Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Wild and Wooly Day

This is what I want to feel like...I hope this feeling will return soon. For now, it's just enough to chill for a day or two. (Photo from Flickr)

Lessons from Life, Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Wild and Wooly Day

“The Lord liveth; and blessed be the rock; and exalted be the God of my salvation.”
~II Sam. 22:47 KJV~

I feel like I traveled all over LA today – it was one tiring day. But…I filed the bankruptcy (still have more to do with that), saw my therapist, talked to my one company about the paperwork I have to send in, and got ok’d to start tutoring two new students.

Still, I feel a bit unhinged. I’ve been under enormous stress for such a long time maybe this is to be expected. On one of the buses I was riding, I saw a advertisement for a place to help people with heroin and pain killer addictions. I’m fortunate I don’t have that problem. The name of their website really caught my attention – FeelNormal. I thought to myself, I haven’t felt normal in such a long time, I don’t remember what it’s like.

Here are some things that would help me feel normal – a soothing 1 hour massage, a one-way (just kidding) trip to the most beautiful place on earth, a (mundane) steak dinner at someplace slightly better than Sizzler, a haircut that I haven’t given myself, being able to stay in this apartment, and oh yeah, a male companion (even if he’s just a friend). Well, stranger things have happened.

My gratitude today is that I finally got the bankruptcy filed and the procedure started and that Sasha is right here keeping her Mommie (me) company.

One Very Tired Person, Michelle Rose

Monday, March 30, 2009

Why I Don’t Watch, Read, or Listen to the News

Lessons from Life, Monday, March 30, 2009

Why I Don’t Watch, Read, or Listen to the News

I had the tv news on this morning while I was waiting for something – oh yes – my back to stop hurting. The first story horrified me – a couple of USC students were killed and another one seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver who stopped the car after hitting the students, pushed them off the hood, and then took off. I listened long enough to get the story straight, then turned the news off and prayed for the families of the students.

I can’t believe that people can be that callous about life. I hurt for those families of the students hit. The lessons here for me is crystal clear – never be like these people. Love others and their lives as a precious gift. I may not care for all people, but I certainly would not do them any harm. Even through the physical pain I experienced today, I knew that the mother of the daughter was going through something a hundred times worse. This is one news story that will not leave me any time soon. I pray the police catch whoever did this.

My gratitude today is that the Lord allows me to feel the pain I do when these situations happen and that He shows me what kind of a person to be, rather than not to be.

Praying to God for Justice, Michelle Rose

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lessons from Life - Weekend

Lessons from Life, Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Plans of Mice and (Wo)men

For the second time, I took the wrong medications in the morning. I took my night-time medications and had to go back to bed, since they make me sleepy. Ok, so I had a nice 4 hour nap and when I woke up, I was still quite drowsy.

The lesson here is not that I need more sleep, but to look first at my medications before I take them. To avoid this kind of mishap occurring again – since medication mix-ups can sometimes be more serious than just a nap – I’ve labeled the pill vials I use for my medications – “Day” and “Night.” A simple solution that I should have done the first time it happened. Lessons learned.

My gratitude for today is that I did get some extra sleep (possibly making up for the hour I lost at the beginning month?). LOL! But, it also gave me time to rest my back, which I’d injured on Friday, plus my knee, which I injured the beginning of February.
Resting in My Father’s Love, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Sunday, March 29, 2009

Humor Makes Life Lighter

I love to laugh, and sometimes I laugh at myself. Yet with the day I had today – it was difficult physically, I still managed to find time to laugh. Jesus, my Saviour, has walked me through some incredibly tough times. He’s never left me, even when I can’t feel Him there. Just as humor makes my life lighter – laughing at how silly I can be for worrying sometimes – so does Jesus make my life lighter by carrying my burden. This doesn’t make me laugh, but brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart thump just a bit harder, knowing Jesus loves me this much. His love of carrying my burdens makes it easier for me to laugh.

Yes, my gratitude is that Jesus loves me enough to bear what I can’t. As the hymn says, “What a friend [I] have in Jesus…”

Living in the Son-Light, Michelle Rose

Friday, March 27, 2009


(If you look closely, you can see a bee inside the heart of this flower. I was once scared of these fascinating creatures, now I love to take photos of them when they land on flowers.)

Lessons from Life, Friday, March 27, 2009

E.G.B.O.K (Everything's going to be OK)

It’s almost over. Almost. But now I owe the city of LA money since I was an independent contractor for 1 ½ years and have to pay back the money I received to file bankruptcy, but on Monday I will file bankruptcy. Today I went to welfare to turn in my letter from SSA so I can receive my money back to pay for my Medicare. It didn’t take much time to take it away from me, but as is usual with the government, it takes them forever (well, around 2 months to return it).

Part 2…My friend Sharon has pointed out on more than one occasion that I don’t do anything to “treat” myself other than with food and that I don’t let out certain feelings when I’m hurting. How true. I don’t know how to reward myself with anything other than with food – it’s been my “shelter” too long. I hide in what I eat – it’s my way to cope. I’m no longer a practicing alcoholic, but I’ve continued my addiction with food, which is sometimes my way of expressing my feelings. I’ve got quite a bit of work to do on myself, now that I don’t have to concentrate so much on overwhelming problems. I have to relearn how to reward myself and to accept the person I am, other than as a person who is always overstressed and dealing with problems, since that’s who I’ve been for longer than I care to remember.

My gratitude today is that I went to the welfare office and didn’t totally freak out by having a major anxiety attack. I’m also grateful I met a guy – whether he calls or not, it was fun talking to him.

Comforted by my Saviour, Michelle Rose

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looking at Miracles

Lessons from Life, Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looking at Miracles

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. ~Albert Einstein~

I never wonder about miracles, since I’ve seen so many occur in my life and the lives of others. Maybe looking at life through the eyes of my God, helps me to continually see them occurring. I can’t help but think that in looking around me at my world, nature, and people, miracles, like love are “many splendored thing.”

Today my gratitude is that I now have the money to file bankruptcy and avoid being sued. I’m also grateful that I made a decision not to seek a teaching job this summer, since the information I’m looking for – I can’t find. Instead, I’ll look for other summer employment, taking a break from teaching.

Loved by My God, Michelle Rose

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lessons from Life 3/16 to 3/25 - Catching Up...

Once again I've been a little lazy, but mostly in a place emotionally where I did not have the strength to post my lessons on this blog. I hope those who are following my lessons on here, will be happy they are updated.

Lessons from Life, Monday, March 16, 2009

Today it felt like the earth caved in on my life. I wasn’t even a parallel universe. It was just confusing. I’m not sure what kind of lesson I could have learned from the pit of hell I experienced myself being dropped into, but the pain today was terrible.

In catching up on my lessons, I will just summarize what it felt like going through these days. I know I was grateful for something, yet the pain and confusion simply overwhelmed me.
Lessons from Life, Tuesday, March 17, 200

I continued trying to find answers for this confusion I am experiencing; answers that I couldn’t comprehend, even when I went to the sources I knew should have them. Maybe my shock was so deep that I could not understand even the simplest explanation. Maybe I couldn’t accept that life, as I had known it for the past couple years, was changing and I would have to find some way to figure out a new way to live and accept, finding the serenity that I could not feel enough to write these lessons. I felt incapable of it.

Again, I have much to be grateful for, but I was lost in a deep forest.
Lessons from Life, Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some of the pain came out today, to those which I least expected to express it to – strangers. Yet, between the physical and emotional pain, I was exploding, like a stuffed toy with the stuffing pouring out of split seams. I prayed to God to help me put it back in. But, He only gave me the peace of sleep. I remember using this analogy to my AA sponsor (Girl) Mike when she was alive. I also remember feeling this way too many times in my life. I put my life in the Lord’s hands and believe He loves me. Why, then, do I feel the desolation and depression that hangs over me like a huge black thunderhead?

Again, I ask a question I did in an earlier lesson. Is it wrong for me to want more? Then I wonder if I’m doing all I can to move past this point because it appears that no matter what I do, it still isn’t good enough.

Gratitude – talking with my friends and being with possible new friends at church.
Lessons from Life, Thursday, March 19, 2009

I picked up the paperwork from the paralegal to file the bankruptcy. Then realized I’d have to have the filing fee before I went to court. I am sometimes so naïve, thinking I could just show up and they would allow me to sign a waiver. Maybe it doesn’t work that way. So once again, I had to scramble for the money to help me out of this nightmare that is almost over. Please God, let it almost be finished. Fortunately, family, friends, and a neighbor helped. This is my gratitude today. Soon, this particular hell will be in the past.

Still feeling vulnerable, Michelle
Lessons from Life, Friday, March 20, 2009

The Miracle of Spring

“They [the Lord’s mercies] are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
~Lamentations 3:23 KJV~

I woke up this morning and told God how tired I was. That’s all I could say, “God, I’m tired, very tired. I am so very tired.” Even though I’d just awakened, I had no energy from all the battles I’d had with different government agencies and preventing myself from being sued. The bankruptcy is not filed yet, but I will have the money I need for the filing fee soon, so the end of this challenge is in sight. The other challenge I had was thinking I was losing my medical coverage.

Last night on the way home from the paralegal, I was just so discouraged that I had to face another obstacle, that I just wanted to take drastic action to not have to face another thing. Obviously, I didn’t do that. This morning when I called SSA, my life turned around within a few seconds. That’s all it took. The Lord’s miracles come when I least expect them. Yes, my SSDI is less, but I will still be getting a good amount of disability. The $96 that I won’t receive in my check is what the feds will use to pay for my Medicare. I still have medical coverage.

I’ve known people who say they don’t believe in miracles, but all they need to do is take a look at my life. For all the challenges I’ve had in my life and still come through them, with the help of Jesus, I AM A MIRACLE.

My gratitude today is that I finally heard the answer I needed to hear and was able to understand it.

Standing on the Rock, Michelle
Lessons from Life, Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beauty – From the Inside Out

Oscar Hammerstein, II:
“Do you love me because I'm beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me?”

Saturday, I saw a man whom I’d seen around Pasadena when I lived there and with whom I’d had a casual acquaintance – to say, “Hello, how are you?” However, I never knew his name and for some reason, never asked. So, when he walked into the restaurant where my friends and I were planning to have dinner, I finally found out his name, along with his friend, whom I’d never met before.

For much of my life, I’ve been judged from the outside in, but I’ve done my best not to be that way – although I must admit, I’ve fallen into that trap at times. Claude is not handsome by Tinsel Town standards, as he was possibly in some kind of accident, which burned his face, scarring it. I don’t know much about him and would not think to ask what happened. Yet, one thing has always attracted me to him – he has always been nice when we’ve talked. As a result, I see him from the inside out.

Isn’t that the way my friends and my Heavenly Father see me? I know is yes, since the dark valley I’m walking through has not come to an end yet. During this time I don’t always feel “beautiful,” but somehow an ugly part of life. Yet, Jesus loves me just as I am. In just writing that something struck my heart about His love.

My gratitude that day was that my friends loved me enough to help me out.

Walking in His Light, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Sunday, March 22, 2009

Changes, Changing, Changed

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France~

I long for changes in my life, but sometimes I wonder if it will ever come, since I can’t escape the rut I’ve been stuck in for so long. I strive to be changing in my thinking and attitude toward a much better future, yet can’t escape the circumstances that do not have me thinking beyond how I see things in my present. I desire to be changed in body, mind, spirit – physically, financially, emotionally – it’s so close, yet still feels so far out of reach.

My gratitude – having time to rest from the pain I was in this day.

Praying for Life Healing, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh Lord! When will that other window open?

Come unto me, ye who are weary and overburdened, and I will give you rest.
Bible, Matthew 11:28
I am so tired of what I’m going through. I keep thinking I’m coming to the end of this dark valley I’m in, then I have to wait longer and longer. I’m tired of talking about my life as it is. I’m tired of feeling like I do. I’m tired of not having any money.

I’m TIRED! (do you hear me Lord?)

I am grateful that a small check came today and that it won’t cost me too much to cash it at a check cashing place, so I don’t have to go to the bank.

One tired person, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The past several months have been quite a roller coaster in my life. Fortunately, even though I’m single and have often felt alone, I’ve never had to go through this long dark tunnel by myself. I’ve had friends near and far. I’ve had my family. But most of all, I’ve had a loving God who’s been with me the whole time and much of the time when I lacked the strength to take another step, He carried me. For all of this I’m grateful.

Protected under His Wings, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I didn’t make it to the DPSS office today to bring the letter from SSA reinstating my Medicare Part B. I’ll go tomorrow, before I go to Sharon’s. I pre-tested a new student. She’s in kindergarten and the youngest student I’ve ever had.

Tonight after coming home from the student’s house, I spent almost my last dollar on a box of cookies at the 99¢ store (they are now charging $1 for everything), then ate half the box (ok, it was a small box). On the way home I saw a mother and father with two young sons. They had just become homeless. I gave them the ½ box of cookies for the boys and after thinking about it, gave them the last dollar in my wallet, since I’ll be able to cash the other check I have and will be paid tomorrow from my tutoring company. I wished I had a $100 to give them so they could have spent the night in a motel. Before leaving them to return home, I prayed with them. Their plight struck me to the core, since their hell is just beginning, while mine will soon be over. I pray to God that they will find shelter and food soon.

I’m grateful for the Lord looking over me through this long, dark time I’ve had in my life and I praise Him for helping me find my way to the end of it. It will be over soon. I’m grateful for the time I have to take “mental health” days to return to work as a sub refreshed and to be able to have the time to help my friend Sharon – who needs me as much as I need her.

Realizing so much about this journey, Michelle Rose

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lessons from Life - 5 days in one...

I'm posting all these lessons at once, since I'm backed up on doing it and I'm a bit tired.

Lessons from Life, Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Thing at a Time or a Today is one of Great Uncertainty

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

To act without rapacity, to use knowledge with wisdom, to respect interdependence, to operate without hubris and greed are not simply moral imperatives. They are an accurate scientific description of the means of survival.
~Barbara Ward, British economist and writer, interested in the problems of developing countries. (1914-1981)~

I look at this last quote and had to read it several times. What does this have to do with my life? This morning I had several things happening at once. I stopped, realizing that I had control over how I felt – I didn’t have to feel overwhelmed, although after the 2 nasty lawyer calls and the nasty lawyer letter – I still do.

- My computer was acting up and no icons showed on the screen. (no big problem, I know how to fix it)
- I received a call from a collection agency – yeah, the scary kind.
- I was on hold with my health care center to rearrange an appointment with my therapist.
- I was hungry.
- I made a mess with the oatmeal all over the stove, as I hadn’t turned off the heat when I put the oatmeal in the boiling water. (the least of my worries)
- After eating, I received another nasty lawyer call.

I figured out which order I could handle all these concerns, then took action. First I cleaned the stove so that it wasn’t harder to clean later. Then when I was on the phone about the appointment, I hung up, knowing I could call back later. I disconnected my computer and reset it, leaving it off while I ate. After I ate, I called the receptionist to rearrange my therapy appointment, called the collection agency and hung up on him, when he made a remark that was nasty, and rebooted my computer. Then I received another call from a creditor blowing everything apart. My payment to the paralegal will be there by Friday, I should have the preliminary bankruptcy filed by sometime next week. Then the complete filing should be soon.

Right now I just want for this nightmare that’s been going on for way too long a time to end. I don’t have much and I’m doing my best to hold on to what few possessions that help me and what little sanity (which is precarious at this point) I’m struggling with.

I know I’m grateful for something and I’m doing my best to figure out what it is…

Feeling Like I’m Living Under a Very Black Cloud, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Rough Around the Edges

We are never prepared for what we expect. ~James A. Michener, Caravans

Today started out seemingly better – I received a 2-day substituting assignment. The only thing was that it was at a middle school. In addition, I had to tutor afterwards and shop for food and other things on the way home. Suffice it to say it was an extremely long and challenging day. I dislike subbing at middle schools, since they take too much out of me physically and emotionally. After 2 days, I was totally worn out, but glad that I’d made some money.

What have I learned – don’t take subbing assignments at middle schools, since I don’t like doing them. I once promised myself I would not do work that I hated. In some ways, I’ve not remained true to that promise. Sometimes, though, financial need trumps promise. A clear case of necessity.

Gratitude – I made it home in one piece, even if exhausted.

Carried by God, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Friday 13, 2009

Another Day at the “House of Horrors”

No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness. ~Aristotle

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. ~Oliver W. Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 1858

These 2 quotes sum up quite accurately how I felt on this day. I had to fight all day to keep my sanity and not leave that middle school. I don’t exactly know how I made it through the day, but God sure had His work cut out for Him that day in tugging me from the minute I awakened to the minute I was done working. Part of me is still shaking when I think about how each class period grew progressively worse. Personally, I was very relieved when that final bell rang and the class of 51 kids (except for one I knew personally from tutoring him) ran screaming out the door. Lord Have Mercy!

To say I skirted on the edges of insanity that day, about describes it.

Gratitude – I made it through one of the toughest days I’ve ever had subbing and came home to vegetate in front of the tv – yeah, my mind zombied out! God bless the teachers who work in middle schools – it must take a very special person who can do it.

So Happy to be Carried by My Saviour, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Saturday, March 14, 2009

Instead of Giving in to Depression

The mind is the most capricious of insects - flitting, fluttering. ~Virginia Woolf

I wanted to stay home today and vegetate again, but I forced myself to get out to the poetry workshop. Sometimes waging a war against what my mind tells me to do helps me feel like I’m winning a battle. Going through challenging times may not be easy, but after I get through them, I still must force myself a little farther.

Gratitude – that I have friends who understand what I’ve been going through for too long a time and the Lord understanding my need for breaks from the constant stress.

Seeing Only One Set of Footprints, Michelle Rose
Lessons from Life, Sunday, March 15, 2009


“Turn to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee…” ~Zechariah 9:12 KJV~

“They shall not hunger nor thirst: neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them even by the springs of water he guide them.” ~Isaiah 49:10 KJV~

“…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine.” ~Isaiah 43:1 KJV~

Whenever I get in a fearsome financial situation, I want to eat and eat and eat… My hunger is so very tied into my insecurity. The first verse I chose is about hope. And that I am, a prisoner of hope. The second part of the 2nd verse refers to the 23rd Psalm – which is one of my favorites. I even have a mug with the first 2 verses on it. In the last verse I chose, I realized that I was supposed to find it, even though I wasn’t looking for it. Yet every time I read it, I feel less afraid and more assured, since my God is letting me know that my fears are groundless. He is with me and He will never leave me.

My hunger may be mostly in my mental, but all too often, I give in to it and feed my physical hunger, leaving me empty. Here are only 3 verses in the whole Bible with the Lord’s assurance that He’s got me in His arms and is looking out for me. When I first started reading through the Bible (in a year) I hungered for God’s Word and knowledge of Him. That hunger still hasn’t left me. I know I satisfied both kinds of hunger tonight by seeking the answers in the Bible and from God, rather than continuing to do it with food. This is not actually how I started out writing this lesson I learned, but it’s what my God wanted me to learn.

These lessons are what I learn during each day of my life, but I only learn them because they are what God wants me to realize what He can teach me.

Gratitude – a quiet day to rest, since I’ve been feeling quite a bit of physical pain, and an unexpected lesson learned.

In His Arms, Michelle Rose

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Being Filled

Lessons from Life, Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Being Filled

“For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
~Ps 107:9 KJV~

“ 9 He gives those who are thirsty all of the water they want.
He gives those who are hungry all of the good food they can eat.” ~Ps. 107:9 (New International Reader's Version)~

After yesterday’s adventure and getting all upset, I calmed down. My heart sometimes longs for things that feel or appear beyond my reach. God takes very good care of me. I am blessed with many belongings in my life and even blessings beyond what I can see. Sometimes I yearn for more and I wonder if it’s wrong — wrong to want to feel more comfortable financially than I am now. So many people have much less. Because of the “cusp” I’m on financially, I am attuned to the homeless and the guys hanging out by Home Depot looking for day work. It’s given me an idea, something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, for poetry I want to write. There’s a poetry contest coming up in my area and it will give me an opportunity to put my idea in motion. Sometimes people like this are invisible to those who have never been in the circumstances the homeless or day workers are. I’ve felt “between the cracks” at times in my life when I haven’t received what I’ve needed – not from God, but from government agencies when I had much less than I do now.

God fills me so that I don’t thirst or hunger with Jesus’ love. Why, then do I still hunger for more? Maybe God realizes this is a question I’m not ready for His answer. Maybe He’s waiting until He knows I can openly accept His answer. Maybe.

I’m grateful today for a roof over my head, for my five senses, my functioning body, my Sasha, for many things in my life that I often take for granted. I’m grateful I have the money to buy what I need. I’m grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness when I don’t depend totally on Him.

God’s Wondering Child, Michelle Rose

Monday, March 9, 2009

Taking a Step Backwards

Lessons from Life, Monday March 9, 2009

Taking a Step Backwards

Hope I

the church’s leaded windows
stained glass
tilted upward for the breeze
air out the words
Jesus heals all
~Maureen Glaude, In Memoriam, Canadian poet, from Wordchimes.com~

I read these words today and they soothed me just as Maureen’s poetry always does. She was a special lady who took life as it came, grasping it with both hands. Many people loved Maureen in real life, online, in the poetry and Christian worlds. When cancer took this special lady, all who knew her whether personally or online felt a tremendous void in their lives.

I posted this today in my lesson, because I took a big step back in my thinking. Way back to a very dark and hurting place. I have come so far in facing challenges, yet certain things scare me into hysterical non-thinking, wanting easy solutions to problems. For a while, I forgot the Lord and forgot to ask His help, allowing my emotions to take over. Someone I contacted helped me resolve this challenge, although I must take two more actions to complete it – a letter and a phone call.

I ask these questions of the type of thinking that I slipped into today. Why do I think that my Lord can only handle some problems and not others? Why do I allow myself to become separated from Him, getting to the point of becoming so hysterical that I can’t take a breath? Why do I think that He only loves me in some situations and not others? I know none of this is true. Jesus has healed me in so many ways. And, in this situation – dealing with government agencies and my SSDI – He will guide me through the situation as well.

My gratitude today is how much patience God has with this imperfect person – me; more than I have with myself.

Cradled in the Arms of my Saviour, Michelle Rose

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hurting for Others

Lessons from Life, Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hurting for Others

I Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~Mother Teresa~

February 19 was the 3rd anniversary of Mom’s death and February 7th the 3rd anniversary of my beautiful Seal Point Snowshoe Siamese cat, Monique. I didn’t get a chance to grieve the first anniversary, since I was working that day. Yesterday, I thought about Monique (aka Moquie), but was too focused on sitting still to help my leg heal.

Today, I received an email from an online friend about a family tragedy – I ached so much for this family. I sent an ecard and called, praying with my online friend. For some reason, this helped bring out my own tears to grieve Mom and Moquie. So many times when I hear of others’ trials and tragedies, I hurt for them more than I hurt for myself. I’m not sure why, but I believe it’s a gift God has given me for whatever reason.

My gratitude today is feeling better, so I can get out for a bit of shopping I need and meet a friend for dinner. It won’t extend myself physically, but take it easy, as I am still not healed completely.

In the Protection of His Wings, Michelle Rose

When God Says, "Stop."

Lessons from Life, Saturday, March 7, 2009

When God Says, "Stop."

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.” ~Jer. 30:17~

I’ve had a knee injury since last month. I haven’t been to Urgent Care yet, since the pain comes and goes. Yesterday, it was very bad, in addition to my feeling very weak and lightheaded. I cancelled my plans and just sat still the whole day, with the exception of a short trip to Ralph’s for food.

Today, I still have some pain, but in comparison to yesterday, when I could not put any weight on my leg until later that evening, it is much better. I didn’t want to sit still for a day, I wanted to go to the poetry workshop and get the chapbook in which I’m printed, then have dinner with my friend.

Sometimes listening to God is difficult, especially if it interrupts my plans. The key word here is “my.” God does not make His plans according to what Michelle wants. I don’t have God’s superior knowledge, power, or sight. I am an imperfect human who relies totally on the Lord to direct my life. That’s exactly what He did yesterday.

My gratitude is that God takes care of me better than I take care of myself.

Healing in His Power, Michelle Rose

Friday, March 6, 2009

Becoming Accustomed to Changes

Lessons from Life, Friday, March 06, 2009

Becoming Accustomed to Changes

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.” ~Bertha Calloway, an African-American community activist and historian in No. Omaha, NB. Founder of the Negro Historical Society~

My landlord was working on my new apartment today. The tile he was using for the bathroom is so pretty. In addition, he was using some pieces of granite in the shower stall. Little by little, I am seeing the new place I’ll live in.

It’s going to be quite a change from where I live now and sometimes when I go down there, like today, I focus on how small the room is. Then I remind myself that when I move in there, I’ll finally be able to decorate a place I’m living beautifully, something I’ve always wanted to do.

Yes, it will take some time to become accustomed to the smaller place, but what I sometimes fail to realize is that too often in life I focus on what my eyes can see in immediately in front of me, rather than what I can’t see in the future possibilities. Isn’t this concept what can make life so surprising? The endless variety of opportunities life has to offer. Even what at the time appears to be bad and frustrating can have value. (For example, the increasing pain in my knee, where I fell on it several weeks ago) For me, it’s all a matter of my attitude and what it is at any one moment in regards to what happens in my life.

My gratitude is that I have money to pay the bills and in my wallet, a priceless gift after being without money for sometime. I’m also grateful to the Lord who watches over me in every situation.

Seeing Life with Different Eyes, Michelle Rose

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Learning to Teach Others

Lessons from Life, Thursday, March 05, 2009

“?$% Kitty typing

Learning To Teach Others

“To teach is to learn twice.” ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842

From http://www.quotegarden.com

“If you want to learn something, read about it.
If you want to understand something, write about it.
If you want to master something, teach it.”
~Yogi Bhajan~ On as sign at GoldenBridge (a yoga center) in Hollywood

I substitute teach and tutor. In doing both, I learn. Many times, I sub for math classes, like I did today. In the past I did not like math, but in recent years since I’ve been tutoring it, I’ve developed a curiosity about the subject.

With most of the math classes I learn something. Of course, some courses are beyond my knowledge, but in subjects like algebra and geometry, I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would. This not only interests me, it helps me when I tutor.

This concept is something I learned when I was tutoring English one semester. I was teaching a student about direct and indirect objects. When I first started, I became a little confused, but the more I taught it to students, the more I understood direct and indirect objects in a sentence. I believe there is no time wasted in the pursuit of knowledge – it’s all valuable.

My gratitude today is that I substituted at my favorite high school and learned something in the math classes I was assigned, that God is using me as a growing vessel to teach others, and that He loves me more than I can ever adequately understand.

Living in His Classroom Called Life, Michelle Rose

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nature Around Me

Lessons from Life, Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Nature Around Me

The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower a tethered butterfly.
~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Maya Angelou

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! ~John Muir

All the quotes are from http://www.quotegarden.com
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

I am not only a quot-a-holic, but a nature-holic. I find things to express how I feel in quotes. Nature provides me with what life is all about – the Supreme Being who created it; the fact that He watches over me; the lessons I learn from animals; inspiration for my writing; the beauty my eyes can behold, and every other reason in the world.

Even living in the city, nature surrounds me. One night, when I came home, I saw two raccoons, possibly juveniles, walking from my yard to the one next door. I love raccoons, but stay away from them as they can be dangerous. I wondered that night why they had come down from the hills, since I don’t see them too often. They must have had some need to come into the city. I just hoped they found what they needed and returned back to their territory unharmed.

My gratitude today is time to do my laundry to prepare for work at my favorite high school tomorrow and a mild day where it rained in the morning and is now clear. I also have gratitude for the Lord who created all I see that enriches my life – the beautiful and the not so beautiful.

Living in My Father’s World, Michelle Rose

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Untangling Knots

Lessons from Life, Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Untangling Knots

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain~

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~Agatha Christie~

Quotes from: http://www.paralumun.com/quotes.htm

So many times I’ve wanted to just give up. Yep, throw the covers over my head; bury myself deeply under them. Pray that the earth would open up and swallow me, or some other variation of running away from what fear, responsibility, task, whatever it was faced me. Yet, I never did. Sometimes I didn’t know why I kept going. Other times I knew exactly why. I’m not a quitter, but a fighter and a survivor. I’ve been doing it all my life in one form or another. I found that the quickest way to untangle what I feared was to go straight through it.

When Mom was alive, she made a living as a professional seamstress. One of the lessons she taught me was how to untangle knots. Unless a tangle is so tight that no amount of force or action can unravel it, then most can be undone. The secret lies in the heart of the knot. By picking at one strand at a time, I found the one that loosened the knot either partially or altogether. Challenges are like that. Each has a center strand that if worked on, will reveal its solution. I have always heard that within each problem, lies its solution. It is there, just waiting to be found.

My gratitude today is that I received my SSDI deposit so I can pay my rent and buy some calcium supplements, I have a student to tutor this evening, Sasha is my constant companion, God loves me unconditionally.

Living in the Son-Light, Michelle Rose

With Malice Aforethought

Lessons from Life, Monday, March 2, 2009

“With Malice Aforethought”

“If malice or envy were a tangible shape, and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang.” ~Charley Reese. An American syndicated columnist, known for his plainspoken manner and conservative views. Born in 1937~

Quote from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/malice.html

In my reading through the Bible in a year, I keep coming across the phrase “with malice aforethought.” Mostly it applies to murder, but in thinking about it, I can also have malice before an interaction with someone when I’m nasty, prejudiced, impatient; unaware of others’ needs by being too wrapped up in mine; loud, abrasive…in fact, it could cover just about any negative feeling or emotion.

This phrase stays with me as I go about my day and I check my thoughts and actions. Do I have malice aforethought? Am I treating others as I would have them treat me? Am I being as kind as is my normal characteristic? Am I doing what I know is right in the Lord’s sight? The Lord sets tough standards, but if I want to walk a Christian path, then I must follow them.

My gratitude today is that I finally received my upper partial to fill in the space where I lost teeth; my doctor called me back regarding my cholesterol med; I had the time to rest from its effects on my body, and God is always watching over me.

In His Grace, Michelle Rose

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Disparate Comparison

Lessons from Life, Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Disparate Comparison

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
-- Napoleon Hill

There is no education like adversity.
-- Disraeli

I’ve been watching the show Man vs Wild. Now I don’t know exactly how the show is filmed or if it’s even authentic, but a lesson for today came out of it. A plane or helicopter drops the show’s host, Bear Grylls, into some wilderness area and he must find his way out. It is not the authenticity of the show, which is the lesson, but tough situations. If hikers are lost in the wild, they must do what they can to survive and make it back to civilization.

I’m on a journey, too, sometimes quite difficult – life and its different situations. It often feels as if I’m in a wilderness and have no idea where I’m going. The only thing is that I have a guide who never leaves me. He shows me the way, even when I do not ask for help. What I’m doing as far as the actions I’m taking to get through this difficult time often come not from my own guidance, but from His – Jesus.

Ok, I don’t have to eat bugs and other food in the wild to keep me going or face dangerous animals, but I must remember to keep my connection with Jesus, who keeps me going. For me, this world is a dangerous place without Jesus for my guide. He keeps me on the path and keeps a smile on my face (ok, maybe not all the time, but more than before I started these writings).

My gratitude today is the lesson I learned, Sasha by my side, and the love and guidance of Jesus in my life.

No Longer in the Wilderness, Michelle Rose

Pain or Corrective Medications?

Lessons from Life, Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pain or Corrective Meds?

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
Lance Armstrong

One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love.

I take a statin for my cholesterol, which is too high no matter what I do with my eating or exercise. I dislike taking them, since they cause me intense muscular pain. I told my doctor and we discussed cutting down how many I take. Still, even though I don’t take the med everyday, experience pain. Yesterday, I was in so much pain, I could barely move and had to cancel my plans for the day. Later on, I was able to go out and do some tasks that were necessary, but I still had pain and general weakness.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s another med I can take or if I should just learn to live with the pain from them. I don’t want to put my life on hold; however, it’s a challenging tossup between the two. If I do not receive a call for work on Monday, I will call my doctor and discuss this issue with him.

When I think of Lance Armstrong, I remember all the pain he went through in his fight against testicular cancer. He’s a superior athlete and a model not to give up, no matter what the odds. Through the ages, God has shown us example of that, too, with men like Moses, Paul, and most of all, Jesus. So, I think if others can bear their pain, so can I, while making sure the meds aren’t doing anything harmful to me.

Gratitude – a day to rest from the pain I feel, being able to accomplish some tasks, Sasha for being my companion, and the Lord for being ever with me.

Walking with the Triumvirate, Michelle Rose

A Day at Santa Anita Racetrack

Lessons from Life, Friday, February 27, 2009

A Day at Santa Anita Racetrack

Happy the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding!
-- Proverbs 3:13~

Website: Biblical Proverbs

I went to watch the horses run at Santa Anita Racetrack. I love horses. In past years, I remember going to the track and having a wonderful time. Somehow, although I had a good time on Friday, something about the atmosphere there didn’t quite catch my interest as it had in the past.

Later that night, I realized what it was. The one addiction, among my others, that never caught me was gambling, for which I’m grateful. I bet the first race in my mind – the horse won. I had the biggest thrill in this race. In that light, I can understand the thrill of winning when someone bets on a horse and wins – it’s a high like I used to get with alcohol, drugs, sex, and now food (a brief one). The next two races, I bet $2 to win – the horses lost. After that I said, “No more betting.” Of course, the track is in business to have people bet on horses, buy drinks and other refreshments. If others feel comfortable, it’s fine for them; however, I didn’t feel contented in that environment.

The more I thought about it, that night, I realized the racetrack is not an environment where I’m comfortable. And I knew then, even if it were a free admission day, I wouldn’t go back. This environment or entertainment with horses is not one in which I want to be. After that, I felt better.

When I went to school at Mt. San Antonio College with the intention of becoming a veterinary technician, one of my classes visited the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center (yes, the same Kellogg who makes cereals and other foods). The horses are beautiful! And each month on the first Sunday through May, they have a reasonably priced ($4) horse show. From Hollywood on the bus, it’s a bit of a journey, but an atmosphere that I know I’d enjoy.

Just for anyone’s information (for those who live in SoCal), here’s the website. Cal Poly Pomona Arabian Horse Show

My gratitude today is learning where I’m comfortable and where I’m not.

Under the Wings of God, Michelle Rose