Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Attitude of Gratitude


I used to be an incredibly negative person. I complained all the time about how awful my life was, and how bad I had it, and none of it was my fault, because my childhood was terrible (and it was). Everything was my parents’ fault, and if only they’d been better parents, then my life now would be better.

Now, while part of that was true, I was ignoring all the wonderful parts of my life ~ all the amazing gifts that God had blessed me with just by being alive. I was suffering from a deep depression that was causing me to feel a great deal of emotional agony ~ because of my childhood, it’s true ~ and that was blinding me to the present-day beauty that was all around me in my adult life.

But here’s a truism: if you’ve had a difficult childhood, what happened to you is NOT your fault. But what you do with what happened to you once you grow up and become an adult? THAT is your responsibility. You can no longer blame it on your parents or your bad childhood. You’re an adult now. It’s time to grow up and start acting like an adult. I know it’s hard, but it’s something we all have to do, regardless of what happened to us when we were little.

Okay, ‘nuf said…

What woke me up to the present-day beauty and wonder that were (and are) in my life, was when I realized that God had been present throughout my life from the very beginning, saving my life and protecting me from the worst of the abuse to which my parents had subjected me. Once I realized that, I could let go of the anger and rage against God that I’d been holding onto for many years. I couldn’t understand why He would allow me to be placed in a family where I would be abused within an inch of my life on a daily basis, where my mother would try to kill me from the time I was born on (during my infancy she tried to drown me and suffocate me with a pillow several times), where I would have to become multiple in order to survive, not just emotionally, but also physically.

But then I realized that the multiplicity was one of the gifts God had given me to protect me from the worst of the abuse, and to help me stay alive. For example, when my mother would try to kill me, God created an alter in me named Deadsally, who would come out and make me stop squirming so my mother would think she’d succeeded and stop trying.

Praise God! Isn’t He amazing? Isn’t He wonderful? I’m alive today because of what He did for me back then, and that was before I got saved. I’m absolutely gobsmacked at God’s goodness and kindness in my life! I guess He had to keep me alive so I could make a decision for Him! And I’m SOOO GLAD He did!!

So once I became aware of His presence in my life, my negative attitude changed to a positive one, and it happened overnight. One day I was steaming mad at God and the next day (well, almost… actually it took a couple of weeks before I was able to release all the rage. But it felt like night and day.) my perspective was completely different.

I had been raging at God, asking Him WHY? WHY had He allowed the abuse?? But once I was able to let go of the rage, I realized that all I really wanted to know was where He was while I was being abused.

Where was He??

Did He care?

Did He know about it??

These were the questions that haunted me, that shouted and shrieked in my mind. And once I stopped demanding to know why, God answered these questions. I was in church one Sunday, and during worship He showed me that He had been there the whole time. That was where He showed me that He had been there throughout my life. And when I saw that I started to weep with joy and gladness and love for Him. That was when my perspective changed.

So on this Easter Sunday, I am so grateful to God. I’m grateful first and foremost for the Cross, for without that, all the other stuff would mean nothing. But I’m also grateful for everything else He’s done for me, because if He hadn’t kept me alive throughout my childhood, I wouldn’t have been around to accept Christ as my wonderful Savior.

Thank you Jesus, and thank you my beautiful Father, Ancient of Days, Jehovah Jireh, I love You so!! I love You my lovely Lord Jesus, and I love You my precious Holy Spirit!!

E’en so come quickly Lord Jesus…

His Lovely Face


This is Easter week. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, this coming Sunday will be Resurrection Sunday, and in between the two Sundays is Crucifixion Friday, or what the world calls Good Friday.

Palm Sunday, Crucifixion Friday, and Resurrection Sunday. Probably the three most important days of the whole year on the Christian calendar.

Some people think Christmas is the most important time of year for Christians, but without Easter, Christmas is meaningless.

I’m grateful for all these holidays, because Christ’s whole purpose in coming to earth in the first place was to go to the cross and die for my sins. And because He did it without sinning Himself, He was able to defeat, even cheat, death, so God resurrected Him after He’d been dead for three days.

I think God regards suffering, and the suffering of Christ in particular, as beautiful. The reason for this is that suffering builds character,

Christ, in the days when he was a man on earth, appealed to the one who could save him from death in desperate prayer and the agony of tears. His prayers were heard; he was freed from his shrinking from death but, Son though he was, he had to prove the meaning of obedience through all that he suffered. Then, when he had been proved the perfect Son, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who should obey him, being now recognised by God himself as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 5:7-8, J.B. Phillips New Testament.

I’ve long believed that God is much more interested in the development of our character than He is in our happiness, and suffering is one big way He works to accomplish that. And the very best example of this is Christ Himself, as is demonstrated in Hebrews 5:7-8, quoted above.

All of which is to say that Christ’s suffering on the Cross was perfect, and it’s the responsibility of every Christian ~ and certainly my chiefest desire ~ to be like Him in every way. In addition, His perfect suffering on the Cross is part of what enabled God to raise Him from the dead on Sunday morning (the other part was the sinless life He had lived from the beginning, as I stated above).

And now that I’ve entrusted my life Him, I have the supreme hope of seeing Jesus face to face when I go to Heaven.

I can’t think of anything more amazing than that!!

11 It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. 12 In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11-12, Today’s Living Bible.

And that, as they say, is that!

The Monster’s Wife


I saw a movie last week, called Girl In the Basement, about a girl, named Sara, whose father, Don, locked her in a secret basement in their house when she turned 18. She hated her father because he was a control freak, and because he’d been molesting her for years, since she was eleven, so she was planning on running away after her eighteenth birthday. He kept her there, hidden from the world, for 24 years. He made her his sex slave, and she gave birth to seven of his children during the time she was held captive in his cellar.

The first two children, Marie and Michael, lived with Sara in the basement. Next came a daughter named Lisa, and then twin boys, Alex, and one who died three days after they were born, followed by two daughters. Lisa, the remaining twin and both of the last two daughters were taken upstairs by the father to be raised by Sara’s mother, Irene, as purported foster children. Don had taken steps to have he and his wife certified as foster parents, and when Sara’s four children “appeared” on the front porch, with notes saying Sara couldn’t take care of them, Don and Irene were able to take them in easily and raise them. In reality Don had forced Sara to write a note for each child, saying that she couldn’t keep him or her where she was in Florida.

That had been Don’s lie all along, that Sara had run away to join a religious cult in Florida, and he had forced her to write various notes and letters periodically to perpetuate the deception.

As I watched this movie, I became more and more enraged at Don. Right from the start after he’d locked her in the basement, he made her call him Don instead of Dad, and the sexual abuse started immediately after she was imprisoned there. Also, if she did something he didn’t like, he would beat her in addition to raping her, all of which belied the way he treated Irene and Sara’s sister, Amy.

In reality, the story of Girl In the Basement was based on a real-life family drama that played out in Austria, and began in August of 1984, when Josef Fritzl lured his daughter, Elisabeth down to the basement of their house by telling her that he needed her help carrying a door downstairs. Once down there he locked her in the basement, and kept her there until she managed to escape in April of 2008 through a series of circumstances, after her oldest daughter, Kersten, became seriously ill, and Elisabeth convinced Josef to take her to the hospital.

Once Elisabeth and her children were freed from their captivity, they had a lifetime of rape, abuse, and consequent PTSD to overcome. And for Elisabeth, one of the most difficult things for her to deal with was the idea that her mother, Rosemarie, did little to nothing to try and find her once she’d gone missing back in 1984. She blindly believed whatever ridiculous tale Josef told her about where Elisabeth was, even though the police said that Josef’s stories were not plausible. It seemed like Rosemarie was willing to abandon Elisabeth to Josef’s devices. But why? Maybe it was so she, Rosemarie, wouldn’t have to subject herself to his abuse, though in Girl In the Basement, the father kept his life and abuse of his daughter separate from his life with his wife and family upstairs.

The reason this story means so much to me is because I identify heavily with Sara/Elisabeth. I felt compelled to watch the movie over and over again, and I couldn’t stop. I kept yelling at the TV, shouting at Don about what a jerk and terrible person he was. But more than anything, I was angry for Sara about her mother, how she could have been much more proactive in searching for her. Why did she just accept on blind faith everything Don had told her about where Sara had gone? A lot of what he’d said wasn’t even plausible, yet she just took it at face value without questioning him.

It reminded me so much of the way my mother did nothing to help me throughout my childhood. She’d just left me to Harry’s evil devices. And there were plenty of signs that bad things were happening. For instance, I found a doctor’s report from when I was about four or five years old that said I had a rash around my mouth ~ and my mother did nothing about it. She didn’t question why it was there or what could be causing it.

I wrote a post back in January of 2020, called The Monster Is Dead. It was about Harry dying, and I wrote it the day after my cousin called me to tell me he’d died. And just so you know, my mother was the Monster’s wife.

I can tell you what was causing it. Harry was forcing me to have oral sex with him! That’s what was causing it!!

And after I’d begun to have memories of being abused, I told my mother that I was having sexual abuse memories. Her response was, “Well, I thought he was abusing you physically. If I’d known it was sexual abuse the divorce would have happened a lot sooner.”

When she said that anger just boiled up inside me. Children are killed all the time from being physically abused!! All I could think of was that she was making excuses for allowing Harry to do whatever he wanted to do to me!! It also told me that she knew something was going on and did nothing to stop it. I was just steaming I was so angry!! All those years!! All those years when she did nothing to protect me!! She just let it happen!! I asked her how she knew Harry was abusing me physically, and she said she saw bruises on me. So she KNEW!! She KNEW!! How could she not have tried to stop him!!??

And later when I told her that she’d said that to me, her response was, “I didn’t say that. I never said that!” Her denial was like a slap in the face, because she did say it. She did!!

After all is said and done, I know that I have to forgive her. Because I can’t go back and change the way things went. I can’t change anything about it. Even God can’t change what’s already happened. It’s done and over with.

I’ve already forgiven my mother for so many things, but right now, I’m feeling kind of… kind of stubborn. It just hurts too much. When I look at what she could have done but didn’t, I just want to scream. SCREAM!! So I don’t want to forgive her.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever considered the ramifications of what she could have done but didn’t. It was obvious to me that she was more interested in protecting herself than she was in helping me, which was kind of the story of my life. People have always been more interested in protecting themselves than they were in protecting me. I’ve never mattered that much to anyone.

I’m so grateful to know that I matter that much to God! Jesus died on the Cross to save my soul, and God expended a huge amount of energy keeping me alive and protecting me from the worst of the abuse from the time I was born onward, and that includes all the times I tried to end my own life.

So even though I don’t feel like forgiving my mother, I’m going to do it anyway, because God forgave me, and He commands me to forgive others. So because He forgave me, I can do no less.

I forgive you, Mom! I forgive you!

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:13, ESV.

I love that verse, and I especially love it in the New Living Translation,

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. ~ James 2:13, NLT.

This is a big reason why I know I have to forgive my mother, aside from all the places in Scripture that tell me that if I don’t forgive her, then God won’t forgive me.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15, NLT.

I don’t ever want to be in the position where God can’t forgive me because I’ve been holding unforgiveness against someone! I’ve done that before, and it didn’t do anything to the other person. All that happened was it made me physically ill. So don’t do it, people!! It’s a really BAD IDEA!!

A Mystery Wrapped In a Conundrum Enclosed In an Enigma


I used to have Multiple Personality Disorder, aka Dissociative Identity Disorder. I was integrated in March of 2003, around my birthday. Talk about a birthday present!

The reason I mention this is because a few days ago, I got a receipt in my email for $9.99 for one month of an Apple Music Subscription, and it’s supposed to renew on April 3rd, and every month thereafter. The problem is, I didn’t order an Apple Music Subscription, even though it was done on March 2nd from my computer using my credit card. I have no memory of doing it whatever. And apparently, there was a two month free trial period for the previous two months, because I was able to check the purchase history. Once again, however, I have no memory of doing any of this.

It’s kind of spooky-scary! I don’t like thinking there could be someone inside besides me after all these years of being integrated. It leaves me feeling terribly NOT in control, and my wallet being controlled by someone else, which is a very uncomfortable feeling.

I want to call Apple’s customer service phone number, AppleCare, but if I do, what do I tell them?

“Someone purchased a monthly Apple Music Subscription for $9.99 from my computer, using my credit card, and without my permission. No, I don’t know their name, and my computer never left my sight, nor did it leave my house.”

That makes no sense and is almost completely illogical. And I don’t think I can tell them I’m multiple. I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t understand that, or they’d think I was wacko in the most pejorative way. But I don’t want the music subscription. $9.99 every month is way too much money, and I won’t use it enough to warrant spending that much each month.

Aside from the practical aspects of this, why did it happen in the first place? If I created a new alter after being integrated for eighteen years why would I have done it? What perceived need could this new alter be meeting? And who is the new alter?

So it appears I have a mystery wrapped in a conundrum enclosed in an enigma, and it’s all contained within my mind. I know God knows the answer. He knows what’s going on, and why I did it. I just have to ask Him.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ~ James 1:5, NKJV.

To be sure I’ll also be talking to McT about this during my appointment tomorrow, if for no other reason because I need help figuring out how to cancel the subscription without completely embarrassing myself, and without having to lie. But aside from that I also need to understand why it happened so it doesn’t happen again.

I thank You for Your goodness and love, my Father, and I ask for Your help in figuring out this problem. I need Your wisdom and understanding, and I ask for Your mercy and grace, and Your forgiveness if I’ve sinned in any part of this. I want You to be glorified in every aspect of my life, and that includes every aspect of my healing. So I thank you for showing me the whys and wherefores of this situation, and for helping me to keep You first in all things. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

A Furry Loneliness


I miss Lily. I can’t even describe how much I miss her. My apartment is as silent as a tomb, even with the TV on. I’ve never felt lonely before. I’ve never minded being alone before. But now that Lily is gone, all of a sudden I’m experiencing loneliness. For the first time in my entire life I know what it is to feel lonely, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. It feels like there’s a cat-shaped hole inside me that wasn’t there before.

I’ve heard it said that there’s a God-shaped hole inside every person, and the only way to fill it is to get saved. God filled that hole in me back in February of 1972 because that’s when I got saved. So while the God-sized hole has been filled and will remain so, the cat-shaped hole is suddenly empty, achingly so.

I never thought there was such a hole in my heart. I only knew about the God-shaped hole, and that’s the only one I ever worried about, because it’s the only one of any real importance. Knowing about ~ and filling ~ this cat-hole I’ve discovered won’t really do anything except make me feel better. A filled cat-hole won’t get me into Heaven, and it won’t bring me a relationship with God. Only Jesus Christ in my life will do that, and that’s the way I want it. Jesus is everything to me. Lily was a gift from God in the first place, so maybe that cat-shaped hole was placed in me by God, I don’t know. Maybe a cat in my life will be the way that God alleviates loneliness in me, in addition to relationship with Him.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year I’ve spent my time during quarantine playing with Lily before she got sick, watching TV, playing June’s Journey (my computer game), and working on a counted cross stitch sampler.

That cross stitch sampler is a whole story all by itself. Especially since Lily died it’s provided a way of distracting me from the pain and grief of losing her so that I’m able to focus on something else. I love working on it. I enjoy planning what colors I’m going to stitch where. And aside from all other considerations I just love color. I love being surrounded by color. Color feeds my soul. I love that God created humans with the ability to see in color, and then He gave us such a beautiful and colorful world to look at. That’s one of the things that tells me He’s a good God. Way back in March of 2020 I wrote a post on beauty that’s one of my favorite posts ever, called When Faith Becomes Sight. It’s got lots of pictures in it, and I had a great time writing it.

I’ve been meandering around as I’m writing this. I started writing it well over a month ago, and then I just stopped writing altogether. Then someone new started following me earlier this afternoon, so I decided I should start writing again so my new follower ~ as well as everyone else ~ would have something to read. I am supposed to be a blogger afterall, so I should blog, seems to me.

And here’s a picture of my most recent WIP (work-in-progress) of my sampler:

I still have a whole lot of work to do. I’m working on the bottom right corner of the sampler, but I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. I hope you like what you see here!

My Face Has Turned to Cement.


I was actually able to cry about Lily this afternoon, something I haven’t been able to do since she died, and I’m wondering if my inability to cry is why I’m still so depressed about it.

When I’m sad or depressed my face feels like it’s turning into cement. My eyes feel like they’re buried in my forehead, which is probably why it’s hard for me to blink and breathe, and my face feels like it’s fading into a cave and disappearing ~ all because I can’t seem to let myself feel anything about her being gone.

What triggered the tears this afternoon was an email I was writing where I was telling someone how amazing she was, accompanied by a photograph, and I included a link to my last post where I talked about her life and death (No One to Rule My Roost, Or the Holy Spirit In a Cat). After I sent the email I started thinking about how much I missed her, and then, to my surprise, I found myself crying.

Crying has always been hard for me. When I was a child tears were so unacceptable to those around me that I had to create a separate alter whose sole job was to cry whenever any of the rest of us were hurt, afraid, or angry. Unaccountably, her name was Crybaby, and she only came out when it was safe to cry, e.g. when we were alone.

Crying when Harry abused us only made the abuse worse, so tears were to be avoided at all costs around him. It was just too dangerous, and over the years stuffing negative emotions like tears became such a strong habit that now, when I want or need to cry, I can’t. The only negative emotion I’m able to express is anger, and that only at myself, unless it’s vented at the TV ~ which is probably circuitously directed at Harry.

But then I’m reminded that Jesus too felt anger and sadness. The shortest verse in the Bible is found in John, Chapter 11, which is the story where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead:

Jesus wept. ~ John 11:35, NKJV.

Three verses before that, in John 11:33 and also in John 11:38, it says that Jesus goes to Lazarus’s tomb, and when He sees Mary weeping there, He groans in the spirit,

Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. ~ John 11:32-33, NKJV.

And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. ~ John 11:37-38, NKJV.

In the Greek, the word, to groan, in both 11:33 and 11:38, is translated, “to snort with anger”. To me this means, for one thing, that it’s okay to get angry, because Jesus was angry at what had happened to Lazarus, and at the pain Mary and Martha experienced because of it. It also means to me that Jesus was angry at what happened to me, at least that’s what I got out of it.

It also says in Ephesians,

Be angry, and do not sin”; do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. ~ Ephesians 4:26-27, NKJV.

And in Psalms,

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. ~ Psalm 4:4, NLT.

All of this is to say that anger in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s what you do with it that’s so bad. If you use it to become bitter because you’ve held it in for years and years, you can make yourself physically ill. People with ulcers, cancer, high blood pressure, and/or heart disease can attribute at least some of their problems to the bitterness of long-stuffed anger and rage. If you use it to exact revenge, that’s another no-no. Revenge is God’s job,

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. ~ Romans 12:19, [Deuteronomy 32:35], NLT.

So the upshot of all this is that I need to let myself freely cry when I think about Lily, and when I think about missing her. I need to allow myself to feel angry at Harry directly, instead of yelling at the TV. If I could permit myself to cry openly when I’m feeling sad about losing Lily, I might be able to move through the grieving process more quickly and stop feeling so depressed all the time.

And if I allowed myself to feel the anger that I justifiably feel at Harry for the horrific things he did to me, then I might be able to move on from all of that garbage, and walk in new freedom from my past. I might get angry at myself so often, and I would find it much easier to forgive myself for all the dumb things I do. Because I can do some really dumb things, like we all do. But if I could forgive myself instead of hating myself, my life would be SOOO much easier.

Because we all make mistakes, and doing so doesn’t make us bad people, or any less lovable. It just makes us human. Christ died for me, mistakes and all. He died for me, not inspite of my flaws, but rather because of them. He loves me, not inspite of my imperfections and faults, but rather because of them ~ because they’re part of what make me unique, in addition to the strengths He created me with.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ~ and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ~ not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV.

I love that we are God’s handiwork (the New Living Translation says “masterpiece”), which is poiēma in the Greek, and is what we get the English word “poem” from. I also love knowing that it’s solely God’s gift, that nothing I do can change that gift. That is quite freeing, because I don’t have to worry that I might mess up or make God mad at me, and cause Him to withdraw the gift from me. I feel incredibly grateful for that.

Jesus has done everything for me! I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Him! So regardless of any sadness I’m feeling now, I’m confident that God is still with me, and will never leave me nor forsake me, and in the fullness of time I’ll be able to experience the full joy of the Lord again.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. ~ Psalm 30:11-12, NASB.

Thank you Jesus!!

No One to Rule My Roost, Or the Holy Spirit In a Cat


There’s a saying, the human pays the rent, but the cat rules the roost, or in my case, I pay the rent, but Lily rules the roost.

Lily died on Saturday (today is Wednesday, five days later). My apartment feels empty and silent, even with the TV on, and I feel sad because she’s not wandering around talking and purring, weaving around between my legs, and bringing me paper wads to throw for her. And besides all that, now there’s no one to rule my roost. Below right is a closeup of Lily, taken when she was about two years old. She has small black spots on her nose, which the vet said were called freckles, and as she got older they became more pronounced, plus they increased in number. Below left is Lily as a kitten, right after I got her.

I know Jesus is the Lord of my life. I know He’s as close to me as my next breath, but He gave Lily to me as a gift, and now that she’s gone I miss her terribly. There’s a void in my apartment and my life, and I don’t know how to fill it ~ or even if I should.

If I allow myself to pause long enough to feel the void of Lily’s absence, and the resulting silence in my life, the pain becomes acute. I felt so much pain yesterday and today that I didn’t think I could stand it. I even considered running away. As usual, however, when I think of running, I remember that trying to escape is a useless endeavor, because the pain will go with me wherever I go.

Lily was twelve years old when she died. I got her in September of 2008 when she was about four months old. She was such a wonderful little fur-person! One of the most amazing things about her was that she fetched, something she was doing when I got her.

She’d bring me wads of paper, and drop them at my feet, expecting me to throw them. And when I did, she would chase them, bat them around, then bring them back, expecting me to throw them again ~ and the process would repeat itself again and again and again, until she tired of it.

Sometimes she would drop the paper wad too far away for me to reach it, so I’d tell her, “Lily, it’s too far away. I can’t reach it. You have to bring it closer.” And if I said all three sentences she would bring the wad of paper close enough so I could reach it and throw it for her again. I tried saying only one of the phrases, or two of them, but that didn’t work. It was only if I said all three of them in that order that she’d bring it back to me, and we’d go through the whole thing all over again.

She was very selective about which paper wad to use. I used to throw a wad on the floor for her to chase, but she’d ignore that one, and go get another that was, to her mind, much better suited for her purposes. I never did figure out what characteristics she was looking for, but she certainly seemed to have something in mind.

Then there were times when she’d put the wad of paper in my shoe, and I wouldn’t find it till later when I went to put on my shoes so I could go out. I’d try to put my foot in the shoe, and ~ oops! I couldn’t put it on. There was something in it. And I’d reach in and find one of Lily’s paper wads.

Lily could make me laugh better than almost anyone. One of her favorite things used to be redecorating my hair. She’d climb onto my shoulders and start chewing on my hair, usually after I’d washed it and it was still wet. I would have combed it out and arranged it the way I wanted it, and that was when Lily would get up there and start rearranging it, so it would look completely different when she was done. Sometimes she even changed the side on which it was parted, and I’d have to go back and re-rearrange everything once she’d finished her work.

On the right, she’s on my shoulders redecorating my hair, one of her favorite things to do. On the left is Lily and me on my couch in January of 2018. She’s lying on me so my face is covered and all you can see is my hair. Usually, she didn’t like having her picture taken, but this time she wanted to be the center of attention.

Silly funny kitty! I loved her so! I miss her so! My apartment is so empty without her!

I’m grateful for many things with regard to Lily, and all the cats God blessed me with over the years. Rosie and Lily were the last two, and they probably had the most significant influence. God used Rosie to save me from killing myself, and also to rescue me out of the suicidal mindset I’d been in most of my life.

It took about five years, but having her to care for made it so I wasn’t always focused inward and constantly thinking about my pain ~ because I was in pain. I was in agony because God hadn’t started healing me from my childhood yet. That process didn’t really begin until I got Rosie. Once I had her I had someone other than myself to focus my attention and energy on, who actually seemed to love me, even if she was just a fur-person, and not human. I realize now that God was loving me through her, because I wasn’t yet able to accept God’s love directly.

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate that the fur-people of this world are better at loyalty and loving than most humans. They’re somehow closer to God because they’re unadulterated by sin.

Both Rosie and Lily were a blessing many times over. They could make me laugh at the silliest things, and in addition to rescuing me from suicide, God also used them to teach me about gratitude.

Gratitude is a vital ingredient for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and it took furry creatures who can’t speak with words to educate me on this fact. I’m so grateful that I finally know about it, however, because it’s knowledge that I use everyday, even when I don’t feel like it.

The LORD strengthens and protects me; I trust in Him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to Him in gratitude. ~ Psalm 28:7, NET.

Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6, NLT.

I’ve learned that I can be grateful for what God has given me even when I’m feeling sad, like right now, because even though I miss Lily terribly, and it’s been many years since I felt this much pain, the fact is, she brought a great deal of joy into my life. I will always have those memories to fall back on. She will always be able to make me laugh because I can look back and remember the goofy things she did. I’m just hoping that the pain, especially the really intense anguish I’ve been feeling over the last few days, will decrease so I can function.

I thank you, Lord, for all the marvelous gifts You’ve given me! I’m so grateful for everything You’ve done in my life!

“…The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. ~ Job 1:21b, NKJV.

I know this post is quite long, but I had a lot to say, given Lily’s demise and all. So please forgive me for giving you so much to read. I hope you enjoy it!

What’s In a Kiss, But How Would I Know?


I can always tell when I’m dealing with a difficult subject, because when I start writing about it, all of sudden I can come up with every excuse in the book to not write for days, weeks, or even months at a time.

It turns out kissing is just such a subject.

There are a lot of things about romantic relationships that I don’t get, and one of the big ones is kissing. I just don’t get kissing. I don’t understand it at all. It makes no sense to me. In fact, it grosses me out, especially the kind where someone sticks his tongue down your throat.

I know God thinks kissing is okay, because it’s mentioned a number of times in the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments:

O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine. ~ Song of Solomon 1:2, RSV.

Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. ~ Romans 16:16, ESV.

All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:20, KJV.

The Apostle Paul says the same thing in 2 Corinthians 13:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:26, at the end of both books. One thing I’m trying to understand is, what’s the difference between an ordinary kiss and a holy kiss.

McT says there is a difference, along the lines of the difference between agape love, or God’s kind of love, and eros, or physical, sexual love. The exact Greek word, eros, doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the concept does, in both Old and New Testaments, and most specifically in The Song of Solomon.

I’ll be taking my Scripture references from Chapter 4 of The Song of Solomon, the New Living Translation. Chapter 4 was written after the two lovers had wed. He calls her his bride and treasure.

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices. ~ Song of Solomon, 4:9-10, NLT.

Everything the two lovers say to each other are compliments concerning their physical appearance, how beautiful each of them is to the other, which, if I can get past the physicality of it, is actually quite enchanting.

Young Man: You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead. ~ Song of Solomon 4:1, NLT.

That sounds like a strange analogy to me. I would have compared her hair falling in waves to, I don’t know, a waterfall cascading, but having never seen the slopes of Gilead, I really have no basis for comparison.

Silly me! I think I’ll keep my opinions to myself, aside from what I’ve said here. It’s the poetry in the verses that matters, and who am I to question what God motivated Solomon to write. I mean Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived except for Jesus.

I’m done with my little parenthetical aside, so back to what I’m supposed to be doing… Hehehe!!

The young man doesn’t miss a chance to woo his bride. He has something nice, even beautiful, to say about every attribute of her body. He doesn’t miss any part.

Would that every husband was as wonderful to his wife as Solomon was to her!

Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies. ~ Song of Solomon 4:4-5, NLT.

Further along in the chapter Solomon gets even more graphic,

Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon … Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices ~ henna with nard. ~ Song of Solomon 4:11,13, NLT.

A paradise of pomegranates?? What does that mean?

Given where it’s located according to Solomon’s narrative, maybe I shouldn’t ask. I’ve never even tried a pomegranate. All those seeds, you know, and for all I know, it’s the seeds he’s talking about. Pomegranates do have a lot of them, and that is where the guy plants his seed to create new life in the woman.

Then, last but certainly not least, Solomon lays claim to his bride as his own, a bid for faithfulness from her that every spouse has the right to expect from their significant other:

You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. ~ Song of Solomon 4:12, NLT.

God also expects and desires faithfulness in marriage, which He makes clear in Malachi, Chapter 2.

Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” ~ Malachi 2:15-16, NLT.

Obviously, there are times when it’s the wife who strays, so the verses could be altered to say, “So guard your heart; remain loyal to the husband of your youth…” and etc.

It seems to me that if the relationship between a husband and wife were as close and romantic as the one described between Solomon and his wife in Song of Solomon Chapter 4, then theoretically at least, faithfulness wouldn’t be a problem. Trust between the two spouses wouldn’t be a problem. However, I know that both spouses are humans, each with a mind, free will, and emotions of their own.

That’s all I can think of for now, and, given that I’ve used words and ideas that I usually can’t even think about, much less write down or talk about, I think I’ve made some progress.

Goodie for me!! Praise God!!

You Can’t Have One Without the Other


I would like to propose that the ugliest event in all the world, and all throughout time, is also the most beautiful. That event is the crucifixion of Christ.

See, my servant will prosper; He will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw Him. His face was so disfigured He seemed hardly human, and from His appearance, one would scarcely know He was a man. ~ Isaiah 52:13-14, NLT.

The scourging alone caused significant disfigurement, because the whip that was used was actually a cat-o’-nine-tails, and each cord of the whip had pieces of bone and metal embedded along its strand. Each time the whip struck its target, in this case the innocent Son of God, the pieces of bone and metal attached to the cords would dig into His skin, and more deeply into muscle, jerking pieces from His body as the Roman guard pulled the whip back to inflict another blow.

And as blow after blow dug more and more skin and muscle from His body, He lost more and more blood, and became increasingly disfigured, and appeared less and less human, and ultimately looked like not much more than a mass of quivering, moaning flesh.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. I think the worst of it was when He was on the cross, and was bearing the full weight of the sin of humanity on His shoulders. At that point God, being completely holy, could no longer look at Jesus, and had to avert His eyes. I think this was when Jesus cried out,

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). ~ Mark 15:34, NIV.

It’s always seemed to me that what Jesus feared more than anything (when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood [Luke 22:44] because He was in such anguish over what He knew was coming) wasn’t the physical torture of the scourging and the crucifixion. It was having to face God’s abandonment after having such close fellowship with Him over the three years of ministry, not to mention the whole of eternity past before He came to earth in the first place. That would be real torture, it seems to me, but He was willing to endure it if it meant regaining fellowship with humanity.

Jesus Christ had ~ and has ~ the most beautiful heart of all, and I’m grateful for His willingness to sacrifice everything for me to gain fellowship with the Father.

Love in action is beautiful, but it’s not a beauty that’s materially discerned, or discerned with the eyes. Love in action is perceived with the spirit.

This is my commandment: love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:12-13, NLT.

I’ve discovered from my own life that God can take ugliness and turn it into something lovely,

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” ~ Isaiah 61:1-3, NKJV.

I’ve come to realize that beauty without accompanying scars is only skin deep. It’s beauty that hasn’t been earned, so to speak.

But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7, NKJV.

I know this to be true from hard personal experience. God has shown me that, while I might not be that attractive physically, I have a beautiful heart.

It used to bother me that I’m not physically very attractive, mostly because Harry used to tell me all the time that I was as ugly as if someone had thrown acid in my face. But it doesn’t trouble me anymore, because God showed me that He thinks I’m beautiful, and I’m much more interested in God’s opinion than I am in Harry’s.

If God thinks I’m beautiful, that’s all that matters to me. If God thinks I’m beautiful, then so do I. I like the idea of having a beautiful heart. It feels so much more meaningful than just having a pretty face, plus it makes all the pain and suffering I’ve experienced worth it, knowing that God was aware of my situation and was there, protecting me and keeping me alive through it all.

“They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” ~ Jeremiah 7:31, NLT.

It’s very comforting for me to know that, according to Scripture, God didn’t want me to be abused, but because He gave my abusers a completely free will which He couldn’t violate, He had no choice but to let it happen. However He kept me alive and protected me from the worst of it, and I can accept that. As long as I know that God was there working to help me, I can forgive those who abused me ~ especially because I know that they will have to stand before Him come Judgment Day, and they will get their recompense for everything they did to me, and it won’t be pretty.

I don’t want bad things to happen to them. I would much rather they turn and accept Christ as their Savior, but if they don’t they will be judged for what they did.

Well, I guess that’s it. I can’t think of anything else, and I’ve taken a lot of space and words to say this much. But it all needed to be said, I think, even if it is long.