Life Sentence

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

Tomorrow I am having surgery to replace two valves I have on my shunt (that regulates the flow of spinal fluid that I produce in my body - which is too much for my body.) Last night Mari was doing some research on IH (Intracranial Hypertension) and she shared with me. This was the best website I've read that described me almost to a T. I thought, since IH is so unknown, that I would share with you. Maybe you will come into contact with someone else that has IH and you will know what it is. So that is my goal.

Here is the link if you would like to research more yourself but I will just share some things I thought is a good overview.

Intracranial hypertension (IH) is the general term for the neurological disorders in which cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure within the skull is too high. (Old names for IH include Benign Intracranial Hypertension and Pseudotumor Cerebri).
Oh my! I just found a video. What is really sad is that IH affects young kids and teens, too. This video shows that. And the operation this boy is having is a VP shunt which is placed in the head. I have a LP shunt which goes in my spine and I have valves in my left side that my doctor can get to so he can relieve pressure for me when I need it and tubing runs in my stomach to give the overflow of spinal fluid a place to go. So now ya know;) I can't watch this video without crying. IH is rough. Really rough as any that deal with me at all know personally.

A Patient’s Perspective

What is it like to have chronic IH? Sometimes, it’s hard to understand what a friend or loved one is going through with this illness. The following are some helpful suggestions for friends, family and caregivers submitted by IH patients.

1. Be a good listener.
It’s difficult to watch a friend or family member deal with a chronic illness that is not well-understood. It can be an incredibly frustrating experience for everyone involved. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply listen, without any judgment, and understand that the person who you care about is still there, despite this illness.

2. Avoid comparisons.
Chronic IH is a very real and disabling illness. But its effects are not necessarily seen on the outside. A person with chronic IH may look okay but feel terrible. As a result, the seriousness of chronic IH is often downplayed. Old names for the disorder like “pseudotumor cerebri” and “benign intracranial hypertension” only add to this misinterpretation. There is nothing “pseudo” or “benign” about this illness or the pain and disability that it can cause.

3. Be an advocate.
There may be times when you literally find yourself acting as an advocate for your relative or friend, who may be too sick be his or her own advocate. If you are a caregiver, you may be the person who helps relay your relative/friend’s medical experiences to a physician. It’s helpful to document that information, in a journal or daily record.

Educating yourself—and other people— about chronic IH is also important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of physicians or seek out others if you feel your questions have not been answered satisfactorily.

4. Know when to give advice.
It’s normal to want to help others who are suffering or in pain, especially when it’s your daughter or your best friend. But sensitivity is important. A chronic IH headache is still very mysterious. We do not know what causes it, though lowering intracranial pressure often brings relief.

There is still a lot to learn about this disorder and its effects on the brain and body. Keep in mind that an IH headache does not usually respond to traditional headache remedies and pain medications. For some people with idiopathic IH, weight loss does not always make their symptoms better. When in doubt, first ask questions about your friend or relative’s experience. Then you can gauge whether to offer advice.

5. Today is today.
Chronic IH is unpredictable, which means that there will be good days and bad ones for the person who is ill. It’s hard to know what your friend or family member will feel like or what tasks he or she will be capable of tomorrow, which is why it’s best to concentrate on the present. Be patient because abilities can change quickly; it’s not intentional but the nature of this illness. At the same time, never give up hope that the future can bring long-awaited answers and better treatments for your loved one.

All of the above was from the Intracranial Hypertension Research Foundation from the link above. There are pins that can be ordered to help support the research foundation also, if that interests you. Thank you for taking time to read this post and thank you for your prayers.

Below is an old challenge entry I had written for Faithwriters when the topic was FEAR. It's become my testimony to living with chronic pain, I suppose.

Life Sentence

Dragged into the darkened room I could feel beady eyes all around. Sweat poured from my body; a dark, menacing odor pervaded my senses – raw fear and dread. I stood, head hung, unable to look my accusers in the eye. The jury’s verdict: guilty. I was handed a life-sentence with no chance for parole.

My crime: genetics. Up to the time of the verdict I was a relatively healthy woman of thirty-seven but that drastically changed as I was fitted with a court mandated electronic bracelet — a headache. This was no ordinary headache. It grew from a small ‘niggle’ to a raging beast that savagely dug its talons into my brain and would not let go. Just like pesky relatives, the headache pulled up the drive in a camper, set up a flag bearing skull and crossbones, and claimed not only my head but my life.

I suffered over five years and during that time I sought medical advice from doctor after doctor and was prescribed countless medications before I was finally diagnosed with something other than ‘chronic headaches.’ Days and weeks at a time I would forget who I was, a Daughter of the King, with the promise of a glorious place waiting for me in Heaven. At other times, thinking of Heaven was my only means of escape from the unrelenting pain.

The plaintiff was the devil seeking to destroy my life and in many ways he did. I lived in constant fear of the future, uncertain of the challenges that lay ahead. I merely existed through the bleakest days and unbearably long nights. Built up pressure in my head caused severe dizziness and foggy thinking. Every nerve of my body screamed to be left alone. With my head pounding and my stomach rolling I appealed the sentence crying out to God for leniency. “Why bring this charge against me? I’m tired of living in this prison of pain. I can’t go on, not one more minute. Please take it away.” My defense attorney, Jesus, was my constant companion. Bleak as life was, my faith was growing faster and stronger than I could ever have imagined.

It took the right doctor to listen to my complaints and give the correct diagnosis and then was confirmed through a spinal tap. I had my answer! The condition: Intracranial Hypertension. The symptoms: extremely painful and disabling headaches due to high levels of cerebro-spinal fluid. I am one of 100,000 women to suffer the affects of this life-changing illness. How amazing! After years of living in fear of the unknown I finally had an answer. The cure: I was told to lose weight and take a water pill to bring down the fluid. Over the months I lost the weight but still had unbearable headaches. After much begging and pleading through e-mails and phone calls, my doctor agreed to surgery.

I am now a proud owner of a body installed with properly functioning hardware, a shunt; however, it did not come without a cost. Recovery was long and hard and months later the headaches were as fierce as ever. Aware that the shunt might not correct the problem I clung to the belief that I had made the right choice. God had worked countless miracles in my life and I refused to give up hope.

It has been a little over a year after surgery, a year of more trials and tests of faith than I could count but I am relatively pain free. The ‘niggle’ remains in the background much like static on a TV screen. The old pain haunts me three or four days each month but it serves as a reminder of how I used to feel every single moment of my life. Tracing the embedded tubes down the length of my side also reminds me that IH is a chronic condition and headaches will always be a part of my life as could problems with the shunt.

My life is slowly returning to ‘normal’. I’m living and rejoicing, taking care of my family and have returned to work. I continue to live out the consequences of the higher court’s decision but it has been drastically scaled to manageable – thanks to my Heavenly Father and my ever present defense attorney, Jesus.

(Today the pain is almost as intense now as before the shunt. Shunts are definitely NOT the answer. And no pain medicine gives relief. Please pray for all those that have IH. It is literally a big pain. Thank you, thank you!)


For Reals

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

Here is an original story for Friday Fiction -- hot off the presses no less. It's only half the story. I have to figure out the rest before I can write it. Funny how that works:) Friday Fiction is over at Just Joshing. I know it's kind of late but it is still Friday! Lots of good stories waiting to be read. Oh, and I borrowed Laura's Allie's name and she asked if I wanted her picture, too, so of course I did. And today is her birthday. So Happy Birthday, Allie! And thank you!!!

For Reals

Joanne bent down and kissed her daughter’s cheek ever so lightly, “Night, Sweetie. Dream big. Sleep deep.”
“Okay, Mommy. I love you.”
“Love you, too – so very much”
When Allie turned over onto her side, her brown hair fanned out against the pillow and spilled over half her face. “Night, Mommy.”
Joanne peeked at her daughter one last time before she turned off the light and left the room.

Allie pulled her raggedy doll into her chest and whispered, “Patty?”
The doll lay perfectly still. Her cheeks were squished up against the pink and purple pajamas of her owner. She tried to answer Allie. She tried so very hard. And deep in her tiny stuffed mind she said, “What, Allie? Please tell me.”
“I have a secret,” Allie whispered. One single tear fell onto the red yarn hair caught up in doggie ears. The doll captured the tear and put it with the rest that had built up through the years. She may not be able to talk but she was good at soaking up wet, salty Allie tears.
A sob escaped Allie’s lips and she buried her face deeper into her cherished doll so her mommy wouldn’t hear. “I’m scared. I go to the hospital tomorrow. You’re going with me, right?”
Patty wanted to shout, “YES! Of course I’ll come!” as she wrapped her arms around Allie and hugged her tight just like Allie was doing to her now, but she couldn’t. She could only lay still – a silent torture for the sensitive dolly soul.
Soon, Allie fell asleep. She held Patty so very tight that if Patty were real, she wouldn’t have been able to breathe.
Patty watched her friend through her plastic blue button eyes that never once blinked. Her loving gaze was steady. Nothing would happen to Allie on her watch. No way!

Just as the sun streamed into the room, Allie’s mom tiptoed in and sat on her bed. She took hold of Patty and held her close, just like Allie. “Oh Patty, you’ve been a good friend to my Allie. Thank you.” A single tear dripped onto Patty’s head and mixed with all of Allie’s.
Allie stirred.
“Hi Baby. It’s time to get ready,” Joanne whispered.
Allie rubbed her eyes. “Mommy, I’ve been thinking. I like my tonsils. Do I have to get them out?”
Joanne pulled Allie up onto her lap. “Oh Honey, remember how sick you’ve been? It’s not good for you. They have to be taken out. It won’t be so bad. You’ll see. And when you come home, we’ll get you all the ice cream and popsicles you can eat and we’ll watch movies together. Before you know it – you’ll be back to school and playing with your friends again. And you know the very best thing?”
Allie looked up into her mommy’s eyes, “I can’t think of anything good, Mom.”
“The best thing will be that you won’t have anymore pain. That is the very best thing. Let’s get dressed now. Remember, nothing to eat or drink or it might make you sick when you wake up after surgery.”
“Mom? Patty can come, right?”
“Yes, of course she can come. She can stay with me during surgery and then with you the whole rest of the time.” Joanne took out Allie’s clothes and laid them on the bed. “Get your bag packed after you dress and don’t be too long.”

Allie got dressed and stuffed a book and her IPod into a bag then skipped out of the room to look for her dad. Allie jumped into his arms almost before he was ready. “Daddy, when do we leave?”
Randy snuggled his face into his little girl’s neck. “We leave in a few minutes. Are you scared?”
Joanne gave him The Look and Randy looked into Allie’s eyes and said, “You know, baby doll, there’s no reason to be scared. Do you know how many times this doctor does surgeries like this? I betcha about a million trillion times. Maybe I should ask him. Dare me?"
Randy talked in his crazy, dad's trying to be cool voice, "Dr. Watchamcallit, exactly how many times have you stuck your hand into little girl and boy’s mouths while they’ve slept? And Doctor Hoochiwachi, do you know the Tooth Fairy?”
Allie giggled, “It’s Dr. Washburn, Dad, and you are very silly. Besides that, I already asked him and he said a quarter of a billion times and I just happened to be the quarter of a billion and oneth time.”
Joanne handed them both their coats. “I think you’re both silly. Come now, it’s time to go. Randy, can you get Allie’s bag? Allie, you go hop into the van.”
Both Father and Daughter looked at each other and smiled because they knew that being silly was the only way to keep from crying when you’re scared.”
Allie buckled into her seat and waited patiently. Joanne soon followed. Randy, on the other hand, walked into Allie’s room and picked up the bag. And then he noticed dear Patty and went to grab her because he just knew that Allie meant for Patty to go.

Just at that exact moment, a series of circumstances happened that were totally out of Randy’s control. Allie’s Sheltie ran into the room at full speed. Randy tried to get out of the way but it was much too late. Casey tripped him. And while Randy was on the floor checking for bruises, Casey jumped onto the bed and grabbed the doll. Randy noticed and tried to take hold but Casey was too fast. He jumped off the bed and dragged poor Patty off with him.
Big globs of sweat fell into Randy’s eyes. “Casey! When I get my hands on you…” And of course, the angry voice made Casey run away much faster. Randy watched as Patty was jostled left and right.
Randy followed a line of red yarn hair until the trail stopped.
“Honey?” Joanne yelled through the doorway. “Is everything okay? We’re going to be late the way it is.”
Randy called back, “Coming dear,” to his wife but to Casey he said, “Dog, when I catch you, and I will catch you, nothing better be wrong with that doll. I’ll be back.” And with those parting words, Randy scooped up the overnight bag and hoped and prayed that Allie would forget about her doll, by some strange miracle.

Casey jumped onto the couch. Patty hung from his mouth at an odd angle. She watched her best friend drive away from her.
And then – two mysteriously wonderful things happened:
Patty moved. While she hung from Casey’s mouth, she spread her little rag arms out towards Allie.
And then do you know what?
She was able to talk. Patty cried out, “Don’t leave me, Allie. I love you,” just as the van pulled out of the driveway. The sound must have scared Casey because he dropped her right on her bottom. Casey’s tongue hung out and Patty sat with her arms stretched out as far as they could go.
They sat for a long, long time. Soon Casey began to whimper and salty wet tears fell from Patty’s eyes for the very first time. She supposed they were all the built up tears from Allie. “Why did you leave me?” she cried out.
Casey licked her, and in his own doggy way, it was his apology. The dog curled up into a ball and Patty wrapped her arms around him. They stayed like that for a very long time.

Just as Randy merged onto the busy early morning traffic on the interstate, Allie cried out, “I forgot Patty! Daddy, please go back. I need her.”
“Honey, I noticed and just when I went to get her, Casey grabbed the doll and ran off. I couldn’t catch him. I’m sorry,” Randy explained with tears bubbling in his eyes.
Joanne moved to sit beside Allie and hugged her tight. “It will be okay. I promise.”
Allie wiped her eyes. “No Mommy, it won’t. You don’t understand. It will be just as hard on Patty as it is on me.”
Allie’s heart broke. Her best friend was at home on the very day Allie needed her most. And she knew, deep down in her heart, that Patty’s heart hurt right now, too. Allie knew she was a doll but she was also more than that – she was her very best friend. And there is something mysteriously special about best friends.
Best friends know when the other hurts even when they aren’t nearby and even if they aren’t really real. But Patty was for reals. Really, really real.
Allie forgot to be scared about her surgery. Her heart had an odd feeling in it - like a pang. She jumped because it scared her.

Patty felt a tingle in her chest and she didn't know what it was. The only way she could describe it in her limited doll language would be like - like a pang. And she jumped because it scared her.

To be continued...


And on the Third Day..., Esther chpt. 5

>> Sunday, March 22, 2009

eI woke up from a nap today thinking about Esther and I knew today was the day to go on.

Many were praying and fasting for Esther. It was a matter not to be taken lightly. A whole Jewish nation was at stake. I'm sure there were some that prayed but didn't really believe. Maybe they started to resign themselves to death. But still they prayed. There was nothing else they could do. They were at the very end of the rope. The only thing that stood between life and death was a girl. Yes, I'm sure there were many doubts.

And on the third day... Sound familiar? Wow. It's in chapter 5 if you don't believe me, verse 1. On the third day... Esther walked in and the king saw her right away and he was happy. He held out his scepter and she touched it. He was ready to give her half his kingdom if that's what she asked.

Were her knees knocking under her dress? I wonder what kind of self-doubts went through her head. What was she thinking at those final steps, as she walked into the room? God used her in mighty ways because of her faithfulness. And she wasn't alone. She had a support group. Friends and family prayed for her. Faithfully.

There is much left to this book. I would suggest you read it. Lots of mystery and intrigue. But what jumped out at me was the support system that Esther had. And you know what else? That we can freely go to our King anytime we want with no fear whatsoever. And He welcomes us. We are His children. And since He's the King, that makes us Princes and Princesses. What an honor.


I Have to Confess...

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

Recently my daughter asked me if I had heard the song, Dependence, by Jamie Slocum. I hadn't but have now and I wanted to share it with you. It has really been ministering to me the last couple of days.

Sometimes I depend on others more than I should and then when something happens - like the person might not have time or in more cases than anything - not a thing they can do to help - then I feel let down.

But you know? God is the One we should totally be dependent on. He is the ONLY ONE who never lets us down. He never puts us at the bottom of His to-do list. He does have answers. He's always ready to listen. He always understands. He catches us when we fall. He knows everything about us and still loves us.

I just wanted to confess - my total dependence on God - now and always because He is Dependable. I hope you enjoy the video and the words.

written and sung by Jamie Slocum

This is the life I’ve always wanted

To know the prince of peace
To feel my faith restored
As your grace surrounds me

This is the day of new beginnings
This is where my freedom starts
And now death has lost its sting
And Jesus how can I thank you?

Just to know, just to know that you love me
Gives me hope to carry on
What can this world do to me? No, no
Just to know, just to know that you’re with me
On all these roads I traveled on
When all I have is gone
I confess my dependence on you

There is a lightness in my laughter
There is a joy inside my soul
My heart is overwhelmed
And Jesus how can I thank you?

Just to know, just to know that you love me
Gives me hope to carry on
What can this world do to me? No, no
Just to know, just to know that you’re with me
On all these roads I traveled on
When all I have is gone
I confess my dependence on you
Dependence on you

Just to know, just to know that you love me
It gives me hope to carry on
You’re the one thing that I can turn to
Just to know, just to know that you’re with me
On all these roads I traveled on
You’re the one thing that I can turn to
Just to know, just to know that you love me
It gives me hope to carry on
There’s nothing this world can do
I confess my dependence on you
Lord, I confess my dependence on you
Dependence on you


Ever Fashionable Sack Cloth, Esther 4

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As we learned earlier, it was the King's edict that all Jews would be put to death - young and old. Mordecai tore at his close and put on the very fashionable sackcloth. He wailed, drawing much attention to himself. And he wasn't alone. There was lots of fasting, weeping, and wailing.

It makes me wonder what we would do if given the same news. All Christians in Illinois would be put to death - babies, young and old men and women - everyone. What would I do? Fight city hall? Move to Ohio? Go into hiding? Renounce my faith?

What if you had the perfect cover. No one knew you were a Christian (or a Jew, in this case.) You lived in the Governor's mansion (King's harem) where you had a very special job as maid (one of the favorites of the King.) Why would you tell anyone you were a Jew and take the chance of getting killed?

Esther was very upset to hear her uncle was going around half naked so she sent him some
clothes but Mordecai had more on his mind than fashion. He was praying for a nation. He told Hathach, a man assigned to take care of Esther's needs, everything that happened.
He showed Hathach the edict for annihilation. He told her how much money Haman promised to pay into the royal treasury. Mordecai had a plan. He wanted Esther to go to the King and beg for mercy and plead for her people.
The problem was this: No one could approach the King without being called. If a person did, he or she would be put to death. The only exception to that rule is if the King held out his gold scepter. The life would be spared then.
Esther may have been one of the King's favorites but she hadn't been summoned for a month. What were the chances that she would be called on now? There is no way. Messages were sent back and forth from Mordecai to Esther and Esther to Mordecai.

Mordecai laid it on the line - told her the truth. He didn't hold back, relative or no. "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (12-14)
Esther may have been young. She may have been a woman. But she was also smart and very brave. She knew he was right. She could die either way.

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
The fate of the Jewish nation rested on this young under-cover Jewish woman.

The plot is laid out. Lives are on the line. Esther has made up her mind. And Mordecai is praying. Will God find favor with this young woman and save the Jewish nation?

Of course, we know He did. But just imagine with me again:
What if this were you and your family? Your kids? Your parents? Renounce your faith or die! What would you do? What would I do?


Friday Fiction - The Quarter

>> Friday, March 13, 2009

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted at Beach Reads. There you will find lots of links to really great fiction. I hope you enjoy this story. I believe I got an Editor's choice on it in January of 2008. It's just a fun story. Oh, the picture is one of Mari's twin grandson's. I went over their names over and over again - but still I get confused. It's either Afton or Anthony. Such cute little kids that her kids, Jacob and Valerie have. Thank you guys for letting me use the picture in my story. It's a perfectly AWESOME snot bubble that Mari took for me:) and one of the boys so graciously made for me. What creativity! Such talent. I see great things ahead for these little boys! Gotta love snot bubbles (and obviously I do when you read this story;)

The Quarter

“Jessie, whatcha got there?”


“Sumpin’s in your hand.”

“Mama said it’s a quarter.”

“One quarter? Lookie what I got!”

With mischievously gleaming eyes, my big brother Luke held out two closed fists. My eyes widened in disbelief as he opened them with a flourish. There they were: two, not one but TWO bright shiny copper pennies. The sun came in just then and hit those pennies just right, making them glow, which caused my heart to beat in a strange double-time fashion. I felt an odd sort of longing fill me from the outside in. I had to have those pennies.

“Lukie, you want my quarter?”

“Nah, Pops gave me these and told me to NEVER give them away.”


“Yep, that’s what he said – never.”

“Okay,” I mumbled with tears filling my eyes. I started to walk away in defeat, head low to the ground, despising my one, lonely quarter held in my hot, sticky hand.

“Don’t cry Jessie.” Luke put his arm around me and brushed away my tears with his sleeve. “Ya know what? I’ll trade you my two shiny pennies for your one old sticky quarter.”

“Really? What ‘bout Pops? Won’t he be mad?”

“Nah, I guess not. As long as you take care of ‘em. He wouldn’t want me to make you cry or nuffin’.”

The deal was sealed. I handed over my quarter and he, in turn, surrendered his pennies to me. Luke ran off giggling. That alone should have made me get a sick feeling in my gut but no, the sick feeling came when Mama gave me a sucker and I had no hands to hold it.

Later that night, as I was getting ready to take off my play dress, I remembered my pennies and the wonderful trade I had made. When Mama gave me the sucker I put my two shiny pennies in my pocket. My heart once again skipped and scampered in my chest as I remembered how my big brother Luke had traded me just because I shed a few tears. I was thinking that was a good trick to remember.

I eagerly scooped my hand into my pocket to retrieve my treasure. Once again big tears formed in my eyes and soon flowed down my cheeks. After the tears started flowing the wailing began, which brought Mama and Pops and Luke running into my room.

Pops scooped me up off my feet and held me close. “Jess, honey, what’s wrong?” Pops always called me Jess, honey.

Luke watched in amazement as a big snot bubble formed from my runny nose. Mama watched this in horror. Pops did what Pops does best – he popped it of course, trying to make me laugh.

Mama took her handkerchief and dried my eyes and wiped the popped snot bubble from my nose and face. “Jessie, girl,” (Mama always called me Jessie, girl,) “why are you crying, honey?”

I sniffed up extra snot in my nose and swallowed which gave me a sick feeling as it slithered down my throat and into my stomach. There, safe in the arms of Pops, I shared my woes. “I losted my pennies!” That’s as much as I got out before the tears began to flow once again.

Mama wiped my eyes and nose and asked me the question to end all questions. “Jessie, girl, you didn’t have any pennies, remember; I gave you a quarter.”

“But,” I started in between the sniffs and cries, “Lukie traded me my quarter for his two pretty pennies.”

Pops and Mama gave Luke “The Look” to end all looks. Luke hunkered down, eyes on the floor, guilt plastered on his face.

“Jess, honey, where were the pennies?”

“In,” sniff, “my,” snot bubble, “pocket.” Pops stuck his hand into my pocket and found a big hole where the pennies should have rested.

Mama and Pops once again looked at Luke and Luke, if possible, was even lower to the ground, looking even more guilty. He put his hand into his pocket and pulled out my two shiny pennies.

“I found them. I was gonna give ‘em back. Really I was”

That day, not only did I find out that tears solves a multitude of problems when it comes to boys, I also found out that one quarter is worth more than two pennies.

You know what Luke found out? Teasing his little sister causes a sore behind and makes you lose the two cents you started with.


Royal Spa Treatment, Continuing Esther

>> Sunday, March 8, 2009

Remember the last entry? We talked about King Xerxes and Queen Vashti. Queen Vashti lost favor with the King when she would not obey his decree. Now she was out but King Xerxes was out, too. Vashti was beautiful and he regretted listening to the counsel he had gotten.

But that same counsel got it together and found a woman just as beautiful or maybe even more so. She had to marinate for a year before she could even see the King. This was the custom. In order to be part of the harem, yes, ummm... I said harem, she had to be treated to various beauty treatments. I know, it sounds like a really rough year:) But this was something the young Jewish girl, Esther, was not used to, not at all. The only reason she even followed through with the plan was because her adopted father, Mordecai, said to. He believed even then that Esther was to be used by God.

Because Queen Vashti stood her ground and made the King mad, a young Jewish girl now found favor with the King, thus changing the way the history books would be read. Who knew that God would use a teenage girl to save a whole nation? But I have now gotten ahead of myself again. For now, she is a young girl, enjoying a year at the royal spa.

What are you marinating for? What plan does God have for me? Can we enjoy the spa treatment and not worry what's ahead for now?

'Lord, we want to follow Your plan always. Even if it looks like we're spinning our wheels, maybe you are preparing us for big things ahead. I, for one, want to enjoy this time of marination. I want to continue to marinate in Your Word. I want to be ready when You call my name.'


This and That....

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

This week hasn't been very good for me. I've not felt well at all. Hopefully things will be better tomorrow and I'll be back to work. Meanwhile, since I'm just laying in bed, I thought I would get myself into a little bit of trouble;)

My good friend Shirley, from Sunny Glade's blog has written and published her very first interview where she just happens to be interviewing my very good friend, Mari. To read this, click here: Mari's interview. Shirley and Mari did a very good job. I am so proud of them both. AND, they are both such very good friends to me.

Also, they both have had a really good day today. Shirley got another editor's choice this week on her story, Fire and Ice and Mari got her 3rd editor's choice and is now moving up to master's. Here is her link to Confessions of a Chocoholic. It's an awesome story.

Mari just had a birthday this week, too, so now, she's my very best 'older' friend:) She's a whole five months older so I will make sure I let her remember that.

Alright, I've tooted my friend's horns loud enough for now. I hope you take the time to read some really great writing.


Be Careful Who You ask...; Esther 1

>> Sunday, March 1, 2009

I need to go backwards in Esther now. I jumped ahead with my last blog:) The main personalities in chapter 1 and a small bit of 2 is:

  • King Xerxes
  • Queen Vashti
  • The King's Counselors, wise in legal matter
King Xerxes chose a period of six months to open up his Palace to show off his great wealth. At the end of that time, he threw a week-long party Eating and drinking was the top priority. At the same time, Queen Vashti was throwing her own party for the women. On that seventh day, the king was giddy and drunk and ordered his Queen come to him so he could show off her great beauty but the woman refused. Imagine that:)

Side note: Joanne at An Open Book shared Jewish lore about Queen Vashti. It was said that she was told to come out only in her crown. No wonder she didn't follow her husband, the King's orders.

This was unheard of. No one dared go against an order of the great King Xerxes. He was embarrassed in front of his guests. He asked his counselors who took care of his legal matters what he should do. They gave him this advice:

"It's not only the king Queen Vashti has insulted, it's all of us, leaders and people alike in every last one of King Xerxes' provinces. The word's going to get out: 'Did you hear the latest about Queen Vashti? King Xerxes ordered her to be brought before him and she wouldn't do it!' When the women hear it, they'll start treating their husbands with contempt. The day the wives of the Persian and Mede officials get wind of the queen's insolence, they'll be out of control. Is that what we want, a country of angry women who don't know their place? (Esther 1:16-18)

A country full of unruly women - that couldn't happen. So it was decreed that Queen Vashti would be banned and another woman replace her, one that knew her place. This is what King Xerxes had to say, "Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes." (Esther 2:1)

But you know what? When he sobered up and realized what he did, he regretted it. I'm thinking he really should have found better counsel.

I've sought out bad counsel before. Have you? When we want someone to agree and tell us we're right - we know who to go to, don't we? And when we want truthful answers, we avoid those people and go to the ones that are faithful and honest and truly know our hearts and who will
disagree with us even though we may get mad at them for a bit. Have friends like that? I hope so. I sure do.

The King regretted acted so quickly on the advice of his counselors. Now he lost his beautiful Queen and would have to start all over again:) Oh boy... What a problem. But anyway...

I say today, be careful who you seek counsel:

  • Make sure they are wise and Godly.
  • Find someone who will take your chin and point it up towards God.
  • Don't act too quickly and regret your decisions later.
  • Stay in the Word.
  • Pray.
  • Seek Godly counsel.
  • Be careful who you ask....
(All verses taken from The Message)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Powered by Blogger.

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP