20 Apr

Ripple Effect

In my early 20’s after my first marriage dissolved I floundered a bit but eventually made my way back home. I reconnected with my high school pals and they were all following the Dead at the time, seeking peace in a storm, I found shelter there and have some of the most beautiful memories to keep in my heart. The Grateful Dead was always a band I loved, country and bluegrass tones, mystical and fun lyrics and catchy music.  I became a sprite, one who flitted about and life was calmer but still tortured. I struggled with my identity from as long as I can remember, always seeking my truth, I did not find it there and I moved on to other things but kept my affinity for the Dead.  But the flower child began to bloom during this time.

Since I began to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ I have come to some intersections in my mind that bring me to humbled moments. One such yesterday as I connected Psalm 36:9 on my Facebook to the lyrics of Ripple. My favorite Dead song, it is profound in ways others are not. Jerry Garcia was a sweet soul, I have studied this man is his life and death, he is an icon, an entire cult movement was made from his unfluences. So who influenced him? The songwriter for sure, Jerry just penned the music to this tune.

His father died young by accident, he was an artist at heart, his older brother was his biggest male influence, by 15 he was crazy over rock and roll and fell into the crowd that some do. He had a tortured 53 years of life, fighting addiction mainly and the damage it does to the human body. In his later life, he saw himself as having a destructive component to his personality, he had an admitted “F#$& You attitude and an anarchist  streak, he saw these aspects of his personality of good and evil at conflict.

The man who influenced Jerry the artist was Robert Hunter, another musical wizard who had things in his backpack. Just today I discovered Mr. Hunter was part of the MKULtra project that the CIA did with psychotropic drugs. Knowing history the way I do I defenitely see how the dark forces were at work in our heirarchy and society. There is a massive connection to a time period, a separation of young people from family, set off adrift as travelers…Robert said, If I knew the way, I can take you home, lat da da da.

Result: many lost.
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That did not work out so well for Jerry or the many who like me floundered on the way. Jerry filled his “love jug” on acceptance and fame, accolades and strokes. Jerry laughed at God and instead sought the teachings of Terence McKenna who idolized the altered state of mind, it was his God, he served it. His lifes work was chasing and objectifying psychadelic experiences.

So where does all of this leave us?

In my own lost, wandering life, I too tried every thing to connect with something bigger,my LSD experiences were enlightening and opened doors but did not answer the questions.  I knew God existed but could not give it a name. I was young, it left a mark but when I inquired of it was told it was nothing, it was dismissed.

My experienceswith God did not match the idea of God I was taught by the humans around me. Their God was a cosmic scorekeeper just waiting to catch me screwing up to black list me. I would arrive in heaven a complete failure, a total disappointment ,as I was here flames licking at my ankles. “ugh, you should have known better, I told you so”. Enter my world of self hatred that mushroomed when I drank. It was me against that idea all of my life, no wonder I felt defeated every day. These guys all missed it too, sad, sad, sad, I can only pray that they knew the truth and met Christ as a savior in life instead of as a just, fair judge at the end. Maybe Grace met them, somewhere along the line but all died, sad ends too.

What component of religion is it that is so repelling to artists, poets, someone like me? The free spirit, the flower child, the soul that presses on despite repetitive beating if death does not consume us first. Church made me cry, deep down I knew it was not going to be my answer in this life. I did not travel the path of piety. I took the path set before me and got very, very detoured at times. Yet there remained a point inside of me that was calling out to the North Star that pulls us home, it  never stopped pinging.

I had to beat my way through religion, the biggest roadblock to knowing the true God, through hypocrites, bullies, liars and a dance with Satan himself. But I emerged almost dead on the window ledge of the rest of my life. With God on one side saying, “just step inside honey, come to me, I love you”  and my destroyed ego out on the ledge saying, “jump, noone cares”.  Where does one go from there? I am a broken addict but there is not one church in my area with an addiction program,  I can’t go back to the bar, I can’t go to church, I met God that day.

He wants me to tell you something.

He loves you, unconditionally. Yes, the way you are, flaws, bruises, baggage, dirt, shame, tears. Even you with the chip on your shoulder saying, “psh, all this stuff about God, whatever Marla”. Yes, He made you that way, your skepticism can be used for the good. Which wolf do you feed?

I could not see Him as long as I maintained a relationship with my ego, impossible. It is the most striking contradiction. This world is set up like an obstacle course. Grab your courageous soul and walk with me a moment.

God is the highest position to attain. When we seek Him we can learn from Him. How? His word. Someone needs to add the clarifier to the pool we all swim in. Jesus would skewer most of the churches in existence today. Why do I say that? The actions and deeds do not meet the words, period.

The New Testement is a virtaul handbook, if you are following the AD Continues on NBC you see that after Jesus’s death was the most dynamic time in history. What baffles me is that the gospel remains unchanged if you read it, despite the warp job religion has done to it. The message is truly divine and I beleive to the point of risking my life and all I hold dear for it. My mantra is “be ready to say goodbye, this is not home” and I live it. We are all working out our salvation until our end and Meister Eckhart ways it is the Wayless Way. But I happen to hoild myself very accountable, is it the addict? Maybe, but I have deep convition about not wallowing in things that Jesus died for. It is not a bad idea, we stay in our sin puddles making excuses, get back on track, on your journey it is never too late.

What ever it is the journey is yours, which lead us to the Dead and Jerry. Rest in peace my friend, I think of you with a sad sense of loss. What did the path God have for you look like? We will never know.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone. ~ The Grateful Dead-lyrics to Ripple

Blessings my friends,

Marla

sources:

wikepedia

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/the-rolling-stone-interview-jerry-garcia-19930902

you tube

 

17 Apr

No Risk, No Faith

Winter always descends upon me like a lead blanket, this body doesn’t do cold anything happily. This winter was the winter of all winters and almost took my soul. It has been very painful for me so I ask you read tenderly, but listen please, I have to tell her story.
In my quest for fulfillment as an independent person, once I gained my career as a bank manager I accumulated money via a nice income. When I did I set out to fill every wish I had, my return to afarm life opened certain doors. I began to acquire things that were passions to me, a dog, a horse, big gardens, an active social life, but eventually when my body broke down the same things began to consume me, I could no longer perform the tasks assiciated. So along with the acquiring comes parting, and we did.
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Lady was everything I could have wanted, she was obedient and sweet, she sized me up and we decided before I would ride her we’d be friends. So mornings I would bridle her and grap the rope and we’d walk the farm road to patches of grass and we’d talk. This went on some time, I got on her but knew we were still getting to know each other and my body was failing.
In the years that I had her I got sicker and she became my friend, riding was off the table. She was still mine so I would drag myself to the barn to feed her and let her into the pasture. But many mornings we just stood and talked, I would tidy her pen as best I could and try to brush her even though it was physically hurting me. We shared so much, she kept secrets and was non judgemental and never denied me a hug. She even let me sing, bless her heart.
This past December my body descending, I made the decision to let Lady go. My son was riding her but she was not the right horse for him. No one wanted to assume my responsibilities and the guilt of responsibility shifting was heavy, it always is for the chronically ill.maglia juventus
The day I walked her into the trailer was the hardest day of my life. It broke me in a way I had not anticipated. The year prior I had to do the same letting go with my job, my friends, my career, my dog, my independence, I had practice. Christmas was on the way and I tried to get into the spirit despite the fact that mine was at it’s lowest. Each day I went to the barn and was met with quiet.
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I was not prepared to finally face the fact that my castle I built was crashing, there was one fortress remaining and I held on for too long. Facing the fact that all I lost I had acquired while I was in the biggest heart compromise of all time. If I am to be very honest, I remember the day I shelved my Bible in 2005 and said, “God, this is nice but I think I can do this alone, I am good for now” and in the cabinet it went. I though about God and even began going to church which left me emptier that before I walked in the door. I had been “on the wagon” since 1998 when my son was born and in 2004 began to consume to fit into a format. I felt I was a strong enough Christian to blend and be okay. I have never been more wrong in my life.
The declining health situation was a medical nightmare, I was so drugged by pharmaceuticals, working feverishly to achieve my insane work goals, managing an office and a home, and trying to save the world. Wine and weekend fun to the rescue or so I though, I bought a trip to deaths doorstep. My body so ill I was not longer tolerating the booze that kept me placid. I would be so sick with dry heaves for 2 days straight, refusing the ER and self loathing in my bed. I hated my body, it was betraying me. 2 years of pure hell following  this, I sobered up and began to realize that happiness had been hijacked my madmen leading the planet into greed driven destruction. I began to read my Bible and search for truth.
This December after Lady left, the truth showed up with a 2×4 to my head. There was no turning from the fact that I had done and undone myself, something I have been saying since childhood, “we will eventually all do ourselves in”, it was an inherent belief in my heart.
I had to admit there was noone else to blame for the roads I took and all I could think of was the one that changed me from curious kid to very aware.
I was 13, somehow I managed to get out the door with my older sister, we ended up at a party and I remember it well. The pretty, popular girls around the fire were singing Fat Bottomed Girls and dancing to the radio. I was handed a beer and drank it, and another, the evening ended with a senior at the time taking me into his car and innocence was gone in a flash. I did not tell my mother, instead fueled by soap operas and music videos I made a dangerous connection from me in my body to beinbg something men wanted. My body became a tool, I was desired, that meant something. It was my entire life up until very recently, I still believed that and resented it.
I believe that God send messengers and I married one. In the worst times of me 3 days unwashed, covered in hives and too sick to move this man said “You’re beautiful”. I began to want to punch him in the mouth, stop patronizing me!
But over time his relentless message backed by love began to sink in. So I got to the place where I realized deep down I am beautiful, the girl my momma raised was still there but I hate who I am today.
Rage is a frequent issue for Lymies and the day came when I cracked, the urge to destroy my mask came and I did. I began to scare my family with my words and actions. One particular day I left the house, in my truck, no phone, no purse or money, no coat. I drove to the field where the party was 33 years ago. I parked and prayed and somehow in the conversation I laid it down and let it go.
The months since that have been the best of my life. Rather than running from my truth, I embraced it. I began to forgive myself for being a naive kid who was so easily led, circumstances cannot be blamed, they are what they are and I love the people involved, I have to leave that alone.
Lady was a messenger too, just yesterday driving down the road I said to my son, “your dad asked me if I want to get a horse gain someday, that is funny so did you just last week”. We talked and I told him what I have learned.
Lady was trained, very well trained, in the hands of Debbie her new owner she was peaceful and obedient, Debbie has a peace about her. I had no peace at all, anywhere in my life, Lady knew that.
Fact: She may have been here but I was not ready for her, I was not the person she needs, Debbie was.
I had work to do, so daily I make deliberate and conscious fully present decisions and I move forward. No horse now but someday, maybe when I am fully healed but today I still am working toward that.
Today I am following my heart and I won’t ever sell it on short sale again. I get my cue from God and have learned to wait. Do I beleive in God to the point of risk, to the comfort of giving it all up and only having Him? Yes. That is what He is building in me, every time I hand it over and trust him. Faith.
If you build it, they will come. I am patient.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Much love friends.
Marla
hearts
15 Apr

Gravity Boots

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Merriam Webster tells me gravity defines is heaviness, serious, crititcal in nature. Hence my title.
Life has been trivialized in a way that just slays me. The images on TV screens are so hollow to me. In my waking up to the massive deception in the world I educated myself on how we got to this point. Almost like coming home from a far away journey, suddenly reality was hitting me full force, the removal of my former life facilitated that, Thank you lyme disease.
Sometime during my waking up my grandson was born. This picture I took just this morning as I recollected memories from his visit yesterday. My initial thought was, I am glad he gets this me-maw instead of the the one I could have been.
I was on my way to walk the yard and here are his boots, next to my garden shoes. I thought about fitting them into my shoes but the reality of doing that was too humbling.
One of my favorite songs is Legacy by Nicole Nordeman, her lyric poses the questions for us…
“I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?maglia bayern monaco
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy”
…so the boots are “gravity boots”, the thought of him following my footsteps scares me to death, I would not wish that on his mommy, (I love her). But the weight of being an influence in a child life is one that is very serious, we should dweel here for a moment.
Everything we say and do they watch, mimic and adapt into their own “isms”. I have had the horror of seeing my bad habits in my own children, big wake up there, not cool.
But on the legacy, I don’t really want to wonder what people will say when I am gone, I am sure the comments will be as colorful as my life has been. Yet what I leave in this child holds so much weight for me. My daughter is a busy gal with this wee lad, he is a bundle of wonder that erupts into a grin that steals my heart every time, an imp. And our walk to the barn yesterday as I lifted him from the mud puddles the rain left I thought how nice would that have been. To just be able to lift my kids over life’s puddles, man would that save time or what?
But we can’t, they have to experience it and sadly when your children become adults what’s done is done. Life since I began to walk with Jesus has been very challenging because I am  dealing with consequences and circumstances that leave me weary and broken.  So last night I turned to my Bible in my tears. Always answers there, thank you Father.
Matthew 12 is the story of Jesus and Belzebub and speaks of the overflow of the heart. It says that a tree is recognized by it’s fruit. What about my fruit? Hmmm.
It also says, in verse 37, “For by your words you will be aquitted and by your words you will be condemned”. Yikes.
I can say there is nothing as a parent more condemning than watching consequences in another whose life you heavily impacted. I have walked this due to my relapse in to using alcohol in 2004. I thought I was a strong enough Christian, I was sure the pressure would never hurt me, I knew better, a bad run in my 20’s took me on a ride as well. By the time life had marched on I was re-married and in full relapse. Over time, I got the lyme and then my body broke down completely, it was then I realized it had been my medication, oops. Booze is sneaky like that, it alls all nice, smooth, friendly but when it’s all up in your face, not fun anymore. Partying was over.
Coming back from this revealed that in my numb, medicated state I missed a lot of seed planting that parents should do. I recall the “go play” and the “later ons”. On the days I was alone, sick and flat on my back that echoed in my head, I pushed them aside to stay plugged into what ever I was doing. Many, many times. Eaten much humble pie.
I have apologized to my kids more than you can imagine. Some say I am too hard on myself, to you I say, disobedient people need discipline, I self apply these days. Nuff said.
Are there gravity boots in your life? I bet there are, we all influence each other, Social media is a firestorm of influence so I guard my eyes and ears. But is it a playground for our children? A new slew of research bring about a term called “screen time”, shocking statistics from health professionals about what this techie world is doing to the human mind.
Being present is very important to me, I want to live a deliberate life, I won’t back down to temptation or desire, I am not a slave to myself. No longer a task master to my own psyche I now just keep those boots on the mat next to mine.
And I walk the line….walk with me.
Much love friends.
Marla
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I love comments and conversation! But lets give all the accolades to Him…
…”for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
08 Apr

Welcome Spring Things

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Spring emerges and one thing I know about spring is it is a time of changes on a farm. We lived saturated in humbling miraculous events, in nature and animals that redefine the constant din of the story the world tries to spin. Eggs that turn in to fluffy peeping balls are a great reminder.
Spring often means cleaning, houses, garages, barn and hearts while we are at it, my heart has had the doors open for some time, I needed an overhaul.  Open the bay doors and get the dump truck.
Easter came and went it this year really uncelebrated at our home, we had a family gathering but no bunny or chocolate themes, not church either. I have come to a place at 46 years old where I was at 26. Too old to go back to training so I self taught and passed with flying colors anyway.
I do not fit in at church, yes I live in the country and share many similarities with my peers but over time became far more comfortable with a mountaintop than a steeple.
I used to cry at church, seriously, I did, it really used to embarass my kids, (sorry guys). I used to believe it was because I could not find God there. For years I was ticked at the entire church process inside and out. It failed me, numerous times, flagrantly and very not like Jesus at all.  I didn’t want to be there, they were snobs and I am sure God was right behind me.maglia atletico madrid
Yes I said behind me.
Not so fast,  we covered that, He is in front now where He belongs. On the other side of that is the here and now, one hellish winter behind me and an epiphany.
I had to hear ithe words from another addict, Self Hatred, it hit me like a 2 x 4 across the head.
I, the task master in my head, had deemed myself too bad for God’s work, I would never be a Sunday School teacher, never one of those super trendy involved moms, I was never even allowed as a member in the church, I am a risk, I walk the line as many former addicts do.
I spent years denying my love affair with booze but it has come out of the mouths of humbling places, in my childrens words and my mothers tears. There is nothing more painful as a parent than to hear how your selfish, impaired  choices  hurt their young lives, it is a fact that brings me to my knees before God, no faking from this girl, I know what I am.
So all that said here is your good girl gone bad, then bad girl gone good blog,  I promise I will not feign perfection, oh no, I have learned to fall, somewhat gracefully at times.
Which takes me into relearning how to live, outside of bars and bike rallys, outside of corporate America, they didn’t want me either. This life calls for one being comfortable in one’s own skin, being honest, being present and standing alone.
I have done alone a lot, every new situation seems to take me back to 5th grade and a classroom of faces I did not know, all eyes on me, I learned to survive until the bus took me home to my Dad.
Oddly at 46 I am no more popular than I was at 11, but what a ride I had trying to make them all love me. We are born with a deep longing for love, we could talk for months on the ways we try to fill that longing inside of us, I am sure our hearts would break over the stories.
Today I sought clarity for my own life, my love searches have crash landed in the past and the book of Ephesians is a fine stopping place. I developed self accountability a very long time ago, I had to do it to survive. I have been told I am too hard on myself but if I am honest I am hybrid personality, pair the self driven with the reflective and innovative and you get me.
When a type B goes into a job made for a type A,  voila!
The day I began morphing myself into a successful banker and denying the flower child it was a bad idea although it developed my business side and my analytical skills and I made a slew of awesome friends who I love.
I really don’t know what that makes me but I follow the beat of my own drum these days and seek my wisdom on my knees instead of in my own design studio.
When God allows life to “sit you down in your seat” to listen He will go to great lengths to get your attention, trust me, it is a good idea to listen.
I have never been obedient and I am willful and stubborn, (love you Mom), I haven’t changed. So you see I need to read Ephesians, I sin, case in point. ( I said I’d be honest)
Ephesians 5:18 is interesting, it says, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit”.
An important verse I most likely skimmed over for years but I am learning to decipher my Bible and am shocked at what I learned today. As someone who began drinking at 13 years old I knew all about Do no Drink but curiosity killed the cat you know.
Debauchery defined by Noah Webster is: Immoral Self Indulgence, Binge, Burn Candle at Both Ends, Carousing, Fast Living, Indulgence, Intemperance, Lust Sensuality, Lewdness, Gluttonly and Excess.
 The opposite of debauchery is: Benevolance, Mercifulness, Unselfishness.
Okay, we have the quiintessential bad girl Kesha vs Mother Theresa, need I ask whom we all should seek to model?
Being a former addict I can speak on how booze greases the inhibitions of a nice sweet kid who is naive to what goes on in the big world. But that was 1981and this is now, one thing I can tell you about today’s teens is they are smart and savvy. Do not try to sugar coat anything they can spot a fake a mile away.
It also greases the social inhibitions of bored, frustrated and despressed adults worldwide. This is an issue that it seems only AA is attacking. The media glorifies it’s use, it is reveled in, endorsed, marketed, kids watch mom and dad use it, they become desensitized and see it as a tool for fun. By high school and college age they are dipping toes if not swimming in it.
As parents we are called to live an authentic life and be honest, we can deny our actions with words but just as cream always rises to the top, truth emerges and 10, 20 years later, it hurts worse to clean up the damage, trust me. I set so many bad examples along with my attempted good ones.
For us Ephesians is a handbook, a manual of sorts, fit for family study, read it aloud, what does it mean to you for your life? Have a discussion, what does it all mean for your family?
It tells us how to live in peace, actual instructions with easy to understand words like be gentle, humble, live as children of light, bearing with others in love, speak truth, don’t hold onto anger, build others up according to THEIR not YOUR needs, be kind, compassionate, be strong in the Lord, do things wholeheartedly, be obedient children.
We are all born from a spirit created by God, yes your parents did their parts but God is the designer. He made us in the secret place, Psalm 139:15, think life creation of the world, same place, God’s design.
This journey through life is hard, I will not lie, it is brutal at times. I read Pilgrims Progress as a kid and identified with Christian, the roads he traveled, the  pitfalls he ran into or created by his choices on his way to the City. I see my journey littered with debris but so many flowers on the way, messengers of light who came to me, many of them you, people I love, people who changed my path. People are wonderful, we need other people.
There were huge disasters but clarity of mind followed them, the blessings always surfaced and were the dominant memory. And God was always there, wasted out of my mind, even in my deepest sins, His love and care was over me. In reading my Bible I can see all of the messages from God I missed. This being loved by God, it is a 2 way street and you need to show up, I was detained, at the bar and many other destinations.
My mis-interpretationof God, my distorted view of love, the walls I built, the hatred I had for my own actions all blocked His voice , I was clueless to all that I see so clearly now.
In the coming weeks we will talk more about those walls and how they are created but for today I want to meet you, right where you are. If my words mean anything to you, then great, let’s be friends.
I don’t need a stage, a name or fame. My daddy was a soldier and he discipled me, I took up the charge when he went to be with Father.  My job here is to be a steward of what God entrusted to me, my husband, my kids, our family, our farm, our friends, animals and gardens and a life that can be used to make things here among my fellow men bettter.
Here is the self assured Warriors Prayer for you to use, I made edits to cement in my mind exactly what my mission is. Say it confidently and envision the metal clinking into place. Don’t start your day without it. Be fierce.
All we need to do is Believe.
Blessings,
Marla
Confident Warriors Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father
I am preparing for battle today
My goal is to claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God
I will wear the Girdle of Truth
I will stand firm in the truth of your word
I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies
I wear the Breastplate of Righteousness, it will guard my heart from evil, 
I will remain pure and holy protected under the blood of Jesus Christ
I walk in the Shoes of Peace. I will stand firm and walk in Jesus’s love
God’s Peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter
I carry the Shield of Faith. It deflects Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial, and deceit
I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.
I am safe in the Helmet of Salvation
I will keep my mind focused and Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts
I wield the Sword of the Spirit. The two edge sword of your word will be ready in my hands and I will expose the tempting words of Satan.
In full faith your warrior boldly wears the whole armor of God
I Will live this day and spiritual victory amen!