WASHED WHITE AS SNOW

As I look out of my bedroom window into my backyard I hear the tinkling of sleet falling softly and inconspicuously against the windows. It was another snow day in Texas and what a delight it was. To have to stay home because of the weather is not a luxury we are afforded on a regular basis in Texas.

This evening as I was walking through my house I noticed my backyard was letting light slip in through my drawn curtains. I always try to remember to turn my back porch light off. I don’t want to disturb my neighbors with unnecessary light streaming in through their windows during night time.

I checked my back porch and the light was off. What in the world was happening? I looked at the sky to see if the moonlight was especially bright and could not see the moon because the sky was covered in clouds.

I think it was just the brightness of the snow reflecting what little light was streaming through the clouds. It was a wondrous sight.

I started thinking about how it says in the Bible that our sins are washed white as snow when we accept the redemptive powers of Jesus. If our sins are washed as white as snow then shouldn’t we be able to reflect the light of God’s love as much or more than the snow in my backyard was reflecting the filtered moonlight?

KEEPING AWAY FROM ANGRY PEOPLE

I have worked for my company since last July. I am very happy with and loyal to my company. Sometimes I think if I found a man that I could love as much as I do my company, there just may be a slim chance that I might get married again. I know it sounds kind of twisted doesn’t it?

It is the loyalty that has caught me by surprise. I have had other opportunities presented to me. I had some time off in January where I could have looked for another job but I just don’t have any desire to leave. I have worked for plenty of companies in my field and this one beats every other one that I have worked for.

Somehow that feeling changed in December. I was getting angry every day about little things. I would get upset over the smallest details and that is really not like me. I have worked in this field of nursing for 15 + years and nothing should surprise or make me angry.

During January when I had a couple of weeks off I evaluated just exactly what my problem was. I think I was spending too much time on the phone listening to someone else in the company who was always frustrated and angry. I don’t mind being a sounding board but I was calling this other person every day and all I would hear was her complaining about every little thing. I realized that this daily phone call was not in my best interest. I was feeding a monster inside of me and it was called ungratefulness.

Last night as I was finishing up the novel, The Walking Wounded, I read a verse that Secret Angel quoted. It is found in Proverbs 22:24-35 “Keep away from angry, short-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.”

I realized that most of the people who have been significant in my life have had problems with anger and negativity. I, by nature, don’t. I am grateful, positive and affirming.

I used to invite Jesus along with me when I went to work and we had the funnest time ever. Until I met my new friend, then Jesus got left behind. I have decided that Jesus will be invited into each and every day from now on and I will invite him into my phone calls with this other person also. It is important to pick your peers well and there is no better friend to have than Jesus. That is what you call awesome peer pressure!

SNOW DAYS AND AGING

I spent half of the day at home yesterday. It had started snowing and I thought driving would be a breeze. After all it was just snow and I grew up in the Midwest. In the Midwest it takes a blizzard to warrant a snow day. In the South it takes a light coating because of the road consistency.

I started off slowly and drove to my first appointment. As I was leaving that first appointment I noticed that I was not able to drive more than 10 miles an hour because traffic was literally at a slow crawl.

I called one of my friends in my business to see what she had to say. She said she was at home and not going to go out on the roads. I tried to stop at a stop light and kept sliding right through the red light. That was when I decided to call my company and tell them to reschedule my visits for next week.

I am not a coward and when I was younger I may have had more courage to drive in conditions like this. I have certainly driven in worse. What I am is more considerate of others as I age. What if there had been a child crossing the road when my tires decided to disregard the red light? Would they have been able to get out of the way in time to dodge my car?

I am also more fragile. As I age my bones seem to hurt more and just a year and a half ago I tripped and broke my collar bone into fragments. That is the first major bone I have broken but the fracture was severe enough to warrant surgery. I don’t think my body would much care to be in a wreck, or my car for that matter.

Usually when I have an unexpected day off I spend some time writing in my novel. It is a refreshing time to spend with God also as I search His word for inspiration.

The other thing that I plan on doing is deep cleaning. When I spend a day off doing that I am more than eager to get back to work. lol


CONFRONTATION

I was talking with a patient’s family member this morning on the phone and she told me that the patient was someone who had been emotionally abused by her Dad and her husband. As a result she had learned to acquiesce when faced with confrontation.

Wow, I could relate to that. That is exactly how I handled confrontation during most of my life. I just avoided it. I was scared of it and I wouldn’t confront someone until I was at the point of anger and then not very well at all. There were many times this avoidance of confrontation affected my parenting skills. I hated to see my kids cry so I was soft on discipline at times. It is a miracle they all turned out as well as they did.

I haven’t had good role models in this department. My mother does not know how to handle confrontation without screaming and at times belittling the other person, but she never got to the point where she got physically abusive. My ex was the same as my mother, he would scream and yell. At times he totally lost it and got physical with his abuse. He always had the impression that his opinion was right and other people’s opinion was wrong and being that I knew he wasn’t God, I begged to differ on occasion.

But alas, I am better than that nonsense. I don’t confront with screaming or calling people names and I sure don’t choke people as my ex choked me. I just avoid confrontation.

Is avoiding a situation that is confrontational really the best way to handle things though?

I have come to the conclusion that at times when you have tried to confront a person again and again and they just don’t listen that walking away may be the only option left for you to take. Then they wonder why you walked away but if they had been listening they would have known.

But what if they do listen? What if it is important to both of you to settle your differences. I believe there may be a method to handle confrontation where both parties feel as if they have won.

I used this method recently when dealing with one of my corporate bosses. She had asked me why I couldn’t teach a caregiver how to do a daily dressing change on one of my patients. I told her that was a good question. Then I went into how complex and fragile the case was and why I thought it was imperative that I be the one who did the daily dressing changes until I had stabilized the patient. She agreed and asked me if she could enter my response into the chart. I said, “Sure, that would be great.”

In essence I had a confrontation which did not include any demeaning comments, no anger and no one played the victim. We both won.

How did I have a confrontation where both sides won?

I first acknowledged that the other person had a good point and gave them affirmation for their viewpoint. Then I countered with logic and good reasoning, trying hard to get them to see my viewpoint. I did not attack them personally or attack their opinion. I validated their opinion first and then I proposed my evidence to try to sway their opinion to my viewpoint.

In essence, in my business it is not me or my corporate boss who won, we merely came to an agreement. It was really the patient who won.

Doing daily dressing changes is a lot to ask from any nurse but I knew it was the best thing for the patient. I am very blessed to work for a company who realizes that what is in the best interest of the patient is also what is in the best interest of the company. Overall the company and my patient both won because of the method that was used. This method allowed me to handle a confrontation in a respectful manner that prevented it from becoming a conflict.

In a conflict there is a winner and a loser, in a confrontation which uses mutual respect as a platform, all parties involved can win.


CPS

I saw the story the other night on the local news. Apparently a twelve year old girl was murdered by her uncle and had been raped previously. CPS was aware of the case but did nothing to intervene for the child.

That is pitiful but what really enraged me was the response of the CPS supervisor. Ard states “that ‘State Office’ is aware of how these cases are being handled, and until they start paying a worker more money, this is the type of work they’re going to get.” That is beyond sorry as an excuse for being a lazy, good for nothing, state employee.

That makes me absolutely furious. How dare they use that excuse as a reason to cover up a sloppy investigation. I don’t get paid much money to take care of the elderly but that doesn’t mean I don’t try my hardest.

A person who is lazy and sloppy is that whether they get paid a load of money or not. People such as this should not be allowed to take care of the elderly or precious children.

It is a matter of character, not income. It is apparent to me that the workers that work for CPS have little to no character and throwing more money at them wouldn’t change that one bit.

Helen Keller had a wise opinion on character: “Character can not be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Hmmm, doesn’t say a blooming word about money in that quote does it? If you are in the business of taking care of children or the elderly and care more about money than their welfare my suggestion is that you get out of the business. Those of us that do care don’t want you there.


THE WALKING WOUNDED

I recently read a book on my kindle. I read it because the author was a friend of mine and a fellow blogger by the name of Secret Angel. The title of the book was “The Walking Wounded.”

I knew she had been abused in her marriage. I didn’t know how much her marriage had resembled mine.

I have read several books on women or children which have been abused. This one was different. It stripped off the layers of deceit that an abusive spouse so often wears. The book also accurately described why a wife or husband keeps returning to an abusive spouse.

I read plenty of books throughout the year. Most I get bored with and don’t take too seriously. This one I read very carefully because I could identify with the story line. I also knew that it was a book which was worthy enough that I should give it a promo post on my blog.

I would have never admitted I was in an abusive relationship when I was married. My husband rarely beat me and he only choked me when he was in a rage. (I realize now that I was a bit blinded) I never considered his constant criticism and lack of love an abuse, but it was. It tore at my heart and soul and left deep scars.

It is important to identify abuse as what it is and then seek to gain healing from God for our wounds, for if we don’t we are the walking wounded. Those who are wounded seek to wound others, if those scars are not healed by the blood of Jesus.

I would encourage anyone who suspects their relationship may be abusive or knows someone who is in an abusive relationship to buy The Walking Wounded novel. It is one of the most informative and helpful novels on the market for those who have been wounded by abuse.

A NEW HABIT

I have developed a new habit lately. I check the BBC news on my phone throughout the day and scour the news for items which concern me. Then I take those items in prayer to my heavenly Father. Lately my main concern is the violence of the Islamic State.

It is easy to ignore this because I am American and they have not attacked on a large scale in my country. I feel as if I am stepping out of my comfort zone when I pray for international peace. It is much easier to pray for my children, my family and my friends. Yet I feel that much prayer is needed in response to the violence of this group.

Just today I read that they captured 90 + Christians in Syria. Men, women and children were all captured. It was a strategic point which lies between Turkey and Iraq and is at the Northeast tip of Syria.

I can do so little for these captured brothers and sisters in Christ. I have no military training, no money to help them and no shelter or food to give them. What I do have is a God who changed the heart of Saul into one of the greatest preachers ever, when he was confronted by the Spirit of Jesus. This same God also released persecuted Christians from jail. My God also helped the Israelis in many battles throughout the Old Testament.

I know he loves the IS members just as he loves us Christians. His son was sacrificed for all of our sins. It is my prayer that He supernaturally intervenes on behalf of these Christians and shines His love into the hearts of those who have only violence residing currently in their hearts and minds.

I ask that all of my readers pray with intercession for these captured Christians. Make a habit of it to pray for persecuted Christians. We are coming close to the time when Jesus will return but it is imperative that we intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ until that time is realized.

A SNOW DAY

I live in Texas and today I am having what others would consider calling a “snow day.” In Texas we don’t have much snow though, we have ice and sleet and freezing rain. It is the perfect excuse to stay at home and keep the car snug in the garage.

I cleaned up the house a bit this morning and then decided to go to my bedroom and sit by my desk, looking out into my backyard. I opened the drapes to view the winter wonderland and I saw four kittens outside exploring the ice caps and light snow with wonder. They walked tentatively on the cold ground but I could tell they had a bit of fascination with each step.

I watched them with admiration thinking that I was so unlike them in their spirit of adventure. Many times when I am faced with a new challenge I cower in fear. I don’t step out with caution testing icy ground. I instead stay inside where I know I am safe. I acknowledge that this is the wisest decision for a day like today, only fools get out on the roads but I still don’t like getting out of my comfort zone even on days when it is nice.

One of the things I have a hate/love relationship is deep cleaning. I hate the mess that happens when I pull everything out of a closet and start sorting through the mess. It always seems overwhelming. But when I start getting into it I become obsessed until it is done and then I am so glad I did it.

My coat closet has been a mess for quite sometime. It is not my coats that have created the mess, it is all of the gift wrapping supplies that I have in there which have made it chaotic. Yesterday I predicted that I would have an extra day off of work today so I decided to tackle the monster.

I pulled all of it out and then went to Walmart to buy some storage containers. I put all of my rolls of wrapping paper in a tall wash basket so I could see exactly what I had. Then I separated my Christmas bags from my birthday bags and tissue and put them in separate draws in a large storage container. Next I put all of my curling ribbon and gift tags in a smaller storage container. These are all things which can be pulled out of my closet and kept in place the next time I or my daughter has to wrap a gift. Makes gift giving so much easier and it will save me a load of money because now I know I really don’t have to buy wrapping paper ever again. (Seriously I have like 30-40 rolls already)

I know I am not one to drive on icy roads but I was proud of myself when I got the coat closet organized. It was like walking on an icy road of chaos.
Now I only have to go through the blizzard of my kitchen cabinets and my clothes closet. UGH!

OWNING MY DAY?

I never know in my job when I am going to get done. It depends on my patients and what they need and also how much documentation needs to be done. Sometimes it is a ten hour day and sometimes it is twelve. It rarely is an eight hour day.

Yesterday I thought I was going to score an eight hour day. I was so excited. I started thinking about what all I could get done when I got home. I synced my visits and my documentation into the company as I was driving home and was surprised when another unsuspecting visit showed up on my device. I checked it closely to make sure I couldn’t move it to another day but no luck, it had to be done yesterday.

I called my company just to make sure. They had to do some things in the office to clear the visit but I told them I would do it. I wasn’t even upset. These things happen in my business.

On my way to the last surprise visit I called a doctor friend of mine to get an order from him for a patient. He asked me what I was doing and I told him. Apparently his day had got a bit rearranged by a patient also. Then the nicest thing happened. He asked me out for dinner.

I hurried through the visit and then met my friend for dinner. We talked about how we had handled the day and neither one of us had gotten upset when our day got rearranged. We just kind of went with it and had a nice dinner on top of that.

Every day when I wake up I invite God into my day. He is a perfect gentleman and won’t push himself upon anyone. It seems when I invite Him he always makes it extra special and sometimes He nudges a good friend of mine to invite me to dinner. Sweet!

VENGEANCE

I was talking with my mother today about some issues I have had with certain people who have chosen to try and hurt me. I told her that I had no desire to cause them harm and would not take vengeance. I also told her I wouldn’t want to be them because when God took His vengeance on them it wasn’t going to be pretty.

Sometimes I think we look at people who seem evil and cruel and think that they get away with it. They keep stepping on people to get up the ladder or demeaning people to make themselves feel good. Some of them are very successful and wealthy, they even have the audacity to appear happy.

At times I have wondered what God was doing and when justice was actually going to happen. I wondered that when I first got divorced. I kept thinking God was going to ruin my ex, but he didn’t. He got a new house with a pool and a new marriage also.

The Holy Spirit spoke to me one night when I was crying out to God with the ever consuming question, “WHY?”

He said, “You need to stop looking at what they have and start looking at what I have done for you.”

I had done the right thing in waiting for God to take revenge but I had the wrong focus. I had taken my eyes off of God and the blessings He had bestowed upon me. After hearing that from the Holy Spirit I could have cared less what my ex and his new wife had. I had so much more than they had and it was far more valuable. I had an intimate relationship with a heavenly Father and that is something which no man can steal, no water can rust and no wind can blow away. Sure beats a house with a pool if you ask me. 😉