject, and we got to our drop off location quickly.  

It's just so SAD.   We had a guy at work, JW.  Always "witnessing", he focused on talking to young men who were looking for an older man to respect.  He spent hours of time indoctrinating them.  

I was able, after years of faithful witness on our part, to give him a tract about the rapture.  He did take that and read it.  He wasn't allowed to do it, but I'm not going to give out any identifying information to get him in trouble.  

I had read some about cults, and I read about how the JW's will "disfellowship" "bad" members.  I asked him about it - I have never seen anyone so afraid in my life.  He was terrified.  He actually, literally, ran off and we didn't see him for weeks.  

Well.  So, Ron doesn't want to go to church tomorrow.  I think I'll do some more research.  I find it funny - I never saw myself as an apologeticist.   "Witnessing and defending the faith".  Me, argue theology?  

Ah, no.  If I am able to do it, it's God in me, not my own strength.  I plan to make some notes and put them on my spiral bound index cards.   

I also plan to do some research and find out what approach actually works to get people out of there.  Confrontational?  Loving?  Logical?  I need to see.  

I do know they are very strongly programmed with a "We're OK and everyone else is not" attitude, which is very hard to combat.  If I am an "infidel" they will probably not listen to me.  

Maybe I should get some tracts.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Does it work?

Here's a question for all my readers, saved or unreached.

Does a confrontational approach ever work?    I have two viewpoints.

On the one hand, I have seen a confrontational approach work on two men.  One, my husband, was debating "religion" with a man named John.

"Ron" he said "You've never even read the Bible!  You are ignorant!  Go read a Bible and then we'll talk."  Ron was so furious he went and stole a Bible, reading it and getting saved.

Another time my husband told a fellow passenger "You need a Bible, sir" and gave him one.  Amazingly, the man accepted it and began reading it immediately.  We rode with him months later and he thanked us again, for the Bible.

So, on a few occasions, I guess an evangelist can be a little brash.  I have to think, though, that most of the time, God calls us to mercy and compassion.

I told Ron "I just share my faith and offer them a Bible, and they take it."  That's my approach.  I have this wonderful faith and I want to share.   Or, I put a Bible or scripture booklet into a bag of candy and share that - but again, it's sharing.  That's my approach, sharing in love.

Some people are really fond of certain approaches, "Way of the Master" for one.  link  I read the book and determined it is not for me.

I am more an intuitive, "guided by the Holy Spirit" evangelist.  Show God's love to people, share my testimony, and offer them a Bible.  God takes it from there.

WOTM isn't a bad approach.  I have to say, firstly, it's a formula.  I think it is restrictive to use a formula, but understand it may be more comfortable for others.  I'm not a fan of formulas.  With my memory problems, I'd probably forget a vital step!

Secondly, it basically tells the person "You are a sinner, and you are going to hell unless".  Again, not a bad approach.  Some of us need that.  That's the approach used the night I got saved.  I wanted to go to Heaven, and I wanted Jesus in my life.  It took me a long time to realize what that entailed!

I am happy to serve Him, and wouldn't give Him up for anything.  I'm never alone.

So, good for them.  They are getting the Word out.  It's an interesting approach, and, while a little edgy, not ugly.

Then we get to the shouters.  You know who I'm talking about, don't you?    I bet I could find some GOOD links.

Here's a little one:  http://youtu.be/bgIjGID9HSE

Notice how he is waving his Bible as he insults everyone?

Now look at this:

First, I am a sinner.  I am a liar, a fornicator, I have committed adultery in my head.  I have hated my parents, I have stolen, I have committed many sins.

I am honored that God has chosen to forgive me and use me in spite of all my flaws.  God, in me, makes me great!  I'm just a crazy woman with brain damage.

Ok, that said,  I wave Bibles in this video but notice my language.  I love the unreached.  I feel a tremendous love and responsibility for my recipients, whom I view as my spiritual "children".  I may not say that in the video, but I do.


Funny, that was just 2 years ago.

God has called me, and every Christian, to preach the gospel to everyone.  A famous evangelist (Corrie Ten Boom) once said "The world does not read the Bible.  The world reads you and me."

As I read about Jesus in the New Testament, he was always very kind to the unreached.  He deliberately sought out the undesirables in society, and treated them with kindness and respect.

I have to emulate that.

Edit: Ron thought of another approach, but I don't advise it.  http://youtu.be/eowuu9rVjZw

Peanut the Killer Chihuahua

I don't like most dogs.

There, I said it.

When I was a little girl, I witnessed a mauling; the neighborhood "problem" dog would attack kids coming home from school every day.  I lived between the bus stop and the problem house, so I never had a problem, but I would see the dog chasing kids, kids would talk about being chased, and one day I heard the screams as my little brother's friend, Jesse, was bitten.  He was just walking down the road.

It was a shepherd.  After the attack, the dog was euthanized.  You can imagine my horror, a few years later, when a loose shepherd jumped on me playfully as I walked home from a friend's house.  I almost had a nervous breakdown.

Looking back, I can see it was an adolescent, saw a "child" and wanted to play.  I just saw a huge dog with large teeth coming to "get" me.  Praise God it was not aggressive.

I was a very fearful child, and my top two fears: "bees" (include entire wasp family), and dogs.  Even a small dog would make me cry.

You can imagine the fun I had when I went to visit my mother in law.  I'm desperately trying to make a good impression, and then I encounter Peanut the Killer Chihuahua.  For a small dog, it was incredibly aggressive.

The dog bit everyone, and I mean everyone, who entered the house.  [sarcasm]  It was just his way of saying "Hello".

When Ron entered the house, the dog bit him.  Then it went after me.  Now, at times, Ron and I don't do very well, but when the thing came after me Ron got his cane and smacked it, sending it cowering under the kitchen table.

I should add, Ron's "white cane" is a hollow fiberglass tube, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter (it tapers).  He didn't hurt the dog, but he did teach it "Don't go after Heather, or I will smack you."

His mother was furious, and it actually came to the point where Ron had her choose, him, or the dog.  She chose the dog.

She told him she'd rather not have him visit, if it meant confining the dog.  So, Ron stopped visiting!  He was very hurt she chose a vicious little animal over her own son, but he was tired of being bitten and defending me from the attacks.

The dog would have been a great candidate for one of those "dog rehabilitation" shows.  It's dead now.  Good riddance.

So, you can see how I might not be a fan of dogs.  I was bitten by a stray cat, but I have petted many, many cats in my day.  The cat did not do any lasting damage.  We had some antibiotics, which I took, and I reported the cat so it got picked up.

I didn't want the neighbor kids getting attacked.  They love Bubba, and enjoy petting him.  I didn't want them to pet that!   Besides, a vicious cat like that makes all the GOOD cats look bad.

Pretty much the same thing with dogs.  I also lived in very bad neighborhoods, with aggressive, unleashed pit bulls.  They'd growl at me, sizing my meatiness as the owner blithely assumed me "He doesn't bite".

It got so bad I began running with this:  http://www.TheHomeSecuritySuperstore.com/batonstun-guns-nightstick-stun-baton-flashlight-5m-swb5000r-p=3150 

One woman's dog pursued me aggressively every time I went running.  I went running with that thing one day, and the dog came after me again.  I turned around and said "Come on, Dog!  I got something for you!"  The owner saw the stun gun baton and freaked out.  "You can't hurt my dog!"

"Lady," I said "I called the police.  I'm allowed to defend myself.   I will defend myself."  She began screaming for her dog and locked it up.

You see, it was pregnant.  She didn't want to lose her paycheck if I had to zap her dog.  From that point on, I was fine.  People knew I would defend myself, if needed.   Dogs were confined.  A stun gun is clearly a defensive weapon, even my foot-long megavolt monster.

As we looked for our home, I made a point of noticing any loose dogs.  If they had loose dogs running around, I wouldn't even consider the area.  Why spend thousands of dollars moving out of one ghetto, into another?

Unless, of course, God CALLED me to it; then I'd go.   I'll go anywhere He calls me to.

So,  dogs are a big issue for me.  Remember the dog next door?  Barking constantly, Ron banging on the door every night, begging them to please shut it up?

You may not know we also had a dog behind us, for about 5 years.  Everytime it saw another dog, it went nuts barking.  Fortunately, most of the time, people do confine their dogs, but it can be very annoying, nights, with "Barky" going nonstop for hours.

This morning, we had a pickup in what I would call country ghetto.  It is a semi-rural area, decaying wood frame houses, trailers, home-built additions clearly not up to building code, and lots of loose dogs running wild in the street.

We pulled up in front of the house.  The chain-link gate was wide open, and a wolf-mix hybrid looked into the vehicle.

"Please don't open the door until you see the client" I said.  "That breed is the #1 biter - worse than pit bulls."  The driver left the door shut, the dog wandered off, and the client came out.  As he was situating the client, I saw the dog trotting back, looking very curious.  The door was open.

I jumped up and locked it (it has a school bus style handle), and explained myself to the driver.  He thanked me.

I wasn't sure why God had me in such an awful neighborhood.  It was tremendously depressing.

Then, when we came home, I saw the trucks.  Barky's family is moving out.  The painters are freshening up the house.  They will either put the house up for rent, or sale.  I don't know.

Other than the dog, they were fine.  They were mostly quiet (except for his odd habit of drumming loudly at 3 AM many nights, until the police put a stop to it) and they always stayed out of the yard.  When the dog damaged the fence, they always made some kind of repair.

I just have to wonder: the last time a neighbor moved, I BEGGED God to provide "the right" neighbors.  We had a year-long trauma of incessantly barking dog, filth everywhere, so bad we had to call the Health Department multiple times.  Finally, they seem quiet.  They take care of the house.  They only have a small house dog, which I never hear.

Frankly, I'm kind of scared to ask for the "right" neighbor again!  I'm worried who, or what will move in behind us.  Another incessantly barking dog?  Kids in my yard?   Party animals?

Only God knows.  I just pray they are quiet, and respect my boundaries.  Whatever happens, I know He will give me the grace to deal.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Let it go

Well, after hours Ron decided to talk to me.  He wanted to know "Why I wouldn't help" him calculate cost-per-ounce on wine vs. beer.  I told him, I don't help with anything related to alcohol.

Why, he asked?  I told him it is easier for me to have a blanket policy.  If I help with some things and not others, the lines may not be clear.  I thought that was a very delicate way of stating...

"So, you think I'm going to force you into doing something you don't want to do?"  I said, you can be manipulative.  I don't want that.  He didn't agree.  Said "I'm not a monster".  I never said that, I reminded him.

I used a book analogy, right now I am black and white.  Before things were "50 shades of gray" (no, I never read it, and even Ron is revolted).  I laughed, he didn't.  I said, this way it is very easy to understand what I will and will not do, regarding alcohol.

He reminded me he could get his own alcohol.  I agreed.  He told me he got the clerk at Specs to help him calculate the cost per ounce.  Fine, I said.  I just didn't want to have anything to do with it.

I also told him I did not appreciate the verbal abuse.  I was very clear: I got up and left because you were cursing me and calling me names.  I will not tolerate that.

He said he understood.  Good, I told him, because I will get up and leave, every time you call me names or curse me.

Fine.  Then we went our separate ways for a while.  He cancelled the dinner trip.  Then, as I had water on the stove to cook my dinner, he suggested we go to the taqueria.  They have a special on Thursdays.

God had let me know, I had to let it go.  I couldn't walk around being resentful all night.  Sure, I agreed.  I was hungry.  We went out to dinner.

I was a little gloomy at first, talking about dark subjects, but I stopped myself and we talked about innocuous things like the cat and work.  They got a kick when he ordered fajitas for the cat, and I enjoyed feeding Bubba a meaty tidbit.

Bubba's now in my bed, he LOVES me so much.  I gave him a can of smelly stuff earlier, then the chicken.

Ron seems back to normal.  You can bet I will continue to carry my backpack, salt my emergency fund, and wear a good pair of walking shoes every day, though.

Fight, Ron, fight.

Obviously, today's a bad day for depression.

It was very embarrassing for me when Ron called someone and complained bitterly about my weight, going on and on about how he "could" have married a skinny woman (one is a chain smoker, by the way).   He said, flatly, he didn't understand why I was upset.

I think he believes it was the weight issue that "made" me leave; when in actuality it was the whole context of the weight issue.  He approached it in the worst way possible, name-calling, making judgments, and "mind raping" as they said in a book on psychology (telling me what I thought).

As of now, I've had no impetus to confront him.  So, I'll wait until he asks, and if he does, I will say "When you are verbally abusive to me, and that means calling me names and cursing at me, then I will leave.  That is why I left."

However, it's not all bad.  Ron went to the liquor store, so I have the house to myself again.  I'm playing my music, "loud" for me, but you can't hear it out of the house.   I finally stripped the bed and got the bedding in the washer.  I remade the bed with nice clean sheets; and gave the cat a can of his favorite smelly stuff (he is chasing the plate all over the floor).

I really enjoy watching him eat; he's 100% into his food.  He just came up to say "Thank You".  He's a sweet boy.  He knows I'm upset.

God only knows what Ron is buying at the liquor store.  He chose to call the "friend" who encourages him to buy large amounts of vodka, drink, and get involved with pornography.  I'm sure the guy ate up every little bit of the juicy gossip.

I don't understand why, all of a sudden, my weight is a big issue.  It has been 230 consistently for several months.  I'm not gaining; what's the issue?   My blood sugars are fine, so is my other bloodwork.

I'm at good medication levels, content, and I think I did a great job of handling the drama earlier.  I didn't get upset; I just said "If you're going to talk to me like that, I'm leaving."

I have to think the devil is sowing dissatisfaction and resentment into Ron's head.  Encouraging Ron to look at the things he doesn't have, instead of the things he does have.  Ron is allowing this; he has the spiritual authority to rebuke the devil, but Ron doesn't believe he exists!

So, Ron's a perfect target really.  What better way to upset me, than verbal abuse from my husband?  That will take my eyes off God and consume me with my own negative emotions.

Consume me, if I allow that to happen; and I'm not.  I feel sorry for Ron, more than anything.  He's like a buoy, bobbing around, and he has no idea the waves are the devil driving him.  Devil says "attack Heather" and he does.  Devil says "Feel sorry for yourself and drink it away" Ron does it.

He has the power and authority to fight; but he doesn't.  I can't even say what I've said thus far, to him.  He completely shuts me down and refuses to hear it.

And the devil wins another round, for now.  I'm still handing out Bibles and praying for everyone, though.

Be Prepared

When I leave the house, I always wear walking shoes.

It has been my experience that Ron, on occasion, will get ugly.  One time he refused to give me a ride home, called paratransit and took me off the trip.  I had to walk in my sandals to the bus stop.  Then, to my horror, I realized I didn't have any bus fare.

I had to beg Ron for bus fare to get home.  He didn't make it easy, and after I had crawled back to the bus stop called me and said he "guessed" I "could" ride home with him.  I swore that would never happen again.  I branded the incident into my brain.

Not in a hateful way, but as a warning: this could happen again.  Don't put myself in that situation again.

It was so degrading, asking Ron for the money, and he made it very humiliating.

I always carry certain things in my backpack.  A Bible (my nifty waterproof one).  Some cash.  My bus fare card and extra fare money (since I ride for 60 cents a five dollar bill does nicely - I only used 60 cents today), and I always wear walking shoes.

Ron, like me, tends to cycle.  He's in a more self-loathing, resentful, bitter, entitled cycle.  The kind of cycle where I chose to gain weight and maintain it just to humiliate him, for instance.  He really does believe this.  A lot of ranting at God, but God let me know He can defend Himself.

He's been making some ugly comments lately about me, making general ignorant statements, like I "Don't do anything for him", etc.

Last night Ron told me he would be going to the liquor store after we went to Starbucks.  When the ride came we all had to sit in the back with someone else, a very large woman with a big tote bag.

When the front seat client got out, the driver offered me the front seat.  As I got out, Ron make a big display of "relief", being able to breathe and all.  I thought that was very ugly, but didn't react.

My childhood taught me that bullies are looking for a payoff: Heather gets upset.  I wasn't going to reward him for being ugly.

We got to Starbucks and I got our drinks.  I went outside and Ron started talking about how I'm "a food addict" and how he knows I love food more than him, because if I really loved him I'd lose the weight. I have been getting this a lot recently, and one thing I can say with assurance, I haven't gained anything in over 6 months.  I didn't say that because then I'm reacting and giving him the payoff.

I just said "food addicts" are probably addicted to carbohydrates.  No one ever got addicted to fat grams or protein.  Ron interrupted me and didn't let me finish.  Fine.  He wants to be rude, that's on him.

It's all about my weight is his personal problem, making HIM look bad.  I looked at Ron in his dirty t-shirt (because he didn't want to change it) and unbrushed hair and thought "If you look bad, it's not on me."  Again, I didn't react.

Then, we get to the meat of the issue: the trip to the liquor store.

Recently, Ron had asked me for help figuring out which alcohol was making him fat: wine or beer.  I told him, the wine.  I got the nutritional information and told him one of his "servings" had 40 carbohydrates and over 440 calories.  He said thank you and he would stick to beer.

Apparently, he decided that meant I would be "helping" him with alcohol again.   "You have to help me figure out the cost per ounce on these drinks, Heather."  I noticed he had stopped deriding me, now that we'd gotten to "the issue".

Maybe he was trying to break me down with criticism and derision, so I'd "help" him to feel better and get his approval for a change.  I don't know.

I do know that alcoholics will often bring up an unrelated issue and beat it to death, to take the focus off the drinking.  If I get upset about that, then I can't confront him on the drinking.

I'm not an alcohol expert, and frankly I'd really rather not deal with these issues at all.

He stated it as a fact, that I would be doing this.  I told him "No, I don't help you with alcohol.  This is helping you with alcohol."

He got angry at me, denied it.  Then he brought up my weight again.  "Since you're so fat, the least you can do is help me with this..."

I stated, calmly, the liquor store employee could read him all the information he needed.  No, he wanted me to do it.

I waited until he stopped and said, calmly, NO.   The answer is and will remain, NO.

He blew his top, unleashing a torrent of verbal abuse and name-calling.  I said "Ron, do you hear how you sound?  People are walking right by looking at you.   Do you want to be this person?"

I won't repeat what he said.

He started with threats.  He wasn't going to help me with anything.  I could get my own groceries on the bus.  I could find my own way to work (I could do quite well on the bus), he was done with "helping" me.  If I wanted a war I would get it, this was a war... etc.

When he called me a b- again, I said "Do you want me to leave?  I'm about to walk out of here.  You're sitting outside, the driver will see you if I'm gone."

"Go ahead and leave you [censored]."  OK.  I got up and left.

I went to the bus stop, and got there right as it pulled up.  I got on, took out my pass, and waved it in front of the meter (Houston uses RFID technology).  I sat down and had a lovely ride home.

I made it home about 15 minutes before Ron.  We're avoiding each other now.

I think it's sad, he probably has no idea why I got up and left.  He probably thinks it had to do with alcohol.  It didn't.

I was not going to sit there and let him verbally abuse me, threaten me, and deride me just because he "could".

I felt so GOOD walking off, listening to him curse behind me.  I'm glad I remembered to be prepared.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Married to the boss

2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 

I have what many would consider a "hard" view about employment.  I got a lot of my work ethic from my Dad, and the rest from my husband.  When he couldn't find employment, he'd take whatever he could, even though telemarketing made him feel like a prostitute.  

I also picked up a lot from the Bible; the above verse being the most memorable.  Paul also said "We work hard with our own hands, we labor night and day" etc.  You can go to Bible Gateway and type in work.  

Let me do that.  720 references.  Obviously, God thinks work is important.  

Here's another good example:  Acts 18:3
So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

This is where we get the phrase "Tentmaker Missionary" - which I am.  I do "work" for God, but I support myself with a secular job (selling snack foods).   The paying job doesn't deal with missions, it supports them.  

Now, of course, everyone has a different calling.  But if "my" sponsors only have $50, I want it to go for Bibles!   Corrie Ten Boom, a famous evangelist, said God could do more with one blessed quarter, than a $20 bill.  Another good point; a lot of times we don't "need" a lot of money to get God's work accomplished.  

I am not ashamed to use all the free and low-cost resources I have at my disposal (World Missionary Press, Holman Bible publishers, and Grace and Truth Tracts).  I utilize the more affordable printer when I need "Where to Look in the New Testament", and try to be a good steward overall.  

Why do I work?  After all, I have not one, but TWO disabling conditions.  I also suffer, mildly, from post-traumatic stress.  I was told at age 17 I'd get disability and wouldn't have to worry about supporting myself.  They'd made sure I'd get all the system had for me.  

Again, I don't have a problem with the concept, but God made it clear that was not His plan for me.  How do I know?  Basically, when I think about it, think about how easy it would be, I get a really loud NO in my head.  That. 

My husband also had the same NO in his head when it came to the issue.  So, we agreed, we would live off his disability check.  We live very simply and modestly, supplementing it with our part-time vending income.  

I think we live pretty well.  We don't live wealthy, but we live well.  I have a nice internet connection and a great used computer from my Dad.  I have satellite TV and a 20 inch low-def television set.  We have utilities, food for us and the cat, and a quiet life.  That's more than we need.  

The communists used to say "take what you need".  Well, we do.  We "could" get more, I'm sure.  

I really believe it is important for everyone to work; and not just for economics.  Clearly, we as a nation cannot afford to support tens of millions on unemployment, for years at a time.  That's not sustainable.  

When I was on my local news site, people used to say "I can't get the kind of job I had before.  I don't want to be an assistant manager at a fast-food restaurant when I was an account executive."  Well, that's just selfish.  When I was on unemployment, I took the first job I was offered.  I only needed my unemployment check for a few weeks.  

In fact, if something happens to Ron or the business I am not entitled to unemployment.  I'm married to my boss!    You might think it would be easier, but it's not!  I think he is more demanding with me than he would a pro forma employee.  

I didn't care about the job title, as long as I could pay my bills!  I have NEVER been "too good" for any job.  

Sometimes we go to bad neighborhoods and pick up clients who live in the projects, or "hood".  I see so many idle working-age people just sitting in chairs outside, or standing around on corners.  I can only imagine the mischief.   They make trouble.  They have low-self esteem because they believe they are too stupid/too whatever, to support themselves.  

And I think of all the paratransit clients I meet, every one bemoaning the lack of ethical, punctual, caregivers.  What a waste.  

I'm with the Lord of Lords

2 Chronicles 15:15

New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.

I got these verses during my God time.  I have a Daily Bible, and a Daily Chronological Bible.  I got these from the first.  

2 Chronicles 16:9

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

I believe God wants me to encourage people.  

Times are awful.  People are scared.  I have someone on Facebook putting up constant updates about the Mark of the Beast.  It "could" be coming next year!  It, or something very like it.  

It's scary.  It's scary to see the lousy economy, horrible sales, higher fees and expenses, natural disasters, and now this?  

What happens to people who say no?  Well, that's speculation.  I'm not going there. 

Do I, Heather, believe that we will see the mark of the beast, before the rapture?  No.  

But what if they bring it?  Well.  I'll say no.  See above paragraph.  You can imagine, it would be scary.  We are dependent on Ron's disability check, his government health care, and my medication!  That could all go away!  

It could.  I could get hit by a flaming meteor while I type, this, too.  [grin]  Nope, still typing.  

So, I don't worry.  I don't ALLOW myself to worry.  

See, worry is like other emotions.  I choose to get angry.  I choose to worry.  I can choose not to do either of these, too.  I can say "Nope, I'm with the Lord of Lords.  He's gotten me through hell before, and no matter what comes I know He's got my back.  My God is mighty to save, and He will."  

That's what I do.  Try it!  

If you have to, envision some horrid little rodent.  That's the worry.  Pick it up in your mental hands, stuff it in a box, and throw it off a bridge (all in your head of course).  There, it's gone.  If it tries to come crawling back (and worry can be insidious), do it again.  And again.  

You again?  WHACK.  Maybe you envision some kind of "whack-a-mole" setup.  

Don't let it rule you.  God's got us.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'd like a little sympathy

It's been a while since I had a "straight" marriage complaint.  I don't mean sex, I mean a plain complaint.

Overall, Ron is pretty good to me lately.  I don't help him with alcohol, he is avoiding strong alcohol, avoiding the chat line, etc.

Tonight he was yelling at me about a bad smell in the kitchen, blamed some dirty dishes in the sink.  I was pretty annoyed.  I rinsed everything very well before I put it in the sink.  I said "Maybe I need to clean out the fridge".  He said no.  I asked him, "Did you check the trash?" and he said no, then went on a tirade.

I finally told him, if they bothered him so much, he could do them himself.  He really doesn't understand depression, or side effects from psychotropic medications.  It's very frustrating.  If I try to explain, he thinks I'm "making excuses".

It brings me great comfort, in my faith, to realize that one day God will show him the truth and he will be horrified at his ugliness and judgements.  I'm also wise enough to realize this is a spiritual attack.

Anyway, I ran the garbage disposal, opened the cabinet door, and sure enough, it's the trash.  It reeks.  So, in addition to the hours I spent picking up today, I had to take out the trash.

Ron came back out and I said I'd rather not talk.  He said he wouldn't yell, which lasted maybe 3 minutes.  I told him, it was the trash, which you just told me I didn't need to take out.  Notice how it smells better?  I just took out the trash.  Everything in "my" sink was rinsed off before I put it in there.

Cue "You never do anything around the house" tirade.  I said, "Who spent an hour mowing the yard yesterday?"  [while he slept, I might add]   I told him I had also spent over an hour picking up the front room so he would have "clear pathways" and a easy place to put things for work.

He said he wanted me to put all the dishes away; and I told him, "You have a choice, clear pathways, or an empty sink".  "I don't want to choose"  "Well, you have to, I only had the energy for one".  Then he had a tantrum.

I said, you have plenty of energy.  Why don't you do the dishes?  You know I have problems with housekeeping.  You can do dishes and help me pick up.

No, that's MY job.  In addition to everything else in the world.   Grr.

I had planned, before all this, to get rid of some stuff in the computer room - throw it out, take the can to the curb tonight.  I will do that.

It just really burns me to hear him griping; with absolutely no understanding, or desire to understand, my problems.  If I try to tell him "I'm depressed" he turns it into an attack on my faith.  "A loving God wouldn't curse you like this, He must really hate you."

I am REALLY sorry I "let" him sleep earlier when his alarm went off to make a trip for tomorrow; but I can always get away on the bus.

Ugh.  I never complain about the thermostat, never move it.  He wants $100 electric bills in the middle of summer which means I sweat all day.  I never complain about helping him read things, looking up things online, playing songs he wants, downloading music for him, helping him find lost flash drives, making sure he is still lugging around his talking book machine so he doesn't leave it somewhere, I do all the yard work, running around "serving" him at work every day, doing all the heavy lifting, policing him so he doesn't pick up anything heavy (he will blackmail me and say "Oh, you don't want me to go to the hospital if I try to lift this" and he's not kidding.  "If you don't get it right now I'll try to pick it up"), cleaning up his messes,  cleaning up cat puke when he overfeeds the cat, playing fashion police and making sure he is clean and presentable when we're out in public, etc.  Never.  I never complain.  I never get resentful.  I just do it because I try to have empathy.  It must be a pretty powerless position.

The worst I will do is say "I can't do that right now, but in a minute", then I finish the urgent task and do Ron's less urgent one (find the soda I dropped on the floor, what soda is this?  Separate the changer money for me).

If I were a pettier woman, I'd stop doing his laundry for a few days.  "Oh, I don't do anything?  You said I didn't do anything.  Wash your own clothes, then."  Even the other blind vendor at work knows how to do laundry.

I'd just like a little sympathy, and understanding, instead of cursing and vicious attacks on my faith.

When we see my doctor, I am flat-out going to ask doc to describe what a depression does to energy levels, and how FAS can affect mental processing on things like housework.  If an "expert" says it, Ron will have to believe it.  He doesn't want to admit I'm "defective", because that means he got a broken woman instead of a "good, normal" woman who could do everything and smile.

Edit: he came out later and sat in the wheelchair, drinking a beer.  I reminded him I had done hours of yard and housework this week, while he lay in bed sleeping and watching TV.  "That doesn't matter" he said, "Because the sink is full".

I told him he'd mind pretty quick if I stopped doing his laundry or grocery-shopping.  I said, I'm not going to do that, I'm just making the point that I do a lot you don't even notice.  Once, I think, in the 90's, he cleaned the toilet.

I decided I was going to pick up the computer room, anyway, because I wanted to get some junk out of the house.  I did that and Ron kept saying "Don't do it on account of me."  I told him, I'm not.  He said "I don't want to control you" and made some comments about "accepting" and "settling" and living with me being marginally better than assisted living.

I just kept picking up junk.  I have a rolling backpack with a broken strap.  I don't need it.  I have a rolling duffel bag.  So I put it in the chair outside for the junk man.

I came back in and filled up a whole trash bag with some clothes I've had for over 10 years, and never worn.  Something spilled in the closet and they had a bad odor, so I just threw them out.  They weren't valuable by any means.  I found a computer mouse and asked Ron if he wanted it.  I have a touchpad on this laptop (a refurbished gift from Dad when he traded up).

Ron's like, what?  I said "If you want it, it is your problem to store and organize.  I don't want it in the computer room.  If you don't want it, I'll throw it out."  "Oh, don't throw it out!"  He ran to put it in his man cave.  I took that bag outside.

I found some empty soda bottles and threw them into a small trash can, then took that out.  When I came back in, the same guy, who an hour earlier, was complaining about me picking up - "You're going to let in mosquitos".

What?  "Well, when I leave the door open at night you say I'll let in mosquitos."  I said, I'm not leaving the door open.  I'm going in and out.  And, the mosquitos always bother me.  If I'm home they bite me because they like me better.

So, he's telling me, not to clean up at night now!  I thought that was really ironic.  He didn't even get it. Then he made sure to tell me that I had to do better, blah, blah, blah.

Not once did he say "I want to understand what it's like for you.  Heather, I don't understand but I'd like to.  Maybe we can think of some things I can do to help you out."  No.  When I tried to explain depression he shouted me down and said he didn't to hear, I couldn't do as well as a normal woman, I was fat, etc.

Then he went to lie in bed and drink, after lecturing me about "laziness and proper time structure".

He doesn't even see the irony.

I'm really sick of his "fat" comments too.  He is a hypocrite.  He wants to complain about how he "Deserves better" and "Everyone will think the blind man had to settle for the fat woman".  Then he wants to take me out to places that have very limited low carb options and complain I'm not "Any fun" if I say I can't eat there.

Ugh.  I get it: he has self-esteem issues.  He "copes" by looking down on me.  "Oh, Heather can't do this, and can't do that.  She NEEDS me.  She will never leave me."  He did tell me once he thought about life without me and almost had a heart attack.

I just wish he would think of that more often, and be appreciative.

What can man do to me?

Have you ever noticed, sometimes people like to sit around and play the "what if" worst case scenario game?

I am prone to do that, if I don't catch myself.  Say, home repairs.  I will start worrying about everything: my foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical, appliances, you name it.  I will work myself into a frenzy.

Some people like to play "Worst case scenario" - a lot of people, not breaking any confidences here: a lot of people on Facebook worry about one-world government taking over and restricting them.  Some wonder when "they" will come to arrest them for being Christians.    What if we have race wars?

It seems like the media wants to turn every race against the others: black against white and latino, latino against black and white, black against white and latino..  you get the idea.  It seems certain idiots blame the other races for all their problems, just like Hitler.  "If it weren't for them, you could have a great life!  They want to destroy you!"

Ugh.  Don't fall for that.  I really used to get upset about the "Illegal" issue until God pointed that out: blaming illegal immigrants for America's problems, is no different than Hitler blaming the Jews for Germany's problems; and just as destructive.  So, I don't.  For some reason, God wants me evangelizing every Latino I can get ahold of, so I do that and do it with love.

So, what if "they" take over?

Well.  They won't; at least not before the Rapture.  Afterwards, look out - a totalitarian government is right around the corner, has been prophesied for millennia.

Do we have signs of what's to come?  Absolutely.  Do we see the footwork for the destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  Absolutely.  Does the government abuse power?  Absolutely?  Is the economy in the toilet?  Yes.  Is the world on the brink of chaos?  Absolutely.

But, God doesn't want us to worry about it.

Some of my very favorite verses on the subject, and note how the same phrasing is repeated again and again!

Hebrews 13:6
So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do tome?”

Psalm 118:6
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:11
In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

With my illness, if I allow it, anxiety will eat me alive.  I have learned to give it all to God.  I will just destroy myself and insult Him, otherwise.

Can you imagine God, watching me freak out about our lousy sales?  "Oh, how will we pay the bills, we're going to lose the house, what will we do?"  It's insulting to Him; I'm saying "God is too small for this, I have to handle it myself."

Dude, I'm with the Lord of Lords.  He created the universe; and He's told me, He's got my back:

Matthew Chapter 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. [quotes from NKJV]

That's Jesus talking.  If the Lord of Lords is telling me "Don't stress, Heather, I've got your back", well, I'm going to believe Him!  

Sometimes people talk about "What if they come to arrest us for being Christians?"  I either really annoy, or inspire, people with my response.  

I say "Well, if 'they' have a list I am on it.  I am very vocal about my faith, and very open about what I do to share it.  When they want to shut us down, I'm probably going first."  I then add, it won't matter.  If "they" throw me in prison I would share my faith.  If they kill me, really, that's the best-case scenario because then I'm in my Heavenly Mansion, in my new, perfect body, kicking it with the Lord of Lords and my dead cat!  [laugh]  

I am fearless when it comes to sharing my faith; God has put that into me.  I thank Him for it, and as long as I'm here I will continue to do so.  

What can man do to me?  

2 days in one, again

Yesterday was pretty uneventful.  We went to the warehouse, got our supplies, went to work and stocked.  Jack will be out of town next wee...