Bubbles

via Daily Prompt: Bubble

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Photo by Andrew Wulf on Unsplash

Sooo I started a different post and couldn’t finish it today. I was going to look at lessons learned with the Turtle and the Hare. It didn’t work so…now you get Bubbles! Thank WordPress for the inspiration.

Actually things didn’t go well today. You could say my bubble got pricked and burst. I had a task to complete with my father. I had hoped it would go smoothly. Of course my dad made sure it didn’t work out. As he slowly loses control, his need for control surfaces. I was to meet him and go over legal things he instructed me to set up.

The warnings started Friday when I called him and he dressed me down for not getting the information to him last week. Which really is a feat since I didn’t get all if the documents until Thursday. I explained I was coming over on Sunday to go over the documents with him. The attack turned to my not calling him enough. I defended myself because we call or see him every day.

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My Bubble Facing the Storm. (Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash)

I felt defeated by the bullying. I know this is nothing new with my father. I have dealt with the loving father turned bully all my life. He’s a nice guy, just verbally abusive. At 86 it is not going to change. The weird thing is it’s getting harder to take the verbal punches.

Dad and I had a pleasant conversation on the phone yesterday. There was no talk of our planned meeting. Today when I went to visit with him, my father refused to talk to me. He started with a problem which we resolved. After that he couldn’t avoid me. That’s when he flatly refused to sign or look over anything. He proceed to insult me and kick me out of his room.

I said my goodbyes. I told him I loved him and kissed his cheek. Tears blurred my vision as my bubble burst. I left the assisted living facility hurting from a father who has made almost everything we have had to do together hard. From daily chores to vacations it couldn’t be easy. I have not lived up to his expectations. Why would this be any different? I thought with a bitter taste. Anger pulsed through me but I had to swallow it.

Then steps in God my Father. I got home. Not sure what to do next, I pick up one of my devotionals “Tea Time with God” I open to “Which Way is Up” (page 108). First I read the scripture caption:

I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NRSV)

I tear up all over again as I feel my Father’s comforting Presence. The devotion starts with a story about a speedboat driver who was thrown from his boat. He fell deep into the water and did not know what direction to swim to surface. He stayed calm and let his life vest pull him towards the surface then began to swim faster. He survived by waiting for the sign showing the way up.

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Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash

Reading the little book felt like when you blow bubbles and a bubble hovers in front of you for a few seconds. You marvel at the myriad of colors then to your delight the bubble moves closer to burst on your nose. It tickles, a giggle bursts forth causing you to smile and blow more bubbles.

Bubbles seem to  rise. They usually make their way to the surface of the water or up in the atmosphere. But at some point they burst. Bubbles are supposed to burst, right? Hope is like that too. It rises. I feel it welling up in me. At some point it bursts. When hope bursts it may bring tears, like today. BUT there are times when hope bursts bringing your dreams.

24For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; For why does one hope for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. [Romans 8:24-25 NKJV]

Rise with your bubbles! Hope On, My friends!

Milly

P.S. I had a weather phenomenon today. This morning the skies were bright and sunny. After lunch when we went to dad’s place and drove into a rainstorm. It rained on and off all afternoon. While I am writing the post this evening it is storming again. It is quite the coincidence for the weather to match my stormy day dontcha think? hmm…

Fear Whips

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Irma UFO? Naw! Just a leaf in the wind!

Hurricane Irma reminds me of one of my posts called Fear Grips. I discussed my battle with fear and the gripping hold it has on me personally. I have watched the media and caring people around me whip up fear into an all consuming rush of fear while waiting for Irma to arrive.

Since I fall so easily into fear, I’ve been facing my fears lately. In writing this blog over the last 18 months I have discovered one of the biggest wedges between God and myself is fear. In my prayers last night and today I discovered fear not only grips me physically it whips my soul. The scriptures tell us over and over “be not afraid.” God also calls us to trust him and have faith.

Watching the coverage of Hurricane Irma reminds me to put my faith in God. He is my true refuge. I was reminiscing this morning of the approach of Hurricane Frances in 2004. We had already lost power. I sat on my bed with our battery operated TV watching the largest storm I’d ever seen come over our house. The media was whipped into a frenzy of dire warnings. I just remember thinking it was huge like a monster in a B-rated Sci-Fi movie. The estimates I’ve seen on Irma puts this storm at a similar size to Frances.

The differences are Irma is stronger at a Cat 3-5 and Frances was a Cat 2. Irma seems to be skirting coastlines until today. That night Frances was heading straight towards me and my little home. I sat paralyzed in fear looking at that little screen. It had been so long since a full force hurricane had hit so close to home. My Husband tried to get me to turn off the TV and sleep. It was late. I couldn’t do it. I was literally whipped into a frenzy. I could only watch in terror of the storm approaching. Finally he had to take away the TV and a lay down with me. He just held me until I was able to slake off some of the fear and sleep fitfully through a long, dark, hot, and humid night.

This time as we sit in the same home I am peaceful. I don’t want to watch the storm coverage. As long as God blesses us with power I am doing what needs to be done. Praying, laundry, cooking, spending time with my family, and writing.

When I do check the storm coverage I get angry. I see how the words chosen are meant to strike fear in the hearts of the people. I’ve been through a few hurricanes and several tropical storms now, I know the damage they are describing. At this point the words used to describe what has happened so far are sensationalized and vague. Just a couple of hours ago we watched a reporter describe in graphic detail the the downing of a street sign. Really? C’mon!

Hundreds if not thousands of street signs will be down before this is over. A street sign is the least of my worries. Last night, we watched a building burn on video of the damage in St. Thomas. From what I heard, the reporters in that story did not even acknowledge the fire. They droned on about “Devastation” and “Nuclear Storm” but I did not hear a description of what happened in the story unfolding before my eyes.

Not given the true picture and describing things in vague terms fuels the fear. We had officials stating everyone in the State, City, or County needs to evacuate. Hours later I heard some officials stepping back and clarifying that people need to evacuate to a safe place or shelter. Though my personal favorite was someone telling people to “evacuate in place.” Is that an oxymoron or what! Well I did what this person advised…I stayed home!

Fear like this might as well be a physical whip. When watching and listening to storm coverage for Frances, I felt my spirit was beaten. I did not rest well. Which made recovery that much harder. When whipping up a frenzy of fear we are beating the souls of the people of God around us. I am as guilty of this action as anybody. I get afraid and I grab the fear whip and see who I can make fearful along with me. We are all the children of God. Let’s stop whipping each other with the weapon of fear.

How can I do this? I had to think about it…Faith, Hope, and Love. I Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV) says the greatest of these if Love. What about encouragement, empathy, support, and comfort too. And what about the example that follows here – Waiting on the Lord:

I checked on my Moms today, who BTW also “evacuated in place” (big finger quotes), and my Mom said they normally would have left. But this time they waited on guidance from God. God let them both know at the same time to not go. I love what my Mom wrote, “what seems to be right is not always right just because the media says its right.”

The storm is raging outside my window and the power is flickering. I am grateful the storm has mostly missed us. I am praying for those in the path ahead. I know the fear whipping around them. Right now my prayer is:

My dear Holy Spirit.

In the name of Jesus I ask for the comfort for those in the path of Irma. May they see through their fear to You the God Almighty for guidance and protection. Keep them safe and close to you as they face the storm. Do not allow fear to whip them, beat them or defeat them. I pray for your protection of the living beings facing this very real danger. In Jesus Name, Amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

If you feel so led, unite your prayer with mine. Love Milly.

 P.S. Youngest Prince has deputized our mascot: “Deputy Fowl.”