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Author Archives: rascallythoughts

About rascallythoughts

I'm a christian, mother, wife, business owner, youth leader, and ex-roller derby girl. I'm a lover of nature and like living out new experiences through trying new things, seeing new places, and meeting new people. I enjoy poetry and love all types of people. I like to blog about various subjects depending on whatever I encounter, feel, or random thoughts that I'm having at that moment. I don't consider myself religious. I really dislike that term. I am a Jesus follower, I try and learn from Him daily and let Him guide me.

Give in, Get rest

fightingsleep

This morning when I got up, I kept hearing Chris Tomlin’s song “Lay me down,” in my spirit.  I like the song, it’s upbeat and catchy.  But, I really started thinking about the lyrics and what it actually says.  Often I can hear something, but not really listen to what its saying.  I hear the sound, but don’t listen to the message of it or just don’t really think about it.  While I was thinking about it, I started visualizing a kid who fights a nap.  I’ve seen kids do everything possible to fight sleep and avoid rest.  Kids can do some really silly things to stay awake.  They wiggle, ask for food or drink, go to the bathroom a million times, cry, sneak and play after the parents leave the room.  But, after a long fight, usually sleep just overtakes them or they skip the nap and become unbearable the rest of the day.

If I don’t get enough rest, I know that I can be hard to live with.  I try to medicate myself with enormous doses of coffee, but that’s just a quick fix to the problem.  Anyway, after thinking those few thoughts, God spoke the verse “Be still and know that I am God.”  The thing is, if you are still and not fighting rest, you find it pretty quick.  Your eyes get heavy and the next thing you know, you’re in dreamland.  After thinking about that verse, I wrote down some key words that I felt went along with my whole visualization that I know God gave me, for at least my own personal life.  The four words I wrote down were lay, listen, rest and know.   I started digging in the word and wrote down some verses to look up later when I had more time to examine what God may be trying to show me.

First, for lay, I read about Jesus laying down his life for his sheep….for me and you.  (John 10:11)  Jesus’ death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice.  Next, I read 1 John 3:16 and it says that Jesus is our example of love because He laid down his life for us and that we should do the same for our brothers.  Sacrifice involves laying down things that are hard to lie down; otherwise it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.  The thing about sacrifice is that God isn’t going to force us to lay that sacrifice down, he wants us to be obedient and willing to do so (John 10:18) Jesus became willing to go to the cross.  So, back to the thought of a kid taking a nap, in order for the kid to receive rest, he has to first decide to lie down.

Second, listen.  Listen is an action word.  I cannot hear well, I wear hearing aids and often I have to really focus on the person speaking to hear them.  Other noises that are louder will distract me from actually hearing someone who is speaking soft.  When I was a kid myself and couldn’t go to sleep, my Dad would tell me to just close my eyes and think of good things.  I would most of the time listen to his advice and do that and fall asleep.  But if I listened to the worries of the day or the fears that lingered in the shadows, I’d toss and turn and have trouble falling asleep.   So, the first thought is that to find rest, I need to listen to my Father (Heavenly one).  John 10:27 says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”  Proverbs 1 says that those who are wise listen yet fools despise wisdom and discipline.  I don’t think I want to be a fool, but I know that I have been and sometimes I’m foolish and stubborn because I don’t listen.   1 Samuel 3:9, “So Eli told Samuel, Go and lie down, and if he calls you say, speak Lord, for your servant is listening.  So Samuel went and lay down in his place.”   In this verse, the word servant stands out to me and the word Lord.  The Lord is lord of my life, He reigns over me and I need to be willing to be submissive to hearing what He wants to tell me.

Third key word is rest.  My first key scripture took me to Job 3:17.  Job is upset and he’s tired, he wishes to never have lived and wants death because he sees that as the quickest answer to his problems.  He wants to find rest and he thinks that death is it.  I’ll admit that I’ve had those thoughts myself in the past.  What I can take from this verse or the whole passage is that when I look inward, I’ll only find wrong answers.  I’ll hear the wrong voices that want me to quickly destroy what God’s answer is instead.  But, Psalm 62:1 says my soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.   I don’t have the answers to my problems; I can’t save myself or others, my rest and salvation come from God alone.  How do I find that rest?  Matthew 11:28 says “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”  So, I have to go to Him to find rest.  I know when I was a kid and if just thinking good thoughts wasn’t enough for me to fall asleep and find rest, then the next thing I needed to do was seek my Dad and have him hold me.  It was easy to fall asleep in my Dad’s arms.  I was safe there.

Lastly, know; when I rest what do I know? I know that He’s God (Psalm 46:10). I have to know that God is above all, He is in control, not I.  John 14:17 reminds us that the world doesn’t recognize God because they don’t know Him.  As His child, I know Him and I know His voice.  I can trust Him, because I know Him and know that He loves me.  Romans 7:18 reminds me that apart from Him, nothing good lives in me.  I am sinful by nature.  Romans 8:28 reminds me that I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.  God is working in all situations, even when I can’t see it.  I have to rely on this love and because I see and know this love, I’m supposed to show the fruit of love to others (1 John 4:16).  Finally, 1 John 5:14 – 15 says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”

So, in conclusion, I lay me down, I’m not my own.  I belong to you alone…….

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Posted by on December 3, 2017 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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Dear Diary,

I haven’t had this urgency to spill out my thoughts in written form in quite some time.  Pediarylockrhaps it’s because I read that it’s National Dear Diary Day.  I remember my first diary.  My grandmother gave it to me when I was eight or nine years old.  I don’t recall if it was for any particular reason, but I do remember her telling me that I may like to keep a diary, just to have a place to write down whatever was happening in my life.  My first diary was orange and it had a lock and tiny key to keep others from being able to read what I wrote inside it.  I didn’t write in it every day, but I did write in it occasionally.  It was usually when I had some kind of confession to make, like whatever boy I secretly held hands with or was crushing on.  I used various writing utensils to scribble these confessions, including crayon.  After my orange diary was exhausted from the bad scribbling and elementary aged confessions, my grandmother bought me another diary.  This one was bright blue with a girl holding a bouquet of flowers, embossed on the cover.  This diary helped me talk about those things that were bothering me.  My parents had just divorced; I started a new school, and I was having all those preteen emotions that accompany that age.

My teen years, I moved to journaling in spiral notebooks.  The outside covers of the notebooks were decorated with my personal threats for anyone who dared to nose into them.  These entries were sometimes written in code for only me to understand, in case my Mom or sisters ignored the warnings. The words that filled those notebooks included all the things most teenagers deal with…..rebellion, sibling rivalry, hormones, boys and lots of talk about parents being out of touch.

In college, I continued to journal in notebooks.  Those pages were filled with me looking toward the future.  Would I find the right career for myself?  Would I ever find a guy that would truly love me?  I talked about hopes and dreams.  I sought spiritual direction but at the same time questioned God.

I continued journaling off and on throughout my adult life.  I reflected on pregnancy, motherhood, failures, aggravations, finances, God, and all the things life throws at you.  I joined the digital revolution a few years back and started blogging on this page.  Just like my diaries and journals, after a while the entries become sporadic.  Life starts getting too busy or you just neglect taking the time to just sit and pour out the words that are running through your mind.

Journaling for me is a source of communication or prayer to God.  It’s always been easier for me to say what I think with a pen than with my mouth.  Prayer doesn’t have to look like you think it does.  Prayer is simply talking to God.  I think we make prayer more complicated than it needs to be.  When I journal, I’m able to be completely raw with my emotions.  When I’m angry, the words slam against the pages and fall over and under the lines.  When I’m sad, the words dance around slowly trying to find the right beat.  When I’m happy, the words float and bounce from side to side.  When I’m scared, the words sway and scratch trying to find the connection to the paper.

God knows my handwriting.  He’s received piles of letters from me.  He is my greatest love and understands me more than anyone.  He gave me the desire to write, if only for Him.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Writing

 

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Precious Life

hands-holding-newborn-baby-feet“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Sixteen years ago, I was anxiously waiting the moment of going to the hospital to be induced for labor. I was very nervous about what to expect and I prayed throughout my pregnancy for a healthy baby. All of my prenatal appointments went well for the most part. I was screened early on for my sugar and was told to watch it because the sugar levels weren’t the best. So, I stopped eating my usual honeybun for breakfast before work and started watching what I ate. The last month of pregnancy is the hardest when you are a first time mom. I questioned every small pain or twitch, wondering if I needed to rush to the hospital or not. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and because of it, I ignored any small amounts of pain. However, a few weeks before I was induced, I was having a lot of pressure. I thought it was time for me to go into labor. I called my husband in a panic and then my mom and mother in law to quiz them to see if I should go to the hospital. My husband came home and went onto the hospital. Once we got there, they checked me and said I was fine and that it wasn’t time. I was upset and didn’t want to go home because I knew how I felt and I was overly anxious. When I got home, I took a warm bath, cried, and prayed.
The day arrived for me to be induced. I expected everything to run smoothly and figured I’d be a mother before the end of the day. Instead, I was dilating slowly and my blood pressure was going up. Next, the medical team informed me that my platelet count was low and that I would not be able to receive an epidural. I wasn’t hurting too bad yet, so I thought, “Eh. It’s ok, I’m tough and can handle it.” My husband, mom and mother-in-law were in the room with me that evening waiting for my son to arrive. I was nervous and I know they were anxious and probably nervous as well. Meanwhile, there was a waiting room full of family and friends waiting for the baby to arrive. But, that day was not the day that my son would be born and the closer it got to midnight, the thinner the audience was in the waiting room. I honestly can’t remember much after midnight because the pressure was starting to mount and contractions were becoming stronger. The pain was kicking in. I kept thinking to myself, “any minute”….but every time the nurses checked they would shake their head no and leave the room. The rest of the evening is a fog in my memory. I remember asking for something for the pain, they gave me Demerol. It’s the only thing they could give me for my condition. I remember around seven o’clock in the morning that I was pushing and trying to have my son. There was a lot of concern during that time. I learned afterwards that they were close to doing an emergency C-section on me, but at 7:38 a.m. April 25, he arrived. I remember hearing his cry and then I crashed. I fell asleep.
I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. I had never heard of it before. It’s a severe stage of preeclampsia. When my son was born, the doctor noticed the placenta wasn’t attached to him. I was told a lot of things medical wise that I didn’t understand. Both my son and I had to stay several days to make sure we were alright. I was told that I would probably need a bone marrow transfusion. I didn’t want that to happen, I prayed and others at my church prayed. My blood count went up in a few days and I didn’t have to have that transfusion. I was told by my doctor that I was very lucky. They were worried that they were going to lose me, the baby or both of us. But, God had different plans. I know God’s hand was on me and my son the whole time.
Now, my son is about to turn sixteen. He’s almost an adult and this year because he’s approaching adulthood, I’m keenly reminded of the miracle of his life. I’ve been asking him lately what his goals are. I don’t really want him to grow up, but you can’t stop that. Right now, he’s unsure about what he wants to do. I pray that he will understand that God has him here on this Earth for a reason; He has a plan for His life. I pray that he seeks God first on all things concerning his life.

 

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All I’m asking is for a little respect

In light of the disdain and outward opinion from our society with the newly elected President, I have noticed we lack something vital. That something is respect. To respect is to have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of someone else. Now, please realize that I do not care for most politicians myself. I don’t trust what they promise or say. I did not care for Donald Trump and things he said and did while he campaigned. But, he is our president now and we have to respect him as our leader. 1 Peter 2:13 – 17 says, “For the Lord’s sake, yield to the people who have authority in this world: the king, who is the highest authority, and the leaders who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. It is God’s desire that by doing good you should stop foolish people from saying stupid things about you. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Live as servants of God. Show respect for all people: Love the brothers and sisters of God’s family, respect God, honor the king.”

Yield to people who have authority. Think about the headlines that have hit media in the past year. We witnessed throughout the country that policemen were targeted as evil and provokers of violence rather than civil leaders who place their very lives in danger every day to protect civilians. Why do we think we shouldn’t yield to their authority? A policeman’s job is hard, stressful, and low paying. They have to be on guard for anyone they approach in any dispute, matter, or traffic violation. They have to expect the unexpected because they never know if the person they are questioning is a loose cannon or not. Let’s respect and yield to those who are in authority…..for the Lord’s sake. The highest person in authority in the United States is the President. Like him or not, we must yield and respect him. We should also pray for him and others that are placed in those authoritative positions. We need to pray for wisdom for our leaders, that they will make just decisions and listen to both parties and rising smaller political parties that represent our country. All political parties need to respect one another, by not screaming and calling each other names, but coming together and finding that common ground. I can’t stand politics. I always disliked it and I’ve loathed it even more in the past decade because of the nastiness and arrogance of people arguing for their party to the point of belittling those opposed to their party. I’ve observed the lack of respect on both sides. So, respect is definitely missing from the picture.

Tearing more into the scripture, it states that God’s desire is that by doing good (not disrespecting, name calling, accusing, screaming, belittling, mocking, ect..) it will stop people from saying stupid things about you. How do we do good? First, don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. In other words don’t say things like “It’s my God given right to……(you can fill in the blank). “ Second, we are to live as servants of God. A servant in this context is defined as a devoted and helpful follower or supporter. As a servant, when you are out and about, however you act represents who your Master is. Do you represent God the way He wants others to see Him? Third, we are to show respect for all people. All means everyone, even those who are different from you. Fourth, love your Christian family. Don’t gossip and hate on someone in your Christian family, but love them. If it’s hard to love a certain someone in your family, ask God to increase His love in you to achieve that love and respect for them. Lastly the scripture says to respect God and to honor the king. God is our heavenly king. He is the ultimate one in charge of all things in Heaven and on earth. We respect God by being obedient to him and adhering to the golden rule. Love God, love others. I’m not saying that is an easy thing, but it is possible if you allow God to empower you to love by His spirit.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2017 in Life, Spiritual Reflections

 

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Destination Awry

Her purpose became disposed by the empty container of a pill bottle.
She didn’t plan to withdraw into this life of addiction.
Her mind was too muddled to even recognize who she had become.
A pale face molded with the signs of abuse that outsiders diagnose.
A face that society thrusts aside, mistrusts, and labels as a lost cause.
Her hunger overcomes anyone who cares or anything that matters.
This appetite gnaws at her heart and suffocates the things she once loved.
How did she allow this to overtake her?
She was so beautiful, but felt so ugly.
She robbed herself with misplaced priorities of living it up,
This left her tossed by the wayside.
Slammed iron bars and a cold cell is her home now.
Rapid breaths of air escape her lungs with tears seeping down her cheeks.
God awaits her call to Him with His ear on her chest.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in Poetry, Writing

 

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Repeated Lessons

multiplicationrecords“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward towards success.”
C.S. Lewis

I do not enjoy repetition at all. I’m not a fan of repeats in television shows. Even if I turn on my favorite television show and see that it is a repeat, I’ll switch the channel. I just loathe repetition. If someone tells me the same stories that they have already told me before, my eyes begin glazing over and my mind wanders. I think it may be suppressed rebellion coming forth from my childhood.

My third grade year in elementary school, we started learning multiplication. The teacher presented the lesson and taught us how to multiply, but I couldn’t grasp it at all. I was lost and I didn’t tell the teacher I was lost or my parents. I just daydreamed while she taught multiplication and made lousy grades during it. I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t share those F papers with my parents. My day of reckoning happened when I got my report card for those six to nine weeks. A big fat D sat neatly alongside the word Math. This was my first D on a report card. I brought C’s home before and they were bad enough, but a D was terrible. I was scared to death about what my Mom was going to say or do. I already felt like the class idiot because I didn’t understand multiplication and I didn’t want to feel even worse when I saw my mother’s disapproval of my letter grade. I couldn’t hide my report card; Mom knew when to expect it. I nervously handed my report card over to her when I walked in the door. I cannot recall exactly, but I wouldn’t doubt that I excused myself quickly to the bathroom as soon as the envelope touched her fingertips.
She was upset and involved Dad in being upset about it as well. They both came to me at bedtime and asked why I made such a grade in math. They asked if I just didn’t understand the lesson, if I was paying attention, and all those other parental questions. I fessed up and said that multiplication was confusing. They were upset that I didn’t let them know, but they were also aggravated that my teacher didn’t inform them earlier of my struggle. Anyway, I was placed in the other math class; you know “the slow class.” My inability to multiply was making me feel like a loser with a capital L. My grandmother reminded my dad of his or his brothers struggles with math and gave him an old set of records she used to help them. It was a sing along of each multiplication table. The collection was a dual sided five record set. The records were copy written in 1956. When I was in third grade, it was mid 1980’s. The sing a longs were honestly catchy, but sounded like most music back in the 50’s. Squeaky clean, super chipper, rhyming ditties sang by a Dean Martin wannabe. My parents decided for me to listen to the records after school each day and then at night when I went to bed, they would play one of the records for me to fall asleep to. This was a special level of repetition hell to me.
My dreams became numbers dancing in my head to these ridiculous lyrics. “You can surprise all the people in all the stores, counting your change, when you know your fours…..4X1 is 4…..and so on.”

Strangely enough, I started to grasp multiplication. The sing songs were being etched into my brain. I sat in math class and the little ditties would pop into my head, whispering the answer to each problem. I learned multiplication by repetition. I still didn’t understand it completely at first, but learning it started with repetition.

As much as I detest repetition, I know that it is a valuable way to learn. Repetition causes things to stick to your mind. It helps you recall the order of what you are repeating or remember the way it looks or sounds. After you repeat something over and over, it begins to sink into the subconscious to where you recall it without overthinking. That’s why practice is important in music, sports, exercise, reading, and anything else we do in life that takes skill.

Spiritually speaking, I’ve had to repeat a lot of life lessons in order to finally get what God was trying to tell me the first time around. Maybe I wasn’t completely paying attention or I just didn’t understand what He was trying to teach me. Those repeat lessons are aggravating, they can be boring, they can be mundane tasks, or they can even make you feel like a complete idiot. But, it’s best to not flip the channel or turn it off, like the way I do television shows. Instead, repeat it until it sinks into your subconscious and you just know it completely without second guessing it.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2016 in Life

 

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Labor Day Weekend Musings

workLabor Day weekend is a great time to enjoy an extended weekend and take a breather from your job or profession. I have been looking forward to this weekend for several weeks now. What have I looked forward to the most?  Having one extra day where I do not have to set the alarm clock and wake up later than usual.

My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me. They led by example because they both are hard workers.  My mom stayed home with my sisters and me when we were younger.  But she didn’t slack at all.  She kept a very clean house and made sure that dinner was on the table for us in the evening and the yard was kept up. To me she was a bit OCD with some things.  She taught us to clean well.  She made me redo my chores a lot when I tried to shortcut them.  My dad worked hard too.  He worked in his father’s grocery store when I was a kid.  He also worked part time for a gas station in town and volunteered at the fire department.  He was my hero in many ways.  I bragged to my classmates about how hard he worked for his family.

When my sisters and I got a little older, mom got a job outside the house. She worked retail for a little while and also went back to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.  She made straight A’s in college and did her job proficiently.   She got her degree about a few years before I got my college degree and she went on to teach high school English.  She retired from it this year.

During my summer and winter breaks in college, I worked for my dad at the grocery store that he was manager of. He enjoyed his job and took it very seriously.  I appreciated working alongside him, but learned quickly that he’d let me know if something wasn’t done right and correct me on what to do or not do.  My parents weren’t rich by any means, but they provided for us and kept the bills paid, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.

My husband is diligent in his work as well. Throughout our marriage, he has worked hard to build his businesses.  I’m proud of all that he has accomplished in his work.  He is brilliant in his field, he is kind hearted and is ethical in all that he does.  Being a business owner isn’t an easy job.  People, who aren’t business owners, do not usually understand the pressure and stress that comes along with it.  I help my husband by managing the embroidery shop that he bought almost ten years ago.  Because of the way I was taught, I have many pet peeves that revolve around laziness, tardiness and poor work ethic.

Anyway, I say all of that to conclude that I am thankful for times of rest and replenishing. We were created to work, but also created to take time to rest.  God created the earth in six days and on the seventh day, he rested.  In Exodus 20:8-11, it says “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” 

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Life

 

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