A very full October


And it’s not over yet!  The month started with a class reunion on the 8th. The turnout wasn’t so great, but it was good to reconnect with old friends.  One of the things that struck me was when they asked people in the room to raise their hand if they still had both parents living.  I was I think one of only four!  And since the last reunion another handful of classmates have passed away.  We just keep marching closer and closer to the front line!

The week after that I went to a women’s conference at the “Happy Church” in Glen Burnie, close to Baltimore.  That’s not the real name (which is “Redemption House Life Center”), but it is the happiest church I know and the name has stuck.  My friend Mary was one of the speakers, and she had a team of women come as well to minister.  This would be the conference where the necklaces we made the week before got handed out.  Except I didn’t get to do that because I was sick.  Yep.  All day Saturday, the best day of the whole event, and I was back at the hotel.  I handled it good at first, but then as the day wore on I started to have a pity party for myself and those never end well.  Let’s just say the Lord was getting the crap out of me in the spiritual realm and that the physical world often reflects the spiritual, lol.  So I missed a glorious night where Holy Spirit showed up in a very, very big way.  I was told they’d been waiting for that night for years.  Me too, lol.  Guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.  I felt pretty much normal by Sunday morning and didn’t want to end on such a downer, so I went to church and saw God move again (in a different way but very powerfully).  I got a word about being Mary’s “Joshua” and that really encouraged me.

I came home for a day and a half before I headed out again, this time to Voice of the Apostles in Lancaster.  The Network Meeting was good, and there was even a small gathering on Wednesday for GSSM students with Bill Johnson.  Not getting to have a meeting like that had been such a disappointment to me back in 2012 when I went to Denver and Bill was there, and it was as if God was giving it back.  It was actually the first time he spoke to GSSM students and he said it was well overdue.  Some nuggets include:  “Most of what you need in life will be brought to you.  Most of what you want you’ll have to get.”  He spoke about being hungry for God and going where He is moving.  “You don’t go deer hunting at Macy’s or the mall, you go to where they are!”  I never got why some people just plant themselves, insisting He come to their church when He was moving somewhere they could drive to.  I’m not talking about leaving their church for another, but visiting like the people did during Brownsville and Toronto.  Catch the fire and then take it home!  After all, “Wise men still travel.” :)  Jesus is constantly working to show us how unseen things work, and leaders owe it to their congregations to stay exposed to the supernatural.  When he was done speaking, he and Mike, Ben, Tom and Katie made a fire tunnel and prayed for us all as we left the room.

All the meetings were good, though I did miss a couple.  I got three prophetic words while I was there, one from Charity Cook, one from a student in CPCP, and one from the woman whose Bible had the gold dust.  All three talked about words flowing out of me.  Methinks it’s time to do more than blog :)  Oh and about that gold dust, yes, it showed up big time I think Tuesday or Wednesday night (I don’t remember which).  One of my friends was back there and came away covered in it.  No, it wasn’t being thrown around.  It actually comes through the pores of the skin.  I had it happen once on my hands when I was deep in prayer (for Global actually).  Another woman looked as if someone had taken a sheet of gold leaf and rubbed it across her cheeks, it was solid!  I know there are skeptics reading this (hey, I’m a healthy one), but this was the real deal.  The lady with the Bible said it happens often when she opens the Word.  Why does God do that?  I guess because He can :)

I had a shift occur while I was there when a friend and I had a conversation over lunch.  I can’t even remember what was said, but she said she saw something in me “solidifying” and that’s exactly how it felt.  No more letting feelings run the show!  I’ve had numerous opportunities since then for that to be tested, and I haven’t given in.  It is a battle, but a good one, and I am determined to “not go there” anymore.  No more comparing myself, no more shaming myself, no more whining about where I am.  This is a very good journey and I trust the process because I trust Him.

Today I drove to Hanover to help my dad with a few things.  That’s another test, because I can feel his loneliness and see the needs he has.  I have to be careful to only do what He tells me to.  When you let peace be the umpire of your soul, that helps :)  Now to just stay in that place of peace!!!!

Forcing myself to write


I don’t mean that to sound like a chore but it’s what I am doing right now.  I have come to realize that this blog has become a diary of sorts, and that if I don’t write things down I will forget. Not I might or I could but I will forget, and perhaps (just perhaps) that is one of the reasons why certain things in my life seem to be set on “repeat.”  That and the fact that growth, which seems almost nonexistent at times, does actually occur and reading past posts helps me realize that.  I suppose it’s kind of like the rings on a tree, with each one marking a moment in time.  Here’s hoping I’m not just expanding but growing upward as well, lol.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.  I have had to fight the urge to keep checking with my brother to see how dad is doing.  He hasn’t called and as much as I want to I don’t feel I am supposed to.  The day after my last post I went down and drove him around to take care of banking and other business.  I also bought him a phone.  I’m trying not to be a “fixer” so I’m sitting on my hands, so to speak, and trying to let this work itself out.  The last conversation I had with my brother raised concerns about dad’s ability to live by himself.  I can’t let my mind go the places it has in the past, and this is another lesson I’m needing to learn (again).  Let go, Patti.  Let it go….

I did get down to the shore with my friend Mary (who is writing a book).  We spent the four days working either on that or on necklaces to give to the women coming to a conference next week, so we didn’t even see the ocean.  Aside from one trip out to Staples (to print things) and Starbucks, we were at the trailer working.  Our last night there a storm blew through and it was a wild night.  Along with the right-outside-the-door lightning cracks it dumped three inches of rain.  Rain on a trailer roof is quite loud and I barely slept.  It came as no surprise then (well actually it did, lol) when an employee of the campground banged on the door at eighty-thirty and told us we had to go, the roads were flooding.  And now Matthew is lashing Florida and the south.  I’m praying for a friend in Orlando and hoping for an update soon.

Yesterday I met a friend at Global for worship and then tea afterward.  First-year students are away so it was just second years.  Worship was awesome but I found out afterward that you can’t just show up for that anymore, you have to let them know ahead of time and it counts as one of your visits (past students get ten a year).  There must have been a problem and so this was the solution, but it made me sad.  I don’t attend a church that has that kind of freedom to worship, so it was always refreshing and a great way to start my day!  I suppose it’s time though.  Funny how it still stings….

In other news my guitar skills are improving, which is happy.  I’m having a good time with my friend Kat practicing for our “Campfire Christmas” at two nursing homes (and perhaps more).  She’s actually coming over today and we’ll probably slip over to Perry Village and visit a few residents including one dear lady who was pretty sick.  Flu season has started, and it can be deadly to old folks :(.  I was visiting last weekend when one of the residents flew into a rage at another and walked over and put a stop to it, binding the spirit of anger in Jesus’ name!  The resident stopped and looked at me, his demeanor changed, and said, “Okay.”

I saw a recent article about how nursing homes in Pennsylvania are going to be held to much higher standards and all I can say is it’s about time.   It’s kind of like schools with a teacher-to-student ratio being too high.  Seniors in nursing homes need a lot of care, just like children, except their messes are much bigger and I think it takes much more patience and compassion.  It’s heartbreaking to watch at times, but I know the employees are doing the best they can.  I imagine it’s like that at most nursing homes.  Lately I’ve been considering becoming a CNA and actually working there, but I know I’m to keep my schedule open and that would certainly tie me down.  It’s just that I’m not allowed to help when they ask for it, and that’s hard.  I suppose it’s for my safety as well as theirs, and I do little things when I can, but rules are rules.

Oh!  I almost forgot.  A couple of days ago my son and his family went for a hike.  Kevin went along and at one point they were at a pond and the boys started skipping stones.  Kevin and Mary walked up a trail a bit and turned and looked up at at the exact same moment to see something orange in the water kind of bobbing up and down.  It hit them both at the same time and they yelled, “Shea!”  He had somehow gotten behind his father and slipped or walked into the water and there was a drop-off.  There was no splash or sound, no warning, he was just there, ten feet out, bobbing (though his head didn’t come above the water) and barely visible except for the splotch of orange.  Ty turned and didn’t hesitate.  Taking a couple huge steps he grabbed him and pulled Sheamus to safety.  He’d held his breath (thank you, Jesus) and didn’t cry, though he was shaken (they all were).  He wanted grandpa to carry him and he did, covering him with a blanket as they walked back to the car.

Just a couple of weeks ago a young boy Shea’s age drowned.  Now I can see how easily it can happen.  I am grateful to the wise aunt who buys the boys matching fluorescent orange shirts, because if he had been in something dark they wouldn’t have seen him.  Life can change so quickly and I shudder to think what our lives would look like today if Sheamus had drowned.  Lord help that family and comfort them as only You can!  And thank you for sparing my little grandson’s life and for sparing us as well.

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain….


It should come as no surprise that immediately upon leaving the high mountains of North Carolina Sunday I would get a call yesterday that dad showed up at my brother’s because he didn’t know where else to go.  I’m learning to say “This is not my problem,” but confess that I didn’t handle it so well at first.  There really is no place for anger and if I go down that path it’ll pull a Darth Vader on me.  It’s a bottomless rabbit hole and I can’t afford to let myself go there even though I’m tired and it seems like the easy thing to give in to.  I cried buckets of tears last night and have had to do a lot of repenting.  Right now I’m feeling somewhat numb and wonder if I’ve told myself “Don’t feel” as I’d done most of my life.  Dad asked me to pick him up today and take him to the bank, the doctor, and a few other places.  It’s an hour and a half just to get to where he is let alone all the running.  At some point today I have to tell him I can’t do this again.  He is where he is at because of choices he has made (and he’s still making bad ones), but the compassion in me rises up and wants to rescue.  Jesus help us.

The Come Away Weekend at Mary’s was incredible.  I got there last Tuesday and decided to take a short nap because I’d left early and was pretty tired.  A month ago Mary had told me she’d had a dream that I was driving a van and it was broken down along the road.  She pulled up behind me and saw that the bench seat was broken and I was trying to replace it with a bench from a furniture store so she told me that I needed to go back to the dealer and get a real one.  Well, benches represent rest, and it is so much like me to try to fix things my way.  The happy thing about that short nap was I had a dream and in it I was at the dealership, and even in the dream I knew that I had gone there to get a real bench :)  So needless to say my level of expectation for the ensuing weekend ratcheted up!

On Wednesday we headed out to do food shopping.  It was a long day and we had a lot of stops but we got it done.  Some of the ladies had to come in early, and the rest trickled in Thursday through the day.  That night I cooked filet mignon and it turned out excellent (hey when you have a good cut of meat it’s hard to mess things up!).  I was kept busy until I left on Sunday morning making meals and doing dishes and other things.  I also played guitar and led in some songs.  At one point Mary asked me to share about living in hope and here I am being challenged again.  Anyway, it was interesting to see the transformation in the women (some of whom had never met Mary before) from Thursday night to Saturday night.  And yes, Saturday night we had another baptism in her pool and as He promised, Holy Spirit showed up in a big way.  That evening at dinner the ladies gave me a card with some money and really blessed me.  My plan was to purchase a Zoom recorder, but we’ll see.

The sun will be up soon.  I like this time of day, the quiet before everyone starts getting up.  Think I’ll go back down in the basement and pray.  God already knows what today will look like.  I pray He’ll guide me through it and give me the wisdom to maneuver over this rocky terrain and that He will straighten the crooked roads.  In the end, I just want to hear “Well done.”  The funny thing is that I did hear it at Mary’s.  Thursday night she went around and prayed/prophesied over everyone.  When she got to me she heard, “Well done,” and so that’s what she told me, following it with that funny laugh that she does, lol.  In fact, Sunday before I left she asked what was the highlight of the weekend (and it’s interesting that about three seconds before that I was asking myself that question).  I told her it was that, hearing “Well done.”  After yesterday and how I handled things (or didn’t handle them) I don’t feel as if that could be said anymore, but God always gives second chances.  And thirds, and fourths for that matter.  In fact, He never gives up on us, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I just realized it was after Jesus was baptized that He immediately was led into the wilderness, so I shouldn’t be surprised at any of this for I, too, was (re)baptized on Saturday night.


Good Time for a Break


Since last writing my dad and his wife have split twice.  I am learning to wait on the Lord through this and that’s an important lesson to learn, so it’s worth it.  I know that parents often get accused of meddling in their children’s marriages, but it can go the other way too!  I don’t plan on trying to “fix” anything but dad knows I will help if asked.  We had a good, long talk today.  At the end he said he had a pain in the back of his head.  When you’ve had a stroke that’s the first thing you think about.  I asked if he was going to go get it checked and he said no, he’d rather just slip away.  He has no desire to end up in a nursing home, and I get that.  Volunteering in one myself, I have no desire to see him end up there either.  At one point we were talking about possibly having to start over on his own again and that it was a shame.  He said, “When someone you love begs you to come back what do you do?”  Of course you go back and hope for the best.  A couple hours later I called him again and he said she was back.  Only God knows whether they can work it out, but it’s our prayer that they do.

It’s a good time to be taking a trip to Moravian Falls.  Mary is having another weekend with ladies coming in, and I help cook and clean up and get to be where Holy Spirit is moving.  He’s always up to something down there and I love to be where the action is :)  After the ups and downs and sideways of this past week I’m in need of some refreshing!  The wash is done, meals are cooked, and I think I’m good to go!  Now if only it wasn’t so far away….

The Second Time Around


Just when I thought this summer couldn’t get any crazier, I talk to my stepmother today and she informs me she asked dad to move back up here.  I visited him this week and knew something was up.  At one point she asked him to leave so we could talk and she shared some things.  The thing is I don’t know what or who to believe and I am not the judge or arbiter.  They both have brain injuries, and I’m not saying that sarcastically.  She suffers from seizures and has memory and other issues associated with that.  And now dad has cognitive impairment and memory issues from his stroke.  They make quite the pair.  I had hoped for the best, but things are going downhill fast.  I’ve been saying, “It’s not my problem,” but that’s only partly true.  It’s not my problem until it is.

All of this makes me run to Jesus more, and I have been thanking Him for this trial.  I don’t have to understand why it’s happening, figure it out, try and “fix” it, I just need to listen to what He is telling me to do.  Sometimes, though, it comes in the form of “he has nowhere else to go.”  I was just starting to “get my life back” and am ready to lay it down again.  Somehow all of this will work out.  Somehow.  God’s already there in the future, and I just need to keep trusting.

But my heart is heavy and I am so sad for my dad.  He has no one, really, who looks after him but me and my two brothers, and they both have busy lives.  Somehow it falls to me (as it often does, falling on daughters to be caregivers).  Just this week we got rid of the last of the things from his apartment.  I see the sign is still out though, so it may be available.  ~Sigh~   Jesus, help.

You’d think this would be easier the second time around.  I hope I am trusting Him more this time.  I am praying for wisdom and would appreciate prayers for the same.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask” the Bible says, and I sure need it.

Learning to Just Be


I finally got around to watching that Graham Cooke video I wrote about last time (it’s here if you want to watch it).  It was good to be reminded of a few things, like the fact that He is always present.  I may not feel His presence, but He is not a liar.  He is with me and never leaves me.  As Graham says, it’s not as if He’s running away, so why do we say we’re pursuing Him?  That’s what they had to do under the old covenant, but He has made all things new!  He actually is the one who pursues us, and I would like to be caught as quickly as possible, lol.

Yesterday I took Kevin to the doctor because he had been fighting something all week.  Turns out it’s shingles and it’s in his scalp (yesterday it started on his ear).  He’s on an antiviral and pain medicine.  The worst part is not the pain, though, it’s having to stay away from the grandchildren!  It’s the same virus as chickenpox and the boys are safe but the littlest is not.  I don’t know if his having it makes me more susceptible but we are sure praying!  I did lay hands on him Friday night when I got home and when I commanded it to leave he said he felt it “hiccup.”  We wrestle not against flesh and blood….

This week is filling up, but my focus has shifted and I’m more at peace…which is somehow tied to rest, so that’s happy.  When you give yourself permission to “just be” you may feel lighter somehow (just sayin’ :).  I started scrapbooking my year in pictures.  That project alone could take a few weeks!  And Wednesday is the start of the video course with Darren Wilson!  Time to chase some dreams.  To that end I’ve signed off Facebook for a time so I can stay better focused (hopefully–that’s always been a challenge!).  Of course there hasn’t been much about this summer that has been normal, so hopefully we’ll be done jumping hurdles soon!

In a Strange Place


I’m headed back home tomorrow from NC.  It’ll be nice to get there (Lord willing, I actually do!).  I haven’t slept well here, just waking up a lot through the night for no apparent reason.  I’d like to tell you it’s because I’m having great dreams or crazy encounters, but it’s not.  I usually wake up and look at the clock and go, “One o’clock again?!”  I think the longest stretch of sleep I’ve had is four hours.  ~sigh~  My doctor doesn’t believe me when I tell her my thyroid numbers shouldn’t be at the low end of normal.  I mean it’s great not having to worry about what I eat, but I’d take gaining a few pounds to be able to sleep at night, lol.

I helped Mary with her book the last couple of days.  Today alone I typed over ten thousand words and read a lot of her stories, some of which I was familiar with and others which were new to me.  I believe this book is going to help many go on their own journey into healing.  It’s incredible what she has been through and what she’s learned and now has authority over.  Anyway, she literally has piles of composition notebooks filled with things she’s written down over the years.  Just hearing/reading some of her stories and encounters made me realize how mundane my life is.

This morning I got an email from Graham Cooke’s ministry and the title was something like, “Stop Pursuing God.”  No, I didn’t click on the video (which I believe was mostly about how God pursues us), but the thought has been going through my mind all day.  As strange as it may sound, I think that’s what I am supposed to do.  I mean, I keep getting the “rest” word.  This constant striving, though it sounds good to call it “going after God”, hasn’t exactly gotten me where I want to be, and in some ways I feel no further ahead than I did five years ago.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m comparing myself again.

Comparing my life to Mary’s is a recipe for depression, lol.  And yet I confess that I do it, mostly in the I-want-that-too way.  But you can’t impart relationship, and I don’t suppose a big encounter like the one I keep crying out for would do it either.  The relationship she has with Holy Spirit began when she was seven.  Mine took off five years ago, so she’s got about 45 years on me.  But who’s comparing? lol

Yep, I think it’s time to go home.  If I wake up through the night tonight perhaps I’ll get a head start.  I’m missing Kevin a lot.  And my garden probably needs some love…not to mention the grandchildren.  Here’s hoping I get at least four hours of shuteye.  Nite!