Monday, May 31, 2010


This is a “just thinkin’” aspect. Since I’m “thinkin’” all the time, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Most of my life I’ve avoided “emptiness” so I wouldn’t have to face the words and visions under the surface, protected by that constant flooding of thought.

Today, it’s different. After three years of squirreling around nearly incessantly in my home area of Omaha, I’m at my friend Susie’s house in northern Minnesota for a few-day visit. And one major joy? Sitting in one of my long-time favorite places. In front of her living room picture window, resting in a comfortable rocker, foot on the low sill, looking out over acres of land enveloped in miriad types of greenery, the occasional chipmunk, squirrel, or bird swifting through. And overall enjoying its emptiness. Can occasionally see the blip of a car down the distant highway. That’s it.

The constant inward drive to go and do and be and watch and prepare has slid to the back a bit. Still there, because the two of us spend hours hashing out those topics that affect us in many ways ... personally ... and our nation ... and the Body of Christ. Not many sweetness and light, fluffy subjects. But, can’t go anywhere, do anything at this moment that will pull me back into that total mentality of “go and do and be and watch and prepare.”
Overall, I’m resting, retreating, relaxing... refurbishing my inner self. Enjoying the emptiness.

I leave on Thursday, and I know it will be only a few hours until the “normality” of life strikes again... probably when I cross the Nebraska state line. But for now, in a very rare time I would ever admit it, “emptiness” is a good thing.

Go forward to fullness

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I’m t i n g l i n g at the edge –

Static power



buzzy-ing ---

a cartoon robot ...

... finger fizzy-ing in an outlet ---

But softer.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Re: my "Dad" post. I made an error when I recopied it to finish the post and the last two verses of the poem were left off. This was at midnight last night as I was heading for bed, so I'm sure you can understand the flitteriness of that mistake. I didn't read the whole post, which I usually do, and just discovered this a few minutes ago.

So, if you've read it before, please re-read it. It will definitely have a larger picture and a better over-all finish.


Friday, May 21, 2010


@@@@@@@Clyde Harold Lee

My sister, Niki, called in September, 1983, to tell me that my Dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and wasn't expected to live more than three months. As she was hanging up she said, "Write a poem for Dad. I know you can." I left for work, driving about 20 miles to Oklahoma City, and on the way I saw sunlight "swords" cutting through the clouds, which lifted me out of the heavy dumpiness I was feeling, and before I reached the office I had the majority of the poem running through my head. That very day, I sent the poem to Niki and she put a photo of Dad with it and framed it and gave it to him. He kept it until he died, and it was given to me after his memorial service. I've had it on a shelf for twenty six years -- same old scruffy frame, same old paper.

As I've written before, Dad and I had a pretty intense, frequently angry and violent, relationship. And we rarely saw each other or spoke or wrote for most of the last twenty years of his life -- I left home the day after I graduated from high school in 1963. However, he sent me a letter dated March 17, 1979, with the following:

"I finally gave up my solo fight against alcohol and went to church ... I came away with an awful load off my back; I hadn't realized how heavy it was. My problems are still here, but the Lord is sharing my burden. I am really surprised at the feeling.

"Things are looking up for me now, but it wouldn't hurt for you to say a small prayer for me, I need all the help I can get."

Our whole family got together for Thanksgiving, 1983, just to be with him, and we all hadn't met together for many years. I had a short, but sweet, alone time with him; he was giving a Thanksgiving-eve testimony at his church and we simply sat and enjoyed each other and then someone took a photo for me. I returned to Oklahoma a couple days later. He died May 22, 1984, having lived several months longer than anticipated.

As I've often said, I'm looking forward to eternity in heaven, partly to enjoy some TRUE time with my Dad.


We’re so much alike – you and I –
We think and we feel much the same.
When we love, it’s a deep, soul-filling love,
When we hurt, it’s with soul-rending pain.

We’re like mirrors – mirror images.

Two needn’t be close –
If you’re counting the miles –
To Share this world’s Days and its Night.
There are soul-mates
Who travel life’s path side by side
Though mountains and plains bar their sight.

And we’re mirrors – you and I – mirror images.

Without Jesus to keep us, we’d Die – you and I –
Eternally lost from our Lord.
Our hurts closed our hearts
to the goodness of God,
And we turned our backs to His Word...

We’re SO alike – like mirrors – mirror images.

But He reached us – He found us
And He healed our hearts –
The greatest of healings provided.
We opened our hearts to receive that great love,
And now He walks closely beside us.

We walk hand-in-hand,
But with Jesus between –
As He looks in our hearts, we can say
It’s not just the one,
or the Two,
But the THREE of us,
Who will love through Eternity’s Day.

Shining like mirrors – mirror images.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


My sister, Niki, turns 60 today. Hard to believe. [I'm older than she is by 4 years and 10 months... so guess where I'm headed... heavy sigh!!] No two people could be much more opposite in character, gift areas, personality strengths and/or weaknesses. And, in these past forty-plus years, we have developed a great deal of respect for each other, which could have been the opposite if the Lord hadn't stepped into my life, especially, and softened me. He also, however, stepped into hers and she began her walk with him just a few years after me. By then, I was living in California ... then Omaha ... then Oklahoma ... and back to Omaha, and, until 25 years ago, when I married my dear husband, I rarely had any real time with my "Tacoma-based" family, through poverty or otherwise, sometimes as long as seven years without seeing them. So, I hardly ever saw Niki from the time she was turning 19 until she was 35. A bit tough to keep up to date, except through the rare phone call or letter.

Here're some stories.

When I was 18, nearly 19, and she had just turned 14, she was staying with me in my apt in Seattle. It was a summer night. I remember the lights were out and we were laying in bed, a slight breeze floating through the window, but too hot to sleep, and she started telling me stories about her school experiences that I had never heard.
-- In 2nd grade, the teacher told the children to draw pictures of a pot. Then, row by row, they got up to show them. Niki said she realized she was in trouble, because the first row had pictures of flower pots and tea kettles and coffee pots, and the 2nd row had the same. And when her row got up, she knew she would be the only one with the picture of a toilet.

-- In 8th grade, the class had turned in science reports. She said some parents were helping grade the papers and were sitting in the back of the classroom and started chuckling and passing a report aroun
d and she just automatically knew it was hers... and it was. She had said, "A female frog lays its eggs and the male frog sterilizes them."

While she told me these and other stories, I laid there and roared with laughter.

A few weeks later, the Summer of '64, when the Beatles were "new" world-wide stars, and were coming through town, Nik wanted to go see them as they drove through the Seattle World Fair Center on their way to their venue. I wasn't a Beatles fan, and certainly thought this was a waste of time, but she LOVED George Harrison and insisted and I finally caved. I lived only about two miles from that spot, so we walked down Queen Anne hill and I let her go and told her where to come and meet me. WELL, I waited one long time!! When she finally came up, I was ready to nai
l her for keeping me there so long. But she was so excited she didn't even listen to my grouching at her. She said, "I saw them." And I said, sarcastically, "OF COURSE, you saw them... that's why we came." "No," she said. "I SAW them. A girl was by me in the crowd and had an extra ticket -- and gave it to me!" So, while I was waiting, she was at that concert. Talk about a kind gift to her. We never could have afforded anything like that. I recognized that this was something I couldn't nag her about, so I actually shut up.

I'm not sure when this happened, but it's just a typical Niki -- AND, unfortunately, a typical "me". I was kid watching and she and the younger ones were in their bedroom and there was all thi
s noisy thumping going on, probably jumping from bunk bed to bunk bed, and tossing things around. I went in there hollering something similar to "WHAT'S GOING ON???" Niki sang a line from "It Is No Secret What God Can Do." Her line? "Someone slipped and fell...". She may have been funny, but my response was everything less than that, unfortunately. But, NOW, I grin when I think of it.

In March of '68, when I returned to Tacoma after a very wild year in East St. Louis, while working with an Inner-City Christian organization -- can STILL write crazy stories about that -- my sisters had begun to be invaded with drugs, etc. They were in the 13-to-17 age range. I was 22 and was pretty good at "dressing down" and looked about 16 if I chose to. So I kind of sauntered towards Nik and said, "Hey, take me to one of the parties
so I can meet these folks." She said, "No." And I asked why and she said, "Because they will find out that you are there to get their names and find out where they're from so you can turn them into the police, and then they will kill you." I just shrugged and said, "Oh." Because she was absolutely right! I wanted to protect my sisters from being drawn into that dangerous way of life -- and God used her to protect ME.

Then lots happened... most of it not so good ... in lots of our family lives and situations. I'll skip all the "not so good" stuff.

When she was 19 years old, she came to the Lord. I was thrilled when I heard that; wish I'd kept the letter that blessed me
with that news.

For years I've referred to her as my "Little House on the Prairie" sister. She has lived in places I would never have dreamed would be a possibility:

-- She had recently remarried and she and her husband and her 3 older kids lived on a piece of property in the area of Mount Rainier. They had built several lean-to style units... a kitchen, storage and outhouse, some bedrooms ... separated by a bit of a pathway. About as "pioneer"-style as most of us can imagine. The area around it was gorgeous. However, when winter hit, it was too challenging
and had to be abandoned after a stretch of time, first temporarily working around winter, and then permanently.

-- They built a log cabin up in the wilderness portion of north-central WA, not far from the Canadian border. I visited once. Comfortable, though unfancy house -- in the attached photo you will see the bathtub. And no indoor toilet. The outhouse was doorless so the "inhabitant" could enjoy looking out over the hills and lovely scenery... it WAS turned away from the house, so no one could see directly into it, but I still was nervous about using it so "openly."

-- They lived in an RV in a small community near the Columbia River west of Portland. Niki's older three, children of her former husband, had all moved on in life. With her "Mount Rainier" husband, she now had three girls. The girls' bedroom was the space over the cab. I visited one afternoon, during a drive along the Columbia; there most certainly wouldn't have been room to spend the night.

And other homes, places, until a few years ago, Niki was always adjusting to something unusual. In a way, still is. But what amazes me about her is that she is always able to be creative with art work (hers and others) and makes certain that the walls aren't just plain ol', plain ol'; flexible in what is available for use and what isn't; adjusting her cooking and cleaning patterns depending on where she is and what her options are. As I said, it amazes me. "Me" would definitely not be "She" in those ways.

About twenty years ago we finally came up with a good way to describe our "approach to life" difference. As kids, when we woke up in the morning, Niki would think, with excitement and joy, "OH, another DAY!!!" I would wake up and think, buried in depression, fear, and anger, "Oh, another day!"

What else does Niki do? She speaks for Stonecroft in the WA/OR area. She ministers to people who have tough and rough backgrounds or are dealing with drug and alcohol addictions. She has homeschooled for years, plays guitar, sings, LOVES to dance, draws, writes cartoony funny stuff. When we're together every couple of years we try to head for the Oregon coast -- she only lives about 30 miles from Astoria -- and we go to Cannon Beach and spend the day walking and talking --- talking over each other and interrupting each other --- and laughing and laughing and laughing and praying and praying and praying and singing and singing and singing some more. All intermixed with serious discussions about the present and our hopes for the future.

[Oh, just so you know. She's not perfect! Darn! I bet she seemed that way as I was telling the stories. But she's one good woman!]

I'll be seeing her in July and am already planning my day with her, just because I know I can be myself, "what"ever and "who"ever that is. I know we will laugh; she breaks through my seriosity and, as a result, MY humorous and funny side comes out that others tend to miss. And because of that, her girls and husband enjoy me, too, and I'm quite welcome to their world. Rather nice, doncha think?

SO, dear Sis... happy birthday. You're a joy!!

Monday, May 17, 2010


f-l-o-a-t-i-n-g in the middle,
@@@c.o.n.n.e.c.t.i.n.g THE d.o
@@@@@the generations,
@@@@@@@@@the heartaches,


the Lynch Pin of grace


a Holy Spirit Infusion.

Hope for the Future.

Go onward and enjoy all the grace of God here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Was reading Luke 15 this morning, which I'm sure this title indicates to you. This story is so common, and, especially as Christians, we tend to flip through it because it's so, well, as I said, common. I've been trying to slow down and process it each time I've read it during the "Luke" project the Lord laid on me in January. [Actually, this is my last phase. Will have read ten translations, once each, and the Amplified version five times, intermixed with the others.] ANYHOW, there's one phase of the son's life that always makes me grin and today it hit even harder.

When he decided to leave for home he said that he would tell his Father, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Just make me like one of your hired servants." Then he left. And, when Father saw him coming he was moved with "pity and tenderness and compassion" for him and "embraced him and kissed him [fervently]."

And the son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]!"

SO.... How many of us, after sinning against someone and heading towards that person with the desire to restore our relationship to even the tiniest, faintest level, and, then, having them run to us, throw their arms around us, and hold us and love us -- before we even have a chance to open our mouths-- would follow through with the original intent? Some would, of course. Some, however, might simply have the thought of "Whew, I don't have to say what I planned. We're OK now." In my case, that's real food for thought.

The next portion always makes me grin. Father says to the servants, "Bring the robe of honor, and give him a ring and sandals...."

The son has been poverty-stricken, starving to death, working with pigs ... would be dirty, stinky, scruffy, ragged. Yet, Dad says... go get the best stuff and give it to him. He does not say ... "Get him a bath, shave, haircut, and brush his teeth!"

His Father received him and accepted him exactly the way he was when he returned home. That's really good to remember, both as parents with "prodigal sons" and as people who simply ain't perfect and turn off the path our Lord has laid before us. With this example, it encourages us to quickly and lovingly accept our "prodigals" back. It also helps us know that when we "prodigalize" for a time, and we return to Him, we will be received with warmth and love into the arms of our Father.

Ain't nothin' better than that.

Monday, May 3, 2010


The Word says that
Joy comes in the morning

— However —

Joy also comes in mourning

...mourning over my sin —
my habitual misbehavior—

...mourning when I love myself
- instantaneously -
before showing love for others
for my Heavenly Father.

...mourning because He told me clearly
He’ll redeem the lives of ones I love ...
and my impatience often prevails...
forgetting that He is the
Author of Time --
I am not!

when I repent, reverse my heart,
remit my expectations,
rejoice in my salvation through His Son,
The joy
— quiet, tingly —
— over-the-top exploding —
moves me onward
and eventually

true joy invades my heart
knowing that
my dear Heavenly Father,
finds His joy
in me--
ME !!

Head for true and varied joy at the blog carnival


Forty-four years later, I can tell that I’m not at all the same person I was. Now the Vessel is a nice silver-type -- probably won’t reach the gold one til I’m headed to heaven, but that's OK. I love the Lord with my whole heart – my whole being – partly because I know I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Him. I’ve had a few times over the years when I found out that the Lord had changed me beyond my former recognition.

I had been saved for about ten years, was working downtown in an office. Had only been in Omaha for a year or so. A couple of my co-workers were Christians, and I had been very frank about my background; always have been. One day one of them came to my desk, grinning. She told me that she had been in the break room eating lunch with a few others, and one of the young women was telling them that her boyfriend had just moved in with her. When she finished, she told my friend, “Don’t tell Joanne. She’d never understand. She’s too naive.” All I could do was thank the Lord for somehow changing my appearance, taking off that “hardness”, without me even knowing about it, but others seeing it.

A number of times over the years since then similar experiences have taken place. Each time, I praise the Lord again, because I’m seen as an innocent in our culture.

Do I still have problems? Oh, absolutely. Especially anger. I don’t often show it, but I DO often feel it. My personality is still in the intense range; I may never be the “sweetness and light” that I desire to automatically exhibit and I respect so much in others.

However, the difference now is that in this silver Vessel that I am, it is opposite of the way the dumpster was. The dumpster had garbage and the occasional gem. The Vessel has the blessedness of God ... the spiritual gifts [teaching, giving], results of ministry [discipling new believers, missionarying, helping anywhere He sends me during crises], and swirled in with Family members from the Body -- not just "in general", but Dads, Moms, Sisters, Brothers, Kids and Grandkids, around our country and in other nations. It absolutely thrills me to have them in my life. However, in the Vessel, in the mix, are chunks of leftover garbage from the dumpster. Not huge amounts, often nearly hidden by the blessings floating past them, but “there”. Lack of submission, too much independence, some rebellion, misbehavior, imperfect personality.

However, most of the time, people hardly notice. In general, they don’t see me that way. I do. I notice those ugly tiny particles of gunk. But I also know that the cleaning of the Vessel with the Blood of my Savior and the power of the Holy Spirit and the GRACE of my Heavenly Father, will continue to cleanse in such a way that the particles will disintegrate, sometimes suddenly, and I won’t even know they are gone until someone says, “Oh, you can’t tell Joanne. She won’t understand. She’s too naive.”

A short summary might pass hope along.

I have family members who have come to the Lord and are serving Him. From nearly the beginning of my walk with Him, He defined me scripturally and in my heart, as a family "Pioneer". About fifteen years ago, a sister mentioned that she saw me the same way and showed me a song that described it. As hard as it is to still see the "other" life our family has led to still be in place in some lives, it is a huge blessing to see some dramatic changes, also.

March 17, 1979, I received a letter from my Dad, who was 60 at the time, and this is what he said:

"I finally gave up my solo fight against alcohol and went to church ... I came away with an awful load off my back; I hadn't realized how heavy it was. My problems are still here, but the Lord is sharing my burden. I am really surprised at the feeling.

"Things are looking up for me now, but it wouldn't hurt for you to say a small prayer for me, I need all the help I can get."

I hadn't seen him or spoken to him for years before receiving that letter. Five years later I saw him shortly before he died. I am SO looking forward to spending time with him in heaven. Can hardly wait!!

My mother also turned her heart to the Lord about 10 years ago when she was turning 80. She will be 90 in July and even though it's still tough for her, overall there's been a change. For me, one of the most important aspects is that I actually have a below-the-surface relationship with her, and I hadn't, except for the occasional moment, for all those years. I'm still only out to see her about once a year, but the change has truly taken place.

So, we continue onward and upward ... HE is the HOPE.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


On April 15, 1966, 6:30 PM, 4 months shy of my 21st birthday, my dumpster was transformed. Well, at least the transformation process began. I accepted the gift of Christ, the truth of His sacrifice for me and for all others. I knew it was the right choice to make, the right step to take, so I did it. No emotions attached. It was a “contract” between God and me. Spiritually speaking, I know the garbage was thoroughly eliminated, the dumpster cleaned with every possible spiritual cleansing solution, the most important and thorough being the blood of Jesus. [See April 15 post re: my Re-birthday for more details/insight.]

In actuality, it didn’t seem quite that way for a while. I was still prone to my habits of life – the BAD ones. I tried to break the patterns, but it took time and effort and energy, and repentance and over-the-top conviction as I repeated the sins I had “repented”, and on and on. Alcohol-based mis-behavior, sexual mentality [dirty jokes, foul mouth, porn, promiscuity], and, my forever personalized identity description: angry... really, really angry.

Scripture basically says that I had become a Vessel. And I believe that. I’m not so sure what the vessel looked like in those days, but don’t think there was a lot of silver and gold ... maybe something like the feet of the statue in Nebuchadnezzer’s dream that God used Daniel to interpret, the one with the feet mixed with iron and clay. Maybe I was starting there, and moving up ... bronze, silver, gold. But, at least the first two or three years, it was a gradual change. In my heart, the change was real; in my everydayness of life, the change hardly seemed real to my family or most of those who worked with me. I was still known as one tough cookie.

A few of the stories always stick out in my head, even after all these years:

I was saved while attending a small Baptist church. I was in the choir, and in November, just about half a year after my salvation, we sang “Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul”. I just loved that song! After the service a teenage gal came up to me and said that she liked the song and knew I liked it because “you smiled today.” I gruffly responded, “I smile a lot!” She said, “Yes, but today you really smiled.”

The choir director, Lorna, and I became good friends. Some time later she said that when I had begun coming to church she didn’t know what would happen because I was the hardest looking person she had ever seen. That was shocking enough to hear at the time. However, years later, I had to laugh. I recalled that the church was across the street from a housing project, with both tough civilians and a number of military families, most connected to Fort Lewis, at the time of the Vietnam war. And I looked harder than any of them? Wow!

Often, Lorna’s husband, Bill, would come up to me and tell me I needed to wear less makeup, longer skirts, and on and on. The blessing, because of my independent, rebellious personality, was that everyone else came up and said, “You just be yourself. Don’t pay any attention to Bill.” If they had been legalistic and always in my face, I would have left the church, and maybe even fallen away from the Lord.

I DO recall that Pastor Mark, in his mid-20s, thought I could give him some advice on how to go into bars and share the gospel, because he had never been in one and he knew I was familiar with that lifestyle – even though I was hardly at the legal age. He wanted to use my “skills” to help him bring more people to Christ. I loved that man’s heart!

Over time, the addictions faded away, the radical behaviors slowly diminished, opportunities to serve landed on my plate, the depression and anger were less intense.

And Now...

Saturday, May 1, 2010


In 5th grade, 10 years old, I had my first male teacher, and he was a little tough. He was missing three fingers that had been blown off when he was a young boy and had picked up a shell casing near a military site. He was a good teacher, but Mr. Glaser was not one I ever wanted to upset.

WELL, one Monday Mom needed to leave for work, and Dad was off on a bender; he d
idn’t have a job at the time and was the usual sitter. We had a babysitter who covered if necessary, but she needed to come across town on the bus to reach us and wouldn’t be there until around 10 o'clock. I needed to watch the four little ones, and I was going to be late for school – VERY late. I was scared – BIG TIME. What was Mr. Glaser going to do to me?

When I walked in the door, he was on the other end of the classroom, and I’m sure my eyes were very big and very fearful. He stopped what he was doing and walked across the room to me -- and he picked me up and gave me a hug.

I realized that he understood, somehow, what life was like for me.

The sad part is that, in today’s world, he could h
ave been turned in, lost his job, ended up in jail. But he, in that one instant, encouraged and blessed me exceedingly. [I hope to see him in heaven and thank him for his kindness; I have often thanked the Lord for him.]
In junior high school my right hand was covere
d with at least 30 warts. During the winter the warts cracked and bled from the cold. I played sax and was embarrassed to have my hands out where they could be seen. I spent as much time as possible with my hands stuffed in my pockets or my fingers curled in so people wouldn’t notice.

Mrs. Harris, a mom across the alley from us, found a wart remover. It was brown, oily, smelly. I went to her house before and after school and she took a toothpick and dipped it in the remover and poked it into all the warts – which hurt a bit – and then covered them with band-aids. After a few weeks the warts disappeared. They never returned.


In 9th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Andersen, gave me an assignment that opened one of life’s doors for me. She told me there was a book she wanted me to memorize. I had a month’s deadline. It was a Christmas story written a couple of years earlier by a very popular writer. I memorized it, performed it in several classes before Christmas break – and I have presented it hundreds of times since then in homes, child care facilities, schools, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, and many other events. It has continued to be popular.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas cover.png
Author Dr. Seuss

Through Mrs. Anderson, acting, memorizing, and writing became a significant part of my life and my survival skills.

At the beginning of my Sophomore year, our family moved from Tacoma to a small lumber town in southern Washington. Later, when a Junior, I went to a graduation dinner with a Senior, Billy, a
sweet and gentle and very shy fellow who, for some reason, really liked me. It was our first, and only, official date. When I reached home, my dad, drunk, came out on the porch and started hollering. Billy drove off as soon I climbed out of the car. Even before I walked inside, my dad accused me of being out with a local “bad guy” – their cars were similar. I started screaming back, my usual response ... never could back off. After a few minutes of screaming back and forth, Dad started slamming me, repeatedly knocking me backwards, and I staggered through the living room, through the kitchen, into the back storage area, and banged into a storage cabinet, breaking its door. No one – not my Mom or sisters – came out to intervene. When it came to fights with my Dad, I was on my own. Period.

I don’t remember how the fight ended, whether I had bruises, or any physical injuri
es. The anger level, however, was over the top. I was furious.

I found out the next day that our screaming had awakened our neighbors. In the morning, one o
f them called my friend, Susie, before she left for school to warn her about how I might act. [I was known for slamming doors and throwing things. The teachers and admins understood, and, even though they dealt with me at school, they never told my parents.]

When I arrived, I walked into the study hall, the usual gathering place. Susie, a very quiet person, sat in the back, farthest from the doorway. Yet, as quiet as she was, just as I entered the room I heard her say to those around her, “Jo
yce called. Joanne had a fight with her dad last night. We need to leave her alone.” I instantly relaxed, knowing I didn’t have to try to fake it through my day.
If it wasn’t for gems, such as these, that were dr
opped into my dumpster, I would never have come to a place of enough hope to keep putting one foot in front of the other -- willing to fight depression, fight suicidal impulses, and avoid physical fights with others as they threatened to dump their garbage on me. I did not know that my dear Father God was preparing me for the day He would enter my life, transform my dumpster, and become my True Gem, One I can always rely on to sparkle and light my way through both everyday garbage and the overwhelming sin in our culture ... and blessing me more and more as the gems overtake my precious vessel.
Next: Part 3, the Vessel.