Advocate Persistently

Everyone tells you about the hot flashes. But no one, not even other women, tells you about all the other stuff that comes with perimenopause. The hot flashes are nothing compared to the increased anxiety, stomach issues, and mood swings. Those make me feel like a crazy person. They say the best way to determine when you’ll be done with this hellhole is by when your mother or sisters were done. Both my mom and my sister were done at 54. I don’t think I can do four more years of this!

Before you start quoting, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yes, I’m aware, and believe me, I cry out to God frequently, but I wish people had told me about this. Is it because doctors just throw pills at you when you mention your symptoms but don’t explain why you might find yourself seriously anxious even though you did not struggle with it through most of your life? Not that pills are bad. I highly suggest pills if perimenopause is disrupting your everyday life, but no one says, “Based on your age, there is a strong possibility this is being caused by perimenopause.” My female doctor never even said the word, and even to this day has not mentioned it. I had to google it like a 5th grader curious about where babies come from.

I started reading about all these other women who were experiencing the same symptoms and the same noninformation from the medical professionals. I went for two years experiencing intense depression and anxiety before my periods to then just kind of experiencing it all the time on a lower level. I started having acid reflux. I started lashing out one minute and feeling like crying the next. I brought these issues separately to my doctor, and not one mention of perimenopause, which makes me wonder if this is not taught in medical school.

I actually do love my doctor so I won’t switch, but I will look for a gynecologist who recognizes perimenopause symptoms and encourages solutions. As women, we have to advocate for ourselves loudly and persistently in order to be heard. So it’s high time I do so.


A Message of Love

A message of love from the Triune God.

Jesus: I love you and was faithful to obey the Father to atone for your sin.

Father: I have loved you from the beginning. I watched over you since the crib. You are still my child. I still watch over you. I am close to the broken hearted.

Holy Spirit: I am the Living Well that is in you. Seek that water. It looks like Peace.

You are not alone.

Love and Peace to You

I don’t want others to feel alone, so I want to write how I’ve dealt with the things thrown at us this year, and the emotions I’ve had. The week before California went into lockdown, I had an assignment from a pastoral resident class that the staff (I work for a church) can sit in on for free. As staff, we are not graded, but it’s good to do the work to get the most out of the class. I was supposed to find a place for about four to eight hours to spend with God without interruption.

The more I thought about how to spend this day; I got the sense I was supposed to spend time with God while enjoying a day alone doing whatever I wanted. That seemed selfish, but it was a strong sense that I was to enjoy God by enjoying my favorite things. Now you should know that I can’t remember taking most of the day just for me since I was a young teen. So it’s been about 34 years. I took the day to go to the museum (A gift from my father and mother-in-law). I paid too much for a soda and snack and sat in the outdoor court, soaking in the sun. I felt the sugary, fizzy, orange soda slide down my throat. I watched the birds and squirrels jump, fly, and scurry around the patio. I wrote down how I felt and listened to what God would say to me.

I then meandered around the museum, viewing the obscure things that my family or friends wouldn’t have had the patience for. I went outside and enjoyed the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. I watched a painter for about 15 minutes. He moved his paintbrush here and there, lined it up with the bridge, looked at his colors but never got around to painting. I heard the lesson in that in my spirit.

I went to a Vietnamese restaurant and got some Pho. I went home and ate it while watching a show I like to watch. All of this alone as my husband and daughter were at work and school. I then took a walk, came back, and watched more TV. I wrote a little more. And that was it. It was such a good day.

A week later, COVID-19 grew out of control, and California shut down. I had no idea that would happen, but God did. The knowledge that God loved me so much to impress on me to take a day to myself and enjoy what I would not fully enjoy for the next six months and counting has sustained me.

With that being said, I have gone through bouts of depression and grief. I was unable to go to Michigan and see my children and grandchildren this summer. It was so hard. I have gone through feelings of guilt for having a job where I can work from home, not having to go out of my house except to grocery shop–knowing that there are those who are losing everything. There are those who have to go to work to provide food or heal the rest of us.

I have gained and lost weight. I have used this time to read good books and work out on my treadmill. I have dove deep into escapism eating chips while binge-watching Netflix (Tiger King, yep I watched it). Being an introvert, I have had times of building the wall around myself even higher, retreating further into my own psyche.

I have spent time reading the Bible, reading a verse or chapter that has caused me to blink, look around, and step a little more back into the world. I’ve read books that helped me see how I, using the gifts God has given me, can be used to build for the Kingdom of God. In some mysterious way, this build is eternal.

To sum it up, I have experienced grief, guilt, depression, isolation, freedom, joy, and wonder. But that day, the day God gave me, makes me smile and gives me peace when I let it. That day makes me wonder at his mercy and love. I hope there is a special moment that God has given you. A moment when you know you heard his voice clearly, a time you felt his presence or witnessed a miracle that you can draw hope and faith from. I pray the Spirit gives you a moment like this even now during the pandemic, fires (I live in California), and whatever else you may be going through where you live.

Love and Peace to you.

Unfailing Love

This morning, I typed and erased a couple of posts on Facebook. They were a little negative, and I just couldn’t post them. Then the thought came to my mind, why not post something uplifting. Negative in any way is not necessary. Plus, if I seek out something uplifting to share, it will uplift me. So I thought of the Psalms, which have been a great help to me. I just picked one Psalm 48, and verse 9 was highlighted to me.

Wiithin your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalm 48:9

I wondered why this caught my eye. I realized that we are now the temple of God (I Cor. 6:19). We can meditate on God’s unfailing love wherever we are. The Holy Spirit resides within us as believers. He reveals God’s unfailing love to us, and we can meditate on that instead of everything that is going on around us. From this overflow of love, we can be more patient with our families, reach out to others (safely, of course), and love our neighbor.

My pastor said during Easter, “The whole world is anxious right now.” The entire world is experiencing COVID-19 right now. The world is our neighbor. With technology, we can help anyone anywhere in the world. Right now, we need to see anyone from any walk of life as our community in this together.

The idea of the world as our neighbor can be overwhelming, but it starts with us meditating, as God’s temple, on his unfailing love.

In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:9

Beauty in the Now

I don’t like to force ideas to write about, and I’ve been dealing with some health issues, so sometimes I write one or two days apart, and sometimes it’s one or two months apart.

I’m starting to flesh out my life story. It is easier for me to write about my life in a just the facts kind of way to avoid feeling all the pain I felt during the hard times. But it is time. So I started with the event I remember the best. It happened when I was around eight, and for years I couldn’t understand why this event was seared into my memories. It has come to my mind unbidden at least weekly for the last 40 years.

I decided to flesh out these stories long-hand with a pencil. It seems more intimate, and I need all the help I can get to reconnect with my emotions during these times. So as I wrote out the story, I started to remember the joy I had with my sister that day. It was one of the only times, as a child, I remember being alone with her – interacting in a big sister/little sister kind of way. She taught me how to make little cakes, and we went ice skating on the pond behind her house. And then I began to remember coming home and having my spirit crushed by my step-mom. She screamed, ranted, and raved about me wanting to spend time alone with my sister. How ungrateful I was to her. I was eight and wanted some quality time with my sister, who lived in another house, and who I never got to see.

I suddenly realized this moment imprinted the feeling or even knowing that when something good happens in my life, the “other shoe” will drop and stomp all the joy and good feelings away. After experiencing so much joy, feeling like it was the best day of my life, and then coming home to my step-mom crushing my spirit, this has affected me my entire life.

We live in California, and through God’s grace, we are able to rent this amazing apartment where the ocean is 100 feet from us. The timing was perfect, and the price, relatively speaking, is doable. I have not been able to fully appreciate my view in these ten years because I live in fear of it being taken away. I try so hard to experience the beauty and awe of it in the present, but my core reaction is to wonder how or when it will all end. I love living by the ocean so much that it feels like I would be destroyed if I had to leave it, but I can’t enjoy it like I should because of my core reaction of – when will it end.

Now that I know the moment this feeling was solidified in my person, the moment this became my core reaction, I can lift the wounded little girl in me to God for healing. I can truly work on forgiveness. And hopefully, more fully enjoy the beauty of the moment.

Surrender and a Box of Tarantulas

Today I said the statement, “Surrendering to anything or anyone including God is like being in a box of tarantulas.”

That seemed to shock people at my church table. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I doubt it. I think maybe I’m the only one who will admit it.

I can even psychoanalysis myself and tell you why. Growing up and even as an adult, people in authority have not had my best interest at heart. There has been much abandonment and neglect.

It’s only recently I realized that even my sleep is affected by this fear of surrendering. I am a lucid dreamer (look it up, it’s a thing). However, as soon as I realize I’m dreaming, I wake myself up. This is a terrifying ordeal. It feels like I’m going to die and my husband always shakes me awake as I struggle in my sleep to wake up. I found out there is a name for this called sleep paralysis. I can’t move, but I feel awake. Guess what one of the cures for this is? Surrendering to it. What!? Ugh.

At least two people have said to me in the last few weeks, “Maybe you need to pray and talk to God about this.” Both times I blew them off, but I think maybe God wants to work on this fear of surrender.

Maybe now is the time to find freedom in surrender and learn that God is not a human who lies (Num. 23), but is the one who said, “Never will I leave you…” (Heb. 13:5). Maybe it’s time I find out if he meant it.

An Hour of Worship

I was worshipping today. I have the privledge to work for a church and our staff meeting today was a time of worship. God chose this moment to open a seed, which had been planted long ago. This little time of worship peeled back the hard shell and allowed the plant within the seed to quickly grow from a seedling to a beautiful tree with many branches. God showed me this seed had been planted in deep soil that my on and off again times with God had kept nourished until this very minute.

The seedling manifested itself by way of a softening heart toward my mother. God gave me the ability to see her how God sees her. Specifically, he showed me her heart of worship. This is the seed that she passed on to me. I felt an increased joy and heart of worship in that moment. I have always loved worship, but I felt like that was nothing compared to how I felt in this moment. I knew this was my mother’s heart toward worship. I saw how beautiful my mother truly is and how beautiful her heart is. Even as she loses the battle with her mind to dementia, I felt God show me how she looks to him even now, and more importantly how she will look to him in eternity. She gets to do her favorite thing for all of eternity and it made me burst with tears of thankfulness. Thankfulness for her beauty and joy as she gives glory to God – her favorite thing to do.

All of this in the span of an hour of worship.

It’s Not Working Anymore

Here is my list of what’s not working anymore:

Eating while reading or watching a screen

Avoiding life

Counting Calories

Deciding my worth based on my dress size

Hiding – from everyone

Not Writing

Is it peri-menopause or is it just time to grow up? My dad is dead and my mother is losing the battle for her mind. Me and my siblings are the older generation now as our children are having children. It is time to walk in the way of the King.

You Sit With Me

There is a piece of me that is hidden. So hidden, in fact, that I don’t know how to find it. I hid it to protect it as a child since no one was protecting me. No one cared to make sure I was secure, so I secured myself.

What was once a safe place has become a prison. I want to release it to you, Lord, but I don’t know how to find it. There is a piece of me, which would connect with You much deeper than the part of me you see, but I don’t know how to find it. It is the pure, truly human part of me, the image of you that you breathed into me. It is buried alive within me. Only you, Lord, can resurrect it. The piece of me that can truly connect with you. Only you can find it. I need to be still, to not cringe in fear of being seen by you. I need to be quiet and allow your Spirit to seek and find me – the real me. Bring shalom to my core, restoration to who I was created to be. Find the pure, created piece of me buried deep. Spirit connect with my spirit and bring forth who I was created to be. Break the lies that are holding the doors closed, release the truth to set me free.

Even while that piece of me is hidden and buried, you meet me in my prison. You talk to me and give me hope while the Spirit breaks each chain, removes each wall, working to free me. You sit with me.


As a Christian, what does Karma mean? After experiencing some things, which have basically hurt my feelings, I finally brought it to God (I hope to remember to do that sooner.), and he reminded me of the times I have done the very thing that someone was doing to me. It made me reevaluate how I treat people. Taking the time to really listen and hear what others have to say is a great way to acquire wisdom, which is something I’ve been asking for. My recent experience was an answer to prayer. God created community with each person unique for a reason.

Often those who are overlooked are the very ones we need to hear. Sometimes we have to take a little extra time to talk with them and get them to open up. I’ve experienced this with my father. I’m always so busy and have an aversion to the phone. He has never used a computer in his life and is not about to start now – no email, texting and definitely no Facebook. This has made it hard for us to connect. I decided to make the effort a few months ago and out of the blue he let me know he dreams amazing dreams and knows he is in a dream – lucid dreaming. He has written down over 60 of them. When we went to visit last month and I took pictures of them to bring back with me. They are amazing. He has a lot of times on his hands and his prayer life is incredible. This is an easy example. Of course our parents are a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

My daughter’s good friend Ysabel is amazing. She is funny and engaging, inherited it from her parents, and we love her. She has been through so much in her life. She is often overlooked as she is special needs. People see a wheel chair and they look right over her. If a person takes the time to get to know her and hear what she has to say, they will be the better for it. They will discover they are the lucky ones, who she has deemed worthy to talk  and share with.

When I was in my twenties, I strove to fit in. I was a single parent with two children by the time I was eighteen. I had nothing in common with those my age and the older crowd didn’t always welcome me in. I would find the group I wanted to be a part of, the cool crowd, and work my butt off to become friends with them. It was exhausting. As I’ve gotten older and married, the desire to fit in has diminished. I have a built in best friend who gets me, but Jesus wants me to go deeper.

Not only does he want me to quit striving to fit in, he wants me to seek out the other people, like me, who also don’t fit in. Who did Jesus eat and hang out with? He is telling me, part of the wisdom and knowledge I seek can be found in those who he created in His image. Those who are loved and honored by God, but not always by His people.

You Know Me – Bethel Music