Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Start of a New Year and Decade...


Many people make resolutions. I don't, because I don't keep them, instead I have goals. Today when I was reading my AA Daily Reflections book I found the following:

"December 31
Daily Resolutions

The idea of "twenty-four-hour living" applies primarily to the emotional life of the individual. Emotionally speaking, we must not live in yesterday or tomorrow. ~As Bill Sees It, p. 284~

A New Year: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes--a time to consider directions, goals, and actions. I must make some plans to live a normal life, but also I must live emotionally within a twent-four-hour frame, for if I do, I don't have to make New Year's resolutions! I can make every day a New Year's day! I can decide, "Today I will do this .... Today I will do that." Each day I can measure my life by trying to do a little better, by deciding to follow God's will and by making an effort to put the principles of our A.A. program into action."

Today in a continuing effort to find solutions to my eating disorder, I joined a gym. My therapist suggested it, since I have requested a lap band from my doctor. Well, it's a long process and the insurance company wants the patient to try a weight loss program first. My therapist also gave me other "action plan actions" to accomplish. I have completed most of them or are in the process of doing the other suggestions.

Here's the thing about me joining this gym. It was more expensive then I could afford today. Earlier today, I passed a homeless man and gave him $5.00. Not much, but I'm sure he appreciated it. When I went to the gym, the guy I was talking to realized that I was very serious about my committment to improve my health - it's not just about the weight loss - so he talked to the gym manager. Here's what they did for me: gave me a free month so I could start working on my health goals, and let me decide further down the line about doing the personal trainer program. This company (Gold's) is a heavy duty goal-oriented gym and they even have nutritional counseling.

Sunday, I will start a walking program I discovered online and I will go to the gym for my initial workout, where a trainer develops one for me that will help me. I can also use the facility in downtown LA where they have a swimming pool, which was what my therapist wanted me to find. By going to this gym, I don't have to join a program like WW. It's included in my membership.

I feel good about this coming year. I know it will be a healthier one for me. God continues to bless me.

Michelle Rose

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Digging Out


Yeah, this is how I feel sometimes...and it's not a very good feeling. I don't feel tht way now.

I woke up this morning feeling very angry and somewhat depressed because of certain things that keep happening. So, on this nice, rainy day, I decided to get some of my "Action Plan" goals accomplished.

First, I found an acupunturist a few blocks from me and will call to make an appointment when I'm sure I have the money for the session.

I started a food diary - which as far as I'm concerned is a pain in the hiney. It actually makes me focus more on food, rather than forget about it, but my therapist suggested it, so I'm following what she said.

Then, I looked in to finding the book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David A. Kessler, MD, since it was such a good book and helped me with the methods and psychology behind compulsive overeating. I also got a couple books out of the library yesterday on the subject. One is a workbook.

Another thing I did was sign up for some events for the Pasadena Humane Society's Mobile Adoption Unit.

Last, I cooked a very good dinner - a fried rice recipe (not overly fried, since I cooked the rice first), that has tofu, pineapple, peas&carrots, garlic, and (delicious) ginger in it. I am starting to look for more and more vegan recipes, so that I don't always eat the same things. I've found some excellent ones online.

Tomorrow, I get paid, so I will go to the bank and go out and do some tasks I need to get done, one being going to the gym to check on membership plans. I don't exercise, but spend all day (sometimes) on the computer. Not very good for me either physically or emotionally.

Yes, I know this is typical of everyone to start doing goals at the beginning of the year, but when I talked to my therapist yesterday, she told me that all these things, plus joining a weight loss program (I'm having trouble finding one I don't hate and can afford) is part of the process of getting a lapband to help me lose weight. They want to know that I tried everything I could to lose weight. I'm not just losing weight because I want to be thinner - I started at the beginning of this year doing it for health reasons - lower cholesterol, avoiding a heart attack and developing diabetes. The weight loss is a side benefit. If I develope one of these conditions or die, it won't matter what I weigh.

Now, I'm going to join my cat and watch some tv and then go to bed.

Michelle Rose

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



Everyone has phobias - fear of something. I have them, although some I've conquered or grown out of.

These are fears that I've never had, since I love animals, cats/dogs, and poetry:
Ailurophobia- Fear of cats.
Elurophobia- Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia)
Felinophobia- Fear of cats. (Ailurophobia, Elurophobia, Galeophobia, Gatophobia)
Zoophobia- Fear of animals.
Metrophobia- Fear or hatred of poetry.

These fears I still have, for instance, I won't get a closed MRI, only an open one. And if a bus or train is too crowded, I'll wait for the next one.
Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.
Stenophobia- Fear of narrow things or places.

These phobias, I had when I was younger. I was terrified of bees and wasps, since I'd been stung by wasps as a child. I've overcome my fear of both of them. I've also overcome my fear to dentists, but it's still not my favorite place to go. As far as darkness, when I was very young, my room in one of the houses we lived in was at the end of a dark hall. I was terrified to walk to it - I always ran, but now I find rooms with low or no light soothing, simply because I know God is always with me.
I'm not in school anymore, but I had an extremely high test anxiety - even when I was allowed to take tests in a quiet room away from the classes I took.
Apiphobia- Fear of bees.
Spheksophobia- Fear of wasps.
Dentophobia- Fear of dentists.
Lygophobia- Fear of darkness.
Achluophobia- Fear of darkness.
Myctophobia- Fear of darkness.
Testophobia- Fear of taking tests.

Ok, these I'm still working on. The fear of ridicule comes from many experiences as a child and an adult. I always fear gaining weight, but have a long way to go before I can stop fearing it - or I'm not sure I ever will. Fear of staying single - I move back and forth between being glad and feeling different because I am.
Anuptaphobia- Fear of staying single.
Katagelophobia- Fear of ridicule.
Obesophobia- Fear of gaining weight.(Pocrescophobia)

This has happened so many times, that I'm not sure I fear it or expect it.
Athazagoraphobia- Fear of being forgotten or ignored or forgetting.

This phobia is a new one, due to some recent experiences. I have a plan for what I'll do to stop the fear, but I still have to put it into action, so I'd rather not say what it is. Sometimes that's why I enjoy being alone with Sasha. She loves me just as I am (like God), no matter what I do.
Laliophobia or Lalophobia- Fear of speaking.

Guess this is just something I needed to get out...

Michelle Rose

Friday, December 25, 2009

In the True Spirit of Christmas


The real reason for Christmas!

A Hymn of the Nativity

Welcome all wonders in one sight
Eternity shut in a span
Summer in winter
Day in night
Heaven in earth and God in man.

Great little one whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to Heaven
Stoops Heaven to earth.

Richard Crashaw Source: from "A Hymn of the Nativity, sung by the Shepherds," in The
Complete Works of Richard Crashaw, ed. by William Turnbull

This beautiful song was sent to me by a friend. It encompasses everything about this season and this Holy-day in a few short lines. When I read it, the words blew me away. The emotion I feel because of the meaning within them is indescribable.

He is Jesus, born in this season. He is Jesus: our Saviour, friend, healer, love, protection and whatever we need from Him. He is Jesus: the Almighty - God in three persons - the Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

He is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. Sent to earth as a tiny helpless baby and knowing the temptations and all that we feel as humans. He is Jesus, born to die to save us from our sins.

Bless all of you, my friends. Merry Christmas.

Michelle Rose

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Doing for Me


Merry Christmas...from a beautiful kitty... image

For the most part, I am an independent person, doing things for myself. Sometimes, like today, I give myself over to someone else's care. I treated myself to a massage. My neighbors, my former landlady and her family, own a massage spa. For many years I've been wanting to do this, but allowed someone to talk me out of it. No more. It was such a wonderful experience and I came out of the spa feeling so relaxed and renewed. I still hurt from my fibro, but knots that I had in some areas of my body are now more relaxed and I have less pain. I've had other massages, but never one like this. I was massaged from head to toe. The masseuse's touch was firm but tender. And I know that when I have the money, I am going back for another massage.

One of my friends makes it a regular habit to get a pedicure. It's something she does for herself. Other friends make time for the gym or yoga. For too many years, I have done social activities, but I can't remember when I did an activity just for me. I used to call them "me" days. They were days when I would plan something for the whole day - a trip to the Zoo, the museum, or something I'd been wanting to do but hadn't done it.

I'm not sure when I stopped seeing myself as worthy of being good to myself, but through the years when I was experiencing extraordinary stress, I rarely did anything like this. It's strange, because during those times I needed things like this the most, but never had the money to do them. Now, it's not to say that I didn't do things. I learned that if I volunteer for places, like the Humane Society, I not only have fun with animals, I get into many activities free.

If God stopped treating me as a loved child, I wouldn't think much of Him, would I? So, even with the lack of money, it's hard to understand why I'd treat His creation - me - that way.

Michelle Rose

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Those %#%@#^#^ Annoying Email


Ok, walk along this fence to a place where chain email disappears. ;-)

photobucket image - bokeh

Ok, this is going to sound a little angry, but it's a "rant" I need to air.

I get them all the time, those email that say "Send this out to 20 people in the next 10 minutes and something amazing will happen to you." I have to scroll down past tons of addresses to see the actual message. Sometimes I send them on because I like the message and think my friends will enjoy them, too. But I've gotten a bit rebellious in not being guilted into sending them on or by forwarding them. I delete all the email addresses. Yes, it is a pain in the hiney to delete them, but I backspace to do it. And, when I send out an email to my friends, I hit reply and send it to one person in the "to" box and then blind copy the rest.

Often, I've deleted them, just because I get tired of the dire consequences they predict if I don't. OH LOOK! I'm still here. I don't mean to insult any of my friends who sends me these email, as I do enjoy them for the most part. Of course, I get in the habit of sending these annoying chain email, too, but I do my best not to make a constant practice of it. Also, I mention in the email I send, there's no stipulation for sending them on. And most times it's not the email content itself that I mind, but the "guilt" message it contains.

When I sent one to my friends, I only picked a few, and delete all the time limits and consequences of not sending the email to anyone else. I want my friends to enjoy what I send, knowing that I sent it to them because I care for them, not them sending the email to countless millions of people.

Well, I guess chain mail has been around for a long time. At least with email, it doesn't cost postage, like it once did. ;-)

Those %#%@#^#^ Annoying Email

Caging a Green-eyed Monster


Image from

Like many people, I go through life with an assortment of mythical animals and monsters perched on and looking over my shoulders. The one that produced the widest variety of raging emotions was the green-eyed monster. It appeared and dugs its claws into my heart when I had the least or lost what I hadn't wanted to give up. You know the one I'm talking about - jealousy. It produced anger, rage, sadness, depression, and a host of other negative emotions and feelings that ripped me up inside and I didn't know how to put back in its cage. I fueled the beast's nastiness within me by looking outside myself at what others had and I didn't. Oh, it just loved to make mincemeat of me, shredding my emotions to the point where I didn't care about life or what I did have. And the strange part is that I wasn't angry at the monster, I was angry at God. I whined and moaned, "Why don't I have this (thing or person) in my life? Why do you have to put me through such a difficult time when that evil person is coasting through life?" I was almost turning myself inside out with jealousy.

I don't know when I began to fuel this emotion less, by looking at what others had and being genuinely happy for them. I also looked at what I had and was truly grateful for God showing His blessings and love on me. Like so many negative emotions, jealousy does nothing to build me up, but happiness for another person's blessings, blesses me and the other person.

Well, sounds a bit strange, doesn't it? How can I be happy for someone who has something I want but don't have. That's the way caging the green-eyed monster works. It's how God wants us to feel toward others. I believe that when the Jews were wandering through the desert for over 40 years, they looked at what they didn't have. They were jealous of those who had homes, water, crops... Did God immediately give them these things? No, but he got very angry at them. God looks at my attitude toward others, whether I'm blessed by others' blessings.

So, while the green-eyed monster shows his face occasionally, I don't buy into his game. Or another way of saying it is that I don't co-sign his baloney. One of my friends calls her ex-boyfriend a "lying sack of baloney," but isn't that what the evil one is, disguised as an emotion?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Missing the step up on the curb...


The kind of work my Amazing God creates

Photobucket macro image by John_Armstrong

Today when I was on my way to the doctor, the van I was in stopped for some pedestrians to cross the street. One of the pedestrians was a father with a small son. The child was quite interested in everything around him and didn't appear to lift his foot up when he came to the curb. I didn't see what happened, but the child might have tripped.

I thought about what happens when I take my eyes and focus off Jesus. My life becomes a bit less peaceful. I don't handle things that go wrong as well. I pay attention to what leads me away from His voice and love. And I feel downright miserable. As it was, I was not feeling well to day - I was just in pain from hurting my back again and felt quite out of it all day. Still, I wanted to write the lessons I learned today.

In my Father's eyes, I am His child. He's always there to guide me. Even though I'm an adult, my mother told me (when she was alive) that I would always be her child. I knew it was true. And no matter how old I get, I will always be God's child. So, if I keep my eyes on Jesus, my Saviour, I remember to pick my feet up when I get to the curb.

Michelle Rose

Monday, December 14, 2009

Leaving the Junkyard


And...this is the way God loves us...

photobucket image by MarcieLee

As I walk to and from the bus stop on my way to and from work, I see furniture that people have thrown out. Most of this furniture is not the best - it's the kind made from particle board, rather than real wood. Now, there's nothing wrong with picking up other peoples' discards - some very good furniture and other items can be acquired this way. It's just that for many years, I never felt myself worthy of new and better items, nor could I afford them. I picked furniture, clothes, all kinds of items off the street, some of which was in questionable condition.

Tonight, when I was walking home from work, I realized something about my doing this, how I saw myself, and how I'd changed. Being overweight and without a relationship, I've often seen myself as less than a quality person. I've always said that God loves me because I know He doesn't make junk. But that's exactly what I allow myself to feel like. The feeling comes and goes. I've changed in that I don't allow myself to stay in the "junk" yard very long. Yes, I had a bad day yesterday, but today my disposition is sunny and cheerful.

I'm God's child and I love myself just as He does, only not as perfectly. The fact that I'm not perfect means I allow these feelings to come into my mind. At one point they dominated my thinking and I stayed depressed for days, weeks, and even months. To Jesus, I'm perfect just the way I am and He sees me that way, even if I don't.

I am blessed by so many people, events, and situations. Yet, it never fails to amaze me just how much Jesus loves me and how He continues to bless me, most times when I least expect it. Jesus called everyone to come to share his burden and that He would give them rest. That's exactly what He's done with my attitude about myself. I keep returning to Jesus, who changes me with His blessings. Many people say they don't believe in miracles, but how can I not believe when I am one?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missing Blessings

Photobucket image by louisemary08 - a bokeh

I'm not feeling in my best mood today. In fact, I'm really feeling down. I'm lonely and I hate feeling that way, especially around this time of year (or anytime for that matter, but especially around the year end holidays). Yes, I can go out and be with people. That's nice, but I still come home to an apartment without another human being here. Of course, I know having someone in your life doesn't necesarily make life all peaches and stuff, but still having the option is sure nice. There are relationships where one person or the other abuses the partner in some manner.

I could have gone to a pot luck at one of the poetry readings. And, I can go to a poetry reading tonight. However, when I get in these moods, I just feel even lonelier when I'm with people. I'd really love to dive into a tub of Extreme Moose Tracks ice cream, but I know I won't do that.

Yesterday, when I was waiting at the bus stop, in the pouring rain, a young couple came to stand there and wait for the bus, too. This young woman complained about all kinds of things about her boyfriend. He'd just spent $500 on her and she was whining that he didn't buy her an iPod when she wanted it. He kept telling her he would buy one for her later on and didn't she have this thing or that thing? But no, she didn't want to hear it. I told her anytime she didn't want a nice guy, which is what he appeared to be and one that treated her well, I would take him (of course, they were young enough to be my children) ;-) I told her that I had to do and buy everything myself. Personally, I wanted to take this little brat over my knee and spank her. Naturally, I didn't do that.

It isn't that I'm not grateful for what I have in my life. I definitely am. I have a Saviour who loves me even though I'm not perfect and died to save me from sin. I have a cat who loves me unconditionally, and I'm blessed with a beautiful apartment and other possessions. It's just that one thing that's missing from my life that God has never seen fit to bless me with - a caring, committed relationship.

Well, now, I just had to get that out. Writing like this is supposed to make me feel better, but I still feel lonely. It's still just me, my tv, my computer, and my cat. Guess I'll get under the covers for a while and get warm with a hot cup of tea.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Some Days...


just have the feeling that God has sent his angels to watch over me. image by loveej

just have the feeling that they are going to go right from the minute I open my eyes. Today was one of them. It's not that everything went right, but it had a smooth feeling to it. My landlord brought me over a new tv, a larger one than the one I had. All the people on the tv are the right color; they're not purple, green, or blue. I paid my phone bill, even though I had to pay an extra $5 because I had to do it with an agent. I dealth with DPSS (Dept. of Social Services) and I didn't get totally upset. I asked for further explanation when I didn't understand something and they were very patient and cleared my confusion. I didn't realize I had MediCal all this time, but I did. So now I just have to send in some paperwork once I receive it for my redetermination. Then I went out shopping and to a late lunch/early dinner.

I have learned to go with the flow, even when it's not exactly smooth. I have waited a very long time for my live to be like it is now and I wake up and go to bed grateful everyday for the God that loves me and blesses me as He does. How could I not believe in the Lord, when I see the miracles He showers me with? Even when things are challenging, He blesses me. Today is one of those days that I truly believe that God is good all the time, because even the pain I had yesterday is gone. Last night while I was watching tv, my cat, Sasha, was going beserk, playing with her catnip mouse. Suddenly my pain didn't appear so bad. God sent me laughter in the midst of my pain.

Michelle Rose

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Life Hurts

This morning the lesson from Charles Stanley was about when unfair things happen in life and what part God plays in it and why He might have. When bad things happen to me, I blamed God and was very angry at Him. But later I find out that there was a lesson in it for me. Right now I'm in quite a bit of physical pain. I'm not sure what the lesson is, but I know I won't stay on the computer for very long. So for me, the lesson is to cut my time on the computer short and go to bed early to get a good night's sleep.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Just as Easy...


Photo from by DragonitesLair

The lines from an old Bob Dylan song keep running through my mind. I've heard them so many times, but for some reason, when I heard them tonight, I had an "aha" moment. The verse is from "My Back Pages."

"In a soldier's stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I'd become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now."

When I was substitute teaching, I'd joke with the students that one day
they might one day be on the other side of the desk and face themselves in a classroom. I know that's true of me, since I remember what a tough time I gave some of my teachers. It's not only true in the classroom, but in any part of life.

I recall how I escalated emotionally in the early stages of my disability before my psychiatrist found the right medication combination to level the chemical imbalance. I could be very mean. I also remember that I learned to control my emotions and not react to every situation, so as not to get in trouble like I did. So in aiming "my hands at the mongrel dogs that teach" it came back at me later.

About a year ago, I went to a yoga place in Hollywood, since they have great food there. One time I saw a sign, the essence of the saying being, if you want to learn something, teach it. This can apply not only to academics, but also to relationships or behaviour. The bottom line of what I finally learned when I became my own teacher is that it's just as easy to be nice as it is to be nasty or mean. And, the results are much better.

Michelle Rose

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays...


A funny kitty... and something I've asked too many times.

Today started out rather strange (and continued that way for awhile)... I got ready early for the transport to come pick me up for my psychiatrist's appointment. Thinking it would be a quick trip, and the fact that I didn't have time to take a shower, I washed up a bit and threw some clothes on. In "never" rains in California, but it sure did today and I was at the doctor's office from 11:15 until around 2 pm. So I had to cancel my tutoring appointment. I could have rescheduled, but I needed a new prescription for my medications. By the time I arrived home it was nearly 3 pm and I had to eat lunch.

Ok, the rest of the day I just messed around on the computer. I also canceled my internet and landline services with AT&T, but still have my cellphone. Then, I tried to pay as much of the bill as I could afford. Nothing doing, AT&T wanted much more than I have. So, I'll have to call them tomorrow and explain the situation and probably have to pay additional $5 to pay what I can afford to an operator.

Right now my cat, Sasha, is giving me messages that she wants me to get off the computer and go sit in bed with her. She can be such a nag. ;-)

Well, I made it through today. Thank God! Tomorrow is another day.

Michelle Rose

Sunday, December 6, 2009


is defined by Roget's Super Thesaurus as "a purification or cleansing of the soul; release from mental turmoil."


"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside still waters." Psalm 23:1-2

Photo from by mckinleyalbum

"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in life has a purpose." Elizabeth Kübler-Ross,MD, On Death and Dying

I did something today I have been talking about for a long time. I unpacked my boxes with my knicknacks in them. This should have been a happy occasion, but it dug deep into my heart and soul, starting me crying. It started when I unwrapped one soapstone box, which brought up memories of Squirt (aka Tweaquie), a cat I had from a tiny kitten, who knocked the box over and broke it. I was so mad at her, but eventually got over it when I glued it back together. As I unpacked more things I continued crying, but eventually stopped. After I finished, the word catharsis came into my mind and when I went to get the definition of catharsis, I picked up a book Mom had given me when she was alive. Once again I started crying. Both Squirt and Mom are gone.

The memory of Squirt brought up memories of other people and cats I've had or known in the past. And as I cried, the pain came from deep inside and felt like it would shred me open. As I wrote this, tears still flowed. I keep wondering if this is cartharsis, why don't I feel relief?

The thing is when death touches our lives, it hurts and hurts very deeply. I found the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross quote when I was going through something very painful. I believe it was after the deaths of my mother and my cat, Monique, only weeks apart. I wrote it on an index card and taped it to the wall near my bed, so that I read the quote many times over. During that time I also had a prayer and meditation time. Jesus brought me through to those quiet still waters. And if I could remember nothing else, I recited the first verse to the 23rd Psalm.

All of us grieve in our own ways and for different things. Grief is not just for the death of loved ones (whether human or not), but also for jobs, moving, loss of friendship, or change. Life is made up of change and our grief moves through stages until reaching a place where we find peace. Grief has no timetable, but can always be put in the hands of Our Saviour to handle when we can't.

My tears may not have brought catharsis today, but I only have to hold out my hand and I know Jesus will take it and guide me through the pain and sadness. And for this, I can smile through the tears.

Michelle Rose

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When Life Has Other Plans

Color Splash, Flowers, Animated Color Splash, Flowers, Keefers Pictures, Images and Photos

Image from photobucket by Keefers_

I had all kinds of good things planned to do today and had to cancel them all. While I was on my way to an AA meeting this morning I was experiencing quite a bit of pain in my lower back and down my legs. I took the bus to the point where I was supposed to catch another bus to a meeting, but the pain was so bad, I decided to turn around and come home. By the time I arrived back at my street, I had a massive headache where I was very sensitive to light. I didn't want to take any pain pills, so I burrowed under my covers to block the light from my eyes.

I don't know if the headache I got was a migraine, but it certainly felt like one. I fell asleep and about 5 hours later, the pain had abated. Still, I decided to rest in bed.

Today was one of those days when my life took a detour. I had to accept how I felt, realizing I could not do either of my activities. Again, I'm beginning to feel pain, so I'll listen to my body and get off the computer in a few minutes. It appears that pain (physical or otherwise) is a good indicator of action I should take or avoid.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Going Beyond My "Borders"


Image from by marysiadat_2008

I usually don't like to go places that are too far from where I live, especially if I haven't been there before. That's not to say I don't do it. I did it today. I went to an AA meeting way out on the far end of the Sunset Strip. I heard a wonderful speaker and some terrific sharing. The ironic part was that the meeting was above a bar in a room where there was another bar. But, it felt so good to be in that room with other sober alcoholics.

The thing is, with the freedom I have in my life being sober, being a Christian, being creative, and more, I can break free of many of the borders, or more like "prison" walls, that were holding me back, always of my own making. I'm not sure what happened to change my fear. Secluding myself within the walls of my apartment became boring and the fear fed on itself as a continuing cycle.

I thank God for the personal and emotional freedom that I feel and can exercise. Even though I'm still not going all the places I plan to go because I still have a bit of fear holding me back, I've broken out of something that was extremely difficult to change.

A Change of Plans


See, no matter if the clouds are dark, the sun (God's light) shines through.

Image from by jonaslife344768082

December 3, 2009, Thursday

Today was supposed to be a nice relaxing day. It was in part. I fiddled around on the computer before going to a play (which I unfortunately left at intermission), then tried a new vegan restaurant, and stopped at the bank for the rent money and money for myself.

I was also supposed to go to a poetry reading that night, but my body had other plans. I was in very bad pain. I've learned to like myself much more than I did, but when I hurt, I would just love to order a new body. Well, Paul begged God to remove "a thorn" from his side and God basically told Paul, no, it's staying there because (imagine this in red ink, since I don't know how to make it that way),"My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." II Corinthians 12:9 KJV

Maybe that's what God has in mind for me - using this pain some way. Because I know that I would give anything for God to take it away. I know others have worse pain then I do, although I'm not sure how they deal with it. I've come to terms with my emotional disability, but haven't yet with my physical disability. Is this being grateful to God for my waking up each morning? I am grateful, but is beefing about the pain still being grateful?

Michelle Rose

Backing Up a Little


Image from Photobucket by Sheul12

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today I was supposed to go to a poetry reading, but never made it. Why? I got too involved in being on my computer. Sometimes I don't like this infernal machine very much, but, of course, it's part of life - for work, communication, fun, and other jobs.

I remember the days without a computer. I did other things - went to the park, the zoo, or watched tv. On the days that I have to go out, I'm almost relieved that I won't be near my computer for a whole day. What a nice break. Yet, I'm grateful I have it.

Yes, these lessons are a bit backward and I could not figure out how to rearrange them. But, then again it really doesn't matter, does it. Everyone got to read this message on a means of communication that is supposed to make our lives simpler, but doesn't always.

Bless all of you today and enjoy this photo of one of God's amazing works, Northern Lights.

Michelle Rose

Lessons for the Tutor


Image from Photobucket by Odreamy4me

December 1, 2009,

On Wednesday I found out that I lost one of my students, meaning I no longer tutor him. Naturally, I was very upset about it, since I'd worked very hard to make a connection with him and find out just how to get him interested in what I was teaching him.

I later found out that it wasn't because of my teaching style, but because the mother didn't want me teaching her son because I couldn't speak Spanish. I am going to miss tutoring this student, since we were beginning to have fun with the lessons.

When I tutor, I put more than 100% effort into how I tutor. I have had students in the past whom I could not get interested in working with me, no matter what I did, but we went through the whole number of hours assigned for the semester. And I learned lessons from the students - about what and what not to do.

Ok, I've moved on from this experience. It may or may not happen again, and as my coordinator said, I'm not the only tutor that has had this experience. The thing that I realize is that my God has something else for me, which will probably be even better. He takes care of me and I trust that He will always do that because that's what He promised me.

Note: Also, if you like these lessons and want to pass them on to others, please feel free to do so. I thank everyone for the comments they make on them.

Michelle Rose

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And Who Am I Really?


(Yes, this is what I feel like)

Image from Photobucket by Freekittin2000

Yesterday, my friend Don asked me to lead a poetry writing workshop and short meeting for the Poetry Festival we're having next year. Without hesitation I said yes. It's something I've done before, so I know what to do, and the group is made up of people I mostly know, except if some newcomers attend it.

Today I started thinking, "Oh, can I really do this? What if everyone doesn't like the poems I pick or how I lead? (or whatever...)" Then I realized that Don would not have asked me if he didn't have confidence in me and my ability. So, instead of remaining in the fear, I started choosing poems for inspiration. I realized that my fearful feeling and lack of self-confidence is an old one. So, I can kick that critic to the curb!

For most of my life, I've thought of myself as a follower and acted the part. But now, I'm slowly breaking out of that roll and starting in a new one. I can take the lead and feel confident that I will be successful, not just for the workshop but in other areas of my life. God didn't create junk when He made me. He created me as a unique and beautiful creation in His eyes, and that's how I see myself.

Another friend of mine, Jean, said this in a email, "You know, even though we've never met. You've came along ways, doing better, feeling much better about yourself. You're looking, feeling better about things in Life, etc. Being more positive about things too. You have really improve[d] yourself and doing things to better yourself." Thank you so much Jean. You can't imagine how nice that made me feel.

Ok, not everyday is sunshine and roses. I do have my moments when I'm "dark and twisty," but I don't allow myself to stay there. I work at being a positive, upbeat, and confident person. I've learned to be the kind of person who takes lemons and makes lemonade, since I know the ups and downs of life are part of the cycle of each moment through the years. I know who I am more today than I ever did and I like the person I've become.

Children and Challenges


I tutor a very challenging 6th grader. He gets bored very easily, so in the past couple sessions, I've been challenging him more. We work on the lessons that I'm supposed to teach him, but I do it slightly differently. Here is where my creativity comes in handy. I've always been able to be spontaneous and ad lib in my stories and examples to my students. With this student, it helps so much because I can see him becoming more interested and wanting to work through the lesson.

I am not a parent, nor do I have children of my own, but I've learned from my other students what can awaken their interest and what makes them bored. Sometimes it takes a bit of searching to see how to get through to a student. I've had my "failures" in the past, but these are only lessons to me, helping me with new students.

If anyone had asked me when I was younger what I wanted to be when I got older, I would never have said a tutor. I wanted to work with animals, but I found out I didn't want to do that as a job, only as a volunteer. I love what I do and the challenge each new student presents to me as a tutor. Finding my niche in life was so important to me, but no matter how much I searched, I couldn't find one. When I stopped looking, God put me where He wanted me. Now, how amazing is that? I'd say quite amazing!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Asking and Caring


Photobucket Image by Speigel16

Have you ever asked that question that many people take for granted? Yes, the one for which we only expect a cursory answer. You know the one I mean? It rolls off our lips like winning coins coming out of a slot machine. The question is "How are you?"

Most of the time the answer is a one-word or less fly-by: "Fine," "Ok," "Lousy," or something of that nature. I have one online friend, who when I ask that question goes into great detail. Now, I know to expect this, but I'm also interested in how this friend really is doing at the moment. We've talked online and sometimes on the phone quite a number of times, so I know the situation.

I've often given detailed answers to this question, because sometimes a simple answer won't do and life (mine or anyone else's) can be complicated, rather than requiring a simple answer. If I didn't care about how my friends are, I wouldn't ask. Fortunately, I mostly have the time to listen to this friend and we can discuss what's happening in both our lives in detail. Maybe we can't help solve any situations at the time, but sometimes just talking things out and having someone listen helps.

I know when I was going through the challenging times where nothing appeared simple, I was very grateful for those who listened to me. I was also grateful they encouraged me to adopt a positive attitude no matter what events I was experiencing. Maybe friends will get tired of hearing you talk about the same thing if it goes on for too long (well, some aren't like this), but one sure thing is that God never tires of listening to us. And, He not only listens, He makes a way where there is none. How do I know this is true? Because it happens in my life over and over again.

So, next time you (or I) ask someone "How are you?" be prepared for an honest answer.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Nature Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Image by KimCandy2

I always imagine peace to be someplace where it's quiet, like beside a rocky stream in the woods with no people around and just the sounds of nature to soothe me. Yes, that's peace. But from my experiences peace can be found in the middle of a crisis or a noisy, crowded place (I'm thinking a sidewalk in NYC). ;-)

It can even be found in the middle of heartbreak. I remember several years ago when I was living in a place where I was very unhappy and lost both my cats I'd had for a very long time within weeks of one another. My heart felt crushed and I was afraid to love, fearing that anyone or anything I did love, well, that something bad would happen to them. Someone I was very good friends with then reassured me - many times over - that this was not true. Even in the middle of this I managed to find peace - it may have been temporary, but I still found it.

Now years later and after going through many more crises after, I understand that peace - something I heard years ago - is not separation from the storm, but in the midst of it. Not easy to do, but once I was sure of my faith in God, it became more of a certain feeling, because He is my peace.


Photobucket Image - Icons

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Difference One Day Makes

religious Pictures, Images and Photos

From Photobucket by Merileebrooke

Commentary: Today everyone gave thanks for all kinds of things. Tomorrow many shoppers will battle each other to grab at items so they can save a few dollars for Christmas.

Is this what God intended when His only Son was born? Somehow I can't believe that this is the Spirit of Christmas that the Lord wants us to feel. Jesus was born to save us from the death sin brings. Although it is better to give than receive, Christmas (which means the Birth of Christ), is not about mob scenes at 4 am to buy the best present for someone. Christmas is the celebration of the Birth of Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

I, for one, do not intend to be apart of this scary, yearly tradition, which I would love to see outlawed. Where in the tradition of Christmas does it say that it includes the insanity and greed of Black Friday. Nowhere.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program and pray for the safety of anyone who chooses to participate in Black Friday.

Michelle Rose

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grumpy, grumpy...What?

black and white Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo from by findstuff22

All day I have been checking my bank balance. Nope, the deposit didn't go through. I've been feeling quite down about that. Ok, tomorrow's Thanksgiving and I had planned a nice vegan menu, but I can't do it because I have around $6 in my checking account and a couple dollars in quarters.

But on the tail of these self-pitying thoughts came others. Some people can live a whole month on $6, while I only have to wait for a couple days to get my deposit. I have food in my refrigerator. Ok, it's kind of empty, but there's food in there. Some people go to bed and wake up hungry. They wish they had a refrigerator and food. Children and babies in third world countries cry from the hunger they feel and die from lack of food. I am nice and warm in my apartment. Other people, like the homeless in Los Angeles (and many other places) sleep on concrete and have no roof over their head. I am in fairly good health and I have medical insurance and doctors to take care of my medical needs. People in 3rd world countries and even here in the United States die from diseases that medicine eradicated many years ago. I have a computer, phone, cellphone, television, MP3 player, alarm clocks, a bathroom with a toilet, shower and sink, plus other luxuries some people only dream of having.

So...what do I have to be grumpy about? NOTHING! It never fails to amaze me how much I have that many others would do with what I have for a longer period of time. My Saviour, Jesus, had no home, no food in a refrigerator, no place to lay His head. Yet, He sacrificed everything for the sake of my forgiveness and salvation. Sometimes I can be so fixated on material things, when concepts like friendship, love, kindness abound all around me.

I hope that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.

Michelle Rose 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ripples of Peace

Droplet Pictures, Images and Photos

Images from by Laurieanon.

"If I live in peace and peace lives in me -- I am a tiny stone plopped into an ocean -- My existence makes only small ripples -- But as my motion moves it joins with others -- Each touching makes the disruption grow -- Until the many tiny ripples become a tidal wave -- To wash away the beachfronts of fear and hate."   ~Chrystine Julian, a California poet and musician~

I don't know if Chrystine coined this quote herself or found it somewhere, but it certainly gives me pause to think about how I act and what the results are. Today my 6th grade math student really tested my patience, since she was up and down all through the 2 hour session. I let her slide a little bit, but I really wanted to superglue her to the seat. This was an example of just keeping quiet most of the time, but letting Adrianna (my student) know in a calm way what I expected of her.

The same is true for how I relate to other people. I see so many things that people do that just don't make sense. Mostly, it's not my place or business to say anything, so I keep quiet. Yet, I notice that when I'm at peace, it shows to others and they react in kind. Everyday, I do what I can to say something nice to someone - a small compliment, a little help when I see they need it, or just smiling at someone. I've gotten some very good reactions, but even if I don't, I know I feel good inside from my effort. Isn't this what God wants us to do? Relate to others in the way He says in the Bible, to love others as we love ourselves. Isn't this the way of peace?  

Monday, November 23, 2009

God is Good

bokeh Pictures, Images and Photos

Part of this is a lesson from Charles Stanley's In Touch.

Psalm 100:1 (but read all of it) "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth."

"The Lord's goodness is expressed in a multitude of ways. He is our Creator, and we are His people. (emphasis mine) Every breath we breathe is given to us by Him. As our loving Shepherd who watches over us, He provides for all our needs. But the greatest expression of God's goodness is the cross of Christ. What appeared from a human perspective to be the ultimate in cruelty and unfairness was the only way to rescue mankind from eternal separation from the Lord."

When I think about Psalm 100 and the paragraph that I read this morning and printed here, it is the greatest miracle of my life. The fact that God never met me personally, but cared enough to save me from suffering, not only in life, but also after I die. Many other miracles have occurred during my life, but of all of them, this is the one that counts the most, that God loves me totally and completely through His Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

That leads me to an affirmation I receive by email from Marla Sloane, PhD., which relates to how God being in my life helps me feel:

"I give thanks and gratitude for my wonderful life. I am lucky to be alive and I count my blessings each and every day. When I give thanks and help others' it comes back to me."

One day of thanksgiving a year? Not in my life. Because God is so good to me, everyday is thanksgiving. I thank God everyday for something in my life. True, I've been through difficult times when I've had to look hard for something to be thankful for, but I've always found something. Yes, God is good. Or as another Christian friend of mine says, "God is Good all the time."

Sunday, November 22, 2009


"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become."  ~Harold Taylor~

As I was walking home from the farmers' market today, I thought about freedom. Freedom comes in many forms - personal, physical, mental, financial, emotional, and governmental (and probably more). I have learned quite a bit about freedom in my life with the experiences I've had and the lessons these experiences have taught me. I don't smoke, drink, or use drugs, so I have freedom from substance abuse. I don't drive a car, so I have financial freedom from the expense of owning one. I don't own a house, so I don't have the expense of upkeep and repair. I don't eat certain foods, so I've lowered my risk of certain diseases.

Yet aside from all of this, when I think about freedom, it goes much deeper than that. I think true freedom comes from within - from the way I look at life and how I process my environment. I don't have to own many of the material possessions that some people feel equate freedom - and to them they might and that's ok. Although I do have certain possessions in my life and they help, freedom comes from the beauty I see around me, a God in my life and His love, good memories of times like yesterday - a bunch of poets and teachers having dinner after a poetry reading, or being in a quiet apartment with my cat next to me. Freedom is an abstract concept although it can have concrete manifestations.

Most of all, freedom is looking back from where I've come to where I am now and not worrying about where I'll be going, since I know that's not in my hands, but in the hands of someone greater than I am.

The following is a poem I wrote about a picture I saw online for another project I'm writing poems for - the return of people to the internment camp at Manzanar. One photo struck me particularly. Maybe this is what started my thinking about freedom.

pierced heart

in darkness my heart
is pierced by that from
which i can't escape

an unwilling
prisoner of hate
not because of what

i am only because
my association with
events make me who i am

free me to love again
as i once did unwrap
this wire from my spirit

Friday, November 20, 2009

This and That...Attitudes

Several things went through my mind today.

I finally had my MRI. It was like agony and ecstacy. I have a bit of restless leg syndrome and my muscles cramp easily if I don't move them because of the fibromyalgia. During an MRI, you can't move or it will mess it up. The closed MRI only takes about 12 minutes, but I don't like being in the small tube. The open MRI takes a half hour and today it appeared to be the longest half hour of my life willing my arms and legs not to move, and telling myself the cramp in my back was ok. That was the agony. The ecstasy was when the technician finally opened the door and told me I could move. It hurt so badly to move, that I nearly started crying, but I did slowly and finally moved normally.

Next I went to Ralph's to grab a small lunch from their salad and olive bar, afterwards going outside to eat it. One of the employees tried to talk to me. I was so hungry that I didn't want to talk. Later, after I finished lunch, I noticed that this young man had hearing aids in both ears and he is employed taking carts in from the parking lot and who knows what other simple jobs he does. I also noticed that he appeared to have had some kind of emotional disability. I felt so ashamed. He wanted to just be friendly and I couldn't stop to do that even for a minute.

When I came home I made a couple phone calls. One call resulted in finding a senior site where they had a whole page of jokes written by seniors. Even though I wanted to make dinner (which I finally did), I could not stop reading these jokes and laughing. How good it felt to let loose and look at life from the funny side.

So, within the space of less than a day, I've experienced three different levels of emotions and feelings, among others. My emotions, because of the disability of bi-polar disorder, once spun out of control in sharp peaks and dives. Now, medications level me off, but situational depressions still return - not as often and not as deep as they once were.

When I think about these 3 times during the day, I know that first I did the best I could during the medical procedure - and it was quite difficult. Next, I could have changed my attitude and talked to the young man. And last, I laughed freely. Through all of this God was right there - encouraging me, nudging me to change my attitude, and providing emotional relief.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Joy of Life

"I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters." ~Oprah Winfrey~

I woke up this morning in a wonderful mood. I ate breakfast and then left to go to the bank, the pet store, the library, the health food store, and Albertson's (food store). In fact, I didn't just ride there, but took the bus to the bank, then walked from there to the other places, then walked back down again almost to Vermont and Prospect.

As I was walking up the hill to the pet store, library, and healthfood store, I realized that, "Gee, I'm out before 12 p.m. and I'm exercising!"

I was feeling quite well most of the day, then when I was tutoring my student, a ferocious headache descended on me. Still, I was not going to let it ruin my day. I think it happened because of something I ate today. I appear to be getting more sensitive to certain foods.

I finished the book, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David A. Kessler, MD. This book examines and approaches compulsive overeating from such a different viewpoint, not only from the point of view of the compulsive overeater, but also the food and diet industries and others. It's an incredible book and has helped me immensely. I am more aware of what I eat and the results of eating certain foods. This, to me, is part of the joy of life, that I have made a breakthrough in something that has controlled me for many, many years.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life's Boomerangs

"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy."  ~Florence Shinn~
Sometimes I say or do things, then afterwards wonder why I did or said them. My thoughts and words are usually under pretty much control, but tonight, something I said came back to me. Embarrassment is what I feel at being a bit loose lipped and saying what I should not have said.
I think the situation will work out ok. Sometimes the passage of time helps situations resolve themselves. Other times they haven't. In those cases, I just have to let go of the people, places, or things that don't work out and move on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Before and After

This morning in reading my morning meditation - the scripture reading - from Charles Stanley's In Touch, I saw a picture of myself. Not that I didn't know what I was like before, but it said it so plainly that I am grateful that I am a Christian.

Galatians 5:19-26

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we life by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Charles Stanley says: "The key to living a life of joy, peace, and victory is found in Galatians 5. Notice that I did not say a life without conflict or one free of temptation, trial, or heartache. Those are part of the human condition. But we can triumph through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, today's passage makes clear how vital it is for believers to life a Spirit-filled life."

When I think about the before me, it is evident to me why not only did people not like myself, but I didn't like myself either. Now, self-love has not come immediately and in a big rush. It has taken many years of belonging to Christ (and many, many changes in my life) for me to get to the point where I like myself just as I am, looking like the Michelin tire (wo)man or Pillsbury dough girl and all. ;-) But God does not look at my outsides. He created me with love.

Yes, it took quite a long time to love God's creation (me) the way HE (emphasis mine)  sees me. But I do and I less and less I allow others' perception of me (the negative ones) to influence how I feel. God loves me, He shows me how He loves me. I am becoming (the after me) the person God wants me to become.  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Magical Day

Today I spent a whole day with cats, dogs, and birds. Well, I wasn't with all of them, but they were at a big event sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Many of you know how much I love animals. I have so many reasons.

- are God's creatures
- helped me when I was first diagnosed with my emotional disability
- love unconditionally
- expect nothing in return for their love (oh, but we give them so much anyway)
- are therapeutic (for eomtional and physical disabilities)
- understand when we feel happy or sad
- have emotions just like we do
- help me learn some of life's lessons

Ok, I could go on, but those of you who love and/or have animals understand what I'm talking about. When I look at Sasha or some of the animals I work with at the shelter, or other animals in my life, I see God's handiwork. Of course, some animals, like my neighbor's dog, Buddy, aren't so friendly, yet I still see a creature God created. If I didn't see the unbeautiful along with the beautiful, then I would not be looking at life with open eyes. And many times, my work with animals and just being with animals helps me to get along with and understand people. Maybe not everytime, but the lessons are there.

I'm blessed to have Sasha in my life and all the other cats and animals that have been in my life and are now gone. This is one way God's shown me that He loves me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Staying Close to God

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Ps 119:11 from the

I have many friends, some are Christians others are not. When I go to AA meetings, some people use profanity. It's something I'm not entirely successful at eliminating from my vocabulary, although I do my best to honor God with clean language. Each morning I begin the day by reading God's word and meditating on the message for that day. I also read several chapters from the book of the Bible I'm reading at the time - right now it's Isaiah.

The more I practice the principles God would have me follow, the easier it is to resist following those who choose the way of the world. God's word lives in my heart and it follows that I will choose to show others what loving God means by acting that way He would have me live.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taking A Timeout...

This week I've been troubled by knee pain. It has not been a particularly busy week, in fact I did not work Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. As I write this I'm quite tired, but I wanted to get it done. On Saturdays, I usually go to an AA meeting in the morning, then head out to Pasadena for a poetry workshop/reading. I don't even have the energy to do that.

So, I'm allowning myself a real time out. A whole day off to just rest. If I work on the computer, it will be sitting in bed. If I read, it will be sitting in bed. Other than that, I will just spend some time sitting on the porch if it's warm.

Many people (out of love) tell me to exercise to feel better. But that's not been happening. The more I walk, the worse my knee and legs feel. So, instead of listening to others, tomorrow I'm listening to my body and taking a time out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Sting of Loneliness

All you really need is the One who promised never to leave or forsake you - the One who said, "Lo, I am with you always." - Joni Eareckson Tada -

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody. The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity. - Mother Teresa -

I found these 2 quotes in Everett Christian's Good Things, which is in my email every day. I'm glad I found them, since the other night I was feeling a bit left out of some things. Okay, but this was just my feeling, not reality.

When I feel lonely, I still remember that Jesus promised He'd never leave me. And through all kinds of situations, day in and day out - He's with me. His promise is as good as His word. And the fact that I know Jesus is always with me, well, it takes the sting out of the feeling that I'm never alone. Never. I may not be with people, but I'm with the God who created me and no one knows me better.

So, next time you think that you're alone, don't look down. Look within your heart and up to the heavens. There is where the One who will never leave you is. And He's the best friend you'll ever have. I know it's true for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Recently, I returned to AA meetings. Being with other recovering alcoholics and working a program feels good, very good. One problem I consistently struggle with is self-acceptance. I've always measured myself by the yardstick of how others look and feel. After 30 years of sobriety it's become better and I look not so much at others, but look to myself and how I can become more of the person I want to be with God's guidance.

When God looks at me, He does so through the blood of Christ Jesus, who shed it for my forgiveness. It makes sense then, that I look at myself not from my own point of view, not through others' eyes, but through God's eyes. I may not be perfect, but God loves me just the way I am, because of Christ's intervention. That's an amazing thought.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I would like to hear from those who read this blog. If something I say helps you or touches your life. Please feel free to leave comments. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Surprising Changes

Today started out wonderfully. I slept well last night and managed not to wake up during the night. I made it to the womens' AA meeting I tried to get to last week. They were on Step 10, "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." I believe when I write these Lessons from Life, I'm doing just that. In the 3 years or so I didn't go to meetings, I continued to work the program.

On Saturday and today, I took a cake for 30 years of sobriety. Today two other women took cakes also. It was nice to share our sober birthdays with each other and the group. Womens' meetings have always been special to me, since I we can share things in them that we can't in mixed meetings.

After the meeting, I went to lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant, went downtown and bought a pair of silver studs to replace the one I'd lost, so I can have two matching earrings, then went to Out of the Closet (thrift store) and bought a pair of pants and 3 shirts. The shirts were colors that I previously would not have considered - yellow, dusty pink, and red. Mostly what I wear are dark colors or grey. I believe God is changing my heart and thoughts about myself. I am looking at myself differently than I once did. What an amazing God I believe in who loves me without end. WOW!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lifting My Heart

The physical pain I've felt the last couple of days has not done much to lift my spirits, but I'm mostly a positive and upbeat person. Today, I decided that I would wear some different colors from the usual grey teeshirts I normally wear. I wore a tangerine colored shirt and lime green socks with some orange in them.

All day long I kept thinking that these colors truly lifted my spirits, in spite of some annoying things that happened. But was it truly the colors that made me feel better or God providing what He know would help me?

Before I left for work, I was chatting with my friend from high school, Howard. He'd lost his cellphone and was quite upset about not being able to find it. He asked me to pray for him, telling me that I always had prayer warriors in Florida. I'd like to think that I'm as strong a prayer warrior for others who need it, praying for them without asking. Sometimes one of my friend's names will come into my mind, and I know I must pray for them, not even knowing why. If nothing else, praying for them helps me know I'm helping them, even when I can't do anything more.

Today's message in my daily reading was about the disciples wanting to sit at the right and left hands of Jesus. He told them that if they wanted to be glorified, they must become servants. In praying for others, I become a willing servant and it lifts my heart in ways that many other actions or words can't.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Listening to My Body

I woke up early this morning and could not get back to sleep. Instead, I called my Aunt Nettie in NJ, then got Sasha's food and my breakfast ready. Today, I've been having trouble with pain in in my arms and legs, but I've attempted to keep somewhat active anyway. I went to the farmers' market, since I was out of baby lettuce, sprouts, and tomatoes. It's a bit of exercise and gets me out into the fresh air and sunshine. In the desire to eat better and change my eating habits, I've allowed myself the "luxury" of buying and eating fresh organic food. I love the taste more than fruits and veggies I buy from Ralph's Market.

After I ate lunch, a vegan meal I bought at the farmers' market, I was on the computer, but felt very tired. I wanted to stay on the computer chatting with my friends on facebook, but my body had other ideas. So, I got off the computer and lay down to take a couple hour nap. This, like the good food I gave it today, is what my body was telling me it needed.

Sometimes when I don't listen to what my body (physically) is telling me, I've gone over the limit and experience more pain. It's like that when I don't listen to what God is telling me. I have more pain in my day or in my life. Past mistakes tell me to stop being stubborn and listen to what I don't know but something or Someone else does. It saves me the pain of making the mistatke again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fear and Laughter

Last night I had a mixed experience. After tutoring, I ate dinner and walked around Panorama Mall for a bit, then did some shopping at WalMart. As I walked outside to catch the bus all "hell" broke loose. Cop cars and choppers were everywhere, several black & whites parked at the intersection where I catch the bus. Needless to say it freaked me out a bit and I was scared, although with all the cops around, I'm not sure why I was. Yet, this morning I thought how silly of me to be scared (ok, I was tired and wanted to get home), but God had the situation in control - He would not have allowed me to be hurt - not with all the police presence. Anyway, I safely got on the bus, although I had to cross the street to run after it a bit, since it turned the corner to detour from its normal route. I still don't know and really don't care what was happening, I'm just very grateful that God got me out of there safely.

Now the laughter - today in Good Things, Everett Christian posted this quote,
"Nothing is harder than gracefully getting down from your high horse."
- From Reminisce Magazine -
I think I know why this made me laugh - it's so true and typical. How many times have I had to do this? Maybe my horse has a special stall where he waits for me to become willing to get off him, but I do know that at times when I've had an attitude reversal, my face has been quite sheepish. Everytime I read it I laugh again, and laughter is so good for the soul!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life's messes and the "clean-up crew"

"18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life hand down to you from your forefthers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. I Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

This morning I woke up to a mess my cat had left by the bathroom door. She had an accident and it wasn't her fault. I simply cleaned it up without becoming angry with her. Even when Sasha, my cat, gets miffed and attacks me because I've crossed one of her boundaries and attacks me, I don't get angry, but love her where she's at in the moment.

Similarly, when I sin or make a mistake, Jesus doesn't get mad at me, since He died to wash away my sin. That doesn't mean I intentionally sin, but do my best to walk away from temptation when it presents itself.

Yesterday, I was talking to the woman who moved into my old apartment next door when I had my last roommate. One of the things I said to her was that Ed and I did not get along well - he wanted me out of the apartment - but things worked out exactly the way they were supposed to. That's true, but God brought me through the experience of 3 roommates with whom I didn't get along, until He brought me to the place where I'm in an apartment I can afford and have the serenity I sought. The point is that if I can forgive Sasha and God can forgive me, then I can forgive my last 3 roommates for hurting me. It's just part of life. Messes happen, but the "cleanup crew" changes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Payday and Blessings

I woke up early this morning. Well, I had something to do, then I went back to sleep for another couple of hours. When I woke up, I was ready to wake up and got out of bed right away. Today is a beautiful day - the sun is shining and the temperature will be warm again. I get my deposit from SSDI, so I can pay my rent, buy some things I need, and get my hair cut tonight.

It's only 9:48, but my day has been filled already with so many blessings. I read a short article in Charles Stanley's In Touch called, "An Hour of Gratitude." The author goes about her day, doing her normal routine, but everytime she does something, she thinks about how many people are without what she has. I went to the bathroom in one with a toilet that flushed and a sink with soap and water to clean my hands. How many people don't have facilities like this? I washed my dishes and my cat's dishes in my sink with clean, running water. So many people in the world don't have clean water to drink, much less flowing water. I fed my cat and myself with food I bought from the grocery store and kept in the refrigerator. How many of the world's people go without food and clean water? I turned on my computer to type this and catch up on other news online. How many of the people in world in 3rd world countries don't even have electricity, much less computers? I'm looking out the window of my studio apartment - the window has glass in it. How many of the world's people live in huts they've made from what the earth gives and don't have glass in their windows? After breakfast I'll take a shower, get on the bus, and go to the bank to do some shopping and go to an AA meeting. Again, how many of the world's 3rd world people, don't have any of those things?

It hasn't even been an hour yet, but I've put down a whole list of things that I sometimes take for granted. And, as I go throughout today, I'll think of other things for which to be grateful and pray for those in my life or not who are in need. Gratitude like certain lessons in life never end.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Exactly Lessons from Life

This morning, I woke up early, then needed to sleep a bit more, because of the physical pain I felt. After waking up, I swept my apartment and made breakfast. I thought today was the day I had 2 doctor's appointments, bu they are next Monday and Friday.

Here we are in November and another year is almost done. Looking back, I've accomplished some of what I set out to do and other goals remained unfinished. Yet, I feel more serene, more content, more self-confident in many ways. So, I can't say this year has been totally bad. There were many wonderful parts, aside from the overstressful crises I went through.

Will I renew writing Lessons from Life? I don't know. I do know that writing them helped me through an extremely difficult time in my life. It brought me closer to God, brought me a new understanding of my abilities, and what I could handle. This year I made many major decisions - to move to a smaller apartment, to resign from substitute teaching, to return to AA meetings, letting go of many things I had held onto that were crowding my life, in addition to other lesser decisions.

This morning I made another decision - to start my day reading Nan's Calendar on the computer, then move onto my email and other things online. Next I will read my email, including Good Things, written by Everett Christian. When I first woke up, I read my Bible. As I move through the day, I pray for people in my life and others, plus situations like the war and those in need. Will I continue writing this on a daily basis? I don't know - I only know it helped me this morning and I needed to see my thoughts in black and white.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Beginnings

It's been quite awhile since I've written a post for Lessons from Life. I've been wanting to get back to it, but I'm just not sure how to start and what I want to write. Please know that I will begin again soon - both here online and emailing those who want it that way, but mostly, it will be here in this blog. Because the fibromyalgia that affects my life is in a difficult period, I must keep things very simple. I'm also returning to work tutoring. Through it all, God has been with me all the way, even when I forgot to pray or read the Bible. Also, I new keyboard will make it much easier to type - I will be getting that this weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


“…bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” ~Colossians 3:13 New American Standard Bible~

“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” ~Henry Ward Beecher~

Today I watched an incredible movie, “Maria Goretti.” It is about an Italian peasant girl in the early 20th century. Alessandro (one of the other villagers) could not accept her devotion to God and killed her when she would not give in to his selfish desires. Although based on a true story, I don’t know how close the movie is to reality. The fascinating part about the dvd is because of Maria’s faith, she forgave Alessandro for killing her. In 1950, Maria became a saint.

After watching “Maria Goretti,” I thought about my life and the people who hurt me. I don’t know how many times (probably countless) I’ve brought up someone that did me harm. In my prayers, I’ve done a cursory forgiveness, but never truly forgave them, otherwise the matter would be settled. I wonder, if someone did me enough harm to kill me, would I be able to forgive them?

These two quotes are quite significant, because when Jesus died on the cross to forgive sins, He did not look back and bring them up again. He forgave me and that’s the end of it. It should be that way when I forgive someone for hurting me. I have so much more to learn about forgiving someone.

Michelle Rose

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Sunday, August 16, 2009


“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu~

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
~St Francis de Sales~

I want(ed) everything quickly – to grow up, to get thin, to meet someone to share my life, to make money… etc… Life doesn’t happen that way. When I picked out the first quote, I thought about flowers blooming. I see their beauty revealed as the blossoms open slowly. Right now, my haste is that I want to conquer this eating disorder immediately and it isn’t happening that way.

I overcome one part of the addiction, only to replace it with something equally as annoying or harmful. Yet, I know all the while change happens and my life improves. Just this week, I even had a victory over the extreme pain I had by doing something illogical. I stopped all pain meds. Maybe I think I will find some magic key and the eating disorder will disappear – POOF! Nope, it’s not going to happen that way. It will take every ounce of energy and hard work I can put into my recovery – the hardest of the ones I have. Face it, food is a necessity and tastes good. This isn’t an addiction I can put behind me like alcohol, drugs, inappropriate sex, or smoking.

All I can do is be patient and work to conquer this eating disorder with my focus on the Lord always. My day goes much better when I keep my focus on the Lord. How awesome!

Michelle Rose

Friday, August 14, 2009

Small Changes; Small Steps

Friday, August 14, 2009

Small Changes; Small Steps

“If nothing changed, there’d be no butterflies” ~Author Unknown~

“If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.” ~Saint Augustine~
I’ve been making small changes in my eating lately, but in the total picture they make big differences. I realize certain things I’m doing, then change it. Awhile ago I made a decision not to buy and eat potato chips, hard candy (butterscotch) and donuts. Next, I realized that when I buy bags of potatoes, I eat too many. I also do not buy bread, but buy whole grains in bulk and eat them. The other day I looked in my refrigerator and could not believe how many bottles of salad dressing I have, knowing that I use it on almost all the foods I eat. I chose to stop buying bottled dressing and make my own at home from oil, vinegar, and other spices.

Each one of these small steps I take in changing my habits helps my health become better. The change I am working the most on is to focus on the Lord and not on food. Not an easy change after focusing on food all my life, but it is the foundation on which I build all the other changes.

Michelle Rose

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Muffins and Thoughts

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Muffin Day

On Tuesday I bought 4 muffins at Ralph’s, since they were inexpensive and I thought I’d eat them the next 4 days for breakfast. Lesson learned – muffins don’t last long – they ended up being breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Inexpensive means nothing if I have no control over what I eat.
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thought Filling

“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires; seek discipline and find your liberty.” ~Frank Herbert~

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” ~James Lane Allen~

This morning I woke up with the most horrible taste in my mouth. My throat burned and the bad taste kept coming up from inside me. Ok, this came from the thought the previous day that I could eat 4 large blueberry muffins in one day. Fortunately, today I focused on God and had a better day. Each day, I will do my utmost to focus more on the Lord and fill my thoughts with Him and on Him. If I focus on Jesus, He is the one who guides me through the day and not me.

I once heard something that said if God is my co-pilot, I’m in the wrong seat. For sure!

Michelle Rose

**This photo is of San Francisco harbor. I took this photo many years ago when I visited SF with my brother, David.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 6-10, 2009

**I'm posting all of the lessons I haven't posted in one day, to catch up quickly for those who would like to read them.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Best in Myself

When we seek out the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.
~William Arthur Ward~

Wednesday I was on top of the world – everything appeared to be a blessing – then I went to the mail and I had a reality check. I had to file another claim for unemployment. I got upset – not stopping to see the shades of grey in between the white of blessing and the black of feeling punished. I called a friend and he suggested that I just had one more hoop to jump through before the San Francisco trip. I mentioned that it felt like they were rings with flames around them. All day Thursday I tried to get through to refile my unemployment claim, with no luck.

Part 2 continued on Friday.
Friday, August 07, 2009

Anger: The Worst of Myself

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before - it takes something from him. ~Louis L'Armour

If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size? ~Sydney J. Harris

Anger is one letter short of danger. ~Author Unknown

I know this appears backwards, but I don’t always learn lessons when I’m patient. The last quote is especially relevant to what happened Friday. I learned one time that if I go to the EDD (Employment Development Department) office, they can sometimes get through to the 1-800 number to file claims. After my appointment with the nutritionist, I went to the office in downtown LA. I tried the number from the phone in the office and got irrationally angry and slammed the phone down. Fortunately, I didn’t get in trouble, but one of the office workers came out and said she’d help me. We talked for a minute and it took her a couple of tries to reach the claims department. She spoke to the rep, explaining the situation, then I filed my claim verbally. It turned out, that since I’d filed the claim online on Thursday, I already had a confirmation number.

So, things worked out. I got upset and angry for nothing. Once again, I reminded myself of the saying that God protects drunks and fools. I may not be a drunk, but anger certainly makes me a fool.
Saturday, August 08, 2009


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt

I am driving to San Francisco on Monday with friends to spend a week with them at poetry readings. Normally, I’d have already been packed by now, but I haven’t even started. Today I went to the bank and did a bit of shopping for food to take on the trip, so we don’t have to eat at restaurants. Then, I was either going to do laundry or some cleaning – I did neither – but watched the dvd, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. That’s the energy I had. Now that it’s later, I’ve decided to go to Ralph’s, like I planned earlier. It’s cooler out and I have a little more energy. Tomorrow I can do the laundry, a little cleaning, and pick up my meds at the pharmacy.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Difficult Decisions

"We all carry around so much pain in our hearts. Love and pain and beauty. They all seem to go together like one little tidy confusing package. It's a messy business, life. It's hard to figure--full of surprises. Some good. Some bad." ~Henry Bromel, television producer~

I've had much pain in my life. Some of it led to incredible opportunities after I worked through it. Today I was in enormous physical pain that no matter what I did, it never went away. In addition, I experienced extreme muscular pain and weakness and exhaustion, making it difficult for me to do even the one task I set for myself - laundry. In light of the way I felt, I decided not to go on the poetry tour to San Francisco. In my heart I was sad, but I knew I made the best decision for myself, since feeling like I did (and I have), I would not be able to keep up with the pace of the tour. This tour will not be the last one, nor will I feel this way forever. More opportunites for tours and vacations will arise and when they do, I will be ready for them physically, emotionally, and mentally. I know that the Lord was telling me that this wasn't the right time to force my body to do what it wasn't ready to do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Never Too Late

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), English novelist~

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.” ~David Starr Jordan, The Philosophy of Despair, US biologist, educator, & ichthyologist (1851 - 1931) ~
I have often mentioned to others that I am not a success. I am 60, but my life is not over by any means. I did a search of famous people who achieved success late in life. Some people are very recognizable, while others may not be. Below is a short list of people who show that never giving up led to their success:

“Anna Mary Robertson "Grandma" Moses was in her 70s when she began painting scenes of her rural life in upstate New York.

When she was just months shy of her 50th birthday, Julia Child collaborated on her first French cooking book, a two-volume set titled Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Colonel Sanders of finger lickin’ good chicken fame, had a difficult start in life but early on realized he had a creative cooking talent. However it was not until he was in his 60s that he started KFC and became a millionaire.

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her family's life in the 1870s and 1880s in the acclaimed The Little House on the Prairie series of books for children. She published her first book at the age of 65.”

References quoted and paraphrased from:

What this shows me is that everything I have done so far relates to future success in my health, creativity, achievements and in all areas of my life. I may not become as famous as the people I mentioned above, but I will achieve the success of accomplishment. I measure success in being faithful to God and in the work I do to achieve my goals.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


“3He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name. 5Great is our Lord and might in power; his understanding has no limit.” ~Ps 147: 3-5 NIV~

I have been brokenhearted many times about so many things. The Lord knows each one of them. He’s healed me, enabling me to move on in my life, often on to something much better. Right now, my heart is still battling with my food addiction. It’s out of control again. The visit to the nutritionist went well, but what I need is continuing support in this addiction. Just as the Lord has numbered and named each one of the myriad of stars in the sky, so has He all the days of my life. I want to win this battle. I want healing from the destructive force of this addiction. I must return to reading the book given to me by one of my friends who receives this daily journal, God Hunger. The author of the book encountered the same battle and won the war.

Once again, I ask you to keep me in your prayers (if you pray) or thoughts (if you don’t). Thank you.

Michelle Rose