by Maria Mize
A modest journal.
|My life's ups and downs...|
| Within the last few days, I was reminded twice of The Story of Chicken Little.
I was working in the office on a Friday---alone with a plan to clean. While cleaning, the phone rang. It was a girl in a panic. A closing was in progress and she needed to speak with one of the attorneys. I asked if I could give him a message. She explained our client had taken two A/C units from the property.
I texted the attorney with the message and telephone number. About 15 minutes later, she called again... in greater panic. I jumped onboard. However, in my experience, realtors and closing agents are always in crisis-mode. So, I let her know, I had no power to force anyone to return her call..., said good-bye and hung up---reasoning, I did all I could.
I then tried to call the attorney, while accessing my messages. He had seen my message and responded. He would return the call as soon as he could. I hung up.
Adrenaline pumping, Chicken Little came to mind.
On Saturday, I received a message from an overnight courier. Two personal packages were coming --- one Monday and the other Tuesday. Since I work 9-to-5, I requested a hold on the first package and arrangement for pickup. Their system would not allow it. However, I requested a hold on the second package, which was successful.
I began to panic. What will I do? Will the first package be returned because I am not home for delivery? My experience with this particular courier service was not good. I called and, as expected, there was nothing they could do.
I sent a contrary text to my boyfriend about my predicament. Today, I was Chicken Little.
I then called the courier again to check protocol: They make three attempts; then hold the package at a local facility. If not picked up within a week, it is an automatic return to sender. Because of the shipper's request for delivery, there was nothing I could do but wait and pickup the package after the third delivery attempt.
God help us refrain from letting situations draw us into panic, crisis-mode. Help us remain calm instead of reacting as if the end of the world is upon us... when it is not.
One rendition of Chicken Little: https://youtu.be/BYIbRYaZoS4
|Reflections from a hurting heart...
There are facets to double-mindedness.
“Double-mindedness” may be defined as “unsure, unconvinced, having mixed emotions, unsettled, unstable, wavering.” It may manifest as moodiness, distrust, unreliability, ups and downs, running to and fro, hither and tither, indecisive.
Trust In God
When your faith/trust in God wavers----you trust Him; then you don’t. Some are unsure they want to be a Christian.
Trust In People
Trust in people wavers----when perhaps their actions and/or words waver between kindness and loving, mocking and belittling; and you allow their behavior (or your perception of it) to throw you off course. You are impacted, effected negatively by what others do or say.
You begin protecting yourself---walling off.
Could this be linked to “people pleasing?” People often only see externally----our outward appearance. They don’t even really know us but think they do. So they judge by what they see and not by the Spirit of God.
Keep your eyes on Jesus! Ask Him to help you!
Don’t look at or to men for comfort, safety, even friendship.
Don’t look to the left or to the right; but (fix your eyes on) press into the mark of the high-calling in Christ Jesus. (See Hebrews 12:22; Philippians 3:14.)
Always and routinely look up; look to Jesus----look up, for your salvation draweth nigh. (See Luke 21:28.)
Finally, …judge not (others), lest ye be judged. (See Matthew 7:1-3.)
Pray for me. Let's pray for one another.
Other scripture references:
No man can serve two masters… (See Matthew 6:24.)
…A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. (See James 1:8.)
|Saturday, May 30, 2020:
After a 24-hour congregational fast, last night I attended a church “fire meeting.”
To be succinct, I was disappointed. The music started off-key and unsynchronized; there was an undercurrent of strife on the “stage,” with lack of preparation evident.
I tried to work through it, overlook it, press on, but then my family started chatting on a group message about an urn for my recently deceased sister, for which I received consistent, disrupting notifications.
So, after an hour, and what seemed to be a final contrived call to prophesy, I left. How can anyone truly prophesy in such a disjointed atmosphere? My vacation was noticed, but I left unhindered and determined to make the most of what remained of the evening.
|I was at a prayer meeting, praying and walking around the church waving a beautiful flag (greens, blues, gold trim---leaves). A lady moved out of "the circle" and came sat in a chair to the right about three aisles back.
She confronted me harshly----saying: Please don't wave that thing over me; it's distracting. It's not of God. What are you even praying? Not expecting to be lambasted at a prayer meeting---unbelievable, shaken, disturbed to the core---I responded, I do not receive that, attempting to let it go, praying and staying as far away from her as possible.
Later she came toward me with arms open wide. I shook my head, No. Do not come near me and do not speak to me.
She later gave a half-baked apology via e-mail. Because her apology merely diminished her misconduct, I told her it's best she not speak to me for awhile.
My first mistake when the event happened: I was offended.
Second mistake: I told another lady (albeit one of the elders) what had happened.
Third: That night, I barely slept, and I carried this for the next three or four days.
What helped me move forward:
(1) Realizing my response was more important than the incident (from God's point of view).
(2) Learning about echos of trauma from our past --- this lady obviously has big negative echos.
(3) Realizing that from this particular incident two of us were hurt AND affected. I was planning to take a few piano lessons from her; after the attack, all I wanted was to keep a safe distance.
(4) I asked God what turning the other cheek would look like in this instance.
(5) He showed me turning the other cheek would be doing the opposite of my inclinations---thus, turning a curse into a blessing and accomplishing the opposite of the enemy's intention (also an echo of my pastor's words).
(6) Since then, I've seen this offending lady at a few meetings; and it's been okay---no traumatic after shocks. I haven't spoken to her, but I am no longer feeling defensive. Instead, I remember the Lord's Words: Bless those that persecute you; do good to them that despitefully use you... Pray for them, etc.. -Matthew 5:43-47
Doing the opposite of what we are inclined to do in this type of situation is what turns this world upside down for Christ... See Acts 17.
|I was at a lady's home Monday evening for a Christian "book study." There was talk between two of the ladies about allowing people who also come to the "healing house" to enter the food pantry early on Friday's at 11:00 a.m. to take what they like prior to opening the grounds at 1:00 p.m. to the public. I spoke up and said that I didn't think that would be right because "God is no respecter of persons." The others are not even permitted on the church grounds until 1:00 p.m. I then gave a paraphrase of the other scripture where people were treated differently at a banquet---the poor were invited to sit on the ground while the more privileged were given a nice seat. Then one lady actually laughed at me. At this point, I stood to leave, saying I will not be mocked.
There was heated banter. One lady inferred that this might keep me from working in the food pantry. It really was shocking how offended and offensive these ladies became when I told them what I thought.
Finally, it ended when I said that I did not want to belabor this and asked if we could move on.
The whole scenario has been on my mind since it happened; today is Wednesday. I repented to God because in hindsight I felt pride caused me to stand and say "I will not be mocked." I've also prayed for conviction of all concerned of sin and of righteousness; and I have asked God to bring correction. However, the scenario keeps playing in my mind. Now, I am casting down those thoughts and will continue to cast them down when they try to "replay."
|It was busy at work today (January 23, 2019).
Then on the way home a child of about 6, 7 or 8 rode his bicycle into traffic because he thought it was safe to cross; he was hit by an oncoming car. (Heading West on 5th Avenue North, just before Tyrone, St. Petersburg, Florida.)
He was hurt, but I don't think it was severe. Probably traumatized more than anything. I stayed for awhile and then left because many were stopped, helping him and calling for help. I felt he was in good hands and left. We were all traumatized over the event, but it could have been so much worse.
The lady that hit him was upset and pacing. She said, "He came out of no where. I didn't mean to hit him." I said, "I know you didn't." We were upset, but all present knew it was an accident.
I wonder why he was all alone, trying to cross a busy road during heavy traffic at rush hour. God be with him, his parents and the lady who hit him.
|Only since President Donald Trump came into office have we discovered overwhelming treachery in both the political and the news media arenas---it's depth is still being discovered. With new marriage laws in place, our children are now being indoctrinated in schools against our wills. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are contaminating our food; and I can only wonder what they have done to the local water. It not only tastes funny, but when it sets for any length of time, an ugly film develops on the surface.
Behavior---good or bad---modifies DNA. I'm not a scientist, but I see the "handwriting on the wall" and if things don't begin to change----for the better and rapidly----what looms on the horizon doesn't look good for any of us in this world.
I can only hope and pray Jesus comes back again soon; but if He doesn't, I will continue to serve Him----run my race and finish my course----for Him. Are you ready to meet Him? If not, you will be left behind or worse.
Some are rethinking a pre-tribulation rapture. These days I am not so sure and though some believe it's perfectly clear in scripture, I am not of that persuasion. I have been reading and listening to scripture daily since the Spring of 1984. I know the scriptures---backward and forward.
I know this is deep. Please be kind when sharing your thoughts and comments.
|Today is too hard----too hard to take and pretend everything is okay----because it's not okay.
The representative of Auto-Owners has been unresponsive since August. Today, after a phone message from our attorney, she finally speaks---with an attitude. Gruffness evident when she finally returned Willy's call. I kindly took the message. Since Willy had already left the office, I sent him a text providing her number and extension. (She may have been hostile to him since I sensed her seething anger earlier.)
Willy returned the call and she informed him (after over two months of silence/unresponsiveness) that the doctor's office provided the wrong records (post-accident instead of pre-accident as requested). When Willy told me this, I wondered why she waited over two months to tell us this. Willy said she was blaming the hurricane.
I told Willy that clearly we requested pre-accident records and I even underlined it in the letter to the doctors office; however, I did not inspect the records and that it's likely the insurance representative is right.
Willy called the wife of the injured party, who apparently contacted the doctor's office and spoke with a lady named Charlotte who affirmed they received a letter from us indicating the insurance company wanted pre-accident records; however, she mistakenly sent post-accident records. [This was after (according to the insurance representative), they had been requesting pre-accident records for months with no response. This was also despite our intervention during this time via the wife of the injured party, requesting his GP respond to the insurance company's request.]
I now wonder if the wife ever really called the GP during this time since she has failed to do multiple things we asked her to do along the way after saying she would do whatever it was we had asked. I don't know if she is busy and forgets or what...
Even in Willy's letter he requested post-accident records and I made a revision, reminding him the insurance company wanted pre-accident records. (So, it's likely that verbally we were saying one thing and in writing saying another thing. Who knows...)
However, Willy made sure to tell me to "be nice" to everyone so that we can get them to comply and resolve this case. I don't think this was an insinuation; however, it was a little offensive since I haven't done anything wrong. I just made it clear that everyone (including the doctor's office) has been unresponsive all along the way.
Again, in the back of my mind, the client's wife likely never spoke with the doctor's office from the start as it took several months for them to comply---and then only when we intervened with a letter and a HIPPA Authorization asking them to please respond to the insurance company's request so we can settle the case.
To make matters worse, they (the doctor's office) sent their invoice for making copies to us, which I then forwarded to the insurance company for payment. Once payment was made directly to the doctor's office---the records were sent indirectly to us so that I had to forward them via facsimile and priority mail (to the insurance company). The insurance representative acts as though this is interference. (We have no control over how the doctor's office responds.)
So, everyone is upset at one another. We are in the middle and Willy is asking me to be nice. I've been nothing but nice to everyone involved. I know that I cannot reason with people who are offended and/or offensive and unreasonable.
Auto-Owners has known they had the wrong records for months, and we have been asking them for a response since August----but only today their representative tells us of the error. Why?
It's been over a year since we made our demand on the insured's own insurance company.
But we must not bring the truth to the attention of Auto-Owners or to the attention of the doctor's office, we must pussy-foot so as not to offend.
It's a comedy of errors, but no one is laughing.
It's ridiculous... too much!!!
How I hate this repetitive dance!!
So tonight, I struggle to "hold my peace," preferring death over this continuous nonsense.
God change my perspective. Help me make sense of nonsense and continue---as I know my race is not yet complete. I must continue to run and overcome, but it is beyond me how to continue.
God gave me the word "hiding" when I asked Him what was going on here. The players here are "hiding" and that is the reason for the problems. Instead of being open and honest---because we do not trust one another (or ourselves) and are fearful---we are "in hiding."
I'm reminded of Adam and Even in the garden. Daily, they walked with God in the cool of the day; but after sinning (eating the forbidden fruit at the behest of satan), they realized they were naked and hid themselves. (See Genesis 3.)
...And as unregenerate or imperfect humans, we continue to feel naked (shame) and hide---when we make a mistake, when we purposely or accidentally do something wrong, when we do not do something we should have done or should have known to do. We may also hide (ourselves or an issue) on purpose, deceitfully.
But God says, Whatever is done in darkness (is hidden) will be revealed. (See Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17.)
He admonishes us to "speak the truth, in love." We can be, should be, must be honest. (See Ephesians 4:15.)
Let us be trusting and speak the truth.
|Within the last year I've done sewing alterations for people, trying to make some extra money on the side. It's caused a lot of stress. It's one thing doing your own stuff and quite another working on other people's things---when they really don't know the value of the work involved.
Recently I felt like giving up altogether because of a lack of confidence, undue stress and not much reward for the finished product. However, within the last few days the desire has been rekindled---by God, I think.
With His help, my plan is to buy a bunch of remnants and start practicing with different needles and tensions on a variety of fabrics in order to rebuild confidence.
I sewed a lot as a kid----used to make myself a new dress almost every evening while in high school with interfacing, yolks and zippers up the back. I used my mom's Singer. Recently, I asked her if I can have that old machine---either now (if she's not using it) or when she passes. She assented.
[She and dad are divvying stuff up among me and my sisters---making lists of "who wants what" and "who gets what" once they pass. In the legal world, it's called a "separate writing" and is used in conjunction with (in addition to) a will. It's official but---unlike a will---formal execution before witnesses and a notary is not required. You simply make a list and sign it.]
I bought a Sears Kenmore machine in my early twenties (with a nice sewing table it dropped down into, an attractive piece of furniture when not in use). I did some sewing then, but not as much as when I was a kid. I eventually gave it up just prior to moving to Florida---we were limited to what could fit into the car.
A few years ago, in 2007, 2008 or so, I bought another new machine (a Viking Husqvarna, a good personal machine---from what I am told). I jumped right back into sewing and even took a refresher course at the local fabric shop---made a purse with a lining and strap, and also make a nice pair of pajamas, which I gave to my daughter at Christmas.
Since then I have moved a few times and had to set it (the machine) aside for awhile.
I thought I could pick right back up, but it's been difficult sewing with a variety a fabrics, tensions, needles and getting it exactly right. Not only that, but doing alterations is more difficult than making something new. If the needle is not sharp enough, it knots up the thread and pushes fabric down under the sewing plate, trapping it there, and making it extremely difficult to extricate without damaging the fabric. This happens repetitively when going into reverse in order to lock stitches at the beginning and end of a sewing line. Not fun, particularly when working on a project for a customer.
With renewed vigor, I'm finally excited about sewing again.
|I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself tonight.
It's about 12:06 am and I'm in Altamonte Springs, Florida at an Al-Anon Convention. My roommate is sound asleep; I am wide awake.
The day was not without obstacles and pitfalls. I'd like to get alone with God, but the pool area is locked at 11:00 pm---likely for safety reasons. It would have been nice to have been able to sit outside for awhile. This is definitely not a resort hotel.
My kitty-cats are home alone, and I wish I was there.
Tomorrow afternoon, I will drive home. This is a required event I attend twice a year, and there is another similar program event I attend twice per year---for my elected service position. I also attend monthly District meetings in Pinellas County. Two more years and things will start getting back to normal----at least I won't be compelled to attend these weekend events. I thought about quitting, but heard God distinctly say, "Finish what you started."
I was a bit cranky as the afternoon progressed today---though I maintained composure except for a few unnecessary comments.
One of the ladies here has been a nemesis this weekend----not completely her fault, but she is definitely a component since I tend to over-think things.
I'm going to say good-night... Just wish I could sleep or at least go outside and spend time with God.