PLAYING THE MARTYR

The martyr role is such a stunning role to play is it not? I think of the people in my life who continually play the victim role. There is usually someone who has made them the victim. Most commonly it is a spouse, sometimes an ex-spouse and at other times an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend.

The martyr will go on and on about how horrible this person has treated them, regaling their friends with tales of woe. Giving the person who they are complaining about credit for all of the despair they are currently feeling.

If you listen long enough you will realize there is something in the dynamic of being a martyr which is wrong. Many of those who are martyrs long for the one who made them such. They say they miss the feeling of being with them. Either that or they don’t ever break off the relationship with the one who has hurt them. Some even continue to act as if they are married to the person when their marriage has ended several years back.

Many times they beg for the perpetrator to come back. Is it because they like complaining so much? Is it because they like being demeaned? Or is it because that is the only way they feel like they can connect with someone else because if someone pities them… then they are connecting.

My mother has played the victim role all of her life and I have detested that about her. It is interesting how so many of the men I date have that role perfected. I wonder sometimes if I am trying to fix her or are men just that mixed up?

God does not ask you to be a martyr for others. He does not want you to go back into a relationship which does not breathe life into yours. The only reason we should be a martyr is because of our Faith. To suffer and maybe even die for Christ is not being a martyr; it is taking the key of death from the devil to open up Paradise.


IS TINDER TENDER?

I never met the man. His picture on Tinder was interesting, not really handsome, just interesting. I am intrigued by interesting, so when we were a match on Tinder I decided to give him a chance.

It started with a message on Tinder. He had asked me out to dinner and I had accepted. The first time he called me I felt as if I was going through an inquisition.

The questions were thrown at me with velocity, almost as if anger were the driving force.

“What do you do for a living?” I replied that I worked in home health.

“Which church do you go to?”

“Well I used to go to Gateway but now I go to a neighborhood church that is much smaller. I like the smaller aspect of this church.”

“Are you a night owl?”

“Well, sometimes I stay up late but not always.”

He interrupted rudely. “This is a yes or no question. Are you or aren’t you a night owl?”

“I would say I can be a night owl on most nights.”

He replied with firmness in his tone. “I can stay up till one or two in the morning and then get up at five am and go to work and if I go to bed at ten pm then I wake up at three am. I don’t need sleep.”

I was tempted to say that he may need sleep more than he suspected because he was just a more rude than most chaps… but I held my tongue in check.

He asked me out to dinner the next night. It was a Monday night. Monday nights are my Bible Study nights and for the record I love hanging out with my group of friends as we study the Bible. I find that the comfort I receive from that family of God far supersedes any fun or excitement I have on most dates.

So we made arrangements to have dinner together on Tuesday night. He said he would call me when he was done with work.

I didn’t give it much thought on Tuesday. I noticed I had a voicemail at about 7-8 that evening and instead of listening to it, I just called him back.

He started to tell me what he had done all evening, as if we were old friends and this was a common occurrence. In the conversation he mentioned that he had already had dinner. Then he said “You can come over to watch television with me on my couch.”

Really?!!! Wow! This guy lives clear across town from me, it was dark, I never drive in the dark and he wanted me to watch TV with him. Golly Gee, how exciting! NOT!!!

I rarely watch TV at all. In fact the most glorious week of my life was last summer in the Dominican Republic where there was no TV and I was privileged to engage in meaningful conversation with my son.

The really hilarious aspect of this conversation was that his tone of voice suggested that watching TV was a magnificent way to spend the evening.

I paused for just a second then decided I may as well burst this guy’s bubble sooner rather than later. “Well, right now I am walking and when I get done doing that I will be going back to work. Most evenings I am documenting on my computer in my home and I never watch TV. I usually work most evenings because that is what my job requires me to do. (I didn’t mention to him that I have most weekends free because I don’t intend to waste them sitting on someone’s couch watching other people live their lives on a stupid black box.)

His response stunned me. “Well, then why are you wasting my time? Why are you even online? You are just wasting everyone’s time. You should take your profile down!” He was really angry and he hung up on me.

I heard a faint knock on my heart saying. “You know he meant to hurt you. You should cry a few tears at least. You really do work a lot of hours and it does make it very difficult for you to invest time in a relationship.”

The knock was the devil trying to get into the locked room of broken dreams and heartache. A room I have locked with Faith and Hope that God is in control and He will keep my heart within His hands until the man I am to marry finally meets me.

I kept walking and then busted out in laughter instead of tears. This man was merely not the one for me. I was so thankful that he had been honest and truthful right up front instead of wasting my time with manipulation. I hope he finds someone who really enjoys watching television with him but it wasn’t going to be me because as soon as I got home I was going back to work.

MY OLD FRIEND

“Hello darkness, my old friend.”

I thought you were gone. I have done everything within my power to force you to leave. Each time I take a deep breath and think I am clear of your influence, I realize that you are still lurking in the shadows of my present life.

I was deceived. You slipped in as a friend, then became my lover and soon my thoughts were not my own. You were the judge of every move I made and every word I spoke. You domineered every spare second I had, making sure it was spent to please you.

My relationship with God suffered because I had opened the door to you… yet again. I felt the torture tearing at my spirit. I didn’t want my thoughts and time to be spent on you. I intended the focus of my life to be God centered.

My friends said they saw the change. You were stealing my joy. I was no longer what I had once been. I missed who I had been and joy was becoming a reality I could no longer grasp.

The mess you made of my heart was horrendous. Somewhere deep inside of my psyche I knew I was playing a role. I had been an actress when I was younger and the acting job I did for you should have attained an Academy Award. I chose to pretend I was happy, when each and every moment I was dying inside.

Finally I attained the strength to walk away from you. It wasn’t easy. The memories still haunt me at times. I mean we were friends at first and then lovers. We did have some good times but they were shallow and empty. The times we had couldn’t even touch the wonder of the times I have had with God.

Yet my body still cries out for the excitement of your embrace. Yes, my flesh still lusts for your hands to caress my body.

I have to remind myself why I locked you away. I am joyous again. My time is now my own. I know I have locked you in the closets of my mind for a righteous and holy reason; to be closer to God.

But you keep screaming out, reminding me of the “fun” we had, enticing me to think that my life is boring without you. I scream back at you, “I am at peace! Leave me alone!” You back off for a moment and then come slithering into my mind on yet another unknown path. I hate you in one minute and love you in the next second.

To be in your embrace is to betray myself. I know this… so why am I searching for the key to unlock the door to the darkness of Temptation?

PEACE OF SUMMERTIME

It was only a short time ago when the insanity of violence shattered the calm of my neighboring city of Dallas. It was hard to wrap any logic around the killing of five police officers. It is times like these when my spirit searches for peace.

I commonly go for long walks in the evening. Even in the heat of the Texas summer I will head out as the sun sinks into the blanket of the western sky. I take in the beauty of my surroundings, observing the lush landscaping of my neighbors’ yards and the beauty of the meadows.

On a normal day, the beauty of my neighborhood can calm my spirit but not after the police were killed. I needed something more, something to touch my senses on a deeper level.

That is when I heard it; the Symphony of Summertime. I know it happens every summer but I hadn’t given it notice.

This spring when the rains hit the frogs started the bass portion of the Symphony,they would lull me to sleep as their ribbits broke the stillness of my backyard. As the Spring morphed into summer the crickets added their lullaby, then the Cicada’s harmony set in only to be interrupted by the staccato chirp of a Cardinal.

So many of these melodies calmed my spirit as a child. As I reach back into my memories I realize that though the violence of the world threatens my sense of peace, my God is still the conductor of the Symphony of Summertime.

DALLAS SHOOTINGS

I have pondered and contemplated how to address the shootings in Dallas. I still don’t know that I have figured it out. So I figured I would do a stream of consciousness writing and see where it goes…

To the African American people..

I understand that you are angry and yes, you have every right to be angry. To be killed by a white police officer for little to no reason is not justifiable in any circumstance. To be killed because you are brandishing a weapon and or acting like you have a weapon is putting yourself in a position where you have put your life on the line. If a police officer kills you because he thinks that his life is in danger it is partly your fault.

Dallas was a city where the race differential was minimal. For a black man to go all out crazy and kill five white police officers and wound seven other civilians did nothing to help the cause of the African Americans who were unjustly killed.

I know a person whose grandson was killed by a white police officer, she was a coworker of mine. The wonderful African American man who lost his life was named Christian Taylor. He was a very handsome young man with a very promising future. When I saw the report coming out about his death I had no idea he was the grandson of one of my coworkers. Only later did I realize the connection.

I waited a couple of days before I broached the subject to her and she said that the family had asked that no rioting occur on behalf of his death. Many well known people flew in to honor him. The family wanted his passing to be peaceful.

Their main concern was to find out who had slipped him the drugs which had made him act crazy. He was normally a wonderful Christian young man. It was only this one night where he got out of control. I believe that he is with God now.

I was so impressed and thankful for the way the family honored this precious young man. Instead of handing his legacy to fuel the fire for more violence, they sought to identify the cause for his change in behavior.

Christian Taylor still haunts my thoughts on many a day. It is with true sadness that I think of him. He had so much to offer the world and in one night it ended. Yet his family chose to honor the memory of him with peace instead of violence. What a legacy for a young man who was a class act.

One Man’s Trash

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” I saw this quote posted on a refrigerator in someone’s house. The house was dilapidated and didn’t even have an air conditioner. There was hardly any furniture in the house and bugs had set up camp in the living room.

As I looked at the sweet man in the living room, his face lit up with joy as we talked. He didn’t waste one word on complaining about what he had to live in, he was too busy smiling. I would have been horrified to live in this house but he was thankful.

Sometimes it is not the house that we live in but actually a person that we consider to be trash. A lot of people think that homeless people are trash. I am under the impression that no one has bothered to search for what treasure may lie within them.

Recently I had commented to some coworkers about how fond I was of a particular patient. Their response surprised me. “I am glad you like her because no one else was willing to take care of her.” Apparently other agencies had also said that they wouldn’t serve her.

She has been a long term patient of mine and I drive quite a way to see her. She is a storyteller. Her stories range from accounts of severe abuse at the hands of her family of origin and first two husbands-to stories of love with her current husband and her only son. It is always a fascinating hour that I spend with her. She has a brilliant memory and remembers dialogue from years past with uncanny accuracy.

She has become one of my favorites and I am so privileged to have been the nurse who discovered the treasure within her.

“I knew something was wrong.”

“I just knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I started praying for you, really hard. I just knew something was wrong.”

These were the words that a dear friend of mine said to me several weeks ago. She is actually a patient of mine and I was supposed to do a visit on her but instead I had to go to the ER. I had a pulse rate of 120 and my normal pulse is 60-70.

To have patients like this, who are so closely in sync with my spirit, is such a blessing. I dearly love this lady and I consider it a privilege to be able to serve her in my nursing profession.

As I was thinking about this the other day, I reflected on times in which the Holy Spirit had led me to intercede forcefully for my children. I remember the day when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “your son’s eternal destination is in question.”

I knew exactly which son God was referring to. I started praying, crying, speaking in tongues and declared full warfare on the devil. At the end of that week I got a call from that son, “I had an accident,” he said. “I broke my collar bone.”

I was so relieved it was only his collar bone. I truly believe that the devil had intended him to lose his life in that accident. Due to the urging of the Holy Spirit, and a mother’s prayers, the devil’s assignment was not fulfilled.

Then another night I was already in bed and I felt as if my daughter’s life was in danger. I started interceding for her. I got another call from her and she said she had been in a car accident. Someone had run a red light and totalled her car.

As I reflected on both of these times in my life as a single mother I realized that in both situations the vehicle that my children were driving didn’t survive the accident but my children’s lives were spared. I have come to realize that God does not care a flip for things, He is all about people.

LOSING FRIENDS

I like making new friends. I like having men as friends and also women. The problem is that my male friends always want to be more than just a friend.

Recently I met a new guy and boy did we hit it off. We talked for hours on end and I thought there was a chance that I had met my soul mate. I told him my thought process regarding sex and marriage and I thought he understood that I wasn’t intending to sleep with anyone until a commitment had been made.

So after talking for several days we decided to meet. I actually let him come to my house. I usually never do that and I even invited him along on a trip. I have never done that either with a new acquaintance. He was just so likeable and so wonderful. He was adventurous and witty, a good Christian and very well to do, if what he said was true. I had no reason to believe that he was lying.

So this weekend I met this wonderful guy. He was very nice and in time I thought there was a chance I could fall in love with him but it would take time.

He was nice enough to try and help me get rid of a virus on my laptop and my desk happens to be in my bedroom. My desk has been in my bedroom for over a year and NO, it is not a lure to get men into my bed. I merely like looking out my bedroom window at my beautiful backyard when I am writing.

Pretty soon he had me in bed, we were both fully clothed, but being in bed was not what I had planned for the night. I laid there for just a minute and then he said he was going to set his alarm so that he could get up in time in the morning. I was like, “What?!! Seriously?!!” I laid there for just a minute more and then got up out of bed saying. “I can not do this. This is our first date and I can just not do this. You need to go home.”

It took just one more night for us to split the ties completely and when we did part ways we both did so with a great amount of respect for each other. I still think he is a wonderful and terrific man. I pray that the very best in life happens to him. I was sad to think that we couldn’t remain friends but I was elated that for the first time in a long time I actually stood up for myself and told a man exactly what I thought. There have been way too many times I have given in to men and have regretted the consequence of an unhealthy relationship.

It is interesting that this is one of the shortest relationships I have ever had but I have very fond memories of this man. The second night we talked on the phone we talked for five hours straight. I am glad that I cut it off though. I have learned that sometimes a short relationship full of good memories is better than a long relationship full of bad.

HONOR YOUR FATHER?

I was listening this morning to a church sermon on the internet. It was a sermon based on Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

It was, of course, a sermon to honor Father’s. I am so thankful to God that I have a Father to honor and I try my hardest to honor him.

The pastor didn’t stop there though, he went further. He implied that we should honor our father’s no matter what their fathering skills happened to be. That is when I tuned out and if I had actually been in church I may have gotten up and walked out. The verse explicitly says “obey your parents in the Lord”. To me that means if you can’t imagine God doing that to you then you don’t have an obligation to honor them.

For the record I do not believe that God would sexually molest any young child, whether they be a little boy or girl. I am certain he would not abuse a child.

Hey wait a minute… what about Abraham and Isaac? Didn’t the Bible say that God wanted Abraham to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice? So you are probably thinking that was a bit sadistic right? I totally agree with you. Yet I ask you this? Did Isaac suffer even one scratch on his body in this test of loyalty? There is no record of Isaac being hurt in any way.

If Abraham had said “No, I will NOT offer my son up to you and what kind of God are you to ask me to do that?” Isaac would not have been hurt. As it was Abraham honored the Lord and Isaac honored Abraham in the Lord and Isaac was not hurt and Abraham was blessed.

The crazy people these days who mutilate their children because they supposedly have “darkness or demons” in them are definitely not parents “in to the Lord.”

Recently one of my dear friends told me a story about a little boy who was beaten to death by his father. It was out in their front yard and there were quite a few people who drove by who did absolutely nothing to help. Finally a sheriff shot and killed the father from a helicopter but by that time the little boy had passed on.

There is no reason or excuse to beat a child to death. I hope and pray that little boy is in heaven and his father is in the deepest and hottest part of hell.

According to the preacher this morning I would be wrong in my thoughts regarding this and he may have been the kind of person who would have driven by.

Funny thing, I just can’t imagine Jesus or God driving by…

CARS, BATTERIES AND PRAYER

I heard from a friend of mine that he could not read my latest post so I am going to publish this one again. Please excuse me if this is the second time you have read this post. I hope you enjoy it!

I was thinking the other day of how wonderful God is and how he answers prayer.

My son who lives in Louisiana is staying there for the summer. He works at a bookstore part time while he attends Louisiana Tech to gain an engineering degree. He was looking to move into a different house with some friends and he was also looking for a second job to work at during the summertime. I wish I could have helped him but all I could do was pray. He happened to find a job which was just a short walk from the new house he and his friends found. I was so happy for him.

The other day when I woke up I asked God to show me if I could help someone in a special way. Sometimes I give money to the homeless, other times I will open a door for someone who has their arms full of produce and one time I even changed batteries in someone’s smoke alarm.

I went about my day enjoying the time I had with my patients and then I stopped by the office where my company is located at. I made the rounds and greeted everyone and attended to the business I went there for.

Then I started out to my car. Except I didn’t get to my car. I got to the end of the entranceway outside the building and then I was stopped by a coworker. She asked if I was in a Celica or the other car. I said “No, I wasn’t in either of those cars. I was in the Hyundai.” I continued on my way to my car. She said, “That’s the one! I need a jump because my battery is dead.”

Wouldn’t you know it? My car was right beside hers. Well, I was already done with my patients and I did have battery cables in the back of my car. I mean I have been a single Mom for eighteen years. I am very familiar with those big red and black giant clothespins that are the lifeblood of cars who need a battery resurrected.

So we both popped our hoods and went about fixing that battery. We are both girly girls so we were quite the site in all of our finery. We were actually parked just close enough to each other that the cables could attach to each battery if we stretched the cable completely out. Pretty soon her engine started purring and we knew that she would be okay.

The lady was very grateful to me but she was more grateful to God. We both acknowledged that He must have had a hand in this because the timing of our meeting was perfect. She got her prayer answered and I got mine answered too.