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rambles, rants and revelations

One redhead's journey to get over herself.

Through The Haze

It has been almost two weeks since I needed to take any pain pills. As much as I needed them, I really hated taking them. I would continually space out in the middle of my sentences or my thoughts. Like watching a video and then suddenly putting it on pause! Then forgetting you were even watching a video!

The last day I was at North, before getting transferred to the TCU, I was one big space case. Just lying in the hospital bed, spacing out. But…God kept illuminating a nurse that kept coming into my room who looked upset. At the end of her shift, she stopped in to see if I needed anything else. My mind suddenly became clear and I blurted out “Are you okay?” She just nodded. Then I told her God had a word for her that I wanted to share. My spirit cut through the mental and physical haze, and God revealed and confirmed a family issue that was going on, how a family member had betrayed her and how He would resolve it. That she wasn’t supposed to worry. Her eyes welled up with tears and she said: “how did you know all that?” I said” I didn’t. That was God.” Now you might be thinking……girl you were high! Ha! Did that really happen? Yes, it did. The nurse was so touched by God’s truth and wisdom AND His love for her, that she said “I need to hug you” and suddenly leaned down and actually laid her body down on top of mine and put her arms around me!

I certainly didn’t have the physical or mental capabilities that day to love on her or anyone else….BUT my heart was open to His prompting. No drug could shut that or Him down.

So, are we called to love? Or are we love? If God’s spirit is in us, and God is love……are we not God’s love? Not on our own accord, but through Him? Regardless if we are in the mood or not?

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not always the nicest or sweetest Jeanne! I can be impatient, and easily annoyed or angered. And don’t even try to play me or try to make me jealous! Yikes! That is one big shitstorm waiting to happen! Ha!

But can’t we all be like that? I’d like to blame in on my red hair, but I think it is my human-ness. Our human-ness. Trying to do things on my own. Love on my own.

So are you called to love? Or are you love?

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Don’t be a Christian A$$hole!

You cannot have someone else’s God experience for them!

Someone asked me, this past week, how to speak truth into the life of an unbelieving family member. Today, someone asked me how they could help their conservative Christian family experience God outside of the box they have put Him in. Truth is…you can’t! You get the God of your choosing! The God of your beliefs! Or more rightly…..the God of your unbeliefs!

I didn’t believe in God for over 10 years! I thought Christians were stupid, weak and totally unenlightened. I was into the universe, energy and making things happen, by myself. Ok. 🙂 Me and the universe making it happen. And the universe didn’t have a name or a face. Just a pulse. A pulse without a heart. It was only here to connect everyone and everything, together. It didn’t give a rat’s a$$ about you personally…..it was just doing its job. Doing its job and whoa to you if you had any bad karma coming. Do the crime, ya’ll got some bad karma time to deal with!

I did NOT want to hear about God stuff. Nor any quotes from the bible. To me, it was a pack of lies that were written to support the Jesus myth. Like Greek Mythology. Only the tasty part of the Jesus myth included Christmas gifts and chocolate Easter eggs.

My grandfather was from England and into Edgar Cayce. I heard that he believed he was psychic and would contact the Minneapolis police department, from time to time, with information about crimes. One time they actually held him, because he knew some undisclosed information. My grandmother was from Scotland and I am sure she had some witchy voodoo going on in her lineage because my mother was all up into that new age stuff and I grew up around those materials. My sisters might not recall, but she had a lot of magazines laying around and I got into that realm as a young person.

It was not until I had a mind blowing, unforgettable and earth shattering experience, where I was glued to my chair by the presence of God, that I was even open to the possibility! Then I recall being terrified that God would want me to be one of those religious weirdos who stood on street corners and handed out tracts and held a sign about the world ending. But, I soon found out that He didn’t want me to be a work horse! He wanted to love me as a daughter!

You want your friends and family to find Jesus/God? Stop being a Christian a$$hole! How? Stop pushing your version of Jesus onto unbelievers and believers who don’t quite think like you! This isn’t Amway and you aren’t building your downline! Collecting souls is not going to win you a spot in Heaven nor give you residual blessings. Those come free! Free with YOUR belief and not anyone else’s! I am also NOT saying don’t share testimonies of God’s goodness and how He has worked in you and through you. Just try not to be so weird! Ha! Unless it is a fun kind of weird.

What can you do? Start praying that the unbelievers and stifled Christians, around you, have a mind blowing, amazingly supernatural and relevant TODAY experience with God all on their own!

I didn’t believe until I had one myself. No one could do that for me. I had to experience it myself.

As far as already believing in God, but wanting more? God will stretch your belief in Him, when you allow it.

When you allow it. WHEN YOU ALLOW IT!

Ok rant over 🙂 Aggghhhhh

My sister should have NEVER taken me to Target today. Must be those fluorescent lights.

A couple of chips in the oil

A friend asked me to repeat an old FB post for her 20 something daughter……

Recently I was talking to a guy friend. Former boyfriend actually. I asked him if he had met anyone interesting and he said “no, my life is pretty boring lately. Besides I have changed so much. I used to manipulate women with my sad stories and just too old for the games now.” “Sad stories?” “Yes. I used to tell women how poor I was as a kid and then they would feel sorry for me and I would get sympathy sex.” “Oh really?” I non-chalantly replied as I quickly ran a scan on my memory hard-drive. “Yes, one story I told was how we were soooo poor that we could not buy potato chips so my mother would peel a couple of slices off of a potato and drop them into oil so we could have a couple chips with our lunch.

I started to laugh knowingly. Embarrassed, he asked if he happened to tell me that story too. “Yes actually you did.” “Did it work on you?”  “No, I recall I told you that I was sorry you were poor and offered to buy you the biggest bag of chips I could find to make up for it.” He laughed” Sometimes, you are just cold.” I just smiled and thought…Not cold, it just took you a little longer to suck me in.

Now I am talking about a lovely man who just happens to be a non-believer. He does not know how to act or think any other way than the flesh. If you recall I just asked him if he had met anyone interesting and I never asked if he was sleeping with anyone. Now I know some of you are thinking but I don’t know those kinds of men. I only know GODLY single men who would never play games. But just because you found yourself a single “Christian” man doesn’t mean anything until he repeatedly proves it by his actions. Don’t be so naive to think that some Godly men aren’t tossing a few slices in the oil and calling it Jesus.

I know some single Christian women who cry about not having a man but never venture out to find one. They basically drive to work and back home again. Now unless a man hurls himself onto your windshield how do you expect to ever meet one? It’s impossible. Reminds me of the homebody roommate I had years ago who developed a strange crush on the Dominoes delivery guy.  Yep. Ordered it every weekend for over a year. Big world out there when you decide to participate.

Or what about the single women who continue to throw their lines into a limited pond? You know the ones. They go to church on Sunday, Wednesday and any other day it is open. They attend every conference, talk or workshop and all fight over the same 5 single men who are not available because they are also on the hunt and you ain’t her!

Then one day these women start to panic at living life alone and they jump at the first sighting of something that LOOKS Godly. You say well that is certainly not me but than you find yourself putting on something nice and starting to hit the groups you have never been to. You have traded a past life of hitting the bars for a church crawl so you can soberly scope out the available Godly talent. You are determined not to spend one more Holiday alone. You look around the room and observe the pack for awhile. You ignore the speaker because you are too busy categorizing every male in the place. Hmmm, married, taken, too old, too young, crazy, weird, homeless, potential stalker, and than you see someone who appears normal and available. You watch from afar and are suddenly mesmerized by how he raises his hands and voice in worship. His left hand is ringless and you are encouraged. He occasionally pauses to flip open his bible and you know the Lord is speaking words of wisdom to him. He is not easily distracted and listens intently to the speakers. Your heart races and you think oh I want a Godly man just like him! One that worships and reads his bible! I can even bring him to conferences instead of going with my girlfriends. We can volunteer together and start a ministry and and and ……and Girl wake up. Let me slap you up side your head right now before you get caught up in the trance. As soon as he bags you or his ideal woman he won’t be going to any more conferences. I don’t care how Godly he looks as only time will tell if he is just playing your game. The I know you all are looking for a Godly man so I will gladly play the part game. Are all men like this? No. But take the time to check it out. Just sayin.

Next time you spot someone new take a breath and pause before you get all tingly because he appears to be the man you have been waiting for. Or stop when fear grips you and you feel like you will live the rest of your days alone. So ALONE that you will probably lie dead on the floor for days with your face half eaten away by your 8 cats before anyone thinks to check on you 🙂. Don’t let that fear or panic control you so that you plan to grab the next available guy that comes along just because you are afraid you have no other options.

You shake your head and say that is not me but we all know how it starts…ha! Is he single? Yes? Really? Oh my! Single AND a Christian! This must be the one. I know Papa God said I would meet my mate in church one day. He is kind of cute but I would definitely have to dress him differently and OMGoodness his hair! He does need a woman. I hope he has a job. No? That’s okay we can start our ministry right away. What? He does? A good job? Yay God! DING DING DING DING DING!!!!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Now I KNOW he is the one. Why else would God have me come here on this particular night AND me having a good hair day! Single, Christian, and a job! Yes I could definitely make this work!!!!!

Slow down Ruth and wait for your Boaz. God may have some work to do on him yet. Or worse yet maybe some work to do on you. Gasp! Be open to being led by God, even if it means having to get out of your house, church or nearest revival center to do it. There just might be some lovely man out in the world who isn’t quite a Christian yet. Remember you weren’t always quite the believer you are now. Or it might be someone you would never think would be your type. Or someone you already met or see on a regular basis and I am not talking about the pizza guy. Might be someone who would be perfect for you if you just gave him half a chance to prove he is or could be the Godly man you always hoped for.

Permission

Last day of a Z pack and went to urgent care today because I was short of breath. Nebulized me and gave me some prednisone. Aggghhhh. Bronchitis GO! Why is it easier for us to believe God can heal cancer and not a cold? I was just emailing that to someone tonight and God interrupted me before I could finish the sentence and said….”Because you believe, in some instances, it is permissible to be ill.” Hmmmm touche Daddy God! Then I went naw….I don’t really think that. Do I?

But the truth is that I don’t use the word permissible very often, even though I know what it means. Then I thought, Jeanne…..do you REALLY know what permissible means? Y’all better look it up.

per·mis·si·ble

adjective
permitted; allowed.
synonyms: permitted, allowable, allowed, acceptable, legal, lawful, legitimate, admissible, licit, authorized, sanctioned, tolerated; informal legit, OK

Either Jesus paid for it ALL, or He didn’t. We don’t need to tolerate anything! Not a cold, not hemorrhoids, nor PMS! Not even adult acne nor a freakish rogue hair growing out of our necks. HA! Women will get that one.

I may think I believe it is ALL FINISHED, but the truth is I must not! Otherwise I wouldn’t tolerate even that feeling that I must be coming down with something! I seem to forget that I don’t need to accept a cold, until I am a week or so into it and then think….oh suck it up. It will be gone soon anyway. NO! Start asking for the truth of walking in divine healing for you every day! What would that look like for you? Ask God. He will tell you.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in a formula or ritual for healing that we forget about our relationship with Daddy God. What is He saying divine health looks like for you? How are you going to walk it out?

Think about it. Or don’t think about it. Just know that what we believe, we call into our life. Every day and in every situation.

Mortadella please….

I pulled my phone out of my purse and started playing Candy Crush. I was standing in line trying to kill some time, instead of the guy in front of me at the Deli Counter. He was taking more than his sweet time pacing in front of the glass case reviewing the array of meats and cheeses. In a very thick Brooklyn accent he asked the clerk. ” I’d like some Mortadella. Where is your Mortadella?”. The clerk gave him a quizzical look. He looked like your typical Midwestern teenager and most likely didn’t know what Mortadella was, let alone how to pronounce it. Mr. East Coast continued “I just moved here and will probably come in here…..a lot.” The clerk just shrugged his shoulders as to say, I ain’t holding out on you mister. New Yorker sighed and finally asked for a pound of Hard Salami. “Fresh slices please.” I wanted to say “Excuse me, but this is Cub. The Hard Salami already comes pre- sliced in a bag. You need to go over to Byerlys.” but I pretended I was too pre-occupied to notice their exchange. He took his purchase and tossed it into his basket and I could tell he was disappointed. It is hard to try to translate yourself into a new and unfamiliar community and bring your old life with you. Especially if you are a foodie and just moved into the land of bologna and Velveeta.
Lately, I find God taking me out of my comfort zone. It is both exciting and scary! Trusting that God wants the very best for me, I continue to take forward baby steps out of what is familiar and comfortable. God can turn things around in a flash and create good out of bad and NOTHING is ever lost or hopeless to the Creator. Nope. We have the God of suddenlies! It is one thing to think this, another to believe it and amazingly and utterly cosmic to walk it out. I have simply stopped analyzing and just started to trust. My pea brain can’t comprehend it all, anyway. Things I thought would never happen are suddenly manifesting in a matter of weeks. You think I would be overjoyed but I have terrified my family, at times, with my wide range of fearful hysterics. Why? No matter how much we say we want things to change, when it comes down to it, most of us would rather stay where we are at. I think it comes down to fear. Fear of failure. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of lack. Fear of success. Fear of having it all. Fear of not really be worthy of getting what you have always wished for. Would it help you move forward if you knew how much God loved you and wanted the very best for you? That you are worthy, righteous and valued as the precious child of the most high God? No matter if you have believed in Him for years or just met Him 2 seconds ago? It is that simple peeps. He wants to give you the world. His world! Open your arms, HEART and MIND to receive. Just receive! This year, just make the decision that you will just receive and stop trying to figure it all out.,

Precious Time

It was my night to bring my father dinner and I stopped at a store by his house to pick up his favorite meal of chicken wings and coleslaw.

“Not that again. No thanks.” Really? I was surprised because these were from his favorite grocery deli. “Ok, what else can I make for you?” “Anything. Surprise me. If you can!” Ha! Sometimes he is like a fussy two year old. I suppose when you are at his age you are just plain tired of food. I rummage around in his freezer and find some Jimmy Dean Sausage and Egg muffins and I throw one in the microwave. I bring it to him and he tells me he can’t eat a whole one and to cut it in half.

“You girls just don’t get it, I am just not that hungry any more.” He says that every time one of us brings him dinner and and it the feeling of never being able to please him just gets so tiring.  I feel guilty as I glance at the clock and start figuring out how quickly I can make my escape without feeling like a BAD daughter. I have other things to do and besides, I have a life too, don’t I?

He suddenly starts complaining that his left hand itches and I reach over and touch the top of his hand and look at his palm. “Doesn’t feel dry and I don’t see any hives, Dad” He shakes his head, “It really itches and I don’t feel well.”

I bend down to look at his face and I see his lips are dark. Almost black. I start to freak out. but I don’t want him to notice. “What do you mean you don’t feel well? What is wrong? ” I keep looking at his black lips and wondering if I need to call the nurse next door who takes care of him. He continues to complain as I start to scan his body. Something wrong with his circulation? I look to see if his legs or feet are purple, if he is shallow breathing or if he looks distressed anywhere else.

Oh no! Don’t die on my dinner watch! He continues to complain that he is not hungry and picks up the muffin and starts eating it. I suddenly notice that the more he talks and the more he eats that his black lips are returning to their normal color. He isn’t dying! Its freakin chocolate cookie stains! I spot an empty baggie with some cookie crumb residue and it becomes obvious that he has been eating Oreo cookies all afternoon, along with mini-donuts and other cookies and candy that are strewn all over the end table next to his recliner. No wonder he is never hungry when we bring him dinner! He has a small bakery at his disposable, along side his tv remote!

He forces down the 1/2 of the breakfast muffin and then calls it quits. “Take the plate away, I am done.” “Ok, I guess all those cookies made you full.” “What cookies? Who buys me all of this junk? I never eat it” 🙂

“Dad do you want me to bring you some ice cream.” “Not till later.” “Well I am not going to stay that long.” ” You can stay a half hour more.” I sit and read the paper with him and start to feel agitated because I really want to get on my way. Then a wave of guilt hits me and I realize that I may not have many of these quiet moments left with him. How sad I will feel when I don’t have the opportunity to bring him dinner or listen to him complain and lie through chocolate stained lips.

I enjoy another hour with him and thank God for this opportunity. I ask him if he needs anything else. “you can get me that ice cream now.” I retrieve the ice cream bar and tell him I love him and as I turn to leave he says. “I am sorry, I am so crabby, but nothing seems to be going right for me and my hand still itches” I smile and assure him that I will have the night nurse take a look at it before he goes to bed.

I get in my car and drive away and feel grateful that I have the ability to do so. Must be rough to sit in a chair all day watching golf on tv and waiting for people to come over. I am thankful for my sisters who also share in his care and for the 2 caretakers who come in every day so he can stay in his home till God calls him home. I can’t even imagine doing this all on my own.

Lord help me to stop rushing away from people. Help me to love others like you do. Especially my father.  Let me see this as precious time, well spent.

Big Girl Pants

Last night, I was out with my buddy Jim and we hit a Perkins around 10pm. I wasn’t thrilled to join him, as it was in a scary part of town and most nights I am just not in the mood for a drive-by. “I am not hungry.” He laughed “Yes, you are. You are just panicky. It will be okay, you’ll see.” We walked through the dark parking lot and I was already mad at him.

We get inside and it looked like a normal Perkins. “See. No gang wars in here.” He continued to try to calm me down. “We are actually close to the U.” As we were seated, it was hard not to notice a group of 15-20 young men and women, sitting in a corner, laughing and being loud. The noise was overwhelming, adding to my anxiety and made it hard to concentrate on the sticky menu. Agggghhh! “What is on this menu?” Jim laughed, “Big girl pants, Jeanne. Big girl pants!” I hate it when Jim is not sensitive about my occasional anxiety. “Ok. Well if a shooter comes in, he will go after the annoying kids first, anyway.” J rolls his eyes, this isn’t the first time he has witnessed my inner city restaurant panic attacks.

The noisy gaggle flies the coop, just as we are served our meals, and it is suddenly very quiet. J remarks about the sudden drop in noise and our server Brad says ” They come in once a month and we try to seat them in the corner. They are actually high school kids.”

God quickly illuminates the server to me. Brad is an attractive young man and God tells me he is a college student. A college student with a financial problem. I dig into my omelet and think in my head “Sure God, all college students are worried about money.” God continues, give him a good tip and give him a word. Nah. A bigger tip? Nah. Now I know this is all in my head.

In the middle of the meal, Brad arrives with our bill and informs us that they will be closing soon. As I start to fill out the receipt, God repeats his request and tells me to tip the server $10 on my $7 meal, to make a point. As I handed the server my slip, I said “I know this is going to sound odd, but God is telling me to give you a good tip because you are worried about money. Are you.?”

He smiled, “Well, I am a college student. I am always worried about money.” “Yes, I can imagine that is true, but this is something very specific,” It suddenly hits him what I am speaking about and his eyes momentarily start to well up. You know, the guy version of tears. He nods his head. “Well God is saying not to worry, that it will all be taken care of and it won’t be a big deal. You will find that it will all work out and the money will come through in unexpected ways. Later you will say, why was I even worried.” His eyes welled up again “Thank you. I appreciate that.” “Seriously, it will all work out.” He looked relieved and a smile crossed his face. “Thank you, I really appreciate it.” Now I know $10 was not going to solve his problem, but God was telling him that He was on it. Then God showed me what the money was for and I was glad that I had braved the scary neighborhood and the sticky menu.

Now you might think sometimes when you have a word for someone, that is sounds really vague or that it could apply to anyone. But, you can always tell when it is from God. How? Because it will speak to the person and you will see it physically register. A light bulb goes off. Even if it is a nano second. You will see the person’s inner witness connect, because at that point it is no longer you, but God himself connecting with His child.

We were the last people to leave the restaurant and yelled goodbye to Brad, who was busy vacuuming the carpet. He smiled and replied, “Thanks. Really, thank you so much.”

Glad I put on my big girl pants last night.

Let’s Make A Deal!

It was 10:40pm, last Saturday night, and I was standing in line with 8 other people who had also decided to do some late night shopping, at Kohls. There was only one register open and the customer being served was in no hurry to finish her transaction.

“That will be $19.00, please”

“I no want dress. Too long for me. Need to be fixed. Give me money off.”

The clerk is a little confused. “Ma’am, the dress is already 70% off. I can’t take anything else off.”

The customer continued in her broken English, “Maybe I don’t want. Too long. Give me a better price. It will cost me to fix.”

“Ma’am, I can’t do that. It is already discounted”

“Too much to fix. I don’t want. But maybe I buy it if you give me better deal”

“Than don’t buy it. You don’t have to buy it. That is the price! I can’t give you any other discounts.”

We all stood in silence and watched them begin a staring contest.The clerk just look flustered and the customer looked like she could not understand why the clerk wasn’t even trying to negotiate with her.

A stand off at the register! I was trying not to laugh! Hey Lady! This isn’t a flea market! The only way you get another discount is if you find something wrong with the item. As in, something wrong with the item FOR everyone! Not just something wrong with it for YOU. Either start doling out those Kohl bucks or move ON! 🙂
Tick Tock. Lets get this party started! Target, next door, is only open until Midnight!

Now everyone else started to grumble under their breath, except for another person who was dressed similar to the customer and she looked confused too. Maybe she wanted to negotiate as well! Ha! 🙂

Different cultures. Different shopping behaviors.

The clerk finally picked up the phone and requested that several other clerks come up to help out at the registers. As I left the store, I turned around to see the same customer still trying to swing a deal. Ha! She was just not getting it. Or maybe she was. I bet in the end, they gave her another 15 off, just to get rid of her. 🙂

Different cultures. Different shopping behaviors.

Redheads

I laughed today, as I saw a man walk into Cub Foods with 3 energetic red haired children, in tow. They actually looked more like a small red tornado; swirling, pulling, shoving and bouncing off of each other. I couldn’t tell if they were having fun or ready to burst into flames! Ha! The poor guy just looked dazed.

Ahhhhh. A family full of redheaded bundles of joy. Or anger. Or hysterics. You just never know what might show up, moment to moment.

My parents were most likely glad that they only had one. My mother used to save articles that she had found on redheads for me. One was a Time or Life Magazine article, in which they did a study on a group of redheaded children. They found some significant differences. Redheads were more easily angered, frustrated, and had a very low tolerance for waiting. Waiting of any kind. The magazine stated that is why the Vikings, who were predominately redheads, enjoyed fighting, killing and pillaging. They just couldn’t help themselves!

Redheads supposedly had a lower tolerance to pain, needed more anesthesia and were found to, more often, have addictive personalities. The study also included monitoring the children’s classroom behavior, the day after Halloween. Photographs showed the children, after an evening sugar binge, out of control and literally bouncing off the walls!

I hate to admit, that when I was a child, I could occasionally be a handful. Ok, even as a young adult. Ok, up until about 15 years ago. Ha! Glad I got more mellow as the years went on. Most days I am pretty calm. Except in rush hour traffic after my morning McDonald’s coffee buzz. Or the afternoon drive home. Or waiting in line. Especially waiting in line. I think that is why the Holy Spirit always seems to manifests when I am standing in line. Probably safer for everyone. Sure keeps my mind off of pillaging.

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