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Posts tagged “Heaven

“This is Dad, Calling from Heaven.”

 

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I had a strange dream the other night. My Dad called me on the phone. It sounded distant, understandably so- he passed on to Heaven a number of years ago.

“Birg,” he said. “This is Dad…calling from Heaven.”

I was shocked when I awoke. I thought it was utterly cool that he would call me from the Great Divide. 🙂 The Bible makes mention of a banister of Witnesses leaning over Heaven. God gives these particular Saints permission to cross over from time to time to witness to us that are still here. My Dad told me that himself, many years ago.

“Come on! You can make it!” They say, to encourage us.

I dream of my Dad all of the time. He comes to me many times per year, ministering to me, sharing Scriptures and such- we still have a great time, and, truth be told, you can call them “dreams”, but they’re more than that.

I had such a dream a few months ago. Me and my (extended) family were all standing on a high mountain. All of us. My Dad was at the very top and he was turned around, looking back over his shoulder. He looked like a lumberjack and was about 25 years younger. He wore a big smile on his face and was waving his hand to follow him. I knew what the dream meant, for he taught me to interpret dreams many years ago.

It was Christmas day when they took my Dad off of life support. The doctors wanted to see if he would make it through for the next few days without it. Naturally, everybody was gathered together for Christmas festivities, but I stayed at the hospital all day with him. I couldn’t bear for him to be alone on that day. We had a great time, given the circumstances. I’d already been told that he’d been muttering things incoherently because of the medication and such. But no such thing happened on that day.

Instead, he shared two Scriptures with me from the KJV and was as clear as a bell doing so. One of those verses was Titus 1:2-

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after Godliness;

In hope of eternal life, which God, THAT CANNOT LIE, promised before the world began;

And he went on to share with me the comfort in knowing that God cannot lie, does not lie, and will not lie. He took great comfort in the fact that God keeps all of His promises and will absolutely save us. He could accept that he felt like “the chief of sinners” much of the time, but God would ultimately keep His word and deliver him. And so it was.

I didn’t know how much time I had left with him that day. We were best friends at the end, and had been for years. We’d been through so much hell together! But such GREAT forgiveness. And, the Word does say that with much forgiveness is much love. Those who forgive the most, love the most: he surely taught me that.

I hugged him then, and fell on his neck and told him that it was a total privilege to be his daughter on this side of Heaven.

“I’ll see you up there, Dad. Save me a seat.”

And there was nothing more to say.

I thought that there would be a big gap after he died. But really, we’re still very close and “death” only stands as a doorway that he crossed through into LIFE. Even so, I’m glad he takes time out of his busy schedule “up there” to still give me a call. :0)

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Turkey Drama and Toilet Paper

Well I’m glad to say that we’ve all made it through “Thanksgiving”. What does that even mean? Thanksgiving. To me, it means knowing that your kids are alive and well, you’re still breathing. We all have our meanings for it.

In my situation, it’s a bit peculiar. My sister (name withheld), and I haven’t talked since last September. Not this past September, but the September a year ago. (13 months.) Now, that said, if you and a certain family member have an unpleasant kerfuffle, you shouldn’t host Thanksgiving at your house. Why is that? Well, because you would alienate said member. Completely. Everybody and their grandmas would be welcome but you. That would be…well, rude. But that’s the case and that’s what’s happened.

My sister is devoutly “right” all the time. (Note the sarcasm.) She is the president of the hate committee of her “private sanctuary”, and services start at 9:00 a.m. every Sunday, weekly- sharp. She has wrapped every family member up in her glorious existence for more than 5 years now. If you’re less than “chaotic and dramatic”, you don’t stand a chance. Sorry…I’m thinking that there are other survivors out there like me that feel this way.

So, this year, Josh and I have chosen to eat with homeless people than to be with her and the rest of the “family”. Yes, it’s true. We’ve chosen to spend our time with street people- drug addicts and alcoholics- degenerates and the mentally ill, than to be with them. We didn’t get “an invite”, but that’s alright- we were already gone.

On the bright side of things, Josh and I are getting along splendidly. We don’t focus on the “might be’s” of the future. We’re taking each day and applying it to our lives. We’ve pulled through some amazingly difficult times. We don’t know how much time we have together, but we’re grateful for every single day and we show it. I think that’s what’s most important- that our lives are vital and static.

And today, we have toilet paper.
Can you really ask for more than that?

(Not really.)

Image.

Josh’s pic- guy walking in the park/SOOTC (straight out of the camera)
G3. Taken yesterday- Thanksgiving, on our mile walk at the park.

 


White Linen

For Shreya. xo
One of my short stories from several years ago.

White Linen

Her fingers felt like two hot stones that had soaked up the angry sun. The sweat was gathering on her back and Ellie knew that she was racing against the clock. She’d been out there for two hours now; digging, planting, and turning over the dry, crusted earth. She wiped her brow, smearing dirt on her face; mixing it with the sweat that ran down into her ear. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze.

“Good thing too,” she thought.

A gentle breeze would only have lulled her into the hope of being comfortable. She wasn’t much of a gardener, but her mother (and her mother’s mother) had toiled away in the burning sun, just as Ellie was doing now, and so she felt it was her womanly duties, if nothing else, to keep the grounds. It was her heritage. Her land now. Her large fingers tore at the soil and she carefully placed each small stone that introduced itself, into neat little piles. The smile that was beginning to form at the corners of her mouth, was evidence that she was quite pleased with herself. She squinted and stared up into the sun. The lemon-yellow glow, radiated out from the heavens, wrapping itself around her very heart it seemed. Panting, she let her eyes drift across the canvas of the sky, and thought of the tangy lemons in her basket over the stove. She would take a few, squeeze them tightly into a pitcher (after cutting each in half), careful not to let the seeds fall in. She’d add a few cups of sugar (she could practically taste it now), rushing to the pit of her stomach as if it too were trying to get away from the burning heat.

Ellie wiped her hand on her brown, faded dress. You know the one. A rip there at the hem from rushing through life, month after month; chores and endless lists to check off. A button- missing in the back- directly across from her burdened waist; proof that she’d rewarded herself bountifully after each carefully planned meal. The floral pattern had been beaten away by the unforgiving sun, year after year of hanging out those old stained linens. Why, they must be forty years old by now!  Ellie wasn’t aware that she’d drifted off again; her eyes fixed to those linens as if it were the sheets themselves that took her back to her Jonah, and the sound of his harmonica…and her laughter. But Jonah was gone and so were the years.
She wiped her eyes, again streaking dirt across her lid. Her parched mouth brought Ellie’s eyes away from the sheets and back to her tired old hands. Lemonade. Ellie put her packages of seeds next to the neatly stacked stones, and tried to rise. It felt as if the sun had exploded in her chest; her breathing, coming in heavy gasps, and she fell to the ground, scattering the stones as she went. Ellie closed her eyes, for the sun was blinding, and she pulled at the grass, reaching for something (for what, she did not know) something to feel connected to. Even with her eyes closed, she felt the shadow move over her face. Ellie opened her eyes. The sun was hiding behind the peculiar man, causing a cool shade to fall on her. For that, she was grateful. The ripping pain in her chest, seemed to have vanished, and Ellie was wondering who the stranger was that stood before her.

”Can I help you Ma’am?” he asked kindly.

Ellie shook her head, as if to say no, but then nodded her head in confusion. The glow of the sun seemed to make him glow as if he too, were indeed part of the sun.

”Y-yes…thank you….sir….,” she answered; her voice trailing off, barely above a whisper. She looked up and into his eyes. How could it be? Her Jonah was gone, and he looked nothing like him, but his eyes…she could almost be certain they were Jonah’s. Yes. She was absolutely certain that she’d seen them before. She reached up, placing her hand into his waiting one. The man pulled her up; smiling and nodding gently as he did and Ellie let out a breath of summer air, returning his smile, and gently squeezed his hand. The sight of her linens, dancing happily in the breeze, caught her eye. The gentle wind kissed her hair, refreshing her for the first time in months. She could hear the faint trail of a harmonica playing, as many do in the country, and still holding the man’s hand, Ellie looked around to take stock in all that she had to be thankful for. This is the house that sheltered her through the many seasons of her life. The garden there, was her daily companion; patiently teaching her how to grow.

”Are you ready?” asked the man.

Ellie paused, and looked back at the scattered stones. Lying next to them was the body of Ellie Parkins. Ellie saw herself, but felt as if she were looking at a stranger. Dirt streaked her forehead, and a faint smile was still painted on her mouth. Hanging on the clothesline, were those white linens, which also seemed to glow with the strength of the sun shining through them. Ellie looked up at the man, and with one last sigh, she pursed her mouth together and nodding at her new friend, walked toward the shining sun…

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The Looking Glass

It’s 2:50 a.m.
Chance is going nuts, ripping and running around the living room. I just gave him a bath. Brian Bob is chilling in his room- Brianna- the same. I should be sleeping, or doing homework, but I’ve just downloaded Tex Murphey: Overseer. Gaming is one of my coping mechanisms, much like millions of other people. Until my heart heals, I’ll trudge along the motions of my life- school, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, etc. and slip away into my game as often as possible. I just can’t process any more raw emotion at this time. Tex Murphy is a welcome escape.

I’m torn between another pistachio and almond ice cream cone and Guinness Extra Stout. I have a 6 pack in the fridge and it whispers to me. I keep forgetting to drink one. I  decide on lemon and ginger tea with honey instead. I’ve had a migraine for two days now. (Imagine that.) I can’t do this again tomorrow. After two days, my mind starts fracturing into tiny bits of livewire pain- sizzling every nerve until it’s raw and jittery. It does little good to complain other than to serve as a reminder that I’m still suffering. It too is a welcome escape from the pain in my heart.

There’s nothing one can do but ride the wave of heartache after a breakup. One of my x’s is all over me like white on rice- I’m disgusted. He thinks it might be a good time to squeeze back in. I think it’s highly disrespectful and pretty insulting to me. I know people do that- the rebound thing- but if you’re crawling away from the battlefield of one relationship, why would you hop into the trenches of another? That doesn’t make any sense to me, and it’s the furthest thing from my mind. (And heart.) I think I’ll be alone for a very long time. I’m a one man woman, and I think it’s necessary to experience the pain after a breakup. It tells me that the love I knew was real and that’s why it hurts so much. My friends don’t know what to say to comfort me, and that’s ok. There’s only so much another human being can offer in the way of companionship and support. If it weren’t for my love, relationship, and friendship with Jesus- I would absolutely crumble and die. I have no doubt. I’m not enough to keep myself going- I think of Sylvia Plath- and can understand how a broken heart could make her stick her head in an oven and forget to live. She couldn’t bear to lose her man to another woman. But Sylvia Plath said when she was just a child, “I’ll never talk to God again.” And I suppose she didn’t. So, she killed herself. I think she should have talked to God.

That’s where she and I differ. I love life, and as painful as it is to feel your heart being ripped from your chest, I do have a very close relationship with Jesus. We talk, commune, and just have a good time together. When I think about His love, and how He’s able to reach into every tiny place in my heart- I can’t be angry or sad for long. I smile, and know I’m loved. He washes away every awful feeling, and the bitter tears become bittersweet. They eventually become joyful, and I become like a child again, marveling at the beauty of God’s creation: I rise above the pain.

I’ve gone and talked myself right out of my misery again, and feel a half-smile creeping across my face.

Oh heart, you’re going to make it…

Image50 MM/manual/ISO 3200/natural lighting/Squire Boone Caverns/3.28.13


Angel Above You

It’s time for some church up in here! [Spoken in my native southern Texas accent.]

Josh and I took Brianna and Brian down to the river last night. There are three distinct areas we like to hang out at. 1) The creek bed, which runs along the flood wall. 2) The fossil beds- a perfect place to study brachiopods, trilobites, and other fossils which are embedded in the rock layers. 3) The “beach”. This is a part of the river that mimics an actual beach; complete with rolling tides, tons of driftwood, and plenty of sand. We love it there, and that’s the region we chose to frequent last night.

I’ll add another post later this with more family/river pics (including Brianna’s “sand bath”- hair included) but for now, I want to add a few inspirational pics.

I found this particular pic to be very interesting and curious. I shoot in manual- always- so when it’s getting dark, you really have to know your stuff (ISO/shutter speed/aperture/exposure compensation/white balance, etc.) because when shooting in manual, your lighting is always changing from second to second, continuously, even in broad daylight. Shooting at and after dusk is especially tricky because the focus takes longer to “catch”. This is what happened last night when I captured Josh blowing on the fire. Just as I clicked on the shutter, a stray ember popped up from the fire, shooting up and behind his shoulder (you can still see its trail) and formed a perfect cross above him. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the pic in the LCD immediately afterwards. (This pic hasn’t been “shopped”, or Photoshopped.)

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I’m sure the specifics of the fire could be explained away scientifically, but I prefer to know and believe that God works in strange and beautiful ways. Even with fire. He lets us know His eyes are always on His Children, and those who love and believe in Him.

From a photographical standpoint, I shot this with a slowed shutter. (1/8 of a sec.) To non-photographers, that means that “time” was slowed down, and the camera picks up what the human eye cannot. In the blink of an eye, this cross was there and gone, but the camera’s “pause” allowed it to be captured. (It’s a good self reminder to pause more in life; we’ll see more crosses.)

S A L T   O F   T H E   E A R T H

ImageMy daughter, Brianna/50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

-Matthew 5: 13-16


Dreams and their Interpretations

It’s not hard interpreting dreams. I used to want to know how to do this. I would ask my Dad as a young girl, and he would smile.

“We’ll, let me hear your dream,” he’d say.

“Alright. I was going to check the mail. I opened the mailbox and as I stuck my hand in the box, a black cat screamed at me. It clawed at me and hissed, and tried to attack me,” I said.

“You have a murmuring and complaining spirit,” he would say. “Start giving thanks more.”

Wisdom cannot be bought- not with all the money in the world.
And interpreting dreams is a gift- not just anyone can do it.

I only began to interpret them after reading more and more of the Bible. It opened up my mind, completely, and sharpened my discernment. Now, when I review a dream, the meaning fills my mind immediately. It’s not anything I have to think about.

Last night, I dreamed that I had a visit from a childhood friend. She was my best friend when I was a teenager. In my dream, her legs had been mutilated just above the knee on her left leg, and just below the knee on her right. She had crutches. Also, she had black stubble coming out of her face, like a beard that she had shaved. She’s a blonde, so this was particularly odd.

In my dream, we were in a small room by the highway. A truck came roaring by, and my friend began screaming and yelling at me out of fear, as the truck grew closer, trying to kick me. Of course, she couldn’t.

In real life, she and I haven’t seen each other in over a decade.
I understood the dream immediately.

Her legs represented her Christian walk with God. The mutilation represents her struggles over the years. Because her wounds had long since scarred over, the injuries are indicative of her childhood. The stubble represents “foreign” relationships, for two reasons:

1.) the colour
2.) it’s not something that naturally occurs
(a beard on a woman)

The fact that it’s new stubble, means that it’s very recent.
Because it’s dark, male hair coming from a female chin speaks of her possible homosexual tendencies. If I were to make a bet, it’d be a safe bet assuming that she has recently taken interest in women. (Or something along those lines.)

Because she was afraid of the truck, which was zipping by, and she tried to attack me, meant that she blamed me for some of her childhood mishaps.

Interesting dream.

Another dream I had was on a patch of land, that had many hotel rooms. Each room held a prostitute- they were gaudy, wearing tacky silver dresses. The rooms were small. I had knocked on a door, because I had lost my room. I was trying to find it. My room- was clean, with nice furniture and a fireplace- very private.

I was let in to a room that I was unfamiliar with. A prostitute was trying to coax me in there. She held a small, white animal, like a little pet dog. I looked through her window and saw, over the courtyard, my room! The door was open and I could see into it. I ran fast to get down to my room, and to safety.

Another interesting dream. 🙂

The patch of land represents my heart. All of the rooms; various rooms in my heart. Notice a whore lived in each room. This does not mean that I am secretly a prostitute! But make no mistake, a whore lives in every human heart. Consider it.

What’s the first thing that happens when we see something we want, badly, that we don’t have?
We lust after it.

Yes, I’ve grown accustomed long ago to the fact that in every human heart, there indeed lives a whore.

In my dream, I was able to see the various channels and avenues of lust that I need to work on.
No matter if it’s better hair, higher grades, a skinnier waist, just this THING inside of each person that screams out, “Me! Me! Me!” That is the little whore inside.

It always wants recognition. Praise. Attention. Satisfaction.

As a Christian, I know that it is my job to willingly crucify that beast.
Daily. To take it to the cross, and lay it down.

What is it that Paul said?

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

1st Corinthians 15:31