States of Matter

“A characteristic of Law is that friction, pain, and penalty result from its violation. Penalty is the shock we feel when we collide with Law. Speaking exactly, Law itself cannot be broken. If we transgress it, the Law remains intact, and we are broken.”
~Rays of the Dawn, Dr. Thurman Fleet~

I asked the chiropractor if there was anything I could do at home. I meant was there a spot on my stomach I could push on, or some way to twist my body that would give me some more tools in my “Help Myself” toolbox. He said, “Yes, read the book I gave you.” I’m glad he said that because I hadn’t been reading it. I’d started reading the part about the four laws of the body and couldn’t get through it without feeling sick and anxious.

So I quit reading that part and moved on to the laws of the mind and the soul. I’ve found these parts to be surprisingly much more enjoyable and enlightening. After reading the above lines, I don’t think I could ever use the phrase “breaking the law” ever again. We do not bend rules, as if such a thing were possible. We do not break the law. We transgress the law. To transgress is to cross over or go beyond a boundary or limit.

To go beyond a boundary or limit is to cross over into territory we were not created to encounter or endure. From higher above the earth I can see the Law as a giant heart-shaped marking, the divine revelation of human reality. It’s like the arms of God giving a giant hug to humanity. It’s God saying, “Stay right here, close and next to me”.

But the heart of God was not enough for mankind. We wanted more, and with a kiss, betrayed him. At that point a hug was not enough for God either. He called out to us to return and come home, to love him, know him, be close to him again. We couldn’t hear him anymore, for we were too far away. But he could still hear us, see us, still want us.

Does the heart of God break or does the heart of God, right then, begin to beat? Jesus comes to the earth and he comes as a man, not to hide himself as we had tried to hide from him, but to show us fully who God is. He transgresses no law, for God cannot betray his being, or be anything other than who he is. So God is love. He is one for all.

On Homeschool Life

The kids have been managing their own school these days. In the middle of January, I made them each a clipboard with their names and the words Third Quarter at the top. Their subjects were listed Monday through Friday, so all they have to do is the next lesson in the workbook for each subject. At the beginning of February we took a week off regular school and the spent the mornings in our pajamas watching documentaries on Arctic and Antarctic explorations, including The Search for the Northwest Passage.

I’ve slowly begun disassembling the schoolroom. It actually breaks my heart a little to write that. I’ve started with the things that make it obviously school-like. The handmade calendar still on December was the first thing to go. This week, while I rested on the guest room bed downstairs, the kids cleared an entire wall with a hammer and stapler remover, taking down the giant fabric tree, along with the chalkboard. The boys then took every last dirty and cat peed on pillows from the story corner out to the dumpster.

I have loved that room, but was too much for me to keep holding onto. Not just in matters of the physical upkeep, but also in the way it held too many reminders of the things I wasn’t doing, of the things that I was unable to do. I don’t mean that so much in a depressing, putting down myself kind of way, but more like a realizing the need to work within my limits kind of way. My kids are not small children anymore, snuggling up under my arms as we read the Jesus story book Bible every day with our school snacks.

Even taking that much down feels so much better. I love homeschooling, and hope to keep on doing it. But I am also a free spirit, which means I need freedom. I need to have change, and I need to be able to do things, within reason, the way I want to do them. With homeschooling that means that I want to do it well, and doing it well means doing in a way that is mutually beneficial to all parties involved. As soon as that ceases to be the case, we make adjustments for the person who is needing the adjustment to thrive.

For Better Days

The outside temps today turned the snow into slush. It’s been a colder and snowier winter here, though it seems we’re breaking out of the latest weeks long cold streak. I find winter to be more and more charming as time goes on, so long as the basic comforts and needs of life remain intact. One thing that’s been nice about this year’s winter is that in spite of the cold, the sun has still shined with plenty of blue sky. I will take sunshine and single digits over milder temps with months of grey blah any day.

It’s been a rougher past few days, but today was better. Better days are when I can think about other things besides my symptoms. Rougher days are days when I don’t feel normal, spending more time in bed trying to cope with what feels like the debilitating gripping discomfort of my anxiety. The chiropractor I’ve been going to says not to call it “my anxiety”, as if it’s something I want to keep or own. It’s not, and this morning I cried by the open screen door begging God to take this away from me.

I take a pill the size of a split pea and it all goes away. Thankfully my regular doctor renewed the prescription for me, though he doesn’t see it as a long term solution, nor do I. The chiropractor is treating “zone three” for nerves, along with giving me a paper of suggested foods for stable blood sugar, and a book that I’ve been reading that’s supposed to deal with the spiritual, mental, and emotional side of things. He says M.E.N. are the cause of all stress, so he treats Mechanical, Emotional, Nutritional.

He said I’m supposed to be identifying stressors, which I’ve already been thinking about. I’ve had so much time to rest these past several weeks, and am realizing truly how difficult it is for me to “Be still”. I told God I don’t want to waste these days fretting and striving, constantly searching for a cause, cure, or reason, but that’s been easier said than done at times. It stresses me out when I don’t have answers. May we wait with wonder at the feet of Jesus, where there is nothing to fight, and nothing to run from.

Ash Wednesday 2021

We won’t go into the irony of how a person can try to intentionally eat right and stay active with not much change in the way of lost weight, but can be sick for a month and lose 15lbs. In the beginning of this it was hard to eat, and the thought of food felt sick and wrong. After gallons of water, hot teas, and bone broth, my appetite has finally returned and the thought of food is no longer off-putting. Any strength or endurance I once had is completely gone and will have to slowly be built back up over months.

I’m ready to be done with the grasping of youth. To hell with being fit or remotely attractive, I truly just want to be well again. I see celebrity women online in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, and there’s a part of me that understands, but another part of me that yearns for somebody to give up the struggle. Can we embrace getting older in a way that includes the vast majority of women? Is it so bad to be normal, to have grey hair, sagging jowls, and brow lines? After all, what is it that we have been doing these years?

Hopefully we have lived our lives. Aren’t all these things the perfect signs of what we’ve been through? I want to grow older with life having made me a kinder person by 50, not a person impressing others because her skin looks amazing. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things. Some women are blessed in the way of earthly beauty, and honestly, good for them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being stewards of the earthly gifts we’ve been given, so long as we remain stewards and don’t become slaves.

But enough of all that. It’s the first day of Lent, what is known as Ash Wednesday. I’m a little rusty these days with the theological insights, besides the fact that Lent has never really been my thing. There are a few things I’m realizing when it comes to writing, and one is that you don’t need to be a “writer”, or constantly blowing the world’s mind, or knocking anybody’s socks off in order to make a difference in somebody’s life. You can do that being a kind and compassionate person who cares about other earthly people.

My sisters and I were texting today about the “fringe interactions” gone missing during these covid days, that is, the interactions with people you see out and about, such as the library lady, the grocery store cashier, the girl ringing up your pizza order, or the other mom in the Target aisle. I was feeling slightly angry today about the isolation of our culture, which is reality, yes, but also a brain rut I can sometimes get stuck in. And yet we’re changing, friends, remember? Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Loveless to lovely.

Convalescence

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“I love you, O LORD, my strength.”
~Psalm 18:1~

Remind me never again to utter the words, “Women in our culture don’t have the luxury to say, ‘Sorry, people, you’re on your own. I need three days to rest and bleed.'” I may not have actually spoken them out loud, but a thought might as well be close as a train horn or whisper in God’s ear. Nevertheless, somebody heard me.

For it wasn’t a week later, fresh out of the new year, that I drove myself to the emergency room. I was struggling to breathe, barely able to stand, suffering a panic attack of 21st century proportions. That morning I’d woken up feeling weak in a way that was too weak to be normal. It isn’t far off to say that it scared me.

I was certain my cardiac enzymes or electrolytes were off. I could think of no other explanation for my state. “It’s like I’m malnourished”, I told the nurse. The x-ray technician came in, and before she wheeled me off for the obligatory chest x-ray, she straightened the blanket to better cover me up. I cried at such kindness.

I was certain my cardiac enzymes or electrolytes were off. I could think of no other explanation for my state. “It’s like I’m malnourished”, I told the nurse. The x-ray technician came in, and before she wheeled me off for the obligatory chest x-ray, she straightened the blanket to better cover me up. I cried at such kindness.

It’s been nearly six weeks since I “crashed” and my body refused to stand anymore. I’ve heard about the fabled “nervous breakdown”, something I used to think was just a momentary bout of feeling completely overwhelmed with life. I almost don’t even want to talk about it anymore. I won’t go on and on about it.

Part of me wanted to wait until I was stronger to start writing again, though the fact that I am writing now would be a sign that work and strength are returning. My husband and kids have been absolutely amazing. Xanax has been a lifesaver in these weeks of wicked nervous tension. I only needed a half pill today.

It’s been single degree temps, below zero at night, and I’ve barely noticed. I’ve been living under an electric blanket, the king-size warmth that now covers our bed. I can stand up straight and be up more doing things. I knew there were things in my life that needed to change, and I remember asking God to go easy on me.

Thanks be to God of the heavens.

He did.