Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Animal Teachers

Lynn Johnston, cartoonist, of "For Better or Worse"

"We are all born with wonderful gifts. We use these gifts to express ourselves, to amuse, to strengthen, and to communicate. We begin as children to explore and develop our talents, often unaware that we are unique, that not everyone can do what we're doing!"

This morning Quentin Clingerman, an online Christian friend, sent me the article below. For me it's not just news about a little-known species prevailing in the face of adversity, but a lesson about how I, as a human being, can do the same thing.

Large-billed Reed Warbler

(after you click on the link, click on the back button on your browser to return to LfrL)

In times of adversity, I've wanted just to throw in the towel and give up. Well, it doesn't work that way, at least in God's world. He doesn't allow me to quit, or at least He hasn't until now, nor will He ever allow me to give up, until He calls me home. Beneath me I have a Solid Rock in Jesus, supporting me when I feel weak or don't think I can go on any longer.

God teaches me lessons, although I never know where they will come from. For me, this fact just shows the amazing diversity of my Lord.

Michelle Rose

Friday, January 15, 2010

Empathy or Sympathy?


"...I'm holding out my only candle, but it's so little light to find my way..." ~Jackson Browne, "Song for Adam"~


Ecclesiastes 7:3 "Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better." (KJV)

I don't think by this verse, the writer (Solomon?) meant that I am to be sad all the time. My thoughts are that he meant that when I am sad, I empathize with others, that I can feel their pain. Ok, this is just my interpretation, so I could be wrong.

For some reason I'm very deeply affected by several events (among others) going on right now which are not in the direct circle of my life. One is the tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti. The other is that one of my friends is doing what he can to find a home for his mother's cat a home. His mother recently died and he's unemployed. The two events have nothing to do with each other, but for some reason I feel them deeply.

I have the disability of manic-depression and one of the characteristics of it is that I have the ability to see more than one side of a situation. I've written about it before - it's like a heightened perception. I have always perceived others' sadness or pain as a part of myself - I can feel it. I feel especially powerless since I can only pray for the situation in Haiti. But, for my friend's cat, I've been checking as many resources as I know of to see about finding the kitty a home.

Today, I think my lesson is that I can only do what I can. If all I can do is pray, then this is the job God has given me to do. I accept that.

Michelle Rose

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Dash

I was trying to think about what to write today, when in the process of catching up with my email, I came across this movie Everett (for those of you who know him) had sent me. This covers so much, I decided to use it for my lesson today, since it certainly has me thinking. Maybe some have seen this before, or something like it. But, it's never too late, no matter what your beliefs, to think about your life before it's over.

The Dash Poem Movie

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Who's Really in Charge Here?


...yes, she might, but I'll bet God whispers them in her ear.

Ok, I'm back after a few days of struggling with depression and new realizations. Today, in my morning reading in Charles Stanley's meditation, I found a phrase that fits my life so well. The verse for today was Philippians 4:5, but it's impossible not to read it from verses 4:4-7, then skip down and read Phil. 4:13, 19. The title of today's morning meditation was, "A Reason for Confidence." The sentence I found was, "And sometimes false guilt creeps into our minds and robs of assurance." BINGO!

So, just when I least expected it, I found the answer for a reason for the way I've been feeling much of my life. The question now has an answer. Thank you God! It's true, that the answers are in the Bible.

Today I went out and joined a gym that I'd been a member of before when my insurance company paid for it (but I never went). The monthly membership fee is low enough that I can afford it, even if I don't find work right away. The gym will be my place to be good to myself - an escape for me - a mini-vacation each day I go. I can start working on my health matters.

The other day, with everything that happened, I was so upset that I couldn't stay a member at the other gym I'd joined. AHA! God always has a plan. God knew, and so did I in my heart, I couldn't afford that gym. Ok, ok, I admit it, God's smarter than I am. He knows what's better for my life than I do. I think that's a very good reason to let Him guide me through life and follow what He wants me to do. (Looks up and says, "Ok, I hear you God. I'm listening.")

Michelle Rose

Friday, January 8, 2010

Questions without Answers


I haven't written LfrL every night, since I've been struggling with so many questions in my mind. Here are just a few of the issues I'm grappling with at this point.

~ In my life, I appear to be the only one who ever apologizes for anything, even when someone else hurts me. Does that mean I'm worse than others? Am I such a bad person that I'm the only one who's had to apologize for everything all my life?

~ When someone else hurts me, I'm not supposed to get angry and/or yell at them. Yet, it's ok for them to do this to me. Am I not as good a person as they are or are they just more powerful than I am?

~ Some of the things people say to me, I would never say to them. One thing everyone always has to mention is that I'm fat. DUH! I've lived with being in this condition for 60 years. Do people not realize I know what I look like?

~ I'm 60 years old, but people are still telling me what to do, as if I don't know how to handle my life or I'm a little child (ok, I'm God's child). I'm so tired of this, but don't know how to handle it. Do people think I'm so dumb I can't live without their help?

~ Everyone else appears to have power over me. Is it because I'm a doormat, too nice, or what? So much of the time I feel as if I'm supposed to bend over and kiss their...uh, you know what...toes.

~ One of the few places I feel comfortable is at home - alone with Sasha. Outside my apartment, I feel invisible and feel as if I have to get out of everyone's way. Am I invisible?

I know God has provided the answers to these questions in the Bible, but I'm not finding the answers in my reading. I'm not in the best mood right now. Yes, I've been struggling with depression. Ok, I feel better than I did a few days ago, but it just hurts too much to feel completely happy. It's scary. I'm scared. And I haven't felt this way for a very long time. I'm unsure of myself and what I should be like. It appears most of the lessons I'm learning now are hard ones. Lessons that tell me that no matter what I do, my life will never change; that I'm stuck in a horrible rut that will never release me. Maybe that isn't so, but that's the way it appears. I don't feel as if I'm growing, but dead beneath a ton of snow, struggling to be alive again. And I'm not sure how to do it.

Michelle Rose

Tuesday, January 5, 2010



I've always heard the expression, "Waiting for the other shoe to drop." I'd lost that feeling for a long time, but recently, it came back with a vengeance. I didn't have just the other shoe dropped on me, I had a whole load of shoes unloaded on me.

I had to cancel a gym membership I hadn't even gotten to use. I a short time, I will be unemployed again, and the pain in my back is getting worse. Working out at the gym would have helped with my rehabilitation. It was one of the actions on my list, which now I can't do.

Here it is just 5 days into the new year and I feel like my life is blown to smithereens (to put it nicely). If I can be grateful for anything, it's the fact that now I know what's coming in the days and months to come.

Maybe I'll feel better in a few days, but the way I feel right now - I don't care if I do or not. And what difference would it make anyway? I now this is supposed to be a journal of what I've learned in life and a positive contribution each day, but right at this point that's now how I feel, so why pretend.

michelle rose (at this point, a drooping one)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Take Me Home...


Please God, take me home. I don't belong here. I want to be with Jesus, where I can feel loved and beautiful


Last night I committed the ultimate stupidity - I got angry. So now, I just don't want to feel any better than I do right at this moment. I really want God to take me home.

On earth, I'm an alien. I'm old, ugly, unwanted, no one, and in the way.

In heaven, I would be ageless, beautiful, wanted, someone, and loved.

Can the choice be any clearer? I'm a stranger on earth. I've always felt uncomfortable here. Today I found a feather, I think it was from a hawk. I made me cry, because I am tied to a life that I hate and that hates me. God, take me home. That will be my prayer for the rest of my unhappy, miserable days.

Michelle, the dead rose

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Self-Love: or Who Is My First Best Friend?


This is how I want to feel - happy to be me and in love with who I am!

I'm reading two very good books. Today, I will quote from one of them, It's Not About Food: End Your Obsession with Food and Weight, by Carol Emery Normandi, MFT, and Laurelee Roark, CCHT (Founders of Beyond Hunger, Inc.), from a section called "Understanding Our Inner Critics."

"If a mother looks at her child with critical eyes and focuses only on the bodily imperfections, then the child learns to look at herself in the same manner. As children enter the school system, their peers have another profound impact on how they perceive themselves. Children who are teased because they are different (overweight, different ethnicity, disabled, and the like) incorporate these negative messages into their developing sense of self." The paragraph goes on to say that as we get older, society and the media play into womens' negative self-image.

"These messages and the body hatred we have integrated into our own thoughts and feelings start to affect everything we do and everything we feel about ourselves. Our inner critical voice attacks not only our body but our mind and soul as well. Self-esteem, self-trust, and self-love erodes. The hatred we feel for our bodies soon permeates our whole being." (pg. 27).

When I was first in AA program I learned that alcoholism is a disease of the body, mind, and spirit. Recovery is contingent with maintaining a daily relationship with a Higher Power (as the program calls it, or God).

As with my other addictions, God is the most important part of my recovery. Without Him, nothing else follows. I have done so much work to overcome my other addictions and to grow as a Christian. I feel this is the one thing that separates me from serving God as an effective servant and Him granting me the answers to some of my prayers. When I am in my eating disorder, I am separated from God.

The actions I'm taking now to not only learn about this disorder, but work my way to recovery are the most stringent I've ever taken. I want to recover and I'm doing everything I can to ensure that. Praise God for being so patient with an imperfect me. He who is perfect loves me just as I am, but loves me too much to leave me this way. He knows the pain I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He is on my side and will help me love myself for the first time in my life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lessons in Life...

to take throughout this year and beyond.

Several days ago Que sent me a link for these lessons. I did not open the email or link until today. When I did, a sense of serenity washed over me, since I'd heard many of these lessons many times over in my life. I finally managed to find the link on YouTube. They are presented on some beautiful winter scenes. I know I certainly related, remembered, and learned from seeing these again. I hope you will enjoy seeing them also.

Michelle Rose

45 Lessons in Life