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Welcome to Rocky Oak Homestead™

A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It's a beautiful thing!

It's a been a nice few days...I have moved beyond my last post and I am feeling much better...Thanks for allowing me the space to vent...I have found losing friendships hard but losing a long term friendship much, much harder...however I also know it is at times necessary in order for us to become all we are meant to be....

I have learned that when someone can't accept you for you, or you can't accept them for them...it's time to move on...When you feel the need to explain yourself all the time and you feel invalidated in your feelings even if they are valid...it's time to move on...

Church abuse is poorly understood even by those who experience it...it is often so subtle that even the abused can't quite figure it out....they may struggle to put into words what they experienced which has been the case with my husband and I...so 'friends' sometimes just can't quite grasp what your going through because you can't concretely explain it...but this does not make your pain less real...If you have not been in an abusive/authoratarian church you cannot possible begin to understand...and that's ok....I'm tired of trying to explain myself to those that don't really try to understand or don't really care....So, in this case moving on was all that was left....I spent many months trying to explain and it was all in vain...letting go of this friendship was hard but also very relieving and i'm sure she would tell you the same thing...so forward we both move...

This last week has given me a sense of renewed hope of finding myself again...finding the people and things I love in life...I had a wonderful converstation with a 'phone friend' yesterday...you know who you are 😊 and it was nice....we discussed the journey I am on and she listened with no judgement in her voice...I so appreciated that...she didn't quote scripture or tell me to the read the bible...she just listened...I felt good when I got off the phone with her...Love you Des! That's the kind of friend we all need...those who can listen to us and even though they may not agree with us or we may not agree with their stance on an issue we respect each other enough to give them space to believe...I love that! We are not anyone's judge...period!

One of the things in life I love is gardening both flower and veggie...my husband and I have gardened for our entire marriage from small to large...we love it....while it is hard work it is worth it...This year, as I have mentioned will be a bit different due to my not being able to be in the sun but I will still manage to garden...I am making a list(seeds) and checking it twice...I am ordering heirloom flower seeds and veggie seeds...I am excited for spring to arrive so I can get outside even in the shade and enjoy nature once again...

Nature has so much to teach us...have you ever stopped to notice how when man destroys a plot of earth it will automatically begin to heal itself? Grass will begin to grow again in the barren-ness...saplings will seemingly sprout from out of nowhere...wildlife will in some form begin to inhabit that place....it's amazing to me...I love the lesson in that for humans...No matter how 'barren' we become spiritually we are able to heal and move on...we will be replenished with good friends and a sense of well being when we just allow the process of healing to take place...it will take time, sometimes a long time... but it will happen if we keep at it...This is how God created us and the earth...there is for me a deep sense of interconnectedness...I love that I can learn from all of nature...I just have to be open to the lessons...I think this why spring is my all time favorite season...so much renewal and newness...a new beginning for all things and beings...

Trees are a particular fascination for me...they can live through rain, sleet, snow or shine and still flourish...they can withstand a drought and still keep the life in their leaves...A tree begins from a seed...the seed does not become a tree overnight...it takes many years...the seed is patient in becoming all it was meant to be...it slowly, but patiently allows the process to happen naturally....it does not rush...once the seed breaks through the soil it has left its past behind...and moves on to new things...it has left behind all it has known thus far.....but as it breaks forth from the soil it looks upward and finds the light...it grows toward the light...ever reaching, day after day reaching for the light...after years of growing and enduring sometimes horrendous conditions...rain, snow, sleet, hail, drought, famine, tornados, hurricanes etc...it matures...it still stands in spite of it all...it may be bent, and some branches missing...but its alive...its roots are stong and deep...it survives...and it still offers shelter to those seeking....

We should all be like this tree...make sure our roots are deep in our belief system...know what we believe and why so we have a purpose to keep growing...always reach for the light even in the darkness....when the winds and drought and all other manner of destruction come our way, we can stand...we can weather the storm battered but still standing...standing in what we believe and what gives us our strength in time of great distress...be ready to provide shelter for those in the storm and do so without judgement and condemnation...stretch out those strong branches and offer support...when the calm comes offer a place of rest...like the birds just simply looking for a place to rest and collect themselves before moving on...the tree doesn't ask alot of questions or allow a branch to fall when a bird looks for a place to sit...it makes no judgment about why the bird needs a rest from it's journey.....no, it calmly and beautifully offers a safe place...a tree is symbolic for many things to me...I think nature encompasses so much of God's character...his ability to forgive us even in the most terrible of situations....he renews us over and over when we simply ask...he offers us shelter in the storm...he provides all we could ever want...and when we are finally free from what burdens us he simply offers a place for us to rest...no questions, no expectations, no judgement...just rest...

It's a beautiful thing!


Friday, January 20, 2017

I still have hope!

Can I just admit i'm hurting...is that ok? Is it ok to cry, to feel alone...to feel like your dying and no one gives a crap...everyone misunderstands every.single.thing. you say...write..text...blog...etc...I'm tired...

I have vowed to make it my lifes work to help others that have been abused by their church...the pain of this is unbelieveable...for years now I have tried to stuff it, laugh it off, play like it wasn't there,read about how to 'get over it' and I have realized unless I face these feeling head on with full force I can't move on...I'm stuck...everything brings on the memories...I hate this...I want to be done with it...the pain is almost unbearable at times...I still have hope...

I had a dream last night...I was in some big city...Dallas maybe...I had drove there myself and was fine, the plan was to stay the night and drive home the next morning...have no idea why I was there..LOL...but I got a call saying the plans changed and I needed to come back right then...I tried explaining to the person(unknown) that it was dark and I couldn't drive after dark...I didnt even know which way to go after leaving the parking lot...the person kept insisting I leave right then...I was totally lost, confused and kept explaining I didn't know how I had even gotten to where I was so there was no way for me to find my way back...they hung up on me and just left me...sitting there...trying to figure out what I was suppost to do...This is so how I feel inside...everyone that I loved, cared about, counted on has left...left me standing in the middle of all this mess and telling me to move on...get over it...I am screaming inside "I WANT TO GET OVER IT"...but I don't know how...in my dream I remember looking for a GPS...I think in my life I am hoping to find a GPS...a map, a set of rules to follow to get back to where I used to be...I want to be that happy person, the person that loves life again...but I don't know how...so much has changed...theres an old song by Cher that says..."If I could turn back time"....Oh! how I wish I could...Go back and undo all that has happend...I know I can't...but I just feel so stuck...like this whole process has come to a halt and I can't go forward or  backwards...I'm just stuck...and no one gives a crap...Let me say I know my husband does...he gets it...but I even try to hide all my emotions from him, because I feel like after all this time I should be better...I mean its been 3 years..I have learned alot in this 3 years.... I will admit that...some of it has been beneficial, some...not so much...but I am sure what I have learned...both good and bad... has importance to my journey in the big scheme of things...

With all this said...I'm gonna sign off for now...thanks for letting me get all this out...I don't like ranting or pouring out my emotion like this...its hard for me...but it seems to be a bit easier on a computer screen...maybe because I don't personally know some of you out there...maybe its because I don't feel the judgement I do with people in real life...whatever the reason I want to say thank you for allowing me this space and thanks for "listening" if you happen upon this...I may do this again from time to time...maybe I just need to get it all out...this wound has festered far to long and it needs cleaned out...it may be ugly at times...so bear with me...I still have hope... that this thing will eventually quit hurting so much....and again, thank you for allowing me space..

Much Love and Light



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Peace and Harmony

Been a few days since i've been here...funny how time gets away from us sometimes isn't it? Hopefully I can begin to do better and blog a couple times a week....time will tell!

So, have you ever got up one day and said to yourself....you know, what i'm doing isn't working? Have you ever thought or wondered why you chase after people, so-called friends that really couldn't give a crap about you on a deep level? Have you realized its time to change and go a new direction?

This has been where I am for a couple weeks now...the battles I have fought the past few years have been hard...harder than I can put into words...I see them finally ending...I am making peace with myself a little at a time...its nice...its ok just be who I am, believe what I believe and if that's hard for people...well, it just is...Facing the reality and hard truth of being in a cult your entire life is hard...life changing....having to reconstruct all you thought you knew is even harder...but i'm ok and will continue to grow and find my own way...

Friends...this is a hard one...I have lost several over the course of the years since leaving the cult...we no longer fit their agenda...it was hard because our hearts were in the right place and we truly loved these people...we cared for them like family....they were gone the instant we no longer 'believed' the way they did...Others, stayed around for awhile until it got to hard to hear us speak the truth...my truth, my husbands truth...people have a hard time with that don't they? 

They don't ever tell you the truth about whats going on, its usually the deafening silence to the text you send....you never get response to emails...you call they don't answer and never call back that finally clues you in that your not as important as you once were...at first you make excuses that they are busy...maybe not feeling well...then one day it you get real with you and admit that these people that once seemingly had all the answers to your problems, suddenly don't know anything...you have become a burden to them...I'm in this place right now and its hard...another battle I must fight...

It's always been funny(not funny ha-ha, but funny weird) how when we have a similar belief system to our friends we are ok, but when we begin to question it, things go south quickly...I have learned and am learning people can't or wont answer the hard questions or tell you they don't what your talking about...crazy!...people mainly Christians cannot handle doubt...but I would also bet to say most of those that can't handle it have their own doubts they are afraid to voice...I grew up in a system of being told doubt was the devil/demons in your life...to doubt equated with being lost and going to hell....doubting meant you were not 'saved'....questioning meant you were rebellious...it doesnt matter there are contridictions in the bible...whatever you do don't question them or God will surely punish you...When we were attending the cult and doing what we were told to do and believed what we were told to believe we were ok with our 'friends'....they have all but disappeared out of our life...it saddens me deeply...I can say I have honestly never felt more alone in my life...but I also know sometimes we need the silence and solitude to find ourselves...My husband has been my rock and I have tried to his in this time of finding what were all about...

I find guided meditation to be amazing in helping me to release my anxiety and anger over all this...I have begun doing some simple yoga exercises and try to fill my day with positive thoughts....I do admit though I fail often at that one...Sometimes I wish I could just pick up the phone and call a friend and just chat openly and honestly about things...I hope in time to meet people looking for the same thing...

Meeting people is hard....The only friends we ever had were church friends....that's how we met people...we were taught unbelievers would drag us into their sin if we befriended them....I know, so wrong and very, very sad.......its like we're socially stunted in our ability to know how to meet others...i'm sure in some ways we are due to the enviroment we spent so many, many years in...We also live in a very rural area and most here when you meet them invite you to church....LOL....its just hard....while we are not atheist we are not sure what we believe....at least at this point....We are not 'anything'....I think at this time we are just exploring and finding what makes sense in our life, for our life...much of what we have taught was lies and flat out wrong...I personally have enjoyed reading about Buddhism, but i'm not sold on some of the practices...I identify with some of the teachings but not all....

I think I mentioned before I am by default a nature lover...I love nature...I admire it and could just sit in the sunshine all day long pondering all of creation...I told a friend one time I found God in nature....the lessons to be learned are many....she agreed with me at the time, and I knew she didn't get the depth of what I had spoken...for me...God is nature and nature is God....I have felt this way as far back as I can remember in my life....even as a small child...I truly find and feel God while in nature...they are one in the same...Christianity disagrees with this stance and thats ok....I was elated to find buddhism identifies with this idea...Whats strikes me oddly is that the Bible, the book christians hold in the highest esteem speaks alot about nature...there are many references and parables using nature as their teaching...seeds and sowers...eagles and chicks...many, many references...so for me I don't get the disconnect there, but for many christians there is one..we, humans are part of the earth....we came from the earth according to the bible....our bodies have the same minerals found in the soil, I don't believe this is an accident...however there is much more to this I won't get into here....but we do need to consider that in order to live, sustain life we need water from the earth....we eat food taken from the earth...animals eat from the earth....we are part of the earth...we came from it(if you believe in creation) and we need it to continue to sustain us...we are literally one with the earth....or thats how I see it...again this is a belief I have held many many years but never expressed it due to the fact I knew I would be blasted and condemned...In the sect of Christianity I was in this was all rubbish and held no merit so I tried hard to supress my thoughts, feelings and who I was...I hate that...I hate I wasted so much time...it brings me to tears knowing I have wasted many years of my life trying to be someone I wasn't to accepted by people that never really cared...

So now I am moving forward...trying to find my way back to me...who I am....what I want to do with what time I am afforded on this earth....I am hopeful to find others walking this same journey....people that are real and that can accept others for who they are and what they are...people looking to live peace and in harmony....


Monday, January 9, 2017

Free to be Free

Well good morning blog land...not sure if anyone is reading here but I will continue to blog as I find it therapeutic....

Another lesson I have found I learned through my dads dying process was to be yourself...Don't be someone or something your not...That is something I have struggled with for many years...Somewhere along the path of life I allowed others to dictate to me who I was and needed to be...the sad thing about that is I allowed it and in this process became very unhappy with my life and myself...Ironically I am finding now that I am finding me again, the people that loved the 'fake me' are struggling with the real me....

Let me see if I can explain...

When I say fake I don't mean my entire self was fake...I was a true christian, saved, and believed in the bible...I prayed, followed the 10 commandments(best I could... we all fall short)attended church when the doors were open and generally tried to be a good person,the person Jesus would want me to me...

But there was this nagging inside of me that kept saying something was amiss... there were some things I did not believe...I never believed all other religions were evil and came from Satan....I never believed deep in my heart all homosexuals were "hell" bound....I never believed in a literal hell, a place of fire where we burn for all eternity never to cease...I have never believed all of mankind is born depraved without one ounce of good in them....I have never believed one can recite a few words with another person of faith like a preacher and be saved...salvation is personal and needs to be worked out not repeat after me and all is good...but that's a whole 'nuther topic...

So when I say I was a fake, I think what I mean to say is that in order to fit in with the church I was in I went along to be accepted...Sad, I know...

During the time my dad was dying and my reformation was taking shape I realized that life is really, really short....Many of us spend what few years we have trying to find who we are, what we believe and what we wanna be...many of us also allow others to dictate that to us...We just go along with it, because for whatever reason we feel others, especially those in leadership somehow know more than us....I have found that to be false....Now, Im not saying leaders should be disrespected or looked at as less than...but that we need to really be careful who we put our trust in and we really need to know for ourselves what we believe and why...Many of the doctrines in churches today are fallacies and man made....they keep people in bondage rather than allowing freedom...I honestly believe, at least in my own personal case that the teaching of all other religions are wrong, and if you are part of them you will go to hell and burn forever is nothing more than a control mechanism used in cults to keep you in submission and to keep you from learning the truth...I cannot tell you the countless nights I spent in utter despair worried about going to hell....wondering if I had sinned in someway that day that was hell worthy...I was terrified...this is not Christianity....Please understand I am not saying satanism or any religion that promotes gross acts of violence such as rape, murder, torture or sacrifice of animals is ok...I am speaking of religions that promote love, kindness, acceptance, and that make us better people.

I have spent several months now in deep, deep research...research of Christianity and Buddhism in particular...I have found such similarities that it is astonishing...I have also found striking similarities in the story of Mithra and Jesus...the story of Osiris is also another mythological stories with shocking similarities....why and I telling you this?...It is certainly not to dissuade your faith....however I am a huge believer in truth...and the truth is, whether we want to see it or not is that there are other stories in history that are undeniably similar to the story of Jesus...Now does this make me unchristian to believe these stories...I don't think so...but many will disagree and that's ok....I am a huge advocate of do the research and decide for yourselves....below I will leave a link to a well done documentary of these things...

Switching gears back to more personal issues....

Over the weekend while doing some research and reading about abuse in churches I came across the quote that is posted above (very similar to the taking the mote from your own eye scripture in the bible...I paraphrased)...it was life changing in some ways....I have often said over the years that what you don't like in someone else is likely a quality you don't like in yourself...I said that over 20 years ago to my cousin and have said it countless times sense then...but for some reason seeing it in writing and realizing others see that as well just resonated with me...See, in the church I was in for 13 years there were 5 key players in my situation...A lay church member, my own aunt(moms sisters) the pastor, his son(associate pastor) and the pastors wife....each of these people I trusted fully...what I didn't realize is that they were not trustworthy...My aunt, well, I trusted her with my life...Her and I had many conversations in the last year I was there about personal things and even struggles I was having with a couple of members in the church....what I didn't know was that she was friends, good friends with the lay church member in question and both of them were apparently very good friends on the outside of the church with the pastors and their wives....unbeknownst to me every.single.thing I talked to my aunt about was going to the lay member and them straight to the pastors....however, we all know what happens in those situations....much is lost and added to in translation...its the way humans are....all of this 'talk' that I was not even aware of was infiltrating within the general body of the church and I became the topic of great 'concern'...it was all so wrong...none if it was the way it was portrayed...what does this have to do with my dads death of the quote above?...LOL

Well, when my dad was dying and I realized how short life was I began to see how we all mistreat one another in the name of Christianity...seems it doesn't matter in some denominations what the bible says if the pastor decides you are wrong, you are wrong and you get no chance to defend yourself...this is very common in cults...The very people accusing me of  things were they themselves doing the exact same things and worse in some cases...So, when I read the above quote, that I had all those years ago realized myself...I had an epiphany...an a-ha moment...a moment of clarity and enlightenment...the angels singing alleluia in the background kind of moment....LOL...you get the point...I realized that they themselves possessed the very qualities they said I did....My struggle with all of this was because I don't see it...not out of not wanting to, but because the qualities are not there....those closest to me in my life will tell you they don't see those qualities either...I have spent all these years wanting to clear my name...wanting them to hear my explanation...wanting them to say they were sorry for lying about me...wanting something, anything from them...but when reading the above quote I realized none of what they think matters...they, are the ones messed up...they are the ones in the cult being controlled and lied to...they are hurting and for that I am sorry...these people did me a favor by 'shunning' me....they have allowed me freedom...and for that I am grateful...I now feel free to become who I really am...I have the freedom to figure all of this out for myself...I will never again allow the opinions of others to destroy me or my soul...I will never again buy into all the garbage that has been dumped on me and others in the name of Christianity...Please understand I am not saying Christians are bad,....most are not...they all mean well...but when we really, really study and dig and forge our own path...when we become serious about bible history and history of religion in general then and only then can we really begin to understand our christian beliefs and how they formed...in my opinion it is not evil or hell worthy to study the origins of religion....we cannot possibly know what we ourselves believe if we have never really studied...there has been much abuse in the name of Christianity over the years...it is a sad fact...I am a product of that abuse...so are my siblings...the hurt and destruction are great, but it has also allowed each of us to find our own way...it took me many years longer to begin this journey than them...I regret I didn't do this years ago...Many good, honest, "saved" people are leaving organized religion in droves....why? Because of the dogmatic way the bible is being used against people...I truly believe that is the reason in many, many cases....until pastors and and church leaders understand you cannot beat someone with the bible and scripture to get them "Saved" and to "Submit" this trend of church membership declining will continue and the shift towards a more loving, accepting approach will continue to emerge and I personally believe that is a good thing.

I hate that so many out there destroy others happiness in the name of religion...I hate that Christianity has been so misused and misunderstood...a good article on this you will find here... The bible: So misunderstood its a sin 

So many churches and christians have used the bible as a way to control and manipulate people...its horribly sad...I have vowed to no longer be party to that kind of neanderthal  thinking....I want to love and be loved...I want to show people a better way to live...a more peaceful and restful way...I want people to see God in nature and all living beings....I want people to see God as love not as some person or being in the sky waiting to judge our actions as good or bad...we must all walk out our own path according to what we believe...if God led us all the same way we would all believe the same things and be the same denomination....each of us have a path...and that's ok...we will all find God in our own time, in our own way...See, religion, all religions were designed as a way to help us control ourselves and our actions...religion was never meant to be used as a way to control others and their actions...christians are especially guilty of this...they use religion as a way to dictate right and wrong behavior for the masses...and many while dictating are doing the very things they are dictating against...sad but true...I have done it because it all I knew....

So today, because of a mere quote on the internet I am ok....I will no longer allow them(my old church) to continue to enslave me by allowing myself to believe their lies...I will no longer allow them to manipulate me with their accusations...I sit here today...free....free to be me...free to believe what I choose...free to be free....

Please share your thoughts! If the below video doesn't work please let me know.



 

Monday, January 2, 2017

A New Year has arrived!

Well, we all made it another year! I am very grateful to have another year here on earth...none are promised tomorrow...

Thought I would take a few minutes and just reflect and write down a few 'goals' if you will I have for this next year. Some are still in the pondering stage...this is just a lose guideline...

Weightloss-Last year I lost 35 lbs doing the low carb keto diet. It works well and the way of eating is amazing. The weight falls off very fast. Many told me it would not stay off and I have to disagree. Over the holidays I did gain 4 lbs, but I am not overly concerned, just have to get back on track and lose it...should only take a couple weeks. I am hopeful to maintain and possibly lose another 10 lbs...but if not i'm ok where I am...I am not overweight and my BMI is right on target....so i'm good!

Eating-I am considering becoming a vegetarian....my reasons are many but the main one being my systemic lupus diagnosis. I have long said I could be a vegetarian and love it... and I could, I am simply not much of a meat eater. I have found I feel much better when I stay away from meat especially red meat...I have considered only eating fish for meat...time will tell what path I take this year....I know I seriously need an anti inflamatory diet....suggestions?

Homesteading...Homesteading with critters for us is over...I am actually kinda relieved by it all...it was a lot of work...I miss the eggs sometimes, but not enough I want to go back to having chickens. We lived the farm/homestead life for 16 years...and while it was amazing and wonderful we are getting older and ready for a change...We want less work,
and more time to just enjoy the great outdoors...we have always loved to sit outside and just be....just sit and soak up the sounds and feel of creation....To feel God in the breeze, and in the warmth of the sun...to see the creator in the clouds floating by..to hear "God" sing to us in the form of birds...or to whisper hello on the wings of the butterfily...To teach us about life in all of creation...Nature is by far the greatest teacher about life...death...and the cycle of it all....

Gardening-Veggie and Herb-We have had a garden of some sort all of our married life(26 years). That will not stop. Gardening for me will be different from previous years just because of my diagnosis. I cannot spend time in the sun like I always have, however it does not mean I can't be in the shade with sunscreen...So I will do my gardening early morning of late evening when our gardening spot is shaded...We will turn our attention to being as organic as we can without losing a crop...We have plans to add a few more fruit trees and berry vines...

I added a small herb bed last year to the gardening mix, but it was way to small for all I had planted...this year will be a much larger area with a larger variety of herbs to choose from....I will dry them and use them in my cooking and many are good for medical things...I look forward to having a beautiful herb garden in which to gaze upon and harvest from...

Yard and Home-For years I have had kinda of a farmish type decor going on in my home...that is changing...I have eliminated much clutter from my home and am continuing to declutter even further...its been freeing...I have boxed up many 'farmy'type decor to be sold in a yard sale this spring...I am working on repainting and redoing our home setting...it will reflect softer, more relaxing type colors with candles and some greenery...A more "zen" type atomosphere is what I am going for...I also have a couple table top waterfalls that add to the element of relaxion....

For the yard I will focus on all things flowers and wildbirds....I am a bird lover, a nature lover really...so was my dad..my dad had an affinity for birds.....all of nature is something I have loved for years but do to certain religous people in my life telling me loving nature was a sin I have never allowed myself to fully enjoy all of God's creation...this year, I will enjoy it as much as my health allows...I will be ordering some heirloom flower seeds next week...Husband and I have began deciding what we are wanting to do with the yard...we both agree we want flowers, cactus, stones, waterfalls and birdhouses with a mystical type spin on things along with things that remind us to be kind...kind to one another, kind to all humans regardless of their station in life, kind to nature... plant and beast...and most of all kind to ourself...we all need to give ourselves some love and kindness...grace if you will...I am excited to see things take shape this year..In previous years all 'extra' money was spent on critters/fencing/outbuildings...and the yard got saddly neglected....this year the yard will be our focus...We have been "shopping" around already to find what we are looking for....We are both super excited about this new journey!

Blogging-I don't have a particular direction at this time for this blog to go...For now, it will simply be a collection of thoughts, tid bits from my life, this spring I am hoping to share many photos of our endeavors in gardening and landscaping...From time to time I may share lessons I am still learning through my dads passing...I am sure I will share thoughts about things I am reading or simply share observings in nature....I have always found "God" while in the great outdoors amongst creation...Nature is where I find my center, my balance and my peace...I hope to bring a bit of that to this blog....

Spirituality-This is last but certainly not least, these project/goals are in not particular order other than how they came to mind...After many months of discussion we have decided to forego organized religion again this year at least at this moment....it is simply not something we have any desire to be part of...Our experiences have not served us well and has brought us much pain...so we will continue to find our way, and serve the creator as we see fit...We will continue to delve into the teachings of Jesus Christ and work on letting go of all the other dogma that has been attached to christianity...I will continue to read and learn about the teaching of Buddha as well, as I find Buddha and Jesus to have very similar teachings...Notice I did not say Buddhism and Christianity are similar as they really are not, however the 2 persons are remarkably similar in what they teach and how they go about life lessons....while some may balk at my findings I am perfectly at peace with my journey and I am learning so much about myself and what it really means to be a Christian...Husband and I will continue to heal from our past hurts within the organized system of religion...

So there ya have it...Nothing spectacular at all...pretty simple really...I like simple...We have spent far to many years in the realm of complicated...Life really is pretty simple when you get down to the "brass tacks" of it all...humans tend to complicate all things...I am finding life is really not as complicated as it seemingly has been fed to me...

Just live, love and let go...when we all figure out how to do these 3 little things....life will be much simpler! Don't you think?

Until Next Time-

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Year End Reflections

I have never been one to make resolutions for the new year...I have always been of the mindset that many times you set yourself up for failure when for reasons, sometimes out of our control we fail to keep those resolutions....so for me resoultions serve no good purpose.... I have realized that mindful reflection from the past year allows me to learn and grow from the experiences I had during the year...with that said...the journey begins...

The very beginning of the year found my dad still hospitalized from a collapsed left lung, and a blood clot in his right lung...this was his carry over stay from December last year...He recovered and began his own mindful journey of finding his way to peace. As I have had said it was here my own journey began...

My journey this year has really been about self acceptance and figuring out its ok to be me...its ok to be who I am...its ok to love the person I am...it has been about finding my own peace in this life...

I realized early on while watching my dad, that when we don't or cant accept who we really are as people we are miserable...Me, like my dad have had a hard time just being who we are...I think for my dad and I both our desire to accepted and loved over rode our ability to just be who we are...Speaking for myself only here, my inability to accept myself as I am was due to the years of indoctrination in my church denomination....we were always told we were bad, sinners, no good, didn't deserve to live, and ultimately if we didn't live like we were told we would burn forever in a firey pit of hellfire because it what we deserved....I shudder as I write that...As an adult I look at that and see the horrendous damage done to a child or even young adults self worth...my entire life, all of it...this is the message I have been told...Watching my dad suffer with what I now believe to be this same issue I learned that the gospel message is perverted by many for their own gain...in order for pastors to keep the door open they must feed us something that keep us coming back...what better message than if we don't go to church and believe what we are being told...we burn forever, for all eternity in a lake of fire...We are told we must accept their interpretation of the bible and live as we are instructed or perish in fire...I spent much of my adult life in fear, anguish and anxiety wondering if I was ok...I have discovered that yes, I am ok just as I am...I have risen from the mud and am becoming a beautiful lotus...in the christian world you have been raised from the mirey pit and have become a new creature...same thing, different wording.

So let me stop there a minute and tell you what I now know....Not all churches/denomination teach that message as harshly as it was fed to me...not all Christians believe this way and I have learned that it is nothing more than a form of judgement and a way to control the masses....

God is not a human....he "just is"....he is in everything we see, feel, taste, smell, and all that we are...God lives in each one of us...he is not some entity up in sky that is waiting to strike us dead....No!, he is here living with us and in us daily...

The other thing I have found this year is that people have a very difficult time with others that are different in their belief system....this has been a very painful lesson for me...A friend, a phone friend really, a women I loved dearly who taught me so much about Love, Mercy and Grace apparently has decided I am no longer worthy of her friendship since I have left organized religion and decided to study other ways. IE: Buddhism...more on that later....Another very dear long time friend of mine is I believe struggling with my decision as well...It kills me...what neither of these women understand is that I am the very same person I was before....I am just being honest with them and myself now....I have taken off the mask....I have learned people only wanna see what 'meshes' with their belief system....anything outside of their box is labeled evil, degenerate, or worthy of going to hell. Our christian society has lost the ability to think for themselves...we/they only see what they have been taught to see...Maybe out of tradition from their family as in my case, or maybe because they feel like they must have the dogma to be ok and feel worthy of being loved by God....whatever the reason, it breaks my heart to lose or feel like I have lost 2 wonderful ladies in my life...

Loss and letting go has been the central theme in my life this past year....We have had a small farm(homestead) for 16 years...this summer being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus has been a real life changer as well....Being someone that craves the sun like most people crave food this was a real blow to me...After the reality sank it and I accepted this is my new normal, with great difficulty and many tears my husband and I came to the same conclusion that it was for the best to sell off the critters....I can no longer care for them and my husband can't work full time and farm fulltime too....so with a heavy heart we sold all the chickens, the turkeys and the incubator is for sale...My husband still has his pigs and at this time the decision has not been make as to what to do with them...they are an old heritage breed and being the person I am I love the old breeds that are endangered...So we may choose to keep them....the lesson I learned is that attachement to "things" or a way of life is not good....it brings great suffering when they must be let go...I learned some things, some people, and some ways of life are only for a season and when that season ends a new season begins....I am now embracing the new found freedom I have from the homestead life....and looking forward with great anticipation what this next season has in store for me, for us....

The greatest lesson I have learned this year is that life is short...there is not alot of time to live and enjoy all the wonderful things creation has given us in this world...In order to enjoy this life, and the abundance of goodness in it, we must let go of all dogma, hate, judgement, indoctrination and preconceived ideas that we carry...we must find a way to lay it all down and look at this world and the people in it with love and acceptance....I'm not talking about accepting crime like rape, murder etc...I am talking about coexisting with one another...joining hands and loving each other....put aside all religiosity, all the baggage, all the hate and love each other...we all have a story....we all have a past...we all have baggage...but God also gave us the ability to love...if you want people to see God, know God and experience God...then love them...right where they are...Don't use your words....words are so empty in our world...words most of the time get in the way of living our beliefs....We get so busy trying to tell others what we believe, and them telling us what they believe and both sides trying to convince others why their way is best that we forget love is a VERB not VERBIAGE! Words are just words....but love in action can move mountains, it can heal the broken hearted, it can light the dark, it can give life...it can change you and through you and each of us the world can be changed one person at a time...

My lessons this year have been many....they have been profound for me...as I go forward this next year my hope is that these new found revelations stay with me and I can do my part to love and to show love....I want to be just one of millions that choose to love and not hate, that choose to be the change I wanna see...I want to touch lives in a way that says " I love you just as you are, even if it doesnt mesh with my way"....I want to make the world a better place and to leave people better than I found them...

I want them to remember me for the love I showed them regardlesss of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, etc....When they walk away from me I want them to feel good about who they are....I want to leave them better than I found them...If I can do that with even one person...and that one person pays it forward...wow! what a different world we could live in!

I wish you all great blessings and may all your dreams come true in the new year!