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Forgiving the Flesh–In Which I Recount the Ways My Body Has Betrayed Me

Dear Lily June,

As human beings, we live in the flimsy structures of our fleshy bodies. Our hearts, like birds, are protected only by a cage of ribs; our minds, like yolks, sit inside the bony eggs of our skulls. It is a system designed to be fragile and frail. We are not built to last forever.

In my youth, I felt as if my body was invincible and thus, I treated it as if it were invisible. (In fact, your Grandma Raelyn might recall to you someday how I used to hide my body, as a toddler, under my ratty baby blanket, transforming myself into a makeshift ghost and earnestly believing no one could see me when I was under there.)

When my own Grandmother Mary began the comparison game as I hit my early teens, wondering why I couldn’t “try to be beautiful” like my sister–your Aunt Loren–I detached my faith from my body entirely. I thought, in that time, there were two paths a woman could walk: beautifying the palace of the body or retreating into the sanctuary of the mind. I chose the latter, burying my unpainted face in books. For the most part, I never considered how I’d turned my back on my body. Unfortunately, the body will not be ignored forever.


It was in my first year in college that my body truly began to break down. It all started when I went to brush my hair and my fingers slipped over a smooth spot. It didn’t register right away what I was feeling–could there be something stuck in my hair, I wondered, making it feel so oily and smooth in one particular area?

What I was feeling, I would learn later, was a bald spot. I was nineteen and in reasonably good health. Nineteen year old girls just don’t go bald, I reasoned. It must be “the big C.” I went into a wet chicken panic, throwing myself around dramatically, sure I had been granted a death sentence by my own hairbrush. I’m glad you didn’t meet that version of your mom, Lily. It would have been a bad time to know me.

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It turns out it was my first bout with alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own hair and follicle cells as if they were the cells of a disease. My hair fell out for my first year in school in tufts and patches, though I never did discover, half the time, where it went. (I never felt as if I were leaving behind clumps the size of sewer rats in my shower, and yet, my scalp begged to differ.)

What I should have gotten was that my body was like a puppy–wreaking havoc in a desperate attempt to entreat me to pay it a little attention. Instead, I retreated deeper into my mind, trying to control my environment if I couldn’t control my body within it.


It’s around this time I began compulsively making lists (a symptom I would learn later was fairly typical of OCPD). It was a way of organizing the disorder I felt with the stress of college. Poverty kept me from living in dorms after the first year; I took two part time jobs to afford books and incidentals, and I took two buses each day–one to and one from campus–in order to make my three hour round-trip commute to save on living costs.

I was not your typical college kid, drunk on freedom or just, as so many are, freely drunk. One of the first in my family to even go to college, I was saddled with the responsibility of my own future early on, taking out loans I had no earthly business being granted to pursue a field I had no earthly business studying if I ever wanted to pay those loans back: English.

And so I tried to control the breakdown of the body with a buildup of vocabulary. I tried to hide my pain under a mountain of to-do items revolving around work and study. I tried, even with my hair falling out in patches, to again ignore my body. Unfortunately, the body will not be ignored forever.


Another hit came the summer I turned twenty: the sudden urge to go to the bathroom more and more frequently. And then pain, leading up to and after the release. And then the pain progressed from a light nagging to a hard knocking at the door of my nerves. And eventually, it couldn’t be ignored any longer, and I assumed, as did my doctors, I had some kind of UTI.

Over and over for months that summer I was put on one after the other course of antibiotics. Urinalyses determined there was no bacteria in my bladder, but the pain and the frequency persisted no matter how much cranberry juice I downed by the gallon. I got up two, three, four, twelve times a night to pee, and the resulting insomnia got me into a bad love affair with caffeine.

I’d drink coffee and tea to stay awake during the day, but it seemed as if that exacerbated the pain, keeping me up more at night. Drink. Pee. Pee. Drink. Rinse. Repeat.

After a series of invasive tests–trans-vaginal ultrasounds that turned me into a human joy-stick, a cystoscopy that slithered a camera snake into my urethra and stung about as much afterwards as if I’d been bitten by it–I had another diagnosis under my belt: interstitial cystitis (sometimes abbreviated IC).

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Like alopecia, this was another autoimmune disorder. Like alopecia, my body’s immune system was launching an arsenal against healthy cells, this time in the lining of my bladder, causing discomfort, embarrassment, pain, and a feeling of being imprisoned in my own, well, self.

For the second time before I could even legally drink, my body had betrayed me. My hair–called a woman’s crowning jewel–had strands that jumped like a suicidal lemmings from my scalp. My bladder–an organ that I would have been as accurate pinpointing the location of before all this as an American would be pointing out the location of Uzbekistan on a map–was cracking like chapped lips.

I felt as if, in all ways that one can, I was falling to pieces.


Things got better, Lily, as they’re apt to do in this life, even if you don’t do anything. The universe can only rain on so many of any one person’s parades before the clouds shift direction.

Fast forward with me for a minute. So successful had my lists been in keeping the chaos neatly arranged that I not only graduated from the University of Pittsburgh summa cum laude, I was my major’s graduation speaker. I got into graduate school, moved to the deep South, met, fell in love with, and married your dad, lived through a tornado (another story for another time), fled back up to the north in fear, and made real a life-long dream: having you.


Pregnancy was to be an awesome adventure, and suddenly, I couldn’t ignore my body even if I wanted to. My flesh had become a rental property, and as the landlord, I could suddenly see how worn down the grounds were. It started, for instance, with the progesterone scare that made me question my ability to grow and maintain a healthy placenta. I had to be afraid my bone house might harm you.

After we jumped through that hoop, though, for a while, I was granted a blissful reprieve. In one of nature’s kindly little flukes, my second trimester saw my IC in remission, at least in terms of pain. (As my expanding uterus put pressure on my bladder, nothing could stop the frequency.) Less pain meant better sleep, and a heaping helping of feel good hormones made the laughs come easy.

Lily June, I will never forget the extraordinary flutters of your movements inside of me–the way you would tickle my tummy with your hiccups, your hilarious assault on daddy’s face when he leaned against my womb to hear you and you let out the full-force of your kicks against his cheek. For the extent of the middle part of your stay, you changed my body from a prison I was trapped in into a secret garden I felt privileged to tend.


That magic made the harsh snap back to reality that much harder to take when things started to go so wrong so quickly. The preeclampsia, the “failure to progress,” the resulting C-section: now my body was failing you when it was failing me. I spent the first weeks of your life looking down at my flabby flesh and my Cesarean scar and hating the ways it had let us both down, wanting to punish my body for being fallible, frail, the damaged shell of a person. But then, I was the one who had ignored it for so long, even when it was screaming to me that I needed help, that I had to cut back on stress and bad habits, that I had to open my eyes and be a human being.

I think it’s time, Lily, now that I want you to have a different relationship entirely to your physicality, that I (try to) make and keep the peace. And so, without further adieu, I’m going to interrupt your letter, Lily, to talk directly, for a minute, with my Body:

Body, I forgive you.

I forgive you for showing me, so violently, that you needed me to pay more attention to you. I forgive you for attacking healthy cells because you were as scared and confused as my mind during an overworked, overwhelmed time. I forgive you for alopecia. I forgive you for IC.

Body, I forgive for the whole host of problems during the pregnancy. Maybe at the end, you failed to be induced, your cervix failed to open, your contractions failed to progress the labor. But we didn’t fail to live through a very scary surgery together. And I didn’t fail to love my girl the second I heard her first cry as she was wrenched from you, my body. I didn’t fail to dress her in her first outfit, even when my elevated blood pressure gave you the shakes so bad it took me ten minutes to do so. Everything I do with and for Lily is another way we didn’t fail–I didn’t fail you, and you didn’t fail me.

Early on in the pregnancy, we were told Lily probably wouldn’t make it. But shedidn’t fail to survive, that little miracle. You kept her alive. So now, I won’t fail to survive, either. Like daughter, like mother.

Body, I forgive you the flesh and the fat and the stretchmarks and the scar. They were never flaws to begin with, and I’m sorry I saw them that way. Body, I will work on my mind–I will get the counseling I need to pull through the emotional pain I’m still feeling. I’m sorry I am still reeling in so many ways, but seeing how you react to stress, I will make strides. Body, I will get a hydrodistention procedure on the 23rd of this month to see if I can’t help that IC. I’m sorry I waited so long (almost 11 years!) without treatment.

I’m sorry it took me so long to say I’m sorry.

Here’s the secret I will say to you that is really as much for Lily: Body, you are beautiful. You have born Lily, and you have borne me through. You, Body, have done the best you could with what I’ve given you. And like I will with Lily, I’m going to try, from now on, to give you the moon.

I will quit smoking. I will start eating healthy (again). I will exercise more regularly. I will heal us. And I will beg you, in the meantime, to forgive me.


Picture Credits:

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When I first heard of  Isaac Newton  I really admired him. Such a remarkable man. Many achievements. His theories of motion really stuck with me throughout my life. Imagine being around when when he was just walking around, managing his own life and studies. Such a great thinker and philosopher. He rose above the average man but yet was also just an average man.He was among some of the world’s  early intellectuals that molded our future from their own consequences.

 Newton  discovered the third law of gravity which was, according to Wikipedia “The third law states that all forces exist in pairs: if one object A exerts a force FA on a second object B, then B simultaneously exerts a force FB onA, and the two forces are equal and opposite: FA = −FB. 

It sounds complicated doesn’t it. The third law means that all forces are  between different bodies, and thus that there is no such thing as a unidirectional force or a force that acts on only one body. This law is sometimes referred to as the action-reaction law, with FA called the “action” and FB the “reaction”. The action and the reaction are simultaneous, and it does not matter which is called the action and which is called reaction; both forces are part of a single interaction, and neither force exists without the other. 

When applying that to our own lives we often think of consequences. It’s all about consequences. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction right? That applies to us also. When we are supposed to do something or NOT supposed to do something there is always a reaction to our action. Whether it’s a good or bad reaction depends on the action we were supposed to take in the first place. When we are try ing to decide what to do, if it’s a good or positive feeling we get from making the decision then the result will more than likely be a good response or reaction. On the other hand, if we are unsure, doubting, not trusting our gut instincts (aka Holy Spirit) then more than likely the response will have darker consequences.

In my lifetime I have had to make many decision. They often were troubled choices wuth negative results. It was before I became a Born again Christian. My life was troubled quite often. Since I didn”t have good role models and had to figure things out on my own I made many mistakes. The result/reaction of poor decision making. I remember being so confused at times as to which way to go. I often asked God for help and felt myself floundering in a very dangerous world. I so wanted to be out of those circumstances. Grueling consequences which were reactions to my actions. Whether it was a verbal discussion, choice of friends, what kind of job, what should I do, blah blah blah it was more confusing and getting darker for me all the time,

Sinking lower into despair and getting desperate. Praying all the time, hurting, begging God for help and direction, and all there was was quiet and the fear. I was in a pit of desperate times and going nowhere fast. The emotional pain was awful, hard to endure.  My family wasn’t speaking to me, I had no one that understood or was willing to help or even just listen to me.There was a time I self medicated just to take the heaviness off my shoulders and heart even for a brief time. I drank and partied for a short time in my life. A very brief reprieve. It was just enough of a backslide into the dwelling place of the pitiful and downtrodden to get me to see that it wasn’t the place for me to be or my children. Trying so hard to take care of my two children when I had no real choices in our lifestyles.We were a welfare family. Having to make ends meet on the stipend we were getting. Welfare told me that since I had court orders for support against the children’s fathers that meant I was getting money even though I wasn’t getting anything from them at all.

I made one decision at a time to correct the heavy drama that was my life and slowly things lightened up. I’m not saying it happened overnight but it did happen. I was getting better and stronger. With each new decision I learned to look down the road for the consequences of the every single decision I was making. If I thought it was an iffy decision I would just take a stand, make a decision and live with my choice. Future consequences.

That brings me to the now. “Back in the day” as many of us call our past, I had made decisions that included not so savvy choices but I had to make them. At that time it was all I could do. I knew in my future I would have to face up to and deal with the consequences of those iffy choices. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be back in NY near my family. To rebuild our relationships.

Just like my building and having a relationship with Jesus I also have to do it with my family. They didn’t know about my Newton theory kind of life I had to lead. I think Jesus wanted me to see what kind of a person I was made of. How I could endure, struggle through, fight with and come out a better person. A person that is able to use my life experiences to teach and help others. Someone that understands the pain of consequences.

Are you sure you are tough enough? How much pain can you handle? What about the change that comes with crawling out of the pit of despair and into the light of Jesus Christ? Do you have the strength for that? Believe me, I’m no martyr but I am sure glad I came out on the winning side. I chose Jesus and haven’t looked back thinking that I made a wrong choice, I know I made the right one. In my heart of hearts I can feel it.  As Pastor Estell Keshock  would tell us all the time in SOS group, “Pick an H, Heaven or Hell” I picked Heaven. Which H are you picking?

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It seems we take so much for granted. As we get older we just figure that’s the way it is or it ought to be. I am so thankful when I wake up each morning. And hopeful that the day offers me enough time to continue making myself a better person. Extra time for forgiveness and to be forgiven. Time for healing inside and out. Time to know joy and redemption and time to be a blessing and not a burden to others. I see the beauty in trees, animals, the sky above and this earth we walk on. The bugs, the wind,and all the things that man thinks he has made. In reality God made it all. This is Gods green earth not ours. But I digress.

When I go about my day and  I find that I have a need for something, more food, another pair of shoes, a coat, things around the house or car I stop and talk to God about it. After all He is my Abba Father.

“God I know you know everything from beginning to end, and I know you know all my needs. I’m just reminding you God, my Abba Father because I know how busy you are with  other peoples needs and I’m sure they are much bigger than mine. But God I sure can use …. or ….” .  Whatever I ask for out of a TRUE need I receive. It’s about faith and trust that He will provide ALL my needs. I just have to open my eyes and I’ll see it. Oh, and I also need to accept the way the help or assistance comes.

As an example, I was putting on a pair of shoes that I had owned for about five years. I noticed the increased wear and tear and knew that I was going to need another pair. I usually try to get more than one pair whenever I do buy shoes or sneakers so if the one pair was worsening so were the others I use. Because I alternate their use. I can’t afford high end anything so whenever I get the opportunity I go to Walmart or some inexpensive store and buy a few  pairs because they are cheap, and I really dislike shoe shopping. I was just talking to God about the need for another pair of shoes. I didn’t think anymore about it. I didn’t have the money at the time anyway and like I said previously, I really do not like shoe shopping.

 I had received  a final check for being out on a medical leave. I was almost on empty in my car. After getting gas I had a few extra dollars left. That check I received was not expected, I’m very grateful. I was due to go to work the following week.

 I was driving past a shopping center when I suddenly decided to check out the new Goodwill donation thrift store that had opened up.

It was a snowy post blizzard day so the parking lot was empty. Going into the store and browsing around I noticed the shoe rack. On the shoe rack I found three pairs of well made brand new leather shoes in my size. Two pair were the same style, different colors and the third was a beautiful pair of tasseled leather loafers. I was absolutely amazed. I checked the prices with the clerk and the three pairs of shoes came to less than forty dollars. I had about forty three dollars left. The clerk asked me if I had the senior discount  key tag. “Let me check” I said. Sure enough not only did I get a discount for being a senior but also because of the day of the week I received another discount. Awesomeness!  God heard me He knew I needed shoes for when I returned to work. And He supplied my need. 

Since I am not particularly fussy about brand name, brand new off the shelf items or the latest fad the blessings were more discreet, on the quiet side you might say. At first I hardly noticed them.  God is such a gentleman. it dawned on me that most people would call them wishes or just plain luck. Not me, I know it’s God.

I like thrift stores, antiques, second hand items. To me they have a comfort-ability about them and sometimes it’s a great treasure hunt. Don’t get me wrong I like new things too but I don’t mind receiving used items. I try to take care of the things I own. Some things last me years. One day while going through an old photo album I saw a picture of myself in a shirt that I still owned. It was still in great shape too, no color fade or stretching out. I just cracked up laughing. I had to donate that shirt. It was a Disney shirt, baseball style. So comfortable and soft. Also about 15 years old. It was on clearance at the Disney store at Disney World in Orlando Florida when I went there to meet up with one of my sisters. I’m quite the saver. I remembered one of my good friends commented that she wanted the shirt when I was ready to give it up. So I finally, (big sigh) mailed it to her. She was very happy to receive it.

One night I was going through my pajama draw to get ready for bed. I looked at what I had and was thinking ‘ Geez Louise Mary, you’ve got to do something about your pajamas’. I love tee shirts and fleece or flannel pants and I was out looking in the discount stores to price them so I would have an idea of the cost. Making mental notes to self I just put the thoughts out of my head until I had been paid from my job after I returned to work.

A good friend of mine  often gives me donated items and clothes. She often tells me to take something if I need it for myself. and she often gives me bagfuls to bring with me when I go to the different places that I volunteer for. I usually separate the items into appropriate bags for their destinations.  Going through the bags I found a couple of pairs of pajamas. Very similar to what I was needing. I took them out and added the same amount of items from my own clothes to the bags. I have a personal policy that if I bring something into my home something else leaves. Helps keep clutter down. That’s on top of other things I donate.

So here I was looking at these pajamas and praising God for provision. I also thanked my friend, for her good works. God is an awesome God working through people, places and things.

I’m so glad my eyes are open to see so that upon seeing I am receiving. What a great feeling it is. The blessings are  all around us we just have to open our eyes. The blessing of a beautiful day, a child being born, the smile of a child, a field of flowers, a forest of trees If you need to learn how just call on Jesus, take a long deep breath, open your eyes and breathe out slowly. It’s all right there in front of you, now receive it.

Blessings to all, 


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 Both my parents died this past year three months apart. Mom died September 21, 2014 and Dad December 25, 2014. They’ve been divorced for years and remarried. Dealing with this loss I find myself wondering exactly what the legacy was that they left me. Absent father, cold distant mother, I find it difficult at times to put into feelings this grief of mine.

I can’t answer for anyone else in my family, we all experienced our lives within the family unit differently. I can’t remember my natural father ever being in the home. My Mom remarried when I was about eight or nine years old. I left home at the age of 18. I myself have been married three times. Divorced twice and widowed once.

I have definitely had my fill of heartbreak and heartache. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Wrong relationships, wrong thinking wrong choices, so many things were wrong. I had such difficulty at times making a decision about important things. Then unimportant things.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘Geez Mary just make a decision and stick with it, good or bad’. So much confusion set in. I had no parents to guide me, the people around me were not what you would call wholesome and healthy. I was very naive and I had two young children to take care of.

I made a LOT of bad choices. But what did I do? I hoped and prayed that the choices I  made were good ones, if not I hoped the consequences were ones I could live with at the present time and in the future.

I can tell you now that some of the consequences I have lived with are hard to deal with at times. My family had no idea what I had to do to survive, how we lived, or where we lived. Or the shame and loneliness. Alone in everything I did, every aspect of my life.

The dysfunction in my life was beginning to take its toll. By the time I was a widow at the age of 30 I was exhausted from being surrounded by the constant downward spiral of my life. I kept thinking, ‘Why me God, I was a good kid, I didn’t hurt anyone why am I getting hurt all the time?

‘ I made a conscious effort to try to change my life, it was difficult. The past always wants to suck me back into its dark abyss. I thought of my children, what was I teaching them,  in what ways would they remember me? Then it was all taken from my hands, not in my control anymore. I had a major life changing event happen to me my by a family member. I couldn’t stay around here any longer. I had to go, leave New York and head south to Florida. I moved my 18 year old son in with his father (he had an upstairs apartment). I took my youngest and moved.

I was trying to change inherent events. I refused to think that my children, the loves of my life were going to be cursed like I was. I wanted better for them, much better. The transition was extremely hard, I know my children didn’t understand why I had to do what I did. I often think of my own Mom when she remarried and we moved out from New York City to the suburbs of Long Island. Different motives, much different lives. What was I leaving my children? I had no money just a house. When I owned a house in Florida I wanted to leave it to my children, they refused, ” we don’t want anything Mom”. I became a nurse, bettering myself hoping my family would be proud of me. I know I was proud of me. It helped me mature in intellect and compassion. I am alive today because I changed. I know without  having prayed I might have become a hard bitter woman.

I know that God places us in situations, good, bad or indifferent because its His choice for us not our choice, The way we come through all the situations we go through is what matters. People see what  we’ve become and how we got there.

I know that when God put me in duress in Florida my life changed again dramatically. My legacy changed with it. We think we just live our lives la te da but there is a plan. Gods legacy.

[I went from all that struggle my entire life to a much more peaceful easy  fulfilled life. I really like myself much more now. The legacy I leave will be one of forgiveness, peace, and freedom from the bondage of the past. 


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Holiday greetings to all. I just wanted to do a quick follow up on an earlier blog post about cleaning up my neighborhood.

I have been diligently picking up trash along the path in my neighborhood that my dog and I take. Sometimes it’s large bags of trash, cans, bottles and whatever is man made and in my reach. That included under the high tension wires where we walk often.

My daughter in law was throwing out some potted Chrysanthemums that were still appearing viable. So  I literally took them from my trash cans put them in my minivan and drove them around the corner to the front part of the high tension wires. I planted them in the woodsy area to the side of the property, near the road.

Feeling that I did a good deed, I even brought them a little water said a little rain prayer for them and went on my usual routine. Yes it rained, God is so awesome! But shortly thereafter, walking my dog again I came upon one of the  neighbors that live next to this area, pulling rake fulls of fallen leaves over from his yard to the front side of this area.

He jokingly said to me “want some free leaves?”. I responded, “no thanks, but aren’t you dumping?” “No, it’s biodegradable it’s not considered dumping”. I responded, “sure in about five years”, then I added, “everything is biodegradable given enough time”. He was not happy with my response. If it’s true  that the leaves are biodegradable then he should have kept them as mulch in his own yard.

Two weeks later, I’m walking my dog under the high tension wires and I hear a lawn tractor. I was searching for pine cones for a craft. The lawn tractor was of the type that it had a big square collection container on the back of it. It seems this is the next door neighbor of the first man I spoke with. He knew the place well and went to his favorite dumping spot.

I don’t get it, he went all that way, had state of the art equipment and chose not to bag it up while he had it contained and mulched. What’s with these people?

As if that’s not bad enough, when I left that area walking towards my home with my dog, I saw a neighbor outside raking and bagging his leaves. I went up to thank him and tell him it was so good of him to do that. I told him about the other neighbors up the street. He responded what’s wrong with that?”. I said ” but it’s private property”. “So, I don’t see anything wrong with it, I’m thinking of cutting down this tree because I’m sick of raking”.

It’s the only tree on his property and it gives him some shade in the summer and because of its size and placement near the corner it stops people from cutting across his property ( he has a corner house). He said, “I’ll put a big rock there”.

Let me repeat myself, I don’t get it. I reminded him that he lived on Long Island, not New York City where it’s all concrete and that’s why he chose to live in the suburbs. He just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. “Have a nice I said”, as I walked in the opposite direction.

This is God’s green Earth. His beautiful wonderful Earth. In six days God created with all His power this especially wonderful planet.

Most of Mankind is stripping away the beauty and wonder and leaving behind its filth, coldness, death and decay. I thought I could make a difference picking up the trash and trying to beautify the area a little bit. How does a single person do that? Make a huge difference? Only God can help with that.

I’m still going to plant seeds in the spring, who know’s maybe the neighbors got convicted in the Spirit.

Blessings to all.

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Today after listening to my favorite  television Bible teachers  this question came into my mind, “How many times do you have to lose everything before you figure it all out? Just what is it going to take? How high is your tolerance for pain, your blindness, your denial or your stubbornness?

I know in the past mine was pretty high, actually it was extremely high. I could handle anything. I could take care of it myself. I have a plan for my life. I can see clearly my goals and aspirations. I am independent and I don’t need anyone to help me. I can do it myself.

Get my point yet? I was cruising along struggling to get by, taking care of my house, yard, truck, health, faith, and it took awhile.  I thought I had it all figured out, independent and determined to succeed. “I” had no idea that “I” was not in control of my destiny.

It was all “I”, “I”, “I”, see where this is going? Like Humpty Dumpty “I” was getting ready for a great fall.

 In retrospect there was no way of knowing that God was going to intercede in my life in a grand way. Having mentioned this in previous blogs, about my losing everything, house, independence, my goals and aspirations and basically whom “I” was at the time, I am now a new person. Actually I lose myself everyday. Then with the new day I become a new person, and that happens everyday.

I often give things away that were given to me to pass on to others. I have seen God work through me and in the other people that are now part of my life.  Always being a giving person offering to help others I found that to be my ministry of sorts.

Actually I’m not even positive it’s a ministry for me. It just really happened, it became something I do often. God made me good at scrounging around for myself since money and food were in short supply. So I became better at what I was always good at.When I think of all “I” have been through and the exciting paths that are before me now, I have anticipation for the new adventures.

Starting over for me before I found Christ was always something difficult, a chore, looking for food, shelter, jobs and new friends. Now since I don’t have to worry about that at all, it has increased my blessings. Increased them so much that I have an over abundance to share with others. Before it was about me, myself and I. How was I going to make it? Can I get a job? What about a place to live? And food? Sure, I still get desires for worldly goods. Recently I was beginning to be concerned about getting new pants for work. I had to stop myself from thinking over and over how was I going to get them. New clothes are not in my budget at all I remember saying to myself, “o.k, enough of that, God will take care of me, God IS taking care of me, it’ll be alright”. That same day, a woman friend I volunteer with at the Monday Soup Kitchen came to me with a clothes hanger covered in dry cleaner plastic and said to me, “Mary these are three brand new pairs of pants do you want them? Wow, blew me away. God that was quick. Isn’t He awesome?

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great place to live, a full refrigerator and freezer. BUT GOD did that for me. I don’t struggle now like I did before I found Jesus. I used to really worry about how I was going to make it. I lost everything in my life a few times and had to start over. When I look back at my life I can see that I did make it after all. He found me. He saved me. It’s probably hard for the non believer to accept but once they do, it’s an awesome experience. I am free.

Now that Jesus is in control and taking care of me, there’s nothing for me to worry about. Because if I make it all about Him there’s nothing ever to worry about.

Thank you Jesus for finding me a lost sheep. thank you Jesus for forgiving me. Thank you Jesus for dying on the Cross and taking on the sins of the world.


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These  four little words are so profound. So deep. So thought provoking and even disturbing.

What have I become?

I even have difficulty writing about it. I have been so many things. Child, sister, mother, wife, friend, co worker, neighbor, statistic. I looked up the definitions of  “I, Have and Become” Posted below.


I  is the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun in Modern English. It is used to refer to one’s self and is capitalized, although other pronouns, such as he or she, are not capitalized.


1have verb \ˈhav, (h)əv, v; in “have to” meaning “must” usually ˈhaf\
had hav·ing has

a : to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement  <I have my rights>
b : to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal
c : to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole
: to feel obligation in regard to
: to stand in a certain relationship to
a : to acquire or get possession of : obtain <these shoes are the best to be had>
b : receive <had news>
c : accept; specifically : to accept in marriage,



be·come verb \bi-ˈkəm, bē-\
: to begin to be or come to be something specified : to begin to have a specified quality

: to look attractive on (someone) : to be flattering to (someone)

a : to come into existence
b : to come to be <become sick>
: to undergo change or development
: to be suitable to
— become of
: to happen to


We get accustomed to using words loosely. We take them for granted the power in words and behind them. There were so many things “I had to have”, “had to become”, and the things I “became”. I struggled and fought for it all. To be, to become like everyone else. I was so ignorant, and wrong, I was fooled into believing I needed to become what others wanted me to become. To become what I thought I should become. Jesus taught me to put away that thinking. To trust the Holy Spirit, not the body, mind or world.

I was all those things mentioned and more. Those were were only the good words, the ones everyone is used to hearing. They say a lot but then again much is left out. When I was a child I did childish immature things, as a sister I was the one to do most of the work because I was the eldest. Taking on the inexperience and lack of love from parents I struggled to love and care for my siblings. As a wife I loved and  tolerated much. As a friend I loved and extended myself outward to others, giving the honest me. As a co worker I loved my jobs even though I didn’t want to. I offered my friendship honestly at work and outside of work. As a neighbor, I tried loving them, mostly if my friendship and outstretched hand was rejected I pulled back. I kept to myself. Always willing to help but hesitating, watching and waiting.I was and I am a statistic. That’s the way the world looks at me. Born, living, dead, tracked though out life, a statistic (that will be another story)

But there’s more:

I was a sinner also. I went my way listening to everything, watching everything, hearing and learning about how I should live in this world. What society expects of me. How I “should” do this or “must ” do that.

My thinking started out pure, clean and open, wanting to learn, to be part of, to do the right thing. Doing what others do, liking what they like, eating and drinking the same foodstuffs.

Geez Louise. “what have I become”? I cry whenever I think about it. I’m older now and so much time has gone by. I think, if only I knew then what I should look for, look up to, live for, believe in, if only I knew.

I was saved almost five years ago. I have been fast tracking as a Christian. I’m so hungry for the Lord. Knowing how much time is behind me and not knowing the time in front of me I want to BECOME more Christ like . Learn my lessons quickly, force Satan out of my life, my memories, my everything. Push onward, be a blessing, give blessings. Make myself conform to the right thing. Yes it’s hard and painful, I still hurt and cry and carry on.

I ask the Lord, “Why did it take so long for me to find you”? He reminds me that I needed all those lessons to BECOME what He wants me to become.

He saved me for the time which is now. I am a Warrior Bride for Christ.

 Thank you Jesus. Praise Him Always.

What have YOU Become?





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It’s not my job, I didn’t do it! So what!  When speaking with some people regarding litter/trash along the roads that’s some of the words I have heard, among others. Attitudes regarding polluting God’s Earth, the beautiful home he gave us to live on, planet Earth. How dare we desecrate it.

The beauty of the land, waters and sky is just too much to all take in and describe with the reverence it deserves. We are so fortunate and so often it’s taken for granted.

I walk my dog every day along the road and then I go under the high tension wires near my house. Walking under the wires there’s an open grassy area that keeps my dog and I safe from the road traffic. There are also scrub trees and overgrown bushes and weeds along the sides of the utility property. It is fenced and does have plenty of poison ivy growing under the overgrown bushes. It’s not a bad place. I’ve seen stray cats, squirrels, field mice and rabbits. It’s sort of a little sanctuary for the animals. Occasionally the utility company comes and mows the tall grass and clears the weeds and vines from the mini power station. My dog and I love it, except when the local neighbors dump their yard trash there.

It’s bad enough that the roads are littered. People throwing garbage out the car windows because they don’t want to mess up their car, overturned garbage cans not completely cleaned up,  and pedestrians throwing their trash on the ground because they don’t want to carry it to a garbage can. So I have decided to be bold, to take the initiative to show that one person can make a difference.

I’m taking back my neighborhood. I’m making sure the entrances to the power line areas stay closed to the public (as much as I can), and I’m bending down and picking up the trash. I carry an extra plastic bag with me so I can do that. I do it in front of drivers, pedestrians and neighbors. I don’t care how I look doing that or who I do it in front of.

Hopefully the neighbors will get on board and be bold and not let anyone dirty their community. After all we live here, we need to protect our neighborhood, we need to look out for each other and our environment. Just because a lot of people here recycle, it’s not enough.

Be bold people! Bend down pick it up, speak up, take notice,take action, make your space and your neighborhood a pleasant place to be in.You too can make a difference.

By Merrian Webster definition;


noun \ˈgär-bij\

: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown out

: a container where people put things that are being thrown out

: something that is worthless, unimportant, or of poor quality

According to Wikipedia:

Litter: consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location:Trash may refer to: In garbage: Municipal solid waste, unwanted or undesired waste material; Litter

Trash may refer to: In garbage: Municipal solid waste, unwanted or undesired waste material; Litter

I think if I’m able to  I’ll use my old flower and vegetable seeds and sow them into the bush area and along side of the roads next spring so the animals, and maybe some people too, can appreciate the flowers and vegetables that just might happen to “show up” there.



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I am so sorry for the long gap in posting. I had many things going on. Working, packing to move, going to church, bible study, volunteering, brief social visits, doctor visits, well you get the picture. I was busy. Too busy, something I really don’t like to be anymore. I promised myself that since I moved back to New York from Florida I would not let myself get stressed and pressed. It almost happened, praise the Lord I think I caught it in time.

Then after I moved, I thought “aha” I’ve got a better handle on it and voila! It happened again. Since I was closer to work but further from the places I volunteered at and worshiped at, I had to adjust my schedule, and my gas allowance. I also see more doctors now. You have got to know that it’s just the way it is, as we get older that’s what happens. Wear and tear. All the times when we should have been taking care of ourselves were spent in postponement of self obligation. Either we thought getting old was never going to happen to us, we didn’t have the money or insurance, the transportation to and from, the doctor always gets me upset mindset, or being too proud to go to the doctors for only God knows why, we still need to do our routine maintenance and checkups. I have always tried to the best of my ability to take care of myself. Oh, I wasn’t  an athlete or superstar just a regular hard working person. I finally got medical insurance so now I can work on my physical self.

But my emotional self obviously needed more work. I did have a problem with rewarding myself for things well done. Whether it was a job well done, an accomplishment of a long term/short term goal, a friend in town or socializing with my friends kind of reward, it was a food reward. Years ago, I punished myself with food, I thought I was ugly, not good enough, always apologizing for something I had no control over, or my inability to deal with my life circumstances. My life was difficult in the past, praise the Lord that’s all behind me now.

When I realized that I hid behind food, that I punished myself with food, I was comforted by food, and that I had used food like many people use alcohol or drugs. I had an awakening. I thought I had it all figured out. But now for the flip side, I reward myself. Instead of telling myself, that the extra lunch money can go into an account I allowed myself to be blindsided and lost control. Going out to eat used to be part of my entertainment too. I would go out to eat and then the movies. Normal right? Except at the movies I had a large buttered popcorn, no drink or candy usually. Just water.

Geez Louise! I thought about this today as I sat at my favorite Chinese Restaurant, a buffet restaurant. Getting my usual two plates, one with meat and veggies the other with fish and seafood, I sat down to eat. Quietly by myself which is the norm for me since I left Florida. Sure I go out once in a while with my good friends but when they’re not around I take myself out.

While sitting there, eating, drinking my hot tea, watching others, I noticed most people, not all the people but most of them are obese. Now I’m overweight, not enough to require surgical intervention but I couldn’t help wondering about the sin of Gluttony. I have also noticed this at my chiropractors office. Most people that come in are overweight and out of shape out of shape. Interesting terminology, “out of shape”. As if we take on a new form, a disfigured self. I noticed that about myself. I looked bloated and puffy, my skin felt different, my body ached more.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary it’s:

Excessive eating or drinking, excessive overindulgence        

According to (Ed Tarkowski) : 

It is a result of lawlessness where gluttony, rebellion, disobedience and the like just walk in and take over. Gluttony contributes to lawlessness because gluttony is excess, and that excess indulges the self and leads to a lack of self-control. The time or activity that one spends glutting himself takes away time from other things, and brings forth a life of irresponsibility. In order to justify the time spent on whatever consumes him, the glutton can’t be wrong because that might infringe on the freedom to do what he wants. Therefore, when things go awry, everyone else is responsible for the problems. The glutton has to fill himself with what he wants to do to satisfy self, and this is usually done at the expense of others.

Well, THAT was an eye opener. I’ve been working on my humility and disobedience and low and behold I read this. Yep, it’s true for me, what about you? How about this one?

The chief error about Gluttony is to think it only pertains to food. Some people can’t have enough toys, television, entertainment, sex, or company. It is about an excess of anything. There are at least three forms of Gluttony:

  1. Wanting more pleasure from something than it was made for.
  2. Wanting it exactly our way (delicacy).
  3. Demanding too much from people (excessive desire for other people’s time or presence)

Geez Louise, I had no idea. I need to reel myself in and ask God to help me on this one. It’s more involved than just overeating and spoiling myself. I surely don’t want to be disobedient or stalk anyone. I’m trusting God and having more faith. I need strength, His strength. Help me Father.

 This sin is insidious, I need to pay more attention. There are many twists and turns on the way to Heavens gate. Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes once again.

Here’s some more resources on one of the Seven Deadly Sins:

The Holy Bible



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Lately Lord I have noticed more aggression around me. Driving on a well known main road near my home, on my way to work, the store, church, laundromat or going to my sons house there are just so many people pushing past me. I’m already doing a little over the speed limit as it is. Drivers that should yield when they are in a yield lane zoom past just to get in front of you. It doesn’t matter that some of them are passing down the middle medium where no passing is permitted. I have seen them pass in the middle, on the shoulders, good weather, rainstorms and blizzards. No regard for others, no regard for life, theirs or anyone else’s. Look at the slideshow. Do they look happy, joyful or contented? They look like they want someone to pay, one way or another they wll vent their anger and pain.

Customers in stores demand a discount or want to return a well worn or broken item, whether or not they have the coupon or requirements met or not. They harass and raise their voices to get their way. Or, they yell out, “get me the manager”. So  the manager will come and give them what they want because of wanting to give good customer service. Instead of making people accountable for their actions and behaviors we cave in. We are bullied in stores, in doctors offices, by insurance companies, government agencies,  just about everywhere.  

What is happening to us? What are we becoming?  There is anger everywhere, in music, movies, schools, homes, everywhere. We need to take a stand. I personally don’t want  to become like my enemy, you know who I mean, satan, the evil and nasty one. I want to be like Jesus. Goodness, peace, serenity, light.

Ever since they took prayer out of school, restricted parents from discipling their own children, restricted teachers and police offers from correcting our children and being so called politically correct, I have noticed a decline, a decay, a rot setting in. Bullies do what they do because no one stands up to them out of fear of reprisal/repercussion. Living in fear is not of God. It is of the darkness, the evil one, the liar. Bring light to the darkness, do what’s right. Bullies are in pain, have low self esteem , low self worth. They look to be idolized and worshipped. Look at me, I’m bigger, faster, better, stronger, meaner, tougher, louder, smarter, richer, more clever than you are. They’re also lonely, heart broken, love starved, sad and frightened.

Before we were saved by Jesus we were the same. Broken-hearted, helpless, crying out in our own ways.  So my suggestion is to offer these kind words to make a difference. ” I’m sorry if you thought I offended you. Please go ahead of me. Let me get the door for you. May I pray for you? Jesus loves us just the way we are”.

 If we offer kindness as if Jesus was actually standing there with us, then it makes it easier. Remember the Holy Spirit is with us once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we set the example, speak softly, kindly, without malice or hostility, use encouraging words and forgiveness (turning the other cheek) we ourselves grow more in Christ. So when someone refuses to yield, I do. When someone wants to raise their voice at me and argue and harass, I lower my voice and try to be nicer. When governmental clerks try to make me accept unacceptable doctrine, I gently remind them that I  am a grown up citizen and I don’t work for them.

Take a stand, Stand up for Jesus, for yourself, your country, your life and for your future generations.  Remember we are children of God, we have royal blood in our veins. We have Abba Father. Let them know they can have Him too.

Blessings, Mary 


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