What Just Happened When I Wasn’t Looking?

I didn’t even see it coming. It happened so fast. I blinked my eyes and POOF, there it was. Why didn’t I see this unwanted enigma creep up on me? Could I have stopped it? Maybe if I had some kind of weapon?

Didn’t others warn me about this plight? I looked all around for help. Was I alone? I was drowning.

Didn’t anyone see me? Throw me a life jacket. Please. It happened. This thing. This unfamiliar, unrelenting thing just happened. It swallowed me before I had time to figure out an escape. There was no mercy or preparation. I somehow didn’t think it would happen to me. Me?

Yes. It happened to me. I aged. I am in my golden years. It’s hard to even say out loud. It sounds somehow strange and unnerving.

Father time caught up with me to matter how hard I ran. I couldn’t run anymore. They no longer asked me at the Bealls Outlet Store if I was over 55. (On Mondays, they give an extra 15% discount for people 55 and older).

I turned and gazed in my full-length mirror. Gray hairs peeked out from my temple and below my ears, as it was time for my monthly “touch up.” The extra ten pounds stole my size 8 and dignity. Wrinkles are getting harder to hide. In fact, I think make-up truly accents my wrinkles.

Wow! Will I have to stop wearing make-up too? What about my age spots? How will I cover them? It is like swatting flies, I destroy one, and then another appears. No matter what, I can’t stop wearing my eyeliner that I have worn since my twenties. Can I keep putting it on? My eyes are a bit wrinkled and it is a little harder to put on make-up, plus the fact that a medication that I have to take makes my hands shake. Eek! Help!

My husband just got back from getting a haircut. “Haircuts went up another dollar,” he laments. Money is another concern at this age. Although we have saved and planned for retirement, our income doesn’t keep up with the cost of living. “You can only take out 7% each month,” our Financial Planner reminded us. The money we have saved cannot be spent. It is only a vessel to produce the 7% that we can have each month along with our Social Security checks. Our four children insist that they do not want any money handed down to them but no doubt there will be our little nest egg for them. That’s OK. I am thankful that we saved the money. It just is ironic that we can’t spend it. I think of all the times Jim, my husband worked two jobs so that we could save money for retirement.

OK. I have to get a grip, as they say. I try to think of the Hollywood Stars that still look great but I’m not a star. I don’t have a personal trainer and a make-up artist to work on me. Maybe they look good anyway. I tell myself not to be so jealous.

I talk to myself all the time. They say you shouldn’t answer yourself, but I do that, too.

“Frannie, you have to have a sense of humor,” I tell myself. “You will never survive if you don’t find something entertaining about all of this.”

Survive? What exactly does that mean? Keep afloat? Live through? Endure?

Was I being dramatic? Of course people survive 60 and older. I see them all around me. They are like busy bees fluttering around. Don’t they know they are getting older? How can they be so happily buzzing around as if they have all the time in the world?

It is amazing that I was letting a number (age) devastate me and send me to a dark, cheerless place that kept nagging and wearing me down. I am healthy and have a wonderful life but am now letting the fleeting passage of time get the best of me.
What a selfish person I am. An unknown wise person said, ” Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ”
It is true that time does go by quickly. Author and friend, Jennifer Stewart said it better that I can describe: “How powerful the expectation, how exciting the experience and then poof! Just like that, it’s all gone. Except for what is left in everybody’s hearts.”

Even William Habington, (November 4, 1605 – November 30, 1654) English poet) had something to say about time: Time! ” Where didst thou those years inter, which I have seen decease? ”

When I researched for quotes, I found various and unique sayings:

George Burns said, ” You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. ”

I found even more quotes about ageing:

” A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. ” ~John Barrymore.

” The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. ” Why, ” I answered without a thought, “now.” ~David Grayson

Even after all these intelligent and wise quotes were brought to my attention, I continued on my thankless path to a mind-set of a number (age) that I would be on this birthday. I would talk to myself about how ungrateful and stupid this thinking was, even as society is echoing, ” you are past an age of acceptance. ”

Then, I received a beautiful home made birthday card from a friend. The front of the card was a picture of many beautiful candles in various hues of orange and red. The candles were surrounded by these words: ““When we believe in Gods plan for us, every age is the perfect age to be. ”

That one quote on that one card helped to bring me out of my funk. “I do believe in Gods plan and if I truly believe in his plan, then I am at the perfect age right now!”  I was happy again. I was happy about my birthday and even aging.

I was truly celebrating my birthday, now. The present moment is Gods eternal gift to us. I invite you to celebrate each moment of your life.

The Routine Office Visit

As I waited in the doctor’s office for my name to be called, I did not suspect anything unusual happening today. All my numbers and stats about blood pressure, blood tests and routine testing couldn’t be better, especially for my age. Last visit the doctor even remarked how great my numbers were.

Much to my surprise, the waiting was over and my name was called. A redheaded woman who also looked the picture of perfect health was just coming out and paying her co-payment. Her face had a blank look; in fact she seemed almost incoherent, as she placed the $10 bill on the counter and mumbled a soft, “thank you.”

“Come right this way, Nancy” (my first name, but it is too confusing to explain that I go by my middle name, Francine).

“No need to weigh or take your blood pressure today. The doctor will be right in.”

Before I could even grab my smart phone to begin looking at recent facebook posts, Dr. Shaw did indeed come in soon.

“Hi, Nancy.”

“Good morning, Dr. Shaw. And a beautiful morning it is.” Just want to mention to you that I am upping my pace from walking to jogging. As you mentioned last visit, my health is outstanding for my age and my stats are unbelievable.”

“Um..Let’s get right down to business. You just had a birthday and turned 75. Did you not?”

“Yes, that is correct. I hate to hear that number because ‘75’ does not define me. It’s not who I am. I am a strong believer that age is only a number. However, I am indeed 75.”

“OK. Then it is time for you to exit.”

“Exit to where?”

“Time to exit this world. According to the new Insurance guidelines now laid out by Obamacare, you have maxed out your Insurance coverage completely. Your date is the 10th of June and that will give you plenty of time to wrap up your family situations and financial matters. It will be done without any pain. You will just go to sleep and not wake up. It will not hurt. For convenience sake, and because your husband is also my patient, he will be “put out” at the same time. This should alleviate all the grieving that you would be experiencing for each other. In answer to your next question, ‘no, there is nothing I can do and ‘no, it would not help you to change doctors. This is just the way it is”

“But Dr. Shaw, I am healthier than some 40- year olds and have much to offer in this world and have much more living to do.”

“It doesn’t matter. It is the age you are at that matters and insurance dictates that your time is up. Please excuse me as I have other patients waiting.”

The nurse guided me to the payment window, as I wondered why I did not faint and how my heart was still beating and I was somehow able to put one foot in front of the other.

I placed my $10 co-payment on the counter and somehow made it to the waiting room where I all but collapsed into the chair. The television was blaring and there were about 5 other people there. After a few minutes, a slim, middle-aged woman handed me a glass of water.

“Everyone here today has the same date,” she announced.

“You mean, you…you…oh, no…you…..”

“Yes. All of us.” This is how Obamacare is able to offer insurance at a lower cost to others. Nancy Pelosi did state that we have to pass the Obamacare before we can really see what is in it. Our time is up. We are at that age.”

I walked out to the parking lot but couldn ‘t remember where I parked. I didn’t care. I just kept walking around and around and thinking of Jim and my daughters and their families. I had precious little more time to spend with them. I must find Jim. I must find a way out of this. Maybe we could flee to another country…..maybe…..I’ll think of something.

Finally, I made my way home somehow. I just kept telling myself to “focus and drive” and I made it.

Jim was watching golf. I threw my arms around him and all in one breath told him that we were scheduled soon to “exit.” We hugged each other tightly, as out whole world was truly coming to an end.

The government would not let us escape, so all we could do was appreciate every moment we had together. They did promise that it would be quick and painless and I guess that should be appreciated, instead of dying a slow, agonizing death.

Sooner than a speeding rocket, the day was upon us.

Jim said, “Honey, it is time.”

“Honey, it is time,” he repeated loudly.

“Oh, no. It can’t be. We are so healthy. There must be something we can do. I tried to stay calm and be brave for Jim’s sake, but leaving my family was more than I could stand, and I began to scream louder and louder.

“Oh, no! OH NOOOOO!

“Honey, it is time. It is time to get up if we are going to church. It is getting late. Look at this bed. You had another one of your nightmares along with kicking and waving your arms around.”
Note: I think I had this terrible nightmare last night because a few days ago, Jim, my husband was having symptoms to indicate that he should have a colonoscoopy. So when he paid our doctor a visit, the doctor informed him that he was no longer able to have this procedure done under his insurance plan because of the Obamacare guidelines.

“You are 78 years old, so you are no longer covered by insurance for a colonoscopy due to your age. These are the guidelines for Obamacare.”

This is a true story.

America Lost But Not Forgotten

She thought it best to let Maxim and Lily sleep a few extra minutes before exposing them to the hot Florida sun.  She could hardly bear to think of the hours ahead.  She would be prodding them to pick the last of the collard greens and set out some pumpkin seeds that she had dried.  The collard greens were a little sweeter and more flavorful, as they had been kissed by the winter frost.  Thankfully, she remembered collard greens are loaded with vitamins and iron and she lifted up a silent prayer of thanks that Lily and Maxim seemed healthy.

She looked at Lily and thought how peaceful she seemed, as she was sleeping. Her name seemed to fit her soft features and pale skin that was framed with hair that was an array of brown and auburn mixtures, just like the splendor of fall leaves.  Taunts from classmates of “there is Lily – Lily White…Lily White, she won’t fight, she won’t fight” would not be forgotten by this sweet innocent child, she thought, as she stroked her hair and pushed back a curl that was in her eye.

She picked up her slightly wrinkled paper that she had found in a dumpster just two nights ago.  She picked up the last pencil that she owned and began to write.

March 19th (I think)

I am thankful today that I am a healthy grandmother.  Although, I never expected to outlive my children, God has given me strength and health to take care of them.

How do I explain why their parents were killed in a senseless street riot while they were shopping for food?  It happened so fast that it seems like a nightmare now.  She felt her throat tighten and burn and wiped away the unwanted tear that was trickling down her face.

I never thought that just the task of grocery shopping would be a dangerous experience, nor did Marcy and Jeff.  They had no way of protecting themselves, since the only people allowed to have guns were the “operators.”  These people who were appointed by the temporary president were told to gun down anyone who had been caught reading the Bible.  How would they have known that their home was under surveillance via the Internet?  Everything was changing so quickly that no one could keep up with the rules. The latest rule is that we are supposed to be able to be on the Internet from 5:00 p m. until 6:00 p.m.  Marcy and Jeff had been on the Internet the eve that they were killed.  They were searching for web sites that contained Bible scriptures.  Their Bible had been taken away and burned, along with thousands of others. Jeff knew that they were being monitored but since he was so computer savvy, he thought he could accomplish this by using special codes.

She wiped another tear and wished the burning in her throat would go away.

Thank God for helping us find this abandoned house.  After social security checks stopped and she had gone through all her savings, she found this house one day on a long walk through the woods.

Dear Diary, I am making this into a prayer of thankfulness. “Thank you Lord for a roof over our heads and our wonderful garden and also for the frost this past winter that made our collard greens so flavorful and sweet. Thanks, also for the pumpkin seeds that I was prompted by you to save and now we are going to plant them today! You are so good to us!  The creek that is just a few yards from the house is amazing!

I know, Lord, that so far, we are being spared for a reason.  I haven’t forgotten that reason.  As Bibles are being destroyed, I am writing down every Bible verse that I can remember and hiding it faithfully, every night.  Please keep us safe and undiscovered in this wonderful shack until I can think what to do.

Please comfort those who are being tortured and shot.  May they feel no fear, but only peace, as they leave their physical body.  Please help other believers to find a safe hiding place. Image

“Grandma, come quick!”  Maxim’s flushed face also revealed a terror and knowing.

(To be continued)

Rick Warren’s Inspiring Quotes Including “Why Is This Happening To Me?”

Today a wise person was tweeting some quotes by Rick Warren, a well-known author and servant of God. I thought how inspiring these quotes were and decided to gather up my own Rick Warren Quotes. These quotes are not only inspiring and spiritual but also practical for everyday life. I hope you will be as inspirited and comforted as I am by reading these treasured words.

“Be polite to everyone, especially to those who are rude to you – not because they are good, but because you are.”

“I have a point of view. You have a point of view. But God has a view!”

“We are product of our past but we dont have to be prisoners of it.”

“You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.”

“Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past. Listen: those who hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold on to the pain through resentment. Your past is past! Nothing will change it. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. For your own sake, learn from it, and then let it go.”

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them.

Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember, earth is not heaven!

Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.”

“Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.”

“The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.”

“Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.”

“If you prayed as much as you complain and quarrel, you’d have a lot less to argue about and much more peace of mind.”

“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”

“God sometimes removes a person from your life for your protection. Don’t run after them.”

“Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.”

“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”

“If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God and if you fail to worship Him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose, what you surrender to but you are not free from the consequence of that choice.”

“God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others.”

“Being successful and fulfilling your lifes purpose are not at all the same thing; You can reach all your personal goals, become a raving success by the worlds standard and still miss your purpose in this life.”

“You weren’t put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity.”

“If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people.”

“The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.”

“The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. ”

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others.”

“Relationships are always worth restoring.”

“If you have felt hopeless, hold on! Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life as you begin to live it on purpose.”

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/711.Rick_Warren (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?)

Is There A War Against Christianity?

I feel that there is a war against Christianity. There is a push in our society for “oneness,” which to me means that we all should think the same thoughts. These thoughts are against Christian principles.  Those of us who are trying to live by the word of God are being made to feel that our beliefs are out of date and that we should be more open minded and accept the inevitable. When we can no longer display a manger scene at Christmastime or when schoolteachers cannot even decorate their rooms in red and green, I would call that war against Christianity.

Is it not anti-Christian to sue Christians who want to mention Christ in schools or courthouses, and even just fight to remove the World Trade Center Cross from the National September 11th Memorial and Museum?  This behavior is being justified by the first amendment but actually it is directly contrary to the words of this amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Does anyone else out there see that according to the first amendment, Christians should be allowed free speech and “free exercise thereof?”

How I Came Out Of The Closet And Became A Vegetarian

I didn’t just decide one day that I would jump on the bandwagon and be a vegetarian because it is becoming more popular. Nor did I do it because I think it is inhumane or immoral to kill animals in order for me to eat (although if I really think about it, It probably is, but that is a whole other article).

The truth is, that the vegetarian lifestyle chose me. As far back as I can remember, it has been difficult for me to eat meat. I would usually put very little meat on my plate and then eat it in a hurry, so that I could enjoy the rest of my meal. Meat was easier to get down when it was mixed with rice or in a casserole. The bottom life was that it was a chore to eat any kind of meat. I recall that my mother did not enjoy meat and now I found out one of my sisters never eats meat. It is a strange phenomenon. How can I explain it? I guess my body chooses to be a vegetarian. Just like I love the color purple and I am an introvert, being who I am is just that – being me. In comparing this choice with someone who chooses a different sexual preference in mid-life, my choice is much the same, but it is who I am. Society may think I am odd or my family and friends may not understand, but the relief of never having to eat meat again outweighs all of these doubts and fears. I am free now to enjoy food and eat the way my body wants me to eat. This is not in any way criticizing or judging non-vegetarians because everyone should eat what they want and be who they are.

Myths About Being A Vegetarian

In thinking about becoming/being a vegetarian, there seems to be many myths about this subject, but my own opinion is that these 3 myths would probably be the most common.

Myth #1: Vegetarians do not get enough protein, calcium or other nutrients and vitamins that are needed. This could actually be true with some vegetarians. If a vegetarian were just eating chips and carbohydrates then he/she naturally would not get enough nutrients to be healthy. It is true also of those who eat meat. It is a personal responsibility to research and find healthy food and not eat too much processed or empty-calorie food.

Myth 2: All vegetarians are animal-rights activists or weird. I am a living example of that not being true. There are many reasons besides being an animal rights activist that people choose not to eat meat. It could be for health reasons or even for economic reasons. We all know that meat is very expensive.

Myth 3: Vegetarians are always weak and sickly. This cannot be true because, according to http://www.makingpages.org/health/myths.html, many strong sports figures are vegetarians. Just a few off the long list are: ·

.Hank Aaron (home run champion in major league baseball) Source: A Teen’s Guide to Going Vegetarian • B J Armstrong (US Basketball star)

• Al Beckles (body builder)

• Sorya Bonali (ice skater)

If a vegetarian eats correctly, he/she will most likely be healthier than those who eat meat. Medical studies have shown that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, diet-related diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, so a vegetarian diet is very good for your health.

Experience True Joy And Freedom When You Proclaim Who You Are

This article is all about being me, as I continue to evolve. If you are not truly being who you really are, I challenge you to do so.

Here are a couple of inspiring quotes:

Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness. ~Shakti Gawain

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise. ~Johann von Goethe