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The Silent Scream

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The forest was thick with the smell of pine and screech owls glided overhead. Patches of thick heavy fog hung low to the ground and left her feeling vulnerable. She was careful not to walk too fast, as she couldn’t quite see where she was going or what she was stepping upon. The ground was soft and squishy and with each step she took, her boots sunk deeper into the boggy terrain. She wrapped her parka tighter around her chilled body and hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before she found her way back to the cabin.

The day had been unusually warm for this time of year and so she had decided to go for a nice long walk in the woods. She didn’t really think about where she was planning on going and ended up letting her imagination flood her mind and in the process ended up leaving her good judgement behind. Eventually, she realized that she had lost her sense of direction and had been wandering around the forest for several hours. She tried desperately to find her way back, but was quite sure that she was just walking around in circles.

The trees were so tall in this part of the forest, that she could barely see the sky through the canopy of endless evergreen pine needles. She did the only thing that she could think to do and just kept walking. She walked deeper into the forest and noticed that the terrain was quickly changing. The day was fading fast and the forest had become eerily quiet. Every twig she stepped upon, echoed in the cool night air and dark shadows formed all around her, causing the forest to turn into a frightful and foreboding place.

She pressed on though and searched for an open place where she could at least sit down and rest and hopefully be lucky enough to capture a glimpse of the North Star to help her find her way. As she continued on, the ground only became more difficult to navigate and soon she was so deep into the marshland, that she could barely lift her feet at all. She wanted to turn back, but she couldn’t remember from which way she had come.

The screech owls were back again, their frightful cries caused her to shiver and tremble in fear. Suddenly she heard a twig snap from behind her and she whirled herself around as fast as she could. To her surprise and great relief, it was only a raccoon and so she continued to trudge through the soggy soil as best she could.

A little while later, she heard another twig snap and figured that her little friend must be back, but as she turned around, she discovered a man instead. He was nearly twice her size and his cold hard stare caused her to stumble backwards. His eyes were black as coal and he wore a long dark trench coat that was covered in mud and torn in several places. In one lengthy step he closed the gap between them.

She tried to scream, but no sound came. She felt her body begin to plummet into a black hole of oblivion. The last thing she saw before she broke free of his evil gaze, was the edge of a silver blade, saturated in a thick red substance, which was trickling down upon the watery ground below. The droplets pulsed through the murky waters and formed beautiful patterns that glistened in the moonlight.

Startled awake by this haunting dream, she woke up in a cold sweat and wondered where she was. She sat upright, trying to adjust her eyes to the darkness and breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that everything had all just been a crazy dream. She laid back down and tried to fall back to sleep, unaware of the screech owl perched on a low hanging branch just outside her window and the large muddy footprints on the floor just outside of her bedroom.

Written by, Michelle Cook


Originally posted: November 6, 2015

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Next time you hear someone given the title of hero, think about this…

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“A true hero doesn’t think for a single moment about himself; but instead, in wholehearted concern for another.” ~M


Originally posted: June 16, 2015

Photo credit: pixabay.com

Him vs. Her – The little things

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Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated by the annoying little things that your spouse does? And do you allow those things to become bigger issues than they really should be?

I can think of a zillion times when my husband and I have fought over the most pointless things. For example, I used to get mad at him for leaving his dirty clothes all over the bedroom floor. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much, but when there’s a dirty clothes hamper two feet away, it just seems lazy and almost disrespectful to assume that your wife will pick them up and put them in the hamper for you.

Fortunately, I don’t get mad about the clothes anymore. I do however still get upset when he leaves his size 14 shoes in the middle of the bedroom at night. I mean… who wouldn’t trip over those bad boys in the middle of the night on their way to the bathroom? It’s like he’s setting a trap for me to fall and break my neck! I wonder… is he secretly trying to do away with me? I’d like to think not, but seriously… little things like this can be the cause of some hefty arguments, and a whole lot of late night swearing.

I also think that at the root of every small disagreement, there usually lies a much bigger problem that has yet to be brought up. All it takes is that one little annoying thing that he or she does, to eventually fuel the fire. Oh I hate it when that happens! And when it finally does, one of us is usually regretting the little mishap that started the explosive reaction in the first place.

Our biggest petty disagreement in recent years has been the thermostat. I like the house to be warm and hubby likes it cool. I grew up in sunny California and so I don’t think my body has ever really acclimated to the weather here in Wisconsin. I know this is such a trivial thing to fight over, but I have gone to bed mad at him on more than one occasion, because he didn’t want me to change the temperature on the thermostat. What gets me the most, is when he denies he has changed the temperature, even when I know he has! Why lie about something so insignificant?  Oh he can be so sneaky sometimes!

We have now made an agreement, that I am the “official” keeper of the thermostat. Since I’m home more often than he is, we agreed that I should be the one regulating the temperature in the house. I actually think it was my final threat of going to a hotel to sleep for the night, which finally convinced him to let me have my way. I was very serious at the time and since I’m so stubborn, he knows that when I threaten to do something like this, I may just do it! Thankfully he puts up with my obnoxious behavior and has a very forgiving heart. 🙂

Now that we’ve been married, forever… we often find ourselves looking back at a lot of those trivial moments and we can actually laugh about most of them now. Of course back in the early days of our marriage, we really had a hard time letting go of such unimportant things and our marriage really suffered because of it. We’ve definitely learned how to compromise more, and although I still have my hormonally challenging moments like any woman, his response to my moods has changed for the better.

My husband no longer reacts to my stupid remarks the way he used to, he lets me have time to vent my frustrations and he doesn’t try to remedy the situation. Instead, he just simply listens and tells me he’s sorry. I am amazed by how he has learned to stay calm and not overreact to the stress that I’m feeling. By him being the more level headed person, it calms me down and then I find myself able to let go of the issue and move on more easily.

I feel blessed that after all these years of marriage, I really can’t find too many things that frustrate or annoy me about my husband. Yes, he’s the typical guy with enough burps and farts to clear an entire room, but at the same time… he’s also the one God chose for me to spend the rest of my life with, and honestly… right now, I couldn’t be happier.

Is there anything in your relationship that causes you to feel frustrated or annoyed? And if so, have you found a solution that works for you?


Cartoon found at: nickandzuzu.com

 

Dear friends, I really need your help!

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I just want to say a huge thank you to all of my WordPress friends, old and new. In the last month, I have gained 500 new followers and it has been really fun engaging with all of you. I have noticed that many of my new followers have started reading my Genesis series.

For those of you that missed the last update, I was originally going to begin removing my old posts from the series so that I could begin the editing process for my book. Many of you probably don’t know it, but I am hoping to eventually publish these short stories as an anthology of biblical perspectives from my personal point of view.

On my blog, you will find just a portion of what I have actually written for this series.  I now realize, that all of you may be able to help me through this editing process, simply by giving me feedback on these old posts of mine before I actually send everything in to be officially edited.  I may actually be posting some of my newer stories as well.

With that said, I will be going back through and editing the Genesis series to the best of my ability and then begin re-posting these stories, in order to get some feedback from all of you. I would really appreciate your comments, both good and bad. I need you to be completely honest with me, so that I can go forward and make this series the best that it can be.

Please keep in mind though, that this series is going to be published as historical fiction, since I am writing these stories from my own perspective. I don’t want any of you to think for a moment that I am trying to rewrite the Bible and change the original words, because this is not my intent at all. I am simply retelling the story of Genesis, as if I am there witnessing it first hand for myself. I am trying my best to stick to the facts of the original stories; yet from time to time, I have added my own thoughts and perspectives, because the Bible doesn’t always give us the full picture of what is going on. So when you’re reading along, please keep all of this in mind.

I’d like to thank all of you in advance for any help that you are willing to offer.  If you have any suggestions that you want to share with me privately, please feel free to send me an email at: jeansforjesus@gmail.com.

Thanks so much! ~Michelle  😉


Photo found at:  mezzotessitura.deviantart.com

Day 21 of our 21 day adventure

We are finally back home from a wonderful vacation. It only took us about 5 hours to get home today and the girls were excited to see us, our dogs included…

Here’s a collage of our overall vacation. We had a blast! Thanks for joining us along the way and hopefully it won’t be too long before we travel again.

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Never lose hope…

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“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” 

~Martin Luther King Jr.

Day 20 of our 21 day adventure

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We slept in this morning, and oh how glorious it was to finally be able to get some much needed rest. We have another full day of driving ahead of us though and so we can’t really dilly dally all day long. So… after quickly checking out of our hotel, we are now on our way to Urbandale, IA.

IMG_2593After a couple of hours of driving, we spot an Air and Space Museum and decide that we can’t possibly pass this up. We both love airplanes and if I hadn’t joined the Army, I probably would have joined the Air Force. I have always had a fondness for anything related to space as well. So this is the perfect place for us to spend an afternoon.

IMG_2619I am completely amazed by the sheer size of some of the aircraft. It’s hard to believe that something this large can actually make it off the ground. I’ve seen plenty of airplanes in my life, but these are huge! After making our way through the self-guided tour, we stop in the gift shop and buy some much needed space ice cream and some other small trinkets that we are sure that our girls will like.

IMG_2604We are back on the road within a few hours and still making good time, even though the traffic has picked up. After arriving at our hotel, we are surprised to find that our room resembles at hospital room. We are in a very crowded district here in Urbandale and after settling in, we try to figure out what to do for dinner. Neither of us really wants to venture out into the traffic, and fortunately we find out that there is a very nice restaurant within walking distance of the hotel and so we decide to eat there for dinner to avoid the traffic on the roads.

IMG_2633The place turns out to be quite charming, its country style suits me. The place is called the Machine Shed and honors the American farmer. I am very surprised at how amazing the food is. The people here are really friendly and this is such a great way to end our day. We’ve had an amazing adventure so far and this will be our last dinner on the road. Tomorrow we head for home. Ahh… Home Sweet Home! I can hardly wait!

Day 19 of our 21 day adventure

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We are leaving Avon today and heading out to Grand Island, NE. I am eager to get going since I am not really fond of this place. Don’t get me wrong… Colorado is a beautiful place. In fact, I would say it tops some of the places we’ve seen on our trip, but at the same time I don’t feel like I belong here. The people here just seem very different from what I am used to, and I think it’s because I’m more of a laid back kind of girl, not a fancy schmancy girl like some of the ladies that I have seen around here.

IMG_2507After breakfast at the hotel, we are finally on our way. The rain had been intermittent today and is kind of nice since it has helped to cool things down. After several hours of driving we spot a rest area in Georgetown and decide to stop. After stopping, we learn of a train ride not far from where we are. I’m excited because I’ve never actually been on an old fashioned steam engine train and I’ve always thought it would be fun to take a ride on one.

IMG_2515Brian and I both agree that the train ride sounds like a lot of fun and so we head up to Devils Head Station to buy our tickets and board the train. Within 30 minutes we are sitting on an old steam engine train that uses oil for fuel. The views of the mountains are incredible and we pass over a raging river a few times on the route. The ride lasts for about an hour and we opt against the mine tour that is offered at one of the stops.

IMG_2541After disembarking the train, we enter the gift shop and spend some time there looking at all the amazing train memorabilia. We have had such a fun day and decide to stay in this town a little longer to grab some lunch. It’s still sprinkling off and on and we find a restaurant in the downtown section before the rain starts to really come down. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is family style, which makes me feel quite at home.

IMG_2531After lunch, we head back to the car, weaving our way through the crowded streets and passing all of the small town shops. All of a sudden, the rain starts to pour and we quickly look for a place to take shelter. We dart into a coffee house that looks more like a library than anything else and both order some coffee while we wait out the rain.

IMG_2585It’s cozy in here and I know that if I lived here, that this would probably be one of my favorite places to hang out. The rain doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon and time is passing by quickly, so we decide to head out the back door of the coffee shop and make a mad dash for the car. Soaked to the bone, we are now in the car holding our warm coffees and trying to stop shivering. It reminds me of being a kid once more and playing out in the rain just for the fun of it. It’s sad to think that those days are long gone.

IMG_2592A few hours later and we have now arrived at our hotel in Grand Island, NE. With nothing left to do and still quite full from lunch, we decide to watch a movie and get to bed early. It’s been another great day and we only have one day left before we head for home.

The Worst of 2015

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Seems like everyone is re-posting their most loved posts of the year.  So I decided to do the opposite and give you a list of my top 10 least viewed posts for the year.  The main thing I noticed about all of these posts is that none of them have any pictures!  I suppose this is probably the biggest reason that they haven’t been widely viewed.  I was also a brand new blogger at the time that most of these were posted.  So if you missed any of these and have time to read, please by all means indulge yourself!  😉

Here they are….

#10 Traveling Onward – This is the story about Terah and his family.  It is here that we get our first glimpse of Abraham (known here as Abram). The original story can be found in Genesis 11:10-31.

#9 Obsidian Water – This story describes the second day of creation.  The sky and the sea are finally brought to life.  The original story can be found in Genesis 1:6-8.

#8 Spontaneous Formations of Life – This is day six of creation and one of my favorite days.  Animals and mankind are beautifully created.  The original story can be found in Genesis 1:24-31.

#7 Impropriety – This story is about Noah and shows how he struggled with sin just as much as the rest of us do.  The original story can be found in Genesis 9:18-28 – 10:1-32.

#6 The Deliverer – Here’s one of the first poems that I ever wrote.  It’s about a woman who tried to share her faith and leaves feeling discouraged.  I think many of us can relate to similar situations.

#5 Too Late for Goodbyes – It’s in this story that we witness the death of Abraham’s beloved Sarah.  I actually cried while writing this one.  The original story can be found in Genesis 22:20-24 – 23:1-2.

#4 Rules and Rainbows – In this story, God has a conversation with Noah.  Agreements and promises are being made about the future of the world.  The original story can be found in Genesis 9:1-17.

#3 Swearing By Posterity – In this story, Abraham decides to look for a bride for his son Isaac.  The original story can be found in Genesis 24:1-9.

#2 Creatures of the Air and Sea – Here we see day five of creation being described.  Sea-creatures, birds, and fish were all created on this day.  The original story can be found in Genesis 1:20-23.

#1 Waiting and Watching – This is the story of Noah and his family aboard the ark.  During this time, they are patiently waiting for the waters to recede.  The original story can be found in Genesis 7:24 – 8:1-14.

 

I hope you check out some of these posts, despite their lack of pretty pictures.  😉  I also want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  It’s been so much fun getting to know all of you and I look forward to another year of meeting new bloggers and continuing on with the wonderful friendships that I have developed over this past year.  Love and blessings to you and yours!  ~M

 

Also….

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

 

Top photo credit: toptentrend.in

 

 

 

Day 18 of our 21 day adventure

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It is with a heavy heart that we are leaving Zion today. I am dreading the fact that I have to say goodbye to my brother and nephew. I wonder how long it will be before I see them again. I only got an hour of sleep last night because I am coming down with a cold and can barely breathe.

IMG_2461The sun is just starting to rise as we say our goodbyes to David and Levi. We all have long drives ahead of us and are eager to get started to avoid the traffic on the roads. I spot my Spanish speaking friend who is just arriving for work and say goodbye to him as well.

IMG_2467As we make our way toward Avon, Colorado, the heat index starts to rise and it is now over 100°. I am feeling worse now because of the heat and my cold isn’t helping matters. Because of this, I am not being a very good sport about the long drive and exhaustion is starting to set in from getting so little sleep last night.

IMG_2465When we finally arrive at the hotel, the attendant is really rude to me and makes me feel even worse by something that she says. I always take everything so personally and it only gets worse when I don’t feel well.

IMG_2462We finally get up to our room and I crash on the bed. Both of us sleep for hours before we finally wake up feeling hungry. We look outside and discover that it has been raining, and surprisingly there’s a double rainbow right outside our window. Unfortunately, the rainbow is almost gone before I can snap a good picture.

IMG_2468We finally both drag ourselves out of the room with just enough strength to go pick up something to eat for dinner. The food ends up being terrible and I am really missing home-cooked meals at this point. Normally, we hardly ever eat out and I just haven’t been able to get used to the food on this trip. I think to myself… only three days left and I will be home, and right now I really wish I was.

Day 17 of our 21 day adventure

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Today we are traveling to Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin State Park. The weather is beautiful and I am excited to explore a new place today. After getting ready, we stop at the hotel dining room for some breakfast. We have only been able to eat breakfast here a couple of different days now, because we always leave the hotel before breakfast starts. There is a cook here that I have made friends with, he spoils me with real eggs instead of the nasty scrambled ones in the heating pan. I am impressed by his generosity and wish I could meet more people like him. He has a thick Spanish accent and makes me feel quite at home, especially since I grew up in California and had many Spanish speaking friends when I lived out there. It always amazes me how you can make friends in the strangest of places and sometimes just being around someone for a few minutes can spark a friendship that can last a lifetime.

IMG_2029Feeling quite full after the hearty breakfast, we now make our way to Bryce Canyon. It’s a beautiful drive and every time I see a Hoodoo, I get excited and want to jump out of the car and take a picture. There are several rock shops along the way and we indulge our young nephew by letting him visit a few. I love rocks as well and end up buying a sandstone sculpture that catches my eye. There are quite a few other things I would like to get as well, but after looking at the price tags, I decide just to get the one sculpture.

IMG_2038Down the road a little further, we spy a natural arch bridge that covers the highway. I can’t help but stop to take pictures. It doesn’t take too long before we finally reach Bryce Canyon. There are several places to stop and explore the canyon. By the end of our journey through Bryce Canyon, we have taken over 500 pictures and are eager to see how they all turned out.

IMG_2047Its lunch time now, and we find a burger place to stop at. The food isn’t very good, but we are all so hungry at this point, that none of us really care. There is another rock shop across the street and so of course we have to stop at that one as well. After going through a bunch of other small shops, we finally decide that we need to get going again.

IMG_2263There is one last place we want to stop at before we go all the way back to our hotel. Kodachrome State Park isn’t too far away and so we decide to head out and take a tour of the place. When we get there, I am amazed at how beautiful it is, and the crazy thing is, I end up finding an area that reminds me of my dream once more. Dying to explore the place, I find myself running off the trail in search of a closer look of the rock formations that surround us. My brother bravely follows me; knowing that I will probably get into trouble alone without him. I head in the direction of a place that looks like a good place to explore and my brother David stops to investigate an area where he sees some crystals poking up from beneath the sand. As he begins to dig them up, I take off and explore the remainder of the area.

IMG_2272It seems that I have finally found the one place that reminds me the most of my dream, and so I stop to take a few pictures. I am almost crying once again, the emotional connection that I have to this place is eerie and I am at a loss for words on how best to describe the feelings that are coming over me. It’s as if I’ve been here before, but now the entrance to the place in my dream is covered with a pile of rocks and I cannot enter the cave that once existed here. Knowing that we will probably get caught for going off the trail, I decide to find my brother and get back to the trail where Levi and Brian are waiting. I am surprised the park Ranger hasn’t been out to yell at us yet, as I catch a glimpse of his headquarters from where we are standing. Back on the trail, we hike for a little while longer. It’s starting to get late and we know that we need to get back before it gets dark. I feel so drawn to this place that I don’t want to leave. After taking a bunch more pictures, I finally convince myself that we must go.

IMG_2286During the road trip back to the hotel we stop and take several more pictures. The landscape is just breathtaking and I can’t get enough. Unfortunately, because of my hesitation to leave, poor Levi ends up having an accident in the back seat because we didn’t stop soon enough for a potty break. He feels just awful about it and I laugh because I did the same thing in the back seat of my uncle’s car when I was about his age. The day ends with us cleaning out the car and trying to save the upholstery. Even with this small hiccup, this has been one of the best days yet.

Day 16 of our 21 day adventure

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It’s another early day for all of us. We are trying our best to avoid the crowds and today we will be hiking in a place called the Narrows. The shuttle ride takes us about 45 minutes and it looks like it is going to be a beautiful day. I am a little concerned that I didn’t wear a warm enough sweater. It’s a crisp cool morning and I know that being in the water will only make things worse.

IMG_1901After hiking for about a mile, we are now in the Narrows. The water looks fairly calm and the skies are clear. Sandstone walls engulf us and make us feel small in comparison. The water has woven its path here for thousands of years and there is hardly any dry land to walk upon. Flash flooding is a danger in this area and so any signs of rain and we will have to head back immediately. Fortunately, the weather forecast isn’t calling for rain and so we should be safe for today.

IMG_1744The water is deeper in some areas and I don’t have a walking stick to judge the depth of the water. It’s a little unnerving stepping out into the water, not knowing what lies beneath each step that I take. There are a couple of times that my brother has to help steady me. The water is running pretty fast in some areas and I feel as if I will be swept off my feet.

IMG_1879Along the way, the water reaches us to my thighs and I feel a bit hesitant about continuing on since the water seems to be rising at times. Every step we take, takes us deeper into a maze of colorful rocks, formed by the brisk waters that shape and mold each tiny crevice. The rocks remind me of the leaves back home during the fall season. As I look down in the water, I can see a million different colors and the sound of the water playing its magical tune is soothing and begging me to continue onward.

IMG_1894After hours of hiking through the river, we decide that it’s getting late and that it’s now time to head back. The river beckons to me and my heart aches to continue on, but I know that if we don’t leave now, that our strength won’t hold out for the trek back. And so with regret, we start our return hike back.

IMG_1922As we get closer to where we began, the water seems to be getting deeper and there are now multitudes of people walking through the river. I am having trouble finding a pathway to walk through that isn’t too deep. With scores of people around now, I am starting to feel a little claustrophobic and walk as fast as I can through the murky waters to reach dry land.

IMG_1996When we finally reach the spot where we first entered the river, all of us are relieved and just want to get back to our hotel. We still have about a mile to walk before we get to the shuttle and when we finally make it to the shuttle stop, it’s a relief to find a shuttle that isn’t completely filled.

IMG_1761With each shuttle stop that we make, more people try to cram into the tiny bus and before long there are so many people that the doors are threatening not to close all the way. People are standing in the aisles, falling over each other and I am thankful that I actually have a seat to sit in right now. As tired as I am, I doubt I could stand for very long.

IMG_1854After returning to the entrance of the park, we race back to our hotel and rest for a while. The only thing that finally gets us moving again, is our appetites; and so we head back down to the city of Hurricane and order a pizza to bring back with us to the hotel. Tomorrow will be another long day and so we head to bed early. I am exhausted, but excited for tomorrow

One year anniversary!

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Yup… Here’s me doing something else besides writing for a change…  😉

 

Just want to say thanks to everyone who has blogged with me over this last year.  It’s been so much fun getting to know all of you and I really appreciate your words of encouragement and the support that all of you have shown me.  You’re the best!

 

Love you all so much! 

~M

A dream that I will never forget…

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I dreamt this dream so very long ago that the exact date escapes me, but here goes my best recollection. I believe the dream came to me in 2005 and it was at this time in my life when I was suffering through a spiritual battle that had been waging war over my soul for fifteen long years. The battle was now reaching its climax and I would either defeat this battle or lose everything in the process. Little did I know that this dream would serve as a turning point in my life. Here is what was going on in my life during the years that led up to this dream…

Without my knowledge, but as I would come to realize later, the Lord was fighting alongside me every step of the way. I fought him daily and searched for answers to my questions in the darkest of places. I felt as if my whole life had been a lie and I wanted the truth for once in my life. I had come to the conclusion that God must not be who I thought he was; because if he was, certainly he would be helping me, instead of always causing me so much pain.

I chose to look for another god, one who fit into my idea of what God should look like, one who could make me happier, one who didn’t ask so much of me. I fell into a hopeless tailspin as I searched and I was sucked into a pit that I couldn’t climb out of. I searched out every lie that had ever been told and I tried to believe every last one of them. I was certain that I could convince myself that the one true God wasn’t real, that somehow there must be another. So I searched and searched…

At first, I found other gods to be quite interesting and I felt as if I could somehow be happier if I could just understand their mysterious ways. I began my spiritual journey of self-improvement by studying natural health and I fell in love with the natural ways of healing. I found quotes by Buddha inspiring and listened to meditation music in order to relax and cleanse my soul of the darkness that I felt. I thought about ideas like reincarnation and how such transformations could quite possibly be truthful. I bought books about other religions of the world and studied them in order to find the true meaning of life.

I was convinced that I had been brainwashed my entire life. Surely there was no such thing as a man named Jesus who had come to earth to save me from my unrighteous ways. Did I really need saving anyway? Life seemed so much easier not having to live out all of those silly commandments and I wanted to be free of the condemnation that I constantly felt from other Christians. I assumed everything I had grown up believing was false, because I surely wasn’t getting anywhere fast by following Christ. I figured if the God I had been told about really existed, that my life would be wonderful all of the time. If he truly loved me, wouldn’t I feel that love always? Wouldn’t I be free of the pain and the suffering that I was constantly being tormented with? I was convinced he was the biggest lie of all and yet every time I turned my back on him, every time I tried to be free of his steadfast love, I felt the darkness growing inside of me; consuming me to the point in which I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

I went so far as to apply for a job working at a nature preserve, where a Wiccan clan needed a part-time secretary. Their lives seemed so much more happy and fulfilling and they seemed like they had everything figured out. I wanted what they had for myself and so I attended their workshops and grew in love with their peaceful ideas. I received a call one night from them, asking me to come in and interview on Halloween night. They said that I could come and join their party and wanted to interview me during the night’s events. As I spoke with the woman on the phone, my heart sunk deeper into my chest. I could hardly breathe and a pit formed in my stomach that was like nothing I had ever felt. Oh I so wanted to go and make a new life for myself, but something held me back. I started to tell the woman that I would be there, but somehow my words changed and I ended up telling her that I had other plans and that I wouldn’t be able to come. I was furious with myself when I hung up the phone and yet somehow I felt lighter, as if some of the darkness within me had somehow just evaporated.

A few years went by and I continued my schooling in natural health. I also continued to look for ways to make my life more fulfilling. I quit my job working as a laboratory assistant for a Biotechnology company and my family and I moved to the country where I discovered some of the much needed peace that I had been searching for. I still kept searching for some sense of truth, but I just couldn’t seem to find anything that made sense to me. Every time I sought a new religious idea, every time I flew in a different direction, reaching out for answers, I couldn’t find an ounce of truth in any of them. Sure, many ideas were lovely thoughts and some even brought me temporary happiness, but it was all fruitless in the end and my joy continued to leave me, as I sank further and further into the depths of despair. Which now leads me to my dream…

I was in a pitch black room and tried blinking my eyes a few times so that my eyes would adjust to the darkness that engulfed me. I realized very quickly that I was sitting on the lap of a giant man. He had to be at least eight feet tall and was dressed like a roman soldier. His attire was red and gold in color and he had leather straps that wove their way up his legs in order to affix his sandals to his feet. The armor he wore was shiny and new and he looked as if he had the strength of a thousand men.

He was completely bald and clean shaven. The massiveness of his body made me look tiny in comparison and he held me close against his body. His arms were wrapped firmly around me, yet lovingly and gentle. As I looked up into his eyes, I saw a tear escape and slide down his brilliant face. He was the most beautiful man I had ever laid eyes upon. His skin was the color of bronze and his eyes spoke of a love that of which I had never known. There was a brilliant glow that seemed to flow freely about his entire body. The glow resembled a wave of light and left me feeling complete elation as I reveled in his splendid beauty.

His head hung low, as if he were deeply saddened by something or someone and I began to look around the room to see if I could figure out what was causing him so much pain. Now that my eyes had begun to adjust to the darkness, I noticed shadows all around us. Their presence spoke of a deadly evil that lurked in the shadows of the vilest of places and they charged at us from all directions.

After focusing a little more, I noticed their daggers were plunging deep into his body. His loving arms were protecting me from the sharp blades that pierced his flesh over and over again. Then I noticed that he was actually moving the entire time as I sat there quietly in his lap. It was if he was moving at warp speed, blocking every dagger that was meant to take my life. I looked back up into his eyes and even though he did not speak, I understood that the life I had been living apart from him, had been literally killing him.

He was suffering because of my sin and he was absorbing all of the attacks that were meant for me. He was doing all of this in order to save me from the evil that I had let come into my life. Once realizing my mistake, I began to cry and he held me in his loving arms, rocking me and gently wiping away every tear that escaped my worn out earthly body. I had never felt so loved in all my life and I didn’t want to leave him. I snuggled in closer to his body. The warmth of his love spread through me like a fire that could not be contained and when I suddenly awakened, I knew that he was real.

For the first time in my life, I now understood what I could never figure out on my own. I felt his love as it burned through my body, consuming me to the most inner parts of my being. I wept in the darkness of my bedroom. Wanting him back and yet realizing now that he was actually there and always had been. I just needed him to show me who he was and how much he really did love me. I needed him to hold me in order to feel his true presence and he gave me what my heart had desired for so long.

The feelings of his love from that moment on, have stayed with me since then and I will never forget the glimpse into his world that he showed me that day. Jesus is the light in the darkness when we cannot find our way. He is our healer and our creator and he is everything that I ever wanted and so much more. I wasted so many years searching for the truth, when all along he was right there, holding me in his loving arms and he never let me go. Even when I turned away, he never released me, he just held on tighter until I finally found my way back to him. He is my God, my King, and my Savior now and forever. May He reign on high forevermore.

~M

Twenty- five things I’ve learned over the past year…

Happy-New-Year-2015-Fireworks-HD-Picture-Wallpaper

With the New Year approaching, I got to thinking about the things that I have learned over this last year. Here’s a few of them I thought I’d share…

 

Twenty- five things I’ve learned over the past year…

1.) To love others as if it’s my last chance.

2.) Not to over burden people with my struggles.

3.) To guard my heart; because once a piece is lost, you can never get it back.

4.) To let go of things I can’t change.

5.) That the grass is never greener on the other side.

6.) To choose my battles carefully.

7.) Not to joke with serious people.

8.) To love God above all else.

9.) That age doesn’t have anything to do with maturity.

10.) To never think that something can’t happen to me.

11.) That true happiness is achieved when you live each day as if it’s your last.

12.) That doing what I love, is more important than making sure my house is clean.

13.) That each new day brings a whole new load of challenges with it.

14.) That children emulate their parents to exact proportions.

15.) That music can help mend a broken heart.

16.) That finding our passions in life and living them out, brings about true happiness.

17.) That cell phones have killed real communication.

18.) That laughing every day helps more than prescription drugs.

19.) To spend as much time with my kids as I can, before they move out on their own.

20.) Not to be afraid to be the one who loves the most.

21.) That hugging should be required at least three times a day and at our house we have morning, noon, and nighttime hugs. (My daughter invented this rule and she never misses a moment to remind me of this.)

22.) To always keep Kleenex within arm’s reach for all kinds of situations.

23.) To take every opportunity that is set before me and run with it.

24.) That coffee always tastes better when you’re on a coffee date with a friend.

25.) That nobody will ever agree with everything you say and that’s quite okay.

How about you?  What have you learned over this past year or over the course of your lifetime…

 

Photo credit:  livingrichwithcoupons.com