Half truth… is it a lie?

Well, half a truth is also half a lie.
Quite a confrontation if you have never thought of it before. 

Dictionary definition… “a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to mislead someone.”
Or, there is this … “Half the truth is often a whole lie. … If you do not tell the whole truth, you can mislead people just as if you tell them an outright lie.”

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Half+the+truth+is+often+a+whole+lie

Does a half truth harm anyone?

Sometimes. The obvious reply is through ‘half truth advertising.’ But there is another way…

Even though the reason might be to spare someone, the whole truth is hidden. However, in most instances, a half truth is to protect the self. Other times it can be to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings.

With the latter – does it protect the other person in the long run? This is a question a friend confronted me with over the fact I was not fully being honest about how bad my health is. She had a point, and I will rectify the situation because I saw from what she said that it would be more hurtful when/if the full truth comes out.

The same applies to not telling the full truth to cover a fault, or something we have done that we don’t want known. There’s an old saying, ‘The truth will out.’ In this day and age there are more ways for the truth to come out than there were before.

A half truth can be dangerous when it covers depression…
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/depression-is-not-always-seen/

What about ‘fake news?’

Is it the same?

I had to look this up to see what it really meant.

half truth and fake news

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news.

So, there may or may not be an element of truth in the ‘fake news.’

Half truths and lies

I will close with this quote from rhl school…
http://www.rhlschool.com/read8n1.htm

“Advertisers will sometimes use half-truths. It’s against the law to make false claims so they try to mislead you with the truth. An ad might boast, “Nine out of ten doctors recommend Yucky Pills to cure nose pimples.” It fails to mention that they only asked ten doctors and nine of them work for the Yucky Corporation.”

This kind of deception happens too often. It’s a sad fact of life: Lies are lies, and sometimes the truth can lie as well.

Therefore, we must be on guard, and monitor ourselves as well as watching what we read, see, and checking ‘facts’ carefully.

Half truth+half truth ≠ truth

Sharing some thoughts

Susan

Did God Say?

Did God say? Everything has a code

Most Christians will recognize ‘did God say?’ as the question the serpent asked Eve in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3.1)

Some translations will add the word ‘really’… as in ‘Did God really say?’

What then did God say?

And Jehovah God layeth a charge on the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden eating thou dost eat; and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou dost not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it — dying thou dost die.’ Gen 2: 16, 17 Youngs Literal Translation.

There are many things that can be discussed from these verses, but my thinking lately has been about what we do with what God did say. First, do we believe it? Here I am asking ‘believers’ not the folks who do not believe.

Everything in the universe has a ‘code’ – or rules it runs by.

If God says something, does it make it a command?

This brings to my mind all the law-breaking I see on the news. For weeks there have been protests in Hong Kong. These continued after the original reason for the protest ended.  Read more here 

Then there were protests over Indonesia’s proposed law changes…

The unrest was sparked by a proposed Bill that includes dozens of law changes – from criminalising pre-marital sex and restricting sales of contraceptives, to making it illegal to insult the president.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/indonesia-violent-law-change-protests-11945346

 

My Way or No Way

It sounds as though this is what we are coming to, if we are not already there.

A simple example…

speed limit sign

How many people obey the speed limit?

It is not a ‘suggestion.’ It is a law.

You will discover this if you are caught breaking it… there is a fine.

Beach closed sign

If you are a beach goer, this might be something you might see. Image: did God say beach

https://thewest.com.au/news/perth/north-cottesloe-beach-closed-after-shark-sighting-ng-b881337656z

Not everyone pays attention though. The result is often an expensive rescue… at taxpayers’ expense.

If you identify as Christian…

That first breaking of God’s word has had some far-reaching consequences.

What do you think about the Ten Commandments? Do you believe they are applicable today?

Well, what about the ‘Two Great Commandments’ as spoken by Jesus?

Are we at the same point as people were here?

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21: 25 ESV

This ended up with the nation sliding more and more deeply into depravity. (There is an interesting, but long, article here.)

Learning from what God said

When I researched the background and culture for the Apostle John Series (https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/ ) I discovered a great deal.

One, they lived according to what God said.

Two, they often lost their lives because they did.

There were many who claimed to believe, but ‘did what was right in their own eyes.’ They were often the ones who set up false groups.

King Solomon wrote ‘there is nothing new under the sun,’ and there is much evidence of that today. However, consider this… God’s throne is above the sun.

Believe whatever you believe, consider your destination, and treat others as you would like to be treated.

Susan

The Lonely Life of a Carer

seeing a lonely life of a carer

Being a Carer is a lonely life So, unless a person who has a chronic illness lives alone and has no visitors, that person has at least one Carer. It is a task which is misunderstood or not understood.

Life as a Carer…

Life as a Carer is not easy, and is often lonely. Many times it involves being a ‘parental’ figure. Often the person being cared for does not have an accurate view of his or her condition. This is a hard part of the Carer’s job. Being the one who assesses what is needed for every hospital appointment, how to travel there safely and what medications might be missed/needed during the time away from home.

But Carers often have the unenviable role of ‘nurse’, and – there’s more…

Carers often have to learn…

carer's life involves learning
  • About the disease, its treatment and management
  • About the medications prescribed including what they are for, any special instructions and potential side effects
    • Sometimes these put the carer into the role of ‘antagonist’ to the person they are trying to support, often the person they love.

In the lonely life of a carer...

He or she needs…

  • Skills to help manage the fatigue, pain, frustration and isolation that people with chronic disease often get – as well as their own.
  • To be able to communicate effectively with health professionals by answering questions accurately, asking your own questions and making sure you understand the information provided to you. (Talk about the information needed with the person you are caring for, if possible, and write the questions down and take them with you.)

One of my huge frustrations, and my late husband’s also, was that the specialist/doctor or whoever, wanted him to answer questions. However, he did not understand the terms they used, and having been a nurse, I did. But, at least to begin with, they did not want to hear my observations on his condition.

I remember attending a workshop for carers… At some point we were given a list of all the roles a carer performed. It was a long list.

A carer needs understanding – or at least acceptance.

With all the stresses of caring for another, and trying to cope with the many demands, it is so easy for the Carer to lose confidence.  The carer may feel alone, may feel like giving up, and that his or her own life does not matter.

If you want to understand how to help… how to pray for the carer and the person being cared for… read up on the condition.  Then you might have an idea of the ‘sandals they walk in.’

There is a section in a previous blog about ‘little things’ – they can hurt or heal.

A note might encourage them a little.

a carer needs encouragement

Alternatively if you know someone who is a Carer – try to ‘cut them some slack.’ One of the first things that happens is they become ‘unreliable.’

  • In the end, they cannot make arrangements to have friends come to visit, or go to visit them. This they have learned from the many times they will have to cancel any arrangements. So, either the friends drop them, or the Carer will withdraw from relationships outside the home rather than face the embarrassment of having to cancel… again.
      • You will have to understand. (Or give up on the person.) It would be kinder to expect nothing and accept that it is a black or white spectrum. There are no shades of grey in this kind of life.

See the lonely life of a carer?

If you decide to care for the Carer… and the person.

  • Be understanding.
  • Accept that arrangements might change without notice, and do not take offence if they do.
  • Be a person they can trust with their feelings.

Being a Carer for a loved one is a very difficult ‘role’, so you need to accept that it is a way of life – their way of life. A life which revolve around medical appointments, tests, medication times, and sometimes hospital admissions.

Sadly, these are the ‘outings’ for the Carer and person being cared for.

A lonely place to be

Being a Carer – or a person needing a carer is a very lonely place to be. Ask any Carer and they will tell you how difficult it is to hide their feelings and struggles from the person they are caring for.
Ask anyone needing care and, depending on their Carer and they will tell you how much it hurts them to see him or her struggling to cope with their care and neglecting their own needs.

Whether the person is a Carer of an adult, a child, or someone in between, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia – in spite of differences in the type of care, they face the same loneliness.
Sometimes the Carer never ‘gets’ their friends back. Without a supportive family or network, isolation sets in and becomes a way of life.

On the outside being isolated near people is a lonely place to be.

Bur they will probably not admit it.

lonely life of a carer

This post is written from experience, and in recognition of the many friends who are currently living the lonely life of a Carer.

It is also for all Carers out there, and for the people needing them.

God bless

Susan

Judgement, good and bad

Make judgement from facts

Making a judgement is something we humans do without thinking, most of the time.

It is when we decide on a course of action.

In the background, our mind has made a judgement. Unless, of course, we are affected by drugs, alcohol, or totally set on what we want to do and refuse to listen to that ‘inner voice.’

Judgement is good when…

It is used to work out if it is safe to do something, or go somewhere.

judgement based ib facts

Line up any known facts

Gather information

Recall experiences of similar situations, or people

Ask yourself – “how might this end?”

Judgement is bad when…

Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you lavish attention on the man in fine clothes and say, “Here is a seat of honor,” but say to the poor man “You must stand,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Jas 2: 2, 3 Berean Study Bible

judging by appearance

Common forms of judgement

We have to use wisdom, and caution. Apart from the number of unprovoked ‘rage’ attacks, there are also many ‘scams’ so it is wise to hone those ‘good judgement’ skills.

judgement comes by knowledge

I have been judged many times and for many reasons, but never before for this. I was ‘gob smacked’ LOL

It happened when I was invited to join a group of nine others at the preview of Downton Abbey at a Gold Class cinema event.

The person who took me knew some of the others and as part of her introduction said, “Susan is an author.”

I would never have mentioned this, but I guess with five books, four novellas and a non-fiction book I suppose I fit the term.

“What do you write?” was the question from several people.

Well, I started with the Biblical fiction category because those books have been the award-winners. Therefore, my response was, “Biblical fiction…”

“There is no such thing as Biblical fiction!” said the strident voice of one of the women. “Everything in the Bible is true! I am a Christian!”

I was judged and found wanting I guess.

OOPS!

My judgement in this situation was to say, “I agree.”

Our judgments are based on what we hear, what we see, what we read… basically what we allow into our minds.

Guard those minds!

Guard your minds

Here’s to your good judgement!

God bless

Susan

P.S.

I did a search on Amazon…

It is a category.

I Am The Way

The way is narrow

The way, not a way… this is what the Apostle John quoted Jesus as saying in John 14: 6.

As anyone who has read any of my fiction series will know, I spent a great deal of time in the gospel of John. It is the setting for the first of the books in the series, but not the only source of information about the 1st century AD. To be honest, the whole New Testament, and some of the Old Testament gave clues as to the life of the people.

So, before writing another book on life on oxygen, or introducing you to two young boys from the 600 BCs, I thought I would have a reprise of ‘the Way.’

The Apostolic Age

The 1st century AD is now classified as ‘the Apostolic age’ for rather obvious reasons. The apostles were at work fulfilling the commission Jesus gave them. However, littered through that 1st century are deaths and martyrdoms as well as the spreading of the gospel.

I have read many scholarly articles which attempt to explain the miracles, the healings, the life and the work of Jesus Christ. However, this is all from the point of ‘us’ looking back with the eyes of the century we live in, and the understanding and culture we inhabit.

Let’s have a look at the times through the writings of the Apostles.

The Way

The book of Acts mentions ‘the Way’ as an established fact. The Apostle Paul, in the days he was Saul, the terrorist of the followers of Christ, hated them with the zeal he would later have for spreading the gospel.

“Saul kept breathing out threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus. The letters authorized Saul, if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, to bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
Acts 9: 1, 2 ESV

So the early believers were either calling themselves ‘the Way’ or were known by others as followers of the Way.

Why?

The Way they lived?

I remember when my children were young I would take them to church on a Sunday morning. After services we would come home and I would catch up with my household chores. (I was a working lone parent.)

washing a car, not a Sabbath choreNo doubt there would be washing to do, as well as cooking, planning for the week’s meals and fixing things, perhaps washing the car. These were chores that did not fit into the day of a working mother.

The early Christians however, were Sabbath keepers. All their chores, which did not include washing cars <smile> were completed by sunset on the Friday evening and the Sabbath was observed until sunset on Saturday.

“The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_the_1st_century  under the section Beliefs and Practices.

 

The rest of the week

To live by the ‘two great commandments’ Jesus cited, meant they kept the ‘ten.’ What they believed governed their lives. And, because most would not break the 1st commandment, many were martyred.

In the words of a reader who reviewed the books of the Apostle John Series…

”Like me, you might be struck by the contrast between the early church and our current mode of religious worship. I can’t help but think we’ve lost much in the way of hope, faith, and love over the past two thousand years.”
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/grow-in-grace/

(You will not find any of this man’s reviews on the Amazon site… for some strange, unknown reason they fell afoul of Amazon’s algorithms and this was one of many that were deleted.)

Christianity is the way we live, just as ‘church’ is the people, not the building. In this increasingly busy world it is difficult to hold fast to the simple faith of the early Christians.

Although the way is narrow, often difficult to see much less keep plodding on, it is not impossible though,

God bless

Susan

Hidden Feelings

hidden feelings

Hidden feelings about ourselves can color the way we live our lives. This is why I chose the image for this blog. It is not about hidden feelings for someone else, it is about those secret fears and doubts about ourselves, the ones that can shape our lives.

Hidden feelings? In the 1st century AD

There is nothing new under the sun.

(Last line of Ecc 1:9)

Elizabeth lived with the belief she was not good enough. By the time she found out what had really happened, she was a grandmother.

She was ambivalent about her decision to find out the truth. Did she want to know? Or did she not want to know?

That is as much as I am going to say about Shadow of the Past, which is Elizabeth’s story. What it does bring to my mind is the fact there are so many people in our day and age who have been emotionally crippled by something in their past.

Oh, I should mention that before this novella began, Elizabeth had lost some family members when she converted to Christianity from Judaism. Her upbringing had been Jewish. (That is not the Shadow of the Past.)

Fast forward to the 21st century AD

How many people have secret insecurities or hidden feelings about their worth, fears that they are not good enough?

I am talking about people who have somewhere in their lives a secret lack of confidence, a hidden belief that he or she was counted unworthy in the past and has internalized it. This colors relationships, but at the same time it can be hidden so deeply that the person functions so well, no one else knows.

That is loneliness because it is a secret. Much of the time, the feelings are hidden so deep inside it is unnoticed, part of the persons life. Then comes a challenge which awakens it with all the power it once had. Sometimes more powerful.

Speak about it!

If you cannot speak about it, write about it. Write out your feelings, even if you delete it, or tear the paper up afterwards. Or you can publish it, like Susan Scott did. She describes her book as a ‘diary of discovery.’ They are letters to God.

Dear God it’s me again. Hope I am not being a nuisance

Hidden feelings need permission

hidden feelings and fears are buried

They need permission – they can stay hidden, buried in the deep caverns, or they can be acknowledged. The stairs work both ways. Leave the feelings and fears down in the depths, or bring them up to the light.

It is not easy, but it can be done.

Victims do not need to stay victims

I realize in this post I have mainly focused on emotional factors… emotional abuse. However, there are many other abuse issues. They are not new either. But they hurt, and physical and sexual abuse have an emotional component.

If you have been a victim of abuse…

I can recommend Brenda Hammon’s writings. I met her and talked with her at the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in Florida three years ago, and again the next year.

One of her books you might want to start with is… 

Sacred Hearts Rising: Breaking the Silence One Story at a Time

Part of the blurb…

It takes courage to share our stories, and there are 25 brave women sharing their journeys with you, some have told their secrets for the first time, and some are retelling their past, but every author tells you how they made it through. The stories vary from abuse, mental illness, suicide to cancer survival. 
You will find inside:
– Inspiration
– Honesty
– Courage
– The silent voices of women who decide that being silent was not their answer to a better life.

You can find it here, as well as on the Canadian site, which is her home site.

Sacred Hearts Rising: Breaking the Silence One Story at a Time

Nothing new under the sun?

No. However, today we have opportunities to deal with hidden feelings that were not available in the 1st Century AD.

I hope you find help in one or both of the books mentioned.

Susan

P.S.

Still on pre-order… just, Elizabeth’s story, Shadow of the Past was the most difficult to write. I too had hidden feelings and, although different from Elizabeth’s secret belief, mine hovered in the background during the writing.

You might like to read a previous post on bitterness and resentment. What you choose does affect our lives and choices. Let us all choose life, and hope.

Depression is not always seen

man suffering depression

Depression is most dangerous when ‘hidden.’
Why hide it?
Pride?
Perhaps so, especially if it is a man who is depressed.
Feeling worthless?
Possibly, if the person is in a ‘toxic’ situation, at work, at home, or both.

Sometimes depression is the result of something that happened in a person’s childhood.  Whatever the cause depression is dangerous. Suicides among Australian males have been escalating in the last few years.

Depression does not always lead to suicide

But many times it does. 

An article on news.com.au headlines “TODAY in Australia, six men will take their own lives.” It says later, “But the one thing they have in common is that almost all will leave behind grief-struck family, friends and colleagues who had no idea they were struggling.”

.

Did you see the last phrase in the previous sentence?  “Who had no idea they were struggling.”

Why?

The article answers that too… “That’s because men who die by suicide are significantly less likely to have sought help.”

Find the rest of the article click here to read it

depression, man hiding behind help sign

Why this subject?

Because I was pondering the intense trials and problems so many of my friends are going through.

There are people with cancer, others with extreme pain, and many mourning the loss of a spouse, a baby, or other family member. Or one of the many who care for someone who has forgotten them. Mourning the Living
In addition there are the ‘emotional’ stresses… being ‘dumped’ by a boy or girlfriend, being bullied, serious health problems, not to mention a whole host of other reasons.

Then, when having a quick look at the family Facebook page, I noticed this ‘meme,’ and it brought to mind the fact that perhaps the reason that men do not admit to suffering from depression is the ‘man up’ phrase.

Men get depression, meme

Depression is a thief

Even if it does not result in suicide, it robs people of…

  • Self-confidence
  • Motivation
  • Self-esteem
  • Interest in daily activities.

It can cause

  • Appetite or weight changes. …
  • Sleep changes.
  • Anger or irritability.
  • Self-loathing.
  • Reckless behavior.

In exchange, it gives feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, often made worse by anything on the foregoing lists.

Talking to someone with depression

Do you want to? I mean really want to.

A greeting here in Australia often used, is ‘how ‘r’ u mate?’ Most times it is not a question, just a greeting, and the response is supposed to be ‘good, thanks.’

If you do not have the time, or are not sure you could handle what the person says… don’t ask. You could make the person feel even worse.

  • Be ready – do you have the time?
  • Be prepared – are you ready for a difficult conversation when you might not have the answers?
  • Pick your moment – have you chosen somewhere comfortable to talk, and an appropriate time? (There is no use asking when you, or the other person is rushing to leave for work, or trying to complete a task.)

A current TV set of ads shows a depressed man,  and then someone who is concerned and asks, ‘Are you okay?’ The reply is a weak, “Yeah, mate.” In one of the set of ads the other person assures the depressed man that he is ‘here for you if you ever want to talk.’ There is nothing ‘pushy’ just an offer.

Identifying a problem

An interesting website is https://www.ruok.org.au/ There is a short video with little ‘scenarios’ showing changes of behavior.

As it said earlier, do you have the time? Another question could be, ‘are you interested in the answer?’

Don’t present the person you are concerned about with a long list of reasons why you are concerned. Ask a simple question… Do you want (need) to talk?

“I am here. I will listen.”

If you do listen, and have no idea how to help, it is okay to say so. You could always offer to help the person find a solution. Or it may be that all the person needs is a ‘listening ear,’ someone who WILL listen.

If you have the time, and interest you could offer to be…”here for you again if you want to talk.”

listen too hear

The gift of your time and your concern is no small thing,

Susan

For Better, For Worse

For better for worse, start in hope

For better for worse used to be part of the promises made when a couple married. With the ‘fluid’ attitudes to relationships these days, I am not sure this applies anymore, but I am going to look at some instances where it does, and not only in marriage commitments.

‘For Better, for Worse’

It is easy to keep a relationship puttering along when all is going well, when we are ‘in tune’ with each other. We agree, we plan, we do things. However, this does not always last… we are human.

Have you ever considered the parable of the wise and foolish man? The wise man built his house upon the rock.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Matt 7: 24, 25

I remember as a child singing the chorus, with actions like these boys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAjEjxX-DhA

But I want to focus on one section…  ‘The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house;’

Even though the builder was wise, it did not protect him or her from the rain and the wind beating against the house. This is when a relationship is tested.

‘For Worse’ Has Arrived

How will it be handled? All of us have experienced some of the ‘for worse’ in our lives. However, what about the people for whom the ‘for worse’ does not improve?

Many of these are ‘Carers’ – the men, women, and even children, who help a key adult in his or her life.

In the image the climber looks as if he will be successful. A great deal of effort has been put in to reach this point, but effort does not always change things.

The Life of a Carer

A Carer sees what others do not see. A Carer feels the helplessness of not being able to ‘fix’ the problem. It is not that they do not want to ‘fix’ what the other is suffering, it is that they cannot. Oh, there are little things that can be done to alleviate some things, or symptoms, but the underlying cause of the problem remains.

Sometimes the problem is definable and the sufferer and the Carer know the problem.

  • It could be pain so ongoing it affects every part of both their lives. I talk here about the relentless pain that disturbs sleep, and limits daytime activities.
  • For some, it might be caring for someone with a debilitating chronic illness that slowly worsens.
  • Perhaps it is caring for someone with cancer.

And what about those for whom there is no ‘diagnosis?’ Only debilitating symptoms. The Carer sees but there is no ‘label’ for whatever is wrong.

Each one of these, and many others could be a blog on its own.

Over the years I have written on some of the ‘for worse’ aspects of relationships. However, I could keep writing and never cover all of them.

Links to previous blogs

Dementia… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/mourning-the-living/

Trials https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/trials-have-a-purpose/

And surviving loss https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/grieving-what-no-one-is-talking-about/

And many more writings dealing with the difficulties  of living, loving and caring.

Still, they only scratched the surface. How is it possible to put into words the pain, the exhaustion, the frustration, and even the guilt when you are a Carer, and choose to stay through the ‘for Worse?’

It is not possible, although sometimes the words can ‘touch’ the heart of someone going through the ‘for worse’ season.

Many of my experiences, my training, as a Mental Health Community Sister, a computer trainer and assessor, and my years of experience as a Carer, have gone into the books I have written.

If you know a Carer, reach out. It might not be possible to visit, but how about sending an email, make a phone call, send a card. This is how we love one another. If you have suffered you will know that THIS is when you most appreciate love.

Forget me not flowers

Susan

Don’t forget you can access the background materials on my Biblical Fiction series and hear news on the new series when you join the VIP Readers’ group. It is free, and you will not be spammed. As well as the Starter Kit, you will receive a monthly newsletter. You can sign up below.

Change and Choices

change direction

Change is difficult in any era, but in the past the alternatives were fewer, and the results could be dire. It did not even need to be a wrong choice, it could be something beyond a person’s control.

Early Christian era

Elizabeth has little choice. She is a widow and there is no welfare system in the 1st century AD, so she cannot set up home for herself. In Biblical times the family provided for the widow, provided she had one.
Well, Elizabeth has a family, but a divided one and she was the cause of the division. Rather, her change of faith was.

When she converted from her Jewish faith to that of the ‘Way’ it cost her a daughter, son-in-law, perhaps grandchildren, as well as the home she had lived in throughout her married life.

God was good to her though. Elizabeth found work in the home of the Christian family who saved her other daughter’s life. Now she lives in the home of that daughter and her husband, while continuing her work in the home of the now smaller family who employed her.

Things are about to change!

Her brother-in-law is not the shadow of the past, but he is the cause of it. If he converts to the Christian faith, how can she worship with him? Love for brethren is the distinguishing feature of the followers of Jesus Christ.

Layered over by many years of facing and dealing with a difficult life, a vulnerability exists and now is exposed, and she considers her options. But there are few choices for women in her circumstances.

She has older sisters who are married to well-off business men; they are Jewish. While they accept Elizabeth, they do not know ‘officially’ of her change of faith. If she went to live with either of them she would have to return to the Jewish faith. Would she consider it? 

Her dilemma… one of them might have the answer to a question that has secretly haunted her.

This is the background to Shadow of the Past

Shadow of the Past, cover

Spoiled for choices in our era

That is what many would say about women in our era. But is that so?

There is much on ‘the news’ about choice. ‘Right to life.’ ‘Right to die.’ ‘Right to abortion.’

However, even in this day and age there are many women and young girls who do not have ‘rights’ or the chance to change their lives. Some are the victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or both. Many men were sexually abused when young. In all these cases, the person lives with consequences of another’s actions. A vulnerability that haunts them.

In some places in the world some people are so poor the make, and eat, dirt cookies.

https://www.elitereaders.com/haiti-mud-cookies-poverty/

I have friends whose spouses have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, they have a choice… put the person in a care home. Until there is absolutely no other choice, they choose not to because they married ‘for better, for worse.’

There are an increasing number of people with cancer of various types, there is little they can do to change their situation for the better.

Then there a people like me, living at the end of an oxygen tube, often being shunned because others are unsure how to relate to us. We might not be able to do what we once did, but our brains still work, and we can converse.

Lives change, unexpectedly

As I mentioned in my recent monthly newsletter, since publishing Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube I have heard from others who are not living at the end of a tube, but have other problems. Many are confined by unrelenting pain, and there are those who are grieving.

I am sure you could add more to the list.

So yes, things are different in our era… we have welfare, we have modern conveniences, phones, Internet and time-saving devices, but we still have problems. Isolation is one of them.

How can we help? This is a question worth asking. You might think you have nothing to offer, but someone might need a smile today. Can we afford that? It might change someone’s day.

Just thinking.

Susan

P.S.
Shadow of the Past is available on pre-order now. During this period the price is only $1.99 US

Pre-order link

Little Things Mean…

Little things, fish

Little things mean a lot is the title of an old song from the fifties by Kitty Kalen. (I will put a link to the song on YouTube at the end.)

However, to many people little things mean a lot in a negative sense.

Little things mean…

Inconvenience. My multifunction printer had a paper jam. It was only the second time in many years, so I was not so familiar with fixing it. However, I did try. Unsuccessfully. The paper I pulled out had a ‘bite’ missing.

But the ‘missing’ small piece was out of sight. I turned it off for a few days. But no, it did not magically clear itself. A week or so later, I faced the fact… I would either have no multifunction centre, or was looking at a rather large bill for someone to come in and take the machine to bits.

After some more thinking time, I took the paper tray out, tipped the multifunction centre up, and using a torch searched for clues. As you will see from the image, I found it.

(Not without difficulty.)

Little things, paper scrap

Little things also mean…

Pain, and a sleepless night. In the fairytale the Princess and the Pea, the princess has an uncomfortable night because of a pea hidden under twenty mattresses. According to study.com, this tale is about an old queen that learns not to judge others by their appearance.

https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-princess-the-pea-summary.html

In ‘real life’ pain is not a little thing. I know many people for whom pain is an unrelenting companion. It isolates, it separates, it divides.

Cover, of lIving at the end of an Oxygen Tube

 

Since publishing ‘Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube I have heard from people suffering from conditions that keep them tethered, but not to an oxygen tube. Their health conditions have them limited.

No little thing

The isolation of chronic illness is something many people do not understand, or dare I say it? Do not want to understand.

If someone dealing with chronic pain tells others, they are quickly seen as a ‘pain’ to be around. (I recently had a long phone call with someone in a nursing home who has serious physical conditions as well as near blindness, and is NOT understood. Care is missing in the ‘care home.)
For these, and other sufferers, if they try not to complain most of the time, sadly they can be seen as having nothing wrong with them. This is the hardest of all. To be misunderstood because you do not want to be considered a ‘complainer.’

But the person I talked with did complain and is labelled, therefore treated as such.

Words are weapons or a balm.

Someone seems cheerful, then says he or she is in terrible pain, the response can be, “You don’t know what real pain is.” That is one way to attack and bring down a sufferer and perhaps result in the person isolating himself or herself.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Is one way to show support, even if there is nothing that can be done. The listener in this instance shows belief that the pain is real, shows interest and wish to help.

In my phone call, the person I was talking to suffered so many serious conditions, at the end, I said, “I don’t know what to say,” then repeated back some of what I heard. The person sounded brighter. Her complaint had been heard. Someone believed in her suffering.

Perhaps the worst response is to not believe the person who is suffering, and telling others it is ‘put on.’

An example…

My husband lived with excruciating back pain. He was on two types of morphine as well as other medication.  But when the opportunity arose he travelled from Australia to America for a church festival.

Someone said to him, “If you are in that much pain, how can you sit so long in an aircraft?”

We didn’t dignify that with an answer, but I will say this much. My husband, who was also dying of lung disease, had his eye on the goal. That is how he could sit so long in an aircraft.

Judge not that you be not judged

This is an often quoted phrase from Matt: 7: 1 but it is not all the quote. The rest is, ‘For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.’ (Matthew 7: 2)

People with chronic illness may have a tendency to avoid other people. It is easier than trying to explain why something is difficult, or impossible, for them to do. It is easier than saying that they have to cancel arrangements (again) because of illness.

Let our words be apples of gold… 

All it takes is some thought, and the gift or our time,

Susan

The link I mentioned at the beginning…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C7SzKv2uLU