No Joke, Another Toke

I was thinking today about how happy I am that I don’t do this anymore!  Then I started pondering addictions as a whole.  

There are all sorts of  addicts; drugs, cigarettes, sex, alcohol, porn, adrenaline,  gambling, etc.  I believe that you can probably be addicted to anything  to some degree.  I figured if you become OCD about it, then you are addicted to it.  So I decided to get the proper definition of it:

ad·dic·tion   [uh-dik-shuhn]

noun:   the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

My Friday Thoughts – The Many Splendors Of His Love

Today’s Thought:

The loneliest place in the world is the human heart when love is absent.

Unknown


Today’s Verse:

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19
The King James Version


This was my e-mail for today and I thought it appropriate in view of my posts from the last few days.  It’s funny how it “just happened to” link with what I was saying.  

Maybe it’s our longing for God that makes us crave an earthly love.  I don’t know for sure but it seems logical to me that since we are separated from Him by sin, our soul/spirit would drive us to reconnect with the love that we lost in the Garden.  Of course there are those who have transcended that need for an intimate, physical relationship in this life, such as monks, priests and nuns.  They are fulfilled in the LORD alone.  I always thought that would be a lonely existence but, since my near death experience, I have come to realize that it is possible to be completed by Him.

Since I have Mark, my precious gift from God, I can’t imagine my life without him but, at the same time, I know that if I lost him, I would not feel the deep need for another to replace him.  I could live the rest of my days with Christ as my husband.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking of my love, my best friend and soul mate not being here with me! 

When I was given this last chance at happiness, I had been at my lowest point in life ever!  I was alone and lonely but also badly scarred and determined to remain alone, which only served to deepen the loneliness.  I was far away from God and Jesus.  I was trapped in my cycle of drug addiction, depression and despair.  Then in walked Mark to become first my friend and then the love of my life.  Thank You, Father and Jesus!

If you haven’t felt His love for yourself, maybe you are looking for it in the wrong place like I was.  Read the Bible.  Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding.  You will seen things that you have never seen before and find a whole new appreciation for His unfailing, deeply committed, unconditional love for you.

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

In that love,
Teresa Marie

A Question About Grace, Why?

 Why does God give us grace?  I use this expression often, “but for the grace of God go I.”  I truly mean it every time that I say it but it seems to echo through my soul.  And so I ask again, why does God give us grace?

There seems to be no end to the grace that He will bestow on a person either.  If that wasn’t true, I would have used up my grace quota a long time ago.  I say this most earnestly to you, “but for the grace of God” I would not still be here today or I would be in prison.  There is no if, and or but about it.  I am so unworthy to have so richly received all of the blessings that I have and grace is just the beginning.

I know that we cannot earn grace or blessings or miracles.  I just have to stop and wonder about it sometimes.  That a wretched sinner like me could be on the receiving end of His grace and love boggles my mind.

I realize that His ways are higher than ours and we aren’t meant to understand, but still…. why have I been so immensely covered by His grace?  He has protected me, blessed me, healed me, given His Son for me, forgiven me, redeemed me and the list goes on, but why?  It always comes back to me asking why?

I’ve committed adultery, had an abortion, did a lot of drugs, dealt drugs, lied, stolen, and still He covers me with His grace, why?  This could go on forever like a merry-gp-round, round and round she goes!

This is what I have determined, it doesn’t matter why.  It is a gift from the Almighty God and who am I to question His motives?  He doesn’t have human thoughts or emotions, so I need to stop trying to compare Him to us.  It can’t be done, therefore it’s a worthless pursuit.

Grace is a gift to be received gratefully.  Once accepted, we owe a debt of thanksgiving to the Giver.  It’s truly as simple as that.  We make it more complicated than it is.  And so I am left to say…

Thank You Father, thank You Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit for covering me with Your grace.  All glory and honor be Yours forever and ever.  Amen.

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

May God bless and keep you,
Teresa Marie

My MS Journey Part V

Well, it didn’t take long for us to realize that we had to move out of the trailer park that we lived in.  It was a drug addicts dream but for someone trying to get out of the life, it was mission impossible.  I had just closed out my 401(k) with my last employer and, as soon as I received the check, we started looking for a new place.  We wanted to get out in the country but weren’t having any luck.  Then we found an upper apartment in a small town not too far out, but just far enough not to be convenient for people to drop in.  The place was huge!  It had 1200 sq. feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a tiny living room and a huge kitchen.  It was great except it had about 18 stairs to go up and the laundry room was at the bottom of them.  We took it anyway.

Another thing that worked out great was that it had an enclosed porch that was large enough to make it into my own private gym.  I had a really nice exercise bike that told me how fast I was going, how long I’d been riding and how far I went. I had a weight bench and a stair stepper (which I didn’t really use much ’cause I had plenty real stairs to climb).  I made up my own little workout program.  In the beginning, I could only ride the bike for maybe 5 minutes and couldn’t do the weights at all.  Every morning, after Mark left for work, I went down to my gym.  I couldn’t manage the stairs without Mark’s help, so I’d sit and slide down them.  Going back up was slow but manageable.  I had lost a lot of weight, about 35 pounds, because I just couldn’t eat much at one sitting and I wasn’t really hungry at all, plus I had swallowing issues.  At 5’2″ and 103 lbs., I didn’t have a whole lot of muscle on me.  Because of that and the fatigue from the MS, it was a struggle just to make myself start doing any exercising.  I will say this much though, by the time we moved out 2 years later, I road that bike for 30 minutes and 5 miles, did 50 leg lifts and 50 arm lifts of 25 lbs. every morning.

When we got ready to move, we decided that we weren’t gonna let too many people know where we were going.  The people we did tell had strict instructions not to tell anybody else.  I’d like to say that the drugs ended right there, but they didn’t.  We still had a few relapses in our attempt to get free.  Eventually we did though, praise God

At the time we moved in, I was still very weak.  I slept a lot, usually 10 hours through the night and I took 2 naps a day.  I was like a newborn baby!  I couldn’t get around very well, so unpacking took forever.  I had to work within my limits which was hard.  If I tried to do too much, I ended up paying for it in over-exhaustion.  Mark would tell me to stop it and I would try not to worry about the mess, but it really was a struggle.  I pretty much sat around all day watching tv, reading, praying and cat napping.  I got the “Left Behind” series and the “Chronicles of Narnia” books thinking they would last me for a while.  I tore through all of those in a short amount of time.  One good thing about the short-term memory though, I could read them again and it was almost like I was reading them for the first time.

Gradually, I began to regain my strength and endurance.  As I did, I began doing more around the apartment.  I hardly fell down now which allowed me to move around more freely without Mark having to be there.  One day, I remember very well, I received a clear-cut miracle.  Mark was helping my mother pick up donations of furniture for the Katrina victims.  The Catholic church was sponsoring a donations drive.  While he was gone, I decided that I wanted some hot tea.  I don’t know why I did this but here is my “bright idea”; we didn’t have a teapot, so I thought I’d put the tea bags in the basket of the coffee maker.  Not too smart!  As it was brewing, I looked over to see it was overflowing all over the countertop.  Now the rational thing to do would have been to shut it off but my brain was not doing logical thought processes very well.  So what did I do?  I grabbed the basket with the tea bags and started to pull it out!  Of course, the boiling hot water ran all over my hand!  I screamed in pain, ran to the sink, threw the basket in it, turned on the cold water, stuck my hand (which was already beet red and blistering) under the water and burst out crying.  Out loud I cried, “Why?!  God I can’t take anymore!  Why did this have to happen?  Help me!!”  I was crying so hard that I could barely see, but I grabbed a cup, put some ice and water in it and then plunged my hand in as far as it would go.  The frigid water immediately started numbing my hand.

I thought, “Mark’s gonna kill me!”  Then I went to get the phone and call him to take me to the hospital.  He didn’t answer.  So I called my mom’s phone.  When she answered, in between sobs, I told her what had happened.  She said that Mark was loading some furniture and then they were taking what he had to drop it off.  She would tell him to call me when he was done loading up.  Of course, she was freaking out!  Within 5 minutes, Mark called me back.  He said, “What have you done?”  That only made me start crying harder.  He didn’t mean it badly, he just wanted to know what was going on so that he knew what he had to do.  I told him the whole story and said that I needed to go to the hospital because it was burned pretty badly.  He told me he would hurry home as fast as he could.

The whole time I waited for Mark to get home I prayed and never took my hand out of the water.  I thought that it was not hurting as much because it was numb, but I was wrong.  Mark came flying up the stairs about 30 minutes later (he had been clear across town).  He said, “Let’s go!  Show it to me.”  So I began to pull my hand out of the ice water and, as I did, I started saying, “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus…” over and over again.  Mark looked down at my hand, there wasn’t a mark on it!!  No blisters, no swelling, and normal in color.  That was a undisputeable miracle from God!  It is the God’s honest truth.  And I’ll leave you with that to think about for today.

Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!

Teresa Marie