Saturday, July 28, 2012

Temptations- part 2

Man, this has been a rough week! Yielding to all sorts of temptations and wondering what is going on inside me!  I know the things to do but I am having a difficult time resisting.  It's especially frustrating after Day 4 of Vacation Bible School (VBS) where I learned how Jesus resisted temptations.

I don't know if it is because VBS is over and it is a let down?  Is it because I heard from my lawyer? or because the court date for my divorce is coming up?  Maybe scanning all the baby pictures is not helping?

My strategies work for awhile and then ----evening happens....

I want to eat greasy, salty foods, drink beer and wine, and feel sorry for myself.  Then I do stupid things like letting my evil child use the telephone to send snarky messages to my sons.  Dang!  That sets me back!

I had my healthy meal of fish, tried to work on a poem, scanned some pictures and then finally gave in and had a beer.  Good thing I don't keep much naughty food in my house. Pathetic- eating old orange sherbet with a Wasa cracker broke into it!

I should have gone to see a friend.  I should have been praying and being in the Word.  Or at least listening to a podcast from one of my favorite Lutheran Pastors.  No I indulged in a pity party.

Then I have to wake the next morning and see what stupid thing I did last night.I haven't learned that lesson yet.

Today I still want to eat bad things.  I'm going over to a friend's house so at least I won't be alone with my thoughts.  It's rough learning how to be alone.  I want my magic wand to wave and make myself invincible in my aloneness.

Getting back in the saddle again- yee  haw!  I don't want to go back to the way I was with all my weight and troubles.  I will persevere, when all I really want to do is go,


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Temptation- VBS style

Once again I am amazed at how much I get out of Vacation Bible School (VBS), and the children.  You would think I would remember this from year to year as I dread prepping for VBS.  Sometimes I think I get more out of it then the children!  I also think probably if I spent as much time in the Word as I do during VBS I would get a lot more out of my life!

Today's lesson was one I was not looking forward to, especially after last night.  The story was from Matthew 4: 1-11, on the three temptations of Christ in the desert.  I do the storytelling for the primary children.  (Preschool through 2nd grade.)  There is not much of a "hook" to grab and it is a kind of an abstract, though important lesson, for the children.

I was reading the leader's guide for background trying to figure out how to engage the small children in the story, build background, and define vocabulary for them.  I was fascinated by the parallels between Israel in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New Testament.  It was like a "do over" with Jesus getting it right this time!  (The only human who could get it right!)  I was stunned that Jesus' three replies to the devil were direct quotes from Deuteronomy 8 and 6.  I'd never realized that before.  It was a powerful realization for me!

At the same time I was contemplating the different students in my classes, not only their ages but by behaviors.  Some of our clientele this year are a lot like the generational poor I can get at my Title 1 School.  Their behavior determines how much structure I want in my storytelling.  (Can they handle the freedom to do fun things or does it set them off and cause them to go out of control?)

At the same time this was going on in my vocation, I was also thinking about my personal life.  Before bed I made one of those poor choices.  My councilor had warned me about doing a certain action.  I needed to resist doing it because it would just make me feel bad which could lead to more depression.  So far I've been able to resist doing this action for 5 weeks.  Last night I yielded.  My counselor was correct.  It did make me feel worse.  It gave a dense weight to my brain and sent me into a bout of feeling sorry for myself.  (Kind of like the Israelites in the desert, whiny and complaining about having no water or food to eat.  

“It wasn't like Egypt.  Why did you lead us out here to die Moses?”)

I woke up this morning with a sad and heavy heart and mind AND had to teach this lesson on temptation to some children that were very difficult to control and engage.  WHAM!  It hit me.  I was tempted last night and I gave in to the temptation.  (A severe kick in pants to myself!)  I reread the story script from the leader's guide over breakfast and this time I became aware of how Jesus was really able to resist the temptation- The Word of God in context!  The parallel between this story and the first story we did about Eve being tricked by the serpent by misquoting God's Word also slammed me up the side of the wall!

The first temptation the devil used against Jesus was to turn the rocks into bread.  (Jesus had been fasting for 40 days)  Jesus answered with a direct quote from Deuteronomy 8:3.  The next temptation was the devil misquoting Psalms 91:11-12.  Jesus quotes right back at him from Deuteronomy 6:16.  The last temptation Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:13.  Jesus was able to resist temptation from the devil by using God's Word and because of that He was able to fulfill God's promise to Adam and Eve of a Savior who died for our sins.

The story not only came together for me personally but also was actually a very successful lesson in the classroom today!  I was able to keep their attention, manage certain children so they were not so disruptive, and teach God's Word!

I was tempted.  I gave in to temptation with the consequences I knew would happen.  I did not use God as my Strength.  I did not use God' Word to resist temptation.  


I am forgiven.  I also do not have to wallow in self-pity and feel sorry for myself.  I am NOT alone.  I am LOVED!  I am GOOD at my vocation of teaching!  God has a plan- just like He had a plan for the world through Jesus Christ.  I am part of His plan and he's got my back!  He did the "do over" for me and got it right!

I need to remember to listen to God's Word, use God's Word, and listen to the children!

The refrain I taught the children to chant when directed during the story was”

“Go away, devil!
God’s Word is strong!”

Good words for life!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Sex is for Marriage and Jesus is for Sinners"

Lately, I have been thinking about my marriage and it's ending.  Probably because it is getting close to being the end of my marriage legally.  As I reflect upon the "ending”, I am also scanning old family pictures from the beginning of our marriage. The tension between beginnings and endings is sometimes very painful.  I am filled with regrets, remorse, relief, guilt, and resignation.   

Compounding these “feelings”, I’ve been listening to other Lutheran pastors on the topic of sex and marriage.  The latest I was reflecting on was from Higher Things, Irvine, by the Rev. Mark Buetow, Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church and Preschool, Du Quoin, Illinois.    (
His presentation was called, "Sex is for Marriage and Jesus is for Sinners."

In his presentation he describes God's natural order of things: Christ is the head of the man, the man is the head of the wife and children.  This is not lording it over women but rather women are high and precious in a marriage, put on a pedestal to be loved and cherished.  We are complimentary as a married couple, not equal.  Men and women are different, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.

His definition of adultery stunned me.  I have always thought of adultery as having sex with someone else rather than the spouse.  Pastor Buetow defined adultery as: anything I do to dishonor my spouse.  I realized how my “adultery” was not just thoughts of sex but also the lack of respect I have shown my husband.

Furthermore Pastor Buetow defined marriage as a gift from God, and: "The publicly recognized, life long union of one man and one woman."

When we are seeking a spouse the tell all question to ask one’s self is: 
For the woman,

" Will this man be the Christ to me?"

For the man,

" Will I die for this woman?"

(Wow the 3 boyfriends who died protecting their girlfriends in the shoot out in Aurora, CO did just this in their actions!!!!!!!  They died for their girlfriends just as Christ died for his bride, the church!)

The husband must "die" for his wife.  He protects her.  He dies to himself.  He takes on her sins and they become his sins.  (Adam did not do this for Eve.  He did not protect her from the serpent.)

So my thought was this:
Christ and his bride, the church, is a model of a man and woman becoming one in the sexual act of marriage.  We become one with Christ so therefore God sees us as perfect and forgiven in Christ's death and resurrection.  When a man and woman in marriage take
"delight " in each other they become one person.  That "one person" begets children.  They are the bricks for the living wall.  Man has an awesome and difficult responsibility to their wives and children.  They are the leader, the defender, and educator of their family.  

Sin has messed this relationship up.    I would ask,
“How can any marriage survive in this sinful world?”

Yet I see marriages that do make it.  So it must be possible.

 I did not have this kind of a relationship in my marriage.  I did not respect Pat in his leadership role. He did not take upon himself the role.  We both committed adultery because we did not honor each other.  If I was to look back in hindsight, I failed my marriage when I married an unbeliever. 

The vows we took were to last a lifetime.  I still feel guilty that I left, even though God would not want me to be in a physically or verbally abusive marriage.  I could not stay around and wait to be hit or take the beating down from the verbal abuse.

It saddens me that his idols (alcohol and prescription medications) are more important to him than me.  Our marriage was not important enough for him to change and I could no longer keep trying to stay in that marriage and destroy myself.

It has been a year since I moved out.  At that time I had hopes that my moving out would cause him to change himself.  Instead he filed for the divorce and I finally realized I could only change myself- not him.

Our court date is August 24, 2012.

 If it is God's will for me to marry again I want the kind of Godly marriage that is described in the Bible. I want a LCMS Lutheran man who will die for me and be a Christ for me.  As I will respect and honor him in his leadership role.  Where we will both complement each other.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"In Christ"... notes from a sermon...

From the epistle: Ephesian 2: 19-22  My understanding from Pastor Percy's sermon today

"In Christ we are living stones built into a temple."

In the Old Testament,  Israel was set aside from the rest of the people on earth.  God, so to speak, built a wall around them to keep them apart.  This was to fulfill the promise God made to Adam and Abraham.    From Israel, born of a woman, would come the Messiah.

One way they were set apart was through Circumcision.

In the New Testament, with the coming of Jesus, the wall was knocked down.  The curtain torn.  Israel did not need to be "set apart" anymore, because Christ came for all people.  When Peter was having a difficult time accepting the Gentiles he got "a three fold kick from the Lord"  (Pastor Percy)  Paul also had to rebuke Peter for trying to hold the Gentiles to Jewish standards.

Old Walls come down slowly.

Sin causes wall to go up.  Sin divides.  Sin puts a wedge between us and God.

With the death and resurrection of Jesus the walls come down!

We become one with Christ.  God sees us as perfect through Jesus Christ.

We get a baptismal Passport and become members of God's family!  In Christ!  We didn't do it , Jesus did it!  We together with the Saints who have gone before us!

We are of the Family of God, a royal priesthood, privileged people, and one with Christ.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Why do teenage girls bother me so much?  Because in my child I never felt comfortable in my teens?! It is an area of my life I was not successful in in?  Did I jump to adulthood to soon?

I know I made poor choices as a teen.  I really do believe now in abstinence before marriage.  The sexual act was never meant to be shared with multiple partners.  It ruined me for all my future relationships.  Which I obviously have not done well at.  I would have been better off saving myself for marriage and having that Christ like love in my life for all my life instead of being alone at 55, with a broken family.

Could you have told me this at 16?  NO.  I would not have listened.  Should I have just married my first?  I doubt it would have lasted for me because of my "free love " state.  Or maybe my Lutheran upbringing would have kicked in and I would have worked as hard on that marriage as I did with Pat.

It doesn't matter now.  The past is done and I am forgiven.  I still must go through the consequences of my poor choices.

Anyway I am insecure in my presence around teens because I revert to my insecure child....

Of course another thought I had was I'm probably such a good KG and first grade teacher because my child never grew beyond that age!

I'm just lonely.  I think it is because I've been used to having someone around for better or worse 31 years.  It gives me lots of time to think.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Thinking Upon Worms

Oh Worm,
residing in dirt,
chewing life in a toothless mouth,
excreting pellet remains.

(An owl of a mouse,
sinew entwined with bone, ovals of indigestible waste:
Death Wreathes.)

Your trace,
compacts into tunnels,
surface to bedrock.
No eyes to see
no ears to hear
just vibrations of terror-
the mole victorious!

Oh Worm!
death surrounds you,
your suicide on cement,
your protracted body,
noose-like in death,
a sodden spasm.

The silence in thunder
and the whimper of lightening.

O Death, you worm,
you litter my path.
I dodge your corpses,

I tip toe
around your limp remains.
Ignore the fossil prints,
etched on cement.
You are everywhere I look.

You are the worm in gall,
the absinthe:
green death in carpets above.
The wormwood of dirt,
pattering the bronze,
dimming the lights,
making passages through bone.

Oh Worm!
Compost my body!
Make soil of my remains!
My breath, fleet feet,
you cannot catch,
coalesces in the heavens!

For all I am is dirt on earth
and breath in heaven above.

The rain that drives
to drown
lays on  amalgamated
the leachate formed by body and water,

Oh Worm!  Oh Death!
Fear not thy grave!


“Idolatry is death, both now and forever. False gods devour their devotees. Men who seek their lives in food and drink, in work and play, in religion or irreligion are consumed by the gods they make and by the “liturgy of anxiety” they offer to those gods. They lose, but never find, their lives. this is not to say that idolaters have no dealings with God. He indeed deals with them, sustaining their lives in a particular relationship to Himself. In fact, it is God’s presence and activity which threaten men in these very points of contact with their lives. Anxiety in men is not groundless. Men cannot control their lives, yet they do not trust God for their lives. Anxiety is the liturgy of their idolatry.”

–Kenneth F. Korby in “The Church at Worship” in The Lively Function of the Gospel, (Concordia, 1966). p 60.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Milestone?

Yesterday was a day full of triggers for depression.  I am glad to say I made a conscious decision to face them and work through them instead of avoiding them.  It probably is one of those 1 step forward kind of deals.  I am just happy that I was able to do it and it wasn't bad.  There is progress in my life.

First of all, I stayed home, accept for a dash to get my light treatment.  To be frank, I am sick of people right now and needed to be alone.  During the Higher Things trip there was not much "alone" time.  Besides being tired, the constant time with other people contributed to my crankiness.  I recognized this and tried to keep a rein on the "bitchiness".  I did not always succeed.

In order to preserve friendships and my sanity I needed a day alone to catch up on living.  I needed to do laundry, clean, and put things away. I caught up on Face
book and friended my new friends.  I still struggle though with too much think time on my hands.  I resisted the urge to go anywhere because:

Pat wants half the family pictures and my goal is to get them all scanned this summer.  It is difficult to look at the boys and and Pat when we were young and a family.  It is such a contrast to where I am right now.  I plowed my way through it and finished one album.  (Circa 1994-95)  One good thing that was reaffirmed for me is that I was and am a good mother.

The boys still don't talk to me much.  I was very hurt and disappointed that Tim did not contact me in any form while I was in S. California.  They are just not cutting me any slack in anything.  I am trying to stay in my adult and not lash out.  Everyone keeps assuring me they will come back again someday.  It is easy to doubt and harder to have faith.  I am determined to keep the lines of communication open and keep working on myself.  My life is not tied up in their lives anymore.

Then I finally got a hold of my lawyer's office.  I was beginning to think he had skipped town.  It has been three months since he has communicated with me.  No returned calls or emails either.  I talked to the secretary yesterday and did finally find out the court date.  I had two different conflicting dates in the paperwork.  My court date is August 24, 2012.

It is ludicrous to me that I even have to got through a court date.  Pat is insistent on not splitting his retirement with me.  He is trying to prove that my PERS retirement is going to be so much more in the future that he should not have to split his retirement with me.

When I asked the secretary if I needed to bring anything she told me my latest PERS statement.  (Which I had already sent back in May.  Yes my lawyer really is paying attention to me! NOT!)
Also she wanted to know how  much my PERS was when we got married to tell Pat's lawyer,  The thing is, and as I have told them, I did not start teaching till my 40's.  I only have 14 years in PERS.  Ludicrous!

I have already decided I am not spending any more on lawyers and I'm just going to let the judge decide.  I think I am being the reasonable one here.  All in all, God is the one in control and He WILL take care of me just as He has always done.

It did bring up feelings of panic, anger, and fear.  I resisted the urge to talk to anyone else about it.  I will go through this and I will stay in my adult.  I will probably talk to someone about it this week but not yet.  Though I am talking about it now with all of you!

I also did my yoga which has it's own memories attached to it.  It's getting easier to examine those memories as I stretched.  The body felt good afterwards. The brain was easier to calm down.

I ended the evening getting all the pictures scanned in one album.  I sat down and watched "The Closer" for the first time in a year.  I got out the next photo album and started removing pictures.  (It is one of those old magnetic bad ones so I had to be careful not to tear.)  I would say it is circa1991?  It was the house addition and Jan's graduation in Omaha, Nebraska.

I got to bed at 10:30 and slept.  I had 1 "nightmare" about teaching VBS.  Guess I'd better start prepping for that!  (grin!)

Yes I am alone but yet not alone.  I am a family of 1 in my immediate family.  I am one of many in my Father's family.  I am loved.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Next Steps

Tonight I watched TV and read a book on commercials .  A new step.....

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I just got back from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod( LCMS) Higher Things, youth conference Twelve, in Irvine, CA at Concordia University.  Needless to say I am exhausted!  We did not get much sleep on this trip, starting with the train ride to LA last Sunday.  The earliest I got to bed all week was 10:30 one night.  Most nights were after 12 with breakfast at 7:30 which meant getting up at 6:30  Also I swear using your brain is more exhausting then physical activity.
Rev George Borghardt and our teens

It was a thrilling and disturbing experience for me.  Thrilling in the sense I thrive on studying Lutheran and historic Christian theology.  Disturbing in the sense I was tired and prone to crabbiness and dealing with "young" people.  There is a lot to reflect on - intellectually and personally.
Dining on the train

Ironically, the kids I thought would bother me so much I actually enjoyed more than the others.  We had 3 fourteen year olds, 3 sixteen year olds, 1 seventeen year old, 1 eighteen year old and 1 nineteen year old and a pastor of 38.  The fourteen year olds I thought would be a pain but I actually enjoyed them very much.  The boys were ok.  I understand boys better than girls since I raised 3 of them.  It was the older girls I found annoying.  But I think part of that may be my own reaction to situations.
Pastor Percy LA train station

Rev William Cwirla Worship 101
 I made a point to meet all the Pastors I have enjoyed in social networks and media.  ( Also lay people)  I also made a point to compliment and talk to the Pastors and presenters that did such a good job of catechises. Once again I found that by sincerely talking and expressing my appreciation of their presentations I made an impression on them as much as they made an impression on me.
I just believe that we don't tell people enough about how well they do their jobs- vocations.  I make a point to express appreciation for what talents God has given to them.  People are so quick to criticize and so so slow to compliment.  I make sure to tell people about how well they do their vocation.  Sincerely too!
I made it a point to meet my heroes and to express my joy and appreciation of what I heard.  I met Rev. Jonathon Fisk, of Worldview Everlasting, (
I met Rev. William Cwirla and Rev. Craig Donofrio  (feed://
(  Hey I'm a distant relative of Craig's wife!  

Rev. Jonathan Fisk, Worldview Everlasting
Rev Joel Fritsche
I've finally decided I am a Pastor "groupie".  I am just like Mary sitting at Jesus' feet to hear him talk.  I'm not the Martha anymore.  This 30 something group of confessional liturgical Pastors amaze and delight me with their understanding of Law and Gospel, Saint and Sinner theology.

The amazing Pastors I heard were:  Rev. Kurt Onken of Marysville, WA.  Rev. Dr. Steven Mueller of Concordia University Irvine, Ca.  Rev. George Borghardt, Rev. Joel Fritsche, Rev. Ryan  Ogrodowicz,  Chris Rosbrough, Sandra Ostrapowich, Rev. Grant Knepper, and Rev. Mark Buetow.
Rev Mark Buetow

Chris Rosebrough
Other Pastors I talked too Rev. Eric Lange, Rev. Dan Freeman, Rev. Peter Ledic, and Rev. Mark Pierson. 
Higher Things tattoos

Oh my the organist Dr. William Heide  was magnificent, amazing, fantastic, awesome, intuitive, musician!  

Then there  was Pastor Lange's Vicar from Solomon, KS, home church - Faith in Abilene, KS, Nathan Knaus.  A  Facebook friend I got to meet, a missionary from Africa the Rev. James May.  

I talked to many more wonderful people and will be sharing more as I reflect on my notes.

  It is truly awesome to be a Missouri Synod Lutheran and use the brain God has given me to learn about Him and our awesome heritage. I communed with the fellowship of Saints both in heaven and on earth.  I sang my theology and worship my triune God.  I heard glorius music.  I laughed. I was in awe. I questioned.  I built new pathways in my brain!  I examined my past, was filled with regrets for my history, and was forgiven for my poor choices. I am loved here on earth and in heaven.  God loved ME so much He sent His son Jesus Christ to take my sins to the cross, die, and then rise on the 3rd day so I too can rise to be with HIM!  There is NOTHING I can do to earn my salvation.  It is God's gift to me.  

So now I need to reflect on why young teenage girls bother me so much.  What do I need to do to not only understand this but change it.  It was my child and I did not have as much control of her as I could have.  I do know being tired makes it difficult to stay in my adult.

At Balboa Park

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I really like this!

This is who I am in Christ!

So many people have told me they see strength when they see me.  I marvel at this because I don't see it yet - at least all the time.  But if they see strength in me it is because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  In Him I can do anything!

And let me teach the young people and give them hope, strength, and fun!

And let them teach me....

And there is strength in the friends we have and our relationships!